Quest The Return

Discussion in 'The Chronicles' started by Lia, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. Lia

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    Lia Allirian Ranger

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    By the time the two others would reach the barn Lia had already prepared everything.

    Three horses, a set of saddlebags, and even a tent.

    The plan she'd originally thought of had been rather simplistic, something that she'd made up in half a panic really. Yet by the time she'd prepared everything that plan had come together into something far more...thought out. Now they just had to get out of Alliria.

    Patting her horse on the neck she waited for the other two.

    In the back of her mind she was still trying to suss out exactly what was going on, what the Majors were trying to do and who was moving the pieces around them.
     
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  2. Kaska

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    Kaska arrived with her belongings on her back, her pack full of supplies and those three outfits Lia knew she carried with her. Which only meant one thing: she wasn't entirely braced for coming back.

    What would happen next for them, she wasn't sure. But a feeling in her gut told her it wouldn't involve this keep.

    She nodded a greeting to Lia and briskly began to tie a few sacks of supplies to her horse, her shoulders tense as she was braced for a last minute interruption to this secret flee.

    But none came. Perhaps the Major wasn't expecting it. These actions were highly uncommon for Rangers at all, never mind Lia. Or the steadfast elf with trainees under his care.

    She loaded up, her uneasiness leaving her horse bucking in empathetic protests.

    "Let's go," she ordered briskly, letting her horse reel back for a moment before urging him to surge forward with her heel.

    The time for chit chat would be later.
     
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  3. Addis Vrummal

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    He didn't speak when he arrived, though his surprise at how they packed was obvious. A frown paired with a look over himself was all the more he gave them as they mounted up and rode out with the two of them. He wished he had packed more.

    A bedroll, a change of clothes, and his ranger gear were all the more he had on him. He followed behind the two of them quickly, not wanting the footsteps that have hounded him all morning to catch up finally.
     
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  4. Lia

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    #79 Lia, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
    Lia set the pace, and it was not a quick one.

    Not at first anyway.

    She did not want them to look as though they were fleeing or running away, they were simply doing what she wanted as a Lieutenant. In the structure of the Ranger's the only people above her were Majors and the Lord Commander. She had the autonomy to do as she pleased.

    Leaving was something no one can deny her. "We'll be back in a few days."

    Lia told the gate guards, a smiling touching her lips as the man saluted her and motioned for his partner to pull open the gate. A heavy wooden door swung open, and then she quickly lead the way for Addis and Kaska.

    She did not pick up their pace until they were a mile away from the fortress.
     
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  5. Kaska

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    It was surprisingly easy enough to actually ride to an old outpost, a half a days ride away but unoccupied for a decade as numbers had declined too much to reason staffing it.

    Kaska slid down from her horse, glancing around in the warm evening light.

    She nodded in satisfaction, then wordlessly began untying her packs, apparently not done being moody just yet. Too much to think on... too much to stress over.

    Funny, one wouldn't expect to remained high strung even after completing an impossible mission. Her life felt increasingly stressful as of late. She was pretty sure Lia was to blame.

    Everything had been working out just fine before she came...
     
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  6. Addis Vrummal

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    Doing little more than giving a nod to the guards, he kept up with them easily enough even as the pace changed once they were a ways out. Kaska dismounted first, Addis taking a time longer to look around them before doing the same.

    He undid his own gear, humming a little as he went about the task. He hadn't spoke yet, curious as to what Lia had in mind for the trip here.
     
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  7. Lia

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    The outpost was something of a sight in it of itself.

    Not a grand fortress or anything of the sort, it instead consisted of a single stone tower, a ten foot high stone wall, and a small wooden barn that was all but falling apart. There had once been a gate, though the doors had long since rotted away.

    The Rangers had once used this place as a way of warning Ared'hol that an invasion force was on it's way, though during the Templar Wars it had been abandoned. Since then no army had ever really threatened the Green Keep, and thus there'd never been a reason to occupy it.

    In the tower they would find room enough for twenty or so Rangers, though for now there was only three of them.

    "We should be able to light a fire without being seen." She motioned to the tower. "And I need to send out some messengers."

    Lia had the forethought to bring a few pigeons along.
     
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  8. Kaska

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    Kaska glanced at the pidgeons cages, more than mildly curious.

    "Letters to let your lovers know you'll be further delayed?" She sassed, stringing packs over her shoulder and pushing towards the tower door.
     
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  9. Addis Vrummal

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    Addis smiled and chuckled a little. "Alas, our midnight meetings will have to wait." he added on to Kaska's sass, the tone of his voice poorly imitating a woman's voice. He grabbed whatever bags he could before heading to the tower behind Kaska.
     
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  10. Lia

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    "Letters to other Rangers." She frowned for a second, before adding. "Ones I can trust."

    There were only a couple thousand Rangers left in the world, a far cry from what was needed to patrol the Reach. Among them were a few that she trusted implicitly, to the point where she would stake her own life on them.

    Most of them didn't live in Alliria or any of the Great Fortresses, no, they were out in the Reach or in one of the towns Rangers often found themselves posted in. Getting in touch with them would be difficult, but a few of them would answer. At least she hoped they would.

    "Right now it's just the three of us, and that...that just isn't enough." Not against whoever the fuck was out for them.
     
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  11. Kaska

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    "...Hmph," Kaska mused in acknowledgement, not wanting to linger long on that thought. "....Pick them well," was all she said, not trusting anyone but Lia. So if Lia said these letter would reach people the would do them good, then fine. But--

    "I'm hungry."

    She left them both there, shoving through the door and dropping her stuff by the cold hearth.

    She began to unpack the essentials, taking packs from Lia to access the food she had acquiesced. She kept herself moving efficiently, not ready to slow down and think about their situation until the tower was roaring with a large fire a pot of thick stew was simmering over it. That would be meals for a bit, the fresh ingredients creating a delectable aroma.

    She looked up at the others, seeming to acknowledge them for the first real time as she scoped out the tension in the room.

    "... A return trip to Alliria and the taking of a mission to the highest reaches should clear you of their radar," she informed Addis softly, giving the stranger a way out.

    "My father would cover you, if need be." It was strange to say, but as strained as their relations were, she knew she could ask that of him and receive it without much of a question. They were both of paranoid stock. He would back her fears without question.
     
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  12. Addis Vrummal

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    The elf worked quietly for a bit, arranging what remained of furniture around the entrance to the room to keep a large group from storming in easily. He didn't seem terribly bothered at their situation but the occasional chewing on the top of his thumb was the only sign of growing nerves.

    If Lia was requesting help, he might have truly stumbled into something more than he had thought originally. Kaska spoke, offering her father's help to get him out of the spot they were now in.

    He didn't reply instantly, but acknowledged that she had offered it as he continued to make small changes to the impromptu barricade. Finally content with the work, he hung his head a moment before giving her his reply.

    "While I appreciate the offer, I can't leave you to whatever fate awaits. I offered to help, and I will help as much as I can." Addis informed her.

    A small smile appearing as he turned to her. "You are stuck with me till this is done. I won't leave fellow rangers out to hang to save my own neck."
     
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  13. Lia

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    She frowned for a moment, watching the both of them in silence as they went back and forth.

    A part of Lia wanted to do the same as Lia, tell Addis that he should go and simply rid himself of these troubles...but she also knew that they would likely need him. She took in a deep breath, glancing up at Kaska and considering her before she did the same to Addis.

    "We need to figure out whats going on." Her fingers twitched slightly on a piece of parchment.

    The Lieutenant motioned for them to follow. There was an old table and a few chairs in one of the corners of the room, though all of it looked like it might fall into pieces the moment it was actually touched by anything more than a light gust of wind. She knocked on one of the chairs, kicked it, then finally sat down.

    "Someone is trying to keep something from us." She began quietly. "And it all started with this Lich."

    Lia glanced at Kaska, then continued. "The Majors knew about it before we even showed up...but they hadn't sent anyone after it."

    Another pause. "More than that though...the Lich has a Master. We don't know who...but I'm pretty sure the Majors know that too. At least some of them."
     
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  14. Kaska

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    "My father doesn't," Kaska said confidently as kicked and sat in the chair across from her.

    "He wouldn't have sent me this direction otherwise. No. He couldn't have known."

    She paused, her mouth dropping to a perfect 'o'.

    "...Unless. It wasn't him who signed me on this trip after all. Lia. Do you still have those orders on you? Do you really not know who it came from?"
     
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  15. Addis Vrummal

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    Addis followed them over, taking a spot to watch the door as he stood at the end of the table and listened. What Lia said bothered him, and Kaska affirmed it after the comment about her father.

    "How did you find out about the lich in the first place?" Addis asked, genuinely curious and a little confused. "If the majors knew already, I don't imagine they handed the information to you."
     
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  16. Kaska

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    Kaska shot Lia a biting look.
     
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  17. Lia

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    "It's been three months." Close to it anyway. "I don't have them anymore."

    Lia said with a frown, lips thinning as she thought about exactly what was going on and how to best answer all the questions. "I doubt your father knew, Kaska."

    No. Not with how it had all happened.

    "The Lich attacked us during a mission." Lia said the words slowly. "We were transporting something the Lich wanted...i think...i think some of the Majors must have known the Lich wanted it."

    Not all of them, otherwise Kaska's father wouldn't have sent her along. "Or maybe knew the Liches Master wanted it, which means they know whose behind all this and don't want us to know."

    It also meant that the Majors were keeping information from one another. Granted this was all conjecture...but it all sounded right.
     
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  18. Addis Vrummal

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    "Sounds like you were bait. If they knew, then what is their goal in bringing out a lich?" Addis replied simply.
     
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  19. Kaska

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    "Bait?" Kaska echoed. "But that makes no sense. Why have your bait be blind? Unless you didn't intend .... for them to make it out at all..." She finished off slowly.

    An idea was slowly forming, one that left her utterly pale.

    "...That's it..." She breathed. "None of this is an accident. It was all planned. We've all been played like a fiddle..."

    Her fingers tightened on the table, nails digging into the rotting wood and giving herself splinters.
     
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  20. Lia

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    Lia quietly drummed her fingers. "If some Majors knew and others didn't we can reason that not everyone is in on this."

    That only made sense to her. They had the name of at least one who was against them, one that had wanted to see them dead...or captured, or whatever else. There were four more besides though, and there was no way to tell which ones they could trust.

    She frowned.

    "They wanted the Lich...or it's master to have the bracelet." It was the only thing that made sense. "So they must be working with it for...whatever reason."

    Motive.

    That was the problem. What the hell was the motive? Power? Chaos? It didn't make any sense.
     
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  21. Addis Vrummal

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    It wanted. A bracelet. His expression turned skeptical as he listened to them both. "A bracelet." Addis stated, his disbelief quite plain across his face.

    "You had to guard, a bracelet. From a Lich." he rubbed his face as he continued. "How many were with you and who was with you?"
     
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  22. Kaska

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    "It wasn't just any bracelet," Kaska responded, agitated. "It-"

    Her mouth dropped.

    "...It was a powerful object given to the Major for safe keeping. Shit!"

    She stood up briskly, starting right for the door.
     
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  23. Lia

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    "Don't leave the Fort." She would shoot a crossbow bolt in the woman's horse if she had to stop her, but Lia made no move to get in Kaska's way.

    A frown touched her face though.

    The fact that they had taken the bracelet cemented something in her mind. Only one of the three that had greeted her and Kaska at Ared'hol were part of the conspiracy, otherwise they would have simply done away with the entire mission and killed them as soon as they'd gotten there.

    If only one was a conspirator, it likely meant he'd told the Lich, or his Master, about the mission in the first place. In a strange way it was a good thing. "The Bracelet amplified magic."

    She explained to Addis.

    "In theory a mage could use it to destroy a town...though at a loss of control of the magic itself." The Lieutenant did not explain why that was dangerous, assuming Addis would put two and two together. "I think the Major is working with the Lich...and gave away the mission so they could steal the bracelet."

    It made sense, the bracelet was a weapon, the Lich had been beginning to build an army.

    Things were adding up.
     
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  24. Kaska

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    Kaska stopped at the door with a hiss, rounding on the woman and interjecting. "And he still has it! We gave it to him. I'm going back." She grabbed the door handle.
     
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  25. Lia

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    "It's in the Fortress." Lia half turned, pointedly staring at her.

    Ared'hol was one of the most well defended places in the world, one of the few Citadel that still stood with even a small amount of authority. "There was a reason he had the Lich attack us on the road."

    Kaska would have to see reason in this.

    "Because once it got to the Fortress it was safe." Otherwise he could have simply waited for Kaska and Lia to deliver it to Ared'hol and take it otherwise. No. She was right. The Bracelet was safe in Ared'hol. Unlike the Holy Weapons they had taken it would be guarded and truly locked away.
     
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