Fable - Ask Under Cover of Sunshine

  • Distant lands call to you, Guest. The next world event coming soon.

    A land once ruled by Dragons and Gods opens, but not every secret of Arethil's past is safe to uncover.

    Titanfall

A roleplay which may be open to join but you must ask the creator first

Nathaira

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The Grand Bazaar of Ragash was a sight to behold. Beneath the relentless sun lay a sprawling city within a city of multicolored tents, delicious aromas, and people from around the world. It was loud and in constant motion, and the wares on display ranged from simple fruits and sweets to exotic sculpture made from ivory, jade, and even gold.

The sheer number of people made any one individual nearly invisible to prying eyes, and the great variety of traders meant that no race was too far out of place. Nathaira felt, for the first time in a while, quite inconspicuous. She still had her leather hood drawn up but her face was not covered by her scarf, and she did not hide her scaled hands within the folds of her clothing.

She had just finished haggling down the price of a strange orange fruit, with furry skin and an intoxicatingly sweet scent. She popped it whole into her mouth, tasting its juices as it was crushed by the muscles of her mouth and throat. It was unspeakably tasty.

She wiped her lips as she rejoined the group of Forsaken that had accompanied her on this assignment. ”I don’t think I knew this many colors existed,” she exclaimed, eyeing the silks worn by a passing woman.

They had traveled a great distance from Vel Anir, joining up with one of the desert trade caravans and hiding amidst their numbers. The journey had been grueling, but the potential rewards of this assignment would be well worth it, or so they had been assured.

A sand elf in Vel Anir was a strange sight, but one bearing military intelligence was unheard of. Apparently there had been a significant attempt at rebellion by a number of sand elves against the Empire that ruled them. Nak’Ehim was one such rebel, a trusted advisor of the Vizier of War, no less, and according to this escapee Nak’Ehim had managed to hide detailed accounts of the Empire’s upcoming engagements and military strategy before his execution.

Those documents were what the Forsaken were after. They were to infiltrate Nak’Ehim’s former estate, retrieve the information, and leave without a trace. In a striking contrast to their normal orders, murder was strongly discouraged. Tensions had been mounting between Vel Anir and the Empire for some time, and although the Forsaken were designed to be easily disavowed by the city, they were to do nothing that could be seen as an act of war.

It would not be easy. Nak’Ehim’s successor could very likely have taken up residence in the estate. Even if he hadn’t, such a manor would be well guarded regardless of whoever lived within. The estate was also near the Palace, and Empire presence would be thick.

But at least for now the Forsaken could rest easy, well hidden in the multicolor throngs of the Grand Bazaar. ”The manor is wesst of the palace,” Nathaira said, licking her fingers. ”Couldn’t get anything more without arousing ssusspicion.”
 

Kasimir

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Kasimir had never been so uncomfortable.

There were reasons why he didn't take missions in the West: there was minimal shade and thus minimal shadows to hide in, the heat was oppressive, and he particularly hated the overwhelming noise here. Even he had to admit that the last one was unusual; he could deal with the noises of big cities but there was just something about the clamour of people, animals and unknown smells that was pushing him over the edge here. It was all just so at odds with the world he felt most at home in and it brought back painful memories of his training growing up under the careful, nurturing love of the Handlers when his punishment had been to be chained to desert rocks and left to bake in the midday sun.

Two passing women whose gazes drifted suggestively over him reminded him quite quickly of the main reason he was so unhappy in this environment: they were normal here. Kas didn't know how to be normal and looks that were anything but fear were making him more uncomfortable than the sand.

He watched with slightly narrowed eyes against the sun as Nat went frolicking through the streets marvelling at this thing or that thing. Part of him envied her as he stayed stoically under the lone tree he had found with enough leaves on it to provide at least some shade. At least one of them was enjoying their time here. He moved slightly to shift his weight from one foot to the other, bending the other and pushing the sole of his foot to the rough bark.

Kas had had to reluctantly abandon his beloved trenchcoat quite soon into their journey and he felt exposed without it. He wore perhaps the least clothing he had before on a mission. Instead of black he wore a sleeveless white shirt tucked into waist high lightweight tan breeches tucked into his black bucket boots. It offered a rare chance to see the myriad of tattoos that crawled over his skin. The butterfly on his collarbone, the serpent that coiled around his bicep, the long nasty looking blade that ran along the inside of his arm - to name but a few. In the light it was probably easier to catch the odd movement here and there as one of them... shifted position.

He was watching a man wrestling with a goat when Nat returned and he tore his eyes from the mundane match of wills and wit to rest his gaze on her.

"Bars and bathhouses are the best place to get information without drawing attention," he brushed the hair back from his face. They were known gossip spots and whilst there might be embellishment to some of what they said, it was always the servants and whores who knew the workings of places like this better than anyone.
 
A

Aila

Much to the surprise of everyone, Aila was actually quite good at this kind of work.

She had never much enjoyed killing. Missions of massacre and murder never sat right with her, and thus when she was given the task of spying and investigation she plunged herself into it with an almost child-like glee.

Aila had gone to great lengths to blend in with the men and women of the desert. She had ditched her usual armor and instead adorned herself with the leathers and simple robes of her Desert Cousins. Her ears were not hidden beneath a hood, and she'd even used some mild paints to tan her skin.

In effect, to many she appeared to be a Sand Elf.

"Perhaps you can seduce a maid." Though she was far more keen on this particular mission, Aila could still not find it within herself to invoke any sort of emotion in her tone. She spoke with the same dead voice as she always did, but there was a light to her eyes.

One that was almost always otherwise missing.
 

Ashuanar

Vizier of the Imperial Army
The Empire
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Ragash

Aila | Kasimir | Nathaira


When last he'd been abroad in the city, he'd been drawn in on wagon, and carried into the palace as a broken shell. The weeks that followed saw him withdraw into seclusion. During this time however, he sought not the comforts of luxury and rest, but instead subjected himself to a rigorous regime of hardship, and training. He had resigned that never again would he allow himself to be so easily taken and abused by his enemies. That instead, to be faced with such a thing again he would prove fortified. Unmoved.

Though his will had proven strong, and he had not broken to their malice, his perseverance may have served for the introduction of another obstacle. He had done well to keep things from being taken from his mind, but he had failed to consider something being instilled within it. An enemy not of flesh and blood. But such an enemy could not be seen or heard, or even discerned. It would pounce upon him when the moment was presented. Whether he could resist it or not was a question, he did not even know existed yet.


It city all seemed sharper now. Crisper.
He'd kept himself vacant from the public eye for quite some time now. Word of the Vizier's misfortunes had spread far enough, and knowledge of his return brought questions of his whereabouts. There were things to be attended to.

But since his return he had found the position as the head of the Imperial Army was no longer a mantle he held. That honour had been bestowed upon the dragon Aivrid. A mistake that would be rectified in due time - the serpent's place was in his mountain as far as Ashuanar was concerned. He had plenty of respect for the ancient, but to step on his toes was not something he took too kindly too. Regardless of who, or what you were.

He'd fought a dragon before.

He'd do it again.

But that was not an ambition of his, no his design would come into fruition, in a much more mutually pleasing way he suspected. He was after all, still a Vizier of the Empire - one big happy family. And though Ashuanar still held the title of Vizier, his place in the Divan did indeed seem to be on somewhat uncertain ground. Nevertheless, he would carry out the duty of his position... and then some. As the Vizier of the Treasury he found himself in a much more lucrative position, however dull it may be. He was afforded a great deal more time for his own personal endeavours.

One such endeavour was to undo all that Nak'Ehim had put into place. The Sorceress Medja had been well involved in purging their ranks of the Abtati insurgents who had so foolishly chosen to stand against The Emperor. Many of them suffered in the same manner Ashuanar had, under brutal lash and word. Nak'Ehim's affairs however were left to him. Since he had been robbed the opportunity to witness the traitor's final breath, it was the least he could have been offered.

And he was en route to the estate, robed in the white garb of his tribe, escorted by four of his trusted Sipahi warriors, nearly indistinguishable from himself.

The Akanamar Estate


The estate of the late lieutenant was a short distance from the palace, and well guarded. However not so well as one might expect. Much of the estate had been scoured on several occasions, and anything truly incriminating had already been uncovered. Though it had been suspected that there had been another, final traitor, who had ultimately escaped their doom at the Sunken Cathedral, and took with them the knowledge of whatever else Nak'Ehim had orchestrated.

Much, but not all had been discerned by Medja's magics, and there was still a great turbulence regarding the handling of Nak'Ehim's involvement. There was much that he knew, and a certainty in what had been exposed was ultimately required.



Word of the Vizier's coming reached them, and his arrival was anticipated. Much of the assembled troop gathered near the estate's main courtyard - eager to see their beloved Vizier for the first time since his captivity.

 
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Nathaira

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The suggestion of a bathhouse aroused Nathaira’s curiosity. It sounded lovely, and though the mission would of course need to be prioritized they would be able to enjoy some part of it. They had to blend in, after all.

She looked at Aila and was about to suggest that they follow Kasimir’s advice, when she remembered the paints that the half-elf had on her skin. It would not do to have those wash off, she had gone to such trouble to disguise herself. Aila had done a remarkably good job of it, and unless one looked very, very closely she could have been one of the Abtati herself, or at least half and half. She had always been quite pretty, and it was nice to see her without her hood and outside of the shadows.

Her lips twitched at Aila’s suggestion for Kasimir, speaking of shadows. That would certainly be a sight to see, but perhaps a task best done alone.

”I think there’s a bar of sorts along the far wall, just there,” she gestured to the right. Surrounding the bazaar was a great clay way, and many establishments had been built directly into it. While the heat was never truly absent, the thick walls kept the buildings remarkably cool in comparison to the scorching outdoors. Although she felt energetic in this heat, it was beginning to become a bit much even for her. Perhaps she should trade out her thick leather dressings for some of the silks she had seen the local women wearing.
 

Medja

Vizier of Stars
The Empire
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The Palace of Ragash, Medja's Tower


"What do you mean 'suspicious foreigners in the Bazaar?' What does it matter?"
The High Courtier of Ragash sat behind her desk, elbows atop it, rubbing her temples. This hardly seemed like something that needed to be brought to her attention, but Settra, one of her chief agents, had seen fit to do so. The man had a history of being perhaps overly observant, but rarely did he feel the need to barge into her private office like this.

"A group of half-breeds, my Lady, never seen in the city before now...ordinarily I would not have thought to intrude, but...they have been prodding into matters concerning your recent expedition."

Medja's eyes snapped up open and locked onto her agent's face. It seemed he had made the right decision in alerting her. The process of uprooting and eliminating the remaining members of Iesha's rebellion had been going smoothly and methodically, but foreign intrusion meant that things could very easily get out of hand. If, that is, things were not handled properly. Such an infiltration offered a chance to learn and extract information about those who would dare to violate her sanctum.

"Keep eyes on them, but do not let our little guests know they are being watched. I want to learn as much as I can about them, and they will likely be much more cautious if they suspect we are aware of their presence." She replied at last, straightening herself and regaining her poise.

"Of course, Lady Medja. And if they should enact something improper, or attempt to leave?" Settra asked in turn, calculating gaze falling upon his mistress.

"They are not to leave Ragash's walls with any kind of useful information. See that they are captured if they make a move I would not appreciate." Medja answered, curtly. This seemed like it should be obvious, but Settra was nothing if not thorough.

"Very good, my Lady. Military prison, royal dungeon, or--?"
"Purgatory."


Settra's eyes went wide. He was rarely shaken, but he never questioned his Lady's orders. He bowed his head and left the room. Medja smirked to herself. The machine that was her network was well maintained, and its function would carry on like always.
 

Kasimir

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Kasimir's lips pressed into a thin line at Aila's comment and he turned to give her a dark retort when he caught the look in her eyes. It was rare that his fellow Forsaken actually looked... he didn't want to say happy because he wasn't certain it was happiness like others might experience. It was rare that his fellow Forsaken looked less melancholy, yes that was probably a better way to describe it. So he kept his mouth shut and allowed his lip to curl just a fraction into a smile. It would seem the role of group grump was going to fall to him this trip, how delightful.

"Anywhere out of this heat is fine with me," with a deep sigh he pushed himself from the tree and began walking in the direction Nat had pointed.

The bar was actually a surprise for Kasimir for despite entering initially through a doorway in the thick walls it opened up quickly into a hidden courtyard where people sat in groups talking loudly about this and that. He wanted nothing more than to turn on his heel and walk back out but it definitely seemed like it would be a good place to get information. He slunk round the perimeter and picked them out a spot in the shade under an orange tree.

"I dislike this place," he muttered and rubbed a hand down his arm self consciously.
 
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Aila

Maecy followed behind her compatriots with a silent watchfulness.

She peered at anything and everything around them, though her gaze was low enough not to evoke anyone staring back. The Half-elf had disguised herself well, and as she passed a pack of sand Elves one of them even attempted to speak to her in their native tongue.

For a brief moment she glanced at the man, offering an expression that was not at all common for her; a smile.

"Pardon." Maecey spoke with not only some emotion in her tone, but actual mirth. If her companions heard her they very well might faint from shock. She continued on with her expression. "I don't wish to be rude to my friends, the common tongue is filth, but manners must be uphrld.."

She knew Elvish, the tongue of her people, but not that of her desert cousins.

The man looked at for a moment, then shook his head and muttered something else.

"Perhaps you should travel with us, and not these outlanders."

Maecey smirked, shaking her head. "Ah but they are so much more easily manipulated."

There was a gale of laughter from the sand-elves, and through it Maecey pulled herself away and joined her two companions.
 

Nathaira

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The sunlight of the far west was almost a physical thing. The contrast between light and dark was so striking that it took a good few seconds for Nathaira’s eyes to adjust when they entered the blackness of the bar’s entrance. The heat-sensitive pits along her lip and nose were somewhat useful in the shade, but the hot stone and clay from the buildings in the sun blinded them in the outdoors.

On the way over Nathaira had been surprised to hear Aila’s voice filled with actual feeling. Either she enjoyed not being an automatic pariah, or she was a very good actor. ”Lookss like he wanted to wissk you away,” she had hissed at the woman.

Upon entering the bar their information-gathering tasks began. Nathaira remembered Aila’s seduction advice to Kasimir, and she reached up and ran a finger along the stubble of his chin. ”Don’t have too much fun, now,” she said as she flashed him a devious look. Her tongue flickered in the air between them before she glided over to the bar to be served.

The bartender looked only slightly surprised as her appearance as she stepped up, and his expression returned to normalcy in an instant. The constant flow of travellers had cleary exposed him to a wide variety of patrons, and so long as they liked to drink that was fine.

Nathaira was best at gathering information by listening. Her unconventional appearance essentially took seduction and persuasion off the table, and she learned the most when people did not know she was there. Aila and Kasimir, however, were not so disadvantaged. The half-elf positively glowed in her desert attire, and Kasimir… well, she didn’t mind looking at him.

She ordered two drinks. Pink fruity things served in blue-tinted glass. Using the stark shadows as cover, she pulled a small vial from beneath her attire. She sprinkled a white powder into each drink and, stowing the vial safely away, turned back to the courtyard.

She approached Kasimir first. She glanced over the numerous tattoos that were normally hidden from view. A butterfly, a blade… a snake. She swept up from behind and handed him one of the drinks, placing a hand over the snake tattoo. ”It’ss not for you,” she said softly. ”But if you were to offer it to one of them...” she subtly directed his gaze to a group of three young women that had been glancing at him pointedly, ”...you may find them quite talkative.”

She moved on to find Aila now to give her the same advice. The powder she had placed in the drinks was not a deadly poison, simply something that loosened the tongue. The unfortunate soul who drank from those cups would feel as though they had drunk several much stronger beverages, and would be quite amenable to friendly interrogation.

Now, where was Aila?
 

Kasimir

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Kasimir didn't know what to do with himself when Nat leaned over and ran a hand along his stubbled jawline. He swallowed a lump in his throat and was thankful for perhaps one of the first times in his life for being a shade of red. His discomfort only increased as he studied the menu even if his body appeared relaxed. He held the bit of parchment in one hand whilst the other arm leaned across the back of his chair and the one next to him. The words were not processing much in his mind but it allowed him the chance to spot who was watching him when they thought he was not paying attention to him.

When Nat returned with the drinks he took his quietly with a nod to let her know he had understood the message and pretended to lift it to his lips and take a sip, though of course the liquid didn't touch his skin. He then set it back down with a mock look of disgust as if the sweetness didn't appeal to him at all. Then he stood casually and cast a lazy glance around the small area. A few women met his eye but it was the quiet group in the corner that interested him the most and he casually made his way over to the table with the group of three women.

"I hope you ladies don't mind but my friend over there tried to convince me this drink is delicious but alas it is not to my taste, I don't suppose any of you would like it?" the girls smiled, two of them seemed timid but one had more of an attitude about her and seized it for herself with a coy smile.

"Why thank you, but now what about my friends?"

"Well... I thought I might remedy that by offering to buy them the same torturous drink so you can all determine if it is indeed the drink or just my lack of taste buds," there was a chitter of laughter but they consented.
 
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Aila

Aila practically popped up besides Nat as though she had formed form the crowd itself. "Do you know a language spell?"

Her voice was low enough that only the serpent woman could hear.

The Half-Elf's tone had returned to that same deadpan neutrality, though the look of excitement in her eye was not quite gone. This culture, the fact that they didn't have to kill anyone, it brought a certain amount of joy to her.

"These people do not always speak in the common tongue." Something she had noted about her desert kin. "I believe we could learn more if we spoke their languages."

Unfortunately, her own magics would not allow her to facilitate such things.

It was only then that she noticed Kasimir's absence. A frown touched her face, and slowly the half-elf looked around for her companion. It was after a few seconds that she noted his presence near a gaggle of women, his red skin and horns difficult to miss. "Huh."

She said quietly.
 

Nathaira

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Nathaira hadn't heard Aila at all as she approached. Maybe it was the business of the bar, but far more likely the stealth capabilities of the half-elf. Her voice and demeanor had returned to normal... almost.

"Afraid not, love," she answered with an apologetic look. "But thiss may loossen some tongues," she said, handing Aila the tainted drink. "And if you need an exxcuse to speak plainly, I can play the part of the dumb foreigner." She wondered how far relying on the politeness of strangers would get them here.

She followed Aila's gaze with her own to see what she was looking at. Kasimir was easy to find, and he sat at the table that she had pointed out to him. He was smiling, which was exceedingly rare, and the women were giggling.

She had a sudden, violent urge to slice the throat of one of the women that looked particularly starry-eyed. She swallowed, and looked back at Aila. That had been... unexpected. Why had she felt angry just then? The women could be excellent sources of information, she had no reason to want to kill them.

She forced herself back to the current situation. Aila had been correct, a good number of the voices she could hear were conversing in languages she did not understand. They ranged from harsh, gutteral sounds to lyrical melodies. What a life it would be to live in this place.

They needed more information on the manor: what it looked like, where it was precisely, how it was guarded, who lived there now. Surely someone here would know at least one of those things.
 

Kasimir

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Kasimir was a man of many talents and the art of seduction went hand in hand with the artistry of shadows. Silken sheets and stolen kisses were sometimes better techniques at coaxing information out of people than threats and violence. His old mentor had taught him that. Today he settled back into that roll like shrugging on a second skin and whilst he would always find it odd that women didn't mind his looks he was not beneath using them to his advantage. It took another round of drinks before the conversation turned to that of work.

"So why are you in town, Zarrus?" the more forward of the three sipped her drink and leaned forward slightly, elbows on the table. He offered her a lazy smile and draped one arm about the back of the chair of the woman to his right and brushed away a fly that hovered near her skin. Her fingers grazed her shoulder and the woman stifled a shudder.

"I'm a musician, I like to travel and play. Perhaps find something inspiring. What about you lovely ladies?"

"Oh a musician!"
the woman to his left sighed and clapped her hands together. "Can you play us something?" Kasimir smiled.

"Of course," he pulled the lute seemingly from his back though it had not been there a moment ago and played a few notes. After a while he settled on a tune and began to play for them. A few people from surrounding tables stopped to listen to.

"Oh you must see some exciting places, way more fun than a maid for some Lord."

"Especially a traitor lord,"
the words were almost spat. Kasimir feigned ignorance and taking pity on his look of confusion the girls began to fill him in on the sordid details in the hopes of making it into one of his songs.
 
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Aila

Aila looked down at the drink, and then up at Nat. "I can talk to people."

That much they had all been trained to do, well...perhaps not Nat, but she certainly had. They were assassinations, but part of that was also misdirecting people when they asked questions. That was how she'd spoken to the elf before.

Yet there was a difference between misdirection and flirting.

"Not seduce them." There was absolutely no confidence in her ability to get on any mans good side. The idea of even trying made her want to throw up. Arts of seduction had not really been part of the Forsaken training regiment.

For Kasimir it must simply have been natural, unless he'd endured something she had not.

"Why don't we just grab someone who looks rich and intimidate him." Nat did look fairly scary after all.
 

Nathaira

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Nathaira considered Aila's proposal. "That could work... if they keep quiet." She worried that force or fear would cause a commotion, or at the very least lead to their victim reporting them to the authorities. Still, she wasn't one to argue, Aila had been doing this a few years longer than she had, after all.

If they were going to get the information they wanted, their target needed to be someone who at least knew the politics of this "Empire," if not someone who worked in them outright. What would someone like that look like? Nathaira scanned the bar, making judgements on each patron. Too young, too ratty, too drunk, too sober.

Finally, her eyes landed on a candidate. It was a tall man who looked just old enough to have established himself. He was not fat, but he had some extra layers on him that indicated years of plenty. His clothing was fine, red and gold silks, and he wore a neatly trimmed goatee of jet-black hair. He had a drink in his hand but was still very much aware of his surroundings, and he seemed to be quietly enjoying his time relaxing.

"Perhapss that one," she said, nodding towards the man. "When he leaves to relieve himsself, we could ssee what he knows."
 

Kasimir

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Kasimir listened with just the right amount of interest for someone who was merely visiting these lands. On several occasions he even sought to turn the conversation away from the matter of Nak'Ehim but the girls had clearly decided it was their closeness to this topic which made them the most interesting.

As it transpired the three girls held different positions in the household. The one who had accepted his drink first and was the most talkative was a cleaner. Not just any cleaner, she was quick to point however, but the Head Maid of the Household. It means she had access to the then lords private bedchambers and his study. She went on in some detail about the state he had left it in on several occasions but it painted for Kasimir a beautiful image of quite a bit of the estate. Her name was Lilo, he would remember that.

The second woman, to his right, and the shyest of the trio worked in the kitchens, whilst the other woman, who sat to his left, worked in the gardens. it was a curious mix but they informed him they had all been living in the same rooms within the attic levels of the main house for the past few years and were now closer than sisters of the blood.

Kasimir hardly had to speak at all which was what he preferred.
 
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Aila

Aila nodded her head, absently placing the drink Nat had offered her onto a nearby table.

Interrogation had never quite been her forte either, but she figured that it was better than attempting to seduce someone. Aila was sexless enough that she barely noticed she had breasts. Best to leave that sort of stuff to Kasimir.

Eventually the man that Nat had pointed out let out a loud groan, slapping his thighs and pushing himself up as he said something to his companions. "There he goes."

Maecey said calmly, nudging her Naga sister before slowly pushing herself off of the tree she had been leaning on. Unconsciously she fingered the knife, and then quietly fell into the step behind the man as he headed towards the restrooms.

The half-Elf allowed Nat to go first, knowing her venom would work well in this scenario.
 

Nathaira

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At Aila's behest, Nathaira began pursuit of their quarry. She weaved through the crowd effortlessly, making no contact with anyone in spite of the chaotic movements of the patrons. Her steps were light, and most people didn't even realize she had passed within inches of them.

As they moved, she took Aila's hand. She could feel the familiar cold sensation that accompanied the leech's touch, and it was a weird contrast with the warmth of Aila's skin. A shudder ran up Nathaira's spine and she let go. If Aila had wanted to take some of her invisibility magic, that should have been enough time.

The man looked around but did not seem to notice the pair, and stepped through a wooden door into a side room. As he did so, Nathaira vanished from sight. For as long as she remained invisible, Nathaira felt like she was moving through deep water. The quicker she moved the more energy it took to sustain the illusion, and so she moved at a modest pace for the door. She opened it just enough so that she could enter, and slipped inside.

The room smelled overwhelmingly of perfume and was dimly lit. The man stood facing away from the door, emptying his bladder into a long, low latrine. Nathaira faded back into view and stalked up behind him. She gripped him from behind, putting a long, thin hand tightly over his mouth and a dagger's blade at his throat. Her grip was surprisingly strong.

"Shhhhhh..." she hissed to quell his struggling, and the rasping quality of her voice turned his panic to frozen fear. "Don't sstruggle, dear, you don't want to damage any of your delicate equipment," the man had dribbled urine over his shoes, his silks still open.

"We have quesstions for you, and then you may go. But if you sscream I will open your throat and fill it with that worm in your hand. Do you undersstand?" He nodded feverishly, men usually cooperated when she threatened their most prized possession. Slowly, she removed her hand from his mouth, but she kept the knife on him.

She glanced back, hoping Aila had managed to follow her inside.
 

Kasimir

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Out of the corner of his eye he watched his two companions leave. Curious. They must have found their own target. Noticing his attention had drifted slightly Lilo leaned over and put her hand on his arm and rubbed her thumb gently over the tattoo of the coiled snake.

"Friends of yours?" Kasimir pulled his attention back to his own table and offered a lazy smile. Internally he wanted to rip her hand off of him; touch made him uncomfortable. It was usually only given when there was pain to be dealt. It took effort to put his own hand over the top of hers and then trail his fingers down the inside of her wrists.

"Travelling companions, nothing more. It is dangerous on the road to travel alone," his answer seemed to satisfy her either way and she didn't take her hand back.

"Well, how about I show you around a little? I know some great little spots that would benefit from the sound of your music."

Meanwhile, a tiny black butterfly landed on the wall near Aila and Nat.
 
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Aila

Aila was at the door, her foot placed against it's bottom rim and her knife quickly pressed between the handle and the lock to stop anyone else from stepping inside.

She peered at the man Nat held for a moment, lips turning in slow disgust as she stepped away from the door. The knife would stop anyone from opening it, and if noise was made...well they would have a few seconds to respond.

The Half-Elf's figure shifted a moment, and then she too fell into view. Her gaze was hard, and she looked up at the man in front of her.

"Nak’Ehim." Her voice was low, but the intimidation in it was clear. "We need to know everything about him."

Briefly Aila glanced at Nat, then towards the man. "Now."
 

Nathaira

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Their victim didn't seem to know what to say at first, and his mouth opened and closed a few times without sound. His eyes darted over Aila's features. A sand elf asking about the sand elf traitor? Which side was she on? He did not want to offend the people who were holding a knife to him.

"He... he was a traitor, part of that rebellion. I-I don't know anything about him, I swear."

Nathaira pressed her blade harder against his throat.

"W-wait! Wait! I heard things, only rumors. He was a spy. He was a vizier s-so he had access to information. I don't know what, but it must have been important for them to kill him."

Nathaira glanced over the man's shoulder to meet Aila's eyes. "How did he share thiss information?"

The man visibly tensed. "I don't know! I'm not a traitor, I wasn't involved. Is that why you're here? Please, I'm loyal to the Empire, always have been."

"Then prove it. Tell uss what we want to know." She felt warm tears hit her wrist.

"I don't know, I swear it. He... spent a lot of time outside the palace, so I heard, in his manor. I don't know, but he might have passed secrets there."
 

Kasimir

Forsaken Shadow
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Kasimir paid for the final round of drinks then stood as Lilo did and bid his farewells to the other two girls. He held out his arm and she gave him a beautiful smile before slipping her arm around his. Together they headed back out into the oppressive heat.

The walk was an agony for Lilo didn't like to walk in the shadows as he would have preferred, but dragged him laughing into the sun. There was gentle ribbing about why he was so worried about being in the sun when his skin was already red, and he smiled politely and laughed when it seemed necessary. Inside he thought of his beloved coat and the grey clouds of Vel Anir.

It was worth it though. They saw much on their walk around the city and Kasimir learned more unique little nuggets of information about this Empire and the people who lived in it. More precisely the people who governed it, or at least this city. He wasn't sure if it would be useful for this mission but it might be in the future.
 
A

Aila

Aila glanced over at Nat. "Do you think he's telling the truth?"

She had never really been trained for interrogations. She could intimidate someone about as well as any other Forsaken, but actually reading those that spoke had always been left for the others to decide. She was a hammer, a sledge pounding in the nail.

People like Kas and Nat were the nails.

"I could check." Slowly the young half-elf raised a hand.

Carved into her palm was one of the marks of stolen magic, though to the man in front of them it would appear as little more than gibberish. It began to glow as her hand raised into the air, holding there as she drew closer to him.
 

Nathaira

Forsssaken
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"Wh-what are you doing? No, I'm telling the truth I swear it! I swear it on the Emperor's name!"

"Do keep your voicce down," Nathaira reminded him sharply, her fingertips digging into his shoulder.

He whimpered, trying to lean back from Aila's hand but Nathaira held him fast. She felt the heat radiating off of him, amplified by fear and panic. His heartbeat was soaring, and Nathaira could smell the sweat coming profusely from his brow.

"I have no idea what she'ss going to do to you," she whispered in his ear, "But I would be very ccertain not to lie, if I were you."


The man positively shook as more tears ran down his face. "Please, I'm just silk trader, I made clothing for the emperor's soldiers but that's it! I would tell you if I knew more."
 

Kasimir

Forsaken Shadow
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How had he ended up here?

Kasimir was sat in a boat on a lake with Lilo lounging against him in the sun. Apparently this is what people did for fun around here. There was at least a little parasol at the end of the gondola where he had squeezed himself under as much as he could. As the girl spoke about her family and her dreams and aspirations, Kasimir watched the man who was moving their little boat through the lake. It seemed a curious job but the man shouted in a language he didn't know to others doing the same job. He seemed to... enjoy this job.

Did Kasimir enjoy his job?

He rubbed at the back of his neck where the rune sat with its slowly increasing intensity.

Probably not.