The City of Amran

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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Hans Yksin on Mon May 06, 2013 11:39 am

Hans breathes in and throws the rod into the pail by the forge, watching the steam hiss as it rose from the bucket. He cuts the two loose from their bonds and shoves them toward the door. "Get out." They run as fast as they can out of the shop and he exits after them, slamming the door behind them, and heads toward the Wind Speaker temple to pray. "It's been a long day, hasn't it, old friend?" He doesn't seem to be talking to anyone, but he's tossing a marble in his hand as he walks, his mind wandering away from this reality and into the next. Perhaps he needs to be left alone for a time to reacquaint himself with himself.

Hilde looks to the smith- who shrugs. She nods, and catches Hans' shoulder. "I think it's time we continued your training." She recognises the signs, and wants to take him out of the city.

"Not now. I've done enough damage for one day." He's not in the right state for training. He can feel himself slipping and he needs to fix it before he can continue. No-one's ever been able to do that for him other than himself. Hilde means well, but he doesn't want her there when he's piecing himself back together. Too personal, and he doesn't want anyone to see him like that. Ever. "I'm going to the Temple to meditate. No, I won't get into another fight. I'm too tired."

She considers this for a moment. "...Alright. I'll meet you at the lake."

He nods and heads off, blanking out his mind as he tosses his marbles into the air and catches them again. "Loooooong day. Longer days coming... Shuru is going to be hell on earth, I can already tell..." He wanders toward the temple, allowing the city air and the breeze from the river to calm him.

The temptation is to follow him is a strong one. He's good, but she's confident she could manage it without his notice. Especially with him as distracted as he is.

"I'd leave him if I were you." says Arnulf, perhaps guessing at her intentions. "Everyone needs space some times."

Hans stops, stares at the marble he nearly used to end the world, and wonders briefly what Xyx would say if she found out what he'd threatened to use it for. He sighs, and steps into the shadows of an alley, fading into the dark.
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Scribbler on Mon May 06, 2013 12:19 pm

She nods. "In which case, I shall leave you to your work."
Arnulf grunts. "Yeah. After I've cleared up his mess. As usual." He moves the chairs out of the middle of the floor, and throws the rope into a heap in the corner. "So what're you doing around him anyway? You don't seem-" he looks up as he's talking, and realises he's alone.
"Great. And he didn't pay either. That kid- eh. Whatever." he trails off, mumbling various colourful insults to himself.

Hilde decides to leave Hans to it. Everyone needs their space after all. Being in the city again reminds her how much she needs hers. She finds a quiet spot, and begins to write a letter. It seems there's more going on than meets the eye...as usual. Certain individuals ought to be notified. Such small rolls of paper, but important nonetheless. After a while, she is finished. There is more than one roll of paper in the hand that places them carefully into her bag. The first is easy to deliver, not far at all, in a familiar place. The rest she will deal with later. More importantly, she needs a few things while still in town- before she leaves again.


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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Hans Yksin on Mon May 06, 2013 12:25 pm

Hans enters the temple and just strides up to the alter, falling to his knees. He takes out the picture, places the marbles on it, and starts praying. He starts singing to himself softly, lowly, but it carries a weight. The words are indiscernible but the melody is pure. He silently asks the gods for their forgiveness. He apologises for what he is. He shares his fears of being strong enough to actually do something of such magnitude, and whispers sorrows of what he still can't do. He confides in the Speaker, the god of creativity, not because he feels his touch but because the god is silent, non-judgemental. He listens to him like he would the winds. And for that, Hans is thankful. He prays there, and allows his fear to surface. Fear of the Guardian Spirit, of the piece of himself that would go so far, of what has passed and what is to come...

He doesn't know what to do, and it hurts not being able to help his comrades when they need him and he so desperately wants to.

Maybe he should check on the girl while he's here. Or not. She did nearly get him killed three times. She might need further help. She might want him dead under the pretense he kidnapped her. Gods, he hated people.


A voice interrupts his thoughts. "It's you, isn't it?" Feminine. Young.
He doesn't turn. He doesn't see the point. "It is."
He resumes prayer, hoping for once to feel that damned connection to the something or someone that the Clerics so often talk about with blind love and reverence.

She doesn't come any closer.
"I heard thought I heard one of the clerics singing."

His head shakes. "Wasn't a Cleric. It was me."

"...I..." there's an awkward pause. "I remember pieces. As if I'd dreamed it. I saw you."

He nods. "Hope you never have to remember it all. You went through a lot, it's not uncommon to forget. I was there, yes."

There's a muffled cough- or possibly a choked back sob. "I just wanted- to say- I'm sorry."

He finally stands up and turns to face her. "It's alright. A lot happened over the last couple of nights. You were confused, afraid. I should've expected it, I'm sorry." He's not quite sure why he's apologising, but it feels right, so he goes with it.

She looks up at him as he turns around. "What are you apologising for? It's my fault. If I was stronger- I would never have been there! If I was more brave- more like you..." There's a deep breath, but it's forced, like she's struggling to keep it down.

He chuckles mirthlessly. "I'm not brave, miss. I'm many things, but I'm not brave. It was five on one, even I can't take that many on at once." That wasn't entirely true, it would depend on the type of foe he was fighting, but he leaves it. "I'm apologising because of my own callous reaction when you woke up. I forgot you weren't a Seeker. It's been a while since I had someone react so... well, we're used to it at the guild. I should've expected you'd be confused and angry." He slips his picture into his pocket but thumbs the marbles between his fingers methodically.
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Scribbler on Mon May 06, 2013 1:35 pm

She still seems to be inspecting every detail of him. It's enough to make a man self conscious.
"You deal with this often? I wanted to join the Guild once. I think now I've have enough adventure."
A puzzled look crosses her face. "I confess, I thought you'd look more...magical."

Hans winces slightly. "You can never have enough adventure. Don't let one sordid brush with death sway you or you'll never do anything worthwhile. So, why did you anticipate someone magical-looking?"

"Because-" she hesitates. "Because they were. I thought that...stuff....could only be done by- those with magical means."

"Err, technically yes...?" Should he explain exactly how far he had to go to bring her back alive? He didn't want to be a hero but she deserved to know the truth.

"Anyway, I'm glad. I think I've had my fill of magic. If it wasn't for the clerics here, I don't think I'd trust anyone in robes ever again..." she seems to realise that she's been talking quite a bit. "I'm sorry- I didn't mean to disturb you. I'll leave you in peace. I just wanted to say- I mean-" she dashes forwards, and stands a little too close. "I just wanted to say, thank you."
The girl pecks him on the cheek, and then flushes, and darts away, embarrassed.



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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Hans Yksin on Mon May 06, 2013 1:52 pm

"You're most welcome." He rubs his cheek abashedly, and they colour slightly. "You... can stay if you want. I'd like the company."

She fidgets, not sure what to do now. She hadn't meant to stay and talk to him. People said that the Seekers attracted trouble, but if they dealt with it too...? "I thought you'd want to be alone. You must be busy, being a Seeker?"

Hans blinks and then starts outright laughing his ass off. When he finally finishes, he looks at the girl with a smile on his face. "Busy's the least of it, even in our off time we end up having to rescue damsels in distress... But not today. I'm done for the day, had enough fighting to last me a week. I forgot how challenging Amran was..." He sits on a pew and leans back, beckoning her to sit with him.

The girl is hesitant, and doesn't sit, but does stay. "It's an interesting town...I'm trying not to let this- experience- colour my opinion. But it's hard."

Hans tries to think of a way to lessen her dislike of the town, and elects to instead use his one constructive gift. Storytelling. "Hmm, how about I tell you of some of my times with the Seekers? At the very least you'll take a few good tales away from this town, ones that aren't so coloured with... that particular event." He smiles disarmingly and gets comfortable, hoping she'll accept his offer.

"Tales of the Seekers guild? From an actual Seeker? I'd like that." Taking his previous laughter as a good sign, she collects a prayer stool from nearby, and takes a seat in front of him. "It feels weird, talking like this in a church- but I think the Wind Speaker would approve. Perhaps he listens too." She settles down, and awaits a story.

"He does love a good tale, I'm told." He crosses his hands in thought over what tale to tell. "Have you heard of the Toymaker of Prospero Valley?"

"I heard something happened there- that the valley is now a frozen wasteland...what happened?"

"We iced the place." Noting the look of shock on her face, he smiles softly. "A madman murdered the Toymaker and his daughter, turned them into Flesh Golems, a combination of Engineering genius and Clerical gifts. Surprisingly not necromantic. He used the toymaker to build himself an impregnable suit of armour powered by the Ancients devices, and he was planning on making more and annexing Amrania, then the rest of Xenos." He watches her for her reaction.

Her eyes go wide, and the girl looks decidedly uncomfortable. "S-so...it was true then! But what about the people? Did everyone..." The look on her face suggests she's quite glad she wasn't there.

"He turned the whole village into Flesh Golems and allied himself with a Derro, a Darkling Dwarf." Hans, for some reason, suddenly feels like this is a conversation best had over a game of chess. He shoves his mad thoughts to the back of his mind however. "So we walked into a trap. He kept us away from his machinations while we were idly told we could meet the Toymaker when he was ready. Of course, by then, the Toymaker had already been killed and converted into a mindless Golem." He slides a bottle of water out of his pocket and takes a swig before putting it beside him on the pew. "And then we found his daughter."

She shivers, and seems to stare into the middle distance between herself and Hans, imagining. It's reminiscent of sitting around a fire telling ghost-stories.
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Scribbler on Mon May 06, 2013 11:40 pm

Having run the errands she could think of, Hilde leaves the town walls behind her. It's both a disappointment and a relief. She hopes Hans is having a better time of it than they have so far, and begins the walk to the lake. She breathes the fresh air, and sighs.
The sounds of bustling streets, carts and people behind her, she enjoys the relative quiet of the lands outside Amran's walls.
It wasn't really what she was used to, but a whole lot closer than what she'd dealt with the last day. Although, she considered, it wasn't actually all that different after all. Strange how the civillisation that gave so many security and safety just made her feel enclosed and dirty. Her thoughts wandered, and she followed them.


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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Hans Yksin on Tue May 07, 2013 12:02 am

Hans takes off the fur coat he's wearing and throws it over the shoulders of the girl. Not much wonder she's cold, she's only wearing the thin clothen robes of the Cleric apprentices. "She was a Golem, yes, but she had retained her mind. She remembered pieces of what was happening, and she helped us figure out what was going on. Told us what the Apprentice had done to her. Then we found out what the Derro was." He cricks his stiff neck softly, but the sound still echoes off the stone. "For a midget the little bugger sure could run fast. I'm glad I shot him in the arse on his way off though, little shit certainly deserved it."

She flinches again, suggesting it might not've just been the cold that made her shiver. Although she does accept the coat with thanks, and sinks into it, being somewhat smaller than Hans. "Do- do any of your stories have happy endings?"

"A few, but the point isn't in whether the ending's happy, it's in what you can learn from the story. What I took from that encounter, is that while we were too late to save the residents of Prospero Valley, is that the Seekers successfully killed something un-killable and prevented a war that would've ended in thousands of innocent deaths, probably more. We protected a continent. That was what was important. We made it possible for people to live in peace for a while longer."His eyes flash slightly as he gazes upon the girl, still smiling.

"I suppose...is it always so dangerous? I'm glad I didn't join the guild...I don't think I could manage it."

"The danger is... relative. It's not usually that dangerous for other squads, but Chaos seems to have a thing for my faction..." He rubs his head sheepishly. "You just need to know how to survive and you'll be fine."

"I think I'll be going home, and staying out of trouble. That's good enough for me."
There are footsteps on the stone, and one of the Clerics appears. He sees the two of them, and hesitates before coming forwards.
"Miss Gwen- you ought to be resting." he says, stepping closer. He looks Hans over, resting where he is in the pews. "Good Afternoon, Seeker. I trust you aren't upsetting the lady?"
"Oh- no, he was telling me stories. It's quite alright."
He raises an eyebrow. "Nothing too unsavoury I take it? Especially after-"
"He was reminding me that I'm not the only one to find misfortune. I'm lucky."
The priest seems to accept this, and turns to Hans. "Then I thank you again, sir."

Hans blinks. "Again?" The last meeting with him and the Clerics was less than 'thankful'. "For what?"

"Through your efforts, not only is Gwen here, and safe from harm- but also has the sense of mind to know it." He bows solemnly. "Forgive our earlier misunderstanding. We meant no disrespect."

"You were being careful. It's not every day that a man walks in with a half naked, bloodied and dead looking girl in his arms." He sighs softly. "Were you and the other Clerics able to discover if any lasting spiritual damage has occurred?"

Gwen looks up at him at this, curious herself.
"No- or at least, nothing we can find. She seems fine, and is making a full recovery." He pats her back reassurringly, and offers her a hand up. She accepts, and removes Hans' coat to return it. "If you would pass this on to the other Seeker that was with you earlier, that would be appreciated."

"She's, ah, not a Seeker. Much more...important than that."
"Ah, a Ranger then. They walk where the winds take them. There's freedom in that."
Hans narrows his gaze, but not threateningly. "You're sure there's no lasting damage? I've been to the spirit world before, I've seen things that can... attach themselves to people when they're incapable of defending themselves." He knows he might be scaring them, more likely her, but he has to be sure that Guardian Spirit didn't do anything untoward.
The priest puts his arm around Gwen, who seems concerned about being the this focus of conversation. "Rest assured, Master Seeker, she has been Sanctified and Blessed, in the name of the Speaker. We will do our best to make sure she comes to no further harm."

Hans nods, accepting the Cleric's word. "I'll hold you to that, what was your name sir?"
"Brother Rykan, and you have my word."
Hans accepts it graciously. "Then I'll take my leav-" The door to the chapel crashes open and a man strides in arrogantly, flanked by two hooded and cloaked individuals. "Ah, Gwen! I came as soon as I heard you were alright, sister!" His tone, while happy, appears forced.

The girl pulls tighter into Rykan at the sudden intrusion. He responds by moving to a more supportive position, and turns to the newcomers. "Please, she is still in a fragile condition, and needs to rest."

Hans very carefully positions himself between the Cleric and the newcomer, eyes narrowing. He hasn't forgotten the incident outside the smithy earlier. "If you're her brother, fine. Who're tweedle dumb and tweedle dumber?" His hand slides toward his blade, carefully. If this guy recognises him...
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Scribbler on Tue May 07, 2013 3:36 am

"Come along Gwen, gently now-" Rykan begins to usher the girl slowly towards the corridor. "Gentlemen, if you'd like to return in the morning, I'm sure she'll be happy to return home with you." Gwen herself seems weakened suddenly, and follows her guide closely, hanging on his arm.

"I think not, Cleric. My sister needs her home and her family around her-"
"The kind of family that sends assassins after her rescuer?"
The man scowls. "Just give me my sister and we will make our way back to Tion, Engineer."
The word is spat like poison, and Hans notes the sword that hangs at the man's side.
"Well I'm sure you need the time to prepare for your journey, she can rest here tonight while you prepare."
He notes that though the accompaniment are getting restless, they haven't uttered a word.

Rykan pulls a pouch from his robes and in a swift movement, has cast a circle of salt on the floor of the church. "In the Name of the Windspeaker, in His own Hall, I ward this circle against any man who may wish to enter it!" There's a distinct gust of air that accompanies his words, that shoots up from the circle itself. The Cleric throws Hans a meaningful glance, and protects the girl in his arms.

Hans groans. "Why do I always have to deal with this crap..." The brother grits his teeth in rage and points at Hans. "Kill him!" The cloaks come off as the newly revealed Zombies lurch forward, drawing crude weapons. Hans waits until one attacks and then dodges, sending the stumbling thing straight into the Cleric's barrier of wind. The other he engages with his blade, picking his strikes and easily striking through its defense, but causing little pain. He switches to broad slices and starts hacking it apart.

Before the undead reaches the warded circle, Ryken draws a holy pendant of the Wind Speaker and cries "In the Name of the Wind Speaker, I drive thee back!" The zombie turns and flees back in the direction he came from... into the melee between the other zombie and Hans.

Hans cuts the head off the first Zombie only to now find himself confronted by the other. "Oh Friggin'-" Meanwhile, the brother starts firing spells off at the ward, attempting to break it while Hans is preoccupied.

Gwen flinches at each strike, but Rykan is resolute, and chants a prayer. The shield holds.

Hans just punches the thing in the face and proceeds to stab it in the eye while it's floored. Seeing the other Man's attempts at entering the circle, he charges. "Hey, asshat!" Is all the Brother hears before they're in a melee, but Hans knows he's outmatched. Seconds in he's on the back foot as he barely avoids the thin blade of his enemy, knicking at his arms and legs, tiny, stinging cuts, and he's rapidly pushed back, without time to go for his gun.

Hearing the noise, the other cleric from this morning comes rushing in- And is surprised by what he finds. He acts as soon as he realises what's going on. "By the power of the Element of Air, and in the Name of the Wind Speaker, I strike you down!" The brother hardly has time to react as a gust of air from the rafters of the church blasts him back.

Unused to this level of assistance in a fight, Hans blinks before he sheathes his blade and unholsters his guns, slipping into his much preferred style of combat. His gaze flicks to the Cleric. "I'll handle this." The brother, in rage, charges Hans again, but can't seem to strike. The gunner twists, side-steps and spins out of the way of the man's blade.
"So, why exactly do you want your sister dead?"
"The Necromancer's soul! I want his power! I want it to be MINE!"
"Ah, bit late for that I'm afraid..."
The brother has stopped listening, focusing only on swordplay and trying to hit the damned engineer.

At his words, Gwen clings tighter to Rykan, who reassures her, safe within the ward. The second cleric however reacts differently, and throws his hand out towards the far wall with a shout- "In the Name of the Wind Speaker, I ask that He let that bolt be brought to my hand!" Sure enough, a small piece of iron flies across the room, and he snatches it from the air.


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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Hans Yksin on Tue May 07, 2013 9:58 am

Hans notices, but doesn't care, lost in his old dance. "You see, your dead-raising friend's been eaten."
"Eaten? And what, exactly, could do that, fool? You know nothing of magic and souls Engineer."
Hans notes his thrust, and executes the a twist move Hilde once used to floor him. He darts under his opponents blade and then presses his ankle into the back of the Brother's knee. forcing him to the ground as he rolls away.
"I know more than you, fool. In answer to your stupid question, the Guardian Spirit of the ritual circle you tried to murder her at ate your Neccy's soul. Because I forced it to."
"Impossible! There's no way-"
"Never step into a Ritual Circle alongside a madman with a gun. A magic gun. Loaded with Kallian bullets." The man's eyes widen in disbelief and Hans signals the Cleric, shifting backwards and out of the fool's reach.

A rope, that had been holding against itself, but slowly slipping, suddenly breaks loose, whipping wildly. Seeing what is about to happen, Rykan covers Gwen's eyes. There's an ominous whooshing sound as the wooden chandelier falls freely, and comes crashing to the floor. Unfortunately for the would be necromancer, he is directly below it's path, and with a sickening thud is brought low.

"Well, that's that dealt with-" He sees a glint of metal by the man's broken neck and rips the necklace from the man. It's the same symbol as that which Hilde found earlier. "Tch." He stands up, expecting questions, particularly about that admission about the ritual circle, probably from the girl, but the Clerics might want to know too.

The priest with the bolt in his hand walks over to inspect the fallen man. Affirming his status, he then goes to the wall, and pulls at the rope left hanging there, hefting the candles back up to the rafters. Across the room, Gwen bursts into tears, and pulls free. Rykan lets her go. To the surprise of perhaps not just himself, she skirts round the broken bodies on the floor, and rather than dashing to her fallen kin, she throws her arms around Hans, sobbing.

Hans is not as surprised as he thought he might be. Yet he's not sure why. His arms encircle her and he gently brings them both to their knees, preventing her collapsing. "It's alright, you're safe, I'm here." He allows his thoughts on the matter of the pendant to subside. The girl needs him right now, and as much as Hilde says he gets reckless when others are involved, it brings out the best in him sometimes too. "I'm here. No-one can hurt you now. Not when I'm here." He closes his eyes and maintains his hold, letting her sob into his chest before looking up at the clerics and silently thanking them for their aid. He motions that if they have questions, he will answer them honestly. They have earned the right.

Gwen buries her face in his fur coat, and before long is trying not to cry. She is unsuccessful, but you can hear the effort.

Rykan breaks his ward, and decides to let her have her moment. Nothing he could say would change things, and she already has a very real shoulder to cry on. Instead, he gives thanks to the Wind Speaker, and takes a soft brush from nearby, sweeping the circle into a neat pile.

Once the chandelier is firmly fixed in place, the other priest returns to the middle of the room. He casts a disapproving glance at the body of Gwen's brother, and then looks across at where Hans kneels on the wooden floorboards, the girl's face buried in his shoulder. "He was not alone. What do you know?"

Hans tosses the pendant to the priest, keeping one arm around Gwen. "The cultists in the ritual were wearing the same necklaces. Clearly the cult is larger than I had initially feared. His Zombie companions couldn't have been his own creations. Necromancy requires two primary schools of knowledge, that of magic and that of the divine. He wasn't a cleric of any God, so Necromancy would've been impossible for him. Thus, I can assume that there are more of them out there." The ring on his finger flashes for a second but only he sees it. "As for the Necromancer spirit he was talking about, it's been dealt with. She's free. Pure. I saw to it personally."

Examining the symbol with an air of suspicion, he commits the mark to memory, and passes it back. "I don't recognise it. I would hope that was a good thing...but you can't be sure with secrets." He brushes his hand on his robes, absently. "You performed an exorcism? Forgive me, you don't seem like- a devoted man."

Hans decides that the truth isn't quite what the cleric's ears should hear. He'd consider telling the girl, she was involved, but the Clerics might get a bit... stuffy. "I had help. I've studied alongside many priests and mages in my time, mainly followers of the Wise One but I have fought alongside Paladins of the Speaker himself. They taught me the proper execution of Rituals and I possess magical items that allow me to direct the magical flow of the Wild Magic Sites. When I sealed the Circle, I called on the Speaker for his aid, and he answered. It was the main reason it was his temple I brought her to." The best lies always have a modicum of truth. He allows himself to be content with the girl in his arms. He hasn't felt content in a very long time.

He nods, fairly satisfied with the explanation. "Good enough for me. Reinhart. Should you need assistance, you can find me here." He starts to walk away. "Contrary to what you might think, we prefer to support the Seeker's Guild. Let your companions know we are here for them, should they require our aid."

"I will. One more thing before you go. I may have to leave the lady here to hunt down those cultists that are left and secure her safety. In the meantime, you have shown me you are more than capable protectors. Would you mind taking care of her until I can safely escort her back to Tion?"
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Scribbler on Tue May 07, 2013 11:42 am

"Without question."
"She may stay here as long as she needs." Rykan answers, from across the room.
Gwen's tears have subsided, and she had been collecting herself for a few moments now.
"My brother...I'm sure my parents didn't know...he said we'd visit some friends of his in Amran..."
"You're safe now. We are sorry for your loss. Is there anyone you would like us to-"
"My parents are in Dun Pennot on business. If we could get a message..."
"It shall be done."
"Thank you. All of you."
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Hans Yksin on Tue May 07, 2013 11:51 am

Hans smiles at the Cleric as he leaves, and sends a silent look to Rykan requesting he be left alone with her for a while. He's proved that he has no ill intent, and the girl is still clutching to him, not that he was in any way complaining.
"Thanks isn't needed, but it is nice."
He smiles at her. "Where were you staying before you were abducted, do you mind my asking?" He's switched from forceful interrogation to the sympathetic and protective route. He knows when and what buttons to push, and he doesn't want to place her under any further duress. He realises that having this conversation by the corpse of her brother and his minions isn't pertinent, and asks Rykan silently as he leaves to show them to a more appropriate room so that the mess can be cleaned up. He picks her up as he prepares to follow the priest.

Rykan understands. "Come, let us find somewhere more comfortable." He leads them down the corridor to the western side of the building, to a wooden door. Opening it, he ushers them in. It is sparsely furnished, but the shelves here hold many books and trinkets. There are sheepskins on a couple of wooden benches against the far wall, and a desk in the middle of the room. Shuffling a selection of papers and apologising for the mess, he tidies the clutter away into a drawer. "There, that's better...can I get you a drink?"

"Honestly, I could use something alcoholic, if you don't mind. Some wine would be lovely." He sits himself and the girl down, then asks Gwen in a softer voice: "Do you want anything, Gwen?"

Gwen blinks, and shrugs apathetically. "I'm sure I can find something. I'll return shortly." Rykan leaves the door open as he heads out, leaving them alone for the time being. "I was staying at an inn, but- Gavin was the one with the coin for it." she winces as she speaks her brother's name. "I don't need to go back there...I think I'd rather be here, with the priests. I can't think of anywhere safer." She thinks for a moment before continuing. "Do you think they'll come after me? After you?"

He runs a comforting hand over her back as he listens and replies. "They won't try this place again, too well protected. But they will come after me. I've killed quite a few of them, they won't let this particular vendetta slide, not when I've so thoroughly routed them from their Circle and prevented their resurrection of their death-dealing friend. No, they'll come after me. Which is good, while they're focused on me they won't be chasing you." He turns to her. "Speaking of the ritual..." His voice adopts a hushed and quieter tone. "I didn't tell the priests everything, but I think you deserve to know given what happened. What do you remember?"
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Scribbler on Tue May 07, 2013 9:02 pm

Gwen sits up a little, and gathers herself. She draws her knees up to her chest, and rests her chin on them.
"One of his friends came to find us at the tavern. He said that the preparations had been made- Gavin assured me that we'd be more comfortable staying with them than in the inn, and the money he had would last longer if we weren't paying for lodgings. We went to- that house. It looked fine from the outside. But when we got indoors- the smell..." she grimaces, remembering. "I'd never seen a- I'm almost glad for what happened next. Before I knew what was happening, there was something over my face, and I blacked out. I woke up- relieved for a moment, thinking it had been a dream- but I was bound, and it was so dark, I couldn't see anything. I couldn't move! The smell was different. It wasn't the- man on the floor- it smelled like...metal. I don't know how long I lay there...it felt like forever."
She shivers at the memory, and pulls one of the sheepskins around herself. As she speaks, she has been watching Hans for a reaction, making sure that she's telling him exactly everything, in the hope that it might mean something. His attentive gaze is reassuring, and he nods in the appropriate places. This encouragement is all she needs for now as she continues to recount her story.
"When they came, I could hear them. There was chanting, and they brought candle lanterns. It hurt my eyes to look at them, and they weren't bright enough to see by. They grabbed at me, and when I screamed they hit me. They laughed- and hit me some more. I don't remember...everything was blurry, and the dark...more chanting...so cold...I could hear voices. There were so many of them." As she tells this, she is trying hard to remember, a tear runs down her cheek. Her eyes stare off into nowhere, as if to better see the memory- but as she comes to the end, Gwen looks up back into Hans' eyes. "And then- that was you- you were there."
Relief is clear on her face, partly from remembering, and also for reaching this part of the story. She continues, gathering speed, as a stream running downhill. "I remember strong arms, and movement, running- then the pain went away, but I was so numb. So cold. I couldn't focus. Then it's a blur- loud noise, shouting, more darkness- and I woke in that room again. There was a woman. She gave me a drink- it was cool and sweet, the best thing I have tasted in a long while. I was so thirsty. Then I was here."




Hilde returns to the hidden camp, and restocks the boxes with what supplies she brought back from the town, plus a few other things. Hopefully they wouldn't need those, but you can't be too careful. She wonders how long it will take Hans to collect his thoughts, but reassures herself that she made the right decision in leaving town. Had she stayed much longer without a specific purpose, she would have ended up trailing him, and she wants him to trust her. Taking a small pack from one of the boxes, she leaves the cave, and slinging the bag over her shoulder, begins to climb the rocky wall. Reaching the top with relative ease, and taking a seat on a sturdy outcrop, she draws her sword. Pulling a whetstone and a small bottle from the bag, she goes about sharpening the blade.
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Hans Yksin on Tue May 07, 2013 9:38 pm

He closes his eyes and sighs softly, assimilating the information. "The woman was a colleague. She gave you the drink to help with the pain and to knock you out to make it easier on us. As for the shouting, that was me, attempting to exorcise a Necromancer's soul from you. It... didn't go quite as well as I'd hoped. The Guardian Spirit was less than accommodating, and you'd been asleep for two days, unconsciously resting as the Necromancer tried to eat your soul and assume your body. But you're fine now, the clerics have assured me as such, but I was worried after my less than conventional ritual..."
He rubs his head sheepishly. "I ran you here, and then you woke up and freaked out, which was to be expected. I'm sorry I left so quickly, but we had to evaluate the gravity of what I did. More importantly, I know the Cleric's opinions, but how do you feel personally? Experiences like that... they leave scars." He watches her and waits for her answer intently, trying to pick up what he can both from her voice and her facial expression.

"To be honest- I don't know how I feel. I don't know what to think. My brother- he- what he did- but now he's gone- I'm so confused. But I don't think- I mean, I can't feel- I don't feel that bad- is that wrong? And I'm sure it's gone. I couldn't feel...myself? When it was...in me. But I can think clearly- I know I'm myself..." she shakes her head. "I guess now I just need to work out who that is."

"He tried to have you sacrificed to bring a long-dead and very powerful Necromancer under his control. Under the circumstances, I think not feeling too bad is perfectly acceptable." He's not really sure what to do with his hands, which is a first, so he just starts unconsciously fidgeting with them. "Well, I'm sure you'll have plenty of help finding out you are. Try talking to the Clerics, they have insight into people in ways I've never really understood, just don't let them work their religion into you while you're at it. I've never agreed with blind faith. And if you need someone else to talk to, well I'm going to be around Amran for a while, and the urchins know how to find me, just tell them to find the guy with the guns and the advice." He cricks his neck again.
"Is there anything you'd like to ask me?"

"Rykan and his brothers have been good to me, and they helped well enough when you-" she changes tack. "Would it really be so bad to learn from them? I'd like to be able to help. Or to defend myself. Though I admit, at home the Wise One or the Earth Mother are more favoured...it's a shame you have to choose." As if summoned, Rykan returns with a tray, on which is a clay jug and three cups. Beside them, a plate of small cakes. He places it down on the desk. "I always find Sister Lana's baking makes me feel better." he says, offering the plate.
"Thank-you."
Hans reaches for a cake and bites into it, swallowing, he groans softly. "Ooooh, that is good. Very good. I shall have to visit more often. In answer to your question, I'm not cautioning you against learning from a cleric, far from it, I think you could learn a lot from them, it's just... I've had experiences where a fellow seeker, a Cleric and Paladin of the Wave Lord, has gotten in our way during important events because of his beliefs. I'm trying to say... being a Cleric is a great thing, and an exceptionally useful one, as we saw earlier. Most of my allies are Clerics. But don't take the belief to the point where it blinds you to what's happening around you."
He turns to the father. "Perhaps I'm not phrasing it correctly. Do you understand what I mean?" He tries to make it clear no offense is intended in his words.

Rykan smiles. "Your eyes tell me what your tongue does not. You have caused no offence, and you speak true." He pours out the drinks, and hands them to his guests. "Besides, the Speaker Himself tells us to remain free as the wind. Rarely do I meet someone who embodies this so clearly as yourself." he laughs.

Hans chuckles alongside the father. "Thank-you. Aye, my nature is a free one, this is true." He allows himself, finally, to relax and his shoulders slump, sighing. "Been a right couple of days, hasn't it Gwen?" The question isn't pointed, nor does it carry any weight, just a sense of amicable understanding. He drinks from his cup, tasting the wine in his drink, and his eyes smile in thanks at the Cleric.

She nods, enjoying a cake of her own, and then sips at the wine.
"It's been such a blur- and I've missed so much- and yet, still I am tired." she yawns.
"You have experienced much. Rest as long as you need." says Rykan, warmly. "As for you, I do expect to see you again, Seeker...?"

"You will. I need to see what I can do about this cult first, and then do it, but I intend to return and personally escort her home. That is, of course, if she wants me to." He sips some more at the wine, allowing the familiar taste to mull him some more.

"I do hope you don't intend to fight alone. They are clearly dangerous. Perhaps some of your friends from the Guild?"

"We're a bit far from most of them, but there are a couple that would answer my summons, and I don't yet know how deep into Amran they run. I will call for their aid. First, however, I will need to discuss strategy with my colleague. For now, however, I've had enough fighting for one day."

Rykan nods. "Of course." Gwen yawns again. "Come along, let's get you to a bed." She protests weakly, but gets up anyway.
The priest helps her up, and makes to leave, but turns as he does so. "Fill your flask, and take the cakes. We have plenty more. I am glad to have met you- how odd, I don't think I ever caught your name?"

"You didn't, and I think it's best it remains that way, given the current situation. Thank-you very much for your hospitality." He does indeed fill his flask with wine, and wraps up the cakes in a cloth bag before tipping an imaginary hat and making to leave. "I'll see you again after I've finished this, Gwen."
She waves sleepily, with a smile.
The cleric is puzzled, but bids him goodbye all the same.
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Hans Yksin on Wed May 08, 2013 3:37 am

Hans walks out of the chapel, mind exactly where he needs it to be. He writes in his journal and tears out sheets of paper as he goes, making letters. When he arrives at the courier's office, he gives the addresses and names of the recipients.

"Magical means please, I really don't have the time to wait."
"Sir, that's several warrants-"
"Put it on the Guild tab."

At the knowledge that the job is for the Seekers, the desk clerk stops talking and instead fills out a bill, taking the letters.

"They'll be with their correspondents within the hour."
"See that they are."

He exits, and walks toward the gates, heading out toward the lake. He knew what he needed to do, the issue was getting Hilde to help. He had a plan, or rather, an idea, and it would require the co-operation of his guild-mates.
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Scribbler on Wed May 08, 2013 3:45 am

Having finished with her sword, and her knives, Hilde was still sat on the top of the rocky outcrop. There was a good breeze, and it was nice to be alone with her thoughts after the noise of Amran. She had little more than a guess as to when Hans might return, so decided to stay put for the time being. Better view from up here anyway. In fact, she could see the gap in the trees were the lake was. If she was lucky, he'd upset some birds, and they'd let her know he was back. It wouldn't take her long to get there. Part of her wanted to let him try to find the camp by himself, but she had said to meet her at the lake, so that's what she would do.

Hans does as he did before, quietly picking the same place so as not to disturb the wildlife and sits, meditating, preparing for the task ahead.

She'd been sat with her eyes closed for some time, just listening. After a while she decided it might be worth going down to the lake. The sun was lower in the sky, and though there were a few hours of light left, she was keen to continue his training. Making her way swiftly down the rock face, using ledges and handholds alike, she replaced the tools, leaving them by Hans' bedroll as a reminder, and made her way toward the meeting place.

On arriving, she was pleased to see he was sat much as he had been before. Hilde took particular care to be quiet, and picked up a fallen twig. Striding around behind his resting place, she positioned herself a few paces away, held out the stick, and snapped it.

Hans' immediate reaction was so practiced it was nearly textbook. He kicked off from the ground as he drew his gun, throwing himself behind a tree as he aimed his weapon in the direction of the noise. It's only as the finger on his trigger tenses that he realises who the perpetrator is.

"I very nearly shot you, you know."

"Good." The reply is given with a steady gaze. The twigs are dropped to the ground.

Hans simply shakes his head and stands. "Two things. Maybe three. I lose track. First, what's with those necklaces?" He holds up his one, the one he took from the brother.

"Valkur..." she growls. She pulls at the pendant, inspecting the pattern without removing the cord from his grasp. With a frown she releases it, and it swings idly. "What happened?"

"They tried for the girl again." His expression darkens slightly. "I made sure they met the same fate. She's very safe with a pair of accomplished Clerics. They'll take care of her for now. I got that, from her brother." He puts the pendant away.

"Either they're getting stronger, braver, or more foolish. They're usually a lot more careful than this." She frowns. "The brother- this girl- they're from Tion?"

"Yes. I've told her I'd escort her home once I've seen if I can make it any safer for her. I know that doesn't exactly mesh with what you usually do, but I don't trust anyone else other than the Clerics, her own brother tried to kill her." [i]He breathes in.
"I'd like your help throwing them out of Amran. I can't abide allowing their filth to continue to pollute ritual sites and murder innocents."

Her mind floods with questions, options, and consequences. This was no small matter. What if- no- but...
Pushing back the thoughts she changes focus. "And what exactly is it that you think I usually do, Hans?"


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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Hans Yksin on Wed May 08, 2013 5:33 am

"Combat threats that threaten Xenos and her people from the shadows. Usually Darklings. Am I wrong?"
"Hmf. You make it sound so grand. We will take the girl home. The little things are important- no, they're vital. Be they people, signs, or secrets- nothing is trivial. And the Darklings, though potent, are not always the most trouble we need to deal with."
"Yes, of course, sorry, I knew that I just... secrecy and all that. I haven't even told her my name."
She bites down on a smirk. "Secrecy eh?" Hilde asks, motioning for him to walk. "Names can change when they need to." she sighs. "As for Amran, and the Valkur...we need to see how bad this situation is."

He walks with her, to whatever destination. "That we do. I left those two in the Guardhouse alive, but they've likely been moved somewhere more secure. I got a bit... overzealous, as you noticed. Fortunately, I know the protocol for that particular guardhouse. They'd have taken them upriver to the Swallow Road house, if we want to get information that way. Otherwise, some snooping might be in order. I hope you don't mind, but I called in some help from back home. People I trust. They'll be here in three days, if they have elected to answer my summons."

"We could try, but I doubt the prisoners'd be much use. If they're still alive..." They come out at the road, and head back towards the town. "Who have you called?"
"Divah and Cecil, Should we find where they are Cecil should be able to infiltrate easily and Divah can block and cancel their magic, as well as give us much needed clerical assistance."
"The reporter and the alchemist." she mused. "Good. Three days? That gives us a chance to find them."
"Yes, it does, but where to start?" They walk through the gates to Amran once again, the night thick with various forms of intent.
Hilde's stride slows, slightly, as they enter the town. Her hood is up, the cloak wrapped around her.
"The brother. Where were they staying?"
"At an inn, but Gwen couldn't remember the name. Well, she didn't tell me it, at least, I doubt she remembered."
Hans flips his own hood up and over his head, deciding to use it for once.
"Doubt. Hm. Well. We'll check a couple first. It'll be close to the house. If nothing comes up, we may need to pay your friend a visit."
"She's asleep. I'd rather not wake her, but I suppose if we have to we have to."
He turns in the direction of the house and begins trying to remember nearby Taverns.
There are several inns and taverns with rooms available on the main street of the city.
"We'll split up, meet back here. I'll take this side. Go."
Hans nods and drifts over to his side, opening the door and striding up to the bar, asking the barman if anyone matching the description of the Brother stayed there. After a quick and friendly no, he leaves to investigate the other establishments.
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Scribbler on Wed May 08, 2013 7:45 am

Hilde makes her way along the street, she has a couple of specific establishments in mind. Neither of them prove successful however, and she widens the search. Hopefully Hans is having more luck.

Hans opens the door to his fifth tavern, and a slightly off-putting atmosphere hits him in the face. He believes this is the place. He walks up to the barman and sits on a stool. "Any Tionese folks stay here recently mate?" The barman stares at the seeker distastefully.
"What's it to you, kid?"
Ah, progress. "I'm trying to find some associates of the male's."
"Don't know who yer on abou' "
The man leans down and puts the glass he's polishing under the bar. Hans catches a glint of metal around his neck, and the man hurriedly stuffs the necklace back into his shirt as he stands up. "You gonna order a drin' or wo'?"
"Mead, please."
Now all he has to do is wait...

Hilde leaves the last place on the row with little more than she'd started with. No sign of Hans in the street. Was she going to have to check the other side too? Deciding to start at this end and work back up, she'd meet him in the middle somewhere, or find him outside.

The barman brings Hans his drink. To the man's credit, his attempt at slipping something into the drink was barely noticable, but Hans didn't even need to pay attention to know it was going to happen. He falsely mimes drinking from the cup.
"So nothin' then? Not heard a word 'bout some Tionese folks round' here? I came to give the bloke his necklace back, dropped it back at that old 'ouse."
The barman visibly tenses. "What 'ouse?"
"That old one down' by the river, wot smells like crap even outside."
Reel him in, force a confrontation...

The first few are lacking either information or Hans- which makes her suspect he may have found something. Hoping he's being a little less heavy handed than the previous night, she keeps looking.

"Why was you ther'? "
"Wot, is it a crime to walk around at nigh'? Saw 'im come out, dropped it from is hand when e' shut the door. Star'ed asking around, if anyone 'new im. Foun' he was roomin' aroun' ere', so I came lookin'. There'll be a finer's fee righ?" He holds up the necklace, showing it to the barman brazenly.
"No' for you mate."
"Why?"
"Cuz you're about ta' fall asleep."
"Wha-" Hans fakes falling unconscious, tumbling off of the stool and landing hard, earning a bruise but nothing major.
"Always the same."
There's the distinct sound of a fist on wood and a door behind the bar opens, concealed considering he didn't notice it earlier.
"We got one for the pit. Feed 'im to the Mummy."
Mummy. Friggin' brilliant. He's roughly picked up and carried off, but he drops a marble on the floor as they carry him off behind the door, and waits.

Hilde steps into the next inn, and gets a strange sense of...something. Yet, still no sign of Hans. Being almost back to the top of the street, she's convinced something's up- when something glinting on the sticky floorboards catches her eye. No-one else seems to have noticed- or indeed be paying her much attention, so she surreptitiously rescues the thing from the floor, under the pretense of adjusting her boot. Slipping into a corner near the door, she inspects the item- and recognises it instantly. How many Kallia marbles can there be that just happen to be here.

Putting the thing safely in a pocket, she scans the room for a sign on where he might've gone. A strangely worn patch of wood seems out of place, and the markings on the floor fail to escape her notice. Below...
Swiftly she gets back out of the door, and once on the street, heads sharply around to the side of the building.


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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Hans Yksin on Wed May 08, 2013 10:23 am

"Where's that pit then?"
"Jus' down ere'"
"Wait, who asked that?"
"Wern' me."
"Me neiver."
"But-" A boot crashes into the side of the lead cultist's face, sending him floorwards. The other two, stunned, drop the now very clearly conscious Seeker. He immediately throws a knee into one of their guts, winding him as the other receives an elbow to his face for good measure. The one with the now broken nose falls to the floor, where Hans happily boots him in the temple. The other, gasping for air, is grabbed by Hans. "I want information. I want it now."
The man, clearly frightened out of his wits, points in a direction while gasping, and Hans leads him down that track with a gun to his head and a hand over his mouth. Miraculously, the entire fight took seconds, and barely made any noise.

As she'd hoped, about halfway along the length of the building is a wooden box with doors on- a cellar entrance for barrels and such to be stored for the establishment. That was the good news. The bad news was that it was locked. A shame she guessed that Hans was on the wrong side of the door. Thankful for the shadows, she rams a knife between the boards and the fixings, and manages to pry them free, and take off the lock and hasp entirely. Gently attempts to lift the door open, only to find it is also bolted on the inside. A sharp exhale of breath, and the knife reappears, working in the gap of the doors. As it catches, she manages to push the blade against the bar of the bolt, and slide it open. Now it's loose, she can reach inside and get to the other one. None of this takes very long, perhaps a matter of minutes, but it's all an unnecessary delay.

Lifting the hatch open, she listens for any noise from within. Nothing that she can make out from here. Good. Climbing in, and peering into the darkness, she checks that it seems clear before dropping silently into the store room. The sound of footsteps up ahead prompt her to duck behind the nearest cover- a few barrels and a crate of goods. Hilde hears the mumblings of the pair of robed individuals as they pass the store room, going about their business. Wherever Hans is, he hasn't triggered an alarm of any kind yet.

The cultist brings Hans to a locked door. "D-d-d-d-doocuments in there of the things that the big-wigs deal with. I don't have the key, I swear, please let me go? I don't want to die, I only do this so I can bring my daugh-" The crack across his face from Hans' gun silences him. "Not worth the cost, asshole." Hans regards the lock with distaste. "Oh come on, at least try to keep it secure, this model is twenty years old, I could pick it with a butter knife." He unravels his gear and gets to work opening the lock.

As her eyes adjust to the gloom, she can make out a few more details- enough to tell her that this is actually just a storeroom. Not sure to be relieved or disappointed, she pads gently toward the corridor. From her location, she can guess that the back of the building is to her left, the bar area to the right. Looking along the hall she sees the robed figures turn a corner and out of sight. They seemed to be going somewhere rather than patrolling.
Torn between investigating them or finding Hans, she decides that they can wait, he might not. She turns right towards the bar end of the building, and makes her way along the hallway, a knife close to hand.
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Hans Yksin on Wed May 08, 2013 11:32 am

The lock clicks open and Hans darts inside, closing the door and locking it behind him.

At the other end of the room is a man with Black robes instead of purple ones, writing a letter. Hans creeps up behind him, waits for him to finish the letter, then pistol whips him in the back of the neck, knocking him cold.

He takes the letter and reads


Master Einhert,

It is with utmost regret that I must inform you of the failure of the Ritual designed to resurrect Darin-Mur. Unknown persons intervened and annulled the ritual. The soul of Mur remained inside the sacrifice, but it appears to have been removed, as we can no longer feel its magical energies. It has, in fact, been removed from this plane altogether. We've no idea how or why.
The agent dispatched to collect the girl has not returned. We fear the power of the Clerics at the location overwhelmed him, as we've no information regarding his whereabouts. He was also the one investigating those who intervened, but we heard nothing on this from him before his disappearance. The girl has had security around her tightened. I know you specified it to be her that is needed for the ritual, she is not approachable so long as she is in that temple, and there is no guarantee that, should a repeat be tried, we can harness the soul again.

My recommendation is we find the meddler and deal with them. No-one is allowed to cross the Valkur, not so close to our fruition of Amran.

As for the statistics, within the city we currently have three bases, each housing a good thirty or so members, with some spies dotted around Amran, keeping an eye on the Guard for us. So far, they suspect nothing, the fools...


Hans could read on, but he's had enough of that letter for now. He sets about grabbing documents and placing them in a satchel brought with him.
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Scribbler on Wed May 08, 2013 7:56 pm

In the corridor there are crates, sacks and general supplies stacked against the walls. It is damp, musty and badly lit. A door further up the hallway piques her curiosity, but it closer inspection tells her it's locked. Hilde catches the quiet noise of rustling papers coming from within. It sounds as if someone's about to be making an exit. Looking back down the hall, she estimates that she has enough time to grab whoever it is, and pull them back to the storeroom. Possibly get them out to somewhere a bit more...personal. She crouches out of sight, behind some boxes, and waits.

~Great, I have everything, but...~ There are two doors and a trapdoor in the room, aside from the one he's just come from. Caught between taking what he has and going and investigating further, he grabs a bottle and sits it on the table, setting it spinning, he'll let it make the decision for him. It lands exactly between the way he came in and the trapdoor. He curses quietly and throws open the trapdoor, which itself leads down into darkness, but he can hear whimpers and whispering from below.
"Tch."
Wait for Hilde, or go on?

Waiting silently, a different noise catches her ear- familiar yet she can't place it. From her position here in the corridor, she's starting to feel uncomfortable. She's been still too long already- someone could come by at any moment. This is a scout for research, not to start a war. An idea appears in her head. Stepping back over to the door, she takes the marble from her pocket, and rolls it gently under the gap between it and the floor. She stands, ready, waits for a couple of seconds, then knocks.

At the sound of the knock, Hans' immediate reaction was to hurl himself under the nearest table, drawing his gun. At the sight of the marble however, his un-tenses slightly, picks up the marble, walks to the door and opens the eye panel. "What took you?"

Hilde relaxes slightly, relieved to hear Hans' voice. "Open the door." she says, quietly.

His eyes disappear as he steps back, and the door clicks unlocked, moving to be left slightly ajar.

She steps inside and closes it quietly behind her, her eyes scanning the room as she does so. An unconscious black robed figure lies on the floor by the table. There is an open trapdoor in the floor. The desk is empty but for a bottle. Hans has a satchel with him. A noise from below prompts a questioning look.

Hans just shrugs and mimes that he was going to check it out before she showed up, and offers a quick flash of the documents inside the satchel.

Knowing he has information, she decides it can wait. If this is another prisoner down here...then they can get them out, and put Hans' latest headache victim in their place. It would be noticed, but that couldn't be helped now. Maybe it might even put them off of their plans, knowing that they'd been discovered. Or perhaps it would hurry them forwards- no, no time to think about that right now. Hilde moves closer to the trapdoor, and listens carefully, peering into the darkness below.

Hans stands with her, but given the fact that there's noting but quiet whimpering coming from the hole, it doesn't give them much. As much as he likes planning before acting, there's no information here, and they won't get anymore just standing there. He shrugs at Hilde and moves quickly into the hole.

From the sound Hans' makes, it seems as though the hole is not very big, probably just big enough to use as a cell. He reaches the bottom soon enough, vanishing into the dark. Retrieving a candle from the table, she holds it down into the trapdoor so he can see.


Last edited by Scribbler on Sun May 12, 2013 12:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Hans Yksin on Sat May 11, 2013 8:54 am

The stairs themselves lead to a cage door, through which, thanks to the light from the candle, he can see a few captives, definitely alive, whimpering and holding each other in the cramped, narrow cell that once might've looked like a small wine cellar. He whispers back up the wooden steps. "Captives."

"Locked? Can they walk?" She glances across at the figure laying on the floor. There is a piece of thin rope on his belt, leading to a pocket. "Take the light."

He takes the light and uses it to see by as he slips a tool out of his glove and goes about working the lock his way.

A pair of keys land on the floor at the bottom of the ladder with a dull thud on the dirt floor.

The door clicks open and swings so creakily. He looks back at what caused the thud and smiles softly, shaking his head. The people inside just whimper louder at the creak of the floor and skitter up to the walls, curling up in fetal positions in a desperate and vain attempt to protect and hide themselves.

Hilde's shadow appears at the trapdoor again. She is unsurprised to find the cage door open with the keys still on the floor. "Send them up, then we'll put him down."

Hans manages to coax the captives out of the cage, but takes care not to touch them. They move up the stairs fearfully, but thankfully quietly.

Hilde offers a hand to the first of them- who takes it, hesitantly. "Stay close and stay quiet. We'll get you out." Looking them over, they just seem like unfortunate townsfolk. No-one of note, that she can tell. "Hans, you ready?"

He pulls himself out of the hole and nods, checking his gun over before drawing his blade.

She rolls the unconscious cultist over, and slides him down the hatch, closing it behind him. The bolt slides shut with barely a squeak, and slots into place. He'll have to wait to come out of there. One of the prisoners seems cheered by this. She steps in front of them. "Right. There's a hatch out to the street from the storeroom. It's just across the hall. You can make it?" her tone suggests the hint of a question, but it's more of a statement.

The men and women nod, still not looking at either of their saviors. They make towards the door, careful to not come too close to the hooded pair.

Stepping in front of the door, the ranger raises a hand for stillness, and listens. After a few moments she is satisfied that there is no-one around outside. Opening the door gently, she takes a look, then steps outside, motioning them to follow her. Hopefully, this will all be over in a few moments- for them at least. It looks as though together with Hans, their work is just beginning.

The people shuffle out of the room, and she guides them along the dim corridor, and into the storeroom. It's just as well it's badly lit, she thinks to herself...although- The thought occurs to her as they follow, and she waves back to Hans, pointing at one of the wall lanterns and beckoning. The last thing they need is someone falling over the stock in the dark down here and making a noise.

Hans grabs a lamp off the wall and hands it to Hilde before taking his own and ushering the civillians to follow her, one hand always on the gun at his hip.

With whispered ushering the pair herd the would-be prisoners towards the cellar hatch. Pushing it open carefully for them, the people need thankfully little encouragement to escape. As they climb out there are murmurs of thanks and freedom, and she hopes they have the sense to go home. That way they should be out of the way, and safe enough from falling into difficulty again. And if they report it to the guards...well, that won't hurt either. Would do them well to step up their vigilance.
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Sparkles on Mon May 13, 2013 9:31 am

Walking along the road to the gates, in the grass beside the uncomfortably solid pathways between cities, Divah was finally forced to set foot on the cobbled stone where the city gates bottlenecked traffic in and out. Walking under the arch he was reminded of the small piece of paper in scratchy writing that he had been sent by a certain colleague, the only reason he was in this nation marred by the sheer volume of fur-clad brutes who held no respect for the finer arts of research whatsoever by his experience, though a few bar fights and shady parts of town weren't much to go by...

Wandering around, he wondered if there was anywhere that looked hospitable to an elf, and winding up outside a rather humble home with a small crescent hanging from the door, temples to the Wise One weren't usually very flashy.
Knocking for a short sequence, he was awarded with the door creaking open to a robe-clad individual who gave away no defining features of themselves, it seemed they were perfectly androgynous in their manner, appearance and even voice as the conversation rattled on for some time about Divah's journey and finding a place to rest. Eventually he managed to roll out a small mat and sit meditating in front of a window that overlooked the road to the front of the building, waiting for some indication of where his Librarian colleague was.

Conveniently enough it only took a few seconds for a ragged group of people to rush past the dimly-lit street with harsh whispers of concern for their escape to pique his interest, Divah stalked down the path the escapees had travelled with no sense of urgency or secrecy to him, but an eye in every shadow for the danger that was probably somewhere near the people that were quickly making a move to go the opposite way.
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Scribbler on Mon May 13, 2013 9:47 am

As the last one left, Hilde replaced the lantern in the hall, and gestured to Hans leave ahead of her, before climbing out herself. Much as she was tempted to take a further look around, it was more important to read the documents and stay undetected, for now. She closed the hatch behind them, and put everything back in place as she'd found it. Although it wouldn't stand up to proper inspection, at a glance, you couldn't tell anything had moved. They'd just have to work out why their man was in the basement cell, and where all the paperwork had gone.

The alley itself was fairly quiet, now that the people had all spilled out of it. She was thankful that none of them had stayed around to ask questions. Not knowing how long they may've been down there, it made sense for them to be keen to get away swiftly. Keeping eyes open to the front of the alley, on the off-chance that someone from the tavern might come this way, she turned to Hans.
"We should leave, and check those papers for what it is they're up to."
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Hans Yksin on Mon May 13, 2013 10:09 am

He nods, and is about to set off down the alley before muffled yelling is heard through the closed doors.

"They appear to have found the men I knocked unconscious."

He sets off at a brisk jog toward the end of the alley, coming up short and peeking around the corner as the barman and another, less culty-looking man crash into the street. They don't see him, but considering this is the only entrance to the alley...

"We go through them or we use the roofs. Your choice."

Hilde makes for the nearest wall, reaching for a grip in the timber framed facade. "Up. Stay low. Listen." she says, and is off the floor and onto the roof in no time at all. If they're quick, and quiet, there's no way they'll find them, and they might learn something from their complaints.

Hans is immediately climbing up behind her, stalking up the thatched roof and kneeling down beside her to listen in to the Barman and his companion, and catches some threats and curses before he catches a hint of flourescent green in the corner of his eye. Turning to look, he's caught between a grin and a silent curse.

"Shit, he's early..."
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Re: The City of Amran

Post  Sparkles on Mon May 13, 2013 10:28 am

Divah stopped for a second before sneezing violently, if someone was talking about him then chances are he was in the wrong place for any normal person, which oddly enough was always the right place for him to be. Taking it as more than just coincidence he took a leisurely scan of the surroundings and caught two lumps of face sitting along a rooftop, above a building he could only assume was the "Right" place to be.

Not one for running in unannounced all the time, Divah consulted his list of appropriate times for a flashy entrance before looking glum and simply leaning against the wall of the building to listen in without drawing attention... for now.

He fiddled with a small scroll in his hand, almost letting out a schoolboy's giggle as he did so.
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Re: The City of Amran

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