• Event • [Seasonal Quest] Little Lost Orphans

The stronghold of education and learning, this fortress, in one of the coldest areas of Idalos, houses many who seek to enhance their knowledge and expertise in any number of disciplines. Unknown to most, however, below the public areas of the city, suffering for the sake of science is common. All are welcomed, though some who arrive are not treated as they might expect.

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• Event • [Seasonal Quest] Little Lost Orphans

Postby Banshee » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:37 pm

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42nd Ashan 718
Mrs Aislin Tanely was quite clearly impatient to get away from here. It didn't take a great level of observation or Empathy to be able to see how she switched her weight from one foot to the other, huffing out exasperated sighs and scowling around at everything: the light snow fall, the IA agents, the Academy buildings, the volunteers who were gathering. She clicked her tongue, loudly snapping a query about the time to Taysin who responded calmly, evidently disinterested in the woman's silly display. There was no need for the Orphanage owner to be here - she was neither use nor ornament - however, she'd insisted on being here, ready to add her own voice to the speech to the gathered volunteers before she returned to the charges that she still possessed up at Mountainside.

Yorrick watched the gathering volunteers through slightly narrowed eyes, although he only gave them half his attention; the rest of his attention was focused on Mrs Tanely's Tangle, intrigued by what had provoked such outward responses from the older woman, wondering if she knew more than she'd told the IA thus far. Was there guilt? Was her outward irritation a manifestation of something of which she felt guilt over? The man had to consider multiple theories. Although the story seemed to be that they'd run away, maybe she'd really had a hand in it. They'd find out soon enough; they would resolve this, no matter what they had to do and no matter how unpleasant.

The Eídisi woman towered over both of them at 6' 5", perhaps more intimidating than either of her companions although it wasn't intentional. She simply stood before the gathering volunteers, hands clasped behind her back as she regarded each new face with blind-seeming eyes, her expression almost bored. A scar-like mark over her eye declared her Xypha status. Unlike the other two, she held herself perfectly still except from when she answered Mrs Tanely's question, not seeming bothered by the snow that fell to gather on her short, spiky black hair, clinging to the strands on her head, her eyelashes, the fibres on her furred clothing. She had lived in Viden for many years, rarely out of the cooler weather of the place and thus, she'd built up a tolerance, finding milder temperatures uncomfortable at this point; she could speak Xanthea but she'd never succeed in going to Desnind. Although they would soon disperse into the tunnels that enclosed large sections of the city, it was quite possible that they'd be dealing with more exposure soon anyway. There was no point in trying to avoid the chill and besides, it was getting much warmer now, even if the non-native volunteers didn't realise it.

The very moment that the 11th break arrived, the senior investigator shifted out of her statuesque demeanour as she sprang to life. Those who arrived late would be speared with a quick, disapproving look, a slight downturn of her mouth conveying how she felt about their tardiness.

"Good morning! I'm Taysin, this is my colleague from the Intelligence Authority, Yorrick Farrow, and the owner of Mountainside Orphanage, Mrs Aislin Tanely. If you're gathered here then it's likely that you know what's going on. For those who may have wandered over with no knowledge of what's transpiring, allow me to fill you in," Taysin announced, her voice loud and clear as she projected it over the gathered bodies, watching them huddle a little as if seeking each other's warmth. "Two orphans from Mountainside Orphanage have gone missing-"

"They left! Ungrateful little-" Mrs Tanely interjected, eliciting a twitch at the edge of Taysin's mouth. She carried on as if there had been no interruption, her voice a little louder, a steely note carried in the first few words.

"These vulnerable and bewildered children brought hardly anything with them from what we could determine and if they've wandered out of the protected areas of the city, they might well be in serious danger from exposure," Taysin explained, ignoring the muttering coming from the human woman who was edging closer to her. "There's a boy and a girl, eight arcs and ten arcs old respectively. They're both young and misguided and it is our duty to return them into Mrs Tanely's uh... care." She cast a sideways look at the woman, her opinion of her clear as she literally gazed down her nose at her.

"It isn't clear how long they've been missing or where they've gone but the sooner they're found, the better," Yorrick commented, his voice soft but attention-grabbing, its tone and cadence making heads turn in his direction as he lingered further back from his companions. "It seems likely that they've sequestered themselves in a potentially dangerous location, the Docks or possibly making a break into the Tundra. Obviously, we will need many to help investigate the Docks; it's possible that they may have stowed away somewhere," he added, his tone distant, dreamy and oddly detached from the situation.

"Are there any questions? If not, we'll divide you up and set off," Taysin remarked, injecting urgency into the situation; she seemed impatient to get moving.

NPCs : 
Taysin
Race: Eídisi
Age: 55
Skills: Leadership - Expert
Investigation - Expert
Intelligence - Expert
Hunting - Competent
Rhetoric - Competent
Linguistics - Competent
Languages: Common (Fluent), Xanthea (Conversational), Rakahi (Broken)
Marks: Xypha - Adored

A senior investigator within the Intelligence Authority, Taysin doesn't deal with typical matters of law and order. She doesn't investigate petty crime but is instead typically given the job of keeping an eye on those from potential problem races (Ithecal, Naerrik, etc.) and suspicious individuals. Her job isn't simply surveillance however, as she also tracks down items that have been smuggled into the city.

Taysin may come across as quite haughty to those that she deems as being lesser races but she will show a warmer demeanour to those who prove their intelligence to her either through words or deeds. She is a good communicator who is quite determined to have her own opinion heard but who will also do her best to hear as many points of view as she can when considering a dilemma.
Yorrick Farrow
Race: Human
Age: 32
Skills: Investigation - Expert
Intimidation - Expert
Intelligence - Competent
Empathy - High Competent
Unarmed Combat (Mixed Martial Arts) - Competent
Persuasion - Competent

Yorrick is a quiet, aloof-seeming man. He's a man of few words and when he does speak, it's usually wise to pay attention to him because he's considered his words very carefully indeed. He spends more time watching others, observing both physical body language and his target's Tangle. He is has a scholarly curiosity about the emotions of others but he doesn't take pleasure in playing with them although he considers it necessary. Yorrick works with the IA and typical work involves calming suspects and making them cooperative, gaining a sense of the Videnese population's satisfaction levels and supporting his colleagues where necessary.
Mrs Aislin Tanely
Race: Human
Age: 60
Skills: Intelligence - Competent
Organisation - Expert
Interrogation - Competent
Negotiation - Expert

A severe older woman, Mrs Tanely runs the Mountainside Orphanage in Viden. Whatever happened to make her so severe and cruel, it has left a lasting impact on the woman, who holds back nothing in unleashing her strict rules and expectations on the orphans under her care. Mrs Tanely expects nothing but complete and utter obedience. It is her belief in the old saying, "children should be seen and not heard," that governs daily life in the orphanage. Never reluctant to use corporeal punishment, she is a harsh woman, holding no bars and speaking frankly and honestly about her distaste: unless in the company of a potential adopter.
Objectives : Must do Objectives:
    1. Say which of the two IA agents your PC is most interested in - Taysin or Yorrick. Please put this in an offtopic or an OOC at the end.
    2. Explain how your PC came to be here.
    3. Clearly state what items you have with you, either within your post or in an offtopic/OOC at the end.

Optional Objectives:
    1. Engage another NPC volunteer. You have freedom to create them yourself and who knows, they might get added as a full-time Viden NPC!
    2. Ask a question of one of the main three NPCs. You may ask only one and you must specify who you're addressing either by name or description.
Posting Rules : All right, this is the opening for the Seasonal Quest. For those who want to participate but who haven't signed up yet, you have until this day next week (23rd April) to sign up here and post in this thread.

I will post again on this day next week and I ask that each player only post once between this mod post and every consecutive mod post after this. After the 23rd, I will reply once a week unless everyone else has posted, in which case I will post sooner and you will have one week after that.

Please do not control the NPCs unless you are given explicit permission to do so.

Aside from following these rules, I simply ask that you have fun!
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[Seasonal Quest] Little Lost Orphans

Postby Virikai Talius » Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:57 am

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It was not personal interest which caused Virikai to end up amongst the crowd of volunteers waiting to help the Intelligence Authority find the missing children, but rather professional. On two counts, the Talius scion was invested in the safe return of the orphans: his position as a newly presented politician, working with his father to work towards the best interests of the city, it was a public facing role and even the wealthiest had to get their hands dirty and help the less fortunate peoples... most importantly, he had to be seen to be doing just that.

But he also had a secondary interest, that of his other work in the Facility for Retrospective Analysis - the FRA, in occasion, relied on orphan children - children no one would miss - as subjects. No one working in the Mountainside Orphanage knew of this, and they were very careful to extract children without suspicion. These two children, Virikai knew, had not been taken by the Facility, and therefore they put the whole operation in jeopardy, especially with the escaped subject still running loose around the city. Virikai had worked hard with his father to cover that up, masterminding an elaborate murder last season and painting this unknown man as dangerous and to be avoided. But if anyone actually spoke to him, if anyone put two and two together, the secrecy of the FRA was at stake. So the children had to be found.

With the young lordling was a colleague from that very Facility. His supervisor, Annelies. She was a severe woman and an experienced Xyph, which made their role in this group much easier, as Annelies had a significant amount of access to Virikai’s mind, allowing them to have silent conversations without anyone else hearing them. “Remember we are not here together,” sounded the stern voice in his mind. Virikai did not reply, merely rolling his eyes - as if he needed reminding of the delicacy of the situation. Though together, they stood at some distance from one another as they listened to the two IA Agents and the matron of the Orphanage explain the situation.

Virikai, for his part, had not before met either of the Agents, and was hardly impressed with either of them, but Annelies’ instruction that he was to align himself with the female one. As he watched the pair more, he was glad of this, as she seemed slightly more competent, in his opinion. Well, he knew little of the IA really, but she seemed to be much more carefully monitoring her own language, and Virikai admired that. At the very least, she seemed the most capable of managing this rabble. Immortals, Virikai smirked at the idea of the naer making a showing as a volunteer. Citizens were used to seeing her around now, yes... but he doubted they would accept working with her. A small part of him actually hoped she turned up, just to see the reactions of everyone else.

As a Lord, Virikai carried very little on him, save enough clothes to keep himself warm, and enough coins, approximately half an Onyx Nel, to ensure he could make necessary purchases. Others, he knew, would come prepared for any eventuality, but Virikai saw no need to debase himself by traipsing around he city like a donkey. He had other skills, rhetorical ones, that would see these children returned safely. Regardless, the Teinite Reavers maintained a city of ice and stone that would not require him to traverse dangerous spaces... and if he was required to do so... then he was sure that there would be enough willing and foolhardy volunteers to risk their lives, which had less value than his.


The Ice Prince-
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[Seasonal Quest] Little Lost Orphans

Postby Linika » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:32 am

Her eyes naturally caught the sight of her boss' son, Virikai. But she was getting better at stifling a reaction. Of course, she wondered what he was doing here. Volunteer work did not strike her as a regular part of the man's social regimen. But then again, she could well imagine that many an eyebrow was raised in her direction for largely the same reason. She was a naer, after all.

They would not be wrong either, for though she actually did have a soft spot for children - something she would never admit - her reason for being here was the result of nothing more benevolent than orders. Virikai's presence added the question of whether she'd been saddled with an unspoken side task of keeping an eye on him as well. For now, however, she did nothing to suggest acquaintance or recognition. She imagined that the young lordling would appreciate that, if for no other reason than the necessity of not showing it.

As this "Taysin" character stepped up to lead the briefing, Linika was immediately inclined to consider her "colleague", Yorrick, to be the one truly in charge, regardless of being a mere human. She did not have to tell herself that this was entirely a presumption; she knew it could just be her own suspicious nature. But it was common practice among the suspicious to decoy an enemy by setting up an underling to appear as the one in charge.

And sure enough, she found his comments to be the ones preemptively answering the first question she herself would have asked. 'How could it not be clear how long they'd been missing?' she asked herself while keeping her face free of a scowl, 'Not even a guess? Doesn't that bullying old crow, Tanely, monitor their comings and goings? Wasn't there a bed check the night before?'

Even the presence of the old hag was a mystery. It took only moments to see that Taysin did not care for her. She was just a blustering grouch by all appearances. But that just set the gears turning in Linika's mind. Why was she here? Her unpleasant demeanor would be of no use. Surely the people in charge of this do not want these volunteers to get the immediate impression that the children have good reason to have fled. But listening to the old hag, what else were they to think?

What, indeed? the naer pondered. 'That may be the very thing they want us to think. So we don't look too hard for another reason.' Knowing the time of the childrens' disappearance may give some clarity to other suspicious incidents, as well as dating any likely tracks that might be found. It seemed very possible to her that Tanely was only here to convince everyone that this was a simple "runaway" situation.

Linika herself was not a tracker. But she was an operative; always had been. It was not so much that she'd find the needle in a haystack, but she'd know, from her own experience, which haystack she would have hidden it in, and why. Intuition was often as important as information. And though hers was admittedly tainted by suspicion, that usually went hand-in-hand with the dynamics of intrigue.

The wind kicked up and she nestled into her cloak. It was a remarkable thing consigned to her by her boss as a ward against the weather. While she'd had what 'cold weather' training as was available on the southern continent, it was insufficient against this torturous cold. But this cloak, something Lord Talius had referred to as a "Cavini", seemed to truly insulate you from such extremes.

Naturally, she had all her own cold weather gear on underneath the cloak, for redundancy. As well, she'd brought her water skin, with enough alcohol to keep the water from freezing inside. She also had her big canvas bag slung over her shoulder, containing her medical supplies, her lantern oil, tinderbox, her note book, reservoir pen and a vial of ink, as well as some thinner, in case the cold thickened it excessively, and a few torches to back up her lantern, which she carried in her gloved hands.

At her belt hung her sheathed dagger. And around her neck hung the Hotlands Glass Scope she'd stolen from Yanahalqah several cycles before. It had been a focus of hostility since then, what with the Yludih making efforts to reclaim it. Linika stifled a triumphant grin as she acknowledged that anyone of that race would definitely want to prevent anyone of another race from owning it. Held to the eye, it revealed all Yludih to the observer, by limning them in an obvious glow. Even now, she casually made as if to rub something from her eye as she scoped out the crowd.

Any Yludih she might detect would remain incognito for now, but the naer would definitely make note of who they were. It might be useful later. She raised a hand, addressing the human, Yorrick, "Sir, do we get to choose our location? I feel I would be of more use checking the Docks." She did not go on to say that if these kids were being used as messengers or something, they may be meeting someone at the docks just to pass something along, and not to escape Mrs. Tanely.

OOC
Okay, in case I did not make it clear, Linika is much more interested in Yorrick Farrow, the human IA agent. 8-)

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"Shelf Life'...What an ironically contradictory concept."

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[Seasonal Quest] Little Lost Orphans

Postby Devin » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:52 am

When Devin heard that two orphans had gone missing, a few trials after he had walked through the Eclipse Portal (he had pretended to be a naturalist from Rynmere that needed to undertake an important research trip), he decided that he would help right away. Several of his childhood friends had been orphans. They had come from all kinds of different backgrounds, but they had had one thing in common: They had been excellent thieves. They had been even better at looking innocent and pitiful than him, and that was saying something!

When he had still been living in Andaris, he had actually tried to adopt an orphan because the idea of having a little accomplice and apprentice that was eternally grateful to him for saving them from a life of misery had appealed to him, but the owner of the orphanage had just looked at him coldly, refused to give him a child and told him to leave. He didn’t understand why, but he had the feeling that the man hadn’t trusted him particularly.

What had happened in Viden thus presented an excellent opportunity. There was no way those people would be able to refuse him a child if he managed to find the missing orphans and save their lives. On the contrary, they would likely bend over backwards for him!

With a smile on his face he grabbed his sword and his backpack and threw all kinds of stuff that he thought he might need into it. First came a bunch of bandages (in case somebody got hurt), a loaf of bread (in case somebody got hungry), a bottle of tea with rum (in case somebody got thirsty) and a rope and a grappling hook (in case somebody needed to climb something). After he had given the matter some thought, he also added a small rolled-up blanket (because the orphans would likely be freezing, and if they turned into blocks of ice they would be of no use to him).

Once he was content with what he had, he put on some warm winter clothes (including a coat with a hood and gloves) and went outside to brave the terrible Videnese cold. He had decided to reprieve his naturalist role because the people of Viden were probably more likely to trust a scientist. For that reason, he was also wearing a belt that had several vials and containers attached to it where he would be able to store his samples. From what he knew, naturalists such as the one that he was playing took samples all the time!

Before long he had arrived at the meeting place. Several volunteers were already standing there, which irked him since it would decrease the likelihood of him rescuing the orphans. One woman in particular attracted his attention. She was old, at least sixty (which was practically ancient in his opinion), she had grey hair that she wore in a bun, her coat was embroidered with flowers, and she carried a large wicker basket. When he looked at it, she gave him a sugary sweet smile, opened her basket and told him, “I brought cake for the orphans. The poor darlings will be hungry when we find them!”

All the sweetness and the goodness of her heart made him gag!

Since he couldn’t stand the sight of Miss Flora anymore (that’s what she said her name was – she seemed to have made it her mission to help poor people everywhere and stuff them with cake until they exploded), he turned to listen to the two investigators and the woman from the orphanage instead, frowning as he did so. Finally, he blurted out,

“If you talk about your charges like that, it’s no wonder they ran away!”

“I would never treat my children like that!”
he claimed – which was actually true. If he were in charge of a couple of orphans, he would train them as thieves, but he would also treat them well. He would feed them, he would clothe them, he would teach them to read and write, and he would even teach them basic maths so that they would know how much the stuff they had stolen was worth, and he would only punish them if they deserved it because he was not a complete sociopath and sadist like that Aislin Tanely!

“In fact, yes, I do have a question”, the self-proclaimed naturalist announced and turned to face Aislin. “What do the children look like? Boy and girl, eight and ten arcs old, is not exactly an accurate description. It would be a shame if we took the wrong children with us. If you don't want them back, by the way, I'll adopt them", he offered.

“I’ll go with you, if you don’t mind”, he then informed Taysin. She seemed to dislike Aislin as much as he did which instantly made him like her better.

Off Topic
I’m not sure about the cost of a loaf of bread and a bottle of tea since these things aren’t on the price list. Banshee, feel free to set the price!
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[Seasonal Quest] Little Lost Orphans

Postby Amaris » Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:05 pm

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- common / murnasian

The mixed blood was surprised, though not unpleasantly so, by the familiar towering over of others that they carried with them. They weren’t that much taller than some of the others, but enough that they would still need to look a fair bit down when conversing with anyone. The delegation sent from the Scalvoris council had long since left, but Amaris remained. The mixed blood had never been off the island, and thought it would be best to take advantage of this particular trip. It just so happened that they had a need for volunteers, and thus they had shown their face to participate.

The snowfall did not deter them from stepping out to give aid where it was needed. Tucking a lock of silver hair behind their ear, they surveyed the area. Immediately, their sights locked on Taysin, as she later introduced herself. The scar across her eye was familiar to Amaris, having seen it on Padraig. They wondered for what the woman must have done to be gifted with the mark, but maybe it was something obvious she had done. Before they could think any further on it, a tug on their arm called their attention.

The much smaller man that stood beside them offered a sheepish smile. His front teeth were noticeably larger than the rest, and they had to say it was a touch distracting. They stuck out quite prominently, considering they took up a great deal of his face. Or what was visible of it round the fur of his hood drawn tight around his head. A flash of concern passed through them, only to be dismissed when it seemed like he did not have any sort of trouble breathing. Before speaking, he shuddered and closed his eyes (dwarfed by his teeth).

“Pardon me, but would you mind standing still for a bit? My friends need a bit of directing to find me in this crowd.” It was a harmless enough of a request, and so they complied. Standing still for a moment or two, they were soon thanked for their patience. Lips pursed, they nodded and and sifted through their domain bag quickly. A waterskin and the packets of heated sand for the children; they thought too late to bring a set of small warm clothing for them, but Amaris had not been sure of what size would be best and them drowning in might impair movement.

Sighing, they looked up as attention was called. They didn’t much like this Tanely character, but their attention remained on Taysin. As she called for questions, the mixed blood approached. “Pardon, Ms. Taysin, but...is there no one they may have been close to them at the orphanage that would have clues as to where the children could have gone?”

Off Topic
Amaris is most interested in Taysin, I would say.
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[Seasonal Quest] Little Lost Orphans

Postby Leeloo » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:04 am

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Mae had been acting weird almost frantic about something. Gara was as well. When Leeloo questioned them the women explained the situation the best way Leeloo would understand, pictures. Many of then drawn in depth explaining what had happened. The Tunawa frowned, "No... " She pointed at the first child drawn, "Lyssia?" She moved to the second child, "Lyssia?! Ehh?" She pointed back and forth between the children and made a face and looked at the women. Children didn't just disappear for no reason. Taking up a pencil herself she added to the drawing by putting a cage around the two missing children and looking up. Mae and Gara both shrugged. "Ah.." So they could of been kidnapped. She knew the feelings of helplessness and fear firsthand. She would help.

And thus, the tiny Tunawa was present for the search wearing her small fur lined cloak. Finally some of her gaudy doll clothes were being used for something that mattered. Underneath the cloak her plain dress blew in the wind. She had opted out of shoes and gloves as they would hinder her ability to climb, instead her hands were simply wrapped in cloth. Leeloo didn't have much on her for supplies, the usual multiple lengths of yarn that hung around her body which was why she wore the hand fabric. She had messed up her hands once already via her use of yarn... Small bits from Gara's breakfast were packed in her bag along with her full water skin. If Leeloo needed anything else she'd make do with the things around her.

Leeloo sat on the shoulder of a kind bystander as the two people in charge spoke and she nibbled on a scrap of her food. After the speeches were done, she turned to the young woman who had lent her a shoulder, "I have no idea what exactly they said. But thank you for the shoulder seat all the same." Seeing the people around her dividing into two groups around the two speakers Leeloo frowned, there was no way she was going with the human looking man. Looking at the tall strange colored woman Leeloo smiled, yes she could trust this one. They looked the way Mae did. Happily Leeloo singled out another woman and jumped onto the next person heading in the direction she wanted to go.

OOC  : Let me know what Leeloo owes for yarn and any woman heading with Ms. Taysin can claim to have the Tunawa land on them


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[Seasonal Quest] Little Lost Orphans

Postby Banshee » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:55 pm

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It turned out that there were a number of questions. Taysin was happy to take them, pleased when people sought greater information about a situation rather than moving into it blindly. Mrs Tanely didn't seem as pleased at the prospect though, huffing and crossing her arms over her chest. Yorrick didn't seem particularly interested in the matter, his bored expression prevailing even when a young woman - a Naerrik as Taysin noted with distaste - asked him a question specifically.

"Answer her then," he told Taysin, using the Telepathic Link that she'd established between them. The Eídisi glanced his way, pinning him briefly with her blind-seeming eyes.

"She asked you! It'll take you all of a moment to respond," she shot back. He didn't deign to reply, instead giving the barest shrug of his shoulder. Her eyes flicked briefly upwards before she returned her attention to those in front of her. She swore that he'd done it on purpose.

"You'll go where you're told to go," she responded shortly, eyes pinning the Naerrik with a hard stare before she shifted her gaze elsewhere, alighting on a dark-haired young man who had chosen to shoot his mouth off. Her lips pressed together firmly, disapproving of his tone but also disapproving of the anger he was likely to elicit in the caretaker. She wanted Mrs Tanely gone, the human woman not in her control and honestly, too irritable for her own good. Taysin didn't need somebody treating the woman as if she deserved to be viewed as part of the leadership here, especially when he'd prepped the way by making judging remarks about her.

"You know nothing about the children in my care. Don't point the finger of blame at me, young man!" Mrs Tanely snapped, glaring witheringly at Devin. Her mouth puckered, giving her a froggish appearance as she turned to address the crowd at large, keeping a sharp eye on the young man as she spoke. "There's one boy, half-Eídisi. He's got their tint although its muted. He's 7 arcs old, too wise for his arcs although that doesn't mean that he was sensible about what he brought with him. I wouldn't be surprised if he was the brains behind this," she explained, Taysin becoming noticeably stiffer. "The other one's a girl, human. She's got hair that's something like blonde but if you washed it in dirty water. She's older, 10 arcs and sly. She's quite fit, a runner, you wouldn't want to chase her. She's been known to fight as well so if you find her, don't expect her to come quietly."

The caretaker fell into a brooding silence, her face a mask of sullen irritation. Hopefully there wouldn't be any other words from her. Taysin could certainly hope, couldn't she?

She fielded a few more questions, stupid ones - they revealed a stupid mind behind them in any case - before she began to shepherd people into groups, only pausing when someone approached her. Her head turned, the Eídisi's mouth open and ready to respond but freezing when she found herself having to look up. She blinked, thrown only briefly - she knew those of her own race who were taller and Ellune after all - before she frowned, eyes darting briefly to Mrs Tanely. "From what I understand, the children have been questioned but proved rather... reticent. A number of our own agents questioned them, not just Mrs Tanely but if they know something helpful, they don't seem willing to part with it," she admitted. "I'm actually considering heading into the Viden Academy to trace their movements from their last known location. It's possible that we could take some of their schoolmates out of class to question them. We shall see."

She turned from Amaris, going back to her shepherding. "I don't want the Naerrik or that man who irritated Tanely," she informed Yorrick via telepathy. "I don't want to bring a Naerrik into the Academy with me and that man... I don't think I can trust his mouth."

"I'll take them if you'll take Lord Head-Up-His-Arse Talius. I'm sure he's more your type," Yorrick shot back. The Eídisi turned to scrutinise him, searching for any sign of amusement in his features; he met her gaze, still lacking affect. She nodded curtly. In the group that she gathered together, far smaller than the one heading to the Docks, she made sure that Virikai was in it as well as the tall individual who'd questioned her. Devin and Linika would find themselves drawn into Yorrick's larger one heading for the Docks. Annelies was shuffled off to the Dock-going group, leaving Virikai without his supervisor.

As she drew her candidates away from the larger group, she spotted a curious sight: a small creature was shoulder-hopping. She moved toward the young woman who carried the creature on her shoulder, reaching out to grab it and lift it into her palm. It was a Tunawa. She eyed it with interest, the race an unusual sight this far north. Common wasn't their preferred language, she knew and could be tricky for them. Taysin knew Xanthea though so she tried that, assuming that the little woman would be familiar with it, at least to some degree.

"Hello. I think you should stay with me. Come, sit on my shoulder, small one," she coaxed in Xanthea, moving Leeloo to perch within the broad collar of her coat. Including the Tunawa and herself, there were now a group of fifteen to head into the Academy.

"Okay, come along then. We're heading to the Perses Wing, it's a few bits walk," she announced, heading off in the appropriate direction and expecting her group to follow her, trudging along the salted path, snow piled up an few inches thick at the sides where the wind had pushed it.

---


Yorrick allowed his gaze to skim over the many faces that he were ranged before him. His group was considerably larger than Taysin's with more than eighty. He had a quiet word with Mrs Tanely, leaving the woman there to point any latecomers in the direction of the Docks. Once that was done, he chose a few individuals to help him shepherd the group, selecting familiar faces, or those whose Tangles appeared particularly stable. When he had his helpers chosen and explained where they were to place themselves within the column, he set off into the Tunnels. Linika and Devin would find themselves relatively close to him, just a few bodies to push through to reach him if they wanted to ask any questions. They were heading south, choosing the appropriate passages until they were forced to step outside again, a journey that would take about twenty bits. When they finally left the shelter of the passages, a chill wind battered them, throwing a flurry of flakes into their faces.

The path before them was paved and salted, the snow gathered in deep piles from where it had been shovelled aside or where the wind had pushed it. It wasn't far to a road that allowed carriages access to the Dock area, allowing cargo to be shuttled back and forth with ease. The path sloped down towards the water and the various classes of ship that were moored there. There was a flurry of activity as porters moved cargo on and off the vessels, the bustle easy for someone small to hide themselves in if they were so inclined. It would take a few bits for them to get down to the dock itself, at which point, the large group would have to be split up, sent to investigate different parts of the area. Yorrick was more open to suggestion about where they might go if anyone was willing to approach him although he still appeared aloof.

NPCs : 
Taysin
Race: Eídisi
Age: 55
Skills: Leadership - Expert
Investigation - Expert
Intelligence - Expert
Hunting - Competent
Rhetoric - Competent
Linguistics - Competent
Languages: Common (Fluent), Xanthea (Conversational), Rakahi (Broken)
Marks: Xypha - Adored

A senior investigator within the Intelligence Authority, Taysin doesn't deal with typical matters of law and order. She doesn't investigate petty crime but is instead typically given the job of keeping an eye on those from potential problem races (Ithecal, Naerrik, etc.) and suspicious individuals. Her job isn't simply surveillance however, as she also tracks down items that have been smuggled into the city.

Taysin may come across as quite haughty to those that she deems as being lesser races but she will show a warmer demeanour to those who prove their intelligence to her either through words or deeds. She is a good communicator who is quite determined to have her own opinion heard but who will also do her best to hear as many points of view as she can when considering a dilemma.
Yorrick Farrow
Race: Human
Age: 32
Skills: Investigation - Expert
Intimidation - Expert
Intelligence - Competent
Empathy - High Competent
Unarmed Combat (Mixed Martial Arts) - Competent
Persuasion - Competent

Yorrick is a quiet, aloof-seeming man. He's a man of few words and when he does speak, it's usually wise to pay attention to him because he's considered his words very carefully indeed. He spends more time watching others, observing both physical body language and his target's Tangle. He is has a scholarly curiosity about the emotions of others but he doesn't take pleasure in playing with them although he considers it necessary. Yorrick works with the IA and typical work involves calming suspects and making them cooperative, gaining a sense of the Videnese population's satisfaction levels and supporting his colleagues where necessary.
Mrs Aislin Tanely
Race: Human
Age: 60
Skills: Intelligence - Competent
Organisation - Expert
Interrogation - Competent
Negotiation - Expert

A severe older woman, Mrs Tanely runs the Mountainside Orphanage in Viden. Whatever happened to make her so severe and cruel, it has left a lasting impact on the woman, who holds back nothing in unleashing her strict rules and expectations on the orphans under her care. Mrs Tanely expects nothing but complete and utter obedience. It is her belief in the old saying, "children should be seen and not heard," that governs daily life in the orphanage. Never reluctant to use corporeal punishment, she is a harsh woman, holding no bars and speaking frankly and honestly about her distaste: unless in the company of a potential adopter.
Objectives : Must do Objectives:
    1. Write a reply under 500 words. Please include a word count.
    2. Include a memory from your PC's own childhood.
    3. Do something that involves snow.

Optional Objectives:
    1. Use the words target, energy and disobedience in your post.
    2. Introduce yourself to the NPC leader or a PC in your party.
Posting Rules : I will be posting again in one week on 30th April. You must post once between now and then. If you post again, the extra will be deleted and if you don't post, it'll have interesting IC consequences.

If everyone posts before the 30th April, I may post again sooner, at which point you will have one week to post again.

Please do not control the NPCs unless you are given explicit permission to do so.

Complete the must do objectives or suffer the (IC) consequences.

Respect the other players and have fun!
Consequences : Achievement - To the Letter: Linika, Amaris and Leeloo completed all must-do objectives exactly as asked. This will give you a small advantage later.
Achievement - Socialite: Virikai, Devin, Amaris and Leeloo all interacted with NPC volunteers. This will bring a reward later
Achievement - Questioning Nature: Linika, Devin and Amaris all asked questions. Curiosity will lead to a curious item at the end.
Left to Chance: Virikai and Devin failed to mention their preferred IA agent, meaning that a dice roll determined their group. Devin's the (unlucky?) one who's ended up in a group he didn't want.
Loose Tongue: Devin's words have angered Mrs Tanely. This will have a surprise consequence at the end.
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[Seasonal Quest] Little Lost Orphans

Postby Virikai Talius » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:09 pm

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Split into groups, Virikai was, for a moment, disappointed that he had not been placed with Linika. She was ruthless, uncouth, with unparalleled disobedience... yet she was precise and focused. For all her faults, she knew what she wanted and if she was here, she would certainly see the job done well. Also, though it pained him to admit it, he was curious to see the outcast in action once more. And he enjoyed her sharp tongue. Comic relief, if nothing more.

He knew none of the people in the group led by the female Agent, neither by name or face, but took the opportunity to greet them each in turn, extending his hand as he did so, “Virikai Talius,” he introduced himself softly. If he did not recognise them, they were most likely guests to the city and might not know him. For this particular venture, he saw no need to elevate himself above them by adding on the honorific 'Lord', and if they did know of him, then he would rather appear friendly and approachable, if only to increase productivity in the group.

The Perse Wing was not far from where the group had gathered, relative to the size of the city, but in the snow, everything felt like an utter mission to reach. They trudged carefully, Virikai ensuring deep bootprints to maintain his own balance, even though it made his gait all the more effortful, using more energy than was necessary. He had fond memories of many trials with his sister, playing in the snow at the Aranaz Estate. As a secure compound, where the public were not allowed to enter because of the illegal activities, it was a safe place for the children of Viden’s elite to play. Back then, with none of the weight on their shoulders, the worst Virikai had to worry about was being bested by the faster-developing (physically, at least) Julian in a snowball fight.

In hindsight, Virikai questioned motivations for playing in the snow. Now, Virikai despised the white substance which plagued Viden. Especially as some of it trickled into his boots, melting as it touched his warm skin. He stepped wider to walk next to Taysin as a thought occurred to him. “Do you know if the eídisi child will have received tutelage in the Ancient Tongue, or are they educated together? It may be worth interviewing various instructors, especially if the orphans receive the same education as their racial counterparts. But I am unsure about policy regarding orphans.

The way he spoke of the orphans seemed callous, though it was not meant as such, and he was glad to be working with an eídisi, who was more likely to appreciate his blunt approach to their targeted goal. “One would assume they are afforded every opportunity other children have. Though… I am unsure what we might learn from their teachers, if the pastoral care is anything like what it was when I experienced primary education as a child.

Off Topic
Word Count: 499
This excludes all coding and off-topic text.


The Ice Prince-
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[Seasonal Quest] Little Lost Orphans

Postby Linika » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:07 pm

Bodies shuffled about as crews were designated. Linika had been fortunate to have approached Yorrick with her question before, as she now found herself more or less situated in her group already, and not being shoved around by those trying to line up elsewhere. Once again, a frigid breeze whipped by, and she was reminded of the effectiveness of the cloak she'd been assigned for this task.

On an impulse, she scooped up a handful of snow. It was cold in her hand as her body heat melted it. Lifting the hem of the cloak to drop the snow in it, she found that it did not melt there. So it seemed that this cloak did not actually comfort the body by generating heat of its own, but rather by locking the environment out somehow, so it didn't affect the wearer. But the snow had been an actual target of her hand, when she held it. That appeared to make a difference in the dynamics of whatever magic was involved.

She approached the human, Yorrick, again. She made no effort at "winning him over" with needless flattery, getting instead right down to business. "Sir, if you need names, mine is Linika. I was wondering if we are going to divide this group up, when we reach the docks; and have smaller groups take on the searches of individual vessels? I honestly believe that it works better than to have such a...swarm...clambering over each one."

If the man demanded some explanation, she would recount her own misadventures as a child in Augiery. She had won the title of 'Paragon of Disobedience' at the ripe old age of 9 arcs. Having been told to stay out from underfoot of the sailors aboard the Naerikk vessels in harbor, she did not take this to mean "stay off the boats", but rather, literally, only to not get stepped on, in the process of burning her boundless energy searching out every nook and cranny to be found on them.

Not that these would be the details she would recount. It would be more that a huge knot of bodies like this often got more in the way of each others' searches than complimented them. She had evaded many eyes by interposing bodies looking the wrong way between herself and them. And also found that, with so many people looking, some corners were assumed by everyone to have been scoped out by someone else.

One last concern with such a large group, was the likelihood, especially here in Viden, that there would be several with Yvithia's 'Xypha' blessing. She had no doubt that the two primary leaders would have it. She wanted to keep hers hidden. Certainly Virikai had it. There had been a woman with him, that Linika had assumed was some partner from his sphere of authority. But the woman was now being placed in the same group as herself. She wondered if this some deliberate move by Virikai.
OOC
Okay, word count is 497 (by paragraph: 67, 103, 76, 90, 74, 87) - check
Childhood memory - check
Something involving snow - check
Use of key words - check
Introducing oneself to Yorrick - check 8-)

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"Shelf Life'...What an ironically contradictory concept."

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[Seasonal Quest] Little Lost Orphans

Postby Devin » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:18 am

There was definitely something off about Mrs. Tanely. She didn’t seem to be particularly happy about the fact that people were asking questions. Maybe, Devin thought, she had sent the orphans away, and somebody had realized that they had gone missing and alerted the authorities. That would explain the expression on her face. She probably didn’t want them back. He remembered that people in the place where he had grown up (Lowtown in Andaris) had sometimes tried to get rid of their unwanted children. In fact, one of his neighbors had once found a baby on their doorstep. It had later been adopted by a loving couple, so it had been one of the lucky ones.

“I know enough! I’ve met plenty of people like you!” Devin snapped. His eyes seemed to be ablaze, and he completely forgot that he had wanted to play a well-mannered scientist. He didn’t care if he had just made himself a target either. He couldn’t stand that woman. She looked like a frog. He was more determined to find the orphans and take them back to Scalvoris in order to give them a loving home and train them as thieves than ever, and he would direct all of his energy towards that endeavor (he had a lot of energy, mostly of the criminal kind).

He reached down to grab a handful of snow. He was just about to walk over to her and stuff her mouth with it because that was probably the only thing that would shut her up when she finally described the children. He let go of the snow again. He would let the frog-woman be, he decided. Chances were, she would probably accidentally off herself one of those trials anyway. She didn’t seem to be particularly bright. In fact, she was one of the most stupid women he had ever met!

Devin was of course completely unaware that Yorrick and Taysin were communicating telepathically. As far as he was concerned, they were just staring at each other, as if they didn’t know what to do. When he was assigned to Yorrick’s group, he opened his mouth in order to protest, but that moment of disobedience passed. He shrugged his shoulders, deciding that it didn’t really matter which group he was in and trudged after the others.

“Devin Thorn”, he introduced himself to Yorrick and pulled his hood deeper into his face to protect it from the icy wind. Remembering that he had initially planned on behaving that trial, he turned to the woman next to him and said, “Well met, Linika. I agree. We should divide the group up. Nobody should go alone in case something unexpected happens though. We should go in pairs, at least. Do you want to go with me?” he asked. The Naerikk seemed to be halfway intelligent, unlike that terrible Mrs. Tanely. If he went with somebody intelligent, his chances of finding the orphans (and taking them with him) were much higher!


(497 words)
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