• 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

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 : 
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

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.

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

- 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?”

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Amaris is most interested in Taysin, I would say.
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