• Closed • [Moderated] Sanctuary

This is a city located on the coast of western Idalos and stands as a pillar of light against the dark cliff faces surrounding it. Ne'haer is considered a port city for ships as well as the last stop for most seafarers adventuring to locate the Iulure Isles. For this, it is nicknamed "Death's Door". In contrast to its nickname, this city focuses mostly on religious values and rituals for the protection of the immortals watching over their city. Ne'haer is also a city booming with trade and nobility, as well as jobs and plenty of opportunities to advance in skills and crafts.

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• Closed • [Moderated] Sanctuary

Postby Incubus » Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:32 pm

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38th of Saun, Arc 716

NOTE: This is not a real "post". This is an information post to offer information to the players. Here are the rules of this thread.

#1. If you do not post in two days, you are eligible to be skipped in the order by anyone else, including me. This means 48 hours exactly.
#2. Until the party arrives at the Hall of Lost Repentance, I will not be moderating.
#3. You are not guaranteed to gain any rewards, including the bounty.
#4. If you consistently fail to post in time, you will be removed from the thread and someone else can take your place.
#5. The post order will be set by whoever posts first/second/third as of this thread being posted, and must be followed after that point.
#6. NO ONE but Inali, Niv and Ilied can join this thread. Period.

Information -

Rigo Zyl'Amaq, a renowned serial murderer of Ne'haer with suspected ties to an ideological cult (promoting the racial purity of Ne'haer - Biqaj and Humans only), was sentenced to life imprisonment in a Ne'haer facility outside of the city. Shortly after his imprisonment, the facility received a visit from an Immortal - Thetros - who demanded the man be returned to the protection of his chosen deity. The guards, terrified for their lives, gave Rigo to Thetros who then brought him to a place known as the Hall of Lost Repentance.

This place, an old facility meant to rehabilitate former criminals, has become the target of a standstill between the forces of Ne'haer and the Immortal Thetros who is guarding one of the city's most wanted criminals. The public opinion on this matter is very mixed, as the Immortal is quite loved, but some in the Council and many journalists cite the necessity of maintaining the justice system of the city. Individuals who are distinct from the city authorities have been hired to attempt to convince Thetros and his followers to cease their protection of the wanted individual.
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[Moderated] Sanctuary

Postby Ilied Loraeva » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:12 pm

"Forty-eight, forty-nine, fifty gold nils. Here you are." Ilied looked up as he handed off the client's withdrawal. At once he noticed Deimos heading for the bank's main door, looking to intercept a company of three. The bank manager turned on his heels to keep pace with the lead man as they spoke in low tones. Ilied turned to peek as they went into the back offices, noticing some look of astonishment on Deimos's face, then returning his gaze to greet the next customer in line. A deposit request was made, simple, he thought, as he went about counting the bagged nils before him. Again, he peeked back, seeing how the cloaks that trailed the man now stood guard at the vault. He could even see Nathaniel glancing over from his office to see what was amiss. Maya was nowhere to be found, though that was far from unusual.

"Please wait here as I fetch your receipt," he said, and turned with the coin in hand for the back office, walking past the booklets in the front. Ilied passed through the door and went to Nathaniel.

"I don't know anything, and am quite busy, Ilied."

"How do you even know I wanted to ask about that? I need a new booklet for deposit receipts."

"Then go to the chest and recover one."

"I haven't a key. Deimos usually helps me."

"Over there then, in that box, and be on your way." Ilied went to the box at the room's corner, rummaging through the bin while peering up to the vault. "Ilied, stop lingering and go back to the front desk. Whatever de Visci's business is with Deimos is no concern of yours. Stop playing the mouse and get back to work before you find yourself with an overabundance of time to squat and stare."

"All right, all right, Nathaniel. It was just the looks on his face, is all. That goes in the vault when they're done, by the way." Ilied got up and made for the door.

"Rauve de Visci is a man of many strange faces, Ilied, don't let it worry you."

"Not the Councilman's, Deimos's face." Nathaniel looked up from his book and gave Ilied a narrow stare, then turned to the vault as well. "And then there's the pair at the vault door-"

"Go back to the front desk, Ilied," Nathaniel spoke softer this time. "I'll keep watch. I doubt it's anything out of the ordinary." As Ilied made his way back to the front, he heard Nathaniel mumble under his breath, "Dear cousin, what trouble have you put yourself in this time?" Ilied kept pace, though his gut tightened.

Ilied returned to the front, apologizing, though the client made no gesture of alarm. The young teller filled out his note, checking in glances to the door before him while fighting the urge to check the vault again. Ilied tore the note from the booklet, ripping it in the process. Ilied cowered at a sigh, glancing up to see a hard stare and twisted lips.

"I'm very sorry, let me just fill a new one." Now Ilied's hands were shaking, though only light shivers, he minded his pen solely to finish the task without mistake. Very carefully, the he produced the slip which was taken from Ilied's hand, and the client left without another word, save for those muffled curses as he took from the bank.

Ilied combed his hair from his face, though some strands fell back into place, as he greeted the next customer. With fewer words, Ilied fulfilled the request and saw the lobby empty. The bits ticked by without much movement. Ilied peered out to the door again, noticing no shadows in the bright Saun light straying from the door. The marble floors lit up like lights nearly blinding him if he stared too long. Checking the office in a double take, and once more at the door, Ilied returned to Nathaniel's office.

"I said mind the front, Ilied."

"No one is there, I checked."

"That's not what I meant."

"Then what do you mean, Na-"

"Ilied, I understand you have a curiosity about you; however, this is not your business, be it good or bad. Deimos and Rauve de Visci have good history; that is why I have this position now. So I ask you, will you not trust Deimos with the same trust he's given you as manager of this bank, the trust that bears an extension of the authority of both men in that vault, and do as you're bid? Good. Now please, stay at the front. I'm sure Deimos will tell all when they are done."

***


The door to the vault creaked open as a smirk crept across Nathaniel's face. The loan manager tipped his head to the vault with a show of teeth, raising a brow at Ilied all the while. Ilied's brow narrowed as he looked to the vault. Deimos stepped out and headed for the front.

"Ilied. Ilied. Ilied?"

"In here," he corrected. Deimos turned back to the office and stood in the aisle outside Nathaniel's space.

"Ilied, come with me. Nathaniel, watch the front please."

"Deimos, I'm in the middle of all of these, and I have boxes more to go. You cannot be serious. Mister de Visci will be furious-"

"Nathaniel, please, go. Ilied, with me, now."

Ilied and Nathaniel exchanged glances, sweet and sour - though both curious, before complying with Deimos's wishes.

"Deimos-"

"Just wait, Ilied." Ilied was let into the vault as Deimos pulled the door shut behind them.

It took Ilied a moment to adjust to the light. A few candles burned at a desk within the cold, stone chamber. Regardless of the season, the vault was always cool.

"Please have a seat, Ilied, Deimos." The voice was something new to him. It was calm, and flavored with a light rasp, smooth, but warm, and somehow wise, even fatherly. "Deimos tells me good things about you."

"Though I know very little about you, Mister de Visci." Despite the quick thoughtlessness of Ilied's words, Rauve replied with a soft chuckle. Ilied could make out his smirk in the candle light now. Rauve's voice suited him perfectly, Ilied though, though he could not place the cause of Deimos's earlier grimace.

"Ilied, this is Rauve de Visci, owner of this establishment, among others. He has a favor to ask of you."

"Now, Deimos, allow me, I insist. You see, Ilied Loraeva," – Rauve tilted his head towards the flame, his eyes igniting – "There's a small task I am in need of assistance of, one I'm afraid Deimos would be unfit to handle, given his responsibilities here and our extended history. I'm in need of a fresh set of eyes - a mind yet untouched by Ne'haer's petty squabbles - and have reason to believe you could be an ideal candidate." Ilied sat up on the edge of the chair with much attention, staring Rauve de Visci square in the eyes. Ilied felt his throat slowly tightening. "I've been to a couple of interviews all ready, you see, and am growing quite distraught with my lack of success. I trust that you, Ilied, would be more than up to any task I might ask. As I mentioned before, Deimos speaks highly of your work here at my bank, and I have good cause to believe you would not disappoint us."

Ilied nodded in agreement. "Good. I have a few questions for you, if you don't mind. Good, good. See, that's the spirit I like to see. Deimos has good eyes for it. Now then, are you able to keep a secret, Ilied? If I were to trust you with something very important, something bigger than all of this," he said, gesturing to the vault, though somehow Ilied felt his reach extended well beyond, throughout Ne'haer, "Would you keep it safe?"

"Yes, sir," his voice cracked through the tension.

"And if I asked you to deliver an important message for me, one that might contradict that secret, would you deliver it?" Ilied gripped hold of the chair's arms, though he dare not sit back. He affirmed. "Very good, Ilied. Lastly, would you do all of this, as I ask it, knowing someone might die as a result?"

The coolness of the vault sunk into his skin. Through his hands on the chair, his thin shoes on the floor, his bare skin to the air, he felt it. Yet, Rauve's eyes still fixated on him, burning with something unspoken, as intensely as Faldrun's own suns.
Deimos switched glances between the two, their gazes unbroken.

"You don't have to if you don't want to, Ilied." Rauve raised a hand, effectively silencing Deimos, his concentration unbroken.

Rauve lowered his hands, cuffing them in earnest. "Ilied," he addressed once more, the warmth radiating from his eyes taking all of Ilied's focus, "I ask this of you, not because I wish you or any other harm, but because sometimes it is the right thing to do, sometimes people are unfit for the world we live in and seek to destroy it." The warmth spread over Ilied slowly. "I ask this of you because I believe in you, Ilied, as much as I believe in Deimos, Nathaniel, and many others who I trust. Could you do this, Ilied, could you deliver that message?" The coolness of the vault melted away, and now Ilied felt if it was instead a fire within him that burned. The glamour of Rauve's eyes became but a reflection after the inspiration of his words.

"I will do all that is needed of me, sir, even if it might mean the loss of those souls beyond redemption." Ilied nearly stood up from his seat at the thought, his hands now gripping the chair in anticipation rather than security.

"Very good, Ilied." Rauve grinned. He stole a glance at Deimos, hardly going noticed by the boy. "I knew well I could trust Deimos," he said nodding, "And now yourself. I do believe I've found exactly what I've been looking for. Now then, let us be off. We have much to discuss, and others may be waiting for us. Deimos, I trust all is well kept here. I apologize for any disruption I may have caused. I can still expect a report as normal?"

"All is well, Mister de Visci, and yes, certainly. I'd appreciate the return of our Ilied, though, when you're done. He has some potential, let alone the likes of him are rare to come by."

"I couldn't agree more, Deimos. Let us be off then, Ilied."

The three took from the vault, the candles going out with the door sealing behind them, the small procession leading back out to the lobby. Deimos relieved Nathaniel, though they did not seem to move at once. Ilied peered back as they exited the bank, looking passed the escorts. He was unable to make out much more than Deimos and Nathaniel standing at the front desk, presumably talking, arguing.

***


Their walk was silent from the economic district to the seat of governance in the city. Though Rauve de Visci was known, he seemed to get as well as any citizen, even with an armed escort in tow. The people of Ne'haer glanced and mumbled rumors, perhaps, though the looks the biqaj gave suggested nothing more than imagination and mistrust. They must look like trouble, Ilied thought, marching about the city. Closer to the truth yet, Ilied looked like he was in trouble, under the custody of the city guard and official. His inner fire faded as the suffocating heat and humidity took over. Ilied did not care to look up and about so boldly now, and lowered his gaze to the feet in front of him, only glancing up to see where Rauve de Visci lead them.

As they came to the district of governance, Ilied's attention was drawn to a small crowd across the way. To Ilied, it seemed there were more guards than needed at post. Several recorders, journalists as some titled themselves, seemed to be posted as well, though in great contrast to the guards. Drawing closer, Ilied heard them in one-sided discussion with the sentient walls of the keep. It was a small walled in fortress with nothing around it. The walls were too high for the likes of Ilied to climb and dangerously barbed. A wide courtyard lay through the main gate, and as Ilied peered back, he thought to see a smaller gate and a bridge leading to the main complex. The walls rose high about towering columns. There were few windows, and even those were small, thin, and placed high with the adornments of thick, latticed bars. From the nearest corner tower, Ilied heard a cry.

"Save me, Thetros! Save me! Spare me from my torment, that I too may spill blood in your name! Death to the impure! Death to the broken! Death to those inferior beings of this world! I beg of you, Thetros, please, save me! Save me!" The wailing would go on, by not just one, but many shrill voices that called out from the stone dungeons. While some reporters took to note these words, and some even answered back in question, others sought to entice the guard for their own opinions. Save for one, they were all silent. Rauve lead them closer to the dungeon.

"Captain," he called out. The journalists took immediate notice and swarmed the councilman. The escort stepped forward and cleared his way and that of Ilied's.

"Tell us, boy, what do you know? Why does Rauve de Visci seek your counsel? Do you a follower of Thetros as well? Does he mean to treat with the council? Is it true, what they say about Rauve de Visci's bargain? Does the council truly oppose the cult, or it this another ploy, another show for the non-humans of Ne'haer? Was Rigo hired by the council? What do you know? Tell us, tell us, tell us!"

Ilied's eyes widened as the din of their presumptions and questions overtook him. The crowd had enveloped them as they approached the gate, and soon the guard at the front took them to the inner courtyard. Rauve de Visci received the captain's report there.

"I am to discuss matters further with the other councilmen, Captain. We shall send orders with great swiftness as needed. As always, we thank you for your support in such dire times."

"Aye, the thanks is ours. We serve humbly for the well-being of our own. Has anything changed at the Hall?"

"None that I am aware of, yet. Have your men said anything to these birds?"

"Not so much as a crumb. We have done our best to draw the attention of some here, away from the exterior facility. I'm not sure if they're dumb or desperate, though it has alleviated some stress from the front of this issue. The news has provoked the prisoners, however, and we're on alert for a riot. There has been some violence in the towers, though we've quelled most of it. Prisoners have been isolated as needed to account for anything that gets out of hand. We will not risk the lives of guards for the rubbish held here, or else we risk the well-being of all in Ne'haer."

"A shrewd decision, Captain. I will update the council at once. We shall see what is agreed upon regarding riots should they arise. I implore you, as you were; keep the peace all you can."

"Aye, Councilman. We are, as we always have..."

Ilied looked to the Captain, receiving a cold stare in return. He was beneath the Captain in all manners, and it showed. Brushed off as nothing more than a page, Ilied followed Rauve out from the courtyard. "Be silent, Ilied," he commanded, and Ilied complied. The swarm enveloped them again with their prodding and questions until they were out the other side. They crossed the way through the crowd, Rauve de Visci still commanding a stoic presence.

***


They now entered the Council of Minäih Judgement Hall, which seemed as busy as the neighboring dungeon. Clerks of the Hall answered questions, it seemed, though as Ilied heard them they were all the same. They were spoken with tired words that held a tension of irritation about them. Still, the reporters pressed for more: more questions, more answers, more than they seemed welcome to, even though the matter was one of apparent public concern.

Ilied thought to himself now, his following becoming something second nature, of what he had gotten himself into. To decline whatever Rauve de Visci proposed to him now would spell trouble, great trouble. If not just the loss of his job, or condemnation all together, Ilied feared he might find himself on trial for a lie he told, to be bound in the dungeon among the would-be murderers who howled from the dungeon's towers, or worse: dead. His mind was a storm, trying to place the meaning of Rauve's words and actions, and those of the guards, and journalists, and prisoners, and those yet of the locals who watched them, those he knew and did not know, himself among them, a mixture of knowledge, of all things, a name among them: Thetros. He knew a name, and had deduced nothing more than the identity of this person to be that of an Immortal. Perhaps death was not the worst he could fear for.

In the chaos of his thoughts, Ilied seemed to sleep the walk through the corridors of the Council Hall as Rauve lead them through to a room. The walls were the same plainness of the building's entire design, though something about it felt heavier, of all qualities. Ilied noticed as he stepped through there was no longer an echo to their steps, and to some extent, sound itself seemed to not travel very far at all. Yet, he could hear quite clearly, as Rauve directed him to take a seat in the room's interior chamber, a small meeting room, seeming to be sound proofed from even the likes of Audrae. The room was dimly lit by the light of strange stones; they glowed a blueish-white. The entire stone room seemed illuminated, save for the furniture and their clothing. Most remarkably, the color and shape of their skin as plainly as if it were sunlight, if not clearer. The light seemed to expose truth, to some degree.

"Please have a seat. We should be getting along shortly."

"Councilman de Visci, a word from the Commander."

"Thank you," Rauve said, accepting a sealed parchment from a guard. The latter took his look. Rauve de Visci took a seat and read in silence. The councilmen sat erect, another stone in the room. Ilied watched his eyes make their way over the parchment over and over. There was something to make sense of on the page, he was sure of it, though he could not tell of what nature. Ilied found himself entranced by the way Rauve read the note; whatever was on the page, he seemed unmoved by it. "It would seem things have grown more complicated, Ilied. Thetros has called out to others who support him, it would seem. They are gathered now at the Halls of Lost Repentance. Interesting…" Rauve rested his cheek against a shielded hand, the other still holding the letter as he read it over again.

Ilied kept looking, but soon found himself frustrated and bored watching Rauve reread the notice. He chewed the inside of his cheek, bit his lips, looked around the room, and fidgeted from bit to bit. He did not understand why he was here now, or why Rauve had asked him the questions he did back at the bank but a break ago.

"I know you have much to ask, Ilied," Rauve de Visci broke in, "And I owe you many answers as well." He refolded the letter and set it down. "I ask you take this time to organize your thoughts and remain confident in your decision. I truly trust you are the one I need for this task, but require you to trust yourself as well."
"It's not that I don't trust myself."

"You distrust me then," Rauve presumed. Ilied did not have the chance to gather his thoughts as he meant to. "Consider this an exercise in trust, if nothing more, Ilied. For starters, trust that I will provide the answers you seek in due time. In the spirit of efficiency and as to not cause confusion or strife, we must wait for now, however. I expected my peers to be here by now. I'm quite surprised we got here first." His hands slid up his face, rubbing the corners of his eyes, before returning to his cheeks. "They should be bringing people as well, one Thalin Glaurid, one Antony Fransse, and two more like you. The council has divided itself in case anything were to go awry… Alas, I don't think it will come to that." Rauve gave Ilied the same strong stare he did in the vault and, with a nod, returned to his meditations.

Ilied followed Rauve's lead, looking into his own thoughts.
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[Moderated] Sanctuary

Postby Inali » Tue Sep 13, 2016 7:52 pm

Image
Inali began her day with a cup of water from the small teapot that resided atop the grimy stones of the fireplace. The woman who had sold her the home had fretted over this minor detail, doing her best to apologize for the stained bricks and creaking floorboards. Inali smiled wryly at the thought of the older human woman, hands on her hips, hair tied back in a precise knot. “It was much worse when I came here. Immortals, they didn’t even clean the ceilings!” The woman had shuddered visibly at the memory before continuing on to list the merits of the small abode. Inali imagined that she would be in for a lecture if the woman could see the state of her old residence. The Eidisi justified her unkempt surroundings as the quirk of a busy scholar, but she knew that sloth influenced her actions far more than manuscripts.

Inali finished her cup and pulled open the dark curtains back from the open air window before tossing the rest of the water onto the cobbled streets. If her studying session at the Academy library went well, she would need something much stronger than water to cure the painful headache that would torment her as a result of her intensive research. Cursing lightly in the Ancient Language at the sound of a screaming child a few apartments away, Inali yanked the curtain shut and began gathering her supplied. She threw two journals into the bottom of her leather bag before untying the straps that held the two smaller cloth bags closed. The first bag contained a half full inkwell that was positioned amid a nest of scrap parchment. The ink sloshed about the glass container as she shook the bag, but it remained secure within the confines of the parchment. The Eidisi took a few trills to push some of the parchment closer to the inkwell before tying the leather straps and placing the bag inside the leather pack. Her right hand gripped the second bag, testing the heft and shape to ensure that the ink pens and ruler were still contained safely within the cloth. The second bag followed journals and ink well into the pack a few trills before she slung the leather bag over her shoulder. No one would notice that she was wearing the same dress from the day before. She spared one last glance to her small home, eager to head anywhere that didn’t have the incessant cries of waking children.

As she exited the front door, Inali was met with another note tacked to her door. Red ink outlined her name in sharp angular letters above a purple splotch of wax that held the seal of a lotus flower. The Eidisi pulled the note from the frame, grimacing at the rip that formed due to her impatience. It was hardly her fault that humans couldn’t adhere notes to doors, but still she suffered.

Inali,

I heard that you were sent to Treth in order to aid the villagers and their children. I hope that you will be up to another task, though I admit that it doesn’t concern linguistics or languages. It isn’t my area of expertise either, truth be told.

I will not scribe all of the details here. If you meet me in the Council of Minäih Judgement Hall we can discuss it more.

Simply put, the city has become increasingly divided on the matter of Rigo Zyl’Amaq. If you have not heard of him, you will see plenty of bounties for him in the Hall. The citizenry is demanding the Council intervene – some are even threatening to beseech other cities for military aid. We cannot allow another city to solve Ne’haer’s problems, as this would ruin our diplomatic leverage that I have fought so hard to cultivate. The Zyl’Amaq problem must be dealt with quickly and quietly. We will be gathering a small group of other adventurers to aid in the endeavor, though we cannot promise your safety. I will await you in the Council Hall until this evening. Simply say the key phrase ‘lotus’ to the nearest guard. He will direct you to our location. I beg you to come to the Hall, if only to listen to the arguments that we will present.
-A. F.


The Eidisi carefully folded the note and placed it into the small pocket on the side of her pack. Unlike the prior note, she found that her decision was easy to make. A.F. – whoever they were – only wished to speak to her on the subject of the serial killer. Inali re-entered her home and searched through a small pile of clothes to find her trousers and periwinkle blouse. She then began the painstaking process of donning the armor that lay just inside the doorway. While it was only leather armor, it was still far heavier than her linen dresses and stiff enough to excite even the most chaste spinster. The top grain leather made noises of protest as she pulled the straps to adjust the greaves. Another shrill shriek of a nearby child caused her to give up on the gauntlets entirely. The Eidisi grabbed the misericorde blade and scabbard and placed them into the pack while she graced her table with a string of curses about ‘damned lurker-spawn children’.

It was nearly midday when the Eidisi strode into the Judgement Hall. A group of thirty or so citizens marched outside, chanting some phrase that called for Zyl’Amaq’s head. The weight of the blade was suddenly heavy against her back. How did this mysterious A.F. think a linguist would apprehend a murderer? How was she supposed to convince an Immortal to give up one of his chosen? There would be answers soon enough, if nothing else.

She walked up to the closest guard that was out of eyesight of the crowd gathered on the steps just outside the open oak doors. She breathed the keyphrase to him quietly, trusting that he knew who to look for. The man peered into her sightless eyes for a moment and gestured for her to follow with a swift hand motion. She did so, eager to hear more about from the mouth of the one who knew so much about her. The guard turned on his left heel, positioning beside a worn wooden door. His head jerked towards it, indicating that they had arrived.

She breathed in and twisted the door handle. The latch complied without any additional coaxing – a stark contrast from the door to her own home. As soon as she closed the door behind her, a warm voice greeted her from the far corner of the room.

“You decided to come! I am glad that my message was delivered safely. I am Antony Fransse, Councilor of International Affairs. It is good to meet someone else who has an interest in helping those both inside and outside of the walls of Ne’haer.”

Inali peered in the direction of the voice, unsure what to say. The tall man that had spoken wore a tailored linen suit and neatly trimmed mustache. His grey eyes were inviting, though his arms were crossed at chest level. He was tense, though he made an admirable effort to hide it. She spoke in Rakahi, none too eager to reveal her poor Common in front of a Councilor and his guests.

“Well, you know my name, I suppose. I am here to listen to your arguments, as you suggested. I do not know what someone of my skill is to add to this… spectacle. I wear armor, but I am hardly skilled with it.”

She trailed off as her eyes met Ilied’s. While she wanted to greet him, she decided it best to hold her tongue. It was suspicious that someone she had met only a half season prior had also been selected to listen to these arguments. If anything, Ilied was even less suited to handle this situation than she was. Did the Council want to send in a crop of helpless bystanders to justify a military strike? A slight shiver ran down her spine at the thought. Time would tell.
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[Moderated] Sanctuary

Postby Niv » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:48 am

Image“Are you watching, Patcha?” Niv’s eyes turned to the sulfur crested cockatoo. Patcha was perched beside her on the stone bench. He seemed much more intiamte with the foreign environment than with whatever Niv was doing. Patcha’s dark eyes darted back and forth, looking at anything and everything except the Tunawa. Niv let out a sigh. She knew it was silly to expect a bird to care about dancing, but she didn’t have anyone else to ask.

Niv tapped her bare foot to get a beat going again in her mind. After a few tills, she started letting the rhythm speak to her. Most of her emphasis was on her upper body; her arms moved fluidly like leaves flying in the wind. Niv tried to put in some dynamic steps, but kept stumbling on the draping fabric of her robe. It signified her position within the Order of the Adunih. While it would be easier to simply set it aside, Niv was afraid she would lose it. The Order was one of the only things that felt familiar to her in Ne'haer, and simply wearing the cloak made her feel safer.

“You’re quite the dancer.” A mysterious voice broke the silence.

Niv’s eyes opened in shock and darted towards her sling staff.

“No need for alarm,” the stranger said softly. He walked into view with his palms held out. The middle-aged human seemed simple, but Niv detected a bit of wisdom about him.

“Yew scared me; I thot no others be in dis place.” Niv's shoulders lowered as she put a hand on her hip. but kept a firm grasp on her sling staff with the other.

“It was not my intention, good Tuwana; I was looking for conversation, was all. I don’t get many opportunities to talk with your kind and I was hoping you could honour me with the privilege.” The man smiled until his eyes were hidden in his wrinkles. “They call me Thalin.”

“Wot yew want ta talk about Dalin?” Niv replied wearily.

“Why, I would like to know your feelings on the city, if you wouldn't mind."

After a pause and Niv dancing around a bit more, she answered. “It’s good place.” The Tunawa avoided looking into Thalin's eyes and nervously fiddled with her hands, her staff tucked in an elbow.

“Is that so,” he said solemnly. The man frowned slightly and asked, his hands clasping one another, “Am I making you uncomfortable?”

“Only tiny bit. I just afraid a people I not know rite now.” Niv looked down blushing as she made her way over to Patcha. The bird fidgeted too as he watched Niv's bashfulness. Of course, Niv thought, now you pay attention to me.

“Well then, I’ll leave you to your dancing. Have a pleasant day.” The man smiled again before bowing and briskly walking away.

Niv paused once the friendly stranger was out of sight. It wasn’t like Niv to cut a conversation short, especially to a man who seemed as kind as Thalin. The Tunawa looked back a the grass where he once stood, and noticed a small roll of parchment. She wasn’t sure it was Thalin’s or not, but there was only one way to be sure.

With a bit of convincing, Niv headed to the sky with the parchment held in Patcha’s beak. Thankfully, she spotted Thalin as he strolled through the stone city. If it wasn’t for the way the crowed seemed to stop to acknowledge his presence, Niv would have had a much harder time finding the man. She hollered, but Thalin was too distracted talking to some guards to hear Niv’s cries. She flew closer, but Thalin disappeared behind a door.

“Could yew open door? I have paper for Dalin.” Niv pleaded with the guards in front.

“I’m afraid we can’t do-”

“Oh do come in little Tunawa, I’ve been expecting you.” The gruff armoured Guard was cut short as Thalin’s sudden return. Thalin smiled and gestured for her to fly in.

Niv looked at Thalin, her eye brows furrowed in confusion. Still, Thalin seemed nice enough to trust. She urged Patcha forward with an affirmative caw. Once inside, Niv returned the paper to Thalin. Just as she was about to leave, her eyes saw fell onto a familiar, blue face.

“Inali,” Niv cried out happily, before singing a short bird song.



((Ooc: Sorry not my best work but I got suddenly busy and I didn't want to keep you folks waiting.))
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[Moderated] Sanctuary

Postby Ilied Loraeva » Thu Sep 15, 2016 6:04 pm

Their meditations were interrupted by the opening door. Rauve de Visci was already responding when Ilied's eyes opened. "You're late," he said. The warmth he showed Ilied was gone.

"De Visci," answered the taller man. He greeted the banker with a wide, toothless smile. His eyes did not smile with him, though. Walking into the room, he rounded the table to Ilied, who still sat there quite complacently. "Antony Fransse," he introduced himself, his hand out to shake. Ilied stared briefly before remembering his place. He stood to greet the councilman, shaking his hand with a weak grip. Antony was sure to compensate for Ilied's lack of strength, and shared a bigger, toothier smile. Ilied thought he saw gold in the councilman's mouth.

"I see you found only the finest, de Visci." Antony went round the table again to the note Rauve de Visci meditated over.

"I found someone, at least." De Visci peeked out from the chamber briefly before sealing the door again.

"Waiting for someone, de Visci?"

"Thalin should have joined us by now. And to be frank, I distrust the shadows in this Hall, especially around matters such as these."

"You've yet to tell me what the matter is. Mister de Visci," Ilied's voice dropped with his correction. Antony grinned wide again, raising a brow at Rauve. The latter seemed unmoved as he returned to the table.

"In good time. Have you read that over?"

"Why of course not. It would be unfit of me to put my nose where it does not belong."

"Oh, get on with it." Rauve returned his gaze to the door. Ilied looked up from his seat to see Inali enter, his stomach tightening. His understanding of these summons continued to shift. Antony was on her at once with warm words and open arms. Rauve introduced himself to the Eidisi as well, though at greater brevity.

"If I'm not mistaken, I believe I do smell Thalin coming as well," Antony jested as he peered through the still open door. Ilied saw a simple man step through, though he seemed to bring the wonders of the outside world with him, as a bird followed him in carrying a note. Ilied swore he heard the bird speak to Inali, or had he been deceived? Ilied stared, quite obviously, dumb to the world around him to make out the small creature that rode the bird as one would a mount.

Ilied's wonder blinded him, so much so that he missed Thalin's round of introductions, the responses of the councilmen, and Antony's call to order. Ilied was staring a Niv and her companion when Antony's voice overtook the room.

"The Council of Minäih welcomes and thanks you for coming. It is with great honor that we-"

"Enough, Antony, get to the point. We're running out of time," said Rauve de Visci.

"I agree," Thalin echoed.

"Very well, as my fellow councilmen are inclined to skip formalities, allow me to explain ourselves.

"Rigo Zyl'Amaq, a renowned criminal of Ne'haer, was sentenced to life imprisonment in a facility outside of the city. Shortly after his imprisonment, the facility received a visit from an Immortal - Thetros - who demanded the man be returned to the protection of his chosen deity. Our guards, terrified for their lives, gave Rigo to Thetros who then brought him to a place known as the Hall of Lost Repentance.

The Hall is an old facility meant to rehabilitate former criminals. It has become the target of a standstill between the city guard and the Immortal. Rigo is one city's – if not all of Idalos's - most wanted criminals. The Council has been at a standstill on this matter, as the Immortal is quite loved by the public. It is the Council's hope that individuals who are distinct from the city authorities – you, that is – might be better able to convince Thetros to cease his protection of the wanted individual and return Rigo to Ne'haer, alive." Antony gave a firm, smiley nod to his audience, then his fellow councilmen, before being seated.

Thalin was the next to rise. "It is my belief the party before us should know Rigo Zyl'Amaq's crimes as well. He was wanted for mass serial murder, his atrocities suspected to have links to some cult pursuing 'racial purity' – as it would be known – in Ne'haer. He has killed thirteen people," Thalin said softly. After a glance about the room, he continued, "That we know of, that is." Thalin went on to list the statistics of these murders, several Eidisi being mentioned in his report. Ilied wanted to see Inali's reaction, but kept focus instead. Perhaps he would upset her if he looked for weakness. He did not understand what it might be like for such targeted offenses. Thalin took his seat soon after.

Next was Rauve de Visci. "It was the Council's wish that three civilians might go to the Hall of Lost Repentance convince Thetros to let Rigo go. We thought such a small party would be enough to guarantee the safety of those individuals if Rigo were to become violent. From what we know of Thetros, the Immortal would be passive so long as the party did not raise arms against him. However, we our council was assembled here, I received some grave news. It would seem Thetros has gathered a number of his followers within the Hall with Rigo. I begin to fear that a conflict may be unavoidable." Ilied's eyes were caught by Thalin's drawn breath. He and Antony spoke without words, but a change of hands and glances, as the parcel changed hands to Thalin's. The man seemed to shorten as he read it.

"As I said before, we are running out of time. Thetros gathers strength in the Hall, but what worries me more is the impatience of his company. We do not know who walks among Thetros and Rigo. To be perfectly transparent, we are not sure who else is hearing or watching this either. Were it up to me, I'd send you in there to deliver the will of the city, beg for Thetros to comply, and leave if he remains unmoved."

"That is out of the question, de Visci. You do not speak on our behalf, though you might desire to." Antony's words came as an eruption, sudden and violent. Ilied sat back in his chair, eyes wide, only to note Thalin and Rauve both seemed unmoved. If anything, their stares were emboldened by the outburst.

"Rigo is young, messy, and stupid. He is no match for the city guard alone. It is Thetros's presence that gives us such pause, and perhaps it would be wise to allow the Immortal to pass. That is all I am suggesting."

"You would risk the lives of more innocents and the reputation of all Ne'haer with such recklessness, de Visci. Were we to act as you say, we would see Ivorian soldiers standing at our posts in the coming arcs. If we still stood that is. We are surrounded by enemies who would take us with any chance of weakness, if not in our reaches, then further north. I have seen it."

You tell me not to be rash, yet you weigh the entire fate of our city on the life of some murderous boy. Sirothelle's armies would not march south for Ne'haer, especially at risk of those enemies around us – as you so clearly remind us – or at risk of any other Immortal who would gleefully quell their fires."

"Antony is right in so far that we cannot allow Rigo to leave our sights. He has caused great harm to Ne'haer and the security of her people. His past mistakes do not guarantee future ones. Moreover, we know nothing of what transpires within the Halls as we speak. Were Rigo to escape and return, we may be a greater threat than before further empowered by Thetros or others."

"Thalin, he is but one man, regardless of the power he wields or might wield. We cannot move against him with Thetros at his side. A mistake outside the city walls is easier to deal with than that of any Immortal staring down his or her nose at the guardsmen of a city. The love held for Thetros surely goes beyond those hearts of the people of Ne'haer, and such an outward strike against him may strain the graces which we are so blessed to live by."

"So you would stab him in the back?"

"Why do we not simply seek such strength for ourselves then? We might pray at any or all of the temples for those divine patrons of Ne'haer to help defend what is theirs. Thetros would be a fool to oppose us."

"Young Antony, no, you only risk complicating things more. Listen, Rauve, I agree with you that this is one man, but we must uphold the peace of Ne'haer."

"Then why not seek the aid of those who best benefit from Ne'haer, Thalin?"

"Antony, it has already been made clear by Thetros alone what regards the immortals have for the lives of mortals, let alone the laws that bind them. Would we beseech the aid of U'frek to subdue Rigo, we might see Ne'haer washed away in the attempt. His children of the water would be unmoved while we pray for mercy, if not from U'frek, then any other who would be so offended by the petty gesture."

"This is why we should let him go. We avoid the interference of the divine entirely, and Rigo's fate catches up to him quietly."

Back and forth they went. Thalin sought to speak reason against the explosions of Antony while Rauve brooded while making every attempt he could to sell his plan to the council. On more than one occasion, Antony accused Rauve of taking advantage of the council's current division. As Antony saw it, Rauve would overrule Antony's every word with Thalin haplessly having no other choice than to agree with de Visci.

"Fine, Antony, fine, we will not retreat." Rauve looked around the room, to the foor, the floor, the corners. Ilied's eyes followed him, still trying to make sense of the situation's complexities. As he saw it, the council was undecided on what they wanted to accomplish, above all. All the same, there was no simplicity to the commotion either, as one decision impacted the next, for the council, Ne'haer, and many others. Ilied's attention was drawn to Rauve's eyes, which seemed to stare all the harder as this discussion went on. The councilman seemed unhappy, to say the least, yet the wrinkles of his face seemed properly placed. Ilied had thought to say something, but the three spoke among themselves without a word, as if those they sought to do their bidding were not there. Then Rauve turned to them, Inali, Niv, and Ilied, and the light in his eyes ignited again.

"What of them? Hey, what do they think of this?" Rauve de Visci interrupted Thalin and Antony's latest bickering. Antony responded at once.

"They do not speak for the city."

"But we send them on the city's behalf all the same, at the risk of their own livelihoods."

"At the risk of their lives, even." Thalin gave each of the would-be negotiators a gentle look, as if to weigh their hearts. Ilied felt something for the elder, as though much of his wisdom went wrongfully unheard. Still, it did not surprise him with such company about either.

"Antony, as you say, we are divided, and we have chosen these three representatives of Ne'haer, so why would their voices not be as worthy?"

"They do not have the right, de Visci."

"Then stake your own right on it. I would stake mine. Ilied, what do you think?" Antony scoffed. "What, do you not trust the boy's judgement?"

"I struggle to find reasons in your own judgments, Rauve de Visci, let alone one of your banker boys."

"I, for one, have must trust for the Tunawa. She came a great distance, for one of her kind, to return to me a letter of all things. Her heart is true." Rauve stared Antony down all the while.

"Do you not trust your own judgement, Antony?"

"Do not be ridiculous, de Visci."

"Do you not trust her judgement," Rauve implored, gesturing to Inali.

The councilmen were quiet, for once. Antony's eyes glared wide at Rauve, the latter, as Ilied observed, seeming to regain his composure as Ilied first noticed it in the bank. Antony at last turned to the three commoners. "What do you make of this?"

Ilied felt Antony's gaze settle upon him. There was judgement in his eyes, a mean criticism, perhaps even spite and anger. Ilied deciphered Rauve's maneuver - one that felt familiar to Ilied, perhaps from long ago - as testing the truth of Antony's words. To refuse Rauve's inquiry would be to discredit himself and his choice candidate. Antony hated that, Ilied saw, and now the councilman glared at him with his coy grin, something on the border of tears and screams, all held up behind some paper face.

Ilied stole glances at Rauve to look for answers, even Thalin, who he didn't know, trying the best he could to avoid Antony's leer. Ilied made to say something. "Speak up," Antony barked. Ilied felt the tension in his gut returning, his face flushing and his eyes swelling. Antony began to nod to himself as his grin grew wider, as if his rage were about to snap in protest of Rauve's radical ideas once again. However, just as he withdrew from Ilied's face, just before he could launch his next tirade, a voice spoke up from beside Ilied. Ilied glanced at the councilmen's faces; all three had been brought back from their minds to the current discussion at hand. Ilied, turned to listen too, at whichever of them it was, all the while trying to calm himself between deep breaths, trying not to make a sniffle, trying to discretely wipe away gathered tears.
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[Moderated] Sanctuary

Postby Inali » Sat Sep 17, 2016 1:22 pm

Image
Inali noted the interaction between Antony and the other councilman with no small amount of trepidation. If they couldn’t even greet each other with some civility, what chance did this meeting have of succeeding? Rauve was the complete opposite of Antony, though the Eidisi couldn’t make out whether the way they spoke to each other truly reflected their personalities. As far as Antony was concerned, Inali saw no difference between how he presented himself in the letter and how he treated the assembled group. A few bits after the two councilman finished arguing, Inali saw an older man enter the room. Just before the wide door closed behind him, a small bird swooped into view, following closely behind the man’s right shoulder. Unable to contain her shock at Niv’s grandiose appearance, Inali grinned broadly and waved a greeting the Tunawa. Even if nothing came of this meeting, she could likely count on a small dinner with Niv after the discussion was adjourned.

The councilman nodded to each other in turn and Antony quickly addressed the matter that had been looming over Ne’haer for the past few trials. His description of the situation was brief, and Thalin stood to elaborate on Zyl’Amaq’s motives and crimes. Inali allowed her attention to wander from the conversation at this point as she pondered the existence of this ‘cult’. Her own kin were exceedingly arrogant about the superiority of their race, but such cults had never taken hold in Viden. Killing humans was against the law and did nothing to aid in the search for knowledge. Did Rigo actually think that killing thirteen people would do anything to Ne’haer’s burgeoning population? Well, it hardly mattered. The Council wanted Rigo returned to them so that they would not look weak to the citizens of Ne’haer and the surrounding cities that would surely be watching for the council’s reaction to this delicate matter. Thetros and the Hall of Repentance stood in their way. When Inali ignored the arguments of the councilmen, the problem was very simple: return Rigo or leave him with Thetros.

By the time the council turned to Ilied, he was overwhelmed by the arguments and tirades that had dominated the chamber. He hesitated, and Inali spoke up then, seeking to draw the council’s attention away from Ilied. She spoke first in Rakahi and then turned to Niv and Ilied, translating her thoughts into Common to the best of her ability.

“We can speak about this all day and night, which I assume you’ve been doing for the last few trials. Until we get into the Hall of Repentance, we can’t promise you anything. Even then we might be able to retrieve Rigo, or we might die trying. Thetros may be willing to speak with us or he might assist Rigo in his campaign for racial purity. These arguments mean nothing and they accomplish even less. We speak of an Immortal here. Would you all be so presumptuous if it was your patron Immortal guarding Rigo? For my part, I will do all that I can to reach some sort of agreement with Rigo and not die. But where an Immortal and a serial killer are concerned, I cannot promise that we will return him to you. I will only go into this Hall of Repentance if you accept that I cannot guarantee you the result you seek.”

Inali looked at Niv, hoping that the Tunawa would have something to add that would calm the arguments between the council members.
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[Moderated] Sanctuary

Postby Niv » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:47 am

ImageIf Niv was uncomfortable before, being in a room full of strange humans wasn’t helping. The presence of a friend was enough to keep Niv from panicking but not enough to relax her. Niv tried to keep herself looking calm but her posture was stiff and her brows were tense. She directed Patcha to land near Inali, using gentle tugs of the reins. At the moment, Inali and Patcha were the only friends friend Niv had and the tunawa felt better the closer she was to the both of them. After dismounting her feathery friend, Niv gave the Idisi a confused look; as if to say “What is going on and why are we here.”

The Tunawa did her best to understand what the group of strangers was bickering about through her language barrier. Niv was thankfully able to decipher what they were expecting of her and Inali. Though she still didn’t completely grasp why they were chosen and by the glares directed at her, it seemed like Niv wasn’t the only one. There was a younger looking human boy that Niv caught gawking at her. To teach him a lesson in politeness, Niv utilized her inmate tunawa ability to throw her voice. “Stop look dat wai at me.” Niv whispered from a distance directly into the foolish boys ear.

Not soon after the men seemed to gang up on the boy; One man in particular nearly brought the boy to tears. It was an injustice that made Niv tremble with frustration.

After Inali spoke up she looked down at Niv expecting her to add something. Niv turned to the group with her eyes narrowed in focus and her lips pressed tightly. She leaned in with one arm on her hip while the other darted at them like a rapier as she berated the grown men.
“Inali is wise wit truth, doh I only help if yew apologize to dis boy for makin’ his face turn sad!” Niv gestured to Ilied with a thrust of her hand while glaring menacingly at Anthony. “I won’t help a bad man who make silly boy cry put another bad man tah justice. Didn’t yo mamma and papa teach yew how tah speak tah otders?!” Niv paused to shake her head in disapproval before continuing her tirade. “I sure if deh saw yew today, deh so disappointed in yew, All of yews!”
Niv finished her rant by boldly beating her chest like an ape and sitting down with a huff.
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[Moderated] Sanctuary

Postby Ilied Loraeva » Mon Sep 19, 2016 3:49 pm

Ilied watched in astonishment as Inali spoke so plainly. He hid it as best he could, coiled up in himself after Antony's near-tantrum. He made note of her deductive skill and reasoning on the whole ordeal, namely the question of the Immortal's identity. Ne'haer's deities were drastically different from that of Uthaldria's; the part these divinities had to play in their lives was something relatively new to Ilied still, after a few years now. Besides that though, he did not take so kindly though to how freely she offered all of their lives. He wondered what the others thought.

Ilied looked back to the councilmen, how Thalin would grin, Rauve would ponder, and Antony became calm. Indeed, Ilied considered how they all might perform in different circumstances that suited them better. And then there was him, Ilied…

When the Tunawa spoke as well – another creature he had never seen – Ilied needed to restrain himself from staring this time. Even this little sprite had fire in her. Her fire spread, rapidly, as she pointed out the tears in his face. It engulfed his body with uncomfortable warmth that radiated through his cheeks. He dropped his gaze, but seemed to go unnoticed. He instead caught more glances at the councilmen as Niv lectured Antony. Rauve seemed to draw up his guard again as her accusations of "badness", while Antony was all together taken back. Only Thalin has a positive expression, grinning wide and seeming to choke back laughter. It seemed between the three of them, he had won the day. Yet, the true matter was still at hand.

There was only a brief pause before Thalin spoke up. The councilmen seemed to come to their senses by then. "Well, young Antony, I do believe you owe someone an apology." Brow raise, Antony gave Thalin a look, the latter of which merely nodded to the civilian side of the table. Ilied wondered if Thalin was sincere, or merely meant to humiliate Antony further. Surely the faerie and Inali would suffice on this mission.

Antony demonstrated his practiced grace in diplomacy, apologizing to Ilied without any seeming of spite, though the councilman would not look Ilied in the eye thereafter. Ilied let it go, not wanting to look at him very much as it was. He caught a glance of Rauve though, the salt-and-pepper hair being the plainest thing to see on his head now as he looked down. He seemed lost in thought, lost from the conversation around him.

"It's settled then," Thalin resumed, "You will set out at once to the Halls of Lose Repentance to ask for the surrender of Rigo Zyl'Amaq, on the basis of his crimes against the citizens and peoples of Ne'haer. By the judgement of the council, Rigo may still redeem himself yet, though only if he surrenders. You must persuade Thetros to see the reasons of our laws and Rigo's duty to them, even as he has broken them. Rigo's actions have caused suffering among the good people of Ne'haer, severely undo suffering.

"Alas, as you say, young Eidisi, the success if your quest is without guarantee. If you cannot take Rigo peacefully, I do not wish your lives to be forfeit. Leave this place that Thetros has claimed as sanctuary from law and return to us in good health. If nothing else becomes of this attempt, we will know more than we did before, and be better prepared to take Rigo at a later time.

"Though I warn you all, should Rigo or any of those loyal to Thetros raise arms against you, do not combat them. Flee, as quickly as your legs or wings will carry you. The guard may help you against the wrath of a man, but to oppose Thetros directly… I fear you may become lost to us in those halls as well.

"We may help Rigo find repentance yet, as per the namesake of that ruin. I do wonder what happened to it… Regardless, these are the terms set out before you. Do my fellow councilmen hold any objections?" Antony decline while Rauve merely shook his head, still pitched downward. "Then it is settled. By the order of Council of Minäih, you three are charged with this task. Should you have any reservations or wish to decline this duty, speak now. Else, go forth.

"And remember, you come on behalf of the good people of Ne'haer; not the council, not the guard, and certainly not by the will of any other Immortal. Go bravely, go humbly, for should you abandon this quest, your cowardice will be known. Then, perhaps, Rigo Zyl'Amaq will not be the only one we seek."

***


Ilied felt a string in Thalin's words. The councilman did not need to look at him for Ilied to know who they were directed at. Antony seemed sated, approaching Inali for confirmation. Thalin approached Niv as well. Ilied stood up, expecting Rauve to approach. He stayed in his corner instead, still brooding it seemed. Ilied approached him.

Rauve's eyes rose to greet him. The rest of his face was covered by his hand, concealing his expression. He lifted off his face briefly as he spoke. His words were soft. "Do you accept this task, Ilied?"

Ilied looked at Rauve's eyes. They were lit up again. Ilied knew he could decline, but to do so now would be a folly. He had agreed to Rauve's terms long before they set out to the Judgment Hall. Besides, what repercussions Ilied avoided in declining this task, he'd simply face later. Ilied felt Rauve controlled his entire livelihood being the owner of the bank. As a councilman of the city, there's no telling what trouble he might cause for Ilied. He did not have the funds to flee either. Even then, there was no telling what might follow Ilied if he did. Even still, where in the world could he go?

"I accept." There was a pause between them. Rauve seemed comfortable with the silence, and merely stared Ilied down as he waited for Ilied's concessions. "Though, I'm not sure of what use I will be."

Rauve's hand moved him his face and his head lifted. Arms reached out to Ilied's shoulders as the councilman leveled himself with Ilied. "No one's ever sure, Ilied, and those who are would be fools." Rauve shot a glance besides them, towards Antony, Ilied presumed. "If there's one thing I've learned so far of you, Ilied, it is your ability to stir sympathies from your comrades here. If Thetros will not listen to the reasons of the mind, then perhaps he will be persuaded by those of the heart. It's not a tactic I'd exactly bet on, were I to, but it is something you are certainly useful for. People pity the weak – Ilied, I simply mean those who seem weak. Be realistic: you're a boy, you work in a bank, and from the looks of you there are no signs of deceit or wrath that would cause alarm to anyone. Your naivety, even the seeming of it, is an asset to you."

"Why would you choose me for this task if that's all I am then?" Ilied felt his stomach coiling again. He was careful not to raise his voice – their conversation had been whispers all the while – not wanting to raise concern among his companions.

"I didn't, Ilied. You chose you. I asked you some questions; you answered, and agreed to do this thing that we ask of you now, all of you. It's not about you, and as you surely have noticed by now, it's not solely about Rigo either. I fear for Ne'haer… Rigo did not work alone. We mention thirteen bodies, but those are only those we know of that were taken by him. There are others, many others we do not speak of. Some may be his, some others. Regardless, this is not something we are prepared for. If nothing else, we need time, and information. Be our eyes and ears, Ilied, if nothing else. That will be useful enough. And watch your companions, the Eidisi and Tunawa; to say Rigo holds no love for non-humans is a far-cry from the truth. The animosity that butchered those innocent souls is beyond the wrath of a man, I'd hope to think. Perhaps you may find understanding of their reasons, their processes. This cult should be dealt with swiftly."

Ilied nodded in agreement. Those Rauve spoke quickly, Ilied did his best to listen all he could. To keep the others waiting would be another annoyance on his part. As the council said as well, time was short. Even now, there was no telling what transpired within the Halls of Lost Repentance.

***

Ilied followed along beside Inali on their way to the Halls. He was quiet, having few questions to ask, none of which were for his companions. The little creature, Tunawa that was, seemed to fill silence well enough on her own. He could answer any questions they had for him. Maybe knowing some things of him would reassure them of his earlier actions.

Ilied simply thought of how he was going in unarmed to greet a murderer. What love Rigo had for non-humans he surely shared with their sympathizers, and here was one, so it seemed.

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[Moderated] Sanctuary

Postby Incubus » Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:40 pm

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From outside of the hall, a group of individuals from the city's military had gathered. They slept in tents outside of the large building and operated on shifts surrounding the facility, covering the area beyond the Hall to prevent any potential escape from their grasp. As Ilied, Inali and Niv approached the Hall, one of the officials approached them and bowed their head slightly. He recognized them as the individuals the council forewarned about, gesturing that they follow him to his tent in front of the Hall.

From the tents to the building, they maintained a distance of about fifty meters, and the man made sure to keep that distance as he guided them through. He introduced himself as Kohanu Meissen, a human-biqaj mixed blood who was sent to the Hall as the original negotiator with the ideological cult. Given his position with the city's military, however, he told them of how he was deemed as unworthy - after all, he was a member of the city they wished to topple and replace with a new, more pure government.

"Here is the situation," he began to arrive at the point. His eyes looked to each of the individuals - only briefly at the Tunawa - before they fixed on Inali. "We have been informed by Thetros that if we get within a thirty meter range we will be bombarded. One of our men approached to appeal his decision and a bright white light rose up from the Hall and plummeted downward onto him. He was killed instantly. We have since then resorted to . . . a very crude method that I take personal responsibility for." The man sighed, gesturing for one of his troops to reveal to the group his 'method'. From behind a curtain on the far end of the large tent was revealed a young man, with curly brown hair and bright green eyes. He was shaking and very clearly terrified of his surroundings. He reeled back and shut his eyes as the soldier approached.

"This man has been marked by Thetros," he informed them. "Considering his absurd level of protectiveness over his followers, we believe if a group were to approach condensed around this individual he would not launch an attack. His previous assault on our negotiator was large and uncontrolled; it would have surely razed those surrounding him as well. Assuming this is his method of attacking those who approach the Hall, you could use his follower as a hostage to make it inside. Of course, this sort of tactic is very likely to invoke anger from the Immortal, which could bring about a very negative result. But it's quite clearly our only option. Thetros is too powerful to approach openly, and too resourceful to merely hide from." He paused. "There's an underground path into the Hall by way of the sewers but it's ridden with explosive, divine traps. Another of ours was completely set to dust by something we couldn't even rightly see."

Clearly, their options were limited. They could approach the Hall with the hostage and risk invoking the Immortal's wrath or they could go by way of the sewers, very likely being razed by the traps he set - ones that apparently weren't even visible. He stopped his speaking to allow them all to decide.
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[Moderated] Sanctuary

Postby Inali » Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:46 pm

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The walk to the military tents was mostly silent, with each of the trio lost in their own interpretations of what the councilors had said – and meant. Inali had taken a brief moment to introduce Nivi and Ilied, though she didn’t speak much beyond that. Her adventures with her two companions had been as different as night and day, and she doubted that they would find any common ground if she used herself as a center point.

A short while later, the trio arrived to a large group of tents and a brief welcome by Kohanu Meissen, a military man and negotiator on behalf of the city. His eyes were sharp, and he glanced over each of them in turn before addressing Inali. Kohanu began by detailing the minefield of traps and Immortal rage that encircled the area above and below the Hall of Repentance. Grimacing, Inali nodded as he spoke. He continued with his discussion and gestured at a small curtain in the back of the room. The fabric was pushed back by a nearby guard to reveal a shaking man that peered about the room like a cornered rabbit. His emerald eyes looked at the newcomers fearfully before his gaze flicked back to the negotiator. After another bit, Kohanu had presented the group with both of their options.

Silence hung between Kohanu and the group and Inali felt the familiar cold of Audrae’s gift sinking down the length of her spine. Fear. Yes, she should rightfully be afraid. These options were both damned footraces to a shallow grave on the outskirts of the Willow Woods. They had already promised the councilors that they would not give up, but still the Eidisi considered it. She could always go back to Viden. Nivi could go somewhere wild and free and Ilied… well, perhaps he would go to Viden with her. He could learn the Ancient Language during the journey. A lifetime of shame was better than a lifetime cut short by a foolish endeavor. The cold raced down her spine once more, insistent and demanding. The Eidisi paid it no heed and instead addressed Koharu, doing her best to turn the vestiges of fear into something resembling anger.

“The Council promised us… options. You give a damn slave. Ne’haer is a free city, and you dare insult an Immortal that protects his own by using his one of his flock against him?”

She glanced to Nivi and Ilied in turn before continuing to speak,

“I will speak to my companions now, away from this tent. We must decide a course of action.”

Inali waved to Nivi and Ilied, hoping that they would follow her to the side of the tent that was beyond earshot of Koharu and his regiment of soldiers. The Eidisi looked around the canvas side of the tent, ensuring that no soldiers were waiting just out of sight. It seemed empty enough. She breathed in and addressed them both with a single hand gesture in Euthic sign: her index and middle finger were pressed together, before slashing briefly across the front in her throat in a diagonal line. Her left hand remained steady at waist level, open palm facing the earth. Together, the ‘sound’ and ‘stop’ symbol roughly meant silence. There was no time to see if they had understood. The Eidisi flipped the shoulder strap of her pack off her shoulder and allowed the bulk of the bag to swing to her side. After a few trills, she had flipped open the leather straps that secured the bag and grabbed her spare journal and ink pen. She pointed at it and crouched to ground level, allowing Nivi to see the words that she penned in shaky Common.

‘Need to convince marked man we are his friend.’

She quickly scribbled out the next line, grinding her teeth in frustration.

‘We can tell him we want to return him to Thetros, ask for his help so that we can talk to the Immortal.’

‘Thoughts? Understand? You write.’

She emphasized the last thought for emphasis and then repeated the euthic sign once more.

She held the ink pen out to Nivi and then grinned. The Tunawa wouldn’t be able to use the pen. Inali held out the pen to Ilied, eager to hear his thoughts. While she did so, she searched her pack for her inkwell. She pushed it into the dirt and looked for a twig that Nivi could write with. After a few moments of searching, she found a gnarled and dirty twig that had been stomped into the dirt. She wiped most of the dirt off of it, knowing that her ink well would be ruined after this conversation. She presented the twig to Nivi and waited, pondering the nature of half-truths and manufactured outrage.
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