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Scum and Villainy, Episode VII: The Assassin Awakens

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. Y'ttar Scaletail
    Razordon

    Y'ttar Scaletail Well-Known Member

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    Rosst heartily thanked Ravensden and led his men into their room, kicking off his boots with a sigh.

    "GILLIN!" he said to one of his knights, "DO YOU THINK THIS MEETING WILL BE FRUITFUL?"

    The knight nodded slowly.

    Rosst chuckled a little too loudly. "WELL THEN, PRAYERS MEN AND WE SHALL SEE WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS."

    And with that the knights of Dairann knelt to their prayers and retired to bed.
     
  2. DeathBringer125
    Troglodon

    DeathBringer125 Well-Known Member

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    Defleur would thank Lord Aldradoc for the meal and head to his room. “Exavier?” “Yes my Lord?” “We need to be wary something doesn’t feel right about one of the diplomats.” “Sir maybe you are just overthinking this, you have been quite stressed lately.” “Maybe I have but nonetheless we must be wary.” Defleur leans his cane against his bed. The obsidian raven stares menacingly towards the door. Defleur tests the mechanism. With one small twist a gleaming dagger that uses the raven as a handle springs out. “Good” Defleur replies before he gets in bed to fall asleep.
     
  3. Xasto
    Terradon

    Xasto Well-Known Member

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    Tisk followed Lord Ravensden through the corridors of the castle, being accompanied by Cordelia at his side and the rest of the dignitaries behind them. He continued to converse with the young lady, as Barbissar Tisk thought of himself as a gentlemen, but the truth was that his mind was somewhere else. He kept thinking about the demons to the south, the wonders of Sovnscrine, and Cordelia's sweet but gentle perfume. Troublesome, indeed.

    Not too long after they started walking down the corridors, Lady Hannath, Ravensden's wife, showed Cordelia her room, seperating themselves from the rest of the men, which Ravensden himself would escort to their chambers.

    ''Good'', thought to himself Tisk. As much as he was fascinated by the young sovnscrinian lady, she was becoming a distraction. He had come here with purpose, which he was reminded of when Cordelia asked him about it.

    He was showed his room, thanked his host for his hospitality, and promptly closed the massive oak doors. The quarters were nice. Nothing too fancy, but comfortable enough for people of such stature. Tisk did not mind at all. He had endured war many times, and now each time he could sleep on anything but the floor he was content. He quickly fell asleep, as the bed was much more comfortable than it previously looked, and his last thoughts were of the dinner and wild orcas.
     
  4. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
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    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Well-Known Member

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    Lady Hanath listened intently to what Cordelia had to say. Her blue eyes widened slightly when the Sovnscrinian claimed that the raiders hailed from Calderon, but she remained silent, taking all the information in.

    Finally the northerner finished her speech in a more reassuring tone, “However, one thing I do appreciate is your efforts to befriend me. Servants or not, a friend is never unwelcome. Thank you for making the effort, and I hope we can help each other through these interesting times”.

    Hanath smiled and arose to leave, her long green dress trailing behind her. She opened the door of the visitor's chamber and turned round once more to say, "I hope so too. I will leave you now to get accustomed to your room, and please inform me via the servants if you need anything," before closing the door behind her and making her way back to her own chambers.

    On her way, she mulled over what Cordelia had said in her mind. Were the pillagers really Calderon traitors? And should she tell Aldradoc of this claim? On the one hand, she feared that retaining this secret would paint a picture of her as a secretive and untrusting wife, but on the other, she feared how Aldradoc would react to it a lot more. The kingdom of Calderon hadn't seen a civil war since Aldradoc's grandfather, Vaiorix, united the tribes of the region and drove out a malicious cult that had abused the common Calderon religion to keep the tribes warring amongst themselves. Aldradoc would never accept that his own people were acting against him, and would see it all as a Sovnscrinian lie to hide their own brutality, making the problem of repairing relations between the two kingdoms worse rather than better. In any case, he was planning to arrange for Cordelia to hand over the captured raiders - once those barbarians are handed over, then their identity will finally be revealed, she thought to herself, so she decided to keep the northerner's claims to herself for the time being.

    Outside the great windows of Ravenscroft, she could see that night was falling over the kingdom, and, feeling tired when she reached their bedroom, she decided to go to bed early and await her husband's return (she had had a warm bath before the visitors had arrived). She slipped into her long, cosy nightdress and snuggled down beneath the covers. She tried to stay awake long enough to talk to Aldradoc when he returned, but drifted off into a deep sleep long before.



    Meanwhile, Aldradoc had allocated each of the visitors to their room and was now on his way round the castle, giving it one last check over before he retired to bed. Now that all the guests and their attendants were safely accommodated in their rooms, the hallways were much quieter than before, very much as they had been before their arrival, with only the odd Calderon servant hurrying about their duties. He liked wandering around the castle late in the evening by himself when it was quiet, it gave him a feeling of satisfaction that his home could be so peaceful at times. He went down the great central staircase and into the Great Hall, where some of the kitchen staff were just finishing clearing up after the visitors. The servants stopped in their work and kneeled to their Lord.

    "Please, don't let me stop you clearing up, " he reassured them, "I was just checking that this mess was being sorted out."

    He closed the double doors again and ascended the staircase once more, turning to the right on his way to the family chambers, but before returning to bed, he went to check on his son. He knocked firmly upon the door of his room and his Life-Ward, Venatios, answered it. Seeing who it was, the formidable warrior went back into the room, saying "Young master, your father is here to see you, " in his booming voice.

    Upon entering, Aldradoc was immediately ambushed by his little boy, Barrivendos, who ran to give his father the biggest hug he could muster. Aldradoc reciprocated the gesture, before releasing him again and asking his son what he and Venatios had done today since Hanath had restricted him to his room.

    "We've been fighting one of Great-Grandfather's battles!" the young boy replied, and, pulling on his father's cloak, pointed to where he and his Life-Ward had set up his carved wooden soldiers on the floor to re-enact one of the battles the late Vaiorix had fought in.

    "Oh yes, the Battle of Aldravia Forest - your Grandad and I often used to play that one," Aldradoc replied, bending down and eyeing the setup with great interest, "Where's Great-Grandad?"

    "Here he is," Barrivendos got onto his knees carefully to avoid knocking his wooden figures over and pointed to a finely-carved Calderon commander riding a horse, surrounded by other cavalrymen, "He's about to attack that nasty Cultist leader that's leading Venatios' army."

    Aldradoc turned round to where Venatios was standing with his arms folded - the Life-Ward rolled his eyes jokingly and smiled. Barrivendos always wanted to play as the Calderon army in whatever battle they were playing, and Venatios had got used to being the enemy that got trounced.

    "Well, you'll have to leave Great-Grandfather and the Cultists until tomorrow now - have you seen how dark it's got? It's time for little warriors to go to sleep, or else they'll be too tired to fight the Cultists the next morning."

    Barrivendos sighed and reluctantly clambered into his little bed at the end of his room, and Aldradoc kissed his son goodnight.

    On leaving, he whispered to Venatios, "You know what to do," and Barrivendos' Life-Ward gave a reassuring nod before the Lord closed his son's bedroom door behind him - Barrivendos, like his father before him at the same age, often used to get out of bed again to continue playing once his father had left the room, so as well as guarding his young master's room, Venatios' tasks to perform at night also involved regularly opening his bedroom door to check he was in bed and asleep and tucking him in again if he wasn't. As he had been since he was first hired to protect his young charge, Venatios was in for a long night.

    Aldradoc sighed as a wave of pleasure washed over him on his way to bed. One of the things that he loved most about spending time with his son was that he got to relive his own childhood all over again - indeed many of Barrivendos' toys had been kept for him from when Aldradoc had been a little boy himself, and a few of them even dated back to Aldradoc's own father, Carados - like many other products of Calderon, toys were made to last.

    Finally, the Lord of Calderon reached his own bedroom, and when he got there, he saw Hanath sleeping peacefully in her side of the bed. Making sure to be as quiet as possible, Aldradoc changed into his own nightwear and slipped into bed next to his wife. As soon as he lay down beside her, she instinctively snuggled up a little closer to him - even when asleep, Hanath seemed to have the uncanny ability to detect the increase in pressure on the mattress when Aldradoc settled himself down. Smiling, Aldradoc thought about the day's events - he had been so worried this morning about what all the visitors would be like, but they didn't seem to be too bad a lot. Hoping that tomorrow will be a lot easier, Aldradoc gradually fell asleep alongside his lady.

    Indeed the whole castle of Ravenscroft seemed to finally begin to settle down to sleep, as weary servants finished off their tasks and trudged up to their quarters as well, until all was silent except for the soft hooting of owls and the occasional bark of a fox outside.
     
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  5. ravagekitteh
    Carnasaur

    ravagekitteh Well-Known Member

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    With Lady Hanath having heard what Cordelia had had to say, she got up to leave, pausing to tell her to ask the servants if there was anything they needed. As the Lady closed the door behind her, Cordelia wondered if telling her about the true identity of the raiders had been a good idea. Much like Sovnscrine, Calderon had been without outright internal conflict for almost a century, and Lady Hanath had barely hidden her surprise when hearing about the perpetrators. The sad truth was that no matter how far in the past kingdoms placed their old ways, there would always be some who wished for them to return to the darkness, or who wished to make a dishonest living at the expense of that which their fellows had worked hard to build. Sovnscrine suffered from it as much as anyone else, and although they mostly managed to keep troublemakers quelled and within their own borders, the reality was still upsetting. However, for Lord and Lady Ravensden, who clearly took such pride in their own kingdom's peace, that truth would be difficult to come to terms with. From what Cordelia had heard, it was Lord Ravensden's own grandfather who had put an end to their last civil war. She could only imagine the distress the news would give him. Still, the perpetrators had been caught, and as per their custom, Sovnscrine would return them to Calderon for them to do as they saw fit. She was confident that whatever woes the Lord had with his own malcontents could be settled in a fashion that would leave him content.

    As the sun made it's final descent beneath the expanse of the horizon, Cordelia took the opportunity to record the day's event in a series of letters to be sent at first dawn the following day. As she finished the last one, the darkness won its battle with the light and where the soft orange of the sun's final throes had wandered, an inky blackness now flooded the land. Night was upon them, and with it silence, for the denizens of the realm of midnight had yet to rise. It washed throughout the castle as one by one its inhabitants surrendered to the impulse of sleep, until only the final few servants remained, alone amongst the creatures of the darkness. Then, with solemn grace, the moon rose above the edge of the horizon. Casting its eye down to the midnight realm below, causing ripples to shimmer on a nearby lake, it surveyed its domain with knowing confidence. With night having fully descended, Cordelia climbed into bed and fell asleep, her mind filled with the crackle of ice, the cries of Orcas and the echoes of the open sea.
     
  6. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
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    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Well-Known Member

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    The next morning, as the sun began to emerge from , Lord and Lady Ravensden awoke to a terrific racket coming from what seemed to be right outside their locked bedroom door - snarls, cries of anguish and pain, the clattering of steel and the most abusive curses. Lady Hanath pulled the covers of their bed further up herself in fear.

    “What in the Gods’ names is that?” She cried, terrified at the cacophony going on.

    “I will jolly well go and see right now,” Aldradoc replied furiously, as he got out of bed, dressed, unlocked the bedroom door and barged it open to witness the most chaotic scuffle between his Life-Ward with several other Calderon guards and Rosst’s Dairannese Knights, who appeared to be repeatedly trying to push past them in attempts to get to his room.

    “What in the name of sanity is going on here?” He roared at the top of his voice so that all the combatants immediately stopped their quarrelling and turned to him, “In Dairann it may well be the custom to have a brawl instead of eating breakfast, but it is certainly not in Calderon! I take it your master, Victor Rosst, did not authorise this gathering himself, otherwise he’d most likely be with you and having his fair share of the fight. Based on this assumption I would like to speak with him, and inform him that such behaviour will not be tolerated in the farthest outpost villages of my land, let alone my home and fortress!”

    One of the knights, the man Rosst had called Gillin, got to his feet, having previously been shoved to the floor by Elduroc in an attempt to disarm him.

    “That is why we are here to see you,” he retorted sternly, “Victor Rosst is dead, having spent only a single night in your charge. Your kingdom boasts its pride in administering justice, so you’d better get to work in finding out who was responsible for this murder, or else more knights of Dairann will come, and see that your ‘green and pleasant land’ will be bathed in ashes, fire and blood!”

    With that, he and the other Dairannese knights dusted themselves down and immediately marched off back to their quarters, without another word.

    Turning to his men, Aldradoc ordered them to go and find Dumnos, the court physician and get him to examine the corpse. Less than half an hour later, Rosst's body had been brought to Dumnos' examination table and the old Druid was peering through a dusty magnifying glass at a wound in the knight's neck.

    "It's conclusive, " he said at last, turning to Lord Ravensden and pointing at the wound, "This is the only way in which this man could have been killed. Stabbed in the neck with a long, thin blade. Whoever it was knew exactly who they wanted to kill, and how to dispose of him without any fuss. This man may have been built like a bull, but even mighty warriors like him are still vulnerable to precise attacks like this."

    Lord Ravensden turned away for a moment and contemplated. Why would someone try to disrupt these negotiations for peace, of all things? If the killer could murder a burly thug like Rosst without him or his equally formidable companions knowing, what chance did any of the other guests have against them? And for that matter, how would he protect his beloved family, servants and guards from this monster?

    And things had just been starting to run more smoothly.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
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  7. ravagekitteh
    Carnasaur

    ravagekitteh Well-Known Member

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    The sun had not yet risen when Cordelia awoke, but nonetheless she dressed and got up to send off the letters she had written the previous night. Passing the few kitchen staff and servants already awake and working at the early hour, she deposited the letters in the message office. With them now awaiting the kingdom’s messengers to take them to their intended location, she headed back to the kitchen, already a bustling noisy workplace even before the majority of the castle’s inhabitants had awoken. The head chef was more than happy to receive her, going on about something to do with “not having enough meat on her bones” and demanding she take far more than what her simple Sovnscrinian diet was used to. Eventually, she negotiated him down to a few bread rolls and a couple of pieces of fruit, and with breakfast sorted she made her way out the castle gates.

    It was still dark when she reached the edge of the lake, although the deep orange of sunrise was now beginning to skirt the tops of the mountains that lay beyond the dark waters. There she sat, tucking into her simple meal whilst watching the sun rise above the towering peaks. She remained there, absorbed in her own thoughts and the views the incredible scene provided, until the sun was high above the vast mountains. Then, she began to make her way back to the castle.

    As she drew closer, it became apparent that some commotion was taking place within. Harried looking servants darted amongst the corridors, while various knights speaking with what she recognised as a Dairannese accent were looking stressed, upset and above all, very angry. As she walked through the corridors, one of them accidentally bumped into her, and the furious looking man grabbed her arm in anger, seemingly looking to strike her. The unsuspecting Knight soon found his arm wrenched behind his back, his legs having disappeared beneath him and his face a mere hair’s breadth from the stone floors. When she let him go, he seemed to look at her in a decidedly less superior way, and his previous angry manner was now replaced with an air of slight embarrassment. Cordelia was glad. In her simple furs she had clearly looked like an ordinary serving girl, and the knight had reacted how the norm seemed to be in these places. All of Sovnscrine held distaste for the concept of nobility and servants, but she in particular was disgusted by the way some people seemed to view them.

    It became clear that the heart of the commotion was in the sleeping areas, and indeed many maids and servants seemed to be sobbing around what she could only assume was where the men had been based. When she asked one particular women what had happened, she soon knew why.

    “It’s that delegate, Rosst! He’s been murdered!”

    Upon hearing the news, her eyes widened in shock. She had been deeply impressed by the security at Calderon - that someone could be murdered was deeply disturbing. Furthermore, the fact it was one of the delegates - and Victor Rosst at that, possibly the strongest and most martially oriented of them all - had worrying implications for the negotiations. Turning around, she began to make her way back to the dining hall where the other delegates would likely be - it was clear this matter needed to be discussed immediately.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
  8. DeathBringer125
    Troglodon

    DeathBringer125 Well-Known Member

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    Defleur woke up. He started to get dressed when he heard the faint sound of shouts in the lower levels of the castle. He knew what must have happened. He yelled to Exavier to hurry and get ready. Defleur grabbed his hat and his cane, the obsidian raven glinting in the sunlight. He walked into the sleeping areas and saw the gathered crowd of people. He saw lord Aldradoc trying to calm people down as an old man, who he assumed the court physician, stood over the body of Victor Rosst. “I feared this would happen, this peace mission was doomed from the start. Nonetheless it must go on in the hopes that we can stop this assassin and save the negotiations. If you want I could send for a group of Dalriadan agents to try and sort this matter out.”.
     

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