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Happy Reunion (Everyone)

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1 Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:12 pm

[Continued from Sailing Home.]

The ships sail into Redport under the cover of night, the thin light from the street lanterns unable to pierce the dark water and what lies nestled in her embrace. Several cloaked figures scurry down the gangplanks and disappear into the city streets, dispersing rather than travel in a pack. Only when they near the temple district do these figures rejoin again as a group, silently avoiding the Sehanine acolytes who tend the grounds of her temple in the wan moonlight.

In contrast to Sehanine, Yondalla's temple grounds are empty--not unusual for a mother goddess whose children ought to be in bed at this hour. The group is able to quickly pinpoint two men standing with a hooded lantern and an air of furtive expectation about them. Tree gives a little cry of happiness when the group draws close enough to identify the men by sight--Luther and Rik--and surges forward to throw her arms around Luther's neck, hugging him tightly.

[Check in and give me init. Free play for now, but don't leave the area.]
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2 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:13 pm

Thimb couldn't help but smile and let out a sigh of relief once Tree hugged one of her sort-of Dads. Koroguer had been all flirtatious smiles and wry grins on the ship, but she recognized that quiet fear once they were on land. It made him more attractive to her than his boisterous flirting ever could have. It made him seem real and vulnerable and-

He's a pirate. Your family would kill you Thimb she scolded herself. An honest, hard working sailor? No one would bat an eye. But a pirate... Heavens and hells, Granny would scold her ears off.

This was it though, right? Tree was back and safe and, more importantly, still free. If they would have her help, she was still worried about a certain new Father- and there was the whole matter of the plague to deal with, but she wasn't sure if that was something this merry band of misfits could do anything about. And if they could if they would have use for her... That was all big and uncertain and in this moment at least things were peaceful and they had a win. She was allowed to enjoy that, right? She smiled at her new friends, hoping she wasn't the only one thinking this way.

((Initiative 16))
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3 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Tue Dec 11, 2018 9:57 pm

Glen enters the courtyard, still carrying his bow but not holding it at the ready. He sees Luther and Rik and his face breaks into a broad grin, all the more so when Tree goes running over. Elen, for his part, positively bounds up to Luther and starts licking one of his hanging hands affectionately, rubbing against his leg and purring. Glen follows Tree up to them. "Well. We made it. Good to see you both." He can't help but beam, and smiles down at Thimb as well.

((22))
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4 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:29 pm

Sunrise's expression melts as she watches this, hanging back with a soft smile as Luther and Tree hug. She holds out her arm for Honey, snuggling the little creature when it flies to her. "We did it," she murmurs softly. "We brought her back to him."

(Init 22)
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5 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:15 am

"So this is what having a worthwhile job feels like," murmurs Sithani. "Drugs are less effort... but less rewarding," she adds, looking at Sunrise.

[OOC: Init: 13]
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6 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:41 pm

Jarek has a lot to think about, which is a very stressful condition for him to be in, even at the best of times.  Their supposed job is done, but it hadn't been the job anyone thought it was, and now they were hip-deep in magical nonsense that they couldn't very well just drop off in someone else's lap.  Plus they might need to see about hiding Tree again, from what he'd gathered, and the Rabhartachs were an accepting bunch when it came to family, but this was another beast entirely.  Unless it wasn't, if he was reading the aura around his sister and Korogur correctly.  An aura which he had extremely mixed feelings about.  They'd have to talk about that too, soon, but alone.  And speaking of other beasts entirely, what were they going to do with those gryphons now?  He hadn't even had the chance to meet them properly.

Not to mention he's been entirely extraneous to this whole jaunt.  He wants to just be happy and relieved to see Tree safe in the city again, but to be honest, Jarek would feel better if he had someone to throw down with.

((Initiative 11))
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7 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:44 pm

Ka'Ri shifts in her stance and tries to affix a happy smile to her face, but she was still a bit shook from what Tree had revealed earlier. She was happy that Tree had her freedom and at least a chance to speak to the part of her family she wanted contact with. She would wish nothing else for no one no matter the price, but she nonetheless felt there was a boot just waiting to drop and bring everything else into disarray.

Laerdya may be a lot of things, but she was no less a powerful wizard. Ka'Ri bit her lip worriedly. Her own parents had spent a fair amount of coin to make life difficult for her after her escape from them, she had no idea what a sleep-deprived wizard with an unhealthy overprotective streak might do to recapture the shell of what she saw instead of her daughter.

She kept one hand on her rapier and her wits keen, expecting something terrible at any moment.

(Init = 18)
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8 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Wed Dec 12, 2018 8:25 pm

Luther hugs Tree tightly before holding her back at arm length so he can study her with wide eyes. "Look at you! You look amazing! Your hair! And just... everything else!" Hugging her again, he smiles over her head at Sunrise. "You look... really happy," he observes in a softer voice, blinking back tears.

"I am! I really am happy," Tree answers, laughing easily. Her voice is fast and high in the dark courtyard in front of Yondalla's temple, relief making her giddy. "The sea is even better than I imagined and, oh, Korogur is so wonderful. You'll understand when you meet him. I left a note, I'm sorry it didn't reach you..."

She only pulls away when Rik gently takes her by the shoulders and turns her in a circle to check for wounds. "Do you require healing?" His voice is gruff, choked with thick emotion of his own. "Are you unwell? Has our mage-friend checked you for mind-control and similar spells?"

Tree shakes her head and laughs again. "No! Father Rik, I'm not under any spells! I'm fine." A blush creeps up her cheeks. "This is the life I've always wanted to live. I'm happy. I thought... you might be proud? I've gotten really good with a sword! Do you want to see?"

"Later, yes," he assures her in a warmer tone, placing a guiding hand on the small of her back. "Now we must go see your mother."

"My mother?" Tree's eyes widen as she twists to look up at him. Luther frowns, his expression clouding with confusion as he waits for Rik to explain whatever is on his mind.

Perception 5:
Whatever else is going on, Luther is surprised by Rik. They are not in prior accordance or agreement.

Perception 15:
The members of the group who are on alert notice men silently spreading out into the court of Yondalla from the main path behind the party. There are several of these men and they appear to be dressed in the livery of the Town Guard. While it is hard to see the details of their expressions in the weak moonlight, they don't look relaxed and at ease.

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9 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:53 pm

(Perception 16)

Honey, perhaps sensing a change in emotion, flies up to perch on the roof of a building.

"Absolutely!" Sunrise's gentle expression doesn't change; her voice is warm and reassuring, and pitched to carry. She steps forward, not quite getting between Tree and Rik, but standing close. "Laerdya deserves to know that her daughter is alive and well. In fact, now that we're all here at the temple, one of the things I was hoping we could sit down and discuss with you and the commissioner here," and there's just the slightest emphasis on the word commissioner, "is how we can make that happen. Maybe somewhere Tree feels safe?" She smiles, and lets the sound of it enter her voice. "And maybe you or one of the priests here can doublecheck for mind magic; I don't think it's likely but I know you were worried."

Then, involuntarily, her eyes flick to the guards and back to Rik. She lowers her voice. "Help us work out a way to do this so Tree feels safe? I know nobody would try to bring her anywhere that she doesn't feel safe, not against her will. Because you swore an oath to your goddess that you wouldn't let that happen, and because you know that it would have to happen - and I'm being very literal, Rik - over my dead body."
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10 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:21 pm

((Perception 23))

The hairs on the back of Glen's neck stand up as he feels Elen tense up beside him. The panther does not growl or make any threatening move, but his tail whips back and forth as his dark, sparkling eyes look at the newcomers. At this, Glen turns to see the guards spreading out behind them.

He quickly turns and takes several long steps towards them. He speaks quietly but confidently, taking out a City Guard badge from his pocket. "Glynlen Liadon, he of the Eighth Division and deputy of the City Guard. I am here on special assignment from Captain Callahan himself, aiding Feytower Commissioner Rivvers with critical business. This matter is well in hand and I need you to leave, immediately, as you are jeopardizing the mission and the city with your presence. If you have a problem, take it up with my superiors, Captain Callahan and Eighth Division Vice Captain Dolores Imokina.” His tone is quite final and makes it clear he is not entertaining an argument.
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11 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:42 pm

"And there it is," Ka'Ri whispers under her breath, before stepping close to Tree, making sure her hood is up and she blocks as much line of sight of the guards to Tree as possible.

Over her shoulder, in a low voice, designed only for Tree to hear* she whispers, "We've got a circle of guards descending on us, blocking off the main exit. I can help provide cover for your escape if we need one. No one is going back into gilded cages tonight."

*(OOC: I assume given the relative closeness of our characters that whatever I try and whisper to Tree, Sunrise can relatively easily pick up as well.)
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12 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:22 am

Why was everyone suddenly so...? Oh. Oh. Dang it... someone.

Thimb shuffled back a step, Korogur's hand still on her shoulder, closer to Sithani. She then whispered, her voice barely soft enough for the two of them to hear, "If things go badly, I'm going to switch the invisibility to Tree, okay? Can you tell her and our other friend how to get to the ranch? Should be safe at least for now while we regroup. I'll let you know when I'm about to do it so you have a chance to slip out, okay?" She didn't want the guards (or Rik) seeing her talking to Tree right now, and she didn't want them to know she would be the source of the potential invisibility. She also really didn't want them to see the wanted man behind her, but Thimb was starting to think today was not going to be a day where she got things she wanted.

Hamish crept closer to Tree, understanding that they would be the touch component of this spell so Thimb could retain the image of "not being the one who did it".

"Right, Rik, you weren't there for those conversations," said Thimb trying to diffuse things with him (really not wanting to hurt the man, also really not sure she could). "Tree doesn't want to go back to the Fey Tower, but has agreed to meet Laedrya at the temple, since it's a neutral place." Maybe he just didn't know and now that it had been explained everything would be fine?
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13 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:47 am

[Perception: 19]

"Damn it damn it damn it fucking stick-up-their-ass-paladins," mutters Sithani as she looks behind her. She gives Korogur and Tree directions to the ranch as instructed, adding <I don't know how long Thimb's invisibility will last away from her, so run if you have to, and pet the chimeras for me once you get there, if you have to flee.>

Sithani draws her rod from her belt, shaping her mind in readiness to cast a Minor Illusion of Korogur crouched ready to spring if and when Thimb removes his invisibility. Hopefully some of the guards will go for the wrong guy.
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14 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:15 pm

As if the day hasn't been complicated enough already, Jarek has no idea what to make of the sudden tension with Rik or the appearance of a squad of guards, but he knows he'll be more help up front than doing anything tricky.  He follows in Glen's trail with a pointedly relaxed swagger, obviously limbering himself up for action if that should for some reason become necessary.  He looms behind the elf, stretching arms like oak branches and shoulders like sea bluffs, the hint of a smile on his ill-lit face.  It's the attitude that he learned from his cousins, good for throwing people off their game when they're sizing up a range of opponents.

((Intimidation 19, hoping to keep the guards' attention away from any skullduggery occurring in the background))
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15 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:04 pm

Luther's face has clouded over with fury at the approach of the soldiers, but he composes himself to let Sunrise talk. Rik hesitates at her cheerful agreement, as well as the quiet addition. "Of course I want Gwyn to feel safe," he points out, frowning lightly. "That is why I requested an escort from the town guard. I've already been assassinated once this year on these city streets; I will not allow harm to come to my family again. We will go see Laerdya in a safe manner and then clear Gwyn's name with the guard. Did you know they have a warrant out for her arrest?"

Tree shakes herself free from his touch and rounds on him in frustration, one hand on the hilt of her sword. "Father Rik! Thank you, but I... I don't want to see my mother! No one ever listens!"

A man who appears to be the leader of the guards looks over Glen's badge carefully, studying it with unreadable eyes in the faint lighting of the temple courtyard. "See, the problem is: Captain Callahan sent us," the man says, gesturing to the troops behind him. "We're to escort the lady to safety. So we have the situation in hand and I reckon you can leave. Or come with us, whatever."
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16 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:48 pm

"Going to Laerdya is the problem, Rik," Sunrise repeats, her tone gentle and firm. "You heard Tree; she doesn't want to. That's part of the reason we're meeting at a temple." She takes a deep breath. "Now, again, if you can take the time to sit down and talk with her, maybe we can find a compromise. Like Laerdya coming to her, perhaps, instead of the other way around. Something." She hesitates. "But that - that's gonna require talking and listening, Rik, not just telling her what to do. She's had enough of that."

She hesitates again, keeping her voice warm and soft. "And we don't need guards for talking."
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17 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:54 pm

Glen nods to the speaking guard, understanding. "You have my thanks for your concern. The situation is well in hand, and circumstances have changed. We will be visiting the temple to pray and commune with Yondalla. I will handle it from here, and your assistance is no longer required." He looks over his shoulder and calls towards Rik. "Right, Rik? Commissioner?" He says a silent prayer to Pelor that Rik will trust and listen to him.
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18 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:51 pm

Ka'Ri listened to Sunrise and Rik's conversation with a stern expression. She had worried for Tree's autonomy in Rik's hands and she was unpleasantly disappointed to find her worst fears realized. Nonetheless, she couldn't muster any statement. What was done was done and all that mattered was getting everyone home safely and mitigating whatever fallout lay ahead including the safety of her crew.

Besides, her attention was drawn by Hamish's flight over to Tree. Thimb had said something about this, that her familiar could channel a spell. A spell like... Invisibility! It was just as brilliant as she would expect from that wonderful mind of hers. She was going to shift the spell from Korogur to Tree.

If so, both Tree and Thimb would need a distraction. A big one.

A series of loud screams to shift the guard's attentions, just for a second, but a second would be enough to buy a little space and time. She dug deep into her mind, biting her lip to keep the intense concentration from showing on her face and prepared to unleash the spell when Thimb needed her to and not a second before.

(Ka'Ri prepares a Minor Illusion cantrip series of screams behind the guards to be cast at the same time as Thimb switches the invisibility)
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19 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:40 pm

Thimb pretended to scratch her shoulder, but really gave Korogur's hand a pat, and without looking behind at him whispered, feigning a yawn as an excuse to cover her mouth,"It might not be a bad idea to slip off now while you're still invisible, given that you're a wanted man and all. Hate to see you end up in a jail cell because I can't use one of those sorcerer tricks."
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20 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:37 pm

Okay, so no one is drawing steel or throwing punches yet.  That's... good.  Jarek takes a deep breath and tacks around to a new course while Glen and this guard are aggressively Official at each other.  Whatever is about to happen, the longer it takes to happen, the more time the others will have to sort out what they're doing.  He glances back to check on his sister--she hasn't gone anywhere.  Hopefully she's scheming something.  She's so stabbable out there in the open.  Jarek thinks to himself: you don't know military business, but this is... basically a delivery, right?  You know how deliveries go.

"Sorry, not to interrupt, but it's my first day and I am sure that if you've got new orders for Glen from the captain then they're written down for him, right?  You have to sign for a handoff.  I'm sure about that.  I mean, bunch of folks hanging around in the dark in a place like this, it would be irresponsible of us to just take your word for it.  I feel like that would be disgracing the badge.  Wouldn't that be disgracing the badge, Glen?  What's the protocol for a handoff?"

((Jarek bounces on the balls of his feet, taking the Dodge action if things turn messy))
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21 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:07 am

"Pretty and smart," Sithani murmurs admiringly. To the guards, she calls out, "He's right, you know. If there's no paper trail you're just doing favours for your powerful friends - believe me, I know all about that," she adds with a grimace. "The lady's safe here, so really this is the easiest assignment you've had."
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22 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Fri Dec 14, 2018 8:20 am

Glen nods. "It would, Jarek. And yes, my understanding is that the transfer of a protectee would be accompanied by a paper trail - although, as I said, circumstances have changed. We will be staying here, irrespective of your orders. I'll gladly sign off to that effect on your documentation, and take responsibility from here." He projects a bit more, hoping to be overheard by the group behind him. "As I said, I do not believe Father Templeborn and Commissioner Rivvers require your presence any longer." Glen again waits, praying to Pelor for Luther and Rik to assent to his words.
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23 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Fri Dec 14, 2018 4:17 pm

Thimb feels a soft squeeze on her shoulder, then the warm nearness of a body is gone and she's left alone with no clue where Korogur might be.

"Yes," Luther agrees with Glen, his voice full of authority. "This situation is under control, thank you."

Rik hesitates under the multiple appeals, not wanting to upset Tree further than she already is. "Well, if you would feel safer going inside first..." he relents, frowning softly. "I really thought it would be better to clear everything up quickly, though."

The guard at the head of the batch scowls at Jarek and Sithani before sighing and letting his features rearrange into a harder gaze. "Gharak, do you remember the fresh batch of wanted posters we were sent out to put up this afternoon? Anyone here look familiar?"

An orcish man beside him lets his eyes widen. "Say, yes! By the Blessed Eighteen, I couldn't tell in the dim light. You're all under arrest for intent to kidnap Commissioner Rivvers. Surrender quietly and we'll go easy on you. Take you back to the station and sort all this out."

The unit, as one body, draws their weapons and begins to advance. Tree utters a curse and yanks her sword out and at the ready, annoyance written on her face.
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24 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Fri Dec 14, 2018 6:44 pm

A string of muttered curses - in Infernal, a truly excellent language for cursing - issues from Sunrise. Turning to face the guards, she draws a thin rapier, and in her cheap sailing clothes and leather armor it looks less ridiculous in her hand than it might otherwise.

For a moment she just takes in their surroundings - the quiet night around them, the guards, the temples. The temples all around. The temples filled with clergy, many of whom know them, some of whom owe them favors. She takes all this in, draws a deep breath...

...and screams.

The scream shatters the night air, ear-splitting and heart-rending and carried on the lung capacity of a trained singer. As it reverberates, her eyes narrow; as if in response to the noise, the air around the guards seems to fracture and sharpen.

(OOC: in addition to hopefully alerting possible allies, Sunrise is casting Cloud of Daggers - it creates a cube, 5 foot on a side, filled with swirling knives. Anyone entering the area or starting their turn in it takes 4d4 damage. She is centering it on the main guard and setting it on a diagonal, hoping to also catch the guards on either side of him.)
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25 Re: Happy Reunion (Everyone) on Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:29 pm

Glen jumps back at Sunrise's scream, a grim look on his face.

Getting his bearings, he moves to put himself between the attackers and Thimb, Sithani, and Sunrise. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, then his eyes open, keen and piercing. He speaks a word of elvish and marks the main guard to whom he had been speaking, and a red outline surrounds the guard in Glen's eyes. He laments having to take life, but this mission is too important. Pelor, guide my arrows.

Elen, meanwhile, growls angrily, his back fur standing on end. He growls menacingly, readying to run up and distract whomever Jarek decides to attack.

((Glen casts Hunter's Mark on the talky guard and will do 1d6 extra damage on attacks to him. Elen is readying a Help action to give Jarek advantage on his next attack for when Jarek goes to attack.))
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