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Laying Low [Everyone]

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1 Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:01 am

Sunrise leads them through the Sun District streets in silence. Guards patrol this area less heavily than the outer districts, but are more ruthless when they find trouble; she avoids them with a slumkid's instincts.

It's not long before she leads them to a house many of them have visited before, large and fine though not ostentatious by Sun District standards. Quietly she shuffles everyone inside, only then turning to see a very startled woman watching them.

Sunrise clears her throat. "Everyone," she starts, "this is my mentor, Veshti Selmer. Veshti, of course you know Commissioner Rivvers?" She nods at the man around whose waist her arm is wrapped, taking refuge in etiquette in the face of such an absurd situation. "And you may remember my friends: Sithani Molana, Glynlen Liadon, Jarek and Thimblewhick Riptide, and Ka'Ri af Osprem. And may I introduce Thresen of the City Guard," here she nods at the unconscious body being carried by Jarek, "who tried to attack and abduct us tonight, as well as Gwynnestri Siannodel..." She trails off as she notices the last member of their group, nonchalantly bringing up the rear as if he'd never been missing. "And, um." She clears her throat. "The infamous pirate Korogur."

She turns back to Veshti, her expression carefully blank. "I'll just show everyone to my rooms for now, shall I? And it might not be a bad idea to lock up for the night."
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2 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:06 am

Veshti shoots a sharp look at this last member, who gives her a cheeky grin before Tree yelps and runs over to hug him and smack his shoulder when he laughs.

"You know I don't allow male houseguests overnight," Veshti points out with a sigh. "Well. I suppose an exception must be made. There are enough of you that we can call it a late dinner party. Harice, please lock up as suggested? Thank you."
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3 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:25 am

"If it helps," Sunrise offers with a sigh, "if we do end up staying overnight, I think everyone's too shaken up for any untoward behavior." Bloodstains still stand out starkly on her rough shirt, mute testimony to the truth of her words. "Thank you, Veshti." I'll explain everything later, her eyes promise.

She leads everyone, not to the meeting room they'd used before, but to a suite of rooms decorated in slightly-frilly peach. With a sigh she collapses onto an overstuffed couch, careful not to get blood on it, and motions to the others to do the same. "Well," she says. "That was a fiasco. Is everyone okay? Anyone still need healing?"
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4 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:34 am

Glen nods respectfully to Veshti and follows, remaining standing by the door. "I'm okay, but I should have some healing left if anyone needs it. Sunrise, are you okay? You took some nasty hits."
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5 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:48 am

"I took care of it while we were moving," Sunrise lies with a weary nod. "Sithani?"
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6 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:01 pm

They would have killed Luther. Hells, they would have tried to kill all of them, and if they had managed no one was going to spend the gold to bring them back a second time. Thimb hadn't made a sound since then as they shuffled, which was a mistake because she could have wiggled her fingers and they would all be clean. She realized this as she saw Sunrise try to avoid getting blood on anything.

"Oh, I can, um, let me help-" she walked over to those in their company who were soiled and prestidigitation took off the grit, blood, and sweat. Usually she used this when she left the barn, but at least she could be useful since she certainly wasn't in the fight.

Hamish was still rubbing their face on Jarek like an over eager kitten.
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7 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:08 pm

Glen recognizes the lie and gives Sunrise a quizzical look for just a moment, then lets it go. He stays where he is by the door.
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8 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:12 pm

Sithani shakes her head. "You fixed most of it. Just don't ask me to do any particularly involved dances for a while." She flops down next to Sunrise, careful not to jolt her. "Thanks for that, by the way."
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9 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:25 pm

"I should be thanking you," she replies with a soft laugh, wrapping an arm over Sithani's shoulders. "I heard you defend me back there."

Then, taking a deep breath, she looks first at their captive and then at Tree. "So. I've got my suspicions about why that went down. Do we want to talk about it first, or wake this guy up and see what he has to say?"
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10 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:31 pm

"Talk first," Sithani says. "Let us know what each of us thinks in case it informs how we do this interrogation. Like, my first impression is the Redfangs have people in the guard. My next guess would be they're Laerdya's people trying to get Tree back under lock and key, but I feel like she'd want to be on the scene for that."
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11 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:42 pm

Sunrise nods. "Agreed. Not to mention that Laerdya had no way of knowing what we were up to, whereas the Redfangs - if they have people in the guard and if Rik alerted the guard - did. If they thought they were about to lose their leverage over Laerdya, yeah. They might have done exactly that."

She sighs and looks at Tree again. "And if that's the case, you are not gonna like what I'm about to suggest."
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12 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:46 pm

Glen nods in agreement with Sunrise, then hesitates. "You want to go to Laerdya?" He considers for a moment, simultaneously bracing himself for Tree to throw a tantrum and for Korogur to threaten to slit all their throats again. It's been a long day.
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13 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:04 pm

Sunrise makes a face. "I don't," she admits. "For all the same reasons we didn't want to before. But yes, meeting Laerdya face-to-face is the next step. Once she's convinced Tree is alive and well and happy, they lose their hold over her. It's just a question of whether we can get her safely out of the tower and to a meeting place."
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14 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 5:08 pm

"Have her teleport," Sithani offers. "If she can't, she must know someone who can."
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15 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:41 pm

Thimb raised her hand, "I don't know how to teleport, to just, uh, throw that out there as our resident that-kind of caster. Um, I mean, if people are looking for Tree, do we think they might also be looking for Laedrya? Because if not, well, rather than go to her in the tower where there are a lot of potential dangers, social and literal, why not have Laedrya come to Tree?" she glanced at Luther, having no idea of the larger scene what with him being her ex husband and that being the source of his affection for Tree, "If you told her she'd probably be on board with it, right? Since you're the commissioner? I... don't think I can offer the ranch for that though... And, um," she looked at Tree "If you're alright with it?"

They did try to kill us. She didn't say that bit but she thought it real hard. This was still new to her.
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16 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:06 pm

"I thought that's what we were suggesting. Tell Laerdya to be at some place and time and have her vast wizardly resources pop her there. And then -" Something has clearly occurred to Sithani, and she whips her head round to focus on Luther. "What the fuck is the plan for dealing with that aboleth, by the way? If it's only there as a potential source for cure ingredients, what are you going to do with it if the plague gets cured? Do we know what aboleths did in the days of their empire when they wanted rid of undesirables - oh. Oh." Suddenly she's standing, her eyes bright with ideas. "Tree. You're very much an inferior reproduction of an aboleth. Which means an aboleth is an inferior reproduction of you. Is there any way the spell that's causing all this upset could be remade such that it only targets that aboleth? If an aboleth becomes a plague zombie would that stop it resurrecting? It would certainly rid it of its irritating desire to conquer the world and disastrously misread my kinks."
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17 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:49 pm

Tree looks about to launch into an impassioned statement, but Sithani's questions bring her up short and flummoxed. "Um? I don't... we haven't witnessed the plague jumping species lines to that extent?" she fumbles. "Humanoid races, at least in Brilight, share a common ancestor with me. Aboleths are immortal and there's no overlap of ancestry, to my knowledge. Is there any reason I can't just send a letter to my mother through Rik? He won't lie to her, and he's seen me safe! Problem solved."

Korogur watches all this with dark eyes from where he leans against a wall. "Not to interrupt or anything, but I'm wondering why you think the Redfang family is of one mind on this--and why they'd attack us at a temple rather than send me a summons when my ship hit port."
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18 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:58 pm

Glen shakes his head. "Having met and talked to her, it's pretty clear that nothing short of verifying your safety with her own eyes is going to do it."

Glen looks at Korogur. "Are you saying you don't think these guards were sent by Redfangs, Captain?" He raises his hands. "Genuinely asking for clarity, not putting words in your mouth."
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19 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:44 pm

"I can well believe they may have been sent by a Redfang," Korogur says with an easy shrug, not bothered by Glen's raised hands. "Just having a lot of doubts it was ordered by Treygis. He's smart, not sloppy, and that ambush was foolish as swimming in a sea-storm."
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20 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:12 pm

"Wait what about the aboleth and kinks?" squeaked Thimb having thoroughly lost the plot. She decided to try another conversation, "Is there someone else who has access to Redfang men? Or corrupt guards who might want the Redfangs attention on looking for one young person instead of another? Someone like Mr. Xiloscient?"
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21 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:14 pm

Glen cocks his head, thoughtful. "Or, could it be low-level foot soldiers trying to make a splash and climb the ranks quickly by impressing Betreygis and Arnem with a big catch?"
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22 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:16 pm

Sunrise frowns, shaking her head. "I'm afraid I don't know enough about your family's internal workings. I'm not necessarily assuming they're all of one mind, and I don't know why they would choose that method instead of something smarter. But we know that whoever it is is ruthless and has a vested interest in holding onto Tree; I don't know of anyone else who fits that bill." She tilts her head at Korogur. "What are you thinking, then?"
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23 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:27 pm

Korogur starts to answer, then sighs and runs a hand through his hair. "Look, I don't know how much you people even care; probably once you stop waltzing around with Tree 'n me, they'll leave you alone. And maybe your idea of convincing Laerdya to hole up in a safe place once she knows Tree's okay is a good one, I don't know and don't really care. But if Tree is staying with me--", she nods vehemently, which he seems to have expected because he doesn't miss a beat, "--then I gotta care, in a very specific sort of way, who just tried to kidnap her back there. And I don't think it was Treygis."

He narrows his eyes at the sleeping leader where he's been dumped unceremoniously on the rug. "I'm betting he knows, though. And I'd lay a silver that it's one of the family lieutenants. Probably the one who sent Tree's nightgown to Laerdya and that ransom note." Sighing again, he presses the tips of his fingers to his forehead and thinks. "You said there was a note. Did it give any kind of instructions? A meeting place?"
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24 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:36 pm

Sunrise closes her eyes, trying to recall. "50,000 gold on the 21st of Eleint. Silverwoods, something about... Black-Something Peak? Black Sword, maybe? And a red cart. The note was specific about that."

Opening her eyes again, she gives Korogur a curious look. "That mean anything to you?"
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25 Re: Laying Low [Everyone] on Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:05 pm

He makes a face. "Not the red cart or the black peaks, no. But Durug--Treygis' brother--is the lieutenant who is supposed to deal with land-business outside Brilight. That means 'bandits'," he clarifies. "If Laerdya sent money out through the city gates to be collected in the Silverwoods, Durug could've arranged it so Treygis never even knew. Would explain why Durug's so anxious to get his hands on Tree now; if I take her in to see Mokoz and we tell Trey about this whole note business, Durug's game is up."

Looking around the confused faces in the room, he sighs again. "You folks. You hear 'orc' and think we're all one hive mind, I swear. Here." He pulls down from one of Sunrise's shelves a game board and carved jade pieces which came with the furnished rooms and places the pieces on the main table they're seated around. "This is Brilight, okay? Sea is out here. Silverwoods, over there. Feytower... here, I guess. This is Tree."

He places a game piece on the board and then immediately whisks it and another piece out to 'sea'. "We ran off because, a, we're in love, and b, her mother is a bitch who wouldn't understand. No offense, babe. And, c, because I really don't want anyone freaking out and killing my girl if they ever work out that the plague is a mage thing. Before we left, we holed up with the family for a bit and told them about plague. Mokoz was already trying to work on a cure and Tree told her what she could in order to help. This is Mokoz. She's alright, as far as traumatized sorceresses go." He places a piece to mark the spot.

"Now. Trey and Mama Arnem." Two more pieces flank Mokoz. "Bastards? You betcha. Absolute assholes the both of them. But smart and cautious. They spent years setting up Trey's marriage to Thorn. Months cultivating the necessary connections to get Mokoz her supplies for a cure. Not the kind of fools to risk all that on ransom notes they don't expect to pay off. And if they wanted to kill me, I like to think they'd have sent more than that lot just now."

He gestures at the 'Silverwoods' and plunks down another piece and then places half a dozen smaller markers around it. "Durug is lieutenant of the outside, and Treygis' brother. He's been dealing with the bandits who live out there. They're mostly human and not big on orcs--a lot of the humans are wash outs from the army after the orcish border wars ended--but he's been making progress, I hear. If he promised them money or a cure or both, and if he thought he could deliver, he might be thinking he could replace Treygis entirely--or emancipate from the family and go be king in the woods and shit there, who knows."
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