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Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen)

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26 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:02 pm

Glen nods at Sunrise. "Got it. Between you and Sithani, we really have a lot of telepathy, even if it is limited. And the commissioner is a good person to be able to contact on short notice." He smiles at Luther. "We'll try not to bother you about every little thing, sir."

He looks at Thorn as well, smiling his goofy grin. Nailing an attacker with a deadly arrow does tend to fill one with confidence, especially after the encouragement of Quivyll and Luther. "Thorn, you're safe with us. We're not about to let anything happen to you now." And he means every word of it.
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27 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:35 pm

"Though you may have noticed they did not exactly help our retreat either," Luther points out to Sunrise in a cautioning tone.

Thorn gives Glen a warm smile. "Thank you. Truly. You saved my life and my babies. I will forever be grateful, sir."

The cats purr and fuss over Jarek, deciding that they like this big person with sausagey hands.
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28 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:35 pm

The remainder of the ride is blessedly uneventful. Rik dozes with his arms around Thorn, resting his wounds. Luther leans back and listens to Sunrise's humming, hungry for the deep peaceful rest it provides. Madislak concentrates on holding the shield around the carriage, and Quivyll runs his new arm through a series of tests and stretches. The cats fall asleep on various laps, purring loudly.

"Coming into the Sun District, sir," the driver reports about an hour later. Luther nods and Madislak makes a motion. The shield around the carriage fades, as do the shield bubbles around the other two carriages. "You can open the windows now, if you like," Luther says, and they do so, eager for fresh air after sitting in the stench of blood and sweat for so long.

They ride peacefully for some time through the rich Sun District before reaching a tall iron gate set in an impregnable stone wall surrounding an estate which is large, sprawling, and arguably beautiful--but in a stark, almost military sense. Private guards bark orders back and forth at each other, then the gates are opened and the carriages trundle in. They ride up a paved driveway to an enormous manor which appears to have multiple wings only barely connected to one another: it is as though a single very large house was flanked by five other houses, and an architect decided to connect them with wheel-spoke hallways.

Luther hops out when they come to a stop and confers with one of his private security officers. Then he returns to the carriage and begins to help out anyone who isn't Madislak; the High Priest remains in his seat and seems to believe he will be leaving as soon as the others disembark.

[OOC: Pause for reaction.]
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29 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 2:50 pm

Sunrise accepts a hand down from the carriage, stretching once she's in the open air; she winces as her shoulder muscles move, expecting pain and being subconsciously startled when it doesn't happen. "This is your place?" she asks Luther, looking around. "It looks... safe."
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30 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:32 pm

He chuckles. Despite his penchant for formality, he doesn't expect it. "Glen's fine. I'm no officer. And it was my pleasure." He turns around and gets comfortable as he sees folks are settling in to rest while driving, so he does the same.

Still, Glen is not prepared to totally let his guard down. He appreciates the peace offered by Sunrise's humming, but he can't completely relax. He sits up in the driver's seat, scanning back and forth, in front and behind. He makes idle chatter with the driver as he does, remarking on things like the curve of the roads and the recent weather. He sees no indication of further danger, but Thorn's kind words and the safety of the children keep him vigilant.

When they pull up to the estate, he lets his eyes sweep over the compound. Sufficiently impressed with the security of the place, bids the driver a good evening and hops down to the ground from the external seat. He nods after Sunrise's assessment. "I agree. Very safe." 

But, he thinks, very... restrictive. It's a cage. They've swapped a dingy one in an alley for a fancy one in the Sun District. He looks at the babies, and at their parents, wondering if they'll ever be free to see the forest, or the wall, or the Feytower. He tries to dispel the sad notion with the reassurance that they're safe.
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31 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:48 pm

Luther chuckles at their cautious description of his home. "I have spent an extraordinary amount of money trying to make it so against my best efforts."

This confusing statement is left to hang in the air for a moment as he helps Thorn down from the carriage. "You stand before the main house," Luther explains to his guest. "In a semi-circle around the sides and back are five more houses, numbered from left to right. First House is where the servants and workers live. Fifth House is my private security detail. Second, Third, and Fourth Houses are makeshift hospitals at the moment and hold afflicted, along with many doctors and nurses. You are not to wander into those houses, my lord, and my guards will stop you if you try." He gives Thorn a sympathetic look. "I do not want you or those babies catching the plague. You will be my guest in the Main House for the time being."

He turns to take in the others. "Why don't you come inside? You must be hungry, and my tailors can see to your garments." He nods at the blood on Sunrise's shoulder. "Veshti would never forgive me otherwise."
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32 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:55 pm

Sunrise blinks, very startled, and studies his face a moment. Belatedly his offer catches up to her. "Oh. Yes," she says, shaking her head. "If they can salvage this dress it'll be a miracle, but I appreciate the offer to try." As they make their way to the main house she hums quietly, almost to herself - a happy, upbeat tune, barely audible. As she does, the dried blood starts to fleck off of the white fabric, falling to the ground and leaving the dress torn but pristine.
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33 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:45 pm

Glen doesn't frown at Luther's lecture to Thorn, but the line between his eyebrows becomes almost imperceptibly darker. Glen is not blind to the fact that Thorn's life is exceedingly dangerous - he has seen the danger first-hand. The safety of the young man and his babes is deeply important to Glen's bleeding heart. But, still, Luther's admonishment that Thorn is not even free to go where he pleases within the grounds of this place is confirmation of what he believed. This place is a prison. Guest is a funny word for prisoner, or hostage. He was just as much a prisoner in the slums - indeed, the cage is far, far nicer than it was before - but this is a prison as well. He'll have safety and everything he needs, but he won't have the freedom to choose where he goes. Maybe this is all the life he can hope for, at the moment. But still, Glen's eyes are a bit worried, and a bit sad.

At the mention of food, his stomach rumbles a bit. "Food would be great, thanks." He pauses, thinking on Luther's words for a moment. "What do you mean 'against your best efforts,' sir?"
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34 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:02 pm

Luther's lips twitch at Sunrise's startled expression, taking an almost childlike glee in subverting her expectations. Only Glen's question draws him back to his solemn demeanor.

"An estate is not at its most secure when its master makes a habit of bringing in off the streets every Tomas, Denathar, and Hakari who evidences signs of the sniffles," he explains with a small smile. "But with the Brilight hospitals overwhelmed and their beds full..." He shrugs and leads them towards the main manor.

Thorn, for his part, looks more relieved than alarmed. He holds Eryn in his arms while Rik carries a sleeping Xilo against his broad shoulder. Quivyll takes up the other side of the little family, linked by the invisible bonds which have formed between the three men over this year of adversity.
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35 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:20 pm

Glen nods. "You're a good man to take all these people in, commissioner." He's worried about the restriction, be there is genuine admiration for Luther in his voice.

He turns to start up the steps and looks up at the family ahead, the children held in their parents' arms under Quivyll's watchful eye. He feels a twinge of longing. He misses his parents and his sister, of course, but a part of him has always longed for people to love...like that. He sighs a little, then tries to shake it off. Your thoughts are all over the place, Glen. You must just be tired. He starts up the steps as well.
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36 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 5:46 pm

Sunrise, carrying her new cat in one arm and with Honey on her shoulder, is well aware that she looks like a walking menagerie. Still, she draws up next to Luther as they walk, reaching out to take his hand and squeeze it softly once before letting go again. "You enjoyed that far too much," she murmurs, amused. "I was going to apologize for misjudging you, but if it makes you this happy to prove me wrong maybe I should do it more often."
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37 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:33 pm

"Thank you, but I prefer you not spread that around," he tells Glen with a glance in the ranger's direction. "I am intensely private in many ways, and this is one."

Sunrise receives a quiet chuckle. "I am a man of many secrets. Some are mine to keep, but a few are amusing to reveal when it subverts an expectation or two."

He leads them into the main house, which is richly decorated but again faintly cold in demeanor: the place looks as though it were decorated by a professional rather than to the whims and foibles of a person who actually lives there. Several servants have been notified by the guards already and spring into action, taking coats, weapons, muddy boots, and bloody clothes as allowed and taking them off to be cleaned, mended, sharpened, or shined as needed. Replacement items are provided for the duration of their stay, and these are rich and comfortable.

No sooner are they led into a comfortable seating room when Rik takes his leave, insisting that he must inspect the grounds himself. Quivyll leaves as well, telling Luther that he wishes to speak with the captain of the private guard about his security observations made whilst in the slums. Thorn is left standing with a baby in each hand, tired and not entirely thrilled to be abandoned like this.
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38 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:38 pm

Sunrise, having set the cat down to explore the room - and told Honey she is welcome to fly around and do the same - ties her robe tighter around herself and steps to Thorn, offering to take one of the babies. "How are you feeling? Everything was so hectic and rushed, I don't think I ever actually introduced myself. I'm Sunrise." She nods to what looks like the most comfortable of the couches, leading Thorn there to sit.
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39 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 6:41 pm

Glen steps out of the changing area, grateful to be clad in comfortable, clean clothes. No blood stained his armor or traveling attire, but from the long sprint and the battle he had sweat through his shirt a couple of times over. He also needs a new belt, having cut a piece off for Quivyll, and gratefully turns over his weapons and armor for cleaning, and his pack for storage. He's picked a loose-fitting tunic of woodsy green and comfortable, fitted tan pants.

He sees everyone walk away from the handsome young man who has been so much and is baffled. He pops over to Thorn and Sunrise, a little bounce in his step, grinning cheerfully. "Hey, I bet you haven't had the luxury of empty hands in a long time. Can I take the other one for you and help you remember what it was like?"
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40 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:09 pm

"Bless you both," Thorn says gratefully, handing over the babies with care. "I mean. I love them, but." He shakes his head as he sinks into the soft couch between Sunrise and Glen. "I haven't felt like a separate person from them since before they were born. Quivyll says that will get easier, but I hasten to point out that he doesn't actually know from experience, so."

Taking a deep breath, he looks at them and then to Jarek. "I... don't think I've said thank you enough. Thank you. This feels like a dream. When I woke this morning I was trying to figure out how to summon food when I had no money and stepping outside that dark apartment meant instant death. Now I'm..." He makes a gesture around Luther's luxurious room. "Thank you. You three are god-sent."
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41 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:14 pm

Sunrise chuckles softly. "Don't thank us yet; eventually we need to pick your brain about your in-laws. But I think that can wait until you've had a chance to eat and sleep."
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42 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:22 pm

Glen takes Eryn, holding the little girl in his arms. The world - Thorn, Sunrise, Jarek, the estate - momentarily melts away as he looks over the beautiful baby. He's seen and looked after his share of his campmates' babies back at the barracks, and he's even escorted a couple. "Well hey there, little one." His voice is very quiet and soothing. "Hey. Aren't you just the most wonderful girl in the whole world? You're so special. And you're safe now." He bounces her a little, smiling at her the whole time. He rocks her gently, trying to bring her peace and serenity.

He then remembers the others and looks a bit bashful. "Sorry." Refocusing on the conversation, he continues. "And it's okay, Thorn. We know you love them, but being trapped in that alley, alone all the time, it must have just been so much. You don't have to thank us. We're just glad we got there when we did."
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43 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:48 pm

Thorn laughs shyly, nodding. "Yeah. I don't... want to complain, but. It's been a stressful few months. Having you three show up and whisk me out of there in a literal magic carriage is like something out of a fairy tale. Thank you, so so much."

His eyes widen a little at Sunrise's words. "The Redfangs? You're tangling with them? I... can't stress enough how dangerous that can be."
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44 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:57 pm

Glen laughs, softly so as to not disturb little Eryn. She stirs, but he rocks her gently and coos at her until she falls quiet again. "You have every right to complain, sir. These little ones are sweet now, but I doubt they've given you a full night's sleep since they showed up. Complain away. No judgment here.

"And yes, we know it's dangerous. But they've kidnapped a young girl, and we have to find her. And, as you saw today, we can handle some danger."
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45 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:00 pm

She takes a deep breath. "It's not exactly that we're tangling with them, but that they're tangling with... well, all of us. You know of Laerdya Siannodel? Her work on curing the plague has almost completely stopped, because her daughter disappeared." She shakes her head. "Best we can tell, she was either kidnapped or seduced into running away with Korogur Redfang. Laerdya's received a ransom note threatening to kill the girl unless she pays more than the city can afford to pay."
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46 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:35 pm

Jarek clears his throat a bit awkwardly as he returns in clean clothes as well, with the grey kitten flopped asleep in his hand like a de-stringed puppet.  This mansion would be a culture shock on a normal day, but rushing here from Thorn's wretched slum-den is begging for socioeconomic vertigo.

"It was my privilege to help get you out of that place, Thorn; you sure don't need to thank me any more than you have.  And I'm Jarek, you probably caught that--I think I forgot to say on the ride, I'm he of the Riptide ranch."

Now that they're in far safer environs, Jarek watches Thorn's face a bit closer.  The man was apprehensive when they first met, maybe because he suspected any other half-orc might be associated with the Redfangs, but maybe not.

"You do have a couple of great babies there, and it would be great to stay here, but I'm feeling maybe I should go catch Thimb and the others up on what's happened?  You two"--nodding to Glen and Sunrise--" are the ones who know what questions we hope you"--to Thorn--"can answer.  I've probably done all I can here, right?"  He pauses.  "Or I guess I should stay until I can return these clothes..."
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47 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:43 pm

Thorn gives Glen a shy look and shakes his head. "You... don't have to call me 'sir'. I know, um." He looks up at Luther again. "I'm sorry, what was your name again?"

Luther can't help but smile. "Luther Rivvers, Feytower Commissioner. You may call me Luther, though." He looks to Glen and seems to include him in this offer. "I recognize there are times when standing on ceremony is important outside these walls, but in here we are safe from prying eyes and ears."

Thorn nods shyly and returns his gaze to Glen. "I know Luther called me 'my lord' outside, and I guess that's something I'll have to get used to, but. You saved my life. You can just call me Thorn, if you want?"

He gives Jarek a shy smile of his own and hesitates. "You don't want to stay for food? You worked so hard in the battle, and I worry... Of course I don't mean to make you stay, sorry. I'm sorry..."

Sunrise's question, however, seems to confuse him. He nods along with the explanation the way someone nods while they wait for someone to get to the end and start making sense. Then, when she stops, he waits for more that does not come. "I don't understand," he finally says, clearing his throat and looking a little embarrassed. "If your problem is with Korogur, why come to me for help? He and Treygis can barely be civil to one another."
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48 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:46 pm

She grins, leaning forward. "See? Already, that right there is information we didn't know. Do you know why not?"
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49 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:00 pm

Glen smiles at Thorn's shyness, feeling suddenly kind of shy himself. Here is a brave, important young man asking Glen to speak to him as an equal, as if Glen did anything more than shoot a few arrows. "I think I introduced myself in a hurry, back there. Glynlen Liadon, he of the Eighth Division and the Silverwoods. Please feel free to call me Glen."

Glen also nods at Luther's invitation. "Thank you, Luther."

"And Sunrise is right, you're very helpful, Thorn. But maybe this can wait until after we've eaten and had a minute to recharge? You and the kids have been through so much today." He rocks Eryn a little more, thinking of all the hardship she and her brother have been through.
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50 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:54 am

Thorn hesitates, looking between Sunrise and Glen. "Oh, but. It sounded urgent?" He blushes slightly, confused.

"Speaking of food," Luther murmurs as the sitting room doors open. Two half orcs dressed in livery carry a dining table gently into the room, while a colorful variety of servants stream in behind them with bowls of clear bone broth, thick root soup, soft baked fruit, toasted bread slices, water, and very thin wine. Not very appealing fare for the afternoon's heroes, perhaps, but appropriate for a boy who has been starving to death and now must ease back into eating. Luther moves to sit opposite the trio on the couch, but hesitates to speak with Jarek.

"Mr. Riptide, you are more than welcome to stay in my house as long as you please, and my cooks will provide you with anything you require," he offers with a polite smile, "but I do understand if you wish to see your sister. My driver will take you wherever she is, if you desire. What is your will?"

Sunrise's cat slumps on her feet, stubbornly ignoring the fish laid out for her by the servants. Thorn's cat jumps on the table and has to be picked up by Thorn with a sigh. Honey hovers at the edge of the table and picks a boiled apple to eat, but is immediately confused by the unexpected texture.
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