Chapter 5a. Gray Skies Over Aberhaven.   Posted by Guildmaster.Group: 0
 GM, 148 posts
Mon 22 Mar 2010
at 08:54
5a. Gray Skies Over Aberhaven
19th Harvester
Aberhaven City

It was raining yet again, though not particularly heavy, it was enough to dampen moods and make travelling through the streets uncomfortably wet. Along the walls of the streets lined posters of a wanted figure, Lucinda Blancoeur proclaiming a reward as well as threatening anyone who harboured her whereabouts with a jail term, fine or worst, execution.

Rumours were flying as to where the witch might be, and whether or not she was involved with the disappearance or most likely, the death of the Duke and his family. If they weren't dead, where were they and how could the Duke allow Aberhaven to fall into it's current state of disarray?

The Council, still in it's initial stages were having a hard time coming to terms with each other. And while they worked to settle their differences, it is rumoured that in the course of the next few weeks, the larger noble houses on the side were planning a civil war against each other, and against the city Council -and whoever won, would rule Aberhaven.

Trade with other nations was crawling to a halt due to such rumours of impending civil war, thus causing merchants to shy away from the city. As such, items in the Trader's Market were scarce. To add to the mess, a plague of strange origin was spreading through the River Districts and the City Guard proceeded to cordon off that area, leaving those in there to fend for themselves with no offer of aid or food as most of the resources were being rationed.

Since the events of the nightmarish masquerade, trial of the sorceress Red Fire had been overshadowed but not for long because now that Caalum was being tried as well, the business of Red Fire's deadly magic was now back into full view. With the situation in Aberhaven on a downward spiral, most citizens of Aberhaven find it easier to point fingers at the mages and their dangerous magic...

This thread is for Sister Agatha, Rhollin & Lily

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:56, Thu 01 Apr 2010.

Rhollin Grail
 player, 100 posts
 A savage heart
 a gentle heart
Sat 27 Mar 2010
at 05:35
Re: 4a. Gray Skies Over Aberhaven
I am but a child.

Rhollin trudged onward through the damp, dark pines. He had been nigh-useless the past month. When threats arose, he had fought fiercely against man and beast. But beyond that, he was lost. He hadn't hunted since his training as a lad, and the meat from his occasional successes was but a rare delight. Lucie had applied her study to show them edible plants. Lucie had used her knowledge as outcast to keep them hidden. Lucie had used her magic to light fires in the rain, hold a shelter against the wind, mend their tattered clothes, tend their wounds.

It seemed to the Grail Knight that Lucie had been his protector as much as the other way around. Rhollin was a creature of civilization. In the wilderness, he floundered. But he floundered with a stout heart and a strong body. He kept her close for warmth, carried her when she was tired, and reassured her when she despaired.

And now he had left her.

Her argument was convincing. She could hide on her own safely, and they could not run forever. If they did not intervene, who knew what would happen to her poor uncle, her only family? And perhaps, in civilization, he could do some good. If he could clear his name.

Rhollin stopped. He had arrived. Two days of walking, but he had not lost the spot. His trail signs were faded, but led him true. The leonyr crouched low and braced himself against the fallen tree trunk. It took all of his considerable strength to roll it over. The hollow underneath had been dug deeper, and packed with dry leaves and soft, dead grasses. The normally patient knight swept the brush aside hastily. It was soiled, it was scratched, but it was there - his armor.
Rhollin Grail
 player, 101 posts
 A savage heart
 a gentle heart
Sun 28 Mar 2010
at 04:54
Re: 4a. Gray Skies Over Aberhaven
Rhollin fixed the breastplate over his tattered tunic. The weight was reassuring. A knight's armor was practical above all else, protecting him from harm. Even with one piece on, even ill-fitting as it sat without his squire's help, he felt less vulnerable.

The hip guards and armored belt came next. The layers of plate still rested perfectly, if looking a little tarnished. A knight's armor represented his station, his dignity, his grace. Rhollin's plate still shone a bit, so well-cared for it was.

He clasped the metal greaves over his legs, slipping his feet through the strong leather underneath. Leonyr never wore shoes, but rather let their clawed toes flex freely to grip the ground and tear at foes. A knight's armor spoke for his house, and he carried it with him wherever he went.

Rhollin strapped on his arm guards and shoulder plates, these much more difficult without the aid of Tyr. A knight's armor was heavy but flexible, and taught him how to move, how to be aware of each muscle, forcing them to work only as they should.

Finally came the great war gauntlets, thick, leather, fingerless gloves backed with layers of plate. His sharp claws were exposed so they could rend and crush, backed with heavy steel for deflection. A knight's armor was also his weapon.

Resplendent in (somewhat) shining steel, Rhollin felt a bit like himself again, and walked toward the city in strife.
 GM, 153 posts
Mon 29 Mar 2010
at 07:54
Re: 4a. Gray Skies Over Aberhaven
The City Guards of Aberhaven patrolled the streets in trios. Walking three abreast, they were taking up most of the street when Rhollin was unceremoniously pushed into their way by a work man rushing through the rain washed streets.

"Watch where you're going!" One of the guards said gruffly, shoving Rhollin aside, before muttering to his companions, "Outsiders..."

Rhollin was in the Trader's District, at the market when he first met Lucie and found that his surroundings was a world of difference. The stall vendors looked gloomy and disgruntled, lesser wares were being hawked and even a few shops were boarded up, closed or showed signs of looting.

Aberhaven was going through a change... a rough one indeed.

Rounding the corner, Rhollin walked into a young street urchin whose hand brushed against Rhollin's thigh. The urchin hurried away, clearly a pickpocket, but fortunately for Rhollin, he had nothing for the boy to pick.

Then, he heard a voice behind him, turning, he saw a beggar woman, scrawny and ragged sitting at the doorway of an abandoned shop. She didn't look old and she could have once been beautiful before her current plight, "Whassa nice looking fella like you doing in the streets outta 'ere? Be careful now ha ha ha!"

Rattling the container that held a few coins as she pointed at his armour, "Your armour looks like it's worth much. Be careful now ha ha ha ha ha!"

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:56, Mon 29 Mar 2010.

Rhollin Grail
 player, 102 posts
 A savage heart
 a gentle heart
Wed 31 Mar 2010
at 02:40
Re: 4a. Gray Skies Over Aberhaven
Rhollin could be insulted, outwitted, hurt, or killed, but he couldn't be shoved. Not by a workman nor a soldier. Their great size aside, Leonyr knights had better sense of and control over their body than any civilized person walking the earth. It was taught in their courtly training, how to shift their mass so as not to be intimidating; it was taught in dueling, how to present a ready stance that threatened but maximized balance; it was taught in war, how use momentum to make one's body a weapon.

However, Rhollin was neither at court nor in a duel nor at war, so he consented to gently stepping aside when pushed. No need to make a scene, not when he was a wanted man. Not when he was tired and hungry and fearing for his young lover. Willing deference was critical to survival, even though it hurt his pride and burned his ego.

In chaotic, ruined Aberhaven, beggars and nobles were on more equal footing. Rhollin decided to tread carefully with all.

"I doubt my armor would be of much worth to any but me, but I thank you for the warning," he replied to the thin pauper. "I think thieves are the least of a poor man's worries when there are wizards about." Rhollin hoped the casual mention might prompt more talk, and hints of Caalum's plight could eventually be revealed.
 GM, 154 posts
Thu 1 Apr 2010
at 15:13
Re: 4a. Gray Skies Over Aberhaven
The unfriendly guard turned back to look at Rhollin again, clearly unhappy to know that his shove didn't even so much as budge the burly Leonyr knight. What are these Leonyrs doing out so far from Savaan anyway...Lately, more of the lot have visited... he thought unhappily, but before he would dwell on it, the patrol leader shot him a glare that said very clearly, keep your eyes on the road and on any suspicious activity.

Oblivious to the thoughts of the disgruntled and xenophobic guard, Rhollin's attention was on the poor woman who reveal that not only had she lost part of her mind, she was also missing two fingers, the index and the thumb, on her left hand when she raised it to gesture at the dark brick tower in the distance.

"Hah! Them wizards locked away, up up up away with the birds. So high up there, better to be careful now ha ha ha!"

She then rattled her container again and said, "But they won't lock poor Missy up in the tower no, not high up in the tower," she dropped her voice to a whisper and indicated for Rhollin to lean down while she crawled over to his feet and raised her head in a rather feeble attempt to whisper, "Because Missy has her ways, she knows it's better to be careful now..."

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:33, Thu 01 Apr 2010.

Sister Agatha
 player, 24 posts
Sat 3 Apr 2010
at 17:56
Re: 4a. Gray Skies Over Aberhaven
"Sister,"He said, "This girl named Lily needs a prayer for her soul.

"But child, she is not dead. Why do I pray for her to die?" Agatha asked.

Agatha prayed, but she found prayers to be little good in rainy season.  Prayers seldom vested in the listening soul, and lately no one was listening.  Prayers were but expectancies taken up by the listener, and therein was their good.  Lily, too, was not listening; her soul was somewhere too noisy to worry about about externals.

Yet Lily had lived on without regard for anyone's saying things or not saying things.  Lily had her own strength.  There had been a moment when Agatha had been sure that the fever would rage up, an awful thing of fire, as had happened to the jeweler's niece, who had been caught up in coughing and smoking inside, until her lungs had choked.  It was not something Agatha had wanted to see, not when the jeweler's niece had lately been a speaking being.  Others may have been less impressed.  Agatha had thought to see faint wisps of salamanders frolicking upon the lips of Piquet's daughter.  Folk wisdom knew that fairy creatures had no mercy; they played their games wherever the games were played.  But she had to stare hard to imagine them, and she was not sure if they had been real.

With Lily, Agatha saw no dancing salamanders; there was only the total absorption of struggle.  So Agatha opened the curtains on sunny days and closed them on rainy days.  She made soup regularly for if a when came that Lily had a moment of lucidity, and also for her own good, and for Piquet.

Today, she was going to market to buy some vegetables for the soup.

Instinctively, she scanned the roads and rooftops.  Her constant company throughout all recent disasters- a black bird appearing now and then (or was it another?)- had not shown up since she had taken on Lily's care.  Perhaps, The bird had no stomach for good news.  Agatha took this as a sign that Lily would survive, and so Agatha went out for soup...

This message was last edited by the player at 15:22, Sun 04 Apr 2010.