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Old 03-31-2012, 01:09 PM
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Arrow Inquisitives - Turn 9

Wireburn, Quinn, Anselm, Durion, Han, Raena, Altus

Altus shared a look with Raena, and they seemed to have a brief conversation based on facial expressions. It was over in the blink of an eye, with the faintest of shrugs from the priestess.

“And what is your take on all of this, gentlemen?” Altus said to everyone else in the room, though he was hoping Durion would offer his opinion first. The paladin had a certain respect for the military elf, and wanted to see his reaction to Han’s story.

Anselm listened intently to the back and forth. There was an acute amount of forces competing for something here. The amount of violence that people were willing to deal to each other at this particular juncture was astounding to the young artificer. He kept to himself a little while longer hoping to hear something that would allow all the current information to coalesce into some form of theory.

Hawksley’s eyes narrowed as he listened, but he forbore commentary for the moment, looking to see how the others responded.

Durion looked around at each of the people in the room in turn, taking their measure, before he stepped into the center of the room and addressed them all in a soft, but commanding voice. His left hand relaxed on the pommel of his sword. His right hand remained at his side.

He cleared his throat. "In this case, we must ask why Watch Detectives, the plain clothed special operations section of The Watch was involved. Ordinarily, we would ask Han if he had any additional information he might be withholding or had forgotten to mention. Perhaps this person, who stands here today and calls himself Han and whose appearance has not changed at all since last I saw him, is hiding something he might want to reveal to the rest of us so we can move a bit closer to our goal of solving this mystery."

Durion turned to Han and, stepping back grandly, offered him the floor. "Well, Han?"

Han stood up and walked over to Durion to face him. Putting his hands on his hips, Han tartly replied, “Well what? I already told you everything that happened since yesterday. From the sound of it, it sounds like YOU perhaps, know something you’re might know, that might fit in. Care to enlighten us?”

Durion stepped back from the confrontation,held his breath and mentally counted slowly to ten in a few languages, then let it out, his mind ready for any offensive move on Han's part.

"From your description, Watch Detectives were there. They only involve themselves in serious matters beyond the reach of the ordinary Watch, and they can detect shapechangers using a magical device. They have access to other resources beyond that of normal Watch members, and they take the death of one of their own very seriously, young man. You have put us all in a tremendous amount of deadly physical danger. So could you explain why we shouldn't just hand you over and let you twist, Han? If that's who you really are?"

Han smirked. “Go ahead. I’d then have to ‘confess’ it was all at her behest, no?” He tilted his head towards Raena. “Then it would implicate her, as well as anyone around her remotely involved. Including you. I did mention Shae was a changeling, correct? Which explains why they were looking for her.”

Raena stepped over to the sideboard and picked up the teapot.

"I suggest you choose your words, and your side, very carefully, Mr Han," she said through gritted teeth.

Hawksley kept his surprise to himself, but things were quickly spinning out of control: Han was threatening Raena. Moreover, given his observations, there was good reason to believe that he was a changeling, a recurring theme in this business. He closed his eyes for a moment, summoned his mental resources and...

Hawksley stepped forward.

“Okay. I apologize for acting so precipitously, but matters were about to spiral irreparably.”

Raena blinked in surprise and looked at Hawksley.

“You did that?” she said quietly. She glanced to Altus, who moved to stand near Raena protectively. Though, he did not appear to have any apparent intent to do anything other than stand by her side for the moment; no threats, no weapons, no other actions...

“I did indeed, Ms. Mordaine. Again, my apologies if I startled you or have caused you distress. But it struck me that we were on the verge of a matter of mortal consequences. Now we have options. No?”

“And what do you propose we do with him now?” Raena asked as she knelt to check for Han’s vital signs. She breathed a sigh of relief that the young man appeared to be sleeping soundly. “He’s asleep. For now.” Her brow furrowed as she looked at Hawksley with a wary expression.

Wireburn’s neck swiveled.

“Shall I run him through?” She didn’t point out that this was the SECOND undramatic ending this day. Her sword never even cleared the scabbard. She drummed the fingers of two hands on the hilt.

Hawksley raised a forbearing hand: “Hopefully, that will not be necessary, my friend.”

Raena did a double-take at the sound of Wireburn’s voice. She had forgotten the warforged had modified it to a feminine tone. She shook the thought from her head for the time being, and focused on the matter at hand.

Altus gently lifted the slumbering figure and set him into the chair he had just vacated. He made a point to remove any weapons from Han and set them on the floor, just in case...

“Well, this is certainly turning out to be an interesting evening,” the paladin muttered, sharing another significant look with Raena...

“Ms. Mordaine, Han was a moment away from provoking a lethal response. Or, at least, that is how I read matters. I am loathe to see yet more blood spilled if it can be avoided. Moreover, while I prefer to minimize loss of life, I am charged with protecting you and I will discharge that duty to the best of my ability and judgment. Now. We have a few minutes to sort matters out before this young fellow awakes. I suggest a swift application of a Modify Memory scroll and then leaving him out in the alley. He will wake up somewhat confused and none the worse for wear. If his path crosses ours again in the future, well, we are now forewarned. If need be, I’m certain I can keep him unconscious as long as needed. Perhaps Master Durion can participate as well. While he’s under, I can also perhaps determine what he knows that pertains to our current situation.”

Durion made a reappraisal of his newfound comrades and attempted once more to divine what their individual talents might be. Purely for future planning purposes, of course, he told himself.

Raena gazed at Hawksley, trying to figure out if he was serious or not. She wondered just what this young man was actually capable of. Putting someone to sleep without a spell? Modifying Memories? Was she dealing with a Kalashtar?

“I don’t like the idea of changing a person’s memories, if that is at all possible. A person must be held accountable for their actions. If we tamper with memories to erase events that are inconvenient, what lessons are learned from the original experience?” The priestess studied Han as she tried to articulate her thoughts.

“No, I definitely not,” she decided. “I want him to know what he said and what he implied. I want him to know how cross I am at his ill conceived threat, when I have offered nothing but hospitality to him. Host! I was willing to hide him in the back if it was the Watch at the door and not you three! I was giving him the benefit of the doubt. And he threatens me... I want him to remember. I want him to know.”

Altus nodded his agreement. “I believe he should be responsible for his words. And his actions. If he had a part in the death of a Watchman, it had better be for a right and just reason. Else I will turn him over to the authorities myself. In small pieces if necessary.”

Hawksley bowed.

“Very well, then. My goal was to forestall a possible set of events that was becoming increasingly likely, in my estimation, one which would demand an immediate and lethal intervention. I mislike bloodshed and I endeavour to avoid it whenever possible. Nevertheless, I am happy to accede to your wishes in this regard. Han will awaken in a few minutes, none the worse for wear. I imagine he will no doubt be somewhat irked by this circumstance. I am happy to make sure he appreciates that I acted of my own initiative.”

“Your gallantry and acceptance of responsibility is duly noted,” Raena said. “Later on, we need to talk, you and I...”

“Agreed.”

Han stirred and blinked the sleep from his eyes. He found himself sitting upright, almost comfortable (but not quite) in the chair once again. Everyone else in the room stood facing him, all eyes watching, waiting...

Han shook his head, then held head. “Man this day just keeps getting better and better.” He then picked himself up, and plopped himself back into the chair. ”So what's next? Knives or hot pokers?”

“Oh good, he’s awake again. I’ll go heat up the poker,” Altus said dryly, but made no move to leave.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:10 PM
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Default Wireburn, Quinn, Anselm, Durion, Han, Raena, Altus - Continued

“I’m glad you’re back with us, Mr Han. If that is in deed who you are,” Raena said, still clutching the teapot. “I am going to cast a Zone of Truth spell, and we’re going to start from the top and go over a few things you’ve said. Do you object? Because if you choose not to cooperate, I’ll have my friend in plate mail here hand you over to the Watch, no matter what you decide to tell them. I did NOT ask you to kill anyone on the Watch, nor did I send you on any errands that would ‘implicate’ me or anyone else in this room.” She paused to let her words sink in. “It is your choice, Mr Han. Do you agree?...”

“I have nothing to object to you doing it. Him?” Han said, pointing to Durion, “I’d probably object to. You? No it’s fine. Since everything I’ve said thus far is true, I’ve got nothing to hide on it.”

“Very well then,” Raena replied, ignoring the jab at Durion. She rather liked the old elf, despite his rather...abrupt approach to things. She took a deep breath to clear her mind and focus her thoughts. Clutching her holy symbol, the priestess invoked the will of the Sovereign Host to cast a Zone of Truth over the immediate area.

“Now then,” Raena began, “Tell us who you are, and more specifically, what you are. And while you are at it, tell us the details of your encounter with the Watch.” She leaned in close to the chair and placed her hand on the hilt of her own sword. Her voice became cold and dangerous. “And I have NOT forgotten that you did just threaten to implicate me in the death of a Watchman. I may be a cleric, but I’m not required to be forgiving. I suggest you be truthful and honest, and choose your words very carefully.”

“And I haven't forgotten the threats issued of turning me over. Just so we’re clear.” Han said.

“As for the rest, my name is Han as I said before. As to what, I am as you surmise a changling.I tend to keep this look as it allows me to deal with less crap from other people.As to what happened with the Watch, it happened exactly as I said before. A changeling named Shae was looking for for me and wanted to talk. After we sat in an inn and had a drink she tested me, then offered to trade information on the killing for a favor to be named later. During the talk some folks walked in, didn't look like watch, and we scampered out the back, They said nothing, announced nothing just pushed their way through.

“From there in the alley, one apparently went around front and cut us off while his partner came from behind. They didn't announce themselves then. We fought, Shae actually killed the one. We were working on the second when another pair arrived in breastplates and announced themselves as the Watch. Shae jumped off the terrace, I fell down, and they pinned me for a moment before and started to apply a boot party “for Trask” was what they said. After which I managed to wiggle free and make a break for it. Moving here and there, taking a different form each time to elude anyone possibly following.”

Han shook his head for a moment. “Oh and they’ll be looking for a half elven female who was in the fight. Cute blonde.” He cocked his head for a moment before smiling. “So how’d I do?”

Raena was studying him with her arms crossed, still holding the teapot.

“How did you do?” she repeated. “It appears you were telling the truth. But you’re arrogant in assuming I would not be upset by this. You did have a part in the death of a Watchman. And Master Durion is definitely not to blame for the current mess, since you didn’t tell us all of that the first time around. Your omissions caused the problem, not his reaction.” She began pacing, glancing from one person to the next in the office.

“Mr Quinn and Sire Wireburn are charged with protecting me,” she said, nodding acknowledgement to them. “And Master Durion has come to me for assistance, though we seem to be digging ourselves deeper into his mystery. And you came as a friend of Chase, offering your help to me.” She stopped to rub at the bridge of her nose, willing away the headache that had been building up. “This is not exactly the best way to go about ‘helping’ me, Mr Han. I have half a mind to ask you to leave and not come back...

“However, I don’t think that would be the best course of action just yet,” she continued. “We had a misunderstanding. And the information you gave us does present a bit of a problem. As Master Durion stated, ‘From your description, Watch Detectives were there. They only involve themselves in serious matters beyond the reach of the ordinary Watch,’” Raena repeated verbatim. “Just what are they looking into, and what did this Shae have to do with all of it?”

“And if they can detect changelings,” Altus added grimly, “I have no doubt the guise of a cute blonde half-elven female won’t throw them off your trail, Mr Han...”

I have been nothing but truthful since I arrived. I had a hand in defending myself from unknown assailants. They choose not to announce themselves and just play throw down. That, in and of itself is unusual, as the Watch isn't shy about announcing themselves, take my word for it.

”And he made the first threat, so keep that in mind. The next time you want to know something, ask. If nothing else, I’m honest when asked.”

Han stretched a moment and bent to retrieve any lost items, then looked at Reana. “If the Watch detectives only get involved in matters beyond the ordinary watch, either Shae’s information is actually good -- better than good, as it seems to indicate someone didn't want the word to get out -- or they wanted to make sure they contained it. Or they were ordered by someone to keep it contained, whoever hired the assassin.”

Turning to Altus “True, but so far so good. Wasn't followed thus far at least to home, nor home to here. But if someone is determined to find you, not much will save you no matter what.”

“Mr Han,” Raena growled, “Omitting information is just as bad as lying outright. I do not believe Master Durion made any threats. He asked you why we shouldn’t turn you over to the watch. You provoked that response by omitting information. And you are the one that threatened to implicate me. ‘Go ahead. I’d then have to ‘confess’ it was all at her behest, no?’” She clenched the teapot threateningly.

“How. Dare. You. You made the threat. I will not tolerate you trying to throw blame on anyone else. You must take responsibility for your own actions!“ Raena stepped forward to swing the makeshift weapon at the changeling’s head, but Altus caught her arm mid-swing.

“No,” was all he said. She struggled against his grip, but his massive arm didn’t even budge. She let out a sigh and stopped resisting. He released his hold and she turned away from everyone.

“Get out,” she said quietly without turning. “Everyone, please. Just go. I need time to process all of this. Return tomorrow at eleven bells, if you will. And Mr Han, if you do not return, I shall consider our association at an end and I shall not endeavour to contact you. If you do return, we shall discuss how we are to proceed, as I will not tolerate threats nor refusal to accept responsibility for one’s own actions. And so help me, if you compare me to your mother one more time, I shall make certain nobody ever finds your body... Now please leave.”

[Response? Comments? Actions?]

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Last edited by Rhakir; 03-31-2012 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 03-31-2012, 01:12 PM
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Default June and Mardu

June glanced down at the halfling in the doorway. She was sort of expecting a young-ish, attractive girl that had a crush on her half-orc beau. She was not expecting the short, rotund, and critical dynamo that was Lilah d’Jorasco. Her purple-dyed hair was cut in a short bob that showed off the tribal tattoos that ran down her neck below the healer smock she wore. Her wide nose and round cheeks should’ve made her look jolly, but she seemed to have a permanent hint of disapproval on her face. Her eyes were sharp as she took in the scene; Mardu leaning back on the worktop and June on the examination table. With a bustle of officiousness, the House Jorasco heir bustled over to the half-orc and gave him a once over.

“You didn’t listen to a word I said about taking it easy, did you,” she announced, studying his elbow. “It scarred. That means you went back to work too soon. You just don’t listen, do you.” It wasn’t a question.

She then turned her critical eye on June.

“Mm-hm. You call this a training accident, Mardu?” Lilah said with a definite note of disapproval as she examined June’s leg. “And this is your girl? You should treat her better than this! That’s no way to show a woman a good time. Take her out to dinner, or maybe go for a romantic ride through the plains at night. But taking her on patrol and letting her take a bolt in the leg?” She squinted her eyes at June in what must’ve been a conspiratorial smile of sorts. “Nuh-uh. That’s no way to treat a lady.”

Lilah rolled up her sleeves and washed her hands in a basin near Mardu.

“You just gonna stand there? Go hold her hand and make her feel better. Men...” the halfling said with a deep sigh. “I’ll fix her up good as new, but it’ll cost you the standard rate. And I’m not taking an ‘I owe you’ from the Watch this time. It took them two months to even acknowledge the last one, and I’m still waiting on payment!”

Lilah turned to June and smiled finally. “Just relax, dearie. This won’t hurt a---” She yanked the bolt straight out of June’s thigh, “---bit. There! That was the hard part.” It happened so fast, the sorceress hardly had time to even yelp.

The halfling then laid her hands upon the wound and concentrated, her eyes screwed shut and her lower lip thrust out as she invoked the power of her Dragonmark... A warm soothing sensation spread from the halfling’s hands and into the wound. June noticed that Lilah’s dragonmark was actually hidden amongst the tattoos on her neck, as it began to glow with a familiar shimmering radiance.

“There, that should do you some good,” Lilah told June not unkindly. “Just take it easy for a little while before playing target again, okay?” She turned her round little frame on Mardu next. “And you take better care of her! What’s the matter with you? Wait, don’t answer that. I’ve got other patients to tend to, and I don’t have time to listen to your excuses. We’ll talk the next time you’re in and I have to patch your sorry ass up.” She was already halfway to the door...

“Thank you, Lilah,” Mardu said sincerely. “This means a lot to me. I’ll take good care of her. I promise.” Though he was talking to the halfling, his eyes were on June.

“You have so far.” June popped up off the bed now her leg didn’t hurt anymore.. “She seems fun.” June grinned, “Keeps you in your place, which I get the feeling isn’t easy to do..” He seemed a little taken off guard as she swooped in to kiss him.

“So, how late are we now, for our meeting with Relena?” Moving from him with a playful grin before he had time to put his arms around her, she poked her head out of the door to the little room and looked around.

“And...how do we get there from here?”

“I can get us there. We’ll be about a half hour late,” Mardu said, leading June from the examination room. He stopped at the front office and filled out a form to allow them to draw the fee from his personal account at Bank Kundarak. He made it clear that he was taking care of it and wouldn’t let June get a word in edgewise.

“If we get a sky taxi, we can get there faster,” the half-orc told her as he he scanned the area for a likely ride. He waved one down and pointed to the platform on the side of the tower. The pilot acknowledged and guided his craft to meet them.

Once safely aboard, Mardu put his arm around June and held her close.

“Don’t take this the wrong way,” he murmured. “I know you can handle yourself in a fight. But if it weren’t for me three years ago, you wouldn’t have gotten shot at today. You ended up in the crossfire when they came after me back then. I’m sorry...”

[Response? Comments? Actions?]

The couple made it to the Keldoran Inquisitive Services office at nearly half past ten. Both June and Mardu noticed some odd looks from a few mercenaries in the area, but ignored it as they didn’t seem to be a threat. But June had a distinct feeling she was being watched as they knocked on the door.

“May I help you?” a tall, muscular, bald human wearing plate mail asked when the door opened.

[Response? Comments? Actions?]

***
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