Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"   Posted by Director.Group: 0
Martel Gautaz
 player, 143 posts
Fri 13 Oct 2017
at 10:58
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
At the lady's entrance, Martel stood and half-bowed from the waist, murmuring a traditional formal greeting, "Beneath divh and sky, my lady Rosamund..."

His voice trails off as he let's some sadness seeps into it, but he forces himself to continue with their introductions, "I am Martel, freeman of the Gautaz of Thairburrough. My companions - Mistress Merana, of the far Irik, and Master Smallfeather, of many places."

Weighed unexpected by the scrawled note that rests in a pouch at his waist, he asks, "Is the Lady Kyra a guest in your home? Is she well?"
Director
 GM, 267 posts
 For Highdunn
 For the King!
Thu 19 Oct 2017
at 05:21
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
With a curt nod Rosamond confirmed. Seemingly subconsciously she smoothed the front of her dress with flattened palms, drawing the fabric taut with the pressure of her touch. "Aye, Kyra is wife to my good husband's brother. She has lodged with us this past summer while Signar's babe grows within her. What is your business with the girl?"
Martel Gautaz
 player, 144 posts
Thu 19 Oct 2017
at 20:23
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
Glancing to the oaken benches in the timbered hall, Martel gestured for the lady to take a seat - sliding onto another if she chose to take his invitation. After a moment to gather his thoughts, he spoke gently, "We were with Signar when he passed, my lady. His final thoughts were of his wife, his child and his service to the kingdom. We bring his message for Kyra through Lord Einar, carrying a hope that perhaps he might help us fulfil the promise we made to protect the kingdom from a very specific danger..."
Director
 GM, 268 posts
 For Highdunn
 For the King!
Tue 24 Oct 2017
at 14:09
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
The mistress of the house was undoubtedly a lady of uncommon bearing and refinement, because she scarcely flinched, let alone fell into the pale faint that women of lesser fortitude might have surrendered to. Instead Rosamond's moth merely tightened, and her eyes narrowed, creating a spiderweb of fine lines across the taut skin of her face.

"My husband left the city after his noon meal to see to his interests in Pelay. I gear I don't expect his return for some days, but if you have some proof of your claim I would be most happy to offer you what aid my house can afford. I must insist that you allow me to pass word to Kyra in my own way."
Martel Gautaz
 player, 145 posts
Tue 24 Oct 2017
at 18:26
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
Removing the note that Signar penned, Martel passed it without comment to Lady Rosamund. After she had had a chance to read it, he recounted the Kingsown's final moments for her. For now he said nothing of the crow coin, wanting to provide her time to process what he had said first
Director
 GM, 271 posts
 For Highdunn
 For the King!
Mon 30 Oct 2017
at 01:14
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
With practised composure Rosamund took the bloody scrap from Martel and scanned it, stiff-backed and austere. Only the grim tightness of her mouth betrayed any trace of emotion. Her eyes traced the imprecise text several times, as if looking for some hidden meaning, but eventually she merely nodded, refolding the ragged piece of parchment and slipping it into the generous recesses of her sleeve.

Raising her chin, the lady of the house drew a steady breath as if to speak when a commotion of complaining hinges and shifting skirts announced the arrival of another woman. Younger than Rosamund, she had a countryside prettiness about her, with unruly straw-coloured hair and full smiling cheeks. Under her plain grey dress it was clear that the girl was heavy with child, and the ugly flush of her brow suggested the haste with which she had come.

"Rose! Oh Rose, Manfred told me that we have had word from dear Signar!" she gasped, breath only now returning to her. "Calm yourself Kyra, all this excitement doe no good for you or the babe." Rosamund responded with the cool care of a disciple for his flock. And crossing to the disarranged newcomer she guided Kyra to a creaking camp chair of ancient and dusty condition, and helped her lower herself into the seat. The trio could not help but notice that while Kyra's face showed only hope and joy at word from her gallant beloved, Rosamund's hand strayed to the sleeve that concealed that bloody scrap the second her younger companion was comfortably arrayed.

"Now," Rosamund said, retuning her attention to the three newcomers "I fear that my good husband will not return much inside of a tenday - his travel plans suggested a great many engagements to the north, and doubtless his journey will be slowed by the soldiers on the road, but rest assured that anything you might ask that were in his power to give is in mine also." She paused to let the sincerity of her offer sink in. "However I must ask a further service of you first. Please, I think it best if news of Signar come from the lips of they who carried it if gentility be in you."

Smallfeather found himself making a concerted effort not the meet the girl's eyes. His method of widowing women generally came earlier in the process as a whole. Casting vaguely about the room and noting the modest valuables that decorated it, he caught a flash of movement. A twitch of a curtain that covered what might be a musician's alcove. Had it been a breeze? No, the lavishly glazed windows were all drawn shut, and the day outside had been still. Perhaps some servant awaited beyond the curtain at his mistress's pleasure, but that would be an odd way to run a household. Smallfeather had been ensconced in enough musician's alcoves to know that they seldom admitted access to any part of the house where an entertainer might filch something unobserved.

Most likely it was nothing... But in Smallfeather's experience that invariably meant it was most certainly not nothing.

OOC: Breaking the news to Kyra is one thing, but doing it gently is quite another. If you want to soften the blow formulate a test to beat a difficulty of 8. Happy for you to offer advantages/dsadvantages along the way. Merana, a woman's touch (or application of your other skills) might well be of use here.

Smallfeather, you're going to ignore the curtain thing right? It's totally nothing. You can make a test with a difficulty of 5 for some more information to see how sharp your eyes were.

Smallfeather
 player, 126 posts
Mon 30 Oct 2017
at 13:36
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
"Oops," Smallfeather said as a juggling ball slipped from his fingers and rolled beneath the curtain. "Butterfingers, I."

He stepped over to the curtain and pulled it back.
Director
 GM, 274 posts
 For Highdunn
 For the King!
Sun 5 Nov 2017
at 14:10
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
The heavy draperies complained on their rail under Smallfeather's swift assault, revealing a sliver of a darkened alcove, perhaps large enough for a pair of not over-large men and their instruments. A dusty harp rested in the corner, only a pair of its strings still intact, though the stools one might expect in such a place were entirely absent. A narrow, low ceilinged corridor receded into disused shadow at the rear of the chamber, likely leading to the servant's rooms or the kitchen or some other place appropriate for lowly and delinquent musicians.

At the mouth of this corridor sat a candlestick, and at its wick Smallfeather caught the traitorous red of dying light. That candle had been burning only moments ago. Of course a great many people might have perfectly innocent cause to be back here, but what innocent would quit the space if not in guilt or fear of discovery?

Furthermore, if he who had just passed - presumably down that ungenerous and claustrophobic passage - into the nighted depths of the house were retreating, which hasty stealth, from such fear then it stood to reason that they might meet pursuit with intense unwelcome (perhaps even force) from the hidden depths of environs that offered clear advantage to their natives.

OOC: Difficulty 5 to peer into the darkness of the corridor and see who/what's there, or a turn to light the candle assuming you have the materials to do so on your person (rather than, say, on the mule). You can do both, but striking a light will be a source of Disadvantage to the peering. You could also spend a turn letting your eyes adjust for Advantage, but may as well light the candle if you're gonna do that. Or you can set off into the corridor without the impediment of stealth that your now-quarry presumably has. Or... something else. I dunno. I'm not the boss of you.

Merana and Martel, happy for you to continue to console the widow Kyra or join Smallfeather in his adventure in the cramped dark. He'll probably be fine on his own...

Martel Gautaz
 player, 147 posts
Mon 6 Nov 2017
at 19:52
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
With the merest of glances at his clumsy companion - though perhaps the furrowing of his brow marked that he recalled Smallfeather to be anything but - Martel offered a nod to their hostess, murmuring, "Of course, Lady Rosamund. Might we withdraw for a moment or two? Our duty as messengers brings us burdened with one or two enquiries at your leisure, but one that we might stave off with a mug of water or tea whilst you speak privately"

With his tone the dye-maker tried to portray that such leisure carried an undertone or urgency
Smallfeather
 player, 131 posts
Tue 7 Nov 2017
at 15:24
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
Peering down the corridor, Smallfeather saw nothing. He was certain someone had been there, but without lighting a candle (or torch) and heading down the way, he'd learn nothing.

He wasn't prepared to be that kind of Kingsown. Some of them were brutish asses. He was determined to be a charming ass.

"I believe we had an observer," he said.
Director
 GM, 281 posts
 For Highdunn
 For the King!
Wed 15 Nov 2017
at 22:12
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
Lady Rosamund was in the process of assenting to Martel's request and leading the now-concerned Kyra toward a more modest parlour when Smallfeather announced his discovery. Her brows pinched (rather than knotted) at the idea. "Doubtless one of the kitchen staff - they're a nosy lot. If you've a care for it I've no doubt you could lay a hand on the culprit easily enough. Those passages lead back to the servant's quarters and the rear entrance."

With that she returned her attention to Merana and Martel "Please, I'll arrange an elderflower tea."

OOC: If you still want to explain the situation to Kyra I don't need a blow by blow - you can gloss over the details, and if you want to take the test feel free to describe how she takes it. Successfully breaking it to her easy (diff 5) will leave you Respected, and be a source of Advantage for any future request you might make of Rosamund or her household for information or aid until further notice (which will more or less mean until you abuse it or fail catastrophically).

This message had punctuation tweaked by the GM at 02:35, Wed 22 Nov 2017.

Martel Gautaz
 player, 150 posts
Fri 24 Nov 2017
at 10:40
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
Frowning himself, Martel made a small gesture towards the now uncovered alcove, and asked with a note of command, "Find them, Master Smallfeather, Merana, if you please"

That dealt with he stepped towards the two women, "Lady Rosamund, my apologies, but this changes this..." and he quietly and respectfully steered the two women towards the parlour, laying out the events that had lead to Kyra's husband's passing

Claiming an Advantage from our recent investiture with the discovery of the observer

10:35, Today: Martel Gautaz rolled 3 using 2d6-1d6+3.  Persuasive + Wits (Charming) + Leaning on Authority Advantage. (Corrected Dice).
10:35, Today: Martel Gautaz rolled 2 using 2d5-1d6+3.  Persuasive + Wits (Charming) + Leaning on Authority Advantage.

Merana Sabravin
 player, 85 posts
 The wisdom of the poor is
 as a palace in the desert
Sun 26 Nov 2017
at 05:46
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
Merana shot Martel a quick look, brows elegantly arched. She was not accustomed to such assertion, especially not from the over-courteous merchant's son. Yet there it was, some steel to the man. Still, she had not been present the night this poor girl was widowed, and it seemed that Rosamund (prim though she seemed) was up to the task of feminine commiseration, and so she gave a slow nod of assent, as if to say "Very well - this time."

Merana turned her lovely countenance to face the slight troubadour "Very well master Smallfeather, you strike me as a man who has lurked unseen and uninvited in a musician's alcove more than once. If we're to find our eavesdropper what would you suggest?"
Smallfeather
 player, 132 posts
Mon 27 Nov 2017
at 15:00
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
He didn't bother defending himself against the statement. It was the truth (something against from which a wise man should always consider defending himself) but hadn't been said with any real malice to it. So, why bother?

"Honestly, the best method is to simply light up a torch and move faster than the other fellow,"
he replied.
Merana Sabravin
 player, 86 posts
 The wisdom of the poor is
 as a palace in the desert
Mon 27 Nov 2017
at 22:06
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
Merana gave a thoughtful nod, hand idly tracing the indego markings of her arm in thought "Then given we do not know how fast the other fellow is, I suppose we'd best be about it" she concluded, rising and gliding to the heavy drapes. "Have you a means to make light?"
Smallfeather
 player, 133 posts
Wed 29 Nov 2017
at 19:08
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
"As I doubt you refer to my dazzling smile..." Smallfeather reached into a concealed pocket in his tunic and pulled out a flint. He struck it against the stone wall of the corridor and used the spark to light the candle that had been left on the table nearby. If there was a torch in the corridor, they could trade up. "...and so."
Director
 GM, 288 posts
 For Highdunn
 For the King!
Thu 30 Nov 2017
at 14:33
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
The candle flared as the flame took, illuminating the alcove and the passage beyond  and throwing gaunt, capering ghosts across the unadorned walls beyond. Proceeding in Smallfeather and Merana found a short narrow passage that hooked to the left and wound into the depths of the house, before exiting again in a corridor opposite the door to a modest kitchen, where recently-disturbed strands of cobweb drifted impossibly on imperceptible currents of air.

The slate flags beyond the narrow tunnel were swept clean enough to show no trace of passage, but the kitchen was host to a pair of servants in stained aprons and hoods, talking in hushed tones by the hearth of a large oven whilst sharing a stale loaf.

The corridor proper that to the left and right, with nearby doorways that must surely lead to a larder, perhaps even a smoking room, as well as deeper into the house while through the kitchen a heavy door, barred and flanked by stacks of poultry cages and crates suggested a tradesman's entrance.

As Smallfeather emerged with the light the pair of servants gave a start and looked up at him, but quickly assessed him and returned to their low chatter. Merana pushing through behind managed to avoid the faceful of ticklish silken strands that now decorated Smallfeather's brow.



Meanwhile into the ladies' parlour beyond the great hall - a modest room, but comfortable thanks to a wealth of unremarkable embroidery and tapestry - Martel followed the lady of the house, the widow Kyra fastened firmly to her elbow. The furnishings were worn but Martel judged them to be of excellent quality, and no little antiquity, and on the mantle above the tiny hearth stood beautifully illuminated pages of scripture (from the book of Hanna if Martel if recalled correctly) stood under nigh-flawless glass.

Prized possessions of the household no doubt.

Rosamund guided her charge to a seat, and there Kyra sat, eyes already welling, expectant.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:12, Mon 18 Dec 2017.

Martel Gautaz
 player, 152 posts
Sat 2 Dec 2017
at 22:08
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
Taking a moment to contemplate the heath whilst he pulled his thoughts together, Martel turned to the two women, pacing a little as he spoke: "Until an hour ago I was a merchant, a wandering dye-maker. Until three days ago I was sleepy and content, sat in an inn in the frontier town of Cavalier's Falls. Now I, and my companions, are Kingsown: sworn to continue the mission of a man who impressed me without parallel even though we exchanged only a handful of words and a scattering of moments 'neath the sky and Divh."

He paused in the pacing, taking to one knee in front of Kyra, "That man was your man, my Lady. It is and will ever be my sorrow that we met in the moment's of his passing, his honour held and his duty passed like a staff. His final thoughts were of you and your child: his love clear and his hopes for the babe such that he asked it be named for his father. It takes three of us to fill his shadow, if only in the service he gave to the Kingdom... and we wished to see the woman who so inspired him"

Director
 GM, 296 posts
 For Highdunn
 For the King!
Mon 18 Dec 2017
at 05:36
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
Satisfied that their eavesdropper had been no more sinister than some gossip-hungry servant Merana and Smallfeather picked their way back up the narrow passageway and navigated to the parlour, leaving the pair of greasy scullions to go about their daily tasks (which seemed to involve hauling sacks of discarded vegetable matter out of the house at present) in relative peace.

By the time they found the parlour (and Smallfeather had removed the cobwebs from his hair and replaced the candle) Martel was coming to the end of his recounting of the events of the Day of Victory, and the widow was weeping in the chilly embrace of her sister-in-law.

Silent sobs wracked Kyra's body, and her hands shook uncontrollably. She didn't hold onto Rosamund, instead her arms were stiff at her side, useless, tight with emotion she could not release fast enough. Her breath came in tremulous gasps and her face, pretty before, was now a mask of tear-streaked pain.

It was sobering to think that she might not be the last widow so wrought with grief with armies massing already along the borders.

Seeing the Merana and Smallfeather return, Rosamund looked up from a charge whose open display of emotion clearly made her uncomfortable, and recollection dawned in her expression. "This mission of which you speak - might it have taken Signar to  Southaven?"
Merana Sabravin
 player, 94 posts
 The wisdom of the poor is
 as a palace in the desert
Mon 18 Dec 2017
at 18:45
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
While she had had the intention to comment on what they had found, the sight of Kyra forestalled any light-heartedness she might have injected into the situation -- with the message delivered, it would only come across as uncomfortably shallow. Instead, she chose to answer Lady Rosamund's question.

- "Very likely so, my Lady. Even as we traveled from the scene, we ran into a rider mere hours after the event, claiming to be a brother of Signar: He called himself Maikel, third son to the Doge of Kithridge. He demanded the message Signar carried for the Earl's ears alone, and was quite angered upon hearing we had no intention of sharing it with anyone but the Earl, as instructed by your man's dying wish."

She paused a few seconds to let the information sink in.

- "We later came across this man a second time, outside the city walls. He was with a group of wagons, offering a crown to the one to bring us to him to no doubt remove the message by force, though we managed to talk them down. Given the distinction between appearance and behavior 'tis safe to assume this man gave us a false name -- something the Earl was kind enough to confirm -- but perhaps you may have seen him in the presence of another, my Lady? Knowing his appearance would aid your safety not to let this man approach you, and our investigation if we were to learn more of this man whose involvement may, at the very least, be considered suspect, though we would understand if this is not a good time."

She silently took a deep breath, awaiting the reaction. She knew that commoners were simply unable to plot against the King to this degree, not without help from a ranking noble seeking to take his place. If there was to be a war among the nobility, she figured the first thing to know would need to be who they'd be making an enemy of. And if Lady Rosamund recalled spotting this 'Maikel' speaking with someone or, even better, being a known manservant, it would give them a much stronger tie to work with than what they had now. The key, however, was that they would need Rosamund's cooperation, and while the search for Signar's killer would grant them a fair chance of receiving it, giving the impression that Kyra was being brushed aside would have the opposite effect: This was why she had ended with giving Rosamund the decision on where and when she would wish the conversation to continue. It was a thin balance to tread upon.
Director
 GM, 304 posts
 For Highdunn
 For the King!
Fri 5 Jan 2018
at 16:18
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
Rosamund listened gravely, Kyra still wracked with breathless shuddering at her side. She shook her head, brow furrowed in concern "I cannot say I have seen such a man. Doubtless you know that our Doge has but a single son, and so doubtless he is a liar and scoundrel. I shall not let a man claiming that name pass my door I can assure you, and I thank you for your caution. However it was not this man that turned my mind to Southaven."

Disentangling herself from her weeping sister-in-law Rosamund rose to her feet and stiffly walked to the mantle, taking down a folded sheet of parchment and opening it with detached care and examining a few lines of messy script. "This very morning I received a message from a man named Heren - a scholar in Southaven - who wished to impart to Signar that his research had borne fruit. I cannot say whether it pertains to your cause, but nor can I say it does not."

She glanced up, searching for some sign of recognition in her guests.
Merana Sabravin
 player, 97 posts
 The wisdom of the poor is
 as a palace in the desert
Fri 5 Jan 2018
at 17:18
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
- "I do not believe he would call himself such, my Lady, not in this city at least, though as a precaution we will share his appearance should he pick another name to go by."

After giving Kyra and Rosamund a description of the one calling himself Maikel, Merana frowned for a moment, thinking on where she had heard the name of Heren. The name did not sound familiar to her, though to be fair, she wanted to get out of the city before curfew turned to closed and guarded gates, and this seemed like the perfect reason to.

- "Hmm... The name does not sound familiar, though as you say it might be related. Since the message was addressed to your House, if you wish it, we could look into this research in your name? This way, we could meet with this Heren without suspicion, and should this matter be unrelated to our cause we would deliver this information to you upon our return."

This message was last edited by the player at 17:19, Fri 05 Jan 2018.

Director
 GM, 305 posts
 For Highdunn
 For the King!
Sat 6 Jan 2018
at 02:02
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
"I'll not ask as how it is that your journey so generously aligns with this small errand, but I'd be glad for you to carry news of Signar's..." she regarded Kyra before lowering her voice "That he has joined with Koroth. I will furnish you with a reply in my own hand." And she crossed the room to a small writing desk.
Martel Gautaz
 player, 157 posts
Mon 8 Jan 2018
at 22:07
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
"Our thanks, Lady", offered Martel as he stood beside the widow with a hand placed gently on her shoulder to lend some degree of support, "I hope it is Aliel's hand that offer's such a chance whilst Koroth's holds the Lord Signar in his might..."
Director
 GM, 315 posts
 For Highdunn
 For the King!
Wed 24 Jan 2018
at 02:20
Chapter 3 (3.0): "Kingsown"
The trio of Kingsown tarried only long enough to be furnished by Lady Rosamund with a perfunctory note of introduction to the scholar Heren, and then bade she and a still-tearful Kyra a subdued farewell.

They passed out of the city without challenge nor sighting of any foe, and departed through the gate by which they had entered mere hours before. The teamster camp that had hosted them the previous night was now no more than a kicked-out camp-fire and flattened scrub and they made their way to the south, bound for the shining jewel of enlightenment, industry and piety that was the City of Southaven.

continued in Chapter 4 (4.0) "The Road South"...