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ZONE - The Moor


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#1 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 08:57 PM

The Moor was a dismal place, all things considered. The smell of the swamp was almost overwhelming, and the road leading into the town itself was frequently formed of wooden planks and small bridges over the treacherous swampy terrain. For miles, all anyone could see - depending on the weather that day - was fog, twisted and gnarly trees, and swamp shrubs and muck.

 

The town itself was a small place. If you didn't know, you wouldn't have thought it an Imperial town. The buildings were relatively primitive, made of wood and reeds and sometimes dried mud - how they got the mud to try in a place like this is beyond your ken. The streets are fairly well maintained, though all dirt instead of any cobblestone.

 

The inhabitants are just what you'd expect: smelly, superstitious, usually fairly grimy, and always casting glares and glances at anyone who doesn't belong there. Truly, this is the backwater of the backwater. There's a reason people don't really come here. But the people of the Moor are hard-working, and during the day, the town bustles with activity.

 

When night falls, the Moor becomes a different world. Blackness pervades the village, and no one dares go out into the streets. A fire burns in the center of town at all times, maintained by a careful few who venture outside and never stray from its light. The windows of the homes are lit from within by their own warm, orange illumination, but the town falls silent except for the sounds of the swamp. The choruses of frogs, the singing of crickets, and the assorted other wildlife... Sometimes one even hears stranger sounds, always explained by the folk of the Moor as the monsters that dwell in the darkness of the fen.

 

---

 

The Templars, Inquisitors, and Venatori arrived in the Moor at twilight. The streets were all but deserted, and a large bonfire burned in the center of town. As they approached, a few brave townsfolk came out to stand in the firelight and watch them with all too apparent suspicion. It was jarringly apparent that they didn't get many armored warriors - much less Templars or Inquisitors - passing through the area.

 

Stevan glanced back at the others. "We should wait until morning to head out," he said. "No need to risk traveling at night without reason... And maybe these people have some idea of what's going on."

 

"They might, but they probably wouldn't tell us," Sebastian muttered under his breath.

 

"Indeed," Yaroslava said in agreement, though she didn't lower her voice at all. By her horse's side, Shade huffed.

 

As everyone dismounted, Sebastian and Ben aided some of the slightly friendlier locals with all the horses, as they led them toward the stables behind the local inn. No doubt those locals were planning to head indoors which the last ray of light disappeared from the horizon.

 

Meanwhile, Stevan headed into the inn itself to get them some lodging. Given the inn's size, there was no doubt they would be sharing rooms even more this time. The inn was the same as everything else: small and homely, with ceramic dishes and ale that stunk almost as bad as the rest of the swamp... At least, the cheapest kind did. Some of the other kinds smelled surprisingly good, and the food seemed uncharacteristically decent.

 

As the group dismounted, the townsfolk around them stared and whispered among themselves, though a few remarked aloud to the various Imperial officials...

 

"Gonna do something about that witch in the swamps?" said one man.

 

"Aye, she stole another child in the night!" added another in frighteningly genuine agreement.

 

"They shouldn't be here," snorted an older woman. "Just gonna cause trouble."

 

But a woman shoved her way through the others, dropping to her knees before the group and begging, "My friend - he's dying! Thank the gods you've come! Like a gift from Olympos, ye are! Please, come, help me!"

 

"Enough, Sandra," growled one man in the crowd. "He went into the swamp. He shouldn't have gone off alone."

 

"Don't listen to them!" the woman, Sandra, pleaded. "Please, he's sick! One of you could heal him!"

 

 

 

((I'm sure everyone is ready to embark on the actual adventure, but I thought it might be fun to give you at least a brief opportunity to interact with the area and the people in it first. There are plenty of sidequests around to pick up, and there's always more interaction to be done among your fellow players and companions. Perhaps not all the rumors around here are false - and perhaps there's some reward, or at least renown, waiting for the people who can help the townsfolk with certain troubles. Some may even connect to whatever you're looking for out in that swamp.

 

Whenever people are ready to go, just let me know by heading into the inn to get some sleep. I'll probably move us along into the actual swamp next weekend, or perhaps a little later, depending on my schedule and how posting goes.))


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#2 Flammenwerfer

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 10:12 AM

As Gauvain clumsily dismounted his horse and helped lead it to the stables, he could feel the eyes of the villagers on him and his brethren.  These villagers had probably never seen their kind in their lifetime. They must have been wondering what a whole bunch of Templars, Inquisitors and Venatori wanted with their humble home.

 

He wasn’t too concerned with that. He was more interested in their inn. It was smaller than the one they’d stayed in previously, but he didn’t care much where he slept. Really, he just wanted some food and ale. The simple needs. He was about to head to the inn, when something the townspeople said caught his interest.

 

"Gonna do something about that witch in the swamps?" one of them asked.

 

"Aye, she stole another child in the night!" added another in frighteningly genuine agreement.

 

A witch in the swamps? That seemed more like Inquisitor territory, but Gauvain couldn’t deny his interest in the matter. Finding Letom took priority, but this seemed like something worth looking into. There was a part of him that thought that there was no swamp witch and maybe this was just superstition run rampant. This was, however, the part of him that he seldom listened to.

 

“What witch?” he asked plainly.


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#3 Sareth

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 02:57 PM

The moor was hardly appealing to Kristina, who was used to a more urban environment. Still, it wasn't the first time her duties had taken her someplace unpleasant.

 

After dismounting, she looked around at the town —if it could be called that with a straight face— and the rather suspicious group of people who had gathered, until her attention was caught when a couple of the locals remarked:

 

 

"Gonna do something about that witch in the swamps?

 

"Aye, she stole another child in the night!"

 

She immediately headed over to the pair who had spoken, only for the massive male templar —Gauvain— to beat her to it.

 

“What witch?”

 

"Yes, pray tell" she added, reinforcing the templar's question.

 

If there really was a witch, she could very well be connected to their quarry, 'Letom' —and, even if she wasn't, it was her duty to find and capture such individuals at any rate...

 

***

 

Sarael always enjoyed seeing new places, but, even for her, the moor took some getting used to.

 

After dismounting, she gave Silver Breeze a loving pet on the neck before passing her reins off to one of the helpful locals to take to the stables.

 

She then looked around, curious as to why many of the villagers looked so suspicious of them, before a woman suddenly came pushing through the crowd.

 

 

"My friend - he's dying! Thank the gods you've come! Like a gift from Olympos, ye are! Please, come, help me!"

 

"Enough, Sandra. He went into the swamp. He shouldn't have gone off alone."

 

"Don't listen to them! Please, he's sick! One of you could heal him!"

 

Sarael wasn't a healer, but the woman seemed so distraught that she couldn't help but ask: "What's wrong with him? What happened?"


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#4 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 06:26 PM

Malvolio looked around at the primative village that they were in and was reminded greatly of the Iron Ring of Coriniaria. However, his thoughts were distracted when one of the villagers, a distressed woman calling out at one of her friends was sick.

The scarred Templar leaned over in his saddle and asked "How long ago did this happen exactly?"

---

As the company entered the village, Evan was reminded of the dim memories he had about the village he had grown up in before...

His thoughts were interuppted by one of the villagers mentioning a witch living in the swamp.

He looked at the one who had spoken, and asked with a remarkably straight face "Which witch are you talking about?"

(Sorry, I couldn't resist. :) ))

#5 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 11:13 AM

As Gauvain, Kristina, and Evan all asked about the witch, several people started talking at once to explain. Clearly, they were eager to have Inquisitors take care of the problem.

 

"There's a witch out in the swamps," said one. "She eats children, she does."

 

"Be silent. Any words coming out of your mouth, they won't even believe," said another man, a large fellow with a long, thick beard - he looked like either a human-sized dwarf or a very small jotunn. "I am Mason. I lost my own daughter to this damned witch. If you Inquisitors would get rid of her, it'd do us all a favor."

 

Evan then dropped his little remark, which made Mason scowl and cross his arms, and several other townsfolk blinked in slight horror and looked at each other in disbelief.

 

"This is no laughing matter! I thought Inquisitors, of everyone, wouldn't ignore this!" Mason growled, clearly seeing through the deadpan... unlike some of his fellows.

 

"Is there more than one witch!?" a child suddenly asked in terror. Even his mother didn't seem to know how to respond.

 

"Is there? Surely the Inquisitors would know, if there was," she murmured.

 

"If you knew about this one - and know about others - then why didn' ye come help!? Ain't that yer job?" demanded another man in an outrage. Mason held up a hand for him to be silent.

 

Meanwhile, Yaroslava elbowed Evan hard in the side. "You're supposed to be a professional, fool," she hissed. "Remember we're authority figures. This is our job, if we make jokes about it, these people will believe every word we say. Don't make us all look like idiots just because you are."

 

Mason, his arms still crossed, turned back to Kristina and Gauvain. "We've never seen the witch. We've sent people out to try and find her, but if they do survive the swamps, they come back having seen nothing. But something either comes in the night and kidnaps a child or lures them away somehow. I fear we'll lose another tonight." He gestured at the steadily darkening sky.

 

"We should all get indoors soon," he added darkly. "The night's not safe."

 

---

 

Meanwhile, the woman turned to Sarael and said, "He's sick - and something attacked him! He has these wounds, these infected wounds..."

 

"It's because he went into the swamp alone - with nothing but an axe! Why would he do that, eh, Sandra?"

 

The woman, Sandra, turned to Malvolio and said, "It only happened a few hours ago - just earlier today. He's getting worse. Please, can you help him?"

 

She beckoned for them to follow her, but another woman came forward and said, "Ye might not want to, milords. He may be contagious. We've done what we can to make 'im comfortable. If the illness spreads, we could all die."


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#6 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 05:41 PM

"He's sick - and something attacked him! He has these wounds, these infected wounds...It only happened a few hours ago - just earlier today. He's getting worse. Please, can you help him?"

 

Malvolio shook his head and said "I know little to nothing about such wounds, however, I know someone else in our cavalcade who might..."

 

He turned, looking for someone, and then rode over to Hadrian and said "A Woman is talking about someone with infected wounds. Do you have any training in being able to cure them?"

 

---

 

"This is no laughing matter! I thought Inquisitors, of everyone, wouldn't ignore this!"

 

Evan immediately felt sorry because of what he had said, considering what the man had gone through. He opened his mouth, and got as far as "I'm sorry, sir, I didn't k-" before Yaroslava, who he had been riding beside, elbowed him in the ribs, hissing "o"

 

"I said I was sorry..." The dark-skinned Inquisitor grumbled in reply.

 

Then, Mason, the small giant that Evan had just offended, spoke up:

 

"We've never seen the witch. We've sent people out to try and find her, but if they do survive the swamps, they come back having seen nothing. But something either comes in the night and kidnaps a child or lures them away somehow. I fear we'll lose another tonight. We should all get indoors soon, the night's not safe."

 

Evan turned to Yaroslava, and said "Do you think we should stay out here? I mean, maybe then we can see who or what lures the kids off. Or, do we wait until whatever it is comes to get them?"

 



#7 Neyo Wargear

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 05:56 PM

Cicero had gathered around the locals speaking of a witch. One 'smart' Inquisitor decided to turn it into a joking matter and Cicero wanted to smack him across his bare face with his gauntlet.

The one called Mason, spoke of how no one had found the witch and it was unsafe to be outside at night.

Then the one who had joked turned to the dog owner, "Do you think we should stay out here? I mean, maybe then we can see who or what lures the kids off. Or, do we wait until whatever it is comes to get them?"

Cicero decided to approach the two, "I saw we wait outside and keep watch, our black armor could aid us without being spotted by whatever is taking the children."

Omnius mille passus expeditio, omnis fossa bellum.

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#8 Sareth

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Posted 18 February 2016 - 07:20 PM

"Which witch are you talking about?"

 

Kristina shot a sharp glare at the speaker —the southerner, Evan—, sorely tempted to smack the man upside the head for his stupidity —alas, she was too far away. Thankfully, Yaroslava, who was close enough, apparently had the same idea, and elbowed the man sharply in the ribs; Kristina carefully repressed the grin of satisfaction at the sight that attempted to make its way onto her face —her mouth didn't even twitch—, and the turned back to the villagers to address some of what they had said.

 

"We've never seen the witch. We've sent people out to try and find her, but if they do survive the swamps, they come back having seen nothing. But something either comes in the night and kidnaps a child or lures them away somehow. I fear we'll lose another tonight."

 

"Meaning no offense, but if you've never seen 'her', how do you know that she is a witch —and not an animal, or something else?" she asked calmly. It wasn't that she doubted their word per se, but kidnapping children wasn't exactly typical magic-user behavior, and she wanted to get all the facts she could. "And how often does this happen?"

 

Meanwhile, the idiot jokester and one of the other Ebonguards were discussing plans for a watch that night.

 

"Do you think we should stay out here? I mean, maybe then we can see who or what lures the kids off. Or, do we wait until whatever it is comes to get them?"

"I saw we wait outside and keep watch, our black armor could aid us without being spotted by whatever is taking the children."

 

"If we do, we should probably get one of the Venatori to join us, just in case it's something else" she suggested.

 

***

 

"He's sick - and something attacked him! He has these wounds, these infected wounds..."

 

 

"It's because he went into the swamp alone - with nothing but an axe! Why would he do that, eh, Sandra?"

 

"It only happened a few hours ago - just earlier today. He's getting worse. Please, can you help him?"

 

"Ye might not want to, milords. He may be contagious. We've done what we can to make 'im comfortable. If the illness spreads, we could all die."

 

"We can't just leave him to die if we could save him!" Sarael retorted emphatically to the one who was worried about contagion.

 

"I know little to nothing about such wounds, however, I know someone else in our cavalcade who might..."

 

After the venator —... what was his name? Melvin? ... Marvin? ... Mavl... Malvolio, right, that was it!— said his piece and headed off to find a healer amongst the group, she turned back to the concerned woman, Sandra.

 

"Don't worry" she said with a reassuring smile, trying to comfort the woman. "I'm sure we've got a healer who can help him!"


"This means I will not have to regret sending back their envoy short a few limbs."

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#9 Burger Warrior

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 03:06 AM

Mettius frowned as the entered the Moor, keeping in mind what the old woman had said. Er, pointed, rather. Somewhere around here, she’d seen the armored figures; and definitely the twisted trees that made up the swamp around the Moor. It was a little creepy how close her images wrought in string matched the real deal out here, which left Tibur feeling more than a little uneasy. Letom - assuming that’s who was behind this literal madness - could be anywhere… and probably closer than further.

 

The Inquisitor shuddered a little at the thought of him blending in with the suspicious, backwater folk of this town. Well, if you could even call it a town. Mettius wrinkled his nose at the smell of the whole place, and the shoddy build of the buildings. It was a wonder how some mages might choose to hide in these places, when the small village on Karak Du Vide built specially for those with the Condition was superior in pretty much every way. If Tibur wasn’t dedicated to bringing mages back there to live a more enjoyable life than hiding holes in miserable places like this, he’d probably volunteer.

 

As it was, though, he had a duty to his fellow Conditioned to bring them back safely.

 

However, in this case, it was keeping others safe from someone who probably didn’t have the Condition. Still, Letom was a threat… and he could possibly sway mages to his side if left unchecked. A ‘Gifted’ person fleeing the Inquisition was a pity, but one that actively fought back thanks to verbal poison from such individuals as Letom was a tragedy. Mettius wouldn’t let it happen while he still drew breath.

 

But before he could pull off something that noble, they had to find the slippery heretic.

 

As the locals began asking them for help with various tasks, Evan went about acting like a complete idiot as usual, but was quickly corrected by Yaroslava. Still, the mention of a witch was… worrying. Though as Mettius came to listen in, he frowned from beneath his great helm at the description of said monster.

 

"We've never seen the witch.”

 

Sighing, the Ebonguard turned away at that, listening to another woman plead for medical aid. He was no expert in such matters, and volunteering to help would probably end badly somehow. Mettius knew his bedside manner was somewhat… wanting, as it were.

 

So, biting his lip, the Conditioned warrior strode straight toward the inn, leaving the others to figure things out. If this witch problem was really worth looking into for an Inquisitor, someone would probably come get him.

 

-----

 

Irena trailed after Sarael as the group split up in the Moor, nodding piously at the humble appearance of the place. The people here were clearly hard-working, and didn’t take such pride as to make dwellings that were better than their station. In fact, Cathas felt a tad jealous in that regard, but she kept it to herself as some brave folk approached them despite the fading twilight, bringing many problems before the Imperial warriors. Irena frowned at the two biggest ones, of a possible witch and a sick man. While she wished she could help the ailed person, healing was, unfortunately, not her specialty at all.

 

Mysterious threats from beyond, however, were right in her league.

 

Quietly approaching the numerous warriors listening to claims of a witch, Irena listened attentively to what details - or lack thereof - were provided, and the comments of her comrades in arms.

 

"We've never seen the witch. We've sent people out to try and find her, but if they do survive the swamps, they come back having seen nothing. But something either comes in the night and kidnaps a child or lures them away somehow. I fear we'll lose another tonight."

 

"I saw we wait outside and keep watch, our black armor could aid us without being spotted by whatever is taking the children."

 

"If we do, we should probably get one of the Venatori to join us, just in case it's something else."

 

Irena cleared her throat. “I’d like to volunteer, too. If it’s some… agent of Letom’s or his master’s, I’ll be able to identify it. Probably.” She added, somewhat sheepishly as she glanced at her half-completed tome.


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#10 Harry Monster Princess

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 11:29 AM

Hadrian ignored the idiot inquisitor raising panic and stress, and rushed past the others to the distraught woman.

 

"My friend - he's dying! Thank the gods you've come! Like a gift from Olympos, ye are! Please, come, help me!"

 
"Enough, Sandra," growled one man in the crowd. "He went into the swamp. He shouldn't have gone off alone."
 
"Don't listen to them!" the woman, Sandra, pleaded. "Please, he's sick! One of you could heal him!"
 
A pair of templar were already there asking questions. "What's wrong with him? What happened?"
 
"He's sick - and something attacked him! He has these wounds, these infected wounds..."
 
"It's because he went into the swamp alone - with nothing but an axe! Why would he do that, eh, Sandra?"
 
The woman, Sandra, turned to the Templar Malvolio and said, "It only happened a few hours ago - just earlier today. He's getting worse. Please, can you help him?"
 
She beckoned for them to follow her, but another woman came forward and said, "Ye might not want to, milords. He may be contagious. We've done what we can to make 'im comfortable. If the illness spreads, we could all die."

 

Malvolio turned back and met Hadrian halfway. "A Woman is talking about someone with infected wounds. Do you have any training in being able to cure them?"
 
"A helluva lot more than any of you," Hadrian replied irritably, hardly sparing the man a glance as he moved past him. There was work to do.
 
Finally, the Venator reached the woman. The other templar there was the tall woman Sarael, trying to console the villager. Hadrian grumbled as he shoved past her, pushing her aside with his arm. He had no time for hollow condolences and unkeepable promises.
 
"I'm a healer. I'll do everything I can," Hadrian stated. But before he left, he raised his voice and addressed the group at large about their plans. "Set up a guard if you what, but no matter what you decide, under absolutely no circumstances does anyone enter that swamp at night!" He commanded. The Venator's venomous gaze swept across the group, clearly warning that anyone foolish enough not to heed his warning would have hell to pay. If they ever made it back.
 
That said, he turned to Sarael and pointed at her. "You, come with me. I'll need an aide." Lastly he returned his attention to the bereft woman. "Apologies for that. Take me to him immediately."
 
-------------
 
Lady Tamaria stood off to the side as every discussed what to do. Julius' terror and cryptic words still haunted her thoughts. Immediately after exiting the cell she had written down everything, and repeated it again in her journal entry for the night. But his words still swirled in her mind. She was eager for answers now that they had reached the Moor, but anxious for what they might find.
 
Finally shaking herself from her mind, Mina decided to be productive. 
 
"We can't possibly guard the entire town at night. We simply don't have the manpower, However," Mina spoke as she walked closer to the group, coming into the firelight that made her gold armor shimmer and dance in the glow. "All the victims have been children, correct? We should gather up all the children and put them in a central location. That way we can guarantee them proper protection, and whatever is doing this would have to go directly through us." Her clear voice brimmed with confidence. "And it will never get through us."

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#11 Ratcatcher

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 12:43 PM

As the sun began to set, Lucy didn't even realize that they made it into town until they were there. It was surprising how masking the fog and trees could be. She hadn't been in a swamp so naturally estranged before. When they arrived at the village, she was even more blown away at the humility these people had. There were no luxuries or fancies to be found, unless they considered some of their houses to be made with the best kind of mud.

 

Upon arrival, crowds of needy villagers begged for the help of the Inquisitors and Templars alike, with talk of a witch, missing children, and one of them afflicted somehow. She wasn't up for any of it, in all honesty; Ben's talk of monsters couldn't help but give her a queasy feeling in her gut, which just kept her in a mood best described as "anxious to do nothing." She watched as her fellow compatriots volunteered for various tasks, but she felt helpless once again. She knew nothing about witches or how to take them down, and was unfamiliar with sicknesses or healing (plus, the man taking over specifically requested no Inquisitors.)

 

Sighing, Augustus pulled up her hood, and wandered into the inn as Lady Tamaria offered to herd the children as bait. Perhaps the keeper had something helpful to do, or maybe she would see somebody else fretting about something that happened. As she walked in, to her surprise, she saw Mettius had already went in. She went over to where he was, and bleakly sat nearby. "Hey," she stated, making no effort to mask her lack of enthusiasm. Realizing her sorrowful attitude, she tried to perk up and seem more upbeat. "This inn seems much smaller than the last. We might have to share rooms again." She paused to hear his response, then asked, "Out of curiosity, why aren't you out there, offering to help?" She knew she was guilty of the same crime, but she wanted to hear his side anyway.



#12 GhostlyCheese

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 09:22 PM

"We've never seen the witch. We've sent people out to try and find her, but if they do survive the swamps, they come back having seen nothing. But something either comes in the night and kidnaps a child or lures them away somehow. I fear we'll lose another tonight." He gestured at the steadily darkening sky.

"We should all get indoors soon," he added darkly. "The night's not safe."

Grey listened as they spoke over this witch. It reminded him of when his family's homestead had a group of gypsies in the barn after they were taken in by his father during a storm. They told Grey of a witch in the mountains who comes down during blizzards and takes children from their beds, and to her cave where she cooks them. Leaving the six-year old with a sick feeling until his seventh year.

"A witch kidnapping children... If the children are actually disappearing, and any rescue either can't find her or is lost to the swamp. Sounds like more then a bedtime story." Grey mumbled to himself, looking up at the sky. "If anyone is planning on staying out tonight. I volunteer to go along. Plus, I have the means to turn the tides on a predator." Grey offered to the group. He would be useful in the event that something was using darkness to sneak into the town, as he was supplied with multiple night-vision solutions.

"All the victims have been children, correct? We should gather up all the children and put them in a central location. That way we can guarantee them proper protection, and whatever is doing this would have to go directly through us." Her clear voice brimmed with confidence. "And it will never get through us."

"We should have people on the outside too. Surrounding this location." Grey suggested to Tamaria, adding another safety measure to her idea. "I agree that we need to keep an eye on these children. And it seems like keeping them all together is a good way to go about it."

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#13 Burger Warrior

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 10:50 PM

Mettius glanced up as he noticed Lucy enter the inn after him, raising an inquisitive eyebrow under his greathelm.

 

"Hey," she stated, making no effort to mask her lack of enthusiasm. Apparently just realizing her sorrowful attitude, she tried to perk up and seem more upbeat. "This inn seems much smaller than the last. We might have to share rooms again."

 

“Maybe with someone else, too.” Tibur agreed, with a frown in his tone. “...Hopefully not with Evan.”

 

"Out of curiosity, why aren't you out there, offering to help?"

 

Mettius blinked. “...None of it is Inquisitorial business.” He said. “Someone is sick, and there’s a monster stealing children. They’re jobs the Venatori and Templars are equipped to deal with, not us. Not me, anyway.” He sighed, finally pulling off his black helmet. “...You came to the same conclusion, too, I see.”

 

-----

 

"We can't possibly guard the entire town at night. We simply don't have the manpower, However," Mina, another Templar, spoke as she walked closer to the group, coming into the firelight that made her gold armor shimmer and dance in the glow. "All the victims have been children, correct? We should gather up all the children and put them in a central location. That way we can guarantee them proper protection, and whatever is doing this would have to go directly through us." Her clear voice brimmed with confidence. "And it will never get through us."

 

Irena nodded decisively in agreement.

 

"We should have people on the outside too. Surrounding this location." The young Venator, Grey, suggested, adding another safety measure to Mina’s idea. "I agree that we need to keep an eye on these children. And it seems like keeping them all together is a good way to go about it."

 

“I don’t trust my night vision outside…” Cathas admitted, quietly. “But you Venatori have potions to help that or something, right?” She asked uncertainly. “Would I be able to use one?”


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#14 Ratcatcher

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 10:09 AM

 “...None of it is Inquisitorial business. Someone is sick, and there’s a monster stealing children. They’re jobs the Venatori and Templars are equipped to deal with, not us. Not me, anyway.” He sighed, finally pulling off his black helmet. As he did, Lucy held back a smile to the best of her ability. She hadn't seen his face this closely before. “...You came to the same conclusion, too, I see.”

 

"Um, well, yes. Sort of. I was thinking about changing my mind though. Just because it's not Inquisitorial business, doesn't mean that helping will won't look good for our cause. Especially witch-hunting. You see, they've got this plan to gather up children so that we can defend them from something tonight, and I was wondering..." She realized that her asking Mettius was completely see-through, but she thought, What the heck? Next month is my birthday. "...*ahem* sorry, I just realized that I might have left something at the asylum," she bluffed with ease, "but I was wondering if you would like to come and help? I mean, I've seen you under that armor, and you're as strong as an ox. Plus, you look like you have a gentle personality, and would do really well with convincing children to go somewhere central where they'll be safe." Regardless of whether or not he accepted, she stood up, punched him softly in his armored shoulder, said "your call," and headed out.

 

According to Lady Tamaria, the children all needed to be at some central location where they'd be safe. The inn was probably too dangerous for other people, so some shop or house toward the center of the town near the fire would be best. She went over to Lady Tamaria and said, "Unless you have a better location, I'm going to start gathering up kids and putting them in that building there." She pointed to a hovel in the center of the town. "Does that seem OK?" If she approved, Lucy would begin rounding up children and explaining calmly to anybody who asked questions why they were doing so.



#15 Harry Monster Princess

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 07:26 PM

One of the younger Inquisitors, a girl named Lucy, approached Lady Tamaria and said, "Unless you have a better location, I'm going to start gathering up kids and putting them in that building there." She pointed to a hovel in the center of the town. "Does that seem OK?" 

 

Mina thought about it for a moment. "No, we'll put everyone in the town's Temple for some divine protection as well." the Templar said, finalizing the decision.

 

Lady Tamaria raised her voice so everyone could hear her orders. "Villagers! Start spreading the word, gather your neighbors and bring your children to the Temple." Mina then started dividing the party of Templars and Inquisitors into groups to give them tasks. One group she commanded to go alert the temple and begin preparing it for the night. Another she sent to aid the villagers with securing the children, while she sent another to begin preparing the guard for the night. Lastly, she sent a handful to the inn to fetch meals for the evening.

 

Everyone squared away, she clapped her hands to dismiss everyone. "The moon is rising, let's move!"


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#16 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 08:09 PM

"Meaning no offense, but if you've never seen 'her', how do you know that she is a witch —and not an animal, or something else?" she asked calmly. "And how often does this happen?"

 
"It happened every other night for a few nights - I fear it'll happen again very soon," replied Mason. "We're sure it's a witch because there was once an old woman who came to visit here and peddle her damned herbs. I always knew she was a witch..."
 
"But we treated her poorly," an old man put in, "especially you, Mason. And she cursed us. After she disappeared, the kids started to disappear."
 
Mason just growled quietly and crossed his arms.
 
Meanwhile, the suggestion to herd the children together started going around. Mina even started to give orders. No one seemed very enthused, and several recoiled in terror.
 
"Leave it to a bunch of Imperial officials to ride up in here and start herding our own children!" an old woman snorted. "Ye've been here for five minutes! Fer all we know you just want to brainwash 'em into joining yer far-off cults! Bah!"
 
With that, she turned and led her grandchild back toward her home. Other villagers were starting to split up as well, some with children of their own.
 
"Do you think we should stay out here? I mean, maybe then we can see who or what lures the kids off. Or, do we wait until whatever it is comes to get them?" Evan asked Yaroslava.
 
Yaroslava snorted. "We should certainly stay out and watch, but I doubt a bunch of superstitious villagers cut off from the rest of the Empire are going to favor us telling them what to do with their children. As is already apparent."
 
Mason glanced around as the villagers started to disperse, turning back to the assorted Imperial officials. "I wish I knew how to help you. Given how much help your kind generally offers us, I can understand the way they feel about this. But," he gestured to the inn, "those of you who don't want to be caught out at night, you'd best head inside. If you want to stay out and wait for the witch, go ahead. I'm heading home."
 
He turned and departed just after he spoke, making his way to a small hovel near the edge of town.
 
---
 
"Don't worry" Sarael said with a reassuring smile, trying to comfort the woman. "I'm sure we've got a healer who can help him!"
 
The woman nodded. When Hadrian spoke to her, she nodded again and quickly turned, leading the way. "Follow me," she urged, looking back at those who had listened to her pleas.
 
She led them back to a small home, opening the shoddy wooden door and gesturing them through the low entranceway. The building was certainly homely, all puns intended - the furnishings were all hand-crafted by herself or other locals, and the place was lit only by assorted candles scattered around the house. The ceiling was - thankfully - higher than the doorway, leaving all of them more than enough space to stand up straight, even Sarael. All in all, it was a very well-made home, if rugged.
 
Moving forward, she led them to a back bedroom. A man lay there, utterly motionless... and not breathing.
 
Sandra sucked in a gasp, a hand shooting to her mouth. "Liam? Liam!" she said breathlessly. The man did not move. His skin was pale and he looked sick... or, at least, the condition of his face gave the impression of man, very sick, who died of his illness.
 
Turning away, Sandra darted from the room, starting to cry. They were already too late.

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#17 Ratcatcher

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 10:46 PM

"No," Lady Tamaria said, "we'll put everyone in the town's Temple for some divine protection as well."

 

"Oh," Lucy said, shrugging. "I suppose that's a better idea." But before she could go and talk to some people, Mina began shouting orders, which seemed to upset villagers more than help matters. As Lucy listened to the banter of angry peasants, she felt a little foolish for thinking it was a good idea.

 

Then again, Mina was probably the most charming and convincing woman she knew.

 

Well, nix on that plan, miss Lucy thought. Still, she hadn't been getting much sleep, with all of the unusual stresses this quest, she knew that trying to stay up with her fatigue was only going to bring trouble to herself, or possibly others around her. She yawned at the realization of how full of unrest she truly was. Looking around, the Channeler slumped back into the inn with a level of defeat. Going back to where she was, and seeing Mettius barely had time to think about her last request, she heartlessly admitted, "On second thought, maybe it would be better to regain strength for the day to come." Collapsing back into her spot, she asked, "Do you ever feel both restless and exhausted at the same time?" 



#18 Burger Warrior

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Posted 21 February 2016 - 08:58 PM

"Um, well, yes. Sort of. I was thinking about changing my mind though. Just because it's not Inquisitorial business, doesn't mean that helping will won't look good for our cause. Especially witch-hunting. You see, they've got this plan to gather up children so that we can defend them from something tonight, and I was wondering..." Lucy paused for some reason, causing Mettius to raise an inquisitive eyebrow. "...*ahem* sorry, I just realized that I might have left something at the asylum," she explained, making the Ebonguard shrug, "but I was wondering if you would like to come and help? I mean, I've seen you under that armor, and you're as strong as an ox. Plus, you look like you have a gentle personality, and would do really well with convincing children to go somewhere central where they'll be safe."

 

Tibur colored at her comment about his physique, rising as she did. “I-I’m not-” He began to protest, only for the Channeler to punch him lightly on his pauldron. He found himself thankful he decided not to get spiked pauldrons, but as he aroused himself from that though, he noticed his fellow Inquisitor was already leaving.

 

“Your call.”

 

If it was only so easy.

 

However, as Mettius finally sighed and decided he may as well pitch in with all his lack of experience in monster-hunting, he paused as he heard raised voices. Pulling his helmet on, the Ebonguard trotted up to the door, watching the peasants begin to disperse from the group trying to protect their children. Tibur sighed, watching Lucy start to make her way toward him, and he stepped aside as she shambled past.

 

Going back to where she had been before, she heartlessly admitted, "On second thought, maybe it would be better to regain strength for the day to come." Collapsing back into her spot, she asked, "Do you ever feel both restless and exhausted at the same time?"

 

The Inquisitor gave that some thought as he sat down beside her. “Sort of, yeah.” He shrugged, scratching his chin. “During Ebonguard training, mostly.” He added, looking somewhat sheepish. “I was pretty eager to get to work…” He glanced out the window, looking thoughtful. “Even if what happened out there just now tends to occur most of the time we try helping. It’s really a shame people just… won’t understand what we’re trying to do.”

 

-----

 

Irena sighed as one of the Templar’s practically began barking orders at everyone. The monk knew she meant well, but Tamaria clearly didn’t see the distrust and fear her idea was causing amongst the crowd of backwater peasants, and before Cathas could point that out, the peasants did so themselves.

 

"Leave it to a bunch of Imperial officials to ride up in here and start herding our own children!" an old woman snorted. "Ye've been here for five minutes! Fer all we know you just want to brainwash 'em into joining yer far-off cults! Bah!"

 

Yaroslava snorted, though towards her fellow Inquisitors and the Templars present rather than the peasants. "We should certainly stay out and watch, but I doubt a bunch of superstitious villagers cut off from the rest of the Empire are going to favor us telling them what to do with their children. As is already apparent."

 

Irena sighed, again, shaking her head slightly. “Well, I’ll still stay up, but my question about those sensory potions still stands.” She said, glancing back at the Venator she’d questioned before.


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#19 Ratcatcher

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 04:46 PM

“Sort of, yeah.” He shrugged, scratching his chin. “During Ebonguard training, mostly.” He added, looking somewhat sheepish. “I was pretty eager to get to work…” He glanced out the window, looking thoughtful. “Even if what happened out there just now tends to occur most of the time we try helping. It’s really a shame people just… won’t understand what we’re trying to do.

 

Lucy smiled, casually looking up at the ceiling with the back of her head on the table. Her arms were outstretched on the table, and the rest of her was completely slouched, absorbing all of the relief she could, and enjoyed learning that Mettius cared about things. "I was the same way in training. I like to think I can still be spunky and energetic, despite the booing of the crowds." She raised her head to look at her friend. "A lot of people don't understand what it is we do. Even other Inquisitors I've worked with. We're not hunting mages, we're securing them. Protecting them from themselves and others. And in those cases where we do kill them, it's out of self-defense, really." She rested her head again. "The Inquisition needs an official mission statement to clarify that."



#20 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 22 February 2016 - 05:50 PM

Malvolio looked impassively at the dead man - or Liam, as he was...had called. He had seen death before, and was not troubled by it. Nor did he seemed bothered by Sandra's reaction, on the outside at least.

 

He looked at the man's body - trying not to get too close to the corpse - and then turned to Hadrian, saying "Do you know what could have done this? Poison, maybe?"

 

---

 

 "I wish I knew how to help you. Given how much help your kind generally offers us, I can understand the way they feel about this. But, those of you who don't want to be caught out at night, you'd best head inside. If you want to stay out and wait for the witch, go ahead. I'm heading home."

 

"Friendly town." Evan muttered as he spurred his horse to the inn. At least Mason seemed genuinely friendly, even if he seemed irritable at first. After dismounting and taking care of his horse, the Inquisitor entered the inn, and, spying Mettius and Lucy, decided to talk to them. Walking up to the two, he heard the last of Lucy's comment:

 

"I was the same way in training. I like to think I can still be spunky and energetic, despite the booing of the crowds. A lot of people don't understand what it is we do.Even other Inquisitors I've worked with. We're not hunting mages, we're securing them. Protecting them from themselves and others. And in those cases where we do kill them, it's out of self-defense, really. The Inquisition needs an official mission statement to clarify that."

 

Upon hearing Lucy's comment, the Inquisitor was reminded of Qwinby. The Mage had spent most of his adult life on Karak du VIlle, and had caused little to no trouble in the village that captured mages were kept in, but yet had still died a long and painful death in the castle's dungeon.

 

The Inquisitor said, rather more bitterly than necessary "I doubt the Mages feel that way. What about the ones that don't want to be taken there? I knew a Mage, a man named Qwinby, who was like the father that I never had: he lived on Karak du Ville peacefully, and there are undoubtedly others who live there willingly as well, but what about other ones? The Inquisiton doesn't give them the choice: it kills anyone who they consider a threat, and imprisons those that they can get for life."





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