Brennus frowned as a handful of Venatori stepped forward, some reluctant, others stepping up a bit faster - almost instantly.
A middle-aged Imperial with a short, brown beard stomped up to the fore, throwing back his hood. “The order is burning, Brennus, and I don’t have the life left in me to stay and watch it.” Before anyone could react, the Venator removed off his silver brooch, his cloak sliding to the floor like a wounded animal. “I’m done fighting beastmen for table scraps and risking my neck for people who think we’re useless. This order was once great, but I have a life to think about. Gods be with you.” He glanced around the room. “All of you.”
With that, he left. The other Venatori who had stepped forward followed suit, removing their brooches and setting them on Brennus’s stage. A handful of them respectfully folded their cloaks and placed their brooches or belt buckles on top, rather than just letting them fall. Most of them left silently, or with a few words of parting. Some looked nervous, others looked determined, and the ones that were left simply looked frustrated.
A few loyal Venatori pleaded with them to stay or simply whispered amongst themselves while glancing sideways at the volunteers, especially Brennus himself… and Caiden. But there would be no dissuading those who intended to leave.
One former Venator even turned as he left. “The Venatori are finished,” he said. Many of the other Venatori in the room recognized him as a former criminal who had been forced into the order as part of his sentence. “And,” he added, “I’ll have fun hearin’ about all of you faffing about until the Empire disbands this useless bunch. But I ain’t gettin’ killed for it.”
All in all, more than a dozen Venatori had removed their cloaks and brooches on the spot.
For what felt like a long while, silence fell over the great hall. Brennus stood on the stage, a frown creasing his features. But, after another moment, he began to pace.
“Very well,” he said, calm and controlled. “Then each one of you are the ones who’ll get to the bottom of this. Here’s what we know…
“The Venatori now unaccounted for are Pellio of Krisa, Allan of Whitehorn, Loke of Pluton, Silvius of Appledale, Indigo of Deltalund, and Darin of Caltha. Six total. All partners, all went missing together in different regions. The following were their contracts and last known locations:
“Pellio of Krisa and Allan of Whitehorn were last seen around the Southwestern Wilds, north of Fort Slaughter. Their contract was to make contact with a camp of seemingly peaceful beastfolk who were being blamed by villagers for some killings in the area. They were going to make contact with a centurion at Fort Slaughter again when their work was done, and he was the one who let us know they have never returned. He was, most likely, the last one to see them alive.
“Loke of Pluton and Silvius of Appledale were last seen south of Kyjovia, in a small town at the foothills of the Jagged Edge. They were on a contract to hunt an unknown monster or group of monsters stealing livestock. Their last contact was a local in that farming town south of Kyjovia, a respected local elder.
“Indigo of Deltalund and Darin of Caltha were last seen around the wetlands south of Dragon’s Lair. They were on a contract to investigate sounds and sightings in the area… Some locals blamed vampires, others undead, and still others werewolves, making this potentially a very dangerous contract. They last made contact with Cristina Drake in Dragon’s Lair, but the contract itself was sent to us by locals, not by her.
“I’ve also made all the wings of this castle open, or at least the ones we still know how to open. There are some rooms in this castle even the Venatori haven’t ventured in for quite some time, and for all we know, something about what’s happening could be related to those long-locked rooms.
“Lastly… I have made personal chambers of every Venator open and available for investigation as well. No one will hide any secrets.”
From his place in the audience - standing, not sitting, muscular arms folded over his chest - Caiden narrowed his one eye. “You don’t have that authority,” he said, speaking for the first time since this meeting started. His tone edged on an aggressive growl, more than enough to give even Brennus pause.
“I do now,” Brennus said flatly. “Unless you would like to oppose it, Redfield?”
Caiden bristled worse.
“That seems suspicious,” Brennus added pointedly.
“You’re not our leader, Ravenstone,” Caiden answered. “No one is.”
“You, the one without a partner for months, is telling me this? The one who just showed up again after being gone, alone, for so long, breaking our codes? For all we know, you’ve broken multiple parts of the code. We may all have equal authority in theory, Redfield, but if we don’t… then you surely now have the least.”
Caiden set his jaw but didn’t say a word.
“If that’s all, then,” said Brennus, “you should, each of you, begin your investigation. The sooner we find whoever, or whatever, is behind this… the better.”
((Please let me know in the OOC discussion thread if you have any questions, concerns, or confusions (this includes any potential confusion on where to begin with your investigation).
- Pellio of Krisa & Allan of Whitehorn - Last seen around the Southwestern Wilds, north of Fort Slaughter. They were on a contract to make contact with a camp of seemingly peaceful beastfolk who were being blamed by villagers for some killings in the area. They were going to make contact with a centurion at Fort Slaughter again when their work was done; he was the last one to make contact with them.
- Loke of Pluton & Silvius of Appledale - Last seen south of Kyjovia, in a small town at the foothills of the Jagged Edge. They were on a contract to hunt an unknown monster or group of monsters stealing livestock. They were going to make contact with a local in the small town south of Kyjovia; she was the last one to make contact with them.
- Indigo of Deltalund & Darin of Caltha - Last seen around the wetlands south of Dragon’s Lair. They were on a contract to investigate sounds and sightings in the area. Some blamed vampires, others undead, and still others werewolves. They were to make contact with Cristina Drake in Dragon’s Lair; she was the last one to make contact with them.
Each of these Venatori have their own chambers in Castle Greywatch, but all once private Venatori chambers are now open due to the investigation.
Every wing of the castle is now also open. Some may not be as easy to get into as others.
The following is a list of areas within the castle:
Fun fact about the Venatori: they often refer to each other by their birth cities, especially as many of them do not have last names. More on this later.
And remember, never miss an opportunity to interact with your fellow players and with important NPCs. Most of all, though, have fun!))