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ZONE - Iason House


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#21 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 03:32 PM

"That's not going to happen, Julius. We're here to stop the darkness." Mina proclaimed with conviction. A little more than she truly felt. "We can stop it if you can just give us some kind of a lead. A specific place to go or a person to find. We can stop this from happening to anyone else. You just need to point us in the right direction. Please."

 

Julius said nothing for a moment, his wide eyes darting over to Sarael as she entered. He simply stared at her for a moment before looking at Mina again. It almost looked like the briefest moment of clarity for him.

 

"Can't stop the darkness," Julius murmured, sounding like he had a knot in his throat. His eyes were redder than ever. "It's coming for us... eating, hurting... Can't stop it. But... if you could--" he shook his head. "No - you'll all die!"

 

After a moment, he took a few deep breaths and said in a tone so low that they barely heard him, "The swamp. The swamp - it's in the swamp. The darkness - hurting - killing - in the swamp... The Moor. Where the darkness swallows the light... West... West of the Moor. The swamp..."

 

Julius suddenly met Mina's gaze directly, his eyes boring into hers. "The darkness - the pain - it will kill you all. We're all going to die."

 
---
 
When the warden saw Kristina gesturing for him to come over to them, he nodded and - glancing back at the others - walked on over.
 
"What's her story?" she asked the warden when he'd come.
 
The warden snorted. "A strange one. It's like she walked out of a faerietale. She used to live in Killedam, in the slums, until her granddaughter went into her house one day and found all the walls painted with disturbing imagery. I saw it." He shuddered. "Pictures of twisted trees, shadows full of eyes, faceless humanoid shapes... She refused to speak a word. She still hasn't spoken since. She's a quiet sort, that one. But when her granddaughter tried to ask her about the images, all she would do was point to them in silence.
 
"The reason she ended up down here instead of in the upper quadrant of the asylum is because she started painting still more images on the walls upstairs. It bothered the other inmates, and when a guard tried to stop her, she nearly killed the man, beat his head in with a torch. She never said a word the whole time. She just wanted to keep painting. So, instead of paint, we gave her knitting supplies. Keeps her distracted enough." The warden shook his head. "Poor old bat."
 
He stepped forward and unlocked the door. "If you want to talk to her, head on in, but don't expect much of an answer. She hasn't hurt a fly except for the one time that guard tried to get her to stop painting. So just don't touch her knitting supplies and she shouldn't do a thing to you."
 
---
 
Lucy picked a random guard and strode up to him, asking, "You wouldn't happen to know anything about The Moor, would you? Any rumors or superstitions that go around? Or somebody here who might know more about it?"
 
The guard looked surprised he was suddenly approached by an Inquisitor, but he shrugged and replied, "Aye, I know a bit about The Moor. It's basically a backwater hole full of swamp-dwellin' lowlifes. They stink to Olympos and they're as bloody superstitious as they come. They actually think monsters exist - like people turnin' into wolf-men, and deaders that walk!" he guffawed. A few other guards chuckled with him.

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#22 Ratcatcher

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Posted 14 February 2016 - 05:38 PM

"Aye, I know a bit about The Moor. It's basically a backwater hole full of swamp-dwellin' lowlifes. They stink to Olympos and they're as bloody superstitious as they come. They actually think monsters exist - like people turnin' into wolf-men, and deaders that walk!" Lucy raised an eyebrow and pondered whether or not she concurred with them. Certainly, monsters had a good possibility of existing, if a group such as the Venators existed, even if they weren't so big. The two she saw were too well equipped to be adventurers, although that was debatable. She didn't know anything about wolf-people, but she definitely didn't believe that dead people could walk. That'd just be... well, gross. But if there were lowlifes living in the Moor, surely the group could go and talk with them. Maybe Letom's magic was involved with creating wolf creatures or walking dead people.

 

"Thanks. That's really helpful." She headed over to Ben, and went to talk to him. "Hey Ben, I was just talking to that guard about the Moor, where Julius went..." Augustus stopped, not only because she wasn't sure how to delicately say "insane" in an insane asylum, but because Ben was wearing his helmet, which she didn't think he normally did out of combat. The channeler remembered his exit earlier, and with concern on her face, she asked, "Um... Ben, would it be helpful for you to talk about anything, or should I give you some space?"



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Posted 14 February 2016 - 11:43 PM

"Thank you, but I think I've got this," Sarael replied cheerily. "But, uh, if you want to back me up I'd appreciate it. Besides, you should probably be there to record anything useful he says firsthand," she added a moment later, with a smile, to soften the blow.

 

Irena bowed slightly again. “If you don’t mind.” She said quietly, backing up at the other Templar. “Memory only goes so far, after all.”

 

With that, the monk waited for Sarael to take the lead, fishing out her half-completed book. She could add her recordings as small footnotes near the end, given she had nothing else to jot down their possible findings.

 

-----

 

"I don't see why not" the channeler replied neutrally, turning and waving the warden over so she could ask him about the woman.

 

Mettius relaxed slightly, at least until he heard what the Warden had to say. So this mage was completely insane, apparently… though, fortunately for Killedam, she expressed it only through imagery rather through speech or worse. However, when the man mentioned that when the woman lost it at one point and attacked a guard, Tibur was surprised by the lack of witchcraft involved. That was obviously not right, considering she was a witch, for certain.

 

The warden suddenly stepped forward and unlocked the door. "If you want to talk to her, head on in, but don't expect much of an answer. She hasn't hurt a fly except for the one time that guard tried to get her to stop painting. So just don't touch her knitting supplies and she shouldn't do a thing to you."

 

Mettius chewed his lip. “Hm… well, I might as well give it a shot.” He shrugged, glancing at the other two. “You might want to check on other pri- uh, patients. See if they’ve heard anything from or about Solon.” The Ebonguard said, turning to step into the old woman’s cell.

 

Please leave me for just a few minutes...


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#24 Harry Monster Princess

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 12:02 AM

Julius said nothing for a moment, his wide eyes darting over to Sarael as she entered. He simply stared at her for a moment before looking at Mina again. It almost looked like the briefest moment of clarity for him.
 
"Can't stop the darkness," Julius murmured, sounding like he had a knot in his throat. His eyes were redder than ever. "It's coming for us... eating, hurting... Can't stop it. But... if you could--" he shook his head. "No - you'll all die!"
 
After a moment, he took a few deep breaths and said in a tone so low that they barely heard him, "The swamp. The swamp - it's in the swamp. The darkness - hurting - killing - in the swamp... The Moor. Where the darkness swallows the light... West... West of the Moor. The swamp..."
 
Julius suddenly met Mina's gaze directly, his eyes boring into hers. "The darkness - the pain - it will kill you all. We're all going to die."
 
Mina mentally noted the location. "We're not going to die," Mina insisted. "We're going to stop this, and after we do, I'll come back here to you to prove it." Mina smiled confidently. 
 
"Now," she continued. "Is there anything there we should look for specifically? An object, a marker, a person? Or something else?"

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#25 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 12:08 AM

Ben, who had remained silent the entire time, turned to Lucy when she approached.

 

"Hey Ben, I was just talking to that guard about the Moor, where Julius went..." Augustus stopped. With concern on her face, she asked, "Um... Ben, would it be helpful for you to talk about anything, or should I give you some space?"

 

He shrugged slightly. "I'm fine," he replied, clearly not planning to talk about it, whatever it was. But he didn't remove his helm, either. Still, he asked in as casual a tone as he could muster, "You were saying?"

 

---

 

Mina mentally noted the location. "We're not going to die," Mina insisted. "We're going to stop this, and after we do, I'll come back here to you to prove it." Mina smiled confidently. 

 

Julius just nodded slightly, though he looked incredibly sad. He clearly didn't believe her.

 
"Now," she continued. "Is there anything there we should look for specifically? An object, a marker, a person? Or something else?"
 
"The place where darkness swallows the light," he said again, his voice low. "So much death, so much pain... You can smell it - all around - in the air. You'll see... You'll see it. Darkness swallows the light."
 
He looked away from her again, quietly retreating into his corner and hiding his face from everyone in the room. "Go," he said quietly. "Save us."

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#26 Ratcatcher

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 01:44 AM

 "I'm fine." Ben's reply wasn't to be taken literally; it was obvious that his issue was personal. Lucy decided she'd keep practicing her new don't-butt-into-people's-business policy. Still, she couldn't help but wonder what was wrong, or what she could do to help. His words at the tavern were helpful, and she couldn't help but feel the strong urge to return the favor. "You were saying?"

 

Lucy's look of concern lasted an extra few awkward seconds before the question sank in, and she slowly came into focus and tried to ignore her concern. "Oh, uh, yes. One of... the guards mentioned that there were people who lived in or around the Moor, where Julius came from. People who claim to believe in monsters. Maybe we could follow-up there if the information Julius gives us is... lacking." She realized that her investigation yielded a pretty unimpressive result, considering they'd probably be heading in that direction anyway. With some shame, she examined her boots, knowing Ben's response would be uplifting anyway. As if she needed his patronizing. She looked back up at the Ebonguard, and smiled.

 

"Right... um, well, I hope you know that I think highly of you, as do other people. Not in, like, that way, but as a man who does his duty, as an Inquisitor and a friend. You helped me a lot back at the tavern, and I'm rambling, and I've probably overstayed my welcome here..." She smiled a cheesy, wide-eyebrowed fake smile, then motioned back toward the entrance with her head. "...I'll give you your space now. I guess I'll be waiting over there, if anybody needs me before we go." 



#27 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 12:05 PM

"Oh, uh, yes. One of... the guards mentioned that there were people who lived in or around the Moor, where Julius came from. People who claim to believe in monsters. Maybe we could follow-up there if the information Julius gives us is... lacking."

 

Ben nodded. "The Moor's a superstitious place, everybody says. But," he added darkly, "some of those monsters do exist."

 
"Right... um, well, I hope you know that I think highly of you, as do other people. Not in, like, that way, but as a man who does his duty, as an Inquisitor and a friend. You helped me a lot back at the tavern, and I'm rambling, and I've probably overstayed my welcome here..." She smiled a cheesy, wide-eyebrowed fake smile, then motioned back toward the entrance with her head. "...I'll give you your space now. I guess I'll be waiting over there, if anybody needs me before we go." 
 
He paused and seemed slightly surprised for a moment before he turned away from the still-silent Augustin and Cicero and followed after Lucy instead. As she went over to her designated waiting area, Ben quietly joined her, leaning one shoulder against the wall.
 
"Sorry. I've just got some problems I need to deal with on my own," he said. "I didn't mean to brush you off."

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#28 Sareth

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 12:18 PM

"The darkness - the pain - it will kill you all. We're all going to die."

 

 

 "We're not going to die. We're going to stop this, and after we do, I'll come back here to you to prove it. Now, is there anything there we should look for specifically? An object, a marker, a person? Or something else?"

 
"The place where darkness swallows the light. So much death, so much pain... You can smell it - all around - in the air. You'll see... You'll see it. Darkness swallows the light. Go. Save us."
 
"We will" Sarael said with conviction, speaking for the first time since she entered the cell. It broke her heart to see Julius' level of suffering and despair. Yes... he could definitely use a touch of Astra's light.
 
Moving a little closer, she sat down on the floor so she didn't tower over him. "And, she's right" she continued, gesturing at Lady Tamaria. "We won't die. We're Templar —I'm sure you've heard of our order—, and there's no darkness, no evil, that can stand before Astra's light" she said earnestly, her tone soft.
 
"She, and the other Gods, haven't abandoned us —haven't abandoned you... So, before we leave, will you pray with me?" she asked, extending a hand across half the distance between them, where she simply held it, palm up in offer, waiting —she didn't want to force or disturb him, and so left the choice to take it up to him.
 
"Here, I'll start" she said, hoping to coax him out of the corner. "Astra, Eternal Star above, bless and watch over us this day. Let your light fill the hearts of the lost, the despairing, those who have forgotten the good of this world; let it wash away the darkness of fear and hopelessness. Lighten the burden of those, like this man before me, who have suffered at the hands of evil..." and on she spoke, her tone soft and almost rhythmic —in a way that only ever happened when she prayed—, hoping with all her heart that she might help the poor man in even some slight way.
 
***
 
"... If you want to talk to her, head on in, but don't expect much of an answer. She hasn't hurt a fly except for the one time that guard tried to get her to stop painting. So just don't touch her knitting supplies and she shouldn't do a thing to you."
 
Great, the woman was crazy and mute. Still, some of the images the warden had described sounded eerily similar to the works of shadow or demonic magic, and Kristina couldn't help but wonder if she'd seen something...
 
"How long ago was this? How long has she been here?" she asked the warden.
 
“Hm… well, I might as well give it a shot. You might want to check on other pri- uh, patients. See if they’ve heard anything from or about Solon.”
 
"The other two looked even worse off than her" she replied deadpan. "But feel free to try" she said, giving Tibur a 'go ahead' gesture towards the woman's cell. For her own part, she simply leaned back against the wall beside the door —speaking with the old woman seemed like a hopeless endeavor, but she'd listen in on the off-chance that something came out of it.

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

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#29 Ratcatcher

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 01:53 PM

"Sorry. I've just got some problems I need to deal with on my own," Ben said. "I didn't mean to brush you off."

"Oh, no, that's not a problem." Lucy said, surprised he followed her. "I'm trying to learn how to give people space. It's difficult for me to do-- I mean, I don't have any secrets, or hidden past backstories or anything like that, so I don't know how to sympathize or anything." She paused briefly, but quickly spoke before Ben could reply. "And, also, my dad has told me that I can talk too much, so, that's also something I'm working on. You know." She smiled, knowing that of all people she knew in the group, Ben was the least likely to think negatively. Then again, she wasn't familiar with anybody else aside from Kristina and Mettius.

#30 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 02:47 PM

Julius initially tried to shy away from Sarael's praying, flinching when she extended her hand... But as she started to pray, he lifted his gaze to look at her. Slowly, silently, he reached out to take her hand.

 

But he didn't touch it. He held it near hers as if in a gesture that he wanted to hold it, but he absolutely would not touch her.

 

---

 

"How long ago was this? How long has she been here?" Kristina asked the warden.

The warden replied, "Not too long. It was just a few days ago. She started those paintings about a week ago, maybe more. Something like that. Anyway, it hasn't been too awfully long. She's always kept to herself and everyone says she's always been a quiet sort, but nothing like this."

 

---

 

"Oh, no, that's not a problem." Lucy said, surprised he followed her. "I'm trying to learn how to give people space. It's difficult for me to do-- I mean, I don't have any secrets, or hidden past backstories or anything like that, so I don't know how to sympathize or anything." She paused briefly, but quickly spoke before Ben could reply. "And, also, my dad has told me that I can talk too much, so, that's also something I'm working on. You know." She smiled.

 

Ben gave a short laugh. "Yeah, well, talking too much or not, it is hard to sympathize with all the different dark pasts that go around in a group like this," he said. "That's one reason why I don't bother anyone with it. Well, on of several." He shrugged.

 

"I'm curious now, though," he added, his tone indicating he had some kind of small smile of interest on his face under that helm, "since you mentioned people in The Moor believe in monsters. What about you?"


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#31 Ratcatcher

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 03:21 PM

Ben gave a short laugh. "Yeah, well, talking too much or not, it is hard to sympathize with all the different dark pasts that go around in a group like this," he said. "That's one reason why I don't bother anyone with it. Well, one of several." As Ben shrugged, Lucy nodded with understanding. People probably didn't just assume the role of adventurer silly-nilly; she didn't, after all.

"I'm curious now, though," Ben added, his tone indicating he had some kind of small smile of interest on his face under that helm, "since you mentioned people in The Moor believe in monsters. What about you?"

Lucy shrugged. "I don't know. Sure? The idea seems kinda far fetched, given I've never seen one. But all of the experienced adventurers talk about demons and stuff like it's some badass walk in the park. The only mention of monsters in my life is my parents are rumored to have hunted a unicorn. But I've heard that if they exist, they're like, pure creatures or something like that, and killing one in cold blood would curse you." She cocked an eyebrow, here eyes looking up at her thoughts. "But I haven't seen them since, so I wouldn't know if they're cursed... So maybe. I'm undecided. What about you?"

#32 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 04:05 PM

Lucy shrugged. "I don't know. Sure? The idea seems kinda far fetched, given I've never seen one. But all of the experienced adventurers talk about demons and stuff like it's some badass walk in the park. The only mention of monsters in my life is my parents are rumored to have hunted a unicorn. But I've heard that if they exist, they're like, pure creatures or something like that, and killing one in cold blood would curse you." She cocked an eyebrow, here eyes looking up at her thoughts. "But I haven't seen them since, so I wouldn't know if they're cursed... So maybe. I'm undecided. What about you?"

 

"I have to believe in them," he replied. "I've seen a few. All I can think is that you're lucky to never have seen any. As for the guys around here who talk about demons and the rest like they're nothing - hell, they've probably never actually seen one, either. It's easy to say demons aren't a big deal when you're just making it up. Most of the people I know... When they saw a demon, they didn't come back alive. I've never seen one, myself, but I know someone who has. It's a wonder he's still breathing - they even say he managed to kill it." He shook his head. "Hard to believe."

 

Ben shifted to lean his back against the wall instead, his gaze wandering somewhat. "I've mostly seen undead. Never seen a beastman or anything like that - heard about them, though, and one of my best friends is a Venator, so I've heard him talk about them, too. Them and werewolves." Ben looked at her again. "It all seems pretty unreal until you've seen it yourself. I didn't used to believe in monsters, either."


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#33 Burger Warrior

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 06:09 PM

Evan was awfully quiet all of a sudden, but he shoved off, leaving Mettius with the channeler.

 

"The other two looked even worse off than her" she replied deadpan. "But feel free to try" she said, giving Tibur a 'go ahead' gesture towards the woman's cell. For her own part, she simply leaned back against the wall beside the door. Easily within hearing range. Gods above, why?

 

Well, she did ask the warden how long she’d been here, to which he replied: "Not too long. It was just a few days ago. She started those paintings about a week ago, maybe more. Something like that. Anyway, it hasn't been too awfully long. She's always kept to herself and everyone says she's always been a quiet sort, but nothing like this."

 

“That will help.” Mettius said, nodding to the man. “Thank you.”

 

He glanced at Kristina, though. “And there’s the other side of the hallway to check, by the way.” He gestured. “Not just the two crazies between here and Solon.”

With that, Tibur headed up to the old woman, making his way around to try sitting beside or in front of her. He sat still for a few moments, before easing his helmet off, glancing briefly at the door of the cell. “Hello.” He tried experimentally, wondering if the aging mage would even react to his presence.


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#34 Ratcatcher

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 06:33 PM

The response Ben have caught Lucy off guard:
"I have to believe in them," he replied. "I've seen a few. All I can think is that you're lucky to never have seen any. As for the guys around here who talk about demons and the rest like they're nothing - hell, they've probably never actually seen one, either. It's easy to say demons aren't a big deal when you're just making it up. Most of the people I know... When they saw a demon, they didn't come back alive. I've never seen one, myself, but I know someone who has. It's a wonder he's still breathing - they even say he managed to kill it." Ben shook his head, as Lucy found herself completely dumbfounded. "Hard to believe."

Ben shifted to lean his back against the wall instead, and Lucy assumed that his gaze wandered behind his helmet. "I've mostly seen undead." She didn't think she could be more shocked until that statement. "Never seen a beastman or anything like that - heard about them, though, and one of my best friends is a Venator, so I've heard him talk about them, too. Them and werewolves." Ben looked at her again. "It all seems pretty unreal until you've seen it yourself. I didn't used to believe in monsters, either."

Lucy took a second to soak it all in. It wasn't frightening, necessarily, just unusual. Very unusual. "So..." she said, bringing the topic back around, "if we were to head to the Moor, where supposedly there are werewolves and undead, what would that mean for us? I mean, do we stand a chance?" The last question was more personal than focused on the group. Hunting sorcerers, she was literally made for combatting, but she wasn't so sure a considerably weak Channeler could protect herself from... Whatever it was that dead people or wolf men could do.

#35 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 07:15 PM

The old woman looked at Mettius and said nothing. She just stared at him with cold, grey eyes, not saying a word. Her face was an unmoving mask, and her hands kept working on whatever large piece of cloth she was putting together.

 

After a moment, she silently held it up to show him: it was a tapestry, a very intricate one, of twisted trees and two vaguely humanoid shapes wearing armor, but they had no faces.

 

---

 

"So..." she said, bringing the topic back around, "if we were to head to the Moor, where supposedly there are werewolves and undead, what would that mean for us? I mean, do we stand a chance?"

 

Ben snorted, shaking his head. "Just because they believe in them doesn't mean they're actually down there. I really don't think, as much disrespect as the Venators get, that there are tons of monsters congregating in the Moor, especially werewolves and undead in particular. If they were, the Venators wouldn't be so out of work. Anyway," he shrugged, "normal people don't stand a chance against monsters. That's why they're monsters."

 

He paused for a moment before he looked at her again and added casually, "But hey, it's our job to take care of that kind of stuff. I'm just worried about whatever drove Julius off the deep end."


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#36 Burger Warrior

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 04:14 PM

The old woman looked at Mettius and said nothing. She just stared at him with cold, grey eyes, not saying a word. Her face was an unmoving mask, and her hands kept working on whatever large piece of cloth she was putting together. After a moment, she silently held it up to show him: it was a tapestry, a very intricate one, of twisted trees and two vaguely humanoid shapes wearing armor, but they had no faces.

 

Tibur raised his eyebrows at that, examining the tapestry. “That’s… a very fine piece of work.” He said, truthfully. He began to reach out to touch it, but stopped himself an inch or two away. Right, she doesn’t like being interrupted. He considered his options for a moment, before realizing the tapestry could perhaps be a link to Letom, if one thought about it… especially considering how recently this woman had been brought in. Mettius chewed his lip before finally speaking up. “These figures… you saw them?” He asked, pointing them out. The trees were perhaps more twisted than what he’d seen on the way into town, but they could’ve been part of that mire they’d passed. And armored figures that were rather dark and… faceless...

 

It was a long shot, but it could very well have something to do with Letom, or something similarly sinister. Either way, hopefully the woman could communicate clearly enough through one way or another to answer his question.

 

-----

 

Irena, meanwhile, had quietly followed Sarael into the cell, and bowed her head as she joined her fellow Templar in quiet prayer. She still kept her writing tools on-hand, just in case they would be needed...


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#37 Dalton Westmoore

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 06:12 PM

Malvolio simply stood quietly, and, when it seemed that everyone was going to enter the crazy knight's cell, he placed his weapons outside of the cell and followed them inside.

 

---

 

"A strange one. It's like she walked out of a faerietale. She used to live in Killedam, in the slums, until her granddaughter went into her house one day and found all the walls painted with disturbing imagery. I saw it. Pictures of twisted trees, shadows full of eyes, faceless humanoid shapes... She refused to speak a word. She still hasn't spoken since. She's a quiet sort, that one. But when her granddaughter tried to ask her about the images, all she would do was point to them in silence. The reason she ended up down here instead of in the upper quadrant of the asylum is because she started painting still more images on the walls upstairs. It bothered the other inmates, and when a guard tried to stop her, she nearly killed the man, beat his head in with a torch. She never said a word the whole time. She just wanted to keep painting. So, instead of paint, we gave her knitting supplies. Keeps her distracted enough. Poor old bat. If you want to talk to her, head on in, but don't expect much of an answer. She hasn't hurt a fly except for the one time that guard tried to get her to stop painting. So just don't touch her knitting supplies and she shouldn't do a thing to you."

 

Evan shivered at the description of the strange old woman, but he silently followed Tiber into the cell nonetheless, as his curiosity was almost as aroused as his superstition.

 

The Woman's cell looked as almost as disturbing as the Dark Skinned Inquisitor had pictured it, most likely because the fact that the even though she didn't have art supplies, that did not stop the woman from creating disturbing pictures: She had moved on from drawings to tapestries, as demonstrated by the one that she showed to the two Inquisitors.

 

That’s… a very fine piece of work...These figures… you saw them?

 

Evan wondered how the woman could have also been driven insane, like the crazy knight that the Templars were talking to, but in a more quiet way. However, he did not say anything, as he waited for the woman's response.



#38 Maverick-Werewolf

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 08:57 PM

“These figures… you saw them?” Mettius asked, pointing them out.

 

The old woman gave one slow nod. Lifting one withered finger, she pointed behind Mettius - to the north. She glanced up at Evan as he entered, still saying nothing and giving no visible reaction. All she did was slowly lower the tapestry and resume knitting, not looking at either of them anymore.

 

---

 

No one could get anything more from the old woman, and once sufficient prayers were said over Julius, the group reconvened. Mina imparted all she had learned from the madman, all his broken speech. One thing was clear: they would have to go into the swamp... Which meant they would have to go to the Moor.

 

Shortly thereafter, they prepared themselves - eating a small meal, courtesy of the warden - and retrieved their horses, setting off for several more days of riding.

 

 

((AREA TRANSITION: ZONE - The Moor.))


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