This is probably going to be a one-shot PrP involving my usual blend of action, adventure and a dash of horror. This is geared primarily for Iron Guard folks, but if you can think of a reason to be invited on a ride along, feel free to join! Going to try to keep this to 6-8 people if possible. Page or mail me to let me know if you're planning on joining. Walk ins likely welcome!
June 25, 2019, 8 p.m.
Arx - Upper Boroughs - Courtiers Pride
Comments and Log
Stojan, the assistant, 3 Thrax Guards, Damaia, the assistant, Lady Snow arrive, following Denica.
Dash the Guard Corgi, 2 Iron Guardsmen, Lady Fairfeather, a white gyrfalcon arrive, following Silas.
Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, Vagari - Cinder Kitten, 1 Order of the Firebird, 4 Byrne Mountain Men leave, following Mikani.
Damien Pierce - A Charming Assistant, 1 Redreef Warden, Vagari - Cinder Kitten, 1 Order of the Firebird, 4 Byrne Mountain Men arrive, following Mikani.
Mikani takes Armor for Mikani from Black Leather Holster Hip Bag with Crimson Accents.
Denica makes her way around the uppers. Her retinue in tow of course, with the addition of a Merek. The petite little princess' eye wander about the are. "Sir Black. I believe you told me there was a place to buy paints around here, and I am seeing none. Would you care to explain?" Her voice is flat, yet there is a sharpeness to it that comes with her icy Thraxian gaze. So matter of fact and to the point it almost hurts.
Ian gets a small leather-and-steel flask from Oiled leather bag.
Ian is here for, uh, Reasons. Reasons that seem to involve him heading Denica's way. He must have seen her while on his way elsewhere and took a detour. "Princess Denica."
It is a pleasant Spring day, the sun warm, and the scents of flowers mingling with the various delicious items offered by vendors as they roll their cart up and down the streets. Most of the carts are doing a brisk business, but one in particular seems to be exceedingly popular, there is a small line circling the cart manned by a flashily dressed man of middle to late years.
A young woman is walking along the pathway, a pack slung on her back, and peppered with road dust. But there is a smile on her face as she hurries along to a specific door, jogging up the steps and going to open the door. "Paaa!" She disappears inside, the door slightly ajar. Those close enough can hear a slightly confused, "Pa?"
Merek is with Denica, and has on his leathers as well as some other attire. He nods then to Ian, while he shifts his cloak about his frame, and looks to the house, "Well, it should be, somewhere," he says, lifting his brow as he seems to focus on the house for a moment also.
Denica heads right over to the house the young woman went in to and knocks on the door. She apparently has tried enough doors and is getting a bit fed up. "Paaaa-aints? is there Paints in here?" She turns and looks at Merek, then Ian, "Lord Ian. Sir Merek seems to have me lost." She knocks on the door again.
"Prince Galen wanted me to ask you to do a painting of him," Ian says to Denica, matter-of-factly. "He suggested you because you already know what he looks like n --" There are witnesses, Ian. He seems to realize this belatedly (very belatedly) and draws up short. "Because, uh, he wouldn't necessarily have to model..."
Silas is present at the intersection, talking to a small retine of his guardsmen about guardsy matters. Something about roads needing to be blocked off and where to redirect traffic. Boring stuff most passerby would pay little mind to. Ever alert of his surroundings when he's in this neck of the woods, Silas does note the abundance of vaguely familiar faces in the crowds milling around him, but Courtiers Pride was a relatively safe area. The people here aren't likely to pickpocket him. He doesn't notice anything amiss... yet.
Mikani meanders around. She doesn't look like she has much of a destination in mind the day is much too nice and for her the winter was far too long. She does smile when she sees Ian. "Hello Lord Ian." She calls out and then sees Merek. "Ser Black!" She waves to them but doesn't cross over to them unless invited over. She's not that nosy.
Merek lifts up his brow at Ian's word in perplexion, then he looks to Denica. All he does is say, "Wait," though when he notes her going to the house. He makes his way there as well also. He looks then to Mikani with a wave.
The gentle and unhurried tap-tap-tap of dainty-heeled shoes would announce Mirella's arrival if her steps were not so light. Her Lycene bodyguard, however? His steps are not so airy, instead beating a confident booted pace along the street in front of his seasilk clad employer, dividing a clear a path through errant loiterers and poorly-directed carts. On his belt, a sword. In Mirella's dark hair, glinting hairpins that are the work of Dame Ida Ferron. Sharp, shiny! The two of them walk at a leisurely pace, with the woman and her guardian exchanging some idle chat that only those close-by and of exceptional hearing might be able to catch on the breeze: something about the gaudiness of the merchant household they just visited. Something about too much cheap gilding. The talk ceases when they move closer to the source of the commotion, however, with Mirella standing on tiptoes to see what's going on, brow furrowed.
There is nothing more from the house for now. The door closes mostly and there is silence from inside. There is still plenty of activity in the square. The crowd around the carts are thinning, and the really popular cart with the flashy looking vendor has filled all the orders, the vendor restocking, before he chimes out, "Pies! Fruit pies and meat pies and more meat pies! Best in the city!" He spies the gathering of nobles and such eyeballing the house and picks up a basket, moving towards them with a wide smile. "Good day my lords, and ladies! Might I interest you in a pie? Piping hot and freshly baked! A gift to the fair nobles and citizens on me." He gives a bow and plucks a wrapped pie from his basket, offering it out to those gathered.
"I say woman are there paints in this house?" Denica yells in the cracked door way before turning to address the merchant offering a pie. "What is in this pie you are offering?"
Eventually the group of Iron Guardsmen around him dissipates, as the men presumably undertake the assignments given to them, leaving Silas alone save his two designated bodyguards: veterans of the force who tell good jokes. His gaze travels to the house whose doorway the others seem to be crowding at, but it is the PIES that grab the bulk of his attention, and he maneuvers his way to the fancily-dressed backet-wielding merchant peddling them. "I'll take them, if no one else wants them." He apparently doesn't care overmuch about what's actually in them.
There is no response from within the house, almost as if the person inside is not aware that someone outside is calling towards the house. The vendor looks to Denica and his grin only widens, "Oh, this, this is our very best, most popular pie. It is the spiced pork and onion pie." The pie is offered up, the vendor's eyes looking around from Denica to Ian and the rest. When Silas comes forward, the man lights up, "Fantastic! Here you are, my lord! And if you like them, which I know you will, we can discuss a regular delivery to the barracks, a small cost for such delights!"
Merek, seeing that he can't keep Denica from entering the place, follows with her. He peeks within the house, while he looks to the pie vendor, then back to the place, his scarf adjusted about him along with his goggles as he nods a bit to the woman as well. "Anyone in there?" he calls.
Ian seems a little bit confused by Denica just turning away and going in search of pie. He stands there for a moment like he's trying to decide what to do next.
Rysen arrives in the square, and smiles slightly to see some familiar faces. He moves to Mikani's side and says, "Heard there's a young woman speaking to the guard about her missing parents. This the place?" Rysen turns his gaze to the house as Merek calls inside.
Denica waves off the pie for now, "You may give mine to the next hungry child you see." She turns back to Merek, "Of course someone is in there. I followed her here. Why she will not respond now is beyond me." She nudges the ajar door all the way open. "I am going to come look for these paints if you are not going to respond to my questions." She shouts in, but seems to gesture for Ian and Merek to go in first.
Ian looks into the house after Denica pushes the door open, and then back to her. "Are you sure they sell paints in here? That looks like someone's living room."
Mikani nods to Rysen, "I think it is ... yet ... there is discussion about paints and pies. Like they are deflecting the whole thing now." She murmurs softly to Rysen.
Merek walks into the house after a moment to enter fully, "I'll check it, I don't think there are any paints here," he says, while he looks about to see what's within. He smooths back his hair while he seems to study the place as well, nodding back to the others.
Pies. Delicious and certainly not suspicious pies. Mirella and Stefano (for this is the name of the bodyguard) meander closer to the stall, with the man much more hurried than the woman. They peer, they smell the air, and there's a rumble of a stomach. Turning to Stefano, looking up at the man with an upward quirk of one manicured black eyebrow, Mirella sniffs in judgement. "Really, Stefano? Don't you think we've already eaten enough cheese? I know I have. I fear I may pop." At the plaintive look he gives her, though, Mirella just sighs and shakes her head. To the merchant when it's her turn, "One meat pie, please. And just a little slice of fruit pie." With a nod to the merchant (someone she knows?) Mirella withdraws some silver from a silk purse at her waist and hands it over. To her bodyguard an imperious look while pie is served, and then a nod towards the house. "What's going on there, do you think?" This spoken to the Stefano, or the merchant, or anyone nearby.
Silas looks -mildly- concerned when sees people entering the house without tacit permission, but the pie vendor was successfully distracting him. He purses his lips thoughtfully at the man's offer. "We can certainly look into it. Pie friday sounds like a solid idea, to keep up morale." He has to refrain from looking aghast at Denica's rejection of the pies. He'll accept the basket, if it is given, and turns to the house currently distracting everyone else. "Entering a building without permission from its owner is a good way to get dinged for trespassing or worse, if the occupant doesn't want you there," he helpefully provides. "And I certainly wouldn't do it in front of -me-."
Rysen nods to Mikani and eyes the pie merchant, grinning a little as Mirella makes her order. "Excuse me, Master," says Rysen to the merchant. "Know much about the folks who live there?" he asks, gesturing to the house Denica and Merek entered.
The door swings open with Denica's nudge, and as she stands in the doorway, the house is just that, a home. Though with the sound of the door opening, the young woman comes hurrying around the corner, "Papa? Momma?" She blinks and just looks at Denica, confusion on her face. "Who are you? What are you doing here?"
Meanwhile, outside, the vendor blinks at Denica's comment, though between Silas and Mirella's interest, he regains his smile. "Ah! Wonderful, wonderful!" He offers a Silas a wildly happy smile, "This is wonderful, wonderful!" Turning to Mirella and offers her another of the wrapped pork pies. He adds a smaller, wrapped peach pie as well. "Enjoy my lady, enjoy!"
Ian has not actually gone in, and is in fact trying to talk Denica out of going in. He looks back at Silas as Merek brushes by him to go inside, and then Denica after him, and just shakes his head and shrugs.
Denica looks a bit confused as the young woman comes out, as she had not entered yet. "I was told a place around here sells paints. I have been trying to find it. Is this the place?" She says in her flat monotone and tilts her head.
"Ah, my apologies, I didn't hear you, we can make our way out," Merek says, "I was worried when you didn't answer our calls," he adds. He then moves to where Denica is and tries to gracefully kind of, well then she is speaking like that, to the woman, and he just blinks a few times. He looks over her shoulder to Silas as though for some guidance, he then smiles apologetically to Ian, "Hey Lord Kennex, you look dashing today."
Silas sighs deeply when the young woman reappears and... reacts appropriately to strange people barging into her house. "It looks like we're going to find out more," he asides to Rysen, when he overhears the man fishing for information. He steps into the doorway, but doesn't step inside yet, intent on speaking to the girl himself. "We apologize, miss. Is everything alright? Were your parents supposed to be home?" He tucks the basket o' pies - the ones Mirella hasn't bought - underneath his arm.
"Uh, thanks," Ian says to Merek. "You, um, look good too." Then in another attempt to urge Denica away: "Look, I don't think anyone sells paints here. There's probably a place near the market in the center of town."
Rysen chuckles softly at Merek. "Ever the man of action, Sir Merek," he says under his breath, resting a forearm on hilt of his sword. He nods to Silas and watches as the Lord Commander begins to address the woman, though he remains next to merchant if he should choose to speak to what he knows.
Mirella looks somewhat surprised at being addressed as a lady, and despite herself she can't help but pat her upbound hair with a bit of satisfaction, causing her hairpins to sparkle beneath the sun. With the smallest of quirky smile, she politely dips her chin to the to the merchant when pie is delivered. "Thank you." And Stefano, too, mumbles a genuine thank-you when the wrapped parcels gets shoved into his hands by his employer. Within a couple of seconds he unwraps the savory treat, and chomps a healthy bite out of it. Mirella frowns at him. "Don't eat that too quickly, you'll give yourself hiccups." And then she goes on to take a bite out of her own fruity slice thereafter. A portion that's not quite ladylike. With a silent nod to Silas, without words because pie-in-face, she looks to Stefano with raised eyebrows as people move closer to the door. And then the two Lycenes wander closer, eavesdropping shamelessly as they chew.
The woman stares at Denica, "This is my *house*. Does it look like a store?" She is clearly aggitated and she looks back over her shoulder, "My family lives here. Or they are supposed to be here. No one is here and many of their things are gone. There is dust as though no one has been here in a while..." She is increasingly distressed, looking around to those gathered. As she stands there, the crowd attracts the attention of a neighbor. "Shannon, child is that you?" A matronly woman in an apron lingers at the periphery, looking towards the young woman. Shannon looks to Silas and recognition sets in. A look of confusion is on her face, overwhelmed by the circumstances. The neighbor's arrival snaps her out of it and she says, "Trudy, have you seen my parents?"
Given that the attention has shifted away from his wares, but all of them sold, the piemaker heads back to his cart, whistling.
Trudy meanwhile, shakes her head, "No, my dear. Not for over a week now."
Mikani shakes her head. "Oh I would hate to be on the other end of your questioning Sir Merek." She says in a teasing tone. Though seriously does anyone feel like they are getting much of anywhere with any of this? Because it was starting to feel like a Noble Break and Enter.
Mirella checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.
Silas checked perception + streetwise at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher. Silas rolled a critical!
Mirella checked perception + streetwise at difficulty 30, rolling 25 higher.
Merek checked perception + streetwise at difficulty 30, rolling 10 lower.
Mikani checked perception + streetwise at difficulty 30, rolling 23 lower.
Ian checked perception + streetwise at difficulty 30, rolling 7 lower.
Denica tilts her head the otherway, "It does not need to look like a store. Sometimes people just make paints. Anyways my apologies. Although I do have a small army to help locate your parents." She gestures to the guards, Ian, Merek, the assistants, she has brought around.
Merek looks to the others a moment, while he seems to think about it. He then nods to Rysen, "Well, let's hope it's not like before," he says, while he makes a face. He then looks as the woman addresses the Princess like that, and just lifts his shoulders with a look to Mikani, Mirella, and to Silas. He then looks Ian as the two of them are volunteered with Denica's retinue as an army to help look. "Yes, I will assist you in any way you require, Messere," he adds to the woman that was talking about parents.
Ian gives Denica a look when he's voluntold into service. "They're probably out of town," he says to... someone. He's still talking to Denica, but the suggestion seems better directed at Shannon. So who knows.
Silas continues to smile reassuringly at Shannon, but the revelation causes it to fade. He cranes his neck to get a better look inside the house, then steps back to look at the exterior. A crease of concern falls between his brows and he looks back to Shannon. "Are you Sinclaire's daughter?" He inquires. He needs the answer to that pertinent question before he asks anything else.
"Pa always takes his vacations in October. The spring is his busy season." This is said absently by Shannon, and she looks back to Silas, her expression brightening at the mention of Sinclaire. "Yes! I'm Shannon Sinclaire, Johannes is my father."
Mikani checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 3 higher.
Silas checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 18 higher.
Ian checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 46 higher.
Rysen nods to Merek with a grim look on his face. "You can say that again. Rysen moves a bit closer to the woman, but still behind Denica and Silas. "Messere," he says, mimicking the Lycene term Merek used, "Do you mind telling us if you noticed anything out of the ordinary in the house, beside the dust? Any sign your parents left in a hurry, or anything valuable missing?"
Merek checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 5 lower.
Rysen checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 7 lower.
Mikani looks around more. "I don't like this ... I feel like I'm about ready to get whipped ....." She murmurs trying to find what is watching her. "Anyone else feel like you are being spied on?"
4 Redoubt Buccaneers, Bengalo, the sneaky black cat, Luna, the sweet, studious assistant arrive, following Carita.
Mirella is loving the peach pie, apparently. Little crumbs cover her lips, and occasionally she makes an mmm-ing sound. There might even be a little muffled 'so good' to her bodyguard even as she chews with a closed mouth. But after a good deal of dainty nibbling, she swallows the pie and wipes her mouth with the tips of fingers, which she then licks clean. "Johannes Sinclaire." Her voice is a mumble voiced to all those around. "I know him. Such a diligent man. Exacting. Doesn't seem like the type to go on a sojourn unannounced." Then she goes back to eating her pie, looking around all the while with slow, gentle blinks. Stefano does the same, but with more robust chewing.
Ian takes note of something, up the street. His gaze tracks to Mirella and Stefano. Then he looks up the street again. Then he turns most of his attention right back the conversation, although it's clear he's keeping tabs on whatever it is.
Mirella checked perception + survival at difficulty 30, rolling 14 lower.
Shannon looks to Rysen and nods, "Several of their valuables are missing. Momma's Seliki pearls, pa's gold plaque from the Crown Minister of Infrastructure. A couple other things. Cufflinks. Silver, shaped like quills. The little tiara they bought me for my sixteenth birthday."
"She's right. It's highly unusual for him to abruptly leave now," Silas admits with an audible note of resignation in his voice, adding, "Sinclaire is one of the city inspectors. He has made enemies because of that diligence." He lets Rysen press his questions, otherwise, and instead his attention is drawn to the boy watching them in the corner of his eye. He turns, and approaches. Slowly.
Rysen frowns, and nods to Shannon. He glances at Silas, and then turning back to Shannon says, "I hate to ask, but would you mind if we looked around inside? Not all of us, of course, but it might help us determine what might have happened."
"Enemies?" Shannon looks confused, clearly not familair with that aspect of her father's work. "My pa is a good man..." She looks around curiously, still looking upset, but less panicked since Silas is present. She looks to Rysen and blinks, "Are you with the Guard too? I mean, certainly, if you think it will help."
The boy Silas is walking towards yips as he is spied and he freezes like a rabbit hearing a hawk. But then flight kicks in and he's off, zipping towards Silas inexplicably before he feints and darts away.
Silas checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 17 higher.
Having been voluntold by Denica, Ian continues to stand around, but he doesn't look like he intends to get involved in the investigation stuff. More of his attention is caught up with Silas and the boy.
Merek nods a bit to Shannon, then to Silas, "I'll look about a bit," he says, while he moves within the place. He places on his Iron Guard sigil while he does so as well.
"Excellent. Sir Merek, Please assist this young woman? Let me know if you require anything." She waves her hand a bit and looks to Ian, "Lord Ian, let us see if we can find anyone else with information relevent to missing parents and or paints?"
"I'm actually with the Inquisition, Messere. Sometimes I'm given the privilege of working with the Guard," replies Rysen smiling. "Thanks for letting us take a look." Rysen glances to others present to see if there's another skilled investigator willing to step in with Merek.
Mikani leans against a wall with her arms crossed as her dark eyes look about the room. She frowns as the kid runs off but with her back against the wall it takes another place where someone could be watchign her from. Though she has a feeling it might have been the boy. Her eyes look for anything that might be out of place off some how.
Mirella and Stefano have their eyes on the potential scene of the crime, but there is also much murmuring between them as they discuss the merits of the pie. From Mirella: "...something in this pie, something savoury. It really... offsets the peach flavour." From Stefano, just more chewing. There's a small break when Rysen asks his question, though, and the munching Lycene woman places a hand over her mouth so as not to spit food everywhere. "...if you need help... I'm very good at searching through... stuff."
Silas is clearly trying -not- to spook the boy with his careful and measured steps, but he IS a tall man in a full suit of rubicund armor. Aaand people likely know who he is. He suddenly stops when he senses the boy freezing, and clenches his jaw. "Hey now, I don't mean any-" Aaand the boy is off like a frightened rabbit. Thankfully, he runs -towards- him, and Silas's arms quickly lunge out to grab him. The poor boy will stay in an uncomfortable armored hug until he settles down. "Calm down. I just want to know what happened. You're not in trouble."
Merek checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 9 higher.
"I'd welcome your help," says Rysen to Mirella, as he steps inside and begins to look around.
Rysen checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 5 higher.
Mirella checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 28 higher.
Ian shrugs and gamely goes with Denica. It's a pretty fair bet he's mostly there to make sure she's not hassled, though. "The painting he wants you to do. He's supposed to be naked, and riding a shark, but with a saddle because their scales are pretty rough. And he's holding up his warhammer. Uh... the, uh weapon. Not the... other... warhammer..."
Denica checked charm + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 22 higher.
Denica just turns and GLARES at Ian, "Lord Ian. We can discuss the paintings you wish me to hang in your bedroom another time." She kneels down to the child wrapped up in the armored hug. "Shhh. Child. We are friends. Here to help. Please settle down and help us out? I will buy you all the pies you wish." She gestures over to the pie selling merchant.
A crisp nod to Rysen, and Mirella hands the rest of her pie to Stefano with a firm 'don't you eat this' frown. Dusting her hands together, then wrinkling her nose at the crumb and peach juice upon her fingers, she makes her way into the house and peers around. Notably, her eyes are gravitating towards the more expensive items that might be found in the residence. All the fancy stuff. The stuff that might fetch good coin, if indeed it's here.
Ian trails into silence when Denica does, in fact, point the two of them in the direction of Silas and the kid, and just stands around looking forbidding. Not on purpose, mind. That's just what his face looks like.
The boy struggles for a few seconds, but a rubicund hug is going to get painful quickly. He's already starting to go still -- the mutinous expression on his face makes it clear he's going to try to bolt again, until Denica arrives. His eyes widen and there is a blink as the beautiful princess speaks to him. Her kindness clearly touches him and he nods, looking more composed.
Mikani checked perception + investigation at difficulty 25, rolling 26 higher.
Rysen breathes out, and says to Mirella, "Definitely looks like the place has been robbed... which doesn't bode well for Shannon's parents," he says looks at various places that seem to be in disorder. "Anything catch your eye?" he asks.
"I am seeing the same, I wouldn't say a lot about the parents at the moment, I'm sure they probably just went into hiding, no specific signs of fighting, that I can see," Merek says, while he nods a bit to Rysen. He blinks back when he hears Ian talking, then he looks to Denica, then he's bak into the place proper looking about also.
His attempts at diplomacy fall short, and Ian's scary mug doesn't help in the least. Thankfully, Denica comes to the rescue, and he breathes a sigh of relief when she seems to get through to the wriggling boy. The Lord Commander's grip loosens, to the point where it isn't painful to struggle... and he can still catch the runt if he suddenly bolts again. Silas keeps his questions simple. "Did you see what happened?"
Still rubbing her hands together, Mirella nods her agreement. "It does look like that, doesn't it? Amateurish work, though. They've tried to replace it so as to hide the theft, but it's not a skilled job. Probably not a prolific robber." She flicks her fingers out by her hips to dislodge the last few pie-crumbs. Then she looks at Rysen with wide eyes. "I mean, I would imagine. Maybe I've been reading too many mystery novels." And then she's moving on, into a room with a bed inside. She points to a baseboard under the head of the mattress. There are small bloodstains there. "Maybe flip the mattress over?" Her voice is calm, cool.
Denica repeats for Silas, just in case the boy is more apt to respond to a princess. "Any idea what is going on?" She tilts her head.
Rysen follows Mirella into the bedroom, and frowns as she points out the bloodstain. He picks up the matress at Mirella's suggestion, and flips it over. "Sir Merek!" he calls to the knight.
Mikani moves into the kitchen and comes back out again after a long moment. "If he saw what happened ... he's not going to want to talk." She says softly giving a soft sad look to the boy. "We are going to need to call in the coroner ... there are some dead body parts in the kitchen." Mika says her usual smile and warmth gone.
The boy looks between Denica and Silas, focusing more on Denica than the Lord Captain. "The pies." This is all the boy can say at first, his mouth pinched. "They was eatin' the pies."
Something subtle changes in the way Ian carries himself, the nuances of his expression, the look in his eye, when Mikani brings up body parts in the kitchen. His eyes flash to Shannon (how far away is she?) and he catches Mikani's arm. "Inside."
Denica looks up to Silas then down to the child, "Who was eating the pies? The people that lived here?"
When Mika comes out and says something about body parts, Shannon whips around, her face pale, "WHAT?!" Horror appears on her face as she lurches towards the door and then stops, shaking, "What are you TALKING about?!"
His frown deepens at what Mikani reveals when she trudges back outside. He stares at the boy in his arms for a long, hand moment, then releases him completely. The pies he was carrying were now toppled in the dirt, abandoned in his efforts to corral the youth. Silas's gaze goes to Shannon, first, but he's soon scanning his surroundings. "Where's the vendor? Find the vendor."
Mikani lets Ian drag her inside thinking she was only in the livingroom or where the others found blood when she was talking about the body parts. She must be more out of it than she thought. She just shakes her head and makes that frown face when one is trying to eat their words in front of someone else but it's not going down well. "Nothing, you really want to see ..."
The boy looks around and points to Stefano. "Pie eater."
Merek comes over to Rysen to examine the place, while he lifts his brow, hearing the chat from outside and he sighs.
Denica turns as the child points to Stefano. She nods at her guard detail who steps in to make sure the man isn't going anywhere. Just kind of casually for now, not holding him or anything, just watching. "Is there an issue with being a pie eater?"
Though Mirella and Stefano are likely some distance away right now, the words they overhear bring the same raise of brows to them both. Limbs for Mirella. Pies for Stefano. The woman strides towards the kitchen with purpose and a swish of seasilk, seemingly unafraid of what she might see there. But Stefano? He stares at the kid and ceases his chewing right away. Spitting the mouthful of his meal into his free palm, unceremonious to say the least, he stares down at it as if expecting to find something horrid there. And if not? He drops the meat pie and pulls it to pieces. The peach pie? Oh, he ate that. Whoops.
Ian fixes Shannon with his intense gaze and lays hand on her shoulder, gently dissuading her from any urge she might have to go inside. "Look at me. It's going to be alright. I'm going to go check it out, okay? We'll get this sorted out. You don't need to go in."
Stefano doesn't drop the pie, though. That'd be silly. He might just pull it to pieces. Are there teeth in there?!
The boy makes a face and shakes his head. "Bad pies."
As Stefano pulls the remainder of the pie apart, there is nothing overtly wrong at first. Just chunks of seasoned meat, potato, peas, carrots, onions. A sliver of something stands out, however. Something thin and hard and curved. A whole toe nail.
Ian checked charm + empathy at difficulty 15, rolling 1 lower.
Silas can't find the pie vendor, much to his dismay. He strides to the intersection where he was conferring with his men earlier, to grab the attention of the patrol assigned to this particular street. He's successful, and it appears a manhunt may be underway. Once his new orders are dispatched, he returns to what was now a crime scene. The boy is given a sad smile, first. "Thank you for your help, mister." He is suddenly very glad he didn't offer him the pie to get him to talk. He... reluctantly picks up his basket of dirty pies and hands them off to another guardsman nearby. Evidence collection. "I'm afraid we will have to cordon the area off and bring in the rest of the Inquisition for further processing," he announces.
Merek does a light little examination of the kitchen, then he comes back to note the pies, then he sighs a bit while he looks to Rysen, "Just like all the other times," he says. He makes his way to Denica to settle with all the others there a moment as well.
Silas checked command + leadership at difficulty 30, rolling 29 higher.
Ian's flat voice does come out sounding a lot more like he's giving orders than that he's being actively soothing, and there's a notable lack of 'I'm sure that's not actually your dead parents in there'.
The sound of intense gagging comes from Stefano's direction, and he bends over double breathlessly. Nonetheless, he does have the presence of mind not to throw the evidence far away, but instead drops it to the floor. Between hacking sounds he points down at the smashed pie on the ground. "..toenai--- nail--" And then he turns away from everyone and sticks his fingers down his throat.
Rysen frowns and nods to Merek. He places a hand on Mikani's shoulder and then makes his way out Silas. "Lord Commander," says Rysen, "With your permission, I will make a report to the Master of Questions about what's been found, but I would like to join the manhunt with your men, if you have no objection. I want to find that merchant," he says grimly.
Denica watches as Stefano tries to induce vomiting. "Pie Fridays sounds like a good idea still?" She says in that awful Thrax deadpan. It would be hard to tell if she is joking.
Shannon just stares at Ian, her face going more and more horrified as tears begin to well and pour down her face. The boy looks over to Shannon and frowns, scuffing his toe on the ground.
Ian is learning the hard way that teenaged girls are not the same as nervous soldiers or sailors who need to be convinced that the ship isn't going to sink as long as they get off their asses and do what they're told. She's crying now, and he REALLY doesn't seem to know what to do with that, so he backs off and takes himself out of the way where he's not going to accidentally do any more damage.
The telltale noises of violent retching all but confirms the worst to Silas. "Yeah I think we'll be passing on Pie Friday," he retorts to Denica, before noting Ian's utter failure in comforting Shannon. He tries his hand, even if it's may be only marginally more successful. "I'm sorry, miss. We can't be sure it's your parents, yet, but... do you have any other relatives you can stay with?" It was her house they are about to seize. He turns to Rysen when the inquisitor addresses him. "Any assistance is appreciated and more eyes the better. Thank you." He isn't going to go running off himself - at least not yet.
Mikani looks at Rysen as he comes out. She stays quiet because well her words started all this fun mess. Mikani just nods to Rysen as she watches the woman cry not really sure how to help other than to see who did the killing. She turns and goes back into the house and back to the kitchen to find more clues.
Denica checked charm + empathy at difficulty 25, rolling 16 higher.
Rysen checked charm + empathy at difficulty 25, rolling 2 higher.
Silas checked charm + empathy at difficulty 25, rolling 1 higher.
Denica's words seem to get through to poor Shannon and the sobs start to slow. She nods to the Princess, rubbing her hand over her face, swallowing tightly. She looks to Silas and shakes her head, though the neighbor, Trudy says, "She can stay with us, my lord." Shannon nods slowly.
A couple of guardsman come running back, "We found a trail, Commander! We left a couple men to continue to follow while we came back with the report."
Child calmed, Denica moves to Shannon and tries to comfort the woman, "You have the best in the city looking in to this, and there is a fair chance your parents are fine and perhaps just hiding. If people are turning people in to food, and your father was an inspector, there is a chance he caught on quickly. I have heard he was a good man. I would bet your dad took your mom out of town, and these people came looking for him, found him gone and used their kitchen since it was open.
Merek checked charm + empathy at difficulty 25, rolling 3 lower.
"Thank you, Lord Commander," says Rysen. He glances back at Mikani with a sad look, and turning to Shannon, says, "It will be ok, Messere. You're safe and we will find who's responsible." When the men report to Silas, Rysen quickly runs to the guardsmen. "Show me the way, please," he says with haste.
Merek just blinks at what Denica says, and looks then to some of the others. "Things will be alright," he says, he doesn't try to offer a lot more, just rubbing at his face on the way it is all being handled, and sighs while he moves to follow the guards also to do his job.
Whoever Ian was with when he veered off to go find Denica and talk to her about that painting finally tracks him down and pulls him aside. The Kennex liveried woman says something to him, and he nods after a moment, looks back at the investigation, and then nods again. "Alright. You're right. We'd better go take care of it."
Silas looks more impressed with Denica's attempt to offer Shannon some hope. It -could- be true, you never know! He nods to Trudy when she agrees to house Shannon, his tense muscles relaxing ever so slightly... only for his men to return and deliver their report, to get him all tensed up again. "Good work. Where was he last spotted?" He nods to Rysen when he steps forward, indicating to his men to oblige the Inquisitor. "I'll take an alternate route, just in case he knows he's being tailed."
"Down Larkspur alley." The guard says with a slight pant. "You could head towards Campbell?" The little boy shakes his head, but he doesn't speak.
Denica sees the child shake his head, "You seem to disapprove of this plan child. Is there cause to not head towards campbell?"
Rysen glances at the boy. "If you've got something to say, kid, now's the time." Rysen turns to face the fastest route to Larkspur Alley.
Silas catches the boy's headshake and arches one brow. Denica asks the question before he does.
The little boy shifty-eyes and looks back over to poor Stefano. There is a hint of empathy in the child's gaze and he looks to Silas, "Wiley's Pies. I seen him travel through tunnels. I followed him once." There is a kick of a rock and the boy's face gets hard. "He killed my dog. Put 'em in a pie."
"The tunnels," says Rysen with disdain. "So be it. Can you show us the quickest way in to the section he uses," asks Rysen of the boy. He glances back to Mikani with a wry grin and says, "Feel like watching my back?"
Denica checked wits + streetwise at difficulty 25, rolling 13 higher.
Mikani looks at Rysen and laughs softly. "That is the oddest way someone has asked me to look at their ass ever." She teases him as she unsheathes her weapon and prepares to descend into the tunnels.
Silas grunts. He's significantly less familiar with the tunnels, but there doesn't seem to be a better alternative. He looks back to the men who returned to give the report. "Follow the trail you found, just in case." His gaze darts to the others assembled, who may not be so inclined to go mucking around in the tunnels. "It may be a good idea if some of you went ahead to his shop to investigate."
Rysen bursts into laughter. "Gods and spirits, Mika," he mutters. Turning to Denica, who seems both intelligent and the least likely to die, Rysen says, "If I don't make it back, Your Highness, please ask the Duchess to place my axes in the hall, and don't tell her I was turned into a meat pie." Turning back to the boy, Rysen says, "I'm ready, please show us the way."
Keski, a nervous disciple of Petrichor, Aletta, an even more nervous disciple of Petrichor, 1 Templar Knight guards, Oswald, the war pig, a lively Ostrian gelding arrive, following Brigida.
Stefano has upgraded from retching to a nice bit of green-faced vomiting, and once he's done with that, he spits out a big glob of sickly saliva and fumbles desperately for something on his belt. A flask. He chugs back a big mouthful, then spits that out too. Then he takes another swig. Meanwhile Mirella emerges from the house on weak and daintily-heeled feet. Even paler than usual. With one hand to brace her up against the doorframe she grits out a harsh, "Told you... not to eat so fast... Stef... ugh." The other pale hand wipes over her mouth and then she reaches out to her bodyguard. "...give me some of that damn wine..." Has she been violently ill? Maybe. Probably. But if Mirella's worked out that she's eaten personpie, she seems to be refusing to acknowledge it.
Keski, a nervous disciple of Petrichor, Aletta, an even more nervous disciple of Petrichor, 1 Templar Knight guards, Oswald, the war pig, a lively Ostrian gelding leave, following Brigida.
Denica checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 30, rolling 11 lower.
Merek looks around a bit, then he moves to the tunnels, "Right," he says, while he pulls his cloak about him.
Silas checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 29 higher.
Merek checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 1 lower.
Mikani checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 150 higher. Mikani rolled a critical!
Rysen checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 15 higher.
Rysen gets Lagoma's Holy Flame from Holster of Knightly Necessity.
Rysen gets Ruby Axe from a reinforced canvas shoulder bag with drawstring cords.
Rysen wields Ruby Axe.
After a good gargle and swallow of Stefano's wine, Mirella wipes her mouth with the back of her hand and breathes in short sharp breaths. Turning furious eyes to Stefano she mutters, "This is your fault for being greedy. Ugh." She grabs her bodyguard by the back of his shirt and pulls him along, as quietly as possible, slow and careful, because neither of them want to be sick again. Her voice is a gritted Lycene whisper. "Come with me. We're going to see to this."
Mirella checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 30, rolling 5 higher.
Denica checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 8 higher.
Denica checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 30, rolling 1 lower.
Silas is relieved that someone apparently goes to the shop, and follows behind the others in their quest to catch the cannibal pie vendor. Will they need a torch? Hopefully not...
The tunnels are old, crumbling and full of loose stones that are quick to shift under foot. If that wasn't bad enough, there have been collapses, uneven ceilings and other challenges. Rysen and Silas make their way through without injuring themselves. Mikani makes it look as easy as if she were walking in a perfectly even field in the middle of a bright afternoon. She leaps from place to place with all the grace of a deer, never settling long, and managing to exit without so much as a smudge of sludge on her. Merek... does not get away so easily. Coming around a corner he goes head first into a bit of lowered ceiling, hitting himself above the right eye and getting a scrape.
2 inflicted and Merek is harmed for minor damage.
Rysen drops Lagoma's Holy Flame.
Merek runs into the rocks all about the tunnel, while he makes his way through the place. Fortunately he has on his dragon helmet for this, while he waves those hands about, "Oi," he then follows up with Mikani while he finds her shoulder so he can follow her.
Rysen gets Lagoma's Holy Flame.
Mikani frowns softly back at Merek. "See this is why I wear lighter armor. Easier to make my way through tight spaces." She laughs softly. "See there was this time ... back at this dig...." She continues to tell an amusing story of one of her adventures.
Mikani checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.
Silas can't manuever as swiftly as he'd like in his armor, and the treacherous terrain of the tunnels requires more caution than he initially anticipated. He goes as quickly as he can manage, but it doesn't stop him from momentarily gawking at Mikani slinking through like an acrobatic feline. He pauses when he hears Merek physically bump into a snag, to make sure he was alright, before continuing.
Surprise, an incredibly fluffy blue seal point kitten arrives, delivering a message to Mikani before departing.
Rysen follows Silas through the tunnels, with a lantern if it is dark enough to necessitate it. He grins at Mikani as she moves effortlessly through the tunnels.
Denica makes her way to the shop, but she is not near as sneaky as she would have hoped to have been. She lost most of her retinue, but was not quite as she hoped to be.
Rysen checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 2 higher.
Mirella checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 10 higher.
Somehow, Gods be praised, Mirella and Stefano manage to get their shit together enough that they can stand up straight and weave an inconspicuous path through the crowds. There woman in her seailk and shinies is hardly an odd sight in the Uppers, perhaps, and so it's just a matter of them blending in and forcing themselves not to hack up pie again. When they come to their destination -- the shop -- they stand out of the way. Mirella gives a careful, oh-so-gentle nod to Denica and Rysen, should either see her. She's a bit green around the gills, but has the rpesence of mind to pull Stefano into a nook in the streets where they can go more or less unnoticed. Hopefully.
Mirella just nods to Denica, in hindsight. Because Rysen's in the damn tunnels. Doh.
Perhaps it is because they are stealthy, but it is Mirella and Stefano who spy the Pieman first. He's heading down an alley aimed for Wiley's Pies, his head down, muttering to himself as he hustles, narrowly missing a couple of pedestrians as he is on the move.
Mirella wields a slender Lycene-styled diamondplate dagger.
Denica wields Intricately forged ancient steel stiletto.
Mikani wields Griffin's Tooth, A rubicund dagger.
Mirella checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 35, rolling 19 higher.
Stojan, the assistant have been dismissed.
3 Thrax Guards have been dismissed.
Damaia, the assistant have been dismissed.
Lady Snow have been dismissed.
One might assume that Mirella is extremely skilled at walking in dainty little heeled shoes, because despite being as pale as a sheet (well, paler than that) she's very light on her feet, with barely a sound clocking on the alley floor. Or at least, her steps are no louder than would attract any particular notice. Stalking like a cat, with a venomous glint in her eyes, she stops only to slide a blade from a strap around her thigh, previously hidden by layers of gauzy seasilk. And then she's on her target like a whisper, determined to grab him and put a knife to his throat. Even if that means she has to throw her small frame right on top of him. Luckily, Stefano's not far behind. One would hope, anyway!
The pieman seems so focused on getting to where he is going, he does not even note Mirella moving around behind him. His head is down, his expression tight. But when there is the kiss of diamondplate against his throat he comes to an abrupt stop. "THIEF! HELP ME! THIEF!"
Silas checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 4 higher.
Denica checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 20 higher.
Rysen checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 13 higher.
Mirella checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 4 higher.
Domonico is in the crowd, passing through the area, looking at a note in his hand when suddenly he hears the cry of "THIEF! HELP ME THIEF!" and his head snaps around from his thoughts and he narrows his eyes at as he looks what he can see, onw hand dropping to his hilt.
Domonico checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 18 higher.
Mikani checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 21 higher.
Reigna GM Roll checked dexterity(3) at difficulty 10, rolling 2 higher.
Merek checked dexterity at difficulty 10, rolling 6 higher.
Mikani checked charm + leadership at difficulty 20, rolling 79 higher. Mikani rolled a critical!
Mikani climbs out in a graceful motion, because she's still spiderman and a jungle cat. Which could be impressive. She calls out using her Countess voice. "People ... I am Countess Byrne of Cedar Vale. This man is wanted for questioning ... I have Sir Merek of the Iron Guard and Lord Rysen of the Iron Guard just behind me to bring him in for questioning. I assure you this man is not being attacked for his goods. He is needed to be brought in for questioning."
Mikani adds, "Please stand back and allow us to conduct our business." She looks at Mirella and murmurs something to the woman.
The citizens who had been starting to look concerned find themselves looking towards Mikani as she begins to speak, radiating a calm authority that has a few heads nodding. Seeing the presence of the Iron Guard only supports her claim and people begin ignoring the Pieman's cries.
Denica checked charm + empathy at difficulty 40, rolling 9 higher.
Denica whispers to the man with a knife at his throat. She speaks for a moment and raises an eyebrow with a slight grin.
Domonico checked command + leadership at difficulty 15, rolling 43 higher.
The pieman with the knife to his throat looks close to tears, fear obvious on his face. When Denica leans in to whisper to him he swallows tightly and starts to babble back at her. "I was going out of business! I was going to lose everything! That damn inspector was breathing down my neck and... and... the butcher said the meat was better. It was! It was fattier and crisped up so well. I started putting it in everything, even a little bit in the fruit pies..."
Domonico is on the verge of drawing Riptide and aiding the man being attacked before Mikani calmly explains the situation. Domonico, still not entirely sure of the situation, decides that it would be easier without all the crowds and he raises his voice in a clear, loud projection that is clearly suited to giving orders. "YOU HEARD HER! EVERYONE CLEAR BACK NOW!" Folks immediately start to clear away from the area and the very loud Malvici.
Rysen puts Lagoma's Holy Flame in Holster of Knightly Necessity.
Rysen gets Ocean Pocket Mirror from Holster of Knightly Necessity.
Rysen smiles at Mikani as he walks past her out of the tunnel and over to the pieman with the knife to his throat, spilling his guts. Rysen gets a mirror out of his leather holster and stands next to Mirella, holding up the mirror to view the man's the reflection. Rysen glances to Silas and Merek and shakes his head. "He's all yours."
Rysen puts Ocean Pocket Mirror in Holster of Knightly Necessity.
Rysen puts Ruby Axe in a reinforced canvas shoulder bag with drawstring cords.
The group emerges from the tunnels, presumably without finding the wayward pieman. When he finally steps onto the street again, it seems those ahead of him already have their prey apprehended and the situation well in hand. The Lord Commander looks relieved, and he directs his attention to his men who arrive shortly after them. "Seize him and bind him." The glint of Rysen's mirror catches his eye and he looks inquiringly at the Inquisitor. "No demons involved, I presume?" Just regular ol' murderous behavior. His gaze slides back to pieman and his expression darkens. "You're under arrest for murder. Numerous murders. Thank you for confessing so willingly." He gestures to his guards. "Put him in the lower cells. No one else with him. Return to guard the crime scene."
This has been a very traumatic experience for Mirella. One does not simply eat manpie and come out of it emotionally unscathed. Her expression is murderous, her eyes filled with undiluted venom as she holds the razor edge of her dagger just ever so close to the pieman's throat, and it takes a good few moments for her to relinquish her hold upon the foul criminal. And what a hold it is, too. She's got her legs wrapped around his back by now and is clinging on like a small but vicious cat protecting its prey. A few drops of blood bead up against his skin before she finally lifts the dagger and slides down back to the floor, delicate heels clicking upon the ground. With a nod to Silas, the Lycene steps back a few paces. But not before jabbing the villanous baker in the buttock with the tip of her dagger.
"I didn't! I wouldn't! I just bought the meat! The meat and everyone liked my pies again!" The pieman is frantic as the guards start to approach, and when he feels the sting of Mikani's blade on his throat, he wails, "I never kilt anyone! I swear it!" When Mikani backs away, he sags in relief... until he feels that jab in the buttocks. He leaps a good foot in the air, clutching his posterior, "My backside! I've been stabbed! I've been STABBED!"
Mikani watches the man and puts her dagger away before she grabs his shirt to talk to him very closely. "Where did you get them? Where did you get the people for your pie?"
"None," confirms Rysen to Silas. He frowns as he gazes at the pieman getting bound and taken away by the guardsmen, no doubt musing on the cruelty humans inflict on each other without the help of demons. "I don't know how you got the drop on him so quickly, but the way you took his back was most impressive," Rysen says to Mirella with a slight grin as she give the pieman a parting stab. "And thank you, Your Highness, for making the Guard's job much easier," he adds, turning to Denica. Rysen then steps over to Silas and Merek and says, "It's been an honor working with you and the Guard, Lord Commander. Always good to work with you as well, Sir Merek. I should be getting back to the Black Hall, but it might be worth talking to that butcher he mentioned. I mean, a butcher might actually be more likely to sever body parts in the fashion we saw in Shannon's house." He sighs. "Please let me know if there's anything else I can do to help." He bows, and then whispers something to Mikani, before smiling and making his way off towards the Redrain Ward.
Denica checked command + leadership at difficulty 40, rolling 36 lower.
Raising an arm with royal weight, Denica at least tries to freeze the commotion "You tried to feed me these pies. This is an issue. You gave me a strange look when I was skeptical. You can tell me where this butcher is. Or the Iron Guard can take you and only the gods know what horrors will be wrought upon you then." She says in that horrible monotone.
The Iron Guardsmen look to Silas as if to ask 'do we listen?' though in the meantime they continue forward. The Pieman is beside himself, "His name is Vonne! Vonne! I don't know where his shop is, he always delivers the meat! It's waiting for me outside the door, every Tuesday. Please! I didn't kill anyone! I don't knwo what the meat is! It was just meat! JUST MEEEEEAT!" The Guardsman grab ahold of the Pieman, one on each of the man's arms.
Domonico hmms as he sees that the guardsmen start hauling off the pieman. He sweeps his gaze across the crowd before he offers Silas a respectful nod as he allows the Iron Guard to do there thing. The Malvici lord steps back into the crowd.
Mikani backs away from the man after he starts shouting the name of his employer. "Thank you." Is all she says to the man as she pulls out her journal and starts making notes.
His brows crawl up his forehead when Denica attempts to exert authority away from him to direct his guards in front of him, but given the circumstances... he doesn't seem terrifically offended. The Lord Commander folds his arms over his armored chest and puts his weight on his back foot as he observes her. "Vonne will get a visit from us shortly. If we determine there is truth to his words, the courts will decide his sentence, and the butcher will be executed in his stead. Can't say I think his outlook is terribly bright, though..." The guy DID feed the populace people pies. Dangerous to their health! A faint smile returns to his lips. "But thank you for the help, everyone."
Denica wiggles her fingers at the man as he is dragged away. There is almost demonic look to her as this happens, but when he is gone she turns sharply to Silas, "You have had our only source of information dragged away. Are you willingly bad at your job or just entirely ineffectual? I had him speaking and you wish to take him to your damp disease ridden dungeons to rot his brain before I can get more relevant information from him? Do you have no hint of subtlety? How do you expect to find Vonne with no in? Half of Arx saw this man get dragged away and now we have no informant. Thank you for just being awful."
There are continues exclaimations from the pieman as he's led away. The cries alternate between whimpers about his butt and protestations of innocence. Either way, the man is taken away, and for the time being, all is quiet.
Having wiped the blood from her dagger onto Stefano's shirt, Mirella returns it to the strap on her thigh when nobody is looking her way. And then, totally spent and with eyes closed, she leans her back against the wall. And then after a nod to everyone present, she slides out of the alley like a shadow.
Silas seems less amused at Denica, now, when she begins to insult him and the men under his command. His tone turns curt, now. "If you wish to interrogate criminals and fight crime, Your Highness, I suggest you join the Iron Guard or Inquisition. Otherwise, no, we're not delegating our duties to you no matter how much you may want them or how competent you believe yourself to be."
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