Who Are You?
The first session of a PRP arc investigating the incident on the road that separated Samithel from the others.
July 14, 2019, 4 p.m.
Outside Arx - Oakhaven - Forested Area
Comments and Log
Springtime in Arx is unpredictable at best. Winds roar in from the ocean, bringing moisture and cold, meeting the warmer currents from the western plains and results in sudden storms. There is just such a storm raging at the moment, the rain coming down in torrential sheets, many of the servants taking shelter in the Keaton Great Hall waiting out the rain. The children are loving it, perched in the windows watching the rain hammer down into the ground while thunder rolls overhead. Marie has begun to lay out lunch, feeding people is her thing afterall, and if everyone is clustered inside, they might as well be fed.
Amari is here, leaning in between children to stare at the rain herself. She's more pensive about the downpour, but not unhappy, per se. "Ooh, thunder. I didn't see the lightning, did you?" She asks the little ones, though at the sound of lunch being set out with soft clinks of cutlery and dishes, she glances back over her shoulder before they answer.
Marie and whoever else happened to be assisting in the kitchens at the time, of course. Though most of the food is laid on the tables, a servant brings a plate to Amari, piled with enough food to feed both Amari and most if not all of the children.
Samithel bows slightly, then offers the food. "There is lunch, if you would like it, my lady?" She glances at the storm through the window, then redirects her attention to the observing crowd once more.
"Messenger!" Kata, the ward and eldest child of the Keaton brood points out the window, and Talis starts to laugh. "WET!" Aeryn, looking dozy and vaguely churlish marches over to the door as if laying in wait for the inbound runner. A couple of the groundskeepers shuffle off towards the back table, doffing their caps and giving thanks to Marie for her cooking. The door is opened by a guard that is stationed outside, and he leans his head in, calling out, "Where's the new girl at? Sam-i-tell? That's it, right?" Marie calls from teh back, "It's SamiTHEL, Roderick, you numbskull. She's in here, yes. Just saw her."
"Thank you." Is Amari's quiet reply to Samithel, before she's about to herd the children to the table. About to, but then there's the messenger so she has to peer back out the window as well. "Aaw, he looks miserable." Then with a grin she pulls a funny face at Talis, "What's so funny, you? He's probably cold and soaked right through. Come on. All of you to the table for lunch." She's coaxing them along by the time the guard calls in, and a brow is arched at Sam-i-tell. No comment is made, but she's clearly a bit curious.
Did they say her name? Yes, that was likely her name, butchered--unfortunately--for neither the first nor the last time. The food dispensed, Samithel turns and heads calmly towards the guard.
"Master Roderick?" she asks. Her visual regard is distinctly questioning in an evaluating kind of way; will she be running or bowing in the next thirty seconds?
"Message for you." The soggy parchment is handed over, and some silver given to the equally sodden messanger. Marie takes a thick towel and a mug of broth to the messenger lingering under the eaves, "Here you go, lad. Something warm to tide you over. We have a pack of missives to go out. Rodrick, give him another bag of silver." The Messenger bos to Marie and says, "Not to rush you, but the bloke that's from is not looking well. You'll probably want to head over to see him sooner rather than later." The rain lessens from a downpour to a trickle and the messenger looks relieved. "Thank you Marie! I'll bring the towel back cleaned on my next jaunt out!" He heads off, walking as quickly as he can with his mug of soup.
Of course Amari is going to insert herself into this, cause that's what she does. She leads with a question of Marie, "Who isn't looking well?" All the while she's directing children to their seats with some limited success.
The messanger pauses and looks back to Amari, "Guy's name is Jo-something? He's at the hospital. Seemed pretty keen on me delivering that message as soon as possible."
"Oh? Well, thank you kindly for braving the storm to bring it." Amari replies, lingering where she is with her hands resting on the back of Kata's chair. Her gaze naturally returns to Samithel to get some hint as to why the missive was so urgent and maybe who Jo-something might be.
Samithel offers a polite smile after the departing messenger. It lingers enough for Roderick, then fades as she skims the already brief note to the tune of Amari's question.
Then the servant folds the note and slides it in a pocket, which maybe smears the writing a little more, but she heads to help herd children.
"Someone from the keep," she clarifies, in a moment where she is close enough to answer the question at an almost normal talking voice. "He was in the group I should have arrived with, my lady."
"Do you wish to visit him at the hospital then?" Amari prompts with a tilt of her head as she regards Samithel, adding, "Lunch is well in hand, so you needn't worry about that. I'm sure we can spare you for the afternoon if need be."
The answer is given once the children are successfully arranged and properly eating lunch. She looks from Amari's question to the door and back, listening to the sound of gradually receding rain.
"Apologies, my lady, but maybe you would not mind showing me where the hospital is? I only know enough of Arx's terrain to understand it is not nearby," Samithel half-offers, hoping she read the interest in the Keaton's question correctly. "But surely I will find it on my own eventually, if you have other things to attend to."
"Well then, let's eat and I'll show you the way." Amari offers gamely enough, but she seems adamant they should go fed.
Amari checked perception + survival at difficulty 45, rolling 22 lower.
Samithel checked perception + survival at difficulty 45, rolling 57 higher. Samithel rolled a critical!
There is plenty of food to eat, an assortment of items from the rich and indulgent to much lighter fare. The children eat with variable appetites, and as Aeryn if exhibiting signs of increasing grumpiness, he is taken back to the children's rooms to be put down for a nap. Kata and Talis seem to be in better spirits and Brianne is off with her mother. By the time the meals are eaten, the sun is shining and the only evidence of rain are thin puddles gathered at the lowest points of the walk ways. The journey to the hospital is not particularly eventful trip across the city. Amari is doing as Amari does, the city has plenty of interesting distractions, the people, the markets. For Samithel there is an unshakable feeling that someone is watching them. Each time she glances around, however, there never appears to be anyone looking her way. Until, at last, as they approach the hospital in the southeast corner of the city, high above, perched on a rooftop, what appeared at first to be a statue-type decoration is revealed to be a person, an ill-timed stretch giving them away.
Amari is not alert at all to danger. This is Arx, people only get murdered here every other week. Not like, every day. She detours through the market to check on things, claiming she's keeping a close on eye on leather goods from other fealties, though she seems to keep ending up at stalls displaying silks and gemstones. Still, she doesn't dawdle /too/ long and without getting them all mixed up and lost, leads the way to the hospital well enough. She even happily points out the sights as they go. "...And that is where you may bathe, with other people. You mustn't go there actually dirty, it's more for soaking and relaxing." She feels that must be specified though she's mostly just talking to fill the silent gaps so that they don't stretch on and become awkward at any point.
Every stall a tree, every sight a hill or grove. It is in the shadow of these that Samithel does her best to spot whatever is watching them, and it is almost a relief when she spots him.
Unfortunately, Samithel's instincts are maybe not the proper ones. It is not 'do not let them know you saw them' that crosses her mind, only 'you are being hunted'. So she reaches out to try and take Amari's arm, intent on running into the relative sanctuary of the hospital. They should be safe there--right?
Reigna GM Roll checked perception(4) + survival(5) at difficulty 20, rolling 21 higher.
The figure beats a hasty retreat when he realizes he's been spotted. Slipping down off the back of the roof and disappearing from sight. The hospital itself is cool and quiet despite the buzz of activity within. There are a few voices murmuring back and forth as healers move here and there helping people. One of the administrators comes over, recognizing Amari and offering a curtsy. "Lady Keaton! Are you looking for the Guildmaster? I think she might be napping..." The woman looks over her shoulder as if trying to remember where it is that the guildmaster is resting.
Amari doesn't notice anyone lurking above, or below, or nearby at all, so she arches a brow at the sudden need to rush rush rush. The man was ill, so she takes it as Samithel being supremely worried and wanting to see him, and follows quickly enough. "We're here!" She announces, needlessly before the adminstrator approaches and she has someone new to talk to. She smiles brightly even as she shakes her head, "Oh, no you needn't disturb her if she's resting. There's a patient here Samithel would like to visit." Though she never got his name, so turns to her companion to ask the obvious question, "What was your friend's name?"
Samithel lets go of Amari's arm, looking properly embarrassed when she replies, "Jovan."
She glances in the administrator's direction in a cursory search for recognition, then back to Amari. The embarrassment is still vaguely there, lingering behind her neutral expression, but beneath it is something more assessing. Surely Amari saw him and is simply better at the noble thing nobles do in the books at the Keaton reading garden, when they casually drink poison because they have already taken the antidote? Or is she missing something?
The servant breaks eye contact and takes an awkward step back. "The note is still available, if it might help, my lady?"
"Jovan... Jovan.. Oh! Yes." The administrator's expression goes grave. "He's recovering slowly. A curious ailment indeed. The guildmaster wore herself out trying to figure it out. Ah, he's right over there on the left." The woman points to a bed behind an isolation screen. "He was awake last I was near."
"Thank you kindly." Amari offers the administrator when she directs them to Jovan. Naturally, she gestures for Samithel to lead the way as she's at least acquianted with the man, while she's simply a curious third party who happened to know where the hospital was. She will of course follow and have a peek in at the fellow, and moves to do just that. "...a curious ailment? Is there anything in the letter about that?"
Sitting on one of the tables used by the physician's in the hospital is Rysen, while one of the assistants is cutting some stitches that had been applied to right arm. "Lady Amari," he calls from his seat, wincing as the healer finishes, and starts to wrap his arm in bandages. "Thank you," he says to the physician's assistant and rises to his feet. His eyes trail after Amari and Samithel as the two make their way through the hospital.
"Lord Rysen," Amari calls right back, though not too loudly, as she likely doesn't want to annoy the patients and physicians much, "What's happened to your arm? Nothing serious I hope?" She doesn't stop dead in her tracks, but nearly, cognizant of the fact that she might hold everything up by lingering. "Samithel's here to visit a man she knew, and I am, also here." For reasons.
Samithel shakes her head slightly at Amari's question, and continues at her usual not-running-for-her-life pace towards Jovan's ward. "Only what the messenger mentioned, my lady."
Finally, she looks inside, checking to see if he is awake or asleep before speaking and perhaps disturbing him.
Joven is awake, though he looks... odd. The wounds along one side of his body appear gray and flakey. More like chips of stone instead of flesh. He is laying there, his skin darkened, his breathing slow and labored. When he sees Samithel there is a smile, "Sammi girl." He lifts his right hand, gesturing her closer. "Glad you got here. Something I need to tell you before... well. Before it's too late." His voice is low and dry. "I was rescued by a generous woman who lives to the west of Arx. She has one of your satchels. There's something -- something inside it." He lifts his left hand, the fingers locked into place, a loose fist made. Within the fist is a hint of a leather cord, something hidden there. "I was told to give this to you."
Rysen moves in a step or two behind Amari, saying "Oh no, just an arrow from some deserters we tracked down on patrol... that looks pretty bad..." he says as he notices Joven when Samithel arrives at his side. Rysen turns to Amari with a look of concern in his eyes.
Amari stops a little ways off to give Jovan and Samithel some privacy, rather than run up to the bedside and start harrassing the poor fellow with questions. Besides, she has a Rysen to interrogate so splits her attention between them. When he explains his arm and mentions the other man's wounds, she turns too and has a better look. Still, she doesn't interupt, and addresses her softly spoken words to the Crovane. "It does. Much worse than I might have expected from a shav ambush."
Samithel accepts the words in silence, walking to the bedside with a glance over her shoulder at the two nobles. Carefully, she kneels down, eyes lingering on the injuries before they drift towards the face.
"Jovan?" she asks softly, words almost a whisper. "what-"
She reaches up to place her hand over his, fingers sliding between to find the cord, then asks, "Okay. You are not okay, but will you be? Were you followed? What can we do?"
There is remembered softness not only in her voice but her face, undeniably present despite its lack of intensity.
When the cord is taken, a pendant slides free from that paralized curl of his hand. Hammered silver with some green enamel in the shape of a sharp leaf, with an engraved 'S' in the center. A pendant Samithel has not seen in *years*. Not since her people vanished. Jovan seems about to reply, but his eyes start to close and he slips unconcious. Further questions will need to wait.
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