First Comes Love Pt. 3
(OOC: A continuation of the low-stakes, possibly combatty story arc surrounding a missing Prodigal lord of the Isles. Spots held for characters who have already participated, but please message if you're interested! There may be room to work in newcomers.)
May 3, 2023, 8 p.m.
Aethan Ahrsen Denica Filshiar Gaspard Ian Jan Neilda Tesha Titania Zyn
Outside Arx - Mourning Isles near Tyde Hall - Isles of the East Wind
Comments and Log
The entire tavern has stopped, now, with all eyes moving to take in the sight of Gaspard. A few of the bravest souls dare to look at the dart throwers, but mostly everyone is still and quiet. Timmin halts, hands up in front of the door, Zyn manages to grab ahold of Loome's shirt. It's tense. Until someone sneezes. Chaos erupts and the group manages to get outside into the street, dragging the two men as an all-out brawl starts within the tavern. Now the question is: Where do they go with their captives?
They don't actually go anywhere with their captives. Once out the door, somehow Loome wrestles loose of Zyn's grasp and takes off running - away from the ship he had originally come from. Gaspard and Filshiar reassure the group that they will see to him, and pursue him like bears. Pee-ridden Timmen, however, has remained with the rest, which is... A mixed bag. On the one hand, a captive! On the other, pee! Inside, the bar brawl rages on.
Ian is not dealing with pee. Not today. Nope. Dealing with pee is Someone Else's Job. He does make sure the door to the bar is firmly shut and puts himself between it and the rest of the people wrestling with Timmen and his pee-soaked pants, just in case someone decides it's a good idea to chase everyone out and pick up the fighting on the street.
Jan watches this and frowns. To Ian "Ok, so. Maybe honey would have been sweeter but the fuck have I to work with?" she says in her own defense, hand lifting to sheepishly rub the back of her neck.
When Ian closes the door to the brawling that's going on in the bar, Denica smacks her hands together back and forth, as though to dust them. Mostly she's demonstrating how the bar fight is not their problem and out of sight, out of mind. Having managed to emerge with her drink in hand, she takes a sip from the glass in thought. "Well, are we going to stay together, or do some people want to check out our smuggling friends and others go to the next bar and see if we can found out information on the missing Lord?," she asks of the others, checking to make sure everyone did in fact get out. There's a bit of a forlorn expression towards all the fun inside, but alas, she is focused on the task at hand.
Ahrsen is along for the ride, really Zyn volunteered them for this mission so he looks over to her. "Which do you want to do?" He had left the bar with no problem, dodging a few darts on the way out but is otherwise unscathed. The big bearded fellow looks about the group and adds. "Might be some resistance on the ship, probably the way I should go." That and well, no pee that direction!
Titania comes out of the bar and looks around, seeing Gaspard and Filshiar run off after Loome, her blue eyes turn back to Timmen. Her nose wrinkles as she looks to him, "I say we find a quiet spot so we can talk." she looks to his wet spot and shakes her head. "Maybe some place to get some water to douse him with." she looks between thouse of the group.
Zyn swears she had a a good grip on him. She swears it! After Z lets out a string of curses that makes her pirate heriatage proud, she starts after Lomme even though she knows nothing good will come of it unless luck is on her side tonight. She goes three steps before a stitch in her side has her doubling over with a pained groan. Forcing herself upright, she walks back to Ahrsen. "Oy, that was bad. Next time don't let me run off, would ya?" She looks to the others a bit bewildered. "I dunno."
Tesha is...alright with a fight if it comes to it. Honestly, a little bar fight wouldn't hurt nearly as much. Or hopefully not. She looks after the ones that are running and then back to those that are saying they should stay together. "The ship didn't seem to have any of the important people there. Mainly just crew puttering about while the higher ups were out it looked like." she tells the group.
"The unimportant people will still be able to shout for help." Ian leans against the wall next to the door to the bar. "Whatever we do, we need to get this guy into a location we control as soon as possible. I don't want to wind up in a fight with one of his friends and wrangle him at the same time. We've got a ship down the docks a ways. I'd advise against splitting up."
Timmen looks from Titania to Tesha and Ian. "Uh."
Jan says, "Stay together." She asserts and nods to Ian, "Agreed. Back to the ship. Now that folk know we're here..." she shoots a look around wordlessly acknowledging it was her pull in china shop antics that might be to blame for that. "Try to make it look casual?" not that she has suggestions as she holds open the door "Or at least not draw attention."
With her nose wrinkling at the idea of bringing Timmen back to their ship in that state, because smell. "You know, you might want to speak to a physician," she tells the man. "That was pretty quick to you know... Like, what are you going to do when something -really- scarry happens?," it's not the nicest thing to say, but it needed to be said. Then she raises her hand, "I am willing to sneak off and do some reconnaissance," she says because this has never gone wrong, Denica looks at the others but will follow along if need be.
Tesha gives a nod to Ian, "That is very true as well." she tells him. When Timmen says 'uh' she gives a look to him, "You have information to share?" she asks him with a quirk of her eyebrow.
Ian reaches out to catch Denica's arm. "If this ends up like it did on Escuma, we're going to be too far away to help you," he warns her.
Titania looks to Timmen as he speaks up, "Yes?" she moves to stand in front of him, her hands moving to rest of her hips. Her head tilting slightly. "What is it?" her blue eyes stair into his.
Timmen takes offense. He's embarassed, but he gives Denica a /look/. "You try being yelled at by that giant," He grumbles. Then he looks between Tesha and Titania. "Can I get clean clothes? You got me, just... Let me have my dignity."
Escuma. Denica looks innocently at Ian as he catches her arm, "I swear I had a brilliant plan. We just didn't have enough time to see it come to fruition." This is a complete lie, but she tries but follows along in the end. Then Denica looks at Timmen, "sure, we can get you clothes. If you help us? We will help you."
"Denica, I mean it." Ian meets the cheerful lie with a dead serious demeanor. "Being a princess isn't going to protect you here, and I don't want to be stuck tearing this place apart looking for you if you don't come back."
Ahrsen chuckles at Zyn then gives her a hearty slap on the back. "Hah, no you should keep running I think. Maybe that other guy has the information? Or this one, hell I don't know. Jus' you know I'm available if something needs swatted. " Intrigue isn't really his thing though he does have a little practice in interrogation. "Why give him clothes, bastard is at our mercy. " The big guy grumbles but holds his tongue after, letting his betters talk and all that. "If someone needs to rough him up, just let me know." The latter coming out more off a mutter to Zyn than to anyone else.
Jan says, "The joke's on you. The giant is soft like an overripe peach." She informs timmen "Well, I think Dignity has already absented herself but sure, let's get you to the ship and I'm sure someone has something that will fit." that smells like sweaty sailorballs and sun-baked salt spray but, at least it probably hasn't been pee-soaked. "At least you didn't faint?"
"I /have/ been yelled at by that Giant." Tesha gives a bit of a sigh to that. Friends needed to yell sometimes! She gives a look to Ian and Denica, "I'm guessing that since everything spilled out into the street that someone might have alerted their allies that there is a problem. So we should be extra careful." she states. "Do you need someone to go with you, your Highness?" she asks of Denica. Apparently they're trying to give Ian grey hair.
Zyn takes a half step before turning to glare up at Ahrsen. "That hurt." she grumbles, running the heel of her hand down the side of her ribs. "Anyways, I reckon we should go with 'em and see this through. Maybe yull get a chance to talk to that other guy. I mean, we're still lookin' for that Nils guy anyway." And like that her scowl is replaced with a lopsided grin.
Jan barks "We're staying together!"
The look Ian gives Tesha is not 'oh lol so many gray hairs'. It's startled, at first, and then a little bit angry. "Fuck it. Haven't torched a city since the beginning of the war." He gives Timmen a shove in the direction of the Kennex ship. "Come nicely and I won't hit you upside the head and drag you back by your feet."
It's hard for Denica to abandon her reckless ideas, but the serious tone in Ian's voice has her nodding her head slowly. He's not wrong. "True. And I'm pretty sure what favour I use to have here has all but dried up...," because of that small little thing. Then she glances at Ahrsen, "if the honey doesn't work, then a fist to to the face would be no doubt be effective." Then she looks at Timmen, "but you are going to play nice, aren't you?," she says to him. While Denica is very cheerful, she looks like she's also familiar with interrogating people. Looking over at Tesha, she cannot help but grin at her, "let's go back to the ship and see what we learn. Then we can revisit our plans based on what we learn," Denica tries to behave. Knocking back the rest of the drink she is left with an empty glass in hand. Denica walks back to the closed door of the tavern and bends down to set it just outside of it. Very responsible like.
Titania looks between Denica and Tesha there is a worried look on her face and then Jan barking orders and then Ian, she watches him her eyes a little wide. She turns to follow her cousin, "Please be careful." she looks to Tesha and the princess.
Timmen does, in fact, come along nicely, though there's at least one less than pleased look at Ian for that shove to get him going. The trek to the Kennex ship is not long, but it is docked in a different, farther away, part of the pot where visiting nobles usually moor. Within a half hour of departing the bar brawl, they're all settled - Timmen in clean clothes, ready to get some answers.
Ahrsen grunts and nods to the princess, all the while showing off his well muscled arms to Timmen. "Aye, I've got little use for honey but whatever works for you." He really does seem the type that wouldn't blanch at having to cause some extreme damage to someone he was interrogating. He glances to Zyn and adds. "Hah, really that hurt? Well sorry, just thinking we should keel haul this creature instead of giving him new clothes. In both scenarios he gets clean clothes right?"
Tesha gives a bit of a look back to Ian, "No wandering off without the group, alright." she nods to that. She then quiets as she goes with the rest of the group to go back to the ship. This was going to be a very long night!
Jan siiighs and doesn't argue further with Denica or Tesha but marches along with Timmen back towards the ship. She eghs "There's always time for that later, Captain." keeping a wary eye out as she moves from an amble to a trot, keen to make it back to the safety of the ship.
Titania gets back to the ship and gets Timmen all cleaned up and sits him down. She moves to sit down ear him, a leather clad leg crossing over the other as she watches him. "Are you ready to talk and tell us what we need to know/" her voice is soft, but there is a ting of command in there.
Timmen gives Titania a nod. He's looking a bit like he might be rethinking this whole 'talking' thing, given... Ian and Ahrsen. But he seems like he'll cooperate.
Once everyone is back on the Kennex ship, Ian collars one of the sailors to give her a verbal message to pass to Aethan, assuming Aethan can be located, announcing their return and explaining about the, uh, guest who they brought back with them. This makes him a bit late rejoining the group.
Jan frowns "You have my word no one here will harm you if you help us find Nils. We don't care about anything else, just finding Nils. If you can help us do that then we don't have any incentive to harm you. We're a friendly bunch to those who help us."
Titania nods her head, "Who is Janus (I remember the name right) and why does she have anything to do with Nils vanishing?" her eyes look down to the mans thumb where the small tattoo is, "Is she your boss?" she looks back to him.
Returning to the ship, there's a good glance back and forth before Denica boards it, trying to make sure they were not followed. Then as they are settling in and their prison has changed his clothes and probably smelling a little better as a result she leans against the wall and watches for a moment. Jan's question is echoed with a nod and then she flashes a smile, "it's in your best interest to tell us. Otherwise, we are going to start digging into all the things I bet you want to keep quiet. I can't imagine your friends will be happy if they think you squealed on them. All this hassle could and can still be avoided, but that offer is going to be short. Start talking," the last two words less cheerful and laced with threat.
Zyn boards the Kennex ship with a glance towards Ahrsen. She gives Timmen her best attempt at a friendly smile to Jan's words. She takes a casual pose, leaning against a beam with her arms crossed. That smile becomes more authentic when the princess' patience starts to thin. She's content to remain silent.
Ahrsen is just standing by, waiting for his chance to make this man pay. For what slight, well that's hard to say but smelling like piss was one of them. Now he is left with whatever concerns the others have over whether he talks or doesn't talk. The big guy leans against a wall somewhere in the ship and crosses his arms, giving Timmen a look that a shark might give a small fish before devouring it whole.
Tesha sets her mind to another task, there is enough people trying to get Timmen to talk and she is wanting to stay out of the way given this isn't a ship of Telmar's. Her one eye is making sure to track those who are coming onto the boat...just in case anyone did try to sneak in to see what they were doing with Timmen.
"Junia, yeah," Timmen says, one hand liffting to scratch idly at his jaw. His head bows, looking down at the planks of the deck. "She's the... I dunno. She calls herself a duchess, but she ain't no noble. Like, she's the duchess of this suggling ring?" He tries to explain this woman's logic, but it's clear he doesn't understand it - or exactly agree with it. "Things changed, though, ya know?" He suddenly seems to realize he's on a /Kennex/ ship, surrounded by /Kennex/ sigils in prominent places. "...Oh." (Hint: She probably smuggles people.)
There was a message, news of a captive. Aethan had read it, and had made haste to where the ship was docked - certainly interested in finding out what the man might know. It took some time, but eventually the Duke was striding onto the ship with confidence and purpose. As he hears the discussion, he moves closer - not interrupting. They have it in hand at the moment.
Leaning against the wall, Denica looks comfortable and she listens to Timmen talk. Perhaps she missed something earlier but now it clicks and her lips cast into a little frown. Leaning back her head touches the flat surface. The young woman breathes out slowly, "answer the fucking question." Her voice goes cold, "does someone else want to break this guys fingers, or should I?" Clearly as things click, she's much less inclined to give him any of her time, consideration and then looks at the others. "We should hold him hostage and see if we can drive out the others. Arrest the whole lot of them and drag them towards the justice they deserve."
Jan lifts a hand and beckons, "C'mon. How'd things change and what has this got to do with our friend Nils?" She looks to Denica with mild exasperation "Soft target, Let's at least wait to see of he holds out on something." playing good cop to Denica's...Denica.
Ahrsen is all about breaking fingers, he moves over to the man and grabs ahold of his wrist. "Just say the word my lady and I will make them snap." It doesn't hurt that the man is a human smuggler either, scum of the earth as far as he considers it. Well, assuming this poor lout is even really involved in that affair.
Ian has only just returned to the group, and seems to have shifted from 'casually threaten to burn the city to the ground' right back to 'this is fine, y'all got this'. He's taken a seat a little bit out of the way, and is watching with an unreadable expression. At least until Jan speaks, at which point he says: "Things changed because there was a blasted war and we won it."
Titania looks at the man, there is a hard look that comes to her eyes. She does not raise her voice but she sure the hell knows what he is getting at, "She took him thinking he was just another shav that could be sold into slavery?" there are reasons the air about her is calm, but the vibes coming off her not so much. "Did you even know he was not just another shav? or did you figure this out after that he was a noble and panicked" her voice still the same smooth tone, just different.
Timmen has now launched into a quiet, under-the-breath tirade at himself. "Ah fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, Kenexes, fuck." Then he sees Aethan. "Fuck." The man appears to physically shrink under the questions. "Look, I was just a man needin' some coin." His hands come up as if to ward off more questions - or physical blows.
Tesha stands off to the side of things and watches for the moment. Watching the Kennex's and Denica work on the problem at hand for the moment. Timmen was getting asked a lot of things and she didn't have anything to add for the moment. She might though! She gives a look to Aethan as he reappears and she gives a bit of a nod to him. She didn't feel sorry for Timmen, he was going to get what was coming to him.
Ian follows Timmen's panicked gaze over to Aethan, and gives his brother a dark grin. "Well you've definitely still got it. Sorry about bringing him back here. We needed to get him off the street."
Jan looks towards Ian then Aethan "Sooo, we're raiding the slaver ship?"
Aethan's face is a mask of irritation, all but glowering at the poor man who drew him back down to the ship. There's a nod to each of those who addressed him, either with words or glances. "Did we get all the information we need from him?" He asks, looking to the others now and ignoring the captive. "Has he provided anything of value?"
Titania checks command and diplomacy at normal. Titania is successful.
Titania ignores all the talk that is around her, she leans in getting closer to Timme. Her head tilting to the side, as her leather clad hand reaches out across to touch the mans arm. her voice soft, smooth almost comforting like the waves licking at the edge of a beach, but there is also a hint of command in there, like how any sailor knows the ocean can be demanding. "Yes, you know we are Kennex. You know what we stand for, you are here now. You have helped us so far, why stop now. Tell us what we need, so that we can get Nils back. There has been enough war don't you think?" her words are said close to his ear as she leans in.
Ian turns his attention back to Timmen. "He could have been more helpful," he says, ostensibly to Aethan. "Giving us Nils would be a pretty good way to get us to go away, you know that, right? We'd have to take him back to his family. We'd probably have to hand the smuggler problem over to Tyde."
Denica checks composure and manipulation at normal. Denica is successful.
Ahrsen checks strength and intimidation at normal. Ahrsen is successful.
Aethan thinks, looking to Ian and nodding. "If he had given us what we needed, yes. He'd be returned to his family. If not, we'll have to find another person to question." He lets the implication hang in the air as to what might be done with the /current/ captive.
Zyn isn't that intimidating. She's just there, holding up the wall and smirking at Timmen from time to time. "Might be a good message ta send if'n Lomme finds his way to his friends if'n Timmen here didn't come home right away." She lifts a shoulder in a half shrug.
There's a sound like cracking knuckles, which may or may not have come from Ahrsen but caused Timmen to look at Ahrsen. He pales. Then he's looking up at Titania, who is so close that he barely has to move. "Prodigal is just a fancy word for Shav, so we took 'im, yeah, not a real noble... Like Junia, but she's at least not a Shav..." He swallows hard, realizing his words are stumbling over each other. "He was chasing after some skirt, so we took the skirt, too."
A little smile forms on Denica's lips when Ahrsen grabs the man's hand and then she looks at Timmen. "I still have a -lot- of rage left over from the war that we -won-," she says in what is probably a rather snarky tone towards the smuggler. "A lot of us do, I don't think I'd even flinch at the sound of your breaking bones." Then there's a little shrug and she looks around, "you know we could really make a show of it too, and then toss him back to his people, knowing he turned them in. I bet they'd show him what loyalty is!," she says cheerfully then. "It's a pity he just didn't answer our questions in the first place, this could all have been avoided." To Jan, "raid it and burn it to ash."
Jan purses her lips and studies their captive "Do you know where
Jan says, "Do you know where Nils is currently? How long ago was this?"
Ahrsen clears his throat and adds. "As a fucking prodigal I would love to answer yer comment with what exactly I think about it." This time he does crack his knuckles and pretty much looks ready to tear the man's throat out, with his hands or teeth, doesn't matter. "Burning to ash sounds good too. I have my ship here and crew, happy to help you raid anything necessary." His dark blue eyes rest on Timmen and is likely remembering him so he can kill him later, if he can't do it now.
Tesha gives a look to Timmen as he talks and there is a bit of a grimace at his words on Shavs and Prodigals, "He bent the knee and was given his title. Just like many others. There are people who win the Tournament of Roses that get ennobled as well for their Boons. They are counted as nobles. Not everyone will be born into it. It would do people well to learn that as things are changing in many different landscapes." she states as she watches him. Then she quiets to let the others do their questioning.
Ian pinches the bridge of his nose as Timmen talks in a gesture that's somewhere between 'this is headache-inducing nonsense' and a Picard-style facepalm. But for now, he doesn't have anything else to say, just waiting to see whether Timmen's going to give up Nils' location.
Finally an answer, Denica presses off the wall and looks at Timmen. "You're an idiot, read the fucking room," she says to him and then looks at the others. "Right, so we rescue Nils, his lady friend -then- we take their stuff, arrest them and burn their ship down," the princess loves an agenda with clear action items.
Titania nods her head sitting back looking at Ian and Aethan, then back to Timmen nodding her head, "I happen to agree with her highness on her words." Titania may not be strong and a warrior but she is dangerous in other ways.
Timmen is gulping down air, now. "Please don't kill me." His voice has lowered into a wimpering, pathetic thing. He makes a gesture in the direction of the smuggler's ship. "It's leavin' in the morning. With or without me. You can follow it."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Titania before departing.
Mar, the Magpie arrives, delivering a message to Jan before departing.
Nothing Timmen changes the princess's mind, only when they will set out for the ship. Other than that, she seems to keep her vote firmly on rescue, justice and destruction. A balanced approach.
Jan purses her lips and looks to Aethan and Ian, "If one of us can get captured and put with the captives maybe we can help unbind them or work up a distraction making the ship easier to board and claim?"
Ian raises his eyebrows to Jan. "Or we can see one of our number sold into slavery if something goes wrong."
Zyn looks to Ahrsen, trying to meet his eye so she can give him a smirk. "I like the way ye think, Princess," she says before looking to Jan, Aethan and Ian. "This for the rescuin' part? Probably not gonna be as much help there than other parts of this plan."
Lips press together, "I have to agree with Ian on this. I've posed as a prisoner on a number of occasions, and it rarely works." Then she looks at Timmen, "should keep him as long as he is useful? Until we know we don't need him. We might need more information or a human shield. Then, when he's not-- well there's more than one way to skin a cat," she shrugs that not her problem then.
Aethan looks to Jan. "The courage is commendable, but we will not be turning into captives ourselves. I will not put people in danger, without the ability to defend themselves." His tone is genuine in his praise, however the distaste for the plan is obvious. A look to Denica. "Keep him. Feed him for now. Do not harm him unduely, unless he resists. Once we have Nils, we'll determine where he is going. Unless someone has another idea on his fate?"
Jan shrugs "This ship does have a brig, Seems reasonable to me." She looks to Aethan "I wasn't volunteering! Mother couldn't make me a proper lady can you even imagine someone trying to boss me around like chattel?"
Ian looks over at Aethan, and, like the law abiding goody two shoes he is, he remarks: "This is Duke Archeron's domain. Anyone we capture probably should be facing Tyde justice, not Kennex justice." There's a deference in his voice that makes it clear he's pointing out a reality and making a suggestion, rather than declaring what he thinks should happen. Even though... this is Ian. Following the letter of the law is almost certainly what he thinks should happen.
Ahrsen grunts and looks to Aethan. "Kill him and be done with it, everything else is a waste of time. The ocean has enough sand, it won't mind another body. But, well you are the captain of this ship. " Being a Captain himself he would never stoop to give orders or otherwise force his opinion on others aboard another ship. "Do you want another ship with ye? Zyn and I can go aboard Sigrun's Vengeance and any of your troops are happy to join. We fly the flag of Thrax after all."
"The state of how they get him, really isn't our responsibility.," she shrugs at Ian. "I think that time will tell as to what he fate is. If he really pisses us off, or tries something stupid-- I am not responsible for my actions nor are others. But, maybe if he helps us, we can turn him over to the Duke to deal with him," she knows she is talking about the man in front of him, but she treats him as a non-entity. Then looking between Aethan and Ahrsen, "I am happy to go with whoever needs the additional body. I'm not much of a sailor, but I've a sunny disposition." A smile.
Titania gets up from where she is is sitting, "I need air." she moves out from where they are out to the deck of the ship. She seems troubled, as she looks out over the water.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Jan before departing.
Zyn nods to Ahrsen's words. "May be handy to have a second ship," she agrees, eyeing Timmen speculatively. After a moment, she just gives him a dismissive head shake. He had his chance after all. What happens now is on him.
Aethan listens to the suggestions, turning to the captured man for a moment. "He's our prisoner. I am sure he will pray to find himself useful, with more information. Once Nils is recovered, we'll discuss his fate." A look to the others gathers. "A second ship is welcomed, as is any aid offered over."
Jan says, "I'm with Ian on the disposition of the prisoner once he's served usefulness. We start deciding who's criminal and who's citizen in a port that's not ours..."
With a decision made, the group hunkers down to await the morning. And perhaps the others they've worked with this long, eventful night. The sun will tell.
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