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Hemmed In; [Summer RPathon 1] [Private: Marie Thyldd]
Topic Started: Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:36 pm (83 Views)
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"Alasie, I'm confused. What is this job really about?"

The woman took her glasses off and ran her palm over her face. In this world, asking too many questions was a sure way to get in trouble with someone, something, or some kind of entity that defied description. Fortunately -- or perhaps unfortunately, in this case -- Alasie's job entailed doing just that on a regular basis. It was the kind of employment one only enjoyed because they'd done it for so long and they'd become halfway good at it as a result.

Before answering Cinga's question, she found a good place to stop reading and shut her book. Alasie set her spectacles back on her nose and turned to face Cinga. Her bear-shaped god was pinning a piece of butcher paper to the floor of the library with her claws. The charcoal scribbles were an indicator that she'd been attempting to draw, likely by gripping the pencil in her mouth. Creative expression was a sign that the deity was in good psychological condition.

"I'm doing a favor for a member of the Council of Merchants. Do you know who those people are?" Alasie said.

"Cascadian oligarchs. High-ranking civil officials and business owners." The god tilted her head. "That doesn't answer my question."

"Well, I'm also a civil worker for Cascadia, just much more low-ranking. Which means that if I'm doing a favor for someone that high up, and do it well, both of us might have a better time in Cascadia in the future."

"But this job has little to do with your normal duties. We're in a backwater town in the Dragonspine foothills. You're doing detective work for some runes. Is this that person's hometown? Is there a conflict of interest somewhere?" the bear asked. "Is something else going on?"

The woman took a deep breath through her nose, keeping her expression as carefully neutral as she could. "Look, Cinga. Sometimes you need to be careful about when you ask certain questions. Sometimes it's too early."

"Or too late," the god countered, squaring her big shoulders and meeting Alasie's gaze.

The paladin jerked her chin toward the exit to the study. "Come on. We need to make another site visit. And maybe get some more eyes on it."

The rural town of Vinemarch where Alasie currently worked hadn't yet succumbed to the economic collapse that so many of the settlements higher in elevation had. It was a big, lively staging point for all kinds of travelers -- a connector between the well-settled Cascadian taiga and the harder-to-reach places like the Deep Cities. Some visitors used Vinemarch to gear up for more colorful expeditions, like dragonbreaking. As soon as word of a dragon death hit the town, dozens of groups and solos would hit the mountain roads to go find and salvage parts from the colossal lizard.

Alasie and her enormous bear wound their way through throngs of pedestrians, cat-riders, dragoons, rickshaws, drake-pulled wagons, and more. With such a colorful diversity of people, Cinga didn't stand out all that much, although people generally tried not to bump into the beast just in case.

She reached the city square, where a man at the rostrum was in the middle of giving a speech at the top of his lungs. His oratory volume was so well-practiced that he easily spoke over all the bustle of the town -- and he'd garnered a decent-sized crowd of spectators, too.

"We believe, based on the tireless work of our hired investigators, that the monster attacks that have been occurring on every road system leading to and from the town have been deliberately engineered!" the crier roared. "We believe there's a connection between the attacks and the mysterious runes that have been etched into the trees! Rest assured, we have specialists on the case who are working day-in and day-out to find the culprit!"

The woman had gotten an idea. As Alasie was pushing her way toward the front of the spectator crowd, she caught the eye of the speaker. "Ah! Here is one of them!" he shouted. "Alasie of the Qilak, and her pact-bound god Cinga! Do not fear, citizens, for that bear is actually a river god -- and completely tame!"

Alasie climbed up to the rostrum and cleared her throat. "Is anyone here looking for a bodyguard job? I need a good amount of eyes here."

"Oh-ho! Who will step forth?!"

The paladin side-eyed the speaker who'd decided to milk some drama out of her genuine attempt at building a squad of bodyguards.
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Marie Thlydd
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'All things considered, Vinemarch isn't much of a village.' Marie thought as she walked through the crowds and people that lined the streets.

The villages in the Dragonspine Mountains were in a bit of economic turmoil, for exact reasons Marie did not know. The people themselves seemed hardy and capable, so there probably wasn't much reason to worry.

There was, however, a massive gathering of people near the square and people were working and hollering around.

The man at the center of it all seemed to be crying out information, according to him things around the community were distressed because someone was deliberately setting up monster attacks.

She pressed her lips together, 'That's bad for the area. Huh?" she thought as a woman was called out. She was followed by a bear that the man said was tame and was-


She felt her blood begin to boil as people cheered and praised this woman. The woman, Alasie apparently, called out for help and any volunteers.

Marie couldn't leave this to a 'God' and his little helper, no matter how the people felt them capable and cheered them.

Moving through the crowd the light-haired woman approached the dais, "I'll join in this." She called gripping the boards and pushing herself on top.

"Oh? And who might you be?" the crier called.

"Marie Thlydd."
She spoke, her eyes hard as she looked to Alasie and didn't even bother to glance at the Bear. The woman seemed a capable fighter. If this proved problematic things might end up devolving into a fight that Marie wasn't sure how well she could win.

If nothing else, she had her spark to fall back on.

She crossed her arms and looked back to the crowd who were now cheering her on in gratitude and waited for any other comers and the show to get started.
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Alasie locked eyes with her first volunteer, Marie Thyldd. Standing with her back straight and expression mild, the paladin gave a polite nod and extended her hand. Whether or not Marie would shake it was a different story, but the offer was there.

"Wow! You're really pretty, miss Thyldd!" Cinga said, lifting up her head. The bear spoke without moving her mouth, as if the noise was simply projected from her person. "What are you good at? What kinds of things do you know about?"

"Don't bother our employees too much," Alasie interjected, already taking her attention off Marie to shake the hands of two other volunteers who had stepped forward. The first of that pair was a mountain-goat minotaur with lean muscle and a two-handed warhammer strapped to his back. His white beard and the fur that was longer behind his skull were both tied; he looked neat and well-kept. The final volunteer was a small elf with big eyes, pale skin and thin lips. Her hands wouldn't stop trembling. She claimed to be a mage and showed off some arcane tattoos on her forearms. Cinga tried to make conversation with these additional bodyguards as well, but there was too much commotion in the area.

No one else in the crowd looked interested in the job, so Alasie announced: "A party of five should be sufficient." With no more fanfare than that, she climbed down from the rostrum and led her new gaggle toward a less well-populated area of the city square, ignoring the crier's commentary about the whole thing.

In this somewhat quieter area, Alasie gathered around the group. "My day job is one of a cultural consultant, but I'm not completely new to detective work. I'd appreciate your help and close attention."

"Also," the bear added, "we were made to come here by a member of the Cascadian Chamber of Merchants, so if we fail then something political might happen."

Alasie glanced at her god before continuing to address the group. "The runes carved into the trees around town are pretty small and difficult to find. All I know is that these runes are fashioned in the style of a particular lore of magic common in this area. One that attracts monsters. Basically, people are getting attacked because they're startling the monsters or running into ones that haven't eaten in a while. But I still don't have a culprit or even a motive yet. We need to go see if we can find any more evidence."
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Marie Thlydd
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Alasie seemed to be calm as she offered to shake Marie's hand.

As the offering hung in the air, several thoughts went through Marie's head; though she decided against most of them and instead nodded and took the hand and shook.

The 'Bear God' looked up and spoke to her, the mouth not moving as if it did not need to. Marie's stare was less silent surprised and more vengeant glare; though Marie made no effort to try and explain it.

Others joined in; each greeting her in turn and she returned it with a nod. Finally, the woman, Alasie, led them off towards the forum and explained the situation.

So, it seems that the comment that the attacks were intentional is correct.
she thought

Marie paused and considered things she knew, she could find the runes well enough but the method of runes attracting creatures was unknown to her.

"Detective work isn't that difficult, we should find these runes first if you ask me."
She began. "Depending on styles and shapes we might find out more about them, and why they are attracting monsters."
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Alasie nodded at that. "I'm not an arcanist by trade, though. It sounds like you know a bit more about it than me, so I hope you can shed some more light on the situation once you get a good look at one."

Cinga lagged behind the group as they got ready for their trek around the outskirts of the town. Alasie noticed the god's head drooping, eyes downcast, and fought back the urge to roll her eyes. There was no doubt the bear was moping about Marie Thyldd's unfriendly attitude. Not everyone is going to return your friendliness, Alasie wanted to say.

They took off past the confines of civilization and into the rocky, moss-covered foothills of the Dragonspine Mountains. Alasie led the way on foot. "Most of the runes are hidden within a thousand paces of the city limits, and mostly around the roads. Which is a boon, since the terrain around here is... well, this." She gestured toward a big, natural drainage cut into the space just to the left of the road, forming an almost vertical slope.

As she was making that gesture, she spotted Cinga plodding up to Marie. That can't be good.

"Why don't you like me?" the bear said, audibly distraught. "I don't like when people who don't know me don't like me. It makes me very unhappy. What did I do wrong?"

In the backgorund, Alasie pinched the bridge of her nose and tried to focus forward. The party kept walking, but Cinga stuck to Marie's side like a sad puppy, her head at the woman's eye level, the skin above her eyes furrowed in an imitation of a concerned expression.
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Marie Thlydd
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Marie held a further position than most of the group, she hated the fact that the bear wanted to consistently move behind her and that forced her to walk awkwardly as she tried to find a comfortable distance between it and her. It didn't make it any better that she had to resist the urge to walk backward.

Alasie was explaining the situation to them all as she felt something large approach,

Closing her eyes she realized it was the bear god thing that was always watching her. Finally, she pretended to examine trees for the runes.

It went well... Until the bear had to open its mouth.

She bit the inside of her cheek, why did it have to talk to her? Why did it have to ask?

Finally, she felt her jaw set.

"Because it doesn't matter what false facade you put up I'm going to see through it. I'm going to see through that cheerful friendly disguise you've put up and see the truth of what you really are. I don't know what sort of manipulations you plan for that village but know that I will stand in your way. I'm not going to let you all destroy that village like your kind did to my home." she growled. "I see through your antics 'GOD'. I may not be able to stop you when you try to destroy that village, but know I will sure try."

She stepped away. "You are a god. That is more than enough reason to distrust and hate you. Your kind have brought me nothing but grief."

She walked up to Alasie and pointed at Chinga as the others were out of earshot. "I don't know what sort of plot you have going. But I 'll tell you the same thing. I'll kill the both of you without hesitation should you try something. I know this ruse of yours to gain the village trust. DOn't think it will gain mine." she growled. "And do us all a favor and keep your pet god on a leash if you don't want me to show you what I've learned about how to kill them too early if I can help it."

She turned away. "I've learned how to kill gods on other planes. Dare me to show you how much I've learned."
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