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Author Topic: Ride the Rushing Billows  (Read 27812 times)

  • Kovenito
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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #50 on: August 14, 2016, 12:29:58 AM »
Kovenito

Kovenito had been in the mines for several days now after getting caught trying to find a way around the front gate. Despite the setback of losing contact with Caden and Bran, he was fairly satisfied with having been able to reunite with the Seraph prisoners that he had escorted to the mines. They did everything in their power to remain near each other in the mines as they looked for an opportunity to escape. There was a lot of traffic in the mines with bandits, prisoners, and skritt vying for space within the confines of the narrow tunnels. Kovenito couldn’t understand why the bandits were allowing the skritt to remain in the midst of such an operation as this, but he figured they must have their reasons.

As Kovenito dug within the mines, he heard some nearby bandits start up a conversation as several came to shift the watch.

“So did you guys hear? Doc Howler is celebrating in style now that Sellie just died,” declared one of the newly arrived bandits.

“What?! How did that happen?,” inquired another bandit.

“Apparently Sellie was on some sort of hush-hush mission and she was taken out by some Seraph.”

“Guess that means the Blades will settle down again. Doc Howler is terrifying when she is in one of her moods. One of the reason I didn’t take much stock into Sellie’s potential takeover. Glad I made the right choice…” said the bandit as he began wandering off down the tunnels.

Kovenito stood there in total shock at the news. As the shock began to subside, it was replaced by equal measures of grief and rage. He turned toward the Seraph prisoners. “I am going to make them pay; we are breaking out of here right now!”

With that, Kovenito rushed up to the nearest skritt. “Hey skritt! Those bandits just took all the shinies through the gate. They aren’t going to let you have any more,” he told him.

“Our shinies?! They can’t have our shinies!” yelled out the skritt. Other skritt joined the distraught one and together they began to rush the bandits. A violent fight erupted as skritt, bandits, and prisoners suddenly began to brawl. Before long, the guards were overwhelmed and the gate broken down. The violence spilled out into the fields outside.

Kovenito looked around him at all the dead bodies strewn around him and immediately regretted his rash decision. But not wanting to waste the opportunity, he gathered the Seraph prisoners and ran for the exit. Once free of tunnels below, Kovenito led the Seraph into the nearby woods. From the shadows of the trees and underbrush, they began to make their slow, arduous hike back to Divinity Reach while remaining as hidden as possible from the main roads and thoroughfares.

Once back in Divinity Reach, Kovenito reported to his sister Ilterendiel about everything that had happened, including his grief over the loss of Selina and his failure to protect one of the Seraph and the ensuing bloodshed. Kovenito told Ilterendiel that he was done with adventuring and that he would return to the home he had created for Selina and honor her memory by living the quiet life she had hoped to attain.
Rem Galad (Mesmer) Valborg Tinglith (Guardian)
Ukan Shandur (Thief) Kovenito (Ranger)
Taen Ferventsalvo (Engineer) Tyra Villieldr (Elementalist) Ilterendiel (Warrior)

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #51 on: August 24, 2016, 01:10:57 AM »
SELINA KNOX

Selina had spent her first week with Graeme Clark, the tutor that Aidan had secured to coach her in reading and writing. It was a slow process, but Sellie cherished the classes, and did her best to learn all she could. Graeme was rather professional with the handling of the lessons, starting promptly on time, making sure she understood everything that was said, and giving her enough time to practice on her own. He was also careful not to let anyone know exactly who he was holding classes for, even though he had been approached on separate occasions by the neighbours about the goings-on in the Brennan household.

At the end of the week, Bran paid another visit through Sellie's window, and this time, he found her in her room. She made him promise not to tell anyone that he knew that she was alive. He assumed that word had not gotten out yet since her companions never did come back for her. The news both put her at ease, and disappointed her at the same time. She supposed she was glad they never came back to look for her, but at the same time, wondered if she really was valuable as Auberon had made her out to be.

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #52 on: August 31, 2016, 10:38:24 AM »
Selina Knox, Aidan Thomas Brennan & Caden Mullins

Selina had been sitting in her room, reading up a storm on a document that was given to her by Graeme. Every now and then she would mark a word in red, if she wasn't sure how to pronounce it, or what it meant.

Aidan was sitting in the library going through his correspondence when a knock on the door was heard. Downstairs he heard Siri open the door and welcome the guest to the house. Not long after footsteps were heard coming upstairs before Siri announced Caden Mullins. Putting his letters down Aidan got up and shook his hand welcoming him heartily.

"I hope you're well Aidan" Caden said in reply to the man's greeting. "Anise has sent me to ask Selina if there's perhaps anything more she remembers from her time in the camp or the people she met there." He seemed uneasy for a while before he continued. "I know she probably hates me after my behaviour when I was here last, but I'm afraid I have to ask her anyway"

Aidan nodded thoughtfully. "I understand, let me fetch her for you" he said before moving through the hall and knocking on Selina's door.

She put down her document and pen. "Yessss?" she yelled through the door, and opened it up to Aidan.

"Caden is here to see you" he said quietly, hoping to not get a door slammed in his face.

Her expression changed, she peered over Aidan's shoulder in the case that Caden had followed him upstairs. "I'm not keen to see him. Tell him I'm not here."

"I don't think he was very keen to come either, but Anise sent him. Please at least hear him out"

She remained hesitant. "Aidan, you promised me that you would keep Anise away. Caden is just her wingman."

"By that definition so am I, yet you're speaking to me. He just has to ask you some questions and he'll be on his way"

She frowned, and crossed her arms over her chest. "You won't take no for an answer, will you?"

"I'm afraid not"

Sighing loudly, she stretched out her arm. "Lead the way then."

"Thank you" he said while stepping backwards and gesturing towards the library expecting her to move that way. "I'll be in my room" he said after she stepped out of hers.

She put her arm down. "Leave me to deal with him on my own. If anything goes awry, I'm blaming you." She walked off without waiting for a response, and stepped into the library.

Aidan shrugged before entering his own room and closing the door behind him.

In the library Selina found Caden waiting for her on the far side of the room, shifting around a bit nervously. The bandages that had been wrapped around his head tightly last time were gone and a large pink scar ran across his face. The look on his face was anxious though he tried not to frown.

Selina shot daggers at him with her eyes, prowling the other end of the room with a fierceness that Caden had never seen before.

"I-I am sorry for coming here" He stammered before collecting himself. "I know you must despise me but please, allow me to apologize for my behaviour last time, I had no right to speak to you like that" He glanced at her face trying to gauge her reaction as he waited anxiously for her to reply.

"What do you want?" was all she said in reply.

"Anise wants me to ask you if there's anything more you remember about the camp or the people there since you've been back." He said, clearly uneasy after her short reply.

She slammed a fist into the wall. "Don't mention that name to me. It's not welcome here."

"Please Sel, anything you remember could help us, even if you don't like us, you must agree that we cannot let the white mantle have their way"

Narrowing her eyes at him, she responded. "I'm not involving myself in this war between the white mantle and shining blade. As far as the world is concerned, I am dead. You do not consult a corpse."

"But you're not dead, and if we fail, it will affect you as well. Please Selina, if there's anything you remember, tell me" He looked at her pleadingly.

"I don't owe you a thing... nor do you owe me a thing. Let's leave it that way," she said coldly.

"So rather than helping us, and possibly saving a lot of lives you'd prefer to keep quiet out of spite. I guess it was stupid of me to expect anything else. Good day to you Selina, even though we seem destined to leave on bad terms, I hope you realise it's not my intent." A sad look flashed across his face every so shortly before he turned to leave the library.

"What is your intent then?" she spoke after a pause, just before he was going to fade out of sight, probably for good this time.

He stopped in his tracks when she spoke up. "It's true I came her because she sent me, but I've been wanting to come back since I left last time, I do not want this animosity between us Selina" He said as he turned to look at her. "I know my behaviour was appalling and you may never trust me again, but I would like for us to be friends." He paused. "I did not come before because I was afraid you would send me away. Please, will you forgive me?"

The intensity faded from her facade. "I will forgive you if you can help me to understand why you shift between such extreme personalities. One moment you're gentle and kind, and the next, you seem to be as cold hearted as the rest of them. Which one are you?"

"Would I have tried to extract you from the white mantle camp if I did not care, risking everything I worked for?" I am passionate about what I do, you may not agree with me but that does not make me cold hearted. Yes, I will grant you that this mission was not right, but I also know the Shining Blade was desperate for a way in. Nothing I can say or do will make up for what happened to you, but please, let us not argue on matters that we will probably never agree on, I cannot bear the thought of arguing with you. That is why I left last time, to prevent either of us from saying worse"

A block of silence cut into their conversation, and finally Selina spoke. "Why does it matter to you how I feel about you? You know you won't change my mind in regards to the Shining Blade and their practices, and it seems I won't change yours. Were we really meant to be friends if our opinions are so different?"

"You may not remember the time we spent together travelling, but I enjoyed it very much, I will not such a stupid disagreement ruin that"

"The disagreement is only stupid if it has little to do with us and we can just brush it aside. But how can we do that if you only show up when you have Shining Blade business to discuss? Who is Caden Mullins apart from the Shining Blade?"

He let his head hang "I should've come sooner, I'm sorry, I am a coward"

She watched him quietly. "I don't like the animosity between us either."

Carefully he managed a smile "So how've you been the past month?"

She shrugged. "I've been studying... and hiding. Basically. Haven't been out of this house."

"Studying?"

"To read," she let out a sheepish smile.

"Sel that is fantastic" he said, allowing his usual cheerful grin to spread across his face "How're you getting along?"

"I suppose I'm as fine as I could be," she pointed to his eye. "How's your injury?"

"It seems I'm lucky, over the past month my sight restored, it started with just a few blotches of light here and there but it's fine now. The scar is still sore though"

She nodded. "You should've left that helmet off. I could've killed you."

"If I had you would've recognised me too early and my plan would've failed. I'm glad you're safe even if I did get a little less handsome in the process" He said with a cheeky grin.

She smiled in response. But just before she opened her mouth to speak, her tutor poked his head out of the door, and knocked three times to get their attention. "I'm sorry to interrupt," said Graeme. "Is this a bad time?"

Caden gave Selina a questioning look but said nothing

"Oh yes," she said to Caden. "Time for my lessons. Graeme is on the clock so our talk will have to wait."

"Of course, will you allow me to return tomorrow?"

She nodded with a smile. "Just don't bring that 'business' side. This is a much better version of you."

"I did not wish to obscure my reason for being here from you, since I hope to rebuild our trust, I hope you understand." He smiled. "Until tomorrow then, good luck with your lessons and give my best to Aidan please"

After a last smile he turned and made his way down the stairs and out the house.

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #53 on: August 31, 2016, 02:00:14 PM »
AIDAN BRENNAN

After giving his files a last lookover Aidan made some notes in a small book that he tucked away in his jacket. He neatly stacked the files spread out on the table and hid them. Before leaving the house he stopped in the library. "Selina, I''ll be out on business. I'll be back before dinner" He told her, after nodding at Graeme in greeting. He then left the house and made his way over to the eastern commons where one of the Brennan's warehouses was located. He knocked on the door and patiently waited for it to be answered

Gregor was in the midst of having his lunch when the knock came. Rolling his eyes at the intrusion, he put down his sandwich, wiped his mouth, and opened the door. Surprised to find Aidan Brennan there, he instinctively straightened up. "Oh Mr Brennan, what a surprise!"

"Good day Gregor, I trust to find you well?" Aidan said with a nod.

"Yeah, yeah." Gregor moved to wipe his right hand on his hips before presenting it to Aidan. "I hope you're having a fine day, sir."

"Excellent, thank you" He said, shaking the offered hand. "I have a few questions though if you have some time for me"

"A few questions?" Gregor hesitated for a moment, before remembering his manners. He quickly moved aside and invited Aidan in. The administrator's office was surrounded by files, and two desks. Gregor offered him a seat at one of the desks.

"Thank you" Aidan said before sitting down. "Gregor, you're responsible for the goings on here, have you encountered any issues with the administration on this locations?" He asked, getting straight to the point.

"Any issues?" It wasn't like him to repeat after every question, that's what nerves will do to him. He took a while to compose himself before replying. "Ah, there are no issues, sir. It's smooth running all the way."

"Still doing all the administration yourself then? I figured with the amount of work you're having to do you'd pass some on"

"Sometimes I get my niece to come in and help out," he chuckled. "She needs the work experience, and yes, I could do with a break now and then. But Miss Andrea hasn't hired anyone else to handle the work, so..." he shrugged. "Got to do what I got to do."

"Does she come in often to check up on you?"

He nodded. "Sometimes."

"Can I ask what these visits precisely entail? What does she do when she's here?"

Gregor looked curiously at Aidan. "Mr Brennan, I don't mean to be rude, but why do you want to know?"

"Since my dear mother took ill Miss Andrea's been doing a lot for the company while it's really not all her responsibility. I'm worried she might be taking on a little too much"

The look of curiosity didn't wipe off Gregor's face. "I see." Pregnant pause. "And I am sorry in regards to the passing of your mother. She will be remembered."

"Thank you, you are very kind. " Aidan said with a sad smile.

"Know that all of us, we all loved the missus."

"Thank you Gregor, she always appreciated all the hard work you all put in" he paused. "I know it always pained her that she could not be more involved"

Gregor laughed. "Naww... there is a place for a classy missus like that. It's not with us working folk."

Smiling Aidan looked at Gregor. "I don't want to keep you from your work any longer. Thank you for being patient with me Gregor. If anything happens please feel free to call on me"

"Of course Mr Brennan. Thank you so much for visiting," Gregor rose to shake Aidan's hand again.

"Thank you for your time Gregor" He said, shaking the man's hand. "If you don't mind, I'd like to go through your administration before I leave, but I wouldn't want to keep you from your work."

"Oh..." Gregor was nervous again. "But Mr Brennan, they are all very boring numbers and lists. Nothing you need to trifle yourself with."

"Gregor, it's no trifle I assure you. I'll let myself out when I'm done so I will not be in your way."

"Are you sure, sir?" Gregor took a step towards Aidan to stop him, then decided against it at the last minute. "Perhaps you need me to explain the numbers?"

"I'll be fine Gregor, I grew up with this business. I may not drop by often, but I know my way around"

Gregor stood in the middle of the room, uncomfortably weaving his fingers into  his palms. Finally he decided to excuse himself. "Mr Brennan, there are some items coming in this afternoon that need verification. I will be waiting just outside if you need me."

"Certainly, thank you Gregor" Aidan said with a nod before standing up to study the various piles of paper that surrounded him.

Taking a bow, Gregor left the office promptly, leaving Aidan to himself.

After Gregor left, Aidan took the notebook from his pocket and looked at his first notation, going through the piles of paper to find the matching administration. He worked from top to bottom through his notes, and the more he checked the less pleased he was. Scribbling extra notes into his book he frowned more and more.

Eventually he sighed and sat back into the chair, leaning his head backwards. After a few moments he sat back up and tucked the notebook away again. Leaving the office he sought out Gregor. "I'll be on my way again Gregor, thank you again for your time and effort."

Gregor wasn't waiting for any shipment, but he was holding a messenger pigeon in his hands. It took off into the air the moment Aidan wished him farewell. Gregor waved, "Goodbye Mr Brennan."

"Take care Gregor," He said before leaving the warehouse and making his way back home.

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #54 on: September 14, 2016, 10:33:59 AM »
KOVENITO AND ILTERENDIEL

Ilterendiel hesitated at the door to the farmhouse. When her brother made that surprise return and spoke with all urgency about Selina's fate, it seemed out of sorts. She had heard about the breakout, but had heard nothing about the death of a certain Selina Knox. She figured that surely her name would be significant to mention among the dead. This spurred Ilterendiel to dig into the matter, to find out what had actually happened. Lo and behold, what she found out turned out to be both good and bad news at the same time. As she contemplated how she would explain to him what exactly had happened to Selina, she wondered how he would take it. Her hand moved to the knob, and once again she hesitated.

"Kovenito?" She called.

"It's open" he replied, not looking up from his work. He sat near the window as he carefully attached fletching to an arrowshaft. Adjusting to life without Selina had not been easy on him and when Ilterendiel opened the door she found her brother looking like he had not been taking care of himself well enough.

"Kov," she said quietly. Watching him in that state made her heart heavy, she debated whether it would've been better if he'd never fallen in love at all. Being with Selina Knox had truly taken a toll on her brother. Perhaps some women weren't meant to be tamed, she reckoned. "I have news..."

He looked up from his work to see his sister. "What is it?"

"I know you believe Selina perished in the struggle when Zane was set free... but the entire matter struck me as odd, and I decided to go do my own digging. Apparently..." she watched him closely as she selected the words as carefully as possible. "Selina is not dead. It was all a rouse to end her association with the white mantle."

The blood drained from his face as the words sunk in. "She's not dead?" Instantly jumping to his feet he grabbed Ilts shoulders "Where is she? what happened?" He begged her as a glimmer of hope shone in his eyes.

She let him shake her around with his newfound zeal. "But," and the word itself felt heavy on her lips. "Her mind's been meddled with. She's lost all memory of anyone or anything preceding her arrival at the camp. That, all the way to seven years ago. I'm not sure if she will remember anything the two of you have shared. Best not get your hopes up."

"Who did this to her?" He let go of her shoulders and opened a nearby chest retrieving a pack from it.

"Nobody knows. It's hard to determine since she can't remember the events leading up to the camp, and she's not willing to speak to anyone about what happened there." She noted him gathering his things, and held onto his shoulder. "Kov, I mean this for your own good, please consider carefully the possibility that she may not remember you."

"I have to see her Ilt" He said as he continued packing.

Reluctantly, she let go of his shoulder as he was about to leave. "It may bring you comfort that there is one person she was able to remember, and that was her brother. Perhaps it's the close association they share, or perhaps the mesmer that damaged her had not been thorough enough. But there is the hope that the memory of you was left untouched."

He nodded. "Is she staying with him then?"

"She is. And has been for the past month or so."

"Will you come with me?" He said, opening the door while looking at her.

Ilterendiel smiled. "Of course I will. I was afraid you wouldn't ask." Following close behind him, she shut the door for both of them.

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #55 on: September 19, 2016, 02:37:31 AM »
Selina Knox & Caden Mullins

After knocking on Aidan's front door Caden greeted Siri as she answered and asked to be admitted to the house. Siri, smiling at him directed him to the library after which she took off to let Aidan know Caden arrived. Aidan in his turn knocked on Selina's door.

Selina had been resting in her room with a book on her lap when she heard the knock. She had been most diligent about her studies, and finally felt she was getting to an acceptable point with them. Words made much more sense to her, and what seemed like jibberish was coming to life. "Yes Aidan?"

He opened the door before speaking. "Caden is here"

She put away her book immediately, rising from her bed. "I was expecting him. Is he downstairs?"

"Siri sent him to the library"

"I'll go down to visit with him." She left her room and headed into the library.

Rather than joining her Aidan returned to his own room to continue what he'd been working on before Siri disturbed him.

Turning the knob to the library, Selina peered in. "Caden?"

He immediately looked up at her as she entered the room and replaced the book he'd been inspecting. "Hello Sellie"

She beamed brightly. As much as she tried to make the best of her lessons, she was lonely. And not being able to get out of the house was heavily weighing on her, more than she would like to admit. Sometimes she would stare out of the window and envy the passerbys. Having a visitor brought that bit of outside world into hers, and she couldn't help being pleased. "How are you?"

"Very well, thank you"  He said with a smile. "What about you? how did your lessons go?"

"They've been good. Graeme has started me on a book of Tyrian history, featuring the escape of the Ascalonians into Kryta. Interesting stuff."

" I'm glad you enjoy it. It must be dull to sit indoors all day"  He said while sitting down in one of the comfortable chairs.

She sighed, loud enough for him to hear as she took a seat close to him. "You don't know the half of it. I don't think I can take it much longer."

" We could always plan a little outing, go our hunting or something"

" Maybe Bran would enjoy a visit"  he said, scratching the back of his neck.

Instinctively she turned around to look in the general direction of the study. "That'd be nice but I don't think my brother would allow it. He's been trying his best to keep the fact that I'm alive, tightly under wraps."

" Maybe he has a hat you can borrow"  Caden said with a laugh.

She smiled politely, but did not laugh. "Caden, do you have siblings?"

"I... I had a little sister once"

"What happened to her?"

"She got sick" He paused for a while after that.
"Mum and Gran tried everything, but her body just couldn't cope"

Selina let a pregnant pause set in as she contemplated Caden's sorrow. "How old was she?"

"She was 4" He put on a smile. "It was all a long time ago though, lets talk about something else."

"I'm sorry..." she apologised. "The only reason I asked is because I realise I know very little about you."

"I guess you forgot a lot hm? Well, I'm happy to tell you anything you want to know"

"Get me up to speed then. What have you told me about you?"

"Well, I told you I grew up in Claypool, where I lived with my parents and grandmother."  He paused. "Grandmother is a herbalist and my family owns a small shop and tries to help out people who need it."

She pointed to her mouth. "That explains the herb you gave me. The life of a shopkeeper not good enough for you eh?"

"Gran wanted me to succeed her, but I found hanging around in a small market town infinitely dull" He grinned.

" I am grateful for what she taught me though, it's helped me our several times already"

"Have you found what you've always wanted to do?" She bristled a little at this, but attempted not to let it show.

" I think my current occupation has lost it's shine a little"

"Really?" She pulled back a little. "Have you given consideration to what else you could do with your life?"

" Maybe travel some more. I've not really thought about it yet'

She smiled and leaned into her palm, "Might be worth a thought."

"Maybe I'll spend my time being your bodyguard"  He said teasingly.

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #56 on: September 20, 2016, 08:17:55 AM »
(continuation of the previous post)

Caden Mullins, Aidan Brennan, Selina Knox, Kovenito & Ilterendiel

Ilterendiel followed her brother closely as he marched to Aidan's home. She knew he was anxious, and she was too, if not more.

Selina grinned and shrugged. "I wouldn't mind having one. Wouldn't have the gold to afford you though."
Right after Selina spoke there was a knocking on the door. Not long after Siri announced Kovenito and Ilterendiel and left to notify Aidan of their arrival.

"Kov..." Selina stopped midway, a grimace on her face. She turned to Caden. "Isn't he?"

Understanding her meaning he nodded. "Kovenito, I'm so pleased to see you're well, we were worried when we couldn't find you in the mines" he said, addressing the man in question.

Selina had her back to the door. She was nervous about this. Everyone had told her Kovenito was the man whom she was supposed to love. It had been to the point that it had converted her behavior from self-destructive to civil and stable. But she had no memory of him, and every time she tried to recall even a nugget, she would develop a headache that threatened not to leave till she gave up thinking of him. She wondered what the cost would be to lay her eyes upon him.

Kovenito barely managed to nod to Caden in reply. His eyes fixed on Selina he stood frozen in place. "Selina...."

She turned slowly at his voice, and had barely a glimpse at him when her mind seized up. Feeling as though a large stake had been plunged through her skull, she buckled at the knees, holding her temples helplessly, hoping the pain would go away.

Immediately jumping into action Caden darted forward, taking hold of her to prevent her from falling over. Meanwhile Kovenito panicked. "What's wrong, what's happening to her?"  He asked frantically, unsure of what to do but desperately wanting to go to her.
Coming into the library now Aidan grabbed Kovenito's shoulder and pulled him into the hallway, assuming Ilterendiel would follow them.

Ilterendiel was taken aback by the severity of Selina's reaction. She had heard that regaining memory might cause some discomfort, but she didn't expect it to look this bad. She followed Aidan into the hallway.

Selina clung desperately to Caden's arm, trying at best to steady herself. She had experienced this amount of pain before, and it was related to the time when her memory of Aidan had returned. But she had also seen candid pictures of both him and the things they had done together. The same could not be said of this encounter.

Once they were out of the room Aidan let go of Kovenito's shoulder and looked at him. "Regaining memories causes her pain. You should've let me know you were coming, I could've warned you"

"How long does it last?" asked Ilterendiel.

"It seems to depend on the amount of memory her brain tries to recover. We've not been able to help her much with it. A skilled mesmer took a look at her but told us it would be better for her to slowly regain her memories rather than try to lift the blockage at once."

"So she's processing... is that what she's doing now?" Ilterendiel assumed, observing the anxious look on her brother's face.

Aidan nodded in reply to Ilterendiel.
"Does it hurt her like this every time she tries to remember?"  Kov asked feeling immensely concerned for Selina. He ached to go back into the room, but having seen her reaction he was afraid to cause her more pain.

"I"m not sure, it seems mostly important recent events and people cause the most pain. I suppose whoever blocked her memories wanted these to be harder to recover." Aidan said, feeling slightly hopeless about the situation Selina was in.

"oh..." said Ilterendiel, placing a comforting hand on Kov shoulder. "Well, if we had to be specific, just on account of how important you are to her, there isn't a doubt that you would've been blocked." She laughed uncomfortably, trying at best to lighten the air.

"I'm sorry it's under such circumstances we meet again Kovenito and Ilterendiel. But I am glad you came back unharmed Kovenito. I was worried when Caden told me they could not find you within the camp."  Hoping to change the subject for now Aidan managed a smile.

"Ah yeah, thanks. Do you think she's doing better now?" Kovenito asked, not allowing himself to be distracted.

"Maybe she's already regained her memory, you think?" asked Ilterendiel hopefully

---

Holding onto Selina tightly Caden slowly sat her down in a nearby chair and took her hand in his. "Sel?" He asked silently.

Her hands were quivering when she took them from him, sweat pouring down her cheeks, but the pain was receeding. "Yeah... I'm better."

"Do....Do you remember?" Caden asked her tentatively.

Selina waited to take a couple of breaths to cool herself down and gather her thoughts. All she could think of was the intensity of the pain, not much else. But this was so similar to the experience she had on meeting her brother. Surely she could remember something... anything. It was all a blank. Slowly, she shook her face.

Caden looked at Selina in concern. " Nothing at all?"

She looked at him through tired eyes. "Nothing. Maybe we're missing some element from the last time? Feels like it should have worked."

"With Aidan and me it was just meeting us right? What about Ilterendiel, do you remember her?"

"That's the name of that girl Kovenito was with?" she shrugged.

"Yes it is, you do not remember her either?"

"Nothing," she said simply.

"Are you sitting alright?" He gave her a concerned look. " I should maybe go and tell them."

She sighed. "Yeah tell them. And if they want to try again... I'd be alright with it."

"Are you sure? Maybe it's better if you rested first?"

There was just a dull ache in her head. She knew it would fade in time. She wanted the memory block to be lifted as soon as possible, so she wouldn't have to keep having to anticipate another round of the same thing. "I'm fine, let them know. Thanks Caden."

" Alright" He squeezed her arm softly before standing up and walking over to the hallway.

---

Unsure of how to bring the probably disappointing news Caden stood silently in the hallway observing the three before him. "She doesn't remember" He spoke after a while.

Ilterendiel was devastated, but looked to Aidan and Kovenito to decide the next course of action.

Kovenito froze as he felt the hope he'd harboured crumble away. Not willing to let go completely he grabbed Aidan's arms. "Surely... Surely there's something we can do"

Aidan gave Caden a concerned look. "What did she say?"

Still uncomfortable Caden stayed silent for a moment. "She remembers neither Kovenito nor Ilterendiel. But she is willing to try again"

Ilterendiel turned to Kovenito. "What do you think?"

"There has to be another way, I cannot bear to hurt her like that, not again" Kov gave Ilterendiel a sad look.

"Is there any other way?" Ilterendiel asked Aidan.

Aidan shook his head sadly. "None that I know of"

Ilterendiel put an arm around Kov's shoulder and spoke softly to him. "Kov, don't tell me you're giving up already. You've gotta try. This is Selina we're talking about."

His sisters presence seemed to calm him a little. "You're right, of course" he mumbled after a while.

She brightened. "I'm sure everything will work out fine," she said optimistically.

Kovenito gave her a sad smile. "Alright. Aidan, are you alright with this?" He asked. After Aidan nodded he turned back to the room where Selina was. Knocking on the open door he softly called her name again. "Selina?"

"Yes, I'm ready," said Selina, bracing herself.

He took a careful step into the room. "How are you feeling?" He asked while Caden brushed past him and made his way back to Selina.

The rush of agony hit her with a force she had not felt before. She wavered as her world spun around.

The blood drained from Kovenito's face as he watched her suffer. Turning immediately he fled the room.

Hitting the ground, Selina went into violent spasms. Her mind a jumbled mess, and all the memories that she had gained recently, tossed about like a ship in a raging storm.

"Kov!" Ilt yelled after him, and ran out the room to console her brother. Immediately, she felt guilty about insisting that he try again. Selina seemed to be irrepairably harmed, and she wondered if there would ever be a cure for whatever ailed her.

Crying out Caden dropped down next to Selina, grabbing hold of her to try and steady her spasms. Worriedly he spoke softly to her, hoping it would calm her down.

Meanwhile Kovenito stormed out the house, ignoring his sister calling out to him.

Gradually the spasms slowed, and Selina's breath calmed. But the lids to her eyes remained shut, even though the corneas continued to move rapidly beneath.

Ilt tried desperately to keep up with her brother. "I didn't know.." she said sorrowfully.

"It's not your fault" He said, continuing to march homewards.

When Selina calmed down Caden carefully picked her from the floor and after Aidan led him to her room placed her on her bed.

"I'll dig into this. I'll keep pursuing it, if you want me to," Ilterendiel assured her brother. "I'll bring whoever did this to justice."

"There's no point if she doesn't remember is there" He said sadly

Selina lay limply on the bed, as though fast asleep, yet her lips began to move slowly. A thin whisper emerged.

Ilterendiel held her brother's shoulders and stared sympathetically into his eyes. As a tear rolled down her cheek, she engulfed him in a warm embrace. "I'm here for you Kov."

He said nothing as he lifted his arms to return Ilt's embrace. He felt numb as if part of him still refused to believe that Selina did not only not remember him, but suffered severely from his presence. After some time he let go of her. "I think I need to be alone now, sorry Ilt"

Ilt sobbed deeply as she watched him go. He was unnaturally solemn, and this worried her more than she had ever worried about him. Yet she was at a lost how to help him, or how to remedy the situation. She hoped upon hope that he would manage to move on. Somehow...

In Selina's state of half consciousness, she spoke with certainty. The illusionary falcon had swooped through a dreamscape of colors and faces, and had finally stopped to perch on her outstretched arm. Opening its beak, it offerred a warning. "The storm is coming. Are you ready?"

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #57 on: September 21, 2016, 02:57:53 PM »
AIDAN BRENNAN, SELINA KNOX AND CADEN MULLINS

Aidan sat in his library restlessly going over some papers while looking at the hallway every so often. The door to Selina's room was open  and he kept hoping to see Caden's head pop around the corner. Since her collapse Caden had visited every day and they took turns watching over her.

It had felt like drifting on a raft down the memories in her mind. Pictures, voices, faces, they had appeared before her, and faded away once they were done. A life once lived, revisited.

The first thing she had heard was the chirping of a bird, and the softness of daylight, pressing upon her as she opened her eyes.

"Selina?" Caden nearly jumped when he saw her eyes open.

"Caden?" She wondered what he was doing in her room.

Jumping to his feet he ran into the hallway. "Aidan she's awake" He called before going back in. "How're you feeling?"

She yawned and stretched, still surprised by the fuss. "I'm fine. How are you?"

"A lot better now you're up." He said with a grin just as Aidan entered the room.

Looking at him with a puzzled look on her face. "Did you want something from me?"

"You've been asleep for a week Selina" Aidan said, looking at her with concern.

The news took her breath away. "What? Why? What happened?"

"You met someone you couldn't remember"

"Hmm..." She recalled all the conversations about memory loss, she remembered the pain it caused, the bandits that came to Divinity's Reach with her, and those she had left behind in Brisban. She remembered Auberon. And she remembered the conversation she had with him in a circular room surrounded by pillars. It was suddenly as plain as day, and the nagging pain that had kept her from such thoughts, was completely gone. She remembered meeting Anise, and all the talk about Caden being Shining Blade. "Caden... is Anise still waiting for an answer from me?"

He gave her a long look before speaking. "I'm sure she'll be happy to hear anything you have to tell her"

"Yeah," she nodded as she leaned back on her pillow. "I'm... remembering stuff."

"Are you sure you want to talk to her?"

She paused. "Don't you want me to talk to her?"

"You got pretty angry with me when I asked you to talk to her"

She pressed her fingers upon her forehead as she recalled the unpleasant incident. "I did, didn't I. I'm sorry Caden. I was a bit muddled at the time."

"Please, don't worry about it. I know it can't be easy on you to go through all of this"

She chuckled. "Serves me right for trying to go all lone ranger into a White Mantle camp eh?"

He faked a frown at her "Don't even get me started on that" he said, while rolling his eyes.

"Caused quite a ruckus here, didn't I? How much time have you spent coming here, checking on me?"

"I spent a good deal of time here but it nowhere near compares to how worried your brother was" He said while looking at Aidan, who had been rather quiet"

A smile spread across her face as she laid her eyes on her brother. She sat up on her bed, and reached out her hand towards Aidan.

Taking her hand he sat down on the edge of her bed. "I'm glad to see you well Selina."

"I am well. Sorry for worrying you. I don't even feel the one week I was asleep. I thought it was the span of a night."

Behind him Caden silently left the room to find Aidan's liquor stash in the library.

"So you remember everything now then?"

"I think so? Ask me something I should know."

"What's the name of your favourite norn?"

Grinning, she replied, "Dahr, of course."

"Glad to have you back Selina"

"Glad to be back. I don't know what you guys did, but it certainly worked."

"About that. Does the name Kovenito mean anything to you?"

"Kove.. who?"

"Nevermind"

Selina picked up the book next to her bed, and flipped through it. "And oh look here... this doesn't look like jibberish either."

"You worked hard the past few weeks"

She nodded. "And I remember every minute of it."

Smiling he got to his feet. "I'm sure you'd like to get up now. I'll give you some privacy."

"Actually," she said, standing up, "I'm kinda hungry."

"I'll ask Siri to prepare something" He said before leaving the room.

"Great!" Selina followed after Aidan, and headed to the dining area.

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #58 on: October 05, 2016, 10:10:11 AM »
As she walked through Divinity's Reach, memories filled every inch of the city, stretching all the way to Frostgorge Sound. It was as though someone had lifted a veil from her eyes, and she was able to see the world as clear as day. As much as she had her prior concerns about the Shining Blade, she was much more assured now that she would not be going back to the bandits linked to the White Mantle. They were responsible for removing her memory, and all that anguish that followed. They would pay.

Aidan silently escorted Selina to the Shining Blade's headquarters. He had half expected Caden would invite himself along and had been surprised when he did not.

She stopped right outside the door and turned to Aidan for just a moment's uncertainty. "I am doing the right thing, aren't I?"

He nodded at her in reply and knocked on the door that lead to Anise's office.

Selina waited expectantly.

"Enter" they heard through the door and Aidan opened it, allowing Selina to go in. He then entered the room himself and closed the door behind him. He bowed politely to Anise. "Countess, I have brought Selina, she regained her memories and wishes to share her knowledge."

Anise gave Selina a thorough look over. "So.. you remember" She said, still studying Selina. "Well, sit down and you can tell me what you know" She said, waiving her hand to the two chairs across her desk.

"I do. And you've been asking," she said, walking past Anise to take a seat at the chair assigned to her.

Aidan sat down next to her and remained quiet while Anise looked at Selina expectantly.

"Um... so... I remember what happened in the camp. I was caught shortly after sneaking in to deal with..." she looked at Anise, "Well, you know what with. And I was chained in a circular room, guarded by White Mantle, and met by a mesmer named Auberon. Tall, fair-skinned, spoke softly..." She looked away. "Convinced me that I had gone in on my own accord to secure a position."

"He was rather... persuasive.. was he?" Anise asked. "Then what did he tell you?"

"Yeah... you can say he was persuasive," she spoke softly, as though she were ashamed. "He kept insisting that I was important, and would do much to help them right the world, by getting rid of Queen Jennah."

"Did he tell you how he planned to achieve that?"

"Not entirely... but that it would start by the rescue of Zane into their custody. And something about - others to come."

"Do you know who these others would be?"

Selina shrugged. "But my assumption that these guys were the personal request by someone that the others spoke of with some fear... there was some talk about him being unstable harnessing all that power."

"So Auberon is not the leader?"

"Nah... he's a small fry in the larger scheme of things. At least that was the impression I got."

"Do you know why they wanted Zane?"

"They just said he was important to the work. No further elaboration, and if I asked, they told me to focus on the mission... the mission of course of getting him out of prison."

"What can you tell me about the ones who accompanied you on the mission?"

She leaned back in her seat and paused for thought. "An asura, two fighters and... and... Rannulf. Rannulf is..." she struggled to come up with a word for him but could not. "He has techniques I've never seen used before. Magics..."

"Can you describe them for me?"

"First, he had this... wire thing he shot into my shoulder to drag me towards him, and then... I'm not sure what he did, to be honest. But I felt my body freezing up, and when I came to, I was completely elsewhere. Had lost several hours that way, would be my guess. Then during the extraction, he transformed himself into a.. a creature, a little insectal. Multiple eyes, claws... Caden was there. He might've described it to you."

"He did, though he was unable to give me the man's name." She paused for a while. "These magics are indeed unlike anything I'm familiar with."

"Do you have any clue as to why they decided to use you rather than imprison or kill you?"

"Yeah, I once escaped from the dungeons. You're probably familiar with that history. They knew that if I knew a way out, I would know a way in. So they used my knowledge to get to Zane."

"That explains the complete lack of effort to keep you alive. They'd already gotten what they wanted." She tapped her nails on the table.  "What can you tell me about the hierarchy in the camp?"

Selina climbed with a hand on an imaginary staircase to illustrate what she knew of the hierarchy. "Slaves at the bottom. Bandits just a level up... guards to the camp, more like. White Mantle agents, above them. Then you have people like Rannulf and a couple others under the leadership of Auberon. And Auberon answering to some higher leader I was not privvy to meet. I don't know if it goes higher up beyond that leader, but it would seem like it."

"Auberon was the highest ranking in the camp you were in?"

"Not at that camp. Like I said, there was someone above him, someone greatly feared. Someone living in the fortress on a slope..." her eyes widened. "A veeeery curious place indeed. I know this sounds odd, but every now and then... a crimson colored lightning bolt would spark and strike in a certain location on the slope. And there would be a constant ominmous smell coming from up there. The weather... how can I put this... that fortress seemed to have its own weather. Snowing on a hot day, raining on a dry one. Never beyond that particular area. Nobody ever spoke about who or what lived in there, just that the power was getting out of control. I can't tell you what power that is."

"Can you tell me anything specific about the location of the camp you were in? I believe Caden said he travelled there by gate?"

"Yeah the security is rather high. I managed to infiltrate it only by accident. Everything is guarded by gates."

"How did you infiltrate it?"

"Barrels." She laughed. "I snuck in with the food."

Anise seemed surprised for a while. "How did you know their supply routes?'

"I observed. People underestimate how effective simple observation can be."

"I"ll agree with that, though I generally don't mind people not realizing it" she said. "Is there anything else you want to add?"

"No, but I do have a question. When do you think I can come out in the open and stop pretending that I'm dead?"

"Whenever you want really, but it's at your own risk. I'm not sure if the white mantle has spies in the city, but given your knowledge it's likely they'll want you silenced if they discover you're a live."

Instinctively, Selina turned to Aidan to measure his expression.

Aidan frowned. "Are you alright with her leaving the city" he asked after some consideration.

Anise pondered this for some time. "That should be alright" She said. "As long as we have a way to get in touch with you" She looked at selina as she said this.

"Have some place in mind?" Selina asked Aidan.

"Not specifically, but it seemed better to ask now that we're here, rather than wonder later"

She nodded. "I don't mind going away for a bit while the Shining Blade handles matters." And turned to Anise. "Just don't take too long."

"We don't intend to" Anise replied. "Now, I have some matters to take care of. Thank you for coming in Selina"

Selina rose from her seat. "Thanks for... dealing with this." She waited for her brother to leave.

Getting to his feet Aidan bowed again before leaving the room with Selina.

Leaning toward her brother, she whispered to him. "I'll deal with your Aunt before I leave. I can do it discreetly."

"I could use some help, thank you" He said

"Tell me what exactly you're looking for so I know when I've found it."

"Lets not discuss this in public."

She nodded and smiled. "Yeah I know, it was a note for later."

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #59 on: October 05, 2016, 04:50:22 PM »
Selina walked back to the house with Aidan. She had a hood over her face to prevent from being seen, the same way Aidan was able to get her over to the Shining Blade headquarters. She thought about heading off to somewhere else, where she wouldn't have to worry about concealing her identity. It seemed really appealing for that moment.

Aidan glanced over at Selina, wondering what went on in her head. "You know, I'm really proud of you" he said to her.

"Really?" she didn't expect the compliment, but it was a nice surprise.

"I know how you feel about the shining blade and you still chose to go and speak to them"

She managed a half smile. "Enemy of my enemy is my friend, isn't that how the saying goes?"

"Ah quite, still, you went there yourself to tell them what you know." He smiled at her. "You know, if we dye your hair you can probably get rid of the hood and move around a little more freely maybe"

That suggestion brought back memories of Aidan's engagement party and made Selina chuckle. "What happened to your friend Aine?"

"Hmm, oh she's probably upsetting some pub owner somewehre by complaining about his ale" He pondered for a while. "Last I heard she went off to the grove I think"

"Ah," said Selina with some disappointment. It turned out to be a fun experience wearing a different face. If Aidan hadn't mentioned Aine's leaving, she would've suggested to do it again. "Funny how things turned out, eh." she pondered out loud.

"Not sure funny would be my word of choice but yes, they have worked out rather oddly." He considered the circumstances for a while. "You know, the grove is only a short trip if we use the gates... if she's there I"m sure we'll track her down easily enough"

She gave him a look. "Is that where you'd like me to go for my time away?"

"You're reading too much into it. I was just asking to know if it would be a problem or not, whether you want to go anyway is your own choice"

She nodded. "I'm sorry, it's just... I've been where someone else wanted me to be for such a long time, I'm not sure if I'd know what to do with myself."

"Well think about it" He said, smiling at her again.

They arrived at Aidan's home as Selina was pressed in thought. "There has been something that I've been meaning to do..."

"Oh?" He asked, while Siri let them into the house.

She stepped into the house and took off her hood. She peered over her shoulder to make sure the door was shut, then placed a hand behind Aidan's back to guide him further into the house. "Perhaps brief me about what you need first?"

"Ah yes, you have made me curious though" he said, walking up the stairs towards his room.

She shrugged listlessly. "I thought you might've guessed. We never actually established what happened to Dahr. I thought.. I thought I might go look for her."

"That is a good idea Selina, it'll be good for you to have your friend back. And perhaps by now she'll have come to terms with herself." He took some papers from one of the stacks on his desk and sat down gesturing to the bed for her to do the same.

Sitting as instructed, she continued, "Not that I know where she's gone, but I figure I'd look for her in the north, where we found the Wanderer. I just hope he's not mad."

"I think you should try to look in places that are meaningful for her maybe. But enough of that for now." He handed her the files.  "Like I told you before, stock has been disappearing regularly. Since the books are altered to make it look like everything is in order it has to be someone in the family who's responsible or at least knows of it. It's not me, and my father is hardly involved lately... which leaves aunt Andrea"

"Of course," she said with a smile.

"I tried to talk to Andrea about it. She claimed I was not experienced enough to realise the books were right and told me to leave all business matters to her"

"Hmm... cutting you out. The woman has something to hide."

"Yeah"

"So what should I look for to incriminate her?"

"I'm not entirely sure, first of all, I don't know where these goods are going, so anything concerning that would be interesting"

Selina nodded. "Do you know if your aunt is around, or if she will be away this week?"

"I'm not sure"

"Don't worry, I'll find out." She moved to leave, then hesitated for a moment. "I'll be in and out of your home this week. I think it might be better you don't ask where I'm going so you can claim ignorance if asked."

"Be careful Selina" He gave her a worried look before averting his glance to the floor.

She gave him a determined smile. "By the way... thanks for everything, Aidan."

He smiled back at her not really answering.

His response was good enough for her. She slipped her hood back on, and went down the stairs, shutting the door behind her.

_____________________________________________________________

Several hours after Selina had left, a knock came on the door of Aidan's home.

As usual Siri opened the door to greet the visitor.

The visitor was a male with tanned skin, under a well shaven face and dark hair. He had upon him an embroided robe, a cane in his hand and a gentleman's hat upon his head. "Excuse me, does this home belong to Mr Aidan Brennan?"

Surprised to find a stranger at the door siri nodded. "Yes sir, it does" she answered.

"And is he in?" asked the stranger a little urgently.

"He is sir, shall I ask if he can see you?"

"Yes, do that."

"May I have your name sir?"

The man held a finger to his face, a golden ring sat upon his littlest finger. "My name is Robert Brown. Though I doubt your employer has heard of me."

"A moment please mr Brown, I shall see if mr Brennan has time for you" she said, before turning and walking down the hallway to find Aidan

The man tapped patiently on his stick as he waited, and gazed studiously over what he could see of the interior of the house.

Not long after she left Siri returned to escort the man to the library where Aidan was sitting with a book. As they entered Aidan stood up. "Mr Brown sir" Siri said after they'd entered the room.

The man took off his hat, and bowed before Aidan. "Mr Brennan, it's a pleasure."

"Mr Brown" Aidan said before returning the bow. Meanwhile Siri removed herself from the room.

He approached and offered a hand to Aidan. "I suppose you must be surprised by my visit. And... perhaps are wondering who I am. I am a businessman, stationed out in Lion's Arch. But a curiosity drew me to you..." he paused to observe the rim of his hat. "I believe you're acquainted with a friend of mine."

Shaking the offered hand he gave the man a thorough lookover. "I'm acquainted with many people. Please, sit down so we may talk." He said while gesturing at a chair across from his own. "Can I offer you a drink?"

The man took a seat, but politely refused the drink. "This won't take long. Mr Brennan," he got right down to business. "I learnt quite recently that you took a woman into your fold, and she lived here with you for a while."

"I have indeed" Was all he said in reply.

"May I ask if she still lives here?"

"I must say I don't know where she is right now. Will you tell me why you wish to know?"

The man smoothened out his face. "As I've mentioned, I'm a friend of hers. An old friend. It bothered me to hear that she had been arrested some time ago. Back then my work had taken me far away. But fortunately I've been able to return, and she's certainly on my agenda to visit, especially since... she's under your care."

"Why especially because of that?"

"Well... let's just say dungeons unnerve me. Your home is a much better setting."

"Ah" he said, frowning slightly. "If you give me your address I'll pass it on to her when I see her again"

The man cleared his throat. "I'd rather not, if you don't mind. My work takes me around, and I rarely stay in one place for long. But judging from what you've said, it sounds like you're confident that she will return here. If that is so, then perhaps you can relay the message that Robert stopped by, and recalls our old haunt in Lion's Arch." He rose from his seat. "Will you do that for me?"

"I will tell her"

The man grinned and looked up. "Beautiful place you've got here Mr Brennan. I figure it must have cost quite a fortune to purchase."

"Indeed, but knowing I worked hard to afford it makes living here all the more worthwhile." Aidan replied, not really approving of the subject.

Robert chuckled as he pumped a fist. "Hard work. Yes, the world underestimates hard work." He turned towards the door. "Thank you for your hospitality Mr Brennan. Perhaps we will meet again."

_________________________________________________________________

After the man left Aidan sat in the library lost in thought for quite some time. He could not place the man and it irked him. Brown was not a name he'd come across before and he wondered if the man was really a friend of Selina's, he did not have the appearance of one. How Brown came to know about his address and Selina staying here also bothered him.

After a long time thinking he resolved to see Bran the next day, considering Selina might not be back for a while, he hoped the man could help him get some answers.

The following morning Aidan got up early and was dressed and out of the city before dawn. First light found him eating a small breakfast in the forest near Bran's cave. Hoping the man would be there Aidan continued on his way after his breakfast.

Jess smirked. Bran had traded a barrel of apples for a box of auto parts - his client, a clueless housewife living just south of Claypool. Of course, these weren't any ordinary apples. The tree was well nurtured with active ingredients, and watered only at the midnight hour in order to maintain the magic within the fruit. These apples, according to Bran, would reverse the signs of aging in any individual. Words that that middle aged woman so longed to hear. Why would her husband miss his auto parts when he could have his ravishing wife restored to her former youth? Of course... that was a load of hogwash, but Bran was good at selling hogwash.

Perched upon a rock with a flattened face, Bran had named his "throne", he carried his treasure with pride. "Do you know how much these things can be worth?" he touted. "Sold to the right buyer, at least twenty gold per piece."

Walking up to the cave Aidan looked around, to see if he spotted any of Bran's gang.

"Not a step further," came a deep voice from behind Aidan. An arrow aimed directly at his back.

Raising his hands Aidan stopped in his tracks.

"Aidan!" Bran stepped down from his throne to greet him wholeheartedly. He grabbed Aidan's hand and slapped the middle of the palm. "You can put down that arrow Ron."

Ron only grunted gruffly, and lowered his bow.

"Good morning Bran" Aidan said with a smile. "I must say, I'm glad to see you"

Bran was startled, and it could tell on his face. "Fancy Mr Brennan, glad to see me? Must be something that you want."

"Well for starters if you didn't pop up, who'd get rid of the arrow pointed at me" He sighed, relaxing a little. "I need to talk to you about Selina"

His eyes widened as he ushered Aidan towards some wooden chairs surrounding a makeshift table made from a large barrel. "What's happened this time?"

"Well for starters you'll be happy to hear her memory returned" he said while sitting down in one of the chairs.

"That's good to know. Your mesmer friend came through in the end?"

"No she remembered on her own."

A touch of puzzlement touched Bran's brow. "Were you expecting that? I mean... that was meant to be, right?"

"We did not expect her to remember everything this fast. But that's not why I'm here" Aidan said, looking around to make sure it was just Bran listening.

Aidan's mysterious behavior brought a troubling thought to Bran. "Did someone find out that Sel's alive?"

"Quite, and I'm not sure if it's trouble or not. He claimed to be a friend of hers so I figured you might know him."

"Quite? Quite what? Who came?"

"Called himself Robert Brown, described himself as a businessman from Lion's Arch"

Bran continued to look confused. "The name doesn't ring a bell."

"He looked rather too fancy to be a friend of Selina's"

"Fancy? Like you?"

"He wore an embroidered robe, carried a cane with him and he wore a gentleman's hat. Doesn't seem like the type Selina hangs out with."

"I agree, I thought she hated them rich folk..." He stopped. "No offense."

"None taken. I'm worried I screwed it up myself though, I was too preoccupied with certain matters to play the part of mourning friend."

"Well..." Bran felt bad that he couldn't be more help. He whistled in Jess and Ron's direction. "Do the either of you two know a Robert Brown?"

They looked at each other. Jess shrugged, but Ron merely scratched his chin.

"Hang on... you know something don't you, Ron?" Bran deduced immediately. Ron was often silent, but he'd learnt to read the man's body language. And a non-response often meant he knew something.

"Maybe," was all Ron said.

Studying Ron carefully Aidan spoke up. "Please tell us what you know"

He eyed Aidan with certain disdain, and began rubbing his fingers together. "Make it worth my while, rich boy."

"I'm not asking for myself Ron, this man is after Selina. I'm worried for her safety." He grumbled but still dug up his wallet. "I hope you're happy being paid for this" He said tossing a gold coin at the man.

He caught the coin mid air and put it in his pocket. "Let me clarify. The woman is this guy's friend," he said, pointing to Bran. "Not mine. I don't have friends. Don't have time for them."

Jess laughed out loud, so loud that she snorted.

"But since you paid..." continued Ron. "I knew a Robert Brown once. Although I can't tell you if he's the same Robert Brown that you met."

"What did he look like?"

"Mmm... tall-ish. I guess about my height. Tanned skin, bluish-green eyes. Had a mouth on him too."

"Where was he from?"

"He was one of the fingers of the Widowmakers. They called them 'fingers' because they are meant to reach out to all the subsidiary businesses linked to the main branch."

"Would Selina know him?"

He gave Aidan an amused glance. "I don't suppose she told you she got involved with Robert Brown at one point in time. Ended badly... ooh, very badly."

"Oh is he the guy..." said Bran, and trailed. Ron nodded.

"What?" Aidan asked, turning back to Bran.

"The two of them nearly started a war between the Blades and the Widowmakers. Of course it would be dumb if the Blades went up against the Widowmakers, they're... well let's just say they were the reigning mob at the time. Two Blade Pete had to go personally to apologise."

"Doesn't sound like the kind of person who'd go around calling her friend. Any idea why he might be looking for her?"

"To rekindle lost affection? Isn't that what brings separated couples back together again?"

"Except they weren't any ordinary couple, Bran," reminded Ron. "They were wrong from the start. I don't think there was any affection involved."

Bran shrugged. "You never know."

"Do you think there's any possibility the widowmakers are connected to what's going on in Brisban?"

"I heard that the Widowmakers faced inner fighting sometime ago, and the mob broke up. No word about what happened after. Some of their businesses were sold to private investors and such."

"Well whatever happened clearly worked out well for mr Brown"

Bran looked at Aidan, "Did he say anything about where he's staying, or what business he's doing?"

"I asked for a contact address, he refused to give me one. He just said to tell her that Robert stopped by, and recalls our old haunt in Lion's Arch"

"That's definitely a coded message," Bran pointed out. "But no one's going to know where it is except for Selina herself."

"You're right" He was silent for a while. "Maybe I"m reading too much into all this, but I can't help but worry for her safety."

"Isn't she still at your place? Ask her about it."

"She had something to take care off, I'm not sure how long she'll be"

"Where will she be?"

"In the Reach"

Bran nodded. "Alright, hope the two of you figure out this guy before he leaks to anyone. I'd say if he has the vaguest of links to the White Mantle, tie him up and don't let him out."

"If I see him again. Thank you for your help, in Brisban as well as now Bran." Aidan said as he got up from his seat.

"Sure," Bran gave a casual salute. "Helpful guy.. that's me." He mocked, and then grinned.

"Well, sometimes then. Take care of yourselves." he said, before walking out of the cave.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2016, 12:11:49 PM by Talia »

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #60 on: October 11, 2016, 12:20:58 AM »
SELINA KNOX - NIGHT 3

She peered into the bag of berries she had on her lap, it was empty, and night was already inching towards morning. After taking a swig of whiskey out of the canister slung around her waist, she took a final look through the narrow telescope she had traded in pirate alley for a large part of the gold Aidan had provided her. It was worth every coin though. It allowed her to closely observe the movements around the Brennan manor for the past three days from a distant location, up upon the stone support for some of Divinity Reach's massive balusters.

It was silent all around the manor, darkness engulfed the interior whilst a single guard patrolled around the exterior of the massive city home. It had been the identical way for the past two nights, precisely from sun down to sun up. Selina had observed that Andrea Brennan only conducted her business in the day. She would often return before sunset and dismiss the servants to their quarters in the evening, save for a single maidservant in the interior. To add to that, every window would be shut and sealed like clockwork just before the evening. So if she intended to infiltrate the manor she would definitely need to take out that patrol in order to tackle the window. The one in particular that would lead to Andrea's study.

Selina had observed huge book shelves that lined the walls and a mahogany desk in that room. Every noon, Andrea's servants would go in and dust the room, that's when the windows would be wide open. Initially Selina had planned to slip in right after cleaning time and get out before anyone came by. But the unpredictability of movement within the house made it tricky. There was even more reason not to be spotted than before - Andrea Brennan looked to be a sinister woman, and would likely not be kind if she made any connection of this infiltration to Aidan. So the only real window of opportunity would be night, some time after the lights go out.

DAY 4

She was back at pirate alley the next afternoon. The entire outfit was set up in a cave in Queensdale, a highly hush hush sort of deal that  would quickly scuttle back in the shadows at any sign of danger. Pirate alley had existed even before her time, but had spent several lengthy periods cleared out on word that the seraphs had suddenly become interested in their cave. Selina was glad they were around for this period at least, she didn't want to go back to her friends, should word get out that she's still alive. It would be good to remain underground for as long as possible.

"So you're back," the burly tattooed man who had served her the day before, smirked as he stared at her partially-concealed face rather closely. She would not otherwise have risked this encounter, much less twice, if she didn't need what he had - she suspected he knew that. In front of him was a makeshift desk made out of a plank of wood balanced on two large rocks. Upon the desk lay an arrangement of stealth equipment ranging from the small to the large.

"I need a crowbar, a mini saw, a blowgun and two wall climbers," she said simply.

"What's that?" he feigned ignorance, placing a hand behind his ear. "I can barely hear you through that piece of leather around your face. Maybe you'd like to take it off so I can hear you better."

"You hear me just fine," she retorted in mild annoyance. "How much do you want for them?"

He wasn't giving up yet. "I make it a point never to do business with anyone I can't see. I gave you some grace the day before yesterday because you're new and it was just the telescope you wanted. Now you're asking for all these 'other' things, that makes me an accessory to whatever you're planning. How do I know that you're not a seraph in disguise?"

She sighed. He was wasting her time. She didn't like getting involved in exchanges like these but it was inevitable with some people. Slipping her hand around her back, she whipped out a small dagger and before the large brat was able to react, planted it squarely between two of his fingers on the hand that he pressed on the desk to added effect. He gasped and retracted his hand when she leaned forward and whispered harshly, "Think about it. If I were a seraph you would be in trouble anyway. This entire outfit is illegal, and you peddling your goods in an illegal establishment officially makes you a criminal. Something makes me think that you're new here, otherwise you wouldn't be asking such daft questions."

"Alright cool it, cool it," he responded quickly, bending down to get the items from separate containers. "I just wanted to know who I'm dealing with. No harm in that."

"It's better you don't," she tossed fifteen pieces of gold on the desk. "Bad things happen to people close to me."

He returned and placed the items on the desk, giving her an inquisitive look. She seemed to be cold and merciless, but for a moment, there was a sliver of pure honesty in her voice. "I don't suppose that gun is the result of one of these interactions?"

She hesitated for a moment, then retrieved her items. "What happened to you not wanting to be an accessory?"

The man did not reply. She walked away.

NIGHT 4

She had paid a visit to an alchemist right after her visit to pirate alley, it had taken an additional five pieces of gold to pay for his silence ensuing her purchase of a tranquilizing drug and a bag of copy powder. That cleared out every coin in her pouch. She realised it was much harder to get things done as a solo agent, as compared to bearing the fear-inducing name of a notorious mob behind her. In the underworld, reputation meant everything.

Pressed up against a wall just a couple of feet away from Andrea's manor, she slipped the toxin cartridge into the blowgun, composed herself as she counted the guard's steps upon the cobbled street. Once she was sure he was within penetration distance, she swung around and sent the dart wheeling into the nape of his neck. Reeling, the guard pulled the dart out of his flesh, but it was too late, the chemicals were already intermingling with his blood. "Where are you?!" he cried hoarsely, pointing his spear towards the darkness, the darkness that she had retreated into. He lurched towards the manor in a feeble attempt to keep himself standing, but stumbled instead and fell. In moments, he stopped moving completely.

Reaching into her pack, she retrieved the wall climbers, securing them firmly onto her palms. Looking both ways, she made sure the street was clear, then spurt towards the manor, leaping over the sleeping guard as she did. In moments, she scrambled up the wall, and levered herself up onto the ledge of the study. Pulling the crowbar from her pack, she moved quickly to get the gap between the window and the frame wide enough for her to tackle the latch. Once wide enough, she employed the mini saw to work on the only thing holding her back from entering.Those latches were meant to be an additional security addition to keep people like her out. She still remembered how remarkably easy it was to get into the Brennan manor those many years ago. Andrea had wisened up, but not enough. Thankfully she had noticed that addition the last visit she paid to Andrea's house with Aidan. Other thieves would probably be have been caught unprepared.

Breaking through the latches, she stepped lightly into the room and invoked her torch. The room was a lot larger than she had imagined. An additional section on neatly stacked files that she hadn't seen before. It would've made sense to check there first, but Selina knew Andrea wasn't a fool. If there were any records that would possibly incriminate her, surely they would be safely locked away. Stepping aside from the filing area, she couldn't help but notice that Andrea had a safe in that room. She hadn't the time nor the equipment to handle the cracking of a safe, but perhaps for the next time... if there was one. Moving towards the mahogany desk, Selina plunked herself onto Andrea's rather exotic looking fur seat. The feel of real animal fur on her back gave her the feeling of sitting on clouds, she could see why someone would pay a small fortune for such a seat.

There were six drawers at that desk. Only two did not have locks on them, likely the stationary drawers, she deduced. No point wasting time. Pulling out the pin hidden in her hair, she began working on the lock of the first drawer. It held a bunch of files that she went through studiously. The lessons she had had for about a month and a half coming in useful. She couldn't read everything on them, but she made sure to recognize the key words. Many of the files included accounting papers, deeds and official certificates from the relevant authorities. Drawer two had books; about two on bloodstones, one on the history of Kryta, another on historical incantations. Drawer three held contracts with several of her workers. Selina pulled out a pen and a notepad, then jotted down these names. Thankfully there weren't many. But judging from the number of employees under Andrea's employ, these were probably the few she meant to keep a secret. Beneath the pile of contracts, she noticed three files. They were neatly wrapped up in leather. One of the files belonged to Huntly and Goddard, Selina recognized them as Andrea's competition in the field of exports. It listed their movements, the names of their employees, and right down to their movements at the wharf. Another of the files belonged to someone called Sarah Goodman. Selina did not recognize this individual at all. She took note of the picture included of that file, one that she assumed belonged to Sarah. She had a youthful appearance, possibly in her teens, although her eyes seemed to display an age well beyond hers. Blonde shoulder length hair, and freckled skin. There wasn't a lot a lot about Sarah in that file, other that her current lodgings was in Ebonhawke. Selina put that file away and took a look at the next one. That was the one that rattled her the most. The third file was one on Aidan Thomas Brennan. Instantly, she grabbed some folded up paper from out of her pack that she had prepared, straightened them out, sprinkled copy powder on them, then placed the entirety of the content featuring Aidan on the sheets of paper, one by one. She didn't even take the time to read those sheets. Whatever they said would surely pose a danger to her own brother; that his aunt was secretly keeping a file on him in her drawer.

Cramming those copied sheets in her pack, she returned all the files to the drawer and re-locked them. Letting out a large breath, she proceeded on to the final drawer. It was another drawer of files. Except this one kept letters. Letters upon letters. "Darn it..." whispered Selina into the darkness. She couldn't possibly go through them all, there simply wasn't enough time. She wasn't going to give up though, there had to be more - anything that might tell her where the missing goods were going to. Pulling up a random letter, she scanned through it quickly. It said something about an agreement, and what came after was something about a wedding. "Aidan's wedding?" Selina asked herself. She saw that it was signed off by the Castas. Pulling up another blank paper, she made a copy of that letter, then filed it back.

Pulling up a few other letters, she found a series of exchanges between Andrea and someone named Willard Smithson. Apparently Willard would send a letter either in request of goods or to thank her for the delivery of her goods. Willard apparently had a rather fine penmanship, each alphabet was the precise size they were meant to be. He also dated each letter on the top right hand corner. Getting back into action, Selina made a copy of each of the exchanges. She also noted that on one of the letters, Willard spoke of a change of location for the deliveries to be made, and the address he listed was in Lion's Arch.

She had just finished with the final letter when she heard a sound coming from outside. Shuffling everything back quickly, she decided to leave the final drawer unlocked for the fear of being found. She peered out the window. The guard was just waking up. She dashed a fist on the wall. The tranquilizer wasn't as long lasting as advertised. Securing her pack firmly on her back, turning off her torch and pulling her hood over her head, she slipped back out the window.

The guard was experiencing a bad headache. He couldn't quite remember what had happened before, or why he had found himself asleep on the cobbled ground. Some shuffling on the wall above him drew his attention, and he turned towards a shadowy hooded figure emerging from the Brennan manor. "Stop there!" he yelled, picking up the spear from the ground. The hooded figure launched itself off the wall, somersaulted and landed squarely on him, knocking him once again to the ground.

"Shhh..." said the figure, stabbing two fingers into the nape of his neck. The guard who had just come to consciousness, quickly fell once again to unconsciousness. And as soon as he did, the figure was gone.

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #61 on: October 19, 2016, 09:13:17 AM »
Aidan Thomas Brennan, Selina Knox & Andrea Brennan

It was dawn by the time Selina returned to Aidan's home. She stared at his door for a bit, considering whether to knock it, only to decide against it quickly. Siri would likely be asleep, and as much as Siri would be obliging to open the door for her, she didn't think it would be necessary. Clipping on the wall climbers again, she scaled the back wall, opened the latch to her own room and entered.

The moment she was back in Aidan's home, she made sure all her equipment got wrapped up properly, and stowed away under the bed. She supposed it would be better if Aidan never knew the means to which she achieved the end.

As she kept the items away, the crowbar slipped out of her grip and fell to the floor, making a clatter. She swiftly retrieved it and stowed it out of sight, hoping the noise didn't wake anyone.

Being a light sleeper the clattering next door had Aidan up on his feet in no time. Taking one of the daggers he silently left his room. Carefully he turned the handle on selina's door and pushed it open with a foot while his hands held the dagger in attack position.

Selina swung around at the sound of the door opening. She pulled off her leather mask and stood up quickly. "Aidan! Sorry if I woke you."

Sighing he lowered his weapon. "No matter, I'm just glad it's you."

She walked over to him and placed a hand on his shoulder, "Well... it's done. But I don't know if it's good news or bad."

"Do you wish to rest or would you tell me now?" He said, knowing her news would likely be bad.

"I can rest while you catch up on your reading," she replied, pulling out the stack of letters and notes from her pack, and handing them to him. As soon as she did, she sat down on her bed in a cross legged position, watching him intently.

Pulling up the chair in her room he sat down with the stack and started to flick through the paper reading bits here and there. "Are you familiar with the name Willard Smithson?" He asked after some time?

"Alien to me," she said.

"I don't recognise it either, so his name is not in the books. He's not managing any of the company's we deal with either." He studied the letters for a while. "The goods these describe seem consistent with the goods disappearing..."

She nodded, "There's your trail." And pointed to the bottom of the stack. "Did you see the file she's keeping?"

He shook his head and took the file to open it. He paled as he did, immediately understanding what it was. "This..."

"Yeah?" asked Selina.

"Well I suppose I shouldn't be surpr...." He continued before falling silent. Clutching the file tightly he stared at it, clearly shaken.

"What did you expect though?" she chided him gently. "You went directly into that woman's house and threatened her. She's bound to respond in some manner."

He shook his head, still not speaking his eyes never leaving the file.

She waited as silence filled the room, then sighed. "Aidan... there's something else you should know."

He barely listened as she spoke, his fingers holding the file so tight he nearly wrinkled it.

When she realised that he was still in a daze, she leaned forward and called him again.

Eventually he realised Selina was trying to draw his attention and rather than trying to explain he simply handed her the file.

She took the file and looked it over. Right on top of the stack was that letter from the Castas to Andrea Brennan. "What do you think this means?"

He shrugged. "They probably offered her something to obtain her good favour" His voice sounded empty. "Sorry, I gotta..." Without finishing his sentence he got up and left the room. Entering his own room he walked over to a table in the corner that held a bowl of water. Splashing some of it in his face he tried to snap himself out of his current state. He took a towel and sat down on his bed.

She followed after him, calling his name. He didn't shut his door as he usually did, so she went in after him. "Aidan.."

He did not reply, but he did look at her now.

She wanted to warn him about the unlocked drawer, the broken latch and the fact that she had been seen by the guard... not entirely, but as a hooded figure. But Aidan seemed so distraught she just hadn't the heart to worry him more. Instead, she sat down next to him and took his hand in hers, patting it gently. "This is more severe than I'd imagined. You know what... I'm going to stay right here with you. Dahr can wait. Whatever you need... I'll be here."

"I am a fool Selina.. how .."

"No one could've known. How someone can scheme such evil... well... It takes a special kind of person."

"Clearly my aunt knew.."

She nodded. "Seems that way."

"And she just let it happen"

Selina scoffed at the thought. "Gold makes monsters of people."

"What do I do Selina, it was all a lie..... I made such a fool of myself.."

"At least now you're a fool no longer. We'll find a way to take down the responsible." She shuffled through the letters. "We have an address and a name. I can hunt them down."

"I wasn't talking about that"

"Makisi?" She asked. "Don't mind me saying so, but she never seemed right for you. Don't you think you entered into the idea of marriage a tad too quickly anyway?"

"It felt real Selina.... "

She crossed her arms. "Didn't it feel out of character... even for you?"

He shook his head. "No"

"What about Camilla? How do you feel about her now?"

He shrugged. "I don't rightly know, I Haven't thought about her for a long time."

She sighed again. "I'm sorry you fell in love and this had to happen. If it was really love on your part... and not just some wild infatuation, then I hope you find it again."

"I should prefer to be alone now, sorry" he said, giving Selina a sad smile.

"Ah..." she stood up and took hold of his door knob. "I'll leave you to it then." Gently, she shut the door after her.


---


It was noon and the man, merely known as "The Hand", adjusted his glasses upon his face. She had heard that he once was a rather efficient private investigator, and now sold himself off to the highest bidder to handle highly secretive matters. They had known each other for a while now, but she never asked for his name, and he never asked after her business. It was an acceptable arrangement.

"The thief entered through the window, sat in your chair, and made copies of some of your documents," he told her, drawing a finger over the original documents that still held some of the copy powder on them. He rubbed his fingers together as the powder smudged them an ash color. "Very clever. This hasn't been used in a while."

Andrea grit her teeth, trying very hard to remain level headed. She had found her guard on the ground in the morning, completely incapacitated. Her first instinct was to ensure that her safe was intact... and it was. However on closer inspection of the room, the windows had been sawed open, and one of her drawers unlocked.

While waiting for The Hand to arrive, Andrea had frantically searched the entire house for missing items. The odd thing was that everything seemed to be in place, and for a moment, Andrea wondered if it was mere prank that had been played on her manor. However the fact that someone had used copy powder now concerned her very much. Those documents could possibly be damning for her... coincidentally the same documents featuring items that Aidan had just inquired after not too long ago. Her mind sorted through all the possibilities of what could've happened, and she could only come to one analysis - that Aidan had hired someone professional to get the documents for him. That must've been it. And that hooded person, that her contacts had reported to have seen with him on one particular occasion, might've been the same hooded person who attacked her guard.

"Are there any indications of who this thief might've been?" she asked in aghast.

The Hand rocked on the balls of his feet. "He was careful to wear gloves, careful not to leave anything behind. Other than the testimony of your guard, there's little to go on here. I suppose the other way to track down the thief is to find out who bought copy power over the past few days. With your permission I will seek that avenue and inform you if I've found anything new."

"I appreciate it," she replied, and shook his hand. She would be headed out herself, but not in the direction of The Hand. And all the while, she imagined the thief handing documents over to his employer, and his employer pouring over them in great detail. That feeling stung greatly, and she swore then to return the deed with greater vengeance.


--


Afternoon was running out of bright sunrays when Andrea approached Aidan's home. After spending a moment to compose herself, she rapped quickly on his door.

The door was answered by Siri as always. "Good afternoon miss Brennan" She said politely.

As soon as the door was opened, Andrea let herself in and pushed past Siri. "I wish to speak to my nephew. I shall be in the study." Was all she told the maidservant before shooing her off.

"Yes m'am" She said before closing the door and going straight towards aidan's room to notify him of his aunts arrival.

Seating herself down on one of the chairs in his study, she crossed her legs and waited for him to arrive.

Not long after she'd sat down Aidan entered the study. Bowing towards his aunt politely he greeted her. "Good afternoon aunt Andrea"

She rose from her seat and gave him a light bow. "Unfortunately it's not that good an afternoon for me. I came here to tell you that my home was invaded, just last night."

Selina was asleep, but she was awakened by Siri's voice at her brother's door. Aunt Andrea had come, and she could not possibly be allowed to know that Selina was alive, much less at Aidan's home. Getting up from bed, and moving quietly to the back of the door, she strained to hear what was being said as Aidan entered the study.

"That is awful news aunt, are you well? Did they take anything?" Aidan paced the room worriedly.

She watched him pacing the room, taking in every quiver of his brow, every crease on his forehead. "The odd thing is that the invaders did not take anything, aside from unlocking one of the drawers in my study. Do you find that odd?"

"What do you mean, they took nothing?" He gave her a strange look. "Why would someone break into one of the richer homes in the city, risk their necks and take nothing"

"It has baffled me as well." Her eyes began straying from him, turning her attention to the floor upstairs. "Someone must have been incredibly interested in the files I had locked away."

"Do you think it was a rivalling company?" Still pacing Aidan looked at her.

She shrugged and smiled woodenly, rising from her seat. "Perhaps. Or even someone who's been particularly curious about the company accounts."

Frowning at her he rose as well. "You're leaving already? I have not yet offered you tea"

Her smile quickly dissipated into a frown. "My boy, word in town is that you've been hanging around with someone who will not show his face in public. I hope that you're not mixing with unscrupulous company."

"Ah Aine was back in town but she really messed up her hair this time, She didn't want to be seen with orange hair." He paused. "You know I would never keep any sort of company that could harm the family"

"Aine..." Aunt Andrea said the name with a touch of disbelief. "How is she doing these days?"

"Quite well, though still no closer to growing up or settling down. Seems she's taken to traveling lately."

"I see..." she moved towards the door. "I don't need any tea, but I thank you for your hospitality. Keep well my boy, I shall be leaving you to your business now."

"If there's any way I can be of assistance please let me know aunt, I would hate to consider you being in any danger."

That wooden smile returned. "Of course. Your concern is much appreciated." Then she turned her face and left the house.

After Andrea left Aidan immediately went to Selina's room and knocked on the door.

Selina wasn't sure if Andrea had left. She remained pasted to the back of the door, silent as a mouse.

"Selina it's me, please open the door"

Selina let out a breath she had been holding, and opened the door to face her brother. "She came?" she hissed through a whisper, as though she was still afraid to be heard.

"She knows, you have to go, take any evidence with you, I can't know what she'll do"

"Aidan! If she knows then what about you? You can't stay here."

"She wouldn't hurt me, but if she returns the favour she cannot discover you were here, or anything that connects you or me to the break in.

She placed a hand on her mouth as she reluctantly nodded. She couldn't for the life of her figure out how Andrea had guessed that Aidan was behind the plot. Wasn't she careful? "Give me the notes, I'll get them safely hidden."

"Selina, there's something else." He paused. "While you were away a man came here asking for you. I was too distracted to act like you died."

Surprise sprung onto her face. "Who's the man?"

"Robbert Brown"

"Oh Bob?" she waved a dismissive hand. "He should be fine."

"He asked me to pass a message on to you"

"Alright?"

"tell her that Robert stopped by, and recalls our old haunt in Lion's Arch"

A crease cut into Selina's brow, and she began nibbling a corner of her lip. "I wonder why he came back. How did he look?"

"Like a dandy. From his way of dress I should say he's been doing well for himself, though I rather doubt the honesty of his business considering Ron and Bran knew who he was"

"Well... that's to all of us," she replied, indicating also herself. "He's always enjoyed doing business in Lion's Arch, and wasn't too shabby at it either. I guess he finally found something that pays enough. Now enough about Bob. I best get myself away from this house in case your aunt decides to come back." She spread out her hand, and looked at Aidan. "Notes."

"Ah yes" he popped into his room and retrieved the notes. "Handing them over to Selina he gave her a worried look. "Be careful sister"

"I'll be fine. I'm more worried about you at the moment. I really don't want to leave you alone at this time, but I don't want to get you in trouble either."

"I'll manage, promise'

She took him into her arms and planted a kiss on his forehead. "I'll spend a couple of days with Bran, but I will check in with you... I'll just be doing it from afar. If you ever need me, you know where to find me."

He nodded. "Thank you"

With a final smile, she replaced her hood and mask, then retrieved her equipment from under the bed, strapped them to her back and climbed onto the window sill. "Don't give up, Aidan. We'll get through this."

He nodded at her "Stay safe"

With a final heave, she somersaulted out of the window, and ran down the street, staying close to every shadow till she was out of town.

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #62 on: October 19, 2016, 11:02:24 AM »
SELINA KNOX

It was the middle of the night by the time Selina arrived at the cave that Bran, Jess and Ron had taken up as their choice of dwelling. It was silent and breezy on the inside. As she got deeper in, she noted the five strings of bells they had strung across the entrance and the three trigger pads connected to dart guns to play security system should none of them be awake. A less observant person would probably not have seen the vague gleam of moonlight upon the thin fish lines stretched upon the floor or the pads hidden under fresh dirt, and would have tripped upon any one of them. She considered how poor a substitute it was for having an actual door, but Bran had boasted before that he was planning to install a door so amazing, it would blow everyone’s minds, he just had to save up for it first. But it wasn’t the first time Bran had boasted of something that never actually went through. With some care, she stepped over the lines and skirted the edges of the entrance to proceed past the partitions set up to split off the sleeping areas from the main part of the cave, and found Bran cosied up under a stack of skins, his privacy held up by canvases clinging to wire supports. She entered fully and settled down gently. She chuckled to herself, he had still no idea that she was there. She considered how lucky he was that she wasn’t someone with ill intentions.

When she was finally bored with waiting for him to get up on his own, she decided to place a finger on the tip of his nose. This opened his eyes, and as he laid them on her and allowed her presence to sink into his consciousness, he leapt up, throwing his sheets off with a yell. “Hey, it’s me,” she said as calmly as possible. She didn’t expect him to be as surprised as he was, but she supposed it wasn’t unreasonable to expect bandits living in a door-less cave to be slightly jumpy.

The sheets fell aside shortly and she found Jess and Ron just behind her, armed with a pistol and a bow respectively. “What are you doing here?!” yelled Jess, a tad grumpily. There was only a thin camisole on her, and Ron with nothing more than a seemingly comfortable pair of pants, but it was impressive how battle-ready they were regardless.

Out of respect, Selina raised her arms in the air. “I’m sorry to wake all of you. I only meant to ask Bran for a favour.”

“Really? Couldn’t have picked a better time?” stated Bran, running a hand through his hair as he steadied himself from the shock.

Ron removed his bow just before he stormed from the scene. It was clear that he didn’t want anything to do with the intrusion. But Jess continued to hold her pistol to the side of Selina’s temple. She saw little reason to relent just yet. So Selina decided to keep her hands in the air.

“Well… it’s a bit of a long story,” she laughed uncomfortably. Bran glared at her, and she heard the un-cocking of the safety guard on the pistol. “As you know, I spent the last month and a half studying to read and write in order to look for particular documents in the home of Andrea Brennan’s?”

“Yeah,” Bran replied, sitting up a little straighter as his interest had be piqued. The pistol wasn’t removed though.

Selina pat the haversack on her back to prove to him that she had obtained exactly what she had promised. “I’m holding onto them now. But they are so potentially damaging that the woman has completely freaked out, and is going after Aidan with no holds barred.”

“She knows you were sent by him?” came Jess’ voice.

“She doesn’t know I’m alive, and certainly not that I’m living with Aidan. But it doesn’t seem to stop her from suspecting that he was behind the attack on her home. I have to give it to that witch for being determined.”

“And is there a reason this news had to come at this late hour?” asked Bran, still a little annoyed at the disruption of his sleep.

“Um…” Selina suddenly felt a gush of embarrassment for not thinking to wait to the next day to ask for the favour. “Andrea barged into Aidan’s home just this afternoon, and acted like she knew something, like she was going to find me and blow my cover wide open. Aidan had to send me away with the notes as soon as the coast was clear in the case she came back. Perhaps… it was a little assuming of me, but I told him that I would seek refuge with the rest of you.”

At long last, Jess lowered her pistol in resignation. Bran pondered the thought for a while and opened his mouth to speak when Jess cut him off quickly, “Can I speak with you, Bran? With Ron?”

He nodded and excused both himself and Jess to hold a private conference with Ron – Selina knew with certainty what about. She had been much too assuming, expecting way too much out of Bran, barely giving any consideration about what the others thought of any of this. Even though Bran had requested her to stay in his room, she decided to emerge before they had come to a conclusion.

Outside of the room, she found the three of them congregated around a barrel, deep in a hushed conversation. “It’s fine,” she said, picking up her pack. “It was wrong of me to impose, and even then, you’ve been incredibly kind to even consider the thought. I’ll go now and leave you to your sleep.”

“Sellie,” Bran stood up and walked towards her. “It’s the middle of the night. I’m not just going to leave you hanging like this. Look… I know it would be more ideal if you came to live with us, but I know a place you could bunk in, at least till you figure out your living accommodations. Will you let me bring you there?”

“I’ll be fine, Bran. Don’t worry about me,” she assured him.

“That’s what you said the last time you concocted up this huge plot that got you caught and stripped off all your memory,” he pointed out. She wanted to say something in retort, but couldn’t well respond to it. “It’s not far from here. Just take a look at it. If you don’t like it, be free to find some place better.”

“I’d go with him. He’s not going to take no for an answer,” Jess added with a smirk.

Selina smiled in response, heading for the door. “Very well,” she agreed.

________________________________________________________________________
Bran had taken Selina to a swampier part of Kessex, just east of the cave. There was a steep descent into the marsh area, and a makeshift ramp up into a slightly raised, wooded area in the middle of the swamp. Right there, among the trees, was a hastily put together hut made of marshwood, and a soggy, wind-blown fire-pit. “I’m sorry this isn’t the best condition. We had to make do when your brother and his seraph friend evicted us out of our last lodging and we had to go into hiding.”

Selina shrugged. “Makes sense.”

“You know,” Bran leaned against a pillar and found it full of moss. He had pictured the hut looking a lot better than it currently did. He supposed that’s what neglect would do to anything. “You could always bunk in with Bess. I’m sure she’d be glad to take you.”

“Except she doesn’t know that I’m alive, and I’d like to keep it that way.”

“Even from Bess? I thought you two were close?”

Selina shook her face. “I don’t want anyone dragged into this who isn’t already a part of it. Aidan’s right, this has to be as small a circle as possible. Only when the problem’s fixed, I’ll tell her everything.”

“Then I’m sorry but this is the best I can offer,” said Bran, looking a little empathetically at the hut.

“This will do,” responded Selina, stepping into the humble dwelling. “I’ve spent enough time living in the lap of luxury. Could do with a little bit of rugged living.”

Nodding, Bran continued. “And I suppose you were told about Bob?”

“Yeah. It’s all good.”

“If you don’t mind me asking, why would he contact you now?”

She smiled and leaned into Bran, “Things between us are… different now.”

Bran wouldn’t give up his line of questioning. “Different, how?”

“It’s complicated. Just know that we’re friends now. And I think that I can trust him.”
“Even after what he did in the past?”

She shrugged. “What’s past is past. I’ve moved on.”

Taking a step back, Bran swiped a fly from his face. “For your sake I hope you’re right. You’re not letting Bess in but you’re totally letting your guard down for Dirt Bob? If you ask me, I think your priorities are messed up.”

“Bob knowing anything was an accident, wasn’t it? I’m not fretting, why are you?”

Her words hit home, and he chuckled. “Right. I suppose it’s none of my business, isn’t it? You know what’s best for you.”

“You’ve already done more than you should’ve,” admitted Selina. “I am deeply thankful.”

“Thank me tomorrow, after you’ve survived a night in this shack,” he joked as he walked away.

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #63 on: October 20, 2016, 03:30:19 PM »
It was dark, but the larks were singing, giving indication to the approaching morning. A fully garbed dark figure broke through the windows upon Aidan's home, and stealthly crept through the hall, till he arrived at the study. There were specific instructions what he should do, and he carried those instructions through perfectly.

After slipping in the neatly wrapped package between several of the books in the library, the figure took a quick look about the study before he slipped back down the hallway.

A soft sound in the library awoke Aidan and within seconds he was out of bed, dagger in hand. Upon entering it however he found the library empty. Not bothering to take a light with him he started to search the rest of the house.

The figure approached the open window, and perched upon it when he heard the owner of the house shuffling about.

Figuring they must've entered the house somewhere downstairs Aidan hurried down the stairs as quietly as he could.

With a leap, the figure landed on the pavement outside and hurried away.

Arriving downstairs all Aidan found was an open window. In the distance he barely saw a dark figure disappear into the shadows, but he realised very well that pursuing now would be fruitless. Cursing he went about creating some light.

After lighting up the house he woke up Siri. Together they searched the property for any changes or any valuables that may have gone missing. After some time of not finding anything they were puzzled but decided to simply mend the window and go back to bed.

________________________________________________________

Morning had just arrived when a firm knock came on Aidan's door.

Siri opened the door as per usual while Aidan sat downstairs with a cup of tea..

Andrea Brennan stood at the entrance with four officers of the seraph, and her maidservant, shielding her with a frilly umbrella. There was a look of malice on the woman's face, and as she completely ignored Siri's presence, pointed to the interior of Aidan's home. "Search it," she commanded. As soon as the order was given, the seraphs entered, two headed for the upper floors, the other two walked directly up to Aidan.

"Sir Aidan Brennan," boomed the voices of one of the guards, "You are officially under arrest. Please rise from your seat, and come with us peacefully."

Rising to his feet slowly Aidan looked at them calmly. "While you're here I would like to report a break in" He said.

"A break in sir? Perhaps you can make that report to the officers at the headquarters. Please extend your arms to us slowly so that we may bind them."

Andrea stood just steps behind the seraph, looking upon the scene with much satisfaction.

"There's no need, I will come with you quietly. Siri please mind the house in my absence." He said, moving around the table now.

"It's entirely procedure sir," assured the guard, extending his own hand.

The other two guards made a clatter upstairs, searching the room for suspicious items.

"Fine. Tell the two oafs upstairs not to break anything or I'll be sending the bill" He said while holding his hands out.

The guard in front of him simply smiled as he secured a rope around Aidan's wrists, making sure that it was taut.

Another of his colleagues descended from the stairs with a neatly wrapped package in his hands. "I've found something," he declared, and presented it to the others in the room, especially to Andrea. "Does this belong to you?"

Andrea looked it over carefully, her maidservant fanning her with much gusto. "It's hard to tell. Open it, and perhaps we shall see."

The guard did as he was told, unwrapping the package carefully, he soon revealed two sacks filled with gold, and a single black diamond.

"These... these belong to the Brennan business, and..." Andrea cried as she lifted the diamond. "This is mine. It was a gift to me by a beloved friend."

"Can you prove it, M'am?" asked the guard.

"Absolutely!" she said, glaring at Aidan in turn. "You absolutely abhorrent ungrateful boy!" And she lifted the sacks to show a print of the Brennan emblem beneath. "This does not belong here in your care. And so does that diamond. I shall speak directly to the officers in charge and prove that this man is a thief."

"Surely aunt, I thought you knew me better than to assume I stole from my own family"

Her face was the mirror of ice, cold and relentless. "Unfortunately your actions have proved me wrong. Even family can be involved in scandal as you have. For this insult, I will not spare any kindness on you for you will be tried like the criminal that you are."

"You certainly judge quickly."

He walked along obligingly. Realizing perfectly well how that package ended up in his house.

_________________________________________________________________________

Captain Turnhall tucked in his uniform as he walked towards the holding cells at the seraph headquarters. He had to be assigned the newly draught out case of the Brennans, an inter-family dispute - the typical run-of-the-mill mudslinging wealthy family argument, the sort that nobody liked dealing with. The only reason he was now taking it on was over a coin toss. He wanted the dispute settled as soon as possible so he could get back to his regular investigations on actual crime.

"I'm investigating the case of the Brennans," he informed the guard at the front, who then unlocked the main gate and allowed him access into the holding area. Right there, he found three men and a woman. Even without special indication, Turnhall knew which was Aidan Brennan. His dressing and posture gave him away. "Aidan Brennan," he greeted him through the bars, and extended his hand.

"Captain" Aidan said as the man greeted him. Shaking the offered hand.

"I am Captain Turnhall, assigned to your case. May I speak with you on the finer details?"

"Pleasure to meet you Captain Turnhall, though I can't help but wish we'd met under better circumstances. I should be happy to discuss what I know"

With a wave to the guard at the gate, Turnhall was let into Aidan's cell. The guard also provided him with a stool to sit on. Turnhall lowered himself onto the stool with a loud sigh. He was a large man with a penchant of eating. He wasn't shy about it either, but it was certainly gaining on him in pounds. "So... I'd like skip the small talk, if you don't mind. Let's get straight to business," he pulled out a notebook and began marking down the facts of the case. "Your aunt alleges that she discovered irregularities in the company accounts just recently, and after the hiring of a private investigator, traced the missing goods to you. It was then assumed you were stealing goods from your family's company and profiting off them. When your aunt decided to confront you about it, she says that you were aggressive and defensive. You threatened that she would be made to regret the allegations. Following this threat, her home was broken into by a thief she has strong belief has connections to you. This after several eye-witnesses place you and a... what they have termed as, a hooded-stranger, on two occasions. A guard at Andrea Brennan's home was rendered unconscious, but he is giving testimony to a... said, hooded-stranger who infiltrated the home. Being afraid for her life, Andrea Brennan contacted the seraphs right away and they discovered, among the mess made at her home, two sacks of gold she had been temporarily holding for the company, and her precious black diamond, given to her as a gift many years ago that she said you knew about, and that you had taken out of spite. What do you say to these allegations?"

"I have not nor would I ever steal from the family. I am a man of honor and I would not stoop to such levels or do my family such an injustice."
Aidan paused for a second before continuing. "The package found at my house this morning was placed there last night. If you'd please talk to my housekeeper. She can confirm that the house was broken into. After I heard something in the house I went in search of the intruder and saw a dark figure rush off from the house. I then roused my housekeeper and we both searched the house assuming items must be stolen.
After we found nothing seemingly amiss we mended the window so it would close and went back to bed since I did not think a burglary would require seraph assistance at night and could wait till morning. I would also like you to talk to the seraph who were present at my house this morning. They should confirm that my aunt was smug rather than upset. I can only conclude that she's somehow trying to get rid of me. Since my mother sadly passed she's been trying to work me out of the family business, so she may have her way with it."

"Hmm," Captain Turnhall jotted down a few notes, and rubbed his chin in thought. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've been told that your aunt already mostly runs the Brennan business. What benefit would she have working you out of it?"

"She would not have to answer to anyone about business decisions. I stand to inherit, so after my father passes the business is mine to run. She will not want to give up her position when that comes to pass. I also believe that our opinions on business matters rather differ and she sees me as meddlesome rather than a valued family member"

He looked down at his notes, and once more again at Aidan. "You have both been working on the Brennan business for quite a while, haven't you? It is said that she even gave personal care to your ailing mother before her death. By all accounts, it would seem that the two of you had an ideal relationship of aunt and nephew. Just from my point of view, it doesn't seem like she would have the necessary intent to intentionally plant evidence in your home to convict you of a crime you didn't commit."

"Nor have I ever had the intent to steal from a company that will one day be mine. Would it not be more logical for me to want it to prosper? I have ample means so I wouldn't do it for the money. And if our relationship is ideal enough for my aunt not to have a motive the same would be true for me. I sat with my mother daily until she passed. I looked after my father during his worst. I married with the family's interest at heart and even as I was in mourning over my mother as well as my wife I worked. No sir, I would not steal."

"Then who? Because I have evidence of deductions made off your company's accounts, and to add to that, two consequent break ins. Who then would do this? I seriously doubt that you had no part in it at all."

"I really hoped this would not be necessary" Aidan sighed. "I will tell you exactly what my part in all of this is. After my wife passed, I found working the best way to deal with the grief. As I went over the books which had been inconsistently checked over since my mothers illness I started to notice discrepancies. Naturally I investigated further. At first I thought there had to have been a mistake. But the longer I went through the books the more obvious it became that someone had been altering numbers, making the books seemingly fit. Only the family does these final counts and my father hasn't looked at the business since my mother took a turn for the worse. I'm sure you'll realise that leaves only one person. When I asked her about it, she laughed at me. Called me inexperienced and incapable to deal with the books." Aidan paused for a while before he continued his story. "I could not rest easy until I knew the full truth. So I visited our warehouses and took stock there. Sadly finding the same discrepancies. I planned on talking about this to my aunt again, hoping she had some sort of explanation. I realize how this sounds, trust me. But I can only tell you what I know to be true"

Letting out a huge sigh, Turnhall made a final note and flipped close his notebook. "Of course. And you're also in this cell. You would say anything to get out. You understand that because there are two completely contradictory stories with not enough hard evidence either way, this investigation is going to get stretched out?" He gave Aidan a look of jest. "You could've made it easy for me and just abided by the one story." Turnhall rose from his seat, once more with a huge groan. "I will have to check this story in more detail. You sit tight till then, and call for me if you think of anything else."

"Ah yes, it would undoubtedly be a lot easier on you if everyone who was guilty simply confessed. Unfortunately, I'm not guilty of the crimes my aunt accuses me of and it's not in my ability to make your work light for you. I trust you will look at this matter with discretion and impartiality, thank you." He said, getting to his feet as well after which he shortly bowed.

"Perhaps you could appraise Countess Anise of the situation. She's a longstanding friend of the family and an excellent judge of character"

Turnhall raised a brow. "Pulling some strings, I see. Very well."

"She knows Andrea as well as me. If I were guilty the countess would not be a string I'd pull. Knowing her you should realise this."

The old captain tucked the notepad into his front breast pocket. "We shall see," he said, and then promptly let himself out.

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #64 on: October 26, 2016, 07:38:56 AM »
Caden Mullins

Dusk fell as Caden knocked on the door with slight apprehension. It had been quite some time since he had visited last, and since he disappeared he had only once sent a note home to let his family know he was well. In his head he already heard his father’s thundering voice lecturing him on worrying his mother so. Inside he heard someone shuffling about, followed by the sound of keys that clattered against each other. Several more moments passed and he could hear bolts being pulled back. Frowning he wondered about the extra security measurements. He had noticed the town being a little more subdued than usual but he attributed the lack of people on the streets to the cold.
Before him the door cracked open and before he knew it his mother embraced him in a tight hug. Smiling he returned the hug, finding himself more pleased to be home than he thought he would be. “Oh my boy, come in come in” His mum exclaimed before pulling him inside. “Look who’s come home mother” She said as she pulled Caden into the livingroom. His grandmother was sitting in a large chair in front of the fire, with a large bunch of herbs on her lap. Her wrinkled fingers were picking the leaves off of them with a practiced precision. “Finally found your way here did you” She said as she looked up at Caden. “You look well lad” She said as Caden walked over and embraced her, careful not to disturb the herbs on her lap. His mother meanwhile went about making tea. Finding a stool to sit down on Caden sat down his pack beside it. “Where’s father?” he asked, surprised to find the man not in today. His mother and grandmother looked at each other before his mother answered. “Him and the men from the village formed a search party early this evening when the hunting party did not return before dark.” She handed Caden a cup of tea and sat down before continuing. “I’m sure you noticed the town being quiet. People have been disappearing lately. The men decided enough is enough and went out to find out who’s responsible and put a stop to it.” Agitated Caden shifted around on his seat. “When did they leave? Did they say where they were going?” He asked, ready to leave and go after them. “They left an hour after sundown. I don’t know where they went though” his mother replied. “I’m afraid there’s nothing to do but wait now”. She smiled sadly at Caden. “Will you not distract us from our worries and tell us what you’ve been up to?” She asked. And so Caden spent the rest of the evening explaining. Especially his grandmother seemed to be pleased with his stories, taking some pride in Caden remembering his herbalist skills after all.

---

The next morning the search party returned tired and unsuccessful. Among the men was his father, as well as several Seraph. It appeared his father was too tired for the scolding Caden expected. Instead he simply shook his sons hand before stumbling home and heading to bed. Caden sought out the local seraph captain and prodded him for information. How many people had disappeared, how often, where, had he reported it. The captain, being tired as well waved him away. “Not now son” was his answer before they retreated to their barracks. Later Caden found out that besides the group of hunters a trade caravan and a seraph patrol had also disappeared. The captain apparently attributed it to heightened centaur activity and had made no further reports.
The days that followed were uneventful however and the town soon settled back into their normal routine. Caden helped his parents and grandmother with the shop as much as he could. Though he much preferred to go out and gather herbs.

After a few weeks after his arrival home a delivery had to be made to Divinity’s Reach and Caden finding himself a bit restless jumped at the occasion. Before leaving he told his mother that he would use the occasion to visit the friends he had made in the capital.

---

His journey to Divinity’s Reach was short and the delivery straightforward. It was only after Caden had knocked on Aidan’s door that he discovered things would not go exactly as he had planned. He found the master out and the housekeeper rather reluctant to tell him where he was. After some prodding however Siri eventually told him that Aidan had been arrested. She did not know where miss Knox had gone. Having trouble believing Aidan would ever break the law in such an obvious way as to get himself arrested Caden hurried towards the seraph’s headquarters where he requested to visit mr Brennan.
After waiting some time he was finally led down towards the cells where he found Aidan quietly sitting in one of them reading a book. The seraph who had escorted Caden downstairs opened the cell for Caden to enter. Then closed the door again and positioned himself within earshot.
Getting to his feet Aidan nodded at Caden and shook his hand. “You seem to find yourself in a bit of a pickle here my friend.” Caden said. Aidan nodded “And how, may I ask, did you find out about it?” he asked Caden. “Ah, your housekeeper told me when I called. I figured I would visit you since I’ve been away from the city for a while.” Aidan nodded and asked what he had been up to lately. He and Selina had expected him to join them when they visited the shining blade after all. Caden grinned sheepishly at that and scratched the back of his neck awkwardly before answering. “I uh.. I resigned”. “Why?” Aidan asked him and Caden explained him how he felt he no longer shared the same vision as the shining blade. Of course their work was important, but after what they had put Selina through he no longer wished to represent an organisation that let the end justify the means. After Caden’s story was done it was Aidans turn to explain how he ended up in a prison cell. After telling Caden everything he told the Seraph Captain earlier he asked “Do you have any writing utensils and a notebook maybe?”. When Caden nodded Aidan looked at the guard. “Is it alright if he delivers a note to my housekeeper?” He asked. The guard frowned and considered this request for some time. “If you let me read it before it leaves the headquarters I suppose it can’t do any harm. If you mention your case in any way I’m not allowed to let it pass however.” Aidan nodded and took the utensils from Caden who had taken them out of his pack by now. Sitting down again Aidan took the notebook and tore a sheet out. One glance at the guard told him the man wasn’t paying overly much attention and he set himself to writing. On the loose sheet he wrote the following.

Siri,
In the future please refrain from telling any callers I have been arrested. Tell them I’m unavailable and take any messages they may have. I shall deal with them when I return.
A. Brennan.


Then inside the notebook he wrote:

Caden, I hope I may count on your help and discretion. As you may well realise not all of what I did is fully legal. Selina and I have been spotted in town together while she was hooded. I need a certain person to come forward and say they were with me rather than Selina. Her name is Aine Beyersford. You’ll find her in the Grove. I’m not sure about her exact location but you can’t go wrong if you find whatever bar or inn that sells the best meade. Please ask her to come to the reach. Tell her she’s supposedly been in the reach for a while to comfort an old friend. I may have mentioned she dyed her hair orange, hence her reason for wearing a hood.
You have my eternal gratitude.



He closed the notebook and handed the pen and book back to Caden before carefully folding the note to Siri. “Please hand this to my housekeeper” he asked Caden, handing him the note after he had repacked his utensils. Caden nodded. “Well, I suppose it’s time to be taking my leave then.” He said, as he offered Aidan a hand. “Take care Aidan, I’m sure it will all be sorted out soon.” Behind him the guard opened the cell to let Caden out. Aidan nodded at him. “Thank you for stopping by.” The guard locked the cell behind Caden and took the note Caden was holding out to him. Unfolding the paper he read it twice, turning the paper over a couple of times for a thorough inspection. Luckily for Caden and Aidan the guard wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Checking the notebook never so much as occurred to him. Chuckling the guard refolded the paper. “Don’t want the fancy folks to know you’re in jail eh” he said, mocking Aidan before handing the note back to Caden. With one final nod at Aidan Caden followed the guard upstairs and left the seraph’s headquarters.

---

After handing the note to Siri off at Aidan’s house Caden checked into his favourite inn. He ordered a hot meal and a cold beer and stationed himself near the hearth with his beer to wait for the food. Taking the notebook from his pack he read the note Aidan had scribbled into his notebook. After reading it twice over to make sure he remembered the details he tossed it in the fire. Better safe than sorry he figured as he watched the paper crumple up, flames licking at the edges. By the time his food arrived only ashes remained. He didn’t think he would be followed, the case was not very high profile and the seraph not very covert but he decided he would not take any chances and leave at first light.

---

Several days of travelling brought him to the grove where he tracked Aine down with little effort. Convincing her to help Aidan was even easier and Caden for a while did wonder at their history. However his thoughts were soon distracted by Aine colouring her hair orange with a flick of her fingers. “Well, I suppose I ought to find myself a hood somewhere and head over to the capital. Thank you for the mead” She said with a charming smile. Before Caden realised it she had gone. Tired after all the time spent on the road Caden decided to head back to Lion’s Arch through the portal and rest there before traveling home.
« Last Edit: November 02, 2016, 11:00:56 AM by Mokuren »

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #65 on: November 01, 2016, 12:37:58 PM »
SELINA KNOX

The torrential rain slammed on her back, poured down the contours of her drenched coat, and slid down the freshly cut planks of wood under her knees in watery sheets. She realised that it was a huge mistake not to have fixed the holes in the moss-ridden roof at an earlier time, before the coming of the rainy season - but it was better late than never. She had risked recognition that very afternoon in order to purchase materials from Fort Salma for patching up the broken hut - mostly because she had spent a very miserable previous night awakened by the leaks, and having to spend the majority of the night, holed up in a tree. The relief of a sunny afternoon didn't do much to dry the wood before the present torrential rain began to invade every space. The only consolation she had was that she had found a dry little squirrel hole in one of the trees to hide Andrea's incriminating documents - it was the one thing that would keep her in that nasty swamp to guard with her life. She had at several parts of a sleepless night, considered going to Lion's Arch to search for Robert - if not for anything more than the thought that he might offer her a less leaky roof over her head, and perhaps loan her some gold. One of the regrets upon her hasty departure from Aidan's home was forgetting to top up her gold pouch before she left. She had spent herself flat with the wood and the nails, and would soon have to resort to other means if for some reason she needed to make more purchases. But there were two prominent reasons she couldn't go to Robert, at least not now; First, she couldn't be sure Aidan wouldn't come looking for her at any moment, and if he did, she suspected that he would urgently need those documents. Second, as much as she'd convinced Bran that she could fully trust Robert, she knew at least partially, that it was a lie. Nothing would erase what he did all those years ago. As much as they'd played each other in a dangerous game between gangs, and certainly she was not innocent in her actions, his complete betrayal went far beyond any reasonable punishment. Regardless of how he'd tried to make amends in more recent times, she promised herself she would not as gullible as she was before. He knew she was alive. That much was a fact that she could not change, and she would not blame her brother for it. Perhaps Robert would prove to be a reputable man and keep the secret... or... she didn't want to think it, but the situation could easily be twisted into blackmail, especially if he came to know about those notes and their value to someone powerful like Andrea. Nonetheless, she knew would have to confront Robert after Aidan had retrieved his notes, just to be sure that he wasn't going to spread the message of her survival beyond what was necessary.

"Done..." she whispered to herself as the final nail head embedded itself into the wood. She tossed the hammer to the ground, flipped onto her back and turned towards the sky. Large raindrops quickly shut her eyes, flowed down her cheeks and entered her slightly parted lips. She allowed it to cleanse her person of whatever stench she might have picked up over the past few days where she had lacked a bath. She hadn't done this in ages, and it felt good... it felt familiar.

She spent a while more on the roof before she finally got off, tore off her wet clothes and wrapped herself in the only dry piece of fabric that she had left, her cloak.

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #66 on: November 02, 2016, 06:50:10 AM »

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #67 on: November 07, 2016, 10:36:45 AM »
ANDREA & HENRY BRENNAN

Andrea Brennan had made certain that Aidan was in prison and under active investigation before she hurried over to Henry's home. She brought with her files of company accounting, and just before she knocked on the door to his room, calmed down her beating heart, brought out a silk handkerchief and practiced crying into it. Once she felt she was ready, she gave the door a somewhat hesitant-sounding knock.

One of the family's servants opened the door and bowed to her. "Good day m'am"

"Bring me to my brother, girl," she demanded of the servant.

"Certainly m'am" she said, standing aside to let Andrea in. After Andrea entered she carefully closed the door and then lead Andrea to Henry's room. "Shall I introduce you m'am?" She asked, seeming a bit hesitant.

"Are you so slow minded?" Andrea snapped at the help. She didn't mean to pull such a power move this early into the game, but Aidan had forced her hand. Now, she would have to convince her brother of his malice with much less to back it up. That could prove to be a problem. "Get on with it."

Shaken she nodded "Yes m'am, sorry for being so sluggish" She mumbled before opening the door. "Miss Brennan here to see you sir" She said loudly as she stepped inside and stood next to the door to allow Andrea to enter as well. "Will you be needing anything m'am?" She asked, eager to leave the room again.

The study was dark, despite the bright daylight outside. Heavy curtains had been drawn and the room desperately needed airing. Behind the desk Henry sat in a large chair wearing his dressing robes. He snored lightly and his head hung to the side. On his desk sat a half empty decanter and a whiskey glass. His breakfast tea stood next to it, untouched.

Andrea frowned at the state of her brother. As much as she loved him, the man suffered from seasonal usefulness. Sometimes he was motivated, hardworking, and reflected shades of the strong businessman that their father used to be. Other times he proved to be... just a heap of steaming mess, and a burden to the Brennan name. It was tiresome carrying the name solely upon her own shoulders, although she couldn't dispute the advantages of full control.

She waved the servant away, and as soon as she had left, called into the darkness. "Henry..."

Henry stirred in his chair before cracking open one eye. "Andrea, what are you doing here?" He grumbled.

"Henry, I need you to get up. Something truly tragic has occurred," she muttered, as devastated as she could.

"What now?" He said, not making any effort to move.

She grit her teeth. Here she was, working so hard to keep the company together, and that was all he could say. "Your adopted son... he... he's completely turned on us. Been doing atrocious things behind our backs. Making a travesty of Dad's company."

"Aidan wouldn't do that, he's a hardworking boy" His unfocused eyes rested on Andrea as he pulled himself up straight in the chair.

This was the exact response she was expecting, and she had come prepared. Pulling out the folder from her keeping, she inwardly groaned at how little light there was streaming into the room. "I have to show you this, Henry. Will you let me draw back the curtains?"

He shrugged and poured himself a glass of whiskey rather than answering.

Frustrated, she walked over to the curtains and drew them back. Cloaked in a thick layer of dust, the stream of light that entered displayed the puffs of grey-ish billowing clouds rising from every movement of the heavy fabric. Andrea helplessly placed a finger under her nose as she coughed a little less glamorously than she would like. She thought about taking a long bath after this horrid event, it felt more appealing to her than she thought it would. Fanning away what was left of the dust in the air, she carried her notes to him. "Look at what that boy has been doing. Look at the discrepancies. He's been carrying this out for months."

Sighing Henry picked up his reading glasses with shaking hands and placed them on his nose with some effort before taking the papers Andrea held out to him. "Why do you suspect Aidan" he said after a while, his mood rapidly darkening as he realised his company was being stolen from.

"I don't tend to enjoy handing the work entirely to him, it is my company too, but with my dear brother in distress, I could do nothing more than to worry about your condition. It has caused me sleepless nights, and knowing that I have not been in my right mind to manage the accounts, I put everything in Aidan's care. Unfortunately, this is the result." She forced some tears out of her eyes, and dabbed them wearily as she continued. "I noticed the discrepencies and hoped against hope that there was a reasonable explanation for it. But the day I invited him to my home and simply asked about it, he returned nothing but hostilities. Threatened me that I would regret even questioning his integrity. This shocked me so dearly..." she looked away and sniffed. "Oh dear brother... you were not there to be my strength. It near drove me mad to think that our beautiful Aidan had turned into... this horrible monster that I could not recognize. How I searched for a reason to dismiss the thought. But a few days later, I found myself robbed, my guard clobbered! And among two sacks of gold missing from the company, my very own black diamond, my most treasured possession was missing. I reported the crime to the Seraphs, and they questioned me if I had received any threats. I tried to hide the horror of that encounter with Aidan, but finally the Seraphs dug it out of me, and insisted that we visit his home. That very morning that we did, they didn't take long to find the missing gold and the missing diamond. In the very possession of your adopted son."

"He must be under duress" Henry started to panic a little. "This is not like him, someone must be forcing him to do this"

"Yes indeed, do you know what I found along with the stolen goods that day?"

He shook his head, feeling more and more out of sorts.

"Empty bottles of alcohol in his study." She crossed over to his side and looked at him rather sternly. "Henry, I think that your boy is addicted to the drink and he would rather see Father's hard earned company sink to the depths in order to satiate his addictions."

"Nonsense, hardworking men need a drink now and then" Henry gave Andrea a stern look.

She laid a firm hand on his shoulder, and upon him she cast look of intensity - just the slightest violet glimmer in her eyes. "Henry, did you hear what I said? Father's company will sink to the depths if we allow Aidan access to the business and its dealings. He does not have its best interests at heart, nor yours. The young brat does not care about you, he cares about me even less - he even had the nerve to threaten your beloved sister. Imagine if he had the audacity to hire a scoundrel to attack my home, it's only a matter of time when he might consider attacking us instead."

"I will visit him later and sort this out sister, I'm sure it's a misunderstanding" Henry swayed a bit as he poured himself another glass.

"Brother, you're not well enough to go out there. The Seraph have him in custody right now, they need papers signed but I'd rather you stay here and rest. I will deliver the papers to the office for you." She took out another set of papers, one that looked rather official.

"I wish you'd have come to me sooner" He said with a sigh. "I need to talk to the boy Andrea"

"I don't think you do," her eyes glowed violet again. "You need to rest. Let the Seraphs do their work." She flipped the sheets open to the end and pointed to the acknowledgement area. "Sign this, and they can begin their investigation into this entire mess."

"You're right of course" He signed the papers and sank back into his chair. "How did it come to this Andrea. My family and my business are to pieces"

She carefully slipped the papers back into their folder. "Nothing is impossible to fix, dear brother. Let me handle all these unpleasantries, and I promise that by the time you're ready to face the world again, all these problems will be behind us."

Pouring himself another glass he nodded sadly at Andrea. "I'm glad you're still with my sister"

She stopped to look at him compassionately, "Mother and father are gone. All we have are each other, and left to us is their legacy. The Brennan business. We must guard all that is precious with all that we have. It's our one duty in this world."

He nodded. "Thank you for all you're doing sister. I'm sorry I'm not more help right now"

She smiled at him and turned to leave. "Be well brother. I shall see you again soon."

Drinking the last of his decanter of whiskey he stared at the beams of light that fell in through the curtains that Andrea had left open. Though he was upset at the news he felt it was being adequately handled now and before long he dozed off again.

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #68 on: November 13, 2016, 05:14:05 AM »
Aine Beyersford

Aine frowned as she looked in the mirror, pulling on the offending ringlet of hair that did not stay back in her bun. The orange still put her off and she resolved to make Aidan pay for it later. Giving up on taming her hair she put on her cloak and donned her hood. She left her room, locking the door behind her and waved at the innkeeper as she walked past on her way to the seraph's headquarters. Once there she marched right in and walked up to the desk. "I wish to speak with the one in charge of Aidan Thomas Brennans case" She said.

The officer at the desk looked up from his writing, and gave her a hard stare. "Your name, Miss?"

"Miss Beyersford" She said, still wearing the hood.

He rose from his seat, and motioned for one of his colleagues to watch her while he headed into the inner office. The colleague stepped over to stand in front of her. He was a young chap with glowing cheeks and freckles upon his face. He took the stiff posture of a soldier, yet the smile upon his face betrayed that.

While she waited she carefully studied the room and the lad in front of her from under her hood.

"You can take off your hood, Miss," the young lad suggested after a lengthy silence, and pointed to his head. "I have my hat off as well."

"I'm fine, thank you" Aine said, not taking off her hood.

"Oh ok!" replied the lad shrugging.

The officer who was originally at the desk returned and held the door open for Aine. "You may enter Miss Beyersford. Captain Turnhall is waiting for you."

"Thank you" She said cheerfully before entering the room.

A beer bellied Captain Turnhall sat at his desk, comfortably resting on a large velvet seat. Twirled in his fingers a pen, and upon his desk, several stacks of papers. "Yes, what can I help you with Miss Beyersford?" he asked, his voice loud in a quiet room.

"I came because I heard that my person is being used to incriminate mr Brennan. I do not appreciate this speculation and wished to put a stop to it"

"You are the person in the hood seen twice with Mr Brennan?"

"I am"

"That is to say, I spent time with him in public while hooded"

"And where might you have been, ten nights ago?"

"At home, sampling my newest acquisition of meade"

"Any alibi?"

"Since I was quite pleased with it I decided to dedicate the entire evening to it. I'm afraid I had no visitors, I'm not a fan of sharing you see."

"Is it too out of order to ask what happened 10 nights ago?"

"Not out of order," he replied a matter-of-factly. "Ten nights ago, a woman in a hood entered Andrea Brennan's property, stole several items, and deposited them in the home of Aidan Brennan's. She has not been identified yet, but if you claim to be the woman in the hood seen twice with Aidan Brennan, then you do know that we will have detain you in order to look into your claims."

"You're welcome to search my house, if that helps. I'm sure I never broke into anyone's home though, let alone two in one night. I wouldn't even know how"

"It would be the assumption that you would only need to break into one." He looked at her hood. "Can you remove your hood for me please."

She leaned her head to one side. "Only because it's you and if you promise not to tell"

"Trust me, it's not for myself but as a part of the investigation."

She nodded before slowly drawing back the hood, revealing her bright orange hairdo. "Now you see why"

"Hmm," Turnhall tapped his pen thoughtfully on his notepad. "I will need you to stay for at least a day. I need someone to look you over." He clapped his hands, and the lad from the front appeared at the door. "Do you have someone you need to contact?"

Hurriedly redonning her hood she shook her head. "No need, it's only for today after all. If you have any more questions I'll be happy to answer them."

"I will have more questions for you after you're seen. Please follow officer Darnes. I will call for you soon."

Officer Darnes stepped forward with the grin on his face. "Come this way please."

"Ah, if you do search my house, please do be careful with the meade, it's expensive stuff" She said before walking over towards Darnes.

"We will search your house if we deem it necessary. Right now I want you to be identified correctly first. We need to be precise about such things. I hope you'll understand."

"Of course" She said, smiling widely. "I fully understand"

Turnhall motioned to Darnes to take her away, and Darnes put a hand on Aine's arm to lead her away.

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #69 on: November 21, 2016, 05:21:25 AM »
CAPTAIN TURNHALL

The case of the Brennans wasn't a straight cut, run-of-the-mill suit involving just one version of the story. Instead there were two completely competing views, without hard evidence to support either. Andrea Brennan had laid the charge, which caused her step nephew to be held by the Seraphs, but truth be told, if evidence turned up in Aidan Brennan's favor, the charge could easily be flipped around. That would, of course, depend wholly on the defendant.

The activity of the day involved a practice that would likely determine the innocence of Aidan Brennan and his friend Aine Beyersford. With Miss Beyersford dressed up in the hooded garment she claimed to have worn on the day she walked through town, supposedly the same garment worn during the break in, she sat patiently in a stone-lined room. At the height of one of the walls, there was a hidden peephole. That was precisely what Josephine and Jeffrey Goddard peered through as they pulled and nudged each other out of their place in order for the other to take a look.

"Yes, that is her," said Josephine with certainty. "If I know a hood, that is it."

"Have you see this woman prior to both the times you witnessed her with Mr Brennan?" Captain Turnhall asked.

"No, why would I?" she replied, offended. "I don't mix with these paltry types."

"What do you think, Mr Goddard?"

"I haven't seen her either, and she certainly looks to be the woman that we saw," he confirmed. "What else has she stolen before this case, Mr Turnhall?"

"I'm sorry, it is not my place to discuss the case with you." The Captain jotted down a few notes in his book, and motioned towards the door. "I thank you for your cooperation, as well as your discretion. That is all."

"What do you mean 'that is all'?" asked Josephine with some disappointment. "What of Aidan Brennan? Don't we get to identify him as well?"

"No. It's well established that you already know what he looks like."

"So does this mean the both of them are going to be put away?" she asked, still pushing for more information.

"Again, Madam, I apologise but it is not my place to discuss the case with either of you. I wish you a good day."

Darnes held the door open for the siblings to leave. The lad caught the glance of his superior, and while the siblings' backs were turned, the Captain rolled his eyes at Darnes causing the private to smile. Unfortunately his expression didn't escape Josephine's watchful eye.

"Find something humorous about this situation?"

Darnes dropped his grin instantly. "Erm, no M'am! I apologise M'am."

"Much better," she retorted, and headed out the room, trotting off proudly down the hall.

"Fetch the guard," Turnhall whispered to Darnes, and the private soon scurried off. The Captain reached out of his vest pocket to extract a canister of whiskey, wound off the cap then gently placed it to his lips. He had done his research on Aine Beyersford. She had no prior association with questionable types, or any prior convictions. The Goddards did not seem to recognize her place in society, and their statements had inevitably backed Aidan Brennan's testimony - even though it would seem that they wished to see him incarcerated for some reason. The other action to determine any guilt involved was to have the guard verify her in the same manner that she had been by the siblings.

A knock came on the door, and Turnhall quickly put his canister away. Darnes had returned with the guard from Andrea's house. He was out of uniform, and apart from disheveled hair from the cap he now carried carefully in his hands, didn't seem harmed in the least. "Come on in," welcomed Turnhall, guiding him to the peephole. "Take a look at the woman in the next room, and tell me if that is the same woman who attacked you ten days ago."

"Yes sir," replied the guard, shutting an eye and pressing the other onto the hole. It took him several moments of staring intensely, switching his eyes several times, before he finally turned to Turnhall. "No, I don't recognize this person at all."

"You don't?" asked Turnhall, half surprised.

The guard nodded. "Even though it was dark, I could've sworn that the person who attacked me was male and had a scar on his face."

Turnhall traded looks with Darnes. "This was not on the original statement. All you said was a dark shadowy figure attacked you out of nowhere."

"Yes, but I just thought of it right now. It was definitely a man, possibly a very large and burly one at that. I mean... how else would he have taken me out with one blow?" The guard turned back to the peephole. "I can't imagine for the life of me, this scrawny thing being able to do something like that. Do you?"

Turnhall shrugged. "I suppose not. Thank you for your testimony in any case. It has helped us hugely."

"My pleasure," the guard replied, giving a brief bow. "I hope you catch the perp who ranksacked Miss Brennan's home."

"I hope so too," answered Turnhall. The guard had certainly weeded out a few possibilities, unfortunately it would raise more questions than answer them.

__________________________________________________________________________

Officer Darnes unlocked the door to Aine's rather tiny cell that was empty apart from a basic mattress and a chair, surrounded by four stone walls, and a door with a grilled peephole. "Miss Beyersford," he called to her as he peered into the room. "The captain would like to see you."

She stood up from the one chair in the room and nodded. "Please take me to him"

Darnes guided her out through the long hallway headed for the main office. "Had a good night's sleep, I hope?"

"I find the quality of the mattress to be inferior" She said, half smirking under her hood, wondering how the man would react.

He chuckled. "It takes some getting used to, I give you that." Opening the outer door with a chain of keys, he held it open for her.

She walked through the door and waited for him to close it again. "I have no intention to get used to it, forgive me" she said.

Captain Turnhall waited for her in the next room. He was standing, and looked rather thoughtful. "Miss Beyersford."

"Good day Captain Turnhall" she replied.

"Thank you for your cooperation, Miss Beyersford. We have cleared you of most suspicion, but there is a final place I would like to visit, with you, and Darnes. That is, your home."

She nodded. "Of course"

"Would you travel with us then? Show us the meade you say that you were brewing on that very night eleven days ago."

"I think you mistook me there. I do not brew meade, I simply buy it and drink it" she said with a chuckle. "But I shall be happy to show you"

"Ah, it's my mistake then. Let us go, I have a chariot waiting."

She nodded and followed Captain Turnhall.

The chariot sped through cobbled streets till it arrived at Aine's home.

Aine unlocked the front door of her house, allowing the men to enter. Though small her house was well maintained and the interior was incredibly neat. The front door let them into a lounge which bordered on the kitchen. To the side was a large dining table surrounded by benches and chairs. On a shelf near the table were various sizes of bottles and decanters. A bit further two flights of stairs connected the basement and the upstairs to the kitchen. "Well, welcome to my home" Aine said cheerfully.

"Quaint little home," remarked Darnes, looking around.

"Could you show us the meade, Miss Beyersford? That particular bottle that you drank on the day," requested Turnhall.

"Of course, please follow me to the basement" She said, as she descended the stairs. In the basement shelves were put up from floor to ceiling. Neatly organised they were filled to the brim with all sorts of sweet wines and meade. Off to a corner stood a wooden crate that held empty bottles. Taking out a dark green glass bottle she gave it to Captain Turnhall.

"You have quite the collection," commented Turnhall, taking the bottle in his hands. He pulled out the cork and sniffed the rim of the bottle carefully. As he did, he swirled the bottle around for a bit.

Darnes grinned. "The Captain is really good at this," he praised. "He has an incredibly sharp nose for things."

"Literally," added Turnhall, taking the bottle away from his nose. "Well from as much as I can tell, you're telling the truth. And you've been most cooperative with us. We thank you for your time Miss Beyersford."

"Thank you Captain, I know you have to look at every angle." She pondered for some time. "You strike me as quite the connoisseur, perhaps once all of this is over we could compare our knowledge over a glass of excellent meade. I find those who truly appreciate the liquid are rare."

"Count me among the few then," the Captain said cheerily. "And I appreciate the invite. Darnes and I will be letting ourselves out then. Have a good day Miss."

"The same to you both"
___________________________________________________________________________________

Captain Turnhall returned to the Seraph headquarters. The Brennan case had resulted in a dud case, much like he expected. These family cases often ended up with misunderstandings, false accusations, drama... all kinds of nasty which make him want to run a mile from such inconsequences. He'd always believed that families should settle their disputes in privacy, not in court. But that was only the way of the commoner, the wealthy were frequent visitors of the court, and they were not shamed by the fact.

He'd opened the final gate into the dungeons, and found Aidan Brennan where he had left him.

Aidan immediately got to his feet as soon as someone appeared at the door of his cell.

"Mr Brennan. I have good news in regards to your case. We have carefully investigated, and have not found any evidence linking you to the person in the hood. However, it remains curious that the thief decided to drop off Andrea Brennan's belongings in your home."

"Curious indeed. Am I free to go then?" Aidan asked.

"You are," the Captain proceeded to unlock the gate. "But stay close. If you're leaving Divinity's Reach within the month, you should inform us just in case we need you."

"Of course, thank you" He said, lightly bowing towards the captain regardless of the circumstances.

"Thank you. Good day Captain Turnhall" He said, taking leave of the man before heading over to the guard to retrieve his belongings.

The guard handed him everything Aidan had entered the headquarters with, and let him out of the door.

After leaving the seraph's headquarters Aidan set out homewards without delay.

Josephine and Jeffrey Goddard had heard of Aidan Brennan's release. The thought vexed them and their friends from the upper society. They had little love for the young Brennan, since the last lawsuit they'd encountered with the Prathers that they had heard was instigated by Aidan. To add to that, his careless sponsorship of a known criminal that had specifically targetted the nobles of Divinity's Reach. Had he no regard for the safety of the neighborhood? The consensus showed an overwhelming agreement on the matter.

When Andrea Brennan's home had been broken into, Josephine felt it only apt that she come forward with her own testimony of having witnessed the dreaded soul in full view with the thief that he had taken in. The same one that had penetrated his own aunt's home and stolen precious items from it. She felt that would finally rid Divinity's Reach of Aidan Brennan and his irresponsible and flagrant ways. However when she heard rumors that the Seraphs was close to shutting the case on him, possibly out of pure apathy, she was much beside herself - to the point her brother Jeffrey could not even cheer her from, not even with his gift of a new puppy.

It was her great fortune though that right at that pristine time, she received word that Henry Brennan, heir to the Brennan fortune, had had enough of his wayward son to the point of signing the papers to disown him. Initially it sounded too good to be true, but when word broke that Aidan Brennan was truly not a Brennan, but an adopted son, things began to make all the sense in the world - it provided the perfect reason for him aligning himself with criminals. He probably had been taken from the slums, and been of the same mind all along. It was opportune that Henry Brennan had disowned him when he did, to avoid tarnishing the great house of Brennan.

And now armed with the news, Josephine and Jeffrey Goddard stood on the street, just outside of Aidan Brennan's home, ready to break the news to him.

Glad to be almost home Aidan was already planning a quiet afternoon when he rounded the corner and walked up to his own front door.

Jeffrey Goddard stepped up beside him, pulled out his cane and placed it between Aidan and the door. "Josie, do you think a lowly commoner should be welcome in this neighborhood?"

"Not in the least," replied Josephine rather smugly. "He should move out and join his own kind."

"Mr and Miss Goddard." He said coolly. "Shouldn't you be hurrying back to your own neighborhood before you lose your way?"

Jeffrey smiled. "We are merely here on the behalf of your concerned neighbors. Let me put this bluntly, you don't belong here any more. You are not welcome anywhere near our circles. Perhaps it's time you look for the gutter trash that bore you and go live with them."

"I'll thank you kindly to take your baseless insults elsewhere." He frowned at Jeffrey. "Perhaps you forgot your manners. I'm not surprised but I ask you to leave me to my peace now."

Josephine gasped loudly, and clasped her hands over her mouth. "Oh Jeff, he doesn't know!"

"Are you sure that he doesn't?" asked Jeffrey dramatically as though he were reciting the words of a play. "That can't be! The whole neighborhood knows. Perhaps the whole of Divinity's Reach knows. Could he have been this out of the loop?"

"Jeff! You forget that he was in prison this entire time."

"Oh yes!" cried Jeff. "He's been too occupied with his criminal life that he's plainly not heard that Henry Brennan is tired of his antics and wants nothing to do with him."

Sighing Aidan retrieved his key and sidestepped the pair to let himself into his house. "A good day to you both" he said, before turning towards the door to open it.

Jeffrey slammed his hand against the door. "Did you not hear me boy? You're no longer a Brennan. You don't carry a noble name. If you aren't a noble, you shouldn't even be here."

The realization that Jeffrey might be telling the truth hit Aidan like a ton of bricks. Thankfully his instinct and quick wits kicked in and he opened the door anyway. "At least I'm not the poor excuse for a man you are. Now kindly remove yourself from my property before I ask the seraph to remove you." He said, after which he closed the door and locked it shut. Deciding to not stick around to see if they would continue to talk to a closed door he moved towards the kitchen to see if Siri could be found.

Jeffrey stood in front of the shut door and glared at it for a few moments.

"It's done Jeff," his sister called to him. "Let the news roost and hopefully he'll decide to do the right thing."

But Jeff wasn't done, he pointed at the shut door. "He closed the door on me!"

"Oh don't be a crybaby. What did you expect? Low-life scum don't know their manners, it's just the way things are."

"But..."

Josephine crossed over to wrap an arm around him. "Come away Jeff. There's nothing more to see here. Tell you what, I'll make a pair of those leather boots that Ernest was sporting the other day. I noticed you were very interested in them."

"I don't want to wear the same boots as Ernest, are you mad?" retorted Jeffrey in agast.

"Fine, then I'll just go look for something better. Only the best for Jeffrey Goddard, alright?" she cooed.

With a single stomp to illustrate his anger with the way he was treated, Jeffrey decided to continue his afternoon in a more cheery mood.

After notifying Siri of his return he took himself to the study and took a bottle of brandy from his liquor cabinet. Sitting down by the fire he poured himself a glass as he mulled over the meeting with the Goddards in his head. He didn't doubt their insinuations, they would not come to gloat unless they knew this to be certainty. Aidan found it hard to believe his father disowned him on his own accord however. The only conclusion he could come to was that his aunt was somehow involved.

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #70 on: December 09, 2016, 08:06:05 AM »
Caden Mullins & Aidan Brennan

A few days after he met Aine in the grove Caden was back in Divinity's Reach knocking on Aidan's door. Siri opened it soon after. "Good day sir, the master isn't seeing any visitors right now, may I pass on a message?" Taken aback Caden paused. "Are you sure? please tell him Caden wishes to speak to him." He said after a while giving Siri a sweet smile. Siri nodded and disappeared inside to seek out Aidan while Caden decided to step inside and closed the door behind himself. Not long after Siri returned. "Mr Brennan can spare a few moments for you sir, you will find him in the library."

Caden nodded and made his way upstairs, where he found Aidan packing a bag. "Going somewhere?" he asked upon entering the room. "Shining Blade business" was Aidan's short reply.
"I'm glad to see you out of jail" Caden said. "Did you get everything sorted then?" "Hardly" Aidan grumbled as he continued to pack.
"Aidan, what's going on?" Caden asked as he helped himself to a chair.

After some further prodding Aidan finally told Caden about his meeting with the Goddards and his further suspicions about his aunt concerning his father disowning him.

Shocked Caden stared at Aidan. "So... what are you going to do?" He asked after some time. "Nothing" Aidan gruffly replied. "There's no point in lingering here. I've been given a job and I'll complete it." With a hard tug he pulled his pack closed and set it by the door.

Too agitated to stay seated Caden jumped to his feet. "Aidan you can't just give up and leave. You have to fight this. You know what that woman is doing, you have proof so get justice."

"To what end? There's nothing left for me here Caden. Let me do my job so at least I can feel like I have some honour to my name still." He put on a coat and threw one last look around the room. As he slung his pack across his back he looked at Caden again. "Will you do me a favour? Selina is staying with Bran, tell her I had to leave for a job please and make sure she stays safe?"
Too baffled to argue further Caden nodded after which Aidan thanked him and left the house.

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #71 on: December 09, 2016, 08:18:52 AM »
Caden Mullins & Selina Knox

After half a day of struggling to find the way to Bran's cave again on his own Caden was finally approaching the cave with some apprehension. Last time he came he had Sell with him and though Bran was friendly enough he had no clue as to what response his coming here would invoke.

Out of the blue, an arrow cut through the air and sank into the ground just a foot from where Caden was. Up in the direction from where it came was Ron, standing on a branch of a massive tree, his bow drawn and aimed at Caden. "State your business, or lose a foot."

"I'm looking for Sellie, Aidan said she came here" Caden said, raising his hands slowly.

Ron lowered his bow slowly. "She's not here. And we're done dealing with her issues and her people. You can run along now."

"Where is she?"

"We sent her into the swamp just east of here. I don't know if she's still there, and personally, I don't care."

"Aren't you just a ray of sunshine. Can't you be any more specific on where you sent her off to?"

"You've been here before, haven't you?" came a female voice, from right behind him.

"Only once, together with Sell"

Jess smiled at Caden. "Don't mind him," she said in regards to Ron. "He doesn't like anyone, and pretends not to give a damn. But deep inside, he's just an old fogie. Come with me," she beckoned him to follow her through the woods.

He shrugged slightly at Ron and started to follow Jess, taking a few quick steps to catch up with her. "Thanks for the help, really, I appreciate it" He said with a cheerful smile.

She trampled lightly through the underbrush, and turned every now and then to make sure that he followed. "Bran said that one of you might show up at one point. He's away on business. Otherwise he'd be the one showing you to the swamp."

"I hope he's well?" Caden said, following her closely.

"It's a regular client meet-up, exchange of goods-sort of deal. No biggie." She fell silent for a bit, then glanced at him a bit. "Bran briefly told us what happened with you guys in the woods..."

"It was a bit more than we bargained for." Caden said thoughtfully. "Honestly, we're lucky to all have made it out in one piece."

She nodded. "I am still pretty pissed that Sel pulled Bran away like that, without any consideration for the rest of us. That's... part of the reason she's no longer welcome in our cave. That, and she almost got him killed. I'm not sure how she would've explained it to us."

"I'm sorry to hear things ended up like that"

Jess shrugged. "From what I can tell, it wasn't your fault. I don't blame you, I blame her. Bran's always had a soft spot for women, this isn't an exception. She made use of him, as have the others."

"Actually, she tried to leave us behind and continue on her own to protect us. We made the decision to go after her anyway"

She stopped and smiled cynically at Caden. "You're just as soft as Bran. We aren't all maidens waiting for rescue." She turned back, leapt nimbly onto a low lying branch of a tree, and walked up its length.

"If we hadn't gone after her she would either be dead or someone's brainless puppet by now. I'd rather know I did all I could and live without regrets. But I don't expect everyone to feel that way."

Jess shrugged. "In any case, she's just down the hill from here." She pointed beyond the reach of the branch, at the cluster of trees in a corner of the swampland. "As far as I know, she hasn't left. Bran says there're important documents that she's protecting."

He nodded, peering into the direction she pointed in. "Thank you for taking me this far. Please give Bran my regards when he returns." He smiled cheerfully at Jess as he took his leave from her.

Jess leapt off the branch and headed back as soon as Caden took off.

It had been close to two weeks, spending her days in that swamp, and Selina had made the best of it. The first few days were the worst, being flat broke and having nothing more than a leaky shed to shelter her from the rainy season. But she'd since decided to pick a few pockets in the marketsquare, and earned enough to build up the shack into something that she could comfortably live in. Spanning the top of a few trees, she slung a tarp to divert the rainfall completely. And under it, she afforded herself stone pillars to prop up her wooden home to keep it from flooding, and the actual home itself that she had built partly from the demolished shack, but fashioned into a cylindrical wood house with a ladder, a firepit in the middle and a glass window even. Even though the tarp never really let light through, her home kept warm and cosy through the night and day.

Caden frowned slightly as he approached the peculiar looking hut. He knocked on what seemed to be the door twice.

The door opened after a few minutes of delay. Selina stuck a sleepy face out, looked at him for a bit, then rubbed her eyes. "Caden? What are you doing here?"

"Hi" He said with a wave. "Sorry if I woke you up. Can I come in?" He halfheartedly tried to keep himself from laughing at the situation.

"Sure," she widened the door for him to enter. The wooden floor encircled the firepit that extended down below floor level. There was stealth equipment stacked on the ground to a side of the home, and some cooking equipment. There was no furniture anywhere, just mats for sleeping and sitting on. "Help yourself," she pointed to a mat. "Sorry it isn't the best of accomodations, but it's the best I can do right now."

"Aidan told me you were staying with Bran, but according to Jess you weren't welcome in their little cave." Caden said, scanning the room.

Selina chuckled. "Yeah." She yawned and plunked herself onto a mat, resting her chin on the palm of her hand. "I couldn't go back to Divinity's Reach to tell Aidan in case there're people watching his home. And I didn't want the documents falling into wrong hands, so I've been sitting on them. The whole entire time. I hope Aidan's alright."

"He's had better days I think. After you left he was arrested by the Seraph." Caden said, finding himself a spot on the floor to sit on.

She raised her face from her palm. "Aa... arrested? Why? He hasn't done anything wrong."

"From what he told me I gathered that Andrea had someone plant evidence in his home." Caden sighed. "Someone really ought to do something about that woman." He said, shaking his head. "Anyway, he's out of the woods now but while he was in jail she apparently managed to convince Aidan's father to disown him."

Selina sat in silence, stunned by the news. "I haven't had many good experiences with the nobles in the Reach, but Aidan's father doesn't seem like the sort who would do that. Noble or not."

Caden shrugged. "I don't know the man, so I have no idea. All I know is his aunt is a nasty piece of work, and from what i gather she's a mesmer so she could've pulled something off probably."

"What does the Shining Blade think of this?"

"I uh..." He paused. "I dunno" He scratched the back of his neck with one hand awkwardly.

"Aren't they going to do something about it?" She narrowed an eye at him.

"I doubt his family is gonna do anything, and it seems Aidan has given up. When I saw him yesterday he said he had some work out of town or something vague."

She stood up immediately. "I'm going back to work this out."

"Sell, you can't go back to the city" He said, standing as well, placing a hand on her arm.

"Do you expect me to sit here while my brother's life is crumbling around him and the Shining Blade isn't going to do anything to protect him?"

"He said you'd probably want to rush in. Please don't Sell."

"And do you have a better plan?"

"Gather enough evidence to prove Aidan's innocence and Andrea's guilt?" Caden shrugged slightly. "I know you worry about him, he only went from noble to commoner Sell, it's not like his life is in danger."

She sat down slowly. "Why wouldn't he come to me with this? Why send you?"

"I don't know Sell" He sighed as he sat back down as well. "Maybe he felt he couldn't face you right now."

She shook her head, and looked at him, the hurt on her face. "And he wants me to investigate his aunt?"
« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 11:11:16 AM by Mokuren »

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #72 on: December 09, 2016, 01:18:14 PM »
"Actually, he only told me to tell you he'd be away on some job for the Shining Blade. He practically ran out the door when I spoke to him." Caden shrugged.

She leaned towards him, "Caden, I know you aren't involved in this entire thing, and you're just a messenger, but to say I'm overwhelmed by this news is understating it. I... I'm not sure where to begin."

"I know Sell, and I wish we could help somehow but he chose to run away. I can't make him come back and fix things for himself." He gave her a worried look.

She grimaced and slumped back against the wall. "Well, it's my problem now. I'll have to figure out how to get him out of this."

"What do you mean?"

Confusion swept over her face. "Caden? I'm confused, what do you want me to say?"

"You're not planning on putting yourself in harms way to fix his problems are you?"

"If it'll make you feel better, then no. But I can't really see how this is any of the Shining Blade's business. They gave up their chance to help, and I don't see any reason they would care any more for me than for my brother."

"I only came here because Aidan asked me to Sell, I resigned my position within the blade some time ago."

"You resigned?" she asked in disbelief. "And what made you do that?"

He shrugged. "I wanted a change I suppose" he said.

She frowned. "I never thought you would ever resign from the Shining Blade. You seemed even more wedded to it than my brother. I can't imagine what kind of a change would compel you to give up on that passion."

"My parents were certainly happy to see me again when I visited them." He went silent for a while and shrugged again. "So, what do you plan on doing then?"

She nodded, though still of the belief that he wasn't being perfectly honest with her. "I guess I'll figure it out. I appreciate you sending word from my brother."

"I just wish I could do more." He pondered for a while. "Perhaps after I've returned from another visit to my parents I can come back and help you? I do need to go and see them however, they expected me back from a trip to the capital a week ago."

She smiled. "That's kind of you to offer Caden, but this isn't your burden. If it was another Shining Blade gig then I understand the motivation, but there's really no reason for you to be involved this time."

He gave her a melancholic look. "Helping out a friend isn't motivation enough?"

Studying him closely, she asked, "Is that what I am? For real this time? The first time I met you... and you wanted to follow me, everywhere... I guess I started off a bit suspicious. But you convinced me after a while that you genuinely cared. I might've lost my memory for a bit, and you convinced me of the same again soon after." She looked into his eyes, and continued quite soberly, "Suffice to say it really hurt me to realise that none of that was real, and I was nothing more than the object of a mission from the Shining Blade. I mean... I understand that none of this was your fault but... I just... " She trailed for a bit. "You understand that I'm still struggling to trust you."

"If you don't want me around that's fine too" He said, averting his gaze to the floor.

She shrugged. "I guess I just want to know, apart from the Shining Blade, where do we stand?"

He was silent for a long time as he stared out of one of the windows. "If you must know, I left the shining blade because of what happened to you." He mumbled eventually.

Her jaw dropped in surprise, and she looked at him in silence, waiting for an explanation.

"I know I argued about this with you, but in my heart I could not approve of how they handled the case. In the end I had to decide that their views and my views no longer added up." He avoided looking at her as he explained.

"That... that day that you walked away..." she recalled.

"Yeah"

She leaned closer to him, and placed a hand on his. "I'd say that I'm sorry that you had to leave the Shining Blade, but that would be a lie. They don't deserve you at all. Don't think they ever did." With a grin, she clutched his hand.

He smiled warmly at her. "Honestly, I'm glad to be my own person again. It was nice to have a purpose, but helping you made me realise I don't need to be working for some shady organization to be able to do that."

Selina laughed heartily. "There're enough shady organizations in the world as it is. Much easier to be a solo agent if you ask me. You'll owe nobody anything, and have freedom to come and go as you please."

"It was nice to have a steady income though" He said with a grin.

"There's money to be had on the streets, if you aren't abashed to take it. I'd be glad to teach you a thing or two."

"My family still has the shop. I've been running errands for them."

She nodded. "To each his own. I guess I'll be holed down in this shack till I figure out what to do about Andrea Brennan. When you're done with that visit with your family, I won't stop you from paying me another visit." She winked at him.

He smiled at her. "I certainly will then. Is there anything you need me to bring for you?"

"Oh!" she grimaced and snapped her fingers. "There is something you can do for me, if you don't mind, that is."

"Of course not, I'll be happy to help. What is it?"

"The stack of papers that I've been sitting on... they are very important in regards to Aidan's case. And I haven't been able to trust anyone to touch them yet, but I think I might be able to trust you to hold on to them while you head home? What do you think? All you need to do is to keep them safe."

"Are you sure you trust me with that?"

"At the worst case you'll hand them over to the Shining Blade, which isn't all bad. I just can't imagine that you would have anything to do with Andrea Brennan, nor do I think she would imagine you'd have any part in this entire event. So you'd be perfect as a cover."

"I doubt Andrea Brennan even knows I exist. Considering what she's done to Aidan however I'll be happy to do anything that contributes to her downfall."

"Great!" Selina exclaimed, then proceeded to remove a plank from the flooring and retrieved the notes from a hidden nook under the floor. "You'll be doing me a huge favor. I'll finally be able to get out of here for a while."

"Promise me you'll be careful though" He said, taking the papers from her and carefully tucking them away in his pack.

"I'm just visiting a friend. What's the worst that could happen?"

"Someone could recognise you and realise you're alive?" He shrugged. "Just be careful ok? I know it's hard to be stuck indoors and you've done way too much of that already."

"That's what my hood is for," she chortled. "Stealth is my thing. I won't be recognized. Keep those notes safe, and I'll be back in a week."

"I'll come back to visit you then."

She looked at him and smiled. Considered the ways she might express her gratefulness, and finally extended a hand to him. "Thank you, Caden."

He awkwardly shook her hand. "I'm just glad I can help."

His awkwardness translated to hers and she lingered there for a bit, not knowing what else to say except, "Alright... then I think I'll be heading off as quickly as I can. Bye Caden." She opened the door to her hut.

"Stay safe." He called after her as she left.

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #73 on: December 27, 2016, 10:40:50 AM »
ROBERT BROWN & SELINA KNOX

He rose with a start at the notion that there was a stranger sitting at the foot of his bed - and he was right about someone sitting there, but it was no stranger at all. Instead, he was met with an all too familiar smile, and a somewhat musky scent of shrubbery. "Sel... how..."

"How did I find out where you live? Easy. You told me to meet you at the Dryder's Inn, so I headed on there and asked the barkeep's son where to find you. After all, he was the person you instructed to keep an eye out for me, wasn't he?"

He was still a little dazed to find her propped on his bed, speaking with him after all those years they had spent apart. It took him a while to get over the shock, and to respond. "Y... yes. How did you guess?"

"You were using cryptic words with Aidan Brennan, so I assumed you didn't want our meeting to be known to many. If I recall correctly, Barbalos Hill used to have strong ties to certain members of the Widowmakers, but his rebel son - he's his own man and doesn't care for siding with any faction. He would be the likely choice to pay off for such a job, more so that he's always in the Dryder's inn."

"Smart," Robert praised her as he began to relax. "It's good to see you again in any case, not in the way I had planned, but I won't complain."

His firm gaze brought on an uncomfortable silence from her, one that she broke by moving away, measuring the size of his room with her eyes. Back when Rob was with the Widowmakers, he tended to be supplied with one of the better rooms belonging to one of their shared properties. As much as the room itself was private, the rest of the living quarters was not. But this... this was an entire two-storey house of his own. Not exactly the size of Aidan's manor, but a spacious decked up property that she never expected him to be linked to. "So, this place is beautiful! How could you even afford it?"

"The pits," he said simply.

"The fights? I thought they washed out with Scarlett's invasion of Lion's Arch."

"Ah, that's where you're wrong. It was opportune when I fled from Lion's Arch, the Widowmakers waged a huge war against the Styllions, and this war ended with the destruction of some properties. What was left was destroyed by Scarlet Briar, even though... technically the fight rings were only partially damaged. But it only got worse for them when Captain Ellen Kiel, newest member of the Captain's council, decided to clamp down on illegal gangs in the midst of the rebuilding of Lion's Arch. What was left of the Widowmakers had to flee Lion's Arch, and for a time, the Lionguard stood incredibly stalwart to the point of knocking on individual doors... at least that's what I've heard. Now that the city's reborn, life is bustling again, and new leadership has come into Lion's Arch. And no matter how clean they try to keep the streets, there will always be the odd male or female, roaming around in the night with a bottle of ale in his hand, looking to vent that spare energy, or perhaps two old enemies looking to settle a score, or even a brawl to win the heart of a lady. These are fights that are going to occur whether or not the law condones it, it is just life as it is. So with the best of my charm, I managed to convince city council to allow me to re-construct the fights that were once part of the LA landscape - though in a more discreet location this time. They approved the request, only on the condition that my business was to be submitted to taxation, like any other, I suppose. It is still quite a good bit of income though."

"That is brilliant!" exclaimed Selina. "I would never have..."

She stopped short when she felt his hands wrapped around her shoulders, and his chin wedged upon her shoulder. "Remember how we once dreamed of having a fancy pad like this in Lion's Arch?" he whispered into her ear, and before she could respond, he continued. "I spent a fortune on this place, but it isn't near complete without my partner in crime."

Wrestling her way out of his arms, she turned around to face him, a finger pointed in his face. "Don't forget what you did to me. All that lovey dovey nonsense was uttered before I knew what you were truly capable of."

His expression fell. The wrath was not new, but it was unexpected. "Haven't we been over this before? Are you upset again?"

"I..." she tried to recall their more recent interactions, but the only memories arrived in splotches, disjointed and perplexing. "When?"

Robert raised a brow while he waited for her to gather her thoughts. "Sel, is this about your guy?"

He was making no sense, and it was beginning to annoy her. "I don't have anyone. I don't need a man in my life," she grumbled.

Robert shrugged. "I figured he wasn't your type. You didn't believe me then, but... whatever." It was then that he noticed she was beginning to look a little ill. "Hey, don't get too uptight about the entire matter. I understand where you're coming from, we don't have to talk about any of this. I just wanted you to know that you were always on my mind in those hellholes of Drytop and the Silverwastes... and before you get upset about that, there's not much else to settle the mind on other than sand... and modrem... and pact soldiers. You were the last person from civilization that I had spent time with, and that farewell... well, it just stayed with me. I admit that sometimes it was my only sane thought till I got brave enough to return. Seeking you out was one of my top priorities on my return, but it hasn't been easy, and then all that fight ring business came on."

The smile had returned to her face. She looked down at the golden ring set upon his little finger. "I've got to say it's good to see you doing so well - financially, that is."

He grinned. "You haven't seen the half of it. Let me take you around, you'll see LA the way I do. We must celebrate! Back together again... we could conquer LA."

Old memories of her time with Robert Brown came flooding back. It was happy, for the most part. He was the only man who had completely distracted her from her mission. But it wasn't why she had come. "Rob, there was another reason I came directly to you." This comment made him rather glad, but she quickly clarified before he developed the wrong idea about them. "Look... some people think I'm dead. I'd like to keep it that way."

She expected surprise, but there wasn't as much as a flinch upon his expression. "I know," he said. "I'd never tell anyone."

"How did you know?"

He shrugged. "Rumors. Plenty of them in the pits. Word has been spreading that the Seraphs had finally got the better of you. It took me first by storm... made me regret taking as long as I did to track you down. But the entire circumstance that you were caught in sounded suspicious... that you had attempted to break a high profile criminal out of the dungeons? Just didn't sound like you. So I decided to do a bit of investigative work, found out information about where you'd been before. Didn't take too long to track down your sponsor to Divinity's Reach. It was good that he indicated to me immediately that you were alive, because I think I might've come down hard on him to get the truth out. I guess... I just knew in the depth of my gut that you were still alive."

Selina nodded thankfully. "A lot has happened while you've been gone."

"Perhaps you'll feel comfortable enough to tell me all about it someday."

She smiled, but made no promises. "You got my sponsor worried, that you knew that I was alive. He didn't mean to blurt it out at the time. But I promised to check in with you... which I have," she lingered awkwardly. "I just wanted to confirm that the news wasn't going to spread any further."

"It won't, once again, I assure you." He frowned. "So that's it? No roam around the city?"

"Definitely not. I'm trying my best not to be seen."

"Can't you stay long enough to break out a new bottle of whiskey with me?" He had his face pulled with pitiful pup-like persuasion. "Just one drink between old friends?"

The offer of whiskey was incredibly enticing, and the warmth of the room welcoming. It was a long time since she was able to just kick back with a glass in hand. She remembered she had told Caden a week... she had barely taken three days away. Just a little longer wouldn't hurt, she told herself. "Alright."

"Excellent!" he cheered, heading for the basement. "You're gonna love this."

___________________________________________________________________________

Selina awoke with a splitting headache, a little unsure of where she was, or the day nor the time. Rolling around on a soft bed, she felt silken sheets between her thighs, against her chest... she grasped at the sheets and spun around. The other side of the double bed was empty, even though it seemed as though someone had been there. Sunlight filtered through the embroided curtains as a light breeze flapped them at their edges. She tried to recall what had led her to that exact moment - Whiskey... plenty of it, then came the mugs of ale, and the beer... She recalled talking a lot, singing even - Rob had been there for all of it.

Dragging the sheets along with her, she searched the floor for her clothes, and dressed up as quickly as she was able to. There lingered the question she didn't dare ask herself. But just as she considered a swift escape from his place, he returned to the room and found her with her hood up.

"Are you leaving already?" He was carrying a steaming mug in his hands.

"I think I've already overstayed," she replied nervously.

Handing the mug over, he urged her to take it. "Coffee, for that killer headache I'm pretty sure you're battling."

She hesitated for a moment, as he continued to push the mug into her hands, and finally took a hold of the warm beverage. She had questions, but she was almost afraid to spend another minute with Rob. It suddenly felt like years ago. Robert Brown, reeling her in easily, distracting her from her mission. "Rob... what happened last night?" she had to know.

A grin spread across his face at the recollection. "You were Sellie Knox. You're beautiful when you're unrestrained."

She winced at the word 'unrestrained', wondering if she had given away every secret over the course of one wild night. "How much do you know?"

"Hey," he moved in front of her, and placed a hand on her shoulder. "You had to vent, and I completely understand why. Not healthy keeping any of that bottled up. But you can trust me. I'll never tell." That hand moved to her cheek, that was still burning up with the former night's affairs.

Her eyes moved to the messy sheets on the bed that she had left. "Did we..."

Another grin. "It's a pity you remember none of it. It was like none of those years had happened. It was magic, like before." He leaned in for a kiss but she dodged the approach at the last minute. The whole situation was concerning, and her stomach was feeling ill. Her mind screamed for her to leave. Suddenly, she felt a stab of anger.

"Did you plan this entire sham? From the day you visited Aidan."

Rob's expression broke. "Sel, how could I have? All I wanted was to reconnect with you. You were obviously very tense - who wouldn't be, keeping all those secrets and bearing all those burdens. You let loose, for once in my guess is a long time, indulged in my ale, we danced to some music and just followed our passions to their conclusion. That's all. It doesn't have to mean anything if you don't want it to."

She slapped a hand over her face. This wasn't how she had envisoned this trip ending.

"Be serious, is spending a night with me that bad?" Something in his tone told her that he was hurt by her reaction. "There was something between us once. You can't say you hadn't ever thought to rekindle it."

"Rob, I... no offense to you, but my life is very different from how it was. I'm not the same girl you once knew."

"You certainly felt that way last night. People don't just change, completely."

She sighed. "I need to go now, I'm sorry but this was a mistake."

Suddenly, a firm grip was around her upper arm, stopping her from leaving. "Don't say such things. We're not a mistake. You're still in love with me, admit it."

She shot him a look. "If I say it, will you let me go?"

There was a tense moment between Rob and Sel, before his grip finally loosened, and she turned towards the window. The same way she had entered. "You told me a great many things last night," he reminded her. "I'm holding all of that in confidence just because I treat you as a friend. That could... easily change."

She turned to him once more, this time with some consternation. It was a thinly veiled threat, one that she should've seen coming. Had she been so trusting that she'd fallen down the same rabbit hole twice? She knew what he was capable of, and yet she had allowed herself to lower her guard around him. What a fool she was. With some thought, she gripped a fist and strengthened her resolve to play his game, if need be. "Give me a snipplet first of what was said in the night. I could've been passed out for the most of it."

"Your brother, for example? And his marriage... Then losing your memory."

Lifting a finger to silence him, she returned with an opposing threat, "You reveal any of that to the world, and you'll lose me forever. Behave, and I'll be back to visit you again."

"Surely not just to check on me? Shouldn't there be a reward for behaving?" he baited, closing the gap between them.

"If it has to come down to that..." She rose onto his window sill and looked him over carefully. "Full secrecy, kept in the strictest confidence - and I will see that you will not regret it."

"One month," he replied, in agreement to her deal.

"One month," she accepted. With that, she left his home, and Lion's Arch as well.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2016, 09:27:45 PM by Talia »

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Re: Ride the Rushing Billows
« Reply #74 on: January 04, 2017, 12:53:56 PM »
After a week spent with his parents Caden arrived back at the hut where he'd agreed to meet Selina. He approached quietly keeping a close eye on his surroundings as he made his way to the door. He knocked on it twice, short and soft and waited for a reply. When he got none he closed his hand around the handle and slowly opened the door to peek inside. One glance told him the hut was still empty. Selina had not returned yet. Letting out a soft sigh he entered the hut and put down his pack in the corner after closing the door behind himself. Deciding to pass the time usefully he took some herbs from his pack and sat himself down beside it as he got to work.

A couple of hours after Caden's arrival the sky turned dark as clouds began to roll in and raindrops thudded on the ground in saucer-like splashes. It was sometime after the start of the storm that Selina arrived at the hut, swinging the door wide open as lightning flashed behind her.

As the door flew open Caden jumped to his feet, the herbs he was working on falling to the floor. He pulled his his pistol in one smooth motion, aiming at the door. As soon as he recognized Selina however he lowed the weapon. "Hey" he said.

"Caden, you're... well I guess I wasn't sure if you would be back on time," she said in surprise. And shut the door behind her, pulling her muddied boots off her feet.

"Well, here I am" He said, putting the gun away and sitting back down. "Glad I managed to arrive before it started to pour. I trust whatever you went to do went well?"

She pulled off her dripping coat and threw it aside, leaning over the fire in the middle of the room. "Well... yes and no. How has your week been?"

"Not very exciting, but it was nice to be able to help my family out here and there." He said while gathering the herbs that had fallen to the floor.

She nodded "Good to have some sense of normalcy. Was it good to be with the family?"

"Yeah, though it does get boring fast" He said with a grin

She stared at him in disbelief, then decided to force a chuckle. "I appreciate you holding onto the notes, Caden... at least I assume you still have them with you?"

"Aye, I brought them." He said, opening his pack and taking out a rolled up package.

"Thank you Caden," she said appreciatively as she took the package and unrolled it carefully. "I've been doing further investigation... like you suggested. Took the opportunity, not having to sit on these notes and all. And..." She took another concerned look at Caden. "Are you sure you want to be involved in this?"

"If it helps Aidan" He said, looking at her contemplatively. "What did you discover?"

"I went back to Divinity's Reach, realised I couldn't get anywhere near Andrea Brennan's manor because it's now fortified and there're people watching all around. So I decided to saunter into the local pub and paid for information about the Brennans. Apparently word on the street is that Andrea Brennan has been very busy as of late, and there've been lots of visitors to her home."

"What sort of visitors?" he asked eagerly.

"People from... out of town, is mostly what I've heard. Nobody recognizes the most of them. They do look wealthy though, and as though they belong. But no one has seen these folk before."

"Odd"

"My guess... is that she's been waiting a long time for Aidan to be expelled from the company so she can do.. whatever she's doing. Making business arrangements and such I suppose."

"When the cat's away the mice will play eh" He looked thoughtfully at the floor for a while. "What do we do now?"

She let the silence fall between them as she smiled briefly at him. "That's funny, I thought it would be you telling me what we should do now. We're sitting on a pile of files, and Andrea Beaumont is obviously up to no good. I could tell you what I would do about that woman, but you'd probably disapprove. So I'm willing to do this the legal and proper way. What is the best way to have this done?"

"I think perhaps it's time we had a chat with Anise and told her what Aidan failed to mention." He sighed.

Giving him a confused glance, she asked, "Was there anything he failed to mention? I know I've come clean with her, told her everything that I know.... or knew at the time. Of course that was a few weeks back."

"About the camp and the white mantle yes, but I don't think Aidan spoke about his family at all to her, other than facts. I'm not even sure how much she knows about his time in jail."

She clung to the package that still lay in her hands, a little hesitant to give it up. "In your honest opinion, do you think that the Shining Blade can be trusted to handle this completely and fully?"

"I think the shining blade might be the only legal way to do something about Andrea. She's clearly cunning enough to fool the seraph."

She nodded. "Alright, as much as I still distrust the Shining Blades, we'll do this your way. Anyway I don't think I alone will be able to damage Andrea Brennan as much as I would like to - a woman like that needs to be utterly humiliated."

"More than that, she needs to pay for what she's done."

"What she's done... that would've been impossible without Henry Brennan's help. I would've thought he, of all people, would've stopped her from stripping his son in such a manner."

"I don't know them too well. But if he's anything like his sister, perhaps he may be less loyal to Aidan then one'd think."

There was sadness in her eyes. "Poor Aidan. I just hope that he's alright."

"Yeah" He sighed deeply. "I still don't understand why he ran off under the guise of work. He should be standing up for himself."

"Well I haven't known him for long, but he doesn't seem to stand up for himself a lot - at least not in the way he would do for someone else."

"About time someone did the same for him then. Shall we go to the city tomorrow after the storm clears?"

She shrugged in a lethargic fashion. "Or she could come to us... for once."

"You're a funny one" He said, smirking. "If you'd prefer I could go to her alone first and ask her to meet us somewhere."

"I mean... I'm supposed to be a corpse and all," she grinned. "It would only make sense for corpses to have some benefits."

He laughed at that. "In any event, for now lets eat and rest" He said, pulling a packed dinner from his pack."

"I'm down with that." Having dried herself off at least partially, in front of the fire, she took out a bag of biscuits and a bottle of whiskey, and sat down next to him to enjoy her meal.