RP:Alice the Recruiter

From HollowWiki

Cenril Town Square

They called her Red for a reason. Maybe it was her temper, or maybe it was that mass of red curls. Either way, she looked gallant as can be, shining in her armor, standing, facing a group of what appeared to be gladiators, were they of the Murum Mors? Possibly. Amidst this group of brawny men were others, all with the insignia of a bear on their shields. Still others bore Cenril's colors on their shields. She stood, barking orders. She might have been a no-name once, but a long time of hard work had brought her to this point, and she had certainly been the only one to step up to initiate movements to protect the town. The town certainly was alive today, but not with the happy sounds of women singing, or children playing. In fact, even the scent of bread was much fainter than usual. There was a tension in the air; as if the entire city stood in waiting. Al turned her head, sapphire eyes blazing as she examined the area. "We keep waitin' lads... We keep waitin' til it's safe again."

Linken could easily have been described as the polar opposite of Alice based on his appearance, which is most likely the reason his form stood out amongst the sea of platemail collected in the town square: his armor, old with playe as black as the night, caught the suns rays and redirected them in a slightly off blue hue, and his long, straight golden locks cascaded down his breastplate and back. The hair upon his crown was neatly pulled back into a tight ponytail, the rest tucked behind his pointed ears, and a short, thick beard adhered itself to his face beneath a somber expression emmanating from his cerulean hues. One could even say the elf seemed to put off a dire air as he made his way up the street, seemingly oblivious to any tension that has been building in the area, though in truth he could feel it: it was a feeling he was most familiar with, and it made the hair stand upon his neck, and though he did not know the source it did nothing to ease the stress already building beneath his skin. Black plated hands parted his emerald cloak, one lifting to press against the side of his face while the other clenched a leatherbound journal, and a pained sigh escaped his lips as he moved the book towards his satchel; If the bakery hadn't seen her, then it was unlikely anyone else in the vacinity would be able to help. She kept to herself too much... The elf snapped out of his deep train of thought, andefore Linken knew it he was standing in a crowd of steel and shields, and the sudden jarring of reality setting upon him was enough to force a spontaneous reaction, placing his hand upon the nearest warrior's shoulder to draw his attention before lifting the book and fanning through the pages in search of something. "Excuse me, sir, have you by any chance seen this woman?..."

Ezekiel had wrapped up his work and secured it within the room he rented befor walking Josleen down the street. When they said their goodbyes, he'd set off towards his room, but his attention was caught by a flashy poster. One dancing across the street, caught on his shin. Curious, he'd grab it and read while absent mindlessly passing the inn he was staying in. One street over was the square, and it wasn't until he bumped into a guard, he'd notice. Guards, his face went pale; how fresh was his image in their minds, and how wanted was he? The guard told him to watch where he was walking and just like that, turned away. Ezekiel's heart raced.. had they not remembered, or did they not care? Either way, he found himself at the edge of the town square, looking at all the soldiers gathered.

Alice turned her head, the sound of a voice which did not belong to any guard that she remembered. Her eyes narrowed, and she marched round the men, the sound of metal moving echoing. The streets were relatively silent other than that noise, or the sound of captains giving orders in the distance. Eventually Al saw what was going on. Two men. She looked them over from where they stood, and had half a mind to enlist them both right then and there. The more the merrier, she thought. Then again, she couldn't just go enlisting people in a panic. Even if they were men. She motioned for the guard who had been spoken to to step aside. "If'n yer lookin' fer a lass here in Cenril, ye'd be best off lookin' indoors. But be careful, make sure ye state yer business goin' inter shops'n buildin's. The whole city's on alert." She then leaned, looking over at Ezekiel. Her brow quirked. She recognized that guy. "Oi. What're ye doin' out o' Rynvale? I ain't seen ye in a while." She didn't remember his name, but she didn't really feel bad for it either.

Linken 's attention quickly snapped from the guard to the woman addressing him, and at the first mention of the city being on alert his brow furrowed, and the following epiphany struck him like a brick: of course... Thats why there were so many guards. The elf felt sheepish and lifted a hand to grasp the strap on his shoulder, casting a look back over his shoulder as he adjusted the weight of the blade, bow and shield he carried in tow. What exactly was goin on. Regardless, his priority was finding her, and only a moment would pass before his attention returned to the red haired warrior, lifting the journal to fan through it's pages one more. "...She does not live in Cenril, she hails from Southern Sage, same as I. She was not one to...associate with others very much, but she was employed here for quite a while....here it is." Pinching the book by it's spine, he lifted the open page up and held it out, pointing to a sketch of a woman in a sweater, with dark brown hair and emerald eyes. It was quite detailed for the most part, possibly a project over the course of several weeks, but the thin, shakey lines that made the head and face gave away that it may have been finished with haste. "Her name is Penelope. She used to work with Mrs. Mallard, at the bakery. Do you know of her?" As Alice peered around his form to shout at another passerby, he would find himself stepping out of the way, not wishing to obstruct her from her acquaintance, yet he would continue to speak whenever he had the opportunity. "And the city is on alert, you say? Forgive me for not keeping up with political ongoings, but what exactly is going on?" In truth, his first inclination in the presence of danger was to assist in any way he could, but for now he would restran himself from making the offer, waiting to see exactly what the problem was before determining if he could assist in finding a solution.

Ezekiel raises an eyebrow to the mention of a familiar name. "Penelope?" He didn't know quite what to call her, friend? They hardly knew each other? Allie? He did save her once- well, from trouble he'd gotten her into. Acquaintance? Yeah- that sounded best. "What's going on with the city?" He tests the waters, he moves past guard and soldier alike, ready to flee the second one called his name. As it stood, Rourk's kid was dead and all under the guise of Eze's doing; hardly the truth, but the story Cenril ran with. Now that he thought about it, he hadn't seen too many of Rourk's boys around at all. Just guards.

Alice took the paper in her hand for a moment, taking in Penelope's general appearance. Yes, she could have sworn she'd seen this girl once, a long time ago. Releasing the paper back into Linken's care, she crossed her armored arms across her chest. This only made her look even more stalwart than before. She certainly was a mite different than the corsetted gal who usually hung around the taverns. Then again, to every coin, there's another side. She looked over the two men and let out a slight grunt. "A feller I know's admitted ter bein' ready ter attack this city today. We've been under attack by wolves and wolfmen an' the like fer a few nights now. We've got them mostly gone, but whether'r not it seems safe, a threat is enough reason te stand guard, aye?" There was a "Rah!" from somewhere back in the ranks, a newblood must have been getting excited to see his first battle. "Me hope is tha' he chickens out, 'r tha' he listened ter me'n my reasonin's. Then again, the feller seems a little dense." She looked up to the sky, as if she was searching for something. She was quiet for several moments, before continuing. "An' it wouldn' be so bad if'n 'e weren't an outright ally of Vuryal's. So's with that, got te put out our best. A storm might be a'brewin'."

Linken occasionally nodded as he listened to the woman's explanation in utter silence, yet when she made mention of wolfmen he could feel his stomach sink, and a knot began to form in the back of his throat. "...Wolfmen, you say?" The disdain in the tone of his voice was clear, and his visage reflected the burning anger that brewed in his heart, but his expression would remain somewhat calm and collected, given the current state of his own affairs, and he would reach for his equipment strap once again while shifting his weight from one leg to the other. "Sage and Larket have been afflicted by such attacks for some time. Might I ask what this fellow's name is?..." His words began to trail when his ears caught the sound of Ezekiel's mouthing of the name Penelope, and after casting one quick glance in his direction and an apologetic expression, "Please, excuse me for a moment," he would take his journal and carve a direct course for the other, presenting him with the picture for verification as he continued his investigation. "Yes friend, Penelope, this woman." His finger lifted to tap the page, and his expression briefly morphed into something more hopeful. "You know of her? Have you possibly seen her anywhere within the last... Two, three days?" The elf tried his best to remain calm, and not come to any conclusions, but the tone of his voice seemed urgent, enough to speculate that something negative might have happened recently to provoke the elf's determination.

Ezekiel studied the picture for a few seconds and gave the man a nod. "Yeah- that's her, afraid I haven't seen her for a few months though." He give him an apologetic shrug before turning his full attention back to Alice. "Vuryal you say? Whoever has this city on high alert is collaborating with him?" Again his color drains. He had to find Josleen soon. Seems their stay in Cenril was about to get a little shorter. Already he starts to shuffle away, walking backwards while tying off his end of the conversation. "You'll have to excuse me.. I need to find someone of my own." He needed to write a letter to a friend, one that had questions about the parasite. "If you're around later, I'll be at the Whaler's bar. I might have some questions you could answer." That said, he turns and slip in between the guards of the square. It was one thing after another with this trip.

Alice watched Ezekiel leave, a look of curiosity on her face. The male certainly seemed... skittish, to say the least. "After we take care o' them idiots, I may just stop in fer a drink." A thoughtful look crossed her face. Whether or not the redhead would admit that she might just be an alcoholic was her business. She rubbed her chin lightly. "Yeah, reckon I will. I'll se ye then." Her attention was then turned back to the elf, looking him over again. She knew for a fact she had never met this particular individual, and she was curious to know why he was searching for the baker's apprentice so eagerly. "Like 'e said, no' seen tha' face round here fer a good while." She jutted a thumb in the direction of the bakers. "No' ter call ye a dolt er nothin', but did ye ask Mrs. Mallard?" She had a feeling he was intelligent enough, and that he probably had, in fact checked there, but hey! You never know!

Linken 's eager expression began to fade as Ezekiel walked away, and his arms slowly fell limp to his side. Where could she have gone? The elf drew a deep breath and exhaled a deep sigh, lifting a plated hand to press it against his forehead. Disappearing for three days, leaving her home unattended? After everything that has happened? It was not her, she would not do anything of the sort. His train of thought was broken when the red haired woman adressed him again, lifting his gaze and snapping it towards her. Hearing her suggestion, he offered a short lived half-smile, slowly making his way back towards her with a shake of his head. "...Yes, it was the first place that I visited. She, and everyone else in this city, seem to offer the same answer to my questions." His gaze dropped to the ground again, his pearly whites scraping against his lower lip in contemplation. He thought of everything she had told him, about the attacks, and he could see that she was clearly the head figure of this organized defense, and after taking a few moments to assess the situation he met her gaze once more, though this time with a look of determination in his eyes. "Penelope, she is... quite prone to danger, and her disappearance unusual, but even though there is a good chance it may be nothing, and she is well, i have trouble escaping the feeling that something is wrong." If she knew everything that had happened, she would understand. "...So, if you will hear me out, I would like to propose an arrangement, one that I hope you would at least consider."

Alice raised a brow, she wasn't usually one to make deals unless the situation was dire. At the same time, however, she was known to be surprisingly compassionate. She sounded considerably sad when she spoke again. "I dinnae if'n ye've heard, but ther've been drow kidnappin's in the Kelay-Sage area lately. Ye might want ter investigate there, if'n ye have the guts fer it. But I'm sure the lass is foine, any apprentice to the Mallards kin outright kill a man with nothin' but a fryin' pan." Again the woman paused, shifting her weight. She'd been standing for a very long time... and she was starting to get hungry too. She wouldn't stop standing, however, until she knew the city was safe. "An' what's this arrangement yer wantin' ter propose, eh?"

Linken grimaced, sharply inhaling as the hand at his side slowly balled into a fist. "The drow?" He did not want to believe it, but it would not have been the first time his loved ones had been taken by those from the Underdark. With their name having been placed upon the table, the elf would waste no time in getting to the bottom of this, or in making his proposal. For all he knew, his time had run out. "I offer my blade and bow, to assist however I can, and if you give me but a few hours to make the trip I shall return with at least ten of the fines bow arms the Rangers have to offer, already prepared for combat with the wolves... And a wyvern. All I ask in return is assistance in finding her." With that said, the elf folded his journal closed and extended his right hand, biting the inside of his lip as he awaited her response, and hoped it would be enough to earn her assistance. If Penny had been taken, then he would need all the help he could find. "What say you, friend?..."

Alice's eyes sparkled. Now -THAT- was the sort of thing she liked to hear. She'd heard a thing or two about elves and how good they are with their bows, and she took little to no time in nodding. "Ye have yerself a deal. I'll have search posters placed through the city, and once this problem here is dealt with, I'll dispatch a search crew. Ye have my word." Her eyes were glittering. She turned her head, and barked out to her group of soldiers. "Collins! Brumfield! Get te the main hall'n let Captain Vestin know bout this. Collins, you're in charge o' gettin' them posters made up, Brum, pick out some of our best trackers'n write 'em down. Do it fast, and then get yer arses back here." She turned back to the elf standing before her, a grin on her face as two of the soldiers from the group, one a short, stocky fellow, and the other a muscular, but average-heighted man, run off. She gave a nod. "Hurry'n bring them Rangers. We could use 'em.

Linken breathed a sigh of relief at her response: her eagerness was enough to spark a light of hope in his heart. His hand fell back to his side, and with a smile and a quick, two-finger salute he began to pace backwards down the road he entered from. "Aye, I will return soon." Turning, his stride would carry him swiftly down the road and around the corner, his hand lifting to his lips to summon his steed with a sharp whistle. Some time would pass, perhaps a bit longer than intended, but soon enough a large shadow would sweep across the square, followed by the distant sound of hooves striking cobblestone. Then came the elf, riding around the bend on a large, black stallion, and not a moment would pass before another on horseback followed, and another, and another. Before one would know it, a crowd of roughly thirteen followed suite behind the Ranger, some on foot, and they appeared to be a mix of different sorts: Some were indeed elven, but a few others bore the seal of Larket. As they neared the crowd gathered in the square the elf would give a light tug to his reigns, bringing the steed to a halt and swinging one leg over to scale down the large beast. "I apologize for taking so long," he said as he feet struck the ground, and after taking a few steps his horse would snort and shake it's flaring nostrils. "Easy, Dae..." A hand lifted to meet the side of Daeroch's neck, calming the horse with his touch before continuing towards Alice and her battalion. "I had to do a fair share of coercing, but here they are. Inthia should be arriving shortly..."

Alice clapped her hands together, grinning brightly. Ohhh yes. She really was a good recruiter, it seemed. If things kept going this smoothly, the rest of her plans would be a breeze. She eyed the Larket militia for a moment, and smirked... it was funny, she knew she was on good terms with Lady Larket from a long while back... but this... this would be a good story to tell her, whenever she returned. In any case, Al seemed pleased with what Linken had brought with him. "Ye all should stay fer the day. At the end of it, head home, unless the attack comes." She motioned for yet another of the guards to step forward. This guard took the new recruits to the side, and gave instruction on what the general plan was. Archers at the city outskirts, and up in the towers, where they could get a good view of everything going on. Al then turned back to the male who had brought these recruits and gave him a nod. "While ye were away, we put up the missing persons. If'n ye come with me, I'm about ter go place one in the Whaler's."

Linken gave the most grateful smile he could muster and nodded his head, lifting his fingers and giving another sharp whistle, followed by a wave of his hand. As the posse dismounted their steeds, the frontmost elf of the group came to Linken's side, who then handed of Daeroch's reigns to be taken wherever the other's horses are to be lead. The elf then picked up his stride and followed suite, and a few short hops later he was at Alice's side, his opposite hand extended across his chest in greeting. "I do not believe I took the chance to introduce myself. You may call me Linken." Linken gave the most grateful smile he could muster and nodded his head, lifting his fingers and giving another sharp whistle, followed by a wave of his hand. As the posse dismounted their steeds, the frontmost elf of the group came to Linken's side, who then handed of Daeroch's reigns to be taken wherever the other's horses are to be lead. The elf then picked up his stride and followed suite, and a few short hops later he was at Alice's side, his opposite hand extended across his chest in greeting. "I do not believe I took the chance to introduce myself. You may call me Linken."

Alice , grinning as always, gave her own short little nod. "An' I'm Al. Or Red. Depends on who yer talkin' ter." She then jutted her thumb to the west. "Le's head over there now."