Part of the Rise of Larket Arc
Summary:The day after Macon's announcement of Kelovath's wicked acts throughout Larket, the paladin is taken in for the murder of High Priest Laedavere. Aarika witnesses the arrest and gets harassed some by the stand-in sheriff. Before she leaves, the woman punches and kicks the official, making a quick exit without being pursued. Kelovath is taken to the Fort and held in the cells until further notice.
It was the day after Macon’s grand announcement at Lucy’s Crossing. Josleen had left for Frostmaw early this morning and to clear his head, Kelovath spent his time here, at the stables. He didn’t own a horse or even have a real need for one. But there was a large field here for mounts to run around and train. Cobalt, a giant dire weasel, and Kelovath’s mount, was doing exactly that. Running around the field and playing with the few horses that lingered in the area. To Cobalt, this was basically his version of a dog park. He was here to play. Unfortunately, the horses were not. To his amusement, the paladin watched Cobalt nip at a brown and white horse, much larger than the weasel, and Cobalt then attempts to run away, hoping the horse would chase after. It did not. Kelovath laughed aloud. The man was sitting at the fence that surrounded the field, taking in a deep breath of that Larket air with a smile. Yesterday was not a good day, but so far, this one was better. The news about the high priest has yet to reach Kelovath’s ears. Learning about that would surely ruin this wonderful afternoon.
Aarika had been in the stables brushing out her stubborn steads coat. As she was residing in Larket for the moment this was where she boarded her horse. The horse she won in a bet that only cost her a slice of dignity. A hoof that cracked after Aarika would prove the beast wild. She would drop the brush with jumping back barely missing the strike, "Hey." She growled with a slap to his rear before she snatched up the brush and left the horse beside a chuckling stable boy. Her hands raked out the clumps of white hair from the comb as she approached the corral, "Sure they are well behaved." She grumbled to herself while she watched the horses roam, "But they lack character." There was her defense with a propped elbow on a wooden post. Though it was the weasel that pulled a laugh from her lightly armoured frame, "What is that guy doing out there?" The question was laced with a giggle she cast her oceanic gaze upon the man beside her. "Poor thing."
Kelovath continued to laugh as he watched Cobalt. The mount was an odd one, but fierce when needed. His gaze shifted over to Aarika as she approached, hearing her steps against the grass. The paladin stretched out his legs some, a small ‘pop’ing sound coming from the left and a mumbled groan escaping through closed lips. Looking back inside of the fenced-in area, he shrugged, “I have no idea. Strange to see a weasel so big. And bothering the horses no less. Not sure where the stable master is, but I doubt he’d approve.” A small smirk as his brown eyes locked onto Cobalt, who was now bothering a different horse. This one, however, was stepping right into the playful trap that the weasel was attempting before. Cobalt approached, nipped at, and then was promptly chased by the horse. Kelovath, having no worry that the weasel would get away, started to laugh more. “Quick thing, too.”
Aarika snorted popping her chin up to the sky, "Quick to say the least." She would purse her lips together and whistle towards the long furred thing, "In the market?" She asked with an arched brow, "If so avoid making bets with that stable master, her really goes against you." A hand fell to her bum remember the many tumbles that bruised her pride and rear.
Kelovath watched as Cobalt’s ears perked up at the whistle sound. Just as that happened, the horse who was chasing the weasel almost collided with him. At the last second, Cobalt jumped out of the way and came running toward Kelovath and Aarika. The paladin laughed a bit harder this time. He’d never seen such a close call before when it came to the dire weasel. The beast usually knew his limits, but apparently the mount doesn’t taken in sudden distractions very well. Addressing the woman, “No. I don’t think so. Little interest in replacing my current mount.” Still avoiding the fact that Cobalt was actually –his- chosen mount. Even more so, since the weasel now struggled to make his way over the fence. It was a clumsy attempt and left the mount with a disappointed look across his furry face. The paladin grinned and shook his head. “The stablemaster would be out of his mind right now seeing this.” Kelovath motioned toward the fence, where Cobalt had tried to climb. The wooden fence now had deep scratches going almost the entire length of the post. “Won’t be able to hide that from him, that’s for sure.”
Aarika shook her head noting the gashes to the wood grain, the break in the post weakening it's purpose. "Well I suppose he could fix the damages with that creatures hide." Her smile grew exposing a single dimple, "At least a nice rug. That being said he better scram soon." There would be a paranoid glance about their surroundings, "I don't want this pinned on me."
Based on Cobalt’s reaction, it seemed like he knew exactly what Aarika had said and was now trying even harder to get over the fence. Before too much more damage could be done, Kelovath finally spoke. “Hey! Calm down, buddy. Nobody’s gonna turn you into a rug!” As the paladin spoke, the weasel looked over at him, then to Aarika when the word ‘rug’ was said again. The beast started to get a little wild again, but Kelo hopped off the fence and into the corral. “C’mon, Cobalt. Everything’s fine. You know I’d never let anything happen to you.” A genuine smile forming across his cheeks as the armored man started to pat the head of the dire weasel. “Why are you climbing anyways? You know where the gate is…” The man turned and motioned toward the corral gate nearby. Off in the distance, coming toward the corral, appeared to be several guards and a high official of some sort. For now, they were ignored and Kelovath looked back to the woman. “Sorry. He’s mine, actually.” A large grin, followed by a shrug. “Thankfully, the stable master knows how Cobalt can get and understands.” Now that the mount had calmed himself, Kelovath approached Aarika. “I’m Kelovath.” A slight bow, as he always did.
Aarika blushed ever so slightly upon learning the connection between the man and beast, "Ah well, I hope it's not your hide then." She replied to the paladin giving a deep nod of her flaxen head, "I am Aarika, it's nice to meet you." She add before glancing back to Cobalt, "I would have told you to run, buddy." She defended herself with a wink before she carefully reached out an arm to scratch at the dire's head, if he would let her that is. "Spend much time here in Larket then?" She asked in reference to the stable master being fully acquainted with the duo.
Cobalt did allow Aarika to scratch his head. In fact, it seemed the weasel enjoyed it very much. Anything involving some attention and the mount would surely come running. The paladin nodded his head. “Aye. You could say that. Been living here for many years all together. The stable master is…Well, maybe not a friend exactly, but he owes me a few favors.” Again, the man smiled. His attention shifted some when he heard what sounded like a conversation taking place within the main building of the stables. No specific words, but it did sound like the group of men were looking for someone. For now, the paladin ignored it and spoke to the woman. “What brings you to Larket, Aarika? The horses, perhaps?” Not that’d he brag about it, but they were the finest horses in all of Hollow. That claim mostly came from the stable master.
Aarika found her attention drawn towards the stables as well. Her eyes following the path of the paladin's, "Not just the horse." She said monotone, her attention slowly pulled back towards the newly acquainted, "We are currently residing her. The Company and I. Traveling mercenaries." She read and judged his face knowing the like weren't always favored. "We have based here lately though some of us will travel to Frostmaw for work."
Kelovath nodded in understanding. “Mercenaries, eh? Did you happen to find any work here?” The news of a company of mercenaries residing within Larket had not reached his ears. Strange, but a man can’t know everything after-all.
Aarika gave a rise and fall of her shoulders, "A small job here and there." Again her brow lofted, "Why have you heard of something?" She inquired with a cant of her head. Being the matriarch it was her job to obtain the gang work.
Kelovath did have some work in mind. But as he was about to explain his first thought, the group of guards from the stable had made their way out of the building and were now heading right for Aarika, Cobalt, and Kelovath. So, the paladin turned to greet them. He knew all of them. The guards and the official. The high official was actually the sheriff of Larket. Mostly just a stand-in until someone else who show interest in the position came along. Kelovath bowed slightly, keeping his eyes on the sheriff. “Gentlemen. What’s going on? Looking for someone, by the sounds of it.” Cobalt already knew something was off and his low grumbles made that clear. The paladin ignored the mount for now, thinking nothing of it. The four guards stood at attention, all of which looked nervous. The sheriff, however, looked smug. And ready for something. The sheriff addressed Aarika and promptly asked, “Who are you?” It was rude, to say the least, and Kelovath knew this. He waited though, to see what the woman would do.
Aarika furrowed her brows together when she was so aggressively addressed, "Who am I?" Her features read she was puzzled, "Who are you?" She repeated the question with just as mush venom before take a step back allowing herself more personal space. By now her naturally cheery demeanor had fallen stoic while her hand dropped her rest against the hilt of her blade. The paladin earning a glance, "Nice friends you have here." Her words dripped with sarcasm.
The sheriff lifted a hand into the air as if to dismiss the woman entirely. She wasn’t the reason for being here. Kelovath shook his head in disgust, taking a step toward the official. “How dare you be so disrespectful?!” It wasn’t a yell, but the anger within his voice was obvious. Cobalt also grew angry and snarled at the guards. They continued to look unsure as the sheriff showed off a sly grin. “Lord Kelovath, Councilman of Larket! You are under arrest for the murder of High Priest Laedavere!” The grin grew as the words were spoken and the shock on Kelovath’s face was completely genuine. “Wha…What?” The word fumbled out of his mouth and his head shook. “No. He can’t be dead. I saw him at the square just yesterday!” The sheriff motioned toward the bumbling paladin and the guards were now the ones to step forward. Within that group of guards was a man who had accompanied the paladin to Frostmaw as a personal guard. Kelo looked to him now with questioning eyes, begging for an answer. The guard said nothing, which was enough. Chains were cuffed around the wrists of Kelovath. The sheriff looked to Aarika now, the smile still present. “A pretty thing like you shouldn’t associate with criminals.” The man looked over the woman slowly, not hiding the face he was clearly checking her out. Such power emitting from a man with no true position within Larket. His smugness unquestioned and the guards, currently making sure the paladin would be unable to free himself, would make no attempt to stop the sheriff from his harassing looks and comments.
Aarika 's demeanor changed once again as she followed the man's perverted gaze, she was appalled but would not show it, "Thank the Gods you are here in time to save me." A hand pressed against her chest while she emitted a sigh moving closer towards the predator. Her smile as sweet as her tone, "Quiet a hero." Finger tips played across his armour while she replayed his smugness. Oh she hated this man without knowing him. "Sorry about you luck." She said over her shoulder before she twisted back with a mean right cross aimed to strike through the man's head, if only she possessed the strength. There would be one more assault with her heel to collide into the man's solar plexus. He would fall and she would flee offering a back hand to the closest man before fleeing to her company. Hopefully she had helped in some way if not in satisfaction.
Kelovath was about to be lead away. That is, until Aarika decided to unleash the beast and punch the sheriff and add her extra kick for good measure. The paladin was stunned at how quickly the woman was able to react. The sheriff went down hard and the guard that Kelo knew was smacked soon after. One of the guards started to give chase, but the ignorant sheriff called him back. “No! Let her go!” The man was bleeding from his nose as he lifted himself from the ground. None of the guards offered to help him, not that he’d ask for it. After a minute or two of gathering himself, the sheriff commanded that the guards take Kelovath back to the fort and to lock him away until further notice. Based on the hateful look upon his features, the sheriff would do whatever he could to find that girl. But, for now, his priority would be on Kelovath. During their trek back to the fort, the sheriff became increasingly aggressive with the armored paladin. If it weren’t for his armor, the man would have surely become more abusive, but the most he could do was trip Kelo, causing him to fall without being able to brace himself. The idea of being locked away was horrible enough, but it seemed this was only the beginning of what The Sheriff had in store for him. Aarika may have got her moment, but it seemed Kelovath would pay for it.