RP:Kelovath Flees Home
Part of the Rise of Larket Arc
Summary: Hureig has broken Kelovath out from jail and they have no time to spare! The paladin and giant race to Kelovah’s home to fetch Josleen and a few valuables. As Kelovath and Josleen flee, Hureig buys them time by fighting off guards with a petrified mammoth “wand”. The only way out of the city is through the elegant bridge, but the Larketian guards choke off the path with a phalanx. Seeing no other exit, Kelovath, Josleen, and her poodle Gigi jump into the strong current of the Vibrance River below.
Kelovath and Josleen seek refuge at her parent’s house in Xalious.
Kelovath and Josleen’s House, Larket
Kelovath lead the way from the jail after Hureig so bravely rescued him. It was decided to avoid Lucy’s Crossing, to not get too close to the fort, and remain far enough away from the bridge that the escape would not be ruined and the element of surprise would stay on their side. Of course, a giant who had just went on a rampage and was now back on the streets (carrying a large trunk for some reason) was easily noticed. There were folks on the bridge chanting something along the lines of ‘something-something Kelovath, something-something execution’. The mob seemed pretty convinced that the paladin was guilty. As Kelovath, the guard, and Hureig hurried by the bridge, one member of that mob pointed them out. Nobody moved (angry giant being a good reason), until one brave soul made a break for the sheriff’s office. The other guards there would be tipped off. “Time to hurry!” The paladin commanded, now sprinting toward his home. Thankfully there wasn’t much else on the path to the house, so they would be unseen, not that it mattered. The guards would know. Kelo rushed up the few stairs of the porch to the front door and opened it in a panic. “Jos! We need to go!” He went into the living room first, then the kitchen if the bard was not seen. The friendly guard, Antony, waited outside to alert everyone else.
There was a method to Hureig's madness that only he could see, and the value of that trunk was beyond what he could leave. That was why he lugged it as they ran, holding it to his chest, throwing it on a shoulder, moving it this way and that way in an attempt to find the easiest position to hold, run, and breath at the same time. It was clear he was not going to let that empty trunk go until the time was right, and when the member of the mob pointed them out...well, the time was nigh. He was a squealer; he was a snitch. He paused in the job and held the luggage piece horizontal. A few spins, a few grunts, and with a grace that would rival even the most masterful gymnast, that trunk was hammer thrown at the poor stool pigeon. The Frost Giant did not wait to see the poor man's fate, or what score his throw was given. He turned tail quickly and was in the house soon after Kelovath. "I'll get it!" It was something of the highest value. It was a relic, a totem, and nearly a family jewel. He was back at the door with the petrified mammoth part, festooned with all the things Josleen has put on it, tucked under his arm. "We must go, little human!"
Josleen was in the kitchen when Kelovath arrived, but already sprinting out of it, abandoning her lunch, when she heard Kelovath barge in. She meets him in the hallway and throws herself at him, embracing him tightly and kissing him deeply despite their audience--both Hureig and a brand new poodle/guard dog named Gigi who barks and snarls at Kelovath and Hureig aka home invaders. The dog is trained not to attack unless told or Josleen is hit (dog was also expensive, but that seems besides the point now). The embrace and kiss, though short, was still just long enough that if this were an anachronistic movie in an alternate universe where the year is 2016, the moviegoers would scream ‘Move, move, move! You don’t have time for this!’ She releases him and shouts “One minute!” and sprints for the bedroom with Gigi on her tail--beckoning Kelovath follow her--to retrieve high valuables: money, house deed, the necromantic whip hidden in a chest, and Kelovath’s sword. They don’t have time to fetch her priceless instruments from the music room. The questions of how, why, what now? are relegated a non-priority. It’s clear that however Kelovath was freed was not legal, and they need to split. With essentials gathered, they flee the house with one very confused dog barking the whole way, drawing the attention of everyone within ear shot. “Shh!” Josleen insists, but Gigi isn’t having it. Bark, bark, bark!
Kelovath turned from the living room and there was Josleen. The moment may have been short, but it didn’t stop the paladin from enjoying it. His choice would have been to have the moment last forever, but now really wasn’t the time. But surely, in an alternate universe, this moment would have won some sort of award! Best kiss, maybe? The barking was new and it drew the paladin’s attention after Josleen started making her way to the bedroom for the important stuff. Hureig was obviously going for the greatest treasure within Larket, which made the man chuckle to himself as he went up the stairs. He waited for Josleen to point out what she wanted to take, making sure to grab the only weapon he had, before motioning for Hureig that they were leaving now. Antony was already at the edge of the house, impatiently waiting for the group to pour out of the house. “A dog?! Why?!” He asked loudly, over the barking of the dog. Kelo gave a quick wave of the hand at him and the dog was quickly forgotten with a discouraging sigh. They needed to escape. Barking dog or not, the only way out of Larket was the bridge. They’d be found out soon enough. The head start would be good for the time being, but how to get across the bridge, without hurting anyone, would be the biggest challenge.
Hureig was close to barking at the dog in hopes to get it to shut its trap, but the damage had already been done. There is no doubt that the guards would've heard of the escape and the direction the fleers had fled. Had Hureig sprung Kelovath out of jail just for the paladin, the merchant, and a Thane were thrown back in again?! The frost giant huffed a sigh, and when they all stepped outside of the house, the Giant stood in the middle of the road. "See to your mate's safety, little human. I will make sure you have a good head start." The petrified mammoth member was hoisted into his hands and swung from side to side. The balance was off and it was even harder to swing, but it was a solid stone bludgeon that would see to the business of blockading. "This will be a tale worth telling!" It was his battle cry, one that lifted his spirits and girded his body for battle...And before he could be stopped, he lumbered back towards the city with the petrified log-cum-bludgeon held over his head.
Josleen stays close to Kelovath as they flee. Guards know the only exit is the bridge, and thus they don’t bother to stop the couple anywhere else in the city. Getting to the bridge is easy enough, but through the bridge proves mpossible. Antony falls back, as he’ll be of little help to Kelovath if he too is arrested. He stays out of sight. A line of guards hold up tower shields building a Larketian phalanx across the width of the bridge. Before the line of shields is two guards swinging rope, ready to rein in Kelovath and Josleen literally like cattle if necessary. Before the two cowboys stands the diplomatic guard (negotiation and de-escalation expert) holding up a hand and demanding that Kelovath and Josleen surrender to avoid the indignity of the rope. Josleen, Kelovath, and Gigi (still barking, now at the diplomat) are just beyond the bridge on the Larketian side of the Vibrance River’s bank. Josleen looks over the edge at the deep rapids, not too turbulent though perhaps still a bit risky. She whispers without moving her lips, the sound delivered right to Kelovath’s ears through bardic magic-enhanced ventriloquism, “We need to jump.”
Kelovath wanted to stop the giant from running off, but the thought of such a large creature wielding a member of equal size, and using that as a weapon could not be stopped. The image alone would be laughed at later on. Hopefully. The couple, and dog, ran through the city, getting to the bridge rather quickly. As expected, there was resistance. It was strange to the paladin, recognizing so many faces. Most filled with anger, but there some obvious question of loyalty within the ranks. The diplomat however was on the side of the law and from what he knew, Kelovath was guilty. And Josleen as well, as she was now aiding the paladin in this attempt at leaving the city. At first, the paladin started to step forward in an attempt to reason with the guards. Before he could even lift his foot, the words of Josleen found him. She was right. Question of loyalty or not, they were outmatched even with the support of those few. Plus, the avoidance of violence needed to be a priority. His head turned slightly, nodded, and immediately after, the man was grabbing the hand of Josleen, pulling her close, and began running for the best place to jump from. This was stupid and crazy, but the best option. Already the man was asking for some kind of divine intervention from Arkhen, some assistance in any way that would make sure they’d survive this. They ran to the edge and without hesitation from the paladin, jumped.
Josleen would have hesitated at the edge, were it not for Kelovath’s grip, strength, and confidence. She jumps, adrenaline spiking as she soars through the air and plunges deep into a well of the river between rocks. Still, she bangs the side of her thigh on a dull rock and grimaces underwater in pain. Kicking to surface again hurts, but she kicks. Gigi hesitates, but eventually jumps as well for he will follow Josleen anywhere. The dog quickly paddles onto the bank and follows from the forest. As for Josleen in the water, the house deed is ruined, and the money is weighing her down, but she won’t let it go. How else can they survive? Kelovath has the sword and long case with the whip inside. On the bridge, guards scramble to chase them. No one fires arrows as the goal is not to kill Kelovath or Josleen, but soon mounted guards race on strong, war horses along the bank (and ignore Gigi, who thankfully is so focused on keeping pace with Josleen he’s too distracted to bark). The couple’s best chance at escape is to swim, at least until the horses on the bank hit a dead end. The fast current pushes them against rocks, and they have to kick and twist to avoid painful collisions. “Kelo!” Josleen calls as they try to hold hands, only to be torn apart by the rapids. Battered, bruised, and cut, the rapids pummel against her slight body. The current sucks Josleen under several times and painfully forces water into her nose and mouth. She surfaces each time, coughing and sputtering. Eventually they lose the guards, but cannot evade the threat of the river. Several meters ahead, the river plunges into a waterall into the Xalious pass’s ravine. Josleen furiously tries to swim against the current, but she’s too weak and the gold weighs heavily on her. “Kelo!” she shouts as slowly she loses the battle against the river.
Kelovath felt the rush of wind against his face as the couple plummeted down into the river. It was cold water and stung against the skin. He was wearing his armor, which weighed him down heavily, but the man could keep himself above water for the most part. The rocks didn’t hurt as much, but the water made it difficult to breathe. He reached for Josleen at every chance possible, ignoring any rocks that he may be heading toward. His priority, besides breathing, was to make sure Josleen was safe. The chest was held onto and the sword was lost in the river, slipping from his waist he had early attached it too. It was only a spare, so nothing to be missed. Kelovath was heading toward a large boulder and the current was too much for the man to escape the route. He slammed into it, knocking the small amount of air he had in his lungs out. His eyes grew wide in pain, which was followed by a grimace and a grunt. The waterfall could be faintly heard at this point, so now would be the best time to act. The only time, really. The gold wasn’t important. Using the last little bit of strength he could, the man swam to Josleen, sliding his arm around the woman and ripping the gold away from her. With momentum on their side now, the paladin pushed himself and Josleen to the bank where Gigi was. And again, the dog was barking loudly. He pulled Josleen out of the water, tossing the whip-case onto the ground and bringing his attention to the bard. “Jos! Jos! You okay?!” He lifted his gaze, checking to see if anyone was nearby, friend or foe.
Josleen cries out when Kelovath tears the money away and dumps it, even though she knows as she protests that he did the right thing. On the bank, she hunches over on all fours and coughs up water. Little knicks bleed on his legs and arms, but she’s in one piece. Nothing is broken. It seems Arkhen was looking after them, as the paladin asked. Gigi noses at Josleen’s throat and face and whimpers pathetically. Ignoring the wet poodle, Josleen turns to Kelovath and presses her forehead against his. The biting cold rattles her body violently, and has turned her fingertips and lips purple. She doesn’t know what to feel. Happy he escaped? Ecstatic they survived? Upset they lost their home and a good chunk of gold? Terrified of being found by the Larketian guard? Numb from the cold and overwhelmed by emotion, she simply holds Kelovath and buries her frozen nose against his neck. Gigi paws at her arm and tries to wedge between the couple, perhaps a bit jealously. After a long pause Josleen asks without lifting her face or releasing Kelovath, “What now?”
Kelovath brought his gaze back down and looked the woman over. She was obviously freezing, as was he, but for now he was content with having his arms around her. Emotions rushed through the man as well, all of which being the same as what Josleen was feeling. Lost their home, gold, and now on the run from those he used to call friends. The entire situation sucked, frankly, but at least they were alive. That’s…Something. About the only thing, other than they were together. He ignored the dog and closed his eyes tightly. “We…We gotta keep moving.” Away from Larket and to produce some body heat, or they’d surely freeze to death. Before attempting to stand and continue on, the paladin used some magic. It was simple and quick, but enough to give them both some strength to keep a steady pace. If Josleen bothered to take a second look, she’d also notice most of her smaller cuts were already healed over, thanks to the magic. “Can you stand, babe?” He asked without even attempting to do so himself.
Josleen sighs with relief as she feels Kelovath’s divine magic flood over her. When he asks her to stand, she nods and holds onto his hands for balance. She’s a bit shaky, but it’s clear the shakiness is from the adrenaline crash and the emotional reckoning this day has wrought. Physically, she’s alright. “Let’s go to my parents, warm up, and think things through there, yea?” Although she asks ‘yea’ it’s clear from her tone the decision, in her opinion, is obvious and made.
Kelovath stood as Josleen did, supporting her as she needed. Her parent’s place. Going to need to leave out the small bit of escaping from jail and the whole ‘Kelo’s a traitor in the eyes of Larket’ thing. Regardless of how awkward it’s going to be, the man nods, offers a quick smile, and embraces the woman in a hug. It was sudden, the hug, but the emotional events brought on an emotional Kelovath. Her touch, whether it be on his skin or just having her near, always calmed him. And now that it appeared they were passed the dangerous portion of the day, the embrace was needed and desperately so. “I love you.” Softly whispered as his cold nose nuzzled into her neck.
Josleen returns the embrace and sighs gently for the first time since Kelovath’s arrest. She feels a certain burden lift, and while it will soon be replaced with new stress, in this moment she allows herself to feel content to be alive and with him. Surprisingly, she isn’t even upset with him. In a way, the most recent threats to her wellbeing came as a result of messy in his life, but she doesn’t blame him and her commitment to him hasn’t rattled once. In part because she loves him, yes, but also because he is the kind of leader who inspires that in people. “I love you too,” she whispers. She kisses him gently, their lips cold but no less sweet for it. She holds him a little longer until the wind sends a chill up her spine. “Let’s go.” As they turn towards Xalious, she gesures towards the unhappy dog. “This is Gigi, by the way,” she says, almost laughing. When Josleen says his name, he whines and whimpers until she pets him and scratches him behind the ears. Part way along the walk she brings up the subject of their cover story. “I think we should tell my parents everything, the truth.” Yes, even the imprisonment. “They will understand you are innocent, and father may be able to help.”
Kelovath actually felt the opposite of what was going through Josleen’s mind. Not about their relationship. He felt solid. The threats on her life and everything that has happened since their return brought some sadness into his heart. This wasn’t at all how he expected things to go when bringing Josleen to Larket. It should have been relaxing and normal. Peaceful. That was the goal. Instead they were now on the run and if they return to Larket, it would probably mean death. Her kiss is returned and they start toward Xalious. He looked toward Gigi, silently wondering how exactly a dog gets its fur cut like that, and smiled. “Cute.” Quickly said. His mind drifted to the unknown future and only questions came to mind. Where would they live? Would Macon hire people to hunt them down? What would her parents think of all this? Josleen wanted to tell them the truth. He didn’t like the idea, but agreed. “I guess we should, yeah.” Having gotten far enough away from the river, the warmth was starting to return, as was his strength. The paladin used a bit more magic, rejuvenating their energy, with the hopes of lifting the downed mood as well. “I hope they’ll understand…”
Josleen tries to lift their spirits too, in her own way. She doesn’t have divine magic, but she does have her charm and the ability to stay light in the face of darkness. “They better...and quickly too,” she says in a teasing tone after they cross the pass and are in the Xalious mountains. She slides a hand around his side and steps in front of him to press up against him. She draws his face towards hers and whispers in a sultry voice, “Because I haven’t had you to myself in far too long. And this armor has got to go.” She kisses him again, this time more passionately. When she pulls away she says, “I’m glad you broke out of jail. Screw the law this time. Macon made justice a fool, and you don’t need to be a fool along with it.” She falls back into step alongside him. Her fingers weave through his and Gigi follows sullenly, hating Kelovath already. “I’m glad you’re with me again. I have to tell you some things I learned during the seance by the way. I believe I spoke with Andurla and she gave me a lead to use against him. She said fermin, illusionist. What could that be?”
Kelovath noticed the teasing tone and gave a side-glance to the woman. Her intent was clear as she stepped in front of him. A sly smile appeared on his lips and the kiss was matched with equal passion. If anything is worth missing and craving, it’s the kiss (and other things) from the one you love. He agreed with her statement about the law, nodding, “You’re right. Macon obviously has his hands deep within Larket. The sheriff is…He’ll need dealt with. Replaced.” What the means of doing so are would be decided at a later time. His hand squeezed hers and he kept whatever pace Josleen wanted to take. They seemed to be in the clear now, so there wasn’t much of a rush, other than the obvious craving they were both having and wanted to sedate. Information about the séance was needed and with a ‘hm’, the man thought it over. “I mean, maybe that’s how it looked like I was in Larket before? When we were at the coronation. An illusionist could make that happen. But, the fermin are all below Larket. It may be difficult to track down a specific one.” There was always Emelyan, but the lack of information about the illusionist is concerning. As well as no recent news about the drug runner. “It’d make sense though, using an illusionist. Easiest way to get around the city unnoticed.”
Josleen nods in agreement. “I think Andurla is pointing us to whoever is helping Macon frame you. Hildegarde agreed to pay for a private investigator. We should get them on the case soon, see what they can find in Ferminville.” They reach Xalious village proper. Dozens of gossip-addicted heads turn to appraise their sorry state as they cross the entire span of the village to reach her parent’s picturesque home. Josleen looks to Kelovath to make sure he is ready before opening the door (as no one locks doors in Xalious) and announces, “Mama! Father!” Jessa, her mother, isn’t home. Kyl’oriel is, and scurries eagerly from his office to greet his daughter. He wears over-sized glasses and a mage’s traditional scholarly robe. His smile evaporates at the sight of Josleen’s condition, and the over-muscled company she keeps. “Josleen!” He gasps her name as he squeezes her shoulders and gets a good look at her. Although he’s itching to ask questions, it isn’t the Xalious way to stampede right into the blunt edges of things. Small talk, civility, and tea must be observed. He nods and forces a smile (in the exact same way Josleen forces smiles) to the paladin. “Good to see you again, Kelovath. Please, come in.” Then to Josleen, “Your mother is at Mrs. Delicate knitting circle.” That’s when he notices the dog who tries to follow Josleen inside. His face flatlines, and Josleen picks up on the non-verbal cue which is peculiar to her nuclear family. “Gigi,” she whistles and leads the dog to the backyard where he can sit by a screen door and spy on the humans in the kitchen inside. Kyl’oriel leads Kelovath through the house to the kitchen and puts on a kettle. That’s the sum total of his culinary abilities. Josleen joins the men through the back door and asks Gigi to sit and wait outside. Father and daughter exchange a few lines of chit chat about the weather (“Early autumn, hm?”), the Tower (“The masters promoted a new provost in evocation”), and the local price of whatever produce is in season (“Strawberries sold at a steal this year”), in that order, as Xalious social ritual dictates, even as Josleen looks like she’s been dragged through the mud. Kyl’oriel finally observes the gorilla in the room first and asks, “You aren’t in some kind of trouble, are you?” He’s asking primarily Kelovath, to whom he already assigns blame. Josleen interjects, “It’s complicated, Father.” Kyl’oriel continues looking at Kelovath as he asks, “What happened?”
To be continued… in a separate scene…