RP:The search for Ault intensifies

From HollowWiki

This is part of the A Larket Assassination Attempt story arc.

Kelay Tavern

Built and rebuilt, torn apart and set like stubborn bone, this tavern is the pinnacle of Hollow's entirety, wrought around the premise of peace, equality, and consummate amity. And of course, the old place had seen all of the three, but so much more. Dire markings of claw and steel cut deep into wall panels and floorboards. Set against the land's usual motif of destruction are signs of comfort. Twisting shadows and smoothing out a careful blanket of light with soft, quaint fires, a candelabra dangles down by thick cords, gripping the circular holder. Each twists up, converging upon the center, where they snake about one another and form a thick, secure anchor to Kelay Tavern's high, accommodating ceiling. The candelabra rattle now and again from the inn patrons overhead, pouring down globs of wax to the center of the room, which is wide and unobstructed. Cheaply carpentered tables and chairs grow outward around the bare dancing area, keeping to the rounded theme, and also keeping to a dwarven barkeep's avariciously born taste for 'economical' furniture. Hardly any expense has been wasted on the actual upkeep of the public center though, as can be garnered from the smell of deep pine, rich tobacco, and even richer spirits. Stairs twist away dimly near the high bar. And atop that side rests the inn logs, quill, and ink. This establishment's fine keeper, Mesthak, can be seen smiling out from his post at the bar, straight across to the room's always crackling stone-wrought hearth. Behind him, atop lofty shelves, sits an array of dark, amber, and clear liquids. Food smells waft from somewhere near at hand. A carefully printed and hung sign details the purchasable items here in the place of merriment, loss, laughter, and life. Also, tucked into a corner near one of two windows closest to the tavern doorway is a thickly papered bulletin board. A sign has been added next to the board that reads, 'The management requires patrons be fully inebriated at all times and that no curing spells be performed in this tavern-Thank you'.

Queen Jacklin is here.

Sapheul Fedallah is here.

Cerinii is here.

Roelstra is here.

Dace is here.

Tiphareth is here.

Teufel is here.

Brina is here.

Nemisis is here.

Fadje is here.

Jacklin skulked into the tavern behind Sapheul and a few other guards charged with her safekeeping. There were quite a bit more than usual following the older warrior Queen around. Lacking crown or anything else defining her right to reign, the only sound signal were those men crowding around her with hands on swords and fingers itching at the bows on their backs. Her shoulder was heaped with another few layers of gauze and the bloodied shirt had finally been changed as instructed by Sapheul and Parsithius both. She was a pitiful sight and why they’d thought to drag her out to the main hub of activity in Kelay wasn’t so clear. Hustling the Queen to a seat against the wall the Larket guards surrounded her on all sides. Leoxander wasn’t to be seen, her new wolf guard, but she knew he was likely to be lurking just outside the establishment. Certain that his Queen was safe, Sapheul stepped forward with a few pages in his hand and began to troll the room. Each citizen he passed received a similar question when shown the page he held, “Have you seen a man matching this?” Most shook their head and a few shrugged. Sapheul continued to make his rounds while Jacklin sat behind the wall of angry soldiers charged with a broken Queen.

Cerinii would glance in the direction of the Queen and her collection of guards. If there were fewer, she might have tried to engage the woman in conversation, but with the large numbers - she thought it best to just focus on the piece of parchment upon the table before her.

Roelstra, upon seeing Jacklin's state, immediately surges to her feet. Sending a hurried " Excuse me" to Dace, Cerinii and Teufel, the Head Ranger makes her way towards the Queen with purpose, knowing the guards would recognize her and her station.

Teufel pauses as Jacklin enters, watching the sight with a raised brow and a quiet mouth. He eyes up Sapheul as he is approached with the page, sizing up the guard. When asked about the man, Teufel shakes his head and Sapheul moves on. He returns his gaze towards Jacklin, behind the barrier of bodies. "... Some things certainly have changed around here ..."

Jacklin squinted between the rows of guards in front of her. Feeling much like one of the animals at Larket’s zoo…Jacklin let out a huff of air behind them. A few craned their necks to see the Queen glowering in their direction from her seat. Sapheul moved on from Teufel after the shake of the man’s head and stops finally at the side of Cerinii and places the paper beside her so as not to be rude. “Excuse me, Avian. Have you seen a man with a similar face to his? His name’s Ault.” Awaiting her answer he lifts an eye to where Jacklin sat behind the guard. It was a scene they had to make for now. Both Parsithius and his captain’s had made it known that if Jacklin was touched again, their hides would all be gone. Watching her guard and hearing the men continue the ‘no’s’, the one person she hadn’t been expecting to appear had done just that. A guard moved just barely from his spot to allow Roelstra to at least see the Queen sitting in the chair. “Talk, but do not touch her.” It was an instruction from the King and upheld by Sapheul and the rest of the guards. Jacklin looked up to Roelstra, “Hello.”

Dace gives Brina a tight nod. "I've had it happen to m'self on occasion, so I suppose its why I'm the one doing it now." He says, looking closely at the wound as he gently brushes away the grime and clotted blood with a soft, wet rag. Before he can tell her his course of action, the queen enters, and he is questioned by a guard about the man on the paper. He shakes his head to the man in a negatory fashion, momentarily peering at the queen, though doubtless she'll not recognize him in his demi-human frame. She's given only a moments heed, though, before he turns his focus back to Brina. "Well, it looks like this wound is going to need to be sutured shut. The gash is a bit big to heal nicely on its own." He picks up his sewing kit, taking out a needle and soft thread. "Unfortunately, I'm out of the salve I use to deaden the pain around a wound, so this is going to hurt more than a bit, but, I'll go as quickly as possible."

Jacklin took the moment where the guards had shifted to catch sight of Teufel. With a small, fleeting smile the elder human dipped her head to him in a well deserved greeting.

Cerinii's overly pointed ears perked when she was addressed as 'Avian'. Certainly, that was her race but it always disappointed her somewhat to be addressed as such. She set the slim stick of coal down, sitting upright in her chair to eye the parchment. She was obviously looking at it quite carefully, "Nein. I, unfortunately, cannot be of assistance to you." She offered a polite enough smile, "If I see anything, I will be sure to let you know. Please, send mein warm regards und well-wishes to the Queen."

Roelstra's arms cross, affording the guard a rare glare. " For Gods' sake, man, you all know who I am. As if I'd ever harm my Queen. Don't give me that routine!" Expression and tone softening, the Head Ranger looks over to Jacklin, " My Queen, what happened?" Seeing the thick bulge of gauze on her shoulder sends a twinge of guilt through the vampiress. She had briefly retreated to the forest, but not from her duties and this happens to her Queen and friend. Stupid stupid stupid, she berated herself.

Jacklin watches Cerinii from the crack in her human shield and stops the forming frown once seeing Sapheul move away from her table. The woman hadn’t seen Ault either. “How far could he go?” It was a soft grumble from the Queen as she adjusted herself in the chair and followed Sapheul to his next destination at the side of Brina. Again he held the page out and offered the same question as he had the rest. Eyes went to Roelstra shortly after and heard the snapping from her lips. “Hey!” another snapped to the Head Ranger, “We know you just fine but the Queen was attacked by one of her own men! Do you think we’re to take chances on letting even the closest to her now?” All guards had turned to look at the exchange for a moment until regard was returned and order restored. The men would allow an exchange to follow between the Queen and her Ranger for now. “Ault Fredik, one of our council members, decided we weren’t doing the right thing in Larket. He came to find Parsithius…and found me in my office instead.” Pointing to her shoulder and arm to back the story up in case Roelstra had missed the massive pile of gauze stained pink.

Brina too was questioned but offered a simple "no" before her mismatched eyes slid back to Dace. She did not like guards or police or anyone with too much authority, though she was not stupid enough to back talk or sass. A string of un-ladylike curses stream from her lips before she nods, a strained smile taking place of the previous, anxious expression "Do'yer worst" apparently she was trying to make a joke out of the whole thing, or to be chipper. Again with the pain, seems like that was the flavor of the week. Between threads she cautions a question, still intrigued by the odd smell he carried "Do ya come from the desert?" She wonders, there were reptiles there right? That would likely account for it.

Tiphareth looks up from his tome to see the circus enter surrounding the Queen. Indeed, such things were inevitable when tied to a cautious spouse. A nod and slight wave of acknowledgment if offered to the Queen, though he knows not if his gesture can even go noticed among the fleshy boundary which separates them.

Jacklin had indeed caught sight of the Lord Drow and his wave from behind the wall of men. Sapheul was standing to the right and just behind Tiphareth as he gave the gesture. Jacklin, in turn, gave a wave of greeting to Tiphareth and mouthed the word ‘hello’ to make certain he knew she’d seen him. Sapheul lowered the piece of paper and his head in a sign of respect for the man. “Lord Tiphareth, is this a familiar sight to you?”

Roelstra 's irritation gives way to stronger pangs of guilt, reflecting in her emerald orbs. A moment of silence stretches before her countenance slips into one of almost as militant and stalwart as the King's, " When? I'll have a few of my Rangers posted atop the city walls and around the castle at all times."

Tiphareth looks over the paper, lifting the veil from about his iniquitous claret eyes for a moment in order to study the paper more closely. "No, it is not.. though if you need help locating something or someone, I can likely be of assistance... that is if you don't mind the use of magic."

Jacklin attempts to wave the guilt away from Roelstra, “No guilt, Lady Roesltra. Sapheul was in the room with me. The guards were outside the doors. Ault…I have known him for years. We’ve never had an issue until now.” Needless to say, the quick transition from friendship to attempted murder had been a blow to the Queen in more ways than one. Adjusting her shoulder with a grimace, hand on her midsection all the while, she nodded to Roe, “Two nights ago it was. He was in the keep and used some sort of planned maneuver to escape. Now he’s somewhere out there. Your ranger guards would be most helpful.” Meanwhile Sapheul looked over the shoulder of the drow as he inspected Ault’s face. “The King would likely have no problem with this so long as the man is found. He requested a meeting with any able to help him. Shall I relay the offer of aid to him, Lord Tiphareth?”

Fadje's interest is piqued, to say the least, the hard jade-hue lines of her features softening for a moment in a guise of curiosity. One of the guards is signalled to, and should he notice, the question is posed in gutteral tones, "Is there a reward?"

Jacklin::One of the guards looks to Fadje for no other reason than the throaty voice stinging from her lips, “A large one.”

Tiphareth nods in affirmation toward the Queen, "Indeed, it would be my pleasure to assist. Send me word as to a good meeting time and I'll start planning the requisite rituals. If you have anything of great personal meaning to the man, perhaps something from his home he'd have a strong connection with... or even a bit of flesh or blood would be better; that would make his location much easier."

Roelstra remembered seeing Ault Fredik beforehand in passing, so she would know his face. Her well-groomed brows furrow," Ault? I don't know the man personally, but he never struck me as a conspirator, nor one who had the balls to pull something off like that." She lowers herself into a seat near the Queen, tempted to rest a consoling hand on her knee but will refrain - for now. In fact, to put the guards at ease around her, the Head Ranger unstraps her custom mastercrafted bow from around her torso and its matching quiver and places it on the table next to them. Several blades are also laid out next to her signature weapon. This is a gesture to put the guards at ease, to show she truly is of no threat to Jacklin. " I'm so sorry this happened, Jack. I'll be more than happy to meet with Parsithius as well, though I would hope he already knows my Rangers are at his disposal. I'm glad guards were in place...", but she cannot help at the absence of their Deputy Sherrif and her lover. Where in the hell was he during all this? She had not seen the man in weeks.

Jacklin continues to check back with Tiphareth and Sapheul as she awaits Roelstra’s return. “I’ll check with the sheriff once I return to Larket and see if any sort of personal items can be obtained. King Parsithius will also be informed of the offer.” Taking back the paper he again dipped his head to Tiphareth and wandered off to the next face for another question. He wouldn’t stop until they’d all been asked. It was a tedious assignment but the man didn’t blink when it had been given…this was for his leaders. As Roelstra took to a seat the guards swiveled their heads again. A few of them tensed and began silently browsing her figure for a concealed knife. Sapheul too lifted his head and moved to look through the cracks. They were being overprotective of the Queen and it wouldn’t end until Ault was dead. Once the vampire had removed her bow a few of the guards turned back to face the room. Although a few more were watching the pair…just in case, “I thank you for your apology. This is the sort of thing I took on once I became Queen, is it not? There will always been a knife searching my throat and my husband’s. We had not expected this from Ault. Parsithius’s half-brother has also been charged with my watch. Leoxander is…hm. He’s like me when I was quite a bit younger than I am now.” Scared laughter might bounce her shoulder, Jacklin settled for a quick smile. “As for Mercutious,” she knew it would come up eventually, “Roldan will take his place in the investigation until his return.”

Jacklin::Sapheul came upon Nemisis as he stood by the board. So as to not startle the man a clearing of his throat came before slipping to the side. The paper in his hand was held out for better viewing, “Excuse me, sir. Have you seen a man matching this face?”

Nemisis eyes switched from Fadje to Sapheul face slightly stuck with the eyebrow raised. He stared at the soldier for a brief moment observing his features, "Hmm?" Looking down at the piece of paper held out, he scratched his head and said, "No we have not....Who is he and why are you looking for him?"

Dace stands, shuffling away the last of his medical supplies and brushing off his hands. He finds an open seat, his rusty silver gaze shifting to Jacklin and Roelstra, merely watching the exchange. He withdraws a pipe from his satchel now, packing the fresh tobacco he'd acquired earlier into the bowl, before cupping his palm and breathing silver flame into it. Putting the pipe to his lips, the rune-branded male lights and inhales deeply, exhaling a cloud of obscuring smoke about himself as his eyes follow the queen and her ranger. The only clue Jack might have of his identity are the runes on his skin and the burst of silver flame, but the dragon chooses not to approach or interrupt the important business at hand.

Jacklin ::Sapheul withdraws the paper upon hearing another negative answer. “Ault Fredik was a patron of Larket. He planned to kill the King of Larket and instead attempted to assassinate the Queen. We’re unsure as to where he would be going…but if you see him, please contact the guard.”

Roelstra nods once, " It is, but that doesn't change my sentiment. Jacklin's mention of Leo prompts her to make a time-out gesture, " Whoa whoa, wait, hold it. Leoxander...is Parsithius' half-brother?" Surprise widened her emerald green eyes. Now -that- was unexpected! At the mention of her suitor's name, her expression slips back into a stalwart mask, her only reply to that tidbit being a simple " Good to know."

Jacklin gnaws at her bottom lip as Roelstra makes the curious gesture. She’d seen Sapheul and Nemisis conversing over her shoulder but the Head Ranger held her full attention. “Oh, yes. I was surprised when he told me. They’ve come to an understanding…I think.” In truth, Jacklin tended to stay out of their business if at all possible. “All I know is Leoxander asked to help guard me until Ault is found. Parsithius was fine with it so I can’t do much to refuse the help of his half-sibling.” When the stern expression returned…the Queen nodded slowly to Roelstra. He’d return eventually.

Fadje barked another laugh, donning the thick veil as she departed, "Now you're acting like the drow I know." Down of heel and cutting to the chase the warrior descends on Kelay in search of Ault - her keen eyes catching sight of the man's portrait, held by Sapheul, before she had departed.

Nemisis couldn't help but burst out in a fit of laughter at the news of this Ault person. The demi imagined a pissed off Jacklin mixed with a facial expression of shock and betrayal. One could consider it slightly priceless at the rarity of the occurance. Still he has encountered somewhat both seperate images at different times. Luckily he managed to keep a mental image of the man just before the paper was pulled away. Regaining some type of composure he nodded and said, "Okay. Thank you for the funny moment as well." With his business of the board done, he refocused his attention on the challenge offered earlier as his face returned to normal.

Jacklin ::Sapheul wasn’t sure whether to punch Nemisis or walk away calmly. Knowing well enough that Jacklin would have preferred the second…he went in that direction. Instead of dropping Nemisis to the floor, he moved off in the direction of another face to offer the same picture as before. Time after time he was met with another shake of the head. After the last new man at the bar he been given the paper with Ault’s face on it he returned to Jacklin and the barrier of guards, “Lady Larket, I have a few safe leads. The Drow wishes to meet with Lord Parsithius on the subject and another thought he’d seen him around Sage. We’ll follow both up. I’d like to get you back to Larket now, please.” Again, it was not so much a question as a command.

Roelstra's nostrils flared slightly as she exhaled. She knew Mercutious would return eventually, but if he did show his face again, they would have words. Many of them and none of them very kind, she wagered. Shoulders are rolled in a futile effort to release tension before she pipes up, " Considering his former ilk was against more organized entities such as Larket, I'm rather surprised to hear this. But, it is a good thing. I will keep an eye out for him as well, and a poster will be passed out amongst my Rangers." She had yet to spot Leo in his wolf form as of late, but was sure she'd see him soon enough. " I wouldn't refuse Leo. He is a capable fighter and will be a good ally if you are on his good side."

Jacklin scrunched her brow somewhat at Roelstra, “Leoxander is against most everything…save for ships and being with his kind. I understand this and Parsithius has a connection with the man I do not. The man is the only family he has in this land and I have no reason to step against them. He’ll be an uncle to Larket’s heir and I wager the child of Jacklin needs as many people on their side as can be had. For some reason or another he doesn’t mind me too badly. With age comes the desire to have an anchor or two.” Sapheul broke in then with his command for the troop’s departure back to Larket. Jacklin nodded and rose with the aid of a hand against the chair. “You’ll be kept up to date of the ongoing investigation. Your ranger guards will be helpful to keeping watch and if you do happen to see Leoxander wandering the streets…make sure it’s him and not some other scruff. I’m being instructed to leave now.” She didn’t have much say in the matter and if Parsithius or Luthentius found her rejecting the words…she would be sitting in her office until Ault was caught. “Come find me with any updates you may have, Lady Roelstra.” A final nod is given before the whole parade marches from the tavern and back to Larket.

Roelstra said to Jacklin : Aye, my Queen.