Interludes and Examinations
Gennah rolls over, pulling the quilt with her as she moves towards his side of the bed, waiting to wrap her arms around him, but wakes holding nothing but the empty air which surrounds her as she sighs realising he still hasn't come home.
She pulls herself out of bed and moves to put on her robes as she rubs her stomach softly as she speaks softly to her stomach, "I wonder where papa has gone... see you haven't heard him in a while..." as she sits at her sewing, trying to distract herself, she had wanted to tell him, but since seeing his reaction to Jasmine's children, she had become quite scared and unerved about how he was going to take it.
She sits at her table, watching the sun rise fully and then as it starts to set once more, she can't take it any longer, she has to find out from someone where he was, the only thought she has is the First Sword, he might hold some answers.
She throws her cloak around her shoulders, places her veil securely and pulls her hair up, fixing it with her pins and sets off to find him.
She walks along the streets until she manages to find the First Sword on the bridge, as she asks him if he has any news. He tells her that he had to leave quickly on urgent business and that he had been trying to get word to her about Junta's disapperance, but there had been lots going on in Salernum.
She relaxes a little at the news, but then she now has the added worry of where is he and is he all right, as she thanks the First Sword for the information. She stops off at the bakery on the way home to grab some pastries.
She takes them and goes to sit in her post office, sorting the papers and looking for any signs that Junta may have sent word somehow.
"Master are my ass prints showing up?" Torrid Streeter asks.
"Not sure, might want to shimmy a little more on the marble - black marble is a difficult bearer of such gifts... Spread em 'part and give it your best shot, slave. I mean... we gotta repay for Kings-damned placenta... how is that not a bargain for our reputable Administrator?"
"Yes my Master," making sure her apple bottom was seated in the middle of the marble topped desk and plops right down wiggling her cheeks making sure the impression was intact.
Victor Klavinham can't help but smirk - in firm belief that Hand's gratitude would haunt him all over Gor like a shepherd chasing after a renegade verr. "Just so, girl. Now you got the turf!!"
Torrid Streeter carefully hops off the desk making sure not to smear the huge pear shaped marks. "Master you look good in that chair, you fill it well my Master" grins a but with a hint of mischief in her eyes.
Victor Klavinham caresses the wooden arms of the chair as if it were a lover's hand. "Indeed, I could get used to that too! Big shoes to fill but doable, quite so!" He ponders the notion, leaning forward to pillage the desk drawers. "Let's see, maybe we can find something that puts me into office a little... smoother..."
"Master perhaps we should go before anyone comes by." Torris looks about uneasily.
Victor Klavinham nods, "Or we just... ghastly word to use but I'll go for it due the lack of a better one... defile that lovely marble you're laying on before anyone can prevent us from..."
Torrid Streeter nods knowingly, "I could never see you defile anything so beautiful my Master, it's against your very make-up."
Victor Klavinham runs his hands over the desk's surface as she hops off, "You're right. I'll come for you another time, Precious... and if raging flames lick against your very wood, I'll carry you out of here once hell breaks loose!"
Tara Pearl smiles softly, "Tal, Master."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar watches as the girl approaches, smiling a bit, "Come closer girl." He pulls tara up from her kneeling position and presses his lips to hers in an intense kiss, his lips pressing hard at hers in the kiss as he pulls her body tight against his.
Tara Pearl quirks an surprised brow when he lifts her up and gives her an hug, her own arms wrap around his waist and she trembles lightly when he presses his lips hard on hers, she returns it eagerly though and casts a reflective glance up at him, "Are you showing affection to a mere slave, Master?"
VolmarrGoth Vollmar ponders this, "Perhaps. Perhaps I am enjoying using you for affection." He smirks as he kisses her more now.
Tara Pearl felt the lightest of spark appear in her eyes when he responded, her tongue sneaks between her lips and travels over his, mumbling softly in between, "Perhaps means... yes i have been told."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar enjoys the feel of tara's tongue, his tongue also sliding forward to meet hers, starting to dance with hers in our mouths as the kiss becomes very passionate. "Perhaps means... well whatever it means you are not without interest to me. At times you can be pleasing." He slides his hands up and down her back slowly feeling her skin.
Tara Pearl keeps glancing up at him when their tongues toyed and played around, her pulse tripling its pace and the obvious confusion showing when she briefly pauses and attempts to withdraw, her tongue swooning over her own lips and her head tips some to the side, her fingertips raking over his spine in response to the shiver she felt rushing down her own, "Thank you, Master."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar smiles now, lets go of the girl and pulls back from the kiss. "Perhaps you are my favorite in the city. Perhaps that is. Of course a Master cannot reveal this to a girl."
Tara Pearl sinks down to her knees and sucks her bottom lip between her teeth, shifting some around before her spine straightens to its fullest. A sly grin appears after and she winks at him, "Of course not Master. I shall pretend i haven't heard it."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar smiles at her, "Good girl."
Tara Pearl nods, roaming her fingertips over and along her inner thigh then peers to her left to the ships and up to him. "It really seems as if the peace has returned, Master. What do you think?"
VolmarrGoth Vollmar ponders on that for a while, "Yes perhaps this is so. It is rather peaceful. Any new news as of late girl?"
Tara Pearl shakes her head, "Not much more then the last time we spoke, Master. I do hope you enjoyed the festivities."
"Yes they were alright. Did help some after all the intense events before then. It is nice to have a peaceful day after many not so peaceful."
Tara Pearl smiles, rolling her shoulders backwards. "It was a bit too much to handle all of a sudden. I can only imagine how busy you must have been."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar thinks with relief he is not so busy as that now, "Yes extremely busy. Really got very tired from it all. Am still tired from it all actually but I did rest a lot yesterday."
Tara Pearl grins, "Perhaps you should make a deal with my Master for the Danneskjold mead, to relax some more, i mean," she winks, but then her face suddenly turns seriously, "i'm glad those rumors of people wishing to capture me were not true." She paused. "At least, if you do not think about the silence before the storm," and with that she stares toward the Thassa again, as far as possible into the distance.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar looks seriously at the girl as the tone of the conversation changes, "What people girl? Tell me what you mean by this."
Tara Pearl lifts her shoulders, "i do not know, Master. A bunch of people are speaking about the fields and woods and that they are still full of enemies. I overheard two Masters speak about capturing slavegirls... well... me." She swallows thickly and continues, "Silence before the storm, never heard of that Master? Back in my days in the woods, first there is a warning, then it's silent, and then..." she doesn't finish her line and glances up to him, trying extremely hard to cast yet another smile up to him, "It's peaceful now and it will remain so."
"You heard there are people in the wood? What did you hear of this girl?" Volmarr looks worried again as he has knowledge there is indeed something out in the woods which is why he never really thought that Salernum was safe. As far as his knowledge goes, he thinks it is likely Torvaldslanders there in the woods with some plans to raid and steal women from the city. "Tell me everything you heard girl. Everything."
Tara Pearl inhales deeply, trying to read his facial expression and the worry there really doesn't ease her mind. "I do not know, Master. Perhaps Master Ice can inform you more; he's been in with his group in the woods for months already and when i saw him a few days past he was all bloodied and said it was not his blood."
"Who is Master Ice? Did he say who's blood it was? For months? That long?"
Tara Pearl screws her brow up again and points beside him towards the Smithy, "He used to own that place, but he sold it when he was sent on such a mission, let's say." She chews on her bottom lip, "he had said goodbye months ago to explore."
"That long ago? Sold his shop just for this? Did anyone else go with him? Who sent him on this mission?"
Tara Pearl lifts her shoulders once more, "i do not know names, Master. Perhaps his twin or some other friends of his past. But yes, clearly he had not expected to return again." Her voice lowers and her eyes cast down.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar looks greatly concerned, "What dangers in the woods are so great that he did not expect to return? Why would a Smithy go? Why not Warriors?" This all seems very strange.
Tara Pearl pops her cheeks, shifting nervously around upon the stones, "I don't know! I'm just a slave." Well, a curious one. That was a given.
Cherry Catnap smiles as she passes, giving a gentle "Tal" to the Sir, nods to the kajira and moves on.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar looks the girl over thoughtfully, "Yes you are curious. I think you know more than you realize. Tell me all the strange rumors you have heard girl."
Tara Pearl squints her eyes lightly, raking them over his blue tunic until she finally looks directly into his eyes. Her nose crinkles and she murmurs, "He lied to me. He lied. He said he would head back home, but he didn't! So no, i do not know anything more." She inhales deeply and continues, "Weren't we speaking about my capture, Master? "
VolmarrGoth Vollmar looks questioningly at her strange outburst, moving his face down a little closer toward her, "Who lied to you girl? Who is it that you speak about? Tell me what you mean girl."
Tara Pearl inches back when he leans closer to her, at the same time noticing an familiar face behind her. " Ice, weren't we speaking about him?" she then nodded to Tristan, "Tal, Master," and back to Volmarr, "and he almost died, because of me."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar hmmms. He needs to know what this is about. He moves closer to the girl, "Why did he almost die because of you? Explain at once slave!"
"Greetings Tass," Tristan Rodeyn says quietly, being in a reflective mood and not wishing to disturb anyone.
Tara Pearl got lost into her own riddle of words and shook her head, then her thumb pointed towards Tristan, "No him! He's got a huge scar because of it." She shifts nervously around once more and then turns her focus on the Smithy. "Was it not a happy day, today?"
"Tal Sir. Tass, are you talking about," Tristan pauses briefly, "that incident by any chance?"
VolmarrGoth Vollmar moves closer down toward the girl, "Explain about what happened slave. How did this man get a scar? What happened? I want to know everything from the start to finish that happened." He startles when the man speaks and turns at once to Tristan, "Tal Sir. I am Volmarr, Magistrate. I don't believe we have met before. What incident?"
Tara Pearl nods in reaction to Tristan but doesn't look at him. "... I was almost kidnapped before Master," she murmurs. She shushed when he regarded Tristan and took a bit of time to adjust, thus studying the stones beneath her. Closely.
"Good to meet you Volmarr. I am Tristan Rodeyn. I used to be a tavernkeeper a short while ago and I believe this girl was referring to an incident which occured there shortly after I began my duties."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar nods with dawning understanding, "Ah ha! Now I do remember you Tristan. You used to work at the tavern. Please tell me what happened." He reaches into his pouch and pulls out a paper and marking stick so he can take notes.
"The incident she is referring to involved a scurrilous coward from the Black Caste. He attempted to make off with her for no reason except to satisfy his greedy desires. I challenged him and he walked off. The next day he was in the tavern and I may have mentioned that he'd better behave this time or he was going to get thrown out. He then came at me with his sword and tried to slit my throat. Well, actually, he did slit my throat to be precise. But I managed to heal up with some assistance from the local healer."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar considers as he takes notes, "The man was a Smith? He tried to attack you? What happened then?"
"He was ostensibly an assassin, but from what I determined, he was after no one in particular. This poor girl was caught in the middle. An innocent."
"I see! So a Black Caste! Why did he try to steal the girl? What happened after the fight with him?"
Tara Pearl blinks, totally confused, and lifts her chin. She hadn't seen any connection before between one thing or the other. She shot a guilty glance toward Tristan and then settled herself in the middle of both of them, her eyes flicking between them, silently so.
Tristan Rodeyn continues, "No one seems to know why he decided to take the girl. It just seemed like a kidnapping of our property. There was no fight to be honest. After he sliced me, I passed out and came to only after many hours had passed. Sabriel exiled him from the city and informed the guards and watchtowers that he should be killed on sight if he should return."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar reaches out now and grabs at tara's collar so she can't run off, thinking she might and he needs her here to ask her more questions. He turns back to the man and listens to his account of things, this likely being very important information, "Sabriel exiled this Black Caste from the city? Has he been seen in the area since?"
Tristan Rodeyn looks at tass, "Does that seem to be about what happened girl? I wasn't awake for the finale." Then he turns to Volmarr, "No, I do not believe he has ever returned."
Tara Pearl starts to fidget nervously, yelps when she is snatched by her collar, and glances up to him wearily, her chest heaves up and down. She nods in reaction to Tristan and stammers. "I hope they are not the same."
"Ah I see," Volmarr considers and looks to tara, "Hope what is not the same girl? Explain what you mean. Talk slowly and connect all the events that happened, not just bits like this. I need to know what happened girl."
Tara Pearl claws both hands around his wrist when the edge of the steel collar digs into her flesh from Volmarr's tightened grip. Her eyes widen and she mumbles, "The capture Master! Perhaps he returns to finish his job." She tosses a glance to Tristan from the corner of her eye, "I almost had him killed. I'm so sorry Master. He might be back!"
"You almost had the assassin killed?" Tristan asks the girl in a somewhat puzzled voice.
"What capture girl? Is there more to this event then what Tristan saidl?" Volmarr makes sure to hold the collar more lightly so it's not hurting the girl any but firmly enough so if she tried to move away he has her and she can't go anywhere.
Tara Pearl takes a deep breath. She just blames it all on the mead overdose the men must have had the other day that they didn't understand her. When he loosens the grip upon the collar her fingers loosen up as well and she places them back upon her thighs. "No, Master Tristan's story is correct." She tries to talk slowly and with emphasis on the name, "The man who wanted to capture me then, might be the same who wants to capture me now! Can't you see the pattern? "
"That coward has come back? Have you seen him then girl?" Tristan inquires.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar looks closely at the girl. This is why Magistrates tend to use torture to get information from slave girls: their words tend not to make any sense otherwise. Silly beasts they are but alas he does not have time to resort to this right now and this is not a trial anyway. "There are two men who are trying to capture you girl?"
Tristan Rodeyn thinks that there are too many thoughts in her poor head and what comes out is incomprehensible to the two men before her.
Tara Pearl sighs heavily and mutters, "I do not know! One, two three, the same as before. I don't know! But it makes sense. Isn't it so that those assassins never stop with their assignment before they have achieved it?" She stares back to Tristan, "I have not seen him, but the man who killed Idunn was pretty dark clad. He just killed her and tossed her into Thassa!"
Tristan Rodeyn frowns for this is the first time he had heard of Idunn being killed. She was a very flaky free woman, but funny as well. He couldn't imagine someone killing her.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar hmms. "Think all this is related girl? Whoever it is trying to kidnap you and Idunn's death? Have any idea why someone would go to this much trouble to kidnap a mere slave? Sure it's common to go and try to carry them off and steal them but to hire Black Caste for this purpose of stealing a particular girl, not so common, unless the man was extreme wealthy and somehow obsessed with the girl. Much less trouble and danger to just look for one in the markets to buy that they like."
"It never made any sense to me either why someone would want to make off with a tavern slut in broad daylight." Although Tristan had some extremely fond memories of being in the alcove with this one and envisioned someone becoming infatuated with her with good reason.
Tara Pearl is struck with a sense of speechlessness when she observes the both of them, pretty much deciding they are both nuts or drunk. She gives a nudge with her head in an attempt to get Volmarr's hand from her collar and shrugs her shoulders at the same time, "I never said it was about me," though she lifts her chin rather proudly, "I'm the Administrator's property!" she hissed, but with that a new worry kicked in, hence her head was really a mess, "They aren't after my owner, right?"
"Yes that is very true. Normally any stealing of a girl will be based on opportunity when it is perfectly safe to steal her when others are not around to see it. Generally no one puts themselves at great risk doing this. A slave is a slave. Why bother over much with any one of them."
Ice Bradley nods as he sees the group of people gathered, he had no business with them and simply continued without a word, cursing low to himself though as they were placed right where he had some business.
Tristan Rodeyn watches the man who he has never seen before walk by and wonders if he was an assassin. His hand slides onto his dagger just in case.
"Now that makes sense! Maybe they wish to use you as bait to get to Sabriel! Not good! That is the only thing that makes sense. After all you are a mere slave, perhaps a rather pretty slave, but many far more pretty could be had in the markets for much less then the cost of hiring Black Caste to kidnap you." Vollmar notices the heavily hooded man walk by and thus can't even see his features.
Tara Pearl lets out another deep sigh, pretty much lost in her own thoughts and worries about her owner at this point. Her fingers toggle nervously upon her thigh and she shifts and shifts. She then notices a pair of boots headed in their direction and slowly her eyes rake upwards and follow him when he wanders past, calling out curiously, "Master Ice?"
Ice Bradley turns his head toward her briefly as she mentions his name, his eyes rest upon her a second before he turns his head again focusing on his way toward his goal.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar is shocked when he hears tara mention the name of the man she had been just talking about. He lets go of the collar of the girl and turns toward the man in brown, "Tal Sir."
Ice Bradley lets out a small sigh as the man greets him. He prefers just to enter and leave without any contact with anyone, "Tal Sir."
Tristan Rodeyn says not a word still not sure who this man is. Yet the slave seemed to know so he may not pose any threat. One cannot be too cautious if there are any Black Caste around.
Tara Pearl flicks an annoyed glance toward the Magistrate and murmurs, "Yes, one even you are quite fond of." She peers beside him and on to the figure who couldn't be anyone else then Ice, hooded as he were. She chirps out when the collar has been released.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar looks at the man, most of his features hidden from view, he still takes more note of his clothes though. "Sir is the name that this slave here mentions.. is this you? Are you Ice?"
Ice Bradley shakes his head then looks at tara shaking his head that little rat had given him away. He focuses back on the man and lifts his hand up to pull his hood back. He would handle the girl later. "Aye Sir, I am Ice."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar watches the man pull back his hood. Now he studies his facial features remembering them. "Sir are you the one who owned this shop here that you stand in front of that now sits empty?"pointing at the empty Smith shop behind him.
Tristan Rodeyn removes his hand from the handle of his dagger sensing that this man is no assassin.
Ice Bradley nods hesitantly, the memories of leaving the shop weren't pleasant. "Yes, I owned the smithy some months back but sold it before I ventured into the wilderness."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar nods and starts to jot notes with his marking stick on the paper he holds. "And why did you go to the wilderness Ice? Some particular reason?" He keeps a close watch on the man, unsure what to expect.
Tara Pearl ponders, that little frown appears upon her forehead when she studies Ice and his reaction. Fingertips snatch a piece of her own garments and toy with it nervously. Her nose crinkles yet again, but then blurts out, "You had told me you would head back home, you made me cry! You lied!"
Ice Bradley moves his eyes to tara hearing her words, "And obviously I was right in not telling you the truth. Now hush slut." Looking back to the man he simply states, "I had business there."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar turns to tara, "This is the man you claimed lied?"
Tristan Rodeyn thinks that being in a civilized place can offer safety and peace, but things can also be so confusing here. His head is beginning to hurt and he thinks he should head over to the tavern and enjoy several bowls of paga.
"Oh and what business was that Ice?" Vollmar remembers what tara had told him already, how the man had been bloody and came from the woods and said he was there a few months and said the blood was not his. He jots all this down on the paper.
Tara Pearl is caught up in anger and frustration, led by emotions all along. She is about to respond back to Ice but shudders and keeps silent then just nods eagerly in Volmarr's direction.
Ice Bradley chuckles low now, "That was my business Sir. Had it been business of Salernum I wouldnt have left. But I lived most of my life in the woods and prefer it there."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar notices Tristan starting to look like he is ready to walk off.. he puts out his hand to indicate he should stay.. he really needs him here in case of trouble.. well who knows what all this is about and what may happen. "... And Ice ... for what reason did you come back to the city bloody with blood that was not yours? Who's blood was it?"
Tristan Rodeyn hears the concern in Volmarr's voice and seeing him give him a subtle sign to stay where he is, he just settles back and will wait to see how this all plays out. Blood? Who knows, maybe this man Ice was responsible for Idunn's murder.
Ice Bradley looks to his sword briefly before answering, "It was the blood of the hunter named Scox who attacked me in the woods. I already told Sabriel and Eve of it."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar jots down this name. "Tell me exactly what happened Ice from start to finish as far as this incident with Scox."
Tara Pearl quirks her brow and leane forward to reach out for the hem of the Magistrate's tunic, but then hesistates and rests back on her heels. A puzzled glance is shot once more into Ice's direction.
Ice Bradley lets out a small sigh, "As it happened outside the city walls Sir, I dont believe it is of your business, however it was pretty simple. He had business with things you shouldnt do business with and I confronted him with it. He drew his sword against me and died. As simple as that really."
Tristan Rodeyn's mind begins to wander because of all this subtle intrigue going on. He looks down at the slave and wonders if he should drag her off someplace when all this is finished.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar hmms. Yes what he says is true. He can do nothing about events that happen outside the city but he needed to know as much as he can about whatever is happening out in the woods as it seems a lot has been happening out there, most likely stuff that puts the city in great danger. "Ah I see and what business was this that he shouldn't have business with?"
Tara Pearl casts a worried glance toward Tristan and then plants the palms of her hands onto the ground when she attempts to crawl past Volmarr into Ice's direction, all the while her confused eyes flashing between his boots and up towards his face.
Ice Bradley lifts his hand scratching his beard slow, "That unfortunately I can't tell you Sir, my oath prevents me from that. As a man of the law I'm certain you will understand what that means to a man of drawn steel."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar reaches down and grabs the fabric of tara's sleeve and holds it not wanting her to get away. She is somehow part of all this and he needed to keep track of her, she has too much a tendency to wander off.
Tristan Rodeyn thinks what they have here is a standoff that might lead to something more serious. He decides to see if he can get the slave to help clear things up. "Tass, what business do you have with this man Ice. Why do you look so perplexed?" He realizes after the fact that he shouldn't have asked two question - only one. Now they will never get a straight answer.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar looks more closely at Ice, "What caste are you Ice? It is important to know what is happening in the woods."
Tara Pearl winces when she is forced to an hold when she is snatched by her sleeve, she casts an annoyed glance first to Volmarr and whispers, "I'm worried about my Master, I don't care." from there toward Tristan and her both brows lift, "I'm a slave what possible business can one have with him? I only said he lied to me... and that he was all over blood... twice."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar looks at tara, "Twice this man was covered in blood?"
Ice Bradley smiles at the question as he looks down at his own attire. He doesn't really care too much to show his caste these days, as caste didnt matter much in war. "I am of the metal workers caste Sir, more specifically a specialist of making weapons. As for what happens in the woods you let us handle that. Instead focus your energy of getting the city prepared 'cause it will need it." He chuckles hearing the word twice, "I've been covered in blood hundreds of times. I'm an old man and have been in many wars."
Tristan Rodeyn considers the inn only a short distance away. He could drag the slave over there and enjoy her in the inn's furs while these two discuss all this blood business.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar looks around for the Guards in the harbor trying to catch their eyes; of course there are always some guards in the harbor as it is a main point of entry into the city. He spots a few, feeling safer for this anyways. "What reason does a Metal Worker have for doing missions in the woods? This beast said you sold your shop due to a mission and who is the us you speak of? For what does the city need to prepare?"
Tara Pearl bites her tongue, hard, and winces at the pain she causes herself. Forth and back her eyes went again between all three of them; she swallows then when she hears Ice speak about preparation for something to come. "Silence before the storm! I knew it!" she then pleadingly glances towards Ice, "They are after my Master, it must be!! Please..."
Ice Bradley grumbles as he won't get out of this as easily as he wanted to, "I can't tell you the details Sir as my oath keeps me from it. What I can tell you is to start asking around about The Black War. The men who won that battle are fighting hard in the woods right now to keep dangers from the city or at least slow them down enough for reinforcements to arrive."
"All this talk of Black this and black that. Are you a member of the Black Caste Sir?" Tristan asks.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar looks at Ice, "What dangers in the woods? Are they dangers from the Torvaldslanders that have organized and have been spying on the city and have many cages? What is the Black War?"
Ice Bradley shakes his head rapidly, "Nay, that I am not Sir," he says sincerely. "As I already told you I cannot tell you the details Sir. The danger comes from the north yes, but that's all I can tell you. As for The Black War, ask around and you will know who is trying to help you, or rather the city."
Tara Pearl yanks her arm now sharply, her own Tara-logic had made complete sense and she had no clue why they were fussing about one thing or the other. Her gaze is locked onto Ice, still pleadingly. The nerves creep into her veins.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar hmms, "Ah yes, but who is it that the enemy is that is trying to hurt the city then? This is what most matters to know."
"That Sir you will know if you start asking around about The Black War. Now if you will excuse me, I have some quick business to do within the city before I head back to my camp," Ice replies.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar realizes that tara's sleeve won't hold her long as she could just slip out of it so he goes into his pouch for his slave leash. He leans down and clicks the leash into the front ring on the girl's collar and ties the other end to his belt. He grumbles. He really can't detain this man since he has not committed any crime that he knows of... but yet he wants to ask him more... he just looks at him...
Ice Bradley turns toward the city, then as he walks off he says out loud, "When you flee from the city should it happen go directly north if you want a chance."
"North? Why North?" Volmarr wonders.
Tara Pearl recalls something of the words Ice had told her and chews once more on her bottom lip. When the leash is attached she curled her arms in front of her chest and murmurs, "I am not going anywhere," but with that remains silent, well she tries to but fails. "Master Ice is from this Home Stone," as if that solves the entire issue, then reaches up and watches him wander off. She looks back toward the two men, "... because the attacks will come from... south?"
VolmarrGoth Vollmar looks very worried now. Yes it seems whatever is in the woods is a grave threat to the city, a far greater one then the pirates it seems. At least he does have some information now anyways.
"I don't know about you," Tristan says to Volmarr, "but I don't know anymore more about anything than when I first got here."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar looks at tara. Yes her words made sense and that is the side of the city that the Administrator lives in. At once he calls for a couple of guards after a moment they come forward, "Guards, I need you to run as fast as you can to the Administrator's house.. warn him and his Free Companion that they are in grave danger and that they should get to the castle and remain there. Guard them and tell the First Sword that the city is in great danger, perhaps from the south, that the south end of the city needs to be reinforced." He turns then to Tristan, "I think this city is in great danger. Perhaps very soon considering this Ice fellow came here maybe to rally some defenses for the city? Who's to know but perhaps the danger is very near. I need you to be mindful and keep your eyes open. Be safe."
Tristan Rodeyn sighs not really perceiving any danger, "I bid you safe paths Sir and I will indeed be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary. Tara, be well girl."
Tara Pearl blinks when those guards appear and rush over her eyes wary and huge as saucers due to the message given to them. Her face pales and she curled her fingers around the leash, now using the remains of her strength to pull, "Well well??? How can I? What's going on?"
VolmarrGoth Vollmar watches as they wander off, the guards having already started their sprint towards the Administrator's house, "Be calm girl. The best thing you can do is remain safe so as to not worry your Master or Mistress. I am taking you to the castle where you can be safe.. but tell me.. what is the Home Stone of this Ice fellow?"
Tara Pearl winces and tosses both her arms up in the air, "The castle? You're not going to lock me up are you Master?" she blurts out loudly. "I... he owned the Smithy, his Home Stone is Salernum of course!"
"So then why does this factor into everything girl?" Vollmar asks.
Tara Pearl glances up to him in her frenzied state, the anger written all over her face mingles with the fear, "You didn't answer me. I don't want to be locked up." She paused, "I don't know, I only said he lied and was covered in blood. He could tell you a lot."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar looks at tara, "He could tell me what tara?"
Tara Pearl sighs and rolls her eyes, "Those black... people he was speaking about. That there is indeed trouble headed this way." She leans up and glances over the wall into the direction of the Inn in the distance, "Are you sure those guards are going to inform my Master and his Companion?"
"Yes that is their job girl. Now come at once!" Vollmar pulls on her leash now and starts to walk. He loks on the gates of the castle now, tara leashed to him.
Tara Pearl tries to resist, to struggle but it was all a failed attempt against his strength. She takes a few exhausting breaths of air when he finally stops in his tracks and mumbles, "But why?"
VolmarrGoth Vollmar looks at tara, clearly seeing she is scared and freaking out, "You should be safe up here. This is where all citizens and slaves need to go in time of danger. Be a good girl now, stay calm, and don't cause any trouble."
Tara Pearl stares at him dumbfounded and glances then through the gates and from there over her shoulder to peer over the city, her hand curls once more around the leash and she lifts it, "I don't want to be here," she states plainly, but relieved he didn't lock her up into a cell or something.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar walks with tara over to the slave kennels of the castle now and takes out a key from his pouch and unlocks the cage and opens it, pushing tara into there, unleashes her, closes the door, locks it, and pulls on it several times to make sure is secured.
Tara Pearl stumbles over her feet while he pushes her in, within reaction her both hands wrap around the bars and she peeks through, watching the key vanish somewhere into or underneath his tunic. "But..." but that is all she says and turns her head recalcitrantly away from him.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar now motions to a couple of the guards, "Guards, watch this cage and make sure all the slaves in it are safe and can't get out!"
VolmarrGoth Vollmar rushes across town now having run down from the castle after having locked up tara in the slave cage up there. He sprints towards the Admin's house needing to make sure the Guards did their job of warning the Administrator and his Companion. He springs past the inn and keeps running. Out of breath now from the very intense paced run he knocks very hard on the door, banging against it intensely.
Dracaena Donat hears the loud knocking on the door, it startles her, with quiet steps she moves to the front door, careful she opens it and peeks through the niche, when she sees it is the Magistrate she opens it further, sinking on her knees, "Tal Master."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar's words rushed out, "Is your Master or Mistress there? There is perhaps some great danger. They need to go at once to the castle and remain with many Guards. Where are they?"
Dracaena Donat lifts her hands to her mouth and her eyes widen, stammering, "No... no... they are upstairs sleeping at the moment. What is happening, Master?"
VolmarrGoth Vollmar exclaims, "There is something perhaps coming from the south. A threat of some kind. I don't have any details but I know that there is some great danger lurking in the woods and due to circumstances it seems it is part of a plot to kidnap the Administrator. It seems this danger grows near also it seems they have been trying to kidnap tara to use as bait too for this plot. I need to take you and any other of your chain sisters up to the castle so you are all safe and thus can't be used as bait. Are any of the other slaves here girl?"
Dracaena Donat hears the wooden floor upstairs crackling a bit, she looks up quickly and then stands up, "Oooh i believe someone is stirring afterall, Master, let me go look who it is." She jumps hastily on her feet and runs up the stairs.
"Good girl!" Volmarr tries to catch his breath, very out of breath still, the run was very intense, the fastest he has run across the city before.
Dracaena Donat arrives upstairs and runs to the free woman who is standing there, grabbing her arm, stuttering hastily, "Mi... Mistress, we need to go to the castle. There is something terrible happening!"
Eve Cartier descends the stairs, having just managed to get Lyra to sleep and she pauses in the kitchen, contemplating something to drink when she hears footfall on the stairs. Her icy blue eyes shift as she instinctively lifts a hand to tie her veil in place. She pauses, a sharp brow arching, "What is it?"
Dracaena Donat stammers further, the look in her eyes frightened, "The Magistrate he is downstairs, talking about a plot to kidnap Master." She sucks in a deep breath and utters, "We need to go, Mistress!"
Eve Cartier blinks as her brow furrows deeply and she pulls her arm from the girl and moves down stairs, "What is this about?"
VolmarrGoth Vollmar turns when he hears footsteps from inside. Looking at the Lady now as she stands at the door and then at the slave as she returns he is still somewhat out of breath.
Eve Cartier rests her hands on her hips defensively, looking more as though she is going to take on a battle with her bare hands than go running off, "Tal Magistrate, now what is this about?"
Dracaena Donat follows the woman downstairs, keeping away from the door a bit, pacing around nervously before the kennel door, listening to the voices of the free talking.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar says, "Lady there is some danger I believe! It seems something very large is coming, from what I gather, and there is a plot to abduct the Administrator. Perhaps the danger is now very close at hand based on what things I have experienced this morning. You and you Administrator and all your slaves need to go to the castle at once and have guards with you at all times!" He pauses for a breath, "Oh and do you know anything about something called the Black War?"
Eve Cartier takes in a sharp breath and lifts her hand, "Why don't you come inside and tell me exactly what has brought you to this conclusion before I go about running the entire house hold up and down mountains."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar sighs and enters. He feels impatient but what can he do really. He walks in, "All right but we must hurry really!" He turns and closes the door behind him so there is greater safety.
Eve Cartier makes sure the door is closed and locked before moving to the fireside, "Now... who has said they are going to kidnap Sabriel?"
"No one person has said this Lady. It is just a theory based on what things I have figured out so far. Someone has been trying to kidnap tara many times now. It seems always men hired to do this. Why would anyone go to so much trouble to kidnap a mere slave when there are many to be had in markets. The ones trying to kidnap her did not do so in the normal way a slave is stolen meaning when there is an opportunity when none are looking. No these men do it plainly in the open with others around, tried to take her off, finally after thinking about this I realized why. To use her as bait to lure the Admistrator."
Eve Cartier frowns gently, listening then speaks calmly, "It is a theory Sir... though anyone stealing away a slave in an attempt to lure Sabriel would be foolish. He's not one to go running headlong into battle over a slave. I appreciate your concern, but I'm not sure running the entire household to the castle is the best move either... not when the city needs Sabriel's sturdy hand at the moment." She flicks her hand towards the door, "If it makes you feel better though, he has alraedy hired, at least four guards, likely more, to watch over us all during this time of chaos." She tilts her head slowly, "The slave girl, where is she now?"
"There is a man, tara knows him. She told me of him, the Metal Worker Ice. He was out in the woods doing battle with some group, he claims it's some sort of war, or related to a war, something called the Black War. He would not reveal the full story but I know that there is a group of men in the forests that are plotting something bad. I hired a scout to look out there when he told me he had seen some outlaws out in the forests and he reported an elaborate plot with cages and very organized men. They have been spying on the city and gathering information on who is who in the city and this man Ice said that when we have to leave the city... which does sound very scary... what could make us have to leave the city? He said when we have to leave the city we need to go north if we want to live. Thus by this we figured out maybe the threat will come from the south. I brought tara to the castle and locked her in the slave cage up there."
Eve Cartier pauses shortly, looking, suddenly quite a bit more worried than she had a moment ago. Her voice lowers, "Ice said this?"
"Yes a man named Ice. He is a Metal Worker or used to be but from the way he talked it seemed he is not really a Metal Worker as he kept saying he could not asnwer certain questions due to his caste codes. I doubt Metal Workers have codes related to not being able to talk about certain things related to fights with people in the woods! Tara said she saw him bloody twice and that he said it was not his own blood and also that he was in the woods. Ice also then did say he was in the woods. Tara said he sold his shop to go on some mission three months ago. He kept mentioning the Black War and to ask those who fought it, they would know what the danger is related to. He said he could not reveal more due to his codes."
Eve Cartier waves a hand as all his words pour out, "Yes... Ice... I know him." Understatement of the year. She takes in a deep breath and looks to sana and sika then slowly back, "I don't... like this idea. Not one bit. I suppose we best get Sabriel up."
"Ah yes good... anyways... if it's all nothing then no harm in spending some time in the castle. It can be like a vaction of sorts," Volmarr offers.
Dracaena Donat steps around restless, her hands on her back, listening intently to the words exchange between two free. A deep frown appears on her forehead and she bites softly on her lower lip. This was not good news at all!
Sabriel Hand comes down the steps at the sound of voices having woken him up from an uneasy sleep anyways, adjusting his clothing and buckling his sword belt. The voices were familiar so there was not any worry though he wondered about what the Magistrate would be doing in his home. Having picked up snippets of conversation he says, 'Tal Love, Volmarr."
Eve Cartier throws the man a look and frowns deeply, "This is no vacation."
"Anyone trying to get to me sure wouldnt be going through my slaves if they knew me at all. And did I hear you locked my property up in the castle? I dont think I appreciate that one bit." Sabriel comments.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar turns at once very glad to see Sabriel, "Administrator! There is some great danger! I had to to make sure she can't get kidnapped. it seems many want to kidnap her."
Suyuan Quan nods toward her Owner as the exchange was indeed bringing her agitation. She pivots toward the stairs, the gurgling of the child making her hasten her pace.
Sabriel Hand says a bit stiffly, "It seems you should not be deciding what to do with my property."
Eve Cartier takes in a long breath, looking very pleased to see Sabriel awake, both, because it means he is safe, and because it means there might be hope she won't be sleeping in a cell tonight, "Love... the Magistrate has come, saying that attempts have been made to steal tara which, he believes means that someone is attempting to kidnap you and use her as bait and was here to take us all to the castle cells for safety."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar says, "Not to the cells no, just to the castle."
Sabriel Hand looks to Eve a moment with a somewhat incredulous and blank expression and then back to the Magistrate, "I dont think I appreciate either, that you seem to be directly stating and showing through your actions that I am not able to protect my own property, household, or by extension, city. If I might suggest, the greatest danger at the moment, seems to be to your own neck."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar replies, "I am not trying to act as such... just well I only found out all the bits to make this all make more sense... so it's just now... and well I imagine you know far more then me... but what is the Black War?"
Sabriel Hand waves a hand, "I have no idea. And you are forgiven, you are no warrior, it is not surprising you might find yourself panicking particularly in light of your recent escapades."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar says, "I am only trying to help. I certainly mean no harm or disrespect. This is my Home Stone. I, like all men of this Home Stone, wish to keep it safe and its Administrator as well."
Sabriel Hand waves a hand, "Yes. Well. You're fortunate I'm not in a killing mood. Retrieve my property at once."
Eve Cartier furrows her brows. While she appreciate's Vol's concern, she is more worried about the stress on her Companion, though she remains standing tall and silent as she listens.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar says, very frustrated, "I shall do so then." He figures if he is not willing to listen then nothing he can do. He'll just watch out for his own interests only in that case, what else can he do, the Administrator seems to think it's all nothing and is acting like he is somehow the problem. Be Well. I shall be back with your slave."
Sabriel Hand inclines his head, "Thank you."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar unlocks, opens the door, leaves, shuts the door behind him, heads back up to the castle, frustrated.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar enters the castle and walks through the courtyard and over to the back end of the castle to the slave cage and looks in. He takes out a key now and puts it in the lock and turns it, unlocking the cage door, and opens it. "Come tara back home for you it seems."
Tara Pearl quirks her brow and glances at him when the door opens, "You do know how to confuse someone, Master." She steps out and lifts her chin. Her thumb points to the kennel behind her, "but you are correct, this is not my home."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar does not pay any heed to tara's words. He is too angry right now to even be bothered to talk with her. The way the Administrator acted made him very mad. He just shuts the door now of the cage and locks it, making sure it is secure so none of the other slaves can get out.
Tara Pearl jumps up as she hears the loud smack of the door and flees to the side, out of reach preferably, "I... all right... so i can go? All is safe?"
VolmarrGoth Vollmar says curtly, "Come with me. I bring you to your house." He starts to walk out of the castle making sure tara is following, "Come slut, don't dally."
Tara Pearl swallows and then nods softly with her hands clasped behind her back, "Y-yes, Master."
Sabriel Hand looks over at the girls, "You did well preparing for the feast yesterday, thank you."
Dracaena Donat descends the stairs and kneels down, just hearing the comment her Owner made, she smiles "Thank you, Master."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar takes out a paper now and a writing stick and begins to write a short note stating he resigns his position as Magistrate and tucks it into tara's collar so it is plain to see. He then heads off now toward home to begin plans to start have all his property including slaves shipped off some place safe and to look for safe passage away from here if needed... in a hurry...
Tara Pearl keeps extremely silent while she follows him, when he stops in front of the door she holds her breath and her left foot starts to shuffle over the stones. She stares at Volmarr with a confused glance still written in her eyes while he scribbles something down, "... I ..." but then he has gone and she steps closer to the door, opens it, and steps inside.
Suyuan Quan nods politely toward Sabriel and the curve of a smile surfaces over her features, "Thank you, Master for permitting us to be there."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar whispers to tara, "Be well slut." and walks off now.
Eve Cartier holds the sleeping wee one tightly, pleased to see she is sleeping and happy, though obviously none too happy about being wakened from her warm sleep. She chuckles low and puts a kiss to her eyelids and hands the babe back to sika, motioning her to take her back up to her cradle.
Sabriel Hand glances up, "People have been trying to kidnap you?"
Tara Pearl glances around the house and smiles somewhat relieved, with soft paces she moves toward her Master and lifts her chin, sorta offering the note which was tucked behind the collar. "Tal,my Master," and then kneels down, before being able to greet the others she shakes her head, "No, only back then at the tavern, my Master."
Sabriel Hand says, "I dont know what that means. Back then when?"
Tara Pearl reconsiders, "Well actually more often, but not lately, though i heard some gossip about another attempt." She then chews on her bottom lip, "That silly black caste, Master. It was months ago when Tristan almost got killed." She rushes to him and clings her arms around his legs, then murmurs softly, "I thought it was you they were after."
Sabriel Hand blinks a little and heads out of the door to head toward his office, having much to see to. He presses the girl away from him, "The concern is noted. Back to the house beast Eve surely needs you today."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar walks up to his office for the last time, having brought a gang of rented male work slaves from the harbor to start helping to crate and move move his stuff. He looks at the guard and reaches in his pouch and pulls out a silver coin and hands it to him, "I no longer need your services. I wish you well."
VolmarrGoth Vollmar opens the door of the office and looks on as he watches the slaves pack things.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar walks over to his house with the rented slaves now and opens the door. The slaves enter and start to pack his stuff, crate it, and carry the crate of office stuff toward the harbor where he has already booked space in a boat for them... headed north.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar orders his girls to get into slave cages which will be loaded on the open deck of the ship for transport. The rented slaves will carry these cages to the harbor also.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar walks out of the house, having already found a buyer for it. He walks out and talks to the man who is purchasing it. The man hands him a large sack of coins. At least he has done well for himself in the time he has been in Salernum.
VolmarrGoth Vollmar now stands at the harbor watching as the cargo ship containing his property and slaves sets sail. He waves to his slave girls that are in cages on the deck. He has booked a separate ship for a couple days later, having made all arrangements for his slaves and property to be looked after until he arrives.
The truth of the matter, for those that cared, was that he had come to Salernum to die. Not a young man … he had never actually been a young man … he had come here to live out his last days, after many long years of fighting at the behest of others. He would die on a quiet stretch of land, with a warm meal in his stomach and perhaps a modest slave at his side, a slave that might just care about him, and take care for him as his days passed.
That was the plan, but Salernum didn’t cooperate. From the start he had been in the thick of things, running an inn, managing a farm, and before long he found himself the First Sword of the city. From corpse to captain, in the wink of an eye.
These things were all new to him, and doing new things had rekindled his spirit. Suddenly he had a purpose. He had mouths to feed and budgets to consider - warrants to read and men to arrest. People looked up to him, or looked down on him, and he was never quite sure which of those he liked best. More than anything else though, the man that was lived in a tent the better part of his life, in the same grimy clothes, mostly eating half-rotted food, now lived in a fine fortress, with good clothes on his back, coin in his pocket and an expensive pleasure slave to keep him warm at night. It hardly seemed possible.
The fall of footsteps brought him back to the here and now, the almost silent walk of the only slave he had ever owned. As she came closer, and he started to hear her speak, he casually held up a hand to keep her silent, and at the same time wrapped an arm around her to pull her closer, until she, like him was staring at the small waterfall next to the bridge between the front gate and the walkway to the fortress.
“Look at those rocks girl. Look how perfectly they fit together, and how the water falls over them evenly and as if it was part of the rock itself.” As he paused a moment as if he had said something important. “I was just commenting on these rocks … these very rocks, to the magistrate the other day. There is a military precision to them, every rock in it’s place and the water covering them all.” Making a motion with his hand, in a flat arc in front of them. “I bet when those rocks first fell here, they were not so orderly, and I bet the water splashed all over the place. One can imagine that it took the washing of years of water to put them to the order we see today.”
Giving that a few moments to sink in, he used his arms to turn the girl towards him as he himself turned to look her in the eyes. With a casual grip he hiked he up and plunked her down on the stone wall of the bridge, moving close between her legs so she could hear him as he spoke quietly.
“Many strange events are going on lately girl. Some might think they are unrelated, but that’s rarely the case. Not long ago we had that storm, unusually long and unusually cold for this time of year. Parts of the city damaged and residents forced to flee their happy homes. And yet, that was just one event.” Spoken almost indifferently and with a hush actually designed to give it emphasis. “Then we has these attacks, rapes or who really knows, perhaps free women offering themselves. One can only wonder. The times were hard. Did they give themselves for coin? Did they give themselves for a hot meal? Did they give themselves, just because they were scared and wanted the comfort of a man? Did they even give themselves at all? As he let that last point trail off, really not knowing enough about free women to have any sort of answer.
“Then we had a murder. That bath keeper … well one day a bath keeper, one day a slave, one day an extortion victim … who can keep up.” Giving an almost absent smile, “And of course the loss of a physician in a far away land. Not related to the rest of course/” as he gives the slave a quizzical look, as if he didn’t quite believe it.
Slowly an carefully he looks into his slave’s eyes. He was scaring her perhaps, but these words needed to be said. “And then a pirate attack on the city. That most curious of all. Each day ships leave and arrive at this port, full of cargo, ships so full they must sail like slugs on the water. Why attack a defended city when there is booty for the taking on the open sea? Why take the risk, and for what purpose?”
Absently, he turns his body back towards the water, this time pulling the slave girl with him until her back was against his chest, and his long arms were folded around her. “These events are like those rocks, or at least the way they used to be. They might not fit together right now, and probably don’t even know they are to fit together at all … but you can bet that they do, and will .. and when the will of the Kings, washes over us like the water in that falls, lets just hope we are left standing, and have someone left to admire us.”
Giving it a very long pause, he moved his hands a little lower, across the slave's chest, giving her something else to think about, and him something else to occupy him time.