"You are most gracious, Master Alela," she replies with her head bowed. "I will try to live up to the accolades you present to Commander Oakfirst on my behalf."dfryer36 wrote:"There was no offense guardsmen. You were defending your post. There is no shame in that," Terger tells Alserda. "You showed bravery, integrity, and judgement. In fact when I see Captain Oakfirst again I intend to recommend you both for commendations."Knightfall wrote:"Uhm, there is no need for that," Alserda apologizes. "In my vigor to do my duty, I have offended your companions. I only hope Master Alela will forgive my hubris and choose not to have me banned from the city." She steps towards Terger and goes down on one knee. "I am a proud servant of the city and The Five. Please forgive me!"
"Maybe later," Rhodes replies. "Right now, we have other concerns."dfryer36 wrote:"You are free to peruse my papers if you wish Lord Rhodes, although for now only you and Custodio may look at them." He turns to the others and shrugs. "Sorry, but trust me when I say it's for your protection that you are better off not know what's in those documents. Some secrets are better left undiscovered."Knightfall wrote:"What do they say?" Rhodes whispers to Custodio.
"Then, you'll have to read them for yourself," the guardsman replies. "If he lets you."
"I don't need to see them," Custodio says. "We've fought and bled together and that is enough for me."
"While we have yet to fight together," Elkgrar says. "If Oakfirst trusts you enough to bring us together then that is all I need to know, for now."
"His view isn't my view, Tim," Custodio notes. "But, remember, he was imprisoned for some time and without a proper trial. A bit of paranoia goes a long way while in the Dungeon."Tellerian Hawke wrote:Tim raises his eyebrow as he scoffs at Rhodes, "So, standing up for one's ethical principles, even to the point of willingly suffering bodily harm in order to adhere to them, is considered weak? If that's what passes for weak in this world, I don't want to be strong."Rhodes wrote:In this city, showing weakness can get you killed.
"I saw enough corruption before I was sent to Dungeon to make me wary of showing weakness while doing my duties," Rhodes replies. "But, then again, a lot of my time was spent in New City and in the Undercity, where black and white often mixed into a muddy gray."
Rhodes turns to Tim. "I do admire you convictions, Tim, but don't expect our enemies to fight with honor. Simply trust those that stand by your side and fight for more than just the glory of the city. Admire those that fight for others who can't fight for themselves while being wary of those who smile at your face and stab at your back."
"I doubt there will be honor amongst You-Know-Who's minions," Elkgrar adds. "But I can attest to the fact that sometimes politics get in the way of justice. When that happens, we must stick to our convictions or become as bad as those who work to undermine Bluffside's society."
"That is good to hear," Towermaster Monderand replies. "If you write up something official, I would like a copy for our paymaster."dfryer36 wrote:"Ah well, misunderstandings are a hazard in my line of work sir," Terger chuckles. "But no I took no offense from your guardsman doing her duty. As I told her I intend to recommend both of them for commendations once our investigation is over."Knightfall wrote:Alserda scrambles to her feet and passes Terger's documents to Towermaster Monderand. He looks at them with keen interest while Alserda whispers in his ear and points at Terger. The dwarven towermaster looks at Terger with an amused grin. He carefully folds the papers back up and steps towards Terger.
"Hmm, while you don't look like much, I'm betting there is a fire in you," he says while handing the papers back. "I'm sorry if Mareike bruised your ego. She can be a firebrand when angered. She must learn to temper her temper."
"Hmm, I see," the towermaster replies while looking at Custodio.willpell wrote:Glad to have the confrontation defused without requiring his involvement, Relgar wastes no mental energy thinking about Terger's mysterious documents; he agrees that some knowledge is dangerous to have, but more to the point, much knowledge is simply uninteresting trivia, and he cannot afford to clutter up his mind with irrelevancies that will take his attention from the Universal Mathematics, which consume most of his concentration and can misfire drastically if his thoughts wander too far from their maintenance. When the towermaster addresses him about his architectural scrutiny, he mumbles something noncommittal while avoiding eye contact.
The Elite waves his hand in resignation while shaking his head. He mouths the words, 'don't worry about it'. The dwarf snorts once and crosses his arms while staring at the house for any signs of what Relgar was looking at.
"No need for formality," Alel says while stroking his beard. "Why kick a dead mule in the rump when there are more important matters?" The towermaster turns to Custodio. "So, my friend, what is this mission of yours, eh?"MacConnell wrote:Thersean laughs lightly in hopes of diffusion some of the residual tension.
"I hope this does not go on record as a diplomatic engagement for me. Tensions are really on edge. We should quickly proceed with this investigation. I believe it is implicative in all the heightened tension."
"We should probably discuss that inside," Custodio replies while motioning towards several citizens who have been watching the exchange take place. "Away from any prying eyes."
"Nothing to see here," Mareike Alserda snaps at the mulling citizens. There are some whispery gossip in the crowd which seems to be made up of young nobles and a few waifish maids carrying baskets or other trade tools. Her words sends some of them scurrying back to their daily routine. A few young males take offense at the harsh words but once the towermaster steps forwards and begins tapping one boot on the cobbles, the rest move on as well.
"Zavier, lad, check the grounds of the house. Make sure there aren't any more skulkers around looking to make mischief."
"Yes sir!" A young human man, barely into his mid-20s, salutes the towermaster and moves off towards the far end of the second building.
"And tell Kai that I want to see him later when his shift is over," the towermaster booms loud enough for all to hear.
The guard turns, nods, and salutes again before continuing on his patrol.
"Guardian Alserda, you are with us," he orders. Then he turns to the guard named Bronte. "Arcanus Abelner, take command of the entryway for now. I will have Mr. Causer come be your relief in two hours."
"Yes sir," the guard replies quietly with a graceful bow.
"Bring your companions, Custodio," Alel says with a smile. "We shall gather in the manor's old dining hall and there you can tell me what you need of me."
The Towermaster leads the group up the stairs and into a fine arcaded entryway. The high arches flanking the stairs have been blocked off with iron grates. The entry empties into a large hall that looks like it had once been used to greet guests. Now, it serves as a major guard post with two sets of double doors that exit to the left into a wide corridor.
"If you wish, you can leave your cloaks and weapons in that room, but it isn't required since Master Alela speaks for The Five," Alel motions to a small room with no door. "If your boots are muddy, however, I ask that you remove them and leave them here."
He leads the group through several winding corridors of the old manor until the group comes out into a large and long room set aside for the soldiers to eat their meals in. A set of stairs just to the right of the dining hall's open doorway. There is a large table that has seen better days, but it is kept clean and the room is tidy. Once everyone has gathered inside, the towermaster closes and locks the door. He has Mareike Alserda close the other door on the far side of the room. She stands guard in front of it after locking it.
Against the room's left wall is a large fireplace that smolders. Four windows are spread evenly on the right wall with two of them, closest to the two doors, being large terraced windows. The two center windows are shuttered while heavy draperies hang across the terraced windows. The towermaster adds several logs to the fireplace and sits down in front of it.
"Now, your mission?" He asks.
"We are hunting a renegade sorcerer," Custodio replies. "A man named Phelix Del Cannitha. He caused the destruction in New City, and we believe he is here in Old City and that he has a secret lair somewhere near the Gardens."
"He might be hiding in one of the towers of the old Growers' Gate," Rhodes adds.
"Hmm, I don't see how that would be possible. The main entry points were walled up with stone and the windows were boarded up. We do have one open entry point, but it and the tower's interior is checked for vermin and anything else that might have gotten in there."
"Of course, that is the tower on this side of the old gate," Guardian Alserda adds. "The tower on the Gardens side is used and patrolled more often."
"Yes," Alel nods. "Watches are routine there, although the Gardens' guards aren't all Elites. They are good men and woman, but their duties are considered less important since the Gardens are sectioned off from Old City. If they were penetrated by an enemy force, the gates leading into Old City could be sealed at a moments notice."
He looks at Custodio, "Why do you think this renegade would hold up around here, eh? This is a major garrison, and I find it hard to believe he would go unnoticed by my guards. Well, at least, he'd have to have significant magic to hide from us. Émilienne and the other tower wizards constantly are on the look out for magical troubles on this side. And she also walks the walls surrounding the Gardens, just to be safe."
"A lead that was uncovered under New City points to the Gardens," Custodio replies while looking at Terger. "And while speaking with Master Rosenberg over at The Golden Lantern, there was an incident. A fire trap went off, which was placed by the renegade to kill anyone that spoke his name in the Temple Hall."
"Well, that's certainly compelling," Towermaster Monderand looks at Terger. "Master Alela, I assume you are leading this investigation. What else can you tell me about what you might be looking for or need from me?"