The Store Next Door
The new version of The Shoppe, now affectionatly known as 'Sneed.' Home to the Old Kingdom RP that keeps Sanaryelle and Fishy Biscuits awake till Charter-knows-what time in the morning!
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Fishy Biscuits

A town in the Old Kingdom.

12/28/2010 #1
Fishy Biscuits

~Sorienne~

It was only one day's riding and a ferry crossing to my destination, Windden; a small village on the eastern side of the Ratterlin. When I arrived, I checked into the only inn there, then started discreetly asking after the next man on my list, posing as an old friend of his. From reading the slut's diary, I knew that he lived in this village, and I assumed that someone at the inn would know where I could find him.

After only a few hours, however, I had found out that this man had moved away from Windden about a year ago, and was now living in Qyrre. According to the man I got this information from, he was now married and had a new baby. Even better, I thought. It would make people even more angry with the slut when she was suspected of murdering him. Well, Qyrre was only another day's travel away, so I spent the night at the inn, and set off again the following morning.

Just before I entered the town, I cast another glamour. I knew that there was a guard outpost there, and there was a chance that I would be recognised. I checked into a nice-looking inn, using the name Mariora, and paying with some of the slut's money. I sat down at the bar and ordered a meal, then went up to my room. I would start tracking this man down tomorrow.

I sat on the edge of my bed and finished off reading the slut's diary. She'd stopped writing in the middle of an entry - evidently that was when the constables had taken her. It would have been interesting to see what else she would have written. I felt a smirk come onto my face as an idea formed in my mind. It would be interesting to see how that entry had finished... especially if she wrote incriminating things. I drew the quill and ink out of my pack, ripped out a page from the diary, and began to practice copying the slut's handwriting. It took a while to get it just right, especially the way she wrote the tails on letters like 'y' and 'j' but at some point during the night, I had pretty much perfected it.

I decided to get some sleep after that. The inn was very comfortable - if I decided to reveal who I was to the slut I would have to thank her for the money - and I enjoyed a good breakfast the following morning. After that, I made sure I could still mimic the slut's handwriting, and then I began to finish off her diary entry.

12/28/2010 #2
Fishy Biscuits

~Sorienne~

It only took me a couple days to find out everything I needed to know. Qyrre itself wasn't exactly small, but it wasn't large either and the one main street that ran the length of the town made it easy to learn my way around. The day after I'd arrived there, I had set out trying to inconspicuously locate my target, and had actually ended up playing a game of cards with him down in one of the local taverns. After that it had been easy to follow him back to his house and memorise where it was, as well as the best route to and from the inn I was staying at. Everything was ready by the middle of the following morning.

I managed to borrow a message hawk from a travelling merchant who happened to be passing through the town. This was quite a stroke of luck, I thought: the slut might be able to keep a note if I sent her one, and it could count as evidence in her favour. A message hawk would almost instantly forget the last message it had had to take as soon as it was delivered, and so there would be no evidence of this one. Finding someone to speak my planned message wasn't difficult either. I had - unintentionally - discovered a deserted ally where a beggar hid when he wasn't asking for food or money, and I set out to find him with the hawk on my arm.

'Read it,' I commanded, handing him the piece of paper with my message to the slut written on it. I drew one of my daggers once he had taken the paper, and held it to his throat. I activated the Charter spell inside the message hawk and then nodded, indicating for him to begin reading. His voice shook with fear - which only added to the realistic sound of the message - but he did as I had instructed and finished the message. Once he was done, I quickly slit his throat with my knife. Then, after cleaning the blade on his ragged coat and sheathing it to free my hand, I cast the usual cremation Charter spell, which burnt the man's body and the paper copy of the message into ash.

With that done, I let the hawk fly off to the Abhorsen's House and headed back to the main street again. No-one seemed to pay me any attention at all. I returned to the inn, and ordered myself a good meal and a mug of hot cider. I smiled to myself as I sipped my drink - the hawk would arrive towards the end of the day, and the slut should arrive in Qyrre in less than four days. Everything was going according to plan.

1/10/2011 #3
Fishy Biscuits

~Sorienne~

Several days later, I was still waiting for the slut to show up. It was clear that she wasn't using the Paperwing - she would have been here already otherwise - and so by my calculations she should get here by yesterday. But she still hadn't shown up yet. I frowned over my lunch - where was she? Had she abandoned her duties already?

By early evening, I decided that it was safe to assume that she wasn't going to turn up - maybe her experience in Aelford had made her afraid of leaving her house, even when she was called out to do the job she'd wanted practically all her life. She was pathetic, after all.

That night, as I lay in my bed at the inn, I thought about what I was going to do next. I could wait a little longer for the slut, but it really didn't seem likely that she would be coming. I could leave Qyrre and make for another town and another victim, but if the slut had abandoned her duties that might not be the best plan in the world. Then I decided that the best thing to do would be to head towards Belisaere. My eldest brother, Aedyn, lived there as he was the Vice-Captain of the Royal Guard, and I knew that he would be able to get things done. I had the slut's diary - damning evidence against her. All I had to do was hand it to him, and he would see that it got to the right people.

The quickest way for me to get to Belisaere would be by boat, and from checking my map I saw that the nearest port would be Callibe - two or three days' ride away, followed by four or five days at sea. I could be in Belisaere within a week if I left now. My mind made up, I ate a quick breakfast, settled my bill at the inn, collected my horse from the stables, and headed east out of Qyrre. There was a Royal Road that led through the Great Sickle Wood, and I was pretty sure that there would be posting inns along the way.

As I rode, I realised a problem: I was supposed to be on the run, and there was no way of knowing if Aedyn would listen to me or not.

Unless, of course, he didn't realise that it was me he was speaking to. I'd managed to fool him before, during my childhood, so it probably wouldn't be too difficult to do it again. I felt the corners of my mouth creeping up into a smile as I figured out what to do about that – I would fake my own death. That way, no-one would suspect me at all, even if the slut and Tindall started accusing me.

That evening I rested in the forest, a little way back from the road, and waited until a lone traveller walked past. With a quick, almost-silent Charter spell, the man collapsed in a limp heap on the road, and I snuck out and dragged the body into the trees. Creating the glamour was easy, given all the practice I'd had, and once the spell was cast I dressed the body in some of my spare clothes and added my pack and sword (seeing as I was now using the ones I'd found in the slut's room). Soon the man's body looked identical to mine – save for a knife-hilt protruding from his stomach. I'd used one of his own knives, so no-one would really know who was responsible – using one of Tindall's knives would have been too risky, seeing as the slut would guess who had them.

With the body lying close to the side of the road, I worked on my own disguise. A full glamour would be too risky, seeing as I was going to have to keep it up for several days, so I opted for a simpler one: just a scarf wrapped around my head, hiding my hair, and a simple glamour to change my eyes to a deep blue. It wasn't elaborate, but my face did seem to be a slightly different shape when my hair was hidden. I also removed the ring from my finger and slipped it into a small pocket of the pack. Then, making sure that no-one else was on the road, I continued on with my journey towards Callibe.

After another hour or so, I came across an inn, so I engaged a room for the night. I went under the name 'Vanelle,' which I was planning to keep for the time being. In my bed that night, I grinned to myself; yes, my plan had changed a bit, but the outcome should still be the same.

1/30/2011 #4
Sanaryelle

Iselli-

Vynn and I landed our Paperwing outside of town and concealed it as usual, before walking towards Qyrre and starting down the main street. Vynn looked at me sidelong; she was still cross about me taking the Paperwing in the middle of the night to Aelford and stranding her at High Bridge.

"So what do you know about this situation?" she asked.

I sighed. "Well, we know a message summoned the Abhorsen here," I said. "If, as the Clayr have Seen, it's possibly another murder, and if the victim is connected to the Abhorsen's past, then that could help confirm that someone is framing her."

"I suppose it's a good thing she left the Old Kingdom, then," said Vynn grudgingly. She and many of the Clayr had objected to my taking things into my own hands without consulting the Clayr. And they especially hadn't liked it that I'd urged the Abhorsen to leave the Old Kingdom for a little while. But in her absence, and when the Clayr had finally begun to listen to me, a clandestine investigation had begun to verify the Abhorsen's claims of being framed. Vynn and I were part of it, but most of the Clayr didn't even know about it, except for the high-ups.

Evidence had been gathered during the investigation: the fact that Sorienne and Mawbor, Royal Guards, had left their stations at Roble's Town after Cariel's imprisonment, and had not been heard of again - until Aelford. The fact that a King's Messenger was still trying to locate them to burn the Charter Marks from their foreheads for their treatment of the Abhorsen and Tindall. The fact that they had nearly killed Tindall and nearly done worse to Idriel. And most recently, the fact that a message sent to the Abhorsen's House had called her to Qyrre.

"It's suspicious, isn't it?" I remarked. "The Abhorsen mentioned that a message had summoned her to Aelford, and here we have another message summoning her to Qyrre."

"If the victim checks out, then it looks like someone is trying to frame her," Vynn said grimly. "You said the Abhorsen thought it was that Sorienne woman?"

"Yes," I confirmed. "Though I'm afraid I only have her word, and Tindall's, when it comes to that. It does fit together, though."

Vynn nodded. "And if it looks like the Abhorsen is being framed, then we should try to track her down. Did you see her when you were in Aelford?"

"No," I sighed. "I don't know what she looks like. All we have is that description from the guards in Roble's Town. The Abhorsen and her swordsman would know, but they're not here right now. And as far as I know, she hasn't been Seen. Or if she has, the high-ups aren't telling us about it."

Vynn rolled her eyes. "What else is new," she muttered. We headed down the main street. The scene of the murder wouldn't be too hard to find, and once we revealed ourselves as Clayr, getting information about the victim would be an easy matter.

1/30/2011 . Edited 1/30/2011 #5
Fishy Biscuits

~Sorienne~

When the morning came, I went downstairs to have my breakfast. The inn I was staying at had a reputation for excellent breakfasts - or so I'd heard the previous night - so I was looking forward to it.

I sat at a table and scanned the menu, though my mind was thinking about my forthcoming journey to Callibe. Once I was on a boat and heading for Belisaere, the slut wouldn't be able to stop me handing her diary to the King.

1/30/2011 #6
Sanaryelle

Iselli-

After our inquiries around Qyrre, we knew that the person who had been murdered recently in Qyrre was a beggar, who had lived all his life in the town and had no connections to the Abhorsen whatsoever. Also, this beggar was not the victim we had Seen during the Nine Day Watch.

"This is getting a bit more complicated," Vynn said, sighing. "Maybe the Clayr were wrong..."

"Unless he hasn't been murdered yet," I pointed out. "Or, it could have been a possible future then that now has been averted. Still, if we can find the intended victim, and ascertain that he knew the Abhorsen..." I trailed off as I caught sight of a man coming out of a tavern. Vynn and I exchanged glances, and headed after him.

After following him for a bit down the road, he stopped and suddenly turned around. "What do you want?" he asked.

I looked at Vynn, warning her to keep quiet, and took a step forward. "We're from the Clayr," I told him. "We're trying to track down a young woman known as Raylinn. Would you happen to know her?"

"Know her," the man sniggered. "I suppose you could say that." I paused, and looked significantly at the money pouch at my belt. I sighed, and withdrew several silver deniers, handing them over. The man grinned. "Not a word to anyone else, all right? Yeah, I knew Raylinn, after a fasion. She came through Windden - village a bit west of here. Got into a card game in the tavern, lost, and didn't have enough money to repay her debt to me." The man grinned, and I didn't bother asking how she'd paid her debt. "But that was over a year ago," he said. "I dunno where she is now."

"Thank you," I said quietly, and pulled Vynn away. "Don't you see?" I hissed. "The person framing the Abhorsen - maybe Sorienne - was planning on killing that man and framing the Abhorsen for it. But because she's in Ancelstierre and didn't come, he was spared."

Vynn was nodding. "Let's ask all of the local inns, and find out if there's anyone who arrived just before the message hawk was sent. If we're lucky, they may still be waiting here."

1/30/2011 #7
Fishy Biscuits

~Sorienne~

Once I'd finished my breakfast, I settled my bill at the inn's front desk, then asked for my horse to be brought out from the stables. The innkeeper nodded and sent a stable-boy round to fetch my horse, while I ordered a drink at the bar.

1/30/2011 #8
Sanaryelle

(OOC: Where is Sorienne? At an inn on the Royal Road and in the forest, about a day's journey outside of Qyrre?)

Iselli-

After an exhausting few hours going around to all the inns, we discoverd that a woman who had signed the inn register as "Mariora" had arrived a couple days before the beggar had died, and had left yesterday morning. Her description didn't match the one we had of Sorienne.

"Another dead end," Vynn remarked as we left.

"Perhaps Sorienne used a glamour," I suggested.

Vynn sighed. "Iselli, that's a pretty far stretch. I think you're just clinging on to the idea that Sorienne is framing the Abhorsen. The Abhorsen has many enemies. Maybe she was just paranoid due to her previous treatment at that Royal Guard's hands when she told you that."

"I'm being reasonable," I said firmly. "Mawbor was using a glamour when he attacked the Abhorsen. And now that Sorienne is being tracked by a King's Messenger, she would have to go in disguise. Wouldn't she?"

"Fine," said Vynn reluctantly. "Let's run with this mad theory of yours. So, how do we find Sorienne if she's disguising herself?"

"Well," I said, "they did mention that this Mariora person was seen heading east. So we'll just have to follow."

Vynn crossed her arms. "Back to the Paperwing?"

"Back to the Paperwing," I confirmed.

1/30/2011 #9
Fishy Biscuits

(OOC: Yep. She's going under the name 'Vanelle' and she's just about to leave.)

~Sorienne~

The stable-boy soon brought my horse from the stables, and I thanked him as I left the inn. It was a cold, but clear morning, and the road wasn't at all icy; it would be an easy journey to Callibe. Maybe I'd be able to make it there in two days rather than three, I thought as I started to ride east along the road.

1/30/2011 #10
Sanaryelle

Iselli-

We flew the Paperwing, following the Royal Road until it reached the forest. The woman had left Qyrre yesterday morning, so she must have stopped for the night. About a day's ride east of Qyrre we found an inn. I carefully landed the Paperwing in a small clearing among the trees, and Vynn and I headed for the inn.

1/30/2011 #11
Fishy Biscuits

~Sorienne~

There weren't many people on the road this morning. It was probably too cold for most people, I thought, unless they had actual business to attend to. I was quite looking forward to going back to Belisaere; I hadn't been there for years - not since I'd been stationed in Roble's Town - and I had actually missed it a little. It was the place where most things happened, and where the important people of the kingdom lived. And I was looking forward to moving my plan along...

1/30/2011 #12
Sanaryelle

Iselli-

We made enquiries, and found that a woman named Vanelle had signed in to the inn last night, and had left this morning. The description of her wasn't very good.

"I suppose we could follow along the road, and catch up," I suggested to Vynn.

She was about to answer, when somebody burst through the door. "Did you hear? A woodsman found a body on the road!"

Everyone bustled out of the inn, including myself, and started questioning the man. It was a woman. She had been stabbed. The woodsman had buried her by the side of the road, and marked the grave. Vynn and I questioned the man, and were absolutely stunned when he described Sorienne to us.

Vynn and I walked back to the Paperwing. "So this Vanelle person is probably completely unrelated to this," Vynn was saying.

I shook my head. "Something's not right. Why wasn't Sorienne wearing a glamour?"

"She was dead," Vynn said flatly. "The spell would've failed."

"Oh - right," I said. I still shook my head. "Let's go back along the road, and find that grave. I want to make sure."

"Iselli, you're sounding more and more crazy with every passing hour," Vynn sighed. "Maybe you're going senile."

"I'm not that old," I snapped. "I'm just being -"

But Vynn suddenly stumbled, and I just managed to catch her. Soon she was blinking, and putting a hand to her head. I recognized the signs. "What did you See?"

Vynn shook her head. "A city by the shore - lots of colourful sails. Callibe. And I -"

"What?" I asked. Vynn had a very odd expression on her face.

"Nothing," said the younger woman, shaking her head firmly. She set her jaw. "Let's go to Callibe. She's trying to get a ship. We need to wait near the docks."

I nodded, and walked with Vynn back to the Paperwing.

1/30/2011 . Edited 1/30/2011 #13
Fishy Biscuits

~Sorienne~

I was making good time; it really wouldn't take me long to reach Callibe. I knew from things I'd heard from some of the guards I'd been with in Roble's Town that Callibe was a popular stop-off point for ships travelling to Belisaere, so I hoped I would be in luck. With the slut's diary safely in my pack, all I had to do was get safe passage to Belisaere, and everything would be sorted. The evidence would be handed to the right people, and I would be able to sit back and watch the fun.

I smiled to myself, then gave a friendly nod to a man who was riding the opposite way along the road. Then I gave my horse an encouraging pat on the neck, and sped up, just to make sure I got to Callibe as soon as possible.

Continued on "Callibe", page 1, post 2.

1/30/2011 . Edited by Sanaryelle, 2/1/2011 #14
Sanaryelle

Darod-

I knelt over the grave, trying to ignore the smell. Beside me, a woodsman stood, gaping. "That's not the woman I buried!"

"Clearly," I said, getting to my feet and brushing the dirt from my hands. Sorienne was a wily one. I'd been at this messenger business for several years now, and it was rare that they gave me this much trouble.

From Roble's Town, a full day of investigation had sufficed. Questioning people near every city gate soon established where a man and a woman had ridden off on two good horses. Horses taken from the guard outpost - or what was left of it. A few questions soon cleared up which horses were taken, what they looked like, and - most importantly - that they had been fitted with fullered concave shoes characteristic of the mounts of Royal Guards. Tracking Sorienne and Mawbor to Aeford in the snow and mud had been a simple matter.

Aelford had greeted me with several surprises. The local constabulary, once they knew who I was, were very helpful and informative. They even allowed me to see the body of the man they'd found in the woods. The description of Mawbor fit the corpse to a tee. There had been many rumours about the Abhorsen, how she had murdered an innkeeper, how she had escaped from the constables, and how she had killed Mawbor in the forest during her flight. However, knowing that Sorienne and Mawbor were to lose their Charter Marks because of their mistreatment of the current Abhorsen, I found Mawbor's presence more than a little coincidental. If she had killed him, it would have been either self-defense or justified revenge. There was an odd mention by the men who had found the body of meeting a Clayr and her friend in the woods nearby. The Clayr's involvement, though not foreseen, was unsurprising; of course they would involve themselves if the Abhorsen was getting into trouble.

Another day of investigation in Aelford let me know that a brother and sister had arrived at an inn, the brother had disappeared, and only the sister had left - heading out on the north road, according to the stableboy. Funnily enough, the local constabulary hadn't yet connected the 'brother's' disappearance with the appearance of a strange body in the woods. He had used a glamour, undoubtedly (strangers were noticed in places like these), which meant that Sorienne was probably travelling under a glamour too. Which would make locating her more difficult - though not impossible.

Tracking her after Aelford took some effort, but thankfully the tracks of one Royal Guard's horse travelling alone are quite rare on the roads. There was almost no new snowfall to cover up the traces. When I finally reached Qyrre, I found that my enquiries had already been made by two blonde women. The Clayr and her friend? The constables in Aelford had recorded their names in their report: Iselli of the Clayr, and Vynn, friend of the Clayr. Were they trying to find Sorienne too? What were they going to do with her? I had a job to do, and Charter willing, I would reach Sorienne before the Clayr did.

Apparently Sorienne had gone under the name 'Mariora'. From Qyrre, the road led east, and it was at the inn along the way where I made enquiries that I found three strange women had passed through recently: Iselli, Vynn... and 'Vanelle'. I asked for a physical description, but wasn't able to get a satisfactory one. And that was when I'd overheard idle gossip about the woman's body who had been found. That description, though vague, had matched Sorienne's original appearance.

So here I was, kneeling over an open grave. And that man was definitely not Sorienne.

2/2/2011 . Edited 2/2/2011 #15
Sanaryelle

Darod-

I allowed my horse to rest at the nexus of roads. North lay Callibe, and south lay Nestowe. The trail had gone cold.

Where would she go? What were her plans? She wasn't just fleeing me. She probably didn't even feel that I was a threat. Sorienne had another agenda - but what?

I remembered the rumours in Aelford. Had the Abhorsen killed Mawbor? Probably. Had she killed the innkeeper? Perhaps - there were eyewitnesses, after all. But the Abhorsen had not killed the beggar in Qyrre that the Clayr had been asking about, or the man who had taken her place in a woodland grave. Murders seemed to be following Sorienne now. What was she doing, that she was desperate enough to kill?

I let out a breath; the Abhorsen's belongings. Somebody had taken them from her room at the inn. The constables had been no help about that; I'd asked the maid. If Mawbor had been killed, and the Abhorsen and the Clayr had been spotted nearby, then it stood to reason that Sorienne also knew about the Abhorsen being in Aelford. She would have known about the innkeeper's murder - known, or been responsible? And the Abhorsen's belongings - a tool for revenge? An item of power?

I shook my head. What if it was the other way around? What if Sorienne was fleeing the Abhorsen, fearing her retribution for her treatment? But that didn't make sense - why go to Qyrre, and follow the Royal Roads? Why not disappear into the wilderness?

Sorienne, and Mawbor, and the Abhorsen, and the Clayr, all present in Aelford at the same time. An innkeeper dies, the Abhorsen is arrested, she flees, and Mawbor is killed. Was Mawbor trying to stop her? Was he trying to avenge the loss of his job and posting - a vengeance he couldn't enact until after she escaped - because it might have interfered with a plan? A plan for the Abhorsen to take the blame?

I shook my head again. It sounded far-fetched. Perhaps I was going too deeply into this. All I wanted to know was if Sorienne had gone north or south. Callibe, or Nestowe. I closed my eyes, and thought. Nestowe was a small fishing village. She'd only go there if she wanted to cross the Wall by sea - and if she did, she was welcome too. I'd just have to keep an eye out for her reappearance. But Callibe was a busy port, and from there she could go almost anywhere along the eastern coast. Callibe it was.

I heeled my horse into a trot, and headed north.

Darod reappears on "Callibe", page 2, post 65.

2/2/2011 . Edited 2/2/2011 #16
Fishy Biscuits

~Time jump!~

6/8/2011 #17
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