Burning Away

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  1. _____________________________________________________________________________________________

    It was autumn. A chill had fallen over Lieda, and sharpened winds ran through the streets, threatening the advance of even colder weather in their wake. The gray clouds that perpetually enshrouded the coastal city hesitated overhead, seemingly unsure of whether or not rain was appropriate for the frigid day. The rising sun had slipped from view early on, and left the city lit in pale blue and gray hues. In the dim early day, crowds had gathered along the main street of Lieda, one of many broad roads that fed into the nation's highways outside of city limits. It was unique in that it ran from the outermost edges of Lieda, curling amidst the oldest quarters of the city, and terminated directly before the capitol building of Arcartus. The Lieda House of Affairs, the grand hall that served as the primary organ of the imperial government. Representatives and consultants from home and abroad populated the building, but the people had not turned out for them. They stood on the sides of High Street, jacketed against the cold and fogging the air with their breath, in order to watch a parade come into town. Only a few had even noticed when the procession entered the city, but by the time it was in the core districts of the city word had spread. A single black carriage, pulled by a duo of unassuming horses and draped in the white and pale blue bicolor of the Arcarti Military, was making its way towards the capitol. Before and after the carriage, formations of soldiers bearing decorated pikes marched along and kept vigil over their charge. It was the carriage of a high officer.

    With the House in sight, many parts of the crowd were no longer cheering but making calls of challenge. Calls had been started, and now only drowned amongst each other as an incoherent mix of protest and support. What had started as a gathering of the curious and aware quickly escalated into a spectacle that drew people several blocks away with the noise. Many ran further with exaggerated rumors of riot and conspiracy in the heart of the capital to spread to their acquaintances. At the end of the road, the carriage driver reined in his horses, their heads bowed low but unperturbed even by the great noise of the crowd. The procession came to a halt, and began to wait. With the streets vacated, the people further down the road had moved closer and into the street, surrounding the carriage on three of its sides. A few of them continued to venture further, pulling the crowd forward and pressing as close to the carriage as they could. The driver looked about nervously, watching the advancing crowd and hearing only the jeers, but the troops that had come along with him simply stood out the wait with jaded indifference. The first flakes of snow had begun to fall on both parties, streaks of white tossed around by the brisk wind. Mechanically, the rear detachment of soldiers turned and moved and formed lines. Set apart from the crowd by the gray-green of their uniform, they shoved indiscriminately at those who came to near, and the corporal in their midst could be heard screaming, "Disperse or face the bludgeon!" over the crowd. Regardless of what was said, the cadre of troops was enough to force a stalemate and little more, and for the moment those not caught up in the mob watched the outburst in dull fascination.​
    #1 Epsir, Feb 9, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  2. Even from where he stood, Ethan could hear the jeers and profanity of the crowd that had appeared to watch the procession, calling down the streets to find them self at his ears. Despite this, Ethan stood vigilant, along with a number of other men, to receive their honored guest, Grand Marshal Wolcott, in front of the palace-like building that was the House of Affairs. Ethan stood holding his sheath in his hands, and out in front of him. The bottom of the sheath poked into the ground slightly, with Ethan's hands resting on the pommel of his sword, as if to use the sheath and sword as a type of rest. The stance only reinforced his stoic demeanor. This, combined with Ethan's midnight-black garb, made the man stick out like a sore thumb amongst the many other men that awaited the Grand Marshal. Soon enough, Ethan could see the black carriage, along with the procession of soldiers and angry citizens it brought with it. Ethan tensed for a moment, wondering if the citizens would provoke a situation. While he was content knowing that the soldiers could handle the situation, it definitely would only make things worse in Lieda. As the carriage pulled to a stop, and looked ready to unload it's cargo and passengers, the crowd seemed to become thunderous in it's profane display. Ethan had never seen quite a display as this one. A order called out from the rear guard of the procession, shouting at the mob to back off or face retribution, assaulted Ethan's ears. It seemed as if it had finally came to the point where force was going to be necessary. While this did nothing but make Ethan tense even more, and tighten his grip on the pommel of his sword, he was sure the people of Lieda would be smart enough to heed the order. At least for now.
    #2 Sightles, Feb 15, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  3. Gareth walked down the street in a beeline that avoided the push and shove of the agitated throng, and though Harker was not its target, he was anxious in his new brown leather boots that clicked the ground when he walked and more suited the weather than his old pair. He hugged himself in his attire, the bear fur of his tunic tickling his soft fingers through the tight leather gloves and his scarf billowing in the biting wind. If Gareth had known the weather would've been this cold, he would've dressed himself snugger, but Sir Tyler Lording gave him such a generic description of the weather—"It's chilly up there, Gareth, dress warm"—, and he'd hardly known what to really expect. 'Arctic' was not the first thing that came to mind. Harker gathered himself closer to the soldiers by the door of the House of Affairs, where he was due for a meeting. He pulled his hood from his head, and Gareth revealed his youthful and masculine face, anticipating the arrival of the other guest. He shyly thumbed the silver pendant of Keilaudrin's insignia entangled with a snow-white thistle, the only thing keeping his navy blue cloak from falling away into the winter winds. Harker took cautionary glances around to gauge his safety as he expected the man in the carriage to make his way to the House of Affairs.
  4. Having only recently arrived in the city, Lily had taken to exploring Lieda's mass network of intertwining backstreets. The tattered edges of her blue-grey coat flapped haphazardly about her ankles as she walked, her boots clacking softly against the cobblestone with every step. In her arms she carried a battered wooden trunk, a large piece of cargo for it's small owner. The trunk was getting heavy. She'd need to find some place to stay before nightfall, at least if she didn't intend to freeze to death. As the small woman stopped to adjust the white scarf draped around her neck, she heard a commotion near the end of the narrow street. Intrigued, she hurried down to the road's end to be greeted by a mass of people. She could hear shouting throughout the crowd, but she couldn't see it's source over the sea of bodies before her. Determined to learn what exactly was going on, she dropped the large wooden trunk to the ground and climbed up on top of it. From her new vantage point, she could see the black carriage in the center of the street, as well as the soldiers that surrounded it. At the end of the road was Lieda's House of Affairs. From what she could see, it seemed the crowd wasn't overly supportive of whoever the city's new arrival was. A small smile crossed her face. It seemed Lieda, perhaps Arcartus as a whole, was exactly how she'd heard it was. As the snow began to fall, she watched to see what would happen next.
  5. Awoken early to the asinine yelps and catcalls of the crowds stalking the officer's carriage and escort, Robert pawed through his surprisingly limited collection of liquid breakfasts, selecting an older mix, the year and title smudged beyond reading due to a bit of water damage that had sprung up a year before. The smell, when it was uncapped, said rum, and rum was good. He would be on his feet in ten and out the door in an hour. Regardless of the situation beyond the walls of his comfortable, albeit small, apartment, he had tasking for the evening, some older establishment had been broken into twice in the last three weeks in the grimy old quarter. He'd have Duvall scope the place out, throw him a handful of silvers, and sit down to lunch with him. The work was marked sundown to midday next, and he'd need to bring leftovers for the evening and morning.

    Robert, as predicted, was on his feet in ten, performing the morning ritual of a good stretch, trimming his beard and bemoaning the slow loss of his hair, buckling belt and boot and tidying up his shirt and coat. After a quick bite of bread and a sour looking lump of salted jerky, he buttoned down his coat and proceeded into the daylight. The store a handful of blocks down was his destination, as his lantern was dry and the old whetstone he had been carrying had been cracked in two after a particularly rough night of tending the Salted Leech on the other side of the city. More money down the drain, thanks to idiot drunks and lowdown homeless eager to jab a knife between your ribs for a quick snatch of your purse. He had plenty of money to fall back on, but the principle of the spending set his teeth on edge. After taking a breath of the mid-morning air to quell the slight burn of the old rum in his throat, he went about his business, shoes tapping softly, just off key to the ebb and throb of the obnoxious crowd.
    #5 ArmoredScout, Feb 15, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
  6. Amidst the tumult, the carriage's side door swung open from within, and the folding steps were unceremoniously kicked outwards. One by one, metal links snapped into place and with a gentle clatter, inaudible over the crowd, the wooden shell of the bottom step came to rest on the road's bricks. A man emerged from the doorway. He was tall, standing over the roof of the carriage as he righted himself on its exterior step. He was slender, a build indicated only by the thin hands and slim legs that showed underneath the massive red greatcoat that he wore. A uniform, and the emblem of his officership, it was a large, double breasted coat adorned with eight polished and golden buttons on its front. Its lapel and collar were broad and folded flush against the garment, trimmed decoratively in the white of the coat's interior. Black trousers covered his legs where the shin length coat gave way, and unassuming leather boots stood in for want of the heavy black boots worn by the foot soldiers around him. His face wore a faint smile, an expression that naturally suited his rectangular, sharply defined face. Adorning it, pale yellow hair parted over his left eye and combed elegantly. His eyes were blue and his hair was fair, common traits in the realm that had long worked in grooming the image of an everyman. Alexander Wolcott, a man of austere beauty and commanding presence, descended the steps. With him, he took no provisions and left no baggage aboard the vehicle. He took even, measured steps, absolutely ignorant of the world around him as he stared straight ahead and made his way down the stairs.

    A lone rock soared by the man's head from within the crowd, bashing against the wooden exterior of the carriage. The affront did not register with the officer, and without so much as an errant glance he rounded the car and marched towards the doors. The sight of a reception group surprised the man more than the crowd ever could, his eyes widened as he looked over the group of people come to the streets to receive him. A familiar assortment of uniforms, and two that were not. One was waiting by the door, probably in a predicament similar to his own, and the other stood more directly in his way. A black clad man, bearing a sword that he was proud to rest in front of him. If it was not the embodiment of martial tradition then Wolcott lacked words to articulate the air that the tall, rough skinned man exuded. The man by the door was set apart in his mind by his fairer skin and more obvious youth. Surely they both had some play to make in the House of Affairs, probably alongside his own. He didn't like giving introductions while he could see his own breath, and with a warmed interior literally within arm's reach, the marshal opted for brevity. As he came to a stop, he stood straight backed and rigid, with arms projected down his sides as a model officer should. "Good morning gentlemen," he spoke evenly, addressing the two strangers and the cadre of guards as snow fell lightly onto his shoulders. "I hope you're not waiting in this miserable weather on my account. Let's move inside," he said, glancing at the guard standing directly beside the door. As bidden, he turned and opened the door for the trio.


    He couldn't see over the crowds, and that was bad. A young man bounced and weaved at the edges of the crowd, forming a wall where one of the side roads feeding High Street ended. No matter where his green eyes settled, they couldn't quite find an angle for what had gotten so many people upset, and a good number of other people upset at the others. What had once promised fascination was now providing frustration and Tristan Heuze was not a soul willing to spend time on something so unrewarding as contending with his own height and the assembled masses of the city Lieda. Messy red hair, reaching down and threatening to reclaim the left half of the youth's face was the only color on his person, as the rest of him was covered by the brown trousers and cream colored vest that he and hundreds of other students wore variants of. Only a minute in, he gave up the chase as he had decided to, and fell back away from the crowd and jockeying for position. Only by walking back could he have ever moved forward, he quickly discovered, when immediately the sight of a blue jacketed girl perched victoriously upon a wooden trunk caught in his eyes. Of course, if the street had been any slummier there would have been lose crates for him to jump up on and watch, but instead there was only middling clean stones. She had defeated this by bringing her own crate. As the woman deserved, she was smiling, but intuitively he felt it was less in reaction to her triumph and more in response to whatever was occurring on the main road. Without time to hesitate or consider, he made his way over to her, standing silently beside the trunk for a second as he gathered his words. "Hey, hey, what's going on in there? Somebody start a fight?" He couldn't contain his mounting excitement as he spoke, a naturally light voice rising higher at the prospect of spectacle.​
    #6 Epsir, Feb 15, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  7. As Wolcott stepped gracefully out of the carriage, only to be answered by a defiant rock, Ethan's visage and stance remained unchanged. Ethan intended to make a good impression on the Grand Marshal, and he would start by appearing like the stoic and silent man that he was. Ethan simply nodded when the esteemed man gave response to the number of men that were there to receive his arrival. Snow had now been given enough time to build on Ethan's shoulders, providing a light cover of white powder on his head, as well on his shoulders and part of his arms. Just as Ethan fully came to realize this, Wolcott, as if on queue, gave credence that the weather was indeed in a increasingly miserable condition. As if on command, Ethan picked his sheath up and hooked it into his cross belt. In a manner that could only be labeled as 'dutifully', Ethan filed in behind the Grand Marshal. In an instance, Ethan caught the sight of the other man that seemed out of place among the throng of bodyguards that surrounded them. It was obvious to Ethan, from first sight, that the man was a foreigner, likely here to beseech Wolcott for some kind of assistance or another. After a stare that seemed to last a second too long, Ethan turned his gaze to the back of Wolcott's, entering the heated building. Once inside, Ethan unclasped his furred cape, and removed his leather gauntlets in a quick fashion, placing them both on the same prong of a coat rack. Ethan waited patiently for Wolcott to decide where they would continue their business, holding his hand in one another in front of him.
  8. The stone thrown at Grand Marshall Wolcott met Gareth's eye with a wince; he'd hardly seen that treatment issued to officials in Mullen save the tax collector, but even there everyone hated the shrewd tax collector. As if on cue, Wolcott came that way with a very grandiose yet pragmatic gait in his step, and he delivered his greetings to the two at the door. Smiling at Wolcott's remarks, Gareth nodded, an awfully timid "yes" passing his lips as his feet shifted and dragged him behind the other two men into the building. He only grabbed a passing glance of the other man and briefly made eye contact. Harker swore he saw those eyes flicker, and he felt familiarity in that face, déjà vu blindsiding him with an echo from the past that he couldn't trace to a source. For now, the handsomely aged man at the door was a stranger to the bowman-turned-diplomat.

    Gareth checked his bow and quiver and hung them on a hook with his sheathed sword from the Order of the Thistle. He stripped his person of his bearskin and his cloak, revealing an ordinary tunic underneath and tucked into his belt-fastened leather pants, and Harker discarded his gloves and scarf. All these items, just the bare minimum for surviving the cold, he managed to fit onto a hook while the snow that had gathered on his back and head like morning dew simply melted into the warmth of the indoors. Gareth held his hands behind his back and stood up straight with a shy smirk, ready to follow the other gentlemen submissively—"Be courteous; don't give them a bad impression." Gareth hoped to not ruin the mission for Keilaudrin. Sir Tyler was counting on him.
  9. Lily watched as the scene before her unfolded. A tall man wearing a large red coat made his way out of the carriage, narrowly missing an incoming rock from the crowd. It seemed whoever the man was, he was the cause of all this uproar. She watched as the yellow-haired man made his way towards the House of Affairs and greeted the men that appeared to be waiting for him at it's entrance. Whatever the man had done to incense the populace, it evidently hadn't made them angry enough to risk facing the sword. Lily cocked her head to the side as the man made his way into the House with his escorts. She'd have to discover who the man was, and what he'd done to be met with such vehement resistance.

    Suddenly, her attention was pulled away by a nearby voice. She turned to see a red-haired boy, who seemed to be suffering from the same problem she had faced only moments before. She hopped down from the trunk, motioning toward the road. "No, no fights, not yet, anyway." She shrugged as she looked the young man over. His garments looked like some kind of uniform. "All that commotion was over a man in a carriage. Apparently the guy really pissed some people off." She chuckled, extending a hand out from beneath her coat. "Lily, by the way. I'm not from around here. You have any clue who that guy might've been?"
  10. Robert wormed and weaved his way through the crowd of onlookers, mumbling thoughtless pleasantries to those he carefully and gently brushed aside. His burly frame afforded him some comfortable breathing room, despite the particularly unruly nature of some of his peers, the few elbows and punches passed about were towards the smaller and less likely to retaliate, as folks fought to see the austere yet eventful arrival of the figure in question. He spied the man, a red coated gentleman with surprisingly bright yellow hair, make his way into the building. He saw little of the fellow, and marked him as the daily scapegoat and excuse for the public to roughhouse and raise hell in the name of politics they barely understood or cared about. The urge for another drag from the rum bottle dried up his throat and drove a deep ache into the base of his neck in equal accord, but the bottle was safely tucked into the tiny rack nailed to the back wall of his home, to his discontent.

    He steadied himself, reminding himself of his task, and cleared his head with a fair amount of effort. After pushing through a particularly dense throng of folks, he happened across, and nearly stumbled over, a pair of young adults, a girl seated on a peculiar looking trunk, and a boy excitedly listening to what she had to say. Children often confused him with their musings, some flashingly intelligent and others dull witted and drunk off their own youth. He allowed himself a moment to breathe, and decided he should at least pretend he had any authority as an adult and a prior enlisted man.

    Clearing his throat, he looked at the boy a bit quizzically and said, "Hey you, isn't it a school day? I'm not one to judge, but I don't think this is the safest place for children, amongst the fools and the gutter dwellers,". It wasn't much, it probably didn't mean anything to the kid, but he figured it should be said. He tarried a moment to hear the youths rebuttal, figuring it would be worth a good chuckle.
  11. Wolcott stepped into the building, but never removed anything from his person. For the time being, he was required to keep his coat upon him. It was a uniform. The guardsmen filtered back outside to their business as the entrance passed without event. The crowd outside was being dispersed enough for the carriage and its accompanying soldiers to withdraw and disappear, the progression observed through the closing doors of the House of Affairs. Satisfied, he daintily tapped the snow from his shoulders and took a few steps further down the entrance hall, taking in the familiar sites of the rich carpets and fine pottery that the politicians saw fit to decorate their gathering place with. Faint murmuring from the House in session could be heard through the reinforced inner walls of the building. None of the nearly two hundred members speaking their business were his concern that day. He turned away from the carpets and marble floors to look at his two new-found accomplices. The marshal's head cocked slightly as he considered the two in front of him with the relaxed smile seemingly chiseled into his face. They were both armed, the younger one considerably more so but he was polite enough to relieve himself of his armament at the door. Whatever the reason, the guards hadn't yet objected so his credentials were in order. The older man probably worked around here, he had a keen eye for pieces of the political machine that he himself was so blessed in avoiding by working primarily out of the military's fortresses. "I don't have an office here, regrettably." He began, realizing that introductions would have to take place in the entrance. "I am Alexander Wolcott, Marshal of the Arcarti State Military, it is a pleasure to be received. I hate to presume but I must be swift, do either of you have business with me? It is so because I am here to speak with Sir Ludrick Boyd, Marshal, and it is my fear that time may be of concern."


    "You would think for the racket there was a war going on over there. Sad to see them rile themselves up only to do nothing again," He remarked idly, turning away from the seething crowd after his interest in it had been thoroughly removed. It wasn't so much that they needed to fight, or that a fight was a particularly positive outcome, but they were wasting their time getting angry in the street, more so that they didn't get anything out of it. The lucky would go home with some cuts and bruises to prove they were there, and that was it. If he took any solace considering the event, it was in the fact that at least the pickpockets found purpose for happenings like this. He listened to Lily's explanation with casual interest, eyes sliding back over to lock on her periodically as she spoke. She introduced herself, and Heuze turned toward her immediately to take the woman's hand. "Tristan Heuze," he replied, smiling at the sound of the name. Her question had truly stoked his interests. There were rumblings on the street, as there always were. People loved to speculate about the strange assemblies that moved their lives from afar. "I wouldn't know," he said, shrugging. "A lot of people have been talking about the prospects of a military governor because of... well... stuff like that," he jerked his head towards the crowd, "But that sounds a little severe, you know. Oh hold on a second." Tristan suddenly perked up when he heard what sounded distinctly like a challenge directed at him, and his head turned to witness a bearded man approaching the two of them. "Matter of fact, it's not," he held his palms up. A fact that bothered him, and apparently the older man alike, was that on that day he had nothing better to do. "Some of my best friends are fools and gutter dwellers and they're very entertaining to be around. What brings you to these unsafe parts?"​
  12. It was obvious that Wolcott had business on his mind, and had no time for items that trivialized his time, "I have business with you, and with Marshal Boyd, Grand Marshal." Ethan responded respectfully. He knew that Wolcott had no doubt heard of Ethan, and his affiliation with the Marshal, but it just occurred to Ethan that the man wouldn't know him based off appearance, "I am a personal advisory to Marshal Boyd, sir." Ethan added, as he stood properly in front of his superior, "I'm Ethan Lindwell, from the ancient house of Lindwell." Ethan finally made his own introduction. This time Ethan's chest slightly puffed, as if pride swelled inside of him. Ethan noticed that the foreigner that had followed them in seemed intent on having business with the Grand Marshal, which slightly annoyed the man. Ethan glanced back at the young man, for half a moment, before looking back to Wolcott, "I presume Marshal Boyd has mentioned me, sir?" Ethan's question was more or less a formality. It was unlikely that Boyd had not mentioned him at this point of Ethan's stay with the Arcarti government.
  13. Lily smiled as the young man introduced himself, taking a seat on her trunk and seemingly disregarding what was left of the mob around them. "Glad to meet you, Tristan." She held her chin in her hand, listening to the rumors Tristan had apparently heard. "Ah, so he's military? Aye, he looked the part I suppose." She twisted a stray curl around her finger as she continued. "So, things like this happen a lot around here?" The way the young man had talked, it seemed such a thing was a regular occurrence. Her considerations on the subject were cut short by a rough voice addressing Tristan from afar. In short order a burly-looking man pushed his way out of the crowd, matching himself to the voice.

    The blonde woman looked back to Tristan for a moment as the man mentioned something about it being a school day. So that's what kind of uniform it was. Lily's blue eyes lept back and forth between the two of them as they spoke. She looked over the newcomer briefly before throwing her own reply into the mix. "Oh, gutter dwellers you say? Wonderful, I've been looking to find a good tavern." She chuckled, kicking her feet back and forth from her position on the trunk. She cocked her head to the side with a grin, awaiting the man's reply to Tristan.
  14. "Your friends are such? My apologies then, I mean no offense," Robert stated clearly, knocking his hood back, the gently falling snow dusting his beard and hair as he looked at the pair. "What am I doing? I'm on the way to the shop down the street to take care of some errands, and to break bread with an old friend. Trials, tribulations, and the rest of the lot,". He chuckled a bit to himself, before scratching at the chin hidden beneath the well-kept beard. The kid certainly looked the part for a hoodlum, at least to his admittedly withered eyes, and such were useful to keep on ones good side. He fought to keep a sunny disposition, once again quelling the urge to rip the hip flask out of its pouch and take a flask-emptying 'sip', and said, "You clearly aren't seeing much here, the official is long gone. Tell you what, company, no matter how distant, is always appreciated on these streets, and I'd wager the both of you have been out since the early hours of the morning. You're welcome to join me to the Dirty Bir- Er... The Golden Pigeon, just down the way,". He pointed down the road, away from the bustling crowd, and down one of the main stretches of road that carried traffic both foot and cart through. "I know it's a strange offer to receive from a stranger, but I'll admit that I'd prefer you two to the normal drunks and slothly types,".
  15. After the exchange between the other, older fellow, Ethan he was called, Gareth prostrated himself before Wolcott. "Ah, it is a pleasure to meet you, sir."

    He came up and smiled, and for a brief pocket in time, he deposited an awkward silence that led him only to internally scream and curse himself. His shoulders tensed, and he felt his face rising with the heat of minor embarrassment. "Sorry, ah, where are my manners? My name is Gareth Harker, squire and messenger for the Order of the Thistle," Gareth gushed. "I'm certain my business here might not be as, uh, urgent as Mr. Lindwell's or your own and is certainly low priority, but I hope my coming was at least foretold a week in advance." Shut up, shut up, shut up, Harker, you're pushing it. Shut your big fat mouth. He chastised himself without the need for any other critics; however, Harker had the impression that the other gentlemen might feel annoyed by his pedestrian presence, and he wasn't getting a necessarily tolerating air from Lindwell. All Gareth could do was suck up to the other men and pray for the best. That or for someone to put him out of his misery soon...
    #15 ravenDivinity, Feb 16, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2015
  16. Wolcott nodded to Ethan's admission. He suspected as much, ordinarily his visits to the capital came and went unaccompanied. His eyes locked on the older man in evaluation, staring through him in contemplation as he ran through his introduction. Boyd having a personal adviser out of uniform could only mean one particular, even exceptional, case. Ethan Lindwell. No sooner than he had struck his conclusion, the man spoke his name aloud. "Of course, there are few servants of the state who do not know the name Lindwell. Boyd's office has sent me several dispatches about the situation. It's good that you're present directly, it will make this meeting with Boyd far more simple." Wolcott's eyes slid over to their young accomplice for a moment, judging the boy as quickly as he could. His role in all this was indiscernible to the freshly arrived marshal, he wondered how freely he could speak with the city in such a state. The instant passed, and he looked back to Lindwell. "It's a pleasure to finally meet you, if only better circumstances had ordained the meeting." He nodded once more, and turned away to address the other stranger.

    Immediately, the young man was upon the ground. It was a gesture Wolcott hadn't seen in ages, he immediately suspected that it was either a foreigner before him, or someone with only the gravest news. There was a short list of countries willing to send such a respectful envoy to Arcartus in recent times, but he wasn't about to go guessing through them. The boy's introduction was enough to clear up any doubts. "At ease, Mister Harker. I'm no nobleman," Alexander reassured the young man while he attempted to place an Order of the Thistle in his memory. Keilaudrin. The name represented an uncomfortable time in his administration, but his gentle smile held as he recalled. "Welcome to Arcartus, at any rate. I'm certain your arrival was announced but I'm newly arrived myself. You are perhaps bringing your message to Sir Boyd? Barring myself, he is the military's coordinator here in Lieda." Wolcott took a step back, looking between the two visitors. Unless he was mistaken about Gareth, they were all pointed in the same direction. "Lindwell, I hate to ask you something so trivial but my assistant could not make the journey from Erschald with me, and he is typically the one to carry out these visits. Would you show Mister Harker and I to Boyd's office? I'm sure he'll enjoy the company."


    Heuze's eyes drifted upward as the man gave his story, studying the gray underbelly of the thick layer of clouds overhead. The snow only seemed to be growing worse, but that was probably an effect of waiting out in it for nothing. Solid points were being made by the stranger, drawing his sight back down to ground level. There was no contesting it, he was absolutely right, they were now actually standing around for nothing. The company of the bearded man and the box girl was wonderful for the moment but there was nothing to the foundation, it would last just as long as the fast dispersing crowd behind them. He put one hand to his chin, thinking over the situation and the man's offer. The stranger hadn't even introduced himself yet, but Tristan figured that if anything he had his reasons. The Golden Pigeon, the name brought a faint smile to the youth's lips. It was a welcome reminder that however big this part of town got everything still tied together somewhere. This sort of thing was best left to plebiscite, so he looked over to Lily. "What do you think?" Tristan asked, swaying back and forth uncomfortably on his heels. He wasn't hungry in the slightest but that wasn't a good reason to turn down such an offer. No matter what the group's decision, the day reeked of opportunity.​
  17. Ethan simply nodded along with the man as he first spoke, revealing that the Grand Marshal had in fact heard of Ethan, and it was more than likely that the man knew of Ethan's business he had with him. Before Ethan could speak out once more, Wolcott's eyes traced to the man who had just introduced himself as Gareth Harker, whom had decided it appropriate to lay himself in reverence in front of the Grand Marshal. If Ethan had been a less serious mood, he might of smirked and scoffed at the gesture, but only a stoic frown took form on Ethan's face. There was no doubt that Gareth came from some distant land, as he seemed overly generous with the amount of respect he wanted to show. After a moment of a glare-like gaze, Ethan realized that the Grand Marshal had once more addressed him, turning his gaze back to Wolcott. At first, Ethan wished to protest the company of Gareth, but decided it'd be best to keep his mouth shut for now. The young man looked no older than 21, and whatever business he had was probably insignificant, causing Ethan to wonder why Wolcott seemed determined on entertaining the squire, "Of course, Grand Marshal. Right this away." Ethan's tone seemed less than enthused, and seemed more monotonous than anything else. Ethan instantly moved around the Grand Marshal, in order to take the lead. Ethan had navigated the House of Affairs more than enough time to find Boyd's office quicker than most.
  18. From the looks on their faces, Gareth assumed that the Grand Marshal was a little taken by surprise, but Lindwell looked far less than amused by the display of humility. Tough crowd... Harker nodded to Wolcott in response to the question as he recalled the details of his mission. Gareth had already made his temporary home in Lieda with some of his most important belongings brought from Mullen at his request, and after the assistants had come and gone, Gareth was left to set up a channel of communication between Arcartus and the Order. The thought of what could happen if things went awry terrorized Gareth, who was taught well of the awful consequences that came with failure. His nose was suddenly full of the scent of blood, but it was imagined by the delusions of Harker's past, haunted by memories of those wretched days of carnage in the castle and the city streets of Mullen in one of Keilaudrin's darkest hours. Harker pinched his nose to hold back a sneeze, and instinctively he pushed his face into the crook of his elbow, hiding it from the two gentlemen walking before him to the office of Marshal Boyd.

    Lindwell seemed so bizarrely stoic and critical of Gareth in a way that sort of hurt the boy; disapproval took a toll on him that he wasn't willing to bear. Perhaps while the other man took care of his business with Boyd, Gareth would wait in the hallway. Already he was planning on the words he'd use. 'No, no, I'll wait out here.' 'Nay, it's none of my business. Please, take care of your affairs without me.' Come to think of it, Gareth would've offered to get out of the way even without the dissuading looks and gazes he avoided. Harker could only sneak glances at those eyes, but otherwise, he kept to himself and shrunk from them.
  19. Wolcott followed along, ignoring the passage of many offshoot halls and duos of uniformed guards pacing the corridors. They were moving away from the chambers of the House, into the corner of the building allotted to the military administration in Lieda. For being the capital, it was a minor, unexciting post that was treated as more ceremonial than anything else, a tradition reflected in the posh decor. Before long, they were before a wooden door bearing a nameplate stamped 'Boyd.' It was all he needed to see to be sure that this was their destination. Alexander strode forward, taking the door and pushing it open. As the door turned it revealed a broad, wooden floored office. Devoid of furniture except for a few spare seats and the large desk at its center, the room was lit in pale light from outside by a massive, ornately shaped window at its rear, one of the dozens characterizing the exterior of the House of Affairs.

    Before the three people coming to the room, two occupied it. Sitting at the desk was a broad faced man. He was completely bald and decorated with a thin, curled mustache that only reached such levels of properness through idleness. Ludrick Boyd. He wore the red coat of a high officer, trimmed in white over the black pants seemingly common to Arcarti staff. His broad body set him apart from the thinner Wolcott, and age played more obviously on his face. Boyd had an air of warmth and friendliness around him, rather than the sense of experience and discipline one might have associated with an older officer. A few colored bits of ribbon decorated his sleeves but the only medal he bore was a large badge on the left breast of his jacket identifying some military honor or another. He looked up with faint surprise as a man barged into his office, but a wide smile quickly replaced his expression. "Wolcott! Welcome to the capital, for once..." He seemed about to speak further, when he noticed that two more people accompanied the familiar face. One he knew, the other he did not. Wolcott saw to that, the younger of the two officers stood beside the open door and held it open for his accomplices. With a wave of his arm, he beckoned them in, that they might get their assortment of affairs underway at once.

    The second occupant of the room was sitting in one of the spare chairs, its back pressed against the wall at the back of the room. A young woman, sharp faced and sporting a shoulder length head of messy black hair. Her uniform indicated some type of office worker, although the dark trousers she was wearing put her at a match with Wolcott and Boyd. A white, buttoned shirt worn under a bottle green vest. Glaring, olive green eyes watched the room from afar, and the spectator remained silent as people began to arrive at the office. The light behind her darkened her silhouette somewhat, but the white line of a scar crossing the bridge of her nose was plainly visible. That one detail was incongruous with the rest of her appearance, some sort of clerk, and she remained seated and silent as Wolcott bade the guests entrance.
    #19 Epsir, Feb 16, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2015
  20. Ethan filed in directly behind Wolcott, standing beside him once the Grand Marshal had stopped within the room. Ethan knew Boyd well, and gave the man an acknowledging nod. As Ethan examined the other guest that was in the room, he took his normal stiff pose, holding hand in hand in front of him. Ethan wasn't about to speak up, or direct the flow of the conversation about to be had. While Ethan could be described as a proud individual, he definitely knew his place among the guests here. The lady whom had been addressing Boyd before they had arrived seemed vaguely familiar to Ethan. It then struck Ethan that the woman in front of him was part of the Royal Arcarti Scouts. He remembered the uniform clearly, although he did not know the woman who wore it. Feeling as if he had spent too much time staring, Ethan glanced back to Wolcott, awaiting the Grand Marshal to begin directing the business that was to be had in this small office.
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