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Spike

The Eldest Son

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"Felix, I think it is a good idea to have someone trustworthy watching over your father. The priest and perhaps another robust member of his congregation would be an excellent idea. You mother could protest all she wishes, however I don't think she will too loudly, else it might compromise her plans if she is indeed behind this. Denying a healer and spiritual guide to the next world would be in very poor taste. Frederich's assistant could be there to aid in the changing of bed linens, moving your father, helping to pray, receiving training in the Healing Arts from Frederich, whatever excuse you all think will work best, but having some extra muscle wouldn't hurt."

 

"As far as your brother. I cannot tell you why, but I did not feel comfortable with him from the moment we met. It's probably just me being overly suspcious since he has the most to gain from your brother's absence at the time of your father's death. But you do not describe him as being a very bright or motivated man. I doubt he would have the initiative to do this on his own. If he is involved, which is likely, there is probably someone whispering commands into his ears, and he is more pawn than leader. It doesn't take a genius to guess who may be the togue in his ear."

 

"Maintaining some eyes on your father will help, if anything, to ensure when he goes, he does so comfortably. Not to be too callous, but I fear there is little any of us could do for him now. He seems too far gone. Our best course of action is probably to find your brother and make sure these villains gain no benefit from your father's passing. And we should do this as soon as Christiana's friend Frederich arrives. Hopefully this can be completed by first thing tomorrow morning and we can set off at first light."

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Hearing the words of little hope for his father brings about a sadness that Felix has a hard time shaking off. He knows the dwarf was only being up front and is one to not mix words, a trait that Felix admired. But, hearing someone else use the words about his father, still sank into his gut like a piec of rotten meat.

 

"Right. Ok then, its settled."

 

Turning to Christiana, "God speed to you and your words for Fredereich. See you back at the house as soon as you can."

 

Back to Thain, "On our ride back to the house, we can discuss what supplies that we think we might need for our search. So, that I may try to get them collected by morning."

 

Wth a twist of the wrist, he turns his horse about, and starts his return to his darkened home.

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Looking at the inclination of the suns in the sky, one would guess that there is about one and a half hours of full daylight remaining, and another half-hour of half-light and dusk before night falls. The sky is fairly free of clouds, which means that the waning moons Pansal and Lenore will be visible as the night progresses, should their light be needed.

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As they ride ack to the castle, Felix discusses the possible needs for the trip ahead, and who would best carry the different items of need.

 

As they ould be traveling to town, they might need to have a little food provisions, but not a huge amount. Instead the coins to buy more. They were not expecting to have to go down into any caves or the like, so things like torches and rope were not really a need this time. Well, maybe rope. There is always a need for rope somewhere.

 

Felix remembers that his father should have a map or two of the city for them to take that would help point out the major points of intersection, so that they could use that to coordinate their search pattern.

 

He would have to look to see if the family had any sort of recent artwork on the family to see if they might find one that includes his older brother, for easier trying to describe him to strangers as they ask about.

 

Also, check his room for any left behind books, scrolls, or scratchings that might have listed any friends, schoolmates, teachers, etc.. that they could use as a starting point to contact.

 

Felix discusses these things and more with Thain on their way back to the house.

 

By the time they return, Felix is getting quite hungry. He decides that if Thain has no objections,they would hang out in the kitchen for a little while watching over the dinner crew as they prepare dinner.

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Thain nods his in head in agreement as Felix reviews the supplies that might prove useful for their quest.

 

"The picture of your brother would definitely be handy, if it is portable enough. Also perhaps bringing along a personal item of his. A wizard might be able to use it to locate him. Amaril should be able to tell us more on this when he gets home. Even if we are not planning to need torches, etc, it's a good idea to make sure we have enough coin to purchase some should our quest take us outside of the city. Not to mention, even in a city, there are dark places - alleys, sewers, basements."

 

Thain smiles at Felix' suggestion of dinner. "I'd eat this old horse of yours now if it didn't mean I'd have to walk the rest of the way."

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Christina and Aramil

 

Christina has travelled the road to Darkwald many times and knows that the entire errand can be completed in under an hour and a half if the horses can keep a quick pace without tiring and if there are no unexpected surprises waiting along the road. Fortunately, the journey into Darkwald is uneventful and takes only thirty minutes.

 

Darkwald is a moderate sized town with numerous two-story and three-story structures, cobblestone streets and a steady bustle of commerce. The town boasts no less than nine different taverns and restaurants, two clothiers, three dry-goods merchants, more than a dozen various artisans' shops, four livery stables, two small inns, and one temple of Anarion.

 

The temple of Anarion is not the tallest building in Darkwald, nor is it the largest, but it is none the less striking in its appearance. It has neither spire nor gilded dome, but it seems as if the stonemasons who built it took every opportunity to show off their craft with intricate carved ornamentations. Beneath a stone arch adorned with carvings of ivy leaves, a pair of oaken doors serve as the entrance to the temple. The doors usually are left opened during the fairer months of the year. Today is no exception.

 

Inside the temple, there are numerous candles lit so that worshippers can better view the fresco on the wall opposite the entrance. The painting depicts Anarion coming forth from the darkness with the Sword Of Truth and the Torch Of Knowledge, and is said to be an exact replica of the one at the ancient temple at Agre. A simple altar is set beneath the painting, and appropriately enough consists of a stone pedastal upon which burns an eternal flame.

 

An older priest is there when you both arrive. Chrsitina will recognize him right away as Friedrich.

 

"Sister Christina, how good it is to see you again.", the priest says as he sees you enter. "How goes your wandering?"

 

------

 

Felix and Thain

 

Once you arrive back at the stables, Gordon is once again dozing upon a stack of grain sacks, but is startled awake by your noisy arrival.

 

"Master Felix, what's come of little Christina Jurgen and the elf?", he asks as he clumsily stands up. "One can never be too careful in this forest, you know.. what with the highway-robbers..and vampires."

 

Meanwhile, the pleasant aroma of the evening meal comes wafting from the kitchen's opened windows. Felix can reckon that dinner will be served in a little over an hour...hopefully not before Christina and Aramil can return from their errand.

 

Inside the main house, the small staff of servants are going about their mundane business, while Dore'nell and Ralphus have vanished to various other parts of the house to entertain themselves. Snoring from Fornias' room indicates to anybody who passes by his door that he is sleeping very soundly if not peacefully.

 

Jonas' bedroom is also on the first floor down the hall from Fornias' room. The door is locked, as it has been kept ever since Jonas returned back to university back in the autumn, and is only ever unlocked when Elsa feels it is time to dust.

 

Should you both choose to go upstairs where Felix and most of the estate staff keep their living quarters, you will find a small library filled with all the books that were fortunate enough to survive the storm that ruined the old library that once was in the west wing of the mansion.

 

_______

 

{ OOC }

 

No doubt Friedrich does not yet know why Christina is in town, but as she knows will be interested to hear what she has to tell him of her wandering. Feel free to do a bit of storytelling if you feel compelled to, Erin.

 

Felix and Thain, if you decide whether to start by investingating the library or searching other parts of the house, let me know. It's a huge house, so finding what you're after might take some extra time and a bit of "searching"

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When we arrive at the temple, I look at Christina & say, "if it's ok with you, I'd rather stay outside & watch the horses. I've never felt good inside houses of worship if you don't mind."

 

Looking for a place to sit, I stretch out from the ride & take in the surroundings of Darkwald.

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While getting off his horse and passign the reins over to the Animal keeper, "Amaril has escorted her back to her temple in Darkwald. She goes to pray and seek help and guidance from God about my father. They will return when she has an answer..."

 

Then allowing himself a small smile and chuckle as he helps Thain down from his horse, noticing how happy the dwarf is to be off and back on his own feet again. "Come on, lets go see how dinner is coming along."

 

As they start to leave the stables back towards the house,he stops and turns back," Gordon. Please have the horses ready for travel in the morning. We go to town to visit my brother tomorrow. I shall need a few things: rope, a torch or two, and a small bag of horse feed to tie them over for the night. Unless her God answers more quickly, we plan on leaving after breakfast... Thank you. "

 

After making sure that Gordon has the request in hand, he turns back and heads in with Thain.

 

"There should be a piece of art up in the old library upstairs. Even if I have to rip down the big portrait off the wall. If we can get that out of the way before dinner, I think we will be in good order. I have a stash of coins in my room under a loose board in the floor, that should handle most the rest of our needs...."

 

Just before they get to the back door to the kitchen area, Felix stops as a particularly undelightful thought comes across his mind. "Thain. Do you think its possible that IF my mother or brother HAS been using some form of poison, that they might be able to get some of it into our dinner?.... "

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"Friedrich, it is truly wonderful to see you once again. However, I must admit I did not come for pleasure as I would have preferred. Right now we are facing a somewhat dire situation. Are you familiar with the Einens? The family with whom I spent so much time? The eldest son has gone missing and his father is in poor health. No one believes his heir would have wandered off without informing the family, so a group of us have been asked to search for him and discover his whereabouts and the state of his health. In the meanwhile, Master Fornias is in very poor health and, due to the unexplained absence of Jonas and Master Fornias' rapidly declining health, we feel he would be better served by having an attendant. I would feel much more comfortable were someone I trusted there to not only keep anyone with nefarious intent from injuring him, but also to pray for him. Would you be willing to help?"

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Felix

 

Before you have even left the stableman's sight, he sets to gathering up the things you request for the trip. No doubt tomorrow those items will all be waiting for you when everybody comes for their horses.

 

If you choose to begin your search in the small library upstairs, you will not find a proper map of the city as such things are generally large, quite expensive, and usually only belonging to explorers, surveyers and the occasional kook mystic. You do, however, find a half-dozen books which are about Nebensee. One particular book about architecture has a chapter cocerning 'Aftoria'. The book was bound almost two centuries ago, but most of the descriptions of the city should still be reliable for finding one's way around. As far as the family portrait on the wall is concerned, it is quite large, and was painted by an artist of high esteem for an immodest sum of money. ... and besides, the portrait was done eleven years ago when Jonas was still by most peoples' reckoning a boy.

 

Christina

 

Friedrich listens to your concerns with grave concern. "I have no reason to doubt your loyalty to your friend and to his family, Christina.", he replies. "If you believe somebody is in real danger, then you are wiser to err on the side of caution than to leave their fates to chance. I will do what you ask, but I have preparations to make. I know the way, and shall be there tomorrow morning. Is there anything else you would ask of me?".

 

Aramil

 

The area around the little temple is surprisingly tranquil for a town the size of Darkwald. Unlike most of the town's other structures, the temple of Anarian is surrounded by a small symmetrical garden of shrubberies, footpaths, a few stone benches for tired pilgrims to rest upon, and little patches of earth that your elven intuition tells you will be abloom with flowers in a month or so. The afternoon suns cast a pleasant golden hue upon the stone walls of the temple. It would appear that commerce has shut down for the day except for the inns and taverns, and that the temple is fortunate not to be in the part of town where the noisier tavern patrons seek entertainment.

 

_________

 

{OOC}

 

Felix, your book has a decent description of the various parts of the city..even smoe bits about the university... though for some odd reason all the letters 's' look like letters 'f'. Old books are apparently odd in that regard. There'd probably be no harm in bringing it along, and once you get into the city I'll post some exerpts from the book so you guys won't having to be asking directions or foolishly putting your trust in that crappy map of Astoria I found on MapQuest.

 

Rothgar, you are being shy? That's not like you.

 

Aramil and Christina, once you finish up at the temple, the trip home will be uneventful. I promise. I asked the werewolves and bugbears not to pester you. If you two stick to the road and don't try to use the MapQuest map, you should be back with the others just in time for dinner.

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"Friedrich, thank you so much. My concerns are with Master Einen at the moment and your prayers and presence are all I could think to ask for. We will be heading back tonight to begin preparations for our morning departure, but I will let the Einen family know you are coming as a favor to me to pray for them."

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Taking in the surroundings, I stop for a bit & think of the home I left back in the Woodspike Forest. Funny, that all my life I wished I was away from there, but now long to see it again. The distance sounds of the revelers in the taverns & such snap mel out of my flashback & noticing the day draws close, I make my way back to the entrance to the temple & see that Christina is near the horses & is saddling up her mount.

 

"Sorry for the delay, I was daydreaming." I say "So did your discussion with your fellow clergyman go well?" I ask.

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