Take 2

A Little History Foreshadows the Future

The Trail Evolves, a Tale of Horror

World Dates: 2010-07-23 to 2010-07-23

   Morning came, Sin practiced and the world seemed somewhat normal. Slowly, the group found themselves awake and merging into the common room for breakfast. Breakfast was quick and consisted of porridge, sausage links and milk. Once breakfast was done, they migrated back upstairs to discuss their plan for the day.

   Sable would head back to the ship and recruit some guys to help her look innocuous outside while they kept watch on who came in and out. Ser Issac would play the part of Ferdinand Antigua while Shane would become Roberts of Craine for their ruse. The rest of the group would keep close, appearing as normal partons of the Sprinklin Inn, which wouldn’t be too difficult. They all returned downstairs and then Sable left to perform her part.
   Ella and Nessa sat together in the central portion of the common room. Nessa played with flipping little bits of fire back and forth between her hands and focused upon them from time to time attempting to create something recognizable other than a ball. They chatted causally, not saying much of importance as both just tried to get to know each other a little better.
   Sin sat at a table by himself while Shane and Ser Issac sat together at a back table where both men could see the entirety of the room. Shane felt naked without his armor, especially not knowing what was going to happen this day. He didn’t even have a weapon on him, but he did keep a sword close by and concealed. Still, he was on edge as he talked with Ser Issac, pressing the point of the money he was owed to his lost gear. He couldn’t elicit more than a laugh even when he presented a written bill.
   All they could do was wait though and hope someone showed up and would buy their story of who they were.

   Meanwhile, Sable walked down to the docks and walked up the gang and aboard deck. Pyk, who happened to be swabbing at the moment, motioned for her to come over and so she went to see what was the matter.
   “There’s been a guy watching us from across the starboard bow cap’n. Michaels saw him when we was here last time and if’n he knows anything about these ladies, he knows we came in with an empty belly both times and with passengers. Probably wouldn’t take too much to wager we’ll be a leaving the same way since we’ve not actively sought some filling for our belly.”
   “What’s he look like Pyk?”
   “I dunno. He looks like a fella and he’s been hanging out by the warehouse yonder of the starboard bow.”
   “Thanks for letting me know. Keep a good eye out.”
   “Aye Cap’n”
   Sable made way to the Quarterdeck to find John Swift and filled him in on what Pyk had said and ordered him to keep an eye out and to get the ship prepared to sail without looking like he was getting her ready to sail. He informed her all hands were aboard and everything was rigged for running and they could be out in half an hour. She thanked him then gathered up a small contingent of me to help her in her pretext.
   They headed off the ship and as they did she peaked over at the warehouse to see a man disappearing behind the corner. She bid her men stay for a moment as she went to look, but the man was gone already with no sign of him. She gathered her men again and they started off. It wasn’t too long before she realized it was likely thy might be followed and heading right to their target might be a bad plan.
   She diverted their course and headed into the closest tavern she could find where she and the men all too to a drink or few. They started moving from tavern to tavern, trying to get closer to the Sprinklin Inn as she went, but it wasn’t going to work out as well as she hoped and soon they weren’t even close or pointing in the right direction. She figured it might do well to head back to the ship and hope Sin realized she wasn’t in place and thusly something must be afoot.

   Time passed slowly as everyone waited and chatted amongst themselves. At last a man came into the inn and both Ella and Shane managed to overhear him asking for Ferdinand Antigua. The innkeeper pointed over toward Shane and Ser Issac and the man looked the room over before taking a few steps towards them.
   The man’s hand flashed afore him and Shane saw the mumble and knew he had just cast. It was a simple spell to identify magics in the room, but it showed the man was cautious, possibly looking for hidden magics or disguised on the men he was coming for. The man was strong, built as if he had survived a hard life, fraught with dangers and battles and he had the scars across him to prove it. He was walking with a strange crick in his shoulder and Shane realized he had a sword concealed under his clothes.
   Shane saw him start to come over toward them and moved to intercept him. “Can I help you,” Shane asked of the man as he stopped him mid-floor.
   “Out of my way Ser. I’m not here for you,” the man replied back snappily. Shane realized immediately that the man before him though he was Ser Issac and that meant he also thought Ser Issac was Duke Taveon and cared nothing for their pretext. He glanced back at Ser Issac who nodded his abeyance and Shane moved out of the way. There was a derisive huff as he pushed past to the “Duke”.
   As Shane took up position beside Ser Issac, he couldn’t help but to reach in the direction of his concealed blade. he thought it had enough in front of it that the man might not have seen it, but he couldn’t be sure. Still, it was a risk he was willing to take.
   “Spider Silk Inn in New Jerusalem.”
   The message was simple and after is was said, the man turned to leave. He strode purposefully away, but as he did so, the tail of his shirt swished and Shane caught the tell-tale sign of the man’s allegiance as the plain red cross on the pommel of the sword poked out. He was a Templar and his thought immediately went to the Order of the Dragon they had fought over a year ago. He wasn’t pleased to think of a repeat performance.
   He grabbed Ser Issac by the should and “helped” him to his feet, taking him like he might be his bodyguard and escorting him up to his room. This was getting deeper than he wanted to delve and he really wanted some answers about the Templars being involved.
   Once they were behind closed doors, he opened up, “That was a god damn Templar! What are they doing involved in this?”
   “Hmm…A Templar and they want us going to New Jerusalem. Makes me wonder if it’s them involved or if it might not be Duke Lionheart. This will take some pondering.”
   “Ponder on it?!”, screamed Shane.
   “Yes ponder on it. We won’t know until we get there whether it is Duke Lionheart or the Templars that are pulling these strings. Both have enough clout and both could have their reasons, and either way….once we walk into that city they will know and we will be watched constantly.”
   “I don’t like this. I’m getting Sin.”
   “Good, and while you’re at it, try to find me a whore or two for the night. With what we’re going into, I could sure use it.”
   Ser Issac turned toward the little desk he had been sitting at and pulled out his quill, some ink and a few sheets of parchment.
   “What are you doing?”
   “This might be my last taste of freedom, our last week of breath, and if God makes it so, these will arrive to my wife before our lives are done. And if, by some miracle we survive, I’ll address one to her Grace and beg for some more funds to see our return.”
   Shane stormed from the room and down the stairs to see the innkeeper. He quickly scribbled out a few messages and bid the innkeeper wait a few before delivering them. He thought of writing a few more letters home as well, but that would hold for later after he talked with Sin. He marched back upstairs and into the room, but only disturbed a solitary man writing letters home.
   One-by-one the others filtered into the room, Sin coming last and cloaked by his chameleon ring to attempt the utmost in deniability and concealability. When they were all together, Shane laid down the new information while Ser Issac continued to write his letters home. When he was done, everyone looked on confused for a moment.
   “Sable is missing as well,” Sin brought up. “She is no where she was supposed to be.” He turned more toward Ser Issac and continued, “If you want whores, you’re going to need to put up some money for it.”
   Ser Issac tossed him a single mark from his pouch. “There’s only eleven more of them for the rest of this journey, so we’ll need to watch what we spend. I’m asking her Grace to send more if we survive.”
   Nessa offered herself up then. “Why don’t I just take the mark and do the deed, then we’ll all be happy?”
   “I suppose I could settle for that though I’ve never lay with a woman wasn’t human before.”
   “Settle!” Flames could have shot from her eyes and every other orifice, but she held them in check barely though everyone else was pretty sure there was smoke drifting under her clothes.
   Sin saw that Nessa was going to be out of the question and so pocketed the mark for the time being so he could get the whores later on. Before he could go though, Ser Issac started a tale of horror…
   “All this writing and remembering now, knowing what we’re going into, makes me think back to the first woman I took as I think ahead to the last I might lie with here shortly. In all fairness, she wasn’t a whore before she was paid, but I will never forget her though I don’t know what happened to her after we left.
   “We had taken up in a town about a hundred miles north of Mehan on the Acheron. I wasn’t even a knight at that point, maybe only fourteen or fifteen years old and still squired to Ser Penrose of Kethalos. We had taken up in an inn and the troops under Ser Penrose were a little frisky, kept playing grab-ass with the innkeeper’s daughter. She wasn’t much to look at, but she was ample enough where it counted I suppose.
   “The innkeeper took a complaint to Ser Penrose, begged him to get his men to stop harassing his daughter. Up to that point, he hadn’t taken interest in what any of them had been doing, but once interrupted, his anger flared. He bid the innkeeper to bring his daughter before him and once he had, he reached his hand down the front of her bodice and lay her naked with a single pull.
   “He pulled out his cock and took her right there on the table with all the men around hooting and hollering and while he was thrusting, he tossed the innkeeper a silver mark. The girl fought and struggled but she was no match for Ser Penrose, nor would she be a match for any of the other men that took her after he had finished with her. The only one that would cause her to stir much after the fourth or fifth soldier was Hobbes. He was never one to take a woman from the front and God has graced us that his seed would never spread because of it. Hell, we even saw him take younger men or an occasional goat if the women didn’t have as pretty an ass.
   “Anyways, we all took turns and when we were done, the lass just lay there with seed and blood oozing from her, too shocked to do anything else. That’s when Ser Penrose yelled at the innkeeper who had watched it all before him and Ser Penrose asked him for his change; said his daughters maidenhood wasn’t worth the mark for him and his men.
   “That innkeeper jumped right up, shouting ‘Yes Ser’, and went running for his money purse.
   “It’s a good thing to remember that things tend to work that way around Megalos. Those with power tend to take what they want and can get away with it and that’s the situation we’re in right now. There’s great powers on both sides of us and we’re stuck in the middle and if we’re not careful, we’ll end up as that maiden did.”
   Ser Issac looked around the room at the shocked faces thinking they might have been less revolted if he had pulled his intestines from his own belly and played them as a guitar. Nessa and Ella both stared for a moment then left the room. Even Shane sat somewhat mute as Sin moved toward the door saying he was going to find Sable.
   Sin headed down to the docks and found John Swift aboard ship but no Sable. John informed him she had left with a few men, but something may be afoot. Sin told him to tell her they would be departing this evening for New Jerusalem and they should be ready. John said she had already given the order to make sure the ship was prepped and they would be ready.
   Sin then returned back to the inn and worked with Shane to prepare their plan for the evening.

   Sable returned to the ship only a score of minutes after Sin left and John filled her in on their departure plans. Since it had gotten to be somewhat later in the day as was, she decided it might be easier to just stay aboard ship until they left anyway.

   Night came and the plan was enacted. Sin, Nessa and Ella took all the gear and loaded it upon their wagon and slowly made their way to the dock. Once there, the crew quickly brought the wagon and five horse aboard then pulled up anchor. Moments later, Shane teleported into Sable’s cabin with Ser Issac such that nobody would see them leave the inn. It might give them an advantage, it might not, but it was worth the try.
   And so the Mystral’s Tryst started the journey up the river Conn and toward New Jerusalem.



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