ℜ𝔞𝔳𝔢𝔫𝔤𝔯𝔬 | 12𝔱𝔥 𝔬𝔣 ℜ𝔬𝔳𝔞, 4711 | 1730
Ganth arrived in Ravengro just some time in the evening. The town felt quite compared to city that he left behind, though Ganth would like to think it was holding its breath in mourning. Lorrimor, for all his deeds, deserved as much. The distant tolls of the bells were not hard to follow, and soon enough, the inquisitor found himself standing in front of a chapel of his order, the doors wide-open, indicating a procession. Removing his leather gloves as he walked up the steps, Ganth tucked them into his belt before heading inside, casting subtle glances at the people present. So far, only the girl in the front row seemed likely to be the ‘Kendra Lorrimor’. But first, he had an old accquantaince to greet.
The last few steps took him toward the casket. He kept his distance, standing an arm-length away.
“You’ve lived well.” -With a hand clasped over his heart, he bowed –“May Pharasma guide your rest.”
He held the position for a few moments, before eventually relaxing and stepping back. He turned toward the young woman.
There was a slight lowering of the murmur as the aasimar entered, but it shortly rose back to normal levels. Kendra's head rose as Ganth approached the casket, red and puffy eyes tracking him as he paid his respects. She stood to greet him before he turned around, giving her face a quick wipe with a hankerchief, before reaching her hand out to shake his.
"Yes, although simply 'Kendra' will suffice. I'm not really one for fancy titles, you see." she said, giving a slight smile. "My apologies, but I don't believe we've met?"
"We have not." -The inquisitor gave her hand a firm shake -"But your father had been an stalwart ally, bless his soul." -He let go of her hand then, offering a warm smile -"My name is Ganth. Inquisitor of Pharasma."
Having arrived late due to getting lost just trying to find the town of Ravengro, Tomomi strode confidently towards the front, towards the casket, before offering him a prayer. An employer, and one who named her in his will. Her clothes were dusty and dirtied from the rigors of travel, but she paid it no mind. A dirtied jewel was still a jewel after all. Her sharp ears caught the conversation between the man and the woman at the frontmost pew, causing her to turn around.
"Pardon me for eavesdropping, but I cannot but help notice your name." She spoke, giving a polite nod towards the man. "My condolences for your loss."
Kendra gave Ganth her own warm smile, her eyes seeming to radiate some small measure of genuine gratitude beyond the outwardly teary and glassy appearance. "That's good to hear. My father made many friends, and you certainly appear to be one of the more-" Whatever it was she was going to say was interrupted by the arrival of another guest, immediately catching Kendra's attention.
"Why thank you, miss...?" Kendra said, offering a hand out towards the samurai.
"Kinpachi Tomomi," she replied, taking the woman's hand. One of his relatives, probably his daughter."I have worked with Mr. Lorrimor as his bodyguard before. I assume you too had some connection with the late Mr. Lorrimor? I'd have never thought he'd be acquainted with an inquisitor."
Tomomi turned towards Ganth at that last sentence.
"Professor Lorrimor was a man of many talents. And one of them happened to be exactly what our order needed." -Ganth simply shrugged -"Though I have a hard time believing someone like you is a mere bodyguard."
She fluffed up with pride almost immediately. "Right? But Mr. Lorrimor knew I was great, thats why he hired me time and time again to be his bodyguard. We've been through a lot together, but now..."
She deflated slightly as she looked towards the coffin. "Wonder why he named me in his will..."
"'tis a question I seek to ask as well."
"Oh! You two are both one of the ones mentioned in his will?" Kendra said, looking between the two of them. "I'm sorry, I didn't connect the names until just now! It is a double pleasure to meet you then, for my father must have had some great reason to name you directly."
"I see." Tomomi turned towards Kendra. "It was not only I that has been named, but others as well."
Stranger and stranger. She had been all for thinking the old man may had just been thinking of her, but it seemed there were others named in his will as well. For what reason? Surely it was not on a mere whim. Perhaps the actual will will reveal the reason why.
"He didn't tell you?"
"He did not. I was simply left a series of names to deliver letters to upon his de-" Kendra chokes up a little here, requiring a moment to recompose herself before continuing. "...upon his passing."
Despite the change in word, it does not seem to have helped much, as her eyes grow glassy again.
"I'm sure he will find peace by our Lady's side." -Once again, Ganth offered the grieving daughter more words of comfort. He knew, despite the certainty of death, the loss of a loved one wasn't easy to get over.
Ganth rolled a 20 for Charisma check.
Kendra wiped her eyes, seeming to summon some small amount of strength from Ganth's words. "Thank you, Sir Ganth. You try to reassure me too much, but it might be exactly what I need right now. I can certainly see why you and my father got along."
Finding the funeral location was a quick affair of having eyes and looking for "the fanciest building in town," as was the helpful direction from an urchin running by. The child wasn't exaggerating, thankfully, and Iris was soon at the temple's front doors, trying to decide if he should have dressed up for the occasion. As it was, he was garbed in a simple white tunic and dark trousers tucked into his weathered boots, the appearance of a wayfaring adventurer in stark contrast to the Aasimar's smooth, pale features that hearkened back to days of decadence and debauchery. He displayed none of the typical tan and rugged weariness of a veteran traveler, yet at least looked the part with a large pack on his back and an appropriate rub of his shoulders as he unloaded the weight onto the floor.
Deciding it would look too cumbersome to wander up the aisle with a bag of supplies, he deposited the pack beside the scruffy man in the back pew, giving him a quick smile and a glance before walking towards the casket. A knight of some sort had just finished paying his respects and Iris waited patiently until the man had moved aside to speak with someone in the first row before approaching the casket himself.
The polished mahogany was slightly warm to the touch, as if it clung onto the heat from living hands. Iris tapped the wood almost impetuously with a fingernail.
"Of all people, to name me in your will...it's a wonder your daughter agreed to invite me. And even in death your actions never fail to surprise me. ...But I'll trust you on this. You always did seem to know better."
He rested his forehead against the casket's lid for a brief moment, then straightened and returned to the pew in the last row, placing the pack down onto the ground and taking a seat beside the bearded man.
"Was everyone here summoned by letter?" he asked softly, keeping his voice at the level of the murmuring.
"Aye." spoke the woodsman. His voice was low and grainy, but friendly enough for the occasion. "I was in the middle of a poker game when the missive arrived. Pulled out on a full house to make preparations for the journey. Probably should have seen that one through, but I'll have another opportunity."
"If I might ask, what was your relation with the professor?"
"You may." says the man, giving a slight nod. "I assisted the Professor with some of his research, especially in the wilderness. I was able to procure some opportunities for Petros to study some particular creatures up close."
"I trust you would not mind being asked the same question?"
"Of course not, but you might find the answer less than appealing," Iris laughed, but explained regardless. "I was a courtesan--well, I still am, really--who happened to meet the professor while servicing a client. Don't ask why I'm here. I'm wondering the same thing."
"A courte-?" the man started, raising one bushy eybrow in surprised confusion. He fortunately stopped himself before he could get the full question out, deciding it was probably not the venue for such a query. He gave a less than subtle look up and down Iris's body, before giving a slightly amused huff. "He always was a peculiar man. Can't say I have much reason to be here myself; a simple hunter doing his job. But, I'm more than happy to honor his request; I imagine we share that at least."
"Certainly." Iris smiled, not missing the look. "And I could certainly offer my services if you were interested."
"I'm sorry my friend, but I can't say you're what I look for in a companion." the man said, giving a hearty chuckle.
"A shame. The offer's always open," Iris settled back into his seat with a quick pull at the lacing that tied together the neck of his tunic. He winked, but left it at that, watching the front of the room curiously.
There was nothing much to view for the funeral, some people ambled between guests, striking up conversation or sitting quietly. However, as one of the guests turned his head, the man in the second row with the sword on his hip, Iris would catch a quick glance of his facial features. There was some familiarity to him, though Iris could not quite place it.
Iris rolled a 13 for Perception check.
Felsi, for her part, arrived with neither the dress of the decorum required for a funeral. It had been quite the journey to Ravengro, and she only arrived just in time for the funeral. Her clothes were a pale blue, a flowing outfit somewhere between a dress and a robe with matching gloves and boots. The bottom of the outfit was muddied, something that both greatly disappointed her and contributed to her out-of-place appearance. There was also the not-small fact of her unnaturally pale skins and swirling blue eyes. Overall, she felt thoroughly out of place, especially since the others were dressed so nicely. She’d read that at funerals it was customary to wear black, but she was still somehow surprised.
Well, it was too late to fix that.
Much as the others had she’d started by walking towards the casket, taking a long glance at it after the thin… Aasimar? She’d only now noticed he wasn’t the only one in the room. She’d read about them, certainly now a topic of curiosity. She’d have to catch up with one of them when they weren’t occupied, but for now she focused on the box that held Professor Lorrimor’s corpse. She didn’t have anything to say to the body, instead just letting out a low ‘hmmmmmmm’ before moving on towards the pews.
She caught sight of a scholarly looking man – surely, he’d have something interesting to say, she’d decided. She took a cautious seat next to him with an awkward smile, ”I’m, uh, Felsi.” she blurted out as she sat.
The man turned as she sat, offering a warm smile and a handshake as Felsi introduced herself. "Abraun Chalest, a pleasure to meet you!" he said, looking her up and down before adding a hesitant and unfinished "Are you...?"
Felsi gave him a long stare, maintaining her smile as she attempted to decipher what exactly it was that he meant. ”I’m… a friend of Professor Lorrimor? Are you one of his colleagues, Mr. Chalest?” she asked, making a guess by his attire, missing the point of the question entirely.
"Oh no, my dear, I'm sorry." Abraun said, shaking his head and adjusting his spectacles. "You're not part djinn are you? Was one of your relatives a genie of some sort?" he asked, looking over the woman with what appeared to be acedemic interest. He quickly recoiled though, looking back to her eye. "But where are my manners? I'm one of the leading reseachers of Osirion artifacts, and Petros frequently brought such pieces to my study. I suppose you could call us collegues."
”I see…” Felsi let out, processing his question. It was much the same as the one that Lorrimor had asked her so long ago. ”I’m… uh… no.” she said, pausing for a moment before continuing, ”I mean to say… I’m a Sylph, yes, but… I have no relation to any djinn. My father was exposed to planar energy, from the… er… Elemental Plane of Air. Perhaps you’re familiar with a Professor Grelvor Wiltmore? He was my father, a, uh, researcher such as yourself and the late Professor…. and myself, I suppose.” Felsi said, stumbling through her sentence.
"Wiltmore...Wiltmore...yes, the name does seem familiar." he said, putting his finger to his lips in contemplation. "Now that you mention it, I believe I actually did hear about that planar incident as well. Most of the Universities started putting some regulations on Plane studies after that, I think."
He brought his hands down and clapped them together excitedly. "But enough about your father, I'm sure people ask you plenty of questions about him. What are you researching, my dear?" he asked, geniunely curious.
”Well, er, for the past few years I’d been focusing my efforts on continuing his research, studying the nature of the Great Beyond… perhaps to succeed where he’d left off, I’d hoped. Although my interests have… shifted a little. In the coming months I intend to set out unto the world to tour the many places of learning across the land. Surely anything I can learn from those more well-versed in other issues will help my own studies, yes?”
"Ah yes, there truly is no greater teacher than experience! Although sometimes the lessons it teaches are not the ones we'd necessarily hoped for!" he said, giving a great exaggeration of his voice. "When you do begin your travels, do be careful. The countryside is not always the most friendly of places, and there is no shame in hiring guards to assist you."
”Yes… that’s good counsel. I’ll keep that in mind.” Felsi paused for a moment, thinking, ”You said you studied Osirion artifacts, Mr. Chalest? Could you tell my more about your work?”
"Well, since you're so interested, I suppose I can talk about it a little." the man said, adjusting his spectacles and leaning in slightly to allow him to lower his voice. "I'm sure you're aware of the Osirion culture; one of the biggest empires that rose 1000 years after Earthfall, started the Age of Destiny, still alive and well just south of the Inner Sea. All common knowledge, I'm sure. However, their artifacts can be found all across the globe, indicating that they might have stretched even further than we imagined! Some of these even suggest that they were attempting to rise to power as early as the Age of Darkness! Isn't that fascinating?"
Aubraun's eyes twinkled with excitement as he spoke, his voice brimming with similar levels of eagerness.
Felsi let out a thoughtful ‘hmmm’ as he spoke. As he finished she nodded, ”It is! Fascinating indeed.” she said with a marked enthusiasm. Perhaps she’d learn more about his research later, but for now there was another topic of curiosity. Felsi’s gaze shifted to the pair of Aasimar in front, ready to change the subject, ”Between myself and them the Professor has certainly surrounded himself with an interesting sort. I’m assuming so many Aasimar isn’t a usual occurrence in this town?” Felsi said, leaning in and speaking low so they wouldn’t hear.
"So many Aasimar in Ustalav isn't a usual occurance." Aubraun noted, looking around the room. "I think there's three of them. The two up front, and the one in the pews beside ours. At least, I believe that he is an Aasimar." he added, nodding his head in Iris's direction.
"I'd be wary, they say celestials gather where darkness lurks. Hopefully it is mere coincidence that the professor invited them."
Another ‘hmmmmm’ came from Felsi at that. ”Either way, they certainly are interesting. It’s the first time I’ve seen one in person… in fact, if you’ll excuse me Mr. Chalest, I think I’ll take this opportunity to talk to them. It was a pleasure meeting you.” she said, beginning to get up.
"And you as well, my dear. Seek me out if you're ever in Caliphas, I'd love to know how your research progresses!"
Interest piqued, the Aasimar stood up for a better look, wandering forward from the left edge of the room to avoid the main aisle and keeping himself as discreet as possible between the various guests present. When he was close enough to the pew to get a better look, Iris finally remembered the man--a frequent customer of the Violet Widow, though he hired courtesans mostly to talk and admire him. Iris had been on the receiving end of several embellished stories the man enjoyed telling about his various adventures--all no doubt more mundane than he liked to let on.
"Lord Ariesir," Iris greeted him as he set down a respectful distance from the aristocrat. "Fancy meeting you here. Have you managed to slay any more beasts in the interim?"
The man turned to locate the source of his name, eyes taking a moment to register the face before he grew quite flustered. "I-Iris!? Wha-...what are you doing here?" he nearly shouted the question, only bringing his voice down for subtlety after he realized his mistake, ignoring the courtesan's question in favor of his own.
"Same as you, I imagine. The daughter's letter. Have you been well?"
Duristan Ariesir struggled to regain his composure, his surprise slightly overshadowed by his embarrassment. "Ah...yes...I just didn't think..." he said, nervously wringing his hands as he struggled to form a conversation. "I have been, yes. The thrills of adventuring have kept me as fit as a horse...except for the occasional spat."
He slowly started to slip into his boastful manner, attempting to seek refuge in the thing he was most comfortable with: himself.
And Iris let him, because if there was one truth he took to heart about socialization it was this: people loved to talk about themselves.
"You must tell me of your latest adventures, my lord. Ever since I took a vacation from the Widow, I've truly missed your daring feats."
"Well..." Duristan started, eyes darting around to see if anybody else had noticed his flustered moment. "I've not told many people this story, but my hirelings and I are hunting the most interesting of beasts. Apparently there is a legend around Ustalav of an undead draconic chimera...thingy. And I intend to find it!" he seemed quite proud of himself at that statement, seeming to sit up taller.
"If anyone can slay the creature, it's you, my lord!" Iris exclaimed as loudly as was acceptable. He leaned forward with a light clap of his hands, the very picture of eager support. "I wish you the best of luck, though I hardly think you'll need it."
"Quite right you are! I've got my men tracking it as we speak, and I aim to meet with them immediately after the funeral. You mark my words, that creature will be slain by the end of the fortnight!"
"You give yourself too little credit. Surely sooner than that! But your humility precedes you, my lord. Ever the perfect noble."
"Why thank you, Iris. How have you been anyway? You mentioned a vacation, and now that I think of it, it has been a while since I saw you last!"
"I've left the Violet Widow for now, I suppose. Wanted to see what else was out there for me. But mine's a story that would bore you to tears and you certainly don't need the distraction when your quarry's near town. Suffice it to say I've been well, but I'm very glad to see you're faring spectacularly. They'll have you down in the annals of history yet, my lord, just you wait and see."
"They certainly will have me in the...annals. Most certianly! Perhaps after that, they will even write stories about me! Records of my great escapades!" Duristan rose with pride some more, before shrinking back down into his seat, lost in grandeur. "Worry not, for I will remember the little folk when they do! Perhaps I'll even mention you, Iris! As a friend of mine of course...not as-" he said, quickly becoming embarrased again.
"You're too kind, Lord Ariesir. You needn't mention me at all! I'm more than happy to cheer you on from my lowly position. A king doesn't remember every ant he passes on the street, and neither should you. But I'm more than flattered you would even bother to remember my name. Can it be possible that you're both humble and magnanimous?" Iris feigned a shocked look before settling back into his customary smile. "I am already unworthy to be in your presence, but forgive my selfishness that I choose to remain regardless. I can't help myself."
"Why thank you Iris, you certainly flatter me! I am quite 'mag-nanie-moose', aren't I? Durisian said, puffing his chest out despite his very obvious mispronunciation of the word.
"I'm certainly glad to have you as a comrade, Iris. Even if you are stuck in your position."
"Not all of us can aspire to your lofty heights, my lord. I am content with what I have, the greatest of which is your regard for me as a comrade. I'm honored, truly! I can offer little by way of help, but if there's anything you'd like of me, ask and I will endeavor to fulfill." The courtesan bowed slightly from his seat, closing his eyes briefly in reverence before straightening again.
"Well, I cannot think of any reason to put you in harm's way for this hunt of mine. It's quite dangerous." the man said cockily, adding the appropriate emphasis.
"But do look for me if you're ever back at the lodge, it would be excellent to enjoy your companionship another night."
"Nothing can best you, my lord, though I can't help but ask that you stay safe, regardless. The world can't afford to lose any more leaders in this time of strife. As for the lodge, well, you could consider me a bit of a freelancer at the moment. If you want my company, all you need to do is ask."
"W-well...I can't exactly ask that here." Durisian stuttered, lowering his voice and looking around. "And I'm leaving immediately for my hunt, though I will be returning to the Shudderwood afterward."
"I will try to remain intact, however. So that you may enjoy my company if you return to the area."
"Everyone needs your company, Lord Ariesir, though I'm glad to be in your thoughts. Unfortunately I've left my pack unattended for quite a while and don't wish to cause a stir in this place if I've lost it, so I'll return to my seat. But may the gods protect you on the hunt, and bring you the glory of victory."
With another bow as he stood, Iris slipped back into the left aisle of the room, weaving his way past other guests and sitting back down in his original seat beside the woodsman, heaving a sigh of disappointment. No dice this time with Lord Ariesir, but at least he wasn't in desperate need for coin yet thanks to small savings from his latest and less-than-glamorous occupation as a cook. Giving the woodsman a nod of thanks for keeping watch on his posessions, Iris settled into his seat to wait for the reading of the will by the Lady Lorrimor--whoever they were in this room.
Felsi stood for a moment before creeping slowly into the conversation. ”Um, excuse me,” Felsi said a little quieter than intended, ”Hello!” she managed just a little louder, giving a small wave to the Aasimir and the young lady she could only assume was Lorrimor’s daughter, ”I’m Felsi.” she managed, glancing across the small group. It crossed her mind that perhaps she should’ve looked for a more opportune time to introduce herself, but it was far too late to consider that now.
"A pleasure to meet you Felsi, and thank you for coming. Kendra Lorrimor." she said, offering a handshake. It would be clear to Felsi that, depsite the circumstances, she was still trying to maintain a strong appearance, however difficult it actually was for her.
Tomomi turned towards the new arrival, her train of thought broken. "Greetings to you, Felsi. Did you need something?"
A newcomer, one that looked human, but... Tomomi's eyes could see the way her hair moved as if carried by the winds, and her eyes... .She had no idea what the girl was, but judging from how interesting she looked, Tomomi could hazard a guess as to which recently deceased professor brought the girl here.
Felsi nodded quickly at the Aasimir’s question, returning Kendra's handshake as she continued, ”Yes, yes, well…” Felsi leaned in a little closer towards the girl, examining her, ”I was… wondering if either of you had wings?" she asked, adjusting her glasses as she glanced between the two Aasimir, "I read that Aasimir sometimes have wings.” she quickly added.
Tomomi leaned back slightly as Felsi started examining her. Was it the soft fluffy feathers here and there in her hair? Her fair complexion even with all the travelling she did? Or was it her golden eyes that seem to glow softly with its own light? Upon hearing the question she asked, Tomomi's expression darkened slightly.
"That is true. Sometimes Aasimars have wings. The name's Kinpachi Tomomi, just call me Tomomi."
Felsi gave Tomomi and expectant glare. ”Yes. Tomomi. Nice to meet you. And the question was if you have wings.” apparently Felsi either didn’t care or wasn’t aware of Tomomi’s expression.
"Ganth" -Ganth gave the newcomer a slight bow, before introducing himself -"The pleasure is all mine, Lady Felsi."
However, the question that followed did make him raise an eyebrow. It was true that Aasimirs had wings. He had read about it in books and tomes, and sometimes, some of his brothers and sisters did ask the same question. However, as far as he knew, this was not common knowledge. Or was it? His knowledge about his own kind is painfully thin.
"I don't, unfortunately. But I have yet to meet an Aasimar who does."
"That is correct. Now,"Tomomi turned to Felsi. "I am how I look. But you, what are you? I have seen many people in my travels and I have yet to see one that seems to flow with the wind even as they walked."
”Ganth. Nice to meet you.” Felsi said before turning to Tomomi, eyes widening a little before she nodded, ”Right. I’d prefer to call myself a human, but I’m more accurately called a Sylph. Uh… the simple explanation is that I have a tenuous relation to Djinn. But more importantly…” Felsi bit her lip, reaching a hand into her backpack and producing a journal, and quickly after a pen and a bottle of ink to match. She filled her pen before stuffing the bottle back in her pack, securely tightening the lid, already beginning to scribble into her journal.
"Oh, are you a researcher as well, Miss Felsi?" Kendra asked curiously, looking in interest at the notebook.
Felsi seemed absorbed in thought, barely perceiving Kendra’s words as she chewed on the end of her pen. ”Yeah.” she muttered, not looking up from her journal.
Kendra nodded at the short answer, going back to her sullen silence. There'd be time for regular conversation another place.