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Location: Swamp Cabin
Interactions: Neko @Atrophy, Olivia, Jordan, & Nori @NoriWasHere, Blake/Maggy @Punished GN

Even though Maggy shot down his attempt to separate her and Blake, Neko’s honesty worked anyway. Whether it was wise to ask these questions around prying ears, well the time to worry about that had passed. Blake’s answer contained a whole lot more things to worry about; everyone who’s turned up looking for Eleanor Black was dead. Or missing and presumed dead which wasn’t much better. Weird. It wasn’t much better to realize the whole town was likely aware of this and just pretended that a whole lot of dead tourists weren’t worth investigating. Suddenly this felt a lot less Scooby-Doo and a lot more Wicker Man.

“Got many families here in Quintin named Black? Cause, otherwise, would be strange for so many people to come down here looking for an Eleanor Black in the middle of a swamp. Almost as strange as having such a small town with so many people going missing. A well-connected man like yourself must have some guess about all that.” Wyatt asked, looking at Blake, and everything about the butler seemed to say he wasn’t hiding much. Not in that robe at least.

“And these missing folks, all out-of-towners? No trouble here for any locals?” He looked only at Maggy as he asked that one. If anyone was going to have the details on dark going-ons in town a working gal with no filter was a good place to start. “Any creepy characters lurking around dark alleys?” He asked.

Location: Swamp Cabin
Interactions: Neko @Atrophy, Olivia, Jordan, & Nori @NoriWasHere

“She really wasn’t kiddin’ about the hospitality. This is the warmest welcome we’ve had in Quintin so far. And I sware we’ve done nothing to ril’ up the locals.” Wyatt took the opportunity to peek inside the cabin. Nothing looked suspicious, neither Blake nor his company felt threatening, but Wyatt still felt like he was watching some scary movie, just waiting for the jump scare to happen. But nothing happened, and tension just kept solidifying.

Wyatt glanced at Neko, who wore that same tragic expression as mothers on the nightly news asking for the safe return of a missing kid. A look like that was almost enough to break a fella’s heart, and it’d probably work wonders on a kindly old butler, but maybe not on a jaded hooker.

“I gotta pass on the water, just came from a little coffee shop up the road, stuff’ll run right through ya. Think I could use your bathroom?” Wyatt asked Blake, before turning his attention to Thornton’s paid company. “Maybe you could show me where that’s at? I’m Wyatt. I think I missed your name.” He almost offered his hand out as he introduced himself, but thought better of it and tapped his chest instead. It seemed like a good plan, to separate the two, and maybe make Blake easier to question.

Interactions: Neko @Atrophy, Olivia, Jordan, & Nori @NoriWasHere

They did not have a cohesive plan. Olivia and Jordan were both in favor of pretending to be dumb tourists, and sure that was simple up until the questions caused an eyebrow raise from the butler. Then, old man Thornton would have questions of his own and five girls went missing after poking around. But a fake podcast on spooky swamp tales or shady small towns would raise those same sorts of questions. Neko suggested winging it, and maybe she was right; who didn’t love talking some shit about a past employer.

Nori seemed more focused on a flock of crows. Had those crows followed them from the coffee shop? Weird but birds were weird creatures, and the group's bird enthusiast was feeding them. “Someone’s having luck making friends with the locals. If anyone’s got a pocket full of butterscotch candies maybe the same trick’ll work on Thornton.” He said, to no in particular, but Jordan was already up at the cabin peaking into a window and Neko was knocking at the cabin door.

Wing it and hope they weren’t the next set of five to go missing. He headed up the porch steps to the door right as it swung open. Blake greeted the group and was quickly joined by paid company. Wyatt knew it was ridiculous, but he had imagined the man answering the door would be in a suit with white gloves, but this guy looked like he’d be right at home at the Playboy mansion. If there was a worse time to interrupt an old man, he struggled to think of one.

Wyatt cleared his throat. “At ‘ease general, yer private’s still salutin’.’” He said giving the haphazardly robbed butler a casual salute before using that hand to gesture towards the man’s robe. “Sorry for the interruption. We’re hoping for a quick chat.”
In Avalia 16 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay

Time: Morning’s are for rescuing Malachi!
Location: River Port; Liar of the Spiders
Interactions: Malachi@princess, Jun@JJ Doe, Kenia@Tae
Equipment: A halberd, (always with him) hunting knife, and half-plate armor (left in the room).

“The point is safety in numbers Jun, and we cannot leave you here all de- all alone.” Zion was going to say defenseless, but that wouldn’t help Jun’s confidence. To look at the frail human, defenseless wasn’t exactly incorrect. The human had no discernible natural advantages, no claws, and very unimpressive teeth, but perhaps being ridiculously hard-headed provided the human some small protection. While Zion could appreciate Jun’s dedication to eating breakfast, Malachi would not want the human left alone, and arguing with the human would only waste time.

So Zion simply lifted Jun with one hand, tossed the human over his shoulder, and followed Kenia out the door. “Aim a bit higher, got a knot in my shoulder.” The lion chuckled Jun’s attack, it was about time the human showed he had a bit of fight in him after all.

He kept pace with Kenia, who moved with surefooted grace that appeared as intuitive as it was for any fully feline huntress he’d ever hunted with. Jun even offered his voice to aid the search, and Zion was counting that as participation, though he had to why Jun referred to a forest as green stuff. “Jun, that is called a forest. Do they not have forests, or trees, in your world?” He asked with earnest confusion.

Zion surveyed the green stuff that was the thriving forest around River Port. Tindles of silken webbing hung around the trees. The lion's ears twitched as they listened intently, rotating toward the nearly imperceptible sounds of the slight rustling of a branch and the movements of serval pairs of legs. As Kenia rushed toward both Malachi and the frightened elfen child, Zion hung back for a moment to avoid throwing Jun into immediate danger.

“Giant spiders. Dangerous but just barely.” He said it with the grin of a predator who simply knew his prey would be no match for him. This would be good training for Jun, a perfect opportunity to sharpen his skills against a very mild threat. Zion shrugged Jun off his shoulder and placed the human firmly on the ground. He then removed a large hunting knife from his belt, grabbed Jun’s hand placed the handle against the palm, and forced Jun’s hand closed around the knife.

“You are Avalia’s greatest hope, do not let them eat you. They are vicious.” He added before letting Jun’s hand go and giving him an intense stare and nod. He sincerely hoped Jun did not just drop the weapon and run. Again his ears twitched in the direction of the spider’s movements, the beast was heading towards the elves.

Zion took off in a sprint before leaping forward, covering a great distance with feline skill, and landed squarely on his feet between the trio of elves and the spider that had dropped down to greet them. As the spider reared up, exposing its deadly fangs he swung the halberd with all his might, his left side twisting toward the spider with Zion’s swing. The spider hissed as a scalding torrent shot forth from the creature's exposed maw. The lion too, opened his mouth to counter with a deafening roar that came.

The boiling liquid splattered down his left arm and shoulder. Zion could only assume it was boiling because nothing had ever burned half this bad before. It was as if his entire arm was on fire, with flames that sought to burn deeper, to sear a path through the flesh to the bone.

The mighty lion threw his head back, and from his mouth erupted not a gallant roar but a yowl of deep, unforgiving, agony. The screaming would only continue for as long as the arm burned.

Zion crumpled, halberd slipping from his hands, and there was no thought to even check if he had wounded the spider in return, there was only agony and instinctual panic. The lion rolled onto his left side, feet pushing forward in a desperate attempt to scrap the boiling liquid from his useless outstretched left arm. Even as bits of flesh sloughed off against the ground, the liquid only seemed to burn deeper. Hints of bone and stretches of tendon sat exposed amongst widening, sizzling wounds. Zion could smell it; dissolving meat, acrid venom, fresh blood, scents mixing together, telling his panicked mind what was happening.

The spider’s caustic venom was burning through everything it touched, it would make quick work of Zion’s arm. Knowing it only heightened the panic, his screaming only grew louder. He knew the spider would attack again, and there was nothing he could do to stop it.

Location: Webb Family Coffee House
Interactions: Neko @Atrophy

Wyatt mouthed a quiet thank you to Jen, who gave him and the other stragglers a quick summary of the group and the details of the goings-on in Quintin. His eyes lit up at the mention of a haunted swamp they weren’t supposed to enter. It was like Jen was trying to make that swamp sound more exciting than just a breeding ground for mosquitos. With exploring the swamplands off the table, the options all involved trying to interview someone who probably didn’t want to talk to them. Splitting up to search for clues while a haunted swamp lingered in the background, sounded a whole lot like Scooby-Doo, and made it all seem less like a bad idea. Why there were so many missing Eleanors from one tiny, barely worth marking on a map, town still made no sort of sense.

“I can help talk to the butler.” He chimed in to volunteer once Neko made a joke about the butler. The one who lost a daughter. Oof, now that’s gotta be a mindfuck. He got up to look at the location on Jen’s map. “Looks like it’s right near the swamp, very least I can give you some backup if the creature of the Black Lagoon pops out.” If this was a Scooby-Doo situation it would only be the butler in a costume. He could handle a butler. Seemed a better option than poking around asking about missing girls or chatting up spoiled teens.

“Looks like it’s gonna be a long walk unless you brought a car.” He added, grabbing his stuff.

Location: Blake Thorton’s creepy swamp cabin

Looming on the outskirts of both town and swamp, sat the home of Blake Thorton. The sound of insects buzzing, frogs croaking, and faint splashes from whatever lived beneath the swamp’s murky waters. It almost looked like a nice comfortable cabin, secluded enough to be peaceful. But it also looked like the sort of place where people get murdered with no one around to hear all the screaming. Especially in a small town where folks didn’t like outsiders poking around.

“Welcome to swamp cabin; come for the ambiance and never leave cause the butler fed ya to the gators.” Wyatt joked as he looked up at the cabin. Probably not the most helpful thing to say, given that there were already five missing girls in addition to the Eleanor mystery, but it did help shake the creepy feeling.

“Well, lights are all on, someone must be home. What’s our story? Guessing a straight-up ‘Have you seen any Elenaors around recently’ or ‘What’s her family hiding’ is gonna get that door slammed in our faces. Pretend we’re working on a podcast about Quintin?” He suggested to whoever else was on team butler.

Time: Morning
Location: Papa Edin’s big important tea party!
Interactions: Group of NPC's

Callum’s eyes followed Victoria as she left, a grin of pride almost overtook his face until the Dutchess nearly ran over Countess Liliane. “Are you alright? Nice save. I would love a sandwich.” He said as he watched for one more second, Dutchess Edwards, all out of sorts, stomping around like a disgruntled toddler. He grabbed his shoes, that the Dutchess had kicked, and sat in what had been the Dutchess’s seat.

“I was just having some fun. I didn’t know she was having such a bad day. You wouldn’t all think I’m a gossip if I just shared a bit of tea with you?” He asked, since Edwards had left the table, might as well try and win her friends over to his side. He didn’t pause long enough for them to answer that question, but sat politely and did his best to look like a heartbroken prince as he grabbed a sandwhich.

“Well, I’m sure you’ve read in the papers that Lady Ariella and I have become acquainted. Nothing crass of course, the lady is the pinnacle of virtue and I respect that, but for the first time in a long while I have found someone who helps me see the beauty in our great nation. But Dutchess Edwards has banned her daughter from taking me on nature walks, and I worry that once again, I’ll be able to see, is darkness.” Callum kept looking at Melanie, who had flashed him that look of warning, and Antionette. He figured he’d gain the most sympathy from them. He put on the puppy dog face as he weaved truth and lie together.

“And I guess I just wanted to show her, I don’t back from what matters to me. I am sorry if I’ve spoiled your fine afternoon.” He made a show of forcing himself to smile and took a bit of his sandwich. Then he looked at Count Landon, who he really doubted his act had any effect on. This was a man who wanted to talk business, and who needed a reason to care about feeding the citizens of Sorian.

“Now the charity event is really going to be something special. A silent auction with treasures beyond your wildest dreams. Courtesy of the most successful trading company in town. We, my associates and I, have also discussed auctioning off dates with some of our most eligible bachelors. I’m sure you’ve all noticed many of the young men here are in danger of developing rakish reputations. But most importantly we will be working on making sure the citizens here, will all be able to enjoy a good meal. Of course the added bonus for you, Count Monet, a dazzling evening of fun for both you and your wife. The same for all the lovely ladies here and their dashing husbands.” The smiling made his jaw hurt but even if he could reel in one person at this table, he’d have a pretty big fish with deep pockets.

Shit. Was Victoria talking to Edin? He didn’t have time for the old man’s nonsense right now. He needed to make his pitch quick and head out. “How’s that sound? A spectacular night and a good deed all rolled into one.” He took another bite of the cold sandwich. What was she even saying to Edin? That I walked over and said hello then took off my shoes? Like I can’t take my shoes off in the garden. That’s not a law. Probably. Well, Edin could just look right over here and see me getting along with all of Caesonia’s fancy pants wearers and having a nice conversation. Double shit. Who was he kidding? Edin would look over here and see his demon spawn bothering people enough that Victoria had to go around running her big mouth and bother the king.
In Avalia 23 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay

Time: Morning
Location: Southwest of Roshmi City
Interactions: Rue@Potter, Bardulf@Lava Alckon, Bridgette@Tae, Mister Luum@FunnyGuy, and Zeva@Pink Khione
Equipment:Sword, hunting knife, a backpack with supplies, and a stoat named Raze who naps in the pocket of his vest.

From atop the winter fae’s head, the bristled stoat let out a mighty hiss. Scampering, tiny stoat claws frantically gripped onto the fairy’s scalp as Bowyn tilted his head to the side, and the lanky creature scurried down his neck and onto his shoulder. Another hiss paired with the baring of tiny fangs.

“Stolen.” Raze believed in finders keepers and he'd found the ama fair and square. His trinket was stolen from his own teeth. The stoat was deeply offended, the elf had not bested him in sneakery nor had she sniffed out the treasure. Merely plucked it from his grasp and took it.

“You got food, didn’t you?” Bowyn pointed out, as he began walking, close to Rue’s side, toward the cafe and its promise of cheap honey toast. He readjusted the hood of his cloak, despite how hot it was in Roshmi, with the hope that it was enough to keep him hidden. The hulking warforged that scanned and passed them went unnoticed by Bowyn.

The stoat stared with longing at Zeva’s bag. The food was gone now, it didn’t matter, only the ama that had been unfairly torn from his grasp, mattered. “Had it in my teeth.”

“Steal it back later. Double steal, twice as impressive.” Tiny ears perked up as the stoat found delight in the plan.

Bowyn figured he could just give Zeva an ama later if Raze actually remembered to steal it back. But he couldn’t just give Raze an ama, it wasn’t special if the little guy didn’t swipe it himself. It was more likely that the stoat would forget as soon as something else caught the attention of his beady little eyes.

“Disguise rings are pricy.” He pointed out to Rue. “You think it’s necessary?” He asked but that wasn’t his main concern. He dropped his voice to whisper before continuing. “If we split up the way Luum wants, I think we should try and keep an eye on them. I don’t trust Bardulf alone with just the elves.”
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