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Yeah if there's a point in the future where you think you're up to getting this running again, PM or mention me or something.
Nova Syrome

Aetius Palace - Doux Belisar’s Residence


Leofric couldn’t help but frown as he approached Belisar’s palace, flanked by two of his men. To Leofric, Belisar seemed almost as bad as King Badastan himself. This deal did not sit well with him, yet it was necessary - it gave him a reliable stopping point to sell his goods, catch up with the news, and offered some degree of protection should Eodaeland or another Kingdom make more active attempts to hunt him down.

Before leaving his ship, he had changed into some of his finest clothes. Officially, he was an Eodaen Earl who took to the seas like many others of his kind, which was true, only in the official story he was a merchant rather than a pirate.

Wiping the frown from his face, he approached the gates, and the palace guards looked at him expectantly. “I am Earl Leofric of Eodaeland,” Leofric introduced himself. “I request an audience with Doux Belisar of Syrome.”

The Syrioviigoc guards, while recognising the man were clearly on high alert and suspicious, though Leofric could not possibly know for what reason, as he could not have been aware of the other Doux’s surprise visit and stand-off.

The guards did not respond other than to tell him to halt and wait, as a guard captain whispered with another and then palace servants arrived, each gesturing and whispering to each other in a kind of rushed silence, servants moving back and forth.

It was sometime until another servant returned, and finally the guards turned back to Leofric.

‘’Your audience has been granted Eodaelander. The Doux will see you.’’ One of the guards followed the servant back into the palace, and the servant gestured for Leofric to follow.

While the palace was beautiful, it was clearly in a state of hasteful movement and sudden activity, with many guards, pages and other retinue members moving around - both cleaning up from the mess with the intruding thug of a Doux, as well as responding to the news concerning Tautom. The Servant and guard too, were rushed.

They stopped at the throne room rather than the seaside gazebo, and Belisar was busy discussing something with a guard captain when the servant knocked and announced Leofric’s arrival.

Belisar spun around, robes drifting in haste and immediately turned to Leofric.

‘’What is it that you require, pirate?’’

Bowing his head slightly, Leofric smirked.
“Your Grace, I merely wished to inform you that the better part of my ‘merchant’ fleet has arrived in your city. I thought it would only be polite to make sure you were aware, and to see if you had any special requests in mind before I set off again. And if you don’t mind, I would also ask if you have received any updates on the political situation in my homeland.”

Belisar nodded and quickly drew out a piece of paper from his robes, holding it out to Leofric.

‘’This letter came from a Pigeon, a Eodaland one. Your ‘king’, Badastan... he is coming here. It would be wise for you and your fleet to avoid him during his stay. Otherwise, I will require you to monitor activity along the coast of Tautom, particularly of any Chlotar activity” Belisar said, still holding out the letter.

Leofric accepted the sheet of parchment, and read it as Belisar went on to explain. “I see,” he noted. He wondered just how many ships Badastan would be sending, and whether or not they would all be grouped together, or if they would split up. Then he contemplated the idea of laying some sort of trap or ambush to sink or capture as many of them as possible. But there was no way to come up with such a plan given the limited information, so avoiding them was indeed the wisest course of action… unless they found him anyway.

Instead, he nodded. “Very well, I shall head west.” He was going that way anyway; many of his countrymen had fled to Chlotar, in protest of Badastan’s idiotic squirrel cult. While they were right to abandon the fat usurper, Leofric couldn’t help but think them foolish to so quickly pledge themselves to a foreign banner - the banner of the same man who killed Eodaeland’s previous King. Leofric would need to convince them to fight under his own banner instead, or - more likely - that of Prince Alric, the true heir to the throne, if the boy still lived.

“If there is nothing else, I would ask to take my leave,” Leofric requested.

‘’It is granted. Fair travels pirate’’ Belisar said, immediately turning to his guards and gesturing to escort Leofric out. Already moving to other concerns, Belisar turned back to his Guard Captain who had approached again, sensing the end of the pirate’s audience, and he began again talking, now in whispers.
Gary Riley

Gary remembered the phone resting in his pocket; a full recording of what he had witnessed. He had considered turning it over to the police. After all, it was video evidence, and could potentially be useful in locating the missing persons, or at the very least convince the police woman that he wasn't full of shit. Yet still, he was reluctant to hand it over, and continued wrestling with the idea.

"If anyone asks you, you never saw these pictures," the sheriff told them.

Oh. So they were trying to keep the investigation a secret, then. Why, he wondered. Were they concerned that it would look bad if the police station was committing resources to investigating ghost stories? Were they trying to cover the incident up to avoid a panic? Were they carefully regulating the information, to lure people in with the mystery, and maximize the town's tourism revenue?

He wasn't going to turn the phone over, he decided. It would be confiscated - he might not see it again, and if he did they would likely delete the video. The people had the right to know. The question was, how was he going to get this information out without running his career and his name into the ground, or getting into trouble with the local authorities?

In the meantime, he would help with what was in front of him. "I told you there was a tiger," he said, pointing to the photo of the tiger in question. "I didn't exactly commit it to memory, though, so I don't know if it's the same tiger. That girl and that kid, I saw them both in the diner. I don't know where they went to in all the chaos, though. And I don't recognize the rest of the pictures," he shrugged, and then frowned. "Some people went into the bathroom, and I don't know what happened to them, but I think they might be the next entrees on the missing persons list."

"Hope I helped. Not a word of this conversation will leave this room," Gary said, rising to his feet. "I'll ignore the fact that you just equated me to a raving old man, but I'll talk to him regardless." He glanced down at the woman he had escaped the diner with. "You coming?"
Sorry for my inactivity, I didn't think this was still going. How much have I missed, and is it still possible to get back into this?
Ah, I appear to have gotten the cultural names mixed up.

You know your city is screwed when you've started creating designated "Poverty Regions." :P
Lord Captain Leofric

The walls and towers of Syrome soon came into view, as the Storm's Herald glided toward the harbour. They had made a brief stop at an island to the north, to rendezvous with six of their ships. Thankfully, they had not been delayed for long, and could continue onward to their destination. The rest of the fleet was to meet them at Syrome, and Leofric could already make out at least three more of his own ships moored next to each other.

They had taken another vessel on their way south, a trading ship which contained salt and spices. They would be able to sell its cargo here for a hefty profit. Unfortunately, it had not been Eodaen. the entire reason Leofric had gone so far north in the first place was to try and get an update on his homeland's political situation. Sadly, neither vessel had a clue.

The ship slid into an empty space at the dock, and the gangplank was lowered. A custom official was waiting. Leofric crossed over to meet him, cursing internally. Damn these Syromeans and their draconian security measures. Why couldn't they be more like Eodaeland?

And then he remembered the state his homeland had come to, and begrudgingly retracted that thought. Belisar may be just as sleazy as Badastan, but at least he wasn't filling his people's heads with nonsense.

Fortunately, Leofric had an arrangement with this particular official. They exchanged a few words, and Leofric handed him a pouch that was perhaps a bit too heavy to simply cover the standard docking fee. And with that, Leofric walked back onto his ship, pleased to have avoided the usual inspection and series of questions.

"Alicia," Leofric gestured to two of his officers, "see to it that our recently acquired goods are sold."

"Yes, my lord," Alicia said with a quick bow and a slight smile. With that, she began gathering crewmembers and sending them below deck.

"Aella," Leofric turned to his first mate. "Go pay a visit to those three ships. I want an update on their crew sizes, cargo, how many ships they have taken, and anything they've learned."

Aella nodded wordlessly, and saw to her duty.

"Aewick and Ecbert, with me," Leofric said, pointing to two of his more loyal crew members who were currently armed. Both men nodded, and came to his side.

Then, he turned to his Oarmaster. "Peric, keep order on the ship until I get back."

Peric nodded seriously. "Yes sir." Then, there was a moment of hesitation, before he added, "might I ask where you are going?"

Leofric forced a smile. "To pay a visit to our good friend in the palace, of course."
I've been holding off because I wanted to give the other people in my character's group a chance to post.
Currently awaiting a response from you, @Mokley
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