Completed Missing Knight Part 4

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Missing Knight Part 4

Postby Kynier on November 28th, 2018, 2:47 am

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21st of Fall, 518 A.V.


The initial intention had been to go to the Sun’s Refuge early in the day to begin his investigation. However, when thinking about it beyond the moment of conception, Kynier realized that wasn’t the best of ideas. To impersonate a Sun’s Birth returning early in the day would mean that he’d be impersonating someone that had finished one of the night patrols. Which would require making a report to someone. There were many problems with that approach. Kynier had no idea where he could say he was patrolling or who the report was to go to. It seemed like his best chance was to avoid the authority figures altogether during this escapade. Feigning being a new recruit would work best on those that had no responsibility with new recruits.

Also, there was a strong possibility that he’d try to make a report on someone else’s patrol route. Or a route that they weren’t running. Too many uncertainties to begin to fathom. Then he realized that it would be wiser to enter the Sun’s Refuge closer to the middle of the day. At a time when more people would be going in and out of the district. Mostly, he just needed to get inside. The only other obstacle he was aware of was the check-in at The Gold Lodge tavern. At those two points of his loosely formed plan was it required to display proof of being a Sun’s Birth. Ember had assisted… more like demonstrated… how to use cosmetics to make the appearance of a scar where one did not exist.

On the back of his left hand was a thick coating of various things, none of their names did he remember regardless of how many times Ember repeated it. Its appearance was that of the eight-pointed sunburst. The coloration made it appear as though it were still in the process of healing. So then, Kynier would need to pretend that it was still sensitive. If they made it look as though it were mostly, or fully healed, then that would’ve implied that he had been in their organization for a long enough duration for someone to know him. Which would have been very counter-productive.

It was still too early to go out. Kynier was in the leather armor that he had procured, and it was taking some getting used to. The fitting wasn’t very comfortable as the sleeves were short. Whether that meant he had long arms, or the armorer didn’t understand the appropriate sizing of a man’s arm, Kynier didn’t know. Constant adjustments were being made to try and get comfortable. Pulling on the neckline, tugging on the cuffs to bring them further down, and other things like that. There were also the steel plates that were encompassing his limbs. The vambraces, rerebraces, cuisses, and greaves were all strapped down, though this time they felt more comfortable on the leather armor than they did on his regular clothing.

For some time, he had been walking around the Training Room in the armor, trying to get a sense of what it was like to move with so much protection. Kynier felt heavy and sluggish as he walked in circles. Drapped over his shoulders was not the magic cloak that he had acquired during one of his daring escapades, but the regular, mundane black wool cloak he used to wear. It had tears and rips in its fabric. It looked more fitting than the Mohair wool which just looked more upscale. If he was to pretend to be a grunt, then he’d have to be as uncomfortable as a grunt. Without the comforting magic of his cloak, Kynier felt himself perspiring quickly with all the extra weight, which also served as extra insulation.

After that, he had squared off against one of the training dummies. Kynier was carrying the largest number of weapons he ever had before. The longsword with the Sun’s Birth insignia engraved on the pommel as well as both his short swords were at his hips. At his back rested a dagger which was concealed beneath the cloak. And tucked away in his boot was his assassin’s dagger. The spy drew both his cold iron short blades and took his stance. One blade was held out at length to point at the dummy’s make-believe eyes, as the other was at an angle over his lead arm, almost resting on the bicep with the body slightly angled.

Kynier looked over his stance once before dropping out of it. He took a more… brutish position. He stood square with the target and held both blades up at forty-five-degree angles before him. The first stance was more for mobility. As a Sun’s Birth, he was supposed to be a bit arrogant and believe that his armor would protect him enough for quick, decisive attacks to finish his adversaries. Kynier worked on his cutting form by slowly bringing one blade up and cutting down at an angle against the training dummy. As the first hand came to rest, his second hand would mimic the motion exactly. The point was to establish a flow and get comfortable using both arms individually, yet together.

After several strokes he would slightly increase his speed to cut faster. All the while he remained conscious about not cutting himself with a reckless motion. It was tiring. The motion plus the weight of the armor on his upper and lower arms. Before long, the intensity of his sweat increased on his brow. More than that, Kynier struggled to find a rhythm with his breathing. The most comfortable pattern was to exhale on the cut and take short inhales when he raised his weapons. It did not take long before the X shaped pattern of the cuts became more and more noticeable on the training dummy.

When Kynier stopped he took a step back. Both cold iron blades where hanging at his sides and his breath was fast and loud. The cool air of the basement felt good in opposition to the lactic acid build up in his lungs. Kynier gave a glance to the materials that Ember had caked on the back of his hand. The false scar was not smearing. Ember said that she was using things that were more resistant to rain and sweat, but that large quantities could still distort and wash it away. So long as he didn’t rub at it, it should be fine.



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Missing Knight Part 4

Postby Kynier on November 28th, 2018, 2:48 am

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Some cool water running down his throat made him feel better. It required some self-control to not drink greedily, because he still had a few bells available to him and he wanted to get some more practice in. He took two more sips from his waterskin as a sort of compromise with himself before he set it aside. Then he walked over to the practice dummy again and drew both his cold iron blades. Eyes settled on the blade that he had been carrying most of his life, that had possessed magic talents he had been unaware of. Kynier suspected that Bourin knew about the healing magic inside but chose not to say anything. Probably thinking that Kynier only deserved to know if he was able to develop his Auristics enough to find out himself.

One of these days, he would either need to name the weapon, or take a harder look at it with Auristics to see if it had a name already. Unlike Glister, no identity had been whispered to him when he examined its power. Then again, it had been one of the first items he had examined and most likely had not focused well enough to discover all its secrets. Kynier shrugged his shoulder and turned his attention on the practice dummy. He thought about something that he should work on. The last exercise had worked on his coordination and speed. This time, he wanted to try some sort of tactic. Kynier decided to just do something, and let his intuition follow through on it, rather than plan out something he’d probably never think of in battle.

One arm raised a blade and cut down at a diagonal. Kynier gave the attack some power, but not so much that he cut through and drove the tip nearly to the ground. At the end of the cut he rotated his wrist and made a second cut that was the reverse of the first. As the second cut cleared his target’s shoulder, he performed a box step with his feet and made a thrust with the other weapon. The blade bit into the upper part of the torso. Kynier took a deep breath before he pulled the blade back without moving his feet. Then, he raised that arm to perform the diagonal slash, the reverse, and thrust with the other arm.

It was what Pajalkich would refer to as an infinity drill. A set of movements that had no end to its flow. Kynier delved into that flow, focusing less on the points of contact with the target dummy and more on the movements he was making. It did not take many to begin to wear him down. By the fourth repetition he was breathing heavily again. Both arms were going numb as their weight increased and the burn in his shoulders intensified. Even his legs were feeling the strain with each additional lunge that was performed. Eventually, his balance was being compromised from his legs trying to adjust for the constant shifting of additional weight. From the knees down he was hurting until he finished with one last cut.

Pushing off his foot to stand straight was a chore of its own. Kynier sighed heavily with the relief of his bones supporting his weight more than his own muscles. He placed both cold iron weapons in their sheaths and went to lean against the wall. Sweat was running down his head and neck so much it looked like he had come in from the rain. This time, he did not show self-control at drinking the cool water. When he stopped and gasped for air, he took remaining amount of water and ran it over his head. The salt and grime of exertion ran from his brow. It was probably not good for the leather, but at that instant, he didn’t care.

Slicking his hair back and wiping the fluids from his face, Kynier went up both sets of stairs to the living quarters of the Midnight Gem. In the master suite’s bath chamber, he retrieved a towel and dried his head and neck. When he was done, he checked the back of his hand again. He wasn’t sure if he was more worried about being discovered as an imposter, or about Ember finding out that he ruined her work before getting a chance to use it. The young Kelvic was someone he had to live with and ran a close second to being run through with a blade.

Still drying himself off, he wandered out of the bath chamber and to the master suite to look out the window. With the weather as bleak as it had been, it was difficult to tell the exact time. A few bells had passed, and it would take a few more to make his way over to the Sun’s Refuge. By then, he would have quite the appetite. And he knew a certain tavern that would make for a good test of his ability to impersonate a Dragoon.



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Missing Knight Part 4

Postby Kynier on November 28th, 2018, 2:50 am

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It was twenty some odd chimes past the eleventh bell by the time he could see the first structure of the Sun’s Refuge. Not counting that tower that loomed over the rest of the small district, which he was able to see from a good distance away. Kynier was walking with his hood up like everyone else that had the option. The rain was coming down steady and did not appear to have the intention of letting up soon. Kynier kept his left hand close to his side to keep it dry under his mundane cloak. His walk was straight and without hesitation as he neared the edge of the Sun’s Birth claimed territory. The spy pretended to not give any attention to the others that were wondering by, when in actuality, he was feeling quite paranoid about their location in relation to his own.

Kynier approached the door to the Gold Lodge. It opened as he reached for it and a pair of Dragoons stumbled through the doorway. One of them was quite drunk and the other seemed to be trying to manage and steer his comrade. Slipping in and out of the rain, Kynier pulled his hood down as he took the first few steps. His eyes were shifting both ways to see where the bouncer was. A large man was sitting on a stool at the edge of the entry way, just before it opened up to the rest of the tavern. The grizzled man was eyeing Kynier.

As the spy brought his forgery painted hand forward, he tried bumping the hilt of the sword to help display the pommel more easily. Kynier held up the back of his hand without being asked. And he lowered it after a tick and before a through examination could be made. As he was walking right by the grizzled man, the bouncer spoke. “Not the typical armament. What sort of trouble have you been expecting?” Kynier stopped moving and looked at the man perplexed. The Dragoon indicated the steel plates that covered his arms.

“Oh this? Well, there’s a damn good reason for it,” he said as he began to unstrap the vambrace of his left arm. It was exposing his forgery longer than he wanted, but he hoped the man wasn’t paying attention to it. To help with that, he kept talking. “In the Spring, I was ambushed by some petching Daggerhands,” he said, using a lower pitched voice than normal. When the last buckled was undone, he slid the vambrace off and rolled his sleeve up. On the outside of his left forearm was the thick scar he had been given by an actual Daggerhand ambush.

The bouncer looked at the scar, furrowed his brow, and shook his head while blowing between his lips. “That must have been a nasty cut there, friend.” He looked back up at Kynier as the spy brought his sleeve back down. “But tell me, did you at least gut those vagiks?” Kynier set the vambrace back on his arm and started fastening the buckles again. He gave the bouncer a vicious smile.

“Stupid petchers ambushed me where they couldn’t surround me. So yeah, I gutted each of them.” The bouncer gave a hearty chuckle and slapped Kynier on the arm.

“That-a-boy! You should look into getting kill cuffs for them. Some silver cuffs would match the steel armor rather well.” Kynier knew what the man was referring to. The gang members piercing their ears for cuffs to help tally the kills of their rivals. They were stylized as well to indicate the importance of those kills. He gave the bouncer a shrug.

“And let them know I’m competent and not a rookie? Ha! I’d rather be underestimated than flaunt it.” He gave the bouncer a wink and left him at that. He looked around the tavern and took a deep breath. By the gods… the smell! There was no hint of the wretched stink of the city inside the tavern. None of the other taverns, not even No Man’s Land had accomplished that. And the smell was so good! It only made the spy even hungrier than he was before. He came up to the counter and sat on a stool rather than take a table.

The tavern keepers were more likely to give him a proper nudge in Niqolas’ direction than trying to randomly ask other Dragoons about him. And the servers did not appear to hold still long enough for idle conversation. As he waited for one of the tenders to take notice to him, a musician began to play some music on an ocarina. Some of the patrons cheered and began stomping their feet or their fists in rhythm with the lively melody. Kynier glanced around the tavern an noted some of the people began to dance. Kynier couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

This… this was what it was supposed to be like in a city. A lack of fear, music, revelry, a sturdy structure, the delicious smell of food and not the stench of shyke. Why could the rest of the city not be like this? Was it because there was too much order under the Sun’s Birth rule? Their influence had been great once, but their rivals had pushed them back. Now, they were just better armed thugs. At least, that’s what they had looked like before this. Or was this just the silver lining to the dark cloud?

He was taken away from his surprise by the presence of someone at the counter, and a female voice that addressed him. “Morning there, hun. What would you like to eat?” Kynier pivoted on his seat to look at the woman. She was a modest beauty with long dark brown hair in a braid. One that looked very familiar. The woman’s eyes took him in just as intently. Iselda took a step back from the counter while leaving her hands on the counter. The memories of about a half season ago came rushing back to the only other time he had tried to enter the establishment. “You,” she stated softly.

Kynier was sitting up straight on his stool. With that one word, she caused his heart to race. The tavern owner was the one person that could call him out as an imposter without needing to examine his supposed brand. Kynier took shallow breaths as he looked back at her, hoping he wasn’t going to have to fight through all the Dragoons to make it back out of the tavern.



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Missing Knight Part 4

Postby Kynier on December 8th, 2018, 4:59 am

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The following silence ensued for several ticks. Kynier was too nervous to fidget and tried to keep his expressions from betraying his emotions. But the longer the silence the more she may suspect the truth. “Hello again,” he said with a throat that suddenly felt very dry. “I was hoping to get something to eat and drink.” The woman, whose name he couldn’t think of, if he ever learned what it was, looked at him critically for a moment. With an expression that was difficult to read, she turned and grabbed a goblet and a bottle. She set the goblet down in front of him and poured some wine into it.

Kynier sighed internally. He did not enjoy clouding his judgment and impairing his senses. While he did not dislike the taste of wine, the life he lived required constant care to not make mistakes. But there were expectations to live up to if he was to impersonate a Dragoon. Just because he hadn’t been aware of them didn’t mean he could get away with not doing them. Thusly, he thanked her and drank the wine that she had given him. But she looked at him with cold eyes. “So, you decided to join the ranks?” she asked.

He set the goblet down and tapped a finger on the rim, displaying an expression to feign discontent. “Had no choice. My last employer was killed, and his meager business fell apart.” Kynier looked up at her. “I possess some ability to fight, and the Sun’s Birth are trying to expand.” Kynier tilted his hand to the side as a means of shrugging. “Not what I wanted to do. But I was getting too hungry and have always had a grudge against the Daggerhand.” The tavern owner did not appear fully convinced by his words but nodded as he spoke. Kynier took another drink to occupy himself during the silence. The wine may have been of fine quality, the spy was not one to know, but it was a dry wine, which he did not really enjoy.

“Did you ever find her?” She asked softly after a moment’s silence. Kynier looked at the woman for a moment. The first and also last time he spoke to her, he had been searching for Kelski and was following Darvin’s trail. Kynier swallowed his wine and lightly shook his head.

“No. But,” he took a deep inhale and adjusted himself on his seat, “she did come home.” The tavern owner appeared to look a little sad at that. Kynier wondered why that was but kept himself from arching his brow in curiosity.

“The way you say that, it doesn’t sound like a good thing. Although, I remember that Darvin was found dead in the barracks around that time.” She looked at him with a silent challenge. “Not that I would ever shed tears over that man. But his eyes had been removed, or so the rumor goes.” Kynier sighed, legitimately. His wife had told him about that, and the other defilement she had done to the brute. That wasn’t necessary to mention though.

“She managed to kill him, and escape. When I returned home, she was there.” Kynier took another drink and emptied the goblet. The loosening sensation of wine caused his fingers and tongue to feel warm and light. “And she was not happy about my decision to join either. But we needed food on the table and the ability to pay for shelter.” Kynier looked at the tavern owner. “Speaking of… could I get a plate with some meat and bread, please?” She looked at him with raised eyebrows before moving off into the kitchens.

Kynier turned and observed the dancing and music that was occurring in the tavern. Strange that a place with such merriment could accept such undesirable characters like Darvin and Jaren into their fold. The current song ended after several chimes, and it was then that the tavern owner came back with a plate of food for him. She set it down before him with a loud clack, which was an unusual gesture. Kynier pretended to ignore it as he took a bite of the still warm loaf of bread.

“So, what are you really doing here?” she asked accusingly. Kynier looked up at her as he chewed.

“I’m searching for another Dragoon. Niqolas Garret. He has not been seen for several days. I’ve been asked to find his whereabouts. Or the whereabouts of his corpse.” The last part he added bitterly before taking another bite. Her eyes shifted down for an instant before coming back up to meet his.

“I remember Niq. He’s one of the decent ones. It’s been a long time since I last saw him in here.” Kynier swallowed his mouthful.

“You remember him?”

“Hard to forget. He asked more questions than anyone else.” Kynier grunted in acknowledgement.

“That may have gotten him into trouble, most likely. I’ve been told nothing of what he’s been doing. So, I’m curious, what sort of questions has he been asking?” She looked at him with a hard expression and leaned in a little.

“Not surprising, since you’re not really a Dragoon.” Kynier furrowed his brow in feigned confusion. His heart began to race again. If she was so certain, why had she not outed him yet? Kynier shifted his wrist to display the fake brand he had, and she scoffed at that. “Any woman can tell that that’s not real,” she said quietly.

“So then, why have you not had me ejected from here yet?” he asked in a whisper. She lightly shook her head.

“I don’t know. Maybe… because each time you’ve come here, you’ve been looking for someone that’s been missing. Missing so long, that most would just consider them dead, and move on.” She shifted her weight a little as her head tilted slightly to the side. “But not you it seems. Dead or alive, you want to find out. Don’t you?” Kynier had taken another bite of the fresh bread. If there was a chance he was going to be thrown out, then there was no reason to not enjoy the meal before him as much as possible.

“Yes, I do. There are people outside of the Sun’s Birth that are concerned about him. I do suspect that he is dead. But they want closure. So, what sort of questions was Niqolas asking?” The woman sighed, as though she needed to make a decision that she had been putting off. She broke off a piece of his bread and started nibbling on it.

“Recently, he had been asking about Greigan, and the Plantation fire.” Kynier froze as he stared at her. The Plantation fire? As far as he knew, that was a situation between the Night Eyes and the Daggerhand. One that he had been forced into. Why would…

“Who is Greigan?” The tavern owner’s eyes swept the room.

“Greigan, used to be a part of the Sun’s Birth. And he was working on at the Plantation under some Eypharian.”

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Missing Knight Part 4

Postby Kynier on December 8th, 2018, 2:38 pm

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Did the Viper already know that little bit of information when she tasked him with the Plantation incident? Perhaps not. The end results were not the same as the desired effect that night anyway. Thusly, it likely didn’t matter if the Viper knew about there being a former associate of the Sun’s Birth working at a Night Eyes plantation. What was peaking his interest was that this person, Greigan, was an associate. Not a Dragoon? Kynier was cutting out a portion of the seasoned beef on his plate as he thought it over. Trying to understand was sort of puzzle he was delving into with the few pieces that he had.

“You said that Greigan was an associate. Was he not a Dragoon?” The woman pulled another goblet from the shelf and poured herself a drink. As she did, the musicians in the tavern begun another melody to incite more dancing. Patrons began to clap or stomp their feet along with to the rhythm, making it much louder in the Gold Lodge. The woman’s voice was barely audible over the merriment.

“He was only a Raider. Lots of people though he was going to rise through the ranks. Greigan was reasonably well liked, and had the combat skills they’d expect from a Chavelier.”

“So, what happened? How did he end up at the Plantation? I heard that it was a Night Eyes farm.” The woman shook her head once.

“I don’t know anything about that last part. But Greigan had monetary issues. Issues that go by the name of Goldfinger.” Kynier gave a grunt of understanding. “Greigan couldn’t repay his debt, so then, Goldfinger does as he always does. Took all the mizzas that he could get and sold Greigan off as a slave. I don’t know what happened after that.” Kynier chewed on the beef, enjoying the savory flavor as he processed what she was telling him.

“How long ago did all of this happen?”

“A few years ago, before I took over the tavern.” Kynier tapped his fork lightly on the plate as he thought on it.

“Do you remember what sort of questions Niqolas was asking about Greigan?” The tavern owner shook her head and took another drink from her goblet. Kynier thought about what sort of questions he would be asking if he was pursuing an understanding of a slave with Sun’s Birth history working for the Night Eyes. “Who were Greigan’s friends among the Dragoons? Are any of them still… alive?” The woman likely couldn’t deny that the Sun’s Birth were not really well liked. They’d been forced back to occupy a single city district and had a few other gangs to contend with. Not every Raider had the skill nor wherewithal to survive a couple of years. She seemed to consider the question for a long moment. Kynier did not interrupt. Recalling someone else’s connections from a few years’ past was not likely an easy thing to do.

“There’s only one person that comes to mind. There may have been other, but Wesley Venor. He’s a Sergeant now.” Kynier repeated the name under his breath for a moment. Greigan was likely dead after the Plantation fire. If he wasn’t, then Wesley Venor would probably know where the man would go. Kynier then scolded himself mentally. Where he would go? The man was a slave. His whims were no longer his own to entertain.

“Tell me a little more about Wesley Venor.” The woman scanned the tavern again while biting on her lower lip.

“I think I’ve explained enough,” she said as she began to turn away.

“Wait!!” he quietly exclaimed. The woman paused and looked at him. “What’s your name?” She looked at him curiously.

“Iselda.”

“Iselda, tell me this. Do you know if anyone else is looking for Niqolas Garret?” She came back to the counter and slowly shook her head. Iselda’s eyes were examining him intently as she tried to understand where he was going with his argument. “Exactly. Don’t you think there’s something wrong when an organization abandons one of their own when they disappear? Help me. Help me find out what happened to Niqolas.” A long silence fell between them. Iselda appeared to be debating mentally. Kynier did not understand why it was so difficult for her to just tell him about the Sergeant.

“No,” she decided with a little harshness to her tone. “And I think it’s time for you to leave.” She took the plate and the goblet away from him. “You have one chime to walk out of here on your own. Otherwise, I’ll expose you as an imposter.” She walked away leaving a chill to crawl up his back. Without needing to consider the options, he stood up from his seat and made his way towards the entrance. There was no chance he would be able to fight his way out of the tavern. Using magic would not guarantee his survival either should he resort to it. Rather than be the recipient of the sharp end of a sword or an axe, Kynier chose the option that promised another day of living.

As he passed the bouncer on the way out, he paused and looked at the man sitting on the stool. “Do you know where Sergeant Venor would be?” The bouncer looked up at him and gave a dry laugh.

“The pompous arse? He’s likely at the Proving Grounds, if he’s not on assignment.” Kynier gave the man his thanks and turned out the door. He didn’t know where the Proving Grounds were, but did not feel that asking for directions was a wise option.

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Missing Knight Part 4

Postby Kynier on December 8th, 2018, 3:06 pm

Grades!


Skill Rewards
  • Disguise +4
  • Duel Wield +2
  • Endurance +2
  • Impersonation +3
  • Intelligence +3
  • Interrogation +2
  • Investigation +2
  • Logic +2
  • Persuasion +2
  • Planning +1
  • Socialization +1
  • Storytelling +1
  • Subterfuge +2

Lores Learned
  • Duel Wield: Alternating strokes for an X cut
  • Duel Wield: Diagonal cut, reverse-diagonal cut, thrust with other arm
  • Duel Wield: Practicing with Infinity Drills
  • Iselda: Owns the Gold Lodge
  • Iselda: Knows he’s impersonating a Dragoon
  • Logic: Using intuition rather than planning during a battle
  • Subterfuge: Using conversation to distract their attention
  • The Gold Lodge: Full of merriment
  • The Gold Lodge: Constantly filled with fresh food smells
  • The Plantation: Had a former Sun’s Birth as an employee
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Kynier
Delves in Darkness
 
Posts: 701
Words: 938500
Joined roleplay: May 13th, 2018, 3:14 am
Location: Sunberth
Race: Human
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