Through the Mists: In Character

BlueSlime

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Rictavio's Room

"I don't require any help. I'll be around this evening to talk. Hopefully everything will go well for you and your friend," the half elf said, and let the tiefling leave the room. He stared after the warlock for a moment as she bounced down the stairs, then grunted and closed his door, locking it from the inside.

---

Taproom

Ireena gasped at Vita's sudden appearance and her revelation.

"Infected by the wolves? That is terrible if it's true. We should seek a priest as soon as possible." The noble woman stood up from her table and placed down some coin to pay for the meal.

"The church of St. Andral, I think I heard that it was at the western edge of town."

---

The Church of St. Andral

Yari Darkbane sat up from a dark dream - a dream with her father, his face contorted in anger and pain, the way he had looked just before the blade had pierced his chest. It had missed his heart, she believed, but not by much. In the dream she saw other faces - demons - who rose up with fangs and long tongues, drooling as they came near to her.

"Yari... Yari..." the demons whispered in her dreams. "Daughter of the Serpent... we will have your body, and drink your soul!"

Her eyes opened, and she was in the Church of St. Andral, and the demons were gone, for now.

It had been three days since she had arrived at this place. Father Lucian had allowed her to stay free of charge in one of the small offices. It was odd calling the man "father" as Lucian was not much older than she was, but it was apparently an honorific in the customs of this land and his faith. Lucian was priest to the entire city of Vallaki, and his church was relatively small, holding only 20 people at a time at maximum capacity. As such, he made many small services, one each night and two on the weekend days. He was assisted by Yeska, the small 10 year old boy, who had been orphaned by a wolf attack several years ago. Another, older and brawnier boy named Milovij, works as a gravedigger on the church grounds and wears a perpetual scowl.

The town had been a mixed experience for Yari. Although some people seemed nice enough, the whole place had a tension about it, mostly coming from the bizarre nature of Baron Vallakovich's requests for constant festivals every week. When seen in public, the Baron would often proclaim "All will be well!" to the people, in spite of the fact that the undead still roamed outside their gates and the wolves still attacked those who did not know how to defend themselves (and even many who did.) The Baron's most recent festival had been the wolf's head jambouree, which had occurred the day before Yari had arrived. The whole town was required to show up in the town square and place rotting wolf heads on pikes. The smell and the gore was appalling, and many had become sick from the sight of the wolves in the days that followed. It was unwise to speak out agaist the festival, however. Izek Strazni, the captain of the town guard, arrested anyone who spoke ill of the Baron or his festivals. Father Lucian had done his best so far to prevent Yari from antagonising the guards by herself, but as someone who sought justice, the sight had bothered Yari quite a bit.
 

Pervy

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Yari Darkbane,
The Church of St.Andral
Tag: Introduction, Lucian


Yari sat, awake for a long moment, weapon drawn half on well trained instincts, panting, looking down at it, in deep thought. Why this one? Why the life taking one. Why had it saved her? "I guess none would live through such things without a few bad dreams." She dismissed, sheathing her blade and taking a few moments to dress fully(In the night she wore only a shorter under-kimono) and sort her hair, combing through it with a delicate comb of her mothers. It helped calm her down.

She understood the Barons desire to keep out a positive outlook in dire times, but a plant with too much water rotted just as much as a plant with too little dried up. It was the fathers discouragements that had held her back so far, but sitting still and not taking action was exactly what had caused great harm in her homeland. She got up, Afterwards, she went through a secluded part of the church, or perhaps accompanied the Gravedigger for an open spot, a place where she could draw her sword without anyone close. She had never allowed her body to dull, or her detest from violence to stop her, using her dai-katana in what looked to most like strange, exotic swordplay, in calm, fluid motions that were trained into her body for over a decade now. Carefully once more, she sheated the sword. That she held the fang, not the blossom was not to her liking but that did not mean she wouldn't respect the blade for what it was, a jewel of her ancestors.
Cleaning herself from the sweat of her workout and dressing in her formal kimono she knelt down and meditated, trying to find clarity.. and calm her minds after the horrors it had confronted with her arrival here.


In the mid-day she returned to the church main, preparing some tea.. (In addition to getting her kimono fixed, procuring some needle and string, that was what she had been up to, purchasing some herbs and equipment, it seemed none here knew how to brew up a proper tea) and apologized profously to her ancestors for the simplicity with which she had to work the ancient tea ceremony, filling the church of St.Andral with a pleasant minty smell.. a cup for the father, the altar-boy, the gravedigger and, if enough was to spare, for each of the congregation, at least those that looked like they needed it the most.
In the afternoon she had finally finished the tea.. and made up her mind, approaching the father with cup in hand.
"Father Lucian. I've made up my mind. Please tell me the best way to petition the Baron Vallakovich for an audience. Can I just approach his palace or would a written letter of request be more prudent? Is there any decorum to observe? I believe he is well meaning and simply cannot see that his approach to the threats of this world poisons his populance. At the very least I can not bear to see those that he traps and puts on display so dishonorably for any percieved slight. His happiness is just becoming Tyranny with a smile and I must understand why to stop it."
She nodded.
"I am aware of the danger of speaking to the man directly, but my mannerisms and apperance forbid me from sucessfully disguising myself and approaching as a servant or other such things. I am certain the Baron can be made to see reason, somehow and I am fully recovered, best as I can be. If I walk past these poor trapped families one more time without taking action I feel my blade will swing to cut them loose without asking permission of myself first and may no guard get in its way... I think it better I greet the Baron as an equal from a faraway land .. as if trying to learn about his customs, to stay with the truth and change his ways that way." She nodded, with determination. In her society, dishonoring someone was worse than killing them and although she knew these lands viewed such differently, the Barons actions still filled her with disdain.. she blamed not the guard following his orders, nor the guard captain.. though the sigh of his arm, from afar, brought only one word to her mind, oni-touched, she even didn't think the Baron a bad man, but something must be ailing his sanity to act in such an irrational way. Any man that truly wanted to fight the darkness of this land would first fortify his town, then organize the guard to try and cut down the beasts and threats of the wildernis, rather than waste their time arresting innocent displeased souls and holding festivals.
 
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GargantuaBlarg

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Esvele eyed Vita skeptically when she arrived asking her to touch the bundle of wolfsbane that odd fellow had given her. "I rather assumed we'd contracted it when we were torn into by those savages... but, if you insist." The nun rolled a sleeve up to her elbow, letting Vita brush the herbs against her arm. Sure enough, within a few moments her arm started to tingle, first as if someone were tickling her, and then growing into an unpleasant sensation very reminiscent of being pinched everywhere at once in the little patch of bare skin the herbs had touched.

"Agh, stop. That's going to bother me terribly now. Yes. I suppose it helps to know for certain the taint was upon us, but we came her to speak with him about it anyway, did we not? Let's hope none of the other patrons are particularly interested us trying out your 'fragrances.'"

Esvele stood, rolling her shoulders and her head, stiff enough that a few, soft but audible clicks sounded from her spine. She breathed in deeply as she tried not to rub the patch of skin as her clothing rolled back down to cover it once more, and tried to clear her mind and calm herself of the anxiety she had let build up unknowingly as the Falkovnian vexed her and the Tiefling fretted more over the fashionability of her head-covering than the fact that she might get lynched without it. Concerns over Morgantha, this curse, and the festival seemed to be wearing on her as well.

"Let's go, then. Did he say anything about the wereravens?"
 

BlueSlime

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Blue Water Inn - Taproom

As Esvele, Vita and Ireena turned to leave the Blue Water Inn, the owner of the establishment met them on the way out.

"The red-haired woman did pay for rooms - will you be staying in them?" Urwin asked, holding out a key in his hand."If not, we can work out the change a bit later, but if you are staying these are the two keys. Each will give you access to the general guest rooms. These are accessible from the stairs outside of the Inn, round the side of the main entrance."

Urwin would give directions if Esvele or Vita indicated a desire to take the rooms. Unlike Rictavio's room, the other guest rooms were separate from the taproom, and required access from outside of the inn on a separate stairway.

"In either case, don't be a stranger. We're very happy to have customers from outside of Barovia. Oh - and for you. My wife thought you could use this." He explained to Vita as he held up a head-scarf with a nice floral pattern on it.

"Danika is always collecting bits of clothing here and there, and she thought you might like this while you wander around Vallaki. Sometimes too much attention can be a bad thing if one is different." Urwin offered the head scarf to the tiefling and then let them all pass.

---

The walk to the Church of St. Andral went by without incident. If Vita had chosen to wear the head-scarf, the concerned looks from the populace would mostly subside, although some still managed to notice her tail unless she kept it wrapped up. Ireena walked close by her to allow her some additional cover from stares.

The church was easily visible at the far west end of the town, and had a lot of similarities to the structure of Father Dorovich's church in Barovia Village. It had a graveyard around the outside of it, and had a small central area for mass, with several small offices and rooms offshooting from the entranceway, and a priest's private rooms around the back, with a small flower garden filled with mostly dead, drooping flowers. The main praying area was decorated with stained glass windows depicting a variety of saints.

Esvele recognised St. Markovia in one of the larger windows, with a small depiction of the Abbey in Krezk behind her. She was depicted with her traditional determined, no-nonsense look that was on display on a tapestry in the great hall at the actual Abbey. The patron saint of this church - St. Andral - was a man with a thin, trimmed blond beard and piercing blue eyes. On his stained glass window, he held in his hand a sword made out of the shimmering rays of the sun, He was knightly, in plate mail armor with a shield depicting the symbol of the sun. According to the histories of the faith, St. Andral was known as a paladin, who had discovered and wielded the sun sword against the dark lord before being mortally wounded in battle. Legend had it that as he lay dying he called for a faithful aid to take the sun sword and hide it somewhere until the next worthy soul was called upon to discover it.

---
Church of St. Andral

Vita, Ireena and Esvele entered the church to see it occupied by only a handful of people. A couple commoner adults were sitting in separate pews, caught up in their private prayers. A young boy of about 10 years was sweeping away dust in one of the aisles. An older boy, perhaps 16 or 17, exited an office carrying a shovel over his shoulder and brushed by the women as he tromped out to the graveyard. Finally, there were two figures speaking to one another at the front of the church.

The first was a dark haired woman in brightly colored robes of obviously non-Barovian design. She looked distinctly foreign to both Vita and Esvele. At her hip was a sheath holding a long curved blade, of impressive construction.

[See Yari's pics in the post above for reference]

This woman was speaking to a man, dressed in priest's robes, dark-skinned, a strong, relatively youthful face, with eyes that were dark and had seen too much misery for his years. He was in the middle of speaking to the girl dressed in bright silks as they approached.



"--Yari, I am not certain that your course is wise, even if it is noble in its intentions. The Baron has been approached before... and being too direct might rouse his anger. And I fear that challenging him... or even overthrowing him.... might lead to a worse outcome, but I would rather not say more... ah."

The priest turned to greet the newcomers. A flicker of recognition occurred as Father Lucian's eyes fell on the nun.

"Sister... Esvele wasn't it? Yes, yes of course. From the Abbey. Welcome. Welcome back. Good to see you again."

He stepped towards the nun and greeted her by placing his hands around one of hers.

"And you bring travelers with you... many strange faces in Vallaki these days. I suppose it should be a good thing but... I always fear that the Mists stir up trouble when new faces arrive. I remember last year with that mage fellow... and we only heard about it after-the-fact."

He stopped for a beat, then looking at the newcomers' eyes, he knitted his brow in concern.

"What's the matter? You seem stressed?"
 

Diagasvesle

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Vita the tiefling warlock, currently dressed
Blue Water Inn - Taproom; Church of St.Andral
Tags: Ireena and Esvele


Vita pulled back as soon as Esvele started twitching. The bundle of wolfsbane removed from Esvele's arm as she did a grimaced smile. "Yep. Let's go immediately. And erm, no I did not get to ask him about that. He ah, kinda told me that this being ah irritating to me means I'm ah infected. He should still be here in the ah evening and he gave me the okay to come back and pick his noggin. So erm, let's head immediately to the Church of St. Andral and get this infection cleansed."

Vita putting the wolfsbane back into her pouch as she helped Ireena up and grabbed her hand. "I'll ask him about the wereravens after the church. I'm, ah, sorta panicking and wanting to get cured now that ah I know about my condition rather then just erm, guessing that I may or may ah not have it." Vita said as she looked at Esvele before glancing at Ireena.

The headscarf with the floral patterns. Vita's yellow orbs traced over it, a considering glance. This pleased her and she mentally chalked in her brain a favor she'd owe to the matron of the Blue Water Inn. A pleased smile taking her lips after a moments inspection she gracefully accepted the headscarf and quickly wrapped it around her head.


"Thank yah. I'll be by later then." She paused, not sure about turning down Sylvia's generosity. She didn't answer as she glanced at Ireena.

---

The guards and carriage ride from earlier made Vita wary about exposing herself. Especially with the way she felt like that anything that wrong happened and she was in visible eyesight, she got the feeling she'd be burnt at the stake.

The view of the Church had her watching with small awe. Her hand squeezing tightly against Ireena's as she looked at splendor that easily outdid most of anything she had seen in her life! She had heard of glorious churches in big cities, but this is the first time she has seen one that looked similar to what the peddlers said.

---

Her eyes stayed on the foreigner woman. Gawking at her in an unseemly manner. Her yellow orbs looking at the bright patterns and sweeping lines. That is something she has not seen before at all! A flush of embarrassment raced across her cheeks as she realized she is utterly ignoring the father of the church even as he clasped hands with Esvele.

"Um, Hello uh Father. We have um, had a run in with werewolves while travelling here." Vita answering his question with utmost bluntness. "They attacked us while acting normal travellers who were bandits. But as we ignored them to the best of our ability, they ah dropped their humanity and came forth as ah dreaded wolves and managed to bite two of us." She indicated herself and glanced at Esvele, before turning her yellow orbs to look at the priest.

"This ah leads to what is stressing me father and the matter. I know I have ah been cursed by the bite but have not yet transformed. Is there any ah way to be healed of the taint?" She looked at him hopefully.
 

Pervy

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Yari Darkbane
Church of St.Andral
Tag: Father Lucian, Vita

(Random Yari theme!)

"It matters not that it has been tried before, but that it is tried. I will remember your warning, yet worry not for me, for I've seen enough people with a hidden agenda speak to rulers to confidently try and play the part myself.
Don't mistake my zeal for rebellion, I am aware that the chaos and arising of a new leader can replace the clouds with the storm, yet, if not challenged in any way, a leader has no reason to change their ways, for worse, possibly, yes, but why not also for the better?
I request you reconsider granting me your wisdom in assistance, but will not be dissuaded."
Yari 'argued' with the priest, if her calm and gentle sounding response opposing his view could be called arguing. She spoke common with a hard to place accent while maintaining a well-trained diplomatic smile.

She peered over to the entering nun, warrior and ... large breasted woman with a floral turban. Going by the Father-Sister thing she concluded Esvele and Lucian followed the same faith. The other two seemed to be travelers as well, judging by their attire differing from the average. She noticed she was being stared at by at least the turban'd woman, and, placing one fist into her open palm bowed slightly. In her homeland, she had considered her a brazen concubine who had recognized Yari as noble and wanted to attain some coin, judging by her attire, that was of course still a possibility, but for now she'd simply start with a respectful greeting. "Welcome on this day. I'm Lady Yari Darkbane. But let my attire not distract you if you came here to attain healing." She nodded and stepped to the side to let the visitors approach, the priest unhindered, her Kimono swaying ever so softly.. it was certainly designed to draw attention, but seemed practical enough to possibly allow combat as well.
The words curse and the notion of shapeshifting immediatly called forth images of the fox-spirits disguising as humans in her homelands and cursing people with bad luck and she nodded, observing calmly.. apparently the wolf-spirits in this land could transform others into more wolf-spirits with their curses? That sounded like something that needed containment. "On my arrival here I was attacked and bitten by wolves too, albeit they never had human form and seemed mere beasts by mannerism, I figure there is no risk of a curse there since none showed concerns about such before, but, to make sure, by what method does one ascertain being cursed?" She asked when given a chance to speak up without interrupting, keeping her hands folded low infront of her.
 
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BlueSlime

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Church of St. Andral

Father Lucian's reply to Yari's insistence upon her plan to confront the Baron Vallakovich was cut short by the entry of the three newcomers. He was drawn to greet them and at the sudden introduction offered by the bonnet-wearing tiefling, he drew up in surprise, and after a moment spent recovering, his eyes took on a renewed sadness and downcast expression.

"Werewolves? The people here always talk of the wolves who walk as men in the Svalich Woods... but all wolves are synonymous with death and the devil in these areas. So many deaths are recorded...and now it appears these cursed lot of sentient beasts are trying to spread their wretched condition. I am not an expert on the nature of these creatures, but I believe in the power of the Morninglord to heal such curses within the site of his hallowed halls. I want to help you, but your timing is unfortunate."

He looked about at the people around him, and motioned the three newcomers towards the alter, out of earshot of the people praying in the pews. After a pause, he beckoned Yari to come closer as well.

"Yari here came under attack three days ago by wolves in the woods and found her way here." He motioned to the brightly robed swordswoman.

"If any of those wolves was a disguised werewolf, it is possible that you have become cursed as well, but I am not knowledgeable about the methods to detect the curse, beyond witnessing a person changing into an uncontrollable, murderous beast.. It is said that the full moon brings with it the bloodthirsty rage from the wolfmen in the woods. There is a rite that I am familiar with to bless the victims of curses and invoke divine power to remove a curse - provided the soul is not laden with the stain of murder, and... one other thing."

The priest sighed, and lowered his voice.

"What I'm about to tell you, I would prefer it not getting out. But if you are truly cursed by the wolves then you will desperately want to help me, and Yari, if you would desire my wisdom and support in stopping the Baron, then perhaps you could first aid me in resolving a dire problem as well. The people of Vallaki rally to this church because they believe in its protection from the horrors that exist in the night - and the divine power that protects these walls is real, but it depends upon the bones of St. Andral. They are the holy relic that sanctifies this church and prevent the entry of undead creatures. Their blessing also enables the rite that is powerful enough to overcome the curse that you have.

"Sometime last night, I discovered that the bones had been removed from beneath the alter, the boards removed and the bones dug up. I don't know how this happened, as I had kept them secret. But now that they have been stolen, I am worried... extremely worried. The Church is vulnerable and the rite that you desire is beyond your reach. If my congregation were to find out about this, it would start a panic, and things would just be worse. I need help in finding them."
 

Pervy

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Yari Darkbane
Church of St.Andral
Tag: Father Lucian, primarly.


Yari shook her head as she heard of the fathers troubles, accompanying the three adventurers when called over. She nodded with determination. "Not stopping the Baron, helping him find a better way. But..of course I will help. If you offered something in return or not. To disturb the rest of the dead is abhorrent, much worse to disturb a saint who protects many. Who all knew of the location of these bones? And do you have any theories for how, if not through prior knowledge, they could have been located? If this church was fully protected before the bones removal, then it follows that not by beast or undead, but by mans hand, they must have been removed. A strong hand too, to break through to the bones in a single night. Such deed would leave a trail to find within this world, as much as it would leave a stain upon the soul of the one doing it in the next.
I guess you worked quickly to hide the bones removal from the people to not worry anyone, but in doing so you might have also hidden any easy to pick up trails, so we'd rely on you for a possible lead. It is after all important to not confront the wrong suspects here, lest too many learn of what happened."
She nodded.
 
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GargantuaBlarg

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"That's-" Esvele started saying to Vita, as they walked into the chapel of Saint Andral. When she saw the way she was gawping, though, the nun just sighed and turned to Ireena instead. "Saint Markovia, to whom my Abbey is dedicated. She fought the Count, succeeded even in stepping foot in his keep. She gave her life fighting him, and even managed to beat him back all the way to his keep. It's said that the years following her sacrifice were some of the most peaceful Barovia has ever known. Her memory is now a beacon of light that guides us through the dark, teaching us that we are not powerless to resist the evils that predate us."

Glancing over at Vita, Esvele continued. "The colored glass used in her depiction, along with the other Saints depicted here, make this place one of the more colorful places here in Vallaki, and as I understand, many come here, if not to worship the Morninglord as we do, to at least enjoy the works of celebrating those who have wrought great service in his name. Of course, given the monotonous nature of the tailors we passed on our way here, it's no surprise that beautiful fabric would leave an impression as well."


"Good day, Father Petrovich, it's good to see you again as well,"
Esvele said when the Father came to greet her. When the tiefling stated their problems right there, however, the nun quietly cursed to herself, and then wished she'd thought to draw up the cloth she used to cover up her face on the way here. Come to think of it, it probably would have been a good idea anyway... it would have hid at least some of the alcohol on her breath. Immediately, Esvele turned to glance at the few souls of the congregation, hoping they were too embroiled with their own demons to have paid Vita any heed. She tried to cover this up by glancing upwards at whatever other stained glass windows might be there.

"Please remind me to teach you about discretion someday, Vita," she whispered to the girl as they went and sought privacy. Once they had it, she spoke up as well. "It's true, we were assaulted. We've a test with us - Vita, give the woman some of that wolfsbane. If it itches, ehm... Yari, was it, then the wolves you were attacked by bore the curse as well."

"As regarding your... discontent, I would ask you, for both our sakes, not to pester the Baron if all you have to offer him is that his plans don't work. If he even deigns to listen to you after that, you should have alternatives and suggestions instead. Elsewise, you'll end up in the stocks wearing a mule's head with the rest, being pelted with rocks and manure, and you don't look like a laundress, so those pretty robes of yours probably wouldn't survive the experience."


"Furthermore, if that wolfsbane does itch, it means you have worse things to worry about, yes? As Father Petrovich has said, the curse manifests on the night of the full moon, where one becomes a terrible monster that slaughters and eats the innocent, and will do so forever until death if they ever sin so. Furthermore, the full moon is almost upon us, within the next two or so nights. The last thing that we need is to be locked up in the Baron's dungeons, unable to deal with this, because the Baron thought we were collaborating with you, or somesuch thing."

With that, she turned to Petrovich. "Her questions are sound, however. I would also ask, when did you notice that they were missing? And... remind me, but do you bed here as well? If -did- have to break through the floorboards, would you have heard it? Or, were they just interred underneath a piece of removable flooring?"
 

Pervy

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Yari Darkbane
Church of St.Andral
Tag: Esvele, primarly.


"Fascinating. I'll be grateful to take this.. herbal test then. Lady Yari, yes." Yari mused, gracefully extending a hand towards Vita, disregarding the Sisters direct use of her name. she had noticed few people around properly addressed each other by title. Not that she minded being direct with the common folk, but this was almost a little emberassingly informal. She could understand the Church-father, in a position of authority dropping her title, but.. was 'Lady' even the proper translation? Well, perhaps Sister Esvele just wanted to express familiarity and closeness this way? Was the priestess this welcoming of Yari? She nodded her head shily in a gesture of calm deference, but also raised her brows briefly as she went on. "I plan for a different approach alltogether and, considering your suggestion, you seem to have not partaken in much courtly diplomacy, Si..- Esvele. Merely the idea of stating direct critique of a ruler by the very first time you meet them sounds so odd I almost feel as if you try to jest with me?
But I thank you for your praise to soften the blow of your cautionary warning, this Kimono bearing the ..commonly praised colors of red and gold is one of my favourites. I'd dislike to have it damaged or soiled, but then again, cleaning it with my own bare hands might very well serve to deepen my appreciation of it."
She nodded, a hand brushing over her long sleeve with her smiling at Esvele. Of course she easily picked up on this womans .. direct warning and sarcasm, she just chose to ignore it. Thinking about it, close up, was there a scent of alcohol or was that her imagination? She did however curse herself for her blunder after a brief moment. Speaking properly in another tongue was a little taxing, thinking about it, she had just implied that she didn't clean her kimono herself, a blunder that could give away her station. She already wore an expensive kimono, she really should make sure to control herself better in the future. Well, the sister seemed more interested in the colorful glass windows, distracted with her own thoughts and the type to avoid danger, perhaps because she had seen enough of it already? Or perhaps the curse hanging over her head had worried her such?

"I could make sure to disavow you, should the baron be so inclined. If that is what you wish. After all, if you turn into a bloodthirsty beast, would not being locked up and unable to hurt anyone while in the grasp of this curse, be a bliss to you?" She mused with a calm but perceptive examination of Esveles posture. What life had this one led? She was clearly different from the Father. "That, or death in a way that maintains my honor would be my choices, should such a cruel curse not be lifted from me in time. But anyway, lets not dwell on such horrid things, all the more reason to act swift and firm with this disrespectful thievery."
 
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Diagasvesle

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Vita the tiefling warlock, currently dressed
Church of St.Andral
Tags: All


Esvele's colorful explanation of the church. Vita's tail squirmed against her leg, the tiefling barely able to keep her excitement hidden at the details exhaled from the nun's envious mouth of knowledge. Vita walked a bit slower to listen more to Esvele's words but kept herself from speaking and babbling on about questions. Most of them, very mundance like which craftsmen were blessed by the church and commissioned or which ones had donated such wonders!

Her mind stayed focused through even as the flighty thoughts danced in her mind. She is here to seek a cure!


Vita stiffened at the greeting as she tilted her head down. Her bonnet preventing her hair from falling like a waterfall to hide her embarressment. 'Uuuugh! She saw!' Vita's shameful thoughts roiling about in her mind as she straightened and put steel in her spine. 'Stop it me. Can't be distracted like that.' As the priest, the father of the congregation approached with tidings.

His rolling words that came off, his sad expression. Vita shifted on the heels of her feet. Feeling like she had just worsened the father's day. Her yellow orbs flowed over to Yar-ee? Ya-ri? Yiri? Her name is a trap! Those thoughts flew from her mind as the father laid out the woes of the church and the potential cure here is lengthened, further and harder to reach with his ill-tidings.

"Ah. Here is the herbs." Vita held them up, allowing Lady Darkbane to hold them. The tiefling tilted her head towards Esvele, giving her look from her eyes.

"That sounds ah, annoying to do. This ah curse isn't a sin. Going to an ah private confessional booth seems too far to just say it to the father directly. I ah, maybe should've whispered it but um, where would have been a good place to talk to the father about it without bringing more attention?" The tiefling's tone holding no bite to it, more of her question being a distraction.

The new lady that has also dealt with a run in with the wolves also seemed to be, flowery with her words. She reminded her of Ireena except, Vita looked at her. No doubt what she is doing is rude but something about this Lady Darkbane is demanding attention to herself right now. "Death... Yeah, death would be ah preferable then becoming one of those wolf's. Um, my name is Vita. Nice to ah meet you, Lady Darkbane." As the tiefling looked away from her, going back to looking at Father Petrovich, except glancing every now and then at the Lady's robes.
 

Pervy

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Yari Darkbane
Church of St.Andral
Tag: Vita, primarly


"Hmn." Yari made, picking up and weighting the herbs in her hand, smelling them briefly. "Not sure if those could make for a good tea, but It might make an interesting challenge." She seemed unaffected by the herbs beyond this consideration, presenting those herbs back to her, though, in a follow up motion of Vita taking the herbs, Yaris hand also came to rest upon the tieflings shoulder, soft and warm, with only a pronounced sword-drawing scar on the inside of her palm betraying anything but kindness ever coming from her. "Just remember, to be determined to die, one has to first be determined to live. Your committment is admirable, but such a decision means first exhausting every other possible path you can walk. Forgive me if you had made that determination yourself." She encouraged, listening to Vita introduce herself in such a simple manner, then, calmly adding her observation:

"Remember, the true goal we should strife for is to not let that curse take any innocent lifes if there is a way to avoid it. Well, as long as you have not harmed without dire need, ~your~ life is innocent and just as precious." She nodded at the nervous looking Vita encouragingly, keeping her hand on the slightly nervous seeming fiendling-womans shoulder, unless the samed seemed uncomfortable under her touch. "That's all, just Vita? No Lady, no family name, no 'heavenly elected official of his majesty, governor of whatnot?' Everyone in these lands is so forthcoming, it's blunt but refreshing!" She then laughed briefly, adding: "That said, this curse seems to have gotten you all glum. Plus, you keep looking at my Kimono. Want to boldly try?" She grinned, and shifted, her hands reaching up.



"This Furisode styled Karaginu is not that different from a jacket, worn over my shoulders. Here you go." She removed the kimono-jacket with a mischievous smile and, if Vita let her proceed with guiding the cloth over her shoulders, she'd note that the fabric was suprisingly heavy, double layered and soft, while Yari explained. "The colorful patterns on it indicate that I'm not married, while even the colors themselfs hold meaning.. well, where I come from, at least." She generously explained, a hand indicating the outline of the fabric on Vita. "The golden yellow is a sacred color, depicting lotus blossoms prominently displayed, which means.." she barely hesitated before going on: "Good fortune, among other things, below is the crest of my.. emperor, the sacred snake, woven into the Kimono. The orange.. yes it.. it's orange, not red. Just look at it in the proper lighting." She said, with almost a hint of emberassment.. red had a far different meaning.. "Ahem.. the orange laying the foundation below represents knowledge and civilization. These colors are hereditary, meaning this specific style has been passed down to me by my ancestors." Yari explained. Below the colorful fabric she wore a still elegant and long sleeved, but more practical looking robe of white and.. oranger-orange, bound by what looked like an oversized belt. "The colors beneath I chose myself, white for purity and truth, orange again for civilization and knowledge." She avoided mentioning that her Junihitoe in it's entirety was worth more than it's weight in gold and the only indicator of its quality would be the, for Vita unusually smooth feeling of the silk fabric on her skin.

If Vita hadn't struggled against the dressing to such an extend as to drive Yari away, she'd smile, adjusting the long sleeves and taking a step back and clasping her hands together. "Look at you!" Of course Yari had also noted the tail, however, Oni weren't always depicted with tails.. unusual hair and skin-color, sure, horns, eyes.. admittedly, Vita's hairs had made Yari a little hesitant.. but a tail was just a sign of good-fortune, and she'd not jump to conclusions.. furthermore, Vita had none of the mannerisms of an Oni to be sure...
"The gold-ornaments fit to your beautiful eyes, well met, Lady Vita." She courtesied and nodded, with enthusiasm. For a change Yari almost regretted being in a foreign land all on her own, as she mused how many of her handmaiden she could have made to faint with the sight of her casually handing out part of her attire to a commoner. She kind of wanted to try this out.. if only there were a home for her to return to.. willing to accept her back. Well.. she would not stand by silently ever again. If this was the trial her ancestors imposed upon her for failing to ever take intiative, then she'd have to force herself to try and do different.
 
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GargantuaBlarg

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"I don't know if a disavowal would keep him from detaining us if we are suspected, and that would assume we'd receive individual cells, which might not be the case. Though, I suppose more likely we'd get the stocks with you, which I don't imagine would go much better...at any rate, I still have work that must be accomplished, and I have no desire to see it cut short by an inopportune run in with predators and an unfortunate encounter with the ire of my betters."

Caution dispensed, Esvele let out a sigh.

"But no, you are correct, 'courtly diplomacy' was not a part of my education. Barovia does not hold 'court' as the realms beyond the Mists might; her roads are unsafe, and those who dwell in her borders too few. You may find Baron Vallakovich considers ettiquette differently than you do. ...That is my understanding as a commoner, at any rate."

Esvele looked away when the woman started explaining all of the various symbols and and meanings of the fabrics that made up her clothing, trying not to roll her eyes. Yellow for luck, orange for 'civilization'... what good was a symbol that wasn't self-evident? Esvele slid her thumb over her neck and pulled at the twine cord on which her holy symbol of the Morninglord was threaded, fishing it out from where it rested under her habit. It was a simple, unadorned disc of brass - not the rose-gold a proper symbol would have been made of, but such metal was expensive, and while the bright yellow gleam of brass was perhaps not as warm as rose gold, Esvele thought it was close enough. The sister did smirk when the foreigner brought up white's meaning, though. She let her symbol drop back down against her chest, and contemplated instead her sleeve. She knew she ought to strive for purity and truth, but Esvele lied and hid things away as if it were second nature, and had for years. Even besides that, the mission of the Morninglord - and thus, her mission, was to help people endure, and in this, did not comforting lies and the ignorance of painful truths help all the more?

Esvele caught herself scowling. The thought occurred to her that she was being awfully combative of the notions this newcomer spoke for no particular reason at all. The meanings this Yari attributed to her clothing could be entirely personal, after all - meant to remind her of the things she valued and used to focus herself, just as she contemplated the sun around her neck when she prayed. What did it concern her that some people attributed meaning to things she didn't believe in? Perhaps she was still wound up.
 

Pervy

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Yari Darkbane
Church of St.Andral
Tag: Esvele, primarly


"No, no, sister Esvele. That will not do. As long as you wish to help these people, whereas this Barons deeds do not, I shall not call him your better." Yari had mastered the disarming smile long ago. People had often thought it a diplomatic ploy, truthfully, many at court struggled to deal with simple kindnesses, she had learned. "But, if your work is of great enough importance, lacking better knowledge and hearing the urgency in your words, I shall have trust and restrain my heart until your goal is accomplished. Yet, remember, that while we stay our hand, there are others that suffer the fate you fear for us." She looked at the nun with unwavering determination in her eyes.

"I've learned of the dangers of the roads first hand, and my greater quest shall be to understand why they must be so. I am certain that customs are different, which is why I asked the fathers guidance and education upon them." She bowed subtly. Then, however, she sighed, flicking a fan out of her large belt, fanning air at herself in a trained motion. If a palace-guard had seen her speaking directly to a commoner without covering her mouth proper... she chuckled, inwardly, clapping the fan shut before speaking on.: "And.. please, consider me nothing more or less than your equal in all dealings. I might have.. experience at court, but while the stars may be very beautiful above the palace walls, they shine with equal splendor still above far humbler halls." She encouraged, her words almost melodious in syllables, with an encouraging nod to the priestess. She had already addressed Yari by first name, after all, clearly this one valued closeness.
 
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GargantuaBlarg

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"I am sure Baron Vallakovich is doing his utmost in his own way to help those that he can, as we all do," Esvele replied, pulling her expression into the carefully serene mask of pleasant neutrality she had struggled to adopt for the past two days. "Regardless, as a servant of the Morninglord, I work to bring light to who find solace under the warmth of His sun."

Turning to Petrovich, Esvele looked at him and stated, "Father Petrovich, if there is anything we may do to assist you in recovering Saint Andral's remains, we stand ready to lend our efforts."
 

BlueSlime

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Church of St. Andral
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Father Lucian cleared his throat and addressed the three women in hushed tones.

"In truth, I only noticed the bones missing as of yesterday. I had believed that only I knew of their location - beneath the altar, underneath the rug and some floorboards. But apparently I was mistaken. Someone had come during the night, and pried up the planks. I put the planks back and covered them up with the rug - it's important that the congregation not know about this, or it could start a panic. Hallowed ground is a rarity here, and the relic must be recovered. You can help me by investigating on my behalf while I maintain the church services."

He brought them over to the altar, on the far side so that none of the few parishioners could see, and then pulled back the rug to show the planks. There was obvious sign of a break in the wood, where it had been pried up by some implement. It wasn't an elegant heist, whoever had stolen the bones didn't care about the theft being noticed, or didn't have the skills to cover up their tracks.

Esvele, who had some relative experience with tools during her maintenance of the Abbey grounds and surrounding burial sites, believed that the grooves on the wood might match a large wedge or even a spade as a possible tool of entry.

"There was only one other living soul who I have told about this - Yeska, my alter boy. And as you have come to know him over these past three days, Lady Yari, the boy is hardly capable of such acts. He is not strong enough, and he loves the church, for it is the only home he knows - he would never want this to happen. So I am left at a loss. I was hoping some fresh eyes could help me figure this out."


 

Pervy

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Yari Darkbane
Church of St.Andral
Tag: Esvele, Lucian/DM


Yari nodded thoughtfully to Esvele, accompanying the priest. Well, the whole case was a bit troublesome, considering the open-ness of the church.. there was little point in accusing each worshipper independently. True, the amount of people that had acess and the tools to do such was propably limited to guard-members, the gravedigger and perhaps a few artisans, but Yari was no expert on what kind of tools the common folk here had on them.
"Perhaps trying to look at this from another perspective would help, then, there are too many possible suspects. Whoever broke up these boards did so uncaring that the deed would be found out. That tells us. hrmnnn.." She sighed, lowering her head slightly. "This is not my expertise, so perhaps I should just remain silent, but. I can only imagine it speaks of desperation, for the soul of whoever did this, I hope they did so under pressure from some wicked creature.I cannot see to what end one would seek to desecrate this church." She peered over to Lucian. "There's little of value here, other than the aid this place can give, right?.. sure there are the bones, but they don't have value to any but the faithful, do they? If we can't guess a suspect, or a motive, there's little we can do. As much as I'd want to kneel down and ask the spirit of the shrine for forgiveness for this violation and request it point me in the right way, I'm no miko." She shook her head regretfully.

"I want to help, yet, do not send tailors to make a cake. Perhaps you'd do better asking a trusted few guard-members to investigate this. Surely, there are some whos disgression you can trust. They know this town, it's people. Speaking for myself alone, I'd not even know where to start." She hesitated. She felt the helpless uncertainty again, the feeling that had accompanied her whenever she considered her father, the Daimyo's harshness. A proper ruler and queen of her people should speak up, command, make decisions.. but she just felt.. inadequate for it. It was always far too easy to remain silent and not make wrong decisions..
 
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GargantuaBlarg

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Esvele knelt to inspect the floorboards, clasping her brass Sun in her palms and whispering one of the prayers she'd learned by rote, to give her another layer of cover, in case any parishoner's wandering eyes noticed her and found her behavior out of place.

Esvele leaned low to inspect the shattered wood; when she stood again, she spoke in hushed tone to the group. "The marks on the edges of the broken boards look like those made by a log-splitting wedge, or perhaps a sturdy shovel... no, rather, a spade; the marks left don't suggest a pointed tip, like a shovel would have. Either way, a tool of man did this, I think. Because they only tore up this particular section of flooring, they seem to be someone who knew where the bones would have been located - I presume this would not be common knowledge, Father, can you ennumerate those who might have known that? I must also ask: Is there any time at which the chapel is unattended? If not during the day, then perhaps at night? Would you have heard the noise from where you rest, if they were to have done it then?"

The nun rubbed her chin in thought. "I presume you would keep such tools here, for digging graves, Father Petrovich?" Come to think of it... had they not passed what seemed to be a gravedigger of some sort when they first walked in? Esvele closed her eyes and bid Nevermore to show her the church from the outside. She hadn't paid much heed to him when they'd walked in, but if she were lucky he'd be at work and making their lives easier.
 

Pervy

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Yari Darkbane
Church of St.Andral
Tag: Esvele, Lucian/DM


"Spade you say.. grave-digging.. I can answer that qustion for you, Esvele. There is one person who regularly handles spades and shovels here, who'd know when the chapel is unattended and who'd at least have way of finding out the saint's bones resting place. The Gravedigger. Though, he of all people should know very well what a curse upon ones soul it is to disturb the rest of the dead.." Yari suggested, having seen the man in her stay here. "He and the altar boy do chat, unsuprisingly and certainly, a child would not understand the weight of the secret shared, if cajoled properly." She tipped her chin, the thought shaking her out of her shyness. Still, she bowed apologetically, looking over to the priest.

"Not to accuse or suspect the honorable man working for you, but mind telling us were to find him,.. or rather, where he lives? Perhaps we should investigate his place and holdings before questioning the man or altar boy themselfs.." She suggested. "A spade used to crack wood would show signs of wear and tear, compared to simple earth, I do believe.."
 
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BlueSlime

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Father Lucian
Church of St. Andral
Tag: the PCs


Lucian nodded to both Esvele and Yari.

"I suppose Milivoj, our grave digger, could have done this. But he's not the only person with a shovel in this town, that's for certain. And yet... yes, I suppose Yeska might have been convinced to say something to him. I can't imagine why Milivoj would do something like this. He's a surly lad, certainly, but he has a family... he lives with them just a few blocks away."

The priest gave them an address and a description of a run down town house on a minor laneway.

"Be gentle with your inquiry. I will pray that he is not responsible, but if he is, he may not know the gravity of what he has done."

With the directions, the three visitors to the church, plus Ireena would be able to go visit the grave digger's home if they wanted to. The house, once they arrived, would be dismal and lacking care than the typical Vallaki household, which was saying quite a lot. Holes in the roof indicated the possibility that this place would rightly be condemned as being of questionable construction. The windows were dark, and little light was inside. The only obvious entrances were the front door, or possibly via one of the holes on said roof.