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  1. #1

    EXP: 30,681, Level: 7
    Level completed: 47%, EXP required for next Level: 4,319
    Level completed: 47%,
    EXP required for next Level: 4,319


    Robert Bertrand

    John Returns to Salvar (Closed to Ray)

    Vincent held the letter in front of him, the text lit by several candles on his desk. John knew what it said, same as the one that was sent to Jamie and Daniel;

    You ally yourself with a murderer and a coward. John Cromwell must pay for his sins with trial. He is guilty sure as the sun rises, and he must face justice. The inquisition is not without mercy, however. If Cromwell returns of his own will, you yourselves will be spared your share in his punishment. Sheltering and cavorting with a man such as this will surely taint your soul. I beg you. John Cromwell is without redemption. Cast yourself off this burning ship and live.

    Long live the Church and the Order,
    High Marshal Adams

    “I have to go, Vincent,” John said, holding his copy of the letter, the one sent to Jamie. Other people had gotten them, including Jacques, manager of a bar in Radasanth, and Jor, monk of Ai’bron. He crumpled the paper in a massive right hand as Vincent retorted.

    “You don’t though! We can protect her, John,”

    John scoffed, feeling his hackles rise. “You don’t even know how they planted that letter on you, Vince, what am I supposed to make of that? These people can be anywhere.”

    “Then I’ll go with you. You’ve got to know this is going to be a farce of a trial! They’re not gonna let you walk out of Salvar, and you know it! I’m not gonna let them do that to you!”

    John stood, the letter gripped in an iron fist. “And what, Vincent? You’ll kill anyone who gets in your way? These people are fanatics, they’d die to kill me. I know these zealots, you can’t reason with them! Are you going to kill hundreds of people?” Vincent opened his mouth, but John cut him off. “No, I can’t have the blood of another family on my hands.”

    Vincent looked down. John knew Vincent’s morality wouldn’t allow him the luxury of making the right decision here. “When are you going,” he asked after a moment, staring at the letter.

    “Tonight. I can’t risk Jamie’s life any more than I already have.”

    Vincent stood, offering John his forearm. They clasped forearms for a moment. “When you get back you’re gonna get an earful from me, y’hear?”

    John tried to smile, but couldn’t muster up the effort to feel optimistic. He merely nodded, turning to leave. As he left the deepest recesses of the Tarot hierarchy, he spotted Rayleigh sitting in one of the common areas, her bubbly aura conflicted with how he felt. She looked up, smiling as he passed.

    “Going out?”

    John sighed. “I guess so, I need a drink.”

    “Oh, nice! I was just about to head out myself! I know a great place down the road a ways once we get into town,”

    John resigned himself.


  2. #2
    First Officer

    EXP: 34,480, Level: 7
    Level completed: 94%, EXP required for next Level: 520
    Level completed: 94%,
    EXP required for next Level: 520

    Rayleigh's Avatar


    Rayleigh Aston
    They traveled in companionable silence. While she knew there was something on his mind, Rayleigh's eagerness to escape the House of Cards eclipsed just about everything else. Weeks had passed since she had experienced anything worth calling an "adventure," and Vincent had seemed oddly distracted himself. Or, at the very least, too busy to be entertaining her. That's fine, Ray assured herself for the umpteenth time. She did not need to wait around for anyone, especially some uppity, work crazed magician... no matter how cute he was.

    Only when they reached the tavern did Rayleigh finally turn to her companion to smile and shatter the cone of quiet around them. "It's a bit of a dump," she informed him, yanking the wooden door open with a blast of warm, foul-smelling air. "But it's cheap, and it's nearby, which are really the most important requirements." Slipping past him, the woman led the way into the Three-Legged Dog.

    There were some who felt a dog should be put down for missing a leg. They might even see such thing as an act of mercy. Realistically, the same thing could be said for the tavern itself, with it's shady characters, terrible service, and tendency to burst into spontaneous bar-brawls. If the place were to catch fire at that exact moment, and be reduced to cinders, Ray supposed the universe would be doing them a favor.

    Still, while it remained standing, she figured they might as well make the best of it. The mouse of a woman shouldered her way between a pair of muscled men who wore a startling cologne of dead fish and body odor, and made a beeline for a tiny table by a cracked window. For some odd reason, a fire crackled in the hearth despite the sticky heat. She put her back to it, plopped down in the chair, and gave her shoulders a small roll.

    "I vote we give it a couple of minutes, and if that barmaid doesn't notice us by then, we fight our way up to the bar." Pausing to survey the line of bodies already seated there, she pursed her lips disapprovingly. Their broad, hairy backs formed a sort of wall, and as eager as she was to see action, attempting to crawl over seemed less than savory. Instead, she crossed her arms atop the table, and leaned forward toward John. "So how you been?" she inquired. "Somehow I don't see much of you, even though we basically live together."

  3. #3

    EXP: 30,681, Level: 7
    Level completed: 47%, EXP required for next Level: 4,319
    Level completed: 47%,
    EXP required for next Level: 4,319


    Robert Bertrand
    This establishment was only an inn in the academic sense of the word. There was a bar, true, but the seedy atmosphere indicated what few rooms existed above weren't used for much more than flesh peddling. The room was musky, smelled like his past, after he ran from everything that happened in Salvar. Living between cities, hating everything and everyone, fighting in bloodsport matches wasn't really conducive to bathing. Filled with memories he had tried to leave behind these last five years, he scanned the room for threats, and tried to think out a way to get out if he needed to. A slash of red hair disappeared between two bodies, and John snapped himself out of it. He didn't need to overthink this. He had already made his decision about whether he could escape anything. He clutched the letter in his pocket and followed Rayleigh.

    Despite her ability to weave between these burly dockworkers, John followed easily thanks to cautious steps away from people who glimpsed him. He grabbed the largest chair he could while they made their way to the hearth, and John wedged himself into it, close to Rayleigh so he could see both her and most of the barroom. He absently put his hand in his pocket, feeling the crumpled paper decrying him as a heretic and evil man. He wasn't sure what to make of it. He never really expected to leave all of that behind him with no consequences, but now that it was upon him, he felt like he couldn't think through it.

    Regardless, he had the right of it now. He'd made the wrong decision in Salvar, and it was time to make the right one this time. Without even realizing it, he had pulled the paper from his pocket. Yes, when it came time to choose himself or his family, he knew what to do now. He caught the tail end of what Rayleigh was saying and looked up.

    "I've been alright," he said, trying to keep his swamped thoughts from coming out in his words. "I've been staying busy with seeing Jamie lately, plus I've had some smithing business back in Radasanth, people commission me sometimes out there. I've got some business way out of Corone though, so I'm gonna be out for a while," he managed a weak smile.

    "Lemme see about those drinks."

    John got himself up from the chair, absently leaving the half-crumpled paper behind, and fought his way back near the bar, where a maid was working on filling glasses. She caught sight of him, and he threw a gold coin at her, which she caught and quickly put to her teeth. Satisfied, she pocketed the coin and looked up at him from behind the row of patrons.

    "Three bottles of whatever whiskey that buys," he stated, turning. A hand on his shoulder stopped him, and he looked down to find a man, taller than most of the others in the bar, scowling at him. He growled, a hand resting on the handle of a sheathed long knife.

    "Think you're gonna jump the line, eh?"

    John squared up to the man and did his best to loom. He squared his shoulders and bent them almost over the man's head. He growled back in a gravely voice.

    "You don't want to do that, friend."

    A long moment of silence passed between them, but John's aggressor didn't flinch or cower, which in a way, John supposed that he respected. He backed down, pulling his hand from the knife handle.

    "S'not polite, you know," he muttered, only then turning back to his barstool, which he had to defend from someone trying to poach it.

    John turned, making his way back to the table he and Rayleigh shared.

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