Chapter 16: Many Blood-Sucking Parasites (IC)

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Darker

Alannah smiles, “Of course, though unnecessary, it’s a lovely gesture.”

Talanall
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Boromil smiles back, waits for Alannah to be in the middle of taking a mouthful of her tea, and then observes, "I'm surprised Sir Avar didn't take a big, steaming shit right in the middle of the ballroom floor. Have you been training him, or something?"

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Alannah spits the tea, then immediately covers her mouth in horrible, "Oh, sorry!"

As she tries to clean up what she can, she agrees, "Oh yes, it did take a lot of coaching, but I think he behaved as well or better than I could have expected."

Talanall
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"He really did, even when you weren't supervising him. You should give him a biscuit, or something," agrees Boromil, cheerfully, adding, "And Master Chuul was really quite personable. Not at all what I expected. But what was all that about hiring orc mercenaries?"

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

"Chuul is always personable. Much more than Avar or Oskav anyway."

She pauses to ponder where to start to answer his other question. "Well, if you really want to know, it all started when I rescued a girl from some unwanted attention by Alvart Algartsson..." Alannah goes on to relay meeting Marta, finding out about her "secret," working the deal with Trogar, and suggesting a convinent form of recompense that just happened to benefit her own cause.

Talanall
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Boromil listens quietly, not interrupting or making jokes, and as Alannah talks she can see her brother's expression grow more and more serious. When she's done, he queries, "And you think Trogar has these documents now?"

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Alannah shrugs, "I hope that he does. From what I gather, he's not one to try to use deceptive words and he was quite upset to learn of the whole plot. However, I think he does have enough wit about him to hold on to the papers so that the bargin he struck is honored. It was a messy situation and this seemed to be a the best resolution that Marta's family could hope to get out of it."

Talanall
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Boromil mulls this over, briefly, then asks, "So why's this dwarf going against what seem to be his lord's intentions? Or at least, I think it's apparent that he's acting without Wæmunding's knowledge, and almost certainly against his intent. Ethical qualms aside, Father would be rightfully livid if one of our knights did the same."

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

"My guess is he only serves the current Lord Wæmunding out of loyalty to the family. He's a devote follower of some good aligned god and one of those holy warriors and all that. I think he's torn between his oaths to his god and his oaths to the family. If he could get out of his service without breaking his oaths, he'd be gone in a second. I think he's having to find loop holes in both in order to skirt issues that are arising because of the conflict. I do not envy him." She pauses to consider Boromil's last statement, "If Lord Wæmunding found out and removed him from his service, I think Trogar would be overjoyed."

Talanall
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Boromil makes an unhappy noise. "Still. If he's found out and Wæmunding orders him to relinquish the papers—or worse, if he decides that it would be cleaner to make them public rather than let the secret continue to hang over these people—that presents a problem for me if I accept their financial assistance for the regiment. People are already jumping at shadows over the possibility that the goblinoid clans are in league with the elves, or the Imperials, or both."

Mournfully, he asks, "Can you imagine how people would react if there were evidence of some kind of pro-barbarian conspiracy that touches on a military unit in the city's service?"

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

Alannah nods, "Sure, I thought of that. It's far from a done deal. But you need to weigh out the benefit and risk. Trogar will not go back on his word, he'll destroy the papers first. And Wæmunding has little to gain from making anything public. He'll have a hard time doing so without also making this nasty blackmail business public and then there's the question of why he didn't come forward right away insteasd of using it to his own advantage."

"So I think you're safer than you think. Besides, you could always plead ignorance and blame it all on your impetitous, irresponsible sister. That trouble maker shouldn't be in the city much longer anyway."

Talanall
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Boromil looks surprised at Alannah's facile explanation, and counters, "But if he's already blackmailing people, what makes you think he'll be truthful about when and how he obtained the papers? He could just say that he found out about them and immediately brought them to the attention of the proper authorities. Who has any evidence to the contrary? It's his word against theirs, and he'll be giving his word with documentary proof in hand."

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

"Well then don't accept the support. But I think you are over thinking it. Alvart doesn't seem like a terribly complex man." She shrugs again, "It doesn't really make much of a different to me. But Marta's family is going to give someone money to go toward the war effort or something to pay recompense to the city. That was Trogar's deal. I figured it could help Jalen."

Talanall
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"I'll hear them out before I make a decision," Boromil replies. Alannah can tell that her brother really doesn't like the political dimensions of this plan, which he confirms when he adds, "And I'm going to have to have a word with Trogar. If he doesn't have the documents in a safe place, then I'm not risking it. His lord isn't terribly complex, you're right. But he's a vindictive, opportunistic little prick. If he thinks he's got leverage over our house, he'll go to Father or Vitus, and who knows what'll happen? Vitus especially might just kill him out of hand. You know how he is about the family's honor."

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

"Vitus is a brute," Alannah muses. "But it sounds like you have a good plan. Can't go wrong with scouting it out first."

Talanall
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Boromil nods, and switches topics to small talk about people back home on the family estate as he sees the waitress coming back with breakfast. Once the meal is done, he asks, "Do you know when you're leaving town? I'd like to come and say goodbye, if I can."

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

"Oh, Boromil, don't tell me you are getting sentimental," Alannah teases. Her playful smile only last a moment, however, before she turns serious, "I really don't know for sure. It depends on if we get a lead on the werewolf we are hunting. We may leave suddenly if that happens. Otherwise, I imagine it'll be a few more days before we can tie up all our loose ends and we are ready to go."

Talanall
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"Well, send me a note or something when you know, will you?" Boromil asks, "I may end up running into you out there, sometime pretty soon. But we're both about to be involved in some dangerous business. I don't want to take it for granted that we have all the time in the world."

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

Darker

"Myself, I plan on living forever. But I'll send word either way. I'm sure I'll atleast have time to send a message even if we end up leaving suddenly. I'm sure the others would like to see Jalen before they leave as well."

Talanall
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Boromil inclines his head solemnly. "I'll see you then."

Wæs se grimma gæst Grendel haten,
mære mearcstapa, se þe moras heold

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