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  1. #1
    Whispers from the Peaks (GW2)

    Whispers from the Peaks (GW2)

    At some point during the night, a notice appeared in a few discreet but strategic locations around Lion's Arch.


    WANTED

    Heroes, hunters, or adventurers to undertake the rescue of my son and daughter, who have been ruthlessly kidnapped. Generous reward offered for the safe return of the children. This will be a difficult undertaking, for professionals of the highest caliber. High level of discretion required. Serious inquiries only. Please contact Julius Costalandrius at the Lion Rampant Inn for more information.



    No further insight was offered by the simple parchment flyers. Most people simply walked by, ignoring it entirely or, if they spared a moment to look, shaking their heads skeptically or speculating idly about the nature of the project - scam, or chance of a lifetime? Almost no one seemed to be giving the matter serious consideration as a job to take on.

    Julius didn't mind. He'd waited so long already. He could wait a little longer, to ensure that the professional he hired was the right person for the job. He sat at a table at the seedy little Lion Rampant in a back alley, sipped a cup of tea, and immersed himself in a book as he bided his time.
    "Sleep to dream, and we dream to live..." -Great Big Sea

  2. #2
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Nairn Tuckamore

    Lion's Arch wasn't her first choice. When she wanted to go into society, Nairn typically wanted that society to be one with a good many books. Divinity's Reach was her preference, but her last visit had gone...poorly. She thought it best to avoid the human capital for a while. In fact, that her last trip into civilization had gone horribly wrong was what had brought her to this hive today. Clearly she needed more practice interacting with the general public. Why was it so difficult when she got along with her guild mates just fine? Nairn had doubled down on her efforts to clear her speech. She had even learned a few social graces. Still, it seemed more often than not that she did something to offend. That someone was offended wasn't the real issue, though, it was that offended people tended to do things that affected her negatively. She'd spent so many years simply avoiding conflict by avoiding people that it was a difficult situation to get used to.

    Her eyes were immediately drawn to the paper. Paper. Her weakness. She gave no second thought to pulling the sheet off its nail, nor did she consider putting it back after she read it. It was a little heavy handed, in her opinion - the words were a little over the top for a flyer left on the street. It piqued her curiosity. Besides, she had been hoping to learn to interact with more people - perhaps a job was exactly what she needed to give her a push in the right direction. Start professional, then work her way up to the easy conversations everyone else seemed to be able to just...have.

    Julius would have the strange feeling that someone was reading over his shoulder. If he turned, he'd see a Norn woman leaning over her staff in an attempt to make out the words on the page before him in the dim light the alley afforded.
    Winner of the dubious Vaarsuvius Award for Verbousness!

    I support altruism.

  3. #3
    Julius Costalandrius

    Julius almost fell out of his chair when he noticed the Norn skulking behind him.

    "Guhhh!" he grunted as he awkwardly tried to retain his balance, his tea, and his book. "What are you doing, you oaf...?"

    Then the answer clicked in his brain, and he instantly became polite and conciliatory. "Forgive me. I have terribly misplaced my manners. You must be here in answer to my advertisement. Thank the gods you have arrived! I am in desperate need of help. My son and daughter have been kidnapped by a vile criminal and are being held prisoner. They are innocent children, only five years old - twins. Will you come to my aid? Will you help reunite my family?"
    Last edited by Monkey Kitty; 06-04-2020 at 07:57 PM.

  4. #4
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Nairn Tuckamore

    She was nearly as annoyed to lose her place on the page as he was to find someone immediately behind him. His insult completely slid past her, but his change in demeanour did not. He was definitely the same man that wrote the advertisement - his language was insistent and provoking. Somehow that had simply been a point of interest when it was written on a page, but in person, Nairn found it off-putting. Nevertheless, she was here now and the job was rather intriguing, so the Norn pulled up a chair and sat on it with the back of the chair in front of her so her staff could rest on her back without issue. It also gave her the opportunity to fold her arms naturally: she had been told that to do so while standing gave the impression of disbelief or challenge.

    "This urgent matter...why not ask the Lionguard for help? This..." she held up the folded parchment and used it to gesture to the table laid out for tea "seems inefficient for one who is deperate."

  5. #5
    Julius Costalandrius

    Julius leaned back in his chair and steepled his fingers thoughtfully. The gesture seemed slightly... rehearsed. As did the speech that followed it. Nairn would not get the impression of deception, exactly. There was at least some degree of sincerity. But she might notice that Julius seemed to enjoy having an audience.

    "The Lionguard cannot help in this matter," he said. "The crime took place outside their jurisdiction. I came here to seek help because this appears to be the hub for travelers and adventurers who might be willing to take up my cause, but the actual kidnapping occurred beyond the reach of any local law enforcement. The Lionguard also... fails to perceive the same urgency you do. You see, the crime is not a recent one. My children were taken more than five years ago. I've been working tirelessly since then to get them back, but so far without success. It seems I have not managed to hire the right help. I can only hope that this time I will be more fortunate. Will you assist me to reclaim my son and daughter from the ruffian who abducted them?"

  6. #6
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Nairn Tuckamore

    Her eyes hadn't left his, even as she brought the teacup up to her nose to smell the delicate concoction before taking a perfunctory sip. That wasn't to say that she wasn't paying attention - the arch of her left eyebrow clearly indicated her interest as Julius gave the reasons for his recruitment method. This job continued to get more interesting, though she was sure to other people it would be raising red flags instead of intrigue. In fact, she was quite certain that this man intended to play her for a fool. Two could play at that game. While she didn't consider herself an actor, she had been told that her mannerisms were cool to the point of seeming disinterested - she was willing to capitalize on her habitus. Lowering the teacup back to where its saucer sat in front of its owner, she brought the same hand up into a shrugging gesture.

    "Five years is a long time. Who is to say this abductor still has them? Perhaps they are dead and that is why you have had no success."

  7. #7
    Julius Costalandrius

    Julius looked on with absolute horror as Nairn sniffed his teacup and then... drank from it. What a disgusting barbarian! Not so different from the other disgusting barbarian who had taken his son and daughter, though - perhaps it was for the best that he was fighting fire with fire.

    He averted his eyes slightly so as not to view the desecration of his cup.

    "They are still alive," Julius said. "I've been keeping tabs on them by means of scrying, but I haven't been able to get physically close. Their abductor is crafty, and knows to watch for me - but he will not know to watch for you. I will tell you what I know of the kidnapper. His name is Mikael Stormcrow. He is a brutish, savage thug of a man. They say he's a ruthless mercenary who gives his enemies no quarter. A Northerner, needless to say by the name. You'll recognize him by his scars and tattoos. I need you to find him, find my children, and bring them back to me. You will be well rewarded."

  8. #8
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Nairn Tuckamore

    Ah, so her employer was a mesmer, then? With enough ability to spy on her as well as watch his children, she supposed. That idea made her uncomfortable. Working with someone was one thing - working for someone who could randomly check up on you - quite another. She had almost scowled at the thought, but the man's description of the perpetrator ended up bringing a smile to her face. At least it was clear where Julius drew the line on who was worthy and who wasn't. Despite her temporary amusement, Nairn's mind was turning over the facts she'd been given and she found that she had a few additional questions. She leaned toward Julius, balancing one hand on the table as she did so.

    "You said that the children were only five years old...but then you said they were abducted over five years ago. It suggests that perhaps you are leaving out the part about the woman who was carrying those children. I would like to know her part in this." She paused, then added by way of explanation, "I do not like loose ends."

  9. #9
    Julius Costalandrius

    "Yes, you must be very clever indeed, Miss... what did you say your name was?" Julius' tone was complimentary but a trifle patronizing, as if he didn't quite expect the Norn to be as smart as he was, and still didn't think she was, even if she'd picked up a clue. "You are correct. The ruffian took my wife while she was pregnant with our twins. The children were born into captivity. He's been holding them hostage ever since."

    Julius was certain of this, because he'd been watching. What he still wasn't quite sure, was why. The children were still alive, and appeared unharmed. At first Julius assumed there would be a ransom demand, but it never came. So what was the point of this? What had the barbarian wanted with two infants who had since grown into small children? Julius wanted them back because they were his flesh and blood - naturally - but he couldn't fathom what Stormcrow was getting out of it.

    "Which brings me to the matter of a little... side project, if you would like to make some extra gold. My primary aim is to get my son and daughter back, and if you do so, I will be satisfied. But there is also the matter of my wife. Naturally I pity her. She has surely suffered greatly at the hands of this... rapscallion. The gods know how horribly he must have been treating her all these years. It pains my heart to think of her suffering. If you were to put her out of her misery, I would be very grateful. As, I'm sure, would she. For obvious reasons, I can't take her back, but I would be happy to compensate you if you show her the mercy of taking her life. If that is too distasteful, though, simply bring back the children."

  10. #10
    Count / Countess Quaxo9 is offline Quaxo9's Avatar
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    Nairn Tuckamore

    She had never been called 'Miss' ever in her life. Nairn was actually at a loss for words. Fortunately for her, Julius was not - the man continued on...and explained the 'loose end' she'd been concerned about. This man was a true narcissist. If there had been any doubt, the fact that he saw his wife as expendable simply because she hadn't been with him was the final nail. Though, she wasn't about to just walk away. No, she wanted to know the whole story and for that she'd need the information he had to supply.

    "Of course. They don't call me Nairn the Murderer for nothing." She lifted her left hand dismissively as she leaned back from the table, a little indignant that someone who thought she was a barbarian even had to ask. "Of course, I expect some money in advance - to cover travel expenses."

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