Just your average Thalerith kinship get together. There will be food. There will be drinks. There will probably be fights. We love a good tussle and would much rather get together to throw down than to talk bureacracy and spirituality. Hot topics at the moment though and much to discuss in regards to the Oracle of Baridon. For those who haven't met the elf in question, let's talk about that
Lyandra has joined the Thalerith Woven Rugs.
Abbasah, a fierce, tiny sand cat arrives, following Melindra.
Barfolemew, a small sand cat arrives, following Zymandi.
Lyandra shook her head, her voice lowering, "The questions I have are not...they'er personal, that's all. better left at your feet at the temple, I think. Or perhaps in the temples of gala or Loran." Anything else Lyandra might have said, she set aside, as she say the people begin to flow into the meeting hall.
In to the hall struts Rivek, that smug smirk on his face as usual as he glances around, and gives those already present a simple nod. He heads to the soft, woven rugs and takes a seat, chewing on a piece of jerky as he does.
Rivek has joined the Thalerith Woven Rugs.
Zymandi slips into the room quietly and leans near the entrance, getting comfortable to listen and observe.
Melindra wandered her way into the meeting hall, a lazy confidence to her as she meanders to one of the colorful rugs to plop down onto. Her little sand cat kitten headbutting Zymandi'a kitten as they pass by.
As the night was still quite early Sylindra's arrival could be seen as a sign that the Warlord hadn't slept much during the day. Still, there was a quiet confidence as she walked into the meeting hall and gave a few folks the nod of acknowledgement. On the way to the throne she stopped near Rivek and clasped him on the shoulder,"Thank you for coming," she says while giving him a half-smirk and slipping away. Lyandra and Ayalith are both given subtle winks, even as she flicks that stupidly long braid of hair over her shoulder and finds her seat.
A quiet exchange is had between the Warlord and her Blade Sworn before she turns back to cast her glance out on the room. It's filled with the faces of her people, most of them highly concerned no doubt. So when she rises to her feet, people seem to hush quickly so she will speak. "Thalerith. We've a few things to discuss this night but first I shall address the krilkar in the room." As she pauses to sweep her eyes across the room she takes a deep breath,"Tonight we'll start assigning additional patrol duties and I will interest check on anyone interested in investigating the disappearances, some of which have left quite a mess - I won't lie."
Again, there's another pause as she wipes her mouth and clears her throat,"Nadaron Aynarr, our Portal Walker, has already given his word as someone who will help in this regard. If you think you've got what it takes to help figure this out then do let myself, any of the Blade Sworn, or of course your respective Kinlessa's and Kinlectors know."
Marril takes a seat on the ground near the throne, his back resting against it. Immediately, he shucks his cloak off his shoulders and lets it fall about him. He waits for more people to speak, a tired hesitance on his face. It seems he has already been taking extra patrols through the nights.
"I think we should visit the shrine of Loran together soon," Ayalith murmurs to Lyandra, giving the other young woman's hand a gentle squeeze of camaraderie. She smiles warmly toward Sylindra when the Warlord's attention shifts their way briefly. Of course, the meeting then starts in earnest, and she bites her bottom lip lightly as the disappearances are mentioned.
Lyandra sat silent, as she listened to Sylindra's pronouncement, but once relative silence reigned, she lifted her own voice, "I think I am not alone in stating that many of us have heard nothing of these disappearances until we received your proclamation, Warlord. What can you tell us about them? Are the people simply missing? is there evidence of injury? Magic? Weapons? Who has been taken? Adults, children, people in positions of power?"
Azariah's a bit late, but when she arrives she arrives quietly, moving to find herself a place to settle in for listening. Probably didn't bring snacks this time, either.
Zymandi glances to her cousins, and then leans back to listen to Lyandra.
From his place on the rugs, Rivek raises a brow, and "What kind of mess, exactly?" curious. "Is there anything among the disappearances that's common amongst them? Place, time, kind of person, gender, that sort of thing?"
There is a furrowing of her brow that is accompanied by a narrowing of her eyes as she listens. Glancing around the room, before she upends to Azariah as she joins the meeting. Eyes shifting to her sister, Lyandra as she speaks. A nod there at the question, and then another at Riveks set of them. Gaze turning back to Sylindra as Melindra watches her mother. "I'll help with patrols."
Her Blade Sworn is clearly exhausted and when he settles near the throne she throws him a light twitch of the lips in sympathy. Her eldest daughter spoke up about the disappearances though and of course that made her grimace immediately. "Women, children, warriors, hunters, scouts...even one of the Flame Seers." Sylindra sighs and steps off the dais to walk down among the people, to demonstrate that she's with them in their concern and not trying to tower above them while addressing this issue. "They've all happened over the last few weeks and wasn't really brought to anyone's attention until one of the children went missing. Which is why it's not been heard of or discussed until today."
As she says this there is a disturbance near the meeting hall's entrance, an elven woman who seems horribly at odds. She's got a bundle in hand that is bloody and might even have scraps of meat and hair on it. "They came in the middle of the night...I didn't hear anything at first but there was this immense crash and the sound of something heavy on the rooftop...I heard other things that didn't make much sense but then Fahid screamed and..." She wanted to continue but her throat got too tight and she didn't want to cry here,"I searched all night and day and at the mouth of the cavern I found this." This unknown warrior leaves it on a table, as evidence of some dastardly crime. The Warlord's lips are pursed as she goes to comfort the woman with words for her alone. "As of yet there is so few leads. It seems well coordinated, like someone is hunting their fellow elves for...some purpose. There's been prints but they could be anyone's and no sighting of this individual at all yet. The mess has been...much like this," Sylindra states with a gesture towards the bloody bundle. "Signs of a struggle and at the very least grave injuries or worse."
An adolescent Krilkar named Duchess arrives, following Nadaron.
Zymandi moves forward with narrowed eyes, going to where the bundle is on the table. "Is there theft involved also? Or just violence, chaos?"
"Are we sure it's another elf, and not some rogue Krilkar or the like?" Rivek asks, there.
Ayalith is quietly observant, the High Priestess watching the meeting go on without comment. When the bloody bundle is brought forward however, Ayalith wonders of the distraught woman, "My heart grieves for you. But does this bundle have any significance to your loved one? The cloth, perhaps? Do you recognize it as something from your home?"
"Only violence. Nothing was taken, honored blade." The woman replies venomously. Rivek seems to bring up a good point though and people mutter but Sylindra shakes her head,"Krilkar aren't smart enough to break into homes and know -when- to strike and how to disappear. We would've brought this fucker down by now. There would've been a trail and bodies. We would've found the remains I think, maybe Nadaron could better speak to it as I'm not an expert on the beasts." The Warlord walks past Nadaron and slaps him on the shoulder so roughly it probably propels him forward into the center of the gathered. Sylindra's already on her way to the throne though, slipping back down into the seat and watching Ayalith comfort the distraught woman.
Nadaron slips into the meeting hall, his krilkar following at his side with a serpentine grace, just in time to hear that "The fuck it is a rogue krilkar, if there was a rogue krilkar we'd all know it. There'd be body parts strewn and pools of blood if it as loose in a fertile feeding ground like this. We'd have a score dead." Nadarona leans back against the wall with his arms crossed
Lyandra reached out, squeezing Ayalith's hand, before she pushed herself to her feet, moving to approach the table and the bundle that had been deposited there. She did not reach out to touch it, but she did look towards Sylindra, "May I open it to study it?" But as to the questions, she spoke again, "Nasharet, so far as I know, has no hidden caverns or tunnels. The portal guardians would have reported someone attempting to escape through to Thelos. The only sure way to escape the city is through the tunnel leading to the desert. And that is not guarded, or at least is not as guarded as it could be. So...whatever is taking our people has either escaped to the desert, or they are still somewhere here in the city."
Melindra's hard gaze shifts as her mother moves through those sitting among the rugs, to the woman that was holding the bloody bundle. Narrowed eyes staring at the bundle, "Have the bodies been looked at to see what could be savaging them?" A pause as she nods a little at Rivek's question. "Or if someone is trying to make the attacks look as if beasts are doing it? Or if the damage is from a weapon?" A glance toward Nadaron, and she rolls her eyes a little. "From what the Warlord said, or intimated toward, the bodies have been bloody messes. It's a logical question to ask."
"From the sounds of it, we might already have a score of dead, and just not know it," Rivek replies dryly to Nadaron. He rubs at his chin a bit, and shrugs. "I'm willing to join the patrols, I suppose," giving a nod to Melindra who had volunteered such earlier, as he stands and moves towards the bundle to get a closer look at what exactly it is. He grimaces, but gives a nod at Lyandra's words seeming to agree. "Let's not forget that someone built Thelos and the other cities. And while we've not seen anyon else here, well... That doesn't mean they aren't out there somewhere."
"I am not going to assume these missing elves are dead. There must be somewhere in the caverns to take them. We will find it." Zymandi's voice is steely.
"That's the problem. There have been no bodies. Sometimes they disappear without a trace. Sometimes there is a mess left behind, much like this one...but not a single body has been recovered or discovered in the city." Sylindra's knuckles whiten from how she clenches the throne of bone. "Another reason we were pretty certain this was not a wild animal attack." To Rivek and Nadaron she gives a look but only says,"We could have more dead but only a dozen people have come forward. If any of the victims of these attacks are without connections? Orphaned by the journey or just outliers. We might never notice their absence until it were too late."
As the high priestess of the god of souls, Ayalith has some experience comforting those who have lost loved ones. Most have lost someone in the fifty-odd years since the migration, but something like this, so fresh? She takes the woman's hands in her own, speaking words of comfort before she asks again, "Do you recognize the cloth of the bundle? Are you certain it was from your home?" She looks to the others as they discuss the possible escape routes. "Don't forget she said this was found at the mouth of the cave."
Nadaron gestures to the assembly "Or the intruder could have just come and gone through the portals. I just got done having a talk with the Oracle, here in our city. If he can pass through the portals as he wishes, why would you assume that others couldn't do the same?" with a grimace Nadaron says "I'll step forward an start helping to patrol and look for whose done this. I'll keep my beasts by my side and the perpetrator will have something more to contend with then someone off their guard." tapping his foot he says over to Lyandra "We have no caves that we /know/ of. Sometimes a cave can remain hidden by an optical illusion or other natural barrier."
Zymandi checked intellect + investigation at difficulty 20, rolling 2 higher.
The woman who delivered this bundle here looked up at Ayalith and nodded,"Aye. That was my boy's. I made it for him last winter and..." Now the tears well up in her eyes beyond the ability to hold back as she gestures to the bundle Lyandra asked to investigate further. "I know....that's Fahid's hair." Without warning she quickly scrambled away and spewed the contents of her stomach on the floor. Violently. The Warlord's daughter makes a gesture and opens the bundle so that people can check it further."
Zymandi inspects the bundle as well, thinking silently.
Zymandi glances up from whatever she sees,looking at Nadaron slowly. "Do we have an animal that can track blood?"
"Canines are going to be best to use for that," Melindra comments.
Gross. Thankfully, Ayalith is also the high priestess of the temple of babies, so a bit of vomit doesn't phase her. She offers the woman her own handkerchief, tucking her hair back behind her ear and out of the way. Her query answered, she doesn't push the woman for more information, instead wondering of those gathered, "Do we think the guilty party is leaving these bloody items behind? It seems awfully...inattentive, for someone, or someones, attempting to be covert."
Lyandra nodded, at some gesture from her Warlord, her hand rising above the bundle, fingers twitching, as if she were actually working with the material, when, in point of fact, it was simply opening itself out, unseen hands spreading the material and leaving bare the contents and the condition under the lights of the chandeliers for anyone who wished to see. "Rivek makes a good point, that there were things on this continent before us. Which begs the question...are we the only kinship being attacked this way? Are members of the other kinships also being taken?" She does look to Nadaron, her expression stony, even in the light of the ragged cloth she's standing over, "The builders would know the caverns best, they can be recruited to inspect for hidden features, under guard." She did look towards Ayalith, "Inattentive, perhaps, or perhaps they cannot control themselves. There is evidence of both weapons and teeth. And none of the damage is clean. It's...vicious, uncontrolled."
"Perhaps what ever it is, is cunning enough to not be seen, but not so much as to not leave evidence," Rivek muses towards Ayalith. "Or lost to madness of some sort.
Melindra's eyes slowly shift toward the bundle at her sister's words. Sage colored eyes starring at hit for a long moment as she fingers the claw necklace she wears around her neck. And then a flick of her gaze Rivek's way, eyes narrowing on him. "Rivek makes a good point."
"Elven teeth?" Ayalith wonders with a sharp intake of breath. The grieving mother is guided to one of the nearby chairs, it doesn't matter if she's not on the Council today apparently, she deserves a good seat. "Or is it a creature acting alongside its master? Madness is a very troubling sign, but it is hard to hide for long. Of course, 'long' is relative, for those once more immortal."
"Madness?" Zymandi looks disturbed, but she doesn't disagree with her younger cousin. "We need more information. We could search the caverns, track the remains, and perhaps.. Set a trap."
Harahayil, Jafaliq arrive, following Vigar.
"There are a number of ways in which someone could make themselves unseen. But not unheard, as this poor woman," Lyandra tipped her head towards the woman still being cared for by Ayalith, "Heard their presence on the roof. Some are physical in nature, some are magical. But yes," Lyandra nodded to Ayalith, "It may be an act in two parts, the taking of the person, and the disposal of the body. And even the location at which we found the remains is questionable. Either it was left there accidentally, and the perpetrator went that way, out into the desert, or...it was left their to lead us to believe that that was how they made their escape. At the very least, we must also post guards at the cave mouth, perhaps bar entry and exit until this is resolved. And if, as Nadaron noted, this person is moving between Nasharet and Thelos, then Rivaron should be made aware, should this spill out into the holy city."
Stretching out one of her legs, she nudges Azariah with her foot. "You wanna do some extra patrols with Rivek and I?" Head turning as she glances at her sister, Lyandra. A faint nod at her sister's words.
"I can." Azariah replies, glancing at Meli at the question, "I've got the time."
Nadaron idly scritches the head of Duchess as she listens to the others talk "We're going to need to increase patrols but we're also going to need a second set of patrols to actually catch who is doing this. They're doing it stealthily so if we're just walking the streets and don't know what they look like it is going to be futile."
Sylindra has left the Warlords Throne of Bone.
"We should also consider the possibility of having the portal guardians keep tabs on those moving to and from the city. So that those who are patrolling can better have an understanding on who should be in the city at any given time and who should not. Particularly for those of us, like myself, who are often in Thelos. I would hate for time to be wasted in a search for me. But, it may also allow us to narrow down suspects, if we know who is leaving or entering the city during times when people are being taken." She glanced towards Nadaron, "The exact manner of such things are best discussed in private with the Warlord. Given that, for all we know, the perpetrator is in the room with us even now."
Zymandi looks at Lyandra uneasily and then moves away to lean against the wall again. "A disturbing thought."
Lost in thought, Ayalith had gone quiet previously, but when she speaks up next, hers is an expression of consternation. "How would one smuggle a bloody, bitten, battered elf through the portal? The Oracle coming to visit is...an oddity, and I do wonder if the Warlord gave express permission for such a thing. But elves are not generally the easiest thing to smuggle. We are, more or less, quite tall. Not exactly sack height, as adults."
Looking to Nadaron, "You could always offer to act as bait," Rivek quips. Then, "There are five portals in Thelos that we know of, and one in each other city... But that doesn't mean those are all the portals that there are. We should be wary of such, as well."
"If the body was disposed of, hidden, or destroyed, all one would need to do was clean themselves up, and then disappear into the holy city." Lyandra turned her eyes Rivek, offering him a nod, "There very well might be. So far as I know, none, that we have yet discovered in the small distance we have traveled from the city, but it could be hidden, as this portal was hidden within this cavern."
Belstrom slips inside quietly, moving around the edge of the room to a comfortable spot on a rug.
Zymandi glances at her uncle as he enters, and smiles grimly.
Nadaron gives a dismissive wave "Clearly I'm too strong and present to act as bait, they'd take one look at me and recognize the danger." a mischievous expression pulling at his lips he gestures to Rivek "You however my friend, are much more stealthy and cunning in your strength. We could stick you in an alley to act as bait."
"So then we've ruled out the missing as having been taken into Thelos. Which means they are, as far as well can tell, on this side of the portal. That narrows things down a bit," Ayalith tries to be optimistic, but it's clear from her weary expression how much it's costing her. She moves from where she'd been standing near the quietly sobbing mother of one of those who is missing.
"I need to return to the shrine. If there are any who'd care to visit in the coming days to pray for the souls of those missing that they might be returned to us, please know the shrine of Brundir is always open, by day in the light of the sun, and by night, the light of the moon - just be careful not to step on any of the priests lying on the ground stargazing," she adds, as an afterthought. "Stay safe, everyone, and be sure to follow whatever procedures are set up for making sure your whereabouts are accounted for, there's nothing less useful than a search party for someone that isn't missing," she says with a grim smile as she goes.
"You both would make poor bait." Melindra comments with a roll of her eyes, her ever present growl to her voice. Perceptive gaze shifting toward Belstrom, warching the Devrien for a long moment before she glances to her sister, before her eyes slide toward Ayalith to watch the Priestess as she speaks.
Lyandra swept her hand in the air over the bundle, the cloth foding itself back up. There was not much she could do to respect the remains, but she could do that at least. She did not, however, remove it from the table where it had been set, or disturb it in any way. "I will walk you to the portal, Ayalith. I must go and seek out Rivaron. He may yet be useful, for he comes here as well, when time allows. And Sorgath should be warned." Lyandra stepped back from the table, turning to follow Ayalith out of the meeting hall.
Belstrom gets an upnod from Rivek, and "Ah, just in time for someone to tell you about our body snatcher problem, uncle."
"Normally I would say 'the more the merrier', but today I fear, it's more like 'safety in numbers'," Ayalith murmurs, tucking her arm into Lyandra's as they go.
Belstrom says, "Body snatcher?" He eyes the cloth bundle and raises his eyebrows. "Or child snatcher?"
Ayalith has left the Thalerith Woven Rugs.
"Both. Someone--or something--seems to be snatching people up around the city and disappearing with them. Sometimes there's no trace, others... Well, a bloody mess." His hand gestured to the bloody bundle on the table, with the bits and pieces of hair and flesh on it.
"Body snatcher," Melindra comments to Belstrom. Though her gaze follows Ayalith and Lyandra as they leave. A press of her lips together. And then she stands, "I'll walk with you both to the portals." And then moves to follow her sister and the high priestess out of the meeting hall.
Lyandra has left the Thalerith Woven Rugs.
Belstrom frowns, stepping forward to look at the cloth bundle. "I see. And the plan is...safety in numbers, a curfew and...baited trap for whoever or whatever this is?"
"We were discussing the possibility of a trap, yes," Zymandi murmurs. "Worst case scenario seems to be an elf gone mad. Or some sort of.. Interloper that isn't part of the Migration."
Abbasah, a fierce, tiny sand cat leaves, following Melindra.
Nadaron slips from the hall, Krilkar on his heel as he heads back towards the Aynarr compound.
An adolescent Krilkar named Duchess leaves, following Nadaron.
Belstrom says, "The remains were found in the caverns, then. No chance it was a creature or...accidents?" he looks to Rivek."
Rivek nods at Zymandi's words, and "Zym's got the bulk of it there. Anyhow, I need to head back out." A small smile for Belstrom, and "I'd be more circumspect in what I left as evidence," he remarks. "The others seem convinced it's not a beast, if not necessarily an elf."
Zymandi says, ""It could be both. The attacks seem... Feral."
Belstrom nods grimly. "Safe travels."
"Enraged, as it were," Rivek adds to Zymandi's words. And then he's off, with a familial clap on Belstrom's shoulder on his way out.
Rivek has left the Thalerith Woven Rugs.
Belstrom looks at Zymandi, and the quiet Marril. "This is horrible. Do we really think a trap will find this killer?"
Zymandi seems worried, her normal playful lazy air strained. "We should act fast. I think the caverns are hiding a.. Lair of some sort, possibly."
Zymandi shrugs at her uncle helplessly. "The victims seem too well-chosen for it to be a mindless beast."
Belstrom says, "Well chosen, how?"
Zymandi says, "From what I heard, they were isolated or temporarily alone. And some that would not immediately be reported as missing."
Zymandi says, "If this IS an animal, it's probably highly intelligent. But I think there are blades and teeth at work there."
Belstrom scowls. "Picking off the weak, on the edges of the kinship. A predator, regardless. I hope this isn't Rithor's oracle or some nonsense like that."
Zymandi shudders, giving him a dark look.
Belstrom says, "Oracles or messengers from other gods have been reported. Aereth, Garwen..." He shakes his head. "I will have to speak with the warlord later."
"Wait, what? Garwen's oracle? I haven't heard of this."
Belstrom shrugs, touching an amulet. "I heard it third hand. But apparently someone claims she was saved by Garwen's messenger. And she had the same strange eyes as the oracle from Baridon."
Zymandi looks thoughtful. "Who? That's what I heard of Rythadrien, as well."
Belstrom says, "I didn't catch a name. I believe one of the Duindar."
Zymandi glances at her uncle and cousin. "We should help with the patrols. I am eager to see what I can.. rustle up."
Belstrom nods as well. "Yes. I may seek out the other priests, and see...what we know. Be safe, and watchful."
Zymandi says, "Same to you, Uncle."
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