• Open • Frozen

Previously the stronghold of the Pirate Lords, Almund is a thriving township with a dark side. With houses made from the wooden bodies of decommissioned ships, there are many opportunities here, coupled with many dangers. Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap!

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Frozen

Postby Rynata » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:36 am


"Her house as well, huh." Rynata wore an uncharacteristicly serious expression as she distractedly passed a hand through her dark hair. "I checked that other house over there, but everyone was already gone. No pirates but also no civilians."

As she and the mixed race exchanged words, a third and fourth figure approached them. The smaller of the two rushed to her friends and an enormous shaggy creature that seemed overjoyed to see them. The tall blond that followed was quick to shoot them a grin and greeted her companion like an acquaintance. Rynata couldn't help but be a little concerned at that bit about "grave danger", but she chose to believe that it meant that these two were more or less used to this kind of thing. That wasn't bad, considering the predicament they were in right now.

Despite the situation, Rynata chuckled warmly at Tio's playful introduction. "Rynata Ki'Oriq," she said, returning a small salute of her own. "And Amaris, yes? These are unfortunate circumstances but it's a pleasure to make your acquaintance. It seems we were both called out here on the account of the kidnappings." Now that they were all gathered, she inevitably noticed that the other two had the vertical advantage. The only people Rynata was beating were the girls and if the giant of a dog didn't stay on all fours it posed an alarming challenge. As said dog let out a loud bark, she couldn't help but notice Tio start to seem jittery. It was quite a contrast from his earlier confidence and Rynata opened her mouth to say something but was interrupted by the girls posing various courses of action.

Rynata returned Delilah's look with a nod and turned back to the other two. "We should take a quick look at the house, see if there's something to go on. We can keep Tiddles with us in the meantime." She extended a hand and called out to the dog, encouraging it to approach. "And she's right," Rynata said indicating Emma. "It might be faster to split up, but if anything happens we stand a better chance as a group."

Moving closer to the house Tiddles had come bounding out of, Rynata lowered her voice addressing Tio and Amaris. "Strength in numbers, yes, but I assume that's able bodied numbers. It might be better to get the girls to a safe place? If there are relatives, excellent, if not, there should at least be someone in the town that can look after them for a while." If the girls had no further information as to where the victims were taken, it would become a progressively worse idea to take them with. The weather wasn't exactly friendly, and the people responsible were probably not either.

Turning back to the girls to confirm something, Rynata raised her voice once more. "Just to be sure, exactly how many people are missing now? Only your parents? 6 people?"

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Frozen

Postby Pegasus » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:44 am

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So, the consensus seemed to be that they searched the house for a little while and then, when they were ready to, they followed the hellhound cute and shaggy dog. The girls all held hands, walking together through each house and one might notice that they always did it in the same order. Tallest, shortest, one in the middle. Or, Wren, Delilah and then Emma. They searched all three houses and between them, they found a few things, noticed a few more.

The three houses all had similarities. It was like there was someone there one minute, who had gone the next. Emma's house, there was some evidence of there having been some kind of scuffle, maybe, what with the knocked down chair. Delilah's was just empty of people. No signs of a struggle, but things like a mug of tea half drunk, that sort of thing. Wren's house, though? It was chaos. There had obviously been a fight in here, when they examined it. What might have caused the different reactions in the three sets of adults? Well, who knew? Maybe it was the dog.

No outdoor shoes or coats were taken, they were still there and it really didn't look like anyone had got ready to leave and then left. No indication of any preparation at all. It was strange, truly strange because in each house there was a feeling of unease. Like the very air was charged somehow. Or maybe it was just their imaginations running wild.

And the other thing they noticed was that, inside the houses, each one of them, it was colder than it was outside. Which just couldn't be right, yet was.




"Yes, ma'am", Emma answered Rynata. Emma seemed to be very much the spokesperson of the girls. "Six. Three fathers and three mothers." Wren piped up, "Tiddles will stay with us, so if you want him to lead you to the woods, we'll need to come with you." The other two girls looked at Wren, as though asking a question and Wren shrugged. "If I was a grown up, I'd leave us behind," she explained.

Delilah nodded. "I'm scared," she admitted. "But Wren's right. You need Tiddles and Tiddles will stay with us."




As they searched the houses, they found that there was not a robbery going on. Although there was little of value here, what little there was, was still here, whether there was no sign of struggle or a lot, the few valuables remained. The longer they looked, though, the more it became apparent that the people here had, literally, just disappeared. The dog grew more and more impatient, trying to get them to head towards the woodland.

Three pairs of eyes and an impatient shaggy dog looked at the adults. "We have to come with you," Emma said and it was obvious that the statement was much more of a question. "Are we allowed?" Delilah asked and Wren added, much more firmly. "We have to."

Whatever they did, the walk to the woods was not likely to be a pleasant one. There were a number of items of clothing and so on in the houses which would bundle up girls and adults alike.

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Frozen

Postby Tio Silver » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:09 pm

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Each of the three houses they searched turned out to be in completely different states of chaos from each other. One was perfectly normal apart from the lack of inhabitants, another was a little on the messy side, and the last one seemed to have had a hurricane blown through it. They were all freezing cold as well, somehow ever colder than the frosty winds outside, which added all the more credence to the growing theory that perhaps something worse than a group of bandits had attacked this place. Could it have been a spirit? One perhaps created by, or responsible for, the freak snowstorm that'd hit the island?

The pretty Biqaj introduced herself as Rynata, and suggested that they leave the three little girls behind where they'd be safe. It was a good thought, and one Tio would have agreed with if the one named Wren hadn't spoken up and claimed that the demon dog, which they needed to follow the trail, would only stay with them.

"Well... it kind of seems like our hands might be tied on the matter." Tio admitted unsurely, shooting the other two adults a shrug. "If the living throw rug won't leave without them then we don't have much of a choice. If we stick to the pairs we found each other in at all times then each of them will have at least one person to guard them at all times. Hopefully that should be enough."

Since the weather outside was still pretty cold Tio pinched a black scarf from one of the wardrobes to keep himself a little warmer, but otherwise was fine to stick with the weather gear he had on. He tossed another set of child sized weather gear to Emma. "Well I think we've seen all we need to see here. Wrap up warm guys, and let's see where the hound wants to take us."
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Frozen

Postby Rynata » Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:04 am



Worry swam in Rynata’s eyes at the prospect of having the girls trek with them. However, she soon cracked a helpless smile and nodded. While being responsible for children, someone else’s children at that, in such an uncertain situation was not appealing, she’d have to buck up and make sure they all got out alright.

Following the gentleman’s lead, Rynata helped bundle her small partner in a warm shawl and mittens before borrowing a reasonably well fitting pair of gloves for herself. Usually, she managed the weather with her hands under her cloak or in her pockets, but she had a feeling she might want to have her hands free on this occasion. As it was, being inside the houses already gave her an uneasy feeling. It wasn’t something she could pin point or put into words, but she had always been one to trust her instincts. Something was not right. Trying to shake off the chills she adjusted the gloves around her wrist.

“Warm enough?” she asked Delilah, before turning to the giant dog. “Well then, Mr. Tiddles, after you.”
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Frozen

Postby Amaris » Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:08 pm

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- common / murnasian

After checking each house, the party of six returned outside. Unlike the rest, however, Amaris seemed unperturbed by the cold. They had, for a moment, considered giving their own coat to the child, but thought better of it. It would be another layer of protection, should anything happen. Warm outerwear was passed around, to which they pointedly gave most of theirs to Wren, another set to swaddle the girl in to be sure she was protected quite nicely from the cold.

Rynata, as the woman - Biqaj, if her features were anything to go by - had introduced herself, and Tio dressed themselves and the other girls, they looked to the door. A walking mop was an accurate way to describe it, something they found quite endearing. No wonder it was a comfort to the girls. That, and if Mr. Tiddles was leading them to something, surely it would be no threat. He wouldn’t want to hurt the girls, right? Soon enough, the others were dressed and ready to follow their canine companion.

“Off we go, then,” they murmured, taking the front just before the girls. They would have a better view of something headed their way than their smaller companions.

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Frozen

Postby Pegasus » Sat Apr 14, 2018 8:14 am

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After they had examined the houses, the three heroes and the three children made their way out towards the woods. The weather was awful and they did indeed need to wrap up. The dog was very keen and kept running forward, turning and giving deep wuff-wuff noises then running back to them. He was a friendly creature and he seemed to be utterly entranced by Tio, who he insisted on bounding up to, tail wagging and tongue lolling. As worried as they were, the children giggled at the dog's antics. Emma slipped her hand into Tio's, though, and she looked up at him. "Are you ok? He won't hurt you, I promise. He's a nice dog." She squeezed his hand and kept hold of it as they walked. Entirely to support him, of course.

Meanwhile Delilah walked alongside Rynata and she spoke to her quietly. "I'm worried." That much was obvious by the girl's face. "If our parents are gone, who's going to look after us?" She looked at the other two girls, Emma and Wren and she spoke quietly to Rynata. "We've been best friends all our lives. If... " tears sprang into the little girl's eyes and she looked up, trying to be brave but not managing it very well. "If I've lost my parents, I can't lose them, too." She sighed and shoved her hands into her pockets, a deep frown on her face.

Wren, meanwhile was talking to Amaris. "You're the tallest person I've ever met," Wren said, looking at Amaris curiously. However, she said no more than that, apparently content to walk along, side by side with Armaris. It was strange, Wren didn't move far away, always in close proximity to "her" person, for all that she was friendly to Tio and Rynata, Amaris was obviously Wren's focus. She didn't speak much, but she walked with a look of worry on her young face.

And so, the bounding happy, large and Tio-focused dog led them. Wind whipped in their faces and no matter how well wrapped up they were, the wind gusted at such a speed that it burnt their noses as they breathed in. Hailstones started after about forty bits of travel, shards of ice so sharp and cold that they stung. The only one not affected was the dog, whose large coat protected him.

Eventually. they got to the woods, stepping into through the tree line and each of them felt the difference as they did. From out in the open to in the deep and thick woodland, the battering of the wind and hail stopped almost as soon as they moved into forest, but it was dark and overbearing, too. The sounds were muffled and the deep, thick snow gave everything a strange feeling.

As they arrived in the woods, though, the dog led them. After about a break of walking, they came to a place where there were three "paths", using the term rather loosely. Three possible directions they could go, pathways in the woods. To the left was a dark, overhanging, tight and restricted path. Straight ahead was wide, but that width meant that there were lots of animal tracks - some with some very big paw-prints, if they looked. And to the right the path was wide enough for them to walk two people side by side, there were less animal tracks and they were less likely to get cut to pieces by overhanging branches. The dog stood and wuffed, apparently waiting for them to decide.
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Frozen

Postby Tio Silver » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:08 pm

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At some point it seemed that Tio must have died without realising it and been sent to some hellish underworld designed to torture him for his sins, because the walk through the woods was an utter nightmare! The semi-blizzard he could handle, maybe even the constant fear that something would jump out of the woods at him. But there was one form of torment he simply could not stand:

The dog.

The infernal creature just would not leave him alone! It would run ahead to show them the way, then insist on charging back towards him, barking all the way, as if it was about to pounce on him and devour his face. Only when it got close enough for Tio to flinch and hastily throw Emma between them did it stop, at which point it woofed mockingly, as if taunting him for his weakness, and ran back ahead to start the whole cycle again! The girls seemed to find this highly assuming, no doubt believing that it was simply being playful, but Tio saw the truth! This dog was evil; pure, hair-covered evil! No doubt this beast was complicit in the crime they were investigating, and was taunting him with the fact that he couldn't accuse it without upsetting the three children. It was a master manipulator! An evil genius hiding it's devious intellect behind the persona of a fool! Well Tio wasn't falling for the chase-your-own-tail routine! Not one bit!

"There's no such thing as a good dog." He muttered to himself just quietly enough for Emma not to hear him after she assured him that Tiddles was a good dog. Even the most harmless looking poodle was death on four legs once it sank it's teeth into you; Tio had the bite marks on his ankle to prove it.

Eventually the group came to a split in the path, which the dog didn't seem to be able to lead them down and waited for them to make a choice. Of all the paths the one that seemed the safest choice was the right one, being as they fit down it two at a time and wouldn't have to look out for large animals.

"Right seems like the best option to me. What do you guys think?" Tio asked, eyeing the large paw prints warily. "There's too many animals involved in this for my liking already."
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Frozen

Postby Rynata » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:58 pm

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Gently laying a hand on Delilah’s shoulder, Rynata looked down at her charge. If only the worry on the child’s face had never been necessary. As it were, the fears she voiced were very real possibilities. Rynata didn’t consider herself to be adept at making the convincing but empty assurances of the safe return of Delilah’s parents. Still, she was forever the calm one of the family, and perhaps she could ease some of the child’s anxiety.

“It’s good to think ahead, but don’t let yourself get carried away by all the ‘ifs’,” she said. “That makes it harder to do what we can right now. And don’t think you’ll be alone in all this. At the very least, you have my support. We’ll make sure no harm comes to your friends, yes? Right now, they seem to be doing just fine,” she finished, smiling in mild amusement as she looked toward Emma, the dog, and Tio. The latter seemed quite thoroughly disgruntled whenever Tiddles bounded past. A fact that both Emma and Rynata could appreciate with entertained looks.

Forging a path through the bitter weather, the group eventually arrived among the first trees of the forest. With the sound of the wind gone, it was as if they had stepped into another world. The quiet felt strangely peaceful to Rynata who let out a small sigh that was quickly swallowed up by the forest. The quiet was nice, but given their circumstances, it was something that sharpened the senses even more to one’s surroundings. Every footstep, jostling of gear, and crunch of snow felt weighty and full of potential danger.

Once they arrived at the branching pathways, Rynata eyed the left path with a measured look. Too narrow and overgrown. She wouldn’t fancy being caught in there and then having to face something unfriendly. The group would become a liability to each other, restricting each other’s movements and vision. She would have considered the middle path, but Tio was right. There were some large animal tracks. Rynata didn’t much consider the possibility that it would be a threatening creature, but it was better to be safe. She agreed the right path was just right.

“I’ve got no objection,” she announced to the group. “But the middle path, more animal tracks might mean it’s safer. It must mean it’s a favored route. Though Tio is right. I wouldn’t want to face down a bear.”
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Frozen

Postby Amaris » Mon May 07, 2018 10:56 pm

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- common / murnasian

Amaris smiled down at Wren at her statement. That was usually the first thing most children told them on sight, but it was always interesting to see the delivery. If the girl was making the observation on their height now, perhaps she was calming down some. They walked quietly for the most part, though the mixed blood sorely wished they’d taken one of the coats to protect themselves more against the hail. Their simple cloak given to them by the Order was sufficient with just a bit of snowfall, but not much aid with hail. And their scarf was not entirely meant to wrap around their head in the way they had attempted it to do so.

The group arrived at a split in the road, and the mixed blood considered their options. Tio and Rynata voiced their choices, and the tallest of the group found they agreed. Nodding, Amaris gestured to the path on the right. “I also think the right would be the best choice. Girls, stick close, please.” There was much less animal activity, and they hadn’t spotted anything much larger than the dog’s own prints just yet. Not like with the one ahead of them; there were one too many large tracks for their liking.

And so they glanced down at Wren once more before walking ahead. They were sure their four-legged companion would rush to lead the way, and they shortened their stride to make it easy for the rest of the group to keep up.
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Frozen

Postby Pegasus » Sat May 12, 2018 8:55 am

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And so, they took the path to the right. Emma seemed to sense that Tio was actually genuinely afraid of the dog (maybe by the way he threw her in front of it) and she caught hold of Tio's hand. Suddenly, without apparent reason she held on to his hand and she looked up at him with wide eyes. "It's alright to be afraid, but you don't need to be you know. Tiddles is a well trained dog, and will listen to commands. Tell him to sit and he will. He's very obedient," Should Tio (or any of the adults) try it they'd find that she was absolutely right. Tiddles was a very, very well trained dog. He obeyed commands to sit, to stay, to guard. All sorts. But Emma kept ahold of Tio's hand.

Delilah, meanwhile, looked at Rynata and nodded, as bravely as she could manage. It was good advice after all, but the young woman's lip trembled slightly at the thought of the what ifs and could bes. Rynata was right, so she kept walking. Quiet, not speaking and without anything further to say, the girl just kept very very close to Rynata and seemed, frankly, to be struggling more than a bit.

Wren, however, seemed to be suddenly, nervously, prone to talking. "I think we should go down the right path too. I think that because that one is just scary and the one that's all wide and comfortable looking is still filled with tracks. Let's go that way. So, when you were growing up were you tall then?" Question after question, comment after comment. It seemed that whilst Delilah dealt with nerves by becoming introverted, Wren did the exact opposite.

They continued to walk and the dog continued to lead them. After another break, they came to an opening in the trees around them. The path they had chosen had been, it seemed, the correct one. In front of them was a small cove with a jetty. There was a man sitting there, leaning on a post and ignoring the weather. He looked up when they arrived and grinned as he saw the three children. It was not a good, friendly or welcoming smile, it was a predatory and hungry looking one. "Excellen'! You've brought three more? We'll 'ave ta'store em till the next shipment is due to leave but children an' girls too. Nice." He stood and, as he did, it became obvious that he was a strong, well put together and clearly experienced chap, muscles were evident and the sword he wore at his side was worn with a very practiced ease. "They'll be worth a pretty coin. Not to bashed up neither,"

Next to Tio, the dog growled low and deep in its throat.
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