• Graded • Suffer The Little Children

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

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Suffer The Little Children

Mon Feb 03, 2020 1:17 am

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Arc 720, 15th of Cylus
Darius didn't want to readily admit it, but he was still feeling a little weary from the night before. The Everdark Casino had drawn quite the crowd, and the entertainment would live long in the memory. In the excitement, he had lost track of time, and there was still some alcohol in his system when he had finally found his bed.

As such, it took a break or two longer than usual for the human to stir the following morning. A splash of water on his face certainly helped, but he still hadn't fully recovered by the time he ventured into the market, where he began to hear a troubling rumour that simply would not go away.

It started with a mother who awoke to find that her teenage son was not sleeping in his bed. That was hardly a surprise; Darius could remember some of the antics he had got up to at a similar age, and few of them involved being an early riser. But then news filtered through that a young daughter, barely six arcs old, had also gone missing. And then there was another. And another.

There was still a great deal of confusion when Darius approached the Element Hall. It was unclear just how many children had vanished, or even if the disappearances were related. Were they all part of the same group of friends, perhaps? It wasn't unheard of for a bunch of youngsters to abscond for a trial or so, until they were found harmlessly playing by a nearby river, or doing things that were less welcome, like stealing apples.

Shaken sober by the urgency of a mother's pleas, the bearded blond pushed open the door to the building and stepped inside. He wore his regular attire in colder weather: a tan brown tunic with a leather coat over the top, and dark leather leggings and boots. A longsword clung to his belt on one hip, while a dagger did likewise opposite. He had been in that very room before, when he'd volunteered to help with the Dusk Festival, but this felt different; unnerving.

"Good trial to you," he managed to smile politely at the receptionist, though he didn't wait for the woman to reply. "I've heard tell of missing children, and I'm here to offer a helping hand in bringing them home."
Last edited by Darius Baer on Mon Aug 24, 2020 11:10 pm, edited 3 times in total. word count: 419
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Balthazar Black
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Re: Suffer The Little Children

Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:17 pm


15 Cylus 720
Balthazar and Isabella disagreed about many things, the most recent of which being Balthazar's decision to continue helping the Elements rather than pursuing the investigation without them, but they had agreed that it would be a bad idea to leave Almund without one of them vigilantly watching for any signs of the loose killer. When the Elements implied to Balthazar that children were disappearing in Scalvoris Town, Balthazar knew he had to go. He bartered for passage on one of the many ships traveling from Almund to Scalvoris Town and was there far shorter than he'd expect to be. Scalvoris Town had a certain lawfulness that Almund seemed to lack. It felt cleaner and by extension easier to settle into.

Part of him regret not being able to see the Everdark Casino pass through Almund but he was more than satisfied with the time he'd spent there in Scalvoris town. All the same on the morning of the 15th of Cylus, Balthazar was in the Scalvoris Town branch of the Element Hall, a building seemingly more intricate than the one in Almund but that could be said of Scalvoris Town in general when compared to the cesspool that was Almund. When Darius arrived and spoke to the receptionist, Balthazar overheard him. Balthazar was standing only a few feet away speaking to one of the troopers about similarities between these disappearances and the one's in Almund.

Balthazar excused himself from his conversation with the trooper and made his way over to Darius. "Did I hear correctly that you are looking for the missing children?" He asked "I'm Balthazar, I'm looking for them as well."
word count: 296

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Re: Suffer The Little Children

Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:04 pm

15 Cylus 720


Yeva woke just before dawn, head pounding and body sore. With a whimper, she rolled over and tried to find solace in the cold side of the pillow but it only brought fleeting relief. Everything hurt. No matter the chill of the morning room, she felt flushed and light headed. Was she still drunk? Another whimper and the medic was forced herself to slide away from the cot and trudge to the water basin in the far corner, suspended somewhere between wanting to purge her stomach of its contents or dunk her head into the liquid. Her body felt heavy, her hair... Immortal's breath, she didn't even want to know.

"I hate drinking," Yeva took shaky breaths, washing her face and blindly feeling for the towel to pat it dry, "I hate drinking. I hate drinking." Water dripped from her chin, she rested her face against the butt of her palm before collecting enough resolve to brush her teeth while the mantra continued in her mind. As a Rharnian, such a saying was sacrilege, but in the bleary morning, it was the easiest and most immediate thought. All the others seemed to be caught in the molasses memories of the night before.

Yeva washed and got dressed, random groans and sighs heaved from her chest. Below, in the tavern under her room wafted the smell of coffee and early morning breakfast which made her both hungry and nauseous as she made her way down the steps.

"Good morning!" Whit, the tavern owner of the Knight's Rest bellowed, spotting her sluggishly lingering by the steps. Only one or two patrons found themselves in the dining area; a few fishermen finishing their breakfast before setting out on their ships. Whit sat propped on a stool beside them, less business than later hours would dictate, with a series of papers in his hand, "How'd you sleep?"

Yeva tried to smile and the bearded man barked a laugh, "Say no more! How about some breakfast to settle that stomach of yours?"

"Yes, please."

"Coffee?"

"Tea?," she climbed into a stool and rubbed her eyes, slightly slumped forward, "Ginger and mint, if you could."

"Hmm.... Let me go ask, Zana."

The large man bounded off to find his daughter, the head of house and main server while Yeva rested her head on the table and listened to the men on the other end of the bar. Their voices were gruff and salt worn, and they shook their head in disappointment, "That's a real shame. Have the Elements released as statement on it?"

Yeva turned her head to see the other shrug.

"Dunno. But it's twenty children. Missing," he snapped, "Just like that. No foul play, either. Mother's just waking up to find their kids gone. What's Scalvoris coming to?"

"Aye. I'll be keeping my girls close. I can't imagine what those parents must be going through."

Missing children?

She continued to eavesdrop, nearly forgetting her tea until it was set in front of her by another redheaded woman along with toast and beans, "Thank you so much." Yeva paid and drank slowly nibbling on the food and allowed the morning to continue well enough. She went back to her room after to tame her hair and continue her drink and her body began to uncoil from its tension. Ginger was good for an upset stomach and mint cleared the mind. The worst of her hangover gone, she even tried to read but the gossip from earlier played on the edge of her consciousness and she knew it couldn't be ignored. They were children.

Yeva grabbed her things and slipped on her cloak.

❀❀❀

The air around the Element Hall felt anxious, somber. A few people shouted as they were directed away, crying for answers. Where were their babies? Why had no one found them yet? Yeva's heart seized in her chest as she watched a mother break down by the front steps, inconsolable in her worry. Suddenly, the medic's own problems felt so minuscule by comparison; The soft snowfall and dramatic cast of lanterns in Cylus darkness an ominous backdrop for the tragedy. Unable to find any words, she ducked her head and slipped inside with brows furrowed in deep concern. She couldn't just stand around!

"I'm here to help," the brown eyed woman announced, shoulders back. A look of stark determination was settled on thick lips as she bounded up to the front desk with her cloak billowing behind her, "If there's anything I can do for those children,-" Yeva stopped short, spotting a familiar face from the night before. He had been at the Casino, and now stood next to another man. Had he seen her? She cleared her throat, trying not to grow distracted by the recollection of gambling and drinks. She did briefly wonder if he had felt out of sorts this morning too, but refocused on the task at hand, "There has to be something I can do."
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Re: Suffer The Little Children

Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:09 pm

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Suffer The Little Children
ImageNameDateDescription
ImageSeasonal Investigation15thOn the 15th it becomes apparent that a few children have disappeared the night before. Aged between 4 and 15, the children were stolen from their beds with no sign of foul play or breaking in. By the 17th it is known that at least 20 children are missing. The Elements are investigating, but welcome anyone's help. Moderated: Impact Thread
ImageSeasonal Investigation II22ndOn the 22nd Cylus the body of an apparently ten arc old child is found in Almund and another body is found on the 28th, roughly the same age. They are eventually identified as two of the children who have recently disappeared, but they appear to have aged by a few arcs (they were four and six at the time they disappeared) - investigations are ongoing, but authorities are baffled.Next Season Impact Event - the fall out from this event will be a moderated thread next Cycle. The event start-point will be amended by PC actions in this cycle.
It was an investigation like no other. This was unlike anything and Element Hall was busy. There was a major investigation underway and Sylvia, the receptionist, looked at the three volunteers with a grim expression. Yet, she nodded and smiled at the three of them. Only three? Maybe more would come later, she thought. She hoped, anyhow. Please to the Immortals, more would come later. Anyhow, she gestured to the three of them "Thank you, thank you so much for coming. Lyari, one of our Air Troop trainers is in there and he's happy to work with you. We are so grateful."

The room she gestured for them to go to was small, but well appointed. The man in there was tall with dark hair and a ready smile. Usually. Now, he looked nothing except serious. "Good trial," he said. "I am Lyari, and I have what little information there is here. I'm hoping that maybe some people not in the Elements might find - or be told - things which we wouldn't normally." He laid out a map in front of them and there were 8 coloured dots in it.

"The issue we have is that there are more reports coming in all the time. There's information on who the children are, what their families do, that sort of thing. But we can't make any connections with the limited time we have." He looked - and sounded, frustrated. "And with more reports coming in all the time, it's a big job. " He smiled at them, friendly enough and more than grateful for the support they were providing. "So, what I'd like for you to do is to ask around the areas. Parents with other children, people who might know them because their children play together, that kind of thing." He shrugged slightly. "And then report back to me. What do you think?"
Off Topic
Welcome welcome! This is going to be a fun thread. My aim is to post to this a MINIMUM of once a week. I'd like to do more than that if I can - so if y'all post before that, I'll do my best to, also. For the next round feel free to have a chat among yourselves etc and then pick an area and go do some investigating. Please assume / write out (if that's what you do) how people help etc. But then ... there's going to be this one NPC who has a bit more to tell. Have a chat among yourselves and you all get to decide who that person is. I will then play them in my post. However, if you don't get there yet - that's also fine! Enjoy enjoy!!
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Re: Suffer The Little Children

Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:20 pm

15 of Cylus 720


The trio were ushered into another room where a man in uniform waited. He introduced himself and at at once Yeva was focused, "Lyari? Yeva of Rharne," she extended a hand although her eyes were already resting upon the map before them and she would hardly notice if he did not return the gesture. Her lips were moving without sound as she counted, 'One, two, three...'

Her heart broke with every number. By the end of it, she numbered eight dots, and just like the sands, the festivals, and the fashion of Scalvoris, they were an array of colors. It felt all a bit too whimsical for such a grave event but perhaps there there must be a reason. She certainly was no detective, after all. Yeva glanced at their small group of volunteers, caught off guard to find that so far she was the only woman to have shown up, offering assistance. Surely not? Although, if many young ladies were married, expecting, or mothering children, it made regrettable sense that they would want to avoid this situation or otherwise risk putting a potential target on her back.

Lyari instructed them well, clearly under a mountain of stress. It was obvious to her that this case and the citizens of Scalvoris meant a great deal to him, "Families?" Yeva crossed her arms, worried about the lack of case connections. In medicine, correlation was important in brainstorming possible cause of illness between different patients. Without it, it felt like they were almost jumping in blind, "Were any of the children orphans? Children at Luna's?"

Yeva leaned over the table, trying to understand the map and its workings. In her mind she could only imagine the faces of Lucan, Eli and Nicolette. Were they in danger? What if something had already happened! A look of poorly-veiled fear took her face and she had to turn away, "If this isn't some phenomena" and she very much doubted it was, no matter how strange Scalvoris was, "And there's someone or.. or something, out there doing all this... Wouldn't it make sense to target those without such ties almost exclusively?" It tore her soul to say it aloud, but from an outsider looking in, why travel across the Scalvoris Town when there was an entire building strictly for housing children? They had to explore every avenue of possibility.

There was something so hauntingly sinister about a child disappearing without a trace and from their very bed. Someone had to see or hear something! "I think we should get started as soon as possible... I need to write this down before we go," the red head was by proxy was agreeing to Lyari's suggestion. She was after all, here to offer assistance and if that was what he asked for, she would do her best to oblige.

Yeva grabbed her bag and began to dig through it, producing a journal. With passion, she flipped to a blank page, dried herbs and pressed flowers falling from the book to the floor and wafting a very faint floral scent. The medic didn't seem to notice or care having found a pen, "I think so much clearer on paper... With any luck, it will be coherent enough for that report."

At once, she began to jot down a number of questions.
word count: 579
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Re: Suffer The Little Children

Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:05 am

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Whether it pleased or disappointed Yeva was not immediately clear, but Darius did indeed recognise the woman when she entered the Element Hall. He had been in the midst of introducing himself to Balthazar when she approached the receptionist with the same urgency as he had, and he turned to face the new arrival, spying a familiar colouring. He wondered at first if she might be a young mother, desperately seeking the return of her missing child, but a wave of relief came over him when he realised she was there to help. Staring into the eyes of a grieving mother would have been a daunting prospect.

Recognising her green cloak as marking her as a member of the Order of the Adunih, Darius hoped she would not need to provide any of her medical expertise, and the children would somehow be found alive and well.

"The lady from Rharne," he offered with a polite but grim nod, extending a hand in greeting. "I'm Darius. This is my home town."

His expression was much more grim than it had been the night before. The revelry of the Everdark Casino had well and truly faded by the time the trio were ushered into a room for Lyari's briefing.

Darius, for one, could not believe that there had been as many as eight disappearances in a single night. Eight! He hoped there wouldn't be any more, but if there were more, he hoped they might be able to recognise a pattern of some sort to help solve the mystery.

He nodded as Yeva began her questions, and a flash of movement caught his eye. He tugged one hand free from a glove and bent down to collect as many of the dried herbs and pressed flowers, which he would hold onto until the healer could take them back into his possession. All the while, he studied the map and attempted to gauge how far apart each of the coloured dots was. If there was a cluster - or even a pair - that were close to each other, he would make a mental note of which part of town they were in. That would be where he would want to start asking questions.

"There must be more than one person involved," he eventually stated the obvious. "Nobody could kidnap eight children in one night without help."

He sighed quietly, his dark grey eyes studying the map as Yeva asked about the orphanage.

"Are any of the missing children related to each other?" he asked, wondering if there were siblings that had been taken from the same house, or perhaps cousins from nearby properties. "Or any families with more than one child, where only one got taken?"

If there were indeed affected families with children who had been left behind, that would only add to the mystery, but if Darius' late mother Jean Baer had taught him anything, it was to ask questions.A reference to the real life Jean Bear, my late grandmother, who taught me this very lesson.
word count: 516
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Re: Suffer The Little Children

Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:37 am


15 Cylus 720
Joined by a woman who didn't introduce herself (but rather made her purpose for being there fully known) shortly after introducing himself to Darius, the trio had little time to exchange greetings before they were politely directed into a smaller room where one of the Air Troop trainers was waiting for them. Balthazar's brow furrowed, curious if the Air Troops could consist of Defiers as well or if that honor would be relegated to the branch named after his first kin, the flame. The woman who had seemed familiar with Darius introduced herself as Yeva from Rharne, a land Balthazar couldn't remember if he'd been to or not. Perhaps it would make a good vacation destination some day when he was less occupied.

Lyari provided the little information that was known and Balthazar's eyes drifted down to the map. Particularly towards the orphanage when Yeva asked about it to see if there was a dot there but before long his eyes were scanning the rest of the map to take a whole account of the missing. He was the last of the three to do so, having skeptically spent the first few bits watching the three individuals in the room with him to see what they said and how they reacted.

Eight. Eight children missing and Balthazar didn't have high hopes for their recovery. They'd try- Immortals help them, they would try. But what was done, was done and if it was too late already- Balthazar just wanted to prepare himself for the worst.

In Almund it was always the worst.

Balthazar nodded to Lyari's suggested task for them and then looked to Darius as he helped pick up some flowers- they looked like flowers- that Yeva had dropped from her notebook.

"Not necessarily," Balthazar said quickly in response to Darius who had asserted that it had to have been multiple men. Admittedly part of his reluctance to blame a multitude stemmed from some of his other work in Almund which had taught him to be more careful about what he assumed "There was a celebration last night, right?" Balthazar asked almost rhetorically. He knew there had been one for the same reason that Yeva and Darius would have known, they were there. In Balthazar's mind the casino would have been perfect for a Rupturer to go around town quickly because the noise of the casino would mask the noise of their portals, but he doubted a Rupture mage would have such cruel intentions so he didn't voice his concern in terms of mages. "With sufficient knowledge of the city and enough planning, you'd just have to wait for the right time. The casino drew a lot of activity last night and that would have made it dangerous for anyone to try and take a child near the celebration... but anywhere else would have been far less guarded? Right?" Well Balthazar knew one place by the beach that had certainly been unguarded that night.

Balthazar looked to Lyari, waiting and response to Yeva and Darius's questions without offering one of his own. He was keeping his thoughts to himself until he was more or less confident enough to voice them. At the current time his curiosity was set on the demographics of those who had gone missing. What race? What age? Hair color? His questions couldn't be answered by a map with dots, but he didn't ask Lyari yet- instead he tried to figure it out based on the placement of the dots, just as he was trying to figure out if the dots were placed strategically around the Everdark Casino from the night before.
word count: 636

Defiance Mutations

  • Friend of the Flame
  • Kissed By Fire
  • The Refined
  • The Unburnt
  • The Drowned Man
  • Equal Force

Rupture Mutations

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  • Flame-lined
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Re: Suffer The Little Children

Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:58 pm

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Suffer The Little Children

To Yeva's question, Lyari shook his head. "No, no one from Luna's," there was a 'yet' which hung in the air - unspoken, but somehow clear. "The dots are about age and gender. There's a key here." He pointed to a scrap of paper - half-hidden in the mess - and he showed them. Each different colour for an age and gender - so three year old boy was green, three year old girl, red. Four year old boy, yellow, four year old girl, blue - and so on. "It's done .. well, we're hoping to see some sort of pattern. But there just isn't one so far." Then, Darius had questions too and Lyari nodded. "It's bizarre," he said, quietly.

"This one," one finger tapped a dot. Six year old boy, judging by the colour. "He has a sister, in the same bedroom. She's still at home, but he's gone. There's no rhyme or reason to it. Yet." That time, he said the 'yet' aloud because he wanted to be clear. They would find it - they would. They would, because there was something which was, inevitably, true. "There's always a pattern. We just can't see it yet. There will be." He nodded at Darius point, "it could well be more than one person. Or there's some other magic involved somehow. Or mark, I suppose. Those are options." Thus far there were no siblings taken, no, but again, there were reports still coming in.

But Lyari nodded at Balthazaar's point. "The Casino," he said, thoughtfully. "I wonder if there's something there. If that's a link." He got another small dot of paper, this one coloured black. "Locations, places of interest," he said, and he put it where the Casino had been. It wasn't slap-bang in the middle - but it was thereabouts. "Definitely something to add to the questioning, yes?"
Off Topic
Bah! Sorry for delay - hopefully, things are more sorted / ordered now - I'll post next Wednesday (26th Feb). Feel free to create chatty npcs if you do go out and question people.
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Re: Suffer The Little Children

Fri Feb 21, 2020 3:58 pm

15 Cylus 720


Yeva seemed to visibly relax at hearing that Luna's hadn't yet been hit. She understood the danger that awaited on the horizon but there was still hope. And hope was so important. She took a deep breath but when Lyari elaborated on the explanation of the colors, the redhead immediately frowned. She understood a bit of how genders were determined - complimentary colors. Red was the opposite of green, blue the opposite of yellow. But these connections were solely based on the off chance that people observing this map had a basic understanding of color theory. It was a bit of a mess and she began to dig into her bag again. Then she realized maybe it was perhaps a bit rude, "I'm so sorry. I know this isn't the time, but... What's your name again?"

The medic was watching Balthazar, her tone neither snippy nor mocking. He posed very good thoughts and it was important to be acquainted with all party members if they were to work cohesively together. At the front desk, she had rushed in so quickly, the redhead had hardly given attention to anything else in her concern, let alone interrupt the two men when they had been already talking when she arrived. Yeva waited politely before returning her attention to the map. If he introduced himself, she would give the proper formality before settling back to business.

She briefly paused when she noticed the herbs and dried petals in Darius' hands, "Oh, thank you," Yeva reached out to scoop them from his hands with a warm smile. He seemed like a good sort, very considerate and now he was even here, offering help. Yeva tucked the floral remains into her pocket, perking up at the mention of the Casino, "We were just there last night! Maybe we can recognize someone, or... or... figure out a connection if there is one," she nodded towards the gruff blonde but her excitement was short lived. She had, after all, been drinking last night, "I know it's very, very unlikely, but then again, what are the odds we'd meet again?" Maybe fate had brought them all together for a reason - an ideal team of investigators! Or... rag-tag trio of vigilantes with strong moral leanings and sense of justice?

Either way, the black dot filled her with shame. Had she gotten drunk while children were being preyed upon? How horrifying! Yeva cleared her throat, tucking a errant curl behind her ear as she tried to pick her next words, "You've done such a great job, Lyari," Yeva shuffled on her feet her fingers having found her own copy of the town map, clearly newer but well used by its wrinkles. She smoothed out the parchment, "Um... If I could make just one teensy tiiiiny suggestion?"

Criticism was so hard. She hated giving bad news or being problematic, "This method you have is sooo... elaborate," she winced, trying very hard to mix the medicine with the sugar, so to speak, "If we want to see the patterns, we should simplify, make it easy for anyone to jump in and help, you know? Maybe something like this?" Yeva took her map and began cross referencing and copy the information to her own map, but instead of color theory to connect gender, she used simple shapes. Triangles for every boy, circles for every girl. And inside them, a number to show their age, "And we could use the colors too-. We could fill their shapes in with the same one if we discover a connection. Siblings, friends, that sort of thing. Maybe use the colors to dictate what type of relationship? Yellow for school mates, or... something." Where the Casino had been, Yeva drew a dark 'X' upon the shore.

Everything would have a purpose, a meaning, a method. Did she sound like she was trying to tell them how to run things?

"It's just a thought,"" she rushed, letting the men see her version if they wished, "Your way is fine, of course. "

Her fingers continued to write, this time in her notebook:
  • Marks, magic, multiple accomplices?
  • Everdark Casino involvement?
She had never seen an Immortal (as far as she knew) and her experience with the arcane was almost non-existent. What would anyone need to kidnap so many kids for? The rest of the group seemed more confident than her, so she felt the need to ask permission, "If it's alright, I'd like to see the little girl and her family, whose boy is missing. Do we have any sort of paperwork, something we can show the families that they can trust us, that we have good intention and we're working on the investigation? I'm not sure they'd be keen to let anyone else near their homes, let alone any children, without some sort of proof we mean no harm."
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Re: Suffer The Little Children

Sun Mar 01, 2020 3:42 am

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Darius listened to what Lyari had to say, but it was Balthazar mentioning the Everdark Casino that really caught his attention. Without thinking, he immediately looked in Yeva's direction, and he wondered how much the healer remembered from the night before. And then he thought better of it, recalling that she'd had more to drink than she might have wished to admit.

He nodded when the young healer suggested she talk to the family of the young girl whose brother had vanished. He imagined that her less imposing figure and gentle demeanour might make the parents and young child more willing to open up about their experience. That wasn't to say that Darius himself wasn't sympathetic to their plight, of course - but he stood almost a full foot taller than the redhead and the last thing he wanted to do was intimidate any of the victims.

"Aye," he agreed. "Good idea. I'll go check the casino area, in case anyone we met there can help us, but then I want to head to the docks."

His expression was grim as he reflected on the possibility that if the children had been taken from the city, they might have gone by sea. And if so, he hoped that someone might have seen such unusual cargo being loaded onto a ship or bundled into a warehouse.

But Yeva's next question was important, too. They couldn't simply turn up and demand answers. They needed some form of endorsement to show that they weren't vigilantes with no delegated authority.

"When I helped with the Dusk Festival," he offered to Lyari, "we were given brown cloaks to identify us as volunteers for the Earth Elements. Perhaps we could do the same while we're investigating? It might make people more willing to answer our questions."
word count: 316
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