• Closed • On the scent

Seated on the shores of Lake Lovalus, Rharne serves as the home of the Lighting Knights, the Thunder Priestesses, and the Merchant's guild. This beautiful trade city is filled with a happy and contented people who rarely need an excuse to party.

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Faith Augustin Champion
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On the scent

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It felt simultaneously like they were getting closer to finding out who the Strangler was and yet, at the same time, not, she thought to herself as she studied her shoulder carefully in the mirror, the brands almost gone. Sitting there, a realisation hit her which had not previously. "Padraig, does this mean I don't have to get the freedom brand?" To say that she didn't want it was an understatement of the highest proportions. Looking in the mirror, she traced her finger over the Venora rose. "I don't want another brand. It's vain, I know. But I don't belong to anyone. I'm yours by my choice." Standing up and allowing the sleeve to fall, Faith pulled on the red cardigan she was going to wear over the white blouse which was tucked into her red skirt. "If going back to Andaris means the brand, I don't want to go back. I'd rather go to Viden and you can get your qualifications there. But your grandfather is in Venora and we need to consider him." A deep sigh escaped her and she said, most seriously, "I'll have a dozen brands if that's what it takes. Ignore all that, I hadn't considered your grandfather. My apologies." Maybe in Venora, she considered, there wouldn't be a need for the freedom brand either. That, however, was highly unlikely, since she was a Venoran slave. Had been, she reminded herself. Had been a Venoran slave.

So, they had a game plan for what they would do. Start at the Glass Quarter, because it seemd like the most likely place to start. The man they were looking for had a number of aspects which pointed to him being a man of some means, the scarves and the perfume were important and they thought that he worked with horses. Faith pulled on her coat and looked up at Padraig with a quirk of her eyebrow. "If I wore high heel shoes, you know, we'd be on eye level", she teased and breathed in then released the breath slowly. "I'm sorry. I am. I don't care about the brand, truly. People are more important. Much more. I shouldn't have said that, and maybe if we just keep quiet we won't need to worry. Why would anyone ask?" Faith smiled at him, but of course she knew that they knew. When they saw her, the knew. When she said it didn't matter, though, she meant it completely. People were much more important.

"Come on, we've got better things to be doing, you know," she passed him the gloves she had made him, her hand stopping in his a moment and her fingers entwining there with his for a trill. "Bad guys to catch, have to be heroic and so on. So much more romantic than twelve gifts with significance, wouldn't you say?" Faith's grin was genuine and, as they stepped out together she fell into place beside him, her arm in his and she rested her head against his shoulder briefly.

"According to the receptionist at the Order, the best shop for clothing in the Glass Quarter is Sarah's Silks. We should start there, I think?" She huddled close to him and walked, happy to be moving and also to be getting on with what they needed to do.

Sarah's Silks was an interesting place ~ very traditional and very quiet, but the tall man with dark skin who came over gave Faith an appreciative glance which was not at all hidden and asked what they wanted. He had a tendency to speak to her, which she missed completely, he focused his gaze on her, which she missed completely and he flirted with her somewhat outrageously. She missed it, completely and asked to look at the scarves they had, questioned about the handedness of the sewers there. It turned out that the people who worked there now were all right handed but yes, there had been a left handed person who worked there up until two arcs ago. There was, at first nothing of theirs which was available but then, Dafari (for such he had informed them was his name) remembered and he led them to a shop dummy with a very intricate lacework and satin dress on it. It was beautiful and he held his hands out, showing it to them as though it was an offering.

Faith, completely oblivious to his flirtation, lifted the skirt of the dress and frowned, turning to Padraig. "It's this one, look. Do you ... it's whoever sewed this." Faith's eyes twinkled with delight as she looked at him, aware that her attention to detail in terms of sewing was lost on him. Further questions let them to the fact that the person who had created that dress made a number of scarves, yes. She was also left handed and had left employment here two arcs ago. When pushed, Dafari explained that the lady had died shortly after. Faith's attention was completely on Padraig, much to Dafari's frustration, as far as it went for someone who he had just met, but she looked at Padraig with a serious expression. "I think that it is the information we need, but a dead end. We need to buy something which proves it. So that we can compare our evidence with it. Is this the only thing of hers in the shop still?"

The dress, of course, was a beautiful gown. It was a deep red silk and lace gown with a tight ribbon belt which was frankly stunning. Of course, so was the price. Faith frowned deeply at the cost of the thing and shook her head. "It has been here arcs. No one will buy it in the next few trials, and if they do we can ask them to take the name and address. Or ask them to not sell it for the next few trials?"The beauty of the dress itself seemed to be completely lost on her and Faith was focused on considering what this meant. Padraig was right, there was a surrogate situation. But they knew, now, where the scarves had come from at least. Evidence piled up against him being a man of means, she considered. Dafari looked at her and shook his head, evidently disappointed.

"I think this is all that we need from here? Is there anything else you want?" Faith looked at him all business and focus. If this was the person who made the scarves, then the person was dead before the killing started and therefore, they needed to go on to the next bit, which was the perfume. Dafari, who had foreseen a sale from the beautiful lady, decided that they didn't have the money anyhow and looked at them both with a querulous expression.
Off Topic
gown=9gn - in silk (x10) and coloured a deep red (x6) with lace trim (30sn) and ribbon trim (30 sn) = 9 x 16=144gn + 6gn - 150gn all in. :P It is a heckavu dress.
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Padraig had been seated on the edge of the bed, lacing up his boots when Faith asked about the freedom brand. He looked up with a frown, catching her reflection in the mirror. He'd forgotten about it, truth told. "With the others faded and nearly gone, is it necessary?"

He'd have said it ought not have been necessary from the start. It was an unjust law that required it, so far as he was concerned. "I was under the impression that the freedom brand, combined with the ones identifying you as a slave, was meant to insure that others were aware you've been freed. But once the others have faded away?" Why get the freedom one when the others were gone, was his reasoning. "It's not vanity and I told you, don't worry so much about my qualifications."

"Or my grandfather either," he added as he stood up and shrugged into his coat. "I have no idea what he'd think. But it isn't for him to think anything of it at all. I'm not him, and the reverse is also true. No one will ask. Why would they?" She was fussing and worrying too much again, he told her as they left their room and headed for the Glass Quarter. But she was right, they seemed to have taken the concept of romanticism and transformed it into something quite unique for themselves. It was a wonder, how they managed it.

"It's as good a place as any to start," he agreed, regarding the dress shop in question, and so once they arrived, he pulled off the gloves she'd handed him, and opened the door for her to enter before him. The shopkeeper's reaction to Faith wasn't really surprising. Many times, when they were out and about, he might have been invisible for all that the other men noticed him there. Occasionally it irritated him, but most time amused him. She after all seemed oblivious to their efforts to engage her. This man though, was particularly determined. Padraig ignored it for the most part, in favor of getting them the information they wanted.

The ins and outs of stitching were beyond him. But nonetheless it appeared that the seamstress who'd made the dress, had probably made the scarves as well. But at least two arcs ago. It was problematic. It meant that there was no seamstress to actually speak to. But maybe it wasn't a dead end after all? "Can you hold the dress a few trials?" he asked the shopkeeper. The man agreed that he would, but it probably seemed as unlikely to him, as to Faith and Padraig, that anyone would come to purchase it now after all of this time.

"I think that's it," he said, when Faith asked him if there was anything else. Maybe on to the next place then, a perfumery? But after thanking the shopkeeper and leaving the store behind, he was reminded of an idea that had struck him previously. "If the scarves were sewn two arcs ago, it only means that the killer himself probably didn't purchase them," he reasoned. "But what if someone else close to him did, and he's got them at the ready?" Of course it probably meant that whoever had purchased and owned the scarves was no longer around, or among the living. Otherwise they'd have noticed the scarves disappearing. But it would explain the gap between the scarves being sewn and purchased, and them showing up now, one by one.
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On the scent

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His feeling on the necessity for the freedom brand being negated by the disappearance of the other brands was the same as hers and Faith smiled in the reflection of the mirror happy to agree, at least with that bit. When he told her she was both worrying and fussing too much, though, the slightest of frowns creased her brow as she considered what that meant. So, when he said that no one would ask about it and questioned why they would, she could not quite help answering, careful and controlled though she was. "I do not mean to fuss or worry too much, I'm sorry. The thought of that brand makes me anxious and that spills over I think. I know you've told me to stop, but I can't change what I feel, even if it's you telling me to. However, I don't need to turn internal worry into external fuss. I'll do better." She was doing the best she could do, and she knew that they both knew that, but they were slow steps. It was frustrating and, if she was frustrated with herself, he must be moreso. She stood on her tiptoes and kissed him on the cheek before they left, just to make sure that he understood all of those things that she wasn't saying and didn't tell him.

She didn't like the feeling of discomfort that she had, of things not quite fitting together, so she put it to one side and ignored it for now, walking with him arm in arm. There were things that they both needed to work out and work on, but equally, whatever they were they would work them out and move on, so Faith was more than happy to just turn her attention to the investigation. When he held the door open for her she smiled and went into the shop, where she completely missed any flirtation on the part of the shopkeeper. She did find it a little odd, though, that he seemed so disappointed that they weren't buying the dress. She had nowhere to wear such a dress because if it necessitated it she wouldn't want to go there, if she was going to spend that amount of money on a dress, frankly, she wouldn't, and she could make better herself. What his issue was, she really didn't know, but she slipped her hand into Padraig's and smiled, immediately more relaxed at the touch of his skin against hers, even just their palms touching and she leant her head against his shoulder as he organised the dress being held over for a few trials.

He was correct, though, the thing to do was to get themselves to the next stop, the perfumery shops on their list. As they walked together though, he repeated a thought he'd had previously and she considered it, taking into account the new information they had. She didn't like the conclusion that she came to, in truth. "If what you're saying is right, and I believe it is," she answered, her voice showing that she was thinking about this rather a lot, "then, when he runs out of scarves, he goes after her. Either because they are hers already, he bought them for her or... something. I don't know. But I know that women have a limited number of scarves, Padraig, and we'd better find this man." If this theory was correct, then there were only so many scarves left. What the man did when he ran out of them just didn't warrant thinking about.

So, it was on to the perfumery. There were three that they'd found by their study of the map. As luck would have it they were about as far apart as it was possible to be and still all be in the same quarter of the city. So, it was some two breaks later that the exited the second one having gotten no information at all which was of any help. No one buying that perfume, the one they just left didn't even sell it. Faith sighed, a thoughtful expression crossing her face, "Are we missing something with the perfume? I'm getting to the point that my nose is confused," they had sniffed a number of samples, by this point. Maybe the third one have some answers in it, she suggested, although she didn't sound incredibly hopeful that it was the case.
Last edited by Faith Augustin Champion on Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:05 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 765
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On the scent

He knew, sometimes, why she seemed so cautious when they found points of disagreement. Or, maybe not disagreement but different perspectives. Come to that, points where they simply misunderstood what the other was saying, and why. It was his fault more than hers, Padraig thought. He could be blunt, sometimes saying things without thinking, expecting her to read his mind, without adding the things that might have explained his thoughts better.

She was cautious, he reasoned, because there was still enough of her past holding onto her, rather than her to it, that made her hesitant to offend and upset him. The contrary would have been truer though. He'd rather she openly disagreed. They'd get there, he thought.

"Don't apologize," he'd told her before they left the room. "When I tell you to not to worry or fuss so much, mostly I'm teasing you. My delivery is lacking. I'm not annoyed that you worry, and I'd rather you include me than shut me out," he told he as they headed on their way. "I only wish that the things that caused you to worry, were things I could change for you, or help you change."

After they'd exited the dress shop, however, Padraig could only agree. Especially if the killer already had a supply of the scarves. Just like Faith said, he'd run out of them eventually. Time was running out. "I think if its true of the scarves, we have to consider that it might also be true of the perfume," he considered aloud.

"If the scarves belong, or belonged to someone close to him, the perfume might also have been purchased arcs ago. But if that's true, the combination of those two possibilities could mean that that person is no longer living." So if the object of his fixation was still living, and she wasn't the owner of the scarves or the perfume, then possibly, as Faith had suggested, a mother or other family member?

It was exhausting and frustrating though, visiting shop after shop, only to find dead ends wherever they went. Maybe though, there was another possibility? "So, the victim's have not been well off, which probably means that the woman he's currently fixated on, isn't, or wasn't either. But the perfume smelled expensive. I have to wonder if we're asking the wrong question when we inquire about perfumes currently on offer in these shops."

It might be better, he suggested, to bring along a patch of the cloth the knights had given them, and then ask the clerks to smell it, find out of the scent was familiar to them. Something they'd sold in the past to anyone dead or living?
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On the scent

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"If you could, you'd change it all," she smiled a soft smile as she said that, very well aware of the truth of it. "You'd do to my memories what Moseke did to my skin. Even if it made me someone different and meant that we weren't together, you'd do it. I know that, without doubt." Faith's hand in his tightened and she bumped her shoulder against his. "I think I will always be too shoddy to explain to you how that makes me feel, to know what you would give up for me. It is worth to note, however," she sounded more like she was about to start a cookery lesson than say what she actually said. "I would have it all again a hundred times over and a thousand times worse if it meant being with you. Just in case you weren't aware of that, I should probably keep you informed. Besides, it all boils down to one worry, really, just with different faces. That I'll wake up and it won't be true." It was very simple to her, at its core, but she accepted an enormous amount had changed for her in a very short time; it was not surprising that there were some bumps in the road along the way.

But she didn't like his way of thinking about the perfume, not one bit. Oh, she agreed with it completely and she thought that it was probably right, but it still didn't sit well. She was concerned that, when he ran out of one or the other he'd step things up a notch, she just really didn't entirely know how. They had to stop this, and that was that. Padraig's idea about the patch of cloth made perfect sense, though, and Faith nodded thoughtfully, "Rather than go back to the ones we've been to, lets do that starting at the next one, then come back if needs be?" Frankly, the thought of traipsing around them all again was frustrating and offputting. But he had a good idea and so, once they stopped back at the Order to collect the sample, it was on to the next perfumery on their list.

As they entered this one, a woman in her late twenties or maybe early thirties was standing behind the counter. Her mousey-brown hair was shoulder length and her features were unremarkable. She wore nice clothes, but they were well-worn rather than new. Around her neck was a pretty scarf. She looked up and smiled and her eyes were blue. Faith tensed, slightly, as she noticed all of these things.

'Good trial to you both', she said, her voice pleasant and friendly. 'Are you looking for something specific or would you like to try some perfumes?' Faith did not reply, letting Padraig do the talking, but when he asked the woman about the perfume, a frown crossed her face as she sniffed the piece of clothing. Not a suspicious expression, but like she'd just smelled something bad. She quickly stopped, though and was once again the pleasant and professional shop keeper. ''Yes, we stock it. It's popular with some of our older customers. Are you sure you wouldn't rather try something with more high notes, maybe a touch of fruit? I can suggest a few which might be more popular with girls your age?'

Faith looked at the woman and smiled a slight smile, tilting her head to one side curiously. "You don't like it? Did someone you know wear it?"

'Yes', the woman admitted with a smile. She had been obvious enough, she accepted that, 'my ex's mother used to douse herself in the stuff. Not a little, it was like she bathed in it. Honestly, you'd suit something much lighter.' Faith looked at Padraig and she sighed slightly, not quite sure how to say what they needed to. As they shared a glance the woman looked between them and her own face showed an inkling of there being more to this than met the eyes.

'What's going on here?' she asked, somewhat nervously.
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"I would, you know," Padraig told her. "Change it for you. All of it, if I could go back. Everything that has caused you pain, all the things that cause you to worry. Even if it meant losing you." It had come as a surprise to him, that revelation. That he'd sacrifice everything he had and everything he had for Faith. It had never been like him, and he'd never anticipated it would be.

Until her, he'd only had himself to look after. His own interests, his own wants and desires. "You've changed everything, and you know me, a scientist's stock and trade is cause and effect. And yet, it doesn't sound much like a scientific approach, does it?" he asked and smiled as she bumped up against him.

But neither of them wanted to be right about the source of the scarves and the perfume. But each of them realized it was probably the case. Those were in the hands of the killer before his spree had even begun. And sooner or later, he'd run short of them. So, he agreed, onto the next shop after they'd gotten more samples of the cloth from the Knights.

The girl in the shop was for all the world, ordinary looking. And yet that was the thing that gave him the most pause. He shared a glance with Faith as she tensed, but he smiled when the young woman greeted them, and let Faith do the talking from the start. And she didn't like the perfume, from the looks of it. Her take on the scent was just what he'd thought, the first time he smelled it. Old lady perfume. The sort of stuff that the older women coming into mister Spekkles shop asked for. The stuff, because what the apothecary handled was cheap, that tended to make his eyes water and make him sneeze once they were gone, their aromas slow to follow them out the door.

But when she told them why she didn't like it, there was a sense of dread that settled in the pit of his stomach. What was going on? Well it appeared it was to him to explain. And he'd have to. Padraig would wait until there were no other customers, in fact he asked her to temporarily close up the shop while they talked. She agreed, though understandably the request worried her all the more.

"This is Faith, and I'm Padraig," he told her to start. Turned out, her name was Catherine Tate. "We've been aiding the Knights at the Lightening Cathedral, looking into a series of local murders." Catherine had heard about them, she confirmed. "All young women, about your age. The thing is, however, they are also very similar to yourself in appearance." He paused there, and expression of alarm was taking over the young woman's face. "Each was wearing this same scent, and we've come to the conclusion that it was put on them, and wasn't their own. These scarves," he added, taking one of the things from Faith to show to Catherine. "These were also left tied around their necks."

There was something about the scarf. As soon as he showed it to her, Catherine visibly paled and looked to Faith. Clearly she recognized it, or at least the style of it. And ultimately, because he believed the rest might be handled more delicately than he had already, he looked to Faith as well. The rest might be better, coming from another woman.
Last edited by Padraig on Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 607
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On the scent

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"I've never worried about anything before. I mean, I've fussed, tried my best to make sure that my owner, or who I'd been loaned to, that their needs were met, but never worried" Faith realised, as she said it, that it needed further explanation. "I never had anything to lose before, so nothing to worry about." It was a strange juxtaposition, though she did not know it, her next words to his thoughts.

"You changed it all for me, too. I've spent my life thinking about other people's wants and needs. Them, always them, whether they were owner or freeborn, always them. Now, I think about us, not just you or just me, us. Thinking about your wants and needs means looking out for my own, and vice versa. I like it. But no, it is not scientific at all. It's alchemy." Faith grinned at him. "Taking the essence of two things and uniting them to make one thing which combines the best of both. That's us. Alchemy," it was the best description she had.

On to what they had to do though, and they were of one mind when they got there, it seemed. Padraig got them to the point where the shop was closed up and they were talking to the woman, Catherine, who was obviously afraid and, as Padraig handed her the scarf and explained, Faith was already moving forward. It was time for slightly more gentle, she though. "You're safe, I promise you. We won't let anything harm you, I assure you. But if you have information, it would help. Could you tell us, please? Just.. tell us what you know, from beginning to end." Faith glanced at Padraig in the hope that he was going to whip out the notbook and get scribbling. She led Catherine to a seat and took a stool next to her, just being close by and looking at the woman encouragingly.

Catherine breathed in and then started to talk, hesitantly at first but building up speed as she went. It had been a few arcs ago, now, she'd met a man. He was nice, she assured them both, a little bit solitary but kind and gentle to her. He worked in his family business, they were horse breeders. He talked a lot about his mother, she knew they were close but the woman hated Catherine from the first meeting. Every time that he bought Catherine a gift, for example, he bought the same for his mother.

"He bought me five of those scarves, they're from Sarah's aren't they? So expensive there. I told him not to but he liked to spend his money. Five for me, five for her," Catherine sighed, wringing her hands together.

It had all come to a head, it transpired, the night that he'd proposed. He'd done so in front of his mother who had gone into a meltdown. Catherine admitted that she hadn't handled it as well as she could have, but the mother had tried to strangle Catherine, hands around her throat. Catherine's response was to hit back, pushing the mother away.

"She fell backwards and I just... I ran. I heard she'd died, last cycle and honestly I was relieved I hadn't killed her but I couldn't tell you I was sorry she died. I never heard from him again."

She could give them his address, and did so happily, and she gave them the name, of course. Bill Frencas. She looked between the two of them and said, with a firm tone. "I'm going to lock up and go home. I'm married, I live with my husband. We don't have a lot, but we get on just fine. If you want to walk me home you can, but it's daylight and the Strangler doesn't attack in daylight." There was no doubt in Faith's mind, but she turned to Padraig to see what he thought.
word count: 685
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There were some things a woman could do better than a man. In this case there was no denying it. Padraig didn't pose any threat to the young woman. In fact, he was trying help her alongside Faith, and prevent a madman from getting to her. But it was a man committing the murders, and he was also a man. Faith had been the better choice in this instance. As soon as she stepped in, the other visibly relaxed.

Still rattled though, and he couldn't blame her. Especially after what she told them about the scarves, about meeting their strangler's mother, and what had transpired. And there was only one scarf left, apparently. Surely this Bill Frencas was saving it for her, and would strike as soon as he could.

They had to act quickly then to prevent him coming after her. "It's best you stay home, behind locked doors till this is over," he said after a quick glance at Faith, and he frowned. "He's not attacked in daylight so far. But when it comes to you, it may be a case of opportunity. If you tend not to walk alone at night..." He probably didn't need to say anymore. Light or dark, it would make no difference at all.

"If you don't mind, we'd both feel better if we could see you safely home." He knew Faith would agree. And so they'd wait for her to close up the shop, and then walk with her to her own home. And when they got there, Padraig would explain to her husband the importance of keeping the door locked up tight, and not opening it to strangers.

In the meantime, he'd asked for Bill Frencas address, and Catherine had supplied it. "It's not far," he told Faith, once they were alone again and he'd taken a look at their map. "If we go and report all we know to the Knights, we lose valuable time. Time he may use to strike again. And that's if they move quickly. It wouldn't hurt, were we to at least go to the address Catherine gave us, and have a look for ourselves?" he suggested.
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On the scent

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They were of one mind when it came to Catherine and Faith was pleased with that. It was too much of a loose end to leave her walk home alone and neither one of them would ever forgive themselves should anything happen to her. So, they locked up the shop and walked back together. Catherine looked a little surprised when Faith linked arms with her, as she normally would with Padraig, but she didn't complain and actually relaxed a little at the human contact which was, of course, the idea. Padraig, being who he was would want to have both hands free, Faith figured and so the three of them walked. As they did, Faith spoke quietly with Catherine, asking her about the man Bill was. What was he like, she wondered, could she tell them anything about him which might help? Catherine sighed, and then started to speak.

'I always knew that he was passionate. He's strong and he has a temper, but he was very badly bullied as a child and his mother rules him... ruled, I suppose. He was terrified of her. He's shy, though, almost painfully shy and it isn't until you start to get to know him that you see his real self.' Catherine sighed and looked at Faith as though expecting judgement. 'I think he's afraid of women, you know. All women. But the more he and I were together the more he tried to control me. It was subtle at first, but it became more and more obvious. Telling me what to wear, getting really mad if a man came into the shop and I mentioned it.'

Faith sighed and nodded her head, speaking quietly. "We won't let him harm you. I promise. You're safe."

When they got there, her husband was far from happy, but he listened to Padraig, tried to ascertain the extent of the threat and then said that he'd send a messanger to the Lightening Knights, with the address, if that was helpful. Whatever he and Padraig decided there, Faith left them to it.

"Yes, I agree," she said and she looked at him with concern in her eyes. "A look. Maybe even keep him talking if we can or... yes."

And so, they made their way. Her arm back in his, Faith was quiet on the way there, unless he chatted about anything. The address was in the better part of town, and when they got there it was a moderately sized plot of land with a nice house in the front and land around the back. There were horses grazing off to the side and there was evidence all over of the fact that the family worked as equestrians of some kind. As Padraig opened the gate, a man came out of the front door and looked in surprise at the two of them. He was well built, muscular and seemed likely to be quite strong. He had, in his hand a piece of silk which he was shoving into his pocket as he closed the door. It looked like one of the scarves, but they didn't get enough of a glance to tell for sure.

'Who are you? What do you want? I can't help you right now, I'm busy,' he said and his voice sounded tense, nervous and excited all at once. Faith recognised it, as she thought Padraig would. The man was agitated, anxious, nervous and.... there was something else but she couldn't quite put her finger on it. Oh yes, that was it.

He felt powerful.
word count: 612
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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Padraig
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Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:22 pm
Race: Mortal Born
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On the scent

It was probably the smarter thing to do, allowing Catherine's husband to alert the knights, while he and Faith headed over the address that she gave them. There was no telling what they'd find when they got there. And truth told, the knights would probably frown a little on vigilante justice. Hopefully then, the knights would arrived before the two of them managed to get themselves in trouble.

"I want to stop by our room before heading over there," Padraig told Faith before they began searching for the address. Their room, the kitchen, whatever it took to find himself some olive or almond oil and beeswax for candles, and then work the stuff into soft modeling clay before they set out again. He didn't tell her what he wanted it for. In fact he wasn't quite sure himself.

It didn't take long to get there. And yet they'd gotten there just in time to avoid missing the man leaving. And if they were right, he was leaving his home with plans in mind. Possibly plans for Catherine. Padraig hadn't been sure what they'd say or do when they got there. They hadn't exactly planned that part out and maybe they should have. But it struck him, something the young woman had told them about the family's business, and what he did was prompted by impulse. He could only hope that Faith would play along.

Padraig appeared to be completely oblivious to Bill's agitated state, and he smiled, slipping his arm around Faith's waist. "Good trial. My name is Padraig and this is Faith. We're honeymooning in the city and we've been told that your family raises the finest horses in the area. I wonder if we might speak to you about purchasing one? Money is no object, nothing is too good for my new bride," he added with as charming a smile as he could muster, one that he turned on Faith.

"I don't know who told you that mister, but I don't have time for any of this..." Bill started, but Padraig interrupted him with a crafted plea in hopes of stalling him until the knights arrived. They'd only be in the city a short time, and Faith had her heart set on it, he carried on. And as he did, Bill grew more agitated as his window of opportunity began closing due to the delay.

And the more it did, the more interesting Faith became to him. She wasn't his type. Or the type. Or her. And Padraig presented an extra obstacle. But...maybe? "Fine, come in. But we'll be making it quick," he said and opened the locked gate nearer the front door to let them in.

Padraig had counted on that lock, and the latch that would automatically trigger it when the gate was close. Or at least he'd thought that some of the finer homes might have them. And an unlocked gate meant that when the knights arrived, they'd have fewer obstacles in their way, stopping them from getting into the house. "Thank you. We appreciate it," Padraig said, and ushering Faith ahead of him to distract the man, he dipped a hand in his pocket, pulled out a small bit of clay that he'd made, and pushed it in to block the hole that the lock would have slid into once the gate was closed.

"Shut the gate behind you," Bill shot back as he ushered Faith into the house. "Of course," Pad said and swung the thing closed behind him, pleased to hear that faint but telltale sign that the clay had done the trick. And he did it once again with a second bit of clay when he entered the front door behind Faith.
word count: 651
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