Decem Reliquias

Contagion

They strip the Templar of all her belongings, laying them out carefully on the soft, dewy grass. Forgetting the threat of the Revenant momentarily, the mages inspect each item by torchlight, separating the magical from the mundane and doling out the spoils. Tyree lays claim to the buxom silverite armor, not caring how ridiculous he might look, while Marius tries the distinctive circlet. He stares at Broga and says “Confess!” Immediately the dwarf begins blubbering and babbling incoherently about a wagon and a fruit stand. He hurriedly hushes the dwarf, then moves on to the rest of the Templar’s items. Corryn tries on the luxurious red cloak and discovers a folded piece of paper in one of the inside pockets, and lays that aside for inspection later. Cathal retrieves the longbow from the field where the Templar abandoned it, claiming it for her own without asking permission, also collecting the arrows and adding them to her quiver. No one challenges her.

Once the loot is divided satisfactorily, they discuss how to prevent the Revenant from bringing this particularly dangerous enemy back to haunt them. With hopes that it will render the corpse useless to the persistent necromancer, Armon, the expert amputationer, hacks at the Templar, removing her arms, legs, and head. Once they bury the chunks of Templar in separate locations, they leave the area, just in case. Once at a safe distance, Corryn shares the paper he discovered. He unfolds it to find an accurate and detailed drawing of his own face staring back at him. On the back is scribbled “Armon Reinhardt,” much to everyone’s confusion. Not knowing why the Templars might be after him, Armon just shrugs, assuming the Templars must be incompetent and mixed up their convicts. With that nasty business behind them, they rest for the night, and continue in the morning to Elmridge, hopefully to rendezvous with Felayne and maybe finally be rid of the Arl’s troublesome young son.

The streets of Elmdrige are bustling with teenagers in white frocks and merchants hawking flowers, candies, and trinkets of all sizes, the Summerday celebration in full swing. Marius notices a particularly homely woman selling red roses, and subtly “suggests” to Armon that he purchase one. He has an awkward exchange with the woman, purchases a rose, then returns it to her, walking away stiffly, feeling hopeful and quite confused. Satisfied that he is on the way to breaking the persistent pessimist’s spirit, Marius gets down to business, asking Berchan where the Arl’s estate so he can ensure Felayne arrived safely. Berchan points them in the right direction, but refuses to go near the place, not yet ready to give up on his sister or his adventure. Corryn volunteers to stay with the boy in the market, and Armon, always happy to be rid of Marius, stays as well. Marius, Tyree, and Dog head off, the group still strangely divided by the lines of the battle of Redhold.

The Avar and the mage wade east through the sea of giggling girls and blushing boys to the Arl’s estate, the largest building within site. It’s sparse and practical appearance perfectly suited to Arl Wulff’s reputation. A pair of guards flank the gate, and hail the approaching men. Marius inquires about Felayne and is relieved to hear that she made it safely here, but she is currently resting. He asks the guards to let her know that he is alive and that he intends to come back later to talk with her before leaving town. The man nods and, upon request, points Marius in the direction of a nice tavern where he can get a bath and a good meal.

Curious about the festivities, Berchan runs off into the crowd, leaving Corryn and Armon to peruse the vendors’ stalls. Moments later, a blood-curdling scream erupts from a nearby woman. Always ready to help a damsel in distress, Corryn rushes towards the sound, pushing his way through fleeing teenagers. He arrives in time to see a man hunched over a woman’s body on the ground, blood gushing out of her wounded neck, painting her white tunic a bright crimson. Afraid he knows exactly what has just happened, he shouts at the gawkers to back away, but few heed his warning. The man looks up, his face covered in blood, clearly having just bitten the woman, revealing sickly yellow eyes and confirming Corryn’s suspicion. He rushes into the crowd scattering them as no words could do, bites at least one of them, then rushes north up the street. The mage shouts for Berchan and Armon and gives chase, hoping that it isn’t too late to save Elmridge from Haven’s fate, and that it is pure coincidence it arrived in town just as they did.

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amethyst_marie

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