South of Mancera: The Everwatch Incident, Part Two
Once the tale is done, Talia rests her hands over her face a moment.
"Even though I have heard this once, it still greatly distresses me," she says quietly. Her eyes look pinched.
Felina's concern deepens and she frowns as Elennalura finishes her tale. "This is deeply disturbing." She looks to Talia, "I assume you know of some way I can help since you called me here."
"I am hoping you and I between us can convince the King to listen to the problem."
"I see. I will be glad to speak to him. I'm sure I can convince him of the importance of this problem."
"As of yet, the poison seems to remain in one area, but you can understand the... difficulties... the city could face if the Shannon River were to become contaminated. Perhaps that will help him decide?" Elennalura offers.
Felina nods, "That is a good point. Is King Cyril available?"
Talia shakes her head. "He has been closeted for three hours with Sir Aravallen. You might be able to talk with him after they are done..."
Elennalura frowns at that name. It's the same name as the owners of the factories.
Felina frowns. It looks as if she has a bad taste in her mouth, "Aravallen... what does he want now?"
Talia looks concerned. "Something about permits or restrictions that he wants lifted..." Then she looks horrified. "Oh, gods. He wouldn't be trying to gain Royal sanction for his factories, would he?"
Elennalura busies herself with a loose stitch on her embroidered sleeve, having little patience for matters of state but understanding their importance to others. In such settings, no serious accusations can be made. Though Elennalura has her suspicions, it is proof she lacks right now…but Elennalura cannot yet voice her suspicions.
Felina wrinkles her brow, "And what would be wrong with royal sanction of what he does? I know none of us care for him as a person, but there's nothing wrong with making a profit."
Talia shakes her head. "Of course not. But something...bothers me about that man. I can't pin down why, though."
Felina makes a face. "The man's only concerned with profit. Well, profit and women, but I can see where one would be concerned about his methods. He's the type to shirk safety in favor of making a few more coppers. I see what you mean, Talia."
Talia nods.
"Anyway, let's go ahead and let the King know we are waiting to see him. We'll speak with him after Aravallen leaves."
With Talia's clout behind them, the Seneschal gives no trouble about the matter - and the women find themselves waiting in a sitting room. The room has two doors - one to the hall way and another to a room suitable for meetings. After about another hour spent waiting, the door from the meeting room opens, and out comes Thorn Aravallen, looking smug, and the King.
Aravallen bows to them all, courteous but careful not to leer for a change. With the briefest of courtesies he takes his leave. The King looks at Felina with a small smile.
"I could hope that this emergency meeting business means you've found a husband and need my immediate approval for espousal..." He grins then. "But I imagine that's not the case."
Felina laughs, "Not yet. Actually, we have a more immediate matter that needs attention. This is the druid Elennalura. She's been investigating some troubling matters in the South. Princess Talia and I believe this matter is of great importance."
The King looks at Elennalura, one eyebrow raised. "Really? What's going on then?" His manner is deceptively casual, almost grandfatherly.
Rigidly proper, Elennalura relates her tale of poisoned waters.
When she is done, the King strokes his beard for a moment. "Certainly this bears closer investigation," he says, "but are you certain that this poison would spread up the river so far?"
Showing the first hint of humor since she stepped in the door, Elennalura quirks her lips into a half-smile and replies with a glint in her eye, "Forgive me, your highness, but I AM a druid... it is rather my calling to know the ways of nature. I speak with as much certainty as I can muster when I say that I found no containment methods being used, and no way to stop the eventual poisoning."
He gives her a small bow, acknowledging both her humor and the truth of her words.
"Still, I must ask that you investigate more closely. You say you spoke to the people of Everwatch, and they reported no ill effects?"
This gives Elennalura pause. A moment's thoughtfulness passes over her face. "There were... no reports of ill effects, no."
"Something strange is going on then," he says. Then he sighs. "But I can offer you no help, other than a writ of limited Crown authority. I can empower you to go have a look - but I won't empower you to arrest anyone or take any action. I want this to be information gathering only, ladies. I have no resources to spare to bail you out of trouble...so don't get into anything you can't get yourself out of." He shakes his head. "The timing on this could have been better. A week ago I'd have had resources to send with you - but I just committed to a project that will take all my magical resources for a month."
"We will make do with the writ, sire. Thank you for what help you can give us."
"Do you think you could write that up for three of us, Your Majesty? I'd like to have Pale with us in case we run into trouble." Felina pauses, "I assure you we'll try not to kill anyone this time."
At this statement, Elennalura's eyebrows raise a notch and her eyes shift slightly in Felina's direction before she can control herself.
Felina notices the movement, "Of course last time, it was because someone had kidnapped and threatened to kill my son. I'm sure I can control myself in a less personal situation."
Flushing ever so slightly, Elennalura composes her face back to neutrality. "Of course," she concedes with a nod.
The King goes to the door and gives a short set of orders to the guard there. After a few minutes, the Seneschal comes in, accompanied by two pages carrying various implements
Swiftly the Seneschal writes out the writ as specified by the King, who dictates the limits of the authority you're being given. The pages quickly make a copy of the original, the King puts his seal on both of them, and in perhaps fifteen minutes Felina is holding a rolled up, sealed copy of the writ. "This should suffice," he says to her.
The King starts for the door. "Pardon the brevity, but I have a great deal to set in motion if I am to make good on the promises Sir Thorn just wrested out of me."
Felina frowns but simply nods. "We will see you when we have more information, Your Majesty."
Elennalura salutes formally as he leaves.
Talia asks, just before the King leaves, "What did Lord Aravallen ask you to do, your Majesty?"
The King looks at her, but Talia lifts her chin, clearly she's not going to apologize for being a little nosey.
"He asked that I work to ensure that the entire city has light after dark. Not just street lights but lights in places like the docks. He presented some very compelling evidence that convinced me this was a good idea. However it means that I and the Royal Mages will be very busy designing and setting up enough devices to accomplish this goal."
"It might interest you to know that one of his main points was that there is already a problem with soot in the air over the city, from so many torches and fires."
Felina raises her eyebrows, "Interesting... We'll have to wait and see how he profits from such a project."
The King laughs. "Oh, he will find a way. That is what he is best at, after all. At least he pays his taxes honestly."
And with that, the King is gone.
Talia turns to Felina and Elennalura. "Go, and return swiftly and safely," she tells you, hugging each of you in turn.
Elennalura smiles warmly, honest affection showing as she returns Talia's hug. "Let us hope our next meeting can be over something as trivial and enjoyable as embroidery, yes?"
Felina hugs her back, "You and your little ones stay safe as well."
Felina finds Pale and between herself and Elennalura, they explain the situation. "Will you join us in determining the truth of this situation?"
"I will. The last thing this city needs is something more to weaken it considering the other events taking place."
The question now is travel. How to get all the way to Everwatch quickly and quietly...and Elennalura says, diffidently, "Would anyone care to let me teleport us there? So long as Pale's equipment isn't too heavy, we should be fine to take all three of us and my hawk."
Felina grins, "That would make our journey a whole lot easier."
"That would make things much easier. Time is always of the essence it would seem."
"Excellent. Once everything is in order, we can depart. Shall we organize ourselves and prepare to go?"
All right, arrangements are made then - someone to watch over Keros while you're gone, the usual "if I die, give Cervil NONE of my stuff"... the normal things.
"I'll go get my armor and weapons, just in case. I've become a bit paranoid about leaving the city without them now."
Right, I'll have Keros stay at the palace with Talia's kids if that'll be ok
Pale is already armed and armored given all the past events.
Felina gets the hat of disguise for Pale, so he can conceal the fact that he's wearing armor; he uses it and changes his appearance to a traveler's outfit, otherwise he'd look very conspicuous in his priest's robes.
Felina will dress in normal (non nobility) clothing so as not to clue anyone off that they're doing an investigation. She'll use her shiftweave shirt to make herself look like a traveling bard and she'll bring her lute.
Elennalura calls her eagle to her and gathers her things, ready to leave as soon as the others are.
"Are we ready to depart, then?"
“Yes,” replies Felina. Pale nods.
Elennalura says, “I need a tree.”
Pale leans over to whisper in Felina's ear, "Your friend here has spent too much time alone in the woods I think." Felina whispers back, "Technically she's Talia's friend, but I think I agree with you there."
Her hawk makes a soft noise that resembles nothing so much as avian laughter.
"I'm sure I remember there being a stand of cedar wood near our destination, is there a cedar nearby?"
In fact there is a grove of them on the grounds.
Elennalura leads the group to the cedar grove and prepares to cast the spell.
Elennalura asks Pale to touch her hand.
Pale touches her with the end of his mace. "Is this sufficient?"
Elennalura looks extremely amused at his reticence. "Unfortunately, no. Hand holding will suffice, however."
"If I must." Pale takes her hand.
Elennalura takes their hands to forestall any further argument. Felina just laughs.
"Off we go. This may sting a little, Pale." Elennalura swallows a giggle.
The smell of cedar sap surrounds you all as Elennalura steps forward. Just when you think you should be running right into the limbs and trunk of the tree, everything gets very misty and dark, and there's a slightly nauseating sensation - like being on the loop-the-loop in a roller coaster, but without the other sensations)
When the mist clears from your eyes, you find yourself standing in a grove of cedars. However you know you aren't still at home, because the noises are far different, and there isn't manicured lawn around the trees.
"Everyone's limbs intact?" Elennalura teases, pointedly looking in Pale's direction.
"The only limbs you need worry about are your own and the trees, druid."
Felina simply laughs and looks between the two of them. "We should get to work. We must prevent any further damage here."
Felina is the first to notice the lights beyond the trees, and catch the sound of laughter and music in the distance. Elennalura stifles another grin and sets off.
"It looks like there's a village ahead." She sets off after Elennalura
Indeed, this is the village just outside Everwatch itself. This town isn't on the river, and the people remember Elennalura and greet her with friendly smiles.
Elennalura returns the smiles and waves, and moves further through the village.
The inn is the only place open in the evening, so that's where you are for now.
"The river is along Everwatch proper, we will visit there tomorrow. I know the inn here. We should be comfortable enough there for the night."
Felina nods. "Sounds like a plan."
"What exactly are we going to do to address the situation here?" asks Pale.
"For the moment, we are going to get settled in some rooms and assess what we know and build a strategy from there."
"We're supposed to find out what exactly is causing the poison in the river. This is strictly information gathering." She gives Pale a significant look.
Elennalura nods in agreement. "Tomorrow, I will show you both the river."
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