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 The Stolen Child (closed) 
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Stablehand
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2002 5:00 pm
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Post The Stolen Child (closed)
((thread closed except to Niksa & Moydra. Please & Thanks.))

"He was taken. Stolen from his family."

The mage-crafted image flickered in front of the seemingly impassive elven face. Sharp features and sharp gaze staring straight at it but not reacting.

"Distracted them with their own magics and destruction that causes. Then took the child when the family was away dealing with that crisis."

The image didn't change, and neither did the face. Cool blue eyes still watching the magic-spawned image that hovered before her. Hands resting gently on the stone that lay in her lap.

"We don't know why they would dare do this. But we do know one thing."

Her hands twitched at the first statement, but still she remained impassive. Even as the speaker leaned towards her, resting hands on the table, one finger interfering with the perfection of the image before her.

"We want him back."

With a wave of that same hand the image disappeared, and it was then and only then that her gaze travelled over to him. Niksa lifting the truthstone from her lap and placing it back on the table.

He'd told the truth, that much was certain; even as powerful a mage as him wasn't able to mess with such powerful stones as that; even if it had been him who had given the stone to her to allow her to test his words. None but a powerful mage could probably bloody well afford the damn things she was sure.

Well, he'd mostly told the truth, she amended in her own thoughts. We don't know why they would dare do this. That was a falsehood, though an understandable one. For one, because no one wants outsiders to know what they did to incur revenge from their enemies. Especially revenge on a level such as this. A stolen child.


"You owe us."

Her silence had brought that out, she knew, and her eyes moved back to his face, eyes piercing, annoyance lurking within their debts at this goad, the reminder.

"I know that. You really don't have to remind me every few moments."

Her voice was gravelly and deep, harsh as the expression she'd given him. She'd made deals, temporary alliances, back when she had been part of a larger alliance. A guild, where there were reasons to make deals and chances to repay deals without sacrificing of yourself.

Except when the guild fell apart, and left you alone holding the bag. When you wanted, needed, to unhook these chains from yourself, both to free yourself from the past and to not find yourself in a situation you can't escape. Something worse than this one.


"Are you sure the child is still lives? I mean, if your opponents are as ... unethical ... as you claim?" A raised eyebrow accentuating the words that many would leave unspoken. But not her.

"Yes" She didn't need to pick up the truthstone again. The voice spoke of a certainty that nothing could hide.

"And we're even after this?" This time she watched him with an alertness almost as good at the truthstone had been. Guaging every reaction.

"Yes." Again that certainty.

And Niksa barely had to pause. The possibility of freeing herself from the last chain that the guild had left on her dangling before her. Hell, even a worthy cause at that. Go out on a good note and all that.


"Very well."

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Mon Dec 09, 2002 11:55 am
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Stablehand
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The severe winter storms had taken her by surprise. They had come early this year, even for this region. But that did not explain why Moydra, always so sensible, always so prepared, had not taken precautions against her present situation. Moydra found herself unready for the burdens of the unforgiving weather. Her larder was woefully short and her cottage had yet to be sealed against the storms, perhaps it was a sign that she'd been too restless of late. Wandering further each month it seemed, as if seeking something that she could not name.

Whatever it was, here she was. Sheltering in this city, where children laughed, played, shouted, disturbing the perfect silence of the snow. Where merchants shouted. The streets were never quiet, no matter the lateness of the night.

It was night now as she sat in the window of the upper story room she was renting, her head leaned against the window frame. The streets were not dark for laterns were swaying in the light breeze and it would be hours yet before they were doused. That same breeze reached for her, brushed through her ash hair, and chilled her. Still she could not bring herself to leave her perch, eyes on the distance, watching snow fall and listening to the steady clomp of horses hooves on cobble. Shouts which rang out frequently.

Downstairs the noise was deafening. Unfit for the sensitive ears of an elf. She longed for her solitude, but closed her eyes and accepted the reality. At least until this cold spell passed, she would remain here rather than take needless, unnecessary risks of travelling into the mountains. She prayed that it would be soon.


Tue Dec 10, 2002 12:43 pm
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The light grey cloak, with darker fur trimming the outside rim of the hood and the bottom edge, was not her normal style at all. It also was not at all the type of thing that you'd associate with skulking in shadows.

Which was the whole point, after all. Wandering around a city, in the evening, in black, could be a bit suspicious. And her normal gear had been good, but not quite suitable for these cold climes that she now found herself forced to be in. So the new gear had to be acquired.

Besides, the fur trimming had made it worth another handful of coins, and she'd gotten her employers to agree to paying for the gear even if she was doing the actual deed to repay favour. Doing a job for pretty well free was galling. The few extras she could get out of it, plus the fact that the deed itself was relatively worthy, mostly made up for it.

Discreetly she slipped into the alleyway, fingers grabbing at the catch of the cloak as she moved around a corner. Flipping the cloak placed the darker grey/black underside on display to blend with the shadows, and raising the hood with it's fur now more on the inside obscured the view of her face more without obscuring her view. Which was good as it took much concentration for fingers to find their way into the stone, find crevices large enough for a light grip, for the small climbing picks to wedge in and provide more lift.

For Niksa to climb her way, slowly but surely, up the shadowed wall to the window.

Unlocking it from the outside was a bit of a trick, but it was doable, and the overhang around the window provided enough shelter for her to take her time, to make sure that the hinges were well oiled, that the window would open smoothly and quietly. Allowing her to enter the building at last.

After that it seemed relatively simple to slip out of the room and down the hallway, till she had the proper door within view, but the guard didn't have her in their sights. To prepare the dart that would knock him out, and watch him fall to the ground. Finally able to enter the windowless room that held the child she did seek.

Remarkably quiet he was, and how tiny children like this always seemed to her had to give her pause. But not much time; there was no freedom to pause, to wait. Speed was of the essence, and so she pulled free the soft cloth she'd wrapped around her waist and carefully swaddled the child in it, cradling the babe securely against her chest.

She'd had to practice this many times with a midwife at her employer's keep, and even then hadn't felt sure that she'd do it properly. But the child looked up at her with wide, surprisingly bright eyes, and showed no discomfort, so now she was free.

Free to return to the bedroom on the other side of this floor, and to lower herself quickly - but carefully - back to the ground. Urgency beginning to build as time ticked away and warred with the need for care for the babe. This was already taking too long, but to rush with a package that was, for lack of a better word, breakable, would be foolish.

And so she moved as fast as she could, forgoing pulling down the rope, not bothering to spend the time to rearrange her cloak into a less conspicuous colour. Swiftly walking down alleyway after alleyway, taking advantage of the close quarters to take her from the middle of the city to the edge where travellers stayed. Making her way right to the very outskirts of that travellers quarter.

Though she had no plans to stay; merely to take advantage of the normal citizen's total ignorance for strangers in such a place. No one had taken too much of a notice of her horse amongst the many others tethered here, and no one who lived here even paid attention to yet another stranger as she eased herself up on the horse. Crouching forward to hide her face and any glimpse of the babe before turning her horse past the final inn and urging her horse to a speedy walk.

She had a feeling the outcry would be starting any moment now, but it had taken longer than they probably would think it had been at the very least thanks to the unconscious guard. And that was the only edge she needed.

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A fox is a wolf that sends flowers ...


Thu Dec 12, 2002 9:42 am
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