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Linota (played by DoogieMeowser)

Linota winced and shielded her face when Ren’s fireball whizzed right past it. She heard the thud of impact and, since she didn't feel anything on her own body, she whirled around to see what it had struck, hoping it hadn't been Liothryth. Luckily, it was Radigan's corpse that took the hit, though the flaming projectile had been too close for comfort.

No wonder the kitsune had to put him to sleep! He was a loose cannon!! Linota whipped around to face the man as he asked questions, to yell at him, but Azumi started to scold him for her. She didn't know about the spells the familiar referred to, but Azumi was right about the need for caution and the threat of consequence. Linota only watched as the small creature turned her back on Ren, not seeing any sense in kicking him while he was down. The information had been given and, seemingly, received, so she wouldn't stick her nose in their business. She was relieved to discover that Azumi was genuinely looking out for the best interest of the children all this time. Conflict avoided, for now.

Linota continued waiting on someone to help her move Radigan’s body, permanent in its chimeric, disfigured form. She would attempt to move him herself, but, if she never wanted to touch him before, she sure as hell didn't want to touch him now. Besides being a disgusting mess, he was cooked, which made him extra greasy. It had already begun to ooze from him and pooled in the dirt around him. Linota started to step closer to him, a beat of bravery having taken hold, before she turned away and gagged. Nope. No way.
Liothryth Terandes (played by Mirafin) Topic Starter

Lio was jerked off balanced as Radigan's body went flying, but managed to recover. She stood near where she had killed the man, leaning heavily on her staff and obviously exhausted, trying to take in everything that had happened. She looked around to see if anyone was injured and what the current situation was.

Seeing Linota going to try to move the corpse, she took a few unsteady steps towards the young woman. "I can...I can move him," she told Linota, her voice soft, "but I think I'll need help afterward. Show me where you would like him." As she finished talking, Lio raised a hand and as she did so Radigan's corpse rose into the air. Knowing it would take her longer to get there than Linota, she started walking the house, using her staff for support and the corpse went along with her.
Ren Hemmberg (played by Revereen)

Ren, was already at a loss. How did that man turn into some sort of genetically spliced... thing? He also had to deal with a disappointed Azumi, who he tried to apologize to. He watched as Lio and Linota attempt to drag Radigan's corpse away somewhere, he honestly didn't know what they were going to do with the body, but he was nonetheless curious.

"Don't tell me you're gonna bury him...", Ren said, groaning. He didn't like the idea of having to touch another dead body, despite his experience as a treasoner. He called the still pouting Azumi to help him and the other two deal with Radigan, and silently obliged, not looking at Ren.

"Gimme a break, Mom", he said, frustrated.

"Unfortunately I won't, dear. Not until you control that unstable power of yours"
Assallya (played by Slain)

The blond sorceress turned away from the window from which she'd been secretly helping her allies. Some would call it cowardly but she saw it as an opportunity to entirely focus on the objective. Besides, would they have preferred she saunter out into battle completely naked? Admittedly, she'd used that tactic in the past but really... she was beyond such things now.

Mind you, as far as she was concerned, she could have handled the entire thing discreetly had they just let him return to his home. Just like she'd handled Caldwell. Admittedly, that would have gone a lot easier if it weren't for those two riling up their handlers. Turning, she regarded the sleeping Caldwell, loosely wrapped in the covers. The ruffian was lucky as far as she could tell. The lackwit had missed out on helping his boss and, most likely, joining him in a miserable end. Speaking of which, he'd probably be waking soon. He'd already passed the point where the magic was holding him asleep. His sleep was of the natural variety now.

Heading over towards the bedroom closet Assallya looked about for clothing belonging to an old girlfriend or something. Unfortunately there was little better than the rags she'd come into the house with so she resorted to pulling on the simple homespun dress she'd worn when she'd arrived. Then, after glancing outside to see the rest of them all arguing about what to do with Radigan's body Assallya merely shrugged and slowly sauntered outside into the sunlight.

"Does anyone have Radigan's comb?" she asked, pretending to be oblivious to the smoking rooster-headed corpse.
Linota (played by DoogieMeowser)

Linota looked curiously at Ren when he called Azumi ‘Mom’. She hadn’t heard him refer to her that way before. She looked at Azumi too and her face scrunched in confusion. Nope to that as well, she decided after a pause, then subtly shook her head.

“We'll put him with Caldwell,” Linota told Liothryth, accepting that she would have to show the mage. “And make sure he doesn’t wake up.” She aimed to blame Radigan’s death on him. Linota didn’t know if Liothryth could put people to sleep or keep them sleeping, but she assumed the old mage could do just about anything. She was, well, old! And she had scary scars and she just cooked a man! Surely Caldwell could be dealt with if the need rose.

As Radigan slowly floated toward the house, one of his limbs fell off with a ripping smack and landed meatily on the ground. Linota gagged again and wanted to tell Lio to hurry up, but one look at the woman and it was clear that she was going as fast as she could. The teen looked down at the fallen limb, thought about picking it up for one full second, then looked around for an out. Cairo would pick it up if she asked, she was certain, but he would have a hard time fitting through the door right now. Her eyes found Ren next.

“We need to be sure his whole body is together,” Linota said to the group, though she was looking at Ren. “His whole body.”
Maybe since his, er, ‘mother’ was angry with him, she would encourage him to be the limb retriever as well! Linota could only hope so.
She walked away from the carnage and toward a cropping of trees that separated this yard from the next and picked up a stick. It was a good stick, about a foot long and sturdy, but not too thick. Linota looked at it as if it were perfect then turned to face the macabre seen again, her eyes following Radigan’s floating corpse.

“I thought the comb was in his bedroom,” Linota told Assallya through a grimace. She wasn't looking at her as she was focused on avoiding Radigan on her way to the house's front door. “Or with you. You had it in your hand.”

She afforded Assallya a glance as she walked by her, wondering why she needed a comb right now, of all things. Without waiting for a response, she walked into the house, found the bedroom where Caldwell was sleeping, and waved Liothryth in.
“Put him there,” Linota said, pointing to a spot on the floor. Then she walked over to Caldwell’s naked body and loomed over him.
She didn’t mean to, not for so long. It was just that she had seen him naked several times, but never like this. Now the tables had turned and she was the one to look down at him. The memories his pale skin brought on made her jab the end of the stick into his hand more aggressively than she had planned to. It dug into his palm, like a blunt stake, and he woke with a jolt.

“YAHHHH!” Caldwell cried out in pain, holding his freshly injured hand protectively to his chest. “Wha--?! Who are you people??”
He scrambled backwards in the bed with only his feet, while flopping around quite immodestly. He didn't look much like Caldwell at all anymore.
“Put him to sleep!” Linota shouted at Liothryth once she was done being frozen with fear. If Ren had indeed followed them inside, holding the detached limb, Linota would turn to him too, her eyes pleading.

“HELLLLPP!” Caldwell began to wail.
Ren Hemmberg (played by Revereen)

Ren reluctantly carried the detached arm with Azumi doing the same with the other. Together, they walked towards the castle, not saying a single word to each other. It seems Azumi was still disappointed in him. He brushed it off as they were busy trying to drag a dead body towards the castle.

"Hey we're-", but he was interrupted by a screaming Caldwell and as Linota ordered one of them to put him to sleep, Ren used a sleeping spell.

"Who is that?", Azumi asked Linota
"Assalya..." Cairo calls in a concerned tone "wheres caldwell?" He ask looking her in the eye with a worried look that says 'what the hell did you do?'
Linota (played by DoogieMeowser)

“Why am I na–?!” Caldwell was in the middle of saying when Ren put him to sleep with ease.
Linota turned to Ren, her face twisted in angry shock. “Really?” She asked him and glanced at Azumi. “Can everyone just do that?

She refrained from thinking about how easy everything would have been if Radigan and Caldwell had simply been put to sleep. They could have put them in a wacky, stupid position together, destroyed the amulet, taken the kids, and called it a day! Linota closed her eyes for a moment– Oh crap, she was thinking about it. She sucked in a breath and sighed, looking hopelessly at the half of her new team that was in there with her.

“Think of him as Radigan’s second,” Linota explained to Azumi. “It’s too late to save him.”
The two of them, Ren and Azumi, had been unmistakably militant since they arrived, so Linota thought that was a good way to describe Caldwell to them. She could only hope that they believed her in regards to Caldwell being too far gone. She looked down at him again, the young teen she had watched become a terrible man. She put the stick back into his hand, wrapping his fingers around it so it looked like a wand.

When she turned around to face the three others, she said, “The people in this town love gossip so much, they’re prepared to believe anything.” She started to walk out of the room. “They’re also idiots,” she added from the doorway.

Linota walked out to check on the children who were still dazed and rubbing their eyes. They were surrounding Cairo, having always found him to be comforting, but especially now that he was bigger and now that they were thoroughly freaked out from having seen chicken fried Radigan. Some of them afforded Linota a smile when they saw her, the few that had seen her more tender side and were relieved that she was okay. Most of them looked ashamed that they had let their minds be taken by the amulet, looking at the ground instead of at anyone's eyes.
“You fought it, didn’t you?” Linota asked them when she was near. She was wearing a rare, prideful smile. “Just like I taught you.”
They gave her pathetic excuses for smiles at that, but didn’t say anything. Linota told them to continue packing their bags, reassuring them that Caldwell wouldn’t be waking up anytime soon. They were still getting out of here. Linota would search for Assallya next, to ask her about her wagon and all of the children fitting into it. It didn’t seem possible, but something had to happen since she wasn’t going to just leave them here.
Liothryth Terandes (played by Mirafin) Topic Starter

Still leaning on her staff, Lio followed Linota back outside. She was going to have to rest soon, and probably eat something as well, but that would have to wait for a little while longer. Oh thank goodness, she thought as she saw a large rock nearby. Slowly she went over to it and sat down. I'm getting too old for this shit...

"If anyone is injured," she said raising her voice as loud as she could at the moment, "come over here and I can heal you. There's no reason to be afraid." She smiled at the children as reassuringly as possible. "And then, once you're all packed, you can go over to our house and have as much to eat as you like."
Assallya (played by Slain)

“The people in this town love gossip so much, they’re prepared to believe anything.” Linota said as she started to walk out of the room. “They’re also idiots,” she added from the doorway.

"Of course they are," the blonde enchantress said as she moved through the room as if she were dancing. "Those few that shine bright are lost in the wash of lights from both the rare brief flares and by the sheer multitude of spent guttering embers alike. Will you rise and burn like a sun, or float on the whims of the wind like an ember?"

As she spoke she pulled the comb through her black dyed hair. Each pull through boiled away the weapon black, tar and charcoal that had been used to make her hair the colour of raven feathers. Two or three strokes later and half her head was raven black, the other her regular glistening copper blonde that burned in the sunlight.
"Watch thy spacing!" Aislinn called out to the city watchmen she had volunteered to aid, "If a wizard there be he'll blast ye all at once. Ye should be able to tap yon brother with a sword at the least."

Aislinn sat astride her steed, slowly cantering forwards, hazel eyes shining green in the light. She wasn't quite as exemplary as the earlier illusion had made her out to be. The horse was not stark white, the armour not shining platinum. Indeed, she was wearing only her chainmail for she hadn't time to don her plate.

As she approached Radigan's abode, a skirmish line of city guard at her back she spied the lady wizard sitting outside. Or at least, the woman seemed to be a wizard based on the robes and ancient looking staff. Then, as she came closer, she spied the salting of her hair and the shape of skull and pointed ear and then finally the scars. This one had seen combat.

Holding up a leather gloved fist she bade the men stop.

"Greetings honored elder," Aislinn greeted Liothryth, "Is it ye we must thank for bringing an end to the sorcerous calamity that has befallen this quarter?"
Ren Hemmberg (played by Revereen)

"Don't forget these two, they dealt the final blow... I think", Ren said to Aislinn and pointed at Linota and Cairo, trying his best to form a smile at them. He seemed rather proud of them, they could be potential Treasoners, future tyrant slayers that...

No... He thought to himself. It wasn't worth asking them to join, unless they were truly willing to risk losing their minds in the training. After all, they have to deal with the kids, in other words, finding them good homes. He walked over to the children, trying his best not to look intimidating, but failing miserably.

"Hey guys", He said awkwardly, trying to get something out of his satchel. It was candy. He gave it to them without asking them first, a habit he formed during the consistently dangerous missions he had to go through that required him to act first without thinking. Azumi smiled at Ren's act of kindness. Then she remembered the words of one of their missing squadmates, Lucine. If my hypothesis is correct, continuing this behavior will result in his "curing" of his unstable power, by controlling his emotions and showing kindness, rather than violence., these words echoed into her mind. Ren always gravitated towards kitsune like Lucine and herself, but she would do well not to make him worry about Lucine, or Karl, or Azuki, or any of her squadmates for that matter. She decided not to think about it too much as it will just make both of them worry unnecessarily.
Linota (played by DoogieMeowser)

’Someone should help her,’ Linota thought about Liothryth, having already concreted the fact that that ‘someone’ would not be her. Her aversion to touch didn’t just vanish when someone was in need and Liothryth was still a stranger to her, regardless of her help. She was also a little afraid of the woman now, seeing what she had just done. Linota watched her sympathetically, but did nothing more than that. When she left the house, Assallya spoke of something that Linota could only perceive as a riddle of some kind.
“What?” She asked the enchantress after a confused pause, a little annoyed that Assallya had confused her and that she had danced, and combed her hair, while doing it. She could see the use of the comb now, though it seemed to only be useful to Assallya and for this precise situation.
She walked away from her and to the children. When Lio offered the children the delicious food they had smelled earlier, they looked up with grateful smiles. They were all fearful of her, as Linota was, and they let it show blatantly on their faces. The offer of food, however, worked to chip away at their untrusting shells. Linota smiled with them, aiming it at Liothryth as an unspoken ‘thank you’.

The children looked at Linota and Cairo until Linota abruptly said, “Go on!”, and they rushed to pack their bags. As they did, a strong sounding woman called out, making Linota freeze. Then she double froze, her eyes turning to saucers at seeing the line of guards behind her. This was it. They were going down for murder. But when Aislinn approached, heading straight for Liothryth, Linota found that she could breathe again. She was thanking her? Linota looked cautiously at the guards then squinted when she thought she could see a shimmer in the air around them. She blinked at them until the children ran back out, having packed up faster than she had ever seen. The promise of good food seemed to work far better than the promise of death. Someone really should have let Radigan know.

When the children did come out, they each halted in their steps when they saw Aislinn and the guards. There were already so many people there with them that they didn’t know, but they were turning out to be nice. The same could usually not be said about the royal guard. But Ren’s greeting to them was a great distraction, seeing as he offered them candy. Sweets were as rare as gold among them and just as desired, but still they looked from the guards to his offer with skepticism. Only after one brave soul reached out and picked one up with slow, little fingers, did all the children clamor and climb to get one, or five, for themselves.
“Don’t eat them all!” A girl’s voice shouted from the back of the group.
“Finder’s keeper’s!” A boy replied, as if that saying worked here.

Linota gave Ren a look that said ‘you just made a lot of overbearing friends’, but she couldn’t help a warm smile. Liothryth would take care of talking to the knight, who Linota wanted no part of. She and the law had never been friends, no matter where she had gone or who she tried to be. So when Ren lassoed her into Lio and Aislinn’s conversation, Linota looked at them with stark reluctance. The militant man thought she had contributed anything? He gave her a proud smile and her stomach turned. She didn’t deserve that. She didn’t deserve to hold the staff she so desperately wanted back.

She looked at the piece of woven wood in her hand, realizing she had time to realize things now. She had done absolutely nothing to contribute to this battle. She was bound on the dirt floor, utterly useless. Less than useless, she had been a detriment, a damsel in distress that only got in the way of the real fighters. Her amber eyes found her hookshot, laying in disarray on the ground, and she could feel her cheeks start to heat up. The embarrassment of it all hit her like a galloping elk and she looked away from Ren angrily, trying instead to focus all of her attention on the children, who were still trying to get candy from the man. Some had moved on to courageously ask Azumi, who they suspected had candy as well.

“How about some real food?” Linota asked the kids, deciding not to say anything at all to Ren, Lio, or the knight. She tried to hide the fact that she was mad in her tone. She was mad, but she could beat herself up later.
The children cheered for that good smelling food and readied themselves to follow her and the old mage to where it was. The townspeople would still be there, enjoying what they thought was a wonderful party for the wealthy and powerful. Linota gathered the parts to her hookshot before they went, dumping the pieces into her satchel with a little more aggression than she wanted to. ’Stupid thing,’ she thought bitterly as she did. ’Stupid, useless, non-magical thing.’ Even for her, it was difficult to tell if she was talking about her creation or herself.
Liothryth Terandes (played by Mirafin) Topic Starter

"My companions and I," Lio replied to the woman on horseback, "though I dealt the final blow." Normally she would have stood when addressing someone that high up, if for no other reason that she would have a sore neck later, but not right now.

She smiled as she saw Linota guide the children to the building they had taken over, and the food. They were all safe for the moment, but soon some thought would need to be given as to what to do with them next. Which brought her back to the woman in front of her.

"By your bearing and company, you seem to represent the law in this place? Am I correct?" Her speech was getting formal again, but she was too tired to care.
Standing beside her steed, chainmail brilliant in the light, red hair shining, Aislinn continued to survey the scene. She was still somewhat wary, perhaps because she wasn't entirely privy to every detail and wizards were a vengeful lot. Cursed items, magical traps and contracts with demons to wreak vengeance on those that slew them were common to wizards.

Aislinn was still trying to make sense of what had transpired but the last thing she wanted was to upset a master magician like this one appeared to be with centuries of experience. There were few elves that trode darker paths and every fiber of Aislinn's being said that this woman was forthright. After all, elves took care of their own, often hunting down any rumour of one of their number dealing in dark arts. The likelihood of such a fallen elf merely sitting in the public eye was miniscule.

"I wouldst speak falsely should I claim such honored one," Aislinn replied and took the opportunity to dismount, "T'was asked I was, to lend aid given my experience in dealing with fell sorceries. Is there naught that these fine men might do to lend thee aid? T'would appear they didst harry themselves needlessly in response to reports of a wicked spellcaster and whilst justice has been well wrought they be empty of hands. Be anyone hurt? Be there any task they could lend aid in?"
Ren Hemmberg (played by Revereen)

"Guess you can lock that guy up?", Ren pointed to the Caldwell, who was still asleep from the sleeping spell, "He's an accomplice of Radigan, I think". Ren did not know who Caldwell was really, but he's seen enough evidence to suggest Linota wasn't lying.

Meanwhile, Azumi was being asked by the children if she had any candy. The fox spirit explained that she unfortunately did not carry any candy, but is more than happy to make them sushi. She noticed Linota, who seemed distressed or frustrated about something, so being the nice person that she is, she decided to talk to Linota, possibly trying to lift her spirits a little. Before she did so, Azumi informed Ren that she shall escort the children to the formerly abandoned building. He simply groaned and nodded, turning his attention towards Aislinn and her guards

"That's a rather peculiar contraption!", She said smiling and wagging her tails excitedly, "I think Ren and I can fix that for you with a bit of magic! Although Ren has a quite a bit of knowledge with science!".

While Azumi went with Linota and the children, Ren awkwardly stepped away from sight and hid somewhere in the room. He grabbed some sort of blue crystal, one of Finn's final gifts to him. Another was a tablet made of a black crystalline material. It could be something made with advanced technology so he hid it to prevent any risks. What is this...?, he wondered to himself. He tried fidgeting around with the blue rock to see if anything happened, but to no avail. It was hopeless. He already got separated by his squad, who were possibly all dead except for his familiar, and now Finn left him some sort of useless crystal? What kind of sick joke was he trying to make? He hopelessly sat down on the floor, putting the crystal near his face.

"Why couldn't you explain it better, Finn?", He muttered miserably, shedding a few tears. Out of nowhere, as if the mention of his step cousin activated something within the crystal shot a beam of light towards Ren's forehead. He started getting visions of some sort of cellar. The jail itself seemed to be circular. He deduced that he was viewing it from someone else's perspective, it was because this crystal was no ordinary crystal. It was a vision rock. The person seemed to be crawling into the cold, rusted iron bars of their jail cell.

"Hey", he spoke. Then two other figures appeared from the opposite cell. It was a Bakeneko and an Insectoid alien. Azuki and Karl! And the voice must be... Finn's!

He tried reaching his hand out, but the vision rock ran out of magic, returning his perspective to where he was currently. He got up, walked towards Aislinn and Lio as if nothing happened, smiling nervously.

"Just got shivers from the battle. Needed to rest"
"Hey do you guys you could make me normal size again? I hit my head on the top of the door" Cairo ask the party making the children laugh at him
Assallya (played by Slain)

"Oh..." the blonde elven sorceress said, looking over at the, now over fifteen hands tall, youth, "The spell would normally end any minute now but... "

Assallya concentrated, picking the spell apart thread by thread mentally until it was no more and Cairo began to shrink back down.

That's when she noted who Liothryth was talking to outside. The red headed knight, Paladin of Azuth, Beloved of Mystra, was known to her.

"By Myrkul's shriveled black balls," she cursed, "What is she doing here?"
Linota (played by DoogieMeowser)

The children were confused at the word ‘sushi’. They shared a few looks that proved as much then ultimately nodded their heads at the offer. Whatever it was, they wanted it. They followed Linota towards the alley that would lead them to the once abandoned structure with much excitement. Linota had thought Liothryth was going to join her and was surprised to glance over her shoulder to see the kitsune approaching. Her heated pace slowed to a leisurely walk as she wasn’t sure the townspeople would listen to her and a little fox when it came to letting the children eat. She looked over at Liothryth, who was still talking with the knight and Ren, and sighed through her nose just before Azumi bounded up to mention her ‘contraption’, making her halt. When Azumi said the word ‘magic’, it made Linota wince. She turned away from Azumi and kept walking, holding her staff horizontally at her side.

“No,” she told the kitsune decisively, though she didn’t face her, whether Azumi continued to walk beside her or not. She was embarrassed again for having had anyone see her useless, and now in pieces, weapon. “I made it, without magic, and I’ll put it back together just the same.”
At the mention of science, however, Linota stopped again and the children stopped behind her like a fleet of little ducklings. Her pride, a strong emotion indeed, told her to keep walking, to appear strong and capable. Though her eagerness to learn did well to fight the sinful emotion down. She turned to give Azumi an interested look, involuntarily ruined by the scowl she still felt.

“Science?” Linota asked. It wasn’t a common word where she was from or where she had been, though had an idea of what it was. It was how seemingly magical things worked, without magic. She knew there was a better explanation out there, but she never had the resources to find out more than that. Her eyes danced at the interest, the hope, that this one word brought on.
Liothryth Terandes (played by Mirafin) Topic Starter

Lio was officially done with everyone's shit. "They harried themselves to deal with a spell caster? Then it was the slowest movement I've ever heard of. That...wretch had been holding sway over this town for years and terrorizing it's children." Heaving herself off the rock to stand, anger flashed in her eyes. "Children who had no one to care for them except someone who wanted to use them, and now they don't even have that any more."

The anger dimmed, replaced once again with exhaustion. "I haven't heard that any one was injured, no one came to me when I offered healing. As my companion said, one of his accomplices is inside with the body of the one I killed. I am returning to the building that we have been using at the edge of town. There is food and drink there. If you wish to talk to us more you may come there." With that Lio began to walk back to the building, her progress slow but steady.

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