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    An Overdue Visit

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    An Overdue Visit

    Post by Josh on 06/07/12, 04:27 am

    Brenn wasn't terribly familiar with the streets of Undertow. He'd been sure he was lost three times on the way to Vedran's new apartment despite the directions he'd coaxed out of Kallista earlier. Just as he was about to break down and make his way to the Explorer's Union instead, he found himself at the corner which his friend's current home abutted.

    He would be certain to give Vedran grief for his new abode, but Brenn honestly liked the place. His horrible ability at navigating these twisting streets aside, the elomen enjoyed the sense of activity in the area. More than five months after the disaster, the district was as busy as ever. Brenn relished the crowds, and he hoped obvious life of the area would help ease his friend's tendency towards self-isolation.

    At length, he climbed the steps to Vedran's door, knocking loudly.
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by elanya on 06/07/12, 08:37 am

    Vedran had been trying to let go of the lingering anxieties and stress from the morning meeting with his father by watching playing with Macen and Kier. His testing was over for now, and he should have the rest of the results by the end of the day, if he felt like venturing down to the guild. He wasn't too worried about that at least.

    He was just putting up the last little piece of wooden fencing to corral the jointed farm animals that were currently staggering awkwardly around the living room rug when he herd the knock. He pulled himself to his feet, Macen following suite and toddling after his father as he went to answer the door.

    "Brenn!" It felt like forever since he'd seen his friend last, and he smiled genuinely. "Kallista said she might send you my way after she'd had her way with you. Come on in!"

    "Ba!" Macen added, peeking out from behind his father's legs.
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by Josh on 06/07/12, 09:18 pm

    Brenn smiled back broadly, edging inside. He took a quick glance around the apartment before turning to regard Vedran and his son. He knelt, ruffling the toddler's hair.

    "Hey little man, you're looking good. Uncle Brenn has something for you."

    Brenn reached into the satchel he was carrying, producing a particularly fluffy stuffed owlbear. He handed the toy over, looking up at Vedran.

    "I figured something this soft couldn't do much damage if he animated it."

    He stood, reaching back into his bag. He took out a dark bottle, offering it to Vedran.

    "Irikos '99. I seem to recall you liked the vintage, and I was just in Thantopolis. Lord Alianus sends his regards."

    He gestured vaguely towards the rest of the apartment.

    "Do you have somewhere we can open this? I think we have some things to discuss."
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by elanya on 06/07/12, 09:49 pm

    "Ooooh, yeah, that was a good one, thanks..." He smiled and looked down at Macen. "Can you say 'thank you' to Uncle Brenn?"

    Macen pulled the fluffy toy out of his mouth and looked up at the captain, then back to his father. "Ow Ba!"

    "Mmhmm, yes that's right, it's an owl bear. Can you say 'thank you'?"

    He hesitated, looking between the two adults. "Ta-oo."


    "That's great Macen, now why don't you go show Kier your new toy?" Grinning briefly, Vedran glanced over at the tutor, who was looking out of place until he crouched to catch the little elf that came running at him. "Have you two met? Brenn, this is Kier Haines, Macen's tutor, and Kier, Captain Brenn Aelindar."

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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by Josh on 06/07/12, 10:30 pm

    Brenn grinned.

    "We meet at last. Cael's mentioned you at length."

    He extended a hand as the tutor stood up, blushing and holding the rambunctious Macen. Kier shifted to allow the opportunity to shake hands briefly before getting a better grip on the toddler.

    "Likewise, Captain Aelindar. A pleasure to meet you. I hope you'll forgive me the lack of a more formal greeting," he said, nodding towards his charge.

    "Completely unnecessary. I'm sure we'll be fast friends." Brenn looked nodded towards Vedran. "For the moment however, I have some small business with Vedran. I don't suppose Macen might enjoy a stroll?"

    Kier looked to his employer.
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by elanya on 06/07/12, 10:52 pm

    "Actually, Kier - take him to my mother's place. He can have his nap there, and I'll come by later. I need to talk to her anyway, and we could be a while here."

    "Yes, my lord." Kier smiled at the other two, and busied himself quickly gathering the things the toddler would need for an afternoon trip up the hill.

    Meanwhile, Vedran ushered Brenn further past the main living area to a smaller alcove with a small dining table and a sideboard. Above this was the liquor cabinet, and he took down two glasses and uncorked the bottle. "I have cheese, grapes and some herb bread if you'd like?"
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by Josh on 06/07/12, 11:14 pm

    "I ate earlier, thanks, but by all means," Brenn answered affably, but his tone grew serious as he continued. "This may take some time."

    He paused to consider how to continue.

    "Kallista came to see me. Explained some things about what's been going on with you guys lately. She's scared, more than she'd like to say."
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by elanya on 06/07/12, 11:23 pm

    Vedran passed Brenn one of the glasses of wine and took a seat, gesturing for him to do the same. It was a bit of a mental shift from where his mind had been the rest of the day, but it wasn't unwelcome, and he wondered again if it made him a coward that he'd rather face anyone's problems but his own.

    "I know, and I don't know that I blame her. How much did she tell you?"
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by Josh on 06/07/12, 11:32 pm

    "That the disaster in Highmark was likely an accident resulting from someone looking into the doom of Nachtur, which drew the attention of the Sentinel Houses, who are looking to harness the destructive power for unknown ends. The Thunderbolts got involved, rescued or kidnapped the researcher currently closest to the issue and smuggled her gods know where with Sir Dhenirigan in tow. The rest of you are currently alternating between keeping a public profile and avoiding Highmark as much as possible, fearing reprisal. That about sum it up?"
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by elanya on 06/07/12, 11:40 pm

    Vedran took a sip of his wine, savouring it while Brenn went through his summary. "That's the bones of it, anyway. There's some more details, some of which are more important than others, but I guess the point is that we don't really know what to expect as far as any reprisal might go, and we're not even sure where it might come from, exactly. If you heard about what happened to Beryl and the rest on the way up to Grimfar... Well that was before this, but as far as I can tell, they went after the Thunderbolts - and Beryl with them - because they didn't like us looking in to this."
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by Josh on 06/07/12, 11:48 pm

    Brenn swirled his wine in its glass as Vedran spoke, inhaling the scent before taking a drink. He frowned as he responded.

    "Kallista mentioned Himrall being involved, as well as at least part of the churches of Ioun and Moradin. The Moradics and Himrall I get, but the Iounians feels...odd. I would think that either means there's something even stranger going on, or Uthyr is involved too. They tend to be in tight with the servants of Ioun. Do you have any idea about the rest of the Sentinel Houses?"
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by elanya on 06/07/12, 11:59 pm

    "Well... Right. The Iounites link in to the Nachtur too. There's an artifact involved that they helped create in the original Doom. There were two, the people experimenting in Highmark thought they had gotten a hold of one from the Church of Moradin in Mythragal - also involved in the initial creation. But now it looks like whatever they used was likely a fake. Anyway - I don't know about Uthyr and I don't know about any of the others. I know Machel was looking in to the Disaster, and it was one of their reports that helped us...well, okay, Roscoe, make the Nachtur connection. Zanne offered to help when we were first looking in to this, but I'm reluctant to go back to her, because I don't want to put her in a tight spot."
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by Josh on 07/07/12, 12:06 am

    "Hmm. If you think you can trust her, though, she's likely a good connection to have in this. My family has connections with Uthyr, I can try to follow that up, and Agyness has connections with Palatine from her time in the Guards."

    He paused, considering.

    "You have told Agy about this, right? And I assume this is what's had Beryl so concerned and tight-lipped the last month or so? Does Cael, Thruik or Alia know?"
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by elanya on 07/07/12, 12:15 am

    "Agyness knows. Thru knows, because we were hoping he could help us research some of the divine aspects of the original ritual. Beryl... yeah, she knows everything." He sighed, taking another drink, trying to push the 'everything' back to a safe corner of his mind for now. "I haven't said anything to the other two though...Really, things have been kind of crazy. Really, I hardly see Alia any more, which is... well. I don't know." He frowned. "And Cael is... I still worry about him, you know?"
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by Josh on 07/07/12, 12:21 am

    "Yeah, he's still...yeah. Alia, though, she could be helpful. She doesn't like to admit it, but she can be just as much of a geek about this magic stuff as Cael or Thru. But I can understand your concern; she's been through a lot too."

    Brenn sipped his wine, giving himself some time.

    "So, I have to ask. If you've gotten the other researcher out of the way, and under friendly care, what exactly do you plan to do with her? Or this knowledge, for that matter. I doubt losing one researcher is going to stop whoever is working on this."
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by elanya on 07/07/12, 12:45 am

    Vedran sipped his own drink, happy to let Brenn think whatever he wanted about his issues with Alia.

    "Well, other than the guy who was working on things directly here, she's the one who knows the most about the research without having to piece it back together from scratch. They might have a decent idea what was going on now, but without her, or without some kind of crazy lucky break, I'm hoping they aren't going to have a whole lot of luck, or that it will at least take them a while to get organized.

    "As for what we'll do with it... I don't know how much Kallista told you, but they were researching how to fix Nachtur - how to stabilize it and make it livable again. Now Himrall, and whoever might be with them - that's not what they want to know anyway. They want to be able to recreate the Doom itself. I think the original research that was being done here is important, and the general team consensus is that we want to see it continued. But even if we figure it out, well... it's pretty politically charged."

    Vedran sighed. "Honestly, we haven't had a chance to think that far ahead yet. I'm having a hard enough time keeping up as it is, and most of the team doesn't really know the first thing about politics. There's going to be lot of people who want a piece of the action, or who want it all for themselves. Knowing that is about as far as I've gotten at this point."
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by Josh on 07/07/12, 12:55 am

    "Well, I think I can help with the last part. At that point its just about protecting your investment, and that's something I know well. I assume you've talked to Jesseryn about this?
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by elanya on 07/07/12, 08:55 am

    Vedran fought with an involuntary grimace at his father's name, and then shrugged. "Yeah, he knows. Where else do you think I could have gotten two portal scrolls with less than a day's notice? He's been supportive, but I don't know what exactly he really thinks of it all." Considering his early morning meeting, it wasn't something he really wanted to dwell on at the moment either. His father never made plans in isolation. He took another sip of wine, thinking that he hadn't had anything to eat since breakfast, and that even though he wasn't hungry, he probably should.
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by Josh on 07/07/12, 09:34 am

    "Right," Brenn replied, pondering. "Well, I think we can get some more information relatively safely. Uncle Garen is good friends with Areta Uthyr, from Parliament and the war before that. I can make inquiries. Agy has contacts with the Palatine from her time in the Guards, and I'm sure she'd be happy to help."

    He gave himself a brief moment to consider, but wanted to push on before Vedran had a chance to argue. The real negotiation would come after everything was put on the table.

    "The Montagus go way back with the Nabari, and while I would bet you want to keep Capula out of this, she's connected regardless. I'm betting she'd want to know. And I happen to know she still has friends in with the Erathisians, which it would behoove you to have on your side."

    "Beryl even has friends of friends in Himrall itself. Its possible to get some intel there. That covers all five Sentinel Houses if you're willing to talk to Zanne. If not, I'm sure there are other inroads."

    Brenn took a quick sip of his wine, moving on.

    "This is big, I don't have to tell you that. But, my friend, you have a tendency to take the weight of the world on your shoulders, even when, and sometimes especially when, its not necessary. You've got allies, more than I think you know, and those allies have allies. That's how this sort of thing works. I love Kallista, but I understand why she's looking at this problem and all she sees is a monster she can't fight. I think you know there're more and better ways to fight this."

    Brenn lifted his glass towards his lips, freezing right before he took a drink as the realization of what he'd said sunk in.
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by elanya on 07/07/12, 10:23 am

    Despite, or maybe because of, everything else, Vedran had to grin at Brenn's inadvertent confession. "Oh really?" But he was willing to let it go at that for now, and let him mull that one over himself while considering the issues already on the table. "Anyway, you're right. And this is exactly why I thought we should tell you. I'm much better at seeing problems than their solutions, especially when I'm this much wrapped up in them." He took a sip of his own drink, eyeing the nearly empty glass and realizing what an understatement that was. "I'll see what I can do. The hardest part will be convincing the others to bring Monti in."

    Except of course Brenn was still mulling over the Kallista thing and not really listening to him at all. He let him sit there for a moment, thinking, while he grabbed himself some bread and cheese and refilled both their glasses, sitting back down with a thoughtful look. "So ...Kallista? You've both seemed pretty happy with how things have been going."
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by Josh on 07/07/12, 12:02 pm

    Brenn finished his drink, coming out of his reverie. He looked up at Vedran as he sat, his bright grinned mixed with a look confused acceptance.

    "Yeah," he said quietly, continuing in a louder tone. "Yeah, we're doing good. Great. I, ah, wow. I guess I do...love her. That's not exactly something I'm familiar with, not really." His gaze grew distant again for a moment. "I'm going to have to consider what that means..."

    Brenn shook his head, coming back to the conversation.

    "While we're on the subject, and in your new home, how are things with Jacinthe?" Brenn practically winced as he said her name, hesitant, but he wanted to make sure Vedran knew he available as support.
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by elanya on 07/07/12, 12:20 pm

    His happy grin froze on his face, and he put down his glass slowly. He hadn't had a chance to even tell Brenn anything in person, and wasn't sure what he knew other than the obvious. His confusion from his morning meeting, the guilt twinged with relief, came bubbling back up, and he sighed heavily.

    "Ahh, well. Not great. I haven't actually seen her since... Well since I left. Anytime I've been h- ...up to the house for anything, she's always out or indisposed. And..." He could feel his face turning red - he probably shouldn't say anything, even to Brenn. But even if he friend wouldn't know he was hiding something, he couldn't keep it in right then even if he couldn't look directly at Brenn while he said it. "This isn't anything official, or.. I mean, I - no one has talked to her or anything, yet, but... we are probably going to divorce." He gave the word some space before finishing. "I had a meeting this morning with my father. He brought it up. He said he would take care of things."
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by Josh on 07/07/12, 12:24 pm

    Brenn sank back in his chair, blinking.

    "Wow, uh...wow," he responded, immediately upset at the uselessness of that offering. He had to think a moment before continuing. "How're you doing with that?"
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by elanya on 07/07/12, 12:41 pm

    "Oh you know... Awful." He fought with himself a moment over whether it would be worth elaborating or not, and too a deep drink of his wine, its quality lost on him for the moment. There wasn't really anything Brenn could do, but holding on to it wasn't going to help either. "I feel like a complete failure, but at the same time its this huge relief, and *that* makes me feel even worse. And then..." Now he felt the blood run out of his face, and he felt a chill. "I mean. I can't... then I'll have to do it all over again."
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    Re: An Overdue Visit

    Post by Josh on 07/07/12, 12:52 pm

    Brenn frowned at his friend, hearing the pain in his voice.

    "Look, Ved, I know why you would feel that, but this isn't your fault. This sort of thing does happen, and you two weren't exactly...compatible to begin with. This may be the best possible thing for both of you."

    He leaned forward to make his next point.

    "Honestly, I wouldn't even think about the concept of doing it again. I imagine Jesseryn isn't going to want you to get married again right away. Take some time to be happy. Find whatever will accomplish that and go for it. Even if you haven't let yourself consider it, I'm betting you have some ideas on that score anyway."

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