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    Spousenapped

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    Spousenapped

    Post by tuck on 15/07/14, 04:33 pm

    After the battle in the marketplace, the rest of the day had been a blur of confusion and activity; people had to be contacted and informed, a prisoner had to be interrogated, diplomatic tensions had to be eased, and most importantly preliminary discussion of what the hell was going to happen now had to take place. Aleyn had spent several hours furiously scribbling in their traveling notebook, while Agy and Dhenni had been discussing the situation with the goblins. By the time everyone sat down to dinner it was well past dark. There was still work to do, but it would wait until morning.

    Kallista took a bowl of hot stewed meat and a loaf of bread over to the large tent that Vedran and AAleyn had been sharing and poked her head in through the flap, not wanting to interrupt Aleyn if he was still busy writing.

    "Knock, knock. You hungry?" she said, stepping inside and taking the food over to the simple wooden table on which the book and writing instruments had been set up.
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by Curtana on 15/07/14, 04:43 pm

    Aleyn looked up from the book - there had been nothing new in the past hour, since Ardith had gone to take the kids to bed, but he was keeping an eye on it just in case. "Oh, right. I probably should eat something." Over the course of their travels he'd lost all of the extra weight he'd put on after three years at home, plus a few pounds more, and his face seemed drawn and thin even as he mustered a faint smile of thanks for Kallista.

    "Is everyone else going to eat too? Or did they already do that and head to bed, or..." He'd lost track of time somewhat with the confusion of the past few hours, but he felt like he ought to be taking responsibility for the rest of their companions, making sure that they were all right, since Vedran was gone. Remembering that Vedran was gone - kidnapped away to another plane, and who knew how they would get him back? - made his face fall again as he accepted the bowl and bread.
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by tuck on 15/07/14, 04:53 pm

    "They're eating," Kallista said, noticing how haggard the human was starting to look, "Brouadair and Iona were good enough to get dinner going while everyone else was still running damage control. Dhenni and Agy just got back from talking to the goblins about the marketplace incident. Don't worry about them. I'm more worried about you. How are you holding up?"
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by Curtana on 15/07/14, 05:04 pm

    "I don't really know," he said slowly. "I've been busy enough with everything that's going on that I'm only starting to process it now. That he's gone. They're gone," he amended, not wanting to leave out Torinth. "And I have no idea how we're going to get them back. And with everything else that's happening back home, all at once... it can't be a coincidence, the timing, right? Thank the gods that Macen was in Nachtur when it happened... and that we sent Mhireen back there too. At least they're all together, with Ardith, and... I guess my family in Highmark are okay for now, or that's what I heard anyway - Ardith said her family were giving them a place to stay, which must be interesting, but it could be so much worse... " He trailed off, still numb from shock, and took a bite of the bread mostly so that he'd have something to do other than babble uncontrollably.
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by tuck on 15/07/14, 07:03 pm

    "Hey..." Kallista said softly, putting one hand on Aleyn's shoulder, "It's ok. We're gonna get them back. We're adventurers; that's what we do. We rescue people and beat the bad guys. At least we know they're okay."

    She sat down next to him at the table as he poked at his food.

    "That slaad said they're just gonna hold them for now. That means we have a little time at least. We'll find them."

    Kallista sighed.

    "And then... then we'll figure out what we're gonna do about... everything else."
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by Curtana on 15/07/14, 11:51 pm

    Aleyn nodded. "At least Ardith wasn't upset. I mean, she is upset, obviously," he added hastily, "but she didn't blame me or anything... I didn't really think she would, but there's still part of me that thinks I should have been able to stop it... if I'd just stayed closer to him, or ... I don't know, taken them down faster..." He sighed. "She's just so busy with everything, taking care of the kids on top of everything else, it feels selfish to want her to come back and write more in the book for me, just to tell me it'll be okay and it's not my fault."
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by tuck on 16/07/14, 09:09 am

    "I know that I'm not Ardith," Kallista said, "But It WILL be okay. And it's NOT your fault. You did everything you could for him. There's no way we could have known what was going to happen."
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by Curtana on 16/07/14, 07:14 pm

    "I don't know if that's true," Aleyn said glumly. "Maybe there were signs we missed. If the masked priest, whoever they are, is involved, then we might have had clues going back three years or more, and just didn't notice them, or put them together properly... Vedran's better at that sort of thing than me anyway."
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by tuck on 16/07/14, 07:25 pm

    "Aleyn, you can't expect yourself to predict the future. Even if we had been able to see the attacks coming we could never have known where or when or how they would happen. We don't even know that the attacks and Vedran's... disappearance... are related. Think about it. Vedran and Torinth, our two best negotiators, get abducted right when we're making inroads into diplomatic channels here. That sounds a lot more like regional politics than it does confederacy-wide invasion. Let's not beat ourselves up over what we missed, until we at least know more about what the hell is going on."
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by Curtana on 16/07/14, 07:38 pm

    "I know you're right," Aleyn said, dunking a piece of bread into the rapidly-cooling stew. "I just feel so helpless - or like there's nothing I can do to help him, anyway. We had just t-talked..." His voice caught for a moment before he could go on. "...about what we wanted to do if one or the other of us died - about whether we'd want to come back, even knowing how hard that can be on people. And we said we both did... But he didn't want me to promise that I'd do anything in my power to get him back if... if something didn't go right, or there were complications. He wanted me to think of Ardith and the kids first... so that they wouldn't be maybe losing me too. I don't know what the right thing is to do."
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by tuck on 16/07/14, 08:00 pm

    Kallista was silent for a moment before leaning forward and wrapping her arms around her colleague. She held him tightly for a while before pulling.

    "You know..." she said, trying to gather her thoughts, "Back when I first joined the Union everything was so easy.We went out adventuring, fought monsters, rescued people, then came back to Highmark and drank until we needed more money then did it all again. I never really thought about whether I was going to come back most of the time. If I'm being honest, I'm not even sure if I really cared. But this time when I left I realized... someone would miss me. I guess that's what being an adult is. It's not just about us anymore."

    Kallista sighed and took Aleyn's hand.

    "I can't tell you what you should do. But I can promise that whatever you decide, whether it's to go after him or to go back to Highmark or Nachtur first, I'll understand. And I know Vedran would too."
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by Curtana on 16/07/14, 09:32 pm

    Aleyn squeezed Kallista's hand in return, grateful for her comfort. He couldn't entirely identify with what she was saying - there had always been someone, many someones in fact, who worried when he was away, and would have missed him if he hadn't made it back from one adventure or another. There had always been people he felt responsible for waiting for him at home. Maybe he'd always been an adult, by her definition of the term. But he understood her point.

    "I guess we'll have to wait and see what our travel options really are - where we can get to, what's best for the most people. If going to Highmark is what a majority of us want, then I'll go there - we can get to the Elemental Chaos from there just as well as here, and I have no idea how the distances there translate anyway. Maybe we can have more luck getting a planar sending done from there too, especially if Jesseryn is on board. We definitely can try to contact Roscoe and Warryn and Del, and see who else might be willing to help..." He sighed. "I know that it makes sense to prepare and plan this carefully, so we don't wind up in a worse situation than the last time we were there - which, as you might recall, sucked a lot. I just have to tell that to the part of me that wants to run off there right away."
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by tuck on 16/07/14, 09:52 pm

    Kallista nodded.

    "Yeah, I'm not anxious to be lost in a world where the laws of physics are more like polite suggestions with no food and an angry dwarf after us again."

    She gave a half smirk, hoping to raise Aleyn's spirits a bit.

    "We'll figure it out and get him back."
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by Curtana on 17/07/14, 02:19 pm

    Wishing he had as much confidence as Kallista, Aleyn nevertheless managed to smile back. "This time we'll make sure to pack some food aside from pemmican, for starters. And maybe we can find a non-stolen method of transportation."
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by tuck on 17/07/14, 02:35 pm

    "Hmmm..." Kallista said, musingly, "We know boats work in the elemental chaos. I wonder if airships would too. If not, our best bet may be pack animals of some kind. Maybe if we can get in contact with Warryn he can bring his Bullette. Or maybe someone could hook us up with some drakes or something. That would be sweet!"
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by Curtana on 17/07/14, 02:39 pm

    Aleyn gave a little snort of laughter.  "We should probably stick with transport native to that plane - I don't want to have to cart stuff along to feed drakes too! But I more meant that maybe we could buy some animals, or a ship, or whatever.  For that matter, maybe we can buy off the slaads.  If they're mercenaries, and we figure out what they like to get paid in, it might be worthwhile to have some of... whatever it is they like on hand."
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by tuck on 17/07/14, 02:44 pm

    "Yeah, it's possible. I have no idea what slimy chaos toads use for money, though. Maybe our guest will help us out with that. He's been surprisingly cooperative so far. It's refreshing getting to interrogate someone who values his life more than his principles. It makes it much easier."
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by Curtana on 17/07/14, 02:48 pm

    "Seriously," Aleyn said. "So much more agreeable than cultists and fanatics. Maybe we can just fight mercenaries from now on, how does that sound?"
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by tuck on 17/07/14, 02:59 pm

    "Man, that sounds fantastic. If I never see another religious fanatic again it'll be too soon," Kallista said without any hint of irony.

    It was good to see that Aleyn was still able to smile and joke. Staying positive was important right now. It was too easy to give in to despair in this business, as Kallista herself could attest.
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by Curtana on 17/07/14, 03:08 pm

    Aleyn opened his mouth to respond, but was distracted by the arrival of a new message in the book, which was still open on the table beside him. "Just let me check that," he said, turning to read it. When he finished, and had jotted down a short reply, he had a sort of melancholy smile on his face.

    "It was from Ardith - she's going to sleep now, but she wanted me to know the kids were fine at bedtime. She hasn't told them about Vedran yet - I don't know if she will, or at least not until we know more and have some kind of firm plan... Anyway, she said she loves me," he said, blushing a little, "and that we'll talk again soon, and figure out what to do. And she told me to make sure I eat something, and get some rest," he added a bit ruefully, looking at the bowl of now-cold stew and the crust of bread.
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    Re: Spousenapped

    Post by tuck on 17/07/14, 03:12 pm

    "She's right," Kallista said, "You need some rest. There's nothing else we can do right now." Kallista stood up and leaned over, kissing Aleyn lightly on the forehead.

    "Get some sleep. Tomorrow we'll figure out what our next move is."

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