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Sniffing About...
Mon Nov 20, 2006 15:37 (XFF:

Zander waited expectantly for some kind of response to his statement. Whenever he had given his opinion to Ronan he had at least been given a detailed reply, no matter whether he was right or wrong in his assumptions. In fact, he had probably learned far more from Ronan's painstakingly detailed responses on the many flaws in his assumptions. Zander smiled as a memory or two from his culture lessons slipped into his head from the recesses of his brain. But he was disappointed with Lysander's reply, which was a mere statement of a few words.

“Ronan has instructed you well, Lexan. The woman has instructed numerous pupils, myself included, and her placement as the Assassin Track Leader will be missed.” were Lysander's words, barely heard above the veritable storm coming out of the mouths of the Corpulent Bard's frequenteurs. Zander looked at him, hiding his surprise at the lack of comment from his teacher. Of course she taught me well, she was a good teacher. But she taught you Lysander? Interesting he mused to himself, merely thinking for a few moments.

His attention was dragged inevitably to the crowd surrounding the two of them sat at their table. In retrospect, Zander admired Lysander's choice of table, even if it was instinctual rather than conscious. It was almost at the very centre of the Corpulent Bard, affording Zander the perfect point from which to view the occupants. He could see the innkeeper deep in a heated argument with a small, scrawny figure of a man. The innkeeper seemed to be winning, but that was of no surprise to Zander, seeing as, even though the small man wore clothes a little richer than most of the crowd, he was not a very opposing figure. Normally he wouldn't have got a second glance from Zander, but his interest was piqued as they exchanged a something between them. This was nothing unusual for an innkeeper, but the fact that they both glanced around first, and tried to keep it unseen was particularly intriguing. Zander's attention was forced back to Lysander forcibly with a direct question.

“Tonight, though, we will not be concerned with Ronan Letifer. I would like to ask you if you understand what the term ‘propaganda of the deed’ means. Are you a political deviant? An anarchist, per se?” Lysander's words were soft, but laced with something that gave Zander pause.

He can't know can he? I mean, I may spread some sort of discontent with the order of things, but no more than the rest. An anarchist? Of course I am! Authority always breeds a certain frame of mind that usually only brings trouble. Best to lie though, I don't need any trouble from Lysander right now Zander thought quickly. The only thing that could have given him away was a slight furrowing of his brow.

“I do not. And I’m not those things, Oberon.” Zander retorted, choosing his words very carefully. He kept very still, merely waiting for this little period of the night to pass by quietly.

“Propaganda of the deed is the fundamental belief that the murder of an authority figure is justifiable should it bring about social revolution. Since gaining the title of M’Hael, I have found myself reading extensively on the subject of political theory. Should a radical murder me in my sleep–something not easily accomplished, I would like to mention–he could do so with the intent to give the denizens of the Black Tower a wake-up call, informing them that the darkest hour preceding dawn has ended, and the time to revolt has come. The individual we will be picking off tonight has performed a murder based on the belief of propaganda of the deed. Last night, Lord Ballard Garfield, the High Seat of House Garfield, was killed in his library as he was enjoying some late-night literature. Lord Garfield has been an outspoken ally of the Black Tower since its inception, going so far as to proffer funds for supplies and to pay stipends. It’s a lamentable occurrence, but our Spies have achieved information that leads us to believe that Lord Garfield was targeted for his association to the Black Tower. It is difficult to make a dent in the Black Tower by attacking the Tower itself, which is why we believe the individual took to targeting Lord Garfield, who was relatively defenceless. To the best of our knowledge, our mark has not achieved a following, has not garnered a successful group of individuals. If he intends to oppose the Black Tower for whatever purposes–and our information states he does–he is, thus far, alone. The benefit of this information should not be taken for granted. If you were an Assassin without the saving grace of information granted to you by Spies, you would not know any of this. Thus, for the sake of your education, we will find out who the culprit is together. I already know the individual’s identity, but, nonetheless, we will be doing a bit of spy-work on our own. The ability to properly accumulate information and infer appropriately is a prerequisite for all Assassins. Remember that, Lexan. As we are looking for evidence to pin this murder to someone, we will begin at the locale of Lord Garfield’s murder. His manor. The identity of the mark and anything more specific regarding his or her motivations are what we intend to find. The night is young, Lexan. We depart.” Lysander's soft voice continued above the talking, telling point after point that Zander had to take into account for the night.

And with that, the cold air of the evening was caressing their skin once more, bathing them in a clammy chill that was neither comfortable nor uncomfortable. Bearable was the word that sprung to Zander’s mind as he considered it. In truth, his attention wasn’t really on the route that Lysander was picking out through the back-streets and alleys of the city. Zander knew them by heart for the most part, and so all that was required of him was to keep himself from outpacing the slightly shorter figure that was ghosting through the dark in front of him. Considering Lysander –or Oberon for tonight- Zander noticed the fluid yet careful footfalls that Ronan had imparted on Zander a few months earlier.

Ronan did teach you well, I will give you that much

And out of the darkness there loomed a stately home, all marble columns and gold filigree meshed artfully with coloured stone that by the look of it had been transported from nearby quarries a good few hundred years before the present night. Heading around the side of the building, passing the grand oaken front doors, they arrived at a smaller side door that once opened gave a view of a spotless kitchen. Lysander gave Zander directions and tasks, and with that slipped through another door into what appeared to be a leisure room from Zander’s cursory glance. Sighing to himself, Zander slipped silently through the other door that exited from his current room, and out into another.

Staring around as he carefully placed his steps before him, he noticed the large oak doors that marked the central entrance to this room. And a royally rich room it seemed to Zander. The wide staircase that led to the upper floors was symmetrical in nature, with two equal curved rows of steps flanking a set of glorious marble statuettes. The ceiling seemed to disappear in the darkness above him, signifying a tall dome-kind ceiling. The wood of the stairs was stained with age and a deep brown that reminded Zander of tree bark and earth. Zander gave it a curious look as he traversed them, padding his way to the second floor of the manor house. Once upon the landing he took the right-hand corridor and made his way to the ninth door, which he opened and closed behind him. Seizing Saidin, he channelled, and a ball of fire appeared above his left palm. Raising it above his head, his eyes scanned the room until they spotted what he was seeking. In the far corner of the room, on one side of a comfortably upholstered chair, was a dark stain or two, scattered as if it had been sprayed onto the floor. From that Zander deduced that Lord Garfield had had his life ended by a clumsy slash of the throat. Tutting over the poor skill of the would-be assassin, Zander crouched and searched the rest of the floor for any indications of bleeding.

Finding nothing he raised himself to a squat and closed his eyes as he cast his memory back to the first time he had viewed this room. As he suspected, there should be a wooden cabinet to his left, which he quickly paced to and opened slowly so that no creak emitted from any poorly oiled hinges. Using air to suspend his fiery orb above the folded-out desk, he turned his hands to rifling through the papers heaped haphazardly within. As he scanned them rapidly, his eyes established that most of them were letters obviously composed by Lord Garfield himself, letters to family and friends making up the bulk. The solidly square hand of Lord Garfield was easily identifiable, which made Zander’s hopeful task all the easier. His eyes quickly picked out several papers that were not written by the late Lord Garfield. He counted five and took them across to the chair that Lord Garfield had spent the last few moments of his life sequestered in. He read and then re-read them carefully before taking four of them back to the fold-up desk and placing them in their original position. Closing the desk once more, he left the room and made his way to the other twelve rooms on the second floor.

He ended up sitting on the top step of the central staircase with five items laid out next to him. Three of them were letters, all penned by the same hand and on the same paper. They seemed to say pretty much the same thing, though they got increasingly desperate and bossy with each one, indicating that the writer had been losing patience over the weeks. And it had been five weeks since the first letter had been sent, according to the dates on the letters. They stated the plan of the murderer, his motivations and such other drivel. There was nothing really useful contained within them apart from the gender of the writer and that he has a vendetta against the Black Tower born of –most likely- revenge. It wasn’t until Zander had turned over one of the letters to expose a name that Zander seriously considered keeping them. The Corpulent Bard The fourth item was a bloodied knife, obviously the murder weapon. It hadn’t taken much effort to find it, underneath a curl of curtain. He had been surprised that it had lain un-noticed until he had picked it up. It was a crude affair, with barely enough fist-guard to call it an adequate weapon. It looked more like a kitchen knife that had been added to and then had the blade shaped in the imitation of a knife. It suggested that either the murderer was poor or stingy in his spending. After consideration of the Corpulent Bard, Zander opted for the latter.

But it was the fifth item that had really piqued Zander’s interest. It was an account by a servant of his followings of a particular man. The servant had followed him for three days and deemed him not worthy or capable of ‘the task’. This was plainly useless in the most part, as the threat had already been carried out. But attached to it had been a small piece of vellum with a short description penned upon it. Zander read it, and then re-read it. He had shut his eyes and then read it again.

It’s the man who passed something to the innkeeper earlier this evening. The description matches perfectly, as does the poor quality knife. But is this enough to go on? Do I need more? I have a description; I have an indication of the Corpulent Bard as the ‘base of operations’, or at least the origin of the letters. And I have a murder weapon. he thought it through carefully.

Zander didn’t even take the next few breaths with another thought. He slinked down the stairs and slipped back into the kitchen to wait for Lysander. He seized and let Saidin go three times before leaning against the edge of the table. Lysander would have felt his location and would be making his way towards him and the news Zander had.

I think the innkeeper is going to need a talking to tonight, judging from his actions with our target were the thoughts echoing in his head as he waited.

OOC: There you go Mark. I thought I would incriminate the innkeeper some too just for spice. I mean, it's not enough to kill him over, so it doesn't change the mission to a kill two people thing. Anyways, hope it's okay. And I tried not to copy-paste RP it too ;)

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