We knew, so why did we keep quiet?

Grievous

POSTED: Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:32 pm

Optime | The Ruins (KamKrios house) | Dated: March 25th; afternoon | NPC: Stone (+438)

[SL] Curse of the Sanctum

Related to this thread.

For my reference in my other thread: wood charcoal, burned animal bones

She had been slowly feeling better since her initial collapse that had led to her being confined to her home rather than out and about doing her duties as Inquisitor, Emissary, or Vedetta. She no longer felt like she was in the process of slowly dying or losing herself, and she had wondered if it was in part to to Velimir basically forcing her to ingest some powdered concoction he’d made a day—or was it two or three?—before, or, her husband’s meticulous hovering. Maybe it was both. Maybe it was neither. Kamari no longer felt like death, and that was all that mattered.

The Shadow still felt weak, however.

It was why Kamari had stayed within her home instead of daring to venture out. That and, her husband had forbidden her to leave on her own violation, probably worried that she might pass out again, much to her frustration. She hadn’t fought him on the matter, as, even as annoying as it was, she saw reasoning in his request. It left Kamari bored in her waking hours though, because she could do little more than sit around the house or do only small projects that didn’t require a lot of energy on her part.

A fire crackled softly in the fireplace, and some natural, spring daylight filtered in through a partially-opened shutter. Kamari had been in the midst of trying to read through her notes on who she had questioned in the days before she had been bedridden when her large tomcat, Stone, leapt down from the windowsill. The cat jumped up onto the table and padded his way over to where Kamari had been seated at. “The son of Basilaris approaches,” he warned her.

She nodded, slowly raising to her feet and pulling her shawl a bit tighter around her shoulders. Kamari shut her journal and pushed it off to the side where the big cat laid on it in an almost deceptively lazy manner. The Kaiser made her way over to the door just as the visitor to the homestead announced themselves. She pulled open the door, unconsciously leaning against it for support.

“Henchman Grievous,” she greeted him politely with a small smile. She was thinner than she usually was due to a largely lacking appetite and having lived mostly on broths brewed by her husband. Kamari opened the door wider for the Eternity to enter the home. The monochrome wolf was a man the Kaiser trusted, though, her cornflower blue eyes did search him in light of recent things that had come to light. “What brings you here?”

Kamari Kaiser

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POSTED: Sun Mar 31, 2019 5:56 pm

More and more Grievous found himself no longer following his father's path, but instead stepping into the absence that death made in the pack. Healers were, apparently, fewer than he had thought. This made the gray wolf anxious, fearing that if a true attack came it would stretch their ability to recover thin.

He had been surprised when the old man – Velimir, his name was – came asking after herbs. Though reluctant to explain his reasons, when pressed it had been revealed that his former Sponsor had fallen ill. Grievous recognized the need for secrecy within Salsola, and certainly understood why Kamari would not want her sickness exposed. It suggested weakness, or worse, that she had been afflicted by the curse hanging above all their heads.

It was not his place to pry, but Grievous was a loyal son of the Thistle Kingdom and wanted nothing more than to see this plague lifted.

The spy was waiting for him, looking somehow smaller and softer than he had ever seen her. Grievous did not mistake this for true weakness – the shawl was not her regular cloak but could certainly conceal a weapon, and Krios' absence did not mean he was not far.

Inquisitor Kamari, he returned with a slight dip of his head. I find myself with some extra supplies, the big wolf lifted the basket he had brought to show her. Would you allow me in? I can show you what I've brought and we can...talk, his expression betrayed that he was not being as forthcoming with his reasons, though he looked uncomfortable speaking too freely in the open.


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POSTED: Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:27 pm

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The basket he had with him made her curious, as did the words he used to explain his reasoning there. Extra supplies? Wanting to “talk?” She was glad that her wits had returned to her, else she might have stood there dumbly as she tried to figure out what all that the man meant. “Yes, please,” Kamari gestured with a hand for the larger male to enter, nodding to the table that she had been previously sitting at, “You can sit over there if you’d like.”

Grievous was one of the few left in the Kingdom that had any sort of medical knowledge. His twist in his facial expression asked for privacy, and it was likely he wished to speak about something that either Krios, Velimir, or Victoire had told him. If not for recent events, it might have been something related to the Inquisitors and their task still delegated to them by the Boss.

Kamari shut the door in his wake, making her way over to the window and closing the shutter before winding her way gradually back to where she had been seated before. Stone eyed the large man for a moment before proceeding to feign sleep on top of the journal. “What is this related to?” Kamari inquired as she settled into her seat. “The Inquisition? Or my current state?”

She didn’t want to assume, however, she thought it to be safe enough to be blunt with the man. She knew she did not look as physically well as she should have, as well, her being unable to leave the home for nearly a week might have been noticed. So, even if Krios, Velimir, or Victoire, hadn’t spoken with him or asked for his presence there, the Eternity probably could have easily seen that something was “off” about the Emissary.

Her gaze was upon the basket and its mysterious contents.

Kamari Kaiser

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POSTED: Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:57 pm

Once indoors, Grievous settled where Kamari had indicated he might. The home she and Krios had chosen was suitable for people in their position, which seemed a curious thought given what had spawned Kamari and her absentee brother.

It was hard for Grievous to overlook this when his family had been the one to keep her father indebted. Heine had been a diligent servant. His devotion had been proven during the war. Grievous could still recall his brother, at the mercy of an enemy blade, and how mere moments might have cost Scourge his life.

Heine's daughter had inherited her father's common sense. Her talents (Grievous knew she was a spy and worked closely with O'Riley) were her own making, though, and she saw through his act at once.

The latter, I'm afraid, he admitted. Grievous removed the cover from the basket. Within there was indeed a piece of meat wrapped in a bundle tied with fibrous cord, but he had brought more than that – a jar with dried leaves and other smaller bundles packed carefully atop one another. There was an additional, tiny jar in which amber colored honey was sealed.

Your father's man – or your man now, I suppose – he mentioned that you were feeling off. Would you let me examine you? I know I'm not a proper healer, Grievous added, his ears fanning back momentarily. But I'd like to help.


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POSTED: Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:42 am

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To his answer, she gave a solemn, shallow nod. “I see.” It made her wonder how much of her illness had been safely kept a secret from the rest of the Kingdom. During such chaotic times, to learn that one of the Inquisition had suddenly fallen ill would not bode well for the Boss’ cause. To have it known that it was Kamari that had fallen ill would have been unpleasant for the Emissary on a personal scale. To be thought of as weak, vulnerable, when compared to the others of the Factions, it would have been an insult to her pride and all of the hard work she had done to rise to be one of the Shield.

Her cornflower blue eyes watched Grievous as he pulled out the items that he had brought with him. The first was a package that was bound in cord, and it was only as the Henchman brought out the second item that the jackal hybrid’s nose had been able to detect what was hidden away in the first; meat. The thought—and smell—of food made her feel both sick and nauseous at the same time. With any luck, the Eternity wouldn’t force her to eat it while in his presence. She would have hated to be rude, particularly when her stomach was as fickle as it had been.

The other items were brought out one by one, some recognizable, others a mystery. For the most part, they appeared to be things that could have been tied to the man’s medical knowledge. Kamari knew little about the field though, and, if she hadn’t known of Grievous’ background in it, she might have thought he had come to her home to fix her a meal.

It appeared that Velimir had spoken with Grievous, of which, was no large concern of Kamari. She trusted the Easterner enough to assume that he had only spoken to the Eternity out of concern for Kamari’s health rather than to gossip. The Shadow nodded to Grievous, offering a small smile to him. “If it will make me feel even a little better, that would be greatly appreciated.”

Kamari allowed him to do his work as he had before with when she had gotten injured. She trusted his skill and judgement. After all, even with whatever little he claimed to know, it was more than what the Inquisitor knew or was experienced with. She did as he asked of her, her thoughts distracted and elsewhere. The herbs on the table had sparked something in her mind, and she silently played with an idea that had surfaced as a result.

Cornflower blue eyes turned onto the monochrome Eternity, regarding him idly. The Shadow considered the risk involved, drew up the pros and cons, the actions and repercussions. In the end, she decided to take the plunge. “Henchman,” she started, her tone deceptively casual but innocently curious, “Have you worked much with poisons before?”

Grievous had never given her a reason to doubt his loyalty to the Thistle Crown. He had never wronged Kamari or her father. And, he must have had something worthwhile to him to have gained the favor of the stony Paladin, Idrieus.

Kamari Kaiser

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POSTED: Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:29 am

As he began sorting his materials, Kamari asked a pointed question.

Grievous frowned. His expression turned stern, wondering if his escapades with Asura had somehow gotten back to Salsola, but soon realized this was unlikely. It had been months since he seen the she-wolf, though he sometimes found himself thinking of her and where she might be. Such wanderings were innocuous, for he had secured the most prized woman in their midst and devoted himself to her entirely.

Treason, in any form, was not to be found within him. Even when he had joined O'Riley in his deadly deception, that had been for a greater good – Lokr had betrayed them first, after all. The war was merely a consequence of that.

He looked across to the small woman. The implication in her words had not fallen on deaf ears.

Enough to know of them, he confided. I'm no Veleno, but to learn healing is to learn what can harm. And oh, there were quite a collection of plants, fungi, and berries which could cause serious damage and death. As Grievous considered this, he put his hands onto the table. Would you tell me about your symptoms? When did this start, and how quickly did it strike?


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POSTED: Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:30 pm

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Kamari hummed and nodded, her thoughts still considering how she should approach the subject she wanted. Grievous could be trusted, but, the topic required delicacy. If she was proven wrong in any way, it would discredit her and sully the honor that she had worked so hard to obtain for the Kaiser name. If he were to misunderstand her, it could lead to unimaginable repercussions.

He asked that she list her symptoms, and Kamari did so in order to bide her time with how to approach the other matter. “About four days ago? I believe that’s how long Krios said it’s been. We ate a meal together, and, the next morning, we were both ill. I don’t remember anything of the morning or much that happened soon after, but, my husband said that he found me unconscious by the stable.” Try as she might, she couldn’t recall the events, and it frustrated the Kaiser greatly.

“I was in and out of consciousness after that, and had a fever up until yesterday morning. Constantly cold, but my head was hot. Disoriented, dizzy, headaches. I couldn’t—” She paused here, realizing she shouldn’t lie when this was her health. Her eyes fell to her hands that were clasped on the table. “It’s…difficult to keep solid food down.” Particularly after what Victoire had told her the day before…

She cleared her throat. “I’ve been sleeping a lot, and don’t have a lot of energy.”

The Shadow made a long pause, her thoughts still churning within her. Finally, she took a breath and let it out softly. “Not to distract from your work, Henchman, but, I’ve been cooped up for a few days with only my husband for conversational company,” she began, trying to make the shift in subject matter casual and mundane, “What are your thoughts regarding the events of the Sanctum tier? Have there been any new rumors that might have popped up while I’ve been sick?” She needed to find a way to approach the subject of a certain dark witch without simply planting the seed in his mind.

Kamari Kaiser

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POSTED: Sat Apr 06, 2019 11:27 pm

As he sat there, considering, Kamari told him more than he expected. For each symptom he imagined another scenario or eliminated.

Grievous mulled over these thoughts. He was still thinking over what seemed to be coming together all too easily. The Henchman was not one to overlook the obvious. Conspiracy and intrigue involved levels of twisted thinking he could not grapple with. Complicating matters was unnecessary. Sensibility was what had allowed wolves to survive for as long as they had.

And savagery, of course.

Our faith is being tested, he offered Kamari obtusely. But these events are...different, Grievous went on after a thoughtful pause. He began to separate the items he had brought, putting some back into the basket resting on the table. Violent death has a meaning behind it. Killing someone serves a purpose.

He was thinking about O'Riley and the coyote that had shot them, but he began thinking about the Boreas wolves too, with Heine's daughter staring at him with the same intense gaze. They desired death to appease their god, but they had come for revenge beyond that. Every action told a story.

We never found Ondine, nor her mate, while Loki was left to be found.

Whoever had done such a thing wanted the full extent of that death's suffering to be told, and more importantly, exposed to Salsola despite the pack's undeniable history of victory in conflict. Perhaps the curse had come from inside.

If you were both ill, he went on, pushing forward a jar with dried purple flowers and bits of faded leaves. My guess would be that you were both exposed to something. Probably something you ate, Grievous added, adding to his pile the honey and a small bundle of dried, pointy looking herbs. Though if it was just food, it doesn't make sense for you to be so much worse than Krios. Unless... he trailed off, fixing her with a steady gaze. It could have been improper, given her rank, but Grievous realized he was treading close to something dangerous and concerned as to what he might learn.


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POSTED: Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:38 am

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She let him speak, not wanting to interrupt his train of thought. While Kamari had killed before in the name of Salsola, there was a distinction between those that had fallen at her hands and the deaths of the Seer and Crone. They had been, as Grievous had described, violent deaths, the kind that were often accompanied with a more sinister reason than fighting off arrogant and foolhardy Outsiders.

The death of those of the Sanctum spoke of something that had been festering in secret. A beautiful and kind mother and wife that. A single father who still grieved for his losses and was overprotective of his remaining daughter. The Seer had been pushed to her death upon the angry sea and jagged rocks below. The Crone had been burned alive.

It was true too, how different each circumstance was. Kamari had a strong assumption as to why Ondine and Janik had been killed the way they had been. As for Loki, however…his felt like someone wanted to prove a point, wanted to send a message.

Grievous brought their conversation back around to his original purpose for being there. He spoke of the same thought process that had gone through Kamari’s mind the day before. If it had merely been food poisoning, Krios would have surely suffered as badly as Kamari, and Kamari would not have found herself in such a poor state of health. She nodded solemnly when the Eternity trailed.

“It was poisoned?” She finished. Her face and tone expressed indifference despite the gravity of what such a thing entailed. She had had time to get over her initial shock, her initial anger, and had learned to control it as she did most other things, a reason why she had been named the Emissary.

Her voice lowered to a stern whisper as her cornflower blue eyes met his sunburst ones. “What we speak of here does not fall to the ears of anyone besides the Inquisition or the Boss, understood?” She knew she didn’t need to tell Grievous this—he knew better—but, it would help set the tone and gravity of what she spoke of next. “I have my suspicions, and I suspect that this particular individual played a part in the mysterious deaths of Seer Ondine and Family member Janik.”

She steadied him for a moment longer. “I believe that you’ve worked closely with Paladin Idrieus, correct? Have either of you found anything in particular regarding the circumstances around those particular murders?” She wasn’t sure how much Inquisition work Idrieus had done since the Boss’ decree. After all, Loki had been like a father to her, and his death had likely had her grieving as Krios had been when his mother had been murdered.

Kamari Kaiser

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POSTED: Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:41 pm

Yes, he answered her twice.

And Kamari, then fixing him with a frigid stare, told him in so many words that the person who had poisoned her had killed the Seer. Though he was big and mean looking, Grievous was smart, and he was quick enough to recognize exactly who it was she was speaking about.

All the eyes and ears in Salsola were waiting, and each coiled-spring muscle in their bodies the members of their Family sought to breed dissent and chaos. It was a foul thing, this Inquisition, but it brought to the surface all the wasting pus beneath the wound.

This had to be done. Now, before the infection set in.

Besides, Kamari recognized that he and Idrieus had been involved seeking the truth. They had not found it out there in the dark, but Idrieus had confided her suspicions in him and Grievous could so easily see how possible betrayal was.

His family had betrayed him. Why would this not happen elsewhere?

Switching to the Mountain-tongue so that they would not risk being discovered should unwanted spies be eavesdropping, Grievous told her what he believed the truth.

You think it was her sister, he said first, and recognizing his own presumptuousness expressed an apology with the fanning back of his gray ears. I think so too. I will not speak for –, he almost said something but caught himself. —the Paladin, but we both went to see if we could find anything that night. We didn't, he concluded with a brisk snort.

Finding nothing was peculiar.

Grievous finished with his bag and put his hands on the table. Make a tea from these things. You aren't sick, so you don't need much of it. The poison must leave on its own if it has failed to kill you. If you've survived this long, I don't think you are in danger from that. He paused, regarding her little shape all wrapped up. Though strong and dangerous, Kamari was still a jackal living in a world of wolves. A little will help your body grow stronger.


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the bare bloodless skull
Salsola
The Equinest
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