The Rabbit Hole (Flowerdene Arc)

A letter arrives via rat one day. Sara frowns at the note in confusion, but Caldyr offers the rodent a nod of recognition. Iron-Toes had been to a Pact meeting once, on behalf of his mysterious master. His task fulfilled, the rat departs soon afterwards, leaving Caldyr to tell Sara that this business is nothing to concern herself with. This, of course, means that it’s highly confidential, and a briefing will occur in the privacy of their Spire-Emporium.

&quotSo this person wants to meet with me about some information I might find useful?&quot Sara regards the note with some suspicion following a recap on the Bazaarine Stability Pact. &quotWhat do you suppose it’s about? The fundraiser? Emblem? The politician? The Iron Yards? What do you suppose he thinks I’ll find useful?&quot

The raven offers as close to a shrug as he can manage. &quotNo idea. Don’t know much about this individual. Wouldn’t expect it being very related, since he didn’t simply bring it up in the meeting. Might not be of any interest to you at all.&quot

&quotGreat.&quot Sara dutifully burns the note, having confirmed that there was no secret message. &quotWould it be a bad idea to bring you along?&quot

&quotI think accompanying you would be best.&quot The raven would be able to pick out more information from the encounter than Sara would typically notice. &quotIt doesn’t seem threatening, but all the same - tread cautiously.&quot

The pair soon depart for the listed address to some upper-class establishment, Sara on foot and Caldyr keeping a watchful eye from above. She lift her arm up for Caldyr to perch upon once they arrive at the location, awaiting the tomb-colonist meant to escort them to the summoner.

The tomb colonist gets up from his seat in the back of the establishment. He approaches Sara and the raven. “Are you Sara Hysaro?” he murmurs as he approaches the two of them.

The raven remains perched upon her arm, regarding the tomb-colonist with casual curiosity. Sara nods at the question. “Yes.”

The tomb colonist nods. &quotFollow me then.&quot The tomb colonist places his bowler hat on his head and leads Sara out of the establishment. At first the journey is through rather normal avenues but eventually he begins to lead them through several back alley ways. The route seems to meander through the city until eventually they reach of the edge of Spite. Once there the tomb colonist tells them that it should be safe, but to wary any way. He pulls out a pistol and places it back into his coat.

Finally they reach a building on the border between Spite and Veilgarden. The tomb colonist walks them inside to a room in the back. He opens the door and follows closing the door behind them. Inside the room is a table, three chairs, a bed, and a cabinet, but no one other than the three of them are in it. The tomb colonist goes over to the cabinet and rummages inside looking for something.
edited by Lord Gazter on 9/1/2016

At the word of caution Sara subconsciously draws the arm supporting Caldyr a little closer. It wouldn’t offer any additional safety to the bird, but helped to soothe her nerves. The raven gives her an affectionate poke, playfully teasing her silliness; Caldyr’s well acquainted with dangerous situations and she knows it.

Thankfully nothing comes of the warning, and they arrive safely at their destination. Caldyr decides to land upon a chair, much to the relief of Sara’s nearly sore limb. She stretches it a little, rubbing it slightly as she watches the tomb-colonist search for something. Her imagination gets the better of her, making her wonder if there was a secret switch that would reveal a passage within the cabinet. She gives the room a quick look over in response to her inner thoughts of intrigue, not truly expecting anything of the sort. Had the tomb-colonist not been in the room she might’ve peeked under the bed for an entrance to a hidden basement.

The tomb colonist continues searching… He stops and pulls out a jar. He opens and inspects the contents. The tomb colonist finds no fault with the substance and brings over the jar and a spoon. “Have you used prisoner’s honey before?” he croaks. He coughs.

Sara starts a little at the mention of Prisoner’s Honey. She quickly reminds herself that this was probably an innocent attempt to hold a private conversation, that this method was popular in some circles. That she cannot use it is simply unfortunate. She offers an apologetic look, holding up a hand to metaphorically push away the jar and spoon, and offers a technical lie. “I’m sorry, but I’m allergic to Prisoner’s Honey.”

The tomb colonist looks a little surprised. He looks a little worried, but nods anyway. “Very well wait here.” He exits out the door leaving Sara and Caldyr alone in the room.

Sara gives a grateful nod in return, taking her seat at the table. When she’s certain they are alone she gives Caldyr an uneasy glance, seeking reassurance. The raven walks along the table to her, offering a hushed reply. &quotEasy there. It’s alright.&quot

Sara gives the raven a little headscratch. &quotI know.&quot

The past might be forgotten, but the consequences persist all the same. Caldyr remembers what happened in that honey-dream long ago, the man’s face and his fate. Sara has only a warning, issued all those years prior. Together they wait in silence, putting particulars of the past behind them. Now is not the time for recollections.

edited by Sara Hysaro on 9/1/2016

After several minutes the door opens and in walks Lord Gazter. “Greetings my friend.” He has a rather warm and cheerful smile on his face. “I hope you’ll excuse the surroundings.” He waves a hand at the spartan room. “I did not expect to have it here. I do apologize.” He turns to the tomb colonist still outside the room. “Alexander could you bring us a bottle of wine from below.” The tomb colonist nods and closes the door. Lord Gazter takes a seat in one of the chairs.

“Ah, good evening. We met in the salon.” Sara offers a wave and smile in greeting. Caldyr stretches his wings. “The surroundings are fine - reminds me a bit of my first place. Almost the same location, actually.”

She considers asking Lord Gazter what it is that he wanted to talk to her about, but decides that’s too aggressive an approach. Better to wait for the wine, and see what information the man willingly offers before starting the inquiries. Caldyr keeps watch on the atmosphere, scouting for hidden aggression masked behind a jovial demeanor. For now all seems well.

“Yes, indeed. How did those drawings turn out?” He asks.

&quotThey turned out quite well, I think. I’d show you, but I don’t have them on me at the moment, regrettably.&quot She thinks about the salon momentarily. She hadn’t returned since getting wrapped up in this whole business. &quotI should head back at some point. It’s been…well, not really a while, but certainly some time.&quot

&quotI can understand that.&quot He nods rather solemnly, but he then offers a playful smile. The tomb colonist returns. He makes sure to carefully close the door behind him. &quotThank you my dear Alexander.&quot Lord Gazter says as he takes the bottle. &quotCould you get those glasses over there as well Alexander?&quot

The tomb colonist brings over the glasses and Lord Gazter fills the two glasses handing one to Sara. &quotI apologize for the wine as well, but what can be done?&quot He shrugs and takes a sip from his glass.
edited by Lord Gazter on 9/1/2016

Sara regards the apology with a quizzical look. Cheap vintage? Can’t have been poisoned, else he’d not have taken a sip, and Caldyr would have noticed any shenanigans had the tomb-colonist slipped something into hers specifically. Seeing that the raven did not protest, she decides not to concern herself with it, taking a similar sip before getting to the heart of their meeting. “So what did you wish to speak to me about?”

He places down the glass. A claps his hands together. “To business then.” Lord Gazter lounges back in his chair and steeples his hands. “I’ve heard a little about you. You have some friends in high places. Do you consider yourself loyal to those friends?”

How curious - is he not Pact affiliated himself? While not all in the Pact might consider themselves ‘friends’ of the Masters, attempting to conspire against them with another member seems a fairly risky endeavor. She tests the field, trying to discover the nature of his question. “What I am currently provided, and the opportunities such ties promise is quite satisfactory. Breaking those loyalties would be a tall order indeed.”

Caldyr ponders Lord Gazter curiously. Who might he be working for? It didn’t matter much - one would need to have precisely the right qualifications to sway Sara, and even then it’d hardly be useful for them in the long run if what they desire isn’t purely altruistic.

Lord Gazter nods. &quotGood.&quot The answer seems to please him as smile widens. He takes another sip from his glass. &quotThat means your loyalties are towards our dear friends in the Bazaar. That leads me to my next question, what do you think of our most esteemed leader?&quot Lord Gazter smiles genially. &quotYou’re among friends so say anything you wish.&quot
edited by Lord Gazter on 9/1/2016

She nods, having resolved that matter. She takes some time to consider the question. What could she think of the man whose face and voice she doesn’t recall? Caldyr would hold a better answer than her own impressions, but he rarely speaks around strangers. In the end she shrugs. &quotDon’t know much about him. His origin, his motivations, and his allegiances are all unknown.&quot She does a slight hand flourish to precede her ultimate conclusion. &quotHe’s like a stranger to me. No strong feelings one way or another.&quot

The raven silently agrees with the assessment. When dealing with the unknown it is best to be cautious, but not overly antagonistic. Above all else one must learn of its nature, and only then will the best course be known.

edited by Sara Hysaro on 9/1/2016

&quotThat is a problem I’m finding, when it comes to trusting him.&quot Lord Gazter looks up. &quotI fear that he might try and help his own goals, whatever they may be, but I don’t truly know.&quot Lord Gazter shrugs. &quotLet us move on to more important matters then.&quot

Lord Gazter leans in a bit more. &quotIf I’m not mistaken there is a fundraiser happening in Flowerdene. You are part of that correct?&quot
edited by Lord Gazter on 9/1/2016