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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 23 Mar 2011, 20:40 
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Cateline was both delighted and slightly concerned about Axe's invitation to go clothes shopping. She was both pleased and relieved that he had remembered his earlier offer, but she wondered whether it would even be possible to buy suitable clothes at such short notice. Peasants made their own clothes, so no tailor in the town would be likely to have a stock of plain tunics and gowns, such as people of her ilk wore; and the more wealthy townspeople would have bespoke clothing, made to order. A tailor could easily run up something simple for her within a day, if he didn't have a lot of other work to do, but she really needed something immediately. Still, if they didn't go and look, she definitely wouldn't find anything to wear in lieu of her mud-encrusted gown.

But first of all Axe invited them to go and eat, for which she was very grateful. She hadn't eaten anything since finishing off the last of her bread first thing in the morning. She had never been in a tavern, and as they entered her senses were immediately assaulted by the noise of numerous animated conversations, and the smell of ale and sweaty bodies. With the recent influx of people to the town, the tavern, not surprisingly, was crowded. Cateline felt rather conspicuous as they walked in and indeed people near the door did stop to stare briefly at the strange-looking new arrivals, but their interest was shortlived and within a few seconds everyone had returned to their drinks and their conversations and, once Cateline had partaken of the simple but ample meal that was served to them, and had quenched her thirst with a mug of ale, she was beginning to feel a lot more mellow.

It didn't take them long to find a tailor's shop after they left the tavern. The proprietor scowled distastefully as the filthy peasant was ushered in by Axe, but the sight of the huge knight was enough to instill some respect and polite service. When asked if he had anything suitable for Cateline he initially eyed her up and down dubiously.

"I do not make garments for those of her status," he declared. "I could make her a peasant's tunic if that is your wish, but I would first need to find someone willing to sell me the course woollen cloth. And I have orders for high-paying customers already in progress. I estimate I could have something ready for you in about a week..."

He paused for his listeners to take in the information before adding, "I have just one item in stock that would fit your servant, but it is not a servant's dress at all. It is a gown made of fine wool for a merchant's wife who placed the order but never paid for it. You may see it if you wish, but of course it is considerably more expensive than the clothes that you probably had in mind."

Cateline silently bridled at the assumption that she was Axe's servant. She had never been anyone's servant! But it was understandable, she had to admit. Why else would someone of Axe's status (even if he didn't make the actual level of his status obvious) be in the company of a peasant? And the thought suddenly occurred to her that, since she was now under Axe's command, and he was providing for her, that did pretty well make her his servant.

While these thoughts had been going through her mind the man had disappeared into a back room and emerged with a gown. The design was quite simple, with none of the finery that rich aristocratic ladies liked to adorn their clothes with, but it was blue! That meant it had been coloured with woad or some other expensive dye.

"I can't wear that!" Cateline exclaimed. "That's way above my station! It'd be far too expensive!"



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 24 Mar 2011, 18:59 
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The thought of newer more suitable clothing was nice, Nikolai detested handouts. He struggled in his mind for a while on whether or not to accept Axe's proposal, but they had already left while he was gathering his thoughts. He shrugged it off, to them he was a person whose refusal was in his silence. It was still slightly misting outside, but the bar tender was giving him an evil look, which was also understandable, considering he was dripping all over the floor.

Nikolai wasn't going to point out that he was a (semi)paying customer, and the bar tender would have to clean the floors anyway, but he had somewhere else to be at the moment.

He headed out in the direction of the church that the monk had showed them earlier. He decided if he could get his hands on the Holy scrolls, he might get the party to trust him even more, considering how little his comrades already trusted him.

He arrived in front of the gaudy church, which, no surprise, was much nicer than all the buildings around it.

Inhaling deeply, he opened the door.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 25 Mar 2011, 03:43 
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He had only left the room to find food, a joint of something, and a skin of wine. He drank the wine slowly, smoking his pipe, a deep red smoke trialing from it. The Blood of the Dragon, they called it back home. Pipe herb supposedly cured in dragon's blood. it steeled the nerves, focused the mind, and gave one the feeling of being ten men! It also made you see vivid hallucinations. If Trasil saw these, he didn't speak of it. He thought on the situation, as he had sort of grown fond of them. Standing, He had made a decision. He chose his hunter's gear, as it would blend in, and because it wasn't covered in unholy creature ichor. He then picked up a small piece of mud he had seen fall of Axe's boot, and roll it into a small ball. Then holding it in his, he incanted in his native tongue, very lowly, as he was once again breaking the law ( as he figured his very being would be seen to be rather illegal to begin with) when he finished the ball was now a smooth, round, normal looking pebble. He warded up his room, and headed outside, where he idly threw the pebble into the "street". In his mind the pebble gave him Axe's route, and his current location. Humphing off, like a normal, ordinary woodsman, he strolled in that direction.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 26 Mar 2011, 05:32 
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Axe was delighted to have pleased Cateline and give her a chance to actually eat real food. Brunston was known throughout the countryside for their delicious foods. He had tried to get back to it as often as he could, albeit present circumstances. He then took her to a shop that sold clothes. Clothes that Cateline definitely needed.

The shopkeeper seemed a bit hesitant and shifty after being asked about the clothes and talking to Cateline until he saw Axe. He was dismayed by the news as this was the only tailor in town. But he did have a dress and he brought it out for them to examine. He didn't especially like the inference that Cateline was any kind of servant and the mere thought made him bristle slightly.

But as Cateline exclaimed her doubts in wearing it, Axe already had the necessary amount in hand and was handing it to the store owner who took the money and looked at him dubiously. Axe simply answered back, "it's quite real, I don't counterfeit money." He waited for a response.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 26 Mar 2011, 19:02 
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The tailor examined the coins carefully in silence before putting them away out of sight in some receptacle beneath the counter. He seemed satisfied because he then he carefully folded the dress and handed it to Axe.

"Here you are, Sir. Thank you for your custom."

Cateline was very keen to get out of the shop - she felt very out of place there. But since Axe had bought her the dress despite her protests, she was now also keen to get out of her mud-coated clothes and into this rather less conspicuous outfit. Once she felt more able to blend into the crowd (so long as no-one spoke to her enough to realise from her speech that she wasn't of the status that her clothes implied) she wanted to take a look around for places where the mage monks might store their magic scrolls. The church was one possibility, but she suspected their monastery might be more likely. However, since members of the public had free access to the church, that might be a good place to start. Maybe she could ask a few questions there.

Once they were outside, she turned to Axe again. "You are very generous. Thank you. If it's all right with you, I'd like to go back to the inn and change, and then take a look around the town to see what we can find out."



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 26 Mar 2011, 19:15 
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Axe was only happy to oblige Cateline's request and let her take off for the inn, which is when he saw Trasil. Now seeing the massive bulk of Trasil, one might be inclined to run in the other direction and in truth, had Axe been a lesser man, he just might have. But Trasil was a great ally and has proven himself trustworthy beyond comparison. Which was far more than what he could say about certain other peers he has had contact with.

"Ah, Trasil, my old friend great to see you out and about!" He shook Trasil's hand, happy to see him.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2011, 00:40 
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"Hello, my friend. I must speak with you. (but not here. he added with an age old military hand signal.) Merely a matter of our business.HIs eyes still still shone dark, and brooding, despite his normal demanor. one could almost see the storm clouds in them. "Where is your lady? all these Riff Raff about, it would be unwise to leave her unattended. (Danger afoot.) Also the boy. I just do not trust these big cities. they give me the willies. (enemies all around. eyes on us.)" He then suggested collecting Careline after she was dressed, and having a good stroll about (recon, while acting like tourists).



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2011, 09:45 
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"Very good idea, Cateline is at the inn and you just passed her. He listened as Trasil revealed his thoughts. "Yeah we'll need to head back to the tavern, there are things I need." He walked with Trasil back to the Inn. He was hoping Cateline hadn't left yet. They could act like tourist as Trasil had suggested and that would be a good thing. It would help the facade they were trying to invoke.

As they waited, Axe looked to Trasil and with a quieter voice, "yeah I don't trust that Nikolai either, but he did save our butt's a couple of times during the battle we just had. So I can give him some leeway." He looked around again, as he was standing like an ordinary townsman and facing Trasil casually. "But you are also correct in that I don't trust the people here, too much is at stake. We need to tread carefully."



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 28 Mar 2011, 17:26 
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Cateline headed back to the inn as swiftly as she could without visibly rushing, and for the first time went in search of her room. Once alone, she stripped off and examined her old clothes. Normally she'd have kept her linen shift on and put the new dress on over the top of it, but out of deference to Axe's generosity, she was reluctant to spoil the brand new, expensive, coloured, dress by bringing it into contact with her still wet, muddy undergarment. So she put it on over her bare skin and bundled up the old clothes, ready for washing the next time an opportunity arose. She was surprised at how soft and smooth the fine wool of the new dress felt. Ideally she'd have added a wimple to complete the image of a "proper" townswoman, but without destroying the bedlinen to make one, that was out of the question. Instead, she satisfied herself with washing her face and hands in a bowl of water that stood ready on a small table, and then descended once again to the ground floor in the hope that one or other of the party would appear. If no-one did, she had already made up her mind to go to the church alone.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 28 Mar 2011, 19:36 
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One of the church aids was more than happy to lead Nikolai around through the dully lit church corridors.
"This is the prayer hall..." He went on to explain something about what it was used for, as if Nikolai couldn't already figure out that it was for prayer.

It was easy enough to get a tour, since any Church was always looking for new students. What was hard was trying to figure out what exactly the aid was trying to hide. He took note of doors the air specifically avoided, either because he knew nothing, or was purposefully keeping it away from him. There were a lot of places he'd need to explore on his own.

He Nikolai had indicated to the personnel that he was mute. They'd provided him with a paper and pen in order to communicate. At first they were skeptical, since a mute person would have his own set of tools, but once they saw how sodden he was, they helped him. Considering that Nikolai wasn't very good at writing this language anyway, it was mostly pointless, but he needed to keep up his appearances, and wrote down questions at the appropriate times, which the aid was happy to answer. He didn't care either way, he was too busy formulating his plan.

The aid continued his tour, and Nikolai followed behind silently.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 01 Apr 2011, 11:07 
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As Axe was talking to Trasil, he noticed that Cateline was emerging from the tavern. He stood and stared at the dress she was wearing which looked better on her than the other garment she had. He didn't say anything about it, though, and just greeted her at the door.

"You look lovely, Cateline, the dress looks perfect for you." He smiled a genuine smile remembering the ol' queens and ladies-in-waiting of the court. The dress kind of reminded him of that.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 01 Apr 2011, 19:19 
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Cateline grinned at the compliment from Axe and managed to pull off a courtly curtsey.

"Why thank you, kind sir," she replied, attempting to mimic the tone of the aristocracy, but failing miserably, due to her rustic burr.

She added a nod of acknowledgement towards Trasil before continuing: "I'm glad we ran into each other. I was just about to go and start playing the tourist, but I'm guessing you'd prefer it if we kept together. I was thinking of starting with a browse around the church - see what we can find out, and see if it serves a monastery - those mage monks must be based somewhere. What do you think? And if you want us all to look around together, do you need to fetch anything from your room first?"



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 03 Apr 2011, 08:29 
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Axe frowned in thought, "Getting anything from our rooms that is weapon related is a bad idea to me. We don't want to send out a beacon that screams- he mimics a loud yell with a hushed lowered voice yell and tiny mocking hands in air hysteria and a partially animated face, -([HEY WE ARE HERE TO THE HOLY MAGIC]). Announcing ourselves like that will likely bring the guards on our heads. No, what we need is to be simple tourist, but we also need to act natural about it. I prefer it if we stuck together going up there, and staying together and vice verse with the separate way plan. otherwise we might arouse suspicion among the Monk Caste, besides, they maybe keeping an eye out for us."

Axe was wanting to get in there but not at the cost of them getting arrested and possibly killed in the process. He throw his hands out in a sort of resigned shrug. "At this point, the only thing I can think of, is asking for a tour of the place. All we can do for the moment."



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 03 Apr 2011, 15:13 
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Trasil bowed courteously at Cateline. " Good evening, My Lady, I must say I prefer this dress on you, than your previous mud caked status." In a low voice to the both of them he quietly spoke through a smile. "It would be best if you and the lady were to act as a couple, while I pose as bodyguard. it is much easier to explain. and as for weapons, Do not wory, too much. we are protected." Trasil thumped his chest, swelling up, as he swung behind the two. A your would be nice. I have always wondered what Hell look like."



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 05 Apr 2011, 11:36 
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Cateline looked to Axe for approval of Trasil's plan. What with wearing a wealthy townswoman's dress, and now being asked to play the partner of a lord, she was beginning to feel she could get used to acting abover her station! But she wasn't going to get so above herself as to take it for granted that Axe would be happy to play along.

"If you're willing, My Lord?" She dropped back into the honorific speech that Axe had made her abandon right at the start of their journey, emulating the manner of the dutiful wife of a minor noble, and raised a hand as though to take his arm. She hoped this gesture didn't come across as too bold.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 05 Apr 2011, 22:05 
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Axe took her hand and held it like a husband should, wondering if fate was playing a role in this. He could feel himself blushing a little and shook his head unnoticeably reminding himself that he was not the one cut out for her. He had to admit though it did look convincingly enough. He let her use the honorific and he straightened himself to his full height. He walked slowly to the church letting not only Cateline keep up and Trasil act his part, but also giving the impression that they were a couple of tourists.

He walked with a slow gate and let himself look like he was visibly relaxed but also concerned that he hadn't heard from his contact in sometime. He become very alert and allowed his eyes to wonder the town as they walked looking for trouble. "It's a great day, my dear, the rain has gone the sun is out, why not we check out the town and see what we can see." He smiled for the benefit of the crowd.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 07 Apr 2011, 18:46 
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Cateline, likewise, was surveying the surroundings as they strolled along, apparently casually. At this time, the streets were still quite busy with people going about their everyday business, and with visitors from the surrounding countryside, but there didn't seem to be any clerics in evidence, which made her feel a little more at ease.

"My Lord, that grand church over there looks particularly beautiful," she responded to Axe, continuing his sightseeing pretence. "Shall we take a look and admire its architecture? While we're there, we could go inside and pray to God for protection against the evil creatures that have invaded these parts."

It didn't take long to reach the church. The building was quite large and ornate, and was clearly the centre of worship for the whole town. But more to the point, as they approached, Cateline could see that it was connected to a complex of buildings enclosed within a wall immediately behind it. Surely that must be a monastery. This was a stroke of luck. If this church served the monastery, the magic they were seeking had to be close by, if not in the church, then in the monastery behind it. She had feared that the monks might be based somewhere out of town.

They walked up to the grand edifice and in through the ornately carved main doors. Inside was cool and dimly lit from the light that found its way through the stained glass windows, and from candles flickering in various locations around the building. A number of people were already inside, most of them kneeling in prayer, but a few were walking around reverently, and a man in clerical garb appeared to be explaining something to a visitor near the chancel. At first, Cateline ignored them and let her eyes drift around, taking in the details of the architecture. But something in her subconscious made her attention suddenly snap back to the pair. It took her a moment to work out what had caught her eye, but then it dawned on her, a horrific realisation: the man talking to the churchman was non other than Nikolai! What was he doing here? In her mind one possibility outweighed all others: was he in league with the church after all? Had he come here to betray them?



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 08 Apr 2011, 14:54 
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Nikolai didn't allow himself to show surprise at seeing his comrades inside the church. He wasn't going to question why Cateline was dressed in a completely different outfit, he could figure that much, or why they gave him the air of sight seeing tourists, rather than a band of brigands which they sort of seemed to be before. Saying anything to them would blow his cover, but delivering any type of message would be difficult. He looked at his paper. Notes, coded in a way he could understand. If the monk were to look at it, he'd think Nikolai had been diagramming the church, but if he was any kind of smart, he'd see Nikolai had written down the places where he suspected some magical artifacts might be hidden.

Thinking quickly to alert them to his true intentions, he walked away from the monk and bowed deeply. Anyone looking would think he was bowing to people of higher social class than he was. He smiled at Axe and Cateline, then bent to take Cateline's hand and kiss it. He'd folded his notes and when he took Cateline's hand he places the paper firmly in her palm. He slowed slightly to wait for her to take it, then brought her hand to his mouth. He didn't actually kiss it, but anyone looking would think he did. He stood up and bowed slightly again, his ceremony done, and went back behind the monk. He then looked into Cateline's eyes, willing that she not look at the paper until after the monk had left.

When the monk had finished his explanation, somewhat surprised by Nikolai's leaving, he turned to Nikolai and pulled him in another direction. Nikolai acted surprised and showed the monk he was in need of a new sheet of paper. The monk flashed him a somewhat suspicious look, but he simply shrugged. He could pretend to not know where his previous one went. The monk took him once again to find another one.

Nikolai sincerely hoped his comrades hadn't lost the little faith they had in him.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 08 Apr 2011, 20:16 
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The entire time, Tras remained silent, unless spoken to. He somehow managed to be simultaneously Inconspicious, and Blatantly Obvious. His entire demeanor changed, playing the perfect large, gruff bodyguard. He did however, visibly bristle, when they entered the church. He remained behind the two, memorizing the church's layout, feeling the soft glow of hidden magical treasures. He took a mental note, and if the time was right, would return and liberate these items, from such a den of evil.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 09 Apr 2011, 16:55 
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At first Cateline was completely taken aback by Nickolai's sudden and unnecessary display of chivalry, but the second she felt something being pressed into her palm she realised what he was doing. She tried her best to give a condescending nod as he made to stand once again, in the hope of reinforcing the impression that she was a lady of status, and thus making his act look natural and appropriate. She couldn't guess what the folded slip might be communicating, but the fact that he had taken pains to pass it to her suggested that maybe her initial suspicion had been unfair.

After he had retreated once again, she surreptitiously slipped the note under her other hand, which was resting lightly on that of her "husband", Axe. She didn't want to be seen to be obviously holding anything after the encounter.

"He's handed me some kind of note," she whispered to Axe, as she tried to steer him away from the vicinity of Nikolai and the monk and towards a small chapel to one side of the apse.

"My Lord," she added, somewhat louder, for the sake of anyone within earshot, "the carvings in that chapel look particularly beautiful. Might I be permitted to take a look?"

Once in the chapel and out of site of the various people in the nave, Cateline unfolded the note.

"It's a plan of the church," she said, "with various locations marked."

She held it up for the two men to see. Some of the marks meant nothing to her, but several of the marked spots corresponded to doors that she had noticed as they had walked down the central aisle. One of those doors had looked like it would open into the enclosure behind the church, so she supposed that would be the monks' entrance from the monastery. Another one she recognised as being a small door that she had spotted below floor level, at the foot of a short flight of narrow stairs. Could that one lead to a crypt?

"You don't suppose he's checking the place out on our behalf, do you?" she queried.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 10 Apr 2011, 02:47 
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Axe had to admit the church was beautiful in it's own way. He could see remnants of past revivals in the architecture. He had no time to admire it and had to keep himself from acting out of his character. As he saw them approach his keen eye saw the paper Nikolai was working on or holding. He watched in deference, as was a man of his status ought to act, though his initial reaction and thought process had him thinking that he knew in his mind that Nikolai was a traitor....until he saw what Nikolai did next. He stifled any and all immediate responses going through his mind and waited until they had exited the room. He took a look around the Nave of the Church. The Transept where the monk and Nikolai had disappeared to was affronted by the most elaborate Apse of his time.

When Cateline had touched his hand again with the paper in hers he knew what she wanted but he gave off an air of disdain for the benefit of the crowd. As she did her worthy best of remaining in character and directed them to the Chapel, he finally got to see what she was referring to. And indeed the lad had not let them down, it was an elaborate map of the church and the surrounding complex. Axe grew excited but didn't say anything more.

"We must take extreme heed as we are behind enemy lines here. And I am not talking about the religion itself..it's the people behind it. We don't know who knows or doesn't." He kneels on the kneeler in front of an elaborately sculpted figure of the Religious Symbolism being portrayed here. He made the Sign of the Cross, crossed his fingers into the other hand (alternating the fingers of both in a gesture of prayer) and talked quietly to the two with him. "We have to study that map and any other information that Nikolai might pick up......but we must to this silently, discreetly, and he cannot under any circumstances, be caught.

***

A silent hooded figure, dressed in monk's robes, watched the exchange in silence from the balcony. Closing his eyes to bare slits, in concentration, he tried to discern the purpose. I think it's time to have a little chat with our guests....He gestured to the monk behind him to come closer. The figure detached itself from the shadows. The first nodded his head just slightly, and the second, disappeared. The first turned slowly back to the scene to see the one who had walked toward the Narthax disappear with the monk from the room. He turned slowly and removed himself from the balcony silently.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2011, 20:11 
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Totally oblivious to the presence of the two observers, or even the existence of the screened balcony above them, Cateline followed Axe's example and knelt beside him, making the sign of the cross and bowing her head as though in prayer. She began moving her lips, pretending to mutter a quiet personal prayer, and then, in little more than a whisper, she continued:

"If Nikolai is still getting information, maybe we should leave him to it and go somewhere more private to study this map, and discuss where we should search and how to go about it."

She raised her head and looked up at Axe to see if he agreed. Although, like all the other villagers, she had attended sunday worship regularly all her life, she felt uncomfortable in this church and was rather keen to get away, now that they had some useful information. Even though she had seen no sign of any church people beyond the single monk who had been in conversation with Nikolai, she somehow felt very exposed here, as though she was being watched. She knew she would feel a lot more comfortable once they were away from this town, with its monks and clergy and, above all, the Inquisition.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 13 Apr 2011, 21:23 
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Axe was about to agree to her when a figure appeared behind them, then two more. Axe was turned around really fast and was on his feet in a flash with his hands up about to start a fight with them, but could see that this was neither the place or the time, he lowered his hands slightly only relaxing a little. He then saw the apparent leader of the group lower his hood. He looked nondescript average features.

The monk held up his hands in a gesture to stop, "I have someone who is interested in your exchange earlier. But we can't speak here. If you will follow me, I will take you to him." With that, he turned and headed out with his two cohorts taking up positions to follow them. Great, this had better be good.......I wonder why, what is going on? He decides to follow in the wake of the monk looking one and see what this was about.



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 Post subject: The (not so) Dark Ages
PostPosted: 15 Apr 2011, 07:32 
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Cateline likewise turned abruptly at the sound of the approaching footsteps, but she tried her best to hide any sign of alarm on her face - a couple kneeling innocently in prayer should have no reason to think ill of anyone stepping into the chapel. Even so, she couldn't help but fear the worst: this monk and his two companions had been nowhere in sight when they had been viewing the church a few minutes earlier, and their sudden arrival in the very chapel where the three of them had stopped to discuss Nikolai's note seemed suspicious. Those fears were confirmed when the first monk spoke. It was clear that they had heard everything.

However, his next words confused her. "We can't speak here"? If they were under suspicion, wouldn't he just come out and accuse them then and there? From Axe's demeanour he seemed prepared to accept that this might be something of interest, but Cateline was far from comfortable with the idea of following the man, especially when the two others moved round behind them. It looked far too much like they were being arrested. She was sure it must be some kind of trap. On the other hand, refusing to follow them would just confirm that they were up to no good. So far, although, their conversation must have sounded highly incriminating, they hadn't said explicitly what they were up to; it might still be possible to concoct a plausible explanation. She really wanted to know what Axe had in mind, but it would be impossible to talk right now. In other circumstances, she might have tried to engage the two "guards" in conversation to see if she could weedle any hints out of them, but in her current role that would be inappropriate: a "lady" like her would be expected to leave such discussions to her husband. So, with a glance at Trasil, she took up position behind Axe, and followed him out like a dutiful wife.



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