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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 05 Jan 2010, 18:15 
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Shark was dragged forwards up the hill, away from the cemetery and towards the wooden gallows. Behind the gallows a ways was the treeline, which wreathed the hill like hair on a mostly bald man's head--just around the edges. The gallows themselves were kinda morbidly fascinating to Ivan, like something straight from an old pirate book. Then again, maybe they were. Ivan thought furiously as Shark was marched up the wooden steps to one of the four nooses, noting that in fact, there wasn't any good way out. There wasn't even a bad way out.

The entire walk up the cemetery hill and gallow steps had a bored looking talking loudly to the crowd, announcing accusations, verdicts, and so forth. Neither Shark nor Ivan paid that one any attention, the nearer voice of the demon man distracting them. The pale individual with the raggedy wings, still incredibly out of place, had had Ivan's effects brought to him as they had approached the cemetery and was commenting on them.

"A cane, a bowie knife, a pocket watch..." 'His Eminence' opened the watch to look at the time, "A very nice watch." He then lowered his voice and looked at Shark, "These are too new for my world and too old for this one. Too old to be carried around here and there as you are so in fact doing." They reached the steps and paused for a moment, His Eminence lifting Ivan's cane to Shark's face and using it to direct the vampire's eyes to meet his own. "And you are a specimen I'm not familiar with. Similar to, perhaps, but not a species present in either of these worlds." He paused, probably for dramatic effect, "I will enjoy studying your corpse." And then waved them on as Shark gnashed his teeth at the demon man, who resumed fiddling with the watch.

Shark was marched to the far noose, the elf beside him, and opened his mouth to scream some sort of profanities at the crowd when he stopped short, a scent on air catching his attention. Shark suddenly lowered his head and smiled devilishly. "Aldrich."

What? Where? Look around!

Shark ignored Ivan, instead staring forward at the audience with his maniacal smile and pointed teeth and straightening his posture, as if becoming the model executee.

And then things blurred. Ivan/Shark heard a small gasp to their right, and then a single shot was fired. Shark glanced to his right but Ivan could see that the elf was no longer there.

Shark! Move! If Aldrich is here and breaking us out you need to let me out! Shark ignored Ivan further and instead and pushed him farther back into their shared mind until he was just a whisper, and then fixed his gaze on the demon man, tensing up and readying to pounce. The demon man was looking at the spot where the elf had been, his mouth agape, when Shark gave a yelp of pain at a shot delivered to his shackles and then recovered before kicking at the nearest guard, causing a line of gunfire to spray wildly into the sky and then launching himself at the demon man, teeth bared and nails sharp and outstretched. He collided with the superior and the three went down as general chaos erupted about the cemetery, and people began running forwards, or away as the case might be, obscuring some of the other guards line of fire or sight.

Ivan protested wildly, trying to get force his way in and make Shark run before one of the soldier-guards had a chance to fire, but it was pointless--he had no control at this point, and could only watch as Shark continually attempted to land blows on the demon man, but was blocked by their opponents amazing speed and strength, particularly for his apparent build. It was only when the demon finally retaliated with a well placed punch to the face that Ivan forced his way forwards into their consciousness and regained some control despite the pain. He rolled away from the demon half-phased between Shark and himself, grabbing the watch and cane that the demon had dropped and settled into a quick crouch. The demon jumped to his feet, still clutching Ivan's knife, and lunged for the exposed Ivan at the same time several of his armed cronies forced their way to his side. Ivan only just managed to yank the short, hidden, straight edged sword from it's cane sheath and block the slicing manoeuvre. Having done so, he slid to the side and ducked under the gallows, making use of his Shark-boosted speed to make a break for the trees before the bullet fire behind him could cut through his vest...



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 06 Jan 2010, 20:25 
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Aldrich watched intently as the drama unfolded beneath him. Conner had fulfilled his role perfectly, and it looked like he'd managed to stay hidden. But Shark.....

"Bloody fool!" he muttered in exasperation. The vampire's speed and strength were great assets, but he was too impetuous, too driven by instinct and aggression. Ivan needed to get back in control, but Aldrich knew that wasn't easy for the lad when Shark was in this mood. He was reluctant to intervene too obviously, but at this rate he might be left with no other choice - that Inquisitor guy was proving to be a pretty formidable opponent. Then, when it seemed that all chance of escape had evaporated, Shark suddenly dropped to the ground and rolled. As he righted himself, Aldrich could see the subtle change - Ivan was back in control. He blocked an attack from the Inquisitor and then was off amid a hail of bullets. Fortunately, the crowd, many of whom began to panic when the gunfire started up, were making it difficult for the guards to aim, and it looked like much of the shooting was more a token effort than a serious attempt to hit the fleeing prisoner. Nevertheless, it looked like one or two bullets may have made contact.

As Ivan hurled himself into the shadow of the nearest trees Aldrich swooped down, scooped him up, and deposited him alongside the elf high amongst the concealing branches of the leafy canopy. Far below, guards, and quite a few onlookers, surged into the forest in search of the fugitives.

Aldrich was tempted to make a sarcastic comment about Shark's behaviour, but he looked at Ivan's expression and thought better of it. He fancied Ivan looked almost as shaken as the elf still did beside him. He tried to imagine what it must be like to share a body with another consciousness whom you couldn't always control.

"Stay there and don't move," he growled to both his charges, as though he were a stern parent admonishing a couple of small children. "I'm going to check on Conner."

Once more he rose into the air and drifted silently between the branches until he could peer out onto the chaos of the execution grounds.



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 09 Jan 2010, 11:49 
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Ivan felt a wave of gratefulness and relief as he felt Aldrich snatch him up from his fall. The fall itself had been inevitable, as Ivan was all too aware he'd received a bullet to the calf. He leaned against the trunk of what had to be the tallest tree in the area as Aldrich vanished again, realising he'd have to find a way to stop the bleeding. A few branches away, the elf looked at him curiously.

Leaning forwards again, Ivan grunted as he pulled up his left pant leg. Luckily for them both, bloodlust for the ex-vampire duo had all but evaporated during Ivan's crossover. It's not as if consuming it was necessary for their survival anymore. Shark occasionally had an urge, but even he could ignore it. Also luckily, the through-and-through wound, though bleeding profusely, did not seem to have hit that one big artery in the calf--whatever it was called (Ivan, was not a doctor.). When he was being hauled to the cemetery the guards had located his other knife, so Ivan was forced to to use his cane-sword. Putting away his cherished pocket-watch, he pulled off his jacket, still wearing a matching sleeveless vest beneath it over his shirt, and sawed off a sleeve and a longer strip from the main stretch of fabric. Sheathing the cane-sword, he offered it to the elf.

"Hold this?" The elf looked startled and haltingly took it. Ivan dipped his head timidly, "Don't mind the fangs. I don't bite anymore." Ivan folded the sleeve a couple times and then put it to the wound before tying it as tightly as possible with the longer strip of fabric, gritting his teeth. He wouldn't have screamed though, life before the Weavers had acclimated him enough with beatings and gashes.



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2010, 19:20 
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It didn’t take Aldrich long to locate Conner amongst the seething mass of humanity on the ground. He was in the centre of a large throng of people that was drifting slowly, and apparently aimlessly, in the direction of the trees. All around them, people were peeling off in all directions, almost like the sparks from some huge Catherine wheel. At the back of the crowd, many were making hastily for the exit, clearly still unnerved by the gunfire of a moment ago. Others were sweeping around the sides, keen for a better view of what was going on. At the front, the prisoners’ guards had already disappeared into the forest in search of the escapees, and now quite a few of the bolder members of the public were following suit. Aldrich was fairly confident that, so long as his two rescuees remained quiet and relatively still, they wouldn’t be spotted amongst the dense foliage, and the guards most probably wouldn’t even consider that their quarry might have headed upwards instead of away. Still, he didn’t want to leave them unattended for two long. Meanwhile, the Inquisitor was still standing on the hill. He appeared to be issuing orders to a cluster of men in suits, and they in turn were speaking into cell phones. He did not look happy.

Satisfied that Conner was in no immediate danger and was doing nothing to draw attention to himself, Aldrich decided to head back. Conner would be reaching the forest’s edge in a few minutes if nothing changed. That should give him time to deal with a couple of matters before returning to meet him.

Aldrich reached their “hideoutâ€



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2010, 19:27 
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Conner was almost trampled in the mad rush of the crowd. He struggled to keep his footing, straining his second sight to the limit to keep a clear view of where he was going. He felt the unmistakable presence of his friend and captain swooping overhead, apparently unspotted by anyone else. His comrades were headed for the trees. A wise decision. Conner pushed his way forward, trying to reach those trees himself. One misplaced foot, though, and he would be down on the ground with frightened shoes beating a tattoo into the back of his skull. He fervently hoped that Aldrich or someone would come back for him.

It's so much fun to be a Weaver, he thought.


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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 22 Jan 2010, 16:50 
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Aldrich made his way towards the spot where he'd last seen Conner, which was easier said than done with so many people rushing about between the trees. At this moment in time his 'Weaver's propensity for remaining unnoticed was more of a handicap than an advantage - several times he had to sidestep smartly to avoid being cannoned into. Once he was out of the woods, he had the task of pushing through the crowd, against the flow, while trying to keep an eye out for Conner. Being rather short, the blind 'Weaver was easily obscured by the mass of bodies around him, but fortunately his golden hair and black blindfold were rather striking and it didn't take Aldrich too long to pick out the familiar colour combination between the bobbing heads and shoulders. Now that he had a definite target, he redoubled his efforts and began shouldering his way vigorously between the pressing bodies, occasioning numerous cries of indignance from those who found themselves being less than politely shoved aside.

"Conner!" he yelled over the general din, as he got to within a few people of his colleague. "Conner!"



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 23 Jan 2010, 13:54 
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Conner lifted his head, catching a familiar voice. "Over here!" he yelled, waving one arm in the air. He lurched forward, shoving some hapless bystander aside, and tumbled into Aldrich. The Weaver Captain groaned as Conner's head whacked into his battered chest, but he didn't complain.

"Thank God," Conner muttered, pulling away apologetically, but staying close to his friend. The absolute last thing he wanted to do was get separated again. "You wanna lift us out of here or should we go the slow route?"


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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 24 Jan 2010, 15:27 
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"With Mr. Gargoyle up there," Aldrich motioned with his head towards the Inquisitor up on the hill, "sending out his goons in all directions, keeping a low profile might be the wisest option for the moment - at least until we're back up to full strength. Ivan's gone and gotten himself shot..."

He shot a glance at Conner as the young man recoiled in shock. But his eyes betrayed a reassuring twinkle.

"Nah, he'll be ok. Clean wound, through the calf. Nothing that a bit o' the old phlebotinum won't mend...."

A sudden irritation of the trachea brought Aldrich's explanation to an abrupt end as he broke out into an increasingly violent series of coughs.

"...which is more than can be said for me," he wheezed when he was finally able to speak again.

"So yeah, cough we take the slow route. We get Ivan out of here and we go find Wolfie. Then it's time for histrionics. We confront that demon wannabe and see what he has to say for himself. I'm cough laying my money on "nothing we're gonna enjoy hearing".

Having said his piece, Aldrich, with Conner now in tow, began parting the crowd once again as they made their way gradually back in the direction of the forest.

"'Scuse me! Ta!.... Coming through.... cough"

As they wormed their way through the mass of bodies, several individuals noticeably jumped as Aldrich's voice sounded inches from their ears when they had totally failed to register his presence until that instant. As they came closer to the first trees the crowd began to thin out. Some were holding back, clearly not planning on entering; others dispersed in different directions between the trees. Aldrich led Conner nonchalantly between the towering trunks for a hundred yards or so, and then paused at the base of a tree. He looked around. Few people were in the immediate vicinity and no-one was paying any attention to them.

"This looks a good spot. Wait here," he growled.

Then, without waiting for Conner to reply, he floated up into the branches and disappeared from sight. Once shielded by the foliage, he made his way back to where he had left Ivan and the elf. To his surprise, the elf had already gone.

I guess he knows what he's doing, he thought fleetingly, before turning his attention to Ivan.

"How's the leg now? You feel up to walking? I've got Conner. Just a Wolf to go, and we'll have a full set. Care to come hunt for one?"



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 30 Jan 2010, 20:52 
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Ivan turned his head suddenly at the sound of Aldrich's weight suddenly resting upon a branch. At the question, he nodded his head once to the side in his peculiar fashion. "It's a leg, it heals. As for using it, I'm fine as long as you don't expect me to best an olympian." He took his cane from where the elf had left it, wedged between a branch and the tree trunk, before crouching down on a branch beside Aldrich. Yes, there was pain in his leg, the phlebotinum wasn't that good, but Ivan resisted giving in to the discomfort. At least to a degree he could pass the sensation of pain exclusively to Shark. The more cynical side of Ivan--the cynical side of Ivan that wasn't Shark at any rate--couldn't help thinking that the least Shark could do for putting them through that fight with the demon-man was endure a little shared pain.

"What's the plan? Wait, why do we need a plan, where's Wolf?" Ivan took a breath, "But nonetheless, my thanks to you all, I couldn't possibly have done without you."



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 07 Feb 2010, 18:03 
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Aldrich grunted an acknowledgement.

“You can thank Connor in a moment. I’ll settle for being the idiot who got you into this mess in the first place.â€



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 16 Feb 2010, 17:39 
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Conner leaned against the tree, wishing his eyes worked. His second sight enabled him to get around without too much of a handicap, but it wasn't the best for absolute specifics. He would have liked to look at the leaves on the trees, the clouds in the sky, but this far down below seemed undetailed and blurred. He reached out and rubbed the rough surface of a low-hanging leaf as Aldrich and Ivan dropped down beside him.

Conner "looked" over his vampiric comrade. Ivan gave him a weak smile. He didn't seem too hurt, to Conner's relief.

"What are we doing now?" he asked Aldrich, and listened as Aldrich asked him about Wolf. Conner winced, still unable to believe he had simply let her run off into a strange city. It seemed impossible that they could find her now. But then, the Weavers themselves were highly impossible.

"We were in the marketplace when we got separated," he said. "I could find that again, I'm sure. I don't know after that, but someone must have seen her leaving. We can follow the trail from there."

The other Weavers agreed. Conner set off, leading the way through the trees, back to the town and market, where they would hopefully find a clue to lead them to their younger comrade.

Wolfie, dear girl, Conner thought as they trooped off, I hope you're taking care of yourself...


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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 18 Feb 2010, 17:18 
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Aldrich pointed a finger, knowing that Conner's "sight" would pick it up. "Head over that way, where the trees are densest. We still ought to keep Ivan out of sight of any stragglers. I'd rather not have to take down innocent civilians - even if they are trying to lynch him," he added with a slight smirk in Ivan's direction. And then we'll swing round and by-pass the cemetery and Bird Man out there."

The three 'Weavers made their way in virtual silence between the trees, pushing through thick undergrowth as they progressed further and further from the well-trodden paths and areas of trampled grass. Once or twice they spotted a lone figure, or a small group, peering into the distance or trawling through clumps of low-growing shrubs, presumably checking out potential hiding places. But none of those figures seemed to be aware of them.

Eventually, after walking for maybe twenty minutes, shafts of sunlight began to show themselves up ahead. The were coming to the forest's edge. Beyond were mainly green fields populated by various livestock, and to one side, a farm gate that opened from the nearest field onto a quiet road with a couple of houses visible. They were clearly right on the very edge of the town. They had taken a rather longer detour than Aldrich had intended, but at least their route back should be well away from the cemetery road and the lynch mob.

Having carefully climbed over a barbed wire fence that separated the field from the forest, it only took a moment to reach the gate. In the distance the taller, grander buildings of the town centre were clearly visible. Aldrich estimated they must be a good forty-five minutes' walk from the marketplace and the location where Conner had last seen Wolf. He paused to consider. Flying with one colleague was a fairly straightforward matter; flying with two wasn't. He simply wasn't built for carrying a man under each arm. They'd have to do things the traditional way.

"Ok, gentlemen," Aldrich announced. "Time for your daily exercise. We're gonna go for a run. Last one to the marketplace buys the drinks."

And then, after a sympathetic glance at Ivan: "Except Ivan. He's exempt.... We just make him buy double when he's fully fit!"

He winked, before adding more seriously: "Can you manage a 3 or 4 mile run?"



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2010, 16:10 
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Ivan ignored the dull throb in the leg in favour of not disappointing his friends. It wasn't unendurable anyways. Ivan shifted back to his half state, which he had neglected during the walk, as a response. "Of course. But I'm afraid I'll have to let you lead, I've not been to the marketplace yet. Haven't been anywhere except the courtroom and road."



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 24 Feb 2010, 12:53 
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The corners of Aldrich's mouth contorted into a smile behind his scarf, echoed by his eyes. He gave Ivan a thumbs-up.

"Good lad."

Then, after pulling his scarf up over his nose to provide what little protection he could against the inevitable respiratory distress that a run in this dry atmosphere would occasion, Aldrich raised his right hand in an overly theatrical and dramatic gesture, thrust it forward in the direction of their destination, and declared, "Wagons ho!" before breaking into a jog. Once he was satisfied that the two men were alongside him, he increased his pace. These were small residential streets, not like the long, straight road that led to the cemetery, and they had to negotiate numerous junctions and changes of direction, but all the while he kept his eyes fixed on the most recognisable landmark: the courthouse, whose roof was clearly visible between the various taller, unidentified, buildings of the town centre.

Finally, they found themselves standing once again outside the main door of the courthouse.

"Well, Conner, it's up to you now," Aldrich announced. "Can you find the place again where you last saw Wolf?"



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 10 Mar 2010, 16:15 
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Conner stood before the courthouse door, stock still, his head not moving an inch even as he surveyed the streets around them. Nervously he tugged at the tied-off knot of his blindfold as he realized that he really wasn't sure of where to go next. He had arrived directly in the marketplace without any knowledge of what path led to its gates. The appearance of the strange winged man had sparked such chaos that his memories of the way out of the market were not much better.

He sniffed the air, inhaling the smoke and dust laden in the city air. Somewhere far off he thought he heard voices that might belong to the crowded market, but he couldn't pinpoint the direction, and wasn't even entirely sure that they existed at all. He swiveled on the heel of his boots, pacing back and forth, feeling slightly sick at his stomach. He'd led them all astray; he'd claimed he could find the market and know he couldn't.

At long last he sighed. "No," he said. "I'm afraid I can't find the market again. But," he added, struck by a sudden thought, "she was chasing slavers. A couple of them were after an escaped slave. If we find the slavers, we'll probably find Wolf. Soo..." He turned around in a circle, waving his hands in pointless but excited motion as he thought out loud. "No one was looking twice at them-I'm sure slavery is completely legal in this city now. So then, they might have their own market somewhere, or a warehouse of some kind." He grimaced at the thought. "Knowing Wolf, she probably would try to save all of the slaves. So she'll probably still be at this warehouse, if she's not been captured herself..."

Conner's shoulders slumped for a moment, picturing his bright young friend in shackles, driven with a crowd of captured slaves like cattle. He shook it off, reminding himself that such ruminations wouldn't help anybody, least of all Wolf. "Find the warehouse or the auction and I bet we'll find Wolf. And I bet that someone's going to have any such auctions posted like some obscene yard sale, so all we have to do, theoretically, is find those ads...and where better place to start than a courthouse?" His train of thought having finally come to a stop, he turned to face his companions. "Yes?"


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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 10 Mar 2010, 20:03 
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Aldrich stood, wheezing from the exertion and trying to suppress an outbreak of coughing, as Conner sent out his senses in search of the place where he had last seen Wolf. As the seconds passed and it was clear that Conner was having no success, Aldrich found himself nervously twirling the phlebotinum vial that he had previously used on Ivan, as he pictured Wolf in his mind, and tried to push away the negative thoughts that were beginning to coalesce around the edges of his consciousness.

As Conner's shoulders slumped in defeat, so Aldrich's own morale plummeted, but fortunately only momentarily, before Conner suddenly came up with his idea of looking for ads. Aldrich gave him a thumbs up sign from around the vial in his hand, before returning his plaything to his pocket.

"Ok, Ivan," he began, turning to the vampire. You check the posters round that side of the building; I'll go this way. And if there's nothing here, what's wrong with simply asking someone? If slavery is the norm, I expect pretty well everyone in this town knows where the slave market is...."

His voice trailed off as he finally lost the battle against the coughing reflex and a massive attack wracked his body.



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 12 Mar 2010, 19:32 
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Ivan winced as he slid to a stop, panting a bit due to his leg. The skin and nerves may have healed, but there wasn't a chance the magically knit muscle was ready to take a run like that already. He listened edgily, giving furtive looks around down the road, where people were still going about their business in the late day reddening light. Ivan gradually shifted back to his own complete form so he'd be less likely to be noticed, if that was indeed possible.

"Ok, Ivan," Aldrich said as he turned, "You check the posters round that side of the building; I'll go this way. And if there's nothing here, what's wrong with simply asking someone? If slavery is the norm, I expect pretty well everyone in this town knows where the slave market is...."

"Eh-heh." Ivan aborted something of a resigned sigh as Aldrich coughed, "Not to be a burden, but if we don't mind the buddy system could we perhaps spare one of you to have me follow? Neither the judge nor bailiffs accompanied my mob to the cemetery--I'd assume they're still here. And furthermore," Ivan directed the head of his cane at the corners of the corners of the courthouse and an Automated Teller Machine across the street, "It seems there's electronic surveillance. Given the paranoia of this place, I'd also assume they do have people watching. At least the courthouse after the mob trashed the courtroom." He paused a moment before going on, a puzzled look crossing his features, "and I haven't been to the other district of the city yet, but judging from the snobbishness of the pure humans here, is it not unreasonable to conclude that they may still leave the slavers to their own devices only in the 'lower' district? Perhaps it'd be easier just to look for a police or military bulletin or a map of directions referencing the other district."



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 13 Mar 2010, 13:30 
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Aldrich, semi-seriously, performed a facepalm. "You've just been nearly executed and already I'm forgetting you're a wanted man. Of course, the courthouse is not the ideal place for you to be."

He eyed the facade of the building and then swept his gaze around the street that they now stood in. There was no obvious sign of CCTV cameras, but Ivan was right: if they had the technology for ATMs, you could be pretty sure they also had the technology for automated surveillance equipment.

"Right then. Change of plan, " he announced. "Looks like we don't want to hang around here any longer than necessary. It shouldn't be beyond the combined capabilities of Conner and myself to retrace the route that Peter brought us from the market square, and I know from my excellent information-gathering skills that that market is in the centre of the town. If this side of it is the snobs' neighbourhood, there's a good chance that the other side is the "lower" district. And centres where people congregate also often have information stands, town maps, and useful locals who know their way around. The day may be drawing to a close, but I bet there'll still be plenty of people down there. Maybe even Johann. He strikes me as the kind of guy who'd know about what goes on where."

He looked across at Conner as he said this, knowing that the name of "Johann" would mean nothing to Ivan.

"I propose a stroll back down to Johann's stall."

When neither 'Weaver raised any objections, he moved off, keeping his manner casual, but at the same time alert for any sign of officialdom (or lynchers) coming after Ivan. The other two followed. As the distance between them and the courthouse increased, so he began to relax more. Even so, his fingers twitched against the butt of his pistol, now reloaded with stun rounds, just in case. To his relief, they made it to the market's edge, near to where Johann had his stall, without incident. However, there was no sign of Johann. The stall was now bare, and various other stallholders were in the process of packing away their goods. The market, while certainly not devoid of people, was far from the bustling place that it had been earlier in the day.

Aldrich looked around, considering. Should he just go up to some random person and ask about the slave market? Without hesitating long enough to give the impression that he was unsure, he made a decision.

"Conner, when we met up, you were coming from that direction." He pointed across the square. "If we head that way, you may spot some landmarks that trigger your memory."

Once again they moved off, walking between the now quite wide open space between the rows of stalls. They had gone about two hundred metres or so when Aldrich stopped suddenly. Up ahead, right in the middle of the square, stood a broad, squat, straight-sided metal pillar. Attached to it were various notices. Some were clearly official and were behind glass; many were simple printed sheets of paper, stuck there by whatever means their posters had found for keeping them in place. At the top, in large, black letters was printed the word "INFORMATION", and underneath, filling a large chunk of the side facing them, was what was clearly a map.

"Gentlemen," Aldrich declared, "I think we may just have found what we need."



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 17 Mar 2010, 18:29 
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Wolf woke up.

It took a while. The minutes passed in a fevered slur of half-thoughts and vague conceptions, swirling around behind her tightly shut eyes. It was a long crawl back to full consciousness, until finally one eye cracked open to the waking nightmare of foul air and distant screams.

The young Weaver staggered to her feet, numbly brushing off the dirt that clung to most of her clothes. She was in a cage that was only just big enough to accommodate her slumped form. It was only one cage in a row; to the left and right of her a long line of similar cages stretched out, each containing a human-or at least humanoid-form. Very few of them were bothering to struggle.

Wolf let out a hoarse yell and battered the rusty metal bars with her bare hands, but nothing happened. Though well worn and covered with rust and other things, the bars held through her assault. A bark of sharp, mocking laughter rang out from somewhere.

"Arena's starting!" someone yelled, above the horrible racket of the place. Someone else yelled back an affirmative. In a moment or two a group of slavers appeared, each heading to a seemingly random cage. They unlocked the doors, grabbed the slaves out, and shackled them, then started pushing them away down the line.

One slaver came to Wolf, yanking the lock open and pulling her out by her arms. Wolf was about to try to fight back, before she remembered what had happened before. Grudgingly, she allowed the slaver to shackle her. She would have to hope that an opportunity would come up soon.

"This can't be a very efficient process," she muttered as she was led down the line. "Where are we going?"

"The Arena," the slaver said, sounding surprised that she didn't know. "They're looking for gladiators."


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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 18 Mar 2010, 17:58 
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Aldrich headed straight for the map. Johann's information earlier on had been correct. The market place was indeed right in the centre of town, and it was large too. Apart from the area that he had already seen, with traditional stalls, there was also a sizeable livestock market. And just to the south of them, quite small, and labelled in much tinier print, as though the map-maker had been embarrassed by its presence, was the slave market.

Aldrich turned to Conner as he traced a route with the index finger of his left hand. "It looks to me like we need to carry on in this direction until we're level with that odd-shaped building." His green-gloved hand rested on the drawing of the structure that he was referring to, before the finger continued on its journey. "Then I think we need to head down here. It should take us to the south gate, near to the slave market. Does that look right to you? Does it correspond to what you remember?"

Having obtained the necessary confirmation, Aldrich set off once again, striding purposefully in the direction of their goal.

"You're our tour-guide for today, Mr. Conner. Let us know if anything starts to look familiar."



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 19 Mar 2010, 20:56 
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Ivan looked around. How primitive. He thought. But then, so familiar. He realised he'd slowed for a moment and picked up his step to keep with Aldrich and Conner as they perused the map. As Aldrich indicated Conner lead the way, Ivan piped up, squinting against the dusty air of the square in the approaching twilight.

"How precisely is this to work though? I would figure we have to work out a plan when we arrive? In unfamiliar territory? Surrounded by armed hostiles? In the dark?"



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 21 Mar 2010, 10:52 
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The smile that Aldrich gave to Ivan in response to his questions conveyed an air of confident self-assurance.

"And thus speaks Mr. Positive," he teased. "We'll sort out the plan when we find out where Wolf actually is. No point worrying about it till we know what we're dealing with. But it's not totallyunfamiliar territory: we've got some idea of what's around there from the map. Don't know who we'll have to face, but if luck's on our side, we may only have to get past a bunch of slave traders with a few basic weapons. If not - if the Inquisitor's got his goons patrolling the place - well, we got round them before; if we don't have the skills to outwit a few guys with guns, we don't deserve to be Riftweavers. And the dark - that could work in our favour. Harder for us to see what's going on, but harder for them to see what we're up to too. You just trust your Uncle Aldrich. I'll see that we get through."



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 25 Apr 2010, 20:46 
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A twenty minute walk saw the Weavers past all manner of emerging night-life among the rough and fantastic streets of the Western Districts. Ivan had to admit to himself--and shark of course--that it was the most fascinating display of fusion between whatever two worlds had collided here. At one point he was sure he had seen some sort of goblin creature bounding past them covered in glow sticks and light-up toys, a brilliant neon rainbow flash as it ran by, apparently too gleeful over its new treasures to worry about the three men trekking their way towards slavers. Other than this creature there were a few other species that Ivan hadn't seen during the day, most swathed in clothes obscuring their features. Most of the city's mainstream inhabitants seemed to be taking shelter in their homes for the night, but some elves and humans were still about in the quickening dark, some carrying torches of varieties both battery and flame powered. And Ivan was even convinced at one point he saw the glow of a television in the window of one house that had obviously been a very nice suburban home before its new inhabitants moved in and gave it a face lift. Or face down. Or face over. Ivan didn't really know if he'd call the old-world fantasy façade a lessening of the original, just different. And odd looking, the shingles replaced with treated wooden equivalents, exotic vines taking over one corner, and rough wooden poles with spiked tops going up behind the evenly machine cut wooden fence that had already existed, slowly turning the upper-middle class home into something resembling a fort.

But eventually the three reached an area beyond this wild and chronologically confused area that had obviously been ripped straight from the more fantasy inclined world. The grass was trodden back from the path to form a dirt road between the the thatch roofed houses, a ditch on either side draining waste from the homes. The road gradually widened as Ivan, Conner, and Aldrich approached what looked like it was once the centre of a small town, and also their destination.

The Arena dominated the centre of the square. To Ivan it looked depressingly stereotypical, almost exactly like the Colosseum in Rome. Admittedly, there were some differences (like it still being in use...), but overall it was the same structure, just a little bit smaller and in better shape. The outside was lit by alternating battery and flame torches placed in slots, and there were statues of various figures placed on either side of the entrances around the structure, which were still open to Ivan's surprise, even if it looked like most of the day's activity was passed. Luckily for them, nobody cared who they were here, so nothing stopped them from simply walking up to the nearest arch that constituted an entrance. Ivan looked over the statue on the right side, which, unlike all the rest he had spotted, wasn't attached to the main structure but instead free standing. It looked out of place too, a sort of odd pirate individual with anachronistic weapons. Obviously scavenged like most of the other stuff in this world, though from where Ivan had no clue where. He ran a hand over the surprisingly smooth stone blade of the stone pirate's cutlass as he thought about how this insane world was almost cannibalising itself, each side taking everything from the other and then probably stealing it back at some point. "Why" was the only thing Ivan could think of it.

Ivan looked over to Conner, who was now standing under the arched entrance alongside Aldrich and himself. "We're in for what is for all intents and purposes an alien fighting arena. It is dark. We are likely to be eaten by a grue."



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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 02 May 2010, 13:08 
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Wolf's sharp ears were greeted by the growing babble of voices as they walked through the dark streets to the arena. Whatever the arena might be-though Wolf thought she could guess. This world just seemed to get more barbaric by the minute. She growled under her breath, yanking at the wretched shackles that restrained her. The skin around her wrists and ankles already felt irritated and sore. If they all got out of this, she was going to make damn sure she got Aldrich to teach her how to get out of a pair of handcuffs.

The line of slaves and slavers stumbled through the dark streets, feet scraping over unfinished bits of cobblestone and concrete mixed together in a clumsy mess. More than once Wolf narrowly avoided broken bottles. She found herself fervently grateful that she at least had sturdy boots, unlike most of the poor slaves. Her weapons and gear, she had been annoyed but not surprised to discover, had all been taken away.

Eventually the mishmash of stone turned to packed earth below their feet, and flickering lights beckoned to them in the distance. The thin crowd around them thickened, murmuring excitedly as they hurried down the broadening road. The chatter resembled that which one might hear from a crowd going to see a movie, or a ball game. Some of them poked or prodded at the slaves, cat-calling or opening placing bets as they passed. One of them, a man in his twenties with lank, greasy hair leaned in and tried to smack Wolf on the bottom.

Wolf spun around, slamming her head into his stomach. Until this moment she had suppressed her kill-sense, deliberately not listening to it as it told her how to take advantage of her situation, shackles and all. As impressive as it might be, the kill-sense could only do so much when she was outnumbered so greatly. Now, though, her temper flared up beyond her reason, and she pummeled the poor fool who had tried to touch her. He moaned, dropping to the ground beside her as the crowd roared. Wolf's legs had been shackled too, loose enough to walk but tight enough to prevent running. Not quite tight enough, though, to prevent her from bringing one leg up just enough to kick the prone man in the groin. He screamed in pain and doubled over on the ground, curling up into a fetal position.

The slavers surged forward, grabbing Wolf and hauling her back into line. “You'll pay for that, slave,â€


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 Post subject: Ghosts of Weavers Past
PostPosted: 03 May 2010, 06:57 
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Aldrich chuckled at Ivan's reference, and likewise looked at Conner.

"Then it's a good thing we have a grue-spotter with us. Darkness doesn't make any difference to a blind man."

He paused and glanced around.

"But I think we may find it's not quite as dark inside as it appears. Have you noticed? Most of the people on the street near here seem to be heading round the other side of the building. My guess is that there's gonna be something happening here later, and they're the early arrivers. This is probably the rear entrance. I'd say this is as good a place as any to start our search. Shall we snoop around a little?"

Aldrich led the little party through the arch and into the gloom. Inside, a passageway led around the circumference of the building. A few rough-looking individuals, possibly slavers, ambled past, paying them little attention. A short walk brought them within sight of a pair of rough wooden doors, facing another of the archways, and guarded by four armed sentries. He signalled to the other two to halt far enough away not to arouse the sentries' interest.

As they stood and observed the guards, Aldrich considered. This place looked suspiciously like the Colosseum in Rome. In that case, this doorway was probably the way in to the underground spaces where animals and slaves were kept. If Wolf was being held by slavers, she might well have been brought here. But taking on these guards head-on would attract a lot of attention, which might make searching the place more difficult. Assuming this actually was structured like the Colisseum, then there should be staircases leading to the spectator areas. Might it be more prudent to attempt to sneak in with the audience and then look for a way down to the subterranean holding cells? Or even wait and see if she was on the programme. This kind of entertainment should be right up her street. She'd have no problem holding her own.

"Gentlemen, do you fancy taking in a show tonight? Let's go and have a look upstairs."



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