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located in Fódlan, a part of Fire Emblem: Apotheosis, one of the many universes on RPG.

Fódlan

A continent divided into three different factions: The Adrestian Empire, The Holy Kingdom of Faerghus, and the Leicester Alliance.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Senka Rinaldi Character Portrait: Mercer von Riegan Character Portrait: Cyril Eisner Character Portrait: Vridel von Hresvelg Character Portrait: Sorcha Blaiddyd Character Portrait: Jeralt's Journal
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I.Y. 1180 - Horsebow Moon - Monday the 1st
Common Room - Midmorning - Raining
Mercer von Riegan


Mercer did not bother hiding his displeasure. Amalthea was missing, and no one seemed to know where she was. And that was to say nothing of the rumors he'd heard in town about a Death Knight stealing people's souls. He was certain that wasn't quite the case, but he had noticed how paranoid the people were in town when they'd arrived after last month's mission. He didn't blame them; he couldn't really fault them for fearing something they had no control over. But this... Amalthea missing was something else. It boiled his blood, and he was angry. Why would anyone take Amalthea? She was, perhaps, one of the sweetest people here.

Maybe that was why she was taken? She wasn't quite aware of people's intentions. If someone had asked her to be their friend, or find their lost pet, she was exactly the type to say yes, and not second guess it. Sometimes he wished she were not so naive, but there was nothing to be done about it, now. He caught his chin in his hand, resting it against the table as he waited for everyone to arrive. Cyril had asked them to meet in the common room, seeing as it was the only place they could speak freely without too many prying eyes, or ears.

Senka and Sorcha were the first to arrive. He felt a small smile cross his features, but it disappeared when he noticed Senka's expression. She looked about as well as he felt. Her eyes were slightly hazy, and she looked like she hadn't slept well that night. Sorcha's expression was drawn, but if anything there was a sharpness to her, like she was angry and not containing it well. Her eyes might well have been shards of ice.

“Hey," he greeted, watching as Senka's eyes landed on him. She nodded in way of greeting, but didn't say anything. He didn't blame her. She took a seat at the table, though, and folded her hands in front of her.

“Hey," Sorcha replied, her tone brittle. It wasn't directed at him, of course; he could tell that much without having to think about it. She took the seat next to Senka, eyes falling to the surface of the table.

The others filed in pretty quickly after that: Reynard, Devon, Sylvi, Sofia, Deirdre. Teach and Vridel entered together. Though their professor looked mostly the same as usual, there was a tension in his normally relaxed carriage that gave him away. Vi, though... he looked like he'd seen better days. There were dark circles under his eyes, and his hair looked like he'd raked his hands through it in frustration several times too many, the normally-disciplined white strands askew. He was, oddly, wearing his reading glasses, though not carrying any books. Less-oddly, he was outright scowling, though probably not aware of it.

Teach waited for everyone to be seated before speaking. “I won't waste time," he said simply. “By now, you all know that Amalthea is missing. We've been tasked with searching the Monastery for her, while the Knights are supposed to handle the town of Garreg Mach."

“Bullshit," Vridel snapped. “What assurance do we have that they even care enough to look with any effort? You heard how Rhea sounded. She's doing this from obligation, not desire. They're probably the same."

Mercer pursed his lips together. “I'm sure the knights are going to do what they can to find her. Whether Lady Rhea is doing it from obligation or desire, I know that some of the knights were fond of Amalthea. Even Alois was fond of her. They often ate together when he was around; you all know this," Sylvi spoke, her brows furrowed deeply.

“That doesn't mean anything, though," Dierdre spoke, her eyes narrowed as if she were glaring at the table. Mercer knew she was upset as well, and that she probably felt as helpless as they all did at the moment. Amalthea was a friend to everyone here at the table. He had to agree with Sylvi, as well. Amalthea made it very difficult to not want to be her friend, and she was always talking with the knights. She often made them floral crowns, or some other strange object to lighten their spirits.

“But where are we supposed to check in the monastery? There are not many places here to hide someone," Senka spoke, her voice soft and hoarse as if from wear. “The last time I saw Amalthea was a couple of days ago after we'd returned," she continued. The same with Mercer. Even though classes were on those days, they had been given those days off to recover. They had to make up their missed notes, of course, but Mercer hadn't minded the extra day to rest.

“When was the last time any of us saw her?" he asked.

Cyril looked immediately at Vi, for some reason, and he sighed. “I'm pretty sure I was the last person to see her," he said. “Or at least the last person who will admit it. Saturday evening. We were at the practice grounds, working on her axe-throwing. She had Aymr with her." His frown deepened, and the reason why was obvious: if Thea had been armed, then the options narrowed: either she'd left on her own, or the person who had taken her had been able to overpower her even with a weapon, or she'd been tricked into going with them somehow.

“We split ways at the dining hall. She said she was going back to her room." The dining hall was quite close to Thea and Lyanna's quarters, and actually meant Vridel had gone farther than he needed to, as the turnoff for the dorms was earlier. He'd walked her far enough that it was obvious he had been walking her back—but not far enough. Mercer could almost see it eating at him.

“At this point, we are reasonably certain that she was therefore taken on her way back. And we do think she was taken. It's a very narrow window of space and time, suggesting either someone familiar with Amalathea's routines or someone who spotted them and followed long enough to see her separate from Vridel. And who was prepared to act on that opportunity, short as it was. It seems unlikely that she was not taken in some way or other."

“Especially if she told Vivi she was going back to her room," Sorcha added. “She'd have no reason not to be honest about that."

Sorcha had a point. Mercer didn't think Amalthea was capable of lying. “Who could have taken her, though?" he mused out loud. He couldn't think of a single purpose as to why she would be taken. It was Amalthea for goddess' sake.

“She's the sister of the archbishop's advisor, but I don't see any other reason as to why someone would want to take her," Senka stated, pursing her lips together.

“I have to admit, Senka has a point. Amalthea doesn't have much use to anyone. Unless someone wanted leverage over Lyanna, or even the Church, considering the position Lyanna holds," he stated, tilting his head lightly. “Amalthea's just a regular person, otherwise."

“That's not quite true," Teach said, shaking his head. “According to Lady Lyanna, her blood has some kind of special property. It's not clear what it is, but—"

“She has—" Vi grimaced. “Don't go spreading this around, but she has the Major Crest of Cethleann. That's the only thing I can think of that makes any sense."

“You think someone wanted her for her Crest?" Reynard asked, sounding vaguely skeptical. “I suppose that's possible, but then why say her blood is special? Crests are carried through bloodlines, but the way that's phrased makes it sound like there's something important about her literal blood."

Vi refused to make eye contact with anyone. “Crests and literal blood are related," he said flatly. “I don't know exactly how, but they are. You can take my word for that or not; it probably doesn't matter. Whatever the exact cause, it's something about Thea in particular that made her a target."

“Unless..." Sofia hesitated. “I don't mean to be bringing up unsubstantiated rumors, but there was all that talk of a Death Spirit last week. It's too fantastical to be real, but it could just be a criminal. And he's supposed to be stealing away young women so... so maybe it really was just a matter of opportunity. He saw a young woman and took her."

Vridel's jaw tightened, but he didn't deny the possibility.

Mercer furrowed his brows, as did Senka and Sylvi. Dierdre glanced at Sofia, but didn't say anything. “If that's the case, then it is possible that, whoever this Death Spirit is, is responsible for taking Amalthea. She wouldn't have gone willingly, if that were the case, I don't think. She might have put up a fight, the only thing is," Sylvi started as her eyes went to Vridel and Cyril. “There was no sign of a struggle, was there?"

“I don't think there was," Dierdre spoke. Mercer rubbed the sides of his temples. The only logical thing would be to investigate the rumors, however; how were they going to do that? People in town were already frightened, and when he had asked some of them about the rumors, they became tightlipped and turned him away.

“But why would they take someone from the monastery? The rumors were that the Spirit was taking people from the town. Why try to take someone from a guarded area where they are likely to get caught?" Sylvi mused out loud.

“It could be that they were feeling bold, or... they knew how the knight's shifts worked," Senka stated, finally lifting her eyes to gaze at the group. “It would have been someone who was familiar, who wouldn't have seemed out of place at the monastery."

“Or someone who lives here," Sorcha said softly, biting her lip uncomfortably. “Think about it. In order to move in or out of the Monastery, you have to either use the front gate or fly. The front gate is always under guard, and can't be open or shut without at least two people. Someone would have seen them leave, but no one did. That means... whoever did this, Death Spirit or not, had somewhere within the Monastery to put her, and can come and go from the town without arousing suspicion, if it was the so-called spirit. Either way, they live here."

It seemed to be a sobering realization for the group; Devon shifted uncomfortably in his seat.

Cyril sighed quietly. “There are three avenues of investigation before us," he said after a moment, crossing his arms and shifting his eyes slowly over the group. “These rumors of a death spirit in town, and the people within the monastery itself. Of them, we should be most concerned by anyone who might have knowledge of or use for Amalthea's Crest. That means the people she knew the most and the people who knew the most about her."

He let that sit for a moment; many of those people were in this room, but he regarded none of them with any suspicion. “From now on, no one does anything alone. Not just the women—anyone. Don't go to class, or lunch, or to practice, anywhere without at least one other member of this group. Trust no one else, no matter how well you think you know them or their intentions. And if I have to tell you not to go anywhere alone at night, then I've failed to teach you anything about tactics."

Pursing his lips, he expelled another breath. “Senka, Reynard, Sorcha. You and I will spend the next week investigating the town. It is of paramount importance that the knights do not catch on to what we are doing." He shook his head faintly. “Everyone else will ask around the monastery as discreetly as possible. Mercer, Vridel, and Devon should focus on the Crest angle, but be careful. Sylvi, Sofia, and Deirdre: figure out who Amalthea was closest to and get what you can out of them."

“Understood," Mercer stated as everyone seemed to nod in unison. “Don't worry guys, we'll find her."

No matter what, they were going to find Amalthea.

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