Snippet #2788047

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: Cyril Eisner Character Portrait: Sorcha Blaiddyd Character Portrait: Jeralt's Journal
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I.Y. 1180 - Horsebow Moon - Saturday the 6th
Village of Garreg Mach - Early Evening - Overcast
Senka Rinaldi


There wasn't much information about Amalthea's disappearance. From what they had been able to gather, people were suspicious of each other, and they were pointing fingers in every direction. It wasn't helpful, at least not as far as they needed it to be helpful. People were panicking, and Senka really couldn't fault them for that. No one was safe; not in the monastery, and not in the town. And fear did a strange thing to people. Senka knew what that was like, partially. The fear of not knowing when you'll be next, if you'd be next. She sighed softly, and pushed the thoughts away, though.

Thinking like that wasn't going to help bring Amalthea back. The current rumor, however, placed the supposed Death Knight at the farthest end of town. Senka wasn't entirely sure why it would reside there; most of the town's population was centered towards the middle. It might have been that some of the residents who lived on the outskirts, were easier victims. Senka felt her brows furrow at that thought. A sound brought her out of her thoughts as she glanced at the small group she was currently with.

Her eyes met briefly with Sorcha's. “What do you suppose this spirit is getting out of kidnapping young women?" she asked in a hushed voice. She didn't need people to know what they were doing, after all. Senka couldn't think of a single reason why the spirit needed a young woman other than it was trying to make brides, or sacrifices. She hoped it was the former. It would mean that Amalthea had a greater chance of being found alive.

Sorcha shook her head. She'd been unusually quiet all day, and at lunch, Senka had caught her looking at everyone who entered the dining hall, as if scrutinizing them for something in particular. What it was, she hadn't said, but it didn't seem as though she'd found it.

“Do we know he's actually doing that?" Reynard walked casually beside them, to all appearances completely uninterested in his surroundings. “We know that's what the rumor is, but has anyone actually seen him snatch a girl? Are there any women missing in the village? Maybe it was all a screen, and the only one he wanted was her to begin with." He shrugged, lighting the plant matter packed into the bowl of his pipe with a flicker of conjured flame. His nonchalance was much better feigned than anyone else's lately, if in fact he was feigning it. He was a difficult person to read.

“That, at least, we can find out," Professor Cyril replied. “Even if the knights won't tell us." It was considered an investigation angle of theirs, and therefore hard to ask questions about without arousing suspicion. Pointing at a slightly larger building amidst a cluster of what seemed to be poorer storefronts, he glanced between them. “The Spindlethorn, the only tavern in Garreg Mach Village that operates all night."

“Tavern?" Reynard echoed, expelling smoke in a skeptical sounding huff. “You sure about that?"

But Cyril shrugged. “That's mostly what it is."

It was, Senka supposed, a good place to start. People were quite talkative when they came under the influence of drink. People loved talking, regardless, but they were likely to find out something more true if they waited long enough. They would have to make sure, however, that they appeared to be either passing travelers, or that they weren't seeking information. They weren't regulars, after all, or at least Senka knew herself and Sorcha to not be. She couldn't be too sure what the others did in their free time.

As they approached the tavern, Senka glanced at the others. “Would it be easier to split up into two groups to gather what we can, or should we stay together?" she asked, glancing between the others. If they split into two groups, they could cover a bigger section of the tavern, even if it wasn't that large to begin with, however; if they remained as a single group, they'd be able to speak about what they could hear, easier.

“No need," Cyril replied simply. “Reynard and I both have contacts here. He'll go talk to his, and you two can meet Miss Violet." So saying, he pushed the door open and stepped inside.

The tavern was warm, even compared to the outside, just barely the right side of uncomfortable, and maybe not for long. The scent of sharp alcohol hung in the air, as well as a faint trace of something floral. A few people were tucked away at various tables here and there, but the mood seemed to be rather quiet overall. Interspersed with the patrons were young women in unusually-elaborate dresses for commoners, though several of them looked a little threadbare in places, evidence that they were often mended and maintained by hand.

Still, it seemed almost homey, somehow; welcoming.

Not three seconds after they'd walked in, a woman with bright red hair approached, not stopping within polite distance but instead flinging her arms around Cyril. “Cy!"

He set his hands carefully on her sides and huffed softly. “Hello, Miss Violet."

She stepped back with a grin and a rustle of blue skirts, gesturing to a table in the corner. “Your usual's open. Who are your cute little friends?"

Senka supposed that was how the employees greeted their regulars, and she tipped her head in a polite nod. It didn't stop, however, a strange warming sensation from passing through her. It made her a little uncomfortable, but she put it down as being in a different environment.

“I am Senka," she introduced herself, allowing her features to smooth over into a small smile. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Violet," she continued. Cyril wanted them to meet her, for some reason, and the least Senka could do was be polite. She didn't know how else to be, especially with someone she'd never met before. New people always made her a bit uncomfortable, but she was with friends at the moment.

“And I'm Sorcha." She managed a little grin, one the other woman matched a bit before ushering them all over to the table. Reynard had already disappeared; it wasn't clear where he'd gone, but then it seldom was.

Once they were all settled, a waitress, dressed much more simply than Miss Violet, brought them all a small tray of pastries and whatever they wanted to drink. Cyril opted not to order alcohol, and Senka was pretty sure Sorcha had never in fact had any, so that meant two glasses of lemon icewater arrived with hers.

“So, Cy." Miss Violet had taken the seat right next to the Professor's, and was sitting almost against him, wrapped around one of his arms. He seemed to allow this with the same lack of concern he gave most things, and only arched an eyebrow at her when she spoke. “What brings you to my neck of the woods?"

“Information," he replied simply.

She gave a great sigh, smiling wryly, but it was something she seemed to have expected. “Naturally. Information about this mysterious Reaper, perhaps?" She plucked one of the little treats from the tray and bit into it, tilting her head inquiringly at all three of them.

Senka was uncomfortable, and it wasn't because she was out of her element. She was uncomfortable with how close this Miss Violet was sitting next to the professor, and how casual they both seemed about it. She felt her brows furrow slightly, her leg twitching as she accidentally brushed against Sorcha. She could feel the hairs on the back of her neck stand on end, and she was having difficulty placing the feeling. It felt like someone was squeezing her heart, and she couldn't breath. Taking in a soft sigh, though, she merely nodded in way of response.

“This Reaper," she began, glancing towards Sorcha and Cyril before she continued, “may have a friend of ours. We are searching for any possible leads that may help us bring her home. We are very worried about her." Worried didn't even begin to cover it, though. None of them could sleep, or at least Senka knew she couldn't. She hadn't slept properly in the last week since Amalthea's disappearance. She folded her hands in front of her, and clasped them tightly.

She just wanted her friend back.

Sorcha slowed in her progress through the tray at the reminder, grimacing slightly. “I doubt there's much solid to go on," she said quietly, “but anything at all would be helpful, considering how little we know."

Miss Violet nodded, humming thoughtfully. “Well I doubt Cy's told you this, but if you want information in the town of Garreg Mach, I'm your girl." She smiled at the both of them, then, a genuinely-friendly thing from the look of it, though it sobered a moment later. “I'm sorry to hear about your friend, but I have to say... it's a little surprising."

“How so?" Cyril asked, brows furrowing.

She tilted her free hand back and forth. “Well, here's the thing. Everyone's been making a big fuss about the Reaper. Cooking up stories, like folk always do. The thing is... while I'm pretty sure there is someone riding around menacing people at night... no one else has actually been taken. Not that I know of, and I know just about everyone in the village pretty well. If you press on the people spreading these rumors, they always kind of deflect, like 'oh I heard it happened to some girl in Riverbend' or wherever else that's not too far from here. But as far as I can tell... nothing. Nothing real, anyway, except for generally making a scary nuisance of himself."

“But... why would anyone do something like that?" Sorcha asked.

Miss Violet sighed. “I can think of a few reasons. It could be a distraction for something else, but that doesn't make sense if he actually took your friend, so..."

“So it's a screen," the Professor finished solemnly. “He wanted to use the rumors to disguise the fact that he was specifically after Amalthea. It wasn't random, and it wasn't mere convenience. She was the target all along."

“But why Thea?" Senka mused out loud. There were quite a few number of reasons as to why Thea had been taken, but none of it had made sense. What could it possibly be that Thea has, that someone would want to kidnap her for? Was it for her blood? Her Crest? If so, why did having a major Crest of Cethleann make her a target?

“If it was just a screen, if he was truly after Amalthea..." she didn't want to think about it. It was possible that now that he had Amalthea, they would be moving, or worse. They could have already disappeared. If that were the case, what hope did they have of finding Thea? Who was to say that they hadn't failed in finding her, and she was lost to them? She took in a slow breath, and pushed the thoughts away. She had to believe that they would find Amalthea. She had to.

“Is... there any rumor as to where this spirit might dwell?" she asked. If the spirit was seen here, chances were it might be coming from somewhere nearby. And if that were the case, maybe... just maybe they had a chance of finding Amalthea before he took her too far.

The woman gave this a moment of consideration, pursing her lips and chewing quite deliberately over a bite of pastry before she replied. “The only thing that seems to be consistent is that people see him coming and going from the direction of the monastery," she said, arching a delicate brow. “But I don't think that should be too surprising; where else in town would there be someone with skill enough to do such things? It's certainly no ordinary kidnapper, either by way of appearance or method."

“But if he's at the monastery, and he wanted someone from there, why bother riding out into town at all?" Sorcha asked.

“Who would you rather have looking for you?" the Professor replied. “Professional knights, or a group of students who can't even access all parts of the monastery?"

Sorcha's eyes widened. “You think he's keeping her somewhere restricted in the monastery?"

Cyril looked faintly troubled for a moment. “I think it's the most likely possibility," he admitted softly.

“Sounds like a problem," Miss Violet said, not without sympathy. “I'll keep my ears open at least. A few of the knights are pretty frequent customers of ours."

The Professor nodded, producing a small satchel of coin from his person and handing it to Miss Violet.

“You know I'd do this for free if you'd just–" she started, but he shook his head.

“Wouldn't be free then, would it?" His tone was just as flat as ever.

She sighed, face pulling into a pout. “You don't have to make it sound like it would be a chore. People pay good money for—" When the Professor gave her a blank look, she sighed again and shook her head. “Fine, fine. Keep depriving yourself. I'm here if you change your mind." Pressing a quick peck to his cheek, she stood, giving a short wave to Sorcha and Senka.

“I hope you guys find your friend safely," she said earnestly. “And if you think of anything else I can do to help, just let me know."

Senka swallowed thickly, and the only reason she paid much attention was because she could feel her throat working. She could feel her brows furrow in Violet's direction, but she didn't understand why Violet was the source of her discomfort. It shouldn't matter what the woman did, or how she was with Cyril. And Senka knew enough to know that was the cause of her discomfort. She pushed it from her mind, though. There were more important matters to tend to, like finding Thea. Whatever she was feeling wasn't important. She could sort through it after Amalthea was found. She felt her eyes narrow in the professor's direction, but she nodded her head at Violet.

“Thank you, Miss Violet," she responded, pursing her lips together as she turned towards Sorcha. When Violet was gone, Senka finally spoke. “If the spirit is truly in the monastery, we need to search everywhere. Even if... if Rhea doesn't approve of it, what she doesn't know won't hurt her." Not that Senka particularly cared. The woman had it out for her for some strange reason. Senka never did anything, that she could recall, to the archbishop. Senka had lost nearly all respect for the woman, and Amalthea's safety was her top priority, otherwise.

Whether or not Rhea approved, Senka would search every nook and corner if she had to do it alone.

Sorcha grimaced, but nodded firmly. “Yeah," she said. “Yeah, we do."

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