Doctor Parietus looked up from his smoke. "Hm? Oh, yeah. Sure." He picked up a large syringe and slid it into Gomik's back. "Yeah, there we go. Sorry about that, that's gonna hurt like a bitch." He pulled back and the syringe had a bit of clear liquid in it. "I'll get right on this. You want some ice?" He slapped an adhesive patch onto Gomik's back, then sat back down, setting the syringe to one side.
Gomik yelled out as the needle entered his spine, grabbing on the nearby table and gripping it as hard as he possible could, and not releasing it till the ice was on and the pain subsided. "That was extremely painful, but thank you for getting it done quickly." He said, his face still red from gripping the table so hard. "So how long do you think your tests should take Doctor. Is there anything I can do to help speed up the process?" He asked, really wanting to help.
"Eh, dunno. I haven't the faintest idea what I'm looking for. I'm just playing this by ear." He pulled out a microscope and dripped some of the fluid onto a slide and began examining it. "I'm probably going to need to talk to Jacques about this. Arcane science is his specialty, and I think that's what we've probably got going on here...shoo, shoo, I'll get back to you when I have something."
Gomik frowned as he turned and left. He did not like to be shooed, but he had little choice at the time. He made it outside and sighed. He was really lost, and he felt like he needed something to do. He decided to go to the General store, and see if the lady wanted anything done. Maybe earn a bit of money as well. He walked over and opened the door, walked up to the front desk and said "Excuse me, Do you need anything done? I am just really... lost. I need to find something to do." He said as polite as he possibly could.
"Well if there's vicious hounds and I'm bad with a sword we're hightailing it back here, okay? No need to worry. We won't go that far away from the gate. Are you coming Rob?"
Rob had been jotting down the bits of their conversation in his notebook, be stood up once he was called upon. "Very well..." he put his hat back on and picked up his cane. "Let's get going."
"If you are looking for work, try talking to Dmitri. This town always has something that needs to be done."
The blacksmith gave Samuel a look over and mumbled something, then pulled out a lever-action rifle. "Think you'll like this." The gun was extremely well crafted, but rather battered. "Dmitri's the only warrior here and he hates guns. You can have it for thirteen silvers. Plenty of bullets available, I'll sell you twenty for a silver."
After a few moments of searching, he withdrew a curved sword. "Old cavalry saber from the war against the Cult. Nine silvers."
"Thanks, I will go talk to him." Gomik said as he walked out of the building, still nothing real to take up his time. He walked next door into the building, and said "Hey Dmitri. You got anything I could do to take up some time? Maybe earn a bit of money?" He asked nicely, hoping he did not mind the way he talked to him earlier.
"I'll take both the rifle and the saber, and I think I'll start with three silver's worth of bullets as a starting point. Any chance I can purchase a bandolier here as well, or would that be more along the lines of a tailor?" Samuel asked as he exchanged the money and picked up the unloaded lever action. He was glad it felt right in his hands. He instinctively checked the gun before picking up the sword and tying the scabbard securely to his belt. Hopefulyl he could get something to hold the bullets with or else he would have to worry about making a lot of noise when he walked.
The smith dug around. "Actually, here we are. I'll throw it in with the purchase. Ain't nobody else gonna use it." He threw him a bandolier that could hold twenty rounds. "That should do ya."
Dmitri looked him over. "What exactly can you do? Or should I just send you to thin out Ursacro or Revenants and see if you'll make it back alive?"
"Right!" she felt safer now that she had companions, even if they weren't armed. They went out into the town. "Okay, so there should be a graveyard to the... Northeast, yeah?" Well, we need to go past it to get to the lake anyway..." The notion of being around dead things and hostile things at the same time was both exciting and nerve-wracking. She saw the gate to the cemetery ahead. Too late to turn back now... The only thing that offered her some comfort was the hilt of the sword, still a bit odd-feeling, but comforting nonetheless.
After resting for some time Kane got out of his bed. He grabbed his various pieces of armour and started equipping them, along with his torn cloak. Once he was done getting ready he left his room and then shortly after exited the inn.
Kane walked around the town until he reached the library. The innkeeper mentioned that whoever was working there might know about his medallion. He pushed open the door to the library and walked inside. "Hello? Is anyone here?" he said loudly.
"Well I could maybe fix something?" He said, indicating to his belt of tools. "Anything that needs to be fixed up?" Maybe this could jog my memory a little bit... "Or whatever needs to be done, I just want to do something." Gomik said, a smile on his face.
"Thank you." Samuel said simply as he loaded the gun and filled the bandolier before stashing the remaining bullets in his pockets. Luckily he already had his own room that he had bought with the meal for a week. So he wouldn't need to worry about food and where to stay the night. He was actually rather happy he would have his own bed at least. He hadn't seen the rooms yet so he wondered what else he might be getting. He didn't know how much he still had left but he knew he should save as much as possible.
Akivasha clasped her hands together, frowning. "Thieves and pirates? I hate to think I was one of their number in my past life.. But indulge me. Do you have any records on such organizations? I wish to see if I might identify from whence I might have come.."
If Jacques does direct her to any such section or tome, she will seek them out and do some research. Otherwise, it's likely Akivasha will spend a great deal of time wandering and browsing the library before wandering off to try to find a room.
Dmitri hummed for a moment, then held up a finger and pulled his desk open, reaching inside and withdrawing a watch. "It's broken. See if you can make it work." He fished out a few other components, small gears and springs and set them on the table next to it.
"A few here and there, miss, but I doubt they'd be of much use to you." He pulls out a book marked 'Criminal Organizations of the Western Sea of Blades' and opened it. "Markings similar to yours..." He flipped through, showing her dozens of sigils - eyes, diamonds, hearts, horseshoes, and dozens of others, many similar but none very close or identical. "I doubt you will find the answer here in a small town library such as this." Jacques turned as Kane entered. "Ah, hello sir, what can I do for you?"
The graveyard's gate opened with a disturbing creak. Please have the sun rise soon. With a deep breath she stepped inside. Her knuckles were white because of how hard she was holding the hilt of the sword. There were lots of graves, maybe more than the population of the city itself. They walked past several mausoleums. Ew... what if the garden is being fertilized by dead bodies... She walked a little more confidently as the sky got lighter, straying a little further. Then an unusual smell... flowers. She didn't notice any flowers on the graves, but she smelled them, clear as anything. "Guys... do you smell that?"
"Curst," Akivasha said with just the softest sigh. "Thank you, anyway, Jacques."
Which was when Kane arrived. That got her attention. She vaguely recalled him as one of the others from the cave--a musclebound man who she figured for a simple brute. Seeing him in a place like this made her reconsider, and so she offered a tentative wave.
Samuel had seen Iris and the others leave the town as he had exited the store and decided to follow them. he kept to his sword for now, seeing no reason to have his rifle out, besides he would need to be careful with those shots. Even though he had sixty rounds on him he would still need to make them last. Iris' question caught him a tad off guard and so he took a smell and focused on it.
"I smell it. A distinct scent of flowers, almost hits you like a shot after being in the smell of death for so long. Why do you ask?"
Not having been informed of the job he didn't know of any significance that any of this might have.
"Hmm..." Without another word she turned and walked towards what she assumed to be the smell's origin. Then she stopped. Right in her tracks. She stopped so quickly Rob ran into her, having been immersed in his notes. She didn't even flinch, or turn, or say anything for a few minutes.
"... ... ..."
Suddenly she shook her head, like she was waking from a trance. Then, like nothing happened she continued towards the smell.
Gomik walked up to the desk, and took a quick look at the watch, inspecting it for damage. "Let us see just how much I know about this..." He said as he tried to think back as he moved his fingers over all the points, carefully inspecting the little screws that would need to come out. He moved one of the lenses of his spectacles down, and got a closer look at the the thing. His hand instantly went to his side as he pulled out a small pair of tweezers, barely knowing he had the things. "Huh.. That's new." He said as he carefully opened the back with the tweezers, using one end as a makeshift screwdriver, since he had totally busted the other one on the heart stone. When the back cover came off, a sense of dread came over him, as what was inside looked really advanced. But at closer inspection, a few peices seemed.. off, like they were missing something. A circular bit had nothing inside of it, as well as some other things. He carefully picked up one of the gears that the man had produced, and laid it inside the circular area, and it fit into the notch almost perfectly, the little piece fitting through the center of the gear. He smiled as he continued to work in such a fashion, looking for things that seemed off, and replacing them with the pieces he had available, until finally he closed the back and stuck the screw back in, sealing the pieces in. He handed the watch to the man and said."That is the best attempt I could have made, see if it works now." He crossed his fingers as the man inspected it.
Samuel immediately caught up to Iris and put a hand on her shoulder.
"Hey what happened there? You suddenly stopped and stared off into space for a few minutes. What was that about? Do you need to take a break?" He was already trying to get her to slow down a bit, for what reason he wasn't quite sure yet. It was obvious though that something had happened.
Dmitri wound the clock, then looked at it for a moment. "...Very nicely done. We could do with a technician who's a little more reliable than Doctor Parietus. Unfortunately, there's not a lot for you to do in a town like this. We have very little clockworks or complex machinery. Some mining equipment, but ever since the mine was shut down we don't use it anymore. Still, I think providing you a few crowns a day to cover your living expenses is the least we could do."
As Kane walked into the library he saw a woman, one of the fellow amnesia-victims, wave to him. He returned the wave with a smile and walked over the librarian.
"Hello there. Can you tell me what this is?" He asked as he pulled out the golden cog medallion.
"No. It was nothing." It wasn't a complete lie. It might not be anything. She wasn't sure what she saw, but she knew where her next stop would be after the garden. "I'm fine. Don't worry about it." Borgov... I need to find out more about them. From what the good doctor said, there isn't too much about their mysterious disappearance...
Jacques snatched the cog medallion. "Where did you get this?" He ran into the stacks and returned a few seconds later with a leather-bound book. "This is...mein gott." He threw the book down onto the table and set the medallion to one side. Kane got a brief glimpse at the title 'The Book of the Machine.'
"This is the symbol of the Clockwork Priesthood. They're a group that worships machines as fetal Gods. The group was exterminated by order of the Caledon Council, fifteen years ago. Who -are- you?"
Iris followed the scent south, weaving her way through thick ivy and brambles until she finally pushed her way through into a clearing. A vast garden stretched before her, with a small creek bubbling through the middle of it, feeding a pool. Bushes and trees bearing bright, ripe fruit were everywhere, and flowers of a hundred varieties were thick underfoot. As she entered the meadow she immediately felt a sense of safety and security, and also noted that the chilly breeze of autumn was gone, replaced with pleasant warmth.
Rob felt suspicious about this garden. "Keep your guard up, Iris...this wasn't on any map I saw. And after everything we've seen about this place, this garden just seems... out of place." The breeze was soothing to him, and he hoped that was just his paranoia talking, but he didn't want to be caught off guard.
Samuel followed Iris on her path to the garden. As he entered he felt at once calm and alert. The fact everything was so peaceful was calming but it wasn't right that the breeze had suddenly gone. The fact Iris had gone catatonic earlier was all the proof he needed though that they should go back to town.
"Iris, you are most certainly not ok. We should go back to town, get you looked at. In fact, what is going on and why did you come here? Does it have something to do with your freezing up earlier?"
Akivasha smiled back at Kane... and paused, frowning, at Jacques' reaction to the Cog metal. A Clockwork cultist? She didn't remember what that was, but by Jacques' shock, it was clearly something significant.
And it made her wonder. The decor of her dagger seemed awfully unique, too. As did the huge spidery mark on her back-- moreso than the lesser eye-like marks on her hands. Somehow she remembered it, even having not seen it yet. It was almost as if she could feel it, clinging to her.
With the librarian distracted by Kane, she slipped over to take the book 'Criminal Organizations of the Western Sea of Blades,' and flipped through it, searching for anything matching the body tattoo. Failing that, perhaps Jacques had a book on cults that she could search through as well.
"Not many mortals dare to enter this Garden."
They turned and found themselves confronted with a hard-faced woman, with flowing locks of blue-black hair and eyes that were filled with green fire. She was clad in a cloak of raven feathers, the bottom feathers stained red and dripping. Pointed ears protruded from her hair. She smiled at them, her mouth filled with razor edged teeth.
She jerked her shoulder away when Samuel touched it. "Fine, I might, just lay off for now, okay?"
Her eyes scanned the garden. It was beautiful: so beautiful that finding the fruit was the last thing on her mind. Of course, even that was pushed to the back of her mind when she saw the woman.
"Cousins?" Are we related? "Greetings..." the garden didn't seem so safe now. "We... don't mean any harm..." Her fingers gripped the sword, and she found herself praying to whatever deity she might have believed in in the past that she would not have to fight. And that that wasn't blood. The woman had pretty hair though.
Kane was very surprised by the librarian's response. "A machine cult? Just who the hell am I?" he though.
"I honestly can't answer that." he said to Jacques. "I'm suffering from a rather serious case of amnesia and can't remember a thing about my past. There's this elvish bracer on me that says I'm from Bhelest prison or some crap." Kane then eyed the golden cog, noted the snapped cord. "Maybe I stole it off one of their priest and was arrested for it? he thought.
Kane spoke up. "Anyways, is there more you can tell me about this cult?"
The woman moved, faster than the eye could see, then reappeared where she had first appeared, a rabbit in her hands. It squirmed for a moment before she twisted, snapping the creatures neck, then she began to eat, quickly consuming the animal and licking it's bones clean of meat. Her face now splattered with blood, she smiled at Iris. "Cousins, yes. You are partly Elven. On your mother's side. Him too." She licked the blood off her lips. "The Elves and the Faeries are kin. I am Morrigan."
She walked forward. "You have Erana's sword. How did you come by it, dear? Most cannot even touch her weapon, yet you appear capable of wielding it." She sucked her teeth. "Most intriguing, don't you agree, Samuel?"
* * * * *
Jacques raised an eyebrow. "Bhelest Prison? Interesting. It's run by the Order of Gray. Priest-Warriors of the Divine Rose, although they take orders from the Caladon Council more often these days. Perhaps you were imprisoned for being a Clockwork Priest." He took a look at the bracer. "Interesting. Not modern Elvish. Ancient. Used mostly in religious context. The Divine Rose's original religious texts were written in that Elvish.
"As for the Clockwork Priests, I'm afraid there's not a lot to tell. They performed terrorist actions against the state of Caladon. Nutcases. Tried to 'liberate' trains by tearing apart tracks, or cut zeppelins free of their moorings. I'm inclined to think their religion was just a cover for terrorist attacks against Caladon. Not like there aren't plenty of good reasons to do that, though..."
Rob stood behind the two of them, noting what Morrigan was saying. Some sort of enchanted sword, I assume, if it's a feat that she's holding it... and the two of them being half-elves could be important. I just hope she doesn't mind them having a little more company... He tried not to make any noticable movements, just watching the faerie and hoping she didn't look at him. He had remained calm and stoic so far, but this woman unsettled him. He knew fighting it would only end badly.
"I would agree if I knew what any of that meant really. For now though, I think we both apologize for disturbing your garden and feel we should take our leave." Samuel said as he unconsciously held his saber a little straighter.
"Iris, I sincerely think it is time we leave. This place brings more questions than answers, and right now I don't think we can afford such." He walked towards Iris and angled himself so that if need be they could go back to back at a moment's notice. For now it looked as if he was simply going to put a hand on her shoulder again. If he couldn't convince Iris to leave, he had the feeling this would become very bloody very quick.