... now they must watch their abundance of luxuries fall away, making room for the tools of survival, and witness this time of relative peace wither into the same fears that harper's ballads had warned them about for generations.
 
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 of Family, Faith and Loyalty (Tags: Eolyn! Closed)

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Eloaene

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PostSubject: of Family, Faith and Loyalty (Tags: Eolyn! Closed)   Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:41 pm



It was about early evening by the time Rihan had made arrangements with Stewards Drien and Kazage for his departure for an unspecified length of time. To tell the truth, Rihan didn’t know how long they would be staying at Telgar Hold with the rest of his family. It would probably do them some good to spend a few days there, given circumstances at present.


Once they arrived there, they were quickly ushered to the main hall, where the rest of the family was congregating over a spread of food and drinks prepared for them by the concerned kitchen staff who had the foresight to know they’d need to keep their strength up at a time like this, even if some amoungst them may have lost their appetites. A meal at a common table however, was always a fine way of getting friends and family to come together. They needed that kind of support right now.

Rihan had been standing, had been pacing, near where his father sat at the head of the table, discussing the situation surrounding Ermon’s death, and the one being accused of murder. His mother and the rest of his siblings were seated together, primarily along one side of the table, engaging in separate conversation; though it was certain that they were still listening in on what Matoi and his eldest son were talking about. Eolyn was also accepted within their crying circle and low conversations wherever she desired.




They had been there talking for sometime, but still, Lord Matoi seemed unable to give Rihan any real answers. Honestly, he couldn’t, just yet. All he could do was assume as much as Rihan or anyone else at this point. Little evidence had been revealed to them surrounding who was behind Ermon’s death.

“By all reports, Captain Toshiro was the only person in the room with Ermon. Though no one saw him enter the room with a dagger. Such weapons are easily concealed; and though it’s not like a Captain of the Guard to use one for murder, that might be the very reason a dagger was the choice weapon.” Though the Lord Holder himself, did not want to believe that Toshiro was the one responsible for Ermon’s death, he didn’t want to leave any stones unturned where his son’s murder was concerned; but thus far, no other leads had been found.

“Amoungst the Guard, it’s also being suspected that, with Toshiro now caught in this position, that perhaps it was he who leaked information regarding the early departure of the Caravan to the bands responsible for the attacks on it in those following days. He was one of the few amoungst us who knew about those plans. He is practically the one who arranged it, if you take my meaning.” Lord Matoi gazed steadily upon his son, seeming regretful of having to say such condemning things of the Captain of the First Squad Division, but as the Lord Holder of Telgar, he could not dismiss possibilities due to past heroism displayed by the man, nor due to the friendship between Toshiro and his son.


For the first time in likely many turns, Rihan raised his voice to his father in anger. He couldn’t stand for all the accusations, anymore! He had just lost a brother, so he wasn’t about to lose a friend. “At what age does our faith become so pretend?!” His eyes were burning with that question, the pain of their loss, and perhaps tears. “Since when do we allow only reason and logic to rule us? Maybe only children can possess that kind of blindly faithful heart; if that’s the case, then I choose to retain that kind of childlike merit! Especially at a time like this…  I feel as though some room must be made for faith.”

Partially in defense of the Captain being implicated in all of this, he expressed, “Reason and logic cannot explain everything. They cannot answer every question. They alone, cannot bring comfort in times of doubt. And where things are most clearly seen through the heart, let that Heart guide me. I will not have him take the fall for this crime unduly.”

Meeting eyes, father and son gauged one another’s intention in silence before, at length, Lord Matoi answered him. “I understand your need to trust in him. Toshiro is sworn to you. I feel as though it would be a stretch for even someone like him to take the life of his Holder’s son, even if he has expressed distaste with my wanting to involve him again in the Chorong Conflict. I’m not convinced he would retaliate like this, but still… in this case, Faith alone, is not enough for me to clear him of the serious charges set against him. There are those who would see him pay for Ermon’s death with his life, in the next few days.”

Unable to accept such an end to things, Rihan’s voice, sounding hurt and almost plaintive, struggling to continue in defence of the Captain, reminded his father, “Do you remember the story you once told me of a hunter and his canine? He returned home to find his beloved canine’s face dripping in blood. When he went to check on his children he found that the baby’s cradle had been overturned and his baby was not there. In anger, the hunter slew the canine for having betrayed him! ...Later, he heard a cry. It was the cry of his child and when he went to it, there lay a wild feline, dead.

“The truth of the matter had been that the feline had come, threatening the lives of the master’s children, and his beloved canine protected them. Yet...having been too angry to discern the truth, he killed the one who had served him most loyally..even to the death.” Pausing, Rihan nearly choked on his words. Emotions were compounding within him, making it difficult...

“That canine is much like Toshiro. To everyone else, perhaps he would seem the most unlikely character to be trusted or have any faith in...but I believe with the utmost confidence that if he seems guilty in any way, than we need to bide our time. We must wait and see. Toshiro will not fail me in the end. And in the end, I never want to be the kind of master who would turn his back on his loyal subjects. That would be my deepest regret.” Rihan met his father’s gaze still steadily, carrying a sure sense of resolution in those things he’d spoken.

“If Toshiro is so willing to serve me, then I must trust in him and be willing to serve him, where I am able.”


Watching his son, Lord Matoi took a deep breath, letting a sigh part his lips, “Go to him. Go to Southern Telgar Hold and speak to him. Find out what more you can, and verify his identity. A Captain should have his Guard Badge on him, but he doesn’t. So, all we have is the name he tells us; though he does match Toshiro’s description perfectly. Still, no one in that area has ever served with him, so there is no one there to identify him beyond a doubt, and it could be that the individual arrested is trying to frame him by throwing around false information.” Which wasn’t far from the mark, in truth, but not quite in the manner Matoi had been thinking just then.




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PostSubject: Re: of Family, Faith and Loyalty (Tags: Eolyn! Closed)   Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:31 pm

Eolyn prepared to be gone for days at the very least. It wouldn't matter if she was gone for one day or ten, it seemed the Healers were against the entire trip. She was a Lady and she could decide some things for herself. She was well enough to travel Between. The Lord and Lady of Telgar had sufficient healers should she need anything. Also she had a knack for healing and some knowledge. She would know if she needed to take things easier. In fact this would be a vacation from her usual chores unless she was needed to step up and help Rihan's mother.

She had been bundled in more layers than she would have liked, barely able to move her arms. When they arrived, she had planned to go to their rooms but seeing as they were being ushered straight to the Hall, she asked Rihan to give her one moment. Taking off three cloaks and her gloves she handed them to one of the drudges. Now she wouldn't cook.

Eolyn saw the somber crowd and sat down across from and near those who were gathered. She made it clear how sorry she was that this had happened. After losing her baby, she never thought to feel something worse. Having an adult child die before you would be more painful. He had time to touch all of their lives and while she barely knew Ermon, she could feel her eyes welling with tears. Her emotions being sympathetic to those who were gathered. "If there is anything I can do..." She trailed having been stopped by Rihan's mother's hand on hers. There was nothing to be done. She knew that before she had spoken. Of course she knew.

Much like the others she was half listening to the conversation between Rihan and Matoi. Surely Rihan could send someone else to verify who the Captain was. He needed to be here to grieve with his family. Not that he should abandon Captain Toshiro to his death.

Eolyn was worried that he might go right away to Southern Telgar. What was Lord Matoi thinking, bringing the topic up right away? Surely he understood the deep respect and love Rihan would have for his friend. Or was this to be another lesson? The lessons in this Hold were rather more strict than her home Hold.



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PostSubject: Re: of Family, Faith and Loyalty (Tags: Eolyn! Closed)   Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:31 pm

For some time, Rihan's mother was able to visit more intimately with Eolyn about the recent loss of her baby, relating to that tragedy on a day like today. Surely it helped them both, to be able to talk things through and empathize with one another, sharing in their stories: their love and their loss. 

The Lady Holder certainly appreciated Eolyn's great compassion. The girl was so young, but so sweet and genuine. Even if the Lord Holder of Igen had been a cunning old coot of a neighbor in the past, she was glad to have Eolyn as family now.

But soon, Rihan's raised voices brought their attention up to the heads of the family.



Lord Matoi knew his son well enough to know that he'd be proactive in discovering the truth about Ermon's murder; especially when faced with the fact that Toshiro was being implicated for the crime. Of course, he felt it only right that he should tell Rihan right away. They didn't have the luxury of a drawn out investigation. The longer they waited to find clues as to the truth of the culprit, the less likely they probably were to find him. (... >.>  or her.) 

Perhaps Eolyn's thinking was right. Perhaps there should have been room for grieving first, but as the future Lord Holder of Telgar, Rihan was likely to be faced with these situations again. He would have to learn to control his heart and be able to make the right decisions while influenced by the stress of the circumstance and his own emotions at the same time. Of course, he may also learn one day that there wasn't always a 'right' decision. Things were not always as clear cut as that. 

Rihan was on the right track though; he'd already stated that sometimes things were seen most clearly through the heart, and that is what he would let guide him when logic and reason failed him. The Lord Holder expected no less from his son.

Anyway, it would be Rihan's choice when he would act now, and Matoi looked forward to seeing what he decided to do about Toshiro being in this position. Matoi felt sorry for him though, having to suffer the loss of a child and his brother within the same couple of sevendays, and now he was faced with this...

It would have been almost too much to bear for many people. But Matoi had no doubt that his son was capable of facing the challenge, and he would come through stronger in the end.




Torn as to what he should do next, Rihan stood in place, considering all of his options. He was angry. Perhaps he was confused. He was definitely grief stricken -as was the rest of his family. 

But his family had each other, and Toshiro only had him. He couldn't leave the Captain alone now. He could not abandon him or wait until something worse happened, to act.

So, still figuring out just what course of action he would take, Rihan figured he could continue collecting his thoughts on the way to Southern Telgar Hold. 

Reaching for his long, double breasted coat, he slung it around his shoulders, sliding arms through it and shrugging it on quickly. Taking his wine glass back in hand, it only took one drink to finish the rest of it, at which point he grabbed for a couple of over-sized meatrolls. 

"I will go to him, then." 

Turning to a drudge nearby, he sent down the order, "The Rider should still be here. Call for him. Have him prepare to take me to Southern Telgar Hold."

Filling his mouth with part of one meatroll, Rihan paused over the table again to grab another, and a small redfruit, both of which were a little clumsily wrapped into a cloth napkin and shoved into his coat pocket. 



Seeming to share Eolyn's mind about things, Kade, one of Rihan's brothers, called to him in general protest. "Shouldn't you eat with us? At least stay here for a while -mother needs us right now. Anyway, there's no need to run off so quickly. Toshiro will be there still, tomorrow. It's already going to be late, so you'll only inconvenience the Guards there. Stay, eat, get some rest, first." The young man seemed much more saddened outwardly, by the loss of their brother, than Rihan did. But Rihan had always been better at appearing calm and collected under pressure. 


Turning a purely challenging expression upon Kade then, Rihan was obviously putting his foot down on the matter, leaving no room for debate. “Inconvenience? Don't you think this will have inconvenienced Toshiro, sitting in a jail cell, far more than it has inconvenienced the rest of the Guard? Or you? Or anyone else? If you don't think that it has, then perhaps you ought to think a little harder about what a master owes his follower who has so loyally dedicated himself.”

Rihan didn't need to go into detail there. Kade could figure that one out on his own. Rihan had more at stake here than Kade did. He had more than family at stake, more than friends at stake. Rihan was going to be taking the next step in setting the precedent for what kind of Lord Holder he was going to be in the future. And no Lord Holder would retain his loyal followers by not expressing that same sense of loyalty in return. (As they'd found out in the previous rebellion.)

Once he'd won the heart of people, he planned on keeping them and caring for them like his own family.


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PostSubject: Re: of Family, Faith and Loyalty (Tags: Eolyn! Closed)   Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:38 pm

While Eolyn appreciated the Lady Holder's kindness toward her, it was probably more apparent than she might have realized that most of the attention was on her husband. While she agreed with Kade there was a way of dealing with Rihan and voicing something like that in front of all those who were gathered was probably not the best approach. He was determined.

She allowed herself to sigh inwardly but before she would let him leave her, she would escort him to his ride. Maybe convince him to take someone with him. While she would prefer to go with him herself, she knew he would never allow it. So she moved quickly to his side before anyone realized she had even gotten up. Eolyn was very attentive to him especially when she was already so concerned.

"May I walk you out?" She asked sweetly, knowing he wouldn't deny her that much. Besides that was pretty much code for, I want to talk to you before you go without the whole family watching, wasn't it? It would make total sense to her! Besides if he was going to go and be foolish he should say a proper goodbye to his wife and he wouldn't with everyone watching.

The rest of them having known Eolyn for a very short amount of time and seeing her infrequently would assume her request was that of a lady. Honorable and thoughtful. But Rihan should know it wasn't really intended as a request. She wanted to see him off and he would allow her because despite all outward appearances, she didn't want him to leave her. Even if he said no, she was likely to follow him out. Eolyn could occasionally be stubborn and when it concerned her husband seemed to be more so.


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PostSubject: Re: of Family, Faith and Loyalty (Tags: Eolyn! Closed)   Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:16 pm

Rihan did not see his father raise a hand to stop Kade from getting up to argue with his brother; rather, he wanted to let Rihan go, and do what he needed to do.

Rihan did however, near his wife's footsteps catching up to him quickly. When she did, and they were moving outside together, he answered her, "I'm sorry to leave you here alone, with my family." Though Eolyn was also family now, it's not as if they'd spent oodles of time together. Those words spoken, Rihan felt as though he knew what she would say next; he could feel her consciousness pressing him to have her join him on the journey.

Steps leading them swiftly toward one of the dragon landing platforms, the heir apparent slowed for Eolyn, just a short distance from it.


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PostSubject: Re: of Family, Faith and Loyalty (Tags: Eolyn! Closed)   Mon Feb 03, 2014 3:36 pm

Appreciating that he understood she wanted to come, she did keep up with him as best she could. When he slowed, she followed suit. She was sorry too. Sorry he couldn't stay and more sorry that she couldn't do anything to help him, except maybe by agreeing to remain here without a fight. He had enough to concern him without thinking she was angry.

"I know I must stay here." She said, trying hard to suppress the feeling that she might cry. "I promise I'll look after your family while they grieve but I think it would be better if you were with them. You need time to grieve too." She reassured him, not allowing herself to think what his family might try to glean from her as far was recent events. Besides he did not seem to feel like he had another choice. It was either go or abandon his friend in his time of need.

Still Eolyn didn't like it. A concerned sigh escaped her mouth before she caught it. "I wish you would take someone with you. a guard or someone you could trust." She said, her words tumbling out of trembling lips. She was afraid for him and she wasn't sure she should voice her concerns. They weren't very good things for her to be thinking of. What if this was all just a way to lure him to Southern Telgar? Even if it was, he would go. He was ready to go even on the slightest hint Toshiro might be jailed.

"Promise me you will be cautious." Eolyn would remind him that the people in the other room couldn't bear his loss if she could look past herself for the moment, but she couldn't. She knew she wouldn't be strong enough without him. Eolyn did not give him time to think about it before she wrapped her arms around him tightly. "I love you. I couldn't bear to live without you."


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PostSubject: Re: of Family, Faith and Loyalty (Tags: Eolyn! Closed)   Mon Feb 03, 2014 4:01 pm

Rihan had turned as the stepped onto the platform, attention on his wife while she expressed her fears as much as she felt she could, aloud.

Not expecting her arms to fly around him so suddenly, his eyes widened, though he did not sway in his stance. Setting his arms about her shoulders then, Rihan bent his head to place a kiss upon the top of her head. "I will be surrounded by Guardsmen when I arrive there. All I am going to do is visit the Guardhouse where Toshiro is being kept. You worry unnecessarily."

Trying to let a smile lift the corners of his mouth with more reassurance than he felt at the moment -for her sake- he continued a bit wryly, "In any case, the guards on watch will surely be doubled at a time like this. It would be silly for the murderer to try anything again, so soon after... and at the same place."  Stopping there, the heir apparent found himself nearly choked again over his words, as the shift in his mental focus put light again on the absence of his brother. He couldn't cry yet, though. He had to hold himself together until he'd rescued Toshiro.

"Eolyn." Speaking her name softly. "I want to take you with me. I would. But I know that the nature of my trip there would be unsavoury for you. Don't fret, though. I won't be gone for long. It is about evening now, and I anticipate being back here, with you, by sun-up." Without any reservations this time, his smile did grow, as he gazed down on her adoringly. He knew that news should make her happy.


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PostSubject: Re: of Family, Faith and Loyalty (Tags: Eolyn! Closed)   Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:15 pm

Eolyn conceded he was right. A prison was not a sight for someone like her to see. Not only because of her station but because of who she was. Her sensitivities would certainly be too much at a jail. She nodded in agreement.

She loosened her hold and looked up at him, returning his smile, feeling a little bit silly for being so worried. She did not know if it was just the circumstance of his brother's death that made her worry so much or if it was that the more time they were together, the more she loved him and couldn't stand the thought that something horrible might happen to him where she couldn't be there to help. Not that she was being much help right now.

She moved away from him then so that he could be on his way. "See you in the morning." She said, though she knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that she would not be able to sleep.


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PostSubject: Re: of Family, Faith and Loyalty (Tags: Eolyn! Closed)   Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:51 pm

Kissing the top of her head again, Rihan left his wife with a few reassuring words of affection and an, "I love you."

The Rider was waiting for him, though, and would be waiting for him all through the night, until he needed to return. For that, it was without looking back that Rihan turned from Eolyn to greet the rider. With a good show of appreciation to the man, Rihan nimbly climbed upon the dragon's back, beginning to strap himself in even before the Rider reached to assist him.




A few moments later, Rihan arrived out of Between over his Uncle’s hold.

His arrival unexpected, it took longer than he would have liked to gather a few runners and an entourage of Guards to accompany him to where Toshiro was being held. Showing little impatience throughout, it was much to his relief when they rode up to the entrance of the Guardhouse, the relatively small jail set adjacent to it.

Dismounting his runner, the heir apparent left its reins in the hands of one of the guards who would stand watch outside, while he went in to 'interrogate' the prisoner himself. Up the stone stairs leading in, Rihan entered without warning; though he was not rude about his entrance, he wanted to make it clear he was not going to be making time for pleasantries in this instance.

Upon his abrupt entry, it was apparent that he'd startled at least one of the Guards there, though they'd probably heard the runnerbeasts and voices from outside, which should have warned them. So, making sure they saw the knots of rank on him, Rihan tried to put them at ease. "Gentlemen. Stand down. I am here to see the one you believe to be responsible for Ermon's death."

When the three guards within the room were too slow to respond to him -probably just a little shocked to be greeted in person by Telgar's Heir in such a place- Rihan warned, “The death of my brother has left me in a cross mood. Pick your feet up.”

The men quickly got out of their seats to greet him properly, one of them moving to do as he bade.

The relatively small jail connected to the Guardhouse, consisting of an office for its jailers and a secondary building, the jail itself, sealed away from the office by a sturdy door, under lock and key. It was in place to prevent that, even if a person should be able to escape from one of the cells within, they would not be able to flee through secondary measures before a Guardsman on duty was aware. The few cells inside this room were made with thick wooden bars and straw grass to line their floors, with no sign of furnishings inside. It was a permanent structure, but it was far from sanitary -or ideal- living conditions. Even perhaps, for someone who'd been holdless.


When the door was opened for him, Rihan spoke to the guard more reservedly, to be kind, though he knew he would not have to repeat himself, "I would like to speak to the prisoner alone. Maybe I'll be able to get more information out of him that way." Which he would, no doubt.

Glancing aside to the Guardsman there, the man nodded in acknowledgement, only closing the door again when Rihan had passed through it.





No one other than the Chorong faction, that Rihan knew of, possessed a distaste enough for their Hold to kill someone of its holding family. It was all just more evidence that the group, since the rebellion, were turning to ever more underhanded methods of approach. During the previous uprisings, Chorong had been a fairly direct man. Generally, he faced his fights without hiding. Truly, it was by the diligence of the rest of the Hold Guard at that time, that the dissenters were pushed into corner, forced to hide themselves away. And now, they had turned into this?

That angered Rihan. It angered him that a rebellion that once would have held some Reason and Cause for a group of individuals had deteriorated into a sniveling hoard of underhanded, selfish brats. At least during the rebellion, the loyalists took responsibility for those they killed. Rihan could remember times when the Chorong did, too. That was how they played. They hadn't been cowardly enough to frame someone else for their misdeeds.

Well, when faced with the now all-too-clear new rules of the game, Rihan wasn't beyond resorting to more devious methods, either. Because Rihan was chivalrous by nature, always with good intentions, he knew that most people believed him to be rather righteous, in a sense. He knew though, that he could not really fulfill that kind expectation. If it were his goal to run a small cothold, avoiding those kinds of ‘alternative methods’ might seem virtuous of him; but Rihan had an entire Hold to maintain. And one day, would claim an entire territory. Such naive ideals were not suitable for a Lord Holder. Even a goodly one.

So, when Rihan reached Toshiro's cell, promptly recognizing the Captain, he was decided... He was willing to deceive and manipulate others in order to set his friend free. And he was willing to do what his father had done during the rebellion. That was, put Telgar's own secret weapons into play: the three, lone head-hunters -if they could be found and persuaded- and find a way to move more of the Blood Moon Squad into action.




It took a moment of drawn out silence for Toshiro to look up from where he sat amidst the straw on the cold dirt floor, realizing who it was that paid him a visit. The Captain hadn't been there for any extended period of time just yet, but the hours he'd spent there had been no less strenuous on him than if he had.

Toshiro had no way of proving who he was to them, nor any way of really being able to describe the woman he knew to be responsible for Ermon's death, so it only compounded the issue that the Guards already suspected him as the killer.

Murder. Impersonating an officer. Disturbing the peace. Treason for leaking information to the rebels. You name it, no matter how one looked at it, the cards were simply not in his favour. The accusations against him were piling.

Interrogation had been unkind to him -though without further official orders, there was little they could do to really hurt him. Mostly, it had just made the entire day very wearisome.

Still... he worried. What if his name never got cleared? He had a child now; and he had Ari. And if his life was forfeit for any of the charges set against him, she would be alone again. Why did she have to fall in love with a man like him?

Since he'd been brought here, more than any other thoughts, those had haunted him.




Finally glancing up to see Rihan's face, Toshiro would never have been able to express how overjoyed he was -as long as his friend had come to save him. How could he possible believe that he'd killed his brother?

Toshiro stood up from the floor and went with hands against the thick wooden posts that separated them, trying to gauge Rihan's impression of the situation by his expression. Then he spoke low, "Rihan! Why did you come?"


With no time for circumlocution, Rihan jumpped straight to the point.

“Toshiro. My brother’s burial is soon. A lot of people are angry as they find out what happened... -calling that someone be publicly incriminated in light of his murder. The Guards say that you were the only person seen entering or leaving the room with Ermon...” There were a few other points in case to be added, which could easily make him out to be the one responsible for the killing, but Toshiro already knew what those were, so Rihan felt no need to elaborate for him.

“Without a description of the real killer, nor any other real evidence, there are few other shadows to chase and little reason for them to let you go.” Again, something that Toshiro had already come to terms with. The heir apparent continued his thoughts out loud so that Toshiro was able to follow him, “I am sure they intend to execute whoever they deem responsible, but I will not let that be you.

"If you are innocent, then swear it, and I will see to it that you are freed.” Rihan was not doubting his friend just then, rather, he was giving him the chance to absolve himself of the crime then and there, beyond all shadow of a doubt, in Rihan's mind, so that he knew what action he would have to take next. But he would need that cue from Toshiro. After that, Rihan would do everything in his power to help him.


Toshiro replying as Rihan thought he would, banishing all possible thought that Toshiro had been involved in the crime, RIhan went on, “You understand that for appearances sake, at such a time, I cannot publicly, nor so quickly acquit you.”

Pausing for a moment then, to look back at the door which separated the barred cells from the office beyond it, the young Lord Holder made sure that no eyes spied upon them unnecessarily. “Not far from Southern Telgar's center, there’s a tavern called the Dusty Crone; do you know it? There will be a room for you to stay in, there. I will have all your effects waiting: clothes, weapons, marks,...a couple of identification badges with false names engraved upon them, just in case you should need them.

"In four days, be ready to leave here. I will have the Guard preoccupied, and you will have been here for long enough that they can take their eyes off of you a little more comfortably. Please. Whatever happens here, please bear with it. I will not abandon you to such an end."

Glancing down, Rihan reached into his pocket where the cloth napkin he'd taken from his father's table earlier, had been wrapped around proper food. With his hand, his gaze lifted, passing it to his friend. He had to smile a little wryly when he saw the pleased smirk that formed on Toshiro's face just then. "I'll be sending someone to provide you a way out of here. Try to keep your strength up. We don't know what challenges may lie ahead."


Nodding, Toshiro was opening the small but glorious gift to see just what was inside when he responded, "Don't worry. I'll be waiting. Here." Smirking again at that, the little bundle of food was re-wrapped so that he could hide it beneath the hay for another day, just in case they didn't bring him meals later.

When his gaze returned to meet Rihan's own however, he asked something that Rihan hadn't expected just then. "Rihan. How is Ariadne? Can you visit her and let her know that you've seen me, and tell her that I'm alright?"

Honestly, with those words, missing Ariadne as much as he did, Toshiro could have started to get all teary eyed. On the other hand, Rihan was smiling, glad to know that Toshiro was so motivated by the wonderful woman now in his life. "I will visit her on your behalf. Don't worry about her while you're away; but you'll probably have to keep your head low for a while, and after the Dusty Crone, I can't tell you when or where you'll have to go next. We'll have to wait,.. and see what happens."

Nodding, Toshiro understood the rules of this game all too well. Not that he wanted to go back to playing it, but now he had no choice. It would be back to life as it was during the rebellion. At least for him. "Promise you'll keep me informed, Rihan. Some chains of contact used during the rebellion must still be in tact. Search those out. I will remain in Southern Telgar Hold for as long as I can; or until I know my name has been cleared. I will wait to get word from you."

It was Rihan's turn to nod his understanding then, and with that, Rihan felt that all that needed to be communicated for the time being, had been said, so he felt it best not to linger here any longer. "I will uncover those channels to keep in touch." They would be safe channels of communication. Ones that no one should expect. Few had used them, and few would likely expect for them to still exist.



Bidding his friend fare well, Rihan walked from the small, dusty corridor, up the handful of stairs to where he could re-join the officers in the other room.

There, he addressed them about his interview, letting his lips part first with a bit of a disappointed sigh. “I am not convinced that this man is the heathen we are looking for.” Going on, Rihan gave his order, in case the Guardsmen hadn’t already begun doing so…”The blade that killed him, dismantle it if you have to, to find any kind of maker’s mark. Find the crafter who crafted it and start inquiring about whom it was sold to."

Shooting a glare across the lone desk in the office to the man who stood behind it, Rihan inquired, "Do you have a list yet of the names of women who have recently visited the fight club where Ermon was found?"

Rihan barely gave the Guard a chance to shake his head before he understood it as a 'no'. Though, to the Guard's credit, Ermon had only been dead for a few long hours. "The man you have in custody, Toshiro, says that it was a woman who killed my brother. Get a list of the names of women who have stepped foot in that establishment and then find out from Toshiro, to the tiniest detail possible, what kind of cloak she was wearing. Get him to draw a picture of her form, if you have to.

"Question every Weaver in and around this Hold. Start looking for a cloaked form in the streets that matches the description you get." When his request was received by even one dismayed stare over what may have probably been normally ridiculous orders, Rihan shouted, "I don't care if you have to go house to house and search through every woman's closet in Telgar! Find theh owner of every cloak that matches the description and put them through questioning! Every man you can spare shall be appointed to the task, in order to hunt down the one responsible -beyond all shadow of a doubt! No excuses will be accepted! Follow every lead to its end!" It was obvious that Rihan, by that point, was consumed with fervidity.

"All updates on this matter are to be sent directly to myself at Telgar River Hold, as well as to Lord Matoi. Don't bother with your usual chains of command. My father and I will be overseeing this investigation personally. We will bring details to the attention of those who need to know, as seen fit."

Meeting each of the Guardsmen's eyes to be sure they understood him, Rihan finally turned to walk briskly back through the door, where his Runner and escort were waiting for him. He would need to return to his Uncle's home to let him know what was being done with the case, so that Southern Telgar's own Holder could send word down through the rest of the local Guard, for them all to follow the same directive.

Then, he would have to work through the night in order to ensure the rest of his plans. At least the more urgent aspects of them, which could be dealt with here, locally. The rest would have to wait until after he'd returned to Telgar Hold.


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PostSubject: Re: of Family, Faith and Loyalty (Tags: Eolyn! Closed)   Tue Feb 04, 2014 5:56 pm

She had gone back in to talk more with his family and join in their grieving. Eolyn did of course mention when Rihan anticipated being back. In the meantime she couldn't think about food, let alone eat any though she did move some things around on her plate like she generally did when she was nervous.

Rihan would be fine. He had made it clear he would be perfectly well protected. Eolyn couldn't even blame him for going. Would she do any differently for Courisse?

After being in the hall for at most a candlemark, she excused herself and asked to be taken to the room she would be staying in. The rooms would no doubt be furnished well but nothing would be quite like Telgar River Hold. She had come to love it there.

She was prepared for bed, just like at home. She took the medicines that she had been prescribed by the healers and laid down. But even on the softest bed she knew she would find no rest. Eolyn couldn't help but worry.


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PostSubject: Re: of Family, Faith and Loyalty (Tags: Eolyn! Closed)   Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:56 pm



The Dusty Crone.

It was an establishment that Rihan only knew of via a network of informants loyal to the Holder's House. Personally, he didn't know if the old gal in charge of the place had been running it since the time of the previous rebellion, but by the way patrons moved about it, filing in and out, making merry, it seemed to be well established and quite popular. Of course, it was built on a crossroads of sorts, near the center of Southern Telgar Hold, so it would have been hard to miss it.

Rihan had chosen this place to safely harbour his friend, Captain Toshiro, because one of his informants used to be a regular here. He'd heard that the Dusty Crone herself was a hardy and honest woman, having previously worked in the Harpercraft. Though she did not rent rooms, he'd heard that she kept one spare, over the tavern she operated during the day, and that room happened to be in a fine position for him to be able to hide Toshiro and at the same time be able to keep in contact with him. 

An isolated pawn (Toshiro) was weak, and could even be used against him. It was better then, to collect Toshiro while he was able, before their enemy had the chance to do so. At the same time, he would be looking to increase his momentum in their game, by working to secure better control over a centralized location so that later on, he'd be in a better position for more play. Toshiro however, wasn't just a pawn in this game; Rihan gave him much more credit than that. After all, Toshiro performed well in complicated and even locked positions... Yes, Rihan would do well to keep him centralized in this instance, instead of hiding him at the fringes.

Now, he just needed to persuade the woman to rent him the room; that would be a start. After that, he had a lot of work ahead of him, getting things lined up so that Toshiro would soon walk free of where he'd been detained. There was no waiting on proper evidence, this time around. Rihan would have to rely on others who'd sworn themselves to him, or owed him debts. It was a good time for him to start asking for a return of favours.


Telgar's Heir Apparent had gone back out later in the evening, well after his visit with Toshiro at the Guardhouse, only this time, he was going alone. Rihan had done well to keep any form of escort from following him, and kept himself fully cloaked. The thick garment was rugged -something more appropriate for going on a hunt or some such- appearing not at all of the a make fine enough for a Holder's son. It closed about his chest to keep himself fully concealed, and wore the deep cowl over his head so that it shadowed his identity from any eyes that might have recognized him.

Rihan must have arrived at the Dusty Crone around midnight; about the time the last of its customers would be heading home. Dismounting his Runner, he secured its reins to a post outside and then, diminishing his presence, entered the tavern quietly, so that fewer eyes would take any real notice.

The owner of the establishment was perhaps too busy hassling the few remaining patrons to be on their way to see that Rihan had taken the liberty of seating himself. Or perhaps she was just waiting for the drunks to leave. That would suit Rihan's purpose better. Then she could give him her undivided attention.


When the last of her patrons were on their way out the door, she turned to Rihan's shrouded figure before the door had even closed all the way behind them. "No longer open for business. And I haven't any rooms for rent, if that's what you're looking for." The woman's sharp eye met him, though she could not have seen his own very clearly. So, it was a bit skeptically that she watched him, closing the distance to the table he sat behind. "You got ears, chap? We'll be reopening tomorrow. Come back then, and I'll serve you a drink."

Reaching for a small purse of marks then, Rihan set it upon the table between them, speaking low, "I have need for a room. You have one. I'll take it."

"Who said I was looking for renters..." The old broad's tongue tried to go on in protest, but with eyes turning upon the pouch presented to her, there was some obvious internal resistance as her words trailed. Grimmacing then, she reached a bit reluctantly for it, hoping to count what was there, thinking that if it were worth her while, she might take Rihan up on the offer.

But of the two of them, Rihan was the faster. Right hand snapping out from beneath his cloak, he flashed his hand fan over the table, opening it to shield the purse there from her grasp. "You haven't agreed to the service I'm requesting. What makes you think I'm going to let you take my Marks?"

Surprise was evident upon her features as the motion had obviously startled her. Regardless, she was slow to retract her hand; at which point, there came a faint frown from her. Glancing back down then, to the fan Rihan held, she finally noticed the House Crest painted upon it. 

Answering the curiosity on her expression before she could inquire as to his identity, Rihan added, "It's better not to insult me by implying I would not reward you well for your services. If it is not enough, I will give you another bag of marks at the Sevenday's end. But there are conditions you will have to abide by -at all cost."

Gradually retracting the open fan blades back into their closed position, he held it firmly like a rod of power, letting her see the promised reward once again. It was then that the end of his folded fan came up to assist in tilting back the cowl so that she could better see his face. "My conditions are that you speak to no one of my business here with you. And you will harbour someone wanted for murder and treason -which is also a secret that you will guard at all cost. Until I have released you from our agreement." In the next breath he tried to offer some reassurance, "Your guest is no criminal, but will need to lay low for a while. If you can provide him sanctuary, you will have my deepest gratitude.. and of course, proper compensation." 


Of course the woman had recognized the crest of the Holding family, but when she saw those silvery orbs behind the cowl, she seemed to be drawn into believing him. She'd probably never laid eyes on him before, but she may have heard something about his general physique and appearance. Lifting his hand, the signet ring upon his finger was also visible to her eyes. Surely there was no doubt as to whom she now spoke. 

"Are you able to fulfill my request?" Prompting her out of the momentary daze, Rihan was hopeful that she would be obliging.

"I would be glad to provide you the only additional room I have. Please, just a day to have it ready. Who did you say will be coming?"

Well, that was more like it. Please by her acceptance, a roguish grin threatened to break the stony visage he'd been wearing in order to keep the stress of grief and anger from ruling him. "Your visitor will be arriving in four days. I will let him introduce himself. I will have you some additional payment for your troubles, by then. Honestly, I cannot say how long he will be in need of the room, but you must never speak of his presence here; nor of my intervention here on his behalf."


When Rihan was certain that arrangements had been completed appropriately and Toshiro would be safe coming to the Dusty Crone, he departed. He returned to his Uncle's home and bid his family at Southern Telgar a loving farewell before hailing the dragonrider to ferry him back north. 





Rihan arrived back in Telgar Hold somewhere between the second and third candlemark of the early morning, before the sun had a chance to rise over the tall mountain ridge stretching east of them. He escorted himself to the room where he and Eolyn would be staying, not bothering to knock, but gingerly testing the doorknob so as to enter quietly as possible. If she were sleeping, Rihan didn't want to wake her.


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PostSubject: Re: of Family, Faith and Loyalty (Tags: Eolyn! Closed)   Fri Feb 14, 2014 4:35 pm

Of course he needn't have bothered to be quiet, she was wide awake. She had decided to borrow a book to read while she waited but set it down on her night stand the moment he opened the door. She was propped up by pillows already so it was effortless for her to slide her legs off of the bed.

Normally she would have been quicker to the door but she had promised the Healers she wouldn't do anything too strenuous. "I'm so glad you are back." She spoke, knowing those words to be true. He must be tired and emotionally depleted. If she could she would take all of his cares and worries from him.

"How is Toshiro? Are they treating him properly?" She meant were they treating him humanely. Prisons were no place for a lady but the idea of how horrible they must be if she couldn't see them was probably worse than the actual thing. She thought of torture and meals being withed and other prisoners beating each other up, wounds and illnesses not being treated... prison was a horrible place in her mind.

Eolyn waited, wondering what her husband would say and do. He was having such a rough time right now. All thoughts of her miscarriage were gone from her mind. She was only concerned about him right now.


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PostSubject: Re: of Family, Faith and Loyalty (Tags: Eolyn! Closed)   Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:24 pm



Rihan was glad to be back at Telgar Hold with his wife. She would be right to assume he was feeling quite exhausted, both physically and emotionally. It brought him a sense of restfulness just being with Eolyn, though. 

Closing the door behind him, Rihan's eyes were on Eolyn as she came to him, gladly wrapping his arms around her shoulders. Drawing her against him, he held her there in an embrace that was wanting of that shared strength; only, he knew that she too, had been going through a lot of difficulty lately. They would just have to lean on each other as it became necessary. For now though, Rihan cried. 

It would have been instinctive to want to stop the tears, pretending to be stronger than he felt at the time, but he'd been suppressing that great sense of loss over his brother's death up until now, and he was too tired to hold that emotion back any longer. Burying his face into her hair, tears spilled from his eyes without much refrain. His body body still in restraint though, seemed tense, as he'd been holding everything in.

Rihan was quiet in expressing his grief, speaking only softly. Honestly, he didn't know which to address first.. Toshiro or Ermon, "My brother. Toshiro would not have killed him." There had to be a pause for breath there, because Rihan was struggling with his breath through the tears. It was hard to imagine a future with that void in their family. Rihan could only imagine what his mother and father were going through right now. 

Those thoughts only elicited memory of he and Eolyn's own recent loss; and though their babe never had the chance to live, it tore at his heart to consider that small, precious life was still taken from them. 

Still unable to speak any more yet, as he cried, Rihan's embrace about his wife only strengthened. It was a comfort he needed, a love he needed, so that together they could continue looking ahead to face the future. He was so glad to have her with him. He was so glad to have her in his life.


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PostSubject: Re: of Family, Faith and Loyalty (Tags: Eolyn! Closed)   Sat Feb 15, 2014 4:52 pm



His arms around her so suddenly caught her off guard at first but she was the opposite of tense. She was ready to be his comfort and strength right now. His losses were too great for him to bear alone. There was nothing she could say to make things better, so she stood quietly, wrapping her arms around him.

After he attempted to talk, "Toshiro is loyal. He would never betray you in any way." Eolyn said in agreement. Her arms remained steady around his upper body. If he ever doubted how much she loved him, he would only need to look back on moments like this one.

After some time had passed, she wondered if she should say anything. Deciding against it, she allowed him to be comforted simply by her presence. She allowed her hand to gently rub his back comfortingly. She wanted to tell him it would get better with time but she had yet to lose a sibling, what could she possibly know of loss?

She nuzzled her face into his shoulder. He didn't have to talk about it if he was not ready to. Eolyn could be patient.


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PostSubject: Re: of Family, Faith and Loyalty (Tags: Eolyn! Closed)   Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:55 pm

RIHAN


After a little while longer of holding her there in his embrace, he seemed to calm, the flow of his tears stemming nearly to a stop. Truly there was no greater comfort than when Eolyn was close to him. He loved her more than anything else in the world.

Breathing deeply, Rihan kissed Eolyn's forehead before he stepped back at less than an arm's length to dry his face on his sleeve. One of his hands then, reached for her own, taking it and guiding them to the bed where they could be at rest.

As he undressed to the barest of undergarments, setting his clothes in a neatly folded pile, Rihan tried to answer her previous question; though this late in the night, he wasn't going to do so at length. "Toshiro is ever loyal. I have ordered the Guard down other paths of investigation, which should keep them busy enough for me to free him. I do intend on setting him free whether his name is cleared yet or not. They've set many charges against him, so I cannot wait on them finding the real murderer. 

"Not to mention, I need Toshiro now. The longer he is locked up, the longer the Chorong will hold the advantage. Even if it looks like he's guilty because he's escaped... I will arrange it. I have found a place for him to lay low for the time being, and have at least one channel of communication with him. But I will have to uncover more. And I will have to find a way to arrange his escape within four days. I told him to be ready by then. I need to have some of his things delivered to Southern Telgar Hold by then, too; he will need a few things to survive on his own for a while." 

That said, Rihan sat down on the side of the bed, ready to crawl under warm furs for the night. "Tomorrow may be our last day here. I need to arrange things quickly for Toshiro. But, first I will have to see what I can accomplish here." 

Eyes on Eolyn then, he knew that what he spoke to her would be kept between them. He didn't need to worry about her leaking his plans all over the Hold. She had always been supportive of him in all of his efforts -and a voice of thoughtful consideration when he needed to take a step back to re-think things through. There was no expressing just how greatly he appreciated having her in his life. 


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