|Are they related|
|Summary:||Heads are put together in the Roost to discuss the missing maid, and if it relates to the body found at Highfield|
|Related Logs:||Missing Maid Saga|
|Rockcliff Inn, Terrick's Roost|
|The Rockcliff Inn is one of the better inns within the town and it shows with the well-lit interior and the relative cleanliness to the other locations in Terrick's Roost. The tables are polished with oils and the floor regularly swept. A set of booths towards a darker rear of the Inn's bottom floor, just beneath the staircase, are where whores generally socialize and eye prospects from when not waiting tables. Signs over the undersized bar area advertise prices for ales and wines as well as several different choices of food to be served at the small eating area by the bar or in the main open area in its comfortable seating. A door behind the bar leads to the kitchen and cellar while another near the staircase leads to a private room that would appear to be off-limits to the 'wait staff' except for food and drink service.|
|Sat Nov 17, 289|
Evening these days will often find Justin at the Inn, if he's not out riding patrols. Now that he's no longer living at the tower, he needs to take his suppers somewhere. No more wonderful sunset views from the tower's terrace, alas. These days he's drawing his pay as Sheriff and living off of it. So he is seated alone at a table, recently arrived and sipping a tankard of ale while he waits for his meal to come out. He's dressed in his mourning black surcoat, washed up and out of his maile and plate.
Mortimer has spent the day conducting good, old fashioned inquiries. He's lost track of the number of people that he's spoken to and even had to apologies to a few for stopping them more than once. He's tired and his feet are going to hate him as soon as they decide to speak to him again, but he's not done for the day yet. First off it's fill Justin in on what's going on, then another attempt to track down Kain.
A steaming platter of sliced ham, bread, and a side of vegetables is brought out and laid down upon the table before Justin along with a slab of cheese. He thanks the kitchen lad and pays him for his meal. Grey eyes glance up as Mortimer comes in and the Sheriff studies his friend, noting how tired he seems. One of the chairs are lightly kicked to scoot out from the table in invitation, "Rest your bones, have a drink. I know you'll want to eat with your family."
Some of the ham is cut and a piece of potato skewered. Justin starts in on his dinner, quite hungry himself and for a change, less tired than his Deputy. Once his mouth is cleared, he asks, "Anything on that girl yet? I've been questioning the surrounding hamlets but no one seems to have seen her, yet." Or her remains.
Since her return from Highfield, Anais has spent much of her time dealing with the people of the Roost. There are messages to relay from the craftsmen in Highfield, words to be shared, and people to check on. And if it keeps her face fresh in their minds, then all the better. With supper at the Roost taken care of by the servants, she's made her way into town, stepping into the inn with her quartet of guards in tow. As usual for her now, she wears mourning black, though it's far from the most attractive colour for her.
It only takes a moment or two for Mortimer to spot Justin and once he has it's only a handful more moments before he's sat at the table opposite him. "Evenin’ m'Lord," is offered as he sits, along with a brief nod. Cutting to the think of it straight off he gives a brief shrug, "not much. Only thing odd anyone saw was a woman wailing in the woods a few days before. Inna's, that's her name, her brother saw her, said she was crying over her lost children or such." He sighs faintly and rubs his for head a moment before looking back to the sheriff. "Not got anything else I'm afraid, beyond trying to find Master Audron to help." He is focusing on Justin, so doesn't yet notice Anais or her guards, he does however add, almost reluctantly, "oh, and I saw your cousin, Lord Ozric." Another considered pause before he finishes, "he wants you to stop hunting Young Lord Jascen's killers. Until Inna is found."
His ale is raised and tasted. Lowering it, Justin looks from Mortimer's hand to his face, listening. He frowns, "A woman wailing about lost children? Any description for this woman? You said Inna's brother saw her as well?" He gives a nod to that, "Aye, Master Kain's a better tracker than I am but he's often out days or even weeks at a time - leading his men on the Highfield hunts. If that Flint man, Pariston is around, he's an outstanding tracker as well." Not that Justin is shabby, "If we can get a description for this woman we can start looking for her. Might be she's taking children to replace her supposed lost ones." Sad that, if such a thing is happening.
A bit more of his supper and Justin glances up at mention of Ozric's orders. It might be that this Terrick's eyes faintly narrow but he makes no comment. He does however glance towards the door as new arrivals come in.
"Goodsister," Justin raises his baritone slightly to carry, nevermind she's his late brother's widow now and it's less clear their relationship socially.
"Justin, Mortimer," Anais greets the men as she enters, sending her guards to another table as she moves toward Justin and Mortimer. "Do you mind if I join you? I thought I might come down and see if there was anything you knew about all these rumours lately." A faint smile crosses her features, rueful. "Not that I think you aren't working on it, of course. I'm sure you don't need me sticking my nose in all of it."
Mortimer shakes his head slowly, "nothing distinctive, and that was a day or two before. But its best lead I have." Or possibly even his only real lead. "Lord Ozric wants wolves ruling out, but I'm hoping that can be done quickly." By Kain preferably, or he'll give it a shot himself if he has to. "Can't say I've seen the Flints since they.. got back from Middlemarch," he finishes, although he'll keep it in mind should they happen to show up. He notes the narrowing of Justin's eyes and gives a slight, shallow nod. Anything he might have said though is lost as Anais is hailed. Turning towards the door he pushes himself to his feet as the noblewoman is spotted and offers a polite bow, "m'Lady." With several free seats he assumes Justin won't mind and so notions to them to indicate that she should feel free. He'll sit down again once she has. "We're just discussing them now."
More than not object, Justin moves to stand and draw out a chair for Anais, "Please do join us. Your company is always welcome, Anais." If she'll accept the seat, he'll then move to retake his own. "I have been questioning the prisoners and moved them from the keep to the dungeon. I think they are finally ready to start talking - and if not, I'm not above heating the irons. I grow weary of our lack of progress." It is all said with something of a cold indifference, that Justin would consider torturing information from Lucienne's servants. But he must be fairly convinced they were involved now.
Justin goes back to eating his meal. "Surely someone saw if this wailing woman had light or dark hair, or the kind of clothing she might have been wearing."
"Wasn't there news of this happening elsewhere, too?" Asks Justin of them both.
"Only witness I have is the brother," Mortimer replies with faint resignation as he sits once more, "he'll find me if he recalls anything else." To Anais he nods once and explains, "I'm hoping he'll help but I need to find him first. Haven't seen him in a few days. I was going to go look again once I'm done here though." Leaning back in his chair he rests his hands on the table in front of him as he ponders for a moment the need, or not, for the measurers suggested. "I wouldn't hurt, 'cept it might lead to panic. Still might just be a girl who's run off to see the world." Not that he's convinced by that argument, but it's worth bringing up for consideration. He'd certainly be happier personally if he knew there were more eyes on his own lad. Turning to Justin he then half shrugs, half shakes his head. "Not sure. Lord Ozric said a babe had been found dead at Highfield. No way to say if it's linked or not thought."
"We can always offer," Anais points out, lifting one shoulder in a shrug. "If they don't want to send the children up, then they won't have to. But we can give them the option, and maybe it will keep others from disappearing as well. I heard similar things were going on elsewhere. Which is concerning. One or two bandits, or kidnappers, or that sort of thing is bad enough. If they're hitting the whole Cape, it's something larger."
"Yes, it's probably unrelated. Next thing you'll know people will link the Young Ashwood heir with these new children." Justin mostly listens, finishing his meal and giving a nod to what Anais has to suggest. When his plate has been cleaned, having wolfed down his supper more like a soldier than a noble tonight, Justin pushes his trencher aside and sips his ale.
"Have you gone and questioned the mother? About where the girl liked to wander off to, play, or who her closest friends are who might have been with her or seen something, Mortimer?"
Mortimer nods to Anais as she replies, making a mental note to discuss the option with his wife when he makes it home. "It's a kind offer," he states with a nod, "am sure people will remember how it worked before." As for something capewide? That gets a deep breath that's released slowly, "Aye m'Lady, if they are connected. 'tis what lead Lord Ozric to suggest a wolf pack I reckon." Justin is then given a nod to answer his question. "And the cook she should have been working with. All say she was hard a hard worker, responsible, not likely to do anything unexpected." Which of course means that it most likely is foul play of once sort or another. "She was seen leaving her home but the lads on the gate swear she never arrived. Beyond that, no one seems to have seen ought of her, or that was unusual."
Anais pauses to place an order with one of the serving girls, looking between Justin and Mortimer and listening to the news. For the moment, she's quiet.
"That is very little to go on. We at least have Inna's description and will spread the news about the missing girl. Perhaps we can get a sketch artist to do a drawing of her, based on her family's description." Justin isn't pleased yet he pauses to add, "You however have been doing very well, Mortimer. I heard you also handled something in the market about a ring?"
Mortimer nods silently at Justin's first statement before offering a considered, "hopefully Master Audron will be able to tell us more m'Lord. If I don't find him by first light though I'll take a look myself, let you know if there's anything to see where the lad described his wailing woman." Looking faintly surprised at the mention of the ring incident he shakes his head a couple of times, "turned out to be nought, just the local gossips jumping to conclusions."
There's a look to Anais, then Justin returns his attention to Mortimer, "May as well show me the area. I'm a pretty decent tracker and know enough not to botch sign - should we also be able to bring Kain or Pariston in on looking into it. But a single woman's tracks in the woods, already days old, isn't likely to be much to follow either. But, we might get lucky."
"I'll send someone to look for Master Kain," Anais offers, leaning back in her chair and calling Kincaid over. "I don't like this not feeling safe at home," she informs both men with a significant look. "And I don't think the Roost can take too much fear and uncertainty right now. Not until more things are settled. If we need to send word to others and organize a joint force to hunt the woods more carefully, I'm sure something can be arranged."
"Thank you m'Lady," Mortimer states as Kincaid approaches, "can you ask him to meet us," a quick glance is given to Justin, "here in the morning?" He's assuming that Kain can be found that quickly, or that Anais will correct him if she doesn't believe it doable. "If a raven could perhaps be sent to Highfield?" he asks, "for details. Or a rider possibly, for more details." It's a shame Nathaniel left a day or so earlier, he'd have been perfect for the job.
"Well, keep me informed and I'll come have a look if Kain can't be found quickly. I'll also let you know if I can find anything out myself." Justin finishes off his ale and moves to stand, "Enjoy your evening, both of you." He idly rubs at the place where Lucienne had clawed his face, then walks towards the door to go back out into the street.
Anais watches after Justin for a moment, then sighs softly. "I should go and see if there's anyone who's interested in sending their children to the keep for the day," she says regretfully. "Mortimer, if there's anything else you need, please just let me know." Standing, she offers a small smile. "And be careful. Even if it's just a woman who's not well, I don't want anyone getting hurt."