Page 488: On The Hunt
On the Hunt
Summary: Darek arrives at the Roost to share and receive information relating to the missing children
Date: 23/Nov/2012
Related Logs: Missing Children Saga, specifically One Bright Day in the Middle of the Night and Something Crazy This Way Comes
Darek Mortimer 
The Green, Terrick's Roost
The Green is a large field of deep green grass, nearly flat, that runs along the base of the towers. The road into town runs along the far edge, hemming it in neatly to a confined area where beyond a line of trees serves as a subtle windbreak. This area is most often used for drilling or practice for the guards but also serves as home for festivals, tournements, and another other gathering that might require the space for a large number of the local residents. A well-trodden path winds around the side of the wall and moves towards the coastline. Another heads southwest, toward Kingsgrove
Fri Nov 23, 289

Ashwood livery is not seen in The Roost often, but Darek wears his proudly. He's stabled his horse — such as the crow-eaten thing is — and started asking around. Undoubtedly, word has already reached the Deputy Sheriff that someone is looking for him. Darek wears a sword at his belt, and has an unstrung bow and a full quiver at his back, which are undoubtedly a little off-putting to citizens of the Roost, but he's asking politely enough, asking for the Deputy Sheriff.

It's evening at the Roost, or getting on that way at least, there's still light in the sky, but most of the merchants in the marketplace have shut up shop for the night and gone home or to their lodgings, where ever those might be. Similarly on his way home is Mortimer, but he's stopped for a few minutes at least to watch as the small group of sailor's he's been lent work on their archery at the green. Two or three might be good shots, but from the looks of things the others have never handled a bow in their lives. Plan 'Deal With Wolves At Range' may need tweaking to include more actual archers it seems, and that may mean borrowing from the garrison. It gives the men something to do rather than just sit on their arses though, so there's no harm in it. Seemingly done with his silent observations for now, he turns from where he's paused on the roadway and starts once more towards town. Undoubtedly right towards Darek as he's pointed up towards the higher end of town.

Darek watches the hiss and thhp of archery practice as he approaches the group, tucking his thumbs idly behind the big red belt-buckle he wears. The man who turns around toward him gets a nod, "Excuse me, goodman." The light tenor is polite, carefully modulated. "D'you know where I could find the Deputy Sheriff? Uh… Master Trevelyan." There's something a little questioning in the pronunciation of the name, but at least he doesn't butcher it horribly.

Darek watches the hiss and thhp of archery practice as he approaches the group, tucking his thumbs idly behind the big red belt-buckle he wears. The man who turns around toward him gets a nod, "Excuse me, goodman." The light tenor is polite, carefully modulated. "D'you know where I could find the Deputy Sheriff? Uh… Master Trevelyan." There's something a little questioning in the pronunciation of the name, but at least he doesn't butcher it horribly.

Mortimer returns Darek's nod as the lad is noticed, then takes a moment as he speaks to look the new comer over. "Aye Master," he answers, noting the Ashwood crest but guessing that it's no young lordling stood before him. In less serious times he might have been tempted to string him along a bit with 'who's asking' or 'i'll take you right to him' and other such classics, but he hazards a guess as to the reason for this meeting so skips straight to the point instead. "You'll be here about the missing children I take it?" confident enough of the answer though he doesn't wait for Darek to actually respond before he adds, "you've arrived before Kingsgrove and if I hear right they have a body."

Darek blinks as the man gets right to the point, scrubbing back his hair, "Uh… Yes Sheriff." There's a little more alacrity in the response, evidently willing to give a little more respect to the Deputy Sheriff — including shortening his title — than to a random passer-by. Tapping his chest with one hand, he introduces himself, "Darek Boldt, Sheriff. Squire to Ser Jac Caddock, Captain of the Guard at Highfield." The news about the body from Kingsgrove drives a frown onto his youthful face, "Down in Kingsgrove too? Fuck a duck… I didn't know it was anywhere but Highfield 'till I got your letter, Sheriff."

"Aye," Mortimer replies grimly, "and whispered stories of terror at Heronherst too, or so I'm told, no missing though, or not as of a few days ago at least." Moving to step a bit further away from the men as they practice he gestures for Darek to follow, so they can talk as they walk. "All I know of Kingsgrove is word of an infant found dead in the roots of a tree, although I sent them a note too, so hopefully more will become clear." Glancing down towards town he takes a deepish breath before continuing, grimacing ever so slightly at the point of maximum expansion of his ribs. "News from Highfield is mixed though, I've heard both a lad missing and a babe found, although that second one sounds remarkably like Highfield in detail." Might be the culprits repeating a trick, or it might be mixed up news, he's hoping Darek can sort that out for him. "Her were have a maid missing for several days now and have recovered the body of another who we can not yet identify." A glance is given to the Ashwood man he frowns in thought for a moment then asks, "you wouldn’t mind taking a look at her would you? See if she's one of yours?"

Darek scrubs at his hair again, scritching a little at his scalp as he thinks, "Didn't know it was so widespread. Two missing from Highfield, but none found, Sheriff. A girl of thirteen and a boy of five." He pauses, blinking once, "Wait… you found a body? A girl?" Pain or sorrow flickers across his features, and his lips tighten, "Um… I'll look, Sheriff, but I can't be sure. I never met the girl. Just got a description of her and her name." His jaw tightens hard enough to cause ropes of muscle to stand out about it, "And I met the son-of-a-bitch who's been doing it." He hesitates, some of his anger melting into uncertainty, "Uh… that is… maybe? Do you, uh, do you believe in old stories, Master Tevelyan?"

Mortimer nods slowly as Darek talks, listening in silence as the details from Highfield are imparted. "We have a girl," he confirms with a glance in the direction of the sept, "best guess was fourteen or so, so she could be yours. I'll take you to her shortly." While Darek might not have enough for a positive identification, there's a chance he could rule his missing girl out so it's worth trying. As for the mention of stories, that earns the lad a raised eyebrow and a questioning look. "Do I believe that there are weird things in the world? Yes. Do I believe that they've come south of the Wall, through the North and are now inhabiting our woods? No. That I do not believe." He almost leaves it there, then realises that with all the talk of stories he almost missed something the lad had said. "The Hunter I guess?" he queries, using the use of the word 'son' as his guide, "rather than the wailing woman and her wolves?"

Darek shakes his head quickly at the counter-question to his own inquiry, "Not grumkins or snarks, S — " he cuts off the 'Ser,' changing it to "Sheriff." He clears his throat, "Uh, Children of the Forest." He frowns thoughtfully, "Suppose he could be called a 'Hunter.' Deerskull for a head, or, uh, a helmet. Wrapped in furs. Riding a… uh… thing. I dunno how to explain it, Sheriff. Like a horse, but not. Bones everywhere, scales, and like a lizard-lion's tail, or something like that." He shivers a bit, "I thought it was just some cursed bandit, until I got out there." There's a pause, and he adds with a bit of confusion, "Not much of a rider though, Sheriff. I mean, not really. He started to charge me, even though I'd got into the woods. Whatever he was riding, it was no better than a horse at charging into a treeline." And then he blinks, something the older man said just now sinking in, "Wait… wailing woman? Wolves?"

"I believe that if there are any left then they're north of the Wall with the rest of 'em," Mortimer replies to the mention of the Children, "besides, I wouldn't have described said woman as small, dark nor beautiful." She may have been beautiful once, he could give her that, but not now, not with what she's become. "Aye, wolves, four of 'em. She's got 'em trained and partially armoured but they bleed like anything else does, so I wouldn't go getting any ideas of them being magical or such." The age of magic is gone after all, surely everyone knows that? "She's the one who gave me the name 'the Hunter', said he was the one doing the taking and that he was doing it for her. She lost her kids apparently, although I couldn't get details. Said he would strike again, although I've not heard of any new disappearances since we spoke." The description of Darek's encounter is mulled over carefully for a few moments before he gives a half shrug, left shoulder only, "could be your rider."

Darek's youthful features harden a bit more, "The nobles may not care that commoner children are disappearing, Sheriff, but I cursed well do. I mean to find young Mott before it's too late." His lips twist is distaste, "If it isn't already." He gestures idly up toward Four Eagles, "And the girl too, if she's not the one you've already found." One hand reaches back to pat the quiver at his back, "I mean to give him some feathers to go along with his bones. I tracked him to a clearing between Highfield and here. I think I can track him again. Was going to do it when your letter arrived, Sheriff."

"Can't speak for your's lad, but the Terricks are concerned about attacks on their small folk and the search here has use of what resources it finds it needs," Mortimer replies, in what he hopes comes across as a reassuring manner rather than a bragging one. "Could you find the clearing on a map?" he then asks, back to his previous businesslike tone. "I found the girl, and this woman and her hounds, at a cottage that's been abandoned since the Ironmen came, my best guess is that they'd stayed there at least a night, looked like the girl had died there." He'll go into the details of that later if needs be, but for now he continues with the tracking story, "should be the tracks of the woman and her beasts leaving to follow from there, that and a trail of wolf blood. If we know where those two places are compared to each other, might give us a clue to where to look."

Darek blinks, perhaps in a bit of surprise at the notion that the Terricks are pouring so many resources into the search, "I mean… I know Lord Ashwood's cursed busy, and the Sheriff too. All of them. Surprised your Lord and Sheriff aren't busy too, really." That defence of his Lords and Masters out of the way, he frowns in thought a moment, "I could probably point to the general area, Master Tevelyan. I mean, the clearing's not likely to be on most maps, but, I could point out sorta where it is."

Mortimer just listens silently as Darek excuses the Ashwoods, now's not the time for banter nor point scoring though so he lets it lie. He smiles a little at the reply to the map question though, "That should do us, for a start at least. Hopefully by the time we've got that sorted, and I've shown you the body, we will have some word from Kingsgrove as well."

Darek shrugs one shoulder, "You said they just found one kid's body, right, Sheriff? Might not be something related at all." The young man shudders again, "I can tell you right now I won't be going out there looking tonight. That Hunter or whatever was cursed well freaky enough without running into him in the dark. And armoured wolves with some wailing woman? Yeah… I'll be staying the night here, so you don't have to hurry on my account." And then something occurs to him, and he wrinkles up his nose, "Wait… you've still got the body? Isn't it all, like, puffed up and shit? I mean, the bodies down 'round Stonebridge way swelled up something fierce and got real nasty. And it's not like it's any cooler now than it was then…"

"One body is all I've heard," Mortimer confirms, "but then I'd only heard you were short one." He shrugs his shoulder again, "might be some'uht, might not, won't know until we hear back." He'd had no intention of head back out into the woods in the remainder of the day, so he just nods once as Darek asserts that he isn't and then asks, "take it you found the Rockcliff? They'll to set you up with a bed and a hot meal. Body 's at the sept, there's a healer there who knows tricks so I'm told. But aye, I'll take you there tonight and the map can wait for the morning." When hopefully he'll have had time to round up a few more interested parties and make a proper planning session of it.

Darek scratches at the back of his neck at the mention of the Rockcliff, "Yeah. I've got a spot in the stables." After all, he's a squire, and a common one at that. Not like they get paid much at all. He looks off toward the sept, a bit of calm spreading through his stance as he does, "Be good to get the girl's body to rest soon too. If I can tell that she's the missing girl, her parents can get some relief too, Master Trevelyan. They're all getting kind of wild with something between worry and hope."

Mortimer eyes Darek a moment at the mention of hte stables, thinking something over for a moment before nodding once, seemingly satisfied, "just make sure you get a hot meal and breakfast, use my name if you have to." A final glance is given behind him to the drilling men as they reach the edge of the green and then he's turning down the road towards the sept. "I can imagine how they're feeling, lets go take a look shall we? See if we can give them any peace."

Darek follows the older man's look to the drilling man, chuckling quietly a bit, "They're kinda horrible, aren't they, Master Trevelyan?" Still, he turns with the Deputy Sheriff to follow him toward the Sept, sobering again as he breathes out a bit. "Yeah. And then we can see about putting the pieces of shit that did this down for good. Let them see how they like spending time in one of the hells."