|Such Sinister Secrets|
|Summary:||Ser Justin leads the Terrick group onto MiddleMarch to search the manor house. They find a lot more than they bargained for and not quite what they sought.|
|Related Logs:||A Missing Seal Cousins Conjecture
and other logs related to Jacsen's disappearance and search for him. HUGE thanks to Phoenix for running this very complicated scene.
|Stables, kitchen, and Lucienne's chambers, MiddleMarch Manor|
|Use your imagination. This log breaks up into /three/ different scenes. If it proves too difficult to read as posed, it can be split out into separate sections.|
|October 3rd, 289|
As evening comes on, Justin has the camp broken up well before last light. He sends out the best trackers to pick up the trail as they are able from where Jacsen's horse was found and follow it. Justin himself is still wearing his armour and donning his helm, he mounts to lead the party out. "All right, listen up! We are going to approach the manor and see what we can find. Likely, those who claim to have taken my brother are not anywhere around here. But we must see if any trace can be found of my sister. Be sharp! Watch for tracks that might indicate how many men and the quality of their horses."
Mortimer has spent a large part of the time they've been camped watching the manor for signs of movement. WHen it comes time to move again though he's back with the group and mounting up once more. Tracking is not a particular strong point of his, but it's something he's done from time to time, so he at least knows what to look out for.
With others busy watching the manor or looking to their own duties, Kell was free to get some much needed rest as tireness fades as he slept until the time to wake approaches. Woken up by one of the men, the Terrick Sworn begins to ready himself for what may come tonight, which could include hostilities, making sure that his armor is on properly and weapon oiled and sharpened. Then when the party begins to head out, Kell climbs onto Havok and forms up with the other men, listening to Justin as the second son dictates what they will be tasked with tonight.
While Darion is no use as a tracker he is at least an alert person in case someone is still around the area. Standing guard to a bit and just walking around the area. Glad in his armor and with weapon at the ready. Moving to his own horse to climb up. A good enough rider and along with a spear in hand and a morning star at his side. Doing much the same as Kell, even riding up not far from the sworn sword as they both listen to Justin.
It was good to rest through the heat of the day for some hours, both for men and for horses. Fed, watered, watches posted and naps taken, they are fresher now for what may lay ahead. The tracks lead clearly to the manor and the manor stables, many tracks. Justin gets off his own horse and looks at the ground several times himself, frowning faintly. Then he mounts and rides again for the buildings. "Ser Kell, take some of the men and check the stables. We'll check the manor house. Call out if you have any difficulty."
Pressing on ahead, Justin goes up to the manor house to see if there is any sign of anyone being here and the means to get in. He motions for his bowman to go around and have a look as he dismounts to approach an entrance.
Lothar's skills are still fledgling but he's decent enough in tracking, scouting and being a general lookout. So that's what he's doing right now, slowly making rounds about the rest area checking for unknown tracks here and there but mostly watching for trouble because it never shows when you're waiting for it. It always rears it's ugly head soon as you turn your back to it.
Moritmer moves to follow Justin in towards the manor, keeping his eyes mostly on the building while others look for tracks. Windows are scanned for indications of light or movement. The occasional glance is spared to the surroundings as well, but since it's been quiet all afternoon he's given the house itself hismain attention.
As more commands are issued, Kell nods his head to Ser Justin before looking at some of the men he knows and has served with before, as well as Darion, to accompany him. He then nudges his mount to movement, leading the men in the direction of the stables and as they approach the stables, he motions for two of the other mounted men to circle around and keep an eye out, just in case someone or a couple of someones get spooked and tries to flee. Then, he dismounts and motions for Darion and the rest to do the same, handing the reins of his horse to one man who will stay behind with the mounts before approaching the rest of the way on foot, to make themselves less noticeable until it is too late.
There is a good firm grip on the iron doorknocker and then Justin rams the iron against the doorplate several times to make a resounding sound to notify the inhabitants of the house that a visitor has come calling. He looks up at the manor house, it's thin windows, the carefully kept grounds. A few servants live here, someone to graze the sheep on the lawn and trim the bushes. He lifts his baritone to carry, "Hello the House! We come from Four Eagles Tower!" Mortimer's reports already told Justin there's been no sign of obvious movement all day while they rested. The Sheriff of Terrick's Roost waits and listens for any sounds within while his bowman and a couple of riders cover the back and sides of the house incase someone tries to leave.
A quick look towards the stables watches Ser Kell making ready to enter.
At the orders Darion just nods at first before riding along with Kell. Dismounting along with Kell. Letting his horse get cared of as he moves in along with Kell. Keeping his eyes open as he looks around. Being careful and just looking around a bit. A step or two behind to the side of Kell.
Brogan decides to join Justin in checking out the manor house, having switched out his hunting bow for a loaded crossbow and replaced the arrows in his quiver with bolts, naturally. He keeps an eye out on the manor house and the surroundings, commenting aloud, "No way things are going on as usual with that note and horse out there - I pray that this place is /just/ abandoned."
Mortimer nodding in agreement with Brogan, he mutters back "We'll find out soon enough m'Lord, but aye, here's to hoping." Of course then there'd be the question of why it's abandoned, but that answer would probably be better than slaughter. As Justin pounds on the door he keeps his eyes on the windows, looking to see if anything moves in response to indicate that they are being watched. "'tis too quite," he says to no one in particular, "I don't like it."
Approaching the stables, Kell and men he leads are quiet as the common knight does not choose to announce his group like Justin has to the manor house. When they reach the building, he motions for the men to press against the wall as the Terrick Sworn himself takes lead, moving up slowly to the main doors before opening it just enough so he can get an initial peek in first. He wants to make sure that the area is clear before entering with his men and if there are people present inside, he will pass it on to his men first.
There is definitely sounds of shuffling footsteps from within the manor house and after passage of near five minutes, the sound of bolts drawing back on the other can be heard. The heavy door is slowly drawn back by a elder valet with bushy brows. It takes a few moments for recognition to register upon the valet's features but he finally steps aside, "Come in, milords…" The servant seems more than a little uneasy, his gaze shifting a bit nervously towards the inner halls of the manor as he braces the door with his body and allows for entry.
At the stables, the slight opening of the door immediately causes the scent of fresh hay and dung to permeate the air followed by the common snorts of various horses. An off-key whistle seems to trickle on out - broken by periods of singing in an equally tone-deaf voice as a young man works on mucking out the stalls.
At the sound of footsteps, Mortimer turns his attentions to the door. Just one person he reckons, and it doesn't sound much like an armed ambush. Still it never pays to be caught unawares so he has his hand on the hilt of his dirk as he hears the bolts start to move. As the valet is revealed though he relaxes a little, although he does catch something off about the mans behaviour and then leans over to whisper to Justin. "Want me to check round teh back, just in case?"
There are indeed a fair number of armed men, knights and more than one Terrick gathered outside of the manor. Not even counting those searching the stables. Justin stands erect and studies the valet without stepping within as yet, "Is the lady Lucienne, my sister, here? Who resides in the house currently? I am Justin Terrick, Sheriff of Terrick's Roost and upon official business." His tone of voice is firm, expecting answers as he stands there in maile and plate, his surcoat embroidered with the shield of his House.
There is a faint nod to Mortimer's whisper, though there is already a few watching around the sides and back of the manor House. Justin steps far enough into the doorway that it can not be closed to keep his men out, but without entering far enough to be locked in either - not by a single elderly man.
Darion moves along and can hear the sound from inside the stalls. Moving to try and glance over Kell's shoulder before looking around a bit to the area around and outside the stall. As best as he can from where he stands. Though the smell and sounds from behind the door get the most attention. Glancing to Kell with a nod before looking back and nodding to the other men around.
The smell of manure does have Kell wrinkle his nose a little bit as he turns back to the men, motioning that there is at least one man inside but whispers to the man next to him that the man may not be dangerous. He does also issue orders, to be passed down the line of other men, that they will search the stalls and loose hay to make sure no one is hiding or sleeping inside, and to keep their guard up just in case though it is looking to be a normal manor instead of being taken over by bandits. Then Kell turns back to the stable doors and swings it wide open so the other men can follow in. Marching with a purpose, the Terrick Knight approaches the young man who is apparently working in the stables, announcing himself, "I am Ser Kell Drakmoor, sworn to House Terrick. I need to ask you some questions." Of course, such an announcement may spook any others that may be hiding so his eyes do remain alert for movement.
Brogan looks /veeeeery/ suspicious as someone actually answers the door, the older Terrick's eyes narrowing as he waits for Justin to do the talking, as he so usually does.
With the confirmation given, Mortimer extracts himself from the group by the door and walks his borrowed horse round the side of the building and towards the back, keeping his eyes open for other doors or exits as he does so. Making it round to the rear, and the servent's enterence he uses what light there is left to check for any tracks that might be present, particularly very fresh ones.
"Her ladyship is not to be disturbed, milord," the valet spouts off in a well-rehearsed speech as he remains close to the door, not quite wanting to look the newer Terrick contingency in the eye. Almost as if on cue, a loud female harpy tone snaps from down one of the walls, "Herod, how many times do I have to instruct you to -never- answer the door unless I -expressly- grant you permission to do so. Whoever it is, send them away. We are not in the habit of entertaining guests nor giving charity!" Despite the recognizeable tone of Lucienne's voice, the woman still has yet to be seen.
Back in the stables, the young man nearly slips and falls upon some of the manure as the doors swing on open, "Widow's teats! What're you doin' here?" It takes the young stablehand a moment or two to regain his wits about him, but as soon as he does, his eyes narrow with annoyance upon Kell, "I don't know nothin' 'bout nothin'… if'n you wanna know somethin' best be askin' someone else. I just muck the stalls."
Mortimer can make out the faint noise of voices from within the building, but they're too far away for the actual words to travel. Failing to learn anything new from the immediate surroundings and being as certain as he can be that no one has been this way in the past hour or so, he passes the next minute or so trying to work out if he's best waiting beside his horse or on it. In the end though he settles for remaining on the ground. HE should have enough warning of someone approaching the door should it occur and even then, they'd not be ahorse, so he's best not either.
Moving along with Kell he does keep his attention to the sides as well. But a kind smile is given to the stablehand. "It is fine. Just take it easy." Is said in a rather soft and relaxed tone. While he moves to check the area as well. "I'm ser Darion Terrick. We don't mean no harm." Without reason at least.
That is more than enough answer for Justin. His grey eyes to narrow, he motions with a gloved hand for some of his armed men to follow him into the house. This is not a pleasant, proper, polite visit for the parlor. "I most certainly intend to /disturb/ her. You might wish to retire." It's not really a suggestion. Justin strides past the man, his muddy boots muting the jingle of his spurs on the fine carpet. There is not a word said, no calling out of his sister's name, nothing. Her brother heads directly for the direction her voice came from - going up stairs if necessary or back into deeper rooms.
Behind him, at least two others should be following. Perhaps Brogan, his cousin, close behind. A man lingering to keep the door forced open so it can not be closed and locked.
Whereever in the manor that Lucienne may be, dressed or indecent, Justin seeks to barge in and confront her. And the expression upon his face is not something she will have ever beheld before - a stern, cool anger. A man dressed for killing.
When no one else in the stable jumps out of their skin besides the young man, Kell nods to the other men who follow him in to search the stables as ordered before, maybe they will find a clue of the stablehand doesn't find anything. Now, the Terrick Knight focuses on the stablehand as he draws closer, the expression he has on shows that he has no patience for games or one-hundred questions. It also appears that the stablehand's words does not please Kell and he lets it be known, most likely being the bad cop where Darion was the good cop, "If you know nothing about nothing, then I will not waste my time with you. But know this, once we find what we need and if you are implicated, then you will be charged with being an accomplish to the kidnapping of a noble." He doesn't have to finish with what the punishment will be, letting the stablehand's mind make it up for himself. However, that is not it as Kell does lighten his tone and his facial expression as well, "But… if you give key information that leads us to what we seek, you will be compensated for your assistance with coin."
"What in the hells is going on here," Brogan mutters in disbelief at the entire situation, moving past the greeter with crossbow in hand and a solemn, almost disgusted expression as the cloaked Terrick follows after his cousin.
Back in the stables, the young stablehand smirks like a routine smart-ass as Kell draws closer. Sure the Drakmoor might be a knight, but he sure isn't one of those nobles and the young man appears more than willing to challenge him on that fact, "Feck off, Ser Jackarse, ain't my idea to bring that lil' princess here. Says she wants to come to Middlemarch and threatens all of us if'n we don't bring her here so we do. If'n that's kidnapping, then the nobles be more fecked than I thought." The stablehand looks back to Darion and seems to stiffen a little more at the Terrick name before letting out an exaggerated sigh, "I just feed the horses and clean the stables. Lady Terrick's inside… she don't much like the smell of the stables and those of us in it… so I avoid the manor."
Within the manor house, Herod silently groans as he closes the door once all who have entered do so and then tries the best he can to retreat to whatever corner of the manor he can to get away of the impending explosion of Terricks. Those seeking the Terrick daughter will need to go up a flight of stairs and down a short hall to the chambers she has taken as her own. As the door is thrown open, Lucienne spins around and nearly knocks her full length mirror over in the process as she tries her best to draw her robe closed over her sheer-like chemise. Yet not before it becomes more than a little painfully obvious that there is a pretty decent size bulge around her mid-section that *really* should not be there, "How -dare- you enter -my- chambers without knocking! This is -my- manor and you are -not- welcome here. Go home Justin!" she all but hisses.
Being common born himself, Kell seems to take no offense when he is called Ser Jackass, as his attitude towards the stablehand was rather jerkish, but they have information they didn't have before. However, it is also information that Ser Justin will most likely stumble onto at the manor house so the Terrick Knight does not look too interested. When the young man responds well to Darion though, Kell lets it be and goes to look around the stables himself, but he does walk by Darion, whispering to him, "See if you can find out about Lord Jacsens horse that we found, and ask if there were other men that passed by recently."
Justin enters the chambers and not only him but likely the men behind him at least come into the doorway. He stops abruptly, looks around the room warily and then glances over his shoulder, "Check the rest of the house. See if there are any armed men here. Disarm them, by force, if necessary. Do it."
Lucienne's brother's attention refocuses upon her. Justin did not miss her shape, though how she was hiding it /before/ to be more obvious now, Gods only know. Women's arts, corsets. He suddenly moves to stride forward and without removing his glove, makes to strike Lucienne across the face very soundly - lest she be quick enough to evade it. "WHERE is he, Luci? Where is Jacsen, damn you!" Justin's nostrels flare, his eyes cold, "Now we know why you were cast forth from Kingsgrove. Who's is it, Lucienne?"
Darion sighs at the stableboys speech. "You should be more respectful." Though he seem to mean towards Kell rather than himself. As Kell seems fine with it, he drops it. Nodding as Kell walks by and whispers. "What's your name?" He asks the stableboy along with a kind smile. Walking around a bit. "Were we the first that have come by? Other than the lady I mean." He says and seems still rather calm and kind. "We sort of found a horse of someone and we were just wondering if there is anything you could give about that. Please?" He says though his eyes show seriousness.
"Gods! It gets /worse/," Brogan states incredulously, eyes wide as he gets a look at a bit more than he bargained for and quickly turns away, shaking his head. "This is a catastrophe, how could things have fallen so far?" Brogan wonders aloud, brows knit together as he decides to sweep the rest of the house with the others, opening every door he can find and checking his corners as he searches through the floor.
Back at the stables, looking from the Terrick to the Commoner and back to the Terrick again, the stablehand thinks, "Ain't no one wants to come 'round here when the Lady Terrick's here. Her brother comes a lot… been comin' almost every time she's been stayin' here. Stays a few days an' then rides back. She's nice when he's here but gets difficult after." The young man raises a dirty hand to scratch at what is no doubt scabs upon his scalp, "Ain't seen him this time though. I only work days though, Korr sometimes works at night. If'n he was here, his horse'd been kept here," the hand gestures to one of the stalls.
With the fun inside having moved to upstairs there is even less for Mortimer to hear. Still, it'd be just his luck that if he moved back round the front then people would immediately make a dash for it from the rear. Ho Hum. Still, he's stood watch overnight countless times in the past, so this is nothing in comparison.
Clearly never having expected to actually be struck by her brother's hand, the hit lands square across her face, her eyes blazing brightly with fury. Lucienne reaches up to touch a tender hand to her lip as she seethes, "How -dare- you strike me. You do not have the right to raise a hand to me." Anger rises to marr her normally lovely features, her face rounded as the distending form of her body betray her laden with child. She glares at her brother before finally letting a light laugh escape her lips, perhaps driven more out of rage and a desire to infuriate him more, "He… who? What is the matter, Justin, failing at your attempts to be the 'good son'?" Her words taunt him further as she smirks, "Jacsen returned to that barren whore that is our goodsister: frigid and dead at her core. He deserves better." She still holds her own, glaring defiantly at him as he inquires as to the sire of her child.
At his own words, Brogan is given a narrowing of her eyes, "Who in the name of the Seven are you? Get out of my chambers."
Kell's eyes catch something of interest as he searches the stables as he finds a set of saddle bags with the Terrick emblem stiched into it. First he goes through the contents of the saddle bags, trying to find some clues as who it belongs to. Jacsen's horse was missing saddles so this connects the dots, therefore the common knight picks it up and slings it onto his shoulders to make carrying it a bit easier. Instead of asking the stablehand directly, Kell nods to Darion and taps the saddle bags, hoping that the noble knight will know how to ask in a more convincing manner.
Lucienne's brother stands his ground, Justin's eyes never leaving his sister's. "Jacsen is likely a dead man. You have no idea what is going on, do you?" There could be pity in his voice. Justin simply reaches out and grabs his sister by the arm, "You are coming back with us, Lucienne. You better hope and pray that Jacsen is already back and waiting at Four Eagles Tower. Because if he is not, you are an accomplice in his demise. And Seven help you, but father isn't going to shelter you from this storm this time." Justin's grip tightens upon her arm, "Call your women to dress you. Do it now, Luci." This brother in his maile and plate isn't moving to step out of her chambers. "Consider yourself under House Arrest until we decide what's to be done with you."
"I think I liked you a bit better when I saw you last, Lucienne, when you didn't know how to speak. Gods, what a world we could've had if that disaster had been averted," retorts Brogan with a raising of his brow and an almost uncharacteristic sting in his voice, returning to the chambers and eyeing her with disappointment. "Do you have the /slightest/ idea what you've done, little girl? I'm beginning to think we should've stayed in the Eyrie," he mutters, unimpressed by her demands for him to leave. "Brogan Terrick - Bolland's second eldest."
Darion raises a brow and nods. Glancing over to Kell. "Where's Korr then? Since we would hope that he has answers if you don't. I do hope that you are not lying though. I think it would be wise if you help us find the lord." He offers. Still a bit kindly though there is a seriousness in his eyes that might be quite intimidating. Glancing over to Kell and spotting the saddlebags. "And whos is the bags? I would suppose that it might belong to the one we seek. You see, his missed his saddle. Now we found a saddlebag. How come it is still here if he isn't?" he asks. Smiling a bit then. Trying to seem as to puzzle it together and letting the stableboy clearify.
Justin lifts his chin to Brogan, "Go find that Valet… we'll be needing to take someone back with us to question. I'm certain he knows what has been going on here. Who's been visiting my sister."
In the stables, the stablehand shrugs a bit, "Knowin' Korr, prolly buried in some wench somewheres. He likes the women and ale, ya know?" When mention of the saddlebags are made, the young man seems to actually look to the other knight for the first time - a genuine frown creasing his features, "I… I didn' remember seein' it. Them's his bags alright, least look like 'em." He suddenly seems to realize what their presence in the stables means, realization finally dawning on the semi-dimwitted man, "Widow's Teats and Maester's Balls, where's the horse? He ain't never ridin' anywhere without them. Has a hard time mountin' he does. Once had to let him step on my back, ya know?" The young stablehand does seem genuine in his expression.
"Get your filthy paws off of me!" Lucienne screaches, trying her best to try and shake Justin's touch off of her as though it were poison, "You can't arrest me at all. You've -no- jurisdiction here, Justin. This is -my- manor and was left for -me-. Now leave before I have the guards toss the entire sorry lot of you out." She sticks her chin out a bit more, seriously believing she is still somewhat in control of the situation. When he orders her to call her women, she blatantly refuses, "I will do no such thing. Do you really think Father will let you arrest me? When he finds out you struck me he will strip you of your little Sheriff title. We all know he will never take your side over mine. Leave me be and I will see to it he is never informed of your brutality against me." Brogan is warranted a pointed glare followed by a snarl, "Uncle Bullhead? The son of a bully, why am I not surprised."
Now is when Kell decides to speak as realization smacks the stablehand in the face, as well as the potential consequences if things work in that direction where it seems it just may, "Where is the horse, now that is a good question to ask. Tell us, when was the last time you saw the young Lord, and it best be a clear answer. And also, tell us exactly where this Korr is, where he finds his whores and and his ale. Time is of the essence and if we find the Lord too late, the Stranger may be visiting soon." When it comes to a missing heir of the House, Kell does not play nice or have a lot of patience.
Someone is /not/ amused. Justin twists Lucienne's arm painfully to make certain he has her attention, "I will put your men to the sword if you order them to stand against us. I have ten knights, cousins and Men-at-arms with me, Lucienne. Jacsen is missing, the Seal is missing and I intend to search every stone of this Manor ere we go. Do you understand me, little sister?" Fuck juristiction, Justin has had enough. He does not yell nor snarl, his tone is cold. "We shall see what father orders and who will follow him, and who will follow me. I won't play this game anymore."
Now Justin raises his baritone, "WOMEN OF THE HOUSE! Come dress your Lady NOW! Or I will have my men do it for her!" The other man who is not Brogan is given orders, "Check on the others to see how they are doing disarming her men. Come back and report to me, then we'll search the House. Every desk, every drawer, every box, every loose floorboard even if it takes all night."
Darion frowns a bit and shakes his head. Then looks to Kell and nods. Moving around a bit again. "Indeed. It would be wise telling us as much as is possible. When did the young lord leave, if he left. Or was the horse just sent off? Since it seems odd that the saddle bags to still be here, don't you think? Now tell us of Korr. We would like to find him fast." He offers. Looking through the rest of the stables and studying the stablehand as well.
Mortimer isn't sure, but he thinks that he catches movement out of the corner of his eye, out in the bushes to his left. Turning slowly to try and make it look as if he's just casually scanning the surroundings he takes a look and almost convinces himself that there's nothing there before he catches the same thing again. He drops his hand to the hilt of his dirk and is about to call out a challenge when one of Justin's bowmen sticks his head up and gestures to him. It takes a moemtn for the meaning to be communicated, but it seems he's managed to get himself into the other man's line of fire on the door. Waving his apologies he walks his horse a little distance away and loosely hitches it to a tree before deciding that he's actually probbaly just getting in their way out here. Given the front door was barred he's guessing the back will be too, but it's worth a shot if it'll save him walking all the way round the front again. To his surprise though it opens and he steps inside, glancing round the room for any signs of danger before pulling it shut after himself.
"Somehow I doubt you inspire nearly enough loyalty for your guard to stand against us, little cousin. I think they'd be quite happy to assist us, if they even exist. A kidnapped heir on their front lawn and they let a bunch of armed men by without even showing themselves? If it's an ambush, it's taken a little too long to spring," Brogan replies, a small grin forming across his lips as he's called 'a bully'. "If you really think so, you'd be quite fond of Ozric. He'd have dragged you out of here by your hair and been half way to the Roost by now." As Justin gives orders to the man who is not him, naturally, Brogan gives a nod. "I've looked around, nothing of note on this floor. Guess I'll go look for that valet, if your deputy hasn't let him into the bush yet." That said, Brogan turns away and walks out of the chambers with a shake of his head, gingerly making his way through the halls and down the stairs as he begins to try and seek the doorman.
Lothar finally makes his way into the manorhouse now that his sweep of the areas around their horses is complete, "Cousin?!? Brother!?! which way are you? And what are we looking for?" The young squire slings his bow but makes sure his sword is loosened in it's scabbard as he starts to look around the house.
"Up here, Lothar!" Shouts Justin, still holding to Lucienne, "Come watch a woman for me so I can search these chambers while she dresses!"
The poor stablehand looks almost defeated as the realization of the gravity of the situation continues to bury him, "I… uh.. I don't know who he fecks. Likes to talk about kitchen wenches though. Says they're the best 'cuz they got them breasts meant for squeezin' and lots of paddin'." If the young man has any idea of his crudeness, he doesn't appear to seem to indicate it as he continues, "I ain't seein' the mount, honest… then I ain't been here past few days. My gal's been sick so I took a few days to look after her. If'n you want Korr, I'd check the manor. He's buried himself in least a few of the Lady Terrick's house gals."
Lucienne just stares at her brother, completely stunned as her eyes narrow to shoot daggers back at him, "You lie! Jacsen went back to that barren whore. If he's missing, she's responsible." Even as she does so, her lips twitch a bit as if to falter perhaps somewhat doubting her own words as she takes another deep breath. The youngest Terrick lets her other hand idly brush over the swell of her abdomen, a flicker of concern touching her eyes before she again steels her backbone. At the deep bellowing, two of her lady's maids come shuffling in, clearly more than a bit uneasy and frightened by the entire ordeal as the one moves to begin collecting some of Lucienne's belongings while the other fetches more appropriate attire.
The door in the back of the manor appears to lead directly to the kitchens, the heavy aroma of vegetable barley soup filling the air with a tantalizing aroma. Though the kitchens appear unoccupied, there is a steady *thump* *thump* *thwack* *thump* sound coming from the large closed pantry area.
The words that spill out of the stablehand only seem to anger Kell, one that he is barely able to keep in check though the anger appears to be not directed at the messenger of this rather disgraceful news. One hand does fix on the pommel of his Banefort ribbon wrapped blade, gripping it tight enough where the knuckles of his hands whiten. "If what you say is true, we thank you for the information. Stay with the men, we will seek out Korr and ask him some questions." The Terrick Sworn's tone is controlled, though perhaps a bit obvious that he is reining in his anger as he doesn't even threaten the stablehand about how Korr's story better match. Instead, he looks to Darion and nods to the man, "Let's go to the manor, Ser Justin should have made headway with… the Lady. We need to find Korr, he is our focus so we can find Lord Jacsen." With that, Kell turns and heads for the exit of the stables, pace set at large, quick strides and quite forceful.
Knowing that there are the bowmen outside to stop anyone trying to bolt that way, Mortimer doesn't bother investigating ways to secure the back door. Instead he takes a moment to orientate himself inside and offer a wordless prayer of thanks that no one decided to brain him with a pan as he entered. That would have been hard to live down. He hears Justin's call from upstairs, and even though it's muffled a bit he can make out enough to tell that it's not addressed to him, so he makes his way over towards the pantry. Announcing his presence with a loud cough, followed by an "ah-hmm", to ensure he's not going to surprise whomever is in there into violence he then makes his way in.
Darion listens and gritting his teeth. Then nods and looks to Kell. Moving along with him. "We should move quickly. If he know something he might have been trying to escape already." He offers and hurries along. Even with men guarding the exits some seem to be able to sneak out and away anyhow. So he does keep alert as he moves along.
On his way to the manor house, Kell nods his head in agreement to Darion before bring a hand to his mouth to let out a sharp whistle, then motioning to the Terrick armsman who was in charge of the horses, to have them brough to the manor house where they will be entering just in case they need to mount on fast and ride.
Lothar makes his way upstairs where he'd heard his cousin's voice, "Who am I watching Ser?"
<FS3> Justin rolls Alertness: Success.
<FS3> Brogan rolls Alertness: Great Success.
Justin is not wasting more time on his sister except to hand her off to the woman who seems interested in dressing her, "Do it right here. She's not to leave my sight. You there, pack only her necessities. Anything else can be sent along later - after we search the House." The Terrick Sheriff makes certain there's a man in the doorway to keep his sister from trying to bolt out while Justin himself starts to search the room. In short order, Lucienne's things are starting to get dumped out onto the floor, her bed stripped and mattresses searched, everything being turned over. Justin's being as thorough as if he were … well, how about it? Looking for his father's Seal!
It won't hurt if he also collects all personal papers of Lucienne's he can find and any money or other high end small valuables to place them into a suitable box to take with them. If Lothar shows up as shouted for, Justin's going to set his cousin to doing the same. "I don't hear anyone making resistance, Lucienne. I think your guards are doing as they are ordered, being mannerly. Which is wise of them."
Even the furniture, Justin will pull out and search the back panels.
Once the pair of knights actually leave the stables, the poor stablehand lets out a deep sigh of relief as he grumbles and mocks in a girly voice, "Get a job Timek at them Terrick stables, we'll have money to get married. Feck me, damn women an' weddings…" before once more going back to mucking out the stalls.
The Valet seems to have fled from the main hall. Securely tucked away within the cellar, the one place the Lady Lucienne is least likely to look, the older man cam be found drowning his nerves with a nice big bottle of wine. He doesn't even bother with a glass as he simply kicks it on back as though his life depended upon it. Hands shake uneasily, clearly uncomfortable with all the noises above as well as the recent arrivals of so many Terricks, "Sevens spare me…"
The *thump* *thwack* *thump* rhythmic pounding seems to continue from the closet, the subtle clearing of the Master's throat doing little to stop whatever activity is within. As the door opens, the unmistakeable female moans fill the space followed by the encouraging grunts of a rather pasty portly man with buck-assed and hairy seems to be giving his all to a rather buxom mottle-faced woman with ginger colored hair. There is no denying the pair is mid-coitos, apparently oblivious to the arrival of the third party observer.
For a house with a great deal of financial issues, the Lady Lucienne seems to have more than enough personal wealth in the form of baubles, trinkets, and other pretties to shower noblewomen ten times over. In fact, from the sheer quality of her personal belongings one might wonder just how indulged the only daughter of Jerold has been over the years. She seems to care little for the trinkets but as her own personal letters and correspondences are tossed about and splayed for open viewing, she shrieks, "You have no right! Those are my personal affects!"
"Lothar! Help me search these chambers. Collect those papers." Justin dumps more things into a box, family jewelry or Lucienne's own doesn't matter to him. "Go through everything incase I missed something. Damnit." He's not finding what he's looking for so far and it irritates Justin. He looks to see if Lucienne is dressed yet, her ladies helping her and not too worried about what they are packing for her because he'll have someone search through her packed things as well. It won't due for her to have nice long, dagger sharp hair pins to stab Justin in the back with, now would it?
"She looks dressed enough. Don't bother with her hair. Go and get her a traveling cloak against the wind and rain, lass." Justin shoos the younger girl out to do his bidding. He comes back to his sister and lowers his baritone into a growl, "Where is it, Lucienne? Where is father's Seal? Does Jacsen have it, or did you finally weedle it from him?"
Mortimer coughs a little louder, and if that doesn't work it'll be a nice and loud, "Oi!" Followed by a casual, "I don't suppose either of you have seen tLord Jascen Terrick about have you?" Nothing quite like acute embarressment to get people to talk, and quickly. He's blocking the only way out, and given their current position he's not too concerned about them getting the drop on him and slipping away, so he's prepared to play nice for now. Assuming they answer that is.
Lothar nods and starts going through everything behind Justin tossing papers and jewelry into the box Justin's using and when/if that fills up he moves onto another box, "Lookin for somethin specific ser?" He glances over at Justin and Luci as he continues to search and then realizes… "She's with child? I thought she wasn't wed doesn't that mean she's carrying a bastard?" The young man's so in awe with the idea that a Terrick would lower themselves to carrying a bastard instead of the men doing what men do… "Such scandal for our family." He shakes his head and just ignores the giant elephant belly in the room as he goes back to searching.
"Alright, Old Master," Brogan calls into the cellar, crossbow in hand as he stands at the top of the stairs. "Come on out, we're taking everyone back to the Roost to sort out what happened here. I'd ask that you come out on your own and get back to our camp, or else I'll have to go down there myself and neither of us want that. Consider that an order from Ser Brogan Terrick, knight of our family."
The path from the stables to the manor house brings Kell to the back entrance which is already opened by Mortimer moments earlier. A quick glance to Darion to make sure the noble knight is with him and then the Terrick Sworn enters, eyes seeking for someone so he can strangle the question of where Korr is out of them, obviously needing somewhere to vent. However, luckily there is a target and it is the man that Mortimer has found in the pantry, having a jolly good time. "Excuse me, Master Trevelyan, this cannot wait until they are finished." Is what Kell says politely first through gritted teeth before he shoulders past Mortimer. Luckily, the common knight is wearing gloves so it isn't as gross and one hand reaches out to get a rather tight grasp around the portly man's neck, pulling him out rather roughly and dumping him on the floor before he says with a growl, "Are you Korr! Lord Jacsen, tell us, where he is /now/!"
Mortimer is somewhat taken aback by Kell's enterance and blinks a couple of times before muttering, entirely to himself. "Ser Kell, Korr. Korr, Ser Kell." Given that situation is, if not entirely under control, at least now out of his hands he turns back to the lass and says casually, as if this was the most normal conversation in the world "SOrry about that. WHere were we? Oh yes, LOrd Jascen. Have you seen him?"
Darion is moving along with Kell and nods to Mortimer as well and watches the people. Letting the others take care of most of it. "Alright, just easy and tell him what he wants to know and it will be fine." He tells the man currently probably being quite surprised having an angry Kell interupting his play. Standing and paying attention to the area. Seeing as the others having things under control he just makes sure that there isn't anything that they are missing.
The female of the rutting pair notices the older Master mere seconds before he manages to cough - body stiffening as her portly partner continues to hump at it like a champ. She shrieks only to have him grunt and encourage her onward, "That's it, scream fer Korr…." Mortimer's cough followed by the question actually cause the hairy-assed man to go limp as he guffaws, "Feck, ain't nowhere fer privacy these days. Go git yer own gal." Yet the question summons widening of his eyes as he suddenly gets a definite panicked expression, "Uh, ain't seen 'im." Even as he says so, his complexion takes on a slightly greenish cast. For her part, the woman tries her best to right her skirts as she scrambles away from the wall she was oh-so-recently pinned against.
From the cellar, Herod's eyes close almost regrettably as he murmurs to himself in between draughts of wine, "And the house of secrets burns to the ground… been too long…" There is a brief pause before he calls back on up, "Aye, Milord, but only if I am not in the wagon with young Lady Lucienne." He slowly begins to stumble his way back on up the stairs, step by precarious step, fingers still clinging to the bottle of wine like it's some holy grail.
Upstairs, Lucienne is pretty haphazardly dressed - the lovely lady definitely having seen better days. As the youngest of her maids trails off to go fetch the cloak as bid, the Lady Terrick shoots ice daggers at her brother, Her eyes glare with defiance as he asks about the seal before finally just laughing, "The seal? You're not fit to touch it." She makes no mention of where it is or anything more as she simply seems to adopt a near gloating smile, Once her hands are both free, she tenderly caresses her protruding belly — perhaps rubbing home the fact it exists… seeing as how his intrusion has shattered that secret. At the mention of the term bastard, her eyes shoot to narrow upon Lothar as she almost snarls, "You will not talk about the future of House Terrick that way. You think our family cares about bastards? Why we have more than our share of them already…" she looks back towards Justin, "… is that not right dearest brother? Or have you not told your -dear- companions yet?"
"That can be arranged," Brogan answers, waiting for the valet to ascend and then escorting him through and out of the house once he's there, leading him back to put him in the custody of the men still back at the camp. He keeps his crossbow at the ready all the same, however, his expression stony as he watches the old man. "So. You going to tell me what exactly happened, Old Master? This whole expedition's ending up revealing things that are going to hurt this House in days where there's not much left for it to take."
Mortimer makes no move to stop the lass from recovering what she can of her dignity, but he's still definately in the way of her going anywhere else. "Don't worry lass," he starts, fully aware that she might be if she sees the look in Kell's eyes. We're with the Lord Sheriff, thats Lord Justin Terrick, he's upstairs talking to his Lady Sister. It's just the Lord Jascen has gone missing you see, somewhere near here, so we're asking around. Anythng you can tell us?" He figgures he can swop notes with Kell later, but there's no point in loosing this oportunity to ask questions of another potential witness.
What the hell? Justin's anger comes back and he steps very close to his sister. A gloved hand is raised to lay it lightly against her throat though his fingers wrap around it, "You will tell me where the Seal is, Lucienne. I /do/ not have to take you back to Four Eagles Tower. We /could/ deal with you here." He lowers his voice, disgusted with her, "It might even be better. You shame our House, worse than a filthy whore, my sister. At least a lady of the night does her sins honestly."
Her words though make Justin's eyes narrow, "What are you talking about? The only bastard in our family is Jarod." Well, as far as this son knows. "Do I even wish to know? I do not think I want our father to have to know the pain and shame his daughter brings upon our House. It makes me wonder, how much you have done, pushing my brothers as you have tried to push me to do your bidding."
Justin's hand tightens around her throat and he pushes Luci back and up against the near wall. "Where is the Seal?" His dear sister is going to have trouble getting enough breath to even answer him.
Lothar shrugs as she gets very defensive over the term bastard, "Doesn't matter if there's a whole army of bastards. They're still bastards, spawn bred outside of the santity of marriage, and the blessing of the Seven. And I don't think that you care about bastards but I know a true Terrick would. The only future to House Terrick I see in this room is that knight there." And he points towards Justin, "Because you m'lady. Are no lady." And then he notices Justin getting ready to strangle her, "Cousin, she's /fat/ now could we at least make her walk herself outside before you strangle her?"
Darion looks between the lass and the man getting questioned by Kell. "If there is anything you know, do not keep it. We will find out and the more you hide the worse it will be." He says and shrugs. Believing the men here has it rather covered. "Just take it easy lass." He offers to the girl with a smile of his own. Then glancing around. Waiting to see what else they might get to know. Though he has moved enough to look around the rest of the place. Trying to find something that could help them.
For all his portly form, Korr is not the most sturdy of sorts - so when Kell's hand wraps around his neck to pull him out and dump him upon the floor, there's little struggle. The man actually squeals, much like some hairy boar, as he tries to backpeddle a bit. Manly bits flopping in the wind as he does so, with his pants about his ankles he just can't seem to get the footing needed to right himself again. Any bravery the stablehand might have has long since left the building as he cowers, "I don' know. He was here… then he wasn't." There is definitely more to the tale as he shifty-eyes between all three men seemingly cornered.
Having reached the top level, Herod's face is full of shame as the older Valet casts a visage of a man decades beyond his two score years. Heaving a deep sigh, he nods slowly, "The secrets here, Milord, have been kept for a long time. I grow weary of them all, but please do not ask me to betray my House. I swear unto you, my lips are sealed to all. I have done what I could to make sure only the loyal remained in her company. Tis hard to keep tongues from wagging, especially where her ladyship is concerned. She is not… well… there are many kinder and easier to work for."
Lucienne's eyes widen in blatant shock as her brother -actually- wraps a gloved hand around her throat, a faint flicker of genuine concern touching her depths before again it is replaced by resilience, "Go ahead, squeeze the air from my body and see how quickly you are tried and executed for murder. No office of any Sheriff has a right to murder another, or do you think yourself above your own laws?" The mention of being a whore actually elicits a light lyrical laugh as she adds in a smooth taunting tone, "I only did what Evangeline would do." Pausing for a moment as she takes note of the narrowing of her brother's eyes, surprise lighting in her own followed by a sinister twist of her lips, "Oh, you mean you did not know? The last time our -dear- Lady Mother warmed a Terrick bed was to get heavy with Jacsen. You and I, dearest brother… well, I think you can figure out the delicacies for yourself."
"If something happens to Lord Jacsen and you delay us with your stupid answers, you can be arrested for being an accomplice and hanged, unless you start giving us straight answers, Korr, right now. We don't have time to screw around here. Tell us what we know, and we will leave you be." Kell says rather angrily while standing over Korr. The knight's patience obviously worn thin as it is very apparent that Lord Jacsen is here and now something has happened to him, coupled with what he heard earlier from the other stablehand.
Back down in the kitchen pantry, the ginger wench blinks as her eyes start to well with tears, "Lord Jacsen? Oh no!" She begins to blubber, the tears doing little to improve upon her less than comely appearance as she sniffle-snorts trying to breathe, "… can't… be…" The cook wipes her nose upon her sleeve as she begins to wail louder.
"The only betrayal you'll commit to your House is if you keep whatever you know from us - hasn't what has gone on here been betrayal enough, Old Master? You serve nothing but the mistakes of the past if you refuse to tell me," Brogan counters as he narrows his eyes at the valet, continuing to lead him outside. "Hasn't there been enough? It's time to end it, once and for all."
Oh great, a cryer, just what Mortimer needs right now. Still, with Kell, and presumablely Darion dealing with Korr, he can spare a few minutes to coax what she knows out of her. "Come on," he says encouragingly, "it's a shock I know, but lets get you some fresh air shall we?" Offering his arm for her to take he leads her out into the fresh air where she can lean agaist a wall and compose herself while he gently coaxes information out of her.
Soon enough more boots scrabble along the floor, before another tall man of Terrick is soon coming in behind his brother and Justin. "Coz, I've searched…" Though whatever else was to leave the One eye'd Terrick's mouth stops, almost as if he was gagging on the though. For clearly the scene is well set. Ozric moves coming around the side of Lothar, his own hand straying down to the sword on his belt. Fuck hitting anything with a hammer-though that could help in this instance. Because, clearly this is a very pregnant woman. One, who looks like his cousin Lucienne, and given Justin's own visage, Ozric can place the pieces together.
"Seven help us." comes the quick release of breath and mutter. A sign made with his free hand. "What in the sweet fuck is this?" A glance to the other men, before his lone eye falls on the pregnant Lady.
Lothar's quip about taking her outside to strangle his obviously pregnant sister almost makes Justin drop his hand from Lucienne's long, lovely throat. And then she hisses at him with her sinister smirk. If anything, the Terrick Sheriff's eyes get harder still if that's even possible, "You lie. I look just like my elder brother Jaremy, and he and I both look too much like our father, as well as Uncle Revyn to be anything else. Not so much like mother at all, except … you." And well, maybe Jacsen a little bit. Poor Jacsen.
"I am so tired of your lies." This can't be right. He should not be so Gods damned angry, not when he needs to be able to think! To be rational, cool headed. Yet both of Justin's hands are on Luci's throat and it isn't even strangling that's upon his mind but to break her lovely neck, to keep her from spewing more of her lies! His own flesh and blood, yet Jerold's son bares his teeth ferally. Justin is focused wholly on what he is doing and unaware for the instant that Ozric has even arrived.
At this point, Lucienne is likely trying to desperately claw her brother but unless someone drags Justin off of her, she's not going to get another breath into her body before bones give. He whispers, "Father, forgive me."
The hairy bare-assed stableman grunts as he tosses his hands up in the air, "I ain't seen 'im in a few days, but if'n you find 'im, tell 'im I still want my coin. Poppy ain't cheap an' it ain't free." Korr snaps before suddenly realizing he said a little bit more than he intended before cursing again, "Feck it all. Damn feckin' nobles an' their crazies. Man can't even get his feck on without bein' ordered about." He rolls his eyes, "Yeah, I seen 'im. Comes to me an' says: Hey, Korr, heard ya know someone's able to get Poppy. I says: Yeah, but it'll cost ya. We agree an' I give 'im the stuff… thinkin' he's good fer it. Then he goes an' leaves. Didn't even put them bags on right 'cuz I found them on the ground just off the road bout five days ago."
Now there are answers and Kell remains quiet, looking up to glance at Darion to make sure the other knight is hearing what he is hearing. No interruptions are made though until Korr is finished with his story. Right now, the poppy addiction isn't even the Terrick Knight's primary concern, it is the saddle bags that were found on the ground, "Korr, this is /very/ important. Where did you find the saddle bags, where on the road. Lord Jacsen has gone missing, we found his horse but not the Lord. We need to find him." Kell has at least calmed down a little bit, as answers are forthcoming.
There is something about Brogan's words that seem to add the burden of guilt to the older Valet's shoulders, the man kicking back another gulp of wine before sighing, "I think seeing her ladyship tells all." Herod shakes his head slowly, "The sins of the mother always revist the child. It is poor Lord Ser Jerold that my heart bleeds for most. I serve the daughter for love of her father, Milord, but he should have put an end to her reign of terror a long time ago."
Ozric's hand reaches out and snags his brother before he can lunge in to his Knight's aid or to the Lady's aid. "This is between siblings, brother. Turn around." the elder Terrick advises, though clearly he doesn't. Nor does he entirely move to stop the mass strangling that is going on. Instead his lone blue eye slides to Justin, and the knight, carefully clears his throat with his free hand. "Ser." he intones in his usual gruff bark. "You are killing your sister, I believe." There his warning. And perhaps in a little bit he may step in. After all she might have information that they need.
Ah there they go. Now he is reaching over to jerk Justin off, if able.
Feeling the tightening of the air as her brother's hands close around her throat, Lucienne reaches out in an effort to claw at him with her nails. Yet it is his whisper which seems to actually cause the gravity of her predicament to take hold as panic starts to set in. She begins to struggle with every bit of effort - fighting not just for her own continued existence but the destiny of her unborn child as well.
Lucienne will find Justin is wearing armour - so her nails to claw at his chest will only find his surcoat and steel, his arms clad in chain and partial plate. His hands in leather, but his face … she can claw at his face. Somewhere along the way he took off his helm. He nails gouge, draw blood and for an instant Justin only tightens his hands all the more to finish it. Then he hears Ozrics calm voice, those words. Justin draws his upper lip back, his head pulled back away from her hands and then he throws Lucienne away from himself with such force even as they lay hands to pull him off of her.
"Gods damn you!" He shouts, fighting the hands that pull at him, force him back a step. "You would ruin our House!" Justin trembles with his anger, and upset with what he had nearly done, his whole body tense. "Should burn her like the Gods be damned witch she is." The last is offered more quietly, but no less venomately.
Keeping a hand on his cousin, Ozric carefully looks over to the sputtering woman, or at least the woman who shall be sputtering. A faint sneer showing in disgust. Licking his lips, Ozric turns and tries to move Justin back a little further. "Such should be shown to your father. After that, you can do as you please." There is a brief pause as he looks back from Justin over towards Lucienne. A cough, before he is looking down to her belly.
"Lady who is the father of your child?" If that information has already been given, Ozric clearly missed it. Instead he is waiting to hear whom the lady has been with. "Please note.." the older knight continues on. "Your child's life shall be based on your cooperation here." Yes, Ozric did just threaten an unborn child. A glance to Justin as his voice drops softer. "Are you alright, Coz?"
The portly stableman tries to recall exactly as he fumbles a little, "Feck me, I don't remember. Twas a while back, mebbe a mile or two up the road … kinda like headin' to Kingsgrove." Korr's face smushes with thought, doing little to help the rather slack-witted expression upon his features, "I was told the Lady Terrick lost her necklace on the journey so was supposed to ride an' find it. Figured if'n I did, mebbe I'd sell it fer some extra coin… ya know? Only didn't find a thing but the bags."
Ozric's intervention is quite literally a breath of fresh air for the youngest Terrick as the hold releases from her neck and she inhales deeply with an exaggerated breath. Lucienne's gaze snaps on over to the one-eyed knight, her upper lip twitching with a sneer - yet even she is not stupid enough to say anything poisonous to her would-be-rescuer. Like some masterful actress, her lips begin to quiver a little as the tears start to stream down her cheeks on cue, her voice softening, "You would not understand. What I did… I did for House Terrick." Even as she says so, her hands again slip to slide in a caress around the slightly rotund belly, gaze lowering, "He is our future. I have done what the barren whore never could." Lifting her gaze back to her brother, she adds in a sweet voice, though the underlaying current is unmistakeable, "No one needed to know our secrets, until you decided to be so very cavalier."
Ozric's cousin is not all right. Justin is shaken but forces himself to give a single, stiff nod. He manages to pull himself together, no longer fighting anyone and quieter. "I would spare my father this painful shame. He's a good man who doesn't deserve this humiliation. More of his children … failing him." And maybe Justin too, who would have broken his knightly oath and harmed a woman. His own sister.
"Search the House and stables for the Seal, for papers… for small iteams of high value that at least may help the Roost. Then we'll ride - and take her with us." Damn, Justin sounds tired. What a fucking mess.
If nothing else, Ozric has saved Justin the torement of having murdered his own sister and her unborn child. He mumbles something about a motherhouse and then adds, "Gag her!" as he strides out of the room.
The realization comes across his features upon the declaration of the 'barren whore' is spewed out. Only then does Ozric look back to his cousin, before one fist is curling and then he is swinging as hard as he can for the woman's temple, complete with his gauntleted fist for extra bashing. No words, not even a grimace as he does so. If anything it should knock out the woman, and then he looks back towards Justin. "Your father's line is cursed."
Only then does he step away. "Abomination.. Utter abomination." the man mutters before he is stepping out to motion for arms men. "Make sure none of them /leave/" seriousness in his gruff tone- before he is moving to direct his brother out of here. Leave her, with her staff. Hopefully bound.