This is a storyline that took place in the Platinum Instance during 2020. Official title is "The Omega".
The Omega - Prelude
A huff of excitement escaped Leiana as she crouched in the shadows, her face painted with soot and her radiant curls tucked tightly into a black skullcap as Jaired had taught her to do. She pushed at one stray curl near her ear and was immediately awash with a pang of longing for her husband - he typically helped with securing that curl as it never quite wanted to stay in place. It had been a few weeks since they'd been on the Muse at the same time for longer than a few hours. Their move to Kraken's Fall had gone well and Jaired had quickly began acquiring several ships to begin their treasure hunting business in earnest. And while she loved their new home on pier two, there was still work to do in the Landing. That work was what she was skulking about for this night, the moon high above and the cool wind of the fall season rustling the leaves of the nearby trees. There - just a short distance from where she waited - the candles lighting the windows of a small home were extinguished and the door opened, through which her target stepped out and into the night. Moonlight glinted from the unmistakable auburn curls gracing the woman's neck, which was bent momentarily as she fished out a key and locked the door behind her. Next came the wards, which Leiana had seen performed a dozen times or more over the last few weeks while she watched from the shadows. She had memorized the movements of the woman's fingers, the way her mouth formed the hushed words of the spell and the scent of the magic as it flared to life around the frame of the home afterward. Once the wards were in place, the woman turned and for a brief moment Leiana was filled with anxiety as Oreena Januth looked directly at the shadows where the young fugitive lay watching. If she was discovered, all of her work would be for naught - a month now of patiently watching, memorizing the schedule and all of Oreena's contacts, the time she ate and who she met with, what her habits were and her sleeping schedule - all of it painstakingly noted and kept tucked away securely in the underground lair she had worked months on with Jaired and Hitch. Only a select few were given the information needed to enter - not even her father had seen the network of tunnels or the pocket realm she had managed to replicate with the guidance of Nibani, once a Fallen soldier and now a close ally for the Delones. It struck her at this moment that much of what was dark and chaotic in her life had been repurposed for light and guidance - the Fallen soldiers she had once considered the threat to the Landing were now her allies, the crystals created by Liel as a defense system now served as illumination to the shadows of the underground caverns she spent so much time in, and the magic wielded by an Archmage once used to cage and control her was now used to ensure she was free to access any realm she wished given the right components. Of all these dark things, the most devastating - Izaar's death - served as a catalyst to her powers, infusing her with fire and wind and the mental strength to roam the skies at a thought. It had brought her love - a missing piece that she did not know was broken until he looked into her eyes and gave her his last name. Where she was the darkness and shadow, he was the moon. The clicking of narrow oak heels on the stone path brought Leiana abruptly from her thoughts and she watched Oreena make her way toward the town she had been running since Izaar's untimely passing. Quickly, Leiana rose into the night sky and hovered within the wispy shadows playing among the clouds overhead, allowing them to conceal her as the wind carried her with ease. Oreena's path veered near the walls of the Landing and Leiana followed carefully from a distance, taking note of any turns and landmarks. As they neared upper Trollfang, Leiana was startled by a large bat and momentarily lost sight of the target as she dodged the agitated mammal's wings as it harried her through a set of dense clouds. When she regained her bearings, Oreena was gone. With a muttered curse, Leiana landed in a cluster of trees and searched futilely for several moments but only found a few footprints that disappeared abruptly. Opting to avoid any further bat encounters, she made her way on foot back toward her cavernous hideout where she began documenting the path she had seen Oreena take. Once completed with her notes, she packed a small basket with food and prepared to head back out - she had a late dinner date with her father on the Thrak Inn rooftop. Her work would have to resume the next evening.
If You're Reading This...
Ignacio sat at the lopsided writing desk. He'd heard many say he should get it replaced, but there were memories there. The nail marks on the drawer handle where he'd picked during his very first case trying to wrap his brain around the information at hand. The arrowhead imbedded in the front of the desk... what a lousy shot, fortunately for Iggy, that is. A nostalgic smile spread across his face as he reminisced through years and years of memories. Shaking his head, the Investigator turned once more for the paperwork before him. It was time to expose them. Dangerous? Definitely. However, quite necessary. He took a puff from the cigar, cherry vanilla... why in the world had he purchased these? Hard to waste a cigar though. Tapping the cigar idly, he turned his pen hand towards the partially completed letter. "Things are about to get reaaaaal interesting," he remarked to the empty room. A thought ran through his head, "Ig, are you sure you wanna do this? One wrong step and you're dead as dead." He answered himself, "Yup. They're dirty. Too many people have suffered. They've done a fantastic job at hiding themselves, even when they exposed themselves, they were fleeting shadows. Myths. Legends. Ghosts... It was going to end one way or the other, and if that means I don't make it, so be it." He wrote carefully and legibly. Underlining certain parts of the letter to indicate importance. Once complete, he read the first lines over again: "If you're reading this, I didn't make it." He couldn't read the rest. Instead, he folded it and placed it in an envelope. Sealed with a stamp of wax, he wrote across the surface of the envelope an an elegant script: "Deliver to Master Kiel." He'd relay it to a safe contact in town, to be kept closed and unread and only delivered upon Ignacio's death, should that occur. Hopefully, this letter was all for naught.
The sharp edge of the dagger sliced through the envelope's seal with a satisfying schick and a smile curled Oreena's lips in response. She was fairly happy at the moment - Leiana had not made an appearance in months and it appeared that both of the meddling Delones had picked up and left the Landing behind. For the time being at least. Oreena understood that Leiana had been skulking around the town in order to see her father and it really was not worth the effort involved to try and curtail that. Leiana knew she had better not show her face in the Landing, or in Solhaven for that matter, and that was what mattered to Oreena in the end - the power struggle was done. Unfolding the paper, she settled back in her chair and read it over while sipping on a scotch from the Mayor's collection. If she were going to work these hours, she should enjoy some of the fruit after all. It wasn't like Stennis had been around much and he probably would not even notice. If he did, she'd blame it on Ignacio. A snort of derision quickly followed the thought of the investigator, who had been nothing but disquieting since his arrival. At first, she'd felt he was there as a boon to her for her good work. It quickly became apparent that he was to babysit her. Ugh, of all the nerve! All ease fled from her frame in a single line of text as she sat straight up and her grip on the paper trembled. A deathly hue turned her skin grey and her heart began to rapidly thump in her chest, the air in the room closing in on her as she gripped the desk for stability. It couldn't be. They wouldn't. Oh Gods. They were coming. She had disappointed them and they were coming.
The Omega - An Invitation
The young boy scampered between the legs, bags, and gear of the various adventurers wandering in and around the streets of Wehnimer's Landing as he made his way to the Thrak Inn. On the far side, where the narrow allow between Tykel's Arms and the old Inn provided some shadowy coverage. Darting his eyes from side to side a moment to be sure he was unobserved, the lad quickly slapped a note against the Inn's exterior wall. Quickly, he rushed away to his next target and before long there were similar notes tacked on a few strategic locations for those in the know to see. ~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~ The pieces have aligned. Those who know the way should head to the trench. <a single lick of flame is sketched in the center of the page> ~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~@@~~ "I've done as you asked." the child proclaimed, shaking out his tattered coat to remove as much dampness as possible. A storm had started brewing as he finished laying out the last note in town and he'd had to hurry back to avoid the worst of it. Leiana smiled and motioned for him to take the package of food and a bottle of milk she held out. He eagerly did so and began opening the sandwich to take hurried bites as she fished out a bag of coins. Barbeque in one hand, bag of coins in the other, the boy nodded and mumbled out his thanks around a mouthful of food as he hurried away from the rooftop of the Thrak Inn. Stealthily, she made her way over the rooftops of the Landing and slipped over the wall with ease as Sleepy blinked blearily and took another sip of his whiskey. It had grown cold and it was the perfect excuse for him to bring out his flask, after all. Once she arrived back at her cavernous abode, she began organizing her findings on Oreena Januth so that she could present it at the meeting. The Day of the Huntress would be here much too quickly and she had a lot to do.
The trench. Daena had heard some adventurers use that term to refer to Leiana's hideout. Supposedly it wasn't far off from the north gate of Wehnimer's Landing. Daena wasn't certain where the exact entrance was, but she was certain one of of the fools that still believed Leiana wasn't exceedingly dangerous knew how to access it. It wouldn't be hard to follow someone and learn the location. It had been a few months since Daena had been viciously attacked by Leiana and then killed by her enabling husband when she had defended herself. It was ironic to Daena that Leiana's powers seemed to have such an affinity to the element of fire; she seemed to attract moths like a flame. Unfortunately none of her hanger-ons realized she was slowly consuming them and they would soon be nothing but ashes. Whatever new disaster Leiana was about to instigate needed to be stopped before it could lead the town of Wehnimer's Landing to ruin.
No one had noticed Daena's presence in the hideout thanks to spells of unpresence and invisibility. She had remained until it was only Leiana and Jourwen left and had left them talking quietly together about how Ravenfritha had injured her throat and whether Rouste was the cause. No matter to her, she quickly made her way back to town and to Moot Hall. Once there, she presented herself to one of Oreena's hired guards. "Take me to see Oreena, I have information she will want to hear regarding The Fire Witch." The guard eyed her skeptically for a moment but then beckoned her to follow him into Moot Hall. As Daena followed behind the guard, the faintest trace of a smile graced her lips as an expression of cruel satisfaction overtook her visage.
"What news do you have to share this time Lady Daenamaryllis?" Oreena was doing a good job of controlling her outward emotions despite having her home broken into and one of her guards slain. "My servants," Daena indicated the twins, "witnessed the slaying of your guardsman yesterday and the burglary of your home." Continuing with a confident smile, "I very much would like to see the perpetrators brought to justice." As the twins shared their witness accounts with Oreena, Daena's thoughts turned inward as she plotted her next move.
The Omega - An Infestation
Pleasantly rested, Leiana stretched lavishly as the sun crept in through the porthole in her quarters on the Muse. It had been too long since she had spent a night at home with her husband. She'd spent weeks tracking, watching, and planning for her next moves to finally prove who Oreena Januth really was. Weeks that kept her away from her comfortable bed and Jaired's touch. After the recent discovery at Oreena's home the night before, she felt it was best for everyone to lay low and practice some patience. Jaired was busy at the crack of dawn with their fleet and she knew he would not be around when she woke, so she decided to forgo with the makeup and hair, opting for a quick twist atop her head of her pesky curls and a splash of water on her face. Once dressed, she grabbed a plate of pancakes and a few extra pieces of bacon from the sidebar near the door and headed out to the deck where life was well underway. Crew were cleaning, working, and repairing the Muse as Cat wandered along the dock snagging fish scraps from local fishermen. He had won them over once they got past the fact that he was not corporeal and now they kept him fat and happy. Leiana was still not quite sure how, or even why, Cat ate anything considering his state (or lack thereof). With a ruffle of his fur, she blew him a kiss as he flopped down to roll a bit on the sun-soaked dock and trotted happily away toward the Sea Hag's Roost - a local place in Kraken's Fall the Delones had taken to frequenting regularly. "Morning, Leiana." greeted the desk clerk as Leiana sauntered into the room and snagged a complimentary shot of rum from a small table. "There's some missives waiting for you." he said, handing her a small stack of letters. Waving, she tossed back the shot and flipped a coin onto the tray as she made her way toward the tavern where a table awaited her. Plopping down, she nodded as a waitress made her way over to offer breakfast. "Not today, but thanks!" she murmured, busy filtering through the missives - one from her father to arrange for dinner together on Leyan, another from Jourwen letting her know that Gedeon's father is still very ill, and then a third that she did not recognize the seal on. Using her dagger to break the seal, Leiana read over the letter and then sat back, considering the words carefully. Unexpected allies were always useful, after all, and it seemed she may have an infestation of the floral variety. Gathering the papers together and stuffing them in her hip-pouch, she waved to the waitress as she exited the tavern and made her way back to the Muse. She would need to leave Jaired a note letting him know she was back to work in the Landing. She had to see a man about some weed killer.
The cozy little subterranean hole would be dismal to most, however, he found it cozy. It even fit the image of his namesack, Fox. A quill rested upon the stone slate in his lap, along with a small stack of blank parchment and an inkpot. He ran through the possible scenarios in his head, once again, knowing that no matter how careful he couldn't predict everything. This still seemed the safest option. A letter. Delivered via an interminent amount of hands. The carrier would know the destination, but the recipient would not know who dropped it off. With a final nod, he picked up the quill and dipped the tip into the ink... "LD, You don't know me. Nor likely will you. Do not call me a friend but an ally. A flowering bulb has seeded in your henhouse and draws the weasel to steal the eggs. I think you're intelligent enough to decipher this. If not, I'm not sure I can be of more assistance without taking direct action. Sincerely, The Silver Fox" With careful precision, he folded the parchment and placed it within an envelope. He then sealed the with a dark grey wax and pressed with with a fox head signet, before slipping the envelope into his pouch to be turned on it's path first thing in the morning. ~~SF~~
In Raven's Laboratory
Raven began setting things out while Irilis availed himself of the coffee from the press she had set off to the side. While Irilis inhaled the first of many cups of tar-black coffee from the coffee press she had already prepared, he watched as she set things down. Some of the things he'd never seen used in an alchemy lab before but she was his sworn Lady and he wouldn't question her. Flour, cocoa and sugar joined eggs and butter on one table, while two stacks of centaur hides, likely obtained by Lady Vyrshkana, were placed on another next to a basket of white mushrooms, a bag of bright chrysoberyl gems and a mortar. On still another table was the scorched chest he'd brought back from the undercroft, several of the jars already pulled out and set aside. The pan she placed down next was another item he'd never seen in an alchemy lab, looking at it closely he saw it was of the sort used to make brownies. Such a thing belonged in the kitchen, not in the Lady's laboratory! Raven spoke then, "Start powdering the gems. I need them as fine as you can get them." Without even checking if he had started on the task she moved over to the locked cabinet and, with a key she pulled of a chain on her neck, unlocked it to pull out various jars that were either returned or placed on the counter next to her. Finished with her gathering she brought them over to the table and set them down, two of the jars going on the table next to the hides while the others ended up on the third table. Grinding the gems to a fine powder with a practised hand, Irilis cast an eye over the more domestic items that the Lady had set out and waited for her to be a little less preoccupied before inquiring mildly "Do we expect to require sustenance during our work this night, or do you normally use cake as a basis for your alchemical preparations, My Lady? Tiria would approve, I am sure.” She paused from where she had moved to sorting out the hides to blink at Irilis, her mind obviously coming back to the here and now from where she had been deep in thought and looked to the first table. "I'm certain the items I'm making tonight would likely help with her impetuousness but no. These are not going to be normal confections. We need information about and from the guards that Oreena has in her employ and Jourwen suggested we offer them some...refreshments when we go to have a look." He nodded slowly "Then I would suggest perhaps some ale or wine in addition to the cake. Few soldiers can resist drinking on duty unless they are very sure of being caught and disciplined. And the hides?" "Would be the reason that these would be more than simply cake. You recall I mentioned a calming spell? We are making a powder that mimics it and I will be adding it to the mixture before baking." She finished sorting the hides to her satisfaction and pulled two cauldrons into position, lighting each in turn and adding a bit of powder from one of the jars she had retrieved into them. “The addition of an…unconventional…ingredient to the cakes, I had taken for granted, My Lady.” His face was impassive as ever, but amusement tinged his voice. “Thus far, standard alchemy. But I see that you also have samples of Lady Ailura’s special…incense…ready for working on. I think you are too humane to be planning to use that as it was designed to be used, therefore my assumption would be that you seek …an antidote? Or perhaps a preparation intended to negate its effects if used, since the wearing of masks would be a plain indication that foul play was anticipated.” She glanced over at the table with the aforementioned item, a frown crossing her features as she did so but quickly wiped away as ingrained habits reasserted themselves. "Yes, we need something to negate the effects. The Lord Marshal may be more clever than Oreena but we cannot take the chance that she has not stumbled across the same idea that occurred to him, that the solution has already been put into place should she need or wish to attempt to neutralize the defenders of the Landing. I have no doubt that it will not be easily found, if at all." The sorcerer’s hand did not cease or falter in its appointed task, but his silence and the gravity of his expression betrayed deep thought and his eyes were shadowed with some inner conflict. At last he spoke, as if the words were being dragged from him. “There are two things you need to know before you embark on countering Lady Ailura’s work. The first is that the base she would have used to create that incense is blood drawn from a live Ithzir. Not only that, but the Ithzir would have had to be in extreme pain for the …alchemy…of its blood to be what she required. You may not know that they can change the composition of their blood and saliva in response to …certain stimuli. The Lady established this some time ago, and has used it in creating her own unique formulae.” "It's a shame we can't get the blood from one that is content and happy," she commented distracted as she added some mushrooms to the cauldrons and channeled her essence to each in turn to simmer the mixture gently. "It could prove the key to a solution to the problem." She reached over and slipped a hide into each cauldron, her movements practiced and economical. A second infusion of essence brought the cauldrons to a boil and she held her hand out for the mortar he was using. Irilis’ mouth was a hard line as he handed her the powdered gems, his expression both grimmer and more remote than Raven had yet seen it. Plainly, it went against the grain with him still to betray the secrets of his former Lady. “The second ...peculiarity…will be in the spell used to activate the recipe. Lady Ailura’s Patron – the Grandfather - repudiated her as a punishment for her Lord’s hubris in presuming to rival the Arkati, and her own in presuming to raise in his name, amongst other things. Her power to contact the spirits was stripped from her.” He paused, then shook his head slightly and continued, “She did not accept this tamely or collapse under it as most clerics might. She turned instead for an answer to the source of the problem. Her Lord at that time lay in suspended animation in his Temple, his incorporeal being engaged in his war against the Arkati, and because she harbours half of his soul within herself, as he holds half of hers, she was able to draw on his power to fuel her own spells. This, she has done ever since. The spells are …mostly….those any cleric learns, but they have a taint of blood magic and necromancy about them that I doubt any other cleric can replicate or counter, unless it should be Rynst. However, it has never been the habit of Lady Ailura to create any formula without also determining and creating the counter to it. This she did, and I was party to its creation, but you will not like the method.” Raven paused in her measuring out of a portion of the powdered gems to give her full attention to him. "Perhaps it is fortunate that we are in the situation that we are. I am not certain I would trust such a thing if I could recreate it, distaste for it's method or not. But I may as well hear it." “The blood of a happy and contented Ithzir might well counteract a recipe created with that of a pained and angry one…but whatever makes an Ithzir happy, the captive one from which the Lady takes her…requirements… has yet to manifest such a mood. Instead, she used it as a base for the antidote the blood of an unfortunate Sylvankind boy who had first been converted to the fervent worship of Lord Jesphian and then had his belief thoroughly undermined. He is …almost completely insane.” Raven frowned again, this time the expression did not clear as quickly as it had before. She was not pleased to hear that and it showed. "I am going to guess that she kept the boy for her amusement and edification as well. And I am going to presume by your use of the present tense that the boy still lives." Irilis bowed his head. “He lives. He is held…not unkindly…in a cottage in River’s Rest. I still have a key, I believe, if the lock has not been changed. But it means walking straight into the Lady’s own territory and with no real excuse to cover us if found." Raven returned to the task of measuring the gems and adding them to the cauldrons, sprinkling the powder evenly over the roiling mixture. She waited a few moments for it to dissolve before chanting a spell over first one then the other cauldron and began sealing each mixture before she spoke again. "I think it best we leave that for our last attempts. Not only do I agree that I would find it quite distasteful to do aught but try to heal the boy, but I fear with the trips to the undercroft we have already risked much. I would not care to have you endangered more than you already are." “I am grateful for your consideration, My Lady, but I will do whatever is needful. I helped create the mischief, let me atone by helping to undo it. I appreciate, of course, that you will wish to free the lad…but perhaps it could not hurt him greatly if you took a measure of his blood first, in a good cause?” Collecting the results of her work Raven nodded reluctantly, "If it is possible without causing him more harm than I can do so I suppose. But let us leave that for once a bit of time has past. You are, after all, helping me now." She placed the powder she had collected in a bowl on the first table and turned back to the cauldrons. "Now, we need only repeat this another dozen times before I can begin the next step and we have limited time to do it in. So we best be to it." Irilis reached for more of the chrysoberyl gems, placing them in the mortar and plying the pestle with a strong, steady hand. “I stand ready at your call, My Lady.”
The Omega - Changing of the Guard
The box sat on his dining room table, the top open and the contents spilled out for his inspection. Stennis sat heavily, his eyes going once more over the evidence and then scanning the letter that accompanied the package. Back and forth he looked, mentally ticking off the list each item that had been listed as evidence of his top official’s alleged involvement with an underground criminal organization. There was plenty to look at and a sweat broke out on his skin as he considered the implications of this matter, were it to turn out to be true. Far reaching implications, at that. Job-changing implications if he did not handle this right. A deep sigh escaped him as he read over the letter once more… Smuggling tunnels beneath the town had been reopened. Secret meetings taking place at all hours of the night. Evidence of membership in an underground criminal organization that was long supposed to be gone from his town – The Consortium. Just the name running through his head gave him pause. Collusion with and pardoning of known criminals who had been determined to kidnap, maim, and murder citizens. Something about a terrible wig? He shook his head at that last part and carefully put away the items, tucking them securely back into their box and stashing it in his personal safe. Grabbing a glass, he poured himself a generous bit of scotch and sat down at his writing desk. A few minutes later he had everything written up and placed in an envelope, which he sealed with the official seal of the Mayor of Wehnimer’s Landing. Now to deliver them. --- Intense, awkward silence greeted Oreena as she walked the stairs of Moot Hall on her way to the Mayor's office. Stennis rarely made an appearance and even more rarely asked for an audience in person. Her senses prickled as she felt the eyes of others on her while she silently made her way to the office door, only the click of her heels echoing on the floor as accompanying sound. This can't be good, she thought. Precisely fifteen minutes later, two guards arrived and entered the office, where some minor protest and scuffle appeared to ensue from within. Not long afterward, a disheveled and obviously furious Oreena was walked out in captivity and down to her own private jail cell. Mayor Stennis watched quietly from the doorway as the guard lead her away and all eyes were on the procession, though not a soul spoke a word. Almost immediately afterward, the Mayor's secretary was called into the office where she gathered additional summons to deliver to various town officials and local businessmen. Not a few guard made their way in and out of the Mayor's office throughout the next few days, each one with their own summons and many escorted out in the same way as their former boss, Oreena Januth.
The Omega - A Visitor
An official notice was posted to the Wehnimer's Landing message board to announce the detainment of Oreena Januth, who had been a Landing town official for the last few years. The announcement was repeated at local taverns, shops, and homes as people discussed the news that both she and her guard had been detained while an official investigation took place into their actions. Most of the current guard had come with her when she assumed her appointment in the wake of the previous official's passing. Notices for temporary help were posted to try and supplement the local guard in the meantime. The investigation was being lead by Ignacio, who had come on board some time back as freelance support for another investigation of a fire aboard a boat belonging to the Delone family at the Landing docks. He had proven helpful and Mayor Stennis was inclined to use his services once more as he had worked with Oreena from time to time and had insight others may not. Locals were advised to cooperate with any inquiries made around Oreena's actions and the possible involvement with a criminal organization known as the Consortium. Interviews were expected as early as the next day, in fact, and so it was a hot topic of conversation across town. In the interest of being impartial while the investigation takes place, Mayor Stennis was gracious enough to grant Oreena visitors, provided they were escorted by guard and observed during their interactions with the prisoner. Those visits were set to begin in the evenings with the first one on Tilmaires, the 24th day of Eoantos and subsequent visits available on Leyan, the Day of the Huntress, and Feastday. The last one owed to wanting to give people a chance to visit during the day when Moot Hall was not busy with weekday business. --- His body creaked as he stretched his hand, feeling the swollen knuckles crack in protest as he finally put down his quill. Sabrien had been writing for a few hours now - mostly due to the inability to be satisfied with his message no matter how many different ways he worded it. It was going to be a blow for his girl and he wished with all his heart that he could avoid it. It really was the best thing to do, however, and he tried to find peace in that knowledge. The visit he'd received the evening prior was all that he needed to consider in order to give himself the courage to move forward with this. He just hoped she'd understand one day. He hoped that Jaired would be enough to get her through it. He hoped that this would be enough to force her to leave this place for good. He hoped. "My sweet stubborn girl," the letter began and quickly moved into the details of what he was doing in an attempt to cut right to the important parts. He was leaving and the Inn would be hers. He was leaving and her life would be hers. He was leaving and the mess he had started almost three years ago would no longer be hers. His foolish gambling, and then consequent bartering of her for his debt. His poor judgement of character in the half-Thrak that posed as his friend, when in fact he was a loan shark. His foolish pride when he had gone out and tried to exact justice on those who had done his child harm upon discovering who, and what, she was. He wished so many things had gone differently. He told her how much he loved her and how pleased he was with her choice in Jaired. He told her how he hoped she would learn patience and control over her emotions, as she had so much to offer people if only they would see the light that he saw in her. He cautioned her to practice humility, but also to give considerable pause before using her abilities. He did not tell her about his visitor. He could not tell her about the dark shadow that had detached itself from his bedroom wall as the moon rose high in the skies the night before. He did not want her to know that the shadow told him it was coming to exact the same toll upon him that the town had taken from 'them' - everything. If he told her, she would fight. And she had fought for too long, so it was time to rest. Oreena Januth and the Consortium needed to pass into the night, just as he would this very night as soon as the letter was finished. If he told her, she would be here when they were made to go and all of this would be for nothing. Instead, he told her of the adventure he was taking. He talked of grand escapades and revisiting places he had spent time at with her mother. He told her of sunsets before and those to come. He asked her to find her own and cherish them as he had cherished her. Looking the letter over one last time, he made up his mind and sealed it. As he grabbed his bag, he left the letter on the time-worn desk in the Thrak Inn, sure that an employee would find it and deliver it to her. Taking one last glance over his shoulder, he said a silent goodbye to this life and headed on to the next.
The Omega - An End to an Era
A deep groan escaped Sleepy as he finished cleaning up the floor of the hallway where Oreena Januth had collapsed a few hours prior, foaming at the mouth and vomiting copiously as she lay there dying. The air was rancid with the scent of poison as the contents of the nearby bucket were still rather fragrant and the guard shuddered, trying to maintain his own stomach while working. A wet smack echoed as one of the other guards tossed a damp auburn wig at him, closely followed by laughter that was not returned by the recipient of the wet missile. “Ugh, really?! It’s not enough I’m cleaning up the woman’s puke, right?” Sleepy exclaimed, carefully peeling the wig away from his check and dropping it into the bucket with the vomit. The other guards continued to chuckle as they all gathered up their cleaning supplies and exited the area, with one calling out to him, “We’re all heading to Helga’s after this – you’ll be okay!” --- Judge Ewell lowered himself into his armchair, thankful to finally be home after such a long day. The death of Oreena Januth was not unexpected but it was still a shock to his system to see the relatively young woman laying in her own filth in the courtroom hallway. She had not even made it to the door to the chamber before collapsing under the quick-acting effects of some rather insidious poison. It was not clear if she inflicted it upon herself willingly, but he supposed it did not make much of a difference in the end. The Mayor certainly had a long road ahead of him, either way. Stennis had issued orders to have a false date provided to the public for Oreena’s trial on Restday to avoid any intervention in the procedures – and there were plenty who wanted to interfere. The actual trial was scheduled for Leyan, the 2nd day of Eorgaen and the date was kept between only Judge Ewell, a single guard, and Mayor Stennis. Yet still, she was compromised, and the trial never took place. The guard was promptly fired and arrested, but he too also died before any further information could be extracted. Judge Ewell expected that his own arrest would be forthcoming at any moment, given that he was the only other person outside of the Mayor to know of the date. Arrest warrants for multiple Landing citizens and members of the Guard had been issued over the last week – all had died as of this morning, with all from the same vehicle of fate – fast-acting poison. Families were broken, neighbors mourned, and those remaining in the beleaguered town were enraged. Riots had ensued within the barracks of the guard and though relatively quickly quelled, the damage was done, and the barracks were shuttered as a result. Yes, the Mayor certainly had a long road ahead of him. --- The shock of the investigation into Oreena Januth and several members of the Landing government, business owners, and Guard reverberated across the town much the same as any invasion upon the town gates. The loss was palpable and the weariness of the continued fear that the Consortium had driven into the heart of the town resulted in heavy shoulders for many. People had not forgotten that organization and their vile movements within practically every facet of Wehnimer’s Landing over the past half decade. From the extortion of local business owners for protection against Consortium thugs to the burning of the town proper, the Consortium had wreaked havoc wherever they roamed, and the citizens of Wehnimer’s Landing were at their limit. They were ready for it to be done, cut out like a cancer. And so, the town embraced the removal of Oreena and her guard and buckled down to begin anew.
**OOC: This concludes the Omega storyline and the end of the Consortium (and consequently Oreena Januth). The landing barracks have been boarded up and are inaccessible but Mayor Stennis will be working on this as part of his 5121 (2021) agenda - more to come on this project! We hope you enjoyed the last few years of stories around the Consortium and these NPCs! ~Naionna