Dagger to the Throat

Dagger to the Throat
Summary: An innocent stop into the Golden Crown Inn earns Alyona the Still some unwanted attention - of several flavors.
Date: 26 May 2013
Related: Other Temple Logs
Alyona Maldred Krea 

Golden Crown Inn - Common Room - Wolveshire
A lowered ceiling and rafters combined with a clutter of tables and chairs create a far cozier atmosphere than the foyer. To the right of the room is a long wooden bar behind which mirrors and shelves are arranged to display the carafes and bottles of liquor available to patrons. Cushioned stools line the outside of the bar to provide seating for customers. The room is bisected by a long half-wall topped by panels of glass etched with an artistic rendering of famous moments in Taniford history. The partial wall reaches nearly to the ceiling and creates a unique acoustical environment while also serving to divide portions of the room. On the side closer to the door, the tables and chairs are larger and more crammed together. he other side has smaller, more intimate settings: low booths aginst a wall with curtains that can be drawn closed, small tables with plush, low-slung chairs. There is a kitchen beyond the bar and servers often bustle in and out.
The door to the kitchen is behind the bar, set in a hinge that makes it easy to go in and out for someone with full hands. A low archway leads back into the main room of the inn.
26 May 1329

Maldred sits without his squire in the Inn eating a simple meal of mutton stew and water - the knight has his back to the wall and clear sight of the entire inn. It is in a more subdued mood this evening. Less music and movenment - the sort of atmosphere Maldred likes. Though a famous war hero - the Westmark has no Heraldry or other matrerial ostentation to mark him as anything other than a hedge knight or sell sword.

Similarly unlabeled by mark of precedence or status symbol is a woman who enters the Inn halfway through Sir Maldred's meal. She wears simple, dark clothing - oh, but she is indeed labeled, for as she pushes back her cloak, it is seen that she wears riding pants and boots cut for a man, and a curved shortsword at her hip just barely glimpsed in the profile of her cloak. There are few categories of unknown women who dress such, even in Taniford lands - those few squires, Chosen, or foolhardy romantics about to get themselves killed. Her presence is utterly unpretentious beyond the pants and sword, and with just a hint of silver on her temples, she's not of age to squire about. After a quick scan of the room - during which her eyes do hover a moment on Maldred's manner of dress - she proceeds to the bar. What she says cannot be heard even over the quiet conversations in the room, and after a moment she is left waiting.

Maldred takes a measured glance at the woman - not meeting her eyes when she glances at him. He is reserved and calculating. He opens a book - rare for a sellsword to own or even read books perhaps giving a clue that he is not one. A treatise on tactics.

The woman is not happy to stand with her back to the door while she is waiting, though neither does she fidget. Perhaps simply a messenger-girl with a habit of keeping her eyes open in public, which is never a bad habit for messengers or girls. The book does draw her attention back to Maldred, but it is just one of the many places she looks while she waits - that lady's knife, the darkly dressed man in the corner, the back door, the front door. The door really is just as interesting to look at as the quiet fiddler, though the woman does get distracted when the barmaid returns. Whatever they converse about, Alyona keeps an absolutely charmed smile on her expression, but it does not involve an exchange of money or alcohol or food.

While they talk, the man next to Maldred stands and hobbles towards the bar with an empty mug in his hand.

Maldred for the moment is content to watch the proceedings. He keeps a sharp eye on the man heading towards the woman. Knightly vows might necessitate an intervention here - however where people can take care of themselves he preferred to keep a low profile."

Whatever the two women are conversing about, it is the barmaid doing most of the talking, as sometimes they do when the restaurant is quiet and a friend has come to visit. From a third-party perspective, the collision is inevitable: the drunken patron already darkly annoyed that he's had to walk up for a drink instead of having it delivered, and seeing only a couple of commoners gossiping like housewives at the well. Whether she is genuine or farming for information, the messenger-woman's attention is on her subject, and the barmaid is far too busy complaining to notice the man approach.

"Hey now, order something or let me at 'er!" He finally roars, right when he's close enough to slam the mug down on the bar.

"Oh, oh, I'm so sorry sir! I thought Myrisse had brought you another ale, let me—" The barmaid immediately scurries off with the mug, and so again cannot witness over Alyona's shoulder. Or, that is, her shoulder in particular, as this is what the man grabs as he leans against the bar, pulling the messenger with him to whisper harshly in her ear. It is barely a few seconds before she manages to twist away. "I'm afraid you have me mistaken for someone else, ser. Hey, this one's on me, just for the confusion."

Maldred finishes his stew and closes his book moving towards the side of the drunkard that is not taken by the priestess. He is not one to mess around and fingers one of his two swords. He presses himself in firmly next to the man. Serious and sober - Maldred pretends to barely notice the man - but is ready to subdue him.

A thin and fragile at the first look creature sneaks inside the Inn almost unseen, when there are lots of much more taller people around. A girl looks like a child with a pretty face and innocent green eyes. However, quite good leathern belt gathers her clothes around her waist, and that raises impression that the young girl will shear off through her incredibly slim waist as a thin twig of aspen.

People stick their attention everywhere, but not in a shadows of the Inn, where usually Krea spends her time. There must be said, that it is obvious, girl is just simple commoner, however, an amazingly fancy sword rests in the scabbard near her belt. Moreover, on another side a dirk slowly sways with each move of the young girl. And finally, intent look could see a pommel of a dirk sticking out of a high bootleg. These toys in such young woman's seamy hands can make people to raise an eyebrow from surprise. A huge scar on her neck, can raise even a fright.

However, what hides in the shadows usually are not seen by rushing and worried people. Just a few more steps and Krea just slips to sit in front of the noble man with a book. "Ser," quite coolly bows her head Krea.

And so it is that Maldred ends up close enough to hear the drunken patron as he - very non-drunkenly - whispers: "I know you're the archer. Take the message to the priestess or I will deliver it myself, and you won't like that one bit, Chosen." There is the slightest glimmer of silver in his hand, and one can assume with those sorts of words that it's not a coin.

Though Alyona had seemed to be in an appeasing posture from a distance, it is clear that she is holding ready, with her weight low, on the balls of her feet, and her arms strong and forward but not stiffened with fear. Her eyes flicker to Maldred, then back. Finally, she murmurs: "Your son? I'm sorry about that, I truly am. But he fell in with the wrong crowd."

That was not the right thing to say, apparently, sincere as it seemed. The man lunges the mere foot between them, driving the silver object towards Alyona's left shoulder. She manages to swivel away from the stab and push herself forward to hit him with her good shoulder instead, which sends him stumbling backwards into Maldred. Enough room to get to her knife, because pulling a sword in a tight bar just seemed imprudent.

Maldred does very little save for a single pronounced draw of his sword and slapping of the stumbling man in a direction that does at a glance closely resembles that of his squire. A brief nod to Krea and a tilt in the direction of the falling man says everything 'subdue him'. Maldred has every confidence that in the next nanosecond he will not be going anywhere. "Problems Chosen?" he asks the woman next to him quite casually.

<FS3> Krea rolls Reaction: Success.
<FS3> Krea rolls Body: Failure.

When Krea sees a glance of her Master, she quickly jumps on her feet and grabs the man tucking her dagger under his neck. However, the young girl is much more shorter than the man. For this reason it is quite hard for her to keep him in place.

<FS3> Alyona rolls Reaction: Success.
<FS3> Alyona rolls Melee: Good Success.

"Not any longer." Alyona murmurs. In a split second between the man being a threat and being woozy on the floor, her stance softens and her expression goes still, though it takes a long moment for the flare of her nostrils to subside. She follows Maldred's glance to Krea, and down to the fallen opponent.

The man staggers from the blow and reels into a table, from whence he recieves a nasty cut to the forehead that sends him to meet Krea. The girl is more than enough to subdue him for a long moment, and the fear of her dagger does for another moment. Then he does something quite unexpected: he struggles. But not to get away - instead, after attempting to twist himself loose from her arms, he quite calmly decides to push her dagger into his own neck.

Alyona's eyes go wide, and she moves to separate the squire from the man - attempting to (gently) twist the girl's knife back from the neck in conjunction with planting her knee firmly in his chest and her other hand to hold down his forehead.

Maldred merely watches the scene, "Don't spare him if it risks yourself Krea. Otherwise put him down and out as best you can. Unconscious preferably." Advice mostly given the equivocal nature of his suggestions. Do whatever you have to. And when there is a choice there do whatever you want. "So what was this all about anyway?"

<FS3> Krea rolls Body: Failure.
<FS3> Krea rolls Swords: Good Success.

When a man, starts pushing her dagger into his own neck, Krea actually, does not resist too much. One man more or one man less it doesn't matter for her. Especially, when her Master asks not to let him out. She just twines the man more firmly.

However, when a woman comes and tries to take her dagger away from that man's neck, Krea frowns and even hisses at the woman as a wild child, not wanting to let her do, what she wants. However, a man is stronger than Krea and now that woman. It is too hard to resist against two enemies. So, Krea frees man's neck, just to loose woman's hand from her dagger, and Krea quickly flashes with her toy against strangers neck once more, this time more firmly cuddling the edge near his skin.

The Chosen does not recoil when she is hissed at, of all things, and here not even by the person she's trying to fight. She has gone from thinking she was going to have to kill a man to trying to prevent said man from killing herself to now being quite convinced one of her chivalric helpers is going to kill /her/ all in less than a minute. Luckily, long years in the Temple's service makes one accustomed to mental gymnastics. When the girl struggles free, Aly manages to catch her hand again, barely managing to keep the dagger out of the man's now rather bloody throat but not managing to wrestle it free yet. "Don't kill him, I want to—"

The moment of in-fighting is enough, however, for the man to slip one arm free. He makes a quick motion towards his mouth. Then his entire body spasms strongly enough to throw Alyona off of his chest and against Krea. His eyes roll back and his mouth, now twitching, starts to extrude bloody foam in a rather alarming sight.

Aly manages to handle this with as much aplomb as one can, dealing with a suicidal murderer and an untamed … squire… girl. Avoiding Krea's knife means falling back on her own bottom with a huff. "I would have liked to question him." She finally finishes her sentence, rolling her eyes up to Maldred as if to ask when knights started taking fen wolves as squires.

Maldred saw it all and rebuffs Aly despite her being one or two steps ahead of both he and Krea in the issue, "Only one man who tried to kill me killed himself rather than face questioning. You have a real talent for finding enemies then Chosen? That he is dead matters not. Had Krea known he was likely to attempt killing himself via poison or blade she could easily have stopped him. But there is no way she could have known - nor I could have. And ultimately no way of stopping him from killing himself."

Krea coolly comes closer near her master. She glances at Alyona, but doesn't say a word. The girl just hides her dagger in t he bootleg and crosses hands on her abdomen.

Usually, when you get rescued by knights, even knights in black armour, they at least give you a hand up. But faced immediately with a dead body, a sore bum, and two disapproving nobles staring down at her, Alyona blinks once, then twice, and then takes a deep, slow breath. Getting to her feet is a smooth motion, at least, though once up she presses her right hand against her left shoulder, as if checking an older wound for breakage. "Well, I see you've had the good fortune of having more honorable enemies than I, good ser." That is likely the most polite thing the Chosen can manage to say, and so that is all she does say until the rest of the room starts to catch up with the scene. The barmaid finally rushes over - now that the coast is decidedly clear. "No, I'm fine, thank you, dear. I'm very sorry for the trouble. I'll go straight away to get some acolytes from the Temple to help me get him out of here." Alyona unclips her own cloak to use to cover the corpse, directs traffic for a moment, and then finally turns to take her leave. Without a cloak, the bow she gives to the knight and his squire is decidedly … utilitarian. "Thank you for your timely … assistance." Her nostrils flare, but her tone is assiduously polite. "May the Four Guardians protect you."

Maldred watches the priestess leave, "When Pawel and Samwell hear of this there may well be hell to pay." He says to Krea. Looking at her, "You need new armor and a bath - perhaps a new dagger as well. Tomorrows work?

Krea follows with her intent look the priestess. When she leaves, a young gilr nods "Ser, I am good, when you are good."

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