The Blood Of The Lion

Day 49 - Epilogue

They return to the resistance plane with Pelagius (who they ask for help), and ask Hammond and Helena to help them track the Lion’s Claw. Lelouche and Falx ask Aliandra to have Eros close it’s borders as best as they can, with orders to stop Orik if he is seen at any major crossing, but she explains the difficulty in closing anything but the few roads leading east and south, particularly because Port Giles is impossible to close altogether, as it is seen as a bastion port and the primary route of trade for many surrounding nations.

Falx and Lelouche consult with Willow. She explains that when Corinth died, she felt the power of her lineage fall off of her, her duty fulfilled in helping to defeat Corinth. She notes that she’ll have to spend her time reclaiming the country in the name of Eros, bringing prosperity back to a broken land. Willow reveals her true nature to Pelagius, asking if there will be legal ramifications for her actions over the course of her journey. Pelagius reveals that he’s known she was Whisper but that in the end, her actions seem guided by the most noble form of patriotism, and therefore she is absolved of her crimes and can return home without fear of reprisal from Eros. He thanks her for taking on the guise of a villain when it was most needed to be a hero.

Willow admits to Falx and Lelouche that she knew Orik would betray them. She apologizes for not telling them when she saw it in her morning vision, but she knew that they wouldn’t be harmed, and that revealing Orik’s upcoming betrayal would have led to all three of them dying to Corinth. She was unaware of what Orik’s plan was, and blames herself for Jalmara’s death, as well as the potential deaths Orik’s escape with the dragonstones will lead to.

Lelouche and Falx meet with Pelagius nearby where Hammond and Helena are working, and they begin drawing up plans for how to find Orik and bring him to justice. Falx asks for maps of Eros, and the individual towns. Pulling up a map, Falx has Lelouche use Magic Map on them to narrow down his location using Bronne’s Ring, which they do. Orik seems to be in Gainsmead, the city at the foot of the eastern mountains. Pelagius explains that it would be simple for Orik to teleport out there, so they should rush to the teleportation circle in Gainsmead as soon as possible. They open a gate to the area outside of the town and rush in, only to find that Orik has recently been teleported. As representatives of Eros, they demand to know where he was sent, and the man operating the teleportation circle explains that he went to Port Giles. The group commandeers the teleportation circle to follow to Port Giles.

Arriving in the teleportation circle in Port Giles, Falx transforms into his beast form and smells around for Orik, but is distracted by the many smells of the marketplace. Lelouche uses Magic Map and locates Orik’s general location near the pier, and the group heads in that direction immediately. Arriving at the pier, Falx smells around and locates Orik, only to find that he is inside of the guard station on the pier that is utilized by foreign and domestic guards alike. The group discuss their options moving forward, as they don’t see an assault on the area being possible due to the number of guards as well as the possibility of causing an international incident, which Willow says is absolutely paramount to avoid.

The group discuss what reasons Orik may have, and Willow brings up her worry that he is seeking sanctuary, particularly in Penance, a small country to the north known for being a place where criminals seek freedom from the death penalty and rehabilitation instead of true punishment. Penance is considered a neutral party in global issues, and is protected by a treaty which would make getting to Orik a risky endeavor if peace between Eros and it’s neighbors was taken into consideration. Lelouche asks if Willow could, as Whisper, break into the facility, but she expresses that since she is known as a citizen of Eros, even if her identity wasn’t revealed it could cause an international incident.

Willow goes on to explain that if Orik is turning himself in, he will be held for a minimum of six months at least, and there is no way he didn’t set his plan in motion to occur during that time. She expresses that as much as it pains her, it might be best to leave Orik to his prison sentence and focus on discovering his plan and stopping it so that his work will be for nothing, and then they can focus on him when he is released. Falx expresses that at the very least, there’s no way Orik would allow Penance to hold onto the dragonstones while he was imprisoned, so he agrees with Willow that his plan must be enacted already, and they should look into it immediately.

The group head into the guard station and are stopped at the door and asked their business. Lelouche explains that they are there to see Orik, giving a brief description until the man confirms he is there and points to the back. Orik can be seen in chains, being questioned by a female guard captain that appears to be of the nation of Penance. Showing their sigils of Eros, the group request a manifest of Orik’s belongings that were confiscated when he turned himself in. The man shows a list which includes Orik’s weapons and armor as well as a small lion toy, but no mention of the dragon stones. It is mentioned that his money is to be placed in an account which he has access to during his imprisonment, as prisoners of Penance can still do business through letters and meetings in the facility as part of their rehabilitation. The guard captain explains that they can provide information pertaining to where Orik will be relocated to and how to visit him once he arrives. After a short period of settling in, all prisoners are allowed visitors.

Falx realized Orik has no intention of escaping and decides to focus on the stones, which he assumes are nearby. Falx attempts to smell around for the dragonstones, but realizes that Orik must have placed them inside of the bag of holding he stole from Jalmara, or hid their scent some other way. He begins to wonder how Orik plans on getting the items back, and attempts to smell around for a place Orik may have visited before turning himself in. After a short search, he locates enough of Orik’s scent at the port services office to figure that he’d been there doing some sort of business. Falx shifts to human form and approaches the desk, finding a stout older gentleman welcoming him and asking if he can help him with anything.

Falx explains Orik’s stature and asks his business. Seeing the Eros sigil, the man happily explains that Orik came by and requested a simple service contract from the Servant’s Guild. Falx recalls the Servant’s Guild as an ironically titled group that gives themselves up into a form of slavery to pay off debts or forgive crimes. A servant in the guild is then tasked with completing the requests of people who pay for a contract, so long as their requests would not cause them to knowingly commit a crime, and after completing the contract, they forget the task and return to the guild for their next assignment. The guild is generally used by businessmen to complete simple tasks, but has been known at times to be used by unscrupulous individuals seeking to hide their shady dealings. Falx asks for a description of the servant assigned and the man provides it.

Falx heads back out to the pier and climbs up onto an outcropping to get a better view. Looking around, he spots a number of young men closely fitting the description of the servant, and debates with himself about whether to start approaching them one by one, but realizes that he doesn’t have enough time. With ships leaving every few minutes, he’d have very little chance of stopping Orik’s parcel, if it was even still in the possession of the servant he was assigned. Falx heads back to the group.

Lelouche uses Invisibility to sneak back to Orik’s questioning and listen in. It would seem he is admitting himself for rehabilitation and will not admit his crime. The woman questioning him mentions that there is a minimum six month holding for all prisoners, and that after sentencing that could be extended indefinitely. Orik confirms that he understands, and even goes as far as to say he is prepared for a life sentence for his crimes. Lelouche doesn’t understand, and follows Orik as he is brought outside with a full guard arrangement, along with a chest containing his confiscated items. Lelouche and the group watch as Orik is loaded onto a prisoner containment ship with his possessions. Orik glances back at everyone but Lelouche (since he is still invisible) and gives a knowing smirk.

Falx leads Willow and Hammond to the port services office. Hammond attempts to convince the man to explain where Orik’s servant was sent, but the man explains that that isn’t something he can legally provide. Willow casts an unseen spell that Lelouche detects and begins explaining to the man that they are representatives of Eros and their request is directly from the new Eros Council, making disobedience equal to treason. The man seems swayed by both the threat and the unseen spell, and provides details of where the servant went just after being contracted. Apparently he got on a certain boat which had just left port. Falx and Willow go over options, and come to the conclusion that the best course of action would be to return to the Council of Eros and seek help before teleporting to Penance and meeting the ship when it arrives. Willow asks if there is anything specific that Orik requested from his contract. The man explains that Orik requested a low-level ritual caster servant. Willow worries out loud that this creates an unknowable situation, and that they should tread carefully.

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Korberos

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