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Unread 24th of January, 2008, 02:06
Gralhruk's Avatar
Ghost of ORP Past [Epic Admin]

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Isac's brow furrows slightly in confusion.

"Isac Moore," he says slowly. "Or if you prefer more formality, Brother Moore, Luminary Adept of the Sanctified Church of Pelor."

"Well, brother, you have made a mistake. This isn't for me."

"Are you sure?" he says slowly, as he removes the sketch of Shade from his jacket and hands it to her. "I was given this by the Archbishop Orphrease himself."

She had hoped, of course, that he really was wrong. After all, she hadn't done the things they claimed in that letter. If fact, she didn't know what the hell half of it meant. But she knew how these things worked, and she also knew that there weren't very many women running around with the kind of damnably identifying scar she had.

"Yes, I suppose you were."

She doesn't take the picture from him and after a moment Isac shrugs and places it on the table before her. Now what? She couldn't kill him here, which is probably why he'd wanted so badly to meet them for dinner in a public place. There was no guarantee she could kill him in any case - she doubted an Archbishop would leave this task in the hands of an incompetent.

"And I suppose that my denials mean nothing to you, though I tell you plainly: I did not do this thing."

A long pause while they stare at each other, unblinking, Shade's mind working rapidly while they sit. She would need to get away from him somehow, without endangering Arjuna.

"So now what?" she asked carefully, aware of how volatile the situation was.

A cold apprehension began to fill Isac as he tried to read her body language. Either she's a really skilled actress, or she really didn't do whatever the letter says she did. Either way he is being pulled into the center of something unpleasant. He stares into her unflinching eyes, like the sea rolling against stone. In the back of his mind he knew the truth of it.

He is being used.

He is being used and the only way out would be to leave, to walk out and return home. Or better yet find some small fishing village along the sea. Start a parish, maybe even marry and have children and forget he ever was a priest. Leaving, that would be the smart thing to do.

"May I see the letter?" he says at length.

Shade's eyes stay hard and focused on Isac, but his gaze is unwavering. With a frown, she slowly slides the letter across the table. She isn't sure of his purpose - after all, he was just a messenger. It wasn't for him to determine right and wrong, only to follow orders and bring her in. She watches carefully as he reads but his face is blank.

"I don't know where it is, or even what it is," she says flatly, "and I'm certainly not the victim of some bizarre curse."

At that statement, the dark seems to press closer on her colorless vision, highlighting her own mysterious ailment for her. Up until now she had dismissed it as a product of her battle Skathros' otherworldly servants. Shade really had no recollection of stealing what this Church clearly thought she had, but the description of the curse had wakened fears that perhaps her bizarre maladies were not dismissed so simply. It was not unheard of for the guild to use magical techniques to remove memories from agents in the case of extremely secretive missions, and something that went this high up would doubtless be considered as such. She presses her lips together against a sudden uncomfortable spasm.

Isac scans the document, his fears becoming manifest with each line of neat script.

Across from him, Shade stiffens as pain suddenly shoots down her arm. As casually as she can, she glances beneath the table to her hip where her left hand had been loosely gripping her still sheathed dagger. Those fingers are stiff now, frozen to the hilt and straining almost to the point of cracking. They looked old, withered almost, the skin like parchment. As she watches in horror, veined black lines crawl from the hem of her sleeve and trace necrotic rivulets down the back of her hand and across her bony fingers, skin cracking like ancient leather. A rattling hiss escapes her lips as she lurchingly stands, gripping the back of the bench with her good right hand, eyes turned inward against the pain, a sheen of sweat masking her face.

(by J & Gral)