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 Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]

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Alexander "Gormadin" Fare

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PostSubject: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:37 pm

Alexander walked the streets of his youth. His disguise as 'Harry' nearing the end of its use. This was the last place on his list to visit. His feet dragged on the worn cobble road. He felt his reluctance to see what had become of the site his old home used to sit on, was being translated to his feet. Cursing them for prolonging this agony, he forced himself to pick up the pace. Passing by elegant homes, and scenic gardens reminded him of what he had lost. But it also reminded him that this was where he belonged. It did not matter how long it took, he knew that he would regain his childhood home and bring his family name back from the proverbial dead.

He felt his pulse quicken as he approached the street his home had been on. Memory flashes of the thick smoke and flames bringing beads of sweat to his brow from the imagined heat. His eyes darted around, paranoia fanned by the memory of start of his exile, looking for anyone who might recognise him after all these years and possibly still looking for him. Of course he knew his disguise and the passage of time would make such an identification unlikely. He had passed scrunity with a worse disguise and fewer years inbetween before, so surely there would be no cause for such anxiety.

As these thoughts flew through his mind, he found himself at a stop. This was it. This was the place where his old life had ended. His family, had ended. Now that he had a goal in mind. He knew that he would need to reclaim this place by whatever means necessary. Although he had no idea what he had expected to be built on the ashes of his old home, he spent a few moments to assess the situation.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:34 am

As the man walked further and further into the suburbs of the nobility, less and less seems to have changed since he was a boy. Some of the houses, those that can be seen from the street, may have had some cosmetic updates in the time he was gone, but for the most part everything remains as he would remember. Family names of nobility still shine on engraved metal plaques fixed to wall-like fences, names that would conjure up memories of times long since gone.

As he approaches the plot of land upon which his family's mansion once stood, he would soon be greeted by his first unfamiliar sight. A high wall, built of fine stone mined from the Terrian mountains to the north, blocks the view of the property from the street. At a glance, Alexander would not be able to tell if the wall encircled the whole of the property or not, but it's fine, roughly pitted surface stands as if to guard whatever lies here from the rest of the world. Capping the wall is a tiled, sloped roof, built as if to emulate a different architectural design as compared to the surrounding properties.
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Alexander "Gormadin" Fare

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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:54 am

At first aghast at what had become of his former home, Alexander found himself quickly coming to terms with the wall. Good, he thought. Although not as showy as a fence with a well maintained garden, this might be better. Once he obtained this property, and obtain it he would, a wall would give him the privacy and protection he desired.

Mentally taking note of the families who still had homes within the area, but had previously shunned his pleas for aid, he filed this information away for later. They would answer for their own crimes in due time.

Looking around, he sought out a likely source of information. He did not want to be caught sneaking around where he was likely to come under scrutiny. There must be a gardener at work on a nearby hedgerow, or a doorman at the entrance to an estate. He needed to find out what happened to the land before taking a more aggressive approach to his investigation.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:39 am

In fact, there was just that.

A stooped, humanoid man could be seen a ways down the lane, far enough where, if the man had spotted Alexander at all, he would not have been able to make him out from King Steele. From Alexander's perspective, it would appear that the man was tending to some rather immaculately kept flower beds lining the lane.
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Alexander "Gormadin" Fare

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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:41 am

Thanking his good fortune, Alexander walked towards the man. Judging by the fact this man was alone and without a instructor of some kind, and by the neat flower bed, this man knew his business. Hopefully such care for detail was born over time, and more from love rather than employed requirement. He knew that he had no hopes of recognising any gardener from his past. Such employees were beneath his notice at the time, it had really only been his own kitchen staff who he knew the face and names of, after all for him to get his own way without having to go via his father it was best to sweet talk 'the help'. He had never had a need for such dealings with gardeners and the likes, beyond fetching a ball from a hedgerow he had not seen the requirements for such employee's. Those days were gone now, and with time the need for those employee's became understood. He would make a point of knowing all his staff in future, after all, it may have been that exact distance that had allowed the disaster originally.

Adopting a charming smile Alexander hailed the man once he was near. "Ho there my good man! I could not help but notice what a splendid flowerbed this is! I must confess, I don't believe I have ever seen such a well tended garden. Is this all your own work?". Alex took to one knee and leaned forward to take a breath.

It never hurt to start with a smile, he had found in his time that a good compliment can make the most tricky of situations go much easier. This on the other hand should not be any trouble at all, he thought to himself.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:31 pm

"Oh, you flatter me, young ser." The elder man responds. This close, Alexander could pick out sun spots on the old man's wrinkled skin, as well as the tint of it dictating the man spent many years of his life under Apollo's domain. "No, these days, it's nothing more akin than to keeping status quo, I'm afraid. Mhmm." He nods to himself, speaking aloud almost more to himself than to the man who had approached him.

"Used to be, I could tend to a bed ten times this size. Why, you should have seen some of the arrangements of my youth..."
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Alexander "Gormadin" Fare

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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Fri Aug 25, 2017 3:51 pm

Curious as to the the old mans apparent long term employment, Alex pressed him further on the subject. "I would not belittle your efforts here my good fellow. But I am curious, why do you not tend the flowers you did in your youth? Surely any man can see you have the hands blessed by Demeter himself."
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:09 pm

"Aye, blessed they may be, but the gods have their demands in the wages of time. Soon I'll have to devote my time to Hades, but perhaps his bride will have mercy upon me for caring for her mother's domain." The old man nods, smacking his lips as he speaks.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:40 pm

Alexander silently cursed the old man. No, he thought, This is good practice. Perhaps I just need to be a little more direct. Looking over at the old man, he felt a cold chill down his spine as he thought to himself that his own life may end up like this sorry soul.

"If you say these here flowers are nothing compared to your ones of old, maybe i'd have heard of where they were grown? Where did you say you tended them? Maybe ill go to see what sorry replacement there is now."
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Fri Aug 25, 2017 8:30 pm

"Mmmm? Whazzat? Why, I doubt the Flaire family still keeps flower beds such as these on their property, no-siree." The old man returns his attention to his blossoms, giving them a look one would usually reserve for grandchildren. "No, not after that sonny of theirs up 'n left town. Set fire to 'is own mansion he did, mhmm."
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Alexander "Gormadin" Fare

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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:39 am

Alexander stood.

His mind reeling at this revelation, he took an unsteady step backwards. His fingers slowly curling themselves into a tight fist, his fingernails digging into his palms. He should beat this cur into the dust for sullying his name so! He took no more than a single step towards the man before he forced his hands to relax. This man was exactly what he was looking for, and he most certainly was not the originator of this rumour. He also certainly did not deserve what he wished to inflict upon him right at this moment. Taking a deep breath to calm himself, he shook himself slightly to release the built up tension.

This was no time for misinterpretation. Alex made his way away from the old man along the flowerbed. Once he judged he was a safe distance away, he squatted down as if inspecting a particular flower, then mumbled some words to himself whilst tracing a pattern in the air hidden between his legs and body, with his free hand he palmed the crystal from his pouch. Standing up again, he walked back towards the gardener making appreciative noises at the flowers.

Time to get to the truth of this. The man was obviously part of his old household, and there were things he needed to know, even if the man was reluctant to say them. Even though he had more pressing questions, he would not be able to return to this line of conversation easily without making it unnatural. Determined to not put the man on guard at all, it was best to try and keep this conversation flowing easily.

"He set fire to his to his own home? Why did he do that?" Alexander asked lacing his voice with just the right amount of disdain.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:57 pm

Alexander would get the sense that the conversation was a welcome change from the monotony of the day. In addition, the elder man would seem to him to struggling to recall the details of the event.

"Dunnae know, young ser... t'wasn't any close to the Flaires Family none, certainly not to tha' young master. Though, tha' rumormill certainly was busy for a while after. Kept them there gossip-mongers in business through the winter, that one did. Mhmm." He smacks his lips a moment, pausing in his work.

"You know, if I remember the story right, they eventually caught the scion. His own pa had the honor of pulling the noose's lever, he did. Or... was that them Fairez'? Can't say I recall too clearly, was probably tending to the flower beds tha' mornin'."

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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:19 am

Alexander wondered how much credible information he could get from the old man. Whilst his words didn't appear to be fabrication, his inability to recall his family name meant there were facts which had been muddied with time. For as far as he could remember, he did not recall any Flaire family unless he was talking about a time after he left. The facts aligned too neatly to be mere coincidence, so it was probably best to continue this line of questioning.

"Pulling the lever on his own son. That could not have been a good moment for him. I assume he moved elsewhere after? I couldn't fathom staying around after that, people would talk behind your back, regardless of your reasons. Did he move out of the city?"

If the old man was right, then his father was still alive. But what was this about him killing someone who was supposed to be Alexander? Was the man getting this mixed up? It was too important a detail to leave to misunderstanding. He would have to search elsewhere for reliable information on that particular subject.

But if he was right, does that mean his father had something to do with the fire? It was a tenuous link, but if he did indeed hang a boy that he claimed was Alex, then he was looking had to have been a scapegoat. The ramifications of which, needed to be carefully considered when he had no other distractions.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:50 am

"Dunnae know." The man offers with a shrug. "The ol' steel trap has become rusty with time, y' see." He gives Alexander a wheezy laugh, rapping his head with gnarled knuckles. "Tha' was before I moved down here to Larendar, y' see. Mhmm."

By now, Alexander would get a clear sense of waning logic from the old gardener. As he continued to ramble, flashes of memories contradicting previously held notions and a sense of a deeper, less superficial confusion in his own words would roll over the Fare scion. Though there was a sense of intentional truth to every word the man spoke, the reality of them seemed to wane with each subsequent syllable.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:20 pm

Alexander shrugged his shoulders and waved his hand flippantly. "Don't trouble yourself, I don't suppose it really matters anyway. On the other hand though, I saw that one place has high walls around it, whilst everyone else has nice gardens. What's that about?"

Given the state of mind of the man, he figured that he would not be able to recall the details of their meeting too accurately anyway, and that a direct question would not rouse any suspicions. It was highly improbable that this meeting would be remarked upon, if and when it was, his disguise 'Harry' would be long gone. He knew his trademark paranoia of pursuit was probably unfounded, but if any of this information was accurate, then maybe it wasn't after all.

It occurred to him, that if what the old man had said had any truth to it, then maybe his paranoia was not unfounded, and maybe that meant this place was not necessarily the safest place to be. Standing up as if to stretch out, he rolled his head back and forth between his shoulders looking for anyone who might be watching, dropping his concentration on the old man ready to focus his mind on anyone nearby who he got a bad vibe from.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:06 am

The man scratches his chin, looking down the way towards the walled property.

"Well, some o' them just like their privacy, I s'ppose. Wouldnae be the first with a wall, and certainly not the last, I'd imagine." The man tilts his head, peering just under the brim of his straw hat at Alexander. "Why the interest? Not plannin' anything... untoward, are ye? I'd caution you against it. The last time some degenerate got tha' kinda idea in his head, he was found days later, babbling all mad like."

Despite widening his attentions elsewhere, Alexander would get a sudden sharpness of wit from the old man, much more fine than any sensation he had before received from the gardener.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:01 am

Alex laughs jovially, once again skimming the surface of the old mans thoughts. "If I was planning anything 'untoward', don't you think I would choose one of the ones without a wall? It was just a talking point mate, though I must admit I think you just made what I thought might be a plain topic to be quite a fiery one!" to back out now would appear suspicious, but he believed it was almost high time he disengaged from this encounter.

"Anyways, sorry mate, I think it's about time I stopped disturbing you eh? Good day to you."

Alex began walking past the gardener, then half turned so that he could wave and use the opportunity to glance around behind him and check once again for any observers before attempting to move on.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:17 am

The old man grumbles an acceptance of Alexander's terms of disengagement, returning to his flowers. Save for the gardener, the man would be alone on the street side of the mansions. Perhaps if he were to venture into one of the properties he could find someone else, though that in and of itself would possibly carry it's own set of consequences.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:19 am

Whilst walking Alex considers his options for a moment. He did not wish to backtrack past the gardener now, as that would be suspicious, but an investigation at night would bring more attention as would a repeat visit on a different day. As it stood, he did not exactly fit in, but as long as he was only 'passing through' he would be unlikely to be accosted.

Instead of approaching the front gate, Alex decided it would be a better idea to circle around and see where the servants entrance was. He would need a different disguise if he was to attempt an infiltration, but for now, he would need a better look inside.

Alex set off in search of a way to double back. If he recalled correctly, there was a path that ran behind the estates that the servants would use to come to and fro on errands. Since he had never needed to use it he had no idea how to access it. His gut told him it would be near an intersection that led to Tunnelcutter Lane, so that is where decided to begin his search. The news of his Fathers escape from the blaze of his home still rattled him, he needed to get to the bottom of this.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:24 pm

It would not be difficult for him to head further down the street, and, taking a side road, cutting back around another on the far side of some of the mansions. Possibly taking more winding than the average person would be willing to take, but his trek to the intersection is a quiet one, save for the light singing of the birds within the trees lining the street.

The intersection is plain, or at least, as plain as one could expect from a street leading towards mansions in one direction and towards some of the finer parts of the capital in the other. There is a large resplendent tree, older than Alexander could possibly imagine, casting its shadows gently over where the two streets cross. Someone had set up a table beneath it along with two sturdy chairs, and a game of strategy played with carved wooden pieces sits mid-game, despite being devoid of players. The fond memory of some of the children in the area climbing the tree and playing this game would return to him.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:22 am

Upon seeing the game of strategy Alex recalls his childhood games. At the time, he had been middling in skill at best, never able to match up to the likes of Diane Illenker and her kin. He wondered what had happened to those friends of years past. Wrinkling his nose into a sneer, he snatches up a pivotal piece and deposits it into his pocket. They had all happily grown up in their homes, played games beneath this tree, eaten sweet cakes whilst talking about boys, enjoyed tutelage from master swordsmen, whatever they had damned well wanted to! He knew that it was petty to spoil the games set, but in some way he needed these children to suffer at least a tiny part of what he had been through.

Satisfied that no-one was watching, Alex ducked behind the enormous tree to make some minor adjustments to his disguise. He pulled off some errant patches of beard that had been used to affect a unkempt look, and wetting his palms with some spittle, he made a few passes over what was left to bring the hairs back into order being careful not to apply too much moisture as to start removing the colouring he had added. He tucked the ends of his cuffs backs up into his sleeves to allow them to billow out slightly, but mainly to hide any marks he may have picked up from the garden bed. Satisfied with the changes he had made without the aid of his kit, Alex set off at a brisk pace into the lane, shaking off the stoop he had acquired for 'Harry' and instead took on the demeanour of a house servant with a straight posture and confidant stride. With the way clear and his disguise in place, Alex set about finding his potential entrance to the walled compound.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:52 am

((Go ahead and roll me an Investigation roll in chat, and record it here.))
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:28 am

((Investigation Roll. 1d20+3  = (10)+3 = 13))
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:25 am

Despite his best efforts, the only entrance to be found would be the front gate of the compound, if you could call it that. Sealed tight are two large oaken doors banded with thick iron, imposing and intimidating. Carved into the wood is the iconography of many of the deities, and in some places Alexander would recognize the retelling of tales since long passed within the imagery. There is no one present on this side of the high stone wall.
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PostSubject: Re: Memories of Flames [D1, Afternoon, Open]   Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:18 am

Alex stood dumbfounded in front of the large doors. He was angry at himself for not being able to find another entrance. Maybe there was no second door with this renovation. After all, he was not even aware if there was a building within. All that was within could simply be a mausoleum for his memories.

Undeterred by his own thoughts, Alex resolved himself to make the most of this visit. He took a step back to regard the door. He did not recall his parents being overly religious, and for his father to place a door with depictions of the gods upon it, was out of character. He wondered if it may hold some clue to.... he was not sure what it might imply, but he wanted to leave knowing he needed to make as few return trips as possible.

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