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 Zoe Investigates Annet

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Zoe

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PostSubject: Zoe Investigates Annet   Thu 15 Oct 2015, 14:43

The morning after the Prodigals arrived at the White Ash sept, Zoe rose earlier than her brothers and the sun and slipped out to do some investigating of her own. The Theurge wanted, no needed, to know what had happened to the would-be queen. At first it was simply a favor to a friend, but now she was driven to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Teresa had given her the name of Anett's two remaining former packmates, but finding them would take time and they may know nothing about or, Gaia forbid, have been a part of what happened to Anett. She decided to take an umbral approach.

Stepping sideways, Zoe surveyed the caern landscape looking for a familiar pair of golden eyes hidden beneath a rugged cowboy hat.

"Hi there, Stranger. I was wondering if you could do a little asking around and see if you could set up a meeting for me with the pack totem of the late queen-errant, Sun-Never-Sets."
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PostSubject: Re: Zoe Investigates Annet   Thu 15 Oct 2015, 17:50

The Stranger was whittling a piece of wood into the shape of a fanciful creature that looked part duck and part otter. He grinned and tossed away the effigy, dusting off his hands as he did so. "Howdy, Zoe. I reckon I can start asking around, sure." Smile lines broke out around the familiar gilded eyes as he produced a coffin nail from under her nose. "When I find the spiritual being in question, am I to tell him or her anything else?"
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PostSubject: Re: Zoe Investigates Annet   Thu 15 Oct 2015, 19:06

Zoe shook her head. "I'd rather not tip my hand. Just let the spirit know I have some questions about his or her former pack and that I will make it worth their while."
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PostSubject: Re: Zoe Investigates Annet   Sat 17 Oct 2015, 16:10

Zoe waited, the interminable murk of daylight swirling about her like amber smoke. The light of Helios barely filtered through, casting the trees and web-wrapped buildings in a pale unnatural haze.

She was glad when the Laughing Stranger returned, chatting with a large and virile looking ox-like spirit that ambled close after him, its flank branded with glyphs of strength and horns with a span that rivaled her height. The Coyote spirit doffed his hat and presented Zoe to the hulking beast: "Zoe Kostas Hears-the-Song, this formidable being is Longhorn. He has agreed to speak with you, provided your compensation is adequate, as we both know it will be." The bull snorted, and pawed the earth. Zoe noticed that his front hooves were entwined with what appeared to be wire from shattered fenceposts, large splinters of the posts still enmeshed in the twisted and battered wire. "Greetings, Memory's Daughter. What favor would you ask- no, let me guess- Do you wish to bear strong calves?" Longhorn's voice was a deep bawl, and it smelled like nothing so much as old leather and wide open spaces.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoe Investigates Annet   Sat 17 Oct 2015, 19:34

Zoe smiled in greeting as the two spirits approached.

"Formidable indeed, friend. Thank you for finding him, and thank you for accepting my invitation, mighty Longhorn."

Her face grew more serious once the pleasantries were complete.

"Perhaps one day I will seek your blessing in the bearing of strong calves, but today I seek answers about the lost calf of Rawest Wind, his daughter, Sun-Never-Sets, a member of your former pack if I am correct?"

"I have three questions that I hope you will be able to answer, though answers to even one would be helpful to my cause, which is bringing peace and closure to those she left behind by uncovering the truth of what happened in her final days. In seeking these answers I wish to honor her memory and have no desire to bring any disgrace on her or her family."

"First, can you confirm that Sun-Never-Sets has indeed passed on from this life?"
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PostSubject: Re: Zoe Investigates Annet   Mon 19 Oct 2015, 12:51

"I served as totem of the mighty Clasped Talons pack, this is true." Longhorn shook out his neck, tossing his eponymous headgear. "The pack was broken in the deadlands, along with Feet-of-Lead. The Queen-Errant... she is no longer among the living." The jaggling looked quite sad, in the bland way that bovines do.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoe Investigates Annet   Mon 19 Oct 2015, 13:05

Zoe dropped her chin and eyes to the ground at the definite pronouncement of Annet's death. She was fairly certain the woman was no more, but she had held out a glimmer of hope.

"I was afraid that was the case, but hoped it wasn't. Thank you for making me certain."

"My second question: what specific events leading up to her death could have caused her to dive headlong into the gullet of the ravenous ghost with no concern for her own life? The people who knew her seemed to suggest there was something unusual about her behavior in those latter days."
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PostSubject: Re: Zoe Investigates Annet   Mon 19 Oct 2015, 13:40

Longhorn grunted, his scraggly burr-covered tail lashing once or twice. "You are a theurge of some ability, so you likely know that when a pack adopts a totem, they will be influenced by its nature. That influence could be subtle, could be obvious." The bull spirit lowed, an unhappy sound. "I am strong, and so was my pack, but Anett may have been... overcome by my temperament. Those under my guidance can be come impetuous..." A short blast of hot steam came from the totem's flared nostrils. "What was your final question?"
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PostSubject: Re: Zoe Investigates Annet   Mon 19 Oct 2015, 14:46

Zoe sighed, visibly disappointed with the answer she had just received.

"Oh...I had hoped you had known of something more precise than a general impetuousness. Thank you nonetheless."

The Theurge inhaled deeply through her nose, pondering the best way to broach this final inquiry. She didn't want to implicate Anett is any act that was a direct violation of the Litany by mentioning the act Jana had seen. She was also uncertain if knowing who that particular Shadow Lord was would do any good if he, too, had died in San Antonio. What if it was something bigger than just him? Perhaps he was only a pawn in a bigger scheme.

"Where can I find the man with whom Anett spend her final night in this caern?"
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PostSubject: Re: Zoe Investigates Annet   Mon 19 Oct 2015, 15:18

"Which one- wait, I know what you doing, Iron Rider! How wily, but but tricks are more becoming of a ragabash!" Zoe tried to protest, but the bull spirit was becoming more agitated by the perceived 'trick.'

"I agreed to answer three questions, and I was already being generous. I do no know you, only of you, and your pack has done nothing to earn any secrets!" Longhorn bellowed. "Do not try to squeeze more information from me." The bulky spirit stormed off into the swirling amber haze of the penumbra, leaving Zoe with the Laughing Stranger, who silently offered her a drag from his coffin nail, his permanent slight smile tugging enigmatically at the corners of his lips.
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PostSubject: Re: Zoe Investigates Annet   Mon 19 Oct 2015, 16:44

Zoe stood shocked for a moment, her mouth agape. She took a drag from the proffered coffin nail and shook her head.

"I'm not exactly sure what just happened there. I mean, I was just trying to help Jana find out what happened to her sister. I wasn't trying to be tricky or deceptive with that last question. Maybe I was getting a little greedy by asking for his name and location. 'Which one' was an interesting start to a response, though. Maybe she had clandestine meetings with more than one person that night."

Zoe sighed as she observed the gloom of the penumbra during the day.

"I guess I should at least talk to Rends about what I'm investigating. Jana didn't want me to tell Eaton, but I feel bad sneaking around behind my alpha's back, especially if there's more to this than one woman's error in judgment."

She shook her head again in disbelief as she turned to the Stranger.

"Do you think I was being wily? You of all people would know!"
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PostSubject: Re: Zoe Investigates Annet   Wed 21 Oct 2015, 16:04

"You weren't doing anything duplicitous, just asking questions- but I suspect the answer to those questions might be pretty embarrassing, maybe even deadly... that's likely why Longhorn got all huffy: You were close to hitting on what happened to tear apart the Clasped Talons."

He fanned his hat in a comically futile attempt to break up the daylit smog.

"As for your word to Jana, don't break people's confidence, not if you don't have to, that's what I always say. Then again, Eaton is liable to have to find out sooner or later. I will let you make that call."
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