Tears form in the corners of Flora's eyes. She comes closer, her mask of independence falling. 'I miss him so much, Trink. I never got to say goodbye. He wasn't the best father at times, his work took him away from us frequently but I still loved him so.'This may be the first time in decades that flora hasn't kept her superior mask on.
Trinket softens, 'I miss him too. Our father was an enigma to us all' she moves to sit on the bed and glimpses round the room, seeing if there were anything that looked disturbed or out of place, ever on the hunt for clues. She gestures for Flora to sit beside her and she surprisingly obliges. 'Have you thought anything about who poisoned our father? I keep thinking if I could bring them to justice, it might give me some closure. I went to the kitchens and spoke with Mumma Hanna. Trying to see if anything unusual had happened. She said that there was a sudden plague of rats, can you believe. It disappeared almost as soon as it came. However I dont think rat poison would be strong enough to kill father. Do you know anything?' Trink looks pleadingly at Flora.
'I summoned those rats. It's my fault father was poisoned. Caine asked me to clear the kitchen. He wouldn't tell me why, only that if I wanted to keep my alliance with him, I had to do it. I didn't know he was going to do something that drastic. It's all my fault.'At this point the crying consumes her and she runs out of the room.
Trinket sighs. Caine is not an easy one at the best of times. She may as well seek him out and ask him. Gossip will soon spread that she is looking for their fathers killer, she may as well be blunt about it now. She replaces the pebble before she leaves the room and heads for the beach. Caine being Caine, he would be on the ocean. Might as well go look and see if she can see his ships from the shore line.She starts out at the cliffs of Amber and can see the ships not too far from the reef. She keeps a small boat on the beach and she should be able to make it out to the ships to speak with Caine. Easier to do so on his terms then bring him in from what he obviously loves doing. There is a billy goat trail that leads down to the shore from the cliffs and Trink ascends it as though she has wings. The boat is hidden in a small cave, and she quickly locates it and launches it in the direction of the Ships. With the wind in her favour, it doesnt take long to reach them.
You approach a small fleet of 5 ship of differing size. You make an educated guess that he'd be on the enormous battleship. When you get close a voice calls out. 'Hello, princess. Pray, what are you doing out here?' It is one of caine's men. A young but fairly attractive amberite by the name of Gregory. He flashes a roguish smile at you.
'ho Gregory' calls Trinket, 'Is Caine on board? I need to speak with him, and its usually easier for me to come to him. If he is, throw me a line so I can tie my boat to the ship. I dont want it floating away'
'Aye aye, princess.' He throws you a rope. He's in his cabin.
Trinket ties the boat and shimmies up the rope to the deck. Gregory turns to walk away, 'and youre not even going to escort me to the cabin. I must say im disappointed gregory' She flashes a smile back at the man. He soon falls in beside her and escorts her to the cabin. He even goes so far as to open the door for her.
Caine is sitting behind an enormous oaken desk playing with assorted navigational equipment. When he sees you he stands,' Trink, what an unexpected surprise. Whatever are you doing here? As I recall you're not one for sea voyages.' He walks around the desk and pulls out a chair for you. When you sit he hands Gregory a piece of paper and adds, 'immediately. Understand?'Gregory nods curtly and exits but not before giving you a farewell smirk.Caine returns to his side of the desk and smiles broadly at you. 'So... What news?'
Trinkets eyes linger on Gregory til he leaves the room, she turns back to Caine and returns his smile. 'Nice lad that Gregory, he seems nice, trustworthy. He your second in command or something? Ive never known you to leave something immediate to someone else, not even for a little sister'. Trink plays wide eyed and innocent trying to figure out what is so immediate that Caine is trusting to another. She will quiz him on her father once her curiosity is sated.
Caine hesitates. 'He's just passing on the new heading to the helm. I hope you didn't have any immediate plans as we are setting sail. We have a lead on a chaosite naval attack.'
'Ah' responds Trinket, 'I guess I dont have much choice in the matter either way' a trip to sea definitely wasnt in her plans. Her smile dips slighly, she had further detective plans but they shall have to be put aside for now. 'I actually came aboard to speak with you about Fathers passing. I dont think I can find closure until I figure out who poisoned him. Who is behind it all. So, I was hoping to get your thoughts on the matter, if thats ok?'
He stands and walks around the desk, 'it's been concerning me also but I'm afraid I have no leads for you.' He leans against the desk and lays a hand on your shoulder, 'if you find something let me know, okay?' He starts to stand when the whole ship violently rocks. He picks himself up and runs out the door.
Trink was thrown from her chair in the rocking of the ship. She also picks herself off the floor, pulls out her sais and fall in a few steps behind Caine. 'What in Hades is going on?' she demands
Caine climbs up to the helm of the ship, 'report!' The man steering the ship promptly replies, 'sir, we've hit a rock of some sort. Gregory is at the foredeck right now, trying to ascertain the extent of the damage.'Caine turns to you, 'trink, can you see what you can do about the rocks? Try to shift them out of this shadow would you?'
Trinket doesnt trust Caine and has a bad feeling he may try to leave her stranded. Obedience seems the best option right now, but she will pin down Caine at some point and worm some answers out of him. She turns and runs to the foredeck, it is swarming with crew, dodging the occasional wave that breaks on deck. She finds it strange she initially cant see any rocks near the ship, but fails to get a good look as she tries to hunt down Gregory.
You find Gregory down a hatch attempting to patch up a hole in the hull, water pours through until he finishes. Soaking he turns to you, 'the rocks are under the surface, we can't see them until we hit them.'
Trinket closes her eyes and really focuses. Not an easy task considering the rocking and bouncing around the ship is doing. She edits the shadow the ship is traveling in. Slowly the jaggedness of the rocks smooths over. The rocking becomes less as the rocks are spaced further apart. Eventually the bumps stop all together. The underwater rocks have been completely removed from this shadow. Trink opens her eyes to see a soaking wet Gregory a few inches from her face. He looks concerned, 'all good?' he asks. Trink nods.
Gregory continues to look at her. Trink blushes. She then laughs, 'Ummmm, I really do have to pin Caine down. Too many questions unanswered'. Blushing again, she heads towards the door and goes in search of Caine, too shy to look back at the grin on Gregory's face.
You find Caine at the helm of the ship. He's addressing his men, 'keep true to the course I've set and summon me when you see the enemy. Keep your eyes peeled.' He turns and sees you, 'good work, sis.'
'youre welcome. Glad the rocking has finally stopped' replies trink 'but caine I need to speak to you. Seriously. I know you know more on father'
He starts walking away from you toward his cabin. 'I assure you I don't know any more than I've already said.'
'the rats' says trinket. Caine footsteps falter
He continues into his cabin and waits until you enter and closes the door after you. 'That prank? That's your proof?'
trinket sighs. 'Im not saying you killed him. I simply said you know more then youre telling me. I know you know more. Why wont you tell me?'
'What the hell does a childish prank on Mumma Hannah have to do with our father's death? And she deserved it too. She always eats all of those strawberry cupcakes before I get a chance. She knows they're my favourite.'
'Father was poisoned. I figured Id check out the kitchens, nobody knows the kitchen better than Mumma Hanna. The only thing that has been out of place and the only time somebody could have gotten to father food was when the rats showed up in the kitchen. I was wondering the reason for the prank? Or if you know if anyone was in the kitchen at the time you conjured the rats? Im assuming its payback for the cupcakes?'
'Okay.' He looks you in the eyes. 'The prank was my idea but I had Flora do it for me. I gave her a conjuring amulet so she could complete the spell for me. I didn't tell her that rats would come out so that when she screamed..' a smile crossed his face 'it would be believable. But I was nowhere near the kitchens when it happened. I didn't want to be connected to it. Would you please keep it from Mumma Hanna? I shudder to think what she'd do to me if she found out.'
'That I can do, but why Caine? Your not giving me reasons other then small bitterness about strawberry cupcakes, when Im sure if you ask Mumma Hanna, she will knock you up a batch then and there on the spot' responds Trinket. This makes no sense and is beginning to feel like Caine is hiding something. 'Caine, do you have any idea whats going on? Why Father is dead?'
suddenly the boat rocks. Trinket is worried that Cain is going to run off again before he answers her question. Gregory opens the cabin door unannounced. Trinket curses, this can only mean theres trouble afoot.
'The Chaosites, sir. They've ambushed us.'Gregory stands waiting for orders. In the seconds of silence before Caine barks orders at Gregory you sense that his mental guards fall as he focuses on battle strategy. Your passive psychic powers detect a mass of guilt in Caine's mind. He knows who killed Father but will never give it up without a fight.Gregory acknowledges his orders and leaves. Caine starts for the door.What are you doing?
The ship rocked back and forth. The Chaosite’s cannon fire was getting ever nearer. Trinket looked angry, ‘You know! You know who killed Father!’Caine looked nervous, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve got to go, Trink. The Chaosites have us surrounded, my crew needs me.’Trinket blocks the door out of Caine’s cabin, ‘No. You’re going to tell me who killed Father and how you know.’ Her sai’s appeared in her hands.Caine drew his jagged sword, ‘Don’t make me do this, sister. Just let me leave.’Trink lunged at him letting go of the spell she’d hand hung for days. An invisible blast flung Caine against the back wall. Trink deflected his feeble swing and pinned his sword to the floor with her sais. She left them there and brought her hands up and clasped Caine’s head and probed his mind. He brought his psychic defense to bear be but Trink just smashed through it. Deeper and deeper she dug until she found the vault. The place where Caine buried all of the knowledge and memories he didn’t want to think about. The truth about himself. At least the dark part of himself that he suppressed. It lived here. Trinket brought all her psychic power to bear and ripped the door off the vault. Out came a shadowy beast that flew right by Trink and went out of sight. Still inside the vault was a bubble of memory. Trink dove in and found herself in Brand’s library.Caine: So this powder will make Father sick?Brand: If ingested, yes. He will be in a coma for at least two months.Caine: Then we can blame the Chaosites and finally take the fight to them instead of constantly deflecting their attacks. Two months will be plenty of time to destroy the Chaosites for good.Brand: Indeed. So, I have upheld my part of the bargain.Caine: Oh, right. I’ve heard there is a painting of the fabled Patternsword somewhere in Shadow. Should be easy to find.Brand: And you’re sure it’s a Trump?Caine: Yes, from the stories I’ve heard it’s got an odd aura about it. Are you sure Father will be fine after two months?Brand: I made the powder myself. Trust me. I know exactly what it will do.Trinket let go of Caine’s head, he was unconscious. Brand attempted to kill Oberon.She felt so angry that she left the ship, got in a rowboat and rowed back to Amber.
As she rowed Trinket felt a wave of psychic potential crash over and through her. She had two vivid, simultaneous visions. In one, she was seated in Father's throne having a crown placed on her head and the Jewel of Judgement placed in her hand. In the other, a dark being is sitting on the throne. Darker and more vile than any Chaosite she'd ever encountered. The rest of the throne room was blurry but she could see several Amberites cheering and handing the dark one the Jewel.Trinket shuddered. She knew this was a consequence of using so much psychic energy back at Caine's ship. She also knew one of these futures will come to pass.
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