The Scoundrels of Virtue

364 posts in this topic

Posted

Maia was shaking terribly. She felt sick, and suddenly she felt the urge to vomit. She fell down and threw up, tears rolling down her cheeks. 

"Are you okay?" he said. 

Maia nodded. Of course she wasn't feeling good. She had no clue about what was going on! She hadn't even see the Princess and now she had to leave again? And why did that man want to kill her? She didn't do anything...  

"You have to choose now, I don't have much time." 

She didn't want to leave... Not again... She had been frightened and had missed the castle so much... It was her home- No, that wasn't true and she knew it. She was just a maid for the Princess, though she was her favorite maid... But still, did she mean anything to her? Maia had considered them pretty close, even friends, maybe. But she doubted that the Princess thought the same way of her. Not that it was any of her concern. The people of Hyrule had always considered her a cold person, but that just wasn't the truth. Zelda was kind, and what she only ever wanted was that her people were happy. It had always saddened Maia that her people thought so low of her. 

"Maia?" 

"I- I don't know... I want to stay but... Why do you want me so desperately to come with you?" she asked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Torianna was unusally quiet as they made their way out of the house - not that Lorcan was about to complain, but it was odd. He'd given her the apple to eat on the way out of concern she hadn't had enough to eat.

After a while walking in silence with Skallin leading the way, Lorcan found he couldn't stand her silence anymore. He nudged her with his elbow, which earned him a confused frown. He made a little talking symbol with his hands to make his point, and the thief grinned.

"I thought you hated my guts or something?" she asked. "Though I suppose you don't hate me entirely if you came to help me."

Lorcan shrugged, not letting his frown falter. He himself couldn't reason it out entirely, why he'd been so happy to have found her. Because of that despicable network. That was it. He was a man who believed in justice, and this was justice.

"Well, let's see if we can find something to discuss, then..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

For a moment, the most deplorable of concepts popped into Endel's head. Fate, he thought to himself, but no, he could never allow his mind to draw that conclusion. Fate was a lie, belief in such a concept was the ultimate surrender of will. To say fate had ordained this was to believe all of his hard work, and that of his friends, had no value. It was an admission that all of mankind were puppets being flailed about by the whims of distant goddesses. And Endel couldn't even entertain the notion of his survival or failure being controlled by anyone other than himself. Every event of his life was the direct result of another creature's chosen actions, nothing more.

 

No, there was a greater truth to why he'd come.

"It didn't feel right, just letting that bird kidnap you and forgetting about it." He replied. "I can't walk away from you now that your life is in danger, and I don't mean to sound arrogant or anything..." Endel faltered for a bit, "but you're a lot safer with us than you are with these guards now that somebody wants you dead."

"Well, if I'm going to die if I stay here, then I don't have a choice..." Maia reckoned, wiping her eyes and face.

"There's always a choice." He replied. "But if that's your decision, then you have my sword and my word, you aren't going to be in any danger with the Scoundrels of Virtue at your back."

 

Endel made sure the hallways were clear before escorting Maia out of the dungeon. "By the way, in case you never got a straight answer, my name is Endel. My boss, Cheval, is waiting for us back near the main hall." He ran the details by her as they made for the exit. He also told her about Skallin, Lorcan, and Torianna before they met back up with Cheval, who also gave his own proper introduction.

"While you were lollygagging I made sure to secure us an exit through the main gate by way of a diversion." He brought them up to speed. "Let's make our way back to Lorcan and the rest of the group before anyone catches on, hmm?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Torianna couldn't help but smile as she and Lorcan walked towards the Southern gates of the town. Skallin marched just ahead of them, off in a world of his own.

"This is kind of surreal," Torianna said as she narrowed her eyes. "Lorcan actually wants me to talk? What, did you miss me or something?"

He laughed, softly shaking his head. She just smiled, digging her hands into the pockets of her leather jacket. "Don't tell me you're going soft on me, Lorcan," she said. "Just think of it: moody, silent Lorcan is a big softie on the inside!" He cast her a doubtful glance, which widened her smile into a grin. "Yeah! Still waters run deep... strong silent type... all that malarkey."

He turned back to look at the horizon before shaking his head adamantly. Torianna chuckled at his insistence, edging closer so she could dig her elbow into his side. "And to think that you'd go soft after your lovely big speech down in the tunnels!" He cringed at that, and she grinned. "I think that the rats eating me alive was a nice touch! Though it looks like someone changed his mind about leaving me behind."

He stopped then, turning to look at her. His brow was pinched into a frown, his blue eyes glancing guiltily to his feet. She paused - the air felt too heavy and tense, she didn't like it one bit.

"Let's see if you've changed your mind about giving me a ride!"

The atmosphere lightened immediately as he groaned. She circled around behind him and placed her hands on his shoulders. She then launched herself up onto his back and looped her arms around his neck as he hooked his under her legs. He didn't put up any sort of protest, verbal or otherwise. He just took off after Skallin, carrying Torianna all the while.

"Hey, wait up!" came a shout from behind them.

Lorcan stopped in his tracks, turning back to face the town they'd just left. Endel and Cheval were making their way out of the Southern gates, with Maia walking uncertainly between them. She looked a little run-down, leaning on Endel's arm for support.

"What happened?" Skallin called out, stepping in line next to Lorcan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

"I'll tell you what happened; that second thief tried to kill Maia!" Endel shot back in frustration. After the shock of his earlier encounter had receded, the idea of a thief from the network trying to pull an assassination job had been gnawing at him. Just how corrupt were these people? It seemed Torianna was just as dumbstruck as he, because her face looked horrified.

"You can't be serious! We're thieves, not monsters!" She objected, but it was clear by the blood on Endel's clothes and Maia's unhinged state of mind that something awful had gone down in the castle. "It must've been a setup, or a misunderstanding... don't you believe me?"

 

Endel certainly did believe Torianna, but his worries couldn't be cleared that easily. Even if the thief he'd killed wasn't an actual member the same business, there was still the part where they'd apparently hired those Bulbins and Kargaroks to help capture the girls, maybe even kill the rest of them. "Rest assured we trust you, Torianna," Cheval spoke up, "but I would like to remind everyone that we need to get this cure to the imprisoned children in that cave. Let's finish this mission." Everyone nodded, and Endel apologized for his accusation.

"Don't worry about it." Torianna said, but she was obviously twice as disturbed by this as Endel was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Torianna had gone stiff on Lorcan's back after the announcement Endel had made, but no more was said about it as they began to make their way back to where the Great Fairy awaited their arrival.

"I meant to ask," Endel spoke up, looking to Lorcan and Torianna. "Is there a reason you're on Lorcan's back again?"

"I got tired," Torianna said simply, taking a bite from her apple. "Besides, it's clear he missed me terribly."

Lorcan rolled his eyes in annoyance, giving her a pinch to make his point. She flinched but gave no other outward sign that she'd so much as felt it. 

"By the way," Cheval spoke up, "who was that fellow that captured you? You seemed to recognise him almost immediately."

Lorcan glanced upwards at Torianna, who wore a small frown. It was quickly replaced with her usual arrogant demeanour. 

"Just some network troublemaker," she said dismissively. "He's high up the ladder but he's nothing compared to me, really."

Lorcan was doubtful of her answer, but it seemed that was all Torianna was willing to divulge for now.

Well, each to their own, Lorcan figured. He wasn't exactly about to pry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

((Hey just a quick note Knuckle - Torianna never actually told them that her boss was also her father! Just a little correction :) And Franne was supposed to say, but I guess she forgot. She's away at band camp for a few days, she should be back on Sunday.))

 

By the time they'd reached the centre of Hyrule field, the sun was already halfway set on the horizon. Maia looked like she was about to collapse, Endel seemed thoroughly exhausted, and even Lorcan seemed weary. Torianna frowned a little, wiggling to let Lorcan know to set her down.

"I think we should head back to Kakariko," Torianna said. "No one seems to be in any sort of position to save those kids right now. I think we should rest up and return in the morning, it's been one hell of a day." It seemed a very long time ago that they set out in search of the Scholar.

The rest of the group nodded and they began the slow walk back to Kakariko. By the time that they arrived at Telma's place, the sun had set completely. She greeted them with a warm smile and began cooking them up a meal. "Can't have hard workers operating on empty stomachs now, can we?" she said with a wink.

Once everyone had had their fill, they headed straight off to bed. No one had the energy for card games or idle chatter tonight. Torianna crawled, exhausted, into bed. Only when she lay down, she could feel a pair of eyes on her back. She rolled over, and found Maia sat up in bed, watching her with a nervous look in her steely grey eyes.

"What's your problem?" Torianna asked, short tempered from her lack of energy.

The girl shook her head nervously, looking rather like a petrified child. Torianna's shoulders slumped a little. She wasn't used to dealing with people as... sensitive as Maia.

"I didn't mean..." she sighed. "Is something wrong?"

"You... you don't work with the other boys, do you?" Maia asked.

The thief shook her head. "No. I work for a different company.

"The people that kidnapped us?" Maia asked nervously. "That man who tried to-"

"I swear I don't know what that's all about," she said, looking the girl in the eye. "The network has never made a habit of killing people. There must be some kind of mishap!"

"But even so," the girl mumbled, clearly rambling. "They kidnapped you! If you work for them, why would they do that? And why would you want to run away in the first place? If you dislike it, why don't you just leave? Why would you associate yourself with such awful people?"

Maia seemed to realise who she was talking to then, and fell silent, averting her gaze. She seemed to shrink back into her bed as Torianna gritted her teeth.

"Some people don't have the luxury of choice," she spat. "And maybe the reason why I work with awful people is because I'm an awful person."

Maia didn't offer any response to that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

((thanks for the heads up :o ))

 

A good night's sleep had worked wonders for everyone, and soon enough they were all fed, equipped, and on the road to the cave. Finally, they would be able to lay this mission to rest, even if there were plenty more to follow. The cavern itself never ceased to be amazing, and once again they were greeted by the presence of the Great Fairy. "We are glad to see you return, maiden." the fairy's tone echoed through the place. "That blessed energy you possess... it was resourceful of you to bring it here. Allow me to borrow that rod for a moment." 

 

Cheval complied and handed the artifact to the Great Fairy, who raised it aloft. A great orb of energy grew out of its tip, then scattered like dandelion seeds to the far reaches of the cavern. At first, it seemed as though each seed of energy was embedding itself into the wall, but then Endel realized something was alive and stirring where the seeds had touched.

 

They were children. Hylian children, and by the looks of them, all from Hyrule Castle.

 

---

 

"This isn't the news I'd hoped for entirely..." Telma said as she rubbed her forehead.

The group, with the addition of several dozen confused children, had returned to Kakariko for debriefing. No doubt their boss was happy to save so many innocents, but it seemed this was only the beginning of a larger mission to rescue children all over Hyrule. "So if I've reckoned this right," she continued, "That old fairy told you there were lots of caves, all over Hyrule, with more poor souls like these?"

Endel nodded.

"Well, what else can we do? Our only option is to send Cheval alone to free those children while the rest of you take the next mission."

 

Cheval looked like he'd been told to scrub down the entire Scoundrels base. "You better not give me any sass, you hear?" Telma scolded him. "Those fairies saw you with the rod and now they favor you. Just as well too; you're the only man I can think of that could do this mission alone, and the rest of my boys and girls here are getting a mission of their own!" Endel had expected they weren't exactly going to be sitting around while his superior did all the footwork, but his stomach nonetheless sank like a rock at those words.

 

"The rest of you are gonna be doing some rumor hunting. This dark sorcerer that grabbed these kids must be somewhere in the Castle Town; I want you all to put your ears to the ground wherever you can think of and find out about him. And in a week, you better have something to go by, because you're gonna hunt that warlock down and shake him good for answers!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

The trek back to Castle Town, with the huge group of children accompanying them, was none too pleasant if Lorcan was honest.

For once, Torianna had taken to not annoying him, but only because now, she didn't need to. The children pestered him relentlessly for information about himself after interviewing Torianna, Maia and Endel.

"What's your name, mister?"

"Why don't you talk?"

On and on they went, and Lorcan simply glared down at them in an effort to make them stop. It was then that Torianna decided to intervene.

"His names Lorcan," she said, crossing her arms. "And he lost his voice in a horrible encounter with an evil sorceress long ago, when he was just a boy. Which wasn't very long ago, since he's only fourteen. And she ripped his voice out of him, leaving him completely mute! It was a real tragedy, kids."

The children stared up at Lorcan with wide eyes, but he ignored them, resisting the urge to give Torianna a few slashes with his sword to teach her a lesson. He tried denying it, shaking his head as the children asked further questions. It was no use, though, as Torianna made sure to answer every question for him instead.

By the time they got the children safely to a nursery of sorts in Castle Town, Lorcan was ready to explode. The children bid the group goodbye, wishing Lorcan the best and receiving the guard's best glare in return.

Torianna shut the door after them, grinning at Lorcan with satisfaction. "Poor little baby Lorcan! Do you still have nightmares about that big bad sorceress?"

That was it. Endel made an effort to still him, but Lorcan had swerved out of his way, hurling himself at Torianna. He didn't want it to happen, but she'd pushed him too far again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Lorcan slammed into Torianna with a force that she hadn't expected. Her back knocked into the wall of the nursery and he took her surprise to his advantage, pressing his forearm again her collar bone and holding her still.

"What is your problem?" he spat, his teeth clenched together. "Do you think this is some sort of joke?"

Torianna glared. "My problem? What's your problem?"

"My problem," he growled "is that you find it hilarious to lie about my life. This isn't a game, Torianna! It's my reality! Maybe the fact that I'm mute is amusing to you, but it's not to me!"

Torianna knew what he was saying, and she knew why he was saying it. But she was still angry all the same. This boy had the nerve to change his mind like the weather and it was grinding away at her patience.

"Get your hands off me," Torianna said, slowly, sounding as fierce as possible.

Lorcan just pressed her harder back against the wall. "You don't take anything seriously, do you?" Contempt dripped from his every word and it made Torianna's blood boil. "You waltz along without any regard for other people. You take whatever you please, talk however you wish, and treat other people like objects. Well guess what? People aren't objects. One of these days the rest of the group will get sick of putting up with your selfish ways and then you'll be stuck. You won't have your precious network to go back to. See who you can infuriate then."

She mustered up the strength to push him off her. He stumbled as she shoved him back, but quickly regained his footing. Maia looked horrified at the argument between the group as she practically leapt of Lorcan's way. Endel appeared caught between the two, seeming unwilling to intervene while Skallin watched with his usual cool disengagement.

Torianna stepped up to Lorcan, holding herself as tall as she could despite the fact that he still towered over her. "You can't tell me anything about myself that I don't already know. But before you go out of your way to tell me what an awful person I am, take a look in the mirror you hypocrite. Sort out your duplicity issues and find a healthy way to vent your frustration instead of taking it out on me."

She turned away from him in a whirl of anger and a smidge of pride. But she didn't get more than a step before Lorcan wrapped his hand around her wrist in an iron tight grip, pulling her back to him. His face was just inches from hers, flushed with anger.

"You lie about me again," he growled. "And I'll break every one of your stubby little fingers. You got that?"

Endel stepped in at that point. "Alright, pack it in, the pair of you!"

 

(( Once again, Laura helped me with that one! ))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

((You're both really good at collaborating stuff, excellent work!))

 

"Lorcan, Torianna, apologize to each other. This is getting out of hand and unprofessional. We don't have time to be having these squabbles during a mission!"

Neither of them looked eager to admit their foolishness, and if Endel knew Lorcan that string of threats would be his last words for another week or two. Torianna muttered an apology mostly to him, while Lorcan gave his usual look of guilt to express his understanding that he'd made a mistake.

 

As the day went on it was becoming increasingly clear Endel was the de facto leader of this group. Cheval having gone off to who-knows-where, Lorcan being the usual mute that he was until just now, and the rest of the gang either uninterested or unwilling to lead left him as the only candidate to settle these sorts of disputes with authority. And truth be told, it was harder than he would have ever admitted to his own superiors. Endel quickly formulated some plans that would at least leave everyone on their own for a while.

"Ok, as per Telma's orders we're going to split up.and look for clues. Torianna, stick to the center of town. Lorcan, head back to the Scoudrels and check with Ashei. Skallin and Maia, see if you can hang around the manors and pick up anything from a guard or a handmaid. Let's meet back here in three hours." 

 

---

 

The search for information started and ended uneventfully for Endel, and as everyone wandered back to the nursery they looked just as weary as he was. "Any leads?" he quickly asked as each member of the group returned, but they all shook their heads. "The target must be impossibly well-hidden if there isn't a single lead on his location. Perhaps we should entertain the notion that his victims were not abducted in the vicinity of Castle Town?" Skallin suggested. It was true, there didn't even seem to be any postings of missing children, though the captives they'd rescued must have been taken no more than a year ago. Where could the kidnappers be getting so many children without being noticed anyway? The group pondered this for a bit when something caught Endel's eye.

 

The woman who seemed to be working the nursery appeared in a window for just a moment. It seemed as if she were spying on them, as she ducked out of sight quickly, but that didn't bother the thief as much as the nasty look she'd had in her eyes; a sort of malice that her soft features didn't quite compensate for. And then it hit him.

"The children we just saved didn't come from people's houses. They came from that nursery, and we just sent them right back to the woman that stole them!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

((Thank you!))

Lorcan turned from Torianna to stare in shock at Endel. The thief had a look of absolute certainty, looking toward the window of the nursery accusingly.

Maia seemed absolutely scandalised at the revelation, and Torianna was just as baffled.

"Are you serious?" she asked.

But it did make sense. It was the perfect disguise.

"A clever way to hide," Skallin voiced Lorcan's own thoughts. "What is our strategy?"

Endel frowned, drawing the group away from the nursery hastily.

"We can't just barge in there," he began. "We don't want to make a scene unless it's absolutely necessary. But how to go about it..."

"She knows our faces," Maia spoke up hesitantly. "She'd recognise us if we tried to go back in."

Endel nodded his agreement, looking around at the shops nearby and at the people around them. "I wonder..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

(( Ahh thank you Knuckle! :D ))

 

"There has to be something we can do," Torianna said, glancing nervously at the door of the nursery. "We might not have long until those kids are put at risk again."

She glanced at the crowd around them, but she couldn't seem to think straight. Her mind was still swimming after recent events. Between Lorcan's earlier outburst and the network's assassination attempt on Maia, she was left feeling like her head was full of cotton wool.

Lorcan suddenly seemed to jump to life, gesturing towards the crowd.

Endel stared blankly at him. "What are you...?"

His gestures became more frantic, he was getting frustrated. He waved at the crowd, then pointed to himself, waving his hands in front of his face and changing his expression.

Torianna raised an eyebrow. "You look like you're clinically ill..."

"I think Lorcan here is recommending that we use disguises to sneak in," Skallin spoke up. Lorcan nodded, crossing his arms.

"Disguise ourselves as what? Prospective parents?" Maia asked. "We'd need a child for that and..." she glanced nervously at Skallin. "It won't exactly be easy to disguise him..."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

(( you're very welcome! And just so you all know, I'll be back Wednesday with a proper post.))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Lorcan looked the suit of armour up and down with a small huff. Maia had a point; Skallin was simply huge, and there were no clothes anywhere nearby that would even come close to fitting.

"Well, we'll figure that out when it comes to it," Endel said. "It couldn't hurt to have someone on lookout in case anything goes wrong."

Lorcan shrugged, looking around him at the citizens of Castle Town. Endel spoke up, looking thoughtful.

"We could be first time parents," he said. "And as for clothes, Torianna and I will probably be the most useful in acquiring them."

Lorcan nodded reluctantly. He didn't want to have to steal the clothes, but if it was the only way there was nothing else to be done, really.

"Lets get to it, then," Torianna said, placing her hands on her hips.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.