>> Garrius, Palaven
On the trip to Palaven, Ava had stuck to Alys like glue, trading stories and trying to learn what she could from her new friend. It as easy to see from an onlooker that both girls had their secrets, carefully avoiding subjects, though neither noticed, especially Ava, who was far more concerned with keeping her own past a secret than learning Alys'. Nem however, paid no attention to her master, sleeping most of the time like the big puppy he was.
Palaven itself though, was a beautiful city and was a large scenic change from the dirty streets of Dalenham. It was clean, white and most of all, perfect. This truely felt like a city of God, though being agnostic herself (she took her mother's stories of the Elven faith of the Nine and Tella as things to learn upon. Despite her family being royal, she never remembered participating in particularly religious activities) she felt out of place as others greeted eachother with phrases that seemed rather religious and holy.
The guards escorting them seemed to treat them like outsiders, referring to the "Dragons of Dalenham" as infidels, though this seemed like a normal thing, using the word several times in casual conversation. She was surprised the guards had not objected to Ava's direwolf companion, though the citizens of Garrius seemed much more interested, though Ava and Nem did their best to ignore them. Again, she was taken aback when the guard suggested burning the group of mercenaries. She kept her mouth shut though, trusting Varian and their contractor. It didn't matter that she didn't reply with banter; it was unlikely that these 'guards' could catch Ava, even with an army with Nem by her side.
Not everyone had the same idea as Avangeline, newbie Anlem speaking up to do the worst thing: say that he was part of something that wasn't this city of God.
"Very polite of you all, but your efforts would have been futile if you tried. Aren't you aware that Anguin can't burn?" he said. Avangeline wasn't sure if he was joking or purposely trying to stir up trouble, but Varian's face palm was well deserved, followed by the screaming of one of the guards. Nem stood ready by his master's side, but stepped back on cue when Avangeline pushed him back with her right hand. The guard himself was held back, but swore vengence on Anlem. For saying one statement? Sheesh, people here were touchy.
"I'd say we best watch what we say here," Varian told them, though Avangeline thought that was obvious.
They continued on with their tour, Ava admiring the view, until they reached what seemed like the tallest building in the city and much felt like a tower of importance. It was beautiful, but heavily guarded. It reminded her of Avangeline's home. Her old home. A castle protected by guards. Though this castle was much more intricate than any of her rooms, let alone the outside walls.
"Welcome to the Tower of Absolution, infidels, headquarters of the illustrious Palvanese Senate. If you would follow me inside, the noble head of the Senate would like to speak with you briefly."
Avangeline followed Varian, admiring the paintings and making sure Nem kept quite close to her. She wasn't sure what would happen if anything was touched, let alone knocked over by accident. He whined a little, unsettled by the lack of freedom he was recieving but it was of upmost importance that they were trusted by these people if they every wanted to be paid.
"Welcome!" a voice welcomed (obviously) them, introducing himself as 'Merek Culliver' and by the title he gave, seemed rather important. He looked friendly enough and his smile comforted Avangeline and Nem both. Avangeline couldn't help admiring his extravagant outfit, wishing she had one herself. Of course, it would only be something she wore once and then never touched again. Mercenaries really couldn't afford useless items. Varian introduced himself, then Culliver went on to state how they were incredibly lucky, being allowed into the Tower. Being allowed into the City. Being allowed to do anything. Then, something rather peculiar happened.
"By the One's Grace...Victoria?! Victoria Taimor?" Culliver seemed rather stunned. Who? Avangeline followed his eyes to the woman standing next to her, Alys. Who was Victoria Taimor? Being one who knew no other nation's politics but her own, Miracyia's and Eveamoor's, Avangeline didn't recognise the name immediately, though 'Taimor' rang a bell (but not enough to trigger a memory. House Taimor? Was that something she had heard of?). Varian seemed rather surprised but the older man's shock was cut short as he was suddenly whisked away, called by his duties. He ended their brief conversation with their sleeping quarters, dinner and if they wanted to leave the tower. Avangeline for one was hungry and she could tell Nem needed something too, but something told her the tension from Alys in the room meant that she couldn't get away too quickly. Anlem said something profound, to somewhat ease that tension, but Avangeline bluntly cut it with a knife of naivety.
"Who's Victoria Taimor?"
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