|Regariel of Greengold|
(looks at the 0's for Reg's diplo & intimidate scores) Welp, we can but try.
Diplomacy (we hope): 1d20 ⇒ 18
Regariel stands, displaying the holy ornament in his hand to whoever is looking. Which is not Krent at the moment, but hopefully that will change shortly.
"Your old friend wants only the return of his winged sword, Mr. Krent," he says, his tone calm and contained. "Please tell us how you acquired it, and help us determine how to put Talmore's poor shade to rest."
Under the combined stares of the group-- and Reg's even but measured tone-- Krent seems to crumple. He sags in Markon's grip and begins to sob, softly.
It takes several minutes to get the full tale out of him, but the gist is thus: Krent and Talmore had been companion soldiers in Lastwall, a country to the north of Isger (where you currently are)-- Lastwall, the bastion of the forces of good against the wicked, undead Whispering Tyrant. Lastwall is a land of crusaders and champions, of those who give their all to oaths to guard against the undead, the orc hordes, and the other threats of the northlands.
Krent's broken story is that of a man who could not keep his oaths. What had been supposed to be a simple reconnoisance mission had ended in an ambush of Sir Lawrence Krent and his brother-in-arms, Sir Talmore Madjen.
Krent's voice is cracked with shame and guilt as he confesses that as the two of them stood, back to back, ringed by the undead... his nerve broke, and he fled, abandoning his comrade for whatever thin chance of survival he might have. He expected to be cut down at any moment, but the sounds of mocking laughter alone had followed him, terrible and echoing laughter for his cowardice-- mingled with the screams of Talmore as the other man had fallen....
The undead had let him flee, to live with the knowledge of his cowardice. Hours later he had stumbled back through a cloying mist to find Talmore's butchered body, left to rot.
"I took his things... his pendant... blade... I meant-- I intended to take them to the citadel, to confess, to throw myself on Iomedae's justice.... but in the end... I was too much the coward even for that. I fled Lastwall entirely!" Krent gasps through thick, wrenching sobs. "Talmore! Brother! Forgive me, forgive my weakness, I beg of you! But leave me be, for all that is holy! Go on to Iomedae's grace as I never shall!"
The ghost of Talmore strides closer, staring down at Krent's kneeling form with eyes of frozen flame. Krent cringes away... then seems to reach some spot beyond his guilt and panic, falling silent save for raspy breathing. After a long, long moment, he takes a deep, shuddering breath, then another.
"If I must die to cleanse the wrong I did to you... then... then..... it can be no worse than this half-life I now lead. Brother. I throw myself on your judgment. I abandoned you. I broke trust and oath. Forgive me. I beg of you. If you cannot-- then I throw myself on what seems just to you. To Iomedae's judgment I commend myself."
It seems to take all his strength, but Krent stands up, weaving a little.
The ghost of Talmore gazes at Krent for a small eternity, and then slowly and ponderously, it nods once. The spectral figure sheathes its insubtantial sword, and reaches out a hand to Krent's shoulder-- a hand that causes Krent to flinch, but the ghost merely touches, once, as if in comfort.
"Bury my symbol, Lawrence. Return to Lastwall. Confess. Then I shall know peace. We both will. My brother."
The ghost flickers.... and then fades from view entirely.
Krent's eyes widen with fresh tears, and he nods wordlessly, clearly overcome with emotion.
"I-- yes. Yes, I will, Talmore, I swear it!"
|Regariel of Greengold|
As he watches this reconciliation between the quick and the dead, Regariel draws a deep breath and releases it slowly and softly. Relief that the danger is over and the satisfaction of a puzzle solved, certainly, but he feels a deeper relief and satisfaction that these two souls now have a chance to find the solace and grace they lost so brutally.
Reg leans toward Lilita. "Well done," he says quietly.