Gell Mikin's Chamber <Fastheld Keep>

A spartan chamber, kept neat and tidy by a meticulous occupant, this edifice includes simple and fairly modest furnishings compared to most rooms in the rest of the Imperial fortress.
The bed is a basic four-poster, no canopy, with neatly trimmed beige blankets and thin pillows covered in linen. An ink well and quill sit perched atop an angled wooden writing desk that seems to have received a great deal of use over the years. Next to the ink well is a seal for pressing the familiar wax GM on communiques to the Emperor, Blademaster and other worthy recipients. A gray stone wash basin is off to one corner, available for cleansing. A plain pinewood wardrobe stands against the northern wall, holding the clothes - primarily robes, loose trousers and gray tunics of the Emperor's Hawk.
Two crimson-curtained archways lead out onto balconies.

Outside the Massive Wooden Door, the telltale 'knock-knock' of gauntlets-on-wood may be heard, along with the telltale voice of Duke Markus Vozhd-Kahar. "Surrector; are you in?"

Gell Mikin is sitting at his writing desk. The cat is curled on the bed. The Surrector sets the quill in the inkwell, then rises and speaks toward the door: "Come in."

Markus Kahar emerges thru the doorway, flanked by a quintet of armored guardsmen. These men stay outside patiently while the Duke enters with a nod - "My Lord. I am sorry I did not come sooner. I was... held up, last night. I assume you've recieved the reports?"

Gell Mikin lifts an eyebrow. "Reports of what? I have received nothing of the kind. Dianna Lomasa is not with you?"

Markus Kahar blinks in surprise before shaking his head soberly, ".... no, she is not. I made the foolhardy mistake of travelling unescorted to the dungeon last night. We were seized upon by a band of brigands who used a fallen horse to trick our confidence. My coachman is dead. They bound and gagged me, but kidnapped Dianna." Markus Kahar adds quickly, "... I put up as best a fight I could, but we were totally outnumbered."

"Seized upon by brigands, were you?" the Surrector replies, brow knitting. "Rather convenient."

Markus Kahar's eyes narrow slightly. "It was *NOT* expected. Those roads are usually and entirely safe this time of night, Surrector. One man is already dead, I fear Dianna to be the same."

"As you say, the roads are usually safe," Gell Mikin replies, pondering Markus with narrowed eyes. "Yet on the evening you chose to deliver Dianna Lomasa to me for punishment, it just so happens that you, the Second Blademaster, leader of the East Aegis Garrison, are set upon by brigands and overwhelmed. Were I a suspicious man, Markus Kahar, I would consider the possibility of an arranged incident."

Markus Kahar snaps his back-heels and offers a concillatory salute. "... then we should be very thankful that you are indeed not a suspicious man but indellibly trusting, and that 2nd Blademaster Markus Kahar is a man of upstanding character whose reputation is unspoiled by even a dollop of ill-repute. While you accuse me of an 'arranged incident', my men have been combing the foothills for the thugs since I arrived in Vozhdya. Thieves and cut-throats are a daily problem thus far from Fastheld Keep, and they mentioned ransoming the girl off. I should not be surprised if I hear from them in a few days."

Zender bats at a flying insect with a paw.

"Let us hope you do hear from them," the Surrector says grimly. "I would dearly hate to see your reputation spoiled. However, if you are losing control of the roads, I will recommend to His Majesty that extra detachments of Bladesmen be sent to patrol around Vozhdya."

Markus Kahar nods, "This precaution has already been taken, by my own authority. We now have guards signaling along the posts of the road to the thoroughfaire, and they will remain there until I am confident the route is safe once more. Rest assured the girl will be found... you are welcome to join the hunt if you so wish, lord Surrector. Your intelligence would only aide the search."

Gell Mikin peers at Markus. "I did not *lose* the girl. I have better things to do than clean up after your mistakes, Lord Kahar." He tilts his bald head. "I know you felt sympathy for her. I can only hope that sympathy will not be your undoing." He returns to his writing desk. "Advise me when you have found the girl. Or her corpse."

Markus Kahar sniffs, apparently trying not to take offense. "I felt more then sympathy, I felt pity and sadness. But not enough to disobey your orders. I shall do so the minute she is found - and she *will* be found, dead or alive. Good day Surrector."

Gell Mikin inclines his head toward Markus, settling back into his chair. The cat just blinks impassively at Markus.

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