Goat's Horn Tavern <Fanghill>
- Someone seems to be saving money on candles and lantern oil, keeping this cozy stone tavern minimally illuminated by virtue of a central square fireplace of quarried sun clay that remains stoked and burning throughout the day and night by the barkeep and his employees. The floors are strewn with amber rushes and sand imported from Nillu lands to soak up the stickier spilled beverages.
- About a dozen polished shardwood tables provide seating for groups who want to socialize in the Goat's Horn, perhaps the most popular spot in the township of Fanghill. Despite the shadowy nature of the bar, patrons can lose themselves in good conversation, song and dance, or parlor games.
- A C-shaped counter along the west wall is fronted by six stools for lone patrons just looking for a drink.
Zolor Zahir sits at a corner table, sipping a glass of wine.
Slipping into the tavern, letting the door open as quietly as possible the young Scourge makes her way several paces in and lets her eyes adjust to the difference of light. An arm wrapped rather casually over her side the girl glances about after the adjustment, gazing about for the individual her counterpart had described for her, spotting an individual who resembles it at a corner table but still uncertain if that is who she seeks. The only way to alleviate the uncertainty though is to find out and Moira intends to do that, making her way towards Zolor's table with her arm not moving away from her side.
His back to the corner wall, Zolor Zahir eyes the approaching Scourge with the faintest of smirks touching his thin lips. He sets his wine glass on the table and tilts his head toward Moira. "Good afternoon."
As she's addressed, Moira blinks her eyes slowly as if in a daze momentarily before she nods a bit towards the man. "Lord Zolor Zahir?" The voice is quite quiet when it speaks with a very faint hint of strain to it. She waits though for a response before beginning, after all do not want to question the wrong individual.
"None other," he confirms, gesturing to a vacant chair at his table. "Please, make yourself comfortable."
Moira nods a bit and pulls the chair out before settling down in to it and shifts her arm a bit that hovers across her side before returning it there. "I'm Sister Oak... I had a few questions for you if you had the time?"
"I have some time before duties draw me elsewhere," Zolor replies. "And I am ever fascinated to speak with officials of the Church. Do go on."
After a few moments of gazing at Zolor as if trying to see perhaps directly in to the depths of his soul, the girl finally speaks in a very quiet voice. And it is but a single name. "Zomas Stone." The tension in her body becomes a bit more noticeable then, as if she is anxious.
"Should I know the name?" Zolor inquires, eyebrows lifting.
"I would believe so..." Moira replies in a quiet voice. "He was found poisoned near Hawk's Aerie many months ago. With the insignia of one of your establishments upon a medallion around his neck." The girl lifts an eyebrow in response to his. "So yes, it is a name that is tied to you."
Zolor Zahir tilts his head. "My dear Scourge, those insignia are handed around like cheap baubles in the Market District. I have no control over who holds them. Therefore, it is eminently probable that the insignia came into his possession without ever touching my fingertips." He sighs. "Poisoned, you say? In Hawk's Aerie? Perhaps if you knew more about why the man went there, who he encountered along the way, you might acquire more elucidating answers."
Moira's eyes darken, the mildly lightness of her posture shifting as she leans forward towards Zolor, "Except for the fact that this child did not make his way to Hawk's Aerie. What of the name Clariele?" She inquires with that name but now looks daggers at Zolor with her eyes.
"A child? Not a man?" the nobleman inquires, scratching his chin with slender fingers. "Most unusual. No, I have no recollection of the boy's name. Or of anyone named Clariele."
"So the fact that he looked the twin of the same touched who came after you to destroy you after destroying a chunk of Hawk's Aerie?" Moira asks it casually but still has a burning in her eyes. "That is what is most unusual. Someone who looks like a person who attacked you, poisoned by the master of them, with a trinket tying them to you. It is more than unusual Lord Zahir. Far more than unusual."
Zolor Zahir chuckles. "The trinket may tie the lad to one of my establishments, circumstantially, but it is hardly a direct link, dear Scourge. However, since it would be most discourteous of me not to offer some measure of assistance in the interest of putting this investigation to rest, would you like me to order the proprietor of the establishment in question to make himself available for questioning?"
Norran Lomasa emerges inside from the cold outdoors, eyes looking calmly over the tavern as he holds a bored expression across his face. He moves aside from the doorway to make clear for passersby, while his eyes search over the patrons.
Moira tilts her head a bit to the side. "Such a questioning would perhaps be in order. But as for direct links.. I am a firm believer that one and one add up to two. There's a point where circumstance becomes a little too convenient and in this case things are becoming far too... convenient."
"I have nothing to hide," Zolor replies, "and I am providing full cooperation. Tell me the establishment and I will send forth the order."
For a moment Moira maintains her hard look before a blush creeps up to her cheeks and she ends up biting her lower lip. Tilting her head to the side a bit she says quite meekly, "I uhm... forgot the name of it? It's in the shadow district though." She says the last part quite confidently.
"You ... forgot," the nobleman replies, the faint smirk touching his mouth again. "Well, I am involved in numerous enterprises. I could hardly be expected to make *all* of them available to you at once. Perhaps if you toddle off and find out the precise information, I can be of further assistance."
The Lomasa noble eventually notices the two seated at the tavern, his expression turning into that of curiosity. He makes no move to go directly toward them, but he does settle on an empty table not too far from where they are positioned. He makes no attempt at stealth as he sits down at his table, his gaze wandering from time to time to maintain the illusion of nonchalance, though is obviously observing the two to one that would take the time to notice.
Moira blinks a bit and tilts her head back straight before smiling. "Or we could negate the entire problem of which one it is and simply burn them all to the ground." She smiles quite sweetly at that as she gazes directly at Zolor.
"You might, at that," Zolor counters, without so much as a twitch or a blink. He leans toward Moira, voice barely above a whisper. "But you had best be certain about your information before taking such rash action, my dear, or the Church of True Light may be forced to compensate House Zahir for the losses. Further, farms here in Fanghill provide much of the crops and food for temples in this region. It would be most unfortunate if, lacking compensation from the Church for the destruction of my enterprises, I were forced to increase the cost of our farmed goods to make up for the losses."
"And it would be most unfortunate for all those estates to be stripped away for the Lord Zahir to be found to be harboring the Shadow." Moira counters in an equally quiet level voice as she eyes the man without flinching in return. "So you see, Lord Zahir, we can either be polite and workable in this situation or we can both see which of us has more backbone. Would you really want to see to what extends I will go to extinguish the shadow?"
"I ask nothing more than that you perform a more thorough investigation, determine a specific establishment, and then return," Zolor replies, smiling broadly. "I have offered full cooperation. You have offered baseless allegations, incomplete information and threats. I believe I am in the right on this. You are overstepping your bounds. If you find my information lacking, then you are welcome to go to the Shadow District and knock, door to door. But it is a dangerous place. I would recommend otherwise."
Norran Lomasa frowns a slight bit as he catches bits of the conversation, the man obviously not liking what he hears, or doesn't hear. He shakes his head slowly after a point, rising from his seat to depart off torward the bar.
"I know quite well how dangerous the Shadow District is. Do you believe fear of it will keep me at bay?" The girl then leans forward towards Zolor looking directly in his eyes. "Believe me when I say I am quite unlike any scourge you have, or will, meet. My bounds are the realm of Fastheld and anything that is a part of the shadow. You have offered insults, limited cooperation, and your own threats. Do not believe you are in the right, because when it comes to matters of the Church, I am right."
Zolor Zahir nods. "As you say." He takes a sip of his wine. "And when you come to me with something clearer to answer, I will further my cooperation. For now, I have answered your questions most efficaciously: I do not know the boy. I do not know how he got that trinket. I do not know the other person...Clariele. That you would prefer different answers does not make me uncooperative. Inconvenient? Perhaps."
A very sweet smile comes to Moira's lips as she regards Zolor, "I only prefer the truth. Nothing else, nothing more." And then she slowly pushes her seat back. "Have a pleasant day drinking yourself under the table Lord Zahir. You'll be seeing me again... very soon."
Zolor Zahir inclines his head to the Scourge. "Farewell."
Return to Season 3 (2005)