[quote="Hengist the Fair"]
"While we're speaking of it, who has changed? You're not the first to say it, but I haven't heard any names put to it. I suppose it's to the good no-one's quick to accuse their neighbors, but we knew no-one here before, so might never know the difference."
And, for that matter, what is the 'change'? Are they still themselves, with the habits, ticks, and related behaviors? Or are they acting like..well, actors, pantomiming someone else's life?
Illyana lets out a long sigh, "Who hasn't changed, really? Distrust runs deep now. Still...Leland, our smith, has seemed most affected. He always had a quick temper, but woe to any who cross him now. The work of Neddy, our carpenter, has become...strange...one has to see it to understand. Worse, none have seen his children in nearly a fortnight, yet he seems untroubled. Stephon, the local provisioner, although he was always a touch...odd. Lord Mallory..." she begins, then stops herself, looking at the Baronet. For the young man's part, he merely regards the food set before him, pushing it around his plate without eating, "...seems to be in council with elves: rumoured to be friends of his, they showed up around the time things became difficult, but we rarely see them..." her gaze passes from the Baronet back to the party, "The new militiamen, friends of Aramis, also don't seem keen on mixing with anyone here in town, and Aramis himself is jumping at shadows, though perhaps with good reason. He has spoken of arresting Hulburd, the hermit, fearing his involvement. And, worst of all, the clergy of the Temple seem withdrawn, leaving us without the Light of Solis to protect us from the dark; added to this, Lady Rana seems to have developed an intense dislike for Lord Mallory for no earthly reason..." she looks at the Baronet, almost apologetically, and shrugs.
Andrew takes notice at the mention of the temple. He investigated that! "I think the temple is in the clear. The wounds don't match Vasan raiders. Small, precise, lethal. Difficult to heal. Worrisome obviously, but at least the temple's healers aren't the source of the problem. Well, at least it explains their trouble healing people. And that apparent failure was the reason for suspicion."
The Baronet looks up sharply at this, staring at Andrew, his expression unreadable, but says nothing.
The woman pauses, blushing slightly, "Ah, well...listen to me prattle on, like an old gossip! Please don't think ill of me. Were it not for dark days here in Orlean, I wouldn't think to discuss my neighbours behind their backs..."
[quote="Miska the Misanthropic"]
Miska eats nothing but his own food, glaring about suspiciously. "It's the elves, I tell you," is all he says when asked about his intentions.
Illyana nods at the Cleric, "Some are saying this, claiming the elves have ensorceled the Baron..."
"That's a lie!" the Baronet shouts, standing abruptly, his motion rattling the table. He stands, clenched fists resting on the table before him, his anger clearly directed at your host.
Illyana's eyes widen in shock, and she curtsies, adopting a concilliatory tone as she casts her eyes downwards, "Your pardon, my Lord! I did not mean to claim any truth. I merely thought they should know what rumours swirl in idle conversaton. Your Father has long been a fair and just ruler here, and we trust in him to protect us."
The boy raises his chin imperiously, "Then you had best watch your tongue, woman!" he then sits, seemingly mollified by her reply, though his expression remains unhappy as he props his chin on his upturned palm.
Illyana looks at the group, distinctly avoiding the Baronet's gaze, "I'll prepare your rooms, and you may settle in as you wish. Please let me know if you need anything else..." her smile seems genuine, if a bit strained. She then turns and moves up a creaking staircase at the back of the room to the the second floor.