Jaira was the first to speak, her voice quivering with rage. "Well, Khav, tell us the truth now. How long have you really been in Luthadel? How many people have you slain with your magic 'shardblade?' Or did you travel here with others- more people who can summon these blades? How many of you are there?"
"I don't know what I told you yesterday, I can only assume I was truthful as I was with Fidel today. I have only been in Luthadel for a few weeks. In that time I have killed 2 people with my shardblade. The first was Kenner, the second was the soldier when Dedrie and I were investigating Cett's army. No-one else."
"I came through alone. The only other person I know of who came through is the man I hunt. I never saw any indication that he had a shardblade but I don't know for certain that he doesn't have one."
Khav paused, "Did something happen?"
Jaira huffs skeptically and glares at Khav, and an awkward silence falls on the room for a couple seconds. Locks is the one to speak up and break it.
"Five o'her bodies ha' been turned in to crematoriums in Luthadel ovah the pas' couple weeks. All wif burned eyes, no o'her injuries on 'em. The mos' recen' of 'em was las' night."
"I'm thinkin' you shoulda telled us there was another o' you dodgy bastards out there, who might be swingin' a sword what can cut through a man's soul, yeah? Now, it seems like as you coulda been tryin' t'keep it secret, it does. My momma said 'Never guess that someone's lyin' when it's just as easy they didn't know. But once you know they're lyin', or if'n they miss tellin' all the truth too many times, that's it for 'em. You never trust 'em again.' I been doin' my best to always be open wit' everythin' an' everyone, exceptin' wit' those I know are gonna die, 'cause what's the point, yeah? And I ain't thinkin' we gonna kill you. We ain't even got to where we never trust you, but if you wanna help us step back away from it, you gotta give us somethin'. You gotta tell us everythin'. Where you come from, who sent you, who you're chasin'," Petty raises an eyebrow, "how you actually got on our crew, why you did for Kenner, everythin'. And if you decide to leave somethin' out, you better hope it don't get no one killed, or that's it. We'll probably kill you. You'll definitely never see daylight again."
Khav's eyes widened slightly in surprise at the news of the new deaths, he was about to speak but waited when Petty started talking. Khav ignored the threat at the end and returned to the crux of the matter.
"If I knew of another shardbearer here, I would have told you. Even if I had no other reason than to avoid this situation. And I suspect that I am the only one here who doesn't know exactly where I was last night."
"I gave Fidel a quite detailed summary earlier today and I assumed he had shared the important parts, but if you want me to repeat myself or want to know something specific that I haven't told you I can do so."
Fidel nods reassuringly as 'Khav' winds down. "Don't worry: I told them about how everything's a crab."
Gash pipes up from his corner. "I think there are two questions foremost in our minds 'Kav', is it? The first is how we can trust you; unless you can transport us to this crab blighted neathersphere of yours of course. It is a given that we are, by definition, a band of mercenaries, but the utter fantastical nature of your tale..."
Gash takes a bare moment to let the words settle, then continues.
"The second might be a start on the answer to the first question namely: Can we see the sword?"
Aware of the potential risks of summoning a 6-foot blade in an enclosed space without adequate warning Khav glances towards Jaira who gives a small, sharp nod of permission. Khav checks to make sure he wouldn't be summoning the blade too close to anyone then extends his hand. 10 heartbeats later an enormous blade condenses from mist and falls into his hand. It's almost 6 feet long, one edge is straight except near the end where it curves up to a point. The other edge is a sequence of ridged curves like breaking waves, and across the gleaming metal work is an intricate pattern of swirls.
While waiting for Khav to summon his blade, Jaira asks skeptically, "What about this faulty memory of yours? Is it possible you've merely 'forgotten' about a few murders here and there?"
Dedrie speaks up first. "You say these attacks happened over he past couple weeks? In Luthadel?" Locks nods. "Well... It couldn't have been Gen then. Khav. Him, it couldn't have been him. We were together the whole time. We barely left the saferoom above the pottery."
Jaira frowns, eying the large sword that just materialized in Khav's hand.
Khav nods at Dedrie's words, aware of how little his confirmation might mean.
"My memory flaw is quite specific. I remember nothing of what happened yesterday, but tomorrow morning that memory will return and I will forget everything about today."
"Oi, Dedrie," Petty interjected. "You sensin' his sword? Can ya Push it?"
Dedrie glances at Jaira, then focuses on the magnificent sword. Nothing changes about his posture, but he stares intently at the blade for a good half a minute before exhaling and slumping back, a look of consternation on his face.
"No. I can't detect a thing."
"Well that's odd." Fidel noted, "It certainly looks metallic enough. Perhaps some kind of crystalline substance?"
Khav shrugs, "I don't know what it's made of."
"I fear we may be straying off topic..."
"Indeed," Jaira says, then sighs. "Well, Khav, any idea who else might be running around Luthadel with one of these shardblades? Could anyone have followed you here? Does your brother's murderer have one, too?"
"I suppose someone could have come here the same way I did, I don't know why anyone would have followed me though." Khav says.
"I know the names of a number of other prominent shardbearers and I might be able to recognise a small number by sight though I didn't know any of them personally and I somewhat doubt they would be using their real names here."
Gen decides that now isn't the time to point out that he had already answered the other question. "I never saw any indication that he had a shardblade, and my brother was murdered with a more conventional weapon. I couldn't say for certain that he doesn't have one though.
An uncomfortable silence falls on the room as the members of the crew contemplate Khav's words. He still holds the six foot long shardblade casually in his hand, droplets of dew beading the length of the magnificent blade.
For her part, Jaira fixes Khav with a hard stare. The silence drags on for a long time before Locks finally breaks it by speaking. "Ano'her thin' to think abou'. I sen' runners to a dozen of Luthadel's crematoriums. Only two had seen bodies wit' burned eyes. The one in the Sootwarrens and the one on Blocks'reet."
Jaira finished the thought for him. "The two closest to Keep Venture. Lord Ruler!" she cursed.
"Coinciden'?" Locks asked.
Jaira shook her head. "Doubtful." She turned her gaze back to Khav, then sighed. "Ge- Khav. I can't afford to keep you locked up and guarded. Which means I only have two choices. Kill you or let you rejoin the crew. So, can I trust you?"
Khav lets the shardblade slip from his hand and it puffs away to mist. "Yes. I will not allow my quest for vengeance to endanger the crew again."
"Very well," Jaira says, "You will understand if I keep one or two crew members with you whenever you're out on assignment." The way she says it implies it's not a question. "Have a seat, Khav.
"Now, I know it's late, but I want to send a couple scouts up to Keep Venture, to keep an eye out for whoever is running around with another shardblade. If they're hanging around the Keep, then they might be a spy for one of the other Kings. Perhaps they would be willing to ally with us or assist us in assassinating Venture. Anybody feel up to losing a few hours sleep?"
She looks first to Jerrard, who shrugs and nods.
"Well you do all have fun with that."
Fidel glances at a clock on the mantel.
"While I've enjoyed spending all day cooped up with our dear friend from the Land of Jars, the hour grows late and I think I'll pass on this further adventure."
Khav speaks up, sounding a little uncertain about how his suggestion would be received. "I could go, I'm good at stealth and on the off-chance that we see this shardbearer and they are someone I'd recognise it could give us some very useful information. Aside from that I'd like to get a good look at keep Venture in case we decide to attempt the assassination while he's there."
Jaira nods. "I think that's a good idea. I'd like for one more person to go. I was thinking-"
The crew never got the chance to find out what exactly it was that their leader was thinking. At that moment the doors leading to the balcony exploded inwards, spraying glass and splinters of wood into the room. Something huge and dark thudded into the floor, then straightened and stood. It appeared to be a large, well-muscled human, save for the large metals driven through its eye sockets.
The inquisitor "looked" around the room, gripping a wicked obsidian axe in its hand.
Khav jumps out of his seat and moves into a defensive stance. "What the damnation is that thing?"
At the sound of the crash, Petty jumps up and turns towards the noise. As his eyes fall on the hulking robed figure, a childhood memory, unbidden, rises to the surface of his mind. Momentarily he freezes, unable to comprehend the situation. "Mother," he gasps aloud.
As everything starts happening at once, his instincts bred from a lifetime of acting only to survive kick in, and he adds his shouting to Jaira's.
"Steeleyes! Monster!" he shouts in answer to Khav's question as he hooks his foot under his chair, and, kicking forward, flings it towards the beast as a distraction. At the same time, he spins his staff before him, holding it ready.
The sudden appearance of the spike eyed monster shocks Gash out of his chair and into a crouch grasping his cane with one hand and the other tucked behind his back.
He shouts. "What is your business here priest?" and looks him in the eyes. Or tries to...
The room bursts into activity as crew members leap to their feet and dive for cover. Several people begin shouting at once. The inquisitor responds by raising its hand- not the one holding the axe- and tossing dozens of small triangular razors into the air in front of it. As the razors shoot away from the inquisitor, propelled by its steelpush, Jaira screams wordlessly and all of the razors veer in the air, arcing away from the rest of the crew and towards her. She ducks, but too late, and the hailstorm of razors hits her, slicing into her in a dozen places. Her scream cuts off and she drops to the floor.
Khav stretches out his hand and his shardblade drops into it in a puff of mist.
Secret Allomancers! I knew it!
With that, Fidel ducked down deeper behind the chair.
The inquisitor turns its spike-gaze to Khav, and Petty capitalizes on its distracting by kicking a chair towards the monster. The wooden chair slams into the inquisitor's shin and it growls and stumbles. It's gaze shoots back to Khav however when the massive blade coalescences, and the inquisitor grins.
Staying behind cover as much as possible, Fidel crouches over to Jaira and attempts to staunch the bleeding.
As Gash pulls out his cane, he quips. "That is certainly disambiguous." then he aims a thrust at the intruder.
Several people start running at once. Locks takes one look at the inquisitor and makes a break for the door, nearly tripping over Fidel as he dives to the fallen crew leader and begins trying to staunch the blood from her wounds.
Jerrard shoves his chair aside and charges, but the inquisitor moves faster. The inquisitor slides forward across the floor, propelled by an unseen steelpush and buries its axe deep in Jerrards midsection. The thug's eyes go wide and he exhales sharply before the inquisitor kicks him away, tearing him free from the sharp obsidian blades of it's axe.
The Inquisitor moves with a catlike litheness and power, and several of the crewmembers note that despite it's great height and soldier-like build, the Inquisitor is, or once was, female.
The Inquisitor turns her steel-eyed gaze back to Jerrard, ignoring as Petty cracks his staff against her back. Though the blow surely would have broken a normal man's ribs, the Inquisitor gives no sign of even noticing the attack.
From the side, Dedrie Pushes a handful of coins at the inquisitor, then cries out as he is slammed back against the wall and the coins snap back at him. He dives to the floor, narrowly avoiding his own coins as they bury themselves into the wood planks of the wall.
The inquisitor turns to face Khav as he dashes forward. Khav moves expertly, his stances and steps obviously trained and honed through years of training, but the Inquisitor moves with inhuman grace and speed. She deftly dodges Khav's first swing, then parries his second by slapping the side of the shardblade with her axe. Petty and Gash scramble back, giving Khav the space he needs to swing the six-foot sword. He brings it around and over to chop down at the inquisitor, but she leaps towards Khav, spinning behind him as the blade falls. Khav, however, accustomed to the the shardblade's capabilities moved with the momentum of the blade, slicing down through the floor and back up.
The inquisitor is unprepared for the unorthodox move, and the blade catches her left arm, just above the elbow. The blade fuzzes into mist as it passes through, and her arm below the cut turns gray and flops down, useless and limp. The inquisitor howls in shock and springs back.
Petty snarls, throws his staff to the side, and leaps forward. Immediately after his staff leaves his hands, he reaches into his cloak and pulls out two obsidian daggers from where they were hidden. As he passes by the hulking beast, he slashes at her, aiming for the hand holding the axe.
Fidel stands from Jaira's prone form, blood covering his hands, and shouts towards where the Inquisitor and Khav are fighting, an air of abstracted curiosity forced into his voice, along with a hint of malice:
"Why, you were entirely honest, 'Gen'! Kills the limb right off! Fascinating. How fast did you say gangrene sets in and starts infecting the rest of the body?"
The Inquisitor is using 6D to attack, the other 5 convert to defense dice for her. Her result is in the OOC box below. Please do not look at it until you've made your own defense roll.
Fidel stammers a bit at seeing the Inquisitor heal her arm, but continues on gamely enough. "Oh, and the wound does respond temporarily to healing arts! An exponentially less positive response to each healing, you said?"
Gash gamely grabs a handy chair, intending for all the world to throw it at the monster, but as he rotates back around he sees that the inquisitor is about to unleash a flurry of pain again. Quickly holding the chair-back up to block the attack Gash is alarmed to find that the chair is made largely of a wicker type material.
"Oh boots!" is all he has to say on the matter.
Petty, at the last moment before tossing his staff, sees the Inquisatrix preparing to fling a cloud a razors at them. He immediately changes his plans and spins his staff out in front of him in a vain attempt to defend himself from the swarm.
"Damn," he mutters as the hail of blades streak towards him.
The inquisitor lept backwards, gritting its teeth. All of a sudden the grayness faded from her arm, and here muscles tightened. She flexed her fingers as a wicked grin spread across her face.
Taking advantage of the group's hesitation, she reached her newly healed hand into her cloak and flung dozens of the triangular razors across the room, launching them forward at the crew. There was a collective gasp as everyone suffered cuts and lacerations from the deadly razors.
The small group of razors that headed towards Dedrie jerked to a stop, but the force from the Inquisitor's steelpush was transferred to Dedrie. The force of it slammed him backwards into the wall with a loud thud that reverberated through the house. Dedrie's head struck the wall hard enough to crack the plaster. His eyes rolled back in his head and he slumped to the floor by Jaira.
Fidel shouted taunts at the Inquisitor, and for a second she seemed to hesitate uncertainly. Khav took the opportunity to step forward, magnificent blade flashing. The Inquisitor dodged the first swing, but Khav expertly turned the blade down, slicing through the Inquisitor's shin. She let out a curse as she staggered on the blade-dead leg and fell to one knee.
There is a loud crash from the hallway where Locks fled to, and a moment later a second Inquisitor steps into the room. This one is male, and like all inquisitors, is clad in black robes and has his head shaven. His spike-end eyes calmly survey the room, and he steps in confidently, not bothering to reach for the obsidian axe hanging at his side.