Proper Means

Title: Proper Means
Time Period: April 6, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: Jorn has discovered potentially unsettling news regarding the unusual attacks of late. Algernon has discovered his hat.

The harbour is different enough from the waterfront- the inn and shops are gone, to be replaced by fishing stalls and residences owned by sea-dogs, with boats lining the waters and short docks. The day is wet, rain coming on and off all afternoon. People are likely soaked if they do not at least have a coat, hat, or umbrella- some are smart enough to use the edges of buildings to shield themselves, or duck to and fro under water-laden awnings. The fish smell is rather strong on days like these.

It takes quite a bit of effort for Jorn to put away its reminder of his childhood and concentrate to the task at hand. Unfortunately it happens almost every time he finds himself on the harbour proper. The northman's hair and mantle are quite dampened from the squirts of rain from above, and there is an ill-tempered wetness in his footfalls as he goes along looking for a familiar moustached face. Someone had told him Algernon was about- they weren't sure if it was patrols, or if someone dockside has actually caused ruckus enough to have the militia called down. Suppose that he'll find out soon enough.

Algernon has found his hat.

Unfortunately he found it on someone else's head.

And to say nothing of even further misfortune, the fellow he found it on was reluctant to part with it.

Fogg's truncheon fell first into his gut and then upward into his face with a mechanical jerk when he doubled over, meeting momentum with momentum and garbling a bellow with blood. He's only just fallen over sideways in a soundless heap when Jorn rounds the corner in time to see the hat being sat firmly down onto the skull it fits best.

A pair of other dockhands that had initially moved to help have second guessed themselves. One is already playing his forward movement off into a fumble after a loop of rope. The second follows suit once his comrade's gun has been stripped from his person and discarded off the dock side. Plunk.

Bowler thus recovered, runnoff thinning in its drip from chin and nose, he sniffs and starts back for Dornie's more civilized sectors, sliding truncheon back out of sight under rain-heavy duster as he goes.

Sometimes the end of the tale proves more satisfying than the beginning or the middle. Algernon hadn't been Algernon as of late, and getting a good view of his finding and old friend explains why that was. One can never doubt the effectiveness of a good, well-worn hat. As the Englishman dons his partner in crime, Jorn is left planting his feet and letting his arms cross, blue eyes surveying the bloodied litter left behind.

Algernon's path back to parts unoccupied by the hovering scent of chum is half-obscured by a northman with an appreciative expression, though purposefully exaggerated.

"I see you have found your hat. All's well in Dornie once again."

There's still an uneveness to Algernon's stride as he approaches — a limp in its last stages of blending back into his natural gait. He fell off his horse or his horse fell on him. Retellings of the incident in the square vary in description and detail.

It's hard to miss Jorn even when he isn't doing a Mister Clean at the Harbor's murky edge; deliberate aggrandizing is tolerated more than it is appreciated in a flat lock of his eyes even from afar. "Yes," he agrees all the same, taller and leaner where water's weight trims him about the fringes, "at last, I'll have a sound night's sleep."

"One of few normal men that know how I feel, I suppose." Jorn peers back to take in the sight of justice done, before he turns to allow Algernon past- only to clip along with him, the next moment. He moves stiffly, wearing as vigorous a guise as he can manage without forcing it. "I have been looking for you." The notion sounds sentimental, even if the reason is less so.

"I have news of a sort. I would take it to Duncan directly-" But. "-it is tricky business with a mage, and I am sure you know how he is, about the affairs of mages. Even if it is to do with the trolls, the dragons, the kelpies, and anything else upcoming." Hopefully this grabs Algernon's interest more readily than attempts at teasing.

"My patterns are usually more predictable," Algernon apologizes on behalf of his missing hat making him harder to find. He slows somewhat once Jorn falls into step. Polite, for all that the weather can't seem to spare the same courtesy; a tip of his head in acknowledgement of news alters the angle of drizzle off the brim.

But as expected, it's the qualifiers that snare his interest in earnest. "You suspect these attacks are being orchestrated."

Jorn does not look to particularly mind the rain drizzling on his face or plastering his hair around his neck. It is only water, were he to be asked why. Though it does define his hairline, and make some of the lines on his face deepen along the scruff of hair on his face.

"It is not so sinister. Not yet." He is not discounting the possibility, when he takes Algernon's words into account. "There is a boy that speaks to spirits, and he claims that there is currently one pestering him who had died somewhere else, under similar circumstance. Attacks on a village, until, in different words, there was nothing left to destroy." Jorn's voice is uneasy, and he spares a glance over his shoulder to make sure that they remain relatively alone.

"He said that she first appeared to him after the trolls came. Warned him that more would happen. The dragons came, and then the kelpies. He is not terribly fond of soldiers. May have not told me of it at all, had I not run into him as I did." Some of his words sound very foolish, Jorn knows- without a fourth event happening, his news is speculation based on the word of a medium.

"There was something last year, that I thought might be related. A town near the border to the southwest was burned by Greens. They could have been nesting, or it could have been something like what we have been troubled with."

Algernon listens as he walks, less prone to cutting eyes and other nervous tics; his posture is appropriate for talk of the weather and his pace borders upon lackadaisical. Nowhere to be, yet. He has his hat.

Behind them, the man who held brief ownership of the bowler rolls onto his side with help, still gripping slippery at his face.

The way he catches at 'greens' is hardly a catch at all. More of a slightly unfortunate notation, checked off with a twitch of one brow. "He can hardly be blamed for his apprehensions. Something is drawing in magical beasts; it stands to reason that the lure itself is arcane. Deliberate or no. There'll be a witch hunt."

However small a catch it is, Jorn does see it, and files it away. He returns it thus with a small frown. "Yes. That is what I am afraid of. When people here get riled up, they can become a creature unto themselves. Same for most communities, I expect." His experience with small towns is mainly by Dornie example and Fosnavag's apathetic views.

"The lure does not need to be arcane. Normal men can do just as much, given the proper means." Wartooth simmers on that as they walk, clearly alluding to himself on the matter of your everyday men and magic. "I certainly hesitate out of concern for the safety of mages, but do not think me biased."

"Arcane means," says Algernon, unphased by what he apparently perceives to be a difference of semantics. "I suppose the safest thing for the short term would — theoretically — " the qualification is framed by pauses on both sides, "convince this 'ghost' to elaborate." Preferably some time before 'Plan B' develops fully into burning people in the town square.

A handkerchief or bit of towel drawn from some pocket beneath his duster mopped dry across his face and down into whiskery bristle, he tucks it away again without breaking stride. "I hear no bias," he assures once that's done, nose sniffed again against lingering damp. "Although your classification of self is charming." As 'normal,' he probably means. A glance is all that's needed to see he has no intention of elaborating. "Are you soliciting my help or merely my advice?"

Jorn chuckles, despite himself; he casts a look across his shoulder towards a boat coming in to dock in the distance, to keep his eyes on something.

"Both. Duncan won't like the idea of a medium being his only clue, but someone needed to know. If you do have advice, you may give it. Or not. You are capable enough." The nord pauses in his walking, long enough to be taken out of step from Algernon. "Beisdean Skye-" A name, finally. "-does not seem fond of soldiers. I think perhaps a friend of his could get him to cooperate easily. But otherwise I am not sure how to proceed, as he is the only lead I have seen."

When Jorn pauses, Algernon stops entirely, shoulders turned to thoughts of departure. "Skye spends time with Mariah Larke," he delivers lowly, voice metered into a business clip. "Around the Dovetail. And in the interest of future admissions of this nature, I would not refer him to Mister Rowntree until he's given over what he knows freely. Unless," unless, he glances down and then back up Jorn's person, "the situation becomes so dire that you to feel comfortable referring one to torture to better preserve the many."

Deeming that sufficient assistance for the time being, Algernon begins to turn back and away.

"Should you require anything else, you know where to find me."

"Yes, he always seems friendly with her. She was even there when he told me about the ghost, but she is a discreet girl." Jorn doubts that she will say anything inconclusive about it, at least regarding source. The sufficient assistance Algernon gives, Jorn looks unsurprised to hear. Batting an eye to the notion of torture doesn't happen- he is not that far gone from the life of a brigand. He would just rather not.

"Of course."

"Must be nice," says Algernon. Resigned on the subject of discreet girls. "Enjoy the rest of your day, Mister Wartooth."

A tip of hand to hat sees him off to the rest of his.

There is a mage he'd like to speak to.

One who was ridden out of a town plagued by Green Tail dragons.