(I can deal with that.)
Thresh smiled as the woman, Sage, shouted him away refusing to do business. Well, two could play at that game. He knocked again at the door, persisting. Thresh hadn't found a lead on the Blood Rose in weeks. So far, she was his most difficult hunt, and his most enthralling. Thresh would be dam.ned if he lost this trail.
"I'm here only to ask a few questions!" Thresh said to the door. He could tell the house wasn't empty, he had seen the faint glow of candlelight from the path outside the house. Thresh waited a few more moments before knocking again. Persistence paid off, especially as a hunter. And Thresh, if nothing else, was a hunter.
Sage sighed, thinking it over. "What do you want to know? Who are you? Who do you think you are bothering a lady on such a holiday?" She opened the door just a crack and gazed at him. Her brain screamed at her. Assassin... "Just questions, right? Nothing else?"
Thresh chuckled. It seemed he wasn't the only one with a few questions. Looking at the face in the door, he said, "My name is Thresh. I'm here on business for my guild. A man told me you had a few pieces of information on the Blood Rose. I was wondering if perhaps you could share some of that information. I offer some compensation." Thresh held up a pouch of coins before tucking it away again. Whatever Sage had on the Blood Rose would be useful, and Thresh wasn't willing to leave this village empty-handed.
Sage eyed him suspiciously a moment before opening the door. "Coins are of little worth to me. You'll have to provide something of trade if you want me to talk, but I guarantee you, I could answer nearly any question concerning him. The issue is your reason for finding him. I wouldn't want to be giving information to someone with intentions against him."
Thresh tucked the coins away, grunting. He pondered what she could possibly want for trade. While considering this, Thresh said,
"My intentions are far from ill. In fact, I require his help for a specific task." That was the absolute truth, but Thresh wasn't the only one who needed the Blood Rose's help. The whole kingdom needed him. While waiting for Sage's response, Thresh reached into his pocket and procured a small spool of thread. "Dragon Cloth, made from the threads of spider's webs. When woven and sewn into clothing, this can be stronger than steel and sevenfold more flexible. It's yours if you answer my questions."
Sage perked up and eyed the cloth. If she had that, she'd use it for herself, but it would be quite useful. She nodded. "Alrght, ask what you want." She sat down, gesturing to a chair across from her. "But do bear in mind I like my beauty sleep. So make it quick."
Thresh nodded and sat. Looking around, he though of his first question. Thresh needed to establish an area where he could find the Blood Rose. "Where was the Blood Rose's hometown? And where were some of her favorite hideaways after a kill?" He asked, grabbing some parchment, a quill, and some ink to take notes. "Did the rose she use after a kill have any special places where it grew?" If Thresh could rule out some locations where the Rose may visit or stay, his hunt would be twnfold more simple.
((Hey, everyone thinks Blood Rose is a HE So make sure Thresh acts like it and talks like it. Where were some of HIS favorite hideaways. The rose HE used.))
Sage frowned slightly. "You know, if you really want me to just tell you what would help you find him, I probably could. I probably know him the best of anyone. Him and I grew up as friends. He was like a big brother to me." She leaned back in her chair.
"The roses were from home. Although you're not going to find him there, he burnt it all down. Bad memories. You wouldn't find him in his home town at all. I don't think he'd ever go back, not if the world depended on it. He had...quite a few places he liked to stay. Telos...Halvara...the mountains...He's more of a recluce, not a big fan of being right inside civilization. But...he's got his heart set on completely abandoning the past. I mean, he refuses to have any contact with me, he dumped all his stuff here, he burned down his childhood home, he doesn't ever want to return to his home town, and who knows what else."
((Apologies about that, I wasn't thinking when I was typing.)) Thresh thought for a moment, considering some of the possibilities. The mountain range was close to here. Perhaps a two-day ride by horse. Telos was a rathole of a village, and about four days ride the opposite way of the mountains. Halvara was a three day ride, over the mountains and through the valley. Thresh's best bet was to ride through the mountains and then into Halvara. "Even with those town names, I will still need a guide." He thought out loud, leaning back in his chair and looking up at the ceiling. If Sage was willing... Thresh was unsure. The Blood Rose always seemed to carry out contracts faster if they were closer to the mountains. And with that Thresh decided, the mountains were his first destination.
"I'm sorry, but I don't just run off giving random Assassins tours." Sage said, standing. "There's no promise you'll find him in the places I named. Frankly, I don't know where he is, and the best I can do is guess. But to have me travel with you? Now that would cost you, definitely."
Thresh bowed his head. He understood her reluctance to go. After all, he was just a random assassin. Still, it would be nice to have her go. This was a big kingdom, and Thresh could barely scratch the surface unless he had someone who knew where the Blood Rose situated himself. "I understand. I suppose there is no way to convince you to go?" Thresh asked, standing and gather his belongings. Idly reaching for the Dragon Cloth, he recoiled and left it when he remembered he had given it to the girl.
Sage sighed. "Tell me why you want to find him. Why him specifically? I don't see much reason in anyone looking for him unless they want to kill him or find out who he really is." If his reasons were right, she might agreee to go with him, or even admit to being Blood Rose herself.
Thresh sighed, it was a long story as to why he wanted the Blood Rose. It couldn't be said in a few simple and words. Inhaling a bit, he began,
"My guild of assassins has watched this kingdom crumble and corrupt itself under the tyrannical rule of our 'great' king for so long. We have sent over a dozen of our best men to murder the man who is choking the life from this land. None have succeeded. We lost all those men and women, good soldiers. I was next in line to attempt this assassination, and I would be glad to go. I want to see that bast.ard die in the worst way, but before I could depart one of my colleagues suggested we set out to search for the Blood Rose. They decided I should be the one to do it. That is why I need the Blood Rose. That is why this kingdom needs the Blood Rose."
Thresh tucked the parchment with his notes on it into his pack. He bowed slightly to Sage before smiling thinly and saying,
"Thank you for your time. I hope you use the Dragon Cloth well."
"Wait..." Sage bit her lip. "I'll come with you. I'll help you find him. We can leave in the morning. I'll just need to get some things together." She wanted to take some time to consider it, and she wanted to make sure he was telling the truth. She felt traveling with him would be the best.
Thresh stopped, turned and smiled politely. She had taken the emotional bait, that was good. Thresh was getting better at pulling that particular trick.
"That sounds fine. I am a bit weary from the road in any case. Do you have a place I can sleep, or shall I rest my head on the floor?" He joked badly. He then set his pack down on the table and unravelled a map of the kingdom(which we need a name for.). Marking down a few places, He studied it intently. \
Roses from his village in the northeast, a hideaway in the mountains to the northwest, Telos in the southeast, and...Halvara. He thought to himself. Something didn't add up. The Blood Rose had a hideaway in every corner of the kingdom except the southwest. Was there something there he was avoiding, or did Sage miss a detail?
Sage realized he probably was trying to bait her by the way he was talking. "I have a spare room, but no spare bed. And don't think I'd ever share a bed with you." She grabbed a spare blanket and pillow from a trunk. "You can sleep wherever, except my room."
She looked at the map, frowning slightly. "In all of Farolai...never there..." She touched the map in the Southwest. There was one thing she hadn't done when she was killing that she had meant to do. Someone she meant to kill. But she never found them. "I think if we don't find him in any of the other places, we should certainly look there."
Maybe she could pick up finding that someone again. Maybe this assassin before her could help her, and all without having a clue in the world. And when she was finished, then she could reveal herself to him.
Thresh nodded, and then yawned. He could feel the weariness from the road seep through his bones. He just realized he ached, badly. Cracking his back, Thresh grabbed the spare blanket and pillow.
"I appreciate this," He said, grabbing his pack and starting towards the spare bedroom before turning, "How was the Blood Rose like as a child?"
Thresh figured it was a trivial question, but perhaps it will give a bit more information as to the whereabouts of his prey.
"Kind. Some might say a little feminine. He was a momma's boy. A lover of horses, like myself. Family meant a lot to him." Sage sighed. "But that changed."
She turned and went to her room, taking the cloth with her and shutting the door behind her. She pulled out her old Blood Rose stuff, using the cloth to repair her clothes and armor.
((I suppose it would be inappropriate to have Thresh stumble into her room at this moment. I'll have him go to bed, unless you want otherwise.))