The Tale Of The Angels En Garde

<Mina‘Haplo> [ The Oblationist Temple, in the Agnesian town of Redspring! Maia has decided to return here in quicktime, taking the earliest train she can… All in all, she ends up outside the Basilica at a rather early hour in the morning. Hopefully she slept on the train. ]
*Maia probably did, if not well, so she’s probably a little bit stumbling in still waking up.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ A fair few people are awake; after all, the hours in the Basilica tend to be early to rise and early to bed. Where to first, Maia?]
*Maia heads straight to Tycho’s office, probably looking at least a little more awake by the time she shows up.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ The office door is closed, with Tycho’s name on a plaque on the door. The man is inside, at least- Maia can hear him walking about inside. ]
*Maia knocks on the door gently!
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Who is it?" ]
*Maia answers the question by knocking again, louder and more irritatedly.
<Mina`Haplo> [ "…" The door opens a little, revealing Tycho’s aged face as he peeks through the crack. "… Oh, Maia! This is an unexpected visit." He opens the door fully. "Come in, please. I didn't know you were in town." ]
<Maia> <I just got here,> would come the signed reply. <I need to know about the…> Failing to think of a sign for this, she instead switches to the slate, writing on it - a little sloppily, the morning is showing - 'Angels en Garde'. <The Garland investigation has put me in contact with them.>
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Tycho stares at Maia for awhile, a sudden frown across his face. "The Angels en Garde?" He says in surprise, and… Not dismay, but there’s a real shock there. "That's… Hm." He pulled a chair out for her next to his desk, and sat down in his own. "More details, please, Maia." ]
<Maia> <About what? The encounter, or Garland?>
*Maia would sit down in the chair with a bit of a flop.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "About the encounter." ]
<Maia> <I was referred by one of the scrying officials, after a failed attempt at persistent tracking on Garland.>
<Maia> <She eluded our grasp because she was able to detect our scrying efforts,> Maia signed.
<Mina`Haplo> ["Hmm…" He frowned. "I see." Tycho taps his chin gently, before taking the spectacles off of his face and placing them down in front of him. "You came to find out more about the Angels?"]
*Maia nods. <They have made a request, in return for their assistance; I felt I should learn more about them before I consider it.>
<Mina`Haplo> [ Tycho nods. "I see. Well then." He sighed, placing his hands together. "The first thing I feel the need to tell you about the Angels en Garde is that this is unexpected. From what I knew, they’d been disbanded fifty years ago." Said Tycho. "But before that… Well. The first thing you must know is that the Angels en Garde are an old group, Maia. Older than the Oblationists." ]
*Maia nods.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "How much do you know about the circumstances regarding the creation of the Oblationist order? Especially, St. Ophelia’s sealing?" ]
<Maia> <Everything we were taught in our lessons, of course. Are you questioning my memory?> Maia smirked when she signed the last part, indicating it was a joke.
<Mina‘Haplo> ["No, no, your memory’s fine." Said Tycho, with a smile. "But how much do you know about her comrades?" ]
<Maia> <Not as much, I'm afraid.> Maia looked down, a little embarrassed at this.
<Mina‘Haplo> ["That’s alright." Said Tycho with an indulgent chuckle. "I know how it goes. To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if they asked to be obscured a little." He stood up and walked over to a bookshelf, grabbing a dusty-looking tome and placing it on the table, opening it to a certain page. There was a gorgeous, old illustration of St. Ophelia sealing Lord Samana, allies around her… Tycho pointed at them.-
<Mina‘Haplo> ["At least half of the group were Angels en Garde. Which half, we don’t know."]
*Maia nodded slowly. <I see.>
<Mina‘Haplo> ["Their role is… Similar to ours, really." He said, nodding. "They act to counter demons, undead, necromancy, dark magic… Especially demons." He tapped the book again. "The ’Angels en Garde' is more than just a fancy name. Legend has it the group was founded by an angel of Balanar himself."]
*Maia raises an eyebrow. <Intriguing… in any case, they have offered their help in tracking down Garland, but there is one problem.>
<Mina‘Haplo> ["What’s that?"]
<Maia> <To do so, they need access to 'The Divine Shadowing'. Providing said access, of course, would be highly illegal by Paxia's laws.>
<Mina‘Haplo> ["… Hmm." Tycho leaned back in his seat, a frown on his face. "They want to piggy-back your Oblationist powers regarding restricted access, hmm?" He frowned, standing up, pacing back and forth… "I take it this involves some sort of advanced detection magic." ]
*Maia nods simply. <Correct.>
<Mina`Haplo> ["This disturbs me." He sighed. "I wonder as to the authenticity of this group. As I said, the Angels en Garde were disbanded fifty years ago after its two leaders- the ’Right Hand' and 'Left Hand' - caused a massive schism in the group. They should -know- this magic already." Said Tycho. "I fear they may be impostors…"]
*Maia presses her lips together. <Perhaps there is some means by which I could discern their authenticity?>
<Mina‘Haplo> ["Well…" He tapped his hands together. "The best way of verifying that… It’s plausible that they may have lost their detection abilities with the splintering in the group, but if there's one art the Angels en Garde excelled at, it was demonic wards and traps… That would probably be the best way. Judge the strength of their wards."]
<Maia> <The location I met them had a ward on it.>
*Maia grinned. <I am told it was driving Hammarus rather batty.>
<Mina‘Haplo> ["Hmmm. That does lend credence… If it’s enough to affect a sealed demon." He paced, and then he paced a little more. Eventually, with a burdened sigh, he turned back to Maia. "Alright, I'm going to allow this. If you -are- somehow caught in the process of committing this action, the Oblationist Order of St. Ophelia will explain the situation, and defuse anything against -you-."]
*Maia nods slowly. <I think I will prepare a written statement that I need to withdraw 'The Divine Shadowing' for official business. It should save me some frustration on-site.>
<Mina‘Haplo> ["A good idea." Said Tycho, nodding slowly… "How is the investigation into Garland going?" ]
<Maia> <We dealt with the Strigoi, but she detected our scrying and escaped. I don’t currently know where she is.>
*Maia frowns, looking down. <We are not the only ones after her.>
<Mina‘Haplo> ["Hmm." Tycho nodded. "…Oh?"]
<Maia> <There is one in Paxia known as the ’Slayer' who seeks her as well. The Strigoi I mentioned was targeting her.>
<Mina‘Haplo> ["The Slayer?" Tycho frowns deeply. "Yes, we have heard of her here in the Basilica." He said, nodding. "She cannot be allowed to reach Garland first. You know of our ways, and you know of the risk. A rogue Oblationist’s seals could be weak enough so that a death will result in… Well."]
*Maia nods. <I wouldn't consider illegal methods to catch her if I wasn't worried of that possibility.>
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Tycho nodded. "Very well. I wish it hadn’t come to this." He sighed, sitting back down. "I hope it goes well. If it doesn't, well…" He shrugged. "How's Lucius holding up?"]
<Maia> <I worry about him, a little.>
*Maia carries on. <He should be teaching my companions a little sign language today while I'm here…>
<Mina‘Haplo> ["Hm, I see." Tycho nodded. "You look after him, alright? He’s very loyal to you, to the point where he disregards his own wellbeing. I trust you to keep an eye on him because of that."]
*Maia nods. <Of course.>
<Mina‘Haplo> ["Very well then. Is there anything else we should cover?"]
*Maia closes her eyes, seemingly in contemplation for a minute or two before finally signing, <How is Isha doing?>
<Mina`Haplo> ["Isha’s doing well." Said Tycho warmly. "She's doing well in her studies- aided of course by Fara- and continues to be a bright and cheery child. She does miss you, however."]
*Maia beams. <Good>
<Maia> +!
<Mina‘Haplo> ["Why don’t you pay her a visit before you go?"]
*Maia nods.
<Mina‘Haplo> [ Tycho puts his hands together again on the table, as if waiting for Maia to ’say' something extra. ]
<Maia> <Is there anything else going on here I should know about?>
<Mina‘Haplo> [ "Not here, specifically. It’s been pretty quiet." ]
*Maia smiles. <I will go see her, then.>
<Mina`Haplo> ["Balanar and the Seven go with you, Maia."]
*Maia waves happily, and departs!

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