17 Comments

Renegade Project 6: Meet the Family

Some information is too dangerous to learn by accident and with the chaotic issues of Galen’s household, you decide you might as well find out as much as possible from the start. That includes his family members. He was apparently a widower of some years leaving only the three children.

The oldest, Gallino, wasn’t hard to find. He had a private study right across the hall from his father’s.

You knock on the heavy wooden door.

“Come.”

Inside you find a room similar to the old merchants, with one large wooden bookcase, several trunks and a man sitting at a wide table. He looked in his mid thirties with dark hair and a wide chin. As you enter, he looks up from writing. He blinks in a moment of surprise, but then sighs. “What business have you with me?”

“Your father has hired me to help oversee the security of this estate and I thought it well to meet those I am to serve and protect.”

Gallino sits back, his chair creaking. “I see. He has been hiring more caravan guards, but…”

“I came seeking employment and he thought my skills would be more useful as a house guard.”

“Well then.” He stands and comes around the table. “How can I help you in your duties? Shall I show you around?”

“Actually I have walked the grounds and have reviewed the servants already.”

“Indeed. It seems my father has chosen well. If you have any questions, please ask.”

“Perhaps you could tell me who to talk to regarding small security repairs. The beam for the main door should be replaced as should latches on the shutters. If wood could be supplied I could help oversee a servant in the repairs.”

“I could probably arrange for wood brought. However, most expenses of that sort should be listed out and reviewed by my father. Have Selyna take the dictation – I’m sure she has the time. I certainly don’t. The caravan leaves in the morning and keeps me away from the house most often these days.”

“I am fully capable of writing out a list and delivering it to the master. Does he oversee only the expenses, or would he be the one to ask about servant help too?”

“Selyna deals with the servants.”

“Selyna, sir?”

Gallino waved his hand. “My sister. She tends to more of the domestic concerns.”

If she managed the household, it’s a wonder you haven’t run into her yet. “And where might I find her at this time?”

“It is nearly time for the evening meal so I expect that she is overseeing that. Come, I will attend you.”

In the maze of dark corridors, you are extremely grateful for the guide. Gallino seems efficient and direct. On the way, all the servants you pass make a quick bow to him before hurrying on, surprisingly, even the young girls though they don’t look too happy about it.

When you reached the kitchens, you find the head cook yelling at the young girls and rushing the last of the meal preparations.

“Where’s Selyna?” Gallino asked.

The woman bristled. “She ain’t here. I’ve got enough girls to tend right here and a meal to serve. I suggest ya go sit yerselves down where ya belong and she’ll turn up.”

A seat is found for you at one of the lower tables. A few minutes into the meal, a dark-haired woman in green satin hurries in through a side door. Her face is slightly flushed but she lifts hear head high as she makes her way to the high table and sits at the left of Galen’s empty chair.

Gallino leans over to say something and she glares at him.

So this is the beauty. She definitely had the looks and figure, but you’d met more than one beauty in your line of work and most were only skin deep. From shrews to vipers, you knew better than to get too enthralled by a pretty face. This one looked like no exception. Jumpy when anyone approached her and nervous eyes that continually scanned the room and watched the door she’d just come from. On the other hand, any time Gallino spoke to her or smiled in her direction, she tensed.

She was hiding something from him. You’d seen similar gestures hundreds of times.

When she finally notices your gazes, she stiffens in surprise, then scowls and avoids even glancing again in your general direction.

If you respect general protocol and wait until after the meal your instincts say she will definitely avoid you.  Unfortunately, that won’t get the door fixed. You finish the rest of the food on your plate and then approach the high table.

Before you reach it, she stands and heads for the door. You sigh and hurry after her.

Once in the quiet of the corridor, you call after her. “Mistress Selyna, I need -” but she only quickens her step.

Not of a mind to trail her through the building, you sprint forward and grab her arm.
She turns and jerks her arm away. “Fine! What do you want?”

“Gallino told me to talk to you about borrowing a couple servants for some work.”

She scoffs. “You tell my dear brother to mind his own business and to stay away from the servants.” She turned to walk away. “That goes for you, too.”

You grit your teeth at her flippant attitude. No wonder the estate and servants were in such disarray. However, you have a job to do and you’re not about to let this arrogant woman endanger everyone else – not the least being yourself. “Do you know where your other brother is?”

She freezes and spins around to stare at you. “What?”

“There are three of you aren’t there? I’ve met two and intend to speak with your younger brother as well.”

Panic flickers in her eyes. She hesitates, rubbing her arm and glances down the hallway. “What do you want with him?”

You take a deep breath. “Your father has hired me as a house guard. I prefer to know who I’m guarding, that is all. I’d hate to mistake him for an intruder in the night.”

“I’m sure he’ll be back soon. He was simply visiting a friend. They must have lost track of time.”

Is she lying? In the dim torchlight you can’t be sure. However, you were also running out of time before you needed to be making rounds. Exactly what she was hiding might be something more to keep an eye on.

So, do you:

Bide your time for now and focus on tonight. Now would be the perfect time to seek out the head cook about sedating the maids with a relaxing tonic before everyone starts heading for bed.

-OR-

Turn on the charm with Selyna to focus on your espionage job first and just deal with the rest as it comes.

-OR-

? ? You decide ? ?

Suggestions:  Stake out the younger brother’s room – see jlrowan’s comment for details.

Spy on Selynasee avily’s comment for details.

Report to Galen – see david’s comment for rationale

Voting is Closed.

For those who missed the rules for this game check them out here!

And to see how this adventure began, see Renegade Project #1

About Ren Black

Part-time novelist. Weekend artist. Full-time Mother. Ex-poet. Perfectionist by training. Compulsive researcher sporadically. Prone to fits of linguistic commentary Unorthodox Renegade occasionally. Sarcastic by habit... Dreamer Always... Consider Yourself Warned

17 comments on “Renegade Project 6: Meet the Family

  1. […] Seek out the rest of Galen’s family to find out if there are any more issues to complicate your jo… […]

  2. “? ? You decide ? ?”

    Find out where on the estate the younger brother lives and take up a hidden residence nearby until he returns. The panic in her eyes at mention of him is a red flag. And the estate has managed to survive many nights in the disarray it’s currently in. One more will probably not make much of a difference. And, realistically speaking, if a hoarde of raiders were to descend upon the estate this night, there’s really not a whole lot you can do between now and bedtime to fortify it. It needs major repairs. Worry about them tomorrow. Find out what’s going on with the family first. Because something is going on.

    And forget about charming the daughter. It won’t work. She’s probably just as concerned (or more so) for the estate as you are, but you’re not going to get to her via charm.

  3. “You decide”
    I say follow Selyna and spy on her. See if you can figure out what she’s hiding. I agree with JL that there’s only so much you can do the first night, especially with them all undermining you and refusing to give you the resources you need. And even though you still need to find the youngest brother at some point, following the sister is probably the best way to do that–obviously she knows something she’s not telling about him.

  4. I’m trying option 2. The older brother thinks she’s in charge. If he’s right, I have to work with her, no matter what she’s hiding. Better to try to set that up now.
    Plus, what happens if I start spying on her and get caught? Who’s Galen gonna trust – brand new hiree me or his own daughter/son (if I should spy on him)?
    I’d take the tack of “I understand, I’m a newbie, but I’m in a tight spot here. Your dad hired me to do this job and I don’t know who to trust. You’re obviously in charge. I’m just looking for a little help.” Only in Old English. *grin*
    Play on her womanly sympathies, as it were.
    So, option 2, with a spin.

    • One other thing…
      The difference between getting attacked previously and getting attacked tonight is – tonight, I’m responsible. At the very least, I’m getting fired. At the worst, I’m getting my head chopped off trying to defend this swiss cheese of a house.
      I’m taking my best shot with the sister.

  5. Tough decision! I say spy on Selyna, but very carefully indeed so as not to get caught at it. This may mean only getting part of the picture at this stage, but it’s a start.

  6. I say report to the old man what all you’ve noticed so far and seek his wisdom. He knows his kids, so if there’s something up, then he will know if it’s “the usual” or truly something different. Plus, it will let him know right away that you’ve taken your job seriously and are concerned even for tonight. Besides, why wasn’t he at the meal tonight?

    Also, how is it that our main character knew Gallino’s name, but not Selyna’s? If he had asked someone for names, wouldn’t he have gotten all three of the children’s names when he did so? And how did he know that Gallino’s private study was right across from his father’s?

    • *shrug* Gallino is responsible for the caravan. That means his name would have been specifically mentioned in the contract … I just forgot to mention it. I don’t exactly get to revise this stuff much before posting. And yes, he asked one of the servants where he could find Gallino and they directed him to the office… I just don’t have the patience for the little details when I’m trying to keep the sections short – this one was already long.

      Now, the other questions… I won’t answer. You’ll have to find out on your own … or not…

  7. I’d have to say report to Galen and let him know what’s happened so far.

  8. I’d say try the “humor me” ploy with the Sellina, and then pay his employer a visit to discuss what he’s found so far, and ask questions about things he doesn’t understand, like, why are the maids so discourteous to the senior servants? And the question about how he wants romantic liasons between his indoor staff and the mercenaries handled, especially in light of the “swiss cheese” house’s non-existent barriers to such goings on, and the fact that he’s only one person.

  9. As far as I can tell we have a three way tie… So, who hasn’t voted?? I’m not allowed to vote and I’m not going to pick one. I’m not going to post the next segment today so voting is still open into this evening. Hopefully others will come help decide!

  10. i say spy on Selyna. She will more than likely lead you to the other brother. Going to Daddy is the weenies way in my opinion. If I can’t figure things out on my own, I need to hit the road. I am no good to the house if I am a weenie. Just sayin’. 😛

    • Since the check in times with the dad was not established, who’s to say that he’s not supposed to report once a day or each evening? After all, he’s supposed to be in such an important post, would he never go to see the boss? I kind of doubt that.

  11. Well my first impression is stake out the younger brother’s room. But since you don’t know where that is, it is probably best to go for the spy on Selyna. If you can do it somewhat covertly you can learn a lot about the household.

  12. Well, I said that I would end it tonight (and technically where I am it’s 36 min after midnight) so I probably ought to close the vote. It was close this time… and all were really good options. However, it looks like at this point we’re gonna spy on Selyna.

    So, I will attack that angle and post a new segment on Tuesday.

    Thanks for playing, see ya next week!

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