Oren Larchmont reaches for the sky as a mysterious woman holds him at gunpoint!

A Daughter's Duty

Chapter 14

Odette Daunton

My name is Odette Daunton...

I am the daughter of the great Renoir Daunton, and rightful heiress to the Dauntless empire!

I haven’t the time to mince words, I’ve taken Oren Larchmont, and once I’ve extracted the information I require I shall return him promptly to you - along with a cure-all for your wounded beast.

That is what you sent your sniveling steward over hereto fetch, is it not? From what Larchmont tells me - and he’s told me plenty - you find yourselves in possession of a fascinating specimen… Strophidon Sapiens - “eel-men,” as the crass would call them - a most formidable prey.

Did you know, when witnessing one of their own under duress, the Strophidon Sapiens can display such complex emotions as empathy? Better still, I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing - what I believe to be - hope, drain from their milky eyes. Tell me, have you made similar observations? It led me to ponder how creatures that appear so reptilian, so… foreign - could express such human characteristics? The answer still eludes me.

And so, I had to learn more about their kind… daddy always said, “hunting is the scientific study of life!” Perhaps you’ve observed their problem-solving capabilities? Even the most intricate of traps were little match against their devilish wit.

You see, cold-blooded animals are, typically, rather singular in their pursuits. Survival is the only thought in the mind of the beast. Take Larchmont, for example. A parasite, clinging to anything higher on the food chain and subsisting solely on their approval. Seeking a new host only when the previous has been deloused or sucked dry. He fed on my father for years, and now he’s leeching off of you.

There’s no quarrel between us, deedholders. I only want Larchmont - he knows more about my father’s disappearance than he’s letting on, and I will get it out of him. So, before I can offer my assistance, I ask of you: three days. That’s all. Leave Oren Larchmont in my “care” for three days and I shall bring your eel-man back from the brink of death.

I’ve lost enough time to this conversation already, what say you?

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If you wish to take your fool back with you I won’t stop you; I prefer civility. Though I can’t promise the other “residents” of the plateau will be as… level-headed.

Rescue Larchmont

Three days is all I’ll need to get this old boor to squeal. He’ll return mostly unharmed with the tools you need to save your Strophidon Sapiens! I’m a woman of my word, I assure you.

Leave Larchmont

Unrequited Mercy

Outcome

Cynthia Mitimbe

Penned by: Cynthia Mitimbe, Atlas Enquirer*

In a shameful turn of events, deedholders have voted in droves to leave Larchmont in the clutches of Ms. Odette Daunton.

Mr. Larchmont journeyed to the plateau on a mission of mercy - attempting to make contact with the disinherited heiress to gain insight and possible help for the injured creature. Ms. Daunton identified the beast as “Strophidon Sapiens,” and although she offered to aid in its recovery, her price was Larchmont himself.

Ms. Daunton held Oren Larchmont at gunpoint, accusing him of withholding information on the disappearance of her father. Larchmont worked closely with the missing Renoir Daunton and claims to have been an esteemed friend and colleague - but Odette believes otherwise.

What at first seemed like a simple request - three days in exchange for her help - has matured into a grave moral dilemma, with reports of haunting screams being carried on the wind, hinting at Mr. Larchmont’s possible torture. Deedholders have placed the life of a strange and potentially dangerous creature above one of their own, and Oren Larchmont is paying for their choice.

No evidence has been produced by Ms. Daunton to corroborate her assertion of Larchmont’s complicity in the disappearance of her father. Despite this, her unscrupulous “interrogation” continues.

As ever The Atlas Enquirer* will bring you the latest news as it happens.

*Undran Local affiliate

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