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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    'Murica
    Gender
    Female

    Default Ceralune's CotCT: Edge of Anarchy

    Moonday, 11 Calistril, 4708 – 10:00 AM

    Fisker

    You heave a sigh as you sit down, hard, on your stool, sliding your goggles on top of your head. That’s the second botched concoction this morning. Despite your efforts to focus on the task at hand, it’s just not working today for some reason. Well, you have had a rather discouraging last couple of days. You thought you finally had a lead on where that slippery scoundrel Gaedren Lamm was hiding, but it turned up cold. The address that that guy gave you led to a shady alley, and as soon as you appeared on the doorstep, two large men showed up and tried to mug you. Luckily, those guys were too much brawn and not enough brains, and you escaped them easily, but it just wasn’t how you had planned on spending your evening. And of course, this was on top of the lab work you did that morning, and the deliveries you made in the early evening, making for a very disappointing end to your day.

    You resolve yourself to giving the concoction another go, and move to slide the goggles back over your eyes. But wait – something’s not right, why did sliding the goggles over your head result in your vision being obscured? Blinking confusedly for a few seconds before unstrapping them to get a better look, you realize that something is stuck to the front of the lenses. You peel it off – it seems to be a harrow card.

    You look at the harrow card in your hand, perplexed at how it could have gotten there. The back of the card is smooth, covered with a pattern of red, green, and blue designs. The biggest surprise, however, comes when you flip the card over and examine the front – in place of an image, there appears to be a note.

    I know what Gaedren has done to you. He has wronged me as well. I have a lead on where he might dwell, yet I cannot strike at him. Come to my home at 3 Lancet Street at 2:00 PM. Others like you will be there. Gaedren Lamm must face his fate, and justice must be done.

    At first, you wonder if this may be some kind of farce. It almost seems too perfect – what are the odds that something like this would just fall into your lap at the time when all of your leads have run dry? It wouldn’t be the first time someone has tried to pull one over on you, just because you’re a little shorter than most and you’ve got fur and whiskers. You briefly feel that it seems a little suspicious, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Gaedren Lamm must pay for what he has done, and if there is even the slightest possibility that this will lead you to him, you will take that chance.

    You try to go about your slow walk to the Midland district as normal, but you are slightly on edge as you anticipate what will happen at 2:00. You can’t help but hope that whomever has sent this mysterious note can help you finally find where Gaedren Lamm is. The slow walk soon becomes a brisk one, and then a slow jog as you pace through the Midland district. And so, despite the strange nature of it all, it comes as somewhat of a relief to end up in front of this 3 Lancet Street. You end up in Pillar Hill at a small, but well-maintained, cottage.

    You knock on the door. After a few moments of waiting, though, no one comes to answer it, so you hesitatingly try the doorknob. It opens easily.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Moonday, 11 Calistril, 4708 10:27 AM


    Fiora


    “Goodbye!” You bid farewell to the customer who just exited your shop. He left without buying anything, as most of them do, but you’ve got more important things on your mind right now. You were just about to go down to the Dock Trade earlier that morning to ask around about Gaedren Lamm, but then that young man came into your bookstore and rambled for a half hour about some rare book that went out of print that he was trying to find. When you told him, repeatedly, that you didn’t have it, he then lamented for another hour about how difficult it all was but he supposed he shouldn’t have expected much when even the Gilded Orrery didn’t carry that book on its shelves.

    Figures he would be from the Acadamae; those folk tended to err on the stranger side of personalities. And reading subjects. Verna, bless her heart, tried to appease the young man by showing him the other books you had in stock, but he was having none of it and ignored her completely in favor of blubbering to you. Every time you tried to leave, he’d grasp your wrist and bemoan his circumstances some more, and it took all of your willpower not to sock him in the face, knowing that doing so would only bring more people from the Acadamae who would add to your troubles.

    But that’s neither here nor there. He’s finally left, and you’re finally free to go to the Dock Trade. “Verna, I’m going out.”

    “Again? You’re still set on finding that Lamm fellow who hurt old Gunner, aren’t you?” She regards you with a worried look.

    You nod, and Verna knows better than to try and stop you. Instead, she reassuringly declares, “Well, don’t you worry about the bookstore while you’re gone! I’ve got everything under control.” She flashes you a confident grin, that will probably disappear if it rains while you’re gone and the water starts seeping through the leaks in the roof again. She disappears into the shelves, probably to sort out the new arrivals that came in earlier that morning.

    You start putting away the books around you that you showed to the customer, automatically restacking them onto a shelf behind the counter. But an unfamiliar texture calls your attention to the book in your hand, and you realize something is on top of it. Peeling the slip of paper away from the cover, you discover that it is a harrow card, with a note in place of an image on its front side.

    I know what Gaedren has done to you. He has wronged me as well. I have a lead on where he might dwell, yet I cannot strike at him. Come to my home at 3 Lancet Street at 2:00 PM. Others like you will be there. Gaedren Lamm must face his fate, and justice must be done.

    Huh. Well this has all manner of suspiciousness around it, you think to yourself. How did this note even get here? Did the customer leave it behind? But, no, he didn’t even touch the books you offered to him; he was too busy whining about the fact that none of them were what he was looking for. And it seems to be specifically addressed to you – whoever sent you this note knows about Gaedren Lamm, and seems to know about the attack on Gunner.

    You consult a book of maps to find where exactly 3 Lancet Street is, and discover it to be in a fairly respectable area of Pillar Hill.



    Well, it looks like your plans for today have changed. You’ve got no guarantee that you’ll find anything at the Dock Trade, and you might have a direct, albeit suspicious, lead to Lamm. You call out, “I’ll see you tomorrow, Verna,” as you exit the Bookberries Bookstore and head south towards the Midland district. Something tells you that this trip is going to take a while, and you’re not going to be back at your bookstore anytime today.

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    Moonday, 11 Calistril, 4708 – 10:33 AM

    Leptira


    You feel a nudge to your shoulder. Your eyes crack open as sunlight streams onto your face. You blink once, then twice, before the nudge comes again, harder this time. Where are you? What happened last night? Questions like these swarm your mind as your eyes open wide to the sight of what looks to be a member of the Sable Company. He doesn’t look very pleased with you. “You can’t sleep here. Get up, and leave these streets immediately.” Well, that was rather rude. Still, you’re in no position to argue with him, so you stumble to your feet. Evidently satisfied by this, the Sable Company Marine grunts, turns around, and continues walking. You look around and realize that you’re in… what looks to be a really nice part of town, actually. The buildings look well-maintained and the streets are cleaner than you remember. One of the structures off to the right even has a sign on it, hmm, let’s see… “The Crested Falcon.”

    You’ve heard of that place before, haven’t you? The master contemplated sending you here once, hoping that your elfish features (which made you a prettier sight than the most of the other orphans) would enable you to blend in better and give you a shot at pickpocketing the nobles who were just coming in to dine. Wait… but that means… you’re in the Heights?! How did you wind up here?! You didn’t have any jobs to do here—ohh. Horror grips you as you remember your escape attempt from last night. You’ve managed to escape the master, but you can hardly call this a success - in your haste to escape Gaedren Lamm, you’ve left your best friend – who has always supported you and helped you – behind.

    You look down at your grimy clothes and touch your face with a hand, discovering that it’s coated with a thin layer of slime. No wonder the Sable Marine looked so irritated and wanted you gone; you must look really out of place. You remember wandering the streets last night, half-delirious, in a pitiful attempt to find someone to help you rescue Elly. You must have collapsed here. It’s a good thing that The Crested Falcon is closed in the mornings, or you’d have to deal with some more unkind reactions than the one that the Marine gave you.

    But this seems like only the tiniest of blessings, considering the mess you’re in.

    The sad thing is, even though you want to go find help and rush to Elly’s aid, you don’t even know where you would lead your supposed helpers. The master had been very frustrated with your failed attempts at pickpocketing for the past couple of months, punishing you by keeping you confined to his hideout, slaving away in the dark. During this time, he definitely switched hideouts, but you didn’t even get to see where the new hideout is as he truly insisted on keeping you “in the dark” at all times, even during the transfer. “Useless orphans who cannot even manage a little sleight of hand do not deserve enlightenment of any kind,” or something like that. You and the other Little Lamms who had fallen out of his favor spent that walk stumbling over loose cobblestones, unable to see due to the dirty sack over your head.

    Well, as much as you’d like to collapse again and cry your heart out, you’re forced to conclude that would only draw more unneeded attention to yourself. The people passing you by on the streets are already giving you snooty, disdainful sniffs as they otherwise disregard you. They aren’t likely to help a filthy, ragged girl like you. You need to get out of the Heights. Unsure of which way to go, you start off in the direction that you think is West.

    Fate seems to have it out for you today, though, because after walking only a few steps you slip on something and fall to the ground again.

    As you pick yourself back up, you realize that whatever you stepped on is stuck to your foot. Rubbing your side, you remove the object from the bottom of your foot and realize that it is a harrow card. Confused, you flip it over and discover that there is writing on the other side.

    I know what Gaedren has done to you. He has wronged me as well. I have a lead on where he might dwell, yet I cannot strike at him. Come to my home at 3 Lancet Street at 2:00 PM. Others like you will be there. Gaedren Lamm must face his fate, and justice must be done.

    Your breath catches in your throat as you read the short note. Is fate smiling upon you after all? Even though you don’t understand how this note found its way to you… You’re not willing to look a gift horse in the mouth. You immediately resolve to finding this 3 Lancet Street and meeting whoever sent this note your way.

    It takes a bit of effort, and asking around (and putting up with more than a few dirty glares). But you manage to find out that the place you’re looking for is in Pillar Hill, and a nearby noble is all too happy to point you in the right direction to get you out of her face.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    Moonday, 11 Calistril, 4708 – 10:42 AM

    Sancia


    “So you came back.”

    The cleric in front of you states the obvious, as you stand before him in the entrance to the Grand Cathedral of Pharasma. You shrug, resisting the urge to sass him. He hands you a small shovel. He knows why you’re here. They all do – you’ve made it no secret that you want information on Illendrin’s murder. But he plays along with your “gardening duties” and murmurs, “Apparently they’ve decided to trust you with the Gold Ward today. Be careful. Don’t get in the way of the Sable Company or the Korvosan Guard standing watch there, or we’ll never hear the end of it.” He nods at you in farewell, then walks off to attend to whatever his day job is.

    You’re about to go and dig up weeds around the burial sites of the wealthy, when a hesitant voice catches your attention. “Sancia, is it?” Turning around, you see a young maid. She’s a petite, feminine young lady, actually, and you remember seeing her before. “Why hello there, sweetheart. And what kind of name might a pretty little thing like yourself go by?” you ask, facing her with a brazen smile.

    Unfortunately, this seems to unnerve her more, but she manages to eek out, “Nuri. My name is Nuri. I… I heard something about Miss Illendrin’s death.”

    At these words, your easy flirtatiousness vanishes, and you regard Nuri with serious eyes. “Tell me everything you know.”

    Apparently, the complete change in your demeanor only makes her even more timid. You can feel your patience slipping away before she finally glances around furtively, and motions for you to move in closer. You obey, and she whispers into your ear,

    “I overheard Bishop d’Bear speaking with one of the other priests… I didn’t manage to hear much, but they mentioned something about ‘little lambs.’”

    It’s hardly a lead to go off of, but you tuck the information into the back of your head. “Thank you. I don’t understand, though. Bishop d’Bear knows what happened? Why wouldn’t she tell me?”

    “I don’t know. I only know what I told you.” Nuri has an immensely worried look on her face as she says this, and she hesitates again before adding, “… I wish I could help more. Illendrin was a very kind soul. All I can do is promise to tell you if I hear anything else. I’m sorry.”

    She then walks off with slumped shoulders, probably to tend to her chores for the day.

    Puzzling over what the “little lambs” could mean, you go off to the Gold Ward, small shovel in hand. What would sheep have to do with Illendrin’s murder? It just didn’t make any sense. You start uprooting the stubborn weeds with the shovel, and you work yourself into a rhythm as you ponder over what it could mean. Eventually, your shovel hits something other than dirt, and you snap out of your train of thought to look down. It seems to be a card? A very battered card, now that your shovel has done a number on it, but somehow it’s still intact. You extract it from the loosened dirt and brush it off to reveal miraculously clearly-seen words:

    I know what Gaedren has done to you. He has wronged me as well. I have a lead on where he might dwell, yet I cannot strike at him. Come to my home at 3 Lancet Street at 2:00 PM. Others like you will be there. Gaedren Lamm must face his fate, and justice must be done.

    Gaedren Lamm? The name doesn’t ring a bell to you at all. You wonder if maybe the original intended receiver of the note dropped it here, but then something clicks. Gaedren… Lamm? Lamm. “Little Lamms.” It’s a long shot, and the chance of this note actually being addressed to you is another long shot, but it’s still a bit of a coincidence.

    You debate for a moment over whether you’re really going to go all the way to this 3 Lancet Street because of some note you found while you were digging up weeds.

    And you quickly decide that yes, yes you are. You’ve spent a month here in Gray hoping to get something, anything helpful. And on the very day that someone actually comes forward and gives you even the tiniest hint, you find this note. Hey, the worst that can happen is that the note really is a dud and no one shows up there.

    Lancet Street’s not too far away, but you’re stuck weeding for another couple of hours. You genuinely consider whether it would be worth it to just bolt and run… but then you remember that stupid priest and how he doubts your commitment to not only avenging Illendrin, but also your promise to help out around the burial wards in exchange for any information that comes up.

    Letting out a frustrated growl, you return to the task at hand with renewed vigor. Maybe if you finish the job especially quickly, they’ll let you go early.

    --------------------------------------------------

    Moonday, 11 Calistril, 4708 – 11:15 AM

    Noirin


    You look at your Donation Cup with a somewhat disheartened expression. It’s been an unprofitable morning for you, and despite the fact that winter’s almost over and spring will soon be on its way, the lingering chill in the air has kept many Korvosans from roaming the streets as they normally do. And that means, business has been slow.

    You shake yourself and resume singing, hoping to catch an appreciative ear from the people passing you by as they shop for their seafood in the Reefclaw Run Market. You come here once in a while in the winter, even though the smell of fish is strong here, because the cold means that the seafood is kept fresher longer, bringing an increase in prospective customers for the fishermen and, more importantly, an increase in people who might have a few spare coins in their pockets for you. As a middle-aged woman drops a pinch into your Donation Cup, you thank her with an appreciative smile and continue with your aria. Someday, you’d land a job singing in a nice, toasty tavern or, *gasp*, maybe even the Bard’s End! They’re often overbooked with the overwhelmingly large number of performers that flock there every evening, but hey, it could happen someday.

    Another half-hour goes by before you notice that the streets have started thinning out as people rush home to prepare the midday meal, and you cease singing. You don’t remember seeing as many people stop by as you would have liked, but you think you should still be able to buy a hot bowl of stew from Jeggare’s Jug. You walk up to your Donation Cup…

    … and there are about as many coins as you expected, really. But what’s surprising is that there’s also something else in there. Picking it out of the small container, you realize that you’ve seen the pattern on this card before; the fortune-tellers in the Gold Market often used them. Flipping it over, you discover a note on the other side.

    I know what Gaedren has done to you. He has wronged me as well. I have a lead on where he might dwell, yet I cannot strike at him. Come to my home at 3 Lancet Street at 2:00 PM. Others like you will be there. Gaedren Lamm must face his fate, and justice must be done.

    Gaedren? Gaedren Lamm? Even his name brings an onslaught of bad memories back to you. You haven’t seen the man in years, which is just as well with you, though you’ll never forget the horrible time you had under his thumb. In fact, you’ve gone to quite a lot of effort to stay away from him entirely, afraid of what would happen if he somehow managed to snipe you off the streets again. It’s this old fear that makes you hesitate at the sight of this message.

    And yet… you can’t help but admit that you’d love to see Lamm caught. You weren’t the only orphan that he exploited, and you remember that you haven’t seen Alika in a while either. Maybe this note is a sign that something terrible has happened to her after all. Maybe it’s a chance to get more information.

    Well, it’s unfortunate that you’ll have to miss out on that piping hot bowl of stew, but this is probably more important than your lunch and it wouldn’t be the first time you’ve gone without. You note the sun’s position in the sky and figure it must be pretty close to midday. Which means… you’ve got about two hours to make it to 3 Lancet Street.

    You recall seeing a “Lancet Street” nearish the Gold Market, but that’s a pretty long walk away. You had better get a move on. At least you can avoid some of the street traffic there is on the ground. After gathering the coins you’ve collected into a small pouch, you make for a nearby ladder that leads to the Shingles above, and speed towards the Gold Market.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Moonday, 11 Calistril, 4708 – 2:05 PM

    Leptira, Noirin, Sancia, Fiora


    You each arrive, one after another. Remembering that others are also supposed to be here, a quick round of questioning reveals that you are all guests of the mysterious person who sent you the harrow card notes. All of you are eager to meet this person, and you put off formal introductions for now in favor of knocking on the door.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Moonday, 11 Calistril, 4708 – 2:02 PM

    Fisker


    The interior of the cottage consists of a single cozy chamber filled with a fragrant haze of flowers and strong spice that overwhelms you initially, with your strong sense of smell and all. Still, it only takes a short time for you to get used to it, and then you realize that the aroma comes from several sticks of incense smoldering in wall-mounted burners that look like butterfly-winged elves. The smoke gives the room a dreamy feel. The walls are draped with brocaded tapestries, one showing a black-skulled beast juggling human hearts, and another showing a pair of angels dancing atop a snow-blasted mountain. A third tapestry on the wall depicts a tall, hooded figure shrouded in mist, holding a flamed sword in a skeletal hand. Several brightly colored rugs cover the floor, but the room’s only furnishings are a small but nicely made chest of drawers sitting next to the far wall, a small clock that rests on the chest, a wooden table covered by a bright red throw cloth and exactly four elegant, tall-backed chairs. A basket covered by blue cloth sits under the table.

    Meanwhile, on top of the table is a note, though it isn’t on a harrow card this time. You lift the stone paperweight pinning it to the table to get a better look.

    Thank you for coming. I had to step out for a bit, but shall return shortly. Please, have a seat while you wait. The basket under the table contains food and drink for you.

    You take the basket out from under the table, discovering that there are indeed some rolls tucked under the blue cloth and a bottle of wine. However, before you can take a bite, there is a knock at the door. You open it, expecting to see the person who invited you here. However, one glance at the person at the door tells you that probably isn’t the case – for one, there are four people standing there, and they all regard the room with wide eyes. Clearly they haven’t been here before. It’s a few moments before they realize that you’re, uh, “down here!” and tilt their heads down to finally realize that you’re the one who opened the door.

    What was it the first note said again? Oh yes – Others like you will be there.
    Last edited by Ceralune; 2016-12-16 at 05:23 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2015
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    Plovdiv/Sofia, BULGARIA
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    Male

    Default Re: Ceralune's CotCT: Edge of Anarchy

    It's a trap! some ever-paranoid part of her yelled in Fiora's mind, but then her consciousness smiled at its own folly. If Gaedren wanted a piece of her - it was much easier for him to come and try to take it directly, rather than engineer an elaborate plot to lure her into one of the most secure parts of the city, a stone toss away from the castle.
    I hope it's a trap... some other part of her chuckled ... it's much less tiresome when they run towards you, rather than away.
    The tiefling picked a massive two-handed falchion from a stand on the wall behind her, wrapped her tail around small traveling sack and left the bookstore while heading for Lancet Street.


    At first, Fiora instinctively reached for her weapon, but something made her halt her swing before escalating the situation. She took a deeper look at the inquisitive rodent eyes in front of her and with relief noticed the distinctive lack of maddening glare, characteristic of the wererats. Well, that's a fancy rat hole if I've ever seen one the golden-eyed tiefling thought to herself while she adjusted her posture to take a better look both at the newly appeared ratfolk and the room behind him.

    "Erm... pardon me, mister." Her hands remained on the Graeywind's hilt, but her demeanor quickly turned from threatening to simply curious. "You forgot this in my bookstore, unless I am mistaken..." her leathery tail slithered into the tiefling's sash and pulled harrow card that she passed to Fisker. I know what Gaedren has... the ratfolk's eyes managed to catch a quick look of the well familiar text on the cart dangling in front of him.
    Last edited by Vanguardian; 2016-12-14 at 09:44 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedSorcererGirl

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: Ceralune's CotCT: Edge of Anarchy

    Noirin gathered up her meager belongings, her eyes flashing back to the card over and over, mind running overtime. Was it a joke? Couldn't be. She didn't know anyone with a sense of humor that cruel. Trap? Maybe. Didn't make much sense. Whoever had delivered the card had gotten close enough to stick a dagger in her throat, and done it without her noticing. Gaedren wasn't the sort to set up this kind of scavenger hunt anyhow. He'd just send someone big and mean to kick you in the ribs. Besides, Pillar Hill was a nice bit of town. Not too stuck up, not too run down. Cute cottages with window boxes full of flowers. Sort of place Noirin imagined herself in, should she ever come into money.

    Thinking on it, she shouldn't be that surprised. Her opinion of Lamm was hardly a secret, and the decaying old **** probably had a list of enemies taller than she was. Let's see where this all leads. "Right then, means this is real. Means I need to get a move on."

    Fishing a rather disreputable-looking bit of hardtack out of a pocket, she broke it apart and pushed the crumbs through the bars of a curious little compartment on her pack, like a padded birdhouse with a caged door. "Here you are, your Majesty. Least one of us gets lunch." The compartment's passenger, a rather chubby brown mouse, perked up and nibbled on Noirin's fingers, drawing a giggle from the halfling. "Not me, you little butterball. C'mon, we got ourselves a hike."

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Noirin dropped down out of the Shingles and onto the far end of Lancet Street. As she approached number three, it became clear she wasn't the first to arrive. There were indeed "others like her". Two were rather intimidating sorts, one packing a sword whose blade was longer than Noirin's whole body, but the third...

    "Leptira!"

    The halfling broke into a jog, a broad grin on her face. No doubt that this was all for real now. The elf found herself the victim of a small but fierce hug.

    "It's been ages! What are you doing here? You finally got out from under the old bastard's thumb? I'm damn proud. You all right?" Noirin stops herself before she gets too carried away. "Come on, let's get inside, we can catch up in comfort!"

    As they opened the door, Noirin looked up to greet their host out of habit, only to find someone much closer to her size waiting within.

    "Well, finally someone I can look in the eye." Noirin offered a wink and a sweeping bow, then waltzed right in and clambered up into one of the chairs. Ratfolk, eh? Not what I expected, but then this days just been full of surprises. "So are you the one who slipped us these cards, then? Oh! Noirin. Noirin Alvey, to those of you I don't already know. Pleasure all around!"

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Re: Ceralune's CotCT: Edge of Anarchy

    "Meep!" Fisker squeaks, incoherent, as he realizes what the strange card means. He stands up, sending his battered little stool across the room, tumbling one and a half rat-strides before it lands in his sleeping nest of disheveled cushions and quilts. He spins, searching for the sneak-thief who had left the card, whiskers twitching, tail up and straight out, very nearly upending an large (and very expensive!) Erlenmeyer flask set to boil above a burner.

    But no matter how many corners he poked his nose into, or how many times he checked the bits of hair still pinned by the door, and the window, and the other window, Fisker found no evidence of surreptitious entry. Finally, teeth grinding with barely harnessed nerves, he retrieves the goggles and the card, sniffs them, reads the words again.

    No...no...that can't be right. This is mad! He thinks. But that he was out of leads, and the person who did this probably could have hurt him if they wanted to, not just left a note. Which meant a trap...well, at least less likely. It was worrisome, but maybe it was on the up-and-up.

    No, no. Of course it's not on the up-and-up. Secret notes delivered by thieves, or magic, or magic thieves, there was nothing respectable about that. But it did prove that they were competent, which meant they might actually know something.

    "Oh...oh, dear. This means I'll have to go, then." Fisker resigns himself.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Oh, no. No, no, no. This design, so tasteless, so gaudy.
    Fisker's teeth click in reproach as he surveys the room. Whoever had snuck into his lab-home was subtle, but this was just...not. Not at all. Bug-winged incense holders and all kinds of occult tapestries. It looked like some child picture-book version of a wizard's parlor.

    But at least there was a food. The promise of something to eat--for free!--overshadowed Fisker's caution long enough for him to retrieve the basked full of edibles.

    Then the knock came.

    Fisker is so flustered that he even neglects to stuff a roll in his cheek pouch before scrambling to the door. At least he assumes that why he forgot. It also seems strange that he opens the door. That doesn't seem like something he'd do without at least asking who was there, and he doesn't remember doing that.

    The hulking, horn-headed Tall lumbers in first and hunches down to get a better look at Fisker, who screeches loudly in his head as one paw fumbles for a vial of incendiary at his side. He isn't thinking straight, of course, because such a mixture is likely to be useless against a demon-blood. Or whatever blood this person is. It's hard to tell these things just by looking.

    Strangely, though, it's not a rat-skinning dagger she reaches for, but a card much like Fisker's own. He takes it she hands it too her, looking it over, seeing the identical note. "Y...you run a book store?" He mutters incredulously, all he can think to say as he hands back the card.

    Then the halfling enters. A tiefling and a halfling...so disreputable. What have I gotten myself into? No decent types came from a species that ending in '-ling', it was just common knowledge.

    "N...no. I found a card like this while I was working in my lab. Someone must have snuck in and placed it, b-but I can't think of how." He answers, keeping an eye on the halfling's sticky fingers. Notorious pickpockets, those halflings, and Fisker bears a number of very valuable tinctures.
    Last edited by Bhaakon; 2016-12-14 at 09:40 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Merilan's Avatar

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    In her dreams, it felt as if she could be invincible, untouchable, unassailable. Floating upon a stream of whitewater that mists ever so gently upon her cheeks, with five-patterned maple leaves floating down from the skies, cascading down from the tops of tree branches too long and too tall for the eyesight to follow, everything seemed peaceful.

    Except water didn't nudge, ever so gently. Nudge, nudge...

    "O-oh, oh, goodness--" Leptira gasped awake, suddenly much more waterlogged than she was floating, slime-drenched than she was airy; she stammered her apologies to the Sable Marine and hurried away at a moment's notice, skittish and wiry, her movements nervous and agitated. It didn't take her long to catch up with her predicament, her heart squeezing her as she thought about what might happen to Elly -- what might already have happened to her. Time was of the essence, and she very well couldn't linger and sob and do nothing.

    Y-you have to be brave, Tira. For Elly...!

    She pumped her hands and moved along, coming to a bit of a stumble when she saw the card and peered at it. With a gasp, she glanced around, as if to make sure this wasn't someone else's belonging... then she scurried off, perhaps believing in portents more than the average person would like to admit they do.




    By the time two o' clock passed around, Leptira was more than a little bit hungry, and a little bit dehydrated as well; in her whirlwind frenzy of emotion and the fervour of her escape, she hadn't even thought of something like food or drink. The pretty, white-haired elf was -- well, she was a rightful mess, not an adventurer more than she was an orphan off the street. Her gown was rough-sewn from hemp and was patched not so much evenly but haphazardly, and thoroughly soiled and muddied, and she didn't have shoes on and her feet was dirty and sore and battered. Her hair was slicked with mud and slime and god knows what else, a little tree branch sticking out of one tangled lock.

    "Noi... N-Noirin...?" Leptira gasped as she stepped closer, reaching up and-- stopping herself, knowing she was absolutely filthy. "Noirin, you're alive...? Oh my goodness, Noirin! Er-- yes, we should... do you know this person? I got a card, it said that this person could help," she started to natter nervously, but shut herself up as she followed her in, passing a glance towards the much taller girl with the onyx horns and the b-blade.

    "I received a card..." she hoarsely said, holding the harrow card up. "I want to save Elly, she's in trouble..."

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    Sancia's mood has been in flux ever since she arrived at the Gray, which is unusual. Generally, the time she spends in that district is a dull, but calm, reprieve from the normal noise of the city. Something about tending the graves sets her at ease, and that's precisely what she needs now. Finding a buried card with an odd note on it, being told that the Church of Pharasma was apparently not putting as much effort into solving the murder of one of its own members...it was disturbing, even though it did give her something solid to work off of. A slight chill permeates her thoughts for at least an hour, before she resolves to leave the matter of Bishop d'Bear for after she had sent Gaedren into Pharasma's realm. It wouldn't do any good for her to be distracted when she finally has a possible lead, after all.

    So Sancia shovels, her mind gradually passing away from the frosty suspicion the young woman's words had aroused, settling instead into the relaxed, wandering train of thought that came when she went to work keeping the grounds. As always, she considers a wide variety of things, at least once wondering if there was some kind of...divine plan, or similar, at work here. Obviously, Illendrin's death wouldn't have been involved, but what if everything since then was being orchestrated by the priestess' patron? She had told her about the Gray Lady's old prophecies; this could be a new one. The idea that she's being guided by the hand of fate is both calming and a tad worrying. Sancia decides to try and resolve the matter with prayer when she has the time. Really, it's not like anything could go wrong by making sure both the Lady of Mysteries and The Unquenchable Fire were on her side.

    Assuming the card isn't some old message from Pharasma-knows-how-long ago, of course. A man like Gaedren Lamm probably had at least a few more enemies than just her; it was entirely possible some other worshiper of Pharasma had received the note, buried it here, and gone off to what sounded like a coalition of the similarly wronged.

    ---

    The card isn't, in fact, some old message from Pharasma-knows-how-long ago. At least, if it is, then whoever owns this nice little cottage has an exceptionally odd social life. A tiefling woman, someone who looked like they'd been mud wrestling a tree and lost...really, despite her immediate decision to hug the one covered in slime, the halfling is the most normal of the three. Not that Sancia was about to complain about her company. Quite the opposite, in fact; once it turned out that they were all present for the same thing and would as a result possibly (hopefully) be working together, she can't help but smile.

    It's when the door opens and a rat-person reveals themselves that Sancia raises an eyebrow, but his response to the bookshop-owning (!) tiefling shows that he's just another one of them. Which is odd, since he's inside...Well, now the halfling is, too. No reason to wait, then.

    "So you're in the same boat we're in," Sancia comments to the rat-man, shifting forwards to go inside as well. Her time in Korvosa has taught her to make sure to stick with the city's own odd version of phrases, rather than use them properly. These people all seemed nice enough, but she'd had more than one unpleasant experience involving sudden and surprisingly angry rants about Varisians.

    "I found my card in the dirt, with a shovel," Sancia says, displaying her mangled card, glad to have seen a non-damaged one. No matter how well the handwriting had survived burial and shoveling, it still seemed a tad suspicious that it was all so legible and she'd spent some time considering whether or not she was reading some altered version of the message.

    With that, Sancia goes into the cottage itself, looking around with a raised eyebrow. Four chairs. She glances back. One, two. The halfling was already seated on one...She sees an opportunity.

    "Sancia," she says, as the halfling introduces herself. Noirin? Pleasant enough name. "Leptira, is it?" She asks, turning to the still-muddy one. "If you don't mind, I could help you with the mess. Judging by how many seats there are, we'll need to double up somewhere unless someone stands," the last bit is punctuated by a brief smile and wink, before Sancia sits down, flipping her sword with a quick motion to lean it against the chair blade-up. No need to poke a hole in their host's rug, after all.

    "I take it Gaedren's got Elly?" She asks after a moment, briefly glancing over to Noirin, to see if she has more to say on the matter. Better to rescue a living friend than avenge a dead one.
    Last edited by PersonMan; 2016-12-15 at 05:52 AM.
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    "Fithgur" Fisker introduces himself. Only when he slurs his own name does he realize that he's stored a roll in his cheek, a habit acceptable among his own people but considered rude among the Talls. While the two newest arrivals had spoken, he'd taken the opportunity to avail himself of the basket of bread--one small loaf in paw, another in maw--and taken a seat at the table.

    Sheepishly, he withdraws the slightly soggy roll and speaks more clearly. "M-my name is Fisker. Just Fisker." He adds, a touch defensively, "There's a note there, on the table, saying the food is for us. I...er...it doesn't taste poisoned." He really should have thought of that before stuffing some in his mouth, but it was free food, and his people never really were picky about their meals. Table manners were an effort Fisker had been trying to make, but it wasn't as if he had much practice dining with Talls.

    "Oh...this Elly. I'd heard he uses orphaned children as slaves. She isn't one of those, is she? Just despicable. I can't believe I sold...urp."
    Fisker shuts himself up by jamming the roll back in his gob. Better not to reveal his completely accidental dealings with Lamm.

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    "So there is a second note, huh?" Fiora took a peak at the table over the ratfolk "Got worried for a moment that our patron's absence might be a reason for concern. The letter is in the same handwriting, no?" The tiefling took two energetic steps towards the last empty chair, then remembered the quiet elven girl still sitting at the entrance and just braced herself against the nearest wall. "Hey, longears, sit. This food will treat you nicely if you ask me."

    "It seems whoever our host is, zie is both capable and well informed if a bit overly mysterious." the demonblood's tail lashed through the air, grasping the still unattended wine bottle in the basket near the one that called himself Fiskers. "And apparently Lamm is threading much deeper waters than I initially thought. Living on the efforts of a bunch of children and sending a bunch of goons to have a fist-talk with someone who ruffles your feathers is one thing, but kidnapping, arson..." she took a fleeting look at elf, the ratfolk and then remaining guests "...can't say he won't deserve whatever this strange alliance brings upon him." her tail lifted the bottle at the height of the tiefling's face and Fiora sank her pronounced fangs into the cork, quickly ripping it away. "Are there some glasses around or we have to drink from the bottle like savages?"
    Last edited by Vanguardian; 2016-12-15 at 08:03 AM.

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    Fisker's table manners don't bother Noirin. In fact, she does much the same, grabbing a roll and gnawing on the crust as she listens to the others talk. "Slaves is about the size of it, yeah. Used to be one. 'Little Lamms', they call 'em. Used us as pickpockets and thieves, mostly, when he's wasn't just workin' your fingers to the bone for a bowl of gruel. Step out of line, foul up, get beaten bloody. Or worse." Noirin shakes off the unpleasant memories and turned to more pressing issues.

    "Leptira, what happened? Elly talked with me, made all sorts of plans to get you two away from Lamm. I promised to help. When I saw you, I thought... She's still there? Damn it all..."

    Clearly distressed, Noirin's eyes light on the bottle of wine. She fishes a battered tin cup from her pack, nodding at Fiora. "I'm not one to turn down a drink. Could use one right now anyhow."

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    "They found out, Noirin," Leptira answered the halfling and the lady with the sword earnestly, lowering her head. "Elly, she drew a dagger and said she'd distract them so I could run away--" she choked a little and rubbed at her eyes, before realising that was a bad idea with the mud still on the back of her hand.

    She could've stirred herself into another full-blown panic attack, but the tiefling's offering of food just reminded her of how close to her mortal limits she was reaching. "I'm really dirty still, is it really okay if I come in, mister Fithgur?"

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    As Leptira inquires about whether or not it is alright for enter, those closest to the door hear light footsteps approaching from outside. A middle-aged woman walks into sight, just behind Leptira, bearing five glasses in her hands. She appears to be Varisian. Her long, dark hair is pulled back behind her, and she smiles at the five of you. Though, it is a bit strained, and there are dark circles under her eyes.



    "Welcome, all of you. Please, come take a seat." This last sentence she directs at Leptira, not seeming bothered at all by the girl's disheveled state. "You've been through a lot, there's no need to worry about cleanliness."

    With this, she ushers Leptira to the remaining chair, flashing an apologetic look at Fiora. She sets the glasses down on the table, offering the last one to the tiefling who is standing. Then, she addresses all of you.

    "Well, I know all of you already, but as you do not know who I am yet, I will introduce myself. My name is Zellara. First, I want to apologize for the unconventional way in which I’ve called you here, and thank you for coming despite how little information I gave. I have reason to remain hidden, you see – a vicious man would see great harm done to me if he knew I was reaching out for help. This man has, of course, done something terrible to each of you as well. I speak of Gaedren Lamm, a man whose cruelty and capacity to destroy the lives of those he touches are matched only by his gift for avoiding reprisal.

    "I suppose you might have some questions regarding this whole situation. Please, feel free to ask."
    She then looks at you expectantly, before moving on.
    Last edited by Ceralune; 2016-12-15 at 05:27 PM.
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    "O-oh, yes..." Leptira's fervour died down a little as she was ushered into the chair, staring a little at the food but kind of thinking it'd be rude to just dig in right away. "How did you know how to reach out to us, miss Zellara?"

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    Sancia's attention goes to the tiefling as she speaks. A few things spring to mind, but before she can decide what to say, the armored woman snatches up the wine bottle...with her tail. As the cork is more or less tugged off by the tiefling using her sharp teeth, Sancia can't hold back a whistle at the impressive, if decidedly inhuman, display. Even she isn't entirely blind to the tone in the room, however, and decides to hold back. For now, at least. She stays quiet while the two discuss what went wrong, and most of the events are painted in broad strokes by what they say. It tugs at her heart, and Sancia is halfway to saying something (this time decidedly less flirtatious and hopefully uplifting) before their hostess arrives.

    The gesture at her fingertips already, it takes only a quick motion and a few syllables to draw out the shuddering heartbeat that sends chills through her veins, heralding the magical energy that flickers to life in its wake. As Leptira steps towards the table, Sancia softly smiles over to her. "Let me clean that off," she offers, waiting a moment to allow for a reply before making a few sweeping gestures, the mud sliding off of skin and clothing alike as if it were suddenly supernaturally slick. What reaches the carpet is caught by Sancia's second sweep, a dismissive wave at the remnants of city grime that leaves the rug entirely clean.

    "Now..." Sancia murmurs, turning her attention back to their hostess. "Zellara; it's a pleasure," she says with a wink, before leaning back in her chair, taking one of the rolls with one hand and briefly glancing over to the tiefling. A quick nod of her head and a smile serve as her please-and-thank-you for wine, before she turns back to Zellara again. "If you don't mind my asking...what's it he did to you?"
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    Noticing Leptira's glances at the food, she gestures for the girl to eat. At the first question, her smile grows somewhat warmer, but at the second, it slides off her face entirely. "I suppose the answer to both of your questions starts with this," she replies, as she pulls an object - or objects, rather - out of a belt pouch. They appear to be a deck of harrow cards, much like the ones that the notes were inscribed on, though as she starts shuffling through them idly it becomes clear that these are the real thing, front-side images and all.

    "You see, a month ago, his thieves stole this, my harrow deck, from me. It is important to me, an heirloom passed down through a dozen generations, and also my sole means of support. When Lamm’s pickpockets stole it, my son Eran tracked them down and returned my deck to me. But Gaedren had him followed, and soon after he left my home, Gaedren’s thugs… murdered him.”

    Zellara’s face turns bleak, haunted almost, as she recounts her tale. “I sought help from the Korvosan Guard, but they turned me away. And so I asked around. I paid bribes. I consulted my harrow deck for advice." Her visage brightens somewhat as she continues, "That was how I found all of you, actually. So strong was my grief that it, combined with the powers my harrow deck gives me, allowed me to seek out others who shared in the collective tragedy created by Gaedren's crimes. I used that power to send you the messages.

    "With that power, I also attempted to find as much information as I could to help you, in the event that you responded to the message and found my home."
    She casts a relieved glance at each of your individual faces. "And indeed, it seems you all did. I thank you once more. And I hope you'll allow me to ask for your assistance with finally apprehending Gaedren Lamm."
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    Leptira gasped as Sancia's magic started to wash over her -- quite literally, the mud sliding off and the elf girl's eyes fixated on how the mud seemed to move with a whimsy of its own, whisked out and not even staining Fithgur's carpet! Wow...

    She quietly picked up a piece of bread to nibble upon it, shuffling a little so that Fiora could put the wine bottle down without her getting in the way. "I'm, I'm really sorry to hear that, miss Zellara." She paused and nearly sunk into reminiscing of how her father was killed too, but shook her head. Elly was still in danger, she couldn't mourn those who're already lost when there's someone she could still save!

    "Um, I'll help, of course... I'm not a fighter, but I can--" she hesitates, gesturing somewhat vaguely. "I can, um, put people to sleep?" At this point, her familiar, a strange but strangely adorable, fat reptile with a bird-like body and kinda derpy eyes popped on her shoulder. "Wah, Compa! Don't just show up like that, shh..." She pets it on the head. "Are you hungry?" She fetched some more bread to feed to the little dinosaur.

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    Sancia almost regrets asking, as she sees, hears the sorrow in Zellara's voice as she tells her story.

    "When you say 'apprehend'," she begins after a pause, tapping a finger on the table for a moment. "Do you mean take alive? I intend to kill him, and it's probably the best way to ensure the safety of those he'd strike against if we only took him captive," Sancia continues, looking over to Leptira and remembering the story of her captured friend. The appearance of the odd...birdlike...reptile...thing on her shoulder prompts a raised eyebrow.

    Not a good fighter, can make people sleep, has a strange animal with her, Sancia thinks. Well, looks like we've got a mage. That's when she blinks, frowns, wonders why she would still be muddied if she had magical abilities. Didn't most or practically all people with magical talent have the right spark for that? She decides to consider it later, possibly asking her about it.
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    "Fisker, not Fithgur..." The rat-man mutters into his bread, but the protest is cut off by the arrival of their host before it can get rolling.

    He listens to the woman's story. Zellara didn't seem particularly magical, but everyone knew Varisians were odd ones. Sticky fingers and strange powers. Why, her son had apparently robbed Lamm--albeit to return what was originally taken, but he must have developed those skills for larceny somewhere. She probably had one of her kin sneak the card in, or get close enough that magicking it onto his glasses was just a simple parlor trick. It made more sense than the deck itself being some sort of artifact. It had allowed itself to be stolen, after all, which wasn't very artifact-y.

    "Eep." Fisker makes a rather embarrassing noise as the feathery lizard with the needle-toothed maw hops up on the little human's shoulder. His bald, unfortunately worm-like tail curls fearfully, anticipating nips and pecks from the miniature monster. Hopefully that pot belly made it slow...

    "Wait, you say you spoke with the guard? A-and they did nothing?"
    Fisker asks, Sancia's question distracting him from the eminent threat of the saurian tail-biter. He hadn't gone to city's law enforcement himself, mostly because he didn't expect them to care what his sort of people had to say, but Zellara was a Tall. "Oh, dear. Then just apprehending him might not be enough. If he has friends in the guard, they'd just release him again."
    Vigilantism was highly distasteful, in theory, but if the guards were bribed, what choice was there? Besides, Fisker's own interests, making sure his secret shame was never revealed, would be better served by dumping Lamm's body into the river than a trial and execution.
    Last edited by Bhaakon; 2016-12-15 at 06:41 PM.

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    Zellara is quiet for a long moment as the others suggest a more permanent means of punishment. "Indeed, the guard turned me away. Said that they had 'bigger problems to deal with.' You may be right; they may have an agreement. I hadn't intended punishment by... death," she pauses, before continuing, "Considering the circumstances. We are operating outside of the typical law-bearers' influence, and I thought it might be too much to ask of you. But as I am asking for your assistance, I think it's only fitting that you have the final say in what happens to him. I only ask that you not let him go free - he must be stopped, before he hurts anyone else." Her voice takes on a steely tone as she says the next phrase: "Besides... I would waste no tears over Gaedren's death. And I would agree that it is exactly as he deserves."

    "So, will you help me?"
    Zellara turns towards those who have yet to agree with pleading eyes.
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    "Yes, yes. Of course I will help." Fisker's head bobs in agreement, tossing off crumbs. "M-maybe he'll make it easy and attack us. I...I don't know if I could kill a man who surrenders--even a drug p-peddling, slaving, murdering thief--but self defense..." He shrugs, not-so-secretly hoping it goes that way.

    The man's crimes were numerous and foul, after all. He certainly deserved to turn up floating in the Jeggare with a knife in his back, but then so would the person who put him there if the deed were done in cold blood. If Lamm just died in an attempt at apprehension, well, Fisker's conscience could stretch, cheek-like, to accommodate that outcome.

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    "I'm sorry for your loss, Zellara. Your son was obviously a good man." Noirin is silent for a moment. As was her habit, it didn't last long, though her tone was more somber and respectful when she spoke up again.

    "I'm in, if it needs saying out loud." Noirin didn't need much convincing, though she had plenty now. She was already searching for Lamm. Far as the halfling was concerned, this was just speeding things up. "Was already on a rescue mission. Been fearin' that Lamm got his claws back in someone very dear to me. Remember little Alika, Leptira? Been looking after her. Don't suppose you saw the Imp before you got away? Ah, no metter, I'll find her. I've been wanting to deal with Lamm for a long while now. This just makes things simpler. I'm all for sticking the bastard full of holes, too. That's unfinished business and a public service all in one, right there. I'll dance on his grave afterward. Happiest jig you ever saw."

    If Gaedren's involvement in all of this was giving her new compatriots an unusually bloody-minded impression of the small woman, the absolutely delighted giggle she makes when Compa appears is much closer to normal. "Cayden's Cup! He's adorable! That's a new trick, too. Where'd he come from?"

    Noirin taps the side of her head as a question pops into it. "So, ah, Zellara? Where is the old bastard? I've looked for years, but most of the Little Lamms can't say, or won't, and he's got half a dozen rat-holes to hide in."

    "...Um, no offense meant, Fisker." Norin becomes very interested in the tablecloth for a moment.

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    Leptira looked regretful as she shook her head at Noirin, even as Compa rather hungrily held a piece of fruit with both of its stubby little arms and gorged itself on it. You've scarce seen an apple lose itself so quickly, nom nom nom nom

    "Oh, um--" she sounded hesitant, "She appeared to me not long ago in a dream, and I... brought her out of it?" She paused, sounding really uncertain, like people were gonna stare at her and say that she was insane. Heck, it sounded a little crazy to her, but dreams had a way of being very ... particular to her since she was small. "That's a very good point, though. When I was last led to the hideout, a sack was thrown over my head, and I hadn't been let outside... oh, if only I -- um, dropped breadcrumbs or something or another!"

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    Upon hearing of the demise of Zellara's son, the face of the tiefling darkens and she stops waving the wine bottle around. "My condolences... may the Gray Lady safely lead Eran to the blessed Elysium where his soul can rest." Fiora took a moment in quiet admiration of the Varisian woman that even at her own son's grave thirsted only for justice, rather than blind and bloody vengeance.
    "While tempting, in the world where Gaedren lives, his death will change little. We can scatter his body though all the districts of Korvosa... some deep within her, Fiora found that though more tempting than she was willing to admit it "...and it will take only a day or two before his death is forgotten and someone else steps in to roundup his Lamms and take his place. His place is in the jail, where the fear of him lingers in the minds of his willing followers to discourage them from stepping up to and taking his place while giving us enough time to find some better future to those forced into his service... and that is hardly an undeserved mercy for him. The Korvosan prison is not a pretty place for someone who has probably pissed the Cerulean Society one more than one occasion."
    The regulated coexistence of the most of Kurvosa underworld with the city law was a secret hidden from none, but over the years by pulling the strings of the goons and ill-fated children under his influence, he has managed to find a place for himself outside of that system and while he meddled to little in their business to justify the efforts for any retribution it was most certainly enough to earn everyone's ire.
    "I wouldn't worry about him getting through a meager month or two in jail neither with his freedom or his life. A coin or two in the right hand can get you much in Korvosa, but Gaedren is not the type of person to keep a stash in the Golden Vaults of Abadar. His only real treasures are his Lamms and his reputation. Left without both of them in the jail he will be at the mercy of the likes of him that have no mercy to spare."
    The thought about Gaedren's time in the hands of a few Cerulean thugs or Sczarni lowlifes in the Korvosan prison placed a disturbing smile on the tieflings face, reveling the pronounced canines usually hidden behind her lips. Despite their many moral failings, the Sczarni in particular were not the type of people that would show much appreciation for the things that Gaedren has done to many of the varisian children over the years.

    "Still, it may not be a bad idea to try and speak with Marshal Kroft before going for Gaedren... I very much doubt that she has any reason to hold the wellbeing of Gaedren dear to her heart and she has a certain... reputation for encouraging such vigilante operations, provided they don't disturb the normal life of the decent citizens. With her approval behind his capture it is more that certain that even if he has any favors to call from the city watch... his connections there will prefer to turn a deft year to his summons. Zellara..." the tiefling repeated the question already asked by Norin "...you said Eran has managed to get your deck pack from Gaedren's hands... does that mean you know where he hides?"
    Last edited by Vanguardian; 2016-12-16 at 06:12 AM.

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Zellara nods in thanks at the well wishes sent Eran's way. As she hears the news about what seems to be another potential victim at Gaedren's hands, a sympathetic look flashes on her face, but as the people before her start to inquire about the information she has gathered thus far, her expression grows worried, and perhaps even a bit ashamed. "Eran probably did find Gaedren's current hideout, but he didn't share it with me when he returned my deck, and he was killed before he had another chance to tell me. I had hoped that I would be able to find Gaedren's current location through my harrow deck, much like how I located all of you. As our shared circumstances enabled that bond to be made, I had hoped that my... experiences with that man would allow me to catch a glimpse. But... I am unable to discern his location."

    "I cannot be certain of why this is. Perhaps my powers are simply too weak to accomplish this task. But I think it is for this reason: to be perfectly honest, it hurts. My poor son, who was so honorable and dear to me, was taken from me. While I grieve, I do not believe that I can devote my energies entirely to someone as despicable as Gaedren.” Her voice turns hard as she utters his name again, full with apparent emotion.

    Her voice then becomes softer as she stops fiddling with the harrow cards, resting a hand on top of the deck. “However… my powers have not completely failed me. While they did not lead me to Gaedren, they did lead me to someone else… someone I previously did not know about at all.” She looks up at you all. “My son’s lover. It seems that he was pursuing a woman, and didn’t tell me. A month ago, that would have made me upset. Now… it is simply a reminder that my Eran had so much of life left to live, so much to live for, and yet it was stolen from him. It seems that this girl was also his accomplice in finding Lamm. He had to have found where Lamm was hiding in order to return my harrow deck to me, and it’s possible that he shared the location with this girl – Vira, I believe her name is. I have managed to discern where Vira is, and…” She stands up a little straighter, looking at you all with honest eyes. “and I need your help. If Vira indeed knows where Gaedren is, then he could be brought to justice. Will you go and speak to Vira? Alone?" She hesitates, before looking down dejectedly. "I realize it's a lot to ask, and I'm sorry to say that I cannot join you. Gaedren's men are actively hunting me, you see. But I am confident that my deck has shown me the correct location. While it may not allow me to see everything, not once has it ever lied."
    Last edited by Ceralune; 2016-12-16 at 06:48 AM.
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  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Sancia finds herself swallowing a comment about being happy to go and visit a young Varisian woman any time, instead readying herself for another conversation with a grieving - wait.

    "I take it we'll be the ones telling Vira what happened," she says after a moment, softly chewing on the inside of her lip. Another discussion with someone who would be grieving the same man. More of the sorrow she was trying to avoid. Hopefully the rest would be less unpleasant.
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  25. - Top - End - #25
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    "I... I suppose you would have to. Unless she found out from someone else. I'm sorry. But she is the only person I can think of who might truly know where Gaedren hides, and we also must make haste. If Gaedren hears that we are searching for him, he may choose to move altogether. And then no one will have any clue where he is. It is far from ideal, but we must pursue the most likely lead - and at the moment, that is Vira."
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  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Noirin lets out a strained breath through her teeth, worried and displeased that Zellara's lead was yet another "maybe", and not enthusiastic about having to deliver the worst sort of news to a stranger. She wasn't sure what to make of this. Zellara's faith in her cards seemed... well, let's be polite and say quaint to Noirin, whose experience with the Harrow was limited to watching fellow street-cons use them to bilk the credulous out of coin. Still, there were the messages. The card in her cup was awfully hard to explain away. And it wasn't like she had any better leads...

    Ever forward, Nori! Even if it's right off a cliff!

    "Well, right then. That's just a barrel of joy, isn't it? Still, well, I'm glad for the company, and it's more than I had ten minutes ago. I'll go. So, in that case, where might we find this Vira? It's... not far, right?" She asked hopefully. "I really don't want to have to chase you tallfolk halfway across town."

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Zellara quickly responds, "It's not too far of a walk. Vira is currently in a small storage building near the Gold Market. I don't know the address, but the building is just behind Thudu’s Fresh Fruits. The building's gray in color and doesn't look too old. It's also an actual building, whereas most of the structures in the Gold Market aren't permanent. I do think you should try to find her today, just in case she ends up moving somewhere else tomorrow. And if it turns out that Vira does indeed know where Gaedren is, you should probably move to find him as soon as possible. Like I said, we don't want this getting back to him." She smiles appreciatively at you before relaxing somewhat. "I can't thank you enough for agreeing to talk to her." She then stands and starts moving towards the door, ready to see you out...

    ... before her eyes widen as she remembers something. "Oh! One last thing before I send you on your way.” She walks towards the chest of drawers and opens the top drawer, revealing a dark-colored object. Zellara lifts the object out of the drawer and comes back towards you, enabling you to get a clear look at it. It appears to be a delicately-engraved box, made out of wood and painted a light black, bolted shut by a silver latch.

    “If Vira is indeed able to lead you to Lamm, you will have a very dangerous man to deal with. And he will likely not be alone. So, I offer to you a gift.” Zellara holds out the box to the nearest person, who happens to be Noirin. The top appears to be covered with a piece of parchment that bears gold-colored embellishments similar in design to the carvings on the box itself. “I received it from a client once in exchange for a reading. I confess; I have tried many times to see what was inside, and determine the exact nature of this magical item. However, all I could learn was that it seems to have some kind of intelligence, and a faintly malicious aura—.” Her voice breaks off suddenly, and she waves her arm in a reassuring manner. “Ohh, I did not mean to imply that this item is harmful! I would never give you a gift that would hurt you! No, no, quite the contrary, actually. Sometimes, when Eran or I got hurt, we would ask this box to heal us. It would usually shake a few times, and then actually do as we asked. Of course, we don’t need – that is, you will need it much more than I.” Her face grows somewhat sadder as something occurs to her, and she expresses it almost as an afterthought. “Eran used to always call it the Lifevessel due to its gift of healing. I promise, it has never done us harm.”

    With that, she offers it to Noirin once more, smiling encouragingly.
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  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Leptira seemed a little loathe to relate the news of a dead lover to someone else, but at the same time, she wanted to be there to console her in a time of grief. This was someone who has taken so much from so many people, she couldn't really... sit by idly and let more people be hurt. "The Golden Market... okay, we'll --" she thought herself a little presumptuous to perhaps speak for the others, but she was a little bolstered at the moment. "We'll do that much, and speak to Vira... ah?"

    The presence of the box had made her a little curious, and Compa also perked up at it, perhaps thinking that there were delicious fruits inside. "Is it all right to give us such a precious item...? Not that I would say no, the healing of injuries would be welcome indeed..."

  29. - Top - End - #29
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    "Oh..." Fisker's eyes widen at the preferred container and its strange powers. "What could it be?" He rubs his paws together covetously. No doubt quite valuable, and, more than that, a mystery. A puzzle box, if you will.

    "I can take a look at it when this is over." He says, nerves tamed by his curiosity. "I have certain tinctures to heighten magical senses even beyond normal magic. That should make it easier to suss out its nature. When this Lamm business is all done, of course. We should hurry and see to that, especially if this Vira is flighty. Strange to hole up in a building behind a greengrocer's stall."

  30. - Top - End - #30
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    "An evil healing box," Sancia comments, raising an eyebrow. "Well...it's better than no healing box," she adds after a moment, shrugging. "I'm ready when you are."
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