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Another_Poet
2008-02-05, 08:50 PM
MERCHANTS OF ELM IN-CHARACTER THREAD

The World http://img240.imageshack.us/my.php?image=esslaxj6.jpg
Please note: Map is not necessarily complete, and only the largest towns are marked. Assume many smaller settlements are scattered along the river and coastline.
The Great Plain of Essla is an untamed expanse, entered only by hermits, adventurers and mad sages. It is inhabited by strange, often dangerous wildlife and there are few places where water is easily found on the surface. The north edge of the Plain fades into tundra and the slopes of the North Wall, while the south end is a baked desert. A single major river runs down the eastern boundary of the Plain, and it is this river that is the axis of most civilized settlements.

In many ways Essla is similar to Earth during the last Ice Age. Mastodons and other huge mammals roam the northern expanses, and the river that flows down from the glaciers is the life source. Civilisation is small and has come nowhere near filling up the continent. Empty land stretches in every direction; not all of it has even been mapped.

The farther south one gets in Essla the more it reminds of ancient Greece. The architectural styles and local diet are similar to those of early (Classical or Heroic Age) Greece and Egypt. Most weapons are made of bronze.

Many things are different from those real-life cultures, however, from the medieval architecture of the north to the use of coal as a fuel to the very high ratio of large predators to humans. Essla is a world characterised by untamed, perhaps untameable wilderness.

There are two large kingdoms, Karr (capital city has same name) and Maena (capital Marion). Karr lives in the heart of big game country, having access to the entire Hand of Zeus (a vast lowland surrounded by the North Wall Mountains and glaciers). Hides, ivory, abundant meat and oil, rare creatures and plenty of water make Karr prosperous. The mines that turn out coal, copper, tin, and other precious metals are also a significant part of the economy.

Maena's treasures include diverse seafood, spices, plentiful salt, olives, wine, glass and precious gems. Also, as Maena is situated on the sea it is able to spread out much more easily and comprises many unique, isolated settlements. In general, although Maena has less resources than Karr, it has a more advanced culture and its trade goods are worth more to Karr than Karr's are to Maena. As a result Karr bears the brunt of the cost of trade, paying tariffs to the Middle Kingdoms to ensure that caravans get through safely. These trade agreements are jealously guarded by Karr and are protected by military force if necessary.

The Middle Kingdoms each have their own stake in the trade game, but they ae smaller and less formidable than the two big powers. This is largely because they are disorganised, being federations of small communities more than outright kingdoms.

Humans are the predominant race in Essla, with halfling populations in some places and gnomes spotted on occasion out on the Plains. Just like Earth, Essla has tall tales of elves and dwarves but they are generally considered mere folklore. The "beast men" of the Plains are very real, however, comprising all manner of monstrous humanoids and usually working alone or in very small groups. Most beast men roam with packs of wild animals and may not have any human-level intelligence.

All of Essla is a simple land, with only basic technology and magic. In many places people still live more as herders, hunters and gatherers than as farmers or urbanites. Magic is known of, but rare. There is no such thing as time travel, resurrection, or long-range teleportation.



Elm http://img338.imageshack.us/my.php?image=elmme2.jpg

Elm is a warehouse town south of Karr, which has grown fat on trade with its southern counterpart, Marion. Each spring trains of yawls drift out of the Warehouse District, setting course to the riches of the south. Just as many yawls, as well as river boats and overland wagons, carry the previous year's boon out to the corners of Karr, and especially to the city of Karr itself.

Elm was once a tiny settlement, a cluster of herders living at the foot of a fortified hill. An old keep still sits on the hill, but sees little service. With the yawl trade Elm became a crossroads of merchants and merchandise, and real estate became expensive. Many rich chiefs, barons, and traders have townhouses or entire estates on the East Bank and along Elm Hill. Opposite these mansions, the West Bank with its vast warehouses and yawl yards became the settling-place of the labourers, professionals, criminals, and other companions of industry. Growing rapidly with little regulation, the West Bank became an ugly, destitute heap of huts and tenements prone to fires, plagues and crime. The resulting Shanty Town marred the view from beautiful Elm Hill, and the wealthy got together and invested in the town's wellbeing: they generously funded the construction of a one-building-deep, full-town-long arcade of beautiful stone, brick, and plaster buildings. This strip, known as the Facing, provides a pleasant riverfront appearance to cover up Shanty Town.

The businesses in the Facing vary greatly in purpose and quality, but generally they provide an adventurous alternative to the cafes and wine-bars of the East Bank. The rich go there to feel young, to affect populism, or to make their shady deals. The desperately poor go there to prostitute themselves or prey on the drunk. Most of the people living, staying, or dining along the Facing, however, are travelers: merchant guards, poor traders, mercenaries, hunters, and trappers.

Two separate ferries (one at the north end of town and one at the south end) connect these disparate halves of Elm. The ferries shuttle people back and forth, bringing the rich to the poor and the poor to the rich. Elm makes no secret of its one and only purpose, and that purpose is money. The warehouses at the western end of Elm are its most desolate sector eight months out of the year, but without a doubt they are the heart and pulse of the place, the only reason why the poor put up with such conditions or why the rich bother to live there at all.


The Gods

The major religion of Essla is centred around the pantheon of real-world ancient Greece. The gods have the same names and the myths are mostly the same except for their geographical settings. There are also some other religious paths, such as the animism favoured by druids (which is considered quite compatible with mainstream polytheism). Druidic teachings are somewhat more popular in Karr than elsewhere. Even among people who do not officially follow the druidic teachings, however, it is common to honour the spirits of trees and animals.

Many of the modern concepts about Classical religion come from Victorian scholars who tended to demonise the gods and put everything in neat hierarchies. Because this causes so many real-world misunderstandings, I thought I would post a general idea of what the priests of Essla teach. Of course, characters are free to have wildly different opinions than priests do, but it might help to know the "party line" about the gods.

First, although Zeus is nominally the leader of the Olympian gods, He is hardly the most important deity. Individual worshippers will focus on one or several gods, and generally each god's cult has some reason as to why their god is the most appropriate object of human worship. In addition, the Underworld gods are just as important as the Olympian gods, forming a second set of deities nominally led by Hades (or a third set, if you count the titans).

Second, the deities are considered to be wonderful examples of virtue. In fact, ethics are a major concern of Classical religion. The idea is that virtuous people are well-liked and well-respected, and most importantly they have a chance of becoming sages or heroes and thus becoming immortalised in song, story and human memory (accumulating a good reputation for themselves, but also giving a leg-up to their descendants). There are some Underworld gods Who are sometimes shown as judging the souls of the dead, and there are different areas of the Underworld for the particularly just or wicked, but in general people are told to be ethical for three reasons:
1) Rewards in this life, not the afterlife;
2) For the sake of the virtues themselves, which are good in their own right; and
2) the chance to become famous (and immortal in a sense).

Of course, we all know the Greek deities act with anger, vengeance, or petty jealousy in a number of myths. The religious view is to take these stories metaphorically, as lessons that teach us about human behaviour or the natural world. Each deity represents a force of nature and so (for instance) when Hades abducts the daughter of Demeter, it doesn't mean Hades is a rapist but instead paints a poetic scene about the cycle of the seasons, showing the relationship between the season of death (fall/winter) and the season of life (spring/summer). The ancient Greeks were not encouraged to take all of their myths literally and in fact many priests taught that a literal interpretation of the myths was simplistic and immature.

The last thing that should be said is that the gods do not commonly intervene in mortal affairs. Most religions, including those of Greece and Essla, teach that in times of tremendous need the gods may intervene on the side of justice. Most religions are also quick to point out that this is exceedingly rare, as the gods would rather see mortals learn to solve their own problems (and become virtuous and god-like) than fix everything. They have lived a long time and seen a great deal of war, bloodshed, and injustice committed by mortals; They have also seen that these things are always temporary and, on the grand scale of the universe, insignificant. In other words, they would rather stay in the role of advisor and good example than babysit us.

Nonetheless, when a particular mortal seeks out a relationship with the gods and proves her/his devotion and loyalty, They will make special gifts of knowledge, wisdom, luck, or power to that person. Thus it is more often the little things (an opportunity here, a stroke of luck there) that show the hands of the gods touching the world. Divine magic is, of course, among the most impressive examples of gifts from the gods, and not all priests in Essla have access to such powers (in other words, many priests are Experts, not Adepts or Clerics).


Bronze Tech http://img249.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bronzeagearmorrx1.jpg

In a world with Bronze Age technology, there are a few things most characters would know about metalworking.

For starters, Bronze is a broad term that included pretty much all alloys of copper. The most common bronze is copper/tin, and this is what is usually used to make weapons. Blades should have a 12% tin content; less and they are too soft. Tin is rare compared to copper and has the same price as silver (or sometimes gold, depending on price fluctuations).

A number of other alloys can also be made, including gold- or silver-based alloys. Antimony would also be used at times.

Iron, contrary to popular belief, is well known. People mining for copper or tin run into it from time to time and they understand it is another metal ore. The problem is that the Bronze Age fire and bellows technology cannot create temperatures hot enough to melt and refine iron. This means that iron is usually considered a relatively worthless ore, as it cannot be used for anything. However, from time to time a small bit of naturally pure iron is found that doesn't need to be refined. Thus, you may occasionally come across iron trinkets like a small knife or a brooch. You probably won't ever see anything larger than that made of iron, however.

Fairly long blades can be made out of bronze as long as they have a good tin content and thick ribs running down their length. Swords as big as D&D "longswords" were historically made of bronze (the real-life medieval weapons known as "longswords", however, could not be made of bronze and expected to work well). To make blades, bronze is melted down and cast into the shape of the sword. The blade is then filed and polished till it is smooth, and the cutting edges are hammered until they are extremely dense and hard. These work-hardened edges can then be sharpened. Occasionally they may have to be re-hammered to stay in good shape.

Handles are made of bone or wood, or occasionally are also solid bronze. The bronze components of the weapon are coated in beeswax to prevent corrosion or minor damage, and to keep the polished sheen of the sword. Bronze swords can be so brightly polished as to flash like golden mirrors as they are swung in battle.

Real-world historians have done tests of bronze vs. iron weapons, and shown that the bronze weapons hold up surprisingly well against iron. Work-hardening the bronze goes a long way toward making it durable against iron. The reason bronze weapons went out of use historically is probably because of tin shortages (decreasing the quality and availability of blades). Iron swords were probably not thought of as being any better than bronze swords, at least at first, and may have even been regarded as ugly or chthonic.

Most people are familiar with the basic idea of bronzeworking, and carry their currency in the form of "ring money" (gold rings, silver rings, and copper rings worth 1gp, 1sp and 1 cp respectively). Bronzeworkers, however, are professional specialists with a great deal of knowledge and training, and are very highly regarded by their communities.

Weapons: All weapons except the Bastard Sword and Great Sword are available.

Armour: See chart above.



The Yawl http://img266.imageshack.us/my.php?image=yawlcompilationhl8.jpg
Representing one of the most impressive magical devices in an otherwise low-magic world, the Yawl has been a staple of transcontinental trade for nearly two centuries. Yawls only come from one place—the Wizards of the Pit in the North Wall Mountains.

Yawls are essentially floating barns. They resemble Noah’s Arc, except that the top is almost as round as the bottom. Inside, they have a single spacious hold with a small strip of living quarters along the top. A functional yawl can float about 35 feet off the ground, more if pressed. It can move forward at an impressive 6 mph, backwards at a crawl, and not at all from side-to-side. A yawl turns slowly, and pilots must take great care to turn before reaching obstacles. For this reason yawls mostly travel by day.

Yawls can hold up to twenty-five tons of cargo, gear and passengers. Anything over that limit impairs the yawl. An impaired yawl can barely move forward, dips down toward the ground and may move erratically or drift without direction. Yawls are normally filled right up to the maximum limit, since an empty or half-full hold does little to improve performance.

The most important part of a yawl is its enchanted keel. The keel runs from prow to stern along the inside of the hull. A “false keel” can be seen outside the hull, but this is mostly to protect and reinforce the magic keel inside. These keels are made of special scented woods prayed over by wizards with knowledge of ancient magics. Although people occasionally claim to have learned the secret from the Wizards of the Pit, none of them have successfully built yawls of their own.

A yawl will continue to function as long as its magic keel is intact. Veteran merchants and labourers along the trade route tell of yawls battered by war, little more than a long wooden keel and a few rib beams, that fly into town as proud as a young puppy. But a single crack through the keel will ground a yawl forever, no matter how good the condition of the rest of the vessel.

Your yawl’s keel looks as bright and smooth as if it was buffed yesterday. The rest of its woodwork is worm-eaten, splitting, and even broken off in places. The hold smells vaguely of pickles and the sleeping quarters of urine.

The so-called “rod” of the yawl is located at the back, but not everyone has the knack for controlling it. Those who do can use the rod, which is built into the keel, to control and steer the vehicle. A skilled helmsman can often leave the rod and walk freely about the ship, maintaining control through a light trance wherever she goes.


Steering the Darn Thing

In general a yawl requires a Use Magic Device check to pilot; however, not everyone is capable of piloting a yawl. Roughly one in three people have the knack; for these people, a simple DC7 Use MD check will suffice in good weather. The DC rapidly escalates in any number of conditions, whether fighting winds, overloaded with cargo, suffering from keel damage, or trying to push the yawl beyond its normal capabilities (such as in a battle). In these conditions the helmsman's presence and complete concentration is required at the rod, and continuing to pilot the yawl provokes AoO's unless he or she succeeds on a Concentration check. Maintaining control of a yawl can be quite a strain, and may actually hurt the helmsman beyond a certain point.

Under normal conditions, however, the helmsman can often pay very little attention to the rod, even leaving its immediate vicinity to wander about the ship. The farther he or she goes from the rod, the higher the UMD DC is. generally, the DC at the rod must be beaten by 5 or more to be able to control it remotely (so in good conditions, rolling a 7 allows control and rolling a 12 allows remote control).

Any change in course requires a new roll. If a roll is failed, a yawl will usually continue its previous bearing; in stressful conditions, however, it may begin to fly erratically on a failed check.

Strong winds are the single most common threat to stable flight, with yawl-versus-yawl combat being an occasional second. Battle yawls have become rare because of their slowness and general vulnerability; in wartime they are mostly just used as troop transports.

People without the knack for yawl flight can attempt to pilot one anyway, but it is very difficult (+20 to the DC).



False Physics

The state of scientific knowledge in Essla is, as might be expected of a low-technology world, limited. In many ways it is similar to the level of knowledge that was available in the Classical world (which is nothing to sneeze at: miniature steam engines, automated theatre-in-a-box, electroplating and water clocks are all possible). Some accurate and inaccurate notions are worth mentioning because they pertain to yawls.

Scholars have figured out that objects of different weights fall at the same speed (a 1 lb. weight and a 50 lb weight dropped together will hit the ground together). They also figured out that air-resistance is the reason this doesn't always appear true: a feather falls slower than a lead weight because the feather "catches" on the air and floats down. (These concepts are sound physics).

They have used this principle to explain the behaviour of yawls. An empty yawl and a yawl with 25 tonnes of cargo both travel a 6 mph. This is obviously because weight has no bearing on moving through air. (Modern physics would not support this idea).

Of course, yawls no longer fly at 6 mph when they are loaded with more than 25 tonnes of cargo. Scholars reason this represents the limited strength of a yawl. Just as a person can run equally fast with or without a piece of paper in his hand, a yawl can handle a certain load just fine. But a person with a pig on their back or a yawl with 30 tonnes of cargo faulter and move slowly and clumsily. (This is a distortion of actual physics.)

Most importantly, scholars have noted that a yawl with a 40 mph tail wind moves at the same speed as a yawl flying into a 40 mph head wind. They reason this is again due to wind resistance: the yawl is aerodynamic and so its speed is unaffected by winds. It bearing is affected, however, because only the front and back are aerodynamic; the sides aren't. This, they reason, is why storms can buffet and wreck yawls but not speed or slow them. (This is a gross misunderstanding of aerodynamics.)

Since only the most powerful wizards can construct yawls and all yawls behave consistently with one another, it is generally accepted that yawls, although slow and vulnerable, represent the absolute pinnacle of magical flight technology. In such a low-magic world, this is probably true. The physics outlined above are taught at all reputable schools and colleges, and yawls are held in great esteem and awe by the population at large (much like biplanes and zeppelins were in the early 20th century).

Therefore, people who question either the value of yawls or the mechanics by which they work will be met with doubt, mockery, and frustration. People who challenge yawls or widely accepted physics are treated much like real-life conspiracy theorists or people who believe in Bigfoot; maybe they can't actually be disproved, but they certainly are not taken seriously.


The Route
The Trade Route mostly follows the Great River, and thus passes many towns along the way. If all goes well, a yawl traveling at full speed during caravan season can make the 4,300 mile trip in just under seventy two days. The return trip takes just as long, but since the caravan season only lasts about four months many merchants opt to wait till the following year for the return trip. This eats into profits but reduces the chance of encountering treacherous weather.

At many places the Route departs from the river, keeping a straight path instead of following the long bends of the watercourse. Most of these departures are short-lived, meeting back up with the river in a day or so. Age-old markers dot the landscape to show yawl-flyers the way.

There is one place where the Route divides. As merchants approach the Thrust Mountains, they have a choice: follow the river west of the mountains, staying close to civilization; or fly over the forested foothills east of the mountains. The forest is wild, but since most weather comes from the west there is little risk of encountering dangerous winds. Both routes take about the same amount of time—if nothing untoward happens.

Caravan season runs from May 15 to September 15, give or take depending on conditions. Flying a yawl any earlier than that risks being caught in a freezing rain, late blizzard or massive wind off the Plain. Continuing any later comes with the chance that a break-down or delay will leave one trapped in the winter weather, with no hope of help till spring.

Family History

Generation 1: Granddad (Andromedos) and Grandma (Achyllea)

Granddad was a bright and adventurous man in his youth. He rose from a poor flyer to a self-made merchant and founder of Asterix Co. (which he always billed as “Asterix Company, Merchants of Elm”). His company struggled for the first two years of operation, but took off after he met his match in Achyllea. Grandma and Grandpa roamed over the expanses of plain, along the coast, and to the far north – even going to the Pit itself. Both were wild-spirited and cunning, and neither was particularly faithful to the other (although they seemed to sincerely love each other). After accumulating a string of legitimate and illegitimate children Granddad died at age 35 on an expedition in the Hand of Zeus, allegedly by making ill-advised modifications to his yawl and trying to cross large bodies of water. Grandma lived on another 5 years before wasting away and succumbing to a long illness.

Generation 2: Saker, Dad (Orikedes) + Mom (Achangea), a sister and her husband, a sister who died young, two acknowledged bastard brothers and who knows how many other bastards as well. Orikedes was the oldest.

Orikedes inherited the family business, which he was well-trained to do. His gambling cost him money but, at least at first, he had enough of it to spare. The whole family tends to drink heartily, but not usually to excess; as business turned sour, however, he turned more and more to alcohol as his medicine. By the time his older kids were reaching puberty he was a distant, bitter, sullen alcoholic. Never particularly abusive, he mostly just disappointed his wife and children time after time.

Achangea is the younger daughter of a baroness and her marriage to Orikedes was a contract between the two families: money for the baroness, prestige for the merchant. Achangea was a dutiful, if wistful wife and took care of her children, doing her best to shield them from the reality of father and finances. Mom exemplified aristocratic manners on the one hand, with an almost juvenile sense of humour on the other. He jokes were not well received by her husband.

Despite their differences, Mom and Dad seemed to be faithful to each other. Orikedes was always angered by his parent’s flagrant affairs, especially his father’s, and did not want to be like him. Whether Achangea was similarly virtuous or simply afraid of her husband is unclear.

Orikedes died of alcohol poisoning just over a year ago and was found alone in his study, sprawled on the floor with soiled pants and a stained shirt. Details were not disclosed to the public.

Unlike most of the family Achangea has managed to live past age 40. However, within a few weeks of her husband’s death her family arrived to take her away. She made a show of wanting to stay with her children but the general consensus is that she was relieved to get away. Her marriage contract was tampered with by her family lawyers so that she is not accountable for the debts of her late husband. This was probably arranged by her mother, who never liked Orikedes and seems mildly sickened by his children.

Mom still writes from time to time, but it is clear that she is being kept at a distance from the disgraceful Kite family.

Generation 3: PC’s other than Saker, all between ages 15 and 22.

Another_Poet
2008-02-05, 08:58 PM
May 2, Morning
Starting Locations (http://img156.imageshack.us/my.php?image=startinglocationsbz8.jpg)

Morning light creeps across the town of Elm. Yesterday was May Day, a festival of springtime. Pots of early flowers decorate both banks of the river, and the garbage and hungover silence of the morning after a major holiday permeate the streets. The welcoming of spring is a fickle business in Karr, and this year is no exception: yesterday’s mild weather gave way to a hard frost during the night, leaving flowers frozen and withered. Damp hangs in the air and fog drifts down alleys as the frost begins to melt.

The Facing has the first view of the sun over Elm Hill and its the inns and brothels begin to come alive. Rustin walks down the steps of one such hostel to the smell of sweat and "the stew", a tea made of reindeer lichen. The stuff is a traditional breakfast in Karr - thick, slimy, and piping hot it has a bitter and is good for the liver and kidneys. When possible the locals mix in various herbs, especially lemon grass. Children may get a dollop of honey in theirs while adults are more likely to cut it with gin. No spices or sweeteners are on hand in this dingy inn, but cheap gin is certainly available. The stew itself is free to guests, as are hard rolls that appear to have spots of white mold on them.

Lonna has worked herself into somewhat cozier surroundings, and is able to look out a bay window in the tea room of her inn. The room is heated by two polished braziers, a bit of incense added to the warm coals in each. Her merchant friend was kind to her, but then, the papers she gave him were good. A sizeable ceramic pot of stew and a mug are placed before her on a tea tray; a few others in the room are enjoying the same. One man has clearly started his day with a mug of purple spice, and he stares out the window with the dumb smile of someone too strung out to think. The purple spice in a place like this can't be particularly high quality, but it clearly got this man tingling.

Out in the streets behind the Facing young William is peeking around a corner. Spending the colder part of the night huddled behind crates to get out of the wind is far from comfortable, but he's been through worse. More worrisome are the guards who busted up his gang the other day. He isn't sure if they saw him but he's sure he heard strange voices, adult voices, when he crept into the old hideout. No hideout means no stash, and no stash means no roof for his head. His stomach rumbles as he steps out into the street amidst heaps of dirty, melting snow and a few birds pecking at the mud.

On the shady western slop of Elm Hill, the old Kite estate is slower to receive first light. The manor house is locked and empty, all the windows are blocked with cheap curtains and a raven croaks his morning song on the roof. Behind the manor house and across the weedy garden a little bungalow puts out the only wisp of smoke. Its coal stove has burned low over the course of the night and it barely heats the house at all. In the loft, Acanthe and Natsume can hear the pitter-patter of rain beginning to hit the rooftop. Through the open door of the first-floor bedroom Padraeg and Garrin might catch sight of the mouse that creeps across the packed earth floor. The chamberpots in both bedrooms could stand to be taken outside, but there is little other incentive to get out of bed. Or there wouldn't be, except today is the day the siblings are supposed to go take possession of their new yawl.

Not far away Uncle Saker makes his way up the cobblestone lane that leads from the East Bank to Elm Hill. If he was worried he would make a bad impression arriving by foot rather than coach, his worries have given way to a more immediate concern: it appears that the iron gate of the family estate, about a block ahead of him, is wrapped with heavy chain to hold it shut. Could it be a security measure? The family was never so concerned about intruders, and in any case there should be a gatekeeper on hand.

He pauses to catch his breath and feels the rain start to fall.


...Begin!

roninkelt
2008-02-05, 10:03 PM
Draego

rolls out of bed onto the hard floor and does a few pushups to warm up, then some limbering up stretches. The cracks and pops of his joints are fairly disquieting in the enclosed space.
After a couple of minutes of this he pops to his feet and pokes Garrin with his toe...

"Up with the sun, the hunt is afoot!"

Padraeg is obviously excited to get the day started. He pulls on his buckskins and starts preparing some form of meal and cleaning the area in readiness for departure.

He'll whistle up the stairs when food is ready.

Another_Poet
2008-02-05, 10:09 PM
There's a little tin of reindeer moss on the shelf, and the kettle was left sitting on top of the stove so it wouldn't freeze. There are also quite a few turnips in the cupboard, some salted meat being saved for dinner, a pitiful portion of flour, and a half-empty honey jar that hasn't been touched in some time.

Psionic Dog
2008-02-05, 10:26 PM
Saker trudges wearily up the hill toward the family house his brother had inherited along with the business. It was a shame how the business seemed to be wobbling on the brink of failure last time he was in town. Still, with a little luck the business should be doing better and allow him to unwind and trade stories while he rethinks his life, again. Given his sorrows it would be only fair if his brother's estate had enjoyed prosperity.

... or maybe that just wishful thinking. he thought with a sigh as he saw the gate chained shut.

For a moment he stands uncertainly leaning on his spear, shivering a bit as the cold drizzle starts to seep through his battered leather armor. With a sigh he starts forward again, the gatekeeper should let him in... although from the looks of the place he would settle any sign of habitation or just a friendly local to tell him what has called the entire Kite estate away and where they might be found.

It would be my usual luck if my brother has already left on a trade run and taken everyone with him. At worst their should be grounds keeper somewhere I can spend the night with... should.

Sornas
2008-02-05, 10:39 PM
William (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v60/SornasOrteal/Hikaru_by_Volt_Feynth.jpg)

Rubbing at his eyes, the young boy took a second to stretch, cracking his neck before squatting down in the shadow of the structure that had been his shelter for the night.

Idly watching one of the birds as it searched for it's breakfast, William thought over his situation. It certainly wasn't good. He had managed to retrieve a few things from the hideout last night, but his fears had been confirmed. No one at the usual rendezvous points, and that...thing's goons in the hideout...everyone from the Stone Beasts was either gone, dead, or worse, captured by...

Refusing to let himself finish that thought, he hefted himself to his feet. He knew that while he tried to put on the show of a professional, like he had been shown so many times over the past year, the only person he needed to fool, himself, knew that he was nothing but a scared little boy.

He needed to get out! He just wasn't cut out for this sort of thing alone, he had always been the baby of the group, kept around more often than not for his cooking skills and smarts, rather than any of the usual qualities a boys' gang looked for.

He wasn't stupid enough to think he could escape on foot, the guards would be looking for him at every entrance, and people in nearby villages were sure to already be alerted...He needed somewhere to hide, or some other way out.

His pondering didn't last long however, as his sudden upwards movement had attracted the eye of something that would rate a hell of a lot higher on William's mind...

((OOC: AP, I didn't know if you wanted to control the NPC guards, but I figured I might as well get the ball rolling and have him attract their attention. ^^ I left any relevant actions open, and it's worded so if you don't want to go that way yet, it could be something else.))

Lonna
2008-02-05, 11:29 PM
Lonna

Her breakfast finished, Lonna sipped thoughtfully at the last of her tea, allowing her straight, shoulder-length black hair to fall in a curtain around her face while she pondered her next course of action. That she would be going into Shanty Town was a given. She had done exceptionally well during the festivities of the night before, so she could afford to grease some palms in exchange for information about her family.

"Or I could just go see them..."

She said the thought aloud, as if tasting the idea. Taking a last mouthful of tea, Lonna grimaced, though whether it was the bitter dregs or bitter memories that prompted the expression, even she was unsure. She had had this internal debate every year when she came down for the festival, and every year she had shunned all contact with her family. Sighing softly, Lonna wondered if she would ever face a situation pressing enough to make her resume contact with her family. Certainly her father's death had not been enough...

Dismissing such thoughts with a slight shake of the head, Lonna pulled back her hair and, with the ease of long practice, tied it in place with a leather thong. Standing up, she barely noticed the weight of the finely crafted bronze rapier hanging on her left hip. Out of habit, she stroked first the ivory-handled bronze dagger in its sheath on her right, then the belt pouch that hung just below her naval. Reassured that the possessions most crucial to her livelihood were secure, she headed for the back door, nodding politely but distantly when the man she had previously noted taking purple spice turned to stare at her almost feline stride.

Outside, Lonna gazed around at the beginning of the sprawling slum known as Shanty Town. It was time to see what had changed in the last year... Time to look up the rumor-mongers.

SeekerInTheNight
2008-02-06, 12:32 AM
-=Grumble THUMP!=-

It was a sound that the small household was amply familiar with. Natsume was many kinds of pleasant, waking up was not one of them. The red-head tended to talk to herself as she woke up and rolled out of bed without looking. Problem being that "bed" was now a hammock, and rolling out of it implied a close personal meeting with the floor below.

"Arrrrrrgh! Fscking floor, fscking morning, fscking sky boats!"

It was odd hearing someone say "fscking" instead of the actual curse. She continues grumbling, again incoherent, and shuffles up onto her hands and knees. She crawls over to the other hammock and reaches up a hand to shake Acanthe's shoulder.

"Hey, heeeeeeeey. Wake up wake up wake up! S'morning."

Duke of URL
2008-02-06, 09:06 AM
Garrin

Being prodded with a toe was no way to wake up, especially with a hangover from the festival the day before.

"GoGo, you do that again and I'll kick your...", Garrin starts, before he realizes that Draego has already left the room. What could possibly have him so chipper this early in the morning? Oh... right. It's today we really commit to Natsume's crazy idea.

Garrin had to admit that he was desperate for money, and reviving the family business, while dull work, was the best route for getting it. Still, he held doubts about this idea of risking what little they had left on one run. It was risky, but really, was there anything left to lose? Garrin decided not to mull it over any further as his head was hurting (likely from the hangover), so he gets up and walks into the next room to find some way to torment Draego.

Another_Poet
2008-02-06, 10:10 AM
Saker:

As you peer between the bars of the gate you can see the little gatekeeper hut, (a "hut" in name only, made of stone and with a moss-covered slate roof). The door is closed, which is fine, but so is the little window that looks out at the gate. You also notice that there is no longer a bell hanging above it. This place is closed up.

The raven on the roof of the house seems to have tired of his own musical performance, and flaps away, swooping low somewhere off to your right. To your right? If memory serves there should be a second, much smaller gate down the way - a servants' gate just wide enough for a single person on foot.

***********

William: ((Yeah I'll generally control the NPCs but that was fine, I think it's a good way to get things started.))

Across the street from you is a single guard, unusual in a place like this. He tries to smooth his wrinkled uniform and he looks over at you. He has just stumbled around the corner of a narrow avenue down the way, and is maybe sixty feet from you. He stares at you intently as you freeze.

"Hey boy, what's your name?" he asks. It's hard to say whether he is hungover or still drunk. One thing is for sure, though, his shakey hands are already fumbling for his signal whistle.

************

Lonna:

It's a bit of a walk to get into Shanty Town, even though the back of your inn technically faces the slums. The well-to-do built the Facing to contain and conceal the masses, and they did a good job; the long facade is only broken by through streets in a few places. After abotu two blocks you manage to turn down one such street and another short block later you see the architecture change drastically.

The place seems familiar: no matter how many coats of paint, layers of plaster, or changes of decor the Facing undergoes, good old Shanty Town always looks the same. And smells the same. Whatever poets write about rain washing away filth, in the slums rain is only one more ingredient in the permanent scent of decay. It won't be long before large puddles block much of the way.

Sornas
2008-02-06, 10:49 AM
William

William felt his legs stiffen at the sight of the guard, caught between trying to run and bluff his way out. On the one hand, he knew that he was faster than this man, but if he blew that whistle, it would not likely end well.

"I'm J-Jh-Jonathan, sir." He stammered, trying to look as presentable as possible. "I...I'm simply on an errand for my mother." He shifted his weight, ready to sprint at a moment's notice.


Bluff roll, in case it's needed: 13+8=21 (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1483561/)

Another_Poet
2008-02-06, 10:55 AM
The guard pauses and squints at you. "Jon'thon?" This seems to confound him. "Where does your mammy live, m' boy?"

Sornas
2008-02-06, 11:07 AM
William

William's eyes darted, trying desperately to think of a good place. Coming up with none, he shakily pointed towards the south.

"Th-that way, sir, not too far from here."

He took stock of his surroundings, if the guard decided that he didn't believe him, then he would make a dash for the southwest, and try to lose him in some of the back alleys of Shanty town. It seemed like his best chance.

Another_Poet
2008-02-06, 11:31 AM
The guard shakes his head and starts to walk toward you. "You shouldn't be out so early, place isn't safe." He stumbles briefly but keeps walking. "I'll walk you home, boy."

McMindflayer
2008-02-06, 01:34 PM
Rustin was not exactly a morning person in the cold mornings of Elm. After trodding down the steps he went and got himself a cup of the morning "stew." He could have bought gin for it, but told himself he preffered the bitter taste to help wake him up. This was a lie, as he was trained in waking up fully in a moments notice, and that has stuck with him all this time. The real reason was because work wasn't exactly a constant in Rustin's life. If he spent two copper peices on gin, then he wouldn't have those same two later for, say, a loaf of bread.

After finishing breakfast in a couple of swigs(it keeps the bitter aftertaste down), Rustin stands and with a breif stretch, he walks into the morning light that is shantytown. He started with the market district, got himself a slightly stiff loaf of bread and started walking as he ate. He was heading to the rougher end of Shantytown, which is saying something. This is where his usual contacts for jobs and such showed up. He had a job on the First, but now it was the second and he needed a job to help feed him for the next couple of weeks hopefully.

Psionic Dog
2008-02-06, 01:56 PM
Saker stared in dismay at the boarded up gate house and glances nervously around. It was starting to look like he had come home to a nightmare.

For a moment he fingers the gate as if he might try climbing it, but in the end he turns away and follows the raven off to the right. It would probably be wise to ask a few questions in town before attempting to scale the fence, and there was still the side entrance to try too come to think of that.

As he approaches the servant's entrance he calls out: "Helloooo! Kite Residence, any one home?"


AP: feel free to have Saker make as many Spot, Listen, and/or Search checks as circumstance require.

roninkelt
2008-02-06, 02:24 PM
Draego

is bouncing on his toes, moving energetically about the room when Garrin comes out and Natsume and Acanthe come downstairs. The waft of breakfast fills the room (fair or foul, I leave to your decision)... He has stoked the stove and it's welcome heat begins to fill the room.


[roll0]

Duke of URL
2008-02-06, 02:41 PM
Garrin

Garrin steps over to the stove for warmth. He decides against commenting on the odor in the room. Today begins the change... either this will be a distant memory, or things will actually wind up worse. No point in dwelling on what we currently lack.

He takes his portion of food, and absently eats it while he listens to the raindrops pattering on the roof. One could almost think they made a voice!

[roll0]

"Thanks, GoGo... it's always good to start the day off right." Any hint of sarcasm is drowned out by the fuzziness of a hangover-induced slur. Seeing Natsume and Acanthe, he says, "so... are we ready to do this?"

Lonna
2008-02-06, 02:46 PM
Lonna


Lonna wrinkled her nose as the unpleasant but familiar smell of Shanty Town washed over her. Picking her way down the alley (she had decided it was too narrow to deserve the term 'street'), she tried, without much success, to avoid the worst of the slime. Her sturdy leather boots would need a thorough cleaning before she returned to her room, or else the innkeeper might not let her back inside.

Pausing for a moment under the eves of one of the sturdier looking huts, Lonna stood still, thinking. The most reliable rumor-monger was Bert the Cripple, a beggar and thief who suffered from a different life-impairing "injury" every few months. Better still, Lonna had just remembered that he owed her a favor for confirming his alibi after he was almost caught with his hand in someone else's purse last May Day. This time of year Bert could normally be found in the warehouse district, begging from foreign merchants who weren't as familiar with his tricks as the locals were. The real question was, where in the warehouse district was he?

No help for it I guess. I'll just have to search the whole place.

With a sigh of resignation, Lonna headed out in as close to a westward direction as the maze of Shanty Town would allow, aiming for the southern end of the warehouse district.

Another_Poet
2008-02-06, 02:57 PM
((I should note that Acanthe hasn't necessarily woken up or come downstairs yet; we have yet to hear from her.))

Sornas
2008-02-06, 03:40 PM
William

The boy's eyes widened as the man made his way closer. "N-no need, sir. My mother would be quite disappointed..." He started to walk backwards, out of the way of the man's grasp.

Seeing that his words were having little effect, and that the man continued to come towards him, it didn't take long before William's fight or flight instinct got the better of him, and with a quick kickoff, he bolted.

Turning the corners of buildings at a speed which proved his familiarity, he weaved in and out of alleys, doorways, and anything else he could think of, every evasive tactic he knew bubbling to the surface, regardless of if anyone was still following him.

He made his way to the west-southwest, hoping to find somewhere in the warehouse district to lose any pursuers he had or may have gained.

Another_Poet
2008-02-06, 03:43 PM
Rustin:

You walk down North Avenue and through the neighbourhood known as the Bear. The Bear gives way to the closest thing Shanty Town has to a real market: a five-point intersection where the site of a burned-down building has come to serve as a commons. The bleached wood frames of market stalls line the streets and the triangular commons but there are few sellers and fewer buyers so early. About half the stalls are empty even during business hours, and many of the others are fronts for black market dealers. At least one haggard vendor looks sincere: a middle-aged man setting out his jars of pickled eel, pickled onions, and pickled hog-feet.

Before you reach the market proper, a tall heavy man on a balcony yells to you. "Ah, a beautiful spring morning dampened by a crappy city, but who comes along to brighten my spirits. Mister Rustin, would you step inside?"

Mikos Grawngor is something of a local boss, owner of the tavern/bordello from which his balcony so proudly protrudes and widely known as a loudmouth and a cutthroat bargainer. His jobs aren't always top-rate but he has a reputation of seldom double-crossing those he employes. He waves for you to enter the tavern and makes to go inside, presumably to meet you.

*************************

Siblings:

((You don't hear Saker; the bungalow is way at the back of the estate, and between the rain and the distance it'd be hard to hear him even outside.

Your breakfast is nice though, at least for the modest fare you've come to accept. I'll presume a pot of hot lichen stew and maybe a few dense griddlecakes made with the flour.))

************************

Saker:

You get no answer but might be relieved to see no chains on the side-gate. It's just a little archway carved into the wall, less then six feet tall and two feet wide. It has a metal door, which at first pull appears to be locked; further inspection reveals no visible lock (the bolt may only be rusty). A pile of discarded chain with an unlocked padlock lies in the grass inside the gate.

A narrow path of heavily-trodden grass within the gate leads off into the estate, offering the hope that someone still comes in and out on a regular basis.

((I'm going to assume that fastidious Acanthe would normally take her job seriously enough to keep the side-gate securely locked, but that an inebriated Garrin stumbled through late last night and barely managed to bolt the thing after himself. If anybody objects just let me know and I'll come up with some other excuse for an unlocked gate.))

******************

Lonna:

As you head westward the rain lightens up a little bit. You notice a knife lying in a puddle, and several pigeons greet the morning with sullen chirping on the peak of a nearby roof. Up ahead on the left you see a small temple to Apollo, a corner building with its door (currently closed tight) on an angle. Small alcoves to either side of the door hold shrines that face the streets: to the right, a shrine to the Glorious Youth; to the left a shrine to His sister Artemis. Soggy flowers and a few small offering bowls adorn the shrines and the building is conspicuously free of grafiti.

Ahead on the right two men step out of a doorway. They are dressed in the sky-blue cloaks of the guard, and both clutch mugs of stew in their hands. They mumble to each other and laugh a bit as they step out onto the street, then one of them sees you.

"Hallo!" he calls. "A beautiful May morning to you, turtledove. I don't think I've seen you round here before."

His friend gives you a smile was probably meant to be charming, but comes off as more of a leer.

Another_Poet
2008-02-06, 03:56 PM
William:

As you run, you hear the guard behind you sputter, then curse, then (after a long pause) blow his whistle. Wheet! Wheet! Wheet! That's never good.

The drunk man doesn't seem capable of following you but it isn't long before you hear another wheet from up ahead. As you burst out of an alley you can see a more able-bodied guard off to your right (the north) - and he sees you. The street to your left (south-ish) is clear except for a stray dog scratching at its fleas and two women, one middle-aged and one older, who are picking their way between puddles. It's a long block with no alleys or side streets, but you can see that it opens up onto South Avenue by Dancing Python Temple, an oracular temple dedicated to Apollo. South Ave. is a major street and you may be able to disappear - if you can outrun the guard the whole way there.

Lonna
2008-02-06, 04:01 PM
Lonna


Lonna eyes the knife, wondering who dropped it, why, and whether she should risk picking it up, as she turns to answer the guard.

"Almost certainly you have not seen me, good sir." she replies, gritting her teeth in what might be mistaken for a smile. Much as she would like to give a sharp retort, there is no guarantee that he intended anything offensive with the too-familiar greeting. For now it is better to play it safe. "I live in Karr, but I came down for the festival with a merchant friend of mine."

McMindflayer
2008-02-06, 04:08 PM
(... either he is that good or he has spent a looong time working on this city.)

Rustin smiles and turns upwards to see Mr. Grawnor. He liked Mr. Grawnor. Not always the best of company, but he sells you a straight deal and he tries to keep the place classy, unlike some of the taverns and bordellos in shantytown.

Rustin always felt underdressed when entering a bordello type place. All the girls are dressed very nicely to impress the men and all the men are dressed nicely because they have money to do so. Rustin only has his worn lookign clothing and dirty shoes. Heck, his cape is starting to tear at the edge. Luckily it still held his knives well enough. and his belt is sturdy and holds his axes. He tries to keep them as hidden as possible, so as not to alarm people, particularly police.

Rustin steps into the tavern entrance of the place, and looks around, letting his eyes adjust to the dimmer inner area. There was barely a soul here. Mostly due to hangover, but also because most people can't hide themselves as well in daylight. Wouldn't do to have people think you are coming to a Bordello. But Rustin didn't mind what people said about himself personnally, as long as they said nice things proffessionally.

HazelStone
2008-02-06, 04:21 PM
Acanthe rises at dawn and spends an hour or so in stretches and calisthenics she learned as from her mother. "Always warm your body before the day starts and especially before you dance. Otherwise your knees will spend every moment of middle age making you regret it," she used to say. Then she makes her walk around the manor grounds checking for squatters, thieves and vermin.

Another_Poet
2008-02-06, 04:33 PM
Lonna:

"Well, love, maybe I can show you around. I'd hate for you to get lost." The talker walks toward you with a very fake-looking smile on his face. His companion follows, fanning out a bit. Thr first man's voice takes on a sinister note as he continues "This is a dangerous part of town - anybody round here is probably a criminal."

"I like brunettes," says the other one.

******************

Rustin:

Mikos walks down the stairs carrying an open and half-empty bottle of what appears to be gin. "Still walking the streets alive and free, and haven't been to see me in weeks. What under Olympus have you been up to? Don't answer, drink!" Before he reaches ground floor he tosses the bottle to you (still uncorked) and goes on.

"Can I get you some time with one of my girls? One of the boys perhaps?"

((If you venture to drink from the unlabelled bottle you will find it is not gin per se, but apparently a reindeer moss liqueur that effectively cuts the middle man - the healthy part - out of morning stew. An ill-advised recipe for sure.))

********************

Acanthe & Saker:

As Acanthe walks up the footpath to the dront of the house she sees the the side gate was not properly locked last night. She also spies a man about her own age, whom she may or may not recognise, standing just outside it.

Saker catches movement down the path before he hears anyone coming.

Lonna
2008-02-06, 04:47 PM
Lonna


Lonna's hand strays to her sword, a clear warning in her expression as her voice gains a steely note, all semblance of friendliness gone. "I think I can take care of myself."

If the men attack, she'll put her back to the wall on her left and try to edge down toward Apollo's shrine while holding them off with her rapier. Hopefully they will be more hesitant to attack when she has longer reach and holy ground at her back.

Sornas
2008-02-06, 04:53 PM
William

Sprinting ahead, William ran full-tilt towards South Ave.

If there is one thing he had on the adults, it was speed, and all he had to do was find somewhere to hide. Like it was that easy.

As he barreled through the puddles, he yelped a quick "Sorry!" To the two women, and continued his escape.


I don't know how you want to resolve the chase, but I was bored earlier and did some quick math, and William's full out run is a little bit over 18 Mph. ^^

Psionic Dog
2008-02-06, 05:03 PM
Saker

The travel stained man on the other side of the gate is of average hight and a bit on the thin side. He's wearing worn leather armor and is casually carrying a spear in his hands, has a crossbow dangling at his side, and a mid-sized backpack and bedroll on his back. He was in the process of cautiously pushing the gate open with his spear butt when he notices the woman approaching.

Something about her looks familiar to the man...

"Arinsha?" He hazards, "Orikedes's yawl pilot? Is that you?"

Another_Poet
2008-02-06, 05:17 PM
((Sornas: D&D chase sequences using characters' speed tend to be boring (Who has a higher speed? Who has the Run feat? Okay, chase resolved...) so I'll oten have a series of checks to make along the way - balance, jump, reflex saves, etc as you hit various obstacles. In your case however you have such a head start and so few obstacles I'm gonna just give it to you.))

Lonna & William:

Three things happen at once. The two guards near Lonna encircle her, one of them chiding her not to bother with her sword while the other makes an impolite comment I won't reproduce here.

William zips around the corner and almost smacks into the trio, clearly not expecting yet more guards to be waiting near the temple.

And a loud whistle-blow alerts the two perverts that this is not just some kid making a dash to get out of the rain. The third guard, panting heavily, is only a short distance behind him.

((And I have to remark how hilarious I find Lonna's steely voice in a world with no steel :smallbiggrin: ))

McMindflayer
2008-02-06, 05:27 PM
He just smiles at the old man and catches the bottle, uncorks it and takes a swig. He almost spits it out. He makes a face and swallows it. "And here's me thinking that beer was at the bottom of the barrel. Always finding a new low and selling it as the new thing, eh?" He asked with a smile. "As for the girls, I'm going to, as always, decline your gracious offer. You run a class establishment, it's not like you want to dirty it with my boots in your back rooms." Rustin took another swig of the bottle, corked it and put it down onto the table. "It's now May second, the good ol' start of spring in good ol' Elm. How was the first for you?"

Both Rustin and Mikos knew that he was here only for jobs, but they inevitably just go down the list of small talk, until all that's left is the talk of jobs. This early in the morning, the lack of customers make it easy to talk freely about jobs, even the questionable kind.

Lonna
2008-02-06, 05:40 PM
Thank Hermes! An opportunity! thinks Lonna. Taking advantage of the fact that the guards in front of her are off balance, she quickly disentangles herself from the scrawny child and makes a few swings with her rapier to force the lecherous officers further back.

"Boy, follow me!" she snaps. Acting now mostly on instinct, she pushes past the breathless guard, knocking him back. Without looking to see if the boy obeyed, she scoops the dagger on the ground from its puddle with her free hand and makes a break down the alley in the opposite direction from the one the boy came from.


((And I have to remark how hilarious I find Lonna's steely voice in a world with no steel :smallbiggrin: ))

I wasn't even thinking about that. I like to write, so I just put down the first appropriate adjective I thought of, given the tone I wanted. Then again, I have a tendency to make puns like that unintentionally, or so my friends tell me.

Sornas
2008-02-06, 05:59 PM
Well, after reading AP's post, I was planning on William trying to convince the guards that Lonna was his mother, but this works. :P Probably with less embarrassment on Lonna's part, too.


William

William grinned as he rounded the corner, looking over his shoulder, it looked like the guards hadn't been able to keep up with him...no all he needed to do was...

He turned to look in front of him, but at that moment found his field of vision blocked by a billowing sky-blue cloak.

The next few moments went in slow motion. William turned his feet on a nearby patch of slick snow, and twisted his upper body, barely managing to dodge ramming into the man as he slid, and ending up in a crouch facing the opposite direction he had been running.

"Boy, follow me!"

He picked his head up. Not really having time to debate his options, and dashed after the woman, figuring that whoever she was, she had to be better company than what the alternative offered.

HazelStone
2008-02-06, 06:21 PM
Yes sir, though it is pronounced Ah -Cahn-Thee. How may I help you, sir? She says, looking puzzled.

Acanthe's wearing a plain grey wool tunic and leather trousers. She looks tall and moderately strong, though not particularly impressive. She seems a bit preoccupied and in a rush.

Another_Poet
2008-02-06, 06:26 PM
Rustin:

"It was a headache and an ulcer, but any day that brings in business is a welcome addition to my calendar." He leads you to take a seat at a table near the back, and sits opposite you. There are few patrons but you do notice a gentle-looking man sitting in a corner, dressed in drab clothing and drinking what might or might not be purple spice. You recognise him as the Tailor, a local man who does indeed run a tailor shop but is more infamous in the underworld as a professional killer. He has a habit of dismembering his victims, and no one is quite sure why exactly he has not been captured. This is one of only a few times you have seen him, and just like the other times he seems completely non-threatening.

Mikos goes through the obligatory small talk before coming around to the real question. "So what are you here for, a job? I told you weeks ago, Rustin, you should've signed onto one of those yawls I told you about. I couldn't believe you'd turn them down. I half-expected that you were going to take the tip and go sign on yourself behind my back."

He coughs hoarsely, turns, and spits onto the floor. He slaps the butt of a very attractive young boy who is walking past in a long, effeminate tunic. "Petra, dear, clean this floor up will you? It looks like we keep animals in here. And shake it a little more will you? Just because it's early doesn't mean you're not working."

He looks back at you. "These people won't do anything unless I tell them. Anyway, all the yawls are full up now. Everyone knows to get a contract before May Day. You should've listened to me, Rustin."

***************

Lonna/William: roll initiative

((You can put rolls right here in the main thread, but please label them using [roll=label your roll here ] 1dX [ /roll] (but without the spaces).))

Sornas
2008-02-06, 06:35 PM
[roll0]
Huh, never knew you could label them. ^_^

McMindflayer
2008-02-06, 07:00 PM
The Tailor, Hmm? Thought Rustin Wonder what he's doing here so early. must be looking for a new job or something. and with that doesn't give him another thought, but does keep a wary on him... but then, Rustin keeps a wary eye on everybody.

"Aw, Mikos. I told you before, I am not much of a traveler. I have grown attached to Elm. It's home to me now. Plus, going anywhere on a Yawl takes forever. I could run faster than them if they didn't float so damn high." He pauses for a moment, then turns to look Mikos in the eye. "So, no jobs then? There's got to be someone out there willing to pay a man to look after something. Heck I could gaurd flowers if they was willing to pay."

Lonna
2008-02-06, 07:55 PM
1d20+5 A sentence with at least ten characters so it will let me post.

Trying again... 1d20+5

Lonna
2008-02-06, 07:58 PM
Ok, that didn't work, let's try again. [roll0]

SeekerInTheNight
2008-02-06, 07:58 PM
((Wow, ya'll post a lot! ><))

Breakfast, Natsume concluded, was one of life's small mercies. A part of her piped up, noting that this was a thin broth and a heavy but tasteless cake. A part that she ruthlessly quashed through an act in part willpower and the act of combining the griddlecake with the stew for what amounted to comfort food for her. It didn't really matter what kind of soup, stew, or broth Natsume had on hand, it all just tasted so much better when there was bread to dip in it.

She had ambled downstairs moments before, looking a bit flustered from an abrupt awakening but well rested and ready to go. Nodding her thanks to Draego and a hello to Garrin, she took her portion in a large mug that she would munch on for a while yet.

"Um..."

She hesitates, wondering why she bothered. There wasn't really a family left to embarrass but she still felt the need to rein it in around her brother.

"I... suppose you're both, um, ready to go?"

roninkelt
2008-02-06, 08:45 PM
Draego

as if he's been waiting for the question, he runs into his room, grabs up a bundle of belongings, then runs back. "Thought you would never get around to getting started. I'm ready."

Psionic Dog
2008-02-06, 09:18 PM
Saker

The traveler sighs and leans up against the doorway.

"Acanthe! I knew it started with an 'A,' it's been so long... Oh! I can't begin to tell you how good it is to see a familiar face, when I saw the place boarded up I was so worried... How is the Kite family and estate? That's why I'm here see, a pure social visit to chat with the man and any of the kids if one of them happens to be in town." He exclaims, laughing lightly more from giddy relief than any real hummer.

"I'm Saker Kite by the way, brother of Orikedes's if you've forgotten. We've met a couple of times over the years, all though it's been two, or was it three, years since we last crossed paths." he goes on to add helpfully.

SeekerInTheNight
2008-02-06, 10:47 PM
Draego

as if he's been waiting for the question, he runs into his room, grabs up a bundle of belongings, then runs back. "Thought you would never get around to getting started. I'm ready."

It was a look Draego wouldn't recognize, and one that would put the hairs up on the back of Garrin's neck. Pure unadulterated cute wielded like a club. No one did puppy eyes like Natsume.

"Good! Then you can carry my trunk down to the yawl berth. It's upstairs in the corner. Once you've got that done take a look and see if they've filled up the water barrels and loaded on the food supplies. I need to go check the shipping manifest."

She leans over and plants a kiss on Draego's cheek.

"Thank you little brother!"

She's out the door before either of them can get in a word edge-wise. Only to return a moment later, poking her head in.

"Oh, and Garrin? Go find Acanthe and tell her we're heading to the docks, I'm sure she'll want to look over her big ol' sky boat before we're due to leave."

And she's gone.

Another_Poet
2008-02-06, 11:01 PM
((Since I'm not sure everyone has seen me mention this in the OoC thread I'll reiterate it here:

It's unlikely the group can depart today (May 2). You haven't even approved your yawl yet, let alone loaded it, which could take days. Provisions haven't been secured and it's still early in the season, a little risky for flight.

Most merchants won't leave till around May 15. We don't have to play out all those days, but there are still preparations to be made.

Of course, that need not stop Natsume from thinking otherwise. :smallwink: ))

HazelStone
2008-02-07, 12:06 AM
Acanthe fills in Uncle Saker on the situation, very briefly.

Why don't you come into the cottage and have breakfast?

Lonna
2008-02-07, 12:10 AM
Lonna


Seeing that there is no way to avoid a fight, Lonna makes a quick decision and moves past the boy to stand in the middle of the street. She doesn't like leaving her back exposed, but this way it is impossible for the guards to surround the scrawny lad.

"Boy, take this."Lonna orders, handing him the knife as she passes. It is decent quality, and she wonders briefly why it was abandoned in the street before returning her attention to more pressing matters. "Try not to kill anyone." she adds, "I need to stay here for a while."

Move action to give William the knife and stop just south of him (I think it's south). New positions should look something like this:

@**@*L
*****W
-------
*****|
*****|**@

Another_Poet
2008-02-07, 12:45 AM
Rustin:

Mikos laughs. "A man of your skills and experience shouldn't be guarding flowers. You deserve some real work, right? Well I tell you, most of the jobs are gone. Not just the yawls, the whole economy heads south this time of year. Every beggar and booben with a line of credit gets one of those flyers and heads out. They think it's gonna turn a profit or something, most of 'em just end up robbed cheated or wrecked. But the beautiful thing about human nature is that hope springs eternal, and where hope springs fools quickly follow. And when fools leave town..."

A sharp laugh, like a dog barking, breaks the air. A glance toward the front shows a big toothy grin on the Tailor's face. He's perusing a letter held up to the light with one hand while he drinks from his cup with the other. The grin disappears as quick as it arrived.

Grawngor shakes his head and gives you a look like he can hardly bear to put up with life anymore. "When fools leave town, suddenly town is a lot safer. Good for the poor frightened masses. Bad for you and I, eh?"

He shakes his head. "Look, I tell you what, have yourself a nice foot soak on the house, give me some time to talk to some people, and come back a little later, okay? If there's work to be had around here I'll find it for you." He leans closer. "You don't mind doing the dirty stuff, I mean some real back-alley jobs, huh?"

McMindflayer
2008-02-07, 02:52 AM
After the barking laugh, Rustin almost jumps from his seat. His hand went inside his cloak, but then he just rearranged it, as the almost jump dislodged it from his shoulder. (Nope, no knives there. Just a messed up cloak.) His first thought was It's not that the man freaks me out, He thought, trying to convince even himself it's what he has in his hands that does. Yes. The paper might have my name on it...

He turned his attention back to Mikos, staring at the Tailor wasn't a good health plan. He half-listened to Mikos telling him about the time of year, he was busy worrying about what the Tailor was laughing about. It's not that Mikos was boring, it's just he's heard some variations of the same thing every May 2. He always came back here this day at this hour becuase Mikos has always found him a job.

Then he brung up dirty stuff, which made him think of his last assignment in Karr. He quickly pushed it aside, and responded to Mikos, levelly. "I'm trying to get out of the assasination part of business, but if it's all you can truly dig up. I don't kill kids." At this, he stood up. "Work your magic Mikos. I might even take you up on that footbath."

Duke of URL
2008-02-07, 07:17 AM
Garrin

Still a little annoyed at Draego for the rude awakening, Garrin decides not to intervene while Natsume tries to twist him around her little finger. Of course, the laugh is on both of them once they realize we're not going anywhere for a couple of weeks yet... we have't even taken possession of the damned yawl yet, let alone gotten it ready to sail. Unless they plan on sleeping on board while it's tied up at the docks, which doesn't sound wise to me.

He finishes his breakfast and pointedly does not try to stop Draego from doing as his sister asked. He does, however, step outside to look for Acanthe so he can share the "joke" with her.

Psionic Dog
2008-02-07, 07:46 AM
Saker

Acanthe fills in Uncle Saker on the situation, very briefly.

Why don't you come into the cottage and have breakfast?

((Assuming 'Fills in the Uncle briefly' = "Times have been bad recently (the family lost the estate last year), but the Kite's are making one last yawl run, so we're in the process of closing up to leave town."))

"Thank you, I'd be delighted to get out of the rain." Saker replies. He tries making minor small talk about the town and the festival as follows her as she finishes her round and returns to the cottage. It distracts him enough for his nephew/niece to see him first.


Can Saker take 10 on gather information and learn the recent town rummers from Acanthe?

Sornas
2008-02-07, 09:47 AM
William

William stared at the knife laid out in his hands. Of course he knew how to use it, the Beasts had taught him the basics, but they never had him fight for real, that was the bigger kids' job.

"Try not to kill anyone."

His eyes widened and he looked towards Lonna in shock. "K-kill? I don't want to kill anyone..." He grasped the dagger a few times reflexively. "These people don't deserve to die, they're only doing their job...but, we don't deserve to die either." He glanced at Lonna again, "Well, I'm pretty sure you don't deserve to die, but I know I don't."

Resolve set, William looked over towards the nearby guard. Trying to think of something to say, he only managed a sputtered "I'm sorry sir!" Before darting towards him, aiming the flat of the dagger at the back of his head.


Surprise round: William makes a subdual attack against the flatfooted guard.
Rolls (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1484467/)
Attack: 17-2=15
Damage: 1+1=2
Sneak attack= 5

roninkelt
2008-02-07, 11:05 AM
Draego

Puts his hand on his cheek where she kissed and stares after Natsume like she has a third eye... (Being a family member he is immune to the cute club).

He looks at Garrin and gets a really big grin on his face, then sits down to finish breakfast

"Is there something that I'm missing? Aren't you excited to be going?"

Duke of URL
2008-02-07, 12:03 PM
Garrin

Garrin pauses at the doorway, hearing his brother's voice. "Missing something? You mean, other than the fact that we still need to spend the next couple of weeks preparing before we even go anywhere? And no, I'm not excited. I'm still not sure this is wise, and I can't believe I let Natsume talk me into it in the first place. But we're committed now, aren't we?"

Another_Poet
2008-02-07, 12:11 PM
Lonna/William:

William's blow knocks the first guard out cold! A lot more power in his arm than he thought, evidently...

A****L
*****W
-------
*****|
*****|**B

Initiative:
Lonna
Guard A (id/sf)
William
Guard B (ii/id)

Lonna, you're up.

*******************

Acanthe/Saker: Since Saker is talking to just one person (who is a PC and can decide what she tells you) I'd say no Gather Info roll. What you figured she told you sounds about right. She probably thinks you know Orikedes died and is just telling you about the business. Of course, she can confirm/deny that...


******************

Rustin:

Mikos stands up and snaps his fingers. "Petra, get this guy a foot soak will you?" He slides the bottle of foul liqueur across the table to you. "Here, this is for you. Tell your friends, alright?" He walks off without waiting for an answer.

Lonna
2008-02-07, 12:51 PM
Lonna

Now this is more like it! she exults as the boy next to her evens the odds. Leaving him to face the panting guard coming down the street, Lonna doubles back to come behind the second guard who had cornered her a moment ago.

"Thanks for the invitation" she says sarcastically, aiming a blow at the back of his head with her sword hilt, "but I think I'll pass on the escort!"

L
A
*****W
-------
*****|
*****|**B



Move action to get behind the guard, attack for non-lethal damage.
[roll0]
[roll1]

HazelStone
2008-02-07, 01:13 PM
Perhaps I should have been more clear. Acanthe gives Yawl and business related updates only.

To Saker:
Yes, this weather is unseasonably cool. The fellows should have some hot Stew going by now.

Another_Poet
2008-02-07, 01:27 PM
Either this man is tougher than his comrade, or your sword-hilt did not strike as true as William's knife-handle. The man lets out a heavy grunt as you strike him, but recoils and draws his weapon with grace. A bright bronze leaf-blade springs off his right hip into his right hand and immediately cuts at your wrist.

Guard's disarm attempt:

[roll0] (improved disarm)
Lonna, let's see if you can beat it...

Lonna
2008-02-07, 01:34 PM
Opposition to guard A's disarm attempt:

[roll0]

Edit: OUCH... I'm in trouble.

Another_Poet
2008-02-07, 01:48 PM
To save your wrist, you have no choice but to let go of your rapier. It clatters to the ground and the guard grins as he turns his blade to strike you with the flat...

(William's turn)

roninkelt
2008-02-07, 03:23 PM
Draego


GarrinGarrin pauses at the doorway, hearing his brother's voice. "Missing something? You mean, other than the fact that we still need to spend the next couple of weeks preparing before we even go anywhere? And no, I'm not excited. I'm still not sure this is wise, and I can't believe I let Natsume talk me into it in the first place. But we're committed now, aren't we?"

"A couple of weeks? I thought we were getting the yawl today!" He thinks about it for a second. "I guess I forgot about loading." He thinks for another while... "How much stuff will be loaded today, do you think?" The grin he had before, went away, but is now back and definitely has a mischevous look.

McMindflayer
2008-02-07, 05:48 PM
Rustin nods to Mikos as he leaves and then looks up at Petra. "Right..." He said, not exactly sure what to say in this situation. He will move himself as Petra asks (this includes following him, lifting his legs up, etc.) and takes off his shoes and socks before dipping his feet into the hot water. He keeps a hold of the liqueur, not exactly sure if he wanted more, but you can't be too sure.

Another_Poet
2008-02-07, 06:35 PM
Rustin, you end up in a small side-room with a nicely upholstered if somewhat worn armchair and a little oil lamp. Heavy curtains are the only door on the room, and once you are left alone to soak you can hear the sounds of the front of the tavern. Apparently not everyone got their fill of drinking the night before, as the bar area picks up quite a bit as the day wears on.

((Mikos did say to "come back later" so if you want to walk around town more you can. If you'd rather just wait that's fine too.))

Sornas
2008-02-07, 07:45 PM
William

((OOC: Sorry about taking so long, got busy this afternoon. ^^; ))

Gasping as he hit the ground, William manged to catch himself and land on his feet, watching as the guard slumped to the ground. "I hope he's alright." Came a fleeting thought, but there was no time to worry about the guard.

Glancing between the two remaining guards, William was torn. It looked like the woman needed his help, but they would both need help if both of the guards cornered them. Making a snap decision, he barreled towards the gasping guard, hoping to knock him out quickly so that he could help the woman.


Round 1: William charges the flatfooted guard, and attacks for subdual damage.
Rolls (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1485055/)
1d20+0=14
1d4+1=4
1d6=3
Currently at -2 AC (11)

Another_Poet
2008-02-07, 08:31 PM
William:

You land another good solid blow, jabbing the butt of your knife into his chest and knocking the breath out of him. He sneers at you and catches your wrist with one hand as the other leverages his quickly-drawn sword against your arm. These guys must be on the same training regimen, because you can see he is trying to pressure the knife out of your hand.

[roll0]
(you oppose with a straight atk roll -4 for using a light weapon)

((Lonna, it'll be your turn next no matter the outcome, so once you see William's roll feel free to take your next action.))

Sornas
2008-02-07, 09:27 PM
Damn @.@ Was hoping 7 was enough :P
Opposed attack roll, -4 from light:
[roll0]


Edit- Well crap. @.@

Lonna
2008-02-07, 09:39 PM
Lonna

Surprised but undaunted by the guard's skill, Lonna unsheaths her dagger and once again aims a blow at her advesary's head. Out of the corner of her eye she can see that the boy is struggling with his chosen opponent, but she doesn't dare help him until she has subdued her own attacker.


[roll0]
[roll1]

Edit: Well that was spectacularly useless...

Another_Poet
2008-02-07, 10:33 PM
Almost without thought the guard intercepts your dagger with the side of his sword, then clubs the side of your head with the butt.

[roll0]
[roll1]

...but your head is no longer there, as you duck his fist.

(William, you're up.)

Sornas
2008-02-07, 11:23 PM
William

"Ah...no!" William cried as the dagger tumbled out of his hand, clattering at his feet.

Throwing his body into a twist, he managed to wrench himself free of the guard's grip on his wrist, but now he was unarmed, and faced with a man much larger than himself.

He knew it was a risk, but it gave him better odds than trying to face him down with his fists.

With a quick spin and a push, William let the air carry his light cloak up and off his body, hoping to give him enough cover to retrieve his weapon. Underneath the billowing cloth, he darted forward, scooping up his dagger and shoving the flat of the blade towards the guard's stomach in one smooth motion.


Round 2: William accepts an attack of opportunity to grab his dagger from the ground (Move action), and attack (Standard action).
Rolls (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1485242/)
1d20-2=5
1d4+1=2
Damn <.<

Another_Poet
2008-02-08, 12:30 AM
The guard uses his sword like a club as William dives for the knife.

[roll0]
[roll1]

He sees the dagger thrust and blocks with his free hand, then slams his sword against the side of the boy's head.

[roll2]
[roll3]

Lonna
2008-02-08, 12:59 AM
Lonna

"Hades take you both!" curses Lonna, enraged by the sight of her ragged companion staggering under the force of the other guard's blows. "You, and all bullies!" With that she launches another determined attack, this time aiming for his solar plexus in the hope that he will expect another blow to the head and fail to block her.


[roll0]
[roll1]
Finally a strike connects!

McMindflayer
2008-02-08, 09:56 AM
Rustin, after his foot soak, decides that having one good hook is good, but haveing several weaker ones is more likely to catch fish. So he put on his socks and shoes and started wandering around Shantytown, asking people if they heard of any jobs in town. He goes it his usual hotspots, and considering what Mikos said, he goes to one or two not so hotspots.

If nothing interesting occurs, he takes the information he gets, and heads back to Mikos to see what he has to say.

Psionic Dog
2008-02-08, 12:02 PM
Saker

Was she always this quiet? Saker asks himself as his conversation with Acanthe drops off. He pushes the thought aside after a moments consideration: He's here to see his kin, not their employees so it doesn't really matter much.

He turns and starts to quicken his steps to reach the cottage just in time to spots a young woman hustling down the path toward him. Despite the rain he recognizes her as his niece, but it wouldn't make a good impression if he got her name wrong, so he steps aside and smiles broadly while thinking hard. It might by 'Natsume', but if he's lucky Acanthe will say it so he can be certain.

Another_Poet
2008-02-08, 12:07 PM
Lonna-

Finally you catch the guard, well, off-guard. Not only do you drive him back a bit and leave what you're sure will be a nasty bruise on his chest, but you cause him to drop his mug of stew which he has been holding (and sloshing) in his off hand this whole time. It shatters on the pavement.

The guard for his part curses at you and swats with his sword once again.

[roll0]
[roll1]

Another_Poet
2008-02-08, 12:15 PM
((Saker - I think Hazel meant for this post (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=3906115&postcount=294) to be in the IC thread in which case she does not actually say Natsume's name. Also I renamed the IC thread so that it is easier to tell the two apart.

Rustin - I'll catch you up in a little bit, since you are getting much later in the day than the other characters. If we can resolve this fight and get the siblings into town we'll all be on roughly the same page.))

Sornas
2008-02-08, 04:24 PM
William

Grunting with the blow, William tumbled backwards, catching himself with an outstretched hand. Righting himself, the boy stood ready, gasping for breath as he stared down the man.

He felt woozy, but he tried his best to look tough, bringing up his dagger into an attacking position. If he was going to survive, he needed to outsmart him. Grinning at the man, knowing that he couldn't see around the corner and just after hearing the smash, he made his move.

"Looks like the Beasts got here just in time!" He said in his most sinister voice, somewhat comical coming from someone his size, "Once they are done dealing with your friend, we are gonna have some fun..." He perked up, looking behind the man. "Oh? Looks like we don't have long to wait, here come the rest of them!"

((Note that the below is only if the bluff works))

He was terrified inside, but he knew this was his only chance. Hoping his trick would work, he waited for the man to turn his head, then swung his leg around, kicking his now-grounded cloak towards the man's head. Taking advantage of the small window, William bolted around the corner, looking for a place to hide.


Round 3: William uses a bluff check to create a diversion (Standard action) Then runs around the corner, attempting to hide (Move action). (The general idea being that when the guard looks for him next round, he can catch him unaware for another flatfooted sneak attack, while Lonna, facing where William is, can see him, but the other guard can't. Don't worry, I'm not ditching you Lonna :P)

Rolls (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1485955/)
Bluff: 12+8=20
Hide: 12+8=20
That's not bad. ^^

Another_Poet
2008-02-08, 06:33 PM
William/Lonna:

William scrabbles around the corner and throws himself into a recessed doorway. While Lonna struggles with her guard, there is a second of silence from the one William just left; then his whistle-blow can be heard, loud and clear and moving in the opposite direction. As his cowardly friend runs off, the guard facing Lonna is clearly unsettled.

Lonna
2008-02-08, 08:03 PM
Lonna


Lonna dances away from the shining blade as it swings toward her ribs, thinking fast. She doesn't really want to get into any trouble with the law, not in the town where she grew up, and especially not when she has to spend the next week or two in town. When she sees the boy scramble around the corner and the guard he was facing go trotting off in the opposite direction, blowing his whistle as if his life depended on it, she makes up her mind with a snap.

"Look," she begins abruptly, speaking low and fast. Her eyes never leave the guard before her, and she seems ready for an attack at any moment, but her temper is now under control. "You and I both know that right now the odds are on my side. Your ally just left and mine is still here. Now, I'm sure a fine officer such as yourself doesn't want any trouble, and honestly I don't want to give you any. So, as I see it, we can do this one of two ways, and the choice is yours. On the one hand, we all just admit this was a misunderstanding, and you let me and the boy go about our business while you go about yours."

Lonna pauses a moment to let this sink in before continuing in a deceptively calm voice. "On the other hand, you can swing that pig-sticker of yours at me again, and the boy and I will be forced to help you join your friend there." She tilts her head slightly to indicate the guard lying unconcious in the street. If her opponent is as experienced as his fighting style implies, he must know that anyone left helpless in this part of town, even so near the Facing, will be lucky to wake up in his underclothes.




Edit: Just realized that may need to be a bluff check, not a diplomacy check, so here's a roll for bluff.

[roll=Bluff]1d20+8

Why won't this work? 1d20+8

SeekerInTheNight
2008-02-08, 09:58 PM
Saker
He turns and starts to quicken his steps to reach the cottage just in time to spots a young woman hustling down the path toward him. Despite the rain he recognizes her as his niece, but it wouldn't make a good impression if he got her name wrong, so he steps aside and smiles broadly while thinking hard. It might by 'Natsume', but if he's lucky Acanthe will say it so he can be certain.

Acanthe
What she said.

Natsume

"Ah!"

Natsume skids to a stop in front of Acanthe and Saker. She blinks owlishly between the two of them and sketches a quick bow between them.

"Ah! Uncle! It is, ah, good? To see you again."

She blinks again and reaches out to hold on to Acanthe's arm. She cheats in, effectively shutting her Uncle out of the conversation for a moment. She drops her voice, knowing he could still hear her but trusting his sense of decency to give them a moment's privacy.

Acanthe I'm heading down to the port authority to make sure everything is in order, would you like to join me? It may be a few days yet before we can leave, but fortune favors the cautious. We could look over your sky b... er, yawl.

She turns and steps half a step back, inviting Saker back into the conversation.

"Uncle, how have you been? I am sorry that I have not kept in contact, this have been, ah, busy."

Lonna
2008-02-09, 11:17 AM
Since my roll above won't work:

[roll0]

Another_Poet
2008-02-09, 01:03 PM
Lonna/William:

((Generally, a roll won't work if it is edited in any way, either by adding it to a post that didn't have a roll or by changing a roll that was already in the post. It's an anti-cheating thing.))

The guard almost snarls at Lonna as she tries to fast-talk him. Evidently, it's not working, for he leaps forward with his sword overhead for a strong overhead strike aimed at her shoulder...

[roll0]
[roll1]

Psionic Dog
2008-02-09, 05:18 PM
Uncle Saker

"Oh, I could be better," Saker says with a laugh as he wipes rain water from his brow "But things are looking better now that I've safely arrived and see your pretty face, so please don't go spoiling the moment by blaming yourself, it's probably more my own fault that yours that we've not been in touch. I'm just glad to be here now, and doubly thankful to have come before you could all leave.

If you've got stuff to do I'll just go on up to the cottage to escape the rain. Who else aside from Orikedes is in town?"

Sornas
2008-02-09, 06:36 PM
William

William watched in horror as the guard's blade raked across Lonna. Desperately trying to think of what to do, he stared at the dagger in his hands. He needed to get away, the longer he waited, the better chance he had of getting caught, but the woman had helped him in the first place.

He looked up again, seeing the blood fall, and just then, made his choice. He was still a little woozy, but he couldn't just leave her, she had saved his life.

"Get the hell away from her, you bully!" He yelled, barreling towards the guard with little concern for his own safety.


Round 4: William charges into a flanking position, then makes a non-lethal attack.
Rolls (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1487137/) (Conf (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1487142/))
1d20+2=22 (Critical threat!)
1d20+2=4 (Unconfirmed)
1d4+1=4
1d6=6

Another_Poet
2008-02-09, 09:35 PM
((As was noted in the OoC thread, you can't get sneak damage on a nonlethal hit. Sorry I let it slide by mistake before. However, even without the extra d6 you've landed a nice solid blow. He's reeling.))

"You're getting yourselves in big trouble," the guard whines as he tries to fend off attacks from both sides.

((Lonna, you're up.))

Sornas
2008-02-10, 12:58 AM
((As was noted in the OoC thread, you can't get sneak damage on a nonlethal hit. Sorry I let it slide by mistake before. However, even without the extra d6 you've landed a nice solid blow. He's reeling.))

"You're getting yourselves in big trouble," the guard whines as he tries to fend off attacks from both sides.

((Lonna, you're up.))

((Okies, but can the hit be non-lethal, and the sneak attack lethal? I have no idea how that works @.@))

Lonna
2008-02-10, 01:27 AM
Lonna



Lonna tries to dodge the descending blade, but its tip catches and tears through the flesh of her left arm. Blood spurts from the wound, and she knows that another good hit like that will put her down for the count. About to abandon the rapier - one of her beloved mentor's gifts - in order to flee with her life and her freedom, Lonna is horrified to see the boy rise from his hiding place and charge at the guard from behind, shouting.

The fool! Why didn't he run away when he had the chance!?!

However, the child lands a solid blow, and as the guard staggers back, Lonna gathers her strength to deliver what she hopes will be a final attack. If this one misses, she knows, she may not get the opportunity to try again.


[roll0]
[roll1]

Another_Poet
2008-02-10, 07:02 PM
As he dances away from Lonna's blow the guard turns and swings at William

[roll0]
[roll1]

Sornas
2008-02-11, 12:44 AM
William

Taking advantage of the guard's wide swing, William quickly dodged to the left, darting in for a quick attack.

"We're getting ourselves in trouble? You attacked us!" He grumbled.


Round 5: William makes a non-lethal attack against the guard. It's not Shakespeare, but gimmie a break, it's quarter to one. @.@

Rolls (http://invisiblecastle.com/roller/view/1488495/)
1d20=4
1d4+1=4
Bah. *Faceplants into desk*

Lonna
2008-02-11, 09:55 AM
Lonna


"We're getting ourselves in trouble? You attacked us!"

Lonna smiled grimly at the indignation in her companion's voice. If we ever manage to down this stubborn guard, she thought as she once again aimed a blow at her opponent's head, I think we will get along quite nicely.


[roll0]
[roll1]

Finally!

Another_Poet
2008-02-11, 10:09 AM
William's words draw a guffaw from the guard, a guffaw that delays him a crucial half-second. He spins to swing at Lonna, a smug look on his face, and suddenly eats a mouthful of of bronze. The man staggers back, puts one hand to his broken nose, and falls to the ground unconscious.

"Whoa!" The voice draws your attention to an excited little boy, standing a bit down the street and pointing at you in awe. He is being held back by an older boy about William's age, his hand on his young brother's shoulder and a fearful look on his face. He shakes his head vigorously when you look his way, putting his free hand up in the air in a gesture of surrender.

Farther down the street, perhaps a block off, there are also several adults who do not seem to have figured out what's going on. The cross street (in both directions - the way the guard ran off and the other way, past the temple) seem empty.

Sornas
2008-02-11, 11:52 AM
William

Gasping for breath, William took a moment to regain his composure, glancing around him. Noticing the other boys, he sighed inwardly, he hadn't wanted to hurt anyone, and this is what ended up happening.

Looking towards the woman, he struggled for words. "Um...Thank you..." He said quietly, avoiding eye contact. Now that the excitement was over, it was not quite so easy to speak.

"I'm William...but we should get going before that other guard brings more..."

Lonna
2008-02-11, 03:01 PM
Lonna

"I did warn you." Lonna says, addressing the fallen guard, before sheathing her dagger. Then the boy's words register.

"I'm Lonna," she replies shortly, examining her still bleeding arm, "and I'm the one who should be thanking you. If you hadn't taken down one of those bastards for me, I sincerely doubt I would be in as good condition as I am."

Satisfied that she won't bleed to death as long as she moves slowly, Lonna retrieves her rapier, carefully wipes the street muck off on her pant leg, and returns it to its proper place by her side. Finally she examines the ragged child in front of her with a critical eye. He's thin but not starved; clothed, but poorly.

"Did your gang leave you to face the guards alone? Or are you outside your normal territory?" she asks abruptly. "On second thought," she adds, "tell me as we walk. I need to find Bert the Cripple, then I'll drop you with your gang. That should keep the guards off both of us for a while."

Another_Poet
2008-02-11, 05:06 PM
((I'll assume that you two take a winding route, keep to sidestreets and generally stay out of the public eye - for now - and that you manage to bandage up Lonna's wound with something. Also, since he is a contact of Lonna's and doesn't happen to be lying low at present, I'll assume you can find Bert.))

The long walk and all the asking around leaves Lonna feeling drained by the time the pair walks into a little cobbler's shop in the neighbourhood known as the Rear Three. The name originally referred to three blocks of relatively straight street where trees had managed to grow to maturity and provide a shady canopy for pedestrians. The road there is a little wider than most, but the trees now stretch little more than one of the original three blocks. Neglect, abuse and illegal logging has laid low the rest. These few have been saved partly by the efforts of local druids and partly on account of the stiff sanctions imposed after the angry petitions of a chief from across the river. The chief only lives in Elm two months out of the year, but he is one of the primary landlords in this part of town.

It would be easy to walk past the cobbler without meaning to. An alley cutting off the Rear Three has an unusal feature: a makeshift roof has been built over it, just one floor up between the three-story tenements. Stubs of candles line the "hallway" and booth-sized shops open off of it. It is in this alley, about three doors in, that the cobbler can be found.

The cobbler is a woman, name of Jonae to judge by the sign, and she's cutting patterns out of leather behind a messy counter when the pair walks in. The door is propped open but she doesn't make any gesture of greeting or welcome. Off to the left, seated on a worn old wooden chair is a heavyset man in his early fifties, his skin weathered but his belly showing signs of city life. He is in mid-sentence when you enter:

"So I said, you better not get in front or I'll pop you so hard your ass can't find your head. Ha ha, she sure wasn't expecting that. She shut up them, she sure shut up." He looks toward the door, right at you, then a little bit off to the side. "I think you have a customer, Joan."

Sornas
2008-02-11, 08:22 PM
William
((William has ranks in heal, so he can do the bandage ^^))

As he walked, William remained silent, unsure of what he should say to the woman. On the one hand, if he was to tell her everything, she may be a target too, and he couldn't expect her to help him.

On the other hand, she deserved an explanation, at the very least. It wasn't like she wasn't going to find out when she tried to drop him off...

"You should run!" He blurted out suddenly, betraying his own sense of subtlety.

Looking sheepish, he withdrew, lowering his voice. "I mean...you don't have to help me, if you do, they will be after you too. It's not safe."

----
((After arriving))

William glanced around the shop curiously, but tried to stick close to Lonna, careful not to knock anything over.

Lonna
2008-02-11, 10:38 PM
Lonna


Lonna is tired from the fight (and subsequent blood loss) combined with the frustration of trying to find Bert the Cripple. She doesn't want to spend energy worring about who "they" are that will be after her for helping a scrawny gang boy like William, so she seems to ignore his comment, only urging him to keep up.

Nevertheless, his words stay in her mind, hovering on the edges of her awareness until she is distracted by the sight of the older man. Her gaze catches his eye movement, and she puts her hand on her hip as she takes a casual stance between him and the door.

"Ah, there you are 'Blind Bert'." she says, putting a slight emphasis on the alias the fraudster used when pretending blindness. "I've been looking for you. I need to call in that favor you owe me from last May Day."

Looking at the cobbler she adds, "Please pardon the intrusion, Mistress, this should only take but a moment."

Another_Poet
2008-02-12, 09:23 AM
Lonna:

Jonae shrugs slightly when you speak to her. Bert, however, laughs openly.

"Favour? I owe a lot of things to a lot of people but I sure don't owe any favours to little Lonna the paper-doctor. Don't come in here and try to leverage me, girl." He wears a smile as he talks, but his voice is stern.

**************

Rustin: you get the same story rom all of your contacts, which is unusual. There were lots of jobs available on the yawl route, but they've all been filled up. It sounds like just about everybody in Elm who makes trouble their profession has signed on, which severely reduces the need for your services in town. Even the wealthy are too busy for backstabbing, with competition from a new company based out of Elm, Arconauts Company.

The only person you haven't tried is bert the Cripple. He's never gotten you a job himself, but he always seems to know the latest leads. You heard he's been spending his days at a cobbler shop in the Rear Three lately.

Duke of URL
2008-02-12, 10:23 AM
Garrin

Garrin sighs and lets Draego ramble on...

roninkelt
2008-02-12, 11:28 AM
Draego

and ramble on he does. For someone who spends lots of time alone, he seems to talk a lot. Perhaps it's just compensation....


OOC: don't forget about us. :(

Another_Poet
2008-02-12, 12:13 PM
Roninkelt/Duke:
Sorry, I haven't forgotten you. I keep thinking of having the bungalow catch fire or something just so ya's have something to do. Or maybe an earthquake. But I guess I'd say if you two want to head out and catch up with Natsume/Acanthe, you'll run into Saker as well... which would be a good thing since Seeker (Natsume) has disappeared for the past couple of days and Acanthe seems unwilling to explain Orikedes' death herself. If need be we can NPC Natsume for the time being and she'll follow you guys.

Psionic Dog
2008-02-12, 12:29 PM
Saker

The man looks questioningly at the silence of Natsume and Acanthe, and decides he must have been mistaken about being invited into the conversation.

"Ok, ok, I'll leave you alone to talk business and just go on up to the cottage. We aren't getting any drier out here."

With that he turns and resumes his walk up to the cottage while calling one last thought over his shoulder as he goes: "Oh, if you happen to see your dad before I do be sure to tell him that I'm in town and need to talk with him before he leaves."

((Sorry it's taking so long to get fresh blood, er Uncle Saker, into the cottage))

Duke of URL
2008-02-12, 02:09 PM
Garrin

"Enough, GoGo. It's time we followed after Natsume, or the gods only know what kind of trouble she'll get us into. Oh, and leave her trunk behind, there'll be plenty of time to get it later."

roninkelt
2008-02-12, 03:39 PM
Draego

pouts for a sec then decides to share his dastardly plan, hoping that Garrin won't ruin the 'suprise'.
"I was going to take it down to the yawl before the loading starts and put it in the cargo hold, since she asked so nicely... then stack everything else on top of it." He starts laughing wildly, stopping abruptly when Uncle Saker walks in.

Lonna
2008-02-12, 05:08 PM
Lonna


"Leverage?" says Lonna innocently. This is a ploy Bert would always try when she came to call in a favor, but she knew how to play his game. "Who said anything about leverage? I just want to hear a bit of friendly gossip. Certain words in certain ears have been known to put an innocent man in jail or" she paused, letting the barely noticeable hesitation emphasize her words, "keep a guilty man free." Again, Lonna paused slightly to let Bert think about exactly what she meant, then continued with a friendly grin. "Of course, I'm not looking for anything as dangerous as that. I just want to know what the Kite family has been up to, and I happen to know that you make it your business to know everything that happens in this town. Just a little free gossip, and I promise, next time I need something I'll come prepared to help out a poor cripple."

Now, let's see if he bites. Lonna thought, keeping the false smile on her face so that Bert could not guess her thoughts. Considering how I pulled his fat out of the fire last year he should be grateful that I'm willing to clear the debt with just a little information.

[roll0]

McMindflayer
2008-02-12, 07:13 PM
Rustin sighs as he walks. All his normal contacts were almost stonewalling him. He has seen times in which there were no jobs that he wanted. But no jobs at all. It just seemed wierd. It sounded like Karr again, except this time, there wasn't one job hanging in the air.

He walked through shantytown, heading for Bert. It seemed like the best thing to do. He could find out if there are any jobs out, while also asking about any news from Karr.

Psionic Dog
2008-02-12, 10:11 PM
Saker

Something strange is going on the Uncle muses as he reaches to open the door...

Door?

With a start he blinks and pulls his thoughts together. His walk up to the door had been a blur, in fact he couldn't remember anything from the moment he left his niece up until now.

Ah well, there will be time to worry about that latter.

With a mental shrug he pushes open the door and steps into the cottage.

"HELLO! ANYONE H... Draego! Garrin! Why the whole families here! What is the occasion?"

Another_Poet
2008-02-13, 09:27 AM
Bert sniffles, then covers his mouth and begins coughing raucously. Whether it's a stalling tactic or the man is really having a coughing fit is hard to say. He leans over and goes on for a moment, adding a lot of phlegmatic noises you'd rather not have heard. Finally, gasping for breath, he shakes his head and looks up.

"The Kite family again, huh? Always after the Kite family. I wonder what they'd say if they knew they were being stalked by some gangly little creature with no manners. Ah-hack-cough!" He wipes his nose on the back of his arm. "It's enough to make my heart stop. That doesn't take much mind you, I havea heart murmur, but still, it's a burden knowing so much about so many good people."

"Hey kid," Jonae cuts in, "Come around the counter here." She looks at William as she talks.

Bert goes on: "Well, I'll assume since you're so clever that you already know your old man, hee hee heh, I mean the old man of the family passed away. And the wife ran off home. That was a little after your last visit as I recall."

Lonna
2008-02-13, 09:41 AM
"Actually, that was a little before my last visit," replies Lonna patiently, ignoring the not-so-subtle hint at her presumed lineage, "but I don't know anything that's happened since the widow left." She keeps one eye on William as she listens to Bert's reply. She's aware that the older man probably won't get directly to whatever the juiciest new piece of news is, but now that she has him talking, it is only a matter of time. In the meantime, she intends to make sure William remains in one piece until she can dump him back with his gang. She owes him that much, at least.

Sornas
2008-02-13, 01:27 PM
William

Unsure of himself, but not wanting to be rude, William slowly skulked over to the counter, looking more like a scared rabbit than anything else. Getting to the edge of the counter, he looked over, and managed a shaky "H-hello Mrs. Joan."

Another_Poet
2008-02-13, 01:51 PM
Jonae doesn't take the slightest heed of the boy's demeanour, instead producing a large leather hide from beneath the counter and thrusting it into his hands. "Grab and pull," she instructs, and with William's help she begins the dance-like process of stretching the hide. Each party grabs their side and leans back, pulling the leather; then they rotate it 30 degrees or so and repeat. This treatment, done long enough, ensures the hide will be supple and flexible for years to come.

Bert doesn't really care about the quality of leather (as evidenced by his battered and filthy bag-shoes) and he pays the two no mind. "Let's see," he muses. "Well, shame and embarassment, that's what. Half the family didn't show up for the funeral, the other half tried to act like the man deserved a proper eulogy. Guess everyone does, but it must have been hard to come up with anything good to say. The man was found in a tub of his own caca, that's what I heard. And the only reason he was found at all is because his pipe almost burned down the house. No other reason to go in his study unless you want to get yelled at."

At this point a man comes down the covered alley outside the shop. He has the look of a foreigner and a dangerous air about him. (Rustin, that's you're cue.) Bert keeps talking.

"Bad for the baby, batter for the butter, that's what they always say, and you know it was true with that man. You thought they had debts before, you should see it now. Cost of a funeral, inheritance taxes, and investors don't like to see the head of a company die. Not that they had many investors to start with. So Asterix is gone, child. It closed up. It shut down. They couldn't pay all their debts and I won't say anything bad about that. I can't pay mine either. I can't work because of my leg and my back. And that really puts the spit on a collector. Their big thing is to threaten to break your leg, but mine's already lame. I told 'em they can have it, and take a finger too, they just got angrier. Well the Kites don't have no gimp leg but they had a house, a nice one. So what did the collectors take? You guessed it. They're out on the street now. What's left of 'em."

Duke of URL
2008-02-13, 02:18 PM
Garrin

"Now that is an idea I can get behind," he says to Draego. The door opens and his uncle comes inside.

"Occasion? We're taking delivery of our new yawl today... say, why weren't you at the funeral?"

roninkelt
2008-02-13, 04:02 PM
Draego

hops up from his chair and goes to give Uncle Saker a big giant hug, lifting him off the floor. "I haven't seen you in ages!" He holds him back, looking up and down. "Have you shrunk or have I grown?" This last is said with a big smile... Which dies when Garrin brings up the funeral.

Draego has grown into a well build young man, dressed in soft buckskin leathers. Judging by the hug and handgrip he's quite strong as well.

Psionic Dog
2008-02-13, 06:14 PM
Saker

With a clatter Saker drops his spear and returns the embrace of his nephew.
*Oof* "Boy, I'd say that your the one that's doing the growing. I have to say Draego, you've turned out pretty well, same for you Garrin. Last I time I was in town the two of you were getting a great start on your careers: Magic and hunting wasn't it? Let me be the first to say I'm so proud that neither you haven't turned out as a worthless drifter like myself."

At this Uncle Saker gives a wild laugh. As this fades he finally notices the quiet that has enveloped his nephews, a quiet that all to closely resembles Natsume's.

"Funeral? Err... why would I be at a funeral? Was it someone important to the family or someone I should know?" He asks cautiously after sharing the silence for a moment.

roninkelt
2008-02-13, 11:50 PM
Draego

steps back and looks right into Saker's eyes - "Father died, then mother left town..." He's not putting any softness into it, evidently things are still a bit raw.

"Things went to hell in a hurry after that, and now we're squatting on what used to be our own house." Anger boils in his voice, contained fury just beneath the surface. He stalks across the room, kicking a chair out of the way. Then takes a deep breath before turning around to face Saker again. "You came just in time to see our last grasp at keeping afloat." His jaw muscles jump, teeth clenched around the thought of the family going down.

McMindflayer
2008-02-14, 12:29 AM
Rustin entered the cobbler's shop, finding that Bert was already predisposed. He is rather well known, Guess I'll wait my turn He thought, since he didn't really want to make a scene.

Rustin gave the girl and Bert a second look,but then just walked into the shop and started to wander around as if an interested shopper, not paying either of them any more attention. Or at least, that is what he appeared to be doing.

Lonna
2008-02-14, 01:26 AM
Lonna


Only years of practice controlling her expression kept a look of polite interest on Lonna's face, rather than the shock she felt at hearing that her family was in the streets. She had known that the debts were heavy and the collectors impatient, but she hadn't imagined they would take the mansion. I should have known better. Collectors throw poor folk out of their homes all the time, and like it or not, my family's debts make them- make us poor in the eyes of the law. Lonna is so dismayed that she fails to notice the stranger until he is in the shop, apparently examining the half-finished items strewn along Jonae's workbench. Examining him from the corner of her eye while Bert rambles, she pegs the man as a sword for hire, and not one she would want to tangle with if it could be avoided. Nevertheless, he does not seem to be an immediate threat, so Lonna returns the majority of her attention to Bert, gently guiding the conversation back to the Kite family.

"That's awful," she says sympathetically as Bert winds up a lengthy complaint about sleeping on the street with his gimp leg and bad back aching in the cold. Carefull to keep her tone conversational she adds, "I bet the Kites have their own set of aches to match yours, now that they're living on the streets."

Duke of URL
2008-02-14, 08:47 AM
Garrin

"You didn't know? Well, that would explain why you didn't come." He sighs. "If you were looking for a pleasant stay with family, I'm afraid that isn't possible anymore. The estate has been seized for past debts, and we all have barely two coppers to scrape together.

"Natsume came up with the idea of risking what little we have left on one big trade expedition. I'm not sure it's such a good idea, except for the fact that I don't have any better ones. So, we got ourselves a yawl, and we're getting ready to go for all or nothing."

Another_Poet
2008-02-14, 09:39 AM
Rustin/William/Lonna

Jonae ignores Rustin at first, which perhaps explains why her shoemaking business is in such a depressed part of town.

Bert, however, takes a break in his complaints to Lonna to look in the mercenary's direction and asks, "Who's the quiet one what came in just now?"

Psionic Dog
2008-02-14, 12:15 PM
Uncle Saker

"But, Mom and Dad have been dead for years..." Saker starts before the reality of the situation finally squashes his refusal to acknowledge the truth.

"You mean my brother, Orikedes." He then asks the room and those in it, and his face falls as he sees truth reflected back.

Automatically Saker drops his back pack and jerks himself across the room to the kicked chair. By the time he rights the chair and collapses wearily into it the uncle has been transformed: His eyes seem to have lost focus and shrunken into his now pale and sagging face as years of hardship and anguish rush to the surface to embrace this new catastrophe. He doesn't quite cry, but anguish and morning are clearly twisting his features.

"Dead, but... no, no he couldn't have, ... why now? Why must life mock me!? ... I ... he... but ... then who can... who will I... my trip... all in vain... I can't... then... but... now? ...? ..."

roninkelt
2008-02-14, 09:07 PM
Draego

his anger drains away as he watches uncle Saker hit with the realization that his brother is dead. Not sure what to do he just puts a hand on Saker's shoulder, offering support without words.

McMindflayer
2008-02-15, 03:25 AM
Rustin (http://www.myth-weavers.com/sheets/view.php?id=40208)

Rustin turned to look at Bert the blind begger and put a curious look on his face. "Err." He thought quickly. Real name or fake name... "Rustin... Sir." He adds the sir at the last minute. Feeling it was better to be polite to someone he doens't know as of yet. Just because he was playing innocent, doesn't mean that he should be impolite about it. He hoped Bert didn't call him out from memory. It's not that he didn't trust the others in the establishment, but he always felt that safe was better than sorry.

Another_Poet
2008-02-15, 10:11 AM
"Doesn't ring a bell," Bert says with a smile. Turning back in Lonna's direction, he continues: "Those Kites are a stubborn crowd, though. There was a rumour going arounf that they're gonna try to get back into the business. I don't think it's true, though. Nobody is crazy enough to give them a loan."

Lonna
2008-02-15, 11:55 AM
Lonna


"Why is giving them a loan so crazy? My understanding is that it was the late father of the household who racked up all the debt to begin with. Surely now that he's gone and the old creditors appeased, it would be easier to get a new loan. After all, Asterix was prosperous enough, surely some of the old investors would help out, even if the family is on shaky ground right now."

The comments were addressed to Bert, but Lonna was trying to convince herself as much as anything else. It can't really be that bad.

Another_Poet
2008-02-15, 12:21 PM
Burt raises his eyebrows but doesn't miss a beat. "Hush child, no need to get defensive about a family you've never even met is there?" He smiles again. "You go around so excited all the time you'll cause yourself liver problems and then you'll end up like old Bert here, barely able to lift his sorry butt up in the morning. And I tell you, none of their creditors are appeased. They took the house, the business, the goods, sure, but that didn't cover a tenth of what was owed. The only way they have enough copper to spit on is if they hid it somewhere during the bankruptcy proceedings. They were hounded. Mister are you gonna give Jonae some business or did you just come here to watch an old gimp lecture his surrogate daughter?"

Psionic Dog
2008-02-15, 01:32 PM
Uncle Saker

A few minutes slowly creep past in the cottage as Saker goes from rambling hopelessness to numb despair and then on into self-recrimination.

He's a hearty man used to taking losses and moving on, but never before has a loss been quite so personal nor hope crushing. Also, he's rarely had the luxury of time, so the depth of the wound and the absence of urgency soon leaves him feeling hopeless and depressed as the weight of reality settles a little more firmly on his shoulders.

In the end his jumbled murmurs cease, and after a long moment of silence Saker gives a sigh and lifts his dulled eyes from the floor to his nephews. After a few false starts he manages to intelligently ask: "Where... how... yes... How did Orikedes... my brother, leave this land... and us? What felled my him in the end?"

McMindflayer
2008-02-17, 12:59 AM
Rustin hated the deception game. He wasn't very good at it. He sighed for a moment, putting his hand to his head. In his head, he was just tired, to anyone looking, he might be annoyed. "I will go at my own pace old man. I don't need any hurrying or rushing."

Rustin waited a few moments longer, he wanted to hear the curiousness happening at the Kite manor, but that's when he realized what Bert was trying to do. Privacy. Get rid of the wanderer to speak of whatever else the girl wished to know without prying ears. He took one long look around the place. "Hmpf" He said and strode out of the store. He then turned and followed down the street a bit, before turning his attention to the stalls nearby without having someone harrass him about time. He wandered slowly and kept an eye out for the girl to leave the place.

Lonna
2008-02-17, 02:49 AM
Lonna


Her friendly smile and calm demeanor re-established, but Lonna sighs inwardly. She knows that she showed too much, gave too much away, and Bert will likely demand a fee for more information, knowing that she still had some real concern for the family she abandoned. Bert's pre-occupation with the sell-sword was probably a reminder that he had other "customers" and that they would pay him for his gossip, unlike Lonna.

"Bert, I have to be going, but before I do, will you answer me one last question? If someone were to ask me where in this gods-forsaken rat maze of a city the Kites have holed up, what should I tell them?"

(The following comes after Bert responds, whether nor not he is helpful.)

"As always, Bert, a pleasure doing business with you." says Lonna blandly. "Boy. William, wasn't it? My business here is finished; let's go."

Without looking to see if he followed, Lonna turned on her heel and strolled casually out of the cobbler shop. Turning randomly down the covered alley, Lonna waits until she is well out of Bert and Jonae's sight before sagging against the nearest wall, half-covering her face with one hand. My siblings on the street? It can't be... Padraeg will probably be all right; he'll see it all as a big game. Garrin is old enough to take care of himself, especially if the rumors are true and he's gotten into magic. Natsume though, she's so quiet, so timid... she'll never survive. Life on the street is too rough for someone like her.

"I have to help them." So unexpected is the thought that Lonna says it out loud, lowering her hand as if she were about to look for the speaker. "They need help. I will help them." She repeats the idea, as if to cement it in her consciousness, then straightens, her plans made. First I'll leave William with his gang, as I promised. Then I will seek out my family, for the first time in five years, and offer my assistance.

McMindflayer
2008-02-17, 06:16 AM
His watchful eye notices the young girl and the boy leave the cobblers shop and quickly moves down the street, disheartening some person who thought him a buyer. He makes sure she is out of sight before turning into the shop. He finds Bert and gives him a small smile. "Bert is it? Doing well, I assume? Any more bad legs or fingers?"

Another_Poet
2008-02-18, 12:31 PM
Lonna: in answer to your last question, Bert seemed uncommonly stumped. "They've up and disappeared, girl. Probably out there in the maze somewhere but no one has had the pleasure of renting to them. No word that they left town, that's for sure."

To Rustin: When Bert sees, er, hears you come back in he laughs. When you ask about his bad leg/hand he answers, "More than you can count. So what is it you really want?"

Sornas
2008-02-18, 12:40 PM
((Sorry about the delay ^^ REALLY busy weekend. @.@ Had a Wolfenstien tabletop Game Saturday night, followed by a WoD LARP until 1-2 am, then slept until noon Sunday, when I had over 12 hours of tabletop with the campus group here. >.< Luckily I don't have to do anything in classes today...))

William

Trailing quickly behind Lonna, William blinked for a moment, not quite sure what to do. He didn't want to admit the truth to this woman, and depending on how much he told her, her life could be in danger, but it was bound to come out when they tried to find his gang...

"Erm, eh, who do you want to help?" He asked, trying to sound naive, "Those 'Kite' people? Let me help!"

He was just stalling, and he knew it, but it was the best he could do at this point, at the very least, if he was going to tell her what was happening, he wanted to be off the street when it happened.

Lonna
2008-02-18, 01:41 PM
William


"Erm, eh, who do you want to help?" He asked, trying to sound naive, "Those 'Kite' people? Let me help!"



Lonna

Lonna looks at William sharply, really looking at him for the first time. Whether his innocent aura was an act or natural she can't tell, and frankly doesn't care. She's tired, her arm is sore, and she has just been given bad news.

"If you're going to hide something, at least keep your story consistent," she advises William wearily. "Ten minutes ago you were warning me I could be in danger for helping you and now you want to help me? I don't buy it. Now, where is the closest rendevous point for your gang? I have things to do and I can't have you trailing after me all day."

McMindflayer
2008-02-18, 01:44 PM
"Information and, if you have any, a job." Rustin said. He leaned against the counter that Jonae is standing behind. "Sorry about earlier... There are some good reasons why I don't spy on others." He said with a slight smile. "I was hoping for some information about the going on's in Karr."

McMindflayer
2008-02-18, 01:51 PM
(er, oops. Double post. sorry.)

roninkelt
2008-02-18, 02:40 PM
Draego

After a couple of minutes, leaves Uncle Saker to come to terms on his own and fiddles around in his room. Accomplishing nothing, but thinking about the days to come. Coming back to the present and looking forward to the future. After about 10 minutes of this, he comes out of the room.

"Come on, everybody! The best cure for sadness is action. You should come with us on the trading trip Uncle Saker. We could use your help and experience."

OOC: What is the tradition for saying good bye to someone? Is there a thing like a wake in this world? Should we make a pyre?

Sornas
2008-02-18, 03:35 PM
Lonna

Lonna looks at William sharply, really looking at him for the first time. Though he is thin and gives off the childish innocence of a twelve year-old, she realizes he can't be more than a year or two younger than herself.

"If you're going to hide something, at least keep your story consistent," she advises William wearily. "Ten minutes ago you were warning me I could be in danger for helping you and now you want to help me? I don't buy it. Now, where is the closest rendevous point for your gang? I have things to do and I can't have you trailing after me all day."

((Actually, William really is 13 :P))

William

William sighed, it looked like he didn't have much of a choice here, but he wasn't about to tell her any details that may put her at risk.

"I...don't have a gang. " He mumbled quietly, instinctively recoiling out of fear of being struck. "I did, but they're all gone, those guards got them all for what we saw." He kept his eyes on the ground, thinking about what he had seen and heard.

"I'm sorry you got hurt because of me." He said, his voice staying low. "I can't tell you why, because they would be after you too if you knew, and I am putting you in danger by being here. I should go, but thank you for saving me."

He bit his lower lip, refusing to make eye contact with the woman. He glanced around, looking for what looked to be a safe route, and began to walk in that direction.

Lonna
2008-02-18, 08:16 PM
((Actually, William really is 13 :P))

William

William sighed, it looked like he didn't have much of a choice here, but he wasn't about to tell her any details that may put her at risk.

"I...don't have a gang. " He mumbled quietly, instinctively recoiling out of fear of being struck. "I did, but they're all gone, those guards got them all for what we saw." He kept his eyes on the ground, thinking about what he had seen and heard.

"I'm sorry you got hurt because of me." He said, his voice staying low. "I can't tell you why, because they would be after you too if you knew, and I am putting you in danger by being here. I should go, but thank you for saving me."

He bit his lower lip, refusing to make eye contact with the woman. He glanced around, looking for what looked to be a safe route, and began to walk in that direction.

OOC: Oh, scratch the age comment then... I had assumed 15 because that's the lowest age in the range listed for PCs in the family history section of the the first post.

Lonna


Lonna watches the boy walk away for only a moment before making up her mind. I can't believe I'm doing this, she thinks, but he just looks too much like Go-Go always did when he had gotten into mischief and was about to get a tanning.

"Bo- William!" she calls. Trotting after him, she catches at his shoulder with her good hand, turning him to face her and lifting his chin so that he has to look her in the eyes. Her eyes are full of compassion, though not pity, and her voice is quiet but intense as she slips into the street slang she learned when she first ran away from home.

"Listen te me. I don't know what kinda trouble you're in, but if you think I'm goin te just abandon ya - with nobs hunting ya and no gang te protect ya - you're crazed. I ended up on the streets when I was your age or a little younger, so I know what it's like at the best o' times. And I never had no nobs chasing me, jest gangs what didn't want a skinny gal what couldn't pick pockets.

"As for me getting hurt because of ya, don't be a ninny. What did you think them nobs was goin ta do once they pinned me in a corner, give me flowers? I got off lightly because ya distracted the bastards and then took one of 'em out for me. If nothin else, I owe ya for that. I don't know what ya saw that ya shouldn't and frankly I don't care. That's your business and you'll tell me if I need te know." Lonna dropped the street cant before continuing, to ensure that William understood that she was completely serious.

"Because from now on, William, you have two choices. You can try to make your own way, with guards hunting you, always hungry, and no safe places to hide for more than an hour or two. Or you can come with me, and I'll protect you. If you want, I'll teach you, just like my teacher taught and protected me when she caught me trying to pick her pocket four years ago.

With that, Lonna releases William and takes a half-step back, waiting for his response.

Another_Poet
2008-02-19, 09:38 AM
Acanthe: Natsume waits for a while, chattering about the yawl and tapping her foot impatiently. When Uncle Saker doesn't come back with a train of siblings she finally says to you, "They're taking forever. Let's go get them." And she heads off toward the bungalow.

* * * *

Rustin:
"Easy Enough," Bert replies, and he begins to prattle off some basic news from Karr. Some of it is interesting, but none of it is particularly germane to your career. He drops the occasional hint that his services may be of more value if he was receiving value for his services.

((OOC, remember that employees tend to receive wages of 1 silver ring per level per day, and double if anything dangerous is involved. I'll let you guess what level commoner Bert is.))

Sornas
2008-02-20, 03:47 AM
((Gah, class in 8 hours, and I can't sleep >.< As for the age thing, yeah, I had to get permission from AP :P))

William
((Oh, one more thing I should note, if no one minds, I occasionally post links to music for specific posts, to set a tone. ^^))

((Open up your mind (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqhK-UjP69s)- Saiyuki OST))

William was stunned. He had never been offered anything, not since the days with Mr. Tilum had anyone offered to help him without expecting anything in return.

As he looked into this woman's face, he saw something he hadn't seen for years: true, honest caring. The kind of look that went deeper than repaying a favor.

As the tears welled up in his eyes, words failed him. Bathed in the light of the morning sun as it spilled into the alley, everything seemed like a dream, come to wake him from the nightmare of the past few days.

Unable to choke down his tears, William could do nothing but nod, glomping onto Lonna like a child far younger than his actual age, sobbing.

He knew that there would be a lot to learn, for both of them, and if Lonna would accept him after finding out the whole truth about him, he didn't know, but for just a fleeting moment, the sun at his back, and this woman in front of him, he didn't care.

Psionic Dog
2008-02-20, 07:41 AM
Saker

"Boys?" The uncle blinks and looks dully around for his nephews who seem to have quietly left him alone with his grief. For a moment longer he leans back and stares at the ceiling uncertain of what to do next when Draego pops back into the room.


Draego
"Come on, everybody! The best cure for sadness is action. You should come with us on the trading trip Uncle Saker. We could use your help and experience."

"You'd really take on some one with my kind of luck? All I'm good for is surviving disasters. I'll... I'll have to think about that, about the joining you on the trading trip. I guess I ought, no need to be doing something now though." He says slowly. "I need to think things over. For now... Well, could you just tell me where Orikedes was buried so I can pay respects? I want to see his grave, as well as know how he died."

Lonna
2008-02-20, 10:26 AM
((Cool music for the post; I liked it. :D))

Lonna


As William buried his face in her tunic, Lonna returned the embrace. Looking down at the tousled hair that was all she could see of Williams head, she lifted a hand and gingerly began to smooth it down. The hug was somehow both alien and familiar, and Lonna tried to remember the last time she had embraced anyone. That last year at home I certainly never did. And I sincerely doubt that the street - wait! The memory struck suddenly, bringing tears to Lonna's own eyes. Of course, she had done much what William was doing now when her own teacher had offered to take her off the streets.

"It's all right," she murmured, deliberately echoing her teacher's words to her on that occasion. "Everything will be all right now. I'll make sure of it."

Once William calmed down, Lonna quickly wiped her eyes, then looked at her new charge. "Now that we're going to be together for a while, I think I owe you a bit of an explanation, since I'm about to drag you off to help a bunch of people you've never met." She sighed, trying to decide how to begin. "Five years ago I ran away from home. I thought I never wanted anything to do with my family again, so I came here to Shanty Town and never used my family name. Some people knew, of course, but it was better than nothing. Now it seems I'm going to have to claim that name again." Lonna took a deep breath, as if preparing to say something unpleasant. "My family name is Kite. My full name is Lonna Achyllea Kite. My father was Orikedes Kite and my mother is Achangea, who no longer claims the Kite name."

Sornas
2008-02-20, 01:45 PM
((Thanks ^^ The Gensomaden Saiyuki soundtrack has some of the BEST stuff))

William

William nodded, a bit embarrassed at his outburst. Still brushing the tears from his eyes, he tried to regain his composure before making eye contact with Lonna. If he was going to be her student, he needed to learn to keep his cool a little bit better.

"I understand...you should know about me too, but I don't know what I can tell you. I'm just William. I don't really have a family name..." He pondered for a moment, "I suppose you could call me William Urnon, since Mr. Tilum was sort of like my father." He frowned an elongated frown, a gesture similar to a shrug.

"I lived in Karr for most of my life...before coming here and joining the Stone beasts." The hole in the middle of his story was glaring, but he made no move to correct it, obviously finding it uncomfortable.

Quickly changing the subject, he became much more energetic. "Alright then! Let's go help your family! I've heard of the Kites, aren't they really rich?"

Lonna
2008-02-20, 06:43 PM
William

"I lived in Karr for most of my life...before coming here and joining the Stone beasts." The hole in the middle of his story was glaring, but he made no move to correct it, obviously finding it uncomfortable.

Quickly changing the subject, he became much more energetic. "Alright then! Let's go help your family! I've heard of the Kites, aren't they really rich?"

Lonna


Lonna smiled at William's enthusiasm, deciding she would wait and let him reveal his past in his own time. "They were really rich," she corrected gently. Then her voice took on a bitter note as she continued.

"The man who fathered me was a drunkard, and he oversaw the family business from his cups, when he bothered to oversee it at all. By the time I left, the company was already failing, and things only got worse in the years that followed." Lonna shook her head, as if to dispell unpleasant memories, then continued more cheerfully.

"Come on then. If the rumor is true and my siblings are trying to revive the family business, they will need a yawl. We'll start by asking about recent yawl sales. If nothing else, perhaps merchants who worked with the Kites in the past will have some idea where I can find them now."

Another_Poet
2008-02-20, 08:53 PM
Padraeg, Garrin, and Saker:

As Saker finishes speaking, the door of the bungalow flies open and Natsume tromps in. "Come on slowpokes, let's go!" she bawls out, then stops as she sees Saker's mood. Her expression turns instantly sour and she sort of cringes. "Oh, you told him, huh?"

Duke of URL
2008-02-21, 07:40 AM
Garrin

"Of course we told him... it's not a secret and he deserves to know. anyway, you're right, we need to get going." He starts heading for the door.

roninkelt
2008-02-21, 08:48 PM
Padraeg

puts a hand on Uncle Saker's shoulder and tells him where Father is buried. "I really meant what I said about coming along with us... See you at the docks or when we get back."

He'll trot out the door after Garrin and Natsume.

Another_Poet
2008-02-22, 09:35 AM
Lonna/William:

When you reach the Warehouse District it takes some asking around to get any word of the Kites. Most of the overseers and agents at the different warehouse complexes either don't know anything or else simply recount to you how the Kites went completely out of business almost a year ago. If they really are making a comeback they haven't gotten the word out.

Eventually, however, you get a different answer. On the western edge of the District near the yawl runs* is a large fenced-in compound where small wqrehouses are lent out to a number of different enterprises. When you mention the Kite name to the trafficking agent in the office near the gate, his head snaps up. "Oh, are you here for Achyllea?"

((*Yawl runs are long tracks of soil or sand where yawls land. They do this by simply scraping down onto the earth, and the "yawl runs" are half-mile-long grooves made by years of hulls touching down in the same spot.))

Rustin: Dunno if you saw since you were away but Bert gave you a response up above and asked for a bribe.

Acanthe: You see the siblings come out of the bungalow, but not the old uncle.

Psionic Dog
2008-02-22, 08:12 PM
Saker

Saker watches what's left of his family leave and sighs. Perhaps he would join his brother's children on their venture, he could use the 'vacation' to think his life over, but still...

With a second deeper sigh he picks up his belongings from where they had fallen and moves them to a corner, and then gives himself a tour of the cottage trying to get a loose since of how the kids are living.

((Is it still raining?))

Lonna
2008-02-22, 10:52 PM
Lonna/William:

When you reach the Warehouse District it takes some asking around to get any word of the Kites. Most of the overseers and agents at the different warehouse complexes either don't know anything or else simply recount to you how the Kites went completely out of business almost a year ago. If they really are making a comeback they haven't gotten the word out.

Eventually, however, you get a different answer. On the western edge of the District near the yawl runs* is a large fenced-in compound where small wqrehouses are lent out to a number of different enterprises. When you mention the Kite name to the trafficking agent in the office near the gate, his head snaps up. "Oh, are you here for Achyllea?"

Lonna


Lonna's eyes widen at the sound of her grandmother's name. "Not exactly," she answers. "I... I have a connection to the Kite household, but I haven't been in contact with the family for several years. I was in town for the festival when I heard that they had fallen on hard times, so I've been looking for them to offer what assistance I can. Is it true that they are trying to revive the business?"

Another_Poet
2008-02-23, 12:33 PM
Saker:

The house is cozy, but from the packed earth floor to the paltry foodstuffs to the rough-hewn wooden furniture, it is certainly nothing like the mansion it sits next to.

The rain outside is very light now, barely more than a mist.


Lonna:

The man behind the counter looks somehow vexed and apathetic at once. "Yeah, okay," he says after a pause. "So are you taking this yawl or what?"

Lonna
2008-02-23, 01:22 PM
The man behind the counter looks somehow vexed and apathetic at once. "Yeah, okay," he says after a pause. "So are you taking this yawl or what?"

"Um, no," replied Lonna, not sure how to respond to this. "However, if you don't mind, I would like to remain here until the Kites come to retrieve it."

McMindflayer
2008-02-23, 06:13 PM
Rustin

Rustin listened politely as Bert went on. The information was useless to anybody but a busybody. Rustin was about to give up on Bert, when the first hint came. He grinned as he got the idea right away. It was foolish to think that Bert would help out a random stranger for nothing. "Right Bert" Rustin said, cutting him off. "I get it. what knowledge is worth 10 silver?" Rustin Pulls out 10 silver peices and holds them between his first finger and thumb.

Another_Poet
2008-02-24, 08:05 PM
Lonna:

The man shrugs.

* * * * * * * * *

Rustin:

Bert fumbles around for the silver rings and plucks them from your hand. He counts them by touch, smells them, and passes them back and forth from hand to hand.

"Well, I don't suppose this bit'll be worth your time or money, but there's a Mr. Umad Passhar in town. Just showed up last night. Just seeing to his business, I'm sure."

((Rustin: You may remember Mr. Passhar. He once hired you for an assassination gig. Target was a Rashid Matar.))

* * * * * * * * *
Everyone else:

((Don't wait on Natsume or Acanthe; just assume they tag along as y'all head out to get your yawl. Once I know if Saker is going I'll post the next part.))

Lonna
2008-02-24, 08:38 PM
Lonna


Taking the shrug as permission, Lonna found a convenient corner and sat down with a yawn.

"William, I'm going to rest for a while. Alert me if there's trouble, or if someone comes in asking about the Kites or Achyllea," she said, pulling the hood of her cloak over her head. She closed her eyes and prepared to go into a light doze.

McMindflayer
2008-02-25, 12:22 AM
Rustin does his best to keep emotion from his face. Sure Bert says he's blind, but that doesn't mean he really is. And He's sure Jonae isn't blind. He keeps his face as under control as he can, His Jaw tightens slightly and he looks a little harder at Bert. He takes a breath then asks. "Hmm, your right. That information isn't much, but what this business of his is... now that might be worth something." Rustin says, and the hand he put in his pocket to fetch more money just jingles it in his pocket, so Bert can hear.

Psionic Dog
2008-02-25, 07:45 AM
Saker
((Saker borrows one of the beds in the cottage and takes a nap))

Saker leans against a window and watches the misty drizzle frame the main building outside and lets silence fill the room. There are so many memories here...

With a grunt the uncle grabs his spear out of habit and runs out the door after the group. He's had enough silence and solitude on his trip down: noise and company are the order for today.

Another_Poet
2008-02-25, 10:02 AM
Rustin:

Bert sniffles then starts coughing like crazy. When he can breathe again he continues.

"Oh, the usual. Just looking into prices on trade goods, and he made an inquiry about a safari to hunt mammoths. He certainly doesn't seem to be looking for trouble, or if he is, he hasn't said nothing about it."

Behind you Jonae curses loudly. When you glance in her direction you see she has damaged one of her leatherworking shears and she has as sour a look on her face as a woolly gator choking on a rotfish.

* * * * * * * * * *
Family:

The walk to the ferry dock doesn't take long, maybe twenty minutes. The streets of lower Elm Hill and the East Bank are quiet, with few people out other than delivery carts. You pass the Law Stone, a stocky pillar with (outdated) laws engraved on all four sides, and just as much space dedicated to praising a long-dead king.

River Gaze Avenue, or the Gaze as it is often called, is busier. As the main street that runs along the river its cafes are already open for the morning and you can see the well-dressed sons and daughters of gentry squandering money and passing time. None of them pay you any mind.

As you near the ferry dock, a liveried courier approaches you. He can't be older than eleven and looks like a toy doll wrapped in his oversize mantle. “Are you Garrin Kite?” he asks. “For Achyllea of Elm?”

Looking you over, he doesn't wait for a reply. He pulls one of many leather scroll cases from his satchel, checks the seal, and hands it to you. Inside is a piece of rough vellum bearing a short message in neat, clear letters. It is formally addressed to Garrin and says:

Dear Sir,

In regards to the matter of the rainbough Essentia, please bear Witness that we have decided to ship with your Company, provided the judicious nature of the contracte and the vouched guarranty of safe delivery and speedy repaiment by your own hand. The product must be handled with greatest Care and watchful Eye, secured fast and attended closely. Damages will be at your own liability. If you still desire to contracte please find us at Goldtop Taurine on 5 May, late morning preferable.

Yours very sincerely,
Gregory Cantor
Pontiff
Master Geomancer

The courier waits expectantly.

Duke of URL
2008-02-25, 11:44 AM
Garrin

'Greatest care'... 'own liability'? It's not like there's anything for us to lose anyway...

Garrin turns to Natsume, Draego, and company. "Well, at least we know we have cargo to take, unusual as the contents may seem." To the courier, he says, "please relay the message that I will be there as requested."

Another_Poet
2008-02-25, 11:58 AM
The courier bows slightly. "I would love to..." he says softly, an unspoken "but" at the end of his sentence. He gently clears his throat and opens one hand.

Duke of URL
2008-02-25, 03:04 PM
Garrin

Managing not to roll his eyes at the unspoken demand, Garrin hands the courier 5 copper rings to expedite the message. A small investment, I hope. And if we fail, it won't be enough to matter anyway.

Another_Poet
2008-02-25, 03:20 PM
The courier smiles and bows deeper. "Thank you Sir. I will deliver your message and I wish you a wonderful day." He heads off, presumably looking for his next mark.

You reach the closer of the two ferries, the northern one, shortly after. The ferry has already left but the crossing doesn't take long; it won't take more than 20 minutes to return. The woman who waits at the dock is old and gruff, and doesn't seem to care how cold it is outside. She wears a leather vest and a colourful skirt. She informs you that round-trip prices are 9 copper per person, an outrageously high price. Of course, crossings usually are that high in May. A lot of people need to cross and aren't going to say no.

Psionic Dog
2008-02-25, 06:43 PM
Saker

The uncle doesn't react at the price. He's had enough shocks already to make something as small as an inflated price for passage practically unnoticeable.

He fidgets quietly at the side fingering one of the three silver rings he wears on his hands. It's more than he'd normally pay, but if that is the price to keep up with the family today, so be it.

McMindflayer
2008-02-25, 08:13 PM
Rustin

Rustin pauses as he mulls this over. He pulls out two silver and puts it into the informants hand. Rustin was nervous with this man in town. What was he doing here? Mikos might have it right with the idea to leave town... Rustin opens his mouth, but shuts it again as he hears the curse behind him and looks over. He wondered at her reaction, but it did seem to make sense. Rustin started to feel paranoid and decided not to pay some silver for information on a job. He had spent enough time wandering around. Mikos might have something for him. So he Sighs "Alright, Thanks Bert. Have a good day." He says and starts heading out of the Shoe Shop, turns and says "And I bid you farewell as well Jonae" He then leaves and goes to Mikos'

Sornas
2008-02-26, 12:59 AM
((Sorry about the delay, had a super busy weekend @.@))

William

William nodded and began to keep a close watch on the surrounding area. If there was one thing he had learned, it was not to let his guard down when someone was sleeping, it was asking for trouble.

Finding a comfortable place near the desk, he sat cross-legged with his back to the wall, watching and listening to every person who came in.

Another_Poet
2008-02-26, 10:01 AM
Rustin:

Mikos, as usual, is cursing when you see him. He seems to be cursing at one of his workers, one or more of his customers and several of the gods all at once. When he spies you he turns his shouting toward you as well. "You can have a [deleted] seat in the [deleted... deleted deleted] back. As you can probably discern my [deleted] hands are full with these ignorant [deleteds of deleteds]."

Although his employees seem to take Mikos' berations with a sense of humour, one of the men at the bar is a bit more fragile and is quickly cowed by the local boss's tirade. You see no sign of the Tailor as you enter the little back room where you soaked your feet earlier.

When Mikos finally comes to join you He has a bottle of liquor in one hand and a handkerchief in the other. He makes use of both, dabbing the sweat from his brow and gulping from the bottle before speaking.

"Here's the deal," he says. "There's something coming together that'll probably pay some decent money but it's gonna be about two weeks before it goes down. Maybe a little more. I know it's a wait but it'll be good work. Quick, exciting, a chance to make history, all that mammoth heap. Since you're staying here in Elm you have to deal with the market in Elm, and this is the top of the market. Should I set up an intro for you or what?"

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

William/Lonna:

William notices more than a few shifty characters pass through the little office. Of course most cargo handlers are suspicious to begin with, but judging by the weapons worn there are more than a few mercenaries or yawl guards about.

If Lonna isn't really sleeping, she notices the same. But so far no recognisable family.

Another_Poet
2008-02-28, 09:41 AM
((Okay, seeing no objections, I'm gonna assume everyone pays the ferry fee and moves on. Please deduct 9 copper rings from your sheet. You get a little token that must be presented to make the return trip. There is no expiration date for the token; it can be used at the ferry anytime and from either side.))

As you make the crossing the rain finally stops altogether. No sun, of course, but no rain either. Acanthe hasn't said much all morning, and for someone who's about to take to the skies again she seems to be in a particularly sullen mood. Maybe it's just the weather.

She stays quiet during the whole walk through the Facing, Shanty Town, and the Warehouse District. It's not until you near the office of your yawling agent that she brightens up.

"Hey!" she yells at a big man who is walking alongside one of the warehouses. He has the strange features of a foreigner and a black ponytail dangling from his head. He wears leather armour, common enough among yawlers, but with some kind of crumpled robes sticking out from underneath. She beams at him "Orgin, is that you?"

((Note to Lonna/William: the group is still outside and a ways down the street so probably not in view of you yet.))

((Note to Rustin: Just wanted to make sure you saw the post above. Your move.))

Sneeks
2008-02-28, 11:19 AM
Professor

The large scholar was still fidgeting with his robes as he travelled near the warehouses, trying to eavesdrop on getting passage south. A very reflective puddle in the ground made him stop in his tracks and finger at a small streak of grey hair in his otherwise black hair.

"My word, I've finally sprouted some gray," he mused. "Seems like my worries have finally caught up to me... Well, at least now I'll look a little more distinguished."

It was hearing his last name called that he looked up, searching the source and deciding the name was familiar enough to not take off running. Spying Acanthe, he realized... well, he realized nothing. He needed to buy some time before he could piece together who this person was. Years of studying history, teaching the flute, and a variety of other oddjobs jutted miserably between now and the memory of this person...

"Oh, hello there!" He flashes a disarming grin. "And it's 'Professor', now. My studies have finally paid off..."

"So... How are you today, and what brings you to the warehouses?"

Another_Poet
2008-02-28, 11:30 AM
Acanthe shrugs. "Yawls, what else. You're back in town? You flying?"

Sneeks
2008-02-28, 12:11 PM
Professor

The grin widens as the professor sees a possible chance at moving south. "Yes, and yes."

It begins to occur to him that Acanthe must be a pilot as well... and he was starting to realize something was amiss. If there was a journey to begin soon, then there should be some element of excitement. Every trip he embarked on had an edge of thrill to it, though he only stood at the keel for a few years.

Screwing his furry black eyebrows together, the professor took the next query in a more lecturing tone, "Er.. forgive the intrustion, but are you alright? If you're here to take The Trip shouldn't there be more hustle and bustle to ya?"

Another_Poet
2008-02-28, 03:40 PM
Acanthe frowns. "Well, it's a long story. The company hasn't fared so well since you last saw it." The woman pauses, as if remembering for the first time that there are other people with her. "Oh, Orgin--er, Professor--" she chuckles, "Do you remember the young Kites here? Or perhaps Mr. Saker?"

Ghal Marak
2008-02-28, 04:06 PM
Venistara

Venistara stepped forward and held out her hand to the professor. "Greetings, I am Venistara Kite. It is a pleasure to meet you." She may have said it was a pleasure, but he eyes did not reflect the feeling. After shaking his hand (if he so chooses) she stepped back to stand with her siblings and give them a chance to introduce them selves as well.

Sneeks
2008-02-28, 07:43 PM
Professor

Professor Orgin almost bowls over Acanthe with his enthusiasm, clasping gently for Venistara's hands. "Venistara! My dear, you were just the tiniest of jewels when last I left this town! You have grown, haven't you? A fine young woman, indeed. I can remember a small ring I once passed your way and... Oh. Wait," he turns to the others present. "Let's try my memory for the rest of the clan here."

"We have.. Garrin, weight of world is on your shoulders, no? Draego, hopefully less mischevious than before... and..." A finger moves to the professor's lips in a tapping motion, studying Saker. "The brother? You're not a child, I know that... but there's an air of family about you still. Baxtor, is it?"

Upon hearing the response, he gives the clan a thorough gaze and says, "Well, so many of the clan out in force... and here where travel's made. Out with it, then! A journey's to be made, correct?"

McMindflayer
2008-02-28, 09:11 PM
Rustin quietly heads into the back room, allowing Mikos to yell his bloody head off at anyone else. Mikos is a nice guy, but when he gets yelling, not even Rustin wants to bear the brunt of that.

Rustin waits a few moments when Rustin comes in he smiles at the man, hoping for good news and apparently it is. He frowns at the "Business in Elm" part, since that usually means Yawls. "What exactly is this job that will pay out well?" He asked a little suspicously.

roninkelt
2008-02-28, 09:56 PM
Draego

grins mischeviously when his name is mentioned. There are a few vague memories of the professor, but nothing definite.

Psionic Dog
2008-02-28, 10:14 PM
Saker

The uncle had been standing to the side smiling listlessly to the side as he quietly watched the animated professor.

He flinches slightly when the man addressing him mentions his brother.

"Saker actually" The man says. "Brother of Orikedes... did you know him?"

Saker is wearing worn leather armor and is leaning on a spear as if it was a walking staff. He is of average hight and slightly on the thin side. He is still travel-stained from his journey into elm, and his slightly rough appearance and leathery weathered skin shows he is accustomed to outdoor work and rough living. His eyes are dull and appear aged, as if he has seen much of life, little of it good. If the professor has much skill with reading the emotions of others he might note the presence of fresh pain just below the surface.

Sneeks
2008-02-29, 10:33 AM
Professor

The professor's jovial nature turns a little more solemn after watching Saker's reaction. "Yes, I did. I worked for him a ways back running yawls." Hoping to place more emphasis on his respect, he looks Saker right in the eye. "He was a good boss... a good man."

After pleasantries are over, the professor will attempt to sneak in a conversation with Acanthe. "Working for the family then, I take it?"

Another_Poet
2008-02-29, 11:44 AM
Professor:

Acanthe nods. "Yeah. Do you want to come look over this yawl with us? I could use an extra set of eyes. Or wait, you have work of your own to do, I suppose."

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Rustin:

Mikos shrugs. "Some guy just blew in from down south. Obviously has money, and obviously looking to settle an old score of some kind. But he wants to lay low a little bit first from what I can tell. And that's all I can say on my own. If you want more then you know what to do. Take the job, I'll arrange a meeting with him, and the usual finder's fee applies."

Another_Poet
2008-02-29, 02:26 PM
((Everyone:

The OoC thread has now been moved out of the recruiting forum so it won't expire in a month. As far as I can tell the new URL is the same as the old one but just in case you have any problems you can find it here:
http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70758 ))

Sneeks
2008-02-29, 02:55 PM
Professor

"My own work?" The professor's grin came flashing back into his face as he approached a sarcastic note of glee. "Yes.. my own work of dusty tomes and aged scholars against the chance to reminisce within a gigantic wooden ship powered by a magical device that few either understand or operate?"

The professor chuckled at his own cleverness.

"No... I'm pretty sure the choice is clear here. A second pair of eyes I'll be!"

Duke of URL
2008-02-29, 03:07 PM
Garrin

Not even trying to hid his impatience to get going, Garrin looks visibly relieved that the conversation is over and that they can proceed to get working.

Another_Poet
2008-02-29, 03:28 PM
((I'll take that for a segue... :smallsmile: ))

The group enters the yawl agent's office, and find it more crowded than might be expected. The small space is partitioned off from the rest of the large warehouse, and through an open door at the back comes the sound of crates being dragged about. A bored-looking man sits behind the desk going over long lists of numbers in a register. Sheafs of vellum, a wax seal kit, ink, sand, and other office supplies cover the desk haphazardly. The man pays you no mind when you walk in.

Standing beside the counter is a bare-chested worker waiting impatiently for whatever the agent is adding up. A single stool off to one side looks broken and uneven; on the other side are two kids. A bright-eyed if filthy boy sits on the floor with his back to the wall, looking at you as if you are the first interesting thing he's seen all day. Bandages cover his shoulder.

Next to him is a girl. It's hard to tell anything else about her with her hood drawn up over her head, except that she carries a rapier and a wisp of red black hair pokes out of the fabric around her face. She seems to be asleep.

Sornas
2008-02-29, 04:37 PM
William

William watched the newcomers with interest, as he had been for almost everyone who had entered.

He was trying his hardest to stay vigilant, both for the people they were looking for, and for anyone who might be looking for them. The last thing either of them needed was more trouble at this point.

Psionic Dog
2008-03-01, 11:24 AM
Saker

Part of the dark cloud hovering over the uncle lifts as he hears of the professor's respect for his brother... perhaps he could come to peace with himself after all.

After entering the room he steps aside and waits for either his niece or one of his nephews to conduct whatever business they came here for.

Sneeks
2008-03-01, 04:41 PM
Professor

The professor steps up next to Acanthe almost as if he was the person responsible for funding the venture. Being as big as he is, there seems to be little room to approach the counter without elbowing the scholar aside.

Only half a moment of polite waiting passes before he decides to speak up to the clerk. "Hello there. I'm willing to bet you get this all the time, but we're here about a yawl."

If the professor noticed the two youngun's near the wall, he made no expression of it.

Another_Poet
2008-03-01, 05:33 PM
The agent continues writing. "'alf a moment," he murmurs.

After a moment or so he haphazardly tosses sand over the fresh ink on the page in front of him, shakes it off and rolls it up in one motion, and stamps a sigil onto it. Handing it to the customer ahead of you, he turns to the group of newcomers and looks about. His eyes settle on Professor Orgin and he asks, "And who are you lot?"

Lonna
2008-03-01, 11:39 PM
Lonna

Lonna watched the room through slitted eyelids, trusting her hood to preserve the illusion that she was asleep. In fact, she had dozed off a time or two earlier, only to be woken by one of the many people passing perilously close to her corner. In the cramped office she could rarely see anything above a Human's waist-height, so rather than give up the illusion of sleep, she focused most of her attention on her new student.

He's stood watch before, she thought with approval, noting how his gaze flicked over each new arrival, lingering an instant longer on weapons and scars, but never staying focused too long on any single person or group. I bet he was a lookout for his gang.

When a group of six people entered and approached the desk, Lonna thought little of it. When one of the men asked about a yawl, however, she became curious, though not so curious as to lift her head. His voice was nothing like she remembered her brothers' voices being, but he was the first to inquire about a yawl since she and William had arrived. Even if it is them, she decided, I won't move until William either 'wakes' me or gets into trouble.

McMindflayer
2008-03-02, 02:32 AM
Rustin


Oh this can't be good. Rustin thought to himself. Rustin isn't dumb. he can put two and two together. But now he wants information. And the only way to do that was to go talk to the man. "Of Course Mikos. I think I would like to speak to the person. You got a name at the very least?" He asked curiously. If it is who I think it is... I might need some back up.

Duke of URL
2008-03-03, 07:51 AM
Garrin

Garrin steps forward around the larger man, as best he can. "Garrin Kite, for Achyllea of Elm. Our new yawl should be in today, I believe."

Another_Poet
2008-03-03, 09:40 AM
Rustin:

Mikos shrugs. "You know I can't give out details like that. I can tell you he's looking to hire someone non-local, and wants to set up a meet quickly. The actual job won't be for a few weeks though. That work for you?"

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Garrin et al.:

"Oh, right." The agent begins flipping through his register again. "Achyllea, Achyllea... no. Let's check K. Here we are!" He peers at the small handwriting on the page. "Looks like your, um, bank has deposited half the price already, and the other half is being held until pickup. I'll need you to authorise the rest of the money before I can hand over the title."

Without looking up he slides a ledger across to you and begins stacking documents on top of it expectantly.

Duke of URL
2008-03-03, 09:44 AM
Garrin

"I'm not signing anything until I get a chance to look at the yawl, and make sure we're getting what we're," more to the point, what our backers are, "paying for."

Another_Poet
2008-03-03, 10:14 AM
The agent doesn't miss a beat. "Oh, of course, 'f course. Let me show you." He grabs his cap and a mantle from behind the desk and elbows past everyone to be first to the front door. As he leads you out into the yard he prattles on about the yawl.

"I think you'll be quite pleased with 'er. For what you're paying, she's really something. She's been in service nonstop for almost thirty years, and was even used as a leisure craft by one of the local families. That was a little while back, most recently she's been a cargo runner, so she's equiped for what you'll be doing. I'm not gonna lie to you, she's well-worn. The wood is damaged in some places. Not the keel! The sides like. But she'll hold together through many more years of hauling. I think you'll be quite pleased."

As he talks, you walk around the corner of the warehouse and into the yawl yards. You walk between and beneath a number of the giant vessels, each identical in size and shape yet very diverse in ornamentation. Bright green hulls, and golden and blue, hang in the frigid air around you. One is all black. The keels of the things are just as impressive, some curling out like fiddleheads and others carved to look like mythical monsters or goddesses protecting their flyers. Many feature a face or head at the prow and a tail at the rod, as if the entire ship were coiled about by some giant serpent.

As you near the back of the yard you pass between two such fanciful ships and your guide stops walking. Before you is the yawl equivalent of the mangy, beaten and starved dog that every street in Shanty Town is home to. It hangs just ten feet or so above the ground, and its once-white hull is faded and peeling. More to the point, hardly a board on the thing is intact; the weathered wood has numerous cracks and chinks. The loading bay is open and a rope ladder hangs to the ground. Birds and bird-dirt cover the top of the yawl, which looks not to have been moved in ages.

The keel does look to be in good condition, but is not carved into any fancy shape like the others; a simple curl at the prow and over the rod is the extent of its artistic ambition. It's as if the maker of this yawl destined it for an un-spectacular end.

On the side near the front you can vaguely make out the name in faded red letters: Planet Express.

Psionic Dog
2008-03-03, 12:01 PM
Saker

The uncle suddenly grins at the yawl in front of him. Now here is something with a past that he can relate to. It looks like it's been through storms, trouble, and a heap o' problems and come through battered, yet still flying. If it's like him, that hull is probably cursed with enough bad luck to make travel miserable but also blessed just enough to make the experience survivable.

"Why, she doesn't look half bad. See? She's still flying! I'd guess that with just a new coat of paint and a bit of cleaning she'll be ready for a new trip. May I take a look inside?"

Sneeks
2008-03-03, 12:02 PM
Professor

Professor Orgin neatly steps aside when the discussion of who's paying comes into play. It's never that wise to be in the line of fire when a bill might be in the cannon.

He gives the clerk a discerning eye as they walked to the back. Seems to be a lot of talk for just a yawl. As they continued to pass the fancier crafts, he became slightly worried at his prospects of hitching a ride south. Why were they passing the nicer crafts when they... oh Gawd. Oh Dear Gawd. The professor gave a muffled cry when he finally laid eyes upon the yawl the Kite family was getting.

With a sudden quickness, he attempts to pull Acanthe aside and urgently, "How much did they agree to pay for this thing?" Then it suddently dawns on him how dangerous the decrepit ship might be. "And how comfortable are you with flying something like this? Do you have a shipwright onhand for when this thing finally kicks it?"

Another_Poet
2008-03-03, 12:41 PM
The clerk shrugs at Saker's question. "Be my guest. Just don't take 'er out of the yards." He pulls his mantle tighter around him, ignoring the hushed conversation between the Professor and Acanthe. "Look, it's chilly out 'ere. You know where to find me when you're done." With that, he heads back towards the office.

As the man walks by Acanthe answers Orgin. "I'm as good as any shipwright." As she looks at the yawl again her face betrays her confident tone. "Besides," she adds, "If that keel goes no wright in the world will get her flying again." She sighs. "Only way to be sure is to take a look for ourselves. Shall we?"

"Venistara Kite!" a booming male voice intterupts. "You're looking pretty as always. And is that Garrin? Ha! I haven't seen you since I beat you in that wrestling match last spring! Still reading faery tales?"

The figure approaching you is none other than Shawn Arcos, a youth with the annoying habit of being good at everything. He looks dashing in his fencer's cape and long scarf, with a slender rapier at his side and a glimmer in his eye. Aside from being good with javelins, disci and wrestling he could always recite the classics with theatrical flare. A former classmate of Garrin's, Arcos is the product of both aristocracy and a vast family trade business. Since he was planning on becoming a philosopher and lawyer, seeing him at a low-end yawl yard is a bit of a surprise.

roninkelt
2008-03-03, 01:32 PM
Draego

scrambles up the rope ladder, then waits to help Saker up before starting to explore aboard.

"She's pretty beat up..." He says doubtfully, from the dark depths of the lower deck.

Sornas
2008-03-03, 01:56 PM
"Garrin Kite, for Achyllea of Elm. Our new yawl should be in today, I believe."

William

The boy perked up at the name, but remained still as he watched the group head out the front door.

As soon as he was sure that he wouldn't be seen, he quickly scrambled over to Lonna, attempting to wake her. "Lonna! The Kites are here!" He whispered hurriedly, trying not to let anyone else who may be around overhear.

"They headed out the door to see the yawl, if we hurry we can catch up!"

Sneeks
2008-03-03, 02:12 PM
Professor

It only took a moment for the professor to get a good estimation of this guy. Smooth talker, always raises his hand to ask some inane question where the point is more to hear his voice rather than discuss something important... yup, this one's a kiss-up.

Rather then get stuck meeting, or... dear Gawds, carrying a conversation with this one, the professor moves quickly with Acanthe up and into the yawl. He'll spend the the next few moments appraising the wood damage and attempting to discern what he can from the keel and hull.

A light touch at the keel will send shivers up his spine. "My, to be at the seat of one of these things again..." he whispers in an awed tone.


Appraise [roll0]
Use Magic Device [roll1]

Another_Poet
2008-03-03, 05:30 PM
Draego, Saker, and Professor:

As you step off of the rope ladder your eyes adjust to the dimness. There are no lamps or windows, but the numerous cracks and chinks in the hull give the feel of being surrounded by hundreds of low-quality, twinkle-free stars.

The wave of stench that hits you next is something else. Whatever was last shipped in this yawl was picked. That much is definite. But exactly what kind of pickled product it was, why it went bad, and how it was spilled all over the hold is unclear.

As Padraeg and Saker peer about the massive empty hold, Acanthe and the Professor make their way slowly up the built-in ladders alojng either side of the hold. First they reach the half-level, often called the "shelf" by yawlers (narrow mezzanine-type decks that run along either side of the main hold). From there they reach the forward catwalk at the very top of the hold (there is one in front of the cabin and one behind the cabin. The catwalks and cabins basically hang from the ceiling over the middle of the hold, running from front to back).

Opening the door to the main cabin, they are hit with a whole new sort of smell: as if a couple dozen chamber pots were upturned and left to stew on the floor. Rather than going through the cabins to reach the stern, they take the steep steps through a hatch in the roof and find fresh air at last. From there it is a short walk along the roof to sramble onto the observation deck where the rod hangs just within reach. And it is there that Professor Orgin gets the tingle down his spine as he touches the curved end of the magical keel (the "rod").

As with most yawls there is no railing or pretense at safety on the observation deck. Some fifty feet above the hard earth of the yard, the wind is stiff and cool but the view is tremendous.

Lonna
2008-03-03, 05:53 PM
William

As soon as he was sure that he wouldn't be seen, he quickly scrambled over to Lonna, attempting to wake her. "Lonna! The Kites are here!" He whispered hurriedly, trying not to let anyone else who may be around overhear.

"They headed out the door to see the yawl, if we hurry we can catch up!"

Lonna

When she heard Garrin's voice, Lonna began having second thoughts. I was no older than William last time I saw them. Can I really just walk up and talk to them? Then she remembered the Kite family's current situation. If I want to help, I guess I have no choice.

"Relax, they won't disappear." answered Lonna softly in response to William's urgent whisper. Standing up in one smooth motion, she headed for the door, leaving her hood up. Once outside, it wasn't difficult to follow the group, though she still hung back once they stopped, watching from the shelter of a convenient yawl for the best opportunity to present herself. When the clerk turned to go, she thought the time had come, but then the stranger - a noble or rich merchant by his clothes and manner - joined the family. Not wanting to deal with more strangers than absolutely necessary, Lonna waited for him to leave.

Psionic Dog
2008-03-03, 07:48 PM
Saker

Saker nearly gags when the stench hits him: the dim light he can easily work with, same for the haphazordous construction, but the smell...

"Kid, do you have any clue what that stench is? Looks have never matter much to me, but if we have to live for months with this smell...

Any idea on how to get rid of it?" Saker asks as he moves off. For a few minutes he quickly investigates hoping to find a source that can be disposed of, but then he rushes topside to try and escape the stench.

Ghal Marak
2008-03-03, 08:55 PM
Venistara

Venistara turned at the mention of her name, then glared at the man. "Shawn Arcos. I remember you. I also remember catching you trying to sneak a peek at me bathing when we were younger." She crossed her arms and smiled in a smug manner. "So, have your corrected your… tendencies?"

Another_Poet
2008-03-03, 09:09 PM
"Ha!" Arcos laughs at your comment. "Why, Stara, you must have me confused with someone else. I didn't sneak anything." He gives you a wry grin. "So what are you lot doing down here? I thought your family was out of the business."

Sneeks
2008-03-03, 09:57 PM
Professor



"Kid, do you have any clue what that stench is? Looks have never matter much to me, but if we have to live for months with this smell...

At this the professor raised a bushy eyebrow, but didn't take too long to realize that Saker probably wasn't addressing him. It was meant for Draego.

Turning this slight aside, he sniffed the air and was instantly greeted with tears in his eyes. Now, the professor was never one to pass up a plate of garlic pickles. He could have them before, after or during a class... but this could certainly be labeled 'too much of a good thing'. Still, the scent might be managed with some wolf's mint... maybe burned in an incense?*

Craft (alchemy) check: [roll0]

It was entering the cabin that things began to tilt out of control for Orgin. The filth and havoc began to raise up his demons, and with an angry growl he swept forward as quick as he could to the deck. Desperately he grabbed at the phials in his pack, opening one and swallowing it immediately as he breathed the cleaner air topside.

After composing himself, he managed to move to the keel... touching it helped with righting himself. After a few short breaths the professor weakly managed, "Oh... Mr. Kite... what has happened to your business now?"

Ghal Marak
2008-03-03, 09:57 PM
Venistara

Venistara gave a small 'hmph' and looked away. "Let someone else explain." She obviously disdained him, though he din't seem to get idea.

Another_Poet
2008-03-03, 10:40 PM
Professor:

((Yes, a formula based on that ingredient should work fine once you have time to mix it together.))

Acanthe shakes her head. "Mr. Kite is no longer, unless you count the boys." She touches the rod and the the yawl rises some fifteen feet higher into the air, a slight jump at first but smooth for the most part. (Anyone on the ground will find the rope ladder still touches earth, but barely.) "At least this thing flies."

She lets out a long sky and surveys the mud-and-clouds vista around her. "Tell you the truth, I don't mind it being so ramshackle. I'm a survivor. It's the business has me worried."

Sneeks
2008-03-03, 11:59 PM
Professor

Following Acanthe's gaze, he smiles slightly when she calls herself a survivor. He gives a low chuckle.

"Then you and this yawl make quite a pair." He looks up and down the ship and notices no flag hanging on a flagmast. A pity no flag is flying.

"And yes, I heard about Mister Kite passing away. And I assumed things would turn business-wise but this..." he gestures to the ship. "This is such a far stretch from what we used to fly those twenty years ago. The Family Banner would struggle so hard against that clear sky as we moved our precious treasures. I can even remember the oak smell from that fresh, well, varnish I think it was. Back then we used to lay this tree sap based clear paint on it for every trip south and back."

He peeks back over the edge to the Family down below. "Things have certainly changed."

Ghal Marak
2008-03-04, 12:30 AM
Venistara

Venistara jumped at the sudden movement of the Yawl, but quickly regained her composure. She looked up and noticed the 'Professor' looking down over the side, so she yelled at him. "Hey! Be careful! There are people underneath this thing you know!!"

Another_Poet
2008-03-04, 01:13 AM
Venistara:

You do notice the Professor gazing down, but you also notice that there is no railing.

McMindflayer
2008-03-04, 01:16 AM
Rustin

Rustin sighs. No other way around it. Mikos doesn't hand out information when it isn't wanted to be handed out. That's why people come to him... or his affiliates. It doesn't matter. Rustin needed something to keep him afloat. "Sure sure. give me the time and place and I'll meet this guy." He said resigned to his fate.

Duke of URL
2008-03-04, 07:03 AM
Garrin

"Why, whatever gave you the idea that we're out of business?" Garrin says with feigned surprise as he tries to pull of the bravado of a seasoned businessman weathering an occasional rough spell.

[roll0]

"We've had our ups and downs, of course, and had to economize a bit, but we've still got at least as much as grandfather and grandmother did when they started out."

Another_Poet
2008-03-04, 09:21 AM
Garrin:
Arcos chuckles at first, then tries to stop himself when he realises you're serious. "O right, they were, ah, self-starters weren't they? And I suppose you're starting your own business now that pops is gone, eh? Well we have something in common old boy!"

He gestures behind him to one of the well-maintained yawls in the yard. It is all black, with gold trim, every inch well-sealed and polished. Several grizzled workers are going back and forth between the observation deck and something covered in tarps on top of the ship.

"You're looking at the very first fleet of the Arconauts. Catchy huh? You have to have a good name or you don't get anywhere! What's your company called, anyway?"

Venistara:
The company name actually hasn't been decided yet, and the debate can rage on IC. Since you're right there by Arcos, feel free to weigh in if you like. The consensus so far has been something with Achyllea in it, but no idea what.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Rustin:

Mikos says he'll arrange a place and time and send you word, but it will probably be tomorrow night. With that he heads out of the room to attend to other business.

roninkelt
2008-03-04, 11:28 AM
Draego

ties a bandana around his face, hoping to muffle some of the horrendous stench, then starts to explore the lower deck more thoroughly. Use a sheathed dagger to poke at anything unrecognizable, if I can't find a piece of scrap lumber.

"Smells like something died in here."
He thinks for a moment.
"I hope that anything that smells like that is dead."


OOC: Is it possible that this yawl was used to haul slaves?

Another_Poet
2008-03-04, 12:13 PM
Draego:

You find that the hold is pretty much empty. Along one side you do find a spare coil of rope, and looking up you can see a crane-like structure hanging from a sturdy joist beneath the cabin. More like a boom with a block-and-tackle at the end than a bona fide crane, it is long enough to swing out over the cargo bay door on either side of the ship. It looks unwieldy and difficult to use.

When you probe the repainted section of wall with your knife you find it crumbles away easily. Beneath the layer of paint is the telltale charring of a bygone fire in the hold.

You also find a patch of wood near the middle of the hold floor which is darker than the rest. You poke at it briefly with your dagger before realising it is actually a hatch of some sort, a trapdoor leading to something below.

((It's hard to say what might have been hauled in this thing over the years. The slave industry isn't real big in Karr, but it isn't unheard of.))


Everyone:
I know the sketches I put up of the yawl are far from high-quality, but if you haven't already you should take a moment to look them over (http://img266.imageshack.us/my.php?image=yawlcompilationhl8.jpg). If anything is unclear just ask and I'll do my best to explain. From top to bottom, this is what you have:

-Observation deck: 10x10 platform on top of the roof, only outdoor deck.
-Cabin: long narrow main cabin with short narrow aft cabin behind it. Both rooms have a hatch to the top. Catwalks lead to the prow and stern, which also have hatches to the outside. Crane hangs from bottom of cabin.
-Shelf (or half-deck) long narrow deck inside the hold, one on either side. There is a gap in the shelf over the cargo bay door so the crane can lift things up.
-Hold. Large flat floor where most goods are stored.
-Cargo bay door: one on either side. Holes in the floor of the hold through which things can be lifted. Can be closed and barred.
-Bilge. Long narrow crawlspace beneath the hold floor.

Sneeks
2008-03-04, 12:35 PM
Professor

Having seen enough, the professor works his way back to the aft hatch. Taking a breath in as if he's going underwater, he manages to 'dive' underneath to the cabins and heads quickly to the fore of the ship. He manages to hold his breath long enough to make it to the 'pickle section'. It doesn't take him too long to climb his way back out and onto the ground.

He only catches a tail piece of the salesman's shpeel near the end, and manages to get a wink in at Venistara. "Sorry about that, miss. Couldn't help testing her out there."

Professor Orgin takes a position within earshot, but still at a slight distance from the family.

roninkelt
2008-03-04, 02:44 PM
Draego


Draego:

You also find a patch of wood near the middle of the hold floor which is darker than the rest. You poke at it briefly with your dagger before realising it is actually a hatch of some sort, a trapdoor leading to something below.

((It's hard to say what might have been hauled in this thing over the years. The slave industry isn't real big in Karr, but it isn't unheard of.))


Pokes and prods at the hatch until he finds a way to open it up. Maybe the horrible smell is coming from down there...

OOC: Slavery would, perhaps, explain the smell if the yawl had been used to haul them. I imagine that the filth would soak into the wood fairly quickly and be difficult to remove. That's why I ask.

Another_Poet
2008-03-04, 02:52 PM
Draego:

It definitely smells more like brine than feces or rotten flesh. Except the cabin area, which smells like urine (but you haven't been up there yet).

You pry open the hatch and look down into complete darkness. A heavy smell of mildew drifts out of the door, but the brine smell is about the same. You can't make out much without a light source.

"Going into the bilge?" Acanthe says, walking up behind you. "I'd watch out for bites. Here." She hands you her shawl and pulls a tarnished lantern from her hefty belt pouch. In a moment she has a light source and drops herself into the trapdoor. "Coming?"

Psionic Dog
2008-03-04, 11:18 PM
Saker

I hope the boy find the problem, the uncle mutters to himself as he climbs up to the cabin (and then onto the roof) to escape the smell.

Once there he carefully walks the length of the yawl for a few minutes in the clear air to clear his head as he inspect the town and other yawls from his vantage point. Then he forces himself back to the cabin for a quick inspection and search for the source of the second stench.

Ghal Marak
2008-03-04, 11:54 PM
Venistara

Venistara turned back to Arcos, sneering at him. "The company is called Achyllea of Elm." She hadn’t actually thought of a name herself, she just heard it from Garrin earlier. It was kind of catchy though, so she decided to go with it.

Another_Poet
2008-03-05, 10:20 AM
Those on the ground:

Arcos smiles. "A little long, huh? But it sounds very traditional. I'm sure you'll get some customers somewhere. Where are your yawls? I haven't seen..." he looks back and forth between Garrin, Venistara, and the rope ladder hanging from the Planet Express. His mouth drops open. "No way. No way. You guys bought ol' Stinkbottom here? O sweet Zeus!" He gives a hearty laugh. "That thing's been sitting over here on the edge of the yard all spring, but I never thought it was still in service. But hey, that's a good business move. Go for the discount, reduce your overhead. It's all profit in the end, right?"

Those in the yawl:

As Saker mosies about the cabin he can't find a definite source for the stench. It seems to be coming from the floor. Something or other must have been spilled and not cleaned up very quickly. In the main cabin, benches line either wall and the benches can be opened like trunks for extra storage space. They are empty (and actually smell slightly better than the rest of the room) but as he opens the one on the left side ge gets a surprise.

"Mew."

A full-grown long-haired cat, light grey in colour, regards him coolly from within the storage space. Soem cracked wood behind her indicate how she might have gotten in with the top closed. She doesn't run, but she certainly isn't looking to be petted, either.

Meanwhile, Acanthe drops into the bilge. By the light of her lantern Draego can see that it's no taller than five feet in the middle, and the yawler opts to crawl on hands and knees. A few feathers an splats of bird dirt dot the bottom, but no sign of the birds themselves. The light fades as Acanthe crawls farther away from the hatch, heading toward the bow.

Ghal Marak
2008-03-05, 09:18 PM
Venistara

Venistara suddenly broke eye contact with Arcos, not trusting her eyes not to tear up. "Y-yes. This is merely to gain a larger profit with minimal loss of wealth." She hated the circumstances that fate has dealt her family, and she nearly cried from frustration when she thought of it. But then she reminded herself that now the gods were on her side and calmed down.

Another_Poet
2008-03-05, 09:36 PM
Arcos doesn't miss a beat. "Hmm, well I say, I wonder what day you lot are leaving town? Fifteenth? Or are you all early birds like me, eh?"

Sneeks
2008-03-05, 11:23 PM
Professor

The small talk began to become somewhat ingratiating for the professor. My, this boy just won't go away, will he? Finding the personal questions and barbs a little too distasteful, he pipes up...

"Forgive my rudeness, but I truly only have a short while to spend on this business matter with the Kites. You'll forgive my distrust, with you bein' a salesman and all, but could I have some time to discuss the matter with them?"

Generally hating to be misunderstood, the professor peers at Arcos and pointedly adds, "Alone? I promise you can have them back when I'm done with them." The tone is even-handed, as if Arcos might have been caught not doing his homework and he was being let of the hook easy, this time.


Bluff Check (This is just to get rid of him. He has all the time in the world today, nor does he intend to release the Kites to this shark when finished.)
[roll0]

Another_Poet
2008-03-06, 01:01 AM
The young nobleman tilts his head as the professor speaks, a quizzical look on his face. "Salesman...?" he asks. Then, looking back at the black yawl behind him, he bursts out laughing. "No, you misunderstand me Sir. I wouldn't sell the Arc One if I had a blade at my throat. Arconauts Company is in the business of exporting, not selling yawls."

He turns back to the Kites. "Some help you keep around," he mumbles. "Anyway, when is it you're flying out? Any good insight into the weather?"

Duke of URL
2008-03-06, 07:20 AM
Garrin

Early? Risk the weather in this tub? Besides, we're still lining up cargo... "Now, now, Arcos, we don't want to be giving away all of our business secrets, do we?"

Another_Poet
2008-03-06, 09:18 AM
"Aw, Garrin, I thought we were chums. Ah well, can't say I blame you on that count. Business is business, after all. Good seeing you old boy." He turns and starts walking toward his yawl, calling over his shoulder, "And good luck out there, you'll surely need it."

And then he is off.

Psionic Dog
2008-03-06, 09:50 AM
"Mew."

A full-grown long-haired cat, light grey in colour, regards him coolly from within the storage space. Soem cracked wood behind her indicate how she might have gotten in with the top closed. She doesn't run, but she certainly isn't looking to be petted, either.

Saker

The man scowls for a moment at the cat. Too many cats of too many different sizes have tried to eat, or at least claw, him. He considers the cat for a moment: he can skewer the cat, ignore the cat, or try to bring the cat out alive, healthy, and happy.

For a moment he listens to the silence and the meow. *sigh*

Alive, heathy, and happy it is then. He might as well get his weekly maiming over with any way.

"Come'n cat, lets get you out of here to see the owners. Come on. Commmme on. Nice cat, fallow me. Come on." Saker coos trying to get the cat either into his arms or to follow him out of the yawl.

[roll0]

Sneeks
2008-03-06, 10:16 AM
Professor

The professor's hands went up to his ponytail and gave it a short tug. Easy there, Orgin... no need to unleash anything on this poor sap. After Garrin handles him, the professor noticeably relaxes.

"Well, you got rid of him, and that's a relief if I do say..."

The large shoddily dressed man turns to the two of them. "And now... forgive my frankness. Acanthe is still clambering around in there, as is Baxter and Draego. But I think I got the idea of the shape of things." Orgin tugs at a scrap of fabric on the armlength of his robe, forming enough cloth to dot his forehead gingerly. "The condition of the yawl is functional, but that's about it. The main chamber absolutely reeks of brine, and the cabin smells worse. The keel, Zeus be praised, is still functioning. No idea why it should be, because the hull looks damaged and light is coming in pretty much everywhere through the wood."

"Back in the day, you'd need a torchlight inside to see... but not this one. The smell... well, an incense of wolf's mint should do something. I don't know how to repair the wood. A sap varnish won't cover all those holes."

Another_Poet
2008-03-06, 10:36 AM
Saker:

As you approach the cat, she backs up, arches her back, and hisses. If this was a warning for you to stay away, she's evidently decided it wasn't sufficient, for she doesn't wait to see your response before springing. With a bound, she leaps at your face, scratching your shoulder as she lands on it only long enough to jump down behind you. By the time you turn she has darted through the door to the aft cabin and disappeared.

Psionic Dog
2008-03-06, 02:29 PM
Saker

Saker twists aside as the cat springs and feels its sharp claws prick his skin through the leather as it hits his shoulder.

No matter. He has thick skin.

After quickly checking the storage space the cat was in for anything of interest Saker cautiously heads into the aft cabin. The cat probably knows more about the yawl then anyone else around and it couldn't hurt to try to follow it. Ok, so it might hurt, but he still hasn't gotten his weekly maiming in yet.

roninkelt
2008-03-06, 02:35 PM
Draego

will lower himself into the bilge space and go after Acanthe. Down here he can examine the keel and the exterior planking...

Another_Poet
2008-03-06, 03:10 PM
Saker:

You don't see the cat anywhere in the aft cabin. However the hatch through the ceiling is still open, and a cat could certainly have made it up those steep stairs.

However, you notice a gap between boards just beneath the wooden frame of the hatch. Most likely, a small enough creature could have squeezed through to hide underneath the observation deck--on the roof, but under the deck.

((Yep, you succeeded on a spot check.))

* * * * * * * * * * *

Draego:

Acanthe's body in front of you blocks some of the light from her lantern, but not all of it. You're able to see fairly well.

The keel is made of fine wood. It's highly polished and seems in good shape. You can see Acanthe running her hands over almost every inch of it and inspecting it carefully in the dim light. The keel is wide, and you have to squeeze into the narrow edges of the bilge to see where the planks of the hull join it. The planks here seem sturdy and better sealed than up above; they must have used thicker, better wood to better absorb landings.

The quality of the wood is not all you notice, however. As you crawl further toward the bow you start to feel your hands crush tiny little pellets. It's hard to make them out in the low light but one whiff from your hand indicates it's some kind of scat.

Acanthe stops suddenly in front of you. "Hold up!" she whispers.

Ahead of her you can see scores of tiny furry shapes hanging from the ceiling. Far head are a few dots of light, little chinks near the bow that must serve as entrances for your... passengers.

Ghal Marak
2008-03-06, 08:14 PM
Venistara

Venistara sighed and turned to face the professor. "Unfortunately for us, you can never get rid of Shawn Arcos permanently." She sighed agian and looked back up. "So what do we do about the Yawl? I doub't there is much we can do if it is as bad as you say."

McMindflayer
2008-03-06, 08:19 PM
Rustin nods to Mikos, letting him go. He sits and ponders for a bit. He had a problem. The only job open is from a man that probably doesn't like Rustin very much, or at the very least is going to hire him for something equally horrible. If it's the latter option, Rustin is safe... up until he says no, then he sends people after Rustin. Or He could be angry at Rustin and do it away when he finds it to be Rustin. This is when he started to wonder if Mikos gave his name. But probably not. He didn't want to associate in any way with either side. He just sets up meets.

So this left two options to Rustin. Meet with the man who is probably going to kill him, one way or another. Or find another job. There's always the Yawls... But then again, last time he got involved with Umad, he saved a good freinds life. At the expense of his own maybe, but then that's what freinds are for.

There is one thing for certain, if he does go and meet with Umad, he better hire out a freind, as only a friend would take the low amount of money Rustin had. Rustin knows this man won't come alone, and if he does, all the better for Rustin. Better to be poor and alive then rich and dead.

This then brought up the chain of thought of who would accept such a low amount of money for the job. He had a gold disk or two left over. Maybe even three, if the gods permit, to pay a person for 10 minutes of work that could possibly kill them both. That sounds about right... Well, there is always Ender Swanson. Very good man, although slightly crazy. He might accept it becuase this has a chance of being interesting. Then there's Jerone, Former slave who after being freed went into the protection business. He's kind enough, he might accept the low pay. Then again there's Zach. Very Proffessional and, sadly, very expensive. He might bend a bit for a freind...

And thus Rustin stood up and went to visit an old Freind. He will start With Zach, then go to Jerone then Ender, hoping someone will take the job.

Sornas
2008-03-06, 10:38 PM
William

Watching this whole situation unfold, William began to shift his weight, he was starting to get antsy. He actually rather liked the atmosphere out here, it was open and cool, not to mention he had always been fascinated with yawls, despite never being on one, but there was only so much uncertain standing around the boy could take.

"Lonna?" He whispered, "Why are we just standing here? If you wanted to stay away from that guy, he's gone!"

He tilted his head, truly not understanding Lonna's situation, after all, he had never really been in a similar one, almost everyone the boy had been separated from wasn't a matter of choice.

"They are your family, right? Why are you so scared?"

Lonna
2008-03-07, 01:42 AM
William

"Lonna?" He whispered, "Why are we just standing here? If you wanted to stay away from that guy, he's gone!"

He tilted his head, truly not understanding Lonna's situation, after all, he had never really been in a similar one, almost everyone the boy had been separated from wasn't a matter of choice.

"They are your family, right? Why are you so scared?"

Lonna

"I'm not scared," lied Lonna automatically. A moment passed as she considered her options, all the while aware of William figiting beside her.

The man who had come in with the family and still stood talking to them sounded vaguely familiar. Unable to see his face from her current location, she was left with the disquieting sense that she had met him, but was unable to remember whether he had been friend or foe. More importantly, in her mind, she had no idea how her family would react to her sudden reappearance, and in truth, she was afraid to find out. On the other hand, if she didn't move on her own initiative, sooner or later someone would notice her. Though this seemed an easier course in the short-term, Lonna decided she would rather greet her siblings as an equal than be discovered like a thief. Which, technically, I am, she thought wryly, noticing the irony of that particular train of thought.

"No help for it," she muttered, unaware that she had spoken aloud. Checking that her hood was still shielding her face, Lonna glanced down at William.

"Stay behind me for now," she instructed. "You may even want to stay here, though I'll let you decide that. Let's try to give them a moment to get used to the shock of my being back before telling them I have a student too." Taking a deep breath, Lonna paced forward until she stood just behind her siblings.

"Hello Garrin. Hello Venistara," she began quietly, hiding her surprise as she finally saw the face of the stranger with the naggingly familiar voice. It wasn't hard to bury the shock; she had more important things on her mind. As soon as the siblings began to turn, clearly wondering who was interrupting now, Lonna raised her hand and pushed back her hood.

"My name is Lonna," she explained, her words coming closer together as she nervously tried to say her piece before her siblings could respond. "Lonna Kite, your sister. I've come home."

Duke of URL
2008-03-07, 07:53 AM
Garrin

"Lonna? Is that really you? I thought... feared... that you gone forever." He starts forward as if to embrace her, but then holds back as if he's unsure. "I assume you know about what happened to father?"

Lonna
2008-03-07, 12:13 PM
Garrin

"Lonna? Is that really you? I thought... feared... that you gone forever." He starts forward as if to embrace her, but then holds back as if he's unsure. "I assume you know about what happened to father?"

Lonna

"Yes, it's me," she answered. "I've been living in Karr for the last four years. I heard about Orikedes last year, but I couldn't bring myself to come home, not until I learned you lost the house." Lonna fought the impulse to avoid her sibling's eyes as she said this, steadily meeting first Garrin's, then Venistara's eyes. Suddenly she remembered that Venistara had often run away when she was younger, so perhaps she need not worry about censure from that quarter. Garrin was still the unknown, though his initial reaction was more favorable than she had dared to hope.

roninkelt
2008-03-07, 02:17 PM
The quality of the wood is not all you notice, however. As you crawl further toward the bow you start to feel your hands crush tiny little pellets. It's hard to make them out in the low light but one whiff from your hand indicates it's some kind of scat.

Acanthe stops suddenly in front of you. "Hold up!" she whispers.

Ahead of her you can see scores of tiny furry shapes hanging from the ceiling. Far head are a few dots of light, little chinks near the bow that must serve as entrances for your... passengers.

Whisper back "Are those bats? They won't hurt you...
There's not much more to see up here anyway. Lets go back, we can deal with them when we are out of the yawl yard."

He'll start crawling backwards, to make room for Acanthe.

Duke of URL
2008-03-07, 02:35 PM
Garrin

Garrin, torn between and anger and relief at Lonna's appearance, gives in to the angry side after the comment about losing the house. "Yes. Well, nice to know you haven't died or anything." His tone is short and snippy. "The rest of us, you know, for whom family matters, are attending to business right now, something I'm sure you have no interest in. Maybe we can stop by and see you... wherever it is you're staying... once we've gotten all this under control."

He turns away so Lonna can't see his face, pretending to survey the festering lump that jokingly calls itself a yawl.

Sornas
2008-03-07, 04:02 PM
William

William nodded in response to Lonna's idea, but given the choice between staying behind her, or staying where he was...he definitely preferred the former. He didn't want to keep standing around and, while he had trouble admitting it to himself, he was still nervous about the guards.


"The rest of us, you know, for whom family matters, are attending to business right now, something I'm sure you have no interest in. Maybe we can stop by and see you... wherever it is you're staying... once we've gotten all this under control."

William had kept quiet until this point, but couldn't help himself after hearing Garrin's comment.

"HEY!" He yelled, stepping out behind Lonna, directly facing Garrin. "Lonna came here to help you, and you're just going to ignore her? What kind of jerk are you?!? She came all this way and worked up the courage to talk to you, and all you can say is 'glad you aren't dead?' Of course family matters to her, though you sure as hell aren't being a good example why! I mean, how can..."

The boy continued to rant, not showing any signs of stopping soon...well, unless you count Oxygen deprivation. The whole thing would be rather dramatic, if this whole spiel wasn't coming from a blond 13 year old boy who was just shy of 5 feet tall, which made it lean towards comical, instead.

Sneeks
2008-03-07, 04:12 PM
Professor

The tension in the area seemed to thicken dramatically. It didn't take long for the professor to place the voice and face of this new hooded person, but he never knew she was a Kite. Great... she's a Kite. That's why she was so familiar up in Karr.

Apparently Lonna was not about to blow Orgin's cover... and for that, at least, he was thankful. And she apparently had a rather loud admirer, a double reason for earning favor. One good turn deserves another, I suppose.

Noticing the icy blast from Garren, the professor is hoping that some wisdom might sink in as well as this young boy's vitriol.

He shoots William the standard reproving look. "That's enough, little one." Turning to Lonna, he adopts a far more welcoming tone of voice, "Well, hello Miss Kite! You do seem to be back now and we're all thankful for that, at the very least. I am Professor Orgin, an old pilot your father used to hire..."

He gestures to the piece of junk behind him, "And this, my dear, is Planet Express... one of the new members of your family. I believe your uncle and brother are stumbling around inside as we speak." Gazing up at it, he mutters, "Though it's a wonder they don't fall through the bottom..."


Edited to reflect William's throwing his two cents in. Spent too long on Orgin's post that I missed the update, it seems.

Lonna
2008-03-08, 02:12 AM
Lonna

Lonna kept her expression blank in the face of Garrin's censure, but looked down, startled, when William began his tirade. "Peace, William," she said, putting one hand on his shoulder as if she would physically hold him back. Like Orgin, she had taken advantage of William's pause for breath to rein him in, and she gave the professor a surprised look of his own when he spoke up at the same time.

"Nice to meet you, Professor," she responded to his greeting, trying to act as if it was her first time seeing him. Gods, but this is a bad time to have to play this game. Turning back to Garrin, she continued in a soft voice that did not entirely hide the hurt she felt at his words.

"I never thought of Orikedes as my father. For as long as I can remember he was either drunk and angry or hung-over and angry. We all dealt with it however we could. I hardly ever saw you that last year, Garrin, you were so absorbed in your studies. I didn't and don't blame you for that; it was your way of coping. I left because I couldn't cope at home. I was young; it seemed like the only option. And I never stopped caring about you and our siblings, or about Mother." Lonna paused, took a deep breath, and decided to tell the rest. It might sound like excuse making, but she had already gambled everything at this point. The worst that could happen would be that the family would refuse to take her back, and she had been living with that fear for years. At least this way it would be definite, one way or the other. A distant part of Lonna's mind noted that she had lost all her hard-earned control over her voice and facial expression and suggested she keep silent until she had regained control, but Lonna ignored it.

"I almost came home when I heard about the funeral last spring, but I had been gone for four years, and I was afraid. Afraid that you would blame me for leaving, for not coming home sooner, for coming home then like a dog with its tail between its legs. I convinced myself that you would be fine, now that Orikedes couldn't rack up more debt. I was wrong, but I was in Karr and didn't find out how wrong I was until today, when I heard you had lost the house. As soon as I learned that, I realized I had to stop running from my past and face my fears." Hesitantly Lonna reached out and gently touched Garrin's shoulder, barely aware of the tears that streamed from her eyes.

"I want to help, Gar," she said, using her childhood nickname for him. "If family didn't matter to me, I wouldn't have come back at all. Please, just... give me a chance."

Psionic Dog
2008-03-08, 08:06 AM
Saker

Meanwhile, oblivious to this new development, Saker crouches by the hole and inspects it visually. He's not about to push his luck by probing the hole with anything, much less his hand, but he is curious about how much space lies on the far side.

After he has finished he exits the cabin thoughtfully and begins climbing down to the lower level of the yawl, looking for any sign of Draego as he goes.

Ghal Marak
2008-03-08, 04:08 PM
Venistara

Venistara stood in stony silence as Lonna explained herself, arms crossed. She never broke eye contact throughout the process. Finally, when Lonna finished, she walked over to stand next to her. "So..." Suddenly she broke down crying. She grabbed Lonna in a hug and sobbed. "I-I missed you so-so much! I thought I w-would never see you ag-again!"

Another_Poet
2008-03-08, 04:55 PM
Rustin:

You scout out the usual places where you might find Zach, but to no avail. Some of your mutual contacts said he accepted a job out of town, but that may be misinformation or mere gossip.


Saker:

Through the hole you see darkness, with a hint of light at the end. You are definitely looking into the space between roof and obs deck. If the cat went that way she could be outside by now, or hiding in the darkness; it'd be impossible to tell.

As you go down into the hold you see Draego and Acanthe coming up out of the bilge.


Draego:

"That'll never do," Acanthe bemoans as she slowly turns around and begins crawling back toward you. "Cursed bats." As the two of you come back out of bilge you see Uncle Saker coming down from above. You can also hear rather excited talking from the ground below, through the open cargo bay.

Lonna
2008-03-08, 05:47 PM
Venistara

Venistara stood in stony silence as Lonna explained herself, arms crossed. She never broke eye contact throughout the process. Finally, when Lonna finished, she walked over to stand next to her. "So..." Suddenly she broke down crying. She grabbed Lonna in a hug and sobbed. "I-I missed you so-so much! I thought I w-would never see you ag-again!"

Lonna

Taken by surprise, Lonna stiffened in her sister's arms for an instant, then relaxed and returned the embrace. "I'm sorry; I know I must have made all of you worry," she said. Looking up at her sister, she could barely believe her luck. At least one of my siblings doesn't hate me. Now if only Garrin would come around. Oh gods, and I still have to face Padraeg and Uncle Saker.

Sneeks
2008-03-08, 07:50 PM
Professor

Professor Orgin neatly steps back to let the chaos ensue. The older generation of Kites were never one for doing things small, so the amount of excitement from the younger generation was probably to be expected.

Just give them their moment, Orgin. Then you can beg/borrow/steal your way onto the yawl.

Absentmindedly, he fingers the phials at his side and looks up at the yawl... awaiting the arrival of the other family members with Acanthe.

Duke of URL
2008-03-10, 06:30 AM
Garrin

Garrin turns back to Lonna. The anger is gone from his eyes, but they still look as hard as steel. "Lonna... make no mistake, I am glad to see you, and that you are well, but what we are involved in here is serious business. This is our last chance to restore our family's honor, as well as its fortune.

"You say I was buried in my books? Perhaps, but only when I wasn't buried in business ledgers. Someone had to try and run things, and father certainly wasn't in any shape to do it. But that meant the I had to watch, every single day, as things slipped away a little further, and knowing I was powerless to stop it.

"But that's all over now. All we can do is move forward. The family is giving it one last try -- perhaps it is foolish, and it would be easier and smarter to just quit and each of us try to make out our own meager lives. Gods know," at this his eyes drift up toward the yawl, "this would be a perfect time to reconsider."

He looks back at Lonna. "We have one chance, and one chance only. We cannot afford for any of us to run away or quit at the first sign of trouble. Can you understand that?"

His expression softens as he finally acknowledges William. "So, Lonna, are you going to introduce us to your boyfriend?" There is a clear tone of brother/sister teasing at this, as opposed to the lecturing tone of the earlier statements.

Lonna
2008-03-10, 12:51 PM
Garrin

Garrin turns back to Lonna. The anger is gone from his eyes, but they still look as hard as steel. "Lonna... make no mistake, I am glad to see you, and that you are well, but what we are involved in here is serious business. This is our last chance to restore our family's honor, as well as its fortune.

"You say I was buried in my books? Perhaps, but only when I wasn't buried in business ledgers. Someone had to try and run things, and father certainly wasn't in any shape to do it. But that meant the I had to watch, every single day, as things slipped away a little further, and knowing I was powerless to stop it.

"But that's all over now. All we can do is move forward. The family is giving it one last try -- perhaps it is foolish, and it would be easier and smarter to just quit and each of us try to make out our own meager lives. Gods know," at this his eyes drift up toward the yawl, "this would be a perfect time to reconsider."

He looks back at Lonna. "We have one chance, and one chance only. We cannot afford for any of us to run away or quit at the first sign of trouble. Can you understand that?"

His expression softens as he finally acknowledges William. "So, Lonna, are you going to introduce us to your boyfriend?" There is a clear tone of brother/sister teasing at this, as opposed to the lecturing tone of the earlier statements.


Lonna

Lonna released her sister and grinned at Garrin, wiping away the tears on her cheeks as if she had only just noticed them. "Boyfriend nothing," she retorted in the same tone. "This is William. He helped me out of a scrape with some drunk guards earlier. Since he hasn't got anywhere to stay, I offered to look after him, for a while at least."

Lonna paused, then continued in a more serious tone. "I lived on these streets for a year before I got the chance to make a better life for myself in Karr. That was my choice, and the consequence of my own actions. I would hate to see anyone forced to endure the same things I did, especially if I could have helped prevent it.

"I came here to help my family, if they would let me. I promise you, this is no game for me. If you'll allow me, I give you my word I'll help this venture with every skill at my disposal until it is ended, one way or another. And I don't go back on my word. Not in my business dealings, and most especially not in other matters." Lonna glanced at William as she finished speaking, hoping he understood her implied assurance that she would not abandon him. Meeting Garrin's eyes again she added, "I learned my lessons the hard way. I will never run away from my responsibilities again."

Duke of URL
2008-03-10, 01:09 PM
Garrin

Garrin actually manages a smile this time. "We'll see. Most days since we came up with this plan I've wanted to run away from all of this myself."

Another_Poet
2008-03-10, 01:30 PM
Acanthe comes out of the yawl and back to earth, dropping from the cargo bay and artfully catching the rope ladder to slow herself halfway down. A second drop and she is on the ground, looking at the family members, the two newcomers, and Professor Orgin. If she recognises Lonna or overheard any of the conversation she doesn't let on.

"Well, she'll do. If you could afford anything better I'd say take it, but seeing as things are how they are, this'll do. I've seen yawls in worse condition stay in the air, even in battles."

She gazes from one doubtful face to another. "Well, there'll be some work. Bats have moved into the bilge, we'll have to get rid of them. A lot of the cargo will have to be weatherproofed. I'd suggest doing some work to weatherproof the cabin area too, not too much, we don't want to shut 'er down. The smell we can live with. If that's all, we may as well get inside."

Sornas
2008-03-10, 09:34 PM
William

Still in a bit of a huff, William stopped his rant, though he continued to give Garrin a nasty look. He still was annoyed at Garrin for his treatment of his own sister.

However, shortly thereafter, following Venistara's actions, and Garrin and Lonna's conversation, his expression softened, and Lonna's final statements finally caused him to break into a smile.


"So, Lonna, are you going to introduce us to your boyfriend?"

William opened his mouth to speak, cheeks burning, but was cut off by Lonna:


"Boyfriend nothing, this is William. He helped me out of a scrape with some drunk guards earlier. Since he hasn't got anywhere to stay, I offered to look after him, for a while at least."

He nodded silently for a moment before piping up. "Wait, they were drunk? That would explain why that stupid guy fell for my trick..." He turned to the other two siblings, "Yup! I'm William, and I'm gonna help you guys too!"

The fact that the yawl would also get him out of town was something he left unsaid.