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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    HalflingRogueGirl

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    Default Island Investigation

    The restaurant is a quiet, polite one. It's clearly expensive, so much so it seems likely a glance at the menu would give you chills, and only two tables have people sitting at them. The room has dark brown velvet drapes, a tan and brown patterned carpet, mahogany furniture and real leather booths. Even the windows are filled with stained glass depicting events of religious significance. It is clear that this restaurant caters to the very rich.

    The maitre d' glares at you as you enter, and directs you towards a table in the back where an extremely large man in a fine suit is sitting. He is easily over six feet tall and a solid three hundred and fifty pounds, and looks to be in his late forties at the earliest. Concerns about his health aside, he has a smile on his face mustached, beardless face despite being here at least an hour. Patience of that variety is hard to come by. He is wearing a fine red kaftan and still has his kalpak firmly on his head despite being at a restaurant and in his booth. This is probably the client.

    The man next to him is wearing a dress shirt with suspenders and slacks, his double-breasted coat sitting next to him, all seeming to be made of a fine linen. The automatic handgun on his hip stands out as well, especially with its unusually large size. He's currently putting out a cigarette, and seems to be sampling the restaurant's assuredly very expensive liquor. Brandy, by the smell of it.

    The client notices you and waits politely for you to arrive, his menu folded in front of him, and gestures to a basket of matzo in front of him. "You must be the team. Good, good. Come, come, sit down. Or up, rather.". His short joke is about as funny said as written. "Feel free to order anything you like, it's on me. Though if I may recommend, the adana kofte here is delightful, and the shiraz is far better than you'll find at any temple.". He is unnervingly friendly for a wealthy employer. "Mister Nordenstein, why don't you introduce yourself?", says the fat man to the PI who is far too busy lighting another cigarette to respond at the moment. His manners seem... Less than optimal.
    Last edited by Avianmosquito; 2017-08-12 at 05:31 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Fiona fluttered into the fancy restaurant with the others, cat discreetly slinking in to follow her. She smiled with a wave to the host but he didn't seem happy at all to see them.

    She plops into a chair, not even able to be at eye level with the table, and she gets the short joke with a grin and a very brief, dry laugh before deciding to maybe sit on her knees instead.

    "Oh, that sounds good. What is that?" she asks, casually skimming through the menu. A lot of the items looked quite unfamiliar to her. Then again, her vocabulary in the Marakiz language wasn't the best.

    She flashes another award-winning smile to the man who must be the investigator, preoccupied as he currently is. As everyone begins to settle in, she compulsively grabs a matzo and starts nibbling on it, while giving her attention to the others, the client, and the menu. Hm. The asparagus sounded good.
    Last edited by WindStruck; 2017-08-13 at 05:11 AM.

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    Risa, content to let the others do the talking, sits down quietly and doesn't take food yet, though she summons a smile in the unlikely event that the tall man looks at her.
    Last edited by Kish; 2017-08-09 at 03:36 PM.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    The man almost loses track of business for a moment. "Oh, it's a spiced kebab.", he says, immediately realizing the little pixie might not know what that is either. "It's this wonderful appetizer with tenderized, spiced meat on a stick. I've always enjoyed spicy food, but not too spicy, and the ones here hit it just right. It's why I always do business here, though I really shouldn't be focusing on the food.", he chuckles a bit, as the waitress arrives and begins taking orders.

    It's about this point the investigator clears his throat. "My name's Dick. I was a police detective up north in the Gnomtäler, I'm a professional and I have a high success record. I came down here fairly recently to work as a private detective, my reasons are my own, but I need to stress to you I am not a soldier. I have only discharged my weapon in the line of duty on two occasions, and one of them was a mistake. I will be relying on you two if a fight does happen, and in matters concerning safety I will follow your judgement. Just let me do my job, and I'll make yours as easy as I can. And I'll have the falafel and shiraz. Leave the bottle.".

    "Oh yes, where are my manners? My name is Ihsan Uzun." The client shakes out of his food trance at this, remembering he has business. Something about him seems more acute than this idiotic personality he's been putting out thus far. "Yes, that is the case. And it would have been if my first instincts had been an option. This trade outpost was important to me, over half my fortune is on the line. I had wished to go personally but my captain, Calder, he wouldn't have it. He told me he thought if I set foot on his deck I would fall through, but I know Calder. He was not willing to allow me to risk my life and his paycheck, and while his motivations were selfish his assessment was accurate. In age and wealth I have certainly let myself go, and the gout has been hitting me rather hard. So as much as it pains me, I feel I must pass this duty on to you.".

    Dick gives Ihsan a curious look at the fat man continues. "Now, I did give quite a lot of information to your employers, but I don't know what of it got passed on to each of you. Do you have questions for me?".
    Last edited by Avianmosquito; 2017-08-19 at 04:59 AM. Reason: Detective, not detection.

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    "I'm Fiona Firefingers! Haha, I guess it's not my real name or really that creative. I'm not even that famous yet. But I will be, you'll see!"

    She smiles up at the waitress. "I'll take your asparagus dish. Not the chicken one. Do you have anything sweet to drink?"

    Once the unrelated food business was sorted out, on to the job. "I can understand, Mr. Nordstein. I'd hope you'd never have to fire that thing. Well, I'd hope there'd be no reason for you needing us anyway..." she shrugged.

    Looking at her very large client more seriously, she began, "In your letter, it was mentioned that the ships never returned... there may be some explanations for this. Pirates? A nasty storm? Competitors? Or just sheer negligence? But there's also a possibility that your sahuagin friends were to blame... are you aware of any grievances they may have had? Or for that matter, do you have any enemies that might want to ruin your operations there?"

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    The waitress, confused for a moment at the vague request from Fiona, writes "moscato" on her notepad and leaves. The investigator puts out his cigarette and turns to face the little pixie, one eyebrow as cocked as it can get. "How old are you, anyway?".

    Dismissing the question from Dick, Ihsan goes ahead and begins to answer Fiona. "I was in communication with the sahuagin chieftan at the time. The ships did arrive and had just begun to unload hand tools when I lost contact. I think piracy, storms and negligence can be ruled out. I also don't think the people who just made such a lucrative deal with us would turn on us so quickly, especially since I know the chief personally." He takes a deep breath, and his voice starts to waver. "He was quite old, you know. It's why at first I thought he had simply died. He was starting to become senile, just enough we often needed three or four sending spells for a proper reply when we used to only need the one. He had a hard time remaining cohesive, and hearing his condition worsen..." He pauses for a moment, takes another deep breath, and returns to the subject at hand. "Piracy and hostile action from competitors are my chief concerns. I'm certain there are other possibilities, but those seem most likely to me. Please, find out what happened. And if you can do anything for my sahuagin allies, I will reward you additionally for it.".
    Last edited by Avianmosquito; 2017-08-14 at 11:48 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    Fiona gave the investigator a coy smile, though before she could answer - if she was going to answer at all - Ihsan intervened.

    "...that sounds sad. How long had you known the chieftain? It sounds like his mind was deteriorating quickly.. which... I don't know. Doesn't sound right." She considered that it wouldn't be so suspicious if maybe they had known each other for decades. Maybe they were actually really good friends? It was hard to tell.

    "Anyway, I know the investigation isn't really my job.. I'm just curious though. What was the very last things you two said to each other? Is it very sensitive?"

    Just then, for maximum annoyance, the cat infallibly jumps up onto the table and started nosing things, coming dangerously close to knocking a glass over, it seemed.

    "Kiwi! ...uh, be careful! ..Please!" Ever since the cat became far more intelligent, it seemed vaguely susceptible to reasoning and pleading. Sometimes. But it seemed the feline all but ignored the Fiona and gazed at the investigator intently....

    Spoiler
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    Commanding Gaze: DC 8 will save or be compelled to pet the cat.
    Last edited by WindStruck; 2017-08-14 at 12:12 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Default Re: Island Investigation

    Ihsan is momentarily distracted by the cat, but snaps out of it. "I met the man for the first time almost thirty years ago. Back when I was in shape, and he was just now the new leader of his tribe. He took a real risk doing business with us, and I respected him for that, but I made sure my people always respected their customs and he made sure his people always honored our agreements. The last thing I said was that I was glad to hear the unloading was going smoothly, and hoped there would be as much ore in the mountain as our prospectors believed. And then... Nothing. That's how I knew something was wrong. Normally, he was very diligent about replying, like he couldn't stand to waste it, even when he had nothing much to say. He was always one to make the most out of every opportunity.".

    It's at this point, the waitress comes back with a bottle of shiraz for Dick, a glass of moscato for Fiona, and a bowl of water for Kiwi, which she waves in front of the cat and sets on the floor. Of course, she isn't aware that the cat is a familiar. "Your food will be out momentarily.", she says as she departs. "If you could be on your way after that, we'd appreciate it. We have a no-pets policy, and we're making an exception right now.".
    Last edited by Avianmosquito; 2017-08-14 at 12:25 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Disappointed, and quickly becoming disinterested and bored, the cat flicks its tail idly and continues to monitor the conversation. If she could say 'get lost' to the waitress with just a look, she would as well.

    Fiona nodded to the waitress morosely. Of course such a fancy restaurant wouldn't like pets. Or maybe they would, if their patron was wealthy enough. Well, thankfully they weren't kicking her out on the spot. Quite frankly, she was surprised they weren't making a stink about her just because of the way she was dressed.

    She looked back over to Ishan, thinking for a moment. This wouldn't be something easy to figure out at all, just by talking about it here. "I see... tell me, Mr. Uzun... if you fear it may be pirates or a rival company, will we have adequate defenses to protect against such attacks? I mean.. while we were hired to protect Mr. Nordstein, we can only do so within reason. Taking on a whole fleet of pirates or a company of hostile mercenaries would be unreasonable for just two people."
    Last edited by WindStruck; 2017-08-14 at 12:45 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
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    Default Re: Island Investigation

    Ihsan grins, sensing an opportunity to brag. "Oh yes, I'm sending you on the Weġfarend, a dwarven ironclad frigate I purchased from the privateer Calder, who is still the ship's captain. You will be defended by two inch iron plating and forty 18-pounder long guns. The ship has .94-calibre gatling guns as well, intended for deck sweeping but more than adequate for anti-personnel use if the need arises. And should this ship itself be unable to assist, perhaps Calder or his first mate Asta can assist you instead. Their job is to manage the ship and keep it safe, so they aren't required to help, but perhaps you can convince them if you run into something beyond your ability.".

    Dick, taking an opportunity to live up to his name, mutters under his breath. "Well, that probably won't take much.".
    Last edited by Avianmosquito; 2017-08-14 at 01:24 PM. Reason: I misread my spreadsheet. 3 inches would be for an ironclad destroyer, this is just a frigate.

  11. - Top - End - #11
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    HalflingRogueGirl

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    Default Re: Island Investigation

    Continue here, in case this site proves me right:
    https://www.roleplayerguild.com/topi...estigation/ooc

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Risa watches, listens, and eats in silence.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    Fiona blinked at the man. All the armor and weapons the ship had seemed incomprehensible to her. But it sounded very dangerous.

    Then, when **** muttered something, she shot a look at him. A smile again, but curious, lips closed, almost in a smirk. "I guess you'll have to thank me later."

    She turned back to Mr. Uzun and said, "Just a few more questions, if you don't mind. First, what was the chief's name? I feel like it would be important to know it. Second, let's suppose he died, someone else took over, and they don't like you. Are there any other terms you are willing to offer in order to get your business over there going again? Last, would you like to receive word of what we find immediately via the sending spell?"

  14. - Top - End - #14
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    The man tilts his head very slightly. "Yes. Can you cast sending? If not, we have scrolls on the ship. They should be near the potions, ask Asta.". The plate touching down in front of him diverts his attention only briefly. "Suma'Thet was his name, as I knew him. It's a title, replaces their birth name. The new one will be Suma'Thet too, if there is a new one. They don't even number them. Seems awfully oppressive to me, but they take it as an honor.". The plates arriving for everyone else end the conversation entirely. "Unfortunately, we need to hurry. I have another meeting in an hour...", he pulls out his watch to check. "...And 43 minutes. Internal, at my office.".

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    The food came, and the conversation quickly ebbed away. Ishan had to be somewhere soon, and the restaurant staff wanted Fiona and her cat out as soon as possible anyway.

    She manages to eat most of her food, seeing as it was meant mainly as only an appetizer anyway, and samples some of the wine the waitress brought her.

    "Thanks again, Mr. Uzun. If you think of anything else, please try and catch us before the ship leaves," she says, another warm smile upon her face.
    Last edited by WindStruck; 2017-08-15 at 12:40 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
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    Ihsan smiles as he climbs into his coach, despite obvious pain from his gout. "Failing that, sending!", he shouts as his coach leaves. "That man was very, very fat.", the PI adds nonchalantly as he puts his coat on. "Nice, though. I didn't expect that. I'm going to go board the ship early, are you two coming with me? We've only got about four hours anyway and it'll take us one to get there.".

  17. - Top - End - #17
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    "Sure, why not. I guess I haven't got anything better to do," Fiona says.

    She looks at Risa, who hadn't said a thing the entire time. "Are you coming?"

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    "Sure." She shrugs at Fiona's look.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  19. - Top - End - #19
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    As the party progresses towards the docks, they become aware of an increasing presence of a different variety of people than they've seen so far. Poor, dirty, wearing ragged clothing, and not just the kind you'd normally expect from members of the lower classes. They have a dark complexion, don't seem to speak Marakiziy and are carrying bags with them, suggesting they are homeless. They're frightened, poor and seem vaguely suspicious of passers by. Fiona knows enough to tell these are refugees from the goblin territories, probably from farther east where they had few other places to turn. From here, you can see a boat in the dock with two police officers nearby, where more people are presently unloading, three of them right now. To the party's left can be sees a sign that reads "Refugee camp: One mile".

    Many sounds of desperate people speaking in the goblin language are abundant, but one stands most of all sounds vaguely important: A young man, shouting, and although there's a lot of background noise Risa can make him out. "No, you can't do this! I didn't do anything, leave me alone!", though who he's yelling at is harder to tell, Fiona can hear what sounds to be a police officer chastise the man. "I didn't say you did, moron. Now get back and let me do my job.". Risa spots him in an alley, but can barely make him out at the distance but it's clear he is very large, easily taller than the man and seems quite muscular. There is a bobby next to him, hunched over a large bag. Suddenly the bobby stands up, drawing his pistol and the man move in towards him. A tiny goblin rolls out of the bag and tries to run, while the large man gives the bobby a hard left hook in the kidney. Despite this, the bobby fires his pistol, missing the fleeing child wildly. The large man throws another punch that the officer ducks, and another three that all find their marks on the officer's liver, chest and the side of his head. Fiona can hear the crack of his skull from a block away, and the blood splatter doesn't inspire confidence. It doesn't seem he's going to survive another round of this.
    Last edited by Avianmosquito; 2017-08-16 at 09:58 PM.

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    Fiona, curious and nosy as ever, was still trying to process events even as she instinctively began flying over to the fighting in the alley.

    "Hey, what's going on?!" she yells, even though it was blatantly clear one man was beating the other to a bloody pulp. The real question was why.

    Trying to think, the officer just tried to shoot.. what looked like a child. Was he a murderer? An attempted murderer? But what about this other man? Suddenly Fiona felt like she was getting involved in something way over her head, but she didn't think she could stay by and do nothing.

    "Please.. please stop this."

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    The bobby, startled, tries to step back away from the man and draw his baton, but takes one last straight shot in the chest and finally goes down, coughing and bleeding on the ground. The man, noticing Fiona, turns to her. He steps back from the dying officer and takes a deep breath. The tiny goblin child runs over to him, hugging his leg tightly for comfort. Sighing, the large man answers between heavy breaths. "I... He tried to kill Johari. I thought we'd be safe here long enough to board a ship for the north, but neither of us speaks Boreal, and we were trying to think about where to go next when he came by and heard us talking.".

    Now that they're closer and it's calmed down, it's easy to get a look at them. The man stands about 5' 11" and 210lbs, and is built like a heavyweight boxer. The medal on his oversized belt suggests that is exactly what he is, and an at least somewhat successful one, which explains why his punches so easily reduced a man to this state. The child next to him is clearly a goblin, a tiny one of about six years, and she stands at 1' 6" and 11lbs. Both are wearing clothing of plain leather, the man with an overcoat, and neither seem to have much of anything in their posession. The child does have a knife on her hip, but it's a little toothpick appropriate for her size.

    The man, calming down, asks the inevitable question. "Can you help us? I just killed a cop and she's undocumented, we need to get out of the country now. We don't have much, but I'll give you my pugilist's belt.". The child, Johari, speaks up. "We'll give you all our money too, but it's less than a pound. Please miss, it's all we have to offer. It's only a regional championship belt, but it's still enchanted and it should sell for a fair price. If you have a ship we can take, or a train, or a coach, something. Anything, please!". The desperation was apparent even before they spoke.

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Fiona frowned, because nothing tugs at the heartstrings like a child begging.

    "I wish I could help. Maybe... I might have an idea..."

    She looked down at the bloodied dying bobby. "Why was he trying to kill her??" She flew closer and landed nearby, trying to get a closer look. She doubted he was dead. Yet.

  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Risa runs after Fiona when she moves toward the fight. "Maybe. Think they've been told to expect exactly three people at the frigate?" she asks Fiona. "Either way, come with us. We'll figure something out, and we can't take your money."
    Last edited by Kish; 2017-08-17 at 09:36 AM.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Fiona looks up and smiles at Risa. "I was thinking the same thing." She asks the large man, "Do you two want to head south? Way way south, I think..."

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    "As long as it isn't to the Holy Empire or back into the Goblin States, that's better than where we are now.", answers the man. The child nods in enthusiastic agreement. "Yeah, just somewhere away from the war, where the humans won't try to kill us.", she adds, hugging him tighter. "I'm Johari, by the way. This punch-drunk oaf is Thimba.". Thimba acts offended by her playful jab, but the grin gives it away as he puts the child back in his duffel bag.

    Dick takes a look at the officer, examining his injuries. "I know he tried to kill you, but this man is going to die in about two minutes if he doesn't get medical attention. And I can't sit here and let a cop die, I just can't do it." He takes a handkerchief out of the cop's pocket and rips it almost in half, tying it and his own like a bandage around the man's head. He manages to get it tight, under the circumstances, and between that and applying manual pressure manages to stop the bleeding long enough for the bandage to keep it stopped. "I think that'll do it. No sense letting a man die when he's not a threat anymore.". He opens the officer's coat. "I see two healing potions in here and a defensive potion. Are we taking them, giving them to him, or leaving them here? I'd recommend the latter, but I'll let you two make the decision. Other than that, I see ten quid and his weapons. I'll take the note, call it an ******* tax."
    Last edited by Avianmosquito; 2017-08-17 at 12:52 PM.

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    Risa levels a flatly disbelieving look at Dick before saying, "I'm sure the next child he tries to kill will appreciate your delicacy." She grabs the potions; if Fiona, Dick, or either of the two rescuees shows any interest in any of them, she'll readily hand over one healing potion and the defensive potion, keeping one healing potion for herself.
    Spoiler
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Fiona shrugs. "I don't care... I don't want him to die needlessly, but I don't want him killing children either. Well, maybe he'll learn his lesson."

    She sighed and said, "We should just get out of here before anyone else comes. Richard, Risa, you take them to the ship. As for me, I'll be right with you, but I do think I'd only attract more unnecessary attention."

    Fiona instantly vanishes.

    Spoiler: ooc
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    She'll appear again before they board the boat.
    Last edited by WindStruck; 2017-08-17 at 02:59 PM. Reason: becuase there was one too many needlesslies in there.....

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    Default Re: Island Investigation

    The ship, thankfully, is only a couple blocks away. The trip is quick, though likely quite uncomfortable for the little girl, and is uneventful. When they finally arrive, they are greeted by a young human woman in plate, with a rapier and a dagger on her hips. She's a brunette, with a short, braided ponytail and hazel eyes, her steel plate and her weapons seem to be of very high quality and draped with blue linen embroidered with silver. On her left side, a decorative-looking asymmetric silver pauldron bears an eagle crest, and another sits upon her chest, suggesting she is of noble lineage. What a noblewoman is doing as a privateer remains to be seen, but she bows politely to the party as they approach and greets them in a thick Dwarven accent, making her place of origin unambiguous. "Hello. I am Asta, first mate of this ship. You must be Ihsan's... Three guards? I was under the impression we were only expecting two.". Thimba, smartly, keeps his mouth shut. So does the baby in his bag. Dick goes a step further, bows slightly to the woman and walks directly past her onto the ship. It's clear he's sailed on this vessel before. "Well, his manners certainly haven't improved. And you three are?".

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Titan in the Playground
     
    WindStruck's Avatar

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    Jan 2012

    Default Re: Island Investigation

    Fiona smiles with a laugh. "Three guards? Yup! Of course there's three of us, not including the investigator Mr. Nordstein. They must have gotten confused and said three total or something..."

    "I'm Fiona." Then the Siamese cat meows loudly staring at the noble woman intently. "And my cat won't really count, right? But she's more of a ... familiar, not a pet..."
    Last edited by WindStruck; 2017-08-17 at 04:33 PM.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Kish's Avatar

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    Nov 2004

    Default Re: Island Investigation

    "Risa. And this is Thimba. Pleased to meet you," Risa says.
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    "The really unforgivable acts are committed by calm men in beautiful green silk rooms, who deal death wholesale, by the shipload, without lust, or anger, or desire, or any redeeming emotion to excuse them but cold fear of some pretended future. But the crimes they hope to prevent in the future are imaginary. The ones they commit in the present--they are real." --Aral Vorkosigan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    This, in a nutshell.
    Yes, exactly.

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