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Old 08-27-2018, 04:44 AM
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Abyss Emerging

ABYSS EMERGING

IntroLast night, while you were relaxing in the common room of The Copper Flagon, a young man entered. He had a quick conversation with the innkeep, mounted the stage and made a brief announcement. Attention please! Attention! Greetings patrons of The Copper Flagon. Mallon Marstel, of the Marstel Trading House wishes to employ a small team to find the whereabouts of his missing ships. Interested persons should present themselves tomorrow morning at the Marstel Trading House, in the Harbor District, for an interview. With that, the man hopped down from the stage, walked across the now-silent room, and left the inn. The common room remained quiet for a second or two, then the buzz of conversation swelled once more. After a brief discussion around the table, you agreed that this may be just the opportunity that you’ve been looking for...


Exctract from “The Influences”When we are lost, we turn to either of the three

Clear, crisp, clever.
Analysis of the unknown.
Comparative past, present and future.

Mad, sick, obscured.
Torture to the soul.
Pointless self-pity and irrational paths.

Divine, Dark, Alluring.
Faithful to the extreme.
Seeking of ways to return or end.

When we find answers, we swear allegiance.
This is the way.

~ Dormal Franzarch, Sage of Eva’s Spire and Herald of the Scrying Stream; “The Influences”.


Assembling the FlockThere was a distinctive difference between those who needed the work and those who, for one reason or another, wanted the job. The musicians crawled back on the stage again and took in their job with experienced ease.

The Copper Flagon had a warm sour smell, occasionally tinted with the lavender perfume from the two women, Sin and Glory (that probably wasn’t their real names), who had decided on a rather depraved road in life, which in turn brought joy and happiness to a lot of lonely people in town. When they were not busy with the core service of their job, they danced, flirted and helped carrying drinks to the patrons around the bar.

It was an odd group of people that had come together under the Flagon’s roof this night. From the two solemn-looking warriors on each their side of the table, over the monochrome gentleman and his exact opposite the colorful and swaggering rising star with blue hair streaming down from under her tricorn hat, to the shady elven woman at the very corner of the table sending sharp looks to anyone closing in on the table or having the simplest of significance for the town.

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And yet, despite their differences, a pact had been made. Was it Hulburg’s Hooch - a potent alcohol beverage made of lemons - or the power of diversity and fate brought together?
Regardless, they had decided to meet with the others at the Marstel Trading House at first light the next day. Darius, the professor, had been invited personally to investigate the matters and he knew that he was expected to turn up, but only time - and the amount of Hooch downed - would tell, whether or not the other misfits would find first light not to their liking and miss out on the job.

The night was still young and after the young agitator’s appearance on the stage, the rumor building in the little town have seen new heights. Drunken men and women compete in outrageous stories that they apparently have witnessed - from siren’s calls that they only survived through a tremendous power over their own will to strange lights and whispering voices that urged them to commit suicide or even genocide. Good thing that these hardy folks have a healthy appetite for sleep and a inhuman control to withstand such urges... yeah right!

Any of you strangers looking for some sinful massage to top off the evening? The lavender smell has returned and with it the gaudy prostitute, Sin. Her eyes are fixed on the handsome half-elf, but her violet-nailed fingers dance nimbly along the shoulders and necks of both the younger warrior and the boasty bard - Sin is a professional and she ain’t picky about race or gender and she is rarely put off by rough or solemn attitudes. She manages to make a courtesy to the gentleman at the table and wink to Aetheltra at the corner, I am tempted to offer you a discount, my lady, just to see you shake off that hood and show me your pretty advantages? she giggles and swarm around the table, almost cleansing the air with her lavender presence and instead filling your minds with goading comments and affectionate strokes.


 



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Old 08-29-2018, 02:27 AM
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Professor Darius Van Ryker
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Darius had arrived to the town and followed Mallon Marstel's instruction to the Copper Flagon and found himself to await the others that Mallon had enticed for this little expedition. Darius had known Mallon as a patron of the Academy and an ardent supporter of the Art. Mallon proved to be reasonably well educated for a merchant and more than simply a profit driven money hoarder. In fact some of his donations had been some the rarest and most exquisite pieces and artifacts within the Academy's extensive collection and indicated a passion for preserving items of historical and anthropological importance, a passion that Darius could certainly respect. It was this respect that played more than a role in his decision to assist Mallon when his letter outlining the mystery that shrouded and threatened Mallon's considerable business. That and the prospect of unraveling an explanation for such mysterious disappearances and the Cthythian Triad. It had been just the intellectual challenge he needed to escape the tedium of the semester and the Academy was than happy to accommodate one of their richest patrons.

Darius ordered his drink, a powerful local brew affectionately named Hulburg’s Hooch, and took metered draughtd as he waited and listened. He knew that he could not partake too much of the heady liquid before it would dull his wits and Darius would need all of them at this moment. Having learned how to read lips, Darius was able to gather information amid the din and cacophony of the Copper Flagon. Most were outlandish tall tales, but Darius learned that even the tallest tales have or based on a modicum of truth. So like a gold prospector, Darius sifted through the chaos of the tavern for those precious gold nuggets... the first of whom were the others that Mallon had drawn to this particular venture.

The first pair to join Darius at the table were warriors, a half elf and a human. By the looks of them, they seemed a hardy pair and battle tested. Darius knew ventures if these sorts were always in need of strength in arms... a strength that was not among his many virtues. His observation of them further affirmed them as capable and experienced warriors, but he also sensed that they carried more than the physical scars of their battles. Still, he sensed them to be reliable men at arms and that would be enough initially.

Next they were joined by a green haired woman with a tricorne hat and in sailor's livery. That would certainly make sense that Mallon would contract a ship, yet her speech and how she handled herself seemed to indicate that she was more than simple mariner. In fact her voice when she spoke only hinted at the talent underneath and Darius knew the "scent" of magic. It was even more distinctive than the lavender perfume of their two attractive... waitresses. If his accommodations here had the same sour smell that permeated the place, Darius would consider retaining their "services" if for no other reason than to counteract that... odor.

The final addition to the table intrigued Darius the most. The presence of one of the Eldar or high folk was reason enough for curiosity, but her commitment to being mysterious and hiding herself deeper within the folds of her cloak only made her stand out more. Perhaps there is more to this venture already... and every venture needed start and so Darius decided to break the awkward silence first.

"Why did the necromancer kill everyone at the tavern?" Darius said in his signature dead pan voice and his facial expressions never wavered once. "Because he wanted to raise the bar."

A joke was a perfectly good way to break ice, statistically speaking... and the hooch had nothing to do with it.

"Good evening to you all... my name is Professor Darius Van Ryker. At your service."

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Old 08-29-2018, 03:45 AM
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Aethelra had arrived at the Flagon early in the evening looking to pick up gossip and clues about the missing ships. She stayed inconspicuous surfing from table to table, pricking her ears beneath her hood to likely conversations between sailors. As the evening drew on the pub became more full so Aethelra moved to one of the larger tables where a group was forming.

There were two fighters, one worthy, one weary. They both looked human, but on closer inspection on had a bit of elf in him. They were outsiders too, unlikely to have more insights than she’d gathered in her few days near the harbour. So Aethelra turned her attention to the colourful Miss Tarvey, dressed as a lass of the sea. Miss Tarvey was full of tall tales, which first caught Aethelra’s attention, but as the stories unfolded, Aethelra suspected the maxim don’t let the truth spoil a good story could be at play. I’ll have to find some time where she was not performing in public to try to get to truths. And finally there was the strange professor. He sat, all black and white, across he table from her. His ice-breaking joke was surprising but effective. She had to struggle to hear his soft and words over the noise of the bar, but she could tell he was a man of wisdom. I have to get closer to him, bring him into my confidence.

But before she could act the Marstell’s man gave his speech. Aethelra barely suppressed a grin. The man is assembling a band to help me with my mission she thought. As the man left the inn, her table came alive. Moving from conversational couplets to a whole table conversation about whether they would answer the Marstell’s call. Suddenly the fighters were a far more interesting prospect. We could get a lot done with that kind of muscle; in fact this looks like a pretty good team, some brawn, some brain and some glamour.

Aethelra sought to establish her credentials with the group, telling them that she was already on mission for an Elvish merchants guild to find out what had happened to some their precious goods that were cargo on the missing ships. She was certainly going to go down to the Martell’s tomorrow morning.

As this night drew in, and alcohol was having its effect on her companions, the inevitable ladies of the night paid a call on her table. What is it about human women that draws them into such dreadful lives? She thought, then keeping her scowl to herself beneath her hood. And what is it about their men that makes them complicit?

She acted quick to diffuse the situation and discourage any temptation that might be in her companions.

“I’m more interested in what’s between your ears than between your legs” she used her clear assertive tones for the first time that evening. She put a gold coin on the table and gestured to an empty chair.

“With your trade you must hear rumours about these missing ships that that Martell man told us about. Come, sit with us, tell us what you’ve heard. If it’s useful, this coin is yours.” She pulled he coin back towards her. “But only if you take it home and have a night off.”
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Old 08-29-2018, 04:44 PM
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Pavel
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Pavel scowled at the wizard's attempt at a joke. Necromancers weren't a subject of much levity with him, not after watching the shadow-witches of the Kalaj Nar set half his slaughtered regiment back on their feet and screaming toward their own lines. But he let the matter slide - if the Kalaj Nar had taught him anything, it was the value of having a wizard on your own side as well.

Heartening as the wizard's presence was, Pavel found himself much more encouraged by the man across the table - armed and armored like himself, but bearing the symbol of Tyr. A paladin - now that was the man to have at your side. He'd seen holy warriors like this man on the blood-soaked northern fields, standing their ground against demons that entire regiments dared not face, or rushing into the thick of things to heal one fallen soldier. If there'd been a few more paladins on the front lines, and a few less idiot generals hiding behind them, then the war against the Kalaj Nar might just have been won.

That made one of this lot he could be sure of in the ranks beside him. The wizard and the elf each seemed to have their own connection to their employer or to the object of their search, their own motives in all this beyond the lure of coin. Not that there was anything wrong with that, of course - but in Pavel's experience, a man fighting for something more than coin was a man you needed to keep your eye on, lest he do something unpredictable. Wizards always knew more than they let on, and this one might be no exception. The elf had a shifty look about her... but then again, it sounded to be shifty work.

As for the blue-haired lass with the hat... well, she was entertaining and easy on the eyes, and a soldier learned to appreciate the value in both. Maybe there was more to her than that - she certainly seemed to think so - but time would have to tell.

Speak of entertaining and easy on the eyes... The lavender-scented "waitress" drew his attention from his erstwhile companions like iron to a lodestone. Whatever moralistic aversion to a prostitute's company he might have had as a naive farmboy, his years in the army had pretty well done away with. His usual hangdog scowl gave way to a wan grin at the lady's approach, but his face fell as the elf woman made her offer to send her home for the night. He weighed his coin purse and considered trying to outbid the elf, but gave up the thought with a sigh. Pointy-ears had a point - business before pleasure. Drowning his disappointment with a gulp of the house specialty, he waited to hear what the lady had to say.




 
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:45 PM
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Introductions
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Adros sat at the somewhat oversized wooden table and listened to Darius' joke and introduction. Upon conclusion of both, Adros immediately spoke up to address the Human who was garbed in the most basic of colors. "Very nice to meet you, Professor," he said. "My name is Adros. I hold no title, but am quite interested in how you obtained yours. Perhaps when we are in a more quiet and reserved setting you might be so kind as to share that story." He tried very much to hold a more formal tone and language than what he usually attempted when in the confines of a city. He then smiled slightly and continued. "Your sense of humor could also be a topic of conversation. I enjoyed the joke. Thank you." He then looked around the table and skimmed the physical details of each of the people seated around it.

It is always quite interesting to be in the company of other people, he thought. Breaking one's solitude is often uncomfortable, but sometimes is needed to shake one's spirit...to awaken oneself to see what society brings to the lives of others. Society can be...good," he told himself, as he lifted a large mug of ale to his lips and took a sizeable gulp. It can be very good, indeed.

Conversation then ensued between most of those gathered around the table. Adros did his best to keep up. He soon came to the realization that he was not the only one present who did not seem particularly adept, or possibly interested, in conversation. The sullen warrior who sat across from him, whom he had only briefly met an hour or two before, looked ill at ease in the commotion and constant buzz of voices that vibrated though the inn. Adros kindly called a barmaid, one who smelled of old roses with a hint of lavender, over for assistance. "Please bring another for my friend here," Adros said, gesturing toward Pavel, who was finishing another drink. "In fact, if you would, please bring another round for everyone here. I have a few gold pieces burning an anxious hole through the usually lonely coin purse which hangs from my belt." He smiled gently at the woman before looking at Pavel, then slightly nodded his head toward him in silent acknowledgment that Adros understood that the two men shared common experiences between them, most of which were not shared with the others around them.

After the next round of drinks was nearly over, a sweet and enticing scent turned Adros' head toward the form of a gaudy, yet (at least to his eyes) beautiful barmaid, who was at that moment asking all members of the table if they were interested in something beyond the mutton and ale that were served up by the inn's proprietors. This barmaid was similar in appearance and demeanor to the lass who had brought the last round of drinks, and also held a similar fragrance.

"Any of you strangers looking for some sinful massage to top off the evening?" she said, as she looked at Adros.

He looked up at her from his seat and replied. "I thank you kindly, m'lady, but the night grows long and I believe this lot has only just struck an agreement to meet at the Marstel Trading House in the morning in order to solve a problem...and to earn a little gold, if all goes well. I'm sure you heard the man upon the stage tonight with a call for assistance. It will be an early morning for us."

He then looked over at Miss Tarvey, who had quite impressed him during their very brief conversation earlier in the evening about the dangers of the sea. She had impressed him with her confidence and strong-willed nature. "Please forgive me if I misspeak, Miss," he said, "But I do believe you agreed to our plans. Please correct me if I am wrong."

It was then that Adros looked to Aethelra with the intent of verifying their morning plans with her as well, but he found her in conversation with the barmaid whom he had just moments before engaged. Aethelra placed a gold coin on the table and offered the working lady a place at their table; a place to take the weight of work off of her feet, if only for a moment. Aethelra and I have similar thoughts and concerns, he told himself. We are concerned for those who may not have a decision in the life they are leading. Although our means seem to be quite different, we strive for the same end result: That people, all people, are treated fairly and have a say in the lives that they lead.

He sat still and looked at the two women for a moment, careful not to disturb them, and listened to the deal that Aethelra attempted to strike.


 


 
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Old 08-30-2018, 06:06 AM
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Miss Lenna Tarvey
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Having been waved into the Copper Flagon like an establishment veteran, Lenna was nearly the last of the group to arrive. It was a conversation with some young fisherman that had held her at the door. The front of the Flagon always drew that lot, awaiting their brethren before strutting in with such gusto. The same gusto her footsteps claimed even without friends... uncommon as that would be that her arm wasn't slung over such a person.

They had stopped her to see about her next date. A performance at the Flagon wasn't uncommon in the past, rarer nowadays, and it seemed that the city had grown antsy for her next song. Maybe, she had thought, before coming to strike on the idea. Sudden sets were never her business, planned and well-spectated were words that came to mind instead. There was a difference in an entertainer that worked whatever night and those that were special. The proof was in these fishermen's determination to see her in that beautiful silver and blue dress, atop the stage.

But the cards were not in their favor, she had admitted before having flaunted into the establishment.

Inside she had seen that darkly dressed man who'd been called out in a nights whisper over the docks. A benefactor of the Marstel Trading House, a group she'd known long over her years at sea, though never had she worked beside them. Some time had passed since the black sail had called her. Those that took to the black didn't often turn again after all. But that man, as she sat down and greeted those assembled, was the one that her cerulean eyes was oft seen wandering over.

His name was Darius. There were prior introductions before he himself had done so, those of the night before given by a courier of the Marstels. A prim and proper man, that which was such a rarity in her work that just glancing was enough for her to feel slightly dirtier. A man of magics, though the courier never mentioned what kind.

And one of jokes, she stopped herself from laughing for a second, before a mirthful giggle slipped past the hand. It was his fault, though not for any skill with livening an atmosphere. His deadpan was a perfect foil to the possibility. She still laughed though, that as his joke failed, comedy still found a way to bloom with the caster's neutral face as a medium.

"Miss Tarvey." She raised her glass filled of the citrus liquor as she named herself, a drink perfect for the sea-faring maiden. The next second she was back to a story told over the mug, weaving a tale a majority for the strong-looking man named Adros, but spoken for the whole table. He'd been favorable enough to purchase her drink so her story was that to endear herself as a friend. And, to look him over, to drink him in like her short but constant sips of Hulburg’s Hooch.

If she was keeping the right pace, then these might be the folks she'd be with for a time. And if there was something she desired, it was a long view of those she was with, of what they carried and what she could use later. That of the elven woman and the other man would come soon, but she liked taking time singularly with each crew-mate. Cinthia and Gloria could wait as well. They were very pretty and Lenna bit her lip as the two offered services to them, but long-time acquaintances could take a place in line as she worked her own charm on Adros... who raised the true conversation of the night as she turned back.

"Please forgive me if I misspeak, Miss, but I do believe you agreed to our plans. Please correct me if I am wrong." It was her own game that made her forget to align herself with the group truly. A fist lightly bonked on the position of her hairline.

"Ah of course! Forgetful of me to go without mentioning so far to all of you, but yes." She nearly hummed the last word. "I'll be with you for this pursuit. Missing ships are as bad news for my day-to-day as they are for the Marstels. These waters are mine, so if somebody is running ships ashore or something is bringing them under? I'll be hunting down the cause either way."

Lenna flipped open a compass unchained from her side in a showy gesture before snapping it shut. "And perhaps a seasoned navigator is the best hire for a job such as this." Truly she had no clue what had done in the ships, but those possibilities were the best bet by her ear. No rumor of pirate intervention had made it's way to her yet, but perhaps that was due to a string of burnt bridges - or bilges.

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Old 08-30-2018, 07:03 AM
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The Copper Flagon
Aethelra had certainly caught Cinthia’s interest with her monetary lure. With a neatly choreographed flourish of her dress, she swung to the side of the hooded elf. eager to accept the invitation and the promised gold, she smiled a broad smile between thick lips in bright plum violet and with a charming gap between her front teeth,

Quote:
“With your trade you must hear rumours about these missing ships that that Martell man told us about. Come, sit with us, tell us what you’ve heard. If it’s useful, this coin is yours.”
To be honest it is only a few who are interested in talking. It is often some deeper desire that I seek to saturate. she giggles and allow for one glittery nail to caress the elf’s thigh. However, you don’t live in Hulburg without getting a tale or two and I know that the sailors and seamen that Mallon Marstel has sent to search for the lost ships have felt ill equipped to the searches. she narrows her voice and speaks to those around the table only, her eyes hanging with the golden coin in Aethelra’s hand, They did find the wreck of Gray Gull, but... Sin’s eyes widened with practiced horror all while the name awakened some vague memory in Darius’ mind that he had read something about that name in the letter from the Trading House. Lenna knew more precisely that this was one of the ships owned by Marstel Trading House. Sin continued both the light finger dance along Aethelra’s leg and her talk, ...there was no sign of life. Or death, for that matter. The crew had just disappeared.

Cinthia licked her lips, held out her hand and allowed for her tousled hair to hang down over her naked shoulder, Was it good enough for you darling? And if you insist that I return home, can I bring the bull over there? She blew a kiss to Adros and mimicked how she envisioned herself riding a bull would be. She had not lost her focus on the elf and the coin though. It was evident that if there was a choice, she would go for the gold rather than the bull.


 

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Old 08-30-2018, 02:17 PM
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Pavel
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Pavel took a glance around the table, and a long pull at his tankard, as he thought Sin's story over. He couldn't deny that it gave him a little chill, to hear that the ship was abandoned like that. During the war, he'd seen men dead and mangled at their sentry posts, and he'd found sentry posts abandoned, the men who were supposed to be there simply gone. When that happened, it meant one of two things - either the men had been taken by the Kalaj Nar, and would have been luckier if they'd just been killed at their post... or else the men had simply deserted.

"So," he offered at last, "the crew was just gone from the wreck... and so was this valuable cargo they were hauling. The stuff the elf's here to look for," he added, with a vague gesture Aethelra's way. "So we're either looking for whatever came and hauled all that crew off to some mysterious end... or it's the crew themselves we're looking for, after they made off with the goods themselves."

He takes another pull. "Does that even make sense, though? Could the crew have gotten off the ship on their own, and made off with the goods while they were at it?"




 
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Old 08-31-2018, 01:39 AM
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Professor Darius Van Ryker
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Originally Posted by Pavel
"Does that even make sense, though? Could the crew have gotten off the ship on their own, and made off with the goods while they were at it?"
"It could be plausible if a third party with second vessel were involved and the entire crew of the Gray Gull was complicit. They could transfer the goods and then abandon the ship which could then be the wreckage that was fortunately discovered. This could also account for the disappearance of the crew and the apparent lack of struggle." Darius responds evenly to Pavel's declaration. Darius' belief was to keep an even temper when considering the facts in a situation fraught with so much uncertainty so that judgment was not colored by emotions or premature conclusions. "While this answer functions if the Gray Gull was the only such vessel with their crew and cargo to disappear under such... questionable... circumstances, the number of the disappearances is what makes this a mystery and likely the reason that Mr. Marstel has elected to retain our particular... services."

"While it is tempting to simply ascribe these disappearances to supernatural or mystical causes, the real mystery to be solved is not so much the manner of the disappearance, but the motive." Darius continued as much to see if the others gathered at the table had anything to add, in particular to Aethelra, who was mentioned to have knowledge or here on behalf the cargo on the ship. Perhaps there was something not detailed in the manifests that could have been the motive or perhaps even the cause. "Such a method of buying of the crew would not produce much gains, if any, for any of Mr. Marstel's competitors or even pirates based on what was described within the manifests of those ships lost. It is equally improbable, that given the number of men that collectively disappeared, that not one was seen or heard from again, some of whom had ties in their lives that would incline them to do otherwise without some extraordinary... circumstances... involved."

Darius then took a natural pause as he observed both body language and responses and to evaluate any additional information or insights provided.
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Old 08-31-2018, 02:06 AM
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“We’ll keep this where we can see it shall we?” Aethelra gently took Sin’s wandering hand and placed it on the table, lightly brushing it with hand as she released to assure the lady she had no ill intent. She discretely assured herself that her purse and possessions were still intact. These people sometimes use amorous actions as a mask for something more nefarious.

“Meagre pickings for a whole coin” she said. Indeed the rumour she had reported seemed a cliché. Ghost ship; crew and goods disappeared; it was a tale and game she had told as a child. But the reactions of her companions spoke to a truth. The Professor had failed to mask a quick flash of recognition at the name Gray Gull and Miss Tarvey seemed to be nodding in recognition of some kind. But the look in Pavel’s eyes intrigued her most. This child’s tale opened a door to his soul – a disturbed soul. I hope that we do not have to call on this man’s familiarity with whatever horrors that have scarred him to deeply.

“But perhaps it sparks something my companions.” She pulled back the hood of her cloak, it was adding a touch too much melodrama to a simple pub conversation.

When her companions had spoken their piece she turned back to Sin. “Maybe there is another way you can earn the rest of the coin … no, not that” she discouraged the hand seeking to reawaken its wandering “I’d like to learn everything I can before we see the Marstells tomorrow morning. I saw that the harbour below is still busy readying itself for early morning departures. Perhaps there are some there who know a little more. They kind of folk who would not readily tell the Marstells what they know. If you can introduce us as friends you will have more than earned your night off.”

She pushed the coin back towards the lady.

“Oh, as for ‘the bull’, you can do whatever you, and he, likes; just so long as it is your pleasure you are serving and you take no further coin. I have bought your time this evening, so it is not for sale again.” With that she lifts her finger inviting Sin to take the coin.

“What say you?” She lifts her head to the table “Anyone else fancy a stroll across town with this fine lady before we turn in?”
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Old 08-31-2018, 06:44 PM
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Just One More Drink...
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All this talk about bulls, Adros said to himself, as he failed to suppress a slight smile and small chuckle. If circumstances were different, perhaps if this were another night or if this barmaid were ten years older...Well, then I would say, "When you mess with the bull, you get the horns." At least I believe that's how it goes. She should consider herself lucky tonight; this bull has been put out to pasture...but only for tonight. If not, we'd be up and busy throughout the morning hours and I'd miss meeting the others and our opportunity tomorrow morning. Adros took another swig of ale, the last of the glass, and averted his eyes from Sin's enticing form, then offered a response to Aethelra's invitation to travel to the harbour district before the evening was complete.

"I think that is a fine idea, Aethelra," Adros said, looking not at her eyes, but at her ears. After the somewhat dramatic removal of her hood, he could see the fullness of her elven ears for the first time. He always enjoyed seeing a female Elf's ears and these particular ears seemed to be of the High Elf kind, he was sure of it. They were full and impressive. He forced his eyes to Aethelra's face before continuing. "I, for one, will join you...but please, let us have another drink. Just one more before we depart. It has been over three months since I left my secluded home and at least a fortnight since being in a town and tavern such as this." Adros was quite adept at getting his way when he put forth a little effort, a fact that he was quite aware of. All it took was a slight change of voice, a softer look into someone's eyes, a touch of the hand...there were more than a few things he could do to convince most people around him most of the time.

Without waiting for a reply or disagreement, Adros touched Sin's shoulder and said, "Another round, all around, Love. We'll have some more of that local brew that seems to be spilling into the mouths of patrons throughout this place." His smile was wide and he knew it was having an affect on Sin, just as she was having an affect on him.

Looking back again at Aethelra, his manner instantly became a bit more serious. "It's more than fine with me that we've decided to take on this job...this mystery. Pavel's logic is sound. His suggestions make sense to me. And Darius is obviously well versed in the art of investigation. His logic is beyond sound. We have taken a job where we must either find embezzlers and thieves (both of which I am more than happy to correct) or kidnappers and possibly murderers (both of which I am even more than happy to correct)." He started to bring his glass to his lips, then stopped disappointedly when he realized it was empty. Oh, well. More is on the way. "Ahem...But what I am most interested in is why the Marstel Trading House is hiring help for their problem. Where is the sheriff in this town? Where are the folk that enforce the law here? Why have they not solved the problem?" He paused and sat his glass upon the table with a bit more force than was necessary. He then paused and suddenly there was the sound of a woman's hand slapping the face of an unwelcomed suitor behind him, in a near corner of the tavern. "Well, that sounded interesting..."

Gathering his focus, Adros concluded with a steadier voice than before. "Maybe these are questions that our energetic hostess here can answer when we make our way to the docks tonight. Perhaps we can even find a way to talk to the folks that enforce the law here. And talk to them tonight. I believe doing so will give us an advantage during our investigation in the days ahead."


 


 
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Last edited by Warson; 08-31-2018 at 11:32 PM. Reason: Grammar.
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Old 08-31-2018, 11:37 PM
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Professor Darius Van Ryker
Quote:
"Ahem...But what I am most interested in is why the Marstel Trading House is hiring help for their problem. Where is the sheriff in this town? Where are the folk that enforce the law here? Why have they not solved the problem?"
"If it were such a simple matter to resolve, I don't think any of would be at this table this night. I suspect this matter is beyond the means and abilities of the local constable and townsfolk." Darius said in response to the paladin's question. "Otherwise, it would be illogical for Mr. Marstel to have gone to extent and spent the amount of personal capital to obtain our particular services."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adros
"Maybe those are questions that our energetic hostess here can answer when we make our way to the docks tonight. Perhaps we can even find a way to talk to the folks that enforce the law here. And talk to them tonight. I believe doing so will give us an advantage during our investigation in the days ahead."
"I agree that the next sensible step, if we are to venture on this particular foray would be the constable and understand what has already been done by the local authorities in this matter. Furthermore they would have knowledge and access to the records of the harbor master." Darius continued evenly as he waved off another refill of the heady liquor. Darius would not risk the dulling of hid wits and he knew his limits. "However, I do not see the need to inconvenience the lovely Miss Sin or deprive the other patrons of her lovely... presence. I am certain that the constable or sheriff can provide as adequate a guide, once we have been shown the way to him."

"After our drinks then, shall we move... onward?"

OOC:Onward!


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Last edited by Xian; 08-31-2018 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 09-01-2018, 04:20 AM
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Aethelra waved away the offer of another drink. She was happy to share the drinks of humans, dwarves and even orcs if it came to it, but she did not really like them. Three glasses of watered, honeyed wine were more that enough for her and she had been nursing the last one the past twenty minutes.

“I think the operative word in our mystery is ships, not ship” Aethelra turned to the table “We are not talking about one misfortune, but a pattern. That takes some organisation beyond the crew of a single boat, and usually organisation leaves its marks if you know where to look for it.”. She sipped her wine ”And yes, that is why my Lord asked me to have a look at what is going on here. We’ve lost three shipments with the Marstels. One we thought unfortunate, the second looked like incompence; but three? Three looks intentional.”

To the Professors raised eyebrow she added “And I’m afraid the content of our cargo is very unlikely to unlock our mystery. It really was very dull. Some garments, food, carved wood, maybe particularly fine wine; we have friends in many places and trade well with them. To date the Martels have been reliable business partners. I need to find out if that still holds; if we can continue to trust them. If we can recover the goods? Well that would be great too.

Turning to Adros “Perhaps you are right. As the professor says, the officers of the law will have been sure to have told the Marstels all they know - and no doubt we shall hear more tomorrow. But a constable on the beat may have insights that did not make it to the sheriff’s report. We should seek them out as well as folk who would steer clear of talking to officials.”

Finally she set aside her glass and motioned Sin to join them “Come, drain your glasses. The night is drawing in and soon everyone who might help us will be abed.” she said to them all, concerned that all to often the phrase just one more had felled all good intent for a nights work.
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Old 09-01-2018, 07:37 AM
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Pavel
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"You lot want to go wandering around the docks and bothering the guards... now?" Pavel groaned. "Do elves, wizards, and paladins just not sleep, or what?" Actually, maybe elves didn't sleep... Pavel vaguely recalled hearing that around a campfire at some point, but soldiers talk a lot of rot around campfires. That particular revelation had come in the context of a ribald discussion about what elf maidens do instead of sleeping, and so Pavel had taken it with a grain of salt.

"I mean, look around this place," he continued, with an expansive wave of his half-full mug at the packed and rowdy tavern. "Anyone who could help us and isn't already abed is in here, half-sloshed on this... lemon stuff?" He took another pull of his, taking an exasperatingly long time to finish it off, and wiped his chin. "If this crowd in here don't know about Marstel's ships, they probably know plenty else about the waters hereabouts. And the guards and the harbor master and whatnot will still be there in the morning, after we've talked to Marstel and seen what he's got to say for himself. And this lot are going to be feeling a lot more chatty at this hour o' night than the harbor master is likely to be," he added, raising his empty mug to the wizard before setting it down and turning to Lenna.

"What d'you say, Blue? You know the lay of the land... or the water, or whatever... hereabouts. Are we like to learn more in here tonight, or out about town?"




 
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Old 09-04-2018, 05:22 PM
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The Copper Flagon
Sin chimes in after all have had their say, You are right. The officials are probably half drunk or sleeping in their barracks, but there should be a constable and a guard down by the harbor who at least pretend some sort of soberness... She eagerly grabbed the coin when it was offered and waved her friend, Glory, to the table for that extra round, while she stayed with the table and listened to their talk. Her eyes wandered Adros’ features and whenever he gave her a glance she ranked her back and pursed her lips. She agreed to take them, I don’t mind a walk in the moonlight with such fancy folk as yourself. her eyes hung for a moment with the renown sailor, I can show you the way to Jokkum and his boys.

With the next drink emptied, for those who had agreed with Adros on the need for that, they made their way through the increasingly loud din of the Copper Flagon. It was an average day and people were supposed to attend their jobs the next morning, but judging from the lot at the Copper Flagon, that work would have to be done with severe headaches and/or occasional visits to the gutters...


Hulburg Harbor Office
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Constable Jokkum
The harbor office was a squat building with boulder base and slick, grey stones for walls. Boring and barred from esthetics and vibe, but functional and practical for housing both the office of the harbourmaster - appointed by the Moonsea Trading Guild where the Marstel Trading House were present too - and the guard stationed there. Sin gladly provided the information about the men present there and what their jobs was, but she seemed to lack knowledge as soon as it stretched beyond Hulburg and the everyday life of people living there. She was a merry beacon, though, to have wandering amidst the group and people double-glared when they saw both Sin and Lenna in the same group along with a whole squad of strangers too.

Two guards, presented by the names of Tom Little - she made a show out of stating that his surname had nothing to do with the size of his penis, quite the contrary, if anything - and Wayne. They looked sullen and tired, but the groups approach seem to kindle a sort of energy within them. They are inside with the dice. Wayne offered when asked about Constable Jokkum. Bastards, them, Tom helped.

Not only dice, but a clay jar with some murky drink seemed to have had an impact too. Red noses and one guard resting his head against the table told them that the lot had been taking certain liberties, while Wayne and Tom Little was taking their shifts. One barrel-chested fellow with meaty cheeks and chin came to a stand and looked to be sobering up by the seconds, Constable Jokkum at your service... he took a step closer and revealed at least that he could walk straight still. He frowned, looked to Sin and scowled and then over at Darius with outright hopelessness in his eyes, What can I help you with this night?

The group presented their request to know more and while Lenna’s baudy demeanor and swaggering talk did little else than confuse him, Aethelra’s no nonsense attitude seemed to abolish the rest of his foggy mind, Ah yes. The ships that was... is lost. Jokkum waves the group inside a little office, that quickly gets cramped with seven persons taking up the space around a oaken desk, and state what he know. His breath is sweet and those with a nose for alcoholic beverages would recognize the scent of mead.

Jokkum make it clear that the Marstel had lost three ships in the past three months - just like Aethera stated, but other trade companies and a single patrol galley from across the Moonsea have been reported missing too, bringing the total to seven in the past three months. He also mentions the Gray Gull like Sin did and back up the fact about a crew that simply has gone missing. He adds another thing though, Gilbert, Butcher Frenny’s boy, was part of the mission and he has gone mute ever since he stepped up on the ship. They say he tumbled to his knees on the old boards, shaking, howling and frothing. When they finally got him down on the beach again he passed out and now he just wanders the house, keeping to the walls and doesn’t say anything - regardless their efforts. Heck, Gloria even had a shot at wrangling him to some words, but no luck there either...

Jokkum wears down quickly with all the talk and starts to stumble over the words after a little while, I mean... you really should talk to Marstel ‘bout all this. I hear he’d be willing to pay for the right folks... to... he pauses, looking them over, you know... find a solution or somethin’?


 
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