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  #46  
Old Sep 22nd, 2020, 10:53 AM
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Li Jie. Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.
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Li Jie
Jie liked the smell of Ouzo’s cigarettes. Although he’d never smoked, he’d regularly shared space with those that did on the many frontiers he’d traveled. It was something different but calming, reassuring, like the smell of fresh rain. When it rained that smell was there. On the frontier, the smell of tobacco was there and helped remind him where he was. And what he must do.

’Friend Jie, I believe we were having such a rematch before our host so rudely interrupted…’ The Spaniard was irrepressible, and it had rubbed off on Jie. That quality, whether concerning tracking a lead or session drinking; following through to it’s conclusion was something Jie wanted to make habit. He smiled and inclined his head, giving the assent.

’Of course, friend Jie. You'd pick it up in no time. Easier still, if you had the guidance of a teacher,’

’Let me know if you’d like a lesson, Master Jie, it helps keep me in practice as well.’

"Thank you my… friends." Jie was gratefully modest and considered for a moment, "Perhaps we might try in the morning, if there’s time. But, aha... I don’t have a gun." He shrugged his shoulders to say, ‘No matter.’

He broke away from Ouzo and Nao, as, in curiosity, he wanted to see the saloon. Walking up to the batwing doors he peered over the top, before deciding that he was in fact, filthy. Maybe he'd find a little more confidence with cleanliness?

He quickly walked after the others to the Barber’s. He walked through the abandoned shop, having a quick inspection of the things there. He paused and caught sight of himself in the mirror. The wild beard, eyes and inhuman skin. He hadn’t looked at himself for a long time and was revulsed by what he saw, so different from the boy he'd been. He stroked at his beard and took his hat off to examine the horns. He turned this way and that with a dark expression. 'He looked like a demon!' He then glanced about to see no one was watching and pulled his hat back down hard. ’Appearances do not define the man within. Remind yourself Li.’ He took a deep breath and continued on out the back where he heard Ouzo and another’s voice.

He arrived to find Ouzo charming the elf-child. He stood by with a smile he hoped would not be too confronting. He didn’t want to spoil the moment. Once they were finished Jie too selected a bath with a thankful nod to Alcina. "Please, wash my clothes." The traveler wasted no time sinking into the bath and spent his time trying to wash the knots from his beard. He was grateful for the hot water and privacy and, in short order, was ready and dressed again for the saloon.

It was a day for deep breaths and steeling himself to try new things. He’d go straight into that bar without fear. He’d get to know the others better, have just a little to drink and discuss their business in Yellow Ledge. Then he’d go find Posey.

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Old Sep 23rd, 2020, 09:38 PM
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Rhii, Have none of them heard of bacteria?Rhii took her time in scoping out the bar, more from the perspective of a physician than as a social creature. The bartender appeared to be dead, of what cause and what animated him she cared not to guess… Undead was not something that one would expect to encounter in the Summer lands, and she was not crazy enough to consider visiting her in-laws on the other side of the fae realms. She tried to smile as she eventually found a place at the bar near Orzo. Pulling her little fae trick she drew some And likely leaving someone’s drink more potent. You are welcome!moisture from somewhere, and quickly attempted to clean off a section enough that she wouldn’t dread sitting upon it. Once she was as comfortable with the state of a six inch by six inch square of the bar was sanitary enough that she wouldn’t stick to it, she sat down.

She looked at Orzo and blinked her eyes as she saw the man drinking the hard liquor. ”I am inclined to point out that strong alcohol is bad for the human liver.” She said in a simple tone as she reached into her pouch and removed a small diamond from it. With a raised hand to catch the attention of the bartender and a .25 carat gem, worth something like $200 in modern US currency… or $10 in the 1880s once you adjust for buying power.set a small diamond on the counter. ”If you would be so kind, I like two shot glasses, one filled with recently boiled water and the other empty. If I am due change, please apply it towards my companion’s drinks. And if you have any quality tea leaves, I will gladly have those too.” Rhii said as her purse quickly disappeared out of sight again. She didn’t expect any decent tea leaves, but one can always hope even this accursed land of giants.

While she waited for her order and the others to eventually arrive. She looked at Orzo as she took a deep breath. ”Do you know anything of the others, and what they are capable of?” Rhii asked, her feet dangling from the edge of the bar as she swung them back and forth gently. She hadn’t been paying attention while the others had introduced themselves as she had honestly not expected to be paired up with criminals. ”I do not feel optimistic about this job… But I said I would attempt it.”

Rhii's StatblockName: Rhii | Level: 1 | Health: 16/16 | Fatigue Accumulation: 0 | SP: 0 | Conviction: 3
Force: 14 | Speed: 12 | Defense: 12 | Toughness: 1 | Weapons: Damage: 1d6+3, Ballistic/Wound
RoF: SS
Range: 200 yards
Capacity: -
Reload: Minor
Resources TN: 13
Requires: STR 2
Longbow | Armor: 1I/2B, due to mythical nature does not protect against cold ironFae-weave Dress
ACC: 2 | COM: 1 | CON: 1 | DEX: 2 | FIG: 0 | INT: 3 | PER: 1 | STR: 2 | WIL: 4
Background: Random Benefit: Intelligence Focus (Research)
Focus: Intelligence (Occultism)
Talent: Extraordinary Power Replacement (Water Arcana)
Ability: +1 INT
Academic | Social Class: Upper | Profession: Focus: Intelligence (Medicine)
Talent: Extraordinary Power Replacement (Healing Arcana)
Expert | Drive: Talent: Emergency Care
Improvement: Reputation: Hippocratic Fae
Quality: Compassion
Downfall: Self-Sacrifice
Caregiver
Foci: Research, Medicine, Occultism | Resources: 8 | Medic's kit, medical/apothecary scrolls, paper and writing utensils, herbs for treatment, spare arrowsEquipment
Talents: Your magic can knit wounds and even restore life to the dying.

Novice: You gain two Novice-degree Healing Arcana spells.
Healing Arcana | You mystically wield water as a tool and a weapon.

Novice: You gain two Novice-degree Water Arcana spells.
Water Arcana | You can treat wounds and illnesses in the field.

Novice: You have trained as an emergency medical technician, and your aid is swift and sure. First Aid is a minor action for you.
Emergency Care | Powers: Healing Touch

Requirement: Healing Arcana (Novice)
Cost: 1-3PP
Time: Major Action
Target Number: 10
Test: None

Your touch channels energy to heals and and restores the subject. You can choose to spend up to 3 PP when you cast Healing Touch. For each PP spent, the target regains 1d6 Health. You can cast Healing Touch on yourself.
Healing Touch | Revival

Requirement: Healing Arcana (Novice)
Cost: 5PP
Time: Major Action
Target Number: 14
Test: None

Your touch helps restore life to the fallen. A dying character you touch after successfully casting Revival immediately regains 10 + their Constitution + your Willpower in Health. Since dying characters cannot take actions, you cannot cast this spell on yourself.
Revival | Fairy Lights

Requirement: Water Arcana (Novice)
Cost: 2PP per hour
Time: Major Action
Target Number: 8
Test: None

You illuminate the area around you with a steady light, similar to a torch or lantern. The spell illuminates a 10 yard radius centered on you. Fairy Lights lasts for 1 hour, but can be extended for 2 PP per additional hour.
Fairy Lights | | Water Geyser

Requirement: Water Arcana (Novice)
Cost: 4PP
Time: Major Action
Target Number: 12
Test: Dexterity (acrobatics) VS Force

A burst of water erupts from your outstretched hands. The Water Geyser is 8 yards long and 2 yards wide. Anyone hit by the blast takes 2d6+1 damage. Targets who make a successful Dex (acrobatics) test vs. your Force take only 1d6+1 damage.
Water Geyser |
Reputation: Hippocratic Fae (1) | Memberships: none | Ties: TBDOuzo, There are many senses that those whose blood runs towards the primal that mortals… And among those was the sense when others of fae blood that were in near proximity to Rhii. While she has never met Eoin, or even know the name of the man… She is aware of his existence. Every time it felt like that she was close to locating him, he would disappear as if into thin air. To say that it was quite frustrating was beyond words… For here was someone who shared a kinship that was actively avoiding her.

Complicating things is that the two share a similar bloodline… Albeit one that is fairly far removed from one another. While Rhii’s kin lived in the realm of the fae, a distant scion of her family set off into the mortal realm to make their living before travel between the realms became almost impossible. For mortal readers, they are typically viewed to be second cousins, once removed.
Eoin ‘The Wild Hunter’ Dermott | Relationships: (0/1)
Goals: [b]Meet another full blooded faeShort-term Goal 1 | Find an expert in portal magicShort-term Goal 2 | Find a way homeLong-term Goal 1
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  #48  
Old Sep 25th, 2020, 06:38 PM
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Eoin ‘Wild Hunter’ Dermott
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"Oi, drinks-- and food are this way, dontcha know?" Eoin only spoke his words over his shoulder, the comment about food being for the giant man’s benefit, as the Irishman was beelining his way toward the saloon ahead of the rest. It was meant as a parting phrase as he entered, though he was sure the others would’ve followed in soon enough.

Deadman’s Happiness had an…Inviting air to it as soon he stepped inside. Conversations halted, dice sat still, and eyes rose up to meet him and others. He paused for a fraction of a second, then smiled. "Why, I tell ya, this isn’t an Irish wake. It’d be a wee bit more lively than this here. There’d be a lot more drinkin’ to have an Irish wake, too."

He laughed, breaking the awkward silence only otherwise filled with a pathetic piano serving as the background. Eoin strode toward the long bar, meeting the woman’s eyes at the balcony briefly, before taking a seat. "Do you mind pourin’ me a drink there, my good man? A round for my fellow jailbirds, eh?"

Eoin chuckled good-naturedly before turning on his stool, one heel of his boot locking over the chair’s stretcher as he leaned back against the bartop. He observed the mostly empty saloon and wasn’t particularly surprised by the sight. Wrong time of day, wrong kind of town...Wrong timing in general, if what the Baron was saying was true.


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  #49  
Old Sep 25th, 2020, 11:07 PM
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Bathhouse
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”Ah, well if you happen to acquire a firearm, the offer still stands.” Nao winked at Jie. ”Though I wonder if mayhap you’d prefer if the Sheriff gave you lessons. Well, gents, and lady, I’m off to the baths.”

Upon entering the barbershop/bathhouse, Nao was pleasantly surprised. She hadn’t had very high expectations, considering this was basically the middle of nowhere, but it seemed the proprietress took pride in her establishment. She chuckled at the elf’s question. ”Oh, I imagine you will see more of us eventually. I know one in particular was eager to get cleaned up.” Her eyes sparkled with mischief as to part of the reason why Jie felt the need to present a more tidy appearance.

Nao felt her eyes widen when she learned just how their baths were being heated. Well that is certainly a useful application of magic. What interesting times we live in! She watched out of the corner of her eye as Ouzo produced some magic of his own to entertain the child. She wondered just what his talent was.

Nao stripped out of her clothing with a traveler’s modesty. That is to say, not much. Even before escaping and making her living on the road, Nao was used to bathing with her family and retainers so she was not body shy. Still, she made use of the curtain out of respect for Ouzo and Jie, who had wandered in by that point. She sank into water that was almost painfully hot and it was pure bliss. Nearly as good as the onsen back home, although without the ambiance. The jazz music was relaxing and Nao settled in to enjoy herself.

From beyond the curtain, she heard Ouzo enquire about the bounty she was collecting when they met and she snickered. ”The bounty was intact but the mark was most definitely not!” she called back. ”He was a rapist so I took his...weapon, since he wasn’t going to use it anymore. The bounty was dead or alive and I’m afraid after taking a hail of bullets, he was very dead.” Nao did not sound sorry at all. ”What about you? Were your endeavors, whatever they were, successful? How did you make that door look like a wall anyway?”

Ouzo seemed to be in a hurry to finish getting clean and get on with business, so Nao bade him farewell and said she’d be along when she had finished savoring the bath. ”You don’t rush a good bath, especially when you don’t know when the next one will be!” She took her time and when she was ready to go, she thanked Alcina profusely. ”Cleanliness is so much more than just washing off, and I want you to know I appreciate all the effort that is put into this establishment. Even if Mr. Slatterbuagh had not already made arrangements, I would certainly be back to avail myself of your services. And I hope my compatriots and I can be of some use to you and Yellow Ledge. Would you happen to have any ideas about what we are facing?”


”Dead Man’s Happiness” When Nao entered the saloon, she glanced briefly around at the occupants, noting the fairly eclectic clientele. She was more interested in finding her companions however, observing that most of them were already there. As she sidled up to the bar, she took in the barkeep’s appearance with surprise. She wondered if the name of the place had come first or the condition of the poor man had inspired the name. Nodding to the group, she addressed the cadaverous man. ”I don’t suppose you would have any plum wine?” Her tone said she didn’t expect him to, but couldn’t help hoping a bit just the same.


”OOC”
 


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Last edited by Reistar; Oct 2nd, 2020 at 03:45 PM.
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  #50  
Old Sep 26th, 2020, 06:45 PM
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Bathhouse


OOC
Nao unlocked Alcina's Attitude: +1 to all Social testsOpen (12)!

 

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Last edited by MoldyNolds; Oct 1st, 2020 at 03:14 PM.
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Old Sep 27th, 2020, 12:31 PM
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Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate - Gerhard Eisenhand
left-aligned image
ᚷᛚᚨᚱᛁᚾᚷ one last time for good measure at the assorted miscreants, Gerhard turned away from them and strode towards the saloon-like 'Dead Man's Happiness'. Walking slower than he normally would have, Gerhard eyed the man that had walked out of the lineup and owned up to zapping him. To Ragnar's eye he was mostly unremarkable as far as soldiery was concerned, but the weakling of a pack could be exploited. 'Ein Bier, Eine Name, Eine Verbindung. Das kann Ich ausbeuten. Ragnar thought to himself. One beer; a cheap price to pay for a cats-paw, a potential lever to work if more bodies are needed in some venture. "
Dice COM (Leadership):
3d6+3 (4, 6, 6)+3 Total = 19
What your name? How long you been a guard eh?"
Outwardly he kept a gruff if slightly friendly tone and clapped the man on the shoulder, directing the two of them to the saloon. Once again Gerhard's stomach growled with near comically inhuman volume.

"...and tell them, all your friends have EEN drink, on me ja? One each, only!" The beer was not to Gerhard's taste but it had it's purpose. The runt of the litter might curry favour with his peers now, and Ragnar's - rather Gerhard's - position in their eyes would be all the sweeter. 'Useful but disposable. Should this Slatterbaugh has enough work perhaps the renown of his men is a useful thing.' With a beer of his own in one hand, Gerhard gingerly leaned against the bar while he awaited his food. In some respects it was reminiscent of those was familiar with back home, albeit only in atmosphere. There was little in the way of boisterousness, relative to his memories at least, and the warmth of the beer halls was nowhere to be found. There was a job to be done, several now, and little time to waste wishing for a proper beer and a taste of home.

Last edited by Oghain; Sep 27th, 2020 at 01:31 PM.
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Old Sep 27th, 2020, 02:32 PM
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The Bathhouse
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Ouzo had undoubtedly captured the child's imagination. She stared wide-eyed, fully invested in the Spaniard's wonderous secret that he had selected her and only her to witness. Her eyes never strayed from the illusion, except perhaps once or twice to meet the doctor's and silently confirm he was seeing the same thing as her.

When it was stuffed back into his pocket the girl's face, that had an instant ago lit up the vicinity as warmly as her hands could have, dropped suddenly in disbelief and disappointment. Although the conspiratorial shushing brought an audible if wordless grin to her face, smaller than before but she seemed satisfied with the conclusion of the display.

Her run back into the house came to a halt when confronted with the tangled hair, dirty face, and disheveled clothes of Li Jie. Her smile disappeared and while she didn't scream in fear, Jie got the feeling she might have were she a bit less disciplined. The girl's retreat continued, this time at a slow walk and with several glances behind her to make sure the demon-man wasn't following her.

After the doctor and the demon hunter finished their business Nao was left alone with Alcina.

Dead Man's Happiness
right-aligned image
One by one the newly-formed task force entered the saloon and took their seats at the bar. Eoin and Rhii were first. It was doubtful anyone picked up on the subtle poke at the saloon being duller than an Irish wake, as silence and stares were all the responses he got. He did hear a few half-hearted chuckles at his second quip, though whether this was in actual amusement of the statement was up for debate. It could have just as easily been a conditioned response to the word "drinking". Or "Irish". Or "wake" for that matter. The ghoul-bartender merely grunted in response to the hunter's request, though it seemed to be in the affirmative as he reached towards a row of identical-looking tall brown bottles on the shelf behind him. Pulling one he uncorked it and poured two fingers of a clear liquid into a relatively clean glass, leaving the bottle on the bartop but on his "side", suggesting it wasn't for helping yourself.

Rhii's exercise of cleaning and then sitting on the edge of the bar went unnoticed by the bartender, in fact it wasn't until she spoke directly to him that he even registered her presence. Once he did, his face went through a series of emotions in quick succession. At first he looked down on the pixie as if she were some pest or rodent and his body language suggested he might squash her as such. The diamond gave him pause, however, the greed was plain in his eyes. His hand went from a fist intending to smash to an open palm all too happy to accept a gross overpayment. Before he touched it a third reaction passed through him, this one a mixture of disappointment, resignation, and apprehension, and he stayed his hand. "Slatterbaugh says you don't pay." The voice was something akin to crushed gravel rolling round. Not altogether pleasant in mood or sound, though he seemed at least reasonably intelligent and coherent. He eyed the gem with regret once more before grabbing two shot glasses, leaving one next to Rhii and shuffling through a door with the other. He did not reappear for close to twenty minutes and when he did held both hands over the bar near the fae. In the first one he set down the other shot glass, filled to the brim with steaming water. His entire hand was also dripping wet, which left small puddles on the tabletop. His other hand was a closed fist which he opened and shook out to let several leaves tumble onto the table. They were uncrushed, still green, and their stems remained attached.

left-aligned image
Gerhard watched Slatterbaugh's henchman leave the saloon with a fair bit more joviality than he entered with. The man's name was Milagro and the jötunn had learned he came North from Mexico, along with many in his village, when the Quilmagua began their campaign from Central America. Slatterbaugh had given him a job herding cattle and, after proving himself, Mila rose through the ranks to the position he currently holds, which is second in command of their six-person team handling various specialty problems for the Baron that requires a bit of muscle. They travel all across the Protectorate, rarely going into other territories and never into the Empire. Mila mentioned that Slatterbaugh treats them well and he's proud of the work he's doing, though Gerhard gets the sense he may not be privy to many of Slatterbaugh's endeavors. They were given no knowledge of Gerhard or the others they had transported, nor were they told why they had to bring prisoners here, though they got the gist once they arrived and heard the gossip. The Graf was confident if they needed anything from Mila or his men they would be receptive, as long as it wasn't putting their lives on the line.


Ouzo and Jie entered to find Gerhard, Rhii and Eoin already sitting at the bar. The ghoul squinted in confusion and cocked his head at the Spaniard's first "joke". His follow-up piece fared better and elicited a single wheeze of derision from the man, although upon retrospect he may have just found the way Ouzo kept his arm locked in place and turned his head to puff on his cigarette strange and ridiculous. In either case he answered Ouzo's wordless question for a drink just as silently and poured a glass for him from the same brown bottle while the Spaniard surveyed the room. When he asked for the "stoutest of stout beers" the bartender gave him what was becoming a staple dead-pan stare for the group and poured something from a keg into a tall, handled glass mug. The liquid was pale yellow with just a hint of green tinge and precisely zero head. The bovine had no drink in front of him and when Ouzo slid the mug down-bar he removed one of the arms he was using to lean and caught the drink with his other hand. Without so much as a word or a nod he raised it to his lips and took several large gulps, draining the majority of the beer before setting it back down.

right-aligned image
Now that most of the group was sitting at the bar they could get a good look at the minotaur when he caught the offering and shifted to take a drink. What the trenchcoat's collar previously hid revealed several gold rings in the ears, one in the nose, and his curly white hair framed his face in a mustache-less beard.

By this point the saloon's patrons had seen a giant, a pixie, a dark-skinned wildman, and two mouthy humans. Subsequently the arrival of quiet Nao went largely unnoticed, although she didn't pass up the opportunity to read the room and get a feel for the atmosphere. Joining the others, the bartender begins to pour a drink at Eoin's behest for the woman before she has a chance to ask for her plum wine. The ghoul looks down at the liquor with confusion, then pours a beer similar to the one Ouzo just passed down the line. His head swivels from one glass to the other and back, as if looking at them enough times will cause spontaneous wineification, relieving him of the burden of solving a problem whose answer isn't immediately in front of him. Eventually he shuffles into the back room and returns a moment later. He drops two slices of some kind of NOT plums.white, fleshy fruit into the beer, pours the liquor in as well, and presents his interpretation of "plum wine" to Nao. He quickly finds a chore to keep him busy, avoiding eye contact as if that will prevent any further requests or confrontations with his service thus far.

left-aligned image
The liquor turned out to be quite harsh. It burned the nostrils and the back of the throat with little substance or taste though it didn't disappoint in its function, leaving behind a warm belly and dulled mind. The beer, conversely, seemed little more than smelly cactus water. Finishing a tall mug brought a desire to empty one's bladder and not much else.


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Map of Yellow Ledge

 

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Last edited by MoldyNolds; Oct 1st, 2020 at 02:45 PM.
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Old Sep 27th, 2020, 11:24 PM
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Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate - Gerhard Eisenhand
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ᚱᚨᚷᚾᚨᚱ Ragnar considered what Milagro had told him as he turned around, Stunt: Make an Entrance vs. Balcony Ladyleaned back against the bar more fully and looked around the interior, smiling and winking at the woman on the balcony. 'Specialty team, but not important enough to trust with more than odd jobs. Quite the cautious man this 'baron' Slatterbaugh. Number of secrets he keeps, not shocking he keeps most to himself. Likely as not that Sheriff knows a few however.' Ragnar thought to himself, listlessly sipping on his beer. Although events had not gone as planned there was no denying that they had now arrived in a favourable state of affairs. Access to demons so soon after making landfall, acquiring Hellstone, even potentially deepening his cover by working for Slatterbaugh. 'There is that matter of the demons and the mine. What is relationship I wonder? Were the demons there already, attracted by the hellstone or draw there by something else I wonder... If it is the hellstone then that could prove to be problematic.

Having wolfed some food down Gerhard was no longer starving. Though still hungry there were more pressing matters to consider. By now had spotted all of their number in the establishment, of which there was one in particular he desired to speak with. It only took him a moment to find Eoin, who was predictably drinking like a fish. Gently righting himself back into his feet, Gerhard walked down the far end of the bar to the Irishman and clapped a hand gently on his shoulder. "Vos! You and I, we have business to discuss." Even sitting himself down at the bar, Gerhard's torso still cast a shadow across part of the Irishman. Gesturing to the ghoulish bartender for another drink, Gerhard's face settles into a serious expression. "Vos. We have business I think." The large man shuffles himself around so that he faces the bar properly, legs splayed and knees grinding against the bar itself already.

Regretting his decision, Gerhard ignores the pain and continues."What have you to say about these mines? Already troublesome I say; small space, demons that fly. Not sure what that 'baron' expect me to do therein. Don't suppose you have ever fought a demon before?"

Last edited by Oghain; Sep 29th, 2020 at 09:21 AM.
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Old Sep 28th, 2020, 08:13 PM
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Li Jie. Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.
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Li Jie

Jie pushed open the batwing door and paused to assess the mood in the Dead Man's Happiness, Perception check in spoiler belowcarefully looking from one to another before he walked to the bar. He knew places like this could unexpectedly break out in violence, usually due to misunderstandings brought about by overconsumption. His confidence was bolstered by having Gerhard loom at his shoulder. As they were the newcomers in a rough town who’d arrived as chained criminals’, folk might hold an incorrect opinion about their background and motives. They’d best be careful. But also, it was opportunity to learn more about what was ahead. There were folk with stories in this bar, just waiting for an audience.

He met the rest at the bar and nodded a small smile in each of their direction before pulling up a bar stool. When the bartender enquired, Jie eyed him and said took the offered harsh liquor. He would have ordered whisky, that staple of the frontier in an attempt to fit in, and was not sure what this was. But it burnt. 'That’s enough of that!' he thought to himself. He noted the clean patch of bar upon which the mogwai sat, and the varied orders the barman had taken. He felt much better being clean and after a sip of the strong spirits he was ready.

Overhearing Gerhard he interjected, "I have tracked and fought demons. Nao, Doctor and Eoin too." From Jie’s expression it might have been hard to determine whether he was crazily serious or seriously crazed as he was zealous about demons. "I can see their passage, follow their tracks." He made a two-finger sign to explain that it wasn’t 'plain sight' that he used.

Jie spoke slowly and thoughtfully. "Hellstone is at the centre of this matter." The implication was clear. If it weren’t for the Baron mining it to enrich himself, perhaps the town wouldn’t be here, and its folk not exposed to the demons. "We need more information about its properties and dangers." Jie held Gerhard’s eye for a moment. They needed to speak with the Mage, Nestor, before they embarked, and discover is there were any precautions they could affect.

"I can restrain demons, stop them from escaping." Jie hoped that they might capture one demon, early in the incursion, and interrogate it about the rest of the abyssal forces. A tactic in the coming conflict might also be to hold one while his team members dispatched it. "Let’s be… uh…" He carefully chose a word, "...honest… as there can be no secrets between allies." Jie sought to achieve success by working in orderly unison together. Like a regimented army.

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Old Sep 29th, 2020, 06:11 PM
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Eoin ‘Wild Hunter’ Dermott
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Eoin was in the middle of lifting a second glass of liquor to his mouth when a shadow fell over him. An inhumanly large hand clapped him on the shoulder, and despite how gentle it may have been, between the unexpectedness and the weight, Eoin nearly spilled-- luckily nothing from the glass jumped out as the giant sat beside him at the bar.

Eoin blinked, happy that the crisis was averted, and he took a gulp before answering. "Business while we’re sober, eh? Well--"

Before the Irishman could get too far into his answer, Jie interjected into the conversation. Eoin didn’t particularly mind, as it gave him a moment to slug back his drink. With a satisfied sound, then peered into the glass as if inspecting it for anything missing. "Ay, I’m more of a ‘generalist’ fer huntin’. Nao and Jie here are more...Uh…Like ’specialist.’ I don't have much in way of opinion in that matter. Demons are demons and they'll be dead ones, or I'll be."

Eoin waved the bartender once more for another drink. A biting chuckle escaped, and it was a rather bitter and chilly sound. "No secrets between allies, eh? Dare I say, there are plenty of men who missed that memo. Ya’ think there would be honesty, but I’d sell ya what, us little people don’t need to be told nothin,’ Jie."

The Irishman turned toward him as he wore a smile. "All I’m sayin’ is that honesty is a wonderful t’ing, but it’s got a price, no doubt. Higher up ya go, the more ya pay."

Eoin paused, his eyes looking over Jie’s shoulder for a moment. There was a vague expression of confusion or perhaps contemplation, as if looking at something invisible he didn’t understand. Then, he suddenly gave Jie’s arm a good natured slap. "Oi! Jie, I couldn’t help but overhear ya were lookin’ fer somethin’, no?" With those words, the blond man unbuckled his holster from his waist and handed it over to the Chinaman. Within the holster was a polished revolver. "You take good care of her, eh?"


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Old Oct 1st, 2020, 02:42 AM
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Ouzo and Nao, in the Baths
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nao View Post
”The bounty was intact but the mark was most definitely not!” she called back. ”He was a rapist so I took his...weapon, since he wasn’t going to use it anymore. The bounty was dead or alive and I’m afraid after taking a hail of bullets, he was very dead.” Nao did not sound sorry at all. ”What about you? Were your endeavors, whatever they were, successful? How did you make that door look like a wall anyway?”
Ouzo slowed in his washing, considering how casually she spoke of the grim nature of their profession. Then he shrugged his eyebrows and shoulders, and the sloshing waters of his bathing resumed.

When Nao shared the tale of her mark, Ouzo chuckled, his lips still pursing his cigarette. "Yes, I suppose a hail of bullets would tend to do that to a man. Fortunate then, that the hail of bullets had the opposite effect for me! Picture how silly I felt when I was preparing to fabricate some stray playing card falling from the sleeve of another player - or some similarly elaborate plan - when the patrons' own naturally poor manners were distraction enough. ... Oh, my endeveors...?" Ouzo withdrew himself from the wash basin and as he dried himself off, he considered the seemingly inocuous question. He didn't make a habit of talking about his work and his methods. But then again, he was rarely coerced into working with a partner. Much less, half a dozen partners. And this bounty hunter, Nao, seemed shared her own story forthright enough. She did also seem to know some of the others, so... ""Quite successful, if I may be so immodest-" with the white fluffly bathrobe drawn tightly around him, he drew back the shower curtain to see that Nao's clothes seemed to have been discarded on both sides of her drawn shower cutain. He thought on it for only a moment before catching himself. "Ah, ahem, that is, if I may be so immodest, quite successful. A guestbook, of sorts, though I imagine the theft of the ledger was was as useful to assert control over the establishment as much as its documented clientele. But, as you know, we are not so often paid to think on such matters," he shrugged, feigning helplessness.

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Originally Posted by Nao View Post
”How did you make that door look like a wall anyway?”
"Ahah, but I could ask you a similar question, of courtesan fans that are not fans, doña. Perhaps you and I can continue discussing over a different manner of firewater, alongside the others."

Ouzo and Rhii, at the Bar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhii View Post
”I am inclined to point out that strong alcohol is bad for the human liver.”
"Mmm..." he hummed, considering her words very seriously. "And here I had it all wrong; I though it was the strong liver that was bad for the alcohol." He gave Rhii a wink and downed his shot before returning to the slow sip of his larger glass.

But his cool facade was all but shattered when the little fairy placed a diamond on the table. A diamond. With an entirely straight face. Unlike Dr. Ouzo's own wide-eyed stupor. He nearly choked on his cordial.

His instinct was to scoop the diamond back to Rhii and insist on paying with his mundane cash, but after a fit of blinking, he sipped at his drink to stall for thought, if nothing else. You are... most generous, Miss Rhii of the Fae. And I thought the water was a neat trick. Don't tell me you produce gems from the air as easily...?" When the bartender declined the gemstone payment, Ouzo seemed almost relieved.

Ouzo with the others, at the bar
Quote:
Originally Posted by OGerhard View Post
"Don't suppose you have ever fought a demon before?"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jie View Post
Overhearing Gerhard he interjected, "I have tracked and fought demons. Nao, Doctor and Eoin too." From Jie’s expression it might have been hard to determine whether he was crazily serious or seriously crazed as he was zealous about demons.
The man known as Ouzo joined them then, nonchalantly appearing with a chummy arm draped over Li Jie's shoulders. He smiled. "Fighting demons? Yes, I have fought demonkin before. Over and over, in many conflicts... in fact, it seems every time we meet, it is in a battle of drink." Ouzo clinked his glass to Jie's, punctuating his joke with much self-satisfaction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jie View Post
"Let’s be… uh…" He carefully chose a word, "...honest… as there can be no secrets between allies."
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"Jie! Do you suggest we would be anything less than honest?! Gentleman indeed..." the Spaniard feigned his shock, not unlike in the cells when the baron had discussed their crimes. When Eoin spoke on the cost of honesty, Ouzo merely smiled as he smoked, saying nothing at all. "Oh, very well. Miss Rhii had asked - ah... yes, there she is! Miss Rhii had asked of the talents of our new merry little troupe. And since good Jie asks for honesty, honesty shall be had: I may have been known to make things appear and disappear, from time to time. If there is a secret to be sniffed, I am your man," he described his talents. Whether he was simply speaking poetically, making innuendo, or awkwardly translating, was difficult to determine, but he raised his glass to the others all the same. "And besides the obvious that guns shoot and the big smashes the not-so-big, any tales of your unique skillsets is always welcome."

Later in the discussion, Ouzo asked for them to adjourn from the bar to a more secluded table in the corner, away from any eavesdropping ears, in order to outline some various clues and points of interest in their shared agenda. "Well, my dear companions? We've a number of sources to investigate, in addition to daring the mine itself. What do we pursue, and how do we pursue it? All together? Groups? Individually? I'd have your thoughts as to our steps forward...:"
  • Talk to Nestor. Possible topics include: hellstone, the mines, wards, recent events, Henrietta and Rico, and town history. "If we're lucky, the hellstone mutations themselves might be weapon enough to the demons. Nestor's wards, whether understanding them, new wards in the mines, or new wards for us, may let us wield the land against these new enemies."

  • Determine what happened to Foreman Henrietta and her spouse, Rico. Begin by searching their quarters. "I am sure it has been picked through. Perhaps a new set of keen eyes may see what has not been seen. Or perhaps, see what is missing altogether...?"

  • Talk to Mayor Lott. Possible topics include: hellstone, the mine, Henrietta and her spouse, Rico.

  • Talk to Alcina. Possible topics include: the history of Yellow Ledge. "An elf, I believe. Friendly enough, though we didn't speak much. I was eager to return to you, after all," he said, suggested a great show of good will.

  • Talk to Kraith. Possible topics include: legends involving demons or hellstone mutations predating Yellow Ledge in the land, Henrietta. "I wonder if the stablemaster had regular business with the foreman, to arrange for the hauling of many things back and forth from the mine? She may be a good friend to have, in the event we need mounts at short notice..."


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  #57  
Old Oct 2nd, 2020, 03:51 PM
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Bathhouse
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”Ah, power plays,” Nao said in response to Ouzo’s explanation of his job. She wondered, though, when he said that they were not paid to think about their bounties. She wondered, if, like her, he thought about them anyway, but did what had to be done. She chuckled when he dodged the question of his illusion. “Hai, I suppose we must know a little of everyone’s abilities if we are to emerge from this alive and intact. I will find you when I finish.”





Dead Man’s Happiness The liquor, beer, and fruit combination Nao was served was most definitely not plum wine, but the comical nature of the undead bartender trying to figure out what to serve her was worth it. She’d had worse drinks for sure. She sipped on the drink, listening to the others until there seemed to be a break where she could speak her opinion. She agreed with Ouzo when he suggested a more secluded spot. She spoke in a low voice, ”I’ve been in many bars and this one feels like a powder keg close to a lit match. If trouble is what you seek, it should be quite easy to find. These people have lived in the shadow of the deadly unknown for too long. The minotaur seems to be the only one unaffected by the tension.”

Once in a corner, away from most of the patrons, she continued, ”In the spirit of honesty, Jie, I have learned something from the bathhouse proprietress, Alcina.” She nodded at the demon Chinaman. ”She said that from descriptions from the miners the demons attack in swarms, are about as big as a person, have rows of sharp teeth that they use quite effectively, are covered in dirty white hair, and have bulbous, red eyes. I am not sure what kind of yokai they might be, but perhaps one of you might. The miners may be able to give more detailed information as well if someone were to talk to them.”

She turned to Eoin and raised an eyebrow. ”Honesty may have a cost, but in this circumstance I believe some is required if we are to make it out in one piece. We do not have to reveal all our secrets but knowing how we can each contribute to the success of this venture will help us come up with a better plan. I am prepared to reveal some of my more closely guarded skills if I must.”

She looked around at the others. ”Between the atmosphere of the town and the unknown dangers, it is my humble suggestion that we break into small groups to investigate. I believe it would be more dangerous to go alone but small groups would provide safety and not be overwhelming to potential informants. I, for one, am curious about what may be found in the Foreman’s quarters and what information Kraith, the stablemaster might have. Would any of you care to join me in such things?”


 



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  #58  
Old Oct 3rd, 2020, 04:35 PM
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Rhii, on debts owed.Rhii gave a small nod of her head. ”Your services are most kind, but I must insist on paying for services rendered.” She said without noticing or caring that she was greatly overpaying… In truth, she really didn’t care about the value of the diamond, but the implications that the ‘baron’ might hold her drink against her at a future point. Debts must always be paid…

She turned towards Orzo and her eyes narrowed slightly as she reconsidered the man as a possible source of information given that he was focused on the gem. ”I can not.” She answered, telling the truth. ”If I had such an ability, I would have likely purchased everything in my efforts to get back home… Or more likely deal with another attempt to exploit my abilities.” Her face took on a dark look as Rhii looked at the man.

Turning her attention back towards her drink, she plucked off one of the leaves and gave it a small sniff to recognise the flavor of it and confirm that it wouldn’t be toxic to her. She tore off just enough that it would suit her shot glass sized teacup and placed it within the empty glass. With a small bit of focus, she pulled pure water from the other shot glass and in turn placed it into the one with tea leaves, and left the dirt and imperfections behind in the now dirty container.

Rhii let out a small breath as she watched the tea steep, and gathered that it would be a rather weak tea… But one must make due. With a burst of strength that seemed ill suited for one of her stature, she lifted the glass roughly as tall as her arms and took a less than refined sip of the beverage.

”I am not usually very good at talking to others, much less skulking around trying to dig up information from rummaging through someone’s belongings. I am a healer, not an investigator.” She shrugged. ”Beyond seeing to the injured miners that he mentioned… I doubt I am much assistance to you. But even then, I am betting my services are not needed there.”
Rhii's StatblockName: Rhii | Level: 1 | Health: 16/16 | Fatigue Accumulation: 0 | SP: 0 | Conviction: 3
Force: 14 | Speed: 12 | Defense: 12 | Toughness: 1 | Weapons: Damage: 1d6+3, Ballistic/Wound
RoF: SS
Range: 200 yards
Capacity: -
Reload: Minor
Resources TN: 13
Requires: STR 2
Longbow | Armor: 1I/2B, due to mythical nature does not protect against cold ironFae-weave Dress
ACC: 2 | COM: 1 | CON: 1 | DEX: 2 | FIG: 0 | INT: 3 | PER: 1 | STR: 2 | WIL: 4
Background: Random Benefit: Intelligence Focus (Research)
Focus: Intelligence (Occultism)
Talent: Extraordinary Power Replacement (Water Arcana)
Ability: +1 INT
Academic | Social Class: Upper | Profession: Focus: Intelligence (Medicine)
Talent: Extraordinary Power Replacement (Healing Arcana)
Expert | Drive: Talent: Emergency Care
Improvement: Reputation: Hippocratic Fae
Quality: Compassion
Downfall: Self-Sacrifice
Caregiver
Foci: Research, Medicine, Occultism | Resources: 8 | Medic's kit, medical/apothecary scrolls, paper and writing utensils, herbs for treatment, spare arrowsEquipment
Talents: Your magic can knit wounds and even restore life to the dying.

Novice: You gain two Novice-degree Healing Arcana spells.
Healing Arcana | You mystically wield water as a tool and a weapon.

Novice: You gain two Novice-degree Water Arcana spells.
Water Arcana | You can treat wounds and illnesses in the field.

Novice: You have trained as an emergency medical technician, and your aid is swift and sure. First Aid is a minor action for you.
Emergency Care | Powers: Healing Touch

Requirement: Healing Arcana (Novice)
Cost: 1-3PP
Time: Major Action
Target Number: 10
Test: None

Your touch channels energy to heals and and restores the subject. You can choose to spend up to 3 PP when you cast Healing Touch. For each PP spent, the target regains 1d6 Health. You can cast Healing Touch on yourself.
Healing Touch | Revival

Requirement: Healing Arcana (Novice)
Cost: 5PP
Time: Major Action
Target Number: 14
Test: None

Your touch helps restore life to the fallen. A dying character you touch after successfully casting Revival immediately regains 10 + their Constitution + your Willpower in Health. Since dying characters cannot take actions, you cannot cast this spell on yourself.
Revival | Fairy Lights

Requirement: Water Arcana (Novice)
Cost: 2PP per hour
Time: Major Action
Target Number: 8
Test: None

You illuminate the area around you with a steady light, similar to a torch or lantern. The spell illuminates a 10 yard radius centered on you. Fairy Lights lasts for 1 hour, but can be extended for 2 PP per additional hour.
Fairy Lights | | Water Geyser

Requirement: Water Arcana (Novice)
Cost: 4PP
Time: Major Action
Target Number: 12
Test: Dexterity (acrobatics) VS Force

A burst of water erupts from your outstretched hands. The Water Geyser is 8 yards long and 2 yards wide. Anyone hit by the blast takes 2d6+1 damage. Targets who make a successful Dex (acrobatics) test vs. your Force take only 1d6+1 damage.
Water Geyser |
Reputation: Hippocratic Fae (1) | Memberships: none | Ties: TBDOuzo, There are many senses that those whose blood runs towards the primal that mortals… And among those was the sense when others of fae blood that were in near proximity to Rhii. While she has never met Eoin, or even know the name of the man… She is aware of his existence. Every time it felt like that she was close to locating him, he would disappear as if into thin air. To say that it was quite frustrating was beyond words… For here was someone who shared a kinship that was actively avoiding her.

Complicating things is that the two share a similar bloodline… Albeit one that is fairly far removed from one another. While Rhii’s kin lived in the realm of the fae, a distant scion of her family set off into the mortal realm to make their living before travel between the realms became almost impossible. For mortal readers, they are typically viewed to be second cousins, once removed.
Eoin ‘The Wild Hunter’ Dermott | Relationships: (0/1)
Goals: Meet another full blooded faeShort-term Goal 1 | Find an expert in portal magicShort-term Goal 2 | Find a way homeLong-term Goal 1
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  #59  
Old Oct 4th, 2020, 10:22 AM
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Niyaga Niyaga is offline
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Li Jie. Late Afternoon, 18th of August, 1885. Yellow Ledge, Western Protectorate.
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Li Jie
Jie felt confident as he stood at the bar. Clean clothes, refreshing company and a little hope buoyed him. In contrast, the patrons seemed nervous and pent as if a small flame might light the fuse of a New Year’s firecracker. Like Nao said, ’…feels like a powder keg close to a lit match.’ The resulting explosion might start a fist fight from a look or misheard comment. But the six of them were now Slatterbaugh’s people and, theoretically, untouchable.

’No secrets between allies, eh? Dare I say, there are plenty of men who missed that memo. Ya’ think there would be honesty, but I’d sell ya what, us little people don’t need to be told nothin,’ Jie.’

Replying to Eoin’s bitter chuckle, Jie thoughtfully spoke, "I heard of a Scottish man living in America who said, ‘Don't keep forever on the public road, going only where others have gone and following one after the other like a flock of sheep. Leave the beaten track occasionally and dive into the woods.’" He paraphrased the man Alexander Graham Bell who was making great discoveries in science in the new world. He echoed Nao’s sentiment when he said, "We may walk our own path, Eoin." He implied that they might make their own destiny and that their own secrets might be free, at least to one another.

Jie took Eoin’s proffered pistol with surprise. ’You take good care of her, eh?’ He felt the heavy weight and turned it this way and that before he wrapped a meaty hand around the grip. He put a finger on the trigger and sighted across the room before he realised what he was doing. He quickly dropped the aim to the ground and blushed. "This… is an expensive gift my friend. I don’t think I can repay you." He looked with great desire at the weapon before handing it back to the Irishman.

Jie had grown accustomed to Ouzo’s casual affections and so, as he draped an arm over one shoulder he responded with a grin and a nod at his joke. The two had drunk much and had been much drunk together. He had always been grateful for his comradery. "I’d look at the Foreman’s apartment for evidence of demons." He offered to Nao. As he could ‘see’ a demon’s previous passage he felt it was right to check.

But he was most interested in the Hellstone Mage though and so broached the subject with Gerhard. "Do you think the Mage’s wards would be anything like your art?" Jie hadn’t seen what Gerhard could do and could only guess whether his skillset included wards like the Mage’s. He hoped by visiting him together he might learn about their quarry and the big blacksmith.

Also Jie was interested in the bull-headed man at the bar. This creature was the stuff of mythology; specifically, Niútóu, or “Ox Face”, one of the guardians of hell, according to the stories of his father. Like himself, though, he was probably just a normal man before the Awakening. Ouzo had given him a drink so now was a good time to talk. Although not usually forward or outgoing, Jie was feeling confident and decided to take a chance. He stepped to the side of the bar nearest the hulking niútóu and introduced himself. "I am Li Jie and these are my friends." He gruffly indicated the group with a nod. "Who are you?" He asked as simple question but it carried with it the curiosity of the group, ’Where do you come from? Why are you in Yellow Ledge? Why are you calm when everyone else is agitated!?’
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Old Oct 8th, 2020, 01:58 AM
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Ouzo
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The accounts of Slatterbaugh's demons that'd now made their way to Nao were unexpected. For a moment, Ouzo almost seemed... disappointed. Then he returned to the situation at hand and reviewed their description: fighting in packs; fighting with teeth; covered in hair; bulbous red eyes; deep underground. Dr. Ouzo's experience with demonkind wasn't vast, jokes of present company excluded, but were these creatures truly demons...? He thought of all the times he heard post-Attunement kin labeled as "monsters" and "devils" and "freaks." Spoken from a place of fear.

Then again, if these creatures were only figurative demons, they may be less receptive to talking things out. Suddenly Ouzo felt terribly ill equipped. He didn't realize he mumbled his last thoughts on the matter out loud to himself: "I wonder how much lantern oil they've for sale in Yellow Ledge..." The embers of his cigarette crackled, flaring in reds and oranges with another inhale.

When others began to plan a search of the dormitories, Ouzo added, "I, too, should be very interested to join in searching the foreman's quarters. This missing foreman... I cannot help but find the mystery surrounding her disappearance to be... irresistible." By their very nature, the best secrets were always the hardest to discover, after all.

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Originally Posted by Rhii View Post
”If I had such an ability, I would have likely purchased everything in my efforts to get back home… Or more likely deal with another attempt to exploit my abilities.” Her face took on a dark look as Rhii looked at the man.
He nodded at the comment on exploitation. Made sense.

Ouzo glanced around to the others of their new band of exploitees that may have been within eyeshot. "From our accents alone, it seems likely that most of us are from overseas - myself included. Though, I don't know how many are so graced to have a home worth returning to. Is back home very far away, then? More than two days in an escorted carriage, no doubt?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhii View Post
”I am not usually very good at talking to others, much less skulking around trying to dig up information from rummaging through someone’s belongings. I am a healer, not an investigator.” She shrugged. ”Beyond seeing to the injured miners that he mentioned… I doubt I am much assistance to you. But even then, I am betting my services are not needed there.”
The casual nature in which she drew water out of the air might never cease to be entertaining.

"Bah! Surely, you underestimate yourself!" His instinct was to give her a merry clap on the back of her shoulder, but on account that they barely knew the other, and that such a clap might've smushed the diminutive fae entirely, he refrained and instead just fidgeted about himself. "Perhaps you might find yourself to be healer and investigator both, should you learn anything from those miners' wounds and recovery. Come to think of it, they may be the next best source of information on our missing lovebirds, Henrietta and Rico - I should like to visit these miners myself. The company would be most welcome, but the decision is, of course, yours and yours alone." He raised his drink in a mock toast and nodded his head low, as if in a humble deference.


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