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Old 06-12-2018, 09:04 PM
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Chapter 1: New beginnings

Chapter 1
New Beginnings
Sunford

Seranush the serving girl comes to the table with the blue glove and askes the girl sitting there, “What’ll it be? I have Hackney Ale, Plumbrend Wine, Rotwend Mead, and Saltreef Rum. Not to mention the stew.”. She asks standing at the edge of the table, tapping her foot while she waits.
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Last edited by BaronVon; 06-12-2018 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:37 AM
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Jools Cherrier
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A man dressed in goldenrod robes was standing by the bar. He already knew where he needed to go, but hesitated to do so. Some girl, they said… The “girl” is probably older than Jools… and seems quite seasoned too. A worried frown crossed the man’s face. He wanted the meeting to go smoothly as the alternatives were crude and inelegant. Finally having decided on the course of action he took a deep breath and relaxed. Okay Jools, don’t screw up this time.

Jools steals a glance at the woman but quickly turns back to his empty glass upon meeting her gaze. He takes out a mirror from a side pouch and fixes the few loose locks of crimson hair. Satisfied with the result he turns around once again and walks towards her. Stopping just a few feet away from the table he waits patiently, albeit slightly awkwardly, for the serving girl to take her order. When she turns to leave, Jools slightly raises his hand to catch the serving girl's attention. "Ah, excuse me ma’am. Another glass of Plumbrend wine for me, thank you". Mead was his favorite drink, but yielding to temptations was dangerous, especially in this line of work.

He kindly smiles at the mysterious woman, takes a seat at her table and leans in closer. "So you are the woman right?", he speaks in a hushed tone. "The one you know who was talking about? The one planning an expedition to you know where? I’m Jools Cherrier, a pleasure. So what’s the deal? Ooops, aaah, I forgot to ask. How fares the old man?", he starts tapping his fingers on the table nervously, turning his gaze to the blue glove.
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:37 AM
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Nerissaadi
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Moving her finished mug to the other end of the table, Nerissaadi glances at the dandy stranger whose head she noticed turn toward her table. Contact? Nervous assassin? Lecher?

She pushes back light brown hair and straightens her thick scarf with her right hand, while moving her left hand to paw at the hilt of her dagger strapped to her thigh below the table. If this person is looking for anything beyond the hunt, he's only going to get the one warning. "I'll have another mead if you wouldn't mind." As the serving girl picks up her mug, the man in golden robe has already closed the distance and asked Seranush for a wine.

His introduction is roundabout and awkward, to which her brow furrows. Great... whoever set this up is really taking this seriously... "Not half as bad as he says," she replies as he finally spits out the code words. She shifts her hand away from her dagger as she gestures for the man to sit. "I am indeed a woman, and one that likes to keep things safe and simple. The rest we need to discuss quietly. Enlighten me."

Neri glances around the bar on the off-chance there is another agent. She had been the second in plenty of jobs. Sometimes that meant picking a target's pack while they were distracted, and sometimes it meant burying a knife into their neck. She pulls the glove from the table and places it back into a pouch.

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Old 06-13-2018, 11:29 AM
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Jools Cherrier
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Jools smiles at the woman’s response but his thoughts are far from jovial. Not going to fall for the bait so easily, are you… very well, let’s go the other way round then, shall we.

As the glove disappears from view, Jools reaches for a bag himself. He unstraps it from his belt and carefully places it on the table. "Okay.. Good, I got the right person. So, for starters, let me express my gratitude for your time. Here is a small token of appreciation, which, hopefully, will also keep you interested. " He slides the small sack of gold across the table.

"Down to business. You don’t have to reveal anything here, just listen to what I have to say", Jools indiscreetly straightens up in his chair and looks around if anyone is listening. Seeing that everyone is preoccupied with their own business he leans in one again and continues. "There is a legend, that many, many years ago, an endless spring of water was located somewhere in the desert. It was known as the Eye of Henumis, or Hemubis, or whatever the god’s name was. Naturally, the foolish followers of this god thought it was the perfect spot to erect a temple by this Eye. In the middle of the desert. I know. The legend goes on and on, but the interesting thing is that it speaks of an artefact, The Heart of Hemubis. It is not clear what it is really - some say it’s a grimoire of a powerful priest, while others claim it to be a literal heart of a god. Legends are vague like that."

Jools thanks Seranush for bringing the wine, takes a sip and gets to the point." I want that artefact. Whatever it is. Not me personally, but the name of my employer doesn’t matter. A little snake has told me, that you might just happen to have a clue of where it is located, so the deal I propose is simple. Twenty thousand gold pieces for helping me retrieve it. You can keep anything else we find, if we find anything at all." Jools falls silent, allowing for the woman to take in his offer. Go on, think about it. Drink some more mead if it helps, he pleads in his mind, watching the woman’s face closely for any reaction.


OOCThe sack contains 50 gold pieces
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:21 PM
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Hassan as-Sabbāh
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Hassan as-Sabbāh, priest of Hermaubis, expatriate of the dual kingdoms of Atan-Axum, pariah, knew his god had spoken to him in his dreams. There upon the next table was the single blue glove that was the portent of his vision. But what was he expected to do- he thought furiously, trying to remember ever scrap of the dream for an answer.

While thinking as he looked at the woman sitting at the table with the glove, a man (or possibly a woman with an unfortunate countenance) walks up, orders some wine and sits down. He begins to talk in hushed whispers. Hassan tried not to laugh. The best way to get everyone interested in your secrets was to do begin whispering in broad daylight. Hassan continues to watch from the corner of eye for a few seconds and then decides his god wanted him to do something. So something it shall be.

Getting up, Hassan walks over to the the table and gives a curt bow. Speaking at a slightly elevated level in juxtaposition to the hushed whispers, "Allow me to introduce myself. I am hem-netjer sau Hassan as-Sabbāh, priest of Hermanubis at your service." Lowering his voice to a moderate level, "My god had sent me a portent in my dreams," while picking up the glove, "a single blue glove in a temple located in a desert. And now, here it is. No coincidence, neh?" Sitting down, with a slight smirk, he lowers his voice to the level of the man (yes definitely a man now that he was close), "So, how may I be of assistance?"
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Old 06-13-2018, 04:01 PM
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Without changing her blank expression, Neri takes a deep pull from the mead in front of her. She feels the rush in her cheeks as she digests the offer. Twenty-thousand gold... now that's what I'm after... Sod whatever relic this 'employer' wants, they can have it. She leaves the gold on the table for the moment. Don't let the scent of treasure dull your judgement Neri.

"My cooperation is contingent on a thing or two. The first regards the journal. It will stay in my care at all times, or under my watchful eye if we find someone able to read the ancient bits. I didn't come all this way to get swindled." She takes another gulp and continues, "Secondly, your employer is going to pay in precious stones. I'm not going to travel the roads south with literal heaps of gold pieces. Finally, if we find this relic has already been swiped, you will owe me 1,500 gold for my services."

She looks the red-haired man over again, wrinkling her nose. "And if I'm working with you or any of your associates, you need to get a thawb or one of the local cloaks to wear. You stand out like a sore thumb in this town... Even worse than me," she chuckles as she smiles. She pulls the bag of gold toward her and places it in its own backpack pouch.

Hearing footsteps approach the table, she looks this new stranger over, raising an eyebrow. Another fancily-dressed eccentric... we are going to attract a lot of attention. At least this one blends in a bit. A priest of Hermanubis, THAT might be useful assuming he is the real deal. "Visions and blessings are well and good, but any rake or hustler can "commune with the gods" when it benefits their purse. If you are actually a servant of Hermanubis, perhaps you would be willing to help me read some of this for a few gold pieces?" Neri pulls the corner of the journal out of her pack for both to see clearly enough.

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Old 06-13-2018, 07:00 PM
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Seranush continues to fly around the establishment as the group discusses. As the lunch meal draws to come to an end, the Singing Scorpion begins to empty. The smell of baking bread wafts through room as Seranush goes into the kitchen on some errand.

The drink is good, better than you were expecting and the conversation is kept to a mild hum as the party continues their discussion.

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Old 06-13-2018, 07:57 PM
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Hassan as-Sabbāh, looks at book and whispers, "I believe that the three gentlemen in the corner have an interest in us and especially your book. A fourth who was with them has just left- probably to set up an ambush. Would you like me to read the book now or after the unpleasantness?"

Trying to draw as little attention to himself as possible, he puts his hand under the table and loosens the peace-bond on his swordsaif. While Hassan doubts that a melee would erupt inside, he was absolutely sure that one would occur once they left this establishment.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:45 PM
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Jools Cherrier
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Jools listens to the woman as she lists her conditions. Here’s hoping the artifact isn’t the actual thing from the legend or Jools can say goodbye to this world. He was quite fond of the current guise and had no wish to go through the tedious process of changing it. Not to mention the disgrace of the failure…

He takes out his diary, some ink and a simple black ink pen. Scribbling the contract down, he mutters under his breath, "...name placeholder, will not lay claims to the artifact (know as Heart of Hermanubis). Upon successful retrieval of the artifact, name placeholder, will receive the payment of precious stones worth twenty thousand gold pieces. If said artifact is not retrieved, but significant related information or related artifact is retrieved, name placeholder, will receive a compensation of one thousand five hundred gold pieces." He continues listing the conditions regarding the journal and clothing. He then tears out the paper, cuts his thumb with the other end of the pen and leaves a blood print at the bottom of the page. "There you go ma’am", he smiles again, sliding the the contract to the other side of the table, "you can fill in your details and place your signature at your leisure. I’m looking forward to our partnership".

Jools leans back against the chair, folding his arms feeling content with the outcome of the meeting. Ancient text she says… explains the missing parts in my sorry copy of the journal. Well, everything went better than expecte-, he doesn’t get to finish his thought as a stranger approaches them, speaking of Hermanubis. Impossible, Jools almost falls over with the chair, but manages to keep his balance and composure, sent by the gods indeed. Is the woman here trying to play something.. No, it doesn’t make any sense…. He decides to keep his mouth shut and witness how this twist would unfold instead.

When Hassan mentions the suspicious people in the corner, Jools cannot help but frown. Sure is getting crowded over here. I must report this. If the Claws really did screw up so bad, there might be quite a few vacant positions soon. While keeping close eye on the supposed priest, he slips one of the folded arms into opposing sleeve and traces his fingers across the smooth edge of a cold crystal attached to his bracer. He wouldn't be caught off guard.
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:41 AM
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Grabbing contract and carefully placing it into her pack, Nerissaadi slings the strap over her back. "We'll have to come back to both the contract and the journal," she mutters quietly. I was hoping to get out of this town without killing anyone, but better the enemy we notice than the hidden blade. If they want an early reunion with their gods, then so be it. "I'm Nerissaadi, if either of you needs to get my attention out there. Sorry, I don't often give out my name unless it's necessary. I think it is now." She places a pair of gold coins on the table to pay for all of the drinks and any potential damage the strangers might cause the bar.

She steps up next to Hassan while wrapping her scarf over her head to hide the glances of her eyes. "I'm sure the journal will be far more respected if you help us keep it away from these snakes. I'm in the business of money-making, not defiling relics. If you know somewhere we can go, lead the way," she says, just loudly enough for Jools to overhear.

She places her thumbs on her belt, ready to draw her knives in response to any ambush and prepares to follow.

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Old 06-14-2018, 10:14 PM
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A Gift OfferedAs Nerissaadi stands and begins moving toward the door, the man in the corner table flicks his fingers left and right. His two dark clothed companions stand in a clatter as the chairs skid across the floor. One strides over to the door while the other begins going from table to table, hurrying the patrons out. The few patrons remaining after the mid-day meal soon get the message and rush to gather their things before leaving.

The man still sitting slowly stands during the commotion and addresses the group “Peace unto you, my friends.” He says holding out his arms from his dark, dust covered cloak. A missing tooth whistling slightly as he speaks. “Today the gods smile upon us, for you have brought a gift on coming to our town. I am sure you will forgive our hearing a few words. I am Manoog, at your service” The man says placing his hand over his heart and bowing his head ever so slightly.

The room nearly empty, the other man joins his companion at the door. “I am sure the king will be most pleased by this offer, though sadly he will not be able to accept it in person, my sincere apologies.” Manoog says producing a keen dagger from his cloak and flipping it in his hand.

You hear a bolt lock on the door to the kitchen from the other side. The gloomy interior of the tavern is illuminated windows high upon the walls, but the shade from adjacent buildings blocks any direct sunlight. A woman begins to come down some stairs behind you before seeing the scene and retreating in a fury of footsteps.

Dragging the dagger along a table as he paces the room. The door guards brush back their cloaks revealing crude maces before Manoog continues “It is an ill omen to retract a gift once offered” He stops and pivots toward the group “So please, hand over the book” Manoog finishes holding out a hand.
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:56 PM
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Without moving a muscle, Neri takes mental stock of the room. Tables all around, a locked kitchen door, a stairway to the second level. She also looks to see if the bar might offer cover or temporary shelter. Well, at least there might be a way out upstairs if both of these 'contacts' are secretly with these goons.

"I don't know how gifts are offered around here, but I certainly didn't offer anything. Perhaps I could deliver the book to you in the future, once our business here is concluded!" she says sarcastically, knowing full well that these men are probably more afraid of returning to their employer empty-handed than being maimed or killed.

"We'll be going as soon as you're on your way," she smirks while gesturing with her right hand toward the door. With her other hand, she attempts to draw her dagger strapped to her left thigh, turning her body slightly so that the thugs don't notice her preparing a knife throw.

 


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Old 06-15-2018, 02:54 PM
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Jools stood from his chair at Nerissaadi's suggestion to leave. The inn was an ideal place for making the first contact but not so much for detailed discussions about the journal or it's contents. There was also the matter of the suspicious priest, claiming to be sent by the gods. Trying to get his hands on the journal peacefully, and brought some backup just in case? Trying to get close by suggesting a supposed threat?

Jools turns to the bar to gather his shield, when he notices the patrons being ushered outside. With all the tension building up, it wasn't hard to predict something of the sort would happen. He takes the few steps to the bar in the commotion. The man finishes his monologue just as Jools awakens the magic within him. His skin assumes a stony appearance, but he finds himself out of time to equip the shield. Careful not to provoke the friendly assailants he turns in his place to observe the scene behind him.

Jools could almost trust the woman with the funny scarf as he had faith in his colleagues' skills to vet contacts, but there was the priest. Three versus three? Or Four versus two?, he frowns at the uncertainty. He didn't relish the idea of killing or even fighting anyone (or perhaps it was just Jools rubbing on him), and he was quite confident that he could stop the hell that was about to break loose. But this was also the perfect chance to test the priest, see whether he had any affiliation with the cloaks. Observe. Then douse. He finally decides and crosses his hands, preparing an offensive spell for the inevitable. "Pardon my insolence mister, but which king would this be?", he shouts out to the talkative man in hopes of gleaning at least some information.


OOCWithout the shield Jools has the AC of 15
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:10 PM
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A firm DemandA dismissive smile creeps over Manoog’s face, getting larger as Neri makes her speech. “HA. Careful my brothers, this one has teeth.” He responds looking over to his comrades, all of whom either missed Neri draw her concealed dagger or have not chosen to acknowledge the threat. “Brother, why do you consort with these savages who slap us in the face?” He asks the seated cleric.

When Jools pipes in, Manoog’s head slowly turns his direction. “We serve the true King, he who is ordained by gods and blood, the exiled, his most divine conduit of above and below, knower of secrets. We are not worthy for his true name to touch our lips, you, however, have given him the name of a pest, crawling on his belly.” Anger growing in his voice at the last.

“He knows you have it, it’s the last piece he needs.” Manoogs voice suddenly very slow and vary calm as he looks back at Neri. All semblance of jovialness has gone from his demeanor. “So, little Leopard,” He takes a step toward Neri. “Hand over that book!” He yells banging the hilt of his dagger on the table to punctuate his demand.

The men at the door both grab their maces and hold them at the ready but make no further move.


OOC We are not in combat currently, if you are going to attack, please let us know and we can roll initiative. Basically, RP the start of your attack to inform that we are going into combat. Please do not take this as combat in inevitable, just wanted to clarify with tensions escalating how it would work.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:35 PM
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Pulling off his shield off his back as he stands and making sure the emblem is clearly visible to all, Hassan addresses Manoog, "Perhaps you did not hear me earlier I am hem-netjer sau Hassan as-Sabbāh, priest of Hermanubis. Brother to no man am I- rather the servant of the gods. As to why I do not assist you- well, you have yet to show proof that you are the rightful owner of this book." Taking two steps forward he continues, "Here you are in public, in the light of day, attempting theft. A grievous sin. When Anubis weighs your heart on your day of judgement, I fear you shall be found lacking unless you repent your ways."

Placing his hand upon his saif, Hassan smiles. "Shall we be sensible about this and you let us pass. Or are you murderers besides being thieves?"

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