Episode 1

(9:34:36 PM) TidelordSparda: It has been 100 years since the great red rains began to fall, since the crimson mist rolled in to blanket the world slowly with horror and despair, devouring land, sea, sky and lives with every encroaching step, leaving nothing for the survivors in its wake… Most civilizations disappeared, lost beneath the tides save for one, the greatest of them all, who ended up martyring their own savior
(9:34:36 PM) TidelordSparda: to prevent the panic that came in the wake of his prophecy. It gave them suspicion, it gave them time to prepare, and thus the people of the Empire of the 9 Immortals and those smart enough to follow the lead of the greast kingdom in the world survived against the great Red Tide.
(9:35:44 PM) TidelordSparda: They found refuge here, in the Summer Isles, a wild archipelago rife with danger and opportunity. Here they did battle with the savage Shou tribes, here they put down roots, here they were able to live in a world that was slowly and inevitably dying, the one place where the Tide seemed to know fear… Or at least, it knew hesitation.
(9:38:07 PM) TidelordSparda: In the great Imperial city of Xian thrives a revived civilization, one that has been pushed to the brink, but recovered and over time become the dominant force on the isle, next to the Shou of course. It is here that people of many cultures and races come to try and make their fortune, to escape their lot or to merely feed their need for action and glory. Adventuring lives, here in Xian.
(9:39:20 PM) TidelordSparda: Specifically, it lives at the Whide Jade Inn, a 4 story teahouse pagoda staffed by a cranky old lady, her wimpy husband and about a dozen long-suffering brewers and servers to tend to some of the most dangerous people around. If there was one thing to know, at least, it was that Adventurers did always have coin and a story to tell.
(9:40:36 PM) TidelordSparda: You are all the members of your own budding Adventuring company, ready to take your first steps together, as a group. Today is the day you decide on a name and apply for your first job at The Offering Board.
(9:40:41 PM) TidelordSparda: (And go!)
(9:41:09 PM) *Le_Chun balances on the edge of a stool that itself is balancing on a single leg. "I still think we should be the Brave Roosters."
(9:41:40 PM) WildfireDS: "And I still think it's absurd, even if roosters are lucky."
(9:42:17 PM) TidelordSparda: Yu Li, your server, come up snickering as she puts down everything you ordered onto the table. "The Courageous Cocks~ Snrksrnksrnksnkr~"
(9:42:32 PM) Greenling: "What she said."
(9:42:37 PM) Le_Chun: "They're fearless! And welcome the sun with their cry! And we have one!" His chicken looks mournfully out of the sack it's tied into, long since given up trying to escape. It is also definitely a hen.
(9:43:04 PM) Le_Chun: "My temple actually has a record of those jokes going back about eight hundred years, from when there still was a mainland."
(9:43:46 PM) TidelordSparda: Yu Li is a slip of a thing with hair that won't quite all stay in her ponytail, wearing a server's coat and dress with her sleeved tied up to her elbows. She's quite pretty despite her flaws and rather undernourished physique, with wide brown eyes that hold a bit of mischief in their depths.
(9:43:50 PM) Le_Chun: "The last time there was an original one was when we were visited by a Gaadal astronomer, who read it in the stars."
(9:44:01 PM) *
Dif was already having something strong to drink. It'd only been a couple of weeks since he escaped from prison. Funny thing about the Red Tide: it made rehabilitation systems far less efficient. Dif was of moderate height, with a face scarred enough to be slightly unattractive, but only slightly. He had crossed hatchets on the back of his belt. Shou hatchets. He was an Imperial though, for all the good that did him.
(9:44:14 PM) *WildfireDS is backed up against the wall their table is against, her eyes darting over the crowd every so often, and one hand rolling a single coin back and forth over the knuckles, "You are a bad, bad girl." Moriko comments to the server, trying not to let her lip twitch into a smile and mostly succeeding
(9:44:56 PM) Dif: He generally found that making friends was easier when he didn't inform people he was a threat to society. Sort of. "Testament to the intelligence of the average wench I suppose."
(9:45:00 PM) *
Le_Chun has a shaven pate, a colorful tattoo of feathers working its way up his neck, and is made of wire and muscle. Currently, his oft-abused monks robes are tied around his waist as he balances.
(9:46:18 PM) Dif: He had the classic tanned skin and dark hair of his people. Not so much the nobility or the religiosity.
(9:46:36 PM) Le_Chun: "That was three hundred years ago, about."
(9:47:13 PM) *Velura_Nizani takes her teacup and sips it thoughtfully. She's a striking young woman with dusky skin, dark red hair, and bright green eyes, dressed in some ornately provocative red number that manages to both drape over and hug her pampered figure. She insists they're the traditional vestments of Carnalexi, even though there's really nothing but her word to confirm it.
(9:49:49 PM) Velura_Nizani: "Ideally our name should say something of our accomplishments, yes? Of which we have… none so far. So perhaps our intended goals instead."
(9:50:15 PM) Dif: "Why even pick a fancy name anyway? Better to be anonymous."
(9:50:58 PM) TidelordSparda: Yu Li snickers at Moriko as she holds her tray to herself. "I try my best~" She hums at Dif. "Well… No, you definitely need a name. Becoming an Adventuring group is like establishing your own shop! Or brand of product!"
(9:51:34 PM) TidelordSparda: "You've got to pick something recognizable, something that can become a household name! Like the Blood Lieutenants or Sister Sabers have!"
(9:51:49 PM) *
Dif takes another gulp of whatever he's having. His arms were unclothed but not without decoration: different tattoos snaked up each, though a few would identify him by his Guild, assuming his membership was still good. Of course it'd take someone "in the know" to recognize that kind of thing.
(9:51:54 PM) Le_Chun: "I got turned down by one of the Sister Sabers once."
(9:51:57 PM) Velura_Nizani: "Reputation can be used as leverage. We can command greater rewards with a reputation of success. And for a reputation we need to be recognized. Which requires a name."
(9:51:58 PM) Le_Chun: "Hmm."
(9:52:06 PM) Dif: "No one gives a shit about fancy names. Those went out with the tide."
(9:52:20 PM) Dif: That was a mean joke, Dif.
(9:52:28 PM) Le_Chun: "Bad luck, Dif, bad luck."
(9:52:40 PM) Le_Chun: "Maybe the Skull Crackers?"
(9:52:46 PM) Velura_Nizani: "I didn't. Unless we're talking about a different sort."
(9:52:53 PM) Velura_Nizani: *towards Le Chun*
(9:53:54 PM) Le_Chun: "I'm jealous! They're all really pretty."
(9:54:00 PM) TidelordSparda: "Don't underestimate the power of a fancy name. Mandarin, Shogun and Boddhisatva are all pretty fancy names and those are still very important nowadays."
(9:54:07 PM) *Le_Chun flips, and lands in a handstand.
(9:54:16 PM) Le_Chun: "Maybe the Victorious Lords?"
(9:54:28 PM) Le_Chun: "Righteous Fists?"
(9:54:32 PM) Dif: "Hmph."
(9:55:00 PM) Le_Chun: "Hungry Heroes? I'm starting to run low on coin while we try to pick a name out."
(9:55:53 PM) Dif: "I /am/ pretty hungry."
(9:56:26 PM) Le_Chun: "OK! Velura, Moriko, what do you two think?"
(9:56:27 PM) TidelordSparda: :D Yu Li looks hungry… for your copper.
(9:56:41 PM) *
Dif pays for his beer. Tips poorly.
(9:57:27 PM) TidelordSparda: >:<
(9:57:34 PM) Velura_Nizani: "Hungry implies we're not very successful. But then Especially Well-Fed Heroes doesn't inspire much confidence either."
(9:58:19 PM) Dif: "Why don't we see how our first little sojourn goes before picking flowery titles?"
(9:58:42 PM) Le_Chun: "Because we need a name to go out with! It's good luck. And we'll need it."
(9:59:04 PM) Dif: "Bah."
(9:59:17 PM) *Velura_Nizani finishes her tea, and tips quite well. Copper nothing, she leaves Yu Li a silver wheel.
(9:59:33 PM) TidelordSparda: :D ~<3
(9:59:44 PM) TidelordSparda: Dif's next beer is watered down. >:<
(9:59:57 PM) WildfireDS: Moriko herself is wearing her typical dark clothing. "Star-Chasing Heroes?" Moriko considers as she tosses a few more coins to Yu Li, "Flowing-Water Association?"
(10:00:10 PM) Dif: See, and this is why he tips so low.
(10:00:14 PM) TidelordSparda: ",,,SNRK… Flowing Water…"
(10:00:18 PM) Velura_Nizani: <3
(10:00:44 PM) Le_Chun: "Ooo, I like the first one."
(10:00:45 PM) TidelordSparda: "OOH!"
(10:00:49 PM) TidelordSparda: "OOH!"
(10:00:49 PM) Le_Chun: "Star-chasing heroes!"
(10:00:53 PM) TidelordSparda: "BE THE DOOM PATROL"
(10:00:57 PM) Velura_Nizani: "Star-Chasing Heroes is rather nice."
(10:00:58 PM) Le_Chun: "Anyone else have a problem with that one-"
(10:01:01 PM) Dif: Dif is getting a headache.
(10:01:17 PM) Le_Chun: "That's 3, and a majority!"
(10:01:20 PM) Dif: "Sure, okay."
(10:01:22 PM) Le_Chun: "Star Chasing Heroes we are!"
(10:01:40 PM) TidelordSparda: "Well, okay, I guess that one's okay."
(10:02:57 PM) Greenling: "…Not bad. It has a flair to it."
(10:03:12 PM) WildfireDS: "I was trying to come up with something involving 'Wayfarer' but I'm still drawing a blank."
(10:03:28 PM) Velura_Nizani: Star-Faring Heroes?
(10:03:31 PM) Velura_Nizani: ""
(10:03:32 PM) *
WildfireDS shrugs and sips at her tea
(10:03:47 PM) Dif: "We already picked a name, just let it go."
(10:04:08 PM) Dif: Grumpy grump-grump.
(10:05:15 PM) *Velura_Nizani smirks, and pokes Dif in the thigh beneath the table with the toe of her boot. "Lighten up."
(10:06:03 PM) Dif: "When our ratio of shit beer and snarky waitresses to profits and food shifts more in favor of the latter, I'll be the happiest guy you've ever met."
(10:06:22 PM) WildfireDS: "So do we have any general purpose in mind, or are we just taking anything that comes in our general direction?"
(10:06:46 PM) WildfireDS: "Dif, have you considered that maybe, just perhaps, women would be nicer to you if you wern't such an unmitigated ass?"
(10:06:57 PM) Dif: "Yes."
(10:06:59 PM) Dif: Flatly.
(10:07:30 PM) Velura_Nizani: "Alright. When we strike it rich with the next job I'll treat you to a feast so grand you won't be able to walk away from it when it's over."
(10:07:47 PM) Le_Chun: "Fortune favors the forward! Let's go get ourselves some work, or maybe find an old ruin in need of some looting."
(10:07:55 PM) Dif: "You always know how to cheer me up, Velura."
(10:08:37 PM) TidelordSparda: "Labyrinths and Lung! Just waiting for you, hehe~"
(10:08:54 PM) Dif: He smiled for a millisecond. No really. If PnP games had instant replay, John Madden could draw a circle around the corner of Dif's mouth. Until then, we only have circumstancial evidence. But he did. She mentioned rich food and money to him!
(10:09:22 PM) *
Velura_Nizani stands up, stretching languidly. "Well, let's see what's available, and then we'll decide what our first foray can be."
(10:09:47 PM) *Dif jumps onto his feet. "Finally, wagon wheels get to turning."
(10:10:12 PM) *
Le_Chun hops rightside up, grabs the sack slung over his pole, pets his long suffering chicken, and nods.
(10:10:42 PM) Greenling: "So long as they know what to call us when we come back conquering heroes, I don't care much," the apparently-quiet elf smirks.
(10:10:54 PM) TidelordSparda: The Offering Board takes up most of a wall on the second floor of the teahouse in a large area cleared of tables and chairs, good for milling about in and deciding whether or not something is a good idea until you're too drunk to know the difference.
(10:13:00 PM) TidelordSparda: There is much incence lit around the board and every once in a while a gift of some sort, prayers to the souls of those fallen taking jobs on the board.
(10:13:31 PM) Dif: "Get a load of this."
(10:13:56 PM) *Le_Chun lights a stick of incense and prays quietly while the others look at the board.
(10:14:06 PM) *
Velura_Nizani heads over to the board, and starts perusing it for something worth doing, preferably something easy and profitable.
(10:14:12 PM) Dif: "Nah, nah I'm not dark-minded enough to grumble at people mourning their dead. Nevermind."
(10:14:16 PM) *Velura_Nizani isn't holding her breath though.
(10:15:00 PM) *
Dif considers an alternative to this board. He could always consult the Gui—no Dif, they just take 60% and no bonus for hazard pay. The Guild can wait.
(10:16:21 PM) *WildfireDS glances at Galamonde and shrugs, "Any preference?"
(10:19:23 PM) Greenling: How morbid…
(10:22:32 PM) TidelordSparda: The board is plastered from side to side with jobs of all levels. The ones that are best for a starting group are measured with a number of stars. 1 star is best for you guys, 5 star will get most people in this place killed.
(10:23:02 PM) TidelordSparda: There are a couple of suitable 1 star offerings!
(10:23:42 PM) *
Le_Chun sneaks a peek mid-prayer.
(10:23:44 PM) *Velura_Nizani notices the star ranking system. "Huh. I suppose Star-Chasing Heroes was a rather propitious choice."
(10:24:14 PM) TidelordSparda: 1. Help! Shou Goblins have created a nest! 2. Lost ring, if found please return. 3. Mage in need of reagents, if capable please inquire.
(10:24:45 PM) Le_Chun: "Hmm. What's a reagents?"
(10:25:07 PM) Velura_Nizani: "Substances used for spellcasting."
(10:25:35 PM) WildfireDS: "Goblin-hunting."
(10:26:04 PM) Le_Chun: "Hrm. Moriko, Galamonde, Velura, any of you guys know how to identify that stuff?"
(10:26:14 PM) Le_Chun: "Or do we go deal with some Shou?"
(10:28:33 PM) Velura_Nizani: "Gathering reagents sounds less harrowing, and we have to arcanely-trained people here. Or we could see what this lost ring is about."
(10:28:45 PM) *
Velura_Nizani checks for more details on the ring and reagent jobs!
(10:32:29 PM) TidelordSparda: Mage in need of reagents, if capable please inquire: A Grandmother Wu here in the city runs a shop for those who need to buy spell castings, but she's running low on a few ingredients for her most popular ritual and needs a small group to venture into the woods to collect it. She needs Silver Mist Moss and Hagaren's Tears, both of which are plants that can be found in the foothills north of
(10:32:30 PM) TidelordSparda: the city. Her bad hip prevents her from going herself.
(10:33:10 PM) Greenling: "I'm certain we can find common plants without too much trouble… I hope."
(10:33:14 PM) Le_Chun: "Huh. Sounds easy enough, if you can identify the plants."
(10:34:33 PM) Dif: "Looks kinda boring. But, should always start with an easy mark."
(10:35:08 PM) Dif: "Then again, fancy wizard crud. There's probably some mystical thing that's going to pop out and go awry."
(10:35:10 PM) TidelordSparda: Lost Ring, if found please return: This case is a bit more odd. A local man whose wife recently passed away kept her wedding ring on an altar in his house. The ring has gone missing, but strangely nothing else was missing from his home. It's a gold band with a crossed diamond square in the Ta kanji of his family name.
(10:35:10 PM) *Velura_Nizani checks the ring one, next.
(10:35:23 PM) Dif: "Score! Let's do THAT one!"
(10:36:27 PM) Velura_Nizani: "We wouldn't have to leave the city for this one. And you could talk to some of your colleagues to see if any of them 'found' it, Dif."
(10:37:15 PM) WildfireDS: "Doesn't sound like something a thief would do."
(10:37:20 PM) Dif: "Could do that, I suppose."
(10:37:48 PM) Velura_Nizani: "Thieves don't keep their heads attached by being predictable."
(10:38:02 PM) Le_Chun: "Huh. I don't know how to track something like that down, but if you think it's a good idea…"
(10:38:12 PM) WildfireDS: "Neither do they make a profit by breaking into a house and only taking one thing."
(10:38:19 PM) Greenling: "Would a thief be so dumb as to steal something so easy to recognize, though? I suppose I don't know thieves."
(10:39:14 PM) Greenling: "Obviously, we should find one and ask them if they would steal a ring." He's not looking at Moriko when he says that or anything.
(10:39:29 PM) Le_Chun is now known as Le_BRBle
(10:39:33 PM) *
Dif does that thing where you slap your face and slowly drag your hand down it.
(10:39:48 PM) Dif: "Hey, buddy. You lift anything lately? Just asking, you know."
(10:39:54 PM) Dif: "Come on."
(10:40:23 PM) Velura_Nizani: "Well, we can put it to a vote. Which one does everyone think we should take?"
(10:40:41 PM) *WildfireDS gives Galamonde a flat stare.
(10:40:48 PM) WildfireDS: "I already said goblin-hunting."
(10:41:01 PM) Dif: "That ring one sounds pretty tasty. Besides, that's what a fence is for."
(10:41:35 PM) Dif: "Still, if it's highly identifiable and unique, you'd need a high level fence to make it disappear for it and be able to compensate you, assuming you don't get ripped off."
(10:41:40 PM) Greenling: "What? Oh, yes. I like that one as well, though I think we should snap up the one about the old woman and her reagents as well."
(10:41:59 PM) Dif: "Every single one of these little jobs sounds like there's a catch."
(10:42:08 PM) Dif: "But I'm seeing the most payout from the ring one."
(10:42:13 PM) Greenling: "It's either free money or something terribly exciting and unexpected will happen, so it's clearly our best bet."
(10:42:32 PM) Velura_Nizani: "I think the ring one should come first, and then we can do the reagent gathering."
(10:42:48 PM) Dif: "No such thing as free money. All the candy-bearing babies drowned in red a while ago, in my experience."
(10:43:25 PM) Greenling: "We might even get lucky, and the Shou stole the ring and we can grab reagents on the way back." It is really hard to tell whether he's taking this at all seriously.
(10:46:32 PM) Dif: "Sometimes it's better to take a chip off a big diamond and shove it in your pocket to skulk away with than to try to palm the whole thing in one go."
(10:47:08 PM) *
WildfireDS sighs. So much for her hope of a nice, SIMPLE job
(10:47:09 PM) Greenling: "So that's… what two ring, one hunting, one reagent… and?"
(10:59:49 PM) WildfireDS: "Oh for crying out loud, if you people think we can find the ring - and I don't have the slightest idea how - then we can just take that."
(11:00:11 PM) Le_BRBle is now known as Le_Chun
(11:01:29 PM) Le_Chun: "So…Ring?"
(11:01:43 PM) Dif: "I like it."
(11:02:41 PM) Velura_Nizani: "Why are you acting so opposed to this, Moriko?"
(11:05:09 PM) WildfireDS: "Because I honestly have no idea how we're going to find one tiny ring in the middle of a gigantic city."
(11:05:32 PM) Greenling: "Ring it is!" Galamonde crosses his arms. "I propose we speak to the man in question. Maybe find out why he kept his dead wife's wedding ring on an altar. Then maybe we can look around, or rough someone up, or… however these things work."
(11:05:49 PM) Velura_Nizani: "As opposed to finding one tiny herb in the middle of a gigantic forest?" She shrugs.
(11:06:05 PM) WildfireDS: "I know how to find things in forests."
(11:06:11 PM) Dif: "We forgetting our previous notes here?"
(11:06:22 PM) Dif: "Someone claimed the ring was highly identifiable and would be hard to pawn off."
(11:06:23 PM) WildfireDS: "…well, sort of."
(11:06:24 PM) Velura_Nizani: And Dif knows how to find things in cities."
(11:06:36 PM) Dif: "This isn't a needle in a haystack, this is a glowing torch in a haystack."
(11:07:19 PM) Dif: "That said, I don't really get a kick out of hobnobbing with Guildsmen, but it does sound like the best approach."
(11:07:38 PM) *Velura_Nizani nods. "Let's at least make an effort to find the ring, first. If we can't find any leads, we can try to accomplish one of the other jobs."
(11:07:40 PM) Greenling: "A branded, golden glowing torch with diamonds on it! That is, presuming he didn't just drop the blasted thing in a ditch while drunk or sobbing. We can always pick another if this one's stupid, can't we?"
(11:08:10 PM) *
Le_Chun puts the incense down.
(11:08:10 PM) Greenling: "…Finding herbs in a forest is much easier, though. Herbs only grow on the ground, for one. Or on trees. Specific places. A ring could be /anywhere/."
(11:08:26 PM) Le_Chun: "Well! The important thing is to -start-.
(11:08:28 PM) Le_Chun: "
(11:10:11 PM) WildfireDS: "Right. So…" Moriko runs one hand through her short-cut hair, "Where to first?"
(11:10:46 PM) Velura_Nizani: "To the victim's home to ask about the ring, I suppose."
(11:11:44 PM) Dif: "My favors in this town are kind of on the low side, and some of my contacts have probably died or moved on, but.. worth a try."
(11:11:53 PM) Greenling: "I have to agree with Chun."
(11:12:16 PM) Dif: "Quickest way to set up a meeting with a guild.."
(11:12:30 PM) *Dif looks around for people to pickpocket.
(11:12:31 PM) TidelordSparda: The job offer has an address on it. Of course before you go there you have to officiate the job. That means taking it down from the board and having it stamped by Madame Kufu.
(11:13:04 PM) Dif: "I'll get myself a little conference set up with the local chapter while you guys get our contract stamped and whatnot."
(11:13:07 PM) WildfireDS: "I'll go…ugh…get the job stamped."
(11:13:16 PM) Le_Chun: "What's wrong with that?"
(11:13:36 PM) Le_Chun: "If Madame Kufu didn't keep track of these things, some other band might try to do the same thing. Think of the waste!"
(11:13:42 PM) WildfireDS: "Inherent aversion to anyone with the appelation Madame, mostly."
(11:13:55 PM) Le_Chun: "Sometimes, Moriko, I don't get you."
(11:14:44 PM) Dif: Easiest way to get noticed by a Guild is to start cutting purses without having had tea with the bastards first. Dif gets to work at petty crime, working at shoplifting and other small thefts in the area.
(11:14:53 PM) TidelordSparda: In this case, however, Moriko's disgust is correct.
(11:14:59 PM) Dif: Until he essentially draws enough attention from local thieves to make it awkward, thus setting up being brought in.
(11:15:12 PM) WildfireDS: "Only sometimes?" Moriko takes down the job offer and goes to leave at that point. Interestingly, she forgets to unpin the paper, but there's no ripping sound, and it appears to be whole and untorn…including lacking the hole for the pin.
(11:15:47 PM) TidelordSparda: Madame Kufu is a pinched, crabby woman shrunked with age, perhaps 4 feet tall on a day she decides to stand up straight. At every other day she's bent over her gain, snapping at servers, spitting out bad tea and making sour faces at adventurers as she stamps papers.
(11:17:48 PM) Le_Chun: "…Now I get you, Moriko."
(11:18:51 PM) The_Lady [~moc.sqafsetahdog.5B68AFDE-ratScigaM|eretsigeR#moc.sqafsetahdog.5B68AFDE-ratScigaM|eretsigeR] entered the room.
(11:18:51 PM) The_Lady: The Lady's shadow falls upon the room
(11:19:07 PM) Dif: Oh god the TN is horrible
(11:19:11 PM) Dif: Then again I WANT to get caught
(11:19:44 PM) The_Lady: You feel the universe shudder as the Lady passes…
(11:19:44 PM) The_Lady left the room.
(11:19:54 PM) TidelordSparda: As Moriko approaches the counter, Kufu spits out a mouthful of tea into a bucket and throws the half-full cup at the poor junior brewer. "TERRIBLE! 42 seconds too long steeped! How am I supposed to get any repeat customers if you insist on serving them swill?!"
(11:20:14 PM) *
Dif tries to rip off some confused woman haggling for tomatoes. Guess you didn't have the coin after all, sweetheart.
(11:21:13 PM) WildfireDS: "Ahem. Excuse me Madam Kufu…"
(11:21:19 PM) Dif: Oh, almost forgot. Dif does that dramatic thief thing of putting his requisite hood up.
(11:23:07 PM) *WildfireDS holds out the job offer.
(11:23:20 PM) *
Le_Chun does his best to look dignified and enlightened.
(11:23:34 PM) TidelordSparda: Kufu is tiny and wearing an expensive looking red and white silk gown, her hair is up in a small crescent shaped ornament. "WHAT!? Oh. An adventurer." She pulls a small stamp out of her sleeve and uncaps it. It was already wet with ink thanks to some cleverness with the camp. "This one looks easy, you should not die on it!"
(11:23:43 PM) TidelordSparda: She stamps the page for Moriko without being asked to.
(11:23:54 PM) WildfireDS: "Thank you."
(11:24:42 PM) TidelordSparda: "If you DO die you're not new enough to get some incense lit for you or paper money burned, try to stay alive for a few jobs at least, okay newbie? Okay. Now then, where was I? Oh yes. SWILL! You are trying to serve swill, brew it again! That pot is coming out of your paycheck!"
(11:25:15 PM) *Le_Chun blinks.
(11:25:34 PM) *
Le_Chun quietly goes back to burn some incense for anyone who wasn't well known enough to be missed.
(11:28:23 PM) *Velura_Nizani walks up to Moriko. "Done with the paperwork? Excellent. Let's head to the employer's house and get some more information."
(11:28:35 PM) TidelordSparda: As Dif goes for the afternoon to try and get himself caught stealing the rest of the group is free to go to the client's house.
(11:29:28 PM) *
WildfireDS puts the paper, folded up, in a little pouch on her belt and wanders back to the corner table they had claimed to grab the rest of her junk.
(11:30:31 PM) *Le_Chun catches up with Moriko, smelling of cheap incense.
(11:30:39 PM) Le_Chun: "So! Where is this house, exactly?"
(11:30:41 PM) *
Dif gets a mixed feeling of disappointment and dread. Taking a while to get caught for thieving without local approval of the latest club of burglars and cutthroats either means they're that disorganized and incompetent… or they're the complete opposite and someone's reading his intent. Buncha reptiles.
(11:31:13 PM) *WildfireDS considers, then points, "That way. I think. Pretty sure."
(11:31:54 PM) TidelordSparda: The address is a rickshaw ride or a long walk away, on Dog and 7th. It's a fairly nice house, definitely upper middle class at least, like a government official.
(11:32:30 PM) TidelordSparda: And, indeed, the man who opens the door is in a ministerial robe, minus the little square hat. His eyes are watery and sunken and he looks haggard, in his mid to late 50s.
(11:33:05 PM) TidelordSparda: "O-oh… Hello… You must be from the White Jade Inn, yes? Oh, good… Please come in…"
(11:34:51 PM) TidelordSparda: He invites into a nice sitting room and serves you terrible but hot tea and stale cookies.
(11:35:33 PM) Greenling: How awkward.
(11:36:33 PM) *
Le_Chun eats with gusto, attempting to balance out DRY AND STALE with DRINK FAST SO YOU CAN'T TASTE IT!
(11:36:42 PM) *Le_Chun is breathing out hot steam before too long. Whew.
(11:37:08 PM) TidelordSparda: "I apologize… I must look a fright, and I'm not good at hosting guests. My wife's done that for the last 35 years so I've gotten a bit… rusty." He sniffs.
(11:38:15 PM) WildfireDS: "It's quite all right. We understand."
(11:38:19 PM) *
Velura_Nizani climbs out of the rickshaw to meet the minister, and takes a seat as he invites them in. "It's quite alright. We're here to help recover your lost ring, after all, not as guests. Please, if you can, tell us more about what happened around the time the ring went missing."
(11:38:41 PM) Greenling: Galamonde tries to pretend the cookies are a local thing. Acquired taste. It helps.
(11:38:44 PM) *Le_Chun nods emphatically in agreement, snatching some crumbs that fall before they can soil the man's floor.
(11:39:03 PM) TidelordSparda: "I am Minister Suron, of the underhouse of taxes and tariffs. I assist businesses in setting up lines of tax credit with the mandarinate, mostly. But that's not why you're here, I'm rambling I apologize… It's as I said on the notice. I got home the night before last after work and there, where I kept my wife's ring on her altar, it was done. The ring, that is."
(11:41:28 PM) TidelordSparda: There's a fine wooden altar set up in the recess of one wall, there's a painting of a lovely smiling woman with long dark hair there, an incense burner and wilting flowers among other small momentos and, oddly enough, more jewelry, all ornate looking things, like heirlooms.
(11:42:22 PM) WildfireDS: "Well, it pretty obviously wasn't stolen by some sort of desprate thief out to pawn it for money."
(11:43:15 PM) Greenling: "Huh. Did the ring have any weird history, or I don't know, did you knock into any strange mumbling men?" Galamonde looks over the altar, trying not to actually disturb anything.
(11:43:35 PM) TidelordSparda: "I don't know who would do this to my wife's memory or why.
(11:44:00 PM) Velura_Nizani: "Indeed, it doesn't seem like a normal robbery with all the other valuables left there. I'm sorry to ask, but did your wife have any enemies? Or do you have any who would want to get to you through her like this?"
(11:45:50 PM) TidelordSparda: "The ring itself is an heirloom, passed down through my family from mother to son to give to his wife. I don't know when the tradition started, but it's been many hundreds of years of the Ta family… Enemies? My lady wife? I can't imagine so! The idea seems ridiculous, she was a sweet jasmine blossom, a truly rare sort of woman…"
(11:46:15 PM) TidelordSparda: "As to getting to me, well… I'm a TAX officer. I can't imagine that many have high opinions of me."
(11:46:38 PM) Le_Chun: "Hmm. But the shrine was left alone? Just the ring was taken?"
(11:46:43 PM) Velura_Nizani: "Some people can be jealous of such people as your wife, I'm sad to say."
(11:48:31 PM) TidelordSparda: "Indeed, just the wedding ring. Her own family's necklace wasn't taken and nothing else on the altar was moved or damage in any way. If someone did this to dishonor her, surely they would have destroyed the altar?"
(11:49:47 PM) Le_Chun: "Hmm. So, you don't know anything else about the tradition?"
(11:54:09 PM) TidelordSparda: He shakes his head. "No, just that the ring is to be worn only by those who are members of the Ta clan. It must pass from mother to son to his wife and so on."
(11:57:27 PM) Le_Chun: "Do you have any relatives in the city?"
(11:57:39 PM) TidelordSparda: "But I've never heard of any magic on the ring, or a curse or anything silly like that."
(11:58:03 PM) TidelordSparda: "No, the Ta clan is… is just me now. My dear lady wife was many wonderful things, but fertile was not one of them. We never had any children."
(11:59:16 PM) Greenling: "…Are you /quite/ certain? Because that sounds related. I don't suppose you have any old family archives or somehow-living great-grandparents around, do you?"
(11:59:28 PM) *
Le_Chun scratches his head, frowning.
(11:59:46 PM) Greenling: Though the 'it got knocked behind something' hypothesis is sounding more and more likely.
(11:59:49 PM) TidelordSparda: "Most of my family was lost in the Red Tide. my parents passed away of natural causes and my grandparents of famine. My uncle died at war with the shou and my two brothers died the same way."
(6/13/2012 12:00:59 AM) Greenling: Galamonde pauses, then reaches over to pat the man's shoulder, not knowing what else to say.
(12:01:22 AM) TidelordSparda: "If the rest of the world was intact, I'm sure I'd still have extended family but now? No… No, it's just me now. Even my cousins are all gone. An Outbreak took them. I don't want to imagine what they're like, if they survived."
(12:02:43 AM) Greenling: He really hopes this man has a hobby or something. A pet? No, then the pet might die horribly.
(12:03:14 AM) *Le_Chun scratches his head and looks up guiltily. "I hate to ask. Where and when did you…did you lose your cousins?"
(12:05:14 AM) TidelordSparda: The man sighs heavily. "This is hardly the time I'd like to recount such things, but if you insist… There was a small village called Roka along the northeastern coast, a fishing village. My uncle was a poor man who married a poor woman, but they were happy. My parents used to send me there for summers when I was a boy, to go fishing and experience the country life. They didn't want me stifled
(12:05:14 AM) TidelordSparda: by the walls of the city. Well, Roka isn't there anymore. A Tendril reached out and, well… What the Imperial army didn't mop up is still lurking out there somewhere."
(12:05:44 AM) Le_Chun: "I'm so sorry. I just-….we need to rule all that out."
(12:05:59 AM) TidelordSparda: "I had two cousins, a boy and a girl. They were taken, or devoured by the taken."
(12:06:12 AM) TidelordSparda: He runs the heel of his palm over his eyes in turn.
(12:09:12 AM) *
Le_Chun looks away.
(12:11:50 AM) TidelordSparda: "Ahem, I would like it very much if you could stay here tonight, in case the thief returns. I think I might have heard a noise downstairs last night, but I couldn't be sure so I didn't think to mention it. It may be my paranoia. There should be more than enough room for all of you. Oh, the job pays 500 gold to your company. I hope that's sufficient."
(12:12:22 AM) TidelordSparda: MEANWHILE
(12:12:29 AM) Le_Chun: It's good Chun isn't eating any cookies, because he would have spit them across the room.
(12:13:56 AM) TidelordSparda: DIF: You've been going about badly pocketpicking for a while now. The guard haven't noticed you doing it, or if they have they're ignoring you because you keep failing. None of your 'victims' have noticed, though, which is the more important part.
(12:15:22 AM) *Dif scratches one of his older scars and mulls over why he hasn't gotten in trouble yet. Thieves' Guild heads tend to be egotistical bastards that don't like plifering without their permission, which usually takes the form of a mandatory 60% cut.
(12:17:19 AM) TidelordSparda: Oh no one said anything about Dif not being in trouble. As he goes about his business he gets boxed into an alley, one side has a massive grunt of a man and the other has a small man in a fancy jacket chewing on a throwing needle with a tall, slender Elf at his side.
(12:17:35 AM) Dif: "What took you guys so long?"
(12:17:35 AM) TidelordSparda: "Ahem. Why are you trying to get my attention?" Asks the little man in the jacket outright.
(12:17:56 AM) TidelordSparda: "We were trying to figure out if you were really as bad as you looked or if you were baiting."
(12:18:08 AM) TidelordSparda: "You were never caught despite getting no marks. We bet on baiting."
(12:19:45 AM) TidelordSparda: "DIDN'T WE KRIN?" He shouts to the big guy on the other side of the alley, who grunts in return.
(12:19:46 AM) Dif: "Well, mainly it's these two things. One, I haven't been active in a while and this seemed like the quickest way to get reinstated. And two, I need access to a Guild's resources. Got questions."
(12:22:15 AM) TidelordSparda: "Huh… Well you got balls, I'll give you that."
(12:23:42 AM) TidelordSparda: "Alright then, if you want to join up, though, you've got to prove how good you are. Today could have been a fluke. We'll give you a job, if you do it you're in as a footpad. Got it?"
(12:26:06 AM) Dif: "I'm already in. It's just been a little while."
(12:27:47 AM) Dif: "Don't tell me I have to pay dues /again/."
(12:28:31 AM) TidelordSparda: "Uh-huh… Well you're up for re-hiring, then. Here's the job: There's a pawn shop at 37th and Dragon, you know what a dive Dragon street is? Well there's exactly one thing the Guild could use from there. It's a sardonyx cameo, it's not magic or anything but it IS lost-civ. It's got some lady on it. Nick it and come back here tomorrow, same time."
(12:33:23 AM) Dif: "You're joking, right?" Dif knows the answer already.
(12:37:29 AM) TidelordSparda: "No, you don't want to do this again don't go inactive. Stranger."
(12:37:57 AM) Dif: "At least answer the question I've got."
(12:39:32 AM) TidelordSparda: "What? From one thief to another, I'll tell the truth."
(12:40:59 AM) Dif: "Okay. What do you know about this one ring?" he describes the one in the job contract.
(12:49:46 AM) Dif: "Has it been fenced lately? Anyone try to swipe it?"
(12:50:31 AM) TidelordSparda: He looks at his side to the Elf, who shakes his/her head.
(12:50:59 AM) TidelordSparda: "Nope. If Knifeear doesn't know it, it hasn't been fenced with us. If it was stolen it wasn't a guild job."
(12:51:37 AM) Dif: "Seems like the Guild would be a bit peeved at someone smashing and grabbing that kind of prize without permission."
(12:53:49 AM) TidelordSparda: "Eh, not unless they make a nuisance of themselves. We don't care enough to waste resources on tracking down one theft we didn't know about in advance."
(12:54:08 AM) TidelordSparda: "Besides, what if it was a guilder and they just decided to keep it? We don't have rules against that."
(12:54:37 AM) Dif: "Really? Must be nice. He your wife's cousin or something? I seem to remember the guild always demanding a piece of the take."
(12:54:48 AM) Dif: "A 0% interest snag seems too good to be true."
(12:54:51 AM) TidelordSparda: "No. Where the hell are you from?"
(12:55:25 AM) TidelordSparda: "We tax the fencing side of the guild. Nothing gets fenced or smuggled in this town without us knowing about it. We don't police personal jobs, that leads to assassinations."
(12:55:44 AM) TidelordSparda: *replace guild with job.
(12:56:14 AM) Dif: "Then where'd this woman's ring go? It's a piece of shiny worth a lot. Someone's gotta know where it is."
(12:56:42 AM) TidelordSparda: "Xian is huge, man. Trying to keep track of all that would spread us thinner than butter on a ricecropper's breakfast loaf."
(12:58:08 AM) *
Dif seems stubborn to abandon the trail so quickly. "Someone stole it. It's either on some floozy's ring finger or in some cutpurse's personal safe. I'm going to find it."
(12:58:22 AM) Dif: "Anyway, make space for that thing you wanted."
(12:58:37 AM) TidelordSparda: "Alright, man, but that's your deal not ours. It hasn't been fenced, that's all we can tell you."
(12:59:21 AM) Dif: "Thanks for your 'help'."
(1:00:21 AM) TidelordSparda: "I'm not holding out on ya, swear by the nine."
(1:00:32 AM) TidelordSparda: "Get us that shiny and you're good in the guild."
(1:00:44 AM) Dif: "Okay."

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