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Unread 31st of January, 2013, 06:43
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Tashalar
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On that rainy afternoon...

... E'la walked the streets of Sharn and smiled a rare smile. He relished the feel of the water on his skin as it washed away the filth of the city. The fact that the streets were almost empty when it poured instead of full of jostling, irritating people appealed to him a lot. Walking in this city rain was still something else entirely than walking in the calm of the forests at 'home'. But yes, it did feel good.

The last weeks had been frustrating and he had found no leads on his heritage despite the help of Castar Kan, a Sivis gnome. He had thought about what he was going to do for the last couple of days, but he didn't see any other way. Kan had been acting strangely and he simply didn't know what else to do next. E'la stopped in front of a large and heavy metal door and looked up. The Medani compound loomed up above him. He wasn't sure what to expect of an information broker or what fortunes it would cost him. Shrugging, he raised a slender hand and knocked.
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Unread 1st of February, 2013, 10:15
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Blue green lines of arcane power spring to life at the young man's touch and race across the door's black ebony surface, filling glyphs in their wake. A moment later a great eye appears in the center of the door, its gaze unwaveringly sweeping over him from head to toe.

"Good afternoon sir," a pleasant sounding woman said, her illusionary voice coming from the door. "How can House Medani serve you?"
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Unread 4th of February, 2013, 06:15
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The right corner of E'la's mouth twitched at his attempt to smile, but the smile faltered half-way, bundled up and went back home. Someone had told him that smilling at these city folks was a good idea, but either that someone had been a lying twit or he had failed to master the kind of smile they'd react to. Anyhow, E'la recognized a lost cause - most of the time - and so stared right back at the eye while water ran in rivulets down his face.

Power. People always reacted to power. E'la raised his right hand and snapped his fingers. A blue hue shortly appeared right above his head and the rain started falling past him immediately. Nothing more than a small trick but an obvious sign to tell them he wasn't anyone. Supposedly. "Good afternoon ma'am," he replied somewhat stiffly. "I'm searching for some information and was told that this was the place where I would find experts at finding exactly that. I'd like to negotiate a contract."
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Unread 28th of February, 2013, 07:16
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“You were told correctly sir. House Medani has been the premier source of information services since before the War of the Mark. Please come in,” the voice continues as the glyphs on the door once more glow with teal power and the heavy metal door silently swings inward. The pillar lined hallway beyond is short, and the exquisite green and black granite floor tiles were set so that from the entry they formed an image of a rearing basilisk.

“Please proceed to waiting room, and an associate will be with you shortly,” the eye finished and in them promptly vanished.

Stepping into the hallway E'la quickly notices that as he moves the image of the basilisk changes. At first it stretched out before him, but now with each step forward it stalks off behind the black granite pillars to the right. Above him a companion basilisk followed suit – slinking off behind the mirrored reflections of the pillars to the left. His first thought is magic, but a closer inspection of reveals that the floor is composed of a layer of clear glass resting over a mosaic of multi-sided tiles expertly placed so that the image they formed changed as the viewer moved. Likewise the hallway turns out to be well over a hundred paces long, its shortness another optical illusion caused by the almost imperceptible sloping of the ceiling, and an enormous far archway.

When he finally arrives at its end, the waiting room runs roughshod over his senses. A narrow path seems to stretch from the hallway to a long, circular counter that the room's center. The floor on either side of the path seems to drop off into a abyss, and as he steps into the room the counter appears to be the top of tower that extends down into bottomless nothingness. Staircases criss cross the room, ascending at impossible angles to doorways that hovered in the air, or folding back around on themselves. A Medani page catches his attention. The young half elf runs through the air, her image jumping from one side of the room to the other.

Floating around the counter are several curved green couches and chairs, but only two of them were occupied. One by a thin, graying half-orc, and the other a human woman in a flimsy glowsilk gown that E'la had come to associate with the latest aristocratic fashion trend.

The woman in the glowing gown was middle aged woman and gorgeous – smooth alabaster skin contrasted with an intricately braided and jeweled coiffure of whispy ink-black hair. The woman's glowing dress seemed to rely more on light that fabric for modesty, and the effect of further accentuating her already attractive figure. She sat on the edge of the her chair, her legs precisely crossed and her hands resting comfortably in her lap. Her posture was perfect as she serenely waited.

A sudden movement catches his attention, and he notices the young half-elf behind the counter waving him over. Hurrying over he suddenly stops short as the path ends in a dead drop ten feet from the counter.
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Unread 5th of March, 2013, 04:08
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The effort and amount of money that had gone into the crafty design of the entrance hall was not lost on E'la. Well, they manage to make their point clear, he thought at the 'Medani display'. The young man treads carefully along the hall to let his senses adapt to the surroundings. He didn't feel threatened, but he didn't feel home or at ease at all either.

His head whipped around as the reflection of the page jumps from the right to the left of the room. Gaze focused on the room's decor and partial emptiness, E'la felt a shudder run over his spine - fear mingled with excitement. When he became aware of the intriguing woman in the floating chair, he attempted a charming smile and inclined his head in greeting as he walked quickly towards the counter where the half-elf was waiting for him.

His smile dissolved into an unpleased grin when he suddenly stood in front of an abyss. Pulling himself together he focused on the half-elf ahead and inclined his head. "Invisible floor ahead or is there an armchair homing in on my position," he asked in a friendly tone of voice.

"Neither," the girl says with a playful giggle. "The floor is merely a perspective painting." Still smiling the half-elf coaxes E'la across.

E'la groans inwardly and tries to grin. "I'd really like that hovering armchair, honestly," he jokes as he (more or less) boldly moves forward. Despite knowing it to be an illusion of sorts, E'la's still relieved as he feels the solid floor beneath his feet. Approaching the girl, he offers another smile as he leans on the counter, this time more relaxed. "I'm looking for something and cannot seem to find it. I was pointed here to find some help with that. I guess I'm at the right place," he asks with a wink.

"You are indeed," she says, smiling warmly. She looks down at the heavy ledger in front of her and continues "Our master inquisitives have many specialties, can you be more specific as to what it is you're looking for mister...."

"Well, let's say I'm kinda special," E'la starts out, throwing another wink at her for good measure. "It's got to do with my heritage, you know? And I want to know more about that, a lot more." His eyes narrow slightly as he continues. "Thing is, usual people can simply ask their parents. Well, I'm not one of those and therefore cannot, but I would very much like to. Any chance the master inquisitives could find out who my parents are and where I can find them? There's not a lot I can give them to work with though." He hesitates shortly then continues. "So how does this work... do you choose one of them to handle my case and I tell him all I know?"

"Exactly," the young woman says as she deftly scrawls 'Mr. Smyth' into her appointment book with an ornate fountain pen, a mote of yellow light tracing after the black ink. "Grand Master Thorn handles all of our persons investigations," she says looking up from book "and will be able to see you shortly," smiling she motions to the waiting area. "Would you care for a cup of tea while you wait?"

E'la cranes his neck a little more or less inconspicuously to see what the young woman is writing down and grimaces as he reads his alias-for-the-moment. He's tempted to offer his real name but realizes that people must often come to this place without throwing information about at first simply by the way the young clerk deals with it. "Thank you," he says instead, nodding in emphasis. "And a tea would be a blessing... as long as it's not perfumed. I'll leave the choice to you," he finishes with a smile before gazing up at the waiting area.
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Unread 15th of August, 2013, 02:26
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Moving across the room E'la eschews the two occupied couches – the half orc is deeply engrossed in the Korranberg crossword and the aristocratic, while beautiful, exuded an aura of 'you-are-so-not-the-right-class-to-be-talking-to-me'. Crossing to one of the other couches E'la settles in and waits.

Time is devoured in the bureaucratic machine that is the inner workings of House Medani. Minutes seem like hours and it isn't long before E'la is struggling to keep from dozing off.

“Would you like my paper?” the old orc's voice brings E'la back from the void of daydreaming. He is tall, with short chin length hair slicked back as was the style in much of Breland. Only one tusk protrudes from his lower lip, the other nothing more than a small, broken swelling inside of his lip. A simple black vest hugs his thin frame and matches his black cotton trousers.

The orc smiles as he stands over E'la holding the folded periodical, the rolled up sleeves of his blue broad cloth shirt exposing a fine network of scars.
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Unread 16th of August, 2013, 05:08
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E'la almost jumps from his seat in surprise as the orc addresses him, albeit in a friendly manner. Still, E'la's mind had drifted off to faraway forests and he had been on the edge of a dream when the orc had pulled him back... a dream of his home. Or that which he had come to see as his home.

Blue eyes glare at the orc for a moment longer before E'la relaxes slightly, sinks back into his seat and smiles half-heartedly. "That... that is a nice offer," he mutters rather clumsily. This city stuff didn't really interest him all that much usually. But E'la reaches out with his hand regardless to take the paper. "Thank you very much. I fear I've almost fallen asleep," he explains needlessly as his eyes now focus on the orc. His gaze drops down to the orc's chest and follows along, up and down a few of the scars that bear witness to the orc's past.

“Boredom is the chief currency of bureaucracy,” the orc says with a smile.

“Ghurval Torr,” a page calls from across the room, catching the orc's attention.

“Well it seems I've received a reprieve. Enjoy the paper,” he adds with a slight bow.

"Thanks again," E'la replies as he offers a nod in return. "Any idea how long I still have to wait," he adds quickly as the orc is already turning away. While having something to read makes waiting less tiresome, he'd rather get this over with quickly... and successfully to boot. He watches the orc as he walks away in long, heavy strides, still wondering about his politeness and good manners. You didn't meet this kind of orc often and E'la hadn't at all before.

Fumbling with the newspaper a bit as he opens it up, his gaze is momentarily drawn to the woman with that rather special air to find her looking at him in disgust as he mishandles the paper. Or did she really just look at him? With a miniscule adjustment of her gaze she seems to be focused on something right behind him. With some force of will, E'la adjusts his position and turns away from her a bit. Slapping the paper down to straighten it, he concentrates on the headlines and starts leafing through it.

The headlines are typical of what he had expected - politician suspected of embezzling royal funds, House Canith's internal divisions, political tensions within the Five Nations...rumors of war. He is about to toss it aside when one of the old orc's many doodles catches his eye.

The Mark of the Hunted.

E'la shook his head, certain he was seeing thing, but it was unmistakable - there, drawn in pencil along the margins of the editorial page, was the ancient druidic symbol of danger.

E'la licked his lips and forced himself to continue gazing at the newspaper as if some article had caught his interest. His neck muscles were taught as he fought himself - restraining his instincts who were pushing him to get a good look at his surrounding area, to find any danger that could hide itself nearby. Leisurely he flipped the page, gazed at it a while, finally folded the newspaper and leaned backwards. Forcing a smile onto his lips he slowly looked about the room, trying to look rather bored. Which was far from the truth.

The Mark of the Hunted. It could've meant that the orc was asking for help, but it didn't seem that obvious and in his gut, E'la had a bad feeling. But why had he been warned? He'd never seen the orc before. Should he break off his inquiry and leave? His eyes continued to scan his surroundings leisurely as his thoughts flittered this way and that way.

Senses honed from years of harsh survival in the Eldeen forest came alive; he can see the secretary's lips move as she whispered into the ring on her finger, all the while pretending to read; he can hear the soft scuff of feet on a hidden balcony above him, and all around him he can catch glimpses of watchers, their faces appearing and disappearing in inconspicuous mirrors placed about the room. In the forest instinct is what separated a good hunter from a dead one, and right now E'la's instincts where screaming.

He was prey, and the kill was coming.

E'la froze for an instant as the realization that they were after him hit him like a brick in the face. Why were they after him? Who was after him? Neither of these questions were allowed to matter to those who wanted to live to reflect on them. The time for thought would come later - for now, E'la's instincts took over.

Don't give away that you've spotted their play... slowly he turned his head to look about stifling a yawn. Muttering something about being old and senile when it'd finally be his turn, E'la made an effort to appear unaware, unknowing. If this was a set-up, then they had had plenty of time to strike even after the orc had left. The fact that they hadn't done so yet, would mean that they were luring him deeper into their web.

The thought that he should sit and wait to see how things would develop occured to E'la, but was quickly jostled out of the way by his power rising to his adrenaline level - E'la knew that waiting would simply not do. He had to find out what was happening here. Force them to show their hand.

Despite the bad feeling in his guts E'la pushed himself out of his chair as he continued to mutter about having to wait. Walking over to the receptionist, he cleared his throat and smiled awkwardly at her. "I've been waiting for a long while..." E'la started out, then raised a hand. "It's not that I'm complaining or anything, but... you know. Is there anywhere where I can relieve myself?"
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