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  #26  
Unread 12th of June, 2008, 02:37
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Darriel cocks an eyebrow at Malachi for explaining what a brothel is, then grins, turning back to contemplate the list.
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  #27  
Unread 12th of June, 2008, 06:19
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"Actually, some of us sell sex for money and some of us are willing to pay for it. As for the children, we eat them." Malachi smirks in Darriel's direction before breaking out in laughter. Then, to Balar, "I am sorry my friend. It is not my intention to have fun at your expense. It is only that I have never before considered the intricacies and absurdities of prostitution before. I suddenly find it as strange as you do!" Malachi composes himself. "Let us talk more of this at another time. As the Commander's Adjutant informed us in no uncertain terms, he is a busy man."
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  #28  
Unread 12th of June, 2008, 06:37
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If Kargen is alarmed by the bizarre banter of his new employees then he conceals it well, and the rest of the meeting passes quickly. The Dwarf escorts the team from the Watch House himself, perhaps to spare his adjutant from further probing questions, perhaps to spare Balar the indignity of being beaten up by a woman.

*

The Wagoner is a well-upholstered tavern towards the center of the mercantile quarter, some quarter-way up the Ater's steep flanks. It's humble name harks back to when the opulent district was merely a collection of seedy taverns and traders strung along the side of the main wagon road from the mines down to the river docks. The Wagoner's adventurous architectural style is typical of the city; at four stories high, its vintage oak beams would be unable to support the high, airy ceilings and spacious rooms without the magical glyphs inscribed discretely into wood and stone.
Grand as it may be, The Wagoner is a modest establishment by the standards of Aterium, and most of its clientŤle are middling merchants, bank clerks and scribes. The small party of adventurers might not meld so easily with the general ambiance, but their gold is as good as anyone elses, so no comments are raised.

Sitting around a wide oak table fashioned in the knowingly rustic style that takes a skilled craftsman many years to perfect, the party can relax. It's mid-afternoon and the Inn is quiet, the second floor taproom almost deserted but for a solitary scribe perusing a sheaf of notes over an aperitif. Now is a perfect time to discuss the next move.
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  #29  
Unread 12th of June, 2008, 09:49
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Balar takes a seat and looks around for someone to order food and/or drink from. "Now then Malachi, you promised to explain this to me further. So which are you? Are you payed or do you pay? what about the rest of you? How do you decide? It seems like the one who's getting payed gets the batter deal. Or do you switch off every once in a while. Also, who does take care of the babies? I mean, where I'm from, baby eating is punished by decapitation and head spiking. That is, they chop yer head off and stick it on a spike."
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  #30  
Unread 12th of June, 2008, 11:19
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"We have to begin our search somewhere, sounds like a good plan to me."

"However, I wouldn't be surprised if this fence didn't know anything at all. If this book is indeed as powerful and dangerous as to make the council shiver in their boots, then this fence may not be our guy. Though, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to go take a peek... at his mind"


Lionel speaks no words, besides saluting Kargan "aurevoir", leaving the others discuss of the unethical activities of prostitution. His thoughts are wandering his mind, thinking about this quest set before them. This book, what contents lies within?

"Balar sure is a simple-minded fool... Brawns instead of brains, or anything else by that matter. Let's just hope he won't bring us all down"

"It's much much worse, babies here are actually born straight on a plater, ready to be cooked and served in most of the finest restaurants you could only dream of Balar. Our exquisite drinks are made of rejected bodily fluids, fermented to produce the finest of all alcohols!", clearly not trying to be subtle nor funny.
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  #31  
Unread 12th of June, 2008, 11:35
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Balar turns to regard Lionel for a moment then give s him a small smile. "Er... Was that a joke? For your sake I hope it was. Even though it was very disturbing and not funny at all."
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Last edited by Shoelip; 12th of June, 2008 at 11:38.
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  #32  
Unread 12th of June, 2008, 14:08
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Malachi listens to the exchange between Balar and Lionel, then cuts in when he sees an opportunity. "You are correct Balar we should talk more on this topic. If you are looking for guide and teacher, perhaps we can come to an agreement. I would answer questions and even take you on short trips to see various sites when we have the time. My fee for private tutoring on the people and customs of the southern lands is one-hundred gold per week. If you agree on the price we can discuss the terms of our agreement. Now I want you to think it over while I go have a word with some people. I'll be back shortly."

Malachi works the room looking for information as to the whereabouts of Morrisey the Fence. He starts with the bartender and any patrons with whom he can see an opening to converse.
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  #33  
Unread 12th of June, 2008, 14:19
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"One hundred-!" Balar starts, but as the rogue has already left the table he finds no one to be aghast at and falls silent.

After a moment he looks up again. "Wait, we don't even know where this guy is? Why don't we look for him at some of the other places on the list?"
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Last edited by Shoelip; 14th of June, 2008 at 06:13.
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  #34  
Unread 14th of June, 2008, 07:32
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Malachi approaches the table just as Balar speaks. "That is exactly what I was trying to find out...where we might find Morrisey. I have had no luck here I am afraid. Apparently he is not as widely known in the Mercantile District as I had hoped. Instead of trying other places on the list looking for Morrisey, let us follow the listed suggestion and try the actual markets. We might have better luck there than...say...the Pink Pleasure Palace."

Malachi gathers his belongings and, when his companions are ready, he heads off to the markets.
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There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die. ~Raoul Duke, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"
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  #35  
Unread 14th of June, 2008, 07:59
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Balar, having been completely unable to get any service anyway agrees and gets his gear together, ready to leave with Malachi at a moment's notice.
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  #36  
Unread 14th of June, 2008, 21:01
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Like all large cities, Aterium has many markets, large and small. On the outskirts of the city walls, in the poor districts, are the simple stalls of peddlars and farmers, while around the university can be found more exotic boutiques of magical accessories, grimouires and alchemical ingredients. In the craftsmen's districts, carpenters, wheelwrights and coopers ply their stalls, and in the elegant, select streets of the spire itself, discrete faux rustique stalls dispense sweetmeats, sugared fruits and spiced liquors to the noble dilettantes who stroll the tree-lined and blossom-scented avenues.

In keeping with the Aterian fashion for eponymous titling however, whenever a native speaks of The Markets they are probably referring to the sprawling bazzar down by the river docks. Here, it is rumoured, one sufficiently determined and well resourced can buy anything- even a man's life.
It takes the persuasive Malachi no time at all to glean this information from a talkative barmaid. A brisk walk from the Wagoner down to the riverside will allow the party to reach the Markets late in the afternoon, just as the streets and stalls of the bazzar begin to thicken with sightseers, beggars, traders, shoppers, watchmen and cutpurses. Early evening is the busiest time of day for the Dockside Market; an ideal time and place to begin an investigation.
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  #37  
Unread 15th of June, 2008, 02:30
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Balar looks around in wonder at all the amazing sights the city has to offer.
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  #38  
Unread 15th of June, 2008, 05:05
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It wasn't the first time Lionel traveled the labyrinth of the markets of Aterium. It was an amazing sight, so many merchants of all sorts in one place!

"Somewhere, this weasel hides... Maybe some eyes have seen his shadow?"

Of course, he knew not all of them were honest, some he knew to be vile thieves, or so the rumors would say. Lionel traveled from one place to another, observing the many quantities of magical objects found. He wasn't the richest of people, his father had left him with barely to survive a few weeks on his own;only through his ancestry and reputation could he have stayed in the Academy, spending hours and hours studying to prove himself worthy of Aterium.

While he was there, he searched for some old spellbooks that were for sale; if he could find one for some low price, maybe inside their scriptures were spells that he could learn, and in the future be able to use to his advantage. The Commander would understand the need of such objects right? Once he has found a decent, good-looking female merchant, using what he knows about the locals, he will take a few moments to look at her stuff, pun intended, and try to spew out of her a few answers to his questions, if possible. He also kept his magical wand of charm ready to strike her emotions, if she didn't seem to... communicate

Last edited by Scythe; 17th of June, 2008 at 07:45.
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  #39  
Unread 16th of June, 2008, 12:39
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Malachi was content to let Lionel lead them around The Markets in search of whatever repulsive magical ingredient the wizard sought. It allowed him time to feel the pulse of the place. The merchants were calling out and haggling with prospective buyers. The assortment of sights, sounds, and smells were nearly enough to overwhelm his senses, but Malachi was managing to sift through it all.

He was looking for the sort of merchant who would deal in ill-gotten goods. He had dealt with a fence or two in his time and was hoping that it might aid him in spotting some clue. Then he would work his magic.
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There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die. ~Raoul Duke, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"
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  #40  
Unread 19th of June, 2008, 01:02
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The bazaar is begining to grow crowded and noisy as shoppers, browsers, traders and inevitable thieves rub shoulders in the tight alleys between innumerable stalls beneath brightly coloured awnings. Hawkers extol the virtues of their wares in deafening voices, each man trying to out-shout his neighbour, while the citizens of Aterium bustling about add their own voices to the raucous row.

Lead by Lionel, the party forge through the press, their weapons and purposeful demeanour helping to ease their passage. Lionel remembers an old acquaintance who frequents the markets with scrolls and books and sundry magical items to sell; a pretty half-elf girl who usually displays her wares towards the center of the market, not far from the Elven Blossom Tavern.

Tagging along in the rear, Malachi finds his goal somewhat sooner- the party have barely entered the bazaar when he spots his quarry: A merchant sitting behind a well-stocked table crowded with silverware and occasional jewelry. Unlike the others, he sits in amiable silence and feels no need to clamour for custom. Smoking a pipe, he watches the bustle with lidded eyes- taking in everything and missing nothing.
His wares are plain and of average quality; almost certainly honestly acquired and nothing more than a charade to fool the Watch. Behind him a shadowed alley provides an easy bolt-hole in case of trouble, and a young boy lurks in the gloom- a runner who can be sent to fetch gold, specific items, or help if needed.
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  #41  
Unread 20th of June, 2008, 04:30
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Moving quickly and grabbing Lionel by the arm as they move through the crowd, "Lionel. Hold for a moment. Have a look at this." Malachi pretends to examininge some beaded jewelery in a nearby stall as he continues speaking in a voice just loud enough for Lionel.

"Do not stare directly at him, but there is a merchant over there that you should speak to if we are to pick up Morrisey's trail." Malachi gestures slightly with his head and eyes. "The one smoking the pipe.... You see how his wares are common and he makes no effort to draw the crowd? There are other signs, but I assure you that he is just the sort to trade in blackmarket goods. There is a good chance he does business with Morrisey. You should speak to him."
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There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die. ~Raoul Duke, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"
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  #42  
Unread 20th of June, 2008, 05:12
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Balar, who had been following the two, stops when they do, and stares at them. "Come on you two! We didn't come here to buy jewelry! ... If we aren't going to look for this Morrisey, I want to see that pink palace place..." At this point Balar seems to notice that Malachi is actually talking, though in a quiet voice hard to hear over the bustle of the marketplace. "What are you going on about Malachi? Speak up."
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  #43  
Unread 20th of June, 2008, 09:28
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Just as Malachi finishes with Lionel he moves quickly to put an arm around Balar's shoulder. "Keep your voice down my friend" he hisses with a smile. "I have spotted someone of interest and I was merely pointing them out to Lionel. I would have announced it to the group, but it would not do to huddle together and since he was in the lead....

These things must be handled with subtlety. You, on the other hand are anything but subtle. Some might see it as a fault, but I call it part of your charm. Be that as it may, you need to leave such matters to those best equipped to handle them. Your contribution, I suspect, my fearsome friend, shall be to look as if you could do violence at any moment, to threaten violence if need be, and to deliver violence to our enemies on special occasions.

This is not to say we do not value your opinion, we only ask that you share it privately. We do not wish our enemies to benefit from your observations. So what say you? No more yelling out Morrisey's name? Guard Lionel as he speaks to this person?"
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There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die. ~Raoul Duke, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"
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  #44  
Unread 20th of June, 2008, 09:47
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Balar glances at the quiet man pointed out by his companion and replies in a softer voice, "He doesn't look like much of a threat, but I've got no problem watching Lionel's back if you're worried." He shrugs, "What're you gonna do?"
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  #45  
Unread 20th of June, 2008, 10:41
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"Lionel will find a deceptive way to get this man to point us towards Morrisey. Maybe we should offer him a bust of the very first Commander of the Watch. I know where we can get one." Malachi winks knowingly at Balar.
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There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die. ~Raoul Duke, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"
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  #46  
Unread 20th of June, 2008, 12:57
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Balar wonders what a bust is but decides to ask later.
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  #47  
Unread 20th of June, 2008, 16:11
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Lionel listens closely to Malachi's words, spotting the pipe smoking man from a far. Indeed, he did have the allure of one dealing with blackened goods,though Lionel has rarely dealt with such situations where his charm wasn't directed towards pretty young girls... He could sway them so much easier.

"If it is the only way, I suppose there is no reason to check him out?", he says, whispering lightly to his comrades. Lionel thinks for a moment, what could be the best possible solution... "Someone needs to check out the back alley, if something goes wrong, and another keeping the lookout for guards if things get rough, though I hope everything goes fine..."

Though inside, he knew they never did... go as planned.

Last edited by Scythe; 20th of June, 2008 at 16:21.
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  #48  
Unread 20th of June, 2008, 16:21
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Balar picks up some bead jewelry and starts examining it. It's best to let the city folk come up with city tactics, and just give his opinion if it's asked for. "You know, I think my sis might like something like this. I gotta remember to get something like it for her when I return." He looks around, trying to determine who the person selling the items actually is.
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  #49  
Unread 25th of June, 2008, 01:07
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Lionel looks at everyone and feels uneasy, knowing that he must lead his troupe of odd adventurers... What if he failed, what if he did something wrong? He didn't want anybody to suffer final death, his magical prowess didn't give him the ability to raise the dead , yet.

What could be the best possible solution?

"I'm not as familiar to the markets as I should be, unfortunately. Here's what I think we should do: myself and the barbarian will advance towards the merchant, and try small talking him until he gives out Morrisey's possible location. I know of some interesting magical effects that could aid us in searching his mind... Balar, I'm hoping to see you make a good impression, this missive requires thought and subtlety.", he says, whispering as such that everyone can understand him.

"Ugh, directing people is so not my style..."

"Malachi, I would need you to keep a look-out, and be able to make a run for it if things go raw. Guards should be strolling here and there, and their involvement could be dire for us I'm afraid. If you did spot a runner, one of you should go in the back alleys and stop him if he makes a tries to make an escape. There could be other goons, watch your step..."

Taking a deep breath, he slowly walks towards his stand, taking a few moments to watch and observe the other merchants, and asking a few questions here and there, trying to look like someone who is interested in everyone's wares.

Last edited by Scythe; 25th of June, 2008 at 01:12.
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  #50  
Unread 25th of June, 2008, 02:09
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At the mention of the guards Balar scratches his head. "Um, aren't we working for the guards? Is it against the laws of this land to speak with merchants?"
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