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The Inquisitives Rhakir's PBEM game.

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Old 01-20-2012, 04:55 PM
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Arrow Prelude - Han

The Broken Anvil was doing a steady business this evening in the Callestan district, deep within Lower Dura. Almost all of the tables in the modest taproom were occupied. The halflings of house Ghallanda that operated the establishment were hard pressed this evening to see to all of their guests. Business always picked up when the weather turned rough. It was just the way Han liked it when he planned on meeting his contacts and associates. There was plenty of noise so conversations wouldn’t be overheard, and lots of distractions to keep prying eyes occupied elsewhere.

Unfortunately, Han was growing impatient. Chase sent word to meet him here at six bells. It was going on seven, and Chase had yet to appear. Perhaps something came up and he was delayed. He’d been busy working on a missing persons case in the area, and had come to Han for some information. But tonight's message, scrawled on a torn piece of broadsheet and delivered by one of the local street urchins, didn’t say what this was all about. It was more than a bit odd, since Chase rarely used messengers, preferring to turn up in person.

“Another round, hun?” asked the serving girl that had been tending this side of the dining room all night. Without waiting for a reply, she placed a mug of dark ale in front of Han and whisked off to the next table.

Han noticed the scrap of paper peeking out from under the wooden tankard and nonchalantly palmed it when he picked up the ale. A message was written in neat hand upon it:
Come quickly to the storeroom behind the bar.
He is injured badly.
-Eranna
Han recognised the name of the matriarch of the Broken Anvil. She had occasionally offered shelter and a hot meal to those in need, who occasionally found themselves on the wrong side of the law. Eranna was trusted and known to the right kind of people.

Without hesitation, Han left a few coins on the table and made his way towards the storeroom. When he arrived, the door opened before he could even raise a hand to test the latch. A halfling in a waistcoat bearing a House Ghallanda insignia on the breast was waiting for him. He held up his hands when he saw the dagger appear in Han’s grasp, eyes wide with fear.

“He’s in a bad way,” the halfling said nervously. “We sent for a healer, but it’ll take a while for one to get here.” Beyond him, towards the back of the storeroom, someone was coughing noisily. “Eranna said to bring him in here so he wouldn’t cause a stir. You’re both safe here.”

Han lowered the dagger and entered without another word.

“He came up the delivery lift,” the halfling said, looking quite ill. “It looks like he was run through. I’ve never seen so much blood…”

Chase Masters reclined upon a stack of dry beans, the only reasonably comfortable place to rest in the cramped storage room. His midsection was stained crimson, wet and sticky. He had a hand clamped over the wound in his gut, blood pooling up and running through his fingers.

“Han? Is that you?” Chase wheezed. “Sorry I’m late, man. Rough day at the office.” A wracking cough caused him to nearly double up in pain. “Antos woulda been proud. I didn’t give up. He woulda…been…” Another cough, this time with blood, shook the young man’s entire frame.

Han looked at Chase with wide eyes. "What the hell happened to him? I've seen my share of wounds in street fights, but this is beyond most things I've seen. The healer better hurry up and get here Eranna!"

Kneeling down next to Chase, Han said, "Yeah its me. What happened?"

“It was her, man. The one that killed Antos. I followed her,” Chase gasped, eyes clamped shut in agony. “Bitch heard me though. She was…too fast. Never…saw…her blade…” The last was punctuated with wet coughs, and the young man’s breathing became even more laboured.

“There’s an abandoned…estate in Greywash Tower. Below…the fork. Warn her, man. She’s gonna…kill his niece… Warn her!” There was another fit of coughing, then nothing. Chase lay still and cold.

After listening to the news, Han said "I promise I will, you just hang in there ok Chase? Chase? Nooooo..."

The halfling turned away and vomited. Apparently he had no stomach for death.

It was another five minutes before the healer arrived. Unfortunately, there was nothing he could do to revive the young man. Chase was gone…

Han had seen the articles in the broadsheets. Antos Keldoran was Chase’s boss; he ran an Inquisitive agency somewhere in Dava Gate. Antos was murdered four days ago. And now Chase was dead as well.

“Warn her,” Chase said. Warn who? Someone’s niece? Did Antos have a niece? And why would she be in danger?...

After a few moments, Han turned to the halfling with a nod, "You make sure his body is taken care of, properly you hear me? I gotta get going and deal with his request. I don’t suppose you know where the the Greywash tower is?"

"Yes sir," the halfling responded, much more calm now. He gave simple directions to the lower region of Sharn known as the Gate of Gold. Greywash Tower used to have a hostel run by House Ghallanda, but it stopped operations a few years ago for lack of good business.

After listening to the respose, Han went out the way he came, changing his appearance to something a bit more nondescript and headed off to warn the niece.
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Necessity is the mother of moral reletivism...

Last edited by Rhakir; 01-20-2012 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:57 PM
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Default Han does some digging...

Gormund the Bold was working his usual corner on Everclear Terrace. The old dwarf was a Spotter for a pair of Hands, Emil and Anja, a brother and sister team. Gormund’s job was to sift out suitable marks from the crowd, and his partners relieved the chosen mark of their burdensome belongings. Carrying around so much money must be such hard work, and the Hands did their best to alleviate this problem. For the betterment of society, and all that nonsense…

Gormond had a good eye for his line of work, and even better ears. He could’ve been a good Nose, but he didn’t like the hassle of selling what he found out. It was far easier to work with others that he trusted and shared information with, and the symbiotic relationship suited the trio nicely.

Tonight, it was his ears that were important.

Han approached Gormund in the guise of a middle-aged half-elf; the same guise he always wore when dealing with the dwarf.

When he was close enough to be seen, Han signalled for a meeting with his left hand, scratching at his left hip three times. Gormund rubbed his nose in reply, then got up and walked towards the balustrade to wait. Han continued on casually until he was standing near the dwarf, looking out over the side of the terrace.

“Been a while, Felix,” Gormand said by way of greeting. He only knew the name Felix, a precaution Han took to keep his true identity safe. When you play The Game, you had to protect your interests, as well as your sources. The changeling could count the number of people that knew who and what he really was on one hand, and still have fingers left to insult someone with a rude gesture or two.

“Been busy, Gor. How’s the wife and kid?” Felix replied. Pleasantries and manners were a must. If you jump straight into business, people tended to get suspicious, or nervous. Or both.

“Same old, same old,” Gormund replied. Truth of the matter was that he wasn’t married and didn’t have any offspring. At least none that he was aware of. “You know how it is. ‘You don’t take me anywhere nice anymore’ and ‘I’m old enough to see whoever I want.’”

Felix nodded and smiled. If anyone had ever listened in on their conversations over the years, they would have had a whole life’s story on Gormund’s fictitious family.

“So what brings you down this way? Thinking of buying that fancy Thranish rug you saw last time?” Gormund asked. Right, pleasantries were observed; on to business.

“Nah, I’m trying to find out about someone. Someone’s niece, actually. Ever hear of a khuzd Digger named Keldoran?” Digger referred to someone who dug up information for a living. The half elf surreptitiously palmed a few gold coins and laid them on the stone handrail next to Gormund’s hand.

The dwarf raised an eyebrow as he glanced at the half-elf.

“You mean you’re looking for the niece that’s supposed to be inheriting his business tomorrow,” Gormund said sagely as he placed his hand over the coins and made them vanish. “I overheard a couple of Wigs talking about it over lunch today. The Hands managed to bag a nice purse off one of ‘em.” Wigs referred to solicitors, so called for the formal powdered wig they wore in high court. “Some out-of-towner is gonna be getting the place, lock, stock, and barrel. Probably find her at his place tomorrow, no doubt.”

“Anything else you can tell me?” The half-elf made a mental note to look up Keldoran’s business address so he could pay a visit tomorrow.

“Word is that the Boromars were asking about her too. Not directly, but more about who would be getting Big K’s business,” the dwarf said casually. “Normally I don’t talk about other Kin, but you know how they’ve treated me in the past. Filthy halflings.” He spat over the rail to emphasise his ire.

Felix passed along another coin in similar fashion for the additional information. Gormund nodded his appreciation.

“If them half-wits are interested, you know it’s gonna be troublesome. You be careful, Felix.”

“As always. Be safe my friend.” With a smile and nod, Felix ambled away…
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Necessity is the mother of moral reletivism...
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