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Old 02-05-2012, 01:11 PM
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Arrow Inquisitives - Turn 2

Hawksley, Wireburn, Anselm

Outside of Keldoran’s, Hawksley approached Anselm.

"Anselm, could we offer you a pint? There is a small matter in which we could use your advice and expertise."

He nodded, "That sounds like a fine idea. Lead the way gentlemen!" He clapped the back of Quinn and patted the arm of Wireburn.

Along the way, Hawksley excused himself when he caught sight of a familiar face lurking by a stall selling sweets. He excused himself from Wireburn and Anselm and hurried off to the sweet-seller. The warforged and the artificer watched while the scholar stopped to speak with a young boy wearing a cap. There was a brief exchange of pleasantries (which involved Hawksley buying some sweets for the boy) followed by some serious discussion. The boy shook Quinn's hand before running off towards the lifts.

"Thank you for indulging me, gentlemen," Hawksley said s he joined back up with his friends. "I had some business to arrange, and saw the perfect opportunity to act. Shall we be off?"

After arriving at the local pub, Anselm sat with the inquisitives. The drinks arrived shortly.

"So what is on your mind?" the Artificer asked amiably.

"After a somewhat heated exchange, we had occasion to relieve some rather rude gentlemen of certain goods and chattels. There is some reason to believe that there may be more to some of these goods than meets the unaided and magically uneducated eye. Could we prevail upon you to examine them for us and let us know their specifics?"

Waving a hand nonchalantly, he said "That can be easily done. Come by my workshop tomorrow with the items, and I'll certainly have a look at them."

"Excellent. Thank you for your help, Anselm."

After having another sip, Anselm asked,"A shame this business with Keldoran. I came by today because of the item he commissioned, but there was another reason. My lab was ransacked yesterday and I was planning on talking to him about it. That is obviously out of the realm of possibilities, but maybe you can help me find out what happened?" He lowered his voice slightly, "The watch has been less than competent regarding the search."

"But of course! Perhaps we should go there now? In these matters, time is generally of the essence. I'm waiting on a message, but after I've received it, we can go to your workshop straight away. The sooner we can take a look, the better."

Anselm nodded, “We can surely go as soon as we are done here.” He punctuated his sentence with another drink of ale.

As if on cue, a boy of about twelve entered the establishment and spotted Hawksley across the room. (Actually, he spotted Wireburn, and simply figured the scholar would be nearby.) Another boy followed him in, smaller and younger, but fairly unremarkable.

“Mr Quinn,” the spindly youth said when he reached their table. He nodded politely to Sir Wireburn; always the respectful one, that Pip. “I managed to round up some of the kids, like you asked. “I found Torval, Locke, and Ellie. Locke and Ellie are where you said they should be, keeping an eye on things. Me and Torval dropped off that note like you asked. She was busy, but said she’d repar... replay... respite...”

“Reply?” Torval added helpfully.

“Reply! As soon as she could. Uh, sir,” Pip finished up. “Anya and Dorrin haven’t turned up yet, but I’ll check again for them later if’n you like, sir.”

Pips belatedly remembered to remove his hat since he was indoors. His straw coloured hair did a fairly good impression of a dandelion once he doffed his cap.

Hawksley smiled at the young fellow and tousled his hair.

“Well done, Pip. I need you to get Anya and Dorrin to me as soon as possible. And remember! If you see anything dangerous happening, you’re to raise the alarm and find me, not interfere, understand?”

Pip saluted. Well, he stuck the back of his left hand to his forehead in an approximation of a salute.

“Yes, sir. C’mon Torv, let’s get going!” The two left in a commotion, as is often the case with young boys.

***
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Last edited by Rhakir; 02-05-2012 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:12 PM
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Default Raena and Durion

Raena and Durion

“Thank you for being patient, Master Durion. Shall we see to the misplaced child now?” Raena said as she locked up the office. The sky had begun to cloud over again, as was typical with early spring in Breland, so Raena had grabbed her cloak.

“I hope we’re able to figure out who the poor boy is and where he came from. Do you have any idea who this ‘M’ is that wrote the note on my uncle’s card?”

It started to rain by the time Durion steered Raena to the sky taxi platform around the tower from the office. The rain was quite chilly this far up, but neither seemed to mind it much. Raena simply drew the hood of her cloak over her head and held the weatherproof garment closed at the front.

There were a few other people waiting for a taxi at the platform, and there were a couple of the boat-shaped vessels lining up to whisk them away. Raena kept a wary eye on each of the strangers around them, taking Han’s warning to heart. Mr Quinn had also warned her of possible danger, so she was definitely on the lookout for halflings; none presented themselves in her immediate vicinity.

When it was their turn to board the next taxi, the priestess was relieved to see it had a wooden roof over the benches. It would be nice to have some relief from the weather now that it had begun to come down more heavily.

“So, what can you tell me about how you came across the boy?” Raena asked as the sky taxi eased away from Cavendish Tower. “Where exactly did you find him, and what was he doing?”

***
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:15 PM
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Default June and Mardu

June and Mardu

As they ambled away from Keldoran’s office, with a last wave at Raena bidding everyone goodbye, June took Mardu’s arm. She grinned a little, inside, at the looks they were getting. Half orc and human woman.

Once they were a safe distance away from there, she leaned up (and it was indeed a bit of a stretch reaching the tall man’s ear) and whispered, “Ok, next on our wonderful tour of the city. You’d mentioned something about visiting the watch and Captain...Hadris?, to find out more about the children they’d hired Keldoran to find. And then, perhaps lunch.”

She smiled up at him. Time passing, and mystery at hand, any slight was forgotten. “Or perhaps lunch first and THEN the watch.”

Mardu returned the smile, conscious of the change in June’s mood.

“Lunch first. On me,” he said as he steered her towards one of the lifts to access the upper or lower parts of the tower and city. They caught a lift headed down. “I have someplace in mind that you might like.”

Dava Gate was an area of the city where craftsman and tradesman worked side by side. Artisans worked in warehouses or studios adjacent to solicitors and scribes. Smiths plied their trade next to barbers. Residential areas crowded in and around the businesses, usually owned by the business people for themselves or for their employees. And where there were people working and living, there were places to eat...

‘Flavor of the Marches’ was a large open business with wide awnings to shade the scattered tables on the open terrace. There were a few potted palms and palmettos to add a touch of authenticity, but what really drew in the customers was the smells emanating from the kitchens. June could smell them half a tower block away. It was like breathing in a little bit of home; spicy sauces and char-grilled meats with herbs, succulent grilled vegetables on skewers, and fireshower wine to wash it all down with. She could almost taste every bit of it just from the wonderful aroma she detected so far away.

It was crowded at lunchtime, the staff busy preparing orders and making tables available for new arrivals. Quite a few of the people running the business were orcs and half-orcs. It was a little slice of the Marches nestled into the side of a tower in Sharn.

Junes eyes lit up with wonder, and perhaps a bit of homesickness. “I didn’t know they had a place like this in Sharn.”

“There are a couple of other ones in other parts of the city, but this one was close, and is probably the best,” Mardu said with a grin. He knew it would bring back some memories for June; it always made him think of home when he came here. He waved a greeting to the large orc woman manning the open-pit grill. The woman’s face split into a huge grin and she gestured for the couple to take a table near the kitchens that just opened up.

June couldn’t help looking at everything. The simple art, the presence of orcs and half orcs was something she’d not had much of for these 3 years. She nearly tripped over a table on their way back to their own seating and had to give the occupants a charming smile and hasty “Oh, I’m sorry. I guess I’d better pay more attention to where I’m walking.”

Once seated, she smiled at Mardu. “Tell me they have rat-on-a-stick.” (which wasn’t actually rat, but was delicious.)

“They call it by the orcish, gurrak-ta-misch. Couldn’t have a Marches place without it,” he grinned. “Of course, I hear the one place down in Terminus actually uses sewer rats...” He shuddered at the thought.

A young half-orc boy came to wipe their table down and take their orders. He couldn’t have been more than ten summers by the look of him. He spilled out a string of daily specials in orcish, the repeated them in common for the golden-haired human.

Just as they were about to order, a large shape seemed to loom over their table. June looked up to see the orc woman that was cooking. She had to be easily three hundred pounds, a large midsection accounting for most of that weight. She had a warm grandmotherly look to her that reminded the sorceress of a few of the servants in her old home.

“Mardu! Long time no see, boy! You keep outta trouble?” she said, clapping the muscular man hard enough on the back to make him wince. “Don let him treat you wrong, girl. He never come with girls before. Wonder if him furrukht,” she said, making an odd gesture with her hand. “My daughters be not liking this if dey see him wit pretty ooman! Good ting dey not here now, eh Mardu?”

“Golind, this is a very good friend of mine,” Mardu told her. “I’ve not seen Junie in three years, so be nice to her!”

“You pretty ooman, too. Mardu have good taste. Maybe not furrukht after all,” Golind said with a cheerful disregard for Mardu’s feelings. She got a few looks from some of the other patrons, but if they knew what she was saying, they didn’t comment in any way. A couple of the staff smiled, but went about their jobs without saying anything.

Golind fussed over Mardu and June for a few more minutes before being called back to the kitchen. She shouted some rude comments in orcish about not wanting to be interrupted, but she said her goodbyes to the couple and left them to their lunch.

June quirked a brow at Mardu. “Furrukht? Is there something you’re not telling me?” She managed to contain her grin...barely.

“Heh. Do I look furrukht to you?” Mardu joked. “Seriously, she just wants to embarrass me. I haven’t taken a mate yet, that’s all. And her daughters have been trying to get my attention for a while. They’re just not my type, though...” He cleared his throat and called the serving boy back so they could place their orders.

“What is your type?” June asked, both with honest curiosity, and with a bit of a tremble inside at what his answer may be. As the server approached, she fell silent, not wanting to embarrass him further.

“So, what did you think of Keldoran’s niece?” Mardu finally asked, changing the subject, after they made their orders. “And what about all those other people that turned up?

Junes face sobered. “She seems on the level, however I don’t know if she’s going to be able to think clearly enough to handle both the threats to her, and this investigation at the same time as grieving.” She went quiet a moment to go over the others there in her mind.

“The first two, the warforged and the talkative boy...I can’t tell anything about the warforged. I don’t trust the boy. Very much not open. Hiding something...”

“Quinn?” Mardu clarified. “I thought he was very open. Perhaps too open. But I suspect you aren’t talking about that, are you...”

She shook her head. “No. All that flowery speech is a mask to hide the real boy I think.”

“Perhaps,” Mardu said carefully. “I was watching him and the warforged. I could never manage to read those constructs very well. They’ve got no facial expressions to read, and I can’t follow their eyes like I can other people.” He rubbed his bald scalp in thought before continuing.

“Those two definitely had a lot to say about things. Their run-in with the Boromars, their mysterious client that wants them to look into Keldoran’s investigations. I don’t think Quinn was lying about any of it, but he was choosing those flowery words very carefully. I could see it in his eyes.”

“Exactly.” She made a pattern on the table with her cutlery as she thought out loud. “And the elf, he’s been through something. He seemed distant and uninvolved with what was going on around him. I don’t think it was arrogance though. The other boy, Ansel I think? He seemed pretty straightforward.”

“Anselm d’Cannith,” Mardu supplied. “He is pretty straightforward. He’s made a few things for a couple of Watchmen I know. He’s a good man.” The half-orc was privately amused that the young woman next to him kept calling them ‘boys’.

“The elf looks like he’s been through hell. I suspect he got all those scars during the War. Might be why he’s so withdrawn as well. I’ve seen some veterans that are like that, only a little worse. All they do is sit around and drool all day.” He shuddered at the thought. “Not something I’d want to have to live with or be like for the rest of my life.”

“That’s really sad.” June nodded. “Once I was asked to find a missing family artifact in Wroat. The family was hoping it would bring one of theirs out of his withdrawn state. He’d faced some horrific battle, they didn’t say which one. He was much like the elf.”

Mardu nodded silently. Their food arrived just then, forestalling further conversation until the server left again

“What about their talk of the misplaced child? You think it has something to do with the missing kids Antos was looking into?” Mardu asked.

June nodded. “Everything is a pattern. Part of the great prophecy that moves this world. They have to be connected. Either in actual being, or in who it is who took them, and who left that ‘urchin’ the elf spoke about. I think if we find the kids, we’ll be on the right path.”

“Well, we can ask her about it when we see her tomorrow morning again,” Mardu said as he juggled the hot food on his fingertips. “I wonder if everything that we saw, everyone in that office, is somehow part of the same pattern. I’m no prophet, but it’s pretty odd that we all came together at the same time in the same place. I just can’t seem to shake this feeling that we’re standing on the edge of some sort of huge chasm; there’s no telling how far down it goes, and we can’t see the other side yet.”
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:15 PM
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Default June and Mardu (Continued)

“Yes, we can ask how the interview with the urchin went. But I want to know more about the missing children before then. And that last man, I can’t remember his name. He also seemed a bit closed. Maybe that was just grief, though, for his friend.”

Mardu’s face soured as he thought about the last person there, though he couldn’t speak just yet with his mouth full of food.

June took a bite of her food and closed her eyes in sheer pleasure. Once she could speak again she looked at Mardu with a certain intensity. “It is all connected. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t more important than just a dead inquisitive or a few missing children. The prophecy wouldn’t care. The pattern is deeper and more twisted than that. More dangerous.”

“You may be right,” Mardu agreed. “And I’m not sure about that last guy there. There was something about him that struck me as being out of place. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I’m not sure it had to do with grief.” He shook his head, unable to articulate the thought any further.

She quirked her head at him. “I never really thought of you having such insight. More than meets the eye, aren’t you. The food is delicious here. Thank you.”

“My pleasure, Junie. I thought it might be nice to have a little taste of home,” Mardu said, brushing aside her compliment. He raised his cup of fireshower wine. “A toast. To friends reunited.”

She raised her cup, but her eyes began to dance with a slightly naughty light. “A toast, to perhaps having a little ‘taste’ of home.”

***
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:16 PM
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Default Han

Han

After parting company from everyone at Keldoran’s office, Han headed off on his own into the city. He contemplated all that he had heard from each of the different visitors (there were a lot of visitors!) as he found a lift and made his way to the lower levels.

Nobody seemed to notice the average-looking human façade that he wore, which was just as he liked it. It made moving around the city easier for him. Changelings in their natural form were not a common sight in Sharn, nor a very welcome one. It was an interesting contradiction; going about in his natural form would cause most people to instantly distrust him because he could change form, whereas going about disguised as another race would allow him to blend in and be more readily accepted...

That’s what surprised him most when he saw the changeling walking towards him in broad daylight in the middle of the city. The woman was wearing a simple outfit consisting of a white blouse with a black leather vest over a pair of dark grey trousers. Her boots had buckles all the way up her calves, and she jingled faintly as she walked. A pair of dark blue tinted glasses perched on the end of her almost non-existent nose. She had pale grey skin, long silky white hair, and milky white irises that seemed to be looking straight at him.

Correction; she was looking straight at him.

Not only that, but she was walking straight towards him as well.

“Greetings, brother,” she said, stopping in his path an arm’s length away. She cocked her head to the side and put her hands in the front pockets of her trousers. A lop-sided smile tugged at the corner of her rather featureless mouth as she studied the face Han wore. “Not bad. Not bad at all. I like the eyes the most. Very convincing.”

***
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