Chapter 1.1 The Trader's District.   Posted by Guildmaster.Group: 0
Guildmaster
 GM, 10 posts
Sun 31 Aug 2008
at 02:20
1.1 The Trader's District


Day came as quickly as night left. Sleep was rather fitful for many, while some found it hard to rest. Be it excitement or a sense of guilt and wariness, you all knew what you had to do should you want to be a part of this mysterious scheme. To blend in with the crowd at the Ball, it is clear that something fashionable and appropriate was needed.

Trudging down the City Streets, those who are foreign to the City start to realize the magnitude of the place. With a single Main Street stretching from the City's Northern to Southern gates, most of the city streets that branched out from this street were wide an laid down in an extensive network that reached all corners of the city. Lining them were residential buildings, shops, pubs, taverns, inns and other administrative buildings.

As travelers walk, they start to discover the quarters in which the city is divided and most of them tend to flock to the Trader's district. There, the shops of blacksmiths and weaponsmiths, tailors and shoemakers, bakers and general store merchants, handicraft workers and toymakers, congregate, hawking their wares and selling their products.

In the middle of all this action was the Trader's Market. An open market that allowed anyone and everyone to participate in trade. Most of the merchants who filled this area were farmers who sold fresh fruits, bread, eggs, fish and other fresh produce. The open concept also drew fortune tellers and quack magicians who boasted miracle cures and sold magical contraptions and items.

With so much activity and variety, it wouldn't be hard to find anything what one was looking for.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:36, Sun 31 Aug 2008.

Brax
 player, 5 posts
 A bold highwayman
Sun 31 Aug 2008
at 23:08
Let's Go To The Mall!
”W. . .well, w . . .what do you w . . . want?” Devlin irascibly stuttered at the large man standing at his counter. ”And b . . be quick about it! T. . . time is m. . . . money, you know!”

The old man was a little more stooped than Brax remembered him being, and from the intensity of his squint it was clear that his eyesight was failing. Devlin was a tailor by trade, and Brax knew him to provide fine-quality clothing for honest prices.

Years ago, Brax’s father had brought the young man to Devlin to have him outfitted to attend the various dances that, taken together, were known as the “Season.” The dances held during the Season were the means traditionally chosen by the city gentry to officially introduce those of their daughters who had reached the requisite age during the past year to other members of high society.

Each of the wealthy houses tried to outdo the others in hosting lavish balls that were open to those whose families were deemed to be of sufficient importance to “matter.” While Brax’s family had no wealth to speak of and they were certainly not thought to be “high” nobility, their name – an old and honourable one in the Realm – had been sufficient to open doors.

”But why, father? Why must I go? I’d rather stay at home, where I can ride horses and hunt boar,” the young Brax had protested.

Brax’s father had smiled. ”I know full well your preferences, son. But young men of your station in life are expected to have certain . . . we shall call them ‘social graces.’"

"You need to learn the art of polite conversation, to understand which of those five forks you must use to eat each portion of dinner, to be comfortable with the popular dances – although the Watcher knows that all these modern steps are an abomination and a temptation from the daemons of the Pit – and above all, to understand how to comport yourself in the presence of young women who are not so enamored of sweaty horses and hunting hounds as you are. Yes, it is necessary that you must attend, watch, and learn.”


He had slapped Brax on his shoulder and chuckled, ”Come, come! Let’s not have such a long face! I have done this thing before you, in my time -- and although I won’t deny that it took some getting used to for a country lad such as myself, I ultimately found myself a better man for it.”

”I’ll be attending Duke Dorian’s masquerade ball. I need some clothes.”

”Of c . . . course you d. . . do! You and everyone else in the w. . . whole f. . . flaming city!”

Brax smiled indulgently. Although Devlin had clearly aged, his temperament was still that of a pouty bear with a sore paw. For all of that he was a good man, as long as you were willing to humour him a little.

”All r . . . right, then!” the old man huffed after a moment. ”As l . . . long as your c . . . coin is g . . . good, I s . . . suppose that I c . . . can w. . . work my p . . . poor f . . . fingers to the b . . . bone to p . . . put you in s . . . silks and r . . . ruffles, l . . . like all the other d . . . dandified f. . . fops.”

Brax folded back his weather-stained cloak, revealing the leather jerkin intended to protect his body from an opponent’s steel, and the killing blade that he wore at his hip – not a dandy’s weapon. His cats-claw was worn in its own scabbard, pressing against the small of his back.

”Lace and silks, Devlin?” he chided gently.

OOC: To be continued . . .

This message was last edited by the player at 16:14, Mon 01 Sept 2008.

Brax
 player, 7 posts
 A bold highwayman
Mon 1 Sep 2008
at 14:36
Let's Go To The Mall -- Part Deux
OOC: Continued from Brax’s previous post in this thread . . .

Devlin evidenced no surprise that the stranger knew his name. Quite to the contrary, he seemed to take it as his due that everyone in the city should have heard of Devlin, the most accomplished tailor in all the Realm . . . well, in the whole, entire Traders' District, at the very least! And as for any who were so ill-informed as to not know of him – why, ‘twas entirely their loss.

There was something about the distinctively deep timbre of the fellow’s voice that set the slightest tickle to stirring at the back of Devlin’s mind. He was almost certain that he had heard it before, but he didn’t think that it was any time recently. The little tailor put both hands on the counter and leaned towards the man in an effort to see him more clearly.

Luckily, considering the nature of Devlin’s craft, he could still see well enough if the object of his gaze was within a foot or less of his own nose. However, beyond that point, things became quite fuzzy, indeed. The stranger seemed to realize this, and maintained his distance.

”W. . . what, t . . . then?” the tailor muttered, irritation evident in his voice.

”If you w . . . won’t h. . . have s . . . silks and s . . . such – w . . . which, m . . . mind you, are all the r . . . rage amongst the s . . . smart s . . . set these d . . . days -- w. . . what d . . . do you expect of m . . . me?”

”The very finest wool in all the Realm, Devlin. That’s what I want. It must have a fine, soft hand - not unlike silk itself - but it must nonetheless be good, honest wool.”

“It must be of a weight such that it can be worn in the summers without stifling me, and still be sufficient to keep me warm in the midst of winter’s cold and damp.”

“The colour of my coat and breeches must be a deep, rich, midnight blue. And mind you, Devlin, they must be tailored as only you can do it, with an eye towards turning the lasses’ heads. My cloak must be of the same material, dyed such that it appears to change colour, like the sea, depending upon how the light strikes it -- sometimes 'twill appear as a dark gray, other times a grayish-green.”


”H . . . harrumph!” the old man grumbled.

”You d . . . don’t w . . . want m . . . much, d . . . do you!” Nonetheless, Devlin was secretly pleased to receive such an intriguing challenge to his craft. Truly, this project would be a worthy undertaking.

The little tailor cocked his head and stroked his chin. ”T . . . there is a w . . . woolen f . . . fabric that m . . . meets your r . . . requirements.”

“B . . . but ‘tis n . . . not to b. . . be h . . . had f . . . from this R . . . Realm. It m . . . must b . . . be imported f . . . from the D . . . Dharmalese, w. . . who g . . . guard the s . . . secret of its m ... making q . . . quite as f . . . . fiercely as t . . . they d . . . do the v . . . virtue of their own d ... daughters.”


Brax chuckled. ”I understand. Which, of course, makes it quite --- one might even say outlandishly -- expensive.”

He tossed a small leather coin-purse onto the counter. ”Will this suffice?”

Devlin’s hand snaked out and snatched the coin-purse with commendable quickness. He brought it up near his nose and angled it so that the contents were lit by the bright morning sun, testing a couple of the coins by biting them.

”W . . . well enough, w . . .well enough,” he admitted after completing his examination, his voice now evidencing a note of grudging respect.

”I d. . . do k . . . know the w . . . whereabouts of a s . . . small s . . . supply of D . . . Dharmalese w . . . wool h . . . here in the city.”

”Is t . . . there anything else, s . . . sir?”


”Yes. I shall require a linen shirt – snowy white, with nary a single blemish – of the very highest quality, mind you, and crafted to the very best of your abilities.”

The tailor bobbed his head in understanding. ”Of c . . . course, s . . . sir, of c . . . course.”

”And there are two final items that I shall require of you, Devlin. I shall consent to wear silk, but only as a scarf around my neck, and as a mask. Make the scarf ivory-hued, and the mask as black as the heart of the most vile villain.”

”T . . . ‘twill b. . . be a r . . . rare p . . . pleasure t . . . to s . . . satisfy your n . . . needs, s . . . sir. A r . . . rare p . . . pleasure, indeed.”

This message was last edited by the player at 23:55, Mon 08 Sept 2008.

Yorgorov Varakzy
 player, 4 posts
Mon 1 Sep 2008
at 15:52
A discovery
Yorgorov had slept surprisingly well and, considering the amount of mead he had ended up drinking, felt surprisingly well too. After dressing and splashing his face he left a few coins next to the girl who still lay sleeping peacefully, in stark contrast to her zeal the night before.

The magnitude of the trading quarter struck a chord with Yorgorov. This sort of scale had been his bread and butter in the past but now he felt dwarfed by it, as if he might be consumed by the chaos of the streets and squares where everyone from the homeless dregs to pompous, larger than life showmen clad in Dharmalese wool, plied their trade and battled for the public's attention. And coin. Yorgorov fancied he remembered a few of them by name but doubted that any of them would remember his, or admit to it at any rate.

Despite the overwhelming enormity of it all Yorgorov felt at home. This was real life where real people dwelt, and real people had always been like air to Yorgorov, fueling every part of him. He had spent too long of late in dark corners, keeping his own council. This was where he belonged, where he could absorb the energies of the world and craft them as he saw fit.

A masque for a ball, a masque for a ball... Yorgorov toyed around with a few lines in his head about how people wear masques daily and about seeing the truth of someone in their eyes but quickly discarded them as tired cliches that were beneath a poet of his talent. Or at least they had been once but perhaps now...

"What have we here?"

Yorgorov turned down a small alley way and stopped by a small, unassuming doorway that had a large, tilted looking glass above it. His curiosity aroused he entered and found himself in a large room filled with shelves, corners and piles of what appeared to be everything. There were clothes, musical instruments, baskets of fruit and stuffed animals, books stacked high and tapestries laid out on tables next to statues and weapons. Yorgorov had walked the streets of the trading quarter many times but had never seen this place before, now he almost wished never to leave.

Hours passed and Yorgorov wandered the room, strangely devoid of the crowds that dominated the quarter, passing other people every few minutes, each in a state of quiet awe or curiosity. He eventually came to a small round table where sat the object he had set out to find, a slight tingle of deja-vu washed over Yorgorov as he picked it up.

The half-mask was covered in brown fur but had a beak-like nose and small feathers that reminded him of tan lizard scales. Two satyr-esque horns adorned the bird feathered crest of the mask. It was old but in remarkably good condition, the padded interior soft and form fitting, as if made for the wayward poet's own face.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:14, Tue 02 Sept 2008.

Lily
 player, 4 posts
Tue 2 Sep 2008
at 19:55
In Search of Something Better
Lily was drunk on life. Gloriously drunk. More drunk—drunker—than she’d ever been. Not that Lily made a habit of inebriation, but last night, or more specifically and especially this morning, was a once-in-a lifetime occasion. For, secluded beneath her breast, she hid the feather that would alter her destiny.

During her short life she had never had to think farther than tomorrow; but if she had she would have known what to expect. One day was much like another and the seasons passed exceedingly slow in the mean and grimy, smoke-filled tavern, where she was constantly at the beck and call of any sot with a coin in his purse, forced to endure every pair of filthy hands that would paw her. Now she did not know from day to day, where she would be, what she would do or whether she would survive. All she knew was that with the feather in her possession anything might happen.

A smile of unfettered joy curved her lips as she made her way through the warren of shops and tents that comprised the trader’s bazaar.  What she had done to gain the feather had been what she had to do. Since the bed sport had been vigorous and completely satisfactory in every way—the lance beneath the soft belly had been surprisingly stout and enduring—Lily had long since cast off the last of her lingering doubt and recrimination with a shrug of slender shoulders. There was no one looking out for her and she had not cheated him.  Not really, had she?

This message was last edited by the player at 20:02, Tue 02 Sept 2008.

Emeric
 player, 5 posts
Tue 2 Sep 2008
at 22:25
In Search of food and money
Emeric knew his way around the streets fairly well now, after his few weeks of staying in various lodgings.  As he exited the lodgings he'd had for the last week, he strolled over to the nearest bakery, and picked up one of their delicious spiced pastries.  It was covered in butter, which dribbled down his chin through his growing beard.  Finishing it quickly Emeric licked his fingers and moved off.  Glad that the day was a good one, at least for the time of year, he made his way through various streets to get to his first stop off.  He'd heard of Alleck during his first night in the city.  Some rich merchants had been talking at a table near him, as he had enjoyed a roast dinner in one of the finer Inns in the city.  He'd chosen the place for his first night in town as it was unlikely to hold many surprises.

Alleck was a money holder, they had said, one of good repute, who charged little for his services.  So Emeric had sort him out, and on entering the well apoointed premises knew instantly that his money would be safe.  Two thugs stood on the door, but Emeric suspected they had the easy life.  Inside he spotted at least two spyholes, and various dropwalls and probable pits to catch most idiots out.  He also noticed the building had double walls.  Impressed, he'd left his money, and gotten many tokens in their place.  He could spend the tokens, but felt better with coins in his pocket.  It took less than two minutes to get enough money for a shoppping spree, and Emeric was soon out of the door.

He immediately spotted the spotter.  One of the ugliest little women he had ever seen.  On exiting the building she had sneezed over a passing stranger.  Emeric even thought he caught sight of the next signaller, as he slipped around a corner.  Emeric moved off without stopping, knowing there was little he could do now.  Unless he took a really long route round, he'd have to enter at least one side alley.  Sighing slightly as he trudged away, he reasoned that he'd be better off taking it away from any patrols.  They sometimes asked awkward questions.

Taking a route through generally crowded streets, Emeric made his way through the streets towards the artisan area.  Knowing the area well, from his work, he chose a quiet corner and slipped into the quiet alleyway.  He'd expected to get most of the way through before he was waylaid, but they were obviously inexperienced, as two thin and young men slipped out of the shadows.  Emeric made as if he didn't notice them, but already had a hand full of dagger.  "Well look here Pecker, someone forgot the road tax around here.  Hey mister, you have to pay to use my walks! "  The youngster on the right was evidently the leader, as both slipped coshes out of pockets, "The tax is all you have! ".

Neither body made a sound as they slipped to the floor, and Emeric span on his feet.  Less than two feet away was the girl, now stopped in fear at the dropping of her colleagues.  Whispering Emeric said to her, "Leave and you live. "  He saw the panic show in her eyes, and the smell of her was obvious.  She nearly screamed, but stopped herself, and for that Emeric let her live as she sprinted out of the alleyway into a well dressed female.  Watching the scene for a moment, Emeric slowly let his breathing return to normal, and he moved over to the bodies.  He didn't search them, as they had been too desperate to be carrying more than their clothes, but he retrieved his daggers.  Admiring his own skill, he cleaned the blades on their jackets, and dropped them into their hiding places.  He then took a moment to pull both bodies to the side of the alleyway.  There they would be ignored until either the girl returned, or a patrol found them.  Straightening his clothes, Emeric moved off to find hismelf something to wear for the ball.
Rhollin Grail
 player, 5 posts
 A savage heart
 a gentle heart
Wed 3 Sep 2008
at 04:40
Re: In Search of food and money
At the far edge of the Traders District Rhollin Grail's unshod feet finally touched Aberhaven city soil. It had been several weeks - and several hundred miles - that the young knight traversed on foot, himself and his squire striding across the plains with armaments and supplies enough to settle in a new land. He had refused to use up any of his family's resources on this bizarre quest, a quest that had no certain reward.

Sir Rhollin was weary, and his squire Tyr even moreso, but neither showed it. All he allowed was a slight relaxation of his stance, his clawed feet settling into the dust under dirty greaves, the hem of his tunic fluttering one last time and laying still. His immense frame blocked the street and this he knew, but he allowed himself a still moment anyway. He needed it, for he was clad in full armor, war gauntlets and all, and that is also why no one complained of his presence.

Tyr shifted the pack aver his shoulders, weary of his master's supplies, but said nothing. Rhollin nodded.

"Let us find the Duke straightaway. There will be time enough for all this later," the knight said, sweeping his armed hand before him. In truth the Duke had made no arrangements to house them. It was Rhollin's assumption - and his task as a knight - that the Duke would agree to house him as a visiting courtier. It was time to act on that assumption.

The two foreigners slowly flowed back into action, now padding down the streets of the city toward the site of the ball - and hopefully their new home.
Emeric
 player, 7 posts
Wed 3 Sep 2008
at 14:48
In Search of a mask...
After about ten paces, Emeric suddenly stopped.  'How stupid am I' he thought to himself.  He'd let a perfect mask go when the ugly girl had run from him.  A wicked idea, of using someone elses face as a mask past through his mind, one of a very macabre image.  Shaking his head, he reconsidered.  The thought of actually wearing someone elses face as his own was one that didn't repel him as such.  After all he'd just killed without any remorse, so skinning off a face and putting on his own didn't actually worry him.

So now he considered the use of hiring someone elses face.  Something like a Death Mask he heard some of the rich and influential used to remind their prodigy who came before.  As Emeric moved through the market stalls, he was looking for suitable models, as well as a suitable costume.  Certainly the current fashions would work into his plan.  Rags and ruins were very fashionable, especially if well made and in rich materials.  Not really what Emeric was looking for, but certainly an inspiration.  Moving off to the more permanent shops nearby he had an idea of the look he wanted.

Finding one of the local materials shops, he picked out a mixture of green and brown for his costume, and paid in coin.  Lugging the rolls was hardly difficult, and he moved off to find a suitable tailor.  Picking one at random from the displayed goods, he quickly negotiated a price and left the materials there for them to work on.  Having a good morning already, his luck held when he asked about a novel maskmaker.  He was pointed in the direction of Hallic on Cornet street.  Thanking the tailor, he left and made his way there.
Lucinda Blancoeur
 player, 4 posts
Wed 3 Sep 2008
at 17:04
Hands Tied
“I want no part of this masquerade,” she insisted, her whisper hot with fury. “The White Rose means to entrap us and I shall not let it happen!” Lucinda Blancoeur compressed her voluptuous lips into a narrow line, and her violet-blue eyes stared unflinchingly into those of Caalum de Brieuc. “I did not endure two moons in the stocks so that those crows might take everything from me now.” Her slender fingers worried at her full indigo blue silk skirt. He noted that each one of those fingers wore a gold ring encrusted with a colored gemstone. “You must help me, uncle! You must!”

The old wizard stopped short in the bustling market place. With a sigh and a blink of his eye, within a sliver of an instant, he and Lucie were hidden in a patch of fog.

“My dear, what am I to do with you?” he wondered for a countless time. His gaze narrowed as he studied his niece, and he experienced the same sensuous pleasure he always felt when he looked at her. She was an absolutely beautiful young woman, her golden hair braided with colorful silks, her white-rose skin, and those perfect sky-blue eyes. He felt a sting of regret. Although she was fit for a king, when the Magick had manifested in her Lucie had been cast off and put into his keeping. It had been a curse more than a blessing.

Her parents had thought to send her to a convent, but Lucie had rebelled and he had supported her in her rebellion for she was far too lovely to be shut away. It had been he who had attempted to refine her Gift and he who had arranged a suitable match, though about the marriage Lucie knew nothing. Not yet.

“You will go as you have been summoned, you will show obeisance to the Mage Lord, and there will be not be a whiff of Glimmer about you as you do!” Caalum glowered at his prodigal ward. “Do you understand me, Lucie?” he skewered her with rheumy old eyes that saw straight to the inner sanctum of her recalcitrant heart.

“Aye”, Lucie answered him, good grace barely disguising her irritation. “I shall do as you say. . .but I don’t have to like it.”

Caalum made another attempt at reasoning with her. “Only you can make right what you did, Lucie, only you. Even if the reparation demands all the days of your life.”

A gust of wind blew and a bit of cinder flew into her eye. Lucie blinked to clear her watery vision and when she looked again she was by herself before a wide open red tent that beckoned her come in.

This message was last edited by the player at 17:32, Wed 03 Sept 2008.

Rhollin Grail
 player, 7 posts
 A savage heart
 a gentle heart
Fri 5 Sep 2008
at 02:35
Re: Hands Tied
As Rhollin resumed his travels the oddest thing happened. A young girl, odd-looking even for a human, ran full tilt into his chest and bounced off his armor with a clang, hitting the ground. He bent down to help her up, but her eyes flew open and she let out a yelp at seeing him, scuttled to her feet, and bolted away. Strange that the woman would react that way. What has put such unholy fear into her?

Putting it out of mind Rhollin moved through the heart of the trader's district, passing through what apparently was the designated area for tailors. So many people were shopping, presumably for the ball. The young Sir was reminded of his appearance.

"We can't see the Duke looking like this, Tyr. Come." The knight ducked into the largest shop in the area, a wide red tent. He immediately sought the proprietor.

"I am sorry for the intrusion but promise I will be as profitable as any customer. I will pay for a chance to escape momentarily behind your changing screen. I also will purchase several brushes and cloth." When Rhollin produced gold they were more than happy to oblige. He stepped behind the too-short screen and tended to his attire while Tyr looked at the wide variety of wares.

When he exited Sir Rhollin Grail was dust-free, his armor shone, and the gold coat of arms on his black tunic clearly showed the symbol of his family, two claws grasping a chalice. It was time to find the Duke.
Guildmaster
 GM, 14 posts
Fri 5 Sep 2008
at 05:21
1.1 The Trader's District
As evidenced by the myriad of activities in and around the Trader's District, people from all corners of the realms and from all walks of life - travellers, merchants, wenches and cold hearted killers, all found some purpose to set foot into the District. Patrol guards were aplenty and their hands always resting upon the hilt of their swords. It would seem they were ever ready to take troublemakers down.

Transactions of all sorts were made, but one one could be sure that the chief selling product of today were fancy clothes and masks. Unknown to many, were prying eyes that saw far and wide. Considering and taking note of actions that were of interest to the master eye.

----

Down at the honest tailor shop of Devlin's,  the old man squinted at the retreating figure of the large man who had just made a handsome order from him. Jingling the coins in his hand, the tailor harumphed and muttered under his breath, D...Dharmalese..c..cl..cloth...W..where..i..in..t..the...nine hells..d..did the..b...b..boy...expect me...to get t..that."

Thankfully, it was just the grumblings of an old unmarried tailor who was prideful and very good in his work to get away with chiding his customers. Sure enough, Dharmalese wool was difficult to get, but Devlin had his ways. And his customers were and have always been a helpful hand towards his "methods."


---

At the seedy tavern known as the "Sleeping Mermaid", Boric the innkeeper watched his few drinking and half-conscious customers through lazy eyes as he himself struggled to keep awake. Morning business was always slow and the late night activities within his premises always kept him up late, depriving him of sleep. For many years now, his brother chided him for wasting his time keeping his premises open in the day, but Boric always felt that travellers were always in need of lodging night or day. And so, the slightly rotund and hardworking innkeeper never rejected any form of business at any time of the day.

The sounds of hurried footsteps down the flight of stairs woke Boric alittle. Nodding a lazy good morning to one of the tavern wenches who slipped out of his premises, he didn't care if she returned his greeting because he would be seeing her again tonight when she returned. Those poor lasses always returned.

---

Cornet Street was not difficult to find. With proper directions and a few prompts, Emeric was well on his way to getting a mask for the ball. Walking purposefully down Cornet, Emeric watched for a sign that read, "New Faces" and sure enough, as the tailor described, it was a cluttered little establishment at the end of the street, facing the pie maker's shop. Upon entering the shop, a doorbell ringed signaling the entrance of a customer.

And immediately, "What can I do for you," came the question from a man seated behind a sewing machine, working on an embroidery.

---

It wasn't so much as him that frightened her, but rather it was seeing another being UPCLOSE that scared her - especially not after what she had witnessed.
Scrambling away from the giant Leonyr, the girl hurried down the street in search of her parents. She had only been asked to buy pastries for the evening, but she took a little detour to meet her "friends" or should we say, "ex-friends".

Little did she expect to be confronted by a beast right after the horror she just saw. She dusted her frock and returned to her duties... although the image of the half lion half man finding a link to the scene just down by the alley frightened her. She prayed silently to the gods to steer him away from the crime because no one must ever find out. Or rather, no one must ever find out she was linked to the crime in anyway.

What a strange being.

She had seen Leonyr's in books and pictures, seen a few of them wandering around in the city, hell, even the weaponsmaster down by the Arena was a Leonyr. But it was something about this Leonyr that stunned her. Perhaps it was his armour, shining and new. And the way he walked towards her, upright and full of confidence - he shone with a sort of heavenly righteousness that she, a mere mortal and a sinner couldn't possibly stand to bear.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:34, Sun 07 Sept 2008.

Lucinda Blancoeur
 player, 7 posts
Fri 5 Sep 2008
at 15:19
A Chance Encounter
There would have been no shortage of men willing to turn and feast their eyes upon Lucie as she passed among them had she been her true self or the maiden of the stock, which was one and the same. However, this day she was protected from the riffraff and hoi polloi by a touch of Glimmer which had made her nearly indiscernible to all but the most perspicacious.

Never mind Caalum’s exhortations against cantrips and spells, in the Trader’s District shocking manners are the way of it; it is after all, a popular haunt for foreigners and an even more popular haunt for pigeons and doves and the cutpurses and thieves who would hunt them, and who can observe perfect propriety in and amongst so much filth and feather-flutter? Certainly, not a headstrong young witch who is prone to fancy and impetuosity.

Still, Lucinda Blancoeur had no difficulty at all observing the splendiferous Leonyr who strode boldly from the curiosities merchant’s tent. He was tall and grand, and exceedingly fair for all that his was a different face than Lucie’s. Indeed, the knight filled the space that was entry to the shop to such an immense degree that there was no way for Lucie to pass unless he stepped aside or passed by her first.

She cast him a lingering glance, as much from inquisitiveness as from gracious politesse. “Welcome to our fair city, milord,” she murmured, tipping her chin to look into his eyes.
Lily
 player, 5 posts
Fri 5 Sep 2008
at 18:50
In Search of Something Better
Lily bided her time, slanting surreptitious glances in the direction of the stuttering tailor who had turned away from her to attend a rough-looking sort who had the stooped little man jumping through hoops for his custom. It was no matter to her. She had already made her selection—a gossamer swath of shimmering, cobalt blue silk edged with gold boss that she would fashion into something mysterious and exotic that would make her the belle of the ball. If only.

There was no hurry, not really. What waited for her never went away, although if Lily had her way soon everything would be different. Soon she would come into luck, and with luck would come lucre, enough to repair her ravaged face and take her far from Boric and the hell in which she served.

Lily waited patiently; she was not another girl clamoring for her turn.  She preferred to be overlooked and comported herself in just that manner.  She held her head down and at an angle so that her hair served as a veil obscuring her face, and her eyes she kept hidden beneath a fringe of dark silken lashes.

It had not always been so. Even in bondage, there had been stunning beauty about Lily, and childish hope that one day she would be rescued and restored to her rightful place. Before her tormentor came the second time she had nurtured fond memories of happier days and a gentler place, and she had held fast to certain knowledge of whom she was and who she had been.

Lily had been fourteen years old, smooth and firm as a babe, with the most glorious pride and innocence when he had come again. Whenever a man was sent up to her, she would stand on the landing and wait there just so, and on her cheeks you could see those little spots of color burning, genuine the man would swear. So he came, like any other, except that he was the devil who had stolen Lily  from her home and sold her into slavery; and when he had ascended the stairs he wielded a razor-edged blade in hand, meaning to steal her face, to make her forget, to obliterate her.

Lily raised her glance and tentatively she raked back her mane of raven hair. She sought herself in the looking glass and saw a snow white face tinged with blue roses; scarred and imperfect but still here. She was Lily and she remembered everything despite how he had cut her, and even so she believed that soon it would be her time, her turn.

A deep voice interrupted Lily's reverie. ”Yes. I shall require a linen shirt – snowy white, with nary a single blemish – of the very highest quality, mind you, and crafted to the very best of your abilities.”

The tailor bobbed his head in understanding. ”Of c . . . course, s . . . sir, of c . . . course.”

”And there are two final items that I shall require of you, Devlin. I shall consent to wear silk, but only as a scarf around my neck, and as a mask. Make the scarf ivory-hued, and the mask as black as the heart of the most vile villain.”

She sought the gentleman's glance through the looking glass and held his gaze for a long moment as she made note of his bold stare and manly countenance.  Perhaps . . . she thought . . . perhaps you are the one for whom I have been waiting this long time passing.

This message was last edited by the player at 22:22, Tue 09 Sept 2008.

Rhollin Grail
 player, 9 posts
 A savage heart
 a gentle heart
Sat 6 Sep 2008
at 00:10
Re: In Search of Something Better
A Grail knight was keenly aware of his presence at all times. A slight shift of the muscular frame, a particular cut of cloth, or a careful turning of one's countenance could send a clear message. So even as Rhollin stood in the tent simply pondering his next move, he naturally cut a dashing figure. Only when the lady spoke to him was he aware of her presence as well, and turned his bright eyes downward.

Lucinda would see she made an impression on the knight-errant, for he cast his eyes on her for longer than was necessary for a passing stranger. He lifted his hands and undid the straps of his great battle gloves, heavy things of leather and layered steel meant to protect and reinforce Rhollin's primary weapons - his hands. With the gauntlets tucked into his belt like a sword, he dropped to one knee, bringing himself near level with her, and extended a bare hand palm-upward to take hers.

"That welcome is my first and dearest, lady of Aberhaven. I mean to take it sincerely and extend my own welcome on behalf of my family, my kingdom, and my people." His words were well-chosen but fairly standard as courtly Leonyr greetings went. The extra affection came from his grip on her hand, which, like his gaze, was more intimate than would be expected.
Guildmaster
 GM, 19 posts
Sun 7 Sep 2008
at 12:46
Re: In Search of Something Better
Curse the Charity Ball, Devlin thought to himself as coughed and cleared his throat loudly. After grumbling about Brax's impossible order he picked up a piece of chalk and removed the measuring tape from around his neck. As he prepared a piece of cloth, the old tailor spotted a tiny figure hiding in the shadows.

Despite his age, Devlin's were still as sharp as an eagle - if not how could he still be the city's most sought after tailor? Looking up, he saw a dirty looking wench staring in his direction. She must be looking for some money and even if she was looking for someone to tailor her a dress, Devlin doubted she could pay for his services.

With a disinterested flick of his wrist, Devlin waved the girl off and went back to his business. For nearly 50 years now, he had worked his fingers to the bone, making clothes for the richest of the rich, and the most powerful people across the lands. He didn't need to earn small money from the commoners.

----

Tyr looked up to see a beautiful female greeting his Sir. He too, was enchanted by the beauty before Sir Grail but quickly averted his gaze because Tyr had learnt never to allow the opposite sex to tempt the virtue of a knight. "Sir..., Tyr opened his mouth, wanting to remind his Sir of his need to visit the Duke, but he knew better than to correct a knight's judgement, and so did not finish his sentence.

Seeing his master kneel, Tyr followed suited and he too, knelt before the lady.

This message was last edited by the GM at 12:50, Sun 07 Sept 2008.

Brax
 player, 15 posts
 A bold highwayman
Sun 7 Sep 2008
at 20:32
A Lingering Glance . . .
The lass has a bold glance befitting a Gypsy princess, Brax thought to himself as he and the young woman looked into the other’s eyes for a long moment through the medium of the looking-glass in Devlin’s shop. From his angle of observation her tresses hid most of her face, but not the sparkle of the eyes that stared back into his own blue ones with a dark-hued intensity that surprised him and piqued his interest. It had been his experience that most women would demurely drop their gaze when a man locked glances with them -- most especially if the man in question was a stranger -- but this one did no such thing.

Her manner of dress was common and drab, but Brax did not necessarily hold that against her. His own experiences had taught him that the commonly accepted trappings of nobility and power did not guarantee the quality of one’s character – and that the converse was also true – a commoner’s rags did not necessarily mean that one was worthless and beneath the notice of those who might find themselves in a more fortunate position for the nonce.

My father taught me to respect all who are worthy of it, regardless of class. I needs must try and remember that, as well as other things that he would expect of me, at those times when the dark humours threaten to consume me . . .

His glance strayed to the shimmering beauty of the bolt of cobalt-blue silk that the young woman had placed upon Devlin’s counter. It’s for the Duke’s ball, of course, he concluded, even as he silently congratulated the lass for not letting go of her dreams in spite of the hardships undoubtedly imposed upon her by her circumstances.

He also found himself wondering how someone dressed as she was could manage to pay Devlin’s asking-price for silk of that quality. He pursed his lips and glanced over at the little tailor – and then it suddenly dawned upon him. Why, that old scamp!

As Brax looked on, it seemed to him that Devlin slyly attempted to cover his tracks by frowning and dismissively waving away the young woman.

Brax strolled over to stand beside the dark-haired woman, his footfalls surprisingly light for a man of his size, and enigmatically smiled down at her.

”Find something that appeals to you?” he inquired with a hint of mischief in his tone, as he swept off his hat. He was curious as to whether her demeanor would be consistent with the boldness that he thought that he had detected in her glance.

OOC: Lily, in spite of the nature of the order that he has just placed with Devlin, Brax does not presently look the part of a gentleman. He is clad in a weather-stained black wool cloak (not Dharmalese wool), a dark brown tri-corn hat (like his portrait), a leather jerkin intended to help ward off an opponent's steel, a faded white linsey-woolsey shirt, dark gray breeches and well-worn black boots. At his left hip he wears what looks to be a very serviceable sword – not the rapier often favored by courtiers. Also, I would observe that these are Brax's in-character thoughts -- they may or may not be correct with respect to Devlin's intentions, for example. ;-)

This message was last edited by the player at 02:21, Mon 08 Sept 2008.

Emeric
 player, 8 posts
Mon 8 Sep 2008
at 14:51
Re: 1.1 The Trader's District
Guildmaster:
Cornet Street was not difficult to find. With proper directions and a few prompts, Emeric was well on his way to getting a mask for the ball. Walking purposefully down Cornet, Emeric watched for a sign that read, "New Faces" and sure enough, as the tailor described, it was a cluttered little establishment at the end of the street, facing the pie maker's shop. Upon entering the shop, a doorbell ringed signaling the entrance of a customer.

And immediately, "What can I do for you," came the question from a man seated behind a sewing machine, working on an embroidery.


"Ah, good sir, my name is Peleric.  I seek a mask for the ball, and have been told that you might be able to meet the commission requirements." Emeric looked around the shop quickly, admiring openly the work on show.  "My particular requirement is for a mask based upon someone elses face.  Oh, have no fear, it is not important who's, just as long as it meets the requirements of being ugly.  Perhaps even pox ridden.  Something noticeable for someone dressed as a pauper.  Perhaps you know of a Deathmask maker who has something suitable to work from.  I also require horsehair to cover my own, and a paupers hat all built in.  Is that within you skills in the time remaining good sir?"
Moerdyn
 player, 2 posts
 Less than a prince
 More than a thief
Mon 8 Sep 2008
at 15:44
Re: 1.1 The Trader's District
"Oh no mi'lord.  You needn't pay...take it.  Don't tell father, though."

Moerdyn smiled at the girl.  She was pretty enough in a common sort of way.  The kind of girl you married but didn't have liasions with.  That hadn't stopped him from insinuating all sorts of things with her.  Flirting and whispering until she had given him the strawberries.  He smirked at her, letting his eyes hint at all sorts of things.  She giggled and covered her mouth.  She was prettier when she smiled.  Perhaps another time...

"Thank you dear.  I have to go I fear..."  He said and turned without explanation, biting into the fruit.  Fruit given freely was always sweetest.

His eyes scanned the crowd, looking for his fence.  he'd have to get rid of these jewels quickly if he intended to buy any sort of mask for the ball.
Guildmaster
 GM, 21 posts
Tue 9 Sep 2008
at 13:27
Re: 1.1 The Trader's District
The old tailor looked up slowly from his work and said to Brax, "B...b..back s..so...s..s..s...soon?" Masking his distaste by gathering a few lose items from the counter, Devlin could only hope these customers would leave him in peace to do his work. He spied the bolt of cloth the young wench laid on his counter and back up at the Lily. She must be joking, the tailor concluded. Without even touching the material, Devlin knew that it was a fine fabric, not of the best quality, but good enough for most women. And there was no way she could afford it...

When Brax started to converse with the wench, Devlin quirked a brow and sneaked in a slight smile, Even the nobles have their needs, he shrugged lightly, ignored the pair and returned to his sewing machine.

----

"Why, you've come to the right place then, young Peleric," the man smiled broadly as he rose from his machine. "Getting ready for the Duke's Ball are we not? Although I must say, you are quite the odd one. Wanting to look like a pauper? That is almost unheard off!"

Taking Emeric by the arm, the man escorted him to row of display cases, "We have masks of all sorts! How about a Prince Mathias or the Duke himself? Or you want to go as an animal? A dragon? Made from REAL dragon scales I might add."

When Emeric politely declined once more and insisted upon a mask, or perhaps even a maker of a deathmask the man pursed his lips and said curtly, "Well if you want to be ugly, so be it. As long as you have the coin for it." Obviously, the man was always keen to show off his talent in mask making and obviously, making a ugly mask was not quite up his alley. It was then, that someone else voice interrupted.

An old crone entered from the backroom which quelled the man to silence, "Mother..." He greeted. The old lady smiled at Emeric and said, "Come here boy... You were looking for a deathmask? A...real one?"

----

The girl sighed as she watched Moerdyn disappear into the crowd. She hugged the fruit basket in her arms and looked at the empty spot where the strawberries once sat. Perhaps one day he would chance by her stall and he could..."Mira, help me with these!" And with that Mira's daydream was shattered and back to work she went.

The market was a crowded place but it suited Moerdyn quite well. Popping the last strawberry into his mouth, his keen eyes scanned the area. He knew that the "Fox" always had a few of his fences around the district, it was just the matter of spotting one.

Aha! Smirking, the young lad made his way towards one of the merchant stands. Hanging from the handle of the merchant's cart was was a preserved fox's paw - almost unnoticeable and of little significance to the average bystander. Making his way to the merchant, Moerdyn pretended to browse and chose a fruit from the cart. As he handed the fruit back to the merchant, he conveniently dropped a tiny wooden peg the shape of a fox's head onto the merchant's palm.

Without even blinking the merchant pocketed the peg and pointed Moerdyn to the door directly across the street from his cart. It was the Sleeping Mermaid tavern.

The tavern had very few customers and most of them were still trying to sober up. Seated at the far corner of the inn was a round faced man who was decked in bright red. Not very subtle... but perhaps that was the point. When Moerdyn approached, his eyes lit up in recognition and he said, "Ah, it's you. What do you have for me today?"

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:27, Wed 10 Sept 2008.

Moerdyn
 player, 4 posts
 Less than a prince
 More than a thief
Tue 9 Sep 2008
at 16:38
Re: 1.1 The Trader's District
"Some fine jewelry, easily worth ten times whatever you're going to try and offer me for them." Moerdyn said to the man.  He glanced around, trying to be sure nobody spotted him conversing with the all-too-obvious fence.  He had an image to maintain as one of the lower noble house's sons.

He waited impatiently--he didn't exactly need the gold--tapping his foot nervously and trying his best not to berate the man for takign so long to make an offer Moerdyn would likely scoff at.