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TheUnabashedRoleplayer

"Revolving Doors" - A Heist by the Thieves' Guild

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Most epic tales, most grandiose adventures that started in Inns were dark and stormy. The epitome of mysterious, with a curiously arranged set of individuals of all kinds, who suffered some kind of grievous injury, or tragic backstory. A meeting of a new world order, a set of directions that led individuals to a glorious new destiny, the likes of which they could never turn back from. Adventures abound, with dragons and demons, and creatures that would slay them instantly, without proper practice, and preparation. Quiet taverns, with a few people.... Perhaps an agent of this new world order that these people were invited to try and stop the machinations of.

 
This wonderful tale... Was set with nearly none of these things.
 
A bright and sunny day. Warm and mild, with the faint dampness of a Spring rain hung over the atmosphere of the glorious and generous city of Ashville. The sun hung high above the stone-walled establishment, and merry laughter rung out from within. The windows were fogged up thanks to the humid atmosphere... And the roads were wet, slippery, stone roads loud thanks to the clacking and movement of carriages and motorized vehicles throughout the wealthy city. Magitechnology ran rampant, and men and women of all kinds spoke of business, and pleasure, their chatter an amiable background noise for those who sought a pleasant distraction in the mixing of gentle tones. Almost unnaturally so. Nobody's voice was raised in anger, or frustration. There was no groaning from the side-alley, that would have indicated a drunken man only recently awakening. Perhaps the splash or two of a puddle would draw the attention of a set of individuals. Nothing particularly incredibly distracting, for our heroes and heroines.
 
However the loud noise of a local tavern, the Satyr Gut Hut, hung over the streets with joy-filled tons and glorious, sweet melodies... Not peaceful, no. Not at all that. Instead, these tones were loud, booming, and powerful. The only chaos in an otherwise peace-filled city. Midday, and someone had gotten an entire tavern either amused or drunk enough to create a stirring song that hung in the air. The clacking of feet resounded, and heavy stomps that added a dulled percussion to the melody and tone of the world hung in the air.
 
And outside, stood one of the chosen ones. A woman... No. A girl. Clad in a large, brown cloak that covered her entire body. Every bit of her features, save for the bottom of her chin, was hidden beneath. A single lip exposed, peach-colored and gentle, and asiatic skin. The cloak hung over her features, and dragged against the ground, wetting its hem, as it trickled silently through puddles. Silent, perhaps, was the best word to describe her. Her back was to the wall, and her foot was tapping absentmindedly to the stomping that was occurring within the establishment. The stone wall, still damp from the night before's rain, darkened the cloth fabric of her long cloak.
 
Orianna Synwyndol considered herself patient. She'd blended in seamlessly with the environment, the dark brown of her cloak, and her slight bend in position making her appear as if she were waiting for a date, a meeting of some sort. Which wasn't a lie. Someone had managed to slip a coin into her pocket, with one side written in a language she couldn't even begin to understand... And the other side a satyr's face. She raised her hand from underneath her cloak, and took a glance at the satyr-headed coin. Her hood never raised, though her eyes beneath it become confused, and uncertain. Perhaps... This wasn't the place? Someone had reverse-pick-pocketed this valuable, golden piece onto her person, but when she'd attempted to pawn it off, she'd found it was worthless. Only a message of some kind. Perhaps this was what it meant? Meet at the Satyr-gut Hut? Her lips curled downwards, as her hand fell to her side, and she tucked her new coin into her pouch.
 
This was a bar unlike the others! Most bars were closed, or uncertain, and yet someone with the stealth to slip the coin into her pouch, underneath her cloak, had... arranged for her to meet here? It was so loud... It would draw attention to meet up in such a place! Her lips curled further, into a scowl. What kind of fool would have a meeting in such a loud place. It would be impossible to talk about anything. Her foot's tapping sped up with impatience, with unanswered questions regarding the figure who'd had the skill, unknowing that a group of adolescents had stopped to stare at the strange, mysterious figure standing outside of the tavern... Pointing and muttering amongst themselves. Though the statements consisted of such mundane things as "That cloak is so old... How can she wear something like that?", "Maybe she's poor...", "We should give her some money, and take her for a make-over!", and decidedly girlish giggles and squeals, to Orianna, it was akin to a death sentence, each word that took notice of her another inch higher the axe that would behead her was risen. Panic started to set in, and the girl turned on her heel, pretending as if she hadn't heard the teens of Ashville, and opening the door to the Satyr-Gut Hut.
 
The first thing that Orianna noticed about the bar was that it must have had sound-dampening magics on its walls, or some kind of magitechnology. Her hands had to rise and hold her hood in place, to keep it from being blasted off of her head, by the song the bar patrons were singing and tapping their feet and fists along to. Deafening clicks and stomps filled the bar, and a tall, handsome male stood atop a table, singing while the some traveling musician provided a tempo and a violin to add onto it. Of course, that didn't change the fact that the percussion wasn't actually the stomps of the patrons. No, instead it was the clicking of the handsome blond man's shoes on the table, moving inhumanly quickly, each passing set of seconds earning several other clicks. A bellowing, powerful voice called out to Orianna, as the man turned to face the newcomer.
 
"Welcome Lassie! You're just in time fer' another song!" The other individuals who'd been watching this perplexing display of tapdance turned over their shoulders. The hard workers of Ashville, the people who did maintenance, and who kept the city running at night, stared at the thiefling, their stares causing her to freeze in place. Her legs trembled at the number of strong, muscled people, the sheer volume of them meaning that she couldn't run. There was also a door that would click shut any second- Oh. Damnit. It shut. Orianna grasped hold of the sides of her hood, pulling it upwards, and then looking at the men and women within the tavern... Only to be shocked with the number and volume of greetings she'd received. Everyone here was so good-natured, so nice... It almost made the thiefling... happy. Beneath her hood, she blinked in amazement, while the performer called everyone's attention back to him. "C'mon, yer' scarin' the lass. Don't want to drive our new friend out, do we? Look't me! Don't give the poor gal stage fright." A wide, shit-eating grin was on the man's face. Someone instantly called him out on it.
 
"Don't talk like that, Gron! You just want to keep showin' off!" Several chuckles echoed from the audience, and the man with short blond hair gave an even wider grin.
 
"Hey, Davis, I can't help that my feet are magic! Almost as good as my hands, ladies~." The good-natured statement had the men in the crowd snickering, and the women in it laughing right along with them, while Gron started to tap his feet, picking up the pace of his movements with his tapdancing shoes, clicking a tempo out on the table. The entertainer who was his backup, seeming to recognize the song, pulled out a pipe, and a set of bagpipes both, and took a seat next to Gron's table, while the man started to dance again.
 
Taking advantage of the chaos that the blond-haired man had created, along with his distraction, Orianna slipped into the crowd, ducking and weaving, using her small size as an advantage, to pass by each and every individual who gave her solemn grins, or "get out of the way, he's starting"s... Only to glance at a booth, smack dab at the back wall. With a single, satyr-head coin located on it. The woman's eyes widened, and she quickly diverted herself towards it, trying to find someone, anyone... Any hint of who had brought this thing, who had the table reserved... But instead, she found that nobody had gathered around it, or if people had, they were now distracted by this Gron's performance. Orianna turned on her heel, trying to stare... her thoughts catching up with her, as Gron stood right in front of her with a grin. His voice gave a loud, chuckle-like bellow.
 
"Her breath began to speak, and she stood right in front o' me..." He started, his eyes focused on hers, as if he were staring through her hood. Orianna went slack-jawed. Was... Was he talking about her? She was the only one the man was looking at. Whistles and catcalls resounded through the Satyr-Gut, as Gron took hold of the girl's wrist, and pulled it, guiding the woman towards him, and peeking underneath her hood, though nobody else could see it. A squeal of surprise left the Thiefling's lips, as she felt her bust meet solid muscle against the man's chest. "Color o' her eyes was the color of insanity..." He bent backwards, his feet still tapping along the ground as he provided what might have been the PERFECT distraction for Orianna's fellow rogues to come in, using himself and her as bait. He continued to sing, as he swung Orianna around, the thiefling barely managing to avoid knocking over tables. "Crushed beneath her wave, like a ship I could not reach her shore," He stopped again for a quick breath, and several other men had started to stand up, as well as women. They were... Dancing. "We're all just dancers, on the Devil's Dance Floor~ WELL" He suddenly picked up in volume, swinging Orianna around him, and tapping his feet, moving along with her, forcing her to jig to his tune, as he continued the song and dance routine.
 
"Swing a lil' more, little more o'er merry-o... Swing a little more, little more next to me..." He'd literally started to swing Orianna around him, forcing the Thiefling's hood to bounce to and fro, almost falling off with each moment. Orianna was in a panic. She felt rage and frustration start to build up, though they were nowhere near her fear of being revealed. And yet, with Gron's deft movements, and quick hands, she was utterly powerless to stop him. "Swing a lil' more, little more o'er merry-o, Swing a little more on the Devil's Dance Floor."
 
Orianna found herself stumbling, during the dance routine, pushed backwards by Gron, who had turned around to address his good-natured audience, his eyes fixated on them... That same arrogant, cocky, bastardly, shit-eating grin on his handsome face. Orianna felt her blood start to boil in absolute rage. If they weren't surrounded, she'd've LIT THE FUCKER ON FIRE for scaring her so bad. Hellfire burns for EVERYONE who supported this dense asshole! He'd grabbed her from out of nowhere, and started swinging her around as if she were some kind of fucking MOP IN A BUCKET. If she were anyone else, she'd've broken a goddamned ankle. Her teeth started to grind against one another, and her fingers curled up into fists. She was about to throw a punch at the fucker who'd scared her nearly half to death, during an apparent interlude in his act, before she found something very nice and pleasant against her lips. She was nearly frozen in shock, in awe. This man had just stolen a kiss from her, without a bit of hesitance! He was ballsy... And, at this rate... A dead man. And yet, he'd twirled her like they were in a ballroom dance, and knocked her into the edge of the booth she'd had her eyes on.
 
"Pressed against her face, I could feel her insecurity... Father'd been a drunk, and her mother was obscurity." His eyes sparkled knowingly at the Thiefling... And yet her rage had boiled completely. Unable to see her vicious facial features, the men and women who were watching the fourth such display that Gron had pulled off thought this girl another glorious act had occurred, and that they were watching something gorgeous. The wood beneath her creaked as she launched herself towards him, attempting to throw a punch, though it was quickly redirected, and the two stood back-to-back. "Nothin' ever came from a life that was a simple one, pull yourself together girl," He bent over, using his bum to send her stumbling forwards, a bit. "And have a little fun!" He made a come-hither motion with his fingers, and Orianna obliged, swinging her leg up into the air, attempting to cave the smarmy fucker's head in... Only for him to catch it on his shoulder, and bend forwards, using her flexibility to bend her over in an amazing way. Louder whistles and catcalls, while the man's hand grasped the back of her head to support her... Orianna was, however, frozen. If her hood fell.. She'd be dead... Her body twitched, and she stared up at the man, only to have him... Use his fingers on her head to keep her hood from falling. "Her legs ran all the way up to heav'n and past Avalon. Tell me something girl, what it is you have in store. She said," Gron twirled the off-balance tiefling towards the booth once more, and apparently stopped playing around with her, turned around and raising his arms high up into the air. The entire tavern sang out the next words.
 
"COME WITH ME NOW, ON THE DEVIL'S DANCE FLOOR!"
 
More tapdancing accompanied the rest of the song, each movement easy and quick, and thought out, to the point of rehearsal, but now... Now Orianna was safe, at her booth... With the coin still on the edge of it. It hadn't moved, despite the fact that she'd been tossed and twirled into the booth two or three times now. Her head fell onto the table, and a grumble of disatisfaction was muffled thanks to the table. What on Earth kind of meeting place for an expert pickpocket was this, anyways?

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Meka noticed the woman with the brown cloak almost instantly as the door opened and watched the poor girl get flung around and danced with by the drunken town folk, the tap dancing was quiet a treat and had her chuckle a few times attempting to hide it behind a finger or two, she kept her hilt behind the bar, and paid a hefty three gold for the tender to pretend it wasn’t there at all. She was eager to get closer to see who exactly she was. This bar Satyr-gut was definitely an unusual place to be if you were not a local, but not much could be said about her being here either, if it wasn’t for this odd gold coin with the Styr’s face and that strange message added to the other side. She was normally on top of her game, and very attentive to her surroundings and what was going on, but for some strange reason this gold coin, found its way into her front left pocket. The individual must have been either extremely distracting or extremely well at their trade, but why leave something, when obviously taking something would of benefited the thief.

The music just continued to play, the drinks continued to flow, Meka would sip on the lemon water she ordered and recalled the look she got from the bar tender, was it that strange not to consume alcohol. Tilting the cup back for the final drop of the refreshment, a small droplet that formed from the condensation would meet her thumb, a brisk chill would creep around her skin causing a quick shiver.

Sitting there thinking about it wasn’t allowing her to feel any better about the situation and basically her experience with the drunken tap dancer was no better than the cloaked woman’s, finally decided to nudge her way past a few comfortable souls sitting gawking at Gron and his antics, a few twists and turns and ducking here and there she finally came up with wide eyes to the cloaked woman.
 
Meka: “evening” she said to the unknown one “what brings you here, to this specific table, when so many others are available?” Meka was definitely skilled in interrogation tactics and would use them endlessly to obtain her own answers to that coin out on the table.

Meka would be wearing a black cloak garment, it was easy to tell underneath laid a set of armor the way it rested on her shoulders, as well her chest, it would ripple out detailing certain markings and certain patterns, to what they were it was unknown at this time, no weapon would be distinguished as one could tell, or least not one attached to her presently, her icy blue eye’s would bat here and there blinking so her eyes would not dry out, just in front of her eyes a wave of bluish hair would dance back and forth at her motions, with the cloak hood bunched up, it would be hard to know exactly how long her hair was.

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"Oh, I think I know why."

 

A voice spoke from the corner of the booth, pre-empting any other opportunity for a response. Varina was sprawled lazily across nearly half her side of the bench, black draped around her body and hanging over her face. The fabric blended in quite well with the dark tone of the tavern's woodwork; perhaps the other two had not noticed her, perhaps they had and simply had not yet addressed her. It was irrelevant now. A single eye glittered from beneath the hood, perched above blood red lips. She waited a moment for dramatic effect before continuing. The whole dark-and-mysterious thing took some getting used to, but Varina figured she was getting the hang of it by now.

 

A delicate hand appeared from within the folds of her cloak, holding a battered old flask. Her head nodded towards the satyr-headed coin on the table as the flask met with her lips. After a long drink, the hand returned to the depths of the black fabric before re-emerging with Varina's coin. She placed it on the table for all to see, then picked it up and twirled it idly between her fingers.

 

"So which one of you did it? And what's it for? Are we being invited to join the Ashville Cloak-Fashion Club?" she asked, noting their similar choices of apparel. Of course, hers was a choice more of utility than of fashion. Did these other girls have something that needed hiding too, perhaps?

Edited by CATZ

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Ashville.

 

A peculiar name for such a spectacle of wealth.  If it had been a city deeply embedded in the fertilizer market or which had burned down many times over its history, it would be understandable.  But what she just couldn't understand was how such an opulent city received a name which conjures to mind a desolate forest; air thick with noxious white flakes.

 

But alas, the name was what it was, and no amount of thought would change that fact.

 

The real problem was searching a town this enormous.  Before now, she had only been to small hamlets and farming communities, nothing remotely near the size of this place.  Connections.  Those seemed to be the only way to effectively search a place this large.  But where to start.

 

The task ahead was plucked from her thoughts by the sight of the sun entering Gaia's warm embrace.  It would be dark soon.  She wasn't sure if there was a curfew in this town, but it was better to be safe than sorry.  She approached what appeared to be a tavern and her eyes fell upon the sign.

 

"Satyr Gut Hut."

 

The name was confusing to say the least.  Did the sign makers mean Satyr-Gut Hut, or is was the owner a fawn and they simply served guts?  She had seen much stranger customs.  Deciding to play it safe, she passes the bar by for an inn further down the road whose sign made proper use of a hyphen, "White-Pixie Dreams."

 

The room assigned to her was, as to not offend the bartender in her mind, conservative at best.  But that was alright, for she had only what money she happened to, shall we say, acquire during her nightly excursions.

 

So, fifteen minutes of intense and pointless haggling later, she is standing over a possibly-flea-ridden mattress with her bag of belongings sitting on a rickety old chair in the corner; the only other piece of furniture in these tiny chambers.  But the mattress bothered her not, for it would get no use tonight.  She unbraided her hair, replacing the clasp to hold it in a ponytail instead, falling down to her waist where it had previously fallen only to the small of her back.

 

Then, she systematically changed into her second set of clothes, the much darker and concealing set.  Succeeding her transformation into a being near unrecognizable, she barred the door to her room and jumped from the second-story window to the secluded alleyway below.

 

After a few hours of assessing the lay of the surrounding town, and coming into some "windfall acquisitions," she returned to the alley only to find it otherwise occupied by a pair of lovebirds.  She decides to wait it out in the shadows.  Fifteen minutes or so in, she closes her eyes in embarrassment.  She opens them to the rising sun and realizes that she must have fallen asleep.

 

Hurriedly, she ascends the wall to her window, slipping inside and changing back into her regular clothes in such a rush that she didn't even notice the coin sitting on her pillow until the process is complete.

 

It was a decent-sized piece, engraved on the front was a sight she found familiar.  It depicted the head of a Satyr, stylized in the exact same manner as the sign for the Satyr Gut Hut.

 

Perhaps this was some kind of summons, or perhaps it was something completely unrelated to anything she had any interest in.  Either way, it was worthless, she realized as she bit it and the metallic taste of lead met her taste buds.

 

Shrugging, she unbarred her door and set out into the town of Ashville.

 

Finding little to occupy her time while the sun still shone, she found herself standing in front of the Satyr Gut Hut by midmorning.  Feeling particularly apathetic, she walks into the bar and sits at a stool, praying that the sign was as much a misnomer as the town's name, and that she would find neither Satyrs or Guts in this place.

 

Much to her relief, her prayers were answered in the form of the barkeep asking if she would like an egg.

 

Time passed, people came and went, none of them holding her bored gaze for longer than an instant.  Soon a man came in, apparently some form of entertainment, not even he warranted much of an inspection from the bored female sitting at the bar eating the occasional egg, drinking the occasional milk.  Hell, breakfast could go on forever as far as she was concerned.

 

But then, a cloaked figure walked in, standing stock still when the crowd turns their attention on her.  "Well that's no way to divert attention," the breakfast-eater mumbles under her breath.  Her attention once again wandered, this girl was of no particular interest to her.

 

Soon though, it looked as if she was in some kind of fight with the entertainment, and the breakfast-eater's interest was piqued.  He was trained.  Trained very well in the same style martial arts practiced by the breakfast-eater.  Perhaps he was the reason she was summoned here, if a summons is indeed what it was.

 

Her gaze was focused now, sharp, penetrating.  Just as she was beginning to make her move, a gold flash caught her eye.  There was some kind of conglomeration of hooded figures at a table not too far from where she was seated right now.  This brought up a few chuckles.  "Seriously, wearing cloaks in this weather makes you so much more conspicuous," she mumbles with a faint shaking of her head as she allows her gaze to once again wander.

 

For in that instant of concentration, she had seen a coin identical to the one she had found on her pillow that morning.  She began listening to the conversation at the table.  A forkful of egg entered her mouth.

Edited by double0pi

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Ashville, for all its technological splendor and innovation, held a surprisingly naive populace within its borders. Perhaps wealth and peaceful stability had dulled the edge of caution and distrust present in most cities, or perhaps the lack thereof had allowed such united growth in the first place. Nelem mulled this over as she walked, the floral yellow parasol - artfully acquisitioned the previous morning from a plump woman who favored rum over coffee - swinging lazily in her hand. It had been an almost effortless theft... yet again.

 

For her first week in Ashville, Nel had revelled in the satisfaction of successful heist after successful scam after successful pickpocket. The targets, had they noticed the sudden disappearance of their various valuables at all, were far too happy, too busy, too damned wealthy to care. The pleasure of this freedom evaporated completely from Nel on the eighth day of her unfettered string of larceny. She already had a small fortune tucked away in her simple leather shoulderbag, and more in her room at the Blue Cloud, which she had booked on day nine and settled into comfortably over the past four days. Today, however, she planned to spend every last coin.

 

Nel had adopted an uncharacteristically feminine look for the day, even going so far as to pin her short hair into two small buns at the back of her head. Her ensemble was a delicate, deliberate combination of tasteful modesty and just enough lavish quality to warrant respect without intrigue. Her short-sleeved blouse was a silky, cream-colored affair, fitted at the waist to give the illusion of a decent bosom. A swath of sheer blue skirt fell to her ankles, layered sufficiently to show the barest outline of her legs in the right light. She had crammed her feet into leather sandals decorated with thin golden chains, which were the current footwear fashion for some inexplicable reason. Her face was clean and decorated simply with peachy lipstick and dark brown kohl.

 

She felt ridiculous.

 

Sandals clinking and clacking against the damp stone, Nelem made her way down a narrow road lined with trees, their uppermost branches stretching to touch those opposite and forming a secluded tunnel of green and yellow leaves. Their shadows, latticed by sunlight, wobbled on the ground as a breeze shook through.

 

Where is this damned place…?

 

She rounded a corner hedged by rosebushes and was suddenly back in the wider streets of the city main. A few carriages trundled by, bearing the odd patrician too rushed, important, or lazy to walk. Pedestrian traffic, however, was bustling in the midday sun. Nelem slipped into the light ebb of bodies and moved through, trotting as fast as her impractical shoes allowed. She craned her neck at the nearest street sign. Just as she began to decipher the letters, someone stumbled into her left side, knocking her off balance.

 

“Gah! Hey!” she cried, whirling to spit venom into the face of the bumbling oaf- but there was no one there. The only person near to her was a hunched, harmless old woman in a red shawl. Nel spat a few choice curses; the senior gave her a stern look of admonishment. Nelem stomped across the street, glancing over her shoulder to check once more for the culprit.

 

Wait.

 

Nel froze under the awning of some windowed storefront and gripped at her satchel. Something was off. She pulled it open roughly and plunged her hand inside.

 

There.

 

A coin, loose in her bag, outside the cloth pouch she kept her own gold pieces in (which she fingered briefly to ensure its contents). She extracted it from the cramped darkness of the bag. She lifted it higher, into the light, and, suddenly cautious, pretended it was a small mirror and dabbed at her lips with her free hand. A satyr, hairy and horned, peered out at her from the coin. She flipped it discreetly and squinted at the other side. Unintelligible lettering.

 

Nelem shoved the strange coin back into her shoulderbag, goosebumps raising on her arms despite the warmth of the sun. She began to move quickly.

 

Who knew she was here? She’d been careful to cover her tracks after every theft… or had she? Had she gotten lazy with the ease of her crimes here? Nel wrung her hands as she walked, parasol hanging in the crook of one arm. What did the satyr mean? Her mind spun, trying to make connections where there were none. All thoughts of her current scheme were pushed aside, and she moved in a haze, heedless to the turn of the roads or the people flowing around her.

 

After some indeterminable amount of time, a burst of noise jolted her from her stupor and she found herself in an utterly unfamiliar place. Like the rest of the city, the roads were clean and the buildings neat, but there was a clamor here that Nel had not heard since arriving in Ashville. The clamor of a tavern. She had popped into several pubs since her arrival, but they had all been the calm, civilized sort, filled with political discussions and dreadfully dull banter and absolutely no drunken brawls. She hated them.

 

But this sounded promising. The stomping of feet, laughter, raucous yells- Nel would even excuse the awful singing she heard if it meant she could get a booze that wasn’t spiced to the brink of being tea. For a moment she forgot the coin, and turned hopefully toward the source of the noise.

 

Oh fuck right off.

 

It was the satyr. The very same satyr’s face, hair for hair, staring down at her from the swinging wooden sign above the tavern. The Satyr Gut Hut. Nel stood, rooted in her spot across the road. It had to be coincidence, and yet she somehow felt in her stomach it was not. She finally forced her legs into steps and crossed the street. After peering quickly around to be sure she was unwatched, Nel scurried into the alley behind the tavern. There was just one window along the side, barely tall enough for her to walk right under without being seen from within. The ground was unpaved and slick, and she kept one hand on the rough outer wall, treading slowly.

 

“-know! I’ve got it, alright?”

 

A voice came from the back of the building. Nelem heard the ensuing slam of a door shutting. She crept forward and peeked around the corner. A tall, gangly man with a lank crop of brown hair and an apron was emptying a wooden bucket of garbage into a large metal container pressed to the wall. She sized him up, then made her move, tossing her parasol to the ground without a thought.

 

As the man lowered the now-empty bucket and turned to go back inside, Nel leapt forward silently and grabbed his arm with surprising force.

 

“Nyah! What-”

 

“Shut the fuck up, and pay attention. Do you see my hand?”

 

“What-”

 

“LOOK DOWN! Do you see my fucking hand?” she hissed, and watched with sick pleasure as he obliged her command and released a strangled shriek. She had her hand phased into his chest, up to her wrist.

 

“You- oh god, what-”

 

“The ‘what’ is that I’ve got my fingers poised around your heart, and if I so choose, I can squeeze it to a pulp inside your chest. Understand? Nod, please, I can’t bear your stammering.”

 

The man nodded feebly.

 

“What- what do you-”

 

“I want to know what this place is.”

 

“A tavern! I’m just a busboy!” he squeaked, and Nel gripped his arm tighter.

 

“Horseshit! Tell me what it really is.”

 

“I swear, it’s a tavern as far as I know - I only started a couple weeks back - I swear!”

 

Nelem groaned furiously and shoved him away, allowing her hand to phase out of his chest without harm. He stumbled and fell against the dumpster, knocking his head on the metal. He sat in the mud, dazed.

 

“Useless,” she muttered, and phased her head slightly into the back door. There was a narrow hall that split into what looked like a kitchen, and, further on, the main room. The hall was empty, but she could see and hear the movement of many bodies beyond. She phased through completely and moved onto the wooden floor, solidifying as she stepped. There was a coatrack, presumably for employees, standing next to the kitchen door. Nel pulled a long, frayed gray cloak from one of its hooks and draped it over her shoulders. It dragged against the floor, but wasn’t outlandishly large.

 

She moved down the hall and passed surreptitiously into the main room, using the dancing bodies as cover. She was about to head for the bartender when she caught a strand of conversation from a nearby booth.

 

"-And what's it for? Are we being invited to join the Ashville Cloak-Fashion Club?"

 

Nelem glanced toward the voice and spotted three cloaked figures sitting around the small wooden table, bare but for a coin.

 

A coin-

 

Nel eyed it as closely as possible, without calling attention to herself, and gritted her teeth. The satyr. She felt a mixture of relief and confusion, and decided to wait, lingering by the bar to see if all would be explained by one of the mysterious strangers.

Edited by Sanzoid

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Renkor was displeased, the local climate was so disparate from his usual that it left him miffed. There was water everywhere, not in the traditional sense of snow and ice, but in it's liquid form. He surmised that the humidity was due to the city lying upon the fringe of a substantial lake, one that could perhaps be mistaken for a sea. The air was sweltering in the early afternoon sun, the thick moisture in the air causing a tickle in his throat, occasionally he would let out a throaty, hacking cough, that resonated deeply in his chest. His clothes had been quickly dampened in the pervasive moisture, and they stuck intolerably to his skin. The skin-tight pants and shirt offered the gravest of offenses to him, sliding across his skin in a way that reminded him only of dark nightmares. The thick cowl that covered his head and shoulders was a mite bit better, allowing air to flow through and grace his skin with its' sweet, sweet, kisses. Surprisingly the mask that covered the lower half of his face was most delightful, even going so far as to filter out some of the water from the air as he breathed; this left the mask damp but the trade off was agreeable to him. He could only wish that the litany of steel daggers hidden on his person would not rust in the repressively muggy atmosphere.

 

As he strode through the city, keeping his eyes turned slightly upwards so that he might scrutinize the signs as he passed, he idly flipped a coin over and over again betwixt his fingers. The coin itself was a small affair, forged from iron, imprinted with an image that closely resembled a satyr. On the reverse side of said coin, a message, written in a language he could not read. His thoughts wandered to how he had received the coin; he had been walking the market, picking up supplies if you will, and felt someone tugging on his clothing. When he turned to confront the scoundrel and ask why he so desperately wanted to disrobe him a coin took that particular moment to smash into his face, it startled him and out of reflex he plucked the thing out of the air as it tumbled to the ground. When finally he returned his gaze to where the person would have been standing he was met with nothing more than the thronging crowds that normally occupied the market during that hour. Perhaps someone had been trying to place the coin on his person? That would be unfortunate for them, he did not have pockets.

 

He had immediately contacted some slightly less prestigious members of society and asked around about the coin, eventually someone was able to tell him that the coin was likely forged on the Terrenus Mainland; after that it was a simple hop-skip and a jump through the crossroads and a day of asking around before someone pointed him to the Satyr Gut Hut. He stood now before the raucous bar, thumbing the coin gently, and considering the possibility of this being a trap. He disregarded the thought and walked through the solid, oak door, his boots making nary a sound as he stepped onto the wood floors. It took him only a few moments of scanning the bar to find a booth and table, there was a coin lying on the table, presumably the very same type of coin as the one he was holding since none of the other tables in the area had coins laying about them.

 

It was a short walk, some of the other patrons turned to utter him a greeting but their voices seemed to catch in their throat when they saw him. He enjoyed his privacy and not being bothered, the 'Don't fucking talk to me' aura practically rolling off his body discouraged most from doing such foolish things. He preferred it that way, if something was important then he would speak up, but there was no idle chit chat for Renkor. He ignored the three gathered around the table and bent slightly at the waist to scrutinize the small coin, it was the very same. He slid into the booth opposite the one wearing the brown cloak, as far back towards the wall as he could so that if any others arrived they would have room to sit without his moving, he placed his coin in front of himself and folded his hands in his lap. He sat stock still, leaning back into the booth and letting his armor blend seamlessly with the little shadows there were. Hopefully the shadowy, mottled effect this cast across parts of his body would keep the others from talking directly to him, he didn't feel confident it would.

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Zo Samael Vanslyke

His eyes flickered. Standing outside of the Satyr Gut Hut, perhaps a good block or two away from it, Zo sat crouched on a rooftop, gazing through the walls of the establishment. The man's eyes let him see through, to see heat signatures, so that he could survey the situation before getting involved. He'd been watching people come and go, bit by bit, and now, about four people had come in with the same motive as Zo soon would. A coin had been given to him, about two weeks back, and just by a single glance, Zo knew that the Satyr Gut Hut was a place of interest. And now, here he was- standing in the sun of Ashville's midday, across the road and atop a bakery.

Not too long passed before Zo leaped from the bakery, landing in a crowd with grace, blending in due to his rather dark, cloaked attire. Storming into the tavern as casually as he could, Zo kept himself as hidden as possible, as he searched for similar heat signatures. The people with the coins were sitting in one booth, it seemed. 'Not inconspicuous at all,' the man thought, continuing his train. 'Mm. Yeah. Really well-trained, whoever set this jig up- getting a bunch of unsure people in an unsure place. Could've been a deathtrap. Might as well be cops running amok here...' However, Zo went with the flow of the wind, and walked. The man stood a hefty quarter above six feet tall, his form a toned, aged Caucasian mesomorph. Zo's irises were all writhing flame, as if the fury of a fire's spirit fell within them. However, with a squint, his irises lost their intense glow, and no longer could he pick up heat signatures.

Sitting down at whatever open spot there was left, Zo quickly removed his coin from his person, and placed it down on the table, before glancing around to his 'compatriots', his eyes hidden and head unmoving. The only noticeable thing about the man's face was his chiseled jawline, and masculine lips and slightly small nose, his lips curled into a line of apathy. The man then crossed his legs underneath the table, his armored leather boot making a slight, smooth shuffling sound. Afterward, the man simply leaned his head down, gloved hands on his legs.


Zo Samael Vanslyke (My apologies for the delay, I had a lot of things to tend to.)

Edited by Night Air

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Why on Earth... Orianna turned her head, staring at the woman who'd approached the booth with the golden coin at its edge. A slow, snarky smirk came across the thiefling's face, though she quickly calmed it, and became supremely grateful about her hood, which hung loosely off of her head, blocking others' views of her face. Her fingers tapped long the edge, as the woman spoke to her about the coin that was on the table. Apparently, however, this girl had gotten the wrong idea. The tiefling's own hand dipped into the pouch at her side, and she produced her own gold-colored satyr coin, placing it at the edge of the table. Not a word was spoken. Not quite yet. There was a bit of nervousness in her movements, the hesitance clearly depicting that this girl wasn't used to being the center of attention. There was armor on this interrogative woman, and that meant that she was clearly a combatant... A combatant approaching a half-demon? Asiatic, small lips curled downwards, and Orianna spoke calmly to her. "That coin." She didn't bother asking Meka about the coin. If she'd known, then she wouldn't've acted out like this.

 
But, she was quickly called out, as another voice called out from the booth, and the tiefling, who still had dulled senses, thanks to the adrenaline coursing through her veins, had only recently noticed the woman who had been sprawled across the bench, who also seemed to have the wrong idea. She was talented in stealth, at least, but part of what she did felt stiff, and forced... However... She also had a coin. Oh boy. Maybe this was a trap? Orianna felt every muscle in her body twitch. She was surrounded on all sides, and had no way of gauging any of these individuals.
 
And worst of all, they were starting to gather some attention, despite the fact that the man was still performing and dancing. Orianna shook her head. "I didn't do it, and I don't know what this is, okay?... I came here to find out. I haven't seen anyone other than the lot of you come in with the coin though." Orianna didn't lift her hood up, and instead glanced around, back and forth... Trying to peek under the hoods of the other girls, giving the one who was located lower... Varina... A chance to see a bit of horn beneath her cloak. A monster's horns.
 
Yet, that wasn't the worst of it.
 
MORE PEOPLE WERE GATHERING.
 
Orianna was about to call upon the flames of hell, and make a dashing escape.
 
There was another individual, a man who also drew attention, and looked far more like a murderer than any of the currently-gathered people. He had skin-tight, flexible clothing, and a mask that covered his mouth. He looked like some kind of secret-murderer. Orianna felt herself become small, as she pressed her back into the cushion of the booth behind her, and lowered herself. Her head angled downwards again, and she felt her breathing start to pick up. Everyone seemed to have an unhealthy amount of interest in this coin. Maybe... Maybe there was something more at work here? Orianna clutched at her cloak, her fingers digging firmly into the cloth, bunching it up. A deep breath filled her chest outwards, and she looked up at the man.... About to open her mouth to comment on whether or not he'd received a coin, only to be cut off by him placing the coin down himself. Her body flexed beneath her cloak. This had to be a trap. It had to be. All of these people were gathered here, with a murderer-for-hire across from her.... Who was remaining quiet.
 
Wait. He had a coin too. They were all called here. Orianna glanced towards the door, half-expecting, when it opened, for police officers to burst in, and hold guns on each of the intimidating-looking figures, before beheading her, and taking her horns.
 
Cool sweat trickled down her brow, tracing along her jawline, and her throat filled out with air that she'd swallowed. She started to mutter deliriously under her breath. She wasn't used to this. Being in public places was terrifying, for the woman. She'd robbed and stolen from hundreds of people, but none of them were able to stare at her face, and instead already hated her enough for her to not care about their opinions.
 
Here? She was on the precipice of discovery, almost constantly frightened that someone would seriously harm her. Her heart was going to beat out of its chest, and the girl on the brink of a heart-attack the likes of which would definitely draw attention to her surroundings... And suddenly felt herself start to relax.
 
Orianna's eyes widened. Something had happened. Someone had planned for this, while fully aware of this. Magic? No, it didn't feel like it had a magical energy behind it... No. This was a drug. Orianna's eyes snapped open, and her head snapped to the side. She was staring at Gron, who was still dancing, though finishing up a jig himself. Had he?... When could he have.... The tiefling quickly brought her fingers to her lips, and touched them. Then? There was... No other way. He'd slipped a drug into her mouth and shoved it down her throat during their kiss, in anticipation of the fact that she was  terrified of people!
 
Cold dread filled her, and she managed to speak out a word, not noticing the man who had joined them, and instead staring at the dancing man with a glare. "I think... I think I know who gave us those coins though..." She spoke in a hesitant, quiet voice, nerves on fire for an entirely different reason. An entirely different kind of fear was filling her body. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the uncertain. Fear of the man who was singing an Irish drinking song less than 10 meters from her form.
 
"Thank you, thank you!" A quick bow, bent over, and the man gave a brilliant grin to his audience. God, these people were so easily amused. He didn't even need to break out a magical device of any kind to keep them amused, or turn on the charm to get the drink flowing. The Charlatan's smile had a hint of a harsh judgement to it, as he walked through the throngs of people within the tavern, brushing by them, and getting a few smacks on the back, here and there, as well as a compliment, and the occasional sarcastic comment that had him chuckling like a pro. "Hey, I'm not the only entertainment!" He made a quick gesture towards the man who was still playing his music, pointing at him. "The lot of you should be dancing with each other, too! I'm not drunk enough, anyways!" Each muscle was on standby. His drink was kept under wrap, and the reputation he'd built up with the bartender was perfect. A drunkard dancer, through and through. His uninhibited movements, and lack of social courtesy in his dances only added to this perfect façade of an Irishman. Or at least, that's what the person who'd said it was a country-wide set of actions had told him.
 
Regardless, most of the people had been managed, and herded properly to the booth, where they could talk. A few of them, however... Oh, they had to have been too smart. Too cautious. A drink or two would change that, for the most part, but it wouldn't fix absolutely everything. No, he had to have them sober.
 
A fake stumble.
 
Nelem found an arm draping over her shoulder. Ahh, good old number 4. That was a pretty easy one, too. Mercantile areas were so... Easy. A fortune was to be made among the saps who bothered going there when the streets were loud, and the people busy. The Charlatan, or, as he was going now, Gron, glanced at the woman. Beautiful blue eyes, sparkling like deep, oceanic saphires, stared into the woman's own, and his arm around her shoulder had given a light squeeze. His hand rested on her hip... Where her satchel was hidden, beneath the gray cloak. "Ah, what nice hips, lass! Tell y' what. Why don't I buy ya' a drink?"His voice had a slight slur to it, as he met her eyes, and let his soft, gentle lips curl into a devious grin. He plucked his hand from her, quickly pulling it from her, and muttering to the bartender. "This one's a good'n! She reminds me of my ex-wife." A quick jab of his thumb, as the man took a seat at the bar, a small ways away. But his thumb had been jerked in a different direction than any of them. Instead, his thumb was jerked right towards the booth itself.... Though the man quickly sniggered under his breath, and let his head fall forwards, onto the bar.
 
One of the two's attention would've been caught then. The other was going to be a bit more... problematic. Regardless, he half-expected a punch, and so kicked off of his stool, rotating it on one leg, and then letting it fall to the ground, leaning backwards and throwing his back outwards. Feigned imbalances were a bit difficult to pull off. But the sudden, definite freeze of uncertainty was always a nice touch to add onto it. The Charlatan let himself freeze up for a moment, before tilting his head backwards, and leaning his spine against the bar. "Hey, Djimm. Would you let me have another drink?" He asked, while batting his eyes coquettishly, the act ridiculous and foolish-looking... And earning him a scowl from the bartender.
 
"No. You've had enough. It ain't even the evening yet." The bartender shook his head, while eyeing the conspicuous drunken entertainer. A single eyebrow raised, and he instead slid the roguish dancer some water.
 
Which was promptly tipped over by the man, knocking it towards the woman sitting next to him, who was enjoying an egg. A deft foot slammed into the bar stool, holding it down, in an attempt to prevent the woman from escaping the water that was to come in her direction, and ruin her outfit. Shame. It was a nice one. Or maybe it was just the pretty lass in it. Good-looking girls made any clothes look good, after all. But with this, it would have been most definitely a way to catch her attention. Gron's facial features turned into a shame-filled frown, and a trembling lip. "Oh my Tempest, I'm so sorry!" His hand snapped into his pocket, and he grabbed at a handkerchief, pulling it out, and dabbing at the woman's clothing... While staring at her. "Uh..." He glanced at her food, which had been caught in the tidal wave of water, and then back to the table. Perfect.
 
He quickly reached into his pocket, and pulled out a silver coin. The same insignia as the coins that had been gathered in the bar, though this one was of a noticeably different color. The Charlatan frowned, and made a gesture towards the speaking group. "UH... Me and my theatre troupe are here in Ashville on business... Why don't you join us for a drink? I'll get you whatever you'd like, so long as I can afford it for ya'." He turned his head, and gave the woman whose satchel he'd molested a smile. "You too. I've gotta get drinks back to them anyways, and I'd absolutely adore talking to such intelligent women." The unnatural emphasis on intelligent was a bit of a dead give-away to those who realized what the two were doing... But... To most people, it'd hopefully sound like drunken flirt talk.

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Orianna seemed quite skittish and at every person and presence that came to the booth flashing a gold coin and she still hasn’t even presented or admitted to having one at all, she found this strange, everyone in a cloak, attempting to conceal themselves, her eye’s quickly assessed and determined a general ideal of everyone’s ability and unique talents, this wasn’t a coincidence, something was in play. She would listen to everyone and notice a few lingering shadows that were hesitant to approach the table, did they have coins as well. Or was she followed?

Meka would sit right beside the half demon as the poor girl continued to attempt to retreat on the seat for whatever reason. “So someone brought us all here, to this table” her eyes circled the other forms and if they were quiet and would allow her, the next choice of sentences may bring some light to the situation. “Look, I don’t know why you all have that coin, or why it’s simply on the table out in the open, it’s safe to say whoever planned this isn’t a law official, if so there be sober people eyeing us instantly, that fellow over there” as she peered her eyes to Gron annoying another female at the bar “is acting intoxicated for a reason, all you have a keen talent don’t you see” she would be the first to divulge her ability to the group and gently moved her cloak open on the right side, her left hand going in to disappear and be removing a sheath with a strange looking sword inside the hilt locked, she placed it carefully on the seat between her and Orianna as soon as her fingers loosened from the hilt, it be balancing on the cushion and the back rest. “I’m extremely talented with this weapon, as well with strategy and assessing circumstances before they unfold , it’s like a game of chess” her hands now resting on the table top surrounding the pile of coins, hers still hidden inside her pocket. “I think it’s safe to play all this off, and to appear to blend in with the rambunctious crowd, so we don’t appear to be drifters or that this was our very first time to the bar”

Meka raised a finger in the air to the bar keep that hopefully would notice her “Another round for the bar my good sir, and another regular for me” she would say in a demanding but playful tone, ordering drinks for everyone inside was a good way to keep others from wondering eyes as well from keeping the attention off the group. For whatever reason she was very interested in Orianna and continued to keep her attention mostly on her and not worried about the several assassins or thief’s that now surrounded them.

Her eyes shifted around the room a little more as the other would more than likely talk or discuss what she suggested, every so often she keep an eye on the Gron fellow wandering around.

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"Top it off, yeah?" Varina added to Meka's order of drinks. She mostly ignored the rest of the woman's spiel about this that and the other thing, it was too much talking to keep track of, although the free round of drinks was much appreciated. Meka could keep talking and bragging all she wanted if there was more where that came from. In the meantime, she observed the others from beneath the shadow of her hood. What was that under the little one's own hood? The curved outline of a pair of horns? So there were others who had something to hide here. It was reassuring to know that she wouldn't be the only one.

 

Varina nodded in agreement as Meka finished speaking despite having heard maybe half of what was said, just playing along with the flow of conversation. As two new rogues approached the table--for it seemed clear to her that that was what they all were, whether they acted like it or not--she took note. Two men, nearly the exact same height, dressed similarly in light armor and concealing headgear. They sat down without a word; Varina sat up a bit and slid back so she would take up less space, in order to accommodate the one who had taken a seat next to her. What had the drink-orderer been talking about? Something about skills or keen senses? It didn't matter.

 

"Maybe we should at least hand out names before we all start getting drunk together, hm? I'm Varina. And I'm gonna go out on a limb here and guess that you two don't know how or why you have one of these, either," she said, flipping the satyr-headed coin up and then catching it as she looked at the two silent men.

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He was coming.

 

The tapping man.  He was acting the fool, and it was very convincing to the untrained eye.  But he always pulled out of his stumbles, holding himself extended just a moment too long.  There was something practiced and precise about his movements.  The one girl at the table seemed to have suspicions confirming her own.  This man was the orchestrator.

 

As he lackadaisically made his way over to the group of cloaked individuals, she loosened herself up, mentally preparing her reflexes for whatever he might throw her way.  Soon, he was splayed across the stool next to her ordering a drink and receiving simply a water.  His acting was very convincing to the untrained eye.

 

The man then proceeded to "accidentally" spill his glass, and as it began to tip, she began to see things happening in slow motion.  If the glass continued to fall as it was projected, it would spill all over her, and more importantly, it would ruin these most scrumptious eggs in front of her.  So a slight readjustment was made.

 

To the casual observer, it would appear as if the glass simply turned around and fell the other way.  But one watching closely would see the flick of her wrist faster than thought altering the course of the glass.  The man on the stool next to her, in order to increase the probability of this being seen as an accident, was not looking closely at all.

 

In fact, he had already retrieved a neckerchief and was apologizing profusely for what he had expected to happen, what was supposed to have happened.

 

The girl just stared at him coldly, simply putting forkful after delicious forkful into her mouth.  [i]I will finish this egg if it kills me.[/i]  She blinks at the man before her eyes go back to her eggs, attention split thrice-wise; the eggs, the man, and the table.  Maybe this would prove more interesting than she had been originally inclined to believe.

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There is definitely something strange happening here.

 

Nelem watched the table of cloaked women growing steadily more conspicuous by the second. By the sound of things, not one of them truly understood the circumstances of their gathering, though the similarities between them all had to be more than coincidence. She was on the brink of cutting into their chatter when the weight of an arm fell across her shoulders. Nel bristled. A small silver and gold dagger, token of a clumsy and lascivious nobleman in her first week, was strapped to her inner thigh, and she was considering the fastest method of retrieving it from beneath her long skirts when the oaf’s free hand drifted to her satchel.

 

Ah, what nice hips, lass! Tell y' what. Why don't I buy ya' a drink?” the man slurred, and Nelem met his happy drunken gaze with nothing but venom in her own. She phased her torso, causing the man’s arm to fall through, then extended the power to the satchel, prohibiting any further interaction.

 

But the drunk was already ambling toward a barstool and accosting some other girl. After a cursory inspection of the contents of her bag and finding nothing missing, Nel decided she would find him later and give only a quick stab to his shoulder to match his own grabby advances. She turned back to the group in the booth and again prepared to interject, and was yet again stopped by the drunken fool, who now had something in his hand.

 

Oh, gods, not him too?

 

The silver satyr coin glimmered between his fingers.

 

“UH... Me and my theatre troupe are here in Ashville on business... Why don't you join us for a drink? I'll get you whatever you'd like, so long as I can afford it for ya'," he said, then turned to Nelem and continued, "You too. I've gotta get drinks back to them anyways, and I'd absolutely adore talking to such intelligent women."

 

Nel scowled.

 

“I’ll either take a drink or gouge out your eyes once you explain what the actual fuck is going on.”

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Renkor let his eyes rove the bar as he sat on the bench, the hard oak beneath him was uncomfortable and he resolved to stay for only a short time. He made sure to keep his body as still as possible, aside from his eyes, most evolved species relied on movement to alert them of things rather than detail. His eyes slid from person to person, tracking them as they moved, watching their gait, constantly looking for new threats. That's not to say that he didn't think the people around him were threats, they were of course, but they were known threats. There was a certain way that people moved when they wore armor, as well as weaponry, that stuck out like a torch in the night if you knew what to look for. As far as he had seen, there were no guards in plainclothes within the bar, there were actually surprisingly little people with weapons of any kind. With one more added to their table, the man sitting in his seat strangely, it was starting to become a little crowded. He was pondering how many more they were going to have to accomodate when the man who had been previously dancing caused some ruckus at the bar. He appeared to be attempting to molest someone, before getting cut off by the bartender and spilling a glass of water on the bartop. Apparently eggs were a valuable commodity for a slight woman sitting at the bar, because she whipped them out of the way of the cascading water as quickly as she could. As he proceeded to spout off about his troupe visiting asheville and wanting to buy everyone drinks it became clear to him. This man was the one who had organized all of this, or at least it appeared that way from how he acted, the loudly proclaimed invitation for the women to join his troupe for drinks was a decent enough cover. It would stand up to basic scrutiny, but he doubted that if anyone came by to question them thouroughly it would hold water.

 

As this was all happening he kept his ear turned towards what the others were saying, this would prove to be of more interest than the show being put on for the rest of the patrons. The woman in revealing armor - that was a strange thing to say - that only covered the most vital bits of her body and left the rest exposed placed her weapon of choice on the bench between the small one with the brown cloak and herself, proclaiming to be an expert with it as well as tactical planning. He agreed with her comments about the man harassing people at the bar, there was something about him that linked him to this scheme, though he didn't see why anyone would be nervous to be here. He certainly hadn't comitted any crimes in Terrenus at least, most of his work was done in Genesaris, his homeland, and as such was the only place that anyone would come looking to prosecute him.

 

When the woman named Varina introduced herself he slid his eyes over to her, was she really handing out her real name? Or was she perhaps giving out a psuedonym like he had planned? If she was giving out her true name then she was being foolish, if they planned to do anything illicit, which it was becoming more and more apparent as time went on that they were, her name would be known to others and she could be found. He settled for a happy medium, "I am Stribog (pronounced Stree-bawg)." His voice flowed out thick and slow, it reverborated in his chest and out into the air around him in a deep, gravelly bass. "I kill people, and I steal things, this is all you need to know." His dialect was a strange one, or so he was told, he had been told that when he spoke it was something akin to a rock crashing down the mountainside, the words pronounced consicely and exaclty. His R's rolled from the tip of his tonue gently, and every vowel was stretched to their long forms. Despite this his speech tended to stay within the realm of only two syllables and as such he was able to convey information quickly. He glanced around quickly again, taking note of who was drinking alcohol and who wasn't.

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Crossby, having been delayed much further than he would like, manages to squeeze in among them. "I would hope it's something more exciting than some of the lesser thoughts I've had on the matter. Because otherwise, mine coming here will have been nothing but a disappointment."

He drops a coin on the table, similar to the others seen, and takes a seat, loosening his goggles a bit and fiddling with a little clockwork machine. He states what seems to be a profanity when it squirts hot water at him. He puts it away, and listens to what others have to say.

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Renkor was growing frustrated with the lack of explanation for what was going on, the man who had been pestering the patrons of the bar seemed to have fallen into some kind of daze and was standing there like a bumbling fool and muttering to himself. The others seemed to have picked up on his sudden transformation to a living vegetable but perhaps not quite fully grasping what had happened. The table was silent of any and all talk, even a few of the patrons closest to them had noticed that something seemed amiss and were shooting them all furtive glances at they stared dumbly at the man. A sudden and white hot flash of anger rushed through his core and he found that despite knowing he should sit still and wait for something to happen he was physically incapable of such a thing. He  could feel the heartbeat pulsing in his ears, a steady rhythm. He sprang into action, the heartbeats outlining his moves. One, he was crouching in the booth within a heartbeat, a hand appearing from the leathers that he wore and producing a well balanced dagger. Two, he whipped the dagger at the man in a smooth but concise motion, it blurred and left his hand in a flurry. Three, the dagger took the man in the right shoulder, just above his heart, a non fatal shot. The grips of his strange berserker tendency left him and lucid sanity returned, the man toppled smoothly backwards and landed on the wooden floors with a thud that fortunately did not echo throughout the establishment.

 

Realizing that he had just assaulted a man, albeit the one who had likely gathered them all here, he hopped quickly on top of the table and then on to the floor next to him. His shot had been true, it was an easily survivable wound, it had probably done nothing but pierce flesh and muscle. He reached down and grabbed the handle of the dagger, he willed some of the elemental magic coursing through him into the dagger and frost crystals sprouted up along the blade. As he removed the dagger the wound cooled and clotted quickly behind the blade. He wiped the remaining mess on the man's shirt before replacing the dagger inside the leathers and frisking the man. The quick frisk revealed a coin that was much similar to the one that lie on the table, similar to the ones they had all been given. He also found several sheaves of paper wrapped up in oilskin to preserve them in the overly pervasive and muggy atmosphere. He pushed the man up against their booth so he wasn't lying in the aisle and ignored the terrified looks he was recieving from the other customers of the bar. The oilskin unrolled neatly and several well worn papers lay on the table, detailing... something... a vault perhaps? "I am not liking to waste time, we were gathered, we will do a job. This is our job." He gestured with his hand at the papers on the table. They were well worn, clearly a lot of love and planning had gone into getting all of this information. "Who would like to read this, and find out exactly what it is we are doing here? Stealing or killing no doubt. Eh?" He glared at those gathered at the table with hard eyes, he held no illusions about what they were, what they were going to be doing here. "If you have a problem with me, or want to wait for the vegetable to awaken, then I will leave. This wouldn't be worth my time."

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