Tsuiraku-town, part 3

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Tsuiraku-town, part 3

Postby Graybeard » August 23rd, 2010, 8:28 pm

[OOC: OK, new topic, picking up right where the old one left off, but minus Jamie, Jasmine, Jade and Faye...]

Layla and Ace (and, of course, Zachary) returned to the vineyard in a good mood. They'd learned what they'd gone out for. A cordial approach to a Farrelite official (which is to say, a smile and a little baksheesh) had succeeded in extracting the real name of the landowner they'd bought the vineyard from -- and more importantly, his address in Tsuiraku-town. Better still, they were able to confirm that he still owned the small patch of property containing the shack. Now they had what one might call a "pressure point" to lean on to try to find out what was going on there -- and, ideally, stop it.

"Mom!" Layla called as soon as she got into the house. "We're in luck. Now I know where we can -- uh, Mom?" The house was too quiet. Had something gone wrong? It didn't look like it; Gault and Maya weren't particularly tensed up. But where was everybody?

Then she saw the note on the table.

Uh, oh.
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Re: Tsuiraku-town, part 3

Postby Hours » August 24th, 2010, 2:52 am

Gault had no damn clue what was going on. And that wasn't a particularly good state of being in his business, the little tomboy had run off after overhearing what the moody blacksmith and the other Gewehr woman were speaking about. They'd run off to the woods and Gault could have sword that there was some sort of flash over the trees but other than that there wasn't much going on here. But what he had to work out was whether or not they were coming back, that was the important thing.

With them gone there was at most four or five Gewehr personnel left in the city, and they were stuck in the middle of a Tsuirakuan national security conflict, of course as far as he could tell the tsuirakuan department of homeland security was willing to give them protection so that was something, but exactly what that was worth he couldn't be sure. You couldn't always trust mages, his father had always told him that, and firsthand experience had taught him a similar lesson in life.

For now however he kept himself busy, getting one of the vineyard workers to help him clear out the broken glass from the window (he was 'wounded' after all, and this place had children running about) and board it up, and by the time that was done the happy newlyweds had returned to find out that something had happened.

'I already cleaned up the mess.' Was all Gault said as they returned, 'No idea what's going on, though.'
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Re: Tsuiraku-town, part 3

Postby Jack Rothwell » August 24th, 2010, 3:20 am

Meanwhile, In Tsuiraku town, a scruffy looking beggar made his way down an uneven cobbled street. He walked in a weaving gait as if he’d been drinking hard, his long hair clung to his face in rat-tails and made his features difficult to determine, the anonymity of his appearance was further reinforced by an oversized grey poncho that covered his body almost to the knees. A low mutter escaped his lips as he travelled; nothing coherent, just a low stream of babble in a thick local accent that made the passersby give him a wide-berth.

“I told ‘em. But they didn’t listen. Gave me the broth, they did. Sent me west. Oh yes.”

This muttering continued until the beggar reached a tavern at the end of the street. The faded sign hanging above the entrance declared it to be ‘The Mead and Drum’. The madman stopped, swaying slightly, and turned to face the public building.

A close observer would’ve noticed the smile half-hidden under his hair.
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Re: Tsuiraku-town, part 3

Postby Graybeard » August 24th, 2010, 8:47 am

Layla clucked disapprovingly at the shattered window. At least the mess had been cleaned up and the window boarded up temporarily; she had to, and did, thank the people who did that. However, a repair would be needed sooner than later. She rolled her eyes and turned to Ace. "Back to town, I suppose?"

"I guess," Ace said, not entirely downcast at the prospect; truthfully, he'd quite enjoyed the "newlywed" charade. "Maybe we can combine a trip to a glazier with preliminary recon on that address we got."

Layla nodded. "With luck, Mom and the others will be back by then." Of course, nothing involving the other young mother ever seemed to run smoothly ... but one could hope.

On the way back into town, Layla explained Faye's note. There'd been a catch phrase in it that a Gewehr operative would recognize as meaning "our cover is blown." However, the phrase that usually accompanied it, meaning "get the hell out of here," was absent. That was interesting. As soon as Faye did make it back with Jamie, there'd be things to discuss.

She put them out of her mind as the carriage reached Tsuiraku-town. "Let's do one quick thing before we -- find the glazier," she said. "I'd like to see whether the magic classroom is open. I'm still supposed to be doing lessons there, after all."

It was, and there was a surprise waiting. The "instructor" who met her at the door (Layla had insisted that Ace remain in the hack with Zachary and, to put it bluntly, cover her) was definitely not the bland, vaguely disagreeable lifemage she was expecting. Rather, it was a young woman with a baby on her own hip ... and a wide-eyed, delighted look on her face.

"Galina?"

"Layla?
They told me I was going to teach a foreigner, but I had no idea ..."

The smiles that crossed both women's faces were open, genuine and wide, and as they hugged, Layla couldn't help thinking, about time something went right in this damned town.

[OOC: For newcomers, the previous interactions between Layla and Galina were here.]
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Re: Tsuiraku-town, part 3

Postby Jack Rothwell » August 24th, 2010, 10:40 am

Business was picking up at The Mead and Drum. Dandelo's feet were already beginning to ache as he started to pine for his first break of the day. He wiped a grubby rag across his forehead and began pouring another drink for one of the local uglies as the bar. Rosh, the oversized owner, was back out of his office and was currently sat in a corner with his considerable lunch in front of him. He still carried the bag of coins Jade had obtained for him earlier in the day. Dandelo sighed inwardly as he saw the shape of a handsome sum jingling within.

"Bet I won't see a raku of that, cheap bastard." He muttered.

With gold on his mind the scrawny barkeeper paid no attention to the unkempt figure who strolled unsteadily into the bar and deposited himself on a nearby stool. The man, of indeterminable age, slumped against the wall behind him in a way that suggested he'd gone to sleep (or passed out, which seemed more likely). His head cocked at an angle that tilted his head towards the centre of the tavern. In retrospect Dandelo probably wouldn't have paid him any attention anyway. After all, it was usually Rosh who kept an eye for troublemakers out of a strange parental concern for his slum of a bar. And if Rosh had been paying attention, he might've observed how the newcomer was perfectly positioned to hear virtually every piece of information that was circulating in the room.

He might've been even more interested about the way the supposedly asleep man's head twitched when Dandelo started blabbing about the fight that unruly girl had been involved in that morning.


OOC Is 'raku' the right name for small change in Tsuiraku town? Btw, Dandelo, Rosh and the serving girl (feel free to make up a name for that one) are npc's that people can use as they wish./OOC
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Re: Tsuiraku-town, part 3

Postby Hours » August 24th, 2010, 8:47 pm

There was an old saying that came to mind at this point, Gault thought. Patience was a virtue. No one needed his help because he was little more than muscle, and wounded muscle at that. For now he decided that a nice tea would be good.

Hopefully everything else was falling into order.
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Re: Tsuiraku-town, part 3

Postby Jack Rothwell » August 25th, 2010, 6:20 am

OOC Anyone know where Mouse, Ghaz and Rhett got to?/OOC

"I'll tell you." Dandelo continued, in full narrative flow. "it made a squishing noise when she pressed his eye, felt sick to hear it."

"Dirty fighter." One of the drunkards slurred.

"Aye. That's why the boss keeps her on. That, and she's pretty easy on the eyes."

The 'sleeping' figure's knuckles tightened.

"How come she isn't in then?"

"She went off saying something about a vineyard on the edge of town. Said there was some kind of conspiracy going on there." Dandelo hadn't heard any real details from the Mead and Drums 'security' but that didn't stop some flamboyant elaboration. "She had all her extra blades and stuff on her too. She hinted she was going to war against a cult of killers. Might never see her again."

"Dandelooooo!" Rosh bellowed, climbing out of his heavily-padded chair in the corner "Stop your bloody procrastination and get on with your job! What am I paying you for?"

"Yes sir. Sorry sir. Won't happen again sir."

The slumped beggar got back to his feet as the heavy-set boss began crossing the room back to his office, walking towards the man. Rosh was so intent on his employee he didn't see the grubby man stumble until he fell into him. Rosh cursed as the figure rebounded off him and collapsed to the floor.

"Bloody bums... get out of here!!" He hoisted the drunk to his feet and pushed him forcefully out of the door, sending him tumbling acrobatically into the street. The mean-spirited owner clapped his hands together in dismissal and went back inside. Rosh was so proud of this display of machoism it was a good minute before he realised something. His hand went to his hip.

The coin bag was no longer there.

Across the nearby streets, parents plugged their children's ears as Rosh's obcenities echoed.

Elsewhere, a nimble footed figure cut through the streets of tsuiraku-town, a jingle in his pockets and one thought on his mind.

'Jade...'
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Re: Tsuiraku-town, part 3

Postby Graybeard » August 25th, 2010, 8:01 am

[OOC:
Jack Rothwell wrote:OOC Anyone know where Mouse, Ghaz and Rhett got to?/OOC

Rhett is presumed to have "wandered off somewhere," as they say. Mouse and Ghaz, who knows? Similarly, Ouro? Make yourselves known. ;) /OOC:]

Ace watched as the two young mothers giggled excitedly at seeing each other again. Well, it doesn't look like there's a problem here. Might as well run the glass back out to the house while they're getting reacquainted. He brought Layla her son, earning a kiss for his effort, and steered the carriage back toward the vineyard.

------------

"So what are you doing here?" the two women said simultaneously. Layla, with her Wraith reflexes :roll: , got her answer in first.

"The people back home wanted me to start learning some magic," she said. "We heard about a teaching lab getting set up here, and so they sent me to study at it. I just never expected to see you as the instructor! What happened to the woman who was here yesterday?"

"She was just a fill-in," Galina answered. "Evidently her husband got killed just a few days ago, collateral damage in some gang warfare or something." She shuddered. "Even by the standards of our country, asking her to go on and teach so soon after that is a bit cold, don't you think?" She detected something flickering across Layla's face that suggested not pursuing this subject, so she continued, "The government really wants to get some local talent spun up for when they build the warp gate, so they got hold of Mrs. M, and voila, here I am as a replacement. I just never expected to see you as a student!"

That touched off some more giggling, and then the two started to get down to business ... but Layla had heard something to file away in her detached, business-like memory. The "government" is backing this lab? If they are, the "rebel conspiracy" isn't. That's good; with Galina here, maybe I can use this place as a backup hidey-hole. But just what was Dasuke Kinabalu doing to get himself killed? I think I'd better come back to that later ... but not now. The two women went into the lab, talking babies, old times (as much as three weeks back...), husbands/boyfriends, and generally having a fine time of it all.

------------

"Layla's going to be busy for a while," Ace announced as he got back to the vineyard. "What have I missed?"
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Re: Tsuiraku-town, part 3

Postby Hours » August 25th, 2010, 9:00 am

[OOC: If Mouse and Ghaz are anywhere, they would be on Gault's ship. However now would be a good time to point out that Ghaz's player has confessed to me a total lack of interest in this, while Mouse has recently purchased the new Blazblue and will likely be spending time elsewhere for a while.]

As Ace returned Gault was waiting for him in ambush, ready to spring... Tea and scones on him. He'd run back and forth from the agricultural lands to the middle of town twice already which had probably eaten up most of the morning, and Gault had just been sitting around for most of that with the akwardness of being a guest in a place while not having any real supervision, and Gault was trying, for now at least, to be a good guest.

He'd put the kettle on, made a pot of tea and set the table for the few men at the vineyard whom he decided to chat along amiably with for the time being, he'd of course set the table with enough places for the little blind girl and the two who hadn't disappeared into the woods with a mysterious light to herald their long absence, Layla and Ace.

'Not much. I helped myself to the kitchen since by the looks of it this is enough of a public house as it is just from what I've seen and heard from your staff, I can pay to replace anything if you're going to sorely miss it.'

---

[OOC: In an attempt to get this plot moving back towards Rinkaiel again I'm having something happen here, but I'll need to talk to Greybeard about what'll come out of this.]

Forcibly extracting information from a trained battlemage was a very tricky thing. The main problem was that they at any given point could probably utterly obliterate you without any weapons whatsoever, and so you needed to give them a bit of an incentive to not leave. Wallace was smart but they'd had to keep this guy under anasthetic (here meaning a large hammer to his head) while he took the time to puzzle the whole thing out. The long and short answer was poison. In essence he realised that in a society where you could cure all things with a bit of magic then you weren't used to things like disease. You would never see the effects of disease on the streets of Tsuiraku, for one society there was too polite and too proud to show such a weakness, they had life mages and charities to handle that, and in such tight conditions with such a high population you couldn't be too certain.

Now Wallace didn't know too much about poison, but all it took was a funnel and some disgusting cocktail of whatever they could find in small sealed containers from all over the ship to have this guy ready to violently evacuate the contents of his body from just about every oriface by the time he'd woken up, and he really did make a mess, but once there was nothing left for him to do but dry heave on an empty stomach, that combined with the massive blood loss from Gault nearly shooting the bastard's arm off before they hauled him in last night made him real weak, they still had to watch him constantly, ready to put a bullet in him if he decided to cast a spell.

After the first hour he just hung there limply, occasionally coughing or groaning under particularly painful stomach cramps. Wallace brought him water, opening the door to the sweltering dark place and holding a large earthware jug up for him, he downed it quickly, bolting the water down like his life depended on it. It must have diluted the engine lubricant running through his system a little, giving him some relief.

Wallace sat down on the ground in front of his chair, letting him see him without having to lift his head, he looked him square in the eye and pulled a pistol out into his lap, thumbing back the hammer with a click that echoed around the room.

'You got an answer to my question, friend?' Wallace asked.

'...Oshima... My name is Oshima...' Oshima answered.

---

Across town, several of Gault's men were moving out, amongst them was the shorter man in gray who now wore an eyepatch. He made a derisive snort as they simply walked past the Mead and Drum. If they wanted to make a big deal about it then they were going to the wrong place, if one of them was dumb enough to get mugged then it was their problem, and if that inn was doing it to customers mid-meal (dude was still eating his chicken) then that's just poor business sense for them. Of course they'd still had to compensate him for his eyeball, since he technically lost it while under contract, but it wasn't so much money.

They were guiding a cart, the whole thing laden down with equipment normally used for scuttling ships after they'd been raided by the Company, presuming that the vessel was too hot for resale. They were setting themselves up for a while, last night Gault had instructed Meha to take out a weekly lease in some 'office space'. Sure, it wasn't some fancy winery and liquor store setup but it was easy enough with the papers they had just lying around, and it wasn't as if there was all that much red tape in Farrel, nor as if they were staying that long. Palms had been greased all morning from the ship's coffers and finally the crew came to the place where their first mate was busy painting over a signboard.

They were lucky to find such a place on such short notice, it was a squat farrellian style building on the edge of Tsuiraku town's outer edge where it came close to Rinkaiel proper, the wooden signboard hanging over the front doors now read in wet black paint 'Schwarzemarine Contractors', this crew had run under many different names and titles, however it did pay now and then to be a properly licensed and bonded guild. Of course they would likely have a not-so-friendly visit from the fish soon, but then it never hurt to get on good terms with the Seeadler, even if they had to pay a protection fee for running their perfectly legitimate cargo operations in Rinkaiel's waters.
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Re: Tsuiraku-town, part 3

Postby Jack Rothwell » August 25th, 2010, 10:11 am

A few minutes later, the thief in beggars clothing took a trip down a narrow side alley and vanished through an unassuming wooden door. He'd had no trouble arriving at his desination. A tavern owner yelling in the street about missing purses was only cause for apathy in this part of town. The beggar entered a dimly-lit, sparesly furnished house and shut the door behind him. He passed by a full length mirror that looked out of place in its newness, stopped dead in his tracks and stared at his reflection. He made a clicking noise.

"Luminosita's nethers, I look like hammered shit."

A sudden, faint rattling noise of cans being knocked over froze him still for a second. Then he relaxed and called out.

"Keeko? That you?"

An oversized white cat plodded out of the cupboard that passed for the hovel's kitchen. It stopped and looked up expectantly at it's scraggly haired owner, who reached down and rubbed it between the ears.

"Come on fat-ass, there's tuna around here somewhere. Then daddy's got to get cleaned up and do a little investigation. Because people don't like talking to hobo's, do they?"

The cat purred an affirmitive and followed him.

An hour or so later, a very different figure stood in front of the mirror. This one wore an expensive silk shirt and a fancily embroidered jacket (obtained from a chest hidden under the floorboards of his bed) along with all the appropriate accessories expected from a man with money and a disregard for convention, including a wonderfully tasteless red, wide brimmed hat with a large feather for a plume. Underneath it was a very handsome, angular face scrubbed clean of the dirt that had streaked it that featured a moustache most would class as 'cavalier' (had the term existed).

The now foppish looking young man (surely not a day over thirty) scooped back his black, shoulder length hair into a pony tail which he tied with a length of red ribbon. He smiled. The costume was complete.

"Martin Dashwood." He greeted his reflection. He snatched up an ornate looking cane concealed within the hatstand by the door and made his exit.
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