The Road to Salaband

As we play, occasionally we'll close a thread and open a new one to keep the size of threads (and relative complexity) down to a dull roar. Here's where we store the closed posts from the history of Errant Road.

Re: The Road to Salaband

Postby Alberich » May 15th, 2013, 7:42 am

The patrol leader gave the situation a moment's thought. If this was only a woman with a pack of valuables, then he should make sure they made it to Ester so she could sell them -- and afford the Guardians of Ester a generous sales tax as a matter of course. But weapons and wealth out of proportion to the one who carried them, there were other orders for those. With all the ructions in Port Lorrel, they'd have to make sure these goods hadn't been stolen from someone who'd come looking, and so fracture the fragile peace between the Gewehr and Eisenfaust territories.

"Valuable trade goods," he said. "We need to make sure they make it to town safely. Also we don't want you hurting your back. Hogan, you carry that pack, and ride in front so she can keep an eye on it. And you," he spoke to Jade and extended a hand, "you ride with me."
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Re: The Road to Salaband

Postby Jack Rothwell » May 15th, 2013, 4:09 pm

'Fuck.'

"Thank you for your kindness."

The blacksmith stifled the wince which tried to surface and hefted her pack to the man addressed as Hogan, mentally willing him to not go riffling through it. She accepted the leader's hand with her other clamped against the sling carrying the long blade at her hip, swinging easily into the saddle behind him with a flirtatious smile while mentally cursing him to the pits of Na'ar, along with the Black Guard's damnable enemies who had driven her to her current predicament.

"Careful with that merchandise!" She called to the mounted man who held her 'goods'. "It's in enough pieces as it is!"
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Re: The Road to Salaband

Postby Alberich » May 15th, 2013, 4:34 pm

The flirt had no discernible effect on the leader, who got the patrol turned around in short order. "Don't worry about Hogan. He's always careful. We always look after our guest traders, when they came by their goods honestly." He didn't say much else on the ride back into town. This "Hogan" was not rifling through the pack, at least right now he wasn't, but simply keeping it safe.

The patrol took her and her goods to the Flatiron, an inn she hadn't patronized before -- The Laughing Troll had been her preferred hangout -- and for the moment, at least, no one in town seemed to be recognizing her. This inn, did she but know it, has a colorful history of its own - it was where Jamie had killed Winslow, ending the short reign of the Expendables, and opening the place the Falkenrohr now filled. Maybe that was why their headquarters was in a ground-floor back room here.

Jade's pack of goods was placed under guard on a corner table, with Hogan and another man watching over it. Their looks and their orders said that no one, including the owner, was going to be let near it just now. Wilfred went to the back room to talk to the "boss." The rest stepped up to the bar and ordered drinks, including some of the Old Peculiar Jade had been singing about. Whether Jade wanted to join them for some relaxation, or do something else, that was up to her.

Back in the kitchen, the plates were getting a first-class cleaning, even if a lot of excess body movement was involved. (But then, the inn's temporary dishwasher had some excess body to move with.)
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Re: The Road to Salaband

Postby Jack Rothwell » May 15th, 2013, 4:56 pm

Jade eyed the bag uneasily as she made a beeline for the bar. The added stress of arriving in town under guard had doubled her desire to get a drink down her throat. Not that binging in the ramshackle bar was an available course of action; there was no way she was getting drunk with her goods still out of reach. Besides, the down payment for the first set of mana rifles (most of which she owed to the man who'd bought her the materials to build them) was sewn into the lining of the bag. On the upside, the half-empty purse she jingled in her fingers added credibility to the notion that 'Jasmine' was just a small time trader of no real import.

"What can I get you madam?"

"Shot of whisky and a bottle of swoggle's." Jade murmured, turning her back to the bar and fixing her eyes squarely on the pack.

What she really needed right now was to relax a little and try to get a handle of the situation. Granted, things were looking a touch rough, but she was away from Lorrel, and the Eisenfaust, and Logan's maniacal enterprises. Compared to that trouble, things in Ester could hardly be worse...
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Re: The Road to Salaband

Postby Alberich » May 15th, 2013, 5:11 pm

[OOC: That's not some kind of challenge, is it..?]

All who were drinking enjoyed their drinks. None of the drinking patrolmen were hitting on Jade, to her relief or disappointment, all dependin'.

A few minutes later, Wilfred was back, and he had a man with him. This was a tall, rangy, curly-haired fellow in his thirties with an air of authority the others respected. His only weapon was a shortsword. "Afternoon, everybody," said he, and the men returned his hello. Then he introduced himself to the newcomer.

His name was Tom Odd, and he was just what he appeared to be - the boss of the Falkenrohr Patrols. In the best Farrelian tradition he left local trade alone. Outside trade was another matter, 'specially these days.

"So, I hear you've got a pretty good sack of goods here, and figure we're just the right place to sell 'em. Could be so! If you'll just lay 'em out on the tables over there, no one'll disturb you, and we can talk about gettin' ya all set up." With a gesture he invited her to do so. His tone did not suggest that this friendly invitation was in any way optional.
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Re: The Road to Salaband

Postby Jack Rothwell » May 16th, 2013, 12:44 pm

'Fuuuuck.'

Well, too late the drop the pretence now.

"Suit me fine. This pack's damn heavy."

Jade took back her sack of goods and hurriedly stacked it's contents on the table indicated, all except one thing. The blacksmith stole a glance at the wide, flat blade and it's collapsible staff resting neatly at the bottom of the container before buckling it closed and setting about organising the parts on display. She fell into her salewoman mode as she did, trying anxiously to picture herself in her forge, talking to a regular man about the merits of a blade, rather than the half dozen armed guards who watched her with such humourless interest.

"I've got parts for three of the Makrey brand bolt action rifles, sighted, excellent for long range targeting, extremely durable too." She pointed to a pile of casing accompanied by a line of inert energy crystals which obviously functioned as it's power supply. "Parts for a yukki staff, one of the older models, the source is fully charged, good mobile artillery for the patrolling guardsmen. A Dexler model handgun..." She intended to keep it as a spare when she'd lifted it from the Black Guard outpost, but what the hell. "... eight chambers, engraving on the handle, a perfect officer's gun." She offered a business-like smile at Tom, hoping to illicit some reaction from her recommendation. "...all that and assorted knives, bullets and some scrap parts for repair are what I have to offer you today gentlemen. See anything you like?"
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Re: The Road to Salaband

Postby Alberich » May 16th, 2013, 1:41 pm

"Welll, lessee," said Tom. He took a couple of quick strides that way, and his long left arm snaked out like an ape's. And he was hefting the pack and seeing how heavy it was. "Missed one, I guess," he said, lifting out the strange, folded package and laying it to one side. He seemed quite undisturbed by it. Like much of Farrel, Ester had a very relaxed attitude about weapons -- depending on just who was holding them for what purpose. Exotic weapons as trade goods didn't bother them at all.

Then he hefted the pack some more. "Still feelin' kinda heavy." He didn't appear to be watching the armed, desperate woman so close by -- but then, his "friends" were keeping alert for him. He hefted the pack, listened again, and felt the sides.

"Ah-haw," he said. "Toll evasion, that's what this is."

"Put 'er in the lockup?" said the rider known as Hogan.

"Aw, hell, no, it's only civil penalties for toll evasion. Unless they get violent about it." He mused for just a moment or two, and then turned to Jamie.

"Okey-doke, well, this is how it is. This looks like a fine set o' goods, and you can probably get a great market for 'em over at Scorz's. And we'll set you some fair prices too, so's there won't be any fuss. But under the commercial ordinances of this fine community" -- which ordinances Tom tended to make up on the spot -- "there's gonna be a little statutory delay, 'bout two days, maybe three, 'fore you're ready for sale. Plus a fair toll for having transported these goods over our nice, safe, bandit-free roads. But in the meantime we'll keep all this great merchandise under heavy guard. It'll be in no danger!" He didn't pause to listen for arguments or objections.

He turned his head to the bald and burly bartender. "You got a room for our guest here? Bed 'n' board? She'll be good for it when she makes her sales." The man nodded. Implicit in this was that, if she fled town and abandoned her property, Tom himself would make it good.

"Also, can you get me a sketch artist? We need ourselves some pictures of these more choicer items here, so we can show 'em around, like, and t'make sure there's no one gonna come around sayin' these goods are really theirs, when they're totally not, 'cause they belong to Jasmine, here." The bartender said he'd check among his staff.

In fact, this was one reason he was neither locking her up, confiscating her weapons, nor demanding any "tolls" up front. If these goods (or this money) were stolen, then he expected "Jasmine" to take the hint and sneak quietly out of town. Then the property could be returned to its owner, minus a small handling fee, Tom could truthfully say he had no idea where the thief had sneaked off too, and Ester could maintain its independence with no bloody fuss.

[OOC: I can scroll back if Jade'd've done anything significant in the meantime; or plunge forward if she does nothing significant now.]
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Re: The Road to Salaband

Postby Jack Rothwell » May 16th, 2013, 4:43 pm

Jade had watched the more or less legally sanctioned theft of her property with a sense of weary resignation. She'd tried a few protests here and there.

"Toll evasion, that's what this is."

"But... I... wasn't even asked for one." She tried.

"Put 'er in the lockup?"

"It's just a safe place for my..."

"Aw, hell, no, it's only civil penalties for toll evasion. Unless they get violent about it."

She'd given up at that point, instead briefly entertaining a fantasy where she put the blade the leader fished out to use and turned the inside of the bar into a butcher shop owned by a circus tumbler. The grim reality had stolen in at that point that if the leader of the guard or one of his cronies had a mind to examine the collapsed halberd too closely, lift a certain catch at it's base, and press a certain button underneath for example, there'd be no way she'd ever get her possessions back, at least not voluntarily.

Jade watched the soldiers readying to leave with her stuff with a mixture of wounded pride, fatigue, anger, and an uncharacteristically girly urge to burst into tears. She settled instead for returning to the bar, and picking up the drink she'd bought before she'd been turned into a near penniless bum.

OOC Edited to fit Al's post./OOC
Last edited by Jack Rothwell on May 16th, 2013, 5:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Road to Salaband

Postby Alberich » May 16th, 2013, 5:02 pm

The burly bald barkeep -- his name was Baldwin -- returned with good news for Tom Odd. "I found your sketch artist!" he said. He was trailing the inn's new temporary dishwasher, a Tsuirakuan with a two days' growth of blonde fuzz on his face and head, and striking purple eyes.

"Yep!" said Udo. "And I've studied under the Great Hieronymous..." Well, he'd watched him draw a few things, anyway, and he'd had a complete Tsuirakuan high school education, during which he'd sketched and doodled a great many things, weapons and battlefields included, even during classes that'd had nothing to do with art (how prescient of him! developing skills that he'd need in real life). All right, so he wasn't cut out for a career in the illustrateds himself. He could still handle a pencil.

"Well, great, there, howzabout you toss off some sketches of some o' these weapons here...?"

Udo's eyes lit up as he went to the collection. "Oh boy!" He turned over some of the disjointed parts lovingly. "What's this here, a..a...no, don't tell me, it's not a standard Yuuki...oh, of course! It's a Korotsu Classic! And look at you...." -- his eyes went to the strange folded halberd thing. "A folding halberd? I've used a halberd before" -- well, once -- "but not like this!" He tested the sliding parts and the edge. "Amazing. Fascinating...!"

"Yep, so it is," said Tom, "But can you draw it for us?"

"Sure!" said Udo, and got to work, adjusting the strange weapon into the best "pose" he could manage. "Say, what does this catch here do...?"

Baldwin answered that one. "It gets left alone, 'least in my establishment, it does!"
Last edited by Alberich on May 16th, 2013, 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Road to Salaband

Postby Jack Rothwell » May 16th, 2013, 5:37 pm

OOC I think it would make sense if Jade didn't recognise Udo, after all, he was a ways back from the battlefield at the warehouse fight. And Jade's one good chance to get a look at the chaos came from a boat hundreds of yards away after he got closer. On the other hand, she certainly got a good look at Angrist, and, of course, Udo likes to brag of his exploits around pretty women.../OOC

Jade had drowned out the return of the barkeep and his dishman in favour of draining the bottle and signalling for another. The worst had happened, so sensible be damned. She even ignored said dish washer examining the goods right up a remark about her 'project' bore through the grey haze in her head.

"A folding halberd? I've used a halberd before" -- well, once -- "but not like this!"

The blacksmith went rigid.

"Say, what does this catch here do...?"

Jade turned around, her elbow knocking over the empty shot glass as she fixed upon the impeding disaster. Fortunately, the bartender's call had drawn everyone's attention at that moment.

"It gets left alone, 'least in my establishment, it does!"

'Don't. You. Fucking. Dare.'

Jade no idea if it was possible to perform mind speech simply by thinking each word with murderous intent and willing them towards their intended recipient, but she was willing to give it a try. Given that the tsuirakuan had just drawn the guard's attention to the catch she would've almost settled for him pressing the damn button under it while peering closely the other end. If nothing else, the resulting carnage would be a great distraction for a very rapid exit.

OOC Seriously though Udo, you don't want to do that. :twisted: /OOC
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