Seven(?) against the Convergence

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Graybeard
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Re: Seven(?) against the Convergence

Post by Graybeard »

Layla cocked an eye at Tim and Tamina. "The -- mob that runs Tsuiraku-town," she said, more or less repeating herself. "Yes, I would say they're bad men. Magically very powerful, but not as street-smart as they think they are. We don't want to take them on in a head-on fight, but there are other ways."

Sister Rose noticed the "we" in that statement.

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

The woman standing at the door to Anfisa's and Desiree's temporary love nest was really barely more than a girl. She was wearing the uniform of a very junior battlemage; presumably she'd drawn the short straw because of her low rank, and was stuck on the overnight security duty at a place where, really, nothing happened overnight. She cleared her throat nervously as the door opened.

"'Scuse me, ladies," she said, "I shouldn't be interrupting -- but I heard that singing while I was making my rounds." She literally quivered. "It was beautiful. I heard that song once before, when I was back home on leave. There was this elf impersonator in a bar, she was singing all these elf songs, I think her name was Druza or something like that. I just wondered if ..." Her voice tailed off and she quivered again.

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

Meanwhile, Therese was being roused from a groggy semi-sleep by the sound of three sets of approaching footfalls.
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Alberich
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Re: Seven(?) against the Convergence

Post by Alberich »

"...I heard that song once before, when I was back home on leave. There was this elf impersonator in a bar, she was singing all these elf songs, I think her name was Druza or something like that. I just wondered if..."

Anfisa stayed on the bed where she'd been enjoying the song, and propped her chin on her hands. "Pure coincidence, I'm afraid," she said. "We've haven't been to Tsuiraku yet. Are elf impersonators popular there?"

She hoped Desiree would have the good sense not to show her ears or share information. She thought she would. Maybe her homeland was a free and happy place without intrigues, but she'd gathered they had to keep its very existence a secret, and that meant not telling every shivery quivery girl who she was, what she was, or where she was from. The false implication that they'd been together a long time, and came from the same place, would help to conceal both their secrets.

Anfisa thought that if she herself had been spying on Desiree and had wanted to probe for information, she'd've been putting on an act just like this girl's. The unthreatening shy-girl routine would be just the thing to open her beloved's heart, and her lips, were she not careful. (Pulling it off while armed, in a guard's uniform, took some talent -- and raised some suspicion.) This wasn't the time for making new friends or opening up in trust. It was the time for stonewalling with small talk. Friendly but wholly uninformative. That's how she meant to play until whoever-she-was got back on duty.

* * *

"Are they bad men? Do they need the scratchy-scratchy?"

Tim grinned at that. He liked the way this kobold thought. She was so straightforward and easy to understand.

"The -- mob that runs Tsuiraku-town. Yes, I would say they're bad men. Magically very powerful, but not as street-smart as they think they are. We don't want to take them on in a head-on fight, but there are other ways."

...unlike some other people he knew. Okay. They were human and they were mages, and you could oppose them with mysterious unnamed tactics.

"And while we're going, could you tell us what other ways you have in mind? We'd like to get Therese out of trouble, but I at least don't know what works on these strangers."
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Re: Seven(?) against the Convergence

Post by Drusia »

[quote="Alberich"]"...I heard that song once before, when I was back home on leave. There was this elf impersonator in a bar, she was singing all these elf songs, I think her name was Druza or something like that. I just wondered if..."

Anfisa stayed on the bed where she'd been enjoying the song, and propped her chin on her hands. "Pure coincidence, I'm afraid," she said. "We've haven't been to Tsuiraku yet. Are elf impersonators popular there?"

Annoyance surges through me. Does Anfisa really think it's dangerous to share that I'm some lounge singer's kid? I could have spun a little story about how I used to help my mom put on her ears before a performance. I could have relaxed a little and talked about music.

But, instead, we now have the utterly flimsy 'coincidence' excuse.

Besides, it never hurts to make a new friend. And here Anfisa is trying to get her to lea--

Wait. Is Anfisa... jealous? She used to get defensive with Therese as well. This isn't quite the same thing, but...

In any case, I stay quiet and don't let any of the emotions I'm feeling surface on my face. Anfisa seems to be prepared to handle this on her own - I'll let her. Even if I'm not happy about it.

-- Desiree
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Re: Seven(?) against the Convergence

Post by Alberich »

There was no jealousy in this, though reading Anfisa's moods was not always easy. She hadn't detected any chemistry between Desiree and this strange girl; and anyway, since she was not travelling with them, there was realistically no chance of her stealing Desiree away (the way Therese would've, given half of half a chance - "Oh, don't you want me to send you off to my country while I travel the world with Desiree?" How subtle!). Anfisa couldn't afford to be that exclusive, not given who and what her lover was, and herself too for that matter.

She had no idea Desiree was unhappy with her handling of this, but would have a hard time explaining herself until later -- being convinced, as she'd been on the airship too, that their every move was monitored by magic. Her instincts were shouting at her to tell as little as possible to anyone but Kitaura, whom they were simply forced to trust by circumstances. A "security conscious" place like this would naturally draw spies, and even if this girl wasn't feed by some foreign power, there must be room for a lot of factions in the Tsuirakuan state, each grasping for information to use against the others or their agents. Information like "Desiree is the daughter of Drusia the elf," and "Anfisa is a fugitive getera from the Prime Clan of Goriel," these scraps just didn't need to be floating around, nor even any part of them, for someone to use to as levers on Kitaura or themselves.

"Speak less than you know" was a popular proverb and a survival skill too, where she came from.
Last edited by Alberich on August 2nd, 2013, 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Seven(?) against the Convergence

Post by Graybeard »

[OOC:
Alberich wrote: "Are they bad men? Do they need the scratchy-scratchy?"

Tim grinned at that. He liked the way this kobold thought. She was so straightforward and easy to understand.

"The -- mob that runs Tsuiraku-town. Yes, I would say they're bad men. Magically very powerful, but not as street-smart as they think they are. We don't want to take them on in a head-on fight, but there are other ways."

...unlike some other people he knew. Okay. They were human and they were mages, and you could oppose them with mysterious unnamed tactics.
Huh? It was Layla that made that remark, not Rose, and not only does Tim not know her, nobody else in the party does either, although she and Rose have met and done business (to their mutual satisfaction) in Kiyoka in the past. Anyway, a fairly significant left turn may be needed here, in view of the dormancy of a couple of characters. (Argus and Mordan, I'm looking at you. ;) ) For the moment, nothing new with Rose's subgroup, but as for the other two subgroups:]

"Pure coincidence, I'm afraid ... We've haven't been to Tsuiraku yet. Are elf impersonators popular there?"

The girl's shoulders sagged. "I ... I dunno, miss," she mumbled. "I just recently got old enough to go to bars, never seen an elf impersonator before. But the music..." She quivered again. "I was just hoping... never saw an elf, either... Anyway, sorry to bother you, my apologies." By the end of her speech she had shifted back into formal, if awkward, Tsuirakuan style, and she closed the door with a tiny, apologetic bow.

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

Now fully awake, Therese strained to listen as the three Tsuirakuans had a rapid, furtive conversation in their archaic Tsuirakuan language, every now and then pausing to glance over their shoulders at her and Mordan. Obviously they were deciding on her and Mordan's futures, a prospect she did not relish in the slightest. Unfortunately, their words were all but incomprehensible. However, she could read their body language, and none of the three were showing that kind of suppression of emotion that she'd come to associate with people who were about to take a human life in a calculated, business-like setting. They also hadn't mentioned the word "Convergence." Both of these things were good. Probably.

A decision was made, and the newcomer came over to where the captives were bound ... and made a small, apologetic bow that mimicked the clumsier, adolescent one being performed at the consulate, albeit with upper-class Tsuirakuan polish. "My apologies for your detention," the man said politely, in perfect, modern Tsuirakuan. "There has been a case of mistaken identity, apparently. Amends will be made. For now, please accept our apology for what happened." A small, enigmatic smile. "Although you will be unable to remember any of this conversation when you wake up."

Well, those last four words were promising, at least, Therese thought. She didn't have time to frame a response, however, before magic flared around the new mage. He placed a finger on her forehead, and with his other hand, did the same with Mordan. Then he spoke a single word.

"Forget."

The sleep that followed was considerably less troubled than what Therese had been experiencing in the magical bindings ... and remarkably enough, she would wake up from it soon, with her body and soul still together, rather than the one eaten by worms and the other in the presence of the Five Great Mothers.
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Re: Seven(?) against the Convergence

Post by Alberich »

[OOC: I know. But the common phrase "[un]like some people I know" needn't be taken very literally, in interpreting the "know" part.]

* * *

Anfisa cocked an eyebrow at the overreaction to her friendly (if noncommital) reply. Was this a tactic to get them to call the girl back - like walking away from a merchant to get his price to drop? Or to be more open and trusting with her when she tried again later?

She supposed it was possible that this magically-armed warriorette was somehow also as fragile-vulnerable as she was acting, but she lacked experience with female warriors, who were no part of the world she'd grown up with. Likewise the incredible coincidence of someone who knew the song and Drusia's name walking by the room just as Desiree was singing it....it could happen just by chance, but it could also "happen" by design. Something smelled fishy, and even if it hadn't, this wasn't a place to be free with information.

"I think it was a lovely song," she said.
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Re: Seven(?) against the Convergence

Post by Graybeard »

[OOC: Nothing more at the consulate until Desiree responds again to the interruption (more accurately, to the end of the interruption), but something is definitely brewing at the Temple of the Divine Dwarf... Again, this is something of a change from what I was expecting, owing to the inactivity of a character or two. Drannin, we miss you! However, it also fits quite naturally with what was going on there.]

"As it happens, I ... know of a way into that hole-- place that avoids all their magic," Layla said, not sure whether she should share that information directly, but starting to trust this nun and her party just a little. (This was probably the most compelling evidence yet that she was also starting to distance herself from the mainstream of the Gewehr.)

Somehow I thought you would, thought Sister Rose; she'd already concluded there was more to this young winemaking family than met the eye, although she wasn't sure what yet. "Anything we can use?"

"Maybe," Layla answered. We need to case -- reconnoiter a little bit first." If she'd been starting to show signs of fatigue after picking up Ace in the middle of the night, it was gone now. The carriage crept into motion.

At the next side street, the three Tsuirakuans were no longer visible. Rose and Layla both concluded that they'd gone into the temple, and it only took a moment of sensory magic (Rose being surprised to find that Layla had the capability too, at least equal to her own) to discover that there was now a Ward on the main door. Obviously the three Oshimas didn't want to be disturbed in what they were doing inside. Rose shivered slightly at that thought...

...Yet, at the same time, the little figurine that Therese had giving her was no longer showing signs of agitation. What did that mean? Was Therese out of danger? Or had she simply been ... Rose put that last possibility out of her mind as they circled the temple distantly, turning onto the street running between the temple and the large (by Tsuirakuan standards, anyway) city park that ran along the stream behind it.

There was something lying on the ground, propped up against the wall of the temple. Something that looked familiar. Someone rather than something.

"Oh, crap," Sister Rose swore, getting a startled look from Layla and Ace. "I think I know who that is... was."
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Re: Seven(?) against the Convergence

Post by Alberich »

Tim, as a healer, alighted and ran over to the figure Rose said she recognized. His goal was to see if there was any life left in this person, and if that life could be saved, or any revealing last words gathered.
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Re: Seven(?) against the Convergence

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Therese didn't need her life saved, nor her last words recorded. She simply needed to wake up.

She did so at Tim's touch, groaned, and stretched; her mind couldn't sort out why her muscles were cramped and fatigued, but her body knew that it had been stuffed into an uncomfortable position for altogether too long. She emitted a long yawn, then looked around. "Where am I?" she asked. "Tim? Rose? Argus? And ... where are Desiree and Anfisa?"
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Re: Seven(?) against the Convergence

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"Therese!" said Tim, glad to see her alive and well. He said it loud enough that Rose would hear. "In order: Rinkaiel, near Tsuiraku-town; yes; yes; yes; and they're at the Tsuirakuan Consulate. I think you also remember Tamina. She's with us again and her claws are sharp as ever. Hold still a moment so I can make sure you're all right." He used his healer's art to do just that.
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