Rinkaiel

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Rinkaiel

Postby Graybeard » August 1st, 2009, 10:30 pm

The airship droned through the night, carrying Ace and the Sorensens toward their destination.

I must be getting soft, Layla thought to herself. In keeping with his general "Golden Baby" demeanor, Zachary had started sleeping through the night at an exceptionally early age, just as he was tonight. However, she'd still had to endure a few weeks of 2-a.m. wake-ups and feedings ... and on one of them, she'd stayed awake to kill a man. Somehow it all seemed so easy then. So why should I be having so much trouble staying awake on my watch shift? Of course, there really wasn't much to do; Ace had set the craft on autopilot, the weather was clear, and if anything out of the ordinary came up, of course she had his OK to wake him up. In fact, she spent about as much time looking at her son, smiling in his sleep, as she did at the instruments or the clear sky outside ... but she wasn't going to tell Ace that.

The watch passed uneventfully, as Faye's had before hers (when had her mother started to snore like that?), and it wasn't long before Ace was rising from his bunk. "Look what I made you," Layla whispered with pride; somehow she'd figured out how to use the tiny galley to make him some coffee to start the shift with. This earned her a smile and a soft kiss ...

Now I can get some more sleep, she thought, but she wasn't in the bunk yet when Ace called softly to her, trying not to wake the baby (and succeeding). "Before you turn in, you might want to see this."

Out on the distant horizon, there was a faint glow. "Rinkaiel," he said. "Second or third largest city in Farrel. An ... interesting place. We'll get there about sunrise, but we'll hover for a while before landing so you can get a little more beauty rest ... although you seem to be doing just fine on that count without it." Another shy smile, another kiss, and Layla was asleep within seconds.
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Re: Rinkaiel

Postby Graybeard » August 2nd, 2009, 9:29 pm

[OOC: Where is everybody? Just as a reminder, this is the Waldhaxen Channel follow-on thread. To move things along a little:]

Layla was up with the sun, having managed a couple more hours of sleep (surprisingly refreshing, actually), and did the usual morning routine with her son. She found herself wishing she could go for a run, but missing one morning wouldn't hurt her conditioning much, and she was compensated amply in the view out the forward windscreen. Wow, she said to herself as Zachary nursed. I think Kiyoka is a bigger city than Rinkaiel, and I've flown in there, but the view was never anything like this. This is amazing.

The awakening city lay before her, a shimmering crescent of light along the shores of an almost perfectly circular bay; the harbor that had brought the place into prominence, obviously. Two or three ships were visible out on the water. They weren't much more than specks on the surface of the sea, but for them to be visible at all at this distance, they had to be very large vessels, quite possibly larger than anything Layla had ever seen at Kiyoka or Port Lorrel. However, even they looked small compared to the huge complex set near the end of one of the horns of the crescent of city. Layla had never seen a building that big in her life -- and it was glowing.

"The Great Temple of Anilis," Faye said from behind her, causing her to jump slightly (and Zachary almost to lose the nipple, although her Wraith reflexes quickly compensated). "That's sunlight reflecting off a huge dome. Even though the elves have been gone for millennia, it's still in very good shape, and Rinkaiel is starting to be prosperous enough that they can maintain it. We'll try to fit in a trip there if the house hunting goes well."

They were almost to the terminal now, and Ace was bringing the airship in to a tower while a man waited below. The women stepped back to give Ace an unobstructed view out the front to help with the docking. As Layla wrapped up proceedings with her son, she glanced out the side porthole ... and stopped short.

"Mom, what's that? There's another airship out there, over at the next tower, of a design I've never seen before ... and there's a rowboat hanging under it."
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Re: Rinkaiel

Postby Sareth » August 2nd, 2009, 9:41 pm

"Kill me."

"Wimp."

"Please... just kill me."

"You are SUCH a baby."

"I'm not kidding... put me out of my misery."

"I never raised you to be such a wimp."

I tried to glare at mother, but it was way too much effort. "When are we going to be done with this?"

"Jamie," mother sighed. "We've been moored for fifteen minutes. We're steady as a rock. No more winds to push the boat left or right or back or forth or up or do"

*BLRRRRGGGAAAAAAAAAGH*

*sigh* "I do hope no one was down there."
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Re: Rinkaiel

Postby AdamZero » August 3rd, 2009, 12:50 am

"Nothing but forest so far, but we'll be over the west slums in a few minutes." Boris alleviated Jasmine's concern from mild to non-existent. He cast a look down at the city. "So are we going in stealthy, or just gonna land in the port?"

I yawned and looked out at an airship making a docking run. "I say we just land like normal. We try to be sneaky and we'll get whatever police force this place has. 'Doubt they're the underbelly lackies like in Lorrel. These'll be proper cops, prolly." I helped Jamie wipe her face and squeezed a wineskin, filled with with a mild brew to help calm her stomach, while she gnawed on the tip.

Aiyee seemed to have that idea as well, descended in the airship dock adjacent to the now landed airship. Again, there was something familiar about it... whatever.

The rowboat touched down, and Aiyee lowered the Monolith to land behind us, standing upright. She slide downward, and through the slab before separating herself. A hand with two thick fingers and a clawed thumb replacing her missing manipulator. It looked lumpy, improvised, clumsy. But it probably acted like a key of sorts; for the monolith.

A quintet of armed men and women were marching up the path toward the airship landing pad we'd elected to use. I yawned and looked casual, we hadn't broken any laws, not really. Not technically.
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Re: Rinkaiel

Postby Graybeard » August 3rd, 2009, 9:12 am

[OOC: If anyone wants to turn what's to follow here into a map of Rinkaiel, I'd be glad to help; setting the lay of the land is kinda what this rather mundane narrative is for...]

"I think I'm going to stay with the ship," Ace said as the Sorensens got ready to enter the tower. "I'm not all that taken with their security here. Joe, the guy who guided us in, is with us, and he'll help you get around and look for a place." He stifled a yawn, and Layla thought for a moment that his motivation in staying aboard was mainly so he could sleep, but she let it pass...

Introductions were made, and Layla remembered Joe from a job in the past; not the sharpest tool in the shed, but not bad, and as far as she knew, trustworthy. That was good. "Where do we go from here?" she asked as she, Faye and Zachary boarded a small hack.

"Drive around first," Joe said, taking the reins. "Most of the city isn't open for business yet, it's still early. Let me give you a quick tour and then we can talk to people about housing. Your ... instructor ... will meet us later."

They'd landed at an airstrip southwest of town, in farm country north of a range of hills that rose toward the wild south (well, north from Kugelheim's perspective, of course, but south of Rinkaiel). "Not many people venture into the hills," Joe said. "They get rugged pretty quickly, too rough to farm. There's some logging that goes on up there, but most of the timber isn't high enough quality to be worth much. Supposedly there are old ruins back in the higher hills, but I wouldn't take that too seriously." He turned the hack east.

The commercial part of town looked conventional enough, and Joe was right: the place really wasn't waking up yet, although a few sleepy-looking shopkeepers were getting their stores open. "Many of these places have lodging on their upper stories," he said. "We'll come back later." He turned the hack around at the entrance to what looked like a shipbuilding district, getting a puzzled look from Layla and Faye before he explained. "Seeadler territory. They don't bother us and we don't bother them, but it's a good idea to leave them alone. There are all manner of strange stories about them. They've ... adapted ... to a seagoing lifestyle, I guess I'd say." He changed the subject and headed back west along the waterfront, which looked like waterfronts anywhere.

"Are we going to visit the Temple of Anilis?" Layla asked. "We saw it from the air, and it looked impressive." Joe shrugged. "If there's time," he said. "Business first. It's way out on the end of the peninsula at the north end of the harbor, a fair way from here. Ah, here we go: Tsuiraku-town."

They'd entered a district that looked distinctly different than anything else Layla had seen in Farrel. Street signs were in the Tsuirakuan language, and the streets looked like they were illuminated by Tsuirakuan light globes, off now during the daytime. The architecture was subtly different, too: curving walls met at strange angles that looked exotic to Faye's eye, although Layla had seen similar buildings in Kiyoka. The few people on the street looked ... different; Tsuirakuan expats, apparently.

"You'll be working with people in here," Joe told Layla, "so we'll probably try to find you lodging nearby if we can. It's supposed to be one of the safer parts of town ... not that you have much to worry about on that count, if I remember the Cariel gig correctly." He winked. "Things get seedier the farther north you go, but we'll catch up with that later." He dismounted and helped the women do likewise; the next part of the explorations was going to be on foot.

[OOC: So there's part I of background on Rinkaiel; part II, which will be less meat-loaf-ish, follows later...]
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Re: Rinkaiel

Postby Sareth » August 3rd, 2009, 10:24 pm

I could have cared less about the men marching towards us. They were probably a customs party anyway, and if they weren't I would deal with that if I had to when the time came. Right now there were far more important matters.

"Jamie, stop kissing the dirt. You don't know where it's been."

"Yes, mother," I replied, then kissed the dirt again. I didn't care where it had been. I'd put my lips to things that I *knew* had been bad places.

Tavern wash basins weren't the cleanest things to wash a tankard in.

However, that last bit of reaffirming that I belonged on terra firma accomplished, I got back up, slowly and difficultly, dusting off my knees. "So, where does a cripple go to get some beer around here?"

"Beer? At 17?" Mother scowled.

"And when did you start drinking, mother dearest?" I asked, all innocence.

"Remind me to kick your uncle's ass next time I see him."

"More seriously," I said, my voice reflecting the tone of the comments, "how are we supposed to track those water thingys here? Any ideas?"
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Re: Rinkaiel

Postby AdamZero » August 3rd, 2009, 11:54 pm

"The Prinnys island of doom?" I asked, laughing. "I thought that was the trolls' quest thing. Not ours. If they and weird dudes show up again, hey that's fine but if not, let's just keep a roaming, maybe find a place to crash for a while." The Nine kept halfway houses scattered about the populated world, and some parts of the traversable unpopulated wilds. I doubted we'd find one if we looked for it, but it might find us instead. Or not, if Lucas was around.

The men and woman, one of the men was just rather pretty, asked a few brief questions, Lucas handed some Farralian cash for a docking fee for at least the week, and we were given brochures and directions to various important and useful places in the city.

I wasn't paying attention, when I noticed a familiar aura. Two actually. An infant and his mother. They were already out of earshot, but if the walk was the same, it was the same cop-sheriff-gunslinger, Jamie and I had run into twice before...

"So that was who it was..." I mumbled, smiling. "good to see she's alright." I doubted our paths would stay parted for long. Oh well.

After that we were directed to a nearby medical building, where we were told a qualified healer would assist in Jamie's recovery. Enthused by the idea of no longer limping about, reducing her ability to avoid her mother, our crippled sniper hobbled near the lead toward the airfield entrance.
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Re: Rinkaiel

Postby Graybeard » August 4th, 2009, 8:51 am

"First things first," Joe said. "Here's your shop."

"My what?" Layla and Faye chorused, then got the idea. On the edge of Tsuiraku-town, and actually outside the really Tsuirakuan part, was a small store front, not yet open yet, bearing the sign "Wine World." Someone had been doing their homework: this was the kind of thing Layla (and Arty...) had used as a cover business in Kiyoka. The intention was obviously to do the same thing here, and it should work. The location was good, with potential for plenty of traffic coming and going, in a secure enough area that the shop shouldn't be as crime-prone as liquor stores the world over tend to be.

One thing bothered Layla slightly. "Is there an affiliated vineyard? I'd really rather use that as the base instead of the store." At least I think I can get over the memories...

"We're working on it," Joe said. "There's one out in the farms southwest of town that isn't doing well. We're trying to ... persuade ... the owner to sell out so we -- you -- can take over. I think he'll see reason soon enough. If not ..." He let his voice trail off.

"Anyway," he continued, "Most of the inventory here is imported. We've used it to make some more or less friendly overtures to the Seeadler. They've got ties to smugglers in Veracia and the Northern Territories, they're not sharing the details yet but it's doing well enough that they can run in stuff from all over the world. Working with them here is making us more welcome in town than we'd be otherwise. Incidentally, you'll be flattered to know that one of the most sought-after wines here is Rising Moon grand cru."

"I am," Layla said sincerely, and she was smiling on the outside ... but that ache for Arty was coming back again. She changed the subject as they ventured deeper into Tsuiraku-town.
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Re: Rinkaiel

Postby Graybeard » August 6th, 2009, 8:31 am

[OOC: Jamie? Marcus? Lucas? ANYBODY?]

"So that's Rinkaiel, more or less," Joe said. They'd wandered Tsuiraku-town (not really much different from Kiyoka, Layla thought), avoided the slums to the west, viewed the dockyards from a distance, checked out the large vacant area where the Rinkaielians were thinking of building a warp gate, and so on. The trip to the Temple of Anilis would have to wait for later, but Layla could see that from the ground, it didn't look quite so grand, although it would still be worth a visit once it opened. Meanwhile, there was still the housing situation to be dealt with. "Why can't we just stay in the flat above the liquor store?" she asked as they returned there.

Joe shook his head. "Occupied already. That's where the boys are. We figured they'd be a little security while we got the store established for you. You ... really wouldn't want to share."

Layla pondered sharing a flat with half a dozen low-grade Gewehr grunts, shuddered. "You're right. It's still early. Could we take a quick look at this beat-up vineyard instead?"

Joe checked the time. They weren't due to talk to the Tsuirakuans for a while yet; it should be possible. "You're not going to like what you see, but we can have a look."

Fifteen minutes later, Layla found herself looking at the most beat-up excuse for a grape-growing operation she'd ever seen. The vines had been badly pruned; no wonder they weren't producing well. Out buildings were falling down, the lawn in front of the dilapidated farmhouse had more weeds than grass, and she couldn't bring herself to look at the cellars. The place should have promise, though. There was a good southern exposure, the soil looked just right for grapes. It just needed the attention of an industrious expert. Like me.

"If we can find a way to get the owners to quit screwing around and sell out, we can work with this," Layla said, getting a nod from Faye. "I'd rather be based here than in town, truthfully. It's more my style, we can make security adequate, and -- hey, what's that?" There'd been movement behind a shed that looked ... odd, possibly human, possibly not. Her hand flew to her pistol; it probably wouldn't be needed, but it never hurt to be careful...

[OOC: Might the movement be Kalin? Well, anything is possible...]
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Re: Rinkaiel

Postby Sareth » August 6th, 2009, 11:21 am

[OOC]Honestly, I'm not certain what to do just at the moment...[/OOC]
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