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Porthca Landing III: Burned Bridges & Broken Chains

WetHawk

One Thousand Club
Upturning her nose slightly at the question of her name, Valerie let out a slight huff and muttered lowly. "I take it listening skills were not prerequisite for this position..." The clerk's own comment , however, was somewhat troubling since she already seemed to be aware of an issue associated with her. She gave Niradnam a quick confused glance as the clerk knocked on the door before looking back as the door opened.

Valerie eyed the new curious looking woman in interest, having never encountered anyone quite like her before in her life. The accent was most definitely new to her, and she paid it particular mind as a person with an aptitude for doing voices, never knowing when it might come in handy. Focusing on the voice, as well as her name and style of garb, the young noble recalled several of Grandfather's lessons on the civilized peoples of the world beyond Okesh. She remembered asking him to go in to more detail on the continent of Oshela after hearing of their predilection for the arts, having only recently begun her own lessons with her flute. Maestro Zorei-Hanari's clothing and name seemed to strongly indicate that she hailed from the distant lands. Hesitating for only a moment to consider what 'Snobby Noble Valerie' would do, she then let out a prissy laugh at hearing the suggestion that she was with Niradnam. "Oh, no. No, no, most certainly not, I would much prefer the company of an ill tempered mule. Niradnam is merely being of assistance to me after I learned of the grievous errors of the brainless apes at the University losing my money at the gates." She shot another annoyed look at the clerk before turning her attention back to the Maestro, giving her a more dignified and respectful look before giving a slight curtsy. "Regardless, I suppose I should introduce myself. I am Valerie Rhitegast, daughter of Reynold Rhitegast, son of the great Wayne Rhitegast of Emberhallow. It is good to meet you, Maestro. I am afraid I am far from an expert on the subject, but I believe that you hail from Oshela, yes? That is quite a journey to Azarad."
 

Carwyn - Alexey

Junior Member
Rin looks down at the flowers and gently touches some of their leaves, responding to them in Druidic. "<Not ignored at all little ones. I acknowledge all of you and connect with all of you. I will provide you all with water soon.>" The elderly gnome smiles happily before looking back to the trees and bowing formally. "<I am RInmerrion of the druids of Shoria, I look to you for help oh wise ones. There was an attack a few days ago here, beasts were released. Do you know anything of the one that released them? The ones who tend to you are in danger, not to mention the little ones themselves from careless claws or battle.>" She bows again and mutters to herself, creating a gentle puff of wind around the leaves of the trees. "<Anything you can tell me would be helpful. Thank you.>"
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad | Office:

Leaning on the desk Niradnam narrowed his eyes at Valerie, making Maestro Zorei-Hanari laugh. "He iz not zo bad, one might zay he iz too focuzed," the woman approached him and gently patted his cheek, "zomeday he will learn to relax, yez?"

Chuckling as he tried to push her hand away, Zorei focused once again on Valerie, "Yez, Okezh iz not my homeland, but I felt they needed to learn the wayz of proper muzic and artz. However," she glared at the office door that was closed once more, "not all agree az zuch."

Placing her hands on her hips again, "Zeems we both are ztruggling with thiz Univerzity, ah? They will not take my clazzes, and they have taken your money, hm?" Raising a hand towards the door Zorei focused before drawing her hand back, making the door slam open. "Othello! Get out here and anzwer your zlighted ztudent!"

Lestone and Niradnam both braced from the noise, the clerk ran back to her desk to hide as a human man emerged from the office, his robes heavy and ornate. His skin was fair, and his hair white, tied with a silk ribbon that sat behind his neck. Amber eyes were fixed on the Maestro, and faint tattoos were visible on his skin, shimmering here and there in the light. Hiding his hands within his long sleeves he finally shifted his attention onto Valerie and spoke, his voice barely above a whisper: "If you had an issue with funding, you could make an appointment."

Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad | Balcony:


The flowers didn't seem entirely convinced, some of them shifting closer to Rinmerrion as if to make themselves harder to forget.

Groans came from the trees as they appeared to take time to think, one of them venturing, <"Lots. Of. Movement. Many. Ran. Through. Here.">

Another shuddered as it replied, <"Blood. Fell. Into. Ground. Bitter.">

A small shrub tried to join in, <"One! One before many! Small! Little!">

Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad | Slums Area:


Sealing up his cart, Three Stripe began to push it away with a wide grin, the other sellers glaring at the tabaxi as he left with a group of potential customers in tow.

Leading the party through a few other alleys and narrow streets, he slowed, opening a crude looking wooden door he grunted as he dragged the cart inside, calling out briefly with a series of chatters as a few small eyes were visible under a pile of blankets and pillows. "Little ones, come greet the guests Three Stripe brings you," satisfied with where his cart was wedged the adult tabaxi approached the small pile, revealing three smaller tabaxi with similar fur patterns. "The only pests Three Stripe allows in his house," he grinned.

Patting each one on the head he continued, "Dew on the Grass, Bright Gift, and Opal Mirror, the last gifts Three Stripe's mate gave him. Kittens, bring cushions, Three Stripe has business to discuss, you can go play in the bedroom, then maybe we go out for dinner tonight if business goes well."

The small tabaxi each watched the newcomers with obvious awe, their eyes wide and tails twitching quickly as they listened to their father, bringing the pillows they had been buried under then disappearing around the corner. Three Stripe smiled before turning back to the group, rubbing his fingers together, "So, what is your offer for pay on each question?"
 

Wookie Nookie

New Year's, Baby!
Magnolias knuckles turned white on her javelin as they were led threw the winding streets. However it clunked on the ground the moment the kittens appeared. Every mothering instinct in her screamed to help them and offer snacks, always snacks. "I'm sorry to hear about your mates passing Three Stripe."
Thoughts turned to her own mother, Magnolia still remembered the day she was taken from her. Taken for treason, she never knew what happened to her.

Without saying anything else she reached into her coin purse, withdrew ten platinum and sat them down in front of the Tabaxi.
 

icemanrb

Bust :(
Seeing the kittens, Abrahms's eyes got big and ran over to them to give them a head rub. Looking back to Terminus for an approving nod, she heads off with them into the other room as he stays to listen to Three Stripe.
 

DevilishEgg

Member
Eliza beamed at the nickname, “The more you speak of your hometown, the more I yearn to visit it some day. All I have heard and read about lovely Shoria don’t seem to do it justice.”

Forever curious, the half orc stepped closer to watch the old gnome bring the garden alive with but a few words and gestures. Her eyes widened as she took in the marvelous scene before her, (speaking with plants!) as she started taking in notes of yet another hereto unknown side of magic. “Brilliant! Simply brilliant!” She exclaimed as she leaned closer to the spectacle and gestured for the mage hand holding her book to float closer, “Incredible that they can form memories, let alone talk. Does that mean vegetables also have feelings...?” She blinked back at Tyrius as the horrible thought sprang to mind.
 

Ash-6116

Senior Member
Tyrius watched in awe as the flowers seemed to respond to Rin, some of them seeming to lean forwards towards the elderly gnome. While he couldn't understand what she was saying, could barely even discern it as a language, Tyrius could see the effects of her words plainly enough. Tyrius wasn't too surprised to see Eliza making notes in her book, using a mage hand as an improvised desk. It was good to see Eliza in such high spirits, though Tyrius had to remind himself how prone she was to spending hours awake in a library.

As Eliza looked to Tyrius, he stared at the plants in thought. Somehow that hadn't ever occurred to him, yet now that Eliza had said it, it made Tyrius wonder if that was a thing.

"We can ask Rin that later, but if they can think and talk, they probably do have feelings." said Tyrius, trying not to think about how many cooked vegetables he'd eaten in his life.
 

NotHaruka

Member
Virra couldn't help breaking character. At the sight of the kittens scurryiing out from under their blanket, her hands went straight to her cheeks. "Ohmygosh they're so precious," she breathed. It felt distinctly unfair that Terminus's panther should be allowed to go off and play with them while Virra had to stay and interrogate their father, but she held her tongue. Maybe if she got in their dad's good books, she could come back later...

Clearing her throat, she regained a little of her composure just in time to see Mags hand over ten whole platinum pieces. Well, that wasn't exactly the tone she'd intended to establish, but she'd make do. Mags could be the good cop if she wanted. "We're gonna call that your retainer," she butted in, gesturing to the coins. "Your stipend for agreeing to talk with us. Every time we ask a question, you get another two platinum coins for a useful answer. Oh, and we will know if you're lying, by the way." Yes, that was good; firm but fair. So long as it got results, Virra could up with sounding like her mom for a little while.
 

Wookie Nookie

New Year's, Baby!
Mags sat silently, her thoughts in the past once again. Virra's voice brought them back to the present and the suspicion started again, "Mr Three Stripe, don't take this the wrong way but we need our assurances on the legitimacy of your information. We are putting up good coin and if you want our coin, we are going to need a zone of truth in place before we start. This happens or we walk."
 

Carwyn - Alexey

Junior Member
Rin frowns as the plants speak, taking the time to look to each of them in turn. She frowns a little as they talk, nodding along in agreement before responding. "<Yes, yes my dears I can imagine it was scary for you all. And blood is indeed bitter my friend, I will make sure that you are all given a little bit of sugar in your next water. We all need some sweetness from time to time.>" Her eyes narrow on the shrub and she smiles encouragingly. "<You saw one before the rest? Do you remember anything about them? They were small? Like my height? What else deary?>" She tries not to rush the plants but it seems this could be a key piece of information.

Seeing Eliza get close to write things down she switches back to common with a warm smile, seeing the revelation about vegetables in her face. She pats the half-orc's shoulder reassuringly as she speaks. "Elly dear, everything feels. That doesn't mean we don't need the sustenance it provides, same as animals and plants don't starve. We are all connected in a myriad of different ways." She taps her nose as if conveying a secret. "The trick to it all is to only take what you need, and treat everything you use with care." She smiles to herself, likely given this sort of talk a lot over her life. "As for memories, roots run deep. There is a shared consciousness that we all have linked to our connection to nature itself. A little magic helps bridge that gap in communication. The earth always remembers though." She waves a hand slightly and the ground in front of Eliza shifts a little to show a smiling face looking up to her.

Looking to Tyrius she nods a little and hands him the watering can. "Everything has feelings lad, even the wind. The real skill is knowing how to feel with them. Now, I need you to run along and refill that. This time though add a couple of teaspoons of sugar. Blood has been spilled on this ground and the sugar will help reverse any damage of that bitterness." The gnome focuses her attention back on the plants after sorting all of that out, switching back to Druidic. "<Sugar water is on its way for you all. So, tell me about this one before many.>"
 

Ash-6116

Senior Member
With Rin handing him the watering can, Tyrius nodded his head. "Won't be long," said Tyrius, giving both Rin and Eliza a smile before he headed back into the corridors. It was a little strange, but Tyrius found himself walking through the corridors as if he'd only just graduated yesterday. Finding a source of water was the easy part - there were small fountains all over the school where someone could get a drink, or in Tyrius' case refill a watering can. The sugar would be a bit trickier, but Tyrius was nothing if not resourceful, he figured it'd be possible to find some sugar somewhere.

With the can held just to his side where even if the water splashed over the top of the can it would not soak his navy blue suit, Tyrius wandered the halls for a few minutes. A canteen, a kitchen, anywhere food was prepared would make a good place to find some unattended sugar. As it was, Rin's words were playing on Tyrius' mind. 'The earth always remembers,' repeated Tyrius in his mind as he saw an unmarked door. Pushing it open slightly, weary of disturbing a class in session, Tyrius saw a small room filled with chairs and better still, not far from the door, a small kitchenette. A lounge for the professors.

Crouching down, Tyrius carefully pushed the door open a little at a time so that the hinges would not creak. With the door open enough he could enter, Tyrius moved behind a counter, looking as he did so. A small portly human, roughly the same height as Eliza had their head deep in a book titled Forgotten Desserts: Secrets of the Hearth Revealed. Tyrius placed the can down gently on the floor, careful not to bang it against the stonework. Leaning up a little so that he could see the counter, Tyrius tried to get to the right height where he could see but not easily be seen. Feeling a now familiar energy coursing through him, Tyrius clenched his fist. 'Not here,' thought Tyrius, trying to hold the energy back. He'd release it later. Preferably not next to Rin or Eliza. A repeat of what happened to Virra was not something Tyrius wanted. Picking up an entire jar containing sugar and a teaspoon, Tyrius carefully put four teaspoons of sugar into the watering can, then decided to be generous and add a fifth. Stirring the water with care to help the sugar dissolve without hitting the sides of the can, Tyrius put the spoon to one side and replaced the jar of sugar.

The trip back to the courtyard was a lot faster once Tyrius was out of the professor's lounge. Walking briskly with the watering can at his side, Tyrius held it up when he saw Rin, unsure if she wanted to pour it or if she wanted him to. 'Hold on,' thought Tyrius, intending to let his surge happen once Rin was asking the plants questions again and he could get back a safe distance from Eliza.
 

Tai2k7

Party Dad
Ander stepped into the building and saw the scene before him. Those poor young ones. Ander went over to the children and sat on the ground near them. He was not even paying attention to the interrogation behind him as he smiled wide at the kids. "Hello, young friends. I like yer names. Mine is Ander, which isn't nearly as nice as yers. Do ya go by Dew, Gift, 'n Opal?" The large man enjoyed seeing the children play and had no desire to make their or their father's lives any more difficult.
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad | Slums Area:

Three Stripe shrugged at Magnolia's comment, "It was her time, it is unfortunate, but Three Stripe continues on." He eyed the ten coins placed on the table, glancing at Abrahms as she walked towards where the kittens were, Ander following not long after.

Sitting down on a cushion, Three Stripe's tail wrapped around his crossed legs, "It seems to Three Stripe, you all are after far more than trinkets, yes? Seeking things Three Stripe may not entirely be able to answer either." The tabaxi shrugged again, "Be careful with your questions, Three Stripe has no lies to tell, but he does not know all."

Over in the bedroom, the three tabaxi children were running laps, trying to jump between blankets and cushions as if they weren't allowed to touch the floor, but at seeing a panther and a large unknown human enter the room their tails poofed until Ander began speaking. They approached warily, seeing them closer, two were girls and one was a boy, a slight difference in their features and figures.

The boy stood straighter trying to puff out his chest, "No, not Gift -- Bright! Like the sun!"

One of the girls, Opal, offered a hand to Abrahms, not entirely sure what to do with the animal, while the other kept her wide eyes on Ander, only to look away, "Are ... you guys here to take our dad away or something? Or uhm," she looked at the others, "take his things? Are you here to keep an eye on us ...?"

Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad | Balcony:


The shrubbery shuddered in joy at the attention and soothing words of Rin with praise. Standing slightly taller as its branches straightened, it shifted and replied, <"Small to tree! Big to me! You small like me!">

It continued to shake in excitement, <"Darting! Quick! Like creatures around our roots! Like creatures eat my berries!">
 

icemanrb

Bust :(
As Opal holds her hand out to Abrahms, her eyes get big and go over slamming into Opal's hand, almost knocking her over but purring the entire time. Abrahms looks over at the boy, takes her tail and dangles it just above his nose as she turns back to Opal giving her head rubs.

Terminus, hearing the kids and Abrahms purring figures the kids are occupied for a while. Turning to Three Stripe, "I am sssorry for your losss. All we asssk is that you anssswer honessstly and to the bessst of your knowledge."
 

Carwyn - Alexey

Junior Member
Rin smiles deeply at the shrub, running a hand gently over some of the leaves. She takes the watering can from Tyrius with thankful nod and spreads a little of the sugary water around the base of the plants. The gnome makes sure that the shrub and the flowers get their fair share. The description of someone bigger than her but smaller than a tree would indicate one of the more common races in Azarad and didn't stay around to watch the handiwork. She rubs her chin as she thinks a little more before responding. "<Good thank you. You have all been so helpful so far. Do you remember anything about this person, what were they wearing maybe? Anything about what they looked like? Have you seen them around often?>"
 

NotHaruka

Member
And there went Ander too. Virra certainly hadn't expected to be the one to take point on the interrogation while her friends went and played with kittens. At least Mags and Terminus were sticking around.

She drew in a breath, necessary to prepare herself for the hard work ahead. "I'm sorry for your loss as well. Just... tell us what you can, and we'll see where it takes us." Having said that, coming up with a question to ask first was more difficult than she'd expected -- especially with big money riding on it. Virra crossed her legs on the pillow beneath her, looked down at her hands for a second, then asked: "Have you heard of any kind of spell or magic item that could teleport -- or conjure -- a large number of creatures to a certain location, without being thwarted or detected by magical safeguards?" She spoke slowly, feeling the words out as she said them.
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad | Balcony:

The shrub got surprisingly still after Rin's questions, then did a strange up and down motion, as best the gnome could figure, its equivalent of a shrug. <"Clothes! Person! Yes?">

Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad | Slums Area:


Blinking a few times at Virra's question, Three Stripe laughed loudly, "You really think Three Stripe is a mage, don't you? These questions are beyond his knowledge as a peddler of enchanted, but admittedly simple wares." His tail flicked slightly as he smiled, "Ask more simply, perhaps then Three Stripe can help you."
 

Carwyn - Alexey

Junior Member
Rin nods along with the plant, not showing any signs of exasperation at how slowly the plants were able to answer the questions. Instead she is encouraging and positive with the shrub. She sits down in the ground to be closer to the plant, trying to make it feel more personal and have the shrub feel more involved. "<That's good, really good. Thank you. Do you know what colour clothes? Did they have a shiny pin like the students wear?>" Rin believes that they will start to make some progress with the questions now that things are being narrowed down.
 

Ash-6116

Senior Member
With the discussion between Rin and the plants continuing to roll on, Tyrius slowly backed away, trying to be as subtle about it as possible. Once he felt confident he was a good distance away from Rin, the plants Rin was talking to and Eliza, Tyrius le the magical energy that he'd abrely been holding back surge through him. A little scared of it suddenly bringing down fire or doing something obvious, permanent and unwanted to his appearance, Tyrius felt a warm, calming sensation flow through him, but it didn't seem to do very much if anything at all. No sudden outbursts of fire, nothing obvious that Tyrius could see had changed about him.

Feeling a little silly, Tyrius walked back over to where Rin was continuing to talk to the plants, seeming to have got even closer to them. Staying back so as not to crowd the elderly gnome, Tyrius sat down, pulled out his diary and started writing.
 

NotHaruka

Member
Virra's cheeks turned pink. "All right, more simply," she muttered. After turning the question over in her head, she asked: "Have you heard of a magic item that could create or summon a bunch of monsters?"
 

Wookie Nookie

New Year's, Baby!
"or possibly something that could get around the wards of Azarad. I'm sure someone like you hears a great many things on the street." Mags was rummaging through her pockets in an attempt to find the tiny parcels of wax paper that concealed candies. She remembered her uncle Benjamin always saved her the green ones. They were her favorite, tasting like lime... Whatever a lime was.
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad | Balcony:

At the question of color the shrub went still again, but when Rin asked about the pin it shifted again, <"Metal -- shiny, yes! Dislike, bitter.">

Late-Morning of the Twenty-Eighth Day | Azarad | Slums Area:


Thinking over the questions now that they'd been reworded, Three Stripe tapped his chin, "Hmm ... Three Stripe has heard of such things, yes. He has heard something called a 'Bag of Tricks', however as far as he knows it usually is smaller creatures. Mice, a panther at most perhaps. Not monsters." Looking towards Magnolia he bares his teeth slightly before speaking, "Azarad does not interest Three Stripe, perhaps others ply their trade to the students, but Three Stripe has had only foul encounters with the magelings and similar. Not worth his time to be insulted by them."
 

Carwyn - Alexey

Junior Member
Rin grins at the shrub and gestures excitedly, clearly happy with the information that has been given. She responds in Druidic with a very proud tone. "<Oh you are wonderful my dear. Thank you so much for that. It is very helpful information indeed.>" Colour seemed to be a problem with the plant itself so she decides not to go back to it, instead thinking that is probably the most she will get from the plants. She runs a finger over a leaf on the shrub gently and nods. "<The weather will be sunny for the next day, and warm. Thank you for your help>" She turns her attention to all of the plants around her and smiles. "<Thank you, all of you. Enjoy the sunshine.>"

The elderly gnome slowly pushes herself up off the ground with the help of her staff and brushes herself down quietly before making her way over to Eliza and Tyrius. She keeps her voice down as she talks so no-one else around in the garden can hear them talk. "So the plants are not great with physical descriptions of things bless them but they are very helpful with other things. There was someone here before it all happened, a person. They are not a dwarf or a halfling or a gnome so we can likely rule those out, and they are a student here too. The plants were able to recognise the pin. All in all a productive afternoon I feel." She smiles warmly and holds out a bag of sweets to both her compatriots. "Would anyone like a candy while we wait?"
 

Ash-6116

Senior Member
Tyrius listened to Rin relaying her conversation with the plants with a growing smile on his face. It was solid information that could be trusted. The red head could think of no reason at all for the plants to lie.

"They recognised the pin?" said Tyrius with a big smile on his face. "You know, we might get luckier still," Tyrius reached down and carefully unpinned his own Azaead pin from the lapel of his suit jacket. "Could you show them my pin and ask if the pin they saw was lit up at all, or if any segment was lit up the way my pin lights up for Evocation. If so, which segment or segments." said Tyrius, trying to account for all possible answers the plants could give.
 
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NotHaruka

Member
Virra chewed her lip. "Yeah, the Azarad people do seem like a bunch of dinks," she agreed, though her mind was elsewhere. By the sound of things, whatever magic was being used in Azarad to create or summon all those monsters was far beyond an ordinary magic item, or at least as far as a street pedlar would know about them. Perhaps Three Stripe just wasn't the best source to press for the information they were after.

Still, a deal was a deal. Virra slid two platinum pieces towards the tabaxi before asking her second question. "Do you know anyone around here who might sell Bags of Tricks? Especially if they're known to sell to people from the university," she tried.
 

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