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Fantasy Steamhaven: Land of the Lost

Cartoonicat

Future Crazy Cat Lady


Steamhaven Rooftops

Inventory
Thirty-six (36) coins
Shotgun with silver bullets
Silver-tipped sword
Wooden stake
Monster Hunter journal
House keys
Vampire's cloak
Demon's blood
Anti-vampire perfume bottle
Staking glove
Mysterious totem
Borrowed clothes (Patrick)
The roof shingles underfoot were slippery, dangerous, yet the creature ahead of Lianna sprinted across them as if they were meant for running - something she had been doing for quite a while, now. It had been in the tavern, at least a mile further into the city from where she stood now, that she had seen him: A creature of the night. A vampire. The dim firelight had reflected off the abomination's eyes just enough for Lianna to glimpse the cat-like glow of night vision from across the room.

It had only been a glance - perhaps a trick of light - but then he started running.

And he had yet to stop.

Draped in a long cloak that brushed the floor, the vampire had bolted out the backdoor, feet splashing against the freshly formed rainwater puddles from that afternoon's storm. This early in the morning, the streets were still rather bare; nobody wanted to leave the perceived safety of their home until well after the roosters crowed. Steamhaven didn't get much sunlight even during the day, however, so creatures of the night managed to wander at almost any hour.

Now, standing atop a dangerous roof, Lianna had a choice: She could pursue the vampire, try shooting from a growing distance, or let him live another day.

  • Chase after the vampire
  • Shoot the vampire
  • Let him go
 
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EnkoKasumi

Dreamer
Trying her best to keep the balance as she ran like crazy, Lianna wore a glare that she could almost feel cutting through the creature's unnatural body. This was the reason the good people of Steamhaven suffered. Creature like these. Filthy things of the night with a thirst for human blood. It made her sick to her stomach. Not only did the vampire make her chase him across the rooftops, he just had to make her do it at dawn! This was a time where all sane people slept. She did not want to play cat and mouse any more than all the helpless townsfolk, but she was damned if she would let such a fiend prowl freely.

No, you won't, you godless creature. I have just a thing for you. A nice and sturdy stake. I bet it goes great with your complexion.

Lianna grinned a predator's grin as she kept her chase. In this town, the only real predator was her, and she would spread the word of it, starting with this persistent son of a... She swallowed the word. Hunter or not, a lady never swore.
 

Cartoonicat

Future Crazy Cat Lady
Despite the threatening footing, Lianna pressed on. Maintained the distance between herself and the vampire, the gap slowly but surely closing. Yet, all good things come to an end: The creature veered to the left and headed for a massive divide between rooftops. One too big for humans, but not vampires.

Lianna could speed up to try to grab him or play it safe and continue her pace at the risk of not making it in time. Likewise, she could also try shooting her shotgun now that she was closer.

- Speed up
- Shoot the vampire
- Let him go
 

EnkoKasumi

Dreamer
The way this could end did not look promising, but Lianna was not a coward. She never was and she never will be, and especially not with her target so close by she could feel herself grabbing his cloak and yanking him backwards. Then slowly and surely strangling him and only when she had enough, using the stake she had so neatly polished just to serve this purpose.

No, she would risk it, speeding up to the most of her abilities, relying on her training and the strength of her muscles, a hand already reaching out to tug on his cloak as soon as she got near enough.
 

Cartoonicat

Future Crazy Cat Lady
Fingers clasped around fabric just as the vampire lept onto a chimney and shot off the roof - an unpleasant surprise for the creature of night. The string of his cloak secured around his neck, stopping his leap short, and he fell through the air with a pained shout. His body's weight, the slippery rooftop, and Lianna's running momentum combined made it nearly impossible for her to stop; she slid across the remainder of the roof and slammed into the chimney he had used as a platform.

The cloak pulled taut and heavy with the weight of a body, but being hung was a human death. Peering down, Lianna could see the vampire fumbling with the strings of his cloak. Vampires, unfortunately, were far more resilient.

She could drop him from the second story building and try following, try to haul him up, or yell for assistance despite the empty street.

- Drop him
- Haul him up
- Call for help
 

EnkoKasumi

Dreamer
She let out a small sound of triumph when she caught the filthy creature, followed by a larger yelp of pain as she slammed against the chimney. Her hand held onto it desperately, but she was only intent on keeping the dangling thing right there, where he was supposed to be. Let him choke for a little while, just so he's more docile once she pulls him up to finish him off. Praying to whatever gods were watching her performance of the day, she gritted her teeth to pull the vampire up onto the roof.
 

Cartoonicat

Future Crazy Cat Lady
Blessed be Lianna's workday, for the vampire did not manage to unclasp his cloak before being hauled back atop the roof. He tried scrambling away only to get caught again by his own cloak and pulled to his knees, string still clasped tight around his neck. The hood fell from his head, revealing long black hair and nothing more - he kept his face away from her.

Before she could so much as blink, the head of hair came at Lianna terrifyingly fast. A cold forehead crashed into hers, seemingly a dizzying effect for both parties; the vampire stumbled backwards as if drunk before disappearing off the roof. She didn't hear a body hit the ground.

In Lianna's hands was his cloak, string broken.

- Pursue him
- Let him go
- Inspect the cloak
 

EnkoKasumi

Dreamer
"Oh, you fu- foul man!" Lianna caught herself at the last moment. Maybe her prey got away, but she would keep her dignity.

She tried her best to stay steady as she scrambled to check over the edge of the roof, holding the cloak in one hand. Was the evil thing hanging from it, sticking to the wall? She was not yet giving up.
 

Cartoonicat

Future Crazy Cat Lady
Sure enough, the vampire hung onto a window's ledge. He looked up at her, long hair shielding a majority of his face save for a pair of pouty thick lips. They curled into a small smirk before he dropped to the street below and escaped into the alleyway across the road.

By time Lianna found a safe way down he'd be long gone. So much for blessed be her workday. At least she managed to grab his cloak which might come in handy later. The material felt thick and expensive, an oddity in Steamhaven. Either he had ties to the wealthy or was not a local.

Cloaks and escaped vampires aside, Lianna had another decision to make: Remain awake for the rest of the day and correct her sleep schedule or head back home to sleep the day away. Most hunters sought their prey at night but in a morose city like Steamhaven, where endless clouds kept the sun at bay, hunters had their choice of work hours.

- Go to the market
- Go to the church
- Go to the Hunters' Hub
- Go for a walk
- Go somewhere else
- Head home
 

EnkoKasumi

Dreamer
Lianna let out an angry hiss when it was clear that this day was not fruitful like she had hoped it would be. Still, she took a deep breath to compose herself, and then the breath turned into a yawn and she remembered that she had not gotten any sleep that night. That was terrible for her skin and she was not getting any younger. Not that her profession made it easy for her to take care of her looks anyway. But, she was intent on keeping up appearances.

Finally she decided on bringing the cloak to the Hunter's Hub. Perhaps someone in there had seen something similar before and would be able to point her in the right direction. She was not above asking for help, but some of her colleagues were of questionable morals and more questionable hygiene. Hopefully, those will not be the people she meets with today.
 

Cartoonicat

Future Crazy Cat Lady

It did not take too long for Lianna to reach the Hunters' Hub. Inside, the spacious but cluttered room smelled like cigar smoke and garlic - the usual. Several people greeted her arrival before returning back to their ministrations, be it reading a book or looking through aged scrolls from times long ago.

"Well now," A familiar, teasing voice sounded beside her, "aren't you up early?" Turning, she would see Clem Ainsworth, her...

- Female or male best friend
- Female or male rival
- Female or male sibling
- Female or male other
 
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EnkoKasumi

Dreamer
Lianna scrunched her nose at the familiar smell, yet the one she would never get used to. Cigar smoke and garlic? Was there ever a worse combination? She immediately walked the length of the room to open a window, ushering the stale air our and taking a deep breath to compose herself, lest she faints.

Clem's voice made her turn around and she gave him a smile, yet it was halfhearted.

"Cousin." She greeted him with a nod. "It was not by choice, trust me. I had an encounter with a vampire." She showed him the cloak, her trophy of the day. "Does it look familiar?"
 

Cartoonicat

Future Crazy Cat Lady
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Clem, short for Clement, quirked a brow. He pinched the fabric between his fingertips and hummed thoughtfully. "Refined taste, certainly," he murmured, "but does it hold any secrets...?" Taking the cloak from her, he started inspecting the finer details. After a moment he presented to Lianna a faded, barely there, stamped icon in the inside of the hood. The words were completely worn away.

"Brackett Embroidery... I think." He didn't sound confident in his answer. "This thing has to be decades old." Sure enough, the stamp was worn down to nearly nothing more than the vague outline of the icon. "I happen to know the embroidery owner's daughter. Cute girl. She'll know for sure whether it's from their line or not." He smiled sheepishly, "Put in a good word for me if you head that way?"

'Know' being a strong word. Lianna's cousin was, more than a hunter, a hopeless romantic with a tendency to admire from afar. It was unlikely he actually knew the woman personally, much less held a conversation with her longer than a handful of seconds. Some say his attempts at flirting are painful to watch, bordering on downright pitiful.

- Thank him and leave
- Ask about the owner's daughter
- Ask around for another opinion
- Explore the Hunters' Hub
 
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EnkoKasumi

Dreamer
"Oh, Clem." Lianna shook her head. "You have a good head on your shoulders, but so help me you are not putting to use very often." She patted him on the arm compassionately. "Look, girls love attention. You don't need me to be your matchmaker. Just go call on the lady, take her out to a decent inn, if there is one around here, I certainly did not find it yet... and well, talk to her. Be a gentleman as I know you to be and you can't fail."

With a wink, she then thanked him and looked around the main room of the Hub nonchalantly. She hoped to spot either a fellow Hunter that would know something more about the vampires in this dingy town, or a bookcase she could shuffle through for more information, before she went on to visit her cousin's most recent heartthrob.
 

Cartoonicat

Future Crazy Cat Lady
He looked a bit embarrassed at first but, as Lianna continued speaking, seemed to perk up. By the end of her spiel he looked more sure of himself... though whether that confidence would remain in conversation with the shop owner's daughter was iffy at best. "You know," he said, "you're right." Smiling now, he straightened his posture. "Ladies love a gentleman. The difficult part will be finding a worthy inn..."

Leaving her cousin to his planning - Lianna could hear him musing about flowers as she walked away, and whether or not that would seem too much - she perused the vast bookcases in search of information. Nothing really stood out to her; the cases were lined with dusty old tombs, journals, and scrolls that contained information not relevant to her current goal of locating the vampire.

What caught her attention, instead, was a gaggle of three female monster hunters around the corner. One spoke haughtily and gestured to her dress, an elegant black bustle with a tight-laced corset and puffy shoulders. It make her figure sleek and seductive. "Doesn't it look expensive? It's so darling."

"Oh, yes! The stitching it very well done. Is this silk?" one of the other two asked.

The lady in the dress grinned, painted red lips curling. "Spiders' Silk, to be exact. Imagine how many years it took to make! Ahhh, had I not caught the foul creature amidst her bath, the stake would have ruined it! What a waste that'd have been."

Lianna recognized the lady's voice - the loud shrill would be hard for anyone to forget and she often frequented the Hunters' Hub. She was Lianna's...

- Rival
- Friend
- Mentor
- Other
- (Optional): Approach the lady
 

EnkoKasumi

Dreamer
"Ugh, I don't need this headache again..." Lianna murmured for herself, as she gave a sideways glance to the bragging woman. When she hoped she'd find someone familiar to ask for help with the hunt, she certainly did not mean that woman.

They had met a couple of times prior and Lianna had always considered her tacky. She had no class and Lianna had such difficulties containing her disgust in interactions with those people.

Wearing a dress that was on a bloodsucker? Ugh, makes me gag.

And she almost did. So she tried her best to stay low and not be noticed by either of the women.
 

Cartoonicat

Future Crazy Cat Lady
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The women talked for a bit longer only for the conversation to break suddenly. "Clara," said one with a not-so-hushed whisper, "is that Lianna?" More whispers, silence, and then Clara's voice sounded loud and close to Lianna's ear; she'd meandered towards the bookcases.

Clara Miller, a regular peasant-turned-wealthy due to her years of plundering vampire homes, smiled wolfishly at Lianna. "Hello there, Carrot Top. Still as masculine as ever, I see," her eyes scanned over Lianna's appearance, no doubt talking about her choice of dress. While Lianna wasn't the only female monster hunter to don pants and a blouse, Clara had made a point to single her out for it on most occasions. Today was no exception.

The boastful woman did, however, come in frequent contact with upper-class vampires. She could be a useful source of information regarding the cloak, but she'd definitely be a snot about it - as she was with nearly everything.

- Ask Clara about the cloak
- Tell her off
- Ignore her
- Something else
 

EnkoKasumi

Dreamer
"And more of a lady than you will ever be, Miller." Lianna retorted, her tongue getting the better of her, though she didn't really regret it. She gave her a look over, then rolled her eyes. "You smell of vampire, please stay back." And she took an intentional step away.

While she probably needed help with the investigation, she already had a lead to follow. Even if she did not have it, she would never ask Clara for help, not if her life depended on it.
 

Cartoonicat

Future Crazy Cat Lady
Her grin faltered, but as the other two women moved closer to peer in on the conversation, Clara seemed to regain her bravado. "Vampire smell or not, I'm still the gem of this establishment," she mused. A blatant half-truth; while Clara did hold popularity among the Hunters' Hub for her skill at monster hunting, she was by no means revered for her fashion sense and charm. If anything, most of the men she propositioned made a point to be 'in the middle of important work' whenever she'd make an advance. And, just like her personality, her advances were not subtle; the whole Hub was privy to the drama of her love life.

The woman never seemed to care much about privacy, though.

Eyes falling on the cloak in Lianna's arms, she pooched her lips thoughtfully. Stepped closer to eliminate the extra distance Lianna had just made. "Working on a case, hm?" She asked. "That cloak is far too nice to be yours." Clara was nosy as one could be; chances were if Lianna told the truth, she'd hound her for more details.

- Lie to her
- Tell the truth
- Leave
 

EnkoKasumi

Dreamer
"Don't get too close with those thieving hands of yours." Lianna took another step back. That was it, she would have to get out of the Hub, if she wanted to keep her sanity. She was already feeling a migraine coming on. "It's rude to stick your nose in other people's business, oh gem of the establishment." And she turned to leave, this was about as much as she could take of Clara for one day.
 

Cartoonicat

Future Crazy Cat Lady
As Lianna turned to leave she glimpsed Clara's offended scowl, but by time her rival had come up with a retort, Lianna was already too far away. The three didn't seem inclined to follow her. On her way out she did not see Clem, though whether he'd left ahead of her or just moved elsewhere inside the Hub was unknown.

Outside, the clouds overhead maintained the dreary appearance common to Steamhaven. It made walking through the streets damp and dangerous; vampires were free to walk during the day and the smell of rain tended to dampen that of witches' incense. The only monsters Lianna wouldn't have to worry about were werewolves - at least, not until the full moon. She had several days until that specific threat.

Undead, however, were a different story. They did not hide and they did not scheme. They did not die unless completely burned to ash, but most of the time they rose within seconds of death, giving cityfolk no time to prepare for unexpected deaths. Which, considering the city's body count, occurred often. Walking through the streets, Lianna passed at least two groups trying to contain newly risen bodies. It was a Godsend their bites weren't contagious.

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A fork in the road was her destination. Nestled on the bottom floor of a four-story building that split the street in two was Brackett Embroidery. The street itself, much like the rest of Steamhaven, looked broken and battered and bruised. It had seen better days. Inside the building looked much nicer; whoever owned the shop apparently did not lack funding to keep it decent compared to the exterior.

"Good day," said an aged man from the other side of the counter. "Looking for something nice?"

- Ask about the cloak
- Ask about the owner's daughter
- Ask something else
 

EnkoKasumi

Dreamer
Lianna was in a hurry to get inside the shop. The interior was surprisingly pleasant and she'd much rather look at pretty things than spend a moment longer out on the filthy streets with that encompassing fog that was sometimes so thick she could almost feel it choking her. She looked around the shop with curiosity wondering if she should take her time and actually buy something nice for herself. She certainly deserved it.

No, stay focused. You have to finish your job first.

"Good morning to you, sir." Lianna greeted the shopkeeper. "I am actually looking for your daughter, if that is alright with you. I was told that she could help me identify a certain clothing garment."
 

Cartoonicat

Future Crazy Cat Lady
Scratching at his ear, the man took a moment to respond. Either he was hard of hearing or had trouble focusing. "What? Oh," he nodded after a moment and gestured to a nearby staircase. "The boutique is upstairs. Have a look, see if you like anything. My daughter is a good stylist, she will help you find something nice."

He'd obviously misheard her but, regardless, she knew where to go now.

Upstairs was as well-kept as the first floor. Rows of elegant dresses, pantsuits, cloaks, and other garments filled the room. There were not many shoppers from what Lianna could see, though that could have to do with the high pricing - nearly everything she saw would cost at least a month's worth of work. As it were, a couple stood off to the side admiring a new dress and a lone man stood in front of a mirror. At his feet, pinning the pants, was a nicely dressed woman.

"There," she stood, "all fitted. Once you change I will take the suit to our seamstresses."

Giving himself one last look-over, he nodded. "How long until pick-up?"

"A week, Sir. If you'd like it here sooner you can purchase an upgrade at the front desk," she dipped her head, over-sized hat swaying. "Shall I fetch your cloak?"

Waving her off, the man stepped into the nearest changing room. "Not yet. I am going to look around some more." Once the door shut, the woman's shoulders dropped momentarily. She seemed tired despite the day having just started. Perhaps she wasn't much of an early-riser.

- Approach the woman
- Look at clothes
- Something else
 

EnkoKasumi

Dreamer
Lianna watched the exchange for a moment, just so she had some sort of a picture about the woman that she was about to converse with. Being the only stylist on the floor, she judged her to be the one she came to see. A seamstress and a sweet talker, it looked like. So someone really good at her job. Lianna could already relate.

"Good morning, miss." She said with a polite nod and a friendly smile as she approached. "My cousin, Clem, sent me here to check with you about this coat." She showed her the piece of clothing she carried with her the whole morning. "He said you might know something about it? When was it made, who bought it if I'm lucky?"
 

Cartoonicat

Future Crazy Cat Lady
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Perking up immediately, the woman turned to Lianna. Her dress, big and bouncy and blue, swayed with the movement. "Hello Miss," she dipped her head and offered a smile, lips rosy and eyes wide as a doe's. She suddenly didn't seem tired anymore - but she did look confused. Perhaps Lianna's cousin had exaggerated his familiarity. "Clem...?" Took the cloak into her hands curiously. "I am afraid I don't recall anyone by the name of Clem, but..." Her words trailed off as she revealed the worn icon on the hood. Nodding, she angled the fabric into the light of a nearby lamp. It revealed the clear adhesive of the logo.

"This is one of ours, yes," she said. Looked back at Lianna with lifted brows. "Unfortunately, we have a strict Client Confidentiality policy. I cannot give you the buyer's name."

- Plead
- Bribe
- Seduce
- Threaten
- Other
 
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