Bargains

Factories along the northern quarter of the city for the production of goods like cloth, brewed ale, and construction materials. An old water-wheel provides power for half the city.
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Quinn
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Re: Bargains

Post by Quinn » Sat May 10, 2008 8:05 am

Down the mean streets of downtown Marn walked a woman who was not (she had decided) herself particularly mean, relatively speaking. This woman was, now 'officially' as far as she was concerned, called Soubrette Quinn.

Despite her initial thought that, on leaving the compound she would be able to clear her head and be her the bad guy a little more, Soubrette found her thoughts drifting back to earlier events, and people from the compound. I mean, she was collecting potential employees for a knight templar, that was hardly the usual state of affairs, but it wasn't that. He was just a rather fascinating person, all told, and for the first time, Quinn was actually looking forward to getting back to the compound.

She had just come back from The Hat Cellar where Zanni had been swapping information with her source - she'd given him everything she'd discussed with Sir Aorle and received tactical information about Snyde's gang which would probably make more sense to Zaryel. Then Ears had caught her off guard as she was about to leave by asking her about Panterras.

"What?" Zanni turned around so fast her wig nearly came off, then realised that all he'd asked her about was if she knew anything about the crazy old Lord and a young female spy who'd been spotted around his house. He said it knowingly, though.

She played it cool and sat back down, rather childishly choosing to turn her chair backwards and straddle it, which was one of the many perks of britches and boots under a dress. He probably didn't know, she figured. Probably he had narrowed it down to a few ladies - the alter ego people assumed Zanni to have, 'Lucky' Luki Lepowitz and a few others.

"The spy, Zanni. Do pay attention. There's some female spy been spotted around, dealing with a guy called Lord Barmitheon Panterras. Do you know anything?"

A slow smile came over Zanni's face, and there was a dangerous glint in her eyes that had absolutely nothing of the luvvie in it. "Yes. I know her."

"Do you."

"I know her well - she's Soubrette Quinn."

"It's not a name I've heard before."

"It's a name you're likely to hear again." Ooh, this was fun. "Panterras employed her for a while, but he got nasty. Started making threats. Not long after, an old enemy caught up with him. Now he's dead."

"Fascinating. Do you think there's a connection?"

"Well, you never know, do you?" Quinn was the picture of innocence in a blond wig.

Ears grinned and sat back in his chair, an indication that she was dismissed. "Thank you for the information, Zanni - I probably owe you at this point."

"If you spread that stuff about Snyde being half-finished and vulnerable about a bit - inconspicuously, you know - we're even."

"It's a deal."

She nodded to him and got up to leave. She had taken four steps away when -

"Oh, Soubrette?"

She stopped only momentarily and did not turn around. However, if the old man had had eyes everywhere instead of ears he would have seen her grin - Our Hero with no name's game was up. Soubrette was taking her place.

Now she set herself to the task of finding the merceneries, which shouldn't be too hard - you didn't have to know where they lived, just where they drank - and she was on her way to The Drunken Rat, where Zaryel drank, when her wary city eyes spotted a movement in the rooftops.

She stood stock still, scanning the spires and chimneys, or rather the silhouettes the twilight had made them, for any sign of life. Ordinary people tended to treat the city as one level - it was the devious and the dangerous on both sides of the law that realised the whole thing was three-dimensional and used that to their advantage.

There was another flash of movement and for a moment a human female figure was outlined against the night, as was the crossbow she was carrying. Quinn took a running jump into the back wall of a closed shop that happened to be closest and started scrambling up. It was as she took the final step up to stand on the roof that she heard a dull click followed by the quasi-silent whisper of pointy death sailing through the air.

Quinn dropped flat, lying face-down in some rather dilapidated thatch just in time to see a thug on the other side of the road get a bolt in the neck. He flailed and his hands lifted to his throat, but from where Quinn was lying, this all happened in total silence; perhaps whatever would have allowed him to scream had been destroyed. He fell to the floor and another bolt shot into his back, for good measure. There was a long pause before Quinn very slowly got to her feet.

In the semi-darkness, she couldn't make out the markswoman, but she could take a guess. "Good shot, Lucky."

After a moment, the figure moved from its shelter, so she was once again silhouetted against the sky.

"You the filth?" she said.

"Do I look like I work for the Magistrates?"

The light was on Lucky's side and she was able to see more of Soubrette than Quinn could see of her. She took in the the long boots, and Zanni's diva dress and costume jewellery, which she was still wearing. "No," she said finally, "You look like you work for Domanic Snyde."

"Piss off."

"But I doubt his girls can climb like that. Who are you?"

"I'm Soubrette Quinn. I've got a job for you."
The gap between Quinn's roof and the next was a tiny alley, barely wide enough to walk down. She leapt it easily, and landed one roof closer to Lucky, with just one narrow-ish street between them.

Lucky didn't move. "What's the gang?"

Quinn ran full-pelt down the sloped side of the roof, hurled herself full-length into the air over the street, dug her fists into the thatch of the next roof and hung there, feet dangling high above the ground.
"They're called the Lightswords," she said, getting a leg up, "And they really kind of pissed off Snyde lately, you might have heard. Unfortunately, most of their muscle is currently needed elsewhere, and they want some people to help make sure Snyde doesn't recover any while they're gone." Another shove of her arms and Quinn was on hands and knees at the assassin's feet, making sure any increase in her breathing was inaudible.

"It's mercenery work, not really assassination. City mercenery stuff. Seven a day, but you can really clean up on extras. This guy is not in it for the loot, so it's pretty much all yours. If you want in, you have to come with me to meet their leader tomorrow morning. We're meeting at the Drunken Rat at dawn. By which I mean eight-ish. A girl's gotta sleep." Soubrette rose silently and gracefully to her feet. "So..."

"It was them that killed all those guys of his," said Lucky.

"Yes. It was them."

The killer nodded slowly. "They're lucky they got to me first."

-

Quinn finally made it to the Drunken Rat to find Zaryel encountering trouble, or possibly making it.

The large - very large - ex-military man who was being considered for the role of the Baron in Ina and Morti's opera ('to get some real grit into the show') was looking at Zaryel with an expression that indicated that he was cataloguing the various ways he could make skinny youngsters bleed.

"Look, all I said," said Zaryel, "is that I saw you at that caberet down the road and you were rubbish. I mean the singing was alright. Nobody is arguing with that, you've got a great baritone, but as I was telling Morti, the acting was a bit much."

"That wasn't what you said. That wasn't exactly what you said. Say what you said again, I dare you."

"All right." Zaryel stood up, swaying a little. "All right, I will. I said, 'Hey Morti, do you think he'd like some eggs with that?'"

The potential Baron nodded slowly, placing his drink down on a table and looking down on Zaryel with all 8 inches of the difference in their heights. "And what did you mean by that, Ranzenagin? With what? Would I like eggs with what?"

Zaryel glared. Survival instinct raged against artistic integrity, but drunken honesty won out. "With that HAM! With that HAM, all right? Would you like eggs with that ham, seriously, are you stupid as well as a hack?"

Quinn felt it was time to intervene. "Excuse me sir, I'd like a word with my friend here." She dragged him out by the arm.

"Hey Zaryel, how'd you like to go to a secure military compound tomorrow?"

"You know, thoughts along those lines were just occurring to me myself."

"It's a mercenery job."

"Cool, cool, whatever. So long as that guy can't get me."

Easy. "Do you know where Phinn and Good Boy are?"

"Good idea, if that guy finds me they'll protect me, they went to Pointy's, c'mon."

Pointy's was where the differently legal could get interesting, exotic and concealable weapons for reasonable prices, but from the front it looked like a cake shop. Phinn located the inseperable sellswords, and explained the terms of the contract.

Delphindes Blunt seemed to mull over the idea in his mind. Daggie simply shrugged and whispered something to his friend. It was, 'Up to you. Wherever you go, you know that." Blunt clasped Daggie's hand for a moment, then turned back to Soubrette.

"When can we start?"

_

The following morning, Soubrette led the four armoured and armed merceneries to the compound. They looked very much like merceneries; no one could have mistaken them for an army because they each looked and were equipped so differently - Zaryel, with the billowing sleeves of a seafarer's shirt emerging from his armoured doublet, and the red bandana around his head, was armed with a rapier and dagger. Lucky chose an all-black leather get-up, the least armoured of the group, and wore her one visible crossbow on her back. Blunt clinked with chainmail under a light breastplate and carried his longsword and original army shield on his back, and Daggie wore studded leather, a chainmail shirt, and a swordbelt. All of them were in a professional frame of mind - they didn't anticipate a fight of any kind at the compound, but they went dressed for one in order to show willing and present themselves as battle-ready and eminently hirable.

Next to them, Soubrette was, depending on how cynical or paranoid you were, either a refreshing sight or a worrying one, depending entirely on how one's mind chose to interpret the idea of a rather small young woman, without a scrap of metal or leather that wasn't boots on her and in fact wearing a rather nice plain red dress, walking ahead of a troupe of the armed and dangerous. The smile probably decided it. It had been specially chosen by its wearer that morning to give off the impression that she was at least as dangerous as her friends, and invite the viewer to figure out the details themselves.

Bravado. It was a fine thing.

"They're getting reinforcements," Luki murmured to Soubrette as they approached. She shrugged, said, "They are expecting us," and explained their presence to the guards.

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Sir Karsimir
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Re: Bargains

Post by Sir Karsimir » Mon May 12, 2008 3:35 am

"Hold one moment. We need to inform the others before we allow armed strangers inside." The voice belonged to a woman, the tone was calm and polite. She was thick-bodied to the point of stockier than most men, and flat-chested save for the muscle gained from military training. Her blonde hair showed in trails beneath the rim of her bell-shaped helmet, and the pointed visor resembling a ventilated metal cone was raised to point upwards, leaving her face uncovered. A long coat of maille covered her down to the knee.

Four at the entrance became ten in short order. A moderate mix in gear, much like the mercenaries, although there were broad divisions between pikemen, archers, cavalry, and what were either footmen or dismounted cavalry. The main features they had in common were blue plumes or crests on their helmets, and quartered tabards of blue and white, with the two blue squares containing the emblems of a broad white chevron.

Hurrying towards the entrance from the outside were a pair of large creatures each standing head-and-shoulders taller than men. Both wore big, thick, dust-caked aprons over their own armour and tabards. One was lanky, with skin the blackish-grey colour of charcoal and a gnarled face covered with irregular bumps, a heavy sword with a shallow curve hung from his hip. The other was even more massive, with green skin, huge tusks and limbs as thick as man's torso, this one was mostly sheathed in metal scales and had a spiked war club on it's belt. They slowed when approaching the mercenaries.

"Blargen and Krarug, show these mercenaries to the Bannerette." requested the woman, Imma, with a respectful nod.

Both creatures pulled off their dusty aprons and left atop piles of debris gathered inside. A closer look would reveal they were hefty chunks of masonry being gathered for some purpose. Then the troll-creature spoke. "This way please." Perfectly mannerly, sounding for all the world like a drastically misplaced tour guide. Both picked up their stout halberds left inside and shouldered them before leading the way.

Rising from his knees was a fully armoured knight. He carried his plumed helmet tucked under his arm. Rather than a tabard, he wore a knee-length azure surcoat laced up at the sides, with a larger silver-white chevron emblem across the chest. As the mercenaries came into sight, he took his measure of them all.

Immediately distracting him was first catching vision of Soubrette in a red dress. He paused to catch his breath in the delay before coming into speaking distance, fixed his gaze downwards for a brief moment, and composed himself. Forcing a long breath out from his lungs he regained focus and hopefully recovered from the hint of a blush that had begun.

The knight met them halfway across the distance between them, first acknowledging his two giant retainers. "Thank you." Then turning his attention to Soubrette, the helmet tucked beneath his arm being no hinderance as he reached for her hands and bowed forward to kiss them both in turn. "Greetings Soubrette, a pleasure to meet you again. You look beautiful." His smile at seeing her again was warm and bright as the ray of dawn.

Casting his eye over the mercenaries, he took notes and details on each in turn.

The sailor, or more likely the marine, carried a rapier. A 'sword of the robes' or 'dress sword'. A sword which Aorle disliked. He felt them to be ornaments as much as weapons, and knew duelling swords to be most popular in regions which attatched a social stigma to swords associated with the actual 'work' of warfare. It was a sword designed for away from the battlefield, which as far as the knight was concerned was missing the entire purpose. Personal feelings aside, he acknowledged the utility of the weapon in unarmoured civilian combat, which fitted the intended task quite well. What made a better impression was the armoured doublet, which showed that this man at least understood the need to keep sharp objects away from one's vital organs, a good quality in a professional fighter.

As for the crossbowwoman, Sir Aorle hoped she was carrying a concealed weapon; because as much as he respected the killing power of crossbows he felt that no self-respecting fighter would be without a backup weapon for close combat.

Next man wore full maille and a breastplate, and that alone impressed Sir Aorle. Such extensive armour was not cheap; a decent breastplate cost nearly as much as the large homes found in cities. Expense alone was unimpressive, instead, the possession of such advanced combat gear bespoke of a serious fighter. The choice of arms earned approval, as longswords were prized for their versitility and killing capability. Carrying a shield was a mild surprise, as the knight knew longswords as primarily two-handed thrusting weapons, although there were single-handed techniques in some schools of swordsmanship.

The final was equipped well enough, the maille shirt casting Aorle's mind back to how he extended similar byrnies into hauberks by using bishop mantles. That would actually make a good reward for this one. He could not suppress a smile at the studded leather. It was thick, tough, impact-resistant leather, but the studs were merely for show. For a street thug or gang member, they could appear menacing. Again, for this task that could work.

Now he addressed the group. "Greetings and well-met. I am Sir Aorle Von Eisenburg, Knight of the Sundered Wing. Welcome to my compound, where I house my retinue and where people come seeking sanctuary from the criminals who prey on them like beasts. Which brings me to the matter at hand, I understand that you are here to answer the contract I am offering." The knight swept his gaze across the troupe for signals of affirmation.

"One of the criminals I speak of is a brigand named Dominic Snyde. Many of the refugees here have been rescued from what he calls brothels and I call slave camps. Much of his slaver's ring is broken, I wish this to be the end of it, I wish for you to make that happen. Are you interested so far?"
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Quinn
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Re: Bargains

Post by Quinn » Wed May 14, 2008 2:17 pm

The merceneries showed no sign of surprise at the nonhuman guards, and Luki made a point of giving the woman on the gate a casual salute. They were men and women of the world and it took a lot to shock them, although they were admittedly surprised that a Holy Knight made these kind of appointments, for the most part sharing Quinn's experience and general opinion of them.

Soubrette gave Aorle a little bow at his greeting, grinning both at the knight's compliment and Zaryel's wonder; she'd told him a knight but he still didn't quite believe it even now he saw it. Zaryel narrowed his eyes a little at the two of them, wondering what exactly was going on there. I mean, you know, if something was going on it wasn't as if he would have a problem with it and, admittedly, their prospective employer did look very fetching in blue. It was just a surprise that she'd even met him, that was all. He didn't look like their type.

"Good morrow, Good Sir Knight," said Soubrette, having heard the expression somewhere and dying to use it. She gave a little wink to indicate that she wasn't exactly serious. "And thanks. You don't look too bad yourself. Shiny metal outfits kind of suit you."

And to business. Soubrette hovered a little awkwardly beside the merceneries, who had arranged themselves into a ragtag kind of a line, as if presenting themselves for a troop inspection, which she supposed they kind of were. Eventually Aorle introduced himself and she jumped to respond in kind.

"Erm, this is Captain Zaryel Ranzenagin." she began. Zaryel bowed, then shot the knight a half-golden grin, deciding to ask Soubrette what the deal was later. He also mentally look note of the fact that this guy was a good three inches taller and much bigger than him. No messing around with this employer.

"Delphindes Blunt," who saluted, "Daggie Dmitri, and Luki Lepowitz." The sullen demeanours of the latter two allowed only for curt nods, probably curter than usual because the sight of so much gleaming metal and fabric at this time in the morning was giving the two mostly nocturnal warriors headaches.

The merceneries nodded through the knight's explanation of his contract. Eventually Luki spoke.

"Yes, Soubrette explained you were up against Snyde." Luki's manner of speech was clipped and to the point when she dealt with higher-ups; a misunderstanding from a mob boss could mean death. "I'm Luki Lepowitz. I don't know if that means anything to you because I'm not sure how involved you are in gang warfare in this city, but to anyone who is involved, it means he's finished." Luki didn't think of this as arrogance. It was simply a matter of numbers. There were about a dozen thugs, other gangs would already be circling like vultures, and if you add Luki Lepowitz and her lucky crossbow to the opposition, they were as good as finished. That was how she saw it. "If this job means the end for that bastard I am most definitely in."

Zaryel gave a nod. "Very interested, Sir Aorle." And he was. Play the hero for once, that was what he needed. He may have been slightly hungover and armed with what was basically a very flashy, very long and deadly toothpick, but Soubrette (as she was now calling herself) had got him invested in the idea of this job, and he was itching to swash some buckle in the name of the innocent.

Daggie murmured something to Blunt, unaware that it was considered bad manners in certain circles to whisper in company, and earned a repriminding glance from Soubrette, who was, as always, keen to make a good impression.
"We would not be here if we weren't, Sir," said Blunt, allowing his accent and his military manner to come through. Something about the young commander made him feel like he was back in the army.

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Re: Bargains

Post by Sir Karsimir » Thu May 15, 2008 3:33 am

Were they in private, Sir Aorle would have given Soubrette a twirl, which may have been an interesting sight in plate armour. As they were, he needed to demonstrate professionalism in front of the mercenaries, although he could not leave the joke unreturned. "Verily, fair lady." A deliberate play on her own flowery speech, "As I would hope, steel wardrobes are very demanding in the name of fashion." Actually, however beautiful the sleek armour, with the fan-shaped fluting, everything about it was functional.

He realised he was still holding Soubrette's hands, and of course kissed them again before stepping back to release them. Even he realised he was kissing her hands way too much. What he realised was that part of his attraction to her came from her own wit and cunning. He was a tactician, a strategist, and greatly enjoyed those aspects of his craft. Soubrette's own planning and deviousness enabled her to better appreciate that than most women, which gave them a common interest and a point of connection. Both lived for something ironically similar and that made her very attractive.

Noticing where his thoughts were leading, he once again concentrated on the matter at hand. Which was, ironically enough, strategy. "Captain. Luki. Blunt. Daggie." An acknowledging nod to each, committing their names to memory. The salute from Blunt was returned, gauntlet to breastplate with a metallic rap, which of course made the paladin feel like a bell with legs.

When the subject of gang warfare was raised, Sir Aorle could not suppress a grin in Luki's direction. "This is not war, this is pest control." Then, a more serious answer. "I have no involvement with crime gangs beyond to destroy that of Snyde. I came to this city two weeks ago." Said the leader of the refugee compound. That detail surprised himself, as he considered what was built here the work of more time than that.

"Very well. The plan. My goal is Snyde finished. How is up to you. Keeping him suppressed and unable to attack until the vultures do their work is a success." Or, more likely crows, he imagined. "You will be acting independantly, so I suggest you organise your own leadership. Zaryel was a Captain I understand. I want you to work away from the base. So long as our strike against Snyde was an isolated incident, the city can overlook such an event. Conquering a city district may be received less favourably."

"What we need to cover now is what skills you all have, any matters which must be dealt with that might hinder your work, I am free to assist you with myself for the day. Finally, any questions you may have of me."
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Quinn
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Re: Bargains

Post by Quinn » Fri May 16, 2008 10:14 pm

Soubrette returned Zaryel's glance and realised she would no doubt be all over the pirate's personal gossip pages by tonight. Either that or Zaryel was jealous of one of them. Whichever, it was going to be a fun in inverted commas evening.

As for the crook's own personal opinion on what looked very much like the knightly style of flirting, Quinn wasn't 100% sure on what her own opinion was, so maybe if Zaryel gave her his she could violently disagree just for the sake of it. She did have an urge to giggle, just a little bit, although she never would have admitted it, let alone allowed it to bubble to the surface of her smooth persona.

The whole thing was a little bit sudden and surreal - yesterday morning she would never have expected to meet a Paladin she could speak to for five minutes without scamming him or being stabbed. Maybe by the time he came back from saving Shim she would have an opinion. That was if he didn't go get himself killed as warriors tended to do. That was part of the issue, as well. The only person she knew well who had to worry about that sort of thing was (probably) Good Boy, who dealt with it by just never leaving Blunt's side.

While Quinn was mentally chasing her tail, the others were a little more on the ball. Luki returned the knight's stare coldly when he made the comment about 'pest control' - while contempt was all Snyde deserved, handing him the advantage by underestimating him was a gift he most certainly did not. She said nothing, though - his actions more than his words in hiring them showed he did not underestimate the gangs too much.

Zaryel leapt at the chance to assert his authority, and did the dazzling grin one more time with a sideways look at Soubrette, then, noticing that she appeared to be lost in thought, cast a similar look at Aorle, and another at her. Business now, gossip later.

"Okay," he said. "Firstly, I'm more than happy to lead if Lucky's okay with that." Good Boy and Blunt he knew would be, as they were more traditional merceneries who just did what they were told and respected rank, even if it was technically non-military in origin.

"Aye aye, Captain," muttered Luki with a smirk. Zaryel gracefully ignored her.

"Secondly, yeah. Outside the compound is good. I think Soubrette musta anticipated the need for people who know how to keep it low-key." Wow. Zaryel hadn't felt this eloquent sober in months, maybe years. Zanni - Soubrette that is, suits her, might just have been right. Maybe this is what I need.

"Erm, skills. I'm the rapier guy. I'm also pretty handy with a cutlass. And of course I'm exceptionally charming."

Soubrette grinned. "Give it a rest. Seriously, though, people listen to the Captain. And he's part of that world, so to speak - Snyde's lot have no reason not to trust him if it becomes necessary for them to do so." At this point Quinn paused, bit her lip, and wondered if it might be prudent at this point to explain exactly why the gang would trust Zaryel as a thief, but Zaryel had already swept on.

"Lucky knows more gang secrets than most gang members, and if there was such a thing as an expert at taking down pimps and crime lords, it would be her. Plus she has this crossbow that does a cool thing."

Lucky grinned. "Repeating crossbow. And yes, I caught you mentally patting me down, Sir Aorle - I have other weapons. Concealed. It's a city thing," she said, completely without intent to patronise; she just knew from experience you had to explain everything to knights.

"Blunt," Zaryel was continuing, "is formerly a Sergeant in the Jeccian army. He's, ah - well. Look at him. All that, and... he's great with a sword." Good Boy smirked.

"I like your introductions," was all Blunt had to say.

"Daggie is a deadly street brawler. The weapons you can see aren't the half of it." Good Boy grinned up at Aorle, showing a few gaps in the teeth.

"I do have a question, Sir Aorle," said Luki when he offered. "Of course I understand the need to dispose of Snyde, but it would help me if I could hear from you the exact nature of the quarrel between the Lightswords and Snyde's ring. I understand you attacked him, or was it the other way round? What was the reason for this conflict to begin with? I mean obviously," she smiled for probably the first time that week, "I understand why you would take issue, but there must be some reason you chose to destroy his gang rather than someone else's?"

There was another issue that Quinn had eventually communicated to Zaryel, and it turned out he had picked up on it as well. "This isn't really something that could hamper my performance," he said finally, "but it's something you probably should know before you hire me. The reason none of the gangs would ever finger me for an informer is because I'm marked. The Judges probably wouldn't touch me, unless it was to fit me for a nice hemp necktie." He sighed. "This bandana is covering up a brand I got in another city - one of two - on conviction of piracy on the high seas."

Quinn was fairly confident it would be okay, Zaryel kind of less so.

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Re: Bargains

Post by Sir Karsimir » Sat May 17, 2008 12:14 am

Repeater crossbows strangely made Aorle feel better. Most knights despised crossbows with a fiery passion fuelled by the risk of becoming obselete. When a crossbow is capable of piercing a breastplate from a hundred feet, suddenly the fortune spent on sword and armour as well as the years of combat training become fairly meaningless when a conscript with a few days of target practice and a crossbow can bring the armoured warrior down. Repeater crossbows were less hated, because the draw-weights had to be far less for the crossbow to reset easily for the next bolt.

"Pest control jokes aside, he was the one who interfered when we began helping these people." He looked straight at Luki when answering her question, gaze firm but not angry. Cold stares would not see him cowed. "One of my men-at-arms, Julen, took upon himself to bring sackfuls of bread to the poor. Snyde arranged an ambush, my friend was recovered. Vengeance or no, I am not in the habit of leaving live enemies behind. Basically, he is making helping these people harder."

Nearly no reaction was shown to Zaryel's confession of piracy. "Two of my best fighters had a history of coastal raiding. When they asked to join I required they atone for their crimes. They did, and I am honoured to have them fight in my Banner. If you are willing to fight to help these people, and others who are in need, you are more than welcome here." A gauntleted hand swatted the captain's shoulder companionably.

Taking a few steps back, the knight put down his sallet helm and collected a few objects he had kept nearby. One of the advantages of having to go through so many pouches for loot after each battle was having many pouches handy for occasions such as this. "Twenty-two bishan and one silver bar each." He passed a pouch through the air to each of them. "There will be another twenty-two once I return, in exchange for your services for a week. Further rewards will be mostly in trade goods or equipment. All loot must be declared, and I reserve the right to claim anything I deem significant, but otherwise all is yours. Deal?"
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Re: Bargains

Post by Quinn » Thu May 22, 2008 8:49 am

Luki nodded in response to Aorle's explanation. Snyde must have taken the Lightswords' presence as a threat, and now it was one. Things had a tendancy to work out that way.

Zaryel gave the knight a genuine smile when he failed to be shocked by his past. Soubrette was right about this guy being different.

No sooner had the money been passed out than it disappeared into various hidden pockets and bags; the sellswords knew better than to be seen carrying cash. Blunt passed his pouch to Daggie, who seemed to weigh them both in his hand for an instant before they disappeared.

Captain Ranzenagin grinned the golden grin of a pirate anticipating plunder and glanced around at his friends - his little company now, he supposed - with a slightly more commanding air, trying to get back into the swing of the charisma that had let him captain a ship.

"Deal." He extended his hand to the knight to shake; the others silently implied their agreement. Luki attempted to catch Sir Aorle's eye and give him an apologetic smile; she realised that she hadn't exactly been sweetness and light this morning and they were, after all, on the same side.

When they had finished settling this like a business deal, Soubrette walked over to Aorle. Zaryel initially moved to listen in, but she gave him a look and he backed off, grinning.

"You'll be back in a week, then?" she said, keeping her face perfectly neutral because she knew the Captain would be watching. What did you say in times like this? A lifetime of sneaking away in the night had left Quinn extremely lacking in experience of goodbyes. "Look, er... best of luck." She smiled sheepishly, "And I hope you don't get stabbed or something." It probably wasn't the right thing to say, but it was sincere.

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Sir Karsimir
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Re: Bargains

Post by Sir Karsimir » Thu May 22, 2008 11:22 pm

All appeared to have gone well, so he shook the Captain's hand in return and met everyone's gaze. Luki's was answered with a bow from the neck. Inborn courtesy towards women combined with a natural level of friendliness.

When Soubrette approached, the paladin came aside with her for the level of privacy she wished. Another bow from the head, a habit formed from the chivalrous lifestyle, and reached to take her hands as they talked.

"I expect to be back within four days." he assured her, seeming mostly relaxed when discussing the battle to come. He felt confident of victory, mostly because he was going to do everything in his power to ensure it. Control the terms of battle, and thus control the outcome. "I am simply preparing for events to not go as planned. My thanks, Soubrette. And thank you for your aid yet again." The smile was returned to her, although more open and ready than her own. A beatific smile. "Getting stabbed may be unavoidable, which is where the metal outfit comes in handy."

"We will share details of the event when we return from Shim, if they would be of use to you." Perhaps people would care of little more than there was an army driven off, although some may wish to know who the main leaders were, and what did they change with their arrival.

Once again, he kissed her hands. Perhaps this was excessive, he no longer cared. He liked the woman. As for finding her attractive, so far he would say very much so, although her being a master of disguise threw a whole new complication into that matter. "Our goodbyes come sooner than I would like, Soubrette." Being a professional fighter, he felt at ease speaking truly and from the heart, as he found little need for pretences when he dealt with danger and death so often. "I do not yet know you as well as I would wish, but from what I have seen so far you seem an incredible woman."

With that, he released her hands and stepped back, bowing to her. Then he turned when he noticed a boy approaching. It was the younger of his pages. Both boys made sure to keep him informed of events.

"Sir! Something bad happened to Rollick! Zey are talking about burning him." Somewhere in there was an attempt to imitate the knight's accent, but that wasn't important right now.

"Who?"

"Some of zee others. I came to tell you as soon as I heard anything. I'm not sure where it began sir."

"Thank you, bring me to Rollick." He looked back to the mercenaries. "Thank you and farewell. Krarug and Blargen will show you out." Soubrette was not herself expected to leave, although the paladin had no intention of bringing her with him to Rollick.
My faith protects me, my kevlar helps.

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Quinn
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Re: Bargains

Post by Quinn » Wed May 28, 2008 8:40 am

Soubrette determinedly did not let her smile flicker when he mentioned that getting stabbed might be unavoidable; in retrospect this was as much of a tell as anything. After all, when she'd said 'stabbed' she meant, you know anything. Somebody with something resembling Luki's other crossbow. One of those nasty-looking implements she'd previously had the misfortune to see in use that infantry used to peel a knight's armour off like an onion.

She nodded when he said they could share information, and smiled back at him. "Yes, please," she said, "and not just useful, I'm sure... of interest. Not just transactionally. I'd like to know what you get up to."

From what Quinn could tell, the man was perfectly sincere in his speech, and that was touching, once you had gotten used to it. It was like with Uluki, a little; although the Aorle understood her speech, she still kept overshooting mentally. The idea of somebody saying exactly what they meant all the time was new to her.

"Well," she said, returning his gaze and trying to do the same with his honesty, "I hope you're right. And - "

She was interrupted by the little boy and his strange news. Aorle said his hurried goodbye to the merceneries, and all of them looked at Quinn.

"What?" said Zaryel after a moment.

"I really don't know. Good luck!" she called to Aorle, with the indication that her was perfectly free, or even expected, to go deal with this latest crisis, whatever it was.

When he had gone she turned back to her Marn friends.

"Who's Rollick?" said Zaryel.

"One of the warriors here. An older guy. I have no idea why anyone would want to burn him - well, except one guy, and he's dead. Maybe he had friends, I don't know." She shook her head in berwilderment. "Okay, Zaryel, how about you go back Downtown and start planning things. I'll - join you shortly."

Sure, she didn't know Rollick that well or anything, but well enough that she wasn't just going to walk off without finding out if anyone was burning him. Besides - if it was Panterras-related, it just might be her business.

The four merceneries headed back, and Quinn decided to stick around and see what information she could pick up.

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Quinn
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Re: Bargains

Post by Quinn » Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:05 am

Having determined that Rollick's latest problems were
a) not her fault, and
b) not that interesting (to her, anyway),
Quinn set off after the Sellswords, who were headed Downtown.

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