Forum RP. Real description will come at some point probably.


    It started one morning...

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    JazzyJ
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    It started one morning...

    Post by JazzyJ on Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:55 am

    A bell rings out, loud, long, and frightfully clear. It's the belltower... the one at city center, perhaps. The sun hasn't even come out of hiding from behind the craggy peaks and they're sounding a bell, beckoning all who can to the city center. The sky is dim, but the mountains have a halo of light slowly building up around them. The winds are cold and whipping about, rattling windows and billowing flags and pennants. And through it all is that bell, breaking the peace of predawn.
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    Llena

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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by Llena on Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:13 pm

    Anku, like all artisans, has an early morning. But he's just gotten up when the bell peals. It isn't one of theirs: it is rare for the Llancay bell-makers to make a large bell, and most in town were forged by blacksmiths. But Anku knows this bell, as do all commoners: it is the only sound of order when panic and chaos reign. When fires burn the city, when rebels raid the walls, it calls all able men and women to assist.

    And now in the cold, dim morning it is ringing, unceasingly.

    Anku throws on his warm clothes and jams his earflapped hat over his tangled hair as he hurries outside, his apprentices falling in line near him. Waman and Killa do not hide their grumpiness at being called out into the cold, and much of it manifests as whispers of how disheveled Anku looks. Anku chooses to ignore them, having learned quickly that to his apprentices, he is hardly a master worth having. The one who was worth it was his father.

    Power walking up the street, they run into Anku's fiancée Paqar, who looks slightly less miserable. She's on the thick side as women go, with a pretty face and quick wit. She falls in line with the group, pressing coca leaves into Anku's hands. He takes a few before handing them off to the others in the group.

    "Whatever it is, we're probably going to need to pay attention, she says.

    They all thank Paqar (Anku: "Thanks", Waman: nod, Killa: thumbs up), and promptly pop the leaves into their mouths. No talking for a while, at least until they reach the bell.
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    CharismaticMegafauna

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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by CharismaticMegafauna on Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:18 pm

    Mornings no longer suited Dain, not when his work began at noon and continued long into the night. His arms felt stiff as he lay in bed; he was still unused to the labor involved with carrying pints and pitchers, sweeping floors and scrubbing tables. The barmaid who'd been brought up to this kind of life was more more efficient with her share of the work, frequently mocking Dain for being unable to keep up. He would have gladly have spent another hour in bed, trying to pretend that he still had a feather mattress rather than a pallet stuffed with straw and a hot breakfast waiting for him: rashers, beans, ripe tomato slices, a strong dark tea...

    But the damnable bell was ringing, which meant he had to go.

    Dain poured some water into a cistern, and for a moment stared at his reflection. Purple circles under his eyes, a yellowing bruise on his chin from an unruly drunken patron a few days ago. He touched it gingerly, a reminder of the life he had chosen.

    He splashed some cold water on his face and dressed, his new clothes far too scratchy for his liking. Another reminder of his old life. Dainen Galavai wore silk; Bill Door suffered in wool and cotton.

    He hesitated before leaving the tavern. No doubt there would be other nobles who might recognize him, should he show up...but there was more than just curiosity that compelled him to don a cloak and leave. It was the anticipation, slowly but surely turning into dread, that the news may have something to do with his family. He allowed his long hair to obscure his face, pulling the hood over his head before finally heading towards the city center.
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    JazzyJ
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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by JazzyJ on Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:54 pm

    @Llena

    As you and your assistants are hurrying to the city center, Anku notices too late Wacam's groggy absentmindedness.  He isn't paying attention as a young woman turns the corner (admittedly, she isn't paying attention either), and he walks clean into her, making the girl drop her things in surprise.  She give Wacam a sharp look.  "Damned fool, watch where you're going!"  The girl hurriedly tries to collect her dropped items back into a satchel at her side, as Wacam apologizes and tries to help.  "Don't touch that!" the girl half-hisses, half shrieks, her face a mix of anger and wariness.  "These... these baubles are probably worth more than you are!"  That's when she sees you.

    "You!  Pardon, are you the bell maker?"  Realizing her rudeness, her posture changed and she began acting a bit more deferentially.  "My apologies... I'm just so harried this morning..."  She glances back at Wacam and awkwardly mumbles an apology.  "Are you all heading towards the bell tower?  Would you mind terribly if I accompany you?"
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    Llena

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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by Llena on Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:10 pm

    @JazzyJ

    What a strange woman. Anku isn't sure what to make of her, but the longer they stand there chatting, the colder it's going to get. He pokes his coca leaf into his cheek as he answers.

    "Yes, I'm Anku Llancay, the bell-maker." He is unsure as to this woman's status, although her dress is unusual enough that it might behoove him to treat her with some respect despite her earlier outburst. A quick glance confirms that the rest of the group is thinking much the same. Paqar has put on her "noble customer incoming" smile and Waman and Killa are looking unusually deferential.

    "We are indeed headed towards the bell tower, and it is no trouble for you to accompany us, Miss. Might I know to whom I am speaking?" Anku waits for the woman to answer and/or begin moving, as it would be rude to go ahead of one's betters.
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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by JazzyJ on Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:12 pm

    @Kaye


    As you begin making your way out, you watch the tavern's Xohulu bouncer, Catori, kicking a few fat, drunk men out on their asses. Surprising, considering the damn girl probably weighs as much as one of their significantly meaty legs. The drunken louts yells swears and slurs at her, but she gives back as good as she gets, and slams the door soundly in their faces. She turns, and seems legitimately surprised to see you. That doesn't really get rid of that scowl yet. "Hey Lord Door," she says snidely. Catori managed to get a lot of the people that work here to call you that; they all seem to think you were entirely too delicate to have had to do physical labor before working here. "All the noise wake you up? Don't tell me you're actually going out there?"
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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by JazzyJ on Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:21 pm

    @Llena

    The girl pulled her hair into a tight, messy bun, wavering just a moment longer than she probably should have. "Oh, yes, right... of course... sorry, my name is Clara. Clara Mbanefo." She sighed a bit and let out a self-depreciating laugh. "You don't have to pretend to have heard of me... my parents are just low level Magocrats." She smiles, still more than a little awkwardly, to Paqar, and continues to walk towards the city center. "Tell me, please. Your bells... can they divine in any way? You... you sold one to the emperor, correct? I know they can do amazing magic, my father and his friends rave about them."
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    Llena

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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by Llena on Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:46 pm

    @JazzyJ

    Aha! A potential customer. As they walk, Anku undertakes the pleasantries one must develop in order to survive as an artisan:

    "Miss Mbanefo, I see you are already acquainted with our work. It is an honor to know that our bells are so highly spoken of in the halls of the Magocrats. We take the greatest care in their production as vessels and instruments of magic, each one being unique and wholly suited to its eventual owner. A bell to be used as a divination instrument would be no trouble to produce, should you be interested. I would invite you to our workshop to see samples of our work, but I am afraid the bell ringing precludes such a visit until later. If you would like more information, however, I am happy to provide, as are my apprentices Killa and Waman." Anku indicates them with a practiced, but polite, gesture. "And my fiancée Paqar, of course, though her personal craft is jewelry making." Anku's gesture is slightly more affectionate as he points her out.

    Paqar smiles again at the indication, but only briefly, realizing that the young noble is a "ball of awkward", as she would usually put it to Anku. Waman and Killa smile briefly as well, tho very groggily still.
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    SamHarr

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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by SamHarr on Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:02 pm

    Pidru wakes in his sports apartment when the nurse knocks at the door, announcing "Good morning, Pidru, hot water and oil for your massage" and lets herself in. His body is stiff and unresponsive, but that's nothing unusual. Instead, he tests his legs and grimaces; very stiff, but they move. That prompts Pidru to count his blessings, after yesterday's game, that his natural height made him a Longman, not a Waller.

    Wallers are links in a chain; the team whose Wall has the weakest link is the team surest to lose, as all players are under constant strain from the force of the opponent's Wall. Longmen like Pidru peer over the melee to pick the opponent that will be the first to break, then use their longer, prodding clubs to hasten the process. And sure enough, his prodding allowed the fantastic coordinated offensive/defensive tactics of the Wall-brothers Atau and Atauchi to make an opening for  the quick-footed scout Catequil to slip through for the winning run.

    Catequil is what they call a Knife, the only player allowed to use a bladed weapon, but their primary purpose is to plant that knife in the opponent's wall, sealing victory for the team.  It is the riskiest position because you never know how many Longmen are waiting for you on the other side, nor can you ever be sure that your own Longmen will be able to protect you.

    In this particular game, Pidru was not prepared to protect Catequil from the overwhelming force on the other side. The lad made it two yards through before getting his left leg slammed right at the knee. Without thinking, Pidru ran up behind, picked up the blade with a deft hand (a legal play for Longmen only), and ran it to the other side suffering a few hard blows to the ribs along the way, but winning the game.

    Catequil did not come out so well. He suffered serious damage to the tendon above his knee, putting him out of future games until it can be healed. In all likelihood, it will be months before a Prophet can fit him in.

    But Pidru was celebrated as a hero. It's always an epic victory when a Longman picks up for the knife to finish the game with that kind of exciting climax. As such, he spent the whole night celebrating, dancing, drinking, and impressing the ladies with his most celebratory muscle groups.

    And now it is time for his morning massage with hot oil. It is an arduously relaxing procedure that is entirely necessary for his daily recovery after a game and can only be performed by skilled nurses. Pidru's gets the most voluptuous nurse as a perk for yesterday's prowess. Half an hour in, the city bell rings, calling for the town's able-bodied citizenry to come to city center.

    But only one bell means there are no barbarians pounding at the city gates. Pidru smiles and lets his body relax. This... is not his problem.
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    CharismaticMegafauna

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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by CharismaticMegafauna on Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:10 pm

    @JazzyJ

    Dain pushed back the hood and raised an eyebrow at Catori. "Impressive. I daresay you'd make a fine living for yourself in the fighting pits." He couldn't yet make himself mimic the commoners' speech, though it had a sort of rough poetry to it that he found he rather liked. "And I'm afraid I am. You know I cannot abide hearing gossip second hand." He gave her a winning smile. After all, he was raised to be charming, if not sincere.
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    Cionie

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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by Cionie on Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:45 am

    The clear sound of the heavy bell travelled through the city's lowest valleys, and flew like the wings of doves up to the highest estates of the Magocracy, breaking the morning for most people. However, Alessandra Gilavai was tucked too far into a basement library to hear it. She had been awake since long before the morning stars faded, and had intended on spending the rest of the morning studying a collection of ancient scrolls her parents had acquired (no doubt for a hefty price). It wasn't until a maid softly knocked on the heavy door that she finally lifted her head.

    "Miss Gilavai, the city bell is ringing. Your parents have requested you join them," the woman said in a mousey voice.

    "Tell them I will be but a moment, Dalency." The maid nodded and disappeared as quietly as she'd come. Alessandra sat forward and placed her chin atop laced fingers in thought. The city bell? It hadn't rung since before she was old enough to care. Within her, a familiar buzz of energy filled her body. Something was happening, something significant. In a wave of rich fabrics and magically notable gems she arose with purpose. Whatever it was, she did not intend to miss it.
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    JazzyJ
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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by JazzyJ on Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:42 pm

    (I'll respond to everything tonight, I'm not feeling too well today so I'm going to take some time unplugged)
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    The Belltower

    Post by JazzyJ on Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:12 pm

    By the time you make it to the city center, quite the crowd has already amassed.   Most Xohulu that bothered to see what the hubbub was about take to an outer circle, behind the guards, inside the open square.  Inside the guardsmen's circle are those with a bit more wealth to them, nobles and merchants mostly.  In the center is the Platform, the true center of the city, where all proclamations and executions worth noting are held.  The belltower stands tall, directly behind the Platform, towering over most other buildings in the center square.  The amount of guardsmen lining the outside the thing would be absurd, what for the ever-stoic, ever glowering crown prince standing tall in his ceremonial plate.



    Not that he really seems to need a dozen guardsmen at his flanks, the size of the man.

    "I'm growing tired of waiting," he growls, presumably to  one of the many sycophantic advisors buzzing around him, just loud enough for those within the inner circle to perceive.   He looks around the ever growing crowd and clears his voice.  The murmuring ceases.  "To those assembled, I'll spare us all the pleasantries and get straight to the point.  There have been rumors abound concerning the Emperor's health.  I am here in part to inform you that some of those are true.  Emperor Eliseo Urias, El Brillante, is gravely ill.  It is with a heavy heart do I, Reluciente Ilasi Urias do take up the duties of the crown until my father pulls through..." The prince looked askance, pausing for effect, before continuing.

    "It has come to this Reluciente's attention that there may have been some... deception afoot amongst my father's former advisory circle.  Therefore, we will be looking to replace all advisory staff, starting immediately."  You can tell by the advisors' reactions that this was not in the script.  With a nod from the prince, his guard turn on the poor sods, dragging them away in the most humiliating fashion they could manage.  Once their whimpering and pleading was out of earshot, the prince continued.  "We will be taking a more active role in the betterment of our Xohulu subjects, so, as long as one wanting a role as an advisor has the proper credentials, the doors of the palace are open for your application.  Now, with that said," he cast another cool look across the gathering.  "There will be a gathering for court in three days time.  You will know if you are expected; rabble will be turned away at the gate.  Now, I hope you all have a successful day.  This announcement has ended."  With that, the prince steps of the platform and walks back towards the palace, his guard surrounding him dutifully.
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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by JazzyJ on Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:23 pm

    @Kaye

    Catori scoffed. "Mom warned me against fighting. Says its unladylike. Says I won't find a husband." She saunters with a quite unladylike gait over towards you, before leaning against a nearby table and downing the last of the drink one of the men must have left behind. She lifts your hood off your head and gives you a surprisingly earnest look of concern. "Don't waste your time going over there, Billy. You tryin' to hide from people? You don't wanna be there. There's gonna be a tonna guardsmen and you're gonna get your pretty little dumb ass killed. Listen to me, I know how to hide from trouble." She claps you hard on the back and turns to the tired, old bartender, who nods knowingly. "You wanna know what the hubbub's about? The Emperor's dead. One of my buddies kids is a scullery maid up at the palace. Kid said he had a wicked cough. Bringing up blood and shit. That was... what, a month ago now?" She looks over at the bartender, who nods again. "Yeah... so, the bell's ringing? Nobody knockin' at the door tellin' us to go die for the city? King's dead. Simple as that."
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    CharismaticMegafauna

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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by CharismaticMegafauna on Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:55 pm

    @JazzyJ

    "Be careful, Catori. You almost sound like you care." Even so, she had a point. Dain's temper flared as she yanked the hood away from his face, his first instinct being to snap back and tell her that of course he wasn't hiding from anyone, but he clamped down on it quickly. He kept his face placid, as he had been trained to do. But word of the Emperor's death made his stomach lurch. He had suspected it; everyone knew that Urias was old and sick, likely on his deathbed. This was supposed to be the moment he had waited his whole life for, where he would spring into action and achieve his destiny.

    Instead, he very strongly considered finishing another left-over drink.

    Playing at politics was much like being a spy at times, and no scrap of information could be willingly overlooked. Much as he would have liked to hear the official speech and try to verify the truth of Catori's story, he could hardly explain his reasoning to her. But a look out the door showed him the crowd was heading back to where they had come from; the announcement was over.

    "It seems your argument is moot now. And I suppose we just...go on with our lives." It wasn't exactly a question, but it wasn't really a statement, either. The Emperor dead and things just went on as if nothing had happened. How strange.
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    Boys will be boys

    Post by JazzyJ on Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:18 pm

    @SamHarr

    Towards the end of your lovely massage, you start hearing quite a bit of noise outside, near the locker room. It's still a bit early, most of the guys wouldn't normally be coming in for practice until later in the morning. It must have been something particularly interesting that had happened out there. You overhear one of the Wallers, Atauchi, speaking loudly, excitedly.


    "I think I got a good shot, gilipollas!" There's a bang. He likely shoved his brother into something, because soon after you hear a bit of a scuffle, and quite a bit more swearing. Another person must ask him a question, because Atau and Atauchi seem to stop their bickering. "Fuck you, man, my mom's Xohulu. I at least got an idea of what it's like. See, I think that means that Prince Puta will listen more. Cuz like, if he thinks that people that look kinda like him give a shit, then maybe he should give a shit too."
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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by JazzyJ on Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:28 pm

    @Kaye

    Catori raises her eyebrow at you, but leaves you alone. "Alright, m'lord. The fuck ever." She goes to lock the tavern door and begin picking up after the late night crowd, but stops to give you a hard look. "You might not believe me, but I do care. You work here, it's my job to keep everybody in these walls safe, and I take it fuckin' seriously. You're just some sheltered kid, you don't got no idea how the real world works..." She trails off, shaking her head, and gets back to work. "Don't be stupid, Billy. That's all. I'm not gonna stop you from doing what you wanna do."
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    Llena

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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by Llena on Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:41 pm

    @JazzyJ

    After the announcement, Anku and company swiftly returned to the shops, buoyed by coca leaves and a desire to get out of the chill. Anku had agreed with Clara (per JazzyJ's DM) to see her sometime later at the shop; when he wasn't sure. It could be anything from that afternoon to a week from then. But regardless, there were bells to make and customers to service, regardless of a sick Emperor.

    Anku's latest bell was a finely detailed silver one, rather large for a hand bell, but perfect for the ostentatious noble it was going to.



    Anku had it on good authority that this bell would be use for some of the more hedonistic magic floating around, but that was not his to judge. Just do the orders as they come in. Forge carefully, engrave carefully, and reap the profits. He, Waman, and Killa worked silently, the two apprentices only talking to each other every so often. It was no secret that neither considered him a friend, or master.

    After his father's death, there had been no time to stop and grieve. Orders had to be fulfilled nonetheless, regardless of funerals. It had been the same at his mother's death. His father had attended the funeral for little over an hour before returning back to an urgent order.

    And so Anku's life continued: little more than work; occasional talk with fellow artisans nearby, like Paqar (one of his few friends); and money going into coffers. At some point Anku had had the money tallied up, and there was quite a bit in there. But his father had prided himself on his work, and Anku was the same. He was not going to live a life off his money, only to leave those that came after him nothing. And there would be people after him, for he could not bear the idea that Campaneros Llancay would end with him. It did not matter if women didn't arouse his passions; children were a duty, not a choice.

    At least Paqar understood. When they married, she would be fine with the occasional weekend night where he got drunk, and, forgetting it all for a time, would fall in with beautiful men. Men who usually shined with freedom, without care, without having to add to the lifetimes a family spent in a workshop. At times Anku wondered if he, too, could be free.

    But then morning came and with it, the bells. And the thought of leaving it all seemed so inconceivable that he buried those "what ifs?" deep inside, and went back to work.

    Anku's hammer went tok, tok as he engraved out the bell, wondering if Clara would come.

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    SamHarr

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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by SamHarr on Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:59 pm

    Despite his best efforts, Pidru couldn't help but get absorbed in the conversation happening in the hallway. Casual eavesdropping is a difficult habit to drop. As the nurse delivered the final flourishes of his lovely massage, he mulled over the meaning of what he was hearing. Most likely, the emperor finally scooted his ass across death's door. So what, are these bastards hoping to get out of it?

    Fully oiled and dressed, Pidru steps out of his room to join in the conversation. "Whatever it is you fence posts are trying to please our snowflake prince out of, I am suddenly filled with an overwhelming desire to beat you to it..." He leaned low and close, putting his head between Atau and Atauchi, then asked "What is it?"
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    CharismaticMegafauna

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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by CharismaticMegafauna on Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:11 pm

    @JazzyJ

    Dain bristled internally at being called "kid". He was likely older than Catori, for a start, and he didn't appreciate her patronizing tone. Still, he couldn't say that he was entirely wrong. Try as he might to hide under his new alias, there was still too much about him that stood out, from his trained straight-backed gait to his speech. Further driving the point home was the faint blush that came across his cheeks every time he heard Catori swear.

    He nodded and ducked his head, busying himself with dirty mugs, and hoping she wouldn't notice.
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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by JazzyJ on Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:15 pm

    @Llena

    Not more than an hour passes once you begin your work than the door opened, the chill, early morning air blowing in leaves and debris with a whoosh.  Clara stood in the doorway, eyes alight in childlike wonder at the beauty of the store.  You notice she's also fiddling with an amulet of some kind and muttering some kind of incantation, but before you can voice any suspicion the debris that came in with her gets swept out the door.  She lets out a satisfied huff and smiles at you before approaching your work station.  "Bellmaker, I apologize for my earlier... um... awkwardness.  I'd had a difficult morning and I took it out on your workers, and then I just didn't quite know how to act after that.  May I sit?"  Without waiting for a response she takes a seat nearby you, a bit uncomfortably close to some of your delicate equipment, but she keeps her hands planted firmly on her lap, so to not bump or touch anything.  

    "I should properly introduce myself.  As you know, my name is Clara Mbanefo.  I am in training to become a wizard of the Magocracy... my penultimate year..."  The hesitation on her face shows you how much doubt she has at that.  "More than that, though, it is my intention to create and sell magic implements... not dissimilar to yourself.  Being frank, my family is not a wealthy one... not by the standards of the Magocracy, anyway.  I'm not sure how familiar you are to the Academy and its cost, but... well, it's no small amount.  My projects... they further bleed money from my family."  She begins fiddling with her bag, rifling through it.  "I know that you have no reason to really care, especially after the way I treated your staff earlier, but... I want your help.  And advice.  I can pay you, if you require... but... but I would rather owe you a favor.  Just because my family is not opulently wealthy does not mean we hold no influence in the Magocracy!"



    She unwraps the silk bundle she pulled out of her satchel and shows you:  over a dozen little charms, all made to look like swords and daggers, made of of various types of crystal.  Each of them has some sort of spell woven into them.  You realize that these must of been the baubles that were scattered when Wacam walked into her.  She stares at you with nervous anticipation, waiting for your opinion on her handiwork.
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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by JazzyJ on Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:17 pm

    (OOC: bell porn much there, Elena? Razz)
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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by JazzyJ on Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:31 pm

    @SamHarr

    Atauchi gives you a rough shove. "You must've gotten hit over the head a few too many times if you think I'm gonna tell you after you say something like that?"  Atau laughs at his brother. "What, Chi, afraid of some competition?  Atauchi bristled at his brother's jeer, and before long the two fell back into their shoving match, ignoring you entirely.  Another Waller, Manku, picked up where the bickering twins fell off.

    "Yeah, I'll fill ya in, Pidru.  Honestly, ya had the right idea, the whole summons was a waste o' time if ya ask me."  Manka put a few coca leaves in his mouth and began to chew.  It always made him look like more of a llama than he usually did, and honestly that was saying something.  "Prince Snowflake wants new advisors.  Specifically smart Xohulu.  Atauchi thinks he can pull it off, but the rest of us think what little bit of smart was in his head got beaten out years ago."
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    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by JazzyJ on Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:42 pm

    @Kaye

    It wasn't long before Catori skulked upstairs to go to bed, not really speaking more than what was necessary to you after she stated her piece.  About an hour after she went to bed, the actual morning staff hurried in to clean, cook, and prepare for the noon opening.  Mr. Jarsdel, the owner of the tavern asked you to go and pick some things up at market soon after the help arrived 'since you were up anyway,' so off you go to get... gods that's what the Golden Stew is made out of?!


    Last edited by JazzyJ on Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    CharismaticMegafauna

    Posts : 19
    Join date : 2017-12-08
    Age : 29

    Re: It started one morning...

    Post by CharismaticMegafauna on Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:05 pm

    Dain hid a yawn behind his hand as he headed out, trying not to think too much about what, exactly, went into the Golden Stew. Up until a few minutes ago, he'd rather liked that particular dish...

    He made his way down to the market, making sure to keep his eyes open and his mouth shut. It was perhaps the best survival tactic he'd ever learned. It was doubly important, though, to listen. There were still enough people on the street, most presumably going back to their homes or starting their daily chores. He caught only smatterings of their conversations, but every voice seemed to be discussing the same topic. Something about the prince and the emperor. Something about advisers. No talk of a death or memorial.

    As he started towards the produce stalls, he wondered if he would be able to hear the full story tonight, albeit told through the lens of the local drunks.

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    Re: It started one morning...

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