• Mature • A Curious Mind [Modded Thread]

Atop a stony plateau overlooking the lands of central Idalos, and growing wealthy from the gem stones pulled from the rocky soil, Etzos is a bastion of independence; firm in its belief that man should rule Idalos, not be servants of the vain Immortals who nearly destroyed it. But can the many factions set aside their conflicting agendas and see this through?

Moderator: Maltruism

User avatar
Kasoria
Approved Character
Posts: 523
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Profession: Scratcher
Renown: +320
Character Sheet
Prophets' Notes
Plot Notes
Templates
Medal count: 4

Contribution

RP Medals

Re: A Curious Mind [Modded Thread]

Mon Oct 08, 2018 8:46 pm

Kasoria felt his perspective change with each passing round of their conversation-cum-spar. Every time he thought he'd grasped the events that had unfolded, the point and purpose behind them, the conspiracy turned to smoke in his hand and drifted away from his ken. It was like a painting or mural or sculpture that was never the same depending on where one stood upon studying it. A few steps left or right, and everything changed.

Kasoria listened to the woman expound and hypothesize. He knew she had the larger picture at her disposal, but that didn't mean she'd share it with him. Then he was proven wrong again, when she did, and Kasoria had to struggle to keep the surprise from his face. This... Oberan, was known to the Powers That Be? Some sort of malcontent from foreign lands, pursuing a grudge against the naerikk? Well, he was hardly one to take issue with that: most of the shadow-bitches he'd met had been hateful, bloodthirsty beasts who treated humans like walking racks of lamb. But this was business, not the idle ruminations of personal intolerance and prejudices. This was of coin and reputation, not just his but his master, and Kasoria would not have an outsider jeopardize them (even if he did prove useful).

Something is brewing in the Underground... and your dumb arse walked right into the middle of it, boy.

That's what the killer concluded when she'd launched her last questions and waited for him to answer. He'd assumed that powerful, shadowy forces had been at work that day. He knew that was the case now, but the focus of them... he'd been completely wrong. In his arrogance and blindness, he'd assumed that they'd been moving him and Oberan and Charone and even the man he was hunting around, pulling strings and nudging all concerned as they needed. Just pieces on a board, sliding and jumping to the whims of unseen players.

Now Kasoria knew different. He hadn't acted in accordance with the great and infallible plan of some higher intelligence. It had been the complete opposite. He was the only one who was not meant to be in that room. Oberan, with his power to nullify the Gift of Shadows. Charone, the target of the trap. The Girl, leading Oberan to where his power could be put to use. Even his Target, who existed just to draw Charone to a killing ground that had already been chosen. All that was missing was the True Killer, the assassin that was supposed to walk in that room, pick up the ward, and use it to kill her.

They never meant it to be you, he thought, pieces finally coming together clearly in his mind. You came too early. Did everything their killer should have done, used every asset they'd put in place, and done everything except what mattered: kill the shadow-bitch.

"You know 'bout us, 'bout me," he said eventually, picking up the ward and twirling it between his fingers as he spoke. Using a runic talisman like a cheap child's fidget toy. Still, no naerikk in the room, so what else would he use it for? "So y'know that I had trouble with Charone a few arcs back. She sent a clutch a' boys at me, just t'wear me down. I killed the lot an' then she hit me wiv' that Gift. Coulda' killed me. Didn't. Wanted to deliver a message instead."

He shrugged, then waved a dismissive finger. The killer understood that they were both telling tales out of school, now. If either of their masters knew such information had been exchanged, there would be... consequences. Probably not mortal, given how useful they both were and how loyal they'd been, but their respective lords were not men who let their grip loosen on treasured intelligence. So Kasoria told a tale, without names or places or admissions a court could use.

"Topped the wrong cunt, s'put it that was. The Fence didn't like that. Sp, I got a spankin', and Mister Vorund, he backed off." The little man's face twisted up in distaste, but only or a moment. He knew the realities of Etzos, and of... well, reality itself. "We got steel an' coin an' muscle an' reputations, but we ain't got much magic. No fuckin' way were we gonna go to war with a shadow-bitch and whatever else The Fence had held back. So, since they, we avoid each other. They stick to the Underground and a few key places they use as links t'the city proper, an' we... well, you know where we are."

The second question needed more rumination. Would Vorund take him into his confidences? He didn't see why not. He'd proved himself loyal, these last eleven arcs. He's sworn his soul and his strength and his sword to the man. As long as Vorund lived and kept their accord, he would serve him. Many had approached him, in those early arcs, seeking to turn him. It wasn't surprising: oaths of loyalty were common in Etzos, mainly among the younger criminal ranks. The elder echelons realized how fucking worthless they were, and relied on fear, self-interest, blackmail, or a combination of the three. Kasoria had given his word alone, and this man him a freak among the criminals of Etzos.

Because he had never broken it. But Vorund had not grown old or powerful in such a world by taking anything on faith.

"Something like this..." he said carefully, shaking his head. "I don't think he could do it without me gettin' a whiff. He'd need men he could trust, t'do everything. Reaching out, setting a meeting, sure, he could do that... but protection? Nah... he'd take me wiv' him." He nodded firmer as he remembered their meeting with Noth. Only he had been trusted to be at his master's side that night, with the Prince Of Scary Bollocks opposite them. "I don't think he's dealin' wiv' The Fence. But the Keepers, they don't have the muscle fer that kinda move. They're gutter thieves an' pickpockets an' flim-flammers..."

Kasoria flipped the ward like a coin and caught it.

"... so they'd need some kinda backin'. Someone supplin' stuff like this thing in me hand." He quirked an eyebrow and nodded at Sima. "Maybe someone from the Tower, eh? Your end a' things. Could be that Prince Birdman an' his lads, but... nah. They'd want people t'know it was them. Boost up their legend in the bad circles." Kasoria sighed and scratched under his beard, a nervous habit he'd adopted when he felt the waters rising above him. "Too much I don't know t'make a decision, woman. Yuh've played me fair, so I ain't got reason not t'give yeh the truth a' me thoughts... but that's all I've got for ya."

He waited for her to digest this. A respectful amount of time. A polite length, but only the bare minimum. He had his own questions, and some corner of his mind had been churning on them while the rest of it had been focused on this skulduggery. Abrogation. He knew what the word meant, at least. He'd read it before, but he had no idea it was also a magic. It was to abolish, to repeal, to... destroy. A fitting term for what it could do. Kasoria's gaze slid to the coin dancing over his knuckles.

It's like this, but you can conjure it. You can pull it from your body and make shields. Stop the magic before it gets to you, and not have to rely on some trinket that could be damaged or stolen or turned against you.

Kasoria liked the idea. Magic, magic, magic... every the bane of his breed. Them that excelled so brutally with all physical means of destruction, capable of laying waste to mobs of enemies, and they were helpless as blind mice when it came to one soft-palmed cunt with magic crackling from his hands. He'd had to flee and hide from men like that before, his corporeal abilities useless when confronted by arcane lore. But now, with this, he could negate that power before it could threaten him.

The killer smiled softly to himself at the possibilities, and another unspoken law he'd observed.

Wizards don't know fuck-all about real fighting. Take their magic away. Make them useless. Force them to rely on their hands and blades... and see how fast they fucking fold.

"How do you learn Abrogation?"

When he finally spoke, there was a bluntness that spoke more of eagerness than a lack of manners. A need to know, to learn. Sima looked into black eyes like tar pits and saw sunken treasure gleaming in the muck. A thirst invigorated them now, and Kasoria let it seep into his words.

"Can you learn it? Y'don't have to be... born with the ability?"

Should have read more about this shite.
Image
word count: 1553
"This is the life we choose, the life we lead. And there is only one guarantee: none of us will see Heaven."
User avatar
Maltruism
Storyteller - Staff
Storyteller - Staff
Posts: 1961
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:57 pm
Race: Prophet
Profession: "Mastermind"
Renown: 0
Plot Notes
Office
Player Review
Personal Journal
Medal count: 24

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Staff

Miscellaneous

Events

Re: A Curious Mind [Modded Thread]

Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:00 am

Image
There was a greatly different take on what the two considered "politics". Hers was of the administrative Tower variety, based on prestige and prominence, the hold one had on trade and military readiness and control of guilds. His was of the hidden Underground variety, based entirely on the unseen perils you knew existed, but had no idea from which drain they might rise. It was entirely appropriate that hers would be connected to the most visible structure in the city, where his was lost in the shadows beneath it. And now someone was looking to turn this upside down....

She had no doubt that there was someone in the Tower that knew more than the rest. She could not see how Vuda could benefit from this, but did not discount his potential involvement. There were a thousand reasons why suspicions flowed so easily in his direction. None of them had ever been proven, and it always seemed as if those that made the accusations suffered the most.

But regardless of his subtle manipulations, she'd never had reason to think he'd want to destabilize the current smooth-running amalgam of cooperating syndicates. But was some other Tower faction looking to unsettle things? The recent visit of these naerikk officials came back to the forefront of her mental scrutiny.

She looked back at her guest, nodding almost absent-mindedly at his observations. She was impressed at how quickly he was willing to set aside previous notions and embrace the scenario she was fleshing out. Most would stubbornly cling to what was comfortably familiar and repetitive. He was clearly one that was ready to adapt, and wanted to be on top of what would be necessary before it became necessary.

"I...I'm not entirely sure that this 'Oberan' was even the main purpose of the naerikk visit. Politically, it makes as much sense as anything; but not really more sense. It's more that I know somewhat of how these wards are made. Well, let me clarify. There are two different ways that I've heard of. But there is one common factor; something taken bodily from someone possessing the very power you are wanting to ward against."

She raised a finger to gain a moment to collate her thoughts, as her brow furrowed. "Most wards are against actual magic. Even Abrogation, I assume. And there are very few races that cannot learn pretty much any form of magic. Even blessings can be potentiall gained from any race. But this naerikk thing...this "Gift"...this is something uniquely naerikk. And my understanding is that, if obtained through alchemy, it requires that blood be drawn AS the naerikk is actively using the power. To the best of my knowledge, that is how all the better enhancements are gained for alchemical reagent use."

She started pacing again, her eyes not focusing on anything in the room. "Only a naerikk, acting under orders, from someone they truly felt subordinate to, would submit to this. And honestly, none come to mind." she stopped pacing and turned to face her guest again, "Once they use it, they are greatly weakened and can't use it again for...well, honestly I don't know exactly, but it's like a full season or something. it being obviously one of their most powerful abilities they would not give up a usage on a whim."

She saw understanding coming into her visitor's eyes, she only pressed on to see if he appeared to be coming to the same conclusion. "But these bigshot visitors from Augiery. They came with a retinue of servants. It would be nothing for them to order one of them to make this gesture on behalf of some return advancement. And they would expect some concession from whomever they provided this reagent."

She shook her head, as if it was just not quite in the realm of possibility. But she knew it was. "The Tower and the Fence. Some gangs down here, combining to take out the Fence, while some collaborating factions seize the Tower. And what does Augiery gain? It would have to be something they felt Miss Charone might have seen coming. So some other gang, to make it look like some gang play, not Tower politics. Something to keep eyes away from the Tower."

She sighed suddenly, "Or...I'm reading heavily into what may just be a series of coincidences. Well for now, Miss Charone is eliminated and the Fence will be touchy. You know better than me how that affects the Underground; who they will be more suspicious of, or may make outright accusations towards. You and I need to stay connected. is that something you can do, with or without your boss' blessing?"

His hesitation may have been calculated. If so, it's effect could not have served him better. She fidgeted nervously, "Look, I'll sweeten the deal. You keep me informed of everything you see, and I'll initiate you into Abrogation. But I mean EVERYTHING! Don't assume that something seemingly unimportant truly is. I may know otherwise. And I'll do the same."

She turned away, but suddenly turned back, "Oh, by the way, in either event, you keep that ward. I didn't mention this before, but there's some connection to a ward made by Ensorcelling working better for someone who has already suffered the attack the ward is made for. And you said you'd been attacked by the Gift before. Now don't quote me on this stuff, it's only what I've heard repeated. But I've never heard it contradicted, and it's some very powerful people who said it. So I'm going on it being true."
word count: 961
User avatar
Kasoria
Approved Character
Posts: 523
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Profession: Scratcher
Renown: +320
Character Sheet
Prophets' Notes
Plot Notes
Templates
Medal count: 4

Contribution

RP Medals

Re: A Curious Mind [Modded Thread]

Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:55 am

He was finding it easier to keep pace with her now. Which was a good word for it, if he stopped to consider. Sima's mind was familiar with the schemes and plots-within-plots of The Tower, of The Council, and that infamous spider Vuda that even street rats like he spoke of with hushed awe. She was sprinting along in her musings where he was running, trying to catch up. But now enough words had been spoken that there seemed to be some balance between them. Some equilibrium when it came to the hidden roots of that clusterfuck in the tunnels.

But when the conversation turned to magic, Kasoria was sure to keep his mind empty of such machinations. She'd already proved to him that he needed all his attention to keep up with that.

Magic. Gifts. From Immortals. So they're... different things? Yes. One is something you learn, like how to fight with a sword, the other is... given to you. Granted by one of those Morty bastards. Her words slid from the mechanics of the ward he held, to the circumstances of why it had come into existence. Even Kasoria could feel the ground under their conversation shift again, towards matter of a more... political nature. The naerikk created this. One of them did. But why make a weapon to use against their own? Unless it was intended against just one of their own... like Charone.

Sima continued to speak, and Kasoria to listen, as he thoughts broadened and swallowed up cities in their doing. This seemed bigger than just a ganger spat in the Underground, a brawl between the enforcers of two factions. Augiery. A far city from a continent he... didn't even recall, actually. The South, he supposed? Over the sea? The recollection did not last, though. A rare and unfamiliar anger seeped into his expression, hardened though it was by years of keeping his visage inscrutable, hidden though it was by masses of hair.

For all his sins, and they were legion and hideous, Kasoria of Etzos was just that: an Etzori, through and through. Born a strong stone's throw from where he sat. Raised on these streets. Weaned on the legends and tales of a great city, a proud people, who cast of the shackles and tyranny of ageless monsters that would seek to make all men slaves to their whims. He who never showed love, did love this city. The beacon that it was to the world, even if he'd accepted decades before that his role in the vast swirl of its working would ever be gnawing at the underbelly of it.

They come here, and they interfere, he thought, mind seething with a rage that burned cold and potent. These foreign bastards. These shadow whores. And worse than that, some gang of cunts in the Tower helping them?!

Maybe Sima was right. Maybe she was so long enmeshed in the labyrinth of Etzori politics that she saw schemes and manipulations in a falling leaf, a runaway cart, a simple scrap in the tunnels. There were always other explanations, and Kasoria was fast realizing that the true genius of the investigator was not finding the truth, but eliminating the multitude of equally convincing possibilities. Which was, he saw, far from a simple task.

As was becoming the habit, he realized he was being asked a question a few trills after it had been voices. And indeed, the scruffy-looking man hesitated, but not for the calculated reason Sima assumed. It was less a matter of silent manipulation, as it was weighing his options before he spoke. What she was proposing was... uncomfortable to him. The terms of his service to Bangun Vorund were clear, as simple and easy to remember as they day he made them. He was Vorund's man, until the old bugger died or explicitly released him.

And Kasoria was not so craven or such a trickster to weasel out of his words, by claiming that agreeing to be Vorund's blade and will, did not mean he wasn't allowed to pass along his secrets.

Then the sweetener was added. Enough of one to make Kasoria's eyes widen, a tell if every there was one, and he'd marked Sima as something of a gambler. One of those that worked the players, not just the game. Who calculated and counted cards, weighed up every option and exchange of her hand before betting. Now she was betting big, and Kasoria swallowed heavily.

Initiate... that must mean, be able to do it. Me. Able to use Abrogation. To stop the power of mages.

You gave your word. That matters. Not the man, the word. Because it's yours.


"What you propose... is possible." The man spoke slowly, and carefully. He watched Sima as he did, part predator, part prey. Unsure of deception or trickery in her words, but open enough to allow the possibility that a magnificent boon was being offered. So methodical was his speech that his accent seemed to vanish, each word clipped and proper as a clerk's stroke across a scroll. "You must understand this, if nothing else. My loyalty is to Bangun Vorund. His safety and prosperity. I cannot and will not tell you anything that threatens both. That was the oath I swore, and I will not break it. Not for you, nor for magic, not for the sake of scheming bastards far from the Oh'Pee."

A single finger was raised. A physical prologue to the word that was to follow, that she knew was following. That word that changed everything in a statement. That set aside what had been said before, and forged a new path.

"But... what you offer will benefit me greatly. Myself and my master. So, in exchange for this... initiation, I will keep youse-" ah, it returned, now his words were coming swifter "-appraised of all I hear and see in the underworld. 'specially where it concerns the naerikk, and any new factions that pop up, and any word of these visitors from Augiery."

Kasoria didn't even bother keeping the disdain from his voice when he said the last word. Like a curse, as if he were speaking the name of an Immortal. His piece spoken, he nodded and spread his hands briefly, as if to say "well, what do you say?". But he didn't give her long to consider before something else occurred to him. Her mouth was about to open, her bosom filled with air, and then Kasoria added-

"I'll need a book on Abrogation, too." She looked at him. Waiting for the punchline. Kasoria, the Raggedy Man, he that had the blood of hundreds dried into his hands, squirmed a little in embarrassment. "I learn more books. An' I like t'read."
Image
word count: 1155
"This is the life we choose, the life we lead. And there is only one guarantee: none of us will see Heaven."
User avatar
Maltruism
Storyteller - Staff
Storyteller - Staff
Posts: 1961
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:57 pm
Race: Prophet
Profession: "Mastermind"
Renown: 0
Plot Notes
Office
Player Review
Personal Journal
Medal count: 24

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Staff

Miscellaneous

Events

Re: A Curious Mind [Modded Thread]

Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:32 am

Image
For perhaps the first time in this conversation, the shoddy-looking assassin said something that truly struck the sorceress truly speechless. She had been all prepared to deal a doom of warning upon the man, in the form of describing the process by which his initiation would be completed. And his last request may have struck Kas as surprisingly distressing to the woman, as she stopped mid-stride, teetering slightly as she regained her balance and breath.

"A Book?.... On Abrogation?.... A BOOK??" she stammered, "This is not a subject about which you can go check out tomes from the library! Those that have any arcane talents are watched, assessed, and either disregarded as inept, chased off as more trouble than they're worth, pressed into service in the army or the guard, or they simply disappear altogether. One does NOT let himself be seen studying books on Abrogation; or any other domain."

The tone of her voice metaphorically rolled up its sleeves, "I don't know if you are aware of what recently transpired in Rynmere, my friend. But it is indicative of the kind of reactionary mania that can afflict a population over just a single open act of magic. Now, it's true that Etzos is known to be more open about magic. But don't let such rhetoric fool you. It is only because the Tower itself houses many of the most powerful practitioners in the city, and they keep a far tighter rein on it than is allowed to be known.

"The only reason they strive to seem so open and inviting to mages, is so they can corner them into working for them. I seriously doubt there's a significant mage in this town that hasn't either signed on with the Tower, served a term sufficient to allow them to go their own way, or joined the Coven, or Seekers, as a means of gaining enough support to defy them".


The doubt on Kasoria's face was undiminished. Her eyes flashed in both anger and anticipation of satisfaction. "Yes, of course there ARE books, of a sort. More like training manuals than books. Yeah, yeah, that'll be fine, right? Well, it's not so easy. I'M not even allowed to remove them from the lock-up. Fates! I doubt even Torvyn himself could take one without sanction. They are kept in stock for future assignment to new Twisters. One per man. I have mine, but I'm sure as shit not giving it to you. That's not your main concern anyway."

The last facial traces of annoyance were replaced by grim delight in outlining the ordeal of initiation to her prospect. "Transfering a sliver of my spark is risky enough for me. Record is kept of the number of transfers a mage has bestowed. It will be a potential problem for me to have one less than expected. But that may never come to pass. But what WILL come to pass is you being subjected to attacks by two different domains at once, after receiving your spark, and having to find a way of "feeling the nature" of the energy, so that you can negate it. Only the Abrogation spark has this capability.

"Understand, I do not mean countering the attack. That is the most common mistake that failed initiates make. You don't fight the attack. You accept the pain and punishment, so you can learn the "feel" of the magic itself. Then hopefully, you find the base flow and..."texture" of the energy, and learn to trace it back to its source and find some means of negating it at its source. Now, it is fruitless for the mentor to attack with such power that the learner has no hope of negating it even if they get the feel for it. But at the same time, the attack needs to be of sufficient power to extend the potential for the initiate to have the NEED to learn. It is a difficult crossroads to describe in words. What i'm saying is that you run the very real risk of dying. I will have to find a mage friend to be a second source. That may take some time. I will get back to you when I secure a second, if you still want to do this."


She pursed her lips momentarily then gave him a slightly sassy look, "Oh yes, and I will try to find a scribe WE can bribe to copy the pages from my manual. Will that do?"
word count: 763
User avatar
Kasoria
Approved Character
Posts: 523
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 3:34 am
Race: Human
Profession: Scratcher
Renown: +320
Character Sheet
Prophets' Notes
Plot Notes
Templates
Medal count: 4

Contribution

RP Medals

Re: A Curious Mind [Modded Thread]

Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:01 am

Sima was correct when she pegged the scruffy little killer as adaptable. That trait had been the only thing keeping him alive through more than one scrape. Something new comes along and knocks you down; so you learn, you change, you get back up, and you don't make the same mistake twice. Whether it was a mean right cross or the mysteries of magic, the principle was the same. So it was for people, how they acted and how you acted towards them.

Kasoria had already learned to just shut up and let the woman talk. Her rebukes seemed to be as enlightening and filled with knowledge as her explanations.

No indignation or insult played across his face when she sputtered at his request. Not like before, when his anger smoldered from his features like steam from dry ice. Such emotions blinded and deafened a man in the moment; he focused more on his anger than on what was unfolding. Considering the subject and the teacher, Kasoria did not want to do that to himself.

Hard to get hold of those books... and not just because of what they're about. He just blinked when she mentioned Rynmere. It held little interest for him, the machinations and events of a land over the sea and far away. But when she mentioned the city again, his ears pricked back up. Going to have to keep this quiet. This new... power. Odds are the old bitch will go telling her masters there's a new mage on the cobbles, anyway, but regardless...

No, Kasoria wasn't planning on advertising his new ability. That they be secret was, to his mind, half of their value. His targets underestimated him constantly, because they saw only a shit-reeking little beggar, instead of a man that could end them with his bare hands, let alone one of the lethal little tools he carried. Again, the same principle applied. No-one would suspect him of having the power to negate magic... and in his line of work, he didn't leave many witnesses to reveal the truth, anyway.

The books are locked up... but they exist. Interesting.

Then Sima's tone and expression slid to something more... sinister. A dry, delicious enjoyment as she outlined just exactly what Kasoria was signing up for. How he would essentially have a lopped off piece of her own magical power shoved inside him, and then be assaulted by other mages. So he would know their powers. Learn to read them, like a fighter would know the style of the gladius, the sound of a scimitar, the surprising dexterity of the spear or the brutal efficiency of the dagger. He nodded as she spoke, betraying none of the fear she may have expected.

She mentioned that he could die. Maybe more than likely. Again, she got a blink by way of response. Kasoria had long since abandoned the notion of dying in his bed. All he had left to live for was his son... and Martyn was provided for. His seasonal trips to Westguard ensured that, and Jessye was not so shortsighted or greedy not to put a healthy chunk of his "support" away for the boy's future. So he had only himself alone in the whole city to worry about. To care about.

The thought almost made him smile. Death was an old friend for him. He held that bony hand every time he stepped out into the street. Getting topped by fucking magic would be surprising, sure, but otherwise?

Until that Day. Whenever it might be.

He inhaled sharply as her tone shifted again, manner as mercurial as a market vendor. Ah, something more up his alley, he thought. A scribe for sale? Rates by the break? Find some of those books, have him jot down the pages for a handsome purse and then bugger off? Oh, he was sure he could manage that. Sima may have been in his business, but hers was a shadowy, ethereal world of mages of high politics. For gutter desperation and mundane corruption, Kasoria was thinking he'd have a broader set of options.

And yet, he did not speak when her deluge of words was over. There was, after all, much to take in. The nature of mages in Etzos, their observation and... regulation, he thought was the right word. Just like Vorund wouldn't allow rogue flimflam artists or thieves on his patch, nor would Vuda tolerate unlicensed mages wreaking havoc in his city. The initiation. The pain of it, the danger. What he was expected to do, what it would take. The scribe, or just a scribe; any would do, after all. All those words, all that information he would ruminate over later, and there was but one question at the end of it.

Speak when questioned, if the answer is fit to be given. Give nothing else away.

Kasoria picked up his hat from the table and held it in front of him by the brim.

"Aye. It should." He squared it on his head, adjusting it minutely to compensate for the masses of hair it had to contend with. Once it was fixed in place, he gave the woman a short, firm nod. "You know where to find me."

A statement, not a question. Of course she knew. He'd have been shocked if she couldn't find out what he'd had for breakfast at the beginning of the season. He didn't bother with anything else. No threats, which he was half-sure she was expecting. Mayhap that would define for her that yes, he was just a killer. Another street daemon who made his way with blood and threats. Which was accurate, but he was not stupid.

The assassin gave the woman a brief, chilly smile. No, their particular breed didn't threaten. Didn't give warning. Didn't expound on punishment nor wax poetic about retribution. They just killed. Quickly, cleanly, often without a word. Life was not a song, after all, and dead was dead, whether it be after a glorious duel worthy of bards, or a poisoned throwing knife in the back, with you dead on the stones while your killer was already walking away.

But as he got to the door, he paused. Hand around the handle, he knew there was something left unsaid that needed to be otherwise. Because though he was The Raggedy Man, he did observe some... standards. What she offered was not or free. It didn't come as charity or a gift, with no payment expected. Yet it was clear she was taking a risk. Going above what she was, perhaps, authorized to do? What began as a simple visit seeking simple answers had turned into something that would change him forever. That would be because of this grumpy, grousing woman.

She would give Kasoria power. Her power. He half-turned back to her and spoke over his shoulder.

"My thanks."

Doesn't hurt to be polite.
Image
word count: 1182
"This is the life we choose, the life we lead. And there is only one guarantee: none of us will see Heaven."
User avatar
Maltruism
Storyteller - Staff
Storyteller - Staff
Posts: 1961
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:57 pm
Race: Prophet
Profession: "Mastermind"
Renown: 0
Plot Notes
Office
Player Review
Personal Journal
Medal count: 24

Featured

Contribution

Milestones

RP Medals

Staff

Miscellaneous

Events

Re: A Curious Mind [Modded Thread]

Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:04 pm

Image
Contrary to what the grizzled little assassin may have thought, informing her superiors of this little transaction was the last thing Sima intended to do. For a moment, she considered telling him that she would be withholding this from all her associates. She imagined just briefly the backlash of this word getting back to them. But then, the absurdity of this man ever revealing anything he did not want to struck her with renewed confidence that no such threat existed.

If it was somehow dragged out of him through magic, she would just say that that same magic had been used to plant the notion in the first place; going on to discredit it as an obvious ploy to create distrust in Black Guard ranks. She held enough rank and respect for this to cover her tracks sufficiently.

The fact was, she knew that a great deal of information on who the Tower had their illicit alliances with would never trickle down to even the middle-high ranks like hers. This new bargain could result in a boon of information to her; the kind Vuda, Torvyn, and their stooges kept tightly under wraps. And that could most definitely be a matter of life and death in whatever upheaval looked to be in the works.

At the same time, she did not want him to know that there was anything in the world that was a personal concern to her. The hints of an impending political shake-up were as much of a concern to him, but a personal vulnerability of her own was precisely what she did NOT want any such character as Kasoria to know. There was good chance he already suspected as much. No need to provide confirmation.

"Well, you are very much welcome." she said, with a bow, rather than a curtsy. "Yes, I can find you, but I'm unsure of when to step in. I would not want to interfere in anything, or give your own boss cause to ask about me. When I have made my arrangements, or have a question, I will have a few children about town with black and white ribbons in their hair. They won't know anything, but you'll see them and know that I am either ready, or have met with a delay of some sort. On the right side will mean I'm ready, left means there's a problem of some sort. You can then find me here, or anywhere else, if you happen to be keeping track of me."

It was only fair to acknowledge that she'd be doing some marking of his movements by saying this. Unless he had anything more to say, she would wish him well and return to her previous research duties.
word count: 463
Post Reply

Return to “Etzos”