• Closed • An Offered Favor (Graded)

Obriviyanah, please.

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?

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Llyr Llywelyn
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An Offered Favor (Graded)

Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:21 am

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33rd of Vhalar
Arc 719


Llyr Llywelyn, better known as Mister L by those in the Commercial Circle of Etzos, sat by his lonesome. He sat at the same booth, in the same place, with the same cup of tea in front of him as he always did whenever he waited in this establishment. Though the servers changed, and the going-ons depended on the time of the trial, his presence remained mostly consistent since the turn of the season.

Halo above his head, the ring of light dulled enough to not illuminate more than a meager candle might, the biqaj stared out the window next to the booth. People came and went, but he more stared at nothing other than the blur of shapes and colors. In front of him, on the table beside his tea, was an open book that’d been sitting at the same page for a good while now.

His wings kept hidden mostly behind his simple attire of gray clothes: long form-fitted sleeves, a high collar, a tapered waist, and not a lick of skin showing other than his face, pointed ears, and hands. The latter of which had a fair number of rings that adorned the long fingers, some plain and others elaborate.

Llyr didn’t glance toward the door. He didn’t check to see if anyone was coming, and he barely paid attention when the server approached to freshen up the tea and set a small plate of pastries down. He heard some sort of comment, but it mostly drowned out and he waved a dismissive hand without any other response.

The young mage sighed. He glanced at his own reflection in the glass of the window. It still surprised him to not see the scars on his forehead or ear. The Edashan potions he’d taken a mere ten-trials or so ago, had done wonders to his skin – and his hair – and his voice, and now his teeth and body too. In every possible way, all of these elements were now “perfect” and flawless. Llyr supposed it took the wind out of sails for worrying about how he appeared when no matter which way he tilted his head or how little sleep he got, his hair would still find an effortless style and his silver-tinted skin would remain as smooth and fair of complexion as before. It saved a little bit of time in the mornings, he recognized.

So distracted by his thoughts was he, it wasn’t until he slid his gaze over that he realized he wasn’t alone anymore.

His gaze landed on the blond human who he’d been waiting for. Llyr fixed his posture, shoulders drawn back, so he’d sit up a bit taller, and he glanced over. Every detail matched how he understood the actor Aiden Silverson to look like, or how Lochlann had informed him of the possible client, though he’d never personally met the fellow himself…

...not until now.

“Good trial,” he greeted in a silvery amiable tone of voice. He waved for the server to bring an extra tea over, without inquiring if the other man wanted one. “Silverson, yes? How do you fare?”
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word count: 538

MB

Llyr has a Mortalborn ability:
Accelerate: Llyr has an aura effect within which individuals feel their personal ambitions and pursuits heightened. People will feel driven to act on these aspirations, looking to work toward them within the same trial.

Mutations

When in a totem's body, Llyr's mutations persist.
  • Gossamer wings resembling a cross between the wings of a dragonfly and a flying ant.
  • An iridescent halo that hovers over his head.
  • Crystalline legs from his toes to the mid of his thighs (like stockings made of quartz embedded into his skin).
  • An ever-moving inky tattoo, with Rorschach-like designs, on his back.
  • When an emotion dominates, the pigment expands past his irises to the entire eye - faintly glowing in that emotion's color as seen here.
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Obriviyanah
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Profession: Actor
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Re: An Offered Favor

Mon Dec 30, 2019 3:34 pm

Days prior…

A lie stared back at Aiden from a burnished, bronze mirror.

The disguised Yludih leaned forward over the vanity. He dipped a stained cloth into a shallow bowl of strong spirit, then used it to clean off the oil makeup from around his eye. Dress rehearsal had ended almost a break ago. Changing out of his costume was easy enough, but clearing this muck off of his face was always a chore.

And it was so redundant, considering his very face was already an illusory mask. Alas, it was part of the job.

"Lou Ellen?" Aiden asked as he dabbed around his other eye.

"Llywelyn. Llyr Llywelyn."

Aiden craned his neck to look over his shoulder at Vincent, his fellow actor. The mop-haired human sat atop a stool in the far corner of the dressing room, which he had been temporarily forced to share with Aiden. Vincent had the script open in his lap and didn't bother to return the look.

"I'm not hearing a difference." Aiden spun back around. "He's the one with the…"

His fingers traced a rough circle over the top of his head.

"Yeah. The Biqaji mage." He heard Vincent turn a page. "And there is a difference, trust me. Just don't ask me to spell it."

"Vincent, come on. I would never ask you to try to spell anything."

"I ought to kick your arse, Aiden." Vincent turned another page. "So what are you going to meet with him about?"

Rosalie Acothley. The girl who flushed when Aiden asked her about Tobias Acothley but then claimed to know nothing. The girl who pretended to have fluff for brains when Aiden could see the gears turning in her head. The girl who was clearly hiding something, but what? And why?

"With a mug like that? I think he should be on stage."

Face clean, Aiden set aside his rag, and then turned around to face Vincent. He laid a finger over his lips as the other actor raised an eyebrow at him.

“But remember, Vince. Mum’s the word. I don’t want Elena getting jealous that I’m scouting other talent.”

“Yeah, whatever. You've just got to tell me if he’s actually got wings.”


Present Day

The man called Mister L was hard to miss.

Aiden had never seen a mage with such blatant mutations. Aside from being curious about what sort of mage he could be, he couldn't help but wonder if the conspicuousness was intentional. Being hard to miss could be good for business, depending on what kind of business that was. If Llyr was on stage at the Lamont, he'd be instantly popular. Flawless, silver skin? Perfectly tousled hair? A halo of light over his perfect head? Aiden almost knew how Elena felt whenever Bert started casting for other blonde actresses.

Of course, he wouldn't have much flexibility as far as roles went. But he would be prime for playing Immortal roles or magic princes.

There was even something perfectly forlorn about him. Sitting alone in a booth, staring drearily through the window while his tea went cold and the pastries in front of him went untouched. Aiden had known several Biqaj back in Rharne, but none of them looked close to this. Llyr looked like a living painting. If Bert saw him, he might have thrown him on stage in bonds to bring in the crowd.

Aiden smiled, crossed his arms behind his back, and straightened his shoulders when Llyr Llywelyn finally turned to acknowledge him.

"Living the dream," he replied handily. He leaned over and reached out a hand. "Though maybe the Silverson name would serve you better. Call me Aiden, please."

The actor slid into Llyr's booth on the opposite side of the table. He gave a half-hearted salute to the waitress as she brought him what appeared to be more tea. As he left it to cool, he rested on his elbows upon the table. Llyr showed no imperfections even up close. It was clear that he was no Yludih, but if these mutations were unintentional, perhaps he would have liked to be.

He couldn't make out any wings, but perhaps they were there under his coat.

"No danger of missing you, is there?" Aiden folded his hands together. "Thank you for seeing me, Mr. Llywelyn. Always a pleasure meeting a Biqaji fellow. Knew a smattering of them back in my sailor days." He was never a sailor. "They always made for good, fun company."

Although Obriviyanah was not particularly fond of humans, or really any mortal race, he was always reluctant to write off the Biqaj. They were never as grounded, honest, or trustworthy as humans, but they were almost always in a good mood and ready with a smile. As Aiden, Obriviyanah had always tried to emulate that same charisma.

Besides, they were unpopular in Etzos, and he couldn't help identifying with underprivileged minorities.

"Now, look. I've got a little business." Aiden leaned back in his booth. He scooped up his tea and breathed in the aroma while the cup warmed his hands. "Nothing untoward. I'm just trying to protect my fellow actors at the Lamont. We've got this new seamstress."

He tested the tea, then licked his lips and made a face. As the waitress passed by again, Aiden gestured to her.

"Mm. Miss? You got any honey for this, honey?"

As the waitress drifted away, Aiden resumed his focus on Llyr.

"Rosalie Acothley." He sipped his tea again, then set it down. "Woman from Foster's Landing. Oh, she's perfectly nice. Pleasant as can be. But she's hiding something, and I don't know what. It makes me nervous. My mate Vince has got a long history of pissing off young ladies and their families, so mainly I'm worried about him."

The waitress returned with a capful of honey, to which Aiden voiced his thorough appreciation. He began to pour it into his tea, scooping it out with an index finger.

"So." He slipped his fingertip into his mouth to lick off the honey. "Do you think you can help me out?"
word count: 1040
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Re: An Offered Favor

Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:01 pm

A hand outstretched.

How the humans loved that gesture. It was so tediously Etzori of them.

Llyr offered a warm smile, accepted the gesture in a simple yet firm touch to greet the possible client. He let go as soon as possible. His accessorized hand retreated so fast it might as well have been a snake escaping into the brush.

“Such a name as Silverson would be far too ostentatious for me, Aiden.” Llyr closed the book in front of him. He folded his hands in front of him, fingers interlaced with the thumbs connected by their prints. His blue eyes followed the actor, and he wondered briefly about whether such profession made for nice living or not. He surveyed the clothing and hygiene in his visual scan, momentarily piecing together the possible coin that the other man had to spend.

The human also folded his hands and thanked him. Llyr lifted his chin ever so slightly so that, though they were equal in height while seated, the biqaj seemingly looked down at the other man. He maintained a calm, neutral countenance, even when he endured the second mention of his silver-blooded heritage. Good, fun company. He did his best to not scoff or roll his eyes.

Instead, he politely smiled and nodded. He supposed it was a preferable attitude than those Etzori who scorned or pitied his 'Promised' heritage. If he’d been just another biqaj, he probably would have been good fun about it too. Unfortunately for Aiden, he was not just another Biqaj fellow nor a sailor.

He said nothing. Only listened, and watched, and the human didn’t need any vocal prompt to get into why they were sitting across from one another.

The little exchange between the human and the waitress played out, but still he said nothing.

Rosalie Acothley.

Llyr immediately committed the name to memory. Rosalie, the seamstress at the Lamont, a woman from Foster’s Landing. The ice-blue color in his irises spread into the whites of his elfin-like eyes, a tint of unnatural ethereal light gathered under his thick eyelashes.

“Kind of you to care about your mate,” he commented absently when the waitress returned with the honey. He watched while Aiden put the amber liquid into the tea.

“So. Do you think you can help me out?” inquired the human.

Llyr’s thumbs tapped together in silent repeated touches. His polite smile returned to his perfected features. With a slow blink that momentarily hid the blue glow of his eyes, he took a short breath and then he nodded.

“Yes.” Llyr gently pressed the plate of pastries closer to Aiden. He pointed at a glazed twist. “That one there. It has honeyed almonds in it.”

He picked up his book next, setting it aside and clearing the table space in front of him.

“Given that it’s Foster’s Landing, and her name is true, unless she has come from farther away before there, it shouldn’t take long to find out living quarters, family matters, any obvious romantic entanglements, professions, loans and debts.” Llyr opened a satchel seated between him and the window. He took out an inkwell, a quill, and a leather folder filled with thin sheets of vellum.

Once he had a sheet of vellum laid against the folder, he dabbed the quill into the oily black ink. Llyr started to scribe a contract, first with a date along the top edge.

“Certain things cannot be discovered simply through such basic searches though. I recall you said nothing untoward, but if you feel overly concerned about the safety of your Vince fellow, might I suggest that a direct route could uncover greater results sooner?”

“I guarantee my services are of the utmost discretion when it comes to extraction methods,” he added in a light, casual tone. He scribbled Aiden’s name on the vellum. The more he spoke, the more obvious his southern continent accent (as perfect in modulation it could be) sounded.

“Though they are more expensive in fees. In regard to Foster’s specifically, there are some trial-based fees due to the travel and otherwise. For however long my men are required to spend there means they cannot operate in the city here. I trust you understand why these are necessary fees because you are essentially reserving them for a singular purpose. We have no other business currently that brings us down there, otherwise I would be able to offer you a reduced rate.”

Llyr lifted his gaze away from the partially drafted contract. He politely smiled again toward the human. “Yet I am more than willing to take into consideration any financial burdens you are under. It is my belief that even the poorest man deserves to know who he can trust and who he cannot. I do not discriminate against artists, nor actors, in making my services available. The current rate is 250 gold nel per trial for an undertaking of this sort.”

The young mage watched Aiden closely, to see if the rate would cause a widening of the eyes or any other telltale reactions for what that amount meant to him.

word count: 871

MB

Llyr has a Mortalborn ability:
Accelerate: Llyr has an aura effect within which individuals feel their personal ambitions and pursuits heightened. People will feel driven to act on these aspirations, looking to work toward them within the same trial.

Mutations

When in a totem's body, Llyr's mutations persist.
  • Gossamer wings resembling a cross between the wings of a dragonfly and a flying ant.
  • An iridescent halo that hovers over his head.
  • Crystalline legs from his toes to the mid of his thighs (like stockings made of quartz embedded into his skin).
  • An ever-moving inky tattoo, with Rorschach-like designs, on his back.
  • When an emotion dominates, the pigment expands past his irises to the entire eye - faintly glowing in that emotion's color as seen here.
User avatar
Obriviyanah
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Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:45 pm
Race: Yludih
Profession: Actor
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Wealth Tier: Tier 5

Re: An Offered Favor

Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:16 pm

Llyr was a collected individual who gave little away. Aiden smiled to himself secretively, knowing all too well the value of keeping one's inner workings close to the vest. It was hard not to feel some commonality. Still, the color in the Biqaj's eyes fluctuated, proving there was movement behind that placid face.

Evidently taking notice of Aiden's sweet tooth, Llyr helpfully pointed out the plate of pastries between them.

“That one there. It has honeyed almonds in it.”

"Ah!"

Aiden gladly helped himself. The flaky crust yielded and crackled under his fingers as he picked up the pastry and began to pull it apart. He didn't get food like this very often.

The first twinges of trepidation came over him at Llywelyn detailed the sort of information he was prone to find out. Aiden had no interest in her romances or debts, and he feared in what ways he might become inadvertently involved should he learn about them. The gory details of mortal lives always had a way of sucking in the unsuspecting.

Perhaps this was a mistake, Aiden began to wonder. But plying information from the unwilling was not a strongpoint of his, and every time he saw Rosalie, his fear and resentment of her deepened. She was upsetting his work life. So he wasn't entirely dissuaded yet.

"I recall you said nothing untoward, but if you feel overly concerned about the safety of your Vince fellow, might I suggest that a direct route could uncover greater results sooner?"

Aiden's chewing slowed as he considered Llyr's suggestion. He pried apart another piece of pastry and considered it for a lingering moment.

"You're the expert," he conceded. The piece of pastry disappeared inside his mouth, and he continued as he chewed. "I don't want her harmed, that's all."

He wouldn't have been so conscientious about her if she wasn't quite possibly connected to his necromancy mentor, Tobias. The one human he actually respected.

The talk of fees began and suddenly his food and tea began to lose its flavor. There was that Biqaji business sense he so often overlooked.

Aiden dipped a piece of pastry into his tea experimentally and slipped it into his mouth.

"She lives here in Etzos now." He shook his head slightly. "Do you have to go all the way back to Foster's Landing for a few details?"

He could tell this was going to need a bit of bargaining. Another talent he lacked.

And then the price came. 250 per trial. Per trial.

Aiden violently choked on his pastry, lurching forward and covering his mouth to prevent any spillage. The dishes on their table rattled as his elbow struck the table. This episode continued for at least a whole bit while he wrestled with appal to regain his composure.

"That's—cough—bloody crazy—cough, cough!"

Aiden leaned over the table, head down while he tried to get control of himself. It was mostly show. Yludih weren't quite as fragile as humans and weren't prone to choking. But it was still quite honestly how he felt, so the display was necessary.

When he finally lifted his head, his face was flushed and his eyes were watering.

"Mr. Llywelyn," he said through an unfriendly smile. One last cough noised in his throat. "I'm a simple thespian. If I made that kind of coin, I'd be running my own theatre."

He drank a swig of tea, wiped his mouth, and then sat for another moment to collect his thoughts.

"Look, I think I made a mistake in coming here." He sniffed and began to edge out of the booth. "You serve princes and lords. Not my ilk. I'm sorry for wasting your time."
Last edited by Obriviyanah on Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:08 pm, edited 2 times in total. word count: 635
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Llyr Llywelyn
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Re: An Offered Favor

Mon Dec 30, 2019 8:23 pm

Pastries told Llyr who the poor of his potential clients were. The wealthy almost never ever ate free baked goods, for numerous reasons. For those among the poorer rungs, only the most paranoid or clever of the lot usually refused. The rest were either ill-mannered, opportunistic, or desperate.

He wondered which of the three Aiden was, or if the human was all three. However, Llyr also didn’t discount that it was a known actor who sat across from him. Who better to hire to play a role than an actual performer? It was just as likely that someone had hired Aiden to represent them for the job. So, he didn’t place too much stock in what he observed, not as much as he would have otherwise.

Llyr informed the man of his services and gave the preliminary explanation of their dealing with one another.

“I don’t want her harmed, that’s all.”

“Perhaps not then,” added Llyr in simple response to Aiden’s comment. “No matter how expert, such measures for the sake of expediency can also quickly… how would you say it… get out of hand. Better to go the longer, but safer route.”

Which he proceeded to explain the fees involved with such a route. For the moment, he ignored Aiden’s insistence that maybe a visit to Foster’s Landing wasn’t necessary.

He named the standard price.

The human near died through inhalation of baked good.

Yet another reason why one shouldn’t accept offered food during business matters, thought Llyr. Swiftly, he lifted the inkwell and contract up from the table. The rattled dishes caused his cold tea to slosh over the rim and create a puddle nearby.

“Are you okay?” asked the waitress who drifted over, her eyes wide and her expression one of concern. “Did you need some water?”

“He’s fine,” answered Llyr. He waved his hand in a single dismissive flip.

The waitress mopped up the spilled tea with a rag then scurried away, though with worried glances over her shoulder.

"That's—cough—bloody crazy—cough, cough!"

“You could wait until you recover your ability to breathe before sharing your assuredly astute assessments,” said Llyr in a low voice, the rhythm of the statement a bit quicker than his usual pace of talking and with blatant sarcasm in the last three words that cut through the amiable tone he’d presented before.

He gazed at the unfriendly smile that accompanied his name. Llyr placed the inkwell and vellum back on the table. Polite, but cold, he observed the man as he swigged the tea.

“Mister Silverson,” he replied while the human seemed to be attempting to recollect his composure still. “I am well aware of what and who you are. Though I’ll admit to not be privy to the earnings of such artisan professions.”

By what, he meant a thespian.

"Look, I think I made a mistake in coming here. You serve princes and lords. Not my ilk. I'm sorry for wasting your time."

Llyr raised one of his eyebrows in a sharp arch. “You think I have princes and lords come to this shithole?”

“Stay where you are,” he added in a stern attitude that offered little room for argument. He gestured to the vellum in front of him. “I’ve already begun the contract.”

He tapped his fingertip against the words already scrawled in poised cursive. “33 Vhalar, Arc 719. Etzos. Aiden Silverson.”

“Now, like I told you, I do not discriminate by wealth or poverty like some other people do in such services. So, the coin of it is too much for you to afford. Very well, then we shall find another way for you to pay.” He smiled, warmly and not unfriendly in the slightest. The irises of his eyes went from blue color to a topaz yellow. “Would you like something stronger to drink than tea? How about whiskey? Or… are you partial to ale?”

word count: 673

MB

Llyr has a Mortalborn ability:
Accelerate: Llyr has an aura effect within which individuals feel their personal ambitions and pursuits heightened. People will feel driven to act on these aspirations, looking to work toward them within the same trial.

Mutations

When in a totem's body, Llyr's mutations persist.
  • Gossamer wings resembling a cross between the wings of a dragonfly and a flying ant.
  • An iridescent halo that hovers over his head.
  • Crystalline legs from his toes to the mid of his thighs (like stockings made of quartz embedded into his skin).
  • An ever-moving inky tattoo, with Rorschach-like designs, on his back.
  • When an emotion dominates, the pigment expands past his irises to the entire eye - faintly glowing in that emotion's color as seen here.
User avatar
Obriviyanah
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Re: An Offered Favor

Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:45 pm

After Aiden found his feet outside the booth, Llyr leveled an order at him.

All at once, the wind changed. The power dynamic of this conversation had shifted well out of Aiden's hands. He was now a captive in this transaction.

Frozen by Llyr's demand, Aiden complied and stood in place next to the bench. His hand still gripped the table, and underneath it, his illusory fingernails dug into the wood. As the actor turned to face Llyr once more, all the mirth and charm had drained out of his features.

Obriviyanah was typically good around people. He was quick-witted, brilliant at small talk, and easy to please. Most conversations were fleeting, hollow, and required little effort. He wasn't one to surround himself with ambitious intellectuals. A good joke and a warm gesture was usually enough to lubricate any interaction. However, his social charisma was paper thin. It eroded easily, and once gone, it left behind a very impatient, very irritated Yludih.

Tight-jawed and speechless, Aiden looked down at the contract, and then up at Llyr. There was a tacit threat in his words: walk away now, and the legal consequences will be dire.

He felt his spark stir in his chest, although there were no dead nearby to animate for his purposes.

Who does this cretin think he is? The Master seemed to buzz in his asterism.

Shut up. You aren't helping.

"I see."

Frowning, Aiden sank back down into the booth. The color shift in Llyr's eyes only annoyed him. He didn't know what that color meant, but he imagined it was smugness.

He ground his teeth for a moment as he placed his hands in front of him.

"Ale is fine." Aiden brought his crystal blue eyes upward at Llyr. He tried to smile, but it only came across as hostile. "You're a bit of a cur, aren't you?"

He opened a hand outward.

"My line of work is more about passion than pay. I can't come close to what you're asking. What could you possibly want in exchange for this?"
word count: 356
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Llyr Llywelyn
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Re: An Offered Favor

Mon Jan 06, 2020 12:56 pm

Accompanied by a menacing frown, and the loss of any previous congeniality, the actor sat down.

Llyr paid little attention to this show of casual animosity. For the biqaj, it was as if it hardly even existed. He offered a drink of something stronger for the poor impoverished man, then made a small gesture to signal for the waitress.

He glanced at the smile that looked more like a grimace, or a threatened animal baring its teeth. Llyr’s topaz yellow-hued eyes glanced down at the outwardly open hand as if closely watching a potentially deadly spider. The young mage’s gaze flitted over the fingers and palm, in an expression by any account would have seemed like a cool observation of potential danger.

“I am certain we can come to an arrangement,” he said in a methodically drawn-out manner. The hint of annoyance from before had vanished. He didn’t even respond otherwise to the slur of him being a cur that the other man had used in the form of a false question.

“It seems unlikely that I should have to remind you that you did not come here totrial in order to make a friend.” Llyr smiled when the waitress reached their table. The perfect Edashan-veneer almost sparkled as he drew forth all charm possible and told the woman, “Ale, and a shot of whiskey, please.”

He watched her go, gaze lingered on her skirt, then he returned his attention to Aiden.

“You came here for information that you cannot find yourself, on someone you believe to be a danger, both to your professional space and to those you care about.” He summarized the other man’s purpose for their meeting.

He added, “As with everything, any effort put forth will uncover a great deal more than you expect. Unlike some other people who offer similar services, I do not withhold this information and then claim ransom on detail after detail in a piecemealed fashion. Instead, I include it in the initial price, and only withhold that which is requested by the client – you.”

“So, you have limited funds, this can be taken into account. There are a great many reductions to be made to the standard price. I must warn you though, if I find you are lying about your funds afterward… I will take legal recourse for such ill will and conniving practice. The original price will be set, fees for the trouble, and interest will be added to it.”

“I don’t believe this to be the case, as it would be highly moronic to attempt to swindle someone who gathers information for a living… but you’d be surprised. Some people think they can get away with anything. Treating people however they want, without consequence and the like.”

Llyr drew out a fresh sheet of vellum. Unscrewing the inkwell again, he dipped the quill and then started to sketch out numbers in a separate note.

“250 gold, for Foster’s Landing. Which yes, Mister Silverson, to answer your query earlier. It is necessary to travel to Foster’s because you…”

He flourished the quill in a pointed gesture toward the actor.

“…are the one who felt it should be mentioned, which means it is a strong enough connection that it must be explored for the entirety of understanding who this woman is. Where people come from, it always uncovers the truth in time as it is far more difficult to bury past connections and dealings. Compared to the current, often controlled, situation that people focus their attention on, past locations offer great insight about who or what a person is.”

“Now, I’ll try to ease the gritty details of how my service operates but please do voice any further concerns of your’s and I can explain. Ordinarily I send three contacts on such ventures. We can reduce this to two, but I would never reduce travel to a single contact.”

“It is far too dangerous, even after the war. There are still bandits on the roads and though there is the river, it doesn’t mean it is completely safe from potential assault. If I understand correctly, you haven’t left Etzos Prime for some time so let me assure you that the city is the safest of the territory as it is. There are still Rhakrosians who survived the slaughter and who likely are keen for revenge on any Etzori travelers who happen across them at the wrong time. That said, reducing it to two brings the fee down to 185 gold a trial.”

“If we focus what information you might want; anything that could be considered a danger to this Vince. If they know anyone he had relations with, that sort of thing. Everything else will simply be discarded as pointless to the task. That will bring it down to 75 gold per trial.”

“Now, if you were to offer work as a contact in the city, to cover one of the men I’ve sent away while they are in Foster’s, then we can reduce it to 50 gold per trial.”

Llyr circled the number, then looked at Aiden. He’d been mostly ignored the other man, except for small glances to check where the actor’s hands were. He smiled, his halo brightened in a pulse of light, and he said in a chipper voice, “See how quickly we are able to manage your impecunious circumstances? You needn’t feel so bothered by cost. Like I said, I don’t discriminate.”

“Ah, thank you.” He nodded to the waitress as she set down the ale and whiskey. He pressed the shotglass of liquor over to Aiden. “You work at the Lamont, yes? What sort of people visit your productions there? Do you entertain anyone from the Citadel crowds? Do you ever entertain people in private shows? Have you considered doing so?”

word count: 995

MB

Llyr has a Mortalborn ability:
Accelerate: Llyr has an aura effect within which individuals feel their personal ambitions and pursuits heightened. People will feel driven to act on these aspirations, looking to work toward them within the same trial.

Mutations

When in a totem's body, Llyr's mutations persist.
  • Gossamer wings resembling a cross between the wings of a dragonfly and a flying ant.
  • An iridescent halo that hovers over his head.
  • Crystalline legs from his toes to the mid of his thighs (like stockings made of quartz embedded into his skin).
  • An ever-moving inky tattoo, with Rorschach-like designs, on his back.
  • When an emotion dominates, the pigment expands past his irises to the entire eye - faintly glowing in that emotion's color as seen here.
User avatar
Obriviyanah
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Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:45 pm
Race: Yludih
Profession: Actor
Renown: +50
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Wealth Tier: Tier 5

Re: An Offered Favor

Thu Jan 09, 2020 7:10 am

Aiden listened less-than-patiently while Llyr dictated to him the terms of their arrangement. The narrow-faced Biqaj was impossible to read, even with his color-shifting eyes, but if Aiden was a betting man, he’d wager Llyr was enjoying his superior position. All the disguised Yludih could do was sit there while the Biqaj listened to the self-assured sound of his own voice.

He only paused once to indulge in a leer at the waitress, prompting Aiden to openly roll his eyes. Llywelyn sure appeared to be at ease.

“You came here for information that you cannot find yourself, on someone you believe to be a danger, both to your professional space and to those you care about.”

The actor leaned back in his booth, folding his arms. That bit of information was a bit of a sticky wicket—Aiden wasn’t concerned for Vincent and barely even considered the man a friend. The only one whose backside he was concerned about was his own. This was his own fault. Aiden had underestimated Llyr’s vigilance and gotten tangled in his own falsehoods. It reminded him of his mother and her ignoble end.

Once Aiden found the chance to get a word in edgewise, he’d make his motives clear. He wondered if Llyr would reconsider their deal once he was up front about the truth of it.

The truth of it… how much could he afford to give the Biqaj? It was clear he was willing to take anything and run. He needed to be careful.

“Instead, I include it in the initial price, and only withhold that which is requested by the client – you.”

“How magnanimous,” Aiden mumbled. He unfolded his arms and set both of his hands on the table, crossed at the wrist.

“...I must warn you though, if I find you are lying about your funds afterward… I will take legal recourse...”

“Yes, I’ve picked that up.”

Aiden began to rapidly tap the table in front of him with the nail of his middle finger, growing weary of the dissertation. His mind was starting to wander, mostly toward imagining how it’d look if he could make Llyr eat his own tongue.

At any rate, he was welcome to look into Aiden’s finances. Bert Lamont was a miser. It hardly bothered him, Aiden desired little in the way of material wealth, but he also felt fortunate he didn’t have any lofty aspirations in that arena.

“It is necessary to travel to Foster’s because you are the one who felt it should be mentioned…”

“I mentioned it so you’d have a rough idea of her,” Aiden mumbled again. He thought it might be relevant, but what did he know of reconnaissance?

Llywelyn continued, unabated, detailing the precise methods by which he would be operating. This was much more involved than Aiden ever thought it might be—he should have gone with someone less upright. Less haloed.

If he’d had an inkling that he’d caught in Llyr’s litigatory snare just for sniffing around the idea of having Rosalie investigated, he’d have avoided this entirely. But given that this was a Biqaj he was dealing with, he should have known better. This wasn’t Aiden’s forte by any means.

“That said, reducing it to two brings the fee down to 185 gold a trial.”

The new pricepoint summoned another incredulous chuckle out of the actor.

“What a steal.”

“Everything else will simply be discarded as pointless to the task. That will bring it down to 75 gold per trial.”

Aiden arced an eyebrow.

“Now, if you were to offer work as a contact in the city, to cover one of the men I’ve sent away while they are in Foster’s, then we can reduce it to 50 gold per trial.”

Well hold on now. This was starting to sound reasonable. The idea of spying for someone didn’t sit well with him, however. It seemed to be a common trade among Yludih, and thus far he had avoided the pitfalls others of his kind had fallen into. The sort of poor choices that lead to a violent confrontation and an early grave.

It wasn’t looking as though he had a choice, however.

“See how quickly we are able to manage your impecunious circumstances?”

Impecunious? Aiden grinned in spite of himself. What a word! Llyr’s vocabulary was impressive but a bit overplayed considering his audience. Did Llyr see the way Aiden had savagely torn into that pastry?

Aiden was fortunate that he had been subjugated to playwrights who thought themselves sesquipedalien poets.

Llyr’s sermon began to wind down in tone and come to its conclusion at last. The disguised Yludih had long abandoned eye contact—barring the brief glances when the Biqaj began to enumerate pricing—and had resigned himself to watching the rhythms of the streets outside while pretending not to listen.

“Do you ever entertain people in private shows? Have you considered doing so?”

A beat of silence followed the irritatingly benign question into Aiden’s profession. After it wore on for the space of a breath, the actor slid his blue eyes back to Llyr. The rest of his head quickly followed as he came to attention.

“Oh, are you done?” At last, Aiden’s tapping stopped. “You seemed to be enjoying yourself. I was wondering if you laid out such detailed contracts and itemized pricing when commissioning whores.”

He adjusted himself in the booth, sitting back further and leaning over the table. The mug of ale was claimed and moved into the crook of one arm as he spoke.

“Alright look.” He pressed two fingers into the table toward Llyr. “Forget Vince, alright? That was just pretense and I’ve lost use for it, so throw it out.”

Ah. It felt nice to be direct. He so rarely got to be. Aiden rewarded himself with a long swig of ale. An amber droplet began to roll down the side of his chin, but the back of his hand dispatched it quickly.

He paused, licking his lips for a moment.

“Pretty good.” His blue eyes angled upward again. “As for the girl, I still don’t trust her and I know she’s hiding something. But listen, I don’t care who she’s slept with or owes money to.” Aiden wrinkled his nose. “That’s tawdry stuff, what am I going to do with it? Here’s how we’re going to reduce that price, because I’m not charmed by the idea of being your lackey.”

Aiden quickly scanned the room, and finding no immediate, overt threat to the privacy of their conversation, he leaned in closer and continued.

“I’m only after one thing. I want to know how she’s connected to the mage Tobias Acothley.” Aiden relaxed and sat back in his booth again. “Tobias didn’t have any children I knew of, but theirs isn’t a common name. If she is his kid, I want to know what Tobias has taught her.”

And whether he told her what Aiden truly was. Besides a thespian.

“That’s it.” He drank from his mug again. After setting down his beer, Aiden half-smiled while he looked down at his reflection in the bubbly surface. “And yeah. To answer your question, we do do private shows. Galas, nameday parties. What have you.” He tossed up one hand. “We even do performances for the city sometimes. Talk to Bert; he’ll eat up your contracting spiel like candy.”
word count: 1274
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Llyr Llywelyn
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Wealth Tier: Tier 5
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Re: An Offered Favor

Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:50 pm

The tapping finger of impatience didn’t bother or distract Llyr. He continued his explanation of services and costs. He whittled away at the rate that he could offer the poor thespian.

“Oh, are you done?”

Llyr nodded.

“You seemed to be enjoying yourself. I was wondering if you laid out such detailed contracts and itemized pricing when commissioning whores.”

“Yes,” he answered plainly, without a trill of pause to think about the answer. His expression remained deadpan. He looked down at the pricing sheet he’d drafted out. His dark eyebrows rose slightly, and he scratched out a few of the numbers.

When Aiden pressed the fingers against the table, Llyr returned his gaze up to look at the actor (as instructed). His left eyebrow arched when the story fell away as pretense. He tapped the quill against the paper, his eyes of blue color, while he watched the little changes in the other man’s features. Aiden had decent control over his expressions, but that wasn’t too surprising, given his profession.

He simply hummed when the man complimented the ale. His gaze flitted to the shot of whiskey that went untouched. He nodded slowly. It was rare that clients were forthcoming when he first met them. That had remained true in Quacia when he operated his father’s business of torture and interrogation; and it proved true in Etzos.

While Aiden scanned the room, Llyr slipped in a chiding response to what had been said, “My contacts wouldn’t appreciate being called lackeys. Their job is as important as any other. How else do you think information is gathered?”

Llyr didn’t match the lean in. He even leaned back slightly to distance himself away from Aiden. Some clients could be unpredictable and despite the commonalities that the human presented… there was still an element on unpredictability that kept the biqaj on guard. When he heard the other name, what stood out the most about it was the label that came before: mage.

So, the actor was looking for information about a mage. Interesting.

“I see,” was all Llyr said, though.

He considered the new context provided to the potential assignment at hand. Llyr turned his gaze down to the paper.

“But you believe her to be his child, not his wife or sister or estranged cousin?” inquired Llyr. He sketched a small symbol in the corner of the drafted contract. It looked to be three interlaced circles, joined by a diamond. “I take it that means he is an older sort of gent?”

“When it comes to mages…” he glanced up at his halo. The scent of ether rose, and his gossamer wings fluttered behind him before they settled neatly along his backside. His gaze landed back onto Aiden. “I like to inquire as to what sort of mage it is. There are some who… require a bit more caution than others, and I’m certain you understand why.”

He lowered his quill for a moment and folded his hands in front of him. A slight smile hinted at the corner of his mouth, but it was more an attempt at polite friendliness than anything else. He mentioned, “I appreciate your openness, but you unfortunately misunderstand. That sort of thing… it is far, far, far more costly than tawdry stuff, as you put it. Mages introduce a much greater risk and require certain contacts who know how to handle them. I cannot send any mere… lackey, as you put it.”

“I might even need to attend to this myself, directly.” He admitted. Llyr picked his quill up again. “Unless there’s something else you might think to offer me…”

“Have you given thought as to performing a show for Lady Sintra?” he inquired in a light-hearted tone and ignored the deflection that he should talk to the troupe owner about such things. “Forgive me, I don’t know much about the arts. They’ve always seemed like such a terrible waste of the trial. What is it exactly that you do? Do you sing? Dance? I heard that actors and poets often provide services of the flesh to wealthy patrons, is that true?”

word count: 705

MB

Llyr has a Mortalborn ability:
Accelerate: Llyr has an aura effect within which individuals feel their personal ambitions and pursuits heightened. People will feel driven to act on these aspirations, looking to work toward them within the same trial.

Mutations

When in a totem's body, Llyr's mutations persist.
  • Gossamer wings resembling a cross between the wings of a dragonfly and a flying ant.
  • An iridescent halo that hovers over his head.
  • Crystalline legs from his toes to the mid of his thighs (like stockings made of quartz embedded into his skin).
  • An ever-moving inky tattoo, with Rorschach-like designs, on his back.
  • When an emotion dominates, the pigment expands past his irises to the entire eye - faintly glowing in that emotion's color as seen here.
User avatar
Obriviyanah
Approved Character
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:45 pm
Race: Yludih
Profession: Actor
Renown: +50
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Wealth Tier: Tier 5

Re: An Offered Favor

Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:33 am

This was a mistake. Aiden wanted dearly to leave, but Llywelyn had his hooks in now. It was all the disguised Yludih could do to tread carefully.

“But you believe her to be his child, not his wife or sister or estranged cousin? I take it that means he is an older sort of gent?”

Aiden teetered his hand back and forth.

“Daughter makes sense, given the ages. Rosalie is around my age, and Tobias was maybe in his fifties when I met him back in…”

Stop, Obri. Don’t mention Rharne. Llyr will only try to bleed funds for travel there too. Aiden licked his lips and reassembled himself.

“Back in 711, I think it was?” Yeah. Nice save.

There was a flurry of movement behind Llyr, brief but audible. Like the hum of a dragonfly. Aiden leaned to the side to get a better look at the haloed mage, but from this angle there was little to make out. Perhaps the edges of a gossamer shawl?

“I like to inquire as to what sort of mage it is. There are some who… require a bit more caution than others, and I’m certain you understand why.”

Aiden threw up his arms and fell back into his seat petulantly.

“Oh, come on!” He drew his eyebrows together and briefly flashed his teeth. The more information Llyr pulled out of him, the more convoluted this entire situation was becoming. “I’m not even asking about him. As far as I know, he’s dead. I don’t even know anything about magic.”

A bald-faced lie.

“Some kind of healer, I think?”

Grafter, actually. Among other things: Necromancer, most importantly. And rupturer.

“It doesn’t matter. He’s not even in Etzos. Probably. I’m just asking about his stupid kid. Is she a mage? Does she carry out his work? Whatever that work is.”

“Unless there’s something else you might think to offer me…”

Aiden shrugged and shook his head dismissively. He looked pointedly away from the mage, for he had little to offer.

“Have you given thought as to performing a show for Lady Sintra?”

“Well.” It was hard not to get sucked back into talking about the arts. Aiden was fond of his passions. “Used to be we never did anything that promoted Immortals, but times are changing. I’m not crazy about her, but ultimately it’s not up to me.”

“I heard that actors and poets often provide services of the flesh to wealthy patrons, is that true?”

“What?!” Aiden leaned back, affronted by the question. “I’m not a whore, if that’s what you’re asking.” He waved a hand in Llyr’s general direction. “And you’re not my type. But I do, in fact, sing and dance. I emote, I… shapeshift. Become other people.” Did he ever. “Only for awhile.”

Remembering his beer, Aiden scooped up his mug and took a long drink. He then continued to nurse it between both hands as he elaborated.

“If you think the arts are a waste of time, I’m not going to convince you otherwise.” Aiden turned his palm over. “But what we do, the plays we perform, it’s a reflection of what we experience as a society. Stories lend perspective, bring out emotion, help us understand ourselves and our place in the world.”

Aiden turned his hand over and idly inspected his fingernails.

“I think that’s important. If you don’t, it’s no skin off my back.” He sighed, dropping his hand as he looked out the window. “What would you want me to do, if I agreed to help you with… whatever it is you do?”
word count: 619
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