• Graded • The Real Gold Prospectors of Etzos

(Foster's Landing)

With the escalation of hostilities between Etzos and Rhakros, a series of small walled towns is being established as a network of early warnings and defenses against Rhakros' reprisals. Only the very bravest and most formidable of characters should risk themselves on the Witches' Wilds frontier.

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Gangui
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The Real Gold Prospectors of Etzos

Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:52 pm

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Reviewer's note -- We're letting each other control each other's characters for purposes of better flow when writing. This is not god-mode.

Vhalar 10, 717

It was a hot day in the Landing. Maybe it was because the breeze didn’t touch the part of town the warrior was now traversing. He had found himself, quite against his nature, walking through Sunnyslope. It was a hill on the outskirts of the port town. The place all the drug addled and criminal types went in order to find safe haven from the mighty arm of the state. These people served a purpose and were allowed to exist on the forlorn hill. They mostly tended to the swine herds, the garbage depots, and did the dangerous sewage jobs. And yes. The place smelled like shit. Gangui hated it. He had fought hard and toiled endlessly to have a place at the patriot’s bar.

But he had no choice. He needed help to find Ellen’wyn’s necklace.

He approached The Goldmine, a nefarious pub that was entrenched into the side of the hill. A whispering rumor sent him here, but he had absolutely no clue what this places story was. He needed something to work off of before entering the ominious looking wooden door carved out of the stone.

Stopping a random passerbyer, the armored mercenary stopped him with a glance, “Hear, hear,” He bellowed, “I am looking for The Goldmine,” he knew that it was the door in front of him, but a sinking fear of such a lowlife establishment beckoned a little social reinforcement.

The scallywag’s face seemed uninterested at first but the miserable lout that decided to grasp at his shirt had it coming. Almost pompously he drew a fist up to knock back the grasp of his shirt, a defiant look in his eyes as he took a few steps back in slight rage. “Try that again you sorry Fod-sack!”

Remembering his etiquette, the warrior took a step back and raised his arms, “Excuse me, my fault,”

It wasn’t like the little shrimp of a man would be able to hurt him anyways.
Last edited by Gangui on Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Toan
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The Real Gold Prospectors of Etzos

Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:55 pm

“Yeah, your fault is pickin’ a fight with the wrong crowd. Asshole!” Toan chimed as he brushed his shirt a few times, his eyes diverted towards the ground to avoid any means of contact with the man.

The armored fool wouldn’t let go though, “Hey, I need your help,”

“Hey, hands off would ya!” Toan finally took to shove the man away. “Sometimes help comes at a cost!” He recommended with another few brushes across his shirt, nevertheless the individual managed to claim the thief’s undivided attention finally.

The ridiculous mustache on the man billowed, “Fine,” he reached into his pocket, “I got several gold nel for you,” He reached out to hand it to Toan, but then drew his gauntleted hand back, “Only if you take me inside and help me with my task, consider it a short term job,”


“Heh,” Toan chuckled as he swiped the gold the moment he had access, “Consider it a done deal then. Whatever you need I’m able to provide, but only for this one job!” He stressed with a finger raised as he looked down at his palm, the coin in his hand seemed slightly light for a payment. Of course he could’ve haggled more, but first he had to figure out just what his ‘job’ really was. Only then could he figure out whether the extra coin was worth the hassle.

“Deal!” Gangui shot a hand out and shook Toan’s, “I am Gangui, an Etzori Patriot,”

“Toan,” The thief hesitantly shook the man’s hand, “just a regular workin’ man.” He avoided the fact he was practically a thief, namely because of the reputation that came with it. Suffice it to say he could’ve easily went with mercenary, granted Toan had debated on signing up for such work as of late.

“I am a mercenary contractor by trade and have heard rumours of The Goldmine,” the barbarous mustachio immediately stated, “I need someone with reporte to show it to me,”

“The Goldmine you say?” Somehow that name brought a bit of a heavy smile to the thief’s own lips, even if this sap of a mercenary seemed much too loud for such a place. “I might’ve heard of it.” He gestured back down to the coin in his hand, sure he had a nice bit of juicy information to spare. But the grand tour? Now there’s a price. “How much is it worth to get in? What’s there that you want so bad?” He inquired with a raised eyebrow, suddenly it felt good to be in the business of information.
Last edited by Toan on Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The Real Gold Prospectors of Etzos

Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:58 pm

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The low growl escaped the lips of the swordsman. He should have known that he wouldn’t be able to get the answers he sought so cheaply. Thus was the way of Etzos. Most men didn’t have an innate sense of honor and the nuances of upstanding negotiations were lost to them. Very well. He would spell it out for him.

“You don’t know me and I don’t know you,” Gangui dragged out with a commanding voice from deep within his stomach, “My business is none of yours, but I need to scout out a specific employee for a job I have in mind. I’ll spell it out for you, I’ll give you more if you prove capable of the task. On my word,”

At the mention of word Toan couldn’t help but scoff and frown a little, his eyes once more diverted to the side in minor thought. It seemed as though occupation led to something else on his mind for the while, even then he seemed considerate towards the offer that was on hand. “You need someone shadowed then.” He reiterated with a cross over in his arms.

The sellsword barred his teeth in a momentary lapse of anger at the antics of Mister Toan. Luckily for him though, his glorious moustache covered his lips leaving his facial expression half hidden. Had he no decency to conduct his business without explicitly stating his business partners goals in the open?

“Come on!” Gangui blurted out, “Let’s enter the Mine and have ourselves a drink. We can talk about this more,” Nodding with the brim of his steel helmet, he hoped Toan would take his suggestion and lead him inside.

Bloody Sunnyslope.
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The Real Gold Prospectors of Etzos

Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:01 pm

First they seemed to bicker, in a minor fashion, and then in a sense Toan became roped into escorting Gangui. Thankfully it was only the minor ‘tour guide’ sort of escort, and not the unfavorable sort of escort business other’s had to pull off. He’d done that once or twice and the coin wasn’t worth it honestly. Thus the thief led onward down the shaft of the what appeared to be an abandoned mine, for the while the trail they took seemed dark and unmaintained. It took everything in Toan just to remember to alert the guy behind him, so that their hands would brush against the surface of the walls.

For a good three to four Bits Toan felt the surface of stone brush underneath his fingers, the roughness of the walls a continuous indication of the tunnel they’d walked. Until finally they’d reached a point where his hand ran off the wall. Briefly. Just briefly though as he’d stopped and pulled back, to make sure that specific hand stuck close to the wall. There. A corner. With a sharp right turn Toan headed onward, until at last a faint lighting scene could be found at the end of the tunnel. “There,” He finally chimed enough for the man to hear, “the Goldmine. Dead ahead.”

The gravely voice of Gangui echoed softly in the tunnel, with a hint of surprise, “Damn the Immortals…”

Toan couldn’t help but chuckle as he finally eased up and relaxed some, their entry into the premises of the place noted as he’d left a gap of several feet between him and Gangui. Overall the ‘pub’ was more well established than some would consider, a little drinking area as well as gambling unit next to the shabby custom made bar. Lanterns were scattered to illuminate the place in the dank spaces of the mine, while a set of wooden stairs led up into the back areas of the mine. Likely the rooms available for any lowlifes wanting to stay a night… or wrestle in the beds later.

“Well Gangui,” Toan queued with a twist to face the moustached twat, “this is the Goldmine. Gambling, drinking, and even whoring to your own delight.” He pointed out one of the broads near the stairwell. “Janice over there’s reeeeally nice by the way, likes to bite so be careful.”
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The Real Gold Prospectors of Etzos

Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:06 pm

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For a moment he didn’t respond to the gleeful Toan, but merely took everything in.

The entrance of the eerie pub felt almost a little too much like home to the sellsword. He had spent a good portion of his childhood digging tunnels searching for adamantium with his father. The main room itself was larger than he expected and he marveled at the fact that the inhabitants took the time to carve away such a huge section under the Slope. Paintings hung on the chiseled stone walls, damp and decaying things, far from the tapestries in the hallowed halls of the Citadel. The paintings were of individuals, couples, local buildings, and the occasional forest scene.

Albeit Toan couldn’t see it, a smile was plastered on the warrior’s face, “Aye! Time enough for whoring later, let’s have a drink,” Taking the lead now he walked directly up to the bar and took a seat next to an empty chair for his guide.

The barkeep with a grisled face and eyepatch took to approach the pair, his eyes first set on the familiar Toan before they rested on Gangui. With a nod from his fellow guide the barkeep said little, practically nothing, and then turned to head over to the bar once more. While he started to pour the drinks, Toan kicked back and rested his elbows atop the bar during their wait. “Hope you don’t mind the heavy shit, they don’t sell the cheap stuff around here.” He warned with a smirk.

Shifting in his seat, the sellsword adjusted his belt and the dangling weapons on it until he got comfortable. He exhaled deeply, not immediately responding to Toan. The one-eyed barkeep set to squalid jars in front of them, “Good stuff?” Gangui scoffed at the dirty glasses, “This better not turn me into a mutant,” He was of course referring to the poisoned water supply that had recently plagued the entire state after the 'Padfoot Incident'.

Knocking back the drink, the warrior’s eyes lit up, “Immortals be damned Toan, this, this tastes like the finest honey on a Ashan morning!” He quickly guzzled the rest, “More!” He told the bartender, then looked at Toan with curiosity, “What is this? And who, who is this barkeep here that could get his hands on such a luxury?!” He blatantly nodded at the one-eyed man not caring if he overheard.

The thief could only chuckle and bite the tip of his thumb, his eyebrows rose at how quickly the man drank. “Retired individual you could say,” He remarked upon the question as Toan seemed less inclined to drink right away, “used to be a really good brewer and chemist actually.” Finally he took a simple swig out of the jar, but only short compared to the zealous guzzle Gangui took.

The single eye of the bartender looked at Gangui without a hint of satisfaction or appreciation for the sellsword’s praise. He slid him another drink, which this time he sipped like Toan. Turning around in his seat took a little time and seemed awkward, having to adjust his swords and all. Noisy chainmail and plate rustled as he settled in again, “Ah this is good stuff,”

Scanning the main room again, the warrior noticed not only the staircase now, but the fact the ceiling was not stone but a wooden roof. Not only that, but the main drinking hall seemed to have several tunnel holes, roughly a dozen. He imagined the network in his head like the tendrils of a mighty octopus.

He gestured his hand in a wide circle, “What else lays here?” Obviously referring to all the dark passages. Already he had forgotten which one led to the surface.
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The Real Gold Prospectors of Etzos

Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:06 pm

Toan couldn’t help but roll his eyes for a moment and apologetically look at the barkeep, the man himself at a slight look of scorn in the one eye. Tourists. Toan wasn’t famous for bringing them in general, but newcomers were brought here only on a ‘need to know’ basis. This was definitely out of the ordinary for Toan, then again he was paid for it so it wasn’t too far from what he’d normally do. “Well,” He nonchalantly rubbed a couple of fingertips against the bar, “some go deeper into the mines. Some go back to the surface, only if you’re lucky though. This place is a complex maze.”

“Foster’s Underground I see…” Gangui said softly, mostly to himself as he looked around the room.

“Sure.” Toan shrugged as he deemed that bit of information useless at first. “Now whatever crazy idea had you needing to come here, let’s talk about it and how it involves me. Mainly getting paid because that’s my favorite part.” He chimed in as he twisted to turn and face Gangui, curious to see what this shadowing job really entailed.

The sellsword’s face seemed to darken and his eyes widened. Leaning in close to Toan, again bursting through the man’s personal space, his whiskers almost touching the thief's face, “Verily, I will expand on my business with you, but let us sit over there,” He whispered as he pointed at an empty corner of the drinking hall were a few droopy, red, cushioned chairs sat next to an end table. Taking lead, his armor clanked as he headed towards the shadowy corner, drink in hand.

With a shrug Toan sat there briefly and stared at the blank spot where Gangui stood, part of him wished that whole thing had been imagined. That the job was done and since he’d been paid, that Gangui bade him well and moved on to, literally, get lost within the mines. Then of course the thief rose and followed to the table behind Gangui, with a sigh no less, as he took a chair that sat across the table from the man. Intentionally he meant to sit widespread across the table, so that he could prop his legs up and casually hide the moustached figure’s face behind boots. More or less so that Toan could just make life difficult for Gangui, if at all possible, while he received word about the job.

Clearing his throat, Gangui immediately began, “I have a problem I can’t fix--”

“I can’t help your disfunction below the belt.” Toan interjected.

“Aye, and seems like your problem is located right in your throat,” Gangui immediately flashed with anger and made a cutting motion with his steely index finger. The barbarous man literally flipped moods at the innocent jest, “I won’t sit here and be mocked,”

Toan merely watched him and laughed a little. “Look if it’s just some broad you’re so desperate for, then I can hook you up and we’ll get something started. If you need practice, Janice is the perfect candidate y’know.” He pointed to the wench waiting to court a couple of unsavory individuals several tables over.

The warrior fumed, breathing hard and closing his eyes, “I require the services of a roguish type,” seemingly deciding to ignore his own anger and jest back at Toan, “I can… show you how to properly bend over a woman later, but right now I need help with a difficult job only the bravest and toughest of rogues can handle,”

“Bravest and toughest you say?” Toan reiterated as he finally dragged feet off the table, with a lean forward and fold in his fingers; he seemed clearly ready to discuss the matters of business with this individual. “Well lucky for you I might just fit those standards.” With a wry smile he leaned back into his chair, eager to hear what Gangui had to say next.
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The Real Gold Prospectors of Etzos

Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:07 pm

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Toan was lucky to be alive after such a dishonorable spit into the heavy hearted warrior’s face. Back at the dockside pub, where all the patriots and upstanding citizens drank, no one would dare mock him openly without face the repercussions of a sword duel. Even luckier for Gangui, however, he decided to reign himself in and not start trouble in a place he didn’t belong to. His prevailing conscience told him that he would be ganged up on for cutting down one of the Goldmine’s own.

“Good,” At least he had a hint of bravado. The barbarous mustachio liked men who aimed high, “There is a very special pendant that my dearest friend… lost,” Toan was no better a person to try to contact about these things than anyone else, but he wouldn’t divulge all the information to him, “The missing necklace is currently deep within the fortress of the Citadel,”

He sighed, regretting the words he was about to say before he said them, “And I’ve sworn vows of honor to retrieve it, but I am a man of the field, nay, I cannot find such a pendant in the labyrinth of the State’s coffers! I tried to get it back, but I failed, and now… I need help from,” He grimaced under the bushy stache, “You guys?” He didn’t know quite how to word it.

So far though Toan seemed quiet and almost a little distracted, by his own thoughts, as he listened to Gangui. Finally after he had heard the dubious tale of woe, the thief seemed inclined to cut in with a curiosity he figured was actually serious. “So wait… where does the part where you woo said mistress come in? After you get back the pendant then? Plenty of other ways to get a girl you know.” He joked for a Bit until the brief chuckle stopped as soon as it started. Gangui appreciated his jest silently after reigning in some anger at his making light of the situation that was such a burden to him, “The citadel then. Not an easy place to just walk around in, got any specifics on who this person is?” He came to inquire with his elbows firmly planted on the table, the folds of his fingers now covering the lower half of his face.
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The Real Gold Prospectors of Etzos

Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:10 pm

Believe it or not Toan actually grinned, fiendishly, at how promising of a job this was turning out.

Gangui growled with a serious look in his eyes, “Swear to me you will keep this information hidden, or I shall slay you,” He wasn’t joking and his tone wasn’t forceful in anyway. A promise perhaps?

Either way Toan proved unimpressed, in fact he was smiling underneath those fingers of his. “Please,” He leaned back and relaxed his hands on the table, “I’ve heard worse rumors from street-ears.”

Gangui scoffed, slamming his fists on the table and leaning in angrily.Though not loud enough for anyone in the drinking hall to notice, “For once in your miserable little life, say vows of honor and promise me!”

Toan naturally didn’t flinch but watched the reaction with but a smirk, he quite easily enjoyed the fact he drove this man irate. Still Gangui demanded promise. Something that Toan was, in all honesty, not so very good at given his nature. “Well… I…” He twisted in his seat for a moment and then rose to a stand, more or less a lean onto the table, when he addressed the moustached individual once more. “What about payment first, so long as I know you’ll pay well I’ll do it.” There had to be some kind of payment to expect, that was more motive than anything to agree.

“Look,” Gangui retorted quickly, his voice cut and dry, “I’ll give you a few extra nels for bringing me this far, but have some grace! We cannot negotiate a price until you’ve sworn to me secrecy. This job will be well worth it if you are capable enough. Aren't you a professional? Have you no understanding of how business works?”

“Hm.” Toan looked up with heavy thought for another good Bit, almost two in an effort to make Gangui sweat it out, until he finally budged and caved in with an answer. “Alright! Sounds fair to me, I’ll trust you’re a well paying man of his word.” Of course, Toan had thought that otherwise, the trinket in question could fetch a nice price as well. He’d have to determine that bit of quirrel to himself later, when the job had been performed and payment waited to be received. “I solemnly swear, on behalf of my hide no less, I can get you back that trinket! Only get it back though! Nothing else, understand?” He inquired as he waved a hand in the air, mostly to mock the act of swearing before this mercenary.
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The Real Gold Prospectors of Etzos

Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:10 pm

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Toan was lucky to be alive after such a dishonorable spit into the heavy hearted warrior’s face. Back at the dockside pub, where all the patriots and upstanding citizens drank, no one would dare mock him openly without face the repercussions of a sword duel. Even luckier for Gangui, however, he decided to reign himself in and not start trouble in a place he didn’t belong to. His prevailing conscience told him that he would be ganged up on for cutting down one of the Goldmine’s own.

“Good,” At least he had a hint of bravado. The barbarous mustachio liked men who aimed high, “There is a very special pendant that my dearest friend… lost.”

Toan was no better a person to try to contact about these things than anyone else, but he wouldn’t divulge all the information to him, “The missing necklace is currently deep within the fortress of the Citadel,”

He sighed, regretting the words he was about to say before he said them, “And I’ve sworn vows of honor to retrieve it, but I am a man of the field, nay, I cannot find such a pendant in the labyrinth of the State’s coffers! I tried to get it back, but I failed, and now… I need help from,” He grimaced under the bushy stache, “You guys?” He didn’t know quite how to word it.

So far though Toan seemed quiet and almost a little distracted, by his own thoughts, as he listened to Gangui. Finally after he had heard the dubious tale of woe, the thief seemed inclined to cut in with a curiosity he figured was actually serious. “So wait… where does the part where you woo said mistress come in? After you get back the pendant then? Plenty of other ways to get a girl you know.” He joked for a Bit until the brief chuckle stopped as soon as it started. Gangui appreciated his jest silently after reigning in some anger at his making light of the situation that was such a burden to him, “The citadel then. Not an easy place to just walk around in, got any specifics on who this person is?” He came to inquire with his elbows firmly planted on the table, the folds of his fingers now covering the lower half of his face.
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The Real Gold Prospectors of Etzos

Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:13 pm

Believe it or not Toan actually grinned, fiendishly, at how promising of a job this was turning out.

Gangui growled with a serious look in his eyes, “Swear to me you will keep this information hidden, or I shall slay you,” He wasn’t joking and his tone wasn’t forceful in anyway. A promise perhaps?

Either way Toan proved unimpressed, in fact he was smiling underneath those fingers of his. “Please,” He leaned back and relaxed his hands on the table, “I’ve heard worse rumors from street-ears.”

Gangui scoffed, slamming his fists on the table and leaning in angrily.Though not loud enough for anyone in the drinking hall to notice, “For once in your miserable little life, say vows of honor and promise me!”

Toan naturally didn’t flinch but watched the reaction with but a smirk, he quite easily enjoyed the fact he drove this man irate. Still Gangui demanded promise. Something that Toan was, in all honesty, not so very good at given his nature. “Well… I…” He twisted in his seat for a moment and then rose to a stand, more or less a lean onto the table, when he addressed the moustached individual once more. “What about payment first, so long as I know you’ll pay well I’ll do it.” There had to be some kind of payment to expect, that was more motive than anything to agree.

“Look,” Gangui retorted quickly, his voice cut and dry, “I’ll give you a few extra nels for bringing me this far, but have some grace! We cannot negotiate a price until you’ve sworn to me secrecy. This job will be well worth it if you are capable enough. Aren't you a professional? Have you no understanding of how business works?”

“Hm.” Toan looked up with heavy thought for another good Bit, almost two in an effort to make Gangui sweat it out, until he finally budged and caved in with an answer. “Alright! Sounds fair to me, I’ll trust you’re a well paying man of his word.” Of course, Toan had thought that otherwise, the trinket in question could fetch a nice price as well. He’d have to determine that bit of quirrel to himself later, when the job had been performed and payment waited to be received. “I solemnly swear, on behalf of my hide no less, I can get you back that trinket! Only get it back though! Nothing else, understand?” He inquired as he waved a hand in the air, mostly to mock the act of swearing before this mercenary.
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