Full Oakleigh Alchemist

A settlement east of Rynmere across a stretch of water called 'the eastern trench' broken into three regions: Welles, Oakleigh, and Berwick.
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Sintih
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7th of Cylus, 718th Arc
Late morning
Oakleigh Estate

er? Are you ready to go?" Sintih waited a trill and knocked once more on Tristan's door. Thetfretr had finished getting the horses ready, he always liked to make sure everything was in order before approving any horse riding. It wasn't that Thet had the power to prevent others from riding the horses but more that others accepted his rule of the stables in light of his skills. Sin had yet to see someone from the household take a horse without Thet's permission. This trial was no different as Sin had woken up early and ordered horses with Thet. They'd discussed the planned trip to Oakleigh and that they would probably need quite a few things so extra saddlebags were prepared, just in case. Sin held his breath for a moment, trying to listen through the thick oak doors leading into Tristan's room.

He was all set to go. He'd put on his trusty armor, which was starting to show signs of wear after all the seasons spent in the Duke's service. Underneath, similarly worn clothes, easy for travel and blending into city crowds with, were keeping Sin from freezing more than he already did. His cloak was heavy and thick, hanging from his shoulders. The hood was pulled back as the inside of the estate was relatively warm. By now, the other servants and members of the Duke's household had gotten used to Sin's need to dress as if every trial was a Cylus trial. His short sword, which had served him through most of his time as a squire, was hanging horizontally on the back of his belt, hidden underneath the cloak. It made it more difficult to draw the weapon in a trill but it gave people a false sense of power, seeing the bodyguard apparently unarmed.

While the situation in Oakleigh between the merchant houses and other old powers in the city and the newly arrived Duke had come to a bit of a standstill, Sin wasn't going to be the first to let down his guard. Maybe, one trial, when Tristan's rule over Oakleigh was solidified and literally every person in Oakleigh thought of the man as the avatar of peace and prosperity, perhaps then Sin might allow his company to slack of a little more. Until then, everyone was on deck always. Sin knocked once more on the door. "Ser, if we don't leave now we'll have to wait until tomorrow."

After their boat trip back to Welles and the following road trip back to Oakleigh, Tristan and Sin had bonded a little more over their shared interests, mainly chemistry and alchemy, and plans had been put into place to put together an amateur lab where they could try out some basic experiments. Plans that should have had them on the road to Oakleigh more than a break ago. It wouldn't be anything like what he'd used with Doran back at the university but if they got along well, Sin wasn't convinced Tristan knew what he was doing, not really, and they didn't explode on the first try, perhaps he could get the Duke to allocate some more funds toward the building of the lab. For now, they'd go and see who they could meet with in regards to all the glassware and specialized tools they might need.

Acting on Sin's first piece of advice as the Duke's official advisor, Tristan figured they'd go and meet with the big shots first and if they didn't want to help, there'd be enough other people in Oakleigh who could and would help them. Nels went a long way like that. He was curious to see Tristan in action, though. They'd been together for quite some time but he'd never actually seen Tristan be... well, a Duke. He'd done some public appearances where needed and collected taxes and paid for things the Dukedom needed but he'd not seen him actually be a Duke and order people around, not like what he was expecting from this trial's trip, anyway.
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Tristan Venora
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Tristan was dreaming. He was lying on the beach, somewhere on a tropical island under a palm tree. He could hear the sound of the waves. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, and he was surrounded by a couple of beautiful women that were ready to fulfil his every wish. In fact, a redhead had just bent over him. She smiled at him, let a hand run across his bare chest, opened her mouth and asked, “Ser? Are you ready to go?” Tristan wondered why she had such a masculine voice, and why she was saying that – it didn’t make any sense - and a moment later he was lying in his bed in Oakleigh again, groaning because he didn’t want to wake up yet. He was slightly confused and dizzy as well.

He briefly wondered what would happen if he just refused to come out, but then the person knocked again, and he realized that they would probably continue to do so until he opened the door. Besides, he suddenly remembered that that trial’s trip was supposed to have something to do with alchemy, and he absolutely loved alchemy. He abruptly jumped up, rushed to the door and opened it. Sintih would find himself facing a duke that was wearing nothing but a silken robe that he had quite hastily put on, not because he wanted to spare the false Eidisi the sight of his body, but because it was cold.

He looked at Sintih with his armor and all his clothes, looked down at himself and then back at Sintih and realized that it would probably be a good idea to get changed into a more socially accepted outfit after all. “Give me a bit”, he told Sintih, walked over to his wardrobe and pulled a few clothes out, a white silk shirt, a black pair of pants and a very fashionable blue brocade coat (and shoes, of course). He didn’t bother closing the door. Unless Sintih turned away, he would be treated to quite an interesting sight – and hear his employer curse because he was in such a hurry that he struggled to get his pants on correctly.

“King Cassander probably has people that help him get dressed”, he muttered. He was about to tell Sintih that he was ready to go, but then his gaze fell on Sintih again, and he quickly grabbed a weapon. It was a sword cane, black, with a golden handle that looked like the head of a dragon. He’d bought it when such weapons had been in fashion. Sintih didn’t seem to have a weapon, so he would apparently have to protect them that trial. ”Now we can leave”, he announced brightly. “Where are the horses? You didn’t forget to saddle Maxos, did you?”

Maxos was Tristan’s own horse. He’d named the stallion after Peake Maxos Andaris, the former heir of House Andaris and his favourite model/victim. Maxos was big and black, and he had quite a fiery temper.
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Sintih
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he door opened suddenly and Sin was treated to the almost naked body of his employer. If Tristan had been an attractive women, perhaps this would have been much more difficult but Sin kept his eyes level, smiling at Tristan. "Ah, Ser. It's time to leave." He said and nodded as Tristan told him to wait a little more. Tristan walked back into the room and promptly decided to disrobe in order to get dressed properly. As a military man, seeing other people naked was nothing new to him and it took a moment for Sin to register that he was looking not at a fellow soldier back at camp but at the Duke of Oakleigh. He turned away from the sight, putting his back to the door and studying the opposite wall while he waited, listening into the room to make sure nothing bad happened, like the Duke tripping while trying to get his pants on, apparently.

"The King is also still a child." Sin said over his shoulder, there was a harshness to his voice as he said it but he left anything more unsaid, allowing Tristan to finish up. As he heard Tristan walking closer, Sin turned around once more and he came face to face with a properly, if hastily, dressed Duke. Curiously, though, Tristan was sporting a cane with his ensemble. Sintih allowed himself to glance down at it for a moment and back up to Tristan. "I know I may have implied that you're too old to get dressed by others but you're not old enough to need one of those." A trill later, Sin seemed to realize he might be pushing things a little. "Ser." He gave the Duke a smile but it was a faint one at best. Since his appointment as the Duke's advisor, Sin had been testing the waters a bit, trying to find if their boundaries had shifted any or if Tristan still expected a certain amount of reverence from him. Not that he'd ever really had.

His empty, white eyes went ceiling ward as Tristan proudly proclaimed that they were ready to go, sounding like he'd been waiting on Sin all this time. How very noble of him. "The horses have been prepared for travel." A break ago. "Thetfretr made sure to get Maxos ready for you." Sintih didn't understand why the Duke kept insisting on riding that horse. It seemed to be a fiery, stubborn horse. Then again, all of the Duke's personal animals seemed to be stubborn kings of their respective animal families. Sin hoped that Ayla wouldn't start following that trend when she grew up. Seeing the Duke all set to go, Sin turned down the hallway and started walking towards the front doors.

"We're going to look for some alchemy supplies in town." Tristan probably remembered but Sin liked to be sure of it. "Beakers, vials, dishes, the works. While we're going to town, is there anything else you'd like to look for? Now would be the time, Ser." Sin grabbed the handle of the door and opened the door for Tristan. Thetfretr stood waiting near the stabled, Maxos tied to a post with his reins and a second horse, an older, calmer one for Sintih a little away from it. Despite being unable to hear them, standing with his back to them and being focused on Maxos, Thetfretr turned around almost as soon as Sintih stepped out of the house.

It was still cold outside and Sin pulled his cloak tighter around himself as he walked over to the horses. Thet untied Maxos and kept him in place for Tristan so the Duke could mount his steed. Sintih was left to his own devices as he managed to get up onto the horse on the second try. His illusion adapted to the weather outside and created light puffs of mist in front of his mouth to the rhythm of his breathing. He pulled his horse up next to Thet once Tristan had taken control of his horse and signed back and forth with the deaf mercenary for a few trills. "Gallien has gone ahead. I figured, since he's a local, he'll be able to point us in the right direction. We'll meet with him at the west road into Oakleigh." With that, Sin passed some quick orders back to Thet, one hand on the reigns, the other waving through the air in front of his chest. When he finished, he set his horse into motion down the large drive way leading from the estate to the main road to Oakleigh.
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Tristan Venora
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“The King is at least seventeen”, Tristan retorted as Sintih called Cassander a child. He’d noticed the tone of Sintih’s voice – he sounded a lot like his mother at the moment – but he didn’t particularly care about it because a servant that helped him get dressed when he was too lazy or too clumsy to do so would simply be awesome, no matter what he said. “As for my cane”, he said and smirked. He pulled it out of its sheath so that Sintih could see that it wasn’t simply a glorified walking stick, but actually had a wickedly sharp blade. “I’m only pretending to need one.”

“Look! Isn’t that great?”
he asked, grinned and swung it in a wide arc before he sheathed it again. “I like being called ‘Ser’”, he then remarked and beamed at Sintih. His smile was much wider and much more genuine than the false Eidisi’s, and he didn’t particularly mind that his employee had criticized him either. He wasn’t that kind of noble, besides, he liked Sintih. He was clever, he amused him, and what more, he had really cool eyes!

“Great”, he said as Sintih informed him that Thet … whatever (even after all the time he still couldn’t pronounce the man’s name properly, not even in his thoughts) had gotten Maxos ready for him. Having said that, he walked outside because he was quite eager to leave now. “I know what we are looking for. Maybe we could also get some actual reagents – and a scale?” He looked at Sintih as if he were asking him for permission. “I have the feeling that the scale I have here isn’t working properly”, he explained.

“This will also be an opportunity for us to find out what the local business owners think about me”, he remarked, thus showing that he wasn’t entirely clueless and immature. “Maybe we’ll be able to convince them that I’m really not such a bad person. What do you think, Sintih? Do you think I could make my subjects like me?”

He waited for Sintih’s answer before he walked over to Maxos and patted him. “I missed you”, he told the horse, put his left foot into the left stirrup and swung his body across the back of the horse. He used a little too much force and nearly landed on the ground on Maxos’ other side, but caught himself just in time. Tristan Venora was not a very good rider, no matter what he claimed, but he wasn’t embarrassed at all that he’d nearly failed to mount his horse.

“I’m ready”, he informed Sintih, grabbed the reins and followed him.
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intih wasn't quite sure what he thought about the Duke bringing the sword-cane. On the one hand it was only normal for a person to want to bring their own protection but it also made Sin feel that Tristan didn't quite trust him to do it for him, even though he had successfully fended off all the attempts on Tristan's life since his employment here. Not that there had been any. Still, on paper, the results looked good. In the end, Sin let the Duke do as he pleased, not that he would be able to stop him even if he wanted to, and accepted the cane. He even made a mock dodge away from the swing as Tristan tried his blade out safely away from him. He quietly nodded at Tristan's note on titles once the blade was back in it's sheath-cane. "I'll keep that in mind, ser."

Sin couldn't help the smirk as Tristan off-handedly chided him, intentionally or not, for trying to remind the Duke as to why he'd been woken up so early. "If you think yours isn't working then we should definitely look for a new one. Nothing is more dangerous than having the wrong amount of something explode in your face." His finger lightly brushed his cheek where shrapnel from an explosion had once cut him. "As for the reagents... We can get some long lasting, general things but I wouldn't get anything specific unless you already know exactly what you'd like to make. My mentor always insisted on having everything planned out before spending a single copper. I find it is a solid approach to the art, ser." Having said that, though, Sin didn't really think he'd bother trying to keep Tristan from spending or wasting money on reagents they might never use or that might perish before they found a use for them. It was the Duke's money after all.

The Eídisi raised his eyebrows behind Tristan's back. There was a warm flare up from his asterism as he felt proud for having Tristan talk about the local businessmen like that. "Well, ser, I'm probably not the right person to ask but I think anyone could be made to like anyone. That said, making one person like you always causes another to dislike you so having everyone like you is impossible. Without magic, at least. I'm sure you and I could alchemize the mythical love potion and mix it in with the local water supply..." He shrugged, a smile on his face. Tristan's way of looking at things effected Sin, occasionally. A few bits later they were on the road, heading towards Oakleigh.

The time it took to get to Oakleigh itself, Sintih filled with some friendly questioning. He asked about Tristan's friend, Valeria Burhan and how things were going with her, when he expected to bring her to Oakleigh. He inquired as to when Ayla would begin her schooling and if the Duke hoped his daughter would pick up something artsy as well. On a more serious note, he asked if Tristan managed to learn some sign language yet and if Tristan had heard anything about his half-brother since the incident at the mage burning. The questions and answers filled the time needed to get to Oakleigh. As they arrived at the gate, Gallien was sitting on his own horse, waiting for his two companions. "Ser, Duke." He nodded towards Sin and then put his hand on his chest and bowed towards Tristan, as deep as his horse allowed him. "I've arranged an appointment with the Oonco family head. They're the largest supplier of glassware in Oakleigh and are sure to have most, if not all, of the tools you're looking for this trial."

Gallien had been given a list of things they required without a reason why. Like any good mercenary, the young man had taken the list and ran with it, no questions asked. His knowledge of the locals had done him good in his search and now Sintih and Tristan were set up with a meeting with potential new allies and suppliers. Sintih didn't think things would go as easily as Gallien might see it but what skills the young ranger may lack in social settings he made up for his knowledge of the wilds. "The Oonco family aren't the only glassware producers and sellers in town but they are the largest." Sin added, hinting at the fact that Tristan might have to turn to rivals earlier than he'd like.

Sintih let Gallien lead them to the Oonco family store. It was a well designed and taken care off shop. Their steady supply of vials and other glassware to the Thorn family, one of Oakleigh's Big Four, provided them with a nearly endless market on top of their smaller customers. This connection was also the reason why Sin didn't think they'd get far here but this was up to Tristan. His horse stopped easily and Sin climbed out of the saddle, tying the horse down. Gallien held Maxos in place while the Duke dismounted, whether he needed the help or not, and quietly remained outside as the Duke and his advisor stood in front of the door to the shop. Before they got to it, it was suddenly pulled inward and a thinner man appeared. His athletic build and the burn marks all along his naked arms told Sin this was either one of the craftsmen or someone from the Oonco family.

"Lord Venora. Your servant told us to expect you this trial but I didn't think it'd be so soon." While he sounded like he was happy to see the Duke, the absence of any smiling what so ever told Sin that the man was a good salesman as well, on top of being a hard working glassworker. "I couldn't let you be received by any old servant so I came out myself. Please, please, come in." He back in and aside, motioning for the two men to follow in. "Shall I send someone to fetch something to drink or some snacks while we talk?" He closed the door behind Sin and Tristan once they were inside. The shop looked as well designed and cared for as the outside. Vials of various shapes and sizes, beakers and glasses, windows and various animal shaped glassworks lined the different shelves around the room. To the left of the entrance stood a simple counter and near the back a stained glass door lead into the back of the place. "Oh, my manners..." The man shook his head, mostly at himself. "I am Lear Oonco, head of the Oonco family." Sin didn't like the tone of the man's voice or his behavior so far but he kept quiet, leaving Tristan to do the talking.
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“That’s boring“, Tristan remarked as Sintih informed him that his mentor had always insisted on having everything planned out and made a face. The more he heard about the man, the less he liked him. He sounded incredibly dull and old-fashioned. “I usually see what kinds of reagents I have, and then I try to make something with them. Sometimes I also buy a reagent that sounds cool and experiment with it – unless I work on a commission. When I work on a commission, I use what they tell me to use – most of the time at least. As far as I am concerned, alchemy is all about being creative. It’s an art form!”

As Sintih told him that making everyone like you would be impossible without magic, the young duke sighed and pouted – but a moment later his eyes lit up. “We could make a love potion and dump it into the water supply”, he agreed and then continued, in a very, very excited tone, “I already know which reagent we could use! The Lysorian Lotus! It’s normally an aphrodisiac, but if we dump it into the water supply, it will be diluted, so it’s unlikely that it will make my subjects obsessed with me!”

“I’m tired of people being obsessed with me”,
he murmured, remembering what Aelig, Syroa and Lisirra had done to him. He had cried for trials because he had thought that his beloved Faith had died – that she had died in his arms after she had told him to take care of their daughter.

“Sintih”, he asked once they were well on their way to Oakleigh because he couldn’t contain his curiosity anymore and shifted his weight on Maxos’ back because his behind was already starting to hurt. “Where’s your sword?” He hadn’t realized that the false Eidisi had hidden it under his clothes yet. “Not that I mind reversing our roles for a change, but still …” He looked at Sintih questioningly, hoping that he would tell him.

A moment later he was chatting with his bodyguard/advisor quite happily. He told him that Valeria was hot and that they had been writing each other regularly, that he didn’t care what Ayla did as long as she was happy and that he had tried to learn sign language, but that it was kind of hard without a proper teacher. Before long they had reached their destination, and Tristan dismounted and followed Sintih and Gallien to the Oonco family store, secretly rubbing his sore behind.

“How do you pronounce that name?” he wanted to know, realizing that Mister Oonco might be offended if he mispronounced his name – and he didn’t want that to happen, although he couldn’t understand why the man insisted on keeping such a weird name and hadn’t changed it yet. “We’ll see”, he murmured. He had not missed Sintih’s hint, but he would not give up easily. Tristan could be very persuasive. He had once persuaded Ilaren to share his bed, so convincing a mortal merchant to do business with him would be easy, wouldn’t it?

“Mister Oonco”, he said to the man that opened the door and extended his hand for him to shake. He also smiled, as if he were very happy to see him. “How are you? I hope my early arrival doesn’t inconvenience you. If I interrupted something, I will of course wait until you are done. I appreciate you receiving my employees and me personally, by the way.” The tone of Tristan’s voice was very polite and humble and stood in contrast to his usual behavior. All those arcs of acting classes were finally paying off!

“Impressive”, he remarked as he took a look around the shop, and his eyes widened. “How many employees do you have, Mister Oonco?” he then wanted to know, hoping that the man would appreciate his interest in his business. The glass animals had especially attracted his attention. He decided that he would ask Mister Oonco if he could make a glass version of his cat later on, but for now he followed him through the shop. “Something to eat and drink would be appreciated”, he said. “Only if it’s not too much trouble of course”, he added, deciding that it would be best if he remained polite and humble for now even though he desperately wanted to devour everything that the man had because he was really hungry.

“I assume you were informed of the reason for my visit?” he then asked. That was all that he said, for now. He had realized that it would not be good if he asked too many questions at once. He needed to give Mister Oonco some time to answer as well, although that was hard.
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ell, ser, it sounds like you've got your own approach to alchemy." Sin didn't want to say that it was the wrong approach. It was a very Tristan approach to it, though. An art form? Things couldn't be further from the truth. He wondered how Doran would have reacted had he been in Sin's place for this conversation. On the subject of the love potion, Sin wasn't sure whether the Duke was being sincere or not so just to be safe he tried to reign the Tristan's enthusiasm in a bit. "We want them to like you more, not feel excited at all breaks of the trial. Perhaps we should sit down and investigate this option first, maybe run some tests before we give it such a widespread try. Magic is dangerous, haven't you heard?" He shrugged, a small smile on his face. People could be so stupid sometimes.

While they were riding, Tristan questioned him about his blade and Sin couldn't help a smile. "There's no need to worry, Ser. It's a personal style." Sin pushed his cloak back so the pommel of his blade, hanging from the back of his belt, was visible to him. "But it's nice to get some confirmation that it's actually hidden so well." He adjusted his cloak so it covered the blade once again. "If people were to try and attack you today, I'll make sure they don't succeed." Sin sounded rather sure of himself as he said it. Despite their extended relationship, Tristan had actually never seen Sin in action, aside from a sparring session or two between the members of his company and even then Sin hadn't seemed to be some sword wielding genius. Perhaps, just maybe, his confidence came from some other skill or talent.

Once they had reached the town, Tristan had a question for Gallien. The young tracker nodded and repeated the name. "Oonco. Just Oh and then Onco. Oh-Onco." Tristan seemed satisfied with that and they arrived at the shop. As they were greeted by the owner of the shop himself, Tristan seemed to slip into his element as the conversation between the two men carried on. "How could I be anything but great with the Duke personally coming to my shop?" Sin could almost see the insincerity drip from the man's words. He hoped Tristan could as well. "Your arrival isn't an inconvenience. I wasn't doing anything that could be interrupted by your lordship. Please." Lear waved his hand inside towards the shop, inviting them inside. Sintih followed Tristan through the door.

"Thanks." For a moment, Sin thought he might have caught Ser Oonco speaking an honest truth. Apparently, Tristan's polite and humble tone, combined with what sounded like an honest admiration for the man's shop, had caught the man off guard. "The shop is the face of any business, really, if it doesn't look good, the business won't be good either." He nodded and smiled, lightly, but sincerely, according to Sin. "Well, in the shop here, I've got three people working shifts. In the workshop, it's anywhere between twelve and fifteen per shift. I've also got some roaming traders going from here to the other towns and cities to deliver and sell my wares but their numbers vary constantly." Lear seemed to appreciate the attention to his business as it gave him a moment to do some bragging about how big his operation was. "Of course not. Follow me to my office, we can talk there without being overheard while some snacks and beverages are served."

Lear led them into a room behind the counter where a small seating area had been arranged as well as a desk, which Sin assumed was the man's personal office space. The seating area had enough seats for all three of them to sit at but Sin decided that he'd stay near the door, just in case. There were no windows in the office, which Sin found curious considering the man was a glass dealer, but figured that it was probably surrounded on all sides by other rooms related to the business. He had mentioned a fifteen man workshop as well, something that would take up a lot of space. Lear motioned for Tristan to take a seat in one of the chairs. "I will be right back, one moment please." He said before leaving the two of them alone in the room. About a bit later, he came back in and sat down. "Refreshments will be here in a moment." Again, the same friendly, merchant smile.

"Not in detail, no. Your servant simply mentioned that you were looking for various glass wares and tools. He didn't mention anything specific." Lear explained. "But, no matter what you're looking for, I'm sure the Oonco family can help you out. We're the best ones in the Eastern Settlements when it comes to glass." Sin didn't think he'd ever seen a man proudly swell up over such an insincere remark ever before in his life. He got the feeling Lear was only stringing them along through the motions so as to not appear too rude once he denied their requests. When he spotted movement near the door, Sin turned to look out and came face to face with a servant holding a tray. Lear motioned for him to come in and the man presented Tristan with a tray of several dried and cut fruits and nuts and a pitcher of yellow-greenish looking liquid Sin assumed was a non-poisoned apple juice.
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“Of course I know that magic is dangerous!” Tristan insisted. “But alchemy isn’t magic, and I’m almost as good as Padraig now. It’s been seasons since I accidentally blew something up!” he informed Sintih which was actually true. He’d gotten tired of replacing his furniture on a regular basis, and inhaling the fumes from his exploded experiments hadn’t been a lot of fun either. It had just made him sick rather than high. “You are right though”, he conceded. “We don’t want the people of Oakleigh to feel excited all the time – although there would be a positive side effect. In a few seasons the population of the Eastern Settlement would double! The Eastern Settlement needs more inhabitants in order to be able to compete with Rynmere!”

He remembered how shocked he had been when he had first come to Oakleigh and found out how few people actually lived in the Eastern Settlement and how empty parts of his new duchy were. North of the mountain range that separated Oakleigh into two halves were mostly forests – forests that were full of wild animals and strange plants and thus pretty much useless as far as Tristan who had grown up in the big city was concerned.

As Sintih pushed his cloak back and revealed the pommel of his blade, the duke’s eyes widened. “Cool”, he remarked, wondering if he should hide his weapon as well. But he rather liked the way it looked and wanted people to admire it. Besides, it would be good if at least one of them looked as if he were armed – otherwise they would constantly be attacked by bandits or assassins that thought that they would be an easy target!

~~~

Tristan had the feeling that Mr. Oonco wasn’t being entirely sincere, but he still enjoyed the treatment he received, besides, he had the feeling that the man did appreciate the interest he was showing in his business to some extent. “How long have you been in business?” he thus asked before he followed him into the room behind the counter. While Sintih stayed near the door, probably so that he would be able to act quickly should something unexpected happen, Tristan gladly sat down and proceeded to take a look around.

The room didn’t have any windows, he noticed, which he found strange, but maybe Mr. Oonco was just very light-sensitive – or the room was surrounded by a lot of other rooms which was also a possible explanation, but much less interesting in his opinion. While Sintih seemed to disapprove of the merchant’s pride and arrogance, Tristan didn’t find anything wrong with it. In his opinion you should be proud of what you did and brag about it as well!

“That’s why I decided to do business with you”, he replied as Mr. Oonco spoke about them being the best. “Because you are the best. I’m hoping that this here will not just be one-time occurrence, but that you will agree to regularly sell alchemical supplies to my family. I will of course pay very well for such high quality. As for what we need – Sintih, could you tell him, please?” he asked in an uncharacteristically polite tone and looked at the false Eidisi questioningly. He had forgotten what exactly they wanted to buy, besides, he didn’t want Sintih to just stand there and grow bored.

When the servant walked in, carrying a tray with food and a drink that had a rather interesting color, Tristan smiled at him and thanked him before he turned to face Mr. Oonco again. “That drink looks delicious!” he remarked enthusiastically. “May I ask what it is?” Sintih still didn’t appear to be very optimistic, he noticed, but Tristan was determined to convince the man to sell him his glass because he really didn’t want to go to the second-best shop in the Eastern Settlement when he could do business with the best!
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Sintih
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Full Oakleigh Alchemist

adraig. Once the bane of his tiny little bubble of an existence. Sin couldn't believe he'd once considered the man a rival. Now he couldn't imagine a more worthy punishment for the man than to spend the rest of his life with that woman. "Tsk..." Sin clicked his tongue sharply at the mention of the man and the memories tied to it. "You shouldn't use someone like him to compare yourself." He kept himself from hating the man some more out loud. Instead, Sin focused back on the road ahead.

Lear nodded and thought for a moment. "Well, I've been in the business for most of my adult life." Which was around 30 odd arcs, Sin guessed. "But the Oonco family has been doing this for generations. I believe the original workshop here is around a hundred arcs old, with newer additions added to it since then." For a few bits longer, both men seemed content to talk about how amazing the Oonco family was. Sin could tell Lear enjoyed the attention but he wasn't sure whether Tristan was being roped in by the man or whether he was working the man like a professional. He tipped his mental hat towards his employer's acting skills, impressed. "It's just apple juice. A client of mine makes it and he offered me some as a gift some trials back."

"Repeat business is always good." Lear spoke before Sin could start listing their requirements. "The problem is that we're currently working on some very heavy orders from our standing clients and it isn't possible to take on an extra client. Not even one as noble as yourself." He nodded ever so slightly in Tristan's direction. "Repeat business is where it is at and I would provide a disservice to my current clients if I were to diminish their importance to my company by making deliveries too late because I decided to prioritize a new, unknown client over them." Sin released his breath carefully as Lear stopped speaking. As he had expected, Lear was part of the anti-Tristan front. Why, if he was the big number one in the business, would he not be able to take on Tristan's small time requests? Most likely, half of what they wanted to order, he had lying around in bulk and wouldn't miss the amounts of it they needed.

But Tristan had been eager to settle with this supplier. Sin thought he knew his employer well enough by now to know he would prefer the best, even if it was in name only. "We are only looking for a few tools to help us with some research. Vials, beakers, flasks, funnels and sieves, among other things. Nothing major that would get in the way of production, I'm sure." He hadn't meant to sound snide at the end but it just came out sounding like that. Lear turned from Tristan to look at him with all the friendliness one would show a dirty mutt in the streets. "As I said, we can't do it." He sounded much less friendly when he spoke to Sintih directly.

It looked like things were developing as Sin had expected. The Oonco link with the big families in Oakleigh made him either unwilling to deal with them or, if he did want to, forced him to not deal with them. Either way, Sin cared little for his reasons, only for the results they brought. Hopefully Gallien had already lined up another supplier, if one existed within Oakleigh. One that would appreciate money for what it was, no matter the source of it. One that would have no problem going against the big families, especially as indirect as this matter of business was. He couldn't fault those in power for their tactics and, perhaps, he'd respect them for it later on, depending on how things went down in the future. But for now, he was sorely underwhelmed by their course of action.
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Tristan Venora
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Full Oakleigh Alchemist

“That’s quite impressive!“ Tristan remarked as Mr. Oonco told him that the original workshop was a hundred arcs old. In truth he wasn’t very impressed at all – his family’s palace was much, much older. He didn’t particularly like hiding what he really thought, but this here was personal. He knew that Sintih and he had talked about supporting smaller businesses if the big ones didn’t want to have anything to do with them, but he would win the man over, no matter what the cost! Failure was not acceptable!

“You have to tell me who that client of yours is”, he told the man and took a sip from his glass. It was really quite delicious. “I want to ask them if they would be willing to supply a few bottles to my family. As for your problem”, he continued. “I understand completely, Mister Oonco. I wouldn’t neglect my current clients in favour of somebody new either. For that reason I’m willing to wait until you have more time.” He paused in order to take another sip from his juice and cast a glance at Sintih before he turned back to Mr. Oonco. Apparently, he realized, he was one of those people!

“I’m not unknown though”, he pointed out, having decided to try a different angle. “I have been taking care of Oakleigh for a few seasons now. I know that a lot of people aren’t happy about my being here. I probably wouldn’t be happy either if the King decided to randomly put one of his friends in charge of my home. I’m not that bad though, I assure you. I only want what is best for the people of Oakleigh. Tell me, Mister Oonco”, he said, leaned forward a little and looked into the man’s eyes. “What do I have to do in order to convince you to do business with me?”

For a moment, for just a moment Tristan was seriously tempted to use of his Blessing in order to make Mr. Oonco change his mind, but then he realized that he glowed when he used his abilities and that the man was likely just as uneducated as the rest of them. He would, probably, mistake his use of Elithem for magic and call the guards, and that, he realized, would be counter-productive. In fact, it would disastrous.

His usual methods would have to do!
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I’m sorry. Tristan just refuses to give up. If it helps, he has Expert Persuasion and Leadership!
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