• Graded • Stirring the Cauldron: Part I

Kydrel looks for any sort of gossip that might help him locate 'The Cauldron'

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Kydrel
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Race: Avriel
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Stirring the Cauldron: Part I

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20th Trial of Ashan, 716 Arc
Kydrel had no plan.


It had been over two hundred trials since the Avriel had left Rhakros at the “request” of the Plague Lord. It had taken him roughly forty five trials to get from Rhakros to Eztos, flying as hard and as fast as he could. It had been suggested that he go southeast towards Ne’haer first before changing course and heading towards his actual destination. There was calculated wisdom in the advice and he heeded it. The last thing he needed was to be shot out of the sky for no other reason than by being associated with “the enemy” before having even arrived.


On one hand, he regretted not jumping head first into the task at hand, snooping around for information on the “group that used to work for Lisirra, rumored to be in Eztos” as she had put it, as soon as he arrived in the city. It really wasn’t a whole out of information to go on. He would make it work, though. Getting his hands on that permanent ring would make the entire headache worth it.


Upon further contemplation however, he realized he might have lucked out by taking it slow. Better to act “normal”, get housing, find work and make some nel, essentially blend in, in case hidden eyes were watching his movements. No doubt they were, him being one of the most disliked races in all of Idalos, he was bound to catch someone's attention. Hopefully the work he had kept himself busy with over the last forty trials had been enough to make them lose interest.


Having returned from his quest with Alex, he was rested up and finally ready to begin the task he was sent here to accomplish. The problem was- he had no idea where to start.


Kydrel stood inside the wooden structure some would call a “home” in the outer perimeter of the city and stared out through the window that overlooked the forest. The season had turned and the sun was once again lighting up the day. Cylus had been a cold, dark, miserable existence, most of it having been spent hunting in the most dangerous jungle he had ever stepped foot into- all for a Death Worm. He hoped the new season would bring good fortune with it.


He rubbed the back of his neck, deep in thought.


‘Where do I even begin? Who do I talk to? No one is going to tell me anything. Excuse me maam, hi can you tell me where the nearest secret Lisirra worship center is, please and thank you? I’m trying to expose them and earn the favor of an immortal.’


A low growl emanated from his throat.


‘Okay, okay. That isn’t helping. FOCUS. You need information, any information you can get your hands on. Where do large groups of people form? They form everywhere you idiot. NO, THINK. Commoners aren’t going to know anything useful, more than likely, but it's a start. You sure aren’t about to overhear a general talking to a senator about top secret information. Okay, so where can I find a bunch of commoners who gossip about their day and things they hear?’


He could feel the frustration rising in his chest and begin to cloud his thinking like a red mist. He squeezed his eyes shut, gritting his teeth, trying to concentrate and force the mist to dissipate. Suddenly it struck him. He felt a little foolish for not thinking of it first thing.


‘A tavern. Of course. Alcohol tends to loosen the tongue. A bit cliché, but it’s better than sitting here finding NO information.’


Kydrel spun on his heels and took the next few bits to strap on his armor and gather his weapons and nel. He considered leaving his equipment behind so as not to draw attention to himself but he dismissed it just as quickly. He was an Avriel. He was going to draw attention. Why make his life more difficult by not being ready for whatever came his way? He was not naïve enough to think that just because he wasn’t armored people wouldn’t be nervous around him. Jumpy people made for jumpy trigger fingers. And a crossbow bolt between the eyes was not something he was eager to receive. Better safe than sorry.


Pausing a moment, he reached a hand over to his other and felt to make sure his ring he acquired from the immortal was still in place. It had become a habit over the last few seasons, constantly checking to make sure it was secure.


Confident everything was in it's proper place, the exiled Avriel strode through his door, slamming it shut behind him, ready to prove to 'Her Radiance' that he was the right man for the job.
word count: 822
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Stirring the Cauldron: Part I

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Moving through the city was odd now that the fortress wasn’t lit solely by torch light. It seemed less ominous; shadows looked less dangerous, hooded gazes felt less hostile. But he knew it was all a facade. In his mind, the eternal twilight that was Cylus revealed people’s true nation, the sun only hid it what lurked just beneath the surface of every man and woman in Idalos.


Concealed in that darkness, people felt at liberty to act out, express their true nature, knowing only few would discover the rot that encased their hearts. But it was once the sun rose and the light purged the land of shadow, that the masks of morality came out, citizens flashing their winning smiles and warm greetings at one another, all the while plotting the downfall of their brother and sisters around them. Personal gain was the pursuit each was after. But they would never admit that because that would mean revealing the darkness inside them.


The light they walked in now was a lie and the turn of the season wouldn’t change that.


They were no better than he; he just wore the darkness he carried within himself on his sleeve where all could see it. He, an Avriel, was more honest than the rest of these people combined. And yet, he was the object of their scorn.


Kydrel moved through the city, amber eyes scouring the signs that lined the shops. The words were a struggle to read; especially the more elaborately designed signs, unless he really stopped to concentrate. To make thing simpler, he took to just looking at the graphics carved or painted onto them, hoping to get a general idea of what was held within. The crowd parted around him, as he moved determinedly through the streets of Eztos.


Half a break had passed before his eyes landed on an old, weathered sign that jutted out on a metal strip beside the door with two tankards clanking together, swinging gently against the cool wind that swept through the city. Kydrel squared his shoulders and made a beeline for the entrance. Reaching for it, he wrapped his long, pale fingers around the door knob and turned, pushing the door inward. It took a few minutes for his eyes to adjust to the dim light of the bar.


It was a rather dingy establishment, a simple square room with a bar off to the right, manned by a lone bartender. Two other men sat at a table off to the left, a dozen other tables spread out in the open space, chairs surrounding each an unlit fire place sitting at the far end of the room. As far as taverns went, there was no noticeable difference from any other he had seen as far as he could tell.


‘A place where depressed people came to forge their problems.’


Kydrel wasn’t feeling very confident that this was where he would find what he was looking for as he stepped inside, shutting the door behind him. Three pairs of eyes turned and stared at him blankly as he walked across the room towards the bar. Setting a hand down on the counter, he met the uncomfortable and unfriendly gaze of the bartender.


“I don’t want any trouble from you.” The man tried to keep his tone neutral but couldn’t stop the aggression from breaking through. “I’ve heard of your kind. I won’t have you smashing my bar apart because you got ina' drunken brawl.”


His hands began rubbing the glass he was holding with a rag a bit more violently than he had been before, betraying his uneasiness. It probably wasn’t very often, if at all, that he got an Avriel in his establishment. He seemed uncertain as to what to do.


“Do you serve no alcoholic drinks?”


The bartender seemed taken off guard by the comment.


“Uhhh, we have cider but I still don…”


“Half glass cider, half water. I pay same price.”


Kydrel found himself holding his breath as he stared at the man in what he hoped was a passive expression. The man squinting at him suspiciously, no doubt trying to figure out what his angle was. Kydrel’s impatience started to get the best of him, however.


“Look, I finish job killing Death Worms. Near Hiladreth. All I want is break. You will not have trouble from me.”


The owner of the business seemed on the edge, not sure which way to fall. Kydrel played his last chip and hoped it would work. He glanced down towards his belt at the bag of nel attached there, eyebrow arched, exaggerating the motion so the man would follow his gaze. He jiggled the bag slightly, just loud enough for the man to hear the coins clinking together before returning to his position he had previously been standing in.


It seemed to be the last push needed to convince him, if only even halfheartedly.


“Fine, fine, fine. You can stay. You still have to pay for drinks, though.”


Kydrel fought to control his face, resisting the urge to snarl at him. He was already bribing him on top of purchasing drinks. But he managed to keep it together and nodded in response. He wasn’t build for smiling and most likely all it would do would scare the man. Kydrel reached into the bag of coins as discretely as possible, shielding it from the two men behind him and pulled out the nel, sliding it across the table, under his hand. The coins disappeared under the rag as the man made to wipe the counter down.


Taking the mug of cider from the counter, Kydrel planted himself in the center of the tables facing the door, trying to expand his radius of hearing as much as possible. It was still midday; he had a lot of time to kill before the big rush came in for the evening.


Hopefully his decision to come early would pay off.

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Last edited by Kydrel on Thu May 12, 2016 11:55 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1025
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Stirring the Cauldron: Part I

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It had been the longest three and a half breaks of his life.


He sat in the uncomfortable chair, shifting every once in a while, his buttocks goning numb what felt like every other bit. His wings covered his torso like a cloak, concealing from the gazes of the regulars that frequented the bar his armor and the loaded pistol crossbow that rested on his lap. As the sun waned, the tavern grew busier, customers having gotten off a long shift at work and coming to in to unwind. Laughter, cries, arguments and shouts filled the room, the crowd growing rowdier with the more people that filtered in.


It was both a blessing and a curse for the Avriel. It allowed him more conversations to try and listen in on but it also made it harder to hear. It didn’t help that he drew attention. But there was nothing he could do about that. Unless…


He glanced down at the ring on his hand but dismissed the thought as soon as it entered his mind.


‘No. That would be a waste. You won’t even learn anything in this pathetic place even if you WERE one of these…humans.’


Kydrel sighed inwardly. He honestly didn’t even know what to ask people without tipping anyone off that he was snooping around. How does one bring up a hidden immortal worship group in conversation? He was grasping at straws and shooting in the dark blind. It was going to require a miracle to learn anything useful.


The Avriel turned his attention outwards, pushing aside his thoughts. The same two sandy hair colored men that had been there when he entered the tavern three breaks prior, were still there. They changed tables as the tavern began to fill up, moving towards the back. They had been eyeing him, hostility radiating off of them in waves. But they hadn’t done anything to alarm him- yet. All they had done was order one pitcher after the other of mead.


He ignored them, instead choosing to stare at the cracks in the table, eyes growing distant as he turned his focus towards listening. A group of four men sat at the table behind him, laughing and talking among themselves loudly, making it easy to hear them. He took a sip of his watered down cider and blanched. It tasted terrible but it allowed him to stay unmolested so he couldn’t complain.


“…won’t get off my arse, about it. I keep tellin’ her, tis’ my own damn money!!”


A mug slammed down on the table, apparently to emphasis his point. His friends chortled at his expense. One of them spoke up.


“Well, tell that fool woman to mind her own business. It’s not like she’s the one bringin’ inna’ the coin. She just runs the house, not tellin’ ya’ how to manage yer’ nel."


There was a murmur of agreement but the first man scoffed.


“Please, you don’t know her like I do. You can’t say nothin' to her without her flying off the handle.”


“Ahh, seems like yer’ woman’s got yer’ balls locked away inna’ her panty drawer, ehh?”



The friends hooted with laughter and Kydrel could almost hear the first man turning red.


But his attention was suddenly jerked away as the chair at the other end of his table was pulled back, its legs scuffing the floorboards noisily over the din. A seedy looking man slid down onto it across from him. Kydrel jerked slightly in surprise, so focused on the people behind him, he wasn’t paying attention to what was happening in front of him.


Suppressing his instinct to lash out, he slowly wrapped his fingers around the crossbow, his movements obscured by his wings, careful to keep his finger off the trigger as he leveled it at the man under the table. Dark, oily hair slicked back against the stranger’s scalp and hung limply to his shoulders. He wore a ratty, black jacket over what might have once been a white shirt. One hand rested on the table, fingers drumming erratically on the wooden surface. What must have been an attempt at a friendly smile, stretched across his face as he stared at the Avriel.


“Hello, friend. Ye’ must be new to our little town.”


His voice was raspy, it grating on Kydrel’s ears. Instant dislike colored the Avriel’s opinion of the man in front of him. An almost irresistible desire to pull the trigger and see that ugly grin disappear into a grimace of pain tempted the warrior. But curiosity stilled his hand…as well as the knowledge that killing a man surrounded by witnesses would be the quickest way to secure his execution, even in a city such as Eztos. Kydrel eyed him coolly instead.


“What do you want.”


The smile slipped from the man’s face but returned a moment later. It didn’t reach his eyes.


“Now that’s no way to treat a friend, friend.”


‘What in Idalos’ three moons is this guy going on about?’


“Your head is not through the table, is it?”


A hint of uncertainty crossed the sleazy man’s face, his smile faltering. But he heroically pressed on.


“I can’t help but notice ye’r alone. Probably not a lot of friends, round here, be’d my guess. I have some…” He looked around, making sure no one was paying attention and leaned in, lowering his voice, “…recreational activities fer’ ye’ if ya are in need of ‘em. Make yer’ night more…lively.”


He winked slyly, leaning back in his chair, confident that the foreigner would take him up on his offer.


‘Interesting. Let’s see where this goes…’


“Why are you asking me of all people?”


The man placed both elbows on the table and leaned in again.


“Ye’ seem like one who likes teh’ live dangerously. Doesn’t play nice wit’ teh’ other kids. Maybe interested inna’ few…treats?”


‘Is…is he trying to sell me drugs?’


Kydrel tried to act interested and leaned towards him, lowering his voice.


“I am interested. What can you offer me?”
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Stirring the Cauldron: Part I

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The man bent forward, arching an eyebrow and grinning as he rambled off a few unfamiliar names.


“I got sum’ Diurnal Bush Sap, Iron Shell Bush Seeds, Maiden’s Kiss…” He glanced around again, making sure they weren’t attracting any attention. “Or if yer’ feelin’ a little wild, I got a Mind Crusher. So what do yeh’ think?”


Kydrel remained still, crossbow still pointed at him under the table, mind racing.


“Where you get these?”


The dealer shrugged cockily and lounged in his chair, enjoying what he assumed was an interested buyer.


“I hav’ my connections.” He looked at his fingernails coyly.


The Avriel thought about that a moment, processing the new information.


‘Connections? So that would mean he isn’t doing anything alone. Unless he just came in with his own supply and is trying to make a quick copper. But he seems a little too self-assured for that. More confident than someone doing it for the first time…’


He finally responded after a lengthy pause.


“What do they do?”


A look of mild irritation crossed the man’s face but he covered it up quickly. “The Bush Sap and Iron Shell give ya’ an adrenaline rush. But the Mind Crusher…” He nodded knowingly, “Now that will gettcha. Very rare, tiss’ a hallucinogen from the Misty Miasma.”


The name caught Kydrel’s attention and he gave the dealer a sharp look.


“How you get it from there?”


Suspicion crossed the unsavory man’s face and Kydrel saw that he had pushed too far. The chair scrapped loudly as the drug dealer got ready to leave, staring at the Avriel with an unfriendly look.


“Yeh’ ask too many questions. I dunn' like it. Deal is off.”


He was about to stand up when the flying humanoid lifted a hand and placed a few nel on the table. The dealer looked at them and scoffed.


“Please, yeh’ think a few meager coins are gonna convince me to stay? I canna’ smell a rat.”


Kydrel opened his mouth, about to threaten him with his crossbow but stopped. He realized all it would take was one shout from him and the whole tavern would fall upon him. He growled in frustration, glaring at the dealer. As much as he wanted to say ‘stand up and this bolt goes through your stomach’, he needed allies, not more enemies.


All he could do was watch as the man rose, confident that the Avriel would leave him unmolested and sauntered out of the tavern, but not before snatching up the nel that still sat on the table as he passed. Kydrel could only watch, seething in anger, resisting the urge to spin around and aim the crossbow at his head, pulling the trigger.


The mental image of the bolt piercing his skull and dropping him to the ground was incredibly appealing. But instead, the man walked away and Kydrel had nothing to show for his spent nel.


‘Well. That’s not true. Based off that conversation, I think there might be some sort of criminal activity in Eztos. Or at the very least, some type of underhand dealings…’


So maybe the day hadn’t been a complete waste. He had an interesting tidbit of information. Substances were available in the city and he doubted the city guards were selling them. He didn’t know if it was illegal to do so or not but it made him wonder how it was done. Or if it was accepted by most.


‘What is the system of distribution? If it’s illegal, how are they getting it into the city? Who is buying it? Where are they manufacturing it?’


Questions raced through his mind. They weren’t quite connected to his goal at hand but figuring out some of these possibilities might help him in the long run. Dishonest people tended to be easier to bribe than the honest folk. Maybe he could even get a side job if he found anything else out…


Kydrel sighed. Crossbow still under the table, he removed the bolt from the weapon and hooked both back on his baldric before standing, still concealed by his wings. His eyes scanned the tavern, most gazes turning towards him as he rose. A lull of sound came over the bar, patrons realizing again that an Avriel was in their midst. He met their gazes evenly.


Most turned away, returning to their previous conversations but as Kydrel examined the room two men caught his attention.
It was the same two blonde hair men that were in the tavern earlier in the afternoon. They both stared at him silently. Kydrel pretended not to notice them, letting his gaze sweep past. He strode to the door, turning slightly as he opened the door, glancing over his shoulder.


The two men whispered quietly to themselves. Before they could notice him looking, the Avriel exited the tavern and crossed the street, weaving between people in the crowd, a few buildings up the road and turned to watch. It wasn’t more than a bit before the door opened again and the two men left, both scouring the crowd for something.


Or someone.


The day was turning out quite differently than he had anticipated. But he had some frustration that needed to be vented. Maybe this was the perfect opportunity to do so. Kydrel stared at them, a faint smile touching his lips, looking more like a sneer than anything else.


'So the game of cat and mouse begins.'


Who was the cat and who was the mouse would be determined over the next few breaks. A challenge Kydrel was looking forward to seeing who came out victorious.
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Stirring the Cauldron: Part I

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Come and get your Loot!

(There's plenty more where that came from)


KYDREL:
Skills:

  • Acting +1
  • Detection +1
  • Intimidation +2
  • Investigation +2
  • Persuasion +2
  • Tactics +1

Knowledges:

  • Basic
    • Acting Disinterested When Investigating is "Safe" but Slow
    • Drunk Lips are Loose Lips
    • Humans: Judgmental Hypocrites
    • Noticing Who Else Waits All Day
    • Roundabout Path to Etzos to Avoid "Guilt by Direction"
  • Specific
    • Aphrodisiac: Maiden's Kiss
    • Drugs: Diurnal Bush, Iron Shell & Mind Crusher
    • Making Contacts: Flash Nel and See Who Comes to You
    • Making Contacts: Key Word: "Connections"
    • NPC Leads: Seedy-Looking Drug Dealer
    • NPC Leads: Two Blond-Haired Tavern Patrons

Loot:

loss of 5gn for bribe and 2sn for drinks


Injuries:

Nothing yet, but the night is young ;)


Comments:

PM me with any comments or concerns :)
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