Smoke's Poison, Part 2

Stronghold of education and learning, this fortress is in one of the coldest areas of Idalos and home to many knowledge seekers in a variety of disciplines. However, unknown to most, below the city are those who suffer for the sake of science. While all are welcome, not everyone will be treated as they expect.

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Smoke's Poison, Part 2

Part 1

Zi’da 5, Arc 719


The man that left the Obsidian Prism a break or two after sunset looked quite different from the one that had entered in the afternoon. He was a young man, in his early twenties maybe, pale, with coal-black hair and blue eyes, slender and clean-shaven, but he wore similar clothes, a dark suit under a cloak that was trimmed with silver fur, and he carried himself with the same confidence, as if there was nothing in the world that he really feared.

The Mortalborn walked through the streets of Viden that were covered with a thin layer of snow at a brisk pace. The trial before, he had first found out about a woman that sold spiked alcohol, drugs and similarly harmful and most likely illegal substances, supposedly somewhere behind the apothecary – and decided to intervene as he was tired of having to save her victims’ lives and treating alcohol poisoning after alcohol poisoning.

Besides, he didn’t appreciate the competition.

Since he was fairly well known in certain circles, one of the downsides of being a professor at the Academy, he had decided to make use of the abilities that Syroa’s Blessing afforded him. The face that he wore now was as real as his usual one, it would feel real to anybody that happened to touch it, but the changes he had made to his body would eventually begin to fade – hopefully only after his business had been concluded.

The apothecary was still open. He could see light in the windows, and he could make out two figures, most likely the man that owned the shop and one of his customers. They were talking about something rather animatedly. He watched them for a few trills, wondering what was going on, before he moved behind the building, taking a quick look around as he did so in order to make sure that nobody was watching him at the moment.

He had planned on pretending to be a prospective customer and continuing from there, but as he let his gaze sweep across the alley, from one side to the other, he noticed that nobody was there, nobody but a cat that sat on a pile of old wooden crates - and a young man that was obviously of mixed descent, half human and half Eidisi. He was pacing back and forth quite impatiently, occasionally muttering something that was as good as incomprehensible.

He was just thinking about retreating and continuing his search – maybe this was not the correct alley, the directions he had gotten from the victims had not been entirely clear – when the half-blood spun around. Apparently, he realized, the snow had not dampened the sound of his footsteps as much as he had thought that it would. The man looked at him from out of milky white eyes with thinly veiled suspicion before he asked, “Are you looking for Smoke? She isn’t here, man. I’ve been waiting for nearly half a break!”

Even in the twilight that had descended upon Viden, the Mortalborn could see that the man’s hands were trembling severely, possibly a sign of withdrawal. He wasn’t here to criticize the man’s obviously self-destructive habits though. He only wanted to find the woman that had been supplying him with drugs. “Do you think she’ll come later?” he wanted to know, wondering if something might have delayed her arrival for some reason.

The half-blood shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know, man!” he retorted. “Maybe she got in trouble with the guards! They already took my last dealer! Feking guards!” he cussed. He wrapped his arms around his chest as a shiver that was probably not only be due to the cold that troubled Viden at that time of the arc rocked his body before he abruptly narrowed his eyes and asked, “Why do you want to know anyway? Do you have anything to do with Smoke’s disappearance? You work for the guards, don’t you?”

“I don’t work for the guards”,
the Mortalborn assured him, wondering how the man could possibly have come to such a ludicrous conclusion – in his current disguise, he looked more like some sort of university student than someone that worked for the government.

The addict, already driven half-mad and paranoid because of Smoke’s concoctions or rather the lack thereof and obviously incapable of thinking logically, clenched his fists and advanced towards him. Now that he was a bit closer, the Mortalborn could see that his eyes were bloodshot, without a doubt another side effect of the substances that he had ingested.

The half-blood’s attack was relatively clumsy and uncoordinated. He was, the Mortalborn observed, obviously lacking any real combat experience. His fist shot forward, towards the Mortalborn who grimaced slightly before he abruptly grabbed the mortal with a gloved hand, digging his fingers into the smaller man’s right upper arm with so much force that he cried out in pain. “Hey, man, I’m sorry!” the half-blood exclaimed, his eyes now filled with fear. “I wasn’t really trying to do anything! Let go of me, okay? You are hurting me!”

The Mortalborn didn’t reply immediately but maintained contact a while longer, holding the man in place and tightened his grip, looking directly into his eyes. “I don’t want anything from you, and I don’t work for the guards”, he assured him again. “As I told you before, I’m only looking for Smoke. I want something from her. She is an Ellune, isn’t she?” he asked. Smoke’s victims seemed to have been unable to agree as far as the drug dealer’s appearance was concerned. Some had insisted that she was an Ellune, while others had claimed that she was a curvy human woman with red hair which was something that he found peculiar, to say the least. Ellune and humans were nothing alike.

“What are you talking about, man?” the half-blood retorted. “Smoke’s a human! Now let go of me. I won’t tell anybody about this here, I swear!” he assured the Mortalborn whose lips twisted into the semblance of a smile. He didn’t have anything to fear from the authorities. Even if they found out who he was somehow, they were more likely to arrest the half-blood who had attacked him and who was obviously involved in illegal activities.

He looked at the man a moment longer before he abruptly let go of him. The half-blood nearly lost balance, stumbled and fell, and then he ran, as fast as he could. The Mortalborn let out a sigh as he watched him disappear around a corner. He had thought that he wouldn’t have to do more than be at the right place and the right time and wear a disguise so that Smoke wouldn’t accidentally recognize him, but it seemed as if the woman was harder to find than he had thought she would be. Besides that, there was the matter of her changing appearance.

As he left the alley, he wondered what exactly she was again. Had she been marked by Syroa, just like him, or was she an Yludih, like his former apprentice Sintih who had worn the body of an Eidisi most of the time? It didn’t matter. He would find her sooner or later. As a Mortalborn and Blessed of Syroa he had means and ways of tracking someone down that most people didn’t have.

For the time being, he decided to return to the Obsidian Prism though. His transformation was unlikely to last the entire night at this stage. He would continue his search the following trial, after he had visited the Infirmary and checked on his patients. While most of them had already recovered, there were one or two that he was still somewhat worried about. He had no interest in having to get rid of their dead bodies.
I'm doing the Information Sought bounty. This is obviously the second part.
word count: 1361





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Re: Smoke's Poison, Part 2





Endurance: Being punched
Stealth: Making sure that nobody is watching you
Stealth: Snow can dampen the sound of your footsteps
Strength: Digging your fingers into someone’s arm
Strength: Using your strength to hold another in place
Strength: Using strength to intimidate


EXP: 10


Good work with using your blessing to help solve a problem… that’s got to be one of the most useful abilities out there. I like it tied in with the drug dealer as it looks like your shapeshifter is looking for another shapeshifter. If only Doran had Syroa’s ability to see through disguises instantly! Overall, this was some nice detectivework and I look forward to seeing how he finds this elusive drug dealer.

word count: 128
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