• Solo • Tell me, Moore! - Part 1 (Graded)

6th of Cylus 720

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Oberan
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Tell me, Moore! - Part 1 (Graded)



The 6th of Cylus 720

‘Moore’.

The name had been on the forefront of his mind recently. Whenever there was nothing distracting him, if he wasn’t focused on something else, his thoughts returned to the memory gleaned from the Recluse’s mind. A brief flash of an image, lasting only a moment before the link had been cut. Truth be told, there was not a whole lot to go off of. Not much in the way of clues. Just the single one, in fact.

‘Moore’.

It was the left part of a signboard or some such, hanging above a wooden door. A simple etching, nothing too fancy. There was more written on the sign; ‘Moore’ was part of a phrase or tagline. Or name. Likely a business. With the exceptions of some rich folk who felt the need to lord their ownership of grand residences over one another, businesses were the only kind of building in Etzos with signboards above their doors. How would they get customers if the customers could not determine which building was a shop and which was not? Likewise, how would customers know which kind of shop they were looking at?

The architecture of the place was too simple to be a mansion or similar large house. Which likely meant he should search the Circle. Most businesses were located there, after all. Yet, the Perimeter had some as well. Owners with too little in the way of coin to pay the rent of a nice establishment. Those whose regular customers were simple Oh-pee folk who did not leave the Perimeter often –and preferred it this way. The underground had its share of shady shops and services provided.

Oberan thought the style of the building placed it in the Circle, but he couldn’t be sure. Even if he was, the Circle was huge. Searching even one part of Etzos by himself would take a long time. It’d have been convenient if he could recall a full list of businesses located there, but alas. He knew the streets relatively well, yes, though not the shops lining them. Those were background noise.

Yes, a list of all businesses in Etzos would come in handy right about now. Leafing through the pages in a book or file would be faster than walking through the entire city. Boring, of course, but faster. If only he knew someone with… such a… book…

Of course!

He did!

It was so obvious!

The answer to the problem was so easy that he felt incredibly stupid thinking of it only now. Etzos did have a place where information about businesses and residences was handled. To start a business one had to go through an enormous amount of paperwork. Bureaucracy was the name of the game just about everywhere in Idalos, and the last bastion of Mortal power was no exception. The government needed all businesses to be registered for taxation and such. Carpenters, barbers, smithies, taverns, courier services, brothels, and bakers. All were registered, as long as they were legal.

And there was one place to be for any and all matters pertaining housing, starting a business, or getting employed.

The Office of the Citizen's Committee.

word count: 536
Just because I shouldn't doesn't mean I won't.


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Oberan
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Re: Tell me, Moore! - Part 1



All in all, the Office of the Citizen's Committee was not all that special. Though a government building, its architecture wasn’t flashy or lavish. Enough to stand out from the residences around, catching the eye quite easily. Not too much though. Pleasant to look at rather than feeling out of place. It managed to bend right in, all while preventing being overlooked. Several elements of other government institutions returned in the Office’s appearance. The Tower, the Hall of Reprimand, the Office; all built to match each other, making it easy to identify them as belonging to the same set. Important to the authority of proud Etzos, every single one was.

Entering through the double doors, Oberan was met with the scent of green soap. There were more people in the antechamber than expected, waiting their turn on the few chairs lining the walls. Some glanced at him subtly when he stepped inside, others less so. A moment later they all turned their attention back to what they’d been doing. Curiosity satiated.

Except for one. They glared at him openly, mop in hand and bucket filled with soapy at their feet. Intent to kill wafted off them in thick waves, dense enough to almost feel. Oberan looked down at the ground, and stepped aside immediately, off the still-wet tile. A fresh boot print marred it now. He mouthed an apology to the cleaning staff. It was met with a scowl, but also a nod. Some of the bloodlust disappeared. Grumbling they redid the stained tile, then placed a wooden sign in front of it. People would surely trip over it if they didn’t pay attention when entering the Office. Maybe that was the point.

Oberan sat himself down on one of the stray chairs, right next to a little table with reading material on it. No books, but past editions of the local newspaper. Outdated gossip and rumors, as well as coverage of past events. He rustled through them a couple times, mildly surprised to find a recent one. It was yesterday’s, in fact. Not that there was much of interest written in the articles though. Most were on Sintra, of course. The fashion column went into much detail about the bold choice of the Immortal to wear dark colors at the Lighting of the Dark ceremony. There one about the promise of Sintra to help insulate older buildings against the cold and snow. One about increase in spiders seen and the decline in crime lately, connecting both events. Bah. As if he needed reminding SIntra likely monitored all of Etzos all the time. Hopefully she couldn’t see everything at once. He threw the paper back on the table and stared at the three doors instead.

People went in and out, spending several minutes inside. Some took long, others required only a minute or two. The door to the Office of Employment had the least amount of traffic, but more time was spent inside. He watched the latest person exit the door, and waited a few moments. No-one stood, so he did. Still no-one rose to stop him. Good, so it was his turn. One hand on the handle, he remembered to knock first. A few raps of the knuckles just to be polite. He didn’t wait to enter.

Behind him the double doors opened, and someone stumbled. Wood clattered to the floor while the poor victim cursed in surprise. Once more, the air turned thick with bloodlust, though this time Oberan believed he sensed a tinge of satisfaction in it as well.

word count: 603
Just because I shouldn't doesn't mean I won't.


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Re: Tell me, Moore! - Part 1



The office behind the door labeled with the employment plaque was rather neat and tidy. Not large, but not small either. The décor was very professional, with nary a personal touch to be found, excluding the potted plant in the far corner. It definitely wasn’t cluttered like he was led to believe. People often said that Office of the Citizens Committee was one of least organized organizations in all of Etzos, and that finding a safe route to the chair at the desk was a difficult challenge. If you’re lucky, so it was said, the chair would be empty. If you weren’t, you’d have to move the precariously stacked files, folders, charts and paperweights to an empty space on the floor or desk –a feat very few had accomplished.

Clearly, Oberan had either been lied to, the rumors were highly exaggerated, or Marlin Tagley had finally made an effort to tidy up.

The greying gentleman behind the desk heard the door close, and glanced up from his work, noticing Oberan approaching. His padded chair scraped over the floorboards as he stood, professional but warm smile on his face, hand extended. The Mortalborn shook it firmly.

“Welcome, welcome!” the clerk said, “Peter Mead, Employment Coordinator.”

Ah, well that explained a lot, didn’t it?

“Oberan…” he paused, thinking. “Business… location… confirmation… agent?” He waved a hand as if to fan the string of words away, dispersing it into the air. “Never mind. Just Oberan.”

The well-dressed clerk raised his eyebrows, but further ignored the fumbled title. “Well, Oberan, it is my pleasure to assist you. Please, sit.” He gestured to the chair in front of the desk, sitting down himself in his own seat. “If you don’t mind me finishing up, I’ll get to you in a couple minutes.”

The Mortalborn nodded, and Peter Mead focused back on the forms he’d been filling in. Though he clearly made an effort to be quick about it, the clerk’s handwriting did not suffer in the slightest. He pushed the paper aside, ink drying while he prepared the folder to file it in. Both were placed aside, and Peter steepled his fingers. Attention on Oberan once again.

“My apologies for the wait. Now, how can I be of assistance? Looking for employment, I assume? Did you have something in mind? What skills do you possess you believe might be of interest for future employers?”

“Well, actually I’m looking for the location of a specific business. I’ve been told where to find it, I think, but I cannot remember.”

Mead nodded. “I can certainly give you directions if that’s what you’re here for. Can you tell me the name of the business, please?” He rose from behind the desk to pull a thick register from a shelf.

“Well, that’s the problem. My memory’s not the best. The acquaintance who recommended it no doubt gave a name, but…” He tried to shrug in a disarming way. “It’s something with ‘Moore’ in it though. It started with Moore, if I’m not mistaken. I think that’s the name of the owner. I’ve asked around, but people sent me here instead.”

Again, Peter Mead nodded. “I see. At least you have a name. That’ll make things a little bit easier. You said the business’s name began with ‘Moore’?”

Oberan responded affirmatively.

The Employment Coordinator returned to the desk, placing the register in front of him. He began leafing through, mumbling to himself. Index finger traced the page while his eyes scanned, page after page. Oberan caught the names of dozens of shops and ateliers he’d never heard of, all names beginning with an M.

“Ah!” Peter exclaimed then. “I’ve got it. There’s only one ‘Moore’ in here. Harrin Moore. Of course, I should have known. He’s got a reputation. The shop you’re looking for is probably ‘Moore Than Tanwood’. A furniture shop specializing in fine furnishings and custom work. Does that ring a bell?”

The memories that had leaked from Recluse’s mind into Oberan’s bubbled to the surface. One had focused on a specific desk, finely crafted, with a false bottom in one of the drawers.

“Yes, that’s it!” Oberan said, beaming. “And the location?”

“It’s… let’s see…” He searched on the page, eyes flitting from side to side. “Commercial Circle… four-five-i-five.” The clerk looked up from the register. “Anything else?”

“No, that will be all,” Oberan said, shaking his head. “Thank you very much, Mr. Mead.” He rose from the chair, extending a hand for the Employment Coordinator to shake.

“My pleasure.”

word count: 789
Just because I shouldn't doesn't mean I won't.


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Re: Tell me, Moore! - Part 1

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Oberan

Experience: 10 no magic xp

Knowledge:

-Investigation: Searching aimlessly isn't efficient
-Investigation: Not everything has to be difficult
-Investigation: If you don't know something, ask someone who does
-Deception: making excuses
-Etiquette: don't step on freshly mopped floors
-Etiquette: waiting your turn

Renown: 5? idk. Maybe they saw you go into the building and thought you were looking for honest work. The suckers.

Skill Usage: Appropriate to level.

Loot/Losses: another lead

Injuries/Conditions: none

Consequences: none

Comments: I almost thought that the janitor/cleaning guy might be in with Sintra (and perhaps he is) but then I guess he probably hates his job and envies anyone coming in to start a business. Either way, the piece is full of rich characterization like that, that doesn't get overexplained but is left in the air to keep the reader wondering.

Oberan is becoming quite practiced at detective work. And dare I say is slowly learning the art of subtlety. I wonder if he'll turn over a new leaf when this Sintra business has blown over...

Anyway, looking forward to the next installment of Oberan's investigations.

If you have any concerns about this review, please PM me about them.
word count: 204
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