• Closed • Tell me, Moore! - Part 2 (Graded)

7th of Cylus 720

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Oberan
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Tell me, Moore! - Part 2 (Graded)



The 7th of Cylus 720

The directions provided by the Employment Office in mind, Oberan traversed the cobbled Etzos streets of the Commercial Circle. He knew the layout of the city well enough to find his way based on the address designation, but that only got him to the general area. Once there, he needed to pay close attention to the house numbers and signs to actually keep going the right direction. Sometimes he’d enter the wrong street, realize it several steps in, and backtrack. Sometimes it took longer before he noticed. Such were the consequences for refusing the embarrassment brought by using a map of the city he’d lived in for years.

Despite the setbacks, Moore’s Moore Than Tanwood was not that difficult to find. In part due to the address designation code, yes. However, it mostly was because once you looked at the place, you knew you were where you needed to be. The place was fairly standard for a shop or atelier in the Commercial Circle, yet it differed itself from others with the fine pieces of non-tanwood furniture stalled out in the large window.

And the horrible sign with the equally terrible name on it too, of course.

Oh, Oberan did appreciate the pun, but wasn’t pleased with its incorporation in the name. Perhaps he simply didn’t get it. He wasn’t a carpenter, after all. Was there something wrong with tanwood? Was it a joke among craftsman to laugh at the material’s expense? And was the common customer supposed to understand that joke?

Each question that popped into his head just made him like the name less and less.

Still, there was no doubt about this being the right place. Oberan couldn’t recall the memory in vivid detail, but everything he had managed to remember aligned perfectly with the sight before him. The first part of the signboard, with the little chip missing near the ‘M’. That particular woodgrain at the bottom, which looked like a sideways smiley face. An ornate door underneath, maintaining a fine balance between elegant and overly gaudy.

Yeah, this was the place.

A glance through the window revealed no customers inside, so the Mortalborn entered the building. Above his head, a chime clinked with glee as the door opened and closed. Many different pieces of admittedly fine woodwork stood on display in the main chamber. Beds, closets, chests, rocking chairs, some kind of dangerous-looking contraption on wheels. The last one had a tiny chair embedded in its design, and possessed several levers and a complicated mechanic, which --according to the plaque—allowed the structure to be folded into only a quarter of its size. The wheels, meanwhile, made it very portable.

Why anyone would buy a foldable baby chair on wheels was beyond Oberan though.

From a back room, likely the atelier itself, a man came rushing in. Though he’d clearly made an effort to brush most of it off, sawdust clung to his shirt and pants. He ran a hand through his hair to fix it a bit, a smile on his friendly face. Eager words of welcome were spoken.

Oberan had the distinct impression he was going to ruin this fellow’s day.

“Are you Mr. Harrin Moore?” the thief asked. “I’ve got some questions about a piece from your atelier. Do you have some time for me at the moment, or are you preoccupied?”

word count: 578
Just because I shouldn't doesn't mean I won't.


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Re: Tell me, Moore! - Part 2

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To say that he was feeling no lingering impact from the ravages of the plague would be an injustice to Mr. Harrin Moore. A number of items on which he'd spent considerable investments were on payment plans to people now dead of plague, or to survivors eking out a living absent their primary sources of income.

Not only did Mr. Moore possess a big enough heart that he could not bring himself to go and repossess the items from these unfortunates, the possibility of lingering contagion was not conducive to hardening either his heart or his nose to the hardships of his past customers. He was a man that believed in karma, and if he chose to be heartless, he believed he just might end up lifeless.

During the height of the plague, he'd arranged teams to go house to house, business to business, to look for those who might be indirect victims of Lisirra's attack. Not those fallen in the streets, rotting with plague, but those home in situations requiring care from those who would no longer be returning to check on them; children, injured and elderly for the most part.

He had this honest belief that his own relatively unscathed survival, and that of his wife and daughter, was some sort of cosmic compensation for those efforts - the amount of washing and sterilization, of both body and clothes, imposed on him by his wife was not the least of them. - But it was worth it to see their smiles now.

Those smiles reflected on his own face now as he brushed the sawdust from his clothes - sanding was the worst - and moved to the counter to welcome a new potential customer. Big-hearted or not, he had bills to pay too, and a big smile tended to promote sales. And he needed them now more than ever.

"Yes sir, and welcome to 'Moore than Tanwood'." he said, looking ruefully at his stained and saw-dusty hands with a shrug indicating that he would be foregoing the traditional handshake.

His customer made his initial comments, to which he confirmed his identity, going on to assume the walk-in had seen something in the shop window he was interested in. "Well and good, sir! I am quite free for now. No glue on the boil, no clamps to adjust, nothing being steamed for flexing. What did you have in mind? The underbed drawers? Understairs? The nesting tables? The circular stairway? Not sure what you call something? Should I arrange a home visit for advice? There's much more in the back, if you've got a moment."

He'd stepped around the counter as he'd spoken and now leaned in close in a near whisper, "I've gotten some Livlos-wood dowels for implanting into items for protection from magic. They're costly, but you can never be too careful these trials."
word count: 486
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Re: Tell me, Moore! - Part 2



Harrin Moore was more than happy to provide the Mortalborn with a bit of his time. All wide smiles and eager of service, perfect for a salesman. If he’d have had any trouble saying ‘no’, Oberan was certain he’d have been dragged into an extended tour of the entire showroom. By the end of it, he’d know everything about the different kinds of wood, their grain and their properties. Perhaps Harrin Moore could even have pressured the thief into purchasing something, so he wouldn’t feel bad wasting his time. Unfortunately, Oberan wasn’t there to buy anything. That did not prevent him from admiring the craftsmanship of all the items Moore pointed out though.

The carpenter slid from behind his counter, leaning in close in a conspiratorial whisper. Voice low, hand perpendicular to his lips, obscuring them. Oberan frowned, unable to deny his interest in this new pitch.

“Livlos-wood resists magic?” he raised an eyebrow. “But why would someone use magic on a cupboard in the first place?”

Well, perhaps it was useful to embed in certain items. For example some sort of chest or strongbox, but wasn’t it better to fashion those out of metal? It made it stronger and more durable. Not magic resistant, sure, but the common thief usually did not have access to magic anyway.

“Admittedly, that is interesting,” Oberan agreed, “but that’s not what I’m here for.”

He sighed. How to go about this?

“It’s a bit of a sensitive matter, I’m afraid. I don’t feel too comfortable discussing it out in the open like this--” Oberan made a bit of a show of glancing around “—where someone could intrude at any time. Would it perhaps be possible to discuss it within the four walls of your office, if you don’t mind?” He leaned in then, very much a mimicry of what Moore had done. Voice no louder than a breathy whisper. “It’s about one of your … special desks, you see.”

Information transferred, he returned to the previous position, some space between himself and the jovial carpenter. There was a bit of an awkward smile on the Mortalborn’s lips. “I don’t want any nasty surprises occurring should uninvited guests overhear, you understand? There’s important documents stored in there. Like you said, you can never be too careful these days.”

At least with that sentiment Oberan agreed completely. For the most part. Paranoia was an existing affliction, after all. With Sintra’s spiders lurking everywhere, it was easy to slip into a paralyzing mindset where you second guessed everything you did. She saw all, she heard all. At least, that’s what she wanted everyone to think. Whether it was true or not… well, he’d find out, wouldn’t he?

“Or, if you could close shop for a bit, that’d work too?”

word count: 484
Just because I shouldn't doesn't mean I won't.


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Re: Tell me, Moore! - Part 2

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Acting as if it was a common question, not deserving of condescension, the carpenter responded, "No, of course it is not to protect the cupboard itself, but perhaps something inside? But even that is not the real purpose for concealing small amounts of Livlos wood here and there. For instance, I now already know that you are not a mage. You would already be showing signs of discomfort and weakness if you were. Until you tried to actually cast a spell, you might not anticipate it, but your spell would be greatly weakened, if you could even cast it at all!"

He gestured to the door, "I have a dowel of it running the length of my door. No user of an etheric domain is going to enter my shop retaining anywhere near their full power. And try as they might, they never fail to show some uncomfortable surprise as they enter. I tell them its the fumes from the sealants and glues that I use, making them dizzy. Better that they don't know; though I figure by now a few have guessed."

The owner looked a bit puzzled as the visitor mentioned the sensitivity of his queries, "Sir, as I said, there will be no Scrying powers listening in on our conversation. The Livlos will see to that. And no one else is here, I can promise you."

Still, the customer is always right, he shrugged, leading the way toward his office. The mention of a 'special desk' did nothing to clarify the need for secrecy. "I have many 'special desks'. They are hardly special anymore. Trigger mechanisms to release hidden weapons, spring loaded boards to block attacks, to release trap doors, false bottoms in drawers, hidden hinges for secret compartments, ether-conducive materials to empower hidden wells....Of course, there's no Livlos wood in those!" he chuckled.

As his guest continued to state concerns about secrecy, it hit. The only remaining source of such concerns that he could think of was one he wanted nothing to do with. "Now just a moment, sir. If it is the servants of The Lady you are worried about, I have nothing to hide from her. And if you DO, I suggest you take your business elsewhere. Here, let me write down the names and locations of some of my competitors. It can only do me good, business-wise, for them to display a penchant for treason!"

For any and all attempts to counter Moore's resistance, Oberan would find only a shaking head, and an increase in the volume of his patriotic rhetoric towards 'the Lady that saved Etzos from the monstrous Lisirra', as the man scribbled upon a shop note pad. It was almost as if the wood-worker was giving a performance for an audience.

That became even more obvious as Oberan was showed the door, the slip of paper in his hand. It may have occurred to him as he took frustrated steps down the street that Mr. Mead at the Employment office had said that "Moore than Tanwood" was the only such furniture shop in town. Who, then, were these competitors Moore had berated?

Looking now at the note, a grin found itself growing on his face at the play-acting he'd just witnessed. The note said, 'I will be at the Inn for Dinner at the tenth break tonight. We can talk there.'
word count: 570
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Re: Tell me, Moore! - Part 2



This Livlos wood was getting more and more interesting with each word Harrin Moore added to his explanation. Oberan hadn’t even imagined nature could grow materials that could weaken the power of mages. Shows how much he knew. Even as old as he was –fairly young for a virtually immortal being, for sure—he knew very little of the world. Granted, biology and woodworking weren’t his fields of interest and expertise, but still.

How much wood did one need for the effect to take hold, the thief wondered. Having fallen prey to magic only a couple days ago, the thought of nullifying or weakening their power was very tempting. Clearly the wood did interfere with magic within a certain radius, as Moore mentioned he had a dowel above his door, rather than having lined the entire building with the stuff. Maybe Oberan could try to have an amulet or something made with the material. Would that work?

Magpie, Zipper, and even Kasoria. They’d all instantly become a whole lot less threatening. Well, maybe not Kas. The assassin probably had a thousand methods of killing Oberan that did not involve magic.

Meanwhile, Harrin Moore led the thief to his office, listening to the excuse given for why secrecy was required. Of course, though deception was indeed happening, Oberan did not lie. Maybe because of it, or because he emphasized the need for privacy a little too much, Moore caught on. Not unexpected, really, but the Mortalborn had hoped it’d happen after they’d entered the office. That way he could seal the door, preventing Moore from running if he’d try, and keeping all unwanted eyes and ears out. And in a small space Oberan could easily eliminate all spiders with his Thrill Domain. It’d take a while, but would allow for a truly private talk.

Unfortunately, Moore refused to cooperate anymore. Insisting Sintra had saved Etzos and that he wouldn’t do business with anyone who harbored hostile emotions towards the Immortal. What was he to do? Knock the business owner out, tie him up, and interrogate him when he woke up? What if Moore still did not cooperate? The lead would turn into a dead end. Thinking of ways to convince the carpenter to shut up and listen, Oberan tried to interject many times, but was cut off immediately. At most he could fit one or two words in between Harrin Moore’s torrent of refusal.

Before he knew it, Oberan was pushed out the door, the scribbled note with names of Moore’s competitors in hand. Behind him, the door slammed shut, and the lock clicked.

Well, so much for that plan then. The Mortalborn sighed deeply.

That left him no choice. He’d return later in the day, maybe the night, to follow up on Recluse’s lead using his preferred method: breaking and entering. Too bad for Harrin Moore, Oberan had been willing to pay for the information, should that have convinced the wood-worker to provide it. Not anymore though. And if he couldn’t find what he was looking for on his own, well, things would take a turn towards the unfortunate for Mr. Moore.

In a huff, he stomped away, mind abuzz. Then he froze in his tracks. Something wasn’t quite right here. Wasn’t Moore supposed the only specialized furniture shop in Etzos? Sure, there were more furniture shops, but none like Moore Than Tanwood. So what kind of competitors had Harrin been blabbering about?

Folding the crumpled sheet of paper open, the Mortalborn suppressed a chuckle. He grinned instead. Oh, of course. No wonder that spiel had seemed a little over the top. Oberan’d been too caught up in his own head to notice it at the moment, but now it seemed so obvious.

'I will be at the Inn for Dinner at the tenth break tonight. We can talk there.'

What do you know. Maybe it would be smooth sailing from here after all...

word count: 671
Just because I shouldn't doesn't mean I won't.


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Re: Tell me, Moore! - Part 2

Image
Come and get your Loot!

(There's plenty more where that came from)


OBERAN:
XP Rewards: 15

These points can NOT be used for Magic.....sorry :(

Skill-Knowledges:

  • Acting: +1
  • Appraisal: +2
  • Deception: +2
  • Detection: +2
  • Etiquette: +1
  • Negotiation: +1
  • Persuasion: +1
  • Rhetoric: +1
  • Stealth: +1
  • Tactics: +2

Non-Skill Knowledges:

  • Harrin Moore: friendly owner of 'Moore Than Tanwood'
  • Harrin Moore: fears he's being watched
  • Harrin Moore: not a bad actor
  • Livlos wood: weakens magic
  • Moore Than Tanwood: specialized furniture shop
  • Moore Than Tanwood: door is lined with Livlos wood

Loot:

Harrin Moore is not exactly "loot", but he is definitely an asset.


Loss/Injuries:

Nope, no new injuries.
First time in a while...lol


Renown: 0

Sorry, I think the next phase of this plot should get Obie a bit more recognition.
Of course, they would all deny it.....you hope anyway


Comments:

Kind of a short bit, but Ahhh, how I love playing my NPCs, especially when they take on new dimensions.
This whole story line is just getting better and better.
I hope you're having as much fun as I am.
Not a real haul of skills points, though, I'm afraid.
If there's anything you think I overlooked do not hesitate to earn my wrath errrr.....let me know.
word count: 216
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