• Graded • Mapomania

Rosamond goes to Smarter Charts

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Rosamond
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TOWARDS THE SMARTER CHARTS

Date: 21 Ymiden 716
Location: The streets


The murder of a tax collector the previous day had made Tagley at The Office of The Citizen's Committee send Rosamond a short message come there for "advice". It was very convenient that the man was working as adviser; a perfect cover reason for her visits in his office. Tagley was sometimes giving her advice, but mostly he was the contact that gave her job missions and recieved her reports. So far the reporting hadn't been much to speak about, as she was so new on her job, and there had also not been so much to investigate. But this had changed now. She had been tasked with trying to find out who had killed the taxman.

This was the reason Rosamond Bruac was presently on her way to The Citizen's Free Market. Marketplaces were excellent places for research, investigation and intelligence, by gathering gossip and hearsay. Rumors flourished in this environment, and were passed on by merchants and customers alike.

But before she went there it was time to do an errand she had postponed all the time since she arrived to the city : buy a chart. They city's layout was a bit special to say the least, and Rosamond was tired of trying to find her way there without any good way to navigate. Now when work was starting for real she felt she couldn't afford to lose time on trial and error. She would need to be able to find her way in the city as quickly and effectively as possible, and make sure to not get stuck in dead ends. When she had mentioned it to Tagley he had nodded and sad a good map and good skills at quickly getting to the right place at the right time was an essential of part of the work. He had told her there was shop named Smarter Charts where she would probably find what she needed.

To be honest, Rosamond had paid a guide 1 silver nel in advance for escorting her to the shop. She brought with her the mute boy Sandro who had been her hang-around ever since he had latched on to her in the caravan they had travelled with to Etzos. Just like the dog Hazard the boy came and went and lived his own life, but he turned up often enough, occasionally he slept on the floor of her cottage and sometimes she gave him something to eat. Rosamond had decide to bring him with her as she thought she might want to use him as errand boy, so it would be good for him to learn the layout of a city too. She had told him this, and Sandro had nodded eagerly, so she was sure he had understood.

Two corridors in from the Great Parhn Gate, they turned right through the backup portcullis security gate, and passed the first opening, and to the left further down the street Rosamond's searching gace spotted a shoplike door with a sign. The guide, a small girl with the typically hungry looks of pauper children was already leaving, likely to rush and use the money to buy something to eat quickly before other people knew she had it. Rosamond had done this in Ne'haer in her childhood when her family had been saving on the food. She knew it wasn't important to the girl to ensure they were at the right place. But Rosamond wanted to know, so she swiftly reached out and caught the childs arm. "Let's have closer look at the sign first, shall we?"

It wasn't like she used violence. She just held the small arm in a firm grip and looked at her intimidatingly in order to make it clear that she wasn't going to change her mind. Then she pulled the now obedient child with her to the sign for a closer investigation. When they were close enough and she could read the sign, she saw that it was indeed Smarter Charts. The small girl ran away from the stern lady as fast as she could as soon as she was let free again. Rosamond entered the shop with Sandro in tow.

OOC : -1 silver nels for a guide to Smarter Charts
.
Last edited by Rosamond on Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:41 am, edited 5 times in total. word count: 727
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A MATTER OF DETAIL

Date: 21 Ymiden 716
Location: The map shop Smarter Charts

As soon as they were over the treshold they found themselves facing a massive display of maps. Rosamond felt a bit stunned where she stood, her gaze roaming over it all. She could see maps with the telltale drawings of circles within circles within circles, which she easily could guess must be city maps. Etzos was living up to all the terrible tales she had heard about this city's extremely structured, yet also extraordinarily maddening layout. But she could see other maps too, some of them obviously land maps, although she wasn't familiar enough with the terrain around Etzos to be sure of what they showed. There seemed to be sea charts too.

So. She needed a map of good quality. With this on mind she walked to the counter nearby where a young human man was organizing papers neatly. There were other workers in the shop too, but thy were measuring and drawing and seemed more busy.

When Rosamond found out that the prize for a map of light detail cost 5 gold nels while a map of high detail cost 15 gold nels she felt torn between the need of a quality map and her need to be careful with the money. The purchases of the horse and the deluxe sewing kit hadn't bee cheap but the adobe cottage she had bought was what had made a really big dent in her purse. After all this, when there had only been 34 gold nels left, the horse had fallen ill and needed treatment that wasn't for free either. She would for sure have preferred to buy a map with high detail that would have enabled her to move around in Etzos more accurately and swiftly, but right now she didn't want to pay more than necessary.

"Come Sandro, let's look around a bit while I'm thinking" she said, turning around to face the boy who had patiently stood behind her. His big eyed and fascinated facial expression when they started to inspect the maps encouraged Rosamond in her ideas about teaching him things.

She decided to investigate if he was able to read, and pointed at the name of a city on one of the maps; it was a map of Ne'haer. "Look at this word" she told him. The boy did so. Rosamond realized she had to think a bit about exactly how to find out if he understood it or not, as the boy wasn't able to say anything. If she told him and asked him to nod if he could read it, the risk was that the would try to please her by nodding despite not understanding a thing. She settled for testing him by giving him the names of several cities and tell him to nod when she read up the right one. "Etzos, Hiladrith, Ne'haer ..."

The boy nodded at the right city name, and not at the others. Rosamond concluded he was able to at least read relatively simple words. People in the caravan had thought him a slow witted because of how he never spoke. But the way he had latched on to her to protect himself at the military inspection of the caravan right before the arrival in the beginning of Ymiden had made her very aware that he wasn't stupid. She studied him for a moment, thinking of the possibilites. As the boy was able to read, it could pay off to buy the high quality city map after all. Sandro and she could study it together in evenings, so they could both learn the layout of the city as well as possible. Yes ...

"Can I help you with something? My clerk deals with the simpler things, but if you have special interests ...?"

The man who had approached them looked at once shockingly ill and quite fit. Sandro stared at him, but Rosamond had seen eídisi before, not many, but a few, as people of many races passed by in the tolerant coastal city of the Biqaj. They were different, these eídisi, offstandish, and hard to understand.
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The death of a tax collector I

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ZEFLERAN FOLORIE

Date: 21 Ymiden 716
Location: The map shop Smarter Charts

"You have an impressive collection of maps and charts here" said Rosamond, who found it easy to speak in shops due to her own merchant background. "It is actually very interesting. But we were just looking around a bit. This map of Ne'haer is fantastically accurate, if I may say so. I'm from Ne'haer, so I should know. Rosamond Bruac. I have only been in Etzos for twenty days. I had no idea this shop existed, until today."

"My name is Zefleran Folorie". The eídisi didn't smile subserviently the way shop owners sometimes did. But he didn't leave."I'm glad you find it interesting to look around at our work. Cartography demands time and effort,not just for the work we do here, but also for all the travelling and exploration. We are depicting the world, you could say, in a scientific way, which something totally else than the approximate sketches drawn by ignorant people. But most people don't understand what a huge mission it is we are working it here in Smarter Charts. They are mostly just looking to buy a light detail map that will enable them to find their way around this city reasonably well, if they aren't too picky. Though those who don't want to wast too much time getting circulated have better go for a good map with a high degree of detail."

"Circulated?"

Rosamond had heard this word before, back in Ne'haer. Some of the stories that were told about Etzos was about how people could get circulated there. Some would say it was pure hogwash made up by tavern storytellers who wanted something captivation to catch people's attention with. But some would say that where there's smoke there's fire so maybe there was at least some truth to the tales. Etzos was after all know for being built in circles. If you cut an onion in two halves and squeezed it a bit so the inner layers started to rise over the outer ones you had a good model of the city, it was said in Ne'haer. This was why Etzos also often was called "Onion City" by the people of Ne'haer.

"Circulated". The Eídisi spoke with solemn final? Do you know what this means?"

Rosamond looked at Zefleran Folorie with a sinking feeling. "I think I have heard stories about it. But it's rubbish I'm sure."

"Don't be too sure. What stories is it you have heard, if I may ask?"

Rosamond wasn't keen on telling this story, but as she also felt somewhat nervous when she thought of it, she found it best to answer. "I will tell you one of these stories, and you will get a good laugh" she said, acting a lightheartedness she didn't truly feel. She could feel Sandro move a little bit closer to her like he too felt nervous now. She glanced down at his blond head. (That child really needed a bath.) Perhaps he too was from Ne'haer and had heard the story before?

She started to tell it.
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THE ARMY OF THE LOST

Date: 21 Ymiden 716
Location: The map shop Smarter Charts

Rosamond started with a disclaimer: “I’m still new in this city and my knowledge about Etzos is limited. But in Ne’haer I heard stories, hearsay, tales that seem more than a little bit unbelievable. I find it best to not take this at face value. Then again, I know I’m a stranger here. There can be many things I don’t know yet about this city and its culture.”

She made a pause and glanced at Sandro. Was this stuff really for the ears of innocent children like him? “This story can be scary” she told him. Sandro of course didn’t speak, but he rolled his eyes in a sarcastic way that made Rosamond quickly decide to rest the case. So, the kid didn’t think anything she told him could scare him? “Well, I shall start then ...”

She continued and now she was telling the story. “They say that if you cut an onion in two halves and look at the cut surface, you have a fairly good model of Etzos. The city is built as circles around circles around circles around circles, like the layers of an onion, each level rising above the last, as you move toward the center, where giant towers loomed over the city. They called it Onion City.”

Zefleran Folorie nodded. “At a very basic level it’s right that Etzos is built as layers of circles” he interjected in a lecturing tone. “This is however a very simplified way to think of it, as the degree of complication of reality always exceeds the seemingly more advanced theories and models. It’s interesting though, they compare it with an onion, because ... ” For a moment he seemed to be on the verge of saying something more, but instead he waved hand and told her to go on.

“The story tells about people who lost their way in the maze of maddening circular labyrinth named Etzos, and are doomed to wander around in circles forever. They become circulated in the endless streets of this concentric city. These people are called The Army of the Lost. Some of them are ghosts of course, a majority of them even, as people don’t live forever just because they are trapped in a circular trajectory inside a city constructed like an onion.”

“The city’s layout is indeed concentric” said Folorie. “A very geometric design, and it can seem like a joke that it is round, and you may wonder “how was the master architect who planned it thinking”. But from a military point of view more Etzos is intricate than meets the eye. And .. I am sorry, I interrupted you. Please continue.”

Rosamond picked up. “Where was I ... oh yes, a majority of them are ghosts, as people don’t live forever. They age and die, but their ghosts march on, the story has it. An unsuspecting visitor who isn’t aware of the risk for unwittingly joining The Army of the Lost can easily be caught up in their ranks.”

At this point she glanced at Sandro. His big eyed expression told her he was taking in every word. “I’m totally sure all this is just made up” she said, acting a conviction she didn’t totally feel. She made her voice firm and did her best to look unmoved. “I’m only telling the story because I’m having a nice conversation with this gentleman here, Mister Folorie. It’s a conversations for adults. I hope you understand that Sandro. Don’t take it seriously. It’s not true. It’s just a story.”

“For adults” she repeated, as she arrived at the end of the story. “They also say that there is only one safe way to protect oneself ; a map. It has to be a good enough map though. There are also many stories about people who were too tightfisted to pay for the real thing and thought they would be able to cope with just a vague sketch of the city. Beware! An inexpensive map could lull people into imagined safety and make them even more vulnerable to the risk of getting circulated into The Army of the Lost.”

Rosamond had been carried away and put all the dramatic emotion she was able to muster into the ending word. There was a trill of silence. As Folorie was eídisi, the expression on his face was calm and it was impossible to even guess at what he felt or thought.

"I think you must have heard this story before" she said. "It seems good for business."
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SMARTER BARTER ATTEMPT

“Don’t you think so, Mister Folorie” Rosamond prodded the proprietor. She spoke sweetly, the way she had learnt to speak in business discussions about to become somewhat more serious as it was time to put more pressure into the negotiations. It was certainly no mistake when she happened to pronounce his name as Foolery. “I mean, people from Ne’haer are after all travelling to Etzos once in a while and they might want to buy maps.”

“It may be true that some stories are good for business” said Folorie in his calm and emotionless eídisi voice. “There’s some people from Ne’haer who visits Etzos once in a while, and who wouldn’t need a map in this circular maze of a city?”

“In particular in case they risk getting circulated. Well. As the representative of the Ne’haerian firm Bruac and Bruac I think maps risk to become an unnecessary high expenditure once we set up our new trade office here. I think I will need to tell them in my next report that the wild stories of circulation is known in Etzos too, including the prices of the maps here. Unless ... it would be another thing if you would be interested in business.”

“I’m listening.” Folorie waited.

Rosamond continued. “If I understand it right, there’s maps of little detail and those cost five golden, but a map of high detail costs fifteen, so it might pay off to hire a cartographer and start to make maps of Etzos to sell in Ne’haer. It could become part of our own business. People like to prepare before they travel you know. Then again ... in case it would be possible to agree on a good price I can also see an opportunity for a business deal with you. We might be interested in buying maps from you and resell them in Ne’haer. In this case it would need to be serious, so no need to involve the stories about circulation. It would of course mean I’d need to get a sample map from you. So ... as they seem to sell for fifteen golden, I would suggest we buy these for ten. I’ll need to test a sample map before writing to Ne’haer of course. So I’ll give you ten golden for a map of high detail.“

Another man might have looked baffled at this suggestion, but Folorie kept his eídisi calm.

Eventually she and Sandro left Smarter Charts with a map of what Folorie now was calling supreme detail, though it was actually the kind of map normally labelled higher detail which they used to sell for fifteen golden, and which he had sold for fifteen to her too. Despite her considerable efforts, Rosamond had found that her skill at persuading other people could still be improved. But she had at least made an attempt.

“Come” she said to the boy. “It’s time we move on”.
OOC: - 15 golden nels for an Etzos map of higher detail.

Continues in The Death of a Tax Collector I
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Come and get your Loot!

(There's plenty more where that came from)


ROSAMOND:
Skills:

  • Acting +2
  • Cartography +2
  • Deception +1
  • Etiquette +2
  • Intimidation +1
  • Navigation +1
  • Persuasion +1
  • Rhetoric +2
  • Story Telling +2
  • Tactics +2
  • Teaching +1

Knowledges:

  • Basic
    • Be Sure of Where Your Guide Takes You
    • Business Proposal With No Credentials is a Tough Sell
    • Easy to Talk to a Fellow Merchant
    • Etzos City Layout
    • Etzos Location: Smarter Charts
    • Learning to Teach Sandro
    • Market: Good Place for Rumors and Loose Tongues
    • NPC: Zefleran Folorie, of "Smarter Charts"
  • Specific
    • Etzos Myth: Being "Circulated"
    • Etzos Myth: "Army of the Lost"
    • Etzos Nickname: "Onion City"
    • Sandro: Good Cover for 'Mother' Act
    • Zefleran Folorie: Fills in the Story's Blanks
    • Zefleran Folorie: Hard to Read
    • Zefleran Folorie: Respects the Business Attempt

Loot:

"Supremely" detailed map of Etzos - cost of 15gn
Cost of 1sn for guide to 'Smarter Charts'


Injuries:

Nothing to speak of


Comments:

I loved that story interaction with Folorie. :D
It's why I gave you that "respect" knowledge for him.
I want to establish, for future reference, that he has noted your cleverness, and will be an ally now in some situations.
I wish I could find a "Donkey" GIF from "Shrek" where he says that he's like onions because he stinks. :lol:
PM me with any comments or concerns :)
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