• Solo • Good cop, good cop

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

Moderators: Pegasus Pug!!!, Avalon

Approved Character
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2021 3:34 am
Race: Human
Renown: 0
Character Sheet
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Wealth Tier: Tier 1



Good cop, good cop

1st of Cylus (Cylus Dusk)

‘Painting is for rich teens staving off boredom until they marry, not for people like us. Dreams?! Dreams like that are just going to have you dead in a ditch someday, or worse. Why can’t you just get a job? That…? Look, girl, as kindly as possible, no one’s gonna pay a flying turd for that scribble. I’m only looking out for you. Where are your parents? Shame on them, letting you run off like that. They should’ve beaten you more as a child to get those bugs out of your head.’

The rush of cold air and the sound of the door slamming behind her did little to clear Darragh’s mind of the landlady’s words.

Oily, unpleasant words. They hadn’t come all at once, but rather insinuated drip by drip, day by day, along the walls of her skull. Perhaps what made them harder to bear is that they held a grain of truth. Were they true? Darragh kicked a pebble along the grey road. Clearly, she wasn’t doing well financially, or she wouldn’t have lived in a rented room barely larger than her bed, with a window that she had to shutter to near-darkness to keep any warmth in. She wouldn’t have paid part of her rent in smoked fish that she’d prepared herself in a barrel on the shore. Alas, the travelling painter needed a place to stay. Cylus was starting, cold and getting colder all the time. It was no time to be out in the wilderness.

Perhaps the worst stung the comment on her art. She wasn’t the best, Darragh knew, no matter how hard she tried to hide shoddy linework with pretty colors. She knew she had earned enough to last this cold season, but what about the next? What if she got sick? Was she able to improve fast enough to make a difference and, even if she did, wouldn’t her art-style’s novelty wear off for any potential buyers? She imagined it was a choice that any artist had to deal with at some point in their lives.

A trembling smile formed on the woman’s face. She side-stepped a large pile of wood on the sidewalk, that would later become a bonfire. People were hanging decorations which snapped in the cold breeze. On the other side of the street, a vendor was calling out his mulled wine. Alas, regardless of the future, she knew what she was doing for today. Just as much as Darragh disliked her elderly landlady, her landlady liked the Elements, especially since her grandson had joined. And no matter how much the young woman disliked the landlady’s insinuation about the ‘great career opportunities’ and ‘necessary discipline’ for ‘troubled teens’ that the army offered, one day of free rent was one day of free rent, and it couldn’t have been that bad to volunteer like she said, could it?

“You two, patrol the beach. We’ve had reports of valuables going missing. Don’t do anything crazy, just be smart and keep your eyes open.”

It was mere hours later that Darragh, wrapped in most of the clothes that she owned and still shuddering slightly, with an Elements Volunteer badge pinned to her chest, adventured onto her first mission. She was accompanied by her partner, an old Lotharro man called Adalsteinn, who looked like he could break rocks in his palms, and whom she might have trusted more were it not for his often-refilled hip flask and slightly floaty steps. As waves crashed onto the shore, logs crackled in large bonfires on the sand, and people swirled in dance and song under the twilight which would last for the next thirty trials, Darragh and Adalsteinn talked of what had brought them to volunteer for the Elements:

“Used to be part of them!...gah…But my back made it difficult to walk around all the time,” he said, taking another swing from the flask. He laughed with a voice as full and startling as the beat of a drum. “What a warrior am I!”

“I used to be proud of those things,” Darragh later rambled, weaving her fingers in elaborate gestures through the air. “I even marinated some of the fish I smoked in wine and spices! Lots of spices. That wasn’t easy to get!” She swallowed her anger. Even with working together with other fishermen, it had taken her days of not sleeping right to mind the smoker.

“Then be proud!” Adalsteinn boomed, and smacked his colleague over the shoulderblades. “You should always be proud of your accomplishments!”

The stories from the victims were always the same. They’d gotten up to join the dance, or just gotten lost in a story told around the fire, and when they turned back, their money pouches were gone. Once it was a silver ankle band, removed due to proving unwieldy. Once it was a blue-glass pin. At first Darragh had been frustrated with her companion, with the way he took his time strolling even as the pickpocket seemed to act further along the beach, the way he stopped at what felt like every other campfire and greeted an acquaintance or praised a bard on their oratory skills. But as time went on, she started to wonder whether his personable approach actually made it easier for them to blend in. They talked with a family of Biqaj who had had some of the jewelry they had for sale, stolen, though strangely not any of the more valuable ones.

“The shiny ones,” the father said, with a cat-like grin. “Mostly cheap glass.”

“They left this really cool pair of dice behind, though.” A girl who’d ‘lost’ a carved bone knife showed them.

“I got a ring. It’s kind of small for me though.”

“I got a flower!”

“There was a drawing. It looked like it had been made with rainbow sand.”

The two volunteer constables looked at each other. This was a strange pickpocket, to say the least. ‘Gangs have symbols,’ the old volunteer explained, ‘but gangs are also competent.’ On occasion, the items left behind were more valuable than those originally stolen. In one case, the ‘gift’ had been an item previously stolen from another group, except numerous witnesses could confirm that none of the main members of the two groups had moved from around their fire. Darragh walked around the most recent ‘crime scene’, looking for clues while Adalsteinn chatted with the people involved. It seemed impossible to find tracks in the sand, with the place being as circulated as it was, but this last case had occurred somewhat at the less-occupied edge of the beach. Wild olives and black locust trees shaped a hedge, that at times expanded into a grove.

“Seen something, kiddo?” Adalsteinn asked as he followed her later on.

Darragh knelt and pointed to small imprints in the sand, just as they were brushed away by a gust of wind.

“Otter trails.”


Darragh shook her head.

“It’s not the right season for otters.”

They glanced at each other, and carried on. Darragh thought of the news she’d heard, of strange new people arriving on Scalvoris. Rumours said they were animal-shaped, could you believe that? This time, when Adalsteinn approached people to chat, he made sure to mention, as if by chance, what marvelous little fellows the Cadouri were, and what a kind soul Saoire was for blessing the world with them, especially in a year where the world needed that kindness and, oh, would they have happened to have seen any of the furry friends already? Oh, wasn’t that just sterling!

Darragh kept mostly quiet, hiding behind Adalstein from random party-goers’ offers to share a bottle. She kept her eyes open. Black or dark brown fun, a green waistcoat and the features of an otter the size of a child, that’s what the older volunteer gathered. Moved so smoothly that people often didn’t notice their presence until they stopped to chat. Under the Cylus Dusk, shadows lurked long, and between the campfires, the swirls of dark green sand snapping in the breeze, and people coming to and from the hedge at the beach edge to grab more firewood, it was difficult to notice anything at all. Smoke from the fires and gusts of sand-sprinkled wind made it difficult to keep her eyes open.

Enough time had passed that Darragh lost hope they’d catch the culprit. Maybe if they’d been wearing proper uniforms, then the pickpocket might’ve been more intimidated, she thought…Maybe it would just have made them targets. Then, a shadow passed in the corner of her eyes. Superimposed over red flames, she saw whiskers. She gestured to her partner. The figure lingered slightly too much near a pile of backpacks, but it was too far away to see clearly. Adalsteinn grabbed her by the arm.

“Don’t run and shout. Lil’ fella might run faster, hide better than you. Get the escape route.” He whispered. Darragh nodded. She rearranged her scarf, letting one end fall over her badge.

Casually, she strolled to the outer edge of the beach, where the hedge was, and walked through the gap between the interwoven trees that the Cadouri had just walked out of. That was a good place to wait. It was narrow, dark, and the fires that made it easier to look out of it also made it near impossible to look in. She hadn’t been the only one to think that. A lanky teenager (human, she guessed), stared at her in shock.

“Scuse me-“ Darragh raised her palms, and walked past him.

A few more steps away, she turned and twirled as if in a dance, in the rhythm of drums which reverberated from the beach. He was still staring at her. Darragh decided to keep an eye on him, but she had a feeling that he’d dart if she just sat around. She could question him, but there was no proof. Only a feeling.

She went slightly further away, behind a thicker tree, pulled down her trousers and took a leak.

The sound of liquid striking the ground was one of the most nerve-racking moments that ten-trial. It was the one thing she could think of in the moment which would make her look harmless (and potentially drunk). If someone shouted ‘THIEF!’ right then and she had to run, she was going to punch herself in the face. Yet somehow her gamble worked. When she peeked out from behind the tree, the boy had turned back around, and was looking at the beach…as if he was waiting for someone.

When she got closer, she did so though the thicket, teasing the ground with the tip of her boots, careful to only step on dirt and roots, avoiding the rustling leaves. In the darkness, she, too, was invisible. She waited, as her heart beat in her throat. It must’ve been a few bits. It felt like forever.

“I got more gifts! They’re so pretty!” The otter-person was there. Their head, with its small, rounded ears, and having almost no neck, was highly distinguishable. They handed the teenager a heavy chain, glimmering like gold in the distant firelight. "Let's move onto the next one," the boy said. Darragh had her cue.

“In the name of the Elements, please-“

The boy spun on his heels. Seeing the young woman stepping out from behind a tree, he grabbed the chain out of the otter’s paw, and jumped away.


Darragh grabbed the teen by the arm. He turned and punched her in the gut. She doubled over, feeling the fabric of his tunic escape through her fingers. What a poor excuse for law enforcement she was.

“Friend, why did you-?!” The otter Cadouri’s meeps rang oddly in her ears.

Darragh felt a cold shadow on her skin, as her teammate, Adalsteinn, appeared in the opening, blocking the mastermind’s exit to the beach.

“It was just a prank!” The teenage boy spit out. He shook his head at the muscular old man. “I told him it was a bad idea!”

“Then turn over your pockets.” Adalsteinn calmly said.

The boy threw the gold chain at him. He turned around, and would have forced his way past the Cadouri, who was frozen, and past Darragh, who was still holding her abdomen, were it not for the Lotharro grabbing him by the collar. As his feet kicked, he was lifted in the air.

“You tried to get a Cadouri to steal for you?” The old man grumbled. He put him back on the ground, and instead wrapped a sinewy arm around him. It might have as well been a bar of metal for all the good fighting it did.

“I didn’t do anything…Didn’t know nothing…” The boy said. “What, we were just exchanging gifts, weren’t we? Cadouri and Scalvoris tradishun.” His eyebrows wiggled.

Darragh knew nothing of Cadouri facial expressions, but she could have sworn that the slack-jawed open mouth was universal shock.

“You told a Cadouri that stealing is Scalvoris tradition? What are you, a pirate?” Adalsteinn snorted.

“Just ‘cuz I might’ve accepted some gifts doesn’t mean I know how that moron got ‘em.”


The thief spluttered something and went silent.

“You okay?” Adalsteinn asked Darragh. “Get a declaration from the other fellow.”

She winced at him, not particularly wanting to do anything but curl in a ball for now. But he was right – someone had to do it. Together with the otter who, she realized halfway, was gently supporting her, she stumbled back onto the beach.

“Uhm, what’s your name?” The young volunteer asked. She took out a notebook and struggled to see in the firelight. Her gaze turned to the side. Raised her palms. “Don’t worry. I’m not going to hurt you. I’m just a volunteer for the Elements.”

“I’m Sharps.” The otter’s whiskers flickered some more. They brushed their hand-like paws over the front of their waistcoat in a nervous-looking manner. “Sharps Urchinbane.”

Darragh tried to keep her voice as calm as possible.

“Could you tell me what happened, Sharps?” Behind her, she could hear faint echoes of ‘You’re either going to talk to me, now, or I’m packing you up to Faldrass and you’re going to have a chat with Saoire herself!’

“He said that Scalvoris people have a tradition of exchanging gifts during Cylus!” Sharps exclaimed. His voice grew more nervous, like a squeaky door on the point of breaking. “And…that…It’s a fun game for everyone to leave out their shinies, or their coin purses, out, and a couple of skilled people move them around without being caught.”

“He said that he was going to be the one redistributing them, and I thought it was amazing that he was so fast that he’d already be back by the time I returned.” The otter’s beady black eyes, when Darragh accidentally met them, shined with admiration betrayed.

“Is that…not…it?” They whispered.

For a while, Darragh remained silent. How could she possibly reply to something that sounded too innocent to be real? Then again…No one had seen a Cadouri until days ago. Who knew how their minds worked?

“Not quite.” She sighed. “I may have to explain to you this thing called ‘stealing’…” She fidgeted, and scribbled on the notebook. “Just for documentation, could you give me a character reference or two?” To Sharps’ blank stare, Darragh continued. “People who could vouch for you and say that you’re a nice person and wouldn’t intentionally cause trouble?”

Sharps’s face lit up. He pressed a paw to his heart.

“Well there’s Bao Bao, of course, he’s so brave, and everyone trusts him to protect us. And there’s Saoire, of course, she knows me better than anyone!”

Right. Of course. Having an Immortal as a reference. Why hadn’t she thought of that.

“That should be fine…” Darragh replied, rubbing her forehead with the pencil. The pain was dissipating. Still, she was glad she wouldn’t have to deal with the aftermath of this. He looked innocent, but what if it turned out that Idalos’ newest race had thieves in their midst? The rumors could spell so much trouble for their integration. That’s why, Darragh realized, it was important to keep it on the down low. Yet, there was one thing which she would have to follow up on…

“Say, do you remember where you got the items from…?”
word count: 2817

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