(5:36:29 PM) Logos: After embarrassing the mayor of (AS YET UNNAMED SETTLEMENT) and defeating the corrupt royal representative, Our Heroes set off on Yet Furthere Adventurese. The path that Shirin and Oryn plotted out took them through a number of small settlements in the Arisia region, and Oryn was able to turn a tidy profit, trading on the gold and jewels they recovered from the Displacer Beast’s lair and the spoils of their adventure.
(5:37:33 PM) Oryn: All that glitters is all Oryn wants~
(5:38:16 PM) Logos: So by the time that they reached the Tower of Laozhan Fal, the group – or rather Oryn, who kept “forgetting” to share the profits out – was feeling rather well-heeled – until they saw the tower itself, which (to be fair) dwarfs even Oryn’s lust for gold and Konstantin’s lust for those delicious bean buns they had in the last town over.
(5:38:33 PM) Tora: “…you do know you haven’t paid me yet, right?”
(5:38:38 PM) Shirin: Shirin is perfectly happy to spend the time scounting ahead of the cart, and ocassionally taking notes on the state of the ecology here.
(5:40:23 PM) Logos: The Tower of Laozhan Fal stands at a slight – let’s call it 65 degree – angle, and yet still manages to rise several hundred feet in the air. It is so immense, in fact, that trying to get a good look at it from a distance isn’t just difficult, but rather it makes your eyes water a little bit, and moreover, it stands amidst a field of bone, dwarfing the immense ribcage that is all that remains of whatever beast it slew when it fell.
(5:40:29 PM) Shirin: “Tora you’re going to have to be more direct than that.” What even //were// these plants? They weren’t native to this region at all.
(5:40:57 PM) Mialisyne: “Gnome, money; difficult to part.”
(5:42:14 PM) Logos: The most common plant in the region – which, as Shirin helpfully pointed out, isn’t actually native to anywhere that elves have records for, is an endemic vine known as “Shadow Lover”, a name earned by its fondness for growing in near or completely near darkness, and because of stories that claim that, if you walk alone at night too far from the edges of the city, the Shadow Lover will whisper to you, and if you hear it you will neve
(5:42:34 PM) Mialisyne: *parting, difficult."
(5:43:22 PM) Logos: Rumors persist that the Veined Lords of Laozhan Fal harvest the Shadow Lover for use in their initiation rituals, but no one is really sure what it is they actually do.
(5:43:42 PM) Shirin: Welp. Collecting some samples to take home.
(5:43:59 PM) Shirin: “Still want to go in the giant ominous doom tower, Doublelock?”
(5:44:24 PM) Logos: The city itself is built amidet the bones and wreckage of the Starsinger, the beast that was killed when the Tower fell from the heavens. No record remains to say what it looked like, but given that the multi-storeyed mansions of Laozhan Fal hang in glittering cages from the tips of its ribs – it was probably pretty big.
(5:47:20 PM) Shirin: After a moment or two, Shirin’s stood up-not just with collected samples of the Shadow Lover, but some lovely, slightly glowing lilies, which she sticks on the rest of the party, stopping when she gets to tucking one into Konstantin’s armor. (Oryn’s she’d had to put in his hair).
(5:47:34 PM) Shirin: Her strange good mood might be more unnerving than the weird plants.
(5:48:22 PM) Logos: For those not wealthy enough to inhabit a Cage-Mansion, life is lived on the streets below, in a city bisected by the creature’s spine, which rises like a hill running through the urban sprawl, and – even after centuries of decay – the occasional “Rotting Rain” of decayed flesh and ancient, spoiled blood. Fortunately, the risk of a Rot-Rain seems relatively slim today, as the spring wind is calm and the sun is shining high in the sky
(5:49:17 PM) Tora: Tora quirks an eyebrow, looking at the flower which had been stuck on him. Glowiiiiing
(5:50:30 PM) Shirin: It’s a lily. It’s about palm-sized.
(5:51:59 PM) Shirin: “At least these people make use of everything about this body…” She’s kind of judging the cage-mansions.
(5:52:42 PM) Logos: The guards that come out of the checkpoint station to greet Oryn’s wagon are dressed in the black and red breastplates of the Laozhan Fal Citizen’s Guard, and after stopping the wagon, their Captain approaches Oryn. “Are you here for business or pleasure, sir?” The Captain is a surprisingly young woman with dark hair, her face covered by an intricate, vine-like henna pattern.
(5:52:47 PM) Oryn: Oryn is in the back of the wagon, digging around in the gold chest. “I am indeed very excited to go to this deathtower! Imagine the commodities available here that are undreamed of anywhere else in the world! There’s no place else like the tower of Laozhan Fal.” He nods sagely.
(5:54:00 PM) Shirin: “….That’s be business, Ma’am.”
(5:54:21 PM) Shirin: Maybe the people of Laozhan Fal won’t freak out about the elf?
(5:54:28 PM) Shirin: Bracing for impact, either way.
(5:54:30 PM) Tora: “I’d guess business?”
(5:54:32 PM) Oryn: The gnome clambers into the front of the wagon and crosses his arms. “Oryn Doublelock of the Doublelock trading company and these are my compatriots and employees. We’re here to trade and experience your fine city!”
(5:58:13 PM) Logos: The Captain cracks a smile, making the fact that the henna traced along her lips as well all the more obvious. “Well, welcome to Laozhan Fal,” she reaches out a hand for Oryn’s papers and continues. “You came at a good time, we don’t get too many merchants this time of year, so the inns are all running cut rates – my brother owns the Goldfern just down Rattlecage Lane, if you tell him I sent you by he might even set me up with a free
(6:00:26 PM) Logos: drink later,”
(6:01:07 PM) *Mialisyne chuckles softly at that.
(6:01:14 PM) Oryn: “The Goldfern, we’ll do that ma’am! And you are~?” He grins and holds his hand out.
(6:01:24 PM) Shirin: “Drinks?” Ears suddenly perked.
(6:02:22 PM) Tora: “The Goldfern’s a tavern?”
(6:02:59 PM) Logos: “Yin-Fao, Captain, Xing Family,” she recites rather quickly, shaking Oryn’s hand as she returns his documentation. “Is this your first time in Laozhan Fal?”
(6:04:39 PM) Tora: “It’s my first time here! What kind of stuff is here, anyway?” Tora pipes up, standing taller than the gnome on the cart
(6:05:20 PM) Oryn: Oryn huffs at Tora. “It is for all of us I believe, miss.” He nods and puts his papers away.
(6:07:06 PM) Logos: “Well, we have a giant tower, and a big stinking monster corpse,” she says, with a laugh. “But if you’re looking for sights to see, I recommend the Elven Developmental Ecology Network’s botanical gardens, and there’s also the Cavarane if bloodsport is more your speed. I meant no offense, but as a warning, it’s rather rude to ask someone their name when they’re Marked like myself,”
(6:07:20 PM) Shirin: “Wait.”
(6:07:27 PM) Shirin: “The Eden’s here?”
(6:07:47 PM) Shirin: “Give me directions.” A beat. “please.”
(6:08:24 PM) Tora: “Marked?”
(6:08:29 PM) Oryn: Oryn blinks his big eyes at the guard. “I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with your ways. What is the significance of being Marked?”
(6:09:21 PM) Logos: She nods “It’s only a small outpost, but they requested that we allow them to preserve the natural wildlife of the area before it was completely wiped out by the creatures and plants spawned from the Tower-Fall.” she writes down directions in Elvish and hands a piece of paper to Shirin. “There you go. The Marked are the city’s nobles, our markings” she motions to the henna on her arm "Denote our family, by color, our name and any soc
(6:09:40 PM) *Mialisyne nods to Shirin. She glances to the henna, analyzing it swiftly.
(6:10:47 PM) Tora: “Ahhh, neat.” Tora comments
(6:11:02 PM) Oryn: Oryn raises his eyebrows at that. “I see! I shall have to learn the markings well then, I apologize for having to ask your name.” He bows gently.
(6:11:04 PM) Shirin: “I’m not surprised. These plants are invasive as anything I’ve ever seen.” She bows, a strange formal sweep. “Shirin Najafi, Guide from the southern forests.”
(6:11:26 PM) Logos: “Xing is red-gold, you’ll see us a lot in the lower quarter because we contract with the Veined Ones to provide the bulk of security services in the city. Diyu have green Markings, and despite being untrustworthy scumbags pretty much run most of the city’s trade. The last major family is the Fao, which have blue markings – they’d also just as soon kill outsiders as look at them, so try not to get on their bad sides”
(6:12:39 PM) Mialisyne: “Mialisyne, musician. Travelling.”
(6:13:38 PM) Logos: “Well, your papers are in order and I don’t think you’re likely to get into any duels as long as you keep your noses clean, so I won’t keep you any longer. Remember! The Goldfern on Rattlecage! Best curry in the city,”
(6:13:38 PM) *Shirin surreptitiously elbows Konstantin.
(6:14:09 PM) Konstantin: “…Konstantin. Questing Paladin.” He is clearly not one for introductions.
(6:14:23 PM) Tora: “Duels? Oh, and…name’s Tora!”
(6:14:24 PM) Logos: “…wait. Paladin?”
(6:14:26 PM) Oryn: Oryn files that all away in his near-perfect mental notebook. “Goodness, well I’ll feel safe around red-gold marks then and be very careful around the others. Thank you for your help, we’ll be the best of guests!” He nods sagely.
(6:15:09 PM) Logos: “..did your companion – the pretty one that I thought was deaf-mute – just say he’s a paladin?”
(6:15:24 PM) Tora: “Yes?”
(6:15:50 PM) Oryn: “He’s quite mighty as well.”
(6:15:58 PM) Shirin: “…Yesss?” Sliding quietly in front of the dhampir.
(6:18:36 PM) Logos: “Well, there’s no law against it, I suppose, but I recommend taking extra care with that information if you’re talking to anyone but me. I like to consider myself a forward thinker, but a lot of people remember the Bad Old Days and don’t much like people who call themselves ‘Paladin’ around here”
(6:20:49 PM) Shirin: “Lovely.” That’s a tone of voice that suggests those people might get shot. “Appreciate the warning.”
(6:21:20 PM) Oryn: Oryn raises his eyebrows and looks over at Konstantin. “Huh. Well I assure you, Konstantin is nothing if not a superb gentleman. I don’t think he would do anything Bad Old Anything.”
(6:21:26 PM) Logos: She nods “Well, be safe all of you. Come by the Guardhouse later, we outsource a lot, so there might some work available if you’re interested”
(6:21:46 PM) Tora: “Okay then!”
(6:22:00 PM) Oryn: “More capital is good capital!” Oryn states firmly.
(6:22:01 PM) *Mialisyne bows her head to Yin-Fao in acknowledgement.
(6:22:56 PM) Oryn: Speaking of which. Oryn ducks back into the wagon and comes back out flinging sacks at people. Everyone gets one with 127 GP of coinage inside. “Don’t spend it all in one place!”
(6:23:40 PM) *Tora catches the sack of coin
(6:24:45 PM) Logos: Yin-Fao waves for the barricade to be lifted, allowing Our Heroes to pass into the city. There are two more checkpoints before reaching the city proper, but both of them let the group through without incident, thanks to Messages sent by the Captain. After the last checkpoint, the Ribcage rises up like mountains all around you, and the road turns from dirt to a cobblestone street, marking the beginning of the sprawl.
(6:25:38 PM) Shirin: “…Once we find the inn I want to go to Eden, but all things considered, I’d like to keep Konstantin with me. THe rest of you are welcome to come if you’ve actually read the primer.”
(6:26:58 PM) Konstantin: “I will go where I am needed.” He says quietly. “Though when we have acquired an inn room, I feel it would be better if I did not withhold further explanations from you.”
(6:27:18 PM) Tora: “When are we getting quizzed on it?”
(6:27:30 PM) Shirin: “…After he explains, then.”
(6:27:58 PM) Logos: Rattlecage Lane actually isn’t far from the road Oryn’s wagon was on as it entered the city, and the Goldfern sits on the corner – in any other city, it would seem quaint, but in Laozhan Fal they build with quarried stone and burn plant matter in their lamps that give them an eerie, greenish cast, so the inn looks a bit more like a mausoleum than, well, an inn.
(6:28:02 PM) Shirin: Placing a flower crown on Miali’s head. This would be a sign to those who know her well that she’s kind of nervous.
(6:28:50 PM) Logos: Or would, if there weren’t a hanging sign out front with the picture of a golden fern leaf and several small markings which, in the Common Tongue, indicate the presence of food, lodging, and both armed guards and affection at negotiable rates.
(6:31:35 PM) Shirin: “…They sell love here?”
(6:31:40 PM) Shirin: What even //is// this concept?
(6:31:50 PM) Shirin: “Why would you /sell/ a hookup? Are you not hot enough?”
(6:32:19 PM) Mialisyne: “Unfortunate, purchasing.” She murmurs to Shirin.
(6:32:37 PM) Tora: “…I don’t understand. I mean, you can send gifts but is that the same as buying love? …can you buy love?”
(6:33:21 PM) Oryn: “Ah-hah, well some people just enjoy the wham-bam of a no-strings-attached equitable exchange of gold for backside, sans all the romance.”
(6:33:45 PM) Shirin: “They mean sex.” Shirin shrugs. “I know //that// just fine, I’m a soldier.”
(6:33:49 PM) Shirin: "Why charge money for it?
(6:34:25 PM) Mialisyne: “Earn living.” she pats her instrument. “Play, free; empty belly. Play, paid; comfortable inn.”
(6:34:51 PM) Tora: Tora blinks, confused at this.
(6:36:21 PM) *Oryn nods at Miali.
(6:36:52 PM) Oryn: “Miali could play her music for free, or she could accept gold for her talent and sing for supper as well as art!”
(6:37:43 PM) Oryn: “You could shoot fireballs out of your rump at passing bandits for free and let evil mayors extort their townsfolk, or you could get paid to do so!”
(6:37:57 PM) Tora: “but music and heroism aren’t the same as…that.”
(6:38:04 PM) Oryn: “Hopefully while deposing said mayors~”
(6:38:16 PM) Mialisyne: “Adventurers, /crazy/. Distinction.”
(6:38:19 PM) Shirin: “I understand the concept, but I think the quality of fuck you’d get from people who’d pay for it isn’t much fun.” Kind of blandly. “But I suppose it takes all kinds.”
(6:39:13 PM) Konstantin: “Some don’t care. Others, can’t afford to.”
(6:40:30 PM) Tora: “…people do that for fun? I thought that was the sort of thing one does out of the highest expressions of passion. …Or something.”
(6:40:44 PM) Shirin: “…Yes?” Oh, Tora.
(6:40:48 PM) Shirin: You poor naive child.
(6:40:57 PM) Oryn: “Oh no it is LOTS of fun. And to be fair, someone who does it for a living gets VERY good at it.”
(6:41:34 PM) Shirin: “I’m not worried about the person selling.” Shaking her head. “But shouldn’t we actually get rooms and then discuss the economics here?”
(6:41:50 PM) Logos: The interior of the inn is somewhat less drab than the outside – the lanterns are still that weird green color – but there are heavy, brightly colored tapestries on the wall and a roaring, thankfully normal colored, fire in the fire place. This time of day, and in this season, most of the inn is empty. There’s one table occupied by four scantily clad young people – a half-elven man, two human women and a gnome that looks young enough
(6:41:54 PM) *Mialisyne gestures to the inn they’d arrived at while discussing, leading the way in
(6:43:40 PM) *Tora follows them on the way in, mind boggling
(6:44:02 PM) Shirin: That gnome did not look hold enough to be in here.
(6:44:06 PM) Logos: Aside from them, a few obvious soldier-types – more or less completely sexless in their armor kit – are largely drinking alone and avoiding making eye contact with each other. There’s a young woman in a light blue sun dress cleaning tables and humming quietly to herself and, sitting behind the bar is a slender, beardless young man covered in the same sorts of henna markings that Yin-Fao was wearing.
(6:45:49 PM) Oryn: Oryn shoots the gnome youth a look askance. It was his business what he sold but wow, he did look way too young for this line of work. Wow.
(6:47:17 PM) Oryn: He calls out in gnomish. " < Hey there little brother, profit finding you well? > "
(6:49:21 PM) Shirin: With Oryn distracted, Shirin will go up to the man at the bard. “Sir? I’m lead to believe you have the best rooms in the city.”
(6:49:44 PM) *Mialisyne makes her way over alongside Shirin, letting her handle the discussion for now.
(6:53:08 PM) Logos: Miali is pretty sure she recognizes some of the same patterns in the innkeeper’s Markings that she saw in the Captain’s, it looks like she’s starting to get a grasp of how this works!
(6:54:52 PM) Logos: The gnome looks up, startled to hear gnomish and then looking sheepishly at the bottle of wine. " < As well as can be expected, elder brother. Merchant? I’m Aric Coilspring. Scholar, Business Administration > "
(6:57:08 PM) Logos: The bartender grins and waves over the young woman who’s cleaning tables. “Mira! Customers!” he turns to Shirin, bowing “Welcome to the Goldfern. As you are foreigners, I presume that you were warned by my esteemable sister that it’s impolite to ask my name?” he bows with a flourish “Well, you can call me Sai-Yin, husband of Mira, brother of Yin-Fao.”
(6:57:48 PM) Oryn: Mmmhmmmm. He knew he shouldn’t be in there. Oryn stroked his little goatee, a clear and proud sign of his obvious manliness (ahahahahaha) and nodded. " < Oryn Doublelock, merchant and conjuror. And freelancer. For now. Where gold comes from you go, right? > " He grinned crookedly. " < Business administration, hnn? Administrating the business end of others are you? > "
(6:59:17 PM) *Tora idly looks around, looking for a menu in this place. They said there was food here.
(6:59:35 PM) *Mialisyne bows her head to Sai-Yin. “Brother, informed; best curry! Best rooms! If available; stay, honored!”
(6:59:42 PM) Logos: " < Generally speaking. There’s not much call for merchants or administrators out here, sad to say, but where there’s a will and a gnome, there’s a profit > ," he gestures to the others at the table " < At the moment, I’m having a meeting with my clients to help them diversify their holdings and extend their savings until trade returns > "
(6:59:42 PM) Shirin: “We were, naturally.” She smiles, friendly enough, and repeats that same sweeping bow-an elven bow, in fact. “Shirin Najafi, Guide of the Southern Forests, third daughter of Cyrus Najafi, Gardenkeeper of Ra-Zehman. And these…” She gestures around the Inn. “…Are my associates.”
(7:00:25 PM) Shirin: “We’re looking for a place to stay, for our time here, while Mr. Doublelock does his business.”
(7:00:48 PM) Shirin: She’s polite and diplomatic and Oryn’s not even here to see her.
(7:00:54 PM) Shirin: The secret is safe, and so is her reputation.
(7:01:28 PM) Logos: “You associate with a strange crowd, Shirin Elf-Daughter, but you’re all welcome under my roof. We have clean rooms and an enviable selection of wines and spirits. We serve curry in the Laozhan Fal style, have you had it before?”
(7:01:32 PM) *Tora turns and introduces himself on Shirin’s cue. “I’m Tora.”
(7:03:17 PM) Shirin: “Not in at least fifty years.” She laughs, and grins. “I’ll be happy to try it again.”
(7:04:18 PM) Tora: “Laozhan Fal style curry? I’ll take two.”
(7:05:03 PM) Logos: Mira pops into the kitchen, emerging a few moments later amid a cloud that smells of spice and coriander and cumin, carrying a tray loaded down with plates of bright red curry, loaded with peppers, potatoes and strips of fish, a large bowl of black and white rice, and several pieces of flat bread. She brings it to a large table near the ball, motioning for Shirin’s party to come sit.
(7:05:25 PM) Shirin: …That is the best smelling thing she’s smelled all month.
(7:05:36 PM) Logos: “Will you take wine or spirits, or would you prefer coffee? We have a wonderful blend from the Western Kingdoms. The last of its kind in the city, I believe, until the summer”
(7:06:04 PM) Shirin: Let’s grab Oryn and Konstantin. By arms if need be. “Western Kingdom coffee…goodness, I’d love some.”
(7:06:08 PM) Oryn: Well that was a relief to be certain. Oryn should have known better than to suspect a gnome of being so foolishly illicit! " < Well as they say: a wise gnome can hear profit in the wind. I am happy to see such a young gnome making his start already! > " He crosses his arms and puffs out his chest proudly, as if this young gnome really WAS his younger brother. Gnome took an inordinate amount
(7:06:08 PM) Oryn: of pride in the success of other gnomes at times. " < Just remember not to sample the product or become desperate enough to BECOME it. You’re cute, but give yourself a little time to grow into yourself, aye? > "
(7:06:14 PM) Shirin: " < Miali, curry! Come eat. > "
(7:09:10 PM) *Mialisyne grins to Shrin. " < Smells good. Nice man, no? > " She turns to the bartender. “Offer, entertainment? Music, song?”
(7:09:40 PM) Konstantin: What? Being dragged. He’ll sit down, though, a bit surprised.
(7:12:17 PM) Shirin: “Have you had curry before, Konstantin?” //Someone’s// excited.
(7:12:39 PM) *Tora sits down, excitedly
(7:13:42 PM) Konstantin: “I… no. What is it like?” He seems a bit concerned by this.
(7:14:06 PM) Tora: “It smells good!”
(7:14:13 PM) Shirin: “Spicy.” She gestures at the food before him. “Try it.”
(7:16:05 PM) *Mialisyne settles down to take her delicious-looking plate, taking a bite with a slight cringe. “…Curry, /very/ good!”
(7:17:24 PM) Shirin: She’s just going to plate some and happily eat it.
(7:17:38 PM) Tora: “Spicy? I haven’t been able to find much in the way of spices before I joined up with this group.” Tora tries some of his curry…
(7:18:02 PM) Logos: “Very spicy.” Mira answers, smiling at Konstantin. “Lots of spices from the West, whole peppers. Our rice is very flavorful, so we compensate in our curries”
(7:19:14 PM) Tora: Tora is now devouring it quickly. As in “lifting up the plate to eat it faster” quickly
(7:20:41 PM) Logos: Sai-Yin brings out a platter with a large carafe of coffee and bowl-like cups for everyone. “I’ll go see to your rooms – will five be needed or fewer?”
(7:21:16 PM) Mialisyne: She pauses her eating, glancing to Shirin. " < Are you planning on sharing a room with him? > "
(7:22:09 PM) Shirin: " < …Not without permission, I’m not. > " Just casually picking up a cup and totally not flushing. " < Tora and Oryn can probably room together too. Put Oryn in a suitcase. > "
(7:24:05 PM) Shirin: " < Call it three. can share with you if he wants to sleep on his own. Economical’ll make Oryn happy. Everyone happy, right?" >
(7:24:07 PM) Konstantin: Right. Right then. Moment of truth it is. Time for him to try this curry!
(7:24:38 PM) Tora: “Can I have a second plate?”
(7:24:58 PM) Shirin: “…Let Konstantin have some first before you have seconds, Tora.”
(7:26:09 PM) Mialisyne: “Three rooms, adequate.” She smiles to Sai-Yin.
(7:26:10 PM) Konstantin: …
(7:26:29 PM) Konstantin: ….His eyes are watering.
(7:26:56 PM) Konstantin: His pale skin has taken on a ghastly flush.
(7:27:03 PM) Logos: Mira claps delightedly “Of course! Have as much as you want, I always cook too much for our regulars” she runs off to the kitchen to fix more before Shirin can get a word in edgewise. Sai-Yin grins at Shirin knowingly " < Three rooms then. I’ll draw up a tab for your company. Traditionally, you can pay in goods or coin before you leave the city. There’s a slight discount for elves, which I’ll apply to your total tab. Oh, and our bath-h
(7:27:12 PM) Konstantin: His fangs have extended on reflex. “This… is amazing!”
(7:27:50 PM) Logos: and our bath-house is mixed, in case you were wondering > "
(7:28:06 PM) Shirin: “…Konstantin.” Coughing, and gesturing to his face before turning /amazingly/ red.
(7:28:19 PM) *Mialisyne blushes, though she covers it with feigning fanning her lips from the spicy curry.
(7:28:23 PM) Shirin: " < …Thank you, ma’am. My apologies for the language. > "
(7:28:36 PM) Shirin: Thank the gods for her skintone hiding her blush.
(7:28:43 PM) Konstantin: He manages to close his mouth and when it opens again they’re gone. “This is fantastic!”
(7:31:03 PM) Shirin: “I’m glad you like it.” She manages not to chuckle.
(7:31:21 PM) Logos: Sai-Yin leans up against the bar. “When I saw you were an Elf, I assumed you were an EDEN research partner. Are you planning on visiting the gardens?”
(7:33:18 PM) Shirin: “I’m planning on it…I don’t think my brothers are assigned here. But I’m a Guide, not with EDEN, I’m afraid.” Gesturing at Oryn. “He wanted to see the Tower.”
(7:34:04 PM) Logos: “That’s a tall order. You don’t usually get /into/ the Tower unless you catch the eye of one of the Veined Ones,” he shudders a little bit “Though, in the Bad Old Days, it was different”
(7:35:33 PM) Tora: “Veined Ones?”
(7:36:10 PM) Shirin: “Them what need the reagents inside, I’m guessing.”
(7:36:37 PM) *Mialisyne finally has had enough of the curry [or perhaps forced herself to not take a second plate], looking to Sai-Yin. " < Would it be alright if I offered common room entertainment as a means of showing gratitude for your wonderful cooking? > "
(7:37:35 PM) Logos: “The Veined Lords of Laozhan Fal? The rulers of the city,” Sai-Yin smiled at Miali “Of course, be my guest. I’ll take any tips you get out of your tab, if you’d like to play a little while you’re here. Assuming you’re good,”
(7:38:40 PM) *Tora has happily finished two plates of the curry. “Ahhhh, Okay, so you’d have to do something really heroic to catch their eyes, I guess.”
(7:40:04 PM) Logos: “Or really stupid, I suppose, but yes. They don’t often take visitors in the Tower,”
(7:41:22 PM) Shirin: “Well, that can be sorted out come morning. I’ve not much a mind to bother anyone during dinner.”
(7:41:54 PM) Oryn: “What exactly is IN the Tower anyway? It is just where these veined ones live?” Oryn joined the others with a plate of curry after chatting up the young gnome and ruffling his hair for good measure.
(7:42:05 PM) *Mialisyne stands and bows her head, making her way to an empty table and unslinging her guitar, studying the room a moment with a practiced eye. She begins to lightly tap one foot as her fingers glide over the strings, a soft drumbeat beginning to set the tempo and beat as she accompanies with her guitar, beginning… interesting, a travelling song in gnomish singing of horizons yet
(7:42:06 PM) Mialisyne: to be seen [and taken advantage of] and a faraway home…
(7:48:36 PM) Logos: The young gnome in the crowd has been brought to tears, and the rest – even the grizzled mercenaries – clap appreciatively. Even some people from outside come in to listen, and – Sai-Yin notes with a happy tear – drink. “Well, no one knows except the Veined Lords. They only occupy the lowest levels though. Before…well, I shouldn’t bore you with stories”
(7:50:02 PM) *Tora watches Mialisyne with amazement. Holy crap that had to be one of the best musical performances he had heard, ever.
(7:50:29 PM) Shirin: Shirin is quietly appreciative, before she speaks. " < …Do you know the Moon and the Hunter, Miali? > " Old elven ballads weeee.
(7:50:55 PM) Shirin: ….Why she picked the one about the time the moon fell in love with a hunter and turned him into a river when he died fucking up a boar hunt is anyone’s guess.
(7:52:17 PM) *Mialisyne smiles and nods to Shirin, bringing the first song to a close before continuing the next. She can play all night long! Just… don’t ask her to sing in common.
(7:53:53 PM) Shirin: Well, Konstantin did have something he wanted to share with the class when they get to their rooms.
(7:58:04 PM) Konstantin: Right, and he’ll be ready, after that meal. “I wish to begin with an apology. I have not been forthright with you about myself.”
(7:58:05 PM) Logos: By the time Mia finished her set, she had drawn a pretty impressive crowd, and the party had really gotten started, giving Our Heroes a chance to slip away quietly to their rooms. Like many inns, the Goldfern had an “Adventurer’s Suite” of three bedrooms arranged around a central private room dominated by a large round table. It was this suite that Sai-Yin had prepared for them.
(7:58:45 PM) Shirin: Well then. She’ll just take a comfortable seat, and settle in for now. “…”
(7:59:54 PM) *Mialisyne contentedly settles in as well, looking fairly pleased with herself.
(8:00:49 PM) Oryn: Ahhhhh, armchair~ Well, gnome, so more of a handchair really. Still, Oryn takes it up and reclines!
(8:01:13 PM) Konstantin: “My name is Konstantin, true. And I am a paladin on a quest. These are not lies, merely halftruths. But I should let you know, I am Konstantin von Aravalle, of the kingdom Aravalle. My quest is to gather the strength needed to wrest the lands from my father, Mathias von Aravalle.”
(8:01:54 PM) Konstantin: “And my father’s name should put light to the rather… unexpected end to our fight, in the bandit camp. I apologize for having decieved you all, but I needed to be certain I could trust you.”
(8:03:09 PM) Konstantin: “…That is all.”
(8:03:28 PM) Tora: “So…why did you eat that guy’s neck, anyway?”
(8:03:35 PM) Shirin: …
(8:03:41 PM) Shirin: Face, meet palm.
(8:03:46 PM) Logos: For those Adventurers just tuning in: Mathias von Aravalle is the Hero of the Great Betrayal, who broke the siege on the Elven city of Ra Zehman and killed the Betrayer in single combat. He is also, as luck would have it, a vampire, though that doesn’t seem to have affected the fact that his kingdom is one of the most well-run in the East.
(8:04:35 PM) Konstantin: “My father is among the undead, and has been since before my birth. I share this fate, to an extent, by our blood.”
(8:04:56 PM) Tora: “…oh.”
(8:05:18 PM) Shirin: “For the record, I already knew all of this. Mathias asked for a guide to accompany Konstantin as he traveled. I believe, mostly to keep someone from trying to stab him with sharpened pieces of wood.”
(8:05:36 PM) Mialisyne: “Shocking truth!”
(8:06:01 PM) Tora: well…that explained a good bit.
(8:07:13 PM) *Mialisyne pauses. “But, seen coming.” She smiles. “Not bitten; many opportunities. Paladin code. Secret, safe.” Bardic wandering did increase tolerances for weird companions.
(8:12:13 PM) Oryn: Wait, so Konstantin’s dad was rich this whole time? “Wait so your dad was rich this whole time?” Inside voice inside Oryn! Inside voice inside! “Ahem, pardon me. I would just like to let you know that gnome blood is not something I’m willing to negotiate into your contract but you’re perfectly welcome to nibble on the throat of anyone who vexes us! This changes little, you are still an
(8:12:13 PM) Oryn: honorable man and a good employee.” He nods firmly. “Besides anyone who has dodged the dues of the Trader Below deserves respect.”
(8:12:45 PM) Oryn: “That’s in reference to your father, obviously. I hope you haven’t been near death yet. Any nearer than your current state. Yes. That.” He nods again as if that all made sense.
(8:12:56 PM) Shirin: “…Oryn why is that the first thing you focus on?”
(8:13:19 PM) Oryn: “Because I am a patriot.”
(8:13:26 PM) Shirin: “To /whom/?”
(8:13:28 PM) Tora: “…” Sideeyeing the gnome “Oryn, you have a single-track mind.”
(8:13:30 PM) Oryn: “Gnome pride!”
(8:13:37 PM) Shirin: “//Oryn//.”
(8:13:41 PM) Tora: “that’s not patriotism.”
(8:13:42 PM) *Mialisyne stifles a soft laugh
(8:13:55 PM) Oryn: “It sounds better than the alternative!” He grins brightly.
(8:13:59 PM) Konstantin: He pauses and smiles, and then laughs after a moment. “Thank you… Thank you all.”
(8:15:46 PM) Shirin: “Breathe a little easier with that out in the open, eh, Your Highness?” Given the grin she just gave Konstantin, that title was not at all respectful.
(8:20:20 PM) Konstantin: “Yes, to an extent.”
(8:23:13 PM) Tora: “Er…so what do we call you now anyway?”
(8:23:28 PM) Shirin: Mouths ‘Told you’ at him, and then leans back. “Well. I still wish to visit EDEN…and then we’ll have to figure out what to do about the Tower.”
(8:23:39 PM) Konstantin: “Konstantin will suffice.”
(8:23:52 PM) Mialisyne: “Konstantin, probably? Royalty, hidden; purpose.”
(8:25:17 PM) Tora: “Ah, okay then!” Tora seems to be taking this well in stride.
(8:26:01 PM) MalmsVovokosi left the room (quit: Ping timeout: 183 seconds).
(8:26:12 PM) Mialisyne: She sizes up Tora’s response a moment, before relaxing back on the divan.
(8:27:34 PM) Shirin: " < .. .So question. How did you figure to ask where I was sleeping, Miali? > "
(8:31:59 PM) Mialisyne: " < Equal number of stares at the royal hindquarters- > " Ooh, a suffix added. " < -so I made a guess. > "
(8:34:18 PM) Shirin: " < Can you /blame/ me? > " Seriously, dat ass. " < Others know? …Well, Oryn. I don’t think Tora’s noticed. > "
(8:34:52 PM) *Mialisyne stifles a soft laugh.
(8:37:07 PM) Shirin: < “Don’t laugh at me! I gotta hope he hasn’t noticed, Prince hasn’t won //that// much.” >
(8:37:22 PM) *Tora blinks, looking over and wondering what the elven Mean Girls are saying
(8:37:49 PM) Oryn: Oryn needed to pick up Elven one of these days!
(8:38:43 PM) Shirin: Well they keep peering over at Konstantin so it’s anyone’s guess.
(8:39:24 PM) Logos: Maybe Elves have some weird social mores about vampires? Who knows.
(8:39:39 PM) Tora: Or about princes. Or vampire princes.
(8:39:50 PM) Shirin: She said Oryn and Tora’s name, too. Huh.
(8:43:25 PM) Logos: Well, “Aaron” and "Taara"m Elvish is weird about long o sounds.
(8:44:05 PM) Konstantin: …Elves are townies? Or kennedeys?
(8:45:18 PM) Tora: Yeah, that was a thing.
(8:45:52 PM) Shirin: “Oryn, what //are// we doing about the tower?”
(8:46:08 PM) Shirin: “If you’re not already dreaming about the profits in there.”
(8:46:25 PM) Mialisyne: “Perform, impress?”
(8:46:42 PM) Tora: “He’s already dreamed about it, twice, I imagine.”
(8:48:06 PM) Oryn: Oryn scratched his goatee and sat back. “Getting in there could be a one-way ticket to the Merchant’s hand, or we could be looking at a bounty in ancient heavenly treasures.” He rubs his hands together. “I think we should get in there~”
(8:48:08 PM) Shirin: “It was incredible, Miali.” She smiles, gently.
(8:48:21 PM) Shirin: “…And how do you propose to /do/ that?”
(8:48:35 PM) Shirin: “I’m not helping you break in.”
(8:48:48 PM) Oryn: “Well… If we have to be invited by one of these Veined Lords to get in, we should start by ingratiating ourselves to one.”
(8:49:04 PM) Oryn: “Don’t be silly, breaking in is against the law!”
(8:51:21 PM) *Mialisyne pauses, realizing her intended effort hadn’t come across. “For tower. Play outside.” Well, it was an idea, and she did pride herself on her music.
(8:51:30 PM) Tora: “Think we should go and see about what you were going to meet about tomorrow, Shirin? That’d sound like a good starting point, anyway.”
(8:52:16 PM) Oryn: Oryn nods at Miali. “That is a way we could ingratiate ourselves, indeed!”
(8:52:19 PM) Tora: “Ah…do you mean playing to distract them, or playing to impress the nobles, Miali?”
(8:53:03 PM) Shirin: “EDEN…they might be able to get us in to talk to the Veined Ones, I suppose. I can’t guarantee it.”
(8:53:19 PM) Shirin: “Can’t guarantee they’ll be willing to help you, either. But I can get you in to ask them for thelp.”
(8:53:42 PM) Shirin: She shrugs. “If we want to go, we should tonight, tho. They’ll be taking visitors now, in the evening.”
(8:53:47 PM) Shirin: “Not in daylight.”
(8:55:09 PM) Mialisyne: “Impress, preferably. Distraction, alternate?”
(8:59:27 PM) Tora: “Ah, okay then. I suppose we should go now?” Tora stands up
(9:00:24 PM) *Mialisyne nods, getting to her feet.
(9:01:01 PM) Shirin: “Yes. This isn’t a desert, but they’ll keep the same hours.”
(9:01:31 PM) Tora: “Yeah, I know how it is in the desert.”
(9:02:09 PM) Shirin: …Side-eying Tora.
(9:02:17 PM) Tora: “Wake up at dawn, get food, head to shelter for the day, sleep again, wake up at dusk, go back before it gets too cold out there.”