• Mature • III. The Call of The Void (Navyri)

Rising from the stony plateau overlooking the rivers and plains of the western continent, and growing wealthy from the gem stones pulled from this same rocky soil, Etzos is a bastion of independence, eagerly spreading its belief that man should rule Idalos, not be servants of the vain Immortals who nearly destroyed it. But can the different factions set aside their agendas long enough to see this through?

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• Mature • III. The Call of The Void (Navyri)

Postby Kasoria » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:50 pm

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10th Trial, Cylus, Arc 718
Etzos Underground, Outer Perimeter
18th break


It couldn't have made any difference where he was going, but he still waited until nightfall, and knew that when he arrived, the atmosphere would be as he needed it. So far underground, things like night and day were irrelevant. The light of both suns and moons were alien things, whispered of but never actually seen. It was an eternal night in the tunnels and passages and man-made caverns that ran under the city like a vast ant colony beneath the jutting, gleaming marble and stone. But the mentality hadn't quite took root. The denizens of that dark place knew day and night, the waking hours and those of dreaming... and seemed to act accordingly.

Kasoria had noticed much the same thing during Cylus. Even though it was night every day for a whole season, with not a glimmer of white or yellow sun breaking the twin eclipse, people still sturdily divvied up their trials as they always did. He supposed it was for sanity's sake if nothing else, not to mention the simple running of society. If everyone acted like it was night, all the time, when would they ever open up their shops?

There were probably other example, but Kasoria didn't care to think of them. He was concentrating on not getting lost.

Been a long time.

It was by smell and sound that one navigated the passages, not by sight. There were torches down there, and shafts of light that came slashing down from the grates above, but no real, steady illumination. So many of them were deep enough and old enough that anyone who might waste good oil, wood, rags, and time to keep them lit was either dead or disinterested. So Kasoria had to snag one of the torches from the sewer he'd slid into, before delving deeper into the old tunnel beneath the sewer cistern beneath the Eastern Gate.

He walked down passages now that smelled more of dust and age that shit and piss. His feet slapped onto damp stones but his torch lit up bricks that were moldy and caked with a layer of dust thick as a finger. The more he wound and walked, the more things he saw that told him he was not in a sewer system. Old homes and businesses, flattened by the passage of time, built over and forgotten by the upper world. Catacombs with alcoves lining the walls, each one filled with the remains of a body so old even the skeletons were beginning to rot.

Or they were completely gone. Kasoria thought best not to dwell on the "why" of that.

A burst of noise. Garrulous and quarrelsome and raucous in equal measure, a burst of laughter and shouting and warning and intoxication that only one place could produce. It echoed down the old stones and Kasoria moved towards it. Yes, it had been a long time, since he was a cadet with barely a hair on his balls, but he remembered that night in his first year. Him and a handful of other cadets, not even twenty arcs old and kings of the world, at least in their own minds, plunging into the darkness to sup the taste of life from the wild side.

He was more amazed it was still there, if he was honest. Such places moved around a lot. Because of the Blackjack, or unfriendly competition, or simple cave ins and structural collapses. In truth, Bernie's had "shifted" once or twice, but the area it squatted in was roughly the same. And once you heard the sound of it, finding it exact was child's play.

Getting in, though...

"Oi, Billy? Eyes open."

Two lumbering forms detached themselves from the shadow in front of the doorway. Behind it was light and warmth and song and other such pleasures, but first, there was them. Two figures that probably had twins outside every such establishment in the multiverse. Broad as barn doors, bearded, arms like slabs of beef and faces akin to quarries. After the blasting.

"Ain't seen youse around before, wee man," the first one rumbled, voice seeming to come up from the bottom of a deep pit. "Not our custom to let in strangers..."

"Oh, aye," his partner picked up the worn routine with practiced ease, and Kasoria's lip twitched a little. "In charge of security, so we are. Wouldn't do to let in just anyone."

"Not at all, Barry."

The little man with the beard looked up (and up, and up) into each face in turn, then his hand vanished into the folds of his coat. Tension sprang into the air, like that feral mood when alley cats spy each other. Beefy hands slid towards brass knuckles and blackjacks, but before the need for them came to light, something else did. Two things, actually.

"Doing good work, lads," Kasoria said, flipping each man a gold nel that was swallowed up into a fowl-sized fist. "Just looking to wet my tongue and rest my feet."

Twin slashes of teeth. They seemed to do everything together, though Kasoria couldn't see any familial resemblance. But seasons or arcs working side by side... they bonded men together, as history had proven many a time. Of course, working the door at an underground drinking hole and brothel in Etzos was probably not what the scholars and bards had in mind. Either way, the two men parted like marble gates and Kasoria opened the door to-

-be slapped across the face by a fat, wet, invisible hand made of heat and stench and noise. He frowned as if walking against a gale, eyes scanning around a not-quite-full but still busy place that was a tavern in every detail but the fact it was, when you got down to it, set up in an old crypt. Old table clothes had been thrown over coffins, now seating under-dwellers and renegades and thrill-seekers. Whores roamed around like remora fish seeking a well-off shark to attach to. The bar at one end was double-decked with bottles and there were probably barrels under it, tankards filled by dunking into the tops, sent back into welcome hands, dripping all the way.

Kasoria smiled thinly. Locations changed, but the tone... not so much.

He walked to an alcove with a table and chair and sat, not waiting for a serving wench or to check if it was occupied already. General rule in those places was if you left you seat, you gave it up. That meant it was available to all and sundry. If you wanted to take umbridge, no problem, but you would do it outside and not smash the place up. Don't like that?

Talk to Barry and Billy.

"What can I get you, mate?"

The serving wench was, in fact, a slender youth with no hair on his face. Skinny and spry, in need of a good meal or five, but with a furtive glint in his eyes. It told the assassin that the boy know how to survive, and might have been doing so for years before he'd arrived. A job in such a place was hardly a stretch for one such as him, whose whole world was the sprawling catacombs that were a city unto themselves.

"Tankard of what's good, a bowl of stew, and..."

Kasoria knew the names. It was a trick, or a routine. A code, or a message hidden behind metal and vagaries. But in that place, crowded and close and stinking of humanity, he thought of it more as a dance. The boy saw the gold coin glinting and greed frothed in his eyes like beer in a mug. That got his attention. Kasoria slapped it onto the table, pushed it forward with one finger... and then snapped it back when eager little digits grasped for it.

"I'm looking for a woman. Nightingale. I was told she could be found around here."

"I, ah... I could ask..."

The killer shrugged, and flicked the coin away. It was in the boy's pocket before it even got a chance to stop sliding. He scurried away and the dance begun. Through quarreling or laughing groups, past tables and chairs, away and away to music only Kasoria could hear. Until he stopped at the bar and handed over the coin, relayed the order...

The jut of his chin in Kasoria's direction. The quick glance of the stone-faced woman behind the bar. Measuring him and deciding if such information was worth sharing. Mayhap she would recognize him, if only his beard and diminutive height (which, he understood, was something of an incredulity to many... which was how he liked it). Rumors and gossip and gabbled descriptions were the currency of the Etzos underworld.

Another step of the dance. Consideration. She nodded and sent him back with a bowl of stew and a tankard and Kasoria kept his eyes on her. Dancing away, into the back, to pass on word to... whom, exactly?

"Bowl and a brew, mate."

"Thank you."

He didn't ask anything further. Kept his thoughts in his own head as he waited for the stew - questionable meat but it smells good - to cool. He sipped the ale and a sharp, thick aroma of hops practically invaded his senses. Ah, classic Etzos quality. For the outsiders, anyway. Let the nobs and the merchants quaff their port and wine; he'd much prefer a dark, thick ale that was practically a meal all by itself.

The tavern caroused around him. The dance unfurled beyond his eyes, though he imagined quick feet beating to an unknown shadow, bringing word to the woman his master had spoken of before. The one who could brew poisons; conjure subtle ends from plants and roots. Quite a beauty they said, and of course, they always were in the stories.

The little man in the hand-me-down clothes started eating his stew, glimpsed but ignored by the sunken tavern. He would find out eventually. But first, he had a stomach to sate.



Thanks for Jade for the template
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III. The Call of The Void (Navyri)

Postby Navyri » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:40 pm

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Common Rakahi Gravokian
"A greedy father has thieves for children."

    She had a visitor, which wasn't inherently strange to anyone with enough decorum to participate in friendship. But Navyri had very few ties in Etzos outside of the Al’Angyryl and while she didn't hide herself, she was not easy to find. And yet, someone had taken the time to find the right places to look, and the name she had adopted some time ago. Nightingale.

    A voice leaned down and whispered into the ear of the winged Naerrikk, and she took pause, tapping the side of her glass with a fingernail in thought, “Is that so?” the messenger wasn’t anything noteworthy, and she had almost denied hearing the report of interest as dice spun on the table before her, caught up in its game. But he had a look of persistence or survival, and she acquiesced as other guests cursed and cheered as a result of the gambling.

    Navyri leaned back in the chair, looking up, “Describe him,” And so the messenger talked, retelling of an old man with dark eyes and with copious amounts of body hair. Unkempt. Direct. Nothing about his description sounded remotely familiar, and the Naer had to consider if this was a good thing or bad.

    “Any markings? Jewelry? Items of interest?” she waited for the answer, a bit impatiently. Then, as if remembering, she included the last question, “Both hands?”

    The boy shook his head, “No finery. Both hands...Has a little money.” Blue eyes looked back the game, waving away a chance to roll as a dark delight warmed her at this new detail. How interesting, but unfamiliar. In fact, whoever this stranger was, he was apparently a bit sloppy, clumsy looking, even. So, it could not be Garizma, Navyri thought, rising from her chair. She had met many men over the years, and made about as many enemies. None of which were stupid enough to announce their presence if they meant her harm.

    “Thank you. I’ll be out momentarily.” Navyri reaching for her drink. She stopped, just as the boy turned, and shot out a clawed hand, clamping down around his barren forearm, “Ah, ah, ah.” Nails, as sharp as talons dug into the soft flesh, squeezing the bone as blood began to trail from her grip, “No one likes a thief.” Had she been strong enough, there was little doubt in her willingness to break him.

    He squirmed and winced, shoving a hand into his pocket and slapping a golden brooch upon the table before her. Satisfied, the Naer let go and retrieved the item, smiling down at the bar pin and wiping her hands. Securing it to her blouse, she stood and readied herself. It was time to make a new friend.

    ---


    Navyri was leaning against the door of the kitchen, passing a gold nel to a woman who had sent word, and the two chatted briefly before the Naer decided it was time. She had peered from the door, getting a glimpse of the interested party. He wasn’t familiar, “The Prince sends his regards,” she said, slipping free of the back and into the chaos of the main room. It smelled terrible, like bodies, beer and old smoke, but when you were used to sharing space with a necromancer, this was a dream in comparison. Even with the odor, Navyri at least enjoyed the liveliness of it all, and found herself fighting a smile as she approached the grizzled old man.

    “Hello, hello,” she greeted while adjusting the dark cloak she wore to hide her wings, assessing the threat level as she did so. She kept a healthy distance, the table an obstacle between them. One didn’t visit the underground unless they had some bite, after all. In response, the Naer looked friendly enough, but looks were deceiving, and she kept this in mind as she debated whether or not he could be undercover law enforcement. The Black Guard had really been cracking down lately, “Heard you might be looking for someone?”
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III. The Call of The Void (Navyri)

Postby Kasoria » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:02 am

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Well, you wouldn't kick her out of bed in the middle of Z'da.

Forty-four arcs walking the world, and that's the first place his mind went to when the woman slid onto the chair opposite him. Well, fine, not the very first thought. He was a man with a profession, after all, and as soon as the slim, fit woman started making her way towards him, his eyes had taken their measure.

More leather than cloth covered her. Functional and protective, if it had to be. Lean but not skinny, with wide shoulders and flashes of forearms under her cloak that told Kasoria the woman had strength to her. Long, black hair, like midnight in this sunless season.

Her eyes, though... they were the surprise. Because they were every bit the ravishing, piercing sight he knew the stories would brag of... and yet they were not the wet, limpid things of insipid tales. They were quick and sharp, like flint or stone chipped and carved into arrowheads. They took their measure of Kasoria, too, and the little man got the feeling that the woman wouldn't have even taken her seat if she didn't have some idea of what she was sitting with.

She brews and sells poisons for a living, a perfectly deadpan voice drawled as he sketched a brief smile across his face, then abandoned the gesture. She's been doing so long enough, and well enough, that Vorund knows her trade. So why are you surprised?

"Someone. Yes." She was being careful, cautious, showing she knew how the game was played. The assassin mopped up his stew with a crust of bread, brushing crumbs out of his beard between snippets of sentences. "I heard that someone called Nightingale... brews poisons and such, for a price... and I was wondering if it were true... and what those prices are."

Kasoria let the lady lead, as he'd been raised to, but showed her that he knew the steps. What had been said that would damn a man in court? Well, one that wasn't bought-and-paid-for, anyway. Just a random encounter with a stranger, an innocent question asked, and a vague query about a mysterious person. No orders had been made, nor monies traded hands. Kasoria watched the woman thoughtfully as he finished off the crust, black eyes shining at her in the low candlelight through a curtain of wild hair.

"I get you an ale, madam?"

The waiter lad was practically fawning over her, as one would expect from young man around a gorgeous lady. He hovered until she answered, then left with a grin and Kasoria swore he would have backed away bowing if it won a smile back from her. The little man - hells, another woman who towers over me - snorted softly to himself and took a sip of his own. His belly was full and the stew was a pleasant surprise. He stretched back in his chair and regarded her.

She seemed at home in the underground. The noise, the commotion, the skulduggery... the dance. He sipped again, foam ringing his mouth until he wiped it from his beard. She was not what he expected, but he kept his counsel for the moment. He'd never been one to fill silences with words, just out of sheer fear of their absence, and saw no reason to break the habit tonight.

Besides, one could learn much from just shutting up and paying attention.
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III. The Call of The Void (Navyri)

Postby Kasoria » Thu May 10, 2018 11:18 pm

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"I dint lose. Want yuh t'know that."

Why in the world would I give a dead dog's guts about you or anything you do?

Randolf would have dearly loved to spit that out at the bleeding slab of beefcake sprawled over his spare bed, but unfortunately, he was a man in need of rent money. So instead he gave a halfhearted "Mmmm, I'm sure you didn't" as he leaned over and finished dressing the brawler's torn up arm. There. Now at least he wasn't spilling Aqua Vita all over his clean sheets. Randolf was already totting up additional expenses he'd have to take into consideration: laundry was now one of them.

"These wounds..." He said, half to himself as he cleaned up the blood dried onto a tattooed arm. "Look more like... teeth, than any blade."

Dennis snorted and took a swig from his flask with his free hand. "Bastard bought a fuckin' dog wiv' 'im to the tavern. Set the wee cunt on me when he knew things wunt gonna go like he wanted, y'know?"

Randolf shook his head as that mental image played out across a mind with the education to imagine it in detail. Such a savage place, the Outer Perimeter. No less uncivilized and barbaric than the wilderness between the kingdoms and cities of this vast landmass. The denizens were no more erudite than this barely-cogent thug in front of him, or his gin-sot landlady, or the shoal of feral children that forever plagued the street beyond his front door. Every few nights another one of them lurched through it, bloody or drunk or both, needing his healing abilities. If not them if was some harlot wanting a potion to ride herself of some other scum's spawn inside her belly.

The healer sneered and Dennis totally misread the subject of his scorn.

"Aye. But he still-"

"Didn't win, yes, I gathered."

"You wanna hear how I-"

"No, no, I do not," Randolf said, too tired to keep the exasperation out of his voice. "Just lay back and relax until you can leave. I'll check your dressings one more time before you do, then we'll discuss the herbs and medicines you'll need to take with you."

Only one of which you actually need, he reminded himself, eyes twinkling avariciously behind his polite smile, but you'll be buying four. One benefit of tending to these perimeter rats: they always trust the healer. Even the-

There was a knocking at the door and Dennis' knife was in his hand as if by some sort of cutthroat magic. Randolf would have blanched and clutched at his hands in worry, a few arcs ago. Now he just sighed wearily and raised both hands in supplication.

"Calm yourself, sir. My doors are always open."

"But me arm-"

"-is wrapped and bandaged and cleaned and healing," Randolf cut in smoothly, moving on his stubby legs to the door as he spoke. That was the key: keep moving, keep talking, don't get mired in their blather. "So have no fear on that front, sir. But I have other customers to attend to, namely-"

Here he opened wide the door, and with neither flirt nor flutter, there stood Kasoria. Dennis had braced himself on the spare bed, ready to fling himself into a sea of grasping hands and vengeful blades... and then he slumped back onto the pillows and sheets. No such excitement. Just some scrawny, smelly little sod with hair like a rabbit that had been caught in a lightning storm. Even the healer looked bigger than the new arrival, waddling over with a half-smile on his face.

Randolf, of course, saw something different.

How does he do it? Wears that cloak of humility, of harmlessness, like any other item of clothing. Look at him. Eyes downcast. Hands in his pockets. Shoulders hunched. Broken and beaten and forgettable.

That was all true, save for when the little man's eyes flicked up, when the healer was safely between him and Dennis' eyes... and the half-smile faltered on those wormy lips. Memories came rushing back to him, thick and ugly and painful. Two arcs since that night, but his hand still twitched whenever he thought of that little man. The pain he was able to conjure with such meager effort. That same, icy look of indifference in his eyes, the only flaw in the garb of a beggar man that Kasoria wore.

And he only let him see it, when Dennis wouldn't.

"Healer, I need to speak with you."

"I... yes, of course, this way..."

He gestured for his guest to walk into his study, and the little man tipped his head to Dennis as he went. The big thug sneered and took another swig from his flask. Flashed a look up and down the vagrant and every inch he saw, spread the sneer broader across his piggy features. He glimpsed the surface and thought he knew the ocean. Randolf had to stop himself from shaking his head as he closed the door behind them.

Must be an queer kind of bliss, being that young, and that ignorant.
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III. The Call of The Void (Navyri)

Postby Kasoria » Sat May 12, 2018 3:52 pm

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"I was sure you'd be capable of what I asked."

"Capable isn't the issue, sir, it's-"

"Then the matter is coin? Then there is no matter."

"Again, you're not hearing-"

Kasoria cut him off yet again, but not with obstinate words or crass threats, which Randolf would have expected. Instead the little man dug around under his cloak for a trill or two, then deposited something fat, leathery, and filled with metal onto the desk between the two of them. The healer licked his lips, and Kasoria's lips squirmed for a moment behind his beard. He'd seen starving dogs eye table scraps with less open avarice.

"Last time I checked," he said, scratching under his chin as Randolf tried to remember his objections. "Scarf Rot and Ghost 'shrooms were going for ten gold nels a dose. I'm looking for ten of each. That's two hundred. Right there. In front of you."

The healer was tempted, Kasoria could see that much. His calling, his profession, was more often than not wrapped up in blood and fear. You broke a man with threats, or torture, or you just cut his throat and poof, the problem vanished with his heartbeat. But violence could only go so far. Vorund had taught him that it was but the foundation of enterprise: the lingering, invisible, specter of heinous acts. The certainty of them, inflicted upon you without mercy or doubt. It was cheap, and it worked, but...

It has limits, he thought as the healer opened the purse and he could see the golden light from all that coin reflected in his greedy eyes. And if you want the best service, you buy it.

As was expected, there was a bottle on the desk. Probably not the port or brandy or wine that Randolf had been used to in his early days, but Kasoria could smell it from where he sat and it damn sure wasn't a good, honest stout. The healer poured himself a measure and drank it down, eyes glassy from all the thinking his mind was doing. His hand shifted and he felt another, smaller weight in his pocket.

He could guess what was coming next. Two hundred was plenty of nels, but greed pushed men further. He supposed he could hardly blame the man: they were both Etzosi, after all, despite their differing backgrounds. Making deals, wringing every nel from them, seeing opportunity and making them sing with profits... these came naturally to them. Held about most all virtues in other lands and cities, for it was the foundation of the city. The art of making a deal.

And making it stick, he reminded himself, as Randolf took another sip, cleared his throat, and started to make his predicted excuses. People usually forget that part.

"Look... it's not as simple as all that. I know the rates, and I know what you want, but getting the herbs and the fungus... it's not an easy thing. I know what you're going to say, I'm a healer, and if I can heal then I must know how to go the other way-"

"I wasn't going to say that."

"-but it's not as simple as that!"

Kasoria pointed lazily to the work desk on the other side of the room. Crowded with beakers and cups and metal struts and things that could be lit and adjusted that he had no hope of identifying. But that was the thing about purchasing service: you didn't need to know, you just had to be able to afford the result.

"Looks like you have the tools here, and I know you have the knowledge."

"I do, on both counts, but I can't guarantee the quality-"

CHINK

Another purse. A softer fall. But the same massed clanking of coins wrapped in leather and Randolf could see it was roughly half the size of the first. For a moment he frowned, one queer question at the forefront of his mind, crowding out his concerns about suppliers and refinement and personal safety and instead he asked: "How many purses do you carry around, for the Fate's sakes?!"

"As many as I think I need. But I should probably buy in bulk and save money."

Hell's Teeth, a joke. I didn't think he was capable.

"There's another hundred, for your efforts," Kasoria said as he rose to his feet, which didn't take too long, considering his size. Randolf opened up the smaller purse and found that he wasn't a liar. "That makes three hundred gold nels, way above the rate, and I'll be back for my goods in... shall we say twenty trials? I don't know how long it takes to brew these-"

"Yes-yes-yes, that will... that will be fine..."

Kasoria smiled again, and there was an edge to it that could slice arteries. Nothing so easy to manipulate than a man crippled by debt, and his own demons always amassing more of it. Randolf could pay off his interest to Vorudn for an arc, maybe two, even put a hefty dent in the debt itself. He'd have to pay for the necessary plants and fungus to make the poisons Kasoria wanted, sure. But what was left could wipe away the specter of Vorund's collectors for a whole year.

But he won't, Kasoria told himself, grabbing up his worn old hat and moving to the door. He's already thinking of which den he can still get credit in, which fighting pit will take his marker, if there are any races coming up... anything but the smart thing.

Kasoria shook his head. Men like that seemed to exist solely to facilitate the need of those wiser than they. If they just shackled their demons and acted as if they could see one season ahead-

"Oi? Healer? Me... Me arm's runnin' red agen!"

Randolf's vision of future profits was derailed by Dennis' unnerved voice from beyond the doorway, and he joined Kasoria on his feet.

"Thirty trials, ah... yes, yes, that should suffice. Now if you'll excuse me-"

"Yes." The healer turned, and saw that hunched, humble figure was back. Stooped a little as if crushed by a cruel world, hat in his hands, fingers tapping nervously on it. "Business."

Thanks to Rumor for the template
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III. The Call of The Void (Navyri)

Postby Kasoria » Sat May 12, 2018 9:54 pm

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Thirty trials later, almost to the break, both healer and assassin were wondering which one of them would ask the obvious question... or, more accurately, why Kasoria wasn't asking it.

Not the "where", because that would be to long a list to complete, and he could take a few guesses himself, anyway. Goods came flowing into Etzos in even greater quantity than gems and stones and manufactured products flowed out, for they needed to feed and clothe hundreds of thousands, not just keep the mills and mines operating. Whole scrolls and books could be filled with all the various plants and flora that came into the city. A properly educated man could easily procure the right ones and, with the right tools, nurture poisonous fruit from them.

Which brought him to "how". Also not his concern.

The assassin's eyes drifted over the assemblage of tubes, glasses, lamps, containers and "devices" strewn across that same work bench. But now there was a smell hanging over it, or rather, a dozen smells all mingling together. Bitter and sweet, burnt and liquid... he could identify maybe three or four of them, but the rest were mysteries. He walked over as Randolf finished the final checks on the vials on his desk, and ran his fingertips over a few of the pestles sitting atop it.

Stained. Freshly so. Working right up to the deadline, healer. Impressive.

"You're not going to ask me, then?"

Kasoria turned around and met Randolf's eyes, then looked down to smile at what was arrayed in front of him. Twenty little glass soldiers, lined up all neat and correct, each one no bigger than his thumb, and every one capable of dropping the biggest man in Etzos either into his dreams, or the afterlife. Depending on which one it was, of course. He took a seat and picked one up. Turned it up... and over... watched the resin inside move slow as molasses, so thick that even gravity couldn't rush it.

"Scarf Rot," Randolf chimed in, sounding very pleased with himself. "I had to peel back quite a few layers to get to the good stuff, which you're holding right now. Wipe that on a blade, and until you wipe it off, whoever you slice with it goes under less than a bit later."

Kasoria fought back the urge to tell him that he knew what fucking Scarf Rot did. He came to him about it, after all. Why would he pay three hundred gold nels for something he knew nothing about? But the man had knowledge to impart, and he wanted him... fairly congenial, if he needed him in the future. So it was best to nod, let him rabbit on, like when he picked up one from the back row-

"Ah, Ghost Mushroom. Aptly named. Harder to get hold of, but the result..."

Randolf let the sentence end not with words, but with a victorious smirk. It had been many arcs since he'd tried his hand at poisons so concentrated. Usually it was diluted concoctions for abortions or prize fights or whatever occasion one had need to weaken another, but these ten vials... these were lethal. Kasoria was holding death in his hands, thick and golden and stinking even through the waxed stopper in its top.

"Another one to smear on your blade. Do so and within trills, the, ah... subject, will feel like they're being choked. Their throat will close up. The smaller veins in their heart will swell and cut off the gases to the blood. Half a bit after that, and well... they won't be too worried about finishing a fight. More concerned with choking to death without any hands or rope around their throat."

Kasoria snorted softly. The man could put fancy words to it, he had to admit. He nodded and started packing all twenty into the specially-padded purse that Randolf was throwing in "free of charge". Kasoria chose, again, not to let his sharp tongue lash the man. So what if it was hardly worth a faux magnanimous boast, considering what he'd been paid? It was a gesture he appreciated, and it made the man feel like he was... more than what he was.

Kasoria knew that was the best way to control people. Well, after fear and money, anyway.

"You're really not going to ask?"

That question came again, as Kasoria made to leave. He smiled, slowly, letting the healer know what he was referring to. He reached down and finished the glass the man had poured for him, like he pointedly did not do thirty trials ago. Clearly the disgraced physician could afford more booze, stashed around somewhere.

"You mean, ask you how I know they work like you just said they would?"

"I would be the smart thing to ask."

"How would I know?" Kasoria cocked his head to one side, for a moment looking like some shaggy dog regarding a piglet. "Do you have someone in the other room I can test them on?"

"Well, I could find a rat or a dog or-"

"I paid you for poisons that work," Kasoria chose his time carefully, words falling like stone blocks, irresistible and brooking no interruption. "I will use them, soon enough, and should they not perform as advertised, I know where to find you." Kasoria smiled even wider as something lurked behind the brief look of discomfort on the doctor's face. "Ah... you're thinking, if I was in such straits, I might die, anyway. I wouldn't think so... narrowly, Randolf."

The assassin let the man chew on that as he walked to the door, then finished the though for him as he gripped the handle.

"You've seen what I can do, even when half-dead and fresh from a butchering. You know what I can do, you know what I did, not even a break before I cam to you, two arcs ago. Do you really think I would rely so completely on your poisons - on any poisons - to fulfill my master's wishes?"

There was naught in the room save the slow tut-tut-tut sound Kasoria made. Randolf grimaced as he realized the truth in the man's words. Not that he thought the man would cheat him, of course. He knew better than that. Because he had seen him, he had heard the stories, and he was smart enough to match tales of "the raggedy man" in Vorund's employ to this slight, skinny man with reptile eyes. So he knew exactly how dangerous Kasoria was, and how stupid he'd have to be to try and pawn him off with garbage.

"Point well made, sir."

"One tries," Kasoria replied, enjoying the brief look of surprise as Randolf also learned that yes, he knew how to read fancy words, too. "I may call on you again."

"My door is always open for business."

Kasoria opened it for himself, and nodded his farewells.

"Spoken like a true Etzosi."

Receipt
-300gn to NPC Randolf
+One dose of Scarf Rot x10
+One dose of Ghost Mushroom x10


Thanks for Jade for the template
"This is the life we choose, the life we lead. And there is only one guarantee: none of us will see Heaven."
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Kasoria
The Raggedy Man
 
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III. The Call of The Void (Navyri)

Postby Alistair » Sun May 20, 2018 8:35 am

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Kasoria

Knowledges
Detection: Deducing When Something was Prepared By the Freshness of Its Remains in a Container
Intelligence: Asking Discreet Questions (Backed up by a Little Coin)
Negotiation: Having your Counter-Offer Prepared in Advance
Negotiation: Paying Above the Rate
Psychology: Men Trapped by Debt and Vices are Easy to Manipulate (Especially with Money)
Tactics: Rely on Yourself and Your Weapons, Not the Poison

Location: Bernie's Comb, Etzos Underground
NPC Randolf: Healer by Trade, Also Versed in Poisons

Loot: I'll leave this bit to you; whatever you purchased and whatever you spent, record it. :)
Injuries: N/A
Renown: N/A

Points 15

Comments: You are the master of salvaging abandoned threads, man! lol
Keep up the good, if incredibly gritty, work -- and I'm sorry that you're stuck doing so many solos... as much as it is a pleasure to read them. Come over to Ne'haer!

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Alistair
My imagination is what binds ether.
 
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