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Halfway [Quest]

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  • Halfway [Quest]

    Today is your big day. Everything has led up to this moment. You’ve moved to Halfway, a bustling trade city on the very north end of The Dreaming Sea. It took 10 dinars, but you bought a tiny store front. The shop was filthy and filled with garbage when you got it, but you’ve scrubbed the floors till the gray wood almost shined. You cleaned out all broken crap. You even painted your own sign. “Alley’s alley” You thought you were so clever. Then, your first customer walked in.

    He was a short man, dressed in a purple kimono that screamed Realm and money. His cropped short black hair looked fantastic on him. You’d be attracted to him if he was 10ish years younger. He wore no jewelry, but he looked rich.

    The man looked over your wares. Wart removing cream; one of your best sellers back home. Hair dye that lasted 1 month without dulling; a shame it didn’t work on your crazy hair. A silver necklace that returned to the wearer when lost; but not stolen. The man inspected your pride, a locket that swung towards the owner of whose hair was stored in it; guaranteed to work within 30 feet. All of your items were labeled with exact instructions how to use them and an opening offer price.

    The man brought the locket up to your counter. You were so excited for your first customer in this city, but you hated this part. “Good afternoon. I assume you’re Alley? I’m impressed with this trinket. Did you make it yourself?” You hated the word trinket. Bauble was worse, but trinket still made your things sound cheap and fake.

    “I’m the enchantress Alley’fryn. I enchanted the locket, but a friend of mine made the metallic form. Maybe you have a lady in your life you want to keep track off?” That sounded a little bit more creepy than you wanted it too. Dang.

    The man laughed heartily. “I’m more likely to put my hooligan daughter’s hair in there. I’ll take the locket.” Your heart fluttered. 3 dinar. That was crazy! You expected to be talked down to 1, but this man just took the sticker price! “My name is Jin Sato. I’m hoping that on top of purchasing this locket, I can buy some assistance from you. Are you familiar with the substance moonsilver?” You nodded. You had read a few tidbits about it. “Well, someone in Halfway is making the stuff. I know which alchemist is doing it, but I need to know who they are selling it too. The maker absolutely refuses to tell me. He said I was a spy there to steal his process. Might you be willing to try to speak with him to try to find out who the buyer is? I’m hoping a fellow craftsman might drop his guard. I’ll pay you another 3 dinar if you can get the buyers name.”


    You wanted to tell Jin to pay for the locket and go. But…..3 dinar? You’d be halfway to making up your investment in your shop in one day! But...you’re pretty bad at talking to people. You dread the idea of a cold call to someone. But...money….Did you really want to get caught up in something involving moonsilver? You didn’t want to want to run afoul of something the Immaculate Order preached against, when one of their temples was 3 blocks away. The sound of plinking silver dinars might be able to drown out their droning mantras though.

    What will you do?

    Tell Jin you’ll speak to the alchemist.
    Moonsilver being sold would have to be through a private auction. Tocho has business connections that could point you in the right direction. No cold call needed.
    Cassie, a friend of yours, could easily steal the information for you. You’ll subcontract this to her. Less money though.

    It will take at least a week to set up, but you could try to scry on the alchemist. It'll be boring work, but zero talking to anyone required!
    Tell Jin thanks for the offer, but he is clearly up to no good and you don’t want to get judo chopped by a monk.

    Something else?


    Inventory:
    Your scarab necklace
    3 dinars cash, 8 dinars worth of wares to sell, 3 dinar worth wares being made
    Work clothes
    Casual clothes
    Shop/House


    Projects:
    Ball that bounces back to the height it was dropped from(.5 dinar) (days)
    Dust the ignites into the words that you say when thrown(.5 dinar) (days)
    Perfume that makes the room feel cool(2 dinars) (weeks)



  • #2
    Let's be antisocial and scry on the Alchemist.


    Are you ready to rage? Discover if you are Brave Enough to fight for the soul of the world.

    The Werewolf: the Apocalypse Quest updates on Mondays. All are welcome to vote.

    Comment


    • #3
      This is really supicous. Let's get our friend to steal it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Inquire about an auction.

        Hey, if we're going to run a successful business, we'll need to learn to leverage our connections.


        On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

        Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

        Comment


        • #5
          Inquire about the auction but if we help ask for 5 dinar pointing out the danger of alienating the town alchemist to business.

          Comment


          • #6
            “I can help you. I’ll get the buyer's name, but you are asking me to possibly ruin my relationship with an alchemist. I will inevitably need one for my work. If he won’t work with me in the future, I’ll lose a possible path to increasing my finances. 5 dinars is a more appropriate fee.” You sounded very convincing, but Jin’s smile made you feel like you had messed something up.

            “Very true. Well said. Instead of giving you 2 more coins, why don’t I instead buy 2 more coins worth of your product. I’ll take that...dye you are selling.” Jin made a great point. You were trying to sell your wares anyways. You knew this wasn’t the same as getting paid 2 more dinar, but it was close enough.

            “Very well. We have a deal. I assume the alchemist is Benten?” You had talked to several people in town when you moved in. You had meant to speak with Benten at some point but you were already socially taxed by that point.

            “That is correct.” Jin retrieved 3 dinar from his coin purse. The crazy man walked around with 20ish dinar in his pocket? Was he trying to get robbed? “I’m staying at the guest room above Teavana. Once you have the buyer's name, please come leave a message for me.” Jin handed over the coins, filling your heart with joy. “I look forward to your success.” Jin left as you bid him farewell.

            You switched from your work clothes, a simple black cloth dress, to your street clothes, a gray pair of slops with a white tunic and matching white bonnet. You took stock of yourself in the mirror.

            You are “Alley”’fryn. You don’t know your exact age, but you think you are 22. At 5’0, you’ve dealt with a lot short jokes. Your looks are plain, besides your hair. Your hair! It was vibrant red. It glows internally with the color red. If you don’t sweep your room often enough, the floor of your bedroom glows in the dark. Your research concludes you are godblooded, but that is a wide term. One of your parents was likely an elemental. You never knew them. Your hair draws unwanted attention so you keep it hidden except in your shop. The Immaculate monks are always confused with what to do with you, so you keep away from them.

            You aren’t a sorceress. The Dragon sorcerer the matron took you to see was very clear on that. You can’t cast sorcery, but you can do magic. With a gesture, you can light small fires or put them out. That trick was mostly just good for managing the stove or candles. Making magical nick knacks is stone simple for you though. The Dragon said you were doing workings, a magical ritual to change the world. You were putting things in the order they belonged in. He also said you were a genius and that your greed would be your downfall. You normally ignore that last part.

            You walked down the crowded cobblestone streets of Halfway. It had turned to evening, with the sound of the bell informing you it was the 18th hour. The streets were always crowded but would begin to thin out in a few hours. Your walk home would be devoid of bumping into humans. Yay.

            The Third Circle of Pleasure was almost empty this early into the evening. Tocho ran the bar, drug den, brothel combo and was called a near saint. He seemed to know everyone in the city. He only sold opium to those that could afford it. When a customer started to show signs of addiction, they received special attention. If someone from his bar went home and beat their family, they got a life time ban. His ladies of negotiable affection were treated like family. If alcohol didn’t give you a ringing headache, you might drink here from time to time. The drug den and brothel were kept gated off from the tavern area. You had to knew Tocho personally to get into those areas.

            You were right, and the place was lightly filled. You flagged down the boy running the drinks. “I’ll take a glass of wine and I need to speak with Tocho.” The boy looked at you, trying to see if you were one of the regulars. “It’s about a business deal. He’ll want to speak with me.” The boy gave you a half shrug and went off.

            You waited 10 minutes before a men dressed in all white sat down at your table. He had two stemless wine glasses and a tall glass bottle. The man had the dark skin of someone from the south, with a black, perfectly trimmed beard. He had oiled midnight hair. His natural features were accented very well by his superb grooming. “I am Tocho Alhal and who has come to visit my humble place of business?” Tocho slid a glass towards you. You are a featherweight and that bottle would murder you.

            What will you do?
            I’m coming sweet lethe! Drink with pride and give a rambling explanation of what led you here.
            Ignore the drink and try the direct approach. You need access to the private auctions and you know he knows a guy.
            Drink socially with him. Earn his trust and friendship. Afterwards make a simple trade for some business contacts. That bottle still worries you though.
            Open with a display of your power. Flicker the lights. Flash your hair. Then, offer him a magic item in a few weeks in return for getting you into the auctions, but no questions about why.

            Something else?

            Inventory:
            Your scarab necklace
            6 dinars cash, 5 dinars worth of wares to sell, 3 dinar worth wares being made
            Work clothes
            Casual clothes
            Shop/House

            Projects:
            Ball that bounces back to the height it was dropped from(.5 dinar) (days)
            Dust the ignites into the words that you say when thrown(.5 dinar) (days)
            Perfume that makes the room feel cool(2 dinars) (weeks)

            Comment


            • #7
              Open display of power. A show of strength and then bargain.


              Are you ready to rage? Discover if you are Brave Enough to fight for the soul of the world.

              The Werewolf: the Apocalypse Quest updates on Mondays. All are welcome to vote.

              Comment


              • #8
                (I thought we were already associated with this person?)

                Drink socially - sip, don't quaff. Earn his trust and make a trade.


                On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

                Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

                Comment


                • #9
                  (You know of him because he knows everyone, but never spoken with him. I should have been clearer. Sorry!)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I agree with wonderandawe, but no reason we can't be powerful and social. Limit to 1 drink though.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Tocho poured your wine first and then his own. The smell of strong rice wine drifted to you. You prepared yourself. You had practised using your fire control many times. You reached up and pulled some hair out of your bonnet, using it to frame your face. Tocho didn’t seem to react to the color, but the lighting in the bar was fantastic. You raised your drink in a salute. Dozens of lanterns huge from the wall. All at once, they went out and plunged the bar into darkness. Then your drink was on fire. For just a moment, Tocho saw you wreathed in a red glow, with a flaming salute to him.

                      The moment passed and the lights came back on. Your drink wouldn’t go out with your magic, so you blew it out. You hoped that didn’t ruin the effect. Tocho stared at you and the whole bar murmured. You gave Tocho a big smile and started to lightly laugh. For a moment, he could only see you as a crazy women, and then he joined in started to laugh. The two of you laugh for a minute before coming to your senses. You sip your drink, hoping the ethanol burned at least a little bit.

                      “Good evening. I am Alley’fryn. I’m an enchantress. I opened my shop yesterday on in the 4th district, on chestnut. I need access to the private auctions. You know everyone, so you must know someone that can get me in.”

                      “It is a pleasure to meet you miss Alley’fryn. I must ask you for no more such displays. People will think my business is cursed.” That is a fair point. You nodded, no more. “I can secure an invitation to the auction, but I must ask for something in return. I don’t know you yet, so what can you offer?”

                      You look over white tunic and pants. “You are a man of fine threads. I will enchant a ring that when worn, prevents dirt and stains from getting on your clothes. I would sell that in my shop for 7 dinar.” You exaggerated. “It will take 2-3 weeks to prepare it.” Tocho nodded. He seemed impressed. “I need access to the auctions sooner.” He looked unsurprised.

                      “I believe this trade favors you heavily. However, it doesn’t cost me to be nice.” Tohco raised his glass before taking a drink. “To business.” You echoed him and did the same, a warm feeling spreading through you. “I can get you into the auctions tomorrow if you’d like.” You nodded. “Very well.” Tomorrow evening, at the tolling of the 20th bell, be at the inner market. Near the Spice and Everything Nice is an old well. There will be a man in a silver fox’s mask. Tell him your name, and he will get you in.”

                      “Thank you Tocho. I’m sorry for the sudden arrival. I hope in the future we can do business together again.” You moved to get up, the business done in your mind.

                      “Don’t be so quick to run off, madam. Stay, finish your drink with me. Tell me about yourself. Where are you from? Why did you come here? It’s not everyday we get someone as iridescent as yourself.”

                      Tocho and you talked for about an hour. It felt like he knew everyone in the city, or least know someone that did. You did your best to avoid talking about your past, not because it was a dark secret, but because you had nothing important to say about it. The typical orphan story that filled the Age of Sorrows. Tocho and you got along well enough. Your typically wooden tongue was loosened by the wine, but not too much. Finally, you parted ways. Tocho promised to send you customers as long you stopped by again.

                      You stumbled home. One glass was enough to upset your balance. The Third Circle of Pleasure was in district 2, and your shop in district 4. District 2 was the culture district. Inns, taverns, brothels, teahouses, and gambling dens all crowded around district 1, trying to gobble up sailors and merchants coming off The Dreaming Sea. District 3 and 4 was the heart of Halfway, filled with markets and niche shops. The streets during the day were a wall of shoving humanity, but during the night everyone crowded into District 2 to relax. The Goodness in Friendship had declared any laborer living in Halfway was entitled to 1 free drink a night. You were just one of thousands of drinkers heading home tonight. None of the criminal element was stupid enough to challenge someone who had been drinking in Halfway. The Goodness in Friendship was slow to anger, but harsh in his punishments for those that disturbed his purview.

                      The walk home was 2 miles, giving you time to sweat most of the alcohol from your system. Arriving home you flopped into bed. What a great first day! Then things took a strange turn.

                      You were standing in a black void, looking at Tocho and yourself seated at a table, just like you were tonight. Around you, hanging in the void were the lanterns from the tavern. Tocho slid other Alley the glass, who raised it in a salute. The lights went out, and only other Alley was illuminated for a moment. Then the scene stopped. Tocho and other Alley were frozen in place, with a burning glass in other Alley’s hands and a shocked look on Tocho’s face.

                      A voice came from all around you. It didn’t pass through your ears as it spoke. “Most excellent work. Parlor tricks are unbecoming of you though. Try this next time.” A symbol appeared before you, searing itself into your brain. All you could imagine was the symbol, it filled your world utterly. The symbol was a series of interlocking lines that spiraled round each other before ending in a tight knot.

                      You bolted up right in your bed, your body covered in sweat. Your heart jackhammered in your ears. You dashed across the room to your work table, and hurled aside your bouncing ball project, which instantly bounced back and dinged you in the head. You grabbed paper and brush and started to draw the symbol. It vomited it’s way out of your mind. You couldn’t stop yourself if you tried.

                      Finally done, you sat back and looked at your work, still breathing hard. You were very smart. You knew that wasn’t a dream. That was a visitation by something. Likely it was a god or spirit in the city. Someone had seen you do your little show. You had the full day before the private auctions start at night.

                      What will you do?
                      Build some wards. That spirit is not welcome in your dreams.
                      Experiment with the symbol. You can feel it is magic. It does something.
                      Hit the library. The symbol is probably tied to a cult, god, or culture.
                      Spend the afternoon actually doing your job. Dinar, now and forever.

                      Inventory:
                      Your scarab necklace
                      6 dinars cash, 5 dinars worth of wares to sell, 3 dinar worth wares being made
                      Work clothes
                      Casual clothes
                      Shop/House

                      Projects:
                      Ball that bounces back to the height it was dropped from(.5 dinar) (??)(on the floor)
                      Dust the ignites into the words that you say when thrown(.5 dinar) (days)
                      Perfume that makes the room feel cool(2 dinars) (weeks)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Is the library open outside of business hours? If not, do they lend out?

                        If the former, do a day's work and go afterwards to do research.

                        If the latter, go early to get some books on occult symbology and read them at work.

                        If neither, then you might as well close up shop and go to the library part of the day. You'll need to prepare for tonight any way you can.



                        On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

                        Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The library you plan to use is not open out of business hours, and does not lend. However, you know the librarian and she is excellent.

                          So that is a vote for library?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Finn523 View Post
                            So that is a vote for library?
                            Aye. #tenchars


                            On the frontier of the Wild South, there's only one woman with the grit to take on its most dangerous outlaws and bring them Back Alive, or Maybe Dead.

                            Avatar by K.S. Brenowitz

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Library but we should at least spend the morning on work

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