Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Urchin Quest

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Originally posted by BlueWinds View Post
    Tell them to get the name of the supplier... and run as soon as they all look away.

    We do not want to get mugged while carrying more money than we'd ever dreamed of possessing until now.
    Seconded. Also, let's try to avoid selling bad Qat.


    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


    • Supplier... and apology. And scat at the first opportunity.

      Comment


      • Yeah, get the name of the supplier...and make a quick exit.


        Share your wonders in The Artifact and Evocation Workshop

        Comment


        • Get Name of Supplier: 6
          Apology: 1
          Show of Force: 1
          Run Away: 4



          You take a deep breath. This…really wasn’t something you wanted to have to deal with today. The Leopard Gang isn’t as bad as some of the people you could run into in an alley in Nexus…but they’re not good people to run into in an alley either.

          “Leopard, you should get him to give you the name of his supplier. This guy’s just the middleman-if you really wanna protect the neighborhood, you need to track down his source.” You frown, trying to create the impression that this is deep thought that you’re really straining over, and not a basic and obvious conclusion they should have come to on their own. Nobody likes a smartass. “Otherwise…you’re just gonna get somebody else selling the same shit here tomorrow. And I figure the source is the guy who’s making the real money, so he’s better to shake down, too, right?”

          Seven Leopard blinks slowly…then smiles.

          “Hey, kid. You’re not as dumb as you look!” He turns back to the bald drug peddler and leans in. “How about you tell us who’s selling you the stuff?”

          Once everybody is focused on the interrogation…you take the opportunity to slip back out of the alley and lose yourself in the crowded market again. You hope you haven’t just started another turf war…but mostly you’re cursing yourself for letting haste to get to the bank cause you to forget your caution. Taking a shortcut through back alleys with tons of money on you? You’re a Nexus native, not some farm girl tourist fresh off a boat! You shake your head ruefully as you take the slower, longer way toward the Guild District. You skirt the southern edge of Sijantown, switchback over the rooftops to avoid some neighborhood patrols in Lookshytown (you’re not welcome there since you almost got caught pickpocketing a few months ago-the Lookshyan military folk stationed here are out of towners and easy targets, but they’re not known for being friendly to thieves) and then cut south towards the Nexus district. You give River Park a wide berth, which costs you an hour or so, but nobody smart goes in there on their own.
          ****


          After a longish trip, you arrive in the Nexus District, and make your way towards Yinhang Square. You need to ask directions a couple of times-it’s not often you’re traveling in this part of town-before you find the offices of the Chrysanthemum Abacus Merchants. The grizzled looking mercenary at the door wrinkles his nose and gives you an appraising look…but lets you go in.

          The offices of the Chrysanthemum Abacus Merchants are filled with polished wood and decorated with elaborate carvings and gilt inlays. You can see through a door in the back that clerks are bustling about putting large scrolls into wooden drawers in the back room, but out front there is just an elderly gentleman in expensive silk robes sitting at a desk. He is wearing narrow spectacles and reading a ledger. As you arrive, he looks up.

          “Hello, young man,” he says. “Is there something I can…help you with?” He gives a questioning glance at the mercenary guarding the door, who simply shrugs.

          “Yes, I hope.” You bow. Old people like that sort of thing. “I am looking to open an account, and my Aunt Dwi recommended your bank as particularly dependable.”

          The old man raises an eyebrow. “Dwi, eh? Hrm. She understands we only give our clients credit for referring to us new clients of…quality, yes?”

          “I was not aware you gave your clients credit for referring people at all.” You shrug. “I recently…came into possession…of some alchemical supplies, and she helped me with the negotiations to sell them. My cut is twenty five dinar. Is that ‘quality’ enough?”

          The man closes his book and strokes his thin white beard, an expression of amusement spreading across his dour face. “Indeed, child. Come, have a seat in my office, and we shall talk. FENG! Get out here and watch the desk!”

          A harried-seeming clerk emerges from the back office and takes the man’s place at the desk, as he stands and walks around to grip your hand in a cool and somewhat dry handshake.

          “I am Fifteen-Fingers Liu, the senior accountant in this office of the Chrysanthemum Abacus Merchant Company. It is a pleasure to meet you, young…”

          “Tavi.”

          “Young Tavi. Right this way.”

          You are guided to a small office with silk tapestries on the walls depicting frogs in suits of armor doing battle with one another on an elaborately rendered landscape. Fifteen-Fingers Liu takes a seat behind another desk, and gestures for you to sit opposite him in a huge and, you quickly learn, ridiculously comfortable leather chair. On the desk, there is a miniature tree in a pot…and an abacus with gleaming red beads.

          “Tavi. Do you have a cheque?”

          “Yes, sir.” You show him the slip of paper Aunt Dwi gave you. He takes it and looks it over, then smiles.

          “Very good. Do you have regular work, boy, or is this money a singular windfall?”

          “Well…I’m hoping to get more regular work. I’m hoping to apprentice myself to a canal boatman.”

          “An honorable profession for a young man.” Liu nods. “Where are you staying?”

          “In Nightside. It’s well above street level,” you add quickly, seeing him frown. “I have a nice apartment. It’s small, but it’s a fair price.”

          “What fair price, exactly?”

          “It’s three quarters of a Dinar per month, in Guild Scrip…but I get a discount, so it’s only five pieces of eight if I pay in coin.”

          “Do you know if your landlord takes cheques?”

          “Um. He didn’t say. But I don’t think so.”

          “It’s not surprising.” Liu sighs. “But we can certainly get you Guild-backed scrip or silver, if that’s what you need. Other than your housing, do you have any other significant regular expenses?”

          “…not…really?”

          “Then I am going to recommend to you our most basic account…and also a separate fund for the purpose of saving money. I think you should consider giving yourself a few dinars to live on and put the rest into one of our interest bearing accounts. That way you make a little money. The salt rate is unusually high these last few months, so it might be a good idea to put a hefty chunk of your funds into an account with a fixed rate and a reasonably long term.”

          “I…” You’re not really sure what to do, here. You’re really good at haggling and barter and pricing, but you’ve never really actually dealt with interest rates or bank accounts or anything like this, and you’re feeling a bit out of your depth. “You’re going to…pay me…to put my money into one of these accounts. Why? How do you make money off all this?”

          The old man smiles. “Ah, the most important question in any business arrangement! You have a good head on your shoulders, Tavi. On these types of accounts, you agree not to take your money back for a fixed term-sometimes a year, sometimes five, sometimes ten. We agree to pay you based on how long you leave your money with us-the longer, the more we pay. We take your money and we invest it-we might loan it to people looking to start businesses and make money off the loans, we might buy a stake in a company we think is going to be profitable, we might simply combine it with lots of other clients’ money and deposit it into a similar account at a larger bank that will offer us a better rate than we are offering you because we have more money. At the end of the term, we agree to pay you back a fixed amount, regardless of whether or not we’ve made a profit.”

          “And…what happens if I need the money before the, um, term…is over?”

          “We give you back your money…but you pay a penalty. Instead of making money, you’ll lose a little bit, because you broke our arrangement.”

          You frown in thought. “So the money is useless now, but at the end of the term I have more of it…what happens if your bank goes out of business while you have it?”

          “That’s…unlikely. The Chrysanthemum Abacus Merchant Company has been in business for one hundred and forty years. We have four offices here in Nexus, as well as offices in Calin, Great Forks, and Thorns. In the unlikely event that something disastrous were to happen to our branches here in Nexus, our remote offices would honor the company’s commitments-we didn’t last as long as we have by keeping all of our eggs in one basket. You might need to take the official records of your ownership of your accounts to another bank to act as a go-between on your behalf, but they would be able to recover your funds eventually.”

          “…okay. I want to make sure I can afford to pay rent this winter, though.”

          “Then how do you feel about keeping ten dinars for yourself and locking up the remaining fifteen? That will get you most of the rest of the year. I can set you up with an account with a term of nine months, that way if you haven’t found reliable income you will have access to your funds again before your rent money runs out.”

          You nod. “That…that sounds good.”

          “Excellent. These are our most common types of account, so I have copies of the paperwork all ready, just awaiting your signature.” Liu pulls out a desk drawer and pulls out two large scrolls. “Before you sign anything, I want you to understand how your regular cheque account works. We will start out with your ten Dinars. You may visit me here and put more money in whenever you like, and you may also come here to withdraw money in Guild Scrip or in silver…and in Realm Scrip, Cowries, or even Jade, if you’re willing to pay a rather hefty fee to cover the cost of shipping. We will offer you cheques you can use to pay any merchant who will accept the credit of the Chrysanthemum Abacus Merchant Company, which is most of them. Please be aware that if you give someone a cheque for more money than you have we will honor it…but you will be borrowing money from us. If we are not paid back before the end of that day’s business, we will charge you a sizeable fee. If we are not paid back after a week, we will close your account and send debt collectors after you. While pressing you into slavery is not legal within Nexus, chaining you a treadmill and forcing you to work off your debts grinding grain into meal at a ridiculously low hourly wage without breaks or much in the way of food…is. Do you understand?”

          “Yes.” You smile. “I’ll make sure not to spend more money than I have.”

          “Very good.” Fifteen-Fingers Liu grins. “Now that we understand each other…the Chrysanthemum Abacus Merchants pride ourselves on the quality of our service. If there is ever anything we can help with, if you ever need any financial advice, if you ever believe you have been treated unfairly in a business dealing…we have resources available to help you, some free and some for a nominal fee. Please sign here…”

          You pretend to look the documents he’s handing you over carefully…but you can’t actually read. You figure Aunt Dwi wouldn’t steer you too wrong, though…so you sign.

          “And here…”

          You sign again.

          “And here as well.”

          Aaand you sign a third time.

          “Congratulations! You now have two accounts with us.” Liu takes your cheque from Dwi. “I will deposit this for you. While I do, please take this.”

          He hands you thick book bound in red leather. It has an ornately rendered flower embossed on the front.

          “The front few pages are a testament to your ownership of an account with us. The rest of the book is a complementary ledger that you can use to record your transactions and keep track of your expenses and your account balances. We recommend that you write down anything you purchase and make a record of how much you have in your account afterwards. That way you won’t accidentally spend more money than you have. There is also a book of cheques in there you can use to make payments if you don’t want to carry cash…and there’s a small seal you can ink and then press on your cheques. We won’t accept a cheque as valid unless it has the unique seal we give you today, we’ll assume it’s been stolen from you and fraudulently filled out.”

          “Can I get a new seal if this one gets stolen?”

          “Of course! They’re not free, though, so please take care with that one. Lots of people wear them on thongs around their necks. I personally usually keep mine here at our offices and stamp cheques in advance so I’m not carting it about the market.”

          “Hm.” You’re not sure if leaving it back at the apartment with White Moth is the safest place for it. You open the ledger as Liu leaves the office and heads back to give your cheque from Dwi to one of the clerks in the back. It looks like several people have come in while you were speaking to him, and they’re speaking to a clerk at the counter and handing him papers or getting papers in return. Probably withdrawing money as Guild Scrip…

          Liu returns, and gives you a slip of parchment with a seal imprinted on it.

          “This is a receipt for you, a record of how much money you have deposited and how much you currently have in your accounts with us. If we ever cheat you, you can take this to the local Guild offices and request that they take punitive action…not that that’s going to happen. We didn’t get to be as successful as we are by getting ourselves a bad reputation.”

          “Thank you, Fifteen-Fingers Liu,” you say, standing and bowing slightly. “You have been very helpful.”

          “You are most welcome, Tavi.” Liu chuckles. “Is there anything else I can help you with?”

          “Um. Can I get a little bit of Guild Scrip from my account? I want to have just a bit of cash on me.”

          “Indeed.” He leads you to the counter and shows you how to ask the clerks for a withdrawal. You tuck the money into your shirtfront.

          “ I wish you luck, Tavi. And…be careful with abruptly coming into the possession of expensive goods. It can be a good start to a career, to be sure…but it’s best to get regular work. I did some freelance…finding…of valuable items back when I was about your age. It can be a dangerous business.”

          “Thank you, sir.” You bow again, and tuck your ledger into your shirt as Liu shows you out.

          By now, it is late afternoon. The sun will be setting in a bit over three hours…and it’s about an hour and forty minutes back to your home neighborhoods if you take the same route you took here. You could probably get home in half that time if you took some shortcuts through more dangerous sections of town…but you’re not eager to give that a try carrying your new account ledger and seal and cash.

          What should you do now? Ha, who are you kidding? You have most of your money safely stashed away, and you can hide the silver back home to pay rent next month…but you have a Dinar worth of scrip! That’s a whole month’s wages for most people! And you’re in the Guild District! There’s no WAY you’re not going to do some shopping on your way home. If you leave yourself a bit of cash for a canal boat home, it’ll drop you off just a couple blocks from your Nightside apartment. That way you won’t have to carry stuff a long way.
          No, the real question is…you’re going to budget yourself six of your sixteen bills of scrip for shopping. What are you going to buy?



          Clothes! Dwi might get you a fancy set, but you’d like some plain utilitarian clothes as well. Stuff with belts and pockets. And perhaps a thong-necklace to hold a coinpurse around your neck. A durable new outfit will set you back about two of your sixteenth-Dinar bills, so you could afford a couple. And for a sixteenth-Dinar, you could afford a nice bag to carry your stuff in. If you're gonna get clothes...you should get them first, so other merchants will take you more seriously.

          Livestock! You don’t have room for sheep or goats, and you’re not sure you could afford to feed them…but you can get one chicken for a sixteenth-Dinar, or three for two! Chickens can live on cheap grain or seeds, or table scraps in a pinch…and they produce eggs! Eggs mean stable income. It’d be a bit of a pain to set up a hutch for them in your new apartment, but it’s well within your crafting expertise, and it’d be free food for the winter…and chickens are free meat, if times get tough. For a sixteenth Dinar you could also probably get some seeds to plant in your little flower pot. Perhaps something like cabbage or herbs that will grow and can be eaten a little at a time all year round...

          Weaponry! Your makeshift spearhead-knife is okay…but for a sixteenth-Dinar you could buy a REAL knife. Something solid and durable, made of good Nexus steel and intended for mercenaries or Lookshyan soldiers. For just a little less you could get a stout walking staff…and for three sixteenths you could get yourself a dependable hatchet…you could afford something big like a mace or a trident, but you’re pretty sure you couldn’t lift it.

          Crafting Supplies: You’re a pretty decent weaver, and supplies are cheap. You could buy a big bundle of bamboo and heat it and split it in your new apartments to weave whatever you need: baskets, chicken hutches, perhaps decorative bracelets…it could be a safe indoor way to make yourself some more money. A big brace of bamboo will set you back three sixteenths…and if you decide to buy twine and needles and a big steaming pot it’ll cost you five sixteenths.

          Occult Supplies: You’ve been lucky lately…but bad luck comes after good! For five sixteenth-Dinars in scrip you could afford a decent lucky talisman from a spiritualist’s stall, to ward off ill fortune and sickness.

          Food: Bags of dry rice. Bags of grain. Bags of dried beans. Butter. Salt. You have money now-spend it buying in bulk so you have food for the next few months. A single sixteenth-dinar bill will get you two ten-pound bags of rice, or an eight pound bag of grain or beans, or a pound of butter, or half a pound of salt (which has gone up in price lately).

          Lockpicks. Cat’s paws. Crowbars. Climbing equipment. All of it would set you back about four sixteenths…but you’ve already proved to yourself that you’re okay with picking people’s pockets. If you’re willing to sneak into their homes and pick their jewelry boxes, you could earn that money back fast.

          Pickling Supplies: You have a bunch of River Dragon bits...some of which might be useful. If you can get some glass jars and some brine or vinegar for pickling...well, if you can find the right books, you might be able to pull of some magic. Being able to talk to birds or being impervious to blades...that sounds pretty handy! And worst case, pickling the meat will preserve it for use as food. And you might be able to pickle other stuff like eggs or vegetables to make sure they keep. A couple of big clay jugs and brine will cost you three sixteenths...five if you want to spring for glass.

          Interior Decor: For four sixteenths, you could get a nice bedroll of your own, so you don't have to sleep on the hard floor or on Moth's bedroll. For one, you could get some cozy throw pillows, or a heavy blanket which will be handy once it gets cold in a few months.

          Actually…screw shopping. You have a bunch of potentially very valuable River Dragon bits sitting in a chimney possibly going bad. You ought to head home as quickly as possible to secure them before flies and birds can get at them! If you’re lucky and one of the pieces is alchemically useful…well, you could have a lot more money to shop with.

          Actually…screw shopping. You’ve been getting by on no money for plenty of time now. You should safe your cash against a real emergency and instead see if you can track down Grinning Eel and see about that apprenticeship.

          Actually…something else!

          Resources You Have Available:
          • Tattered Rags
          • Rough twine (1 roll)
          • Your Lucky Pebble
          • Twine Armband
          • Steel spearhead (six-inch knife blade with a clumsy handle)
          • 2 Quarter-Dinars, 1 Eighth-Dinar
          • 1 Dinar in Guild Scrip (16 Bills, each one sixteenth Dinar)
          • Personal Seal issued by the Chrysanthemum Abacus Merchants
          • Ledger Book
          Account Balances with the Chrysanthemum Abacus Merchants
          • Personal Account: 9 Dinars
          • Time Deposit Account: 15 Dinars (Fixed Return of 9% after 9 Months)
          Resources Back at Your Nest:
          • Fishhooks (2)
          • A medium sized smoked fish
          • Three River Dragon Fangs (one big one, four smaller ones)
          • A four-by-four swatch of thick, scaly River Dragon hide
          • A River Dragon Spleen? You think it’s a spleen? Tied in a bundle
          • A Spleenful of River Dragon Parts
          Resources at your Nightside Apartment:
          • A Small Library
          • Dishes (One Cupboard Full)
          • 1 Box Pressed Charcoal
          • Small Iron Cooking Stove
          • Several Dozen Empty Wine Bottles
          • A potted plant (Deceased)
          • Some hand-me-down clothes White Moth gave to you rather than throw away
          You Have Gained:
          Attributes: (FINALIZED).
          Abilities: (28/28 Allocated)

          Specialties: (2/4 Allocated)
          Merits: (4/7 Allocated)
          Bonus Points: (11/21 Spent)-From now on, every update, we spend at least 1 BP.
          • Thinking fast, talking fast, getting the hell out of a dangerous situation fast: Wits 3: 3BP
          Last edited by Wise Old Guru; 07-01-2017, 03:12 PM.


          So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

          The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
          -Roger Zelazny

          Comment


          • I am really enjoying the adventure. I vote for pickling supplies (glass), then go back for your stuff, and then tell another young kid about your abandoned sleeping space. It is always good to do good and a warm sleeping space can save a kid's life.

            Comment


            • Pickling Supplies and go back to get the rest of the stuff out of the chimney.


              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 sixteenths for clothes and a carrying bag, 2 sixteenths for clay pickling jars, and 1 sixteenth for a real knife.

                That will give us a nice, well-rounded inventory to work with. We can start working for Eel, warm and protected by work-clothes, armed against thieves, and able to preserve not only our river-dragon bits but also any fish we happen to pick up during off-hours on the job.


                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


                • Get our stuff from the nest, mention the nest to some kid who's in the same state we were, then go to Aunt Dwi about getting the river dragon bits appraised. After that, a decent knife is an extremely useful tool, then go talk to Eel about that apprenticeship.

                  Comment


                  • I'm going to buck the trend and suggest... food and livestock. We've never had a chicken before, but it seems like a great time to start!

                    Pickling supplies are way too ambitious. We have no idea how to use them, and we're going to spend a lot of money on the potential that it'll make stuff last longer? We should just sell the bits and be done with it.

                    Comment


                    • Clothes, weapon, livestock. But seriously we gotta get the rest of that river dragon now that we have an idea of the value. If we also invest in a good luck charm then sell the river dragon bits it is a fun gamble.

                      Comment


                      • Crafting Supplies and Pickling Supplies, and a stout walking stick!

                        Comment


                        • Clothes and a bag (3/16): nice duds from Aunt Dwi are fine, but we need some stout working clothes.
                          A proper knife (1/16): we were able to talk our way past the Leopard Gang, but that may not always be possible.
                          Food (2/16): let's lay in a stock of some basics.

                          With food, shelter, clothing, and some financial security we can focus on making the most of our good fortune. Speaking of which...

                          As soon as we're done with the shopping our very next priority needs to be recovering the rest of the stuff we have at the chimney. Pickling supplies are a waste; we don't know what we're doing and we can't read (so, books won't help!). Which means the River Dragon parts are only valuable as something we can turn into money. Let's do that right away, before they go bad or go missing.


                          Share your wonders in The Artifact and Evocation Workshop

                          Comment


                          • Buy Pickling Supplies: 4
                            Get the Stuff From Your Nest: 4
                            Pass Nest on to Another Urchin: 2
                            Buy Clothes and Carrying Bag: 3
                            Buy The Real Knife: 4
                            Buy A Stout Walking Stick: 1
                            Take the other Bits to Aunt Dwi: 1
                            Go Talk to Eel about the Apprenticeship: 1
                            Buy Food and Livestock: 3
                            Buy a Good Luck Charm: 1
                            Buy Crafting Supplies: 1


                            “Phantom Peppers, imported from Sijan! Fresh Phantom Peppers!”

                            “Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, step right up! Only the finest in Varangian craftsmanship, clocks so small they’ll fit in your pocket! The height of utility, the height of fashion, beloved by navigators and astrologers alike!”

                            “Oy, get yer new shoes right here! We’ll measure yer feet and cobble you while you wait! Sandals in five minutes, boots in fifteen, and either way a five-year guarantee!”

                            “Eels! Live Eels! Fresh and cranky, thick as your leg!”

                            “-two Talents, only two? Why this Claw Strider is a purebred straight from the great plains of Zerebosh! She’s broken in and well-trained, and just look at the red shine on those scales! Do I hear three Talents of silver? Ah, the lady with the enormous sword, is that a bid Madame? THREE, we have three Talents lords and ladies do I hear-“

                            “Packs, bags, and purses! Finest leather, guaranteed water-proof!”

                            “Dammit, seven Dirham, are you mad? What are we going to do with SEVEN DIRHAMS WORTH OF HONEY?!”

                            “Talismans, poultices, and unguents! Cure all ills, ward off ailments! Guaranteed effective or your money back!”

                            The Guild District in late afternoon is in full swing. Colorful stalls line every street. Wagons and carts and rickshaws crawl through the traffic, their drivers roaring abuse at the crowd to get out of their way. Hurried looking young men and women dash back and forth carrying ledgers, bidding on spices and tea and all manner of assorted oddities in bulk. Food vendors are few, having paid dearly for licenses to sell refreshments to the teeming throng, and they have hired attractive ushers to call to passersby and gently wave large fans to waft the scents of their fried wares out into the crowd. You spot a couple of pickpockets bumping and apologizing their way through the merchants-one you’re impressed by and one you think you could teach a thing or two. The District is full of foreigners, too-tall silk-clad nobles from Calin with long thin swords bouncing on their hips, turban-clad traders from distant Khirigast and Chiarascuro yelling at each other in a mix of Guild Cant and Riverspeak and Firetongue, a huge Northerner with an axe the size of a small rickshaw riding an actual literal bear down the street, a dozen dour-faced Sijanese priests in black and violet robes haggling with a plump gentleman with blue hair and strings of cowries around his neck carrying a wooden coffin, and even a Dynast of the Scarlet Empire in red jade armor reclining in a palanquin carried by a dozen panting servants who dash back and forth to bid for various rare and dangerous animals brought from the Eastern Jungle.

                            You smile. All around you there are young people gawping at the sights like idiot tourists, and as you watch one of the pickpockets you’ve spotted bumps into one of them, who immediately starts apologizing and saying she’s sorry she wasn’t looking where she was going. You’re a Nexus native, though: you’re counting silver in your head and dodging crowds and holding your purse close and going exactly to the booth you planned on without getting distracted by odd people and interesting wares. Like so many of the locals, you take in this wondrous cavalcade of exotica with a studied expression of boredom and slight annoyance. Talismans to help you find your way? In your way, you avoid them. Steaming slices of fresh pie served with cream and shaved ice? Overpriced, you walk by without so much as a glance. Dazzling purses in crimson leather adorned with gold thread, just like the Empress herself is carrying? Surely the Scarlet Empress doesn’t carry her own bags, and neither do I, sir, now please let me pass!

                            First you find a bag-a nice sturdy leather one with a strap you can hold over your shoulder and another you can connect to a belt to spread out the weight. It’s got some pockets and pouches and loops for holding things on the outside as well, and you’re sure it’ll keep the inside reasonably dry even on a rainy day. That’s one of your six budgeted bills gone. You grab some serviceable working clothes as well, brown and green to match your new bag. That’s three bills of scrip gone. Three to go...

                            You decide on a real knife, and spend some time walking up and down stalls of steel looking for just the right one. Eventually you settle on a solid utilitarian piece, with serrations for sawing on the back of a heavy, sturdy blade suitable for a little prying or carving as well as stabbing. It comes with a nice leather sheath you can wear at your hip or on your forearm or shin, along with a small whetsone. That’s another bill of scrip. You consider getting a stout staff…but decide against it-with your new knife you can just carve a staff from a decently sized branch if you really want one later.

                            Four bills gone. Two to go. You decide you ought to invest in making more money-some jars or pickling supplies to preserve food against hard times, and to preserve your River Dragon parts. If you can make sure they keep, you’ll get a better price for them. You find a booth selling canning and pickling supplies, and spend some time haggling. For a full set of six clay jugs and a bottle of vinegar, the woman wants three bills of scrip…but you’re able to haggle her down to selling you four jugs and the vinegar for your two. You put three of the jugs in your new bag, putting the clothes between them to keep them from banging each other, and carry the other under your arm down the canal to hire a ride home, trying as hard as you can not to look at or be tempted by the other bargains on offer.

                            When you reach the docks, it looks like Grinning Eel isn’t around. Not too much a surprise, he usually works the Nighthammer canal to the south. You’re able to hire a boat to take you back to Nightside. The Blackwall neighborhood is very close to the water, so it’s only a short jaunt from the dock back to your new apartment. You can’t help but get a little excited climbing the stairs and putting your key in the lock. It’s your apartment! Yours!

                            It’s still nice and neat and clean, too! There’s no sign of Moth, so you actually have the place to yourself! You stash your ledger and your money in a low cabinet behind the cleaning supplies. You’re aware, having spend the whole morning trying to get her to help you tidy up, that Moth doesn’t like bending over for things, and that she’s never going to go looking in the cupboard with the cleaning supplies unless you make her…so your finances should be safe, at least until you can get a lockbox or something. You also stash your spearhead and your Seal.

                            You’re tempted to stay and rest…but no, you have a bunch of River Dragon bits back at your nest…and also a whole fish, which sounds good for dinner, and a couple fish hooks, which could be handy for fishing in the canal down the block from your new apartment! You take a minute to change out of your tattered rags and into your new sturdy clothes-they have lots of pockets and pouches that’ll be handy for cleaning out your nest. The clay jugs are clumsy to carry, you know from recent experience. You decide to leave two here and bring two with you in your bag…and before you head out, you take a thick dress that Moth didn’t want to throw away but said she’d never actually wear and so gave to you and stuff it in. Hopefully using that as a lining will keep the stink off your nice new bag!

                            Feeling more than a little fancy in your new clothes and your new bag with your new knife, you take care to avoid back alleys and known dangerous areas on your way back to your old nest. It takes a while-big the time you arrive, the sun is low on the western horizon and the buildings are casting long shadows on the street. You can see from down here that there’s a wheeling flock of black raitons circling overhead, croaking and swooping and generally making a huge amount of noise. You hope they haven’t eaten everything! Quickly, you climb the familiar handholds onto the roof amidst sounds or raucous cawing. There’s your chimney, with twine tied around it. You can see your bundle of bits next to the chimney, river dragon meat and twine and a decently sized fish strewn along the roof tiles, and a desperately flapping raiton all tangled up in the twine. You don’t have more than a moment to consider how it probably blinded itself in the smoke from the chimney trying to get at your stash and got itself all tangled in the twine, or to think about how lucky you are that it didn’t all fall down the chimney, though.

                            You freeze instinctively, halfway into climbing over the lip and onto the roof tiles, both hands and one knee up on the roof and one foot still hanging down below. Past the screeching, flapping raiton that’s all tangled up in the offal that’s supposed to be your windfall…there are a pair of huge round eyes, gleaming gold in the shadows cast by the setting sun. No more than a stone’s throw away, low and slow, creeping across the roof towards your prize and the screaming raiton, much bigger than you had pictured it being…

                            It’s the raptor cat. The one from the rumors. It looks just like a housecat, but so much bigger, and you can see its claws flexing as it creeps along the roof. Its left side is a glimmering shadow, but its right side is lit by the sunset. Its scales glitter gold and red and green in the fading light. It moves so quietly that only the occasional rattle of a loose tile taking its weight as it pads forward makes it seem real rather than a dream.

                            It’s definitely not a dream, though, and as you slowly pull your other knee up onto the roof its head turns and its burning golden gaze meets yours. You wonder if it can hear your heart pounding.
                            …what are you going to do?


                            Resources You Have Available:
                            • Rough twine (1 roll)
                            • Your Lucky Pebble
                            • Twine Armband
                            • Knife (Up your sleeve in a forearm-sheath)
                            • Carrying Bag
                            • Two Heavy Clay Jugs
                            Account Balances with the Chrysanthemum Abacus Merchants
                            • Personal Account: 9 Dinars
                            • Time Deposit Account: 15 Dinars (Fixed Return of 9% after 9 Months)
                            Resources Back at Your Nest:
                            • Fishhooks (2)
                            • A medium sized smoked fish
                            • Three River Dragon Fangs (one big one, four smaller ones)
                            • A four-by-four swatch of thick, scaly River Dragon hide
                            • A River Dragon Spleen? You think it’s a spleen? Tied in a bundle
                            • A Spleenful of River Dragon Parts
                            Resources at your Nightside Apartment:
                            • Silver: 2 Quarter-Dinars, 1 Eighth-Dinar
                            • Guild Scrip: 9 Bills, each one sixteenth Dinar)
                            • Ledger Book, with blank Cheques
                            • Personal Seal issued by the Chrysanthemum Abacus Merchants
                            • Steel Spearhead (Six Inch Blade in need of a shaft)
                            • A Small Library
                            • Dishes (One Cupboard Full)
                            • 1 Box Pressed Charcoal
                            • Small Iron Cooking Stove
                            • Several Dozen Empty Wine Bottles
                            • Two Heavy Clay Jugs
                            • One Large Glass Bottle of Vinegar
                            • A potted plant (Deceased)
                            • Tattered Rags, and Clothes White Moth gave to you rather than throw away
                            You Have Gained:
                            Attributes: (FINALIZED).
                            Abilities: (28/28 Allocated)

                            Specialties: (2/4 Allocated)
                            Merits: (4/7 Allocated)
                            Bonus Points: (15/21 Spent)-From now on, every update, we spend at least 1 BP.
                            Raised Craft (Urban Farming) to 1 -You apparently know how to pickle food to preserve it long-term, and you invested in food storage infrastructure before food production infrastructure!
                            Raised Melee to 2-You're comfortable enough with a knife to know how to pick out a good one.
                            Last edited by Wise Old Guru; 07-01-2017, 03:13 PM.


                            So I'm making God-Kicking Boot, an Exalted webcomic, now. Updates on Sundays. Full-color, mediocre but slowly improving art. It's a thing.

                            The absence of a monument can, in its own way, be something of a monument also.
                            -Roger Zelazny

                            Comment


                            • Throw the raiton at it. Hopefully it will be distracted by the morsel. Grab whatever you can stuff in your bag in three seconds, then run away.


                              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


                              • Oh shit. As much as I would like to, fighting this thing seems unlikely to go well, so I'm seconding semicasual's suggestion.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X