Mana P2y1s04

Mana: And so it was written: Pokiehlember 2nd, Year 1, Gnome's Day. Early morning, in the village of Tacaroon: A brisk wind has begun blowing, and a billow of cloud-cover arrives on the inbound wind.
Mana: It's gleaming in the sky, distant, ominous. The villagers mutter: "Gonna be a proper burst, that is."
Vladislav has a confident sort of grin on him as swings his bag he shoved a few things into from his abode inside the Vacuus Tree. He overhears the murmers and glances towards Alexander. "You have seen such things in Jinn, I would assume?"
Alexander: "I hope it waits until after the funeral. Those are always dreary enough as is."
Vladislav: "It is a troublesome thing out in the forests. Our roads are broken and ground grows moist. A blessing that one does not trade much outside of Tacaroon."
Vladislav: "Although I suppose it also could be a hindrance, such conditions only further persuade Prince Lion to take from others."
Alexander: "Sounds like we might have our work cut out for us, dealing with him. Probably want to ask one or two of the others to help out with that."
Vladislav makes his way through the streets, heading towards the Dryad-Undine gate. "Their reckless actions hold little weight in Dryad. So long as I focus that towards Prince Lion's domain it could work out nicely. They care little for our affairs, however. What is their incentive?"
Alexander: "Speaking of, we should probably start heading back into town. Back to the lifts?"
Alexander: "Well, we got some information about angels and demons. They'll want to know about that."
Alexander: "And at least a few of them just like helping people. And Prince Lion is a Problem."
Alexander: "He may not have direct correlation to the problems plauging Titania, but he's still a big one for Dryad."
Vladislav grins slightly in return at the last statement. "Longer than you would know. You have taken on quite the task, though. To find Prince Cat in three days when he has fallen off the radar since the isolation of our district."
Alexander: "Unless he's escaped out of town, which I doubt-or at least hope-he's probably not going to be in the town itself."
Alexander: "That cuts it down to Shade, Gnome, and Luna."
Alexander: "Search one a day, and we should be fine."
Alexander: "Well, I should be fine, I should say."
Vladislav: "There is a secret gate I know of. To Luna, that is. As you know it is difficult to get to."
Vladislav: "Rather ironic how it turned out seeing as it is in Prince Lion's domain."
[OOC] Vladislav: *road
Alexander arches an eyebrow. "You don't say. That goes together well, doesn't it? So much for prioritizing Prince Cat."
Alexander: "And Luna does seem like the best place to look for a resident of Dryad in hiding."
Alexander: "I think I'd rather try that than go through ruins in Shade, anyway."
Vladislav: "I do not fear Prince Snake, regardless. To many such as yourself his tail means death, but I know much of the Dryad ways. Make no mistake should you fail this request you will experience death again."
Alexander shrugs. "I'm pretty sure it'll only mean the loss of a day. If not, I might have to brew a Distillation to remove the venom from my veins."
Alexander: "Should work…"
Alexander: "I might even be able to use it in formulation a poison against him."
[OOC] Alexander: *formulating
Vladislav: "At this time Prince Snake is not an enemy I wish to make, much like the Empire. Even should we defeat him and gain Exmillia to ourselves, the amount of knowledge is vast and plentiful. To find what we need would be a colossal task, one easily avoided by asking him in person."
Alexander: "Always prepare for the worst, I've learned."
Vladislav: "Inevitably should we continue to help him it will come down to the Snake and the Elk."
Vladislav: "An agreement I am not willing to make for obvious reasons."
Vladislav: "But with the other Princes no longer in the way he will be much more motivated to move on his own. Should such a scenario occur we would need to put him down."
Alexander: "Just set yourself up as ruler of Dryad, afterwards."
Alexander: "Or appoint someone."
Alexander: "It's not like the Emperor seems to care."
Vladislav: "A rather bold statement to make. Have you spoken to him of such matters? Or at all in recent years?"
Vladislav: "He has been noticably missing from many public venues as of late."
Alexander: "It's fairly evident from the amount of attention he's paying to Dryad at the moment, letting these 'princes' run amok and closing the gate on the entire district."
Vladislav: "Why would one care of a world falling apart at its seams when they are so close to paradise?"
Alexander: "And he's only been keeping to his tower for the past few months, it's not like he's disappeared for decades."
Vladislav: "You have little idea what they are plotting at this juncture, correct?"
Alexander: "I am but an errand boy in the grand scheme of things. I only went to the Tower for special occassions."
Alexander: "It's not like I have a seat in the Court."
Vladislav: "One can only wonder if crashing your own funeral would fall upon such circumstances for an invitation." He chuckles.
Alexander: "I guess we shall see, won't we?"
Vladislav: "I expect there to be some sort of aftermath. Should you receive a summons it would be wise to attend to it hastily. I have new information to give Erinee anyways next time I am in the Jinn district."
Alexander: "Although, I would rather like to ask my dear uncle about some of his recent-and not-so-recent-policies."
Alexander: "If I can bring some, or all, of you to the summons, I'll be sure to let you know."
Vladislav: "I would hope you had better sense than to bring that bunch into the Tower of Jinn. I can only begin to imagine the turmoil they could cause. An easy excuse to confiscate their jewelry and toss them into prison."
Alexander: "Haha. Maybe just you and Wilhelmine, then. She seems sensible."
Vladislav: "Erinee has already increased security regarding magic. To waltz into such a place is more than foolhearty."
Vladislav makes another turn in Tacaroon shaking his head. "I recommend that we stop by the Monkey Do in Undine on our way to the funeral. Many visitors drop by there and the barkeep may have overheard rumours of Prince Cat."
Alexander: "Sounds like a plan. Might as well try not futzing around in the dark, first."
Vladislav: "I'm glad you are treating your time limit with some seriousness. Immortality can certainly cause some issues in that regard."
Mana: The two of you are lifted up and over the gates without much delay. There's a fair bit of morning traffic, though - it's just being handled quickly!
[OOC] Alexander: Hurray for efficiency
Vladislav: "You should see the line when there is a festival in Titania proper. Such days I leave town early."
Alexander: "That does sound quite dreadful."
Alexander: "The line-up at the bakery in Wisp can be like that when they have a limited offering of a special treat."
Alexander: "Poor Fuller. The things I put him through, sometimes…"
Vladislav: "Out of curiousity, what do you think was the most important thing Prince Snake told us from his answers?" His grin grows wider as he asks this, but at the same time his brow narrows in an appraising stare.
Alexander: "I'm still not quite sure what to make of his answer about the angels, to be honest. It was rather obfuscated. I'd have to say the fact that, maybe, we might not have to deal with the demons just yet. That they're a threat on the horizon, so we can focus on other parts of the prophecy for the moment."
Mana: Undine District: The low docks, just past the gate of Dryad. There's a cool wind this morning, with ice looming on the open mouth of the harbor. A seagull harasses a fishmonger carving up one of the day's earliest catches - a massive, horned fish with scales like rubies.
Vladislav: "Curious. I would think if one was planning out the creation of a fiend engine it would prove more effective to stop them before they flipped the switch."
Alexander: "We'd have to find it, first."
Alexander: "For all we know, it could be hidden in someone's basement."
Vladislav: "My three best guesses for information regarding a fiend engine is Luna, goblins and the empire. Certainly not a priority, but something I plan to ask in discussions."
Alexander frowns. "Sadly, I could see it being the Empire."
Alexander: "It does sound like we should have a good look around Luna, though, for a variety of reasons."
Vladislav: "The most important fact to me however was that goblins are born from the fury of the spirits. This implies that to stop the threat they perhaps should not be focused on the goblins so much as appeasing the spirit."
Alexander: "Ah, yes. That 'freebie'. That is something we should mention to the others, indeed."
Vladislav: "Easier said than done, of course. Spirits are not easy to come across in this day and age. Other than the fountain, I suppose."
Alexander: "A tragedy of 'progress'. Or the rather short supply of Mana. Possibly both."
Vladislav makes his way past some dock workers, taking in a breath of the air as he walks. "I have been meaning to ask. What is your interpretation of Paradise?"
Alexander: "Interpretation? It's there. What's to interpret?"
Alexander: "Mind you, I guess I might not be visiting it for quite some time, if ever, but…"
Vladislav: "I am referring to the Empire overeagerly reaching out for it, as of late."
Vladislav: "One could consider that they realized the state of Titania and wish for a back door. I simply wished for… another perspective."
Alexander: "I suppose I'm still forming an opinion on it. My…job description only expanded greatly in scope as of yesterday."
Alexander: "I wasn't exactly paid to dwell on things before."
Vladislav can't help but laugh a bit in response. "I hate to break it to you, but nobody is paying you to do these things now either. I am hoping that a constant flow of information can perhaps alleviate some of my lucre issues as of late. Worst case scenario I get some information in return from the courts perspective."
Alexander: "Kill more monsters. Lucre problem somewhat solved. Just…probably want to think about grabbing Theodore since he's got some healing magic."
Alexander: "He's pretty laidback, too, so he's not as likely to do something stupid. I hope."
Mana: At the end of the wharves: The squat, creaky tavern, the Monkey Do.
Vladislav: "I can't say I bothered to learn their names. They didn't exactly leave a lasting impression save for Xsaieta. I admit I am curious as to what cards he is holding behind his palm. Although it is only natural for one such as myself to suspect things from one such as he. He had Luna written all over him. I am sure from Prince Snake's spiel you understand that the two districts hold some… differences."
Vladislav stops in his tracks, shaking his head. "Aha. Here we are. Almost walked right past it." He gestures for Alexander to go first.
Alexander: "Salamander and Undine are the only two 'opposites' that co-operate." He opens the door, holding it for Vlad. "The rest are rather opposed."
Vladislav nods in agreement as he slips into the tavern. He expects the barkeep to be around, perhaps another passed out regular.
Alexander follows Vlad in afterwards.
Mana: The tavern is dimly lit, mostly by the morning light. The proprietor, an iron-clad, is pouring a drink for a blonde-maned, shaggy-bearded sea-captain, who wears a long jacket emblazoned with a stylized flame on the back. He's hunched over the bar, and laughs as he sees the two come in:
Mana: "Ah, that's the thing about this bar! If you don't start your drinking early, you'll never get anywhere!"
Vladislav offers a firm nod to the bartender, opting to take a seat beside the captain. "You must either have a strong stomach or are strongly insulting the quality of the liquor at this establishment."
Vladislav: "Not embarking today, I take it?"
Mana: "Ittt's the latter." The captain says, and the Ironclad bartender gamely turns away to pick up a glass, rinse, clean it.
Mana: "Just came in last night," He says.
Mana: "Cargo load full of foreign gold and weapons, fresh from the moonforges across the eastern sea."
Alexander: "Do the weapons sell well, is the current climate?"
Vladislav: "Weapons I can understand, but foreign currency being moved into Titania? What sort of recipient would have use for such a thing."
Vladislav: "We use Lucre here, after all."
Mana: "Well, I'm just selling it. Guess someone wants to make something with a shipload of gold."
Alexander thought he meant 'gold jewelry or artwork maybe', but apparently it was currency?
Mana: It seems he literally meant "gold, the metal" . Probably.
Mana: "They used to call the east kingdom the Golden Land, you know. Was even what came out when you stuck a monster. Now, even though their mines are all rotted, it's…"
Mana: "…Well, still the best place to get the stuff."
Vladislav: "I have heard tales that the kingdom plans to place a stake in Titania. It would not surprise me if such a shipment is related to these rumors."
Mana: "Tales about the moon kingdom outnumber its citizens, I think."
Vladislav nods in agreement before waving a hand. "Barkeep, have they released any statements regarding the fire yesterday?"
Mana: The barkeep looks up. He speaks slowly, purposefully, with a voice of iron: "Yes. Opening the Imperial purse to help with any property damage. Said it was an onslaught of monsters from the Shade."
Mana: "Which isn't wrong, I'd say."
Vladislav: "Not for me to say, at least. I was rather indisposed, if you recall."
Alexander: "More-or-less what happened, really."
Vladislav: "It seems I've come across another peculiar task this morning. Not as peculiar as getting imprisoned with soon to be executed Sage's, mind you. The time has come for Dryad to reach outside of its borders to have one of its own answer for its actions. Have you heard any word of Prince Cat?"
Mana: The captain drinks from his mug. The Ironclad looks out the window, for a moment.
Mana: The bartender speaks on this subject: "Well, Prince Cat came to me just after the fall of Dryad. Wanted to know if I could hide him. I said I couldn't."
Mana: "And that's that story, right there."
Alexander: "Ah. I suppose he didn't give an indication of where he might try next?"
Mana: "No. Just slipped right out the window like that."
Vladislav: "And then not a single word of him in all this time? It seems he eludes the other districts just as much as Dryad."
Vladislav: "Luna continues to seem like the most possible place to go off the grid in such a fashion."
Mana: The sea captain wrinkles his nose. "You've never been there, have you, boy?"
Vladislav: "It is not a place that Dryad citizens go to often, no."
Alexander: "I have not made the trip, myself."
Mana: "Can't say I have. But it ain't-"
Mana: "…It ain't the kind of place you go into exile if you're planning to come back."
Mana: "If your Prince is in the Luna, you ain't gonna find him."
Vladislav: "More reason to believe he went there. Many believe he had no plans to come back."
Mana: The captain swigs from his mug. "Do you?"
Vladislav: "Personally I believe that he was forced out of Dryad for his own safety. So to walk back in would be quite the death trap."
Vladislav: "Thankfully my contractor made an error in judgement and simply asked for me to find out the location of Prince Cat. Should it prove troublesome I have no obligation to return him to Dryad, merely find proof of his location."
Alexander: "Thankfully."
Mana: "Well…"
Mana: "If you're thinking of heading down into the Luna, be careful, and bring a good captain, so I hear."
Mana: "The East Kingdom pales in comparison, I'm told."
Mana: "Salamander alone's got a hunch as to why they built a damn city on it."
Vladislav: "Based on your response I would assume you would not be up to the task."
Mana: He looks up at the ceiling, runs a hand through his hair, leans back on his stool a little. "Sheesh. Do I wanna sail a fairy tale…?"
Vladislav: "If the liquor is as poor as you indicated I'm sure you can come to a reasonable decision."
Mana: "Hmph. A reasonable decision is staying way the hell away."
Vladislav: "And yet you're still considering it. Why is that?"
Vladislav: "I haven't even made you an offer yet, so surely something else is there."
Mana: He cracks a smile, caught a little off-guard.
Mana: "Got my fortune told at a shrine in the far east. Some pale sacrificial sweetheart said she felt the time of dreams coming back."
Mana: "They told me she was dead the next morning - wasn't sure if that was because it was the wrong thing to say, or if it was just…"
Mana: "…You know, what they did."
Alexander: "That's rather…morbid."
Mana: "Ain't that the truth. And someone just paid me a fortune to move a boat-load of gold and muskets into a warehouse here, no questions asked."
Mana: "Guards seem to be factioning off."
Mana: "It's a…" He lifts his mug, looks at it at eye-level. "…What strange beast slouches here to be born kinda year, if there ever was one."
Alexander: "Is it ever…"
Mana: "So, somebody bumps into me in a bar, says he's sailing into the ocean of stars subterranean?"
Mana: "You think about it. Wherever this mess is gonna boil over, it won't be boiling over there."
Vladislav: "We are dealing with more than just the Luna, truth be told. Other invaders have emerged and they plan to rip apart Titania, save for the Luna."
[OOC] Vladislav: *invasion
Vladislav: "They are not from the Far East, so if you needed more reason for a ticket that did not lead to Paradise…"
Mana: "Yeah. The guys in the red paint are talking all about it."
Vladislav: "I… can accept a one way trip if that is your wish. It will be troublesome but with effort I can find my way back."
Vladislav: "I just hope for both our sakes that you do not get caught by faeries."
Mana: He taps his boots against the hardwood floor. "No, no. I'd get you back to the near shore, at least. Not that you even know where you're sailing."
Mana: "Or how you're going to get a boat down there."
Vladislav grins. "I wasn't aware that was my job to figure out. Was I mistaken?"
Alexander: "Do they not have any available down there for, say, to rent?"
Mana: "Sea-captain. Not a miles of solid rock captain. Distinct, separate callings."
Vladislav lets out another chuckle in response. "A fair enough point. I can do my research. I know of a tunnel by land that goes deep into the ground but it is rather… inaccessible at the moment. I would much prefer to take it on the way back to catch my opponent by surprise."
Mana: "So, what exactly are you?"
Vladislav: "A scholar for hire, I suppose? Yesterday morning I was one of many of the Sage's disciples. In the afternoon I was an investigator of the sickness for the court. This morning I have come to fulfill contracts agreed upon the night prior."
Mana: The captain takes a sip of his mug, looks Vladislav straight in the eye - chiseled, rocky features. His gaze is a pale grey, set over an easy, wrinkled smile, a stubby nose.
Vladislav: "In the short form, I investigate strange cases. There have been a lot lately in Titania, if you haven't noticed."
Mana: "I caught that."
Mana: "Captain Sulleiman. I'll follow this odd little tale for a while, if you arrange things for an entrance."
Mana: "I'm docked on the far wharves, with the serpent figurehead. the Spirit of Flame."
Vladislav: "Vladislav. I may come to you as soon as this evening if you are able and I have found what I needed."
Alexander: "Alexander. Pleased to meet you."
Mana: "I look forward to your next trick."
Vladislav waves a hand dismissively with a grin. "My job is to unravel the tricks, not play them. I have told you my intentions upfront Captain. I look forward to working with you should your spirit be as determined when the liquor fades."
Mana: He looks down at the mug. "Well, I think that happened when he tapped it."
Vladislav glances at Alexander, seeing if he has anything to add.
Alexander gives a slight shake of his head.
Vladislav: "Good day then, Captain. Barkeep. We have some funeral business to attend to in the meantime." He presses off from his seat giving a firm nod.
Alexander gives is own nod to the legionnaire before heading to the exit.
Mana: The ironclad gives a quiet, knowing nod back.
Mana: Undine District.
Mana: A fishing boat is casting off, behind you, heading out to the choppy, grey waters.
Vladislav cracks his neck upon exiting the establishment. "Where is this funeral of yours happening, anyways? Don't think you actually said."
Alexander: "Jinn, in the Gardens."
Alexander: "I need to head to my place to grab a change of clothes, which is on the way. Can't show up in these clothes, having slept in them. Not to mention the rips and tears…Fuller is going to kill me."
Alexander: "If you want, I can show you around the place a bit while we wait for the funeral."
Vladislav: "Not much else we can do in the meantime." He shrugs before heading towards the Wisp gate.
Alexander: "That reminds me, do you have a pass?"
Vladislav: "Expired yesterday, unfortunately. I was hoping to get by with the writ from Erinee. I do plan to drop by while in Jinn and report what has been found, so my explanation to the guards is still solid."
Alexander: "Hopefully. I guess we'll find out."
Mana: You come up to the Wisp-Undine gate: There's something odd going on today.
Mana: A member of the Dark Guard (armored in burgundy instead of blue, their pointed helmet's visor masking their eyes, their spear hooked) is conducting the searches along with the standard Guard retinue.
Mana: She's very terse. She's giving most people going through only cursory glances.
Vladislav glances at Alexander as he waits in line. "Not going to be a problem for you, I take it?"
Alexander shrugs. "Special priviledge."
Vladislav: "I was more making sure they wouldn't recognize you."
Alexander: "Hopefully. The guards aren't really in my social circle."
Mana: Soon enough, you're at the front of the line. The woman of the dark guard barely gives you a second look. The other two, in blue:
Mana: "State your business and present your pass, sir."
Vladislav lets Alexander go first, it's likely simpler.
Alexander: "Heading to the funeral in Jinn," he says, showing his gold pass.
Mana: …And then no further questions are asked.
Mana: The streets of Wisp furl out before you, a streetcar races past.
Mana: And so it was written.

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