Mana P2y1s10

Mana: And so it was written: Pokiehlember 2nd, Year 1, Gnome's Day. The early evening, deep within the earth, on the warm orange stonework of the Flame Palace.
Mana: Ahead, on a bed of spikes - about five feet ahead, really - is an upside-down cup of wishes, face-down.
Theodore: "Kinda glad we don't really *need* that on the way out by a fluke chance but - probably should grab that while we're here."
Toth: "You don't just leave money on the table like that, yes." He taps his staff against his shoulder, then once on the spikes.
Toth: "Do we have anything to lash our staves together with? I imagine we could then try to hook the handles of the Cup of Wishes with the tip."
Theodore: "Could probably use my belt?"
Theodore hands Toth his staff, then pulls the belt free and hands that over as well.
Aurora: "That would probably work a lot better than some ribbons I have…"
Toth puts one end close to the other, giving them about a foot's worth of overlap, then tightens the belt around them, wrapping it thrice.
Theodore: "Probably if they're hair ribbons, yeah."
Toth extends the monstrocity of staves over the spikes, trying to guide the tip through one of the handles.
Mana: It wobbles, and sways, but the tip slips through one of the handles.
Theodore: "Woo!"
Aurora: "Carefully now…"
Toth crouches, angling the staves upwards, the body of it sinking between the spikes. He waits until he's got a good angle, and then lifts vertically, trying to get the cup to slide towards him.
Mana: The cup of wishes gracefully skids down the length of the first staff, coming to a stop against Theodore's belt.
Toth pulls the staves toward himself, hand over hand, and grabs the cup. "And there we go."
Theodore: "Good job."
Mana: So that's what those little handles are for! Anyway, got a cup of wishes.
Toth undoes the belt, hands it back to Theodore, along with Theo's staff.
Theodore slips the belt back on, then rests the staff across his shoulders as they turn to leave the Palace. "Alright, now lets try and catch up with Xsia."
Toth: "Now this place is properly looted."
Theodore: "And find Cruz."
Theodore tilts his head ever so slightly at Toth.
Toth: "The first shouldn't be hard, he's likely hit the hotsprings already."
Toth: "The other… we'll run into him in Salamander. Somehow."
Aurora: "And don't those sound heavenly right about now."
Theodore: "Maaaan I am not looking forward to the wait again. They should close earlier - way faster to get in when they aren't open."
Mana: Leaving the palace: The doors remain open behind you, lit from either side by two sparkling crystal orbs.
Mana: The winding spiral passage stretches upwards and downwards.
Theodore: "Hm. Well, hopefully new monsters don't wander in and bug the Salamander."
Aurora: "We can always check another day, just in case."
Theodore nods.
Mana: Upwards opens up onto Jinn - downwards, to the Dreaming City, of Shade.
Theodore pauses for a second, glancing back over at Aurora, "It's faster to get to gnome through the Shade than going back up, right?"
Aurora: "I think so… no hassle from gate guards, either."
Theodore: "Oh right, guards are a thing." Theodore nods, heading down.
Mana: The Dreaming City - the mist is thicker than usual, and water is pouring in thick rivulets down from the walls, down along the gutters of the ancient rooftops, through cracks in the floor and down carved channels down to the vast abyss beneath the Kuro Kuro Carceri.
Theodore: "Huh I don't remember all that water being here."
Toth: "Think we had something to do with it?"
Theodore: "Hmm… maybe. Well, not *us*, but maybe when you and the others made, uh, not-paradise."
Toth: "The Great Stone Hall. And, well, my memory is kind of fuzzy, regarding the water… I would have noticed it earlier."
Toth: "Well, regardless…"
Toth continues through towards Gnome.
Theodore: "Ah right."
Mana: Leaping blue phantom flames dart through Whisper Causeway as you pass through, the distant, echoing noise of trickling water everpresent.
Mana: Two goblins bar the path.
Theodore makes a face, turns to Toth.
Theodore: "Do you have a pen or a marker?"
Toth: "Ach… goblins."
Toth: "Uh… not on me, no."
Theodore tilts his head in Aurora's direction questioningly.
Aurora frowns for a moment, rooting through her belt pouch… and pulls out an ornate and gold-plated one inlaid with 'Order of the Solar Knights'. "Will this do?"
Theodore: "I think so! Just write 'goblin' on my forehead real quick."
Toth raises an eyebrow, impressed.
Aurora blinks, then does as he asks, in a precise and blocky writing that can be easily read from a distance… She's not sure they'd be able to read cursive.
Aurora: "The Commander sometimes has too much money to throw around, be related to the Emperor."
[OOC] Aurora: being^
Alexander ends up running into you folks as you pause for a bit. "Well, hello there. I thought I'd run into you guys if I headed down here."
Theodore: "Aha. Well, lets see if this works then - oh, hey Alex."
Toth: "Ah, Alexander. Glad you could join us."
Alexander has changed from his white suit into more casual clothing-well, casual for him. A loose white shirt, dark green pants with a matching jacket trimmed with gold thread, and some sturdy boots.
Vladislav is trailing behind Alexander. He glances up briefly at the others. "… still not here." That's the only introduction he gives before he goes back to reading his book.
Alexander: "You seem rather beat up compared to before. Did I miss the fun already?"
Theodore: "What's ont here?"
Toth: "Sure did. It was pretty painful, on the whole."
Alexander: "Xsai, I believe. We'd like a bit of help from him with Luna."
Theodore: "Oh - yeah. We went and rescued a Salamander spirit and her jailer was none to pleased by the idea of us doing so."
Vladislav: "Behind the magic lock, correct?"
Alexander: "Ah. Sounds like I was right to change out of that suit, then, and have a spot of tea before heading out. Blood and ash would have had Fuller killing me in my sleep while he tried to clean it."
Theodore: "Yup. Was the Flame Palace."
Vladislav: "You're heading to Salamander, I take it?" His eyes narrow slightly.
Toth: "Anyway, are we still following your goblin-forehead plan, or should we simply mess them up, now that we've got fresher fighters."
Theodore: "Well, we'll see how it goes either way first. And yeah to Salamander."
Vladislav offers a content nod in return. "The court has spoken poorly of Commander Ibex. It would seem that he has taken things into his own hands over there. While they are content to let the troublemakers take one another out I admit I am curious of the current situation."
Theodore: "Near riots, I think." Theodore pauses, then shakes his head before heading towards the goblins.
Toth: "It'll be a handful if it wasn't already…"
Mana: One of the goblins raises its axe. The other goes - "No! Look closely."
Mana: "…Oh. Ohhh. Ohhhh."
Mana: Then the goblins walk off.
Theodore givews the goblins a nod and wave as they head off.
Aurora raises an eyebrow. "I can't believe that worked."
Toth: "Goblins."
Aurora: "Apparently."
Vladislav: "I think you have set your expectations too high."
Theodore: "Didn't you see their belts? Of course it worked!"
Toth heads along the Whisper Causeway.
Mana: The group passes the waterfall leading up to the Vertical Market, coming up to the Gate of Gnome.
Vladislav: "Have you given your favor in this conflict going on in Salamander? If Ibex gets a strong hold on the district it is likely that Vush will be sent out to quell things."
Toth: "Haven't been there yet, and things have been changing, so it's too early to say."
Theodore: "Well, Cruz went off to see what was going on earlier, and Xsia ran off while we were messing with some traps, but - yeah we haven't bene by yet."
Vladislav: "It would be rather fortunate if someone accidently slipped through while Vush left his post at the gate."
[OOC] Vladislav: *unfortunate only with sarcasm
Theodore scratches at the back of his head.
Theodore: "That's one way of doin' it yeah. Although that requires things getting pretty bad first."
Toth: "I suppose. Then you'd have to get back in, though. If Vush just returns to his post after that, I can't imagine it being easy. There's still much to do."
Theodore: "Aaaand also will get Vush killed, which doesn't really seem fair."
Toth: "Can someone explain the intracasies of Vush to me here, because I think I missed something."
Theodore: "He's the leader of the mercenaries that are trapped near the Salamander Gate out of town. Erinee said if anyone opens the gate, she'd kill him."
Vladislav: "It is for the cities own protection of course. The gate also serves to keep him inside and away from his comrades. Should he be able to cross it is likely he will attempt to sack the city."
Vladislav: "Regardless of the outcome I do not think many would mourn for his parting."
Toth: "I presume the reason he's not dead is because Erinee believes him to be a trump card of sorts against Ibex."
Theodore: "" Well, I mean where I come from we try to only kill monsters and not people, but… " Theodore shrugs slightly.
Toth: "Why is he at the gate itself, of all places?"
Theodore: "They're kind of a rowdy bunch, don't think they'd fit in well in Wisp, and Undine is crowded enough as is."
Vladislav: "She is confident in her ability to control him. How I cannot say, she is not foolish enough to reveal how she holds such sway."
Vladislav: "Perhaps blackmail of some sort. Or magicks, only time will tell."
Toth: "Neither of those really answered what I asked."
Theodore: "Uh."
Theodore: "Well, if I was supposed to keep a gate closed under pain of death, I'd probably live in front of it too!"
Toth: "So Erinee's already got him on a leash. Making more sense now."
Vladislav flips a page of his book before brushing his bangs to the side. "While I question the decision, it is easier to keep track of all of the empires problems in one place. Salamander is the focal point of dissent at the moment. The Emperor has crafted it to boil without spilling."
Mana: Gnome district is bathed in a dusky, amber-blue light, its perpetual early-morning. The gates are opened for you.
Toth heads on through, on the way to the hot springs.
Theodore makes a bit of a face at Vladislav's explination.
Mana: On the way up to the hotsprings, your path is slowed by a street parade - paper dragons and spinning torches running down one of the streets at a rapid pace, followed by frantic drummers doing their best to keep up. The procession is barefoot.
Toth smiles at the sight of the parade, clapping along as the drummers pass.
Theodore: "W - what are paper dragons doing here?!" Theodore takes a step backwards, staff coming around to his front in a combat stances.
Vladislav: "I am beginning to wonder if eyebrows are all that you are missing."
Toth: "It's a festival- well, maybe not an actual festival, but they're used in such."
Toth: "Random parade, perhaps! Or not random!"
Theodore: "- Er, huh? There haven't been monsters down here the last few times we passed though."
Mana: A passer-by, with long, velvety green-colored ears longer than his hair: "It's somebody's festival, I think. One of the southern peoples traditions, I think?"
Vladislav: "Just what do you think these dragons would do to you? Spray confetti at you?" A small chuckle.
Theodore glances around, lets out a breath and stops out of his stance. "Man, when a paper dragon hits *you* with its fork tongue and scrambles your mind for a few, don't come crying to me. They're dangerous!"
Theodore: "Although I - guess these aren't the monster kind."
Mana: (There were, indeed, a dozen rapidly dashing feet underneath it. So it might have been carried by people.)
Mana: (Then again, there are those underneath the monster kind, too, so you can't really be sure.)
Toth: "You'll get used to it, possibly, hopefully."
Theodore squints suspiciously at a passing by dragon, then nods absently to Toth. "Maybe."
Mana: Quite quickly, the path is clear, the crowd filling up the narrow street-way once again.
Aurora: "…You must come from a weird place."
Theodore: "I come from a normal place. Titania is the weird one!"
Alexander: "If you say so…"
Toth: "Do people have eyebrows where you come from?"
Theodore: "Wh - of course we do."
Toth: "Just asking."
Theodore: "They just - vanished when I fell into that hole that spat me our here, is all."
Toth: "How unfortunate."
Theodore: "It was pretty bizzare on the whole, really."
Toth: "Yes, I was glossing over the 'fell in a hole that sent me to Titania' bit, wasn't I…"
Theodore: "Well, I think Titania *probably* needs me more at the moment anyway."
Vladislav: "And what was this place called that you came from?" He seems rather bemused, albeit sceptical.
Theodore: "I was out wandering around near Potos when it happened."
Mana: A quiet road leads up the rocks on the far side of Gnome District, up to the Turtle Springs.
Mana: Stone statues stoically stand sentinel, set separate on either side of the stairs.
Toth heads on in.
Alexander: "Oh, the Hot Springs? I haven't been here for quite some time."
Mana: The innkeep tilts his head. "Back so soon?"
Aurora: "It's been a… stressful day."
Toth: "Ah, well… we went and played a little rough. Have to wash it off again."
Theodore: "Mmhm."
Mana: "Ah…ha. Anyway, open for the ladies now, next switch is in…" He looks at the clock - "Twenty-five minutes."
Toth: "Ah, got it." He nods once to Aurora, then takes a seat on the far bench.
Theodore: "Auuugh."
Theodore plops down into a seat.
Aurora nods, getting out 50 lucre and handing it to the inkeep. "I'll see you all in a bit."
Toth: "Mm-hmm, take your time. Until it's up."
Vladislav takes a seat on the bench. "You come here often, I take it?"
Toth: "Just once, before we went into the temple…"
Toth takes his staff into his hands and looks at Theodore.
Theodore: "Huh?"
Toth: "Nothing.
Alexander: "Most people don't come here within a few hours of their last visit, no."
Mana: Aurora: The bath is… well, it's nice enough. But it's not really invigorating.
Mana: You're definitely clean, though! A turtle dries off, sitting happily on the stone-edge that borders the pool.
Vladislav: "I believe I will sit this out. I do not require such luxuries at this time and would rather not come out feeling like a prune."
Mana: All-considered, a nice bath.
Aurora sighs somewhat contently, relaxing for at least enough time to make the 50 lucre worth it before drying off and redressing, heading back to the others.
Aurora: "…Apparently the healing properties aren't abuseable."
Theodore: "What a gip!"
Toth 's beard hides the fact that his face just fell. "I see."
Alexander raises an eyebrow at 'healing properties'.
Vladislav: "In other words, do not overextend yourself before night fall."
Toth: "It's easier when Xsai's around."
Aurora: "And killing things that fall in only a few blows."
Vladislav: "The fact that he has suddenly gone missing the last three times I have spoken to you is making me start to wonder."
Theodore: "Well, at the very least you're back to looking lovely instead of beat up so I suppose it wasn't a total waste - but it's probably not worth it to stick around for us, yeah?"
Toth: "I swear, he's a six-foot-tall rabbit-like being…"
Toth: "Brother of Harvey."
Vladislav pushes off from the bench now that Aurora has returned. He offers a glance to Toth. "In regards to your earlier query. The Shade gate that was opened leads directly to the Luna."
Toth: "Ah. Good to know."
Vladislav: "I plan to head down there as soon as I can find your friend. They have queerer customs than Dryad and to most we are strange."
Toth: "I'll let him know, provided you don't run into him first."
Theodore: "Ah, he was saying we should go down there some time."
Vladislav makes his way towards the entrance. "Now that the girl has freshened up… shall we?"
Theodore: "Mmhm."
Mana: The somewhat confused inkeep watches the pack of you depart.
Toth: "Now… which is the best way to Salamander?"
Vladislav frowns slightly. "Ah. I suppose gate travel would be harder with you lot."
Theodore: "Uh it - just connects from the Gate doesn't it?"
Vladislav: "I am not too versed in the secret paths."
Toth looks to Alexander. "Hm. Could you get us through?"
Vladislav: "The Dark Guard has begun to set up at checkpoints. A group of this size would likely garner their attention."
Toth: "Actually…"
Toth: "If we go through the Vertical Market into the pipes…"
Toth: "I -think- one of them leads to Salamander, while the other, Undine."
Toth: "I remember a fair bit of heat coming from one of the paths, at least."
Alexander: "Well, lead the way, good sir."
Toth nods, and then heads back to the Gnome-Shade gate once more…
Mana: Whisper Causeway.
Mana: Heading towards the crater-pocked climb up to the vertical market, you pass a pack of goblins with "HUMAN" markered on the front of their cowskull masks.
Toth looks at Theodore.
Theodore: "What?"
Alexander: "Are you sure they aren't on to you?"
Toth: "So, are they humans?" He smirks
Theodore: "They could have gotten that idea from *anyone*."
Aurora: "…Yeah, that's not going to stop me if they try to start anything."
Theodore: "Oh man though I should ask them if they know where Al-Aldin is."
Toth: "Go ask."
Theodore rolls his shoulders around a bit, then starts walking in the direction of the goblins.
Toth: "(I mean, I'm sure we could find him in a Gnome bar somewhere… but I've got to see this.)"
Mana: One of them lifts its axe and points. "GOBLIN! Get -" Another grabs that goblin by the collar, dragging him back - he turns and goes "Oh? …Ohhh."
Theodore: "Hey, what's goin' on?"
Vladislav: "Greetings, fellow humans."
Mana: "Greetings. We're just… traveling underground! With a ton of weapons! You know! Human things!"
Vladislav gestures to his spear and nods contently.
Theodore: "Totally. Hey, do you guys know where Al-Aldin went off to? I've been lookin' for him for a while but I must just keep missin' him."
Mana: "Have you checked the goblin city?"
Theodore: "Not yet! I can't remember the way there - all these pathways up here are confusing. They even have paper dragons prowling the streets! it's bad for keeping directions straight."
Mana: "Oh! Well, you just go down, and down, and down and…"
Mana: "Whoah! Whoah-whoah-whoah! He could be in the New Advance Goblin Fortress!"
Mana: "Oh, yes, there too!"
Mana: "That's in Dryad."
Theodore: "Oh! Yeah, I *definitely* haven't checked in Dryad yet, so that would explain why he was so hard to find. Thanks, dudes!"
Mana: "Yup! Best of luck on beating lots of things up!"
Vladislav smirks slightly before going back to his book.
Theodore: "And to you with the human-y things!" Theodore gives an exagurated wink, befure heading off.
Toth purses his lips and has one hand on his staff… he suppresses it, and follows Theodore.
Aurora just shakes her head.
Mana: In the distance: ( "Phew, I think they bought it." )
Theodore waits a few steps further, then throws his head back and laughs.
Toth shakes his head.
Toth: "That goblins are named as one of the seven apocolypses sends me into an unknown fear."
Vladislav: "I would assume it concerns Al-Aldin, the others are merely a tool to meet an end."
Theodore: "Well there's kind of a lot of 'em, and the ones in charge aren't nutballs."
Theodore: "Also, spirits." Theodore wiggles his fingers.
Mana: The waterfall climb leading up to the Vertical Market is spewing madly and choppily.
Toth: "I am more willing to give the spirits the billing in the seven."
Mana: The turbulent flow of the crashing water sprays loudly away from the rocks it strikes.
Toth: "…yeah, the water flow -did- increase."
Theodore: "Yeah, defintiely would have noticed this. Weird."
Theodore: "Hm, I wonder if rescuing her melting some ice from somewhere after all."
Toth smirks.
Toth: "Possibly a Service Gate resides further upstream."
Toth: "Hope things aren't going well for them. But for now- just make sure you've got a good grip as we climb."
Theodore nods, following him on up.
Mana: The market's at a low angle today - and yes, absolutely flooded.
Mana: It's a long, difficult climb up.
Toth: "…it occurs to me that it could just be Salamander heating up, what with the quarantine and unrest."
Mana: But eventually you make your way up to the warm water drainage pipes, up the rift that separates where it comes from - presumably Salamander -
Mana: to where it flows out to.
Mana: You can see the foggy, stormy air of Undine out past, thick with heavy rain.
Theodore: "Sheeeeeesh."
Mana: The wind's howl blows like a pan-flute over the entrance of the pipe, to the distance.
Theodore: "Well, just through here right?"
Toth: "Right."
Theodore: "…Man it's gunna be muggy as all get out in Salamander due to the rain, isn't it?" Theodore makes a face as they start moving through the pipe.
Toth: "It's a good thing we got drenched by the Vertical Market then, isn't it…?"
Theodore: "I don't think that's really gunna help, haha."
Toth: "Well… if there's a fire, it's best to breathe through a damp towel or cloth."
Toth: "So… maybe?"
Mana: The drainage pipe opens onto an open concrete gutter, through which a nest of grated-off pipes spill their cooling water, intermingled with the runoff from the drains.
Mana: Underground, the sound of rain is muted, and the air is humid, stifling hot.
Theodore: "Er - fire?"
Mana: A nest of street-kids eye you warily from a shack built onto the side of a dilapidated building, right along the gutter.
Theodore gives a wave in their direction.
Vladislav offers a stare back at the kids.
Toth climbs up through the gutter.
Mana: The day's lights have been mostly turned off, leaving Salamander to be lit by street-lamps, lights hanging in windows -
Mana: And the deep, pervading glow of the City Heart.
Mana: One of the kids moves to wave back to Theodore, but one of the older ones grabs his hand before he finishes the gesture.
Theodore: "It's cool, I'm not really a goblin! It's a goblin tricking disguise."
Theodore doesn't wait for a responce, and climbs up after Toth.
Aurora: "Maybe the rain will wash it off."
Vladislav doesn't give the kids the time of day and follows after Toth.
Toth looks around, trying to figure out where exactly he is, if only so he can find it later.
Mana: Looks like you came up on the streets of Salamander - poor side, southwest, close to the Undine gate but far from the foundries.
Toth: "Okay… next is to find the camps. The guards said they were around the mansion…"
Vladislav: "Whom in particular are you looking for?"
Toth: "Assessing the situation, for one."
Toth: "Many manadrained and afflicted- and those who have helped them, are being held there."
Theodore: "Cruz came down earlier while we were at the flame palace to poke around, so we'll probably bump back into him at some point."
Vladislav: "Ah. Right. There was something you may be interested in, Toth."
Veracruz comes around from the corner of the street "Yeah, figured some interesting stuff"
Toth: "But given the gangs and unrest, it's going to come to a head-"
Toth: "Oh?"
Vladislav: "The court has managed to cure their first patient. For the lack of a better word."
Theodore points at Veracruz. "Bam!"
-That- gets Toth's attention. He gives Vladislav a queer look.
Veracruz waves to everyone as he approaches "Hey, hope you guys didn't take the road here, there was a guard outpost there, gave me some trouble"
Toth: "I can already tell you're using an asterik'd form of 'cure,' but whatever- what's the cure?"
Theodore: "Naw, came out the pipe."
Veracruz: "Ah, great. Seems like there's a bunch of weapons being smuggled in, even some magical ones"
Vladislav: "It would seem that a terminal patient regains consciousness and functionality when their soul is fused into an Ironclad. They are offering it both as a vaccination and likely plan to 'cure' the inflicted this way. Both are amassing an army."
Theodore pauses, turns to stare at Vladislav.
Toth: "That's…" He looks a little lost, as though Vlad just tossed a bunch of marbles at his feet.
Veracruz crosses his arms and looks at Vladislav "Uhn… Wonder if there is a place for doing that in the Duke's estate. They're sending all the afflicted there"
Aurora furrows her brow. "…That's not a good solution."
Toth: "It's all rather convenient, isn't it?"
Vladislav: "I thought as much as well." He offers a nod in return to Toth.
Theodore: "Convenient like… 'it's all going according to plan'?"
Toth sighs. "I suppose if the body is only the problem and not the soul- as the Services pretty much intimated as well, then if you remove the body from the equasion, of course they'd come back around…"
Toth: "…in an extremely simplified manner, of course."
Vladislav: "I doubt that the Empire is directly related to the Services. They are a thorn in their side as well so I cannot say the sickness was planned, simply adjusting to the situation."
Toth: "Maybe not so much as according to plan, but finding a way to kill two goblins with one stone."
Vladislav nods again to Toth.
Toth nods to Vladislav.
Theodore scratches at the back of his head.
Theodore: "Why would they want more Ironclad, though? Humans can get way stronger."
Veracruz: "Hum, did I miss something while I was here?"
Vladislav: "Humans die."
Veracruz: "I mean, okay, obviously I did but what did I miss"
Toth recomposes himself. "Ah… well."
Theodore: "Oh. Is… is that a thing Ironclad stop doing?"
Theodore: "Wait, didn't Xerelle say *humans* stopped dying anyways?"
Toth: "We found a shrine to Salamander in Shade, and freed it."
Veracruz: "She said humans stopped going to her afterlife"
Veracruz: "They're still dieing and going to another, I think"
Toth: "They probably aren't 'dead' because they didn't show up to the real afterlife, and are swimming about in Paradise."
Theodore: "Hm."
Veracruz: "Oh, there was an actual spirit in there?"
Veracruz: "Oooh, that huge stone door, right?
Theodore glances back towards Aurora, "See, it's *definitely* Titania that's weird."
Toth nods to Veracruz.
Aurora shrugs. "I never said it wasn't."
Toth: "This large, part-metal part-fire all-violent monster would have eaten it if we hadn't."
Toth: "So… best be prepared, when one finds more shrines."
Veracruz: "Hrm… Alright, i'll be set"
Vladislav: "The spirit is not relevant quite yet, but should be at some time. None of us have the ability to communicate with spirits at this juncture. The court claims to have lost the technology as well so I doubt it could be found in the vault of gems. As such your best venue to find such abilities are the palaces."
Theodore: "And watch out for numbered archways!"
Veracruz: "And, speaking of violent, be careful around the gangs it's getting far too dangerous around here"
Toth: "What's the situation?"
Mana: There's a pack of Vipers now, coming down the street - dressed in silks and broad, flat hats, bells jingling on the hilt of their swords.
Veracruz: "Like, apparently the Enchilladas whipped up some new drug causing a big chain reaction. Now they got a lot of people addicted to it doing petty crimes, then the Vipers got angry at them and are hunting them down. Seems like they've got some sort of mythical magical sword for doing that, however"
Aurora: "…I don't see a problem with taking out drug lords."
Theodore: "Huh."
Vladislav: "Is there a way to band them together and cast aside their differences to expel a more foreign intruder known as Commander Ibex?" He absentmindedly scratches at his head. "That would be a rather convenient scenario at least."
Toth: "Rathermuch out of a novel." He grins.
Vladislav: "I doubt they can take him out unless they work together. If he doesn't pose a threat Vush will not be let loose."
Veracruz: "And the Vipers are.." he looks at the Vipers passing by, and ensures he isn't talking loud enough to be heard "They're also hunting down the Rats… Seems like the 'Red Dust Priests', I think I saw them in Wisp once, are helping them out, they came by here to help plague victims and got the Rats to elp them out"
Veracruz: "Right, I think they named this new drug 'moon dust' which is…"
Veracruz: "Well, suspicious"
Toth: "Appropriate."
Veracruz crosses his arms "And… Actually I think this is a lot more complex than it seems, because whenever I hear the Emperor's name it means something wrong is going on"
Theodore: "Hmm… so they're… 'helping' by taking out one gang… a taking out another for trying to 'help'?" Theodore scratches at the back of his yhead.
Vladislav: "What has Ibex been doing since his arrival in the district?"
Veracruz: "And it seems like something about having people frm the district to rule it, but… That part was confusing"
Veracruz: "He's been mostly busy sending the plague people to the manor, actually, and fighting weapon contraband"
Veracruz: "Seems like enchanted weapons are actually getting quite common? Guard raised a stink over my knives"
Toth: "So… the Enchiladas invented 'moon dust,' the Vipers are killing them about it, and they're also fighting the Rats, who teamed up with the Red Dust Priests to help the plague victims."
Aurora looks at how armed the group is. "Good thing we didn't try the gates."
Vladislav: "Salamander District truly is a kettle."
Veracruz: "Yeah- Oh, right, one thing"
Veracruz: "Fairly sure that the Red Dust Priests are handing out gems or, if not, people trained in magic"
Theodore: "Oho?"
Vladislav: "What makes you say this?"
Veracruz: "Or so i've been told they're giving magical help"
Alexander: "This sounds needlessly complicated. Are you sure we just can't kill everyone?"
Veracruz: "Viper dude mentioned they're bringing in weird weapons"
Theodore double takes in Alexander's directino in surprise.
Veracruz: "Well, I was waiting on you guys to go check out what the Enchillada stance on all this is"
Alexander: "What? Someone had to ask."
Toth: "It'd take us a few days, for one…"
Veracruz: "Since, you know, I haven't heard what those guys got to say yet"
Theodore: "I know the wishing fish said it's be easiest to just kill everything, but I mean…" Theodore makes a face.
Vladislav chuckles at Alexander. "I don't care for the gangs fighting on their home turf. I do however wish to play this situation out correctly to back Ibex into a corner. The sooner he does something drastic the sooner the wheels will come into motion."
Aurora frowns at Alexander. "…That would probably just be asking for newer gangs to spring up."
Veracruz: "Yeah i'd rather not do that, sounds like it'd just make a bigger problem"
Veracruz: "Oh, right"
Alexander: "It'd be a temporary solution at best, I suppose."
Toth: "It'd help us out more if we could angle events to our liking, yes."
Veracruz: "Vush's guys are eager to get in this action, by the way, but they're staying still until they recieve orders"
Veracruz: "Nobody went up to bother them just yet"
Vladislav: "Erinee stated that they would only release Vush if Ibex crossed the line. The tower is already spread with rumours of him holding his own court."
Toth: "Within Salamander? He really likes being in the thick of things, huh?"
Mana: One of the vipers leans into your alley, knocking on the stone wall as if it were a door. "Evening, gentlemen. And a lady, even!"
Mana: "All these men aren't troubling you, are they?"
Toth: "Anyway…I'd like to see where they're holding everyone, as well as possibly-"
Veracruz: "Uhn?" he furrows his eyebrows- Then turns around to the man "Oh, hey" he lets Aurora talk, though
Vladislav shoots an irritated glance at the viper.
Theodore: "Honestly she could probably kick most of our butss if she wanted to."
Aurora shakes her head, hand lightly patting the pommel of her sword. "Not at all, good sir. And they wouldn't like it if they were, trust me."
Mana: "Ah, armed, I see. How'd you pack manage to slip in? I thought they were shaking everyone down at the gates."
Aurora: "We have our ways."
Veracruz: "Not like we didn't come in through the gate anyway, didn't you hear the ruckus a bit ago?"
Mana: He shoves his hands in his pockets, looks back over his shoulder. "Not on this side of town, I didn't."
Veracruz: "Oh, yeah, we are kinda far, aren't we?"
Vladislav: "The guards will not leave their posts."
Mana: The Viper eyes the pack of you for a few moments. "You are, though, a roaming pack of heavily armed young men and women."
Mana: "I hope you understand why my friends and I might be a little, you know, concerned. Finding you in our neighborhood."
Toth: "It's a good way to be, these days."
Theodore: "If it helps, we're like this everywhere we go!"
Veracruz: "Yeah, never know when someone's going to try and jump you, it's been dangerous these days"
Aurora: "What with the random monsters popping up everywhere."
Vladislav: "Do you have a point or proposition or are you simply making assertions out loud?"
Theodore: "Man, you are the *worst* at being people, Vlad."
Veracruz: "He probably wants us to leave, Vlad. But it's not good etiquette to say it out loud"
Toth: "But he'll save us some time."
Toth: "I like it."
Veracruz: "You know, it's impolite"
Mana: The viper turns, breathes a "Hmph."
Mana: "…Well, I was hoping you might slip the trick of how you managed to get in, because our district has had a little… smuggling problem, for the past little while. Which we would like to resolve."
Toth grins.
Theodore: "If you get onto the roofs in Undine, you can jump over the wall."
Toth: "There's something we can do about it, most likely."
Veracruz: "Yeah, we're good at doing something about things.
Mana: "And before you get too ahead of yourself on solving any problems, you should probably meet with Mr. Magata, upstairs at the Six Dragon Way."
Mana: "He says he takes an active interest in the more active kind of actor."
Veracruz: "Going to be sincere, though, i'd rather obliviate your need for more weapons, but. Alright, maybe we should go talk to him, been trying to figure out what's going on"
Theodore: "Hmm."
Theodore: "Sounds good to me."
Toth: "Then we'll make an appearance. Thank you gentlemen."
Mana: "I'd head straight there. Some of us, you know. We draw our swords quick."
Mana: He leaves the alley, and you hear him informing his fellows: "Naw, not rats, or anything. Think they were on the Heart crew yesterday."
Theodore: "Right on. Hey - get an out for monsters while you patrol! Some of them are spilling out form the shade!"
[OOC] Theodore: - get +keep
Veracruz: "Oh, so they saw us fighting that crocogoblin"
Toth waits until they're gone, then turns to Veracruz. "Can you take us to where Ibex is keeping the sick and jailed?"
Veracruz nods "Sure, it's easy to find it, it's the Duke's manor, let's go" he waves them to follow him
Vladislav crosses his arms now that the Vipers have finally gone. He nods in agreement following after Veracruz.
Theodore: "Oh, we're goin' there first?"
Toth: "It's more on my priority list than doing what the Vipers wish."
Theodore: "Alrighty."
Veracruz: "Well, I figure they aren't going to let us in so we'll have some short talks in the front gate for a while and then leave. On the way back some Viper thugs get angry we're taking too long, we beat them up and go talk to the guy"
Veracruz: "Nothing that surprising"
Vladislav: "It was my reason for coming to this district as well."
Toth: "Jeez, no, we're not going right up to the front gate."
Veracruz: "Hrm… I figure that right now the most iminent of the disasters is this district"
Veracruz: "Don't think whatever is going on here is going to take too long to go up in flames"
Theodore: "Definitely."
Mana: On the far side of Salamander - the one place where plant life still survives, a hill covered in ragged grass, a manor at the top of it, up against the far wall of Salamander.
Mana: The estate of the Duke Under the Mountain.
Mana: The City Guard are holding a perimeter around it like trained hawks - fully staffed, even at this late hour, spears in one hand, hooded lanterns in the other.
Theodore lets out a low whistle.
Veracruz looks at it from a distance "You said you didn't want the front gate, Toth?"
Toth: "That's the size of it, yeah."
Toth: "How do they come and go?"
Theodore: "I'd imagine they just take the roads like normal, y'know?"
Veracruz: "Haven't seen, i've only hit the streets for now. But yeah, I figured they'd just take them in normally"
Toth gives Theodore a look. "Is it on foot only, do they have carts, is there an actual Behemoth lumbering about…"
Vladislav: "Were I alone I would simply use the fact that Ibex has attempted to get into contact with Erinee to my advantage. He is unable to speak to her as she refuses to leave Jinn and should he step into the district he will be finding a lot of judical officials asking questions."
Toth: "Are the carts covered, is it in a chain gang, and so on."
Veracruz: "As I said, didn't get that much information"
Mana: It doesn't seem like there's anyone heading in and out right now.
Toth: "Was explaining for Theo, yes." He turns to Vlad. "Did you want to give it a go solo, then, and we meet up later?"
Theodore: "Y'know,"
Toth: "You'd be able to assess the inside as well."
Theodore: "If you wanted to get in you could probably just show them your leg."
Toth: "That is possible, but I'd like more freedom of moment at the moment."
Toth: "If and when we're more ready to make a move, then yeah, I'd just flash 'em and scurry on in."
Vladislav: "If we can find an alternative I would rather take that. I do not wish to reveal my identity to Ibex this early when I wish for his deposure."
Vladislav: "Such a tactic would force a meeting."
Theodore: "Sounds like it'd be best to check how things look in the morning then."
Toth: "Then it looks like we've no choice but to begin the hob-knobbing. Asking the locals is probably a faster way of finding out when and how people get to and from the mansion, anyway."
Veracruz nods at Toth "Alright. I figured the mansion would be well protected, at least. We should be able to find someone who's been seeing this- Actually"
Veracruz: "We might want to talk to a rat, given the red dust priest guys seem keen on helping the plagued, they probably are keeping an eye on this"
Toth: "You know where we could find them?"
Theodore rests his hands behind his head. "If the Vipers think and act like they run this district, thye probably have a decent idea of what's going on, too."
Theodore: "And we kinda got an invitation to speak to their boss…"
Toth: "And we -know- where we can find them…"
Veracruz: "Yeah, well, it's simply just find for the little statues, we could find a rat shop. But Theo's got the best idea there"
Vladislav: "Given the situation he would likely attempt to coerce us into some sort of proposition."
Theodore: "That's okay, we like gettin' stuff done."
Theodore smiles just a little.
Veracruz: "Well, yes. Presumably something involving dealing with the Enchilladas which, well, not something I oppose. Plus we can get something out of him too!"
Vladislav: "I admit I am curious of my odds of pitting them against Ibex, so the talk will not do harm. Lead the way."
Veracruz: "What's the big problem with Ibex, Vlad?"
Toth: "I would ask why they're fighting the Rats as well, but should I just chalk it up to gang warfare?"
Theodore: "Well,"
Toth: "Or is there something more to it?"
Theodore: "The great thing about going to talk…"
Theodore: "Is that we *can* ask."
Veracruz: "It's related to the fact that the Rats are the guys smuggling in weapons, mostly. OR well, magical weapons, definitely more powerful than normal"
Toth nods. "'s what I'm doing."
Toth: "They're both smuggling, so…"
Veracruz: "Presumably getting involved with magic due to the priests is also considered dangerous by them, a lot of ateention is being drawn to them"
Vladislav glances at Veracruz. "He is assuming authority unsuited to one of his post. Many speak of him planning to overthrow the court. If he gets backed into a corner he will be forced to make a move."
Veracruz: "Don't want people considering dropping the army on them, I bet"
Toth: "I guess that's it, then. But I'll be pretty upfront with anyone here now, saying that I'm not fond of moving on the Rats at the moment, even if the Vipers wish it."
Mana: Six Dragon Way. A gilded pagoda-style building, on one of the far edges of the streets, on the richer part of town. Nominally a tea-and-wine-house - and a ritzy one, too.
Mana: The sound of gentle music drifts from open windows, and the air's a little clearer around here.
Toth: "If anyone thinks that's going to be a problem, then I'll scurry off now to try and broker with them."
Vladislav: "I have little interest in dealing with Salamander's internal affairs."
Toth: "And yet, it might be neccessary if you want to use them to corner Ibex. Inevitable, almost."
Veracruz: "Eh… I'm suspicious of those priest guys, i'd like to TALK to them but"
Vladislav: "Once Ibex has been settled the situation can play out the remaining players can settle their turf war without my involvement."
Toth: "Weren't you saying something along the lines of, 'Is there a way to band them together and cast aside their differences to expel a more foreign intruder known as Commander Ibex?'"
Veracruz: "And truth to be told, Vlad, I think that this is more important than Ibex. Hell, far as I know this might as well be his plan"
Toth: "So, until then, you -must- meddle."
Vladislav: "That is correct. I was merely stating that fighting either the rats or the vipers does not lie within my objectives."
Theodore: "Eh, we'll see how it goes."
Toth nods. "We'll see."
Toth enters the building.
Vladislav: "As such your concerns for the rats are unneeded, at least on my front."
Veracruz goes after Toth. Yep, let's let the shady guy deal with that
Mana: There's a smiling woman who meets you at the front - "Good evening, gentlemen. Do you have a booking?"
Toth: "No, we're just people who get things done."
Theodore: "I think we're expected, but we don't have an appointment."
Mana: "Might I ask who would be expecting you?"
Theodore: "The guys and gals that took out the goblin infestation in the City Heart."
Alexander: "Mr. Magata."
Theodore: "Oh uh - Mr. - Yeahg that guy."
Mana: The woman nods. "Of course. If you'd come with me?" She leads you through the narrow, screened off halls of the Six Dragon Way, to sit around a table in a small, non-discrete room, on a little raised wooden floor.
Veracruz follows after, it's polite! He takes a seat afterwards
Theodore stares in the dirction of the tiny, low rising table, mumbling "….But there's no chairs," mostly to himself.
Alexander sits properly at the table, to show Theodore how it's done.
Veracruz is kneeling, he looks at Theodore
Toth sits at the table, double-knee kneel style.
Aurora carefully kneels down on her greaves, rearranging her cape behind herself. "It's not that difficult."
Theodore: "Ya'll are weird."
Toth: "You could also sit cross-legged, if you want." '
Theodore plops down, sprawls his legs out under the table.
Theodore then leans back slightly, resting on his hands.
Mana: The woman nods, ducks out, pulls the curtain behind you.
Mana: You're left to wait for a little bit.
Vladislav doesn't end up sitting down until the person in question actually arrives.
Mana: Vlad: While you're standing, there's a rtt-chk-chk-chk of distant machinery, as the wooden platform is slowly cranked up to the upper level, and the ceiling slides apart.
Veracruz: "Hrm, wonder what's going to happen"
Vladislav: "Curious contraption."
Toth looks left, right, up, then stands, pushing up off his staff.
Mana: It lifts the room up to an upper level - decorated in red and gold, with statues of entwining snakes, and another table on the other side, at which sits Mr. Magata, flanked by body-guards.
Theodore: "Wooooah, that was kind of awesome."
Mana: He's dressed in a sharp black suit, an older man with a fine mustache and a bit of a rising hairline, looking at you from between red, round glasses.
Theodore: "Dude, you definitely know how to make an enterance at least."
Veracruz chuckles at Theo
Mana: "I was about to say the same to you." He says.
Mana: "Have you all had dinner yet?"
Theodore flashes a grin.
Veracruz: "Not really"
Theodore: "Naw not yet."
Vladislav grins slightly at the display. "It would be rather wasteful to turn down free food."
Mana: "Only if it's already been cooked." He nods to someone waiting at the edge of the room, who steps out.
Toth sits back down.
Mana: "I'm Mr. Magata, of the Viper family of Salamander. I understand we have some of you to thank for the tidy resolution of that matter with the Heart the other day."
Veracruz: "We've been there, yes"
Theodore: "Ah, yeah. Goblin guy was tearin' stuff up and we couldn't just leave ti be, y'know? Theodore, by the by."
Mana: Set across the table he's sitting at is a fine, long black sword - two-handed, but with a slender blade, set in a sheath the color of a black, starred night. His hands are gently folded across its sheathe.
Mana: "An intervention we appreciate. And now that matters have gotten somewhat messier, I understand you have returned?"
Veracruz: "Kind of. We're solving all sorts of problems, this one's just the next one in the list"
Toth: "From the outside it seems like things are heating up. We came to find out how much was true."
Theodore: "Yup. Well, there's a lot of crazy stuff going on at the moment that we're trying to sort out, but the situation in Salamander is quickly getitn' to the top of that list, yeah."
Vladislav: "What is your take on the current situation, if I may be so bold?" He finally takes a seat.
Mana: Mr. Magata gestures to Vladislav. "You know, I don't believe I've heard of this one. Theodore, would you care to introduce?"
Theodore: "That's Vlad, and he's a cold, blunt jerk." He offers helpfully.
Theodore: "He even won an award for it."
Alexander nods in agreement with that assessment.
Mana: "Really? Impressive. My take on the situation…"
Mana: "…Ibex is bright, but misguided. He's called back his guard as if they were an army, and are doing nothing to spread the - frankly egregious - spread of foreign weapons and petty crime. He's also decided to bring a load of the virulently ill here without concern of the health of the Salamander people, simply, I imagine, to get them away from Wisp and Undine."
Mana: "…As for the Enchiladas, they are children, but they are children spurring other children to desperate addiction and petty theft."
Mana: "Would I be wrong in seeking your empathies in saying that crime ought to be done cleanly, as gentlemen, or not at all…?"
Mana: "With respect to those foreign weapons- don't misunderstand."
Theodore glances back towards Toth and Aurora.
Mana: "I'm trading in swords. The Rats are moving in something from the distant east, a weapon called the musket. Have any of you had the occasion to witness what a weapon such as this might do to someone?"
Toth smirks. "There's a few rules I have, regarding the innocent and the extra-legal. And I cast such a wide net with that. But it is enough to do business with."
Theodore: "A… musket?"
Theodore: "Oh!"
Theodore: "That's the thing kinda like a firework and a slingshot fused together, right?"
Veracruz: "I haven't, but how bad can that be?"
Toth: "I can't say that I have…"
Vladislav: "Your clients would be rather outranged."
Vladislav: "Unless you have more men I would doubt they would even reach the opponent."
Mana: "A sword goes where you put it. A musket rips through three homes adjacent."
Mana: "I'm happy with my inferior merchandise, my friend."
Toth 's eyes glint.
Aurora: "It's a… rather inelegant weapon, from what I've heard. But I've never actually seen one in action before."
Theodore: "Ah, yeah that does like the thing I heard about."
Theodore: "Sometimes they put stuff like that in golems. It's pretty nutso."
Veracruz scratches his head
Veracruz blinks "Nnngh, this problem is getting bigger by the second"
Theodore blinks. "Oh! You're right, that *IS* why this is about to get way worse than the emperor ever planned for, huh?"
Theodore: "And explains why they're pissed at the rats."
Mana: "Yes."
Mana: "And I imagine the first time one gets fired, Vush is going to get let off his chain, and the harbor will run red for days."
Vladislav: "The court intends to release Vush if things get out of hand on either front."
Veracruz: "Hrm… So the rats are smuggling in those muskets, the enchilladas doing drugs. Anything happens and Vush will be all over with his army, and Ibex is actually doing something really dumb"
Toth: "Not doing enough, really…"
Veracruz: "Thankfully, if Ibex starts doing too much he'll just trigger everyone going over the edge here"
Mana: "…Thankfully?"
Toth: "His time to move is long past."
Theodore: "I think he ment, thankfully he's not doing enough."
Veracruz: "Yes, sorry"
Mana: "That's more or less the situation."
Veracruz: "If anyone starts taking too much action here, the entire situation will explode, no doubt taking the entire district with it… Hrm…"
Veracruz: "This drug the enchilladas have running around, what is it?"
Toth looks over to Vladislav, looks like he wants to say something, then faces forward again.
Veracruz: "I've a suspicion all of this is being orchestrated, I want to ensure wether that is the case or not"
Mana: "They call it moon dust. I've hired a few alchemists - they don't recognize it, and it's nothing known in foreign lands, either."
Vladislav: "Ibex is not going to act until someone takes action. It is a known issue to even the Emperor. There are rumours that he plans to take matters into his own hands and hold his own court. They seem to match up with the fact that the Emperor is planning to accept new Ironclads into the fold, a practice that hasn't been done in years. Should he gain control of the guard they will need more leverage."
Mana: "Ah. Ironclads would change things."
Veracruz: "… Say, with the way he is moving all those sick in the Manor"
Mana: "No, he doesn't have a store of them. I've had eyes on everything he's been moving - if he wants to turn them in super-soldiers, he'd need to seize the Tower first."
Vladislav: "It is possible that he is building his army out of the sick to destroy the opposition."
Mana: "As for the drug: despite the name, I've even asked travelers from the lands below, and it's strange to them, too."
Mana: "It's a potent euphoric that instigates a sense of heightened, blissful delirium, and occasionally spurts of violence."
Veracruz: "Hrm? Tower?"
Theodore: "D'ya got a sample of it on you?"
Vladislav: "The Ironclads more seem to be an insurance of the Tower. Should his rumoured antics quell actual rebellion they will need backup forces."
Mana: "We do. If you'd like to sample it here, I'd ask to hold your weapons for the duration."
Toth: "How long does it last?"
Theodore: "Ah naw I don't wanna like, take a whole dose I just wanna give it a look over and see if it rings any bells."
Mana: "Less than an hour. Short, powerful, addictive."
Veracruz winces "More things that are just going to cause bigger and bigger internal damage" he sighs "Do you know what Ibex has been doing with the sick that are coming in? Or well, how they are coming in, that is important too"
Vladislav: "We sought to investigate outselves but he has made quite the barricade. I take it you wouldn't know a way around that?"
Mana: "Bringing them on carts through the front door. There's a service entrance through the waterways to the Manor, but he hasn't been using it."
Vladislav: "That would be it."
Mana: "No. We're more or less shut in - I think the Rats have a smuggling route, but they defend it heavily. the Enchiladas are moving goods in and out somehow, too."
Mana: "Probably by a Shade-way, really."
Veracruz scratches his head
Mana: "So, this is the thing."
Mana: "…Everyone in this district is going to be able to make you a case."
Veracruz crosses his arms, thinking
Mana: "The rest of the city have filled Salamander up with their discards. Their sick, their killers, all the work that needs to be done that they'd like to be forgotten."
Mana: "And now we're boiling over with drugs and violence."
Mana: "…It's a shame, after all. I like this District, and the people in it."
Theodore rests his elbows on the table.
Veracruz: "It's a great place, actually, when you get people to behave"
Theodore: "To be honest,"
Theodore: "That's, like, the entire city other than Jinn and Wisp as far as I can tell."
Theodore: "And Jinn is where the assassins live!"
Mana: Mr. Magata nods.
Mana: "I'd like to see it cleaned. I'd like to see those that bring trouble to it learn the error of their ways."
Veracruz: "It's not a problem that can be solved in a day, too. And yeah, what Theodore said, Salamander's not any worse off than anywhere else but it's still the most immediate problem"
Mana: "…Right now, if that means shouting hooray for the Emperor, that's what I'll do."
Aurora: "…I for one don't like the idea of a drug cartel or a group smuggling in foreign weapons."
Veracruz: "That isn't really going to work on the long run, I say, but, hrm…"
Veracruz: "I'm actually worried about the drugs more than anything else. If ONE of those rat weapons fall in the hands of a drugged man…"
Theodore picks up his staff, points it in the direction of one of the bodyguards with one hand, then makes a vial grabbing motion in the air with his other hand.
Veracruz: "That's it, the trigger"
Mana: "Since the drugs are already widespread… it'd be important to limit the weapons, then."
Toth: "Of all people to test it, Theodore, it's you who should do it the least."
Mana: Mr. Magata nods to the bodyguard - who takes the staff, and produces a tiny, golden brass canister - he stops before giving it to Theodore, hesitating at Mr. Toth's words.
Theodore: "I said I wasn't gunna take it, I was just gunna look it over!"
Vladislav: "What's the worst that could happen?" A small chuckle.
Toth looks at him, then looks to the bodyguard and nods.
Mana: "It's alright." Mr. Magata says, and Theodore is given the canister.
Vladislav: "Better than you burning the place down before we get to eat our meal."
Toth grins.
Theodore leans into the table a bit, to look at the canister under the light first and formost, taking in the entirety of the design, and how it opens.
Toth: "That would be the second least person, yes."
Mana: A simple twist-cap. But it's of fancy, filigreed design for something off the streets.
Mana: "If I were to give you the address of the warehouse where I think the weapons are being held, would you mind keeping them out of uncautious hands for me?"
Veracruz: "We definitely would look into it, they are an important piece of this puzzle"
Toth looks up. "Of course."
Theodore: "I think we'd be alright with seizing high grade weaponry. Man, a bunch of street rats totally didn't make this stuff."
Mana: Plates of food are brought in - one carrying a gleaming, rich-looking lobster, others full of plates of fish in sour-sauce, a rather fine looking fruit salad, and a bevy of interesting plates.
Theodore pops the lid off and sets it on the table, before very carefulyl pouring a small amout into it from the vial.
Mana: It's a fine, gleaming dust, particles barely big enough to be visible: tiny little cubes. You could mistake it for salt, almost, but bigger.
Vladislav: "While I have no qualms offering my cooperation, can we layer it with incentive?" A wide grin.
Theodore: "Hmm I think this kinda looks like…"
Mana: "The prize of the take isn't enough? Don't fire them in my District, and they're yours."
Toth snickers.
Vladislav: "So long as you didn't expect us to dispose of them entirely."
Theodore picks up one of the bigger grains, places it on his tongue.
Mana: It dissolves.
Theodore: "Mmm… taste like…"
Vladislav: "These are details that should be made clear early on so complications do not arise, after all."
Mana: "The goods are yours to do with as you wish, so long as not a single musket-shot is fired in Salamander District, and they are sold to no one with aspirations of power here."
Mana: "Though I don't know your motives, the latter catch excludes you. Only fair, after all."
Theodore: "Hm." Theodore glances around the table - there's definitely a bottle of sake and a little cup there, right? "
Mana: Definitely.
Mana: It's… kind of tasteless, really. Ever licked a quartz?
Theodore probably has at some point!
Mana: Kind of like that. Sort of rocky and nondescript.
Theodore picks up the sake bottle and the cup, moving it closer to him. He dumbs the cap full of the powder into the bottle, then pours the sake onto it, leaning down close and squinting to get a good look at it.
Mana: Into the cup, you mean?
[OOC] Theodore: yeah
Mana: The crystals dissolve with a slight fizz, turning as they dissolve into the sake. There's no perceptible change in the clear liquor.
Theodore pokes a fingure into the mixture, then puts the finger in his mouth.
Mana: Ick. It's all salty!
Theodore: "Aha!"
Theodore picks up a sushi roll, dips it into the sake, then takes a bite.
Veracruz: "Figured something out, Theo?"
Theodore: "I think it's just ground up rock."
Theodore: "Moon dust might be literal rather than figurative."
Mana: Mr. Magata frowns. "One wonders where they're getting the rock."
Veracruz furrows his eyebrows, rubs his eyes
Veracruz: "If so"
Theodore: "Well, from the moon kingdom presumably."
Veracruz: "That means it's likely that same person is supplying both drugs and weapons, yes"
Mana: "…But not to the same people."
Theodore passes the cup to Veracruz, then screws the lid back onto the capsle.
Toth sighs and rubs his head.
Veracruz: "I was thinking this entire situation is a prelude for a bigger war, settling up a civil war here to weaken the defenses before moving in a larger force. If Vush and his army needs to be moved that's one entry point"
Veracruz picks up the cup, has absolutely no idea what to do with it, so he just settles it in front of him. No actual desire to try that out
Mana: "So, gentlemen, what are your plans?"
Toth: "Get the address of this warehouse, for one."
Vladislav: "Asides from investigating this warehouse for you?"
Veracruz: "Hrm… We have the guns to attend to right now, that'd be first priority"
Theodore: "Basssically just getting rid of the realy bad stuff before sorting out what to do for long term solutions, yeah."
Mana: "Warehouse 16 on Temple Street."
Mana: "I imagine you'll be meeting with the others. Give them my regards."
Toth: "Will do."
Theodore: "I mean, worst comes to worst we just break the Princess out of the Tower and smuggle her back home, if this is a prelude to a seige."
Theodore: "But we'll see!"
Veracruz: "Yep, that might settle the bigger overarching problem, but right now, no more muskets!"
Toth: "Of course."
Vladislav: "The tower is undermanned since Ibex left after the execution. There were barely any guards there at all."
Theodore: "I bet that creepy lady is still there at least."
Toth: "No, she'll… likely collar Xsai for a date, soon."
Toth: "If he knows what's good for him, he'll go… of course, he will."
Vladislav narrows his brow at Theodore. "That description fits many."
Veracruz: "Well, hopefully it won't last all day but, there's that"
Theodore: "Man, why does your Tower of Power have multiple creepy ladies rollign around in it? But I ment the one that killed Alex, and was hitting on Xsia."
Alexander: "Power corrupts?"
Toth: "What's wrong with that?"
Theodore: "Sounds like you guys are really bad at power."
Vladislav: "I hope you had no attachment to your relatives, Alexander. They openly admitted that they intended to cull the rest of the outer family."
Vladislav: "They do not share your gift or luck."
Toth: "We're going to take care of that problem shortly, then."
Alexander: "They already killed me once."
Alexander: "And how closely-related is 'outer family'?"
Vladislav: "That is a question that you are best qualified to answer."
Theodore starts tapping on the table absently but quickly with one hand, as he starts reaching for food and eating it quickly with the other.
Veracruz looks at Theo "You've got the best idea right now" he starts eating as well "Ain't much more to it exactly right now, let's eat and move on to the warehouse. Next step we think up on the way"
Alexander thinks for a bit. "Well. I think that's…all of them."
Mana: Mr. Magata runs a finger across his chin, chewing on a sushi roll. When he finishes:
Mana: "You're of an imperial line, Mr. Alexander?"
Alexander: "Nephew to the Emperor, may he live forever."
Toth: "Here's to Salamander." He gets a piece of sushi as well.
Alexander enjoys the cuisine while he's here, of course.
Alexander: "They don't let me get all that close to the Tower usually."
Mana: "May he live forever. I pray that the Emperor shows wisdom and comportment in matters like this similar to yours - you do his line well."
Theodore: "I duno, it kinda seems like the Emperor is part of a lot of the problems."
Vladislav: "I wish I could say as much but the Emperor has adopted the stance of serenity. He plans to let those seeking power here destroy one another and Vush will clean up the victor."
Theodore: "Oh! Speaking of,"
Veracruz: "Uhn… What Theo said, every time I hear his name something is going wrong"
Veracruz: "(Mind same kinda happens for us because we're trying to solve problems, but)"
Mana: "I have much praying to do then, don't I?" Mr. Magata smiles.
Theodore glances up at Mr. Magata, still tapping one hand, "D'y'know where we could get some jewelry?"
Vladislav: "As far as I can see, should conflict erupt all of you lose. At this time the best advice I can give is to avoid the conflict entirely."
Mana: "Are you willing to pay a fortune for it?"
Theodore: "There's a theoretical world where the answer to that is yes."
Aurora: "I don't think we have a fortune."
Toth: "Willing, yes, able…" He wobbles a hand.
Mana: Mr. Magata nods. "Then you might need to liberate some others of theirs."
Veracruz: "Yyyeahh, that's a smaller problem, yeah"
Vladislav: "So to that end, I believe taking these weapons out of the district would benefit all of us."
Mana: "Indeed."
Mana: "Magic is of incredible value. I believe an Emperor said that the fastest way to power was for the defeated to offer it to you."
Mana: "Barring that… the tower of Jinn has some. There's to be a market of it in Gnome soon - and they must be keeping all that somewhere."
Veracruz: "Hrm… I foresee further problems arising there, but alright"
Theodore: "Oho *that's* what the black market thing in Gnome is for?"
Mana: "Other places…" Mr. Magata smiles.
Toth: "Interesting."
Mana: "I've heard strange stories of what's being offered there. But there's rarely such a market without jewelry on offer."
Mana: "It's one of the few things that commands a high enough price to merit one."
Mana: "…There is a ring in my vaults, that I might offer to a dear friend, on some future date."
Theodore: "Hmm. Good to know!"
Mana: "…But I think everyone in this district will make you similar promises. Just know that I won't leave you out in the cold if things turn out… cleanly, if others make more desperate bargains."
Veracruz: "Well, we expect nothing out of nobody as it is, but we will keep that in mind"
Theodore nods, hand still tapping on the table absently.
Toth: "We'll be around."
Mana: "Naturally. I'll tell the Vipers not to trouble you."
Vladislav: "Thank you for the meal. I believe it's time we go investigate this warehouse."
Toth: "Though if nothing else, we are definitely concerned about making sure this whole situation is neutralized with the least amount of collateral damage."
Toth: "So, you have our word on that. Or at least, mine."
Mana: "Thank you. I appreciate it."
Mana: One of the bodyguards picks up the doped cup of sake. Another pulls a cord, and the table lowers itself back into the previous room, and the ceiling closes up over it once more.
Veracruz takes a deep breath
Veracruz: "Man I was trying not to mention my ideas about the lunar plot while we were there"
Veracruz: "though I guess if anyone should be on watch for that it's them, so"
Toth glances to Veracruz.
Theodore trades his staff back before they drop.
Alexander finishes off a couple more sushi rolls before grabbing a napkin and standing up. "Shall we be off to the warehouse, then?"
Theodore: "Eh, no reason they shouldn't know."
Toth: "Warehouse it is."
Veracruz nods to Alexander and gets on going "Maybe, I don't know, but I didn't think it'd be wise- Guess I'm not that good with that particular walk of life"
Veracruz: "Good thing we got Toth and Vlad here"
Vladislav: "Quick to form impressions, aren't we?" A slight grin.
Toth: "It's not like we could keep you from saying your mind," he chuckles.
Theodore: "Naw, if they know someone else might be coming in to face roll 'em, they might not do as much in fighting."
Vladislav: "If Mr. Magata doesn't even know what Ibex is planning since he is so holed up in his barricades perhaps I should pay him a visit tomorrow. It would be nice to get the story from the horses mouth."
Theodore: "Knowin' stuff never hurts!"
Veracruz: "Indeed!"
Toth ambles down the street…
Mana: …To the warehouse?
[OOC] Toth: Yessir.
Theodore is kind of like, jogging in place and walking circles around the group as they move towards the Warehouse.
Mana: It's a squat, wooden building, sprawling, by one of the west walls. Tin-roof, the cable-ways holding carts connected to the foundries silent for the night.
Mana: Candles are burning in a quiet little shrine to the Goddess opposite the dilapidated, old building.
Veracruz scratches his head, and looks at the shrine, then looks at the warehouse "Well, how're we doing this?"
Toth: "Front door, really."
Toth: "Ask around about those helping the sick."
Alexander: "Quickest way."
Theodore stops in front of the statue of the Goddess, breifly bowing his head with his hands clasped together as he offers a prayer/.
Mana: (I wonder if she's watching over you…?)
Theodore certainly hope so! And is back to being bouncy once his prayer is finished.
Toth looks for a door.
Veracruz stays nearby Toth, let's see how this goes.
Mana: Yeah, there's a quiet little entryway, with a burly, dock-worker looking guy resting guard on a stool by it.
Toth heads over to that guy.
Mana: "Hey. Nice suit."
Toth: "Thanks. We're looking to meet up with the Rats."
Mana: "We own the place, but this ain't our public office. You're gonna wanna head down to the Luck and Shine down on Forge Street."
Toth: "Got it."
Theodore tilts his head in Toth's direction.
Toth heads back to the street.
Veracruz just looks at Toth, what is he planning?
Theodore gives the guard a wave as he trails after Toth.
Toth: "Let's go see 'em."
Vladislav trails after Toth. "Seems you had the same thing in mind."
Alexander frowns.
Toth: "No reason to rock the boat so quickly."
Alexander follows, anyway.
Veracruz follows after Toth "True"
Vladislav: "If they found out some guys were sent by the Vipers to ransack their warehouse what do you think would happen? As soon as another shipment of smuggled goods came we'd have started the war ourselves, in the wrong direction at that."
Mana: To the Luck and Shine?
[OOC] Toth: Yessir.
Veracruz: "That's true, hrm…"
Mana: A glowing casino on forge street, bathed in the shine of the City Heart.
Mana: A cool breeze of air from one of the cooling rooms hits you as you walk down the street - there's a few people relaxing in it, after work, enjoying the refrigerated air.
Theodore: "That is a *lot* of lights."
Toth whistles, impressed.
Veracruz shivers a little bit at the breeze "Yeep, pretty neat-looking"
Mana: There are places in Titania you can go to play slot machines - but the Luck and Shine is all table games, roulette and cards and dice, watched over from the cage high above.
Mana: A host meets you at the door: "Party of six, is it? Need any help getting your money changed?"
Toth: "Yes and no- we're here to speak with Rats proper. We get things done."
Theodore: "Like that goblin assault the other day," Theodore adds, helpfully.
Mana: "Oh, you were those guys?" She flashes a grin.
Theodore: "Yup!"
Mana: "Just wait a sec, I need to clear things with King."
Mana: She waves someone else over to cover her for a moment, heading down a camouflaged door into the depths of the casino.
Mana: In a moment, she's back: "Yup, let's bring you through."
Mana: And leads you down.
Toth enters, follows.
Veracruz follows
Vladislav seems a bit curious about this place as he heads down.
Theodore is right behind them.
Mana: King's a huge, muscular man - muscle, and a lot of fat, giving him a round profile. His den is oval-shaped, the walls lined with libraries of books, a statue of a golden rat sitting on the center of the mahogany table in the middle of the room.
Mana: He smiles as you're shown inside.
Theodore: "Yo!"
Mana: Sitting by him is a woman wrapped in white - robes and a turban. Her features are nondescript, soft, a bit of black hair showing. But her clear blue eyes have a reassurring, iron certainty.
Veracruz nods at him "Good evening"
Mana: The room's occupied by a few Rat toughs. One of them's sitting in a corner, reading through a book. A few more are outside.
Toth: "Evening, there." He approaches.
Aurora curtseys politely in greeting.
Mana: "Evening, boys and girls. Meeting with me after the Vipers, huh?"
Mana: King smiles sheepishly at Aurora. "Don't got manners that can keep up with that, you know. You better save em for someone of rank."
Toth: "That's the short of it, yes."
Mana: "Mr. Magata talks a lot. What questions have you got left?"
Mana: "Not that I mind dealing with the scraps."
Toth: "We ran into Vipers first on the road. Just a matter of timing."
Mana: "Yeah. They're all over the place these days."
Toth: "The question we have is largely the one we posed to Mr. Magata, though."
Toth turns to Vladislav and nods.
Vladislav: "What are your intentions?"
Aurora: "A Knight is best served by always being polite."
Mana: "Heheh, even rhymes." King smiles at Aurora.
Mana: "Our intentions…?"
Theodore tilts his head backwards at Aurora briefly.
Mana: "Well, we're gonna kick the Vipers out on their asses, that's what we intend. They've been squeezing little shopkeepers for money for ages, and now they're doing it to the whole city."
Mana: "And when they don't get what they want, they burn the place down and take it. That's how Mr. Magata got his fancy sword of his, after all."
Vladislav: "You are aware of the districts current predicament, I would assume. The first signs of open violence and Ibex is likely to move. Should that not suffice Vush will be next. I don't think either of you will come out as a winner."
Mana: "Yeah. We're stuck. I'm a red-blooded Imperial as much as any, But I don't want some trumped up cop thinking he can run an army, either."
Mana: "Now, the Rats, we're… well, we're shipping and construction. We don't do extortion. Turns out when the whole district shuts down, we have to stop working, but, hey, would you look at that, the Vipers don't."
Theodore: "What's the deal with the forgeiners?"
Vladislav: "I understand that you're put in a tight spot. That said are you not taking the route that would burn the whole place down as well much like the Vipers? Regardless of which one of you acts, the same factor is going to come stomping down with his recently amassed army."
Mana: King looks at the woman - who merely smiles at Theodore, for now -
Theodore tilts his head in her direction, making eye contact.
Mana: "The deal is, they're arming us, we're moving their healers in. And we're lending them aid in case of a crackdown. They want to bring the teachings of the Mana Goddess back to Titania, they said."
Mana: "I could have said that myself, you know." She offers.
Mana: "Heheh, caught me out on that one."
Theodore: "Yeah, they got some really weird superstitions about the Mana Goddess here, don't they?"
Veracruz: "Well, there are"
Vladislav: "I doubt most even know what the Mana Tree is."
Mana: The woman in the turban smiles. "You're a learned one, aren't you?"
Theodore nods to her. "Yeah, I'm not actually from Titania either."
Mana: "I'm Sezaya Yesketi, but I mostly go by the latter name. This city can be so unkind to foreigners, can't it?"
Vladislav: "I can't say I've even seen that many. Most are stuck outside the walls waiting for Vush to return."
Theodore: "Well, it's not too bad in Undine. And it's pretty bad even for the people living here, really, so."
Theodore: "Well. Bad in a relative sense I suppose."
Mana: "Yes. To put my cards on the table…"
Veracruz looks at the woman, appraising her… She does a very good job at not looking like anything, doesn't she
Mana: Sort of like a merchant? You can't even place her race - she has sort of an indistinct, in-between skin-tone.
Mana: "…The restrictions this city puts on the liberty of travel of its people, and the command it asserts over the life and death of its citizens offend me."
Mana: "In what arises to a religious sense."
Mana: "The people of the red dust are here on a holy mission to bring political reform."
Mana: King looks right at her. "You're… you're gonna just say that right out?"
Theodore rests his hands behind his head, giving her a curious and appraising look.
Vladislav: "So you wish to remake this flawed city into a righteous one in a time of great disaster?" He chuckles lightly.
Veracruz scratches behind his head "Well, you've got the right ideas there but"
Mana: "…But you don't think I can do it without killing everyone?"
Veracruz: "You're only really going to help it become a big pool of blood in this path you're taking. We don't even know the cause for most of the problems we face, you know"
Veracruz: "There's definitely going to be a lot of killing but you know, you're getting a lot of innocents in the crossfire if you're this rash"
Vladislav: "The district will run red by the hand of Vush at this tales conclusion. You will get the very people you are claiming to save killed."
Theodore: "Well like - one of the upcoming apocolypses is more or less civil uprising in Salamander. And the other is, uh…. Angles. So."
[OOC] Theodore: Angels^
Mana: "As in…" She splays out two of her fingers - "Ah. I see."
Toth: "That your fingers form the number 2 is entirely coincidental."
Vladislav: "Blood filled streets like that would certainly be quite the radical approach to the renewal that the Mana Goddess seeks."
Mana: "You've studied a very different Mana Goddess than I do, I think."
Veracruz: "Well, angels are pretty blunt, there's that"
Theodore: "To be honest I don't think she usually cares unless the Beasts are involved -"
Theodore stops abruptly, opens and closes his mouth a few times.
Veracruz: "Aren't we from different places? Maybe we got taught different things"
Theodore: "Hold up what was Vush's nickname again?"
Veracruz: "Red-lamped Beast"
Theodore: "Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm."
Veracruz scratches his head "Anyway. The big problem here is that you're about to start a civil war here in this district that is definitely not going to accomplish your goal. Worst that could happen is ehre becoming another Dryad, you know"
Mana: "Dryad, I believe, is a few dead monsters away from being a wonderful place to live."
Vladislav: "Once I get rid of Prince Lion most of these problems will be solved."
Veracruz: "Hrm… I meant more 'seal it up and let the problem solve itself'"
Mana: "So, like taking apart a wood-block tower, doesn't it seem like this matter needs to be settled from the top?"
Mana: "Vush, Ibex, and then the Vipers."
Veracruz: "Yes, starting from the bottom will just collapse it"
Vladislav: "Vush is fearsome and Ibex has strength in numbers. It was my wish that we could pit the top two pieces against one another."
Theodore scratches his head. "Wouldn't the top be the Emperor?"
Toth: "THe Emperor wouldn't make an appearance here."
Toth: "And if he did…" He shrugs.
Veracruz looks at Theodore "Fairly sure that's going to end up being one of the problems we need to solve, yeah"
Vladislav: "The Emperor has much more important matters to attend to than this district. For the scope of Salamander he is not a factor."
Toth: "But Vush and Ibex are the two pieces we're most concerned with with regards to Salamander and this crisis."
Veracruz: "But as Vladislav said"
Theodore leans back, rocking back and forth on his heels.
Mana: "…Both General Vush and Commander Ibex are dreaming of being Emperor. Neither will risk their necks on attacking the other unless ordered."
Mana: "So what you need to do is make Ibex an enemy of the state."
Theodore: "So… Salamander basically provides energy and makes all the stuff the rest of Titania uses, right?"
Veracruz: "Yeah"
Veracruz: "Power and manufactury"
Theodore: "Now…"
Vladislav: "That was my plan as Vush will be put on Ibex should he cross the line."
Mana: King nods. "Sure does. We run power direct to the tower of Jinn and beyond."
Theodore: "Okay stick with me for a bit but 0"
Theodore: "If the goal is to, more or less, get people to stop messing with ya'll and bring about a bit of a revolution to make stuff suck less -"
Vladislav: "I was hoping to have Vipers and Rats alike push him into a corner so he would act, but it seems you are unwilling to cooperate."
Theodore: "Rather than killing each other in the middle of Salamander… wouldn't it make sense for all the gangs to band together and declare independence fomr Titania? The Rats make everything, you could use the Vipers as the main of your army…"
Mana: King falls silent. Yesketi looks like she's about to speak, but King shakes his head, and she stops.
Mana: After some thought, he speaks:
Veracruz furrows his eyebrows
Mana: "…It'd make a damn lot of sense."
Vladislav scratches at his chin. "If you could perhaps entice Ibex with Salamander district as a whole presenting a unified front. That would cause him to cross the line. Vush would be sent to deal with Ibex and his army and it would be demolished in the process. Vush can be cleaned up at this time and both will be swept under the rug having been driven by power and fear."
Veracruz scratches behind his head
Mana: "Break my heart to be kowtowing to a Viper, but he'd make more sense than the Emperor."
Veracruz: "Well, really, it wouldn't be any worse than how the emperor and Vush are right now, anyway, none really trusts the other"
Theodore: "Well it's not like he'd be doing much without you guys keeping the forge running, right? So he'd probably play nice."
Mana: "…On the other hand, do I want a bunch of thugs that think they can throw their daddy's name around a corner store every time they want a bottle of booze in badges?"
Theodore: "And I mean - if they were your army, they wouldn't be extorting shop keeps and stuff - they'd just be getting paid from the taxes. And ocassionally actually having to defend the people."
Veracruz: "Yeah, it's not like taxes aren't close enough to what they do"
Mana: "You come from a hell of a place where armies don't live off the land, but I'll give you that."
Vladislav: "If the vipers and the rats joined forces alone it would only mean that Ibex, Vush and the Emperor all shared a common enemy."
Mana: "Yeah."
Mana: "Which means that Vush gets to kill us all, just like he's been thirsting to do for years."
Theodore: "Okay well… The Enchilada's are messing around with drugs and stuff, right?"
Theodore: "And Vushes Barbarians are *constantly* drinking?"
Theodore: "Just put a sedative in their booze before delivering it."
Veracruz: "Hrm… That might not be a completely bad idea, Theo, but… Be careful, it's been known to induce violence too"
Veracruz: "Might backfire"
Toth: "He doesn't mean that drug in particular."
Mana: "No, not that drug. Something else. Put em to sleep, and…"
Theodore: "Well not that drug specifically, a different one."
Mana: "…Well, would you do it? Would you kill Vush?"
Vladislav: "There have been many rumours of Ibex wishing to hold his own court. Are we certain there isn't a way to bring him to your side? One enemy is much more managable than two."
Veracruz: "Well" he scratches his head "It's not out of the realm of possibility, we do want something out of him"
Theodore lets out a breath.
Mana: "I don't know whose side Ibex is on, really."
Theodore: "I don't know about killing him outright, but we'll take care of him for you. If we *need* to kill him, we can."
Vladislav: "Based on my discussion at the tower I know he's not reporting in to the Imperial Court anymore."
Veracruz: "Ibex seems to be on his own"
Vladislav: "So I think he is fighting alone."
Toth: "I'm curious as to why Vush is the one sticking point with you."
Mana: "…Scary, in a way."
Mana: "Toth, were you - were you alive when Titania went to war against those beasts?"
Toth: "Not you- I mean him," He nods to Theodore.
Theodore: "Well I mean - he's in a pretty crappy position himself too, right? Leadering of a band of mercenaries stuck in a city, not allowed to leave the cramped section of one district. Threatened into acting like a glorified door man or die. Not really here because he wants to be, you know? I feel for 'em."
Theodore: "But I mean - if he wants to cause problems then he'll get shut down. But it feels wrong just jumping right to that point without any other consideration."
Vladislav: "You seem to forget they were intending to kill the men, rape the women and sack the city before they were stopped."
Mana: "Just one and three, actually."
Theodore rests his hands behind his head.
Mana: "Eat the women, maybe. Wouldn't put it past em."
Vladislav: "Or perhaps sell them to a foreign kingdom."
Theodore: "Still, it's entirely possible that if we said 'hey we're about to make noise, wanna split?' that he might."
Mana: "Naw. That's the thing about Vush."
Mana: "You couldn't deal with him, you couldn't barter with him - he and his pack didn't want anything but meat and blood."
Theodore: "He seemed perfectly willing to deal with us yesterday."
Vladislav: "Many can don a silver tongue to get placed into a favourable position."
Theodore: "Probably more so out of desperation than anything else though."
Mana: "Hmph."
Toth: "That we are entertaining the thought of proposing to separate Salamander from Titania to remove Ibex and Vush from the board is utterly preposterous. The fallout and movements from after such an event is something I'm not remotely interested in. The people of issue are Ibex and Vush- not Ibex's men, nor Vush's. To prevent catastrophic unrest is my interest, not to cause it at an
Toth: even greater level than before. "
Mana: "Hey, you want to clean the place up so I can take Magata down in peace, that's fine by me."
Theodore: "I duno. I think if Salamander implodes on itself, like it's looking to do, that it's going to be a lot worse for the people."
Veracruz: "Well… If nothing is done Salamander's going to implode, yeah. If we move against someone, everyone's triggered, everyone wnats a piece of the action"
Vladislav: "Declaring the districts independance does not lie within my interests either, although the woman seemed to seek reform. Such things are not possible outside of Dryad."
Theodore: "Yeah it's… not like Titania has an elected Senate."
Veracruz: "Though sometimes you just need to show you have a sword, never unsheath it"
Aurora: "…If they do succeed, I'm sure that would actually get a response from the Empire… and in comes the Ironclad."
Veracruz: "As King said, he doesn't trusts the Vipers to be the army, nor I doubt the Vipers trust the Rats for civil matters"
Theodore: "If it happens quick, there's not going to be a lot of Iron Clad. Especially with all the sick people being in Salamander."
Alexander: "I don't think breaking the city apart is going to further our future goals."
Mana: Yesketi strokes her chin.
Theodore shrugs. "I duno, you guys know your city better than I do. Just, from an outsiders perspective, it seems like you could do a lot more, and a lot of it good, if you banded together rather than killing each other for your common enemy."
Veracruz: "Maybe you just need to present yourselves in a matter that shows that, yes, you can be trouble. But you're willing to not be if they take good care of you?"
Mana: "With the world as it is… there's no path forward that doesn't end in blood, is that what you're saying?"
Vladislav: "That is correct."
Vladislav: "Which is why I said earlier what you truly seek is reform."
Theodore double takes really hard at Yesketi.
Toth: "…"
Mana: "The Emperor designed this city cannily, didn't he? How vile."
Theodore: "Well."
Theodore: "At the very least… I think the Rats and the Vipers could probably call for a cease fire while Ibex is in the district? Promise not to shoot anyone, they promise to… not stab anyone and ease up on the hasseling, everyone continues to not lose?"
Toth: "The stalemate is the best situation… for now. But…hm." He gives Yesketi a strange look.
Vladislav: "I will be blunt. At the end of the day I wish to link Salamander to a new world. One outside of Titania. For that to happen Vush and the gate must go."
Mana: "It'd be nice." King says, with a shrug. "But we ain't the most disciplined of armies. As long as Magata has his Vipers tromping around at late hours drunk and sword-arms twitching…"
Theodore: "Hmm."
Toth: "That's the best we can ask for."
Toth: "Actually, there's one more thing, if I may."
Theodore: "Okay. I think if you gave us a few of those musket things as a sign of good faith, we could probably negotiate the Viper's easing up a bit with Mr. Magata."
Toth: "Can you show me how to use a musket?"
Mana: Yesketi smiles. "Easily. They are a holy weapon, after all."
Mana: "Do you believe in the goddess, Mr. Toth?"
Toth: "…yes."
Toth: "Wasn't sure I did before a day ago, but yes."
Mana: "Then it will come easily."
Toth: "…I see."
Alexander raises an eyebrow at that. "I would like to learn as well."
Mana: "I understand you paid a visit to our warehouse earlier this night. Come again and I'll have one of the people show you the ropes of things."
Vladislav offers a silent stare at Yesketi but doesn't say anything.
Theodore: "Cool. That'll make getting the Viper's to ease up a lot easier if they know we have the musket thing under control."
Mana: Yesketi smiles back at Vladislav. "You're far prettier than you are clever, by the way."
Vladislav chuckles slightly at that remark. "Is that so? May I ask you a question?"
Veracruz: "He's not that pretty"
Toth: "Will do. Though-" He grins at her. "I am a bit embarassed that I didn't provide my name, before. How'd you know?"
Mana: Yesketi smiles at Veracruz. It's a slightly warmer smile.
Mana: "-ah, My people considered you as a contact to help us bring our wares into Titania."
Veracruz: "Ah, i'm curious, it'd be okay if you don't want to tell me but, where are you from?"
Toth: "I'll keep an open ear about it, then."
Mana: "The city Lysander. Have you visited?"
Veracruz: "I haven't, sadly. Not much of a traveller"
Veracruz: "I should probably broaden my routes, though"
Mana: "A city that all should aspire to."
Mana: She turns to Vladislav. "Ask away."
Vladislav pulls out his book and writes something down as the two of them are talking. He glances up after they finished. "What would you say is the most important to the Mana Goddess?"
Mana: "The liberty of every man and woman to pursue what they cherish in life."
Vladislav nods slowly in response. "Thank you. The answer to that question says a lot about a person."
Mana: "It does. But I don't feel there's much risk in baring my heart to you. And I suppose you could have surmised it from what I want for Titania."
Veracruz: "Ahaha, that is a both wonderful and terrible thing"
Vladislav: "I think my response could be interpreted in a similar way though, Veracruz. For the Mana Tree to be prospereous is vague and does not define the limits in which one is willing to go to accomplish such a feat. And so the question tells much about a person."
Veracruz: "Yes it is. It's just that life's needlessly complicated, really"
Theodore tilts his head at Vlad.
Theodore moves in a bit closer to Yesketi.
Mana: "Yes?" She asks.
Theodore leans in, covering her ear as he whispers, "(How did you make your voice sound blue?)"
Mana: She leans over. "(It's in the back of your throat, really. Sort of like putting on a fancy accent, when you want to make something sound important. Like, hm…)"
Mana: "(That was the time of dreams, and things are different now. Like that.)"
Theodore: "(Oh, cool! I should try that some time. Definitely a neat trick.)"
Mana: "(You should!)"
Theodore grins a bit as he pulls back. "Although the trick is knowing what to say, huh?"
Mana: She smiles to King. "Sorry, he asked about it, so-" She turns back to Theodore.
Mana: "Really, one can apply the voice of portent to anything one wishes."
Toth: "…"
Theodore: "You mean like… Even the fish I ate for dinner last night?"
Mana: "Yes! Even something as utterly ordinary as that."
Theodore: "It was kind of an important fish, to be fair. But, awesome!"
Veracruz: "Theodore, the fish we ate for dinner last night was like, an all-seeing being that could foresee the disasters we're trying to avert"
Veracruz: "It was definitely not ordinary"
Mana: "You can now see why you must be careful with the voice of portent."
Theodore: "Oho!"
Toth: "I'll… meet everyone at the warehouse or around there."
Vladislav rubs his forehead. "When you have the power to shape reality it would be best not to make statements like that. For all you know they could come true."
Theodore: "It was already true!"
Veracruz chuckles at Vladislav "Well, you don't want to make something accidentally true"
Theodore: "We hauled up the wishing fish, had it answer some questions, then ate it."
Toth: "Take care, King. Yesketi."
Vladislav: "It comes back, you know."
Mana: King shoots Yesketi a bewildered look, but he smiles. "Yes. Take care. Thanks for… the meeting. You know."
Theodore: "Yeah he said he'd kill us for sure next time…"
Theodore: "But I think he liked us."
Veracruz nods at the two of them "Many problems still to solve, so we will be going"
Mana: "Right. I'l have someone waiting for you at the warehouse." Yesketi offers.
Toth: "Thank you." He bows slightly to the both of them.
Toth turns, goes up, heads through the depths of the casino, and out…
Alexander: "Thank you," he says, bowing as well.
Vladislav trails after Toth offering one last lingering glance to the room.
Theodore gives a wave as he takes off. "Take care!"
Mana: Yesketi waves gently. You can hear the strains of a hushed conversation as you exit: "(The power to shape reality…?)" "(That may have been a visitation. Let's hope they're on our side, King…)"
Mana: The Luck and Shine.
Mana: Where to?
[OOC] Toth: I'm outro for now
[OOC] Theodore: We'll be heading to the warehouse, but that's probably for next week, given the time.
Veracruz is certainly going to the warehouse but…
[OOC] Veracruz: NEXT WEEK
[OOC] Vladislav: I think I'm done as well yeah
[OOC] Veracruz: Bause it's 2:30 AM
[OOC] Mana: Makes sense.
Mana: Even this late at night… the Salamander air is thick and humid.
Mana: And so it was written.

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