Ms0 6

E.MCG SALVAGE CORPORATION HEADQUARTERS, JUST OFF THE DOCKS IN LEVIATHAN.

An old warehouse. The floor is littered with piles upon piles of rusted, broken metal and odd wood shapes. The remains of many a sunken ship and their contents. A few men are inside with wielding torches, cutting the larger parts of metal hull into smaller, more manageable pieces. At the far end of the warehouse is single, small room, with the words "ACCOUNTING OFFICE" written in front of it.
Inside: a single desk, with a mountain of paperwork covering most of it. Half of a pot of coffee takes up what's left of it, aside from the head of a certain driftin woman, who's currently resting her forehead against it.
"So are we really going to have to do this for all of them, Beth…?"

"How do you usually recruit people, my lady?" Elbereth, too, is still there.

"I don't remember." Elizabeth responds, lazily.

"Would you prefer me to setup group interviews in the future?"

Lady Elizabeth turns her head to the side, considering. "Honestly I'm not sure if that'd be better'r worse."

"If I may be so bold to ask… have you hired anyone before, milady? If I recall, your crew came to you as part of an inheritance."

"Actually only about a fourth of 'em are from back when this used to be gramp's merchant vessel. Then about a fourth from when we were doin' the treasure thing…"
"…Most of them just kind of turned up at some point or another though…? Never really did much recruitin' beyond shoutin' at the pub 'bout buried treasure."
"…Maybe someone at the warehouse takes care of it?" Elizabeth looks legitimately unsure.

A knock sounds at the door.

Elbereth gives her a light pat on the shoulder. "No worries, I'm here now milady. Now put a smile on, this ones going to be exciting." She makes her way to the door before opening it.

Stooping slightly to walk through the doorway steps a veritable giant. Fur and hides cover him entirely, though a few spots in the dark-brown fur show breaks-most notably on the right side of his head, and a larger one on his right arm. A large stone club hangs at his belt, and a shield of bone and hide hangs at his back. "This is the site for the…interview, yes?"

"Oh hey, it's the bearman!" Lady Elizabeth sits upright.
"Yeah, this is the place."

"Ah, miss? Have we met…?" The Hundred asks, uncertain.

"Please, have a seat. How should we refer to you, sir?" Elbereth pulls out a chair.

Lady Elizabeth shakes her head. "Oh, uh. Not as such. Yer just kinda hard to miss in a crowd, 'round these parts."

"Ah, I see." The Hundred takes the shield off, leaning it on the chair before sitting on it carefully. "I'm Echo Thirty-Six, of the Bear Tribe."

"Huh," Elizabeth tilts her head inquisitively, "they still number ya?"

"We take our mother's number, rather." Echo answers.

Elbereth glances at the size ratio of the chair compared to their new guest. She moves over to a whiteboard on the wall and pops open a felt before writing 'Bigger chairs' on the board in felt.

Echo clears his throat. "I heard you're hiring for some kind of expedition?"

"Ah, that's interestin'. Guess it's not really too different from how we had 'carpenter' and 'shoemaker' become surnames rather than jus' bein'…" Elizabeth cuts herself off to answer Echo. "Ah, yeah!"
"Tryin' to get some people to head on into Filios."

"That's one of those…arcoliths, yes?" The word seems unfamiliar on Echo's tongue. "The previous homes of the Patrons?"

"Patrons?" Now it's Elizabeth's turn to have a word sound unfamiliar.

Elbereth makes her way back to the table with her trolley. She glances at Echo. "Rum, tea or coffee sir? I admit this is the first time I've been stumped by what to serve a guest. I have not interacted much with the Bear tribe, even in all my years."

"But yeah, an arcolith." Elizabeth nods.

Echo turns back to Elizabeth momentarily. "Hmmm. I don't believe I've really tried some of those drinks before. Some tea, please?"

"Rum's sweet alcohol, coffee's bitter caffeine… tea's… … less bitter caffeine?" Elizabeth helpfully offers.

Elbereth nods before placing a mug on the table. She goes to reach for the kettle before hesitating. A quick swap and the mug is replaced with an empty beaker. She fills it with hot water before offering a wide selection of tea.

"Maybe something herbal…?" Echo eventually decides.
"The Patrons are…probably…our creators. We have a long oral history."

Lady Elizabeth snaps her fingers. "Oooh, the aliens. Right okay I remember that word now."
"But yeah. We got a lead on a way into Filios which, as far as I know, has been sealed up since forever."

Elbereth nods before mixing the bear a Poppy tea. It's normally drank for its sedative properties, but with his build it wouldn't phase him. Probably. She then goes to slice up a pear before pausing again. She places it whole on a saucer beside the guest before quickly scurrying to her seat. This is probably the first guest Elizabeth has ever seen her at a loss to help.

"Man calm down Beth he's just some big guy with a lot of fur, 'can't exactly fuck up fruit and tea." Elizabeth asides to her.

"Interesting. And you're expecting a fair amount of treasure, I take it? Like in the other arcoliths?" Echo asks.

Elbereth gives Elizabeth a look before her eyes travel to the tiny unused mug and the actual beaker she gave the guest. Her expression screams 'Do you SEE his hands?'

Elizabeth rolls a shrug. "To be perfectly frank, I'm not really sure what to expect. It's mostly just rumors about what was in the others…"
"But given it's an arcolith, and no one's been inside this one in particular in recorded history…"
"Should be a safe bet there's some worthwhile loot inside, yeah."

Echo takes a sip of the tea before picking up the pear. He doesn't seem to notice the oddity to the container.
"Likely, yes. What kind of share can I expect of the findings?"

Elizabeth resumes reclining in her chair as she thinks. "Hmm… lot of that depends on what exactly turns up but… A hundred gold at the least, and we can negotiation a smaller cut in exchange for some of the haul if y'find somethin' in particular ya like and wanna keep."

"Yes, that would certainly help… How long is the expedition? A week, I think?" Echo asks.

Lady Elizabeth nods, "Should last about a week for the initial excursion, past that depends on what all we find there."

"I see. Do you know about any dangers there?" Echo continues with his questions.

"Not'a one. I've heard some rumors about automatons and some kinna…" Elizabeth scrunches up her face, trying to figure out how to describe it. "…Sentry like things, with automated firearm equipped watch towers."
"…But again, ain't really heard nothin' concrete. Just rumors. Empire tends to keep a lock on any info."

"Fair enough. If you'll have me, I'll lend you my strength."

"Sure, y'look like you can hold yer own against most dangers."

"The labyrinth will also be ripe with puzzles, if you enjoy that sort of thing." Elbereth calmly utter this remark before jotting something down on her notepad.

"Hmmm. I profess I may not be too much help with that, that was something more for the elders of the tribe…" Echo rumbles.

"Out'a curiosity… you also a wanderin' mercenary?" Elizabeth nods towards the shield and mace.

Echo shakes his head. "My tribe and I were driven from our lands by the Imperials. We came seeking refuge, and I need the funds to support my tribe."

"…Ahh…" Elizabeth trails off, uncharacteristically at a loss.
"…And I suppose this is probably one of the only jobs ya can really find on short notice."

"Quite."

"Based on our last applicants wishes, I have added a question for each applicant to the interview process. I realize this may almost sound insulting given your circumstances but sir, are you an Imperial spy?" Elbereth says this with a small grin on her face, as if she knows how preposterous it would be.

Echo makes a face. "You're right, that is rather insulting." He sighs. "No, of course not."

Lady Elizabeth rolls her eyes in Elbereth's direction.
"Wait what did she even say that lead to…"

"Let us just say that it would be a conflict of interests, my lady." Elbereth continues to smile.

"Beth sometimes yer a real goofus."
"…Anyway." Elizabeth shakes her head.
"You and the rest 'o your people find someplace to sleep yet?"

"Some, but not all." Echo answers.

Lady Elizabeth nods her head towards Elbereth. "She can probably help ya a bit with that."

Echo nods his head towards the elf, as well. "You would be doing us a great service."

"I do apologize for how out of sorts this interview has been. It just occured to me that we never introduced ourselves."
Elbereth stands up before giving a curtsie to the guest. "My name is Elbereth. I provide a variety of services to the residents of Leviathan and will be attending to all the meals and cleaning on this expedition. Should you need any assistance do not be afraid to ask."

"Thank you, I will."

"Well… I think that's about it? I ain't really got nothin' else to say at least." Elizabeth stifles a yawn.
"Less you got some other questions?"

"Lady Mcgunnery is obviously, the captain of the Lucky Molly. She prefers to be addressed as Lady Mcgunnery, or captain." Says Elbereth, finishing the belated introduction.
"Do you have any questions or concerns, sir? Perhaps something to ask future applicants?"

"Alright. I'll see you when the expedition starts, Shajan." Echo says, giving a firm nod to Elizabeth.

"…Shajan?" She inquires in response.

"It means 'leader' amongst my people."

"Oh, okay. Learnin' a lot here, today."
"But yeah. We should be headin' out in about a week or so, so… you're good'n free until then."

Echo stands up, and extends his paw towards the Captain. "I look forward to working with you."

Lady Elizabeth leans forward, shaking his paw.

"Safe travels, sir. I hope you enjoy what Leviathan has to offer." Elbereth offers.

"I enjoyed the refreshments." Echo nods to the elf, picks up his shield, and heads out of the office.


Lady Elizabeth sits back down, tilting her head in Elbereth's direction after Echo leaves.

Elbereth waits a moment before burying her head on the table. "Never in this century have I ever been so unprepared to welcome a guest."

"…'oh look at me im a fancy dantali but i dont know how to serve tea to a hundred a bloo bloo bloo'." Elizabeth teases, before erupting into laughter.
"Hahahah."
Lady Elizabeth leans over and pats her on the back a moment later, though.

Elbereth gives a small 'hmph' before she snaps her finger. Elizabeths coffee freezes solid. "You may want to lay back on the liquids a bit, my lady. Our next interview should be coming shortly and we can't afford to take any breaks."

"That's okay coffee slush is fine too."

Elbereth balks. "You really will eat anything, won't you?"

Lady Elizabeth opens up a desk drawer, pulls out a knife, and carefully begins to stab at the frozen coffee.
"Shit, we could probably serve this as a like, local delicacy or some such."
"It really ain't that bad."

Elbereth cringes before reverting the cantrip. "Stop, stop! You're going to ruin the cup! And that knife is used to open LETTERS. Why would you stab it into something you'd digest!?"

"Y'wouldn't think you'd still get surprised over things like that after spendin' three generations in Leviathan…" Lady Elizabeth downs the rest of the coffee.

"You are full of surprises, Lady Mcgunnery."
"But this next applicant is going to even throw you for a loop, I promise you that much."

"Oh! You should go pick up some fresh Ssuseva skewers for lunch! Ta go with the frozen letter coffee."
"That's what you said last time, but I told ya 'bout the bear in the first place…"

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