NATION

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The Clockwork Circus [IC | Closed]

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Lunas Legion
Post Czar
 
Posts: 30985
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Wed Mar 27, 2024 3:05 pm

Turn III
Penelope Lagakou


I’ll kill you, thief!


The handwriting was crude. It had been written in haste, although carved into the paper might be more appropriate. Common thievery. Truly, there was no better reminder of the hive of scum she found herself in.

Penelope whistled to herself as she left. The newspaper she picked off the street as she walked to her newfound place of employment was brown, mostly unreadable from mud and dirt. There was little of interest. News about the war, which was largely meaningless to her. It may as well have replaced all the words with gibberish, for the names Lang Ma, Puliang, Coi Mei, Tilleur, Chenting and more were about as meaningful. Perhaps she should have paid more attention in geography-

The thought was cast aside quickly.

Her eyes moved down the page. A 'Peacock Wind', hm. Well, it was not like she lacked in Gilders right now, so she'd stop by the market on her way to work to purchase a coat proof against the harsher elements. It made her sensibilities shiver at the prospect, but she could also use it to keep warm while she tried to sleep. Perhaps that was the problem? She hadn't slept well ever since she'd found her way into the Circus.

With a coat acquired from the market and pulled tight around her, armour against the elements and world alike, she headed for work.

She smiled at the thought. Work. That was being generous.

The converted warehouse with its gairish yellow letters declaration of being 'Tallazan’s Theatre of the Orphic Arts' and the uneven but bold promises of 'Seances! Palm-Reading! Astral Projection!' below it were like lures on a fishing pole for the unwary and those already to inclined believe in the the supernatural. It was real, of course, but not everyone believed that, and there were more fakes, frauds and con-artists out there than genuine practitioners like herself.

Getting employed there had been... Easy, but unpleasant. The ticket-collector had been drunk on duty, a sure sign of a poorly-run business. The inside stank of incense. And the wrong kinds of it, at that. The inside matched the outside in maintenance. Benches that looked more likely to give a splinter or collapse in a stiff breeze formed a semi-circle facing a stage draped with tattered burgundy curtains. They might have even been nice, once. The entire room was ringed with shelves that looked as likely to break as the benches, holding shrunken heads, crystal balls - some of which were even uncracked - taxidermied ravens and other animals... The usual masses of trinkets of questionable actual use but simply overwhelmed the eyes.

It was a way to con people. Barrage the senses. The incense, the shelves of useless but vaguely occult items. She settled in at the back to watch. A middle-aged man in a very loud vest that jingled with every step he took from the rings and charms on his hands and arms and dangling from his neck on chains passed brightly coloured crystals over people's heads, declaring psychic auras boldly. More lies. But if that wasn't the eponymous Tallazan, she didn't know who here was.

The show began. More lies and showmanship. His assistants, who seemed to almost all be young, attractive women, did basic magic tricks. Card tricks. Blatantly transparent bouts of 'contact with the other side', seances with clouds of stinking smoke and loud rattling tambourines. More to overwhelm, to barrage, to distract. This was just a carnival. Not one person here, not even Tallazan, despite his energy and his sheer enthusiasm, actually had a single iota of an idea what they were doing.

She remained sitting in her seat after, watching the drunks, the plebs, the fools and the desperate and grieving file out one by one until only she remained. Being his assistant would be easy. She had studied under actual occultists. Perhaps she could inject some... More truth into the charade. She'd introduced herself. The interview had been quick, the questions short. It is a job that doesn't require much more than will. Tallazan's long lurid leer and roaming eyes after the interview had almost made her leave then and there.

If someone had looked at her like that back home, their eyes would have been put out. It was a shame she was not back home, and in such dire circumstances she needed to accept.

She'd had her revenge, of course.

It brought a slight smile to her face as she walked in through the doors of the theater.

The novelty of pretenting to be a simple performer had worn off quickly. She had spent most of it watching and practicing, lighting candles that would do nothing, waving crystals without aim, fetching props for the theater that was being put on. She'd rolled her eyes so much at the obvious tricks and self-sabotage they'd been doing if they wanted this to be genuine that they'd started to hurt. But in the late hours of an evening at the weekend, she'd finally had her chance as she stepped up onto the stage. She did as she'd rehearsed, ringing bells, lighting incense. A literal smokescreen.

But summoning was all about intent, or so Penelope been taught. Spirits did not come randomly. Not usually. There were connections. Relationships they'd had in life. Have a strong enough connection, and you could pull a spirit through. For a time. The manner of death was important too. The more painful, the more suffering it involved, the more left unfinished, the more regrets? The more likely a spirit was to come when you asked for a one.

And was Penelope not a person with a great many connections, violently severed? Even as she chanted the rehearsed seance, utter nonsense that it was, it was still a pretense of a ritual. Penelope kept her voice low. She added words, whispered when she fell silent in the rehearsed chanting or rang the bells, the peels covering her speech. She could see it working in the smoke. A darker patch of shadow and menace. It formed more. A face, skin dark grey and clinging desperately to the skull beneath. Even in death it grinned widely, the flesh pulled taut against the bones.

The look on his face? There had been fear in Tallazan's eyes, genuine fear, and his deep crimson robes shook with it. He had not genuinely dealt with the spiritual in his life, she knew it then. His bravado had vanished.The spirit moved closer, the incense-turned-smoke billowing around it, giving it form. It stank of death. Penelope could feel the cold of its presence as she simply... Watched. Fear had turned to terror as it grew closer.

And then it had vanished. The ritual had not been finished, on purpose, and so it had not been bound. Its time in the world of the living had been limited. She would give Tallazan credit, he had played it off extremely well.

But the ghost... That had been her mother's face. Even with the skin tight against bone, the eyes put out... She just knew. Had the revolutionaries put her eyes out before they decapitated her with a guillotine? It made her skin crawl just thinking about it. That could have been her fate. She pulled her coat tight around her against a cold that didn't exist.

Time to get to work. More rehearsals.

Gilder: 19G (Turn II Carryover)
+5G (Government Subsidy)
-10G (Rent Paid)
-3G (Purchased a Good Coat)
-1G, +1 Food (Fish at Harlot's Landing)
+12G (Tallazan’s Theatre, Employment + Tips)
-7G (Purchased a Crimson Silk Dress, -1 Stress)
-5G (Spoke & Buttonhole - Snakeskin Liquor and Chunks of Seared Pardoner-Eel, -1 Stress)
10G Remaining

Heat: 0
Stress: 3 (Carryover from Turn II)
+2 Stress (Mother's Spectre)
-1 Stress (Purchased Crimson Silk Dress)
-1 Stress (Snakeskin Liquor)

Total: 3

Actions:
-Penelope attempts to sleep, again. It is difficult, with her mother's dead face fresh in her mind. [2/8 VIS used, Sleep]
-The Harlot's Landing provides fish of... Questionable quality and taste, but at least it's fresh? [1/8 VIS used, -1 G, +1 Food]
-Tallazan’s Theatre of the Orphic Arts is a shameful place of employment, let alone for someone like her. But with her there, it can at least be genuine. [3 VIS used, +6G]
-With her financial position secured, Penelope can finally indulge her luxurious tastes. [1 VIS used, visit the The Spoke & Buttonhole Gaming Hall]
-And see if there is anything to purchase that befits her station. [1 VIS used, visit Tangletown Market in the highly unlikely event there are any things worth her time and money there]

Inventory:
Good Coat
Crimson Silk Dress

Known Locations:
  • The Gear & Gasket
  • The Cog & Chain Forges
  • The Redhook Gallows
  • The Ragfair
  • The Spoke & Buttonhole Gaming Hall
  • Deadspit Lane Fleapit
  • The Harlot's Landings [-1G, 1 VIS for +1 Food]
  • Yeo’s Shoppe of Curiosities
  • Tallazan’s Theatre of the Orphic Arts [Employment, 3 VIS for 6 G]
Last edited by Lunas Legion on Mon Apr 01, 2024 8:30 am, edited 4 times in total.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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High Earth
Envoy
 
Posts: 277
Founded: Apr 02, 2023
Corporate Bordello

Postby High Earth » Wed Mar 27, 2024 3:24 pm

Allistar Craven
Turn Three
“Determination”

As the second week he was spending in the Clockwork Circus was coming to a close, he gazed out his window in his room. A storm of some kind was supposed to tear through Hsin-Yao. Things were finally starting to go his way, he had enough Glider to pay rent for this month, he had a well-made coat that, he hoped, was able to stand up to the chill of the coming week. All these things further fueled his desire to survive. Determination is one of the most basic human emotions, but Allistar was one to take it to the illogical extreme. No matter what his body or mind endured, he stubbornly refused to give up, this was evidenced by his past. The one thing that he knew, was that he was going to survive, at all costs. Peepers curled up next to his feet and began to nap. Maybe, just maybe, he would be able to enjoy himself a little along the way. He could afford to spend the week to come in ways other than just earning enough G and food to scrape by. He had heard reports of a Theif in the Night. People have threatened to kill the thief. He was not terribly worried, law enforcement had more important things to worry about than petty theft in a refugee housing. However, the one thing he feared is that someone may recognize a stolen coat. He then heard a knocking on his door. “Coming,” Allistar said. He opened the door to find a man standing there, with pleading in his eyes. “Good sir, you wouldn’t happen to be able to spare a Glider for someone to buy a coat would you?” he said. “Look,” Allistar responded “I am barely making enough to scrape by myself, so don’t come back here expecting this kind of hand-out again.” Allistar then drops a single glider into his outstretched palm. “I know it’s not much, but I can’t afford too give you any more.” Allistar commented (-1 G)

Actions, Turn Three

Vis: 8->0
Focus: 1
Glider: 13->7
Items: Lock-picks, Peepers, 1 Food (Consumed), Well-made Coat
Stress: 1
Heat: 0

-Allistar will be wearing the coat that he stole for the week because of the storm
-Allistar collects his Government Stipend There is no telling how much longer the Government is giving these out (+5 G)
-Allistar decides that he needs some extra rest that what he has been getting. I haven’t exactly been “Well Rested” Now I can afford some extra hours of sleep. (-3 Vis, Sleep)
-Allistar helps out at the Door of Hope. He is interested as to what job Father has for him. What kind of church needs help from a person such as me?(-2 Vis,)
-Allistar spends some time exploring the Clockwork Circus. He is specifically looking for anywhere that may be vulnerable o a future burglary. One successful burglary of a business could really help pay the rent.(-2 Vis)
-Allistar attends the Sunday Service at the Door of Hope Lord, thank you for letting me survive my first month in Hsin-Yao.(-1 Vis Faith Vice)
-Rent Paid (-10 G)
Last edited by High Earth on Thu Mar 28, 2024 8:32 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Lagene
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 139
Founded: Dec 31, 2023
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Lagene » Wed Mar 27, 2024 4:18 pm

TURN THREE - Joseph Kalibijan
Joseph, rising from his restless sleep, he finds a treasure in a corner. [#1] There are cards, and beautifully crafted toy soilders. Joseph imagines the look on his siblings' faces when he shows them this miracle. He heads down, again, to Pechter's Mercantile & Haberdashery, as happy as a man like him can be. His spirit greets Den and his co-workers, cheering them up as well. He practically skips behind the counter, and everyone who happens to buy something remember the cheerful young man who worked the counter. (-3 VIS, +5 Gilder)

Joseph heads down to tagletown market, and once again buy food. (-4 Gilder, 2 weeks food) He sees a knowledgeable looking man strolling the streets, and asks him if there is a schoolhouse in Hsan Yio, remembering the kids back home, needing something to do.

Joseph then hears about the Peacock wind coming in. Not having any money left to spare, Joseph places the remaining gilder into his rent jar and explores the tenaments, knocking on doors, hoping someone will be willing to spare a gilder or two to buy Him a coat. He will make sure to tell his siblings to stay inside. (Focused)

Joseph Makes it back home, and shows the kids the new cards and toy soilders. He puts them on the table, and they begin to play. (-1 Vis, Obligation Vice)

Finally, remembering his last sleepless night, Joseph turns into bed. (-2 VIS, Sleeping)
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The GAmeTopians
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 9785
Founded: May 12, 2014
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby The GAmeTopians » Wed Mar 27, 2024 8:14 pm

Turn Three

Kassia Alani Baker


Thump. Tha-thump. Wham!

The punching bag swung wildly from the piece of rope holding it to the ceiling, reeling for a few moments from Kassia's powerful kick before she returned to beating on it with her fists. It was an unending rhythm, a merciless pattern of fist and shin and heel and palm. The din of the bag and the creaking rope and her shoes and her own breath made it such that she’d hardly hear a knock at the door, not that she’d open it even if there was one - though anyone waiting just outside could likely hear her training. Her breaths were short but carefully paced. Controlled. If there had been anyone in the empty apartment with her, they wouldn't see the harmless girl they saw outside, or make the comments they made when she worked the forges and the Cog & Chain. These were the movements of a professional.

A killer.

Of course, last week's victim had more than deserved it. She had the chance to see his quarters when she was disguising the kill - the man lived well beyond the means of a line manager at a factory, especially in a place like Hsin-Yao. He'd practically have to be skimming off the top unless his family was paying for it, and considering his job title... no. He got what was coming. Just like always.

This week was a week to lay low. The kill was clean, so was the cleanup, but Kassia hadn't been around long enough to be confident about Gendarme investigation quality. They might chalk it up to a drugged out home invader and call it a day - hell, if she'd placed the kitchen knives right, that's exactly what they'd think - poor sap comes home, takes his coat off in the entryway, and a squatter gets the drop on him with his own kitchen knife. What a way to go - and an easy story for the Gendarmes to believe. Happened all the time, especially with the chill coming this week.

That's the trick with the law in cities like these. They're so swamped with crime that they'll snap up an easy answer if you give them one.

Kassia was happy to oblige.

Actions, Turn 3
Vis: 8
Focus: 1

-Kassia returns to her two-phase sleep schedule. The Delicate Blade withdraws from the night... for now. (Sleep.) [-2 Vis]

-Kassia buys groceries, and a warm coat. (Shopping.) [-1 Vis, -5 G]

-Kassia slips into the Cog and Chain for some honest work this week. Best to have an alibi for where your coin was made, if anybody comes asking. (Hard Labor.) [-3 Vis, +5 G]

-Kassia spends her nights training hard - the newly acquired punching bag is being put to good use. Even once her Blades are restored, it pays to be ready to scrap. (Training: Unarmed Fighting.) [-2 Vis, Item: Punching Bag, Focused, Stress Boost! +1 Stress]

Gilder: 5 G (3 + 7 (Bounty) + 5 (Stipend) + 5 (Work) - 2 (Food) - 3 (Coat) - 10 (Rent))

Reputation: 1
Heat: 0

Stress: -2 -> -1

Inventory:
Blades (Rusted. Useless in their current state.)
Machete
Punching Bag
Warm Coat
Last edited by The GAmeTopians on Thu Mar 28, 2024 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Estebere
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 59
Founded: Sep 22, 2022
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Estebere » Wed Mar 27, 2024 8:17 pm

Turn III: The Envoy - Ian Desch - 2/5/81
[A joyous reunion- and a promise of work]


Someone knocked at the door. The landlord Ian thought, instead opening the door to a cheery fellow in need of Gilder. Not quite the ten he'd expected to be paying, but he supposed it was almost equivalent. Goodwill would surely come back to him, surely. Surely.

Deep down, he didn't think he'd ever see the fellow again.

Someone knocked at the door. That must be the landlord Ian thought, as he went to open it, but instead he heard a prompt.

"The Winds of War batter our ships,"

A code. An old one. From the rebellion.

"As we sail the Seas of Peace," Ian replied, opening the door to a familiar sight: Barry Dunloe, main spy of the Wraizan Rebellion. "Good to see you again Barry. Took them long enough, finally came around to me?"

Barry chuckled, "Good to see you again, my friend. Would you be surprised if I told you you weren't the only reason I'm here?"

"Not at all, not at all," Ian shook his head as he spoke, "I'd be unsurprised if Alyx wants you here permanently, honestly. But of course, come in! There's enough spies out there, and the Peacock Wind, so they call it, has just begun."

They moved into Ian's apartment, taking a seat on the old couch that a former tenant had left, "You'd be correct. Alyx wants me to stir up trouble in the diplomat's quarter, found me old Gilders from before and then sent me off," Barry showed Ian an old, battered coin with 1842 inscribed on it, "But of course, she also wanted me to get one of our most trusted allies back. If you have time, talk to the telegram people."

"I'll be sure to. Anything interesting happen lately?" Ian asked, "I'd like to know if anything important happened the weeks I've been out."

"Not yet, but Alyx has been mustering everyone for Troja," Troja, an immense operation in the works by the rebellion. Swarm out from the sewers, and attack. "Hopefully, by the end of it we'll finally have a real city under our belt. And maybe enough money to do anything beyond Wraizar," The Copper, main currency of Wraizar, had lost most of its worth at the end of the war. Not helping was that Gilders were outlawed.

A smile crossed Ian's face, "Imagine that. The rebellion with funds! Hopefully, they'll send a telegram. How else will the people get the truth?"

Barry nodded, "Well, I'd best be off. I have bridges to burn, and diplomatic ties to cut, but first I need a proper job. Best of luck to you, my code will be Arrival."

Ian nodded, "And mine shall be Hope soon. Good luck. You'll need it. Any chance you need a passport?" Barry accepted, muttering something about multiple identities as he left. Too late, Ian realized he never asked where the telegram office was. Blast.

Someone else knocked on the door. "Rent's due!" Now that was the landlord.


6 Gilders --> 12 Gilders --> 7 Gilders
-1 Heat --> -1 Heat --> -1 Heat
1 Stress --> 1 Stress --> 1 Stress
2 Focus --> 2 Focus --> 2 Focus
8/8 Vis used


Ian grabs food, a coat, and his government stipend. -1 Vis [As one does each Sunday].

Ian meets a cheery fellow, gets a surprise visitor, and then pays the landlord. -11 Gilder, -1 Vis, -1 Fake Passport [About time they remembered me.]

Ian cooks and adds magic and... Excalibur(?) to his book. -2 Vis, +2 Chapters [Oh god it's getting worse]

Ian submits the next two chapters and looks for a telegram office. -1 Vis, -2 Chapters, +6 Gilders [It sold 10 copies already. 10. Copies.]

Ian looks for this midnight market... -1 Vis [What lies in the night? I guess it's time to find out.]

Ian sleeps. -2 Vis [May as well sleep now, what with the little I'm gonna be getting soon.]


In Newsbag:
Vivian the Cat
Scarf(Wrapped around Vivian the Cat)

Wearing:
Pelican Feather
Newsbag
Warm coat

At Home:
Pen
Paper
Ink
Last edited by Estebere on Tue Apr 09, 2024 4:44 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Remnants
Attaché
 
Posts: 79
Founded: Jan 30, 2024
Corporate Police State

Postby Remnants » Thu Mar 28, 2024 11:06 am

Gata warm-up

Turn three


Jacob was sitting with some of his fellow dock workers ( which are grumbling about working with a foreigner) around a barrel firepit to warm up after working with freights. Suddenly, the chilling winds from the sea swooped by, taking all the warmth away for a split second before vanishing into the chilled day. After some time warming up, the gruff boatswain that hired Jacob walked up to them and declared that another ship required unloading. With a sigh, Jacob got up once more from the warmth of the barrel firepit, ready to get back to work. At the end of the workday, he would walk up to the boatswain asking if overtime is possible to earn more Gilders (-2 VIS pay +4 Gilders / -1 VIS to talk to the Gruff Boatswain )

After collecting his paycheck, he would head to the market to purchase a week's worth of food, mostly dried goods. He would also buy some more Laudanum to keep the Hauntings at bay. Later, he would search for a Waxed Coat and something pointy and sharp for self-defense.
(-3 VIS Perception / FOCUS )

After that, he would wander his way to the Door of Hope for a free meal, and perhaps a more reliable source of Laudanum. Once he arrived, he would join the long line of hungry mouths, pulling his mostly torn Trench Coat close to his body as he grabbed his meal and ate off to the side of the line. (-1 Vice )

Eventually getting home to the tiny dusty falling apart room just as he lay down to rest his aching body from a full week of hard labor. A knock on the door would raise Jacob from his ever-so-dusty cot to grumble his way to change into his (at this point) iconic-torn Teanch Coat and Dirty Fadroa. He did hope it ain't one of the Red Scarfs looking for problems. But when he did open his door happily he found an average man who looked thin from hunger and not a Red Scarf in sight too.

With a sigh, Jacob would ask the fellow why the hell is he knocking on doors after sundown. After a little explanation and a quick apology from the newly named Joseph and a quick ask for a Gilder or two for a coat for the up-and-coming Peacock Wind. Jacob would grumble a little about unready folks before he would say.

"Kid if ya get me something like a puzzle book or a Mystery novel, hell I wouldn't say no to some Laudanum right now, I will give ya 4 Gilder...It all keeps the KIndom of Deams all safe and smooth sleeping. Well I gata get back to bed, I've gata move freight tomorrow at Harlot's Landing so good night and best of luck kid." He would close and lock his door before falling asleep in seconds on his cot. (-1 VIC )



Jacob's Actions, Turn Three
Gilder 2 -> 6 (Will change depending on what OOC wants)
VIC {-1}8 -> 0
Stress 1 -> 1
Once more Jacob collets the Government stipend (Glider +5)
He would pay the rent off (-10)
Last edited by Remnants on Thu Mar 28, 2024 11:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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G-Tech Corporation
Khan of Spam
 
Posts: 63863
Founded: Feb 03, 2010
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby G-Tech Corporation » Fri Mar 29, 2024 11:44 am

The Week of Silvered Hands


Winthrop

A strange thing. Unexpected, but not un-looked for. Something, however, which offended even the sensibilities of the man-out-of-time; there were much less intelligent animals to use for sanguinary kinesis, rather than the common felix domesticus. As the burly smith sagged into his diffident bed he mulled that he might have actually be less offended if he had stumbled onto some discarded shell of mankind, rather than the small, fragile, broken beast.

Men, after all, oftentimes deserved their fates. Indeed, in such a wretched den of iniquity of this? The congruency between iniquity and proximity swiftly approached equivalence. This hovel between the mountains and the sea in which image-bearers of the divine were trammeled and converted into just so much meat could hardly be blamed for that provenance - it had been dictated since the first sunrise, since the first inhalation of soot-stained breath.

Near at hand a meow interrupted his reverie. The Scion cast a glance at the intelligent face of the midnight beast, curled up near the warmth of the sun's rays lazily filtering through the tenement's window. It seemed almost inquisitive, and stretched out two long paws with wickedly sharped claws as he grinned at it halfheartedly.

"Sure, you can stay here for a bit if you want. The window doesn't close properly anyway. Might be safer than the streets."

It probably wasn't what the beast was asking. He had never taken the time to learn their various dialects here in Thenia, and had no excess hours at present to make a study of it. But that certainly didn't mean it didn't understand him.

The broad man fished a scrap of haunch out of his cabinet, tossing it to the midnight creature. The cat considered it carefully for a few moments, before snapping it up and pulling it apart in a contemplative manner. The small meal dispatched, it tucked its head into its tail, and gave every sign of settling in for a nap.

There was work to be done. His supplies had dwindled to nothingness, there was a shift at Crimwick's that was needed, and someone had pilfered the supply of coins he left around to convince a thief there was nothing more to find in the small apartment. It was time to move on from this wretched loft, and the sooner the better. Perhaps soon indeed. Tonight, though, there was work to be done.

Work, with her demands, is a necessity for reliability - with hand and heart bent over familiar forge at Crimwick's, Winthrop flourishes in the rhythm of labor [+8 G, 3] (Focus)
Winthrop naps late at night during the worst of the wind and chill, resting his mind [2]
A trip to the market despite the cold is necessary, to secure some provisions and a coat, both needful. Smoked fish and desiccated vegetables do little for the soul, but they nourish the corpus well enough. [Purchasing 3 Food, 1 Coat (9 G)] [1]
But a man's work is not done. Tonight after work Winthrop goes out for a small drink with his fellows - nothing serious, but some light socialization never hurt. Polite, almost disinterested, inquiries after places to live which are less wretched than the tenements the refugees enjoy pass his lips as he enjoys the company of the other workers. He wishes to rise in this world - and such men might know exactly how one can make such a transition away from the wretchedness of the Circus. [2]

18 Guilders are kept in various pouches upon his person, and two rations remain in his small apartment. A Thick Coat shields his form from watching eyes and biting wind alike.
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Ovstylap
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1118
Founded: Jun 26, 2018
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Ovstylap » Sat Mar 30, 2024 10:34 am

Taking on the Trade


Liliya Ishenko

Lily had been grateful that the other artisans had been willing to look out for her after her accident with 'Saxon'- but then in all fairness he had twitched several times which made her particularly tense rather than relaxed, hence causing the slip. Still, she made a conscious effort to prove herself with her effective needling and inkwork, as well as charmingly conversing with customers about the artistic merits of their choices, or reassuring the less confident clients about their decisions. Indeed one man who had wanted a half-sleeve she convinced to go for a 3/4 sleeve, of course making more money for the business- but if he hadn't gone for this how would there have been room for the dragon to curl in an impressive way?

With genuine regret she had to apologise to a man who had come asking for money, saying that perhaps she could help out next week if he had any issues?

The Door of Hope of course always needed more hands, for there was a great demand for their charity- still Lily had only so much time to give and hoped that perhaps next week could be more suitable, work allowing? Whilst there she would subtly attempt to discover if there were others of her home country, and even more ideally, her own people, the Dzerahski, among either the volunteers or the crowd. Perhaps in time she could then serve her cause?

Pinfold again was easy company, she found it endearing that he wanted her to live in a nicer area and asked if he knew any finer details on the prices in other parts of the town. She couldn't help but hear the sound of children playing at one point, and asked if he knew whose children they were. If there was a family in this building, perhaps she could help them, and they could likewise help her. She couldn't imagine this to be a nice place for kids.
Stress (3)

Lily ensures that she has a perfectly adequate amount of sleep and rest for her own wellbeing (-2 VIS)
Once more she works at the Door of Hope, again in exchange for food, but she insists that due to her new job as well as looking after a neighbour she will not be able to give more time until next week (-1 VIS)
Lily spends time as an apprentice at the Lace Atelier, giving her utmost dedication to prevent any accidents (-3 VIS, +4 G, FOCUS)
Lily collects her stipend, and immediately spends it on a good coat, whilst there she also seeks a weapon which she can legally carry for self-defence, with a budget of 3G for this (-1 VIS, +5G, -3 G)
Lily once more spends time with Pinfold, hoping to form something of a friendship with him, sometimes comfortable in his silence, she draws intricate pictures and designs for potential tattoos- perhaps this will provide her a means of relieving her stress? (-1 VIS)

7G+5G+4G = 16G. -10G for Rent. -3G for Coat. 3G available as a weapon budget for self defence (consider the options).
Last edited by Ovstylap on Sat Mar 30, 2024 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Lazarian
Minister
 
Posts: 2011
Founded: Jul 14, 2013
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Lazarian » Mon Apr 01, 2024 7:33 am

WEEK THREE


Image

COUNCILMAN OUT:

A prosecution under the Prevention of Corruption Act has resulted in Councilman Cheng, general merchant, of Barbican, Long Chow, being sent to gaol for six months for offering the clerk of a collecting firm money to declare goods from abroad being below their true value. Cheng is responsible for a very unpopular spate of legislation, including the Refugee Acclimation Act.

BIG FIGHT - MA LOCAL FAVORITE:

Jack Ma has been pronounced in perfect physical condition for his fight tomorrow with Hongkew heavyweight, Tollman Heeney. The winner will be in line to meet the Ju Lan Liang, to contest the right to ultimately meet the title holder, Big Hong Wat. Doubt concerning Mr. Ma's left hand has been removed. Doctors say that the injury has completely healed.

SINKING ON THE MUDWAY:

The 22-ton steam-skiff 'Ping Mei' sank on the Mudway Canal yesterday, in what is thought to have been a boiler explosion. Five bodies have been recovered by lifeboats. The 'Ping Mei's cargo was reportedly a consignment of Tilleurean wine, ensured by the Strangeways Zeppelin Serive. A spokesman for Strangeways on Tuesday wished to make it known that: "Any cases of the Ping Mei's cargo recovered intact may be turned in to the authorities for a suitable fee!". Councilman Hong, of the Hsin-Yao Municipal Legislature, has despairingly remarked that: "As if the scourge of public drunkenness wasn't bad enough! Now the Mudway's flowing with wine too?" Madam Ling, of the Thênian Temperance Union, has so far declined to comment.


PENELOPE LAGAKOU


Penelope tosses and turns, desperately trying to escape the clutches of slumber. But sleep proves an elusive foe - her mother's face, frozen in death's rictus grin, superimposes itself onto the blackened canvas of her mind. Fires lick at the periphery as the drumbeat guillotine blade hammers down in a macabre cadence.

Amidst the torment of her dreams, a disembodied whisper slithers into her consciousness, her mother's ethereal voice hissing a chilling warning. "Beware the man in gray. He is here - and he is searching for you, dear daughter."

She awakes with a choked scream and drenched in cold sweat. [No actions can be Focused this turn. -1 VIS this turn.]

As the sun rises, Penelope finds meager solace in the simple meal of fish purchased from the Harlot's Landing. Though far from a delectable feast, the cheap loaf of bread and modest catch suffices.

Tallazan's Theatre of the Orphic Arts, once a shameful place of employment in Penelope's eyes, now holds a glimmer of potential. The aftermath of last week's encounter had wrought a dramatic change in Tallazan - the smarmy leer and arrogant sneer have quickly given way to inquisitive eyes and a demure respect, hungry for obscure knowledge. He queries her endlessly about the phantom universe beyond the veil. [How much does she tell him, if anything?]

When Wednesday night arrives, Penelope takes to the stage, the little theater packed to the rafters with eager onlookers. Word of her otherworldly talents has spread like wildfire, and Tallazan leads her onto the stage with a flourish, her delicate hand clasped in his.

"Behold! The effervescent, the marvelous, the terrible - Mistress Penelope Lagakou! Witness the strange horrors of the Tegas Isles made manifest!” he proclaims with a bow, his voice booming in the crowded hall.

Penelope ascends the stage, the scent of carefully chosen incense filling the air as wisps of smoke trailed and weaved around her lithe form. Crimson lanterns cast strange, unsettling shadows that danced across the wall. Penelope utters the forbidden syllables, rings the accursed bell. An ominous hush smothers the crowd into silent submission.

"D-d-d-d-d-aughter..." a raspy voice whispers from the heart of the swirling smoke, the darkness beginning to coalesce into a tangible form. Though likely inaudible to the crowd, Penelope could discern the eerie utterance. As the spirit materializes, gasps of awe and disbelief ripple through the onlookers. A palpable chill descends upon the room, cold as the grave.

The entity pays Tallazan's existence no mind as it drifts towards Penelope with skeletal arms outstretched. With skeletal arms outstretched, the spirit embraced Penelope, enveloping her in a frigid, deathly cold that penetrated to her very core. For a few agonizing moments, she is submerged in the icy embrace of the beyond.

Until at last, the entity dissipates, leaving the crowd in a frenzy of wild applause and raucous cheers. [+6 Gilders in tips. +2 Stress...]

As the crowd slowly filters out from the crammed theatre, a few figures remain, observing Penelope closely. They wear dark suits and dresses, faces obscured by shadows.

Then, they too leave, vanishing as quickly as they came.

Seeking respite from the weight of her burdens, Penelope finds solace in the Spoke & Buttonhole. A kaleidoscope of liquors and narcotics await, offering blissful escape - at ruinous cost. But what price can be too exorbitant for a release from her struggles?

Chunks of Seared Pardoner-Eel
Pardoner-Eels - ill-tempered, black and thick as a grown woman's arm - nest vicariously under the piers up and down Hsin-Yao's many docks and landings. For anyone brave enough to catch them, they make tolerably good eating - especially if seared above an open fire, and slathered with libreal amounts of spicy sauce. For the evening crowds, the Spoke & Buttonhole probably has this on offer. [3 Gilders - but a fine, hearty meal.]

Ferryman's Tea
This mild, slightly nutty tea flavored with hints of citrus and old leather is said to be brown like aged teak. In the Circus, however - cups of it are frequently so weak it is more a pale gold. Since clean, healthy water is tough to come by, many in Hsin-Yao prefer it to risking regular water. The Spoke & Buttonhole likely offers this at next to nothing. [Virtually

Button-Brew
A weak, rice-flavored beer made in-house at the Spoke & Buttonhole's very own still! While not exactly a favorite amongst her regular clientelle, it is still comparatively cheap. For those tight on Gilders and looking for a buzz, well - there are worse alternatives. [1 Gilder per beer, and perhaps Stress may be relieved?]

Catoy
Locally-made dumplings, usually stuffed with foodstuffs like beans, cabbage or onions or even pardoner-eel. Basically, if it's cheap and affordable - you'll find it in a catoy. The scurrilous rumours about merciless Hsin-Yao chefs that flavor their catoy with literal cat's meat is, of course, vile nonsense. On good days, the Spoke and Buttonhole probably has some of this to spare. [2 Gilders - and this food may be more nourishing to body and mind.]

Snakeskin Liquor
This clear liquor is a staple of Hsin-Yao's poorer sections, including - and perhaps especially - the Clockwork Circus. The secret of its creation is said to have come down to Hsin-Yao from the steppe country of Northern Thénia centuries ago. Nowadays, it is brewed with quality so poor - it is said that drinking it will make even horses go blind. Most Hsin-Yaoan alcoholics, unfortunately, take that as a challenge. [2 Gilders, and -1 Stress if purchased and used.]

Leiling Cigarettes
Cheap and foreign made, these factory-rolled cigarettes are usually sold in modest cardboard packets emblazoned with the logo of a silhouette of a boy wearing a 'kofia' -- or tobacco picker's hat. Contemporary Hsin-Yaoans prefer Drouin (a local blend from the southern islands) or Astra, a legendary cigarette from Bree Tan. Leiling is favoured by older men who like its paper-filter tips, vile amount of tar and the sweet smells of spice and catoy. [2 Gilders, and -1 Stress if purchased and used.]

Penelope inquires about ‘the good stuff’ on the top shelf, and the bartender mutters something rude about ‘bloody foreigners’ and how ‘that’s for regulars’. Well. That’s unfortunate.

In an unexpected turn, her visit to the Tangletown Market also proves fruitful. Hanging amidst the clothing racks, a dress of finest crimson silk shimmers amidst the drab and unwashed. Penelope simply must possess this exquisite garment. [7 Gilders, and -1 Stress if purchased.]


JOSEPH KALIBJAN


Joseph’s begging for funds is initially met with failure. Many of the neighbors refused to open their doors, and those who did were quick to turn him away. But amidst the rejection, there were glimmers of kindness.

"Look, I'm barely making enough to scrape by myself," a weary man responded, his hand reaching into his pocket. "So don't come back here expecting this kind of hand-out again." Despite his words, the man dropped a single gilder into Joseph's outstretched palm. "I know it's not much, but I can't afford to give you any more."

Another man, thin and with a crippled leg, offered Joseph a donation and a warm smile. A third fellow, wearing an odd hat indoors, presented Joseph with an intriguing offer.

"Kid, if ya get me like a puzzle book or a mystery novel…or, hell, some Laudanum, I'll give ya four Gilders for it. Keeps the Kingdom of Dreams allll safe and smooth," he drawled in a rough voice.. "Good night – and best of luck, kid."

Lastly, a kind-hearted woman, upon hearing about the children Joseph needed to support, reached into her own meager means and gifted him a single Gilder. Her frame was as thin and weary as his, yet she gave without hesitation. "Just do the same for me, someday," she said, her words carrying a weight far greater than the coin she had offered. With this, Joseph can afford the coat - and he purchases one. [-3 Gilders, +Well Made Coat]

Joseph’s enthusiasm at Pechter’s is contagious. His work goes well, and there is little to note - merely the constant exchange of well-worn Gilders for well-worn goods.

As he returns from work, mid-week, a prosperous-looking man strolling by in fine attire catches Joseph's gaze. Surely someone of his apparent standing would know if there are opportunities for the children to learn and flourish? Gathering his nerve, Joseph approaches.

"Excuse me, sir," Joseph began, "would you happen to know if there's a schoolhouse in Hsin-Yao? The children back home need something to occupy their time."

The man's brow furrows with displeasure as he eyes Joseph's threadbare clothing and calloused hands. "Schoolhouse?" he scoffs derisively. "Children should be working to earn their keep, not wasting away cooped up with books."

Undeterred, Joseph presses on. "Even just a few hours of lessons a week would-"

"Oh, very well!" the man snaps, seeming to regret allowing this interaction. "There is a parish school run by the Door of Hope, though it will be dreadfully undermanned and ill-equipped, I'm sure. Outside of the Circus, there’s a litany of public schools, though the quality of a Thenian education these days is quite lacking. Lastly, in the International District, there’s countless overpriced private academies that you could not hope to afford on whatever pittance you earn. Good day to you, sir."

With a curt nod, the well-to-do citizen sweeps past, leaving Joseph blinking in his wake. There was, however, a kernel of information in that heap of rudeness - so he quickly brushes any ill-tempered feelings aside.

As the sun sinks below the horizon, bathing the cramped streets in an ephemeral crimson glow, Joseph hurries back to the ramshackle tenement he shares with his siblings. His newfound treasures clink cheerily in the deep pockets of his coat.

The children's eyes light up at the sight of these modest treasures he lays out on the battered table - tarnished toy soldiers, simple wood carvings, and a deck of well-creased playing cards. For a few blessed hours, the youngsters are transported from this harsh reality, consumed by games of make-believe and bottomless imagination.

Watching their carefree smiles and peals of unrestrained laughter brings Joseph joy - this simple respite, however fleeting, alleviates the weight that constantly bears down upon his slender shoulders. [-1 Stress]


IAN DESCH


The unexpected visit from Barry, Ian's old comrade, lifts his spirits tremendously. The flames of insurrection against the oppressive regime still burn fiercely - Operation Troja carries on. Though the Wraizarian uprising has suffered immense losses, they are far from defeated, clinging to hope with grim determination. Down - but not out. Any gilders Ian can spare will help fund the procurement of vital weapons, ammunition, and supplies to aid the cause. [-1 Stress]

But more than just finances are required - swaying public opinion could prove crucial. Among the influential elite of Thenia, or the wealthy industrialists and merchants of Bre Tann and other Europan enclaves in the International District, lies the potential to sway these titans of commerce and power to their side. Perhaps, just maybe, Ian and Barry can find a way to stir these giants into action.

Invigorated by his friend's daring visit and the impassioned talk of reigniting their struggle, Ian turns his efforts to his creative pursuits with renewed zeal. But his mind continually wanders, consumed by visions of smoke-filled city streets and the throes of revolutionary fervor. Despite dedicating long hours hunched over his writing desk, the oil lamps burning low into the night, his submission to Chengway's amounts to barely a chapter's length. Though the publication is selling well and the editors are pleased, Ian departs with a mere 3 gilders clinking in his pocket - a meager payment for his talents.

It seems the capricious winds of fortune have turned against Ian this week. His search for the telegram office, hampered by the whipping wind and his crippled leg alike, yields only frustration. A grizzled local, whittling a piece of bone as he leans against a soot-stained wall, informs him brusquely that no such communication hub exists within the squalor of the Clockwork Circus. In the affluent Jade District lies a grand telegram station operated by the imperial Thenian authorities - though the man lets out a coarse laugh at the notion of a 'ricey' (a perjorative for Wraizarian) like Ian being allowed anywhere near their civilized facilities. And even if, by some miracle, they deigned to serve a ‘ricey’, the costs would be ruinously exorbitant.

Whispers reach Ian's ears of another station somewhere near "the railways", its precise location remaining as nebulous as the oily smoke that shrouds the sky. The International District, that bastion of foreign investors and wealthy expatriates, boasts numerous telegram spokes - but their marbled halls and velvet-jacketed attendants cater only to the moneyed elite, not unwashed revolutionaries. It will be difficult to get in - in his current state, at least.

Undeterred, Ian seeks out the Midnight Market, that clandestine bazaar where the desperate and the daring converge. The journey up the precarious fire escape tests his fortitude - its wrought-iron strains with each jarring impact of his crippled step. But eventually, he crests the rooftop and finds the dimly-lit entrance to this illicit den of commerce.


NEW LOCATION DISCOVERED:

The Midnight Market
In the late hours of the night, long after legitimate storefronts have shuttered, a clandestine network of merchants and fixers conduct their business across the rain-slickened rooftops surrounding Tangletown Market. Reached only by rickety fire escapes, drainpipe ladders and ramshackle catwalks, this open-air bazaar emerges under the cover of night like a rooftop blight. Canvas awnings are lashed between chimneys to form cramped booths and warrens where all manner of illegal goods are discreetly hawked.
[An illicit market that lurks above the streets, where boundaries are few and risk is currency.]


Here, peddling his meticulously forged travel documents proves far more successful than in the daylight. A hulking figure swathed in tattered robes, their face obscured by a grotesque mask depicting the leering visage of a horned Thenian "death-spirit", beckons Ian over with a gloved hand. In a rasping whisper, they offer a respectable 2 gilders per forged passport.


SIR WINTHROP EDDLETON - “The Scion”

The rhythmic clang of hammer on metal provides a steady drumbeat to Winthrop's days at Crimwick's. Work, with its endless demands, is a necessity - but one he embraces with a craftsman's passion. Bent over the familiar anvil, his powerful frame glistens with exertion as molten metal dances and sparks under his masterful hand.

One perfection after another emerges from the glowing forge, each creation a testament to Winthrop's skill. The masters who once viewed him with skeptical sidelong glances now watch with unbridled admiration as this giant of a man coaxes artistry from raw, unyielding iron. Yes - he is building a reputation here.

As the final piece, a delicately wrought gear assembly, is carefully set aside to cool, one of the masters approaches Winthrop with a reminder. "Don't forget to take your collected parts and springs home with you," he said gruffly, though not unkindly. For in this harsh city, even a master craftsman's workspace is no place to store one's personal cache. [Remove the 2 Scrap from Crimwick’s - lest it be scrapped!]

The chill wind howls through the night, rattling the shutters as Winthrop retreats to his modest lodgings for a well-earned rest. Weary from the day's labors, he surrenders to slumber's embrace, his powerful muscles recovering and renewing their strength under the watchful eyes of the stars.

The smoked fish and desiccated vegetables offer little respite for the soul, but they sustain his body well enough. Yet a part of him grows tired of this simple fare, and yearns for something more befitting a man of his prestige.

A man’s work is never done, and as the evening bells toll one evening, Winthrop joins his fellow workers for a light drink and camaraderie. He inquires about living accommodations far removed from the squalor of the tenements that house so many of Hsin-Yao's refugees.

The other workers regard the massive foreigner with a mixture of respect and wariness. His prowess at the forge is undeniable, but true acceptance remains elusive. His deformation - and the menacing aura he cannot fully shake off, no matter how benign his attitude may be - work strongly against him in this matter. Yet Winthrop's steady determination wins them over, one by one.

As the ale flows, they reveal that many of them indeed dwell in other districts, though their reasons for working at Crimwick's vary. Some speak of Thenian masters unwilling to hire foreigners, others allude to troubled pasts, while a few scoff about guilds which demand decades of servitude before offering a decent wage.

To the east lies Ash Harbor, known colloquially as the ‘Bund’. A perpetual flow of crates and goods ebbs and surges through the port at all times via boat and zeppelin alike, like a great industrial heartbeat. Though similar in atmosphere to the Circus, the ever-present Gendarmes maintain a firm grip of control on the Bund. There is too much money wrapped into this port for it to be ruled by gangs - while the city council and the Suzerain are willing to allow the Clockwork Circus to slide into misery, Ash Harbor is too valuable for that. Factories churn smoke and dust into the air, giving the air a perpetual acrid tang.

To the South is the Ancient District, or the ‘Jade Quarter’- the heart of historical Hsin-Yao. This is the city’s hub for shops, administration, and commerce. Significantly nicer than the Circus - and significantly more expensive, too. Crumbling ancient facades stand side by side with modern buildings in an odd patchwork of the old and the new.

To the West is Brickyard Rows. Rows and rows of simple homes and housing blocks scattered alongside bricklined streets, populated by servants, dockers, eelers, and sailors. A step above the Circus, though hardly wealthy by any means.

And in the north, the Provincial Village of Taoshin marks the gradual transition from urban chaos to rural simplicity. Across the Serpent's Bridge, ramshackle farmsteads and shrines dot the landscape amidst a thousand rice paddies tended by the salt of the earth.

As another round was ordered, courtesy of Winthrop's modest but hard-earned wages, one of the burlier men offered a particularly intriguing suggestion. [-2 Gilders]

"Y'know, I've got a cousin who owns a place in the Jade Quarter," he grunted, taking a hearty swig. "You're a good man with good character – I bet I could get you in at twelve gilders a month. Cheaper than you'll find anywhere else in that part of town."


Not all is benign for Winthrop this week. He cannot help but notice a few Gendarmes staring at him a little too closely for comfort as he struts from home to work, pushing through the crowds. On one hand, plenty of people stare - he cuts a striking figure, after all. But on the other hand…there were descriptions of that sordid prince’s retinue that were published and distributed after that dreadful mess in the upcountry. Winthrop had done well to vanish in the night, without catching the eye of the law…or so he thought, anyways.

(There are no immediate consequences. Or, at least - not this week.)


ALLISTAR CRAVEN


Allistar dedicates extra time to sleeping this week - and it was just what he needed. His mind clears, sharpens, like a dull blade being honed to a razor's edge once more. His fingers, those gnarled and calloused tools, regain their dexterity and poise. [+1 Focus]

The whistling wind is a razor's caress against Allistar's hollow cheeks as he trudges through the cramped, trash-strewn alleys of the Charred Quarry district. Each gust seems to peel away another layer of his tattered overcoat, leaving his malnourished frame exposed to the biting chill. But the ever-present ache that has taken up residence in his bones has finally started to subside after a week of blessed rest.

Allistar explores the Circus this week for new targets, carefully examining every storefront and every shadowed alcove in search of an ingress point. Just one well-executed burglary could mean not having to dine on scraps for a few glorious weeks. But the biting Peacock Wind seems to have rallied against his reconnaissance, whipping his face with stinging coldness until tears prick at his eyes. The flare of his insides takes this opportunity to join the assault - and he cuts his explorations short.


NEW LOCATION DISCOVERED:

Duxbury Accounting House
From this soot-stained brick building with caged windows, a tight cabal of accountants, bookkeepers and tax scribes offer specialized services in what they call “creative accounting”. “For the right fee,” a greasy clerk whispers under his breath, “any inheritance, debt or financial insolvency can be meticulously falsified to suit one's needs - all with impeccable paper trails.” [Funds embezzled. Profits laundered. The ledger is the loophole.]


On Sunday, the breezy tones of Father Werner's sermon on charity and the boundless love of the Allfather wash over Allistar as he settles onto a hard pew.

When the service concludes, Allistar shuffles forward to take his place in the soup line. As he ladles out the thin broth into chipped bowls, feeling the warm ceramic pressing against his palms, he is overcome with a fleeting sensation of...purpose? Peace? He cannot put words to it. [-1 Stress]

As the day's charitable acts wind down, Father Werner approaches him, that black leather-bound book clutched to his chest - its latch and chain clinking softly with each step. Allistar has seen this at the Father’s many times before. But the pages within remain a mystery - could they be mere scripture? Sermons? Or the secrets of a hundred confessions? [Perceptive]

"Brother Allistar," the Father says, putting a hand on his shoulder. "You are a true believer. Hardy of spirit, resolute, if perhaps...misguided in your path from time to time."

His eyes pierce into Allistar, leaving him feeling stripped and exposed despite his thick coat.

“The Allfather creates all men differently for a reason. Some from the softest cloth, to aid and heal - some from fine silk, to steer our nation wisely, and some from rough cloth - to do the difficult tasks which the others cannot.” he says, leaning in conspiratorially so that no others can hear. “You are a true believer, Allistar. And you, I believe, have the mettle to do what others cannot.”

The book's latch clicks open as Father Werner produces a folded parchment, its edges cracked and faded. "There is a poison seeping into this district. A particularly addictive draught of moonshine, cranked out by the barrels in the very shadow of the Ragfair. I have tolerated it for too long. This operation must be...uncoupled. Permanently."

He passes the parchment to Allistar. Unfurling it reveals a cramped map with a waterfront warehouse area circled emphatically. "You know what needs to be done. For the good of Hsin-Yao."


NEW LOCATION DISCOVERED:

Ecstasi & Co. Apothecary
From behind an unassuming door near the Ragfair Tents, a strange sickly-sweet aroma perpetually wafts. Here resides a clutch of disavowed chirurgeons and apothecaries who peddle a wide array of controlled analgesics, narcotics and arcane pharmaceuticals - no prescriptions required. Those of coin and addictive cravings form a constant queue on its step.
[A whispered remedy for any malady - at a terrible price.]


A subtle wink from the Father confirms the unspoken understanding between them.

Returning to his ramshackle flat, he walks through the hallway - and suddenly finds himself stopped in his tracks by a furious, red-faced brute of a man. Allistar backs away quickly, unsure what the man wants - but soon finds himself cornered.

The snarling worker’s whiskey breath is overpowering as he closes in, thick fingers wrapping around at Allistar's arm in an iron grip. "That’s my fucking coat!" he slurs, giving Allistar's withered frame a mighty jerk.

Thinking quickly, Allistar adopts a mask of innocence born from years of deception. "Good sir, you must be mistaken! I purchased this coat from a vendor just last week to brace against the winds. Perhaps the vagabond who originally stole it knew the poor and desperate would soon be in need of warmth?"

For a moment, the lie seems to find fertile ground in the dockworker's addled mind. He blinks slowly, suspicion warring with confusion on his ruddy features. But then his rage reignites, the tendril of doubt snuffed out.

"Bullshit!" the cauliflower-eared man roars, spraying Allistar with flecks of spittle. The man's burly arms are tightly corded with muscle, promising a beating that very well could be Allistar's final taste of this bitter world.

With a forceful wrench, Allistar tears himself free of the meaty grasp, sacrificing the contested coat in the process. His bony legs, fueled by desperation and panic, pound the hallway as he takes flight - the dockworker's howls of rage echoing behind him.

Allistar's lungs burn, his chest heaves, the stabbing pains in his gut returning with furious vengeance. But he dares not slow, careening out of the entrance to the Tenements. His eyes dart back and forth, looking for an escape.

An alleyway - thin and narrow, really more of a crack between buildings. The gap is barely wide enough for him to wriggle through, but he makes it...just as his wheezing pursuer thunders past, stamping and cursing in frustration. The man continues to spew insults and hatred at Allistar, but eventually stomps off, seemingly content with the retrieval of his coat.

Hunched in the shadows, Allistar gasps for air, his heart pounding violently. A close call, to be certain. [+1 Stress, -Well Made Coat]

LILY ISHENKO


This week, Lily ensures she receives a perfectly adequate amount of sleep and rest, putting her own wellbeing first. The nightmares that typically plague her subconscious are blessedly absent - a small relief, but a welcome one nonetheless.

Once more, she labors at the Door of Hope soup kitchen, trading her time in exchange for a modest meal. However, she insists that due to her newly acquired employment as well as caring for an ailing neighbor, she will be unable to volunteer more hours until next week. The priests grumble at this news, though Lily's inherent charm prevents their dissatisfaction from boiling over into outright anger. These days, they lament, there are simply too many hungry mouths and grasping hands in need - this will be the last time she is permitted such a paltry workload in exchange for their alms.

At the Lace Atelier where she apprentices, Lily applies her utmost dedication to preventing any costly errors. She makes a concerted effort to prove her worth - her deft needlework and skillful inkwork speak volumes, as does her charming conversation with customers about the artistic merits of their choices. For those less confident, she offers reassuring words to soothe their trepidation over the decisions. This week, her true talent shines through brilliantly.

As she is tidying her workstation at the end of a productive day, a hulking brute of a man with massive ears approaches. With a warm smile, he slides 3 gilders into Lily's delicate hand. "Get yerself a little something nice," the man rumbles, his voice kind despite his imposing physique. "Let it be known that Big Ears Dhu appreciates a job well done."

He flexes his bulging bicep, causing the intricate serpent-dragon tattoo to seemingly writhe and contort across his skin.

Lily promptly collects her modest stipend and expends it on a well-made winter coat to ward off the biting chill. Her search for a more...pragmatic sort of accessory also proves fruitful. One vendor surreptitiously passes her a crudely fashioned but highly effective "kitchen knife" with a crooked smile, even as a nearby Gendarme officer frowns his disapproval.

The time Lily spends with her friend Pinfold is quality time indeed. Their bond grows, trading stories about their unfortunate pasts, and she even manages to coax a few genuine smiles from the typically dour man. Though it does not alleviate the burning sense of obligation that weighs on her, perhaps friendship is a worthy reward in itself.

One evening, there is an urgent knocking at Lily's door. It is Pinfold, his face pale and hands trembling - he is "feeling unwell" once more, he explains with trepidation. He has a simple favor to ask: could she cover his shift at work? Just this once? Pinfold is employed as a doorman at a seedy dance hall down by Hangman's Arch, tasked with handling unruly drunks and keeping rowdy patrons in line. It would mean the world to him if Lily could take over those duties, just for tonight. His pleading eyes betray his desperation. (OPTIONAL: 2 VIS)


JACOB EVERSON



Jacob's query about more work, and the possibility of overtime, has clear answers written on the boatswain's face - in the set of his chin and the line of his mouth. "I pay for your help hauling cargo," drawls he. "When the cargo's gone, that's that. Sorry."
Reason, however, dictates that there should be other cargoes and other opportunities in Harlot's Landing, however. The waterfront is a lively place, after all. Mayhaps Jacob will see more luck if he asks elsewhere? [The rough boatswain is unwilling to pay for overtime work. But others might be.]

Boiled rice cakes and braised vegetables are on offer at many a stall this week. Their taste might be bland and their substance mealy - but all the same. If it can go in a cookpot, it can go in Jacob's belly. He does not starve. [1 Food for 2 Gilders.]

The sniffling salesman favors Jacob with a thin-lipped smile. He is at his usual post, a block or so from the Door of Hope. Yes, he promises, the tawdry brown vials Jacob seeks are as good as the ones he bought last week. And yes, they cost the same. [2 Laudanum for 2 Gilders.]

Jacob's search for a waxed coat is a longsome affair. For apparently, many a soul in the Circus - wary of the Peacock Wind - has been of a mind similar to Jacob's. The first stalls he walks by - the ones usually selling scarves, cloaks and other such - are all but picked clean. But fortune, in the end, favors him. A trolley-women about to pack up for the day does, indeed, have a coat still for sale. [If Jacob wants it, her price is fair. Or so she insists. 3 Gilders.]

A bearded hawker eyes Jacob's scarred face with wary curiosity. But a blade, is it? Yes. Yes, he has a few of those. [This short, broad blade is well-used - but its handle fits like an old friend in Jacob's hand. It can be his for 3 Gilders.]

Jacob's usual stint in the line with other destitutes and down-and-outs passes uneventfully. His mush is thick with a memory of beans, this time around - his bread is thin and dry. And afterwards, a severe-looking monk places an unbidden hand at his shoulder. His voice is firm, and his pale gaze unwavering. An able-bodied man such as Jacob should be able to provide for himself, should he not? Yes. Well then. The exchange is short - and the silence that follows it, heavy. [It is unlikely that Jacob will be welcome in the food-line again. At least for a while.]

Once again, as in the week before, Jacob foregoes the solace of sleep. And while his wary mind races, drunk with exhaustion - his body soldiers on. From moment to moment, hour to hour. [-1 VIS in the week to come.]

And lo! It is on Jacob's way back to his tenement-home that opportunity rears its proverbial head. A blackened storefront - Galder's Gadgetries - yawns into a side-street, its beveled windows hastily boarded up. The front door is yet ajar, however - and outside it, on the pavement, a rough cardboard sign reads: "DETECTIVE SOUGHT. REASONABLE RATES. ENQUIRE WITHIN." [Detective, is it? For a reasonable rate? Well now.]


KASSIA ALANI BAKER - “The Delicate Blade”


Sleep is Kassia's friend this week. Her sojourn across the Lands of Dream are calm, black and uneventful. Her body hale, her mind clear.
[Sleep, the healer, brings its reward.]

Various purchases across the Circus' many stalls and corner-shops does Kassia make. One tidbit here, another there. By week's end, her pantry is well stocked - and her body amply warmed by a solid new coat. [-5 G, +1 Food, +Warm Coat]

Honest work is Kassia's lot at the Cog & Chain. It is neither exciting nor overly pleasant - but then smithwork was never meant as such. For several long afternoons, the Maid of Bree Tan does little but heat and hammer old horseshoes. By week's end, the muscles in her hands are tender indeed - and her forearms wider. Stronger. [The forges sing. The coals blaze. Her pay of 5 Gilders, in the end, is well earned.]

With practiced discipline, Kassia's heart pumps strongly. Her punches hammer, her kicks soar. If fighting and scrapping with hands and feet could ever be considered an art, these are its opening moves. Their rehearsal, however, comes at an inevitable cost. As the days progress, Kassia's shoulders tense, and her temper frays. [Training: Unarmed Fighting. +1 Stress]

The evening is young when Kassia - on her way through the Circus on her business of her own - is suddenly and rudely accosted. Or perhaps 'accosted' is a strong term for it, but the encounter is nevertheless sudden and not entirely pleasant. For from the dark of a nearby alleyway lurches a man. His lidded eyes seem glazed in the gaslit gloom, and his walk is unsteady, while the smile on his jowly face is reminiscent of a dreaming child's. "What's this! A fellow of the ants at noon?" he cheers, inexplicably. "Come, waif! Let me regale you with a tale of their spendings and back-taxes!"

...What?...

Is he drunk? Or merely high on smoke? Or - ye gods! - the sound of his own droning voice?! Whatever the case, his eyes are blank, his suit gray and Corporate - and his fleshy mouth an unceasing siren of words, words, words.

The only question now is: what does Kassia do?

Nod and smile, perhaps? It is the more sedate response, certainly. [This oddball seems harmless, whoever he is. Just nod politely and try to follow along. Perhaps some good might come it?]

Or cosh him gently across the head and rifle his pockets? Another body in another dim alleyway around here wouldn't shame a rat - let alone raise much suspicion. [And besides, what's a suit-clad swell doing in a neighborhood like this? He should have known better.]

Or glance down the alley from whence he came? [The man's a wreck, his brain scrambled - but he definitely came stumbling down from that alley yonder. Is there some manner of word-weaving dope den hidden there?]



LISHA LANG - “Scarlett”


Lisha's small apartment offered few frills, but ample rest - each night delivers the blissful oblivion of utterly dreamless slumbers. Wearied muscles find their respite after arduous days of honest labor amid Tangletown's chaotic stalls and avenues.

Speaking of which, the market district once again became her arena for straining sinew and building fortitude. Hauling, hoisting, the endless choreography of muscle against stubborn matter. With each passing day, Lisha could feel her fighter's physique reasserting itself. One more week of this grueling revival, and she'd be back to her prime.

A portion of her meager earnings went towards sustaining rations and procuring a stout coat to offset the coming chill. The whipping wind did her no harm - while it was an irritation, to be sure, the coat kept any illness at bay.



Lisha was no hero. She was, however, a fighter who had been too long removed from the dizzying artistry of violence.

With liquid grace, she flowed towards the nearest grappler, fist cocked for a brain-rattling strike. The blow landed square on his jaw with a brutal thunk, immediately staggering him. His companion released the terrified woman to face this new threat, throwing a wild haymaker that Lisha instinctively deflected with her forearm. Fire lanced through the limb from the painful impact. [Injury: -1 Max Vis!]

The woman wasted no time fleeing, abandoning her would-be savior without a backwards glance. Ah, the rewards of altruism.

Seizing her momentary advantage, Lisha battered the slower ruffian with a blurred flurry of jabs and hooks. His panicked blocks proved ineffective against the onslaught until her knuckles finally crunched against his jaw, staggering him.

The first brute had regained his bearings, whipping some wicked-glinting blade from his belt as realization dawned - this was no random do-gooder. His opening slash missed by a hair as Lisha's footwork kicked in, precise dodges carrying her backwards before planting a meaty kick against his sternum. Something cracked sickeningly.

Not to be outdone, the second thug produced a shiv from his shadowed coat. But wild, fumbling swipes found only empty air as Lisha's trained reflexes batted it aside and battered his jaw once more. Clutching the fresh injury, he glowered impotently.

"You're fucking dead!" the first knife-wielder howled, wisely keeping distance. "Y'hear me? When Saxon learns of this, you're as dead as last year's rat!"

His compatriot shot him a furtive glance before gritting out: "Yeah...you'll pay for this, whore. Sleep tight."

Slowly backing away, the bravado drained out of them both until the tense standoff culminated in their full retreat. Lisha's forearm burned fiercely, and had already begun to purple...but the thrill of victory helped anesthetize the ache. It will heal by next week, most likely.

The onlookers gape and gawk at her in stunned shock and awe. One man whistles, tipping his hat to her in admiration - but many others look terrified, their faces ashen.

[+1 Focus. +1 Reputation. Not all is good, of course - she has likely obtained some dire enemies from this.]
Last edited by Lazarian on Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Lagene
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 139
Founded: Dec 31, 2023
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Lagene » Mon Apr 01, 2024 8:10 am

Joseph can finally begin to relax. With so many things off of his list, he can finally find time to rest. He had found the kids a schoolhouse, however run-down it was, it would keep his siblings busy and happy for a few hours every week when he went off to work. He had a coat and could make it through the peacock wind without having to miss work, and he had filled his rent jar so they could keep living in the tenaments.

The next day, before Joseph headed down to work, he took the kids to the school by the door of hope. Maybe he could take them to the public schools outside of the circus some other day, but today this would have to do. He raced down to Petcher's and began his tireless work. Knowing that everything was going pretty well made him feel warm inside, somewhat fufilled. He greeted customers with the utmost respect and optimism, because he was grateful to be working at all. (-4 VIS, +5 Gilder)

Joseph walked to tangletown market and he bought another two weeks of food. (-4 Gilder, +2 wks food) Knowing that they still had quite a bit left at home, Joseph knew exactly where the extra was going to go. Before he left, he looked around for a stall selling books. He noticed an old woman at a counter piled with books. She approached the lady and asked if she had any puzzle books or mystery books, and he would even pay a few gilders for one, remembering the man's strange request and promise of 4 gilder. (Focused)

Joseph finally was back at the schoolhouse. He found the kids, and picked them up, grinning. As they walked back to the tenaments, they told him all about what they had learned at school that day. They made it home, and played more games, at one point, they were settling down, and he tucked them into bed. (-2 VIS, Obligation Vice)

Before settling down, Joseph took down half of the food he had bought to the woman who had selflessly helped them, despite her condition. He hoped he would see her again. He also went to the man with the weird request, telling him that he might have found a book for him.

Then, of course, he heads to bed. (-2 VIS, Sleeping)
OOC QUESTION: Are the characters of this RP ever going to meet up? I was kind of hoping when I knocked on doors I would meet one of the other characters :blush:
Last edited by Lagene on Tue Apr 02, 2024 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Hello from Lagene, a beautiful European nation that is known for its kindness and inclusivity.
Nationstates Stats were sucked into a black hole
Tier 9 Type 5 Class 1.4 according to This Index
My Political Views
NS Stats were retrieved from a black hole and are canon
A European home office member
He/Him
Nationstates stats were put in jail
A part of the NFED
And the The Coalition for Enduring Freedom Assembly
Nationstates Stats were Bailed out of jail and are canon.

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G-Tech Corporation
Khan of Spam
 
Posts: 63863
Founded: Feb 03, 2010
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby G-Tech Corporation » Mon Apr 01, 2024 9:43 am

The Week of Golden Strides


Winthrop

Succor. Opportunity. These things the broad man contemplates as he stamps along the Rue Viatel, one of the main streets that formed his circuitous route to Crimwick's for the day shift. There was fortune indolent in the passage of many matters before him, but peril as well scented on the breeze.

Unfamiliar faces, watching too carefully. The downfall of the patron of the refugees who made the tenements in the Circus home. If the Scion was not mistaken, and his mistakes usually proved more dramatic than scurrilous, a reckoning for Hsin-Yao with her wayward immigrants was soon in the reckoning. Under such lights it would not be strange if the streets were soon convulsed by violence, the cobblestones washed in blood as nativists purged the city of, frankly, the scum of humanity which had been coalescing in her more desperate quarters.

Winthrop was part of that scum, from the perspective of native sons of Thenia. An irony, but a matter of perspective of which it would be difficult to dissuade a mob in the dead of night. And so measures would have to be taken, lest disruption be the lot of the man from beyond the Scarlet Sea.

A net drew tight, but that net was replete in holes, and ill-mended. A different route than his usual haunts. His belongings, stuffed into the pockets of his new coat. No eyes looking back at the temporary abode of the other mongrels from beyond the city - it was no use sparing remorse for an abode which had become a liability.

The morning and afternoon passed swiftly enough, but Winthrop kept his eyes open and his ears on a swivel as he worked, both on the projects the master of the smithy set before him, on his own matter in the hours of his break when the overseer's whistle blew. It would do no good to have accomplished ought which had been finalized, if events overtook the outlander.

After the closing whistle the giant stamped home for all the world like any other day, but his path soon became confused and meandering to outward appearances, difficult for a casual observer to follow - well, as difficult as the relatively distinctive Winthrop could manage, truth be told. To the ramshackle tenements? No. He did not think he would be missed. He had socialized with the others little, his landlord less, and it would not be remarkable if he never returned. There were already enough vacant apartments that he was certain a good cohort of his comrades from beyond the smoking seas had met their fates belly-up in the Mudflats, knives in their backs or simply heads dashed in, human detritus used up and spat out by the engines of the Circus. Let them believe such had been his fate. It might buy days with less scrutiny, if fortune favored his tread.

No, instead Winthrop made his way, winding and erratic, south beyond the Circus, over stout brick and steel bridges of the Central Mire to the Jade Quarter, and Stoutvein Row, where Stuart's cousin was letting out a humble but respectable flat for only a song above what that miser in Crookback Lane had been asking. The first meeting with his new landlord was a bit tense - it was one thing to know Winthrop was a smith, another to observe his muscular bulk - but a half payment of the month's rent in advance and a firm handshake soon smoothed things over.

If Providence smiled upon the Walker as the days flitted past, he had escaped the worst of the paroxysms of violence that he thought might soon convulse the Clockwork Circus. With a more redoubtable base of operations within the city, the opportunities for his true passions may unfold in a manner less likely to be blighted by events beyond his control.

New lodgings, on Stoutvein Row in the Jade Quarter - for these Winthrop pays half of his rent up front, to settle minds and repay faith in his good character (-6 G)
Diffident meat, heated over a low flame, and par-boiled vegetables - it may soon be time to free up some of his morsels of coin for a better fare, but for now there is no sense wasting what is already purchased (-1 Food)
Slumber in an unfamiliar apartment is fitful, oftentimes, and the Scion is alert to the dynamics of his new situation - but the lower volume of gunshots and the less frequent brawls outside of his window are a pleasant, if somewhat expected, balm to slumber (-2 V)
A shambling march to Crimwick's day after day, his route varied over the sundry bridges of the Central Mire, is necessary to fulfill obligations and inspire the spirit in honest labor - not to mention buttress the pocket-book (-3 V, +8 G)
Remarkably, the small ink-black beast which was formerly his companion seems inclined to follow him to his new domicile - a place of safety and repose in comparison to her former surroundings, perhaps. The Scion does not turn down this small measure of company, or begrudge the warm indent she leaves on his covers at the end of long days.
There is more yet to be done though - with scrap metal and forge time between his hours of honest labor, the Scion turns his attention to the creation of new Tools to aid his work. Crimwick's implements are well enough, but generic, and crafted so even the simplest of men might do little harm if they are used incorrectly. Winthrop fancies himself more than the simplest of men. By the heat of the annealing oven, the sweat of hammer raised high, and the careful yet liberal application of metal fatigue, his two lots of Scrap might yet be given new life as a forge-hammer, wire-pliers, and tinkering-irons, the extensions of the hands of the black-smith (-3 Vis) [Focus] [Stress]

A Thick Coat Winthrop wears, against the elements and to garb his form somewhat. A small Cat makes her home in his new Flat on Stoutvein Row in the Jade Quarter. A single lot of Rations, in the person of desiccated vegetables and stew-meat, remains in his cupboard, and 23 Guilders he carries on his person in a variety of hidden pockets and safe-pouches.
Quite the unofficial fellow. Former P2TM Mentor specializing in faction and nation RPs, as well as RPGs. Always happy to help.

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Lunas Legion
Post Czar
 
Posts: 30985
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Mon Apr 01, 2024 10:26 am

Turn IV
Penelope Lagakou


Penelope would swear her sleep had gotten worse. Perhaps it was the surroundings. Her former comforts had compensated for the disturbed nature of her sleep, and now without those... Perhaps it was the events. The nightmares. Seeing her mother's face with that deathly, frozen grin. Knowing all that it meant, the fires, the guillotines... The crackle of gunfire, in the distance at first, but always, always growing closer, the pounding of hundreds of marching feet against the cobbled streets.

She had read in the history books revolutions were messy affairs. It was another thing to live through one.

Even as it played out before her in her dreamscape, a nightmare she could not look away from or wake up from, she heard her mother's voice. Not as it had been in life, for there was no life in it. It was a corpse's dying breath, the whispering of the winter winds against the barred window.

"Beware the man in gray. He is here - and he is searching for you, dear daughter."

She managed to choke back the scream as she woke, soaked in sweat. There would be no more sleep for her, not tonight. She washed, and as the sun rose, she ate. Bread and fish was no luxurious breakfast, but there was almost a charm to its simplicity. Her mother's warning lingered. The man in gray. It was imprecise, but she could connect the dots. Revolutionary fervor did not die simply because the country was not a monarchy. There would be true zealots among them, the paranoid, those wary of counter-revolution. Someone was hunting her specifically. Perhaps her trail from Aravien had been found and followed?

Hsin-Yao was big. Dense. An ideal place to hide. Could she hide, though? How much longer?

The thoughts stirred over and over in her mind as she made her way to the Theatre. Tallazan was almost decent now, almost. He respected her now, and he was always inquisitive. Always asking about what she did in her preperations, always asking about the why. She, naturally, explained when he asked, but there was always a limit as to how much she could do so from memory. She lacked the books and texts she had once learned from, and what she had learned over the course of years could not be taught in weeks. But she could teach the basics.

It felt both natural and alien to take the stage. The theater was packed with an eager audience, a far cry from when she had first entered it in search of employment. Tallazan even introduced on the stage, his energy and showmanship undimmed despite her taking over the show's proverbial meat. Now she was running it, there was no need to hide what she was doing behind showmanship and acting, no smokescreens be they figurative or literal.

She ascended the stage, arms held up to the sky, wearing a crimson silk dress that she'd somehow found in the Tangletown Market. How such a fine garment had come to be there, she did not know nor care, but she'd simply had to have it, even if it had cost almost a month's rent.

The smoke that trailed behind her as she walked from the forming cloud was necessary. It would not be there if it was not.

No, everything was as it should be. The best substitute of an incense she could find. The crimson lanterns were an introduction from Thenian tradition, but they served the same role. Penelope uttered the words she had been taught, the Old Tegan coming easily and naturally. She rang the bell, carefully having found one with the right pitch and made the appropriate carvings upon it. It was not like her teacher's bell, that had been an old behemoth of tin and iron, supposedly centuries old and having been used to sound the executions of the Tegan Inquisitors, when they had existed. But it would suffice for this.

She thrust her hands down to her sides as she fell silent. The smoke, once again, and as she had been taught it would, formed into a tangible form. She heard the audience gasp, but she paid it no mind. A cold settled upon the room, and the crowd fell silent with it.

Penelope managed not to flinch at the sound of her mother's rasping voice as her skeletal, wispy form emerged from the smoke, nor did she flinch as it embraced her despite the sheer cold that entered her body and bones. She let the spirit embrace her. She... She never had gotten to hold her mother one last time. She held herself through the pain and the numbing cold, and at last muttered the words that would dissipate the spirit.

It vanished. The applause and cheers that followed were muted in her ears. She held herself together long enough to finish the show with an extravagant bow, and watched the crowd file out. Her eyes drifted over the few that remained, and she could feel their eyes watching her. The lights of the theater meant their faces were obscured by shadows, painting them in dark suits and dresses.

Was one of them the man in gray? She would not be able to tell a gray suit from another colour in the darkness. Had she been careless when she used her real name and her home? Perhaps. A lesson learned, then.

She went to the Spoke & Buttonhole after the performance. A strange name, but it was the only place in the Circus she'd found that did anything remotely nearing her standards. She settled in to a table, and ordered herself a meal of chunks of seared pardoner-eel and snakeskin liquor. The eels were slathered with enough spice to make one's mouth burn, but in a good way, and the snakeskin liquor, while of course inferior in taste to those she had had back home, made up for it by the sheer strength of it. Sadly, all her inquiries as to 'the good stuff' that she had spotted on the top shelf had been rebuffed by rude words about 'bloody foreigners' and 'for regulars'. How rude. That should be given to anyone who could pay, like herself.

Gilder: 10G (Turn III Carryover)
+5G (Government Subsidy)
-1G, +1 Food (Fish at Harlot's Landing)
+11G (Tallazan’s Theatre, Employment + Tips)
-5G (Spoke & Buttonhole - Snakeskin Liquor and Chunks of Seared Pardoner-Eel, -1 Stress)
20G Remaining

Heat: 0
Stress: 3 (Carryover from Turn III)
-1 (Snakeskin Liquor)
+2 Stress (Events)
Total Stress: 4

Actions:
-1 VIS (Poor Sleep)
-Penelope attempts to sleep. She swears it is getting worse. [2/8 VIS used, Sleep]
-The Harlot's Landing is becoming something of a regularity to Penelope's visits. [1/8 VIS used, -1 G, +1 Food]
-The theater may bear Tallazan’s name, but it's by her talent that it has grown so. It would be a shame to abandon working there quite yet. [3/8 VIS used, +6G]
-She may need alternative lodgings, should this mysterious man in gray catch up to her. With what little free time she has, she intends to look for some. [1/8 VIS used, searching for alternative lodgings.]
-It's always a difficult thing to balance, teaching someone skills when those skills are what make you so valuable. But some things must be taught. The basics, the simplest of the rites of summoning she learned, and more importantly, the protections she uses. If her instinct that working in Tallazan's has caused her too much attention is correct, she will at least not leave him to flounder from the change when she has gone.

Inventory:
Good Coat
Crimson Silk Dress

Known Locations:
  • The Gear & Gasket
  • The Cog & Chain Forges
  • The Redhook Gallows
  • The Ragfair
  • The Spoke & Buttonhole Gaming Hall [A Great Many Options]
  • Deadspit Lane Fleapit
  • The Harlot's Landings [-1G, 1 VIS for +1 Food]
  • Yeo’s Shoppe of Curiosities
  • Tallazan’s Theatre of the Orphic Arts [Employment, 3 VIS for 6 G]
Last edited by Lunas Legion on Tue Apr 09, 2024 5:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

Confirmed member of Kyloominati, Destroyers of Worlds Membership can be applied for here

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Estebere
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 59
Founded: Sep 22, 2022
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Estebere » Mon Apr 01, 2024 10:36 am

Turn IV: To survive in Thenia... - Ian Desch - 2/8/24
[...one must work quite a bit]


Once again, Ian was deep in his thoughts about Wraizar. He sighed. Way behind schedule, only half of chapter... augh, four after last week.

I'll have to check for that railroad station... Ian shook his head as he continued writing his... well, not exactly masterpiece. Mud... mud something. Why does this have to be what the public likes? Alas. Actually, he did have magic to work with...

"Oh. Ohhhhhhh. That's perfect," Ian muttered, putting his pen to paper, "Surely I can't just... No, I totally can. Oh this is great!"

"You... Excalibur? Really?" The Guildmaster shook her head, "Really? We've defeated dragons with far less before..."

Oliver shook his head, "Dragon god. Nothing... my gramps always told me that only a legend can slay another legend. Usually helps if it's a magic legend, and Excalibur is one of the most legendary."

"Yes, I've heard the stories. However... the Sword is still buried in Camelot. Are you aware of the state of it and the rest of greater Avalon?" At Oliver's blank stare, she sighed, "It was excised from the world a long, long time ago. Very long story."

"What? What?" That wasn't in the stories. At least, the ones Oliver had heard of.

The Guildmaster sighed, "There are many stories which don't become tales. It will take quite a bit for you to get through, I'm afraid. The Guild cannot sanction that. At the least, understand that the Guild considers this situation of your home of utmost importance. Goodnight."

Disappointed, Oliver returned to his friends outside.

"Oh, you're finally out. Oliver, you would not believe what we just learned."


Cliffhanger. This would work nicely.


7 Gilder --> 10 Gilder --> 21 Gilder
-1 Heat --> -1 Heat --> -1 Heat
1 Stress --> 0 Stress --> 0 Stress
2 Focus --> 2 Focus --> 2 Focus
8/8 Vis


Ian buys food, looks for a boot, and retrieves his stipend. -1 Vis, +3 Gilder [What a way to start the week.

Ian returns to the Midnight Market, selling his passports and looking for a gun. -1 Vis, -4 Passports, +8 Gilder [Not the most respectable, but all things considered...]

Ian writes his two chapters. -3 Vis, +2 Chapters [I think seven legendary swords is enough.]

Ian delivers the chapters before venturing off to find that railroad telegram office. -2 Vis, -2 Chapters [Hopefully I can get news soon.

Ian sleeps. -1 Vis [Oh dear. Seems I'm already slipping on my sleep schedule.


In Newsbag:
Vivian the Cat
Gilder(Hidden)

Wearing:
Scarf
Pelican feather
Newsbag
Crutch(Held)

At home:
Paper
Pen
Ink
Warm coat
Last edited by Estebere on Mon Apr 01, 2024 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Don't trust my NS Stats. They're all wrong.

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Ovstylap
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1118
Founded: Jun 26, 2018
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Ovstylap » Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:21 pm

Friendly Favours


Liliya Ishenko

Fortunately in the last week the priests and monks had accepted Lily's good reasoning for not being able to volunteer more hours- perhaps at some point she could offer them some more help- but just standing and doling out food wasn't the most exciting past time, three hours was tedious at best, a headache at worst. What other charitable services did they provide? She wondered and pondered, but that was not something to learn this week.

Instead, following last week's generous tip from Big Ears Dhu himself, she went back to work at the Lace Atelier with a quiet confidence in her trade which complimented her soft but not dainty voice, and her feminine but certainly not weak personality. Hopefully they would consider her an artisan in her own right by the end of the week, which was her eager hope! An interesting prospect however was that posed by Pinfold.

He appeared quite disturbed by the prospect of missing his shift- apparently feeling unwell. After their exchanged tales of woe and increased friendship, Lily couldn't help but wonder if he had suffered some sort of traumatic experience, or if he was regularly suffering from a crippling loss of confidence, which was causing him to avoid work? With a pursed lip she agreed to help him, and asked him for his advice- could and should she bring a weapon, what could he advise about how to do the job well and safely? What was the pay going to be- and surely he still had need of it? Maybe he could help her out by finding out who the neighbours were and letting her know when she returned?

She was curious in particular to know what had happened to the man who had been asking for alms. He seemed the friendly type. And what of that giant man she had passed? He hadn't been around for some days, and neither had the man with the shock of white hair? Curious.

Lily is completing some extra work this week, and has been feeling somewhat tense due to not having unwound fully other than in Pinfold's company, so she spends some extra time sleeping- though not all in one go, as that is not a sensible thing to do in such a dangerous local! (-3 VIS)

She makes sure to keep her wits about her and keep her newly acquired blade with her whilst she covers for Pinfold's doorman role (she would ask Pinfold if bringing a blade is a good idea beforehand- if he said that wasn't allowed, she wouldn't) (-2 VIS, FOCUS)

Once more Lily heads to work, hoping to complete her apprenticeship after her great shift last week- she collects her stipend on the way to work, whilst it lasts, and buys her food on the way home (-3 VIS, +7 G)

Inventory
10G held intimately on her person or within an inner pocket of her coat.
'Kitchen Knife'
Warm Coat

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High Earth
Envoy
 
Posts: 277
Founded: Apr 02, 2023
Corporate Bordello

Postby High Earth » Tue Apr 02, 2024 11:25 am

Allistar Craven
Turn Four
“Holy War”


As Allistar looked at the piece of parchment that father had given him, he knew what had to be done. The words of father Werner echoed through his head; “For the good of Hsin-Yao.” Allistar had never been a hero, but he had been a man of faith for as long as he can remember. He was doing this so that the people would not have to deal with the vice that grinds down a man’s soul until he is no longer himself; narcotics. Allistar had the foresight to avoid narcotics as a solution to the pain that had become an integral part of his existence, but others had not, and had only made their problem ten times worse. He was doing his part in being an instrument for The Lord’s will. As he rounded a corner, there it was. A den of forbidden pleasures; it made Allistar sick.

He thought of all the men and women who would go through withdrawal after he followed through with this. A necessary sacrifice, he thought. I am in a holy war, there is going to be some collateral. They will hopefully feel better knowing this is to help make sure that nobody else falls to the same trap. The time has come. With the moon and stars as his only witnesses, he made his way to the door.

Actions, Turn Four
Vis: 8->0
Focus: 2
Glider: 7->10 (kept under a loose floorboard in his apartment when he is not buying anything, otherwise kept in. A pocket sewn inside his shirt. Hopefully got more G at OP’s choice)
Items: Lock-Picks, Peepers, 1 Food (Consumed)
Stress: 1 -> 2
-Allistar makes sure to get adequate rest for this week. I’m going to need my strength if I want to pull this off. (-2 Vis, Sleep)
-Allistar claims his stipend, and buys food for the week Can’t forget about ensuring survival for future me. (+3G, +1 Food)
-Allistar scouts out Ecstasy & Co. Apothecary to find when people go home for the night, after he gets the general schedule, he picks the lock, enters the building and sabotages the moonshine operation. He also picks up any items of use or value and any loose glider because, well… it would be a shame for them to go to waste. After the operation, he reports back to father Werner, regardless of the results I am in a Holy War, this is what The Lord put me on this world to do.(-3 Vis, Focused x2 +1 stress)
-Allistar decides that he needs some more connections and locations, he explores around the neighborhood after dark, hoping to find some places were thieves can find equipment. While looking, he also searches for a weapon he can use for self defense. I don’t want a repeat of what happened when that man found me wearing his cloak(-2 Vis, Searching for Black Market)
Last edited by High Earth on Tue Apr 02, 2024 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
Imagine America, but an asteroid crashed into them in the late 1800s causing the planet to be blanketed in magic.
Combines magic and modern tech into one conservative, hyper-capitalist society.

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Talchyon
Negotiator
 
Posts: 5816
Founded: May 05, 2016
Authoritarian Democracy

Postby Talchyon » Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:01 pm

Weeks 1-3
Hari Yahnric (aka "Doctor Veins")

Lazarian wrote:
TURN ONE

ALL CHARACTERS

“Don't forget rent!" the landlord says, rapping angrily on your door. "I don't care where you came from, where the money comes from, or how you get it - but you simply must have it by the end of the month. Or else."

(At the end of Turn 3, 10 Gilders are due to the Tenements - or you’ll need to hit the streets!)


HARI YAHNRIC - “Doctor Veins”


Hari finds his room in the Tenements easily enough. It is a simple, humble room - a bed, a rough-shod wooden desk, unpainted walls with peeling paper. But it is a room, and it is his - and for what it’s worth, it is on dry land rather than a heaving boat! His rest this week is…fair. Nothing particularly notable to speak of, for good or for ill.

Hari’s time spent at the Door of Hope is well-spent. Despite his earnest disdain for the teachings of the Brotherhood, the Cloth, and the Allfather, he does well enough at hiding it. His stomach has plenty to fill it this week. Plenty of unseasoned gruel and oat mush, yes. But plenty of it, nonetheless.

As Hari is eating one evening, a slight, thin man, with dainty hands and a warbling voice approaches, sitting next to Hari. Uninvited and unprompted. He introduces himself as ‘Cyril Werner’ - but you can call him Father Werner.

“I’ve heard that you were a doctor.” Father Werner says, looking at Hari with pleading eyes. “I don’t suppose you could find the time to aid in our clinic next week? With the new influx of all these mouths from the war, we’re stretched to the brim. Please do consider it.” he begs, before wandering off to go harass another unsuspecting beggar. [OPTIONAL: Spend at least 1 VIS helping at the Door of Hope next week.]

Hari’s search for places of employment goes exceptionally well. Doctors are in high demand in the slum - and a low supply as well. Evidently, those with the means and the skill quickly abandon the Circus for the International District or the wealthier parts of the city. But the city’s misfortune is Hari’s lucky day - it does not take him long at all to be referred to two separate locations.

NEW LOCATIONS FOUND

The Doldrums Wounde House
This shadowy clinic lies partially submerged beneath a crumbling tenement. Those seeking discreet, no-questions-asked treatment for injuries or afflictions enter through a nondescript cellar door. Within, a cell-like maze of dank wards hosts an ever-rotating roster of unlicensed sawbones, felons and rogue physicians who'll stitch wounds, set bones and distribute potions - all in exchange for hefty fees and vows of silence.
[Clandestine mercy with bloody equitability.]

Sparrowhawk Croft
A perpetual wail of suffering drifts from the dingy windows of this ramshackle three-story infirmary. Within its chaotic, vermin-riddled wards, a few overworked and underpaid medics from Hsin-Yao's lower circles labor around the clock to treat the Circus' poor and indigent. Crowded pallets host a miserable tide of the diseased, wounded and terminally ill.
[Dignity ends where life clings on.]

The job interviews go as well as the search. Hari sets bones and bandages wounds with quick, cool efficiency - in fact, he gets the impression that he’s much more experienced than most of the doctors at Sparrowhawk. Both are quick to offer up contracts.

[The Wounde House: A position as an official doctor. 8 Gilders for 3 VIS of work. They’ll take variable hours, too - 5 Gilders for 2 VIS of work. This clinic, though, is much like those of his past…]
[Sparrowhawk Croft: A lofty position as a floor supervisor and lead surgeon. 10 Gilders for 3 VIS of work. It’s a higher position, yes, and higher pay still, but this place is understaffed and overworked.]

[Action split between finding locations and applying to a job - Focus applied to Job Interview.]

Hari’s search for chemicals, elixirs, and stimulants, however, is not as fruitful as his search for employment. Skulking the alleyways of the Circus, he finds nothing but garbage, refuse, empty needles, the homeless, rats, and cobblestones. And the Tangletown Market has little to offer as well, sadly - it’s really more of a location for general goods, not the sort of fascinating stuff that keeps Hari’s attention.


As it goes in all life, time is a blur. One week rolls into the next and you can hardly believe it. The next week takes several weeks to finally arrive. Is this a problem with temporal and spatial physics? The curse of a doomed deity? However its cause, Hari Yahnric found himself not quite himself for three weeks.

After finding potential work, Hari opted to work at the Sparrowhawk Croft. More money. He'd be busy, but it was what he was about. That week, he took the position as a floor supervisor and lead surgeon. The first week he put in some decent hours but kept some time open so as to get better situated in the city (Work - 3 VIS).

Needing to eat and still not sure where the market was, Hari continued to eat with the monks. He also offered the father with some free medical help for the poor wounded. ( - 1 VIS)

Sleep. (- 2 VIS)

The rest of the time, Hari spent looking around for a marketplace, and for places that might have the kind of... otherwise unsettling materials he would need for his experiments. (- 2 VIS)

Turn 2
Vis: 8
Focus: 1 (OP - Am I doing this right? Unsure what I should put here...)

Gilder: 25 G (15G + 10G from work, eating for free)

Heat: 0

Stress: 0

Inventory: Nothing but a handy scalpel and small magnifying glass.





Lazarian wrote:
WEEK TWO

A THIEF IN THE NIGHT

A large notice has been posted in the entryway to the Tenements.

“I’ll kill you, thief!” it reads, scrabbled in furious messy handwriting.

Well. That’s something. Some of you have noticed footsteps in the odd hours of the night, to be sure - could that be the thief?

THE PEACOCK WIND

The Peacock Wind is due for next week, to be sure! What is the Peacock Wind, exactly? Well. It’s a well-known weather phenomena which arises in the late weeks of Yi Yue, a ferocious wind that rattles windows and freezes puddles across Hsin-Yao this week. It would be wise not to spend much time outdoors - or, alternatively, to find a warmer outfit. Good coats are selling for 3 Gilders and can be purchased at any time this week.

NEWS FROM THE FRONT!

HSIN-YAO, 18th of Yi Yue.
The biggest battle to date in the Centennial Revolution in Northern Thénia is reported to be in progress in the southern Lang Ma area, where the Communards in their drive south from Puliang and Coi Mei are attacking on a 90-mile front. Correspondents from Tilleur reports that the Communard troops have occupied the walled and moated city of Chenting (on the Lang Ma-Hankow railway), from which the Thénians have retreated, leaving 600 dead. The Communard vanguard has reached the Huto River, 31 miles north of Shihchiachwang, an important junction on the Lang Ma Hankow railway south of Chentung, from which a line runs along to Huto to Taiynan, capital of Shangtze.


Hari started his second week with a determination to get caught up. First, he paid 10 gilden to the landlord, a loud, often angry brute who thought yelling was the only form of communication. Hari frowned as he passed over the rent. The landlord, used to such from tenants he got, greedily snatched the money and otherwise ignored Hari's facial reactions.

"Peacock Wind will be coming soon," Hari heard the man mutter.

"Excuse me?" Hari asked.

The landlord scoffed, forgetting he was dealing with one recently off the boat. "Peacock Wind. Means it will be really cold." And glancing at Hari's worn garment, the landlord's eyes raised up as he said, "You better find a coat."

Nodding, Hari said nothing. He walked outside, glancing at the threat to a thief, and headed off. He needed some food, a coat, a blanket perhaps? The Tenements wasn't the kind of place that kept out the wind. He made his way to Sparrowhawk and began a week of treating the sick and wounded (-3 VIS).

Again, he also volunteered to help treat some of the wounded who came by the friars. (-1 VIS).

Hopefully having found a market, he bartered to get a coat for below cost (-1 VIS, +1 Focus) and some food too. If there was an affordable blanket available, he'd try to buy one too.

The rest of the time, he went trying to find some chemicals he might experiment with. (+1 Focus, - 1 VIS)

Sleep! (-2 VIS)

Turn 3
Vis: 8
Focus: 1 (OP - Again, I don't know if I'm doing this right.)

Gilder: 25 G (25G + 10G from work, - 10 G rent)

Heat: 0

Stress: 0

Inventory: Nothing but a handy scalpel and small magnifying glass. Hopefully a coat and blanket will be soon be added, along with some tastier foods than oat mush.





Lazarian wrote:
WEEK THREE


COUNCILMAN OUT:

A prosecution under the Prevention of Corruption Act has resulted in Councilman Cheng, general merchant, of Barbican, Long Chow, being sent to gaol for six months for offering the clerk of a collecting firm money to declare goods from abroad being below their true value. Cheng is responsible for a very unpopular spate of legislation, including the Refugee Acclimation Act.

BIG FIGHT - MA LOCAL FAVORITE:

Jack Ma has been pronounced in perfect physical condition for his fight tomorrow with Hongkew heavyweight, Tollman Heeney. The winner will be in line to meet the Ju Lan Liang, to contest the right to ultimately meet the title holder, Big Hong Wat. Doubt concerning Mr. Ma's left hand has been removed. Doctors say that the injury has completely healed.

SINKING ON THE MUDWAY:

The 22-ton steam-skiff 'Ping Mei' sank on the Mudway Canal yesterday, in what is thought to have been a boiler explosion. Five bodies have been recovered by lifeboats. The 'Ping Mei's cargo was reportedly a consignment of Tilleurean wine, ensured by the Strangeways Zeppelin Serive. A spokesman for Strangeways on Tuesday wished to make it known that: "Any cases of the Ping Mei's cargo recovered intact may be turned in to the authorities for a suitable fee!". Councilman Hong, of the Hsin-Yao Municipal Legislature, has despairingly remarked that: "As if the scourge of public drunkenness wasn't bad enough! Now the Mudway's flowing with wine too?" Madam Ling, of the Thênian Temperance Union, has so far declined to comment.


The local news of the week brought concerns from abroad and at home. The councilman who was jailed had helped with laws helping refugees such as himself. With his arrest, who knew what refugee status would be like in the coming weeks? There had also been a shipwreck. Hari tugged at his coat as he thought of the poor souls who went looking for treasures amidst the mud and debris that washed up on shore. "No doubt some would find a nice used needle to get stuck in his hand, or lacerate his legs on scores of broken glass." The thought of wine flowing down the Mudway made him shake his head. No doubt they'd be seeing some poor sots who had inhaled too much water trying to get drunk on the stuff for free. There was no accounting for people.

Another week of work (-3 VIS) and more time spent helping the friars (-1 VIS).

The rest of the time, Hari spent either exploring more of the town, (-1 VIS), searching for chemicals and other oddities / or experimenting with them. (-1 VIS).

Sleep! (-2 VIS)

Turn 4
Vis: 8
Focus: 1 (OP - Is there a set amount of focus one should have that you subtract extra focus on? Or is this whether or not I spent any on an action? Confused...)

Gilder: 35 G - ___G (25G + 10G from work, - ___G for supplies)

Heat: 0

Stress: 0

Inventory: Nothing but a handy scalpel and small magnifying glass. Hopefully a coat and blanket will be soon be added, along with some tastier foods than oat mush.
Last edited by Talchyon on Fri Apr 12, 2024 12:19 pm, edited 4 times in total.
The Clockwork Circus - Welcome to a steampunk RP rife with crime, gangs, beggars, and starting off as the lowest of the low, in the lowest socio-economic place there is.


Louisianan wrote:Talchyon has great comedic writing, that is true.

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Cybernetic Socialist Republics
Minister
 
Posts: 2181
Founded: May 17, 2019
New York Times Democracy

Postby Cybernetic Socialist Republics » Tue Apr 02, 2024 6:29 pm

No good deed went without its punishment, apparently. Lisha managed to fight off both of the scarved men, but the woman she saved ran off without so much as an acknowledgment for what she'd done for her. The bystanders around also appeared to be none too impressedfor the most part as well. For her trouble, all she'd got out of it all was an injured arm & new enemies. 'Saxon', whoever that was, is who the red scarved men answered to. The coming week was to be the week she finally head to the Deadspit Lane Fleapit, to find a fight & try her luck in the arena. Instead, she'd have to spend her time nursing an injury while still working odd jobs at Tangletown market yet again, lest she find herself in need of money & not have enough. Who knew what difficulty she could be finding her self in unexpectedly there were still creditors, after all, out there, that wanted her debt to them paid, never mind what issues she could run into having crossed the men of 'Saxon'. The only consolation, if one could even call it that, was that she felt at least some satisfaction from a fight well won. There wasn't much else to be satisfied with, so she'd have to make due with that.


Actions, Turn 4
Starting:
Vis: 7/7
Focus: 2
Gilder: 11 G
Heat: 0
Stress: 0
Inventory: Coat

-Lisha sleeps in her apartment.[-2 Vis]

-Lisha heads to Tangletown Market yet again, taking it a bit more slowly as a result of her injury. [-4 Vis, 5 G]

-Lisha buys food & pay rent [-12G, -1 Vis]

Finishing:
Vis: 0/7
Focus: 2
Gilder: 9 G
Heat: 0
Stress: 0
Inventory: Coat

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The GAmeTopians
Powerbroker
 
Posts: 9785
Founded: May 12, 2014
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby The GAmeTopians » Thu Apr 04, 2024 6:06 am

Turn Four

Kassia Alani Baker


Kassia's hands twitched between hammer blows. The air of the forge was hot, the hammer and anvil ringing in time with the dozen others in the Cog & Chain, and yet her hands felt empty. Missing something.

She knew what it was, of course. Hardly a day went by where she didn't have her Blades in hand - sure, they were hardly useful in their current state, but with how well they'd served her in Bre Tann it didn't matter. They may as well have been a part of her, for how much time they spent either in her grip or stowed away on her person. A moment of respite as her current workpiece cooled allowed her a glance of longing over to the far side of the forge, where one of the senior smiths chiseled and tapped and sanded her beautiful Blades. He'd said they'd be done by week's end, no trouble. She damned well hoped so, given it had cost her a month's rent.

Speaking of, she was hoping one of her coworkers had some ideas on where a foreigner woman might find residence outside the Refugee Quarters without a drastically increased risk of being stabbed. Not that she couldn't handle such an attempt... but, well.

Taking fights on others' terms was bad for business.

Actions, Turn 4
Vis: 8
Focus: 1

Event: Kassia listens to the Corporate man's ramblings. Who knows, perhaps such a man will reveal useful knowledge - or at the very least satisfy her love for the Weird.

-Kassia returns to her two-phase sleep schedule. The Delicate Blade withdraws from the night... for now. (Sleep.) [-2 Vis]

-Kassia buys groceries. (Shopping.) [-1 Vis, -2 G]

-Kassia slips into the Cog and Chain for some honest work this week... and pays one of the senior smiths to fix up her Blades. Now into her second week, she also asks her coworkers about potential accommodation elsewhere in the city. (Hard Labor, and a reward in steel and rumor.) [-3 Vis, +5 -9 = -4 G]

-Kassia spends her nights training hard - the newly acquired punching bag is being put to good use. Even once her Blades are restored, it pays to be ready to scrap. (Training: Unarmed Fighting.) [-2 Vis, Item: Punching Bag, Focused, Stress Boost! +1 Stress]

Gilder: 4 G (5 + 5 (Stipend) + 5 (Work) - 2 (Food) - 9 (Blades))

Reputation: 1
Heat: 0

Stress: -1 -> 0

Inventory:
Blades (Rusted. Useless in their current state.)
Machete
Punching Bag
Warm Coat
Last edited by The GAmeTopians on Thu Apr 04, 2024 6:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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It's like your a prostitute and the RP is a truck. The truck don't stop.

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G-Tech Corporation
Khan of Spam
 
Posts: 63863
Founded: Feb 03, 2010
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby G-Tech Corporation » Sun Apr 07, 2024 11:54 am

A Symphony in Scarlet


High above the closing whistle bellowed, and the giant looked up from the anvil over which he had bent for the last two bells, noting the dimming light of day beyond the great grimy glass windows of Crimwick's foundry. He glanced down at the piece before him, approximating the cheery red glow of the newly pulled steel, and selected one of the three barrels near at hand with a flick of his deep near-black eyes. Chainmail gloves abating the heat, he gripped the cog assembly in heavy brass tongs and plunged the work into the barrel of smoking linseed oil. Gouts of flame rushed up the tongs in a flash, an instant of conflagratory death for the spirit of the forge which lingered in the heart of the metal, and then only the cool hiss of quenching oil remained.

It would keep until the next shift. The night workers did not handle such complex items as the flywheel the Scion was working on, and quenching the process would prevent too much relaxation of the metal before he could fully shape the teeth to align with the clockwork mechanism after the morrow. All around Winthrop the other forge workers made their own decisions, or took action under the watchful eye of their masters to conclude projects or freeze them in place as was practicable in the time-sensitive tableau of metalwork.

Bit by bit men began to step away from their stations, from stamping mills and sand-casting assemblages, and drift like a flock of diffident birds gradually toward the mechanism on the wall that would record their hours. The man from the upcountry did not bother cleaning up his station as well as he normally would, but instead shucked off his gloves and joined the line of men stamping timecards with more than his usual alacrity. There was work still to be done here this evening, but time theft was something the masters and Crimwick himself frowned upon heavily - reasonably so.

With a resounding thunk the meaty fist of the smith pressed the curiously shaped implement into his piece of plaster-card, and then tossed the card into the lockbox for pickup by the shift overseer. That unfortunate person merely nodded at Winthrop as he turned around and shambled back toward his workstation. As long as he was off of the clock, and didn't intend to stay into the second shift, siphoning a bit of the remaining heat of the fires and some wear on the heavy hammers hadn't proven too difficult to ask for.

Back at his workstation the misshapen golem pulled a scrap box from underneath his stamping table; it hadn't been much to look at first, but with the grime and corrosion and pattern-welds scraped away there was good steel in there, good enough, the Scion hoped, for his purposes.

A metal box, for remelting scraps. A handful of ceramic sintering dust, to prevent the whole affray from bonding to the cold iron amalgam of which the forge-box was composed. It would do nobody any good if he had to cut the box away from the gather, and come out of his wages besides. Those wages were fair enough, but not so flush that he had a desire to squander them. Carefully he packed the springs, cogs, scraps, and machined bobbins down into the forge-box, then tamped the lid on. Into the foundry it went, to heat.

It would have to be only a handful of minutes. Enough to make the metal 'sticky', malleable and bonded, without being hot enough to allow the hardenability to leak out of the steel. The sintering powder and firm box would help with that, but there was no sense letting all of the carbon make the gather soft putty and the implement hard enough for a knife. Carefully Winthrop watched the water clock he had placed next to his workbench. It was one of the more reliable ones from around the smithy, and would have to do for now.

Eleven minutes. Into the foundry the heavyset man reached with char-black welding tongs, and with the thrumming of cooling metal he waved the box through the air in a figure eight pattern, letting the hot metal settle to one end of the container. Then, when it had let off enough heat to not simply burn through his workbench's thick oak, he set it down and set to work prying off the end of the box.

Relief. With a satisfying pop of released pressure the crucible came apart in a trice, and out slithered what could very well pass for a forge-welded slug of middling steel. It was banded as he had ever seen, in her defense, but such a varied mix of scrap could hardly be scolded for her inconsistencies.

Up came his hammer, and down it fell, tongs holding the dully glowing metal in place as he began the work of shaping it into a small finer's hammer, for the subtle work which he hoped to soon become his stock in trade. It would no doubt break sooner than he wished, but even a few months of good work would be a great boon to the Scion and his ambitions in this den of iniquity.
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Remnants
Attaché
 
Posts: 79
Founded: Jan 30, 2024
Corporate Police State

Postby Remnants » Tue Apr 09, 2024 12:55 pm

Well life seems good for now

Turn Four

After the crappy encounter with the Door of Hope Monk and a very polite way of saying fuck off you got too much Gilder to get meals here. Jacob gave a polite goodbye and thanks for the food before walking back to the market and looking for all the items on his internal shopping list surprisingly He found everything he wanted for the week, on the other not he only had five Gilder left, and four reserved for that kid that knocked on his door in hellish hours of the night. Still kept a keen eye on his surroundings, especially after spending such a large amount of money in a place like this. He would make his way back to the Tenements eager for an early night's rest.

But something caught his eye, a hole-in-the-wall store that seemed to be a hastily boarded-up shop called Galder's Gadgetries. That is not what caught his eye, the thing that did was a rough cardboard sign with "DETECTIVE SOUGHT. REASONABLE RATES. ENQUIRE WITHIN." those words stopped Jacob in his tracks. Finally, a job that called to him and his set of skills. But one thing did make this strained why would a shop called Galder's Gadgetries want a Detective how hastily boarded up the shop is, means that everyone in this place is in desperate need of some help...Good thing he's passing by.

Jacob would walk around the shop as he went he would fix up his freshly paid-for waxed coat and his new dagger hiding within his coat he would walk with confidence to the shop door before knocking on the door frame and entering looking for a job that can finally get his foot in the Private Invitation business. (-3 Vic / +1 Stress? )

(If he gets the job)
still aching from low amounts of sleep and the large amount of labor his been doing these past weeks. But it pays well and his fellow workers seem to not care too much about him only a few grumbles here and there. After doing a whole day of unloading freight from the she's to the port he collects his pay from the Boatswain and tells him that he will be leaving the job after doing one more week of work for him. Also telling the Boatswain that he got a better job offer somewhere else and that's why his leaving...After all it's good to be polite to people In charge. ( -2 Vic, Glider +4 )

He would get some extra sleep in after all more sleep means a healthy mind ready to work!
(-2 for extra sleep)
___________________________________________________________________________________________
(If he doesn't get the job)
still aching from low amounts of sleep and the large amount of labor his been doing these past weeks. But it pays well and his fellow workers seem to not care too much about him only a few grumbles here and there. After doing a whole day of unloading freight from the she's to the port he collects his pay from the Boatswain and looks for a place with better pay around Harlot's Landing and the surrounding streets. (-2 Viv, Glider +4 / -2 Vic Perception)

Jacob's Actions, Turn four
Gilder 6 -> 1
VIC {-1}8 -> 2
Stress 1 -> 0?
Already had this amount of Glider =6
Many of his job pays for his hard labor (Glider +4)
Once more Jacob collets the Government stipend (Glider +5)
He would pay for all that he seeks from the last turn (-12)
He would reserve ( Glider -4) for the kid in case he shows up next week

OOC is the Government stipend a one-time thing or is it all long they are willing to give it out?

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Lazarian
Minister
 
Posts: 2011
Founded: Jul 14, 2013
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Lazarian » Tue Apr 09, 2024 1:17 pm

WEEK FOUR


Image

NEWS FROM THE FRONT

4th of Er Yue, Chenting

The biggest battle to date in the Centennial Revolution in Northern Thénia is reported to be in progress in the southern Lang Ma area, where the Communards in their drive south from Puliang and Coi Mei are attacking on a 90-mile front. Correspondents from Tilleur reports that the Communard troops have occupied the walled and moated city of Chenting (on the Lang Ma-Hankow railway), from which the Thénians have retreated, leaving 600 dead. The Communard vanguard has reached the Huto River, 31 miles north of Shihchiachwang, an important junction on the Lang Ma Hankow railway south of Chentung, from which a line runs along to Huto to Taiynan, capital of Shangtze.

REFUGEE STIPEND PROGRAM REPEALED!

Callous disregard meets those who line up at the city offices this week seeking their refugee stipends. The clerks turn them away, faces set in unmistakable loathing. The Refugee Stipend Program, unpopular burden that it was perceived to be, is no more. Its primary proponent Councilman Cheng has fallen from grace, impeached from his position. The native masses have made their stance clear - charity for the displaced holds no place in their vision for a resurgent Hsin-Yao.

BLOOD IN THE STREETS!

The night air carries the acrid tinge of smoke and blood this week as Hsin-Yao's criminal elements erupt into open conflict. The destruction of Ecstasi & Co.'s secret operation has brought long-simmering tensions between the Redscarves and the nationalist Azure Coats into open flame. Reprisal begets escalation in a cyclical spiral as firebombs and rifle-shot blasts echo from dusk till dawn. The streets run thick with blood with each passing night. An ugly affair with no resolution in sight - the Gendarmes are perfectly content to sit back and let these lower elements of society sort themselves out.

BOMBING IN THE JADE DISTRICT!

Immense force rattles the very ground itself in the Jade District, shattering windows for blocks around. An explosion near a government building has struck at the heart of the civic quarter! While there are few casualties, the statue of the Suzerain has been terribly disfigured - a great shame upon Old Thenia! The anarchist communards in the city are suspected, but any proof remains elusive.

The Gendarmes respond with overwhelming numbers to this attack, establishing checkpoints and roadblocks throughout the district. Anyone entering or exiting finds themselves subject to screening and interrogation as the search for culprits intensifies.

This particularly affects Winthrop - although, of course, the roadblocks aren’t impossible to get through, by any means. Should he be daring or clever enough, he can certainly find a way to work this week. With some risk, of course.



PENELOPE LAGAKOU

The night realm holds no sanctuary for Penelope. Her slumbers remain a waking nightmare, tortured visions of her haunted past constantly assaulting her battered psyche. Whether simple misfortune or self-inflicted curse, each new dawn finds her more drained, more hollowed by exhaustion's pitiless advances than before. Cold sweat covers her pallid skin, and the dark circles beneath her eyes only intensify as the week goes on. [+1 Stress, -1 VIS next turn.]

The Harlot's Landing this week presents a fresh chaos to be navigated. Swarmed by the desperate and the drunkards alike, and clogged up to the gills by everything and everything that can possibly suffice as a makeshift boat or raft. Penelope manages to find a seller, but the fish is low quality, and her stomach hurts for days afterwards. She finds it difficult to continue eating such sustenance with so many coins rattling in her pockets.

Mercifully, Penelope's weekly appearance at Tallazan's Theatre of the Orphic Arts maintains her mastery's standard of excellence. The spirit of her departed mother, so often her tormenter, holds its insidious tongue on this night as the ritualistic theatre unfolds.

Eddies of smoke twist hypnotically while bells knell their eerie summons and spectral lanterns cast shadows unbound by earthly light sources. And in their uncanny midst, a new apparition coalesces into solidity - a shade clinging to the mortal plane with furious tenacity.

A thick noose dangles from the spirit’s neck, and its blue face and lolling tongue leer at the crowd, before turning to Penelope with hate-filled eyes. It rages at its unasked reanimation, raising a ghostly cleaver with malice. One onlooker's horrified voice breaks the air as the spectre grows closer.

“Quin Quao!” the man cries, stumbling backwards. “The Ragfair Ripper!”

The crowd bursts into screams and shouts - some onlookers make a run for the exits as the entity lurches forward. Even Tallazan’s demeanor is visibly shaken, much moreso than before - although he does not flee the stage, despite quivering knees and wavering hands.

Penelope's wits remain unshaken. With an arcing spray of sacred salt and scarlet smoke, the howling phantasm dissipates into formless ether once more. The exorcism brings down rapturous accolades and a shower of gilders upon Penelope once more. [+5 Gilders in tips. +1 Stress.]

Tallazan, for all his foolish bravado and unnecessary showmanship, proves an admirably apt pupil. By week's end, the fundamentals of true occultism find welcome purchase within his receptive mind. He will speak the words and walk the woods in due time - an unexpected reserve of talent has begun to be tapped.

Penelope’s search leads her along the winding streets to the East of Hsin-Yao, across the Bundway.

NEW DISTRICT DISCOVERED: Ash Harbor, ‘The West Bund’

A perpetual flow of crates and goods ebbs and surges through this port district at all times via boat and zeppelin alike, like a great industrial heartbeat. Though similar in atmosphere to the Circus, the ever-present Gendarmes maintain a firm grip of control on the Thenian Bund. There is too much money wrapped into this port for it to be ruled by gangs - while the city council and the Suzerain are willing to allow the Clockwork Circus to slide into misery, Ash Harbor is too valuable for that. Factories churn smoke and dust into the air, giving the air a perpetual acrid tang.


NEW LOCATION DISCOVERED:

Harborview Apartments - 12 Gilders/month

Rising like a weathered monolith above the ceaseless industrial thrum, this dilapidated edifice overlooks the bustling docks and smugglers' warrens of Ash Harbor. Soot-stained masonry bears witness to decades of operation amid the port's perpetual miasma. Minute contaminants invade every sill and crevice, leaving gritty residues to intermingle with the ever-present tang of machine oil and salt spray.

These cramped apartments house a kaleidoscope of transient laborers, sailors, and dockworkers - those whose very existence is inseparable from Hsin-Yao's maritime lifeblood. At all hours, the buildings' rickety balconies teem with shouted conversations, hanging laundry, and the caws of opportunistic gulls prospecting for any scrap to filch.
[A vertical cyclone of noise, grime and ceaseless human bustle overlooking the port's churning heart.]


JOSEPH KALIBJAN

Joseph stirs from fitful slumber. His sleep, as usual, was neither particularly good nor ill - though the rest provides him with enough vitality and life to face another day. (VIS recovered normally.)

Joseph rouses the children, Sanjan and her brother, to attend lessons at the schoolhouse by the Door of Hope. They emerge into the cacophony of Hsin-Yao's waking artery. Vendors hawk their wares, a menagerie of scents overwhelms the senses - spice and offal, smoke and misery. Joseph ushers his young charges through this daily gauntlet until the schoolhouse receives them into its battered embrace, before heading to his daily work.

Joseph greets the morning staff at Pechter’s with his typical affable nature. The hours blur, lost in sorting inventory, vending purchases, and packaging deliveries. But Joseph remains indefatigable, an inexhaustible reserve of optimism fuelling each transaction, each fleeting engagement with Hsin-Yao's streaming masses. It does not go unnoticed. At day's end, Dan van Pechter himself offers Joseph a modest rise in wages. A raise! [+1 Gilder - 6 Gilders per 3 VIS from now on.]

On his way back through the thickening evening crowds, Joseph spies the Tangletown Market. Quickly, he secures two weeks' rations, and perhaps...? Yes, there - a stall overflowing with secondhand books and tomes. An elderly woman presides over this bibliophilic kingdom.

"Excuse me, ma’am? You wouldn't happen to have any puzzle books? Some mysteries, maybe?" Joseph chances his arm, the strange request from the other morning resurfacing in his mind unbidden. "I can pay...two gilders?"

The old bookseller smiles a cadaverous smile, extending a battered puzzle book across the disorderly counter. A fair trade.

At the schoolhouse, Sanjan and her sibling regale Joseph with the day's lessons as they return to their modest lodgings. Simple joys, these domestic vignettes. A rare reprieve from the endless lamentations of the street. That evening, amidst the usual pastimes that occupy the family, little Sanjan produces a crumpled wad of bills from her pocket.

"It's a surprise! A gift, for all your hard work.” she beams, pressing them into her older brother’s hands. [+2 Gilders]

The money's unexplained and inexplicable origin is...disquieting. But the thought is appreciated, if not the means.

Before retiring, he retrieves a portion of the day's rations and sets off into the dimmed byways of the Tenements. His destination is the nameless woman, the one whose selfless charity saw them through the Peacock Wind. Amelia, she is called - a refugee from war-torn Wraizar, scratching out a meagre existence at the Bracken Looms.

She accepts the simple offering with grace and warmth, embracing Joseph briefly. In that fleeting contact, he senses her desperation, the knife-edge separating her from the abyss of true destitution.

"I may not make the rent this month..." she says, choked and quiet. She regards him closely, suddenly pensive. "Perhaps you would consider...?"

The unspoken proposition hangs between them heavily. It is up to Joseph to decide.


IAN DESCH

Ian exits the refugee building with modest stipend in hand. However, he can't help but notice that something is…amiss. The Thenian clerks’ visages betray an uncharacteristic hostility as they regard him, and they seem eager to be rid of his presence. It’s an obvious change - and an unsettling one.

Later, Ian heads to the Midnight Market. He slips into this shadowed labyrinth, and hands his bundle of scratched and well-worn passports to the masked figure - and sure enough, the man takes the documents without issue, fattening Ian's wallet with another payment in hard currency.

But another matter presides. Ian finds great success in locating tools of lethal implement - assorted armaments discreetly arrayed amid the market’s many stalls. Three options in particular sing to him, with lethal siren songs of cold steel and lead.

1. The Gendarme Flintlock: A classic smoothbore single-shot muzzle-loader, machine-made and hand-fed. Simple and durable in design, the 'Gendarme Armistice' is one of the most common firearms in Hsin-Yao, if not Thénia. Ascetic, frugal, mass-produced. The grip's reinforced butt-plate can act as a club. (7 Gilders)

2. The Dauman Devastator: Known for its characteristic 'double-bark', the 'Devastator' is a double-barreled muzzle-loader famously designed for the household troops of the Duke of Steüben - and became a common sight in the ranks of Dauman Freikorps following his assassination. (11 Gilders)

3. The Palm-Pistol: Ivory-handled and brass-plated, this discreet, compact firearm is very much a lady's gun. The markings on the barrel identify it as a 'Little Sister' from Krog-Jarron Arms, a manufacturer in Tilleur. There is nothing ladylike about its short, sharp retort, however - nor the gaping wounds left by its bullets. (7 Gilders)

Ian puts great time and attention towards ‘A Dragon’s Land’ this week. He hunkers down with pen and paper, determined to make progress on the chapters due soon. But despite his diligent efforts, the words simply won't flow. His mind keeps wandering, circling around fruitlessly. The dreaded writer’s block defeats him as he falls victim to the author’s oldest foe - and he only manages a single chapter once more. Not for lack of time, not for lack of effort - just simple misfortune, really. [Only 3 Gilders are earned, rather than 6.]

Ian delivers the chapter at Chengway Printers, before venturing off to find that railroad telegram office. He travels South, past Tangletown Market, past the Door of Hope, and across Five Pavilion Bridge into the Jade District.

NEW DISTRICT: Jade District - South

Ah, the Jade District - the heart of historical Hsin-Yao. This is the city’s hub for shops, administration, and commerce. Significantly nicer than the Circus - and significantly more expensive, too. Crumbling ancient facades stand side by side with modern buildings in an odd patchwork of the old and the new.

Ian finds himself exhausted, trying to find the railway yards. The Jade District splits off into several smaller districts to the South and West, and his inquiries for assistance are largely ignored by the general populace. He’ll have to come explore here at a later time, most likely.

Come week's end, Ian is exhausted. The late nights dedicated to endless pursuit of pages have sapped him of vital energies - merciless tribute to the pen's insatiable demands. As he drifts fitfully towards repose, half-formed visions accost him. Omens of further misfortune, no doubt. [-1 VIS next week.]


SIR WINTHROP EDDLETON - “The Scion”

Shifting routes and altering patterns - such diligent precautions seem to have averted further undesirable scrutiny, at least for now. Winthrop no longer finds himself the subject of that watchful Gendarme's suspicious gaze. With judicious application of caution and discretion, even the most lurking specters of past indiscretions can be washed fully away from the officiously watchful eye.

His new lodgings on the respectable Stoutvein Row represent a considerable upgrade from the tawdry tenements previously called home. Clean tiled floors, functional shuttered windows, and a generous two whole rooms to call his own. Luxury, by the standards he has grown accustomed to.

Daan's cousin, the leaser of these new accommodations, regards Winthrop with evident suspicion initially. But the judicious application of money - half the rent paid forthwith - proves as effective a balm for misgivings as any in this life. Coin, as always, the greatest soother of disquietude.

The surrounding Jade District, for an urban domain, can be considered almost...pleasant. An occasional motor-car's distant droning in the night hours, perhaps, but compared to the ceaseless clamor of the Circus? An oasis of tranquility awaits fitful slumbers here. (Winthrop has a small chance of gaining Focus on regular sleep.)

His day labor at Crimwick's Smithing proceeds well also. No masterworks take shape beneath his hammers this week, but Winthrop's reputation as a prized asset to the forge already precedes him. A workmanlike showing has negligible impact on his ascending esteem.

Indeed, the rigors of his honest artisanal toils bring about an unexpected boon. With each passing day, his hammers seem less weighed down by leaden agonies, his heart pumping with hale, newly invigorated vigor. The strenuous labors bestow hardy reinforcements to his corporeal sinews. Fortification hard-won through perseverance. [+1 MAX VIS.]

NEW TRAIT: STRONG
Through relentless training or natural gifts, your body is a testament to physical prowess. You can lift great weights, deliver punishing blows, and persevere through grueling exertions. Bonus to feats of strength and endurance.
[Brawn over brains, some might say - but you know the value of a stout heart and steadfast limbs.]

Yet more remains to be wrought beyond the rote hours of smithing. Between duties owed his employers, Winthrop's attentions turn to the transmutation of scraps and raw materials into new instruments to aid his craft. Crimwick's standard implements are serviceable enough, he supposes, if conceived for even the dullest of accidental apprentices to avoid calamity.

But Winthrop is no dullard. By sweat of brow, honed skills shaped through the forges' insistent tutelage, and the unbowed application of metalmithing's unyielding demands, he begins anew the birthing of repurposed purpose from discarded remnants. A stout forge hammer takes shape, its haft sized to accept the most forceful downstrokes. Wire pliers and fine tinkering irons similarly emerge from ravaged scraps, each imbued with considered functionality beyond their humble origins.

They are no mastercrafted wonders, this fresh set of tools. The materials betray their limitations, and more than one misstep transpires along their arduous genesis. But it is a beginning, one that channels intrinsic skill to elevate base resources into proficient extensions of the smithing hands. Fitting implements for one who fancies himself much more than a mere workaday laborer. [ACQUIRED: Fine Tools]


ALLISTAR CRAVEN

Allistar understands the crucial necessity of being battle-ready this week. If he intends to prosecute his self-anointed holy crusade, he must keep his physical form in the best shape he can. Adequate rejuvenation becomes his prime directive in the waking hours of the day.

The weekly pittance bleeding from the city's austere coffers is duly claimed as well, and the weekly rations are quickly procured from the simple provisions offered by Tangletown Market.

His mission - no, his obsession - this week is the Ecstasy & Co. Apothecary - a known den of heathens peddling their toxins and moonshines. A viper's nest that simply cannot be allowed to pollute Hsin-Yao's corporeal essence any longer.

But rushing in without reconnaissance could prove foolish at best, fatal at worst. Allistar carefully scouts the premises, watching the comings and goings to discern the establishment's routines and patterns with the unblinking scrutiny of a hawk.

His diligence reaps a fine reward. By the hour before midnight, the ranks within have thinned to a skeleton crew of miscreants and chemists. [Perceptive]

Even more crucially, Allistar has identified a potential vector for entry - a side alley door, easily missed and rarely used. A thick iron lock stands in his way, but this obstacle is one whose tumblers could never hope to remain an obstruction before his newly procured picks and nimble fingers.

When at last the fateful night shrouds the city, Allistar returns to that dim trespass point. A simple obstacle, soon overcome by his picks' proficient ministries. The tumblers shudder and groan, expelling their rusted defiance before at last acquiescing to intrusion. The door swings open with barely a creak, and he slips inside like a wraith made flesh.

With the entry successfully achieved, Allistar sneaks into the apothecary's hallways like a shadow in the night, climbing up stairs and slinking up to the second floor. The reek of moonshine and chemical vapors hangs thick enough to choke the unprepared, thick clouds of intoxicants and stimulants drifting in every room.

The illicit operation was still functional, if blessedly understaffed at this late hour. A handful of guards slouch outside the front and rear entries, while a bespectacled miscreant in a soiled apron tends to the bubbling stills on the open second floor.

Fortune smiles upon his holy endeavor - the guards downstairs are distracted, busy laughing about some perverse joke or winding story. Allistar bursts into the brewing room, and the chemist, mere feet away, looks at him with a mixture of shock and horror. Before the man can sound the alarm, Allistar strikes!

In one fluid motion he is upon the unsuspecting chemist, driving his fist into the back of the man's skull with a sickening crunch. The wretch crumples instantly in a graceless heap. The guards do not notice the faint thump upon the floor.

Like an avenging seraphim, Allistar now moves to fulfill his mission. Vials, tinctures, filters and hoses, beakers and spiral condensers - all are subsumed into the vast depths of his coat. But this mission, of course, is not satisfied with a mere smash-and-grab. [+7 Beakers, +Assorted Lab Equipment]

Something more is required here. A deeper purging of the source. Allistar's grimy hands seize upon one of the massive fermentation tanks. Its steel body shudders and groans as he shoves from below, with all his might. He strains! He shoves! He grits his teeth, muscles aflame, pushing until it seems his heart is near to bursting! [-1 VIS next turn!]

…and then, slowly, majestically, it tips. The enormous vessel strikes the ground in a percussive detonation which shakes the building, instantaneously disgorging its contents across the floor in a frothing deluge.

"I am in a holy war," Allistar declares proudly, feeling rapturous. "The Lord Himself has scorched this path for my feet to tread." [All Stress relieved!]

The righteous declaration still hanging in the vapors, his rampage intensifies. Beakers disintegrate against unyielding concrete. Pipes and tubing are rent asunder, surely severing arteries that once pumped obscene vitalities. More tanks join their fallen kin, adding their own foul ichors to the rising deluge.

Then, at last, the sounds of alarm! The thump of boots on wooden stairs - the slumbered watch roused too late by calamity's tolling bell! But the holy warrior is already departing, leaving naught but ruin in his wake. Allistar sprints for the second-story window and bursts through, glass shattering around him in a spray of shrapnel.

The fire escape awaits him outside, where he lands with a thud. He has plotted this exit route far ahead of this night’s events. He takes a sharp left, a sharp right, another left, before quickly descending a ladder into the sewers, where he easily loses any pursuers in a putrid maze of tunnels and walkways.

The gasping grins that await Allistar a few days later at the Door of Hope are a joy to behold. They have heard of his good work - though, of course, their lips are sealed. Brother Werner greets his acolyte with unrestrained jubilation, embracing him warmly as ten gilders find their way into Allistar's hand. Sufficient recompense for services rendered unto the Allfather’s ceaseless war on sin. There will be more tasks, of course, Werner whispers - but not this week.

More supplies and more equipment will be required for the days to come, Allistar knows. He will need fresh connections, new outposts to acquire the tools and arms for future holy offensives. Under the cover of night, he prowls the slums and backstreets, eventually happening upon the Midnight Market's shadowed exchanges.

The Midnight Market
In the late hours of the night, long after legitimate storefronts have shuttered, a clandestine network of merchants and fixers conduct their business across the rain-slickened rooftops surrounding Tangletown Market. Reached only by rickety fire escapes, drainpipe ladders and ramshackle catwalks, this open-air bazaar emerges under the cover of night like a rooftop blight. Canvas awnings are lashed between chimneys to form cramped booths and warrens where all manner of illegal goods are discreetly hawked.
[An illicit market that lurks above the streets, where boundaries are few and risk is currency.]

Here, blades and drugs change hands as freely as any other commodity. For a few paltry gilders, Allistar secured a wicked shiv - a trifling sum to purchase the blessing of self-defense. No more would he find himself a helpless victim to the city's manifold predations. [OPTIONAL: -3 Gilders for Shiv]


LILY ISHENKO

Lily is completing some extra work this week, and has been feeling somewhat tense due to not having unwound fully other than in Pinfold's company, so she spends some extra time sleeping. It is a boon - the nightmares leave her be, and the extra rest provides her with additional focus and mental strength.

She makes sure to keep her wits about her and keep her newly acquired blade with her whilst she covers for Pinfold's doorman role. It is a shady

Once more Lily heads to work, hoping to complete her apprenticeship after her great shift last week- she collects her stipend on the way to work, whilst it lasts, and buys her food on the way home (-3 VIS, +7 G)


HARI YAHNRIC - “Doctor Veins”

Week Two - Labor’s Love
The work of a doctor in Hsin-Yao was hardly glorious, somehow less so in the hurried stitching and binding and amputation of Sparrowhawk Croft. It seemed that every time Hari glanced at the clinic’s door, there was some new diseased or injured folk stumbling in. It was very quickly clear why his pay dwarfed that of the unskilled laborers that were his neighbors - the work was skilled, to be sure, but also stressful and frequently depressing. Many, if not most, of his patients were unlikely to survive in the long-term. But he was paid all the same. (+10 G)

NEW LOCATIONS FOUND

Ecstasi & Co. Apothecary
From behind an unassuming door near the Ragfair Tents, a strange sickly-sweet aroma perpetually wafts. Here resides a clutch of disavowed chirurgeons and apothecaries who peddle a wide array of controlled analgesics, narcotics and arcane pharmaceuticals - no prescriptions required. Those of coin and addictive cravings form a constant queue on its step.
[A whispered remedy for any malady - at a terrible price.]

The Midnight Market
In the late hours of the night, long after legitimate storefronts have shuttered, a clandestine network of merchants and fixers conduct their business across the rain-slickened rooftops surrounding Tangletown Market. Reached only by rickety fire escapes, drainpipe ladders and ramshackle catwalks, this open-air bazaar emerges under the cover of night like a rooftop blight. Canvas awnings are lashed between chimneys to form cramped booths and warrens where all manner of illegal goods are discreetly hawked.
[An illicit market that lurks above the streets, where boundaries are few and risk is currency.]

Dremour Chemical Plant
Deep in the bowels of Hsin-Yao’s industrial zones, plumes of noxious smoke fill the sky - the ground is stained with the chemicals which with some frequency mix with the rain and descend upon the terrain and the populace in equal measure. But the valuable goods which it produces, and the weakness of its victims, make any sort of retribution for this business unlikely.
[Various chemical goods are manufactured within. A creative mind might put them to use.]


KASSIA ALANI BAKER - “The Delicate Blade”

Madman's Ramblings
There is precious little useful in the madman's ramblings. Or, at least, little enough that Kassia can discern in between the man's loose, wet laugh and stumbling jargon. But faced with it, Kassia is aware that she feels neither unease nor confusion - only vague pity. For this man - with his vacant stare and blathering voice - is an image. A mirror image of what she will never be. Rather, she feels control. Over herself and the world. So - exercise it! Look up at the sky, and the dark shapes of International airships hanging there. Ask: is there something sinister in Hsin-Yao?
[Then answer: no. God is in His heaven. Everything is normal on Earth. -1 Stress.]

The Delicate Blade withdraws from the night - for now. Her reward, at dawn's first light, is the feeling of sleep's slow ebb. Of spirits restored, and muscles rested. [Sleep is had. Thankfully.]

The stalls at the Tangletown Market offers goat-cheese today - and milk and curds also, as the buyer desires. Filthy food, perhaps - and grease. But filling. [+Food, -2 G]

With Kassia's pay well in hand, a senior smith at the Cog & Chain is only too happy to sharpen her blades as requested. Afterwards - with the hammer put aside and the anvil silent - Kassie can inspect the handiwork for herself. And ah, yes. This will do. Sharp, deadly, smooth - the Delicate Blade is ready for a return to form.[Her Blades are fixed, going from Rusted to fully operational.]

A few of Kassia'a coworkers hum and haw solemnly at thought thought of living elsewhere but the Circus. Hsin-Yao is a large city, after all - surely there must be others parts where honest souls can make their homes? "If only there was somewhere food and rent weren't so damn costly!" grumbles a junior stoker. A few of his colleagues, however, offer more qualified opinions...


Harborview Apartments (Ash Harbor) - ?? gilders/month

Rising like a weathered monolith above the ceaseless industrial thrum, this dilapidated edifice overlooks the bustling docks and smugglers' warrens of Ash Harbor. Soot-stained masonry bears witness to decades of operation amid the port's perpetual miasma. Minute contaminants invade every sill and crevice, leaving gritty residues to intermingle with the ever-present tang of machine oil and salt spray. These cramped apartments house a kaleidoscope of transient laborers, sailors, and dockworkers - those whose very existence is inseparable from Hsin-Yao's maritime lifeblood. At all hours, the buildings' rickety balconies teem with shouted conversations, hanging laundry, and the caws of opportunistic gulls prospecting for any scrap to filch.
[A vertical cyclone of noise, grime and ceaseless human bustle overlooking the port's churning heart.]

Draidic Row Tenements (Clockwork Circus) - ?? gilders/month

A grimy crevasse amid the ramshackle sprawl of the Circus, Draidic Row cowers beneath looming shadows cast by towering textile mills and industrial forges. Soot-choked brick edifices cling to one another in a perpetual lean, windows glassless and gaping. Entire families cram into each single-room abode, broad clans sharing what little space and resources they can scrounge. The air is choked with the reek of smoke, sweat, and human desperation. On the rare cloudless day, wan light finds its way into the alley's shadowed heart, though none who dwell here could find it welcoming.
[A lodestone for the utterly destitute where the barest necessities are an unceasing struggle.]

Docker's Bunkhouse (Ash Harbor) - ?? gilders/month

Brackish timbers and rusted corrugated steel form the unholy marriage of warrens clustered beneath Ash Harbor's perpetual miasma. Cramped cubicles meant for temporary berths now house entire families of dockworkers and day laborers. The buildings groan and shift with each passing barge, seemingly ever at risk of being pulled into the roiling waters below. Laundry lines trail across soot-stained balconies as gulls pick through discarded scraps. Here, the closest thing to a respite is the gruff camaraderie and ale-fueled song drifting through paper-thin walls.
[A ramshackle watchtower for those who eke out their existence servicing Hsin-Yao's maritime machine.]


Work at the Cog & Chain is fine this week. Almost sedate, even. Until the noon-time break when one of the senior smiths brings the lunchtime chatter to a halt. Frankly, he notes, the Cog & Chain are just about full as far as day laborers go - and they probably shan't need the following faces next week...
[Kassia's name is the third one mentioned. Alas.]

With hard discipline - and much sweat and pain besides - Kassia's training progresses well enough. Her newly acquired punching bag is certainly put to good use. And though her shoulders ache and temper frays by week's end - it is, perhaps, a necessary sacrifice. [+1 Stress.]

NEW TRAIT: Shadowboxer.
Shadows don't box - but you can certainly box with them. Not many realize this, but being a capable combatant is not solely about either your muscles or your skeleton – so much as your ability to use both in tandem. You have unlocked a skill with your fists - not the effortless grace of a professional, but something perfectly useful regardless.

After a particularly strenuous training session, the angry rap-rap-rap! on Kassia's door heralds a visit. On her threshold stands a flinty-eyed neighbor - eyelines black and mouth tense. Her words, like her tone, are decidedly unkind. Does Kassia have any idea what time it is?! And does she have any idea that some of her neighbors are trying to sleep? Well? Does she?!
[Her neighbor doesn't say it out loud, exactly - but if Kassia doesn't keep the racket down? - her landlord will definitely hear about this. Whether he'll care, of course, is anyone's guess. But is that a risk she's willing to take?]


LISHA LANG - “Scarlett”

Sleep is Lisha's friend this week. Though the night-time cold bites beyond the window, and her cot is barely worthy of the term 'comfortable' - when dawn comes, she wakes refreshed.
[All VIS is duly recovered.]

Lisha's weekly forays to work at the Tangletown Market is a tad gentler than usual. She minds her movements well enough, fortunately - and though the aches of her sore muscles are seldom far form her mind, they do, at week's end, fade.
[Her earlier wounds and bruises fade, little by little.]

Fade - and wax stronger. For in grinding practice and solid work lies sweet perfection. By week's end, Lisha's arms are toned indeed. If ever her boxing career once knew a prime form, this is it.
[+5G from Work. +1 MAX VIS.]

Food is purchased, and 'ere the new week starts afresh - Lisha's landlord accepts her rent with a whole half-inch's worth of a nod.
[-12G, +Food. Well done.]
Last edited by Lazarian on Fri Apr 12, 2024 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Cybernetic Socialist Republics
Minister
 
Posts: 2181
Founded: May 17, 2019
New York Times Democracy

Postby Cybernetic Socialist Republics » Tue Apr 09, 2024 2:34 pm

The news this week didn't broker any particularly good news, to say the least, for the locals, except perhaps those supportive of the Communards efforts in the nation's civil war. The refugee stipend that Lisha had paid rent out of had been repealed, which was one source of reliable income now gone. Never mind the criminl violence that was carrying on specificially in Hsin-Yao. One thing she did learn, however is that the thugs she sent off on their way were almost certainly with the 'Redscarves', who had fought street battles with another group known as the Azure Coats. Chances were, she'd unintentionally inserted herself into a conflict without knowing it, but Lisha was nothing if not brave and combative.

Which is precisely why, though her body was still healing from her street brawl, she nonetheless felt now was the time to test her luck in the Deadspit Lane Fleapit. If nothing else, a few weaks of labor in the tanglemarket had left her feeling stronger than ever, despite remaning sourness. Perhaps she could even spare a Gilder attempting to bet on herself to take the edge off & potentially win a greater prize, that was one way to kill two stones with one stone.


Actions, Turn 5
Starting:
Vis: 8/8
Focus: 2
Gilder: 9 G
Heat: 0
Stress: 0
Inventory: Coat

-Lisha sleeps in her apartment.[-2 Vis]

-Lisha heads to Deadspit Lane Fleapit, where she intends to secure a fight (Fights?), while also attempting to put up a wager on her own victory. [-5 Vis, -1 Focus, Stress (Net 0?), -1 G]

-Lisha buys food [-2G, -1 Vis]

Finishing:
Vis: 0/8
Focus: 1
Gilder: 6 G
Heat: 0
Stress: 0
Inventory: Coat
Last edited by Cybernetic Socialist Republics on Tue Apr 09, 2024 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Estebere
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 59
Founded: Sep 22, 2022
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Estebere » Tue Apr 09, 2024 5:33 pm

Turn V: To know Terror - Ian Desch - 2/22/81
[Things just got a whole lot worse.]


Fxxm fx am mbx faldxm. Am qhnl uehrxrm xgmlagux, vaed exym agw ehhd nj.

-B


That was all the letter said. It was enough.

Barry, whatever he was doing, had summoned him to the market. Daringly, he even included the actual date. Tucking it into his pocket, he told Vivian to stay in the apartment and guard everything as he picked up his bag.

Arriving at the spot, he discovered a rope, hanging from above, and a pulley system that seemed to be designed for his crutch. Placing the crutch on the pulley, he hopped onto the rope, pulling himself up into a dusty attic. In it, he could see a kettle, a mattress, and a strangely large bale of hay. And, of course, a man working on... something.

"Passcode?"

"Hope."

"Ah! Ian, you've made it. Thanks for coming, and welcome to the Operation Lucerne headquarters!" At that, Barry turned towards Ian, removing his googles and mask, "Good to see you again."

Ian nodded, "Indeed. Now, what is it you need?"

Barry sighed, "Long story short, I need funds. And fireworks, those would also help, but most of all money. If you couldn't tell by my-" He swept his hand around the attic, "-modest dwellings, I've run out."

"Of course. It always comes down to money. But yes, I can help. How much do you need? Please tell me it's less than 10."

Barry nodded, "Yes yes, only five. Anyways, there is much to discuss. Would you like a drink?"

"No, but thank you for offering. Now, what's your plan?" Ian asked, as they discussed the very first project Barry would take up. Leaving, with an exchange of codes, Ian took his crutch and climbed down.

And just at the end of his vision, he saw a chilling sight.

His editor, clad in the uniform of a Wraizan Hunter.

Ian ran.


21 Gilders --> 24 Gilders --> 17 Gilders
-1 Heat --> -1 Heat --> -1 Heat
0 Stress --> 0 Stress --> 0 Stress
2 Focus --> 2 Focus --> 2 Focus
7/7 Vis


Ian buys his food and gets his stipend. -1 Vis, +3 Gilder [Business as usual.]

Ian writes his chapters. -2 Vis, +2 Chapters [Back on schedule.]

Ian delivers his chapters, and then explores the city. -1 Vis, -2 Chapters [My routine, you like it?]

Ian meets up with Barry, discovers terror, and buys a gun. -1 Vis, -10 Gilders, +1 Palm-Pistol [He's here? I'm gonna need a gun.]

Ian sleeps properly. -2 Vis [I need rest]


In Newsbag:
Vivian the Cat
Gilders(Hidden)

On Person:
Scarf
Newsbag
Feather
Crutch(Held)
Palm Pistol(Hidden)

At Home:
Coat
Paper
Pen
Ink
Don't trust my NS Stats. They're all wrong.

User avatar
Lunas Legion
Post Czar
 
Posts: 30985
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Tue Apr 09, 2024 5:52 pm

Turn V
Penelope Lagakou


More meaningless news. Penelope had no idea where Lang Ma was, or Puliang or Coi Mei, or Chenting. It did sound like the Communards were advancing, which brought a sneer to Penelope's face. Was it truly so hard to escape the menace of the leftists, even on the other side of the world? She was trying to start a new life for herself. A bombing in one of the posher districts, where she should be, violence in the streets between groups of scum...

She was mostly half-awake as she headed into Tallazan's theater, having found herself a breakfast other than fish. The last batch she'd eaten had made her stomach hurt for days and she was not suffering that again, not when she had plenty of coins available to purchase slightly less questionable foods from slightly less questionable people.

The performances were almost getting boring, now. Routine. She knew exactly what she was doing. Even Tallazan was beginning to pick up some of the basic fundamentals of true occultism, not the lies and theatrics. She walked around the stage, bells tolling, smoke twisting, light casting shadows of things that were not there, flickering in and out of visibility. She shut her eyes and breathed deeply. No doubt it would be her mother, again. Her survival, and her mother's death, knowing she had escaped... That would have carved quite the deep connection between them.

Her eyes shot open as the shadow solidified, prepared to face-

That was not her mother.

There was a noose around the spirit's neck, and her mother had not died by hanging. It turned to her, revealing a blue face and limp tongue, eyes filled with hate, pure hate. An arm raised a half-transparent cleaver, as if the blade were smoke.

She had no idea who this was. Not an ancestor of hers... Connected to someone in the audience, then? Perhaps the location? A combination?

“Quin Quao!” Someone in the audience cried. “The Ragfair Ripper!”

Ah. A serial killer, then. The crowd burst into screams and shouts, some running for the exits. Penelope remained calm even as the spirit lurched forwards. The spirit of a serial killer remained a spirit. Tallazan, to his credit, remained on the stage.

"Begone." She ordered, one hand grabbing a small bowl of salt she had left in the center of the stage for just such an occasion, a prop with purpose, and flung the contents at the spirit, swinging a smoking scarlet censer with the other one. Howling, the spirit vanished, and she breathed.

"That." She said quietly, so quietly that perhaps only Tallazan could barely hear it, "is why I am teaching you exorcisms first. It is dangerous to summon something you do not know how to unsummon."

He would learn in due time. He had more potential than she had thought, at first.

Gilder: 20G (Turn IV Carryover)
-2G, +1 Food (Regular Food)
+6G (Tallazan’s Theatre, Employment)
-7G (Spoke & Buttonhole - Snakeskin Liquor, Catoy and Chunks of Seared Pardoner-Eel, -1 Stress)
17G Remaining

Heat: 0
Stress: 4 (Carryover from Turn IV)
-1 (Snakeskin Liquor)
Total Stress: 3

Actions:
-1 VIS (Poor Sleep)
-Penelope attempts to sleep. It is most certainly getting worse. [2/8 VIS used, Sleep, Focused (I think she has this back this turn?)]
-It seems Tallazan actually has some talent for this. If she should have to leave, it is good to know the theater will be in good hands. [3/8 VIS used, +6G]
-If she is going to be moving to Ash Harbour, she may as well explore it a little beforehand. Perhaps there might be something worth buying coming off the ships? [2/8 VIS used, Explore Ash Harbor, ‘The West Bund’]

Inventory:
Good Coat
Crimson Silk Dress

Known Locations:
  • The Clockwork Circus
    • The Gear & Gasket
    • The Cog & Chain Forges
    • The Redhook Gallows
    • The Ragfair
    • The Spoke & Buttonhole Gaming Hall [A Great Many Options]
    • Deadspit Lane Fleapit
    • The Harlot's Landings [-1G, 1 VIS for +1 Food]
    • Yeo’s Shoppe of Curiosities
    • Tallazan’s Theatre of the Orphic Arts [Employment, 3 VIS for 6 G]
  • Ash Harbor, ‘The West Bund’
    • Harborview Apartments - 12 Gilders/month rent
Last edited by Lunas Legion on Tue Apr 09, 2024 5:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

Confirmed member of Kyloominati, Destroyers of Worlds Membership can be applied for here

User avatar
High Earth
Envoy
 
Posts: 277
Founded: Apr 02, 2023
Corporate Bordello

Postby High Earth » Wed Apr 10, 2024 6:24 am

Allistar Craven
Turn Five
“The Spoils of War”


Allistar had never been a hero. He had, however, always been a man of faith. When he had returned to the Door of Hope, he had been called an instrument of the Lord’s will. I have found my calling, he thought. My skills may finally be used with fair recompense, and I get to serve the Lord with my job. What more could I have asked for? Not all of the news is joyful however. The man who had been petitioning to give the refugees the stipend had been ousted from government, and the stipend went with him. I cannot blame him honestly, he thought. The overwhelming bulk of the money would be going toward either fueling addictions, of paying rent. Neither of which particularly benefited the elite. Hopefully his new employer would make up for this loss in income

Actions, Turn Five
Vis: 7->0
Focus: 2
Glider: 20-> 13(kept under a loose floorboard in his apartment when he is not buying anything, otherwise kept in a pocket sewn inside his shirt.)
Items: Shiv, Lock-Picks, Peepers, 2 Food (1 Consumed), 7 beakers, assorted lab equipment
Stress: 0-> 0
-Allistar decides to buy the shiv for self defense. (-3 G +Shiv)
-Allistar tries to get a bit more rest this week, as he really strained himself during his mission last week I’m not going to pretend that last week was easy, it wasn’t(-3 Vis, Sleep)
-Allistar obtains food for the next two weeks Same as usual(-1 Vis -4G +2 Food)
-Allistar spends some time volunteering at the Door of Hope, and trying to further cement his loyalty and prove himself ready for any other tasks I believe I have found my calling (-2 Vis)
-Allistar spent some time attempting to set up some of the lab equipment in his room, he is obviously not going to attempt to create narcotics, that is what he was trying to stop in the first place. However, he will be trying to tinker with it, as in the future, smoke bombs, flash bangs, glow sticks etc may prove useful to him Chemistry in and of itself is not inherently evil, it is a tool, like everything else, that may be used for good or evil (-1 Vis Focused x2)
Last edited by High Earth on Fri Apr 12, 2024 5:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Imagine America, but an asteroid crashed into them in the late 1800s causing the planet to be blanketed in magic.
Combines magic and modern tech into one conservative, hyper-capitalist society.

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