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The Clockwork Circus [IC | Closed]

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

The Clockwork Circus [IC | Closed]

Postby Lazarian » Wed Mar 20, 2024 9:29 am

CLOCKWORK CIRCUS

Image


21 Yi Yue, Year 1881, Hsin-Yao


The cloying scents of spice and opium smoke hang thick in the air, assaulting your senses upon arrival in this powder keg of a city. An eternal smog seems to linger in grimy alleyways, the air thick with exhaust, smoke, and dirt. All around, the cacophonous symphony of haggling street vendors, braying horses and sputtering engines, and the occasional distant gunshot provides a discordant soundtrack to this city.

Hsin-Yao. Your new home.

This - well, this is a place where the supposed glories of civilization grind against the harsh realities of survival. The grandiose facades of the fine buildings of the main boulevards belie the destitution and desperation festering in the slum channels just a few mere side streets away. Strange men with untold allegiances slouch in those shadowed recesses, eyes following you until you pass from their territory.

For some, Hsin-Yao represents that elusive new start after being outcasts elsewhere - a chance to reinvent themselves anew, no matter how unsavory their past transgressions. For these souls, it is the promise of rebirth from the ashes of their former lives amidst the city's underbelly of grifters, entrepreneurs, poor workmen, and criminals.

For others, it is a generational home, regrettably playing host to disgusting foreign interlopers and their self-important "International Settlement". Lush enclaves of privilege amidst the surrounding squalor, their entryways emblazoned with signs bluntly stating "Thènians Not Allowed". And, of course, a dozen gendarmes around every entranceway to enforce this rule.

But you didn't come here to admire the opulent gardens of the elite. Your path leads elsewhere - to the slums. The Clockwork Circus, as they call it. A tangled, lamplit warren of ramshackle housing and black markets, where even the gaze of the law can be averted by greasing the right palms with the right amount.

This is the true beating heart of Hsin-Yao, laid bare in all its desperation and opportunism.

Perhaps you seek to merely survive by any means in this pit of societal detritus, clawing and scraping day-to-day. Perhaps you harbor loftier ambitions - to claw your way up from the dregs through influence, guile, or infamy.

No matter your motivations, no matter your circumstances - you are here.

What, exactly, shall you do?
Last edited by Lazarian on Wed Mar 20, 2024 9:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Lazarian » Wed Mar 20, 2024 10:14 am

Turn One

Feng Zhidao

In the murky depths of Hsin-Yao's mudflats, where the stench of decay mingled with the salty air, Feng waded through the muck. It was the crack of dawn, and yet he was not alone - dozens of other vagrants and itinerants trawled through the great, heaping dump alongside him. They all kept their distance from one another, and keenly kept a lookout with unfriendly, judging eyes.

You could never be too careful here. Even if you did find something good in the Mudflats, there was no guarantee you'd be able to hold onto it.

With each step, his boots sank into the soft, squelching ground, leaving behind deep impressions that were quickly filled by the incoming tide. Feng was no stranger to the mudflats. He'd been in Hsin-Yao for about a week now - and while he'd found an affordable lodging house, he hadn't found a job yet. Sure, perhaps he could work as a day laborer - but was that truly the best use of his time? He'd find his way into the casinos and card halls eventually, but...well, he couldn't afford to spend his rent money on gambling. Had to build up funds first, he figured.

So here he was. In the mud, scavenging for whatever scraps of value he could find amidst the refuse.

As he poked and prodded through the mud, he came across all manner of discarded items: broken pieces of pottery, rusted metal scraps, and even the occasional trinket washed ashore from the upper districts. Broken, mangled - worthless. But Feng's eyes were keen, and he knew that amidst the trash, there were always hidden treasures waiting to be discovered. He sifted through the mud with practiced hands, his fingers brushing against something hard and smooth buried just beneath the surface.

Ah. Now this - this could be the moment that things would turn around for him!

Or just a particularly large piece of garbage.

Actions, Turn 1
Vis: 8
Focus: 1

-Feng sleeps as best he can on his apartment cot. The mattress is lumpy and blanket threadbare, but eh. Not the worst place he's ever slept. (Sleep.) [-2 Vis]

-Feng investigates the Mudflats. At low tide, once the crowds begin moving - he'll be right out there with the best of them, picking through the refuse. Who knows what he might find? (Scavenge.) [-3 Vis, Focused]

-Feng drops by the Door of Hope more often than not this week; trading patience for soup and prayer. He's not usually one for hand-outs, but hells - he's already skint as it is! (Utilize food kitchens and churches for food. Beg.) [-2 Vis]

-With what time remains to him, Feng takes a few unplanned strolls down some of the dimmer, darker byways of the Clockwork Circus. If he's going to know it - he might as well learn the only way he knows how. (Search for New Locations.) [-1 Vis]

Gilder: 5 G

Heat: 0

Stress: 0

Inventory: Nothing.
Last edited by Lazarian on Wed Mar 20, 2024 1:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Postby Lunas Legion » Wed Mar 20, 2024 2:56 pm

Turn I
Penelope Lagakou


This was, without a doubt, the worst place that Penelope had ever had the misfortune of having to sleep. Even sleeping beneath a tree while on the run had had the sheer novelty of the fact, like she was some hero on some great and noble adventure, and that the night had not been so cold as to be uncomfortable. This, though? Hsin-Yao was intolerable. Utterly intolerable. Safe, at least from her hunters, but nonetheless intolerable. It took a significant amount of effort, both physical and mental from the tired groan she let out, to rise from the nest of itchy and hole-ridden blankets that did not deserve to be called a bed.

What was she doing this week? Day? Hour? She did not have a plan. Not truly. Her stomach growled angrily. It had not taken well to being denied fine fare. She dressed. Basic clothes, suitable for peasants. Beggars. Not her august self. There were holes in the lower parts of the skirt, for crying out loud! She had some money, at least. Enough for... Food, she supposed. Sustenance. Barely. She would not stoop to begging for food at the Door of Hope.

She headed out. Aimless. Directionless. Dazed. She had not slept well. She rarely did, especially not these days.

Gilder: 5G (Starting)
-2G for Food
3G Remaining
Heat: 0
Stress: 0

Actions:
-Penelope attempts to sleep. It is uncomfortable. She does not like trying to. [2/8 VIS used, Sleeping]
-Penelope does not like walking. She should be on horseback or in a carriage, like the royalty that she is. And that isn't even mentioning rubbing shoulders with the plebs... But there is no other way to get around, and no other way to find anything here. She isn't about to get herself dirty wading out onto those Mudflats. [5/8 VIS used, Focused, Exploring Hsin-Yao]
-The food is terrible. But it is better than nothing, even if it makes her feel ill. [1/8 VIS used, Buying 1 Food for 2G]

Inventory: Empty
Last edited by Lunas Legion on Wed Mar 20, 2024 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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

Postby Lagene » Wed Mar 20, 2024 4:17 pm

Turn 1 - Joseph Kalibjan
Joseph says goodbye to his siblings, and bravely turns away. He was finally here; in the 'clockwork circus'. He knew it was going to be a poor neighborhood, but he hadn't expected the sense of need and lack of opportunity. His hope was beginning to run thin. He runs what he will say through his head, as he did so many times before. He takes a drawing of his mom out of his pocket. Stopping in front of a big building, he breathes in. Letting it out, he whispers something to the picture, and walks in. His first job interview in Hsin-Yao. (+1 Stress) (3 VIS used, focused)

Walking out, Joseph has no Idea how he did at the Job Interview. He heads over to tangletown market and buys enough food for all of his family for a couple of days. (-4 Gilder, 2 weeks food) Joseph hopes for the door of hope to be welcoming on sunday.

5 Gilder - 1 Gilder
0 Stress - 1 Stress
8 VIS - 5 VIS
Last edited by Lagene on Thu Mar 21, 2024 4:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Estebere
Bureaucrat
 
Posts: 59
Founded: Sep 22, 2022
Liberal Democratic Socialists

Postby Estebere » Wed Mar 20, 2024 6:14 pm

Turn I: Arrival - Ian Desch - 1/21/81
[Welcome to the Circus]


Ian walked out of the Gendarme checkpoint suitably annoyed. Admittedly, he'd faced worse law enforcement(And shuddered at the thought of them), but he felt entitled to his annoyance. Between poking at his cat, rifling through his bag, messing with his scarf, taking his crutch for nearly an hour, and somehow deciding that his feather, a feather needed to be inspected, he was done.

It took him two and a half hours to arrive at the clockwork circus. It took him another half hour for him to identify where he'd be living(A disgrace for a building, honestly) and move down to the market.

The market was hardly better. A maze of colorful stands and strange merchants Ian could barely navigate, especially with his crutch. Finally, he found himself in front of a small vendor selling fish of all kinds. Ian gave the vendor one of his Gilders, and in return was given a certified cornucopia of fish. He knew, however, that it'd be gone soon. He left it in the food safe pocket of his newsbag, added specifically so that Vivian, his cat, wouldn't eat any of the food, and gave some to her. After only a short while of looking, he found a merchant carrying everything else he'd need to eat. By the end of the week, he knew he'd be sick of potatoes and carrots. But he'd also be alive.

Returning to his small apartment, he left Vivian on the threadbare bed, and moved to the kitchenette to fashion a small meal for himself. After a disappointing meal of slimy fish, overcooked potatoes, and dry carrots, he decided he'd need some way to make money. Suddenly, he remembered something. For much of his time with the Wraizan rebellion, he'd fashioned fake IDs for all.

He worked until the Kingdom of Dreams came for him.


5 Gilders --> 3 Gilders
0 Heat --> 0 Heat
0 Stress --> 1 Stress
1 Focus --> 1 Focus
8/8 Vis used.

Ian, his stuff, and Vivian the cat, endured a long inspection by the Gerdarme. -1 Vis, +1 Stress [Blasted guards took my cat!]

Ian walks through the city for two and a half hours before finally finding the Circus. He walked for another half hour to find his apartment and the market. -1 Vis [A maze, I tell you, no way around!

Ian purchases a weeks worth of fish, potatoes, and carrots for Vivian and him. -1 Vis, -2 Gilders [We won't starve.]

Ian makes a meal and then some fake passports. -2 Vis [Not exactly the most noble way, but it'll work.]

Ian fell asleep. -3 Vis [On my wooden desk. Without a blanket. Never again.]
Last edited by Estebere on Thu Mar 21, 2024 7:26 am, edited 2 times in total.
Don't trust my NS Stats. They're all wrong.

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Nordheimrr
Diplomat
 
Posts: 655
Founded: Aug 04, 2023
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Nordheimrr » Wed Mar 20, 2024 7:13 pm

Turn 1 - Charles Lee - Ain’t This a Familiar Place?

Lee awoke with a groan and a pain in his temple, squinting around in the darkness to see a few feet in-front of him. The high-pitched ringing in his ears didn’t help as he stumbled about for a piece of wood to fall onto. Anything to keep his bad leg from collapsing on him. Upon noticing the rusty bolts on what looked like a fine piece of wood; Lee tried with all his might to yank it off. And he was successful! Under his breath, there was so many extremities he wanted to mutter. But he kept quiet. He needed something to eat. A place to sleep.

[He needed to get away from this fucking alleyway, but everywhere he looked was just… darkness.] So as he limped about, fumbling up each and every stairway he encountered, he smelt like must have been heaven; food [at this point, it might as well be].

In his pocket; if rags had pockets, was five Gliders. That could buy him something. There appeared to be several articles of food about: carrots, a chicken in the back, whatever the hell was making that terrible screaming noise… the sensation of having to perhaps touch someone scared Lee, so he dropped two of his Gliders’ on what looked like jerky. So he hoped.

After a few minutes of hobbling around, pockets full of jerky, he dunked his head in a washbasin that was supposed to be a through for… an animal? Eh; water was water [true that]. It tasted filthy, but he didn’t feel like having a conversation with Death today. The jerky after did not taste good [Probably wouldn’t either way].

A few more blocks of wandering, trying to piece together a minor map of the city. He stopped and asked the locals, faces he thought he recognized, they seemed to know him [that can’t be right], “Which way to an apartment?” And they pointed. And he followed. They did not misguide him as he stumbled his way into a room, hitting the hard bed as if it was the first time he slept in years.

And he slept and staved off the darkness for another day. [Congrats!]

Turn One: Stats

5 Gilders --> 3 Gilders
0 Heat --> 0 Heat
0 Stress --> 1 Stress
1 Focus --> 1 Focus
8/8 Vis used.


Action Log:
Lee wakes up with a tremendous headache in a familiar but new place. He attempts to find his bearings - where is this? (Recall Memories, Search for Locations) [-3 VIS]
Lee purchases foodstuffs and washes his face. [-1 VIS, -2 G]
Lee searches for a stick to use as a temporary cane. [-1 VIS]
Lee limps to the apartment-building and sleeps the night away. [-3 VIS]
Last edited by Nordheimrr on Thu Mar 21, 2024 8:59 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 » Thu Mar 21, 2024 6:45 am

The Walker Wakes


Winthrop

The bedframe creaked alarmingly under the Scion as his consciousness swam up into the colorful lights of existence once more - a few more good stretches, or even the most willowy of company, and he would end up sleeping on the floor with the rats. No help for it though. The man sighed out between his teeth, a small puff of vapor forming over his lips in the chill air.

Too damn cold indoors by half. For most people, at any rate. The giant found it pleasantly refreshing, enough thermal capacitance to trammel the fires within. It was fortunate that he had managed to get his hands on the registry for refugees in a moment of ill attendance of one border guard. Otherwise he would have to shell out for a more expensive tenement, and that wouldn't do at all. This was perfect, for now - low profile, and the last place anyone would think to find the Heir of Eddleton in all of Hsing-Yao.

But there was much to be done. The fire had claimed all of his apparatus and... subjects... and the matter brooked no delay. Damnable princelings and their damnable ambitions. So much progress, lost because he had tried to hurry along a few things which would bloom in their own time. There was no sense dwelling on the past though. The lumbering mountain heaved itself out of bed, squeezing through the doorframe and turning the diffident lock in the ramshackle door for whatever good that would do. They could steal the bedsheet, he supposed.

Down the rickety staircase the well-dressed man stamped, eyeing his fellow lodgers with the blandly baleful stare which discouraged pickpockets and naive oglers in equal measure, and then set off at a rolling gait toward Sweatmongers Lane. Exactly where on the east side of the city they fixed machines and whatnot had not been clear from his interrogation of the guide on the way into the quarters, but he had currently nothing but time on his hands. C'est la vie.

Actions:
A rest, to maintain what passes for the shreds of his sanity [2]
An interrogation of a local urchin, to determine the whereabouts of what passed for the Circus' Artisans [1]
An inspection of the results, hopefully Sweatmongers Lane, land of hot forge and cold iron, and some wheedling and demonstration of his ability as a Tinkerer to gain a position as a Journeyman in some shop or another [2 (Focused), Stressed
The purchasing of provender in Tangletown Market, hot red meat and pallid withered vegetables, fuel for the fires [2] (-4 Gilders for Food)

Winthrop finishes the month with a single gilt coin in his pocket, and little else to report aside from a measure of gathering Stress.
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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High Earth
Envoy
 
Posts: 277
Founded: Apr 02, 2023
Corporate Bordello

Postby High Earth » Thu Mar 21, 2024 6:57 am

Turn One
Allistar Craven
“Home”


As Allistar gazed upon the building he was walking toward along with the horde of people who he was walking with, a thought entered his mind. Home, he thought. He had not had a solid roof over his head since he was a kid. He could smell the scent of coal, smoke, and industry, but he could not care less. Hopefully, the days of sleeping in mostly-dry alleyways and shop attics were over. These thoughts of elation at the prospect of having a roof over his head soon faded after the burning pain that he had become accustomed too started ravaging inside him, amplified by hunger. Allistar may have a roof over his head, (At least so long as he could pay rent), but he still had to get food on the table somehow. The cat he had picked up outside the city purred and nuzzled up to his legs, its pitch-black fur absorbing the fraction of sunlight that made it to this part of the city. Humans are idiots, animals seem much more reliable., he thought to himself. He knew in his mind that he would do whatever it takes to survive here, heck, that is why he came here in the first place, no matter what his body or mind was going to go through here, he was planning to let his unending will to live take over, and stubbornly refuse to give up.

Actions, Turn One
Vis:
8 ->0
Focus:1
Glider: 5 ->3 (Maybe different at OP's discretion)
Items:
Stress: 0 -> 1-> 0
Heat: 0

-Allistar sleeps on the cot in his apartment. Compared to his old sleeping conditions, the lumpy mattress and thin sheet is comfortable enough to almost forget about the pain that is raging inside him… almost. (Sleep -2 Vis)

-Allistar goes to the market to buy enough food for the week. He really needs to find some way to make money here, this 5G won’t last too much longer. Maybe I can swipe some food or G later.(Shopping for food -1 Vis +1 food)

-Allistar tries to pickpocket G from some people in the tenants Never thought I would actually be grateful for my time on the streets.(+1 stress -1 Vis I will let OP decide how much G and/or Heat I get, if any. I am hoping my Fingersmith trade helps with this)

-Allistar heads to the market and searches for some tools that a man of his… “Profession” could use. I would have brought my own picks to the city, but I didn’t want to risk being ejected. (-2 Vis Searching for lock picks, shadow cloak, dark goggles, etc)

-Allistar visits the Door of Hope to pray for a while and beg outside the doors. If I look poor and innocent enough, maybe people will have mercy on me.(-2 Vis, -1 Stress (Faith Vice))
Last edited by High Earth on Wed Mar 27, 2024 5:27 pm, edited 7 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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Ovstylap
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1118
Founded: Jun 26, 2018
Iron Fist Consumerists

Postby Ovstylap » Thu Mar 21, 2024 3:39 pm

Let's hope that the neighbours are nice


Liliya Ishenko

The sooner she was off of that ship the better. She didn't even quite know how she'd made it. It sometimes seemed that she had vomited more from her body than she had actually been consuming- given that her appetite had been completely ruined. A local sailor had assisted her down the gangway from the vessel after watching her hurl her guts over the railing whilst gripping the bag she had slung over her shoulder. She had thanked him, with a breathless mutter, completely pale.

She was glad that since the vessel was registered in Thènia but which frequently travelled to and from Nihmenia- she had been able to get her paperwork approved to show that she was a legitimate refugee- just another civilian who had been forced to leave the large town of Ustedapol due to the Communard uprising there, followed by the crackdown, and the subsequent mutiny of some troops which led to chaos in the streets. That was as good a story as any- she had after all been present in the city during the mutiny, and saw the man who shot his own officer instead of firing on civilians. He had immediately afterwards fainted, and missed out on the outbreak of confusion and disorder that followed.

She shook her head of those thoughts; winced with regret as her nausea reared once more, and then went forward as she was beckoned. "You're not a Thènian, get in line with the others." An imposing man with a cudgel in hand, and a revolver holstered at his hip, stood over her. Helpful sailor spoke up- nearby he had been passing some crates of tinned food to replenish the vessel's kitchens- "she's already been cleared, just needs her allowance." The man scowled at her, and snorted after reading her papers before dismissively giving them back- slightly scrumpled. She swore in her head at the man.

Before long, she had her allowance. "Five gilder I'm meant to have, what's this paper all about?" The bureaucrat sneered up at her. "That is gilder."
"It's paper, it's n-"
"It's gilder. It can be exchanged at a bank for coin. Move along."
"Why wou-"
"Next!" He looked past her.

She looked at the paper and turned it over. Mr helpful appeared at her shoulder again. "Shopkeeps trade in them all the time, they'll cash them in. At least you can rip them if someone tries to steal them." He'd been a nice chap after she had entertained him buying her a drink on the shore before she departed, and had clearly travelled to and from her country several times- he had a much better accent than the bureaucrat. He was a married man, but obviously spent most of the time in male company, and the gods knew that sometimes a man just needed to decompress by having a conversation with a woman. Of course, many men didn't understand that conversation was all that they needed, but he had been respectful enough of his own marriage and of her, to not even suggest such a thing. She would be sad to bid him farewell, but such was as it was.

She could only hope that she could charm her way into a quick friendship with her neighbours, as afterall this was a new place.

It hadn't been too hard to know where to go in terms of locating the, well, poor quarter- simply west of the main jetties. She was envious for sure of those who were travelling in the airships she had seen as they approached the city, but getting on a ship was quite simply cheaper, and safer in her view. Something in her gut told her that one day there would just be a fireball of an airship when something went wrong...

*****

Shacks, slums, lean-tos, hovels. A tenement block which had been gutted by fire. One which appeared to be newly built, but was in fact just the facade as the core had never been finished- cost overruns perhaps? One tenement block with a caved in roof, another with large cracks up the southern wall. There it was, the huge one in the north-eastern corner. She made her way in, and the people downstairs looked at her before speaking.

"Name, language, occupation?" a grumpy lady said in Thènian. "Liliya Ishenko, Nihmen" She stuttered.
"Lily I, Nihmenian refugee, no trade. Fourth floor, find a room with no one in it."
For a moment Liliya frowned. "Is there a key?" The lady smiled. "Yes. It'll be in the door on the other side."

There she was. Her new home. At least the nausea had passed. Time to get to know the neighbours, get some food, find a means of living, and at some point, sleep. Yes, this all had to be done.

8/8 VIS Used, Food Secured.
Lily ensures that she has completely adequate rest over the course of her first few days in Hsin-Yao (2)

She focuses on using her charm, her socialising skills, and her warm hearted nature to get to know the neighbours- perhaps she can just kindly help a couple out with some chores or some simple social time with a stranger to entertain their curiosity. Perhaps, she could start a friendship. Ultimately though, there was some information she wanted to acquire- what jobs are available (ears open for a tattoist) are there any rumours of interest, what does she need to know about living in the Clockwork Circus? (3, focused)

Lily purchases food to last the week, and also searches for stimulants, conducting this in the mid afternoon so that stock is still available, but perhaps some vendors might want to shift it sooner. (2, -2G)

Lily wanders the local streets in broad daylight, to get a sense of her bearings, and determine what she can about this part of the city. (1)
Last edited by Ovstylap on Thu Mar 21, 2024 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Talchyon » Fri Mar 22, 2024 6:36 am

TURN 1
Hari Yahnric (aka "Doctor Veins")

Stranger in a Strange Land

Travel by boat was always a nuisance. Stuck for months on a ship with scads of people, most of whom had nothing really desirable in them when you had to talk to them. Hoping the cooks on board had packed enough, and always wanting more variety than hardtack, apples and bread. Not to mention the bouts of the occasional queasiness one felt by the unstable waters. But travel by boat was even more of a nuisance when you had nothing left and were caught as a stowaway in the middle of the ocean. Being accosted by the crew, getting confronted by the captain of the vessel, and being in danger of just being thrown off the ship into the briny deep wasn't the tastiest cup of tea.

When they had discovered the smaller, thin, serious-looking man with the piercing eyes on board without any documentation, the captain almost cast him off right there. The seemingly polite and quiet leader turned into a different man in interrogations. Cold, hostile, and not an ounce of mercy within him.

"So, stowaway. On this ship, my word is law. You will tell me everything I ask when I ask it. If I think you are lying or I don't like your answers, my crew will gladly throw you overboard. Do you understand?"

The thin man, eyes brimming with anger, nodded. It was sufficient enough.

"Stowaway, what is your name?"

If he was scared, the gaunt grim man didn't show any of it. He spoke out clearly, with words just as crisp as the captain's tongue. "Hari Yahnric."

The captain proceeded as if he had not already successfully gotten an answer out of the stowaway. "Mr. Yahnric, how long have you been on board?"

Hari's words were just as clear as before. "Six days, since we left port out of Sashika, in Ghealdan."

The captain's eyes and words remained steady, showing no hint of acceptance. "And Mr. Yahnric, you have five minutes to tell us why you are a stowaway on my ship, and why we shouldn't throw you off."

So Hari Yahnric told his tale. Not everything, of course. Hari told about his work, and the terrorizing and arson of his home and clinic. He just left out certain parts, such as the tiny little fact that his attackers were from the bloody S'et clan whose leader wanted him dead. Whose enforcers had nicknamed him "Doctor Veins" because he healed everybody - including hitmen from their rival gang, T'ans. But as much (or as little?) as Hari said, the captain grew less stern and more open to the man caught on board.

"You're a doctor then, Mr. Yahnric. As it turns out, our doctor caught some ghastly lung sickness days ago. He has locked himself up in his cabin for fear of infecting the whole crew. That means we're short of medical knowledge on board. Since you meet one of our needs, I will forgive this crime as long as you work the rest of our voyage."

There really was no choice. That's how Hari Yahnric became a ship's doctor. A good one at that. The men he healed got better. Mostly. It didn't matter if it was one of the passengers, or a previously hostile member of the crew. Hari acted as the professional and took no issue with anyone. As the months went by, he gained respect with the crew and especially with the captain. It didn't hurt that the previous doctor died a few days later, and Hari was the only knowledgeable doctor on board. Finally, though, the ship landed at her destination spot. Hsin-Yao in Thenia. More specifically, the notorious Clockwork Circus. The captain offered Hari a permanent position on board as their official doctor, but Hari had had enough sea travel for the near future. Dry land was much better.

And that's how Hari Yahnric, "Doctor Veins," came to be here.




He had a few gilden to his name - mostly as thank you gifts from some of the passengers he healed. A little from the captain to see him off. But other than that, Hari had little else than a change of clothing. He needed to get situated, learn this new place, find a place to sleep, and maybe get himself a new clinic. Looking for an established doctor would help. Maybe he could get a job as an assistant. Something told him this Clockwork Circus place had more wounded and injured than doctors to treat them, which most likely would help his chances of finding employment.

Actions, Turn 1
Vis: 8
Focus: 2

-Hari finds a place to stay at the Tenements. [-2 Vis]

-Hari eats at the Door of Hope, glad to have soup but secretly scoffing at the mumbo jumbo the monks say. (Utilize food kitchens and churches for food.) [-2 Vis]

-Most of the time, Hari searches for new locations, especially a clinic that might pay for another doctor's skills. And he tries to get hired. (Search for New Locations.) [-3 Vis][Focus 1]

-The rest of the time, Hari seeks out anything unusual that he could use to experiment on rats with. (Search) [-1 Vis][Focus 1]

Gilder: 15 G

Heat: 0

Stress: 0

Inventory: Nothing but a handy scalpel and small magnifying glass he had on him when he was forced to run like hell out of Ghealdan.
Last edited by Talchyon on Fri Mar 22, 2024 12:23 pm, edited 1 time 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.

User avatar
Remnants
Attaché
 
Posts: 79
Founded: Jan 30, 2024
Corporate Police State

Postby Remnants » Fri Mar 22, 2024 11:58 am

Jacob has to admit this dreadful mudhole of a place called Clockwork Circus is a slum filled with scum and immigrants who haven't been accepted to this place...Buuuut it is a lot better than some slums that he has been to. But over time Jacob will bring true justice for all in this City. The Gendarme Checkpoint that Jacob finally got past seems to be starting to become dreadfully slow as long as a new line of refugees with just the rags on their backs came to the checkpoint. Yelp let's hope those folks get something soon but in the meantime, Jacob got a place at The Tenements with surprisingly an only somewhat falling apart wall and hell even an old dusty chair that could fall apart in any minute. Another good thing is the mattress, falling apart at a rabid past, needs a week full of cleaning but it is someplace to sleep at for now. With a sigh, Jacob walked out of the Tenements pulling his Muddy Trench coat closer to his body.


Jacob would look at the Tangletown Market to get some food, Laudanum, and something to keep his mind working to help with the Hauntings that seem to plague his mind. (-1 VIC / Glider: 5 ->0 /) Depends on OC

Afterward, Jacob would wander around for a little bit looking for rumors and or little odd jobs that needed to be done. (-3 VIC Perception Mabye)

When he would eventually get back he would sit his chair out in the hallway and then take a seat on it, before starting to work on his little Puzzle book, keeping it close to his body. While he is doing this he keeps an ear out for anything that's going on in The Tenements. Of course keeping his face in the shadow of his fedora to hide his scarred face. (-2 Vic Perception )

Jacob's Actions, Turn One
Glider 5 -> 0
VIC 8 -> 2
STRESS -> 0

Got food and Laudanum for one week/Turn.
Got a very small Puzzle book and pencil for one week (It's for his WEIRD VICE)
spent all his Glider.

When he gets sleepy he would go to bed after taking the Laudanum
Last edited by Remnants on Fri Mar 22, 2024 12:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby Lazarian » Fri Mar 22, 2024 10:55 pm

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!)


PENELOPE LAGAKOU


Penelope certainly does not enjoy her sleep this week. The threadbare mattress upon the floor is not ideal, but it functions well enough. What does not function well enough, however, is her own mind. Penelope is haunted by nightmares. Dreams of fire. Dreams of the guillotine. Dreams of a man, stalking her every move, a pistol by his side. [No actions can be Focused next turn!]

Despite her general distaste for walking, Penelope finds herself getting carried away with the exploration, stumbling into place after place. She spends much of the week roaming about the Clockwork Circus. Though she has no intentions of staying in this heaping dump, it is her home - for now - and she may as well get her bearings in this place.

NEW LOCATIONS DISCOVERED:

The Gear & Gasket
This ramshackle tavern and gambling hall squats amidst the western fringes of the Clockwork Circus. Drifting wood smoke and the reek of stale spirits haunts its sagging doorways, beyond which all manner of disreputable sorts gather to drink, game, and make assorted back alley dealings. Surly men with crimson scarves lurk in the alcoves - they observe the occupants with hardened eyes. Best be careful here.
[A den of iniquity - but with cheap ale at least.]

The Cog & Chain Forges
From behind soot-stained walls emanates the incessant pounding of hammer on metal. This hulking, partly collapsed ironworks lies at the very heart of the Circus, where rusted lathes, presses, and furnaces stand amidst drifts of crimson sparks. A gang of thick-shouldered smiths still labor here, crafting and repairing all manner of blades, locks, chains and machinery for any who can meet their fees.
[Hard labor for hard coin. Mind your fingers.]

The Redhook Gallows
Rising stark against the smog-choked sky, this gnarled oak triple-gallows stands in perpetual readiness atop one of the Circus' few wind-scoured promontories. A few Gendarmes patrol nearby - and a grim, blood-red poster reads “HANGINGS EVERY FRIDAY. OBSERVE THE FATE OF THE LAWBREAKER.” in several languages.
[Justice is harsh - and there are always purveyors.]

The Ragfair
Like a wound dotted with rabid mange, this zigzag encampment of makeshift tents and lean-tos clusters about the district's southern edge. A relentless bazaar where all manner of scavenged, scrapped, and oftimes stolen wares are peddled and traded amidst shrieks, curses and furtive whispers. Those desperate enough make this their home. You wouldn’t have to pay rent if you set up a tent here…of course, there are much worse things than having to pay rent.
[Part market, part slum - all desperation.]

The Spoke & Buttonhole Gaming Hall
This dingy fuckertrap of a gambling parlor occupies the charred remnants of a hat-maker's factory on Sprocket Lane. A motley den of hazarded vice within velvet confines, where expensive liquors, narcotic luxuries and depraved entertainments are always on offer for those of substantial means and few scruples.
[Indulge - if you can stomach the cost.]

Deadspit Lane Fleapit
Amidst the Circus' most wretched avenues hunkers this decrepit bare-knuckle fighting arena. Little more than a mud-pit enclosed by decrepit wooden stands, it offers venues for boxers, toughs and desperate brawlers to prove their bloody mettle and perhaps win a few ill-gotten coins in the process.
[Spectacle and violence for the unwashed masses.]

The Harlot's Landings
Where the brackish waters of the Chengshi River lap against the Circus' rotted pilings, this decrepit wharf hosts a semi-permanent flotilla of decaying fishing skiffs, reeking trawlers and soggy houseboats. A haphazard shantytown of dockside pubs, smokeries and traffickers in illicit cargos thrives amidst the mud-soaked nets.
[Fresh seafood and furtive deals - buy 'em by the basket.]

Yeo’s Shoppe of Curiosities
Tucked in a nook between larger buildings, this diminutive shop overflows with assorted bric-a-brac and knickknacks promising "wonders and modern marvels." Within, eager young proprietors will happily demonstrate and sell their modest wares - clockwork toys, primitive radiographs, quack medicines and other vaguely scientific oddities.
[Glimpse the future today for just a few pence!]

The food is, as she states, terrible. Old rice. But it is better than nothing, even if it makes her feel ill.

JOSEPH KALIBJAN

It takes Joseph a while to find a company that is hiring at all - job applications aren’t exactly posted in the public square. Going door-to-door, especially as a foreigner, is a tough prospect. After enough time searching, however, Joseph is able to land his first job interview.

It goes exceedingly poorly. He reaches out to extend a hand, and the gruff foreman crunches it in a truly bone-shattering grip. Joseph gasps audibly, wincing.

“You’ve got soft hands, kid.” the bald man snarls, his brow furrowing. “Never met a good worker with soft hands. Get out.”

Joseph stammers and sputters, but the interview is over before it even started! Perhaps it was for the best - a textile mill may not have been the best fit for him.

The next interview is almost equally as dreadful. Duxbury’s Accounting House starts off the interview with a series of questions on ethics. Joseph provides honest, truthful answers about following the law and operating in an ethical context. The man scowls more and more disapprovingly with each answer.

“I’m not sure that you have what it takes for this line of work, sir.” he says dryly, gesturing towards the door.

What any of that had to do with accounting is beyond Joseph, but regardless - another day, another failed interview. It starts to get a bit in Joseph’s head - is something wrong with him? Is anyone hiring? [+1 Stress]

At the end of the week, on Friday, Joseph finally strikes true. He strikes it off with the elderly owner’s son, Den van Pecter - they bond over a shared interest in chemistry. He’d been in school, once upon a time, but had taken up the family business instead rather than making a career of it. He offers Joseph a position as a clerk. It isn’t glamorous work, but it’ll pay the rent.

[5 Gilders per 3 VIS if accepted. Oh, and a discount to any piece of clothing Joseph finds interesting.]

NEW LOCATION DISCOVERED:

Pechter's Mercantile & Haberdashery
This two-story wood-and-brick shop has been an enduring supplier of basic goods and clothing to the Circus' working poor for decades. Despite its worn exterior, the shelves within groan with modest supplies of dry goods, fabrics, yarns and second-hand garments scavenged from across Hsin-Yao. The elderly proprietors are ruthless hagglers.
[Affordable sustenance - if you've coin to spend.]

Joseph sleeps uneventfully this week. Though the bed is uncomfortable, the mattress threadbare, and the sheets thin as paper, he rests well enough. That is not to say that he sleeps well, of course - the constant noise of the Circus makes that difficult for anyone in the Tenements. [2 unused VIS applied to sleeping]

On Sunday, Joseph enters the long line of unfortunates waiting outside the Door of Hope. He waits there for hours, in the cold, hands shivering and fingers freezing - but eventually, he does reach the gruel they hand out. The brothers working the kitchen look at him coldly, however.

“A young man like you ought to leave the charity and kindness of our order to those who truly need it, don't you think?” a sallow-faced monk suggests quietly, pouring a meagre portion into the bowl. [+1 Food] [2 unused VIS applied to Door of Hope]


IAN DESCH


Ian’s time spent under the long inspection, and the temporary loss of his cat (who is eventually returned with a gruff, half-hearted apology) are arduous and unpleasant. However, not all is amiss - his name and background are cleared thoroughly in the process. The local police, for better or worse, are unlikely to pay this crippled journalist much regard. [-1 Heat]

Despite the inconvenience of walking such a long, sprawling route through the city to reach the Tenements, it may have well been worth it - Ian notes a location which may, potentially, be valuable to him in the future.

NEW LOCATIONS DISCOVERED:

Chengway Printers & Bindery
Amidst the clacking of mechanized typecasts and the musty scent of cheap inks, a small press produces modest broadsheets, chapbooks and crudely-bound tomes to slake Hsin-Yao's limited literary demands. An infinite stream of pulp-tales, anarchist screeds and penny-dreadful fiction pours from its dedicated printers.
[Read all about it! Truths, lies and gospels bound for a penny.]

Ian’s work on the fake passports goes well. His steady hands and seasoned practice aid him greatly in this endeavor - by the end of the week, he has four very convincing passports. Now, of course, comes the real challenge - finding the buyers. [+4 Fake Passports]

Despite sleeping on the wooden desk without a blanket, Ian sleeps soundly. No, more than soundly - he sleeps well this week, through the noise and through the cold. Perhaps it is finally the sensation of feeling safe, without the threat of pursuers or police at his back. Perhaps it is the extra warmth of Vivian at his side. Regardless of the cause, by the end of the week, he feels well-rested and focused. [+1 Focus]


SIR WINTHROP EDDLETON - “The Scion”


Winthrop’s rest this week is uneventful, neither pushing himself too hard and too far, but not allowing himself excess rest either. It is enough.

Winthrop’s interrogation of a local urchin goes about as well as can be expected. That is to say, as well as cornering a dirty street kid and asking for directions to “The whereabouts of good and proper science and labor, please!” can possibly go. The urchin, a scrawny Thenian boy, stares at the hulking man with terror.

“Piss off, you dirty f-fuckin’ foreigner!” he says, spitting at Winthrop, the Noble Heir of Eddleton. “Thenia is for the Thenians!”

Winthrop, however, will not be deterred by foul language. And his persistence eventually pays off - the urchin, realizing that there’s no way past this towering giant, finally gives up the ghost.

“Fine. You want some work? The Cog & Chain will have you. Or Crimwick’s, but they’re not going to hire some disgusting bratan.”

NEW LOCATIONS DISCOVERED:

The Cog & Chain Forges
From behind soot-stained walls emanates the incessant pounding of hammer on metal. This hulking, partly collapsed ironworks lies at the very heart of the Circus, where rusted lathes, presses, and furnaces stand amidst drifts of crimson sparks. A gang of thick-shouldered smiths still labor here, crafting and repairing all manner of blades, locks, chains and machinery for any who can meet their fees.
[Hard labor for hard coin. Mind your fingers.]

Crimwick Ironworks
A veritable fortress amid the surrounding squalor, this stout redbrick edifice contains one of the Circus' few remaining legitimate smithies. Founded generations ago, it continues to produce sturdy blades, tools, hardware and ornate metalwork commissioned by wealthier clientele across Hsin-Yao. The brawny master smiths here will entertain unique designs and commissions - for the right price.
[Sturdy craftsmanship by a sweat-stained, no-nonsense lot. Shoddy work pays in lashes.]

Winthrop’s investigation of Sweatmongers’ Lane also goes very well. He manages to talk his way into allowing him to provide for a demonstration of his skills with a hammer and tongs - and proceeds to create something truly marvelous. The work, of course, is taxing - both mentally and physically. [+1 Stress]

Despite the visible distaste for his race, manner of speech, and odd nature, the old smithing masters know that they would be fools to turn down an applicant with these skills. Both Cog & Chain and Crimwick provide potential contracts.

Cog & Chain: 6 Gilders a week for [3 VIS]. Simple, menial work, which Winthrop will never be challenged by.

Crimwick’s: 8 Gilders a week for [3 VIS]. They will allow part time work of [2 VIS] for 5 Gilders.

The extra time and effort put into purchasing vegetables is perhaps worth it - Winthrop manages to haggle down a vendor into giving him a discount. (+1 Gilder) Whether that is due to excellent persuasion or simply the man wishing to get this misfigured giant out of his face is unknown. Winthrop does reflect, however, that the extra time spent on this haggling may not have been worth the gilders received in return for such a small purchase.


ALLISTAR CRAVEN


Despite the pain that rages inside him, Allistar sleeps well. Anything is better than the streets, after all, no matter how threadbare it may be.

Allistar manages to find a few unsuspecting victims in the Circus - men and women who ignore the scruffy bum brushing against them in the market, or the hallway, or a tight doorway. His earnings are not particularly impressive, though with more time, and more attempts, they certainly could be. [+2 Gilder]

There is, however, a close call. As Allistar makes another attempt, late in the week, he senses something - a pair of eyes set on the back of his skull. He stops in his tracks seconds before making the snatch, ‘tripping’ on something in the street and stumbling away before any contact is made. The man looks at Allistar curiously for a few moments, but continues on his way.

After a few moments of looking around, Allistar sees them. Blue coats and cold iron batons. Yes. There they are - a group of Gendarmes in the market, staring at him with suspicion.

It was a very close call.

Allistar finds the supplies he’s looking for at the market. Their prices may be higher than what he wanted, but a single successful burglary could pay for it. Perhaps it is worth the trade.

Shadow Cloak: “A striking piece of fashion!” the seller says with a suspicious grin. “All the rage these days, officer!” he says with a cheeky nod towards one of the Gendarmes, who scowls. This item of clothing isn’t…technically illegal. [Purchase for 7 Gilder]

Lockpicks: “Lockpicks? Good sir! These are metal chopsticks. Made in the Thenian countryside.” another vendor hisses, angrily putting a finger over his lips, eyes darting towards the patrolling officers. [Purchase for 3 Gilder]

His many hours spent begging and praying outside the Door of Hope are well spent. His disheveled appearance aids him - although not as much as he may hope. There is not much gilder to spare in this place - the residents of the Circus are focused on providing for their own needs, and little more. The monks provide him with meals - of watery soup and gruel. [+1 Gilder, +1 Food]

The prayers, however, do relieve some of the guilt upon his soul. [-1 Stress]

As Allistar turns to leave back to the Tenements on Sunday night, a man blocks the exit. Allistar tenses up - but realizes quickly that the man means him no harm. He is a slight, thin man, with dainty hands and a warbling voice. He introduces himself as ‘Cyril Werner’ - but you can call him Father Werner. He is the head priest here, and he admires Allistar’s piety.

“Perhaps you would like to aid us at the soup kitchen next week, brother?” he asks with a pleading smile. “There is much work to go around, and only so many hands.” [OPTIONAL: Spend at least 1 VIS helping at the Door of Hope next week.]


LILY ISHENKO


Lily’s rest this week is sufficient. It is more rest than she is accustomed to - and the nightmares leave her alone. For now, at the very least.

Lily encounters several of the neighbors - a strange giant of a man, with arms the sizes of tree trunks. A short woman with tired green eyes, who rebuffs any attempts at conversation. A man with piercing eyes and a dash of white hair. All very interesting people, to be sure. [Lily can propose a trade or interaction with any other player at any time. Perhaps working together might garner better results?]

She also has a long discussion with a truly sad creature - a thin, gaunt man, who simply goes by “Pinfold”. He is a man of few words, speaking very little. And even less so of how he came here, simply stating: “I fought in the war. Then I ran. Now I am here.” His accent and face are unlike any she has ever seen or heard of before - he is a foreigner among foreigners. He is clearly struggling with…something. His cheeks are hollow, his skin tone sallow, and his eyes glazed. But he is eventually won over through Lily’s persistence, and out of all her neighbors, gives her the most useful information. He’s been here for two months, he says, and knows the area well. Upon inquiry, he lays out two destinations which may be in need of her skills.

NEW LOCATIONS DISCOVERED:

The Lace Atelier
Behind an unassuming storefront guarded by burly doormen, this upscale tattoo parlor caters to Hsin-Yao's elite and gang lords seeking exquisite dermal artistry. Within plush parlors, master artisans ink intricate lace-like designs, arcane iconography and intricate calligraphic scripts across pale flesh using arcane techniques and specialized inks. Discretion and unflinching nerves are prerequisites.
[Masterworks of permanent beauty - at a premium.]

The Needlers
In this dank, shadowy basement studio, a collective of former prison scratchers and disgraced artists ply their grim trade with crude inks and well-used needles. Across scarred skin and shuddering flesh, they painstakingly etch lurid iconography, arcane scripts and intricate designs of dubious artistry and symbolic meaning. The stench of sweat, blood and fermented inks is overpowering.
[Enduring canvases of bravery and stupidity, etched by shadowed hands.]

After this, however, he clams up, and does not offer many useful tips. “Loose lip sink ships, pretty girl.” he mutters, retreating to his quarters.

Lily’s trip to the market is uneventful. There is plenty of food to be purchased. Good food? Ha! Not even close. But she has lived in difficult conditions and on little sustenance before.

Unfortunately, her search for ‘stimulants’ is less successful. Despite the ramshackle nature of Tangletown Market, there are no drugs sold here. Or, at the very least, none that she can find openly. The presence of a few armed Gendarmes strutting through the aisles sees to that. There are likely such drugs in the area, she imagines - but she doesn’t find them today.

And, worse still, her exploration is cut off before it can even begin. She steps forth from the Tenements to pursue a walk - and the sight of a Gendarme patrol freezes her in her tracks. They turn to look at her, and her blood turns cold and her hands clammy. She swears that they’re looking at her… [+1 Stress]

They move on. It was nothing.

Probably.


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.



CHARLES LEE


Amidst the heaving throngs and soot-stained alleys of the Clockwork Circus, Lee finds much and more to take note of. For all the sprawling slumlands' dirt and poverty, there is life and enterprise here still. Enterprise, in fact, like...

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.]

The Harlot's Landings
Where the brackish waters of the Chengshi River lap against the Circus' rotted pilings, this decrepit wharf hosts a semi-permanent flotilla of decaying fishing skiffs, reeking trawlers and soggy houseboats. A haphazard shantytown of dockside pubs, smokeries and traffickers in illicit cargos thrives amidst the mud-soaked nets.
[Fresh seafood and furtive deals - buy 'em by the basket.]

The Needlers
In this dank, shadowy basement studio, a collective of former prison scratchers and disgraced artists ply their grim trade with crude inks and well-used needles. Across scarred skin and shuddering flesh, they painstakingly etch lurid iconography, arcane scripts and intricate designs of dubious artistry and symbolic meaning. The stench of sweat, blood and fermented inks is overpowering.
[Enduring canvases of bravery and stupidity, etched by shadowed hands.]

Deadspit Lane Fleapit
Amidst the Circus' most wretched avenues hunkers this decrepit bare-knuckle fighting arena. Little more than a mud-pit enclosed by decrepit wooden stands, it offers venues for boxers, toughs and desperate brawlers to prove their bloody mettle and perhaps win a few ill-gotten coins in the process.
[Spectacle and violence for the unwashed masses.]

On the stony landing of a vast staircase worn by the tread of decades, Lee's eyes spy a glut of... Well. It's not quite trash, and not quite someone's luggage, but it appears to be a disused stall of some sort? Beside it squats the remains of at least half a suitcase, and vast, silt-spattered wheels from some sort of wagon? Curious. There is not much of worth or value amidst it all, except for a sturdy stave - a wheel-spoke come lose. As no one else has apparently thought to take it, Lee might as well. [The wood is oiled, and its length more than sufficient to serve as a walking stick.]

While Lee makes his way from this latest foray, his newfound stick in hand, that a passing stranger levels a comment his way. To be sure, many strangers have lobbed many a comment, shout and cry his way throughout his week of wandering already - from stall-owners to market touts, tottering beggars screechy with gin and boys hawking the latest broadsheets - and yet, this stranger? With the uncombed whiskers and rakisly tilted stovepipe hat? His call has a smile to it, as Lee passes: "Ah, slumming again!" A moment later, and the whiskered stranger is lost to the crowds.

Back at the tenements, the cot in Lee's apartment holds few glories and little comfort. For this, its mattress is too lumpy, and its single blanket much too threadbare. But it does, however, allow Lee's well-wandered body sleep. And that, to be sure, is no small mercy.
[Lee's sleep this week is without issue. His Vis, by dawn's first light, is recovered normally.]



JACOB



Jacob's foray into Tangletown is blessed with good fortune this week, as the market's many stalls are especially heavy with food and fodder. As such, he has little trouble finding fresh fare. Smoked pardoner-eels are on offer at practically every table, and with some hot sauces to go along with them, their taste isn't actually half bad! No, not at all. As for laudanum - a sniffling salesman half a block from the Door of Hope nods at Jacob's query, and has a couple phials to spare. The small, darkly opaque things are more than likely stolen, of course - but so what?
[Food for the week is available for 2G, while 2 Laudanum is available for 3G.]

As for Jacob's hunt for rumors and tall tales - a place like the Clockwork Circus certainly has plenty of those. From the stew and muddle of casual conversation and whispered prattle, one certain, singular rumor does stand out, however - namely, that there supposedly exists a hidden underground market somewhere in Hsin-Yao, where customers may buy illegal sparkware augmentations to enhance their mortal bodies. Enhancements which, apparently, tend to come with unforeseen consequences...

All blather and nonsense, clearly - but in the Clockwork Circus, what isn't? [A black market for illegal sparkware? Lord, what a thought.]

The hunt for an odd job, meanwhile, does lead to something more substantial. A foreman down at a cab and wagon-terminal has apparently gotten hold of an armful of grubby informational posters. Thénian propaganda, mostly - all dragons and stars and exortations against the comunard menace. If Jacob can muster the neccessary gumption to plaster them across the flanks of at least half a dozen of his cabs - oh, and by the bridge to the Bund too? And maybe a few around the Door of Hope? Yes. Yes, that'll do nicely. In the end, the work is hardly exciting - and does require some skill with a glue-brush - but at least it pays. Promptly.
[2 Gilders earned from the work.]

Back in the tenement, meanwhile, things don't quite appear to go Jacob's way. For he has hardly been sat with his Puzzle-book for long before a pair of lanky Thénian youths darken his view of the hallway. They're not residents, Jacob's almost certain - if they are, he's yet to make their acquaintance - and their dress is peculiar. Tattered red scarves drape about their necks like badges of honor - and their questions are loud. Loud and rude.

What's Jacob doing, sitting in the hallway there?
What's he doing with that book of his?
Has he got any gilder to spare?
C'mon, bratan - why's he being such a clod?
And what's wrong with his face?
Is that why he wears that funny, foreign hat?
Was he born like that?
Or maybe his old man beat him? Hah!
. . .
The questions never end - until they do.

Eventually, the red-scarved youths slink off - insults made and curiosity apparently settled. Jacob, for his part, is none the worse for wear. But the encounter has done little to enhance his mood... [Damn locals. +1 Stress.]

Sleep, then, is a blessing - black and silent. No nightmares worthy of the name plague Jacob's nights this week, and when dawn comes - his body actually feels rested. [Focus is recovered without issue. This time.]


KASSIA ALANI BAKER - “The Delicate Blade”

The cycles of sleep and wakefulness bend to Kassia's will, not the other way around. When her eyes finally fluttered open, she felt crisp - edged like her favorite blades. [Gain 1 Temporary Focus next turn.]

Her exploration of the Clockwork Circus, in both day and night, is extremely fruitful. With grace and elegance, she makes her way through the streets with mean efficiency, moving with speed and sharpness. She flows from darkened doorway to rain-slicked backstreet, drinking in every detail. Never announcing her presence, already forgotten before the next beat.

NEW LOCATIONS FOUND:

The Gear & Gasket
This ramshackle tavern and gambling hall squats amidst the western fringes of the Clockwork Circus. Drifting wood smoke and the reek of stale spirits haunts its sagging doorways, beyond which all manner of disreputable sorts gather to drink, game, and make assorted back alley dealings. Surly men with crimson scarves lurk in the alcoves - they observe the occupants with hardened eyes. Best be careful here.
[A den of iniquity - but with cheap ale at least.]

The Cog & Chain Forges
From behind soot-stained walls emanates the incessant pounding of hammer on metal. This hulking, partly collapsed ironworks lies at the very heart of the Circus, where rusted lathes, presses, and furnaces stand amidst drifts of crimson sparks. A skeletal gang of thick-shouldered smiths still labor here, crafting and repairing all manner of blades, locks, chains and machinery for any who can meet their fees.
[Hard labor for hard coin. Mind your fingers.]

The Spoke & Buttonhole Gaming Hall
This dingy fuckertrap of a gambling parlor occupies the charred remnants of a hat-maker's factory on Sprocket Lane. A motley den of hazarded vice within velvet confines, where expensive liquors, narcotic luxuries and depraved entertainments are always on offer for those of substantial means and few scruples.
[Indulge - if you can stomach the cost.]

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.]

Faulkner's Armory Wagon
This custom-fitted wagon, drawn by a pair of massive draft horses, appears on random street corners only after dusk. From its cramped quarters, a surly mercenary smith peddles his wares - crudely forged blades, bludgeons, armor and explosive "crickets" crafted from pilfered scrapyards. Faulkner's clientele are the Circus' hardened street gangs and ne'er-do-wells.
[Illicit forge on wheeled ramparts - the night's armorer makes his rounds.]

The Ragfair
Like a wound dotted with rabid mange, this zigzag encampment of makeshift tents and lean-tos clusters about the district's southern edge. A relentless bazaar where all manner of scavenged, scrapped, and oftimes stolen wares are peddled and traded amidst shrieks, curses and furtive whispers. Those desperate enough make this their home.
[Part market, part slum - all desperation.]

Tangletown's market offered fresh rations, and while not the best food, it'd certainly do well enough. On her way home, however, a man bumps into her. Stunned, she staggered - for but an instant. A flicker of movement, a glint of streetlight on bared teeth - and the would-be purse-culled found his wrist contorted to the snapping point. His pilfered prize drops - into her extended hand. [Fingersmith!]

"I ought to take your hand for that." Kassia hisses, before tearing away.

The Cog & Chain's forgekeepers could put an edge back on her tools of trade...for a price. 9 Gilders, to be exacrt. "Exquisite workpieces." the burly smith rumbled, admiring the shivs' artful menace. "It'll take a pretty penny, but I can get these fine as new."

Faulkner's caravan bore a cruder cutting implement - a humble machete hanging from the back. 3 Gilders. It could whistle through the night's work with equal zeal, if not quite the same delicacy of movement.
Last edited by Lazarian on Mon Mar 25, 2024 5:05 pm, edited 6 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 » Sat Mar 23, 2024 7:06 am

The Week of Red Heat


Winthrop

Hot metal sang in the Scion's grip, the thrum and roar of furnaces a backdrop to his labor. It was pleasant, homelike even, the steady din of industry, of hammer thudding upon anvil, of crushing machines stamping metal into myriad forms. Beneath the chainmailed smith's gloves Winthrop gripped the wire tight between the pliers, muscles warm to the work as he pulled at a steady rate away from the draw-plate of the copper crucible.

There was different work being done here, at Crimwick's, than the master of the Wolf's Hall had anticipated. There was light work, yes, such as that to which he had been set - stamping implements, drawing wire for new spark-life contraptions, and the ruddy work of bellows and Bessemer, to be sure. It was easy enough, and any foundry had need of it, at least as the feedstock for better fare and to train up apprentices. But unlooked for it seemed that there was finer work being done as well, by the masters and their trusted associates - Winthrop saw delicately calibrated trigger mechanisms being fabricated, keen blades folded and refolded, and instruments of skill for finer artisans prepared.

A strange thing to find in the heart of a slum such as the Circus. But these Thenians did things in their own way, and he could little blame them for it. In every land these vagaries, well, vagarized. And it was an opportunity indeed, so he could not blame Providence for foiling his ambitions - quite the opposite.

For now his work was humble. To prepare alloy batches, hammer out farming implements, draw wire, and the other menial tasks of a junior journeyman, untrusted but not unproven. It suited the Scion well enough. It would pay for the fuel for his internal fires, and time here would open doors through which he intended to pass in time. When the masters hung up their aprons for the day, Winthrop pleasantly wished the rest of his section a good morrow, and did not join them for drinks - for he was not invited. And that was exactly as he expected.

It would take time, to win a measure of trust and camaraderie. There was no need to hurry these things along artificially, and indeed efforts to do so would in all probability backfire in this cesspit of mankind. New hires were suspicious, for they could be thieves casing out the edifice for a burglary, or informants looking to bring word of misdeeds to what passed for the civil authorities. No, keeping his head down would do well enough, and time would unfold as it pleased. At the very least he was not the most misshapen man here, so long as he kept his heavy leather apron on - rare indeed was the forge worker who did not sport burns and scars of his long employment, and some men were gnarled indeed.

Mayhaps in the coming weeks he could be proven competent, work on more interesting fare. For now the measure of coins in his safepouch, and one dangling in the purse about his neck, they were good enough. They would fill the belly and keep the landlord off of his back. Soon he would have to look into finding better accommodation, somewhere where one could acquire tools and husband capital without being devilishly certain it would be gone at the close of the day. That was a problem for the future though.

Good things come to those who wait.

Hard work fills the pockets with coin and warms the muscles to their labor beneath the aspect of Crimwick where the Scion labors [+8 Gilders, 3] (Focus)
Hours spent in sleep to stave off the demons of the sunlit hours are seldom wasted [2]
Steamed vegetables and pan-seared meat of dubious origin are not tasty, but they will sustain a man (-Food)
During the late hours the Scion makes his way to the roof of the tenement, to watch the stars and divine their portents, the mind free and relaxed in her wandering [2]
At free points in his working day there is wisdom in gathering castoff metals, with the permission of his superiors, to shape tools for the exact nature of his position - not to mention how innovation sates the clever mind's need for change [1]

Winthrop has to his name 15 Gilders, a few more vegetables and some meat, and he is still somewhat Stressed, unless stargazing and his love of the Wyrd should release the fist coiled about his heart to one degree or another.

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

Postby High Earth » Sat Mar 23, 2024 7:37 am

Allistar Craven
Turn Two
“Economics”

As Allistar was planning his next move in his apartment, he heard a vigorous knocking on his door.
“Oi, rent is due at the end of the month. 10G or you are out on the streets” the gruff voice moved on after this. Dang, they aren’t joking, are they. He looked at the desk were the black cat named Peepers was napping. He then looked in his pocket at the paltry sum of G he had left. Ok, food, (for the most part), was taken care of. Now I’ve got to find a way to pay rent, unless I want to sleep out on the streets like I used to. Stealing may not be honest, but it’s a way to pay the rent.

Actions, Turn Two

Vis: 8 -> 0
Focus: 1
Glider: 6 -> 8(Hopefully different at OP decision, he is keeping his G under a loose floorboard in his room, unless he is going out to buy something, in which case he keeps it in a pocket he has sewn on the inside of his jacket.)
Items: Lockpicks, Peepers, 1 food (Consumed)
Stress: 0 -> 2 (Hopefully less at OP decision)

-Allistar decides to buy the lock-picks, and collects his stipend. They will serve me well in the long run here, I can’t afford the cloak… yet (Lock-Picks obtained, +2G)

-He decides to collects his stipend. I will need all the money I can get if I want to survive here (+5G)

-Allistar sleeps while mentally crunching numbers on the fastest way to make money around here, trying to ignore his pain. I wonder what the punishment for burglary is if caught? (Sleep, -2 Vis)

-Allistar decides to help out at the Door of Hope like Father suggested. I just hope that this helps build some favor with the clergy.(-1 Vis)

-Allistar sneaks out of his room one night with his new lock-picks. He tries sneaking into others rooms and swiping anything that he could use, whether it be food, G, or items he could easily sell. He tries his best to leave no evidence, making sure that it was as if the items he is planning to take never existed. May the good lord guide my footsteps(-1 Vis, Focused +1 Stress)

-Allistar tries some more pickpocketing. Both for practice and profit. This time in less public places, such as a hallway or something. I ain’t risking getting caught this time (-2 Vis, +1 Stress)

-Allistar spends his remaining time praying and going to confession in the Door of Hope. It’s been a really stressful week for him, he needs this for himself. (-2 Vis, Faith Vice)
Last edited by High Earth on Mon Mar 25, 2024 6:46 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Lagene
Spokesperson
 
Posts: 139
Founded: Dec 31, 2023
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Lagene » Sat Mar 23, 2024 8:12 am

Turn 2 - Joseph Kalibjan
Joseph lies awake in bed, remembering what had happened that day. Den van Pecter was the savior of Joseph and the Kalibjans. Even with work as a clerk, he would hold his head up high, and be getting gilder at the end of the day. In his heart, he was thankful the other jobs refused to take him in. He tries to imagine working at a textile mill with that beast of a man. Joseph remembered the delighted looks on the faces of his siblings, and was proud he was finally living up to be the guardian that his mother had left him to be. Sleep washes over him, and Joseph feels somewhat fulfilled for the first time since he saw his mom.

When he wakes, he immediately sets out to Pechter's Mercantile & Haberdashery, cheerfully. He reaches the shop, and Den gives him an overview of his new job. Wanting to impress and keep his job (until he found a better one), he does as good as he possibly can. (4 VIS used, focused)

Once his shift is up, he asks Den if there is a schoolhouse nearby. The kids needed something to do now that Joseph had a job. After a seemingly good day, Joseph eyes a pretty dress on the shelves. Remebering the horrible condition of Sanjan's raggedy clothes, Joseph promises to buy them for her some day soon. He walks to tangletown market, and buys more food. (-4 Gilder, 2 Weeks food)

Finally, after a long but amazing day, Joseph trudges home, still in high spirits, and retells the story to his brother and sister, and clinks 5 more gilder into the rent jar. He reads them fairy tales and tucks them in. (2 VIS used, Vice - Obligation)
Only one thing keeps Joseph from having the most amazing day yet - the monk at the door of hope. Was he really being greedy? But no, some of that food was for his siblings, and surely it was okay. He will bring his brother and sister to the door of hope. Joseph falls asleep, listening to the breathing of the kids, finally content for the first time is so, so long.

8 VIS - 2 VIS
5 Gilder - 1 Gilder (+5 more from job)
1 Focus - 0 Focus
Last edited by Lagene on Sat Mar 23, 2024 8:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lunas Legion
Post Czar
 
Posts: 30985
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Sat Mar 23, 2024 8:26 am

Turn II
Penelope Lagakou


Penelope roused herself from yet another terrible night of sleep. Sometimes, it was hard to tell the waking world from the dreaming world. Was the man stalking her with a pistol by his hip reality, interpreted in dreams, or was it happening solely within the dreams? It was always a difficult, no, an impossible thing to tell. The fire and the guillotine, rising and falling over and over... Those were a long, long way from here, both in time and distance. She finished the last of the hefty bag of old rice she'd bought last week, boiling it up and managing to force it down her throat without it returning.

She had her bearings now, but she had bigger problems. Rent was coming due. It did not take a genius at maths to work out that if she were to go to the same source for food as she had last week for this week and next, she would be unable to pay her rent solely from the government handouts. She shivered uncomfortably. How did the plebians survive this?

Work, of course. But there was no work here. At least, none befitting her status and station.

As she ate, she thought. Her explorations had been... Enlightening. The Gear and Gasket was a hive of scum. The stink of poor spirits and woodsmoke would have put her off it if the clientle had not, let alone the men in crimson scarves in the alcoves. Who were they? Who did they work for? Questions she lacked answers to, and she had a feeling finding out was a bad idea.

She'd found the Cog and Chain Forges on the way back that day. Perhaps she could earn some coin there, enough to tide her over? She could feel her muscles complaining at the prospect already. She had no experience with forging or manual labour in general, but until she found better options... Perhaps there was a temple of some form or another? She knew something of the occult, after all. And that should be universal.

She avoided the Redhook Gallows. The Gendarmes would not be kind to her, as she looked like just another penniless and destitute migrant. Perhaps a public hanging might be good to watch, though? A reminder even here, there was something that passed for justice and order. Likewise, the Ragfair. The Clockwork Circus for those in the Clockwork Circus. Even thinking of it as she left the tenements made her skin crawl.

The Spoke & Buttonhole Gaming Hall, though? If she'd just had the money... The smell of liquors came back to her. That would have to come later, sadly. She could not afford to indulge. Not yet. If she'd paid more attention to her duelling instructors, perhaps the Deadspit Lane Fleapit might have been an option, to earn coin by breaking the bones and scarring the skin of the locals. Instead, she headed to the Harlot's Landings, where the river met the Circus, and a rotting wharf that looked profoundly unsafe hosted an equally decayed fleet of boats. But fish sounded better than rice, and if she could secure a better deal that she had with the old rice...

Yeo's Shoppe was another thing out of her financial range, and even then it had seemed to be more full of quackery and things without worth.

She'd find something. She was sure of it.

Gilder: 3G (Turn I Carryover)
+5G (Government Subsidy)
-1G for Food from Harlot's Landing
+12G from Work
19G Remaining

Heat: 0
Stress: (Starting)
+3 from Mother's Ghost
3 (End of Turn)

Actions:
-Penelope attempts to sleep, again. [2/8 VIS used, Sleep]
-Perhaps she can find a cheaper option for food at the Harlot's Landing. They do not have fridges here, after all, or freezers. The fish will go off within the day. [1/8 VIS used, -1 G, +1 Food]
-She continues to search the Clockwork Circus. Perhaps she might stumble across something of use? Maybe even somewhere that she can put her educationa and knowledge of the esoteric to use, not that it seemed to have much. [5/8 VIS used, Exploring Hsin-Yao in search of... Esoteric and unusual employments in the occult for 2 VIS + working as many shifts as she can at whichever job pays the most G for the remaining 3 VIS]

Inventory: Empty

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
  • Yeo’s Shoppe of Curiosities
Last edited by Lunas Legion on Wed Mar 27, 2024 1:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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

Postby Estebere » Sat Mar 23, 2024 10:11 am

Turn II: The Filler Work Episode - Ian Desch - 1/28/81
[Ian Desch needed money.]


The last week, he'd, quite foolishly used much of his time to make fake passports. While useful in a city of thieves, he also was of the realization that their sellability was... it wasn't very good. the Gerdarmes, as it turned out, were extremely zealous about patrolling the market. Making this more difficult was the fact that, with his bum leg, he'd be useless in the mudflats.

He contemplated this as he walked home, before remembering that place he walked by, Wengchay Printing? Either way, he knew that if he made something vaguely sellable he should get the money to not get kicked out.

One sad meal of fish, mushrooms, and seaweed later, Ian was writing out a mad tale of dragons, elves, a vague romance that not even he could understand, and a slightly unhinged mystery that he was pretty sure was going to end in a horrific fakeout and a cliffhanger. Even better, this was only the first five chapters. His inner twelve year old was going to have a very good time.

Vivian, on the other hand, seemed to dislike the mere idea of it. Whether this shows cats have good or bad taste is debatable.


3 Gilder --> 8 Gilder --> 6 Gilder
0 Heat --> -1 Heat --> -1 Heat
1 Stress --> 1 Stress --> 1 Stress
1 Focus --> 2 Focus --> 2 Focus
8/8 Vis Used

Ian buys his food, and also claims his Gerdarme Stipend. -1 Vis, +3 Gilder [Glutonny... and greed.]

Ian cooks and then writes his book. -1 Vis, +5 A Dragon's Land Chapters [Even the title sounds crazy.]

Ian walks to the Chengway Printers and Bindery to submit his... well. -1 Vis -5 A Dragon’s Land Chapters [Hope the public likes it.]

Ian explores the market, looking to see if there might be a hidden one for... less legal things. He also looks for a gun and sword. He'll need one. -2 Vis [I have 5 fake passports and no one to sell them to.]

Ian practices running around with a crutch. -1 Vis [Speed is going to be a must around here.]

Ian sleeps, on his bed this time. -2 Vis [Snore.]
Last edited by Estebere on Mon Mar 25, 2024 7:14 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Cybernetic Socialist Republics
Minister
 
Posts: 2181
Founded: May 17, 2019
New York Times Democracy

Postby Cybernetic Socialist Republics » Sat Mar 23, 2024 12:25 pm

Lisha Lang, or Scarlett, as she was known in underground prize fighting circles, both for her uniquely striking red hair & the beads of 'scarlett' regulary produced by her strikes, was not having a particularly eventful 2 weeks, all things considered. She spent a week exploring the city for any opportunities to make use of her fistic skillfulness, eating a dreadfully basic meals whenever she could catch one, then returning to the The Tenements for a full nights rest in a run down apartment. The second week, she changed her schedule somewhat, deciding that she could kill two birds with one stone by fiding honest working that'd also function as excercise in tangletown, such as pulling carts too and fro, giving her some extra Gilders to spend & hopefully keeping herself in shape. Perhaps next week, Lisha will be able to do something more exciting.

Actions, Turn 1
Starting:
Vis: 8/8
Focus: 1
Gilder: 5 G
Heat: 0
Stress: 0
Inventory: Nothing

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

-Lisha Explores Hsin-Yao, looking for opportunities to put her skills as a pugilist to use.[-5 Vis]

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

Finishing:
Vis: 0/8
Focus: 1
Gilder: 3 G
Heat: 0
Stress: 0
Inventory: Nothing


Actions, Turn 2
Starting:
Vis: 8/8
Focus: 1
Gilder: 8 G
Heat: 0
Stress: 0
Inventory: Nothing

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

-Lisha heads to Tangletown Market to do some honest, streneous labor, both to excercise & earn Gilders [-5 Vis, 5 G]

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

Finishing:
Vis: 0/8
Focus: 1
Gilder: 11 G
Heat: 0
Stress: 0
Inventory: Nothing

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

Postby Ovstylap » Sun Mar 24, 2024 5:05 am

Taking on the Trade


Liliya Ishenko

She frowned after recounting the day's events in her head. No stimulants or drugs of the sort she sought were to be found, as the gendarmes had a surprising presence in some parts of the Clockwork Circus, as she had overheard the area described. Somehow she felt as though being able to be awake and alert more would be beneficial in this clearly unbenign environment.
At least she had some food- bruised and mildly disturbing-looking vegetables, some salted fish that appeared to have a thicker crust of salt than there was flesh - which she in fact swapped with Pinfold for some old rice, and some hardtack from some man who was likely an absconding sailor.

She had been able to collect the stipend given out to refugees, and she couldn't help but wonder why the government of Hsin-Yao gave such a thing. Five Gilders a week was nothing to laugh at, considering it required not a bit of work. Surely it subsidised laziness and encouraged some risk-takers to simply go for crime without the risk of starvation. But the more she pondered it, the more it made sense. Giving a small allowance to refugees was a sensible thing for a number of reasons- firstly, it prevented them from simply falling straight into crime or starvation (and thus make them sympathetic to the numerous rebellious causes and other anti-order elements that existed in the city), as well as perhaps discouraged them from taking on the most menial of labour. After all, if you had the means to leave your own country it showed that you had resources, initiative, and possibly skills which could be put to use serving the economy of Hsin-Yao.

Perhaps it wasn't so bad. Well, with the two guilders she had spent on food, Liliya knew that she'd have eight. Wait. Seven? Why were there only seven guilders? She looked again at the slips of paper... surely? No. Shit.

Some bastard. Some utter bastard had pickpocketed her. She grumbled to herself, but had to admire their pluck. It was a crowded market, and she had been bumped into a number of times. Was it the leering man who had groped at her only to receive a discreet but vigorous elbow to the side? Was it any number of the numerous urchins who had accosted her for food or alms? Surely it wasn't the beggar who had grabbed at her sleeve, looking up at her with milky eyes? Perhaps it was just somebody in the market. In daylight.

She'd make sure to be more careful in future.

Nonetheless, she was not deterred, and so Liliya sought to spend more time with Pinfold, thanking him for sharing some news, and she hoped to spend some pleasant time in his company. Perhaps she could help him clear up his place a little, making it a little more homely, even if there was not much- as long as he would not find it rude of course. Liliya was happy sometimes to be in silence, sometimes a companionable silence is better than a stressful conversation after all.

Confident in her skills, she would then set off to the Lace Atelier, seeking a job there, and eagerly showing off her skills and committment to start work straight away, and learn as much as possible. After all, there was rent to pay, an art to practice, knowledge to be learned, and connections to be made. Perhaps next week she could look into finding more of her kin.

Going forth, Lily would keep her paper guilder folded neatly and stuffed in her clothing against her cleavage- nobody would be able to pickpocket that after all. In terms of food this week though, Lily chose to go to the Door of Hope, there seeking to volunteer some of her time, her warmth, and her friendliness, only in exchange for a fair portion of the gruel that the monks distributed. In passing, she would nod respectfully at her neighbours, showing that she would not hassle anyone, but was willing for a conversation.



8/8 VIS Used, Food Secured.
Lily makes sure to have sufficient sleep over the course of the week, as without good sleep, how can one be truly healthy. (2)

She focuses on securing a job at The Lace Atelier- she willingly draws a variety of designs, shows some of the intricate and impressive small, artistic designs she has done on her own arm, and volunteers to carry out a competent tattoo to demonstrate her skills. She states that she is willing to start work immediately, and is eager to learn the intricacies of her trade and passion here in Hsin-Yao (4, focused) (Possible G from starting work- realistically part time this week due to attempting to get accepted)

Lily seeks to volunteer at the Door of Hope, only in exchange for food for herself, happy to observe the ways of the monks, cook, and clean up (1, food secured)

Lily spends more time with Pinfold, seeking to secure an acquaintanceship with him, and perhaps learn more about the tips and tricks for living in Hsin-Yao (1)

7 G (5 from Stipend, 2 leftover, more from part-time work?- Kept in paper form, at her chest, secure and safe from pickpockets).
Last edited by Ovstylap on Mon Mar 25, 2024 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby The GAmeTopians » Mon Mar 25, 2024 3:00 pm

Turn One

Kassia Alani Baker


Kassia was no stranger to discomfort. She could recall in distant memory her childhood of lavish furnishings and a wide spread of dishes at every meal, but those days were far behind her. Now? Well. Now, a new city would learn how sharp her blades were. With the right bounty, the right client, the right rumor, blood would flow and so would coin. The high life was not the life for her - but everyone needs money.

For instance, to find a place to get her damn blades sharpened.

The slim Bre Tann stalked through the crowded streets of the Clockwork Circus, occasionally peering between shoulders or above heads as she was able. She could feel each of her knives strapped securely along her body, some barely a finger's length while another ran down the length of her leg. But none of them would be of much use in their current state - the boat from Bre Tann had not been kind. Rust, and chips, and dullness marred the beautiful metalwork which had birthed one of her monikers back in the homeland. The Delicate Blade could hardly work without her namesakes in good order.

So then. A pocketful of this strange coin, Gilder the locals called it, and a keen eye would have to suffice. For now, at least. First the knives, then to work. With work, the landlord's tithe, and on to yet greater pursuits.

Kassia's eyes narrowed, squinting to make out a sign scrawled hastily above a distant shop.

All in good order. She'd have to find a good smith, or at least a good maintenance kit, and that meant making good time along these streets. If only these damn Thenian signpainters had better handwriting.

Actions, Turn 1
Vis: 8
Focus: 1

-Kassia maintains a strict pattern of rest. Not in one long stretch in the night, but once in the early evening and once right as the dawn rises. The wee hours of the night are the best time for scoundrels and home invaders to be about, so to have your wits about you is prudent. It takes one to know one. (Sleep.) [-2 Vis]

-Kassia explores the streets both by sun and moonlight. It is rare that the same sights are seen in both. (Exploring, with a particular focus on repairing her Blades.) [-5 Vis, Focused]

-Kassia slips in and out of Tangletown Market for rations. The food kitchens seem as good as any for food, and cheaper than the market too, but it is not wise to become known to the do-gooders of the region. Even if your cause is one and the same. (Buying Food.) [-1 Vis, -2 Gilder]

Gilder: 3 G

Heat: 0

Stress: 0

Inventory:
Blades (Rusted. Useless in their current state.)
Last edited by The GAmeTopians on Mon Mar 25, 2024 3:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Empire of Donner land wrote:EHEG don't stop for no one.
It's like your a prostitute and the RP is a truck. The truck don't stop.

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Remnants
Attaché
 
Posts: 79
Founded: Jan 30, 2024
Corporate Police State

Postby Remnants » Mon Mar 25, 2024 6:10 pm

Time for a real job

Turn two


Jacob walked out of the tenement once more, stepping into the muddy streets. He had just dealt with a group of dam youths, who looked like they might be part of a gang, and the landlord had warned everyone that rent was due soon. Jacob knew he had to pull himself up by his bootstraps and find a somewhat stable job to cover the rent before he could get into the Private Investigation business.

He would wander around the streets, looking for job opportunities, and maybe even do a little Private Investigation of his own about the illegal sparkware market in Hsin-Yao. Although Jacob didn't have high hopes of finding anything except rumors in nighttime bars or dark alleyways. Even if it was true, it could be crawling with secret Gendarme agents keeping a close eye on things. (-3 VIC Perception / using tracking to look for more leads about the illegal sparkware market / FOCUS )


When Jacob was searching for a stable job, and looking deeper into some rumors. He would look for some food for the week. If he does get a stable job he would start work right away if need be. If the job hunting does not go too well he will look for some odd jobs once more ( -2 VIC Perception )


Jacob looked for a safe place to hide his Gilders after encountering some Thénian youths with red scarves who seemed untrustworthy. Then he would listen in on any happenings in the tenement (-2 VIC )

After doing all of that he sits at his old dusty chair right outside of his door. Reworking on his puzzle book that has already been solved (-1 VIC)


Jacob's Actions, Turn two

Glider 0 -> 7
VIC 8 -> 0
STRESS -> 1

He would grab his weekly 5G stipend
Got leftover Laudanum from last week
Looking for food
Seemed to be somewhat paranoid about the red scarves and if they would come back with greater numbers or for something much worse. (Freshly nicknamed by himself ) { maybe more stress up to OOC}


When he gets sleepy he would go to bed after taking the Laudanum
Last edited by Remnants on Tue Mar 26, 2024 6:37 am, edited 8 times in total.

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

Postby The GAmeTopians » Mon Mar 25, 2024 7:35 pm

Turn Two

Kassia Alani Baker


Kassia inspected her new implement with no small amount of distaste. It would cut, to be certain, but the heavy machete with a crude edge lacked a certain... finesse. But it would do. For now. It returned to its sheath, ready for a night's feast of blood and bone.

It was truly amazing how little attention was paid to the slim girl in an overcoat and mask, as she slipped her way through the seedy midnight markets of the Circus. No small part of it was her quiet steps and deft weave amidst the throng of seedy customers and ne'er-do-wells - but not being seven feet tall also helped. Nobody expected the slight lass with the ratty hair to have a machete tucked away, much less have any skill with it. Kassia could see the glances she got from the crowd. She knew those gazes well. Some saw a rich bitch from the Foreign Quarter, regardless of her modest dress - others saw a pitiful girl in need of a meal. Others still had the ill-disguised glint of malice and lust in their craven eyes, that look that a stray hound gets when it's laid eyes upon a meal. That look in the hound's eyes before it realizes it's trailing a wolf.

It would not be long before she had her first taste of blood in this city, Kassia was certain. Perhaps the bounty boards she was heading for in the depths of the Midnight Market would require the use of her crude blade - perhaps not. But either way, some mangy dog would act upon his hunger, and the wolf would take its due.

Today, she would prove herself as the Blade. But tomorrow?

The Butcher is patient. The Butcher of Bre Tann waits in the dark for fools to wander. Or so the children's stories say.

Actions, Turn 2
Vis: 8
Focus: 2 (1 Temporary)

-Kassia sleeps through the day, and rises at night. Honest men rise at dawn - Kassia is no man, and only her Blades are honest. (Sleep, and lots of it. Best to have her wits for the night's activities.) [-3 Vis]

-Kassia finds bounty boards or other such postings in the Midnight Market, and fulfills them to her best ability. Whatever the task might be - though she is careful of tasks which seem overly dangerous or liable to rile up the Gendarme overmuch. (Some riling is alright, but there is a difference between heat that dies down and heat that burns you.) (Pursuing Bounty Work in the Midnight Market.) [-3 Vis, Focused x2, Talent: Savoir Faire!, Item: Machete]

-In the wee hours when even unsavory folk are asleep in their beds, Kassia wanders the empty streets. If she's quiet enough, she wonders, can she find city spirits? Surely a place as crowded as this has some. Best not to let them spot her, however. (Looking for Spirits in the dead of night. Sneakily.) [-1 Vis, Vice: Weird!, Talent: Savoir Faire!]

-Kassia acquires food from the day market just before heading off to bed - and just as the merchants arrive for the morning, before the rush of laborers. A convenient combination. (Buying Food, and a spare sack, if she can find one - she hopes to make a crude Punching Bag.) [-1 Vis, -2 G]

Gilder: 3 G (3 - 3 (Machete) + 5 (Stipend) - 2 (Food))

Heat: 0

Stress: 0

Inventory:
Blades (Rusted. Useless in their current state.)
Machete
Last edited by The GAmeTopians on Mon Mar 25, 2024 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Empire of Donner land wrote:EHEG don't stop for no one.
It's like your a prostitute and the RP is a truck. The truck don't stop.

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Nordheimrr
Diplomat
 
Posts: 655
Founded: Aug 04, 2023
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Nordheimrr » Wed Mar 27, 2024 7:10 am

Lee | Turn Two

When Lee had awoken from his uncomfortable slumber, he hastily reached for his cane and stumbled out the door, heckled by the cries of needed money by the owner. His pockets were still full of jerky, and he looked around for a map… he reared back around, “Sir! Do you per-chance have a map?”

(Conditional action, if he does have a map)
“I do, yes. A Glider to take a look.” Lee laid the coin on the table and eagerly looked at the map, looking for perhaps a place of employment… and somewhere to gamble. Deadspit Lane, with what looked like several shops and what was rumored to be a gambling den, looked great.

(Conditional action, if he doesn’t have a map)
“Can’t say I do, sir. Sorry.” With that Lee, just wondered, looking for a shop, or a line, or people carrying items from said-shop… (kinda short, I had to rush this out before vacation)

When Lee had found a place of work, a dated shop with a rusted-out sign and a broken window, he leaned inside and asked the first person he saw for a job. He had to make income somehow, ain’t he? He didn’t want to be the ones screaming in agony outside. Upon leaving the place of work, he found a neat little bowler cap on the ground. It had a purple band at the top and a card. Two of hearts. He muttered a quick, ‘Nice’ under his breath as he walked down the district streets, limping his tall body to the Fleapit. He watched the bloody spectacle of poor beggars; folks like him, rather. There was this lean one, not much muscle on him, but he was quick to dodge and duck the bigger burlier men that were thrown at him. Lee studied his movements: a quick jab here, then retreating backward. He had a limp in his left leg which restricted his ability to move to the left a great deal, but that didn’t seem to hinder him. When the little fighter got his teeth knocked out of his skull, Lee quietly whispered to the biggest brute he could find: “A Glider if you go down there and win.”

The fool look surprised. “Money?” Lee answered quickly, “Money.” And off the Brute went. Lee noticed several things about each of more… wealthy candidates here. All of them weren’t directly from this district, but rather from the neighboring ones. That might prove useful, somehow. He made the same light talk he did with the Brute, “I’m willing to bet you two Gliders that the brute with the shiny head can win.” And he made that bet well.

When the little fighter got up, his jaw swollen shut, Lee introduced himself with a handshake and a warm smile behind those cold, dark eyes, as dark as the sea on a stormy night. “Charles Lee, and who might you be?” The fighter spoke broken English, “Am Richard, I fight here.” Lee smiled warmly, “Need a contract?” Richard tried to smile a bit, but his swollen jaw was not a great boon to that idea. “Let’s say I give you a Glider a week to offer your fighting services to me. Would that suit you?”


Lee eventually stumbled his way back to the apartment, his pocket with other three Gliders from gambling on a few of the more choice specimen in the Pit. leaning on his cane most of the way through. He was stared at, yet again, by several onlookers. And they once again looked a bit… familiar? He felt confused. Scared even. He tried to walk faster, but his cane held him back. So the entire walk home was just eyes. Eyes to the back of his head, almost wishing him dead. Richard trailed behind him, before picking up the pace and pulling in-front of Lee.

When he stumbled through the door of his dinky little room, the gas-light burnt out, he threw his cane to the side of the door and collapsed in his bed. And he wondered.

Who were those people?

And how did they know him?

-1 Glider, -8 VIS (-2 from attempted running, -3 to put in a shift, -1 from Fleapit unsure about the cost of the rest)
[/b]
Last edited by Nordheimrr on Thu Mar 28, 2024 9:03 am, edited 4 times in total.

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

Postby Lazarian » Wed Mar 27, 2024 12:14 pm

WEEK TWO

Image

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.


PENELOPE LAGAKOU


Nighttime’s unkind caresses offer Penelope no respite once more. Night after night, she tosses and turns in dreamscapes of dread. [No actions can be Focused next turn.]

Her search for new locations of employment is not nearly as fruitful as the journeying of last week - despite her best effort, she can only find a single location of interest.

As she travels home, the sun fully set and the moon obscured by wet smog, she passes by what appears to be a converted warehouse of some sort. Faint crimson gaslight spills from the dingy windows. Outside, a sign waves in the breeze.

“Tallazan’s Theatre of the Orphic Arts” it says, in garish yellow font. Beneath, it lists - “Seances! Palm-Reading! Astral Projection!” in a bold, uneven hand, beckoning the curious inside. A gilder’s entry, for those brave enough.

The ticket-collector outside is visibly inebriated, an open bottle in his hand, and Penelope quietly slips in without notice. Following the faint scent of incense and sawdusted footprints down the entrance, she finds herself in a dimly lit pocket theater. Rickety wooden benches face a small stage draped with tattered burgundy curtains. The walls are lined with haphazard shelves overflowing with occult bric-a-brac. Shrunken heads, crystal balls, taxidermied ravens and other bizarre curios.

Presiding over this place is a middle-aged man draped in a loud peacock vest, heavy rings, and jingling charms. Presumably the man of the hour himself - Tallazan. With a crooked grin, he warmly greets patrons, ushering them into rickety seats as he dramatically collects psychic "auras" by passing illuminated crystals over their heads.

The ramshackle show kicks off with Tallazan's coterie of assistance (mostly young, attractive women) performing card and magic tricks, transparent (to Penelope’s eyes) bouts of "contact with the other side," and amateurish seances complete with rattling tambourines and clouds of fragrant smoke.

It's all a carnival showing - there is no true occultism here. But Tallazan's patter is so energetic and his showmanship so enthusiastic that the assembled rubes depart wide-eyed and wondering if there wasn't perhaps some sliver of authentic esoterica amidst the knavery. Maybe, just maybe…there was?

[An obvious charade - but you walked away pondering the impossible regardless.]

Penelope hangs around the show afterwards, and in enough time, the commoners and drunkards shuffle out, leaving only the Master of Ceremonies and his assistants. It is beneath her station, to be a glorified show-girl - but perhaps she could bring something real to this strange place.

Tallazan looks her over with a leering, lurid gaze after the interview. The stare is entirely too long - in her home country, he’d lose those eyes for that.

“Hmm. Yes. You’ll do.” he says in a purr, eyes still roaming. “You’ll do just fine.”

[Job offer: 6 Gilders for 3 VIS. Tips not included.]

NEW LOCATION FOUND:

Tallazan’s Theatre of the Orphic Arts
Faint crimson gaslight spills from the dingy windows of a converted warehouse. Outside, a sign waves in the breeze. “Tallazan’s Theatre of the Orphic Arts” it says, in garish yellow font. Beneath, it lists - “Seances! Palm-Reading! Astral Projection!” in a bold, uneven hand, beckoning the curious inside for “a mere Gilder entry!” Following the faint scent of incense and sawdusted footprints down the entrance, visitors enter a dimly lit pocket theater. Rickety wooden benches face a small stage draped with tattered burgundy curtains. The walls are lined with haphazard shelves overflowing with occult bric-a-brac. Shrunken heads, crystal balls, taxidermied ravens and other bizarre curios.

It is not long before Tallazan’s ramshackle theater quickly loses its novelty for Penelope. Each evening bleeds into the next - the so-called “Master of Mystic Arts” and his retinue of buxom ‘psychics' performing their cheap parlour tricks and filling the air with clanging bells and fragrant smoke. Her first week is spent in observation and practice (and plenty of eye-rolling), fetching props, lighting candles, and waving crystals.

But in the late hours of a weekend evening, when Penelope is tasked with taking the stage for the first time, something feels...different. She takes her place atop the stage, ringing bells and lighting incense, chanting the rehearsed nonsense of this sham seance.

But this time, something begins to coalesce amidst the swirling smoke. At first, it is just a vague shape - a convergence of shadow given menacing form. Then, features reveal themselves with horrifying clarity - a desiccated visage, leering with eyeless hunger! A lipless rictus grin stretched wide! Mottled flesh taut against protruding bones!

For the first time, Tallazan shows fear in his eyes, and he takes a step back, crimson robes quivering. His customary bravado cracks like a dropped porcelain mask as the apparition's billowing smoke-form looms ever closer. By the time its reeking, grave-chill miasma washes over him, even the most credulous rube can spy naked terror etched on Tallazan's face. Closer it comes, and closer still, and closer still!

Just as suddenly as it manifests, the shape disperses into ribboning vapor. The theater's discharge of pent breath and hammering heartbeats filled the vacuum as punctuation. For a long, stretching moment, there is only silence - and then a torrent of applause and drunken cheering fills the air. The crowd goes absolutely wild - men and women clapping and shouting and hollering in some raucous mixture of horror and delight.

Eventually, Tallazan is able to seize control of his wits. “A brush with the supernatural, ladies and gentlemen!” he sputters, ashen-faced and covered in cold sweat. “Right here, right now, in Tallazan’s Theatre! You saw it here first!”

The tips, of course, are good. [+6 Gilders from work, and +6 Gilders in tips!]

But the ghost? It wore your mother’s face… [+3 Stress]

[An uninvited spectre crashed the sham soirée. But what role did you play in summoning it?]

Penelope’s journey to the Harlot’s Landing for cheaper food is somewhat worthwhile - they offer fish at a discount, as expected. [1 Food for 1 Gilder - up to 3 food.] Saving all these fish for two weeks, however, with no method of preservation? Well. That may be playing with fire.


JOSEPH KALIBJAN


Joseph's afternoons with his younger siblings are a great many things. Taxing. Tolerable. Occasionally tiresome. But seldom dull! Who precisely invented the game about the monkey and the dragon is anyone's guess - but of course, Joseph, as it turns out, makes for a remarkable dragon. And who ever knew monkeys lived quite happily in their own blanket fort? The Kalibjian's apartment might be a small one - but it is, at least for a time, a happy one. And Joseph's mother is no doubt grateful for the reprieve.
[Happy is he who can be a dragon for two intolerable monkeys! -1 Stress.]

One afternoon, however, a small mystery is revealed. For over in a corner of the Kalibjians' modest home, a crack in the wall by the window hides a hollow. One hidden behind peeling wallpaper - and much dust. Inside the hollow, almost completely out of sight, is stuck a small, battered cardboard case. A treasure?!

[Pick one of the following treasures!]

#1) Inside the modest case, a bevvy of faded daguerrotypes, colored marbles and battered cigarette cards greet the light of day. Why, there's even a few proud tin soldiers in faded greatcoats and tri-cornered hats! Who hid these here? And why? No matter. While of doubtful value at any market, these trinkets may at least be of some joy to Joseph's young siblings.
[Toys, trinkets and modest childhood treasures - once hidden, now found again. A joy for the children, if nothing else.]

#2) Inside the little box is-? Oh dear. No, this is certainly not a treasure. Or, at least, not one for children. For once the lid is pried open, there is no mistaking its contents for other than what it is. A double-barreled pistol - sleek, businesslike. And highly illegal! It is of a compact, no-nonsense design, with a walnut-paneled grip much stained with dust and sweat.
[There's a few carefully-packaged bullets, too. Along the gun's barrel, a row of neat, machine-stamped letters read: 'Nachtwey A72'.]

#3) Oho! Inside the lurid little box, a mass of treasure is indeed revealed. Or, at least, so it seems at first sight. The mass of old coins are of dubious value, to be sure - but a yellowed ivory comb is beautifully wrought, and those cuff-links there? Well! They wouldn't shame a corporate courtier, that's for sure. The ring in the corner bears an unfamiliar crest - stately and austere. And the dice, while improbable at first, has a strangely heavy heft to them.
[Was this a pickpocket's haul? Or someone's personal stash? Regardless, there is at least 2 Gilders worth of cash here. And the dice are odd. They land high numbers more often than not.]


When a man applies himself to his work - time, for a while - fades. It changes from a matter of moment-to-moment, and becomes something else. A now-and-always of purposeful pleasure - lit by diligence. [By days's end, Joseph's colleagues nod at him with something akin to respect. His meager pay of 5 Gilder is prompt - and well earned.]

Simple food is purchased with ease at the Tangletown Market. Warm, salted oat-cakes. Half a steamed sausage of some sort. And fish? Yes. Yes, that's probably fish. Probably. [Food for the week is bought, and paid for - with 2 G - plain and simple.]

Sleep, when it comes, is a shy and flighty thing in the Kalibjian's apartment. Is it anxiety or guilt that haunt Joseph's nightly forays into the Lands of Dream? Or a fatigue so bone-deep even solemn slumber stands at respectful distance? Whatever the case - restfulness eludes poor Joseph. Try as he might. Perhaps he should dedicate more time to rest.
[-1 VIS next turn, +1 Stress. Alas.]


IAN DESCH


The wild imaginings of Ian's mind pour forth in fits and starts this week as he labors over his masterpiece - A Dragon's Land. Even the grandiose title hints at the fantastical events awaiting between the covers. By week's end, two chapters had solidified from the ether, their wild contents practically leaping off the pages.

With trembling hands, Ian delivers his freshly scribed manuscript to the bored-looking man at Chengway's Printers and Bindery. As the editor's jaded eyes scan the whimsical prose, his sneer deepens.

"This is utter pulp," the man mutters in undisguised disdain. Ian's heart sank like an anchor. The editor continues. "Dragons, ‘elves’, and a lusty romance ending on a damned cliffhanger in chapter two..." A ponderous sigh escaped his lips before he met Ian's crestfallen gaze. "I hate this."

The suspenseful pause that followed felt like an eternity - until the editor leans back with a resigned grunt.

"But the public is going to eat this shit right up. Tell you what - I'll pay you 6 gilders a week if you can crank out at least two chapters of this madness weekly."

[Job Offer: 6 Gilders per 2 Chapters at Chengway Printers. Best get scribbling!]

When not busy with putting pen to paper, Ian spends his hours skulking about Tangletown's bustling market stalls and vendors. His slow and crippled gait makes the process long and painful, and draws more than a few dismissive scowls as he vainly seeks a hidden market.

Most vendors shut down his questions with disgusted haste, hissing that no weapons would pass through these Gendarme-stomped precincts. Was he daft? One particular hawker, however, discretely pulls Ian's aside with a conspiratorial murmur. "What you're looking for is out there...just not right now. If you catch my meaning?"

[Spend at least 1 Vis exploring during Night to guarantee finding the Midnight Market's shadowed corners.]

Between writing frenzies, Ian diligently practices running with the aid of his crutch. Perspiration soaks his brow, and joints scream in protest by week's end...but the foundations for greater mobility someday feel within reach, despite the lack of results this week.

As for sleep? Well. Ian's nights were utterly pedestrian and unremarkable. No soaring fantasies, no haunted torments - just the reassuring ebb and flow of dreaming's gentle tides, with Vivian at his side. [VIS recovered regularly.]


SIR WINTHROP EDDLETON - “The Scion”


Under Crimwick's watchful aspect, the Scion's labors fill his pockets. Each job performed with diligent vigor draws approving nods from superiors. Perhaps this ill-shapen foreigner may yet prove his worth, after all? Beyond just gilders earned, the Scion's sinews thrum with newfound strength - born from honest exertion. At this rate, he'll feel heartier than ever before before long. [+8 Gilders satisfyingly weight Winthrop's coin-purse.]

Between duties, Winthrop's request to gather discarded scraps of metal - bits of wire, stray cogs, rejected bearings - is swiftly granted, as his employers see no harm in allowing such tinkerings to sate his clever mind's inquisitive hungers. [2 assorted Scrap claimed for future use.]

Winthrop’s sleeping hours pass without incident. Just the customary ebb and flow of slumber's gentle tides carrying him from resting to waking. [VIS recovered regularly.]

Beneath night's stellar tapestries, the Scion finds rejuvenation. Out on the tenement's soaring roof, he passes hours plaintively adrift - scanning the glittering heavens for their cryptic messages and unknowable significances. This week’s particular dances held no overt portents, but observing the procession of the stars instills him with a soothing calm.

At precisely one in the morning, however - the witching hour - an intriguing development materialized. A cat, black as night, with piercing blue eyes appears atop the roof alongside him. It treads closer, winding around the Scion’s boots and meowing insistently. It almost seems to beckon him onwards with imploring gestures. Strange...yet curiosity proves stronger than caution.

The creature leads a winding path down the tenement stairs, through knotted alleys shunned by decent folk until arriving at...a small corpse. Not one of man, but another feline - slain and desecrated in what could only be some dark ritual. Viscera and organs wove macabre symbols amidst the offal, while hateful hissing issued from the onlooking feline. It almost seems to be...vengeful? [CURIOSITY: Now what, exactly, is this all about? Winthrop’s interest is piqued.]

Unfortunately, not all is well for Winthrop this week. As he returns home from work one evening, he cannot help but notice that the lock on his door has been meddled with. Taking a quick account of his belongings, he finds himself a Gilder short of where he should be. Damned thieves. [-1 Gilder]


ALLISTAR CRAVEN


Allistar's fitful slumbers provided some merciful respite from fatigue this week, though he could not describe himself as ‘well-rested’, by any means. His pain's dull lashing persisted, that cackling tormentor - yet it is not enough to entirely hamstring his efforts on this day. [VIS restored normally.]

At the Door of Hope, simple routines of service help anchor him. Ladling out nourishing soup from the humble kitchen, accepting his own modest bowl with a murmured thanks - yes, these things buoy an aching soul. As he went about these minor selfless acts, Allistar couldn't help but feel the weight of Father Werner's scrutiny - the cleric's eyes trailing him like a particularly devoted shadow. Despite the unease that this provokes in Allistar, there remains solace in these acts of simple charity. [-1 Stress]

When the older priest seeks him out later, his smile projects warmth and approval. "We could use more trustworthy hands like yours in the days ahead," Father Werner offered with a conspiratorial lean. "I may have a...special opportunity. If you'd be willing? Come again next week. Prove your devotion one more time…and we’ll talk."

Allistar manages a neutral nod, thoughts already drifting to the night’s work ahead.

When the gas-lamps wink and sputter, the tenement's weary inhabitants fast asleep, he rises like a whisper on the darkness - slipping from flat to flat with liquid grace. These apartments harbor little in the way of serious impediments. Many locks broke at the slightest attempt.

Sure hands manipulate tumblers in delicate silence. Subtle efficiencies become second nature. Here, a few gilders liberated from a neglected tin. There, a heel of bread forgotten on the sideboard. Yonder, an ill-guarded wool coat ripe for the taking. Small, invaluable treasures - never enough to arouse undue scrutiny. [+3 Gilders, +1 Food, +Well Made Coat]

Pickpocketing proved trickier. Though he evaded watchful eyes, Allistar's deft only yielded a solitary gilder's-worth of ill-gotten gain. Additionally, his instincts tell him that it is best not to continue these pursuits in the Tenements much longer. Burglary may be silent and quiet, but pickpocketing? No matter his skill, they’ll notice soon enough. [Perceptive] [+2 Gilder]

Confession at the Door of Hope's secluded annex offered no balm for guilty conscience, however. Anonymously, through the privacy-screen's narrow slats, Allistar admits to his transgressions. The petty thefts, the break-ins - desperate acts driven by destitution and need. But the attending monk offers no absolution - only disdainful silence, which hammers louder upon Allistar’s soul than any critique or admonishment could. [Your burdened soul finds no solace this week in confession. No stress is relieved.]


LILY ISHENKO


The frequent nightmares that haunt Lily’s sleep are not present this week, offering Lily a merciful reprieve. Though shadows of her troubled past loom, they do not coalesce into their usual torments.

Her efforts focused on securing employment at The Lace Atelier have...mixed results. Her charming smiles and eloquent words flowed as freely as the delicate design sketches she presented, and the intricate, stylized tattoo work adorning her own skin truly caught their attention. The other artists gladly welcome her - on the condition that she demonstrate on a few live examples, of course.

“Saxon’s in.” one announces, walking into the room with a look of disgust.

His eyes brighten upon seeing Lily, realizing that he can hand this ill-wanted duty off to someone else. The others look around, uncertain about the idea - but they eventually acquiesce to his request. Yes. She can work on Saxon - and if that goes well? She’s in.

One look at this ‘Saxon’ confirms that this is no wealthy dilettante, despite his finely-tailored garments. Disfiguring scars notch a bloody tale across his arms, and telltale twitches signal a compendium of narcotics coursing through his veins. Lily's gaze lingered on the macabre skull-and-bones tapestry inked across his forearms. Twenty-seven skulls... many of them fresh and new.

Steeling herself, she set to work...only for an unpracticed tremor to betray her. The needle's fateful slip unleashes a crimson blossom across Saxon's flesh, and he howls like a stuck pig. "I'll fucking kill you for that, foreign bitch!" he screams in rage, shaking hands clawing for a concealed blade as the studio erupts into chaos.

Only the combined efforts of the resident artists restraining the thrashing monster of a man prevent a gruesome aftermath. Once pulled to safety, Lily's humiliation burns, hot as the sun itself. [+2 Stress from the violent debacle.]

To the Atelier's credit, her talents are still acknowledged, despite the catastrophic initiation. They agree to take her on as an apprentice - supervised closely for the next two weeks to ensure her blunders remained contained. Earn their trust, and a promotion to full artisan could follow, elevated pay and all.

[Job Offer: The Lace Atelier - 4 Gilders for 3 Vis as probationary apprentice. Potential promotion to 8 Gilders for 3 Vis pending solid performance.]

Lily’s visit to the Door of Hope, thankfully, is much less eventful. Simple work in exchange for simple sustenance. The priests there provide her with humble meals...along with a gently-stated expectation of greater future time commitment for their alms.

Her attempts at gaining Pinfold’s trust are largely successful. Bit by bit, the quiet little man's peculiar mind opened up, offering a few insights.

His first is that there is more to Hsin-Yao than the Clockwork Circus. There are plenty of other districts, other places - places that he thinks a ‘nice girl like her’ may be safer in. They are worth visiting, he muses. He also provides a few stern cautions about roaming the streets at night. Yes, there may be fascinating things to see in those late hours. But there are many, many roving street gangs - and they rule the nighttime hours.

Pinfold, however, is not always the best company. On his addled days, his mind seems to drift far from the corporeal realm. Gaze growing distant and glassy, he responds to Lily's innocent queries with nothing but wordless silence.


JACOB EVERSON


Once more, Jacob submerges himself in the Clockwork Circus' teeming crowds. He walks amongst them - along the streets and allyways - and they part for him easily enough. While Jacob's steps eventually take him to new and unknown locales; his ultimate goal? - that of actual work as a veritable Private Eye? - unfortunately, such work eludes him. Mayhaps it is a mere case of bad luck? Or perhaps that such hires are better sought in places other than smoggy gutters and cramped thoroughfares? One can but wonder.

There is, thankfully, more mundane jobs that also require doing. Jobs, for instance, like the one Jacob finds hauling freight along the piers of Harlot's Landing.

NEW LOCATION FOUND

Harlot's Landing
Where the brackish waters of the Chengshi River lap against the Circus' rotted pilings, this decrepit wharf hosts a semi-permanent flotilla of decaying fishing skiffs, reeking trawlers and soggy houseboats. A haphazard shantytown of dockside pubs, smokeries and traffickers in illicit cargos thrives amidst the mud-soaked nets. [Fresh seafood and furtive deals - buy 'em by the basket.]

There, amidst the lilting piers and fish-stained nets, a gruff boatswain sets his conditions clearly enough. If Jacob can show up in the morning - before the eighth bell, preferably - be stone sober, and help clear the day's freight off the pier? Well. Then Jacob can expect 5 Gilders in his hand once the job's done. [Gentle negotiations see 2 VIS pay 4 Gilders. This, in the end, is Jacob's lot.]

Back home in the tenement, it is a simple - if brute - matter to find a place for Jacob's spare cash. A few pried-up floorboards, in under the dusty dim of Jacob's cot, serve easily enough. [Hidden. Secret. Presumably safe.]

Jacob's attempts to listen in, slink about an, ah, quietly eavesdrop? Well. Around the tattered landings of his tenement-home, these attempts meet with some success. During one of his first forays, Jacob's ears catch snippets of a private conversation between a neighbor of his - a foreign woman, Lily, was it? - and a stranger. A man; drawn of face and wary of aspect. The subject of his and Lily's conversation eludes Jacob, unfortunately - but he does catch the man's name - if that is indeed what it is. [Pinfold. A monicker? Or familiar nickname.]

Other forays yields different results. Namely, that of child-like laughter, yelps of dismay and the pitter-patter of small feet. Children? In this place? Well then. [Even in a place as unlikely as this, youth thrives. Fates preserve them.]

It is late in the night, and the streets of the Circus has long since fallen silent, when a faint-but-persistent noise catches Jacob's attention. A rattling. Like the clatter of tools? Or the drag of metal on wood? Huh. Apparently, if his instincts are true - someone is going somewhere they don’t belong. [Perceptive] [Curious. Very curious.]

Jacob's work on his puzzle-book continues afoot this week. Granted, the mysteries of its dog-eared pages are more than a little familiar to him by now - if not outright boring. But, all the same, there is comfort in routine. [And the comfortable mind is, at least, a restful one. -1 Stress]

But while Jacob's mind is at least somewhat more rested this week - his body, alas, begs to differ. Has he even slept at all, these last few nights? Days grow wary. Nights pass at a crawl. And reality frays.
[-1 VIS next turn, +1 Stress!]


KASSIA ALANI BAKER - “The Delicate Blade”


While the average men and women of the world awaited dawn’s rosy gaze, Kassia stalked the night. In the Midnight Market, bounty boards and shadowed whispers offered up a banquet of objectives to fill her purse. She surveys and judges them carefully, avoiding any tasks that risked rousing the Gendarmes.

This hunt proves ripe with easy prey - a cabal of abused laborers from some factory hell pooling their meager resources. The bounty? The head of their cruel overseer, whom they accuse of sliding an unfair share of their wages into his own engorged purse while lashing their backs raw.

Kassia strikes with brutal elegance. She patiently shadows the lout from the factory gate, tailing him silently through the streets. As she enters his lodging, she follows behind him. He does not notice her behind him, carelessly leaving the door open for a fatal moment - and one vicious downstroke buries her machete in the surprised brute's cervical vertebrae before he can voice shock. No witnesses, no loved ones to raise cries over his ignoble end. Just the gradual bloat of decay announcing his departure once she had long since ghosted away on silent footsteps.

The grateful laborers had her Gilder-weight in full by the next Midnight Market. [+7 Gilders. Reputation increased.]

In the dead of night, in the search for city spirits, her light footsteps carry her past a converted warehouse with a faded sign - "Tallazan's Theatre of the Orphic Arts."

Well. This might be worth investigating. She slips in quietly, easily dodging the drunken door-man. Within was a small stage area lined with shelves of occult odds and ends like shrunken heads and crystal balls. A man decked out in gaudy jewellery and feathers, presumably Tallazan himself, jovially introduces his assistant - a pale, haunted-looking young woman. As she begins some sort of seance act, swirling smoke and chanting, something strange occurs.

The shadows shift oddly, taking on unsettling shapes at the corners of Kassia's vision. An unnatural chill fills the air, and for a moment, she senses something otherworldly lurking just beyond perception. Then, something begins to coalesce amidst the swirling smoke. At first, it is just a vague shape - a convergence of shadow given menacing form. Then, features reveal themselves with horrifying clarity - a desiccated visage, leering with eyeless hunger! A lipless rictus grin stretched wide! Mottled flesh taut against protruding bones!

Kassia’s skin rises with goosebumps as the spirit drifts towards Tallazan in the midst of the haze, her blood freezing cold in her veins, her heart pounding.

Suddenly, the spectre vanishes - gone as soon as it came. Kassia is thrilled - along with the rest of the crowd. [-2 Stress]

As the dawn seeps through the graying clouds, Kassia slips in one final errand. Quickly, she purchases simple provisions - rice here, fish there, a handful of carrots. Worlds entwining in those fleeting moments of transition, before the dayfolk stampeded the stalls once more. [+1 Food, +1 Punching Bag]


LISHA LANG - “Scarlett”


The first two weeks in Hsin-Yao passed in a blur for Lisha. Each night ushered in deep sleep, utterly devoid of dreams or nightmares alike. [VIS recovered regularly.]

Exploring this new city initially proved a frustrating endeavor, however. Lisha's inquisitive wanderings often culminated in little more than sweeping, half-glimpsed vistas through the permanent gauntlet of foot traffic. Navigating such clogged civic arteries drained her focus, and she did not discover nearly as many useful places as she would have liked.

That is not to say that she did not find places worth further investigation, of course.

NEW LOCATIONS FOUND:

Deadspit Lane Fleapit
Amidst the Circus' most wretched avenues hunkers this decrepit bare-knuckle fighting arena. Little more than a mud-pit enclosed by decrepit wooden stands, it offers venues for boxers, toughs and desperate brawlers to prove their bloody mettle and perhaps win a few ill-gotten coins in the process.
[Spectacle and violence for the unwashed masses.]

The Gear & Gasket
This ramshackle tavern and gambling hall squats amidst the western fringes of the Clockwork Circus. Drifting wood smoke and the reek of stale spirits haunts its sagging doorways, beyond which all manner of disreputable sorts gather to drink, game, and make assorted back alley dealings. Surly men with crimson scarves lurk in the alcoves - they observe the occupants with hardened eyes. Best be careful here.
[A den of iniquity - but with cheap ale at least.]

The Harlot's Landings
Where the brackish waters of the Chengshi River lap against the Circus' rotted pilings, this decrepit wharf hosts a semi-permanent flotilla of decaying fishing skiffs, reeking trawlers and soggy houseboats. A haphazard shantytown of dockside pubs, smokeries and traffickers in illicit cargos thrives amidst the mud-soaked nets.
[Fresh seafood and furtive deals - buy 'em by the basket.]

The second week saw her finally gain a foothold, quite literally, in the bustling heart of Tangletown's market district. With daunting yet straightforward tasks like unloading heavily burdened wagons and hauling heaping barrows from stall to stall, Lisha settled into a comforting routine of simple, honest labor.

While the exertions were intense and drew up a sheen of sweat upon her brow each day, the labor brought satisfaction as well. This was the path to prized fortitude of body and mind - punishing toil. The first links in a chain of unbroken discipline. [+5 Gilder for this week's sweat-born wages. She will surely grow stronger, should this routine continue.]



(This event takes place at the very end of this upcoming turn.)

As dusk's pinkish stains give way to true night one evening, a piercing cry shatters the usual market hubbub. Heads swivel towards a prime corner stall, where a bedraggled woman desperately fights off two larger men attempting to drag her into the shadows of a nearby alleyway. Their red scarves blow in the wind, and the crowd seems to deliberately look the other way as this event transpires. [Perceptive]

"Please...please help!" she wails amidst sloppy punches. “Somebody!”

A grizzled laborer simply grimaces and turns away, muttering about "not getting involved."

But Lisha already moved with liquid purpose, calloused knuckles flexing...

[Does she intervene, gambling her purse and potentially more against unknown assailants? Or leave well enough alone?] [Choose an action - and the rolls & outcome will be revealed at the start of the next turn.]
Last edited by Lazarian on Wed Mar 27, 2024 12:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Postby Cybernetic Socialist Republics » Wed Mar 27, 2024 1:30 pm

Two weeks previous, Lisha had found a couple sites potentially worthy of her time, though she'd chosen to work in Tangletown the next week regardless. The Harlot's Landings seemed like I place she could head to, were she willing to risk it to buy cheap food or contraband for use or resale. Something to keep in mind if she wanted to gamble on saving some gilders or making more. The Gear & Gasket, too, was far from a reputable location, but it was a place that she could drink and gamble to relieve some stress, making it all but a certainty that she'd be heading their sooner rather than later. Last but not least, was Deadspit Lane Fleapit, a place where she could put her puglistic prowess to good use. The moment she came across the place it took some restraint to throw herself into the opportunity, but it simply not in her best interest to do so. No, it was better to spend the next weak working & in doing so work out, at tangletown. As a matter of fact, she'd return yet another week to tangle town, perhaps next week, she figured, it'd be time to head to the Fleapit.

As it'd turn out, however, the last day of her work week would prove to be a moment where she'd get a chance to excercise the violent arts, though whether or not it could be counted for as ill advised could not be known until the deed was completed. She'd picked out a cry from the typical market clamour & looked to see a woman deseperately attempting to fight of a pair of men attempting to drag her away. The fact that both men wore red scarves, suggested that theese were not mere random thugs, but in alignment with some group of people or another. Especially since it seemed that other people were willing to stand aside and allow the woman to be carried off. Lisha was no hero, but she was a fighter, one that had not been in a fight for weeks now. What better opportunity was there to get invovled in a scrap than for what appeared to be, at least, a good cause. So she'd make her way towards one of the men & opened up with a powerful sucker punch...

Actions, Turn 3
Starting:
Vis: 8/8
Focus: 1
Gilder: 11
Heat: 0
Stress: 0
Inventory: Nothing

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

-Lisha heads to Tangletown Market to do some honest, streneous labor, both to excercise & earn Gilders [-5 Vis, 5 G]

-Lisha buys food & a good coat [-5G, -1 Vis]

Finishing:
Vis: 0/8
Focus: 1
Gilder: 11 G
Heat: 0
Stress: 0
Inventory: Coat
Last edited by Cybernetic Socialist Republics on Thu Mar 28, 2024 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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