Nice and peaceful, Nabias offers a great place to start your journey or stock up on supplies before heading out to brave the rest of the wilderness out there. They also have Barakka's largest hospital facility to treat all sorts of injuries you could get out there. (+2 Precision)

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A Deal's a Deal [Quest] [Open]

Postby Indigo » 09/18/2016 10:58 PM

Image

Nissa had been sure to arrive early. She hadn't been able to determine for sure whether this was a legitimate business transaction or not, and somehow she didn't think asking would help matters. So here she was. A good hour's lead should let her scope things out, see if there was anyone lurking about the place, look for avenues of escape, that kind of thing. The strategy had never failed her yet, except that one time with the snakes, but a lot had gone wrong with that exchange and she was pretty sure nothing could have fixed it except perhaps not showing up at all. And that was not how she did things.

Unfortunately, this did mean she was left standing around for an hour trying not to look too suspicious, which wasn't that hard for someone of her stature and disposition, but it was a little wearing to have to think about what her every action might look like from the outside. She had been loudly drinking a smoothie for the last fifteen minutes, which helped. The noise was actually just because one of her fangs had nicked the straw in a funny way, but it doubled as inconspicuous conspicuousness, if that was a real thing. She had her doubts.

I'm not a gangster tonight
Don't wanna be a bad guy
I'm just a loner, baby
And now you've gotten in my way

I can't decide whether you should live or die
Oh you'll probably go to heaven
Please don't hang your head and cry
No wonder why my heart feels dead inside
It's cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride


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Re: A Deal's a Deal [Quest] [Open]

Postby Ander » 09/21/2016 7:30 PM

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'It's for your own good, Zulfeqare,' she said. 'It's for the good of the crew, Zulfeqare.' Ugh. The Torken sank his head into his hands, tendrils of smoke drifting up from between his fingers. More like, you've gotten yourself into a right mess now, Zulfeqare.

He only allowed himself a moment to wallow, though. The small smoke trails reversed themselves as the Torken drew in his breath, raising his head from the tabletop. His hands stayed above his head, though; dirty nails seized hanks of russet hair and pulled thoughtfully, as if he could draw the solution to his problems right out of his head with them. He exhaled in a sigh, and it was suddenly evident where the smoke was coming from: a great, dark cloud of it bloomed from his lips with the breath.

The Torken seemed unfazed as it rose past his face, glaring instead at a pile of papers laid over the table before him. The sheets were marked with soot and a little blackened around the edges, but that was what he got for handling them while upset. And well, he'd definitely been handling them a lot over the last couple of hours. The man's fingers left his hair, straying instead to a full, three-pointed beard. He had pored over their contents numerous times, searching for any loophole, any clause, anything that would get him a better deal than they promised.

There was only so long one man could mull over a problem, though, and this old sailor was hitting his limit. He found himself slipping into self-pity more than practicality, and that meant it was time to pack it in and seek a bit of distraction. He couldn't drink anything the nice little drink shop offered, but he did like being around the smells of the shakes and fruit juices. Smoothies too, much like the one being slurped down by a little lady nearby. That one was less about the smell, he realized after a moment's thought, and more about the sound. The Torken's eye twitched. It was considerably less pleasant.

"I think it's dead there, missie," the man offered, the deep baritone of his voice soft and, hopefully, inoffensive. "You're just toying with it now. Bad form, that."
Why did it all go wrong?
I wanna know what's going on.
And what's this holding me?
I'm not where I'm supposed to be.
I gotta fight another fight,
I gotta fight with all my might.
I'm getting out, so check it out -
You're in my way,
Yeah, you better watch out...



You can't take me. I'm free.
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Re: A Deal's a Deal [Quest] [Open]

Postby Indigo » 09/22/2016 4:31 PM

Her eyebrows shot up, entirely of their own accord, when the man addressed her. She had noticed him, of course, hard not to notice someone surrounded by smoke, but he'd seemed pretty absorbed in what he was doing and she didn't think he'd even noticed her, slurping or no slurping. Maybe that meant something. Or not. There were a lot of strange people just around.

She popped the lid off her smoothie and smiled ruefully down into it; the cup was still almost half full, not that you could tell from the sound of it. "The straw is, anyway. Maybe I'd better get a spoon and put it out of its misery."

Those papers of his intrigued her, if only because there didn't look to be enough of them to occupy someone for so long, even if the words on them were exceptionally small; he'd been here when she arrived and who knew how long before that. Well, he probably did. Maybe he had something to do with her contact. It was possible someone else had the same ideas she did about timeliness—likely even—and possibly thought that if one hour early was good, more was even better. Nissa had briefly fallen into that trap, until she found herself arriving in places the night before she was due, which was when she decided that someone setting up an ambush that far ahead could probably get the jump on her in other ways even if she thwarted them, and she might as well get some sleep.

More likely he had nothing to do with her business here at all. But even if that was true, well. She had time to kill. Might as well make conversation. "Whatever you've got there looks pretty dead too," she chirped, "if you want to talk about form."

I'm not a gangster tonight
Don't wanna be a bad guy
I'm just a loner, baby
And now you've gotten in my way

I can't decide whether you should live or die
Oh you'll probably go to heaven
Please don't hang your head and cry
No wonder why my heart feels dead inside
It's cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride


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Re: A Deal's a Deal [Quest] [Open]

Postby Ander » 09/23/2016 12:14 PM

It was his turn to raise eyebrows, the start of a facial chain reaction that ended with his mustachioed mouth open in a little 'o' of surprise. That expression changed just as quickly: the Torken laughed, his open mouth revealing that instead of a tongue or teeth, there was only a vibrant void of smoldering orange flame behind his lips. A similar heat lie behind his eyes, though those were mostly hidden by round, darkly-tinted spectacles.

"Sure an' if you haven't got a fair point." He was still chuckling, though he reached for the papers self-consciously, tidying the formerly-crisp sheets into a shabby pile. "It's me own fault though, isn't it? Tend to get a bit warm when I'm overexcited, I'm afraid. Doesn't bode well for little documents."

Beside him, mostly untouched, were the remains of usual cafe fare - silverware, condiments, a half-full glass of water. He hadn't bothered to order anything, so most of it was still unused. "Seems like you're a bit of firebrand yourself, missie, if you don't mind my saying-so." At her mention of a spoon, the Torken held out his silverware bundle, still wrapped in its napkin. "Have at, then. I've not used mine."
Why did it all go wrong?
I wanna know what's going on.
And what's this holding me?
I'm not where I'm supposed to be.
I gotta fight another fight,
I gotta fight with all my might.
I'm getting out, so check it out -
You're in my way,
Yeah, you better watch out...



You can't take me. I'm free.
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Re: A Deal's a Deal [Quest] [Open]

Postby Indigo » 09/24/2016 12:50 AM

Nissa couldn't help but laugh when he did; at the same time she took note of what, if she were describing it aloud, she might call a strange mouth situation, which as far as she could tell confirmed this man had nothing to do with the person she was waiting for. Hard to be certain, of course, but one thing she did know about her newest client was that they were extraordinarily averse to fire.

With that cleared up she couldn't exactly relax, given the amount of time she was working with, but it was one less thing to worry about. "Thank you," she said, taking the utensils. They were warm. She wiggled the spoon free from its napkin-and-silverware nest and quickly found that it was indeed far more effective than the straw.

The smoothie distracted her for about three spoonfuls before her thoughts returned to what the stranger had said. Maybe it would be taken as prying, but she was good at solving problems, and lending a hand here and there helped keep her honest. "You seem as though something's troubling you," she said. He could take that however he wanted.

I'm not a gangster tonight
Don't wanna be a bad guy
I'm just a loner, baby
And now you've gotten in my way

I can't decide whether you should live or die
Oh you'll probably go to heaven
Please don't hang your head and cry
No wonder why my heart feels dead inside
It's cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride


User avatar
Indigo
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Re: A Deal's a Deal [Quest] [Open]

Postby Ander » 09/25/2016 7:04 AM

He grunted response to her thanks, not giving the stranger too much more thought - until she spoke again. Then the Torken started, his eyes narrowing behind the coal-grey frames. One corner of his mouth quirked into a smile though, quite despite himself. "Not only a firebrand, but shrewd to boot?" He chuckled. And sure enough, his hands had gone back to the papers absent-mindedly.

"Aye, a spot o' trouble is a good way to put it. These papers here are my predicament," and he let them go again, the sooty sheets spilling back over the tabletop. He shook his head at them in disdain. "Made a deal I don't know how to worm m'way out of. I'm not a learned man, I'm afraid. Trying to suss out loopholes and official jabber..." He grunted, a couple more smoke-clouds puffing up from the corners of his frown. "Too much for me entirely."

And she knew it, the wench! The woman who was trying to draft him into her crew for the rest of his life - she had the resources to have lawyers draft fancy papers like the ones that plagued him today. Papers that dared suggest that, in light of his lack of money or other means to pay the fines for his former crimes, he would instead offer himself in payment. He didn't understand a lot of the words written there, but he got the gist: his labors as penance, until such time as he was absolved of his misdeeds.

And there was the rub. Zulf had been a pirate for a long time. The grizzled sailor was fully aware that a not-so-much-younger himself had racked up quite a few such misdeeds. And 'such time as he was absolved' was liable to take a while, maybe all the time he had left. He felt like that possibility gave him the right to a touch of crankiness.
Why did it all go wrong?
I wanna know what's going on.
And what's this holding me?
I'm not where I'm supposed to be.
I gotta fight another fight,
I gotta fight with all my might.
I'm getting out, so check it out -
You're in my way,
Yeah, you better watch out...



You can't take me. I'm free.
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Ander
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Re: A Deal's a Deal [Quest] [Open]

Postby Indigo » 09/27/2016 12:35 PM

Well, he didn't seem offended. That was a good start. He was being very vague about this deal, which might be intentional and might not; and she was a stranger prying into things that weren't technically her business, so deliberate confusion might not mean anything either.

She was beginning to think she needed a vacation. Trying to read every possible hidden meaning into everything got pretty exhausting after a while.

She wanted to know more than ever what those papers said, though; and perhaps, though she banished the thought immediately, not for entirely altruistic reasons, but more out of curiosity. All the ways a deal could go wrong were fascinating in their own right.

"I don't know for sure, but I might be able to help you out," she said. "I have some experience with that kind of thing." Loopholes were...not exactly her business, but they were certainly a part of it. And she hadn't exercised those particular mental muscles in a while, as lately she'd been very caught up in buying and selling and trading, and a fair bit of spring cleaning. Nothing about contracts at all. Of course, it depended on what kind of deal this was exactly, but it would have to be explained to her somehow if she was going to do anything about it, anyway. And if not, well, at least she'd tried.

I'm not a gangster tonight
Don't wanna be a bad guy
I'm just a loner, baby
And now you've gotten in my way

I can't decide whether you should live or die
Oh you'll probably go to heaven
Please don't hang your head and cry
No wonder why my heart feels dead inside
It's cold and hard and petrified
Lock the doors and close the blinds
We're going for a ride


User avatar
Indigo
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Re: A Deal's a Deal [Quest] [Open]

Postby Ander » 09/28/2016 10:02 AM

The man's eyes widened behind his shades, expression becoming contemplative as he pulled at his beard. "Y' don't say..." He certainly had nothing to use - there was nothing in those documents that was too personal, as far as he was concerned. They didn't go into much detail, either, so he wouldn't have to worry about offending the lady with any sordid history lessons.

"Ah, what the hell," the Torken exclaimed, "why not? Take a look lass, I've nothing much to lose." A large hand gathered the notes together again and spun them her way. As he'd mentioned, everything he'd ever learned, he'd taken from cobblestone streets, choking waters and sea-green spray. Surely someone who had experiences in more civilized matters could do him better? "I'm 'Zulfeqare', mentioned in there - feel free to call me Zulf, I know the former's a bit of a jaw. And well, most of the details are in there; gist of the thing, though, is that some right witch of a woman wants me to serve on her crew until I die. Like as not I deserve somethin' like that, but I'm not in for life sentences, you understand? Thing is, I can't find anything in there that puts a limit on me little life o' servitude."
Why did it all go wrong?
I wanna know what's going on.
And what's this holding me?
I'm not where I'm supposed to be.
I gotta fight another fight,
I gotta fight with all my might.
I'm getting out, so check it out -
You're in my way,
Yeah, you better watch out...



You can't take me. I'm free.
User avatar
Ander
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