Asoel, impressed by Rikkel's perceptive ability to hear his whispered message and his cutting directly to the subject at heart, considered the barman again. It was a simple statement, yet this brought an immediate sense of kinship, for this barman seemed to be very similar to himself: a watcher of people, always perceptive and yet not a mincer of words. Asoel weighed his desire for tact and anonymity against the need for information. Despite not being the best with communication, Asoel admitted to himself he couldn't refuse the barman.
"I can see your reputation as a man able to find things holds true, for you found my statement when I tried to keep it secret! Very well, we have come to your establishment hoping to learn where we could go to find those who distribute 'Magic Candy'."
Asoel thought keeping his statement to the bare minimum truth would be the best course here, so he hoped purposefully avoiding the topic of whether they sought the candy for purchase or for apprehending the sellers, but he knew that if Rikkel asked, he would be hard pressed to decieve. He doubted any lie that he, blunt as he was, would slip by the perceptive ratfolk. He could only hope that either his statement before would be enough for the barman to trust him with some information, or that the fact the guards pointed them in this direction was indication that Rikkel's sentiments were in line with their own. Waiting for a reply, Asoel watched Rikkel carefully, hoping that this was true.
((Sense Motive +2 on any reply Rikkel gives. Asoel wants to know if he can trust this barman or if he seems he'd be more aligned with the sellers of the candy))
Posted on 2018-07-17 at 20:02:57.
Edited on 2018-07-17 at 20:03:34 by Decicio
Wade and Edgar put their heated conversation on hold for a moment and turn their attention to the fellow that had just wandered into their conversation. “Hey fellas. I didn’t mean to listen in, but I couldn’t help hearing a bit of what you said. I’m new in the area and this is probably the fifth or sixth time I’ve heard or seen the word ‘candy’ used around here. What is this stuff? Is it really crashing all your co-workers? I’ve seen those notices you mentioned. Hard to miss ‘em.” The two exchanged short looks, then it was Edgar who spoke first, surprisingly more pleasant than his part of the conversation may have made him out to be, "Can't fault ya there stranger, I don't know my own volume sometimes. Take a seat, and we'll fill ya in!" He pulled out one of the extra chairs at the table for the stranger, the stench of alcohol on his breath making it obvious he had had more than a couple drinks while sitting here. "The "Candy" as most have taken to calling it is some crazy drug that people all over town have gotten hooked on. From what I understand the stuff is super addictive and makes people do crazy things, sometimes even doing crazy things to them. Many of the folks we work with have gotten hooked to it, and just the other night it seems ol' Adamo went and made a mess while using the crap." Wade just shook his head and muttered under his breath, "That's putting it lightly..." before taking another swig of his ale, finishing it off with one long draw. "Hey friend, how's about you get the next round if we're gonna be answering your questions?" With that the conversation seems to dry up, much like the pint glasses of the two men.
*Meanwhile, back at the bar* Rikkel, in a rather unsanitary and entirely out of character moment for his usual jovial self, spits over his shoulder at the mention of the "candy" as the smile vanishes from his face. "Rikkel hopes you are not insulting his fine establishment by implying that Rikkel has a hand in the distribution of this damned drug."It would seem that "long-ears" has offended their host inadvertently.
Rikkel seemed offended at Asoel's vagueness, yet his obvious distate merely made Asoel smile. Joining in with a spit of his own, he corrected Rikkel's statement, "Thrice damned drug you mean."
Hoping his agreement would hold Rikkel's attention, he quickly reached in pulled out the symbol of his newly gained position of investigator.
"I didn't mean to imply you helped distribute the poison. Merely your perceptive ears and familiarity with the local denizens around may have given you an inkling of where to look."
Asoel leaned in over the counter, staring the barrman with stern eyes as a new passion crept into his voice, a fiery glare that would make his motives clear to the man.
"That filth is an evil sweeping through this community, and now the plague has begun to spread to my Norwood home, corrupting all it touches with a humiliating, meaningless death. Official search has gotten nowhere, we need local help if we're to have any hope to rid this town of the toxin. And nothing would give me more pleasure -" Asoel gripped his medal until his already fair skinned hand was noticeably white with tension. His emotions got the better of him, and he grabbed the ratman's shoulder to be sure he was listening. As Asoel got worked up, he began to lose a bit of himself, parts of his declaration now naturally weaving into his native tongue as he held up a sleeve stained by honey-blood. "Every petseng yawa that did this to Ate made an enemy of me from the moment I'd learned of the vile tae, but then it claimed a life I knew! To say that it has become personal belies the burning desire I have to cut out and eat ang mga puso nila. Sakit and pagod ako. I get sent here on a diplomatic mission. Well pakshet, I'm not a diplomat, nor am I an interviewer, I'm a tracker! Now please, I beg of you, lead me to a track, any track. I'm sick of talk. I need the hunt."
((I left those phrases untranslated on purpose, just a warning if anyone has strong feelings against swearing as some of those are particularly vile. I normally never swear, indeed I've never spoken those particular words aloud, but it felt warranted for Asoel and his state of mind.))
A sly smile spread across the Ratfolk's face, he always did enjoy a good profanity-filled rant, especially when in a typically calm tongue like Elven. "Rikkel is sorry to hear of your loss, may your friend rest well despite the poison." The old Rat pulls the Kobold liquour from under the bar again, refilling Asoel's glass and then pouring another for himself, raising the glass in a respectful toast, "To peaceful rests."
After downing his drink Rikkel limps over to another patron who had been trying to get his attention, gave the man his drink and limped back over to where Asoel sat, "Rikkel would like to help, but Rikkel knows next to nothing of the distribution ring that is peddling this poison on our streets. Perhaps with a couple days' time Rikkel could locate some helpful information though. In the meantime, Rikkel has a favor to ask of you and your companions, if you are interested."
Asoel respectfully lifted up his glass and nodded to his new friend. Relief swam through him as he collected himself, a bit surprised at how his own passion bubbled up from him like that. He's glad Rikkel took it so well though.
"Pare(friend), what is this request? If it is within our power, we will be pleased to help! After all, your hospitality and willingness to keep us informed have been the best things to happen to us since we've started this hunt. I would consider the opportunity to aid you in kind an honor."
"Hey friend, how's about you get the next round if we're gonna be answering your questions?"
Kheric had listened to the men talk. It didn't seem like they knew much, but you could never be certain. And they did seem to be fairly full of both liquor and frustration. The two together just might bring out whatever they did know.
So the Dhampir got up from his seat and moved over and joined the others, signaling to the barmaid for another round as he did so. "Alright, I can deal a round. A bit of companionship in a new town is always welcome. And it seems I seems I might need to be wary of who I talk to in this town."
He paused for a bit to see if the others commented at this point and to wait for the round to be delivered. He raised his mug and appeared to down a big swig, but kept it to a minimum. It would be best if he did not get drunk himself. "So, this guy at your work who went nuts, what did he do? It almost sounds like he tore the place apart."
(Pause to wait for a response. The following assumes a response.)
After hearing a description of what had happened the previous night Kheric let out a low whistle and shook his head. "Ok, so people know this crap is bad. What would make them take it? And a guy like your co-worker, he sounds like he was a normal guy. How does someone like that even find this stuff? One would think that once you hear about it you would know to stay away. I mean, it doesn't seem like you'd be trying this crap even if they were offering free samples." He shook his head in wonder a bit. "I guess I can see why the authorities want help on this. I wouldn't even know where to begin."
(This last part might be split up by responses from the men at the table depending on their responses.)
Rikkel leans in close, his voice low, "Rikkel is involved in some, shall we say, less than legal endeavors and Rikkel needs help with some unfortunate business." The Ratfolk pauses for a moment to make sure the long-ear isn't taken aback before providing more information, "Rikkel knows it is risky telling you this since you are acting on behalf of Captain Jirolin, but Rikkel cannot take care of this alone. You see Long-Ears, Rikkel breeds giant rats in a hidden sub-cellar and some of Rikkel's precious babies have turned up sick and need to be put down before the infection spreads to the healthy ones. Rikkel cannot bring himself to hurt the rats he has raised from wee ratlings and so Rikkel asks for your help in this unfortunate business..." Rikkel pauses, waiting for a response, eager and nervous to hear what his long earred friend may have to say on the matter.
The barmaid returns to the table with the next round of drinks Kheric had ordered, placing them on the table with a sincere, if not exhausted smile, "Enjoy boys," she says as she walks away. Wade and Edgar both grab their drinks almost as soon as they hit the table, "Thanks, Arla!" they both exclaim in unison before taking a long drink from their ales. It's Wade that starts up the conversation again, "Well Adamo was one of the poor saps that went and got himself hooked on the damned poison, and like others it consumed him. We noticed early on that Adamo's personality had changed, he wasn't laughing and smiling like he used to, and occasionally we'd overhear him speaking to someone that wasn't there. He wasn't eating, he wouldn't come to the River Rat with us after work, he only came to work anymore to pay for his candy habit. Well last night Adamo is heading home from work and starts raving about horrible monsters, and tackles Wayne and just starts slamming his head into the street violently, going on and on about how he won't let the beasts take him alive. I think the blood stains are still visible, and I'm not sure Wayne even lived through the night after that. Last we knew they had Adamo in a holding cell up near the square."
Wade pauses to take another drink, and in the silence Edgar started to contribute to the conversation, "Well the problem is the Candymen, as they have been dubbed, appeared almost without warning, about 2 months ago, offering just about everyone a free sample. A mind-blowing experience, they promised, and many of the younger people jumped at it, not knowing the chaos the Candy would unleash. By the time they knew what they were getting themselves into the damage had been done, they were hooked and the candy became the only motivator in many of their lives. No one seems to really know how to find a Candyman, they always just seem to come to the junkies, almost like they can sense when someone is on the drug and know who to approach to avoid capture."
Kheric listed as the two workers told their stories and shook his head. When Wade finished the story about Adamo Kheric had to remind himself that he could not tell the two about the fate of their former comrade. Like the man he had beaten he had ended up on the floor with blood flowing from his head. All he could say was, "The poor chap. Both of them, actually And he didn't even know what he was getting himself into."
Edgar had then gone into his bit about the candymen. "Wait, they can sense who is on the candy? No. That can't be. They must just keep track of their customers or see who is acting crazy. What else could it be?" He shook his head. "It doesn't matter, I suppose, except that I'm not taking any free handouts from anyone. Now that people have seen the . . . results . . . you'd have to be nuts." He took a swig of his drink, but kept it smaller than it appeared. "Were you guys lucky, smart or both? Anyone ever offer you this crap? back when they were first offering the free sample, I mean."
Posted on 2018-08-18 at 20:03:54.
Edited on 2018-08-18 at 20:05:44 by Nomad D2
At this point I am reminded that Asoel is chaotic good. . . Kinda fun that he is a law representati
((Asoel, realizing he only just met this barman, takes a quick moment to see if Rikkel's illegal activities were anything but an act of love to the rats. Sense Motive +2. He's not expecting otherwise, just trying to be perceptive. Assuming everything appear kosher, he'll reply as follows below))
Asoel nods and gives a reassuring smile. "Worry not friend, for my jurisdiction and, indeed, sole concern with the law at the moment is bringing an end to this candy. I told you moments ago that I'm a hunter by heart. Well, though a hunter kills of necessity, a true hunter desires not for the suffering of any animal. Tell me where to go and I'll do the deed, as painlessly as I am able. How many has the disease reached? And do they tend to stay together? I would prefer to do the task alone, but if you feel it best I bring my comrades, I'll try to broach the subject as tactfully as I can."
Edgar and Wade downed their drinks and each belched loudly and laughed like it was the funniest thing they had ever heard. Anything else that they had to say was drowned out by their laughter. The ruckus was so out of hand that the waitress, Arla, came over, "If you cannot keep it down then you'll have to leave, you're disturbing other customers!" The two men stood, stumbling slighty as they rose, and staggered out the door, clearly not interested in lowering their voices.
Asoel notes no deception in Rikkel's words, he truly seems concerned for the animals he has mentioned. "Rikkel has tried to keep the infected seperated from the healthy stock, but if Long-Ears knows anything about giant rats then you know they are notorious for being able to chew through nearly anything. More and more are getting infected as the days pass."
Asoel nodded thoughtfully. “Very well. I shall try to broach the subject tactfully with my companion. Tomorrow morning just before dawn, so as to not draw undue attention, we shall gather our gear and return here to speak with you about the location of your quarantine. If you have any information or materials that will aid us in this endeavor, please have them prepared by then.” With that, Asoel gave a reassuring smile, knocked back his last drink, paid his tab, and took his leave.
Finding Kheric, Asoel approached cautiously, trying to figure out the most diplomatic way of bringing up this extralegal activity to his new companion. Not missing the irony of the diplomatic nature of his visit to town, he chuckled to himself as he thought now is as good of a time as any to try his hand at improving his use of words. Thinking over his observations of his newfound friend, and especially remembering the compassion he showed in his interaction with Adamo, Asoel decided that that was most likely the best angle to approach from. “Kheric, I do believe I have found a potential ally in our investigation.” Asoel then indicated to talk in a more private area, doing a quick scan around to make sure no one was listening in. “The barkeep, Rikkel, has turned out to be quite a perceptive and insightful fellow and is quite verbal in his opposition to the drug. This establishment, of course, is the perfect location for gathering of rumors filtering through the community at large. Though he has no current information to offer, he has agreed to keep his ears open and pass on any pertinent information that comes through to him.”
Pursing his lips, he decided to continue on to the more risky request.
“In exchange for this wonderful aid, he has asked a small favor of us. One which I fully intend to give, since it will not only build trust with our newfound ally but is in and of itself an act of mercy. This request will not only work towards keeping the community at large safer by preventing a potential outbreak of disease, but will also ensure that a beloved family of pets will go through no more suffering than necessary.”
((Provided that Kheric’s reception seems good, Asoel will go pass on the information that Rikkel gave about the rats, the disease, and will try to carefully stress how, though these pets are illegal, it is important to ensure the safety of the healthy rats)).
Posted on 2018-11-09 at 13:00:02.
Edited on 2018-11-13 at 02:27:40 by Decicio
Kheric watched as the two drunks got up and left. It was a disappointment. They had seemed like potentially usefully sources. While they didn't appear to be in on the candy they ahd been around from the beginning, knew people who used it and were drunk enough to talk about it. But unfortunately they were also drunk enough to get tossed from the bar and stagger off into the night taking any information they might have with them. Kheric hadn't been digging for information long, but he suspected such disappointments were commonplace. Still, it was a disappointment. Much like his attempt to get information from the bouncer had been.
He had just started looking around for other potential targets when Asoel approached him. Kheric was a little disappointed at the direct approach. Keeping their connection unknown might have been helpful. After all, "An elf and a vampire walk into a bar . . . " sounded enough like a joke to be memorable and they probably didn't want to be memorable at the moment. But there was nothing more to do about it now then findout what the other had learned from the barman.
It seemed the elf had made more progress then he had. If the tavern keeper would really provide information that could be quite useful. It also meant at least one person in the slums already knew what they were there for, but it might be worth it. Who knew? Kheric certainly didn't know the town. Nor did he know what sort of pets the tavern keeper might have, although one look at him gave him some ideas. Still, he was more than a bit shocked by Asoel's suggestion. "Slow down. Pets? The barkeep wants us to take care of some diseased pets? Illegal pets? What exactly are you getting us into?" He saw the concern in his partners eyes and added, "No, I'm not refusing. But I'm not qutie sure what is being asked of us yet."
(OOC: Given more information Kheric will agree to at least look into it more - returning to do the job un der the assumption that if, wehn they get more detail, it turns out to be crazy he can still back out. But he is in.)
Posted on 2018-11-12 at 18:58:11.
Edited on 2018-11-12 at 18:59:34 by Nomad D2
Asoel is relieved that Kheric took it better than expected. He fills in his comrade on all the details, including the preset time of the meeting, and recommends that if no other leads present themselves, they may as well head back to the inn and rest in preparation for tomorrow.
((Assuming that nothing else happens today, Asoel goes to the inn and prepares his gear, taking care to disable safely the bear trap he'd set to protect his gear from thieves. Being deliberate in choosing what would best aid tomorrows adventure, he readies a pack with several torches, bear traps, flint and steel, a couple waterproof bags, chalk, his climbing kit, net, and other equipment. Frowning at his favorite spear, he decides to leave it behind since the tight environs of a sewer certainly won't favor the longer weapon. So, he decides to make do with his dagger, warblade, and sling. All of these changes are now reflected on my sheet. I should note that while carrying the bear traps I am medium encumbered, but as soon as I set or drop either one of them, I become light encumbered again. Again, if nothing else happens in the meantime, I'm fine with having Asoel rest tonight and go straight to the rendezvous.))
As Asoel filled in the Dhampir on the mission it was all he could do to avoid shaking his head in wonder. He came here looking for work and something to do and had already been essentially deputized to catch drug dealers and was now going to help deal with an illegal giant rat collection. But not for the law, by keeping it from the law. With which he was now working. It made sense. Sure it did.
But while it seemed a bit crazy, it might also give them an extra set of eyes. It was probably worth it. Probably. He would still listen carfeully in the morning to the details. After their brief discussion he glanced at the barkeep and then around the tavern. If he saw any other likely candidates with whom to talk he would continue his quest. But since he was clearly no longer alone, moving in by himself to someone elses discussion seemed unlikely to work. If he saw nothing he would be ready to call it a night.