The leader of the gang turned his attention from the unfortunate female thief to Pio. He looked at the knight with a suspicous glare.
"What are you saying? What kind of information?"
Pio replied: "We have heard a thief from Ormander’s orphanage has stolen something of value from Councilor Velch. If you have heard something of this, please speak up. Excellent information just might find you rewarded."
The thug's face brightened up, and he displayed a smile with gruesomely crooked and brown teeth.
"Ah, Ormander's orphanage. Yes, I've heard of that. Old guy and kids right? Yes, he ran into some trouble with Councilor Velch I heard. Now let me think..."
He turned to one of the other robbers and started whispering in low tones. A moment later he looked over his shoulder with an even wider smile as before.
"We have some information for you, but that reward better be good! We want 50 Guain for what we know!"
Llammoth, realizing that for the time being, the battle may not even occur, redirects her focus on the conversation between the head thug and Pio. She reads the bright expression on the leader's face, and attempts to listen in on the whispered conversation of the two thieves. When the head thug returns with his proposal, she studies the man's body language and tone of voice for any signs of a bluff. She needs to make sure that they were not being misdirected.
Whether Percifeer hadn't heard the others, or simply didn't care, she continued her task at hand, uninterrupted. ((I suspect she's almost to the incantation, you may wish to hurry this)) She did, however, take a bit of time to roll up her sleeves, for what it's worth...
Though Llammoth could not overhear the conversation between the two thieves, she could detect no treachery coming from their leader when he agreed to the offer. She approached Pio and whispered in his ear, "He seems genuine, though fifty guain is an outrageous amount to pay a cutpurse."
Glancing back at Percifeer, she also came to the conclusions that the dragonsblood was gunning for a fight. "Our sister seems adamant on attrition, and may ruin our chance at finding out what they have to know."
Llammoth spoke out to Percifeer in Draconic, so as not to be understood by the thieves around them. "Percifeer! This may be a great opportunity to flush out knowledge that is helpful to our father. If we kill these vagrants we may be worse for wear in more ways than one. It was you who suggested that we get in touch with the district of thieves, well, here they are now, and though fifty guain is a high price to pay, it would be just as high if we appealed to the guilds themselves. I know you're feeling slighted, but what the girl did was clearly an amateurs mistake, and no harm came of it! Before you start shooting, consider that we have no idea which one of these thugs knows what. We need all the help we can get."
Posted on 2008-02-08 at 21:54:59.
Edited on 2008-02-08 at 22:00:58 by Philosopher
Pio allowed the lead thug to converse with one of his own about the knight’s offer. Part of him wanted to cut the dogs down where they stood (and he firmly believed he and those with him could)… but there was another part of him that took pity on the band of robbers. Drefast was a hard place, and this neighbourhood was even harder. The knight knew full well that there was likely little difference between this thug and himself. We’re both looking to take care of our own…
When the thug turned his attention back to Pio, there was a big smile on his face. The man seemed to think he could make even more of a profit on this situation. “We have some information for you,” he stated. “But that reward better be good! We want 50 guain for what we know!”
Pio nearly smirk. Does he not see how close his life is to ending? The man is testing the good Lady Luck today!
As Llammoth approached him, Pio asked for a moment to discuss the offer with his people. Llammoth whispered “"He seems genuine, though fifty guain is an outrageous amount to pay a cutpurse." She looked back at Percy, and Pio followed her gaze. "Our sister seems adamant on attrition, and may ruin our chance at finding out what they have to know."
Pio merely nodded. Percy did seem to be looking for a fight. She was hot-blooded for sure… she’d even rolled up her sleeves.
Turning his attention back to the lead thief, Pio stated calmly, but firmly. “You’re price is neither fair nor appropriate. You’ve already stolen from us more than your fair share, and your girl nearly notched a bolt in my friend here, which could have really spoiled her beauty.” Pio paused for a moment. “Here’s my offer. There are seven of you. I’ll give you five guain a head for what you know. That’s thirty-five guain. Plus you get to keep what you already stole and we let you walk away with your lives. I’d say you’re doing pretty good for a day’s work, hmmm.” Pio paused once more to let the offer sit there before adding, “That’s my final offer. And the information had better be really good. My friend, the khord here, doesn’t much like being overcharged for services and has his own way of settling his accounts.”
While Llammoth was trying to cool the draconic heat in Percifeer's blood, Pio was taking his chances in negotiating with the thugs. So far, his diplomatic approach had helped them evade a fight. The leader of the robbers squinted his eyes at his last remark though.
"Wait a minute..." he piped out, and pointed at the knight with an accusing finger, "There are seven of us, so seven times five Guain is not thirty...five...." His eyes rolled upward as he counted on his fingers. A good minute later he gave up, and tried to keep a tough posture.
"Alright. Thirty-five Guain, and what we've already got is a good enough deal. Now I want the money first, because I don't trust you!"
He sent one of his men in, who nervously collected the coinage, eyeing the companions as if they would strike out to him at any moment.
"You see, Councilor Velch is an important man. We've heard something was stolen from his offices in the courthouse. Something very expensive, if you get what I mean.
But Virgin Stuart told us last night that he had heard that it was done by a lone rogue, not a member of the guild. He said that such a theft would've been celebrated, but nobody claimed the deed yet. Nobody said anything about it at all, actually. For such a big happening he said it was too quiet. But that's all we know. If you want to hear more, talk to him. You'll find him in the Heart of Darkness, if you manage to get into that joint."
With that the thugs turned on a signal from their leader, and unless stopped, scattered into the sidestreets.
"I certainly hope you told my friends everything they wanted," yet another woe of the would-be theives stepped from along side the Broken Grommel, out of the shadows.
Of all his friends and orphaned comrades, Miran was the latest to come to his 'father's cry. He made his way through the dark streets in the shadier part of town surviving with largely undeserved reputation, perhaps a little luck, and a short-cut or two over the fences of his neighbours.
Miran, ungifted with a surname, approached the door of the orphanage, paying a glance in homage to the silver ram as he had on several occasions before. This time however, he had no time to bewilder and amaze the children with his illusions. They hardly seemed to mind that they could see him the first time they opened the door, though a part of him knew that it was because he offered a last distraction before bedtime.
Soon enough, Ormander found the answer to the young one's rebelious plan. "Of all my sons and daughters, the few that still live close show up too late to even arrive at the last moment." He chided Miran, who happily gazed back amongst the children telling him about the others who had returned earlier.
"I'm sorry father, I kind of lost the time earlier. Before I knew it the sun was leaving us for the night." Miran offered in excuse, staving off the attempts on his life that would otherwise force him to produce an illusory creature for the children to chase down.
"Your brothers and sisters have already all come and gone, down to the Broken Grommel, you should leave immediately to make up for forgotten time," Ormander told him,"and stop usurping my power over these young ones."
"What? No foot massage, not even a drink? I feel insulted father." Miran returned, earning himself a stern look from the one who saved him from the life of a lone child. "I'm off," he said, returning to his usual smile.
His brothers and sisters may have left sooner, but he had one advantage: He never left the familiar streets, and to complete that, he had never grown above using certain shortcuts here and there. As a result, he slid into the dark ally next to the Broken Grommel in time to hear the scoundrels depart with their information, and catch a glim of the insubordinate counting the Guain.
The man that stood before them was certainly not much of a physically imposing figure, being hardly muscled and very thin, though he carried about himself an air of sharpness, in blade, in dress, and even in cunning, visible in his eyes.
"If you have nothing more to say, by all means keep going," he says as he crosses his arms over his chest, allowing passage past him.
"One last thing, if you are holding onto something that we may want to know, run fast, for Percifeer is a little . ." he pauses for dramatic purposes, considering a particular memory.
(Miran may be a bit of a fool, but he is no idiot, he may stand unthreateningly now, but he remains at least a little wary, not that I really expect an attack after the intimidation dealt by my friends)
Percifeer had heard her comrades speaking, but she had not heard their words. She was focused on her actions, so all she caught was that her allies had still chosen to pay these thugs after she had been shot at. She did not slow or stop her actions.
Just as she finished her incantation and raised her bow, another thug entered the alley and she fired on the leader. As she did, she spoke "Drop our money and we'll let the rest of you leave with your lives." She was angry....no, she was furious. She pulled another crossbow bolt and cocked her crossbow again, loading the bolt.
Then she saw who the other thug was, and dropped her crossbow as he spoke. "Miran? It's been so long!" Completely forgetting about the battle, she rushed over to hug him. ((take it from here Mr. DM))
The sorceress' bolt rested on her crossbow after she completed the spell that would ensure a true strike. She aimed for the heart of the leaders of the thugs, her hand steadier than normal, her eyes locked on the target.
The man turned, but suddenly halted when another visitor appeared in front of him. The man said something, then added: "One last thing, if you are holding onto something that we may want to know, run fast, for Percifeer is a little ..."
He paused, and the thugs' leader suddenly gasped. Miran mouthed the word 'hotblooded' as the hoodlum fell forward on the pavement, dead. Percifeer's bolt was sticking from his back, in the middle of a rapidly growing blood-stain. The other thugs, but one of them grabbed a purse from his leader's hands before fleeing.
They had retrieved the money that had been stolen originally, but the 35 guain for information were gone.
Miran laughed as he caught his 'sister's embrace, never being one to withold his emotions. After a moment he released, glancing down at the body whose dearly departed soul may still be lingering close for a second, before fleeing.
"Not a friend of yours I take it?" he asks light-heartedly.
"Father couldn't tell me much in the time he had to spare, so I will have to learn much of the details from you, shall we enter?" he asks his other approaching 'family' while indicating the doors of the Broken Grommel. He then proceeded to the establishment, making a note in his mind of those who had answered Ormander's call and those who had not.
Though Llammoth was a little on edge from Percifeer's blatant aggression, and continued to clutch the shaft of her spear tightly in her hand, her nerves became calmer after bearing witness to the thugs fleeing in terror. After all, her sister had just killed their leader in one sure shot to the heart.
Her nerves were further calmed by the sight of her brother Miran. She approached him, lowering the head of her spear to rest passively inches from the ground. Llammoth couldn't help but smirk at the memory of how many people she had fooled in this act of surrender... many, had not survived.
''Good evening Miran, it's been a while.'' She smiled warmly at him, and then looked back over her shoulder towards Pio before saying out loud, ''Perhaps we should sit down and discuss the current situation with our tardy kin before heading out to the Heart of Darkness... perhaps we can kill two birds with one stone.'' Llammoth could use a bit of brew to slow her heart down a bit, and knows that there is likely someone who has information of value in 'The Broken Grommel'
[OOC: Backposting a bit… picking up at the negotiations…]
The lead thug was stuck for the moment, trying to figure out if he was getting a fair deal. Pio was surprised that it took him any thought at all… Thirty-five guain is a lot of coin! the knight thought.
Finally, the thief replied, “Alright. Thirty-five guain, and what we’ve already got is a good enough deal. Now I want the money first, because I don’t trust you!”
Pio retrieved the proper coin to seal the deal, not really worried about the thugs running off with the money. He was confident that his family could take down the entire group of thugs if they were double crossed.
Percy was still mumbling incoherently just off to the side of Pio, and the knight prayed to all the gods above that the woman would contain herself… he knew it would take a miracle.
With the money handed over, the lead thug began to share the info he knew. “…Virgin Stuart told us last night that he had heard that it was done by a lone rogue, not a member of the guild… If you want to hear more, talk to him. You'll find him in the Heart of Darkness, if you manage to get into that joint."
Hrmmm… thought Pio.
The leader thug gave a signal, and the thieves turned to leave.
Suddenly, a voice, coming from beside the Broken Grommel, addressed the thieves, "I certainly hope you told my friends everything they wanted."
Pio’s hand went to his sword, ready to draw it should the need arise, while his eyes looked to where the voice was coming from. It was familiar, for sure. As the figure stepped out from the deeper shadows, the knight recognized his brother nearly immediately. Miran! he thought to himself. This should be interesting…
The thieves paused for a moment. His thin, well-dressed brother continued, “If you have nothing more to say, by all means keep going." Miran crossed his arms over his chest but allowed passage past him.
Pio thought the situation was over. Got some good information… and without bloodshed… The thieves were beginning to disperse, and Pio was just about to walk over to Miran to greet his brother, when Miran spoke once more and chaos broke out…
"One last thing,” Miran said. “If you are holding onto something that we may want to know, run fast, for Percifeer is a little…" the man paused, seemingly looking for the right word before settling on, "Hot-blooded."
Almost as punctuation to Miran’s sentence, and definitely proving his point, the sound of a crossbow twanged. A bolt protruded from the back of the thieves’ leader. This time, Pio did draw his sword.
As the leader fell dead, Percy spoke, fury in her voice. “Drop our money and we'll let the rest of you leave with your lives." She pulled another crossbow bolt and cocked her crossbow again, loading the bolt.
When Percy finally recognized her brother, Miran, she dropped her crossbow and rush over to give the thin man a hug. Miran laughed as he caught his 'sister's embrace, never being one to withhold his emotions.
Pio just shook his head, allowing the other thugs to leave in peace. “So much for the ‘no bloodshed’ part,” he mumbled to himself.
Pio slowly walked over to the dead thug, dragging the man’s body off the street and down to a side alley near Miran and Percy. The knight removed the bolt from the man’s back, and propped the body up against the wall. Searching the body, Pio retrieved the coins stolen from them earlier.
OOC: Do I find anything else of interest?
"Not a friend of yours I take it?" Miran asked light-heartedly.
“Aw, he was fine enough,” replied Pio. “Just trying to make a quick coin like most folks around here.” He paused and looked up at Percy. “Miss Percifeer, however, was a bit slighted that one of this guy’s wench’s nearly put bolt through her pretty face.”
He paused again, before speaking directly to Percy, his voice restrained, “You know, Percy, you didn’t have to kill the man. We made a deal with him – thirty-five guain, plus what they stolen, plus they got to walk away with their lives. I gave him my word.”
Pio was slighted disappointed, “I don’t mind bloodshed… but there just wasn’t any honor in this. You shot him in the back, Percy. Can you at least call him out next time?” He looked at the beautiful woman, with eyes pleading, “For me, at least?”
OOC: Tag Percy…
OOC: I have more to post… about entering into the Broken Grommel and such… I hope to do it later tonight.
((I took a little leeway with placement of wording interspersed with Percifeers words mostly so we could move things along. Feel free to correct me if you find it inappropriately placed/worded.))
As Percifeer released her embrace with Miran, she briefly realized that there was a battle still occurring. She glanced about, and, seeing the thieves retreating into the back alley, she went back to catching up.
"Father couldn't tell me much in the time he had to spare, so I will have to learn much of the details from you, shall we enter?"
"The orphanage has been accused of theft of a rather valuable item, and--" At this point Percifeer had started heading back to the thug leader's corpse, but Pio got there first, and was dragging it to her. As he pulled the bolt from the corpse, she yanked it from his hand, still talking to Miran. "And these thugs were trying to rob us..." but she had caught Pio's glare, something she knew all-too-well from her days at the orphanage.
“Miss Percifeer, however, was a bit slighted that one of this guy’s wench’s nearly put bolt through her pretty face.”
"The little ***** deserved this arrow, but shooting her would only have kept the thugs longer."
Pio gave her another look and spoke again, “You know, Percy, you didn’t have to kill the man. We made a deal with him – thirty-five guain, plus what they stolen, plus they got to walk away with their lives. I gave him my word.”
Percifeer felt cold in the face, her hands were cold, but sweaty, and she raised an eyebrow at her long-lost authority figure. "You gave the man money after they shot at me?!? And you expect ME to care about YOUR WORD?!?"
She wiped the blood from the arrow head onto her pant leg and waved it at Pio, stepping toward him as she talked. "You can talk all day to a bunch of low-lifes, but I ain't gonna just sit back and take it in the face while you do."
She put the bolt back in the quiver and turned back to the others. But Pio wasn't done speaking. "I don’t mind bloodshed… but there just wasn’t any honor in this. You shot him in the back, Percy. Can you at least call him out next time?” He looked at the beautiful woman, with eyes pleading, “For me, at least?"
"He turned his back when I shot. It wasn't like he didn't know what I was doing loading my bow." She went back and picked up her crossbow, pulling the bolt from it and putting it in her quiver also, firing the empty bow and hooking it back onto her belt.
"Perhaps we should sit down and discuss the current situation with our tardy kin before heading out to the Heart of Darkness... perhaps we can kill two birds with one stone." Llamoth was apparently trying to change the subject, and I'm sure everyone welcomed it.
"I think that's fair, but I can bet Pio will hope there won't be any 'killing' in the 'Grommel'"
"I think that's fair, but I can bet Pio will hope there won't be any 'killing' in the 'Grommel'"
Pio took a deep breath... it was a cleansing breath -- a breath prayer, almost... praying to all the good gods for patience like his father. She hasn't yet realized the nobility inside herself, the knight told himself.
Pio closed the eyelids of the dead man before he stood up from the body. Sheathing his sword, he agreed with Llammoth suggestion as well, "A drink would be good. See if the place has changed any since we were last here."
As they walked into the Broken Grommel, Pio greeted Miran warmly. "It is good to see you, brother," he said simply, clasping the man's shoulder gently.
As the entered the tavern, Pio led the way to a table that was somewhat away from the other patrons, but not too far away to look suspicious.
The Broken Grommel
A few streets away from the attempted robbery lay Windmill Alley. Nobody remembered why it was ever named such, for there were no records of a windmill ever existing in this part of town. And one rule was important above all others in Drannon: if it’s not in the records it’s not true. Nomatter the name, this alley carried a fine establishment called The Broken Grommel, named after the fact that a part of a Grommel would buy you a beer, as long as you didn’t ask for quality.
The tavern was smoke stained, dirty and stank like a sewer-rat. But it was a safe place, where a conversation could be private, and where drinking happened all day.
The companions found a table, after a nod from the barman. Custom was to go get your own drinks during the day, because most of the personel was trying to get sober during that time and could not be trusted with a tray.
There were a handful of patrons, seven in total, of which two were asleep with their heads on a beer polished table. The other five looked at the group with red rimmed eyes, then returned their attention to their own business.