The HellFire Plague

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Lady Sabine, Sep 18, 2013.

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    Terra Cina. The Land of Ash. Once known as Marthador, back in an age where Elves were lords and Men were low creatures. But that age is long past, and the golden age of men is also drawing to a close, ushered in by the HellFire Plague.
    More specifically, this will be taking place in Smurr's Bluff, a port city located in the kingdom of Eutharre. It is a poor, unfortunate city full of poor, unfortunate souls. A city of sinners, and perhaps, also of saints.The Thief. The Guard. The Priestess. The Salesman. Their city to save... or to ruin.
  2. In her profession, it never paid to be late. In fact, being late was quite bad for one's health in more than a few situations. In the interest of maintaining her life, not to mention reputation, Anna showed up promptly an hour and a half early. It seemed the only logical course of action- that, and showing up wrapped in a cloak and scarf, hopefully unrecognizable.
    The letter had mentioned three old friends. She certainly didn't recognize anyone in there so far, and so sat down at an empty table closest to the fire, basking in the warmth. It was almost spring, and not yet warm, especially in the slums. Blackwater was a fine place for her business, but for pleasure, the pub was a far better place to be. When the barmaid brought her a mug of steaming cider, she started to relax, if only a bit. Three old friends, hm? She had so few friends. Chances were, there would be a team from Velvet there to see her, and they wouldn't be happy.
    Anna thrived on off-chances. Fate tossed her lemons, and when she'd stopped puckering from bitterness, she made lemonade and a profit to boot. This was probably a terrible idea, but she was quite sure she could turn it to her advantage.
  3. Randal wasn't overly keen on the pub. He was sure he'd been there before, and that generally meant going back would bring painful memories. Not the kind of memories that were about him personally, but the kind of memories that usually ended up putting him in pain. As a simple note of self preservation he made it a habit not to return to places he'd been to before.

    He didn't even know why a reformed con-man was wanted here anyway. He had been a snake, he knew that, selling cures for the most dreaded disease ever when there was no cure. For that reason "Lucky Bag" had no fixed address, so the fact that someone had gotten a hold of him made him even more nervous. If he hadn't tinged some of his hair green, he might not have been so easily recognizable.

    As it was, he still managed to walk inside the pub with no one noticing him. He came to a dead stop though when he saw a cloaked woman. Just for a second, he saw her face. The Lady of Smoke! He'd sold a phony demon charm to some of her group as protection from the Plague, and of course they were no good. It must've been her! She must have gotten a hold of him for payback!

    Randal turned and made a run straight out the door, only to collide right into someone else.
  4. A forced exhale was followed by a few rapid steps backward. After regaining his balance (and some of his dignity), Jonathan looked the other man down, in an unintentionally condescending manner. There was a lot of work related stress on him recently, and after a startling revelation, he became incredibly wary of everything nowadays. Nothing could really be trusted anymore, not even the upholders of the law. His suspicion was written on his features while he analyzed the other man's expression.

    He was actually considering the note simply being someone's way of tipping him off about a predictable issue in town. That notion might change though, depending on how this stranger answered the question Jonathan posed with his eyes: Why are you running?
  5. Naturally, if a priest clad in traditional attire were to stroll the vast and crowded streets of the small town in the wee hours of the morning, of course there'd be little to no effort for others to easily notice the high figure. There'd be stares, lots and lots of stares before someone managed to muster the courage to step forward and approach the 'pure' being. A whole herd would then follow immediately, flocks of children soon milling in about, wanting to have attention, even if only just a bit. However, simply being the unknown priestess who was recently just appointed as the new High Priestess, Celeste knew it was only natural to be ignored by the public, especially when dressed in only ordinary street clothes. Thick, long hair pulled up into a neat ponytail. Face clear of blemish or heavy makeup. Dangling freely around her neck, silver and slightly heavy, was a crucifix necklace she kept for prayer. Nothing unordinary about her. . .
    Upon entering the small pub nearby town, Celeste wisely made a brief inspection around the area in suspicion of it simply being a trap whilst checking the slightly crumpled letter in her hand. ". . . ." Deciding to simply go with the flow, the young priestess hesitantly stepped further into the pub, keeping her head held high.
    Her heels clicked against the wooden floor, easily drawing unwanted attention to her. She continued to head straight towards a direction she wasn't certain would take her to the right place, but believed her instincts were often accurate, if not always. Maneuvering past two gentlemen blocking her pathway, Celeste mumbled a low 'excuse me' before spotting a strange looking cloaked woman. The only person who stood out amongst the sea of ordinary. . .
    Once Celeste reached the woman's side, she stood a good distance away in case this was indeed a trap. "Perhaps, you were the one who sent me this letter?" she asked carefully, eyeing the oddly familiar woman. And before she should be interrupted, Celeste quickly added, "Have we met?"
  6. Anna noticed the man with the green in his hair walk in, and the moment he turned to run, her thighs tensed in preparation as well. She didn't know who he was -though he did have the strangest resemblance to a person she had known in a long time ago, almost in another life- but if he was going to make a break for it, she wanted to know why. Her face wasn't exactly a well-known one in these parts, and she'd never seen a wanted poster of herself that bore anything more than a tangential resemblance. If he knew her, there was bound to be a reason he did. Of course, then he ran square into the other man, and her resolve to run only solidified.
    She knew a guard when she saw one, and that tall man was definitely a guard. An officer, by the way he walked and that look in his eye. The Lady of Smoke had already half-risen by the time she noticed the other woman walk up to her. A good ten inches taller, Anna had to strain her neck to meet the priestess' eyes. Oh, she knew a woman of the cloth when she saw one, even before that crucifix gave it all away. In her experience, holy men and women came in only two types. The sort that was pure, and the sort that was filthy. There were no lukewarm priests, or so it was said in the slums.
    "I sent no letter, sister," Anna-May replied after a moment. "Though I got one, myself."
    Odd that a priestess would be here. A thief, a priestess, a guard, and a green-haired rapscallion of some sort. Funny, she'd only known one other person who'd ever talked about having green hair. She hadn't thought about him in years. He had been a fairly good friend, always getting into mischief with her, only for their friends to come in after to save them.
    Her eyes widened as her mind put two and two together, and she did a distinct double take at the taller woman, eyes darting back and forth between the three new arrivals. "Celeste," She realized aloud, then turned to the others. "Jonathan? Randal?"
  7. Randal's hand made a brief, foolish move for his lucky bag, which he had packed with a knife and some of the only charms he possessed that actually worked - paralysis charms. He did not, however, do anything so stupid as make a move with them. He knew The Lady of Smoke at least well enough to know that she was faster than him. He didn't know the guard at all, but he was obviously stronger. He took a deep breath to put on his best charmer's face, the one he always used to get a good sale, and turned to the Lady like a long-lost friend.

    "Anna-May! Oh I haven't seen you in...many, many moons," he said. "Just the sort of person I should've known I'd see here, too. Always so good to your people!"

    He took three brisk steps to get away from the guard and wisely, or foolishly, put himself in the middle between them all. If he could get his charms out quick enough, all he'd have to do is touch their skin and they'd be immobile.

    "I hope there's no hard feelings about Rothus and Fable. There's sometimes nothing you can do. Bad blood or Gods will, who's to say?" He was trying to make her see that it wasn't his fault, even though he knew it was. Those two would never have touched plague victims if he hadn't told them his charms made them immune. "But I..." he started rummaging in his bag "I have...a gift for you...Ah! Angelwing orchid! I had planned on seeing you later."

    He offered it to her like a gentleman, but didn't really want to get rid of it. He had learned in his attempts to find a real Hellfire Cure that angelwing, when made into a tea, could delay the symptoms and double the chance of survival. It was truly a beauitful flower, though. White petals with gold in the center, spread out to look like the wings of an angel. There was no way the Lady could resist.
  8. Grey eyes automatically trailed Randal's hand to his bag, but then switched over to Anna-May. He was speechless as she called their names. Jonathan analyzed each, comparing them to the dusty memories he had in the back of his mind. He breathed the word, "Wow."

    He nodded slowly in reply to the short woman. He was still rather awestruck, how they managed to meet again. For a moment he traveled back to when they were young. When they were innocent. Or at least, innocent by today's standards. Jonathan was brought back to the time by the presentation of a flower, a beautiful one at that. It was something he'd definitely give to a close lady-friend, if he had any.

    Jonathan raised an eyebrow for a moment at Randal's surprise gift, wondering if he just kept pretty gifts for attractive ladies, or what. He made a mental note to ask about that sometime.
  9. Baffled, Celeste hovered awkwardly above the shorter woman as she struggled to keep her suspicion from increasing skyrocket high at her response. Eh? If she didn't send the letter, then who in the world did? Just as Celeste opened her mouth to ask, aware that there was a high chance the woman herself wouldn't know, she suddenly blurted her name aloud as if coming into realization - and two other distantly familiar ones. ". . . Who?" she blinked twice, whirling over her shoulder to spot the two gentlemen she mindlessly breezed by moments prior approaching the woman. . . the woman?
    Immediately Celeste turned back to face her in surprise. "Anna. . .?" she let out, taking her time to truly process what was happening and was oblivious to everything else that went on around her surrounding.
  10. Standing fully (and still a good hand shorter than any of the others) Anna rocked back and forth on her feet, considering her options. Her instincts screamed at her to run. This wasn't a coincidence, and it sure didn't smell like a friendly reunion either, not given all of their various occupations, Jonathan in particular. They all looked just as bewildered as she did, which also didn't bode well. If they hadn't called each other here, who had?
    After a moment passed, she reclaimed a shred of her wits and accepted the flower. In the slums, you took what was offered. Not much was free, and the price was too steep for most of what you needed. Of course, she understood that he expected forgiveness in return for the gift, but it was an expectation and not a transaction, which she knew only too well were not binding even by thieves' honor. "Rothus and Fable were a great loss," She replied gravely, "but is it not a great gift to find friends after so many years? Sit. You too, Jon. I'll buy a round and we can try and figure out what the ever-loving fuck is going on."
    Reclaiming her seat, Anna motioned to the serving wench, calling her over with the promise of copper coin. It was more money than she really liked to spend, but this was an opportunity she'd be foolish to let slip through her fingers. There was a great risk associated in having friends like this, but with that risk came the possibilities of great benefits. A friendship with a priestess could get Smoke spread through the church itself. If Randal was half as good a fence as he was a swindler, he could be invaluable for reselling stolen goods for a reasonable return. And Jonathan... he could shut them down, or he could keep them from it. If he would turn a blind eye in exchange for information on other criminal rings, she could get two fat birds with just a single stone. Licking her lips, Anna hoped she was making a great investment rather than a horrific mistake.
  11. "...just like that, he told me I was demoted with some arsehole from outside the city put in my place. Plague take the damned administration! My wage was cut almost by half!"

    His drunken listener showed no particular interest to what Dongus was saying, snoring peacefully with his face in his plate. Not that the ex-Captain of the Guard minded, he preferred quiet listeners and his alcohol induced speech was heard by the entire pub anyway.

    "This city will eat him alive, I say. Hopefully before he has me demoted even more. You never know if he's one of those righteous kind..."

    Don brought the wooden mug to his lips, attempting to drink the beer inside for a few seconds before realizing it's empty. With a frown he chucked the mug across the room.

    "I'll just tell him I'm with those Smoke lunatics. Maybe he'll shit himself and leave me alone, heh."
  12. Randal sat at the table she suggested, leaning forward as though happy to run into a thief he'd wronged, a priestess, and a guard, but he kept his back to the door and his hands hidden beneath the table, just in case. Now that it he didn't seem in immediate danger of the Lady of Smoke's vengeance, he looked more intently at his fellow companions. The priestess seemed vaguely familiar. He must know her, but not as she was. Maybe in the days before she was a pious woman of the cloth. Of course, most of those memories didn't involve cloth of any kind and he very much doubted that was where he remembered her from. The guard, Jonathon...That brought back a few memories. At least this one he was certain he hadn't wronged.

    "So what brings us, from all our different walks and ways, to this place? Why here, where a drunken man, who by his build is of your profession, Jonathon, is planning on taking credit as being part of our business together for the sake of boasts, and our business together we do not ourselves know?" The drunkard was yelling loud enough that there was no doubt they heard him, too, and thought he would make a good potential distraction should things go sour.

    "Let me see if I can figure it out," he said with a joking smile. He took the drink the barkeep offered kindly, slipping in an anti-magic charm to protect him from sudden paralysis. "We have a guard...all about keeping order, so that's one reason we're wanted. The priestess...Celeste, you're obviously here to prevent the spread of evil. And the good Lady...the well-being of your people is a number one concern yes? So we're here because we are personally invested in this, then. What, then, would 'this' be?"
  13. Antoinette sighed and fixed her hair as she descended from the upper floors of the pub; the upper floors being where she often ended up at the end of the day because of business. It was early enough in the day, but people were still drinking away. Clad in very showy, Rocco clothing, Antoinette took a seat at the bar tender's booth. She didn't order anything, just offered a charming smile to those around her and eyed the crowd. It was then she noticed an odd group.

    Raising a brow to the group (two women, one cloaked, a business man and a guard), Antoinette felt her lips smirk, "Why~, what an' interesting group of customers you have today, keeper~.". Antoinette would be lying if she said she wasn't curious. Lately her days have been a total bore, even with her side job with playing with the group 'Smoke'.

    Grabbing four drinks, two mugs in each hand, Antoinette made a beeline to the odd group's table. She had never been one to deny her curiosity. Coming close enough, the eye-catching women gave a smile;

    "Any of you nice folks need another drink~?", she smoothly asked, lifting the drinks she held.

    #13 Aliceღ, Oct 17, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2013
  14. Jonathan sat down at Anna's request and nodded appreciatively to her for her offer. Not that he was planning on drinking much. He didn't need to be confused anymore than he already was. He cringed at the yelling of another, somewhat familiar man. It was yelling that referred to Jon, and it wasn't praise. Jonathan clenched his teeth together and tried to keep a neutral expression, while glancing at the others' faces. He didn't even deserve to be Captain, Jonathan thought. And no one here dare believe that I am afraid of that drunkard.

    "No idea what 'this' would be either," he said with a shrug. Their meeting was an awfully suspicious situation, but there didn't appear to be any harm in it for right now. One day wouldn't have that much of an impact in his job. It wasn't like anyone even cared about the Guard anymore besides him.

    "Oh, ehm, no thanks." He politely declined the offer of another drink. Jonathan gave the pretty server a smile before turning his head back to the others. (Technically, she wasn't a server, but he assumed so.) He took another glance at the blonde, before settling and keeping his attention open for the most interesting subject. His eyes rested on the table in the meantime.
  15. "I wouldn't mind, miss, and I thank you for your hospitality," Randal flicked her a gold coin, nearly triple the price of his requested drink. The coin landed on the table. He stared at it for a moment, then darted his hand out for it and put down the appropriate money in its place. He may have gone straight, but parting with his fortune always brought out a fight in him.

    He needed the new drink because his Anti-paralysis charm had taken all the flavor and good-natured effects out of his ale, and he wanted to sample them properly. He couldn't shake the feeling things may go south at any moment.
  16. Antoinette rose a brow at the guard (who looked rather high up), her pride slightly wounded from the decline. Taking note she had never seen his face, the women made the excuse that was the reason why. He did not know of her, simply. Smiling when the business looking male took her offer, Antoinette smiled charmingly;

    "You do not need to pay, hun. It is on the house.", giving a wink, Antoinette placed the ale on the table and made her way to another table. No need to hang around when it is clear they are doing some heavy business. Stopping by the table of the ex-captain, Antoinette sat down next to Don. Grinning at him, she placed the rest of the cups near him. Lightly resting her hand on his forearm.

    "Always at it, even early in the day, dear?", she teased, crossing her legs as she rested in the wooden seat.
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