The Underbelly of Calmoria

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Davion, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. The group had received their invitations by personal carriers at the same time, precisely 9 o’clock at night with instructions to meet immediately if they were interested. Through their different passages, they arrived one by one silently to the ghostly walkways of the Jameson Fishing District, all watching as the different members arrived before setting off into the salty alleyways. The only souls to be seen were hard faces cast in shadows from different doorway arches, all of which disappeared behind moldy doors or smeared windows as the group was led to the side of a large warehouse, where the first courier unlocked a large metal door and pushed it inward. With a motion of his hand concurrently with a nod of his head, he beckoned the party down into the dimly lit cobble steps.

    For a minute, the party walked in dead silence through the lowest level of the warehouse until they came upon an open archway, leading to a luxuriously set dining room.

    Red padded seats overlooked a display of finely crafted plating, crystal goblets, and polished silver, all supported on a dark ebony table. Small torches burned very dimly periodically across the stone walls of the room, but the main source of illumination came from the great fire that was lit in a large fireplace behind the head of the table. For a second, the darkness cast around the head chair seemed to completely conceal any presence, until a calm, smooth voice called out to them to please take a seat around the table.

    As the members took their seats, the same couriers reappeared and removed a cloche from a plate, each revealing an exquisitely prepared meal to their individual likings. Wine, water, and ale was spread around the table, along with garnish and seasonings in just more than the blink of an eye. The couriers all silently bowed and exited through the other archway of the room.

    A second time, the voice of the enshrouded male called to them. “Please eat and drink, if you so wish, I often prefer to mix business with dining.” The man wore night black robes of silk as he reached forward and delicately picked up a fork and knife, cutting easily into the medium rare filet of meat before him. “All of you… ”, he started after his first bite, pausing to take a sip of wine, starting to chuckle before he could finish. "Forgive me, you see it was very recently that I was conducting this same business proposition. What I meant to say is that all of you are slightly known within the city for your individual talents, and I would like you contract you together. I propose an invitation to join my services only on contract. I often require different services performed, from recovering lost items to handling uncooperative business partners.” Though the statement was vague, clearly odd in its nature, he continued on, clearly familiar with the notion. “My work can be dangerous, as often I’m sure, as many of your tasks have been. But.” He took another sip of the wine for added pause. “I pay well, generously for the task in addition to whatever property you may recover that does not belong to me. It will also be at the completion of every calling, so you may see profits without fear of being held out on by my part.” Setting down the fork and knife, he leaned forward, the large hood of his robe concealing all but the tip of his nose from the strangely think darkness that permeated the scene. “Any questions, my associates? For me or your new partners?” he spoke again, holding the goblet of wine up as to declare a toast.
  2. She ate and drank politely, intrigued by the vague proposal. When it came time that he asked if there were any questions, she calmly piped up, waiting to be acknowledged.

    "While I am willing to provide my services as such, when you say 'uncooperative business partners'... I do hope you don't mean racketeering. I simply cannot be a part of anything immoral."

  3. Having taken a seat in at the table, feeling admittedly uncomfortable in the stone and fire luxury, Ai'leth couldn't help but shift once or twice in her seat. Her green eyes flickered over the other people sitting at the table and she didn't lower her eyes to the plate before her for a long while. Eventually, however, the man began to speak and Ai'leth's stomach growled insistently. The sweet scent of cheese and fruit tart mixed with the spicy scent of sauce on a plate of noodles, met her nostrils and her mouth began to water.

    Taking a large bite of the tart, Ai'leth was chewing while the speech was being given but afterward, and just after one of the girls raised objections about racketeering, Ai'leth swallowed in a large gulp and took a hearty drink of ale before she had gathered her words to the point she desired, which was to raise her own objections on the matter.

    "Handling uncooperative business partners - there won't be any expectations of violence on innocent people, will there?"
  4. Food! Such food as she hadn't smelled or tasted in ages. It was enough to almost completely distract Adiadae from the topic at hand as she picked up her utensils and started turning the lamb on her plate this way and that, looking for the best plan of attack while still being polite. Mother had always said one must be polite at a dinner table. She vaguely realized there was talking going on and tried her best to remember what had just been said, what had been missed in her enthusiasm for her first meal in a day and a half. Setting down the utensils, she grabbed a roll, ripping it in half and pulling out the fluffy insides, popping them in her mouth before setting the crust aside.

    At first, the fact that they might have to harm innocents had slipped by her, but now that the others had brought it up, she sat up in her seat and gave a reluctant look at the lamb before pushing the plate away from her so that it might be less a distraction.

    "I won't hurt people. Not people who are good." She nodded once, making her stance on the matter clear, at least in her mind. She pulled the plate back toward her, taking up her utensils again and cutting into the meat, taking a large bite and washing it down with ale.
  5. Mathye glanced at the others around him, raising an eyebrow at their responses. "I have to admit, ser, I'm impressed. Didn't think it was possible to find this many righteous women in this part of the city. I suppose you lot turn up your noses at strong drink and carnal knowledge, as well? Why would such as you agree to a meeting so deep in the underbelly of the city?" He snorted derisively, but refrained from saying more on the matter; if he was a bit looser in his morals, that was his own business, and he saw no reason to say as much to the likes of these when it could perhaps turn south for him later on.

    The huntsman was more keen on hearing what this would-be employer had to say. "My only question would be to ask for more specifics, such as how much exactly you propose to pay. I'll take whatever details of the tasks you'll require as you see fit to give them."
  6. "If he didn't want righteous or good women, he shouldn't have sought us out in the first place! And he did." To her, this seemed incredibly obvious and the man's question rather stupid. "Besides. I like ale. And whiskey. And mead! I don't know what kind of food "carnal" is, but I probably like that, too." She gave another nod, then frowned. She stared at her drink for a moment, then decided against whatever impulse had been going through her head.

    Still, now she was beginning to worry. This man, the one she'd just spoken to about alcohol, didn't seem the nicest sort. And this place was rather creepy. But mother'd said never to judge anything by looks. So she sat there and ate more, fidgeting slightly.
  7. "Look, as a matter of principle, I need to be certain," Jasmine said calmly after Adeidae had spoken, "better to ask a 'dumb question' than to wallow in darkness and ignorance."

    she took another calm drink and awaited their host's comment.
  8. The man sat quietly in his chair, waiting out their concerns until the silence had lapsed back into dominance. Clearing his throat, he extended his hands, which caught the edge of the fire, and were revealed to be less mysterious than his appearance. Normal, skin colored, marred with the work of more time than their own bodies had yet to reflect. He spoke again, the words coming softly, yet they carried through-out the room so that none of them had trouble discerning his words.

    "The matter of the missions require no sacrifice on any part of the lot of you, nor the populace as a whole. My services merely require you to do some work for me. How you accomplish it is of your own choosing, whether that leads to civilian casualties, or if none are harmed and you donate all of your earnings to charity: This is no concern of mine. I merely require different tasks accomplished, none of them directly involving the innocent. Possession of items that rightly belong to me, Silencing those who might slander my name, and this need not always be through the point of a blade, there are always many ways to solve a solution. As long as I have the results I desire, you each will receive the pay that you desire."

    He turned his gaze, marked by the direction his outstretched hand pointed, landing on Mathye. "You, my young lad. I pay well, and I pay promptly upon completion, you have no worries. The pay will change, depending upon your task and whether it was performed satisfactorily. My first task, I believe I would give you lot, pays a sum of 400 gold coins to each of you. And this I may add, is in addition to whatever spoils you find that are not my property. So as you can see, the morality of the situation is quite of your own choosing, I am a businessman. The decrees of gods are not my concern, but that of currency."

    Slumping back into his chair, he returned to complete darkness. As he moved, the sleeve of his arm caught the firelight, illuminating partially with the shapes of moons and constellations, some cast on the ceiling, before disappearing back to the chair. "Any other questions?"

    The cough was abrupt, as no one has seemed to look his way at all yet, much to his preference. "Rian Raibeirt", he spoke clearly, addressing himself before them and ushering the greeting very quickly out the archway they had arrived in. He leaned forward from his chair, wearing normal attire of soft fabrics and an overcoat with embroidery around the hems that appeared to be of runes. All of it layered underneath his hair, long braided strands of dark black hair, each ending around a small metal ring. A pair of luminous green eyes peer our from beneath his scrunched brow, looking critically at each of them, as though he were casting roles for his next play. Finally, his eyes turned to the man in the chair. "I have a question for you."

    "What in the seven hells is your name?"

    A soft, broken chuckle came from the chair, leaving the party only to assume that he had been taken by surprise by the question. "I am known as the Salzar, and you may refer to me as such." came back the voice, no less soft than it had been before. "I own this district for my business, where I store my goods, house my employees, and conduct my... meetings." He grew quiet again, awaiting any remaining business to be brought forth.

  9. Jasmine waited patiently for her turn to speak to come back around. Despite herself, she eyed Mathye, wondering just what this one was about. The only one to not have raise concerns at the dubious language. Of course, now that her host had said it plainly, she considered what would be in any of the meeting a church official would have over the same sort of problem. Though she was beholden to a deity of light, strength and good works there had been times when certain layfolk had committed certain... indiscretions. These had to be dealt with, and now that she thought on it, she was sure that her host had similar problems.

    After all, why invite a cleric of Pelor to dinner if you are an evil sort?

    As he lapsed into silence once more, she could think of no more questions. Instead she put on a beatific face, nodded sagely, and bade him continue his explanation of the mission to come. After all, 400 coins of gold would certainly help her church.
  10. Rian sighed, his impatience pushing itself to the front of his etiquette , tapping his fingers lightly along the polished wooden table. "I assume you aren't recruiting for your retainer, so what's the job other than our pay? Every detail helps and will make this go a bit more smoothly."
    A frown of concentration adorned his face, unscrupulously waiting to judge the employers words.

    Another small wheeze crept from beneath the Salzars hood, his hands taking hold of the wood to leverage himself closer to the table. "Very well, if everyone is eager to start. I appreciate that form of focus in my employees." he praised softly, fingers linking as he folded his hands.

    "To the east, there is a small island off of the coast. You will be taking a small schooner from the port here in the morning to reach it. It serves as two fold in its purpose. The first of which is a small observation post, but is linked by beacons to the mainland. It warns of approaching naval dangers to the nation. Its second purpose is to store recent naval reclamation's, often from wrecks or derelict voyages around the coast.

    It is in this storage that I need you to recover something from me, a large jewel, a brilliant blaze of color, aptly named the 'Lions Growl'. I want this jewel recovered from me, and before you ask: I assure you that it was mine. My trading vessel was sunk in the recent storm that hit the isles, drowning much of my cargo, and specifically this item. Once recovered, they refuse to acknowledge it as my property and now it is being held there until sorting, where it would depart to the eastern division of the bank, a fortress of security measures.

    As quietly as you can, find your way to the island and enter the small compound to recover this for me. All other items are for the taking, though I have no idea as to their true owners. And one last task..." the Salzar's smirk could be felt from behind the shadows that weaved over his form.

    "I have a party on the mainland, completing some business for me along the coast, which is in view of the shore. As insurance for their safety, I would appreciate it if you managed to remove all signaling beacons and their patrol scopes from the compound. If they were to be interrupted, disaster might fall upon them."
  11. Well this he could work with--both the task, and the man Rian, who seemed sensible and to the point, at least. "How many guard that outpost?" Mathye asked, when their benefactor paused in speaking.
  12. For a moment, Adi just sat there, thinking. This took time and the conversation had already begun to move on when she spoke up.

    "Why would it be named a Lion's Growl if you were talking about color? I don't understand." She looked up at Salzar expectantly, curiously.