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Old 01-07-2011, 07:40 AM   #31
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Evening.

Mandragore was working in his Ritual Chamber and  Jarvis, his newly recruited Coldain Servant, patiently waiting upstairs, with some (non-alcoholic) beverages. Jarvis knew about not to disturb his new Employer, especially when he was working down there, so he did what he was always doing: Taking good care of the Rooms and Pets.

It has been some more work as usual the last few days, as his Employer was working at something he didn’t know about (and surely didn’t want to know), but as invisible as he is, even when staying here, the signs of another person in the house were there.

“Knock, Knock.”

Ah, this must be the guests which he awaits. Jarvis went to the door, recognizin the gentle knocking on the door as coming from a Ratonga; other Small folks as Dwarves or Halfling tend to knock like Humans, but from a different angle, where as this sounded as Elves. Ogres or Trolls never visited here and he hoped that this also stayed so.

He opened the door and greeted them with a bow, asking them to come in.

“Miss Bellacouste, Miss Ratatoska… and you must be Mister Aloysiius, please come in. I have prepared the Living Room with a refreshing assortment of Drinks and Fruits till I get the notice that My Employer has finished.”

The Hall where he greeted the guests seemed to those as a museum; aside from a small bar and the usual sales crates there were many different tapestries and Pictures, Figurines and Statues, a small fountain in the middle with fishes and an octopus swimming around, a small, ghostly dragon sitting in the corner, another (seemingly living) puppet of another dragon guarding the entrance to the Living Room behind, which had a resemblance to a picture Bellacouste had seen before, signed “Trakanon”, and what seems a skeletal Dragons Wing on the great wall to the right.

As the Servant nodded at the dragon, he moved beside and all four walked in the Living room, where a nice table and 4 Chairs where arranged with candles, some bottles and decanters and plates with mixtures of different fruits.

“Please, have a seat. I hope that this is well for your taste. We just got a new Delivery from our Contract with the Cook from the Vigilant, his Dishes are always a Joy for Eyes and Mouth. I will go down and notice my Employer about your arrival”. With that, he walked down the stairs.

The Living Room had some nice furniture in there, a fireplace… some pictures of the Ethernauts and a whole wall just full of weapons. Nothing someone would expect from a Mage, but a sign was made for every one of those, reading “Mermaid”, “Orc” and other Races. Further down the wall there were another ones, with other signs and shelves with caskets and boots on it… one of the signs beside some old looking Boots read “These Boots were made for…”.

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Old 01-07-2011, 03:44 PM   #32
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((Welcome Brienae! SMILEY ))

Aloysiius and his two Ratonga friends said their goodbyes and decided to spend the rest of the day at Aloysiius's house, the Sandpiper Tavern.  They scurried off, the sisters chattering happily about their grandmother's scroll and none of them noticed a Fae arguing with a Feir'Dal as they passed through the square. 

As they went out of sight a third Ratonga in armor rounded the corner and heard the screams of the Fae lady.  Charlemin drew his sword and approached the Wood Elf from behind.

"The lady told you to unhand her."  He growled, no hint of a Ratongan accent evident.  A human squire behind the Ratongan Paladin likewise drew his sword and crouched down.

~*~

Meanwhile, Aloysiius and Charlemin's sisters passed the rest of the day with the Oldale Brothers at the counter, learning Dwarven drinking songs before leaving for the other end of South Qeynos.

They arrived at the manor and were greeted by the butler and as they sat waiting the two Ratongas' tails twitched nerviously behind them.  Aloysiius absently hummed the new song he had learned from the Oldales and examined the paintings on the wall with the interest of any history-buff.

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Old 01-07-2011, 07:56 PM   #33
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The wood elf dropped Brienae abruptly and turned. "This doesn't concern you rat," he growled "But as I am not equipped to fight I will take my leave. Clearly I was mistaken." with that he ran.

"Thank you kind sirs," Brienae said with a curtsy to the ratonga and human. "I am Lady Brienae De`Esalcoda.  May I enquire as to the names of my resuers?" She sighed as she eyed all of the scrolls on the ground. She pulled her bag around to see the gaping hole. 

~~~

Meanwhile in Freeport Tari emerged in Freeport with her own forn allowing her to pass through the gate.  In her purple arms she carried a scroll with a pink ribbon.  A mage had been sent with her and it was he who had lured the man with the scroll to sleep and then Tari had left him.  She knew that in this way she would get more money or at least that was how it usually worked.  She had been told to meet her employer at Broken Tail Tavern.  She had until sunset to get there.  "plenty of time to site see," she told herself as she glided down the streets of Freeport. The only things a person could see of her was her pale purple arms cradling the scroll carefully, her large purple and red wings and under her hood only her red eyes showed.

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Old 01-09-2011, 08:27 AM   #34
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"That should do it."

Mandragore had a last look over all the circles he had drawn additionally on the ground and the magic which made them semi-permanent.

"I think we can start. Now, where's Jarvis ? Ah, i'll see for myself."

He opened the door just to see Jarvis standing directly in front of it, raising his hand as he was about to knock.

"Sir Mandragore ? The guests have arrived. They're in the Livingroom." With those words, Jarvis turned and walked upstairs.

Mandragore sighed; he still wasn't used to having another Person in his house. He closed the Door and followed him.

The first thing he saw was the two Ratonga, sitting really uneasy on their chairs, with Aloysiius studying the Pictures on the Walls. He got to the table, greeted them and sat down. He saw that they just tried some of the beverages which Jarvis provided, but they seemed to excited and were eager to start as to try everything on the table. He took an apple and started explaining.

"I prepared my Chamber where i normally conduct Spell Research. It is shielded against scrying but enhances the perception of all who are in there. I partly reconfigured the Magic, because i am normally alone in here, but as i moved in here, the Chamber was made easily changeable, so that i would have no greater work to adjust it to mostly every need."

As he was finished he stood up and his guests followed him. When they got to the stairs, he mumbled a few words, waved his Hand and some red runes on the doorstep started glowing for a few seconds and then went out.

"Protection Magics. Sometimes i just don't want to be disturbed."

He walked down the stairs. Aloysiius followed him directly wereas the Ratonga waited till they saw that nothing happened, then they also went down.

The next Room seemed to be a library. Books and more different Bookcases everywhere, a comfy seat, a desk, lights, parchments, scrolls... The Design looked different with every Bookcase they saw: There was one which seemed to come from Gorowyn, one from Halas, another one seemed to be build from mechanical parts, and a whole wall of really expensive looking handmade ones.

They reached the next door and Mandragore opened it.

This Room seemed barely naked, if not for the Runes, which covered every wall. Symbols of Protection, Guardian Runes of Fire and Ice... the ground was adorned with a big, double layered Circle. In it was a Triangle with circles on every end, a big red one and two smaller white ones. In the Middle a Multi-coloured Circle with a Single Command Rune in it.

Mandragore took the Ribbon from Aloysiius and asked him to take a seat and watch. He then asked the two Ratonga to stand in the white Circles.

"Those will enhance the Bindings and Memories you have to the scroll; it will be easier to find. The outer circle will conceal our actions and protect. The Runes on the Walls... lets just say, if someone where to enter this room, be it magical, physical, in person or just scrying... it weren't good for him." He allowed himself a faint smile.

"There's just one rule while i weave the spells: don't leave the circles. Just don't. I won't go as far and say it would be catastrophic, but it would surely fail the spell; there are protective measures in place to prevent a backfire, but even i can not guarantee for everything."

As the two Ratonga positioned themselves in the Circles, they looked at each other, now a little bit unsure if this was REALLY a great idea.

Mandragore put the Ribbon in the Circle in the Middle, stood himself in the Red one, took a deep breath and started chanting.

At first, nothing happened.

Then, Bellacouste could feel the hair of her feet vibrating. The feeling wandered upwards, till she was under the impression that every single hair on her was vibrating. Not strong enough to make it unpleasant and the moment she started thinking more about it, she felt her magic pulsating. Some of the Magic was leaking over her hairs. As she allowed herself a quick look to Ratatoskas Side, it seemed that she also experienced the same. Mandragore chanted a little louder and aside from the runes on his Body glowing stronger, she could not read any other expression.

From outside, Aloysiius watched. He saw something like faint multicoloured mist coming from Bellacouste, and moving towards the Circle in the middle. On Ratatoskas Side he had the impression of the same, just being black and purple.

The same Moment, the outer Line of the outer Circle got covered in small flames and the inner line started to grew ice crystals. Two rays consisting of fire and ice coming from Mandragore, entwined, moved towards the middle circle. Still no expression on the Erudites Face.

[to be continued]

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Old 01-09-2011, 04:35 PM   #35
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The Paladin crouched and almost took off after the wood elf, but instead sheathed his sword.  He bowed in reply to the Fae.  "I am Charlemin Leyden Cragmure and this is my Squire, Pepin Grayhaze."  He indicated the human behind him before bending down to help pick up the scrolls.  "Are you unhurt, Lady De'Esalcoda?"

~*~

Aloysiius shifted uncomfortably on the edge of the seat as he watched, being unfamiliar with magics that didn't involve sound or music, he always worried at large displays and how wrong they could go. 

Bellacouste felt her stomach flip as the flames leapt from the circle and closed her eyes tightly as visions of her dear grandmother in the kitchen flooded her mind.  Ratatoska, likewise saw scenes of their grandmother, writing slowly over the partchment and later, when the girls were older, slipping it into Bella's stocking while they all pretended to sleep the night before Gifting Day.

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Old 01-09-2011, 07:42 PM   #36
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"Thank you Lord Charlemain and Pepin.  I am unharmed... although he was careless... and I cannot believe the nerve of that" she spoke a word in Faelie that had it been understood would have been most unlady like "arasai.  He evidently thought I was my distant cousin in an illusion.  He said she was sent to steal a scroll." she closed her eyes recalling his exact words "a scroll written in Ratongan tied with a pink ribbon." she sighed "I can not know if she was successful.  I hope not.  But something must be done.  Perhaps you gentlemen could help me find her. Her name is Tari Clearshadow."

~~~

Tari continued her exploration.  It had been too easy.  Most people didn't give her a second glance.  Some thieves she marvelled used magic to accomplish things.  She had no magic ability herself and instead used her cunning and her skill with a dagger.  "You don't become the leader of a gang by being flashy," her mind laughed as she passed the docks.

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Old 01-11-2011, 06:49 AM   #37
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The Ribbon began to shiver and slowly flew upwards till it came to a stop, a yard in the Air.

The Magic coming from Bellacouste and Ratatoska met up with the Ribbon and startet to swirl around, colours turning like a kaleidoscope, till the two rays of fire and ice came and bordered them. Now it looked like a round window with a Frame of moving Fire and Ice and the Picture cleared up.

They saw this Room and it started zooming out; the house from above, then South Qeynos, the whole Qeynos… and the Picture started moving.

It moved through Antonica, along shoreside, past the Lighttower, past Blackburrow, flying through the Gates of the Thundering Steppes… then the Picture blurred somewhat.

A single drop of sweat ran over the Erudites Face, as his chanting turned down, tuning to another set of Vocabulary and the Picture cleared up again. The next thing were the Nektulos Docks, the Picture took the Griffon Route to the Commonlands Gate and passed them.

It was a nice sunny day in the Commonlands, just a few clouds and the Picture now moved slowly. It stopped on various occasions as it had to fight against something, being unsure which direction to take.

It was now hovering just a few inches above the ground and moving not faster as a Fae would fly. The Picture passed the Crossroads, looking left and right, moving onwards, till the City of Freeport came into Sight.

Approaching Freeport, the Picture slowed even more down, the Erudite breathing heavily and the next thing was the whole Frame and Picture fragment itself into large purple and red leaves, slowly falling to the Ground.

The same Moment the Magic the two Ratonga felt was gone, so where the fire and ice circles around them and Mandragore fell to his knees.

“Freeport… It is… in Freeport…”

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Old 01-11-2011, 03:00 PM   #38
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Charlemin tilted his head to one side.  "One of my sisters ties all her scrolls in pink ribbons..."  He muttered to himself.  "I'd be more than happy to help you, Milady.  Do you know where this insolent cousin of yours might be?"

~*~

Aloysiius grimaced at the announcement of the scroll's location before asking Mandragore if he was feeling alright. 

The two sisters, however, glanced at each other, already plotting possabilities like Ratongas are want to do.

"I's has some peoples in Freeports thats owes me favors..."  Bella murmmered.

"Forgets thats."  Her sister replied.  "They'd nevers lets you call in favors after you betrayed the city.  My old teacher, though.  I's know how to gets hims to help."  Ratatoska grinned mischieviously.

~*~

A small Arasai floated into a Freeport Tavern, jumping to reach the top of the barstool and climbing up, fluttering his gold and pinkish-purple wings in irritation.  Even on the tall stool, he barely saw over the counter.  "Bloody Ogre craftsmen."  He cursed to himself.  "Never a thought for us small folk."  He caught the barkeep's attention with a wave of his sickly green hand and ordered something strong.

"Still moping about loosing so much at cards, Sholt?"  The barkeep asked.

"No!  I'm moping about my best student!"  The Arasai railed.  "My best student ran off to become a-a conjurer!"  He slammed his fist into the counter. 

"Another Cragmure ran off to Qeynos, eh?"  The barkeeper glanced around.  "Best distance yourself from that family."

"With my best books!  The ones I need to complete my research!" Hoddmimir continued.  "I need something strong to keep my mind from this."  He watched the barkeeper turn to the shelves behind him.  "And none of that rotgut, either!  Someone thought it funny to send me an entire crate of Dwarven swill for Frostfell."  He lay his head down on the counter and pouted petulently, watching his undead Froglok wander aimlessly behind him.

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Old 01-11-2011, 03:51 PM   #39
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Brienae's eyes narrowed "Distant cousin," she hissed before continuing in a lighter tone. "She has to be in Freeport.  That's what the evil wood elf said anyway.  I might know someone who can help us get in.  Tetriemmy Windfoot.  She's been helping people in and out of Freeport and Neriak for years.  Convincing her to help can be tricky though because well... to her this is a trivial matter now if it impacts nature in some way then she's more likely to help."

"Or if a cub lands herself in way over her head," Tetriemmy said as she emerged mysteriously from the alley. She was also a ratonga her fur was cream colored. She wore what had once been a formal purple dress but was now dirty and a bit ragged.  She wore an eye patch over her right eye.  At her side was a thorny whip. On her back was a shield which appeared to have the face of a lion.  In each ear she wore three hoops. She was also very small and skinny for a ratonga.  Her ratongan accent had been missing for years. She nodded towards Charlemain and Pepin.

"Tetri..."

"I heard it all Cub," Tetriemmy sighed  "I'll help y'all."

"Oh Tetriemmy thank thank you!"

"Don't thank me yet Cub.  You get to crawl through sewers," she turned to Charelemain and Pepin "Think your sisters will want to accompany us?  By the way you can call me Tetri... most do."

~~~

Tari glided into a bar where she saw another arasai already seated.  She hid the scroll in her bag and leaped on and thenclimbed onto another bar stool.  She  shouted to gain the barkeepers attention "What's a girl gotta do to get service round here?"  She looked at the male arasai next to her and the skeletal frog and shrugged.  "What's eatin you?" she asked.  Her only concern was more money if she could help him.

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Old 01-16-2011, 04:17 PM   #40
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((I hope you don't mind if we move the other scenes ahead a bit to keep the thread going.  ^^; ))

Charlemin bowed hs head to the other Ratonga.  "It is a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Tetri."  He straightened and looked around.  "I am not sure I want my sisters to go back to Freeport, considering, but they would be quite cross with me if I went without them."  Charlemin shivered slightly, knowing he'd rather fight the gods on their planes than his sisters.  "They were saying they had something to do at a neighbors house today, but we could wait for them at Bella's house, if you don't mind delaying our departure, Lady De'Esalcoda."

~*~

Hoddmimir lifted his head and thumped it back onto the counter in frustration.  "My best student ran off to learn Conjuring in Qeynos."  He thumped his head again.  "With my books!" THUMP "My research is over." THUMP "I can't finish it without the books!"  THUMP "Assistants can be replaced, but those books!" THUMP THUMP "Should have known when her sister and brother betrayed Freeport."  He muttered, this time leaving his forhead on the counter.  "If I knew where the rest of the Cragmures were hiding after the three of them betrayed, I'd turn the whole lot in to the Militia, reguardless of the rewards on their heads!"

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Old 01-17-2011, 02:32 PM   #41
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"Believe me I understand," Tetriemmy answered.

"But Tari has to be stopped!" Brienae shouted.

Tetri sighed "Are you going to search all of Freeport?"

Brienae's purple eyes narrowed.

"We need a more definite location than Freeport.  The less time we spend searching on foot the better off we'll be," she nodded to Charlemain lead the way,"

"You were joking about the sewers right?"

Tetri laughed "No Cub I wasn't," she sighed as the young fae fainted.  She picked up the scrolls and placed them in an extra bag. She then whistled which brought a large cat with a saddle to her side.  Tetri then picked up the unconcious fae and placed her gently on Cliff's back. "Ok now lead on... she'll be fine."

~~~~

Tari smiled. "Maybe I can help ya." she pulled back her hood and let her shoulder length pinkinsh purple hair fall. Her bangs fell over one of her eyes. "First how much ya willin ta pay to get the books back?"

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Old 01-17-2011, 06:53 PM   #42
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Charlemin raised one eyebrow, opened his mouth to speak and thought better of it.  He closed his mouth and nodded.  "This way."

He led them through the streets to Bayle Court, stepping up to a stoop that had an easle next to the door.  The sign that sat on the easle was painted brightly with a picture of a pie.  Around the pie pink letters declared: 'Bella's Bakery and Restaurant: Home to the bestest Cheesecakes in Qeynos!'.  Also on the easle sat a smaller sign that read 'Closed' in large read letters.

The Paladin checked the door, pleased to find that for once his sister had remembered to lock it when she had stepped out.  He produced a key from his pocket, while Pepin offered to carry the Fae in. 

Inside to the left in the alcove created by the stairs there were long counters, some of which had glass tops, showing off the best baked goods of the store.  One the walls behind the counters were lined many shelves, also holding all manner of baked goods.  The smells of that morning's work wafted in through the stone arch behind the counters.  The rest of the room had small halfling made tables and green padded dinging chairs or benches.  Charlemin took the stairs up, ignoring the open doorway to the left that led to the more formal seating and balcony and instead opened the door at the top of the stairs. 

"This is the sitting room.  We can wait in here."  This room held a large fireplace surrounded by pink and white candles.  Pink couches sat along the corner around a glass and metal coffeetable set with lilies in a heart shaped vase.  Charlemin indicated the couches.  "There is also a comfortable place for the lady to...er...rest."

~*~

Hoddmimir looked up, a red spot that would most likely develop into a bruise later on his forhead.  He examined the other Arasai warily through slitted eyes.  "I lived in Neriak for a number of years in my youth, however some things do not change.  I know that here, like in Neriak, one must always question someone so willing to help, even for coin."  He picked up his drink and drained it.  Tapping the counter for a refill.

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Old 01-18-2011, 02:23 PM   #43
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Tetriemmy nodded at Pepin's request. As Pepin picked up Brienae. Tetriemmy whispered something unintellible to Cliff who growled and then trotted off.  She then followed the men into the sitting room. Her nose did wriggle at the smells which were pleasantly hard to ignore. She laughed at Charlemin's rest statement "Yes, she should wake up soon. " she sighed "She is a sweet cub, but she has not had much experience in the real world."

Brienae opened her eyes and looked around.

"Figured," Tetrimmy laughed. "Feel better Cub?"

Brienae nodded and then blushed "Sorry about that," she muttered.

Tetriemmy shook her head "You have a lot to learn Cub" she turned to Charlemin "Just curious how long has your family been in Qeynos?"

~~~

Tari smiled "Of course, first allow me ta introduce myself:  Name's Tari Clearshadow leader of the Clearshadow Gang" she looked straight at him "I know how it is and I would expect no less. Ask me anythin and I'll answer it best I can."

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Old 01-18-2011, 04:20 PM   #44
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Mandragore stood up. Slowly.

"This... was an... interesting... experience."

He shook his head as to clear his thoughts and took a deep breath. Looking around, he noticed that some of his warding runes where glowing ~inwards~. He stepped over the Circle which seemed again like a normal Painting in theground, with some expensive looking gold and silver inlayed runes.

"Going back to Freeport, eh ?"

It seemed that his complete attitude changed. No longer the cool, professionaland somewhat annoying speaking Wizard but different.

"If i have something learned about Freeport - and i was there sometimes - is:always have a good escape route. Even when the guards are just a swords lengthaway or you see some Witches casting at you, there must be a way to get away.Always have a backup plan."

He waved his hand and a piece of paper formed to a scroll and bound itself withthe pink Ribbon.

"Open the Scroll and read it - thats a small formula for finding a trace insidea city. It won't work outside or from the thieves way below. As the Ritual didnot point me in one of the freeport ghettos, i think you have to use it whileyou are directly in one of the main parts, regardless which one. The Range islimited but it can work in the whole Maincity."

The Scroll moved through the Air to Bellacouste.

"This is a one-time-shot. After you used it, it will crumble to dust and gonewith the wind. As it will when someone else, who was not here in this circle,"he nodds at Aloysiius,"that includes you, touches it."

He looks down, as he was thinking something over.

"There might be a thing or two, which were interesting, as i was in Freeport once.I was in the Academy, with a Seal of a maiden i spoke to in the Commonlands,to do research. I showed it to the guards and they let me in, no questions asked.I tried not to awake any suspicion, so i did only what i was asked.Research about someone named Zarvonn... ever heard of him ?"

Without waiting for an answer, he continued.

"Anyway, some of his arcane work was... interesting. Not the Necromantic Part ofcourse, but his studies about Arcane Magic in several pocket Dimensions and otherPlanes of Existence."

He opened the Door and walked through it. Again, he changed. His looks cleared,his eyes once again this looking-down Gaze, speaking like a tutoring Professor again.

"Care for a Refresher upstairs ? My servant prepared a meal and drinks."

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Old 01-18-2011, 05:58 PM   #45
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"I'll go make some tea, I know the story."  Pepin said, winking and leaving the room.

Charlemin sat down on the bench under the window.  "Well, my sister Bellacouste was the first to come to Qeynos.  You see, Bella was rather sickly when we were little and the runt of the litter, so she didn't leave the house often.  I brought her books from time to time, but she loved the ones with flowers in them the most, so one day I brought her some seeds.  She grew them in little pots in the window, but was always upset that they never grew to look like the pictures.  When we were older her health got better and she began to train under our Grandmother in Coercing, I went to the Freeport Militia and trained as a Shadowknight, Ratatoska trained under a colleague of our father's in Necromancy and our last sister, Bellalynn, took over father's...acquisitions business.  Bellacouste wasn't happy in Freeport though, she wanted to see the places in the books, now that her health was better, she could.  She traveled a bit, collecting seeds and recipes and lived in Neriak for a while, but most of her favorite plants died while there.  Underground cities aren't good for plants, well, maybe mushrooms, but Bella keeps telling be they’re fungi and not plants, or something.  She moved back to Temple Street but still wasn't that happy." 

Charlemin shifted in his seat uncomfortably and cleared his throat.  "About a year ago I was on post in the Commonlands, but I always wrote her.  My handwriting has never been very good and one particular letter I sent was near illegible.  In fact, it was so bad that the magic of the postboxes sent the letter to someone else.  Instead of my sister, the letter was sent to someone in Qeynos.  That lady put the letter in a new envelope and sent it to my sister, with a note explaining.  Bella wrote the woman back and they continued to write as pen pals.  When I found out, I got upset with her, I worked for the Militia and if any of my superiors found out our entire family would be targeted.  We fought and I left angry with her.  I figured if I gave her some time she’d come around, but eventually we noticed that she wasn’t anywhere.  I figured she was just mad and avoiding me.  Then out of the blue I get a letter from Qeynos.  She said that she loves it there-er, well, here, I guess I should say.  She kept writing about the plants in Antonica and how well hers were doing in her new garden and how she met her pen pal and she was teaching her Illusions in exchange for cooking lessons and she wanted to open a bakery.  I was shocked.  I never expected her to go to Qeynos after our fight.  Well, she didn’t seem mad at me, but I didn’t’ write back, I had heard that some of the higher ranks in the Militia would check our mail in secret sometimes.  Even though I didn’t write back, she still sent me letters and soon word got out that she had betrayed.  My superior began to suspect me of being a plant in the Militia and my house was searched and the letters found.  So I fled Freeport and the rest of our family went into hiding.  I decided that since the Militia thought me a traitor I might as well be one.  The Militia was keeping an eye on the Commonlands docks, so I headed towards Nektulos.  I got lost though and then fell ill.  I was saved by a Froglok and when I was well enough we continued to the forest.  On our journey to Qeynos he told me all about Mithianel Marr and eventually, what began as a spiteful plan to snub the Militia became an earnest quest.  I arrived in Qeynos about a month after Bellacouste and I gave some documents from the Militia to the Qeynos Guard and eventually became a Paladin and follower of Mithanial Marr.”

Pepin returned with a tray of tea.  He set out the fragile pastel pink teacups with all the delicacy of his Barbarian ancestors.

Charlemin accepted a cup and continued.  “About two months ago, our sister, Ratatoska, arrived.  I haven’t really heard why she came here, but she has told us that the rest of our family were fine and in hiding still.  Well, our parents retired and with their business they would have gone into hiding anyway, a lot of…unhappy customers.”  He cleared his throat again.  “I didn’t mean to launch into such a long story, apologies.” 

~*~

The Necromancer nodded.  “I am Hoddmimir Sholt.”  He swished the amber liquid in his glass and watched the little whirlpool for a moment.  “Have you much experience in Qeynos with this sort of thing?”  He asked quietly. 

~*~

Bellacouste took the scroll and shifted uncomfortably, unsettled by the Erudite’s mood changes.  Ratatoska happily stepped out of the circle and followed the Erudite at the mention of food.  Aloysiius kept his face neutral while Mandragore spoke.  He stood up and approached Bella, patting her on the shoulder.

“Best put that somewhere safe in your bag.”  He whispered, pointing to the scroll in her hand.

Bella nodded and stowed it away in a inner pocket that was protected by some simple spells against water or fire and joined her sister.  Aloysiius slowly followed.

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Old 01-19-2011, 06:19 PM   #46
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Brienae pulled out a blank scroll and quill and sat poised ready to write.  As Charlemin spoke she wrote down everything word for word he said.

Tetriemmy listened. Her eye widened with rage at the mention of necromancy, but she laughed quietly as Charlemin tried to explain the growing of plants to her.  As he finished she looked over at the young fae so engrossed in writing she hadn't noticed the tea.  Tetriemmy accepted a cup.

Brienae finished writing the last word. "Wow that is very interesting. I'm glad you told us,"

Tetriemmy shook her head.  "It is alright Cub," she said it this time while looking at Charelmin "I would actually like to talk to your sister Bellacouste, I'm sure her garden is doing fine but I might be able to help her make it better," she chuckled "I am am after all Nature's Wrath incarnate.  Anyone with respect for Nature is her ally." She decided to keep her thoughts regarding Ratatosca to herself.  For now she decided she would assume she was genuine in her betrayal to the more natural conjuration.

~~~~

"Of course," Tari answered  "Just got back from there on other bussiness of the same nature. As I said I'm leader of the Clearshadow gang.  Didn't get that by stayin in the area."  Truth was this had been the first time she had been to Qeynos but she tried to keep the same smile.  Her mind also thought it was good he didn't live in Neriak or he would have known that she had only been leader for a month because her father had died in a fire.  Then again did anyone in Freeport keep  track of things that happened in Neriak?

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Old 01-20-2011, 06:59 AM   #47
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As they arrived in the Living Room, where a small hot meal awaited (obviously the servant could cook Ratonga Meals, hewould never get the hang of it), Mandragore felt that they were eager to leave. So he decided to keep the chatting to aminimum, eating and drinking enough to feel better again - this Ritual had taken its toll.

"This was really exciting. Scrying is not my speciality, but i try to keep my Mind open for everything to learn; ah, mostlyeverything. There are some Topics even i won't touch."

He finished his meal and took a sip from his glass.

"Sometimes we learn from reading books, studying tomes, listening to fellow magicians... and sometimes we learn fromdoing and from experience. We have to decide for ourself whats the best for us and the best for our Art, which is Magic."

As he saw that they barely touched their meals, he stood up.

"Anyway, i hope that you will find what you are looking for. I thank you for the chance to do that and if you need anyhelp again, do not hesitate to contact me."

~ One hour later ~

Mandragore was sitting in his Library, making notes while reading another Book. Jarvis arrived with a small platter offruits and a Decanter with a sweet, light Wine.

"I take it that whatever you did was succesful ?"

"Of course. I learned a lot and helped them to get to know where it is, what they were searching for."

"So, this was not just about helping those ?"

"Jarvis... let me say: We're not in Freeport. What i did involved a great risk, but i am always glad to help a fellowQeynosian Mage. And if it is only to proof that we here in Qeynos are really what everybody says; we help othersand in helping others we also get to better ourselves. This is not the selfish act which you would expect someonefrom Freeport to do, doing a small deed for someone and then blackmail them for a big reward; we help and wesupport our fellow Citizens."

He wrote a single rune on the scroll in front of him.

"What i got was just to experience what was left from the Energy of the Schools of Necromancy and Coercing they hadin them. I think no other Mage would have done such a scrying just to experience the Energy of another School ofMagic. And this was just the side-effect, which had to be there to follow the Scroll.  It is another Step in the Directionof understanding - not necesarily being able to use - other Magical Energy than just those of Fire and Ice. Most Mages i met and meet in the Tower aren't even interested in other Magic than their own. They hone their Skills with theirs, but stay unable to see what is all around them. Maybe i will be not as good as those just specializing in one thing, but trying to learn more than that is a fair trade-off, at least for me."

Jarvis nodded and left. Mandragore was unsure if he truly understood have of what he said, but he was sure that thisColdain servant was more then meets the eye.

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Old 01-20-2011, 05:28 PM   #48
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The three of them bid goodbye to Mandragore, thanking him many times for his services and Aloysiius left some payment for the reagents with the butler as they left.

Once outside Bella stretched, glad to see the sun was out.  "We's has a long way to go to gets homes."  She giggled,  pointing a couple doors down to her own stoop. 

"Well, I have a longer trip, but some good ale at the end of it."  Aloysiius said.

"Oh, no-nos.  I's has a new recipe froms the Oldales and I's wants your opinions on its."  Bellacouste grabbed Al by the elbow and dragged him to her door, Ratatoska following.  "Ands we's needs to discuss Freeport."  She whispered.

Bellacouste made sure her sign was still flipped to 'Closed' and reached for her key.  She turned it in the door and tried to open it, but the door didn't.  She tried the knob again.  Frowning, she turned the key again, then the door opened.

"Forget to lock it?"  Ratatoska asked.

"Nos, I's locked it."

"Well, it was unlocked."  Aloysiius said, slipping his hand to his dagger.  "Let me go in first." 

"I's has magic to make us invisables."  Bella whispered.

"You know how I feel about invisability spells."

Ratatoska sighed and pointed in through the door.  "Look, is Charlie's cloak theres."

Bellacouste peeked in.  "Oh."  The three of them filed in and closed the door.  "I's think somes Oldale Ale will helps calm us." 

Upstairs Charlemin nodded.  "I'm sure Bella would be happy for any advice."  He took a sip of the tea and added a lemon wedge.  "May I ask what brought you to Qeynos, Ms. Tetri?"

~*~

"Hrm.  I haven't heard of the Clearshadow gang before.  Of course, I suppose considering your business that means you either haven't been caught and are very good at it, or you're boistering your reputation while having done nothing."  Hoddmimir mused more to himself as he considered his drink.  "How much did you get paid for your latest trip to Qeynos?"

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Old 01-21-2011, 11:07 AM   #49
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Tetriemmy sighed "Not much to tell... it was a long time ago." she looked over at Brienae, the young fae had already pulled out another scroll. "Don't get your hopes up too much Cub, I don't remember to much." she sipped more of the tea before starting "Like your sister Bellacouste I was the runt usually sick, but the difference was my family wasn't as..." she paused "we'll say kind as you were to your sister.  I actually left Freeport while still very young.  My family was out in the commonlands during a time when I was feeling better..." she paused again "Forgive me it was a long time ago so some details are vague. I remember the family being warned by a wood elf that Nature's Wrath would punish them for their mistreatment of her.  A storm started and the last thing I remember is a large rock coming towards me.  I woke up in the Commonlands with the Wood Elf tending my wounds.    She agreed to teach me the ways of Nature if I went with her.  So I followed her and she raised me as her own daughter back here in Qeynos.  Her name was Balira Windfoot." Tetriemmy twitched her right ear "By the way I think your sisters are home,"

Brienae looked at the older ratonga "How can you tell that?"

Tetriemmy laughed "Nature has a way of compensating.  I'm half blind literally," she said indicating the eye patch "Because of this Nature has improved my hearing,"

~~~

Tari grinned while weighing her options in her mind. If she lied out right this arasai was old enough to see through it probably. On the other hand if she told the truth she might lose the job. She sighed and let the grin drop "Might as well be honest," she said out loud "I've been to Qeynos once.  This current job is giving me a hundred plat." she waited for the response, hoping he would trust her.  If not there would be other opportunities.

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Old 01-25-2011, 04:38 PM   #50
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Charlemin placed the teacup down and stood up, walking the length of the room to the door.  Before he reached it, it opened and one of his older sisters peeked in. 

"Theres yous is, Charlie!"  Ratatoska exclaimed, throwing her arms around him in a hug. 

"Hello, Toska."  Charlemin watched Aloysiius step in.  "Isn't Bella with you?"

"She wanted to get some refreshments from the cellar."  Aloysiius said.

"Oh, yous has brought guests too?"  Bella asked, stepping in with a tray of cheesecake and foaming mugs.  "Hellos, welcomes!"  She waved to the Fae and Ratonga, tipping the tray dangerously for a moment before placing her paw back under it.  "Woulds yous likes some cheesecakes?"  She turned to the others, gathered around the door.  "Sits, sits."  She shooed them all over to the couches and set the tray down next to the tea.

"Ms. Tetri, Lady De'Esalcoda, these are my sisters, Bellacouste and Ratatoska and our friend, Aloysiius the Sandpiper."  He turned to the others.  "This is the Lady Brienae De'Esalcoda and Ms. Tetriemmy Windfoot.  I've agreed to help them with something in, well, Freeport and we were wondering if you'd like to join us."  Charlemin paused and then continued, speaking a quickly.  "I mean, I'd be just fines if yous didn't wants to goes back, since is dangerous and-" He realized he had slipped back into his Ratongan accent for a moment and cleared his throat.  "No one would be offended if you did not wish to risk the danger."  He finished.

~*~

Hoddmimir silently nursed his drink for a moment, thinking.  "Your first time in Qeynos, eh?"  He muttered.  He finished his drink and then turned towards the other Arasai.  "I'll pay you 25 platinum upfront and 75 after you get the books safely back in my hands, unharmed."  He paused.  "I'll pay you extra if news reaches me that my poor student has had...an unfortunate accident."  He hissed.

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Old 01-27-2011, 04:21 PM   #51
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Brienae stood up and curtsied to the group just entering "I should have said this earlier you can call me Brienae." she also took a small fae size piece of cheesecake and thanked Bellacouste for her hospitality.

Tetriemmy scanned the room with her eye "We can't take everyone.  I count seven people in this room.  Such a group would attract too much attention.  I would say four of us at most." She turned to Brienae "Cub I think you should stay here."

"What?" Brienae almost screamed "Not after what that wretched arasai did.  Trying to destroy my reputuation.  I'm going so I can give her a piece of my mind,"

Tetriemmy shook her head "My point remains we don't need seven people to track down one cub and a piece of paper.  If we could track down the scroll and get it from her before she turns it in no harm done."

"And if she does turn in the scroll?"

Tetriemmy sighed "Then either we track it down or forget about it,"

Brienae looked at the other people gathered before focusing back on Tetriemmy "You said you'd help,"

"I did..." Tetriemmy answered "because you are a reckless cub who needs to learn that out in the real world noble birth doesn't matter.  Nature doesn't see a difference and until you learn that you are a danger to yourself.  If we let you go alone you might be killed and make no mistake cub no one would believe you for an arasai,"

"Good why would I want to pass for one of those unnatural freaks?" as soon as Brienae said it she knew before Tetriemmy stood up that she had misspoken

Tetriemmy stood up with her eye glaring at the young fae "Do you dares tos tells mes what is unnaturals?" she thundered.

Brienae swallowed before shaking her head.

Tetriemmy took a deep breath before cursing her childhood accent in Feir'Dal.  She then continued in common "I would think a bard would be able to coach her tongue better."

Brienae blushed.

"Now as I was saying.  I'm afraid if we take a large group we will be caught."  She looked around the room. "Five or six maybe we can get away with but it will be more difficult," she scanned the room again looking from one person to the other.

~~~

"Sounds good," Tari answered "If you got somethin she used I can track er that way, if not with a description an` name I'm sure I could find her." she smiled.  "Either way I have a friend who would love to play with er. Don' worry about extra for 'im. Unfortunately...." she paused and winked "He plays rather rough."  Tari thought of her beloved pet Copper who she had raised from an egg.  In her mind she was already picturing the new of the owlbear mauling in Qeynos.  Mind Copper was still a baby but he could be viscous when Tari told him to be.

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Old 01-27-2011, 07:09 PM   #52
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Everyone settled into a seat.

"Wait, you guys are going to Freeport too?  What for?"  Aloysiius asked.

"'Too'?"  Charlemin asked.  "We were about to ask you to accompany us to Freeport for a quest."

"That's funny, that's what we wanted to ask you."

Charlemin shook his head.  "Well, why are you wanting to go there?"

"Grandma's scroll has beens stolen.  My neighbor, Madragore dids a spell to finds where it went, ands is in Freeports."

Charlemin looked over to Brienae and Tetri.  "We're going to Freeport because Lady- I mean, Brienae's cousin stole a scroll with...a...pink-"  Charlemin sighed and massaged his temple.  "Ribbon.  It's one of Grandma's scrolls?"

Aloysiius stifled a laugh.  "So, we all have the same goals anyway.  That simplifies things a bit."

Charlemin cleared his throat.  "I think, perhaps that Pepin and Ratatoska should stay behind."

Ratatoska glowered at her brother.

Pepin looked up from his cheesecake.  "But Sir, I-"

Charlie held a paw up.  "If you were further in your training, I'd be happy to let you come along, but you're still a Squire and have many seasons to go before becoming a full Paladin.  You've been doing very well in your training, take some time off."

"I can help, Sir."  Pepin protested.

"In Antonica, yes.  In the Enchanted Lands, yes.  But this is Freeport we're talking about.  I can pass for a Shadowknight again easily, but the citizens of Freeport would spot you for a Paladin, even one in training, as soon as they set eyes on you."

Pepin opened his mouth to protest again, but instead scooped a spoonfull of cheesecake into his mouth and leaned back.

"Ands mes?"  Ratatoska asked.  "Whys shoulds I's stays?"

"Bella's illusions will come in handy for disguises, if we should need them, but also because Freeport has recently allowed the Illusionary Arts to be taught, a Ratongan Illusionist is no longer an oddity there, but a Ratongan Conjurer still is."

"I's cans pass for a Necromancer agains!"

"I's rather nots have yous picking up those spells agains."  Charlemin whispered.

Ratatoska pouted.  "Fines, but I's don'ts wants to be lefts alones heres."

"Pepin offered to help, perhaps he could stay with you until we get back."  Aloysiius put in.

Pepin looked back up.  "I could do that."

Ratatoska nodded.  "Fines.  But yous remembers yours promise.  I's gets a copy of the scrolls too whens yous gets it backs.  Grandmas should have given its to's mes anyways."

"But she didn'ts, she gaves its to mes."  Bella said, trying to keep her voice level.

"Ah, but once I get the scroll, you'll each have a copy, so no fighting now."  Aloysiius laughed nerviously.

~*~

"I don't have anything of hers, but there aren't that many Ratongas in Qeynos.  She'll be the one with caramel colored fur, dark glasses and a blue robe with yellow down the middle, if she hasn't changed.  Her birth name is Jumjum Cragmure, but she changed it to Ratatoska.  You might find her with her brother and sister, Charlemin and Bellacouste.  Bellacouste runs a large bakery, if you hang around there for a while, I'm sure Ratatoska would show up eventually."

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Old 01-28-2011, 10:24 PM   #53
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"Well now that we have that settled we can get going." Tetri said as she began to wave her hands. A ring of grass sprouted at her feet and autumn leaves began to dance around her. The leaves arranged themselves into a cirlce in front of her and then within the ring a portal formed "Commonlands," Tetriemmy whispered and the portal shifted to show the druid ring in commonlands.  The grass at her feet vanished leaving no signs that it had been there all that remained was the portal. "This will take us to The Commonlands from there we will head to the Thieves Way."

Brienae watched the swirling leaves and started to head for the portal before being grabbed by Tetri

"You're not going first Cub." She looked around at those who were going "Other than the Fae cub I don't care who goes first but I must go last.  Nature will close her portal behind me."

~~~~

"Sounds simple enogh," Tari answered "So just give me the money and I'll get right on that soon as I finish up some things here and pick up Copper from Neriak," she grinned.

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Old 01-29-2011, 12:22 AM   #54
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Charlemin stood and hugged Ratatoska.  "Take good care of my sister, Pepin."

The Squire saluted the Paladin as Charlemin stepped through the portal. 

It was Bella's turn to quickly hug her sister.  "You's cans stays heres if yous wants to's, just keep the closeds sign ups if yous don'ts wants customers.  We's will hurries homes."  Bella hopped into the circle and disappeared.

Aloysiius simply waved to the Conjurer and Squire before stepping through himself.

Ratatoska examined the portal, briefly toyed with the idea of leaping through before Tetri, but decided against it and sat back down on the couch.

On the other side of the portal Charlemin, Bella and Al found themselves in the bright sunlight of the Commonlands.  The flat savannah lay out before them on all sides beyond the ancient Druid Rings etched with old runes.  Charlemin had his sword drawn, just in case and Aloysiius made sure his dagger and harp both were on hand while Bellacouste weaved her paws through the air, summoning her own image from the empty space before her.  Her spell finished, the Personae Reflection waited patiently for orders.

~*~

Hoddmimir drew out a bag from the folds of his robes and counted out twenty-five yellow disks, each etched with the face of Lucan D'Lere and placed them down on the counter in front of the other Arasai.  Then he picked up his glass and tipped it in Tari's direction.  "I wish you luck and hope to hear news of my...dear student soon."

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Old 01-31-2011, 11:38 AM   #55
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Tetri released Brienae who glided into the cirlce. She then followed right behind her. As soon as she was through the portal closed.

Brienae landed gracefully and pulled out her twin sai. She sang a series of quick short songs all of which hung in the air and seemed to swirl around everyone in the group.

Tetri looked at the group and sighed "Just follow me. Stay close." she looked towards Charlemin "I need you on my left if you end up beside me.  No offense but my experience has been that armor such as your's is rather loud.  My hearing is better than most but it would be so much easier for me if I didn't have to listen above the clanking."  As she spoke more leaves erupted around her for a split second spines erupted from Charlemin's armor. " Don't worry about that. Nature's protection is all that is," she said quickly before anyone could scream in alarm.  As soon as she finished she took off towards the graveyard entrance.  She listened for the steps behind her but she did glance back to occasionally to make sure everyone was with her especially the silently gliding Brienae.  She stopped at the graveyard entrance to wait for everyone to catch up.

~~~

Tari glared at the yellow disks "You said twenty five plat up front and then count out gold.  That's a big difference." she pulled out a white disk with Queen Crystanos image on it "This is plat," she said with an angry edge in her voice. "Whether it's the the Overlord or the Queen, don't matter but you did say plat."

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Old 01-31-2011, 07:34 PM   #56
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Charlemin examined his armor.  "Is it really that bad?"  He muttered.

Bella, in cloth robes and Aloysiius, in supple leather, looked at one another.  "Yes."  They said in unison. 

Aloysiius stepped forward and played a short song on his harp.  "Just a little spell I picked up in my travels."  He said as the etheral, pale blue music notes faded on Charlie's armor.  "It won't mask the sound completely, but it will deaden it for a couple of hours."

The three of them fell in behind Tetri, each keeping a weather eye out for trouble.  Cheddar, Bella's Personae Reflection, was the last to catch up to them at the gate.

~*~

Pepin watched the portal close sulkenly while Ratatoska ignored it.  As soon as the last of the leaves faded away she hopped up.  "Wells, we's might as well get somes works done for Bella!" 

Pepin rolled his eyes.  "I don't know if we should do that, Miss. Cragmure.  I can barely boil water!"

"Yous cans wash pots an' pans, yis?"  Ratatoska skipped out the door and down the stairs, Pepin following.

In the kitchen Ratatoska fired up the ovens and looked through Bella's ledger.  "She's sells lots of Jumjum muffins.  I's cans makes her somes for sales."  She started pulling bowls and spoons out of the cupboards in the kitchen.  "Yous goes down to the cellars and gets flour, cinnimon, jumjums and eggs."  She told Pepin.

"Miss. Cragmure, I'm supposed to be protecting you, not-"

Ratatoska frowned at him.  Pepin conceded and headed down to the cellar.  Half an hour later, Ratatoska and Pepin were covered in flour, smooshed jumjum and the kitchen was a mess.  Pepin sat on a flour sack in the corner while the Ratonga examined the muffins.  Half the muffins had been filled too much, making the batter spread out over the rest of the pan and leaving them uncooked in the center, and the other half hadn't been filled enough, burning the small ones in the bottom.  Ratatoska's stare went from the muffins to herself.

"I's will be right back."  Pepin stood up and went to follow her.  She turned around.  "Where does yous thinks yous is going?"

"I told you, I'm to protect you.  I promised Sir. Cragmure that I wouldn't let you out of my sight."

"Yous will have to settle for guarding the attic stairs thens.  I's is bathing and changing clothes."

Ratatoska went upstairs to the garden, where Bella had her bedroom, a shrine to Brell Serilis and a hollow stump filled with water that she used as a bathtub.

Once washed and dried she found one of her sister's pink robes and slipped it on, looking at herself in the mirror.  She did rather look like a slightly taller, and darker, version of her sister.  Ratatoska took her dark glasses off and placed them on top of Bella's jewelery box.    She curtseyed to her reflection without the grace of her sister and played a bit with the flower circlets on the small counter under the dressing room mirror, liking the look of the pink and yellow one.  She found an unused box of pale makeup on the counter and used the poof to powder herself, the light dusting making her fur a pale tan.  Now she really looked like Bella.  She returned downstairs to find Pepin at Bella's desk, flipping through a book of riddles.  Pepin, still covered in flour and pink jumjum followed the Ratonga back downstairs where she flipped the 'Closed' sign to 'Open'.  Pepin sighed. 

"It'd be safer if we didn't let people in while your sister was out."

Ratatoska giggled.  "Calls me Bella, I's wants to see how many peoples notice the difference."

Pepin rolled his eyes as Ratatoska/Bella went behind the counter where the cashbox sat to wait for customers.  Pepin took the seat closest to the counter.

~*~

Hoddmimir swayed on his stool and held up a coin before his orange and now reddened eyes.  "By the Prince, am I that drunk already?"  He muttered, staring at the yellow coin. 

The Barkeep looked up from drying a wooden stein.  "Better watch out, Sholt likes to sing when he gets well into his cups."

The Necromancer looked up from counting out the white coins.  "You keep out of this.  I'd make you into a replacement for him," Hoddmimir tilted his head towards his still meandering Froglok Paladin skeleton behind him.  "But theres too much fat clinging to your old bones to boil off."  He went back to counting.  "Ogre fat smells worse than any other kind.  Clings to me robes, lingers 'round the house for months.  Disgusting."

Hoddmimir managed to count out twenty five of the proper coins and added them to the pile of gold.  "You can keep the gold for my mistake."  He flipped the empty stein upside-down to indicate that he didn't want another refil and wondered if he should be breaking his rule about business dealings while so inebriated. 

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Old 02-01-2011, 12:23 PM   #57
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As soon as everyone was at the gate Tetri led the way in and through the grave yard.  She stopped at another gate this one leading into freeport "This is very important," she began "Once in this gate we will be in freeport..."

"So you were joking about the sewer." Brienae giggled.

Tetriemmy laughed "No Cub, let me finish.  As soon as you get in there will be a sewer grate in front of you. Don't waste any time.  Go into that.  Then we will be in the Thieves Way.  Our next objective is East Freeport  where hopefully we can track Tari." with out waitng for a response she walked through the gate and following her own instructions jumped into the grate just inside.

Brienae followed landing in the water below with a soft "Eeew" as she was forced to swim in the water that Tetri was standing in.  She swam to the edge where there was enough of a ledge for her to stand on.

~~~~

"That's more like it," Tari said as she scooped all the coins into her coin purse. "I'll meet cha here tomorrow. If that don't work tell the keep where I can meetcha. She then looked at the ogre "Or better yet..." she pulled  out a wooden coin engraved with a breastplate and a dagger around the edge was printed "Clearshadow Armory" Tari looked into his drunk eyes and hoped he was sober enough to listen "That is a bussiness coin for my other business. Should ya decide to meet somewhere else take that to Salzrissar Ariesez in Neriak.  He's a member of my gang and he will see that I get word of where to meet cha."  she waited for confirmation that the drunk arasai understood before dashing out the door as she pulled her hood back over her head again only showing her red eyes.

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Old 02-01-2011, 08:16 PM   #58
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Charlie stayed in the back and made sure that Bella and Aloysiius made it through the grate, then he hopped down, pulling it shut behind them. 

Bella's delicate nose wrinkled up, her whiskers twitching irratably as she remembered that she was wearing her new robes.  Charlie ignored the rancid water seeping over the tops of his paldrons.  

"It's been a while since I was down here."  He muttered.   

~*~

It wasn't long before the little bell over the door rang and a red-haired woman of human and elfin heiratage entered.

"Good evening, Bella."  The woman said, cheerfully, closing the door behind her.  She sniffed.  "Did-did you burn something?  It smells like my kitchen in here."

"Er, yis, I's burned some muffins."

"Oh, so, do you want to hold off on my cooking lessons?  We can work on Illusions if you'd rather."  She noticed the Squire sitting at the table.  "Hello, Pepin."

Pepin looked away as his cheek flushed red.  "G-Good evening, Miss. Redmantle."

"You can call me Llew, I've told you that before."  Llewenayah dropped a bag onto the table and sat down across from him.  "Are you alright, Pepin?  You look a fright."

Pepin's face turned a deeper shade of red as he raised a hand and tried to brush the flour from his brown hair, but he only managed to get some of the sticky fruit pulp added to the ear length hair.  "I was helping in the kitchen."  He muttered.

Llew smiled and pulled a handkerchief and a flask of water from her pocket.  She wet the lace hemmed handkerchief and leaned over the table to wipe his cheek.  Pepin reached up and took the wet cloth from her and cleaned the rest of his face, finding some seeds stuck in his short cropped beard.

Llew smiled.  "So, Bella, cooking or Illusions today?"

~*~

Hoddmimir examined the coin, saw two coins, swaying back and forth in front of him and shook his head, depositing it into one of the many pockets of his robes.  He paid his tab and hopped down, flying slightly crookedly and headed home, his spirits buoyed by the thought of his books, revenge and a couple steins of Gnomish Spirits.  His mood improved and his judgement impaired he begain to sing as he floated through the streets.

"Froglok soup! Froglok soup!

Ooey-gooey, chewy, Froglok soup!

Seared Rat Stew is fine

and Candied Fae Wings are divine,

but nothing beats, a heaping scoop

of good ol' fashioned Froglok Soup!

Froglok soup! Froglok soup!

Ooey-gooey, chewy, Froglok soup!"

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Old 02-02-2011, 11:13 AM   #59
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Once everyone was down Tetriemmy led them to the grates leading to the main cities. She waited for everyone to catch up. "Brienae, you're going to have to do something about your hair,"

Brienae blinked "Why what's wrong with it?" She padded her red bun making sure all of the hairs were in place.

Tetriemmy sighed "That's the problem Cub, some arasai have your complexion but none keep their hair like that."

"oh... right," she shuddered as she pulled pins out of the neat bun and shook her head unleashing a wavy purple frosted red curtain down to the middle of her back.

Tetriemmy nodded "Better. Bella based on how long it's been I would suggest changing your look somehow as I'm sure there are wanted posters with your image." She looked at her own paws and sighed "Due to my upbringing... I can not so easily slip into my ratongan accent. I sometimes slip into when angry.... but over all I can not control it... so I myself will be in diguise when we get up there.  As here in Freeport a Ratonga without the accent would be a bit strange."

"But how will we recognize you if you disguise yourself once you're up there?"

"You'll recognize me," Tetriemmy smiled just before climbing up into East Freeport.  As soon as she was in the alley the leaves swirled around her transforming her into a lioness with the right eye white as though filled with clouds.

Brienae followed right behind her.  She emerged just as the transformation was complete.

~~~

Tari shrugged and headed to the Broken Tail Tavern in East Freeport where a ratonga waited for her

"You's early.  I likes thats.  Howevers does you has its?"

Tari handed him the scroll.

"Goods.... Goods, this scrolls legends." He clicked his fingers and a dark elf counted out 100 plat.

"Now where's Bikli?"

"Caught." Tari lied she really didn't know or care what had happened to the wood elf coercer.

"Gives Clearshadow half Bikli's share,"

"Half!" Tari shouted.

"Or nothings. Yours picks Clearshadow."

"Half is good,"

"Smarts Girls."

The dark elf handed her another fify plat.

"We'lls be in touch Clearshadow,"

Tari nodded and flew back to Neriak.  She stopped by her inn room and collected Copper and then glided to Salzrissar's lab.

"I see you're back Lady Tari."

"Not for long Sal.  I've gotta another job.  Listen there's an arasai I told im to seek ya out if he wants ta meet somewhere else.  Keep an eye out for im.  He's got green skin and he has an undead frog with im,"

"I will keep my eyesss peeled," The iksar promised.

Tari nodded before heading to the wizard spire. She landed in Antonica moments later and made her way to the down below.  Copper followed her with eager enthusiasm.  She popped her head out into the sunlight of South Qeynos and after crawling out held the grate open for her comapnion.  They hid in the shadows as a guard passed by.  Tari sighed as she pulled her hood back to release her hair. "Whaddya think?" she asked the owlbear.

He just growled.

The pair glided down the street hiding when Tari saw a guard.  They came to the bakery.  "Well that was easy," she muttered. Copper wrinkled his nose and roared with anticipation.  "Ya can eat after I have what I came for," Tari promised as she walked into the bakery.  She had already planned a story which would help her find her target. She watched the half-breed elf and what was clearly not her target discussing something.  She held Copper by the scruff of his neck preventing him from charging the pastries in front of him.  She hissed to her pet in Thexian "Patience you idiot,"

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Old 02-02-2011, 05:28 PM   #60
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Aloysiius climbed up as Bella pulled out some dark glasses and an old pair of faded brown robes.  Illusions were great, but for some things she prefered a non-magic result.  More than once one of her spells had failed at an unfortunate moment.  She slipped into an alcove and changed, pulling the hood up.  Charlemin flipped the visor of his helm down and helped her up, then he followed.  Bella eyed Tetri as they emerged. 

"Big kitty."  She muttered.

Charlemin climbed up after and closed the grate.  "Bella, your-"  He paused and sighed, glancing around.  "Yours Personaes."

Bella looked at Cheddar, who still wore the pink robes.  She quickly dismissed the pet and recast the spell.  "We's can'ts use our names here, calls me, er... Meary Guld."

"I'll be Snorri Stirl."  Aloysiius said.  He looked at Charlemin, who was thinking.  Al patted the Ratonga on the shoulder.  "You can be Sigemund Santen."

"Sigemunds, fines."

"Miss. Guld, I believe this might be a good time to use the scroll that Mr. Mandragore so thoughtfully gave us."

The Ratonga smiled.  "Yous is corrects, Snorris."

"Scrolls?"  Charlemin asked as Bella/Meary dove back into her bag again.

"We were out because one of her neighbors was casting spells for us to find the scroll.  He made us a tracking scroll that should help."

Bella unrolled the scroll and read the instructions.  A quick cast and the scroll becan to crumble away, its purpose done.  Bella looked around and saw a glowing yellow line at her feet that twisted and turned out of sight along the street.  "I's thinks wes follows this."  She said, indicating the line.

"Follow what?"  Aloysiius asked.

"The line."

"The spell probably only shows to you since you cast it.  We'll have to follow you."  Charlemin said.

"Accent."  Aloysiius muttered.  Charlemin nodded.

"Everyones readys thens?"  Bella looked around and once everyone had answered she cautiously led them to the street.  They followed the whisp and soon came to a tavern.  "Is insides theres."  She muttered, glancing at the off duty Militiamen lounging around the enterance to the building, each laughing rowdily over a tankard.

~*~

Ratatoska turned to the new customer.  "Hellos hellos!  Welcomes to Bella's Bakerys!  Hows may I's helps yous todays?"

Llew leaned over to Pepin and whispered quietly.  "You should probably go get cleaned up."

"I promised Sir. Cragmure that I'd keep an eye on his sister."

Llew rolled her eyes.  "He's being an overly protective brother, it'll be fine.  We're in the middle of Qeynos, for Tunare's sake.  It's not like Nagafin and Mistmore are going to skip in holding hands, for a cupcake.  Go clean yourself up."

Pepin sighed and nodded.  He stood, the bench scrapeing against the wooden floorboards and went upstairs to the water stump.

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