Post by Ronny Serio on Apr 9, 2015 13:51:45 GMT -6
Marcel had no idea what these maniacs were on about, but he was in a good mood from his earlier excursion and decided he'd play along.
"Well first of all, I'm a confirmed bachelor, so don't you believe that crazy wench claiming to be my wife, and that definitely ain't my kid, he don't look a thing like me," Marcel said with a smile, jabbing Jake with a playful elbow. "But supposing I did have a wife and child and somebody made their way into my home with ill intentions..." Marcel drew his sword and performed a quick thrust off to the side. "I'd have a thing or two to say about that, you better believe. Don't matter if it's an elf, a man or a goblin. A man's home is his castle, after all."
It was all bluster. Back in the Slum Quarter, the couple times somebody had stumbled on Joaquim and Marcel's hideout, they'd fled or hid, content to wait and avoid a fight whenever possible. But Marcel figured he'd tell these men what he thought they wanted to hear. It was a tactic that had always served him well.
Post by scottenkainen on Apr 13, 2015 12:36:14 GMT -6
Day 7/Turn 14 for Ximo:
Ximo almost got in trouble on his first try. At Lamarca's Inn, he was stopped at the entrance and asked his business -- politely at first, but then the interview turned hostile.
"We do not talk about our patrons here, and certainly not to just anyone who walks in off the street claiming to work for them! Now, out with you, or I'll be forced to summon the city watch!"
However, Ximo was far more successful in the stables, where the hands there just laughed about his encounter.
"That sounds like Sofronio!" one of the girl stable hands laughed. "He's Lamarca's general manager and takes his responsibilities way too seriously."
After giving her a gold piece, the tomboy-ish young woman added, "You're looking for the Lord of Penwick, right? He comes here to our inn most times, I'd wager. For this dandy gift," she said, flipping the coin, "I'll gladly come let you know when he's arrived. Provided you're not up to anything devious, are you?"
After assuring her he was not, Ximo left, perhaps a little surprised to have been so successful this soon. He was considering going to Zeru's anyway and checking there, and was heading in that direction, when he observed Marcel coming out of Jake's Arms & Armor, talking to a man carrying a crossbow.
Post by scottenkainen on Apr 13, 2015 12:43:53 GMT -6
Day 7/Turn 10-14 for Marcel:
Jake found Marcel's humor worth a hearty laugh, but Marcel's new 'friend' seemed to miss the humor and kept on the subject.
"Certainly, his castle, yes -- but supposing you did have a wife and child, and the intruders have tied them up..." he described almost gleefully, as if he imagined this scenario a lot, "and they have swords too. Wouldn't you want to shoot them with a crossbow first? Then you can run them through with your sword, while they're lying there on the floor..."
Marcel was trying to extricate himself from this new 'friendship' by leaving, but the man followed him outside. That was when Ximo spotted him.
Ximo was glad to see Marcel, he had a niggling memory that perhaps he and Joaquim owed him some of the plunder from the goblin lair. And now the big man had also fallen in with one of the crossbow-toting men that Ximo was interested in getting to know better. He walked over and made sure Marcel noticed him.
"My good man," Ximo addressed him. "How are you today? I was hoping I'd run into you."
Ximo turned to address the other man, "I hope you'll accept my apologies but my friend and I have something to discuss of a personal and private nature. Would you excuse us?"
Once they were free of the man, Ximo spoke to Marcel, "How are you today? I have been hoping to find you or Joaquim. I have need of some of the gold gained from the items we looted from the goblins. What would be my share?"
Post by Ronny Serio on Apr 13, 2015 21:07:39 GMT -6
Marcel's relief at being rescued from the crossbow fanatic quickly evaporated. He'd rather be listening to deranged torture fantasies than discussing coin with a friend. It tended to be a quick way to sour relationships. Marcel decided to get it over with quickly. "I've got nothing for you, friend. It was every man for himself on that loot grab. I don't know what you managed to find, or any of the other half dozen men down there. I do know I've not had anyone offering me up a share of their spoils. I'll not be giving up any of mine. Maybe if we all end up going back in there we can work out some arrangement ahead of time."
"Don't be so glum," Marcel said with a smile. He took a deep breath and turned his face to the sun. "It's a fine day. I know a young lady at Zeru's Maroon Mon Inn that could cheer you up for a few gold pieces."
"I have no interest in spending money on that sort of thing right now," Ximo answered curtly. Then he continued, "We will be needing a more clear agreement about valuables. I had heard the phrase no honor among thieves but had not thought it applied to our little group. I hope in the future we can come up with something better as our motto."
Ximo fell into step with Marcel, "Moving on...I'm guessing Joaquim has filled you in on some of what happened at the Silver Consortium. Have you done anything of similar interest in this quest?"
Post by Ronny Serio on Apr 14, 2015 12:02:59 GMT -6
If Ximo's rebuke had been intended to sting, the man had missed the mark. Thieves, Marcel well knew, had a very real sense of honor. The particulars of that code, however, differed greatly from the well-born's view of honor. Marcel didn't bother to voice the distinction. If Ximo was prepared to move past the whole incident, than he was content to do the same.
"Much seems to be happening at the Silver Consortium as of late. They've quickly established themselves as big players in the battle against the Flaming Eye. Joaquim has managed to insert himself as the go-between for the mages and the Church. As soon as one or the other is prepared to move, a combined effort will be joined. In the meantime, we must but wait. I have seen to some business matters earlier this morning and now idle away the afternoon enjoying what amusements the Dawn Quarter can provide. What has brought you to this quaint district?"
"I have received word that my liege lord, the Baron of Penwich, is coming to the city. I am seeking out his planned quarters. I was going to return to the Molten Spigot to wile away the rest of the afternoon."
Ximo made the next turn in that direction before continuing, "I also learned that there is to be a major ceremony on Godsday, two days hence, with many of the City and Viscounty's leaders will be there. I am planning to attend in case the Cult decides it might make a worthy target for some evil."
Post by Ronny Serio on Apr 14, 2015 20:38:05 GMT -6
"I've heard nothing of this," Marcel said, concern evident in his voice. "What manner of ceremony? Joaquim had foreseen such a thing and specifically asked members of the Church if any such celebrations were in the planning, but we never got answer. I've no doubt whatever it is will factor into the cult's plan."
"I paid little heed except that it is a grander version of the usual Godsday services. I had planned to spend my day investigating the Trithereon gatherings but I think I would rather see what happens at the Cathedral. From a safe distance, that is."
As they walked Ximo fell silent to contemplate the swirling storylines of the city. Then he spoke again, "I saw Caltaran again. He told a fabulous tale of imprisonment and evil sorcery. It seemed almost too much to believe but the priests confirmed it. I'm still not sure he is a safe one to associate with, though."
Post by Ronny Serio on Apr 15, 2015 14:31:22 GMT -6
Marcel chuckled. "Now that fella has been having some bad days. I near broke his jaw when he came into the Bronze Unicorn. Joaquim threw a bottle of wine at him. Attempt to avoid him all you like, but I'm sure it won't stop him from trying. The man is nothing if not tenacious."
Post by scottenkainen on Apr 16, 2015 9:14:36 GMT -6
After chit-chatting ((feel free to continue finishing up here)), Ximo said his good-byes to Marcel, after their somewhat strained encounter. He headed off to the Business Quarter ((Where I'll post for him next!))
Ximo had avoided the heavy porridge but taken some of the anchovies to munch on as he walked to the Dawn Quarter. He was just wiping his hands off when he came to Lamarca's. If there was no sign of his master he planned to try Zeru's which looked like the nicer of the two when compared to the Lyre place.
Post by scottenkainen on May 12, 2015 8:59:49 GMT -6
Day 8/turn 2 for Ximo:
Ximo's hands were clean when he walked up to Lamarca's Inn. It certainly looked promising -- there were fresh banners hanging over the entrance and an armed guard patrolling out front. He circled around to the stables and was lucky to find the stable girl there, drinking from a flask.
"What are you doing here?" she said. "I thought you told me to come around to your inn if this baron of yours showed up here. No, not yet -- but they're very clearly expecting an important guest soon, aren't they? I've been told I have to clean up the stables! And what do my stables usually look like, I'd like to know? Oh, my name's Louise."
Confident that the baron could not be found at Lamarca's yet, Ximo found time to swing by Zeru's and check there.
And it seemed he was just in time -- there was staff and guards waiting out in front and even some musicians with horns! A fresh sidewalk of wooden planks had been laid out over the mire of the street.
Ximo waited and 10 minutes later was rewarded by the arrival of a carriage flanked by knights on destriers in barding. The footman hopped off the carriage when it stopped in front of the inn and announced "The Baron of Oakham!" to fanfare.
A lord and lady emerged from the carriage -- but the lord was clearly not the Baron of Penwich.
Ximo had no idea who the Baron of Oakham was but he knew he wasn't the man he was looking for. So he headed back to Lamarca's Inn to wait and see if the Baron of Penwich would be arriving there soon. If anyone tried to shoo him away he would reply to them with the power of his office - member of the Lord of Penwich's household staff and there to present himself to his lord as required.
Post by scottenkainen on May 15, 2015 20:14:20 GMT -6
Day 8/turn 3 for Ximo:
Ximo returned to Lamarca's Inn and waited. It was getting on in the morning now and he realized that his chance of finishing his web spell training today was in jeopardy from staying here so long.
No one tried to shoo Ximo away, but he did get lots of suspicious stares from the inn's staff as they came and went.
Finally, about an hour before noon, someone from the inn came back with four soldiers of the Viscount's Standing Army. They looked at Ximo after the servant spoke to them and then approached him, or rather three did while the fourth slowed down to load his crossbow.
"You there!" the lead soldier said to Ximo. "You're under arrest for loitering. Come with us."
((The 3 soldiers are 20' away and closing, while the 4th soldier is 35' away. They are between Ximo and the inn's front door. There is an entrance to the adjoining stable that Ximo might be able to reach before them. He can always run down the street, run into a gap between buildings across the road -- though it appears to be full of bushes -- or use some cover such as one might find around a medieval city street.))
Ximo decided to stand his ground. When the three soldiers were near enough for ordinary conversation he spoke, "I am Ximo the Humble and I have legitimate business here. I am a member of the court of Lord Penwich and a member of the Silver Consortium in good standing. Do not lay a hand on me."
If this worked Ximo would then see if he could get these guardsmen to help him in his morning plans. Of course, if it didn't work he'd have to find another way out of this.
Post by scottenkainen on May 19, 2015 21:37:35 GMT -6
Day 8/turn 3a for Ximo:
Ximo's claim of working for nobility gave the soldiers pause. They would look at each other, one of them would begin to talk, and then they'd look at each other again. "Look," one of them said at last. "Maybe you are and maybe you aren't, but you can't just hang around in front of this inn all day. Security is tight around here, for reasons you would know if you work for who you say you do. You're worrying the staff at the inn...so we're going to have to ask you to move along."
"Just a warning, this time," another soldier said, for clarification.
"Very good," Ximo decided he would just come back in the afternoon or evening. He waved to the stable lass and informed her that he could be reached at the Consortium if Penwich arrived. With that he headed for the Consortium and his lesson.
Post by scottenkainen on May 28, 2015 21:58:44 GMT -6
Day 8/turn 6 for Ximo: Ximo had not been allowed to cast his new spell; his instructor had disrupted his spell just before he could complete casting it.
"The classroom is insufficient in size and I would rather not be buried in webbing," she had explained.
So it would be tomorrow when Ximo would get to prepare and use this spell for the first time, if he chose to.
But, as exciting as that was, it was quickly eclipsed by finding out that Baron Cornett, Lord of Penwich, had arrived in his absence.
Apparently, this had changed the situation since Ximo was last here. Instead of being treated with suspicion, he was escorted inside as if someone important.
"Show him in," Ximo heard the baron say from outside his suite. Was the Baron looking a little older? No, that wasn't possible...though it did sometimes feel like Ximo had been here in the city a lot longer than just a few days. The Baron was sitting in a nice chair, his wife sitting beside him. Some of his usual courtiers -- all colleagues, but not friends, of Ximo's -- stood about, but were shooed out post-haste, other than one bodyguard who seldom left the Baron's side.
"I have heard dark rumors of my son already, Ximo," the Baron said. "Why has it taken you so long to find him?"
In the past Ximo had been slightly tongue-tied when speaking before the Baron. But the fast week had wrought a change in him. He was still nervous but much more confident than in the past.
"I have heard the same dark rumors, milord. I have not been able to confirm them, however and did not wish to bring news to you until I had been able to confirm them. But I will tell you what I have learned.
"I have it from one mercenary, a Tain, that Vicent accompanied him and another into Dieg Manor. This Tain, by his own behavior and his associations, seems unreliable to me. But to make matters worse he has disappeared and I cannot locate him. The tale he told is still horrible to contemplate. Tain says Vicent fought bravely but met his end at the hands of a dark knight and his men-at-arms within the manor. The Church has forbidden any quest to investigate this story but I have found signs that a dread secret society may be behind the affair."
Ximo took a breath, "I'm sure you have questions. But let me close by saying that no one in this city's circles of influence has made any effort to find or, if necessary, avenge your son. I have been working largely alone with only minor aid."
Post by scottenkainen on Jun 1, 2015 21:21:13 GMT -6
Day 8/Turn 6a for Ximo:
Baron Cornett was on his feet and pacing the room before Ximo was finished. "Outrageous!" he shouted several times. "Murdered by some knight errant, and a church cover-up? I can't believe it! I have always trusted the Temple of the Heavenly Virtues implicitly!" Not knowing who else to turn to, he turned to his wife and asked, "Can you believe it?"
"I can't," she said. Ximo knew the Lady of Penwich to be a woman of few words, though her face did register much concern.
"I am meeting with the Viscount tomorrow, but that's not soon enough," the Baron continued. "Ah! The Mayor! I could meet with the Mayor tonight! And a high priest of the temple! Ximo, can you help me get to either of these men?"
"Milord, I have had no dealings with the Mayor or city authorities. But I have had some productive encounters with members of the church hierarchy. Though I am not certain how highly placed. I think these titles are purposely obtuse. None of them so lofty as a high priest, I am only an apprentice clerk after all. But perhaps if we got to meet with one of the clergymen I know, your own rank and authority could force a meeting with a high priest?"
Simon was trying to figure out who would be more highly ranked, Gutxi Azarola or Gaizka Alamilla. He felt confident he could get a meeting with Azarola but wondered if Amarilla might have greater access.
Post by scottenkainen on Jun 2, 2015 22:59:45 GMT -6
Day 8/Turn 6b for Ximo:
Ximo -- or Simon, as Baron Cornett sometimes called him (the Baron always seemed terrible at remembering his name) -- was indeed confident that Prefect Gaizka Alamilla outranked Subdeacon Gutxi Azarola, despite the Prefect being much younger.
"Simon, you're coming with me," the Baron said. His bodyguard, though not addressed in that sentence, came along as well. "I'll have answers..." the Baron grumbled as they left.
The Baron's servants were all over the inn, so when it became clear he was leaving abruptly, a mad scramble was made to reach the stables and prepare his carriage, so it would be waiting by the time he reached the street. They succeeded. Not only that, but the Baron's footman was speaking to the innkeeper at the entrance and Ximo overheard them.
"The Temple? The Inner Bailey, on the hill at the heart of the city. But it's getting late and the gates should be closed already..."
"Gates," Baron Cornett complained, having overheard the same thing. "I'll have them knocked down if they try to keep me out."
((My next post for Ximo will likely be in the Inner Bailey tomorrow))
Ximo was glad to have come to the attention of the Baron. But he was unsure if he wanted to be in the middle of a clash between the man and a high priest. But then perhaps he could use this opportunity to learn things the priests would not have shared with a lowly clerk. He put a serious look on his face and sat up straight. He figured that in the end it would be fun to watch this night unfold.