Duskbound

JSJ_2000

Active Member
Benefactor

“Uhhh…Hainer? I-I need some help, the net is too heavy!” A man spoke, hesitantly and with uncertainty in his voice. He gripped the rope, trying to pull the net out of the water that presumably contained fish. Hainer raised a brow, looking at the man, and then glancing at the net he was struggling with.

“Give that to me, you dolt!” Shoving the man aside, Hainer grasped the rope and took a wide stance. Slowly but surely, he started to pull the net out of the water, with another dock worker running over to help him. The net emerged out of the water, a gigantic fish revealing to be inside. It flopped and struggled, unaware of its surroundings, frothing the water around it. Hainer and his employee pulled the fish onto the dock, continuing to flail and put a fight. “Someone, club it!” Hainer shouted, signalling another one of his employees to run over. He wielded a small club, and swung it at the fish’s head a few times until stopped moving. Hainer then looked at the man that he had pushed aside earlier, before pulling the net in. “Seriously? Do I have to do everything for you?” Hainer approached the man, standing right in front of him and getting rather close to his face. “Look around you.” Hainer said to the man, in a rather upset tone. “Do you see all these people working? This is a busy dock, and that’s not even half of it. I have to deal with my quarry too, and then my debtors over the next few days, I don’t have time to tell you how to do your job. If you can’t cut it, I’m going to get rid of you. Do you understand?” Hainer looked at the man sternly in the face, fed up with the lack of work ethic.

“Y-yes, sir. I. just -” The man responded, until Hainer cut him off again.

“No, I don’t want to hear your excuses! Just get back to work, I already have enough on my plate as it is.” Hainer shouted at him, before turning around to walk off. He sighed to himself, muttering something under his breath. He hated doing his morning errands, for reasons like he just encountered. Not a day went by where some sort of problem didn’t arise. There was always something going on by either an employee, or the job itself and it was days like today where he seriously considered shutting everything down just to have time to himself. However, checking up on the docks was crossed off his daily list at least, and now he could move on to collecting his debt in town, before heading out to the quarry.

~​

Moving through town, Hainer felt a bit more relaxed. It was a rather pleasant sunny day, which did indeed lighten his mood a bit. Not to mention the Hive district was exceptionally busy today, with people bustling around and kids playing about, which was a nice change of pace from the usual dreary vibe that blanketed the city.

“Going for a walk?” A voice spoke. Hainer turned his body, to see his grandfather standing there behind him.

“You could say that.” Hainer responded, giving a slight chuckle. “Luckily the only debtor I need to collect from this week, is Ben.” Hainer said, continuing to walk. His grandfather picked up the pace a bit to catch up to his grandson, and walked beside him.

“The handyman?” His grandfather asked.

Hainer nodded. “Yeah, that’s the one. He’s usually getting piss-drunk during the day, away from his wife.” Hainer couldn’t control people’s bad habits, but even he thought Ben needed a good smack in the face. The man would lie to his wife about going to work, but be too busy drinking his life away at the tavern. And when his wife questioned why he wasn’t bringing home any money, he turned to Hainer for a bit of a loan to cover his grounds.

“Well…try not to go too hard on him.” His grandfather said.

“Can’t make any promises, I’m a busy guy and I need to do this quickly. I still have to get to the Quarry, and see if everyt"hing is going okay there.” Hainer sighed, as he continued to walk.

“Oh, I just checked on the Quarry.” His grandfather responded. Hainer stopped in his tracks, turning his gaze to his grandpa.

“You did?” He asked, surprised. Hainer liked to do things on his own, however, he wasn’t against his work load being a bit lighter.

“Yep! Nothing out of the ordinary at all. There was some issue with someone needing the day off, but I let him.” He said. Hainer raised a brow, looking at his grandfather almost as if he was studying him. It wasn’t that he didn’t believe him, it was just…he wanted to check on things himself. “Besides, the execution is today remember? You won’t have enough time to go to the Quarry, and then back into town to see it.” He said.

“Oh, is that today?!” Hainer’s face lit up, surprised that he had completely forgot about the execution that was supposed to take place. “Well, I’m glad you took care of the Quarry then. Who’s the poor bastard that’s going up?” He asked his grandpa.

“It’s some thief. I don’t know his name, but he’s from The Willows. He thieves around, and he’s been given one too many warnings, so apparently the Mayor just wants him killed.” His grandpa shrugged.

“Well, that’s The Willows for you. Seriously, they make me sick. If it was up to me, I’d do a sweep of that place. How many chances are you going to give those people.” Hainer looked up at the sky, in thought.

“Hainer…not everyone was privileged like you growing up.” His grandpa said.

“Privileged? Father didn’t hand anything to me. I had to work for this. I could have just as easily been a bum, and not get anything form the business, and live my life in The Willows. Or better yet, move to some other town and be just as miserable. You either fight to get out of your situation, or stay rotting in the ditch.” Hainer shouted as his grandfather, hitting a nerve. If it was one thing that got under his skin, it was the notion that he doesn’t work hard.

His grandfather stood there, simply sighing as a response. Oh Hainer…one day you’ll grasp things better.

 

Jag

Cranky Kong
Moderator
Nexus GM
Depths of Osiris GM
Naked.

That’s how Amalia Trelles felt without the comforting tension of the curved bow pressing against her back. She’d arrived in the city with it, of course, but she couldn’t reasonable walk about the city with something like that strapped across her – not a Dhenari in the great city of Ivesburg. It wasn’t far away, wrapped tightly in the corner of the pitiful, dinger excuse for a “room” she barely afforded at some nameless inn tucked away in the Willows, but Amalia still longed for the its sudden embrace as she ducked beneath the cloth outhang of a merchant stall.

The City. It was loud, cramped, dirty, and dangerous. It was everything she’d been taught to loathe and fear from a distance since childhood. Dhenari elders spoke of glorious times when their people weren’t dependent on the City, even the Outfield, when they subsisted completely on their own. That was generations ago, at least, and the world was quickly catching up to them. The world, it seemed, was getting smaller.

The City. Despite all of that, Amalia somehow found it terrifying, fascinating, and beautiful in its own twisted way.

Clad in boots that were better suited for mountainside passes than city streets, graceful footsteps carried the girl’s sleek frame through the market amid a sea of color and smell as merchant’s hocked their wares. The shawl wrapped over Amalia’s torso and shoulders, rising to a thin hood covering her head, was a light gray with streaks of red from an obvious homemade dye. The craftsmanship was apparent.

Going home still wasn’t an option. By her best guest, the mountain pass wouldn’t be safe to travel for another three weeks, and even then it was incredibly dangerous for another two months. Still, she had very little Ivesburg coin left and previous little to trade with at this point. She might be able to sweet talk to the innkeeper into another night past this one, but that was pushing it as far as she dared.

So, out of a strange combination of boredom and desperation, she took to the streets once again. After all, if she was stuck here, might as well see something worth telling over the fire back home when this was all over.

Amalia was so caught up the sights of the market that she barely had time to react when a scuffle between merchant and patron broke out beside her. The two men hurled themselves to the side in a shoving match over the price, barreling through the young Dhenari. She stumbled back a few steps, deft feet working to restore the earth beneath her, when her own shoulder crashed into the form of another.

The hood fell immediately away from raven locks tied into a tight braid along the side of the girl’s head as she spun around, muttering some curse in a language few in Ivesburg would recognize, pale eyes scanning to assess what, or who, she’d hit.
 

Dan

Consort of Mu Beijiang★
Benefactor
The creaking of stairs made the Blacksmith turn her attention from the sword to the bottom of the staircase, she could see the figure of her old man emerging from the darkness. The light in his eyes resigned from the worry sitting on his mind, “Thought you could leave without a goodbye, Old Man?” Fatima spoke, turning her head back to the sword.

Nekrim lingered by the staircase for a moment before joining his niece at the table. He took a seat and looked at the sword, it was his brother’s sword and looked like it was newly made; Fatima simply restored it to its former glory. His glance slid to her, she had a grim look. The air was sombre, Nekrim hadn’t touched his brother’s blade since…well, last night.

“I don’t want you to go.” She firmly stated, turning her angered gaze to match his own.

“Fatima, I—” Nekrim was interjected by the silent tear that went down her cheek.

She wiped it away, “No. The goddamn mayor can find another Alchemist.” She was angry, but of course she would be. Nekrim had expected her to protest against this decision.

Nekrim was a brash man, sure, but Fatima was his only weakness in this dreary world. He placed a hand on her shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze, “The Mayor didn’t ask me, I volunteered.” He admitted. He’d been so secretive with her these past few weeks; he knew her well enough that she hated when he wasn’t upfront with her.

“I never expected you, of all people, to not trust me.” She made a clenched fist with her left hand, “You probably think I’m too weak, too emotional to take the brunt of the news, but trust me—I can and will. Like you’ve reminded me so many times, it's easier to let things out in the open, no matter what.”

Nekrim let her words echo in his head, he closed his own eyes for a moment before looking away and letting his hand fall from her shoulder, “If I told you, you would follow me.” He looked to the sword, grabbing it and inspecting it closer.

“Which is why it’s better to tell me these things than keep them secretive from me. I had to learn from Mrs. Parsons, down the street, that her husband was asked to leave too—and he left last night.” Fatima’s tone was only getting angrier, but it still stung with the sadness clinging to it.

“Mrs. Parsons is delusional, child. Her husband’s been dead since last week.” Nekrim brought this grim news to her.

“What?!” Fatima’s eyes widening at the news, “B-but how? Why?”

“I cannot say, girl.” Nekrim places the sword into the scabbard besides it and stands up, “But know this, I don’t plan on dying anytime soon.”

Fatima eyed him suspiciously, she wondered if he was getting too old to be doing what he could handle these days. The thing about being a human, time was something you could and never have at the same time, “But you do owe me an explanation once you get back from wherever it is, you’re going.” She says.

He resigns a sigh of relief, “That much, I do owe you…and so much more when you take over my orders from here.” Nekrim gets to the next point, “I don’t know when I’ll be back, but I wouldn’t let you work blind without guidance. There’s a journal I track orders of, it’s on shelf where the viles are stored for study. I have to go now.” He explains just as the sun’s rays reach over the horizon beyond the window.

“Wait- aren’t you going to ask me why or how I restored father’s sword?” She inquired.

“There’s no time, Fatima.” Nekrim secures it to his hip and hides it underneath his cloak.

“Well, can you at least thank me?” Fatima added, she was teasing, of course.

“Thank you.” Nekrim says as he gives her a quick hug, one unexpected by her yet she returns it as well. Nekrim seems in a rush to go wherever it is he’s going, but she doesn’t question it. At least, not yet.

“Be sure to bring me back a souvenir!” She yells after him as the door secures shut.

She gets up off the chair and wipes away any other tears, giving herself new black stains across her cheeks. Fatima didn’t let emotions guide her for the remainder of the morning as she finished the order from last night. By noon, her client had come to collect his prize and he was pleased with the fine craftsmanship that his coin paid for. Fatima had pending orders, but she needed to take care of the orders that were ready to be delivered from Nekrim’s side of the shop. The young blacksmith went from her side of the room to his. Nekrim was an organized man, he even had labels along the walls and stationary. Hardly a speck of dust in his work space, but that would be questioned later when Fatima entered his space.

“Old Man sure works like a maid.” She mutters to herself. The thing about Fatima is she hardly thought before taking action. Her dirtied hands touched clean surfaces, papers, and glass before she realized where the black stains where coming from. Fatima cursed herself to oblivion before heading to the sink to wash her hands off then returning back to find the blasted journal she needed.

The Journal held Nekrim’s clients’ addresses and what each of them needed from him. Fatima never understood why he didn’t take his own words into accountability when he delivered them directly to their doors. Why he always said that she needed to be brash and assertive with her clients when he barely followed his own advice. Maybe he didn’t want to admit that he had gone soft for the people of Ivesburg, maybe his ego was just too inflated.

“His work is gonna kill him one day, for sure.” She remarked, thinking about how often he made trips to The Willows for some unknown reason, one she couldn’t grasp since she’s always avoided that area.

She easily found the sack containing the herbs, potions, and medicines within it. Slinging it over her head and to her shoulder as she looked at the first addresses to head off to. One thing for sure, she wasn’t heading into The Willows till later. The first person on her list was some noble who lived in the richer parts of the area, maybe the Old Man wasn’t as stupid as he sounded; his list made its way down from the nobles to the peasants. Fatima secured her club to her waist belt, alongside tools she would need for later when she finished her rounds.

Moradi?’ She thought, seeing the client’s name for the first time, ‘I take that back, the Old Man is stupid, after all. No one deals with the Moradi’s without a deal of their own. What the hell are you up to, Old Man?’ But Fatima was wrong, Nekrim was dealing with the older Moradi, not the one that everyone hated. Hainer was a man she hoped never to do business with and so far, she hasn’t. She would rather deal The Willows than deal with that snivelling punk. Fatima set off into town with an added weight to her shoulders.
 
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Bygones

Moonchild
It was a busy day, it seemed that everyone was out while the weather was nice enough to get daily chores and work done before it turned on them again. Millicent liked all the hustle and bustle, it was getting a little too quiet around here, and more traffic around the plaza made for an easier transaction of a fresh batch of Salva. She had her back leaned against a wooden post outside of Ivesburg general goods store, just people watching mostly, taking account of everyone that came into her view. Millicent had a steady eye upon a young mother that was guiding her child through the crowd, clutching a wicker basket full of produce for the week back home. It was a young boy, with ivory skin just like his mothers, bright eyed and rosy cheeked. He giggled, picking up a few apples that fell from her basket and plopping them back in, for them to only fall out again and again.

How naive was the little tot, he had no idea what this life really entailed just yet-- how could someone bring children into such an unforgiving land? Millicent reminisced days when she too, was just a little girl in a big, wide world.

“That could be you, y’know.” A deep voice croaked.

Millicent shot a deathly glare towards the voices direction. It was Borin, owner of the store that she so casually loitered around, his specialty was poking his nose into everyone's business. Millicent one day hoped she’d chop that nose off and keep it as a warning to anyone who wanted to stick their nose where it didn’t belong. Borin was sweeping clutter and leafs away from his establishment's entrance, and happened to follow Millicent’s gaze while doing so.

“And for what? Just to have my babe slaughtered by those unearthly creatures that run rampant just beyond the city's limit? Or worse, by a petty thief who would rather have a coin in his pocket than spare an innocent life?” She hissed back, eyes still narrowed out at the plaza.

“Tsk, tsk. You and all these women with their newfound ‘independence’. Too damn busy trying to prove themselves equal to the men-- at this rate, Ivesburg will soon be inhabited by a bunch of spinsters.” He droned on and on, and Millicent felt her fist start to clench.

“Ah! I sure am counting on it! It’ll be much more tolerable around here once all you grotesque old men die out.” She spat once again, pushing herself off the post and into the streets.

She was waiting ever so patiently for a customer at that spot, but she should have known that Borin would have a bone to pick with her. They’d have to find her at the usual spot instead. Millicent was now making her way to the tavern, slipping between merchants and the common people every which way, she managed to sneak her hand into a bowl of fruit from a vendor while the seller wasn’t looking and grabbed herself a nice, plump peach to snack on while she walked.

She sank her teeth into the sweet, tender fruit and tried to enjoy possibly her only means of sustaining hunger of the day, though a sudden commotion had her swallowing quickly and setting the peach down to see what all the noise was about. It appeared to be the first cat fight of the day, and Millicent never could back down from watching a good tussle. She bounced around trying to get a decent view, tottling on her tippy toes, but it wasn’t enough. Millicent tired pushing her way into the crowd but ended up teetering backwards and almost falling after bumping into someone. Millicent could hear an inaudible curse as she steadied herself, now being met with a tall, foreign looking woman.

“Watch it, why don’t y--” Millicent was ready to blow her lid off at this innocent stranger but suddenly stopped herself, a smirk beginning to creep across her little white face.

“Ohh, I see. Nice distraction there, very clever. Now, let’s hurry this up before the two make amends. You got the coin?” Millicent’s voice became more hushed, she leaned in closer to the raven haired woman, sorely mistaking her for the Salva buyer.
 

KenżaSheep

That's nice. Put it back.
She seemed small to be a distributor, in his opinion, but perhaps that was a part of the reason why she had been pulled into such a deplorable business.

This girl was definetly the one he was looking for, however. She had been waiting against the pole for far too long to be anyone else; observing the people with a watchful eye rather keen to be considered ordinary. Keetas was about to make his move when she began in a conversation with Borin, the storekeeper, and soon after shoved off the post and walked away. Based on the time of day and direction she was heading, he'd be able to catch her in the traditional tradeplace. No expert distributor would disappear without fulfilling the trade.

Keetas followed inconspicuously behind her. This girl was surprisingly easy to lose among the bustling streets; however, movement of the people came to a halt as bodies gathered closely in observance of a small scuffle, and it seemed this female child couldn't help but to put her peach down and take a look. Or, should he say, try to take a look. The boy stooped low enough to roll his eyes as the distributor mistook a stranger for the buyer, and in the next moment, Keetas stepped up behind the raven-haired woman and smiled politely at the girl.

"There you are. You left your cookies by the storefront, but the shopkeeper wouldn't let me take them to you. You had better come get them before he sells them to a stranger." Keetas' words could not have been more clear.
 

Jag

Cranky Kong
Moderator
Nexus GM
Depths of Osiris GM
The flurry of activity nestled in the sea of human chaos was exactly what Amalia has both come to fear and crave about the city. One on hand, the suffocating closeness of all things made it feel as though she could never take a full breath, as if the very air was something over which one haggled and fought with others just for their fair share. On the other hand, the city seemed to be in a constant intricate dance, intoxicated in is beautiful complexity.

Exactly why Amalia had volunteered to come.

She quickly studied the frame of her unexpected collision. A child? No, not quite, although her frame invites the assumption. Her words, however, were quick and meaningful. A purpose and sharpness to the speech belied age. Maybe not years itself, but experience as an age all its own.

Selai,”Amalia mumbled, adjusting the cloth over her torso before speaking up as deft feet brought her some space. “I didn’t mean-“

Her words didn’t get far before she was cut off by her another face, yet another voice. Everything about this one screamed the City. Eyes were calculating and sharp, as if calculating everything and everyone for a price they surely carried. Eyes she never saw amongst the Dhenari. Instantly Amalia was as intrigued as confused as the newcomer spoke to the girl with the same sort of familiarity the girl offered Amalia.

Immediately, she fell quiet between them, again adjusting her stance with a lightning glance back to the merchant stall that had started this strange meeting.

“You two. Old friends?”
 

Draco Shadowdragon

Unknown Entity
Allister walked down the street obsering his surroundings as he headed back to base. "Such a bore," he groaned to himself. He had thought many times to himself about how he wanted to leave this boring city and explore the world, but he just couldn't get himself to get up and do it. Maybe it was the sense of duty he got from the military.

The air felt nice today and for the most part the people seemed to be in a good mood. As he walked by he saw Borin outside sweeping in front of his shop. "Yo, Borin how's business goin'," he shouted as he approached.

"Oh, you know, same thing, different day," the shop keeper said.

About that time a squabble could be heard breaking out not to far away. Allister raised his hand to his face and sighed. "Well someone needs to break that up before it gets out of hand. I'll see ya later," he said as he took off in the direction of the fight.

"Break it up! Break it up!" He shouted as he ran towards the fight. To anyone looking it would be obvious by the armor that he had on that he was in the military and that was usually enough to break up any fight.
 

Bygones

Moonchild
The woman's confusion had Millicent furrowing her brows, this was either quite the act to put on just for a quick transaction, as buyers would commonly put one on, because of how ashamed they were of buying contraband from a poor, little ratty girl, or Millicent may have been trying to sell Salva to a complete stranger.

Once this scrappy, young man appeared in the mess, coming up with a ridiculously made up story-- Millicent began to piece it together. It in fact was, the latter. He was the buyer, and he was so graciously saving her from making a foolish mistake. She was a bit embarrassed, apparent when her cheeks began to flush and she stepped back a few paces. Millicent quickly reacted, drawing on her fake, cutesy girl act to cover all this up.

“Oh, dear me!” She giggled, her voice significantly higher pitched now. “Pardon me, miss, didn’t mean no harm…Why, yes, I was just looking for my good friend here amidst all this commotion, what would I do without him?” She set eyes on the boy now and grinned. “Ah, you’re a dear, you know that? Come now, I'll have to share a few since you are so kind.” She hooks her arms into his and pulls him away, looking back at the woman once more and smiling.

“What took you so damn long?” Millicent hisses, whipping her head back towards him. “I almost wringed that shopkeeper's neck, I--” She huffs before speaking again, “let’s make this quick.”. Millicent pulls him aside, behind the general goods store; she made haste, as there was the sound of footsteps crunching on leaves, most likely Borin poking around like usual, so she'd have to keep a look out for him.

This was what a typical buyer looked like, a little unpolished, definitely not a part of the upper class, but not as disheveled as most of the Willow people. The Willow people didn’t even purchase Salva, despite the Willows being where it is mass produced, they didn’t have the means to. A few desperate souls would do favors in exchange, but the boss wasn’t satisfied enough with that, favors weren’t going to build an empire, coin was. That’s why they had to spread distribution farther out, into the more wealthier communities. Hiring people like Millicent to do their dirty work. Millicent never saw any upper class fraternizing with the sort though, but heard word that they would send peasants to purchase it for them instead, and in exchange the retriever gets a cut of the dose. Those arrogant fat cats held such entitled egos.

This boy looked around the same age as her, which was an oddity. Most buyers were a bit older, more mature. Was it already spreading to the younger demographics? This made her feel a bit ashamed, she’d seen how this drug affects adults, how would a child handle it? She almost didn’t want to give it to him, but was curious to see how it would fare on him at the same time. She’d never even touched the stuff, it was contained in a jar to make it seem as if it were baking powder or something of the other, though it’s distinct odor and color made it easily recognizable if a soldier or nosy shopkeeper were to spot it. She never really thought about what she was doing by doing this, it was all just quick coin for her.

Millicent digs in a small satchel secured around her waist and pulls out the jar of Salva, taking a moment to study it before exchanging. “Why do you want the stuff anyways? What’s so great about it?” She was hesitant to give it to him, drumming her fingers along the glass as she eyed it more.

“Shouldn’t you be training to be a soldier, or something? A father? A priest, perhaps? What does your family think about this ugly habit, hm?” She was by no means allowed to pester and question buyers, as it would scare them off, but felt particularly curious in this instance.
 

Jag

Cranky Kong
Moderator
Nexus GM
Depths of Osiris GM
It seemed as soon as Amalia was dragged into the conversation with a case of mistaken identity, she was ripped out of it just as quickly and with just as much care. Importance weighed, measured, and found wanting, so in an instant she ceased to exist again. It was yet another reminder that as fascinating as Ivesburg was to the outsider, it was equally cold and unforgiving. All the bustling citizens but grains in the sand.

Amalia assessed the two, immediately swept into their own world closed to outsiders, for just a fleeting moment before moving to adjust the hood back over her head and turn back down the street. Another glance back in the direction of the merchant and patron that had scuffled and caused the whole scene. The better angels of their natures had prevailed, it seemed, at least for the moment, in part due to a stern figure in well-worn armor that was obviously anything but ceremonial.

The harsh sunlight, a glint from the armor almost caused Amalia’s eyes to turn away completely and move on with her day. Almost. Squinting through, she studied the face of the armored man from a distance for a moment. The most striking feature, no doubt, was a patch over the eye bearing a crest of absolutely no meaning to the Dhenari.

It was the strange crest that maintained the study of pale blue eyes long enough for Amalia’s memory to trigger. This wasn’t just another faceless figure of Ivesburg. She knew this man. Or at least…she thought she did. Then again, how many men wore a patch of their eye with an intricate design?

“Outfielder, aren’t you?” She waited until he was clear from the merchants, fresh from the scuffle, before calling out to him.

While it was only her second time to enter the city of Ivesburg itself, Amalia was no strange to the Outfield. Since she was old enough to join the small trading caravans that came down from the mountains to do business with the Outfield farmers – and one trip as a small child when her father defied the Dhenari elders to carry his youngest child to a more modern doctor – Amalia ventured close to the walls of the city. Fascinated by all of it, her careful memory drank in every detail it could in each trip. A man with a strange patch making an effort to always be doing, well, absolutely nothing? That stood out in her memory.

She’d made a point to speak to him before, although it often led to nothing. Still, a willingness to branch out beyond necessary conversation before retreating to the mountains was what separated her from many Dhenari, often to the detriment of her safety.

“Never thought you a soldier. You remember me?” She pulled the hood back again to fully reveal her face.
 

JSJ_2000

Active Member
Benefactor
As Hainer and his grandfather finished their conversation, they turned their attention to a nearby scuffle that was happening right outside of Borin's place, but was soon diffused by an armoured man. "A pity he stopped it, it's been a while since I've seen a scrap." Hainer remarked. His grandfather stayed silent, both of them watching as a younger woman approached the armoured man.

"It looks like he's a soldier. Look at the armour." His grandfather said.

"Yeah, yeah, I can see that obviously." Hainer rolled his eyes. He was just about to start walking away, until a peculiar figure caught the corner of his eye. Curly brown hair, slight build, and pale skin. Yep, this was the person Hainer had been looking for, named Ben. It was just his luck that he stumbled upon him on this fateful day. Ben casually walked past the armoured man and woman, and waltzed right into Borin's shop, closing the door behind him.

"Hainer, wait. Take it easy on him." His grandfather saw his grandson's eyes watch Ben like a hawk, as he walked past. Almost like he was plotting something. Hainer then smirked, ignoring his grandfather's advice, and started to walk hastily to Borin's shop. He breezed past the armoured man and the woman, and aggressively opened Borin's shop door and stepped inside. The place was cluttered with shelves of useless knickknacks, pots, pans, and all the usual junk. He quickly glanced around, and saw Ben leaning against the counter in the back causally striking up a conversation with Borin. They laughed, as if they were exchanging jokes, however, there was nothing funny about being paid a visit from Hainer. He began to walk to up to counter wasting no time, and soon hovered right behind Ben who hadn't noticed him yet.

"Oh Hainer I-" Borin spoke, surprised at seeing Hainer, however, he was cut off by the man right away.

"Shut up, Borin." He quickly replied, prompting Ben to turn around. His face lit up with surprise, and then suddenly faded to a blank. "I'm here for Ben, go to the back room or something, while I deal with him." Hainer said, staring directly at Ben. Borin nodded, quickly turning around and going to whatever back room there was, until Hainer had dealt with business.

"Hainer, please. I-I just need more time! I just need to find some work, and then I'll be able to pay you back this week! I swear!" Ben frantically tried to explain himself, knowing the outcome of this confrontation with Hainer, regardless of his answer. Hainer stayed quiet for a few seconds, staring at Ben, who also stood there in silence. Without giving notice, Hainer swung a punch at Ben's face, knocking him to the ground of the store. He lay there, holding his jaw as blood began to immediately trickle out of his mouth, his lips turning a bright red. "H-Hainer I-" Ben began to speak.

"I don't want to hear it. Now you're going to have to go home to your wife, and explain to her why you look like this." Hainer said, pointing at his face, that was now visibly bruised.
 

Dan

Consort of Mu Beijiang★
Benefactor
The Hive was buzzing with life today, and Fatima was no different. The City was always experiencing the worst kind of weather, today just happens to be sunny, cloudless, and beautiful. Like her fellow citizens, she would seize the beautiful day before it ended or worse, turned for the worst. She chimed out a few greetings, shooing away the children who zoomed up to her and asked her to play, getting dinner invitations she’d have to politely decline as she actually has two businesses to run for the moment. After breaking free of the children, she continued on her set path toward Bunberry District—the pinnacle of nobles and wealthy elitists. However, before she even passed four blocks, a fight broke out in the streets and right in front of Borin’s shop, no less.

Fatima couldn’t hide her disgusted face, her top lip twitched slightly as if ready to chew these two ruffians out. A soldier, claiming that rite already and broke it up. She lingered, catching sight of a shady-looking child, one she’s never seen before or has she ever seen her? She couldn’t recall when she’s ever went out to socialize in the past few months. Dismissing that thought, she continued on her way towards Bunberry, only catching a glimpse of the ass hat no one wanted to loan from, but people were desperate in the Hive. She could only think of one reason Hainer was hanging around The Hive; to collect debts. Which brought her back to the first client at hand, Moradi—the older Moradi, anyway. Why was the Old Man dealing with him? When did a Moradi ever show up in their business logs? These questions would only be answered whenever he returned.

She kept a hand on the closed bag, the other above her club as she trekked along sloppily placed cobble stone, almost falling over a few times. As tall as she was, Fatima still had to look over men, mostly, to peer at signs and make sure she was going the right way. One could tell they were heading away from The Hive as the cobblestones were more intrinsically placed, greener in between the manors that lined up and down the streets—even the air tasted cleaner. Soon, she found herself in front of the gated estate belonging to the Moradi’s; just by looking at the place, it oozed old money, the kind that helped build Ivesburg to what it is today. Fatima steeled her façade as she grabbed the string, ringing the bell that hung just outside the gates. Did the Moradi’s have errand boys? Or would a butler come out and fetch the pouch containing whatever was in it, taking it to the other Moradi. Fatima could only wonder as she stood there patiently.
 
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Draco Shadowdragon

Unknown Entity
Once the fight was broke up Allister turned to leave. He hadn't made it a single step yet when he heard the voice of a lady behind him. When he turned around he saw a face that looked familiar. It was visible that he was thinking but it didn't take too long before he realized why she looked familiar.

"I remember you, you're that Dhenari girl from years ago, right? I joined the military about eight years ago, but now I'm just a scout," he said a twinge of suppressed sadness could be heard when he spoke on his service to the military.

He hadn't seen the lady in years. Last time he had seen her she was still a little girl. She used to try to talk him but he was shy back then and could never work up the courage to reply. That was a long time ago and a lot had happened since then.

"So how have you been? Hopefully life has treated you well," he said, sadness completely gone from his voice.
 
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JSJ_2000

Active Member
Benefactor
The sound of ringing echoed through the halls of the Moradi Manor, meaning someone was at its doorstep. Not unusual, as the place had visitors all the time, however, Kareev was generally too busy to answer the door himself. "Ross?" Kareev spoke to his servant who was pouring him a cup of tea, as Kareev sat on his desk signing some papers.

"Yes, sir?" His servant responded, holding the pot in his hand. He was a relatively thin, older man, the same age as Hainer's father Kareev. Brown hair slicked all the way back, he was definitely not a run of the mill servant. He was treated well and compensated rather nicely.

"Go fetch our visitor. Bring them to this room, I want to see what they want." He said, eyes buried in the documents in front of him. Ross nodded his head in approval, and hastily walked out of the room, down the main hall. Hainer's paintings littered the intricate walls, and if one didn't know any better, they'd think the painting were professionally made by an artist. Ross continued down the hall, going down the stairs to the massive entrance lobby, where the front doors were. Slowly, Ross opened the doors, revealing a tall woman, carrying a bag.

"Ahh, you must be the visitor! Mr. Moradi has instructed me to take you to his office, come with me." Ross ushered the woman in quickly, closing the doors behind her. He then gave a courtesy bow, before leading her through the house and back towards Kareev's office. "Sir? I have the visitor with me." He said, knocking on his office doors.

"Bring them in." He responded. Ross opened the doors fully, bringing the woman in, and pointing to a seat for her to sit down in, for her to get more comfortable. Kareev raised his head, and turned his attention from his documents, to the woman I front of him. "Well? What brings you to my residence? Hopefully not another complaint about my son." He said, trying to lighten the mood a bit with a joke.
 
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Dan

Consort of Mu Beijiang★
Benefactor
Turns out her waiting game lasted shorter than she expected. Fatima’s opinion of the Moradi’s was mainly based around Hainer as she’s never seen—only heard of—the other Moradi family. Fatima turned around just as she heard the doors opening, an older male came to greet her. ‘Figures. Nobles aren’t nobles without servants,’ She thought as she was about to pull a pouch out for him to grab. Only for her hand to stop before it opened the bag, by the welcomed greeting she got from him.

She was confused as to why she would need to meet him in person. The pouch was rather easier to deliver to the servant than meet this man face-to-face. Whatever business was between Nekrim and the older Moradi was between them. Fatima, no matter how nosy, respected the boundaries of Nekrim’s privacy and he, to hers. In fact, she was hardly needed to make rounds to clients—or even at all. If money could talk, the interior of the manor would as she was ushered into, what seemed to be to her, only the front entrance. Fatima couldn’t fathom the idea of why one would need a large house, wouldn’t it be harder to go from place-to-place in the house?

She was led throughout the house, her eyes scanning her surroundings. Fatima could appreciate art when she saw it, she wondered who the Moradi’s paid to have these commissioned. Her meaningless thoughts dismissed as soon as she was brought before another set of doors, she stood right behind the servant. Consciously aware of how messy she looked, she thought to hell what anyone thought of what she wore, she was a business woman, not a woman who cared for looks when there was a living to uphold in The Hive. She took the seat, adjusting the bag to sit on her lap. The seat was, perhaps, the most comfortable one she’s sat in these past few weeks.

When the older-looking Hainer finally turned his attention to her and spoke, Fatima was not what she expected. Her façade remained neutral as he brought up his son, ‘How many people complain about his shit stain of a son?’ She pondered for a moment before pulling the pouch out of the bag and placed it on the edge of his desk.

“Fortunately, I’ve no qualms about your son, Mr. Moradi.” Fatima spoke, “I’m just here to deliver your order you placed with Lennox Smithing & Alchemy. If that is all, I have other business to attend to.” She said as she was ready to stand once again, before adding, “Oh…and I recommend you order from a different Alchemist. Nekrim won’t be able to fill any other orders until he returns from…his own business.”

Truth be told. She just didn’t want to deal with any of the Moradi’s. No matter how friendly they seemed.
 
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Jag

Cranky Kong
Moderator
Nexus GM
Depths of Osiris GM
Amalia nodded curtly in response to the question. She’d been so focused on avoiding attention and staying out of the view of others for the last few days, the concept of having a normal conversation with someone from her past felt almost criminal by comparison. A strange combination of relief and confusion swelled as she continued. For the first time when stepping outside in Ivesburg proper in days, she didn’t clench her fist in longing to feel the strength of her bow there as a comfort.

“How well can anyone be in all…this,” she lifted deft fingers to gesture at the chaos of the city around them. Something that probably seemed normal, perhaps even tame by the standards of anyone raised here. “Heard of an execution scheduled for today. In public,” she emphasized as a foreign concept far beyond the stretches of her understanding.

The Dhanari’s code of discipline was one of secrecy and dignity. One brought forward in break of the bonds of trust were addressed by the elders and given their penance to be carried out, but nothing was ever done in the eye of all to bring shame or attention to the deeds. Sure, it didn’t take long to figure out why a young Amalia Trelles would suddenly spend the next month hauling water to and from the river and the tanner’s workbench, but it was never spoken of. The sanctity of the people as a whole was not to be infringed.

And death? For one of their own? Amalia was lost to the very idea. Then again, the city had people to spare.

“So is this what has become of the fearless army normally poaching on our lands? Breaking up fights and stalking the market place? Not much glory to be had,” she said to Allister, almost teasing.
 

JSJ_2000

Active Member
Benefactor
The woman sat down on the chair in Kareev's office, and reached over to place a pouch from her bag onto his desk. “Fortunately, I’ve no qualms about your son, Mr. Moradi.” The woman said. Kareev raised a brow, chuckling slightly. He was almost delighted to hear those words, as funny as it may have seem. “I’m just here to deliver your order you placed with Lennox Smithing & Alchemy. If that is all, I have other business to attend to.” She said, standing up as if she were ready to leave. “Oh…and I recommend you order from a different Alchemist. Nekrim won’t be able to fill any other orders until he returns from…his own business.” She said.

Kareev continued to look at her, as she stood up and got ready to leave. "Oh is that right? He never mentioned anything about leaving for...business." He said, grabbing the delivery form the edge of his desk, and paling it closer to him, examining it. "In any case, I'll be sure to await his return then. I'll have my son update me whenever he gets back, seeing as how he's the one always wandering around town." Kareev smiled, gesturing his servant Ross to lead the woman out of his office.

"This way, ma'am." Ross bowed, opening the door for the woman, backtracking their steps all the way to the front of the manor, where she first entered. "Thank you, we hope to see you again soon." Ross said, in his usual soft spoken and rather pleasant voice. Although most of his noble mannerisms were expected of him, Ross' ability to deal with guests were rather splendid.

~
Hainer walked out of Borin's shop, wiping his hands clean with a cloth that he carried in his pocket. Despite what people thought, the man didn't like physically dealing with people like he just did, however, sometimes people just didn't get it through their heads that deadlines exist for a reason. "So what happened?" His grandfather asked, as Hainer approached him outside the shop.

"Oh he's still in there. I gave him a good talking to." Hainer replied, continuing to clean his hands. His grandfather noticed the blood stains on the cloth he was using to clean his hands, which was an indicator that Hainer was rather physical with Ben. "Don't worry, he's alright. He's still in there, but he's just cleaning himself too." He said looking at his grandfather, who just sighed out of frustration. "What? If I don't have strict rules in place, I'll never get my money. People will do anything to rip me off." He exclaimed. Hainer was used to the backlash from his grandfather, however, the only reason that Hainer was so uptight about his only, was due to the fact that he knew many people would not pay him back, if given the chance.

"It's fine, I'm not mad. I just think there's other ways of dealing with situations like this." His grandpa shrugged, pausing briefly before changing the topic. "Anyways, shall we head to the town square? We may as well wait until the execution starts." He said. Hainer simply nodded, tucking his bloody handkerchief back into his pocket to clean out later, before walking alongside his grandfather to view the execution.
 

KenżaSheep

That's nice. Put it back.
Keetas didn't bother to answer the girls questions, looking disdainfully down at her as curiosities slipped from between her lips. He snatched the jar and put a pouch with payment in her empty palm. "You shouldn't be asking so many things, girl. It's not your place, nor your right. Keep going, and you might find yourself in a rather nasty position."

There was a loud yelling from inside the shop—Keetas heard it clearly through the wall, since the trade had been occurring behind it. He tucked the jar somewhere it couldn't be seen and bid the child a good afternoon, finding it the perfect time to leave before they were discovered. Crashes echoed from inside the building, yet he payed no heed.

Execution. The word echoed to him as he walked further away. He'd almost forgotten. It was about time he went home and changed into something more seemly, then he would meet at the square with the crowds. It was something he wouldn't miss for all the Salva in the world.
 

Dan

Consort of Mu Beijiang★
Benefactor
Fatima stood, placing her hand right on the lip of the bag as she readjusted the strap, so it was hanging near her hip again. She looked to the male, nodding once, but before she officially left his office she added, “It may be awhile.” Then, she followed after the Butler, amazed at the paintings once again whilst being lead out of the manor. Fatima was outside the door, “No offence, Mister. I hope we don’t meet again.” She gave a quick smile that faded just as quick and she was already moving away from the large estate. Her nervousness fading away the further she walked away from the building looming behind her. She continued her other deliveries in Bunberry without ever visiting the other owners—Moradi was the only exception, it seemed.

Fatima made her way back into The Hive, thankful for familiar surroundings, faces, and places. She nearly kissed the next person to run into her, luckily, she caught them by the shoulder, looking down at smaller female. “Happy to see me, Diana?” She teased.

Diana, the baker’s daughter turned several shades of red, “N-no! Why I—”

“Relax.” Fatima’s smirk appeared, “I’m just teasing.”

She had an incredulous look on her face as she stepped back from Fatima, “A-are you…going to the execution soon?” She inquired, nearly everyone in The Hive already planned their entire day around it.

Fatima’s brow furrowed, “…No.” She retorted in a serious tone. Not elaborating furthering on why she wasn’t attending.

“Oh.” Diana said, “Well, I’ll see you later.”

Fatima nodded and continued to make the remainder of her deliveries throughout the Hive. She received the same question that Diana asked her earlier. This made her second-guess her decision as she finally finished her last delivery in The Hive. Fatima stopped in her tracks, looking ahead at the path ahead; The Willows – the one district she was largely unfamiliar with. Her hand gripped the hilt of her club as she let out a deep breath, her resolve set on finishing the rest of the deliveries. However, before she could even finish the last of her deliveries, she was caught by the arm of one of the guards.

“’Fraid you can’t enter The Willows tonight.” He spoke.

“Why not?” She asked, shrugging his hand off her. Fatima eyed the guard, suspicious of him.

“The Mayor says so. It’s entirely optional, but…unless you want a fine larger than your salary, I’d suggest you return back for the execution happening soon.” He retorts.

Fatima could see no malice in his eyes, nodding to the guard as she turns back around, “The Town Square, yeah?” She asks.

The Guard nods and returns back to his post. Fatima turned back around from where she came, turning her path back to the town square. Not that it was her choice, she’d rather not have to pay a fine.
 
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Bygones

Moonchild
The jar was yanked from her grasp and promptly replaced with coin, her eyes flick away from the metal in her hand to the malicious expression on his face. His spitting and threatening only made an unlawful smile creep across her face.

“Thank you for your business...” Millicent cooed as he slipped back into the sea of the Hive.

She stood there for a moment, jangling the coin in her hand, the rust scraping against her palms. There were rushed footsteps coming from behind her and she jumped, assuming it’d be Borin coming to investigate; she glanced over her shoulder as she tucked the coin deep into the satchel, but not a soul was in sight. There were sounds of scuffling and cries, and she realized, as she got closer to the walls of the store, that it was coming from within. She spotted a small window, though it was just out of her reach, but no matter, a little bit of determination could conquer any obstacle for Millicent Montesquieu. A few steps away to her right was a stack of old, dusty crates, used to deliver products to Borins’ shop every month or so. She, without thinking, attempts to pick one up and nearly blows out her back. Second time around, she tries to pull them, and ends up with a few nasty splinters in her bony fingers. If she couldn’t pick up, push, or pull them-- she’d have to climb on top of them. They were nowhere near the window, but if she balanced on one leg and reached her neck out, she could catch a small glimpse of the inside.

In these few seconds that she teetered on her one leg for, she could see a fairly big man leering over another man who lay on the floor, bleeding. Her eyes widened at the sight, she clearly missed something interesting. The man spat something unintelligible for Millicent to hear so far away, and walked out like nothing of the sort even happened. Millicent jumped off from the crates and rushed over to the edge of the store to catch a glimpse of him as he left, she spotted him talking to an older aged man, and after a moment, she realized that this man was none other than Kareev Moradi, one of the wealthiest men in Ivesburg. She knew this because the boss had been planning for months now onto how they could infiltrate this family and manipulate them into assisting with the distribution of Salva into lands far beyond the eye of Ivesburg, as their wealth and status could do this without anyone batting an eye. Could this have been his son, the infamous Hainer Moradi? Boss would most certainly up her pay if she were to keep tabs on the Moradi’s.

Millicent dusted herself off and tiptoed back into the buzz of the town square, casually following the Moradi’s. She was too caught up in her devious plan to notice that they were heading towards the execution block, not until she was met with a crowd full of hushed whispers and gossip.
 

Draco Shadowdragon

Unknown Entity
Allister listened as she spoke on the execution. His head began to lowder in shame. He had never been proud of the way punishment was delt in this city. The mayor had a sick sense of justice. To be executed just for practicing magic just seemed like overkill.

"I'm not proud of the things I've had to do, and some of those things still haunt me. I don't agree with the executions nor do I feel that they should be done in public. The mayor uses fear as a way of keeping order and that is something I wish would stop," he said in a low somber voice.
 
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