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Monday, 30th May, 2005, 09:52 PM #1
Novice (Lvl 1)
Metropolis (The World in Waiting) - Chapter One
Deep within the darkened alleyway a glistening pair of eyes looked out into the streets beyond. In the sprawling streets that crowded the city, people could easily disappear, swallowed up by the city and devoured by civilization.
Even in the darkness of night, with dark clouds loosing its cold rain upon the streets, people still walked the labyrinth of the city, intent on their individual purposes. In a city of ten million people, it is inevitable that somebody is always watching you.
The figure sat in the rain for hours, watching the streets beyond. Then its eyes slowly faded, and were gone, lost to the night. Naught was left in the alley but a small pile of ragged clothes suitable for a child, soaking in the refuse of others.
Lightning lanced across the sky briefly, striking the large iron pole that rested atop a structure of massive size that seemed to break free of the sprawling city streets far below. The temple dedicated Zsath, the Ghostking can be seen by all for miles within the city, and is a symbol to all for many things, be it power, wealth, or simply the inevitability of death.
Deep within the walls thousands come to pay homage in the hope that the deity may grant them a peace in death that they have not found in life. The street level of the building is open always to the masses that find their way into the temple at all times of the day and night.
It is said that the Spiritbanker is always open for business.
Within the temple proper, upon a lone balcony that looks over the masses that gather with their sacrifices of food, monies or prayers, a slender figure watches. Her pale white skin and jet black hair sets a contrast that her parents always told her was a blessing from their Highness, the Ghostking. Resting upon an expensive divan, stroking the mottled preserved fur of a tiny skeletal kitten, the young priestess waits.
Beside her the air shimmers for a moment, tiny droplets of ice form as an intense cold freezes the most air before dropping to the ground, and a shimmering apparition forms.
The ghostly form of the priest Vrisse’s voice was monotone, as if death had removed all expression from him.
“Good evening Alexis, I’m glad to see that you could meet me here. It is such a long way to your families chambers.”
“Now that you’ve completed you studies in the prayers of the Eighth Lore, I think that perhaps we should go on tonight and speak further about the necromantic effects upon new tissue formation created by mystical effects, the results are somewhat different to what you training might have…”
The ghostly form continues on with his lecture, hardly noticing his ward’s mood, or her longing to see the world…
There was a small popping sound, enough warning that allowed the tattered figure to run. The fecal blockage had backed up the tunnels in this area of the city for days, god knows what had started it, but it was preventing the valuable sewage from feeding into the farms far downstream.
Twitchy had found it, though he always had had a nose for these things, but as soon as Taran had laid eyes on the wall of filth he could tell that it was unstable. The rain water filtering in from the city above was going to fix his problem for him, sooner than he thought.
The filth exploded into the tunnel less than a minute after the warning, a wave of excrement washed down towards the small druid whose small legs were carrying him as fast as they could away from an extremely messy impending doom…
In the dirty light of his office, Hound winced. He was expecting something like this.
”What in the Hells do you mean you need 100 golden royals for ‘expenses’!”
The large robust man was a client, a well-to-do client whose daughter needed to be retrieved from the Apartments after she had fled there with a boyfriend. Or something like that anyway.
Mr Zimmerman loved his daughter very much, in the way that he could dress her up in fancy clothes and take her to business functions and balls. If it was heard that she was ‘slumming’ it, he would look very foolish indeed.
That said, for Mr Zimmerman, 100 royals was 100 royals…he could always make another daughter, or buy one.
Naten sighed. In the middle of the dark street with rain pouring down soaking everything in sight, crowds pushed past him to get out of the cold for the night. Not one of them stopped to look down at the shattered body of the small child that lay in awkward angles in the middle of the street. The carriage probably rode right over him without even noticing, it happened all too often in the city. Reaching into his pocket, he used a piece of charcoal to cross off another name from his list.
He knew that someone was watching him. In the city, someone was always watching you. He was hiding in the alley to his right, less that forty feet away. He was in no rush to show himself, and Naten could see his symbol of Urbanus quite clearly.
Last edited by Phoenix; Tuesday, 7th June, 2005 at 06:16 PM.
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Monday, 30th May, 2005, 10:20 PM #2
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Taren hops on Twitchy and spurs his faithful rat on faster. Looking back, he casts Entangle, hoping to slow down the flow of water with an overgrowth of vines, moss, and lichen. "Faster Twitchy, Faster" he spurs as the rat breaks into a run.
Tuesday, 31st May, 2005, 12:09 AM #3
Novice (Lvl 1)
She's very distant, tonight, as her mentor explains the intricacies of the necromantic arts to her. Her mind isn't with her body, and she's in another world. Vrisse's ghostly body hangs over her, and his voice is a droning monotone. His words seem to pass through her, and she lets out a sigh. The undead is deep into his lecture, mid-sentence, when Alexis finally speaks. She doesn't even seem aware that she's interrupting him...
"Vrisse," she begins, looking up and through the apparition, "I want to go to the city. I want to see the people we're helping." She is silent after her short statement, and looks up to her mentor expectantly.
Tuesday, 31st May, 2005, 04:23 AM #4
Can't make a damn move in this area without Outreach on my tracks. Pike it, least this time there'll be someone to dispose of the body.
*Naten sighs into his collar and stows the list in a dry place while slicking back his rain soaked hair, he grunts under the weight of the dead child he hefts onto his shoulders. Naten walks with slow detatchment towards the alley, setting his eyes on the dryest portion of an overflowing gutter. He stretches against a wall and lays the body next to him, careful to keep the corpse out of the muck. A long stare at the crowds milling towards employment makes the muck seem like a zomie march, each face is drawn inward against the rain, each are unwilling to look anywhere save their next step into the eroding streets.*
Right pal, I trudged into "your" alley, now be a gentleman and introduce yourself
*A hidden glance at the priest confirms Naten's thougths, the tattered blue robe and its hunched occupant almost crawling against the wall as it crept towards him with all the subtlety of a tunnel delver. Whatever advantage of ambiguity he had in this quarter was now moot, the cleric had better got some news to spill on the Kerby Street boys(1). He turns to look the not quite so quietly creeping preist*
"We'll, you been tailing me for two districts and three weeks, you've likely kept kip in a few of places I have as well, means you've seen as much of the stink side of 'City as me, least for now."
*Naten looks closer at the old priest, a beard that was once kept neat and braided was now tattered and wild, robes made of expensive dyes were covered in grime and excrement*
this guy is a beuracrat, a paper pushing hero wanna be, I must be higher then I thought on the orders watch list...either that or the Dons and Cabal were just that maliscious.
*Naten fishes a loaf of Gzanite (Frech) bread from his pack, breaking one side in half and offering it to the priest.*
"Look old swamper, you invited me to this hole, you led me to exactly what your order said would be here, but we both know that you coulda "met" with me at any point since I left the wreckage of Collise, so lets cut the game's eh? I've got no more ties with the Dons or with their cronies, what does Outreach want with me?"
*Meanwhile rain continues to pelt down on the streets and the stones, worn and weary cloaks and Gzanite bread, and onto the corpse of a child. Mixing crumbs and debris into the muddy flowing water, turning the city cobbles brown with entropy and exposure to the surrounding jaded humanity*
OOC:(1):-Kerby Street Boys-A gang of local ruffians and clutists, necro-freaks and witch doctor wanna-be's, they're named for the street on which they're formed which is said to contain dozens of Crawling Heads, each harmless but crazed with undeath. New rumours have said that the gang has a sudden new ability to mark the best times for raids, and might even have a new member that can open holes in the city. Naten's convinced that they bagged one of his Orphans.
Last edited by Cathoi; Tuesday, 31st May, 2005 at 04:31 AM.
Tuesday, 31st May, 2005, 04:27 AM #5
Novice (Lvl 1)
Ghost squints up at the imposing figure of Zimmerman, the man looks uncomfortable in his expensive clothes and unfamiliar, low class surroundings. The air is heavy with the smoke from the pungent cigar that Ghost rolls between his teeth. The magical light spluttering on the wall casts his face in shadows.
OOC: Diplomacy roll
"Damn it Zimmerman, you knew when you hired me for this job there would be expenses. Do you have any idea how dangerous The Apartments are? How many people in there are looking to make a quick Royal? It doesn't help any that I was born there, I may have a few contacts but the place is so fluid that those contacts are just as likely to be dead the next time I need them as alive. It takes Royals to grease the palms of the 'Parties. The longer we debate these expenses the less chance you have of seeing your daughter alive and whole!"
OOC: Failing that a Bluff roll
"Ok Zimmerman, you can leave her to rot for all I care. I'm already considerably out of pocket on this job. Go on, go ahead and 'train' up another daughter, see if that doesn't cost you more than 100 Royals in tailors and deportment lessons. I have work to do for that hard arse Burke and it is suffering because of these efforts on your behalf."
Ghost rocks back carefully on his seat, his eyes never leaving the face of the rich merchant that stands glowering before him. Quickly he drops the chair back to the floor and rises gracefully. He strides purposefully to the door and pulls it open.
"You leaving Zimmerman or are we going to keep talking?"
OOC: 'Parties is slang for those who live in The Apartments
Last edited by D20Dazza; Tuesday, 31st May, 2005 at 02:31 PM.
Tuesday, 31st May, 2005, 05:40 PM #6
Novice (Lvl 1)
As the wall of liquid stench poured down towards the small druid and his companion, Taren leaps for Twichy's back to make a fast getaway, unfortunately such bravery can easily come unstuck.Originally Posted by Bront
It wasn't really Twichy's fault, he was surprised to find a large moving weight thrown on his back, pushing his stomach into the cobblestone floor of the sewer. The tumbling through the moist earth that padded the hard stone floor was the least of their troubles as they both came to an ungraceful stop.
Taren and Twichy were used to the stench of the sewer farms, in fact both had fallen into the syrup pits which held the tar-like extract that some of the farmers produced for construction companies on the surface. But this was a unique experiance.
The crushing sensation hit them both almost automatically, before Taren could even try to use the magic that he had prepared in his mind. The smell of three days of...somewhat fresh...refuse overcame the two companions instantly. Lifted off their feet and thrown into the mix of rainwater, street filth, and other objects that battered, smeared and lodged themselves into them, the two were blinded by the rush.
The submerged battering seemed to last forever, and Taren's lungs began to burn with the need for the relative fresh oxygen he was accustomed to. But the momentum of the water did not last long, and soon the two were sliding upon a slick brown-grey surface as the water pushed them roughly into a large chamber containing numerous entry points.
Through the haze that clouded his eyes Taren could see somebody looking over him as he lay on his back catching his breath, though his eyes were still crusted over with fresh filth.
Tuesday, 31st May, 2005, 05:49 PM #7
Novice (Lvl 1)
Vrisse's ethereal body drifts forward to stand between where the young priestess rests and the congregation that gathers below. His face twists to what Alexis knows well as a mixture of disappointment and worry, Vrisse had used this face far to many times before.Originally Posted by RobotRobotI
"You are still young my dear, what would your parents think if I allowed you to wander the streets unprotected. If you were simply killed out there it would not be such a worry, but so many horrible things may happen to you."
Vrisse's body faded into a fine mist for a moment before reforming, this time with his back to the young priestess.
"But if that is what you require my dear, I shall inform the Herders* to pack your things immediately. The carriage will be brought around, and I shall have our usual retained bodyguards placed in waiting for you. You may have to wait a few hours for the proper incantations to be placed upon your transportation, but I'm sure that you can spend that time studying up on the test you will be sitting next week. I hope you have been looking at your anti-anatomy notes I left you in your room."
Last edited by Phoenix; Tuesday, 31st May, 2005 at 05:53 PM.
Tuesday, 31st May, 2005, 06:21 PM #8
Novice (Lvl 1)
From the dirty alleyway the ragged priest shuffelled across without a word to stare at the body of the young child. Shacking his head slowly his hard eyes look up to catch Naten's, and the expression on his face is far from pleased.Originally Posted by Cathoi
"Mr Keha. We are confident that you connection with the Dons have been severed, what we are not confident about is our faith in you to find and protect the children that you have brought it upon yourself to protect. We would like you to succeed in your mission, but the fact is that you have not given us much in the way of securities. Our relationship must be based on mutual trust, and seeing your actions, and their results, over the last few weeks has been less than impressive."
Bending down slowly, the priest slowly lifts the dead shild into his arms, cradling his head gently and unconsciously wiping grime from his forehead.
"We are not bad people Mr Keha, that is why we saved you from a fate you most likely deserved. All we ask in return is that you help yourself, and us in the process."
"Now Mr Keha, our people have discovered something that you may wish to see. Go to the Ivory Markets in Opulant, find the merchant Giante. If you need more information than that, perhaps we have been mistaken about you."
With some considerable effort the priest waits a moment before slowly trudging off through the rain with the twisted lump of flesh in his arms.
Tuesday, 31st May, 2005, 06:35 PM #9
Novice (Lvl 1)
Zimmerman's hefty frame heaves in rage and frustration, but something in your words makes him stall for a moment, doubting his own words and considering his possible expenses.Originally Posted by D20Dazza
"Hrrmph..." His frown slowly turns into a great smile, and his anger dissapates into a false show of friendship.
"Mr Hound, I apologize for my impatience, it is just that I acquired my daughter at some expense only a month ago. To have her run away already causes me some chargin, you must understand."
Zimmerman's meaty arm reaches across to land on Hound's shoulders in a half-embrace of friendship. His hideous breath and body odour seem to leach out and cling to anything nearby, no doubt making the man hardly popular at parties if it were not for his wealth.
"I will give you until the end of the week my friend, that's four days. If Stephanie is not returned to me by then, I will have to cancel the birthday party I had planned for her. A lot of important people were coming to see her, so if she's not there she can rot in the Hells for all I care!"
Without breaking a smile, Zimmerman throws a card onto the table and slowly shuffles out into the hallway, only looking back briefly to light a fat cigar and laugh heartily.
The card clearly reads:
You have been cordially invited to celebrate the 8th birthday of Ms. Stephanie Zimmerman.
Wednesday, 1st June, 2005, 12:01 AM #10
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Taran wipes what he can out of his eyes as he slowly rises. He justures a bit* and the filth cleans up somewhat on him and Twitchy. He opens his eyes fully to make sure he and Twitchy are ok. He turns to look at the person who was walking over him. In an attempt to recover as much dignity as he can, he smiles and asks "What can I do for you?"Originally Posted by Phoenix