[Hobo's All Rogue Game] A Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy, Part I




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    [Hobo's All Rogue Game] A Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy, Part I

    As the sun sets over the rock-ringed harbor of Bara Gairo, the small fishing fleet are throwing their hawsers to the docks and starting to unload a day's worth of catch--dolphin fish, tuna from beyond the shoals, jacks, snooks, and even an occasional marlin. Dinner for tomorrow at Lima's Spirits will be excellent, and after such a bountiful harvest, a week's worth of fish for markets and inns in nearby Porto Liure will be assured as well, putting the villagers into a fair bit of money that they will be sure to enjoy before having to hit their fishing boats again in a few days to start the cycle all over again. The large, slow chugger of a boat, Mirabel's Fanny supposedly shares the tub-like, round-bottom form of Alfonso's deceased wife, Mirabel, after which she is named. It sits idly in the harbor, but Alfonso and his son Éttiene supervise some of the other villagers who are loading their cargo of the sea's bounty on board for the run to Porto Liure. The dark-haired and sun-burnt forms of the villagers wave at you as you look at the boat. Despite it's main purpose as a conveyance of fishy cargo, Alfonso is one of the most reliable ferries between the village and the city--a boatride of some 10 hours on his slow-moving tub, and he'll be leaving tomorrow morning after the ship is fully loaded.

    Some of the reasonably friendly villagers greet you at the end of the day. A few express some startlement at seeing you. "Oh, are you back? It seems soon to see you again."

    These comments are fairly odd, given that for most of you, you only arrived a day or two ago and haven't gone anywhere since. Most of you have also never been to Bara Gairo before, and certainly none of you have recently.

    In the sky you see a tiny sliver of a waxing crescent moon. That's odd. When you arrived, it was nearly full. The moon seems to be out of whack--some three-weeks more advanced than it should be.

    What's going on?

    You'll probably be staying at Lima's Spirits; it's the only real inn in town. You may have come and gone a bit during the day, but as we begin, let's have all of you in the common room. Inés Peixoto is the woman behind the counter today; she is almost always seen at the bar. She is eyeing you appraisingly, although she keeps to herself. The fat owner, balding Braz Vargas, is studiouly trying to ignore you. He sits at a table nearby going over his ledger books--although if he truly wanted to ignore you, he'd be better served by doing his accounting in his small office rather than in the open where he can see what is going on in the common room. Other than the two of them, only a handful of patrons have finished their day's work and come in for a drink and dinner, although in the next couple of hours, you expect that the common room will completely fill.

    "I realize that I am generalizing here, but, as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care." Dave Barry

 

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    Amaline swallows once and tries to hide her shivering as she sits alone at one of the tables in Lima's Spirits. "I just have to retrace my steps, then this will all make sense," she whispers under her breath as her mind races. It could all be a big conspiracy. There seemed to be a lot of newcomers in town today. Maybe they were just trying to scare some off before things got out of hand. But that did not explain the moon. She had measured carefully. Either it three weeks ahead of where it should be, or she someone had magicked her mind. Or both. The last possibility was the most unsettling; it was why she was literally shaking in fear as she thought about it.

    Amaline needed answers. And she had an idea as to how she might get some. Gathering her modicum of courage, the young woman got up from her place and slowly walked over to the table where the inn's proprietor was going over his ledgers. She could see he was trying to ignore her; that much was obvious. But she carefully pulled out one of the chairs and sat down. Rubbing her hands beneath the table, she leans in slightly and stammers out, "M-Mr. Vargas? Could I, ah, trouble you to have a l-look at, um, the number of entries in your ledger since the d-day I, uh, I arrived?" The request was unusual, but it might be the best way to tell whether the villagers were trying to pull a fast one or something really, really wrong had happened.
    -Kaodi

    Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
    Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
    Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
    'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
    But he that filches from me my good name
    Robs me of that which not enriches him
    And makes me poor indeed.

    -Iago, Shakespeare's Othello, Act III. Scene III. Lines 180-186.

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    Feo was beginning to feel how surreal the last couple of days had been. Maybe one of those glancing blows he took while fleeing wasn't so glancing as he had thought. Perhaps he had succumbed to one of those hits and really lay unconscious in an alley somewhere and this was all a dream. Familiar faces among those in the village stirred past memories, people he never met acting as he was an old acquaintance, and a moon that seemed all wrong. "Mayhaps I'm not dreaming, but dying and this is my mind dealing with the shock. What if I was stabbed along with my fellow Saracens, and am bleeding out on a roof somewhere..." Feo shivered, but then walked up to Ines and ordered a cheap beer before taking a chair near the hearth. Feo suddenly had the urge for contemplation, warmth, drink and food. Maybe a loose woman needing coin. Anything to ground him and prove to himself the fact of his physical existence.
    My Involvement:
    Spoiler:

    Player of Doral Kinsman the Beguiler in Who Wants to Be a Wayfinder
    IC

    DM for my v3.5 homebrew campaign, Last Stand of the Dorinthians
    OOC//Chapter 1- Homeless (Closed)//Chapter 2- Illusions (Closed)//Chapter 3 - The Imperials (Closed)//Chapter 4- The Second Invasion (closed)//The Final Chapter(closed)//Dead Secrets(closed)//Rogue's Gallery//Story Hour

    DM for his Sword and Sorcery Campaign; City-State of the Invincible Overlord w/BECMI rules
    Out of Character thread
    ---

    My works:
    Dog Soul Publishing's The Books of Faith: Jainism
    Dog Soul Publishing's Sahasra - Items of Magic and War
    Various articles and editing projects for Silven Trumpeter
    LPJ Design's The True Psionic Story: Amulet of Catapsi

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    Lano leans forward resting his elbows on the table he shares with his half-brother, Brick, and speaks quietly but with an intensity born from his discomfort with the situation. "So, we've been here two days, yes? And when we arrived the moon was full, yes? But just now, before we came in, we saw the moon, yes? And it was a crescent. The moon pared down to a sliver, vanished, and beginning its growth towards full in just two days? You see how bad that is, don't you?"

    He leans back, clutches the edge of the table with both hands, scowls, and studies his brother for signs that he understands just how wrong and how bad this seems. Lano sighs and once again wishes his brother had just a bit more of an academic bent.

    Something about the man walking towards the hearth catches Lano's attention and he watches for a moment. He doesn't get a good look at the man's face and this moon thing has him preoccupied and he turns back to Brick. "Something odd has happened but I can't figure the how or why of it."

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    As Inés slips a cheap, watered down beer, tasting sharply of too much hops to Feo, Vargas looks up at Amaline.

    "My dear, I could never show you my private ledgers. That information is sensitive, and if it gets out that I'm showing customers details on other customers.... Surely you understand."

    "I can, however, remind you of the days you've stayed in the past. I have you checking in on... Yes, Thursday August 30th. Stayed three days, then left again quietly with a number of other guests. Checked back in last night, Friday September 20th. You still owe me thirteen silver for room and board from your earlier stay, according to my accounts.
    He looks up, his voice somewhat flat at that last pronouncement.

    At the bar, Inés seems to smile, or perhaps sneer at the young rogue and her faltering questions.
    Last edited by Hobo; Monday, 24th September, 2012 at 06:40 PM.

    "I realize that I am generalizing here, but, as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care." Dave Barry

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    Feo's sharp ears detects the banter going on between Vargas and the girl Feo was concerned about, Amaline. He nearly chokes on the beer as he hears the date, and in a rare break of character brought on from despair he decides to join the conversation and make Amaline's business his own. Feo walks next to Amaline and slaps a hand onto the bar counter to get Vargas' attention. His hand stings reassuringly from the impact. "It feels real. So maybe I'm not dreaming. Not dead. He asks before slipping his drink again, "And what of me? What does your little book say about me?"
    My Involvement:
    Spoiler:

    Player of Doral Kinsman the Beguiler in Who Wants to Be a Wayfinder
    IC

    DM for my v3.5 homebrew campaign, Last Stand of the Dorinthians
    OOC//Chapter 1- Homeless (Closed)//Chapter 2- Illusions (Closed)//Chapter 3 - The Imperials (Closed)//Chapter 4- The Second Invasion (closed)//The Final Chapter(closed)//Dead Secrets(closed)//Rogue's Gallery//Story Hour

    DM for his Sword and Sorcery Campaign; City-State of the Invincible Overlord w/BECMI rules
    Out of Character thread
    ---

    My works:
    Dog Soul Publishing's The Books of Faith: Jainism
    Dog Soul Publishing's Sahasra - Items of Magic and War
    Various articles and editing projects for Silven Trumpeter
    LPJ Design's The True Psionic Story: Amulet of Catapsi

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    Amaline nods weakly and reaches into her pack to retrieve the stated sum, placing the coins on the table. She does not know if Vargas is overstating the amount, but that is not really what is important at the moment. "I'm sorry for any inconvenience," she says, finding a little more confidence.

    She fidgets for a moment, looking away from the innkeeper, but she quickly looks back towards him. The dates he mentioned match her calculations, but there was that other detail... "This might seem an odd question," she says suddenly, leaning in again, "But could you describe the people I left with?"

    Amaline blinks as it takes her a moment to register that another man has joined the conversation. Was this one of the people she was with? Wait, his question... Had the same thing happened to him?!
    Last edited by Kaodi; Monday, 24th September, 2012 at 07:02 PM. Reason: Reaction to Feo...
    -Kaodi

    Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
    Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
    Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
    'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
    But he that filches from me my good name
    Robs me of that which not enriches him
    And makes me poor indeed.

    -Iago, Shakespeare's Othello, Act III. Scene III. Lines 180-186.

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    Vargas looks a bit surprised at Feo's outburst, and Amaline's question. "Why, you arrived on the same day, left on the same day, and came back again on the same day. Weren't you with her? I thought you and the rest of your group were all here together! The two of you, the two over there at that table; the pretty boy and his big, meaty pal, and those other two gentlemen... Stephano and Roderick."

    "I realize that I am generalizing here, but, as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care." Dave Barry

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    ř Ignore Kaodi
    Amaline whips her head around to regard the men that Vargas has pointed out, and as recognition dawns on her there is a sharp and audible intake of breath. Roderick! What is he doing here? And that is Carlo's man!

    Turning back to the innkeeper, she asks, "Mr. Vargas, did anything seem strange or out of sorts about our behaviour on the day we left? Do you remember anyone else whom we might all have had contact with that day?"
    Last edited by Kaodi; Monday, 24th September, 2012 at 07:17 PM. Reason: Fixing the colours...
    -Kaodi

    Good name in man and woman, dear my lord,
    Is the immediate jewel of their souls.
    Who steals my purse steals trash; 'tis something, nothing;
    'Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
    But he that filches from me my good name
    Robs me of that which not enriches him
    And makes me poor indeed.

    -Iago, Shakespeare's Othello, Act III. Scene III. Lines 180-186.

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    "I'm sorry, my dear," Vargas starts in a somewhat patronizing voice. "I've found that it's bad for business to ask too many questions of my guests, or pay too much attention to whom they speak or leave with."

    While you're talking to the owner, Inés quietly slips through a door into the kitchens, in preparation for the crowd that will be arriving shortly.

    "I realize that I am generalizing here, but, as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care." Dave Barry

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