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Author Topic: Gun Runners (DragonSong)  (Read 196 times)

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Offline Kingfisher

Re: Gun Runners (DragonSong)
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2018, 06:00:58 PM »
Neat trick, Joshua thought as he drummed his fingers.  He had managed to look bored while doing so, reinforcing the illusion that he was alone.  Still, while he understood his task, he was no botonist and did not know what a blood lily was.  Based on its name alone, he knew it was a red flower but there were many red flowers in the world.

Deciding to take a slight risk, he stood and walked towards the bar, leaning against as the barmaid was just in front of Tara.  "What is a blood lily?" he whispered sideways to her.  He made it seem as though he had addressed the barkeep and when she asked what he had said, Joshua flinched visibly.  "I said, 'Where can I find the Alchemist?'"  He spoke quite loudly, rubbing his temple in a way  that conveyed the gravity of his request.

The smith was, after all, hungover.

Offline DragonSong

Re: Gun Runners (DragonSong)
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2018, 06:31:54 PM »
Tara stifled a snort behind her hand.

Of course.

"Oh, it's just down the road, love," the barkeep answered with a smile, pointing in the right direction as Tara held her hand out in front of her face and wiggled her fingers, eyelids droopy and bored.

She whistled softly and sparks danced from her fingertips, painting a picture in the air above her hand: An elegant flower with seven wide petals that curved up at the tips, blood red at the edges that deepened to almost maroon in the center in a pattern that seemed to give the collar the illusion of dripping down the flower's throat.

"Oh, a blood lily," the barmaid noted with a bright grin. Tara nearly rolled her eyes; as if she hadn't been obvious enough. "That's a pretty likeness too- not seen one of them since I was a girl. You a mage then, miss?"

"Bard," Tara corrected with a small smile. She curled her fingers into a fist and the image of the flower disappeared. "But I've picked up a few tricks here and there."

Offline Kingfisher

Re: Gun Runners (DragonSong)
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2018, 03:06:07 PM »
"Thanks," Joshua said, stepping away.  He was facing the barmaid, but his gratitude was for the bard.

Truthfully, the young man had no need of aid; as much as his head ached, he knew it was unnecessary, and not worth throwing away money over his own foolishness.  Still, Joshua wanted to kick himself for his pride.

The town, in spite of its remoteness seemed quite large.  A number of cramped buildings squated together, most clearly two stories tall.  Many of the windows were filled in by glass instead of wood lattice, reminding the smith just how foreign he was to this nation.  As comfortable as he knew he should have been, Joshua was not a fan of the nation.  He had heard stories about how Serenians could not touch iron or steel and wondered if he could even survive in a nation that had no use for his skills.

Focusing, Joshua scanned the crowd, looking for the red lily that Tara had shown him...

Offline DragonSong

Re: Gun Runners (DragonSong)
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2018, 03:24:54 PM »
A red lily was a rather striking bloom, and it was easy to spot tucked into the band of an otherwise rather innocuous little man's hat as he darted this way and that through the foot traffic of main street.

Tara decided to idle at the bar a while- she was hungry, and saw no reason to head out into town before she'd at least gotten the meal she'd paid for with the room.

Offline Kingfisher

Re: Gun Runners (DragonSong)
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2018, 08:16:47 PM »
It did not take long for Joshua to spot the flower, but he was nervous about making contact too soon and without Tara.  He could go back to the tavern and risk losing the short figure as it darted about.  Or he could move forward and bring in the bard later.  Neither proved truly ideal...

Then there was the question of stopping the man without seeming suspicious.  He already seemed the shifty sort, darting about like a scared weasel.  If he was spooked, Joshua would lose his chance to reach Karian.

The smith decided to try something somewhat gutsy.  Looking for an opening in the crowd, he "accidentally" bumped into his target, knocking him to the dirt.  "I am so sorry, " Joshua said, reaching down to help the little man up.  "I hope you're okay.  You are yes?"  He paused, but not long enough for the man to respond.  Instead, he continued to yammer on, saying, "That is an interesting lily...sorry..."

So, Joshua had made his first would the mark react?

Offline DragonSong

Re: Gun Runners (DragonSong)
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2018, 10:59:43 AM »
The weaselly little man glanced up at Joshua and a glint passed through his eyes. "Y'think so? Thanks, lad." He got to his feet, dusting himself off, and gave the smith a meaningful nod as he moved to slip by him. His hand brushed against Joshua's pocket- not stealing, leaving a note.

"Oh my gods- Tara?"

The bard froze, then slowly turned on her stool. Her eyes widened. "Marie?!"

A tall, willowy woman with carefully braided cobalt blue hair and wide, dark eyes blinked at her, then beamed. "I can't believe it!"

"Marie!" Tara grinned and jumped off her stool to give the other woman a hug, then clasped her by the shoulders as she looked her over. "My gods, how long's it been- a year? You look good! How are you? Work going well? Are you married yet? Can I kill your husband?"

Marie laughed and flung her arms around Tara in another warm hug. Over her shoulder, the bard noted a small, twitchy sort of man dart into the bar, glancing around warily. The blood red bloom in his hat caught her attention. Hope you caught that, pyro.

Offline Kingfisher

Re: Gun Runners (DragonSong)
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2018, 12:53:59 PM »
It was not easy to be sneaky around a man who could basically smell heat but Joshua remained still for a time, simply watching his target go.  He waited for the man to leave his sight before retrieving the message.  A small slip of folded parchment had a row of common.  It was a quick read, and he was not quite sure how to feel about what was written there.  Slipping the note away, the mage followed the path the little man had taken.

Following back to the inn...

Offline DragonSong

Re: Gun Runners (DragonSong)
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2018, 01:16:30 PM »
Marie had insisted on buying Tara a drink, and despite the early hour she was never one to turn down free alcohol. The two women sat shoulder to shoulder at the bar, sipping identical glasses of whiskey and chatting amiably.

"So what brings you to town, anyway?"

"Mm?" Tara drew her attention from the door- she kept glancing around to see if Joshua had returned- and smiled at her old friend. "Oh, y'know. Just business."

Marie giggled and leaned into brush her fingers over her arm lightly. "Always business with you, Tara," she chuckled.

Offline Kingfisher

Re: Gun Runners (DragonSong)
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2018, 12:40:48 PM »
Joshua scanned the room, eyes passing over Tara as he noticed her speaking with another woman cheerfully.  He quick moved on until he found 'Mr. Ferret' seated off to one side.  Deciding against another glass of Serendipity's famous paint thinner, the metalogist moved toward the small man's place.  He took a seat at an adjacent table, creating the illusion of the two being complete strangers.

"So," Joshua began, whispering sideways to the contact.  "I'm guessing you're here to set up the delivery?"

"Maybe.  Where's Farnow?"

The smith had no idea who that was but could surmise that it was the name to One-Eye.  And seeing the shifty figure passing subtle glances toward the bar, he wondered at the intent of the question.  "I believe you already know how I'll answer that," Joshua said.

"And you let her follow you."  It was not a question but it tipped his hand.  Tara had been clever to avoid looking friendly with the smith.  It seemed Mr. Ferret did recognize the bard and Joshua had been dug into a shallow hole.  Now, he needed to talk his way back out...

"Well, I did lose my go between.  Figured I might use her to buy some goodwill from your boss..."  The selfish always assumed others were as selfish as them so the man preyed upon the ferret's assumptions.

Offline DragonSong

Re: Gun Runners (DragonSong)
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2018, 06:35:44 PM »
The Ferret shot another wary look in Tara's direction, then nodded slowly. "Aye, I'd say that'd earn you some good will with Karian." He shifted, looked around again, then stood abruptly. "Just be at the drop point tomorrow."

Another quick, jerky movement and he darted for the door.

Offline Kingfisher

Re: Gun Runners (DragonSong)
« Reply #30 on: February 18, 2018, 01:41:05 PM »
Meeting over, Joshua found he had the day to himself.  There was not much for him to do, though.  His trade was iron working, yet the blacksmith knew that many Serenians were adversely affected by such things.  Then there was how to meet with Tara to put together a plan without looking like he was doing just that....

The foreigner decided to head for his room and rest until lunch.  As he did, Joshua passed by Tara's room.  Glancing to ensure no one was watching, he scratched out a brief message on the back of the original note and slipped it under the door.  Best she have at least some of the information he did...