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 Alleyways (Hightown)

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Death-chan
Libero
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Posts : 10633
Join date : 2013-07-15
Age : 18
Location : The moon.

PostSubject: Alleyways (Hightown)   Sat Sep 05, 2015 4:34 pm

Hightown alleyways are still alleyways. Most alleyways are replaced with lush gardens and gilded halls, but there are still a few darkened spots that are kept preserved by nobles needing places of intrigue bribing the city council to overlook them.

Instead of street thugs and urchins, expect shadowed figures offering bribes of such magnitude that any commoner would weep. Noble houses have spies, and those spies meet here, where counter-spies can't tell who they're talking to. Political assassinations are planned frequently, and money changes hands as scams and illicit trading commences.

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Join date : 2013-07-15
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Location : The moon.

PostSubject: Re: Alleyways (Hightown)   Sat Sep 05, 2015 5:59 pm

In Hightown, those who are up to no good do not lurk; such posture befits only lowly commoners. No, they have no reason to sacrifice dignity, not even in fear of being caught. Justice isn't about punishing the immoral. It's about manipulating the court into your favor. Just another game.

That's not the reason Tod strolls proudly into the space behind the cathedral. Tod holds his head high because he knows he's not doing anything wrong. Dark places make good meeting spaces, even if the meeting is perfectly legal and moral.

When he enters the alley, the sun has already set. The mood of the hightown has changed from lazy splendor to imposing mystique, at least where people remain awake. The life of hightown moves from the streets to the courtyards when the sun sets.

Tod isn't waiting long when a figure decked in expensive green clothing parades nonchalantly into the alley. Tod holds up the token he received - a ring of silver and emerald. The figure stretches out his hand to take the token back. Tod makes no motion to relinquish it, and the man grabs for it. Tod stops him with a hand.

"Theft, in case you weren't aware, is a crime. I don't much like criminals."

"I'm innocent, I swear."

If it weren't so dark, a significant look would have been exchanged at the word 'innocent'. Regardless, the phrase satisfies Tod, who hands the ring back to its owner.

"So. Initiation."

The green-shrouded figure inclines his head. "You have proved yourself useful and trustworthy. Here." He passes Tod a tightly rolled up scroll, held tight with a ribbon. "You can collect your complimentary cloak from the tailor on Pious by showing him this scroll. The books you have requested will be sent to the priest's house. The owner of the cathedral. Show him the scroll and he'll take you to his house to give you the books."

"He's a member too?"

"Not quite, no. Just a trusted friend."

Tod pockets the scroll, then speaks even more softly. "And - about the debt--"

The other man smirks slightly, as if in response to an inside joke. "Yes, you have to repay your debt. I won't send your books until you visit my manor for an evening or two. You should provide suitable entertainment, or at least I hope you should."

Tod grimaces slightly. "...Very well. I look forward to it."

"Oh, I'm quite certain you do. A good night to you, young Tod. And, I should bid you in advance... good luck."


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PostSubject: Re: Alleyways (Hightown)   Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:17 pm

A neatly dressed woman hands a letter to a balding butler to deliver to the lady he serves.

Spoiler:
 

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PostSubject: Re: Alleyways (Hightown)   Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:33 pm

Tod returns here, weary, a letter tucked in his pocket. How can I consider any of this... What have I done to deserve this? He notices a silhouette at the end -- the person he was arranged to meet. He reflects, then tears up the letter and walks away, his thoughts a whirling cacophony as he remembers, even vaguely, his attempts to kill his allies even under his possession. He remembers how it felt -- he remembers and it's a strange haze, like light underwater, and he was an impediment and a triviality and it was not fun and he remembers every flaw he made allowing himself to get captured and not fighting the way he should have and it's a mess and he doesn't want to remember.

He runs away down the alleyways, twisting in and out of corners under trellises with flowers covered in actual gold, past romantic secluded gazebos by the edges of canals, through labyrinthine cobblestone alleyways from which the police are kept away by bribes. He arrives at a dead end -- there's a statue about as tall as him carved out of marble and gold, placed in the center of the courtyard of some commercial section. Weary, Tod pushes open the door.

He finds himself in a seedy establishment. There are people -- well-dressed, as usual -- sitting at several tables with incredibly expensive drinks. Tod sits down to catch his breath, his doubts ringing in his head along with his pounding heartbeat. By the time his internal monologue fades, he feels embarrassed about having ripped up the letter. The deal would have gone through. He could have rebuilt something, stolen away and hired a magic tutor to teach him self-defense. That would have worked...

Suddenly he hears the sounds of music and voices and he looks up to find... dancers. Their outfits cover decidedly less than would be generally considered decent. The other patrons of the place seem to heartily agree, and have no qualms over taking advantage of this. A businesslike woman stops by each table with a bill. When she gets to Tod's table, she places a menu down - the only things listed varying types of alcohol, with some offers suitable only for specific species (whomever standard drinks fail to inebriate). Tod shakes his head no, awkwardly, and stands clumsily. Face flushed, he stumbles toward the door.

Exiting back into the courtyard, he looks into the other shops. One is a bookstore and weapons shop, the other an apothecary. He decides the bookstore would be a nice place to calm down, when he hears a gasp from behind him. "...You!"

Tod turns, and notices a figure in the apothecary doorway. A familiar man, though his face looks far more deranged than before. Lord Innocent. Tod's stomach turns violently, this had been one person he'd wanted to never see again. Tod tries to duck inside the bookstore to avoid a conversation, but Innocent arrives in front of him too quickly. Fortunately, it seems he doesn't want a conversation either. Pulling out a poorly-kept knife, Innocent brandishes it at Tod. "This is all your fault! I must be freed, do you hear me? Freed! It's all you, I say, you started this all, oh yes, and I will finish you!"

Tod blinks in alarm and confusion. He hadn't done anything to Innocent; rather the opposite. "The debt was paid. You won the contract, you won the arrangement, we agreed on a price --"

"The price, the price! You should not have signed the contract. You should have known better. You were clearly plotting this, this enslavement, and now I will have you pay!" He lunges at Tod with the knife and a sharp laugh. Tod steps back, bewildered. What had happened to this man, this... creature?

"I already paid! To you, and the fellow who tried to poison me! My debt is cleared! Desist at once!" Tod tries to trip Innocent, and ends up falling backward.

Innocent lunges down toward the ground with the knife aimed for Tod's throat.

Tod moves his arm and kicks.

A scream breaks the air.

The knife clatters to the ground, next to Lord Innocent's dying body.


Tod sits, staring at the pool next to Innocent's throat, trying not to throw up. His hands grow numb, and he touches his face to make sure they still exist. He stands up again, leaning his body weight heavily against the wall of the bookstore. His head is now filled with silence, an immense ringing in his ears that doesn't let him hear anything else. His breathing takes a while to normal out, and he's vaguely sure he faints once or twice on his way to the bar he'd entered by mistake.

Sitting back down, he asks for the strongest thing they have, carelessly emptying his wallet on the table. The matron smiles to see such a well-paying customer. Within seconds, Tod is unconscious at the table.

continued http://ciphersyndicate.forumotion.com/t2992p50-mormont-estate#188645

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