As one tavern is demolished...

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As one tavern is demolished...

Postby Stam » Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:58 pm

OoC wrote:This is a collaborative work which isn't finished yet, because it's still missing your touch or reaction.

In the event below, Tahiri (either in person or by proxy) probably contacted every mage or cleric of substantial skill in the city. Is that you? Then you might be here shaping a part of the new tavern! Do let us know about that in a response below, together with which part you played.

And note, the Three Stars is still open for play. Tahiri pulled it off, and managed to demolish and rebuild the place in a single day. I'll have the revised description up as soon as I can manage to write it.

After months of thinking, a full month of expert planning and thousands of golden lions later, it was finally time. Everything was ready. There had been no formal announcement, yet word had gotten around nonetheless: the tavern known as the Three Stars was going to be renovated and enlarged to serve more customers in more comfort.

For the last ride, the tavern had quietly been removing nonessential items from the upper levels and placing them in storage; Tahiri herself had moved out and was staying elsewhere. The food menu had been cut down considerably in the last two days as the kitchen was packed up, with only basic fare now available even though the drink menu was still mostly available. Despite Tahiri's strong desire to keep 'business as usual' throughout the renovations there was still a limit to how much you could really pull off. Gumbo had been his usual blunt self when explaining that to her.

Only yesterday had Tahiri finally stuck a note up on the board that the tavern would be closed tomorrow, right before the final call for orders had been made and the doors shut. Then the final clearing had begun, removing all furniture, ornaments and then rolling out kegs of ale, mead and cider.

Dawn was just breaking over the city as Tahiri stood outside the front, looking over the building that she had called home for almost a full year now. She hadn't slept the whole night, busy supervising the removal and storage and then doing the final check-overs herself. Among other things. Taking a deep breath, she turned and looked around at the scattering of professional waiting. She had met Genevieve just once before, explaining the details of the job, but the woman's red hair, pale skin and dress habits made her easy to spot. Making her way over, she tossed the keys over with a nonchalant attitude that was entirely a facade. "Everything should be out. She's all yours now."

Ian wrote:As the sun rose behind her, Genevieve casually caught the tossed keyring from Tahiri and looked down on the Three Stars with a surveying eye. Almost as long as Tahiri had been working on hiring her other experts and clearing the tavern, Genevieve had likewise been planning and preparing the job...and now it was finally at hand.

Before her, a heavy sheaf of parchments lay spread across a wooden workbench: detailed drawings of the Three Stars, accurate to every detail, marked and scribbled on heavily in Genevieve's own tight, erratic hand. To the crew around her, the whole thing seemed a mess of gibberish, areas circled and arrowed seemingly at random, numbers placed in such a dizzying array of patterns that surely, they felt, she was actually employing them in some sort of magic ritual.

Insofar as any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from it, Genevieve was indeed about to work some magic.

Over the past ride, windows in every building facing the Three Stars had been shuttered or boarded over, after a thorough inspection by Genevieve herself of its structural integrity. The intricate masonry on the face of a nearby inn had been magically reinforced by a local wage mage, and everything else in the neighborhood had been deemed satisfactory. And now that the fateful day had arrived, Genevieve changed--transitioning quickly from the quiet, soft-spoken girl that had bemused her teamster crew over the last few weeks, she barked orders in a high, clipped voice, shocking the men into rapid action. "We don't have all day, men--let's get this going, just like I said, and we'll be ready to blow it by mid-afternoon break!"

The initial work went quickly--the sharpest of the young woman's assistants quickly strode through the building, smaller copies of their primary schematics in hand, marking walls and windows in bright red chalk, as the crew followed behind with axes and wheelbarrows. The sounds of demolition quickly filled the streets, as windows shattered and non-loadbearing walls came down. The debris was carted outside, and quickly carted off by woodworkers and scavengers looking for firewood.

Meanwhile, Genevieve began looking over the results of her prep work. Judging from how her replicas of the Three Stars' support columns had responded at the testing ground last ride, she used her little adamant shovel to carve a series of deep, narrow bore-holes in each of the building's primary support columns. She drew a few curious glances from her men as she finally brought out the cart that had mystified them for days--helped by the fussy elven man from the Waterdhavian city office, who had spent the last few weeks rolling his eyes at what she planned to do, but was now fidgeting a bit as he realized she was, in fact, totally serious.

Out of the cart came a series of little silver-wrapped bricks. Her men knew what smokepowder was, of course, but they had never seen it prepared quite the way it was here, somehow moulded into little squares and wrapped in paper, it was being packed into the columns as tightly as Genevieve could manage, then rigged with a carefully labeled fuse of what looked like twine the color of...well, smokepowder. All the while, she made little checks in her journal, and muttered things like, "This one goes fifth. Fuse E, double-pack the northward side."

As she finished with each column, Genevieve called to the last few members of her crew, who came over and wrapped the columns in heavy canvas. More than once, she snarled a bit at a crewman who'd disturbed her fuses, but all in all they were tentative around what were quite clearly deathtraps to their minds, and the young woman was not left with much work to re-do. The primary support columns were followed by those of less importance, until eventually every column in the place was loaded with smokepowder and covered in canvas.

Actually running a bit ahead of schedule, she shouted for the men to go grab a quick bit of lunch, and they piled outside as she carefully surveyed their work on the walls and windows. Followed still by the elven bureaucrat and his strange expression mixing fascination and horror, she nodded satisfactorily, then carefully began stringing the fuses back through the building towards the entrance. As the men filtered back to the command post across the street, Genevieve finished her work with the fuses, and then looked around.

Two men were tasked to do a final sweep of the building, making sure no vagrants were hiding in the wine cellar or something equally stupid. Each of her direct assistants were sent to the top floor or roof of the nearby buildings to watch the event, while another man was sent to notify the Watch to close off the nearby streets and keep back the crowd that was gathering to see just what was going on here. Finally, it was time.

The fuses had been carefully cut to length and measured for accurate weight and density (guaranteeing they would burn at equal speed). This made Genevieve's next task very easy. "Fire in the hole" is not a phrase known to the Realms, and wouldn't have made much sense to Genevieve anyway, so as she struck the tindertwig, she called out the only logical warning.

"Lighting it up! Stand to until I call 'clear!'"

Men held their breath as the fuses turned into a snake of crimson fire, slowly streaming its way into the Three Stars. Outside their view it split, tracing out towards each individual column in precisely the proscribed sequence.

As Genevieve looked on calmly, plugs of wax discreetly placed in both ears, everyone else flinched at the first ground-rattling explosion. Gasps and excited shouts rose at the second and the third, and moreso as the cacophony continued unabated for a solid minute! The explosions ripped apart each primary column as neatly as if it had been felled by a lumberjack, shrapnel caught in the canvas restraint as the columns topped inward, and the building began collapsing in on itself in a neat spiral. It paused for just a moment, like a punch-drunk fighter wobbling on its last legs...and then the secondary columns blew, one after another, and the building finally gave in with a terrible groan, collapsing straight down into a surprisingly small pile of rubble.

All the while, Genevieve counted silently to herself, making tally marks in the dirt. As the last explosion ceased its echoes through the neighborhood, and the former site of the Three Stars was now naught but a plume of grey dust rising hundreds of feet in the calm mid-day air, she spoke quietly.

"Twenty-eight. That's all of them."

"Huh?" The elf from the city eyed her quizzically, still looking dazed at the spectacle. In Correlon's name, this girl had just destroyed an entire building, with no fire, no shrapnel, not even any magic...just some blocks of dust, greasy black rope, and a tindertwig!

"Sometimes I get one that doesn't go, and it's a pain in the ass to go clear it out safely. The alchemists here make good stuff; I'll have to go pay them my compliments tomorrow." Turning away from the uncomprehending man from the city, she shouted to her now-cheering men. "All right, folks, we're clear! Now enough celebration, your work's not done've still got to cart away that mess so the wizards can get in here!" A moment later, she shouted after them, "Tie your masks up too, unless you want to be coughing this crap for the next ride!"

And then she sat down at her workbench again, mentally spent. It had been a long day, but a productive one...and as she heard the chime of two bells (putting her an hour ahead of schedule), she revised that to add: And a profitable one.

As the crew moved in, Tahiri clung tightly to the hand of one Captain Chase Xentar. While her face remained as pleasant and smiling as it had been minutes before - as in, before the explosions had started - she had invested a lot into the Three Stars. Seeing it vanish so quickly and utterly was a huge shock to the system, and left her suddenly realizing how much she really loved the place she had built. But there must be a bit of dust in her eye. Definitely. That was it. Because she wasn't crying.

And then the dust cleared somewhat. Tahiri, standing at the corner of the Way of the Dragon and Soothsayer's Way, found herself peering across the rubble at a small knot of curious mercenaries in Simple Street - right at the southernmost point of Virgin's Square. And she concluded, this time in all honesty, that she was not crying. Why would she be crying about demolishing the Three Stars so she could rebuild it better?

Releasing Chase's hand, she moved purposefully towards the loose agglomeration of a goodly number of the city's better arcanists.

Becca wrote:There was a time when Chase would've thought he was unflappable. But time in the air and his life as a captain in the Griffon Cavalry had taught him that he wasn't actually as unflappable as he thought he was. It was no surprise then when he nearly jumped a foot in the air at the first explosion. Eyes wide as he watched the tavern where he'd spent much of his free time recently disintigrate into large clouds of dust and tumbles of rubble, he swallowed hard and gripped Tahiri's hand just as hard in response to her hand gripping his.

Finally it was all over. Taking a deep breath he blinked a few times and watched in momentarily disbelief then smiled as Tahiri wiped her eye. There was a slight tightening of the skin around his eyes but then he shrugged and applauded the show with a pleased smile on his face.

Finally nodding as Tahiri move forward, he nodded once more and quietly went over to inspect the rubble for himself first hand, then frowned as he pulled out a small rock that held a still intact tile from the bar. Slipping that into his pocket unseen he joined Tahiri once more, tapping her shoulder lightly then ducking behind her to appear the other side. “So does this mean then you'll be staying a bit longer? I'll tell cook to make you some more honeyed toast shall I?”

He quickly stepped away from her after that, out of range of a potential thump.

"Watch and learn, flyboy. Watch and learn," Tahiri grins at him over her shoulder.

Magic is commonplace in Faerun, and in a city as large as Waterdeep with not just one but several large arcane schools? Ridiculously so. Yet despite all that, it wasn't every day that magic was thrown around lavishly and what Tahiri had (admittedly, with help) planned here was unprecedented. Sure, there had most likely been wizards who had decided to build themselves a proper wizard's tower in a single day, but those were much simpler than a modern composite roofed building that required not just magic, but several mundane skillsets.

Gathered here today were mostly stoneworkers and woodworkers; the stone for the foundations and pillars, and the wood for the majority of the structure. Others were on hand, too, for the smaller specialties. Metal for washbasins and piping, glass for windows...the list went on. But it was all about the structure. If this could be done at all, it was the most extensive parts of the building - foundation, walls, floor and roof - which had to be completed before it got too dark. Once that was all done, the finer parts could wait until the morning, or the next day, or even a full ride later...Tahiri wanted to open that new-wood-smell common room tomorrow morning and start serving drinks on it.

And as the last cart of debris was removed and Genevieve gave Tahiri the nod, the first of the stonesculpting mages strode forward. A youth moved at his side with a small, detailed sketch at which the mage gazed intently before removing a ball of clay. As he spoke the words of power, his fingers quickly molded the clay - and with a deep bass groan, the very earth itself began to reshape itself to his will. The cellar-to-be dug itself as people watched, the displaced earth and stone piling up and hardening into the multitude of support columns before the magic dispersed, leaving a small collection of rough irregular stone protrusions and a gaping hole.

Satisfied with his work, the mage gave a small nod of approval and began moving back even as more started to fill his place. And off to the side, seated in a comfortable chair, Lady Elenia Belabranta made a mark by the first of a very long list of things that had a bare seven bells to be completed.
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Re: As one tavern is demolished...

Postby Jiriki » Mon Apr 12, 2010 3:41 am

Chase again stared in disbelief as the mage went about his business. The large hole appearing before him being the first of many things he'd be witnessing that day. Eventually he just grins and gets on with enjoying the show. Truly fabulous as it is, its the realms after all and magic is in the very dust and bones of the earth, and its a rare day indeed when you can see something evolve from nothing, come into general creation and then continue upwards into a magnificent structure.

Walking away to join his mother, he crouches beside her to share some words, the woman smiling gently down at her son but then with a light stroke of her hand on his hair he stands and goes to tap that one barrel that's sitting in the corner and out the way. After all, dusty work watching the world around you change and recreate itself.. almost as hard work as grooming a griffon? No, not in the slightest. Almost as hard work as sweeping the floor of his quarters? No, of course not. As hard work as perhaps as watching the clouds drift past him on his rare time off? Now that's more like it. Terrible hard work that is.
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Re: As one tavern is demolished...

Postby Stam » Sun Apr 18, 2010 10:30 pm

The "team of mages" worked swiftly, most often one at a time but in a highly organized fashion. Both words were misnomers, as the men and woman had never actually worked together before and many of them were not utilizing divine magic. It was the magic of one woman's organizational skills that contributed, as much as any of them, to the feat that they performed from noon until just before the bells struck dusk.

(No, that woman wasn't Tahiri! Ye gods, what were you thinking?!)

It was just the shell of the new tavern-to-be, but it was all there. Foundations, roof, walls, service staircase, and enough of the second and third storeys to ensure it was safe to walk up those stairs. The building had been blown to smithereens, carted off, and then put right back up before the day had ended.

There was more work to do, of course. Copious quantities of it. But as Tahiri moved to inspect the new interior, her earlier tears were but faint memories.

"First ale's being poured at daybreak!" she called out through the doorframe that was still missing a door, grinning broadly.


Tahiri was as good as her word, too. Most of the tables and chairs were brought in over the evening, and barrels were rolled back into the new storage even as the work continued. The first ale was poured at daybreak, although there was no breakfast to go with it; Gumbo had strictly forbidden Tahiri from even asking him when his kitchen would be ready.

At high noon the day after, the interior spiral staircase was molded from a single massive length of oak tree with not a scrap of wastage - even the bark was used for a rough natural look on the railing - while the curious lunchtime crowd looked on.

The kitchen opened on the third day, rudimentary fare at first and then as supplies were re-ordered, the menu got back to its old steady self. The same evening, the booths on the ground floor were completed and the evening brawl remembered when it was supposed to take place.

By the end of the ride, Tahiri's girls moved their things back into the second-floor bedrooms and the upscale second floor of the common room was officially opened for business. Yet it wasn't until the end of Tarsakh's third ride that Tahiri finally got everything moved back into her personal room and office. The rooftop garden and fishpond continued to be a work-in-progress well into Mirtul.
The new tavern! wrote:The description of the Three Stars has been updated in the original thread and can be found here.
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