Best Laid Plans, Part 3: Word On The Street IC Thread

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Best Laid Plans, Part 3: Word On The Street IC Thread

Postby A.J. » Wed May 06, 2015 1:15 pm

( IC actions only please. OOC questions can be fielded in the Word on the Street thread. )

That guy everyone who knows knows, with the big mouth wrote:Yeah you know them Wands? Word is one a' their bigwigs went ~poof~ and got the Big bigwig all ruffled up. Something about 'Mary.' I dunno, but I heard that Wands was up and down over at Bella's alla time. I betchya there's more'n Mary he's in fer there eh? Nobles're throwin' money at any berk what's got info about it, fer sure...


And so a trio of individuals sought out these rumors, as, perhaps, there might be a bit of coin involved. Or something...

• It's the small morning hours when those in the know see what's really going on down at the docks. It's not the 2 or 3am crowd, but that group right when the shift changes an hour or so before the dawn. Here's where the corrupt officials make their appearances, where illicit cargos find their way into and out of the city in vast quantities. Here is where the night shift fades into the misty dawn and go to find their vices. This is also when the nosy folks of the city do their snooping about, as the shifts trade hands, information about the past and coming day is a valuable commodity. Maybe you could find that guy everyone seems to know what started the rumor you're following in the first place. Mind you, all of this under the guise of legal enterprise, decades-old reputations, and no small amount of coin.

• Kathryn is rarely seen at this hour, but when she is it's in her current outfit. Hard-worn hunting leathers, modest armor, unstrung longbow and quiver slung on her back and a half-moon of steel axe hanging from a belt loop. Either she's off for a hunt, or just returned from one empty-handed.

• The Gnome wasn't doing anything particular. This kind of thing used to be fun, she'd watch the deals and maybe look for someone she could talk out of a valuable or two later or maybe just something shiny to lift. That comfort zone had been obliterated recently. She hadn't found a new one yet. So instead she's just sitting on a crate looking over the water and the crime, legs tight and arms around her chest, a small bow over her shoulders.

• Kat paces (relatively) quietly down the Docks, looking for the Man Who Knows A Man.

• Enoka was always up at this time of the morning. Usually opening her inn, but today she had other things to do. Adorned in her breast plate, carrying a cross bow and spear, she's wearing her lightest clothing under her armor and boots on her feet. she'd made her way down to the docks to begin the business at hand.

• The three of you, having heard these rumors on the wind, will eventually end up near the southern side of the docks. Further inquiries seem to point you in the direction of a dark-skinned man locals call "Bones." That is, if you're of a mind to make further inquiries. Doing so individually, though, might draw attention.

• Seeing the other two in the same area as Enoka gains a nod to them. Maybe she wasn't to do this alone after all. A small group would be nice.

• Kathryn notes Enoka and raises a hand in polite greeting, recalling the girl from several chance meetings in the Yawning Portal.

• Bones. How dramatic. It might not be making inquiries so much as just listening to people and possibly following somewhere behind Kat though. Really the Gnome just looked a bit out of place and awkward, maybe she was lost?

• Enoka smiles softly at Kat and moves to join her. “Good morning.” Taking in the gnome as she joins Kathryn.

• Seems the name stuck over the guy's uncanny knack at dice, or so you're told. He's due in off the "Sea Gypsy" which is not much further down the docks.

• "It's a little early for that,” Kathryn replies, “generally speaking, unless one is a hunter, baker or tradesman ... what brings you here?" The gnome wandering behind them gets a brief glance, lingering momentarily on the bright hair.

• "I go to speak to a local contact about the missing nobleman, with the hope he has more information on the man's preferences than I." Enoka replies. She nods just a bit to Kat. “I'm always up this early. Seems we have the same goal here then. I'm heading to the Sea Gypsy now to talk with a guy named Bones.”

• "As am I. Let us go together then?" Kat offers.

• The Gnome paused when Kat's attention wandered, she waved at her briefly. Smiled - but it's a bit too innocent looking a smile maybe to be what she thinks? Maybe. She offerd one to Enoka too, but seemed otherwise inclined to keep heading toward the Sea Gypsy.

• Enoka nods. “Sounds good.” She watches red as she is given a smile and nods to her. Seeing her head toward the gypsy as well. “And perhaps another?”
• Kathryn gives the little gnome a smile and nod, polite courtesy itself to one of lesser station. But it seems the girl is headed for the same place as they. "You, too?"

• As you progress, you find the intended ship moored at dock. Men are busy unloading her cargo, most of which looks to be spices and barrels of alcohol. There are more than a few of them with dark skin.

• Foreigners and foreign imports. Kat nods approvingly to that thought, then gestures for Enoka to take the lead.

• Enoka looks at more then one dark skinned man on this boat. This may prove entertaining. Choosing the right dark skinned man. No matter. She picks one and heads in his direction. “Excuse me. I am looking for Bones could you direct me to him?”

• Red does indeed end up lingering around that ship. Or around Kat, right when Enoka heads off to do her thing. The hair is one thing, and the gloves maybe as well? "So, hearing things about strange dark men and their bones too?"

• Eventually you are pointed toward a thin man with a thick afro and a scraggly beard. He is missing more than one tooth. Also, the odd smell of the docks is strong with this one... It's not a pleasant thing. He finishes setting a crate on a wagon with another man and turns as you approach. "Ay wha ye wants now?" He obviously saw the others pointing in his direction and put 2 and 3 together.

• "Hearing things *from* strange dark men, rather." Kat replies.

• She ignores the smell as she approaches the right man. Those silver eyes of hers taking him in. “I'm looking for someone and I was told you could help with that.” She looks at Kat and Red and motions for them to join her. “A nobleman from the House of Wands is missing. He frequents Bella's and has been known to see "Mary".

• Kat follows Enoka, nodding to the man. "Or Mary may be someone else. Word on the street said you know something of this."

• "I already tol' them Wands what I knows," he shakes his head and makes a pushing motion with his hand in her direction. "I worked for Wands back inna dae, diggin' 'oles fer shite pay." He turns and laughs at his partner, who doesn't seem all that amused.

• The Gnome didn't speak up just yet, but when Enoka gestured back she did raise a hand and offer a wave to the man.

• "Did they bother listening to a commoner?" Kat asks. "Or did they smile, nod and give you a few gold pieces to make you go away?"

• “Yes well they have not seen fit to part with this information. So anything you can tell us would be helpful.” She nods to Kat's questioning.

• "Ahhh," he sighs as he finishes the laugh. "Listen, dem Bones," he pounds his chest a bit with the palm of his hand, "Them listen well." He glances at Enoka, then Kathryn. "Pfft, 'dem Wands is a lot o' cheap fops," he noises. "Like as see me dead than pay me," he chuckles, glancing again at his not-so-amused friend. "Now, he'd go up te Bella's e'ery time he set foot on dry land, that one. Lord Yag or whatever." He burps. "Yeah and what's this about Mary?" He asks suddenly. "Oh!" his eyes go wide and he suddenly has a far off look in his eyes. "Maaary," he says wistfully.

• A dart blooms in the man's neck and he grabs it with a strangled cry. He pulls it out, looks at it, and falls to the floor dead. When he falls, you see his partner making a break for it.

• The Gnome unslings the shortbow from her back, darting off to one of the stacks of crates before fishing for an arrow.
• “Killer! Cease running and submit yourself!" is Kathryn's first (and loud) statement on the matter. She'd already spared a moment to reject the word 'murderer' as it was as of yet not fully proven.

• He continues to run, spots Red eyeing him with her ranged weapon, and hurls something small and shiny in her direction with expert aim.

• Enoka quickly casts divine favor as she pulls her bow from her shoulder slipping behind the crate next to her.

• Too bad the dart hits the crate Red's standing behind, just barely enough to deflect its trajectory.

• Kathryn hustles forward, pulling the bow off her back and obtaining an arrow. In the process, she touches a stone arrowhead set into the leather on her bow arm. "Last Warning! Stand down or be taken down!" She expends a charge from the wand stored in her bow, and her eyes glow red as she takes a firing stance.

• ..Well, suddenly there was a big fat Kat in her line of fire. Which did spoil things a bit. So Red ducked quietly behind matters and went around one of the buildings.

• The runner seems to weigh his options, what with a decided numbers advantage against him. He didn't seem to mind that as he tossed another dart toward Kathryn this time before closing to melee, a dagger in each hand. Maybe it was a distraction attempt merely, as the dart sails past her.

• She sways out of the way, a pleased smile coming to her face as the man closes. Then at point-blank range, she deftly ducks his attempts to slash at her while she fires not one, but two arrows at the man.

• The first arrow misses, but surprises the man by her ability to shoot up close. The second hits the vital spot she'd been aiming for. "Surrender and be brought before the magistrate - or die." Kat’s smile is definitely not the happy-to-see-you kind. She's enjoying this.

• Enoka sees the man attacking kat, takes aim, and lets loose an arrow at the man.

• His eyes glance to Kats and he tilts his head.

• The arrow misses the man completely and Enoka growls in frustration. The arrow sails by the Runner, and Kat too. Good thing Enoka was being extra careful not to hit her...

• The man now finds himself with a Gnome on the other side also holding a bow on him. Not wanting to waste the surprise she'd take a shot. Carefully. Which goes a bit too high - though it did drive home a point she hoped. "Dear, you're bit on the surrounded side. Maybe you should reconsider the lady's kind offer."

• The Runner tries to stab Kat, but then stands up stiffly, dropping the daggers and says, "You're right. I quit. Take me to the magistrate." He smiles but then winces in pain at the arrow in his liver...

• Kathryn was already drawing back the string with another arrow handy, and pauses. Her mouth works for a moment, then her jaw muscles flex as she clenches her teeth. She leaves the arrow half-drawn, then nods shortly. Now she's pissed. "Hands on your head. Turn around, then lie down on the floor while we wait for the City Watch."

• "Draw another weapon or attempt to flee and you will henceforth be known as Sieve."

• He does as instructed, gingerly. "Oy, 'ow about somethin' fer the pain?" He sucks in air and can't really lie down properly with the arrow in his gut.

• "Enoka, do you recall me telling him not to run?"

• The Watch seems to be taking a decidedly long time to arrive at this hour. But there is a bit of commotion coming from the ship as a tall man with a large hat emerges and eyes them from the deck. "'Ere now what's this business? I be Cap'n of the Sea Gypsy and that be me crew ye got thar bleedin' out a'fore ye."

• Men train arrows on the three of you.

• "They attacked me Cap'n!" the Runner calls out. Technically true.

• "Crew who killed one of your crew, then turned his weapons on the citizens and nobility of Waterdeep," she corrects the captain. "As I believe you are doing now, out of possible mistaken thoughts. He has surrendered, and we are waiting for the City Watch to come take him into custody."

• Enoka slings her bow back over her shoulder and joins Kat and red serounding the man. “I do recall that.” She reaches down and yanks the arrow out of his liver. Letting Kat do all the talking to the captian but notes the arrows trained on them.

• The Gnome seems to take that as a good sign that more talking is perhaps in order. "The body over there?" She'd gesture to - what was it again? "Bones, I think? Has a dart sticking out of him? This one here put it there, and tried to put more of em in us. Did it as soon as House Wands and the name Mary got mentioned. I don't think you're the one he's really working for Captain."

• "What nobility?" he scoffs, glancing at his men. "I had no choice Cap'n!" the runner cries after losing his breath from Enoka's actions. "They were nosing about in what's none o' their business!" He coughs up a bit of blood. The Cap'n looks down at Bones. "Ye killed Bones?" his hand goes to his sword. Things were getting a trifle confusing. "Mary?" he echoes. "Oh, Maaary." "Open fire! Yank the gangplank! To Sea! To Seaaaa!" he screams at the men. A hail of arrows falls in your direction. The gangplank is subsequently yanked.

• She sighs softly as the captain orders them to yank the plank and attack. Evidently she is in the line of fire.

• Kathryn takes two glancing hits from arrows, then dives for cover - attempting to affix the name of the ship into her mind. The portmaster is going to hear about this!

• "Yank the main sail! Unfurl the topsal! Full out dammit!" Oars come out of the starboard side of the ship within moments. "Cast off ye lackeys!" and the ship begins to make its way out to sea.

• Your prone Runner is pincushioned by the hail of arrows. He seemed to be more the target than the three of you. He bleeds out rather rapidly.

• Those of you with ranged weapons up can take aim, as the boat is still within a bow's max range...

• Nothing even comes close to hitting the Gnome as far as the arrows go - she might let one of her own fly back.
• Chaos ensues. Arrows fly in both directions.

• Seeing the dead pincushion she had in some ways envisioned, she stands behind cover and looses the rest of her quiver on the fleeing boat. Because hey, why not?

• The Gnome is right there firing with her- particularly at the Captain. One of her missiles finds his neck, and, clutching it, the man flees belowdecks.

• Enoka casts bless on the party while they do the attacking…

• More arrows rain down from both sides of the fight.


• Kat takes another arrow, this one slicing her forearm. It doesn't stop her reaching for another arrow.

• As Kathryn dropped the man at the helm another quickly took his place, and a pair of men put up planking behind him to keep him shielded, holding it up as they sail out of the bay.

• As the ship distances itself from you and the arrows fly, their aim seems to waver considerably. Except the ones shooting at Enoka. She takes 3 or 4 over the course of the fight and they're good hits.

• Then, the Sea Gypsy is away.

• And there's the Watch. Just in time...

• Once the combat is over Enoka begins healing herself as quickly as she can.

• Kat did her best and dropped several others arrow the helm, however. Which may please her.

• ..Well, at least she left the captain bleeding out of his neck. That was something right? Red’s thoughts.

• Kathryn puts up her bow, the quiver nearly half empty of its usual hunting quota, and turns to the Watchman with a scowl. "What took you so long? Were you too busy sheltering from the hail of arrows a ship just dropped on your docks?"

• The Watch arrives and with the Eirontalar name in the mix, takes your statements and grants you free leave. You can, also, search the two bodies before you do so.

• Enoka finishes healing herself and gives a statement like the others then searches the 2 dead for any clues.

• Well of course there will be body searching. The Gnome's not even squeamish about it. "That was.. truly strange. Seriously."

• "Almost as if they were enspelled to react upon hearing of the name?" Kat’s reply.

• She nods to Red. “Sounds like we need to check on this "Mary" it seems to be the key.

• I suppose?" Really, this was well outside the lass's wheelhouse. She'd shrug briefly before checking pockets once more. "If we can find her without people freaking out and going homicidal just at the name.."

• "So we can hope." She offers a hand to the gnome. "Lady Kathryn of House Eirontalar. Thank you for your aid and your marksmanship."
A.J.
 
Posts: 245
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:46 pm

Re: Best Laid Plans, Part 3: Word On The Street IC Thread

Postby A.J. » Thu May 07, 2015 8:24 am

• "For the record…" Enoka suggests, "I think we should go to Bella's to find this 'Mary.'"

• "Which Bella's?" Kathryn asks, "I know of three."

• "Then we check all three," Enoka replies. Or we ask around the docks to see which one is most used by sailors."

• Kathryn, flatly: "One is a brothel. Another claims not to be, but is always visited by noblemen and their trophies-on-arms. The third is a gambling den, and the only place where I would not be completely out of place."

• Enoka: "Are you saying you are uncomfortable going? And I own the Worlds End. Maybe i could check with the owners of the brothel and the gambling den to see if they will part with some information."

• Kathryn folds her arms. "I have little interest in doing so. That sounds like a preferred alternative."

• Enoka: "I will see if the owners will make some trade for business. In the mean time prepare yourself to go. Your a noble, and nobles aren't afraid to stick their noses anywhere. Especially when they have a goal and we have a goal. I will do what I can first."

• Kathryn seems a bit taken aback at that, then goes back to frowning. Silent frowning, but frowning.

• Enoka reminded Kathryn of her Duty and how it had to override her personal distaste for the venues they're going to visit.

• Red: "There's no such thing as a woman looking out of place in a brothel if she's dressed properly. So sit down and hold still while we get you two tarted up a bit."

• Kathryn starts to wonder how hard it would be to convince ... no. No, no, no. Not permitted.

• Red smells a dirty thought and resolves to see this corruptive influence through to it's conclusion.

• There might be the sound of grinding teeth, but all Kathryn permits herself to say is, "It shall be appropriate for my station."

• Red: "Yes yes, don't worry. We'll make sure you're at least a Countess level tart. Might be able to make Duchess if we go shopping first - keep sneering, that actually helps."

• Kathryn: "And black." A pause. "I even have appropriate jewelry."

• Enoka lets Red do her work but secretly snickers at the entire shenanigans.

• Enoka and Kathryn's inquiries uncover a simple fact: The three places in question are not so much known or even called "Bella's," but have a connection and are possibly owned by the person of this name. This information is also not very easy to come by, and though Enoka's position as a tavern owner does give her a bit of leverage in what she might offer in return, she discovers very little more than this.

• The gambling hall, known as The Belly of the Beast, located in the Trades Ward, seems to be fronted by the noble Phull family, but recent events involving one of their House members has brought attention to the family and the holding seems to have shifted ownership recently. There was something involving people trafficking and local heroes gone fugitives or some such. (Ask me about Freedom's Price thread for more info or check the forums for OOC info - you'll still have to roll for info on that event or interview the players involved yourselves)

• The brothel known as The Planes, though located in the Docks, doesn't cater to your average sailor. Word on the Street is that they're fairly particular about their clientele base. It seems less like a dive for the local crewman and more like where the Captains hang their… hats.

• As for the mysterious bathhouse, information is tricky at best. All that you can find out is that it's located somewhere in the Sea Ward. Of course, there are many such places throughout the area, as the nobility does enjoy their pampering...

• All of this information may be moot, however, as the three of you sit about in the World's End discussing your plans, when a small, thin man with a bushy moustache appears at the bar next to you. His eyes move over Red and Kathryn and their prissifying, and he looks to Enoka. "Excuse me, my dear, but are you the proprietor of this fine establishment?" he asks politely.

( That's where we will begin Tuesday, 5/12, 11am EST see you then! )
A.J.
 
Posts: 245
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:46 pm

Re: Best Laid Plans, Part 3: Word On The Street IC Thread

Postby A.J. » Wed May 13, 2015 1:58 am

• Enoka looks over, from watching Kat and Red, and looks the man over. “I am. Is there something I can help you with?”

• "Yes, thank you," he replies kindly, reaching into a black silk waistcoat and producing a letter, which he subsequently sets on the bar in front of her. "Good day." He turns and moves toward the exit. "Ladies," he nods to Red and Kat with a small smile.

• Enoka arches a brow and picks the letter up. “That was odd.” Carefully opening the letter and taking a look at it.~

• The Gnome prissed up well. Apparently she'd had practice with this - which made one question when she came by it if she used to be male. Also where she managed to get red satin outfit fit for a noble - even if it looked like it had been altered to fit her current ah.. measurements. The letter draws all manner of attention, and the suspense prompts the Gnome to speak. "Well dear, tell us who it's from then."

• Kathryn was scowling, but appropriately dressed for a city noblewoman. Her outfit was in one of the latest fashions, cut well for her shorter stocky figure, and included a corset and low neckline that ensured her assets were on display. Despite all that, she had ensured it was black - as were the accessories, dark dark wood and onyx. She did, however, submit to Red's prissying without further protest, and had shown up in the appropriate clothing for it... She comments to Enoka, “You should probably have that checked before opening it. Magic, poisons, other nasty surprises.”

• Enoka frowns. “Hadn't thought about that. It is a little late now…” still looking the letter over.
B wrote:My darling Enoka,

How fortunate our paths finally cross. I am sorry I haven't had the chance yet to formally introduce myself. But I shall! I am holding a small soirée, really just a party, to be honest. Won't you come? I've room for at least 3 guests if you are inclined to bring any along. I do hope to see you there!

B.

• Red looked just a little too amused about something- "Well then tell us who it's from - you know.. before the poison drops you. That -is- how I died last time you know."

• There is a date a week from today included in the letter and an address in the Sea Ward. The letter smells only if a woman's perfume and while certainly alluring, seems to hold no ill effects.

• She arches a brow. “It is from Bella,” she assumes. She places the letter on the counter in front of them so they can read it. “It seems we have a party to go to next week ladies.”

• "You're kidding." Kathryn’s scowl is back. "I *just* finished getting into this getup."

• Red says, "...damn, we're dressed to early." She'd squint at the thing a little. "I mean we can use that week to investigate the place some but still, I had been looking forward to seeing Kat actually try to smile"

• Come hunting with me, then," is Kathryn’s reply, "Just not in this."

• The Gnome's legs crossed while that eyebrow climbed a little higher. "This is all I ever hunt in."

• Enoka chuckles. “I will have to buy a new dress. Kat darling you look lovely. And it would be waste to not go out today. No we will carry through with our investigation today.”

• "Oh, good. Because I would *really* hate to have all that effort go to waste." A smile does blossom on Kathryn’s face as she looks at Red. "Ah, the man-eater? I've seen a few like you among the nobility.

• She opened her mouth just a little, then closed it and promptly looked thoughtful. "..Okay, that might be accurate in spite of having started doing this in my old bodies."

• Kathryn frowns at the gnome. "Old bodies?"

• “Bella will just have to stay a mystery until next week. There are three establishments to look into.” She smiles softly at Red. “Yes, but now you are all woman Red. Now it is time to see what you can do with it.”

• "I've taken a couple of vacations beyond the Pale.” Red explains, “Shall we go get on with our froofing about for a good cause then?"

• Your primping need not go wasted. Investigating more of Bella's holdings is still on the table. The address in the Sea Ward also rings a bell to Kathryn, and any local to Waterdeep.

• Enoka takes the letter and folds it back up then slips it into the safe to save for next week. “Where do we want to start?”

• "Hm,” Kat noises, “I recall there being a to-do at the location where we are going in a week. It might be prudent to expect trouble."

• Red's bushy brows furrowed a bit. "I think you're right - something that basically ruined one of the other Houses? Can't remember which one."

• “I shall have to take care to ensure my Houses are not similarly placed in jeopardy, then. But that's for another day. Shall we go gambling, or looking for men to feed to Red?" Kathryn looks at Red again, noting the hair and stature. "Wait. We did meet before the other day, didn't we? “

• Having mostly sorted the strange letter, you do notice the Mr. Moustache has left the building, immediately after having delivered it to you. It seems now your investigation might truly begin. Where to?

• “What kind of to-do? And I don't plan on us going unprepared for trouble.“ She comes out from behind the counter dressed in a fashionable two piece pants outfit that was in the latest fashion. It fit her figure perfectly but allowed her to move freely.

• As it stands, you all might need to look more into the address before that information becomes available.

• "I could go for a card game - besides, the people will pay to feed us there if we do this right?" Red slid off the seat at that point, adjusting the red silk upon landing. Those black gloves might be familiar to Kat too - but they still matched the outfit.

• She joins them in front of the bar. “We can start at the gambling hall. We need to investigate the address for bella's little party too.”

• The gambling hall isn't likely to be open during daylight hours anyway. You can spend the day searching for clues on the address (+2 circumstance for extra time taken) and then head to the bookstore called the Leviathan, across from the Dripping Dagger. Word on the Street says this is the front for the Belly of the Beast.

• "When I used to gamble ... I generally preferred the horses, or the wheels. The cards just seemed too ... " Kathryn shrugs.

• "Social?" There's Red’s smirking smile again. "But that makes sense - I imagine you can spot an energetic horse compared to a lazy one. Cards on the other hand are all about lies.. rather a different set of behaviors to look for."

• Kathryn shrugs. "All nobles lie. One way or another, one time or another. It's very rare to find one who has no need to lie."

• Enoka gives a half smile to Kat and Red. “The gambling hall will be closed till tonight so that will have to wait. Why don't we start with investigating the address we have for Bella's next week.”

• All told, you combined efforts net you at least a name and an event. It is public knowledge that the von Hamartia's estate was destroyed in some sort of spectacular battle between the party of the Steelmage and unknown demonspawn. The buildings were razed to the ground and the entire place destroyed. It is believed that the entire noble house perished in that event. Now, it seems, in the last several years since, the land has been bought up and rebuilt upon. You could not find much more information than this. After a day spent investigating, the hour seems right for you to move on to your next target, and you find the Leviathan just diagonally opposite the Dripping Dagger. A pair of men stand outside its open doors, 'reading.'

• Simplest way to do this kind of thing? Just walk in as if you belong there, even if you don't. Especially if you don't. So that's what the Gnome proceeds to do.

• "If one were to believe in luck,” Kathryn was saying as they approached the Leviathan, “they would consider that address an ill-fortuned location," she suggests to the others. "Others might see it an opportunity to buy prime land for lower costs. I wonder which they are.” Kathryn is a noblewoman, dressed accordingly, and this is an establishment catering to her kind. She walks in as if she belongs there, because she does.

• Enoka heads in not far from Red with Kat following.

• The women don't even register a glance from the two men and they enter the book store. "Good evening," comes the voice of an elf behind what looks to be the buyer's counter. He is impeccably dressed and groomed. "Is this your first time inside the Leviathan?" he asks.

• "Indeed." Kathryn smiles politely, then glances down at Red before back at the elf.

• It is indeed a bookstore, this Leviathan, and there are others who are about browsing, but the elf is quite attentive.

• Enoka nods to the gentleman. “Good Evening.” Standing with Kat. Her silver gaze taking the elf in along with the bookstore.

• There's that slanted grin again. "Depends on how you look at it - but if there's a tour we'll take it,” Red says.

• "Yes, I see," the elf nods with a smile. "Please do feel free to look about. Why, there's the drama and romance section just there, arcane entreatements there, in the back you'll find all you need to know on games of chance, and why, there's a bit on religious treatises, history, and the like just there." His arms sweep about pointing, and end with his hands palm to palm just before his chest. "I do believe you will find a bit of everything. My name is Hobbes," he offers, "Please feel free to ask if you have any questions."

• Maybe a little something about Waukeen, or Tymora. Thank you Hobbes." She inclines her head there - leaves a coin behind, then makes her way toward the back, first passing by the religious treatises.

• "M'lady," he says with a slight bow, backing away.

• Enoka takes in his little tour of sections then looks back to him before following Red toward the back.

• Toward the back there is an unattended stair that leads down beneath the bookstore. It is a spiral staircase wide enough for two people to ascend or descend abreast of one another. The elf is attending another customer.

• Enoka notes the stairs. “Looks like down it is.” Heading for the stairs.

• The Gnome likewise apparently sees no need to hesitate. "Let's see what kind of place this is.."

• You descend the stair into a dimly let tunnel. At the bottom, a woman with olive skin, short hair, and simple but fine clothes awaits you. "Greetings," she says with a bow. "Come," she turns without hesitation and leads you into the tunnel, which is about 9' tall and wide enough to fit the four of you side by side, but she leads. "Is this your first time in the Belly of the Beast?" she asks.

• "Indeed," Kathryn says again, this time more quietly than above. "I am certain, however, that it will be quite the experience."

• Enoka smiles at the olive skinned woman and follows behind her. “Oh of that I am sure.”

• Oddly enough the Gnome's quiet for once - perhaps just paying attention?

• "We have had many who flatter us by saying the self-same thing," the olive-skinned woman replies. "We prize discretion above all else, though. That this is your first time here speaks volumes to your... interests." The tunnel bends and turns but never abrubtly, sometimes enough to make the turns blind. Eventually you reach a wide double door, and two more olive-skin, slanted-eyed women stand there, dressed much as your 'hostess.' As you approach, one of them leaves the door and heads back down the hall the way you came with a small bow to you in passing.

• Does it indeed...?" Kathryn asks quietly, acknowledging the bow with a slight inclination of her head.

• Muffled sounds of revelry and the faint smell of smoke and incense come from the direction of the door.

• Enoka follows along quietly for the moment. Taking everything in as they approach the doors.

• You stop at the door and notice another open door to the side. "We check all weapons here," she says to them. "I do apologize, but it is for the safety of both our patrons and our staff. Of course, they will be returned to you when you leave."

• "But of course." Kathryn removes the rapier she wore, offering it to the attendant.

• The Gnome doesn't actually seem to be carrying any, showing little reluctance to being checked. Just a purse with coinage in it and a small bag that might have a gemstone or two inside from the feel of it.

• Enoka eyes the woman a moment then produces a dagger from somewhere on her person and hands it over. But that seemed to be the only weapon she was carrying.

• "Thank you," the olive-skinned woman replies, and the other woman moves to pat them down.

• Enoka is patted down and has no other weapons on her.

• Kathryn has a spell component pouch, and makes no attempt to hide it. Otherwise, she has her coinpouch, her signet ring, and spectacles.

• The woman pauses at Kathryn's spellpouch and says, "We will care for this while you are entertained, m'Lady," she says, not removing it herself, but waiting for Kathryn to do so. Here eyes are cast down toward her feet.

• Kathryn does sniff disapprovingly. Possibly even squirms. But hands over the pouch upon request.

• "Your nobility is apparent," the first woman says, "Thank you for complying. Now, the pleasures of Waterdeep await." She opens the door. Scents and sounds assail you from the dimly lit room beyond.

• Scents in particular. That nose of hers was ever so much more sensitive than it used to be. Red paused a couple steps into the room and took it all in.

• Enoka slips in behind Red and does much the same as she takes it all in.~

• You enter a plush environment. This is not a typical gambling hall, where it is mostly men taking advantage of other men. Here, both men and women seem to be at play and at service, and there is a notable amount of slanted-eyed, olive-skinned women about, serving, servicing, and keeping a general eye on things.

• "Thank you," Kathryn says politely to the woman, noble offering courtesy to one far below her station who has nonetheless done their job appropriately. And moves forward as if her right to be present.

• To your right, you spot a very tall half-orc female in a red dress. She is atypical for her race in that while she still bears the staunch looks and wide build of her kind, she moves with a seemingly effortless grace. She approaches immediately. "Welcome to the Belly of the Beast," she says with a florid bow. "I am Maywynne."

• The commons is literally huge. It looks as if it at one time could have even been a warehouse. Its roof is about 10' high, and there is what looks to be a bar at its center. There is a stair in the center of the bar that goes up into the roof. Various rooms can be seen once you begin meandering around the edges of the place.

• Enoka looks the half orc over and smiles softly.~ Good evening Maywynne.

• Games of all sorts abound, most seem to revolve around dice.

• "Well met, and our thanks," she replies. "I am Lady Kathryn, but of course you know that. I see ... Shou, here, in Waterdeep? This will certainly be interesting. I believe drinks are in order first."

• Good evening, m'Lady," she returns. "Your presence graces us, Lady Kathryn," she bows. "As you wish. Please, follow me, I have a place worthy of a Lady of your station just here." She leads her to an elevated platform which holds a long divan, a low table, and several plush chairs. "My Lady should find this quite accommodating," she bows again. "To drink? We spare no expense here, and so I am certain that we have whatever My Lady and her companions would desire." From this place you have a commanding view of the entire commonroom.

• "Evening Maywynne." Red says in greeting. There's that smile again. Probably playful, possibly predatory. Her eyes certainly had an air of thirst to them here. "Anything you'd recommend?"

• "Does the lady have a taste for spirits, wine, or ale?" she queries.

• "Imported ale would please." Kathryn hands over several platinum pieces. "It need not be Dwarven-make. Enoka?"

• Enoka follows as they are taken to a table. One fitting their needs as well as it over looks the common room. “I would like a whiskey. Thank you.”

• Kathryn takes a seat on the divan, adjusting her skirt a bit self-consciously.

• The Gnome climbed up into the seat - literally. Scaling the edge like a low wall. But when she was settled and comfortable? "Surprise me."

• Of course," she says to each of them in turn, and moves off. The floor around you is alive with action. Some nobles may be recognizable, but none seem to be doing much socializing. This was the sort of place one found to get away from the Great Game, if such were possible. Here and there half-naked forms drift in and out of your vision. Perhaps deeper into the Belly would find what they were all about. Before you there is a table with a half dozen people at liar's dice.

• Kat spies one of those complex dicing games, one of the wheels further out, and a multitude of card-tables with people trying to beat the dealer's hand.

• One of the olive-skinned women is suddenly beside you. She was very silent. On her tray rests a combination of bottles and glasses.

• Enoka wasn't much for gambling but she did take it in with some interest. As the olive skinned woman appears beside them with a tray she looks at its contents.

• "Old One-Eye," the olive-skinned woman says, setting a mug before Kathryn. "This beer is shipped in containers stamped with a brand of a cyclops’ head. The legend is that the recipe was learned from a cyclops over 100 years ago. This brew is akin to the lagers of Calimshan—lighter and less opaque than the standard stouts of the North, but with a higher alcohol content. Old One Eye’s fiery red color comes from its secret brewing process." Its odd “hot” aftertaste makes this beer a one-of-a-kind drink.

• "...I could go for a game of dice. It's been a while." The Gnome suddenly sounded a rather odd combination of nostalgic and maybe a tad fearful.

• "Berduskan Dark," the server continues, setting a bottle of wine before Red and a glass. She pours it expertly *and* one-handed. "This dark wine is a heavy, sweet, and burning wine. It is very dark in hue, almost black, and high in alcohol content. It is highly prized across the Realms."

• Kathryn replies, "I make a poor liar at the dice, but can frequently guess well."

• Now, a squat decanter and a snifter for Enoka. "Saerloonian Special Vat. This pale Sembian whiskey leaves a tingle on the tongue. While the recipe for Saerloonian Special Vat is rumored to be over half raspberry and strawberry, with some grains added for smoothness and body, many claim this stable and untiring whiskey's full-bodied tones come from the special fermenting and aging processes used to make it."

• Enoka looks at Red as all the alcohols are explained and handed out. “Then go have a game Red honey. But remember why we are here and make some inquiries.”

• Kathryn inclines her head in thanks for the beer and passes more coinage for service, then tastes the brew.

• "Will there be anything else?" she asks, "Something to eat, perhaps?"

• “Perhaps later,” Kathryn replies.

• Enoka smiles softly at the lady as her drink is laid forth. “Thank you.” She picks up the snifter and takes a sip. holding it in her mouth and tasting the liquid before swallowing.

• Everything served is top shelf. As the night wears on if you drink more, you'll notice a specific elevation to your 'buzz.' This is the sort of thing truly *good* alcohol does...

• Kathryn joins Red at the dicing tables, and generally listens in to talk. The significant presence of Shou is already something 'off' about this place, but the rest of it appears a genuine diversion for the nobility tiring of responsibility.

• Red and Kat approach a game of liar's dice with a pair of empty seats.

• "Appreciated." Well, far be it from her not to go partake at the table.. besides. Lips were loose around a game. Conversation flowed as easily as the alcohol. "Mind if I join in?"

• "By all means," says the attendant, another Shou woman. "The buy in begins at 5g." Red and Kat sit down at the table, expressing their intent to play.

• Enoka waits a bit then joins Kat and Red but doesn't sit. Instead she slips beside them and watches for the moment.

• Once you're bought in, she gives you a cup with 6 dice. You are free to inspect them while those currently playing finish their round. There is an older woman with fading blonde hair, a noble-looking man with a long yet well trimmed beard, accentuating his pointy chin, a fat man who is totally red in the face, and a good-looking younger man dressed in the garb of a noble as well.

• Kathryn gives the dice an experimental toss or two, then puts them back in the cup and waits, smiling politely as the others bargain away their gold. Sipping from her excellent drink while she waits.

• "The game is liar's dice," the woman explains. "You will toss the dice in your cup, place it open-end down, and then secretly inspect the results. Those results you project into a mathematical probability for the total number of results of a particular die. If you do not believe a fellow player's estimation, you may call them out. Doing so ends the round and the resulting party either wins or pays the pot. Play advances until the pot has reached 100g. Then we begin a new round. Place your ante," she says.

• "House rules?" Kathryn inquires. She puts in her five.

• The other 4 toss in their 5g.

• "The rules are as explained," she replies.

• The Gnome's five gold was in quite readily - and seemed familiar with the rules. Also never stopped smiling.. which might be getting unnerving. Unless it was pointed at a body. The fat man and the young noble might get those.

• Kathryn inclines her head in acknowledgement.

• As the last of you ante, cups come down in near unison and you inspect your rolls.

• The blonde woman begins. "3 3's."

• The bearded man continues, "3 4's." He's conservative.

• Fat man says, "4 5's," he may be a bit impatient.

• The young noble finishes with "4 6's."

• "Five ones,” from Kathryn.

• 5 1's to you, m'Lady," the woman says to Red.

• "Six 2's,” is Red’s reply.

• “Six 3's," from the blond woman.

• "Six 4's," the bearded man sounds bored.

• Enoka just watches.

• "7 6's!" the fat man belches. He is *definitely* drunk.

• "Let's call a lie on that one," she says to the fat man then.

• "Show your dice," the Shou woman smiles.

• When they do, the fat drunk beams, scooping up the coins. "Haha! Pay the pot lass!"

• Kathryn smiles and inclines her head to the winner, then pays the pot.

• Kat must pay 30g to the pot. "Will you be playing this time?" the woman asks Enoka. There *is* one more seat.

• She smiles softly at the woman. “No thank you. Someone more suited for the game should have that chair.” She leans against Red's chair and places a hand on her shoulder as if she was there for good luck some how.

• "Of course," she nods. "Ante up," she says to the players.

• Red will apparently gladly accept the notion of Enoka's hand standing in for Tymora's tits, and add in her five again.

• Kathryn adds to the pot, then rolls her bones.

• "So," the blonde lady begins as she antes, asking the new trio, "I am Lady Inue Cassalanter, who do I have the pleasure of lying to?" Her smile is charming to say the least.

• The girl's amused grin occasionally passes over each of them, but the blonde woman has it while she speaks. "Call me Red. Closest thing I have to a name anymore."

• "Lady Kathryn Eirontalar, who is not known as the best liar," she responds pleasantly.

• "3 3's." Lady Inue says.

• "4 3's," is the bearded man's reply.

• "But that may already have become obvious,” Kathryn adds.

• "4 6's!" the drunk.

• Enoka sips her whiskey as she watches and listens to the conversation. Not missing a thing as a bystander.

• "5 1's," the young noble. "I am Brent Eagleshield, well met, Lady Kathryn, Red." His smile, too, is charming. If a bit goofy.

• "5 4's," she counters, then reaches for her beer. "How long have you known about this little hideaway?"

• "Six 4's." The Gnome adds in, with a rather confident looking edge to her eyes.

• Enoka leans down and speaks softly to Red. “I will be back.” Pushing off her chair and heading over to the half-orc, Maywynne.

• "It used to be the property of the Phulls," Lady Inue says with a wrinkle of her nose, "Quite a nasty place, I was told. 5 3's. It's sooo much better now that it is no longer theirs."

• "5 4's," the bearded man says. He seems detached and aloof, and sipping at his glass.

• "6 3's!" the drunk.

• "Um... 7 4's?" the young noble.

• Enoka smiles softly at the Half Orc on approach. Greeting her in Orcish as she reaches her. (o)”Good evening dear.”

• "How may I help you?" Maywynne replies in common.

• "I do like their Eastern flair.” Kathryn comments. “You see so few in Waterdeep under normal times."

• Enoka smiles softly at her. “Nothing so formal dear. Just a bit of conversation. How long have you worked here? if you don't mind me asking and perhaps a bit of company?”

• Kathryn peeks under her cup again, then shrugs. "8 4's."

• "Oh, I do believe they're merely the help," Lady Inue comments. "Your turn," she says to Red.

• She’d get in a slow draught of wine. Giving it a scrutinizing look, like she was tasting it for the first time. "Eight fives," Red said.

• "You flatter me with your attention, m'Lady," Maywynne replies. "I have been under contract with this establishment for no more than two years. I do not currently operate in a position to personally assist our guests. However, I can and will be happy to find one who can." Her smile was genuine. Enoka might understand the head orc in charge had things to do.

• "Ninnnne fours," the blonde replies. Her eyes seemed to light up for just a bit.

• "Nine 5's," says the bearded man.

• "Liar!" says the drunk, pointing at the bearded man.

• The bearded man seems to awaken as if out of a daze, and he lifts his cup.

• "And you enjoy this, don't you?" Kathryn asks Lady Inue. Then uncovers her cup to show her dice.

• "Haha!" the drunk says, swallowing the pot once again. The bearded man frowns, setting 60g within.

• Enoka shakes her head. “I think I would rather spend my time standing here with you. Two years is not all that long. Do you enjoy it?” She smiles softly at Maywynne. She understood the hustle and bustle of customers. But she also knew that keeping them coming back was always the goal.

• "Who wouldn't enjoy this?" Red would curl that lip to the side again. "Fun game, when people aren't stabbing the liars. Those are Westgate house rules by the way."

• This one also knew what a true customer was. "It is not, no," Maywynne replies. "Can't you tell?" Her smile is wide.

• "Oh I am," Inue nods.

• Kathryn adds her ante again and rolls fresh dice. "I'm finding it a refreshing change. Maybe I haven't given some things enough of a chance."

• Enoka smiles softly at Maywynne. “I can. Perhaps a change of scenery? I am Enoka. I own the Worlds End at Arms.”

• "You haven't been long there," she nods. "I have never been."

• "Ante up," the Shou woman suggests.

• Not as if that wasn't going to happen - as soon as the others start throwing in so does the Gnome.

• Enoka chuckles and shakes her head. “No I haven't. About a year now I believe. I opened just after my twins were born and they are over a year old now. You should come in and see me. I promise a comfortable table and warm food.”

• "My thanks," Maywynne nods, "I am usually offered much less."

• Enoka nods a bit. “You are welcome any time Maywynne. I think opportunity puts us in places we can't always see until they are right in front of us.”

• "Opportunities are only ever right in front of us," Maywynne smiles back.

• Enoka chuckles softly. “This is true too. Some of them are not so kind though, I think.”

• Kathryn finishes off the last of her beer, setting it down regretfully.

• "3 3's," Inue's 3rd beginning here.

• "4 3's," the bearded man, looking high.

• "6 6's!" the drunk.

• “Tell me Maywynne, what is it you would prefer to do? I can't imagine standing here all night is at the top of your list.” She sips at the whiskey in her hand.

• "Kindness and opportunity are uncommon bedfellows," Maywynne nods, turning to attend another patron.

• "7 2's," from the young noble, just before Kat.

• "7 3's," Kathryn says, then looks to Red for hers.

• "Seven fours,” from Red.

• "8 5's," from the blonde. The bearded man gives pause to consider.

• Enoka nods and smiles softly at the half orc. “Not always, but there is a rare occasion when they come hand in hand.”

• “Liar," the bearded man finally says.

• Inue looks crestfallen. "I only had two," she says, clearly disappointed.

• When the others show their dice, however, it is revealed, in fact, there were *9* 5's, not 8! The bearded man looses and expletive and the Inue nearly jumps from her seat. "Oh! I won!" She laughs and collects her coins.

• The bearded man pays the pot. "I'm done," he says, clearly irritated and leaving the table.

• "I'm certain you have done worse, even when thinking you were doing poorly." Kat smiles and moves to stand, leaving the empty mug behind. "I am, however, done for this evening. Perhaps we can meet again another time."

• 90g in the pot. "This one's on the House," the Shou woman says to them just after the bearded man leaves. "And another 10g to show our thanks for your patronage," she tosses that into the pot as well for a clean 100g.

• "Roll your dice," the Shou woman says.

• Now with only 5 of you, Inue starts again, "3 3's."

• Indeed," Maywynne replies with a small nod. "If you will excuse me?" A Shou woman replaces her as she moves off toward the back of the commonroom.

• Enoka let Maywynne attend to her other patron. “Good evening Maywynne. Come see me we'll talk again.” She then heads back to the table with Kat and Red.

• "May I be of service," the woman asks Enoka.

• She smiles at the woman and shakes her head. “No, I think I am fine for the moment. Thank you.”

• "Very well," she replies. "I will be near."

• "Five shixes," the fat drunk.

• "6 6's," the young noble.

• "7 2's," Kat puts forth.

• "Eight ones." The smirking gnome.

• Inue glances at the gnome.

• "9 1's," she says, her eyes alight.

• "Nine 2's!" the drunk.

• "Bullshi- err, Liar." Red calls him out.

• He lifts his cup.

• "Liar," Kat smiles at the drunk, then shakes her head. "He got there first." She picks up the cup.

• "Aw Torm's Testacles!" the fat drunk swears. 100g to Red and he pays the pot, which the Shou woman prompltly scoops up. "Another round?" she aks without missing a beat. So there it was.

• "I am not a he dammit. ..Well not anymore." The cup is lifted quite readily though.

• "Actually, that was to Lady Inue." Kathryn shakes her head to the gameswoman and rises. "that was fun. Let's do this again, I think."

• She reaches the table were Kat and Red sit. “Are we ready?”

• "I might stay - relax a while, enjoy the company."

• "I am ready." Kathryn nods to Enoka, then to Red, "Enjoy. I will no doubt see you later."

• Enoka grabs parchment and pen while she waits for them to be ready. Taking her time to write a note on the paper then seal it and put Maywynne's name on it. “I need this delivered to Maywynne when she comes back around.”

• "Most assuredly," the woman replies.

• Enoka nods to the woman and puts the Winterhawk seal on the paper along with the World’s End at Arms signet and hands it to the woman with a bit of coin to ensure it was delievered.

• At once," she nods.
A.J.
 
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