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 A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre

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shilsen

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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Fri Jan 23, 2009 4:35 pm

Rolzup wrote:
"Something simple, Feldspar," Vox sighs. "Human, if you've got it. Hell, animal would do just as well. It's a...gift for someone who lacks your discriminating palate."

OOC: Sorry. I should have noted that the man at the door is not Feldspar, but one of his countrymen, who works at the place.

***
The man looks quizzical for a moment but then nods. "Certainly. Come in." He looks up at the darkening sky, carefully not extending his head past the shade provided by the awning above the door, and nods briefly to himself, before opening the door and gesturing the group in.

The room beyond doesn't look like a shop. It is a comfortable (if slightly old-fashioned) sitting room, with large couches and comfortable chairs around two fine mahogany tables. A well-stocked bar stands next to a large bookcase and a small fire is burning comfortably in the grate. Only careful observation reveals that small things are a little ... unusual. Like the complete absence of mirrors or, for that matter, most reflective surfaces. And the small patterns of skulls and teeth which decorate most things in the room.

The man who let the group in fits perfectly with the room, wearing natty -and slightly dated - evening wear. He says, "Please be seated. Maximillian will be with you shortly." He walks over to a curtain at the back of the room and calls, "Maximillian? Customers!"

There is the sound of soft movement and a pattering sound beyond, and then a figure pushes aside the curtain and enters. This one is much shorter and more than a little bottom-heavy, the general shape from his nearly bald head with tufts of white hair behind the ears to the thick hips and bowed legs making him resemble a pear in shape. He wears fussy little glasses on his short nose and is dressed in a manner which makes him look like a cross between an accountant and someone's old uncle.

As he enters, the younger man leans over and whispers something. Maximillian Feldspar nods, looks at the group, pushes up the spectacles and then walks forward with a somewhat vacant smile, revealing fangs a little longer than the other man's. "Umm, hello," he says. "We get few clients here, especially those who haven't made an appointment. And who want to buy blood, instead of sell it. I do have...," he pauses and peers at Vox, "... ah, Vox. I have not seen you in a while. I heard you have got yourself in a little trouble, no?"

Maximillian smiles in an avuncular manner at Vox and seems about to go on, when he is interrupted by a low rumbling sound. He looks down at the creature which followed him out of the other room. At first glance it resembles an overly hairless little dog, barely knee-high to a halfling, but this too has the long fangs the vampires in the room sport. It is eyeing the group and growling under its breath.

"What's wrong, Mr Fusspot?" says Maximillian amiably, before returning his attention to the group. "So you need some blood, then? Can I interest you in a little gnome perhaps? Hard to get. Or maybe orc? Most don't care for it, but it does have an earthy flavor one can appreciate with practice." He pauses and looks thoughtful. "And would you be paying in kind?"
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Mallus

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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:40 am

shilsen wrote:
"And would you be paying in kind?"
"Is that how these transactions typically work?" asks the paladin innocently.
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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:43 am

"Gold, I think. My blood, I think is a little to thin for your tastes. But if any of the rest of you would care to bleed a bit, perhaps? No?"

Vox sighs. "Gold would be best, I'm sure."
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shilsen

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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:40 am

Mallus wrote:
"Is that how these transactions typically work?" asks the paladin innocently.

"Often," says Maximillian, smiling pleasantly (and toothily).

Rolzup wrote:
"Gold, I think. My blood, I think is a little to thin for your tastes. But if any of the rest of you would care to bleed a bit, perhaps? No?"

Vox sighs. "Gold would be best, I'm sure."

Maximillian shoots Vox a glance which is a little sharper than his friendly demeanor thus far and then sighs. "So be it. One moment."

He turns and makes his way through the curtain into the back room. The little dog continues to growl for a moment and then follows him, perhaps due to the appearance of Sappho from behind Penelope, who eyes him like she might a large snack.

Maximillian returns shortly, carrying a large box. He's clearly stronger than his elderly appearance, which isn't surprising considering his nature. Maximillian opens it to reveal that it is a carrying case, which holds bottles arranged in three rows. Each is labeled with a single letter. "So," he says, "Which breed would you like? I presume age and texture are irrelevant here."

As the League-members look into the case, he continues casually, "Though I haven't had the pleasure of having your company - except Vox's, that is - before, I believe I've heard of you. You are the possessors of a divine pig, are you not?" The tone, a couple of people in the group notice, is a little too casual.
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gridley

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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:08 pm

shilsen wrote:

As the League-members look into the case, he continues casually, "Though I haven't had the pleasure of having your company - except Vox's, that is - before, I believe I've heard of you. You are the possessors of a divine pig, are you not?" The tone, a couple of people in the group notice, is a little too casual.

"Well, it's perhaps untrue to say that we are in possession of the Miracle Pig for it seems that on most days it is she who is in possession of us," says Odanais graciously. "Actually, as a phlebotomist yourself--or do you prefer the title 'blood wallah'?--you may be interested to hear that rather than liquid blood, our Miracle Pig bleeds pure radiant light. Bright enough to read by. Had the damnedest--or should I say holiest?--effect on a handful of wraiths we happened to be in the company of at the time. Is that unusual?"
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shilsen

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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:26 pm

gridley wrote:
"Well, it's perhaps untrue to say that we are in possession of the Miracle Pig for it seems that on most days it is she who is in possession of us," says Odanais graciously. "Actually, as a phlebotomist yourself--or do you prefer the title 'blood wallah'?--you may be interested to hear that rather than liquid blood, our Miracle Pig bleeds pure radiant light. Bright enough to read by. Had the damnedest--or should I say holiest?--effect on a handful of wraiths we happened to be in the company of at the time. Is that unusual?"

"Really?" Maximillian raises an eyebrow at Odanais' story and then says, "Yes, that would be quite unusual. I've never heard of such a phenomenon before, and I am," he smiles, "Quite an expert on blood. Would it be possible for me - or an associate - to see this happen? I would pay for the privilege, of course."
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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:38 pm

Penelope, whose interest in the conversation about blood has been minimal at best, finds herself once again attentive when Odanais begins to talk about Treasure. Oh, no...

Quote :
"Would it be possible for me - or an associate - to see this happen? I would pay for the privilege, of course."

The archer immediately glares at the vampire. "No amount of money is worth injuring our beautiful pig," she says sternly.
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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:13 pm

Penelope wrote:
The archer immediately glares at the vampire. "No amount of money is worth injuring our beautiful pig," she says sternly.

Maximillian eyes Penelope carefully and then says, "Very well. A pity, since it would have only been a small incision and no permanent damage would ha...." He pauses at her expression and then adds quickly, "Never mind."

The vampire blood-merchant proffers the box again. "Your preference? I have most common races here. It has not been enchanted for long-term preservation, but if you intend to use it simply as a precaution in the Hereafter, that shouldn't be an issue."
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Mallus

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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:08 am

shilsen wrote:
"Very well. A pity, since it would have only been a small incision and no permanent damage would ha...." He pauses at her expression and then adds quickly, "Never mind."
"If you're curious about the Miracle Pig, she's to be the subject of a play we'll be performing in the Ethical Circus as part of a competition. Lord Dandy will be one of the judges. We would be honored if you attended, sir". Yatagan hastily scribbles an invitation and what he imagines a backstage pass to look like.

Quote :
"Your preference? I have most common races here."
"Out preference is blood from a willing and fairly compensated donor. Race is unimportant" says Yatagan.
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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Mon Jan 26, 2009 3:39 pm

Mallus wrote:
"If you're curious about the Miracle Pig, she's to be the subject of a play we'll be performing in the Ethical Circus as part of a competition. Lord Dandy will be one of the judges. We would be honored if you attended, sir". Yatagan hastily scribbles an invitation and what he imagines a backstage pass to look like.


Maximillian doesn't hide his surprise. "Really? A play? That is ... interesting." When Yatagan hands him the invitation, he reads it quickly and then carefully puts it away. "Thank you. I shall endeavor to be present."

Quote :
"Out preference is blood from a willing and fairly compensated donor. Race is unimportant" says Yatagan.

"All our donors are willing," says Maximillian, with no signs of duplicity. He extracts a bottle labelled "D" and hands it over. "Dwarf," he says, and then adds, "No charge. Consider it a small gift, Vox." He smiles thinly at the shadar-kai.
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gridley

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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:35 pm

shilsen wrote:
"No charge. Consider it a small gift, Vox." He smiles thinly at the shadar-kai.

Awwwww... someone's got a little blood buddy!
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Rolzup

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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:58 pm

Vox takes the bottle, an expression on his face like that of a man who's just realized that the sandwich that's he's been eating now contains half of a dead rat.

"Thank you, Feldspar," he says sourly. "I'm...in your debt, I suppose. Again. Of course, that is a valuable ticket," he adds in a hopeful tone. "Going to be a night to remember, I can promise you that.

"But we should be about our business." He stows the bottle in a pouch, favors Feldspar with a marginally friendly nod, and heads for the door.

"Our easiest method of transport," he tells the others as they walk along, "Is through one of the brothels that cater to those with 'exotic' tastes. We'll need a small bribe, but people use these place for transit on a fairly regular basis."

He gives the group a sideways look. "I'll need you people to be on your best behavior at the Gossamer Pillow; it's a bridge that I'd rather not see burned.

"And once we're across, I can go about finding John Sideways. Shouldn't be too hard, that."
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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:24 pm

Maximillian bids the group goodbye and the door closes behind them. Emerging from the vampire's shop, they head deeper into the district, led by Vox.

As they proceed, the adventurers find that there is little traffic on the streets, though people are sometimes visible in the buildings (though less so than elsewhere in the Port). Besides the low population here, what is noticeable is that the people they do see outside seem to be either entering or leaving the district. And almost nobody is seen loitering or spending time on the street. There are few shops and none of the street vendors, entertainers, beggars, and other such people that one sees normally in the Port. There also seem to be a number of unoccupied buildings in fairly good condition.

Vox's destination, the Gossamer Pillow, is in one of the few areas which seem to have a number of people around. There is what seems to be a tavern and a small restaurant adjoining the large, multi-storeyed building which houses the brothel, and a number of occupied residences across the street. When the group nears the door, the liveried doorman frowns slightly, but then he sees Vox and smiles. "Master Cadaveris," he says politely, opening the door, "We haven't seen you in a while. Please go in."

Beyond the door is a large, tastefully decorated foyer. Archways with half-drawn curtains open into rooms to either side, and a staircase leads up to the next floor. A young woman in a daringly cut formal gown is speaking to a freakishly muscular ogre sitting on a stool. She turns as the group enters and steps forward, while the ogre rises hurriedly, but then a voice interrupts and says, "That's all right, Daphne."

The tone is both cultured and slightly amused, and comes from the the middle-aged woman descending the stairs. Unlike the other woman, she wears comfortable and casual clothes. "So, Vox," she says, as she heads over to the group, "Here on official business? And," she smiles brightly at the group and extends a hand, "Won't you introduce me to your friends?"
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Rolzup

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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:44 am

Vox removes his hat, bows deeply, and then very qucikly replaces said hat.

"Just passing through," he says mildly. "If you catch my meaning."

He takes a moment to steel himself for the coming ordeal, and then smiles. "My friends! Indeed! This is Yatigan Fracas, poet, playwright, and performance artist. Odanais Dare, scholar and magician. And Penelope Pindar who...well, she kills people. Very well, though," he adds quickly.
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shilsen

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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:19 am

OOC: Mike, if you want Atlatl to be present too, he can be.

IC post to follow later...
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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:37 am

"Delighted" says the paladin to the madame, bowing low. "Forgive me for not removing my helm."

Not content with being a Dragonborn of few words, Yatagan Fracas searches for more. He finds these: "Nice house of still repute you have here" --using a term, one imagines, he picked up second-hand from a fellow artist in the Quadrille.
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gridley

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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:45 pm

OOC: So is everyone in the place dead? How hard is it to tell the dead from the living?
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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:17 pm

gridley wrote:
OOC: So is everyone in the place dead? How hard is it to tell the dead from the living?

Odanais and the others would have heard (and Vox could have filled in any missing info) that the brothels involve both the living and the dead, and are built on locations where the barrier between the two worlds is weak. They service (and are serviced by) both Dead and living at once, but are more popular with the Dead, since they’re one of the few places where they can somewhat get in touch with the pleasures of the flesh again. The services they provide are manifold. Many varieties of sex are of course the most popular service, with the brothels catering to people of myriad tastes, from the living who have a taste for the exotic to the wealthy Dead longing for another taste of life to both living and Dead seeking one last night in each other’s embrace. They also earn quite a bit by being clearinghouses for information and gossip about both worlds. Lastly, the brothels are also the places where recollection wine is both created and sold.

Usually, the difference between the living and the dead is easy to make out.

Rolzup wrote:
Vox removes his hat, bows deeply, and then very qucikly replaces said hat.

"Just passing through," he says mildly. "If you catch my meaning."

"Always," replies the madam, with a cheerful grin and a twinkle in her eye.

Quote :
He takes a moment to steel himself for the coming ordeal, and then smiles. "My friends! Indeed! This is Yatigan Fracas, poet, playwright, and performance artist. Odanais Dare, scholar and magician. And Penelope Pindar who...well, she kills people. Very well, though," he adds quickly.

"How ... quaint!" says the woman, making a bow at the group. "Welcome to the Gossamer Pillow. I am Tamora Swiftly, owner of this establishment, but call me Tamora."

Mallus wrote:
"Delighted" says the paladin to the madame, bowing low. "Forgive me for not removing my helm."

"Not at all," says Tamora, with a pleasant smile. "It's not the contents of the headgear that we worry much about here. Vox," she glances meaningfully at the shadar-kai's head, "Can vouch for that."

Quote :
Not content with being a Dragonborn of few words, Yatagan Fracas searches for more. He finds these: "Nice house of still repute you have here" --using a term, one imagines, he picked up second-hand from a fellow artist in the Quadrille.

Her smile widens and Tamora says, "It's rare for me to say, but that might be the first time someone said that to me. You, Mister Fracas, are a gentleman."

The madam steps forward and turns smoothly, placing a hand on Yatagan's shoulder and another on Odanais'. "Would you like to avail of any of our services? My dear Vox is all business, constantly in and out, in and out, coming and going ... well, you get the idea. But there are finer things in the world than work, wouldn't you say?" She pauses, as someone steps through one of the curtains, and laughs. "Such as Clarice!"

The figure who emerged is that of a short and attractive young woman, dressed much like the girl standing near the ogre. The big difference, however, is that she is translucent and that she did actually step through the curtain. Clarice smiles as she sees Tamora and the League-members, takes what looks like a deep breath which causes her bosom to expand a little more than is natural (on a non-translucent person, that is), and walks over.

"Clarice, if I may say so as her employer, is as talented as she is beautiful. Would any - or all - of you care to test her skills?" The ghostly girl blushes prettily, and transparently, at the comment and then looks back and forth at the various adventurers, an expectant look on her face.
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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:20 pm

shilsen wrote:
"Clarice, if I may say so as her employer, is as talented as she is beautiful. Would any - or all - of you care to test her skills?" The ghostly girl blushes prettily, and transparently, at the comment and then looks back and forth at the various adventurers, an expectant look on her face.

"Well," says Odanais, admiring her and considering the pleasures of such erotic torment. "You certainly are lovely Clarice. But doesn't your insubstantiality present difficulties in delivering your services to the living?"
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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:22 pm

gridley wrote:
"Well," says Odanais, admiring her and considering the pleasures of such erotic torment. "You certainly are lovely Clarice. But doesn't your insubstantiality present difficulties in delivering your services to the living?"

Clarice smiles and extends a hand. "It depends on the service." As she speaks, her hand closes - or seems to - around Odanais'. The mage feels a faint coldness and then a soft, tantalizing touch, as if he were being grasped by a hand made of feathers. Or, from the way his hand looks with hers holding it, a thin mist.

"Naturally," Tamora adds, "We have rooms which make such activities easier to achieve. And Clarice is, of course, much more substantial on the Other Side. Perhaps you might stop and share her company there before passing through," she glances at Vox, "Or after, so to speak."
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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:10 pm

Yatagan stands transfixed for a moment, silently debating if boinking a spirit is a sin of the flesh. Not that Dragonborn morality typically has much room for such petty crises, but, alas, Yatagan spends a lot of time around humans. Celibate.

Whole new worlds undreamed of open for the paladin.

"Before our desires are as transparent as your charms, Clarice, says Yatagan "we must cross over to the Other Side and be about our business. We have a duty to our client" says Yatagan suavely.

It's hard not to notice that Yatagan's suave voice sounds just a little like Odanais.


Last edited by Mallus on Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:18 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:17 pm

OOC: trying to get this stuff past the more, ahem, conservative ENWorld mods in the new Story Hour is going to be fun!
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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:30 pm

shilsen wrote:
Clarice smiles and extends a hand. "It depends on the service." As she speaks, her hand closes - or seems to - around Odanais'. The mage feels a faint coldness and then a soft, tantalizing touch, as if he were being grasped by a hand made of feathers. Or, from the way his hand looks with hers holding it, a thin mist.

Odanais visibly trembles. "Marvelous. Oh, this pursuit is definitely worthy of further exploration."

Mallus wrote:

"Before our desires are as transparent as your charms, Clarice, says Yatagan "we must cross over to the Other Side and be about our business. We have a duty to our client" says Yatagan suavely.

Without looking away from Clarice, Odanais replies to Sir Yatagan, "Oh... yes... of course... Pit's soul..."

"May I come around and see you again after I have attended to our business?" he asks Clarice, bowing to kiss her hand before it drifts away again into aether.
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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:11 pm

Mallus wrote:
OOC: trying to get this stuff past the more, ahem, conservative ENWorld mods in the new Story Hour is going to be fun!

For a certain given value of fun Razz

Quote :
"Before our desires are as transparent as your charms, Clarice, says Yatagan

Tamora chuckles. "Damn - you really are a poet!"

Quote :
"we must cross over to the Other Side and be about our business. We have a duty to our client" says Yatagan suavely.

It's hard not to notice that Yatagan's suave voice sounds just a little like Odanais.

Clarice pouts a little at the words, but her attention is mostly on Odanais...

gridley wrote:
Odanais visibly trembles. "Marvelous. Oh, this pursuit is definitely worthy of further exploration."

Without looking away from Clarice, Odanais replies to Sir Yatagan, "Oh... yes... of course... Pit's soul..."

"May I come around and see you again after I have attended to our business?" he asks Clarice, bowing to kiss her hand before it drifts away again into aether.

Odanais again feels the strange combination of presence and absence as he kisses Clarice's hand. "Of course," says the girl.

Tamora watches the exchange with the same amused expression she has worn thus far and then turns to Penelope, who has been watching with a steadily more glowering expression. "What about you, my dear? Do you not see anything you like?"

As she is speaking, Clarice turns to Penelope. There is a faint rippling effect and her translucent misty form changes. A second later, a tall and handsome man smiles back at Penelope. His shirt is open to the waist, revealing a muscular (and translucent) chest and the very well-defined abs below.

"May I present Carl?" says Tamora.
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PostSubject: Re: A funny thing happened on the way to the theatre   Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:16 pm

shilsen wrote:
As she is speaking, Clarice turns to Penelope. There is a faint rippling effect and her translucent misty form changes. A second later, a tall and handsome man smiles back at Penelope. His shirt is open to the waist, revealing a muscular (and translucent) chest and the very well-defined abs below.

"May I present Carl?" says Tamora.

Odanais grows quite literally dizzy at the possibilities. "My dear, are you able to reshape your visage in any way you like? I... I... mean... if I were to show you an image of someone...." Odanais uses a prestidigitation cantrip to create a small image of his sister Elizee. "You could appear as her?"
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