Closed Fishing for Information (Nellie)

Pulren goes fishing and meets a local

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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

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Fishing for Information (Nellie)

Postby Pulren Marsh on September 18th, 2014, 1:44 am

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2nd of Fall, AV 514 Thirteenth Bell

Pulren had been enjoying the Aguilar Hot SPrings, for the most part, but his initial traveling companions were often in Sunberth proper for most days, rarely there at all to speak with. It got old. The caretakers of the Springs seemed interesting enough, but outside of his payment, Pulren just didn't seem to make much of an impression on them. Probably because he wasn't a great Knight like Markus. It was hard to tell. The Zeltivan knew that if he was going to make his own waves in Sunberth, he would have to at least dip his toes in. Taking up his fishing pole, he departed for the docks in which the trio had arrived during the Summer.

He found it to be a strange, long walk from the idyllic surroundings of the Springs to the ugliness of the city. Calling Sunberth a city was strange enough in itself. Everything he had heard and seen made it sound more like the aftermath of a war than a place that people called home. In some ways, it made his boring life in Zeltiva something to miss. Once he started seeing the smoke rising and the sounds of people, he could already see that there were throngs of dirty people there, as dirty as the town. Seeing the coastline, he just did his best to step through the brush and look for his own spot to fish at.

Sadly, the banks were few and all of them left either a push in to water or a stab in the back, so Pulren moved on to the proper docks of Sunberth, seeing a few souls dotting the planks. It would be nice to fish and relax, but equally nice to talk to a local. Threading his pole and tying a hook on, he knelt in his leather pants near the silt by the docks. Fingering the grey, wet soil, he found what he sought: a large worm. Hooking it on, he wrapped the loose length of line around his gloved left hand and walked up to the water's edge. There was a young woman nearby, also tending to her line. She looked local and wasn't too hard on the eyes, either. Pulren was accustomed to harlots, but considering the general populace of Sunberth, it concerned him as to their quality.

He knew that he probably looked out of sorts in his fitted high boots and leather pants, but he had to remember that just as the Knight had been doing, he would use his alias here. Pulren Marsh could remain in Zeltiva, standing guard over some barnacles. Palaren Marshall would cast his line out, the water breaking with the worm's landing, a satisfying 'plop' heard. His bait was out, now to see what he could catch. "Catching anything?", he said over to the attractive fisherwoman.
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Fishing for Information (Nellie)

Postby Nellie Hawkins on September 19th, 2014, 1:32 am

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Nellie stood, toes just poking off the pier, and stared into the water, unseeing. Not that there was anything to see at the moment; the sun was high and the fish were all being lazy little petchers in waters deeper and cooler than the ones that she now fished. Still she'd baited her angle and dropped it into the water anyway; if there were fish to be caught, she would catch them.

If not, well, there were worse ways to spend an afternoon than fishing in the Bay. Compared to that morning's experience, an uneventful afternoon on the water would be a relief.

Which is why a quietly frustrated sigh met the stranger's words; she'd come here to be alone, to relax, to calm her nerves after her harrowing flight from the street fight that morning. It had been working, too. The pleasant buzz of daily life had lulled her into, if not a relaxed state, at least one where she was no longer on high-alert. Occasional curses, more frequent insults tossed casually from sailor to sailor, those were music to her ears.

Until this stranger had intruded, anyway. Cutting her eyes to the side, she inspected what she could of the man without turning her face to meet his gaze.

Scruffy, lean and oddly clean. 'Not a local, then' she thought with wry amusement. Though Nellie tried to stay reasonably clean, fastidious hygiene was not a habit generally shared by many of the city's residents. Covertly inspecting the stranger's clothes - 'Look at those boots!' - she became more convinced that he had come to Sunberth from another city. 'On purpose?'

But he stood there, fishing, as though he belonged on the docks, at home with the callous roughness of the pier and the seafaring folks. Curiosity and her own natural friendliness won the day and so, instead of ignoring him as she'd considered, Nellie turned her face in his direction and offered a small smile.

"Haven't caught a thing yet. Not th' best time of day for it, really." Which begged the question: why was he out here fishing? Though there were other people on the docks, most were dockworkers, sailors, guards; fishermen were more common early or late in the day. Maybe he was trying to forget about something, too?

Deciding that conversation would be as good a distraction as fishing, Nellie ventured a question, "Aiming to catch your lunch?"
Last edited by Nellie Hawkins on October 3rd, 2014, 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Fishing for Information (Nellie)

Postby Pulren Marsh on September 20th, 2014, 1:52 am

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He was glad to already catch a small smile and some words from her. Perhaps his technique was not as poor as Pulren had imagined. Her answer was completely right. Fishing in the middle of the day was more of a leisure activity than a way of life, much less a way to procure dinner. They simply had no interest in being in the warmer water. He pulled slightly at his line as he wrapped it around his free hand, attempting to simulate the jerking swim reaction of an insect.

"Yeah, you're right there. Evening would be best, though I did see some shaded spots on the banks outside of town that could probably work. But, since I am new to the area, being isolated on the side of the road." He chuckled and looked at her more, though he kept his eyes as close to her own face and eyes as possible. Just like a fish, splashing around in an obvious manner would surely scare the catch away. Her next words were a question and Pulren was glad to answer as he pulled his line in, glad to see the worm still attached.

"No, I just wanted to see what kinds of fish were available to catch here. I spent a good deal of my life fishing and I figured that there would be different ones up this way." Unwinding some line again, he threw the worm even farther out than the first time. "I'm going to take a wild guess that you are a resident of Sunberth?" He grinned again, though this time it was due to his own mind reeling at the snobbery and extra words that being Palaren Marshall brought to the table. It seemed that Pal was much more comfortable speaking to a girl, however, so he would just stick with him.
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Fishing for Information (Nellie)

Postby Nellie Hawkins on September 23rd, 2014, 1:37 am

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'This one talks a lot. Maybe I should have just ignored him,' Nellie thought ruefully, as she let the man's explanations run themselves dry. At the mention of 'isolated spots outside of town', one eyebrow lifted delicately, but she offered no response. It had either been an awkward choice of words, or the scruffy stranger had mistaken her for a cheap whore. Since she'd been called worse quite often on these docks, she chose not to take offense at the possible insult, remaining silent instead.

At his 'wild guess', Nellie scoffed quietly and cast him a quick glance from the corner of her eye. Though she'd furthered the conversation with her own question, she took her time answering his; taking a few ticks to readjust her own line. A series of gentle tugs brought the line up from the water, to be quickly flicked back out again. A small splash marked the point of entry.

The silence dragged on, almost to the point of rudeness, before Nellie turned to face the young man's inquiring gaze. "Good guess," she acknowledged, injecting a note of cheerfulness into her voice. Mornings like the one she'd just had made her doubt the wisdom of remaining 'a resident', but travel was expensive and she was poor. In the spirit of friendliness, or at least the appearance of it, she ventured a 'guess' of her own:

"And I would say that you are not a resident." She paused to look pointedly down at the boots that had grabbed her attention earlier, before resorting to the old small-talk standard, "So - business or pleasure?" It was almost rhetorical; she'd yet to meet the traveler who came to Sunberth for the fun of it.

Admittedly, there was nothing wrong with his footwear; they stood out on the docks merely for their impracticality, and Nellie wondered idly where he hailed from. Though she didn't often indulge herself in daydreams, she found herself trying, and failing, to paint a quick mental picture of a city where high boots were casual fishing gear. She shifted her eyes to her own footwear with a ghost of a smile. Her feet were currently encased in simple and dust-colored shoes; she wouldn't spare a tick of thought on them if they happened to get drenched in sea water or soaked in sticking mud. They would dry, and she would brush off the dirt and wear them without a second thought. In fact, she'd done that very thing several times in the past; the whitish salt lines and old dirt stains were a testament to their careless treatment. Imagining how a stranger, or a city of strangers might view them, Nellie felt the faintest stirrings of self-consciousness.
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Fishing for Information (Nellie)

Postby Pulren Marsh on September 28th, 2014, 6:15 am

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Not the friendliest native, Pulren suspected, but she hadn't pulled a blade on him. That made her actually very friendly according to everything he had heard about Sunberth back in Zeltiva. Of course, he had avoided the heart of the town so far and this girl would hopefully provide him with some badly needed information. Her silence was actually fairly normal for fishing. Talking and walking a lot near the water's edge would only insure that the fish would stay away, so he didn't make much effort to push.

He did wonder if there were fish to be had. That was the thing about fishing in a new place. Until he had actually fished the areas and talked to locals, he would have no idea where the fish were. A grin slid across his face as he imagined the ease of fishing for a Konti like S'Essy. Suddenly, he did receive a nibble, but it came from the girl, as she also guessed that he wasn't local. This was not an insult to Pulren. "We are good at guessing. I'm not sure that anyone has ever come to Sunberth for pleasure, but my only business is exploring the world and learning things that books can't explain."

"What's it like in the heart of Sunberth? Is it as bad as the stories?" With this query out in the open, there was little reason to keep casting. Besides, the fish weren't biting between the two of them and if someone was going to catch something, best to be her so that she might improve her mood and then her ability to inform. If not, there was always bribery, but he hoped it wouldn't come to that. Pulling in his line, he noticed that his lack of attention had caused him to lose the worm, be it by chance or bite. Shrugging it off, Pulren placed the pole at his feet and wrapped the line around his hand until it was a compact loop, tying it off at the hook end and placing it in his pocket.
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Fishing for Information (Nellie)

Postby Nellie Hawkins on October 1st, 2014, 12:30 am

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At the man's question, Nellie's brow furrowed thoughtfully. Having lived in Sunberth for the whole of her life, or at least all of it that she could remember, Nellie had no clue what the city's reputation might be outside its own lands. Though it was easy enough to guess, especially with the morning's events fresh on her mind, she was oddly reluctant to lay bare all of the sordid details of city life.

Instead, to give herself more time to consider, Nellie pretended to be busy with her line. Nary a nibble had tugged it since she'd arrived at the dock, but still she brought it in again. Giving the hook far more attention than it deserved, she drew it up to dangle in front of her; to the stranger's eye it might have looked as though she were diligently inspecting her bait before another casual toss flipped it out into the waters in front of her.

That chore attended to, she turned to face the man once more; forcing a playful tone into her voice, she repeated his words back to him. "Is it as bad as th' stories? What stories? Where'd you travel from, that they speak of Sunberth in such dire tones?"

"Sunberth is a city like most others - it 'as good and bad, both. I suppose it depends on who you ask yer questions of." A philosohical shrug accompanied the words and Nellie turned her eyes back to the Bay. "Or on what gossip you give credence to," she finished, no hint of judgment in her tone.

What she did not mention to her new companion was that the reality of Sunberth was probably worse than any reports that he had heard. Residents seldom had the funds to make it out of the 'berth, and visitors seldom stuck around to experience the truly horrifying aspects of life in the city of chaos. But having witnessed them first hand only bells ago, Nellie was in no hurry to relive the gruesome truths that Sunberth's residents lived with daily. She hoped her questions could keep the young man distracted from his own.

After all, she'd come here to forget about the evils of her world, not dissect them with a stranger. While Nellie didn't want to mislead the other fisherman into a false feeling of safety while wandering the streets, she'd be petched if she had any intentions of reliving the morning's terror.
Last edited by Nellie Hawkins on October 3rd, 2014, 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Fishing for Information (Nellie)

Postby Pulren Marsh on October 3rd, 2014, 8:57 am

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It wa much easier to engage in conversation without the fishing being done, Pulren thought to himself. When queried on his origin and stories, he felt inclined to start spinning his own tale, one that he would no doubt keep spinning for as long as he could in Sunberth. "Oh yes, of course. How rude of me. I am Palaren Marshall. I am from Zeltiva, city of ships and the greatest University in Sylira. Where we surely are not as great as Syliras itself, we certainly find it pleasant to have the Wave Guard protecting us rather than chaos. I have heard tale of nearly every sordid crime occurring in Sunberth. Is that true?"

He didn't want to push too hard, but then again, this round should tell him how easy she could be plied, Pulren suspected. "Are you yourself a victim of crime? I hope you aren't a criminal yourself, though I hesitate to cast any judgment. You seem nice enough." Appearances could very well be deceiving, considering Pulren's own fabricated persona. He wondered if she could be bribed, more than anything. He did feel proud of himself that he did not consider bedding her right away. So much time in close quarters with the Konti S'Essy had made life sort of miserable in that department, especially with her free spirit and giant, armored boyfriend.

Looking out to the water, his body tried to wage war with his reason. In a sort of sideways way, he mentioned aloud, "I could surely do with something to eat. Know of anywhere good?" It was a ploy for more intimate settings and also he really did want a bite. No bites out here at the docks.
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Fishing for Information (Nellie)

Postby Nellie Hawkins on October 3rd, 2014, 3:01 pm

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Nellie scoffed almost reflexively at Palaren's talk of the Wave Guard. Just a sanctioned, organized gang; probably not too much different than the ones that snapped and snatched at power in Sunberth. Still, she had neither the energy nor the inclination to get into an argument over which system was worse, and instead kept her opinions to herself.

It took enough concentration to make light of his assumptions about Sunberth.

"'Ave you ever heard of a city where no crime happened?" There was genuine interest in her voice; Nellie couldn't imagine such a place existed, regardless of the pretty picture Palaren tried to paint. "Acourse there's crime 'ere; we jus' 'aven't got our own fancy Knights or Wave Guard to brush it under th' mat. More honest, if you ask me; I'd rather know and expect that bad things could 'appen than be walkin' along all safe-like, an' get took by surprise. Its just you 'ave to be on yer toes 'ere. Always."

It was as much warning as she intended to give the man; if he was after grisly details and bloody corpses, she could show him plenty. If he looked hard enough, he could find them himself. But it wasn't the way she chose to spend her day. Nellie was more concerned with making sure she didn't end up as one of them than hunting them up for show-and-tell moments like this.

But his next question made her laugh, genuinely, if not for long. "Oh, you found me out. I'm most def'nitely a criminal. In fact, my day is not complete 'ntil I manage to kill a fish or two an' sell their dead bodies on the open market. Nellie the Fish-killer, at your service," she offered a mock bow and grinned. "Tell me, in your Zeltiva, lovely and fair, do the criminals out themselfs jus' because you ask 'em to?"

Without waiting for an answer, Nellie did just that, answering his question with a matter-of-fact honesty that was uncommon for any of Sunberth's residents. "I've been a victim. I've been a criminal," she said with no elaboration. "But I'm also "nice enough" as you put it; bein' one or th' other doesn't make th' rest impossible," she finished softly, all trace of amusement gone from her voice once more.

For a moment there was silence, and Nellie pulled her own line in from the water, appreciating as always the way the droplets falling from it sparkled in the sun. Beauty was in Sunberth, too, as well as the crime this man seemed so focused on.

But when he next spoke, it was only to inquire about food, and Nellie felt a small sense of relief. Food and drink were safe topics, nothing to dodge or distract from there, and she answered his question easily, without hesitation. There was only one tavern she'd feel comfortable sending this one into, anyway.

"You want Th' Pig's Foot. Its as good as anywhere else, an' Merv keeps it under control. Its by th' market. You know the area?" She raised an eyebrow inquiringly. If not, she'd show him the way, but it would be odd walking into Merv's without fish to sell the man. Odder still to be spending coin there.
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Fishing for Information (Nellie)

Postby Pulren Marsh on October 12th, 2014, 8:35 am

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She made her own case, further enforcing the idea that all native Sunberthians hated authority in all of its forms. She was honest and definitely a native. These were two things that Pulren had not expected to find in the same person in Sunberth. He did find her candor appealing, however. She was as straight to the point as they came and her own barbed wit made him join in the brief levity of the moment, smiling a bit a fun was made of his own naivete.

"A pleasure to meet you, Nellie. You are right, no criminal that I recall ever just put out their wares for the asking, though the Zeltivan criminal is either so dense that they would lack the skills to evade notice or capture or they are a politician." This joke brought a genuine laugh of his own, though he didn't know if he would find purchase with her own humor. He did find it helpful to have the viewpoint, so he could rein in the nobility a tad and make Palaren more believable. This new man was a work in progress and needed more subtle crafting.

Then it seemed that he at last had found a bite. The Pig's Foot. It sounded terribly palatable and he hoped he could convince her to join him. The current question of bribery could also be sated, which pleasantly killed two fish with one hook. "Sounds lovely. As an obvious tourist, could I persuade you to accompany me there? There's lunch and drink in it for you. No strings, just the guidance and company." Gathering his pole and trident, he stood facing her directly. "What do you say, Fish-Killer?"
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Fishing for Information (Nellie)

Postby Nellie Hawkins on October 16th, 2014, 12:40 am

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To his credit, Palaren's request seemed innocent enough; food and drink for guidance to a safe place to procure it. Suspicion was second nature to Nellie, however, and she found herself wondering what it was that the man really wanted. He'd had a lot of questions about the seedier aspect of Sunberth; to what end? She spent a few ticks considering the scruffy appearance, the unusual weapon he held with such ease, trying to piece purpose together from what seemed to be a loose collection of oddities.

On impulse, she decided to not only lead the man to Merv's establishment, but to avail herself of the offered meal, as well. It would be a nice change from her routine, which typically consisted of a cold lunch with watery ale, eaten while on the move, and it would taste all the better for costing her nothing but a bit of circular conversation. And if Palaren could be steered to a slightly less unpleasant topic of conversation, all the better. Surely he'd want to talk about something more palatable than violence and crime while he ate?

"Please, call me Nellie. Its too early in th' day fer formal titles," she countered with a negligent wave of her hand, determined to keep the mood light. Leaning her fishing pole back against her shoulder, she straightened and, out of habit, took a look around the docks. At midday, the dock was crawling with mostly sober sailors and hired guards, with the occasional vocal whore soliciting both. Nellie imagined the scene must look the same as any other port city, Zeltiva included. Maybe that was the subject that would distract Palaren?

"I don't know 'ow 'lovely' Merv's food'll be, but I'll gladly show ya the way an' let ya buy me a meal. Maybe while we're at it, you could tell me about Zeltiva and its mostly stupid criminals?" She let a bit of a laugh creep into her voice, already thinking of more questions to ask, anything to keep from discussing the many flaws of the 'berth. When pressed, Nellie could come up with enough questions to choke even the most adamant conversationalist, though she hoped it wouldn't come to that; a meal at Merv's, even a free one, wasn't worth that much effort.

oocI'll leave it to you if you want to continue in this thread or start up a new one at the tavern. :)
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