[Drunken Fish] Caution: Ice (Shakune)

Shakune seeks out Glen Fiddich with an interesting business proposal.

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[Drunken Fish] Caution: Ice (Shakune)

Postby Glen Fiddich on January 25th, 2015, 10:17 pm

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Shakune. It sounded so normal when it tumbled out in Enigma's language, but on Glen's tongue it felt strange, a combination of sounds that didn't jive with the languages he knew. It probably meant something in whatever language was spoken in whatever part of the world she heralded from, but what that meaning was, Glen had no idea. His mind fumbled for a possible meaning, rolling the word over and over in his mind. Shakoon. It sounded nautical, almost, a sea monster perhaps, something with sharp fins and sharp teeth. Might make a nice name for a boat one day, assuming it didn't mean anything embarrassing; maybe wait until Shakune died some sort of horrible death too, better to name a ship after an unremarkable dead person than an unremarkable living one.

Obligingly, he fetched a cleanish mug and traipsed his way to the barrel, propped up in a waiting corner far enough from the cooking fire to keep it from being warmed; close enough that Glen didn't have to break his spine every time the cauldron of spiced ale needed topping off. It was a point of pride, Manowar had told him, all part of the business strategy. If the patrons of the Fish saw it coming straight out of the barrel, nary a pause between to even think about watering it down, they were more than happy to pay a little extra for genuine full strength ale; didn't matter that the mark-up meant they were making the same profit either way.

Glen almost hesitated, wondering if he should clarify if it was the warmer kind of booze that the woman was after, but decided not to bother. The mulled beer and cider made people relaxed and comfortable, kept them here in the warm instead of out in the cold, and kept the coin rolling in; but Shakune wouldn't be staying on, and getting too comfortable wasn't on the agenda.

"Four copper, if you're paying yourself," Glen informed her, carefully tilting the mug to make sure the head of foam formed just right. A tug of a sly smile twitched at the corner of his mouth. "Six, if you're planning on sweet-talking your green-eyed friend into paying for you. He's about a sheet and a half to the wind; he won't notice the difference."

The mug settled down on the bar with a satisfying thunk. "He's probably got too much in him to make it past half-mast either, so if you've got more than fondling in mind, don't get your hopes up." The grin grew a little more, a flash of a wink added for emphasis. "His hopes won't be, if you catch my drift."
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[Drunken Fish] Caution: Ice (Shakune)

Postby Shakune on January 28th, 2015, 7:22 pm

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Shakune received the ale gladly, grasping it tightly in her hands as if it were a log lost friend. She took a deep gulp, appreciating the inevitable warmth as the alcohol soaked down her body and awoke her nerves and muscles. She never usually drank on the job, but she felt that this mission in particular was one that required rules to be broken.

"I'll pay for it myself. For this one, at least." she proffered, sliding the coins across the bar to Glen. She a smirk, she glanced back to her green-eyed potential companion. "If I remember correctly, that fella's dick is about the size of my little finger. Fortunately, the man can do amazing things with his hands and tongue."

It was perhaps too much information to share with someone who was practically a stranger, but subtleties and manners were utterly lost on Shakune. In her view, everyone had sex, did shits and vomited throughout their life, so what was the point in innuendos to hide the grim, unflattering reality of life. For a tick, her black eyes scanned the rest of the tavern's populace. They landed on the face of a handsome middle-aged man. He minutely raised his tankard to Shakune in response to her gaze, and the smile that played on his lips spoke volumes of their relationship. "Green-eyes has lost out anyway." She murmured, more to herself than to Glen. She sent another secretive smirk to her new friend, before muttering, "I wonder if he's managed to get rid of that hag of a wife..." Clearly being a husband's dirty mistress did not bother the half-breed, "mad woman came at me with a meat clever when she caught me with 'er husband's -- er, sausage -- in my mouth. Can you believe that?"

She let their conversation end on her rhetorical question and Shakune left the bar and made her slick way to the bearded middle-aged man. They greeted each other with the same smirks as before, and after a few short words were exchanged, Shakune grinned widely and pulled him closer to her. Although they did not touch, the lust between them would be obvious to even a half-blind onlooker.
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[Drunken Fish] Caution: Ice (Shakune)

Postby Glen Fiddich on January 31st, 2015, 6:03 pm

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What a delightful woman.

Glen found nothing about the situation that Shakune had described to be particularly surprising, based on what he'd learned about her so far; sarcasm dripped from Glen's thoughts, though he couldn't entirely fathom why. Judgement was not usually his way - he cared little for what others did with themselves, provided they weren't doing it to him or his - and it would be hypocrisy of the highest regard for him to condemn her for coaxing a man into extra-marital activities; his mentality had always been that the guilt rested with the one breaking their vows to Cheva, and that most certainly hadn't been Glen, nor Shakune from the look of her neck, either. Men were so susceptible to such things that seducing a married one was barely even sport; married women were where the real challenges were. So why did her intentions appeal to him so little? Why wasn't he cheering her on? Why hadn't he pounced upon the opportunity for a no-strings alley romp with a woman he'd probably never see again?

He knew the reason, knew her name, and it was infuriating. She had absconded from his life, and taken a vital part of him with her; and while Glen had never realised the involvement of that particular organ in such antics, apparently such urges and intentions had come from the veins and sinews attached to it, and she had left him a loveless, lustless husk that barely even qualified to describe itself as a man. How many free offers to help keep him warm for the night had Glen declined since he had got here? Laviku's beard, what the petch was wrong with him?

Glen had half a mind to throw himself into the path of Shakune's lecherous intentions, but as he was rapidly learning, his heart just wasn't in it. "Don't get too comfortable," was the only pearl of wisdom Glen managed to impart; idly he wiped at the thin film of spills and condensation that soaked the surface of the bar, and uttered a silent prayer that things might get unexpectedly interesting for him this evening, and he'd have the opportunity to vent his new-found frustration via his fist into some deserving person's face.

* * *


It wasn't dark by the time that Glen's shift had ended, but it was certainly considering it, Syna having reached the point of the day where You know what? Petch this, had become her attitude, the same as any sane person subjected to the whorish Morwen's infernal cold for so long. Glen couldn't blame her for her reluctance to remain in the sky - her lover Leth was far more accustomed to seeing his breath form clouds of mist in the air before him - but Glen spared her a lingering look, a imploring her to remain aloft a few bells longer, even if only to spite Morwen. Glen had no desire to try and navigate the drifting ice of the bay in the darkness.

The planks of the pier creaked beneath his boots as Glen approached the place where he'd moored his ship. She was not impressive to look at, but then that was a large part of the point; there were no dock fees here, but no guards to police the piers either. Saving oneself from losing one's ship required a combination of off-putting knotwork that made the task of ship thievery seem unnecessarily difficult, and making the ship itself look as unrewardingly valueless as possible. The Crimson Tide was hardly an impressive ship, in terms of scale at least, but ordinarily she was a graceful girl, and small enough to be mighty tempting to an enterprising larcenist. That was part of why Glen had made her look so forlorn now. Her mast still stood, but it was naked and bare, the canvas sheets of her sails locked securely away in the cabin out of the reach of the cold and frost, her ropes and rudder similarly detached and stowed. It was not a complicated task to restore her to seaworthiness, but it was an inconvenient one, especially for those who didn't know what they were doing. A naive sailor wouldn't know where to begin; an experienced one would take one look and realise it wasn't worth the hassle.

The deck made a satisfying thunk beneath Glen's boots as he stepped from the pier to his ship. Though spared from the worst of it, the wooden planks soaked enough moisture to be coated in a shimmering film of frost, the swirling patterns of the ice clinging to the grain and knots in a manner that was as beautiful as it was frustratingly inconvenient. A sharp whistle escaped from Glen's lips, and Frith - more than a little irritated to have been awoken from his cosy slumber - scampered his way into an energetic leap, landing inside the ship with a graceless clatter. His collar jingled as he shook himself off, trying to pretend that skidding several feet had been his intention all along, and hadn't surprised him at all.

"Watch your step," Glen grunted, a quick glance thrown over his shoulder to Shakune, before he set about fumbling open the locks on the cabin door and the sail chest. "And if you feel yourself falling, try to fall in to the boat instead of out. It's too cold for me to feel particularly inclined to dive in and save you if you start drowning."
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[Drunken Fish] Caution: Ice (Shakune)

Postby Shakune on February 1st, 2015, 1:59 pm

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A lot could happen in a bell.

By the time Shakune had finished that first pint - which took approximately five chimes - she had agreed with her new bearded companion that the best course of action would be to have a quickie in the alleyway outside.

They left as discreetly as possible, but as soon as the front door to the tavern was opened even ajar, the frosty air from outside threw itself in and caught the attention of other patrons. Those who recognised either Shakune or her friend cheered loudly, fully understanding why the two were leaving together. In the far corner, a woman pursed her lips and muttered "Slut." under her breath.

It was even colder now, and for a tick Shakune regretted agreeing to the sordid offer. That was until her companion had pushed her into a poorly lit alleyway and pressed his lips to hers. Their hands grabbed at each other desperately, tugging clothes up, down and generally just out of the way. Shakune heard something rip and noticed that her blouse now had fewer buttons than before. She did not care, and allowed her male friend to continue to ravage her hotly in the snow. Ice melted, moans filled the silence and finally, their orgasms ripped loudly up the alleyway. After a moment spent panting and smiling, they dressed quietly and quickly and parted ways at the mouth of the alley.

Her back was now soaking from the melted snow, and Shakune knew that if she did not change her clothes now, she would regret it later. As such, before she returned to the tavern, she dropped by her shack of a home and changed. The half-breed also picked up her most loyal business partner: Squidgle. The little dog had a keen nose for faeces, in the form of both actual excrement and bullshit. If the Svefra was planning to pull a fast one over Shakune's eyes, Squidgle would be the first to detect any questionable antics.

*

The docks were a familiar sight, but they did not bring much comfort to Shakune. She found it hard to ignore the ghosts and memories that surrounded the place, and for once she appreciated the silence.

Her attitude changed immediately, however, once they boarded the boat. Sure, it was small, and tatty, but it was a ship! This was where she belonged, and where she longed to be. Squidgle, in comparison, did not seem too impressed. The boat moved gently with the tide, making the little dog dizzy and struggle to walk in a straight line. All the more frustrating, the salt-smelling male his mistress was accompanying also had a dog, one that he immediately wanted to play with and smell. His paws slipped desperately on the thin layer of ice on deck as he charged towards the other dog, bowling him over in a frenzy of paws and licking. Delighted with the discovery of his new four-legged best friend - this was the best day ever! - Squidgle yapped excitedly.

"And here I thought you were the sort to save a damsel in distress." Shakune muttered mildly in response to Glen's warning as she inspectied the deck of the boat. Being on a ship seemed to suit Shakune strangely well. Given her desert appearance, this might be somewhat unexpected -- but those long legs seemed to fluidly move with the rise and fall of the waves. As she looked out across the sea, Shakune raised her hands, revealing the odd, well-like pores at the tips of her fingers. They tingled coolly, sensing the movement of the thin wind that was carried in from the ocean. The ability was ultimately pointless and annoyingly Chaktawen, but it gave Shakune the sensation of being in cahoots with the sea. It pleased her in an almost child-like way.

"It's good to be on a ship again," she admitted with a breathless sigh. Turning to the Svefra, she nodded formally. The time had come to get business moving forward. "Orders, captain?"

The slight raise of her left eyebrow and that playful smirk just could not be helped.
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[Drunken Fish] Caution: Ice (Shakune)

Postby Glen Fiddich on February 3rd, 2015, 7:20 am

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Captain.

Whatever opinions, judgements, or preconceptions Glen had formed about his new associate, they all dissolved like lime in water the second that word tumbled from his lips. It was the strangest thing, his vulnerability to that word. He remembered the first time he had been addressed by it, on an expedition to Aventhal when his mercenary cohorts had nominated him to take the helm. It had been mocking at first, but from the lips of one in particular it had morphed into something more. She'd learned from experience and experimentation that she could get Glen to do just about anything if she called him Captain with the right mix of deference and allure. Shakune's efforts were a long way from achieving that affect, but at least she was shooting into the right battlefield, and Glen couldn't help a slight twitch of reaction to it.

"We need to reattach the sails," Glen replied simply, wondering if the woman's Fratava came with any other useful skills attached.

His gaze swept across his casinor: she was twenty-some odd feet or there abouts - he'd never had the patience nor reason to get an accurate measurement - and rigged fore and aft, with two masts dividing the ship roughly into thirds. Some of the rigging was still in place, necessary to ensure that the mainmast remained erect; but the mizzenmast had been collapsed, and the sails themselves and the ropes needed to manipulate them had been detached and stowed, for fear of what effect the frosty weather might have on them. There were four sails in all, providing the Crimson Tide with plenty of agility and speed; the former they needed in spades, but the latter was the last thing they'd want on a voyage like this. Reattaching the jibstay so they could attach the foresail was hassle beyond their need, and the same was true of the mizzenmast; but the staysail and mainsail were non-negotiable, and so were the ropes needed to hoist them.

He squinted, peering up towards the top of the mainmast. "Don't suppose you're in the mood for a spot of climbing, are you?"
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[Drunken Fish] Caution: Ice (Shakune)

Postby Shakune on February 22nd, 2015, 11:16 am

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That strange, minute twitch had not gone unnoticed by Shakune, though she said nothing. Perhaps he had similar, complex ties to the sea and sailing as she did, that bought back haunting memories of the people of his past. She could not judge him for this, but nor was Shakune interested enough to ask about it. I'll wait until we're sinking to pry for information she decided, eyeing the two squirming dogs that tumbled around on her feet.

She too investigated the ship, taking note of the mainmast and the general upkeep of the boat. Oh, how envious she was! A ship was something that Shakune had always expected that she would own in her lifetime, but as of yet she had only disappointed herself on this front. She had never expected to stay in Sunberth for so long, to be on dry land for over a year. Pushing the thoughts to back of her mind, she turned her attention to the Svefra, before also switching her gaze upwards, to the top of the mainmast. "No problem." She muttered, hoping that the frost had not made the mainmast a vertical death trap: she needed to get this delivery over and done with, and preferably without a broken neck.

It had been so long since she was last on a ship, Shakune feared the small amount of knowledge she had about sailing had escaped her memory. Nevertheless, as she glared up to the mainmast, the memories and lessons came back to her. The specialist terminology of the parts of a ship had always eluded her, though she knew the basics of what needed to be done in order to erect the mainsail and jib. One of them - herself, apparently - would need to climb up the mast to attach the halyards to a pulley. The ropes would then be tied to the sails themselves before being yanked to hoist the sails up.

"So," she began, turning her back to the mast and starting on the task of locating the halyards for both sails, "how long have you owned her?" The Svefra folk almost always had their own ship, though practically everything about this particular gentleman had indicated to Shakune that he perhaps broke the rules of Svefra normality, "and how long have you been in Sunberth for?" It had always intrigued her for how long, and more importantly why, individuals had found themselves in the city.

oocOnce again, so sorry for the delay! Please let me know if I've got something wrong here... Which expect I have!
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[Drunken Fish] Caution: Ice (Shakune)

Postby Glen Fiddich on February 27th, 2015, 1:31 am

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OOCAll looks pretty good to me!

Glen fought down the grimace that threatened to break it's way onto his face, focusing instead on retrieving the two appropriate halyards from the lockbox, and tossing them unceremoniously onto the deck in Shakune's direction. This was a thing that people did; that deliberate small talk, those questions to new acquaintances that people always felt they deserved to know the answers to, but lacked the patience to let them emerge naturally. What business was it of hers how long he had owned the Crimson Tide; the when and the why of his arrival to Sunberth? This wasn't dinner and drinks; this was work, this was business; she already knew all she needed to about him to get the job done.

Except, that was the rationale of the old Glen, the mercenary Glen, the Glen who spent his life surrounded by close companions who had earned his trust and friendship. That was the thinking of a man whose closest friend wasn't the fluffy white pup scampering around on the deck, who was lucky to get a conversation with anyone but drunks and whores more than once in a blue moon. That was the Glen whose job didn't rely on ingratiating himself with the people who crossed his paths.

"I arrived back in Fall," he explained with a small sigh of resignation. While Shakune had the two ropes she needed to ascend the mast, there were others that needed to be unbundled and ready, to fasten and control the other parts of the sails. "And I acquired this ship not long before."

A stab of remorse surged through him at that. She had no idea how much of Svefra culture this Fratava-speaking woman was familiar with; but for someone raised in that life as Glen had been, that admission would have raised alarm bells. To a Svefra, your ship was an integral part of who you were, part and parcel of your very soul. The implication that Glen had been without one until recently was ominous indeed.

"I had a ship before that, but she -" It felt as if he were speaking of a deceased loved one. He supposed, in a way, she was. "I lost her during the Djed Storm. Took me a while to find a replacement for her, but, well..." He offered a small smile, a hand patting a nearby plank of the ship's hull. "The Crimson Tide does me just fine."

He tried his best to sound at least passingly interested as he reflected the question back. "What about you? What's your story?"
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[Drunken Fish] Caution: Ice (Shakune)

Postby Shakune on February 27th, 2015, 11:33 am

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She stooped down to collect the ropes he had thrown towards her, and without further word Shakune looped them both onto her right shoulder. He was elusive, this Svefra, and did not seem to want to continue their conversation, or to reveal too much about him. Who's Miss Engima now? The courier thought with a wry smile. She said nothing.

Shakune began her ascent, waiting for the male to answer her question but offering no aid or alternate conversation. To her, it was well within her right to know more about this man, for the sake of her business and livelihood. A simple mistake - putting her tentative trust in a psychopathic Svefra who planned on throwing her overboard, for example - could cost Shakune her life, or worse. As she grappled up the mainmast, her fingertips turned numb at the touch of the iced mast. Still, she hurried upwards, cautiously but efficiently. She had done this several times before, but not for over a year and not in such shitty, slippy conditions. In fact, she never remembered being on a ship that was so cold before. Perhaps she was looking back on her childhood through rose-tinted spectacles, but Shakune instinctively wanted to disagree with this idea.

At last the male below her responded, and the courier glanced downwards to meet his eyes, to indicate that she was still listening. Then something unexpected happened; she actually sympathised with him. Shakune had been attached to a ship too once upon a time, and she too had disappeared. The Lady Luck. The name always made her spine tingle.

"I'm sorry for your loss." She said, genuinely understanding the mourning that one felt upon losing a dear ship, a dear friend. Her desert-like appearance, and perhaps her hardy demeanour, would state otherwise, but Shakune was not completely devoid of a heart soul.

She began to loop the first halyward around the pulley mechanism near the top of the mast, looping one end of the rope through a gap in the top of the block and ensuring it lay smoothly on the sheave. If the rope had a kink, or somehow became caught up in the pulley, they would be unable to have full control of the mainsail. In these conditions, a dextrous sail was critically important.

As she turned her attention to the second rope and block for the jib, Shakune briefly explained her story, as requested. "Born in Zeltiva. Chaktawen mother, Svefra father. The former was a druggie-whore and is probably dead now, the latter I never met." The words came out of her mouth quickly and coolly, as if the story she was telling had no real connection or meaning to Shakune. "When I was kid, I moved out of the city and onto a ship, The Lady Luck.. Lived there for the rest of my life until we came here one day and the captain--" How strange it was to call her only real father figure the captain, a title so detached to what had meant to her. She stopped speaking suddenly, aware that her voice had cracked on that final word. Swallowing, she ensured that every trace sorrow was buried down deep in her gut before continuing. "He was old. And he died. The crew went their own ways and I was left here." Her lips remained tightly closed, as if to stop further emotion from leaking out. Whilst she had tried her best to convey a sense of apathy and casualness, that single crack in her voice had betrayed Shakune. It would be clear that the latter half of her tale, and the people and the ship attached to it, had meant a huge deal to the half-breed. They had been her family, her escape from the shitty life that her mother had forced upon her.

She finished the hurried story with a clunk as she returned to the deck of the ship. With a final nod, Shakune indicated to Glen that she had completed her task. Her black eyes betrayed her distraction as she glanced up the length of the ship. "If you don't mind me asking, who and where did you buy her from? " She asked quickly, keen to get the awkward conversation of their respective histories over and done with, "I've been hoping to buy a ship for a while."
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[Drunken Fish] Caution: Ice (Shakune)

Postby Glen Fiddich on February 28th, 2015, 5:41 am

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Glen was not particularly skilled at writing, or reading. Indeed, there were children who were better at such things that he was. Certain words had familiar shapes that he could recognise if the writing wasn't too obscure; other things, like labels, he could infer based on the context; but for the most part he merely muddled through his existence never really needing to write anything. Usually it didn't phase him, but phrases like that - phrases like If you don't mind me asking - made him wish he could write, if only to add it to a list of statements that infuriated him.

It was exactly the sort of thing that was wrong with language; exactly the sort of thing that made a new one so impenetrable. It was a phrase that didn't actually mean what it meant; not a confusing idiom, just an outright demonstration of linguistical stupidity. What if he did mind? If the question had caused offence or upset, a few words thrown haphazardly on the end would do nothing to alleviate that. It was seeking forgiveness, rather than asking for permission; inarguably more effective for the one doing the asking and seeking, but all manner of infuriating for the one on the receiving end.

Still, Shakune's story had earned at least a little sympathy from the Svefra, and her frustrating words hadn't burned it away entirely.

"Zeltiva," he lied, grasping the business end of the halyard and guiding it away from the mast; one less obstacle for Shakune to contend with on her way back down. With practised ease and swiftness, he posted the rope through the metal eyelet at the head of the sail, and began twisting the halyard into a bowline knot to secure the two together; a loop, a twist, through, round, and through again; his mind replayed the old story about a ship and a sea serpent that his Lia had explained as she'd taught him, years ago. A tug secured the strands together; his attention shifted to the foot of the sail, attaching the shorter ropes to the tack and the clew that would fasten them to the mast and the boom.

He glanced up, deciding to add a little more detail to his answer. It was the best kind of lie; a simple and flawless one, perfectly plausible and lacking in any detail that might call for questioning. After all, where else would one buy a ship but from but the nautical capital of the world? "A curious, disagreeable little man if memory serves; though I can't quite recall his name."
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[Drunken Fish] Caution: Ice (Shakune)

Postby Shakune on March 5th, 2015, 3:06 pm

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The mixed breed nodded singly in response to the Svefra's answer to her previous question. Zeltiva was too far for her travel to simply purchase a ship, and so she pushed for no further information. "I see." Her words were distant; the conversation had clearly lost her interest.

Instead, Shakune began to sift through the collection of papers she had bought with her. One page documented the packages that she was going to collect, and more importantly where they would be delivered. Her client had not specified what the goods were, but the courier knew well enough to assume that they were either drugs or falsified goods, such as jewels and the like.

She made a note on the papers, expressing the extra costs that she had had to endeavour in order to complete the job. Some may say that a courier was a skill-less job; after all, anyone could run from point A to point B with a letter. But Shakune disagreed. She ensured that her services were above that which her rivals offered, in terms of price, efficiency and above all else, discretion. Yes, any fool could deliver goods, but only a shrewd businesswoman such as Shakune could do so without being killed.

Eventually she returned her papers back into her satchel. She had confirmed that she had the necessary forms with her, and was thus ready for the job to push onwards. "Do you need me to do anything?" she asked simply, closing her bag and placing it on the deck at her feet. "The cargo ship we're looking for is The Salesman's Jewel."
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