That Sweet Disposition


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Center of scholarly knowledge and shipwrighting, Zeltiva is a port city unlike any other in Mizahar. [Lore]

That Sweet Disposition

Postby Jayce Malach on September 19th, 2015, 5:58 am

51st Fall 515AV
East Street

He didn’t have to look at the state of the buildings to know where he was. He could smell it on the salty breeze; the tang of East Street. In a way, it was as familiar to him as a cold mug of ale in his hands and the distinct chink of the coin bags he was so fond of. This was where Zeltiva’s underbelly was laid out to dry in the heat of the blaring sun. And most importantly, where the hoodlums made their nests.

Not that he was any better.

In a way, they were an extended family, kept at arm’s length and enjoyable only while inebriated. But that was often vital in a line of work that was largely hazardous to one’s health. Kissing ass was one part of the job description.

The rickety wooden door creaked open as he stepped inside, setting off the small chime overhead. The floorboards were caked in a layer of dust that was sent airborne with each step the half-breed made. With a grimace, he covered his nose with the scarf around his neck. Lovely.

There was a subsequent silence as Jayce walked through the tiny, weathered shop. The crumbling walls were decorated with dusty shelves holding hundreds of glass jars. He paused in front of a particular one full of thick yellowed liquid holding a pickled pig fetus and made a face. Must be where the smell’s coming from.

A heavy thud came from the back, followed by colorful expletives.

Ah, so the bastard’s here after all. Jayce approached the desk at the back of the shop, leaning against it with one hip. “I know you’re in there,” he called casually, running a gloved finger along the surface of the wooden desk, coming away with dust. He rubbed it between thumb and forefinger, glancing up at rustle of papers and the scraping of chairs.

The yellow flap leading into the back room flew open as an old man strode through. If Jayce hadn’t known any better, he’d have assumed he’d been birthed by a rat. He was wiry, with black, beady eyes, large ears and a hooked nose. His lips were pursed in disapproval. “You want help with third leg?” The man eyed him, up and down.

“Er no…” Jayce raised a brow, but the old man disregarded him, fumbling with a few jars before he produced one for the waiting half breed. “Jar of snake vomit will bring joy to ladies—“

“Stop,” Jayce interjected with a raised hand. He slammed his fist on the table in a gesture of intimidation, only to bruise his knuckles in the process. Shit. “Listen, you know I’m not here for your pork engorger, old man.”

The mousy proprietor blinked. “But the snake—“

“Ah—What did I say?” The half breed fumbled for the paper in his back pocket, unrolling it for the man who peered at it with furrowed, bushy brows. “I’m looking for this man, you seen ‘im?”

The proprietor sniffed and rolled his shoulders. “Not a clue.”

Jayce rolled his eyes. “Oh don’t be a little shyke. The fruit stall just down the road mentioned seeing this pecker come into this shop. So I’ll ask again,” he slammed a hand down. “Where is he?”

The old man glanced at the jar on the counter. “I’ll tell ya if you buy the snake vomit.”

For petching sake.

Jayce stepped out of the small, smelly shop and inhaled the salty breeze. With the jar of snake vomit under one arm, he walked down the dusty road toward the pier. The proprietor’s nondescript account of the man he’d seen was all Jayce had to go with, as he lacked any vital information. It seemed this one was a wily sort, leaving a trail that was difficult to follow.

Half an hour had passed as he wandered through the pier and the throng of University students soaking up its delights. He questioned several of them for the whereabouts of the man on the paper, but was met with confused looks and shaking heads, until a girl pointed down the shore toward a silhouette. Jayce narrowed his slitted eyes, and descended the pier, treading over hard sand and jutting rocks until the shore gave way to soft mounds.

What he could discern from his vantage was the dark, tawny hair and lean build description he’d been given. Had he found the man? He couldn’t be sure. But petch if he wasn’t going to pass it off like he had.

The jar of snake vomit sailed through the air and landed several feet from the man’s location.

“You owe me some mizas, kid.”
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Jayce Malach
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That Sweet Disposition

Postby Keene Ward on September 19th, 2015, 6:43 am

The stench was the first thing that drew Keene out of his introspective musings, though the crash of glass against the rocky sand is what turned his head to stare blankly at the putrid mess of greenish yellow ooze that emanated from the shards like a recently punctured blister. The voice was ignored only due to the nature of Keene's investigative interests: smell, sound, thought, then look. When he turned his eyes up from the mess, following the only logical path back to which the vial could have been thrown, he found a man who, as much as he could tell, was close enough to his age and height, though darker and far more roguish than Keene's more reserved inclinations. There was a swagger to his motions and the way in which he returned the young mage's stare, as if there was something to prove, some challenge that required him to rise up and meet it with not only strength of the body but of the mind as well. It was hardly unnerving, but it was something unexpected, and Keene's brow raised only slightly at it.

Several ticks passed before Keene realized that the man had been speaking to him, and several more passed before he was able to replay them in his mind and formulate a response that he deemed appropriate. To Keene, however, what was appropriate was not necessarily always what was best. "I owe you nothing." Calm, soft, and void of anything more than the slight rise of volume needed to cover the distance between them, Keene gave the man no indication of anything other than the simple fact that there were no debts to be paid. As far as Keene knew, he had only ever paid people with goods to sell, and then he had only done so when the transaction could be completed immediately. While the concept of "debt" and "debtor" were not all together foreign to him, he had always thought the concept of such things to hardly necessary: there was no point to buying something that one could only purchase with an empty promise of future payment - he knew all too well how easily one could recant upon words spoken with conviction.

Making a slight gesture towards the stinking, discolored sand where the venomous vomit had sunken in, Keene spoke in much the same tone as before, the subject of mizas wholly forgotten under the pretense of what had initially garnered his interests. "What is that? Bile?" Pushing his cloak back some so that he could kneel down closer, he drew a gloved hand to press over his nose as his grey-green eyes surveyed the scene, the concept of the other man being a potential threat completely disregarded for the time being. Within a few ticks, however, Keene pieced together what little information he had to come to the only conclusion that made sense. Raising his head so that his face was clearly visible in the evening light, he spoke once more in his soft, steady tone. "I didn't break it." Beyond recompense for the shattered flask, Keene could think of no other reason the man might even approach him, let alone demand payment.
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