Solo Diamond in the Rough

Job Thread

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

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Diamond in the Rough

Postby Maria Talwa on March 5th, 2016, 2:19 am

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2, Spring, 516 AV

Considering there were a lot of people in Sunberth who were fairly poor, the store Maria worked at didn't have a huge customer base. Never the less Otis seemed to make enough money to get by and even pay her each week. Thinking about that for a moment she noted it was rather odd as most employers paid people by the day. One bright spot was it helped her learn to budget her money which was helpful. At the moment she was sitting at the front counter looking down at some glass top cases which were bolted to it. There were people coming and going outside, but no one seemed to be particularly interested in jewelry, though it didn't take a genius to figure out why.

In Sunberth most displays of wealth that weren't heavily guarded, didn't stay on display long. Here theft was pretty much par for the course. That was, in part, why the jewelry on display was low quality. There was little beyond 15k gold with colored glass gemstones. That wasn't to say that Otis didn't have high quality jewelry because he did. However to see the better stock one had to be known around town, they had to have a reputation. The one exception to this were members of Daggerhand. Because the shop was in their territory and protection money was paid each month, members knew better than to cause problems, lest their superiors get angered with them.

On days like this the biggest threat Maria was faced with was boredom. Taking a deck of cards out of her pocket they were removed from a thin wooden carrying case and laid out on the counter. From there Maria began to play a 'rousing' hand of solitaire. Something else she liked about working here was that Otis didn't complain about her playing cards so long as duties were tended to. Thus far Maria had swept the floor, made sure the walls were as clean as they would get, wiped down the counters, and the glass tops of the display cases. Now she was just waiting for customers to mosey on in and buy something. About fifteen minutes later a young man and woman came through the front door. This caused the bell on top to ring catching her attention.

The pair were fairly poor in appearance, dressed in plain clothes, and the young man didn't appear to be anyone important, just a face off the street. The woman wore a simple brown dress with short blond hair and lacked make-up of any kind. Maria looked her over carefully thinking with a little cleanup the woman wouldn't look half bad. The two seemed rather cheerful and quite affectionate with each other and quickly started looking over the jewelry on display. Always on guard around strangers, Maria was ready for trouble, these two however didn't seem like they would be a problem. The man had a coin pouch and the young woman was helping him look over the selection on display. Ever wary Maria watched the two, but didn't feel the need to spring into action at a moment's notice, at least not yet.
Last edited by Maria Talwa on March 5th, 2016, 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Maria Talwa
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Diamond in the Rough

Postby Maria Talwa on March 5th, 2016, 2:20 am

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“What do you think about this one dear?” the man said.

The woman looked it over for a moment, then shook her head, “No, I don't like rubies.” The two continued to look through the display cases trying to decide what to pick. After a few minutes Maria picked out a simple gold ring with a glass sapphire and held it up.

“How about this one?” Maria said. “I think it would go well with her lovely blue eyes.”

“Oh I like it! How much?” the woman said.

“Four gold miza,” Maria said. The young man took four gold miza out of his pouch, which was nearly all he had, and paid for the ring. After that Maria handed the item off and placed the money in the till under the counter. The young man placed the ring carefully on the woman's finger, they exchanged a small kiss, then exited the store. Maria rolled her eyes slightly not understanding how two people could get so sappy over each other. One of them would probably end up dead from starvation, disease, face down in an alley, one could take their pick in Sunberth. With that out of the way she went back to casually playing cards.

About an hour later another man walked in dressed in patchwork leather clothing and smelled like he hadn't bathed in a month. Blinking once to adjust to the smell she looked up into a rather homely face topped by short red hair. The man had a patch over one eye and gave a mostly toothless grin. “Hey there toots, Otis around?” the man said. In this case Maria decided to hold her tongue and just pulled on a small rope. The rope fed into a hole in the wall ringing a bell inside the workshop to let Otis know he was needed up front. Not long after that he opened the door, looked at the man, then motioned him into the back. The only thing Maria could imagine was the man wanted to fence something.

The walking odor left a sort time later with a heavier coin purse and seemed quite happy with himself. Once he was gone Otis came to the front and motioned for Maria to follow, and she did. In the back of the store away from prying eyes there was a collection of rings and bracelets on the table, all of varying size and quality. With a set of small tools on the table next to them Maria knew it was up to her to separate gold from gems, or colored glass in some cases. With Otis standing nearby the first thing she did was to begin separating the pieces and trying to tell what grade the gold was, then determine if the gems were glass or not. The hardest part of this whole exercise for her would be telling what karat the gold was, with a jeweler's loupe it wasn't hard to tell gemstones from glass. In some cases Maria didn't even need the loupe.
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Maria Talwa
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Diamond in the Rough

Postby Maria Talwa on March 5th, 2016, 2:21 am

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Going through the process of taking everything apart she managed to grade the few gems and large quantity of glass fairly well, but still stumbled on telling what karat the gold was. Afterward Otis took a few of the rings, sat down, and started to give her tips on how to tell them apart. As always she listened intently, nodded, and tried to absorb the information. What was likely the most interesting part of the whole process was dealing with stolen goods. Where people in other cities might be appalled at something like this, in Sunberth it was fairly routine business. Without a government of set laws, there wasn't even anyone to call about being robbed, unless you had powerful friends.

Most of the regulars in the city knew who to steer clear of, and the new arrivals that didn't, either learned real fast or they woke up dead. The same could be said of Maria as she'd mugged a few tourist in alleyways in the past, but well knew who not to bother. With everything sorted and ready, she followed her boss around the back of the shop watching him work on melting the gold down, removing the impurities, and increasing the quality. It wasn't something that he always did, a good amount of the fenced jewelry was sold at the quality it was received. There was a difference at the Diamond in the Rough however. Even if Otis didn't improve the quality he melted all the gold down and recast it. This was largely to get rid of any personal inscriptions and stop anything from being recognized by previous owners.

Returning to the front of the store Maria noticed the previous customers had tracked a lot of mud and dirt onto the wood floor, something she vehemently disliked. Perhaps it was a personality quirk but she couldn't stand a dirty home or workplace. This was partly why her house was probably one of the neatest and cleanest in Sunberth, even in the building itself was still a rundown shack. Picking up a small bucket of water and a mop from behind the counter she set them on the floor and went about cleaning the store, but it didn't stop there. After the floor was mopped Maria spot checked the walls, wiped the counters, then cleaned the glass tops of the display cases. One way or another the shop would be clean.

With a bit of a smirk Maria thought that was probably one of the reasons she got the job to begin with. While speaking with Otis in the front of the shop about being hired on, she excused herself for a moment to wipe one of the display cases that was smudged. It wasn't to say that her boss was a slob because he wasn't, the man just let things get a little cluttered sometimes while working. When this happened Maria would often times fastidiously straighten everything. It had even gotten to the point the two seemed to work around each other when this happened. Every now and then Maria would even take a tool he was using by mistake, at which point Otis would just grab it and set it back on the table.
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Maria Talwa
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Diamond in the Rough

Postby Maria Talwa on March 5th, 2016, 2:22 am

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Maria's job was a fairly easy one, for the most part she handled the customers and collected money, but she still wanted to learn more about the business. Both in terms of making actual jewelry and the people who came to fence things at the shop. Until now the only thing Otis had allowed her to do was watch. Things were progressing slowly, but they were progressing, at first he wouldn't even let her into the back of the store. Now she was allowed to observe while he worked and take mental notes about the whole process from start to finish. It seemed fairly complicated at first, but the more Maria watched, and the more questions she asked, the more everything started to come together and make sense.

With a yawn Maria sat with one arm on the counter and her head propped on it, this was obviously going to be one of the slower days at work. They happened from time to time and she hated just sitting around doing nothing. Just as Maria was about to nod off, another couple walked into the store causing the door chime to jingle. With a small snort she sat up to take stock of the new arrivals. The man was around middle age with patchwork clothing, his face was hard and weathered, and his head sported medium length black hair. The woman was young and unusually thin with long blond hair and a dress with holes that weren't even patched. The hair framed a face that appear chipper and thin, probably malnourished.

Of medium build the man was the first to approach the counter and browse the display cases in a casual manner. The young woman followed directly behind him. Almost immediately Maria didn't like either of them, they weren't doing anything out of the ordinary, but something about the couple just didn't sit right. “See anything you like babe?” the man said. When the man began to look around and take stock of the store it really made Maria suspicious, it was like someone casing a target.

“No, not really. Do you have anything better?” the woman asked.

“What you see is what we've got,” Maria said. She wasn't about to pull out the better stock for total strangers, especially this pair.

“How much is this one?” the woman said, pointing to a ring. When Maria looked down to see what she was pointing at the man raised his arm right at her face, something that was seen through peripheral vision. At first Maria only moved her eyes, coming face to fist with a small bracer mounted crossbow.

“Alright sweetheart, empty the till if you value your life,” the man said.

“And the display cases,” the woman said, giggling in the process. Rather than doing as she was told, Maria looked up at the man calmly.
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Maria Talwa
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Diamond in the Rough

Postby Maria Talwa on March 5th, 2016, 2:22 am

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“You two are obviously new in town,” Maria said.

“Oh, and what makes you think that?” the man said.

“Because only a pair of total morons would try to rob a store in Daggerhand territory. Now either get lost or I'll break your face and shove that crossbow somewhere Giggles over here ain't gonna appreciate,” Maria said. The man responded by growling and the moment the leather on his gloves began to stretch as the hand tightened, her head tilted to one side. The tiny bolt flew past her face causing a tiny flesh wound to the cheek before hitting a shelf behind the counter. The man made the mistake of flinching out of surprise. In a flash Maria came up out of the chair, grabbed the man's hair and smashed his face into the wooden portion of the counter with a crunch.

As the man crumpled to the floor she placed a hand on the counter and came up and over kicking the woman in the side of the face. With a small yelp she hit the floor as Maria landed and she looked over at the both of them thinking what total idiots they were. The bracer mounted crossbow was ripped free of the man's arm, then she walked over yanking the woman into a sitting position by her collar. The half-dazed woman seemed to come around, then looked at Maria and the crossbow with a wide-eyed expression. “What, did you think I was kidding?” Maria said.

Out on the street quite a few people going about their business heard the sound of a woman scream, not long after that the man came staggering out holding his head. The woman limped out of the store holding herself between the legs, her ratty dress still intact. “Yeah, the next time you idiots try to rob a business in Daggerhand territory, you might think twice,” Maria said. She intentionally spoke loud enough for everyone nearby to hear exactly what happened. If these two would be dealt with later on she didn't know or care, so long as they stayed out of the store. In a huff she walked back into the store to man the front counter once more when Otis walked out, obviously curious what all the commotion about.

“What's going on out here?” Otis said.

“Just a pair of rejects trying to get rich quick... and failing...” Maria said. The older man walked over to where she was sitting and looked down at the cut on her cheek, then walked into the back of the store. A short time later he returned with a clean cloth, a small bowl of water, a little canister of ointment meant to stop infections, and set them down on the counter.

“Thank you,” Maria said. The first thing she did was to use some water to clean the cut, then went about putting on a small dab of the ointment. It stung while being applied and Maria winced slightly, but it didn't take long to settle down. One thing about being a shopkeeper, or assistant shopkeeper in her case, was that in Sunberth even trying to earn what some might consider an honest living, was still dangerous.

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Maria Talwa
Little Miss Vicious
 
Posts: 78
Words: 80767
Joined roleplay: February 28th, 2016, 7:30 am
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Diamond in the Rough

Postby Karyk on June 17th, 2017, 9:54 am

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Maria Talwa
Skills
Observation: 3
Business: 1
Jewelrycrafting: 1
Cleaning: 1
Intimidation: 1
Brawling: 1
Lores
Boredom, enemy of the shopkeeper
Romance is for the dumb or dead
Cleanliness gets you hired
Only newcomers and idiots rob Daggerhand protected stores
Miscellaneous


 
Notes and Comments
CS Checkmarked: ✓
CS Reviewed by Me: ✓
Season Request was Submitted for Grade: Spring 517
Season of last IC post: Summer 517
Season of last Paid Seasonal Expense: Summer 517
Eligible for grade? Yes

I would've liked to have seen them combat played to a lower level. Remember Maria's combat skills apply to her swords, not necessarily unarmed combat.


It's fun to see what irks Maria (which seems to be quite a bit). Well done. Also all grade requests are to be done in an individual post, not lumped together.
Follow your heart, and the plot will follow.
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Karyk
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