Closed [Fiachra]Wings and Scales

Sisas needs some help gathering information; Who better to ask than a bird?

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

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[Fiachra]Wings and Scales

Postby Sisas on April 18th, 2016, 7:02 pm

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10 Spring, 516AV

Sisas drums his fingers against his arm as he stares at the street he needs mapped; he's partnering with an acquaintance for a job, and the acquaintance needs the street mapped and any patterns as far as staffing goes studied and written down. The patters for staffing are easy enough; Sisas just spends the day wandering the street, making note of when the staff changes - if it changes. Night time spying isn't terribly hard, either; Sisas simply shifts to his viper form and climbs the buildings; his scales allow him to cling to the rough stone and wood walls of most buildings, letting him peer into windows with minimal risk of being caught. He's got most of the information he needs, but he hasn't been satisfied with any of the maps of the street and its buildings that he's come up with; something is always off, and if the map isn't to scale, isn't exact, then his acquaintance can't complete the job and won't pay Sisas the other half of his fee for his help.

With a sigh, Sisas concludes that he needs help. He doesn't like having to ask for help, but if he wants a cut of the payoff, then he needs to do his part properly. The Dhani picks up his naginata and whistles for Rikit; the war dog hesitates before he comes back from where he'd been investigating a street pole - Sisas doesn't even want to think about what could have garnered Rikit's interest. "You dogs are disgusting sometimes," he informs the beast, who just huffs and falls into his stride at Sisas's side. "Utterly disgusting; what is so interesting about a pole that probably every man - beast and human - in Sunberth has pissed on?" There's no reply, not that Sisas was expecting any, and the Dhani sighs before rolling his eyes fondly; he likes Rikit, despite how much he generally dislikes both dogs and cats. "Come on then, Rikit," he says, absently readjusting the brace on his wrist, resettling the blade in the center so if he needs it there's no risk of the blade nicking him as it deploys.

Straightening his shoulders, the Dhani sets off for the nearest tavern; he needs to get the word spread about the help he needs and what he's willing to pay for it.

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[Fiachra]Wings and Scales

Postby Fiachra on April 18th, 2016, 7:36 pm

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10 Spring - 516 AV - Sunberth


"Anything new for me?"

The Kelvic asked the bartender cheerfully.

"Yer. All them new slips of paper what have jobs on 'em stuck t'the wall. Right there."

"But the hand writing is always bad! And half of 'em is all shank this guy and kidnap that kid and burn down this building and blah blah things I don't wanna do! You read 'em all anyway! Come on."

'Chra whined. 'Chra could read. It generally involved moving her mouth and using a finger to keep track of where she was. It was hard and boring and she didn't really care. She wasn't illiterate but she hadn't missed it by all that much. The bartender sighed, rolling his eyes. Experience told him the naked girl wouldn't go away until she got what she wanted and if he tried to remove her bodily she'd just turn into a bird. He'd almost hit her with a broom once when she'd been particularly vexing. She'd spent the rest of the evening cursing at him as a bird in the rafters and pooped on his head. Much easier to give her a task and send her on her way.

"A'right. There's some new player, I don't know th'name, lookin' for someone to do 'im some mappin'."

"I can do that! Who? Where?"


"Y'know that cafe? The one where One-Eared Eddy became Eddy No-Ears? He's gonna be there. Apparently he's got a dog."

"Dog, got it! Thanks!"

With a grin, she was off, moving. Best not to stay human too long, she couldn't be bothered with clothes and Sunberth was not a good area to be naked and female in. Really Sunberth wasn't a good place to be anyone in any state of being, but the intelligent races are well not for being, well, not. As soon as she was outside there was a swirl of lights and where a woman had been a moment before, now a Raven took flight, heading for the Cafe now largely known for the infamous ear incident. It didn't take long, nothing really did when you were on the wing. She settled on the roof across the street first, peering. While largely a carefree twit, she did take a few precautions, largely int he form of scouting things out before making her entrance when possible. Nothing outside but a few people loitering. The windows didn't give away anything overly worrying, but she could only see slivers of the interior.

With an internal shrug, she wasn't that cautious, she launched herself for a window sill. The good thing about public buildings in Sunberth was except in the most extreme weather, windows were usually open if only to offer some reprieve from the scent of the average Sunberthian, let alone when a fair number of them were in a small space. Landing, she hopped forward slightly, leaning in and turning her head in the quick scanning motions that were bird forte. There! Dog! Lying, looking rather bored, though she was no dog expert was a rather large, rather aggressive looking dog. And sitting in the chair next to said dog was a fairly unassuming looking man.

Sitting alone, dog, yep, this was probably the guy who'd put the job up. Pleased with her deductions, 'Chra spread wings and made the short glide over to the table. Hopping immediately down to the vacant chair and switching forms in the trademark swirl of light.

"Hi!"

She offered with a grin. Best to make sure he wasn't about to stab her or sic the dog on her before she went to in depth into why she was at his table.
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[Fiachra]Wings and Scales

Postby Sisas on April 18th, 2016, 10:29 pm

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Sisas is deep in thought, contemplating what he might have to do if no one answers his ad - it's only been a few bells since the ad was posted, but one never knew with Sunberth which ads would be answered and which wouldn't be.

Sisas's attention is briefly caught by a raven landing on the open window; not terribly uncommon, given that ravens were generally brazen birds and had a penchant for stealing food items that weren't carefully watched if they had the chance. The Dhani dismisses the bird, then; if it flies inside, it'll probably circle the room a few times before heading back out the way that it came in.

The only warning Sisas had that the raven was not just a raven was Rikit lifting his head with a growl, and then a flash of light. "What the - " Sisas hisses, the arm with the bracer coming up and deploying the blade, holding it in a defensive posture against -

Against a naked female.

The viper blinks, his posture relaxing in confusion for a moment before he brings his guard back up. "Who are you?" he demands, almost glaring at the girl across from him; Dhani were matriarchal, but this girl was not, so far as Sisas could tell, a Dhani - Dhani couldn't shift their forms instantaneously. So while Sisas was reluctant to attack a female, if he had to defend himself from one, he would have no problem doing so.

The girl across from him is clearly tall, taller than Sisas himself, with hair the same color as her wings had been a moment before. Her eyes bear a striking resemblance to the Chaktawe, which only serves to increase Sisas's instinctive mistrust, and Rikit clearly picks up on it; the war dog has now gotten to his feet and is growling, hackles raised, at the human-raven girl. Where are her clothes? Sisas finds himself wondering as he waits for an answer; Sunberth was hot, certainly, but Sisas had not seen anyone short of the whores outside of the various brothels walk about nearly naked, and even they always had at least a shift of some sort.

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[Fiachra]Wings and Scales

Postby Fiachra on April 19th, 2016, 4:42 pm

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10 Spring - 516 AV - Sunberth


To the casual eye 'Chra stayed calm, not batting an eye. To those who were particularly good at reading body language however, she tensed twice, first when the weapon was drawn and again when the dog growled. It was a common bird trick, that any brash feathered beast could tell you, to play it cool. If you flinched or ran then you were prey and asking to be tricked. So you didn't. But that didn't mean you weren't ready to fly away at a moments notice. Blame it on the hollow bones. The relatively small size. Whatever you like. Running away, or flying to be more precise, was always an option. Often the best one.

Although the dog continued to growl, rising to it's feet, and if we are being honest making 'Chra particularly aware of how fleshy and vulnerable her legs were as a human, at least the mans response was gratifying. 'Chra might have taken slightly more enjoyment than she really ought to have at surprising and shocking other people, particularly with something that came so easily and naturally to her. The confusion didn't last long before it was replaced once more with antagonistic wariness, but since that was the default of much of Sunberths population even a momentary shift out of it was fairly impressive.

"I," 'Chra began, fairly pleased that she was going to get to use one of the big words she'd learned earlier "am the cartographer."

She paused briefly, obviously having internal dialogues rather than actually paying attention the man in front of her.

"A cartographer probably. I imagine there are other ones. Probably not as good, they can't just check if things look right."

Honestly the idea of ground-bound cartographers struck here as slightly absurd. They wanted maps with aerial views. They'd never actually experienced aerial views and couldn't compare reality to their maps. They were guessing, making it up. The closest they could get was by climbing up a high hill or something and that hardly counted. Clearly, cartographers should be able to fly. It was common sense.

"What am I cartographing?"

Well. It had been a good guess. She'd made an effort. She'd failed, rather spectacularly, but she'd tried. The more educated all over Mizahar were having a little cry and they weren't entirely sure why.

"Cor, do y'reckon that's where Eddy got his ear ripped off?"

She pointed to a suspiciously clean part of the floor.

"I heard where they had to close for like, hours on account of how gross it was. I suppose most people'd probably get sick if someone made 'em eat their own ear though."
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[Fiachra]Wings and Scales

Postby Sisas on April 19th, 2016, 9:47 pm

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Sisas follows the woman's finger, glancing at the suspiciously clean spot in question. He blinks, then returns his attention to the person in front of him. "I sssuppossse so," he says, frowning slightly. "I have never usssed that as a form of torture, but it would probably prove effective." Shaking his head slightly, the Dhani refocused on the task at hand; namely, the fact that he now, apparently, had a potential cartographer. "You make mapsss?" he asks. "What isss your name?"

He studies the woman before him; if she can transform into a bird, that would be ideal. She would be able to get a much better view of the area than any other cartographer in Sunberth, and she would probably be more accurate, too. Realising that both he and Rikit were still holding a threatening stance, Sisas relaxes back into his seat, returning the blade to its place in his bracer and laying a hand on Rikit's back. "Rikit, enough," the Dhani says, voice firm; the war dog relaxes his stance just enough to no longer be threatening, but still alert. His gaze is still trained on the woman across from Sisas, but his hackles are no longer raised and he's not growling anymore, so Sisas accepts it.

Keeping one hand on the war dog's back, absently scratching through the fur, Sisas contemplates how much to tell this woman he has never met before(he would certainly remember running into a woman who apparently makes it a habit to traipse about Sunberth unclothed). While crime is an everyday occurrence in Sunberth, Sisas doesn't know this woman or how she would react to knowing that the map she might help create is intended to aid in a burglary. "I need a map of one part of town created," he says carefully. "Jussst off of the main ssstreet of the city."

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[Fiachra]Wings and Scales

Postby Fiachra on April 19th, 2016, 11:11 pm

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His response and the fact that it implied he used other forms of torture was noted. The level of possible threat he represented was ratcheted up slightly. 'Chra had never really known a Dhani, she didn't immediately associate the prolonged S's with the snake people. She just figured he had a speech impediment and that it probably wasn't nice to point it out. Maybe that's why he'd started torturing people, 'cause they'd made fun of how he spoke.

Still, Ravens in the wild while not fond of snakes would often work cooperatively with wolves. Doing a job with another, more dangerous predator who you still had to be careful of in order to get a pay off wasn't an entirely foreign concept. Plus he seemed to be settling down, willing to be led off on tangents, so perhaps they would get on all right. More proof that her current tactic of playing unconcerned was the best bet!

"When folks pay me I do anyway."

She agreed in a good-natured enough tone of voice with a slight shrug that implied that while yes, she did make maps, it wasn't like that's what she did in the evenings for fun. That would actually have been far less bizarre and nonsensical than most of the things she did in the evenings for fun.

"Fiachra. Pleased to meet you. Both."

The last was about the closest she'd gotten to really acknowledging the dog. 'Chra did not exactly love dogs. she didn't hate them exactly either. But you showed a Raven a dog and what you got was a bird that was probably going to entertain itself at the expense of the canine. Stolen food and toys. Pulled tails. Sitting just out of reach and the like. All of this was made possible by that last. Sitting within reach of a dog that apparently didn't much like her was a new and not entirely comfortable experience. By the scratching though, he did like the dog. So she'd make half an effort.

"Okay. If you want it on nice paper you have to buy it. Elsewise it's going on bark or whatever else I find."

At least he didn't want the Tent City mapped. You could do it but it was a pain to get that many tiny things on one piece of paper and by the time you had, they'd gone and moved half the tents around. Proper exercise in futility that was.

The whys and what-fors of the maps she made had never really concerned her. Possibly because no one had ever told them to her. Map this, they said, and off she went to map. What would have happened if someone had told her it was going towards helping a crime be committed? That was hard to say honestly. Fiachra largely lived off of a multitude of small thefts, mostly of things no one really wanted anyway. Plus she could be fairly easily convinced that the target was not very nice, or if those hiring her or intending to perpetrate the crime had taken the time to get into her good graces, not overly hard, simple Kelvic urge to please would probably have seen her going through with it anyway.

But no one had ever told her why, and she didn't think to ask.
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[Fiachra]Wings and Scales

Postby Sisas on April 19th, 2016, 11:38 pm

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"When people pay me I do, anyway."

That was music to Sisas's ears; if Fiachra didn't care what the map was going to be used for, then Sisas would have no problem shelling out a few mizas to pay for decent paper. "I am Ssilarsisas, but you may call me Sisas," he says; he doesn't hold out a hand to shake just yet. He saves that for when the deal is concluded. The Dhani studies the woman across from him again, the fingers of one hand drumming thoughtfully against the table's surface. "Are you one of those shifters - the ones called Kelvic?" he asks curiously; he knows that many times Kelvic are sold as slaves, but Fiachra appears to be a free woman.

Moving on to the matter at hand, Sisas drops a few gold mizas onto the table. "I am willing to pay three gold mizas upfront, as a show of faith," he says. "I will give you coin for the paper, as well; the paper does not need to be very good quality, but it should be decent. I need the map by the tenth bell tonight." It was currently just after the eleventh bell, which gave Fiachra nearly twelve bells to complete the map. "I need the corner of the area where Goldfinger's, Silvertongue's, and Ruby's is located, as well as the row of buildings behind them mapped out, in as much detail as you can manage."

Sisas pulls three more golden mizas out, dropping them into his palm one by one, over and over, the coins clinking against each other in a slightly hypnotic rhythm. "Two of these are yours upon delivery of the map," he tells Fiachra. "The other is a bonus, if the map is extraordinarily detailed." He puts the coins away then, to withdraw one of his daggers; he twirls it in one hand, watching the blade spin before looking back at Fiachra. "And this," he says, his voice faux-pleasant, "is going to be delivered to your throat if you run off with both my money and my map."

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[Fiachra]Wings and Scales

Postby Fiachra on April 20th, 2016, 4:45 am

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Ssilarsisas. 'Chra tucks it away in her memory, but decided that since he'd given her a nickname she'd use that instead. Either way would be a pain to say in Raven form, but at least Sisas was a little more pronounceable. He needed some good K noises in there, maybe some R's or T's. Also who named someone with a lisp Ssilarsisas? That was just unkind.

"Yes, Raven, as you saw."


The answer was immediate and straightforward, and she preened slightly. The capital letter was extremely evident, there could be no question as to what sort of bird 'Chra thought was best. Her honesty was motivated by several factors. Firstly pride in what she is. Secondly the assumption that most of those who watch her for any length of time will figure out what she is, and Kelvics are not that uncommon or unknown. Of course, they are seen more often in the slave markets. Sunberth is not a very safe place for anyone, but particularly for an unbonded female Kelvic. Her one saving grace was simply that she was by nature hard to catch. Even that was occasionally sorely tested when folks realizes she was worth a good six hundred gold miza or more.

She eyed the coins he put down. It probably looked like she was considering grabbing them and running. In fact she was trying to figure out how exactly she was going to transport them. Naked and money was probably a bit too unwise even for her.

He went on about what he wanted mapped, something about more miza when she was done, and then pulled a dagger and started spinning it about menacingly. Here was a small unassuming man with a large scary dog, more miza on him than he ought to have, who knew a fair bit about torture, and he was threatening her. All these things added together made for an extremely dangerous whole. Now was the time to swallow and quietly back out, or duck your head and just get the job done. If you were wise.

'Chra was not wise.

Dark eyes danced with amusement, and she snorted. One hand raising momentarily to rub her nose, hiding the grin that had spread beneath it. before lowering it and leaving the cocky, challenging grin in all it's glory. Brazen bird after all.

"Running's for them what are stuck on the ground, if I do reckon it's better not t'see you again though, you'll never catch me, no matter how good you are with that. Y'can't throw t'the next town over, and I'll get there in a fraction of th'time you will. So don't give me a reason to skip town. Simple as that. I like it here. No one pays too much attention to anyone else. I get t'live how I want and do what I want. But it's a big world and I got the wings t'see it."

Her street accent got slightly thicker discussing this sort of thing. probably because she was using patter she heard street thugs use. Her sentiment, but their words cobbled together for the most part. It didn't do to sound too posh here. Cartographer had likely been pushing it, she just like the word.

"Anyway, which behind. The behind up into the flat bit of the triangle, the behind across the river, or the other one?"

This was to her mind the more important bit. Being could be any of the options depending on where you were approaching from. She probably had enough time to do all of them, but if he wanted to pay her to map basically nothing, awesome. She was probably going to have to have a think about what he meant by detailed though. All the maps she'd seen had been pretty basic. Streets, waterways etc and boxes for buildings. Maybe a legend but she didn't usually include those because she couldn't spell half the places anyway. Plus how many times did you want to write house?
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[Fiachra]Wings and Scales

Postby Sisas on April 20th, 2016, 12:06 pm

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Yes, Sisas had seen the raven; good for her, he supposed. She would be able to blend in more easily, and she did bring up a good point about him not being able to catch her; Sisas didn't have any reason to want to make her run, so as long as she was willing and able to make his map, the Dhani would be satisfied with that, and keep his end of the bargain. He pulls four silver miza from his pouch, adding it to the three already on the table. "For the paper," he says. He thinks for a moment, considering; the Dhani doesn't like shelling out more money than he has to - paying for the paper as well as a potential extra for better detail is already setting him back further than he'd like. But then, Sisas had never believed in doing things by halves, and if he was going to get a map, he wanted it to be as detailed and easily read as possible. "Do you have ink?" he asks. "Charcoal will sssmear too easily, unlessss you have some way of covering it to ssset it in place."

The Dhani had to admit he was a bit amused by the Kelvic's street accent; being part mimicking bird, she probably had picked up most of those words and accent from the various thugs that roamed the streets. It was easy enough to understand her, though, so Sisas didn't say anything. He considers the question posed, about which 'behind' he wanted mapped, for a moment before deciding, "The row of houses behind it, on the 'flat' side; that's the priority. If you have time, then the other one; the bit across the river is the least important. I need the distance of spaces between buildings, as well as how long and wide the buildings are," Sisas explains. "Height isn't important, but length and width are; the more accurate you can get, the better." The Dhani eyes the woman appraisingly, his gaze narrowing as he thinks. "How big is your wingspan?"

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[Fiachra]Wings and Scales

Postby Fiachra on April 21st, 2016, 1:06 am

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A way to set charcoal? Her brows drew together for a moment, a brief frown crossing her face as she thought about this.

"Don't have ink, could get some. Could maybe set charcoal with wax but then I would still have to buy wax and I have not tried this before, so perhaps it would not work or would ruin the map. Good to try later, but maybe not for your deadline I think."

It was certainly an idea to try for later. Waxed parchment was a term she'd heard, but she had no idea what was involved in it, beyond wax and parchment obviously. Being a cartographer was more work and required more thinking than she'd expected. It was still an excellent word though.

She listened as he specified which backside he meant, nodding to indicate her understanding.For a moment she was confused by the question about wingspan, but for all that she wasn't particularly educated, she could be quick when something had her attention. She liked mapping. She liked drawing the pictures, she liked that there was a fancy word to go with it, and she liked that is was the one thing in her life so far that people had deferred to her as the expert in. She was no expert, but it was nice all the same. So when he presented her with a mapping related puzzle; why did wingspan matter, it wasn't long until she found an answer.

"Ah! To measure wingspan-ways! This is seven wingspans long to the five wingspans of this, yes?"

She asked, perking up, obviously pleased with this new idea. Thinking about it, it wasn't exactly practical for mapping large areas in short time spans, but for a few buildings? It could work. Before now she'd been largely eye-balling it to see if it looked right, and counting as she flew. Three breaths for this street, five for the next and so on.

"I can make it accurate to itself that way, but I do not know other measurements. I do not know how many hands or feet or anything else it is."

Hands and feet were confusing measurements. They ought to change for each person. Her wingspan was her wingspan, but an Akalaks hand would surely be larger than her hand. It was not a concept that had really been explained to her. She knew of it, she did not understand it. It was on the very large list of things people had not thought she might need to know.
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