Hard Bargaining

Theo finds oppurtunity in Riverfall.

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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Hard Bargaining

Postby Theo Popcampio on June 1st, 2016, 2:36 pm

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You're either worth my time...

Twenty-first of Summer, 516 AV

”That much?” The man said in a gruff voice unfamiliar with Common. He held a lock of Theo’s curling hair with big blue hands. ”But you have such beautiful hair.”

”That much.” Theo said, pulling the locks to their height. He had to have at least eight inches of hair by now. ”I’ve been at sea, I’ve had no time to maintain it.”

”Are you certain? I could make you beautiful. Your males would be jealous, Akalak too. Women would love you easily.”

”I have no need for beauty now. This city must first respect me as a warrior.”

The old Akalak frowned for a second. ”All Akalak are warriors, that does not mean we are not beautiful. Many warriors have hair to their shoulders. Yes, some warriors even oil their hair.”

Theo turned in his chair and faced the man, his back now to the mirror. The Akalak took a quarter step back with one foot. ”In case you haven’t noticed, my skin is not blue.” Theo said, a smile sliding over his face. ”Beauty is for each eye, pull ten women from your streets and ask them how they favor a man’s hair and they will give you ten different answers.” Theo turned around in his chair. ”Just cut it, you can leave three inches on the top if that’ll satisfy you.”

Three inches was already Theo’s intention, but he used it as a bargaining chip now. The Akalak seemed satisfied. ”If that is what you wish.”

”It is.”

Theo had been riding the Suvan Sea for fifty some-odd days earlier in the Spring, but he had been in Riverfall for nearly two weeks now in a sea of his own. Unable to risk being in public, he hid himself in the dark corners of bars and taverns. But it made no difference, Theo still could feel a lingering eye anywhere he went. Even now Theo watched the barber’s face in the mirror for suspicion as his hair drifted to the floor.

In the darkness Theo found solitude, in solitude he found comfort. It had been half a season since he was alone. Away from the knights, away from Reilly, away from the Precious, he could finally think for himself. But the more he drank the more Theo realized that he would not find solace in a stupor, only a brief epiphany to be forgotten in the endless trudge of drunkenness. The longer he sat in those corners, the more he warranted curiosity or suspicion. His deliverance was not coming and destiny could not wait any longer.

The man he searched for, Adrasto, had not popped into Theo’s life as easily as he might have wished, and Theo could not go asking for him without warranting the wrong kind of attention. He needed connections, people he could trust, and a nestling of drink was not a place frequented by strong reputations.

Also, Theo needed to remain inconspicuous and avoid making himself known too well. Coin was another issue. Theo was spoiling Novenam’s coin at the tavern much like the old captain himself. The real problem would be obtaining coin out of the public eye. But that was a problem Theo had already figured out.

”Like this?” The old Akalak asked.

Theo looked it over, his hair was close on the sides and tapered down to his sideburns. On top Theo’s hair still draped over his face a little. ”Close, a little more here,” Theo said, holding his bangs, ”and comb it over please. After, a hot shave would be nice, I need to impress.”

”Of course sir.”

Note: Subtract the cost of the haircut.


...Or you're not.
Last edited by Theo Popcampio on July 28th, 2017, 2:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Theo Popcampio on June 26th, 2016, 10:25 pm

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You're either worth my time...

Theo emerged freshly trimmed and eager to clear blue skies raining down Syna’s sunshine. There was a man selling pastries up against the white stone of a residence neighboring Theo’s inn. ”Fresh! He spoke in common, before he babbled off in Tukant. Theo took a long look at the Akalak holding a pie in his hand, maybe I could afford one more day just to myself. Theo hesitated before he laughed and shook his head, up the pearly white steps of the busy Riverfall streets he went.

The uncharmingly named Loads of Leather promised quick, quality work. Having already placed an order, the store and its location were familiar this time around. Neat and clean, with clothing spread across tables acting as displays. The shop clerk was different than Theo’s last visit, her scales being the first thing he noticed. She was fair, like most Konti women, but Theo thought better than to be wooing Riverian women this day; this day, when everything vests on inspiring a reputation.

”Hello, sir.” The clerk spoke in Common. Her voice had an airy flow familiar to Theo.

”Hello, miss.” Theo replied instinctively in his own flat Kontinese.

Her eyes widened for a flash as her smile gained enthusiasm. ”You speak Kontinese?” She replied in her native tongue.

”A little.” Theo replied in Common with a formal smile, waving his hand lightly in the air. ”I commissioned some leather. Theo Popcampio.”

Well, that’s a name,” A seductive smile slid over her face. I doubt I could say it myself.” She lead on.

”You’ll learn.” Theo hadn’t meant to play his hand, but he couldn’t help it. It was clear now her and him were already in a dance. Maybe I could make this work for me.

She giggled. Her hand lingered on the counter as she drifted away from the storefront and through an empty doorframe. ”Be right back.” Theo tried to watch her as she left, but the counter betrayed him with a creak as he leaned on it. This place is ancient. Theo stood there rolling his fingers on the counter instead --- he could never stomach waiting.

When she finally found Theo’s order she returned it piece by piece, the torso was stitched whole and covered to the wrists, and the legs had a built in scabbard for a dagger. She also brought out a longsword scabbard Theo had requested, as well as a pair of gloves and low cut boots. Although Theo wasn’t a leatherworker, he could see the leather was dark and had been boiled tough.

”The scabbard and the armor will cost you fourteen mizas. The gloves and boots are separate and run an additional miza. ” The clerk spoke

”That’s fair. Can you stitch the scabbard into the back of the torso?” Theo said as he tested the fit of the gloves.

”Easily, that would cost an additional silver miza in labor, however.” She said. ”Are leathers your way of fitting in around here?.” Her voice shifted, Theo didn’t have to look at her to know he was being played with.

”What’s your point?” Theo asked.

”You’re so serious, you should loosen up.” Her shiny blue eyes glimmered at Theo.

Theo couldn’t that she was a right. ”While I’m honored by your interest in me, I have to ask: Why?”

”Few Akalak speak Kontinese, I’ve never heard a human speak it. You have drawn my interest, Theo

Theo went to turn around, but remained halfway facing the counter. ”Shame to say, love, that I should be on my way. But when do you finish up?”


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Hard Bargaining

Postby Theo Popcampio on June 26th, 2016, 10:38 pm

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You're either worth my time...

Theo returned later in the hour. He had stopped and picked up some headware in the meantime. The Konti was waiting outside the shop wearing the same blue wraparound dress and white sash.

”You look even better in daylight.” Theo said, a half smile hanging over his face.

”My thanks.” She said in a soft, graceful tone. Her voice and demeanor were as bright as Syna herself. ”Now where are we going?”

Theo extended his arm out and she slid her hand through as they began to walk down the alley. ”I was thinking we could enjoy the sunset down by the port. But first I have a stop I must make.” Theo slowly lowered his pace and unhooked their arms. ”My apologies, I never caught your name.”

She laughed, looking down the street and then back at Theo. ”I thought you were going to forget! It’s Amara, sometimes they call me Amara of Mura.”

”Well that’s a name.” A smile slid over Theo’s face.

She nudged his arm lightly, and Theo glanced it off so soon again they were again in arms together. ”Clever.” She said as they restarted their walk. ”A sunset sounds lovely, I’ve let Spring settle too long without taking a visit to the docks. Might I ask where you found the hat?”

Theo had forgotten he was wearing it. ”It’s a beret, actually.” Theo reached with his other arm to fix the beret, pulling it to favor to his right side. ”I got it made at some taylor or another.” He paused, Amara chuckled. ”He had never heard of the thing either, this was his first.”

”I’m not surprised, this is my first time hearing of it. But I like it. It suits your face.”

”Thank you, Amara. Truth be told I don’t know where I saw my first either, it was just in my mind.”

”Mysterious...” She said playfully.

”Very. Now before we go see that lovely sunset, I need to take a stop at the Antiquities Society. And Amara, you might need to play a very special part there.” Theo let his voice trail off as he began his proposition.

Her grip softened. ”And what’s that?”

A snicker slipped from Theo’s mouth. ”It’s not as cool as you think. I just need you to say that I have leather armor commissioned if need be. As much as I’d like it, I don’t think we’ll be stealing anything today.”

”Thank gods. I thought this was going somewhere I didn’t want it to.”

”Oh, never that.”


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Hard Bargaining

Postby Theo Popcampio on June 26th, 2016, 10:44 pm

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You're either worth my time...

”I’ve never heard of a human taking interest in The Antiquities Society. Few Akalak even have time to take an interest in their culture, are you a historian, Theo?” Amara said.

”Well, Amara, my Konti friend, I take more interest than your average. You others, Konti and Akalak, live forever. My life is short and I plan to wring it dry.”

”That doesn’t answer my question.”

”You are a clever one.” Theo said. ”I’m seeking employment.”

”So you are a historian!” She laughed. ”I never figured you for the book type. You are quite eccentric, however.”

”Coming from the gilled, scaly blonde who is of a race made solely of heart-throbbing women born with future sight.” Some shock slid across Amara’s face before Theo laughed. ”Look at your face! I never knew Konti got so red.” He laughed more, but Theo could see they were not sharing in the humor and let himself drift back down to earth. ”I’m going there as a hired hand. Despite my interests, I’m far more useful with a sword.”

The Antiquities Society allotted Theo more than he had let on. His time in the bar did yield Theo something: Unsolicited information. Being a bar fly, people spoke freely in Theo's presence. He heard that someone was ransoming a fragment of a piece of old Akalakian artwork for more than a hundred gold mizas from one of these conversations. Only big shots got that kind of money. I’ll slide in there, get the dough while I expand my network all the same. Working outside the city I’ll be off the radar, and anyone who does come looking will have to take that waterfall back to the city.

”Oh, so you’re a man afterall.” Amara said, squeezing Theo’s arm. Theo flexed and she hummed in pleasure.

”One thing you must know,” the barber had told Theo as he was leaving. ”In Riverfall only warriors win women, respect, and riches. I see your sword. Use it.” And then he shut the door behind him, but the words kept repeating.

Theo slid his hand down her backside. ”At this rate, we may not make it to the port.” He said as they were rolling up to The Society. ”Now behave, we can continue this enlightening conversation afterwards.”

Theo and Amara walked through the double archway, easily twice the size of any Akalak, to enter a spacious room draped with green velvet and boarded with well finished wood. Light shined in from the ceiling on the members of The Antiquities Society huddled in chattered corners. They all stopped for a moment to look at the human walking through with a Konti on his arm. Maybe bringing a woman was the right move afterall.

”I am here seeking employment.” Theo spoke to the young Akalak behind the counter along the wall.

The boy snarked. ”And what makes you think we’d hire you?”

Before Theo could reply, another Akalak walked up between the sides of the counter. He was puffing tobacco from a pipe, and wearing a tabard gilded with gold threading that bore the waterfall on the front. Underneath he had leathers that covered his entire body. ”What’s your business here?”

”I’m seeking employment.. As a guard and explorer.”

The Akalak snarked. ”And what makes you think we’d hire you?”

”I can match anyone in your employ with the sword, and I can do this.” Theo concentrated, flowing his djed through his arms into his palm. In an instant he had a small ball of res at the tips of his fingers. He darted the ball over the man’s cherrying pipe, and gathered the embers, lighting the res aflame.

The Akalak looked stern at Theo. His face gave nothing. Theo was all in, and he looked back with a slight smile with intensity in his eyes. What would the blue man do? ”We may have some use for you. Prove yourself: Some wreckage turned up a mile west and three south of the city. If you come back with something you will be rewarded. Boy, see that he has a horse for his journey, we don’t need his scrawny legs growing weak on the walk over.”


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Hard Bargaining

Postby Faradae on May 12th, 2017, 8:08 pm

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Theo
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

E X P E R I E N C E

• Socialization +3
• Flirting +2
• Persuasion +1
• Reimancy +1


L O R E S

• Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
• A day spent drinking is a wasted day
• Dress to impress
• Riverfall Location: Loads of Leather
• Amara of Mura: Konti Woman
• Riverfall Location: The Antiquities Society
• Socialization: Don't push a joke when your interlocutor doesn't enjoy it
• Bars: Sources of unsolicited information
• Riverfall: A city for warriors
• Persuasion: Impressing a possible employer
• The Antiquities Society: A trial


L E D G E R

- 15 GM 1 SM for the complete set of armour
- 2 SM for the beret
- 5 GM for haircut and shaving

This price was actually very problematic: The price list states "25" (no currency) as a price for "hair styling", which may or may not include cutting.
The only "barber" location we could find is Mirrors and Tresses in Kenash, which looks to be a rather prestigious establishment, and prices there range from 2-5GM for a haircut. I discussed the problem with chat and decided to follow along with the suggestion to keep things on the lower end here - 25GM (assuming the likely currency on the pricelist) feels a little out of proportion. If there are concerns, let me know.


N O T E S

Ah, what an enjoyable thread.


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