Open Working to Learn: Research Part 1

Salara quests for information on Zachiel Eyvino for SWI

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

Working to Learn: Research Part 1

Postby Salara Kel'Halavath on February 16th, 2017, 6:34 pm

Day 10 Winter 516 AV
Morning
Zeltiva

The soft shush of fabric sliding across flesh accompanies a slight crackle of electricity as blonde hair rises in a static style through the neck of Salara’s wool-fabric dress as she pushes her head through. Hands slide along damasked panels smoothing the seams and tucking everything where it needed to be. The copper and cream floral pattern wasn’t too formal or pretentious. The bodice’s cut wasn’t overly demure and seemed an appropriately respectful style for the perspective she wished to convey this day. It certainly represented a better lifestyle than she truly lived at the moment. Sitting upon her bed, bent kneed, arched foot and curled toes she rolls each stocking on and can’t help a grim chuckle at the image of a great cat trying to wriggle out of the constricting garments. This certainly would not be an easy task should she have to shift quickly. But oh, the finer fabric did feel good against neglected skin in reminiscence of better times.

She truly didn’t expect she would be in a shifting situation as her time would be full of digging through decades’ old dry dusty books. Briefly she imagines what she will find in the name provided by the Inspector: Zachiel Eyvino. Had he been or was he still a dangerous criminal? An evasive enemy of the city? Someone steeped in intrigue and perhaps tucked safely away? Maybe he was a lost hero of the time or quite simply a missing person – cold case for Scarred Wolf Investigations. Just as likely he could be a Nobody as much as a Somebody. She figured there was little chance that she would find anything the Inspector didn’t already know – he seemed a capable sort; but how very satisfying it would be if she cracked a case or shed illumination on some great secret. They’d spoken of deception and evasion so she hoped, at least, that the Inspector felt there might be more to learn out there and wasn’t just sending her on to a tedious effort with no sustenance.

As she slips her stocking feet into the slippers she had bought, quite the find - they were soft and felt almost natural, she reminds herself aloud, “Beggars can’t be choosers. If all I end up doing is ink-staining my fingertips, snorting paper lint and coughing up dust balls I asked for it.” With deft experienced fingers she twists long locks of hair behind her ears and settles the final piece of her ‘disguise’ into place – a lace coif pinning her hair under modest control, it’s wide-ribboned length draped like lapels upon her chest. Resting hands on hips and turning side to side, the bell of her skirts brush against her stocking calves while copper slippers peek out below the hem, she wished she had a looking glass. Clasping her bond-gift around her neck and - Viola - a proper lady of modest estate, possibly well educated, and worthy of respect in case she was related to Someone important.

All dressed up… and then she reaches for her old cloak. It was poor to start with and had been taking recent beatings in the rain. Her pack wasn’t in much better shape but this dress wasn’t equipped to hide weapons and she wouldn’t go weaponless. Maybe all ragged coverings would be excused as victims of the weather. One of these days she hoped she could afford a closet of various costumes to properly grift any encounter.

She felt it was a good sign when she opened her door to a lull in the rain as her walk was quickly hampered by folds of material twisting and trapping the winds that tried to blow her off course with each good gust. Further slow going in finding the clearest path to save what she could of her dainty footwear allowed her time to review a plan of action. For life longevity in this field the Inspector advised staying, not just one but, dozens of steps ahead of a situation and certainly not, she imagined, as a purely reactive response - as was her habit.

With such in mind she approached her first destination - City Hall - and considered what she would find beyond the mousy horn-rimed secretary who shouldn’t appear nearly as impressive now. Patience and perseverance while digging into old public records - seasonal census and esteemed houses - seemed to be in order for this encounter. If she couldn’t find all she needed here perhaps a visit to the library would be next in order. Pushing her cloak back over her shoulders her slippers barely whisper upon the floor as she approached the secretary’s desk with quill, ink, parchment, and an attitude of belonging at the ready.
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Salara Kel'Halavath
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Working to Learn: Research Part 1

Postby Salara Kel'Halavath on February 23rd, 2017, 3:40 am

…and waited. There was no secretary and after several ticks no one at all had shown up. Salara shifts from foot to foot then stands hip shot, calls out the occasional ‘halloo,’ while looking about before nosily focusing on the desk which was primly kept with mundane desk items all situated in neat order. After a shorter bit than was likely appropriate she gives in to temptation and steps behind the desk to try pulling upon each drawer handle. The top drawer slides out easily revealing several ink bottles in colorful variety, a handful of untrimmed goose quills, the tiny blade used to trim the quills and open envelopes, and a small bag of hard tack candies – mint - by the taste of a nimbly filched piece.

Unable to open the bottom drawer, her thumb begins rubbing the tip of her index and middle fingers as she wonders what might be stashed away. ‘Halloo’ she calls out again and looks about as a quill tip and the envelope blade find their way into the drawer’s lock. She knows that lock picks come in a variety of material; and while she had never used a quill before, its narrow shaft should be substitutable for traditional picks such as bone or copper. It takes her more persistence and time than she cares with the unfamiliar pick; but with tongue pinched between teeth eventually the quill bends just right against the mechanism allowing her to rotate the blade without breaking the quill. The drawer slides freely open to reveal a stack of copper miza romance and dreadful novels and a provocative illustration of a woman that, in the right light, might resemble a whispery-voiced secretary in her prime resting upon a chase lounge. Stifling a giggle Salara gently slides the draw shut not in the least disappointed.

Placing material back exactly as she found it, but not re-locking the drawer, she turns her examination to the various doors central to the reception hall. She avoids the locked gate barring access to a great granite staircase knowing it would be much more advanced than the lock of a simple desk drawer. “Enough dallying around. These are public records so this isn’t snooping,” she tells herself aloud looking about for one room in particular – the archives. Moving from door to door, which open onto cases of scrolls, one of a myriad of maps, an unoccupied office and one broom closet, until she finds the room with scores of bound ledgers resembling the current seasonal census that still rests upon the stand in the main hall. Entering, she credits the secretary as the books were dust free and thankfully in order, soon she comes to book 490 – 500 AV.

Pulling the tome from the shelf she sets it on a tiny desk and shuffles her skirts around to sit in the only other furnishing - a hard seated chair. Inside the front cover under the heading ‘Recorded by Seneschal:’ she finds, ‘Aris Johnson 490 – Fall 495’ and in another’s handwriting, ‘Tranaris Johnson, Winter 495 – 500 AV.’ “Hmmm, following in a father’s footsteps?” she wonders. Almost as if summoned by her words her keen hearing catches a soft scuff of footsteps approaching the archive door she had left ajar. Pretending focused attention on the words while a fingertip trailed along she doesn’t look up at a startled gasp and a not-so-whispery voice, “What are you doing here?!”

Salara allows two ticks to pass before looking up as if annoyed for being interrupted, confirming yes, an older version of the woman in the seductive picture. “Seneschal, I awaited your return but my time is pressed so as you can see,” her hand waves across the ledger and her writing implements, “I have found what I needed without aide.” The seneschal removes her spectacles aiming them at Salara,“Look here you cannot…” Salara interrupts, “These ARE public records are they not?” “Well… yes, but…” Granting the woman a pleasant smile she interrupts again, “Well, no harm done then. Should I need aid I will call for you.” Going back to her studying she doesn’t watch the woman’s jaw gap momentarily before she turns leaving her to her own devices. Her smile broadens to a Cheshire grin as she continues reading.

Beginning under ‘Spring 493 AV’ in the hand writing of Aris Johnson, she finds what she was looking for - entries listed for Zachiel Eyvino. The final listing is recorded under the date provided by the inspector - ‘Spring 496 AV.’ And it seemed young Seneschal Johnson was an artist at heart; because after flipping through several years of records she found that, for whatever reason, in his first two seasons Tranaris had sketched likenesses for the initial entries he’d made of each person registered in Zeltiva. Unable to duplicate the artistic rendition of Zachiel, Salara examines it closely noting physical characteristics.

In an aside she was intrigued to find that apparently gods and goddesses actually resided in Zeltiva as she found several entries up through Spring 510 AV of a goddess, Eyris. While dabbling through the books she was also able to identify several prestigious family houses of the time and scribbled the information into her notes for more research, ‘Manors: Wright, Melroy, Falconer. Having found all she felt she could here she reshelfs the seasonal census, gathers her notes and supplies, and exits the room; but before taking her leave she decides to look at the current registry once again.

Not yet acknowledging the seneschal finally sitting attendant as her desk, Salara flips through the most recent entries looking for the enigmatic inspector of Scarred Wolf Investigations. With high raised brows and a jaw gaping expression of her own another puzzle piece clicks into place. “Oh, how very clever she is,” she murmurs respectfully under her breath at finding a woman named Fallon. Counting back from 24 years, she calculates the Inspector’s birth year to be 492 AV; curiously the date, give or take a season, is one year before Zachiel first came to Zeltiva.

Gently closing the pages of the book Salara politely addresses the Senenchal, “I’ve tucked everything away as nicely as I found it. A good day to you, madam Senechal.” She exits the building humming a pleasant tune at wondering how paranoid the Senechal will be to find the unlocked drawer; not knowing for sure if she had forgotten to lock it herself or if anyone else had become privy to her secret treasures.
*Total Word Count = 1,874
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Salara Kel'Halavath
What would She do?
 
Posts: 258
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Joined roleplay: December 12th, 2016, 8:26 pm
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Race: Kelvic
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Working to Learn: Research Part 1

Postby Karyk on June 7th, 2017, 9:50 pm

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Salara Kelhalavath
Skills
Disguise: 1
Acting: 1
Observation: 1
Larceny: 1
Socialization: 1
Intelligence: 2

Lores

Disguise: Viola, an Educated Lady Worthy of Respect
Disguise: Tattered Cloaks Don't Go with Fancy Dress
Acting: Fancy People Say 'Halloo'
Larceny: Quills and Letter Openers Can Lock Pick in a Pinch
Intelligence: Zeltiva City Hall Secretary Loves Smut Novels
Seneschal Johnson Draws Portraits in Records
Goddess Eyris Lived in Zeltiva
Fallon: is Actually a Female
Fallon: Born in 492


 
Notes and Comments
CS Checkmarked: ✓
CS Reviewed by Me: ✓
Previous Season Expenses Paid (Spring 517): ✓


Was a nice read, nice to see that Salara just can't help herself around locked drawers haha. Please mark your post in the Zeltiva Grading Queue as Graded
Follow your heart, and the plot will follow.
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