Closed Unexpected Work (Koroshtoph)

A job is left behind at the Establishment for Kynier, and gets the attention of someone else.

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

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Unexpected Work (Koroshtoph)

Postby Kynier on September 17th, 2018, 3:47 am

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9th of Fall, 518 A.V.

10th Bell



The rains had been lightening up some of the last few days. Today it was more of a light drizzle than an actual rain but it left the streets with a fresh coat of moisture all the same. Kynier paid no mind to the deep puddles he stomped through on his way to The Establishment. While certain citizens found the rain dreary and undesirable, Kynier rather enjoyed it. For one thing these recent downpours actually seemed to have cleaned the city a bit and removed the stench of the Slag Heap from the air. Had the buildings been of a higher quality, Sunberth would almost resemble a functional city.

Alas, it was still filled with the wretched and the corrupt. So the illusion of civilization was thin. Everyone was willing to undermine someone else for some sort of gain. Kynier himself was on his way to check if he was about to undergo such an activity. His black cloak was still drenched from the rains of the days prior and was a heavy weight on his shoulders. The high dark boots looked darker and less faded with the water coating them. Various water stains covered the dark pants from the knees down. His dark green vest and rust red shirt were only a little damp and were fairly spared from the weather’s abuse.

Strapped to the belt at his hip were two short swords with blue cold iron metal concealed in their sheaths. There was also a mundane dagger attached to the back of his belt and an assassin’s dagger concealed in his left boot. While Kynier lacked the physique of seasoned fighter, he had survived many encounters in the city of anarchy and showed that confidence in his stride. The summer had been a hard one on him, yet also very rewarding. Though he hadn’t yet put all the undesirable parts behind him yet.

The Establishment itself was not as populated as it typically was at this time of day. Kynier groaned inwardly at that. It was more difficult to blend into a crowd when it was a thin one. Still, he set a path to wander a few circles around the fountain in the center. Hoping to have the appearance of seeming like another man looking for work despite his better than Sunberth-average hygiene and clothing. After ten chimes of walking around Kynier casually meandered over to a building on the western edge of the area. There were several crates and barrels set against the buildings. One barrel in particular had a pair of faded white stripes painted across the lid. Hopefully it would be empty. If not then… it wasn’t going to be a pleasant day.

Kynier leaned against a stack of crates just next to the dead drop and looked over the thin crowd of people at the Establishment. Whether it was the weather or not that kept people from coming he didn’t know. But with fewer people to distract eyes from him, Kynier didn’t want to reach into the dead drop and be seen. Lest others get the notion to look inside on another day and take any notes that had been left. That wouldn’t bode well for the individual or him. So Kynier crossed his arms and took a deep breath of the cool moist air.

Djed stirred within his body as his mind convinced it to take action. The power flowed just under the skin of his right arm sending shivering pulses from the shoulder all the way down to his fingers. Starting at the shoulder the Djed encompassed the arm then worked to dislodge his astral form from his physical one. It was a slow process making the separation. After the shoulder it was the upper arm, followed by the elbow, then the forearm, the wrist, and all his digits. Kynier had crossed his arms so that when his right when limp it wouldn’t just flop at his side.

The invisible limb of his astral body reached over and grasped at the grooves in the barrel’s lid. It was very difficult since his astral form was still rather weak in its interactions with the physical, but after some struggle the lid would appear to pop open just slightly on its own to an outsider. The astral hand only pushed the lid slightly off center so that it could reach down into the bottom. Feeling around he was growing hopeful that there was nothing inside… until he felt the parchment. His eyes would close despairingly as astral fingers encircled the parcel left for him.

A tension built in his arm, and not the limp one either. Glancing to the side he could begin to barely see a translucent form of his astral arm reaching into the barrel. Casting aside only a bit of caution, Kynier’s hand tightly grasped the parcel and pulled it out and onto the crate right next to him. Kynier turned slightly to the side as his astral limb shrank in length to match his physical form. Carefully, he realigned his two bodies and allowed them to snap back together bit by bit. As that occurred he reached with his other hand and took the parcel. Kynier began walking north out of the Establishment as the rest of his right arm was resetting itself.

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Last edited by Kynier on September 21st, 2018, 12:40 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Unexpected Work (Ephael)

Postby Koroshtoph Ephael Petyr on September 18th, 2018, 11:57 pm

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Koroshtoph felt restless this day. It wasn’t something new, but the feeling seemed to gnaw at him more viciously than usual. A day ago, he had gotten the job at the Kennel place, owned by some Hannah girl, who seemed quite a few years his junior. It used to house horses, apparently, but the animals it sold there seemed to be of a suspicious variety, with a rare type appearing more than once. She had told him that his job would involve some delivery and guard duty, though he wasn’t sure what he would be guarding or delivering. Whether it be fulfilling work or not, he needed the pay – his father’s savings were not going to last forever. And either way, he hadn’t left Zeltiva for Sunberth only to be idle in worse conditions than before. With this in mind, since Hannah had no work for him this day, he decided to pay the Establishment a visit. He’d heard it was a place to go for people looking for gainful employment and side jobs alike.

With the streets as sparsely crowded as they were, Koroshtoph was unsure if he hadn’t misfollowed the directions of the half dozen people he had asked on his way. Each of them gave hurried instructions, and he had had to plot the course from multiple accounts. Surely a place like the Establishment would be the beating heart of a city such as Sunberth, with crowds of people coming and going blocks away from the location. Perhaps it was the weather. Koroshtoph used to hate the rain, but being on a ship during storms, ranging from bad to terrible, had given him perspective. Therefore, the gentle shower of today barely registered in his mind.

What had piqued his interest however was the man a few feet in front. Seeming to be about of an age with him, the man strode across the streets with a gait of a kind Koroshtoph aspired to. Sure, he could affect it well enough, but this one’s seemed genuine. Earned, even. An ugly feeling creeped into his mind, but he managed to keep it from preoccupying him. After all, envy was not an admirable trait – especially if allowed to show itself outwardly.

Observing him, Koroshtoph could see that the man was well equipped, the clothing of a higher quality than his own. He could not appraise the two swords sheathed at his sides, but he reckoned they had to be in line with the rest of the gear. If the Establishment was anywhere in the vicinity, this one was surely on his way there. Given this, when the man made a left turn, Koroshtoph decided to throw aside the directions he had struggled to keep in his memory and turned himself to follow. Though the crowds were thin, there was still a good number of people headed in the same direction, so he hoped his altered course had not been conspicuous.

A few chimes later, Koroshtoph stepped into a square at the center of which stood a fountain. Having been told that a fountain served as landmark for The Establishment, he knew he was at the right place. He looked around for the man he had been tailing. Sure enough, the man was there. He must have arrived a chime earlier, after having disappeared behind a corner, out of Koroshtoph’s sight. Presently, he was casually pacing around the square. Koroshtoph furrowed his brow. Now that he was here, he wasn’t sure how he was to go about “conducting business”, as it were. He glanced again at the man. Nothing had changed on that front.

Close to a building where he had entered The Establishment, Koroshtoph saw a man who was glancing around, holding a rolled up piece of parchment in his hand. Koroshtoph stepped towards him. Might as well see if he has something interesting that needs doing.

“Hey, looking for someone?”

The man turned around at the words. He seemed as lost as Koroshtoph was, only not making any attempt to hide it. “Yeah…” He started quickly, but trailed off for a moment. “Well, not really. See, I need someone… are you… do you work here?”
“As much as anyone, I suppose,” he said, though he wasn’t sure how exactly this place functioned.

“That is, you’re looking for work?” The man’s voice was firmer now, no longer stumbling as much.

“Uh, yes. What do you need doing?”

As the man answered, talking at length about how and where he would need the message delivered, Koroshtoph noticed that the one he had followed here was no longer pacing about, but now stood leaning against a stack of crates. Trying not to be obvious about his spying, Koroshtoph glanced only at moments away from the would be customer, attempting to look as if he were in fact his primary focus.

Had he not taken an interest in the man before, Koroshtoph would have missed him picking up a parcel from a crate next to him. That had definitely not been there the last time he glanced away for an update. The man now seemed to be leaving. Koroshtoph was intrigued. He was reasonably certain that no one could have delivered a parcel there when he wasn’t looking. He felt a need to know more about this person and about what he was carrying.

Standing next to where the man would exit The Establishment, Koroshtoph would attempt to lock eyes with him, focusing a small portion of djed to his irises. You’ll need help with that. The suggestion would not reach its target in that precise or explicit a form, but perhaps it would remind him of a similar thought if he had had it before. In his youth, when he used to practice the craft on the local merchants with his mother, Koroshtoph never worried about being detected. Though not as reviled as in Sunberth, not many mages could be found in the markets of Syliras, and this was not the kind of invasive magic that would be immediately obvious to the victim.

If the man showed no reaction, Koroshtoph would wait a few moments before leaving the square to follow.
Last edited by Koroshtoph Ephael Petyr on October 12th, 2018, 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unexpected Work (Koroshtoph)

Postby Kynier on September 21st, 2018, 11:55 am

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There was a unique sensation to being watched. It took time and experience to grow the ability to sense such things. It was a tricky thing in this city. The harder one tried to be unnoticed the more attention they sometimes drew. Kynier had been working on it for years and given it more emphasis during last season when he had his unfortunate incident. But even though there was little activity in the streets as well as at the Establishment, Kynier couldn’t pinpoint who was watching him. The feeling did not fade. It had persisted from before his arrival and continued even now as he was leaving.

Even as he mentally worked at reconnecting his astral limb on the move, Kynier noticed a figure move towards his exit, rather deliberately. Being half distracted, the astral arm began snapping in place fractionally out of place. It was minor by the usual standards of misconnection, but the pain did reflect in his brow as he did his best to swallow the urge to audibly wince. Kynier slowed his pace and focused more on attaching the rest of his astral arm to his physical one. Piece by piece it reconnected without more pain. The fingers were the only things left to resettle when Kynier walked by the figure.

The man’s head turned towards him and caught Kynier’s eye. Something about the naturally pointed brow and nasal structure drew his sight to the slightly shorter man. As Kynier’s eyes locked onto the strangers he noticed it. A brief golden flash in the man’s irises just as eye contact was made. Did that man just…? Kynier was actively connected to his own djed via his projection. Something about the flow of it through his body from his mind began to feel sluggish from some sort of disruption. An unusual sense crept into the back of his mind. A thought that wasn’t made with words. Something that Kynier did not mentally conjure by his own volition. And he felt it coming to the forefront of his mind.

Hypnotism!

Still walking, Kynier looked down at his limp hand as he felt the suggestion taking shape. While he still had an iota of control he willed his astral fingers to just attach even though they still weren’t appropriately aligned. They did and painfully. Every nerve of each finger of his right hand suddenly burns as though he had reached in to grab a lump of coal from a hot fire. The pain drove out all thoughts, both natural and magical, from his mind. This time he couldn’t conceal the pain and groaned while cupping the source of his pain. It also caused a pause in his step for just a tick. Then Kynier set off and smiled to himself. It was a gamble, that intense pain would overpower a suggestion from Hypnotism. It had been a very long time since he had experienced its usage on him. But that golden glow in the eyes was unmistakable.

After thirty paces of heading down the street before him, Kynier gave a glance over his shoulder. What he thought was the same figure still appeared to be standing at the place where they had tried using magic against him. Kynier felt agitated though he wasn’t exactly sure what it was that had done it. That a mage had tried using hypnotism like that on a stranger in the crowd, or that he had been the target. Kynier set the parcel he had taken from the dead drop into one of the concealed pockets of his vest. The contents would have to wait a little as Kynier dealt with the recent development. Hopefully it wasn’t time sensitive. But Kynier couldn’t afford to attempt the task with an unwelcomed shadow.

With another glance over his shoulder Kynier could see the figure beginning to follow him. If he continued north he would be in Robern’s Reaches before long. So instead, Kynier took a left into one of the alley between buildings. The particular alley was tight. Not wide enough for two men to stand shoulder to shoulder. With the clouds blotting Syna from view the alley was quite dark. Kynier took five steps in and drew one of his cold iron blades from his hip. He held the weapon against the side of his leg as he set his back against the wall, slouched his shoulders, and lowered his head so his hood would better conceal his face.

“I’m being followed,” he said in Makath, the language of shadows. A language that could only be overheard by those blessed by Akajia. “By a mage.” Shadows with peaked curiosity answered his unspoken call and flocked to him. They danced over his body until his form would be heavily obscured from sight of those giving casual looks. There Kynier waited. Regulating his breath to be as shallow and quiet as possible. The pattering of the rain rang through the hood of his cloak making it the only sound he could hear. Until he heard the wet footsteps approaching.

The Nightstalker waited until the figure would be close before looking up and rushing forward with his weaponless hand out. Kynier would press the shorter man against the opposite wall and set the tip of his weapon against his throat. Only enough to press on the skin and have it fold. Kynier’s hazel eyes would avoid making contact and focus more on the man’s nose. “Hello mage,” Kynier would whisper menacingly. “Care to explain what it was you just tried doing to me? And don’t lie to me or I’ll cut your throat.”

Kynier did not truly wish to do that to the stranger. For he wasn’t a natural born citizen of Sunberth and was a mage as well. Being a “victim” of magic was not the sort of first impression he would’ve wanted. Alas, that’s what happened. The man had exposed himself as a mage. And until Kynier had some sort of understanding of the man, he intended to keep his magical abilities secret.


Stealth Roll :
Kynier's attempt to be hidden in the alley. Result: 95.


Word Count: 1,007

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Unexpected Work (Koroshtoph)

Postby Koroshtoph Ephael Petyr on September 23rd, 2018, 11:41 pm

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The cold of sharp steel on his skin was not a feeling Koroshtoph had known before, and it took a few moments before he realized what it was. A tip of a blade was pressed to his throat. Fear shot through him in a bolt of shock, and he felt his stomach churn. He could not see much of the one that held him pressed against the wall, but he could see that the man was avoiding his gaze quite deliberately. At first, he didn’t connect the dots in his mind, and he imagined that some thug must have picked him as an unfortunate target. It was only when the man spoke, that it dawned on Koroshtoph what had actually happened.

When, on his way out of The Establishment, the man had passed him by, it wasn’t evident in his manner that he had taken a particular notice of the glance. He had caught it, of course, but Koroshtoph didn’t imagine that he had taken much meaning from it. The idea that the stranger could have detected the manipulation hadn’t even crossed the hypnotist’s mind. In his youth, hypnotism had always been just an invisible tool to facilitate getting what he wanted. He would use it without a second thought, prodding at possibilities until something stuck, not putting much thought into any individual prod or the risk it involved. This tendency to a lack of forethought was something he had inherited from his mother, and for which she would often admonish him in an attempt to instill a prudence she lacked. And though this magic was a tool that had been gathering dust for many years, Koroshtoph had not matured all that much in that time, and so, upon picking it back up, his attitude towards it was much the same as in his teenage years.

Therefore, when he had targeted the suggestion at the parcel bearer, it was not a first step of some cunning plan, but rather a shot in the dark in what was going to be the beginning of a series of similar attempts. The groan of pain that the stranger let out, as well as his glancing over the shoulder had given Koroshtoph some pause. It was not enough to keep him from following, though. He had begun his play now, and he was not about to let it go at the slightest possibility of danger, but he tried to be more careful. He tried rarely to look at the strange, but instead kept glancing at the buildings they passed, endeavoring to seem as if he were looking for something unrelated to the true object of his curiosity.

As he walked, he juggled theories in his mind about what the parcel could contain. Something as prosaic as gold that, if displayed here in the open, would bring the attention of the ever-present scum that patrolled the streets in place of the knights? Some item of worth, kept hidden for the same reason? Some message that the man had to read in private? Perhaps something of such importance that it needed to be kept from eyes prying for more than just a source of wealth? As the theories grew wilder in his mind, Koroshtoph forgot to pay attention to the stranger, and when he glanced back at where the man had been a chime earlier, he was no longer there.

The amateur spy cursed under his breath. But he can’t have gone far. He looked frantically about as he continued walking forward, stepping now faster and less carefully in his agitation. He was there just then. He must have–

From the corner of his eye he could see a shadow move towards him from an alley. It’s movement was so quick that, before he could turn to check what it was, he found himself pushed against a wall, a blade pressed against his neck. He dared neither breath nor swallow, for it was pressed so tightly against his skin that he was unsure that it had not already pierced it; or, if it had not, that it would not do so at the slightest movement.

“Hello mage,”

This was not a word he had heard, for his mother had never referred to herself as such. After all, not acknowledging the nature of the ability, keeping it a mystery from its targets, was a chief pillar of its power.

“Care to explain what it was you just tried doing to me? And don’t lie to me or I’ll cut your throat.”

The realization that this was the same stranger that he had been tailing sent a chill down his spine. That he claimed to know that Koroshtoph had ‘tried doing something to him’ disturbed the hypnotist further.
The threat was not empty, that much was obvious; instead, the implied promise of not cutting his throat if he explained himself seemed much less credible.

Koroshtoph struggled to catch the man’s eyes, to attempt some desperate play that was more likely to get him killed than not. No luck. He considered briefly the possibility of channeling the djed through his voice. To what end? There was no suggestion that would make this man retract his blade. The only real choice was to chance that telling the truth would yield the promised result.

“I...” he started, his voice shaking. “It was a suggestion...” Carefully he swallowed. “A-a harmless suggestion, that’s all.” The fact that his reason for following the man, for trying to manipulate him, was such a trivial one was now working against him. How to explain this? What to say? What story would explain this, what story would stay the man’s blade.

And don’t lie to me

The words echoed in his head, and made it clear that to obey them was the only way forward.

“I...” he steadied his voice as much as he could. “I saw you take a parcel from The Establishment. I thought I’d follow you to see where you’d go. I thought...” he paused at the absurdity. “I thought it would be interesting.” The words fell from his mouth desperately, and he closed his eyes to prepare for death.

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Unexpected Work (Koroshtoph)

Postby Kynier on September 26th, 2018, 1:37 am

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Though his eyes did not deviate from the man’s nose in order to avoid being hypnotized again, Kynier could see the terror set upon the man. This was not something that brought the Nightstalker pleasure. Knowing magic in Sunberth was dangerous, and it made Kynier tend to cherish the presence of other mages. It was always in their best interests to look out for each other. But the Nightstalker would not be naïve. The city hated mages for a very good reason. And he too needed to be vigilant against more of those types emerging.

The stranger stammered as he came to grips with the situation, even if the reality was not quite what it appeared to be. Detecting a hypnotist was incredibly difficult to do. The fact that Kynier had managed to notice was miraculous. But the action itself had been rather bold, and Kynier took offense that it had been done against him. All too recently, he had been manipulated by dangerous people to do things he would have otherwise never done. The parcel was another instance of that. Kynier was making efforts to undo their control, but Hypnotism… that was something that couldn’t really be counter-measured effectively.

The man admitted what it was he tried to do. That he witnessed Kynier taking the parcel. Had this man seen his use of Projection? It was a possibility. The safe, cold hearted thing would be to make a single swift cut and walk away. That wasn’t in his nature despite how long he had been festering in the negative influence of the city. So for moment he did not move. The man had closed his eyes, ready for death as punishment for his folly. Was this man not going to fight back? That struck Kynier as really odd.

The Nighstalker eased the pressure he used to keep the stranger against the wall and withdrew the tip of his blade from the man’s neck. Without taking his gaze away, he sheathed the cold iron blade and took a few steps back. “You need to be more careful,” he advised. “Mages are hated in Sunberth. If anyone sees you use magic, they’ll take your blood without a second thought or word of warning.” Kynier turned and took a few steps towards the end of the alley and cast a glance down both ends of the street. He turned back to face the stranger.

“I’m not a native, so I don’t hold those views. I prefer to judge how the magic is used before condemning the caster.” Kynier gave the man a very pointed look. One that was also a mix of consideration. The man was curious about what would happen once the parcel was opened. The fellow did carry a longsword and had been present at the Establishment. Maybe the man was a mercenary. One with a few unique skills. Kynier took in the man’s attire. The clothing was simple and cleaner than that of most residents.

The man did not have that rough edge to his eyes one developed from having their life at risk all the time. It was not unique to mages in Sunberth, because it was a general Sunberth quality. Either the man was intelligent and managed to avoid hazards rather frequently or was new to the city and had not been broken or battered enough to adopt the characteristics. Kynier wondered what he should do, if anything. In a way he had already helped the man with his “friendly” advice. Trying to develop another contact was never a bad idea either.
“What’s your name?” he asked while taking the parcel out. Kynier ripped it open at the end and pulled out several pieces of parchment. The fact that there was more than one parchment gave him immediate concern. Kynier unfolded one of the pieces from the other and examined it for a moment. It was a map of some sort. Kynier’s brow furrowed as he looked it over. There was a place circled and no other notes added to it. It was a depiction of the region a little west of the docks. A set of alleys that were not near any unique landmarks. Kynier changed papers and read the details of what the task at hand actually was.

A delivery for the Sun’s Birth will be approaching through the indicated area on the night of the ninth. There is an item of interest that you must claim. It will be more secured than the rest of the shipment. Bring this to the north face of the Rotten Mansion. The only interest is in the one item. Do with the rest as you please.


Kynier snarled quietly in dissatisfaction. The incident with the Plantation had been dangerous enough to do by himself. This was likely to be an armed transport. That was something he could potentially accomplish on his own. But only by exposing what it was he was capable of. It would also risk damaging or destroying whatever it was he needed to retrieve. And how would he explain that? His gaze fell on the stranger again and gave a thoughtful, “Hmm.” Kynier knew he was going to need help if he hoped to do this without leaving obvious signs of magic involvement.

“Were you at the Establishment looking for work?” The answer was one Kynier already suspected. The Nightstalker followed the question with a nod at the man’s longsword. “How capable are you with that? I’ve a job that will likely require an extra set of hands that can fend for themselves.”

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Unexpected Work (Koroshtoph)

Postby Koroshtoph Ephael Petyr on September 28th, 2018, 12:39 am

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By all accounts, it was a rare Sunberther who would have a mage against a wall and not execute him. In light of this, Koroshtoph did not dare hope that this one would be the exception; yet to attempt to fight back seemed more futile still. The smallest motion of the sword, and the hypnotist would lie bleeding out on the ground, just another unmissed dead petcher in the city streets. He cursed himself for his imprudence. Perhaps his power was not as subtle as it seemed when plying it, for lower stakes, on the Syliran merchants. Should he have seen this coming?

An eternity seemed to pass before the stranger made his decision. As the blade withdrew from his neck, relief washed over the hypnotist, and he opened his eyes slowly to see the man back away, sheathing his sword. Koroshtoph took a few heavy breaths, touching his hand to where the blade had been, and looked back up. The man, having put away his weapon, was either convinced that the hypnotist was no longer an enemy, or was very confident in his abilities to defend himself should the victim of his recent threats decide to retaliate.

As the man spoke up, his words were a warning for which his previous actions served as demonstration. Koroshtoph had been aware of the particular hatred of mages in Sunberth, but he did not know the reasons for the hatred nor the extent of it. And anyway, it was not something that had worried him up till now for he had assumed hypnotism virtually imperceptible. The fact that this one had so easily noticed it was more of a shock than any stark words of caution that he had to offer. The mystery of it threatened to forever undermine Koroshtoph’s confidence in wielding his ability. He knew he would have to ask the man about it soon, but now was not quite the time.

When the stranger spoke about his differences with the Sunberth natives, directing a half subtle castigation at the hypnotist, Koroshtoph did not know how to respond. He had never been in a situation where he stood accused of trying to manipulate someone. It had become an afterthought quite early in his youth, so he had never really considered the victims or even thought of them as such. Was it, after all, really that different from any ordinary act of persuasion? Was planting impressions into people’s minds by manipulating djed really worse than manipulating words? It was a rationalization, but one he liked to seldom retread for fear of discovering a flaw. To the stranger, who now seemed to be assessing him, he merely offered a conceding nod. When the man took the parcel out of his coat and asked the hypnotist his name, his brows rose both at the parcel and the question. He considered for a moment before answering.

“It’s uh...” the effects of the near death encounter still held him more than he’d have liked. “It’s Koroshtoph,” he finished with a bit too much affected confidence, looking curiously at the parcel as the man ripped it open and took out the parchment. The man’s face clearly showed that he was dissatisfied with what was written, further piquing Koroshtoph’s interest, which had now almost fully washed away the fear. More so when the man looked back up at him with consideration, asking him whether he had been looking for work at The Establishment. He nodded in response – it was true enough.

The job offer was unexpected when it came, but Koroshtoph immediately wanted to prove his credentials. The prospect would give him respite from the nagging restlessness that threatened to come back after the adrenaline would have fully subsided. Apart from that, he needed to stay longer with the man for the opportunity to question him about the prior events. His voice now stronger and more natural, he spoke up:

“I’m better with it than the common thug you’d find on the streets here.” If this was overconfidence, Koroshtoph did not know it. After a moment’s pause, he continued with a good amount of pride showing in his tone. “I worked under the tutelage of one of the Syliran Knights,” he said, with no consideration given to the possibility that the order might be unknown to the man. “I highly doubt many here have benefited from such training.” He motioned at the decrepit alley around them, then gave a moment for his resume to be considered.

“What’s the job?” he asked after a moment, stepping forward to try too look at the parchment which presumably held the details. “You seemed quite perturbed when you read this earlier.”
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Unexpected Work (Koroshtoph)

Postby Kynier on October 1st, 2018, 12:48 am

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He was measuring the man, Koroshtoph, to see if the fellow would actually be of any help. So far there was not much to impress him. The Hypnotist had readily surrendered his fate when pressed to the wall with a blade at his throat. Would he do the same when squaring off against one or more Dragoons? Kynier watched as the man boasted his abilities as though he had not been terrified for his life a few chimes ago. It made it difficult for Kynier to get a good read on the man.

The part about being trained by Sylirian Knights was an ironic twist that amused Kynier. Though he didn’t let it show in his expression. If that were true then Koroshtoph may be able to hold his own for a little while if the need arose. As the man continued to talk, Kynier returned his attention to the small map that indicated where it was the transport would be. It was still early in the day, not quite the eleventh bell. Kynier wondered how they Daggerhand knew that it was going to be there exactly and at night tonight. The Viper had probably been manipulating events and people to make sure that it would be there. It was hard to see the whole board when one was only a pawn.

Koroshtoph displayed interest in the potential job. He was a man of curiosity to say the least. “Robbery,” Kynier said still looking at the map. “There is a shipment being delivered to the Sun’s Birth tonight. And someone really wants something that is on that transport.” Kynier folded the map and stowed all the papers into his pocket. The transport would be starting from the docks. Very few things ever came to Sunberth from overland. The lack of details regarding the situation bothered the mage. So, he decided he was going to remedy that.

Kynier looked at the Hypnotist again. “Twenty-five gold. That’s how much I’ll pay you to help rob this shipment.” Then he turned and walked out onto the street, assuming that the other mage would follow along. If Koroshtoph didn’t, then he didn’t. Kynier’s direction was east to head towards Baroque Bay. If it was important enough for the Viper to want to steal it, then it would be important enough to have an escort of Dragoons. And with them having no claims to any territory close to the docks, any members of that gang would be easily noticed.

With a look over his shoulder Kynier checked to see if his offer had been accepted.

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Unexpected Work (Koroshtoph)

Postby Koroshtoph Ephael Petyr on October 1st, 2018, 12:03 pm

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The man had not tried to sugarcoat the nature of the mission. Robbery had never been something that Koroshtoph pictured himself participating in, though in this case it didn’t sound as if they were going to be holding civilians at knife-point. Being wholly unfamiliar with the gang politics of Sunberth, he knew nothing of the Sun’s Birth or what their shipments were likely to contain. The name seemed to imply a group that was rather ingrained in the city, or one that at least held pretensions to be so. Koroshtoph figured that the fact the man asked about his ability with the sword meant that whoever they were, they would offer armed resistance. It crossed his mind that he had perhaps overinflated his ability in the man’s mind when he had mentioned knights. How would the lone pair of them pull this off? A plan was not forthcoming from the would-be employer, but he did promise a hefty sum for help. However, more so than the money, what prompted the hypnotist to follow was curiosity about the man that offered it. It occurred to him that he did not even know his name, though the Syliran had shared his freely. With a quickened step, he caught up to the man, walking now besides him.

“I’ve told you my name, I think it’s only fair you shared yours. Might be useful if we’re to work together,” he said in a tone that implied that he thought the man must have forgotten to mention it rather than that he purposefully withheld it. Whether he got an answer or not, Koroshtoph juggled many questions in his head; and since the street onto which they stepped still seemed relatively empty, now seemed like an opportune moment to ask them.

“What’s the plan then? What kind of resistance can we expect?” Though getting to the bottom of how his hypnosis had been detected burned brighter in his mind, questions pertinent to the task at hand were objectively more urgent. He was sure he would have an opportunity to sate the more personal curiosity later, and perhaps he will have gained the man’s trust by then. “And who are these Sun’s Birth people anyway?”

As they walked wherever the stranger led, Koroshtoph considered again the circumstances of their encounter. Certainly the stranger had not received the parcel from a messenger, so it seemed clear that their task was not one that would be discussed openly at The Establishment. In Syliras, such secrecy would have been a clear indication of illicit activity, but here the distinction between legal an illegal seemed more complicated. In fact, the terms held hardly any meaning at all in Sunberth. Instead of clear rules being backed by power, it seemed that here power had taken the place of the law. But power alone was arbitrary. Those forced to operate in the shadows were then perhaps not contemptible usurpers of righteous stability, but merely another strain of power seeking to establish itself for good or for ill. Koroshtoph looked curiously at the man walking besides him, wondering where he fit into the whole picture.
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Unexpected Work (Koroshtoph)

Postby Kynier on October 3rd, 2018, 12:41 am

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Koroshtoph had an energy about him that was very rare to see in Sunberth. Kynier had almost forgotten that people could be like that. As the other mage walked beside him, Kynier led the way east towards Baroque Bay to the docks. It was not a long walk to make as they only had the Stumble Alley district and the Mudway river to cross. It was not going to be in silence however, as the Hypnotist had several questions to ask. The man must not have been wanting for coin like a starving man. Such men were prone to quietly accept payment and not worry about the finer details of a job.

With a sideways glance he considered Koroshtoph’s first question. Apart from this task, it was very likely they would meet again. Kynier always liked trying to keep a watchful eye on the other mages that he met in the city, as few as those were. “My name is Kynier,” he stated for the other man. Kynier was trying to push through the frustration of being the random target of a Hypnotist. If he managed to set that aside then there wasn’t anything to hold against Koroshtoph. Afterall, Kynier once held another mage unknowingly under threat with his own magic. Though that affiliation was still in a neutral position.

As for Koroshtoph’s next question, no real plan had been mentioned in the parcel. One never was. There was only ever an objective listed and somehow, he had to get it done if he didn’t want to suffer the consequences of failure. “All I have is a location for the robbery to take place. So, the first thing that needs to be done, is to acquire more information. My curiosity lies in how large the transport is. Whether it is a single cart or a wagon train. That will determine the answer to your other question.” Kynier gave an attentive sweep of the street before continuing.

“Because it is being delivered to the Sun’s Birth, there is a possibility that Dragoon’s will be escorting it.” It was then that Koroshtoph asked his last question. It was enough to cause Kynier to stop walking and give the man a look of utter disbelief. Who were the Sun’s Birth? Kynier turned his head forward again, “Petch,” he cursed softly as he started walking again. So then, Koroshtoph was very new to Sunberth. The Hypnotist’s earlier boast of his weapon skills no longer inspired confidence. And as a ironic twist of fate, Kynier had to educate a man trained by Sylirian Knights about the Sun’s Birth.

“Sylirian Knights came to Sunberth a long time ago to try and establish order to the city of anarchy. They eventually succumbed to the corruption. Now they only protect themselves and their wealth, while everyone else fends for themselves.” Kynier looked over at Koroshtoph pointedly, “they still train their recruits to make them better fighters than most in the city. So, you can expect them to know whatever it is that you know about swordplay.” Turning his gaze forward again, he reconsidered the approach they may need to take.

“All deliveries come through the docks first. I don’t know when our particular one is set to arrive. Hopefully, we can find it before it departs and discover how many Dragoons will be guarding it. Then we can actually formulate a plan.”

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Unexpected Work (Koroshtoph)

Postby Koroshtoph Ephael Petyr on October 4th, 2018, 10:09 am

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That Kynier was willing to give him his name was a good sign, but Koroshtoph still wondered how much damage he had done to the prospect of gaining his trust with the stunt. On the other hand, was the unfortunate suggestion also the influence that had the man hire him? Either way, bringing that up now seemed like a good way to squander both the job and any trust he might have kept or gained.

As Kynier spoke about the task, it became apparent that his employer had not provided much more information than he had already passed on. It was clearly not just a matter of muscle, but also of intelligence, and whoever had written the contents of the parcel must have found this man possessing of both. However, Kynier, for his part, seemed quite unenthusiastic, if not downright irritated about it. It made for a strange state of things. By what he was entrusted to do, this was clearly a man that no shortage of employers would covet, yet here he was doing something that he seemed to loath. Was the pay so much better than anywhere else? Indeed, it could very well be a mundane reason such as that. Still, something in the man’s manner implied a more interesting explanation; or at least it seemed so to Koroshtoph, who was quite eager to discard the duller one.

At the question about the Sun’s Birth, Kynier stopped suddenly. Koroshtoph made another couple of steps before turning back to see what had prompted him. It was plain from the man’s face that this was not a question often asked. So then “the Sun’s Birth” were indeed important. He felt some measure of satisfaction for having figured that out before, though the look Kynier was giving him began to erode that feeling.

A frown appeared on the Syliran’s face as Kynier explained the background of the Sun’s Birth. It was a lot to take in. He had no idea that the Knights had any influence outside of Syliras, and hearing that they were in Sunberth roused him with an excitement as if of meeting an old friend. However, this feeling was quickly replaced by confusion, when Kynier concluded that they had abandoned their ideals for wealth. After the confusion came a sudden anger. His mouth curled into a scowl, and he scarcely registered Kynier’s pointed look or the words that accompanied it.

It figures that this damn city would pervert even them. Why not, if everything else. Unless this man is lying...—the thought was tempting—No, there’s no reason; if he wanted to lie, he’d simply omit the details of their origin in the first place.

As Kynier continued with talk of business, Koroshtoph listened intently. The anger had abated only slightly, a stark determination now tempering its heat.

“So then this city really is beyond redemption,” he said under his breath. Then, looking at Kynier: “Whoever hired you for this job would be an idiot if the odds were so much against you.” His anger rarely contained itself to its main object, so he said the words with some harshness. “Moreover, why are you doing this? You don’t seem all that glad of it...” whether it was some sign the man had given, or whether he had caught himself, he trailed off at the last words. He took a breath and spoke again more calmly, “I apologize if that was out of line. Yes, we should track this delivery. I’m very eager to see what this city has done to The Order.”
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