Solo Let's Start a Riot, pt1

Madeira goes to the Habub and realizes she made a huge mistake

(This is a thread from Mizahar's fantasy role playing forums. Why don't you register today? This message is not shown when you are logged in. Come roleplay with us, it's fun!)

Herein lies Xyna's Outpost, and her gift to Mizahar's people. It is a magical place full of potential and possibility where all can gather and exchange ideas and commerce.

Moderator: Gossamer

Let's Start a Riot, pt1

Postby Madeira Craven on November 11th, 2020, 11:08 pm

Image
40th of Fall, 520
The night was cool and windless, with unfamiliar stars turning high overhead. Oil lamps, candles and glass lanterns were lit in the Bazaar, which showed no sign of slowing down despite the late hour. Madeira supposed it never would. She didn't know much about the Outpost since she discovered it half a year prior, but she had worked out three solid facts about the new territory. One: trade was the lifeblood here. If the flow of money stopped passing through its veins even for a moment it might just curl up and die.

Madeira slipped through the crowded Open Sky Bazaar with purpose, humming to herself. She paused with a note of interest at the corner of a shabby covered stall that displayed taxidermy animals in various stages of completion. She ran a gloved finger over the exposed teeth of a snarling panther head and stepped inside.

This particular booth seemed rather unpopular, and thus was a bubble of calm amid the shuffle of late night shoppers. It had no sign, consisting of only a few tables and a canopy of dark fabric. The vendor was dozing on a stool in the back corner of the small stall. He didn't notice his customer at first, but he jolted to attention once his eyes managed to lift themselves from the book in his hand.

"Good evening! What can I do for you, Miss?" He struggled to his feet and smiled like he'd been waiting for her all his life.

That was the second fact: in the land of commerce wealth is king. Madeira returned the smile, noting the way the man's eyes lingered over the jeweled headpiece in her hair and the diamonds wrapped around her throat and wrists. The stars embroidered in her black dress reflected prettily in his brown eyes. She never left the dovecote without looking like a princess anymore, and thus could be counted on being treated like a queen.

"Good evening. You have some wonderful works here. I'm looking for supplies to start my own project. Do you sell bones here?"

The man was nodding before she had even finished the sentence. “Yes, ma'am, all kinds. Let's see, I've got peacock, monkey, even got a Kriital, somewhere..."

In the end Madeira purchased three skeletons, a complete chimpanzee, a mostly intact Ta'rukahl, and a preserved yowelwing with its pelt. She had paid for the items and the vendor was just wrapping them in boxes, ready to deliver to her home in Lhavit, when she worked up the courage to ask him another question.

"Do you know where I can kind more... exotic remains?"

"Exotic? How do you mean?"

Madeira chewed on her painted lip, her gloved hand tracing the air as she fumbled with what she wanted and what she was willing to admit. The last thing she was sure about the Outpost was that whatever one could think of, and even what they couldn't, could be bought there. She didn't want to admit her interest in Malediction, but she knew somewhere in this city was someone willing to sell her exactly what she needed to do it.

Animal corpses were fine for her skill level, but it was about time she pushed herself. If an animal's death could give her the alexandrite brooch and cursed ring, what could a human's death be? A monsters? She had a lot to learn and this was how she was going to do it.

"Maybe exotic isn't the word. But what I'm looking for is certainly more rare." Her tongue curled around the r's, and they came out of her mouth sharply pointed in darker directions. "Maybe even monstrous."

The vendor's eyes snapped up to hers and then tactfully away. He swallowed noisily. "Oh, I don't think you'll find anything like that up here, Miss. The Habub, maybe, but not here."

It was an unfamiliar word, but the way he said Habub immediately caught her attention. He said it like a curse, quietly and with his lips rolled back like he was limiting how much of his mouth made contact with the sound.

"A black market", she guessed, watching his reaction closely.

"Ah, no miss, there's nothing banned under Xyna's rule, it's just…" he petered off, fussily straightening the corners of a package. “I wouldn't recommend a gentle lady like you go to a place like that. That's all."

A secret pulse under the sunny, prosperous Outpost? Curiosity pulled at the corners of her lips. "How do I find it?"

Ledger :



••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••



"Spooks!" Madeira called some time later, beating out her starry skirts as she exited the Bazar. The glow inside the market seemed to banish the night, leaving it to collect under eaves and in candle-less windows.

"What?"

The creature slunk out of the dark towards her. His black fur might make him nearly invisible in the dark, but the gleam of his bone plates and the noxious scent of licorice that haunted him assured he couldn't sneak up on anybody.

"I've just found out something very interesting", The hem of Madeira’s dress twirled as she turned to face him, her hands clapping once, excitedly. "How do you feel about going on a little field trip to this city's second, secret market?"

It was phrased as a question, but from the glint in his master's eye Spooks recognized that he didn't have a choice.

"A black market? Doesn't that sound a little, I don't know, dangerous?" he sat on his haunches and yawned mightily.

"It's a market, not a warzone. And besides I have this", she shook back her sleeve, exposing a tiny crossbow on a beautiful black brace, "and you", she motioned to all of the cat-thing, from his enormous claws to his armored back to needle sharp teeth. "We'll have a quick look around, get what we need, and get out. We'll be back before the midnight rest."
x
User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1627
Words: 1432573
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Let's Start a Riot, pt1

Postby Madeira Craven on November 11th, 2020, 11:09 pm

Image
Pass the Raids, the vendor had said. Find the darkest alleys and the stairs that delve deep under the Outpost. You won't find the Habūb there, but it will find you.

Madeira was counting on Spooks to memorize the twists and turns as they descended deeper into the Outpost than they had ever been. Here the light didn't seem to banish the night but instead brought it closer, so that it flickered in harsh shadows on the low ceilings and in dark doorways. These dark corridors were busy with people too, but not the same kind as those above. Madeira started as a drunken man with a reimancy ruined face stumbled past. Several times Spooks whipped around and hissed as children with skinny arms tried to sneak up behind them, scattering them like mice.

She couldn't quite point out when it happened, but all at once it seemed Madeira blinked and they were deep in the Habub. It wasn't splayed out in open invitation like the Bazar. There were no hawkers here. It never seemed to be directly where she was looking, but slid sideways into her peripheral vision. It was a man in an open doorway with a smile like he knew all your secret wants. It was an old woman at a crooked card table with a spread of dusty amulets. It was the sheet of parchment nailed to a wall with a cryptic advertisement that never quite admitted what it was selling.

The Alvadas Underground flashed uncomfortably in Madeira’s mind, but there was something different in the feel of this place. It felt... hungry. Greedy. Both life and death hovered here, closer than in the Bazar. It was on the gloves of the black hooded man in the alley and pulsed from the pregnant woman on the corner with a wooden sign that announced she was selling her unborn child for whatever was offered.

Spooks pressed close to her leg, a rumbling in his chest shooting up her bones and his tail high and alert and tickling her thigh.

"What are we looking for?" Spooks growled up at her, his eyes never lifting from the people around them.

"Graverobbers", she hissed back. "Monster hunters. Anything that might have bones to sell. In and out", she assured the beast beside her.

“Copper for a tooth?”

Both of them flinch as an old woman they hadn’t noticed spoke up from beneath a dark awning beside them. As dark and wrinkled as a raisin, she smiled up at them from her seat at a dusty table. In front of her were a wealth of fetishes and talismans of the kind Madeira recognized. Her eyes flicked back to the woman and she noted that there was not a single tooth in her swollen gums. Madeira stopped in her tracks and smiled with her lips closed.
x
User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1627
Words: 1432573
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Let's Start a Riot, pt1

Postby Madeira Craven on November 11th, 2020, 11:10 pm

Image
“I’m not selling my teeth, ma’am. Are you a maledictor?”

“Copper for that tooth”, the woman insisted stubbornly, now pointing to Spooks, who slunk around to Madeira’s other side.

Madeira didn’t answer, but stepped closer for a better look at what she was selling. She had never seen so many fetishes in one place. These were not the hidden, clean and pretty things that Madeira made, these were jungle totems. Shrunken and ugly, they were wound with skin and hair in barbaric wheels and effigies of people and gods she didn’t know. To see something usually kept so hidden out in the open like this felt indecent, somehow.

“Where do you get the corpses?” she asked boldly. “Are there grave robbers here?”

“Good bones, kitty kitty. Make into xylophone. Good kitty”, she cackled madly, ignoring Madeira as she reached a withered hand out to Spooks behind her skirt.

“He’s a very good kitty”, Madeira agreed patiently. “These are good bones too”, she motioned to her wares, trying to wrangle back the woman’s fraying attention. “Where did you get the bones?”

“It’s no use, she’s cracked”, Spooks growled from behind her skirts, his ears flat against his plated head.

“She’s right though, you’d make a good xylophone”, Madeira chuckled, her eyes flicking to the creature.

In that half a tick it took for her gaze to snap to the creature and back, the woman had lunged at her across the table. Her grip was surprisingly strong as she grabbed her by the jaw and attempted to pull her bodily across the table. The fetishes on the table were rattled to the ground as Madeira's hips slammed into the edge.

"Copper for a tooth!" the old woman screeched gleefully. A copper coin bounced off Madeira's chest and the woman tried to wedge her cracked fingernails into her mouth to claim her prize.

Madeira slammed the heel of her hand into the woman's skinny chest and pushed her away. Once freed she back up a couple steps and spat into the street, her face puckered with disgust.

The old woman's glee twisted into rage. She raised a knobby finger and leveled it at Madeira's chest like she was expecting it to impale her. "Thief!" she screeched. "Thief!"

If there was ever a taboo word in Xyna's world, it was that. Immediately dozens of heads swung their way. Madeira blanched under the weight of their attention.

"Come", she clicked her fingers at Spooks under the old woman's screeching and turned away. She couldn't tell if anyone was following them as they walked away, but to turn and look would spark violence if there was, and action if there wasn't. Madeira walked calmly around the first corner she could get to, and the moment the woman was out of sight she began to run.

"Oh, this was a mistake", she gasped. "We're leaving. What a stupid mistake."

In her head she cursed herself for thinking she could conquer this place with good grooming and social skills. She had seen a lot of things in her life, and she was well acquainted with the dark side of society, but this was not those toe-dipping excursions where she could come out squeaky clean again. This was not the kind of place where a silver tongue can fit into every lock.
x
User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1627
Words: 1432573
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Let's Start a Riot, pt1

Postby Madeira Craven on November 11th, 2020, 11:12 pm

Image
timestamp
She ran, until out of nowhere a man stepped out in front of her, catching her wrists as she bounced off his chest.

“Let me go!” she snarled. All at once there was a great gasp of pressurized air, and her right arm went up in flames.

The wrist he was holding shriveled under his hand, the sickly green fire seeming to suck away at the limb and the fabric covering it until he was holding a blackened claw. But to her shock he didn’t drop her despite the dramatic display. The flames licked harmlessly around his own wrist, the illusion of the Dead Hand crossbow not enough to scare him. Instead he rattled her like a child.

“Enough of that. Tell your creature to back off before I break your wrists.”

He spoke with the clip of an untraceable accent and a surety of a man used to being obeyed. The green light of the fire cut his face into goulash shapes, but beneath he was almost aggressively average: medium height, medium brown hair, body falling in the uncanny midway between wiry and bulky. But the longer she looked the more she realized that his averageness wasn’t the kind she saw in the dozens of faces she passed every day, it was more like the converging point of everyone she had ever met. Was he human? Was he young? Old? Did his skin tone come from the north or the south? The longer she stood there the less she was sure.

Spooks got the message, but wisely didn't speak. The beast backed against the nearest wall, bristled and arched with his mouth open in a silent warning. Madeira gritted her teeth and extinguished her hand.

“There, that’s better. I don’t like commotions in my Habub.”

Madeira gathered her feet under herself as best she could, trying to regain some of her dignity even as her arms were held open. “Your Habub?”

“Yes. I’m the leader here”, he spoke without pride, just stating a fact.

Madeira licked her teeth nervously. What kind of man would it take to run a place like this? There was a glint under his cloak, but she couldn't get a better look without him noticing. “What’s your name?”, she asked.

“Sand”, he lied smoothly. “And yours?”

Her tongue rolled through her mouth. "Autumn."
x
User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1627
Words: 1432573
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Let's Start a Riot, pt1

Postby Madeira Craven on November 11th, 2020, 11:12 pm

Image
“You’re learning”, he nodded, a smile not quite forming on his lips, until all at once his eyebrows folded together and his eyes travelled to her lips.

“Open your mouth.”

Madeira’s eyes flashed. “Get petched.”

The man chuckled humorlessly. “You know...”, he let go of her left wrist and grabbed her jaw. Madeira screamed with her mouth clamped closed, trying to pull his hand away with the one he just freed as he worked at the hinges of her jaw to lever her mouth open. “You know, that’s the first time anyone has cussed me out to my face in a long time. I’m actually kind of impressed. You can have that one for free. Call it a favour.”

He had managed to work his thumb and index finger deep into her cheeks and between her back teeth, twisting the soft parts of her mouth. She pulled and stomped and kicked, making furious, indignant sounds, but he just pushed her chin back and peered between her teeth. And branded on the bed of her tongue that was trying to pull back into her throat, on full display despite her efforts to choke herself, was her Cordas mark.

“Ah, I thought I saw something.”

Red faced with fury, Madeira gave up trying to pull him away and instead bit down as hard as she could. The tender flesh of her cheeks burst like ripe fruits, but beneath she could feel the bones of his knuckles grinding together under the pressure.

Sand hissed with pain and pulled out his hand. Shaking out his throbbing fingers, he pulled his hand back across his body and backhanded her as casually as one might swat a fly. Madeira’s head snapped to the side, and she clamped down on the sound crawling up her throat as the sharp pain bloomed in her raggedly bitten cheek.

“You’re so incredibly loud, even when you’re not speaking”, he went on, like the last ten ticks never happened. “That might fly above, but not here. You’re exactly the kind of person who will be eaten alive down here."

"Spooks!", she spat.
x
User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1627
Words: 1432573
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Let's Start a Riot, pt1

Postby Madeira Craven on November 11th, 2020, 11:13 pm

Image
The cat thing leapt instantly, him already wound as tight as a guitar string. But whatever Sand might be, he was fast. Madeira only saw the flash of a wickedly curved sword being pulled from beneath Sand's cloak before the cat vanished in a puff of soulmist. At last it was something the man wasn't expecting, and the hit that would have cleaved Spooks in two threw Sand off balance as it met zero resistance.

Twisting her remaining wrist out of Sand's grip, Madeira clenched her fist and felt the stir of the ring on her index finger; a gold band with a single human tooth set like a jewel on top. The maledicted fetish, the Riot Ring, seemed to activate almost gleefully. The air around them thrummed with tension that suddenly spilled over, and buildings and gutters and alleys disgorged people onto the street as a riot broke out.

Someone slammed into her from behind, knocking her to the ground, and Sand immediately lost interest in her as chaos erupted in his Habub. Madeira was already rolling to her feet as Spooks materialized at her back.

"Go go go!", he yowled, snapping at her feet to make her move faster.

The next few chimes were complete chaos as the riot she sparked accumulated, as people not even effected by the fetish were swept up by the madness. Madeira ran for all she was worth, ducking people and thrown objects, her breath already sour with exertion, focusing on nothing but Spooks' disembodied voice shouting directions. As she ran a fist tangled in her hair, and she lost her jeweled headpiece and a handful of blonde locks in the struggle. A hand grasped the shoulder of her dress, tearing the seam down her sleeve. Finally, as she was running up the steps she had descended into the Habub with her filthy skirts in her fists, a man snagged the gold collar around her throat. The metal bit into her skin and the momentum knocked her off her feet, and it took Spooks leaping out of the shadows for the man to finally let go.

Madeira rolled to her feet and burst into the Outpost proper, looking nothing like the woman that had so confidently strode into the Habub earlier that night. Dress dirty and torn, hair unraveled, red faced and bleeding from the mouth, she exploded out into the quiet streets of the Riads, just as the Habub riot began to spill out into the upper streets.

Ledger :
- Jeweled Headpiece: lost in the riot
x
User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1627
Words: 1432573
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)

Let's Start a Riot, pt1

Postby Gossamer on November 19th, 2020, 2:06 am

INTERVENTION


Hi there.

The Habūb is not this easy to find. Nor would you be able to bump into the Leader of The Habūb this easily without any background thread work besides a single low-risk unmoderated solo. The Moderator tab on The Habūb location states:

Please talk to a moderator about what you are looking for in this area. They can set you up with a contact and a way to contact that contact. You can even make contact with the Mortanis in these back alley passages.


That Moderator is of course me. No one discussed anything about this with me. And honestly, finding the underground in ONE post is bogus. So I'm nulling this thread. You can do this a different way with far more groundwork and building some relations in this area... or you can exit the area and not return. Starting riots is not something I approve of or the Keiss would let happen either.

BTW had I been consulted, I would have told you bones would have easily been found for sale in the Market. There's no real need for underground markets such as say Kenash has with its Midnight Market here. Everything is for sale within reason... if a moderator is consulted.

Goss
Gossamer

BBC CodeHelp DeskStarting GuideRiverfallSyka
Special ProjectsSykafall Coordination
User avatar
Gossamer
Words reveal soul.
 
Posts: 20398
Words: 5821624
Joined roleplay: March 23rd, 2009, 4:40 pm
Location: Founder
Blog: View Blog (24)
Race: Staff account
Office
Scrapbook
Plotnotes
Medals: 11
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (1)
Lore Master (1) Artist (1)
Trailblazer (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
Hyperposter (1) One Million Words! (1)
Extreme Scrapbooker (1) Power Fork (1)


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests