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The wastelands of Athas have suffered for thousands of years under the tyrannical rule of the Sorcerer-Kings. Great and anciet city-states dot the landscape, the last refuge of humanity in the shattered remnants of a once great world. Struggling to survive in the shadows off the scant generosity of merciless immortals ruling the cities, the people of Athas fight for life everyday beneath the unforgiving sun.

For ages the city-states have endured, held together by the indomitable will of the Sorcerer-Kings and their templars. The only constant in the trackless wastes is the Kings and their cities, their iron rule squeezing blood from the stones that are the city-states, forcing survival. So things have continued since the beginning of recorded history.

Until now.

In ancient Tyr, some say the oldest of the city-states, change has come. King Kalak, the Tyrant of Tyr, has been assassinated. In his place sits a new king, Tithian, formerly of the templars, sits now in the Golden Tower, with the support of the senate and the nobility. In an unprecedented change, the slaves of Tyr were freed by the king's first decree, making Tyr the only free city on the face of Athas. The people, saved from the murderous will of Kalal, who nearly destroyed all life in the city in a powerful magical ritual, have embraced their new king with open arms. His templars roam the streets, enforcing the laws of the King without their prayers, but with the support of the people. The arena, once a spectacle of blood and death, has been converted to the first truly free market. All men are free in Tyr, they now say. All may make their own destiny.

But all is not well in the city. Over the past two years, the growing pains have nearly torn the city apart. Since the day of Tithian's assent, the city stands on the brink of anarchy. Powerful gangs roam the streets, no longer fearing the prayer-powered spells of the King's Templars. Factions within the rulership of the city threaten to undermine it. Nobles, seeking their once vaunted grandeur, work their fields with a new type of slavery; indentured servitude. Some templars seek a new path to power to replace what they have lost, and in the shadows, some dark things once held in check by the King's terrible rule are now loosed.

Without the slave labor to work Tyr's fabled iron mines, the cities econmy has flaundered. People starve in the street, and the once right city now has to scrape it's own coffers just to keep guards on the streets. Men and women who were once slaves struggle to find their way among the freemen, as often as not becoming beggars, and eventually criminals. A city once hungry for freedom has found a new hunger. Survival, although once certain, but at a terrible cost, is now in question.

Amid this strife, great urik in the north began to rumble. Without fresh iron from Tyr's mines, Urik's own economy, based upon it's obsidian mining, is threatened. Hamanu, Sorcerer-King of Urik, issues a demand of the new King Tithian; Re-open your mines, or I shall do it for you. Tithian bristles at the foreign king's demand, but without full control of the senate or the city, he is powerless to meet the demands in any means. Urik goes to war.

With their very lives threathened by the military power of urik, the city galvanizes, if not completely uniting. The Crimson Legion is called to arms, Tyr's leaders bringing together their forces through sheer will and even guile, working against many of the interests that threaten to destroy the city from within. The armies meet on the open sands, Tyr beginning the war with a surprising and decisive victory. But as the war goes on, the city struggles now under the fear of utter destruction.

Almost beneath notice, unseen and unknown by all, a secret power gathers it's self in the shadows. Birthed beneath great Urik, the fabled Avangion is born. With the power to one day threaten the rule of the sorcerer-kings themselves, this new hope, possibly the last hope of Athas, makes its first subtle moves against the ancient rulers. But it is not the tales of Kings and Dragons that have changed the world in Tyr. It is the acts of man.

Link to OOC Thread
Aust - Tyrian Noble

Hanfros set the ledger down , letting the weight of his report settle in. Aust's new secretary, "acquired" during hsi dealings with Senator Vildeen Tyrthani, had gone over every inch of the elf's inherited estate. He'd acquired the estate at the whim of King Kalak, as the maniac sacrificed his own nobles, giving their estates instead, in a fit of poetic irony, to an elf and a half-giant.

Two years later, without even mismanagement to keep the estate in order, and squatters working the fields to the best of their ability, struggling merely to feed themselves, the books make the secretary give them elf a grim look.

It's ... bad... my Lord. Manageable ... but bad. The recent changes with the field sla...err... workers, may improve things, as long as the next season is good. But you are going to need new income my Lord. Without a cash influx ... I fear the worst
Jace the Bard
Fleeing the struggle in Urik (and the military conscription), the young rogue finds himself by a quirk of fate in Tyr. With a few bribes in the right place, a draoman guide, and a local contact or two, finding a place in the city wasn't hard. In a struggling city, there is always work for a bard, of one kind or another.

A good tip puts him in the Golden Inix, a well reputed wine house just off the Caravan Way. A couple ceramics get him some local flavor, a sweet mug of cactus blue ale, followed by a glass of dry Asticlian wine. The Golden Inix normally caters to well to do merchants and nobles, just the place any bard wants to find himself. Now if only that elf he'd heard about would show up...
Huukena of the Jae'redai Tribe
Tyr. Life changing Tyr. Damnable Tyr and its slave pits and its ziggaruats. Tye and its warrens, Tyr and its templars, Tyr and its wars.
She couldn't help but love and hate the city at the same time. So much of her life had changed since coming to the ancient city. She'd seen things, done things, that she'd never considered possible within the tribe. She'd saved thousands of lives in the riots within the arena. She'd rallied a city in it's own defense, leading me and women to war. She'd found herself herself caught up in the struggles of the Veiled Alliance, both in Tyr, and the massive city-state of Urik.

She'd found a living legend.

Now she found frustrations. Korgunard, the man, more than a man, who'd inspired her to change what she could, perhaps second only to her mentor Killian, her tribe's Elemental Singer, had called to her.

And of course he'd done it in a dream. That was the problem with Seers, especially powerful ones. They apparently couldn't function like normal people. His visions guided him, and his dreams guided her. It would have been nice to have an actual convversation. Humans.

She looked down from the high trails over looking the city-state of Tyr. Back again.
Go to Tyr. Help Agis. Help Aust.
Talk about vague.
She'd expereinced his visions before. As they went, the last was surprisingly clear, if vague. But why?! Help with what? Why should she even bother. Because he'd asked her? And that damn Aust...

Aust scratched his chin as he thought hard about his situation. He takes a deep breathe before he speaks. Perhaps he'd been too generous to the former slaves. But what was he to do? Turn them away when he had all this... space?

Well, the labor wont be a problem. I need to find a Druid. Or perhaps a Water Cleric, though I can think of few in the damned city who dont wish me dead.


I'll figure that out, so relax. As far as money, Im sure I can find one or two things to sell to keep us afloat. Something shiny I find no use for.

Aust walks to the window, appearing to be not concerned at all. He sees the men and women out working the feilds. Remembering the work that gets put into it. He feels an urge to join them. He would have to as soon as he was finished here.

We will find a way Hanfros, dont you worry. I wont let these people down. They've been good to me, so I will be good to them. Do you have any suggestions as to where this money might possibly come from?
Hanfros clears his throat. Actually my lord, I do. I've received ... through certain channels ... well... perhaps I was too presumptious. However, there is a certain individual that needs some ... "assistance" that a man in your position might be able to offer. I have a message waiting your pleasure my lord.

My apologies for not offering it sooner, but a missive also came for you while we were going over the accounts. Senator Agis of House Asticles wishes to have a meeting with you this evening at the Inn of the Golden Inix. Something to discuss over wine. Just before sundown he said. Shall I send the reply my Lord?
Aust grins at his old friends request.

Yes, good work Hanfros. Reply that I'll be there just before sundown. Ill have Urgos accompany me as well. He's been spending too much time inside lately.

He turns to face his seceratary, arms crossed.

And the assistance you spoke of?
Lady Door
"SILVER?! You've got to be kidding me!... " Hukenna's voice rose and then fell once again to an irritated whisper as she spoke with the shrouded elf beside the blanket-covered hole in the wall."Fine. But, you'd better remember this when you come looking for healing, Ferrin." She slipped the elf the required coinage and stepped through the hole beside him. It cut through one of the lower walls of Tyr. She could have just come through the main gate, but then she'd have to give her name... and she wasn't quite ready for the Tyrian bureaucracy to know she was in town.

Looking about she got her bearings. Things were in constant flux in Tyr and one couldn't always be sure that the pub you visited last time was in the same place, or even in existence when you came again. If nothing else, there was always the Elven Market. Better to go there for the gossip first... and then try and find Lord Fancy Pants.
Aust - The Estate

Hanthros coughs in surprise, looking shocked, but trying to control himself. My Lord, the ah ... the Golden Inix is a wine house my Lord. I .... we ... your estate has not the funds should Lord Urgoss ... that is to say ... not that I would ever disagree with you my Lord ... Perhaps if Lord Urgoss were to ... attend and wait outside...
Aust cant help but agree.

Ooohh....right. Good catch Hanthros. I suppose he would have to stay here then. If I leave him unattended he's bound to get himself into trouble. Perhaps Ill take him with me to my Psionic's training tommorow. He likes all the green.

He rubs his head and closes his eyes for a moment. The length of the day beggining to creep up on him.

Now back to this assistance Hanthros.?
Navigating the familiar streets of Tyr is simple enough. Dodging the Freeman's district, where too many seem to remember her appearance, is more trying. It means skirting through the Warrens, and territory belonging to the various gangs ruling Tyr's back alleys. After hurrying through yet another back alley with the markings of the Bones, Huukena finally finds herself approaching the Elven Bridge, thinking that Tyr's Warrens are no place to go without a tribe. All things aside, it's good to be back among familiar faces.

At least until one of those familiar elven faces pulls its self away from the ledge of the bridge, stepping in front of her, speaking in elven.
A good day for a walk, swift lady. However, you should be aware that you intrude upon Lone Moon territory. This bridge has been part of our clan for generations. We of course would not take offense at such a lovely lady crossing through our clan holdings, were you to make proper compensation. As a sign of your ... understanding of proper respects and tradition of course.

There is a trio of elves with the speaker, a lean, desert worn looking elf, looking out of place in city leathers. The elf is definitely a desert runner.
Lady Door
"Your clan holdings? Generations? Hmm, I see. That's fascinating, friend. But, I seem to recall an intense brawl fought over this very bridge not three months ago... a brawl in which neither side wore the paint of the Lone Moon tribe. And unlike your friends there, your clothes and your movements tell me you're not of this city, and your words tell me you're not aware of its customs. So, I will forgive you for your meager attempt at parting me from my coin." She smiles and steps forward, one hand already already sliding into position on her staff. "Now, move... or I'll make you move."

Intimidation Roll
[ Spoiler ]
The elf puts his hands up in a placating gesture.
Easy there, we'd hate to have blood spilled on the this fine piece of elven architecture. It wouldn't surprise me that you would have heard of a recent ... squabble ... among the lessers of this city. As I said, this bridge has been a clan holding for quite some time. None of our clan would be so foolish as to fight over our own property. Why should we? It's ours. Much better to let rivals fight it out for themselves and save us the trouble.

Never did I claim this city was mine. Only that you are on Lone Moon property. Since you are obviously not aware of all the facts, I will forgive your brash words, and allow you on your way, once we have reached an understanding.
Lady Door
She smiles but doesn't move. "Who said anything about spilling blood, Trader? Perhaps the color of my cloak has somehow escaped you. Perhaps the decorations on my waterskin are too faint for your eye. I don't have to spill a drop. Tell me, do you enjoy the taste of sand?"
Perhaps you mistook. Your supposed artistic eye and thoughtful expression have fallen short of the expectations of the Lone Moon clan. I could care less what color you bare, unless it is the black of a templar cassock. I enjoy the feel of sand on my skin, and the taste of wine in my mouth. Content yourself with the simple water of your simple clan, but do it off our bridge.

The elf moves not an inch, the same daring smile across his face. The trio have noticed by now that there's more to this exchange than the usual and come closer, slowly spreading out around the two exchanging barbs.
Ol' Scratch
Jace and the Golden Inix

Jace had been at the wine house for what felt like hours, but judging by the beams of light blazing through the window slats it had been closer to only one. The cool air was both refreshing and alien at the same time; the Gulgan would have almost preferred waiting outside beneath the unrelenting sun than suffer through the torture of this privileged comfort.


Patience was a virtue in his line of work, and in this regard if no other, Jace was one virtuous son of a bitch. He had chosen his seat carefully, selecting one that was veiled enough to avoid drawing too much attention, but not so completely hidden as to appear shady or nefarious. It's better to hide innocently in plain sight than be discovered partaking in skullduggery, afterall, and that was a philosophy the young bard had lived his life by. People always kept an eye out for the best and the worst in others. If you could manage to find a niche somewhere in between, you could easily slip between the cracks and remain unnoticed far longer than you could any other way. And that is precisely what Jace had chosen to do this day.

So there he was: a zhackal in erdlu's clothing, quietly laying in wait for his prey to appear so that he may strike. But no, that wasn't a fair analogy at all. Jace wasn't there to end a life today; he was there to simply offer his services to the elven nobleman his contact had spoken of. Jace was in need of a patron, and rumor had it that this Aust fellow was newly entitled and likely in need of someone of his particular... talents. And if the rumors he heard were true, both patron and artist were in for interesting times in the days to come, if only he would have him.

Jace would prefer it if this nobleman arrived sooner than later, however. As comfortable as the wine house was, he was out of his natural element, not to mention that he was beginning to feel the effects of his drinks. That, in turn, had forced him to start nursing them, and that act might draw unwanted attention to himself. At least the wait wasn't entirely without its perks. The various nobles and their attendants that trapsed in and out offered the assassin a look into the styles and fashions popular within the walls of Tyr these days. Quite a lot had changed since his last visit. Blending in would certainly be a lot easier with the sheer amount of former slaves walking the streets, and it seems the freeman's pass he had painstakingly crafted on his journey here was all for naught. But it's better to have and not need than be in desperate need without, neh?

When a young woman approached his table to offer him another drink, Jace was jostled out of his momentary reverie. He masked an internal sigh with a light smile before surrendering his glass. "Gratitude," he said politely; his accent flawless and his tone discreet. "I'll have another of those ales from earlier, if you would be so kind. The wine isn't quite to my palate." He bowed his head dismissively, trying his best to nether flirt nor appear rude.

As the girl turned and sauntered away, Jace shifted his position slightly and continued his eternally patient wait.

[ Spoiler ]
Jace - The Golden Inix

Listening the buzz of conversation is like having a finger to the pulse of the city. Even if his patron-to-be was wandering late, being turned on to the Inix was a fortunate find. The well to do talked freely among their own kind, helped in no little way by the wine. Many seemed to be drinking away their sorrows and ills at having lost their slaves, and the difficulties of having to find so many new and inventive ways of wrangling them back into wine.

Good (debatedly) wine and ill moods contribute to loose tongues. His keen ear does catch the name 'Aust' on one tongue, a younger noble man bearing a house insignia in the form of a striding lizard of some sort. He doesn't catch the name, but he does catch that the young man's great uncle, Vildeen , apparently the patriarch of his house, curses the slaves name. He laughs off the idea of the elf being "Noblility", naming him a thief and thug instead. His keen ears catch whispers of blackmail on the part of the elf, a slight his noble patriarch won't soon forget.

As Jace casually sips, he notices another man moving about the crowd. Rather than listening in however, the out of place man seems to be trying to strike up conversations, only to be rebuffed shortly after. He wears decent clothing, although definitely the finery of a well to do freeman, not a noble. His eathered features and commoner accent tell a truer story about the older man. He looks more the type to be waylaying someone along side the trade routes than rubbing elbows with nobles. At the moment, he seems to be observing the small crowd speculatively. The large purse worn rather brazenly at his hip is also quite new. Even here, the man keeps a hand by it as if expecting a thief.
[ Spoiler ]
Lady Door
Hukenna - The Elven Bridge

Hukenna suddenly smiles, graciousness personified. "My apologies, friend. I seem to have forgotten myself. So much time spent in war has hardened me to life's little courtesies. But, of course, you feel a kinship to this bridge. After all, it has been in your clan for generations... I know I feel much the same way about the few sacred wells that dot the landscape of Tyr. Each of them claimed by my own tribe. It's hard not to feel... protective." She steps off the bridge and to the side. "Unfortunately, I do not wish to part with my coin and so I must, regrettably, take the long route." Hukenna steps down into the dry creek bed and crosses to the other side. "After all, it's not exactly the Silt Sea, is it?" Smiling, she faces the elven men still standing on the bridge. "Oh, and if you should come across one of our precious wells... please, do tell my brothers and sisters that Hukenna of the Je'ridai bids them welcome you." With another sweet smile, Hukenna turns and continues on her way.
Huukenna - The Elven Bridge - Warrens
The elves watch her go, the speaker with his jaw a little slack apparently not quite sure what to make of what just happened. The others watch, then look at him, then go back to their place in the shade laughing to themselves.

Moving through the alleyways, the aroma of spices and elven voices in the air soon lead her to where she wants to go; the Elven Market.

Colorful tents and exotic wares hocked by tall, lean elves are all around her. The elven market is like a sandstorm, heard one moment, then all around you, it's swirl and chaos dragging every which way. A few familiar faces even offer a wave or a spice meat,a familiar tattoo artist holds his water pitcher up for a blessing with a quiet but polite request. All throughout the market, the streets are alive, their brazeness amplified even more over antoher year without templars, for none would dare these alleyways now without the aid of their prayers.
Lady Door
Hukenna - The Elven Market - Warrens

Caught in the maelstrom of activity, Hukenna let the flow of the elves cast her this way and that. She had missed the chaos of the Market. It's ebb and tide so much like that of water. Her near-constant smile broadened when she saw the familiar face of Hallin, the tattooist. She made her way through the avenue to stand before him.

"It's been too long, my friend. It's good to see you... even better to see you're still in business." She took the pitcher from him gently and whispered a prayer over the muddied water.
Huukena - The Elven Market
The pitcher fills at her prayers, the artist bowing his head in thanks as it almost overfills with fresh, clean water.
Business is well. I'm quite busy actually. Not much in the coin comign in, but quite a few recently free men with barter to offer in exchange for fresh tattoos, usually to cover older ones, not as fondly remembered. It is good to see you back in the market. I had heard you'd left the city. I would not expect a Jae'redai back so soon. All is well?

He replaces the pitcher, with a leather cover over it, after taking a slow drink. He takes a moment to enjoy the fresh feel of the cool water on his tongue, his eyes closed in appreciation before looking back at her, smiling.
Lady Door
Hukenna - The Elven Market

"A Jer'edai should not be back in the city so soon. But, when the spirits call, I answer." She shrugs. "Tell me of the city, my friend. Any news?"
Ol' Scratch
Jace and the Waylayer

While eavesdropping on the Man of the Striding Lizard and filing away every juicy tidbit he picks up from the inebriated ramblings, Jace's eyes follow the curious maneuverings of the older man. When he finally comes close to his table, the bard gently scoots the chair opposite himself out with his foot, drawing the freeman's attention.

"You look like you could use someone to talk to," the younger man begins in his characteristically discreet tone, the slightest of friendly smiles finding its way to his face, "and I'm newly in town with no one to converse with. A fated match, wouldn't you say? Care to join me for a drink?" Just as he finishes he remembers the way the older man was clutching his coin purse. "My treat, of course."
Huukena - Elven Market
The elf gives a resigned shrug. Different faces, the same plots. The templars enjoy the people's support, and nurture it like a mewling human babe. It is the only power they have left. Mobs are their weapons as often as not. But the truth is they are less effective than they were, so they make grand proclamations when they actually succeed at something.

The King makes proclamations about the war, the nobles make prolcamations about the King, but few listen. They bicker, mostly about what to do with the freed slaves. It is a good time to be a discreet elf, and a bad time to be one that gets too much attention.

And now the Night Runners have come to Tyr.

Hallin shudders at the thought.
Jace- The golden Inix
The old man, a half elf now the he is close enough to see, nods with a quick smile, taking the seat. He leans forward in that universally conspiratorial way, his voice a harsh whisper that probably carries farther than a normal tone would.
I can see you're a man who is willing to take a chance foreigner. Well I tell you, you've taken your last chance. My proposal is a sure thing.

You've no doubt heard of Tyr's greatest good of trade, iron. Well, if you're willing, and brave, you and I can both profit greatly .... off of steel!

He nods gravely, sitting up quickly when the server comes by, and orders a modest glass of wine. Jace's treat, of course.
Lady Door
Hukenna - The Elven Market

"Yes, I've had the ill fortune to run into them already. A trio of Half Moon claiming the Elven Bridge as theirs." She lets her eyes wander the avenue, noting the tribal markings of those close by. Turning her attention back to Hallin, she gives him a half-hearted smile. "I should probably get moving. I'd hate to become one of those elves that gets too much attention. Be well, my friend, and may your waterskins always be full and your customers generous."

With a wave and a wink, Hukenna heads back into the fray.

Well, I suppose its time to go and find Lord Fancy Pants. See what kind of trouble he's managed to get himself into this time.
Ol' Scratch
Jace and the Waylayer Part 2: An Ironclad Offer

Jace's polite smile turns to an ever so subtle look of disappointment, but not surprise. "Yes, I'm aware of the iron trade. Or, I suppose I should say, the lack thereof. T'is why Urik prepares for war to the North, is it not?" When the young woman comes by to deliver the drinks, he casually pulls a few coins seemingly out of nowhere and hands them to her, all the while never breaking eye contact with the half-elf. Once she was a suitable distance away, he continued quietly. At first he considered dismissing the obvious conman as did the various nobles before him, but he could use a diversion from the boredom. "Regardless, please continue."

[ Spoiler ]
Aust - The Estate

The secretary nods hurridly, pouring through his papers until drawing out one with a broken red seal.
Apologies my Lord. The missive comes from Templar Kurris. He seek some 'assistance' in "recovering what is mine." The details are not listed in the letter, but he proposes a meeting, place and time of your choosing, although he requests sooner rather than later.

I know the templar somewhat. He is shrewd, but not cruel as many templar are known to be. Not even .... before. Shall I send a reply?
[Color=salmon] Yes, ill atleast speal with the templar. Send a reply, is there anything else we need to discuss??[\color]
Jace - The Golden Inix
The man enjoys the drink for a moment, then continues.
The war is at full rage. My news tells me the Crimson Legion is in the north, near a dwarf village. But yes .... not the point. You are familiar with some of the local politics? House Wavir perhaps, of Urik? One of the great trade houses.

I was a guard for Wavir, not originally of Urik of course!
He adds in the last hastily, casting a furtive look around. We bore weapons the House had meant to bring to use in the war, although which side isn't for me to know. The master traders, they keep things close to their vest.

The caravan went off the main paths. Better to avoid the armies and wars of course. Not such a great idea for avoiding desert predators. It was attacked. A so-ut, big as a wagon, mean as a sand storm, tore into the wagons, eating up men left an' right. Not a lot left. We shot it with crossbows, cut it, beat it, everything. Tore down men like you woulnd't believe. Were a couple of guards though carrying steel blades, cut into the beast deep. Fight went both ways for a while, 'til they finally cut the thing down.

Wasn't nothing left of the men 'cept me and a few others. Wagons were torn apart. We were closer to Tyr than Urik, which is how I ended up here. Four days walk out, mabye more we thought, not wasting strength on steel when we could be carrying water. I was the only one who made it. I'm not stupid mind. There were a few steel daggers. Was how I filled this purse with silver. And I brought somethin' else.

The half-elf reaches down into his boot, pulling out a wrapped parcel. He holds it close, unwrapping just enough to reveal a steel bladed dagger, the edge still keen and metal still shining and new.

I know this sounds like the oldest line, but it's true! There's wagons out there, gettin' eatin' by the sand every day, with steel in 'em. I already lost men, a lot of men out there. No way I'm goin' back alone. And there's plenty o' wealth to share.

[ Spoiler ]
Aust- the Estate
No my Lord. I'll send the reply. I'll find some suitable place for your meeting then? Someplace ... discreet.

I've taken the liberty at having your clothes laid out for you for you rendezvous with Lord Agis my Lord. They hsould be freshly scented and waiting for you above.

Huukena - The Estate

Half an hour in the market, some spiced meets, and three pick pockets remind her of the pros and cons of spending tiem in close proximity of elves not of one's own tribe. After getting a word of where she might find other Jae'redai, she heads out of the city walls, stretching her legs (finally!) , taking the run to the Estate the elf Aust was given as his own by the late King.

The sight of the place is mixed. It still stands, with farmers out in the field late in the day, as the heat burns off. The disorganization is clear however. The neighboring lands of the half-giant Urgoss are worst.
Ol' Scratch
Jace and the Waylayer Part 3: So-Ut Comes Down to This...

"I see," Jace replies in equally hushed tones. Unlike his conversation partner, however, he was not hunched over the table, but sitting comfortably in his seat. "And I suppose you're trying to hire a few people to try and smuggle these weapons past the beast, hmm?"

The bard reaches up and grooms the light hair of his chin with his fingers, feigning deep thought. This whole story had 'con' written all over it. Jace considered being more poignant and direct with his accusations, but he was enjoying the diversion to much to cut it short. Besides, there was clearly more to his little story, and he did love a good story.

"Intriguing as the implication of your would-be offer is, I can't help but feel you're leaving out a few details." The Gulgan takes a moment to glance at the door when it swings open. Not seeing anyone matching the description his contact gave him, he returns his attention to the bastardly elf. "What became of these other associates of yours? And why are you approaching such soft and intoxicated nobles with your offer? Surely in a city such as this, sturdier and more desperate people could be had for your recovery efforts..."

[ Spoiler ]
Yes, tell him ill meet with him tommorow. Mid-day would be best. Once you've sent the replies youfree to do what you wish for the rest of the day. He places a hand on his shoulder. Good work today. I'm grateful for your service..

Aust walks outside and prepares to get to work on the feilds.
He had a few hours before he needed to meet with Agis. He prefered to make himself useful until then.
Lady Door
Hukenna - The Estate

Surveying the field with a saddened eye, Hukenna shakes her head. Never should have left them to try their hands at it alone. Neither one of them was a farmer. These fields fail... blame for it lies partly at my feet. She makes her way over the sun-baked clay, stopping to say hello to a few of the farmhands she recognizes.

She stops, surprised when she spots Aust actually tilling the ground. Well, well... looks like Lord Fancy Pants actually knows his way around a rake. Will wonders never cease. She smiles to take some of the sting from the barb.
Aust looks up and wipes the sweat from his brow.
He smiles at the sight of his friend.

Well look who decided to drop by. Its good to see you again.

He looks around.

I suppose the ides of impressing you with lush feilds was only that, An idea.
Lady Door
She looks around and nods. "Lush fields is not something Tyr is known for, Aust. Still... I should have stayed longer. Helped you more. For that, I'm ... sorry." The apology is not easy to make. Especially to Aust. But, still... it needed to be said. Hukenna kneels down and presses her fingers into the dirt, testing. The substrate is dry and thin, little more then the sand that covers the rest of Athas.
"Still, this can be saved. It's just going to take a lot of effort and no little amount of patience." Is this what Korgunard wanted me to see? Is this why I'm here? She stood, brushing the dirt from her hands. "What else has been happening in my absence? I see you've managed to hold onto the estate at least. How is Urrgos?"
Aust pauses for a second longer then a glance.

No apology neccessary, Hukena. You had obligations. Besides its not like I made easy for you to stay.

He looks over to Urgos's estate.

Oh, Urgos is fine. Happy as ever. Clueless to our situation ofcourse. But he is a great help, on or off the our estate. But I'm glad you're here. You are certainly needed here. A lot of the farmhands have been asking about you. We've all... Missed you, Hukena. Aust clears his throat in hopes to smooth over this awkward moment.

But other than that, its been quieter then usual considering. I have a meeting with Agis in a few hours. It was a bit sudden. I think something is about to happen.
Lady Door
Hukenna blushes slightly, there is something to Aust's tone... something in his words that tells of a shift in their dynamic. She speaks quickly, eager to cover up a silence that seems to stretch out too long.

"A meeting with Agis? What does he want?" Hukenna could never quite understand the nobleman called Agis. He was a galling example of hypocrisy. One of those nobles always talking about how he was "of the people" without ever actually spending any time with "the people"... yet, he had fought hard in the wars. Fought for the city and the freedom of Tyr. Either way, there was no way she was going to let Aust be the only one he spoke with.

"I'm coming along." She didn't ask. She rarely ever did.
Aust sighs I was afraid you might say that.

He's never been able to tell Hukena no without a fight insuing. But he could never keep a secret from her either. So either she came with him and heard what Agis had to say for herself, or he just told her later. Either way she was going to find out.

Alright. Fine. We could use some catching up anyway.
Jace - The Golden Inix
[ Spoiler ]

The weathered man leans in even more, something like a grin "gracing" is face.
See, way I see it is, these blue bloods, they'd be more int'rested in getting proof of the caravan, somethin' they can use to lever Wavir. Leave me with as much steel as possible. Gotta watch for my cut too, ya know?
Seems like Tyr's nobles are gettin' a soft underbelly now though, without their King around to keep 'em fightin' for the scraps. The real king that is, the one what gave the templars spells.

The others ... desert took 'em. Beasties in the night, wounds from the battle, and the heat of the sun. But I'm a veteran, no doubt. I know my way, and the desert. She's a mean bitch, but you can get by, if you're meaner. Need numbers in the desert though. These softies, they aren't up for a little risk, so I figure, better a smaller share of somethin', than a bigger of nothin'
Ol' Scratch
Jace and the Waylayer Part 4: Just Deserts

In an extraordinary show of generosity, Jace allows a hint of his true mood to express itself in the form of a bored sigh. "I see," he replied, his attention turning towards the door more and more as the conversation progresses. With interest waning and boredom returning, the younger man decides to put aside the charade of pleasantries for now. If there was any sign of aggression or aggravation in his voice, however, it was nowhere to be found. "Let's cut to the chase, shall we? I know you're not being completely honest with me, and it's clear you have no idea who I am. So why don't you tell me exactly what your plan is, then convince me why I should believe this to be anything more than a ruse to rid me of both coin and life. In exchange, should I believe you, we can discuss this business further and perhaps refine your plan for both our benefits. Otherwise, I'm afraid, you may learn just what kind of a man I truly am. Deal?"

[ Spoiler ]
Jace - The golden Inix
[ Spoiler ]

The weathered man looks taken aback and a little shaken. He looks furtively about the room for a second, perhaps making sure no one else overheard.
I...well... there was a rampager! There was! Happened just like I said! Big beastie attacked the caravan! Bunch o' steel weapons, just the kind of thing the so-ut hates. Anyone in Tyr will tell you, Rampagers hate metal. Thing tore right into the caravan! It killed the guards, but they killed it. You're younger than me, you're stronger, I should be more worried of gettin' stabbed in the back by you, but I'm takin' a chance! it won't last long out there 'fore the sands cover it up. then a fortune's lost!
[ Spoiler ]
Ol' Scratch
Jace and the Waylayer Part 5: WTF? PMSing Rust-Monsters?

[ Spoiler ]

Jace's generous expression fades at once, returning to his telltale straight -- and deadly serious -- face. "Calm your voice and find your center, brother." He mimes a soothing breathing technique in an attempt to subconsciously influence the half-elf to do the same. After a moment, the bard continues. "I understand your urgency. But you must understand the trepidation one feels about such an offer of instant wealth. I'm a cautious man by nature; panicked exasperation will not speed up your attempt to convince me, as this conversation has already proven. So just relax and answer my questions directly. No attempts at subterfuge nor misidrection, just the sand's honest truth. If I believe what you have to say, I will most certainly consider helping you and we can begin planning a better means of reacquiring your steel." The assassin's use of 'your' is very deliberate and subtly emphasized.

Once satisfied that the thug has calmed down, Jace restates his previous questions. "What exactly is your plan and why are you not approaching any of the myriad former gladiators and slaves who would jump at the chance? Afterall, you claim that you need muscle to defeat this rampager and so-ut, yes? Why not go to the source rather than risk having to share more of your wealth than is needed with the nobility?"

Throughout the discussion, Jace never once shifted his position, nor has he failed to keep an eye on the door for his would-be patron.
Jace- The Golden Inix

[ Spoiler ]

Well the thing is dead! I mean ....*whispers* it's dead. And how do I know I can trust a gladiator, not that there's any left in the city, what with the war. Thing is though, say I go out there with a gladiator , or some other big warrior type or an elf, or what have you? Where am I then? I ask ya', how am I s'posed to watch out for my end? Only way to really be safe is ... well.. someoen more in my league.
Aust/Huukena - Estate Fields
The sun glows low in the sky as the two look over the fields, realizing that they must move on, or be late for their meeting with the Senator. At the wine house. Inside. Where it's cool. And there's wine. And waiters to wait on them with sweet meats. And wine.
Aust cleans up, and changes into his traditional white and red cloak and tunic. Once ready he returns in front of the estate meeting Huukena and ready to leave.

Shall we?
Ol' Scratch
Jace and the Waylayer Part 6: What the Hell...

Jace turns his direction fully upon the half-elf and studies him for a long moment.

"I believe you," he begins, his voice remaining ever calm. "As it so happens, I have a meeting set up with just the type of person you're interested in. If things go well, I might be able to convince him to consider helping you. Unfortunately, it won't be until later this evening and it would be best for me to discuss things with him first before proper introductions are had."

"I realize that you're on a time table, but if you would consider waiting until the morrow, we can talk again and get things under way if and when everything works out. Which I'm sure will be the case. In the meantime, you should ponder upon exactly how much of the wagon's contents you will be surrendering as payment and how we will be transporting the cargo once it's retrieved. Fair?"

Jace pauses for a moment, then adds an afterthought. "Would you mind if I kept the dagger with me until then? It would make my argument on your behalf all the more convincing, and I would be more than willing to return it to you when next we meet."

[ Spoiler ]
Jace - the Golden Inix
The weathered man nods slowly as he digests Jace's proposal. very hesitantly, he surrenders the steel knife blade.
I'll be ... wantin' that back. There's more to take o' course but ... that one's special.

Make you some arrangements. We'll meet tomorrow, just before sun up to beat the heat. Say by the braxat fountain in Shadow Square?
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