IC IC -- A Fistful of Credits

thirdkingdom

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Saturday, July 20th, 100 PA
Topeka, Kansas Territories


The summer has been hot and sweltering, and locals are saying it is the hottest they can remember for a decade, if not longer. The heat is oppressive, the farmland around Topeka dry and dusty. When there’s wind clouds of dirt are whipped up into the air, peppering everyone with a fine layer of topsoil.

In town tempers seem to have reached a boiling point. People snap at each other over the smallest of offenses, weapons are drawn, blows exchanged. No one has died, though. Yet.

The adventurers have been in town for a week, getting the lay of the land and figuring out their next move. No one seems to have drawn any attention, except for Epona. She gets sidelong looks as she canters through the streets, low mutters follow her passage like a hot, humid breeze. Topeka’s supposed to be friendly – or at least accepting – of D-bees, but there’s an undercurrent of fear in the community. Everyone is expecting the Coalition to make a move at some point, and no one wants to be fingered as an enemy of the state. No one’s said anything to her face, or threatened her in other ways, though. Yet.

So far the adventurers have gathered the following rumors:

*There’s a family that wants an escort to Silvereno, a town in the Rockies that has supposedly grown wealthy from silver mines. It’s about six or seven hundred miles to the west. A road exists – or, at least, the remains of a road – that apparently gets a fair amount of travel, and locals say that grav-trucks laden with silver ore make the journey east every couple of months. It’s safe, as safe as anything in this world. Word on the street is they’ll pay the escort 50,000 credits – Coalition Credits – for arriving safely, as well as pay for all the basic food and supplies needed to get there.

*The law enforcement authorities are overstretched, and there’s a bandit gang roaming the southern plains that, up until now, has just been an annoyance. Throak’s Banditos are a group of misfits, no-accounts, and ne’re-do-wells, but they’ve upset some mercantile concerns with raids on the western trade routes. The authorities are offering a reward of 20,000 credits a head for each bandit, plus 75,000 credits for the capture of Throak, who’s rumored to be some kind of psychic.

*A few days past a man arrived in town from the north of Topeka. Claims to be a farmer from a small village called River’s Bend, and that bandits have threatened to burn their village to the ground and sell those they don’t kill into slavery. The town can’t pay much – they’ve collected 10,00 credits total – but they’ve got nowhere to turn to. The Topekan militia can't -- or won't -- help.

*A woman calling herself Dawnstar has been dropping hints that she knows the location of a cache of goods leftover from the Old Days. She’s been awful tight-lipped about it, though, just says that she’s the only surviving member of an adventuring party, and that her comrades were all slain before they could go after it.

*Rumors are that a tribe of Simvan raiders is on the way north, looking for better grazing grounds due to the drought. There’s sure to be conflict with the outlying farms if they do make it this far.

*There’s some sort of beast out there, attacking remote farms and freeholds. It’s been so dry that it’s not leaving any discernable tracks, but whatever it is is brutal. It’s killing everyone, tearing them apart like rag dolls. The Governor of Topeka has offered an as of yet unstated reward for slaying whatever the creature is, but is asking that any interested parties chat with her first for details.
 

The Wyzard

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Tiger Praxis, Dragon Hatchling

"But I'm booooored!" Tiger whines, for about the fiftieth time. He can spend four hours a day, at most, out exploring and interacting with people. The rest of the time he has to stay hidden. And he's too big to hide easily. He is very, very ready to go out of town on an excursion.

Tiger expresses the most interest in the beast, Dawnstar's treasure cache, or River's Bend. This is based wholly on which ones he thinks are the most interesting, since the rewards offered are a little abstract for him at this stage. "Do you think Dawnstar would wait while we did any of the others, if we asked her nicely? Maybe we convince her that if we did something heroic for a low reward, we could be trusted to do the right thing with her. She has to be worried that any band of adventurers she took out to find her treasure would just..." Tiger makes a cartoonish pistol-shot motion "...shoot her take it."
 

Atlictoatl

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Mercy, Third Eye Psi-Ghost

Mercy's body language agrees with the dragon. She's been flinging a throwing knife into various targets on the wall for the last thirty minutes. Anyone within twelve feet of her* can tell that her boredom has an edge to it. She's restless. An adrenalin-junkie, she's going to make trouble soon if none finds them.

"I mean, sure, darling, we can go talk to the Dawnstar. See what she's selling. Or just take it from her mind...," she casts Alatar a look, "... but Throak is where we want to focus our time. That's some solid pay, dears, and heavens, but doesn't that sound like a hell of a lot of fun."

*whenever I mention the emotions that Mercy is transmitting to folks within 12' of her, that transmission extends to 100' for any psychics.
 
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Unka Josh

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Epona the Exile, Cyborg Centaur Gunfighter

"M' heart goes out to th' folks of River Bend," drawled Epona. "I'd surely like to help them... That might be a way t' persuade Dawnstar. Couldn't hurt t' talk to her. But if'n it comes down to it, well, Throak's a bandit, too, and I never did care much for bandits. Happens I might just know a way to improve his complexion."

Her accent was, in truth, affected-- she'd deliberately tried to match that of the ne'er-do-wells she'd learned about human culture from. It made it easier for some to wonder at why a human gunfighter would have four cybernetic legs, instead of wondering what a centaur was doing in town...
 

Jeremy Kopczynski

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James Davies, Sea Inquisitor

"Just taking it from her mind isn't really the most ethical thing to do, you know?" James wipes sweat from his forehead before continuing "I do like the idea of heading to River Bend, never did like slavers much. So many worthy causes though thinking about it the monster hunting is more in my wheelhouse than bandit fighting."
 

Atlictoatl

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"M' heart goes out to th' folks of River Bend," drawled Epona. "I'd surely like to help them... That might be a way t' persuade Dawnstar. Couldn't hurt t' talk to her. But if'n it comes down to it, well, Throak's a bandit, too, and I never did care much for bandits. Happens I might just know a way to improve his complexion."
Mercy, Third Eye Psi-Ghost

Mercy cocks a finger-gun at Epona and winks. They knew what was up!

"Just taking it from her mind isn't really the most ethical thing to do, you know?"
"Pssh," Mercy waves the comment off. "Like she's not gonna try and rob us blind for the info...."
 

GaoGaiGar

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Raven Eagle, Techno-Wizard

"Just taking it from her mind isn't really the most ethical thing to do, you know?" James wipes sweat from his forehead before continuing "I do like the idea of heading to River Bend, never did like slavers much. So many worthy causes though thinking about it the monster hunting is more in my wheelhouse than bandit fighting."
Raven had a list of all the rumors and prospects they'd collected and was tapping a pencil down each one. "A lot of people have mental powers, it might not be that easy" she says to Mercy. "We should give her a fair price, or even a share."

She was clearly tempted by the prospect of such a cache, but... "I grew up in a place like River Bend. We were lucky there, but these people aren't." After a moment's pause, she adds for clarity "So, that's my vote. But we should talk to this Wildstar before we head out so she knows someone is interested."
 

Atlictoatl

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Mercy, Third Eye Psi-Ghost

"Dawnstar. It's Dawnstar," Mercy asserted. "I mean, sure, Alatar doesn't have to get in her mind if he doesn't want to. But you all sure are quick to admit defeat. You don't get anywhere if you decide you can't before you even start. He should at least see if she's legit before any talk of paying her gets anywhere."

-THUNK-

"But, seriously, River Bend? They can't even pay for our ammo. How's that top choice?"

The Psyscape expat could only get so far in goading anyone, because you all can detect amusement and mischievousness overriding her former edgy boredom. Mercy likes to play games.
 

Unka Josh

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Epona the Exile, Cyborg Centaur Gunfighter

"The right thing t' do," said Epona, "is the right thing to do. We ain't so poor that we can't afford th' cost of shootin' some bandits. Besides, there's more rewards than just what they'd pay-- fer that price, it's just a given that we get pick o' what the bandits hold, and we'll get pay in food, in water, in kin and in kind. Won't do you no harm to have a few more friends, if the hard times come."
 

GaoGaiGar

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Raven Eagle, Techno-Wizard

Raven blinks and checks the list. She HAD gotten the name wrong. Intricate formulae, no problem, but names... one more reason she preferred not to be the center of attention at parties. She opened her mouth to counter Mercy, but Epona beat her to it.

"I'll recharge all the e-clips" she adds.
 
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