IC [The Nightmares Underneath] Byzantium: Nightmares Undreamed Of

Atlictoatl

Looking for Operations/Culture employment
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This is the IC thread for a game of The Nightmares Underneath.

Characters:

  • Sod Oddson, Champion of Chaos -- Sellsword from a Distant Isle, played by [MENTION=1750]DannyK[/MENTION]
  • Ophelia Basilea Saraphis, Bard -- Aristocrat, Adventurer, Artiste, played by [MENTION=40517]Mercurial Sea[/MENTION]
  • Ilknur Bryennios, Scholar -- Mistress of Myriad Tongues, played by [MENTION=173398]TemerousNox[/MENTION]
  • Tomás the Red-Handed Bastard, Fighter -- Bourgeois Bastard Born of Ambition, played by [MENTION=168640]Rowenn552[/MENTION]
OOC Thread
Recruitment Thread
Wiki
 
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Atlictoatl

Looking for Operations/Culture employment
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Iron Helmet District
Byzantium


Tomás, you've been hearing rumours. People in the neighborhood haven't been seen for a few days. Longer, in some cases.

In addition to that, a few people have said that Old Baraz went to the old, abandoned marketplace -- the one in the enclosed area under the hill that the painter Bashir al-Barati's house sits on, making the marketplace his basement, of sorts -- right before his granddaughter miraculously recovered from her illness. The beggar Darud is said to have been seen going there as well, just the other night, accompanied by the baker Sarina. Sarina's bakery has been closed for the last few days, which is unusual, and it's said her husband, Fardan (a skilled carpenter) hasn't been seeing going to or from his latest job in the wealthy district over the river.

You wandered by the area last night after dusk, curious. The painter's windows were dark, though his neighbors had their lights on. It's been a while since you've been to this part of town. It's more rundown than you remember. You remember hearing something about the painter a few months ago, been it's been a while since you've heard anything about him. You haven't been by this way during the day for months.

Something strange is going on in this neighborhood. You can tell, because the hair on the back of your neck is standing on end, and your hands bleed more freely when you start getting close to it.

It's mid-morning the next day. What do you do?
 
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Rowenn552

Registered User
Validated User


Iron Helmet District
Byzantium


Tomás, you've been hearing rumours. People in the neighborhood haven't been seen for a few days. Longer, in some cases.

In addition to that, a few people have said that Old Baraz went to the old, abandoned marketplace -- the one in the enclosed area under the hill that the painter Bashir al-Barati's house sits on, making the marketplace his basement, of sorts -- right before his granddaughter miraculously recovered from her illness. The beggar Darud is said to have been seen going there as well, just the other night, accompanied by the baker Sarina. Sarina's bakery has been closed for the last few days, which is unusual, and it's said her husband, Fardan (a skilled carpenter) hasn't been seeing going to or from his latest job in the wealthy district over the river.

You wandered by the area last night after dusk, curious. The painter's windows were dark, though his neighbors had their lights on. It's been a while since you've been to this part of town. It's more rundown than you remember. You remember hearing something about the painter a few months ago, been it's been a while since you've heard anything about him. You haven't been by this way during the day for months.

Something strange is going on in this neighborhood. You can tell, because the hair on the back of your neck is standing on end, and your hands bleed more freely when you start getting close to it.

It's mid-morning the next day. What do you do?
~Last night~
A man of thin build and not too impressive height stands in the shadow of a derelict building taking in the old market and surroundings.
“Curious, that.”, he says to no one in particular. At this hour the streets are bare and quiet save for the occasional rustle of a homeless folk adjusting.. well that and a soft *pat - pat - pat*. That latter sound draws the attention of the man to his boot and the red drops coming from his hand spattering the soft leather, “Ah damn.”

The figure turns away fading back into the shadows.

~The following day~
Tomás visits the Iron Helmet district the following the day. The plan was to do a little closer walk-by of al-Barati’s studio before maybe giving the old marketplace a peak but a grumble of the belly slows him down.
He stops by a food stand for a bowl of brown, a common meal in these sorts throughout the city. Mostly consisting of mystery meat and a mash of questionable vegetables, it ends up as a thick gruel like substance the color of its namesake; ‘A bowl of brown’ is an acquired taste to be sure, but the vendors that sell it often have their ears to the ground.

Tossing the pock-marked old gargoyle of a man a cypher. Tomás slurps from the bowl for a minute taking in the air and the scenery before finally asking, “Seen Darud around lately?”
He tries not to make eye contact with the man... that sometimes seems to help. Carny had mentioned it one evening and Tom had sort of noticed it himself but people could be a bit skittish around him.
 
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Atlictoatl

Looking for Operations/Culture employment
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~Last night~
A man of thin build and not too impressive height stands in the shadow of a derelict building taking in the old market and surroundings.
“Curious, that.”, he says to no one in particular. At this hour the streets are bare and quiet save for the occasional rustle of a homeless folk adjusting.. well that and a soft *pat - pat - pat*. That latter sound draws the attention of the man to his boot and the red drops coming from his hand spattering the soft leather, “Ah damn.”

The figure turns away fading back into the shadows.
the street behind Bashir al-Barati's place
Iron Helmet District
Byzantium


A hill and the twist of streets required to navigate around it separates the back of Bashir al-Barati's home from the front. It's a five minute cut through alleys and a steep stairway before you're on the street that approaches the Abandoned Market.

It's a flaking cobb wall, straw and clay, with an entrance on either side. The wall in the middle has some long-ago worn away paper posters with torn away shapes, and with colors that are hard to see this time of night. You can't really make anything on the posters out, but they probably once announced the market within.

Thirty feet up, there's a balcony. Must be the painter's. It's dark and quiet up there. Hells, it's not that much brighter down here, though there's a street lantern fifty feet away, down where the staircase is. One of the dwellings on either side of the painter's balcony -- the one on the right -- has some lights on.

To check out the market, you'd need to cross the tiny plaza and push open one of the creaky, thin wooden doors. As you consider it, your hand starts to drip.

Do you enter?


~The following day~
Tomás visits the Iron Helmet district the following the day. The plan was to do a little closer walk-by of al-Barati’s studio before maybe giving the old marketplace a peak but a grumble of the belly slows him down.
He stops by a food stand for a bowl of brown, a common meal in these sorts throughout the city. Mostly consisting of mystery meat and a mash of questionable vegetables, it ends up as a thick gruel like substance the color of its namesake; ‘A bowl of brown’ is an acquired taste to be sure, but the vendors that sell it often have their ears to the ground.

Tossing the pock-marked old gargoyle of a man a cypher. Tomás slurps from the bowl for a minute taking in the air and the scenery before finally asking, “Seen Darud around lately?”
He tries not to make eye contact with the man... that sometimes seems to help. Carny had mentioned it one evening and Tom had sort of noticed it himself but people could be a bit skittish around him.
Sword of Ilmati, that is a good tasting bowl. It's not just that you're hungry. Either this food trolley is the best in the district, or bowls of brown are so ubiquitous here (they're cheap, and it's a district that's become poorer, by the looks of it) that the vendors put extra effort into them to stand out.

The gargoyle just stares at you until he realizes you might not like that. Then he looks down, and presses his hands into the air between you, motioning that he doesn't have anything more for you. He doesn't seem to want to talk. Maybe he's mute or doesn't speak the language, but it's probably you.


OOC: "Cyphers" is the catch-all name for coins in Byzantium. They come in all sizes, shapes, and pressings. They come in gold, silver, and copper, but when they're just called 'cypher', that's a silver one. Most silver coins can be broken up into eight pieces, called 'slivers'.

The price of a bowl of slop around here is a sliver or two copper cyphers. Is Tomás overspending?


Spoiler: Show
reaction roll; bowl of brown: 2d6 5 1d6 5

Rolling reaction on Social Class. Intimidation Aura might play a factor here, but it wouldn't push you down to hostile/violent.
 

Rowenn552

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Validated User
the street behind Bashir al-Barati's place
Iron Helmet District
Byzantium


To check out the market, you'd need to cross the tiny plaza and push open one of the creaky, thin wooden doors. As you consider it, your hand starts to drip.

Do you enter?
Narrowing his eyes towards the lit neighbor’s home and attempting to open his ears to any sounds of life within, he waits.
When satisfied, Tomás steals across the dim plaza as quick as he can attempting to stick to any deeper shadows on the way. His target is the door to the right. Once there he tests it slightly, cracking it just so to peer inside...

Spoiler: Show
Too juicy an opportunity to pass up. Yes, I do believe that Tomás does enter.
I think that his hands bleeding more freely gives him pause but obviously that’s pretty weird so that phenomena sort of urges him on. Plus he’s not the brightest :p

If the hinges are visible he’d apply a little of his oil to make those a bit quieter, unless of course the door is actually just swollen and squeaky because of its ill fit now.
He’ll crack the door a bit to peek in and if it looks clear he’ll slip inside for a perfunctory check before returning in the morning.


Maybe he's mute or doesn't speak the language, but it's probably you.

Spoiler: Show
OOC: The price of a bowl of slop around here is a sliver or two copper cyphers. Is Tomás overspending?
Tomás stares at the old craggy and pockmarked man. Frowning, he sits the bowl down and takes a few steps away before stopping for a beat.

He then abruptly steps backwards to the stall taking back the whole silver cypher and replacing it with two coppers, “That’s a good bowl you serve, but uh.. ya know, two copper bits s’about right, right?”, Tomás flashes a smile and continues along back towards al-Barati’s home and the marketplace again...

Spoiler: Show
Yeah I think he tossed the old man a full silver expecting maybe more than a quick meal.
He was going to let it go but decided to make that exchange. Tom probably needs the money more than that old soup monger right? :)
 

Atlictoatl

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Narrowing his eyes towards the lit neighbor’s home and attempting to open his ears to any sounds of life within, he waits.
When satisfied, Tomás steals across the dim plaza as quick as he can attempting to stick to any deeper shadows on the way. His target is the door to the right. Once there he tests it slightly, cracking it just so to peer inside...

Spoiler: Show
Too juicy an opportunity to pass up. Yes, I do believe that Tomás does enter.
I think that his hands bleeding more freely gives him pause but obviously that’s pretty weird so that phenomena sort of urges him on. Plus he’s not the brightest :p

If the hinges are visible he’d apply a little of his oil to make those a bit quieter, unless of course the door is actually just swollen and squeaky because of its ill fit now.
He’ll crack the door a bit to peek in and if it looks clear he’ll slip inside for a perfunctory check before returning in the morning.
The stillness of the nights slips around you, like a sweater you're pulling on for warmth. Are you the kind of guy who waits five minutes, or ten?

There's the occasional noise out on the street. Someone walking across the cobbles, down 'round the corner and out of sight. That other noise is probably a cat or large rodent rustling through someone's garbage, a few buildings down. That sort of thing.

There are light noises of occupation coming from the neighbor's home, but they're on the quiet side. The neighborhood gives the air that people around here work to not draw attention to themselves, though it's unclear why that is. It's a damn sight different from neighborhoods bustling with life and energy, but some streets are like that. People work hard at the same kind of hours, and want to come home to quiet. Or maybe something's stalking the streets, and is drawn to too much noise. Hard to say, without knowing the neighborhood better. That said, it feels a bit sparse and abandoned around here, and not in the good way.

There's nothing in the time you wait that shies you away from your course, though.

You stalk the plaza's shadows like the fabled Mario LeTouré. The flimsy door doesn't stand a chance against a few drops of oil and your cautious determination. After a peek inside, you slip through.

The room is 20' by 20', with 10' tall ceilings. You enter on the western portion of the southern wall. It's filled with pillars supporting the home above; you can feel the building pressing down over you. They cast shadows in the really dim weird flickering bluish-purple glow from a light source that's through an arch in the middle of the wall to the left and a good 30' away. Dirt's scattered over the stone floor, bits of junk scattered about... a lost scarf, a cast-off sock, stuffing left behind from a torn-up bedroll that isn't here anymore. That kind of stuff.

The obvious exit is the arch on the left, which leads to a bigger, more cavernous room that looks like the abandoned market proper, full of empty market stalls made of wood. It takes a bit for your eyes to adjust to the bad, flickering lighting, but after a minute you think you see another exit from your chamber, off in the far right corner against the opposite wall. You think you see the step of a stair there, going up.

It's really, really dim here. It'd be easy to kick something with your foot that would make noise. But the weird flickering bluish-purple light beckons. It's not remotely wholesome, but it is compelling. It'd like to meet you. You're pretty sure you hear it telling you that, but not in so many words.

Oh, and there's humming. Coming from the same general place as the light, but the light isn't making the sound. It's off-key. There's a hint of whimsy in the voiced tune, with an undercurrent of dark secrets that might eat you up if you're not very, very careful. It's the kind of humming that draws in desperate people with nothing to lose, and for that sort it offers a glimmer of hope. For you, it mostly puts the hairs on the back of your neck on edge.


Tomás stares at the old craggy and pockmarked man. Frowning, he sits the bowl down and takes a few steps away before stopping for a beat.

He then abruptly steps backwards to the stall taking back the whole silver cypher and replacing it with two coppers, “That’s a good bowl you serve, but uh.. ya know, two copper bits s’about right, right?”, Tomás flashes a smile and continues along back towards al-Barati’s home and the marketplace again...
Cheap bastard. The old man looks like he's going to tell you about it, then remembers who you are. You get away with just a gargoyle's glare.

Let's wait to see how things go last night, before continuing on with today.
 
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Rowenn552

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It's really, really dim here. It'd be easy to kick something with your foot that would make noise. But the weird flickering bluish-purple light beckons. It's not remotely wholesome, but it is compelling. It'd like to meet you. You're pretty sure you hear it telling you that, but not in so many words.

Oh, and there's humming. Coming from the same general place as the light, but the light isn't making the sound. It's off-key. There's a hint of whimsy in the voiced tune, with an undercurrent of dark secrets that might eat you up if you're not very, very careful. It's the kind of humming that draws in desperate people with nothing to lose, and for that sort it offers a glimmer of hope. For you, it mostly puts the hairs on the back of your neck on edge.
Tomás hesitates there in the darkness for a moment in thought. He takes a tentative step forward and his boot brushes the fragment of a broken clay pot. He cringes and feels his hands grow slicker.

The bluish-purple light flickers and reflects off of his needy eyes. Needy because he wants to know what lingers beyond and up those stairs. Surely they lead to the painter Al-Barati’s dwellings? But perhaps not anymore, Tomás is all too familiar with the weirdness of the city to trust his immediate senses. No, better to return in the morning but then what if the opportunity is lost?
What if this voice could remove this blasted curse?

Tomás shakes the foolish thought from his head. That would be that hauntingly friendly voice speaking, not he. No no, be sure Tomás, he thinks, that way danger lurks. Chewing his lip for another moment his forward foot steps back gingerly, back toward the exit, back toward the plaza... but never once does he turn his gaze from that inviting blue-purple glow and the welcoming hum.

Once back outside Tomás steps quickly through the streets sparing but a single look over his shoulder from the place he just came from.
Something is definitely afoot but more legwork should be done before diving in... yes that would seem prudent.

He chuckles awkwardly to himself at some thought before picking up his pace towards home.
 
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Atlictoatl

Looking for Operations/Culture employment
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Spoiler: Show
Tomás move silently check: 1d20 6

You needs to roll equal to or under Dexterity 13 to not make noise.

Tomás the Bloody-Handed Bastard
Iron Helmet District
Byzantium


Your foot grazes the broken fragment of a clay pot, and those long weeks of practice with balance and making lighter footsteps allows you to feel the clay fragment with your toes, stop, and reposition your foot before it makes any noise. You slip away into the night the way you came.

You convince yourself that the singing didn't get any more insistent as you reversed direction. It couldn't possibly have known you were there, much less wanted you to stay.

~*~

Morning

With the foodseller behind you, you're on the upper curve of street that will take you around the front of the home of the painter and his neighbors, which you haven't eyeballed yet. Or you could turn back and take the stairs down to the lower passage, returning to the market. Which way do you go?

How early in the morning is it?
 

Rowenn552

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Which way do you go?

How early in the morning is it?
Tomás looks in the direction of the alley for a long moment but decides to do a quick walk-by of the front street and what activity or clues it might lend.

Spoiler: Show
I would say that it is around what we would consider 9:30-10am. Sorry for the delay on such a simple reply.
 

Atlictoatl

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Stanles Lear's Apartments
The Wyvern Duke's Palace Inn
Byzantium


It's somewhere after the ninth morning bell, Stanles. You're in your apartments at The Wyvern Duke's Palace Inn, an ostentatiously gaudy establishment catering to those members of the extremely wealthy or the minor nobility who share a desire to pretend to higher station and are willing to pay through the nose for it.

The place is beneath you. You can tell because they won't stop going on about how honored they are to have you making them your abode. But it's had to do, because finding quarters more suited to you would require some effort after recent events. Most of your peers wouldn't stand for your presence, not with the current state of your mother's displeasure, and not until things blow over a bit more. Appearances are everything, as you've had well pressed into your skull.

Anyway, the servant attached to the apartments has just entered the room you're in and appears to want your attention.

"Pardons, milord," he intones, in that voice they all seem to have. "A Ghazil Khan requests a moment of your time."

Ghazil Khan. The name is known to you. A not unimportant minor vassal of your mother. Baronet of something, though he prefers the Eastern titles. Something to do with ships and artichokes, that delicacy within the City. It's highly unusual for you to receive a social call, and you've no idea what the man could possibly want of you.

What were you up to at nine bells this morning, and how will you receive your visitor?
 
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