IC [The Nightmares Underneath] Byzantium: Nightmares Undreamed Of

Atlictoatl

Looking for Operations/Culture employment
Validated User


Tomás the Bloody-Handed Bastard
Iron Helmet District


The painter's house is in the middle of the structure, with neighbors on either side, as you noted the night before when examining it from the market side. Its only windows are on the second floor, above the front door. They're small and covered in iron latticework.

That's all normal. What's not normal is what's behind the latticework. Where the windows should be is pitch blackness. Not windows painted black. Just utter darkness where windows should be. It's unnatural. It starts the hair on your neck dancing again.

The windows of his neighbors are normal-looking. White curtains. One's open a touch to let in air, but not too much noise.

As you're processing that, someone hails you from up the street. It's a man. Middle-aged. His clothes are those of a worker, and messy like he slept in them. His fingers are stained by some kind of dye or varnish. He makes his way towards you, stumbling. Drunk.

"Hey there, bhudddy!" he slurs a bit, not mindful of the volume of his voice. "What cannn I do you for?" He seems friendly enough, helpful even, but he's going to draw attention.


Spoiler: Show
Who's on the street?: 4#1d20 2 4 6 5 2#2d6 11 9
 

Rowenn552

Registered User
Validated User
"Hey there, bhudddy!" he slurs a bit, not mindful of the volume of his voice. "What cannn I do you for?" He seems friendly enough, helpful even, but he's going to draw attention.
Tomás looks around to make sure the drunkard is addressing him... sure enough the man is stumbling forward on a collision course with Ol’ Bloody Tom.

Looking a bit surprised at this his surprise turns to concern. Normally it was he who did the approaching not the other way around... not unless there was something else to this fellow.
Or could be that drink mellowed out Tom’s dissuasive power on those inebriated, whatever the reason this man was *way* too loud.

Moving forward quickly, away from the artist’s home and those disturbing black windows. Those windows that give the creepy crawlies down your spine. Those windows that give the sensation of being watched by .. by *something*.. Tomás wraps an arm around the man and directs him away and back the way he came.

“Hey there pal! Long time. Yeah yeah *of course*...”

Tomás continues this over-agreeing tone with the man as they walk attempting to talk over him until he can lead the guy somewhere a little less open. Maybe that alley behind the studio.. yeah that would work... and then maybe... maybe he could check in on that blue light...

Spoiler: Show
Once Tom, *if Tom*, gets this guy over to the alley he’s going to pump him a little.

“What’s your business, chappy?”
 

Atlictoatl

Looking for Operations/Culture employment
Validated User


Cypress Kamran
the Island
Byzantium


It's early afternoon, Cypress. You're on the the Island, and have spent your morning here. It's probably got a name, but you've only ever known it as 'the Island', just as you've only ever known your Master as 'the Master', even though she probably has another name. Knowing her, many of them. She seems that kind of person.

It's a medium-sized island in the middle of a waterway that leads off one of the rivers that the City sits on. Big enough for all of the Master's buidings and gardens and servants and guards, and also for some secret places, of which you only know one or two but suspect there are many more. It's not really big enough for you, but it mostly is, and it's easy to spend a week here lost in the work you do. It's incredibly peaceful, what with all the trees and bushes and flowering plants (even in seasons they shouldn't be flowering) and birds and animals that make up the lush wildness of the island. It's much lusher than pretty much anything else in the City. And wetter. Parts of it are almost as wet as home.

You get to the island by approaching the river. There's always a boat waiting for you, white and elegant. Unmanned. You step into the boat, and it brings you here, just as it takes you away from here to the City when you're on one of her errands.

It's incredibly peaceful, except when she's there. Which she is now, suddenly. She must have come down the path, but you weren't really aware of her doing so until she came around the corner just now. That's how it usually is with her.

She's wearing her human form today, her black hair long now, almost to her waist. It's pretty. She's always pretty, even when she's not human.

She watches you as she approaches, studying you. You're not sure what she sees. She doesn't ever really show you.

She smells one of the flowers nearby, a pink, yellow, and blue flower that's not from your home, but also not from here, really. It only opens under the moonlight, but it opens for her just now, even under the midday sun. Its rich fragrance makes its way over to you. There's a hint of cinnamon, and another hint of hopeful contemplation.

"Cypress," she says, in that voice of hers that makes you want to help in any way you can, "I'd like for you to find me an assassin. Not one of your friends. A proper one."

Friends? You don't have any friends. Not really. What does she mean?

What were you doing before she arrived?
 
Last edited:

Atlictoatl

Looking for Operations/Culture employment
Validated User


Amata
Late afternoon
Copper Scroll District
Byzantium


Amata, someone's following you. It's been going on for a couple of days, now. She hasn't been doing anything to hide it. She's on the smaller side, redhead. Wears tooled leathers in cream and a deep burgundy, which doesn't mean anything to you. She carries a spear, but more as an afterthought. She seems more enamored with her spyglass, which she breaks out occasionally -- on the street, even -- and looks around with. Not for you, really, just looking around.

She shows up at the damnedest times. She's not tailing you, at least not by any method you're familiar with. She'll just kind of be there, somewhere where you are. After a while, she visibly loses interest and leaves, or lets you get away. Then she'll be there again, a few hours or most of a day later. Your tricks don't work on her... you tried them all, this morning. She's still there.

She never makes any attempt to contact you. Hells, she actually looks like she thinks you haven't noticed her. Someone with her skill at following shouldn't be that bad at hiding it, or thinking they are.

You can tell she's following you because of how studiously she avoids letting on that she's following you. It kind of screams HEY, AMATA! I'M FOLLOWING YOU. She's just not that good at whatever she's up to.

Or, maybe, she's really good at it, and making you think she's really, really terrible at it. That would make more sense, actually.

The extra troubling thing about it all is that you kind of recognize her. Sorta. Like you've seen her a handful of times before, but much more spread out. Over the last few months. And not like this. And you're not sure where.

What do you do?
 
Last edited:

Atlictoatl

Looking for Operations/Culture employment
Validated User
Tomás the Bloody-Handed Bastard
Mid-Morning
Iron Helmet District


The man recoils initially when you approach and put your arm around him, Tomás. Seems to be the thing you do, kicking in. He blinks at you, fish-eyed. Suddenly confused.

The alley near the market is a ways away and down a bunch of steps that you'd probably have to mostly carry him down, if you went that way. There's another alley not far past the painter's, but it looks like it heads off in another direction, and you don't remember anything like it from your foray downstairs.

The guy's not putting up any kind of fight, either way, so it's your call where you take him. He seems grateful for the support. His breath is all about stale beer and greasy fish, and his armpits are stained with days of sweat. If you held him up long enough, he'd probably fall asleep in your arms, but in the meantime, he's talkative enough.

There aren't that many folks on the street. They weren't paying much attention to you before, and if they're paying more attention now, it's only to make sure they get out of the way of the drunk and his friend.

Oh, yeah. Some blood is dripping from your gloved hand onto his shirt. Just a drop or two.
 
Last edited:

thirdkingdom

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User


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?
Stanles Lear

Lear answers the door groggily, in his nightshirt, having been awoken by the knock at the door. "Sure, sure, sure," he says, "give me ten minutes to make myself presentable, than I'll be out to greet my guest." Needless to say, Lear waits a full hour before leaving, although it only took him five to get ready.
 

Atlictoatl

Looking for Operations/Culture employment
Validated User
Stanles Lear's Apartments
Morning
The Wyvern Duke's Palace Inn


The servant that came with the rooms has put your guest into the library. None of the books there are yours, of course. They've all been carefully selected to show the utmost in taste and decorum. As a result, they're almost all rather dull.

As you enter, a man standing behind a chair with the appearance of a manservant clears his throat, drawing the attention of the man who is briskly pacing the floor. Your servant is inside the room as well, standing to the side of the doorway you have entered. The pacing man stops and turns to face you. You size each other up.

Ghazil Khan is a man of average height, a touch past middle-aged, with a distinguished goatee, hawkish nose, and clear eyes. One could say he is reasonably handsome. He doesn't carry himself like a warrior, but there is an athleticism to him. His robes are fine, but nearing well-worn, and have that picked-at look that someone who spends too much time reading, or perhaps going through ledgers, sometimes gets from unconsciously playing with their attire. His shoes, you note, are more worn than they should be for a polite visit with your mother's son.

His face was drawn into a stern look when you arrived, which doesn't change on your arrival. Something is worrying at this man, and it's not your tardiness. His face tightens a fraction more at his evaluation of you.

He clips his heels together and snaps his upper body forward in the proper respect your station is due. The oddity of the heel thing helps you place his athleticism... this man spends a lot of time on ships. Disciplined ones, from the look of it.

"Milord," he says. "Thank you for accepting my unexpected request for some of your time. My apologies for the rudeness of my visit. If you will pardon my bluntness, I have only a limited window this morning myself, and so will get directly to the issue that brings me here."

That said, he waits for you to do whatever it is you do to get settled.

Spoiler: Show
I broke the post into two parts, as it got a little unwieldy in length. See below.
 
Last edited:

Atlictoatl

Looking for Operations/Culture employment
Validated User
Stanles Lear's Apartments
Morning
The Wyvern Duke's Palace Inn


(continued)

Once you have indicated he should do so, he continues. "I have invested a certain amount of time and funds in a series of commissioned portraits and landscapes. The painter, I am told, is finished but has been delinquent in their delivery. As I was preparing to send my servants to collect them, I learned that this painter has not only been missing for a week or longer, but that there are rumors that acquaintances of his may have been... well, murdered... and that he was seen transporting either them, or their corpses, to his home and studio."

"The obvious thing would be to involve the Guard, but my paintings would be confiscated, and I cannot allow that. I arranged for certain... friends... to recover my property. I have not heard from them. It has been a day. They cannot be found."

He looks at you for a few seconds. "I'll get to the point. I have been told the painter's house is possessed by Nightmare, that my friends are lost, and that Nightmare Hunters will soon discover the Incursion and raid the home. I will not buy my property back from Hunters, if they would even know to come to me. Yet, I need those paintings. I have heard, milord, that you may know people who know something about these things. If it is within your means to aid me in this matter, I believe it is within mine to offer you some assistance with matters close to your own heart."

Whatever else you might think of his request, it comes at an exceedingly opportune time. Nightmare delves can be lucrative, and you haven't yet made sufficient funds this week to pay your rents at the Wyvern.

Spoiler: Show
Your intelligence and profession lend you a considerable degree of astute perception, but I left out descriptions of the two servants, other than their positioning in the room, as I was uncertain if that's the sort of thing Stanles Lear would pay attention to, in this situation. They're servants. If it is, I'll provide more detail on them.

Rent at the Wyvern is 250 cyphers per week. You have about half that in your purse, though you could sell some pistols and have more.

Ghazil Khan reaction -1 waiting +2 Lear's Social Class: 2d6+1 5

Ghazil Khan personality: 2#1d100 27 42 2#1d200 155 129
 
Last edited:

thirdkingdom

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Stanles Lear

Lear rikers himself into a nearby chair, affecting an air of bored indifference. "I suppose I could find some time for this," he says, yawning. "Could be fun, really. Let me check with some companions of mine who might be interested as well. How can I reach you again?"
 

Rowenn552

Registered User
Validated User
Oh, yeah. Some blood is dripping from your gloved hand onto his shirt. Just a drop or two.
Tomás the Bloody-Handed Bastard

In the alley Tomás tries to get to what this man wants, maybe a bit too bluntly as he’s still feeling a bit anxious by those windows.
“Well then out with it. What’s your business with me old man? I haven’t any drink if that’s what you’re seeking.”

Tomás’ attention is distracted away to the man’s shoulder and blossoming dots of crimson. His attempts to ignore the growing spots are poor and his subconscious attempt to brush them away result in a swath of red. There is a moment of internal panic rising in his throat as he realizes the increased damage he just did to the poor man’s clothes which he pushes down by merely smiling awkwardly and nodding at the drunkard’s words.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom