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IC [The Nightmares Underneath] Byzantium: Nightmares Undreamed Of

Atlictoatl

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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?"
Stanles Lear's Apartments
Morning
The Wyvern Duke's Palace Inn


Ghazil Khan nods his head in formal gratitude. After looking to his footman, the latter approaches your servant with a card. Your servant accepts it onto a silver tray designed for that very purpose. Your servant holds the tray in a manner that you can retrieve the card now, if you so wish, but if you do not wish to regard it until later it would not be at all awkward for you to ignore him, the tray, and it.

As the two conduct this business, it gives Ghazil Khan a few moments to study you further. You get the distinct impression that he finds this whole transaction distasteful, but doesn't have many other options. It's unclear whether the distaste has to do with Nightmare business, having to reveal his personal problems, or something specific to you.
 

Atlictoatl

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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.
Tomás the Bloody-Handed Bastard
Mid-Morning
Iron Helmet District


The man grins broadly at you, patting your chest with both of his hands, before his expression becomes more serious in that way that drunks do before they tell you something of dire import.

"They're gettingg it alll wrong, bhudddy. I been watch- watcching. All wrong. He did- didn't do it. Been watcching. You'll shee. They'll all sshee."

He contemplates the stitching on your clothing for a long moment, then looks up and grins at you, patting your chest again.


Spoiler: Show
Drunk notices blood on odd result: 1d6 4

Drunk conversation topic: 2#1d100 44 68 2#1d100 55 77
 

Illtry

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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?
Cypress stares at his master for a moment, his heavy lidded eyes unblinking. His hands assembling twigs belied his curiosity.

For a moment there was a small man made of wood, he tilted his head and shrugged,then he was gone, fingers stitching up, bending and coiling other sticks that Cypress had on his person, sometimes it appeared as if he pulled them out of nowhere. A snake of sticks curled around his hand, then a dancing woman, and finally a small bird, unable to fly of course, being entirely wooden and almost skeletal, perched contently in his hands.

The flurry of his fingers below marked nothing upon his impassive face.

“Friends mistress?” He says, cocking his head, “I’m not entirely sure I have any... though if I was let out more often then I could surely gain some.”

Cypress turned and affected inspecting a shrub. It certainly couldn’t have been an interesting one as he almost immediately turned his head to look at his master out of the corner of his eye.

“Surely my acquaintances, few though I have, could do a job just as well as any old Assassin.” Cypress purred.

“But, if I am to get one you must let me out to find them first”

The wooden bird is now on his shoulder, facing his master.

He turns again and glides towards her, the poor bird, now facing the wrong way, has to hop around, trying to keep its balance.

“But, your wish is my command, and I shall do as you say.” A half smile plays upon Cypress’ face.

Spoiler: Show
Cypress was tending to his plants, a rather nasty Flower was coming into bloom, it could smell like whatever you most desired, and upon ingesting would lead to rather vivid hallucinations, culminating in your body fertilizing the ground which the plants grew upon. Cypress, through sheer force of will (or was it the fact that he knows what they do), was resisting the urge to eat them and instead making sure the ground was plenty fertilized. With animal flesh of course. Although sometimes with his master it’s hard to tell.
 
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Atlictoatl

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Cypress Kamran
the Island
Byzantium


She laughs. It's like a waterfall that draws you into it, even though you know it'll crush you. "You amuse me to no end, Cypress, though I'm not certain you know why that is. Work to sustain that." It's unclear whether she means amusing her, or not understanding why you do.

"The problem with your friends is that they have ideas of their own. An assassin... a proper one, mind you... is paid to not, and is trained for that trait. You'll find one here. You should know them when you see them, and you'll enjoy it there, I think."

She blows on a piece of paper held in her palm. It flutters into the air, grows wings, flaps over to you, then falls into your own hand after its wings disappear. It's an oversized calling card.

"This is a test." It always is, with her. The hard part is knowing what, exactly, is being tested. It's almost never the obvious thing. She wouldn't be keeping you on your toes if it was.


You are invited
to a 3rd Performance by Demand:

The Bloody Inkspots
TONIGHT

The Poisoned Well

The Poisoned Well is a performance spot that attracts Nightmare Incursionists to its clientele. It's a speakeasy, meaning it's not meant to exist, and that makes it edgy. Is it a place you would have only heard of, a place you'd have been to before, or a place you know nothing about?
 

Illtry

Registered User
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Cypress Kamran
the Island
Byzantium


She laughs. It's like a waterfall that draws you into it, even though you know it'll crush you. "You amuse me to no end, Cypress, though I'm not certain you know why that is. Work to sustain that." It's unclear whether she means amusing her, or not understanding why you do.

"The problem with your friends is that they have ideas of their own. An assassin... a proper one, mind you... is paid to not, and is trained for that trait. You'll find one here. You should know them when you see them, and you'll enjoy it there, I think."

She blows on a piece of paper held in her palm. It flutters into the air, grows wings, flaps over to you, then falls into your own hand after its wings disappear. It's an oversized calling card.

"This is a test." It always is, with her. The hard part is knowing what, exactly, is being tested. It's almost never the obvious thing. She wouldn't be keeping you on your toes if it was.


You are invited
to a 3rd Performance by Demand:

The Bloody Inkspots
TONIGHT

The Poisoned Well

The Poisoned Well is a performance spot that attracts Nightmare Incursionists to its clientele. It's a speakeasy, meaning it's not meant to exist, and that makes it edgy. Is it a place you would have only heard of, a place you'd have been to before, or a place you know nothing about?
“As you wish.”

Cypress nods and curtly turns around, about to move to get ready to leave.

When his master isn’t looking he consoles the wood bird, the flying-paper trick of his master’s had left it thoroughly disheartened, as it was something that should be able to fly but can’t.

Cypress mills over what his master has said. Why would she need an Assassin? What will the true test entail? He knows that she’s opportunistic at best, probably hoping to test his skills as well as gain the employ of an Assassin at the same time. These thoughts are soon overtaken by a thudding excitement as Cypress realizes he is to go out and in to a den of such misfits, endless fun to be had there.

Cypress had heard of the poisoned well, but only in passing. He had always hoped to go though. He’d heard stories of course, oh how plentiful and wonderful were the stories coming of that particular place.
 

thirdkingdom

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


Ghazil Khan nods his head in formal gratitude. After looking to his footman, the latter approaches your servant with a card. Your servant accepts it onto a silver tray designed for that very purpose. Your servant holds the tray in a manner that you can retrieve the card now, if you so wish, but if you do not wish to regard it until later it would not be at all awkward for you to ignore him, the tray, and it.

As the two conduct this business, it gives Ghazil Khan a few moments to study you further. You get the distinct impression that he finds this whole transaction distasteful, but doesn't have many other options. It's unclear whether the distaste has to do with Nightmare business, having to reveal his personal problems, or something specific to you.
Stanles Lear, Spellslinger

Lear inclines his head ever so slightly towards Khan. "Very well," he says, "I will make some inquiries, and will get back to you at my earliest convenience."
 

Lysus

Unbelievably Fancy Ostrich
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?
Amata unfolds herself from the ledge hidden between two rooftops where she spent her night and gazes out onto the street below. Clothes that were clearly finely made when she bought them months ago now hang from her body, sweat-stained, worn, and fading. Most would think her a beggar, but the piercing, perceiving eyes with which she scans the alleyway put the lie to that supposition. Satisfied that she's lost her pursuit for now, Amata clambers down the side of the building and makes her way from the alleyway into the busy boulevard nearby. She palms a few coins from a passing merchant's purse as she walks, invisible to most of those who care to look.

Hours later, the burning sun of midday casts sharp shadows across the stalls in the marketplace. Ever watchful, Amata catches sight of her tail, the doppled shadows moving across her red hair and dyed leathers, her movements clearly marking her as not part of the normal crowd of merchants and buyers. Amata makes sure not to give away that she's seen her pursuer, sauntering further into the market. She turns a corner and quickly scrambles up the side of the nearest building, vanishing into the shadows as she does so. She circles back and turns to find the tail again. Enough is enough. It's time to find out what this woman knows and why she is following Amata.

Spoiler: Show

Activating Cloak of Shadows and trying to get the drop on the tail and pull her somewhere that we can have a private discussion.
 
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Atlictoatl

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Stanles Lear, Spellslinger

Lear inclines his head ever so slightly towards Khan. "Very well," he says, "I will make some inquiries, and will get back to you at my earliest convenience."
Stanles Lear's Apartments
Morning
The Wyvern Duke's Palace Inn


Ghazil Khan bows to you, repeating that naval thing with heels. "Thank you, my lord." He and his footman take their leave.

It's a reasonably pleasant day today, if the scene out the windows is to be believed. "How would you like to break your fast this morning, milord?" the servant assigned to your rooms inquires, once Khan has left.
 

Atlictoatl

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Hours later, he burning sun of midday casts sharp shadows across the stalls in the marketplace. Ever watchful, Amata catches sight of her tail, the doppled shadows moving across her red hair and dyed leathers, her movements clearly marking her as not part of the normal crowd of merchants and buyers. Amata makes sure not to give away that she's seen her pursuer, sauntering further into the market. She turns a corner and quickly scrambles up the side of the nearest building, vanishing into the shadows as she does so. She circles back and turns to find the tail again. Enough is enough. It's time to find out what this woman knows and why she is following Amata.

Spoiler: Show

Activating Cloak of Shadows and trying to get the drop on the tail and pull her somewhere that we can have a private discussion.
Late afternoon
Copper Scroll District


The woman moves casually, without rush, through the crowd, following your path. When she gets to the wall you scarpered up, she pauses and looks around. She looks a little wounded, her nose twitching. She peers up the side of the building, pulls out her spyglass and looks around, and seems to get distracted by something down a neighboring alley.
 
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Atlictoatl

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Cypress mills over what his master has said. Why would she need an Assassin? What will the true test entail? He knows that she’s opportunistic at best, probably hoping to test his skills as well as gain the employ of an Assassin at the same time. These thoughts are soon overtaken by a thudding excitement as Cypress realizes he is to go out and in to a den of such misfits, endless fun to be had there.

Cypress had heard of the poisoned well, but only in passing. He had always hoped to go though. He’d heard stories of course, oh how plentiful and wonderful were the stories coming of that particular place.
Do you have anything to tend to in the garden, before you leave? Anything to do in the City before attending the evening's entertainment?
 
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