kongurous May 25th, 2019 72 Never
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- [17:20] kongurous When last we left our heroes...
- [17:20] kongurous The agents of the Fifth Laboratory handed off their pamphlet of names and associates with the Cult of Yore, and were dismissed until further notice while the lab processes the information. They weren't given a time estimate, but Ana informed you via her carrier owl that this is normal as a security precaution and that she will let you know through this same method where to meet her for your...
- [17:20] kongurous ...next operation. And so you wait, going about your daily lives until the owl comes, and come it does about four days later, telling you to assemble in a tiny tavern in a sleepy part of Griffin Heights in Precinct Two early in the day.
- [17:20] kongurous And so you go as directed. It's a chilly autumn day and the air is heavy with the rich, inviting smell of burning wood fires inside dozens of chimneys, and everyone you pass has a cloak pulled close to their bodies. You muscle through the tight corners and narrow alleys of the neighborhood toward your destination, always in the shadow of a towering citadel to the north, visible over the...
- [17:20] kongurous ...buildings wherever you go: New Prahv, the labyrinthine domain of the Azorius Senate, inside which all the laws of the city are drafted and passed and the city's records of crimes, tithes, business transactions, taxes, fines, liens, deeds, mortgages, and dizzying arrays of other legal and financial records fill millions of pages in thousands of books in cavernous archives few ever live to...
- [17:20] kongurous ...see. Griffin Heights, however, is an Orzhov neighborhood - which makes it odd that you keep seeing posters plastering walls here and there showing a peculiar but familiar-looking vedalken in different poses of domination; in some he towers over adoring crowds, in others he stretches out his hands over a map of District Ten, in yet others he's surrounded by dozens of the little metal...
- [17:20] kongurous ...flying machines you've seen popping up around the city following Azorius patrols.
- [17:20] kongurous The neighborhood police are still cyclopean Orzhov knights in glittering steel and gold, but as you go deeper into the maze of homes, you see them less and less often and before long, you haven't seen any in awhile. The tavern you were told to go to, a little two story building bearing a white sign with a bottle of red wine on it encircled by the name of the business: "Vizzix's Vineyard."...
- [17:20] kongurous ...Ana's directions tell you to go inside and sit at a certain table, but where's the fun in that? In the pavilion around you are townspeople going about their business and some other small shops, with most foot traffic congregating around a bubbling fountain in the center of a small square. You could always mingle a bit first, pick up a souvenir, maybe make sure you weren't followed, or...
- [17:20] kongurous ...what-have-you. Your call, though. What now?
- [17:28] Arkady Arkady checks out a few food stalls, anything with greenery, while trying to surreptitiously look at the posters.
- [17:29] Dalimil frowns at one of the posters. "Rather garish, isn't it? Not to mention authoritarian. If there must be a leader, it is one that should adore the masses, not the other one around."
- [17:31] Arkady "They are... ostentatious and unsubtle."
- [17:31] Afanasi Afanasi has brought his armor, striding through the streets like he owns them. It makes him feel powerful and shiny, and yet should attract zero attention in an Orzhov neighborhood. Curious that there's barely any knights around here, though.
- [17:31] Afanasi He browses a little before entering the tavern, but actually watches the reactions of people around him to his presence, the direction of his gaze hidden by his helmet.
- [17:31] Dalimil tears off the poster he was examining and moves on.
- [17:34] Arkady depending on produce, Arkady might buy a selection of weird plants and fungi, then follows Afanasi into the tavern, keeping her distance.
- [17:40] kongurous Dalimil tears the poster down with no trouble. Arkady finds a purple fungus that looks a bit like a minotaur's head, which the grocer is fine parting with for free. Where Afanasi walks, people give him a respectful berth he would expect in any other Orzhov area. It may simply be that this area is peaceful enough that patrols don't need to be so dense or regular.
- [17:43] Afanasi His curiosity satisfied, Afanasi takes a look around for loiterers or suspicious behavior, to be safe, then heads inside.
- [17:44] Dalimil Dalimil asks a passerby when the ugly posters started going up. He slowly follows his companions after he's gotten a reply however.
- [17:45] Arkady Arkady keeps an eye out as she takes her seat, and starts to examine the purple fungus.
- [17:46] kongurous "Few weeks ago, maybe three or four," a washing woman tells Dalimil. "Azorius acting like they own the place."
- [17:47] Dalimil "Quite like them. Bureaucrats need to justify their continued existence. Why does the conclave tolerate it?"
- [17:48] kongurous "Not illegal to put up posters if you have the permits, they say."
- [17:48] Dalimil "Also like them, though I thought they valued their aesthetics. Thank you." He bows and continues on.
- [17:53] kongurous The door in is found at the bottom of a stairway going down into the basement, where some amount of natural climate control is possible. The interior is cramped and cozy, the kind of thing you would expect from a neighborhood pub, with the smells of piney wood polish and acrid pipe smoke competing for dominance as you step in. It's clean enough and dimly lit, though the elves in attendance...
- [17:53] kongurous ...can see perfectly fine. The place is mostly empty but for a few drunks sleeping off hangovers around different corners, a tall, muscular, fat goblin behind a counter cleaning glasses, and a prim vampire tucked in a shadowy corner with an impressively large bottle in front of her.
- [17:55] Arkady Arkady orders a beer and sits where the directions said to.
- [17:56] kongurous The directions point you to the table with the prim vampire.
- [17:58] Arkady Arkady sits shyly at the table with the prim vampire, trying not to be obvious about scanning the room and the vampire.
- [17:58] Afanasi Afanasi gets a wine and saunters to the table in question with a jovial "Cheers."
- [17:59] kongurous Ana waves as you approach and gestures at the seats in front of her. She slides a folder out from under the table on top of it, and leans in enthusiastically and conspiratorially. The wine flute in front of her is full of a sweet-smelling but far too thick liquid to be just wine. Could be that the vineyard keeps some vintages stocked for special tastes. "You made it. Were you followed?"
- [18:01] Arkady "not that I saw"
- [18:01] Afanasi "I didn't see anyone." He sits with his back to the rest of the establishment and takes off his helmet and rests it on the table before sipping his own wine.
- [18:02] Dalimil orders whatever seems the most flowery offering and takes a seat. "Only seemed to be locals about."
- [18:02] kongurous She leans back and her expression softens. "I'm just getting in-character. I wouldn't expect much action just yet."
- [18:02] Arkady "Yet..."
- [18:03] Arkady she leafs through the folder, scanning it for anything interesting.
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