Sorana

Troublesome times in Sanctuary

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This is the official IC thread for the Alleyverse prequel. As this one is set in the past, characters can only be here and need to be approved for this thread specifically. We upped the point cap to 300 (200 Magic/ Investiture + 100 skills).

For questions, the list of characters used and character submissions please see Alleyverse Prequel Planning.

Setting is a small settlement called Sanctuary, in the place where Alleycity is located in normal Alleyverse time.

@ZincAboutIt @I think I am here. @AonEne @kenod @Ookla the Wine Shelf @Rushu42 @Ark1002

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A side note: I (will try to) write this character 2nd person, please don't be confused.

Your pen scratches over the paper, while you write notes, your face drawn in concentration. Blonde, long hair is carefully braided back to keep out of your way and your polished nails gleam in the light of a nearby candle. Around you, travelers sit on the crude tables, drinking beer, wine or whateverelse they ordered, you don't care particularly. Ever since rumors spread that a city will be built in Sanctuary's place, people flock to this place and like everywhere the tavern is loud and crowded.

You know that each of them have reasons, but again you don't really care. What you about is that they are here, and that many of them travel alone. Nobody notices when someone goes missing now and then, which suits you just fine. When you rented your room the tavern was a quiet place, but now that the evening progresses, you are growing annoyed. You are trying to work here, not drink yourself into oblivion. When a bard stands up and starts playing music, you finally lift your head and look around. Not everybody is drinking heavily, actually only a few are. Those that have given up, or those that simply like to. Who knows. A serving girl walks over, her blouse carefully close high on her chest to ward off any ideas on your part and with a slight bow places a glas of deep, dark red vine in front of you. Habit has you pick it up and lift the glas, a frown creasing your forehead.

"There is a spot." your voice is cool, and soft, when you hand the glass back, not even bothering to look at the girl's face. You sense from her movements that she checks as well, then she hesitates, probably considers to had the glass back to you. Lucky her, she doesn't. Instead she briskly turns around and walks away.

You lean back, continue to observe the room and try to decide who is the lucky one today. You need a man, tall, well-built. He should fit nicely to the other parts you have selected and prepared. Your eyes rest on someone and a smile touches your lips. He looks good. A little dirty, but all of them are dirty. Nothing a little water and some soap, can't solve. Accepting the next glas of wine you pay, and then take a careful sip. As usual it's a little too sour, but you take what you get. Sipping your wine you lean back, wait for the man to leave.

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2nd person is great :) I’m planning to write Mr. Sloan as first person, it’ll be fun to have all three POVs in here :P

It’s one of those nights.

One of those nights a man can go missing and everyone would know he was murdered, because it’s one of those nights. Scratchy sounds of urban life invade my ears as dark shadows stalk the backalleys, and the soft haze of a settlement-turned-cynical lingers in the air like cigarette smoke.

Small lanterns pave the path I walk, spitting their faint light against the oppressive darkness that surrounds. Maybe if the engineers had placed the lanterns closer together the path would’ve been brighter, but as it stamds each small light is it’s own bubble in the dark abyss. Just like the people now, I muse to myself. Scuttling around this concrete playground, ambitions all up high but each as alone and defenceless as a dame in an alleyway.

The pub catches my eye. It’s a little out of the way, enough to be sure it isn’t run by some emerald sleaze of a politician claiming to run the town, or dirty cops. I’ve dealt with enough of those to know they liked their bars centre-stage. That was fine. Made them easy to avoid.

The bar’s open, but the crowd makes it claustrophobic in its own way. Smiles and conversation overpower the music, and serving ladies make their ways around the tables, flowing through the crowd easier than smoke from a gun barrel. Reminded, I take out my lighter as I advance to the counter, flicking a small light as I turn my back to the occasional odd look. Rusting snoopers, don’t know how to keep their space until it turns around and shoots them in the face. Of course, I’d never think of it. Wouldn’t want to ruin the ‘quaint atmosphere’ this pub attempts to set up.

“A whiskey,” I say, sitting on a stool and lighting a smoke. I can hear the serving girl move, don’t even have to look up at the muted colours of the bottles to know it’ll be something cheap. She’ll know I don’t have enough money for the expensive stuff.

“And make it quick.”

Edited by I think I am here.
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As always, I’m gonna try to do third person. I would also RP but my PC isn’t approved yet.

 

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Rathar Alderbon, High King of all the Cosmere, surveyed his territory. He was suspended from nothing several hundred feet in the air, the harsh winds whipping about his cloak. Below, lights faintly glimmered, the only evidence of life on the bleak landscape. Behind them loomed the monolithic shape of the World Spike. Finally.

In a sudden burst of motion, he released his Lashing and began to plummet. The air whistled in his ears, and the buildings grew rapidly beneath his feet. In the last moment before impact, he drew into himself a gasp of Stormlight. The cobblestones shattered, and a burst of light exploded in every direction. 

The dust settled to reveal Alderbon standing, a wickedly sharp, angular Shardblade in his outstretched hand. Every inquisitive bystander suddenly found a place to be, and the street was soon deserted. Dragging his sword behind him, Alderbon strode into the night. He had an appointment to keep.

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Kaz slides his goggles up onto his forehead with a sigh and begins working at the leather strap pulled taut on the side of the table. It's quiet now, and he can once again hear the refrain of "Let Me Call You Sweetheart" softly emanating from the phonograph set up in the far corner of the laboratory. 

"I told you it wasn't going to work." The voice comes from Kaz's right, tone bored and mocking. Kaz feels his own sense of disappointment and boredom heighten unnaturally, and he sighs. The irritation is his own.

"You're getting sloppy with your Rioting, brother," he says, finally pulling the leather strap loose from its buckle and moving onto the next. 

"Hardly." Baz moves around the other side of the table, and as usual he's grinning. He's got his own goggles slung around his neck, though it's obvious he was wearing them during the experiment. The skin around his bright green eyes is clean and olive tan - a stark contrast to the rest of his angular face and much of his neck. Kaz knows he must look the same, and that isn't an exaggeration. Looking at his twin is like looking in a mirror.

Kaz slips a ring off one finger and hands it to Baz, not bothering to see if his brother will take it. He does, of course, slipping it onto his own right middle finger. The Zinc shines in the light, accentuating his brother's long, elegant fingers and calling attention to the two smooth stumps sitting in the place where his ring and pinky should be. Baz catches his brother's gaze, then meets Kaz's left eye with his own two. Three bright emeralds glitter there, locked onto one another, before flicking down towards the remains of the man on the table.

"I had hoped," Kaz begins.

"We both did," Baz agrees. He looks back into Kaz's one eye. "We'll find him. We will."

Together, they begin the work of cleaning up, finishing with the leather straps and moving the experiment off the table. He had a name, but it is unimportant now. Simply mental dross, not worth keeping even in the smallest Coppermind. Kaz begins to catalog his tools, wiping each one clean and moving them aside for sanitizing. Baz follows suit, and the two work in the easy, efficient silence of two lifetime partners. There is never a moment when they are out of sync, each one tapping Zinc, a well of mental speed that seems endless lying within both brothers. Their gift, their birthright.

When the work is done, Kaz goes to the sink and washes his hands; the water runs off red, and the lather from the soap turns pink. He washes them again, and again, until the water runs clear, then rubs a damp washcloth over his face. The looking glass over the sink is speckled with bloody water, and Kaz grins at his reflection before drying his face and hands with another cloth.

"I could really -"

"--use a drink?" Baz finishes, and he's already unbuttoned his labcoat to reveal the smart trousers and waistcoat he has on beneath.

Kaz shucks off his own coat, revealing an identical outfit beneath, and sets both coats into a bin for soiled linen. They'll be washed... somewhere. 

"Put on your dancing shoes, brother," Kaz says, already stepping out of his rubber work galoshes. "I've got a good feeling about tonight."

As they leave, the phonograph skips its track, spitting an uneasy hiss into the air. No one remains to hear it; the experiment is over. For now.

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Dahinel walked through the alleys, Venta floating around him. He walked quickly, nervously looking around, wondering where he had ended up, and how to get out. He didn't even know how long he had been here. The place was strange, and it always felt like someone was watching him.

Suddenly a voice called out behind him, and he spun around, Venta turning into a Shardblade for him. Behind him he found a woman, Atlethi based on her looks. "Are you lost?" She asked.

"I am," he answered in a terse voice, wondering who she was, and how she had gotten here.

"I figured you were,"  the woman answered, walking around him, and he turned with her, making sure to keep facing him. "You're currently in a place called the Alleys. As for explaining what it is..." She tapped her chin for a second, lost in thought. "Ah, right! That works,"  she suddenly said, sounding enthusiastic. "You can see this as a place similar to Shadesmar. It's actually quite easy to get lost in, though nobody has ever managed to determine exactly who gets pulled into this place. The place where we currently are is a stable area, mostly because of it's proximity to the boundary between the Alleys and the real world."

Dahinel looked at her, trying to work through what she was saying. He thought he had gotten the gist of it, but it was still confusing. He had never heard of a place like this, not even from the Elsecallers or the Willshapers, who would have been the mostly likely ones to know of it.

"By the way," she asked, "you're a Knight Radiant right? Which order are you?"

Dahinel looked at her for a bit and relaxed, giving her a sheepish grin as realized that he hadn't introduced himself yet. "Guess I never introduced myself huh," he said. "I'm Dahinel, a Windrunner. My Spren is called Venta." He gestured to his side, where Venta appeared for a second, nodding to the woman.

"Ah, a Windrunner," She said with delight audible in her voice. "That's great! You know, that's the order I hate the most!"

Dahinel flinched back in shock at that, less because of her statement and more because of the absolute delight in her voice as she said it. But just as he was still starting to react she breathed in Stormlight, a glow emanating from her. She lifted her hand, and a sword took form in the air above her. Dahinel looked at it in confusion though. It didn't look like a Shardblade, which would make it a Lightweaving, but what danger could those be to him?

He got the answer to that question when the sword shot forwards, piercing his right leg. He let out a loud scream, less because of the pain and more because of the shock. After all, there was no way something like that was possible. Still, it wasn't the first time he had fought, and his instincts kicking in. He breathed in Stormlight himself and tried to jump backwards, but it was too late. The woman made another gesture, and chains shot out from the ground and wall around him, wrapping around his limbs and pulling them outwards, anchoring him in place.

Smiling she walked forwards, putting her hand on the sword in his leg. He grimaced in pain as she pulled it out, but his Stormlight quickly healed the wound, and he glared at the woman, only to be met with another surprise as the sword somehow turning back into Stormlight, flowing back into her body.

The woman smiled and started talking, ignoring Dahinel struggling in the chains. "You really are unlucky, aren't you?" She asked in a whimsical tone. "First getting pulled into the Alleys, and then running into me. If you had only continued for an hour more you would have made it out of the Alleys, into the settlement, and there somebody could have explained things to you, and you might have even managed to make a difference. Now though..." A cruel smile appeared on her face, and she let out a laugh. "Hey, did you know?" She asked. "The settlement you where going to, the one you're never going to reach? Did you know its name? Well, do you?"

Dahinel stayed silent, simply glaring at the woman, and she laughed. "It's called Sanctuary!" She exclaimed, "Sanctuary!" She laughed even harder, tears appearing in her eyes. "It won't be called that for much longer though," she continued once she managed to gather herself again. "After all, we're going to build a city there, a nice big one. And when it's finished... Well, cities always need rules, don't you think?"

Dahinel simply continued glaring at her, and she started getting annoyed. "Well, this is no fun," she said. "Ah well, I guess I shouldn't have experienced anything interesting from someone as delusional as a Windrunner." She snapped her fingers, and spears appeared in the air around him. She waited for a second, letting him see them, letting him understand what was going to happen, and then he screamed in pain as a dozen spears pierced him at once. His Stormlight started healing him, the spears vanishing as she reabsorbed them. He was almost healed when his Stormlight ran out. He slumped in the chains, bleeding from a half a dozen small wounds, Venta flying around him, trying to encourage him, to get him to at least try to resist, but he already knew he was done. He looked up to the woman, the one who was killing him, and he saw a metal tube take shape in her hand. "Goodbye," she said with a smile, and then everything went dark.

Nimari looked at the body of the man she had just killed and fired more spears into him, more and more and more. Only after a few minutes she stopped, taking a deep breath, finally calming down. She spat on the mess that was left on the floor, and started walking away. She wouldn't have gone that far if he had at least had the decency to die properly, if he had begged, or cursed, or broken down. But the piece of crem had simply hung there silently, not even granting her the dignity of a response. Like she was some sort of embarrassment, like he was trying to tell her she should have been someone better, the same thing all the other Knights had told her when they cast her out. Still, she would show them. After all, she was the one who had power, and once they finished building the city, once they controlled it, and all the different Investure users with it... Well, once they had done that nobody would mind if she went back to her old world to show them the error of their ways. And even if they did mind... They weren't the ones with power.

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Everyone’s writing in this thread is so good!

A moment passes where I’m alone, only graced by the company of my own cigarette, blowing gentle circles in the air, when I hear a drink slide towards me. Without looking up I flick a boxing towards the serving girl, stare down the glass gullet of the shot she’s provided me with. The whiskey stares back at me, unblinking.

I stare back. It’s been a while since I’ve reunited with my old friend of the liquor species, but that doesn’t mean I won’t welcome its embrace whenever I get the chance. Dipping a hand in my front pocket I take out a small pouch. Carefully I unzip the top and pour thin flakes inside the whiskey, giving it a little swirl. A few people cast me looks, but they know I’d have bought two glasses if I was trying anything funny.

No, siree. I’ve got better things on my mind.

The whiskey’s sharp on my tongue, the presence of tin in my system somewhat justifying downing the glass in one go. It lays in my stomach like a coiled snake, waiting to be burnt. I oblige. Immediately the world becomes clearer, becomes more. The smell of a nearby person’s alcoholic breath reeks of white wine, the sharp shadows of black and white pop out of the corners of the bar, the stitches of my coat feel rough against my skin. Turning back to my drink I can overhear a couple talking about going upstairs, and simultaneously a small argument across the room that could progress into a bar fight if that man over there doesn’t stop it.

The world remains in its state of clarity as I stare down my glass again, contemplate another drink. No. One is more than enough, and it wouldn’t be like the drink would affect me anyway. Unfortunately, being a Returned takes away most of the fun of alcoholism. Now, I just drink for the aesthetic. And so I can have a better way of ingesting tin than carrying around those rusting vials.

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You continue to write into your little notebook, the words flowing easily from your pen. The flickering light of the candle makes it hard to read, so that you squeeze your eyes together a little, but still you continue to carefully note down what happened today and how you think your experiment failed. The blood had been compatible, and you had adjusted some of the bone until they fit. The veins, they were a weak spot, the heart used to stronger ones - probably some of them gave up. You'd have to check later to proove yourself right or wrong. Now and then you take a sip of your wine, and despite the food you ate earlier, you notice yourself turning a little lightheaded. Not much, just enough to be pleasant.

After a while you look up, when you notice something in the bar change and when you scan the faces, you notice a man. He is sitting at the bar, dumping something into his own drink. At first it seems strange, in general you prefer to dump things into other peoples drinks to knock them out, but then you realize what he's doing. He obviously isn't afraid and the dark things he downs together with his drink - most likely metal of some sorts. For a moment you wait to see if he starts causing trouble, but instead he simply drinks another glass and so you refocus on your notes again. Still you move your stool a little, so that you can keep an eye on him.

Mirrorring his gesture you dump metal into your wine and then swallow, the familiar ressource in your chest giving of a warm and comfortable feeling. Let him be an allomancer. You can deal with that easily, at least if you are close enough. The last part usually is the difficult one, but with a charming smile and a free drink, usually people in a bar enjoy a drink.

Your pen scrapes over the paper again, when you try to remember what had happened and curse yourself for running out of wine. If you'd written that back down in the cellar, it would have been so much easier, but a report without a glass of wine is as an outfit without shoes. Incomplete and boring. You need to remember to bring a bottle along, so that next time you can check some of your theories directly, instead of writing them down. The bard starts another, annoying song and you look up, close your book with a sharp shound. No use to go on here. Not as long as the guy misses more notes than he is able to sing clearly.

With a deliberate motion you rise and when no serving girl looks over, you take your glass and head over to the bar. "Do you also sell bottles?" You ask the barkeeper, without bothering to wait until he looks your direction. Your tone and the way you hold yourself make him do that quickly enough. He lifts his hands, stutteres something about asking and you turn around, lean against the bar, glass still in your hand. You know that you cut a striking figure, make sure that your feet are placed in a way to show of your long legs and slim, but firm thigs, leading to a more muscular upperbody and a beautiful set of shoulders. Everything is perfected from the way you casually lean against the bar, to the way you lift your glass to your lips again. You know that you draw eyes, of both men and women alike and it causes a smile to play around your lips. It's always nice to see when work is appreciated.

Edited by Sorana
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I can feel a foreign gaze linger on me like a bad smell as I look down at the bar top, feel the aura of everyone in the room. There’s a couple people here with Breaths - real Breaths, nothing like the fraud of a divine Breath I have - situated here. Most of them only have a couple. One or two have enough to Awaken. Using my Life Sense I return my thoughts to the pair of eyes I can feel watching me.

Slowly, I can feel one pair of eyes move closer, reaching the bar top. Asks if they sell drinks. I keep my head down, but a flare of tin and I can see him clear as crystal in my periphery vision. He leans against the bar, a little smile. He gets people watching him too, but it’s different from the stares I get. Already I begin to dislike him. Who’d he kill to get clothing as nice as that? Probably works for some up and high crime lord, the way he carries himself with that smile. A buttercup boy right hand man.

And if there’s a local mafioso in town, then it means there’ll be more. These rusting rodents never go anywhere without bringing their whole pack with them. When you do an infestation, you never stop at just one cockroach. Of course. How could I have any hope for ‘Sanctuary’? It’s as dirty and dark as the alley I come from, as any other place, teeming with criminals, lowlifes and the like. The only difference is out here it’s a much larger hunting ground.

But I stay silent, keep the man in my view. With any luck, I can follow him back to wherever him and his buddies dwell. These types usually don’t have the a worry in the world, with the cops paid off and the politicians paid off. The only people they got anything to worry from are the guys like me - the private eyes - the ones who won’t atop digging til they find the whole rusting nest.

The game’s on.

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Me: *decides to be original and write in present tense*

Thread: *In all 3 persons*

Me: *sighs*

Titus grins where he stands, perched atop a metal spire. A house he was working on, a smaller Kredik Shaw. He had seen the drawings, and he wants his manor to replicate that. Titus growls, and throws himself off of the spire, pulling himself toward the side of another wall, a wooden building, but somewhat rich, so it had plenty of metal. Hopefully they weren't in there, because there was now several knives imbedding themselves as far as they could go in the wall.

Titus growls where he stands, claws stabbing into the wall. He stands up straight, sideways on the wall, pulling on a plethora of sources. He closes his eyes, and breathes in deeply, smelling the air. They manifest, a strong smell like oak and spices, a smell strong with blood, a smell of... he grins, and his eyes shoot open, and amberite grows over his hand, in a web up his arm, on his back, and back down the other side, clothing the other hand in the same crystal. 

He breathes in again. A smell of alcohol. He is thirsty. And he doesn't have any money. So he would have to intimidate for it. He jumps off the wall, and breaks into a sprint, his extremely strong body propelling him, each footfall echoing loudly in his ears. He pulls himself forward, and that made him go even faster. He reaches the bar door, and rips the door off its hinges. He stands there, and breathes in again, the smell of alcohol, of piss, of human sweat, mingling. The smell of life. He roars, and it echoes throughout the tavern.

He steps into the room, each step of his clawed feet scratching along the floor.

He steps up to the bartender.

"Bring me alcohol. Horneater white. Or everyone in this tavern will regret the day they were born."

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"Here's your wine, sir." The bartender adresses you and you turn around, the motion deliberatetly slow. You reach out to take the bottle and disgusted at the grime covering it, you lower your hand. "Clean it first." You state, and add. "I will pay for it. But scrub it clean." That it's so difficult to get a decent amount of wine. Usually, if you have the money, you can get some good stuff. And money never was a problem of yours.

You feel some eyes on your body and look around, ignore the loud one calling for alcohol with a threat in tow. Alcoholics are everywhere and you don't intend to waste your time with one. Not if they don't have any style at all. Instead you rest your eyes on the other man. The allomancer. He is still looking at his empty glass, but his body is alert. He is observing, maybe even yourself.

"I greet you, sir." You say and smile your friendliest smile. "Would you care for another drink?"

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The gangster asks for the cup to be cleaned. It’s a valid request — I can see the spots on it out of my periphery — but it’s hardly something anyone would care about. Whoever this guy is, he’s high up on the dog-eat-dog world of the underground, probably. To care about some spots on a wine glass, to dress like that. Back in the Alley you’d find run-of-the-mill thugs a penny a piece. Case in point, the large man threatening the bartender for horn-eater white. But finding one like this, all dressed nice, all out in the open? Carefully I tilt my head to the side, try to observe where he’s placed his guards. Hidden among the crowd, probably. Just as these types like it.

“I greet you sir,” he addresses me. I return to look at my cup, incline my head in his direction. He knows I was watching him. Maybe he’s a tineye himself. Maybe one of his lackeys hidden in the crowd is. Maybe I’m just getting rusty with my subtlety. Maybe it’s all of the above. I won’t know.

“Would you care for another drink?”

Not until I answer this question. I consider telling him my name, but if he’s really a high-up gangster addressing, he probably already knows my full name, address, occupation and Investiture. You never find one of these rich ones unprepared. Being prepared is how they get so high up on the criminal ladder.

So why would he address me? Easy. He wants a job done. Why else would he address a private Investigator? He probably had this whole meeting set up. I looked up, meet my eyes with the man. He’s smiling. He knows I’ve fallen for his trap. Oh, well. Now that I’m in the game, I might as well play it for what it’s worth. Give him what he expects.

“Another drink would be very welcome,” I say, look up at the smiling man.

“A conversation isn’t really a conversation without a drink or two involved.”

@Sorana

Edited by Ookla the Maybe-Existent
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"I agree." You continue to smile at him, although his face remains stern, no smile lighting up his features. A pity. Most people look better with a smile and you are sure, if he just spend a little more time caring for his appearance he would cut a striking figure himself. It's not that he's unkempt, but like most people another hour or two daily would do wonders. Your eyes flicker down to his empty glass when you try to guess what he drank. A liquor of some sorts, maybe a whiskey or a rum. It's hard to judge from the color you saw earlier, and as you can't determine what it was you decide to keep your order vague.

"Another drink for my friend." You lift your hand and order it without looking at the barkeep. "And make sure the glass is clean." Slowly you push your glass over for a refill and add coldly. "Another wine, if you can spare the time. Don't add water, and don't touch my glass with your fingers."

For a moment you wonder who he is, apart from an allomancer and why he is here. You chose him - because he is different, because the way he behaves is making him stand out and his reply immediatly made him sympathic. A good conversation needs a drink or two. And it needs someone able to keep up.

You look at the man again, finally turn towards him completely, focusing on him, while keeping only a part of your attention on the room. Slowly you extend a hand towards him. "I am Raphael." You pronounce your name carefully, enjoy it on your tongue. A great name for a great person. "It's a pleasure to meet you." You enjoy the way your nails gleam in the light and you move your hand a little to make sure the man has a chance to enjoy that sight as well.

Edited by Sorana
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Raphael.

An alias, it has to be. My mind races to find all of the ways this night can end. Lots of them involve alcohol. Even more involve blood. I watch as he poses his hand, then slowly lean forward to shake it. The conversation has formally begun, I realise, an inevitable verbal sparring match I’ll lose. But, maybe I can get some business out of it. That, or I’ll have a gangsters hideout to bust.

“Sloane,” I say, introducing my own name. If I want business, there’s no reason to go anonymous. Not like he doesn’t know my entire family history. He said just doing formalities, I’m sure. Soon, the real conversation will begin. But if this man wants a light chit-chat before the heavy stuff, then that I will give him. He interests me, this man. Though I’m sure he belongs to some gang I’m unsure where I’d place him.

“A pleasure to meet you too,” I say. He introduced me to the bartender as his friend. I always found ‘friend’ a strong word. Too strong. “It’s been a while since I’ve met someone new in a bar.”

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The barkeep hands your glass back and you take a moment to carefully check it for spots and then move it a little to make the red wine inside swirl around. Not much, just enough that it can get some air and breathe. You always liked the gesture, as you found that it makes people focus on your fingers, on the wine and you always imagine that if someone took a picture that moment, you would look splendid with the dark red of the wine contrasting your cloths.

The man also places another drink in front Sloane and you eye this glass as well before paying. It looks clean. At least as clean as you expect in this place. "It's rare that you can meet some sophisticated company in a place like this." You agree when you realize that your inspection had taken a little time. "Most are like -" you secretly roll your eyes towards the loud man asked for alcohol, make sure that he can't see it. "I always have trouble to find a connection to them, or a topic to talk about. I'm simply not sure how to approach someone like that."

You lift your glass to your lips and taste the wine, grimacing a little at it's sour taste. A good wine, how you miss a good wine. Your eyes rest on his face when you try to see how he reacts to your words, to your manner. He seems reserved, careful, but in a place like this, you would be concerned if he wasn't.

"Have you been around for a while?" You ask Sloane jovially. "I only arrived in Sanctuary a couple of weeks ago and I have to admit it's severly lacking a few nice places to go for dinner."

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The bartender pales at the sight of Titus's crystal claws, of his rippling muscles, of his black eyes. He hands him a large jug. 

Titus growls at him, a deep bestial growl, and the bartender backs up further. Titus smiles around at the tavern, sharp teeth flashing. I hope one will pick a fight. Just let them try...  I'll show them who's alpha. He retreats to the back of the tavern, and pops the top. He used to barely be able to handle violet. But with his current features... horneater white is the only thing strong enough to make him even slightly tipsy.

He takes a swig, allowing the amberite to spread. It cloaks him in something like a cacoon, and threads spread across the floor, the wall behind him. Rapidly, he is surrounded in crystal, the corner turning into just him, the amerite, and the alcohol. I'm just... tired. I'll get back to it soon enough. His arm moves slugishly, covered in Amberite as it is, to his mouth, and he takes a massive chug, draining the jug to half.

A couple of thugs approach the edge, poking at it. But the memory of the man inside is enough to keep them at bay. For now.

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I watch Raphael talk. With tin the world rolls out to me in vivid black and white, the red wine cutting through my vision, like the colour of blood. He seems happy, relaxed. I wonder if he’s going to keep dancing around the topic he brought me here for, or whether he’ll get to the topic. But maybe it’s a statement. Maybe he knows what I’m expecting, and is showing his power by going against that. Rusting gangsters.

“I’m new in town,” I say honestly, because I know he’ll probably catch me on a lie.

“I haven’t been around long enough to check out places to eat,” I say, taking out a cigarette. “But I’ve never let myself get caught up in what’s a ‘nice’ place to eat. If I’m not hungry afterwards, I won’t complain.”

He called me ‘sophisticated’. Somehow my deduction is switching on him. The jovialness, the luxury, the cleanliness obsession. Maybe he’s not a gangster. Maybe he’s worse. Maybe he’s part of the feds. Or a politician. Those are the unpredictable ones, and I can’t even take those types down with a bullet. They have their own form of power, one that doesn’t require knives and gunpowder. It somehow fits better, but still not perfectly.

“I came from my home alley to explore,” I say. It’s the truth, albeit oversimplified. I know that if I want information, I’ll have to trade some too. “What brought you to Sanctuary?”

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Do we just go to the normal character thread for character related questions?

 

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2 hours ago, Ookla the Epic Gamer said:

Do we just go to the normal character thread for character related questions?

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Please use the Prequel planning thread, as the limit is different. Feel free to tag me there, once you posted your question, then I don't miss it.

========================

You notice him taking out a cigarette and can't help the thought, that he could have made a lot more out of that gesture. Moving is an art. But then, you know that not everybody cares that much about that art than you do.

"I am here to work." You reply honestly and a smile touches your lips. You won't elaborate what exactly you are working on, your dream of the perfect chimera, a being you created, it's movements beautiful and deadly at the same time. But this is nothing for a light evening conversation, especially not with someone you just met. Some people simply can't understand the beauty of a chimera and you don't want to have to use Sloane as part of the next experiment. His skin tone is a little to light. "I am a doctor." You clarify instead. "And as such, I can find work everywhere."

Taking another sip of your wine you rest your eyes on Sloane. "Although I have to admit, I had expected more of the place they want to turn into a city. Something large, something spectacular. Something more than this arrangement of little, shabby huts." You lift one of your shoulders a little, to indicate that while you expected something different, it's nothing you particularly care about. You can find enough objects to work here, so the place is as good as any. "But then, I am sure we will be surprised once they start working on it."

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A young girl wearing a strange dress walked into the tavern, heading for the counter. Aylitha looked around the room, noting the various strange folks around. I don't think that's something you in particular are allowed to say, a sleepy voice echoed in her mind.
Finally awake? She answered in joking tone, though all she got back was a sense of disapproval. Shrugging she walked up to the bartender, fishing in her pocket for some coins.
"Do you happen to have some lemonade?" She asked softly, having forgotten to breath in before talking.
Really, lemonade? Karin said in her mind. Everybody here is drinking alcohol.
Shut up, Aylitha sent back in annoyance, You know I don't like alcohol, and I know you never liked it either! If he doesn't have any I can just ask for water, or for juice or something.
 

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On 29/11/2019 at 2:08 AM, Ookla the Dreamer said:

Taking another sip of your wine you rest your eyes on Sloane. "Although I have to admit, I had expected more of the place they want to turn into a city. Something large, something spectacular. Something more than this arrangement of little, shabby huts." You lift one of your shoulders a little, to indicate that while you expected something different, it's nothing you particularly care about. You can find enough objects to work here, so the place is as good as any. "But then, I am sure we will be surprised once they start working on it."

“A doctor.”

I repeat. It all sort of makes sense. A doctor. But I know the world, I know it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, more like smoke and ash clouds, but still, a doctor. An evil experimenter, perhaps? Or a fraud? But I know he can’t be what he’s expecting me to think: a normal, happy-go-lucky who heals people out of the goodness of their heart. From the alley I come from, no one survives a day without getting red on their ledger. This world can’t be so different.

“My observation must be getting rusty,” I say. Unless doctor is a codeword? I haven’t been here long enough to acclimatise to this town’s criminal slang. Like all criminal slang, it changes from region to region. One man’s insult is another man’s compliment, depending on the word, tone, location and a bunch of other things.

But the thoughts of who exactly Raphael is, underneath that cleanliness mask he projects onto the world are derailed by another train of thought, one that slowly more and more momentum in my head. Raphael may have been here a short amount of time, but he still knows things about this place I don’t. Which, while unfortunately puts him at an advantage, means its easier to get him to talk.

“They plan to build a city here?” I ask. It doesn’t make sense. And it wouldn’t be good. Why change this place when it already seems to be doing a fine job of housing the locals. “Why?”

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"They do." You inclince you head in agreement. "As far as I know Sancturay will be turned into a city. If it means that they will rip down a part of these houses, or if it means that they will simply extend the area." You lift a hand in a dismissive gesture. "I don't know, and I am not sure if I need to know. It's interesting how many are attracted to this place, if they know about these plans or not and if the plan is set into motion." You lean forward a little, you eyes glittering in the light of the candles. "Just imagine how many will travel to this place if it really turns into a city. A capital. A stronghold. A place of power."

Delicately you place the glass down on the counter and gently push down Sloane's drink to him. He hadn't even reached out for it, and it could mean two things. He is waiting for you to get drunk so that he can rob you. Which is possible, but the last time you got drunk that much has been a while. Or he isn't interesting in his drink at all and only drank them to refill his metal reserves. The second one opens up a whole set of new possibilities who he is, why he's here. He radiats this self-assurance you admire, the trait that draws you and makes you talk to a certain type of people. The dangerous ones. Those that might destroy you with a little movement of their hand.

"Do you dislike it?" You inquire with a nod towards the drink. "I can always order something else for you."

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51 minutes ago, Ookla the Dreamer said:

“Do you dislike it?" You inquire with a nod towards the drink. "I can always order something else for you."

Taking the cigarette out I exhale a circle of smoke, watching it haze through the air like a bad rumour on a dark Friday night. Watching I put it away, look towards the drink he’s pushed towards me. The last time someone bought me a drink I ended up passed out on the floor of some slaughterhouse, but that was before I Returned. Now, the Instincts are still there though they have no reason to be.

“It’s alright,” I say, wonder about the doctor’s offer to buy another drink, just in case I don’t like this one. So casual, I don’t know if he’s doing it on purpose or if he can’t tell. From my experience in the dark streets of my Alley there’s a few types of rich. There’s lottery-rich, those gangsters with the flash of gold and partying til the spark runs out and they end up in serious debt to the wrong guys in no time flat. There’s the paranoid rich — that’s all your cutthroat businessmen, politicians, most mob leadership and anyone else who’s got to be careful with their coins.

And then you have the old rich. The powerful rich. The rich that asks about buying you another drink like it’s nothing. They’re rare to find, but when you find one, you know it. The old rich is like radiation, it just invisibly seeps in every movement, from the way he poses to the way he holds his glass, showing off his body.

Bringing the whiskey to my lips I take a large sip and leave it half empty against the bar top. I think I’ve figured out Raphael. A riddle of a man, he is. Even if I know he isn’t a gangster I’ll be following him anyway. He’s easily the most interesting figure I’ve met since my time in Sanctuary.

“I don’t see the need for a city,” I say.

“As far as I’ve heard, the universe has functioned perfect without any such stronghold of power, no? It seems like wasted resources to try and construct one, then. But then, I’ve only been here a short while. What do I know of politics? I usually leave that to the politicians.”

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You purse your lips a little and shake your head in a tiny, perfected motion. "If we leave everything as it is, nothing new will evolve. I don't know if we need a city or not, or if it will lead to something great. But at least it's a chance." Pointedly you look around the place. "And this is not a state this place should remain. A city. It could attract trade, while it's proximity to the middle of our world stresses our power. If there is an official center, more people are likely to flock here, bringing wealth and knowledge. That in turn can lead to an improved infrastructure, which leads to a higher standard of life in general."

You take another sip of your wine and let your gaze rest on the people in the room for a while. Observe them, their actions. The one you had chosen earlier is drunk, and you judge from the way his friends push him, that he will leave soon. It's your opportunity to leave, to go on with your project. You consider his face again, take care to look at his arms, at the way he moves. Good body. Not too destroyed from working yet, he's got a couple of years let where he can move without pain. He's perfect.

Then you turn back to Sloane and forget about the man, instead your eyes rest on a young girl that must have walked into, while you were looking at Sloane's drink. She looks to young to be in that place, and you quickly add her to her list of people you want to keep an eye on. She is either very, very stupid, or very very powerful.

"I think, that we should give change a chance to show if things can change for the better." You resumed your previous trail of thought. "If we stop the natural change of things, then we end up with a boring, old society." You don't really know why you argue for the city, you don't really care if it's being built or not. Mostly you do it, to tease Sloane, to see if he will agree on a nice discussion, or just shrug it away.

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“Well, as long as it’s the offical way,”

I say, though the idea for a city to be built still irks me. So much would change in this town, entire ecosystems of criminals and bystanders, the delicate balance of crime against the law, ethics against chaos would be undermined, removed, all for a few higher walls. Everything hangs in balance, like a perfect pendulum. There’s no need to knock it down now.

“I can easily see such a project becoming a target for others with malicious intent.”

Holding the whiskey in my hand I take a careful sip, meeting Raphael’s eyes.

“Though, I suppose, as a doctor, it wouldn’t be too bad. The more people injured, the more money for you, isn’t it?”

Edited by Ookla the Maybe-Existent
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