07.12d: Dues and Doughnuts

The goings on of courts
kitsunenotsume
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07.12d: Dues and Doughnuts

Post by kitsunenotsume »

After leaving the wharf to pursue his own daily activities, Caelund follows a twisting series of side-ways and streets to reach his various destinations. First upon the list is a street doctor for gauze and antiseptic poultice. Three rights, two lefts, some back tracking, and a brief stop in a side-alley later, results in the light leather breastplate from before being no longer visible and only the edge of a newly dressed bandage occasionally showing beneath the rolled sleeve of his shirt, with the sling disappearing entirely. He pauses to glance up and down the street for potential tails, straightens his beard-clinch and tie, and returns to the better-traveled paths through the snow.

A short series of winding excursions through the wintry city finds the man at a small chocolatier, an out-of-the-way smithy, and a quiet wood-shop. He spends the space of a short conversation at each, and leaves with a wrapped rectangular package and a bag of scrap-metal, loose slag, and assorted broken tools. With goods in hand, Caelund twists his way once more back through the buildings until he sees a log suspended at an angle by two chains above a storefront. The hanging timber is roughly carved to resemble a knobbly root and embedded on the upper side with long shards of fused yellow and orange glass that glimmer and waiver in the afternoon sun, giving the impression of a static immolation.

With another glance over his shoulder, the grey-clothed man surveys the street once more before making his way to the Gingerfire Patisserie.
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Joshua
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Re: 07.12d: Dues and Doughnuts

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I'm not entirely sure what greek thugs look like, but several men wearing loose fitting long-sleeve togas and tunics are lounging around the pastry shop. They are unshaven, lightly armed, and making a little bit of a ruckus. The owner is attempting ot get them to leave, but they seem unwilling to. Not until they get 'what they asked for'.
kitsunenotsume
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Re: 07.12d: Dues and Doughnuts

Post by kitsunenotsume »

After entering the small business, the man crosses to the counter discreetly, leaves the parcel on the countertop, and reaches around the side to drop off the bag. His fingers brush thoughtfully over a small iridescent beetle-charm beside the till, and offers a nod to the young clerk behind the counter. “Hey kid, prep me a Slumhouse Firebomb,” he comments while unhooking a set of keys for the liquer cabinet from behind the barrier and sliding them to the youth, “I’m going to have a headache after this.”

Caelund crosses the short distance to place a hand on the shoulder of the tiefling currently getting nowhere with the thugs. “Hey Seth*, your cocoa is on the bar, and I need two dozen assorted fancy and a box of Gingerfire Specials by four o’clock. See about making that happen and I’ll deal with the TiTs**.” He nudges the baker back towards the kitchen before crossing his arms and looking stalwartly and suspiciously at the interlopers.

“Right then, which corps are you with?”
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*: short for something, I’ll figure it out later
**: Thugs in Togas, but the other definition is probably applicable as well in this case
***: corps, corpse, cops? With Caelund’s accent, they all sound the same
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Joshua
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Re: 07.12d: Dues and Doughnuts

Post by Joshua »

Unfortunately, they know what you're talking about. "Merchant's Guild. The Merchant Guild of Amber. We've had reports of unauthorized imports. Unless you're growing the flour here and have a mill we don't know about." They look mostly intimidating. Of course, they're no troll samurai. "So... Do you want to tell us how the importing is working and want to pay the guild fees?"
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Re: 07.12d: Dues and Doughnuts

Post by kitsunenotsume »

"Sounds about on par with business as usual. Now Mister Teusus is most welcome to approach the matter personally or through a paralegal and we might be able to come to an understanding, but I'm personally not a fan of the whole concept of rent-seeking or goon-squads. Likewise, you gentlemen don't seem to be a practitioners of the more cerebral pursuits, else you would have brought a troll, laser-light-show, and had a vtol sitting just behind the next building."

Caelund takes off his shades, flicks them closed, and returns them to their case at his waist. "Besides, no sense paying extortion money if the racket can't back it up; 'try-before-you-buy', if you will. So I'm going to have to reply 'No' on both counts, and kindly ask you to leave of your own power through the front door before someone breaks something."

Well acquainted with the particulars of the dance, Caelund's posture doesn't suggest that he expects the option will be taken.
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Joshua
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Re: 07.12d: Dues and Doughnuts

Post by Joshua »

Ten minutes later, outside the Merchant Guildhall, a small cart with four unconscious thugs will arrive. The guy driving the horse, will carefully drop them on the steps along with a sealed note in wax.
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Back at the Gingerfire Patisserie, the tiefling is explaining, "They just showed up. Talked about illegal imports and counter-stepping the treaty with the mage-guild. I wasn't aware we were in anyone's territory. Apparently, they don't care that we're selling it, only the imports."
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Re: 07.12d: Dues and Doughnuts

Post by kitsunenotsume »

Caelund rights a few of the chairs and collects his drink from the counter, leaving appropriate change in its place.

"We weren't, but such the system goes. The profit mongers see someone doing the task they laid claim to in some back-room with sealed documents, and go shouting down the street claiming authority by prestige and muscle. Their treaty with the mage-guild is fine and dandy, but unless they can make it worth our while we'd just be lining the pockets of empty threats and promises." He takes a quaff of his beverage, before exhaling sharply with pleased expression. He gives the counter-clerk an approving nod, "Decent kick today, Good job with it, Kid."

"Speaking of which, I probably just mailed a high-velocity boot to one of the largest nests of vespa in Amber, so you might want to prepare some bed-time snacks* to occupy any impatient representatives. I'm going to be busy this evening, but bug me if anyone tries to cause trouble. I'll be taking those pastries with me though, so make them fit for royalty. We could use the advertising, and I'll make the bonus worth it."

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*: Sedative laced pastries - to help with the food-coma.
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Joshua
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Re: 07.12d: Dues and Doughnuts

Post by Joshua »

"Thank you." The Tiefling will say, getting together what you've requested. "I hope the meeting goes well. We could use the backing. And... the... steady backing... Instead of your other patron. Who is good and powerful and knowledgeable... but... not predictable."
kitsunenotsume
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Re: 07.12d: Dues and Doughnuts

Post by kitsunenotsume »

Caelund nods in agreement, and seats himself near the display-case watching the street. He pulls out a pair of blank business-cards and works on them in pen as he muses silently. After perhaps an hour of working on the small icons, he leans back from the table, and finishes off his drink. With a contemplative sigh, the artisan idly folds and unfolds a spare card and watches the passing pedestrian traffic.

"Confined we are by what we've done; the past has forged our way. To read the [P|p]attern* is the key and solve out what one may. Predictability is relative, it simply requires a full understanding of both the subject and what they know. Which is, quite frankly, not simple. You are quite right in that we have neither, and since I don't intend to leave us skragwalled at a center of the multiverse we're going to need extra customers. From has been seen their strength is potent, but they are too soft to have faced any adversity of merit. Presumably that will change with time, but for now we are left with floundering broodlings luxuriating in their bright and gifted suits of ceremonial mail; Each having weathered a blow or two and confident in their aegis, but ultimately devoid of the temperance or ablation that marks the forge of trials. And so we shall observe, orient, optimize, operate. With that in mind, I ought complete my preparations for tonight."

One of the cards is flipped up to where the baker can see it before being slid beneath the shimmering charm beside the register. To one side the title reads Stonegaze Security, while the rest is dominated by a rather accurate and exactingly-detailed self-portrait. An address is written in small print beneath the title.**

"I'll leave this here in case you need to contact me. Stay in touch; the crypt-du-jour is basilisk." The companion card is deftly tucked away with a smooth motion into the case at the grey man's belt, while he gives the room and street another overview.
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*: Caelund reffers to both cases.
**: Bearing the location of a certain bakery.
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Joshua
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Re: 07.12d: Dues and Doughnuts

Post by Joshua »

Shortly thereafter, the door-bell will ring as Dworkin enters the shop and hobbles over to Caelund. "Good afternoon my friend. I heard you have made an appearance with the others. I suppose, it might be time to revisit your place among them and in this world."
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