[Main Chapter] Improper Acquisitions

Old Rose Harbor is Anaxas' main trade port; it is also the nation's criminal headquarters, home to the Bad Brothers and Silas Hawke, King of the Underworld.
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Raksha
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Sat Feb 09, 2019 6:50 pm

8th Ophus, 2718
OLD ROSE HARBOUR | EARLY MORNING
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The winter morning was cold. Bitterly cold. The sky was grey and thick with clouds, threatening snow though for the moment it held back. It was still cold enough for ice to lay dangerously undetected on the half cobbled streets in some of the better area’s of the Rose, and for breath to steam in thick plumes from rum-warmed mouths. And there were a few of those, waiting in the chilled morning air, everyone of them on edge. The Bad Brothers, with guns cocked and blades ready, fields or glamours drawn close and eyes everywhere. At the dock, a simple kenser drawn wagon waited as it was loaded with what looked like sacks of wheat from the cargo container of the last ship in from Muluku that evening.

“Don’t like this.” Muttered one of the crew members as he handed another sack to his counterpart. She nodded, hefting the coarse hessian bag and placing it securely into the back of the wagon, dark eyes scanning the docks under her woolen cap. Her breath huffed from above her scarf in a wet steamy cloud and the kensers that were hooked to the wagon snorted nervously. The wooden vehicle was a decent size, able to hold two drivers as well as about fifteen medium sized sacks in the rear. It was unassuming, a merchants device, and built for long travels between cities.

“Me either matey, me either.” She grumbled as she turned back to take the next sack. Both hands were under the employ of Silas Hawke, and per the word of mouth that had swept through all of the Bad Brothers, they were on high alert. There had been a rumour, a good piece of intel provided to the King, that the Drain had plans to raid their next inbound shipment of Crop. When or where, there had been no specifics, but the possibilities were endless. In Muluku, on the open ocean, in the dock, along the road to Vienda…it was driving the King mad. As such, he had been cautious this time, overly so. The vials of the highly addictive content had been packed into the next wheat shipment, hundreds of birds worth of stock, and stored in the bowels of the ship as it had sailed across the seas into the Rose.

And nothing had happened.

So now, they unpacked the shipment into the wagon for the next leg of its travel, through the streets of Old Rose and onto the long highway into Vienda. Silas had called on everyone he knew, insisting on men to be stationed on the ship, the docks, the windows and rooves of the streets. To be drunks in disguise along the way, whores peddling their goods, whatever it took. If there were Drain members anywhere, they would be hard pressed to get to the wagon. It was impossible to tell who was a Brother and who was a civilian, Hawke aware that if they knew he had people around, the Drain would wait till they were out of the Rose to hijack him. Once on the road to Vienda, he had plans to take a detour and use a side entrance into the galdori city, one that the Drain surely would have no idea about, using his contacts there.

Bloody vultures.

The chill morning felt frozen with anticipation. Even those who had no idea what was going on could sense a tension in the air, a strange quiet seemed to fall onto the seaside city. Even the gulls were quiet, only the crashing of the morning tide on the beach seemed to speak to the world.

Everyone watched. And everyone waited.

Mod NoteShow
Hi All, this thread is open to anyone in the Rose. If you're a Bad Brother, or in Hawkes employee, you can assume he has roped you in to help. Either by keeping watch or joining the actual action. If you're not a Bad Brother or in his employ, you are welcome to be caught in any potential crossfire. This thread comes with personal risk, though I would never kill or maim a PC without discussion first.

I will be posting once every 3 days, unless there is a request to wait for someone to reply, or other IRL circumstances impact my rhythm. You don't need to PM to join, just jump in where-ever and when ever you like. :)


word count: 782

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Leander
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Sun Feb 10, 2019 3:28 pm

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Little more than a mediocre counterfeiter, Leander was new to Silas’ Hawke’s service - and a rather reluctant new recruit at that. He was also a scrawny little weed of a boy, valuing intellect and cunning wit to see him through life, rather than stupid, brute force. For these reasons, the passive thought it laughable that Hawke had called on him to assist with his drama. But it seemed that everyone with ties to the man, and their mothers, had been called upon for the same thing.

There was nothing special about his presence, and Leo felt no swell of pride at being thought of to help. If anything, he thought nothing more of it than a terrible inconvenience. He had drunk a little too much last night, so his head was pounding. Worse, Resha had set a number of tasks for him to complete by last week… none of them had even been started, and he had set aside today to bash through them (or so he told himself). The bottom line was that the passive’s heart was not in it, and the sun blaring down on top of him from his vantage point on one of the nearby balconies was not making his day any more palatable.

Everyone was on edge: squinting downwards, there were no obvious signs of Hawke’s henchmen, though Leo knew they were around. But it seemed like everyone moved with a hurried pace, heads cast downwards as that would hide them from something they felt was coming. The tension was palpable to everyone. But if anyone glanced upwards towards Leander’s balcony, they would see a boy lazing around, at ease with the world.

Cursory glances downwards had nothing to do with the instruction to ‘remain vigilant’. Instead, it was more to keep him from boredom; the loose thread on the hem of his shirt could only keep him entertained for so long, after all.

Leander had been forced to be here, he was only present in body, but his mind was far adrift. He had no stake in Hawke’s business: if the day went tits up, it would have no impact on Leo’s life whatsoever. And if the contrary happened… well, Leo doubted he would be personally rewarded either, so what did it matter to him?

word count: 403
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Kit
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Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:33 pm

8th Ophus | EarlyMorning
Old Rose Harbour
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It was too clocking cold for this. Too clocking cold to be stood on a street corner singing for...he checked the box at his feet...yes, mostly forts, couple of hats. Kit stamped his feet, watching his breath fog the air, and reached inside his greatcoat for the flask he’d filled this morning. This was ridiculous, and needless, but he sure as hell didn’t have to be sober for it. He sang better when he was guttered anyway…

He’d considered packing up and getting back to his cosy apartment at least three times now, but it honestly wasn’t worth it. When the King snapped his fingers, the Brothers jumped, or there were consequences.

He took a swig and relaxed just a touch as the rum burned its way down his throat, then replaced it in his inside pocket and reached for another song, field tucked in tight as a second skin.

“As I walked by the dockside one evening so fair...”

Kit’s voice rang out, smooth and clear among the bustle of the harbour street, as he leaned back against the shopfront. He’d had permission of the owner to be here so he knew he wouldn’t be moved on.

“...To view the salt water and take the sea air...”

Gloved hands in his pockets, his blue eyes surveyed the street, checking for anything out of the ordinary. Gods above, what even was Hawke ferrying that he needed every single Brother, and more besides, on watch for the entire clocking route?

“...I heard an old fisherman singing a song...”


Everyone was bundled up against the cold, and even familiar faces took a while to recognise. He shifted his foot, feeling the comforting length of the knife sheath in his boot.

“...Won’t you take me away boys my time is not long…”

Alioe, his ears were fucking freezing. Ah, right. Not the cargo itself, it was the Drain they needed to be worried about. Fuckers. If they were stupid enough to try anything today, they were going down.

He stamped his feet again and swore softly to himself before launching into a ringing chorus.


word count: 383
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Muse
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: Corwynn, Nauleth, Rhys, Tristaan, & Xavier
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Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:24 pm

8th of Ophus, 2718
DOWN BY THE DOCKS | EARLY MORNING
"That's mine, ye chen." Quiet words became a thick cloud of hot breath while two men walked in the dull light that came before dawn. Tristaan was dressed more for movement than against the bone-chilling cold that had clawed its way into the Harbor, feeling the ache of regret for not putting on more layers in his bones and sore muscles. Grey eyes drifted over the gloved hands of the blond galdor next to him which held the six-chamber pistol he'd bought from the masked stranger in Vienda.

"Is it now?" Corwynn didn't look over at the dark-haired passive, his own firearm slung comfortably on his hip, cheeks and nose already red from the frigid temperatures. They walked carefully through the ice-crusted alleyways leading toward the docks in order to take their places, the older gunman unfortunately given the task of keeping an eye on Yulina's favorite odd-job man. He'd yet to see the value in Tristaan other than the scrap could take a hell of a beating and still stay conscious long enough to win one of Boriand's fights in the Rose Arena. Perhaps there was some secret in his diablerie or his worth really was measured in the weight of his indomitable will.

"Oes. Bought 't fairly." Grunted the passive, tilting his head to meet the sharp-blue gaze of the Taxman, shoving numb hands with knuckles still bruised and scabbed from a fight just the night before into the pockets of his threadbare wool coat and burying more of his face into the thin knit scarf he wore.

"Had it taken fairly, too, if I recall."

"Havakda. That's a matter 'f opinion."

"True. I will admit I'm biased." Chuckled Corwynn, smug and quite aware of where both of their loyalties truly lay.

"Y' gonna jus' play with it 'r give it up already? I ent proved m'self reformed 'nough yet?" It was Tristaan's turn to smirk, but the expression was sour instead of amused.

"Don't talk to me about playing with things, Mister Greymoore. You're only trustworthy because that stolen bird of a witch you claim is yours too happens to be clocking heavy with child." The Bad Brother sneered, his voice almost breaking the hissed whispers the unlikely pair spoke in despite the bubble of Quiet the galdor had surrounded them in and continued to upkeep while they snuck their way through the forgotten, dirty warehouses.

"Ne, ersehole, I'm only trustworthy 'cause Yulina's alive."

"Did you just—" The blond gunman barely contained laughter, crystalline gaze hardening like the frozen, salty ground beneath their feet. With a bit of flair, Corwynn offered the butt of the six-chambered weapon to the passive, waiting for the curious creature to take the pistol before reaching into his coat and producing the dark-haired man's holster, belt, and the hard leather case he'd kept bullets in, "—gods, you may be alright after all. Just remember who to clocking aim at, Mister Greymoore."

"Oes. I know what side I'm playin' for today, Cor." Just today? Not that he had a choice, after all.

The threat in the Taxman's field was oppressively tangible, but Tristaan had grown used to being around galdor fields in the presence of Master Boriand. He was allowed a moment to hike up his coat and replace his firearm to it's proper place, wincing at the painful cold that raked over skin marked with fading yellow bruises and a few fresh scabs—signs that he hadn't won his last fight in the Rose Arena, much to everyone's surprise. If Corwynn's gaze wandered over the other man—who, despite the weighty bit of ego he hid beneath his tekaa-colored, tarnished exterior, was far from unattractive, appealing in his own way, honestly—while he waited in the shadows between two dilapidated warehouses, well, he certainly wasn't ashamed of himself.

The older gunman didn't really have any shame, after all.

They continued in the darkness, falling quiet again as they approached the docks themselves, the layout of the entire heart of the Rose familiar to both men because they'd lived enough of their lives on the brined wood in one way or another.

"Up there's our spot." He added, glance lingering with a slow exhale of heated breath, tugging up the hood of his coat to hide his rather unmistakable blond, "Rooftop view for us. You first."

Tristaan said nothing, a familiar pre-combat nervousness settling like smoldering charcoal in the cavity of his chest still not hot enough to warm him against the chill. It crawled up his spine anyway, tingling through his nerves like a match lit and set to kindling, aware that it was no longer himself he was responsible for looking out for. He was living for lives other than his own and therefore couldn't afford to make reckless mistakes. Fingerless gloves were hardly enough barrier, either, and he winced and hissed his way up the frozen, painfully cold metal ladder toward the third story roof of the abandoned row of shops that once stood so close to the docks. Corwynn remembered the shops well—a fishmonger and a little pub, both run by the same family, both loyal taxpayers until their eldest child fell sick. The penalty for backtaxes had been far too much for them to pay, and what was left of the fishmonger and his wife probably was nothing but sand by now at the bottom of the Harbor.

The pair of very different men silently found their places on the roof, tucked behind the lip of it where a tattered awning flapped loudly in the wind, able to see through the holes in the faded canvas. Just far enough away that he couldn't feel the other man's ramscott old field, the dark-haired passive set about loading his pistol, ignoring how his face stung and his fingers wanted to shake in the cold.

The Bad Brother let go of their Quiet spell, mentally freeing himself of the concentration while he, too, set about finding his position against the low half-wall that rose near the front of the building. Peeling paint barely read the family's name and business—Knockles and Sons, Fish and Beer—but the spot gave an almost unrivaled view of the ship and the wagon and the three narrow streets that spilled out onto the docks, allowing Tristaan and Corwynn an opportunity to open fire as quickly as possible.

Dawn was just starting to creep over the horizon, reluctant in the chest-crushing cold. Whatever the Drain had planned, it wasn't just the older galdor who worried they'd already been made even before they arrived—even Tristaan knew a trap when he heard one. Not that either of them were about to admit that to each other, however. Not yet.
Off Topic
For the sake of ease and my sanity, I'm sticking Corwynn and Tristaan together. Should they get separated, I'll write their accounts respectively.
word count: 1228
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