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Offline POG

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The Catalyst
« on: April 10, 2006, 11:01:22 PM »
The five men surged down the alley in a burly knot of steel and sinew, ignoring the gusting wind and driving rain.  The twisting cobblestone street could barely contain them as they ranged about with the feral energy and wild abandon of a hunting pack.  The prowled among the shadows cast by the ramshackle three story buildings and their single flickering pitch coated torch.

The torch bearer kicked open the door to the tavern, it was little more than a hole in the wall, with a strong foot encased in hard leather.  Wind and rain rushed inward heralding the arrival of the five who poured into the low-ceilinged room like liquid, casting hard glances about at the patrons.

There were only a handful at the Siren that night.  The Siren, a bit ostentatious for a run down tavern in the most disreputable part of the city.  The fat barkeep trembled under the gimlet stare of the group leader.  When the leader spoke his low voice was filled with menace.  "We seek the Catalyst."

The bartender had heard of men such as these.  They traveled in groups seeking this supposed Catalyst.  They were stingy with coin but free with threats, dealing with the currency of gauntleted fists and live blades.  As mysterious as their quest and quarry they bore no sigils, no insignia, nothing connecting them to any monarch or ruler.  Yet they operated outside the realm of kingly law, with no fear of reprisal or repercussion for their actions.

And now, they were looking at the patrons of the tavern, looking for signs.  One noticed a person sitting in the shadowy recesses of the far corner of the room, the remnants of food and an empty tankard in front of them.

"Hey you!"  The searcher stepped towards the corner table…
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
The Ares Chronicles

Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2006, 11:21:35 PM »
Tinnius, who had failed at his attempt to go unnoticed, remained deep in the cowl of his oversized cloak. A shock of blonde hair was the only visible clue to his true identity.

He stood, slowly pushing his chair back. He displayed his arms wide, showing empty hands. A posture meant to set the men at ease.

He allowed himself a quick glance at his unseen companion to his left, to insure he was in position…
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

Offline POG

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2006, 12:26:41 AM »
Cobb leaned back against the rough stone of the wall behind him.  His hands rested lightly on the scarred wood of the table in front of him.  Bloodshot eyes opened and he dimly percieved the room thru vision blurred by too much of the Black.  The remnants of his meal had long since congealed into a mass of grease with suspended bits of food in front of him.  Cobb's face bore a mix of features from the north and southland, covered by grime and topped by a unkept mop of hair that looked as if it was hacked at by a dull blade.

The blades on Cobb's belt were far from dull and his hands never strayed far from them, even when, such as now, he had indulged in the Black and strong spirits.  There were twice as many blades hidden in the folds of his garments as were visible.  One didn't survive as long as he had in the city of Radd without having the means to protect oneself from the perils of the shadowy streets.  He leaned forward and peered at the group of men in the common room of the tavern.

Tinnius stood with his arms wide.  The group who had woken Cobb up seemed to be interested in him.  One of their number stepped forward just as the door burst open once again with a burst of rain and wind.

Tareck, the barkeep turned as a second group of men entered the tavern.  He sighed heavily.  The City Watch.  It was a week before his scheduled payment.  What were they doing here?

"Ho!  What are you lot about?"  This was from the young captain, tall and lean, with black chain mail and large gloves.  The men with him were armed with swords and halberds and the room seemed to be bristling with armament.  Tension built as the ten men from the City Watch eyed the searchers in their grey cloaks.  Tareck knew there would be more men outside.

The effect of the Black was quickly wearing off at the sight of the City Watch.  Cobb was a wanted man.  His feet'd be dancing on air come morning if the guards recognized him.  He'd not go without a fight.  His hands furtively sought out the handles of twin dirks.  He needn't have worried.

"You!"  The City Watch Captain pointed at Tinnius.  "You are under arrest!"

He took a step towards Tinnius, seemingly oblivious to the men in grey...
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
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Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2006, 09:13:07 PM »
Tinnius maintained his pose, considering how he could play both groups of men to his advantage. Under his cloak, muscles were taunt, ready to spring. He scanned the area peripherally, carefully calculating his choices.
 
"Surely you are mistaken," he replied evenly, a statement directed to either group or both.
 
Clearly the odds were against him, but perhaps if he bided his time.........
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

Offline POG

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2006, 02:24:25 AM »
"Wait."  this from the leader of the searchers.  Rage boiled in the captain's eyes.  The grey cloak's voice was soft but his manner was that of velvet covered steel.  Green eyes below eyebrows the color of fire peered out from his large cowl.  "We want this man as well."

The captain's eyes narrowed.

"Perhaps we could reach some sort of understanding."  The grey cloak began, his voice still soft.

The captain let fly a derisive snort, "What care have I if you lot want him?!?  He's under arrest by orders of the high magistrate and that not something to..."

The man never lived to finish his sentence.  The grey cloak moved with a quickness that belied his size.  No one could see the blade he wielded, only the result.  A thin red line appeared at the guard captain's throat.  He stumbled backwards.  Bright red blood fountained upward to spray the ceiling as he fell backwards.

The remaining grey cloaks exploded into motion, keen blades singing as they fell upon the guards, who were at a disadvantage attempting to wield their long halberds in the cramped confines of the tavern's common room.  Within scant seconds half their number were slain.  They were trained fighters but had grown lax bullying the city folk.  They had never crossed blades with the like of the grey cloaks.

The grey cloaks killed with ruthless effeciency.  The remaining guards were attempting, in vain, to fight their way to the door.  They were being systematically cut down.

Cobb was close to Tinnius, whispering at him.  "What're ya waitin' for?"...
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
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Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2006, 02:43:08 AM »
Tinnius, already moving before Cobb spoke, entered the door of the kitchen directly to his back.

His unnoticed companion would have to meet him later down the trail.... no need in blowing his cover.

As Tinnius sprinted towards the back exit, a watchman appeared in front of him. Pulling forth the knobby wooden shillelagh he had concealed in his cloak, he deftly swung the staff up into the man's chin with a quick punch to the staff’s knobby end, crushing the man's windpipe.

Pained seared through his body. Something from his flank.

He could hear commotion behind him. No matter, his only goal was to escape. There was yet a prophecy to be fulfilled.

He bit his lip, drawing blood.

Fighting through the pain he hit the alley at as fast a pace he could muster....
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

Offline POG

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2006, 03:15:43 AM »
The alley was filled with shadows and refuse.  Rats scurried at the sound of Tinnius' footfalls.  Three guardsmen sprinted towards him thru the darkness.  Cobb threw the sharp dirk underhand.  It spun catching the guard just under the collarbone with a meaty thump.  Cursed intoxication.  The guard swung a short sword at Cobb's head.  Cobb threw himself at the man's feet in a move that surprised and startled.  The guard tripped over Cobb landing heavily, shouting oaths.  Cobb was on him instantly stabbing with a second dirk with frenzied precision.  Cobb's dark clothing hid the blood.  The attack left him open to attacks from the other two watchmen...
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
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Offline Pariah

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2006, 07:53:12 PM »
OOC: May I join in?
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2006, 08:23:46 PM »
The sudden change in atmosphere brought forth a sobering quality from the pain. Tinnius could feel his ribs grating, but no blood. Must have been something blunt.
 
It took a brief moment to get his bearing in the raging weather. As his eyes adjusted, he saw three guardsman running in his direction.
 
Tinnius made an instant assessment of who was the most dangerous, but quickly amended it as one of the other patrons did away with the man. No time to contemplate his new ally, he turned his attention to the other guards.
 
 
Elbow on his hip, he stepped in and twisted the shillelagh in an upward arc, using the full strength of his body to blast the watchman's groin. The searing pain from his ribs nearly made him cry out in pain, or perhaps he did. The only audible sound was the wind and rain.
 
He cursed himself for allowing the pain to distract him as he sidestepped a swipe from the other guard, but not soon enough. A superficial wound appeared below his neckline.
 
The wild strike had left an opening. Tinnius let his staff disappear inside his cloak and drew his sword. Keeping the momentum, he followed through his draw with a hard blast to the man's cheek bone with the hilt. Had the light been better, he would have seen teeth and blood explode from the man's mouth.
 
Tinnius kicked the man square in the pelvis. The words of Master Deliquous flashed through his memory. "A table cannot stand without it's legs." He ham stringed the man as he fell.
 
Movement behind him brought the other guard back to his attention. Turning to face him, he saw the man was at the door, becoming lost in the reinforcements that were emerging. Surprisingly the alley's exit was clear.
 
With a quick glance at his new companion, he took off in a sprint........
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

Offline POG

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2006, 09:34:56 PM »
OOC:  Of course Pariah...

IC:  Cobb ran forward into the rain and wind.  He roughly grabbed Tinnius' by the shoulder.  The larger man's eyes blazed with suspicion.  Cobb raised his hand in a warding gesture then pointed at the mouth of the alley.  "Ware the obvious path."  He winked with a red rimmed eye and started the scamper up the rough wall of the alley.  "I hope you can climb."

Tinnius eyed the wall askance then listened to the sounds of slaughter still coming from the open door of the tavern.  The ghastly sounds of the guardsmen's death cries decided him.  He began to climb up the wall using the rough protrusions and irregularities of the poorly mortared stone.  He was nowhere nearly as agile as Cobb and was breathing hard and shaking from exertion by the time he reached the top some thirty feet later.  He had to look into the gloom three times before he saw Cobb crouched in the darkness at the roof's edge.  It was as black as pitch on the slightly sloped roof and the tiles were dangerously slick.

Cobb looked at home as if he were on the ground.  He beckoned Tinnius to crouch by him.  "Stay low.  Then you can see."  Cobb stood up slightly and Tinnius could see his silhouette outlined against the ambient light coming from the sky.  Cobb sunk back down dissapearing in the gloom.  He grinned showing off a gold capped tooth to show he was still there.  "Hide close."  He pointed to the street.  Just out of sight from anyone in the alley were another group of Grey cloaks, five to be exact.  The bodies of the slain City Watchmen that were waiting outside of the tavern were still warm but lay still as the rain dropped in to open eyes that stared at nothing and into gaping mouths that screamed silent cries.  They had been slain with cold effeciency and most still had their weapons sheathed.

"Don't know 'bout you but I nae think I could best one of those Grey Cloaks lest take on five."  He looked over his shoulder at Tinnius, "Good think we didn't walk out of that alley, eh?"

The Grey cloaks appeared to be waiting for someone to come down the alley.  Cobb smiled again, more akin to a cainine barring of fangs than an expression of pleasure.  The blood smell of the man he killed was thick in his nostrils.  he was glad for the rain.

After a few seconds he said, "Cobb."  as a way of introduction, "What are you called?  An why are the Grey Cloaks after you?"  He looked at Tinnius with something that almost approached respect for being the quarry of such a group...
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
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Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2006, 11:12:43 PM »
"Tinnius," he replied.

"It appears that we share common ground in avoiding the authorities," he dodged. "I could ask you the same."

Softening his tone, he said "The Grey Band serves much the same function as your watch. They seek me for random misdeeds in Mesoltia." Tinnius had to choose a location close enough to be believable, but far enough to not be easily disproved.

The burden of his birthrite was not shared casually with strangers.....
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

Offline Pariah

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2006, 11:26:51 PM »
Haya watched as the first sets of guards came in, passively staring at the lot of them.  Dammit, the money ain't due for a time yet.  They betta not be changin' it on me agin.  Someone's gonna havta pay for this.  He started feeling on of the bagh nahk in his coat, wondering who was the one of the lot in charge of this.  Suddenly the door blasted open on its hinges again.  This time Haya wasn't so happy.  Two sets of guards, and all of them armed to their teeth.  The boss better be paying me double for risken me hide for him again

One of the guards walked up to a patron and told him to come, that's when Haya noticed the trouble.  They were two different groups and they wanted the same man.  But before the second could finish his sentance he was falling to the ground, barely even having time to look astonished before he was dead.

And then the one they wanted was out the door, followed closely by some guards.  Haya decided that he didn't need to stay.  He spilled his drink on the floor as he ran and tried to kick coals onto it.  Nt waiting to see if they'd catch he ran out the door.  Just in time to see the guards dispatched by one of the regulars, Cobbs was his name, right?

The two of them had bolted down an alley, where Haya ran too.  He found it empty, but given the pace the two of them had be going that was no suprise.  He'd have to hurry to find them in this dark, cursing he looked for started for the far end of the alley.

OOC:  I think I'm all caught up.
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline POG

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2006, 11:33:03 PM »
OOC:  I wrote two well thought out posts in both this thread and the last war and this one.  I didn't write them in word but straight onto the site.  I read the posts after I wrote them and now they've dissapeared.  Suffice to say I'm feeling a little salty about it.  The post in this thread was pivotal in the story.  Gimme some time to get myself together and I'll post soon.  Wait for me.
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
The Ares Chronicles

Offline POG

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2006, 11:45:09 PM »
The Grey cloaks answered to the Twisted Man, the consort of Natori. No one, even those sworn to the Grey had an idea of where he came from or his age.  He was far more mysterious than the Greycloaks themselves which said much.  When he appeared death dogged his footsteps. Those who served him feared him and could not bear to meet his gaze and trembled at the thought of his displeasure.

The flames from the burning tavern struggled as the pouring rain beat at them.  In the struggle coals had been kicked on the floor and quickly caught.  The Grey Cloaks dissapeared like the smoke of the fire, the darkness of the night swallowed them up leaving a trail of slaughter in their wake.

The Twisted man looked down upon the scene spread out before him and then like a puff of smoke he too was gone.

Scant yards away, oblivious to the presence and disappearance of the Twisted Man. Cobb and Tinnius huddled on their rooftop as the rain began to come down harder.

"Secrets." Cobb said.  "Fine Tinnius, you can have your secret and I'll guard mine as well, but..." Cobb looked down at movement in the alley below.  It was a familiar figure from the tavern, Haya.  A couple of Ragnar's boys were lurking in the shadows looking to get the drop on him.  Ragnar's guild were a bunch of filthy scavengers in Cobb's mind.  They must be feeling full of themselves to step to Haya.  He had no problem with evening the odds for Haya, he hated Ragnar and his men.

"The bloke about to get rolled is my cousin."  He said to Tinnius, "I gotta help him."

Cobb dropped down to the alley in a controlled fall.  Blades in hand..
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
The Ares Chronicles

Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2006, 01:19:35 PM »
Tinnius paused to further assess the situation. He didn't trust Cobb, but the man had helped him.

Still, it was better to be sure it was as Cobb said and not a trick set up by "Ragnar's" men and Cobb. Besides Tinnius was not in the business of killing innocents on the word of an untrusted stranger.

With his sore ribs, his decent would be slow regardless and, perhaps, keep him out of the fight.

Looking over the edge, he saw Cobb slip down behind the men........
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

Offline Pariah

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2006, 08:20:06 PM »
Above him Haya saw a pair of flashes, falling.  Cursing he backed up, not wanting to be too close to anything sharp falling.  Then with a light thud there was a person in front of him.  This I can bloody well deal with Haya thought and pulled out his tiger claws, when he noticed who it was.

"Cobb, you d**n scoundrel.  I near about torn you liver outta you.  What you doing trying to get a drop on me like..."

At this point Haya's eyes adjusted enough to the darkness to see that they weren't alone.  Two or three punks, Ragnar's maybe, had spread themselves across the alley and looked like they'd been waiting to get the jump on him.

"Well I'll be, look who finally grew enough of some to send some of his street scum after me.  What brings the lot of you here, you know we's don't like you getting you pants filled on our streets."  Smiling Haya stepped closer to his cousin and smiled at the visitors.  "Of course we can make you more than welcome if you step on forward."
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2006, 09:39:11 PM »
Cobb landed noiselessly just as the two sprung towards Haya.  They were dressed in mixmatched cast offs of scavenged finery and armor that looked as if it were salvaged from the field of battle it was battered but served well enough to repell the dirk that Cobb threw.

"Bloggen eh!"  Cobb hissed as the scavenger spun and ran towards him.  The other continued towards Haya, who Cobb hoped would be up to the task.  The spiked mace was the newest thing the scavenger bore and it swung at Cobb's head with speed that was frightening.  Cobb stepped forward inside the swing and smelled the sweat of the larger man and breath that smelled of cheap spirits.  The rain beat a staccato beat on Cobb's hood as he swung upward his opponent's exposed throat.  The man fell backwards as the keen edge of Cobb's enchanted dagger sliced through scraggly hairs on his chin and opened up a would that found bone.  The man cried out, swinging backwards over Cobb's head as he ducked so low his hand touched the ground.  His soft boots slid across greasy stone as he moved forward at an angle.  He plunged Malice into the man's groin twice and felt something give.  The man swung one last time, off balance and without strength, the sound of the torrent of blood that spewed from him was drowned out in the patter of the driving rain.

The last thing he saw was the gleam of Cobb's tooth as darkness claimed him.  Cobb danced sideways, avoiding the falling body, and looked towards Haya to see how he was doing...

OOC:  Pariah, have fun with the other one.
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
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Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2006, 08:22:02 PM »
Tinnius saw Cobb bounce a knife off of one of the assailants, then engage him in full. No longer as wary as he had been with Cobb's intentions, Tinnius made his descent.

Over hearing some of the dialogue, he could tell there was an outstanding quarrel. Slipping in behind the would-be ambushers, he positioned himself to be "insurance" should the men turn to flee. Besides, Cobb had already cut down one of the men.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2006, 08:23:47 PM by Catalyst »
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2006, 08:23:02 PM »
With a growl Haya ducked under the swordblow, and raked one of the claw across the stomach of his attacker on his way up.  As the guts fell out of his attacker Haya swund his boot into his attackers knee, bringing him down.  Smashing the cur's face into the ground Haya stopped to look at Cobb.

"Thanks for the help, been a bit harder to take the two of them at once."  Pausing he looked around, "Now there's one thing I want to know, who's it that those greys was after?  I had a bloody good job there and he had to go get my boss killed."
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #19 on: April 19, 2006, 08:41:56 PM »
In response Cobb nodded wordlessly at Tinnius and wipe Malice off.  It disappeared into the shadows of his cloak.  "Greys after that one thick as fleas, wot?'  He was systematiaclly going through the pockets of the man he had slain pocketing anything of value.  A few gold pieces, a bauble or two.  Ragnar's Scavengers were at the bottom of the hierarchy of guilds operating in Radd.  That they were bold enough to attack haya meant they were depserate, stupid or sent by someone else.  Cobb mulled this over in his mind as he searched the body.

"Looks like you've problems of your own.  What's this row about?  You been cheatin at bones or sleeping with some nobleman's wife?"  Cobb teased his cousin with offenses he'd be more likely to get caught at than Haya.

Cobb squatted in the shadows as comfortable as if he was sitting in a chair.  "Now I think we should go to Dalia's house but I'll not bring the Grey or the Watch to her step.  Secrets or not."  He turned to Tinnius,  "Why are the watch and the Grey both after you?  Speak on it or..." Cobb showed his gold tooth, "We'll have to part ways."...
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
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Offline Pariah

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2006, 09:34:05 PM »
"This row, oh you know.  Same old, was gonna meet the guvner's daughter t'nite.  Only the wench didn't show, maybe poppy got wise.  And you, why you up on the roofs, again?  Running from the guards no doubt?  And who ever you nodded at, what's he up to?"  Haya stops and pulls a rag outta his pocket and starts cleaning his weapons, "And where ever we go we're gonna have'ta get me a new shirt, the blighter bled out on this one."
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2006, 11:09:57 PM »
Cobb nodded at Haya's words, knowing that the truth was likely more ominous that a simple tyrst with the governor's daughter.  Secrets.  Everyone had them.  It was okay.  He peered through the raindrops at Tinnius,  "It's time to share."...
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
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Offline Catalyst

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2006, 11:17:51 PM »
Tinnius sighed, inwardly. He believed he could make a go of it without those two, but the chances of success were diminished, especially without Logan.

"The truth of the matter is that I don't know why the watch is after me. The Grey are....... another story. One that takes time."

Unfortunately Tinnius knew little of the Grey and most of what he did know, he was sworn to secrecy.

"The shortest explanation, for now, is to say that they are a religious cult who, mistakenly, believes me to be in line to fulfill a prophecy. They have doggedly trailed me for several months.... "

Tinnius raised an eyebrow and made a small shrug, hands out. The impatient gesture clearly demonstrated his desire to stop talking and start moving. The Grey's whereabouts, after all, were currently unknown....
"To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!" -Conan

Offline Pariah

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2006, 11:46:14 PM »
"So fulfill a prophecy, so...  Do they want to flaunt you as a figurehead, the coming of the 'messiah'?  They gonna stir up rebellion and get millions to follow you?  Sounds like luxury to me.  Besides that, why shouldn't we just turn you in ourselves, they'd probably offer a pretty penny?"

So, it's you who the guard's after.  Mmmm.  Why?  And what aren't you telling me about why they're after you?  Obviously it can't be anything as nice as that, but why would they chase you around, but not get after you fast enough to find you?  They know where you're gonna go, don't they?

"But I wouldn't do that, oh no.  Not if my cousin here decides that he'll help you, wouldn't want to get him killed.  But I think you better do a bit more convincing.  We'll talk on the way."
They were immediately and absolutely recognizable as adventurers... They were hardy and dangerous, lawless, stripped of allegiance or morality, living off their wits, stealing and killing, hiring themselves out to whoever and whatever came. They were inspired by dubious virtues.  China Mieville - Perdido Street Station

Offline POG

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Re: The Catalyst
« Reply #24 on: April 21, 2006, 12:49:06 AM »
The three began their trek, in circuitous fashion through the underbelly of the city.  It wended thru winding ways and narrow alleys, travelling over bridges spanning canals, and wide boulevards that were filled with throngs of people even at this lat hour.

Radd never slept.

They continued past ornate temples and through broken down and rambling, ruined shells of buildings that were once prosperous and now dangerously unsafe and fraught with peril.  Past sellers of the Black that sold their wares from shadowy alcoves and the powderhead women that brazenly beckoned from the balconies of the red houses.  There were footpads and cutpurses afoot as well.  Seasoned toughs that would slice a man head to toe as soon as glance at him, all for a bit of copper or a percieved slight.  Most knew Cobb and gave him a wide berth.  Not for fear of fighting prowess but the reputation he had earned in his twenty seasons drawing breath as not being right in the head.

Being crazy, or at least thought of as being crazy, had it's benifits.

They were entering Fishtown, the part of the city that was infamous for its seedy and unsavory reputation which was saying much in Radd which was known as the city of thieves.  They would not have to fear the Watch here, not because they were paid to look the other way as in other sections of the city, but because they feared to step foot here.

This was Cobb's home.  The iodine smell of the ocean close by filled his nostils even over the smell of the rain.  The darkness of the ocean sky yawned to the east as a counterpoint to the myriad lanterns and torches that painted the clapboard buildings that grew, in haphazard fashion from the roughly fashioned cobblestone streets.  He smiled as a fight involving about twenty youths erupted into a chaotic whirl of frenzied motion across the street from the alley leading to his house.

Dalia was opening the door before he had a chance to knock, ushering him and the other two inside.  Cobb chuckled before kissing her.  She must have seen his coming in the cards.  She nodded at Haya as she swept into the darkness of the hallway.  She opened the door at the far end that revealed a room that was comfortable and tastefully furnished and a contrast to the wild urban sprawl outside.

The light that came from the many candles revealed Dalia's features.  She was beautiful, with flowing curly hair and slightly slanted almond eyes that hinted of fey blood.  The colorful shawl and scarves she wore failed to conceal the feminine curves that Cobb often joked he would one day die protecting.

Dalia was more than capable of protecting herself.  Especially when angered. 

She was angry.

Her eyes, the color of violets, flashed as she looked at Tinnius, her lips pressed tight in a scowl.

"Why do you bring death to my house Cobb?"

"What?"  Cobb wasn't taking her seriously.   He shed his cloak and walked to the pantry to rummage for strong drink.  Dalia held Tinnius with her gaze as she would a poisonous asp.

Haya motioned to the sitting table that occupied the corner of the room.  "Cards don' lie."  Cobb returned from the pantry with a flask of Elvish wine and three mugs.  He scowled at his cousin,  "Don't encourage her."  She responded by smacking Cobb, hard.  "Wench.." he made as if to hit her back.  Dalia didn't flinch.  He hid his smile by turning.  "Don't show out cause we've guests."  He poured drinks for Tinnius and Haya.  "Do the cards if you fear."  and to Tinnius after a long swallow of wine, "Do you mind letting her do a reading on you?  Won't get any sleep elsewise, wot?"...
« Last Edit: April 21, 2006, 01:28:28 AM by POG »
"Pain can be your greatest ally, from pain you can learn to apply it, endure it and avoid it. Without pain there is no understanding of reality. If you never get hit with the things you strike out with every thing you know is pure fiction."
 
The Ares Chronicles