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(Archive) Inspection of the Underdecks

Tags: Stanric,  Raynar,  Louse,  Grubber,  Brev,  Nob

Short Summary: A young resident of the Underdecks comes upon two toffs from 'Up Top' discussing some mysterious secret proposal
Date (real-life): 2011-04-06
Scene Location: Northern Underdecks
Date (in-game): August 3052
Time of Day: Night?

Northern Underdecks

The Underdecks of Laketown are a dark and sometimes dangerous place. As Laketown was rebuilt, a sudden influx of inhabitants made rent too high for many of the lower class citizens. These citizens gradually took over the vast areas under the great city, building warrens for themselves amongst the great pilings of Esgaroth. Though the areas are sometimes flooded in times of great rain, many folk now call these man-made catacombs home. The halls and passages that spider off everywhere down here are a mish-mash of good and bad carpentry, and the lanterns that hang on the walls give only the barest light. There seems to always be whispers and mutterings about, and flitting shadowy figures all around.

The northern ledge of the Underdecks, upon which you stand, hangs beneath the Fisher's Wharf, which can be reached by a dark stairway raised halfway along the edge of town. Away to the east there's talk of rickety walkways leading south, while twisting passages are what one finds by seeking in the west. A faded and long defiled sign hangs in the entranceway, encouraging visitors to bring their own light, for it's rumoured to be very disorienting down here, and those not well versed with the area can easily get lost, perhaps never to be seen again...

=-=-=-= Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Real Time: Wed Apr 06 15:03:47 2011 MST

Dale-Lands Time:
Hevensday, nighttime on a rainy summer's night, August 9 of 3052
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service =-=-=-=

(scene in progress)

Stanric nods his head to this, though grunts all the same as he glances about anew. "Not a trouble, m'lord, though I'm telling you it will take a fair amoutn of work. What on earth do you want this place for, anyway?"

[Raynar(#31345)]     "Infirmiry," replies the Karath, "for the residents of the 'decks. Given that, apparently, not many are inclined to visit the one above, it was been suggested that one be built." A brief pause. "At least, 'tis my understanding."

An eyebrow arches upon the serious-faced carpenter's features, ere he shrugs anew. "Infirmary, eh? Well, that's business which isn't mine, right enough, but it seems a foolish idea to me. Why not simply make the Healers come down here, is what I'd like to know..."

Apparently the Master of the Carpenters' Guild doesn't spend much time in the Underdecks. But either way, as he delicately skirts around the poor flooring to linger by the door, he shrugs anew. "Like I said, if you can get someone to do it cheaper,t hat's your business m'lord, but if you want it done -right-, then it'll be between thirty and forty florins, like I said."

Two bright eyes peer unblinkingly at the men, and then their owner, a mangy-looking black cat, emerges from the shadows and meows softly, before coming to twine her tail round the more affluent-looking pair of boots.

From the alleyway behind comes a rustle and a thin childish whisper: "Scab! No!"

[Raynar(#31345)]     "I believe having it done right shall be the course we go for," affirms Raynar with a nod. "As I mentioned earlier, given that it shall be an infirmary, going the cheaper route would probably be not that good of an idea." Whatever else he may say, though, is cut off by the meow and cat around boots.

    He glances down, blinking a few times before he turns to glance over his shoulders at the alleyway.

[Nob(#16122)] The cat, however, has decided that it likes this particular pair of boots, and begins to purr encouragingly, rubbing against the legs contained by them. It glances back at the whisper, and meows again.

The shadows seemt o press in on Stanric at this, and he glances about the street nervously. "I oughtta charge extra for working down here," he mutters to himself, ere he pulls his cloak around him for warmth. The rain is a thing of the upper town, but all the same, the dark and cold of the weather are ever-present in the Underdecks, and perhaps the reeason why the Healers do not stray hither is becoming apparent to him.

"I do hope you brought your sword, m'lord. Just in case. Haven't seen a Watchman the whole trip down here..."

Another rustle, and a pale, dirty girl-child emerges from the mouth of the alley. She is a scrawny-looking specimen, with a rent in her filthy dress and, judging by her scratching, vermin in her hair kin to those crawling on the mangy-looking cat. Nevertheless, the child offers up the well-heeled strangers a gap-toothed smile and lisps, "Spare any coppers, Mister?" She hold out one dirty hand as her sharp bird-like eyes look the pair up and down. One has the uncomfortable feeling she's assessing the whereabouts of their purses.

[Nob(#16122)] There is still movement in the shadows behind the girl, but whoever is lurking there still doesn't come out.

[Raynar(#31345)]     "I always carry my sword," replies Raynar absently, patting a spot beneath his cloak. "Patience is never far from my side, Master Stanric. And, no, the Watch do not get down here often from what I understand." The Sergeant blinks down at the cat once more before he turns to look at the child as she speaks.

    "I might, in exchange for some information," replies the Karath after a moment. "Mainly, if you are aware of anyone owning this particular... dwelling?"

Stanric says naught to the girl, content it seems to let the Harath lord conduct the business, though he does squint at the cat. While usually sober-faced, a change coems over the stoic carpenter at the sight of it, and he sinks to one knee to invote it closer with a snap of his fingers.

[Nob(#16122)] The cat leaps away at the sudden movement, but turns to look back - and then circle cautiously towards Stanric's inviting fingers. It pauses just out of arm's reach, stretching out to sniff at his hand, then suddenly rolls itself over on the ground, mewing.

"Might," the child informs Raynar sagely, without withdrawing her hand. "How much'll ye give me fer 'is name?"

At Stanric's gesture, though, her face changes, becoming hard and sharp and ratlike. Her voice is shrill and full of fear. "Iffen ye hurt 'im, I'll - I'll set Them on ye!" She looks down at the cat and hisses vainly, "Stop't, Scab!"

[Raynar(#31345)]     The Sergeant shrugs his shoulders slightly. "Five coppers, likely." He glances over at the cat and Stanric; a brief, amused smirk appears upon his face before he looks back to the girl.

Freezing at the girl's threat, Stanric scowls up at here here he shakes his head. "No need for that, young miss. "I'm just being friendly. Looks like the poor tyke's been starved half to death..." This said he lowers his hand anew, reaching out tentative fingertips as thought to tickle the feline's stomach.

"Who's a pretty boy then?" he croons, quite out of character for the normally po-faced Guildsman.

[Nob(#16122)] The cat rolls over, just out of reach, then stand up again and comes a few steps closer, turning just before Stanric's fingers, so that the man can pet its back; but it can still flee if necessary.

[Nob(#16122)] A lighter voice, of someone younger still than the girl, comes out of the dark corner behind her. "Don' let 'im 'urt 'er..."

"Ten," the girl answers without looking round at Raynar again; her hostile intent is now wholly fixed on the man 'molesting' her cat. "Ain't," she protests, scowling fiercely. "Et a whole rat t'other day-" Her words break off as she hisses towards the alley, "I tole ye ta stay back!"

The creaking tread of footsteps shakes the decking above, causing the leaks to drip more fiercely. Nothing new about that, and they appear to be moving on. But then an object, small and slender, comes slipping through a crack, to roll across the filthy walkway below. That muted growl sounding from some unknown spot in the world above was probably a curse.

[Nob(#16122)] "Am!" comes the retort from behind, dying off as the speaker, whoever it is, hushes belatedly, but can't resist getting in the last word.

[Raynar(#31345)]     A soft, amused snort comes from the Karth. "Ten, hm? Only coppers, I suppose." A gloved hand disappears into the cloak, emerging a moment later; fingers opening, ten copper coins gleam gently in the lamp light. "You shall get them after I get the information. A fair trade, I believe."

His eyes steal then to the shadows containing the new voice, and Stanric frowns anew. "Just you come on out of there," he scolds, even as he pets the cat. "Hiding in the dark is no place for children. No wonder you all turn out the way you do."

[Nob(#16122)] The cat arches its back against Stanric's fingers, purring and circling around, but never getting too close. If the man makes a snatch for it, it wants to be able to run. And now, it breaks away, padding towards the girl and rubbing up against her, before curving back towards the carpenter.

Greed is a wonderful thing. Slowly, almost unwillingly, the girl turns her head round at Raynar's words, and at the sight of those ten gleaming - gleaming! coins her eyes widen. "Sure I'll tell ye. Slugger used ta bunk 'ere, 'im and 'is mate. Only, ain't 'ere no longer - see?" She makes a sudden grab for the coins.

At Stanric's words her head whips round. "Don't listen t'im, Grubber. Ye know what men like 'im do ta kids like us." And to the cat, despairingly, "Scab!

The footsteps overhead may have gone, but it is not long before the beat of feet may be heard elsewhere - on the stairs leading down from Fisher's Wharf. The muffled sound of voices accompanies them: "-sign of Bluecloaks. Don't want them having the wrong idea, eh?" That was spoken in sing-song Common. A cloaked form emerges onto the stairs; with the dimness of the light round here, about all can be discerned is that the cloak is gleaming with wet.

[Nob(#16122)] "Can't," is the piping reply from the child hidden behind the girl. "I got t'stay here an be quiet."

[Raynar(#31345)]     The Sergeant does nothing to prevent the coins being grabbed, simply chuckling quietly. "Well, quite. Hard to miss the lack of anyone living here," replies the man dryly before he shrugs slightly. "Thought it would be best to ask someone while I had the chance in case the matter comes up at some point."

"Whoever it was," says the Carpenter to this, scowling all the more to the girl but not deigning to reply to her, "hey've left things in a sorry state of affairs, Sergeant. By my guess no-one's dwelt here for a good month or two. But if that's the case, then I doubt here's an owner any longer."

As the cat slinks about, Stanric rubs his hands and rises to his feet once more, though the sound of yet more muffled voices approaching seems to set him on edge anew.

[Nob(#16122)] There is a muted reply, a single short word, from the smaller figure following the first down from above.

The girl closes her grubby fist smartly round the new treasure, though not before biting one to check: "'S'real." The bright eyes set in her ratlike face dart from one man to the other. "Y'ain't plannin' ta live 'ere?" Her thin, piping tones hold an edge of contempt. "Oughtn't do that, Mister. /They/ won't like it. Set Slugger an' Butch ta swingin', so's they did." When Stanric rises, she makes a protective grab for the cat, cocking her head like a wary bird toward the sound of feet.

[Nob(#16122)] The cat doesn't object, dangling from Louse's arm, purring contentedly.

The approaching feet reach the bottom of the stairs, their owner reaching a hand out to help his slighter companion make the last few steps down; almost immediately the man is moving toward the nearest pillar, his stance a half-crouch as he gazes about him warily. His black hair is plastered to his head and raindrops trickle off him onto the dusty decking. Clearly it's brewing quite the storm up there.

[Nob(#16122)] "... dry," comments Gidon, taking the last few steps and dropping the older man's helping hand. "D'you see ... oh." His eyes land on the others already down here, and he falls silent.

[Raynar(#31345)]     The Karath tilts his head slightly to the side at the sound of others, brief frown upon his face before his gaze flicks to Stanric. "Well, things seem to be getting a bit crowded, are they not? You have seen what you need to, Master Stanric?"

"Aye," says the carpenter, "I think so, m'lord." His eyes flit to the arrival of Gidon and Brunni, though he merely tugs his cloak more tightly around him. "Evening, gents. Do not mind us."

The girl, Louse, strokes her pet reflexively, chewing on the end of one vermin-ridden strand of hair, though she's still listening to the 'fine gentlemen' talk.

The taller of the new-arrived pair, the man known as Brev, Brunni or sundry other things depending on how one's been introduced, arches one brow at the sight of the two decently-dressed menfolk. "Evening," he replies in turn, his Common clearly accented and singsong. "Won't call it good, it's chucking it down out there. Planning to change the Underdecks?" There is a hint of challenge in his voice. "Don't pull it down, my house is up top."

[Raynar(#31345)]     "Hardly going to pull it down," replies Raynar before he nods them. "Pleasant evening," says he, before he heads for the stairs himself.

[Nob(#16122)] Gidon nods, but remains silent until Brev greets the two men, then he says, "Evenin'."

"If it is, sir," grunts Stanric to Brev, eyeing the fellow up and down, "then I would take care when walking across your rooms. This hovel here is a disgrace, and I wonder how many more of them there are around these parts. I don't know how you folk can live like this. I'd have upped and left a long time ago, or at the least fixed it up myself."

The Carpenter squints then to Gidon, and he grunts anew. "And lads like you ought to be learning a trade."

The girl's avid gaze follows Raynar as he goes, until a glint amidst the dust catches her eye. She sets the cat gently down and bends to scuttle across the wobbling floor on arms and legs as though she were a cat herself, swiftly snatching up the fallen object, which appears to be a slender awl. "Sharp," she remarks appreciatively, testing the point with one grubby finger. "Nice."

Brev is immediately on edge. "I don't," he states flatly. "Live like this, that is." He glances round the shadowy space, outwardy dismissive but one might note the wary darting of his gaze, as though he expected danger to lurk in every corner. "And they can't fix it up, nor pay Guild rates for someone else to. Sometimes someone does it for them, anyway." He favours Stanric, in his guild attire, with a sour smile. "Even-" He breaks off, catching sight of the girl's antics. "Oi! That's not yours."

[Nob(#16122)] "Got one," Gidon says when Brev is finished speaking. "M'a tracker. An' hunter." He smiles slightly, unconcerned about the Guildsman's opinion of him.

With a hrmph to Gidon's words, the Carpenter folds his arms and looks the lad up and down once again. "If you say so. None of my business, certainly," he sniffs, seeming to conveniently forget that he himself brought the matter up.

To Brev then Stanric arches a brow, and replies: "Well who ever is 'doing it for them' is obviously not doing much of a job. Rates are rates for a reason; we do the job right not just cheap."

Perhaps it is fortunate that Brev is only half-listening, for he's not known for holding his tongue. As it is he contents himself with muttering under his breath, "And cream off a fat profit too."

The girl looks up, her new possession clutched defensively in one hand whilst the other scratches her head. "Is too. I found it."

Brev snorts. "What use would you have for a bloody awl? No, don't answer that, I'd best not know. Heard you bargaining with the other fellow - coppers, wasn't it? Sure we can come to some arrangement." He's smirking as he gazes on the small entrepreneur - but a smile is better than a frown, isn't it?

To Stanric he replies, "Rates won't help if half the Laketown collapses because the pilings are all burrowed away from below. Nor will it put a roof over these folk's heads. Some of us figure 'doing the job right' is more important than that." Oh so altruistic he makes it sound.

"Then why don't you do it?" argues Stanric. "Perhaps you can't, because you didn't train and study and prentice for the best years of your life learning how to. That's why you folk get stuck down here; no drive, and you won't even try to better yourselves. But don't you worry, I heard those lord and ladies are going to help you out a treat. I'll be down here often enough, don't you worry, soon as the noblefolk figure out how much to pay the Guild to fix your homes."

With that, and a fair degree of haught, Stanric turns his ose into the air, and strides foff with as much dignity as he can muster; spoiled somewhat by the cluelessness of his direction as he attempst to hurry after Raynar.

[Nob(#16122)] "Brev's a good builder," Gidon protests, much more hotly than he objected to his own status as 'useless runabout'. He watches Stanric leave, then calls after him. "That way!" If the guildsman looks, he'll see the boy pointing.

The girl's mouth falls open. "Coppers? For this I'd ask a bloody silver." Consciously or otherwise, she almost perfectly mimics Brev's singsong tone. With that she darts back into the alleyway, grabbing the hand of her small brother as she goes - and leaving the cat 'Scab' to slip away as only cats can.

Brev stares after the departing Stanric. "'You folk'," he echoes. "What does he think I am, a Kiernforsaken rat or something?" He does not protest Gidon's assessment of his abilities, but he does quickly knock the youth's hand back to his side. "Don't." Usually Gidon is entirely too honest for his own good.

A moment later he's squinting down the dark alleyway. Cupping his hands to his mouth, he calls out, "Can't eat silver. Loaf of fresh bread in the morning if you hand it back undamaged. Or a kick up the backside if you lose it. Your choice ..." The bartering is on!

Date added: 2011-04-29 05:46:29    Hits: 133
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