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Spreading largesse to the populace

Tags: Brev,  Isobel

Short Summary: Lady Isobel Taurdain returns from an alms-giving expedition to find that Brunni has an alternative suggestion regarding social welfare.
Date (real-life): 2011-05-29
Scene Location: Esgaroth: Fisher's Wharf
Date (in-game): January 3053
Time of Day: Daytime
Fisher's Wharf

This area is noticeably seedier than the walk above, and on most days smells quite strongly of fish. From here, the daily horde of fishing vessels make their way out onto Long Lake. Indeed, most fisherfolk live near or even on the Wharf itself, housed in small dwellings built under the boards of Esgaroth proper. There are still the ever-present warehouses, but most are obviously boarded up and ill kept. Those that remain house small shops geared toward the fishing-trade, or are fish-shops themselves, run by the families of those who capture the bounty of the Lake to earn their silver. There are many shady characters hanging about, in the nooks and crannies of the old wharf. At the end of the wharf shines a single red light, and because of it, you can make out the weatherbeaten sign of an Inn.

Obvious exits:
 South leads to Center of Firespark Lane.
 Dark Alley leads to Northern Underdecks.
 Battered Door leads to The Fishtale Inn.

=-=-=-= Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Real Time: Sun May 29 14:45:31 2011 MST

Dale-Lands Time:
Monday, late morning on a clear winter's day, January 16 of 3053
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service =-=-=-=

Now that midwinter is past, the days seemed to have settled into a regular pattern of clear, crisp weather. Somehow the cold makes the stink of Fisher's Wharf less pungent, and with the late morning sun slanting through the forest of rooftops it's almost pleasant. Smoke rises from the chimney of the Fishtale, suggesting that food is being prepared, and every now and then some scruffy-looking character wanders past and disappears behind its battered door. A gnarled and ancient-looking fellow sits on a worn pier mending a net; there is a strong smell of drink about him.

From a ramshackle tenement squeezed between two of the boarded-up warehouses a figure emerges, wrapped in a pale grey cloak. The building he's just exited differs from its neighbours mainly in its state of repair: neatly shuttered windows, newly patched roof. Clearly whoever lives here likes a sound roof over their head. The solitary figure squints up at the sun, lifting one swarthy hand to shade his eyes, and then leans against the wall to survey his surroundings, ignoring the net-maker's mumbled, "Spare a copper?"

[Isobel(#23796)] The sound of a quiet conversation precedes the pair that seconds later walk out of the dark alley which leads to the underdecks. It's Isobel Taurdain and a Taurdain guard and though they keep it on the down-low, they appear to be having a heated discussion if the facial expressions are anything to go by. At the mouth of the alley the lady pauses to turn her face up to the sun, closing her eyes and relaxing for a minute. She holds a wicker basket in one hand, letting it dangle loosely.

A dog pittering past stops to nose at the basket and then goes on its way.

The old net-mender turns filmed eyes on the newcomers and croaks out, "Spare a copper for a poor ole'-"

"Ah, shut it," someone else who's leaving the Fishtale replies, dropping a leathern flask in the oldster's lap.

The old man falls silent instantly, all his attention turning to the bottle.

The distraction is enough, however, that the grey-cloaked fellow lingering by the tenement has noticed. Brev squints, makes a small noise of surprise and steps forward, pushing back the hood of his cloak so that his features may be seen. In accented, sing-song Common he enquires, "Looking for something? Or is there some ancient Taurdain relic kept below these streets?"

[Isobel(#23796)] Isobel turns towards the source of the voice, attempting to blink some recognition into sun-blinded eyes. "Good morning, master Brunni. You're not the first person to question my being here today. I begin to despair - clearly the Taurdain alms are not as needed as 'twould first appear, if our long-time presence here is so continuously questioned." Eyes finally used to being in the daylight again, she smiles at the man. "An ancient relic would certainly be more interesting, however, I grant you that."

Over Isobel's shoulder the guard gives Brev a critical once-over before going back to scanning for other threats.

Brev lifts his chin to meet the guard's gaze briefly, then looks back to the woman instead. His lips twitch at the smile, but his words are more sombre, "The questioning's with good reason. Had to clean up after a knifing last night." He states this quite matter-of-factly. "'Sides, wasn't that other Taurdain woman mugged? Even /I/ watch my step in some places."

After a pause he adds more lightly, glancing dubiously at the basket, "So what do you do - leave piles of gold in a corner and wait to see who picks them up?"

[Isobel(#23796)] "Well.." Isobel falters at the mention of the knifing, face paling slightly, but then she rallies. "Nothing new, I'm afraid. And I don't go very deep into the underdecks. Of course, I've got Berric here with me, too." She pulls her lower lip into her mouth, worrying it with her teeth. "Admittedly, lady Corawyn had a guard too.."

The lady shakes her head. "It's not just money, it's food too. And usually the residents already have word we're coming, so we hand them out as we go, mostly.. wait, why did you have to clean up after the-- incident?"

"Mmm." Brev sounds unconvinced by the first words, but then shrugs as though it were none of his concern. He lets Isobel speak without interruptions, but at the question he grimaces. "Suppose I didn't /have/ to, if you put it that way." his tone is dry. "But the fellow's ear was half off, not to mention all the other cuts. Elodie's in the Flagon and those girls of hers are ... well, young. She can tell me it's not good enough tomorrow." He smirks, suddenly.

And that might be all, save that he adds suddenly, with a sidelong glance at the Lady Taurdain, "Money's not all it's cut out to be when you're hard up, you know. Might be able to spend it on that next loaf of bread - or someone might beat you to a pulp trying to get it off you first. Skills, now those are more handy.""

The door to the Fishtale creaks briefly as another local resident heads in search of lunch. It's late morning now, and the sun streaming down on Fisher's Wharf makes the place seem almost hospitable. Not that many linger, save for the Lady Taurdain and her guard and that foreign fellow Brunni - oh, and the ancient net-mender who's now crooning some unintelligible song as he swigs from a leathern flask, quite oblivious to the rest of the world.

[Isobel(#23796)] Isobel makes a face. "Ear half off?" She sighs. "Suppose I do live a rather sheltered life.. You know," she continues, suddenly perking up and looking rather mischevous, "you and miss Elodie seem rather fast friends, master Brunni..." The words trail off, in the face of Brev's continued speech.

"Agreed. Give a man a coin and he might feed himself today - teach him a craft and he may feed himself forever." Isobel considers this, and then backtracks - "Well, until he dies, anyway, but you understand what I mean, I hope."

At Isobel's sudden grin, Brev quirks one brow up. "Friends? Doubt she'd see it that way. Woman never ceases telling me what a nuisance I am. Still," he shrugs, "reckon she needs me. Or someone like me. Not wise to have a place run only by pretty lasses, down in the Decks."

He pauses in his speech, then chuckles softly. "Hope you're not saying /I'm/ due for the dying bit. But - have you ever thought of offering that to folks down here? Chance to learn a trade, that is. Might be as much use as teaching them how to start fights." He glances away, lips twisting - though maybe that's only at the phrase of song that comes drifting on the wind toward them, courtesy of the old net-mender. The snatches that can be heard are perhaps a little ... well, uncouth for a lady's ears.

[Isobel(#23796)] Isobel hmms meaningfully, but says no more. She agrees with what the man is saying with a grave no. "Indeed, I think you're absolutely right there. They need a man or two about the place."

She smirks at the next words. "You look hale and hearty to me. As for the other thing.." she sighs. "It's not so simple, though. You yourself have experienced the power of the guilds, and their attitudes - 'twould be a hard fight."

Catching the strains -and words- of the song, she blushes vividly.

Brev snorts softly at Isobel's words. "Infirmary got built, didn't it? Despite old Stanric's humming and hawing ... Figure the Guilds will go along with whatever makes them look good. Maybe you should convince them it was all their idea in the first place." Noting the blush, he smirks suddenly. "If he remembers half the verses, it should get more interesting," he comments. "I can't stay to listen, though. Just swung by the house to pick up a couple of tools I'd forgotten. Enjoy the rest of it, Lady Taurdain." With a chuckle and a nod, he moves away, back toward the town.

[Isobel(#23796)] Isobel's glare at the man's back suggests she might have a few choice words inspired by the song to say to him. Shaking her head, she begins to move towards town as well, Berric the guard trailing behind her. A strange glance is in her eyes, as if cogs are turning very quickly.

Date added: 2011-06-01 05:06:01    Hits: 79
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