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Discussion at the Docks

Tags: Brev,  Brunni,  Isobel

Short Summary: A new and disturbing suggestion is made regarding Dale-lands' mysterious horse-sickness, by someone more than a little disturbing himself.
Date (real-life): 2011-05-31
Scene Location: Esgaroth: Docks
Date (in-game): January 3053
Time of Day: Morning
Esgaroth Docks, Western End

  Wonderful ships by the scores stretch out for hundreds of feet along the docks of the town on the Lake, Esgaroth. This area is at the lake level, overlooked by the promenade at the town level about twelve feet higher. Built right into the space under the town are many warehouses, with doors which face both the docks and the ships. Much traffic flows up the rampway to the west that leads into Cargo Lane and eventually pass the Market Square. For those who can afford the price, a wide channel at the center of the docks receives barge traffic for delivery directly to the market pool. There are walkways that lead both into the channel itself, and over the opening, to eventually pass out of sight around the eastern edge of Esgaroth.

  The people about are a mix of dockhands, shipwrights, crewmen, and, most notably, Members of the Guard watching for smugglers.

Obvious exits:
 Shore Ferry leads to Approach to Esgaroth.
 Into the Lake leads to Long Lake -- Near Esgaroth.
 Cargo Channel leads to The Market Pool.
 North Up the Ramp leads to Center of Merchant's Way.

=-=-=-= Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Real Time: Tue May 31 14:56:35 2011 MST

Dale-Lands Time:
Sunday, late morning on a clear winter's day, January 22 of 3053
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service =-=-=-=

It's nearly midday, and despite the chill of midwinter the Docks are full of hubbub. The cargo ramp is in near continuous use, and sometimes it's hard to tell if workers are coming or going. Already one crate has split open - luckily this one containing nothing more than bales of woollen cloth, but that hasn't stopped the unfortunate workers from catching the rough edge of the overseer's tongue.

Among this melee Brev's singsong Common can barely be heard, but whatever he's saying to the captain of one of the barges, the scowl on his face suggest it's not pleasant.

"Told you," the man replies haughtily, "the last shipment of timber was delayed at Iach Celduin. It's hardly a priority these days." And he turns his back on the foreigner and walks away.

[Isobel(#23796)] "Master Brunni!" a voice calls, clear as a bell but slightly strained in trying to be heard over the din of the docks. Isobel is standing on the promenade overlooking the docks, calling out and waving in greeting to the foreigner.

Brev, still scowling after the barge-captain's retreating back, does not hear Isobel's call. Indeed, he seems to have little care for anyone else or their business - a pair of trotting lads carrying a barrel on a pole have to detour round him, and it is one of them who says, "Ey, you. Ain't that lady wavin' at you?"

The foreigner turns immediately, and surprise is uppermost in his face as he identifies the waver as Isobel. Picking his way past the shattered wood of the dropped crate, he steps up to the woman. "Good morning, Lady Taurdain. Or is it afternoon now?" He grimaces. "What brings you here - waiting for cargo?" The singsong speech is speculative.

[Isobel(#23796)] Grinning, the lady ceases her frantic waving. "Good morning, master Brunni. It is still morning, I think. You appear to be having little luck here?" At the inquiry Isobel shakes her head. "Not at all. Being idle while I'm still resting up makes me appreciate seeing others be industrious."

Brev shrugs at the query. "Seems all communications have been disrupted. Between your war and the horse-sickness - not heard anything of that, have you?" He pauses, then goes on. "If it's any consolation, you don't look like walking death any more." And with that back-handed comment delivered, he adds, "Can't say I'm heartbroken to have a few days at a loose end myself. Not much I can do on the current job till the wood's arrived."

[Isobel(#23796)] "Alas, nothing yet on that sickness. Though perhaps no news are good news in this instance?" Isobel says thoughtfully, and then promptly narrows her eyes. "Why, thank you, master Brunni. As always you express yourself in the most tactful of ways."

Shaking her head slightly, she lets it go. "It's a good time to see to your own affairs, if you have any that needs settling."

Brev considers those first words. "Perhaps. And yet something rings strange about it. Told you, I know nothing of horses. But if it were men ..." He lets that leading phrase trail off into silence.

It is broken, amazingly, by a chuckle. "Of course. If I told you you were lovely as the day is long, you'd think I was after something from you. Least you know I'm honest. Sides," a brief flash of a grin lights his swarthy features, "this time of year the days aren't so long."

The final suggestion, however, leads to an arching of one brow. "Isn't that what a man's supposed to do before he dies? Has my wife been threatening murder again?"

[Isobel(#23796)] "Well, I know as little of horses as you.. or, well, perhaps a little more," Isobel says with a small smirk, "but the sickness I know nothing of. Suppose time will tell, however." She snorts, smirk remaining in place. "True. Yet your tongue is too quick for you to be entirely honest, I'd say."

His raised brow she counters with a sweet smile. "I do not know your wife nor of any particular inclination of hers to inflict pain -or is it perhaps punishment- upon you. But it's always good to have one's affairs in order."

Brev looks mildly offended at those first words. "What, I'm a liar now? And if I said nothing you'd call me churlish. A man can't win." The smirk that accompanies the words takes away any sting.

A moment later, though, it is gone and Brev is sombre. "If it's honesty you're after, here's some for you. Might as well mention it to someone." He lowers his voice. "I've heard healers back home speak of a plant kin to one we use that if touched or eaten causes visions, fits ... death usually follows. Not the kind of mistake one wants to make." His hand shifts in what has the look of a warding gesture. "What if something similar were used deliberately? Seems odd that this sickness comes from the east, and suddenly there's a war in the east."

Dire hints at an end, he manages a sharp grin. "Oh, Caoimhe loves inflicting pain. It's how we met." Clearly he is out to shock a noblewoman today, if not by one means then by another.

[Isobel(#23796)] Isobel smiles mildly, and shrugs. "Well, being married you should be used to never winning. 'tis the way of things that in an argument between man and woman, woman is always right." The look following this is clearly a challenge.

Of course, the following talk slowly wipes that look from Isobel's face. She's frowning, clearly trying to follow these new thoughts. "You would say that these things are not merely coincidences, but actually connected? Troubling thought indeed, should it be true.." The troubled face is quickly replaced by one kept purposefully smooth.

"Well, it's nice to have a hobby," she murmurs in reply.

Brev snorts, loudly enough that a passing dockworker turns to stare - it's hardly the way to address a lady, after all. "Every man knows you let the woman /think/ she's right," he retorts. "Though in Caoimhe's case she has the knives to back it up. She's almost as good as me now." He says that proudly.

The other topic is returned to with more seriousness. "I'm not saying it's true, I'm saying it's possible. And that in wars where hatreds run deep, men will do anything to win."

He shakes his head, then shrugs. "As you said, time will tell. Anything else I can do to brighten up your day before I head off, Lady Taurdain?"

[Isobel(#23796)] "And every woman worth her salt can get a man to where she wants him, all the while letting him believe it was his idea all along," Isobel reiterates, poker face forgotten. She arches her eyebrows in surprise though, muttering something under her breath but declining to say more about strange foreign courtships.

Neither does she comment on the more grave topic with anything but a worried look and some meaningless trope.

"Ah, how courteous of you to offer. I must say I did not think it was your intention to neither brighten nor dampen it, but I shall reproach myself later for doubting your pure motives." She winks. "Unless you are ready to concede that women are always right, I don't think there's anything you may presently do for me."

Brev lets out a sudden bark of laughter. "Since I'll only concede that when I'm banging on the doors of Kiern's Hall, I'll take that as a no. In that case, have a pleasant afternoon, Lady Taurdain." He sketches a mock-bow and turns to go, soon lost in the flow of traffic.

Date added: 2011-06-01 05:08:49    Hits: 73
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