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The old fisher and the young sprat

Tags: Scampre,  Louse

Short Summary: Two from Esgaroth's lower classes have a conversation on Fisher's Wharf.
Date (real-life): 2011-06-03
Scene Location: Fisher's Wharf
Date (in-game): February 3053
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: Fri Jun 03 15:23:32 2011 MST

Dale-Lands Time:
Trewsday, early afternoon on a cloudy winter's day, February 1 of 3053
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Dale-Lands Time and Weather Service =-=-=-=

The clouds have gahered this afternoon to mute the sunlight as it floats down to the Fisher's Wharf, but al the same a fair few folk are abroad on this winter's day; folk who dwell above a lake having little issues with the chill of the dimmer months. But, all the same, they wrap up warm as they go about their business, and the door to the Fishtale Inn is closed soon after every time it is opened to conserve the heat.

Scampre loiters by the doors to the tavern, looking decidedly bored as his eye roam the mill of townsfolk, though he seems comfortable enough all the same; a shawl wrapped snugly about his shoulders as he appears to wait for business to come his way.

Louse comes scampering up the walkway from the Decks quick as a rat, then stops to survey the scene all around. The young Greenshirt appears to be off duty - or else is absent without leave, it's anyone's guess which is closer to the mark. The child halts near the alley's entrance to call something back to an unseen companion: "... and don't ye go wanderin'. Else a bad man'll take ye fer a slave."

Admonition complete, the youngster nods in satisfaction and begins to saunter along the Wharf. At the sight of Scampre Louse stops, then greets the rogue cheekily, "Afternoon, gran'father," pulling a face at the shawl. Ah, the tolerance of the young!

A sour expression is trained upon the young girl as Scampre turns his head to face her, not yet stirring from the wall upon which he leans. "Afternoon," he replies as little more than a grunt, though he does rouse himself to add: "Yer out and about a little early aintcher? I thought you was supposed to be working."

Louse responds by pulling another, even less pretty, face. "Bigger ones 'r trainin' this afternoon. Serge says I's too small t'be any use with t'staves." What she's supposed to be doing instead she doesn't elaborate on. "Am not, I can lift 'em an all! Reckon it's cos I hit 'im, just there." She points, grinning. "Ain't ye busy?"

"Might be," he mumbles non-commitantly in return, and sniffs. "Waiting for someone who's looking for a spot of news, but everyone's got other things on their mind, it seems." Scampre squints down at the lass. "What you want to go hitting folk with yer baton, for, anyway? Thought you lot was meant to be keeping the peace, and stuff."

Louse considers that - from the quizzical expression on those sharp features and the sudden outbreak of head-scratching, the child is truly thinking. "Easiest way ta keep th' peace is ta hit 'em over t'head," she decides. "Or 'tween the legs." Louse gives a fierce little grin, a yapping terrier ready to take on a bull. "'Sides, it's fun. Shiftin' stuff at t'Docks is just borin'."

That pronouncement made, Louse offers helpfully, "I'd listen ter news." Not that she's reaching for a coin, mind you.

[Scampre(#29791)] A smile tugs at the corners of his mouth at this, though he appears to amke an effort to remain stern of face as he srhugs. "Well, see, I could hardly charge you full price, could I? Not on account of how little they're paying yer. But, if you wanna know, Old Nadger got caught with his hand in Grey Susie's sewing bag, and he got stuck for it good. It'll be a while before he's pinching anything with those bleeding fingers, after she was through with him."

He sniffs. "I heard there's an old pickpocket who's been missing some company of late, too..." he adds a little cryptically, with a softening of his gaze.

Louse's mouth forms a perfect round 'o'. "What'd she do, cut 'is fingers all off?" the child asks with quite ghoulish interest. A moment of hesitation follows; then, frowning, Louse volunteers, "Fair's fair. 'Eard that one of the Bluecloaks got laid off cos Sergeant Girys found 'im drinkin' in th'Flagon wen 'e was s'posed ta be watchin' th'Docks."

At the final words, however, the youngest Greenshirt scratches hard at the back of her collar and looks round. "Really? Who's 'at?"

"Oh," he answers, dropping his gaze. "Just some bloke whose been locked up and hasn't been much use as a fa-- friend, for a while now. Pretty sad, really. Wouldn't blame anyone who'd stay away from him, after that..."

Louse stares at the ageing rogue, then reaches out to give him a prod in the chest if he doesn't move away. "'Ave you bin drinkin' or somethin'?" So much for the wisdom of youth.

Scampre looks down at the tiny prodding finger with a faint smirk, and flicks her ear with his own. "Not yet. I'd offer you one, since yer off duty, but I think that might only make even worse a friend. At least in most folkses eyes. I never really looked through anyone but me own's, but, maybe I should."

Louse looks as shaken by Scampre's monologue as though the solid planking of the Wharf had given way beneath her and dumped her in icy water. A grown-up - /her/ grown-up - needing reassured? She takes a deep breath and tries her best. "Wots all this, then? Was ye as tole' me a feller should look out fer himsel'. An' yer /good/ at knowin' what folks wants. I'm still learnin'. Those Taurdain nobs, dunno what's got them pokin' an' proddin' around all've a sudden. First it was that one as Cork fancies, then t'other - she's soft, c'n usually get somethin' out've 'er. We c'n share, right?" Green eyes look up earnestly into Scampre's.

The youngster doesn't step back out of range, which given the fauna sharing the green shirt isn't necessarily a blessing.

But for his part, the old rogue doesn't seem to mind, and he smiles, reaching up to ruffle her cap somewhat, perhaps dislodging one of her tenants. "I'd like that. And tell you what, next silver I manage to wangle ou of some punter goes straoght in yer pocket. Just like it used to be?"

"Hey, don't do that," Louse protests, though the child is grinning from ear to ear as she sets her cap straight. "Gotta wear this - Ole Stiffleg an' all th'rest reckons as I'm a boy. Them nobs is blind, huh?"

To the rest she retorts, "Never did use ta be - well, all right. S'pose it did, sometimes." Then the youngster straightens up, puffing out her chest. "I'm growed up a now. C'n help ye, sometimes?" Her gaze is hopeful as any puppy, though the sharp grin that follows reminds one more of a weasel. "An' I can use 'ese." The child gestures to her ears, pausing to scratch behind the second. "Figured it'd be right handy bein' a Greenshirt."

The old rogue grins at this, and nods proudly. "I thought you'd gone all Bluecloak on me, I did. But yeah, I'd like that. And I think... she would too, bless her soul, if she could see us now. She'd have been proud of you too."

The first words elicit a sudden giggle from Louse. "/Got/ a blue cloak. Some Taurdain nob gave it me. S'pose it ain't one of theirs, though."

The child sobers abruptly at the next words. Louse's lip quivers and she says in a small, gruff voice, "I miss 'er." She's blinking hard, and a moment later she turns and flees with nary a farewell, head down and shoulders hunched in an effort to hide this most unDeckslike show of emotion.

Watching her go, Scampre blinks his eyes as if they sting, ere he clears his throat and draws himself up. Turning his eyes back to the throng, he stirs at last, and goes strolling abaout in a more eager bid to earn that silver coin.

Date added: 2011-06-09 16:02:26    Hits: 70
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