Caer for a Dance?   Posted by Mr. DM.Group: archive A
Mr. DM
 GM, 382 posts
Fri 5 Jun 2009
at 21:07
Re: Caer for a Dance?
Of course, it was raining again. The surroundings at least were far more pleasant than recent days, though.

The halls were empty - either Tam was the only guest or the others were out or sleeping. She had to wait a minute or two at the bar before service arrived. The fellow who appeared warned her that the eggs weren't as good as usual because the chickens were a bit ill, but when they came they were satisfactory enough. Even the bread was of good quality, with little of the grist that usually was to be found in city bread. The fare was well-priced at a mere 1 silver piece.

As Tam ate, a short, wiry fellow with a thick beard approached the table and sat down without speaking. He looked at Tam with a barely concealed leer. Without ceremony he announced that Garth would see her in the afternoon, and provided directions. Whilst he spoke his eyes darted around the room restlessly, as if seeking hidden threats. When he finished with his message he looked at Tam with one last lingering gaze, then slapped the table and left, spitting on the floor as he went.
Tamika Ward
 player, 45 posts
 Enchanting Half-Elf
Sat 6 Jun 2009
at 07:25
Re: Caer for a Dance?
Tam barely aknowledged the man, apart from a small nod as she recieved the place and the time. It was too short a time after sleep for her to turn to her usual charming self, that and she didn't really feel like dealing with lackeys and messenger boys. She scowled as the man left, his type disgusted her, petty criminals and thugs. They deserved to be locked away and taught some manners over as many years as needed. A mere month ago and in another city he would have likely been just one more name on her list of thugs to apprehend and hand to the law. Tam smiled to herself, reminiscing over the work done with her old crew.

Once breakfast was finished Tam returned to her room. With little else to do to pass the time Tam thought this would be a good enough time to finish her exploration of the Scars, even though it was raining... still. Tam frowned as she looked out the window. I'm going to need a cloak. This weather ain't going away. Changing from her casual clothing into her leather armor Tam didn't even reconsider taking her tools, daggers and quaterstaff. While she doubted she would need her weapons she would be cautious while in the city. Strapping her daggers and toolpouch to her belt Tam picked up her quaterstaff and left her room, locking it behind her.

Walking outside Tam sighed as she looked up at the sky, rain again pelting her face. Smiling to the guards as she left the tavern grounds Tam had a single destination in mind, the tanners in Tanholme. She walked through the scars, keeping as much under shelter as she could. Crossing the square Tam explored Tanholme.
Mr. DM
 GM, 387 posts
Sun 7 Jun 2009
at 21:52
Re: Caer for a Dance?
Tam made her way through the rain-swept Scars, sticking close to the leaning houses. Folk scurried to and fro, dashing between doors. The route to the square from the Swung Fist was direct. Along the way Tam wandered past a well-maintained large building on the corner of a block, outside which lounged several armed men. Their attitude was one of casually watching the passers-by, whilst talking amongst themselves. As Tam passed, a short merchant approached the group, exchanged a few words, and was directed inside with nods from the men.

The square itself was busy as usual, though the street traders seemed a little shy of the rain.

Tanholme was a minor contrast to the Scars. The housing was more respectable, though of a similar style. Here were more businesses and shops, mixed amongst the housing, which gave the area a homely feel. Tam soon found that the northern part of the district was given over mostly to housing, some of which seemed to be home to fairly wealthy merchants. There was a substantial church, and even a single mansion.

More businesses could be found in the south. Here too was another church, this one walled. Around here it was evident where the name Tanholme came from - the buildings down near the river were widely spaced, with channels dug into the streets providing water. Though the tanners had long since been relegated to outside the city walls, here was where they would have worked when Caer Anddross was but a small village. A couple of ancient looking watermills still turned, a little incongruous in the city setting.

Another large building with armed men outside it stood near the river. The men at this one seemed a little more raucous and rough as they sat upon benches outside, not minding the rain. This place seemed larger than the other Tam had seen.
Tamika Ward
 player, 46 posts
 Enchanting Half-Elf
Mon 8 Jun 2009
at 12:26
Re: Caer for a Dance?
Content with her exploration of the area Tam backtracked through the more commercial parts of Tanholme, seeking a place which would sell her a thick cloak to protect from the weather. The cold never bothered her, but rain was another matter. For all it's apparent cleansing power for some reason she always felt dirty after getting soaked. Maybe it was just her memories of the mud and dirt on the roads to Caer Anddross.

Tam tried to keep as much undercover as she could, seeking a shop which could provided the needed cloak, preferably dark and made of leather.
Mr. DM
 GM, 389 posts
Mon 8 Jun 2009
at 12:51
Re: Caer for a Dance?
There was no shortage of tailors and old-clothes in this part of the city. Tam visited several establishments and found a black leather cloak of three-quarters length, complete with hood. The vendor was asking for 6 gold - certainly a good deal more than the single gold piece that a standard woollen version, but the quality of this piece was evident.
Tamika Ward
 player, 47 posts
 Enchanting Half-Elf
Mon 8 Jun 2009
at 13:07
Re: Caer for a Dance?
Tam handed over the money without question, if there was one thing she didn't mind paying a good price for it was clothing. Anything made of leather and well crafted was good for almost a lifetime. She thanked the merchant and threw the cloak around her shoulders pulling the hood up as she headed back outside. She shrugged her shoulders as she tried to become accustomed to the weight. While happy with the craftsmanship Tam decided the weight was something she would eventually get used to.

She walked around Tanholme for a brief period longer before returning to the Scars. Tam was eager to meet Garth, and figured it was about time she should arrive for their meeting. Following the directions given to her by the skinny thug Tam headed the meeting spot.
Mr. DM
 GM, 392 posts
Mon 8 Jun 2009
at 13:18
Re: Caer for a Dance?
Following the lackey's directions, Tam found herself deep within the Scars. If her sense of direction was right, she wasn't far at all from the Swung Fist. This deep in, the housing was smaller and more cramped than on the main routes through the Scars. The rain had caused rivulets of dirty water mingled with filth to run through the streets, making the journey unpleasant.

The address she'd been given was in a dead-end. The walls of the city loomed at the end of the lane, where one of the mighty towers stood. From the looks of the door at the base of it, the tower wasn't used often for access to the walls, but regardless any guards passing along the walls could easily see along the street.

The house itself was nondescript - another small dwelling place like the others in the area. The shutters on the windows were closed, though that wasn't surprising since none of these houses would have the luxury of glass. Near the top of the door was a small wooden slot that looked like it would slide open from within, no doubt to check the identity of any visitors.
Tamika Ward
 player, 48 posts
 Enchanting Half-Elf
Mon 8 Jun 2009
at 13:43
Re: Caer for a Dance?
Tam tapped on the door a few times with her staff.

It probably wasn't the most shady place she'd ever been, but for the parts of the city Tam had seen the dead-ended alley was by no means inviting. Still, she was comfortable standing in front of the door, if more aware than usual. While she waited Tam watched the entrance to the alley, she could think of very few ligitimate reasons anyone would come this way.
Mr. DM
 GM, 395 posts
Mon 8 Jun 2009
at 14:03
Re: Caer for a Dance?
A few seconds after she rapped on the door, the peep-hole slid open and a pair of eyes looked out at her.

"What be your name then, lass?" came an enquiry from within. The male voice was light and friendly, the accent unfamiliar - though the speech was clear and easy to understand.
Tamika Ward
 player, 49 posts
 Enchanting Half-Elf
Mon 8 Jun 2009
at 14:28
Re: Caer for a Dance?
Tam smiled to the man behind the door. "Tamika Ward." She replied simply.
Mr. DM
 GM, 397 posts
Mon 8 Jun 2009
at 22:58
Re: Caer for a Dance?
"Excellent, excellent, come in!" came the voice, becoming muffled as the spy-slot was slid shut. The door opened to reveal a thin man of average height, with a cheerful looking face. He gestured for Tam to enter then made his way to a chair.

"Close the door behind you, do sit down."

The room Tamika entered was astoundingly cluttered. Furniture of all sorts stood around, covered with charts, pots, stuffed animals, figurines, paintings, and other assorted goods. There were even a few books amongst the bric-a-brac. Two mismatched chairs had been conveniently left clear; the one for Tam was a dusty old thing but well cushioned and comfortable.

"Now then, what is it I can be doing for you? Seems you asked for me by name - that's always a good thing, or a very bad thing. I figure it's not the latter since you're not putting the hurt on me, so: welcome!"
Tamika Ward
 player, 50 posts
 Enchanting Half-Elf
Tue 9 Jun 2009
at 00:33
Re: Caer for a Dance?
Tam entered the room and took the empty seat. She couldn't help but look around the room, wondering at all the rubbish that was lying around. This had to be some sort of storage house, there was no possible way anyone could live here. The vast majority of the items cluttering the room seemed of little to no value, Tam wondered on their purpose.

"Are you Garth?" Tam asked, continuing without waiting for answer, "I was told you'd be someone to talk to in order to secure more specialized employment."
Mr. DM
 GM, 398 posts
Tue 9 Jun 2009
at 11:35
Re: Caer for a Dance?
The man smiled.

"That I am, lass, and pleased to meet you."

As he talked, Garth barely sat still. He fidgeted, leaning forward, then back, gesturing expansively.

"So it's work you're wanting? With you being a stranger and all, you'll have to prove yourself worthy of trust, you know. But what to test you with? I'm a fence by trade, which means I'm always looking for new trinkets. How'd you feel about 'liberating' something for me?"
Tamika Ward
 player, 51 posts
 Enchanting Half-Elf
Wed 10 Jun 2009
at 08:06
Re: Caer for a Dance?
Tam studied the man, she had played this game many times before. Petty thievery was above her now, but if Garth wanted this simple job done then she was willing. Starting from scratch at every town visited annoyed her, but at the least her employers always caught onto her potential quick enough.

"Sure. What is it?"  She only really needed to know two things, what and where it was. The rest she could work out for herself, indeed, preferred to. Plans made by others generally have their best interests covered, which may not always be her life or freedom.
Mr. DM
 GM, 403 posts
Wed 10 Jun 2009
at 10:15
Re: Caer for a Dance?
Garth grinned.

"I warn you, it's a little unusal! I need a harp. Yes, a floor-standing musical instrument. Any of quality will do."

The man winked at Tam.

"The way I figure it is: if you can get me something so cumbersome without any hassle, then you've got talent. Naturally, I've nothing to do with the heist. I'll tell you somewhere you can deposit the piece when you've acquired it, then we can meet up again."

He gave a wry smile, a hint of weariness entering his eyes.

"And that way, if you turn out to be a risk, I can wash my hands quickly. I reckon there's something about you - and so does Emryn - which is why I'm giving you the opportunity. Impress me, and I can get you set up right proper. Disappoint me too badly, and I can assure you you'll not work here again."

Garth's expression grew steadily harder as he spoke. Despite his sunny demeanour, he was clearly an old hand. Suddenly he was smiling again, with genuine friendliness.

"So what d'you reckon, lass? Up for the fleece?"
Tamika Ward
 player, 52 posts
 Enchanting Half-Elf
Thu 11 Jun 2009
at 17:01
Re: Caer for a Dance?
Tam laughed at the request, "A harp?"

She grinned at the incredulity of it, "Just tell me where you want it and I'll have it there for you by dawn tomorrow."

Tam honestly didn't know how she would steal a harp, let alone find one. The request was certainly testing, though Tam had no doubt that she could organise a harps delivery by nights end.

She caught onto the warning tone in his voice, not appreciating it but remaining quiet. She understood his position, if he was as good as Emryn vouched for them Tam had no doubt that he had 'cut loose' his fair share of common thieves. Fortunately she was no common thief, she had ambition and the skills to support it.
Mr. DM
 GM, 408 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2009
at 17:47
Re: Caer for a Dance?
It was Garth's turn to laugh.

"By dawn tomorrow? By the gods girl, if you pull that off, I'll kiss you!"

He chuckled away merrily, brushing at some dust on his sleeve.

"Alright. The harp is to go to a house in Tanholme, third house after the butchers in the row opposite the wall west of the Sons' place, if you keep your back to the river and walk north. It's a nice enough neighbourhood so ah...no walking an uncovered harp down the street please!"
Tamika Ward
 player, 53 posts
 Enchanting Half-Elf
Thu 11 Jun 2009
at 18:34
Re: Caer for a Dance?
Tam nodded and stood, "You can trust my confidence. You'll have your harp without anyone knowing but the two of us."

Giving Garth a brief curtsey Tam excused herself, "If you don't mind I'll take my leave. The day is wasting and I'm yet to make good on a promise."

She smiled, enthused by the challenge laid down, eager to surpass the mans expectations.
Mr. DM
 GM, 409 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2009
at 18:48
Re: Caer for a Dance?
"Very good - I eagerly await your success!"

Garth winked and rose to see Tam out.

"Shame the weather is so miserable, but then again, it might keep folk off the streets, eh? I'll be in touch if all is well."

He closed the door behind Tam. As she left, he could hear him strike up a song - not one she recognised, but it sounded a merry tune.
Tamika Ward
 player, 54 posts
 Enchanting Half-Elf
Thu 11 Jun 2009
at 19:02
Re: Caer for a Dance?
Tam pulled the hood up on her cloak as she stepped out into the rain. The more she thought on the request the easier she thought it could be. Nobody would be expecting a harp to be stolen, a common musical instrument. Perhaps it was better Garth didn't request valuables or coin, he may have unwittingly made his initial job easier than he thought.

By the time Tam reached the end of the alley she had formulated her plan. But first, to find a harp. Unfortunately she still knew little of the city but she could assume some places where a harp would be. It may take her a while to find what she needed, but with any luck it wouldn't take long.

Tam walked south until she reached a main street. From there Tam took the main roads through the city, looking for a castle, palace or establishment where the more 'refined' of the city would find entertainment and carouse. She finished a complete circuit of the city, regardless of finding a potential mark.
Mr. DM
 GM, 410 posts
Thu 11 Jun 2009
at 22:30
Re: Caer for a Dance?
As Tam wandered about the sodden streets, dodging urchins and the odd horse and cart, she took note of anywhere that seemed to appear wealthy or that looked to be an entertainment venue.

There was no shortage of either. Mansions pretty much littered the city. Most were located in the Gardens district, but there were one or two in most other areas, it appeared.

Of special interest was the Songfare district. Theatres, dance halls, and brothels abounded; passers-by informed her that this district held the college, run by bards, and as such tended to be the cultural centre of the city. Naturally, all were busy, and would only become more so as the day went on.

There was also the possibility that a rich townhouse could hold what Tam was looking for. If so, there were likely candidates in Tanholme as well as the Gardens.
Tamika Ward
 player, 56 posts
 Enchanting Half-Elf
Wed 17 Jun 2009
at 08:18
Re: Caer for a Dance?
Tam's plans were changing on the fly, as things seemed to be more difficult or more easy she adjusted her intent appropriately. The surprise revelation of a bardic college gave her an even better idea. Tam certainly didn't intend to steal from the college, she liked to support the arts. However, she was not above using the college in her plans.

Tam headed to the college to look around, she was especially interested in finding out its name and if there was a theatre hall on site. After sufficient exploration Tam wandered around until she could identify someone who worked there. While she could probably have worked out what she needed to by simply exploring, she always found things were generally easier if someone else was available to just tell you what was needed.
Mr. DM
 GM, 437 posts
Wed 17 Jun 2009
at 12:04
Re: Caer for a Dance?
The college wasn't too hard to find - it was in the south of the Songfare district. Unusually, it was part of the area rather than apart from it. One simply wandered into the grounds.

Several large buildings of stone and brick formed the majority of the college. A row of small houses of wooden construction seemed to provide accomodation for the permanent staff.

Well-maintained and planted gardens could be found in the south. In nicer weather they would likely be popular for those taking a short stroll or their lunch. In the middle of the campus was a round, open structure - clearly an amphitheatre for performances. Unsurprisingly, it was currently not in use.

The students and passers-by in the area were generally quite happy to stop and chat with Tam. After all, many of those present were interested in the arts or merely enjoying their surroundings.
Tamika Ward
 player, 58 posts
 Enchanting Half-Elf
Fri 19 Jun 2009
at 04:03
Re: Caer for a Dance?
Tam waved down of one of the students she passed, "Excuse me, is there an entertaining hall inside one of these buildings?"

She glanced across to the amphitheatre, it wouldn't be fit for her purpose. Only for the rain. Otherwise it would have been perfect.
Mr. DM
 GM, 452 posts
Fri 19 Jun 2009
at 12:39
Re: Caer for a Dance?
The student replied that yes, there were in fact two. She indicated two of the stone buldings and explained that the halls were used generally for practice and lessons. If Tam wanted to see a real show, she said, she was best off looking around the district.