PROLOGUE - Savia   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Dungeon Master
 GM, 14 posts
Sat 8 May 2021
at 09:44
PROLOGUE - Savia
PROLOGUE
Cool, Calm & Collected

Another note slipped under Savia's door last night. The ground floor apartment in a dim back alley of the Centre District was as suitable place as any for her to have called home for the past two score of years. Rent was collected diligently for the first fifteen years, then twenty years later the son of the original owner died. Now Savia's pretty sure whoever owns the small unit isn't even aware they do as it's been five years since she's had to pay a single gold for living there. She wasn't one to complain on either side of fortune. The letters were from a meaty human named Bork, he would have been her fourth? No, fifth superior she had worked under in her forty years as an enforcer for the Shadow Thieves. She worked independently, as all in the guild did, and cared little for discovering who other members could be. The work suited her, provided her with the coin to survive and was a source of a limitless amount of memories for her book.

Savia strode to the door, two long steps for her tall figure, and picked up the letter. She opened the envelope and drew out a sheet of paper. Three names, locations and amounts of gold were listed on the page. Nothing else, no other markings, no signature. No need for any of it. She knew exactly who the letter was from and what she needed to do. She studied the sheet in front of her.

Riden Wrex - Sea's Bounty Tavern
80g

Jeanette Dubrai - the Red Fruit
200g

Pigman - Copper Coronet
5g

Savia was familiar with all the locations however, strangely, not all the names. The Sea's Bounty Tavern was a tavern and common room in the Centre District, a popular location for visitors to Athkatla. She recognised the name as she had collected debts from the man before. Riden was a bartender at the tavern, renown for gambling. And losing. The Red Fruit was another name for the Crown Aflame Theatre in the Temple District. Jeanette Dubrai was the star of the current showing of 'My King and I'. The Copper Coronet was located in the River District, a seedy tavern whose clientele included smugglers, pirates and other near-do-wells. Savia was not familiar with the sobriquet and was quite puzzled why she was being sent to recover such a trivial amount of gold. She hadn't had a debt this low to collect for over ten odd years.

The letter received, Savia knew she had one day to collect the debts and return them to the safehouse. She was usually successful; most debtors knew who they loaned gold from and once Savia paid them a visit she was expected to recover it. These debts were well overdue, cheats and contract breakers every name. They would provide her the payment for their debt, or the next person sent by the guild would be one who does their talking with knives.
Savia
 player, 5 posts
Sat 8 May 2021
at 10:32
PROLOGUE - Savia
Savia studied the note, she guessed a decision had to be made. Three names, all requiring collection before the end of the day. This would turn out to be a good little money-maker for her, especially if she could collect the debt of Jeanette Dubrai. She didn't know who by Twilight Pigman was, even though she was familiar with the Copper Coronet. It wasn't the type of place she would visit again, drunks too inebriated to talk about their memories and what little they had were not even worth recording. So, to her decision, where would she go first? The obvious choice was the Sea's Bounty Tavern as she knew Riden and expected that if he had repaid previous debts to the guild then he was likely to sort out this one as well.

She entered her bedroom and opened a chest and wardrobe. She was wearing a grey hooded robe, a casual but entirely unpractical garment in anything apart from its comfort. She drew her armor from the wardrobe and tossed it on the mattress of her bed. While she longed for a polished suit of black Full-Plate armor as worn by the martial leaders back home it was only something she could dream of. The pittance she received from the debts she paid was exhausted on her basic living expenses and even the savings she made in rent had only gone towards maintaining her equipment. She also had to pay her dues back to the guild and pay for healing from the priests when things didn't go so well for her. Just living in this city was expensive, forget trying to save any gold.

Savia removed her robe and dressed in the dark travellers’ clothes she favoured, tucking the coin purse to her belt. She slipped into the chain mail armor, securing it in place, and threw her hooded cloak around her shoulders. Once her backpack was checked and placed in the chest and equipment organised, she locked the chest and wardrobe and slipped on her leather gloves and chain gauntlets. Fully armored she sheathed both her longsword and dagger, pulled her amulet out to sit on her chest and placed her shield at ease on her left arm. With one final glance around the room she pulled up the hood on her cloak and stepped outside, locking the door behind her.

The Sea's Bounty Tavern was the destination, a quick collection from Riden and she could work out where she would go next.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 31 posts
Sun 9 May 2021
at 03:12
PROLOGUE - Savia
So, a decision was made. Riden had not caused trouble in the past but as a frequent debtor placed into Savia's hands it meant that he was regularly late with his dues. It would not take that sort of man long to be unable to afford the repayment before the guild’s patience was at an end. Savia locked her small apartment and stepped out into the street. It was only a short walk to the Sea's Bounty and as evening drew on the streets were lit with numerous oil lanterns held on high poles. Drunks were already collapsed in the back alleys, sleeping off their inebriation and whores were flaunting their wares under streetlamp. Although she drew eyes and ears, chain mail rattling as she walked through the street, nobody bothered Savia and eyes that met hers quickly turned away.

The Sea's Bounty was on one of the main thoroughfares of the District, lit from outside by numerous lanterns the sign above the door displayed a seafood feast and prominently advertised the 'Best cooked seafood in Athkatla!' It was one of the better quality taverns in the city, with the exception of the invite only clubs in the wealthier Districts, so it was entirely possible that the advertisement was not exaggerated.

As Savia opened the blue wooden door to enter she was immediately assailed by the bright light of the interior. There was not a single spot of shadow as lanterns hung at regular intervals from the walls and the tavern tables and bar had candles all set up. Most of the patrons were gathered around an unlikely pair telling tales at the end of the bar furthest from the door. An older halfling was cradling a tankard of ale and looking towards his companion with a wide smile. The woman he was with, a dark haired half-orc who was attractive, and could have passed as a human except for her height and a hint of a tusk tooth, was ending the telling of a fanciful tale. The patrons were enthralled and looking between themselves with whispers.

At the bar was Savia's mark. The rotund form of Riden was standing in the center of the bar, with his attentions on the pair at the far end he had not noticed her enter.
Savia
 player, 10 posts
Sun 9 May 2021
at 05:38
PROLOGUE - Savia
As Savia travelled the streets of the Center District she ignored the drunks and whores. They were a familiar sight and nothing out of the ordinary for her to encounter. Anyone else may have curled a lip in a sneer or raised their nose in disdain, but not Savia. Of course, she would have preferred they were not there, and they had the decency to keep their disgusting selves indoors and out of the public eye but she was not about to be hauling filthy vagrants off the streets. Even if the city guard was entirely too lax about the problem. Far from the first time again she longed for the tidy, orderly streets of home. There were no drunks there, no whores or beggars; structures were in place, rules enforced, and the undesirables removed. A society that valued the law, valued peace; not whatever mess of a city this was.

When she arrived at the Sea's Bounty, she tilted her head in wonder. How had she not noticed the prominent signage boasting of the best cooked seafood in Athkatla. Since arriving here she had found an affection for eating shellfish, anything delved from the inky depths of her home was far from edible. While she usually frequented the Wave District markets for their fresh seafood she had on occasion treated herself to a tavern meal. Savia felt the taverns in that District would give the Sea's Bounty fair competition for 'best in Athkatla'.

She stepped inside and raised a hand to shield her eyes from the bright light. She cursed under her breath as her eyes adjusted to the light, two black orbs now only dark slits as she squinted and looked throughout the room. It was never a big problem for her, and she had become used to the change of brightness from night to day. But stepping from an area steeped in darkness to one of bright light always took some adjustment, the dizzying array of colors and the white light briefly disorientating. Such was the price to be paid for living for almost two and a half centuries in darkness. A small price to pay in service to her Queen.

As her eyes adjusted, she noticed the crowd gathered around two performers who were entertaining them with stories. A common enough sight that it didn't warrant more that a passing eye however as all attention was on the half-orc Savia's eyes did linger briefly on the dark haired woman as the excited whispers spread among the listeners. But then she saw Riden, the man of the moment.

She dropped her hood and purposely strode towards the bar, standing directly across from Riden. While the woman’s tale had ended, the man was so engrossed in the reactions of the crowd he did not notice her. Savia drew her dagger, ensuring the metal slid against the scabbard. The scraping squeal of metal on metal announced her and she lay the dagger on the bar counter, holding its hilt. When the fat man looked towards her, she stared at him, holding his gaze for a few uncomfortable moments before speaking. "Night's greetings Riden Wrex." The niceties from home sound so sinister in this world, Savia thought.

Intimidate Check
15:36, Today: Savia rolled 19 using 1d20+1.  intimidate.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 35 posts
Mon 10 May 2021
at 00:42
PROLOGUE - Savia
The scraping squeal of metal on metal drew the eyes of not only Riden Wrex but most of the other patrons in the tavern. Out of the corner of her eye Savia noticed the two entertainers at the end of the bar look towards her briefly but her focus was still on her mark, the plump man in front of her. Riden Wrex the debtor, many times over. The man was a hound on a rope running around a tree, not realising the rope was getting tighter and tighter, choking it. Like a dog he didn't have the sense to realise she was trying to help him. Only she stood between Wrex and a knife in the alley behind the tavern.

Riden Wrex turned to Savia as she spoke to him. He immediately went pale as a sheet, almost as pale as the intimidating elf if that were possible. "Oh. Miss.. err.. Madam.. uhh.." He broke out in sweat and began half bowing profusely, "Mistress, I know who you are. Uh, I can't remember your name..." He stopped his awkward bows and moved closer, "I have it. Well. Most of it..." Sweat was pouring down his face, "OK, I have half of it."

He was shaking, scared and perhaps that had fried his wits, but he stood in stunned silence under Savia's dark gaze. After a few moments he leaned down and reached under the bar, bringing up a bulging pouch. From the size of the pouch unless he was paying in platinum there was definitely not enough coin to total his debt.

He leaned closer, whispering. He was beginning to stink. "Half. Promise. As I said. Honest as Tyr himself." He turned his head, his beady eyes darted down the counter behind him, towards a small coin chest used by the tavern. "Uhh, I can pay the rest tomorrow. Ya know. Uh... some people owe me money. Yeah. I'll get it."

That would not be acceptable to her employers. 80 gold was owed, and it was expected to be paid down to the last copper. The debt had been passed to her, Savia knew she had this night alone to recover it. It would be a bruise on her reputation and a forfeit of tonight’s cut if she was unable to.
Savia
 player, 12 posts
Mon 10 May 2021
at 07:13
PROLOGUE - Savia
"Half." Savia said flatly. "Half is not enough." She stood watching Riden Wrex, thinking. She was not about to leave on his promise that he would have the rest tomorrow, that was useless to her employers and wasn't going to get her paid.

When he pulled the coin pouch from under the counter Savia moved her head to look at it briefly as he sat it on the countertop. She picked it up and tossed it in her hand then shook her head. Opening the drawstrings she tipped the bag out, spilling the coins across the counter in another loud noise. As the final coin fell out she began slowly counting the coins in front of him. She had reached twenty as she looked up at him again and noticed him licking his lips nervously as he looked towards the small coin chest. "Bring it." She continued counting and when he didn't move she frowned down to him, "NOW!"

She continued counting the coins ensuring that there was a full forty in the pouch, her eyes flicking between the coins and Riden Wrex as she waited to him to move. "If you do not move and get me that chest you will not see the sun again." She raised a slight, almost unnoticeable curl to her lip as she mentioned the word sun. With her apathetic face as it usually was it would be easy to think the movement was imagined.

If Riden Wrex failed to pay what was due then what business the guild had with him was their own. She was not one to kill in cold blood, she was not a monster. She only expected others to keep their word,  the punishment for oath-breakers was fairly determined by those who held the debt. In her near three centuries of life she had never owed anyone a thing. She had paid her dues, she was equal, balanced, anything received paid for in commensurate measure.

It was not a difficult philosophy, there was a danger in owing others. Their call for payment could come at any time and at any cost.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 39 posts
Tue 11 May 2021
at 05:27
PROLOGUE - Savia
Riden Wrex shook his head, his loose jowls flopping side to side as Savia queried that only half was being paid. He cast a nervous glance around the room as the coins spilled noisily over the counter. Other eyes in the room looked too, the clatter of so many coins drawing the attention of more than one merchant. He stood unmoving, waiting as Savia counted out the coins, "All there.... ah... all forty gold."

As Savia looked to the chest and demanded Riden Wrex bring it to her the man hesitated. He was clearly reluctant to bring the small chest forward however at the curt snarl of "NOW!" He nodded and retrieved the chest. It wasn't large by any means, twelve inches by eight, but its purpose was unquestionable. It held the takings of the tavern and judging by the crowd tonight it was likely looking to be pretty full. Whether full of silvers and copper or actual gold could not be determined but Riden Wrex was clearly reluctant to hand it over. At another glare he placed the small chest on the countertop beside the coin pouch and dagger.

Savia counted out all the coins and, as Riden Wrex had promised, all forty gold pieces were in the pouch. The man smiled and nodded. "As I said. Ah, and the rest tomorrow?" He gave a slimy smile that he held for far too long.
Savia
 player, 15 posts
Tue 11 May 2021
at 10:04
PROLOGUE - Savia
"Not tomorrow. Now." She looked at the small chest on the counter, "Open it, forty more gold. Now."

She was not a thief, he owed money and if he took it from the tavern keeper then that was business between them. She didn't care where the money came from as long as it was paid in full by the debtor. She looked to the chest, waiting. It was not her place to take the gold, that would be theft. She was not adverse to others stealing, that was business between them and their own Gods. In fact, she could encourage it in the right circumstance. Why should the weak keep that which they are unable to protect, it was much safer in the hands of someone able and... willing to do what was required to hold it. Most importantly, however, loss and gain were two powerful emotions; strong and enduring memories which would feed her Queen.

She watched Riden Wrex and waited. "It is better you owe your employer than me." She felt he was suitably cowed but perhaps just needed a little more motivation to hand over the balance of the gold.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 48 posts
Wed 12 May 2021
at 04:10
PROLOGUE - Savia
Just as Riden Wrex set the small coin chest down the half-orc woman from the other end of the bar arrived and spoke with him.

"I've got to say, Wrex..." The woman started, ignoring any business that was being conducted. "I rather like this place. Your guests sure know how to make a newcomer feel welcome. I figured I would give my new friends a break and actually buy my next round for myself."

Riden Wrex gave the woman a nervous smile, "Another one then, be with you in a second." but did open the chest as commanded. He began counting out gold quickly, pulling a handful of coins from the chest in a panic.

The half-orc set her tankard on the counter with thump and looked to Savia with a friendly smile, "You're welcome to join me in a round. You're looking far too serious for the room."

Riden Wrex continued counting, four piles of ten gold sat in front of Savia. In addition to what was already in the coinpurse that totalled the man's debt. He looked up to Savia, "That's it then. Err. Thank your master’s for me Mistress. They can always rely on me." He conveniently forgot he was only offering to pay half moments ago.
Savia
 player, 18 posts
Wed 12 May 2021
at 10:33
PROLOGUE - Savia
Savia looked towards the half-orc woman as she interrupted but did not say anything. She returned to the pile of coins counting up in front of her.

When the woman addressed her directly Savia looked back to her, tilting her head slightly as she considered the woman. The half-orc appeared of similar height to her however was built more solid which Savia felt was at odds with her distinctly female form. The orcish blood in the woman oddly added to her attractiveness, putting curves in all the right places and adding a peculiar, exotic appeal. Savia shook her head, "I thank you for the offer however I have much business yet tonight and the hour grows late." Her face remained impassive even as she continued, "Pehaps when I return for the seafood buffet I will catch you again one evening." It was almost a return invitation.

She turned back to Riden Wrex as he counted out the last of the coins and nodded, drawing an empty pouch from her belt she began filling it with the coins.
Dungeon Master
 GM, 57 posts
Thu 13 May 2021
at 00:54
PROLOGUE - Savia
The half-orc replied to Savia, "I'll be sure to take you up on that, then. We'll make them regret offering it as a buffet." The woman certainly had an appearance which would support a healthy appetite. She laughed as she laid her coin down for Riden Wrex and took her drink. "Name's Sugarra, by the way. I'm sure I'll see you around here again when you're not here on business. You promised." She winked to Savia and waited a moment before turning back to rejoin the halfling at the other end of the bar.

Riden Wrex shrugged, "Friendly sort that one. Good company, I do hope she returns." He let his eyes linger as the woman left before startling himself as he realised Savia was still standing there. "Oh, and you're welcome of course Mistress. The buffet nights are popular so make sure you get in early." He gave a smile.

This message was last edited by the GM at 00:55, Thu 13 May.

Savia
 player, 20 posts
Thu 13 May 2021
at 08:20
PROLOGUE - Savia
"I am Savia." She replied to the half-orc with a bow of her head, "I will catch you again for dinner then. My promise." She raised an eyebrow at the wink and watched the woman return to her halfling friend, Savia's eyes did not leave her until Riden Wrex spoke.

"Thank you Riden Wrex. Until next time." She slipped the two coin purses under her belt and walked out the door.

Next, she had decided, she would take her chances wrangling gold from whatever a Pigman was.