The People's Tournament - Wagon Delivery Run
From delivering a wagon loaded down with goods around the lowers, with the fastest time and with accuracy, catching fish from the Gray River, running through the lowers as swiftly as possible and overcoming obstacles to a good bought of pugilism, the People's Tournament lends more to the tastes and familiarity of the commons of Arx.
With cash prizes for the overall winners (Combined points from all events), crowns for the individual event winners and an abundance of alcohol and a gala at the end to celebrate, it's an excellent time to be a commoner.
1st - 150,000 silver
2nd - 75,000 silver
3rd - 25,000 silver
Ooc: These events are for commoners to participate in. Nobles are welcome to observe, cheer on even, but actual participation in the event is restricted to commoners only.
Link to event doc's: https://tinyurl.com/thepeoplestournament
April 19, 2019, 7 p.m.
Arx - Lower Boroughs - Commons Square
Comments and Log
It's the People's Tournament.
For some commoners who are participating, this will be a life changing moment. The prize for first place alone is five hundred thousand. Likley more than enough for any family to see themselves safely set for life. Enough to do a lot of things for just about anyone. So little wonder that a lot of people are signed up to get their chance at this opportunity. Even third place is still life changing.
The dockyards are littered with harbormasters and dockhands at the ready to participate as each wave of participants head out. No doubt paid to assist in this matters and compensate them for lost time. Along the route, so that observers don't find themselves run down, run over or otherwise injured from the contestants, poles have been wedged and stuck in where they can and indicate safe places to stand and watch. Colorful pennats and streamers flap in the breeze and throughout these little waiting harbors of safety are stations with the finest drinks - you'll find no first, second or even third wall here. It's good commoner alcohol though - the best that the Murder of Crows has available for purchase, and hot drinks for those who don't prefer alcohol.
The din can be overwhelming, the noise of the crowds cheering on their family, friends, and a few brawls over what someone would do with their winners have disqualified a handful of people and the Iron Guard escorted them off. People dart across streets to get into shops that are open to take advantage of the crowds but they cross at their own peril.
Josephine works her way through the crowd, moving from one section to the other with a far more simple understated cane with her daughter at her side, runners from the docks coming to relay numbers to the Arcuri's who are keeping track of the times, disqualifications and injuries.
Alexio checked charm + economics at difficulty 20, rolling 22 higher.
Nurie checked charm + empathy at difficulty 20, rolling 32 higher.
Nurie checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 20, rolling 11 higher.
Alexio checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 20, rolling 35 higher.
Nurie checked luck + haggling at difficulty 20, rolling 23 higher.
Nurie checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 15 higher.
Nurie checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 24 higher.
Merek has put on his black leathers, with his Eurusi scarf adjusted about to cover his lower face, and his cloak is also on for the tournament. He doesn't expect to win much, and isn't here to win, but to participate, happy to be part of something like this for entertainment. He makes his way to where others are gathering.
Wyatt slips into the Commons Square, looking more than a little out of place and awkward as he moves to observe the People's Tournament quietly.
Alexio checked perception + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 24 higher.
Alexio checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 25, rolling 32 higher.
Nurie checked charm + empathy at difficulty 20, rolling 2 higher.
Alexio checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.
Maja has rolled a critical success!
Maja checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 82 higher.
Maja checked charm + diplomacy at difficulty 20, rolling 29 higher.
Maja checked perception + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 58 higher.
Maja checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 25, rolling 37 higher.
Maja has rolled a critical success!
Maja checked dexterity at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.
Jeffeth checked charm + empathy at difficulty 20, rolling 32 higher.
Mirella's not wearing her usual attire of a neat dress today. In its place is a tunic and leggings of dark linen, with the trousers tucked in soft leather boots. Her hair is tied back away from her pale face, her arms are crossed over her chest, and she's idly glancing around the square with a somewhat thoughtful expression resting over her impassive features.
Magpie is here with his trusted retainer, Zavi. See, Zavi will do the driving while Magpie is the one to scream orders at him and navigate. "Zavi, get the wagon ready and make sure to give that horse the Dust-laced feed. I want that animal moving fast and focused." He leaves the younger man to prep while the Grayhope greets some friends, a wide grin on his face. "Hope you all like the booze! That's Murder of Crows stock there! Picked out the barrels myself."
Kamon checked composure + diplomacy at difficulty 20, rolling 6 higher.
Jeffeth checked strength + intimidation at difficulty 20, rolling 16 higher.
Kamon checked intellect + riddles at difficulty 20, rolling 3 lower.
Jeffeth checked perception + survival at difficulty 20, rolling 28 higher.
Kamon checked command + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 6 lower.
Jeffeth checked dexterity + streetwise at difficulty 25, rolling 3 lower.
Jeffeth checked stamina at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.
Kamon checked dexterity + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 4 higher.
Kamon checked dexterity + streetwise at difficulty 25, rolling 7 lower.
Kamon checked dexterity at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.
Magpie checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 20, rolling 13 higher.
Dot, the war-wiener, Judy, an investigative assistant arrive, following Harper.
Nurie is dressed more or less like usual, solidly merchant class, with lots of wool to help keep the Lycene tailor snugly warm in the autumn cold. There is a happy glow about her, dark eyes wide with not a little excitement. She mills about with the other hopefulls, her smile cheerful and bright.
"Zavi? Zavi! The race is starting! Where the fuck are you?!" Magpie yells over the chaos of people getting their carts and trying to load up. "Damnit Za- Oh for fuck's sake." He shoves aside a couple of people to get to where the younger sailor is still feeding the horse. "Okay that's way too much! Just a little bit. I don't want to kill the horse, just give it a bit of pep in it's... hoof. Get the wagon! We have to- No! .. Augh. Why am I not high right now?" The Grayhope just flails helplessly and tries to get the attention of one of the beleaguered dockmasters, but there are SO many people. "Fuck it. I'll have a smoke. We'll catch up soon enough."
Harper makes her way into the square and steps off to the side to lean up against one of the buildings. She crosses her arms over her chest and pulls a knee up to rest the flat of her foot against the building, but smiles and waves to a few people that she knows, here and there. Her eyes scan the crowds a bit warily, until she spots Magpie. The look on her face softens and a wide grin spreads across her face. Not wanting to disrupt him, she waves if she catches his attention and gives him a thumbs up. She watches quietly for a bit, but tries to hide her laugh behind her hand when Magpie starts flailing. The amusement clearly shows in her eyes above her hand though.
Alexio is currently standing by one of the dockmasters, convincing/bribing one of the merchants masterfully, with his charming and economic knowledgeable nature, of handing one of those into his possesion. It seems he suceeds, because next thing you know, he's making his way over to the loading area, with his assistant and accountant pushing the cart right behind. "Move it you two! I have not got all day!"
Merek makes his way to the dockmasters, so that he can check in on the wagons, his hood up while he persuades them to hand someone in need a wagon to use, one that's painted in black which he settles to and moves to the next place, while he prepares the horses also.
Maja is all about the silver. If she needs to take care of something that will result in money in her pocket? GUNNA GET IT DONE. So when the event starts, she makes a beeline to the wagons and immediately starts bribing the dockmaster for a wagon. No, not that one -- it has a shaky wheel. She wants /that/ one. With an impish grin, she leans in close and murmurs quietly with the dockmaster. Promises are made. Promises are accepted. A handshake later: she's got herself a wagon.
The whole exchange? It took place in under a minute. Maybe under half a minute. Jeez Louise, it seems like the guy just handed her the wagon as soon as she opened her mouth. Maja gives the fellow a wink and then gets to gettin'.
A gaunt young man with oily black hair and ice blue eyes arrives, following Braith.
At the dockyards, there's buzz as wagons are coming back, and being maneuvered into place for the next wave of participants and 'cargo' being haphazardly throw around to make sure everyone has the same size and count. Can't do for any valid complaints of undue favor to one or the other. Bottles in some, bales of hay, barrels of what might be fish, crates of silk, there's a little something of everything meant to be dropped off at points.
Dock masters though. Dock hands. Here is where some people who have participated have managed to stand out. Already there's one Dockmaster who has been making himself a fair bit of silver off of this contest if you go by the look of his coin purse while another seems terribly grizzled and everyone whose had him hasn't managed to to be bribed, or cajoled, and seems to be dealing fairly squarely.
An Arcuri - how many of them are there? - steps up to the starting line calling for this wave of contestants. "Get a Wagon" The first step in the whole thing as it is. When everyone seems to have gathered at the line, he looks to them all, raises a red flag then drops it. "Time starts NOW!" and someone on the side, starts counting in steady time.
Clearly, Nurie isn't used to these sorts of competitions, and probably she isn't used to dealing with the docks. It takes her a little while to get the attention of someone, because she waits so politely and quietly for what seems like ever, biting her lower lip ever so slightly in consternation as she just can't quite seem to figure out how to bust into a conversation and snag the attention of any of the dockmasters! That patience pais off though, as when she finally is able to sidle up to one, her cheerful smile and polite demeanor is a welcome change for the grumpy woman in charge of the carts. Weathering some muttering with excellent grace, sensing just what the woman wants to hear to hand over the reins and get the tailor out of her hair, Nurie finally finds herself with a wagon after bidding the dockmaster a cheerful goodbye. Though by then, things are well under way and she's gotten a slow start.
Sparte comes in at a jog to talk to one of the dockmasters, waving to them as he gets there. All ready to start smoozing - he has to hold up a finger and stop to catch his breath. "Sorry... Ran... A lot..." Sparte huffs and leans for a few seconds longer, then straightens. "Can I please borrow your wagon? I promise to bring it back and I'll fix anything that breaks." There is a critical eye for him and he quickly holds up his hands. "And, because you know I'll do it, I'll give the wagon a once over afterwards and absolutely make sure it is still in good condition. No surprises, no begging off and pretending it was already like that." That seems to make the difference. A promise of preventing aggravation to the dockmaster later and he gets a begrudging nod of approval. A thankful grin on his face, Sparte climbs up and gets ready to set off.
Wyatt looks uncertain as to the nature of the competition, his brow furrowing as the wagon-getting starts, but he seems to eventually catch on and wildly applauds whenever someone successfully obtains a wagon. There's even a fist pump when Nurie gets hers.
Kamon is not really that good in this kind of competition, yet he is still here, all for the silver. He makes his way to the dockmaster as soon as the competition starts. Kamon is no good at talking. But with his persistence he managed to convince the dockmaster to give him his wagon.
"This cart smells like someone *died* in it!" Magpie is heard protesting loudly, but he's shoving coin at the dockmaster all the same. Then he's up in the seat and elbowing Zavi to get it manuevered over to the cargo area while the smuggler sucks deeply at a smoke lit in his fingers.
There is a loo of harried focus on Braith's face when she finally gets to the area. Quickly dashing her hair from her face and tucking dark strands behind her ears. The lute on her back is adjusted as she moves to get a look about to see what is going on and who has won..has anyone won? Will they win? Not to be known at this point and she wet her lips while maneuvering the figures around her - some taller than her to finally find a vantage point.
The dark haired lady bard lifts her chin, freckled features studious as they attempt to find who or what she is looking for. A few familiar faces ear smiles, even Nurie looks somewhat on the Braith scale of 'Should know possibly'. She gets a random cheer from the Sanna because! Maja is noted then and she whistles through her teeth with a press of her lips.
Magpie checked charm + leadership at difficulty 20, rolling 10 higher.
For once, it seems like Mirella is turning the charm on. Or at least she's quietly made her way over to the one of the dockmasters and has adorned her rather deadpan face with a gentle smile that almost lights up her duskstone eyes. With a bit of persuasion, the Lycene exchanges some words that seem to do the job, and there it is! Wagon acquired. Almost like she's done this before. Already she's looking around for potential helpers, pulling her leather gloves onto her hands more securely and flexing her fingers.
The large form of Jeffeth Bayweather arrives late to the competition. But that doesn't mean he won't compete. Does he know the rules? Not exactly. Is he trying his hardest absolutely. Jeffeth steals glances over to Maja, looking over at what she's doing. Pursing his lips, the large man approaches one of the dockmasters, looping one arm around his back, Jeffeth takes the man to sit down where they begin to have a long talk.
"Now let me explain to you my situation..." Is how it starts. It takes a long time. At one point it looks like the dockmaster might cry, on account of all the emotions he's suddenly sharing with Jeffeth. At one point the two are holding hands for solidarity as Jeffeth and the dockmaster really hash out some feelings.
It ends with a tight hug, Jeffeth and the dockmaster exchanging affectionate shoulder squeezes and Jeffeth going to get his newly lended wagon.
Having finally acquired the wagon. Alexio proceeds to conveniently enlist enough helpers to load up that sucker. Honeyed words and a silver tongue inspire the fools to help him load it up, "Faster, faster! We don't have all day! Time is a wasting people, get it moving! Your mother can move faster than that! Hurry it up! What are you doing?! Get back to working! Quickly, quickly! Yes, wonderful! Just like that! That's perfect! Well done! See?! Bob knows how to do it right! Be more like bob people!"
Merek does his best to have people load up the wagon, while he inspires them with words about the deliveries going for those who need it. He shifts about his cloak while he looks from beneath his hood as he does also.
Evaristo turns on his Arterius charm, or smarm, or something because the man soon enough has a wagon, he too clapping the Dockmaster on the back and hightailing it to the wagin in quesiton. One that seems to actually look half decent.
"You better young man!" A particularly salty dockaster tells Sparte, seemingly content with the assurances from the guardsman that he'll bring it back in better shape than he gets it.
Jeffeth's is turning away to wipe a tear, something about salt in his eyes or some such. Whatever shared between them, it seems to work indeed.
Perhaps Zavi's not doing so well with getting that wagon, or maybe this particular dock master has had precious dealings with Magpie? Who knows, but there's a wagon soon enough.
Whatever Maja has done however? THe wagon looks to have been fresh off the carpenters bench, and pristine. Not a speck of rust to be seen. The wood still have that fresh from the tree look, and scent and the dockmaster she works with even goes so far as to help the woman up -into- the wagon, press a kiss to the back of her palm and smile at her.
Everyone else seems to have their varying degree's of success and as wagons are maneuvered to where goods wait, they're now left to deal with loading. And it's a mixed bag of dock hands down there.
"Zavi? Where's the crew? They're supposed to be here to do the loading. Didn't you tell them to be here?" Magpie is asking, frowning at the chaos going on. He frowns at the retainer as the younger man mutters something. "No, no. I was not supposed to tell them. I was supposed to make sure we had the feed for the horse and the people in the back alleys paid off and the crew at-... oh, shit, it was me." There's a groan and he just looks around hopelessly before throwing a sudden grin at some kids milling about. "Heeeeeey. You! C'mere! You want to help make Grayhope greater, right? No? Yes you do! Stand up for the Lowers! We're all from these very streets! Help me out, kids! Get those boxes on the cart!" Well, it's not the best help but it's better than nothing. Hopefully there's nothing breakable in the crates.
Now, Arx may not be located in the Lyceum, but the community of sailors and dockworks anywhere is always quite diverse! Some of the dockworks who look like they might also be from the southern islands have taken notice of Nurie, who is first helping to load her wagon with the two other helpers she's managed to attract, and after awhile of seeing the tailor strugging to at least be somewhat helpful in getting the wagon loaded, they come over to help, a few of the taller ones even ruffling her hair a little as she continues to insist on helping, the tip of her tongue poking out in concentration as she is trying ever so hard to learn how to do it right. It seems to inspire her troops (or maybe they just enjoy getting to feel like supermen and superwomen as they can manage to load eight boxes for each one that Nurie can drag over, but once her wagon is loaded, the small group lets out a cheer, and each helper is given a very warm kiss upon the cheek by a very grateful Nurie. She catches Braith's cheer, and waves back to the lady, blowing both Braith and Wyatt a cheerful kiss of appreciation.
Magpie checked perception + streetwise at difficulty 20, rolling 10 higher.
Harper just stays leaned up against the building, watching quietly. She's not decked out in uniform, or even on duty, but it's hard to take the guard instinct out of her. So, she keeps a careful eye on things. When she gets a chance to cheer on Magpie, she does so with great enthusiasm, yelling, "Go Grayhope!" Spotting Jeffeth enter, she grins and tosses him a friendly wave, raising her eyebrows as the dockmaster he's talking to seems close to crying.
Now is the time time to fill the wagon. Kamon looks around and notices people enlisting helpers to fill the wagon. Looking at the burly and scary looking people in the docks, "There is no way I can convince them to help me..." He takes a moment to think "Think, Kamon, Think! How should I do this...." After seeing that he is lagging behind the others, he grows desperate "Fuck it! You can only rely on yourself after all" He starts to load the wagon all by himself, utilizing any methods he can think of to make the work as easy as possible.
"Aww, aren't you the sweetest thing!" the apprentice Whisper tells the dockmaster who helps her up. "You're going to steal my heart if I'm not careful." Nose scrunch: cute. Smile: adorable. Eyes: twinkling.
Alright. Time to load up the wagon. But alas! Maja has these noodle arms, see? It seems beyond comprehension that they are good for anything at all. Except, maybe, lifting up to flag down help.
Which is exactly what she does!
The curly-haired cutie catches the attention of some burly dockhands (oh, what big muscles you have! can you flex for me? sooOOoOOooo strong!) and while they don't all flock to her en masse, a great many seem more than willing to help a lass in distress. They are champions of the noodle-armed! A few don't actually want to help -- they have other things to do! -- but do enjoy standing near a pretty young thing. Suckers! Maja uses their proximity to plead her case, to tap into their wants and needs, wielding it for a higher purpose -- that purpose being: load her wagon. It's all very diplomatic and above-board and the cheek kisses she gives each and every one once the task has been completed is 100-percent pure certified Diplomacy Kiss. Before she takes off, she twists in her seat and waves! To the dockmaster! To the dockhands! To Braith! And at Jeffeth, she points and laughs merrily: "I'll be waiting for you at the finish line.."
Braith playfully catches the kiss blown from Nurie and seems to be pocketing it for later. Winking at the other woman she lifts another cheer for her. Anyone that can come watch Braith mud wrestle a pig with horrible results deserves to be cheered for when it's their time to shine! Glancing aside at the crying figure that allows Jeffeth a wagon she arches a brow and quickly clears her throat. "GO COMMANDER!" is braced by either had to tunnel the cry so hopefully it will reach his ears. He is going to need it with Maja already starting off and waving like a Queen from her throne. A hand lifts to wave her on because really, Braith is an equal opportunity cheerier! ENABLER! "HURRY UP COMMANDER!" This is said to try to spur Jeffeth - or it is hoped to.
She watches all the cards then, cringing a bit at poor Kamon who is quickly setting to his own loading and she claps, cheering for him as well.
Jeffeth doesn't mean to bother no one. When it's time to load his wagon, he's just going to do it the old fashioned way, in a disorganized rush. The large man is doing it by himself, picking up the crate and loading it with those massive arms. Though there is a child who is quite disrespectfully sitting on one of his crates. The large man stands up at his full towering height, looking down at the boy. With a flex of those massive muscles the boy is soon leaping off the crates in fear, though Jeffeth is quick to calm him down. And soon the little boy and Jeffeth are loading their wagon together. "Dannel? That's a nice name." The large man can be heard. "Why don't you come along with me for the rest of this game?" So he has a continuous prop to talk to and pose off of for the rest of the competition? Certainly not. This will be an apprenticeship, to be sure.
So Jeffeth and Dannel load up the wagon. Mostly Jeffeth, but Dannel is /learning/. "It's important to bend your knees, keep your back like this. You want your legs to do the lifting. See, like this--"
Jeffeth has no time to trade mockery with Maja, he's busy mentoring our future.
"Alright Dannel, hop in let's get going." There's a look over his shoulder to Braith with an arched brow before Jeffeth smiles broadly and waves. Then he's going to load up with his new sidekick and on they go.
It's going to so well. Mirella and her bodyguard Stefano have roped in a couple of young Lycene dockhands, little wiry punks who'll help load crap onto wagons for a handful of silvers. Baskets and crates are getting stacked onto the back of the wagon by the men, with Mirella pointing here and there so that each container fits in as neatly as a puzzle piece. Oh, so very well it goes. Until it doesn't. Because there's some kind of miscalculation and one of the laborers manages to butterfingers a huge crate of autumn vegetables, which hits the ground like a boulder and spills out its wholesome contents across the stones. Apples are everywhere, and little urchins snatch them up and run off in different directions with them. At this, both Mirella turns on Stefano (who wasn't even responsible) in a tirade of Lycene-accented complaints, which only escalate in volume when he returns them in kind. It's a rare case of the two stony-faced southeers losing their shit with each other, but eventually the shouts turn to grumble when the rest of the loading is done.
Wyatt keeps applauding at very vaguely appropriate times and cheers when Nurie blows the kiss, as he yells, "Keep wagoning!" He glances around briefly to see if that is roughly the right thing to say and takes a small step backward to keep more on the downlow when it's obviously not.
Harper checked perception at difficulty 7, rolling 9 higher.
Braith checked perception at difficulty 7, rolling 8 higher.
No dockhands move forward ot help Jeffeth when the big man seems intent on loading things himself. Nope, they just stand back and let the Knight of Solace tend to things himself since he seems to have it well in hand.
Evaristo seems to have things in hand as well, a few quick words and they're coming to assist and getting things loaded quick as can be. Silver into palms seems to the choice for a great many at this point and silver speaks well enough to the dock hands who are all more than happy to get in and get this done. There's more waves to come after all and more silver to be made helping out the contestants potentially win. After all, if one of the ones that they helped, wins one of the three big pots? Well maybe that person will remember them fondly. With silver.
One particularly overeager dockhand heaves a crate toward some fellows wagon and seems to -miss- the mark as it goes sailing into the crowd cheering on their favourites.
Meanwhile, over in the Whisper corner, it's like everything is just falling into place. Dockhands, men and women alike seem to just move like they are old hat at this and things are swiftly loaded.
Kamon seems to be having a hard time getting his dockahands to do pretty much anything at this point and it seems in the middle of loading, one just stops and sits down on the crates in question, lighting up a tightly rolled smoke and gives him the stink eye.
Merek works with a map he was given for all this, so that he can deliver some things to folk in the lower boroughs. He does his best while he moves the wagon along also.
"This is just... the worst." Magpie mutters as they finally get moving far behind the rest. "Ok! We'll make up time with those shortcuts we mapped out earlier. This is our home Zav, we got this. Get the damned horse moving!" As their death-scented wagon with it's haphazardly piled cargo finally begins to roll along, the horse is having a hard time. It keeps veering to and fro, whinnying a lot. Maybe lacing the feed was a bad idea. "There! Zavi! That alley! THERE! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?! TURN THE HORSE!" Zavi is pulling at the reins but the horse is just plodding along and takes them right into a water barrel. It tips over and gets caught under the cart, pulled along for a bit before finally dislodging. The horse goes down the next alley entirely of it's own choosing, and there's the sound of neighing and angry shrieking as the beast collects several laundry lines worth of hung lady's linen.
Magpie has rolled a critical success!
Magpie checked dexterity + streetwise at difficulty 25, rolling 59 higher.
Well...here is the trickiest part! Nurie has very little experience in wagon driving or route planning that isn't on foot--but she is armed with a map and a listing of the stops--and while she doesn't have the best wagon out there, or the strongest horses, her horses are very calm, and even if the tailor doesn't know what in the hell she's doing, the horses certainly do! It does mean, however that she has to bribe them every now and then with treats. In dealing with her customers, however, Nurie manages to shine. She is not a logistics person, but she easily talks it up with her fellow merchants and shopkeepers, who even give her a few tips, as her patronage of these areas isn't a total unknown! It is the only reason why she isn't horribly behind everyone else. Of course, being a little behind helps her bypass those who /are/ caught be the authorities! Slow and steady isn't going to win this race, but she is steadfastly determined, a Very Serious Business look on her face inbetween stops.
Wyatt ducks unnecessarily as the crate thrown into the crowd by the overenthusiastic dockhand sails past him, not particularly close. Wyatt yelps, "Oh gods, the dockhands are finally revolting! We knew this day would come! Save yourselves!" He takes off running.
3 Iron Guardsmen arrives, following Calaudrin.
3 Iron Guardsmen leaves, following Calaudrin.
...and, once she's done pointing at Jeffeth? "HYAH!" Maja spurs the horses forward with a crack of the reins. Well, /she/ doesn't/. The strapping young dockhand she's enlisted to help her does. But she has the very important job of sitting next to him, pointing and telling him where to go. Because you know male-drivers when left to their own devices: they always 'know a short-cut' and get hopelessly lost.
But not on Maja's watch! Because, see, she actually knows all the shortcuts, probably from years of taking the time to stop and ask for directions. So while a sizable portion of the competitors take off straight, she and her driver /immediately/ take a hard right. Left! Right! Straight for a while! Another right! Through that alley! "The wagon! She ain't gonna fit," the dockhand-driver protests. "It will! Trust me!" Maja replies. The lad tugs at the reins, makes for the alley and prays to his makers. Does it fit?
Narrator: it fits.
Harper chuckles at Jeffeth when he starts loading the crates into the wagon himself. Her grin turns to a blink of surprise as a crate starts flying toward where she's standing. Without even thinking, she dodges it then watches as it crashes against the building. With a frown, she barks over, "Hey, you, be careful before you hurt someone!" With a shake of her head, she waves to Magpie, calling over to him, "You got this, love!" Then she turns to slip away quietly, pinning on her badge as she walks away to her patrol. Fun time is over for her.
Dot, the war-wiener, Judy, an investigative assistant leave, following Harper.
Did anyone even see Sparte while he was loading his wagon? It is loaded. Loaded, strapped down, the same wagon. Absolutely the same wagon, cracking along down the streets of the lowers. Down a side road, then down another. One alley is so narrow that he scratches the edge of the wagon. He'll have to make good on his promise to fix that after the race.
Braith checked luck at difficulty 7, rolling 9 higher.
It takes quite a bit of time for Kamon to finish loading up his wagon. Huffing and puffing, he looks at that fully loaded wagon "Now.... I have to deliver all of THAT???" He looks around to find other contestants walking casually while their retainers are pulling the wagon for them. Kamon clicks his tongue, "I really should consider getting one of those for myself." He closes his eyes for a moment before taking a deep breath. "Now, now, Kamon, this isn't you. Stop whining" He straightens his back and dust off his hands. His eyes becoming sharp "I might die because of this. But... Kamon will go all the way. No matter what it takes." After finishing his monologue, he lets out a noble, righteous, and definitely cool aura. He rides his wagon and begins to make his way to the alleyways.
Being a spectator apparently comes with it's risks! Braith is busy cheering everyone on, even those she does not know and throws her hand up at Jeffeth takes off, giving that sharp whistle through her teeth and lower lip. She grins a bit and is about to say something to some other figure beside her when that crate skims the wagon top and keeps going. The Sanna notices it with enough time to throw herself out of the way and lands on her hip. There is a thunk and a sad sound from her lute when its body hits the ground. The tone is all wrong and she gasps as the clatter and crash of wine once the crate hits the ground fills the air, right where she had been standing. She stares for a moment before pushing up as she has to step around wine seeping out over the ground. "Well yeah...I should have brought armor! Who would have thought?" She does reach down though, pulling back the cracked lid to search through the bottles as the race goes on! She can catch up - there is wine to preserve!
She shuffles through the whole crate, sticking her face down in it and one bottle is found intact! She pulls it out and lets out a sound of delight and then after the rest are gone through she manages to root out two! One for each hand. "Oh look, Lycene Red...oh even better bottling date.". She hurries then, meaning to catch up to see who is going to win.
Mirella's bodyguard is good at two things. Hitting things with swords, and getting nagged by his employer. But it would seem that he's a decent driver too, because even as he gets it in the ear for 'screwing this up' he manages to guide the wagon through the streets with a bit of skill and efficiency. He looks like he just ate something bad even as Mirella keeps grumbling at him, but with a bit of teamwork the two of them manage to find the quickest routes they can. Apparently one or both of them know their way around, for whatever reason, which is good because the tension is pretty sharp between them right now. Especially as Mirella screws her nose up and mentions aside, "Donatti can't win this, Stefano. He's unbearable when he wins."
A moment later.... Kamon looks around, before exclaiming "Where... the fuck am I???"
Alexio, having a great sense for detail and awareness manages to serve as a proper guide to his appointed wagon rider (because he knows nothing about riding and such). In addition, the recent and freshly received guidance of these streets, just a few days ago, by his comrade Corrigan serve him well as he manages to make his way across the streets. Going through absolutely //all// of those shortcuts and getting to the Lowers right on time to make his first deliveries without suffering any cargo damages, nor any impromptu detainments from the law.
"I know this area real well." Jeffeth is murmuring to his prop-- The little boy with him. "This way." The wagon starts going through backalleys and every stinking shortcut that can be found all while Jeffeth is going on and on regaling Dannel about the exploits of his youth.
"And over there, that's where I was bit by a turtle for the first time." Another alley, another story. "Right down this alley my friends were chased by five dogs and I stepped on a nail for the first time."
Another alley, "That used to be a baker who would give me scraps. She always said I would be very strong or very fat." He smiles brightly to Dannel. "So far I've only got one but who knows maybe she was right on both of them."
The next shortcut, "Never really liked the look of this alley. Just don't like how the colors mesh."
And they continue on through the lowers, towards the Uppers.
Kamon... Kamon might be heading for Oathlands. At this point, it's really uncertain and some trailing dockhands are looking a little concerned for the man and his sense of direction and they start yelling at him to go back, no, no, go back, then take a right, okay, yeah. right again. One even jump on to the back of the wagon for what seems likley be a bumpy but leisurely ride. But then Kamon has to stop. Because in front of his wagon, goes indeed... a turtle.
Merek and his map can do no wrong, and steady ahead he goes, tod eliver his goods with precision that's unlikely to get him to the head of this wave, but likely to keep him middle of the pack.
Same for sparte, the sturdy cart carrying him forth. And surely, it is sturdy and that dockmaster didn't steer him wrong as the horse and he and anyone helping him are swift at stopping at their points of delivery in the lowers and hastily unpacking. Mind you, Maja's helpers? Crates go flying off with nary a slowing down and seem to either be caught, land some place soft or spun just the right way.
Nurie? There goes Nurie, trusty and dependable, and as she goes, there's some cheers for the Pravus commoner from a particularly lycene contigent who pop the corks off of some sparking wine and spray it as she goes by. A small little group of cheerleaders she has there.
Zavi? What with the laundry line and all, once they manage to burst past it, it seems like the one shortcut taken to get to a drop off point in the lowers has managed to slide them up, just a bit, past some others. Is the grayhope luck coming into play? Not quite. Because There's Jeffeth ahead of them, pointing out parts of the lowers and giving a historical lesson to those who pass in earshot.
And now it's with colorful undergarments streaming in the wind behind them that Magpie and Zavi head for the Upper Boroughs! The drug-laced feed seems to have really hit the horse now because the beast suddenly has a burst of speed despite the uphill slog to the higher level of housing in the city. "YEAH! I knew this horse was a winner! Go Gardenia go!! Hyah!!" This can't be good for this horse. As they tear through the streets, sending more than a few pedestrians diving for cover, Magpie doesn't concern himself in the slightest about a smooth delivery. He crawls to the back of the wagon and just throws the containers at the addresses they're to be delivered to. They bounce and tumble, there are sounds of goods clattering about, but that horse isn't stopping for anything! It's just a blur of crazy horse, wagon, mad clopping, and pantaloons that flies by. WHOOOOSH~~~!
Magpie checked stamina at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher.
Merek rides on up to the uppers, while he continues to move on forward. He delivers some of the stuff there also.
Maja and her driver Tokyo-Drift through the gate from the Lowers into the Uppers. Things jostle! Things bounce! There's even some sliding going on! But she doesn't lose any of her remaining crates, not a single one, and it's all worth it because they are in the lead! As her young dockhand guides them forward, the curly-haired woman twists where she sits and looks for whomever might be coming up behind them. "Oh, I can see .. what's-his-name? I think he's in the Iron Guard!" He probably has a lot of pull in the Uppers, an .. UPPER-HAND, if you will.
Thing is, Maja has pull as well. Nobles. Merchants. Members of the guard. She's a charming young lady who has charmed a lot of people. And she leans on that now, sweet talking her way through this leg of things and getting all her wares delivered without a hitch. How many winks were given? How many air-kisses doled out? "Just promise you'll visit soon," calls one admirer. "We need to catch up!" Maja waves cheerily to him as she and her wagon zip away, trilling out to him. "I proooooomise! Cross my heart!"
Woah! Woah now. There are laws to be followed and EXAMPLES to be set. Sparte isn't going to be some lawless wagoneer, so he goes about his delivery route in the uppers. Proper like. It doesn't do him any favors for the lead, but he still makes decent time.
Gianna checked luck at difficulty 7, rolling 4 higher.
Here in the upper boroughs Nurie has to be even more careful with the illicit goods delivery, since these folks are the people she deals with on a near daily basis. So she is a little less seat of the pants here, attempting to look like she's just going about normal business. Maybe people just won't see her where they're not expecting to! So too is there an effect of all the riding and steering and unloading on her hands, which may be used to being stabbed with pins and needles but aren't so used to this work! By the time she navigates her way out of the uppers, she's sporting a few blisters, and a scrape, and though she does look down at her hands and her livelihood with a concern, it's still clearly a thrilling experience to try something new. She might be almost out of sugar lumps too, but the horses don't seem to hold it terribly against her. While her wagoneering escapade does pass by a guard, on duty nevertheless, the bold tailor looks him straight in the eye and lifts her hand in greeting, projecting confidence. Maybe she's distracted by the fine needlework on Nurie's cloak, or the flash of her ring, but the guard waves her through, suspicions perhaps momentarily there but shrugged off enough to let this particular harmless wagon past. There are many side-eyes from others as they pass, but...there's something enough familiar about Nurie that her cheerful smile and open demeanor that for whatever reason they decide to go after more suspicious people!
Braith checked luck at difficulty 7, rolling 7 higher.
Perhaps even the gods feel pity for Kamon as he somehow reaches the Uppers. "Now, now. I am lagging WAY behind. Can I still do this??" Kamon hesitates for a moment before he starts slapping his own cheeks, "NO! I wont give up. If I give up then I am not Kamon Vyner!" He squints his eyes as he eyes the Uppers, "Time to really picks up the pace!" He holds the reins tightly, determination in his eyes. "LETS GO!"
Hey what the hey. While Jeffeth should be concentrating on steering his wagon and talking to Dannel about the journey he instead is confronting guards for them giving side eye. Don't you know who I am?! As Maja rolls by, Jeffeth is mid lecture.
"We have a long history of service alongside one another and a good natured game is no reason to let splinters work their way into that relationship. The Silver Order and the Iron Guard must stand together and hold fast. If we don't...."
Maja rolls off and Jeffeth remains, now talking to two guardsmen instead of one when Nurie rolls by. "...and that faith is what secures us to each other. When you look into the eye of your fellow Arvani your thoughts should only be on the---" Nurie rolls by.
Eventually Jeffeth is back on his wagon and with Dannel after the Iron Guard and he worked out that issue, rolling his shoulders he spurs the wagon forward.
A dusken-feathered crow hops between rooftops as Mirella and Stefano pull crates and baskets off the wagon to waiting customers. The cawing sound the curious corvid makes is absolutely horrible, biting through the air in a way that almost sounds disapproving. Nonetheless, the delivery is somewhat timely, with the two Southeners and their avian friend making decent enough progress in distributing wares. As such, the two of them are only a little breathless by the time they reach the guards at the Uppers, who let them through without much questioning. Mirella's a Minister of House Inverno and a well-known merchant in the markets, and Stefano looks too boring to be a ne'er-do-well. And so they're off again.
Mirella is overheard praising Josephine.
Gianna makes her way toward the finish, safely behind the cords and munching on a handful of peanuts. Peanuts seem never-ending at the Murder if Crows. The Nightingale goes up on her toes to peer at who's bearing down the road.
Having reached the Uppers now, Alexio smooth talks his way on this one. "Well aren't you looking lovely today..." Savvy merchant influence and all he has his charismatic charm and full dominion of making others agree to do that which indeed they wanted to do, but coincidentally turns out to be beneficial for him as well. "Yes, what a great choice! That's certainly what /you/ needed." In the end, he manages to make the drops in an inconspicuously agreeable and timely manner with one of those signature striking smiles on his face as he pushes further into the next phase of the race.
Merek just delivers.
Maja -delivers-. Is there something Maja can't do? Doesn't seem like it, as the whisper takes the lead. Leaving poor jeffeth to his little detente with the guardman. No papers have to be producied but at he goes, at least one guard is talking about joining up with the order and the other two? Well, they're still giving the Knight side eye and his cargo as well.
No guards disturb Nurie on her way to do business, not in the least and one guard calls out to her inquiring where can she get a cloak like that. Heads bob in respect for Sparte, the same for Evaristo who is keeping good pace with the others and quick stops to gently hand off cargo and step back on.
Poor Kamon. There's an odd bumping quality to his wagon that wasn't here before, an ominous groan and creak. But do you know what's not groaning and creaking? Alexio's silver tongue.
And like that, wagon make their last deliveries and it's down to the end. Wagon to wagon, rider and rider. It's not over till the wagons are parked and someone's spilling grog from the murder of crows all over themselves.
The cheers now are loud, nearly overhwelming and some horses seem to have a hard time dealing with that. People are running ahead as fast as they can, taking alley to get back to the square or to catch a glimpse of this wave of wagons.
There we go. Proper civility is done, the wagon is empty, and... And... You know how some people talk about putting the cart before the wagon? It seems that is exactly what Sparte has done. The poor animal is trying to catch the cart as Sparte uses gravity of the slanted roads going from the uppers into the lowers to guide him back towards his destination, steering the landship with a loose plank he acquired /somewhere/. The racket of the edge of the wood splintering as he drags it on the ground to maintain some illusion of control is considerable. Through luck or skill he avoids any catastrophes and gets back to roughly where he needed to be in outlandishly good time. Unfortunately, the horse does take a while to catch up to him. Can't finish the race until he returns the horse, so... "Well... Now what..." Didn't think that one through, did he? Sparte gets off the wagon and starts inspecting the damage while he waits to be able to finish his race. At least it was a spectacle.
Once they're in the clear, Nurie gives her horse team their heads. She's read about this so often. Maybe she has heard grooms or stablehands speak admiringly of a horse finally being given the freedom to run how they will. But....well. It isn't that the horses aren't excited to finally get to move as fast as they want to back to their final stop (which means some oats, and harnesses off!) it's just that they are kind of old (and mellow), and they aren't starving due to their treats. They do go a little faster because of the lighter load of the wagon, even breaking into a (very farty) trot! And so Nurie and wagon bump along at a tooth rattling, bum bumping pace towards the final destination, sometimes with staccato and merry horse-wind accentuation!
Magpie gets the last crate off the wagon and starts to crawl back to the seat of the cart. The Grayhope collects a long red stocking that's caught on their cart and wraps it around his forehead like a bandana. "WOOO!! GRAYHOPE!!!" But then? Their blazing pace drops off like a boat anchor pushed overboard. The horse is suddenly running out of speed and it's quickly losing interest in doing anything Zavi wants it to. "C'mon Gardenia!! Don't stop girl! Keep going! There's so much food and man-horses for you at the end!" But Gardenia doesn't care. Gardenia is just going slower and slower, despite the downhill leg of the race. "Shit, did it run itself to death? Just... uh... " Zavi is just shaking the reins and trying to coax the animal along but the beast refuses to move any faster. "Get off the wagon and pull the horse along, Zavi!" The younger man protests, however, and it's a rather leisurely, depressing plod back. There's no flair, but they do have a drugged horse and a lot of free underwear.
Merek makes with the wagon to return it, then he collects the main exchange. After that, he makes his way back to the place people are at also.
Kamon succeeds in catching for a bit, but 'a bit' is never enough. Kamon frowns as he falls into a deep thought "What can I do, what can I do...." After a moment he opens his eyes "Hahahahah, I, Kamon, is a genius!" Eyes shining brightly, he begins to unstrap the wagon from the horse. "Thanks horsie, I wont make it here if it werent for you." He takes a deep breath once again before calming his mind. "This will work, no, it have to work"
As people return to the Commons Square in various states of huff and puff, Maja is nowhere to be seen in the pack. Did she take a wrong turn? Did she and Redshirt Dockhand #3 hit a pothole and flip the wagon? Has she been carried off the ruffians?!
ecause it turns out that she is already here. Relaxing. Drinking a mug of ale. Not a bead of sweat on her and looking like she's been chilling out for /hours/ already. H- .. how did she arrive at the finish line so quickly? Ha! She will never reveal her secrets! But as the adorable (almost) Whisper bends an ear to a joke being told, a picture starts to form. She isn't drinking alone. There is the dockmaster who loaned her a wagon. The dockhands who helped her with her wares. Various friends, business associates and admirers are present. And they are all sitting together, having a grand ol' time!
Getting ahead in wagon runs -- as well as life -- if all about who you know.
"Cheers!" Maja lilts, clanking her mug against those of her companions.
Stefano, an inconspicuous Lycene bodyguard, Carmela, a gleaming dusken-feathered crow, Alba, a small, azure-eyed white cat leave, following Mirella.
When arriving at commons square, simply keeping up the pace Jeffeth almost turns around when he finds that Maja is already there. Hhgh. "This is an important lesson about humility." Jeffeth rumbles down to Dannel. "See her? All the hair. Right. She's going to gloat. A lot. But not in an obvious way really, it will be in a very cute gloating way. But it's still gloating. Even so. We both have to just smile and congratulate her. Alright, that's a good lad."
Jeffeth and his new lil brother in the big brothers of Arx program slowly descend into commons square smiling /brightly/ to Maja as they approach.
With that, he just push his wagon a little before it begins to slide down the slope. "Hahaha, I am genius" Kamon begins to laugh maniacally. Relying nothing but gravity, the wagon begins to pick up its speed. Unfortunately the road ahead is a little bumpy, so the wagon begin to roll away from the course, "Eh no no no!" Just as the wagon reach its highest speed, Kamon noticed Evaristo's wagon not far ahed of him "NO! move!!! I cant control it!!" Alas, maybe Evaristo doesnt hear it, it is all too late. "AAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!"
The cargo has been delivered but it's not over //yet//. A wagon needs to be returned, hopefully in one piece! Things are crazy and hectic now! It's the mad dash to get back down to the Lowers and seize that mildly fine liquor! Alexio is intent on doing so, and he's going for that breakneck pace. "Quickly, quickly! Make haste!" he shouts to the rider. All was going well! It seemed luck was on his side! But, OH NO! What's that! An axle broke?! "What on Tehom's tush just happened?!" Yes, an axle broke (whatever that means!) Still, somehow Alexio, and his rider, manage to bring that shit wagon home and into a haystack it goes! They make it! Third place! So, harrowing! So stylish! Ooooooooh~
(Credits: some lines were courtesy of Josephine. Thank you so much! <3)
Settling back into a good position Braith is two bottles of wine richer - oh yes! MMMM. As Maja comes in first and is already enjoying her win already, there is another sharp whistle from the bard as she winks at the other woman. She puts a bottle of wine beneath her arm so she can hold onto the other. She gives a pull of her curls before she rocks back on her feet to lift up on her toes and get a look as the others start to poor into the square. A smirk plays at her lips when she see Jeffeth along with his cohort. She skirts the crowd to try to get to those that have finished the race bearing gifts of luck!
That is when Alexio comes crashing into view, something happened. SOMETHING and he still made it. Pieces of that broken wagon go careening towards her position and Braith lets out a squeak of surprise, her feet slipping at first before she rushes out of the way. Untouched again by random items flying about! "Spirits!" She yells.
It doesn't work. Kamon's noble effort yields the result of a slow plod that is overtaken by even Magpie at this point. Magpie who is showing that while you can do so good that there's a trio of giggling teenagers running behind his wagon with starry eyed looks in their faces and screaming his name like a gaggle of groupies, you probably shouldn't drug your horse up with dust until halfway through the wagon run and not before. They try to keep pace, but can't keep up and he's bound to find them at the Murder of Crows later to talk about that last trip through the uppers and his prowess and please, can they have that bandana?
Here comes Evaristo though, barreling through, wheels looking a little rickety and doesn't hear Kamon's warning. He is side swiped, parts going flying off from either's wagon and eventually into the finish line goes one of the Arterius clan, just as a wheel falls off, which lands him in fourth. Watch out Gianna! Somethings come off!
Sparte, steady as she goes, comes in second in the wave, and there's iron guardsman there to clap him on the back as he does and the dockmaster to whom he borrowed the wagon, looks suitably impressed.
Jeffeth's guiding advice to his wagonmate is looked at from others with raised brows. "You'll best her the next event Sir Jeffeth!"
Nurie's having to contend with a gaggle of Pravi who are intend on dodging in front of her, but the scent of her gassy gelding make them scurry away just as fast, holding thier noses. One even steps into a pile of manure that's been left by a precious contestant and screeches her dismay, not moving fast enough and delaying Nurie till she slides in, second to last in this wave.
And Alexio, in the same state as Evaristo manages to get thier wagons across the line before the poor things give up the ghost. Mirella hasn't, and her steadfastness and charm keeps her middle of the pack and crossing the line with a fully intact wagon, a sober horse and all of her goods delivered!
Well, there's a reason that the Whispers is a premiere house, charges what they do and has that cache to the name. And Maja just proved it, having beaten everyone there. The people sitting with her are only -too pleased- to sit there and there's a few others in the crowd who scream out their adoration, a little fan club seeming to appear and sighs of happiness when she looks their way.
Gianna's eyes widen as Evaristo's wagon comes hurtling off the course and nearly careens into her. She drops her bag of peanuts and scrambles out of the way, diving between a couple of other bystanders and coming to a staggering stop against a sturdy gentleman. She doesn't apologize to said gentleman. Instead, she turns and hollers, "LEARN TO DRIVE, ASSHOLE!" with rather amazing volume and clarity. Legendary voice. Maybe not the best Whisper manners. Oops. Maybe she didn't notice it was Evaristo, or maybe his pay will be getting lowered.
When Nurie finally climbs down from her wagon, a little numbly, she doesn't forget her courtesies. Her horses are given gentle kisses on their velvety (but probably slobbery) whiskery muzzles, and one final teeny treat--the people who come to take them away are cheerfully thanked as well. It's only then that she sneaks a look down at her hands, turning them over once, and then gently tucks them inside her soft wool cloak. Her hair is disheveled, and curling at her temples and the nape of her neck, her forehead and cheeks glowing with sweat, and she has a few slivers in the body of her cloak, but she seems awful proud of herself for having made it to the finish line in one piece!
Magpie throws linen to the masses, laughing cheerfully despite not winning. He doesn't really seem to mind when it comes down to it, but then, the Grayhopes aren't exactly hurting for coin. The smuggler has Zavi return the blitzed horse and calls out a hearty, "Congratulations!" to Maja, then goes to chat up friends and neighbors.
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