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Isle al'Aswaq - Seeds of Rebellion

Marquis Dio Seraceni claims to have a plan to greatly enrich anyone daring enough to join him on a treasure hunt. When pressed for details of the plan, he admits that he must first find someone integral to the venture - who happens to be imprisoned on Isle al'Aswaq, a small island in the Saffron Chain rumored to be frequented by Eurusi traders and Arvani outlaws and pirates.

[OOC: This PRP may have a few spots open. Feel free to page or mail Dio if you're interested in joining.]

Date

Dec. 3, 2019, 7 p.m.

Hosted By

Dio

GM'd By

Dio

Participants

Orrin Merek Peri Thomas Imogene Thea

Organizations

Location

Outside Arx - Lyceum near Ischia - Isle al'Aswaq

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


Dio checked command + intimidation at difficulty 15, rolling 52 higher.

The sun is riding towards is rest on the horizon when The Osprey pulls its sails, and casts anchor off the coast of Isle al'Aswaq. "Get the crates ready, ye scurvy sea dogs! Prepare the boats - and no drinking till the party returns!" roars Dio to the crew before coming to before the mast, waving over those who have agreed to journey from Arx. "My sincere thanks for making the trip," he says in a low voice when they have approached. Catching a member of his crew approaching, Dio turns on him like a rabid wolf: "What are you looking at, sea rat?! Get to work!" The crew member flinches, and returns quickly to his post, securing the rigging, so that it can be easily released when it comes time again to set sail.



Turning back to those assembled, Dio says, "I'm hoping to find a slave on this island named Jamira. Our goal will be to buy his freedom. I've given Marquessa Imogene ten thousand silver to that end - and offer no more." A frown passes over Dio's face. "If a slaver senses he's worth more than that, we'll never get him. These boxes," he says, gesturing to four crates being hoisted onto the boats by the crew, "are filled with weapons crafted by Brother Felix and his apprentices. If we can't get Jamira the easy way, we'll try the hard way."

Orrin, as diplomatic as the situation requires, says: "Have you got a particular purpose for finding this one slave amongst the lot, my lord?" he asks. Perhaps he senses the situation doesn't require, as that's... straightforward. "Kin of yours, skills? It tends to matter." He's not arguing with orders - just checking blade, armor, so on.

Merek has taken time to put on his dark attire, the leathers adjusted about him while he takes a moment to pull on his cloak for the weather while his sword gets tucked into a sheath. He nods a bit to Dio, not speaking for the moment, while he looks to those that are about, pulling the hood up also.

Peri frowns at the crates like as if she'd like to gain the freedom of a slave by freeing hte blood from a slaver's body. She looks at the group. "I'm not one to barter. I'll keep an eye on these." She looks around to see if this landing calls for the custom of peacebonds. Likely not. She'll untie hers.

Thomas has kept near the bow of the ship almost entirely during the journey, chin lifted to the wind and his cloak flaring out behind him with appropriate drama...though this may have simply been so he could be near a rail in case of seasickness. Still, he's hardly green at all about the gills as the Osprey drops the anchor, and he steps between the flurry of activity towards the rest of the group with an easy dexterity that seems to defy any trace of land-legs. When Dio thanks them, he bows low, touching his fingers to the brim of his hat, and letting his calloused hand rest lightly on his rapier's hilt as he rises; he is simply here as martial insurance, it seems, despite his cultured Lycene tones. "It was no problem, my lord. I am simply glad to be offering the aid of the Gold Order, along with Sir Merek."

Dressed in ruffled blouse and silken sash and short baggy breeches in what might be an Oathlander's fanciful interpretation of pirate gear, Imogene emerges from the cabin in a motion that might have started as a glide but turns halfway across the deck into a prance of excitement. She smiles brightly at all the crew, waggles her fingers at one in particular who only looks bemused, and has settled back into gliding mode again by the time she reaches Dio's side, nodding to him at the statement about the silver. She then quickly pats down her blouse and sash as weapons are mentioned, a rueful look sliding across her face as this turns up not so much as a dinner knife. "I knew I was going to forget something," she murmurs to herself, sighing.

Amongst the others, stands Thea. Quietly, looking quite at ease on the ship. She simply listens, a brief smile to the others.

Dio nods to Orrin. "I've been told he's was the body slave of one of the greatest Eurusi pirates. Apparently their ship was wrecked, and he drifted for nigh on a week and a half before he was picked up by a slaving vessel. He spoke to one of the crew, whom I... interrogated before he met the fate he deserved. The slaver had apparently made a deal with Jamira such that if his freedom was bought, he'd tell him the location of hte sunken ship, and its treasure." Dio's dark eyes burn with avarice in the afternoon light. "I want that treasure, and it took me a great deal of effort to find out Jamira's here, on this island. Now I'm praying to Gild that it's so, and relying on you, Count Orrin, Lady Peri and all of you, to find out the truth of the matter, since my setting foot on this isle would be most unwise."



Dio returns Thomas bow, with only the slightest shift in the eyes of his crew to notice the uncharacteristic behavior of the Count of the march of Ischia. "It is most appreciated, My Lord." he then turns to Imogene, and sighs, deftly lifting his blade and handing it to his wife. "Watch over her, please," Dio says softly to Peri and the Knights of the Gold Order.

Peri offers a sword to Imogene. "My lady?"

Peri drops a steel longsword.

Orrin's lips press; he clearly considers that for some length of time before nodding, slipping back to check his own weapon. Unbinder! Such a good weapon for, ah, slave... freeing? Freeing. Yes? He gives Peri a look, and sets to ensuring the weapon is sharp.

Merek watches while Imogene is offered two blades, lifting his brow in thought a bit. He then nods to Thomas, and puts on his ring, while he pulls his cloak about him, two daggers placed into sheaths upon the hips shifting towards the back, then he takes his crossbow and places that upon the hip while he places a belt piece upon it for drawing the weapon. With his armory complete, he nods to Dio, "We'll succeed."

Imogene takes Dio's own blade with a knowing "Ahh!" that suggests that yes, this was /exactly/ what she planned all along, and that really this is her very own sword that Dio was merely holding onto for her until she was ready for it. Nodding soberly to the marquis, she raises the sword in a flourishing salute, then drops it back to her side, holding it in the awkward manner of someone who has no idea whatsoever to do with such a thing. "I'm set now, thank you, Lady Peri!" she says brightly to the other woman. Yes. So set. For disaster, probably.

Peri takes a steel longsword.

The Hawkmour lord inclines his head, and then glances to Peri with a flicker of a sharp, approving grin when she offers Imogene a blade. "If it comes to bloodshed, we three will form a guard around her first, yes?" He asks both Peri and Merek, that grin returning as his gaze roams over the knight's gear. When Imogene flourishes her blade, his lips purse a little, as if he's fighting off a third smile, and he bows to her instead. "The sharp end goes in them, not us, just remember," He murmurs teasingly, though his eyes are warm with respect as they move from her to Dio and Orrin.

Thea listens to Dio and Orrion, checking her own supplies. Medical satchel full, Skystrike, her dagger...all good here. I mean, you never know. Her gold-flecked green eyes appear to smile for a moment,"I promise to not let anyone bleed out."

Peri nods to Imogene and resheathes her weapon next to her wavedancer sword. She steps to her father's side to speak softly and then gives Dio her attention.

There's a sharp nod to Peri, and once he's seen to his blade, Orrin - quiet as he can be - resumes his feet. "Information gathered under duress can be a troubled sort, prone to invention. I imagine we'll learn once our boots find the earth again what will be needed. Hopefully -" this, part to Imogene, with a reassuring smile, "not force of arms at all."

The boats are lowered into the water - two of them, with Anne, Dio's first mate at the stern of the first, seated on one of the crates of weapons. Dio glances from the boats to the adventurers. "If Jamira can't be bought, I intend to stage a slave rebellion. Not only will we have a good chance of getting a single slave off the island, but we can give a lot of people a chance to grab their freedom from their oppressors." The Marquis's expression is grim, knowing that a rebellion will lead to the deaths of many. "Hide the weapon crates anywhere you feel they might be both useful and safe for a day, and plant the seeds of rebellion among the poor, the oppressed and the enslaved. My fleet is a little ways from here. Tonight, return with Jamira if possible; otherwise we'll plan to meet here on The Osprey in any case, and prepare for an uprising for any who wish to see this through to the end."

Imogene makes a little scoffing noise at Thomas, though her eyes are sparkling with good humour and excitement. "Ah, bah, I can stab things just as well as the next marquessa! Just you wait and see." As Orrin remarks on the whole solving-problems-through-not-stabbing-people notion, her mouth quirks wryly to one side, and she says, "Yes, well, I suppose that's so." Shoving the blade through her sash at a rakish angle, she clambers into the weaponless boat, a more serious expression passing across her face after the talk of the rebellion. She settles herself on the seat, and peers off across the water towards the shore.

Thea doesn't have much to adjust at this point and climbs into the boat with Anne. Maybe on purpose, maybe not. Thea turns to Imogene and gives her a wink,"I have seen Marquesas do plenty of amazing stabbings. I'm sure you will be no different." Yep. Encouraging pep talk.

Merek nods a bit while he follows along with the team, into the boats, then settles about, answering the question asked to him, "We'll protect her," he says.

Anne, with her golden hair and eyepatch over her left eye, frowns when Thea steps into her boat and glances at Dio. Dio grins slowly, and Anne sighs.

Peri consults with her father then turns her armored cloak inside out so that the symbol of freedom for many thralls is hidden while they are at this slaver enclave. "Father and I can help choose good placements for the crates." She smiles at her father. "I learned much about tactics from him." She meets Merek and Thomas's gaze and gives a firm nod in their and Imogene's direction. Mission acknowledged.

Thomas nods firmly to Dio's instructions and chuckles a little grimly at Imogene's response, low and rough. "Hopefully it will not come to that, my lady, but I...believe in you," He offers, after a beat and a quirk of his eyebrows. He eases into one of the boats, tucking his cloak around him tightly against the chill of the oncoming spring evening. He watches the Osprey as they make towards shore, his own expression growing a little harder as well at the dark thought of an uprising. "I hate to think of the lives we may lose if things go sour...though the thought of them remaining in captivity is just as foul, no?" He mutters to his comrades, shaking his head.

Yes, Orrin likewise turns his cloak inside out - but keeps it. That might... come in handy. "Fouler," he comments - one word doing a lot of work, the loathing for slavery in principle a sound in his voice that may as well have a flavor, bile-like.

Peri looks over Thomas, "I once wrote to Brass to ask him how to run a slave revolt. He never taught me, so I'll have to wing it."

Orrin is overheard praising Peri.

The crew pull at the oars, and the boats cut through the water, carrying Peri, Orrin, Thea, Merek, Thomas, and Imogene to the beach of Isle al'Aswaq, where various other small boats are being loaded and unloaded. Speaking of slavery in Arx is one thing, but for those, like the Seliki's, who have seen it up close, it is quite another. Groups of half-starved and nearly naked people who have been chained together, are led by armed slavers into and off of ships. Eurusi and Arvani is shouted loudly back and forth amid those arriving and departing.



Anne spits and leaps over the edge of the boat to slow its slide onto the beach. "Get the crates," she shouts curtly to the crew, who begin to follow her orders.



It does appear that at least one faction of the island has been tasked with keeping order. As a rather plump, but well armored woman with dark hair and eyes, and a number of guards approach the boats as they land.

Orrin checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 14 higher.

Orrin's lips press at the scene, and there is a length of time before he says anything at all, watching and listening; his features are dark. That's alright. He can be the dour stuffshirt pompous prick amongst them; not everybody has to be smiles. He turns to the lot. "Does anyone here speak or understand that foul tongue of theirs?" he asks, hushed; he'll get to work, physical work, but the planner in him is already awake.

Imogene's face loses its lively expression as they come close enough to the island to see the slaves in all their captive misery, and she sets her mouth into a firm line. Bounding out of the boat and onto the shore, she sends up a spray of sand as her feet hit the ground, and then pauses to survey the people surveying hers, particularly the dark armoured woman. To Orrin's question she gives a small shake of her head, indigo eyes still watching the foreign woman.

Peri checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 13 higher.

There is little hint of compasion in Peri's scowl. She manages to hid it behind a continuous snarl. she fits in the rabble fine. She shakes her head no to her father's question and tells Orrin, "No, but I plan to." With that she looks at the approaching woman and her guards.

Thea steps forward, lips thin at the sight before her,"There was a boat that crashed into the docks last year. Full of slavers. I--picked up the language, yes,"the young Malvici answers. Thea watches the foreign woman now, gold-flecked green eyes cautious.

As they draw close to the beach, Thomas has turned his head away from the ship to scan the shore,, and much like the others the sight of the enslaved draws the hard lines of his face even harder, if such a thing is possible. His hand on the hilt of his sword tightens until the knuckles show white, and a fierce emotion wells behind his eyes. "Before today...I had never seen..." He murmurs, and then draws a deep, steadying breath as he glances to Orrin and shakes his head with an apologetic frown. He hops into the water as well, black boots glimmering as he splashes after the others.

"You might like to keep it to yourself, then," Orrin says. "Believing we don't understand their language is an advantage." That's to Thea; he hops over the side as well, off to treat with people until he can't.

The woman speaks curtly in Eurusi, taking an extra long look at Peri that seems more interested than suspicious. The guards at her side are carrying spears and wearing conical helms of decently forged steel. Nearby a woman screams, as her child is ripped from her arms and offered to a merchant dressed in flowing blue and green sliks who appears to be buying the boy of about four years right there on the spot.

Merek checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 12 higher.

Imogene checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Thea checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 1 higher. Thea rolled a critical!

Thomas checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 3 higher.

Merek checked composure at difficulty 20, rolling 5 lower.

Peri checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 8 higher.

Imogene follows along at Orrin's side as he approaches the Eurusi woman, looking as serious as someone dressed in faux-pirate can. She is visibly startled by the scream when it comes, but she avoids actually looking in the direction it came from, instead dividing her attention between the Seliki man and the waiting woman.

Peri maintains her disdainly scowl despite the cries of the child being torn from its mother's arms. She narrows her eyes and studies the merchant, marking them down in an internal ledger.

Orrin, seeing the interest, very level-headed for now perhaps through sheer force of will or practice, takes a half step in front of his daughter, body language unsubtle: Not For Sale.

Merek checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 30, rolling 12 higher.

Thea straightens as she glimpses at the sight of mother of child. A brief look of anger flashes in her eyes but vanishes quickly. Stepping to the others she lowers her voice to the others, in a whisper,"She wants to know where we are from and what we want to trade."

The woman switches to accented Arani and says, "What are you selling, and where are you from?" With a nod to Orrin, she says, "Your woman is very beautiful. I will take her, if you're selling."

Merek looks to the team a moment, and wiggles his nose, "I'm going to do a little... Recon," he mentions, then his cloak is pulled about him, while he blends into the shadows. He's maneuvering around to take up position in bushes not far from the slaver, while he watches. He unlatches a few pockets while he begins to work on his dagger a moment.

Orrin checked composure at difficulty 20, rolling 9 higher.

Orrin lifts his chin. "Not for every coin you've held or will hold in this life," he says. "We aren't selling. We're buying." He looks sidelong to - literally ANYONE ELSE to follow that thread, because he is full of cannot.

Thomas's steely eyes roam over the Eurusi woman who meets them, coming to a stop behind Peri and Imogene and leaving his hand on his hilt as he eyes the guards next -- but at the piercing scream, his head sharply turns to take in the child separated from his mother, and it is a struggle to keep his composure, but his expression ultimately remains stony. When he notices Imogene flinch, he takes another small breath and murmurs, low and only meant for the others, "Steady on. She will find her justice, Sentinel willing." But when Merek starts to slip away, he grunts, eyebrows rising. "Stick to the plan," He hisses after the man, but...he's dipped into the shadows!

Merek gets a solid gold ring made in the likeness of Dragon from a backpack, made of black leather.

Likewise tilting her chin upwards, Imogene adds for clarification, "/None/ of us are for sale. We are looking for something in particular." Orrin gets a brief wary look, as if she's wondering whether he might explode at any moment, before the merchant receives her full attention again. "Have you got a fellow named Jama.. Jamir.. oh, blast it. Jamira? Or somebody pretty like him," she adds after a moment's additional thought.

"Fair enough," sorts the woman, moving towards the crates, carried by Dio's crew. "But if you change your mind, let me know. Her hair and eyes are exotic, and her skin looks supple." She then shrugs at Imogene. "Go ask in the market." Glancing towards Thea, she says, "What's in the crates?" One of the guards eye Thomas closely, though no one appears to have noticed Merek walk into the shadowy palms and bush a little ways in from the beach.

Peri steps closer to Imogene, shadowing her like a guard.

"You'll be the first," Orrin says, and it's probably meant to come off as 'to know, if he changes his mind,' but might come off a little closer to 'to die when Imogene is right and I become the first volcano in these parts'. He's still letting the rest do most of the talking; he's giving cursory attention to the guards, the surround. Best to work out the lay of the land in advance, ay?

Imogene looks back over at Thea and the crates, as if she had to remind herself of just what sort of trivial thing the Eurusi woman is speaking of. "Ah," she replies with a nod back to her, "We weren't sure what would sell well on the local market, so we brought all manner of things that we thought might be useful or rare here." She smiles serenely. "We really don't want to go away empty-handed after the journey here, it would be such a waste."

In complete trained Malvici style, Thea masks her face as she looks to the woman,"I few supplies is all,"her southern accent calm. Thea stands straight and comfortably.

Orrin checked perception + war at difficulty 15, rolling 22 higher.

Merek keeps watching the merchant, while he takes a moment to examine the situation, all the people which look to be about, then he takes a moment to settle in so he can observe.

Another purse of his lips, fighting either a grimace or a rueful smile as Merek disappears, and Thomas stands straighter behind the rest of his companions, returning the guard's stare with a flat one of his own as he regains his composure, attempting to play the bored mercenary bodyguard as casually as he can.

The merchant nods to a large, bearded Lycene guard, who takes the boy whose been just bought by the collar and begins to drag the boy, who is wailing for his mother, through the sand in the wake of the merchant. They make their way up the sandy beach towards the main road into the central bazzar.



Meanwhile, the woman shrugs at Thea, and says, "Ok, but even if you're just buying it will be two hundred Arvani silver for all of you to keep your boats here, unmolested. Pay up," she says, glancing at Orrin.

Peri continues to play guard to Imogene. She gives the woman who is talking to them a glance up and down before pulling out a knife to pick under her fingernails. She flicks the dirt away and returns the knife to her belt.

"We'll pay," says Orrin, testily. "When there's something worth paying for. Two hundred silver each, and we pass unmolested - and we take the boy."

"Each?" says the woman, "Er - yes, each, and you'll have to buy the boy from the merchant, as is the law here in Isle al'Aswaq. Of course, if you're willing to trade..." she says, glancing again at Peri, "We'll waive all the fees, and I promise you, she will not be ill treated. I will keep her personally."

Peri whispers to her father. she glances at the boy's mother.

Imogene's eyes widen at this blatant extortion. "Two hundred silver! Just to make sure that--" And then she cuts off as Orrin is trying to buy a slave boy AND offer still more money. "Two hundred /each/! We'll have none left for Jamaru," she objects, if not very strenuously. But when the woman makes a second offer for Peri, her eyes sparkle like blue ice, and she says firmly, "I'm afraid that is not going to happen. We will pay." She counts out the coin, not looking pleased to pay the woman anything, and when the transaction is complete asks briskly, "No, which is the way to the market?"

Thea lifts her eyebrow at the woman as the woman seems to actually sound unsure for a moment,"Did you make that up?"she asks unabashedly. "I'm sorry, but ‚Äźnone- of us are for sale,"her eyes turning a more liquid gold color.

Accepting the money, the woman, whose name is Chaima, gestures to the east. "That way. Good business to you," she snorts, clearly disappointed.

Merek takes a moment to look between those in the team, then he offers a signal to them, to clarify he will be following them from the shadows. Then he's shifting the cloak he has on, while he begins to maneuver about along the path a little away.

"Very good, off we go, let's waste no more time here!" Imogene about-faces to the east and starts off at as quick a pace as one can manage on soft sand, her haste probably an attempt to keep Orrin from going off in a catastrophic explosion that takes out not only their mission but the entire island.

Orrin shuts his mouth, which is a very good outcome, all things considered. His eyes still flit from place to place; he's keeping counts, watching for guardhouses, obstacles, armaments. He catches Merek's gesture, but does not acknowledge it aside from the noticing; he offers a murmur now and again to Peri, and then to Thomas, working way through people.

"I am not sure whether you should be flattered, or offended...or both," Thomas murmrurs to Peri in response to the Eurusi's insistent bargaining, snorting a little in disgust as they stride on down the beach in the direction of the market.

At Chaima's words, Dio's crew heaves the crates and begins to follow Imogene, save for Anne and another crew member who wait beside the boats. Anne crosses her arms, and removes a long cigarillo from her coat, approaching a nearby party of merchants who seem to be trading in fish rather than slaves, and lights the haze from their fire, with a word of thanks.

The main eastward path from the beach leads to the Grand Bazaar, just as the sun is beginning to dip below the horizon, casting its last gold, orange and deep red light into an indigo sky. Stars are beginning to shine in the heavens, and various slaves are at work under the watchful eyes of their overseers, all bearing the sigil of the black serpent, in lighting the torches that line the various crumbling structures that make up the central market.



People are everywhere, and small, makeshift stands sell all manner of fruit, seafood, and other things to eat, along with slavers, bringing their stock onto a large auction block, where prices are called out in Eurusi and Arvani. There seem to be small groups of those whose clothing suggests they may be from Cardia, and others are dressed to indicate they have likely lived long in the Saffron Chain.

Orrin checked perception + war at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.

Peri checked perception + war at difficulty 15, rolling 46 higher.

Imogene can't quite help looking enthralled by the exotic sights, sounds, and smells all around her, wretched slaves or no. But giving a firm shake of her head, she focuses her attention on the auction area, which she makes a determined beeline for. Glancing around at the slaves being marched up to the block, she murmurs, "Ah, bah, this is no good; who is in charge here?" She taps her lips lightly, then raises her voice to actually ask the question aloud. "Hello, who is in charge? We're looking for something very particular to buy."

When Merek finds the place he is looking for, he then takes a moment to unlace his cloak so he can settle it into a pack, plus he looks a lot cooler in his dark leather while he begins to adjust his gloves, then he takes a scroll from his belt, while he begins mapping the place. He then begins to make his way back to the group, coming up from the back, next to Thomas, sneaky.

Peri murmers something in Imogene's ear.

An opulently dressed young man, whose name is Karim, with eight rings on his fingers, steps over to Imogene, with an easy smile. His green eyes look her up and down with interest. "You are from the Oathlands of Arvum, are you not?" he asks. His own accent suggests that he might be Lycene, though it is tinged with Eurusi as well. "I have an excellent stock if you are looking to buy - even if it is some misguided effort to free the poor wretch, as many of you milk-drinking Arvani wish to do." He begins to circle, Imogene, looking her up and down as one might an animal, or some other object. "What sort of slave are you looking for, Miss...?"

Orrin settles himself by continuing to do what he's been doing; assessing. Number of slaves about? Ships at dock, on approach? The opulently dressed young man; his guards? Sometimes he is good at diplomacy. It is usually when there are not people being bought and sold. A glance sidelong at Peri, then Thomas - ah. Merek. His eyes flick over the man, and he shifts his weight that direction, even if he looks like he'd like to bite the head off Karim. IMOGENE IS ALSO NOT FOR SALE.

Imogene merely smiles brightly at the man, asking, "You know the Oathlands? How lovely, to deal with someone who is familiar with one's kind." Waving one hand in easy dismissal and proceeding on from sharing social niceties with slavers, she furnishes for additional clarity, "We want.. er, what do you call them here? Body slaves. Manservants of a high quality." She clucks her tongue. "I've got a brand new villa back in Arx to furnish with servants, and I don't want any of your lousy road laborers and convicts."

Thea is just behind the others, stopping near Imogene, or somewhere close anyway. She takes in the young man, arching her eyebrow. Yeah--no.

Thomas does not seem to have much attention to spare for the stalls; instead, his eyes are on the slavers and their guards, making sure to keep close behind Orrin, Imogene, Thea and Perri as they walk. When Merek reappears, he smiles a little, murmuring something to the other man under his breath. Karim's appearance earns a sharp glance, and he steps up beside Imogene with his hand resting clearly on the hilt, ever the bodyguard.

Karim raises his brows slightly. "Ha! Body servants? Well, I have several who might interest you. Right this way, my dear," he starts to put a jeweled hand on Imogene's lower back, before Thomas steps to her side. He does his best to play it off, but there is a slight pull in his mouth. "Please, follow me," he says, and gestures towards a large, though crumbling stone structure, with a great barred door, not far from the auction block, where a woman of some sixty winters is being sold for forty silver.

Peri frowns as she marks compass points off in her mind. She leans in to confer eiwth Orrin.

Merek nods a bit while exchanging words with Thomas, then looks to the team, while he takes a moment to lift the flask on hip with a little drink from it. Then he thinks about it while he shows the other Golden Knight his mapping. He then looks to the auction block while he maneuvers that way a bit after he speaks to Orrin, and makes a motion to the others. He has work to do. "45!" he calls, when the others are on their way.

Imogene checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 15 higher.

Peri frowns when Merek calls out 45. It doesn't sound like a bid. Maybe it is hmmmm. She sets hand atop her pommel. Making ready.

"Excellent!" Imogene beams at Karim, and at the same time eels away from any attempt to touch her. "I'm very excited to see what you have on hand. I really do want something.. special. Exotic. We're a seafaring family, and we want our home to have a flavour of foreign lands and the seas between them." Very studiously -not looking- at the elderly woman getting sold for a song, she follows the slaver over to the decrepit building.

"Forty five! We have forty five! Can anyone beat that? She is a talented cook, I'm told. Never needs to be whipped these days, though I hear she had quite a spirit in her youth - but she's well broken in!" shouts the auctioneer. "Too much for that old nag, says what looks an aweful lot like a Thraxian noble with a sunflower sigil. "Sold!" shouts the auctioneer to Merek, and an enslaved young woman comes to him, to take the money.

Thea has no idea if the invite was for her too or if she was to stay out here and wait, but well--seeing the creepy man's hand be all creepy, she simply invites herself. Trying hard not to listen to the bidding war, Thea steps forward, twisting her ring as a distraction.

Peri checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 2 higher.

Merek takes up a little coin pouch which he carries with him, then he offers the coin to the enslaved woman. He nods a bit, then looks to the auctioneer, "Thank you!" he says, then he's taking a moment to wait for all of the full exchange. He does his best to look like he's just a usual client.

Orrin shifts attention toward the building where the bidding is happening, yes, and watches the transaction - the one Merek completes, for the old woman. Not so old - a decade on him, really. His mouth moves as if he's whispering; there isn't anybody to be whispering to, and no sound issuing. Maybe he hasn't found what he wants, yet.

Peri jumps when Merek calls his bid but when the transaction concludes she sees that it just what it appeared to be. She eyes the crowd and then leans in to speak quietly to her father and a few others.

Thomas maintains his careful pace at Imogene's side as they follow Karim, his eyes on the man and his hand on his hilt; his expression is not exactly hostile, but not terribly friendly either, one brow quirking as Karim awkwardly runs his hand over his mouth. His stance suggests it would not be very wise to try a move like that again.

The old woman, whose name is Eva, is brought to Merek complete with a steel collar attached to a rope. "Congratulations," says the merchant who accepts his coin from the slave woman. "Hope you're ready for some excellent meals, Master."

Merek checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 2 lower.

Karim, Imogene and Thomas come to stand by the bars, where twenty people are being held in abysmal conditions. Karim runs a riding scepter over the bars of the cage. "Up, all of you!" he says, "You may have a new master soon - and a very nice one. Smile now. Don't be shy," he says, watching Imogene and Thomas as the enslaved people slowly get to their feet.

Peri pulls the "guards" together and confers with them in a whisper. Having two conversations, one a litle louder so as to make it clear to outsiders that there is nothing amiss. "Tonight I'll stand second shift, you're wtih Stan back at th ship." That's the fake coversation. Then she drifts into a lower tone. "There's an unused guard tower to the east. There are people here and there who are free, but in abject poverty. They don't look happy. They seem to keep to the east, probably because of the fewer guard there. If we want to arm people, leaving weapons in a cache there might be a good plan."

Merek is alright with keeping facade, but there is the slightest hint of distaste in his features. Collars with ropes, it is a bit much, he does take that rope up while he mostly nods a bit, "Follow me," he says. Too many people to be shown as anything else but a slave owner right at the moment. Still, he manages while he brings the woman back to the group, "I will explain a little bit about your duties after my compatriots finish." He won't discuss any freedom in public. He makes his way back while he nods to the folk.

Imogene checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 11 higher.

Thomas checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 4 lower.

Orrin checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 17 higher.

Merek checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 5 higher.

Thea checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 0 higher.

Eva nods to Merek, she has a sad, empty look on her face as she follows him, though what appear to be tears well in her aged eyes, when she glances back at some of the familiar faces who are next to be auctioned, that she will never see again.

Peri checked willpower at difficulty 10, rolling 8 higher.

Imogene runs her eyes over the sad assortment of degraded humanity held behind the bars, and if there's any dismay in her eyes at seeing their condition, she has her gaze turned away from Kamir so no one but the slaves themselves is going to see it. "Well," she says doubtfully, making a little moue of uncertainty. "I don't know. Where did they all come from? What skills do they have?"

Karim begins a salesman like breakdown of the wondrous skills of each, spending a great deal of time on a young red-haired man taken, apparently, from the Northlands, but whom he has personally trained to be an excellent body slave, though it took a great deal of time with the whip and some lashes to his sister to get him properly obedient. In the end, he does call up a middle aged man who seems to match the description of Jamira. He is introduced as 'Bahri' though, and Karim mentions that he has spent some time at sea. "Might be perfect for your family, but, alas, he is promised to another."

Orrin watches, but the actual slave-business is only going to rile him; he looks for the nearest person fitting a particular description, pulling them aside with a query about where to get a particular southern delicacy, a murmur that could plausibly be of thanks.

Peri checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 3 lower.

Thomas is...less succesful in his attempts to keep his expression neutral, his teeth flashing a little in a grimace at the clang of the scepter against the bars, his steely eyes bright on Karim. But after a moment, he exhales and slowly lifts his chin, gaze roaming over the huddled forms in the cage as he takes a careful breath in and out. When Karim motions "Bahri" forward, Thomas blinks and shoots a glance Imogene's way, tilting his head.

Orrin checked perception + leadership at difficulty 30, rolling 29 higher.

Peri tries to maintain a bored scowl but when the merchant mentions the man with the sister she shows a moment of wretched tenderness.

Imogene listens to each glowing description with an air of skepticism and looks critically into each haggard face, shaking her head from time to time as if despairing of the whole selection. "Really?" she asks the slaver in polite disbelief when "Bahri" is introduced as already taken. "That one? What in the world can anyone find so special about him? Aside from the bit about being on the sea, of course, which /is/ rather a nice thing." She look at him closely; another headshake. "Who wants /him/?"

Orrin's query is answered by a friendly soul who speaks Arvani, and immediately contradicted by a passerby who mentions that her brother's lobster is the best on the island. Orrin is generally sent to the southern section of the market, where delicious scents fill the air.

Merek checked willpower at difficulty 20, rolling 1 higher.

Thea is barely able to control her emotion. Seriously, she tries to look at something else as Karim prattles on. She focus' on his words regarding the familiar sounding J fellow.

Then Merek finds a calm, while he meditates upon the gods a moment, his attention looking back to the slaves while he pulls his black scarf onto his features a bit, and looks over to Karim, "Where's his sister?" he asks curiously, then he leans back on the wall a bit casually.

"A rather famous sailor, I'm told, Captain Genrik," replies Karim. "In any case, he's making a deal I simply cannot pass up. A shame really, he'd be perfect for you, but, ah - look! Mona!" he says, slamming on the bars a few times in some ghastly attempt to make her... look more lively? "She will do nicely. Only one thousand silver."

"She died, unfortunately," replies Karim to Merek. "Took her own life. What a waste."

Merek checked willpower at difficulty 25, rolling 7 lower.

Lobster. Worthwhile. If only to get away from godsforsaken slave trade. Orrin draws his cloak around him a little tighter, asking after the name again, again: Loethe's brother? He's so easily distracted, though - by Arvani accents. Relieved, in fact. In low tones, he admits to them: "I can't stand it." The looks that they exchange with each other - uncomfortable. "We just got blown off course on resupply," one tells him. "We don't want nothing to do with this slave shit. We're shipping out to Maelstrom as soon as we're loaded." Orrin's lips press, and he assesses where he stands. "You can help put an end to this here. You have arms? How close to ready is your ship?" Oh, the quiiiiiet.

Thomas checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 3 lower.

Merek ooks from the place he is at back to Karim, then he nods a bit. He does begin to tense up next to Thomas, to the point he can tell the man is about to strike, inhaling thoughtfully while he looks to all the slaves, then back to the team, then back to the slaver.

Peri checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 5 lower.

Thea checked composure at difficulty 15, rolling 3 lower.

"Oh?" Imogene looks a little more interested now. "A famous sailor wants him? Then perhaps there is something to this Bahri after all." Her head tilts to one side, she taps lightly at her lips. "But I want to call /my/ manservant Jamira. I used to hear it in a story when I was a child, about a man who sailed across the seas and had ever so many wonderful adventures in Eurus and elsewhere. I /have/ so wanted a Jamira ever since; he was so funny in the story. He really does almost look like he should be one. Doesn't he?" With each mention of the name, she gazes closely into the man's eyes, looking for a flicker of recognition. "And I don't want a woman," she adds in absent dismissal. "That won't do at all."

The Arvani sailors nod to Orrin. "Aye, we've got weapons, and our ships out to the west. Why you askin' about arm, m'Lord?" he says, gazing at the Count of Pearlspire with curiosity.

Peri clears her throat and touches Merek on the arm to get his attention. "A word?" She gestures to the remaining sibling. "I think you should buy him. He matches the cook. They'd do well together." She tries to say this in a plain way but the unhappiness is clear. "Let's discuss our budget." She clenches her jaw.

'Bahri's' eyes shift to Imogene, but he quickly looks down again. Karim points out a young Eurusi of about eighteen years. "Ah! He will be your Jamira! Come here, boy," he says, waving his bejeweled hand athe young man. "Come, come. See? What to you think?" asks Karim of Imogene. "It is almost as if he was born to be Jamira - in fact he was! He was born to do whatever you tell him," he says with an easy smile.

Thea straightens, her shoulders rolling back. While her face is complete stone, her eyes are hard to miss. Honestly--'

The other Dragon Knight is hardly keeping it together any better -- he's openly scowling at Karim now in fact, in what might be judged as being unimpressed with his manners if one is being generous and open spite if not. But when Merek tenses up, he puts his hand on his forearm, opposite of where Peri touches him, and leans in to whisper something to the man that is short and fierce before he straightens again.

Orrin, off with the sailors, rallies closer, in more confidence. "There are men and women enough on this island to overtake the guards; but they're chained, and weak, malnourished. There's a guard tower to the east I think is their barracks. If you can barricade it, their force will suffer for it. Then we collect up all the free and unchained peoples not wearing that sigil; and give them arms, and come through the island as quiet as we can, releasing who we can. You take them to Arvani soil as free people. You /will/ be rewarded."

Merek begins to relax when Peri and Thomas place a hand upon each side of him. He nods to the two companions, "Thank you," he offers with quiet words, while he looks to a few of the slaves, "I will take the woman, if you're selling, along with any of the men that is well versed in literacy and economics." Yes, even now a plan forms within him, those who will lead.

Orrin checked command + leadership at difficulty 40, rolling 28 higher.

Imogene's own eyes light up at even that bare hint of contact with Bahri's gaze -- surely this is the right man! But she turns towards Karim's next offer and looks this younger man over in turn. "Oh, no," she says in a deploring tone. "He's no Jamira at all. Look at him, he's far too young. And he doesn't have the proper air at all. And-- oh! He's just not the thing at all." She looks back to the so-called Bahri. "Perhaps," she says, with a wheedling smile to the slaver, "we can make a deal."

Once Merek stands down, Peri is able to make arrangements with Dio guards.

The sailors bend in double ranks to listen to the ruler of House Seliki speak. "I ain't never kept with any fucking slavers," says one. "Nor me. My father was a thrall, and Skald bless Prince Victus for what he's done."

"I'm in," says a young woman with dark brown hair. "No one should be treated they way these people are. We'll move to the tower, and do as ye ask."

Peri is overheard praising Orrin.



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