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15 November 2006 @ 12:51 am
18 Flamerule 1372 DR -- Mid-afternoon  
Today was the real test of the magic eyedrops.

"They should take effect after about ten minutes," the wizard told me. What was his name? Something with a J; I see him all the time at the Dancing Goat. No matter. "I used the short-term spell, so the glamour will last about twelve hours."

"What if I need to change again even sooner?"

"Well, you can use another color drop, or the spell-banish drops, but I wouldn't recommend using them too often. They might be irritating."

"They won't damage my eyes, though?"

"The spell itself, as you well know, has no effect on eyesight. I don't know, however, what the drop solution I've powered with the spell will do with long-term use. Short term, I've seen no adverse effects."

"How did you test them?"

He laughed. "I convinced my buddy, Magnos, to try them when he was too drunk to know better. As you requested, I did not test them on any animals, though I still say their eyes are similar enough."

"Well, I have my reasons." Like I couldn't look Seledra in the eye if I harmed animals so I could rob people more easily. (Don't know why I care.) Not that she'd be much happier with the humanoid test.

At any rate, today was the first day I used the drops more than once in a single day. Three times, to be precise.

As we arrived in Everlund, traffic required us to leave the carriage and travel through the city on horseback. I didn't know if Seledra would want me to meet anyone that morning, so I waited to apply the red drops. After we rode into the city a ways, Seledra stopped in front of some temple and let me know she had some business to attend to there. I couldn't resist teasing.

"Trying to get rid of me, eh?"

"That's not it at all. I didn't want you to be bored with the...er, druid stuff."

"Gods, you are gullible. I was kidding,"

She blushed and looked down. "Yeah, I get that a lot."

Damn it, I made her feel bad. (Why do I care?)

"Hey, I know I give you a hard time. Try not to take it too personally. For a treehugger, you're not bad. I'll pick you up at the stroke of five so we can get dinner."

We parted ways, and I left my horse with an ostler. I ducked into an alley, braided my hair, and wormed out of my, er, Dhavra's, travelling dress; I already had on trousers and a leather cuirass underneath.

On foot, I sought out the seedy side of town. Not hard to find. I found a cheap inn, the kind where they don't ask too many questions, and paid for a room for the day. I applied the red drops, wound my braid around my head, and pulled on a pale yellow wig.

I made some preparations for later while I waited for my eyes to change, then I went downstairs. The innkeeper raised an eyebrow at me, so I flipped him an extra coin. He nodded.

I went to a few dingy shops, bought some supplies, quietly spread "my" name around.

Then came the dangerous part. Denin had an associate in Everlund, a half-elf named Nimos Talerlir, who I'd met a few times when Denin sent me on surface jobs. I meant to use him to get word of my activities back to Denin. It was a calculated risk. He was the head of the local thieves' guild, so I cased the building for entry points, then poked about a few taverns too find out what Talerlir's usual comings and goings are. Then I broke into his office when he wasn't there and waited.

My information proved good when he came in an hour later to find me sitting on his desk.

"What the hell--Corael Sh'aneth?"

"The same."

"What are you doing here?"

"Looking for work. You?" I grinned.

He scowled. "You realize half the mercenaries in Menzoberranzan are looking for you, including your former employer, right? Are you really stupid enough to work out in the open?"

"Only half? I'm disappointed. I'm only passing through, really, and thought I might make some extra gold for the trip. By the time you get the word to them that I'm here, I'll be gone."

Nimos moved to stand in front of me. "And why, exactly, shouldn't I just tie you up now and deliver you personally? The price on your head is--worth consideration"

"Because then you'll never find out about the full extent of my . . . talents, which I'm sure Denin mentioned once or twice." I leaned toward him, just enough for him to see that I had no shirt under my cuirass. Gods, leather chafes. But it had the desired effect. He moved closer.

"How did you get in here?"

I clicked my tongue and wagged my finger at him. "Trade secret."

He laughed. "No one saw you, then?"

"Nimos, you wound me." I mock-pouted.

"Tell you what; I have a couple of jobs that are best done by someone who can't easily be tracked to me."

"Do tell."

"But first, tell me how the talented Corael fouled up a job. It's unlike you, and, well, if you've started making mistakes, maybe I don't want to risk you working for me. Have you grown careless? Or perhaps you've no taste for blood?"

Gah. "The mark had an unexpected guest." Which was true, sort of. "It was too risky to kill them both, but I couldn't kill the mark without alerting the other."

"I see."

When in doubt, change the subject. I ran a hand up his arm. "If I'd grown careless, as you say, do you think I would have evaded capture as long as I have?"

Nimos raised his eyebrows. "Hmmm. Well. Here's the deal. The captain of the town guard spoke with me a short while ago; a couple of half-orcs have been seen in the city today, and they want to know why they're here."

"Do they have names?"

"We have information of one of them, who's stopped at a few places around the city, apparently seeking work. His name is Kronk. The other hasn't been moving quite so openly; no one knows him." He moved closer and put his hands on the desk on either side of me. "We should probably discuss the details somewhere else. Someone may come in unexpectedly and see you. My house is much more secure; my wife is out for the day." He, well, let's just say he appeared concerned with more than just safety.

"Wives are unpredictable, my dear Nimos. I have a room; it's not much, but it'll be discreet." And I'll be more in control of the situation.

He narrowed his eyes. "Aren't we shrewd? Let's get going, then. But we shouldn't be seen together in the city."

"Certainly not. I'll meet you there."

I told him which inn I was staying at. Then I took a shortcut. I arrived before Nimos, and had barely finished my preparations when he stepped in. It was sooner than I expected, though; he may actually have gone straight there.

He smirked at me. "Now, before we discuss the job--"

"Before we discuss the job, you should know that every entry point to this room is trapped. Should you have anyone waiting in the wings, they won't be able to get in without giving me enough time to get away. Should you do anything to me, you won't be able to get out of the room, at least not without attracting attention." I smiled.

Nimos froze for just a fraction of a second, but he recovered quickly. "I'm not sure whether to be insulted or impressed, Corael."

It wasn't too hard to tell he was impressed.

***

A little, um, a while later, we discussed in greater detail the alleged half-orc situation. I also let him think I was letting my guard down and told him I was headed for Sundabar. I even invited him to look me up if he had business there.

About an hour before I was supposed to meet Seledra, I let Nimos out of the room. I had time to clean up a bit. I applied the green eyedrops and changed quickly. I secured the room and ventured downstairs quietly, in case Nimos had a surprise waiting for me. No one was in sight but a woman behind the bar and a few customers.

"Will you be dining here, miss?" the woman asked as I approached her.

"No, I have business elsewhere. The half-elf has left?"

"Mmm, yes." She hedged a bit. I placed a few copper coins on the table. "He was asking questions about you. He said he'll pay me to tell him when you come and go."

"I'll pay you more not to tell him. Is he still around?"

"He spoke to a man just outside and left, but the man is still there."

"Ah. Would you be so kind as to send a meal up to my room? I think perhaps I will be staying in tonight."

"Of course, I'll send my girl up shortly. Funny, she's about your size."

I went back up to the room, and only waited about five minutes before the girl showed up with a nice bowl of stew, wearing what looked like a double layer of clothes. Moments later, the other customers saw the girl running back downstairs and into the back room, with her apron over her face crying about there being a drow in the inn. The innkeeper's wife ran back to comfort her, and showed me the service entrance. (The real serving girl brought an empty dish down about fifteen minutes later, with fewer clothes and a silver piece in her pocket.)

I changed, again, and was just in time to meet Seledra. We headed to an inn called The Friendly Dwarf. Seledra spotted an old friend, a sun-elf, and ran over, only to be knocked down by none other than a hulking half-orc. Well.

He appeared to be working for the sun-elf, who told him to let Seledra alone. She and Seledra talked for a few minutes before Seledra yanked me over there. The half-orc swiftly had me off the ground. I pulled my best helpless-maiden act.

"Unhand me you brute!"

I looked at Seledra, who was struggling not to laugh.

"She's not one of those drow. Lia, could you -"

"Drop her, Kronk."

Kronk. Hmm. In company with a sun-elf?

"But - "

"She's a good drow, like Drizzt. Only probably not as whiny. Remember Drizzt?"

"Yeah"

He took the elf's order literally, but I still landed on my feet, with the "brute's" purse under my cloak in exchange for my troubles. The sun-elf dismissed Kronk, and Seledra introduced us formally. She was Thralia Ma'freyja, a bard, and a Harper. I pretended to have no idea who she was, and soon dissembled to her and Seledra (who knew better) that I needed to rest. Before heading up to our room, I found out what room Thralia was using, and left her purse there, just a few gold pieces lighter. It was no more than a demonstration, really; besides, I would need her on my good side to get information on Kronk tomorrow. I kept Kronk's purse. He bruised my hip.

That done, I reapplied the red drops to my now itching eyes and ordered up some dinner. I changed again and thought about how I would gather information on the mystery half-orc while I ate.
 
 
Current Location: Everlund - some cheap inn
Current Mood: flirtyflirty
 
 
 
vaudy: famous last words #250-by <lj user=vaudy on December 30th, 2006 10:19 pm (UTC)
I think perhaps I am dialog happy?
Our Cultural Fear of Oompa Loompassarchasmic on December 31st, 2006 01:01 am (UTC)
Dialogue is good. I see no reason not to go with the longer version. Great job! I especially like the Magnos/Jonah reference. But I would.
The Heretic Heart: Fanboydandycat on December 31st, 2006 01:16 am (UTC)
I concur. I like the longer version more. More Ralenthra goodness, more details and great dialogue. Love it!
vaudyvaudy on January 1st, 2007 07:30 pm (UTC)
I've officially posted the long version, but I can't backdate it in the comm. Apparently, that's only allowed in personal journals. At least we're still on the same day, so it's not a big deal.
kronk9kronk9 on January 1st, 2007 05:12 am (UTC)
(OOC):
a) What the heck is cuirass?

b) I noticed a spelling error that I now can't find.

c) I'm a nitpicker.

I ratify, or whatever we call this process. S'all good, go with it, babe!

**fanboy squee**
vaudyvaudy on January 1st, 2007 07:21 pm (UTC)
a) A cuirass is a close-fitting piece of armor for the body, consisting of a breastplate and backplate.

b) It's a long document; sometimes I don't catch every typo.

c) Yes, you are. But we knew that. :)

You missed the short version, but it wasn't much different.