RP:If You Can Read This Then You Are Stupid Smart
This is a Adventurer's Guild RP.
I was going through from of Lanara's old files and saw a note that you were interested in joining the Adventurer's Guild. As the new Guild leader, I wanted to reach out to you. If you could please meet me at the Adventurer's Guild Museum if you are still interested in joining us.
Adventurer's Guild Museum
Meri did not exactly give Reginae a date and time for this meeting, she did not want to make the woman feel pressured or obligated. Rather, Meri knew that she would be spending quite a bit of time at the Museum. With the troubles that Lanara faced before her complete mental break down, and the absence of Elio, Meri wanted to make sure everything was up to snuff with the guild's belongings. The blonde was never able to form much of an opinion of that 'Sandman', but after he so callously disappeared on Lanara shortly before she was kidnapped by witches...Meri has begun to wonder how much of a an honest individual he was. Maybe he took off with some items from the Museum before disappearing? This means that Meri will be spending a pretty chunk of time at the Museum, reviewing catalogues and double checking that the records match with what is physically at the Museum. This also means that Reginae has a wide window to show up for this meeting, as chances are that Meri will be there.
Upon receipt of Meri’s letter, Reginae was both bereaved for Lanara’s absence and intrigued by this new (she assumed) woman in charge. Alithrya was starting to suffocate her, despite Muzo’s secret residence in rotating locations throughout the city. More often than not, they fought over this or that. The ebb of tensions allowed her clarity enough to escape the naga city and it’s weighty responsibilities. The timing of Reginae’s visit was two days after the letter was sent. She’d never had the privilege of seeing the guild’s museum or headquarters. She tried to keep herself out of sight, out of mind on the mainland. Muzo’d given the humanoids plenty of reasons to mistrust nagas with his witch experiments for Larket. Who is she kidding; he pursued that post for his own reasons. His own…morbid curiosities. It’s hard not to think of Muzo when she’s forced out into the world. It’s hard not to think of him period.
A tall, lanky male meanders up to the museum entrance mid-day. The summer was not yet completely in bloom. No cicadas chirped in the surrounding woods. No clusters of water sprites gathered in nearby ponds. The world was still waking to warmth and winter’s retreat. The trees offered fresh bouquets of green to shade travelers and undergrowth alike. It was a fine day.
The black clad rogue spread his arms and legs, allowing the guards to frisk him. Usually, he’d carry twin daggers on his hips, but the Irish goodbye from Alithrya left little time to gather trinkets. His soft leather boots pad across the gleaming floor as he lazily inspects the relics gathered. Artistic tapestries and cracked pottery didn’t interest him. One of the volunteer’s eventually points him in the right direction, wherever she may be cataloging. He’ll stop beside the blonde, his arms folding on the small of his back while he pretends to study whatever object has her current attention. “Miss Meri?” His gruff voice fills the space with mirth. Bright, azurite optics wait to greet her under messy jet black hair. His skin is golden, sun kissed with the facade of exposure to the elements. A disguise elegantly crafted over the years to replace Reginae’s true form and self. The mask she named Nicolau smirks at Meri with a curious eagerness to know more about her.
When Meri requested to meet with someone by the name of Reginae, she had a sneaking suspicion of who she was supposed to be meeting. She had a feeling that she has done business with this particular individual in the past, attended a coronation. Meri was going to be in for a shocker when she finally pieces things together. If she finally pieces things together.
A male approaches Meri and comes to a stop beside her. The blonde is not startled by his appearance, she could hear the sounds of foot steps approaching from behind but his presence is ignored at first. Meri is busy, she does not have a want for some dude to start chatting her up. But he does. Were they in a different setting, Meri might have been inclined to bristle over being disturbed. This was the Adventurer's Guild Museum though and she was now touting the title of Guild Leader, better manners were probably needed from her if she was expected to make her number count grow within the guild. As the woman lets blue eyes settle on this familiar face, a smile curves across her red lips. "Why hello there." Meri keeps her voice polite, there were times where she could put on a decent enough show of manners. "Welcome to the Adventurer's Guild Museum. Is there something that I can help you with?" Meri is clearly totally oblivious as to who she is really speaking to.
Nicolau’s face maintains it’s genteel expression. He was usually an obnoxious, grandiose figure when given his own ‘will’. It was comforting to be someone else. “Greetings and my thanks for such a warm welcome,” he replies through a simple smile, trying to match her official demeanor and apply it to his own fictitious role. It is far beyond his usual behavior and it nags at him (her) that he’s posing. Ah well, there’d be plenty of time to relax once introductions were out of the way. He’d made an unforgettable impression on Lanara during the rescue of Brennia’s students. Meri wouldn’t know about that. He’d have to re-write his reputation anew with her. All the more exciting.
“Ah yes, I’m a sort of emissary for Alithrya.” He draws his arms forward, gesticulating with the slow rolling of his wrist. It unsettles his messy hair. “The queen received your missive and here I am on her behalf. She sends her apologies, of course, that she could not be here in person. Unfortunately, nagas don’t carry good reputations of late.” A chuckle proceeds a stretching of his arms overhead. It made him so stiff, being so formal. “I know it’s probably unusual but I’m applying in her stead. I’d spoken to Lanara before, she’d been set to travel to meet the Queen.” Seems like Lanara didn’t know Nico was Reginae either. “ I’m more than happy to introduce you but I’m the true applicant.” He waits a beat, trying to read the blonde’s expression. “If it pleases ya.”
Nicolau reveals to Meri that, as well intentioned as she might be in reaching out to potential guild members, she is misinformed as to who the true applicant is. Meri is only mildly surprised, she is in fact looking a little sheepish as she admits, "Ah. See. What happened was, I was going through the notes and accidentally spilled an ink bottle. She must have written down that you were an Emissary to Reginae written down and well..." Emissary to Reginae. Emissary to Alithrya. Same difference! The point was that Meri was unable to read Lanara's notes due to her own error. "Well it is nice to meet you. I don't think I caught your name?" Meri extends a tattooed hand for this introduction. Rather than standing stationary in front of one exhibit, Meri begins to move around the museum at a slow pace, almost as if she were giving a tour of the place. She was devoting little time to actually speaking of any of the artifacts that Nico might be seeing, and there were plenty. "So why don't you tell me a little bit about yourself. Like, why do you want to join the guild? Skill wise, what sort of things are you strong in?" Meri's voice while speaking is not so low that she is whispering, yet the volume is not loud enough to disturb any of the other museum guests.
Nicolau waves his hand, dispelling Meri’s admission of error. “I’m not entirely sure I gave Lanara any proper titles and I would have come back eventually.” He gives her a knowing grin before she asks for his name. “Nicolau –“ He holds his hand to take hers, lifting it to apply a chaste kiss against her knuckles. If she pulls her hand free before that, he’ll laugh it off and continue. “Nico, to most.” Most being….threeish people? He falls into step a beat behind her, his pace controlled beyond what his long legs would clock in his natural stride. He glances with moderate interest at the artifacts they pass but they aren’t half as interesting as his guide. Fingers sweep nervously through his hair, pushing inky locks away from his forehead. “A bit about me,” He chews on the words thoughtfully. “ ‘m usually packing daggers.” He stops, widening his stance and bending at the knees. He pantomimes holding two daggers, blades pointing away from each other. Really Reginae was a grappler with quick reflects. It made Nico’s fighting style possible. Nico, for his part, throws a few ‘punches’ before sheathing his fictional daggers. “All the fighting is done in Alithrya right now. Things are quiet, boring. And, if I’m honest, those snake people don’t have good reps here if you get my drift.” He grimaces. “So my selling points are combat ready, stealthy, nimble- “ each skill is counted on his fingers. “I also know quite a few languages? Weird one, since most humanoids speak common.” His shoulders lift in a lazy shrug before settling his azurite eyes fully on Meri, adjusting his gait to close the gap between them. “And what about you, Meri? What are you looking for?”
A kiss to the knuckles was not something that Meri experienced frequently, but she manages to resist the temptation to pull her hand back. Her expression is a dumbfounded one at first, but she manages to keep herself composed enough to not pull her hand back. It takes a moment but a slow smile forms across her lips, as her hand falls back to her side. "Well it's nice to meet you, Nico. As for what I am looking for...Well, we are always happy to host a variety of people who have a variety of skills. There is no one mold that that we are hoping to fill. Language skills are always something that we are happy to have, prior to my becoming the guild leader we did have a man who worked as a translator." He was smitten with Lanara though. "I have no expectations that the people joining are experts, we are always happy to train someone who has an adventuring spirit." There was no need to discriminate just because someone might be young and learning in Meri's eyes. "I do like to put those joining through a bit of a test to get a feel for their abilities. I have an idea for you...If you don't mind."
Reginae’s guise is attentive while Meri explains, hands prompt up on either side of his waist. “Pleasure’s all mine.” Addendum to their introductions. “And can’t say I ever got the chance to meet any of the other guild members.” A translator would have been interesting. Ah, well. Meri’s mention of training and acceptance earns her a smirk. She’s a natural leader, must be that she’s commanded somewhere before. Another guild? A battle or two? A fighter’s spirit either way; a trait nagas always support. Her mention of a ‘test’ and already having an idea in mind broadens the rogue’s grin. “Not at all,” he’s quick to reply, “Whatever test you deem fitting, Mistress Guild Leader. I don’t claim myself to be an expert but I’m damn hard to catch.” Shape shifting had it’s uses. Slipping in and out of tricky situations was as good a trait as any, he’d wager. “Pick your poison.”
Meri would be the last person to count herself as a natural leader, but she'd certainly find flattery in Nicolau/Reginae forming the opinion that she has a fighter's spirit. At being told to pick her poison, red lips twitch up into a devious but fleeting smirk. The blonde does not name a weapon, or anything similar. "Well hopefully this is something that we can change." Meeting the members that is. "Your test is this...There is a garden out behind the museum?" Meri gives a gesture of the general direction that Nico would need to venture to locate this garden. "And a seating area within it. Can you head that direction? I will be right over there, I am just going to step away for a moment to find something that I am hoping that you can attempt to translate for me." Nicolau did boast having strong language skills, his skill with the blade is only of secondary concern to Meri. They are after all, accepting of members of all skill levels. Provided there are no objections from Nico, Meri would end up heading the opposite direction as Nico, leaving Reginae's guise o find the garden on his own. When Meri departs, Nico would be left to his own devices for several minutes. Long enough that the stroll to the gardens could be a leisurely one -- there were plenty of items to view along the way. When Nico did find his way to the garden area of the museum, he would find there was less foot traffic through this place. Not everyone had an appreciation for plant life, but as Meri almost married a plant geek...it has become an acquired taste, so to speak.
“Can’t wait!” For the actual ‘title’ and meeting other members. Meri’s instructions make Nico tilt his head, curious. Ebony shards of hair shift in the process, stuttering through his piercing gaze. In the garden? He leans fully into that tilt, to look past her in the direction indicated. My my, what did this museum house there? Maybe a slumbering beast he’d have to wrestle or a small obstacle course to demonstrate deft parkour skills. Excitement courses through him. Finally! Some real action! Meri continues and notes that it’s actually a translation she’s requesting. Oh. Well. The rogue laughs, mildly disappointed but unwilling to note out loud. It was her test, after all. “Yeah, no problem.” His soft leather boots lead him to the aforementioned garden at a moderate pace, where he’s putzing around when she reappears. He’d opted out of meandering, just in case Meri was bringing something unwieldy along. He’s digging the toes of his boots into the edge of a flower bed, where the dark dirt meets lush green grass. The air here is thick with flowered perfume. He doesn’t know how he feels about it yet. He’ll stay slumped, hands in his pockets, digging into the dirt until interrupted until a young human girl. She fusses at him, against her father’s advice, not to disturb the flowers. Surprised, Reginae’s mask blinks with wide eyes before nodding. “Yes ma’am,” he spouts before her father apologizes and leads the girl away. Azurite follows the pair out of the garden, where his unreadably pensive expression lingers until Meri’s reappearance.
Hopefully Reginae's disappointment will be short lived for Meri has been slightly deceptive in her description of the test, as will soon be demonstrated. The goal is actually to try and test numerous abilities all at once, just to get a feel for Nico's skill level. By the time Meri is spotted within the garden's, the father and daughter that Nico was interacting with has existed the area leaving the gardens empty. Except for Nico, and Meri once she is spotted. Meri may or may not have instructed for stanchions to be put off to prevent anyone else from trying to enjoy the gardens for the duration of this test. As Meri approaches Nico, she is carrying a tome of some sorts against her chest. It looks old, but appearances can be deceiving. "Alright, so what I have here is..."
Meri would not have the chance form that question to completion for she is interrupted. Someone else enters the garden, someone who is big and burly and beefy looking...and dressed in black. All that can be seen are the eyes of this masked figure, everything else is covered in black fabric from mask to boots. The timing should be suspect, very suspect. None the less! This is Nico's test. Meri is about to be mugged! Oh my! Her masked assailant takes her out in one hit. Alright, he didn't. She's faking it. It takes more than one hit to really take this werewolf chick out. That is neither here nor there, for as Meri is hit and falls toward the ground, that tome that she wanted Nico to work on translating is taken from her grasp! Double oh my! And now the shadow-like man is running away! And fast! Nico may get to show off those parkour skills yet.
If Nico attempts to pay any mind to Meri, she'll come too pretty quickly and shoo him off on a chase after the theif...! ...While she stays put on the ground, faking distress. As has been noted, the timing of this should be very suspect. Hopefully Reginae's mask does not rough up the thief too much in the question to obtain the tome, for he's really a museum guard. One that usually works at the entrance, Nico probably saw him walking in today. And the tome? Well it's not really as old as it might appear, it's just been distressed to look old. The book itself is just a gag book. It definitely contains writing in numerous languages. Maybe more than Reginae knows? Meri couldn't even begin to guess as to how many languages are actually scripted within the book. She does know that it is one sentence written over and over again in a variety of languages though. And that essentially translates to: Nothing exciting written here, but if you can read this then you are stupid smart.
Nico doesn’t take note of the fact that they are all alone in the garden now. He hears light footfalls after the father daughter pair is out of sight and presumes it to be Meri. He turns toward her, distraction hazing his response time. In a flash, he sees Meri’s face, the tome she’s carrying, and then a blur of black running off with it. Well shit. Pivoting his body, Nico tries to catch Meri (and fails) but hopes his efforts have at least lessened the impact (however falsified). He doesn’t have time to put two and two together; in the back of his mind he KNOWS it would take more than that to knock her off her feet. Not that he knew her well but he’d bet money on it at least. At the same time he’s swiveling into his failed attempt to catch her, his left leg juts out in the presumed path of the thief…who is magically gone before he can be properly tripped. Mother…
Gritting his teeth, Nico gives Meri one last glance. She’s safe, conscious; they aren’t surrounded…are they? Quick scan reveals… nope. Then he’s off, peeling out after this ridiculous burly buffoon at inhuman speeds. Great thing about being a shapeshifter when you are, in reality, a giant snake person. All the gross snake muscles get redistributed and can be pushed past the limits of ordinary, humanoid limbs. Praise Aramoth. The rogue’s soft leather boots decapitate several lazy lilies before he bounds up out of the grassy pathways, kicks off a conveniently placed sturdy statue, and lands less than neatly on the thief in question. A scramble for the high ground ensues, making Nico the proud new owner of a hefty upper cut before things deescalate. Seemingly out of nowhere, an animated rope snakes it’s way around the disguised guard, tightening magically until he’s properly bound. The tail end of the rope is buried in the grass, beneath Nico’s shoe. Reginae’s guise bends over the man like a prized hunter assessing his prey. He smirks, cocky despite the low level of energy expended. “Come on man,” It’s cheesy; he knows. “There are better ways to flirt with a pretty woman.” The rough-looking tome is worse for wear when the rogue plucks it out of the flowerbed nearby. Plucking depressed petals off the cover, Nico turns back to the guard and wags the book in his direction. “That little girl is going to kill me. I’m going to get another lecture because of you.” Meri might kill him too…considering he was supposed to. Do this trial. For the adventurer’s. Guild. Nico squints down at the book, the ‘thief’, and then finally Meri. The pieces are starting to fall into place. Damn. Double duped.
When the guard agreed to help Meri with this task, this is not at all what he thought he was signing up for. The poor guy. Just as Nico is realizing he has been duped, Meri is finding her way to her feet so that she can make her way over to the guard. The goal is at least to try and start to free the guard from his current bindings, though she has a sneaking suspicion she will not be able to without Nico's aid. That animated rope did seem to come from nowhere after all. "He's married. Plus I don't know if any guard in the museum is stupid enough to flirt with me." Meri flashes Nico a smirk. "As for the little girl...You are on your own when dealing with her. I am confident you will still there and allow that sweet girl to murder you without a struggle too. I mean, who fights back against a child?" Meri would raise her hand if she wasn't trying to untie the guard. Meri would definitely fight a child that was trying to murder her. "Anyway! Once you let our friend here go..." Their friend is nodding in support of this idea. "Then we can talk about the details about you joining...."
Nico’s growing smile is directly related to Meri’s progress to the ‘men’. He lofts his brows and shrugs apologetically with her explanation. “Stupid enough or brave enough?” He asks her, well-meaning but distracted. The magic rope slacks and snakes back into the grass to vanish from whence it came. Only then did Nico step back, giving the guard room to breathe and dust himself off. It’s the talk of that little girl that brings his attention back to the conversation at hand. Nico holds up his right palm to Meri’s instruction. “I swear to do my due diligence and accept my punishment.” He couldn’t stop himself from smiling. Why was it so easy to be someone that wasn’t Reginae? To be someone that wasn’t herself? Suffocating that line of thinking, Nico runs his hand back through his inky hair before offering the other to the guard. “Good show, sorry. You got a good shot in at least.” The rogue clicks his tongue and winks, followed up by cheesy pointing (finger guns). Reginae, likewise, wouldn’t hesitate to end a child attacking her. Sorry to those with a stronger moral compass. With the guard now free to go about his business, Nico flips open the book to see that it actually does contain various languages. The cadence of the markings tells him that it’s the same thing repeated. He manages two or three of the older languages – elven, dwarven, throaty dragon’s tongue – while Meri mentions a final determination. “Glad to.” He snaps the book shut smugly before offering it back. Let’s just pretend he was an agile cat with calculated movements and a one hundred percent success rate. At least, that’s what he’s going to do in his own mind unless Meri notes otherwise. “I’m all yours.”
Meri finds the disappearance of that magic rope to be a little odd, yet she does not question it. She and Nico do not have rapport enough for her to really think she'll get an explanation. Plus it would only distract them from their discussion at hand. The guard is less surprised than Meri, having already accepted that this rope came to be from practically no where. There is no bad attitude from the guard now that he is freed, he extends a hand for Nico to shake. "Yeah, good show, man." With his role in this little trick of a test complete, he excuses himself. He's got to put himself back into his work uniform and return to his routine duties.
Meri and Nico are alone in the gardens again, at least for now. Now that the shenanigans of a false muggings are complete, visitors are no longer being blocked off from the space. The conversation at hand is also not a sensitive one, if anyone overhears them then Meri would not mind in the slightest. "Well I think you are probably a man of many talents, probably more than I am really seeing displayed right now. While we are always happy to train anyone who has a want for adventure, I think you already have numerous skills that would be quite valuable to us. That being said, we would be honored to have you in our ranks, if you would still like to join." As Meri says this, she is pulling out a compass to present to Nico. "Everyone who joins the guild takes on a role of some sort. Weapons Expert. Translator. Something that that person excels in so that if another guild member is curious to learn more about something, it's not too hard for them figure out who to speak to. Of course we understand that people can be talented in numerous areas, we're not looking to limit people by any means by assigning these roles." Meri shrugs. "Any thoughts as to what I could put down for your own role? ...Provided you agree to join of course."
Reginae’s pseudo ego ideal is a man of many talents. He’s removed from her personal stresses or anxiety. He’s segmented nicely, away from the darker machinations that web through her subconscious. Nico was a man, freed, even as he exchanges the book for a compass. He’s more interested –now- than he ever was before. Still, he hadn’t counted on labeling himself in a ‘role’ but…he’s not opposed to it either. “Grand Master Translator.” He says matter-of-factly, as if this wasn’t a pompous, overly inflated title. Nico considers the personal branding before tweaking it. “Grand Master Translator with an undergrad in ass kickery.” It sounds better out loud. He nods his final approval. Slap that baby on a name tag. Laughing at his own idiotic suggestion, he adds “I’d love to meet with the other adventurer’s.” Hear their titles, brag about his own, what have you. TEAM STUFF. “In due time.” Everyone has their own schedules and lives outside of the guild no doubt. He certainly did. The rogue tosses the compass up, watching it flip over in the short inch or so tumble back into his palm. "Thanks," he says, cracking a smile.
Grand. Master. Translator. Well if anything Meri was learning a thing or two about the personalities of those joining up with their guild by giving them this freedom. Actually, in this case she was not really, but Meri was not any the wiser to Reginae's foolery still. "Translator it is then. You'll have to go earning titles like grand and master. We don't go throwing those things out lightly around here." Meri smirks. "And while you may technically have the title of translator you are still starting off at the rank of Apprentice Adventurer. A feline by the name of Zahrani also holds that rank with you. For the time being. Until you two are able to earn promotion. And your role as a translator will also place you in the 'Intelligence Unit' branch of the guild. With Khitti and Scandal. I would highly recommend you seek them both out. They are not too hard to find, they both work at the bakery in Cenril so you can always send word there to meet with them." Meri's smirk softens into a smile. "Anyway, if there are no questions...I should probably be heading out. I have a couple things I need to take care of before I return home."
Reginae's guise shrugs good naturedly. "Can't blame a guy for trying." Meri gives him the basics; rank, unit, Zahrani, Khitti, Scandal, and wraps up with a patient smile. Ah, she must know he's joking. "No questions at the moment." He agrees, a nod of his head punctuated the agreement to go their separate ways. Reginae was due to meet Muzo soon anyway. "Take it easy, Grand Master Guild Leader." He shoves his hands in his pockets after a lazy salute before starting back down the path towards the entrance.