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RP:It Starts With Pie

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Summary: What began as a heated discussion on the price of pastries leads to two kindred spirits exchanging digits with the promise of future business endeavors and shenanigans.

Street Fair, Cenril

Skylei rarely gets out of South Cenril. Y’know dirty, cheap, smelly South Cenril. It’s the place in the city that she feels most at home and, therefore, the place in which she had naturally chosen to make her home. But today she had dared to face the north of the city, passing by the larger houses, the estates and the people that didn’t have to worry about when their name pay check was coming in, never mind where it was coming from. Oh for the easy life. She hated them all. But Skylei has guests at home and guests who aren’t entirely aware of how hard up she was (as if living in South Cenril wasn’t an indication enough) and so, she’s braving the market in an attempt to find some expesinve looking food at bargain prices. Sounds simple, right? Oh no. Here we find the half-elf, deep in an argument over a pie. “Paying that much for a pie is obscene. -Ob-scene-!” Harassing vendors is not one of Skylei’s favourite activity, but seriously – the pie is tiny and she is cheap. Throwing her hands up the air in a sign of exasperation, Skylei smacks some poor fair go-er in the face. Oops, her bad. Waving a hand behind her in apology, Sky doesn’t even turn around, “Ugh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hit you.” Then, it’s back to arguments over baked good.

Eleanor was just finishing up a transaction with a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young scout, the boy having no idea what he was getting himself into. She traded him a small transparent pouch of a gram of blueish powder in exchange for nearly all the coins he had to his name, then, dismissing the boy in favor of surveying the area for new victims, she honed in on an unfamiliar half-elf who was causing quite a scene. A wolfish smirk tugged at her full lips, but of course the expression barely reached her celadon eyes before the woman was sashaying toward the other. El lofted both blonde brows in curiosity as she shifted her attention from Skylei to the pie vendor. Addressing the latter with her thick burr and challenging stare, “Maurice, mucker, Ah ken ye sauld Everin Macken a peh jist an hoor ago fur half 'at price.” As if daring the merchant to object, Eleanor folded her arms over her chest and adopted a firm stance. “I-- I don't know what you're--” The vendor sighed, and narrowed his gaze into shrewd silver slivers before sighing again. “Fine, miss,” he conceded, a grumble punctuating his defeat. Arcing her blonde brows even higher, her pleasure evident, she then turned her attention to Skylei. “Dornt min' heem. Thieves, aw ay them,” she explained, chuckling.

Skylei :: Ugh. There’s nothing Skylei hates more than being interrupted. But, when it’s the difference between being ripped off and being able to buy a pie, she might just be able to tolerate it. As she hands over the coin, she would look to the woman who made the exchange possible, “Y’know, I’ve been living here for three years and I don’t think I’ve ever paid less than double what they change a local.” Skylei rolls her eyes and then looks back at the merchant, brows fiercely pulled across narrowed eyes, “Even though, by now, I am a bloody local.” Then she turns her attention back to Eleanor. Her tone is higher pitches than usual, her pace slightly frenzied, and hr face decorated with a slight flush – each signs that she is infuriated with this entire situation. “Is it the enclave tones that give me away? D’ya think if I copied the accent they’d respect me a little more? Or my outfit?” She looks down to her leathers – a classic elven combo that, by the way, she looks pretty darn stellar in, if not entirely fitting for a city centre. She rolls her eyes, “I’ll just have to get some city clothes, I guess. Or better yet, why don’t you just come with me and do all my deals. Hell, I’d pay you the difference – you’d make a healthy profit.” She rolls her eyes again, clearly still fuming over a pie. Classic Skylei. Then, something snaps in her, as though recalling something that had been completely shrouded in a mist of anger, “I’m sorry - I mean, thank you so much. For your help. I appreciate it.”

Eleanor was silent as Skylei rambled on and on about the offense, an amused smirk captivating her lips. “It isnae mah words 'at frighten heem intae submission,” she parted with once she was able to get a word in edgewise. “But raither, muh reputation.” El elected not to expound upon what she meant by her reputation, instead releasing a hearty chuckle from the confines of her throat. “Ye swatch braw, ye jist hae tae lit them ken who's boss. Dornt lit them donner oan ye.” Of course, who was she to judge on what people looked like? She, who was bedecked from head to toe in self-inscribed runic tattoos and sported revealing leather and cerulean fabric clothing that looked better suited to some exotic harem concubine. When at last the other offered up her gratitude, Eleanor was inclined to shrug, rolling sunbronzed shoulders in casual dismissal. “Dornt mention it. Jist lit them ken who's in charge next time.” She reached forward, then, to pluck a pie of her own off the stall, winking to Maurice, who merely huffed, dissatisfied with the way El acted like she owned him, but choosing wisely not to cause further ado. Turning her pale green eyes back to Skylei, the spell blade went on to say, “Ah am Eleanur, by th' by. Whit shoods Ah caa ye?”

Skylei mostly mutters her name, “Sky, uh, Skylei if you want.” Then she’s off again, talking at a mile a minute, “Wouldn’t even normally come up here – you’re not wrong about them all being con-artists. But y’know what it’s like when you… uh… have guests, I mean, family in town.” By ‘family in town’ read: ‘I’m harbouring fugitives wanted by the Town of Larket and possibly others - I’m not entirely sure - I’m just kind of rolling with it. Also one of them is my on again-off again best friend and I really want her not to think I’m a bum.’ – “Nightmare, right?” Skylei pulls a face at this concept. “At least if I tell them I got ripped off for a pie they’ll think it’s good quality or some crap like that…” Then she changes tack, almost as quickly as she had begun, “I’m down in the south. I don’t imagine you get round there much?” Skylei can’t quite work it out. Eleanor in her strangely resplendent outfit, in colours brighter than any that Skylei has worn in years, doesn’t look like the kind of person she’d stumble over around her way. Then again, with that comment about her ‘reputation’, that accent and, she hated to admit it, but the respect that folks in the market showed her… well, it wouldn’t surprise Skylei if she was involved in one of the… classier gangs that she occasionally heard skulking the streets. She’s curious – though she’d never admit it.

Eleanor knew nothing about the 'guests' Skylei was keeping at her home, although she did occasionally hear things; especially since that 'best friend' was an accomplice in the dust-peddling industry. Not that Eleanor knew the extent of Jos' involvement. That was Huds' job, to keep track of the others. Eleanor's job was distribution and 'muscle', which she was quite fine with. It was, after all, making her filthy rich. She hardly knew what to do with such a generous, albeit illegally-gained income. As Skylei started to ramble again -- the girl did ramble, and it was rather amusing to the spell blade -- Eleanor was quiet, scrutinizing the other with a curious stare. After a spell, she was able to interject, "Wa teel them anythin' at aw? Is it their business hoo much ye pay fur a peh?" El was definitely not the sort to share such details with her friends, and she hadn't any family to speak of anymore. Keeping up with her cryptic dialogue, she replied, "Och, Ah gie aw ower, Skylei. North, sooth, eest, west. Ye swatch, an' Ah am thaur." For the time being, she had made her home in the forgotten attic of some local high-and-mighty's summer home, in the richer part of Cenril with a view of the city that some would kill for.

Skylei :: Wow it’s a really good job that none of these lines are connecting and forming a conversation. Skylei, who likes to pretend that she’s always been on the straightest part of the straight and narrow, really, -really- doesn’t need to know that alongside being a wanted fugitive, Jos is involved in dust-peddling. And she always thought that she was the exciting one in that friendship. Alas, Skylei has become boring. As to why she’d have to talk about the pie - “You’ve clearly never dealt with my family.” This time the ‘family’ line is delivered smoothly and without hesitation. And it’s true. She’s clearly never had to feed Josleen. “Do you have someone local who designs your runes?” There goes Skylei again, bouncing off onto another subject. “I really need a new rune guy to check my work. My last one…” Skylei shrugs, “well, let’s just say he should have checked his line lengths a little more carefully.” She mimes an explosion, complete with sound effects – it’s really something “Did you see the ruined building just off of Belay Street?” She’d wait only a second for her acknowledgement, “Well. That used to be him. Like I said, guy got sloppy with his work and you know, you just don’t eff around with runes.”

Eleanor continued to listen to Skylei attentively, while also chewing away at her pie with one hand wielding it, the other fishing around in her belt for an herbal cigarette - a habit she'd picked up off Hudson, no doubt. "They ur ay mah ain design," she admitted at length, wary against betraying too many of her secrets. Only Huds had seen her branding herself, having wandered into her abode unannounced one day and raving about his newfound lycanthropy. "Th' runes tend tae hae a min' ay their ain. A body main be cannie in handlin' them - loch a body handles a bairn." That being said, she scarfed down the remainder of her pie with little ceremony, then turned her attention to that cigarette, pinching it between her lips as she snapped her fingers, cupping the small blue flame she produced in order to light its end. The flame was gone within seconds, and she puffed a couple times, before reaching out to offer the leafy cig to her new companion. "Most fowk gang abit it aw wrong; they hink they can control th' runes, but ye hae tae wark wi' them, as if they ur yer bidey-in. A delicate glass flower. a sang intae yer sool." The blonde nodded as she waxed poetic, a knowing smirk finding her lips. "Whit interest hae ye in runes?"

Skylei nods enthusiastically, “They’re nice. Clean lines. Interesting patterns - but definitely fit for purpose!” She sounds overenthusiastic – potentially mistaken for fake enthusiasm, but it’s all real. Skylei Lucindio loves her some runes. Then she’s offered the cigarette. Unsure whether it would be entirely rude to not take it, she does. Then she takes the world’s smallest puff. It’s familiar, and kind of smells like her father (unsurprising). She doesn’t hate it (more surprising). Passing it back to Eleanor with a slight smile in thanks, she continues, “Oh, I use them for a variety of things. My main use is translation…” with her others uses occasionally straying to mass murder, standard murder & arson – honestly, it’s no big deal. Also definitely not topics of conversation for strangers in the street - ‘Hey, Eleanor, last time I really used runes was to commit minor genocide in Trist’oth whilst disguised as Gevurah D’Artes. It was pretty sick – wanna see what I used?!’ - “I go both ways; translation to and translation from. No inscription though – hence why I need a new guy. Some people inherit some amulet from Granny, not realising that it’s covered in the most heinous runes and destined to curse their family should they wear it. I translate it, tell them not throw the amulet as far away as they possibly can and they ignore me 80% of the time.” Skylei shrugs at Eleanor, “Most of my clients are idiots; they think they can control the runes, like you said. Some of them deserve a runic curse or two.”

Eleanor had, once upon a time, used runes that she had found in scroll books and grimoires oft found in the forbidden sections of libraries -- runes that suited a similar purpose to the ones Skylei was thinking of. Of course, Eleanor was not a mind-reader, and so she knew nothing of their similarities, nor was she one to pry it out of someone. Well, not unless she was getting paid to. But that was another story altogether. "Aw runes hae a purpose, fur sure. Some ur innocent until combined in lethal ways, ur until they faa intae th' hans ay idiots, as ye say," she agreed, chuckling. She took back the herbal cigarette, and took a drag much deeper than the one Sky had, the end glowing red and gold as she drew the smoke inward. A moment later, and she was exhaling it into little smoke rings, amusing herself at her skill. After a thoughtful pause, El went on to say, "Ah main be interested in inscription, if th' price is reit." She patted the wand at her hip, then added, "Oan pepper, an' oan skin, if that's whit yoo're lookin' fur."

Skylei :: Would Skylei admit to occasionally conning people into allowing her to ‘dispose’ of runic items due to their ‘dangerous’ nature, only to sell them later on the black market so that she could make sure she could pay her bills? No, probably not. Instead she would simply imply that there were perks beyond the steady paycheck, “It comes with its perks y’know; you get invited into the people’s homes, see how the other half live, work for half a day and take home a tidy sum of gold. And I always pay my inscriber half the fee I get, and given my clientele tends to be rich arseholes.” Skylei shrugs though she might as well be doing the universal sign for money, “I had a good business going… well, until my guy blew himself to smithereens.” From the bag draped over her left shoulder, she pulls parchment and a pen and scribbles her address – it’s the crappiest road in South Cenril. “Look, I live here. If you ever find yourself short” – hilarious given that Skylei’s the one in dire financial straits – “look me up. Like I said, there’s generally work coming in and I can’t take it until I find myself a new rune guy.” She pauses, “Or woman.”

Eleanor would be living in such a place herself if not for her unending reserve of resourcefulness. She took the piece of parchment, and eyed the address; aye, she knew the place. With a cheeky grin, she said, "Thaur ur aye idiots abit needin' uir help." Emptying their coffers ... If only El knew Sky better, they'd be two peas in a pod. The things people do to survive ... She was not about to give out her own address -- only Huds had been to her home, but she'd used a portal, and he only had a vague sense of where they'd ended up. The spell blade may tell Sky, in time. But now was not that time. "If ye need me, jist swatch fur me. Aam ne'er stoaner tae fin'." Unless you were on the right side of the law. She had eyes and ears all over Cenril, a glorious little network of thieves and urchins. The blonde took another drag of her leafy cigarette, then made a show of looking around before dropping it and grinding it under the sole of her right boot. "I've an appointment." A half-truth. "Ah will catch ye aroond." With a smirk and a two-fingered salute, the rogue made to depart between the stalls of the market and up an alleyway north.

Skylei nods, “I’ll keep an eye out. The salute and the smirk are met with a much more dignified nod of the head, “Hey, I mean it. Call by whenever.” Believe it or not, Skylei would rather make her money in a legal way. If that meant teaming up with someone who almost definitely sat on the other side of the legal line every so often, she wasn’t adverse. Money had to come over morals, just occasionally. Then, she heads back into the foray of the market. Time to fight a man over the price of a roast hog.