RP:Meet At Low Tide
This is a Rogue's Guild RP.
Part of the Seven Dwarves All Around Me Arc
Summary: We welcome Malus to the Rogue's Guild. Fox, Inks, and Malus make plans to meet in the near future to help Fox with a job for a client.
A strange blue crow arrives, carrying with it a sliver of parchment.
Unrolling the parchment reveals a simple message in blue text that seems to match the messenger's feathers.
~ A meeting is requested at the docks. ~ Low tide. ~ Come together, but come alone.
Once the message is received, the blue crow returns to its owner with or without a reply.
Despite Cal’s… er… mental instability as of late, he still had work to do. How else was he going to feed that horse of his? I guess he sort of needed to feed himself too. He wasn’t so unstable, however, as to not get himself cleaned up before he went to Cenril to start hawking his wares. A half-assed shave was done, leaving a bit of a five o’clock shadow behind, and his nice clothes chosen for the day (okay, so all of his clothes were nice). He didn’t bother to tuck in his shirt however, his shoes scuffed and covered with mud from the forest in which he lived. The witch was perpetually stuck half-way in the middle of the sanity spectrum and it certainly showed. His usual customers noticed, but took as he was still going through some things--word had gotten around that Meri now lived in the city, after all. Before he left though, that vaguely familiar blue crow showed up and discarded its message to its recipient. After all this time, why now? The letter was haphazardly folded and shoved into his waistcoat pocket before he finally set off. Low tide usually occurred around the same time that he finished up work--of course the storm mage would know this. So, leaving his empty crates and his horse, Storm Cloud, up away from the water, he’d stand on the docks waiting. Only seconds, maybe minutes would pass, but it felt like forever. How long would this take? It’s not like anyone else knew of the threat that lurked in the forest, but he still needed to do his daily ritual to protect against the return of said threat. In attempt to take his mind off of things, he’d watch those that worked on the Tranquility, nearby, observing as Brand’s lackeys scurried about, moving cargo to and from the ship that the captain called home.
Meri got the letter. For her, it was not so out of the ordinary to receive a communication from Eleanor. Usually their meetings were a bit more few and far between, but Meri didn't mind especially if it lead to a pay day. One thing about the note that struck her as odd was the fact that it said 'come together'. Just who was Meri meant to be arriving with? The thought is pushed to the back of her mind, she doesn't over think it. The requested meeting point is not far from where she is currently residing, it would only be a short walk once it was close to low-tide for her. During her approach of the meeting point, she spots a familiar figure lurking in the area Eleanor wants to meet at, which answers her question of who was summoned for this meeting. Meri wrinkles up her nose while she still has distance enough to do so, for this was potentially going to be awkward. Exactly what was Meri supposed to say to Callum? By the time the distance is closed, the wrinkled nose expression is gone and any concerns she might have of awkwardness is pushed to the back of her mind. Business came first, right? Meri had gold to make, her own mouths to feed. The blonde woman comes to stand on the docks about four feet away from Callum. There were no changes of note, Meri looked as she usually does, all the way down to her beat up boots. The Catalian male is regarded with a nod, and maybe if he listens closely he might pick up on Meri muttering some sort of hello. Then silence, born from the fact that any issue Meri would want to chat about? Well this is just not the time or the place. Hopefully Eleanor would arrive soon.
Eleanor was quiet, feet barely making a noise as bare soles slapped on stone or squished against wet sand. Salty water clung to her legs, creeping up into the folds of blue skirt and black cloak alike. She had clearly been wading through the tide recently. The woman kept her hood - dry for now - low over her head but the tail of her herringbone braid peeked out. Carrying her boots in her left hand, her right she kept near her belt. With her chin angled low, she could just barely make out the Tranquility in the distance beneath the lip of her cowl, and nearer to her the goal of her journey: Meri and Callum. The former she had seen quite recently, but the other blonde’s companion was still more stranger than friend. El hoped this would change and continue to evolve. The swooping return of Eun to the spell-blade’s shoulder likely gave her presence away to the pair. Straightening away from her innocuous slump, El turned her chin and chittered low to the avian. Eun rustled his feathers in response before taking off again, shifting in hue from the bolder azure to an inky black as the crow crested high over the meeting. Their scout established, Eleanor addressed the pair with a wry tilt of her lips and nodded. “I’m glad ta see ye both.” Although her speech was still heavy with her brogue, Eleanor was deliberate in trying to take on a more Common-sounding dialect. Just as keen as she was to meet them halfway, communication-wise, she recognized maybe more communication prior to this meeting would have helped. There’s a divide between Meri and Callum that the rogue leader hadn’t anticipated, and for a beat, she hesitated, her hand flexing around her belt. Meri was already in a difficult position with another member of the guild, and now Eleanor wanted to poach Callum for their cause. She hoped it would be worth it in the end. Eleanor needed them both for what was coming. “I appreciate ye comin’ on such short notice.”
Callum would only nod in return to Meri upon her arrival. He should’ve expected this. Who else would Eleanor call? Butterflies rattled around in his stomach, his heartrate picking up a bit. He tried really hard not to let his anxiety, and his discomfort, about this situation show, but he was severely lacking in the keeping his emotions hidden department. It was a minor breath of fresh air once Eleanor arrived, a nod given to her as well. “Likewise.” He kept things short, sweet, and to the point. Business was business after all. “What are we here for?” Both arms crossed loosely over his chest; it might’ve looked like he was trying to take this seriously, but really… he was just trying to keep his heart from leaping out of his chest and plop right into the nearby ocean.
Even as an ex, Meri would vouch for Cal over and over again. She'd still trust him over a vast number of faces that she's met in the land, maybe that would one day prove to be her downfall but alas. She was not doing a good job of showing this opinion, yet on the flipside she was not kicking, screaming and making a scene. It's not like the blonde would be shy about vocalizing any issues she might have, she's already done it once with Hudson. The fact that Cal was having a harder time restraining his emotions was no surprise to Meri, she's got quite a few memories where he has demonstrated that he was the softer of the two. Meri presses her lips together as she observes his discomfort. The blonde is quick to pin her gaze on Eleanor though, where it remains, possibly for Cal's comfort. "Yeah. What's up?" Short and sweet was the name of the game for both of them in the moment. She does not wait for Eleanor to answer before she braves asking, "We taking him on?" I mean, why else would Eleanor want to have both of them here?
Eleanor side-eyed Callum in curiosity, lifting a flaxen brow high. The gem in her crown, previously obscured by hair and hood, caught some semblance of light as her chin rose. Whatever she was sensing through the turquoise prickled at her skin, and her lips tightened subtly. Shifting her gaze toward Meri first and then the bay beyond, Eleanor sighed. There was a story to be told, but she didn’t know how much to tell now, or if she should tell it at all. Not even Leoxander had known everything. Again, she had to remind herself that she -needed- them. She couldn’t do this alone. “Aye...” she replied to Meri, her tone pinched. Pulling her pale glass-green eyes back to the here and now, she fixed her attention on Meri again. “We need him, but …” El slowly slid her gaze back in Callum’s direction. “I need ye ta be honest wi’ me, as I’m about ta be pure honest wi’ ye.” For a fraction of a degree, Eleanor allowed her features to soften. The uncomfortable tension between Meri and Callum was easy to perceive for Eleanor, who was still dealing with her own residual heartaches. “It’s otherwise yer own business, but … I cannae have weaknesses, cannae have vulnerabilities I’m blin’ ta.” She didn’t need details, but she did need to know that they could still be trusted despite whatever differences there existed between them. El wasn’t going to pretend she understood the nuances of their relationship, and she wouldn’t expect to anytime soon. “If there is a problem here, I need ta ken now.”
Callum ’s dark brows knitted together as Eleanor settled her line of sight in his direction, a slight frown gracing his lips. The words she spoke brought the old Cal back to the forefront, the worries about the recently deceased Caiburne the alchemist pushed to the backburner (and hopefully they stayed there for awhile). “I’m perfectly capable of keeping things strictly professional and leaving my problems at home. It’s been a bit of a long day, so I’m a little out of it,” he said, motioning in the direction of his horse and empty crates. It… wasn’t entirely a lie. He was definitely tired; hauling his herbs and poultices and whatnot wasn’t easy, especially by himself. “And, I hope it’s not sending me off to find another captain again. There’s not really anyone else here I’d trust to do… whatever it is you’d want besides Brand.” And that said a lot considering the fact that Cal didn’t really even know Brand, let alone trust him much at all. -But- the important thing was that he trusted all the other captains far less. They were all in it for the money, whereas Brand actually cared about his job and that was enough for Cal. “He’s got enough problems right now in the form of a kid, and woman that can’t keep herself from getting in trouble.” Okay, sure, those were all-the-time problems, but still. Finally, after a bit of silence, he added, “What exactly is it that you need from me?”
Meri kept playing her cards close to her chest. She doesn't show much surprise when Eleanor confirms that she'd like to recruit Callum. There is no discomfort with the thought of having to work with the Catalian, it's not like she has a problem with interacting with him on a professional or personal level. Any discomfort that Eleanor is picking up is purely because Meri hasn't spoken to Cal up until this moment. She was not entirely sure how this bandaid would rip off, how he would respond. "We need him," Meri confirms. "He's good at what he does. I don't have any problem working with him." Short and simple continues from Meri. She really does not have much in the way of cheeky comments today, she's just angling for cool and collected. An ear is still kept on the conversation, though Meri's gaze wanders away from Eleanor and Callum. Where is it focused now? Well on the horse and cart that Cal has just motioned too. The blonde resists the temptation to stray from the group to go pet the horse. StormCloud would probably be happier to see her than Callum is, no doubt.
Eleanor nodded to Meri, paused, then started to shake her head, glancing toward Callum. “Aye, donna worry about Keptin Brain fur now.” Beyond the fact that she understood, the spellrogue was uncertain still if she wanted to pursue that path anymore - not when it had been for Leo before, ultimately. These days, the woman was trying to figure out her own path while things with her former employer slowly escalated. El’s latest disappearance had, unfortunately, unsettled The Oracle, and their most recent encounter had left the spellrogue on edge. Without ruse, she added to Cal, “I’d loch ta offer ye a job … a paid position in th’guild, wi’ th’ expectation ‘at yer services o’ plant an’ water, eyes an’ ears, be available when th’ time comes.” There was a particular job she had in mind for the foreseeable future, but she wasn’t ready to share all the details until she knew he was ‘in’. “Whit do ye say?”
Callum would nod in acknowledgement on the Brand front. It actually took him a moment, however, for him to process the fact that he was being invited into her guild. He’d take a second to think about it, once it did get through in his brain, eventually nodding again. “Yeah, that sounds fine. It’s been too long since I’ve had a job where I didn’t have to do all of this manual labor.” Well, the type that went along with his herb business anyway. “I accept.” He didn’t bother looking at Meri; this part of the discussion was between him and El, even if the blonde was a part of the guild too. It was a hard habit to break though, the way he’d always looked to her for her thoughts on things or support where it was necessary, but it was one he’d have to get rid of--at least for a little while anyway.
Meri didn't have the expectation that Cal would be looking toward her in this exact moment and it would be foolish if she did have the notion that he would. At least Eleanor has sought out Meri's support in the matter, even if the Rogue leader really did not have to. The conversation might be between Eleanor and Callum for a few moments, but that does not stop Meri from chiming in with a few thoughts of her own. These words are not aimed toward Callum, but to Eleanor. "Why don't we call him...." Meri pauses. "Shrimp." There is a hint of a smirk on Meri's red lips, it seems the werewolf is able to find some humor in the moment. If either of them know Meri though, they're probably already wise to the fact that she means little by these comments. They're just jokes. "Or Cloud. Or even better. Why don't we go with Mal."
Eleanor lowered her chin in a deep nod to Callum. “Guid.” Edging a glance in Meri’s direction, El couldn’t help the grin that threatened one corner of her mouth. “Guid,” she repeated, gaze returning to Cal. “Then this is fur ye.” Reaching her right hand between her dress and her belt, El seemed to pull at the inner lining of the belt, soon producing a pendant from the hidden pocket. “Try it on, will ye?” Hung on a simple chain, the disclike medallion was offered up to the newest recruit of the Rogue’s Guild; in its inert state, it could be worn as a normal necklace. “If ye tooch it, loch this--” Her own pendant was pulled from the confines of her simple cloak, and she rubbed her thumb over the disc to activate it. Shadows unfurled from the pendant, a second hooded cloak tumbling over the rogue’s shoulders. The ends of the jet black material licked at the ground around her feet, the shadow-laced disguise fully assumed in a heartbeat. Pulling this hood low too, the edges of her figure blurred, sinking into the darkness that crept up the bay with the hour. “An’, ye can call me Fox now.” Her lips curled into a proud grin. “Whit name will ye take after all?”
A smirk graced Cal’s lips momentarily before it’s swept away by business-talk or… whatever else it was he had on his mind. The pendant would be taken and put on, joining what seemed to be another necklace, hidden behind the collar of his shirt--something that hadn’t been there before when Meri had been around. He eyed the medallion, then let it drop beneath his shirt, hiding it from the world. “That’s quite the trick. I’m sure it’ll come in handy.” He paused, though over the suggested names--whether they were in jest or not--and eventually came up with one, “Malus. Or, Mal, I guess, if you feel like shortening it.” If either of them asked about the name’s origins, he’d simply shrug and say “it’s a plant thing” and not really elaborating further. Today wasn’t the day for a botany lesson.
Yes. It was quite the trick, one that Meri was quite fond of. She's put it to use on more than one occasion, at least one quite recently. And now that Cal had this very same trick in his arsenal, it would not be at all effective should Meri ever have need to use this trick upon Callum again. Ah well. We finally have silence from the peanut gallery, no further comment comes forward from Meri. The blonde's blue eyes just travel to Eleanor, fixing a questioning look upon the rogue leader. This look is meant to ask..now that they've gotten themselves a new guild member, was there anything else Eleanor would like to address? It would honestly be easier if Meri would just use her words, but the blonde is not feeling particularly chatty. It happens.
Eleanor considered the nom de guerre, and nodded in approval. “Malus,” she mused, trying it out. She wouldn’t question it for now. Having all the details of their lives and thought processes readily available to her spoiled the adventure of getting to know them. Feeling Meri’s eyes on her, she shared with the other blonde a knowing smirk, and shifted her weight from one bare foot to the other. “Some time ago my client buried somethin’ in this harbor,” she revealed coyly as she settled back against the stone and started to pull on her boots. “In a cave concealed by th’tides.” Shaking sand out of the second boot, she pretended to focus on her task a moment before resuming. “I kent it ta be safe fur now,” the rogue continued carefully, “but th’longer th’tide stays low, th’more chances there are ‘at my client’s enemies will determine which cave th’box resides in.” With a pointed look toward Cal, she lifted her chin and smiled. “I’d loch ta move th’ box to a secure location suin, but … th’trouble is th’ box must be submerged in water else th’cursed traps holdin’ it safe will trigger.” Boots on, she rose, rotating her ankles for good measure as old leather sagged against her inked calves. “An’, if we bide until th’ tide comes in, this harbor’s gonna be full o’ ships. An’ my client woods prefer discretion in this matter.” Fixing Callum with another cheeky smile, she added, “Soond loch somethin’ ye can manage?”
Callum listened to Eleanor’s unfortunate tale, then nodded after a few moments of thought. “You’re talking to the guy that got three people down to naga-land and out again, so… yeah it’s perfectly doable. Aside from the need to be submerged, is it heavy? Because, I guess that’s where she’d come in,” he said, tilting his head in Meri’s direction. Storm season’s here and if I’ve gotta not only focus my magic on keeping us from drowning, but controlling the storm as much as I can as well? Well, then we might as well just jump in the ocean now and let the depths have us for dinner.” Cal shrugged, continuing, “You name the time and day and I’ll be here.” Hopefully, by the way he worded things, he made it clear that he couldn’t do it today. He was exhausted from work and they’d get nowhere fast. But, he did have enough energy for one thing; he lifted his right hand, giving it a bit of a swirl in the air. Soon, enough fog, thick enough to cut with a knife, rolled in, concealing as much of the harbor and the water as it could. “That will buy us some time--fog isn’t too difficult to keep up during this time of year anyway, what with the weather the way it is, but we’ll have to do this soon, like you said.”
Meri just smirks. The smirk could be attributed to a number of things. Perhaps the knowledge that Cal could easily offer plenty of help in the task that Eleanor is wanting completed. Perhaps because he was not wrong in the role that she could come to play in moving this box. Or maybe it was because with that simple swirly gesture, a fog rolled in offering some concealment of the area. Surely the cave in question was shrouded somewhere within that fog. Which means Callum was already proving his use to the Rogue leader, but Meri never had any doubt of that. Meri was again without words. She'd just look toward Eleanor, this time she was waiting for the Fox to name the next day and time. That was really the only other piece of information that Meri needed before returning home and relieving the babysitter of her job for the night.
Eleanor angled her chin down in a nod, pressing her lips together to subdue an approving grin at both Malus’s confidence and display of meteorological prowess. She was forced to take a small step back, the turquoise in diadem reacting to Cal’s ability and bringing a minor throb to her temples. It was gone a heartbeat later though, and El’s lips twisted wrly. “Guid, guid. ‘en we’ll pick up suin.” A beat. “I’ll send word as suin as it’s safe ta proceed.” Another touch of the guild medallion and the shadow-laced disguise returned to a simple disc hung from a nondescript chain, allowing her to tuck it back into the cowl of her normal cloak. That all being said, Eleanor felt it would be wise to be on her way - giving Meri and Callum the space they needed if they chose to discuss this new business arrangement amongst themselves, or, you know, whatever else might be gnawing away at them. Adjusting her cloak’s folds, she dusted any lingering sand off her hips, then rested her hands on them and addressed Callum a final time. “Welcome ta th’ guild, Malus. I’ll be in tooch.” Dipping her chin in another nod toward him and then Meri, her gaze lingered briefly on the latter. A curious smirk pulled at her expression before she dropped her hands to her sides, the cloak falling to conceal her damp hem. “See ya, loove,” came her low good-bye to Meri. The spellrogue excused herself then, turning toward the city proper, surefooted steps carrying her effortlessly across the rock-and-sand terrain.