RP:Sparrow in the Den
This is a Rogue's Guild RP.
Part of the Sing a Song of Sixpence Arc
Summary: Niix is summoned by the leader of the Rogue's Guild to discuss a past job, and is given an invitation to join their ranks.
The Office, Cenril
Eleanor ;; Although normally Sunday afternoons weren’t The Office’s busiest days, this afternoon there were two dancers gyrating to the live music, and a good many patrons were scattered about the smoke-hazed room, the occasional click of glassware piercing the air. El was lounging in her favored alcove, a half-smoked cigarette pinched in the corner of her mouth as she pored and riffled through papers; boring, boring papers, full of figures and letters about their business operation. She was, obviously, bored to death of looking over these papers, and even less enthused by her asst. manager, Martin, rambling in her ear about overhead costs and wholesale purchases. Tuna was nearby, tucked under the table itself, sapphire eyes catching a glint of candlelight but otherwise she was shrouded in shadow underneath that booth. The spell-rogue eventually lifted a hand, effectively cutting Martin off before she gathered up the papers and unceremoniously shoved them into the obsequious half-elf’s arms, dismissing him with a flick of one runed wrist. “Later, Martin, later,” she drolled at him in his departure. “Send Giselle up front when ye gie a chance.” Martin bobbed his head in a few nods, and gathered up the papers, carefully stepped around one of Tuna’s massive paws that had poked out from under the table - possibly to trip him - before hastening down the corridor to the manager’s office. In his wake, El rearranged the cigarette between those full tiers and took a deep drag, its end growing a cherry and crackling in a satisfying way before she lowered the cig and took a hearty swig of whisky straight from a bottle.
Niix fingered the now blank paper that resided in the deep front pocket of her duster. And here she was just about to pen a letter to El for Lionel to send to her. Because, you know, El was pretty much Niix’s only friend around here. And that term wasn’t even a certainty but at least the woman hadn’t tried to kill her or steal from her. Quite the opposite actually. And it was good to know that the battle in Frostmaw hadn’t killed either of them. That was, of course, due to the odd old lady who had suddenly appeared and dropped all the frost giants in their paths. Okay, enough reminiscing. Skirting around tables, Niix’s light green eyes peered through smoke looking for Eleanor. Sharp eyes caught movement in that alcove and on instinct headed that way. It was hard to hide the smile that bloomed when she caught sight of El and her pace picked up, probably cutting off Giselle as she headed to the table. “Hey, El,” the half-elf greeted sliding into the opposite seat. A booted foot hit something warm and soft and growly. A quick peek under the table and Niix grinned. “Hi, Tuna. You got huge!” A lot of things might scare the half-elf, but the big cat wouldn’t, again. Once those particular greetings were taken care of, Niix looked back to Eleanor. “Got your note…?” Was that a hint of worry?
Eleanor arced a flaxen brow as Niix came into view, and she kept a smirk tempered, lurking in the corner of her mouth as her head listed to the side. “Och aye,” she agreed - Tuna had definitely gotten huge, and the white tiger batted at Niix’s legs with a huge paw, claws carefully retracted, before the feline drew herself to her feet. Her form bumped against the table, and El reflexively reached out to steady the bottle of whisky before it spilled its contents all over the table’s surface. Tuna freed herself out from under that table at last, chuffing at Niix in that low, rumbling way of hers, before she ventured off downstairs in search of fresh water, leaving El and Niix alone in the booth. It was then that the spell-rogue fixed her celadon twins firmly on the young pickpocket, a slight inclination of her chin betraying the subtle nod. “Ye min' th' job Ah gae ye?” Straight to business, then. She hadn’t discussed the boat-theft with Blut in the times she’d seen him recently, trusting Niix more to give her the honest recollection of events.
Niix leaned back as though giving the cat room would do any good. The chuff got a chuckle and an ear scratch before the cat lumbered off. Back to El. “The job? Nah. It was pretty simple. Blut was a big help. Kept the guards busy at least.” Niix shrugged. “At least no one stopped me on the way back.” The wagon with the boats had been parked just outside the Jolly Roger and covered per Blut’s orders at the time. But so much more had happened. It was almost a relief this was what El wanted to talk about. Out of habit, she drew a gold chain with an odd pendant dangle from it and cupped it in her hand. “It was actually pretty simple, that job.” Niix chewed a moment on her bottom lip, waiting to see what else El had to say before speaking her own mind.
Eleanor ;; It wasn’t the only thing the spell-rogue wanted to discuss, but she could only discuss one thing at a time. Her gaze scrutinized Niix a long moment, considering what the younger female said, and lifted that cigarette up for a new drag. “Ah see,” she murmured thoughtfully. And then, “Nae deaths, an' nae a body saw ye, correct?” Thus far, no one had come sniffing around El’s operation in search of the missing boats, but that didn’t mean they weren’t on someone’s radar nevertheless. In the wake of her inquiries, El’s gaze moved toward that pendant, and for a brief moment, the gem embedded in the center of the woman’s tiara seemed to flash with life, before it dropped back into a dull inertness beneath the curtain of her blonde bangs. “Whit dae ye hae thaur?”
Niix quickly shook her head, “No on died and no one saw us. I mean, I didn’t kill anyone. Couldn’t say the same for Blut cuz I don’t know. He did hit a few guys pretty hard though.” Niix glanced down at Pen, tilting her head as though listening to someone speaking in her ear. “Well, between then and now, quite a lot has happened.” Niix may not have killed anyone stealing skiffs, but that didn’t mean no one had died. “It’s a really long story to go into, but,” she let the pendant dangle from her hand. Looking closely, it seemed to have an image of Ahrkan engraved on it, but a large X marred the figure and a wave of dark energy pulsed from the not-quite-corrupted engraving. “This is Pen. We don’t know who or what he is exactly, yet. I stole him from someone in Frostmaw. He was supposed to be taken to some really nasty piece, you know?, except I didn’t know that when I stole the box he was in.” Now that she was talking it all sorta came out. Long story or not. “And we may or may not have killed someone.” Here her voice lowered. “El; I’ve met these guys who say they need my particular set of skills. Skills I’ve gained over many years.” The pendant went back under her shirt just inc case anyone else might have eyes on them. Leaving it out didn’t seem prudent.
Eleanor’s expression shifted into a frown, her gaze narrowing slightly. “Ah see,” she repeated, although this time her knowledge left a sour taste in her mouth. She wasn’t surprised at all that there was the possibility that Blut had killed someone, despite her very crisp and clear instructions to the contrary; she’d deal with him later. For now, she listened attentively to Niix’s story, and her frown grew more pronounced. “Yoo're a divit,” she sighed, lifting her empty hand to pinch the bridge of her nose. El didn’t have time to clean up other people's messes, but as guild leader, that was sort of in her job description. Another sigh followed, and El was lifting the whisky again for a new drink, alternating between that and her cigarette as she listened still, quiet again. In the end, a third sigh ensued. “Who?” she asked bluntly. “Ye cannae gang workin' fur other fowk if ye want tae wark fur me, an' Ah cannae protect ye if ye gang stickin' yer heed whaur it doesnae belang.” Eleanor wanted to include Niix in her crew, but that meant the girl would have to know where her loyalties were.
Niix slumped in her seat and stared down at hands now resting in her lap. A sharp bite to her lip, then, “Lionel asked me to be part of his espionage crew; just until...after...this thing is over.” Niix raised her gaze once again to Eleanor’s. Oh, she could tell the older woman wasn’t entirely too pleased with her. “I saw you, up north. But I couldn’t get to ya, you know? I was in the village and I looked for you, after.” Among the dead. “I needed to meet someone at the tavern only I didn’t expect him to come with Lionel and I didn’t expect to be asked this. El; this guy who is trying to destroy everyone and everything needs to be stopped. I can do what you want me to, and I can do this. I value the friendship you’ve given me and the shelter and everything. I’ll pay you back for all of it, if that’s what you want. But I really think this is something I need to do. And you know that if you need me for anything, I’ll come.” Here she took the paper out and slid it across to table to Eleanor, “I always will because you earned that sort respect from me.”
Eleanor tried desperately not to roll her eyes when Lionel was name-dropped. She knew that Blut worked for him too. Hell, even she had thrown herself in with that crowd for her own reasons; partly to keep an eye on Lionel, partly to keep an eye on Kahran. There were other reasons too, but that was neither here nor there. Her full lips twisted almost thoughtfully, and in the end, she fixed the girl with an inscrutable stare. “Hoo much did he offer ye?” Beat. “Tae join his wee ragtag crew ay spies?”
Niix met stare for stare. She couldn’t tell what Eleanor was thinking and that was a bit unsettling. For herself, Niix did her best not to squirm. “Room and board. Some spending money, payment for services.” They hadn’t settled on an exact amount but the girl figured it wouldn’t be chump change. “Not exactly sure how much. Maybe a few coins here and there. I haven’t actually been given a task yet.” A pause, “I’ll let you know if I get one though. If you want.”
Eleanor nodded slowly, her lips slanting into a vague smirk. “Och aye, yoo'll teel me abit onie jobs he gi'es ye, an aw as onie other information ye happen athwart.” Speaking of money, there was yet to be a payment made for Niix’s contribution on their latest job, and from under the table, she produced a bag of coins that held far more in its leather confines than it seemed capable of. Discreetly, the bag was pushed across the table toward the teen, thereafter the woman taking a drag of her cigarette slowly, contemplating her next moves, her next words. In the end, she settled for a coy, “Ah want ye tae join mah crew, jist as ye woods join his; yoo'll wark fur heem, but yoo'll report back everythin' tae me, an' Ah tryst Ah will make it worth yer effort.” A beat. “There's a lot mair jobs tae be hud, if yoo're keen.” Another beat. “An' furthermair, if yoo're gam, a spot in mah crew comes wi' a nam.” A code name, that is. It was as close to a formal invitation into the Rogue’s Guild as Niix could get out of the cryptic woman.
Niix took the bag, didn’t look in it, and slipped it into a deep pocket. “I wouldn’t have had it any other way,” she agreed and leaned forward, arms folded across the top of the table. “I kinda like Sparrow for a name.” Perhaps she had been thinking about this for a while, eh? Now a smile came to her pale lips, showing off pearly whites, followed by a laugh. The kind of laugh that comes from the release of tension. The kind of tension that comes with being embroiled in plots and schemes and things well beyond one’s ken or understanding. All was, in that moment, right with the world.
Eleanor’s smirk grew a few shades wicked, and she nodded slightly. “Guid. Sparraw it is, 'en.” That being said, she scooted out of the booth, the folds of her split-panel skirt descending to sway around her ankles as she moved fluidly across the room; of course, she gave Niix a quick indication that she’d be right back, and after re-emerging from the basement, she had in her hand a simple disc-like medallion, its surface plain enough. Of course, once the pendant was worn, the symbol on its surface became apparent - four birds, wingtip to wingtip, flying in opposite directions: The Rogue’s Guild logo, only seen by other members. “Thes ne'er leaves ye, dae ye kin? Nur dae ye ever teel anyain whaur it cam frae ur hoo ye cam tae be in its possession.” Of course, it matched the pendant around her own neck, and with a single touch of a finger across its plain surface, the woman became enshrouded in shadows, practically indistinguishable from her surroundings. The shadow-laced disguise didn’t change the way Eleanor looked, but it did make her features virtually impossible to discern, at least until El waved her fingertips across the pendant’s surface again, and the cloak disappeared back into the pendant. A sly wink was given as she leaned a hip against her table, remaining standing for now. “It grants ye passage intae th' basement an aw, an' beyond 'at, a portal tae uir headquarters.” Of which Niix was allowed to take advantage should the need arise. Indicating the door leading down into the basement, she sauntered toward it with the expectation that Niix was to follow if for no other reason than to acquaint herself with the guild hall.
The Rogue’s Den, Vailkrin
Niix slipped the pendant next to the one she already wore, all while watching how it all worked. Pale green eyes blinked slowly trying to see behind that cloak and she shook her head when it disappeared again. Small things still managed to amaze her. Following, El, Niix found herself in the guild’s headquarters. It was, and wasn’t, quite what she was expecting. Actually, she wasn’t sure what she was expecting to find here. “Wow.” That’s about all she manages while she wanders around looking at everything there is to look at.
Eleanor chuckled huskily as they made their way into the guild hall, sliding her gaze toward Niix as amusement surfaced briefly in her seaglass stare. “It's naethin' special, but ... Ah guess it's haem.” At least, as much of a home as El could have these days. There was a hint of a shadow in her eyes as she, too, took in the sight of the den, a vague sadness over the work she’d put into it with Leoxander at her side. But he wasn’t, anymore, in more ways than one. Tuna, ever curious, trailed after them down into the depths of the den, and padded over toward Niix, headbutting the girl’s legs in affection; if Niix wasn’t careful, it was enough to send her tumbling to the ground. Tuna hardly knew her own strength being a great big baby of a feline. Meanwhile El wandered over toward a table, sinking into a chair before crushing her cigarette in the ashtray nearest her, moments later producing another cigarette and ignoring any commentary about her bad habits anyone might make. There were worse ways to slowly die. After a couple drags, she offered up a sly, “I'll be headin' it ay toon suin.” In truth, she’d be heading out of this mortal plane altogether. Lifting her celadon twins to Niix, she added, “Ye be keepin' an yak oan Tuna in mah absence, eh?” Eleanor had no idea how long she’d be in the Shadow Plane, and although Tuna hardly needed an eye kept on her, perhaps it would also keep the feline - and Niix - out of trouble until she was back.
Niix oomphed, almost fell but managed to catch her balance before leaning back into the cat, giving Tuna a good rub down and scratching. Glancing over her should, the girl and Tuna walk over to Eleanor, taking a seat not too far away. Crossing one leg over the other, Niix glanced at the tiger then back at her boss-lady. She wanted to ask where Eleanor was going but figured if it was need to know, she’d know. “Uh. Yeah. I can take her with me. I have to go back up to Frostmaw anyway. I think she’d like it up there.” Niix sat in silence a moment, petting Tuna while she rubbed her face against the theif’s knee. “You’re okay, right?”
Eleanor didn’t sit still for long, and soon rose to a stand as she took another drag of her cigarette. “Ah kent Ah coods coont oan ye.” There was a ghost of warmth hiding in the corner of the woman’s otherwise wicked smirk as she started to make her way back toward the door that would lead her up into the basement. Near that door, she hesitated, turning back to consider Niix, her lips twitching subtly. “Fa me? Aam reit as rain.” The woman winked, always keeping her guards raised and in no mood whatsoever to talk about her heartache. She’d actually seen Leo recently, but it was far from a heartwarming encounter and left her even more confused about his absence than before. “I'll be seein' ye suin, bairn. Dornt gang gettin' yerself killed.” Offering up a two-fingered salute, the spell-rogue ascended back into the club proper, leaving Tuna and Niix in the den.
Niix didn't watch El leave. Rather she raised her hand in farewell and spoke, "You too. El." Shortly after Eleanor leaves, Niix and Tuna make their way up to Frostmaw.