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RP:The Mouse and the Butcher

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Background

Valentin, the Butcher of Cenril, receives an approach from 'The Mouse' regarding an offer to join a shadowy organisation.

The butcher, after consideration, accepts.


Of course, the entrance test was still to come.


At Valentin's Butcher Shop and Charcuterie


The shop front is surprisingly clean and cold - the chill seeming to emanate from the stones of the floor. Its counters are separated into two sections, and there is a sturdy metallic door at the back which appears to have no lock or handle of any kind.

The first set of counters are lined with meats of all kinds and cuts: the usual lamb, beef, veal, venison in chops, steaks, and racks of ribs. Offal and tripe may also be purchased.

The second set of counters holds cured products: Bacon, Hams, Pâtés, Galantines and Sausages of all varieties - some of the latter which are not recognisable even to a sausage connoisseur. 'Valentin's Mystery Sausage' has been a solid seller over the years for its rich flavour and subtle hint of pork.



Valentin is standing behind the counter, looking butcherly


Rowen :: Garran the grey bearded dwarf strolls in with a duffel bag thrown over his shoulder, he makes a pretence of examining the wares for a few moments before addressing the butcher "You got a back room we can talk where no unwanted Shears can overhear?"


Valentin casts the dwarf a dour look "An' jus' what would y'be needin' to tell a butcher out o'sight an' sound of the regulars, y'derelict wharf? I don't go openin' up th'cold room for just anyone, innit"


Rowen :: Garran pulls his cloak closer around him at the mention of a cold room, he pauses perhaps in thought. In actual fact of course the unfortunate dwarf has an insane little rat whispering instructions in his ear from inside the duffel bag. "She say.....er I mean, either we can go into your cold room, or you can come speak in the Shadowy den in Kelay. The matter involves the potential for substantial rewards.....I think that means there might be a load of pixie honey in it for yah." The dwarf scratches his head.


Valentin doesn't look impressed. If anything, the dour look becomes more akin to a glare "I'm gettin' a little tired o'folks offerin' me coin like some errand boy without tellin' me what in the black arsecrack o'hell they intend t'give me the coin for. Fancy-arse bankers think they can buy me because I'm a workin' class man, but they're barkin' up the wrong damn tree. If they want my services, they can blimmin' well talk plainly, an' tell me what its all about so I can make a blimmin' informed decision, innit." It wasn't the dwarf's fault, really. Between Muraski, Derry, Kasyr, and Morvious, the butcher had grown tired of being given vague offers of employment without further explanation. Being a practical man, Valentin liked to have all the facts. Being a stubborn man, the butcher typically got what he wanted, or the offer went away. Either outcome tended to suit the taciturn and unsociable vampire. Still, the butcher wasn't entirely unreasonable, and tromped over to the strange metal door which showed no obvious handle or lock. Valentin, also a talented Scleratus of the Necromancer's guild, placed his meaty hand against the door, focusing on the umbral tides. Beneath him, Valentin's shadow stretched out an arm which disappeared under the door. A few moments later, a sequence of clicks and sliding bolts are heard from above and below the door's solid stone frame. As the butcher opens the door, a stairwell can be seen descending into darkness. Very faint illumination is offered by a pattern of runes and sigils, and a strong smell of fresh meat wafts out of the basement. Deep holes line the frame above and below where the door has shifted from. Valentin starts walking down the stairs, his voice carrying behind him "As I was sayin', guv, you'd better not waste my time with ambiguous bollocks. Once you're down here, y'better talk to me straight, or there'll be trouble, innit."


Rowen :: The dwarf is not a man who scares easily, but even so, as he follows the butcher down the steps, he shivers, and it is nor from the cold. "Shh a minute!" He hisses to the insane rat jabbering away in his ear. "I represents a person known by the name 'Mouse' the successor of the one called 'Jelko' Mouse runs an organisation for you might say for alterations a bit like a tailor. Only whats we alter is people, specifically we alter them from being alive people to an alternative state."


Valentin's Workspace: The Cold Room


The metallic door, opened by use of Valentin's necromantic power, leads down into a freezing darkness lit only by the glowing sigils, runes, and arcane patterns which line every inch of the large cold room. Those who still breathe will find their exhalations misting in the bitter, freezing cold of this ensorcelled place. Once eyes have adjusted to the reduced lighting, visitors will be confronted by row after row of meat hooks, sundry carcasses hanging from them, dissuading all but those with the stoutest of stomachs from pushing through to investigate further.

Those who press on through the meat-hooked forest of dead flesh, forced by the density of the collection to bump against those gory meals-to-be, will find Valentin's personal workspace. Large stone benches for the primary cuts, smaller benches for the secondary cuts, and a long rack containing knives of all shapes, purposes and sizes. The sorcerous sigils cluster more thickly in this section, and the pattern seems to spiral in around what appears to be a sealed well from which rustling, writhing sounds emerge. Deep inside that oubliette live Valentin's personal swarm of gravewyrms, relocated from the Vailkrin Cemetery for his own dark purposes. The usefulness of the wyrmpit was found in the fact that the blighters would eat any kind of meat, burrowing through it like termites in wood, leaving any bones and other materials largely untouched. Valentin's horrible little pets were the perfect waste disposal for the butcher. One can only shudder to think what would happen to a living creature thrown down into that hellish pit.

Behind other lockless, handle-less doors, are hidden Valentin's study, curing room, and a room specifically for his private necromantic studies.



Valentin waited as the dwarf reaches the bottom of the stairs, then starts pushing through the numerous hanging carcasses. Most were cows, but amidst the meat forest could be seen silhouettes of more bipedal shapes. Some small and stocky, some human-sized, none of them comforting. Fortunately, perhaps, the butcher's path will not take them near to those particular meat hooks to allow for closer inspection. As he enters that grizzly collection of hook-hung meats, the butcher states "A bunch o'killers. Could ha' said so in four words, not forty, innit. Well, follow me to the office, an' we can talk business." Wearing his easily-washed leather duster and already-stained apron, Valentin doesn't much care that both he and the dwarf are guaranteed to end up with bloody smears along their clothing. Being undead, Valentin doesn't particularly mind that living creatures would probably find the intense cold of this room quite uncomfortable. At least the red light coming from the glowing sigils and runes lining the floor, ceiling, and walls allow for some illumination. Eventually, if the dwarf has the strength of courage and stomach to follow, they will come to Valentin's workspace.


Rowen :: Garran wrinkles his nose a bit at the smell of so much raw meat, he is a hunter himself, but un-prepared for the assault on his nostrils such a large number of carcasses causes. at least they are cold. This room would likely stink to high heaven without the refrigeration enchantments. "Yeah a bunch o' killers. How it works is you has to pass some kinda test, a quest or a fight to get in. Then you Mouse contacts yah when he has a job fer yah, and you gets a load of pixie honey when you brings in proof they is dead. You gets a key to the guildroom below Vailkrin what has a very useful library, and a load of weapons and poison, traps etc what members can avail themselves of.


Valentin leads the dwarf out into a clear space, commenting "Don't fall in the hole, guv" as he waved a hand at a squarish dark patch off to the side. Normally, that well was covered, but the Butcher had recently fed his gravewyrms, and he found they responded better if their air had a chance to cycle through, aided in part by the enchantments lining the walls of the pit. Certainly, if one got too close to it, their nostrils would be assaulted by a smell of decay, putrefaction, and old bones - and only the last scent came from the gravewyrms' food. The critters possessed an unpleasant musk. Valentin, leaning against a large stone workbench which disconcertingly had attachments with shackles and chains attached to it, asked "So I'd have t'fight someone, eh?" The butcher considered. If there was another library in Vailkrin, it may contain materials which could further assist his studies, which would be worth the inconvenience of a fight if true. "Alright. I'm interested. Who do I have t'knock around or kill first?"


Rowen :: Garran has an irritated look on his face as the furry little nutter continues to talk mostly nonsense in his ear. "NO, I am not going to ask him why he isn't wearing flowers in his head in honour of the royal wedding." He snaps apparently at his old green bag. Then turns back to the butcher. "You'll probably be fighting some Kensai bloke if he isn't too busy, we'll get back to yah soon."


Valentin casts the dwarf a dour look, something which might be lost in the dim red illumination which smears dark shadows on the butcher's coarse features "Are y'finished talkin' nonsense to yourself? Good. I should let y'know I've got a procurement trip comin' which will take me t'Xalious, so let this Kensai bloke know t'arrange a time, or risk missing me entirely. I'm a busy bloke, an' have a business to run, innit." The butcher pauses "Anythin' else I should know, afore I let you out?"


Rowen :: the dwarf is looking pretty dour himself. 'Mouse' is driving him nuts. "You should know that officially our organisation don't exist, right." After arguing a little more with his bag he sighs. "Yes, I am sure commemorative royal wedding garrottes will be very popular." To the butcher he says. "Please let me out of here." under his breath he mutters "Before I lose my patience and throw my bag down that nice smelling pit there."


Valentin nods "As y'say guv. Mum's the word." The butcher then leads the dwarf and his squeaky satchel out of the cold room, and back upstairs before closing the door behind them.