RP:To Kill a Dwarf
This is a Rogue's Guild RP.
Part of the Magic, Madness, and Mayhem Arc
Part of the Seven Dwarves All Around Me Arc
Summary: Rumors of an alchemical job opening bring a desperate witch, an excitable foxkin, a psionic lycan, and a spell-stealing rogue together in the shadows where they plot the demise of a visiting dwarven enclave.
The Crow's Nest
Word was out: a job opening for those with certain predilections scarcely whispered about in the shadows, and yet … the promise of something new was there. Fox had carefully spread the word herself that there was need of an alchemist tonight, both within the guild and without, and she waited in the Crow's Nest to see who might show up. Shrouded in shadows from head to toe, the queen of rogues stood atop the dais beside her inert golem, her arms crossed over her chest, gloved fingers patting out a soft rhythm on a bicep.
Lanara rarely found herself in dire need of gold, at least in the past, though with all the legal fees piling up and the fact that she was no longer welcome at the animal sanctuary, time’s had changed. She dared not swallow her pride and ask a friend or her sister for a loan, and so desperate times had called for desperate measures. The witch wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, that much is certain, considering she had robbed a bank a few weeks prior. Was it –really- just so she could reclaim her skull in order to prove her innocence? Perhaps. At first. Lanara had felt more alive living on the edge, than she had felt in years! As the word of someone seeking an alchemist reached her tapered ears, the witch found herself answering that call with curious notion. Stepping into the Crow’s Nest, clad in leather pants, a black turtleneck, and knee-high boots, she takes a cursory glance around. The rumors didn’t say ‘who’ she was supposed to meet, so she merely drops into a vacant chair at the main table and waits.
Meri:: The entrance that Lanara and Arlyeon would enter through was not the only entrance to this current location, just the only entrance for those not yet apart of the guild. In short, the blonde arrives via some alternate route. Eleanor likely knows exactly which one. Much like the rogue leader, Meri arrives shrouded in shadows quite similarly to Eleanor. Neither Lanara nor Arlyeon would be able to see Meri's arrival, not until the blonde was ready to reveal herself. Eleanor, on the other hand, was probably quite aware of Meri's presence and location within the room.
Arlyeon , once she had mananged to catch wind that someone out there was seeking out individuals of questionable talents, had basically commited herself to doing a bit of scouting- an act of diligence on her part that was surely completely unrelated to the foxkin discovering there was a bar she didn't owe money to yet. Though, the frivolous bit of cardsharking that ensues, (And which is better left to a quick montage sequence), does serve as a decent timeframe for the how and when Ina finds the time to prepare a suitable backlog of flimflam so she can upsell her skills in regards to the current job. And to acquire a bit of spending cashing, and some odds and ends off the poor mooks she's playing a hand against. It's also undoubtedly factors into why she arrives last, despite the fact that she managed an admirable job of quickly changing into the leathers she'd favoured just the evening prior, with all the privacy afforded of a back alley. Maybe if she hadn't fussed so long over getting a suitably matching shade of Amethyst for the glamour she used on her eyes or hair- because she'd somehow decided that was a necessary detail. Despite the fact that she'd forgotten to apply it to the red and black fur that coated her vulpine ears. Whatever the case, she certainly doesn't display an ounce of hesitation when she sidles onto the scene, falling into a seat near Lanara upon her arrival, if only so she can gawk at the room. Like, very blatantly and awkwardly stare at it's various details, like that 'Training Dummy'. "Who ja callin' a dummy, ya dummy."
Eleanor tilted her head to one side as Lanara found herself in the Crow's Nest, and the smirk that had captured the spell-rogue's lips turned more curious. Fox had heard rumors about the witch, and she was quite pleased and intrigued to see her here tonight. Not that she'd vocalize this just yet. No, with Meri now slinking into the room across from her, she glanced toward the shadows that cloaked the other, before glancing toward Lanara again. Her smirk grew a few degrees broader as the unfamiliar foxkin also sauntered in. An unfamiliar face to be sure, but if someone new to her showed up - this meant her attempts to lure in recruits was working. From beside her, the construct let out a low, rumbling hum as lines of turquoise began to run across its surface, as if from the ground and up through its body until its "eyes" alit with the same glow. Somewhere deep in its parts, it gave off a quiet thump of life, a slow rhythm starting. It seemed to be staring at the foxkin, but made no move from its position on the dais. Meanwhile, Eleanor lifted a gloved hand and rested it on one of the construct's shoulders, before addressing those at the table. As she did, some of the shadows around her faded away just enough to reveal a feminine figure, but her identity remained mostly concealed for now. "So guid ay ye to join us." Her voice seemed disconnected from her figure, as if she was throwing it around the room before making its way to each of them. "Now 'at we ur all gaithered here, allaw me tae introduce myself." A dramatic beat, and the woman gestured with her other hand, "Ah am Fox, an' Ah hae a job fur ye."
Lanara didn’t bother to mask her appearance in any way, though she had a plethora of glamour potion easily enough at her disposal. Her fair face was recognizable by many, as she previously was a dancer, the founder of an animal sanctuary, and of course, she’s known for hosting elaborate affairs. Lana didn’t think it would matter in this section of Vailkrin, as she didn’t fit the bill for the stereotypical bloodsucker, and she had never dealt in the criminal side of things. Plus, half the realm expected her to be behind bars or still in a padded cell at the asylum! Identity aside, the witch turns her head to lock eyes with Arlyeon as she enters the establishment. No greeting is offered, as this wasn’t the one that she was supposed to see about the job, it’s obvious in the foxkin’s wondrous gaze that sweeps over the area. As time elapses, the two women remain silently seated, and it’s the ‘thump’ that emanates from the dais that draws their attention. Lanara quirks a brow, but as she doesn’t feel any negative energy drifting from the glowing eyed construct, so she remains relaxed. The shadow enveloped feminine figure appears, and a voice with a foreign dialect pierces the silence, offering an introduction and the promise of a job. A glance is given to the foxkin, before Lana takes the initiative and replies, “Excellent. That’s why I’m here… What are the details of this job? And what is the timeline?” She doesn’t offer her name, yet.
Meri still kept her presence concealed for the time being. Why not keep herself hidden? It gave both Eleanor and Meri the advantage if at least one of them stayed hidden from view for now. Not that Meri really expected too much trouble from the girls who have presented themselves tonight. Well, she did not with Lanara. Arlyeon? She would continue to silently observe from the shadows will the Fox greeted the two of them. The Fox would speak her introductions, Lanara was already brimming with questions and Meri was not surprised. None could see it, but she was smirking beneath those shadows she was presently wearing. Who knows when Meri will see fit to make her presence known, if she does at all. It was fun hiding in the shadows and going unnoticed at times, you see.
Arlyeon makes a weird little face, biting down on the tip of her tongue like she'd just chomped into something unsavory, if only because she's currently checking herself, and trying not to give into the impulse of blurting out 'And I'm even foxier.' Instead, what she manages is a rather serene looking nod, her eyes flicking past 'the Fox' to stare back at the golem. Maybe the implicit threat provided by it's presence will help her from popping off with running commentary. Though, considering her inner narration is currently debating over whether 'Woody, Chip, or Gabby' is a better nickname - ...maybe not? "Joooooob, ya say?" She manages to croak this out with some effort. "Or, what she said." There's an inclination of her head towards the, "...Wait. You were there, at the, uh, gimme a sec." She fumbles, pats herself down, and then procures a what looks like a partially melted chocolate penguin from what one can only assume is a pocket near her tunic, "From da thing. With tha people." She munches vigorously onto the head of penguin, before carrying on with her mouth full, "Need a mask? Cause' like girl, you stand out more 'n I do." That's blatantly untrue, but the irony is apparently lost on Ina.
Eleanor dropped down lightly from the dais onto the main floor of the hall, her boots noiseless against the wooden planks, and her shadowed cloak swirled around her legs a moment before it resumed its normal obscura. "Och, aye, a job," the spell-rogue repeated, her tone doing little to mask whatever amusement she felt. She took a few leisurely steps toward the table and again the shadows faded slightly to reveal more of her face - at least her mouth, her chin, and the tip of her nose. With a tilt of her head, her turquoise gem at the center of her diadem also catches a brief flutter of light from overhead. Fox stopped near an empty chair and let her gaze bounce back and forth between witch and foxkin. At last, she spoke again, her words clear and careful beneath her carefully-watered-down accent, "I'm lookin' fur a particular poison. Th' kind 'at can kill a dwarf without bein' detected." The spell-rogue lifted her chin, presumably studying both females a moment before continuing. "It will be delivered in a cask ay dwarven ale within three days, an' must nae kill th' dwarf until his entoorage has left." Fox paused a beat, and delivered the next line with a certain seriousness, "It main nae be traced back to ye, ur to us." Discarding the serious tone for one a bit lighter, but just as calculating, she added, "If sic' a poison is delivered without fault - and without detection - there is 1500 gauld pieces atween ye." Her grin became wide and wicked. "An' ... we main fin' an openin' within uir ranks, if yoo're sae inclined."
Lanara inches her chair a few inches away from Arlyeon as she whips out a melted chocolate slab from her pocket, which is instantly mistaken for animal feces. This was a foxkin, and she was speaking in riddles, wielding her droppings as some sort of weapon. True, they were both here for a job, but Lanara would resort to other means, should she consider the foxkin to be competition. The huntress, Aira, had never babbled or held a melted hunk of dung in her hands, so she’s certain this isn’t some sort of animalistic ritual foxkin’s do when meeting someone new. “Wh-“ A bite off the top is taken and Lana narrows her hues, only now piecing together that it’s chocolate that Arlyeon kept in her pockets. It’s not like she was going to take a whiff! “I’m fine. It’s the one that’s hiring that finds it best to keep to the shadows. In time, perhaps I will, too.” Meaning, if she got the job, or continued to meet with Fox and her crew. Shaking her head at the antics of the foxkin, Lanara maintains a close watch on Fox as she nears their location and describes the job in detail, the gold, and the possibility of being a member of their secretive guild. The adrenaline thrumming through Lana’s veins is palpable as she gives Fox a faint smile and nods her head, “So… A slow acting poison that will result in death, and has to go undetected. Hm… We’ll have to mask any flavor or odor from the liquid, which is rather doable.” There’s a brief pause, before the witch pipes up again, “Does it matter if the dwarf’s buddies happen to drink from the cask?” It didn’t matter how many died when that much gold was up for grabs, plus Lana’s convinced that all midgets are ankle biters and Lithrydel would be better off one less. Meri remains disguised in the shadows and undetected by her close friend, though she’s likely grinning at Lana’s businesslike behavior.
Grinning? No, Meri was trying hard to not laugh from her position in the shadows. It was quite comical from her perspective. There was the fox who was making funs and producing chocolate penguins. Lanara, be jealous. Meri was able to ascertain that it was most certainly chocolate from a distance. Then again, maybe don't be jealous...because if it were dung that scent would certainly assault the werewolf's delicate snout. The fact that Lanara jumps at the sight of this chocolate penguin only adds to the hilarity of it all. Mix in the fact that somehow Lanara was trying to be serious in the middle of all this? Oh dear. Compose yourself Meri, this is not the time to break out into a fit of laughter...Be stealthy. Be secretive. Don't let the witch and the foxkin get the better of you.
Arlyeon is, perhaps for the first time during this meeting, looking rather composed. Sure, she's also making a rather prolonged, albeit somewhat quiet, "Mmm", sound that seems to accompany every passing moment- but she actually seems to be putting thought into this, if only because it seems like a fun little conundrum to mull over, "If they didn't care about everyones corpses pilin' up, I think waiting for their entourage to leave wouldn't be a problem. We might even figure that the one doin' all the hirin' might be -part- of that entourage, or maybe has someone they're aimin' ta scapegoat amongst em, ya know?" The foxkin offers up a half-smile alongside that comment, though it rapidly turns into a weird sort of display as she begins to draw her tongue over her pointed teeth to get the chocolate off them, with a bit of help from some rather sharp looking nails, "Could we pull a scam? Like a poison in two parts? One bit of it goes in the cask, the other bit is..uh? Do we know anythin' about the target? Favourite food- maybe they collect somethin' that ya can spread a bit of poison inta?" She positively perks up at the next thought, her hands abruptly clasping together, if only to press beneath her own jaw as she offers up a smile that reveals far too many teeth in a look that seems just a mite unhinged, "Ooooh, tell me if this sounds crazy, but I love dis one. So So So, if he's gotta sign off on gittin the barrel, we could always prick his finger with one of them fancy rings once we shake on it- and then we never gotta worry about the twain meeting fer the rest of 'em, or us but uh. Our guy there." She draws a finger across her throat for emphasis, alongside a ghastly display of her eyes rolling out, and her tongue hanging out to the side, before slumping back in her chair. Though the impression is ruined a little when she kicks up her feet onto another adjacent seat. Arlyeon might be keeping a half-lidded eye trained on Meri at this point. Sure, it's all good and grand to ruffle the feathers of those being good and proper, but there's always a certain joy in playing it up for an audience.
Eleanor eventually sank into the nearest chair, although she twisted the chair away from the table just enough that she could lean back and prop her boots up on the table itself. "Och aye," she repeated, slanting a gaze across the table. "Th' contract signed by th' client doesnae specify who else should die, only that th' target is a priority." Pale celadon twins honed in on the beheaded penguin, and for a beat her lips twitched with more amusement at such absurdity but Eleanor was not a particularly stringent leader … she has worked with weirder. "If ye kill all his entoorage by accident, weel, that's nae sweat off mah back, so lang as we gie paid." Sharpening her gaze upon the foxkin, she added with subdued warning, "Ye cannae gie paid if ye kill off uir client too thocht, ye ken?" After a beat, she clarified herself a bit more, "We hae wee information on th' target, only 'at he arrives w' his delegation in tois days--" She held up two fingers. "An' we main deliver th' poison by th' third," three fingers now, "just in time fur a party where they'll be celebratin' a trade deal w' mah client's client. He'll be accompanied by at leest half a dizzen ay his men." Fox straightened in her seat, boots dropping with a slight thump to the floor, the only sound they've made thus far. As if in reply, the sentry behind her seemed to wind down, the hum growing quieter with each heartbeat. "I'll be providin' th' ale … if we ken anythin', it's 'at they're particularly fond ay thes brew, best nae tae complicate things."
Lanara is fine with listening to the details, and even manages to look past the pause where Arlyeon has to claw at her canines to clean the chocolate from her teeth. “What if the cask is delivered, but the poison isn’t inside the cask? Just… Slipped into the liquor? One of us could use a glamour potion and play the part of a disguised bartender.” The thought of trying to look sexy for a dwarf is repulsing to the witch, but for the promise of gold, and the thrill of pulling it all off… As the foxkin feigns death, Lana grimaces and shakes her head, “So…” She pauses, wanting to ask Fox if she –really- had to work with the strange girl sitting next to her, nibbling on melted penguins, and full of all sorts of theatrics. Couldn’t she fly solo on this job? It seems easy enough. Or work with –anyone- else? Of course, this is running through her mind, but she’s far too polite to vocalize her thoughts. “I think I know where I can get the necessary herbs for this poison…” Callum. The Catalian had an extensive herb garden that he mentioned, and she’d be sure to breeze on by and ask for a donation, so that she could use it in some spell work. “Brewing a poison is easy enough work… I will consult my grimoire for the perfect poison that you seek. Getting it to the location can be the tricky part, though… And making certain it’s –that- cask that’s opened. Unless the poison goes into his glass, and a different type is placed in the cask… Say… A potion that will make his buddies drowsy? So they all head home for the night? They pass out, somewhere, and are none the wiser that the dwarf has been killed?” Of course, leave it to the witch to complicate matters. She’s implying that two separate liquids be made and placed into the ale.
Meri was not really all that unnerved with the fact that Arlyeon had managed to piece together that she was in the room, her half-lidded stair was indication enough that she had been made. There was a level of appreciation for the fact that she did not announce this to the room yet though, for better or for worse. What if someone was spying on them and Arlyeon just let that slide by? But she is given the benefit of the doubt in this instance, for surely the foxkin can see similarities between Meri's disguise and Eleanor's. Maybe Lanara and the foxkin would end up with their own shadow cloaks. Since she has been made and has no qualms with Lanara knowing she is present, Meri speaks. "It's like the lady said. It's best not to complicate things. I am sure that you can understand that we'll be keeping a close eye on you crazy little muffins to make sure you don't do anything too out of line." Lanara surely would be able to recognize Meri's voice. While the werewolf's voice might be heard, she does not see fit to reveal herself beyond that. For her own curiosities sake, Meri attempts to figure out if she can ascertain how good that foxkin is with scent. The shadow figure changes position in the room, an act that should go unnoticed especially since Meri was clinging to the shadows of the room still. Meri's scent was already lingering in the room, but would Arlyeon's nose delicate enough to be able to figure out that Meri no longer stood in the spot that she did? Curious indeed.
Arlyeon's mouth shuts with an audible click, a pantomime of a dutiful look crossing her features as she provides a salute to fox. "Aye Aye, Ma'am Fox Lady . . . Sir. But, uh- I was tryna -avoid- piling up bodies. Poison in 2 parts means it isn't traceable to the cask, or who sent it- 'n also means we can minimize who gets effected. That was the whole con of it." She pauses there, rotating her right hand for a moment, before partly extending it towards Lanara as though presenting her at an engagement, "Though- druggin' a room full of folks so they gotta take a nap fer the evenin' -does- sound fun, 'n makes for a potentially profitable aftermath." She pauses there, if only to curtly add, "Muddies the waters, too. Though- If ja really needed ta get folks seperated," There's a look that's almost affectionate leveled towards Lanara, if only because of those added intricacies, "N' really feel the need to flex your stuff with things of yer makin'- then why go for drowsy when they might clonk outa t the tables." Okay, so maybe affectionate is the wrong term, there's some of an intense mischievousness there, and it's probably a little bit unnerving just how excitable she seems, "When ya can instead give 'em the runs- stomaches emptyin' means whatever's in the ale'll hit em hard- Er." It's the intensification of the scrutiny focused on her that causes the first small waver in her own demeanour, a flicker of a an almost lush emerald color cracking through the facade of an Amethyst gaze, before the glamour settles anew. Animal instincts were often not wrong, and coupled with a rather keen sense of smell (and some rather fine whiskers sprouting from her cheeks if someone actually gawked close enough)- she was mostly savvy as to the way she was being...staked out. And the scent of what was effectively a bigger predator was causing her tails to begin flickering agitatedly. That said, her expression doesn't waver, her uncanny smile spreading a bit further, even as she does her best to side eye where Meri is. "...And, maybe the death'll be blamed on bad food, er somethin'?"
Eleanor patiently allowed everyone to speak, nodding slightly at turns, pursing her full lips at others, and eventually nodded decisively. "Alrecht, so … Ah appreciate th' idea ay misdirection. Ye need somethin' tae keep yer involvement out ay th' bark." Beat. "A red herrin' - th' scran." Food. "It shoulds tak' effect within an hoor sae it seems th' likeliest culprit, whereas th' poison will be in their systems at th' sam' time, workin' its magic, so tae spick." Fox considered her next words a moment, and nodded again to both foxkin and witch. "Th' contract only covers th' poisoned ale, but if ye can pin th' blame on someone else too, Ah'll pay extra myself." To Lanara, she spoke directly next, "Gaither what ye need frae whom ye need it, but donner wi' caution - there ur een everywhere." Beat. "Tois poisons: one fur th' scran, one fur th' ale. Th' client will deliver th' cask themselves tae ensure it's opened, but Ah'll lee it up to ye to tamper wi' th' scran." So long as they weren't caught out poisoning the food too, she didn't care how or when it was managed. To the room at large, she added, "Ye hae tois days to produce both - meit back here?" Either with both poisons, or the means to make them.
Lanara chews the inside of her cheek to keep from blurting out ‘Meri’ upon hearing the lycan’s voice. Of course she recognizes just who is lurking in the shadows now, but she dares not breathe her name, because then Arlyeon would be privy to that information. The female in the shadows, Fox, had likely given them a codename, as well, and Lana didn’t want to reveal Meri’s identity to her, either. Just in case. It was likely best to play things safe, and discretion was something that the witch could appreciate. Codenames and shadowcloaks were a necessity in this group, and it’s oh so appealing. The desire to dislike the foxkin is lessened as Lana unexpectedly burst into a fit of giggles at the absurdity of giving everyone the ‘runs’ so that they run out of the tavern, and the correct dwarf is murdered. “Oh my gosh! Can you imagine?! That would make a mess out of things!” Were Arlyeon’s paws not covered in chocolate, the foxkin would have earned herself a high five. Perhaps working with a fellow mischief maker wouldn’t be that intolerable! “Alright, I will be back here with the poison that will kill the dwarf…” Lana turns to meet Arlyeon’s color shifting orbs, “Do you want to handle the other potion? I like either the idea that knocks them out, or gives them the literal urge to ‘run’ away.” Grinning, Lana ponders how they can pin it on another, “Maybe a wife or bitter ex-girlfriend of the dwarf… Perhaps a disgruntled employee? That part we can figure out when we meet next, likely?” Rising, the witch gives a nod to Fox, and one to the area in which she originally heart Meri’s voice, though of course she’s no longer in that location! “Be seeing you.” A final glance is given to Arlyeon, along with the promise to follow through on her half of the plan.
Meri was pleased with the fact that Arlyeon was easily able to track her location despite her move. Maybe she should feel more disappointment in being so easily found, but it was a useful skill to have as a rogue. If the foxkin would at least alert when an unwanted approaching. Meri is already on her way out the door, the same door she entered. Look, it takes her into Cenril when she goes her way, okay? She preferred Cenril over traveling through the land of the cranky vampires... "I will be seeing you."
Arlyeon provides her most serious look towards Lanara, if only so she can pronounce, with the gravest intonation, "A hot mess." And then her features shift to an altogether crooked grin, her eyes seeming to shimmer that little bit brighter, "Though 'm hopin' ta be long gone before the worst of that hits. I wouldn't wanna be staff for whatever edimifice they're going to be convening at, lemme tell ya." That said, her hands clap (and maybe rubbed together a bit too gleefully at the possibilities the watch provided), "Lookin' forward to it." A beat. "...'N you too, spookums." It's somewhere during this whole exchange that it finally fully sinks in for Arlyeon that , yes, 'Scran' means food- granting her the confidence to properly address Fox, "If ja got deets on the target, I can probably sniff out associates ta pin it on, but otherwise, 'm good at improvising. In any case, Boss Lady, I look forward ta doin' future busy-ness wit'cha." She wriggles her fingers in a farewell as she trails after the others to depart, her brain already whirring on the optimal way to cause that nasty bit of unpleasentness, and make it seem natural. I mean, dwarf cookings already pretty rank, right? "With their grubby friggin lead stomachs. Makes 'em taste like minerals. Pffft." How could she make it -worse-? ...Gamorg Cuisine? Maybe, or maybe . . .?
Eleanor settled back in the chair again, re-crossing one boot over the other on the table's edge once more. "Och aye, it'll be an unforgettable alchemical affair." Dipping her chin, a shadowed wink was given both Lanara and Ina before she cast a sidelong glance in Meri's direction - it was easy enough for the spell-rogue to pinpoint her but soon enough the psion was gone, leaving the guild leader to surveil the room and the other departing inhabitants. "Lookin' forward to it indeed," she told either witch and foxkin, and added a few words of caution before they dipped out. "Do tak' care ay yerself, an' mind -- everythin' said in thes room, stays in thes room. Ye ken?" Leaving that as her parting words, she rose from the chair and moved over to where the construct stood watch. As she neared its side, it slipped back into its inert form, and the Fox herself disappeared into the shadows behind it.