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  #1  
Unread 8th of July, 2008, 06:10
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Civic Festhall, Sigil; The Second Lady, Fated, 130th year of factol Reus (Omnifrost)

The smell of smoke is nearly overpowering.

As you move through the Festhall, the din of noise has a strange effect; The sound of an entire room of people talking takes the form of the surf crashing against the cliffs. You pass through the great chamber and into the anteroom to the north without upsetting a soul. These are the people, whether Gith or Illithid, Maenad or Kobold, who know that to learn one must experience, but in the Festhall, experience is loud and the people do not notice you.

Her name was Tiska, a tout, but more importantly, a thief, and she'd stolen it two nights past. You found her handler, Omarax, a noxious, if interesting old Eye Tyrant, last night. It seems that the two of you had something in common. Unfortunately for Tiska, it was your property.

You reach the door, knowing the chant from the past few nights.

Oh, he's reasonable. He's only looking for something new. Make an offer - he might surprise you!

Just don't look him in the... what? It's funny!

He's not the one you need to mark. He won't put you in the dead book. It's who drives him that will.

All talk, no substance, that's the way of the gossip, but you've heard Omarax thrown around enough to know that he's smart enough to call The Cage his home. That, in and of itself means that there is a time for pleasure, and there is a time for business.

The door, one of the few doors in the Festhall, is closed. Even the Sensates like privacy, every once in a while.
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!

Last edited by Chris Chandler; 8th of July, 2008 at 14:30.
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Unread 8th of July, 2008, 22:34
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The noise is pleasing. I smile as I make my way through the hall. Experience is the only true teacher, but I prefer those experiences to be mine. Right now I want to experience the warm air against my skin as I walk through the crowded streets. For now though, I simply walk through the door, closing it behind me.
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Unread 12th of July, 2008, 02:24
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You've met his kind before - arrogant and paranoid all at once, calculating and capricious, Omarax is truly a Beholder in spirit and body. His scarred and pitted carapace, floating in the main chamber before you, shows a life of resolution and his rheumy eyes betray an age appropriate for an Eye Tyrant of Omarax's reputation. He does not seem surprised to see you, but neither does he seem particularly pleased.

G'lathk, clean up this mess. We have a visitor.

A slender Githyanki woman, dressed in the familiar robes of a servant, enters from the hallway to your right, moves toward an ornate tray of what might loosely be considered food, and takes the tray away.

I apologize for the state of affairs of my parlor. I was finishing my repast when you arrived. Now then, Miss Omnifrost, how can I be of service to you today?
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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Unread 12th of July, 2008, 14:53
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The corners of my mouth begin to turn up at the mention of my name. As my head begins to rise, I reach up and remove the goggles from my eyes, and place the lenses against my forehead. I meet the gaze of Omarax's central eye, as my smile finishes forming. It is I who should apologize Lord Omarax, I begin striding forward, It was not my intent to disturb your repast. I stop at a respectable distance, mischief dancing in my eyes. I have come to you in search of the blood who has lifted my property, or the property itself. I have learned that you are the one who can help me.
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Unread 16th of July, 2008, 00:06
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The beholder laughs and smiles toothily.

Yes, property or blood, true business. So then, you can't have Tiska's blood now, because she has none - she's forever gracing the entrance of my sleeping chamber.

He quickly continues in an attempt to assuage your possible reaction -

Not to worry though. Your treasure wasn't with her. She had... hidden it prior to her punishment. Now then, I may not be able to pull your... what do you care about a simple watering can anyways? No matter - I may not be able to pull it off my bookshelf, but I can tell you were Tiska kept her trove.

The smile at the end of his statement contains the unstated requirement of contract, the quid pro quo so common to dealing with the denizens of the cage.
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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Unread 16th of July, 2008, 02:08
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I expected something, but that seems particularly harsh. Although I try not to even flinch.

When he is done, my expression becomes a little more serious, as does my posture. "Seems like a waste of talent, but you are the one in charge." A very brief pause, "Well, since it is, in your own words, a simple watering can, and I would like it back in my possession, I believe a simple agreement is in order." Making sure that my verbal agreement keeps his portion of this contract from getting out of hand.
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Last edited by LightBringer; 17th of July, 2008 at 22:41. Reason: coloring
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Unread 17th of July, 2008, 12:45
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Of course! Simplicity is my very namesake. I only ask that you retrieve a trinket of my own, that little Tiska felt she deserved. Her ma - I get ahead of myself, of course. You are still only a... visitor to The Cage.

He slowly floats across toward his bookshelf, and pulling out a solid tome with his enormous tongue, he places it on a easel, to read.

Tiska was reputed to have navigated the maze of The Lady, lore that, truly, bade me to initially hire the girl. She has, had, quite the gift with a maze. Her trove, indeed, is past The Fence, down UnderSigil.

His central eye widens ever slightly as he watches your expression. He continues speaking despite any amount of knowledge or feedback you may actually have on the subject.

UnderSigil is below the catacombs, near the outer rim, you see. Madmen, berks I'm told, of such measure that they can no longer live in propernecropolis is The Fence, and it's as much maze as burial site. Tiska hid her spoils there. society, even here, in The Cage. They don't even bring their dead to the mausoleum anymore, building their own cities of the dead. One

His singular lung expands in a loud thrumming buzz, and he continues -

I know the tale, but have not traveled there, you see -

His outer eyes expand slightly as if to demonstrate -

I'm much too large to travel throughout much of The Cage. I would speak with Cuesi Kahl, in Bindings, just down the street. That... token -

he gestures to a small inkwell on his bookshelf.

Is the gatekey to The Fence. Cuesi knows where the gate is. He'll take you there for free, as a favor to me.
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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Unread 17th of July, 2008, 23:18
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Remaining quiet, I keep my 5'8 frame as straight as possible as I listen to his tale. I purposefully keep my expression as neutral as possible, there is no need for him to know what I do, and do not know. As he turns to retrieve the tome, I glance around, shifting my eyes only, and get my bearings in the room.

I do shift my head slightly to look at the inkwell, and then turn back without moving. I guess we'll see how simple this turns out to be. Do you have no more exact location on her trove? Somewhere in the maze is rather vague, and what is it that I'm to retrieve for you, Lord Omarax?
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Unread 18th of July, 2008, 12:19
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The Fence, like many pieces of The Cage, tends to... move about, shall we say? It is in the same location, truly, but... the interior likes to shift a bit. The map I might could give you would be wrong, by any means. My trinket, however, will help you find your trinket. Her name is Peluda. Here is something that may help you -

He gestures on the bookshelf, lower than the inkwell. Aside from a few tomes you see nothing but a dull grey oblong disk, some three inches wide and barely longer.

Take these both with my compliments, and please give Cuesi my best regards.

His manner is such that you feel that you have been dismissed and the Eye Tyrant, indeed, turns away, taking another thrumming breath. He begins singing, after a fashion, in a most ghastly beholder manner, as he heads down the hall.
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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Unread 18th of July, 2008, 22:39
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I move over to the bookshelf. Well there is no purpose in killing me yet... I reach out and take the inkwell, and disk. For the time being I deposit each into a pocket. After that I leave the room without farther delay.

I make my way past the people occupying the hall with a warm smile, and head towards the outside. Ahhh, now to roam in the light.

(My intent is to head outside and go down the street to find this Cuesi. I am in no rush though.)
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Unread 19th of July, 2008, 12:56
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You know, on second thought I don't like the description of the path I'm about to take, something about UnderSigil, just doesn't sit well.

(I go back to my quarters and get my pack. After settling it onto my back, and retrieving my walking stick, I then head out to find Cuesi.)
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Unread 21st of July, 2008, 12:30
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Of course. A careful consideration is as important as a stout sword or a mighty spell in the face of danger. Luck favors the prepared. By the time you reach Bindings, well within the confines of the teeming Clerk's Ward, it is some hours past Peak, and the light is beginning to fade. Most shops roughly follow the cycle of the Peaks, but you never can tell with unusual folks like Cuesi. You arrive just as he is removing his apron, ready to call it a day.

Bindings is a bookshop, a bookshop unlike any other. It is similar, now, in that it is a storefront filled floor to ceiling with bookshelves that do, indeed, contain books, but it is the nature of the books at this shop that are, in a word, otherworldly. Cuesi's motto, plain as day on the outide of the shop, states this quite plainly - "If it is bound, I can find it." The wealth of a dozen kingdoms lies in a small, unadorned stone shop.

Cuesi Kahl, a small pudgy human, though born and raised in the City of Doors, is a master of the knowledge of his books, what they are, where they can be found, and, most importantly, what they mean. He has spent a long life gathering the knowledge of the tome like a dragons thirsts for gold and gems. His curious, long intelligent eyes spy you as you enter and he smiles.

I was beginning to wonder if I should just board up the door, but some cushions in the lobby and make this my study, er, ma'am.

He doff's his skullcap, which takes with it his spectacles, thick, weighty wire rimmed spectacles that give Cuesi the appearance of a turtle. He smiles congenially as he reties his apron, dusts his hands and moves around the table he was behind.

Well, always a pleasure to meet a lover of knowlege. I am Cuesi Kahl, and I am your servant. May I ask who you are and what you might need?

He has a tablet of paper and a charoal stylus ready. He is truly pleased to meet someone new.
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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Unread 22nd of July, 2008, 22:36
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I smile, and move forward toward him, Greetings Cuesi Kahl, I am OmniFrost. While I am a seeker of knowledge, the knowledge I need today is not in a tome. You see Omarax has sent me to you, and requested that you escort me to the gate of the Fence. He said, you would do this favor for him!

(I look over a couple of tomes while I talk, but I certainly finish looking him in the eyes.)
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Unread 23rd of July, 2008, 11:11
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Cuesi looks positively crestfallen.

Oh. You're the favor, I see. Well, escorting is all well and good, but you can't get anywhere in The Cage without a key. I can only hope that the bastard sent the key he so bragged about. A word of advice, Miss Omnifrost, never trust a beholder, especially one that is a drunk.

He shakes his head -

I should just board this place up -


He lingers on one of the books you looked over -

I... No, never mind. So, if you don't mind me asking, Miss, what business do you have in The Fence? It isn't exactly a rosebush, if you catch my meaning.
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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Unread 24th of July, 2008, 06:45
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My smile widens and becomes a small chuckle, as he calls Omarax a drunk. Then just a warm smile as he continues.

Believe me Mr. Kahl, I'm not as young and inexperienced as I look. Well, I am as young. While I naturally tend to trust cutters I've just met, I have been around the Cage a time or two. I know this could just as easily be a peel to get me to do something for nothin'. There is no guarantee that Omarax wasn't behind the item, I'm looking for, being stolen from me. There's no guarantee that he really did kill the blood who stole it in some act of compensation, and there is certainly no guarantee that this thing he says is a key, is a key! On the other hand, it could be exactly as it's been laid out. There's nothing like finding out for one's self.

Looking back at the book, You...What?
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Unread 25th of July, 2008, 07:04
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Cuesi smirks and walks over to you -

I like to get out, surely, but my passion is right here, with these tomes. It's a sad affair to say that there's none too many who hold the same passion. Take a look at this book you -

He pulls the book you eyed -

- seemed interested in an actual book. This is just a simple Gith History, really only pertinent to Astrals or their kin, but you've got the curious eye. I hesitate to think how many times it's gotten you in trouble, but me - I can appreciate curiosity.

He slaps the book closed, and moves even closer to you -

So, the key. What did it turn up as? Keys do fascinate me so.
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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Unread 26th of July, 2008, 05:17
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I listen calmly still a slight smile on my face. His closeness doesn't bother me, although I don't allow myself to be distracted with the book being slapped shut.

When he finishes I give a wry smile, I suppose you'll see when we get where we're going. Until then I think I'll just leave it safely where it is at, almost in a whisper, as if I'm telling a secret, you never know who's up to something.
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Unread 28th of July, 2008, 22:30
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That causes him to laugh loudly.

Or you always know that everyone's up to something, right? Oh, The Cage makes the best of us paranoid prisoners some days, but you are right, you don't know me from The La... from anyone, so better to play close to your chest.

Cuesi moves in the direction of the table where he saw you first, moving around it, he picks up a satchel, not much larger than a coin purse, opens the main pocket, reaches in, and pulls out a small gem, a thumb-sized emerald from what you can tell, and puts it in his vest pocket. He looks up at you, smiles again, and speaks -

Well, I suppose you haven't eaten, seeing the time of day. What say we pick up a bite to eat, then take a nice walk down UnderSigil way? I know a nice enough spot. The liquid courage there is top shelf, if you catch my meaning.

He stops, as he puts on his overcoat -

Are you ready, or was there something else?
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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Unread 28th of July, 2008, 23:04
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No, I'm ready, and if you need a bite and a drink I suppose we have time.

Once he is ready I'll just walk along with him. Although it's fairly apparent I'm ready to get the show on the road.
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Unread 30th of July, 2008, 04:21
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He actually seems as ready, but you can tell that the prospect of the actual trek is a little unnerving to him. He stops just down the street, at a street vendor, and buys a small bottle of liquor, takes a flask out of his overcoat, and knocks back the overfill from the bottle. Smilling, he hands the bottle back to the vendor, and coughing a little bit, turns back to you -

Oh, sorry, did you want a touch?


No matter the answer, he heads down Crystal Dew Lane and leads you through the Clerk's Ward into the Guild Hall Ward. He stops in Farrier's Court, then takes another swig from his flask. He then heads up into Eldor's End, where you can spy the Great Gymnasium reaching over the crowded buildings of the ward. A large steep peaked building with the sign of two open hands hanging over the front door seems to be Cuesi's destination, and he stops, opens the door for you, and waits for you to enter before heading in. You would note that the locals refer to this as The Other Place, and from what you know it is a spa, fitting given the proximity to the Great Gymnasium. You smell the salts and pungent floral aroma wafting from the proferred open door.
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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Unread 30th of July, 2008, 23:28
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((Oh crap, I thought I posted!))

I smile and politely decline the offer.

I look at the entrance slightly boogled, then at Cuesi. If I don't pick up on anything unusual, I'll go ahead in.
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Unread 31st of July, 2008, 00:16
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The entryway to the spy is wood paneling and hardwood floors. It is warm in here, and humid, suggesting a hot spring. There is a young girl, an Aasimar with white-gold hair and silver eyes in a pale blue robe, off the shoulder, who greets you.

Welcome to my home! Would you care to visit the masseuse?


Oh, that's tempting, dear. Is Thora in toda... No, sorry, actually, my companion and I would like to attend to the whirlpool.

Oh, of course, Mr. Kahl. Please follow me.

You head down a hall, and down into a staircase. The air becomes positively steamy down here. She continues down a stone corridor and stops at a sturdy metal door.

Here you are Mr. Kahl.

She looks at you -

Do you need assistance undressing, miss?
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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Unread 31st of July, 2008, 01:38
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Hmm, nice.

I simply wait for Cuesi, to do his bit, smiling politely.

Once downstairs, No thank you. I'm sure I'll be okay, concluded with a wink.
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Unread 31st of July, 2008, 05:06
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Cuesi, for his part, does not undress either. he puts a small chit in the hand of the girl, and she, smiling, heads off.

He opens the door an you see an enormous steaming pool of water, swirling about, though not so quickly that one could not sit comfortably. The rest of the room is granite, floor to ceiling. There are a few divans for reclining and soaps, oils, and other ungents for whatever purposes one might have for such a room.

I don't believe we'll need to disrobe for this occasion -

He says, smiling brightly, looking at you with only the slightest hint of disappointment.

Once you both enter, he closes the door and latches it shut. the door clanks with a certainty to suggest that this room is now watertight.

So then, the whirlpool is the portal, naturally, but it needs a key. Is it appropriate now for me to see this key, or shall I close my eyes?

He's smiling, not meaning anything derisive from his comment. His liquid courage is fortifying him quite well at the moment.
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Our son won't stop doing math, honey!

Not in my house mister!!! You can differentiate all you want with your little hoodlum friends, but in here it's wild guesses and rounding errors!
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Unread 31st of July, 2008, 06:45
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No that won't be necessary. I remove the ink well from my pocket and hold it out.
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