Open Chronicles Deals In The Dark[Alliria]

Navaia

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The Serpent's Kiss

Navaia lay half curled behind the bar of her tavern, chin resting in her hand, eyes fixed on the man in front of her. He was stuttering as he spoke, his hat in hand, sword on his belt, and a purse full of gold on the other side of his hip. The smile plastered on her face was a false one, and as the man spoke she couldn't help the impatience brooding in her chest.

"I-I-I just need a little bit of luck to recoup my losses, a new ship, but I don't have eno-"​

Her lips pursed. "Shhh."

The man's voice was beginning to grate on her ears. Usually they came to her with questions of power, magic, strength or skill beyond what they possessed. Asking for a ship seemed...benign. It was a bargain that she was still willing to make, but it was just so boring. Humans had absolutely no imagination when it came to this sort of thing.

"A ship? Yes...yes we can do that, darling." She smiled, slowly drawing herself back and up on her tail so that her eyes were even with hers. "But you're thinking too small. Why just one? You could have...three."

The man looked startled.

"Th-three?"​

There it was, that little spark, that mark of greed that their species was so well known for. Navaia loved to see it. Her lips curled and she slowly leaned forward again, nodding her head slightly. "Three. It will cost more, but think of the profit you could make."

"But I don't have the money..."​

"Oh, no no dear, there is another price. I think I know the perfect one too." Navaia's voice was honey as her gaze panned over the man hand, lingering on the ring on his finger. There was a moment, and he glanced down, unconsciously touching the small piece of jewelry before he slowly nodded.
 

Acteon Cass

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Things in Alliria were moving as they always had. Coins flowed from hand to hand as easily as the waves around the hulls of trade ships coming and going daily. There was always a deal to be made to get what one wanted. Be it legal, moral, or not so much either.

But things were not moving as usual. Acteon's gaze had been upon certain council members for some time and it seems at least one of them was up to something shady, something big. An investigation had uncovered part of it, but there was still more to be had. He needed to know what more there was.

This need lead Acteon to The Serpent's Kiss. Rumors and hushed words had said this shadow figure could be found there. Someone called Navaia. These kinds of things usually were hoaxes and were the work of someone with magic taking advantage of the more naive and ignorant elements of the gangs and local criminals. But this one might be more true. It seemed even the higher circles of Alliria had begun to speak of this person. If this was true then it could be his target might approach this person. He could not have that.

Sitting at a table, the Allirian just sat back and waited at a table. He could, barely, hear what the woman behind the bar was saying to the down on his luck ship captain. The scene playing out almost made him want to laugh, but that would give him away. A lone man suddenly laughing at his table told everyone he was either broke in the head or likely listening in on someone. Better to just drink from his pint of the local brew than offer up the appropriate reaction to such a joke of a deal. No one asked for less than what they were giving. Every merchant knew that. If she wanted his ring it meant it held far more value than three ships to her. Perhaps the real exchange was not the ring itself but his wife and marriage as a whole? Three ships in exchange for everything else in his life. A raw deal. One almost so cruel as to call a curse.

Acteon took another drink as he waited for things to finish playing out. He had time to figure out his next move when he was more aware of what this woman behind the bar was truly after.

Navaia
 

Navaia

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"I-I-I'm not sur-"

"Don't you worry." Navaia said with a soft smile, leaning over the bar a bit more. Her tail twitched slightly from side to side, her body moving in that odd serpentine sway that only one of her kind could move in.

The Captain seemed nervous, but there was no reason for it. She was here to make a bargain, a favor for a favor, something that could be upheld...or broken depending on his fortunes.

"Do not worry." Navaia told him softly, leaning in to whisper into his ear so that nobody else would hear. His face contorted slightly, shifting, and then he paled as she pulled away once more. "A fair bargain, no?"

The man frowned for a brief moment, shifting uncomfortably, and then slowly he nodded.

"Aye Ma'am. It is."

She smiled, reaching out her palm with the metallic claws holding upwards. "A Pact, then."

For a moment there was hesitation, and then the Captain reached out and took her hand. Navaia immediately reached forward, and with her index dragged a cut down the underside of his forearm. He made a small noise of pain, and then suddenly a mark of black formed where she had drawn blood.

"There." She said with a soft smile, slithering back. "Now how about a drink?"
 

Kuxtal K'atun

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The door opened and a big... tall... massive man with blue skin ducked through the doorframe. He was dressed plainly in simple clothes that were obviously modified to accommodate his size, but what stood out the most aside from his height were the silver tattooes that glowed and stood out with his blue eyes in the slight gloom of the room.

His eyes scanned the room once. Besides him and three others including the barkeeper, there weren't many other present, a quiet time.

... That was good...

If gold was considered the life blood of Allira, rumors were its beating heart that you could listen to. If you knew the right people who knew the right people for the right price you could find out nearly anything about anybody.
Information was a product like anything else in Alliria, it had a price and you had to pay it to find out what it was.
And it was a trail of rumors that led him to The Serpent's Kiss and its unique proprietor.

Kuxtal walked across the room to the bar, his weight causing the floorboards to groan under him as he brought his massive frame over to the counter past the nervous man.
He knelt down to be more on a normal level and placed a gold coin on the counter, "How much food and drink will that get me?"
 

Greedy

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The Serpent's Kiss. Greedy heard the name whispered about by a gang of dwarven smugglers. Their leader had bargained for . . . something or other, and had procured a diamond the size of Greedy's fist for it. After a couple of drinks and a few coins given to a working girl, the smugglers were too irresponsible to keep it. Greedy had taken the responsibility of delivering it to it's customer.

In honesty, he was having difficulty justifying his decision to come here. He could tell there was magic in it. He could pawn for a decent price at any number of places. He just couldn't shake the feeling that this item was requested. The smuggler was sent to retrieve it. It was one thing to swipe some coin out of a traveler's pocket, but another to steal a package expected by a noble. After seeing the half-naga deal with the ship's captain Greedy was reassured by his decision. He would keep to the shadows as the giant and other thief made their pleas.

He could be patient for this.
 

Navaia

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Navaia perked an eyebrow as the half-giant knelt before her.

He had been careful stepping inside, something she was rather grateful for given the fact that he could smash through her roof if he stood up too fast. the Serpent's Kiss was not her home, but it was where she conducted most of her more... simple dealings. A smile touched her face as gold was deposited in front of her. "Enough to satisfy."

The Gorgon mused.

Coin was as good as a soul within The Serpent's Kiss, and Navaia would never turn down a customer. She looked over Kuxtal K'atun and then nodded her head and waved over one of the serving girls nearby. The little wisp of a thing wandered over, gazing at the half-giant with a suspicious eye.

"Be a dear and fetch this man a tankard and a roast pig." She thought a moment, then added. "Have one of the cooks help you."

She doubted the girl was strong enough to carry an entire roast pig. Slowly Navaia reached down, taking the coin on the counter and slipping them away to some place unseen. "Please, take a seat."

Navaia gestured to the back of the tavern where the roof curved slightly higher.
 
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Kuxtal K'atun

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He was more interested in business than food, but he didn't complain, his plans were only half formed in his mind so he could wait to speak with the Gorgon. He spared the serving girl a glance, so small and light he could blow her over by exhaling. He went to the table indicated, moved the chairs aside and sat cross legged on the floor, even seated the table was a bit short but it would suffice. He awaited the food and drink while he organized his thoughts.

It had been a good many years since he had been in Arethil. During his self-exile he had simply drifted as though half asleep, sometimes moving, sometimes eating, sometimes meditating, sometimes killing, sometimes saving.
But now that he has finally returned, his ship all but crumbling to dust from age while it floated in the harbor, waking up for the first time it was still hard to get his mind out of the gutter...

What was his purpose now?

What would be his new legacy?


He closed his eyes while he waited. Right now, food was a top priority, there's no telling how long he had gone without eating at this point.
Then... after he's been filled... then he can think about his next move. He came here because the rumors spoke highly of the Gorgon, perhaps she will be the cornerstone of... Whatever it was he wanted... Perhaps they could help each other...
 
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Acteon Cass

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The Allirian mentally frowned. He had missed the actually deal being made. The woman had made sure to whisper it in too hushed a voice even for his ears to pick it up. He did not like that. But there was nothing he could do about it. Sit and drink was the best thing he could do as he kept his eyes and ears on the situation.

And it paid off immediately as the man excepted her terms and she cut him with her metalic claw. A black mark was left behind. Magic. Something told him it was likely some kind of curse as well. So not just a curse like deal but an actual curse was likely at play here. It just made things even more complicated.

Who and what was this woman?

A strange, big fellow showed up to the bar and asked for food and a drink. So someone was engaging her immediately after her deal. It was obvious that was his goal. If he just wanted food and a drink he could use one of the servers like Acteon had been doing. It was what this goblin that had shown up was also doing. This green skinned midget was likely here to make a deal as well but was trying to handle it with more tact than the big one. They both could make their deals and give him more information on this mysterious woman.

So Acteon continued to wait and watch.

Navaia Kuxtal K'atun Greedy
 

Greedy

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The half-naga seemed intrigued by the giant's offer, ordering him to be serviced in a manner appropriate to his size and leading him to a seat. The goblin was a little dismayed, as it appeared to be the beginning of a larger negotiation. Rather than simply slink in the shadow, Greedy decided to head over and sit next to the roguish looking Acteon Cass.

"Why is it that all humans look so ugly?" Greedy asked as he sat down, and signaled the serving wench for a drink. She gave him a look, until he pulled up a coin, then she went to the back and took up a flagon.

"I'm not sure I could get up every morning if I had skin that pink."

Kuxtal K'atun Navaia
 

Navaia

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For the first time that night Navaia slithered out from behind the counter of the bar.

Those who had never seen the Gorgon before in her full stature might have been surprised. Many might have assumed her little more than an oddly eyed human, yet as she came out from behind the counter it was rather clear she was much, much more.

Her tail squirmed behind her as she moved through the tavern, her eyes quickly glancing over her patrons. Out of the corner of her eye she recognized one of the men sitting at a table, what appeared to be a Goblin wandering over to him just a second later. A frown touched her lips for just a bare moment, but it was replaced with a smile as she approached the giant.

There was business to be done.

Just as she arrived food seemed to miraculously come, as if her mere presence was enough to invoke it's summoning. "Is there anything else?"

She mused, eager to fulfill yet another bargain.

There were more guests to attend to after all.
 
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Kuxtal K'atun

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The food arrived as the patron of the tavern slithered over to him. He was a bit surprised at her true nature, but pleasantly so and his glowing blue eyes watched her closely.
"Is there anything else?"
He nodded as he tore a leg from the roasted pig, it was a big animal but he might need to buy another one to satisfy his needs.
His voice was low, and even though his words were unintelligible to those listening a low rumble still managed to reverberate through the room.
"The rumors say you are well connected in this city. They say you have the ability to grant wishes, I am skeptical, but whatever abilities you do have interest me greatly."
He took a huge bite of the leg, consuming a huge portion of the cooked flesh and then washing it down before speaking again, his eyes still watching her as though she were on auction.

"I believe your abilities could be useful, but I am uncertain. Tell me, how can you serve me?"
His bearing was relaxed and at ease, but it was also as if an easy sense of authority rested within him as he sat in the gorgons presence. There was no malice or distain in his question as he stared searchingly at her.
 
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Navaia

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She let out a bark of a laugh. "I serve no one."

The words slipped off Navaia's tongue with such practiced ease that it was most assured she had the question nearly every other week. Rich nobles and self assured manchildren came in here every other week demanding one thing or another.

Demands however meant little in her presence.

Even giants could not quell her.

"I offer bargains, wishes are a tad out of my reach." She smiled. "What is it you desire?"

A question she had asked over and over.
 
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Kuxtal K'atun

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"I serve no one."
He was nonplussed by her laughter, but he knew that statement was incomplete, "But yourself..." he maintained his steady gaze heedless of the fact that he spoke with a gorgon who's gaze was twice as deadly.
He explained, "You serve no one but yourself. Service to me is no different than serving yourself for a greater future that you will benefit from."

"I offer bargains, wishes are a tad out of my reach." She smiled. "What is it you desire?"
What did he desire?... Yes, it was becoming clear now. The food probably helped.
He spoke in all seriousness and confidence as he boldly looked the gorgon in the eyes.
"My desire?... I desire to remake the world in my image. And I want you and others like you to stand beside me as we forge this new world."
 
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Navaia

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Navaia chuckled. "Pass."

She had no desire for power, for conquest nor anything of the sort. It was a fact that left many beings nonplussed. Most could not see beyond their own desires, but the Gorgon most certainly did. Her desire was one she had already achieved.

She offered a bemused smile to the giant.

Navaia could not remake the world, nor did she really want to. This place suited her as it was. The people came and went, the bargains were made, and everything ran as it was supposed to. Her tail twitched slightly, raising up behind her.

"A path I have no interest in." She said with a dismissive wave of her hand. "Though perhaps I can offer something to set you upon it."

The Gorgon smiled again, though left her words vague.

Her gaze lingered on the giant a moment, though drifted to her other patrons as she considered what bargains they might offer.
 

Acteon Cass

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The big boy and, as it oddly turned out, the snake woman headed off towards a taller portion of the tavern. Thankfully he could still hear them from his seat, although it took a bit more focus to sort out their words from the other voices in the place now. What sort of deal could be brewing?

Then the green skinned midget sat over by Acteon. And his first words were him insulting humans. Not unusual really. He just focused on finishing his pint. When the serving woman showed up he asked for another and watched as the goblin was given a look that required the appearance of coin to fix. Another insulted emerged from the goblin's mouth when the woman had brought the drinks and left.

Seemed his uninvited guest planned to stay for the moment so he might as well indulge him for a bit. Would be more entertaining than keeping an eye on his target all night.

"It is all the random breeding that makes humans so ugly. Or inbreeding in the case of those nobles from Vel Anir. You can only marry your cousins and half siblings for so long before your chin becomes very iconic." Acteon said before taking a drink from his new pint.

After the clink of his mug meeting the table top, he went on. "If you were that waitress the reason you would get up every morning while being so pink is because you do not want the ugly human male to ask for a free random bedding after he only paid for one ride that night. Got to keep some dignity after all."

His ears picked up that the snake woman and the big boy's conversation had continued after his meal. The topic of what he could be after came up and he nearly snorted into pint as he took another drink. Was the big one seriously asking her to join him in what sounded like an asinine quest for world domination? What was more it seemed like the big one also had a bit of a god complex. He reminded Acton of a certain "God-Emperor" out in the Western sands.

The woman had good sense as she immediately and flatly refused his offer. She even impressed him a bit by still pursuing the chance of a different kind of deal being made. Clearly a merchant at heart. It made sense why she was set up here in Alliria. He was just going to have to wait and see where that conversation went, although seemed likely it was nowhere.

Navaia Greedy Kuxtal K'atun
 

Greedy

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Greedy gave out a hearty laugh before taking a swig of his pint.

"I wasn't referring to the waitress." Greedy replied to the traveler. "But I think you knew that." He continued. "You've got thicker skin than most humans, I'll give you that." Another swig went to his mouth.

Elsewhere the giant blue man and the giant snake woman conversed about business. Greedy's long ears weren't for show, and he could hear nearly every word. The giant wanted what most did, power and authority. The proprietor seemed more in intrigue, or perhaps simply cheaper requests, then the giant's overarching plans. It was Greedy's experience that the closer a being grew towards the heavers, the closer they felt to divinity.

Fools all of them.

The man across the table held more intrigue. Greedy could tell he was a cutthroat. What was his desire? He'd assume something more personal. A cure for a loved one's ailment? Revenge against a past associate? Perhaps aid in scoring 'the big one' so he could get out of 'the life'.

"I'm curious human, if you'd care to humor me." He pulled conversation back to Acteon Cass . "In my tribe it was expected that men take their mate from another tribe, to learn other's crafts, magics, and customs. I have difficulty understanding the Vel Anirians you describe. What benefit is there to take a mate so close you already know their history and tools?"


Navaia Kuxtal K'atun
 

Kuxtal K'atun

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"A path I have no interest in."
"Though perhaps I can offer something to set you upon it."
"Pity." He took another cavernous gulp of his drink before motioning the server for a refill.
He straightened his back and regarded the gorgon some more while he waited for them to fill his giant cup.
"If you believe you can offer me something that will set me on my path, then your powers must be truly impressive. Yet so far it pales in comparison to your power of beating around the bush. I'm interested, but the promise of a promise is not how I do business."
He carefully leaned an elbow on the table and gave her a sidelong smirk, the most human expression he's made all evening.
"I'm done playing my games if you are. Let's talk."
 
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Navaia

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She mused for a moment. "To remake this world in ones image one would require..."

Navaia took a second, as though she actually had to think about it.

"An army. Magic. Servants." That was what he had asked of her already after all, her own servitude. It was not a bargain that Navaia would make, her soul was far too precious for such a thing. But she had other souls to offer. "I can offer one of these three."

She mused. "In return for something."

That was how it worked of course. Navaia made bargains, she did not offer gifts. Always there was a trade.

A price.
 
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Kuxtal K'atun

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"An army. Magic. Servants."
"I can offer one of these three."
He pondered for a moment while they brought him his drink and he sipped it slowly.
"And army I have, as well as magic. All I lack are servants..."
He chuckled, "... And you've already denied my offer."

"In return for something."
He sighed and set down his mug, "Again, you delay the inevitable. Provided I cannot find servants on my own, what price would you ask of me?"