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Pawnshop Shero (Ka'Ri)

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26 Re: Pawnshop Shero (Ka'Ri) on Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:50 pm

"Ka." Qiao's voice is soft and sad. "You do know Caro and the rest of them would be dead by now if it wasn't for you, right? Worse than dead, they'd be up and walking whilst dead. Hon, you really feel that's nothing? You feel that's something anyone could do? anyone would do?"
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27 Re: Pawnshop Shero (Ka'Ri) on Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:58 pm

Ka'Ri tries hard to listen to his words through the louder din calling her worthless, tries to will them deep into her core, though she knows it is likely to flee into the night before morning.

"Up here I know it," she says tapping the top of her head. "But it's hard to hold on to that feeling in here," she mutters tapping her chest.

"I know it's not, but it feels just the same."

She looks at him long and deep, mustering up the courage for something though it's not immediately clear to him until she speaks.

"I trust you to know the true value of things, no matter the splash and fancy. Do you really believe what you just said? That..."

She chokes on her words for a moment and refocuses. "That my actions have actually mattered for keeping alive my crew and that..."

"And that you believe me to have the skills to handle the soft skills still?"

"Tell me true as a fence, yes or no, and I'll do my damndest to believe you, no matter what my head says. But don't you dare lie to me just to make me feel better. As you once said, we've known each other too long for quirks that wouldn't be obvious to anyone else to be obvious to each other."
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28 Re: Pawnshop Shero (Ka'Ri) on Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:15 am

His lips twist in a wry grin at that memory, but his eyes are serious. Gently, he takes her hands in his.

"Ka'Ri Af Osprem. You served on the Osprem for twenty years. How many times did you dock in a port flying false merchant colors? How many times did you blend in past the authorities, pretending to be just another boring merchant sailor or a random navy nobody? Pirates are the best at being no-one important, no-one worth stopping, no-one worth searching, no-one to bother remembering. We're ghosts in a port: blowing in, slipping through the crowds, keeping our heads down, being boring and nondescript and invisible whenever a guard looks our way. I once saw you convince a sergeant you weren't the pickpocket he thought he saw coz you were wearing a different color hat than the thief was." He chuckles at the memory. "No, I don't think one supremely bad day means your career as a pirate is over."

"I see the same value in you that you've always had, kiddo. You're as true as a diamond, and worth ten times as much. I don't know if you're 'worthy' of this pretty face, but I can tell you she must be something amazing to be anywhere near worthy of you. And when Caro gets better, she'll tell you the same."
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29 Re: Pawnshop Shero (Ka'Ri) on Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:21 am

Ka'Ri exhales letting go at long last a building anxiety of weeks.

"Okay then," she says at last. "Then give me that list of names. I have some merchants to rumble, some dealers to chat up, and a forest elf to give the crash course in how you case a city too."

She has a firm determination in her eyes as she says it. After all, if he believed it to be true, she would have to trust that as fact. After all, he had the best eye in the biz for value. Bar none.
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30 Re: Pawnshop Shero (Ka'Ri) on Thu Jul 12, 2018 11:38 am

Qiao grins and takes the paper from her on which he'd scribbled his previous thoughts, setting it beside his other paper so that they lay together on his desk like an open book.

"Okay. First you're gonna want to see Laerdya again and ask her some straight questions. It sounds like she was distracted by the larger group, so see if you can't get more from her one-on-one. Remember: she asked for you. You're the professional and she's a frightened mother. You want to know what this kid of hers likes to eat, drink, play. Whether she's got medicines she has to take. Things the Redfangs would need to acquire in order to keep her happy." He makes a face. "If you can't get through to her, take another crack at that Luther guy. He sounds like an asshole, but if he didn't keep that diary from you I can't see why he'd lie about the kid's tastes. Sounds like he wants her back, just for his own reasons, eh?"

"Then you're gonna want to hit the Northside markets. I have a friend who's big in shipping--like, actual legit shipping; he's a big stern dragonborn by the name of Wuljhan. You can pretend to be one of his clerks; I'll let him know in case word gets back to him. You should have some idea of the goods you're looking for at that point--either from Laerdya or Luther--so you can go around to the merchants and ask how well that specific stuff is selling. Best case, they'll have gotten in a big order. You'll ask 'from who'. They won't want to give you a name at first--they don't want you to sell direct to the Redfangs, after all, and cut into their business--but you can assure them that Wuljhan doesn't sell direct and is just trying to gauge his client base. Merchants understand these things; there's no better way to ruin your business than to ship down a bunch of stuff on speculation that then doesn't sell."

"After that, you'll want to hit up the Nightdocks." He looks thoughtful at this. "The amount of drugs they'd need to keep this girl under is way more than a street-seller is going to have on them. The Redfangs would have had to go direct to a supplier, and that could be dangerous for you; I don't want your face cut open as a warning against being too curious. Hmm. But street-sellers do gossip. Tell you what: hit up a halfling named Halwan down by that old ruined pier near the burned out warehouse they keep threatening to rebuild. She's a street courtesan and sells dream-dust on the side. She's also the biggest collector of gossip in all of Brilight, I swear. You'll have to pay her for her time--she doesn't work for free--but if someone's bragging about unloading forty pounds of euphoria on a posh Northside client, she'll have heard about it and she'll be ready to dish."

He folds the notes and hands them up to her. "About this ranger," he says with a chuckle. "Rangers observe shit in the wild by holding still. Cities are the opposite: you hide by moving. A girl standing in one place all day is suspicious; a girl shopping on her day off is invisible. The Redfang neighborhood spills right out onto one of the little side-markets in Northside; I marked the address down for you. My advice: take that bag of silver Laerdya gave you and spend the day 'shopping' while you watch who comes in and out of the neighborhood. Hell, if you can work up a romantic taste for beefy orcs, you can even dreamily ask the shop-keepers who's who without arousing a lot of suspicion. Hope your Ranger likes men, kiddo."

Qiao frowns then, ever the mercenary. "And, Ka? When you save this wizard's kid and she's over the moon with you for it, you make her promise to heal Caro and your family in the first batch, okay? Gratitude doesn't live long. Seize it while you can. You've earned it."
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31 Re: Pawnshop Shero (Ka'Ri) on Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:27 pm

Ka'Ri listens attentively, filing everything away in her mental filing system. For a second she chastises herself for not realizing the Redfangs probably did the same, but using Qiao's belief she shakes it away.

After Qiao is done she sits quiet and ponders for a full handful of minutes as Qiao returns papers back to his desk. He's well accustomed to her needing a second to process big information dumps like that.

"All right," she says at last. "I've got a rough timeline I want to run by you just to have a second pair of ears on it."

"Tomorrow, say late morning so that Laerdys has hopefully had time to trance properly for once, I hit a bakery the important person... her uh name is Thimb mentioned and brought with her last time and with Sunrise who's all good at stroking nob egos, we go visit Laerdys and get her reminiscing about her daughter's favorite things."

"Then in the afternoon, I hit the merchants with Thimb and instead of being a crush-addled goon, I have her go gossiping while I play the severe businesswoman who has no time for nonsense and just wants to finish the rounds for my boss and get home to a nice spot of tea. That way if a merchant is more amenable to one approach or the other, we've got our bases covered."

"That night, I play the reticent ace john who is closeted and has terrible friends and so visits a courtesan to get her talking and then because she's just paying her for her time, starts getting curious about what other services she offers for money. Thimb has a big strong brother named Jarek I can bring along as 'protection muscle' as I can play a weedy person with coin who wants to walk out of the nightdocks with all her kidneys. I saw a good number of folks ogling at his abs earlier, so he can also give her a bit of charm and all that if needed."

"The next day, my ranger friend, his name's Glen. I take him on an all-day shopping excursion and watch the comings and goings. I don't know if he likes men or not, he was pretty stoic for the most part, but I played the orc-thirster earlier this afternoon, so I can definitely play the horny curious straight girl who wants to know who that delicious piece of man-meat yadda yadda is and if he's got any hot cousins blah blah blah."

She nods as she rattles off her initial ideas. "So what do you think? You know these folks better than I so you'd have a better idea if any of those ideas are off the mark or not."
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32 Re: Pawnshop Shero (Ka'Ri) on Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:44 pm

Qiao gives her a warm, broad smile. "You see? I told you one bad day didn't mean you'd lost the knack. I love it, kiddo. Go. Conquer. Be safe."
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33 Re: Pawnshop Shero (Ka'Ri) on Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:49 pm

(OOC, I think that's a proper wrap this time. Do you think Ka'Ri would have enough time before midnight to go to the farm and let Thimb and Jarek know the plans for tomorrow? We can either role-play that scene or just assume it went off without a hitch).
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34 Re: Pawnshop Shero (Ka'Ri) on Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:42 pm

[OOC: Yeah, we can assume she ran by and let them know. Works for me!]
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35 Re: Pawnshop Shero (Ka'Ri) on Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:09 pm

[Thread Close. You get 50 XP.]
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