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A Needle in a Haystack (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen)

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The elderly man gives Jarek a helpless look before looking around at the very crowded room, which is stuffed with wet cloth, steam, and moist heat; there's not a lot of room to expand the business, alas. "Ah, uh..." he stammers. "We... We take in clothes by weight... One copper per hort..."

Glen yanks open the door to find an enclosed stairwell full of narrow steps that lead up to the higher levels of the building (which appeared to be at least four stories from the outside). Light steps pound rapidly up the stairs, the sound filtering down from above him.
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Glen bounds up the stairs two at a time, following the sound of  running footsteps ahead of him. He tries to take the corners of each set of stairs a little wide, leaving room to react if someone is lying in wait behind one of them. He follows the footsteps as far and as fast as he can.

Perception 18

Acrobatics (in case you need one to take steps 2 at a time) 6
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Sunrise follows close behind, leaving Jarek to negotiate laundry. (OOC: Acrobatics 13)
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As his companions charge up the stairs, Jarek quickly decides not to risk clogging things further. "Do you know that person who just came through here? The first one, tiefling, purple, not the one who was behind me. Does she live here? And..." Jarek looks doubtfully at the ceiling, toward the thunder-roll of footsteps. "...Is there another way out of this building, apart from your door?"
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"P-please," the man begs, his voice trembling before this big strange orc. "P-p-please, we don't know anything. We didn't s-see anything. My wife and I are j-just simple workers, we d-don't want any trouble, sir."

---

The stairs rise at a sharp, narrow angle and are in poor condition; Glen trips once and catches himself, but it's enough of a pause to let Sunrise swiftly catch up. The light feet pound up four stories and then they hear the sound of what is probably a heavy roof-access door. Iron clangs shut behind the light feet and a few heartbeats later Glen and Sunrise see the door themselves: It appears to be a push-door which lets out onto the roof.
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"Hit the door," Glen pants to Sunrise as he continues the momentum from running up the steps, lowers his shoulder, and crashes into the door as hard and fast as he can.

Strength 1, lol
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Glen's brace for impact backfires: the door isn't locked or bolted, so he goes sprawling out into wan sunlight and fresh air, stumbling hard and losing much of his running momentum as he catches himself from falling flat on his face.
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[OOC: I am DYING, bless you both]

Sunrise emerges a moment later, reaching a hand out to steady Glen and blinking in the sunlight as she looks around.
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"Oh, I never spoke to either of you, don't you fear," Jarek assures them with a wink.  "It's just that it's my first day on the job and my brother is missing and I thought she might be able to help.  I'll just..."  He has been maneuvering his way carefully through the laundry chaos and made it to the door without kicking anything over.  "...Slip past you this way and go check on my friend.  Maybe we can talk later!"
Athletics 8 (3+5) to race up the stairs after them
Stairs are fine.  Running uphill is fine.  Running up stairs in a cramped space that is sweltering like the very worst of midsummer because of the Laundry Hell below is... less fine.
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Glen, Sunrise, and (belatedly) Jarek spill out into the weak sunlight which struggles to reach the slums where they sit in the shadow of the Brilight wall, and see an athletic figure sprinting over the rooftops. Her hood is thrown back, giving them all a glimpse of her violet skin, purple-black hair, and curling horns. She's running away from them at a fast clip, and has plenty of roof left to go, given how cramped the buildings are here on this block.

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"Oh, that figures," Jarek groans as he staggers to the rooftop.  "Sorry, I was hoping diplomacy would work.  I'm on it."

He blitzes after the fleeing tiefling at full speed, feeling the orcish fury rise up in his blood as he narrows the world down to his quarry and the path between them.  He keeps his rage reined in for now, but the others can hear a new, harsh edge in his voice as he bellows across the housetops: "YOU ARE A TERRIBLE SPY!"
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Sunrise pauses, huffing for breath. "Um. Have we considered... she's not... following us anymore?" Resting her hands on her knees, she looks in the direction the woman fled. "Maybe... we could just... continue?"
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Glen takes off at a full sprint, the blood pounding in his ears and the singularity of purpose drowning out Sunrise's words. He reaches out to the natural magicks he has felt flow through him once before, hoping to mark her and make her easier to follow, but she is just out of reach. He runs along with Jarek, glad for all the hours spent training at morning maneuvers.
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The woman is fast, but Jarek and Glen are just a tiny bit faster. Glancing back, she sees them gaining on her and her eyes narrow. Veering sharply to the side, she runs for the building's edge and hops over the low wall which keeps people from falling onto the street. Without pausing for thought, she flings herself at a run head-first down onto the street forty feet below.
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Glen tears the fifty feet of hempen rope off his pack. "Jarek. Hold this." When they get to the edge of the roof where she dropped down, he looks down to see where she landed. He then ties the rope around his waist and hands the coil to Jarek. "If you brace yourself against this wall, do you think you can lower me down? I'd climb, but I'm not sure I wouldn't fall." He looks up at the larger man. "I trust you. No time to lose. You in?"
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Jarek grabs the rope, slaps Glen's shoulder in a comradely fashion that nearly shoves the elf off the roof, and braces himself at the edge to be a pulley. He spares a second to look for the broken form of their quarry below. What was that woman doing?
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Sunrise swears in Infernal and follows, trying to at least keep the woman in view. When their quarry jumps over the edge, she pulls up at the edge and looks down to the street below.
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The woman does not free-fall plummet to her death or serious injury; she floats to the ground at a rate which is still speedy considering the chase continues on and nimbly dodges her way through a crowd which seems to make a path for her without making eye contact or even looking in her direction.

Glen rappels down the building at quite an impressive speed of his own, but she's landed by the time he descends even one storey, and she's had quite a head start by time he hits the ground. Then, too, the crowd doesn't part for him; several people pat him down helpfully looking for wounds (and, if he doesn't hold onto his valuables, he will be relieved of them) and asking if he's alright, what's going on, how can they help, does he need assistance...?
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[OOC: DM, I would like to cast Detect Thoughts on the fleeing woman]
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[OOC: I would love to oblige you, but the spell restrictions are "within 30 feet" and per my math you have not yet been that close to her -- certainly not now while you are 40 feet above her.]
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[ooc: ...well then nevermind.]

Sunrise watches this from the rooftop, having no desire whatsoever to jump or rappel off a building. She will, however, run along the side of the building and try to keep tabs on the woman's location that way.
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"MOVE." Glen shouts in a sharp, commanding military voice. He clutches his valuables and shakes his body back and forth to ward off the people touching him, then bounds forward after the woman, slipping past anyone in his way, and tearing after the woman once again.

Acrobatics 13
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The people move...slowly. They lower their heads and step back just enough to not be enough, forcing the stranger to shove his way through the crowd and fight for every inch he takes. At one point Glen hears "WHOOPS, SORRY MISTER" from his left side and only narrowly dodges the alarmingly big 'child'--really more a young adult--who 'stumbles' hard into his path and nearly sends him sprawling. Glen twists nimbly away and keeps running.

The woman, far ahead of him, is getting farther--and there are no shortage of twisty alleys and darkened doors for her to duck inside.
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Glen digs deep, sprinting harder, refusing to believe she could get away from him. He runs through the alleys, his preternatural sense of direction aiding him in staying oriented as he goes.
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Anyone else would have lost her by now. He knows that, but it's cold comfort when the inevitable happens. She knows the slums in ways he doesn't, and for reasons he may or may not understand, she has the sympathies of the locals firmly in her corner and stacked hard against him.

She ducks down an alley and he hears a door slam. He runs until he feels his chest could burst, but when he gets there his heart sinks. More than two dozen doors at ground level taunt him, and another two dozen are reachable via outside stairs which lead up to second storey dwellings. This is some kind of living complex, clearly, and she's disappeared into someone's home. He could spend the rest of the day knocking on doors and still not guess the right one.
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