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A Late Appointment (Sunrise)

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26 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:28 pm

She blinks, giving him an appraising look. "Wow, we really are on the same page," she says, breaking into a grin. "But no, that's not who I mean. Although I have to ask: by any chance, did you have a gang of tieflings searching Westside for him?"
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27 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:34 pm

Lucky gives her a startled blink. "Good grief, girl, no. I'm not owned by the Westside gang."
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28 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:50 pm

"Technically I was asking if you owned the Westside gang," she points out. "But good. That would have been hilarious but awkward."

Leaning in, she says, "No, there's another girl missing. The Redfangs have claimed responsibility and sent a ransom note. So I need to know: over the last few weeks, has anything changed in his behavior? Has he done anything unusual, acted out of character, in any way?"
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29 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:08 pm

He blinks and leans back on the bed, thinking about this. "Nooo," he decides. "No more than any of us when preparing for Alefeast, anyway. But he wouldn't. He's cool as a cucumber, that one. He could kidnap a dozen girls without breaking a sweat, I'm pretty sure." Frowning, he studies her. "What'd the note demand, ransom-wise?"
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30 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:13 pm

"More money than anyone could pay," she says, also frowning. "More money than a professional would reasonably expect anyone to be able to pay. As if the payment isn't really the goal."
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31 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:23 pm

His frown deepens. "Betreygis doesn't need money," he points out. "His family is comfortably rich and getting richer every day. Why would he risk everything for something he can't get and doesn't need?"
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32 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:51 pm

"I was hoping you could give me some insight on that." She sighs. "Korogur's the one who took the girl, and the ransom letter ostensibly came from him, although it looks like it was written in someone else's hand. It's possible he didn't act with his family's support, and apparently Betreygis has experience cleaning up his messes. What I don't know is how demanding an unreasonable sum of money constitutes cleaning up a mess; it seems like it's throwing grease on the fire instead."
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33 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:47 pm

Lucky considers this carefully for a long while. "Betreygis wouldn't do something if it didn't benefit himself in the long run," he says, looking thoughtful. "I've been trying to cozy up to him ever since his wife left--you know, out of sympathy--because there's a plan in place to take him down and I'd like him to not see it coming. Friends close, enemies closer, et cetera. I gotta admit: I hate the guy but he's a careful fucker. He always has aces up his sleeve and he plays conservatively right up until he slams down a winning hand and takes the whole pot."

Playing with the gold tip on one of his horns, he frowns. "Who is supposed to deliver this impossible, exorbitant ransom?"
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34 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:03 pm

"Me," she says flatly. "At least that's what I was hired to do, me and a few others: bring a false payment to the location and doublecross those sent to meet us." She gives him a long look. "I've got a little over a week to find a better solution."
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35 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:14 pm

Lucky's frown deepens. "No, sorry, that's not what I mean. You were hired by the client, yes? Who is the client? Or, rather, is the client someone worth kidnapping?"
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36 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:37 pm

Her expression darkens. "Possibly. Only to an absolute bastard, though." Sighing, she leans in and lowers her voice even though they're alone. "Laerdya Siannodel."
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37 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:46 pm

His eyes fly wide. "Shit. The Laerdya Siannodel? Wizard? Best fucking chance any of us have of not-dying?" He gives a low whistle and runs a hand through his hair. "I mean. That'd be worth something. Hells, that'd be worth anything. There's no cost too dear, no political favor too big. The city would pay whatever Treygis asked to get her back safe and sound."

Sighing, he looks up at the ceiling again and strokes at his horns. "You'd think he'd just take her first, instead of this rigmarole with her daughter. But if the daughter was some cock-eyed thing Korogur did without warning him and they're scrambling to turn crushed grapes into fine wine... It's just... This whole thing seems very provocative?"

He tilts his head to study her. "You're a big badass wizard with the power to reshape the world to your will. Your daughter is kidnapped by a bunch of low-born bastards. And instead asking for something reasonable, they taunt you with an impossible sum you know you can't put together. What do you do? Show up and plead for more time? Show up and fry them to a crisp? Show up and mind control the bastards, or kill them and question their corpses, or read their thoughts or... I mean, whatever you pick, I feel like 'show up' is high on the list here. I would. Wouldn't you?"
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38 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:20 pm

She huffs. "Would certainly make a lot more sense than hiring a bunch of random people to enact a hackneyed plot device from some picayune potboiler, but perhaps they didn't take grief-stricken irrationality into account. And they do have a mage of their own, so perhaps they believed they had a chance to capture her. Laerdya can barely function right now, though; if they wanted the city's attention, they already have it. And delaying a cure for the plague could bite them as easily as anyone." She hesitates, frowning. "Unless they believe she's already found the cure, or is close to it. If they wanted control over it..."
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39 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:39 pm

Lucky shakes his head. "Delaying a cure for the plague is only a problem if you think you're likely to get the plague," he points out. "Maybe they plan to take the money--or the 'whatever'--and run. But, yeah, if she was on the verge of a breakthrough, that cure would be worth everything. Betreygis could run the entire city." He sighs. "I dunno. I don't like this, kiddo."
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40 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:59 pm

Her lip quirks up. "Did you just 'kiddo' me?" The amusement is short-lived; a moment later her smile falls flat. "But yeah. I don't like it either. And controlling the cure is a much more reliable, long-term investment; I can't see 'let's all leave the city' as a plan that would appeal to them."

She gives Lucky a curious glance. "One thing you might know. Is it ever possible for a cleric to lose his cleric abilities? To be rejected by his god?"
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41 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:25 pm

"Look, around here the terms of endearment are 'kiddo' and 'babe' and you aren't champing at the bit for 'babe', I notice," he says with an easy laugh.

Leaning back easily, he shrugs. "Oh, sure. Anything is possible with a god. I mean, it's rare, but yeah, a god can absolutely withdraw all his blessings and reject a follower, even a cleric. Leave ya' with not even a minor cure spell to your name. I've never personally known of it happening but it makes for great bard tales, and it keeps the followers in line."

Chuckling, he shakes his head. "Course, the stories people really want to hear are the opposite: someone coming to a god to dedicate themselves, getting blessed with special favor, and leap-frogging years of training and practice. That can happen but there's usually a big price paid along the way. Power isn't supposed to come cheap, but it doesn't stop people from hoping."
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42 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:12 pm

She looks thoughtful. "I can't help but think that if anything would get you on Olidammara's bad side, hurting your spouse because he's a man and you want him to be a woman would do it. It's not clever or funny or chaotic, and it seems like a direct insult to him. You're his cleric; suppose you could bring it to the god's attention?"
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43 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:23 pm

Lucky sighs at this. "You know, I have thought about that. I wasn't joking when I said Treygis is a bastard--and not the kind Olidammara normally likes. We're not really supposed to spend prayer time complaining about the other priests, and believe me none of us are angels, but I've tried passing it up the chain and... nothing. I can't help but feel there's a piece I'm missing, coz I do trust Olidammara to not fall for some two-copper huckster. Maybe he feels like Treygis still has some part to play--or like there's a better time and place to de-frock him. I don't know. But it frustrates me like you wouldn't believe."
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44 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:35 pm

"If I may ask..." She tilts her head. "What did you mean when you said there's already plans in place to bring him down?"
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45 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sun Aug 12, 2018 4:53 pm

He snorts, eyeing her with a wry smile. "Oh, man, if it was up to me... but it's not. You gotta talk to Mother Reverence at the Sehanine temple for that. She's got real strong opinions about tiefling advancement in the religious community and I'm happy to be one of the pieces in her game."
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46 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:54 pm

Her eyebrows raise. "By an amazing coincidence, I was already planning to speak with her tomorrow, and although I'm supposed to go with a friend I've been debating visiting tonight instead; I have news for her that might be urgent."
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47 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:25 pm

Lucky smirks at this. "Well, if you're planning to go 'tonight', you'd better hurry, kiddo, before that ship sails and it's tomorrow. Shall we go check on Elinor?"
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48 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:43 pm

She smiles. "Feel free to make up whatever tall tale you like about why I kept you in here so long. And... thank you."
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49 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:48 pm

Lucky shoots her a dazzling smile. "You owe me one," he teases.

Leading her back out, she feels only the slightest falter in his step when they return to the eatery to see an orcish priest chatting with Elinor at her table. The man is tall, strong-shouldered, and handsome, and as they approach Elinor is laughing easily at some joke he must have told. Lucky grips Sunrise's elbow tightly as he guides her through the crowd, smiling with warm affability as the man looks up.

"Lucky, why haven't you brought your girlfriend around earlier?" the man admonishes with a cheerful smile. "She's the soul of cheer and good fortune."
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50 Re: A Late Appointment (Sunrise) on Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:55 pm

Sunrise grins in response. "Maybe that's why," she teases, making her way back to a seat. "Maybe he's keeping her all to himself so all the other priests don't flirt with her. Hey, El." Her eyes crinkle with affection for her friend. "Did I miss anything?"
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