Part 2: Local Heroes

   
Jan of Lovers' Lane

"Ah, ah, ah, Ameiko, just wait and see. My training in the Kitten will come to a fully ripe fruition and then I will be able to take full advantage of both men AND women with impunity. The boys, and a number of the girls, had been giving me pointers. Not to mention the Madame herself." Jan's face grew schooled for a second, grace, poignancy, and mystic allure, she looked a sophisticated lady with a hint of dangerous sensuality, and sent Ameiko an elegant and seductive wink.

For a second.

Then, she couldn't help it and the laughter chased off the Madame's personae from her face.

"I still need work with some of the tips and tricks, but I think I have some of the bases covered." she snorted into her cup.

"This one?" Jan inclined her head slightly at Foxglove without turning her head or gaze at the ignorant nobling. "Perhaps, Miss Olyssia or the Madame herself could handle his class of service. We don't really have anyone that holds a candle to an elf's exotic charm, but our top lady and Madame have their own elegance. I'll put some words in his ears, and you can put some more if he gets frisky later in the evening. The usual commission, right?" Jan hinted at the arrangement in place with the Rusty Dragon's proprietor/bartender/exotic eye-candy and returned to her meal.

********

Jan chuckled as Aegon, Veritas, and Tom talked about extra arms.

"You may have six arms, but you still have got just the one mouth to drink with, Mister. And I believe Mister Tom has got it right, a sweetheart with six arms to bring along for shopping is great, but a sleaze with six arms is three times the hassle, especially if it is an amateur who thought he has got better skills than what he actually has." Yet for all her smiles and teasing words, she took note of the explanations the half-elf conjurer ascetic, as he called himself, about his strange conjuring powers.

'Keepers of the Cycle...' She wondered if a branch of these ascetics had wandered their way into Cheliax, and if they had roots from the Dragon lands. She'll just have to dig out the information, from the half-elf, or from elsewhere, since her initial reaction from seeing the abominable conjuration had rattled her enough to make her slip her mask, causing the half-elf to notice her distaste.

"Anyway, Mister Tom, thanks for these." She wiggled the coin pouch heavy with gold pieces. "Also, you didn't come over to the Kitten last night! Didn't I tell you I'll pay for one of the girls to service you, or if you don't like to go the cathouse for your pleasure, Coleen can just give you a nice massage for relaxation. Really, try it out first!"

***********

Jan could see the hint of irritation brewing in on Gozzik's mind from Foxglove's callous words. She gave the halfling sitting next to her a pat on his tiny shoulder and a smile. Unspoken was the advice to just let the words pass by.

They could, technically, haul the man behind the inn and teach him a lesson on social manners with their fists, but the sheriff frowned on such acts, especially if the victim came looking for him. A noble like that, he would need a lot of beatings to keep his mouth shut, and then the Sheriff could probably see the damage himself. Too much hassle.

A social engineering project to teach the man about how to disconnect the realities and niceties, and also teach him some tact and polite manners, well, that would also be too much of a hassle.

Better just take his coins and leave the noble to be noble.

"Hey, Ameiko, a set of both fresh fruits and your best fruit preserves for Mister Redknife here! As a fellow traveler, Mister Redknife, I am sure you know the nutritional value of fruits and preserves." Not to mention the economic value, but that was unsaid.

"That's sweet of you to think, miss Jan, but I for one have a hard time believing you've run into less than your share of selfish lovers. My teachers always made it a point to tell me: whenever you think you're getting good, then you're only growing presumptuous. I try to keep my understanding of my abilities fairly realistic." Veritas replied with a soft chuckle.

Something about Ameiko's behavior bugged him. He couldn't put his finger on what it was, but for some reason (perhaps the fact she figured something out about him that he hadn't told her?), the way she acted towards him seemed a little different now - less playful, as it were. It was something much too subtle for Veritas to realize its exact nature, however; so he decided to leave it be for the moment, lest he growed a little paranoid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veritas
"Guess I'm amid that bad luck, eh? Sorry to be such a disappointment."
"You? A disappointment? Don't be silly. I was talking about.... Oh, never mind. I won't bore you with those stories." Ameiko acknowledged the misunderstanding, then decidedly dismissed the topic, seeming to grow more uncomfortable as she searched for the right words. Instead, she turned her attention to Veritas' description of his path...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veritas
"I was raised by a number of ascetics who called themselves Keepers of the Cycle. I've never been much of a scholar, but in short, they worship a certain number of entities that they claim is linked to the circle of life - one lives, one dies, one's soul goes on to live again. As we choose our path, we are told to seek out the path of the entity that most closely resembles what we want to be. I have no lofty goals in life - therefore, I picked Asura, a creature of whimsy, violence and sheer human desire. I don't have any illusions about the nobility inherent to such a path. But I find it's a life perfectly worth living. Freeing oneself from the Cycle is too great a pain in the ass anyway."
"These ascetics, the Keepers of the Cycle, they sound interesting, but I'm a little bit confused about this Asura," she admitted. "I mean, I"ve been described as whimsical at times, and I'm certainly no stranger to human desire, but violence... well, I just don't see it as something to be celebrated. Sure, we see it all around us in nature, and it's even necessary to maintain the cycle of life, but you talk about it as if it brings you enjoyment?" Ameiko suggested, openly questioning the mystic's motivations, but doing so with respect and sincere curiosity.

* * * * * * *


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sai
"Yes, the Ra Iaur is a ritual all the students at the Tower of Stars must undergo. We journey out into the world and prove ourselves worthy to protect our people. We must bring proof of our deeds back to the Tower, only then can we become masters of our art form. Though before I can even begin to contemplate completing my trial, I must recover the items that were stolen from me."
Aldern Foxglove listened carefully as Saitylvaness explained her objective. He was clearly a fellow who valued the opportunity to be enlightened. "The Tower of Stars... that sounds magnificent. And if all that I've heard of your people and their enchanting artistry is true, then I'm sure that it is glorious to behold." The eccentric nobleman looked away for a moment, his imagination conjuring up the image of a grand structure built carefully into the natural ambience of a far-off, hidden grove. "I wish you the best, dear Saitylvaness, in completing your journey, and for a safe return to the land of your birth."

"And these possessions that you've lost..." he continued, "Is it possible that this is merely a part of your test?"


Quote:
Originally Posted by Sai
"My secrets?" Sai let out a light-hearted laugh as she slyly extracted her hand from his, using it to take a drink. "My secrets are one of the most carefully guarded treasures of my people's culture. But perhaps it was destiny we met today. Only time will tell."
"Of course; I meant no imposition... only that with time I might earn that privilege, dear Saitylvaness," Aldern carefully clarified. "In my experience, I've found that most have some carefully guarded secrets that they would rather not share with just anyone."


Despite her polite deflection of his advances, this man was clearly quite smitten with Saitylvaness, but his enthusiastic praise had left him rather exhausted, and the drink had gotten the better of his tongue. On the inside, he sang a thousand more verses of admiration, but when the lovely elven maiden leaned in and kissed his cheek, all Aldern could manage was a blush and a sigh.

* * * * * * *

Ameiko Kaijitsu giggled to herself as the conversation turned to discussing the extracurricular merits of extra limbs. She had unfortunately had some experience with overly-ambitious bedfellows who failed to live up to their own hype, but she chose to keep her comments to herself on the matter and let the boys have their fun


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan
"Perhaps, Miss Olyssia or the Madame herself could handle his class of service. We don't really have anyone that holds a candle to an elf's exotic charm, but our top lady and Madame have their own elegance. I'll put some words in his ears, and you can put some more if he gets frisky later in the evening. The usual commission, right?"
"Yes, of course," Ameiko agreed, then she leaned in close to Jan and covered her mouth with her hand so she could speak without being heard. "Though I'm not sure where to start with this one. Seems to have a bit of a fetish for elves. Maybe you have some good roleplayers over at the Kitten? I don't suppose that old queen at the theater would let you borrow one of his pointy-eared costumes and a red wig?"

While he still had no clue exactly how far or deep Ameiko's history went, Veritas decided to err on the side of caution and not press her on the subject. There'd be time for it; or he'd make time, at his earliest convenience.

"Logic goes that what goes on in a divine entity's mind is not for us to comprehend unenlightened. As such we emulate the behavior of a chosen entity in order to grow closer to it, and by doing so we hope to understand what goes through the mind and dictates the actions of such a being." For someone who didn't pay attention in class, the explanation is actually surprisingly detailed. "Asura is supposedly one of the closest beings to humans because it partakes of simple 'pleasures' - lust, be it of the flesh, of intoxication, or of blood. In any case, anyone who's ever fought, ever had to overcome a fight in his or her life... there is satisfaction to be had in victory. There is a thrill, a rush, in meeting an opponent, sizing up, figuring how you compare, crossing fist and sword. Some seek justification in seeking that. And some just do it." His eyes seemed to take a strange shine as he explained how that went. "Living for that moment, living IN that moment; it's what some warriors live for. I can understand the motivation of someone who fights to protect another, to employ his strength to defend others from harm. I can likewise understand the sick pleasure a man can take in ending a life. I've never experienced either, but I know where they come from. In my eyes at least, Asura seeks no validation from anyone but his fists and his heart."

Jan of Lovers' Lane

This time, Jan did glance aside at the nobling, taking a much careful note on how much the man was hanging onto Saitylvaness' words and caught on at how Foxglove seemed to be too much into the female elf, however exotic and attractive she might be. Or perhaps, because of said exoticness?

"Well, I just thought that it was the rareness of an elf, but hearing him speak, you might have a point there." She leaned forward as well, head close with Ameiko in the well-known gossiping pose of all females.

"But if he has such a fetish, and considering his deep pockets, I doubt he'd go for make-believe elves to bed. Poor Sai, I think she'll get stuck with him mooning and panting after her for so long as Lord Foxglove chooses to stick around." She didn't need to tamp down the smile emerging to her lips, since she already had had her hand in front of her mouth from the start like Ameiko had.

"Anyway, full frontal opening volley. Let's see how the defenders of the port respond. If it is too well defended, what with dear visiting elven dignitary hanging around, you might want take a stab at a sneak attack later on when the port is less well defended." She added the last bit to Ameiko as an afterthought, before clearing her throat slightly at the noble from Magnimar.

"Lord Foxglove, you are a connoisseur of both beauty, elegance, and perhaps knowledge, I can see clearly from here. Alas, the Pixie Kitten could offer much only on the first two commodities, though not from lack of learning that they do not carry the third, but for the fact that traveling and trawling the wide world for esoteric and interesting bits of knowledge aren't really a good idea for most of our frail and dear ladies. Suffice to say though, I believe, some of the best that the Kitten might have to offer could perhaps capture your interest. If you would only be willing to browse, I am sure milord could be tantalized by the selection." Jan smiled serenely, then in a blink of an eye, the graceful woman who had just delivered the tantalizing lines with grace and aplomb of a born aristocrat turned back into the normal Jan.

"How's that for advertising, Lord Foxglove? Think it'd catch the interest of your fellow nobles if they visit?" Jan smiled wider, seed planted, just see if Aldern Foxglove caught the bait.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Veritas
"...Asura is supposedly one of the closest beings to humans because it partakes of simple 'pleasures' - lust, be it of the flesh, of intoxication, or of blood. In any case, anyone who's ever fought, ever had to overcome a fight in his or her life... there is satisfaction to be had in victory. There is a thrill, a rush, in meeting an opponent, sizing up, figuring how you compare, crossing fist and sword...
"I see. You explain yourself well, Veritas, and now I understand where you're coming from..." After listening intently to the half-elf describe this entity whom he had chosen to emulate, Ameiko offered a brief contrast in perspective. "...But would you also acknowledge that there are many ways to achieve victory without resorting to violence? Trust me, my friend, there is great satisfaction to be found on that path as well," the warm-hearted server suggested with a familiar smile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan
"Anyway, Mister Tom, thanks for these." She wiggled the coin pouch heavy with gold pieces. "Also, you didn't come over to the Kitten last night! Didn't I tell you I'll pay for one of the girls to service you, or if you don't like to go the cathouse for your pleasure, Coleen can just give you a nice massage for relaxation. Really, try it out first!"

"I was a trifle busy sleeping on a bed for the first time in some weeks. It was a torrid little love affair. Perhaps if I stay in Sandpoint a while longer I'll have a try of the other delights found in the city"
he said his cheeks as red as his garb. "Like right now, this table is very good, it's stable and sturdy...though the rest of the world seems to be spinning" he said with a
He does have the lowest con in the group, being an easy drunk seems to fit
grin. He put down his cup and laid his head on the table.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan
"Lord Foxglove, you are a connoisseur of both beauty, elegance, and perhaps knowledge, I can see clearly from here. Alas, the Pixie Kitten could offer much only on the first two commodities, though not from lack of learning that they do not carry the third, but for the fact that traveling and trawling the wide world for esoteric and interesting bits of knowledge aren't really a good idea for most of our frail and dear ladies. Suffice to say though, I believe, some of the best that the Kitten might have to offer could perhaps capture your interest. If you would only be willing to browse, I am sure milord could be tantalized by the selection..."

"...How's that for advertising, Lord Foxglove? Think it'd catch the interest of your fellow nobles if they visit?"
It was later in the afternoon when Jan came forward with her proposition. Lord Foxglove, proving himself to be quite the lush, had helped himself to several bottles of the Dragon's finest, and was at this time feeling no pain, as they say. He looked around to see who, if anybody, was listening in on the conversation before responding. Most assuredly, he would have liked to keep out of earshot of Sai, but in his current state, he was rather unable to be sure.

"Yes, yes, Miss... Jan, was it?" the inebriated aristocrat addressed the scheming solicitor as if he were just now noticing her for the first time. "I do believe that would make a fascinating appeal to a fellow of fine taste... the discriminating gentleman, as it were." Lord Foxglove approached Jan and began circling her slowly, stroking his pronounced chin as he carefully considered each word. "The aficianado of affection. The finicky frequenter of friendly favors. Yes. A certain sort may very well find this opportunity irresistible, and I just so happen to be well acquainted with many such men."

Aldern had now completed his orbit around Jan and settled in front of her. "Of course, it would probably be in everyone's best interest if I were to come by this establishment myself; I mean, what better endorsement to accompany your proclamation than my own honest review, yes?" He was now peering intently into her eyes as he continued, as if he were daring her to call him on his bluff. He took another quick look around the room, and another long gander in Sai's direction, then leaned in close to Jan and whispered one final request... "And if one these frail and dear ladies wears their hair long and red, that would be just grand."

Jan's answering smile were wide and grand, hidden as it was since they were farther behind the other members, especially the focus of Foxglove's attention.

"Ah, if such discerning patron would be interested, why would Madame Tesarani rebuff such interest? Of course, some of our finest ladies might have other engagements on this evening, but if tonight you are willing to carouse abit among the ladies to take your pick, I believe the Madame could easily change the schedules for such an obliging customer." She raised her head a bit from her seat so that she could whisper for the noble's ears only.

"Redheaded or otherwise, do take a look, perchance you would find other even more interesting avenues. But if your heart is set on a frail and dear redheaded beauty, the Kitten has ample supplies of makeups, costumes, and props for the more... Specialized interests." With that she pushed back her chair and stood up while bowing to the man.

"For now,if you would, you could let me go ahead to the Kitten to tell the Madame of your probable tour of the establishment. Just ask Miss Ameiko about the Pixie Kitten, she could aid you with both a guide to and a runner to announce your coming. I hope to see you soon, Lord Foxglove, and I hope the Kitten can find your pleasure." The woman smiled cattily, as she picked up her coat and items from the back of her chair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuriel View Post
"I see. You explain yourself well, Veritas, and now I understand where you're coming from..." After listening intently to the half-elf describe this entity whom he had chosen to emulate, Ameiko offered a brief contrast in perspective. "...But would you also acknowledge that there are many ways to achieve victory without resorting to violence? Trust me, my friend, there is great satisfaction to be found on that path as well," the warm-hearted server suggested with a familiar smile.
"Oh, I know that for a fact. It is the not the same kind of satisfaction, would you not agree? It's not the same pleasure to partake of fine wine and, say, find that you have discovered a fellow who can speak your home country's tongue. <Sou omoimasen ne, Ameiko-san>?





 

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