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Thread: The Mark

  1. #1

    The Mark

    Trephine slips into the tavern behind a wide-shouldered gentleman who does not notice her. Nor does he notice what he doesn't have any more once she has passed from his shadow.

    She looks cold and she shivers. Her face tightens characteristic of discomfort. Her brows are drawn together in dismay. She makes her way to the huge hearth and her shoulders tremble ever so slightly as her back is turned and the view is blocked. She deftly empties his slit-strung purse of all contents and tosses the evidence on the fire while appearing to warm her hands. Her wide floor-length cloak flares to block the view of her hands, but not her legs. Distraction.

    Once the cracked leather is charred and turned to ash, she looks to all the world that she is being helpful, rebuilding the fire. She fusses a moment with the poker, looking slightly inept. She struggles a little with the heavy wood. She's just a waif coming out of the cold.

    Straightening, she turns and heads for a dark corner, stopping only for a whispered word into the ear of the tavernkeeper. A gentle hand on his forearm, a nod, a tremulous smile and some downcast eyes earn her sympathy and a warm rum toddy in a cozy corner to herself. She pays generously and with gracious thanks from someone else's pockets.

  2. #2
    "Nice one."
    The diminuative figure already occupying the shadowy corner reveals his presence. A halfling with weatherstained cloak, a well-loved short shord, a holster with a hand-crossbow, and wearing boots raises both hands to assure his new table-mate of his, er...noble intentions.
    "I admire skill when I see it, although I would be leery of disposing of unwanted items into the fire. I've heard rumors of marks lining their purses with dried alchemical fire as an alarm system. A rather showy display from what I've heard."
    The halfling sips his drink.
    "Name's Fleetwood. Flettwood Coupe De'Ville."

  3. #3
    Trephine's eyes widen in appreciation and she applauds lightly, delighted.

    "I love that idea, sneaky powder. What will they think of next!"

    She almost regrets that the powder hadn't been in the last purse she'd taken, and immediately starts to think of ways of counteracting it, should it happen.

    "What do they use? What color does it make? What does it smell like?"

    She smiles and says "Look at me, talking shop when I haven't even introduced myself."

    She holds out her hand in greeting. "My name is Trephine. It's always a joy to meet a kindred spirit."

  4. #4
    "Well met Trephine."
    "I haven't actually seen the pyrotechnic purse trick myself, but my brother had to spend the gold he had just, ah...liberated by paying for some burn salve and to regenerate his eyebrows. But that is a story for another time."

    "Oh look. The gentleman you came in with is offering to buy one of the working girls a drink. This should be fun."

  5. #5
    Trephine's smile begins to droop at the corners and she starts to think maybe this new gentleman is rude. He doesn't even know what's in the sneaky powder.

    Her hand is still outstretched, but the fingers are beginning to curl.

  6. #6
    >Fleetwood takes the offered hand.

    "Sorry, I was distracted by the unfolding spectacle."
    "Oh goody, the bartender is holding out his hand for payment. The look on this guy's face should be priceless."

    "So Trephine, are you a local or just passing through?"

  7. #7
    Trephine looks thrilled and claps her hands again. She bounces a little and says "I've got a secret!"

    Then she says "Listen, listen. This is good. Listen. Okay. Okay."

    She looks both ways and says conspiratorially "My fingertips just happen to be poisoned. Isn't that fun!"

    She claps again.

    Then her head tilts forward slightly. Her eyes darken to pewter and her voice to steel.

    "Just so we're clear here. I mean, you seem like such a nice gentleman. I just want to make sure that you wouldn't possibly try to hurt me, would you? And you wouldn't want to continue to stare at those people like you have the slightest idea what's about to happen? You wouldn't want to draw attention to me, now would you? I'm sure I wouldn't want to hurt YOU."

    She leans back and takes a sip of her drink. Her smile is restored to bright spring and she says happily

    "I have the antidote. Want some?"

  8. #8
    Fleetwood looks down at his fingers.
    "I wouldn't have pegged you for a girl that would poison on the first date. Ah well, live and learn as my granddad used to say."

    Fleetwood leans in toward Trephine.

    "And do give me some credit, I did not plan to jump out and tell the poor fellow about his recent weight-loss plan. I merely wanted to be sure to observe the poor fellow's reaction."

    Fleetwood shifts in his seat and continues to watch the crowd.

    "One thing I have come to appreciate is that the gold may come and go, but watching the light in someone's eyes as they come to understand their new circumstances is an experience that stays with you. That's why I prefer the tavern scene. Quick fingers and card games are much more fulfilling than back-alleys and second stories."

    "But forgive me, preaching makes for poor conversation."

    Fleetwood watches the broad-shouldered gentleman turn the color of his foppish shirt and hears him mumble about, "Being a little short right now and could he run a tab?"

    Smiling broadly Fleedwood sips his drink.
    "And yes, I would not mind a dose of that antidote."

  9. #9
    Trephine's smile grows throughout Fleetwood's speech.

    "Oh good. You looked at me. Thank you. Of course it's fun to watch, but you're facing me, not them. Scoot your chair around a little so it's not so obvious, silly. I didn't REALLY poison you. I just wanted your attention."

    She laughs.

    "I mean, I'm not CRAZY or anything."

    She clinks her glass to Fleetwood's and smiles. "They turn all purple. It's so pretty. Flowers should be that color more often."

    She gasps and she gets all excited "Do you think there will be a brawl? I LOVE brawls!"

  10. #10
    "No poison...that's good."
    Fleetwood absentmindedly rubs his hands on his trousers.

    "Purple is pretty, but I prefer midnight blue myself."

    The broadshouldered man leaves, most likely to look for his lost purse.

    "If you REALLY want to spice things up tonight, I have just the thing."
    Fleetwood pulls out a silver piece and a small whistle."

    "I picked up this little bugger last Autumn and have been saving it for a rainy day. Once it hears the whistle it starts biting with needle-sharp teeth. Not enough to seriously injure someone, but it will definitely get your attention."

    "What do you think?"

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