Let me ask you a Question (Laven & Tessa)

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Let me ask you a Question (Laven & Tessa)

Post by Laven on Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:48 pm

Sometimes it was too easy to forget that there was a world outside of Roa's sprawling mass. People came and went, a tidal flow from one city to the next before they washed up on the capital city's shores. Unsavory, mistrustful, hoping for a change or perhaps just looking to make some money before vanishing like the stars in the sky. The neon lights burned those away just as it burned out the honor of even great souls.

And Laven was there to find out just who had done what to be brought low. A whisper of back alley deals, the flash of money in exchange for the illegal. Of course there was the long dagger always at his side. But he wasn't payed to run rampant and exact justice. He was payed to kill. He was payed to know people's secrets and to sometimes keep them.

So when he watched from behind a bright sign that called out to the passersby Come in! Drink and don't think! with it's shiny martini glass and dancing olive made of glass, he wasn't surprised to see the poorly concealed face of a goblin that he knew. The business of mixing new and terribly bad for you potions up while somehow managing to get the mess to look and taste like nothing more than a healing daught was lucrative. It was also dangerous for whomever ended up drinking the vile stuff. This goblin
(Remm Loudrash his brain supplied) was trying to be the best at it. And Laven's employer wanted to know who he was selling to and what was in the bottles. Business rivals, nothing personal of course.

Laven couldn't have cared less if it was personal. He did care about the figure that was currently dealing with Remm, a thin nymph with dark hair currently leaning against a pushcart stocked with so many odds and ends Laven was surprised it all managed to look put together.

That was who he needed to talk to. Interesting.

Slipping away from the roof Laven had a moment to wonder at another 'enemy' on Maquina's soil. Maybe he would ask.
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Re: Let me ask you a Question (Laven & Tessa)

Post by Loundexx on Mon Jun 22, 2015 5:13 pm

||||||||From out of the confines of dozens of knick knacks slithered forth a well fed python, being careful not to knock over or even budge the various wonders on the shelves. Fleder pulled his way up the cart, coiling up on the roof and glancing at all the beautiful lights that lit the night sky like fireworks that never faded. The chatter of humans across the busy street were like a soothing alien song to the snake, and he dozed off under the heat of neon. Right before his eyes closed- unlike any real snake's- he saw a glimpse of a dark figure making its way from the roof of a nearby bar. But that doesn't mean anything to a 'snake', does it?

||||||||The Nymph's eyes glossed over as the Goblin tried its hardest to make eye contact with them. Their hand brushed the python gliding its way across the cart in an affectionate manner, only half-heartedly listening to the business deal. Goblins were so... not Tessa's favorite. To keep things polite. "I need a bigger batch this time! My customers loved them... They told everyone about them!" Tessa rolled their eyes. What was this little guy going to do when the drug wore off, and the pay stopped coming? No Goblin would be welcome back to Roa after selling a bottle of poison labelled purity. The merchants were tight here, his face would be on every 'do not sell' list around. But that was hardly the Nymph's concern. All they did was sell the herb; and the second someone found out they were drinking evil in a bottle, Tessa would lose her black hair and pale complexion and walk the road back to Belstram. No skin off this back.

||||||||"Listen, then." They pulled a slip of paper from a roll on the cart, pen materializing in their hand with a puff of smoke. A hasty scrawl was made before shoving it in the Goblin's face without care. "Come back tomorrow, at noon. Meet me... say, inside Drahk'ab's bar. They let Goblins in there right? Meet me there, bring your wallet, I'll have what you want." Tessa metered the little one's discontent with being made to wait, and decided to egg him on. They dropped to one knee, looking Mr. Loudrash directly in the eyes, and said "And work on your disguise next time." before pushing him along. Other customers didn't come when the keep was tied up with little buggers.

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Re: Let me ask you a Question (Laven & Tessa)

Post by Laven on Tue Jun 23, 2015 2:03 pm

Dropping down from the roof's fire ladder with barely a sound was easy enough. Strolling out as if he had been planning on a casual stroll slightly harder. Nothing said suspicious like an elf in dark colors and a dagger on his hip. But Laven kept the gentle smile on his face as he walked, his coat the color of old blood carefully adjusted to hide Remembrance from prying eyes as he took in the sight of the nymph and the cart they were manning.

He saw the snake, the frown line between his brows creasing just a hair as he took it into account. It could be a pet or it could be a weapon to guard the cart from sticky fingers. Both were most likely, so Laven placed his steps a little more carelessly, a little louder to show he wasn't stealing up in the night. He was a legitimate customer, come to see what the dark haired nymph was selling.

He reached hearing distance just in time to see the goblin snigger about whatever the merchant had said, though the way his beady black eyes had suddenly darted around betrayed his nervousness.


"Thanks for the tip? Eh, I'll see you at Dra-" His mouth snapped shut as he took in Laven's approach before scuttling off. Laven snorted under his breath. Goblins were supposed to be masters of deceit. Where on Polemos' earth had Loudrash been when his race had been gifted their silver tongues? The elf raised one pale eyebrow at the retreating form before looking over the wares on display with feigned curiosity. Gloved hands wandered over bottles and paper without touching, giving the snake a wide berth.

"Twitchy fellow. A friend of yours?"
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Re: Let me ask you a Question (Laven & Tessa)

Post by Loundexx on Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:23 pm

||||||||The Nymph's face had finally felt relief from scrunching their nose at the Goblin, careful not to whiff any toxic body odors, when someone had unjustly accused them of being in anything more than a professional relationship. Tessa's face contorted with the subtlety of a cave-in at the thought of being friends with a green rat. "Never." said with a defusing chuckle, though their expression didn't lighten. "He's a regular. I can't in good conscience turn a regular away." An agenda appeared in the Nymph's hand from somewhere behind the rows of bottles and books on the shelves, which they began to write in. Can't forget a business date, as much as they'd want to. "Besides, if not for me, where would he buy such marvelous curios?" They exclaimed, shutting the book and making a grand gesture to their cart. "Is there anything you have in mind, or should I let you browse?"

||||||||As the stranger glided his hands across the shelves, the snake slid its head down to take a closer look. He hadn't seen a human like this before, with those eyes and ears. The snake kept his eyes on this new person, but couldn't muster the energy to do anything other than lay across the cart with focused eyes. Until that point, Tessa hadn't been examining their new customer particularly closely- but looking up from their agenda, they noticed the man's distinctive ears, and hair that was so reminiscent of the oldest of Elves that prided themselves on faith and magic. It had been such a long time since the Nymph saw an Elf in Maquina, they had to double take at this stranger strolling up to their cart.

||||||||Well, stranger things have happened.

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Re: Let me ask you a Question (Laven & Tessa)

Post by Laven on Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:03 pm

He laughed softly at the nymph's vehement denial, looking at a row of jars that seemed to be full of a variety of dried herbs in a range of colors. "No? Ah well you can't blame him for taste in quality I suppose." Laven moved around the little cart inspecting what was available for sale, all the while his mind whirled on what would be a good excuse to linger and make small talk...

Ah. The thought struck him and his mouth opened. A good starting point, and he could even make use of it for himself.


"I'm not sure I have anything in mind per se," He began, "But do you have experience in producing dyes? Specifically for fabrics but leather quality would be handy as well." Laven tapped his chin in thought, gaze on the lethargic snake that was eyeing him in curiosity. A familiar? It was watching him in a manner that he wouldn't expect from a tame animal but had come to expect from his cousin's hound. He smiled gently at it before presenting a hand, palm up and relaxed but ready to pull back if the snake decided they were not to be friends.

"Hello there, are you being a good guardian for your partner?"


Last edited by Laven on Thu Jun 25, 2015 6:56 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Let me ask you a Question (Laven & Tessa)

Post by Loundexx on Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:09 am

||||||||"What a delightful question. One of my favorite questions, in fact." They said in a showfloor voice. Tessa had too many years of experience in convincing customers to purchase their wares. Praising every one of the customer's actions generally worked on the more simple ones-- they could see this Elf was unlikely to fit into that category, but at this point it had become reflex. "Most of my dyes go into ink for parchment or tattooing, but I can certainly process it for whatever needs you have." The Nymph leaned forward with their arms on their knees, broadcasting the ink sleeving their arms, as if to say, 'buy me'.

||||||||The snake bumped his piggish nose into the open palm of the man, assessing his scent with a tap. This man smells... faintly of blood, and perhaps of sadness as well. The snake's scales flashed a pale white, if only for a brief moment, before it turned from the Elf and sifted its way back into the cart. Tessa could only hope the man would attribute the flash to a neon light somewhere in the street; explaining what the hell Fleder was is... a drag, to say the least. "Oh, Fleder's too big a softie. He's just here to look cute." The Nymph giggled. Unless he blows his disguise, that is.

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Re: Let me ask you a Question (Laven & Tessa)

Post by Laven on Thu Jun 25, 2015 7:08 pm

The nymph was definitely a salesperson. Laven pretended to listen to the little spiel with a pleasant if bland expression, nodding at the tattoos on the pale arms that were presented for inspection. Laven had never really found the urge to smother his body with designs that lasted forever unless magically removed. No, that was the joy of clothing. He could express himself or make a statement or just look good and then change it all when required.

When the snake gave him a cursory sniff and then glittered Laven simply smiled blandly. Definitely not a normal animal, but as long as it couldn't read his mind or decide to make him into lunch who was Laven to complain? With a last glance at the very strange snake he shrugged.
"So you can refine it to stain say, silks or linen?" Laven cursed himself for not bringing one of the color swatches he'd been frowning over all of the last week.

"I don't suppose you can tell me what's in the dyes you use? For the sake of making sure they don't cause skin irritation?"
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Re: Let me ask you a Question (Laven & Tessa)

Post by Loundexx on Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:16 am

||||||||"Absolutely! Silks, linens, even leather and wool. Why, the only thing I can't stain is your soul." They smirked deviously, with no care as to if their sense of humor would drive customers off. "Or rather, not without a lot of personal time. But that's not what you're here to purchase." The Nymph unlocked a drawer, producing a flat case full of colored vials and handing them to the man. "Go ahead and choose a color! And don't underestimate my selection. There are many more where those came from."

"Most of my dyes are synthetic; for silks, the dyes are made of saltwater mixes... If you want to pay a little bit extra, I can spare you something more natural." Many people in Maquina were adverse to having magically created dyes in their clothing. Even though this man was an Elf, you can never be too careful about what you say. Though, saltwater is used in the process, so you couldn't say the Nymph was lying.

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Re: Let me ask you a Question (Laven & Tessa)

Post by Laven on Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:18 pm

The quip about staining his soul raises both of Laven's eyebrows, though the humor in his eyes is apparent. The return sally that the Nymph would be hard pressed to find a patch of his soul that wasn't stained already dies before he can speak it though. Too much morbidity tends to dampen business relations, after all. Instead the elf found himself leaning forwards, fingers running over the lines of vials in search for a particular color.

He found it as the merchant continued their spiel, chuckling at their careful word usage.
"You speak like someone who knows just how welcome the east's practices can be in the west." Laven pulled free a vial of dye the color of summer skies, shifting it to and fro to catch what light there is and check the hue. It was a good color, reminding him of pale eyes and sweet promises that shouldn't have been made but he didn't regret.

"So is this what your short not-a-friend comes to you for? A little touch of the fatherland, as it were?" Laven had never been to Vida, but the idea that people who had might miss it's charms wasn't lost on him. He wondered briefly how a Nymph could stand the stifling atmosphere of Roa and it's technologic marvels.
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Re: Let me ask you a Question (Laven & Tessa)

Post by Loundexx on Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:40 pm

||||||||They smiled again at the sight of the Elf's face changing. It practically jumped at the suggestion, or that's how Tessa would interpret it. "You can never be certain that an Elf you meet on the street isn't a born again Aethian. Too many things to be careful about." They chuckled, examining the vial the man was holding. The soft, warm blue seemed to evoke a similarly described expression on his face, if subtly and for a moment. The Nymph liked that color, too. They closed the case of colors briefly, caressing the top of it before re-opening it to reveal another set of vials, all shades away from the one he was holding. "Here's my list of suggestions, if you're fond of that one."

||||||||Mention of the goblin again turned away their smirk. Tessa's clan always taught to respect the goblins as Vida's loyal army, and the wall that kept them from being consumed by Maquina. But the Nymph had never known a Goblin that wasn't a glorified rat. Could they even feel homesick? "Hardly." They spat the word. "He's a wanna-be con man. I sell him snake oil so he can sell it to his village, or whatever goblins do to get money." They furled a hand under their hair, flipping it dramatically. "Honestly, I only supply him so I can watch him get his just desserts."

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Re: Let me ask you a Question (Laven & Tessa)

Post by Laven on Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:03 pm

He laughed perhaps a touch too loud at the nymph's venomous dismissal of the goblin's character. Shaking his head and continuing to chuckle Laven found himself presented with a new selection of colors all in shades of blue. There was one slightly brighter than the vial in his hand, almost searing. Immediately his fingers twitched and he handed off his selection in favor of this new dye.

"Surely snake oil wouldn't net the fellow that much money though. At least not for long." Here he raised an eyebrow, once again shifting the dye into different light to see the effect it had on the color. "I suspect your services don't come cheap so he'd be hard pressed for a profit." Seeing the supposedly sly potion maker crash and burn would be a good service, Laven decided. But he wasn't about to just let this merchant know he was trying to ferret information out of them. If only because they could very well be in league with Loudrash and using the dismissive act as a smokescreen.

"Which I suppose leads to me wondering just how much this little vial of dye will cost me." Laven had plans for this color if the price was right. A companion that didn't seem to realize he had the luxury of Laven's shared space for spare clothing now. Maybe the surprise of some new shirts would get the point home.
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Re: Let me ask you a Question (Laven & Tessa)

Post by Loundexx on Fri Aug 07, 2015 4:35 pm

||||||||The previous summery vial dropped into the Nymph's hand, and they gave it a quick swirl. He was decisive, certainly; a valuable trait. It made Tessa wonder just how carefully he picked his words. Just what about the Goblin was interesting to him? If the Elf was planning on stalling any longer, they could probably figure it out. "If you insist, I suppose I'll give him credit for still being in business." They stood up from their stool, closing the briefcase of dyes and returning it to its drawer. "I feel many of my clients fail to realize that my services are... not easily replaceable. Perhaps even unique. That rat doesn't have the eyes to see the leash around his neck, and if he goes too far he's going to hang himself on it."

||||||||Their smile returned as quickly as it had left. "And how funny would that be, right?" The Nymph leaned on the counter towards the Elf, looking into his young eyes with a widening smirk. Would worldly experience make this one bitter, or sarcastic? They supposed both could be said for themselves. "Have some patience, now. You've gotten so much information out of me, how could I make this deal without even knowing your name?"

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Re: Let me ask you a Question (Laven & Tessa)

Post by Laven on Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:10 pm

"How funny indeed," Laven intoned, and while he smiled blandly there was new consideration in his eyes for this merchant. Not just some random purveyor then. The goblin was coming here exclusively, not just trying every apothecary to get his noxious brew made. This Nymph clearly knew what power they had over the profiteer and were comfortable in their roll. If Laven had more of a moral compass he might have been put out.

As it was he could only smile and bow a little at the waist before straightening and offering a gloved hand to the merchant to shake. What this person did wasn't Laven's business. What they sold to Loudrash was. And even that could wait if it seemed he had pushed his luck too far. This wasn't a slash and grab job, this might take days of waiting for just a scrap of information. He could wait.


"Laven, a pleasure to meet such a well stocked entrepreneur and showman." He winked, crinkling the corners of his eyes with humor.
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Re: Let me ask you a Question (Laven & Tessa)

Post by Loundexx on Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:16 pm

||||||||They shook the elf's hand graciously, and with a smile. "It's such a pleasure to meet you as well, and I hope it isn't the last time. Call me Tessa." Laven. The Nymph repeated the name to themselves in their head while pulling a tear of paper from a small roll and scrawling out a receipt. They never had these in Vida; they only learned of such a convenience from the cash registers of Maquina. Of course, they were only for the less volatile sales the shopkeeper made.

||||||||"The dye itself will be ten gold per ounce." They answered. "That's one of my richer colors; you must have a good eye." The Nymph smiled. Among the ingredients, velvet blue roses. They were rather fond of the color, but it just didn't fit the image they made for themselves. "That vial you have isn't quite ready to be used on silks, as you requested. Do you mind sticking around for a day? I can have some made for you that will stain clothes quite nicely." Their mind started to rush with the amount of appointments they had made for the week they had planned to be in town. Oh well, that just meant a thicker coin purse, they supposed.

||||||||"IOh, and by the way, I don't recommend trying to memorize my face. It's better to look for my cart." They winked, handing the Elf his reciept.

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