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 CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)

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PostSubject: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:49 pm

Ah, Kaionar. What an excellent city. Even in the grip of winter, it kept a balmy temperature just bordering on coat weather. Deserts never really got cold during the day- night was another story, but it was mid-morning, and therefore, warming up for the day.

Lutis too, was just warming up for the day. Breakfast had not yet been procured, given a late start to the day, but he was less fussed about that given the means by which the day had begun; namely, next to a lovely young woman by the name of Aisel with sandy blonde hair and an overly positive view of Kaionar. He had a sneaking suspicion she should have been heading to the Northern Grand Academy rather more quickly rather more quickly than she seemed to be, given a slight mishap the night before when she had given a delicate sneeze and half the glass in his house had exploded into shards at the pitch of it. Not something he wanted happening on a regular basis, although he hadn't exactly hurried her out of his small quarters that morning.

Now they sat in one of the smaller side squares, the clanging of a nearby blacksmith filling the air as he hammered out a set of horseshoes. His four-legged customers waited outside, horses of all sizes tied to a pair of wooden stands. Aisel seemed a little too excited for her age to be watching so closely, but Lutis didn't know much (or care) about horses. He cared more about food. Breakfast- brunch- was calling.
"How about's we go find ourselves a little something to eat?" he asked, pulling a lock of her hair back behind one ear a little stronger than perhaps it should have otherwise been for a sweet gesture. Let's go. He linked their arms, ready to pull her away, but she resisted, patting him on the chest.
"Oh, just a bit longer. Look, he's about to put on one of the shoes." She barely spared a look towards him, enraptured even as Lutis sighed in defeat.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:36 am


Kaionar was not what she had expected. From the derisive comments of quite a few of her fellow Academy people, she had figured it to be something resembling a dank, dark hole. But upon arriving on this lovely morning, Soneya didn’t get that impression at all. The sun had already stretched out across the city and bathed it in its warm, golden glow, making the city look oddly peaceful, despite the bustle of merchants and all sorts of people milling in the streets.

It was toasty warm already as well and she started sweating just a little bit but she decided to keep her cloak on for the time being. It had a darker shade than her, as per usual, skyblue robe that looked more like a dress. It was a new trend that had arisen and she liked the combination of lovely dress with practical robes – the pockets, she could not live without the many pockets she used to stow away all manner of things. And it was exactly those things that she didn’t want stolen, hence the cloak. While she didn’t think Kaionar was as bad as everyone told her, she didn’t want to risk being mugged right away. It would be terribly embarrassing.

Soneya wandered around the city for a while, taking in the sights and soaking up the atmosphere of the city. Maybe the people were a little more brutish and aggressive than she was used to, but people couldn’t be the same everywhere either now could they. Where would be the diversity? And what else would she rant about, glaring at yet another little boy who thought he could ram her accidentally on purpose to try and steal something, only to snatch back his fingers with a hiss as they instantly froze upon touching her gold pouch. Yes, she may not think Kaionar was all that bad, but she wasn’t stupid either.

Suddenly, a smell permeated the air and Soneya stopped in her tracks. That smell! It was…. She sighed. It was heavenly. She had no idea what it was but she followed the scent until she arrived at a food cart with a grizzly, grumpy man selling what looked like small pies.

“How much are they?” she asked, and when the man named his prize, she rose an eyebrow a little but decided that it wasn’t quite as exorbitant as she had expected and fished out his payment while he wrapped a thin piece of .. something.. around it so she could hold onto it while eating without getting grease all over her fingers. What service! She had not expected that.

When she bit into the pie, flavours exploded all over her mouth and she almost moaned in surprised pleasure. It tasted exquisite! Various vegetables she could detect and the texture was moist, yet firm. It was some kind of meat though with a myriad spices overlaying the taste, she wasn’t sure what it was. She only hoped it wasn’t rat, but with the way it tasted, she didn’t even care.

Shooting a questioning glance at the man as she chewed the rest of her bite, he gave her a grin. “Dragon meat. It’s good, eh?”
Soneya’s eyes went wide at the mention of dragon and she blinked a couple of times, wondering if she had heard correctly. When the man started laughing at the expression on her face, a gleam in his eye that she did not like at all, she choked on the remaining few crumbs of pie in her mouth, coughing like mad.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:53 pm

Ah, great. First it was 'just this one horseshoe', then it was 'just this one horse', then 'I want to pet them', and somehow Lutis' day was degenerating into something resembling one a parent would have with an overzealous child. Oh yes, wasn't it lovely to pat all the horses while their owners looked on and waited for some untoward behaviour. Lutis was almost tempted to act up to just get them away, but he remembered the previous night's event with the broken glass and resisted the urge to jab his fingers into a horse to make it jump.

Finally, finally she remembered that they probably couldn't spend the entire day looking at horses, turning to Lutis with bright eyes as if his day was just as exciting as hers.
"You wanted breakfast, didn't you?"
He just wordlessly grabbed her hand and dragged her on to find food.

There wasn't as such a market area in Kaionar, stalls rammed pell-mell into streets and squares where they could find space. It meant it wasn't difficult to find food, but could be hard to navigate at the best of times. What had initially been an attempt to take trade off the streets and into permanent shops had degenerated into a sort of free trade throughout the city for any wares, any where, and did nothing to cull the corruption in Kaionar. If anything, the chaotic streets only made it easier to undertake illegal business, and only reinforced the reasons for using back streets, the few gardens of the rich, and the rooftops as valid streetways. What took an hour to traverse on the roads took half the time on the well-connected rooftops. But Lutis was good while he had Aisel hanging off his arm, and duly used only the roads. Which was only the reason why he came across Soneya choking herself on a questionable pie.
He probably would have noticed her anyway in that sky-blue robe of hers, but the fact that she was almost throwing up a pie in the street was also a factor. He pulled free from Aisel with a surprised laugh, putting his hands to Soneya's upper arms and laughing in glee.
"Soneya! What are you doing here?"



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:44 pm


Leaning over a bit, the mage tried to catch her breath, without making things even worse. However, Soneya almost upchucked as the choking and coughing mixed with her stomach spasms. She barely managed to keep herself from heaving all over the well-worn boots that suddenly popped into view underneath her face.

Before she could apologise, not to mention gain her breath, even as she began to wonder that she had seen boots like those not all too long ago, familiar laughter hit her ears just as a pair of hands grabbed her by the arms in a friendly, almost welcoming gesture. And then the voice.

Clearing her throat a few times, while still gasping for breath, she straightened and tried to get out a greeting but just coughed a little more before she finally managed to get her body back under control again. She looked into a delighted Lutis’ face and almost snarled at the sound of his laughter.

“Dragon!” she hissed. “He sold me a pie with dragon meat!” A pie she was still holding in her hands. “What kind of a fucked up place is this?!” Forgotten were all the nice things she had thought of this place only a few minutes earlier. This was the most terrible place she had ever been in! Selling people dragon meat! Without disclaimer!

“Stop laughing,” she grumbled as she finally got over her shock – a little at least. But then, a smile tugged at her lips as well, the look on his face not really warranting any other reaction.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:51 pm

Ah, so she had began to experience Kaionar and all its fine culinary delights. Lutis stepped back as it began to look like she was actually going to be sick, trying to spare himself that pleasure.
"Not enjoying the city, I see." Behind her, the vendor was still chuckling at the foolishness of foreigners to the city, even though he wasn't earning any trade with the scene in front of his stall. Lutis spared him a withering look and he busied himself elsewhere with his oven and supplies.
"Yeah well... Welcome t'Kaionar, my friend. I'm sure I can get y'something a mite more appetising." Eat or be eaten, when it came to the Free City, and, well, most didn't want to be eaten by a dragon. It was a contraversial meat though, as many, Lutis included, had dragons as friends or were partnered. It didn't feel right to be eating something that could be a pet like a cat.

"Here, get yourself a slurp of this," he pressed a water skin into her hands, a vital thing to carry in hot climates, "and we'll find ourselves some real Kaionarian delights. Mouse fritters? Succulent plant wraps?" He ushered her away from the stall, only distracted from Soneya's appearance by a less-than-delighted clearing of the throat from Aisel. He turned to her with a little chagrin; "Soneya, this is Aisel. She's going t'the Northern Academy to study... What was it again?"
Aisel hrrumfed with disgust and flicked her hair.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:21 am


“Well, I was enjoying it. Before this happened,” Soneya waved a dismissive hand at where the pieseller was making his way off. She finally disposed of the unfinished pie by throwing it after him – not hitting him, obviously.

When the thief offered her his waterskin, she gratefully took a small sip, and almost spit it out again. “Mouse fritters? Mouse?” Soneya narrowed her eyes at Lutis, unsure whether he was serious or mocking her. It wasn’t always that clear with this man. Ignoring the question for now, she took another slightly larger sip, the liquid refreshing and somewhat soothing after the shock of the pie.

“Thanks.” She handed the waterskin back to him and briefly wondered who the girl was who seemed to try to remain attached to his hip but whom he ignored completely.

Taking a deep breath, she attempted a semi-successful smile. “Well, thanks for the welcome and the rescue. This was not how I envisioned my first day in Kaionar to go, but I guess things could have been worse. And it smelled sooo good!” She looked a little wistful at the memory of the fantastic savours but scolded herself for ever thinking dragon meat smelt nice. Maybe it had just been the rest of the ingredients, not the dragon…

“Anyway,” she shook off those thoughts. “Food would be fantastic right about now! I haven’t had lunch yet and breakfast has been quite a while. But please! Real food, if that can be had around here.” She grinned at Lutis, and though it faltered a little when he introduced Aisel, she did her best to keep it plastered to her face. After all, the girl had been completely forgotten in this little scenario and that wasn’t the nicest thing to happen to someone.

“Nice to meet you, Aisel.” Soneya’s smile turned genuine when she added: “You’re going to love the academy. It may not be as hot up there, but the possibilities are endless. So much to learn, so much to see, and quite a few handsome men, too.” She winked at the girl but wasn’t sure that had been the best idea. Covering it up, she asked: “What is it you’re going to study?”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:04 pm

Lutis snorted at Soneya's fiery response to her breakfast; some would say good food going to waste. Lutis wasn't so sure, but no doubt some creature would snaffle it up later as a snack. It didn't smell half-bad, if he had to admit it to himself.
"No? Don't fancy them?" He laughed and retrieved his waterskin, clipping it back onto his belt. "Ah, it's day one. Soneya, that explains a lot." Although, not why she was in the city; but later, later. 

"It's a long way from Golam, so I've never been before. I've mostly heard good things though. Before I got to Kaionar, at least," Aisel said doubtfully to Soneya, glaring at Lutis as readily as ettiquette would allow. Soneya provided all the opportunities to get in a fair few pointed looks at the man. "Handsome? I'd settle for polite, at this point."
Lutis had the good grace to look a little chastised.
Aisel continued, "I suppose it would probably come under wind magic. Although the mages back home weren't entirely sure, so it might be something else. Things to do with sound." It was complicated, when her magic wasn't all there yet, odd effects occuring sometimes outside of her conscious thought. Something she had definitely explained to Lutis the night before.

Yes, that was why he couldn't remember- because it was a strange sort of magic that was hard to define. Women, so fussy when vague explanations like that couldn't be remembered! He took the glares in his stride, only shuffling his feet when Soneya's mention of lunch made him want to burst.
"Haven't even had breakfast yet. There's plenty t'be had for real food though. C'mon, we'll find something tasty." He patted Aisel on the arm and gestured for Soneya to lead the way, pointing down a different street to the one the pie vendor had slowly disappeared along. They had been headed towards a shop- an actual shop!- that sold the best fried pockets of dough, some with sweet apple syrup or other fillings, the open shutters allowing the smell to waft into the street. A huge bowl of the sweet variant was positioned in the open entrance, guarded hawkishly by one of the shop's lackeys as another worker shovelled more hot triangles of batter into the deep dish. Served in a paper cone, three copper coins would get a generous helping of the hot food.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:02 am


Soneya listened to Aisel and wasn’t quite sure what to make of the woman. For her it had seemed obvious that the woman had never been to the academy since she was on her way there, but alright. At least on the fact that Lutis wasn’t the most polite, they could agree and the mage couldn’t supress a grin at the pointed glance.

“Ah, sounds a little more complicated. Maybe you have aspects of two kinds of magic. Guess you’ll learn more about it once you’re at the academy,” Soneya replied with a smile, intrigued at what exactly it was the other woman could do.

She was immediately distracted from that thought however when Lutis mentioned he, or they, hadn’t even had breakfast yet. Shaking her head with a thought she didn’t want to speak out loud before Aisel, she followed his motion and walked where Lutis had indicated. At first, she wasn’t quite certain this was the right way to go as that awful pie vendor had disappeared down the same alley, but when they arrived at the food shop, she had no more qualms about walking in the same steps.

The smells! Oh, those wonderful, delicious smells! She almost forgot herself again but since Lutis had said this would be a good place, she figured she wasn’t going to be surprised by another dragon pie fiasco or something of the sort.

There was a mixture of sweetness and spiciness to the flavours that had her mouth watering so much that she wanted to eat it all but she decided to go for something savoury first. Stepping up to the counter, she asked for a cone of a mixture of savoury pockets, vegetables and poultry, and as soon it was handed over, she took a small bite. Of course, she cursed herself – inwardly, because she didn’t want to annoy Aisel even further – at having burned her tongue with the piping hot food, then waited for the others to have their food.

“I’m going back for dessert later,” Soneya stated, eying that lovely bucket in the entrance way. “Too good to pass up! Unless there is another shop somewhere that sells an even better smelling dessert. I’ll follow your lead on this one, Lutis, you’re the Kaionar expert.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:32 pm

Lutis bought himself and Aisel a cone of sugary pockets each, presenting her the paper wrap as a gift. She looked suitably pleased with the offering, her mutinous thoughts stilled- for now. He certainly was pleased, taking a step back from the shop to get out of the way of the steady stream of customers, and tuck into his own breakfast. They always tasted good from this shop, although they bordered on divine today given how hungry he was.

"I'll swap you one. Then y'can get dessert elseplace." He dropped one of his own steaming pockets into Soneya's cone and stole a different one, licking the hot grease off his fingers. "Woah, they're like lava." 
Finally content with food in his hands, they found a stack of boxes out the side of the shop to sit on, making a hefty dent in his meal before breaking off to start up the conversation again. 

"So, Soneya. What even brings you t'this little ol' city of mine? Isn't the sort of place thought you'd be interested in. Too much sand." Completely the wrong place for a water mage. 


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:22 am


The first pocket was gone almost in the blink of an eye. It was that good, and she was that hungry. Travelling took a lot of energy after all.

“Oh, yes!” Soneya beamed when Lutis suggested an exchange and she happily held her cone out to him so he could swap out the food. What a fantastic idea. “I know! Aren’t they amazing? But you should know, since you know this place.” Ah, food usually put her in a good mood and this food put her into a particularly nice one given the way it tasted, even more so after her previous experience.

“That sweet one smells divine,” Soneya swooned when she put her nose into her cone to get a whiff of it. She was almost tempted to eat it right away but she wanted to savour her salty ones properly first. And that she did. It was quiet for a time as they all dove into their food with more or less enthusiasm.

Soneya grimaced at Lutis’ question. “Way too much sand indeed. And I try not to think where it’s all lodged because honestly, I feel like it’s everywhere.” Just the fact that she was now thinking about it again had her itching all over, but she refrained from starting to scratch. What was the use? It would just get in everywhere again anyway. Luckily the robe helped a bit as it was airier.

“But yes, anyway. The reason I’m here is because some dude here, apparently a rather rich guy with some property, thinks he has a water source somewhere underneath all that sand. I’ve been sent to investigate and if it is true to help turn that source into something useful.”

It had been impolite but she had been nibbling on another pocket while talking but she was just so hungry. Now she swallowed the last bite of it before looking at Lutis with a considering look on her face. “Instead of roaming around the city like the tourist that I am, trying to find this place…. You don’t happen to know where a certain Ray Sylvan lives, do you?”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Sun Feb 25, 2018 10:05 pm

Hm, they were looking for some water source in the middle of the desert? It didn't make much sense to Lutis, but he had to grant them one thing; there certainly weren't dragonfulls of water being carted into the city constantly, and yet they all still survived. It wasn't something he'd ever really thought about, but their water must have come from somewhere. Interesting.
"So you ain't here for fun after all- this is a business trip." He snorted. Kaionar wasn't really the place for a holiday, in any case. It was a bit of a surprise that Aisel had even stopped herself in the city, but it was one of the better places to stop for a supply refill from Golam to the Northern Academy.

When he saw the bottom of the cone, having scarfed down three-quarters of his hot pockets, he licked his fingers free of sugar and grease and tucked the rest away in a fold of his coat for later. Lutis felt much better now he had some food in him, rather than stomach gurgling away the whole time. He stretched his hands up and folded his hands behind his head, contentedly leaning back against the wall. Hmmm, Ray Sylvan, eh? He frowned, trying to remember if he had heard of the name.
"I don't know him myself, but I might know someone else that does. They might tell y'where to go." It was better than wandering aimlessly around the city, a surefire way of getting into trouble. "He's the one with all the disposable income then, hmm?"
Nobody got hold of good money in Kaionar without some dodgy dealing along the way, although sometimes it was difficult to tell, if they covered their tracks well. Key players in the city often used others to do their dirty work, rather than have their limelight scarred by whatever misdeeds they were secretly up to. Which meant Lutis had possibly come across him in some line of work, just as another person, carrying out orders of this Sylvan.
Or perhaps that was just him being cynical. It was easy to demonise any true Kaionarian.

Lutis was quite happy to while away the day helping Soneya find her mystery man- rather than be dragged back to watch horses being shoed and groomed by Aisel again- but he wasn't sure how the woman felt about being dragged around the city on Soneya's errands. Luckily it was at that point she decided to excuse herself before being made to choose outright, brushing the crumbs off her skirt as she stood. She explained some pressing need for her own sightseeing endeavours, stocking up on supplies and making sure her own belongings were in order before heading out of the city towards the Academy, probably tomorrow. She bid them goodbye and headed off a direction with some determination- whether it was well-placed directional sense or not, Lutis wasn't sure.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:40 am


Soneya shrugged, making fast work of another mouthful. “You did warn me about Kaionar, so a trip for fun wasn’t exactly in the books.” Unlike Lutis’ hotpocket, hers wasn’t going to survive. No chance! But while he saved the rest for later, Aisel was nibbling on hers like it might just bite back. Did the woman not know how to eat?

The fact that Lutis didn’t know the man who hired her didn’t sit well with her for some reason. She would have liked a little more insight into the guy, now that she had the possibility to learn more. She hadn’t expected to run into the thief but for things like this, he definitely had his uses. Maybe though, it was a good thing that Lutis didn’t know about Ray Silvan? Maybe it meant that he wasn’t as bad as the rumours were about basically all Kaionarians? She wasn’t quite sure.

Just about to ask Lutis where she could find this guy who might be able to point her in the right direction so she could leave them to their business, Aisel made to leave. Not that Soneya objected since Aisel had barely spoken. She was however smiling at the woman, bade her a good trip, and wished her well for her future endeavours at the Academy.

Nice as Aisel had been – to her – the mage couldn’t refrain from grinning at Lutis. “Quite the catch that one.”

To hide the stupid smile that wanted to spread on her face now that they were on their own – honestly, she didn’t know where that came from because she didn’t even like the guy all that much, despite their previous adventure – Soneya stuffed the measly rest of her hotpocket into her mouth and pretended she was simply smiling about that.

She hadn’t even swallowed yet when her eyes went to the desserts on display. But maybe she shouldn’t. Or she should, but keep them for later. Lutis had put his leftovers away, so she assumed they were still edible later on when cold.

Shaking her head at herself, she turned back to the thief. “So… you said you know a guy who knows a guy? Where might we find this guy?”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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And miles to go before I sleep,
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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:46 pm

"I do know a guy who knows a guy," confirmed Lutis, a half-smirk on his face. He pushed back up to his feet, gesturing for Soneya to follow. "Come on. If we leave it too late, they'll all go for lunch, and we'll get nowhere 'till tomorrow."
On the walk through the streets, Lutis explained that there was a fine line for catching Kaionarians in good humour. Too early, and they would be angry for getting up, or missing breakfast. The same went for noon, when lunch was the primary concern. Afternoon and evenings for many were, again, write offs: everyone was either on working lunch, preoccupied with some other important body they were trying to schmooze, or drunk already and ready to voice only ridiculous demands, or retract those that were sensible the very next second they were fully lucid again. As for evenings, well.... there was hardly any point in even mentioning business in the evenings.
Weaving through the mess of streets, eventually they came to the residential district where Lutis' contact lived. Cream coloured buildings with flat rooftops, wooden staircases on the outside of some of them shaded from the sun by bright cloth stretched
between the beams of dark wooden awnings.

They climbed one such staircase above a stable block, a camel watching them with disinterest. Lutis took a wide berth, pushing through the half-door and beaded curtain at the top of the stairs into the shaded room beyond. An acid dragon let to its feet off a sofa and started growling at them, its poisonous purple markings glowing with warning.
"Anol, call off your guard dragon," Lutis called, hand sliding into his pocket and retrieving part of his snack from before. So much for eating that later. He tossed it at the dragon just as Anol burst into the room through another beaded entrance, arm spread wide.
"Ah, you will make her fat!" There was an amused lilt in the man's voice none the less as he bent to pat the dragon's head fondly. Coloured bangles slid along the bronzed length of his arm, jingling.He wore a scarlet sleeveless top, black hair spilling down across his shoulders, and wide trousers that gathered at the shin above bare feet. His eyes were catlike slits, black lines against a red background.
"And who is this you have brought me today, friend?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:33 pm


With a last whimsical look at the desserts, Soneya moved to follow Lutis. While they were walking, she listened to the thief’s explanations on Kaionarians and grew more perplexed by the second. Was food and drink all that mattered to these people? Weren’t they supposed to be rather.. well.. rough around the edges? At least that’s what she had heard. Cutthroats, the lot of them. Even Lutis had given her reason to believe that things could become dicey very quickly. So far, it wasn’t the impression she had gotten from Kaionar at all. For the most part, it was dry and sandy. Oh dragons in the sky, the sand. She had managed to forget about it for a while and now she felt like squirming in discomfort at the mere thought of those annoying little….

Her train of thought was interrupted when Lutis motioned for a staircase and she was surprised at the place. Kaionar really wasn’t what she had expected. It looked so clean – minus the sand. The wood used on the outside of the housings were well-crafted and everything seemed to be kept in as good a condition as was possible with the weather conditions.

When a dragon suddenly leapt at them, Soneya gasped and took a step back, putting her firmly back on the other side of the makeshift door. Her hand was already starting to grow colder when she realised that Lutis didn’t seem alarmed at all. When a man burst into the room, presumably Anol, Soneya forced the burst of magic back down, stepping through the beaded curtain once more.

Glancing between the two men, Soneya hesitated only a second longer before she held her hand out for the dragon to smell. “I am Soneya, and I mean you or your master no harm.” Then she turned towards the man and held her hand out to him. “You must be Anol.” She didn’t bother repeating her name since she had already introduced herself to the dragon but she wasn’t sure if she had proceeded in the right way at all. Instinct had told her to act the way she had but her instincts weren’t always all that great.

As the man shook her hand, she couldn’t help but notice his exotic features. This wasn’t typical Kaionarian, was it? Or maybe Lutis wasn’t the pureblooded Kaionarian? She had never asked.

“Lutis mentioned you might be able to help me.”


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:39 pm

"Ooh, she has manners!" Anol crowed as Soneya greeted his dragon, clapping his hands together. Lutis sighed. Anol was a good contact for many things in Kaionar- he knew everyone popular and all the gossip you could possibly afford- but he was quite the character. People were drawn to him like moths to a flame, which meant that he normally could give the latest scoop on most things.

Anol pecked two air kisses towards Soneya as they shook hands, winking at her slightly perplexed expression. "That I am. And what, who, brings you to my humble abode today? This one is only ever here for work, you know." He turned towards Lutis and gestured for them both to sit, flopping down into a soft bean-bag and waving the little dragon over onto his lap. He stroked its head idly. "You never visit for my company.

"Well, it ain't like you're in all that often," countered Lutis, his voice lacking the remorse that perhaps Anol was looking for as he sat on the broken-looking sofa. The man pouted. "What? You're not. Anyway, Soneya's looking for a man. Ray Sylvan. I've not heard of him, but he's got property here somewhere, right Soneya?" Lutis looked towards her for confirmation, but already it seemed Anol had heard of the man after all.

"Daaaahling, all of Kaionar to explore and Ray Sylvan is the one for you? Manners you have, but good taste is lacking." He twisted a strand of his long hair through his fingers. "Ray Sylvan is one pompous, stuck-up bitch. I'm not invited to anything of his because I didn't bring the right wine once. I brought twice what he had asked for! The right one!" The dragon bounced on his lap as he slumped back against the wall grumpily. "Drunk it and then informed me it wasn't up to standard. Hrumph."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:16 am


Bewilderment didn’t cover the expression that wanted to creep onto Soneya’s face and stay pasted there for the duration of the exchange between Lutis and Anol. What kind of character was this?

But it looked like a bit of charm might just get her what she needed. And if Anol should request she, or they, stay with him for a while to keep him company, she was more than willing to do so, even if Lutis was going to chew her an ear off about it later on.

“That’s ridiculous,” she replied as she tried to get comfortable on the sofa – not an easy feat. “If it really were the wrong wine, then he shouldn’t even have considered drinking it. Seems hardly fair to relieve you of your wine only to complain about it afterwards. But I’m sure you have better functions to attend than his anyway!”

Patting Lutis’ leg, she added before Anol could go off on another litany: “I am sorry to tell you however that Lutis didn’t come by only for the pleasure of your company.” She pulled a face. “I’d much rather spend my time sampling the delicious fare Kaionar has on offer. Alas, I do need to meet with Mr Sylvan on a business matter he has requested me to look into and I was hoping you might be able to tell me where I could find him.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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And miles to go before I sleep,
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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:24 pm

"Pfah. I do have better parties to attend. Or, functions. Yes, I think I will start calling them that. I like this one, Lutis." Anol nodded like he had decided something important, still idly stroking at his dragon, which seemed to have resigned herself to her fate. Her wide purple eyes bored into Lutis. Soneya was being entirely too kind to Anol, who complained over a tenth of a problem, but he did seem to have warmed to her quickly.

"What I don't like here is the lack of wine though. It is not too early, no?" He hefted the dragon in his arms to face him, patting her cheeks while she grumbled. "Come now. Bring us a bottle and glasses. One, two, three." Anol pointed at Soneya, Lutis, and himself in turn, then plonked the dragon on the floor, who headed purposefully off through another doorway. "Well now. You shall have delicious fare soon, and we shall talk that insipid man."

He clapped his hands together as the dragon returned with a carefully gripped bottle of wine between her teeth, setting it at his feet before scurrying off to find glasses. A talented creature. Anol began to work at the bottle cork.
"So, Ray Sylvan. Business matters, eh? Something I may be interested in?" Lutis gave him a look. "Well, I have to make my living somehow! He has a house and an office, the former tasteless, the latter corporate. I would suggest you try the office first. He's not a native, so he actually does some work." Here he laughed. "In fact, I know his schedule keeps him there until late afternoon, when he then heads to his prosaic house. He does not take evening visitors." The cork came free of the bottle with a pop, and Anol's grin spread wider across his face. "So you have time to spare in better company."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:46 am


“And…,” Soneya tried to interject but Anol didn’t even seem to hear her in his excitement over having company and the opportunity to slander Ray Sylvan. It was all nice and well that she now knew that her ‘employer’ had a house and an office when she didn’t know where she might find those, and since Lutis didn’t know the man, he wouldn’t know the address either just by hearing that those places existed. Though maybe the fact that the man actually worked….

The mage looked at Lutis with a hopeful expression on her face, once again opening her lips but just then the small and incredibly talented dragon arrived back with glasses. She thrust her nose towards Soneya and Lutis so they could each take one from between her teeth.

Thanking the dragon, she then turned her attention back to Anol who was tilting the bottle of wine towards them. With a smile, she took Lutis’ glass from him and held out both of them to Anol. To her growing horror, she watched him fill them to the brim before she said: “I think Lutis and I can certainly spare an hour or two to spend with you before we need to head out. Would you mind letting me know where Sylvan’s office is? I’m afraid, since this is my first visit to Kaionar, I’m going to need some directions.”

She had no idea what they were getting themselves into and Lutis’ non-reaction wasn’t exactly something she could react to so she had to go with her gut and hope that they’d get a useable address out of Anol soon (she wasn’t naïve enough to think he was going to respond to that question right away) so that they could make their escape. The man was interesting for sure but she got the impression that there was a reason why Lutis didn’t come here all that often and only on business rather than pleasure. Anol was probably quite exhausting after a while.

Slowly, Soneya handed the extremely full glass to Lutis and while she faced away from Anol, she raised an eyebrow at Lutis. “What now?” she mouthed.


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And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:45 am

"A couple of hours?!" exclaimed Lutis, at, almost the same time, that Anol did, the latter sounding a lot more exited about the prospect. Lutis glared at Soneya- at least he wasn't holding a wine glass, because he might have dropped it in shock. Numbly, he took the glass that was then handed to him.
"Soneya can speak for herself, but I have things to do today. Sorry Anol. Just the one drink f'me, then I gots to be off. I got a lady to see about a dragon." He was sure he'd used that excuse before, but whatever. There were limits.

Meanwhile, Anol was crowing.
"A toast, to people we do not like!" He held his glass in the air and quickly drunk, seeming to barely pay attention to Soneya and her questions. He put his glass down to one side, then clapped his hands together, leaning forwards in his chair.
"Let us see if you can work out where it is. Even as a first time in Kaionar, you must have explored a little now." He couldn't help but be a tease, flirt his knowledge and frustrate those around him. It was just his nature. His dragon, wisely, chose a place far away to perch herself this time.

"Being Ray Sylvan, he doesn't fork out for nice things. His office is pleasant enough inside, but the outside, eugh. There's a big crack that runs all the way from the front door hinges to the side of the building. And the paint is peeling. White on yellow is so terrible." He took a long gulp of wine, then continued on his tirade, "Also, it smells. It's near the stable quarter. Easy to find from outside of the city, as it's right on where everyone deposits their horses after travelling, but, ugh. So unfashionable."

At that description, Lutis suddenly sat up from where he was moping back in the chair, his bad mood dulled only by the liquid in his hand. "Ah, so that's where it is! I know the place." In fact, it was almost where he'd been that morning with Aisel watching the horses. As if he hadn't spent enough time there already for one day. He slurped down some more wine as Anol looked disappointed that the game was up already.
"Don't act as if you'd find his company more interesting than mine and go so soon! It's not, I guarantee you."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:09 pm


Feeling like an idiot, which made her insides boil in anger, Soneya took a sip of her wine while Anol toasted and Lutis pouted. If he hadn’t kept quiet, they wouldn’t even be in this mess! Of course, he had a way out of it and was probably considering just leaving her there and disappearing on his own.

Almost growling at the thought, she watched Anol drink and suppressed her frown, reconsidered her options. Maybe she shouldn’t be so quick to be angry at Lutis. He was in this position because of her after all and he had come here because he had been nice to her. An hour or so was a perfectly acceptable time to spend in someone’s company where she came from. Maybe it wasn’t here. Or… she had to admit that it probably hadn’t been the wisest turn of phrase with this particular host.

Lost as Soneya was in her own thoughts, she almost missed what Anol said. And then raised an eyebrow in surprise. How was that supposed to help her? She’d been in Kaionar for literally two minutes before she had bumped into Lutis! Then the second eyebrow went up when she realised that the description of the building’s outside actually did sound vaguely familiar.

Fortunately, Lutis immediately picked up on the clues and knew where it was. That would certainly make things easier.

“I think I might even know where it is as well,” Soneya admitted, taking another sip of her wine, watching Anol follow suit.

Laughing at this commentary, she saluted the man. “No, you’re probably right. We wouldn’t enjoy his company as much. After all, he sounds like he is very easily offended and such people are simply tedious. I much prefer someone who can joke, and laugh, and who likes to drink a glass of wine with friends, whether it’s a preferred brand or not, and who can simply enjoy the good times.” The bottle of wine was back in Anol’s hand, his glass full to the brim again.

“But since I do have business with the man, I am going to have to be able to navigate a conversation with him without stepping on his toes within the first few minutes. You wouldn’t have any advice on that aspect, would you?” Anol’s eyes sparked.

Soneya braced herself. Lutis was going to hate her for having to sit through the almost certainly upcoming rant, she was sure of it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:43 pm

Lutis was more than pleased that Anol had given the game away where Ray Sylvan lived so quickly- normally it took ages to extract something you wanted from the man, and not without some heartache. He can't have been paying as much attention as normal, because normally he was an absolute tease to the worst. Or, perhaps, having Soneya around as a new face had softened him for this time only. It wasn't worth asking, because the next time he would just be all the more fickle.
It was reassuring to know they could leave any time they wanted now, and not be trapped for want of information.

"Ah, it was too easy. Well, I did tell you he had no taste. Even a stranger to our excellent city would spot him at a mile." There was pleasure in the man's voice at that, and not a small amount. "And flattery is Anol's best friend. You may come again, Mistress Soneya." Even if they were bound for the street and other things for the rest of the day, Anol felt quite pleased that they had dropped by to pay their good wishes even in the little time that they did appear to be staying. Perhaps they could be persuaded to stay longer- he clinked his glass to Lutis', urging the man to drink. The more wine the merrier, for sure.

Lutis sighed at Soneya's following questions, although he had to admit, they were probably warranted. He for one didn't know how to speak with businessmen- unless they were part of the thief guilds, and they ran things a little differently- and although he didn't plan to be doing much speaking, there were far too many unspoken rules to conversation to keep up with on a daily basis. There were reasons for his friendship with Anol, and this was definitely something the man knew well. Despite all his flamboyancy.

"Herein lies my expertise," began Anol, grinning, "and my fees. Ah-ah, knowledge is power, my friends. I'm sure we can settle something between us though. Now, etiquette. As you may have already gathered, he has no taste in life. Perhaps this is of benefit to you both, as a first foray into the business world; he follows lax social rules in comparison to some of my other peers." He sneered.
"The perfect fish for a beginner into society, if he can even be included in such a grouping. Lay your intents on the table early, so there is no stepping around and on one another's toes. Everything must be paid for; it's only right that one should know the price. Set your boundaries too- and make sure he sets his. The wily bastard would refuse you any words if he could, and backstab you the moment you left on his errands." Here he laid the back of one hand to his forehead in mock woe. "Such as I, over the wine. At least I do not have to spend any more on him."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:22 pm


Soneya smiled and inclined her head in thanks when Anol invited her back and kept it plastered on her face, proud that it didn’t falter, when Anol mentioned payment. Of course this was going to cost her. She remembered Lutis mention something about trading one thing for another here in Kaionar. He might even have said as much when they had been on their way to Anol, she couldn’t even remember. Fair was fair after all, so she couldn’t blame Anol for demanding payment. And she had an idea for just the thing to offer him.

“That is very useful,” the mage said once it was clear that their host had said what he had wanted to say. Indeed, she knew now that she was going to make particularly certain that Ray Sylvan wasn’t going to change the terms of the business arrangement that had been made, while making sure that it was going to have to be more clearly defined once she knew what exactly it really was the man wanted. Things were a little too vague for her taste, especially now that she knew a little more about Kaionarians – Anol himself with his behaviour had given her a few hints without even knowing it.

“Thank you very much for your help. As for your payment, I am sure we can come to an arrangement.” Taking another small sip of her wine – it wasn’t that it wasn’t good, but more that it was pretty strong and she wasn’t planning on turning up drunk to her next meeting -, Soneya cocked her head to the side, keeping her hands firmly on her wine glass so she wouldn’t squeeze Lutis’ knee for reassurance. “If I somehow manage to get along with Ray Sylvan and even manage to get myself invited to one of his parties, I could throw in a good word about you. Mention to some of his acquaintances that your absence is of your own choosing rather than the will of Ray Sylvan. It would give you back an opportunity to get some good dirt on the man.”

Failing that, if she could get herself invited, she could always offer to take him along as her escort for that evening. She only hoped the option to step back into those social circles was enough payment for the man.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Tue Sep 25, 2018 11:05 am


Although it wasn't Lutis doing business with Ray Sylvan, he squirrelled away the information regardless. Anol didn't come cheap, and from the sounds of it, Soneya perhaps expected him to attend this meeting she was trying to organise. Best be prepared. For whatever they might find themselves in- and when that came to shennanagans with Soneya, that could be literally anything.

Anol tapped his fingers against his lips, considering Soneya's offer. Certainly it would put him back in some circles that he was sorely missing, not that he would ever admit it. Certainly not Sylvan's company, but others that didn't take him so seriously on his own. And, he was never one to turn down more contacts, more parties. More standing in Kaionarian circles.
He leant forwards quickly, holding out his wine glass to toast Soneya. "I accept. Do speak of how fabulous I am. Make sure he knows I'm doing quite wonderfully well without him."

Lutis gave a slightly strained smile. "Sure we will. Now, not t'be hurrying outta here, but there's plenty more we got to fit into the day." Anol would probably call it a flying visit, but he would call anything under a couple of hours a flying visit. It was a large bracket to fall under, and they didn't really have a lot of time to waste.
Lunch did call after all, and Lutis suspected that Sylvan was the sort of man to just work through the calls of nature.



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PostSubject: Re: CSI DC #2- This time it's personal (?)   Mon Oct 01, 2018 7:50 am


That had been a lot easier than she had anticipated. Soneya was actually surprised at how easily Anol had accepted her offer of payment, especially since it wasn’t really a promise but hey, she wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth! If Anol had accepted her vague deal, it was just as well. Anol had been more show than proper bite anyway, from what she could tell anyway, so it was probably alright the way it was.

Clinking her glass to his with another smile, she took a small sip just as Lutis announced that they had better get going to attend other errands. “Thanks again for your help, and the wine,” Soneya added, putting her still more than half-full glass on the nearest flat surface. She certainly wasn’t going to object if the thief already wanted to be on his way. They had what they had come for after all. “It was lovely meeting you. Both of you.” She inclined her head at the dragon who gave her a brief glimpse from hooded eyes.

A few more niceties were exchanged, including a few thinly veiled complaints about them leaving oh so very soon, but Soneya and Lutis finally stepped outside and moved down the stairs, back to the street.

“Well,” Soneya said once they were safely out of earshot. “That certainly was.. interesting. You have the oddest friends, Lutis.” She chanced a look at the man but couldn’t quite get a read on his face. Was he angry, was he relieved or was he just hoping to get away from her as soon as possible so he wouldn’t be dragged into any more uncomfortable meetings?


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
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