--Tenuous Link http://www.torilmud.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=15860
--Best Link to plotline (the second in that thread): http://www.torilmud.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=155120
--Relevant Plotline rpnews Entry Link: 10/30/2005 Questing
A cool breeze billowed the soaked sails and sent tiny bits of ice streaking from the rigging to click against the deck.
Well, that could have gone better.
It had started well enough. Adriorn Darkcloak and Areh Guffwyn, two trusted compatriots, had joined Lorsalian at the docks to board the ship. A slender woman wearing a blue woolen hat and holding a fishing pole, turned her head and gazed impassively at the near arrivals. Behind her, looking a bit of out place, was a dwarf – a cleric by her looks.
Lor smiled at the human woman. “Hello, T –”
“Shh!” the cleric admonished, “You'll scare the fish!”
“You'd know about fishing, wouldn't you? You netted two easily with one cast, after all”
The human woman grinned back at Lorsalian. “You were looking at the wrong bait.”
Indeed he had been. It was years ago, Anarii had thought that the schedule of a certain ship did not allow sufficiently for cargo. Following a lead he had gotten, he asked Lorsalian to accompany him. They'd dressed up as fishermen and snooped around. The next trip was when they found out they'd been noticed, and it took some fast talking to get past the misunderstandings. It'd turned out to be a meeting of the leaders of Faerun that was the big secret of the ship – hardly anything as insidious as the slavery or Tvorlite supply runs that Lorsalian nor Anarii had thought.
A fine mist of rain had been falling all morning, and the sky at the horizon wasn't any lighter – it wasn't going to clear up soon. Besides, the last couple of meetings were in a cabin.
“Enough confusing my companions with odd stories, however. Is it wise to speak in the open, here?”
“Nobody but the fish to hear now.” the woman replied.
She leaned to the half-elf, and whispered, “You vouch for them both?”
“As much as I can vouch for any. The cleric you met before has become ... unvouchable, recently,” was his reply.
That was certainly the truth. By the time he had next seen Azelrus, she'd been fully under the lure of redeeming that villain Lahgen. The ranger may as well been talking to a tree for as deeply rooted and unmovable she'd been. And some have been better conversation, he mused.
The human nodded, “Let it be on your head, then.”
“A lot of the small fish seem to be congregating lately, aren't they? Like a big fish is herding them along,” Lorsalian ventured.
“They travel like that – schooling together, then scattering,” she dismissed.
“Like sheep!” the dwarf added excitedly.
Adriorn raised an eyebrow, “Beings seek companionship, to avoid solace.”
“Do you fear solace?” The human asked of Adriorn.
“Solace can be often times rewarding, but not always,” he replied, “but then, I've grown too used to being alone m'lady. It is a way of dealing with things, and avoiding others”
Lorsalian attempted to steer the conversation back to the right bearing. “Was hoping you might have heard of one of the bigger fish around at the moment. Think most call him ... what was that name, Areh? Oh yes, Rilic.”
“I've heard of him, Fisherman,” she nodded.
“Odd fish, I'd say. Heard he'd been caught and fried, but there he is, out there schooling”
“It's not him,” she replied to general surprise. “It's a different Rilic. One is dead, buried and not coming back. Whoever's going around now, it isn't him.”
“Are you sure? I was thinking this first fish might've been able to swim upstream from death,” Lor asked.
The woman's frowned – an expression the ranger knew too well. “I said it's not him.”
“You hear anything about where the new fish is swimming?” Areh asked, shrugging, “Last i heard was near the mountains leadin up to skull crag”
“Migrates back and forth in the east,” she said non-committedly. “Sometimes lingers westward a bit.'
“Yes, we've noticed a feeding or two. Didn't leave much around to grow back the first time. Been trying to lure it in, trying to act like one of the school in hopes of getting close enough to bite, but hasn't taken the bait, yet,” Lorsalian said.
The woman nodded at the ranger. “That's a dangerous game,” she noted.
“I doubt it'll even look at the bait a third time. It'll probably snap my line if I try again.”
“Funny thing about the fish,” she wondered aloud. “When you dump sharks into the mix, the bottom feeders don't stick around. Ever notice that? The best fishing spots can be messed up for generations. You go to get a good old catfish, and get a guppy.”
“Any suggestions for what bait our young shark-herder might jump at?”
“Who the hell knows? Almost anything. Some sort of alley thief, for all I know.”
The dwarven cleric attempted to lighten the mood with a joke about using mice to catch catfish, to little success.
She continued, “If it's got fur, claws, a tail, and meows, it sure as hell ain't a dog. When you go looking for dogs, and cats show up, you know it's all over.”
Lorsalian looked puzzled, and the woman frowned at him before continuing.
“Who uses the holy avenger? Who is an expert at dual weapons? They're going to do a great job blending in when someone's looking for pond scum.”
Lorsalian nodded, “I would ask how you know, but I know better.”
“You wouldn't come to me if you thought it was just me. They might set up camp somewhere else now, and it'll take time and resources to get in again. What did you learn in Priapurl?”
They discussed again how Areh, Lorsalian, and another had insinuated themselves into a raid on Priapurl, turned on the other raiders, and questioned the reinforcements.
“Krelg has been doing quite a bit of fishing lately,” Adriorn mentioned.
Lorsalian then attempted to mention the staff, but received icy looks from his companions. So be it, then, he thought, and dropped the subject awkwardly, leaving the human woman grasping.
“Krelg is an outcast from every city except his own. He's known for hiring others, for his own interests and for causes he doesn't know about,” she replied.
It deteriorated from there. Adriorn insisted on additional information that the woman was unwilling to give. For an old man, Lorsalian would later remark to himself, he lacks patience. Perhaps he should take up fishing, he would chuckle.
Lorsalian took a deep breath, and held it.
“So it seems were at a stale mate you know nothing and we've informed you to more of whats going on than you have spoken at all,” Areh blustered.
He let out his breath in a long sigh.
“You take me for some sort of maiden, I assume. A street mouse, ready to talk for a coin and a tumble?”
The woman's eyes narrowed, and her hand fell to the dagger at her waist. Adriorn at least attempted half-heartedly to apologize; Areh's expression mirrored hers.
Lorsalian gave the woman a baffled look, and nodded to his companions. He held out his empty hands, attempting to put space between them all. “Back away, Areh,” he called over his shoulder.
Areh laughed, hefting a heavy blade he'd never sheathed. “I think not. I fear not this little tart.”
“Nor much of anything.” The woman looked at Adriorn and Areh briefly, then returned Lorsalian's gaze, and shook her head.
“We will be departing at the next dock,” he informed them all, frowning.
He stayed on the dock long after Adriorn and Areh had left for other business. Yes, he thought as the ship disappeared over the horizon, that definitely could have gone better.
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