The Crooked Inn I
Jobina is a week behind on her dues with the Black Widows, having lost nearly two weeks working a seemingly wealthy warehouse manager who later turned out to be practically dead broke. A little desperate to avoid the displeasure of the guild she's come to the Crooked Inn looking for an easy score that she hopes will pay off well (and quickly) so she can catch up a bit. She intends to seduce, bed, rob and probably kill the first sucker she can find. In a place like the Crooked Inn she expects little difficulty in doing so, as it's the sort of dive one expects to find prostitutes working anyway. Seduction is hardly necessary and the possibility of any real competition is unlikely (the girls working that part of town tend to be rather...unrefined).
Jobina starts the session a few steps from the front door, having already arrived and is busy eyeing the crowd for a prospective client/victim.
Talman has been working for the last several months as a bodyguard for a thoroughly obnoxious little banker. Having gotten to the point where he'd rather kill the man himself than stand in the way of anyone who would, Talman has decided it's time to seek a little variety in his work. After three months of dropping his name in every back alley and nefarious den in the city he's finally landed an opportunity for a quick job with the Black Garrote, a small but very violent local crime guild. He's hoping he'll be able to impress his contact enough to be recommended for future jobs and possibly even worm his way into the guild itself as an enforcer. He's come to the Crooked Inn tonight to meet his contact, Marken Wick, whom he's never met but has at least been given a rough description of. Marken is expecting him and likewise knows Talman only by description. Considering Talman's Mark, however, he figures Marken should be able to pick him out of a crowd easily enough.
Talman starts the session at the front door of the inn, with Eisig walking in unnoticed just ahead of him.
Eisig likewise has come to the Crooked Inn looking for Marken, though Marken is not expecting him. Eisig has managed to make an acquaintance with a mid-level member of the Black Garrote and finally managed to weasel permission from the man to drop his name with one of the Garrote's contacts. Having heard the word on the street that Marken is at the Crooked Inn tonight looking for someone to do a quick job, Eisig intends to get there first and secure the job himself. Like Talman, he hopes to make a good impression and, with any luck, catch the eye of a prospective long-term employer.
Eisig starts the session at the door of the inn, having walked in just ahead of Talman.
Beckah has largely worked independently over the last two years for a variety of organization and individuals, offering her uncommon talent for "aggressive interrogation". Work has been scarce for the past several months but she's managed to land a job with the Skin Hags, a rather large but poorly organized all-girl street gang that's only just begun rising to any real power in the city. Though working for a gang of unwashed adolescent street rats would normally be considered beneath her the offered payment is surprisingly good and the job quite intriguing. Her target, a man named "Willip", is supposed to be renting a room at the Crooked Inn and should be an easy hit, considering the disreputable locale and the unlikelihood of anyone bothering to investigate a disturbance. Her job is to extract any information she can from this "Willip" character concerning dealings he's supposedly had with a foreigner named "Magosh". And then, of course, kill him.
Beckah starts the session at the bar, having arrived on the scene prior to Eisig and Talman.
Jobina makes an Alertness check (wishing she'd put skill points in Perception) to pick out a mark from among the inn patrons. Homing in on a plain looking middle-aged man (wearing a rather expensive embroidered leather jacket) she slinks over to make her move. Jobina engages him in conversation and eventually scores an Extraordinary Success on her seduction attempt. The poor fellow is putty at "hello". An offer to share a drink away from the bustling crowd, the suggestion of working out arrangements for a little "private business" and the fellow practically stumbles all over his self to escort her upstairs to his room.
Beckah starts at the bar, having just walked in and taken the spot as a good vantage to view the crowd. Though there's a drunk on the stool next to her, she does her best to ignore him and he doesn't engage her. Her monkey, Coppertail, has been left outside to wait for her on the roof overlooking the entrance. She orders a drink and makes an Alertness check while she waits, failing it (having no Perception skill either she doesn't spot Jobina arm-in-arm with her target, heading upstairs!) The GM has her make a second Easy Alertness check to determine that her target isn't in the crowd at all and she can't see anyone matching the description she's been given. Beckah considers asking around but since she wants to remain inconspicuous she simply drinks her beer as unobtrusively as possible, determined not the draw attention to herself while keeping an eye out for her target.
Talman starts out at the door of the inn and takes a moment to look around for Marken. He botches an Easy Alertness check and thinks he's spotted him. He moves in to make contact for his interview. When he introduces himself to the man at the bar he receives a fairly rude response from the clearly inebriated patron and is told, in so many words, to shove off. Talman decides he's got business to do here at the inn so he'll forgo beating the insolent drunk to a pulp and seek out his employer instead. The drunk, however, realizes Talman has the Mark as he turns away and, spoiling for a fight, decides he's tough enough to take him.
Drunk shoves Talman from behind, an Easy target as his back is turned and isn't expecting trouble. A slurred insult and challenge makes it clear this drunk farmer's looking for a scrap. Talman makes an Agility check to keep his feet and is only shoved forward a foot or two.
Talman gets the Initiative and decides to simply Intimidate the drunk and scare him off rather than start a brawl. He rolls low however and the drunk isn't phased a bit. Talman makes an Alertness check and fails to determine if his threat to disembowel the man has put him in his place or not, so he holds off on any further action this round. With his Impulsive and Vengeful traits though he's decided he has to put this drunk firmly in place before going ahead with finding Marken.
The farmer, too drunk to be intimidated easily, makes another shove attack at Talman which he attempts to dodge. He's hit anyway and makes another Agility check, keeping his feet with no trouble. Two more attempts by the drunk are likewise dodged with no difficulty and Talman's warnings to back off are ignored.
Talman is good and irritated now and goes on the offensive this time, taking advantage of his Initiative. He simply grabs the Drunk with one hand and proceeds to slap him around a bit. The Drunk's inebriated state detracts from his Agility a couple of steps and he's an Easy target once Talman gets a grip on him anyway. All three of Talman's follow-up blows land hard enough to knock the fool out cold.
Leaving the Drunk lying smacked down on the floor of the common room, Talman turns around and looks for Marken again. He spots him this time in the company of a disreputable looking black-haired man (Eisig) and walks over to introduce himself.
Eisig starts out near the door as well and steps aside as the huge stranger moves past him. Making an Easy Alertness check he spots someone matching Marken's description and moves up to make contact. Introducing himself and dropping his friend's name, he offers himself for services should Marken or his associates have any work for a man of "talent". Marken, he notes, looks a bit nervous and doesn't seem to have a bodyguard or partner with him, which strikes Eisig as a bit unusual (he figures men in Marken's organization typically aren't found in public without backup). When Marken tells Eisig that he's actually waiting for someone else in order to discuss employment opportunities with him, Eisig is quick to offer himself as a temporary bodyguard as it seems he's without protection at the moment.
Marken's eyes narrow and Eisig has just enough time to wonder whether he's been a bit too familiar before a short bit of violence breaks out over at the bar. He looks around to see the hulking brute that passed by him at the door being shoved from behind by one of the drunk patrons. After a few words are exchanged and a couple more shoves from the drunk, the large stranger simply grabs the man and smacks him around a bit. He's out cold almost instantly.
Impressive, but a bit unnerving when he sees that the stranger has turned and laid eyes on Marken...and is now coming right for him. It's clear from his gait that Marken is the man he's looking for. Eisig quickly attempts to resume the conversation, hoping to forestall the large stranger's inevitable interruption, but Marken steps over to greet the stranger instead, casting a suspicious glance over his shoulder at Eisig as he does so.
Upstairs Jobina's new client escorts her with a bit of excited fumbling into his room, one of the singles thankfully near the stairwell. As her mark is already more or less hooked, Jobina decides a little entertainment is in order with the intention of getting her hooks in good and solid. She wants this job to go off without a hitch. [I think Ally was really just buying time for something dramatic to happen so she wouldn't have to actually sleep with the guy. Mary's description of Willip was less than flattering.] Jobina spends the next several turns "entertaining" the very in-the-mood Willip who spends the time accomplishing little more than drooling on the bed.
Beckah, meanwhile, has since decided it's obvious her target isn't in the common and probably not likely to turn up soon. With her employers having been very confident that he would be found here this night she decides to check around the inn, possibly peeking into a few keyholes as well. As discreetly as possible she leaves the bar, stepping gracefully over the unconscious drunk on the floor that Talman knocked out, and makes her way upstairs. Having some background information to work with, Beckah is already aware that her target is occupying one of two rooms upstairs and needs only identify which one in particular. Proceeding around and up the stairs she immediately hears playful laughter and a decidedly...erm, romantic...song being sung from within one of the rooms.
An Agility check vs. Jobina and Willip's Alertness (with a healthy bonus for circumstance) allows Beckah to get a good peek through the large keyhole without detection, through which she gets a front row seat to Jobina's seduction overkill. She does manage to spot Willip beyond Jobina's striptease, though. Frustrated that her client apparently has invited a potential witness to the party, Beckah considers her options. She spends a Plot Point to take control of Coppertail for a while and has him appear just then at her side (presumably having gotten bored outside and wandered in looking for her). She then decides it's time to break up Jobina and Willip's private party and is very pleased to note that Willip, in all his excitement, has neglected to latch the door.
Coppertail makes the check to push open the door successfully (he's just a little monkey after all) and quietly, with neither Jobina nor Willip noticing at first. Slipping inside the little critter follows his mistress's finger pointing to the slinky bit of very expensive material that Jobina just let slip. In moments he's bounded across the floor and snatched it up, screeching wildly all the while before jumping back out the door. Jobina moves quickly down the hallway to fiddle conspicuously with a nearby door handle, making out as if she's unlocking the door to her own room.
Jobina naturally flies out of the door, only mildly underdressed, and gives chase to the shrieking monkey that just took off with her scarf. Willip, a bit more modest considering a prostitute just chased a screaming monkey out of his room, waits peering from the safety of the doorway. Easy pickings for Beckah, who wheels about to the door and shoves him inside the moment Jobina turns the corner.
Willip proves a bit sturdier than he looks and it takes another shove attempt to send him off his feet and onto the floor. Moving quickly, Beckah slams the door shut and latches it from within before drawing her pick-knife. A nice intimidation check and Willip is cowering on the floor before her, endeavoring to remain silent as ordered before his Initiative point even comes up.
Back in the commons Eisig is busy explaining the logic in hiring him for the job rather than some hulking brute who picks fights with drunks before bothering to show up for work. Talman, on the other hand, offers to demonstrate the wisdom in hiring him on by beating down the irritating person bothering Marken with his squeaky mutterings. Before the situation can develop into a loud argument, Marken frantically hisses for the two men to keep it quiet. He has no interest in drawing attention to himself. With a nod he indicates the stairs, signaling for the two men to follow him out of the common.
Staking out a shadowy spot on the stairwell, Marken patiently explains to Eisig that he was instructed to meet with Talman and offer him the job. If he were suddenly to take Eisig on instead he'd have to be prepared to defend that decision to his superiors, who aren't fond of subordinates who play loose with their orders. Beyond this it's obvious to both Eisig and Talman that Marken is at least a little intimidated by the very large man with the Mark clearly evident on his face.
Eisig is quick to capitulate gracefully and merely request that Marken keep him in mind for any further employment opportunities that might arise. With that he makes to depart intending to fall back, trip up the Cain-marked brute at the first opportunity and steal his job. All three are a little startled when a partially disrobed woman flashes past them down the stairwell, cursing up a blue streak and chasing what for all the world appears to be a shrieking monkey waving a silk scarf.
Inside Willip's room Beckah wastes no time before binding her target to the bed and stripping him naked, intending to make the scene appear as if the prostitute (whom Beckah assumes was seen leaving the common with Willip) placed the man in a compromising position before robbing and killing him (which, ironically, is exactly what Jobina intended). When Willip begins to beg for his life, promising untold wealth if she would free him, she gags him quickly lest his pleas get too loud. With poor Willip firmly in her power, Beckah sets about breaking down his defenses with a little psychological torture. She is please when merely threatening his eyes with her pick-knife is all that's required to reduce him to blubbering.
Jobina meanwhile quickly gives up on retrieving her scarf from the mad monkey the moment it reaches the commons and the crowd of drunks there. She not quite foolish enough to run into a room full of drunk men only half dressed, after all. She returns quickly to Willip's room, skirting the dubious looking men whispering on the stairs, intending to play off the incident with a laugh and get back to business. Finding the door latched and no response from inside she assumes her client has lost the mood for play and locked her out. At first frustrated she then remembers the jerk owes her for the dance at least and begins pounding on the door, demanding entry.
When she receives no response from within she becomes furious as her Lustful trait fuels her frustration and her Vengeful complication demands recompense for the dance (and at least a bloody nose for the insult). Stalking back down the stairwell she accosts the three men lurking about there and offers them each an even share if they break the door down and beat the money out of the lout who's refusing to pay up.
When Talman asks the furious and scantily clad Jobina what the hell she's yelling about, both he and Eisig ignore Marken's hissing that they haven't time for this foolishness. When it becomes clear they're dealing with a prostitute who's been conned out of her pay (and was foolish enough to work without a pimp, apparently) Talman sneeringly suggests to Eisig, "Looks like opportunity knocking. You were looking for work. There you go." Eisig grumps a bit but it does indeed look like an opportunity to make a few coins. Once he's left to follow Jobina upstairs and beat the coin out of her client, Talman and Marken are finally left to discuss business without any further distraction.
Upstairs, only a few steps away, Jobina proceeds to pound on the door again, threatening Willip that her "pimp" is on the scene and, oh boy, is he in trouble now. Needless to say Eisig is less than pleased but he takes a moment to add his slightly more reasonable voice to the din, hoping the jerk on the other side of the door will just open up (and pay up) without undue fuss.
Faced with her target's whore at the door and backed up by her pimp no less, Beckah is a bit irritated herself. Taking a moment to assess the situation she tucks her pick-knife away and slings open the door, greeting Jobina and Eisig with a very nice Willpower + Influence roll, playing the part of the irate wife. "Oh! So you're the bitch my worthless husband's been whoring around with! I ought to claw your eyes out, you skank!"
Jobina is taken aback for a moment but with her Vengeful complication in full swing she's not about to back down until she's paid for that dance and just who the hell is this wench calling a "skank" anyway? She lights into Beckah immediately, demanding her money and insinuating that she ought to feel privileged to pay for the service, considering she apparently hasn't the skill to provide her husband with such services herself. Both Jobina and Eisig naturally spot Willip gagged and tied naked to the bed but since his "wife" seems to have caught him whoring around that makes perfect sense to them. They dismiss his situation out of hand.
Beckah, on the other hand, isn't looking for conflict in the first place and had intended to just scare off Jobina and her "pimp". Faced with the possibility of a cat-fighting right there in the doorway (the last thing she wants, considering her plans) she quickly calculates her pay for the job versus what she has in her coin pouch at the moment. Satisfied that a little personal investment is worth it in the end she snatches her pouch and tosses it at Jobina screaming hysterically, "Just take your money, you dirty whore, and leave my man alone!" She slams the door in both their faces before they can respond and latches it firmly again.
After considering the matter (and the amount of coin in the pouch) for a moment, Jobina decides she's satisfied with that. An attempt to alter Eisig's "fair share" of the coin with a little feminine persuasion falls flat, though, and she's forced to divvy up evenly with him, which leaves her a bit grumpy. Still and all, it's a decent night's pay in the end and she didn't even have to kill anyone. Eisig is likewise satisfied to receive what amounts to nearly a full day's pay for an average laborer for little more than standing there looking dangerous for a minute. A good night, all told.
Back down on the shadowy stairwell Talman is receiving what amounts to a briefing on his first job for the Black Garrote. It seems one of the patrons of the inn is someone that Marken's superiors would very much like to speak to. Unfortunately they have little confidence the man would visit them without a proper "escort"...which means Marken gets the job of bringing him in. Considering everyone involved knows full well the man isn't likely to leave the interview alive it will likely require considerable "persuasion", something Marken is counting on Talman for. The job basically boils down to snatching this guy out of his room and getting him out of the inn without drawing unnecessary attention. Talman’s role is to either intimidate the fellow into submission or beat him into it, whichever is required. After a brief discussion it's decided that if Talman can scare the man badly enough that he can be trusted to meet them outside the inn without them being seen together, all the better. Barring that they'll just beat him unconscious and toss him out a window or something.
Having agreed upon a rough plan Talman follows Marken upstairs...to find Jobina and Eisig divvying up coin right in front of the man's door. Engaging the two in the attempt to play off what he and Marken are doing there in the first place, Talman feigns interest in how their "little problem" has turned out. After Jobina snaps a bit at Talman to mind his own damned business the coin is divvied up quickly and the two disappear downstairs to the common again, leaving Talman and Marken alone in the hallway. Once assured they're alone, Talman proceeds to knock on Willip's door.
Inside Willip's room Beckah is just preparing to start asking questions rather than simply poke her target some more with her pick-knife. She's naturally a little frustrated at the prospect of yet another interruption. Again playing the role of the irate wife (seems to have work well enough so far) she screams through the door, "Piss off, you skanky whore!" It doesn't take much for Talman and Marken to put two and two together and realize their target is the guy who refused to pay up with the prostitute downstairs and it looks like his girlfriend has showed up. Since their job is make Willip disappear tonight Marken is delighted to find Willip has gotten himself into some woman troubles already, which should throw the town guard off a bit should they bother to investigate his disappearance.
With no more witnesses on hand Talman suggests just breaking in the door and snatching the guy right off but Marken is still concerned with whomever is in there with Willip now. He decides on just holding off until Willip's domestic troubles play out. The two then drop back down the hallway a little and hang out as casually as they can until an opportunity to grab Willip presents itself.
Finally it seems that Beckah can get back to work. Since the constant interruptions have given her target a lingering hope that someone might bust in and rescue him, she spends a few minutes breaking Willip down again and soon has him reduced to blubbering once more. Once she's confident she can remove his gag without him screaming for help, she does so and quickly begins her interrogation in earnest. Given the option, Beckah decides on a thirty minute complex action to see how much information she can get out of Willip. In the first five minutes she's already got Magosh's name (which she already knew) as well as the names of his two bodyguards Hak and Malivosh. After a bit more prodding (literally) Willip starts spilling details about Magosh who is apparently a foreign dignitary of some sort out of Jared. The nearest Sethian city to Enoch, Jared has a long and bloody history of conflict with the people of Enoch and that an official from that city is visiting the area is startling news.
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