Monday, August 3, 2009

Personalities of the Rainy City -- Part VI

Vengus Ult: His training, alchemical. His business, medicinal. His impression, philosophical! This is truly a natural philosopher of some quality, as his fine new goggles clearly reflect. He will now require a long tailored jacket of sealskin, adorned with seven clasps, one of gold, one of silver, one of copper, one of iron, one of tin, one of cinnabar, and one of lead.
Jaelin the Charmer: Magician-Hero and occasional Enchanter-Swashbuckler. Unlike humans, he was raised among the trees. He has learned how to fall.
The Adepts of the Deluge: The members of this sect disdain umbrellas and hats and other objects of delusion and self-deception, instead walking with naked head beneath the falling rain. The truly devout enter the streets fully exposed to the storm. You may choose to cover your head with a wide-brimmed cap, or hide beneath a canopy. But you cannot escape the truth!
Thevin Goon: Refugee and thief. Muttering senselessly near the door of the Salted Leech, he comports himself with an air of affected certitude in spite of his dazed and agitated stupor.
The Bartender at the Salted Leech: His finest liqueur of the day is the blackberry brandy. Oh, and the gentleman hiding in the shadows over there has asked that he bring you over a glass.
Mad Dog Konstantinos: Sump gang lord and killer. His murderous rage about the loss of the steam baths has mostly passed into bitter resignation. He has other business these days that occupies his time. The curtained booth near the door?
Musca the Censor: A dishevelled old man in a tattered uniform of vaguely officious shape. "What is your topic of conversation?" "The weather." "Approved!" "And What is the topic of your conversation?" "Vassili's outburst some weeks ago in the inn." "Scurrilous gossip and basest rumormongery! Disapproved! The fine will be one piece of gold."
Regulas: Harrowed and worried, dark circles under his eyes, huddled in the dark recesses of the Salted Leech. Beneath his outer coat, an alchemist's robe with the membership patch torn off. Vengus, if you will hide him, he will give you the Silver Distellembic he left in your care. He does not need it.
Quintas: His fine boat has a roof! Ah, Jaelin, good friend. Please, board the boat and get yourself under the roof. He insists! Don't mind the other guests. He's due to drop them off at the next pier.
The Cap Killer of the Mids: This mysterious murderer has struck again, slaying a young wizard, leaving his pointy hat in a pool of blood. A cautious man would do well not to wear his best hat on his nighttime walks. The genteel man of taste has no time for such cowardice, of course.
Circensus the Apprentice: Alchemist's apprentice, tormented and bullied by his master Gantos Vox. A week ago he found a strange rough stone that granted him the ability to call forth a giant of elemental earth. His revenge was sweet, as the "gnome" (the alchemico-scientific term) shattered the townhouse of Gantos Vox, breaking it down to its very foundations. Now Circensus has opened an alchemist's shop of his own in the western trades district. He is guild approved!
Gantos Vox: Master alchemist. He has moved into private quarters in the guild hall to rest and recuperate from shock. He has not been seen outside the hall since the incident.
Mr. Durban: Professional odd-job man. Has a selection of fine books for your perusal. Might you be interested in purchasing Frostarem's famously thorough Treatise on the Amorphous Hob? Excellent.
Mr. Killroy: Associate to Mr. Durban. A man of few words. Yet his demeanor speaks volumes.
Petticroft Grue: The old patriarch of the stately Family Grue. Master of spiritualism and the phantasmagorical. He will gladly buy your Tretise on the Amorphous Hob, which is clearly a work of scientific value. He has no interest in Vornif's Portentous Economy, a work of perilous pseudo-scholarship.
Qusa Bunt: Purveyor of fine garments in the storied bazaar. He will be happy to sell you a fine bonnet and viel today, and given time, yes, he can procure the alchemical coat you require. Do stop by his manse for tea some time. It is best if you call ahead.
The Lady Belladonna: The medusa who has emerged from the loneliness of undercity cryptoboratories to take up residence in Vassili's abandoned manse. With her newly acquired bonnet and veil, the Lady Belladonna will soon be ready to hold a house warming party in her new home. All the finest families of the Mids will be invited.
Zamdor: Channel boatman with an eyepatch. Happy to navigate his way through the ramshackle boats of the inner harbor to drop you off in the midst of the wharves near Winstead Creaky Shack, as requested.
Elenia the Smuggler: Her ship is moored near Winstead Creaky Shack. She's sorry to inform you that the Pentacular Job is too dangerous right now. A crew went in and botched the job and Pentacular has raised his security. She'll be happy to help you hide your friend, though, for a reasonable fee.
The Bartender at The Long Lamprey: "Scaev? Not around lately. Works this job and that job. Hasn't been in lately."
A Rough-Looking Warrior at The Long Lamprey, sipping from a tall thin bottle: "Nice goggles. You got any drugs?"
The Bartender at The Drink: "Scaev? Yeah, he's in here sometimes."
The Bartender at The Deadly Pudding: "Scaev? Sure, marine. Seen 'im. Not lately."
The Bartender at The Cucumber: "Oh, that salvage crew is due back in a day or two. Scaev should be with 'em."
Scaev: Sailor, marine, freelance bodyguard, mercenary, and pirate. A dangerous man, he makes the other sailors nervous because it is rumored that he can swim. That's tempting fate, that is. It is said he pulled a magic sword out of a wreck that washed up in the docks some weeks ago. If you cross him, he will kill you. And then he will eat you.
A Customer of Vengus's, with a Pressing Query: Just odd luck that you'd run into what must be one of your better customers, Vengus. The glint of silver beneath his cloak suggests a customer of quality and means. Do you have the medicines he ordered? He'll be by to pick them up at a later time.
The Boldest of Robbers, an Enchanter and a Swashbuckler, Villain and Hero: A powerful enchanter and swashbuckler, clad in shining plate armor, a red cloak, and weaving powerful sorceries. He can put a crowd of a dozen people to sleep with a whisper and fly away like lightning into the storm after robbing them all blind. He gives the gold to the poorest of the poor in the Sump, it is said, and he protects even the Mids from the horror of the Whirling Blade. Some say he was killed in the sky in a flying melee with the famed whirling blade. Others say this is not possible -- for he is surely immortal. Either way, Scaev would like to have a word with him about his missing sword...
A Sump Tree Sprite: "Oh hey Boss, I didn't know you could fly. Hey, wait up!"
Windsor Bolo: Friend to Vengus Ult, he has a job that would perfectly suit the talents of Scaev. It is a mystery why he did not appear at the appointed time at the Salted Leech. A tall, slim man, with a rheumy eye, always running, we don't know why he doesn't wear a patch over it. One gold earring. A skinny horseshoe mustache so small it sneaks up on you when you first meet him.
A Poison Frog: Really it isn't that poisonous. It's only a weak poison. Vengus would pay well if you'd just pick it up and bring it back to his apothecary shop for him.
Piets Schwiller, Boatman: Double time for double pay again, sir? Certainly!
The Whirling Blade of Smallside Lane: A fiend of wind and shimmering death. It slays indiscriminately, strikes unpredictably, and casts even enchanters down from the skies. Who will stop it? Who can?