A present from a thief - RPLOG
Night-time in the shanties, although the usual hustle and bustle of illegal activities seems a little more subdued than usual. This might be owing to the large numbers of guardsmen in the area - or at least, more than those who usually dare venture in. Armed to the teeth, they've ringed a hovel and look a little uncertain, especially considering the vague nature of the tip-off. A "present" could be anything, after all, and who in their right mind would give one to a guardsman? The hired Freeswords are off to one side, ready to pitch in if anything's needed.
Selena makes her way through the shanties quietly, bag slung over her shoulder as it usually is; blouse and trousers still being her outfit of choice. The woman glances about the gathered guards, approaching whoever looks in charge. "Excuse me, you're here about a parcel?" she asks, "A 'gift', from what I heard? What exactly do you need help with?"
Valkair grunts softly, tail flicking from side to side as he breaths slowly. Almost as if trying to keep from smelling what ever is around him. His eyes glance wildly, down at the ground, and around him. Leaning on a simple black staff slightly as he gives a kick of a footpaw. "Disgusting. Bad smelling. Dirty. I looove this place." The white feline half growls, his soft voice whispering and seathing with hate as he adjusts his dress and the bag still hanging over his shoulder. He glances over his shoulder to survey the guards before steping closer to the canine, ears flicking as they perk up to listen.
The being Selena approaches is a young, sour-looking Solacious - probably a more expendable member of that family, as far as lordlings are as such. "No idea, and judging from experience, it's probably not a parcel. We got a tip-off, a note, and next thing I know I'm summoned out of bed and heading this operation on short notice." He draws the note out of a pants pocket and waves it in front of Selena's face. The paper is rather high-quality, and written in elegant, cursive handwriting.
"We have provided a gift for you to be collected on short notice at this address. Please do not tarry too long."
"And so here we are," he yips. "I know it's probably a trap, but we're bound to investigate as to what kind of trap it is, anyway - folk don't spend this much money on a joke, or at least, not sane folk. If you've any more questions, Freesword, then ask away, otherwise we're going to take up positions soon."
Selena qurks an eyebrow. "Well, that's... Odd." she comments, moving back a little as the paper's thrust into her face. "So, pardon - what did the tip-off imply? Explosives, poison..?" She queries, an ear flicking as the cat's tone comes to ear, raising a hand to excuse herself for a moment to adress the cat; "You know, it's knot particularly easy to keep a town clean when there's no funding, no money, no council and generally no laws... I'd suggest you try, but that's not really something you can do."
Valkair shakes his head slightly. Whiskers twitching as he shakes his head a little. Peering at the wolf with a cant of his head. "It isn't the attempts to provide upkeep that is unsettling, it's the condition. I'm not particularly used to places that are filthy or... overtly rural." He adds the last with a questionign tone. He bites his lip a moment. Posture tensing as he lets his mind wander. Claws unsheathing to strum against his staff. "Of course the whole 'gift' could simply be a way to get guard and every one else possible out of the city. image damage from being led on and all... at any rate trap expert first in?" He murmers softly, tail giving a quick flick.
"We have no idea - this is the whole of the tip-off we've got. That's why we're covering for as many eventualities as possible. If you can get anything from this piece of paper, you're more than welcome to tell me, because sure as the Creators, I haven't figured it out. It could be a diversion, but we aren't that dumb to pull off essential patrols, otherwise we wouldn't have hired you for the job. Never met a Freesword who complained about too much work." The young officer shrugs. "I'll have a couple of my folk go in, if you'd rather hang back. This is what they're trained for, after all."
Selena raises an eyebrow and chuckles softly. "Not a country being, then?" she comments a little more warmly before the solacious captures her attention again. "Then there's probably a few options. If it's rigged to explode, then dousing the packaging in water would be enough. But then if there are documents, the ink would bleed. I'd say the best bet would be opening it from a distance with magic; it shouldn't be too difficult to do, and any damage to whatever's inside can be easily fixed." she offers. "That said, I'm not a trained professional in 'strange package situations'."
Valkair shakes his head a bit and bites at his lip as his whiskers twitch a few times and he sighs. "I'm new at the whole... freesword thing and haven't even been /here/ too long. Out of Cliffside not more then a year ago and before then never went far from libraries, as getitng gunk in the fur is always a problem." He smiles a bit and rubs behind his head a moment and hmms softly. Ears perking at the mention of magic. "I'm more inclined to fire then any thing and doubt torching the building would help. I might be able to try to convince shadows to do something intresting but darkness hasn't been very cooperative in the past to being moulded." HE murmers and shrugs his shoulders.
"I'm not sure if I didn't make myself clear enough," the young foxy officer says. "All we know is that there's a 'gift', we're not even sure if it's a package. I hope that clears things up. Well, if neither of you are going in, please step back and let my folk get about their business.
With that, he claps his gauntleted hands, and two heavy clan folk step up, going over it in detail with a mage. Eventually, though, the latter shakes his head, but eyes both Selena and Valkair. "You look like practicioners, too - want to give a second opinion? I haven't found any spells on this thing and my friends here are quite sure there aren't any tripwires or the like attached to this thing, but a second opinion would be good to have. We're not sure what we're dealing with, after all."
Selena chuckles quietly and shakes her head. "Out of cliffside? I'm surprised by that." she comments, looking over the being for a few more seconds. "I don't work with dark magic. I can write up any spell you'd like that uses it, but I can't use it myself. It's a bit vexing, but I don't really need it either." she replies, before glancing back to the guards. "Ah. So it's one of those things... Well, I'll take a look for you, but I don't think I'd want to put magic on a building here. Everything's so run down it'd be too easy to trigger accidentally."
Valkair tilts his head a little and hmms as he swishes his tail once and shrugs his shoulder, blinking. "Why surprized?" He murmers, fur bristling a little. "That was.. a joke. About torching a building. I haven't practiced much with dark magic, I'm framilar with combat and general magic more then any thing." He shrugs reaches into his purse and pulls out a large red book, marked with elaborate designs and a simple silver clasp. "So what do you think on trying to use a gust of air to open the door, while every one is at a safer distance then a distance light to peer inside?" He opens the book and starts fiddlign through the pages.
All three of the guardsmen nod at Valkair's suggestion and step back. "The door's not locked or barred, but..." In one swift motion, the burliest of the trio pushes down on the handle and eases it just open in the slightest. "No, no mechanical traps. Go ahead." The three of them step back a safe distance from the door, waiting the feline magician to do his work.
Valkair nods and closes the book, tuckign it under his arm and murmering softly under his breath. Free handpaw sweeping through the air in a overly dramatic flair and... a gentle gust of wind blows towards the door and pushes it open with nudge. He continues, working on summoning a small wisp of light after. Handpaw pausing only breifly between the two.
Selena glances over at the feline with a smile. "No reason, no reason at all." she replies. The method used to check for traps by the guards, though... "You know, you probably shouldn't open the door until after you've checked for traps." the wolfess notes, her own search turning up none. The magic is met with a nod of approval and a bit of scrutiny, though she doesn't make any further comment. Rather, she waits back with the others to see the interior of the building from a good, safe distance.
The door swings wide open, and the guardsmen pour into the hovel, following Valkair's wisp of light and lighting their own lanterns to boot. The inside of the place seems as common as can be for the lowly condition of most shanty town inhabitants, a two room affair with bits and pieces of old furniture and hammocks hanging from between dry rotting beams. No one seems to be home at the moment.
Another door lies in the back of the room, though, and the guardsmen immediately set to scrutinising and opening it, the heavy, reinforced door easily coming open without incident after a few minutes despite its formidable appearance.
Selena sighs quietly at the state of the building, glancing up at the beams with a little trepidation as though they'd crumble. That moment soon passes, though, and she returns to looking about the room - and with the second door opened she makes her way along. "So what've you thought of Firmament so far, if I might ask?"
The feline tenses and his ears half folds as he follows the guards and canine into the building. Edgy but his demanor shifting to seem a bit more serious. "It seems alright, I haven't been here long enough to know for sure. Don't have a lot of connections and with my family being... unsupportive kind of out on my own." He clicks his tongue and stands back near the entrance door. Watching as he taps his claws on his staff. "Valkair. Just... Valkair." He gives a half courtsy as he offers his introduction.
Having checked the second door over, the guards burst in, followed by their officer, ready to strike with sword and spell if need be. Happily, that isn't required. It soon becomes apparent what manner of "gift" the letter was speaking of, though, as one surveys the room - a trio of beings lie bound and gagged in a corner, and by the looks of it they haven't been there too long. But what's more important are the remaining contents of the room - sacks of alchemical reagents in, numerous sets of alchemical apparatus lining one wall, and sackcloth packs of ebon to be shipped out. Various vials of an ugly-looking liquid lie on one of the workbenches, as well as discarded oilcloth masks and gloves.
The most interesting thing, though, is another letter stick to one of the captives' foreheads with a bit of glue, and there's a yowl as the young Solacious officer steps up and rips it off.
"My dear friends in the Royal Guard, I hope to find you in good health. I could have clearly stated the nature of the 'gift' that you now see before you, but that would have ensured that you never claimed it. As such, you have my most sincere apologies.
"While it is true that with every law the Good King makes, we gain a new market, we do understand that we need to have jobs tomorrow, as do you. It makes no sense to kill a potential repeat customer with harmful goods, nor does it make sense to make out a loan to someone who cannot repay it. Unlike some of the gangs that infest the shanties, we are not barbarians, and can think beyond today. As such, I have personally taken it upon myself to bring these poisoners to you as a gift in service of our mutual interests. I apologise for the brevity of this note, but alas, there is only so big a letter that can be taped to one's forehead, as I am reliably informed."
I am your servant,
Little Tarin, Guildmaster of the Sweetwater Thieves' Guild
Selena flinches a little as the letter's pulled from the captive's head, though as the message is read, she seems more at ease with the situation. "Well, let it never be said there's no such thing as thieve's honor." she murmurs, glancing back to the others. "Well, if the vials are what I'm assuming they are, I wouldn't want to go about poking and touching them. It'd probably be safer to find someone that knows how to dispose of heartfire properly over here to do so." she notes.
Valkair blinks as the door opens and... he looks utterly confused as he just stands there and his tail bushes out. He huhs. Maw opening to speak but just a few odd noises makign their way out. "I'm looking at... a group of drug makers, which was... arrested by theives, which called the guards anonmously, then claimed the deed by name.. right? I'm not..missing something here?" He wears a very confused look on his muzzle.
"That would appear to be the case," the young officer growls at Valkair with a flick of his tail. "I don't know how a thief thinks - well, no one of those who pull the strings. those on the streets are pretty pedestrian, though. Those back at the House are going to be bloody ashamed - thieves doing their job for them...maybe that was the point of this all along. Sticking their collective thumb in our eye."
The gift's too good to be passed up, though. The captives are hauled to their feet and led off, while several of the guards stay behind to secure the place until proper alchemists from the Academy can be summoned to destroy the stash of tainted drugs. It seems like there's not going to be much in the way of criminal activity about these parts tonight, that's for sure - and with the source cut off, hopefully the epidemic will fade.
Selena shakes her head. "They're not doing your job for you, you know. They're doing this for the exact reasons they listed. If they did do your job for you, then things would've panned out differently, I'm sure. But, yes. You're basically right Valkair. Selena's my name, it has been a pleasure to meet you." With that, she turns and makes her way out, waiting in front of the house for the others from the academy - greeting a few as they arrive.
Valkair shakes his head and tail lashes a bit as he nods once or twice. Peering at the guard and giving a quiet huff. "The guild looks like they were doing their own policing here and taking care of a personal problem and tossing a bone to the guard to try to make happy points. Or they want to hurt the guard's image and are being aggresively insulting. I have no clue." He snears a bit and shakes his head. Looking over to the canine and smiles making his way out, walking with light quiet steps.