March 6, 2020, 8:30 p.m.
Outside Arx - Mourning Isles near Stormward - Port Stormbreak
Comments and Log
In every family, there's at least one relative that loves their birthday. They love it so much that every single person needs to attend their yearly birthday party... or else. And those are the circumstances underwhich so many members of House Kennex happen to be in Port Stormbreak at once. Including Niklas. That's right, even Prince Niklas is not safe from this relative. He too must be attend.
But while they're there, the steward has some news for the house leadership. A shipment of weapons made from one of the best forges in the duchy was supposed to arrive at the docks and then be transported to the barracks. Which is all well and good, but somewhere between the docks and the barracks, several cases have gone missing. Unfortunately this isn't the first time this has happened (it's the second, yay!) and not just to the shipments earmarked for the Kennex military. There's been talk of things coming up short other places in the market. And so, our friends duck out of the end of the SEVERAL DAY LONG birthday 'party' and head to the market.
Wash is fairly sober, party is long enough that he has been drunk, sobered, and been drunk again. Currently on the sobering side. "Hells." Wash says. "I thought we put someone on this, guess it's just one more thing have to handle ourselves."
Zoey has never spent much time in the Isles, much less Stormbreak, but markets are markets wherever you go. She takes her keen eye to this one, studying merchants and booths alike for inconsistencies.
Everyone knows Catalana throws the best parties in the family, so it's hardly surprising she's been here for the extravagant parties. However glad she is to have snuck away from the insane family games night (because what family event is complete without a highly competitive round of musical chairs?) and is currently reviewing all the books, "How long has this been going on?"
At some point during the celebrations Niklas disappeared with a bottle of brandy, so when he shows up in the market where he was told he would find everyone else it appears during his missing hours he went out and spent an enormous sum of money on a set of armor. Honestly, he'd look pretty impressive, except that it's all dark orange and pepped with teal hedgehogs. "What did I miss?" Niklas scrapes his tongue with his upper teeth, making a face. "Everything tastes like terrible. I think I ate an ortolan." Then, "What's happening?" He holds up a diamondplate sword. "Where did I get this sword?"
Aethan has not been drinking, to the surprise of no one in his immediate vicinity but perhaps to the surprise of some other people at the party -- but then, he's not great at parties in general, so, you know. It tracks. Now he's looking much the same as he had been looking at the actual party -- that is, impassive to the point of flat. "Mm," he replies with a nod to Wash as they go, but most of his actual expression is saved for Niklas' exciting new armor. It consists of raised eyebrows, and a slight shake of his head, though there's the idea of a smile in there somewhere. "You didn't happen to find it with the rest of what went missing, did you?"
Zoey looks Niklas over. "Quite an outfit there, Nik."
Catalana snorts with laughter at Niklas's armor, "Why has it got hedgehogs? And why orange?" She eyes Niklas's sword with caution, "Do you actually know how to use one of those?" However, it's the crown that causes her to groan. "Well, at least someone in town is now stupidly wealthy." She looks over to Aethan. "Smugglers? Pirates? What are your thoughts?" She supposes. "There's likely a black market where all these things have gone, if not hidden away in a cave somewhere."
And so, Niklas showed up wearing all of the missing equipment. Wash and Aethan immediately arrested him--
No, no, no. That's not what happens next at all. Instead they'll be winding their way through the market to the warehouse of the man that was supposed to house the weapons shipment until it was taken up to the barracks.
Niklas looks down at his tabard and his eyebrows pull together. "I'm not sure I even know how to put this on without considerable help." He glances back at his assistant Sam who stares off toward the horizon and refuses to look toward the boss. Niklas pats his bracers. "I vaguely remember telling an armorer that I was the baron of House Quill. I guess that'd explain the hedgehogs. Damn, I'm a funny drunk." To Catalana he says, "I know how to look like I can use it, which can be just as good with the right audience." He looks back to the others. "Well! We're not going to find anything without talking to some people." That said, he heads into the market and goes looking for the most reputable arms and armor vendors.
"Noble beast hedgehogs." Wash comments. "Never tries to hurt anyone, but knows how to defend itself." Wash sets out to talk to sailors in the market who might have heard or seen something.
"Wait." Zoey examines Niklas' armor and sword more closely. "Isn't this the missing equipment?" she asks. "We should go speak to the man who was supposed to house the shipment."
"Could be either, I suppose," Aethan replies to Catalana after a moment's thought. "If it's pirates, they're getting bolder than they have a right to be right now." He looks over at Niklas again with a little huff of amusement, but while he does look around he leaves the talking to the others for the moment.
Just to clarify, Niklas isn't really wearing any of the missing equipment. The warehouse where the equipment went missing is on the edge of the docks, but there's a few stalls in the general vicinty of it. When Wash and Niklas go wandering out into this portion of the market, they'll find a few sailors lingering around one of these booths. They're the old, grizzled sort of sailor for the most part with at least one younger looking fellow in their midst.
Catalana breaks off from the group to go down towards the docks. Sailors love talking to pretty girls. Especially ones like Catalana. All golden and feminine. She smiles, flirts a little and begins to ask questions about where those shipments went. Who could of handled them? Murmurs of possible vague rewards for those who help her.
"There's an old Stormwall song about hedgehogs. It's rather rude, though." Niklas gives Zoey a look. "I'll have you know I'm short nearly ten thousand gold dukes, so I can only assume I paid for all of this." Turning toward a merchant of all things pointy, he says, "Good day, my good man. Prince Niklas Grayson. The duke's uncle and world famous playwright. Have you experienced any shortages in product recently? Have you heard anything about what may be behind it?" The grizzled sailors get a look, but that's not really his demographic, so Wash can deal with them. His Q Score totally crashes when it comes to grizzled sailors.
Catalana checked charm + seduction at difficulty 30, rolling 25 higher.
"Ten thousand gold dukes?" Wash says. "Princedom has gone to your head." He approaches the sailors. "Good men, the Prince here is missing at least a million silver and that's just what he lost in the last two days. Imagine how grateful he would be if you could help us solve a recent riddle. Apparently, missing cargo. Hopefully the last time. As you can see... we're intent on solving the problem. So... you want to be part of the solution. Right?" Wash accompanies his most dazzling smile with a flip of a rubicund dagger.
Wash checked charm + leadership at difficulty 30, rolling 6 higher.
Niklas checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 15, rolling 51 higher.
Niklas checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 30, rolling 12 higher.
315 Catalana is better looking and better dressed than most of the people hanging around this part of the docks. A few of them skirt around her out of natural suspicion which isn't entirely out of place, but there are others that are easily swayed by a good speaker that's easy on the eyes. One of the sailors is a talker and is happy to tell her all about how he worked the merchant ship that brought the last one over. He even claims to have counted the inventory before it was delivered and swears on his grandfather's watery grave that it was all there. In HIS very PROFESSIONAL opinion, something happened to it in the warehouse. Because him and his shipmates? Just good honest people. Also hey, is Catalana free tomorrow night? Y/N?
The people at the booth look between Wash and Niklas with a squint, many squints. But the sailors and the man running the booth seem happy enough to ingragiate themselves to rich strangers. Even if one of them is covered in hedgehogs. "Sure, we can part of the solution," the man drawls to Wash, glancing at Niklas, a bit skeptically. But he's more or less won over by the end and between the two men's efforts is willing to talk. He scratches his beard. "Not personally. We heard about that shortage that turned up at Ingvar's warehouse, but he's not the first one to have trouble. A lot of the time it's weapons or armor, good stuff. Shipped in to go out to other places, suddenly a crate is missing. Probably getting lifted by, you know." Yeah, you know? Don't you?
Catalana gives the sailor the vaguest of smiles and a pick press of her hand to his bicep. Such a vague promise on tomorrow night. Returning back up to Prince Hedgehog and Wash, she murmurs her findings to them. "The sailors say everything is accounted for up until they go to the warehouse. They swore on their father's grave." She looks along the line of warehouses. "I suppose we better go find the owner."
Niklas stares at the man, desperate to know what it could be. When the guy leaves that one hanging he finally whispers, "Sharkenoids?!"
Do they know? Though he hasn't really talked much yet, Aethan has been listening, and when the sailors reply to WAsh and Niklas, he turns that way, tipping his head a little bit to one side. Niklas' reply has him letting out another little huff, but after that he asks, "By who?"
Sharkenoids?! The man running the booth stares at Niklas, this time it's just in outright confusion before he turns to Wash. "I think your friend has lost more than a million silver in the last few days." But then he's distracted by Aethan's question, turning to him. "There's a rumor going around that the weapons and armor are getting picked up to sell off to some Shavs by one of the smuggling gangs that comes through the port." When Catalana arrives and mentions the warehouse, he gives a bit of a nod. "Probably have an insider to manage that. Ingvar's got decent security."
There are plenty of others doing the talking for now, so Zoey reasons that it is probably better to listen and observe.
Catalana stares at Niklas "...sharknoids?" Deciding to not wait for an answer she moves to the first of the warehouses and tells the others, "Wait here. I'm going to go play poor helpless lost lady. See what I can find."
It's around this time that Jan is going to come storming down by the docks, with something of a perpetual glare upon her tanned features. She rakes her stormy gray eyes over those present, and then she roars, "What's this about gods' damned theft? We don't have enough trouble, that some fucking catamites are going to start stealing our weapons next?" She slams one fist into her gauntleted palm, seeming quite furious that any soundrels are taking weapons out of good, honest Corsair hands!
Catalana checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 30, rolling 6 higher.
"Sounds like Ingvar's warehouse needs a closer look." Wash says. "Jayne? Why don't you wait here with these men and we'll take a closer look at this warehouse." He tells off his bodyman to keep an eye on these three. If one of them runs off, then that's the one that is working with the smugglers, if they get a heads up.
Niklas looks around for some kind of support here. "You know. Sharkenoids! Half man, half shark. Raiders of the vasty deep whose undersea kingdom rivals anything found here on land, ruled over by cruel King Mako of House Carcharodon? Nobody?" He gives a sniff and folds his arms over his chest. "Well, they're very real." When Wash decides to go investigate the warehouse Niklas follows along afterward, on the lookout for proof of the very real sharkenoid threat.
"Hm." Aethan nods once at the reply, considering it for a moment, before he turns to follow Wash and Niklas as well. He does not comment on sharkenoids for the moment. He does, however, keep an eye out, his gaze roving over the people passing by as they move through the market toward their destination.
Catalana opens the door and shuts it behind herself. She steps between the rows of stock and cargo. She peeks here, peeks there. Opens a create. Sneak sneak sneak. When she finally spots someone, she comes up to them, all puppy dog eyes and quivering lower lip. "Good evening. I was wondering if you could help me. I've gotten lost and not sure where I am. Could you help me? "
Zoey goes with the group to search for clues at the warehouse.
When Catalana just lets herself into the warehouse (because it looks like no one is working the front door, what sort of security is this?!), she ends up coming upon a couple of workers. They look like totally normal people who don't understand why she's in there. In fact, "Why are you in here?" They're /not/ mad about it. Just confused.
Wash arrives with Niklas at the warehouse in time to see Catalana slip inside. So he delays a moment. "So sharkenoids because... humanoid sharks? Why not humanarks?"
"Don't be racist, Wash," grunts Niklas.
Jan will make a growly sound, very much like a curse under her breath, and then she will quite naturally follow the others. Fuming! Stolen weapons! The nerve!
Wash says, "Species-ist. Specist? And why not? I don't think anything is gained by preferring another species to human." Wash watches the warehouse carefully for signs that Catalana is in trouble."
Jan's arrival has Aethan nodding briefly to her -- its cursory nature probably has a lot to do with the entrance of Catalana in the warehouse, so hopefully he'll be forgiven. For the moment, he just waits as well, watching the door and around.
Catalana coils a strand of her golden hair around her finger and smile to the men, "See. I was invited by some sailor to see his ship. You know sailors. Come look at how big it is. Well, he got all handsy and I ran. But I don't know the area well and I got so easily lost." She reaches a hand out to touch this man's bicep "Perhaps you could give me a little tour? I could tell your boss how wonderful a job you're all doing and how you rescued me." She shifts and begins to walk up one of the aisles, away from the door forcing the men to follow, trying to give her family a way to enter without being caught.
If there's anyone around here that Jan is likely to forgive, it's probably the Duke Regent. She'll nod back to Aethan in that soldierly fashion of her's, while otherwise keeping a close eye on Catalana...She grimaces when her sister touches the man's bicep in that 'charming' fashion, as if poleaxed. But only mutters to herself!
The men that work in the warehouse seem to still be perplexed by why Catalana is here and now she... she wants a tour? It works in that they follow her, trying to explain that this isn't really a place for noble ladies to hang out? They can show her where the door is? Could she please just stop touching things? Please? No-- don't go down there. Please. Stop.
Not about to let a distraction go to waste, Zoey slips in next to look around.
Zoey checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.
Aethan checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.
Jan checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 1 lower.
Wash checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.
Niklas checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.
Catalana checked perception at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.
Catalana is quite happy to play the dumb blonde. Touching this and that she asks "What's that for? What's this? Who do I talk to about getting one myself?" For each time they try to lead her back to the door, she gasps and touches their arms or shoulders and smiles that coy smile remarking on how they've rescued her or how happy their boss will be. Clearly she's paying no attention to their pleas for her to just leave.
There are other people that work in this building besides the couple that Catalana is distracting. They're busy moving things and working, mostly minding their own business. But as the group slips in, Wash and Niklas start to feel the uncomfortable association that comes with being /watched/. It's enough to put them on edge, at the ready. The same goes for Catalana, a sense of general unease.
While Zoey is passing by a pile of crates, she notices a shipping manifesto still attached from something recently delivered. When she picks it up to go through it, she notices rather quickly that the numbers aren't matching up to what she's seeing in front of her.
Aethan who is nearby, is also picking up on that something or someone is watching them. His senses are pinged the hardest and so he's the only one that manages to lay eyes on the man that's watching them.
They make eye contact. And then the man BOLTS. But before he bolts, he intentionally sends a stack of crates hurtling toward Catalana.
Catalana checked luck + dodge at difficulty 20, rolling 12 lower.
Wash is still outside, keeping an eye on the warehouse. At the sound of a commotion, he heads for the warehouse.
Aethan checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 27 higher.
Zoey checked intellect + economics at difficulty 30, rolling 19 higher.
Niklas goes running in after Wash, since their very informative conversation about the sharkenoid problem was interrupted by the sound of injuries being incurred.
Catalana was mid flirt when suddenly a bunch of crates come flying her way. She screams out in terror and throws her hands over her face as if that will save her.
It's unfortunate that Jan hadn't caught a glimpse of the crates being pushed over onto Catlana...But she does see that guy go running in the aftermath! She makes an angry, wordless sound, "You motherfucker! Get back here!" She roars, leaping after him to the best of her ability.
While boxes are threatening to crush Catalana to death and Aethan is mitigating the damage of that, Zoey has found some paperwork! When she goes through it, she finds that it was just unloaded to the warehouse yesterday from a ship inbound from the Arx. There are supposed to be X amount of crates containing rubicund shortswords. But when she looks at the pile, it seems off. Thankfully no one knocks this down while she goes to investigate it. She counts and finds that it's not the number listed. That it's not one, not two but THREE cases short. Which is quite a lot of cases.
Also yes, that guy who just knocked a bunch of boxes full of super heavy things onto Catalana is sprinting across the warehouse. He's definitely trying to escape.
Additionally a box hits one of Cat's sailors and he falls over onto the ground. He doesn't look good.
While others tend to Cat, Niklas turns and follows after Jan, chasing after whoever their attacker is.
Zoey looks up suddenly from what she's doing at the commotion of falling boxes and an injured sailor. "I'll get a Mercy!" she calls to the rest of them before quickly exiting the warehouse. Somehow before she goes she manages to write a note on the manifest about the inconsistencies she found.
Wash does stop to tend to Catalana. That's his priority.
There's a shift in Aethan as he looks around on one of those passes, as though the hairs on the back of his neck have suddenly stood up. He whips his head around toward where that feeling seems to be coming from, managing to catch sight of the man -- and then the falling boxes. "Watch out!" he calls, lunging toward Catalana in an attempt to get between her and them, or knock her out of the way.
Catalana is bleeding. While she is ruining her dress, she does wave them off, shouting "Get him."
Jan checked stamina + athletics at difficulty 30, rolling 17 higher.
Wash does not wave off easily. "Jan's on it." He assures his wife. "You're bleeding." There are priorities, and losing a million silver is worth less than losing an unnecessary drop of Catalana's blood.
Catalana swipes the blood from her head "It's fine. Just a flesh wound." She hauls herself up with the aid of Wash and gives Aethan a grateful look. With the chaos of v
Catalana swipes the blood from her head "It's fine. Just a flesh wound." She hauls herself up with the aid of Wash and gives Aethan a grateful look. With the chaos of boxes everywhere, she takes advantage of looking at the stock and crates.
Niklas checked perception + investigation at difficulty 30, rolling 11 higher.
Catalana, Aethan and Wash are hanging out in a pile of collapsed crates, gorgets, gauntlets and helms spilled out around them and one unconscious warehouse worker laying there. He probably won't be giving any noble ladies tours in the future.
MEANWHILE Jan is sprinting across the room at top speed, which is higher than this guy's top speed. Because she eventually catches up to him and is able to send him to the floor with a flying tackle. It's all very dramatic.
It turns out that Niklas won't need to remember the guy's face from glimpses of him as he sprints off, because now he's right there! Neat. Also, hey. He /KNOWS/ him. He can remember this rather unscrupulous looking person as someone who was picked up several years back for being part of a Dust smuggling ring. Why does Niklas remember him? Probably because his name is Timothy. Timothy of the Seven Seas. Are there seven seas in this world? No idea. But he tagged it on ALL OF HIS STUFF. People laughed about it a lot and made up some really hilarious songs. Timothy is remembered!
Jan throws herself into the flying tackle with a battering ram like enthusiasm and a complete disregard for her own well being! It doesn't help that she's armored up and the poor guy isn't, given that she's probably bigger than him even without the cuirass and greaves! In the event, she'll roll to her feet and then rip her cutlass from its scabbard and shake it at him, "Stay down you stupid fucker!" She warns him, her stormy gray eyes flashing with the restraint that it requires to not just decapitate the sister-ambushing bastard.
"Let me stop the bleeding at least." Wash insists, dabbing at Catalana's head with a handkerchief.
Niklas skids to a stop when Jan takes the guy down. "Well, I'm ready for a nap." He looks from the smuggler to his cousin and back, eyes widening after a moment. "Timmy? Timmy of the Six Seas?" He looks back to Jan. "I know this dipshit. He got sentenced to some labor a few years back when his little ring of dusties were brought to my father." Back to Timothy, "Hey Timmy, how's it going? You forgot to write your name on the boxes. Now no one will know to sing the Ballad of the Bug That Tried to Squash, But Got Squashed Instead. What to tell us what you're all caught up in, Timmy?"
Catalana waves off Wash with a huff, "You can look after me once we're all back in the city. Come on. Did someone chase whoever pushed the boxes?" She begins to move towards the door, her walk more of a stumble. Boxes hurt.
Aethan meets the look from Catalana with a brief nod, before he's getting up, starting after Jan and the thief. It's just in time for her to take care of him very well, however, and when Niklas identifies him his eyes widen slightly, in incredulity.
Wash gives Catalana a shoulder to lean on. "Jan caught him. Over there. See, you have a competent sibling... and you have me."
Timmy doesn't appreciate Niklas' sass, but he doesn't appreciate having a cutlass shaken at him by Jan more. He also /really/ doesn't like when he sees Aethan approaching, because he seems pretty scary too. He's not getting up at least. "Fuck off! I just work here. I'm innocent. This is a case of mistaken identity."
"You threw a bunch of boxes down on a noblewoman. You know what they'd do if we were in Sanctum? They'd feed you to alligators. Lowering you into their cage inch by inch. It's an awful way to go, Timmy." Niklas gestures toward Aethan wherever he is. "See him? He's the cousin of the lady you just tried to kill? Also, he's Duke-Regent. Do you like where your parents life? Life can turn on a copper, mate."
Catalana uses Wash to support her with a thankful smile before collecting the note Zoey scribbled and taking it out to the others. "Here. Look what Zoey wrote down." She looks down to the man Jan has pinned. "Who is he?"
Jan makes something of a wordless grunted sound by way of response to Niklas' identification of the culprit as Timothy Dipshit. She glowers down at him, her gauntleted fist tightening its grip around her cutlass, such that the leather will audibly creak, "Bring Cat over here." She calls over for Wash to support her sister. She can think of few worse fates for the man than to confront the woman that he just tried to dump a bunch've crates on.
Aethan is somewhere nearby, surely, and he doesn't add to Niklas' dire warnings -- not verbally, anyway. He just turns toward Timmy of the Seven Seas and stares at him, unblinking, in his best impassive expression, which is really very impassive indeed. His posture shifts a little bit, revealing a flash of bone at his hip from the handle of some weapon, though it's a brief sight.
Wash waits for Catalana to agree before he leads her that direction. There is little chance that he will let her get within arm's reach though.
"Good thing we're not in Sanctum and there's no such thing as /alligators/." He uses air quotes. Look, Timmy isn't very smart. He hasn't seen an alligator before in his life but he'd probably believe in sharknoids or humanarks or whatever they're calling themselves these days. "That was an accident. What was the noblewoman doing standing under some boxes anyway?!" Alright, well. Aethan is flashing him some kind of bone from his hip and then there's Jan and apparently if they were in Sanctum there would be alligators. Timmy wants to live, okay? "Fine. Maybe I know where the boxes go after I mark them."
Catalana is always trying to wave Wash away and moves towards Timmy, the blood clotting and turning her golden hair that matted rust color. "Where do they go?"
Jan gazes down at Timmy for a long moment, and then something happens which might surprise him and the others. She gives her head a shake, and then spits before declaring in a dangerously raspy voice, "Horseshit. He doesn't know anything." She seems to peg Timmy for a liar, even as he's seemingly about to confess. She hefts the cutlass and then glances to Aethan, "Should I just cut his head off and be done with it? Or maybe just the hand that pushed the crate?"
Catalana checked command + empathy at difficulty 30, rolling 3 lower.
"I'll flip you for the rights to kill him." Wash says. "I mean, if Cat spares him." He hovers near Catalana, whether she wants his help or not.
"Or course we aren't in Sanctum! I only say that so you appreciate how nice we are here that we just have someone hold you underwater, their eyes locked on yours, until you stop kicking." Niklas says all of this very matter of factly, despite the fact that the Faith got all up their butt about not doing that anymore and it was outlawed. "Then, boom, your body is left for the sharkenoids as an offering to maintain our ancient truce."
Catalana lifts a hand to Jan "No. Stop. Surely it was an accident. He'll tell us the truth, right?" She turns her crystalline blue eyes to the man before her. However, it's quite clear to see Catalana is a bit of a pushover.
At this point, Jan is muttering and searching for her pockets for a silver coin. She glowers down at Timmy, "Give me a coin. We're going to flip for it." She holds a gauntleted hand out towards Timothy, as if expecting him to contribute to his own butchery, even as her benevolent sister half-heartedly intercedes.
Porter GM Roll checked composure(2) at difficulty 15, rolling 21 higher.
Very calmly, Timmy reaches into his pocket and pulls out a coin, handing it to Jan. Otherwise he's utterly silent which is very strange. Maybe he's on a drugs. He's probably on drugs. Oh, no. Not totally silent. He whispers to Niklas, "Sharkenoids??"
Jan takes the coin from Timmy Dipshit and then flips it to Wash, "Call it."
Wash checked luck at difficulty 15, rolling 1 lower.
"Heads." Wash says, deftly catching the coin and slapping it on the back of his palm. He doesn't reveal it though, just looks at Timmy. The threat is implied.
Aethan glances toward Jan, as though he's considering her words very seriously, before his gaze moves to Catalana, then back again. He then turns to Wash, and though there's not much change in his expression, he holds up a hand right after the coin flips toward Wash. "Wait," he says, and he turns back to Timmy. "//Maybe// you do? Or you //do//? You get one chance."
Niklas ignores the coin toss going on around him and nods to Timmy. "Oh, indeed. Everything you've ever feared, everything and more, is horribly true." But then the Duke Regent is speaking, so Niklas steps aside, but his look to Timmy is clear. Save yourself! The emperors of the briny deep await a gift of your tender flesh!
Porter GM Roll checked composure(2) at difficulty 15, rolling 4 lower.
Jan doesn't seem to mind the revelation of the coin flip's result being delayed for a few more seconds, as Aethan briefly intercedes to give Timothy Dipshit one last chance to pull something out of his ass. It helps build anticipation, given the way she flexes her sword arm.
Catalana has watery eyes. Clearly the pacifist here. Her eyes plead with poor Timmy seven seas. Tell them! Save yourself!
Timmy only has such dead calm for so long. The combination of Jan wanting to KILL HIM, Wash holding out on the coin toss reveal and Niklas telling him nightmare stories and that sad look from Catalana... when Aethan tells him he has one chance, he completely breaks. "Okay, okay. I know where it goes. I can show you on a map, I've been there once. I mark the crates with a special symbol," Niklas knows the one, "and then they come and take it down to the cove. They trade it for dust, okay? With some Shavs, I don't know who exactly. Then the dust gets sold in the market. And that's it, that's all I know! I'm just the crate marking guy. I'll mark the map! I'll mark the map!" Timmy is crying, guys. Look what you did.
For whatever reason, Jan does not seem to be either satisfied or disappointed by Timmy's sudden confession. She just looks down at him with an implacable, unreadable expression, waiting for the others to soak it in. Then she'll look towards Wash and Aethan with her stormy gray eyes, "It seems that hand is getting him in a lot of fuckin trouble lately," All that marking and crate pushing, "Howabout we relieve him of it?" And then whether he bleeds out or somehow gets to an apothecary in time...let the gods decide.
"We should follow that map, but also we should go find the dust dealer in the market and toss him in the ocean." Niklas gives Timmy SUCH a disappointed look.
Wash removes his hand and looks exaggeratedly disappointed. "Wakes. I lose." He flips the coin in Timmy's direction. "I'll take Catalana to go meet that Mercy if it is okay with you Duke Regent."
Catalana pushes at Jan's sword "Leave him. He helped us in the end. Plus, he now needs to worry about the Humanarks."
Aethan listens to Timmy's confession, again without any sort of shift in his expression. There's a moment or two before he nods once. "All right." There's another moment where he seems to really be weighing Jan's suggestion, but ultimately he shakes his head. "Not yet. We'll keep him in case we need anything more out of him later." The only answer that he doesn't hesitate over is in response to Wash; that one gets a quick, "Please," and there's a short, but visible, flicker of concern that crosses his face then for Catalana. He starts toward Niklas then, adding, "Looks like there'll be a another song to write."
Jan waggles her cutlass away from Catalana's hand, though only out of concern that her sister might accidentally cut herself on it. She arches an eyebrow at her, "Really? You're standin up for this barrel of monkey spunk after he dropped a crate on your head?" She's looking at her sister with a mix of awe and something else. However, she's a soldier through and through, so when the Duke tells her how it'll be, Jan will slam the cutlass back into her scabbard, "I'll have a couple Corsairs keep him company." No doubt a couple of particularly sadistic, hard-hittin ex-mercs from the mainland that know what to do with errant sailors.
Before they let him go, Niklas yanks a few hairs from Timmy's head, then says to the man, "Now the sharkenoids will have your scent, Timmy. You'd best move to the mainland. Far from any shore. Otherwise they could come at any time to slake their hunger for the soft-skin flesh they crave so greatly." Then he steps away, pats the pommel of his sword, and turns to go.
Niklas checked charm + performance at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher.
Wash wraps an arm around Catalana's waist so that she can pretend he isn't supporting her.
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