IC: Livonia's Lament (in game - July 3rd onward)

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opaopajr

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July, Month of the Big-Eared Bat.
Today Is Thursday, July 3rd (DAY 3) Saturday, July 5th
Weather Is Hot, dry, full sun. Low wind.


Updating Bulletin Board -- Livonia's Lament

Update! NEW! Trial - Claim Jumper Murderess! Starts this July 4th, Friday morning, at Main Street Well. (Brave posse needed to bring the Thistlegrass Triplets to justice for the crime of vigilatism. See Father's Council Hall.)

NEW! Labor - Bricklayers to rebuild damaged jail. See Deputy Groundhog Joon at the Jail.

NEW! Bounty - Escapees from Jail Break: Slick Rick, Bank Embezzler of Pine Valley; Blue-Plumes, Horse Thief & Cattle Rustler of Ezmeralda County; Mr Groutmeier, Claim Deed Forger.
See Deputy Groundhog Joon at the Jail.

NEW! Officer Pro Tem - Need temporary deputy apprentice to guard town while jail is rebuilt. See Deputy Groundhog Joon at the Jail.

NEW! Exterminator - Badgers messing with my claim! Critters won't leave me be! See Ol' Salty Clem at the Honey Well.

Tailor - Bead your Deeds on your Shirt? Want latest Fringe? See M. Trouvier

Bounty - Robbed Mayor seeks Capture of Thieves! Lost Precious Valuables!

Update! Bounty - Missing Claim Holder! Family seeking Justice! See Thistlegrass clan. (torn, ochre handprint, written "She dies tonight!")

Sale - Dowry. Combs, blankets, tools, more. Broken Heart, Won't Need. (Blushing Phlox)

Reward - Closed mine shaft! Dangerous mystery! Need Gutsy Braves.

NEW! Bounty - Bring Back Our Mortician from Vacation. Work Overload. See Mortician Apprentice.

Update! Reward - Oldest Graveyard has Weird Omens! Seek Holy Man and/or Braves. (Thank you, closed. New Graveyard by town restricted -- by Elder permission only.)

NEW!
Miners & Clerics - Old Graveyard needs help for large job tidying up the grounds. See The Elders Place for details.

Cook - Good ol' Greenvalley Lightfoot Home Cooking. Sticks to your Ribs!

NEW! Furniture - Good Easterner Maple Carpentry, limited time. See Traveling Crow at Vaux's Dry Goods

NEW! Entertainment - Travelling wonders & delights! Seek the Red Tent Tonight!
 
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Primary Locations - Livonia's Lament

Main Street
Town Core/Well/Hitching Posts/Bulletin Board

Roughly 1/2 mile long. Well is at midpoint, so Uptown and Downtown are around 1/4 mile each.

Area: The main drag flanked by well-built buildings towards the main entrance and terminating in slapped up shacks from rapid expansion. Mount hitching posts and troughs line streets along the better business half. A well with a bulletin board next to it is halfway up the street, off to the side for vehicle traffic.

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Geraldine's
Main Saloon/City Hall/Courthouse/Bulletin Board

Owner: Geraldine. Big, brassy dwarf woman with a heart of gold. Upstanding, established citizen.

Area: Mostly clean, given the customer volume, and the more respectable meeting area among saloons. Large dining rooms in the back, boarder bedrooms above, piano and dais area near bar in the main room. Bedrooms are not for sex trade, though a blind eye is turned on working a room.

Bartenders/servers:
Georgette - Rough and tumble human female who's a charmer, and good singer.
Iodargyrite (a.k.a. Iodar) - Dwarf male with a welcoming reserve. Long on listening, short on words.
Grath - Human male heavy with intimidating glare, which he tries to use rarely. Big softy.

Piano Man: Fontaine, stout halfling male. Current bard in residence, genial, excruciatingly polite — a survival trait — and discreet local gossip.

Menu

Special: Mesquite Big Horn Sheep with Red Grass Grain & Pine Nut Pilaf — 8 sp

Roasted Ground Squirrel, Corn Pone, & Nettle Greens — 1 sp

Succotash & Rattler Bits — 6 cp

Dried Brook Trout Fritters — 4 cp

Bar

Ale (4%), gallon — 2 sp, mug — 4 cp

Small Beer (2%), gal. — 1 sp, mug — 2 cp

Whiskey, well — 3 cp/shot, top shelf — 6+ cp/shot

Sage & Chamomile Tea, pot — 8 cp, cup — 2 cp

---------------

Vaux's Tools & Dried Goods Store
Tools & Dried Goods

Owner: Vaux. Quiet, unassuming, lightfoot halfling. Knows most people in town better than most, but won't readily gossip.

Area: Orderly and well maintained throughout, the first half displays dried goods, such as beans, salt, spices, and the like in barrels. More valuable items tend to hang near or behind the large counter. Deeper in comes an army of shelves, carrying tools and supplies. and among them a ladder.


----------------

"House of Nerds"/Elder's Place
'Post Office'/'Records'/'Bank'/Bulletin Board

Managers: Elder Council and Acolytes. Pensive and patient and filled with protocol, like the Department of Motor Vehicles. For a fee, flaccid acolytes scribe, or robust acolytes run, messages here. This place receives the same. Records, like claims and debts, are stored here in council memories and on bark & rabbit hide logographs.

Area: A mostly barren large room with a circle of blankets where the elders sit and smoke, and multiple youths on blankets along the room's outer edge. The place is suffused with the smell of tobacco smoke. A considerable amount of wealth, in wampum, liquor, good medicine, and silver ingots, is also stored in the sealed back rooms.
 

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Secondary Locations - Livonia's Lament


Tunnels & Shafts
Bordello

Owner: Madame de Zay. Warm, yet calculating and mysterious. Halfling? Sickly, shaven dwarf?

Area: Lush, plush, and kitsch. Area is built like a maze.

----------------

Fistful of Ingots
Saloon

Owners: Alton & Denise. Human male & female twins, look light night and day, but both hard-nosed in business. Curt and savvy.

Area: Messier, denser, darker, and shadier. But seats and spittoons are clean, with well-priced booze, and some top shelf stuff. Owners don't want to slip into being the local den of thieves.

Bartender/bouncer: Grunner. Cheerful male mountain dwarf, likes to sing (badly) and indiscriminate lover of jokes (does he get them?). Gets morose after he has to crack heads.

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The Honey Well
Dirtiest Saloon

Owner: Toya. Mirthless human female who doesn't put up with shit. Mercifully, usually stays in the back working.

Area: The den of thieves. Press of humanity, lots of alcoves; try to stay alive.

Bartender/bouncer: "Hunk". Enormous human male who has a weird accent and is extremely private. Some people believe his name is actually Hank.

----------------------

Sage Brush Felt Maiden's House
Common Lodge for Pregnant Woman

NPCs Kimima, Kimima's Mom, Snakebite victim.

Squash Blossom Maiden's House
Common Lodge for Travelling Unmarried Women of The People
 
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Outdoor Locations Near Livonia's Lament

The Old Graveyard
Town's Namesake Graveyard. North, Three miles out of town.

An old graveyard covered in wild flowers with a large conspicuous graveyard monument in its center. No longer receiving interments, old grave markers weathering noticeably.

New Graveyard, downtown side
North, One mile out of town.

Receiving new interments, one of the busiest of the new graveyards around the boomtown. Rocky soil, cleared of most large brush, has new wooden grave markers.

"Unknown Claim"
Claim just past two crests from Old Graveyard

Supposedly Grim Man's. Scene of Hanalee & Caden's brave battle versus sadistic thugs — and sarcastic, but skilled, trained mercenaries.

Forgotten Claim
East & down-mountain from Downtown New Graveyard.

Place where Elders warned not to go investigate. Hard to spot entrance upon a narrow terrace, down a sharp slope.

Leaning-Juniper-Shelters-Sage
(subtle) Natural Landmark Half Mile South-East of Livonia's Lament

Unusual tree formation that makes a discreet place to meet outside of town. Also in the general "path" of one of the town's stagecoach travel lanes.

----------------------------------------

Distant Locations

Onerous

Last Unction

Tree Sap Hill

Dusky Hollow Camp
 

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Important NPCs -- Livonia's Lament


Mayor/Judge "The Duke." Duke Silver. Male mountain dwarf. Embodiment of laissez faire, and perfectly fine with disorder, as long as it doesn't affect him.

Sheriff: Billy Good Legs. Male wood elf. Slow spoken, humorless, dead-eye shot. Avoids socializing and, like a snake, you don't see him strike.

Deputy: Groundhog Joon. Above average size human male. Talkative, nosy, tries to seem like your friend, likes things orderly-like.

Preacher: "Preacher Sometimes." Dispirited human male heading towards the sauce. Barely maintains his bi-weekly services with all the funerals he must do.

Doctor/counselor: "Sister Joyous." Beatific human female, kind eyes of few words. Under the preacher's religious authority, but given quite free rein.
 

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Geraldine's
Early Morn

PCs: Caden & Sanya

Caden Breakfast in Geraldine's is pretty good! Much better than camp mess during travel, by a long shot. The room is quiet, and the morning light peeks in here and there, peaceful like.

Refreshing, especially after the terrible news during The Elder's revelation. Sorta unnerving, what's possibly beneath one's feet -- and all this trouble for the chase of money so that one can eat today. You could understand why your old party could use a break, possibly even decide whether this much trouble is worth their time and lives.

Anyway, time to review. Family won't feed itself, and one doesn't have to live here forever to make the best of this opportunity. Events that still relate to you are:
  • Well, that Crazy Bandit Woman goes on trial tomorrow. Good luck! Seems like some are plotting to kill her tonight, if the bulletin board seems right.
  • Talk to the Grim Man as he wanted. He's gotta repair his claim, yet still wanted to thank you. Maybe some day labor, too?
  • New Graveyard is definitely something to keep an ear to The Elders about. Seems too deadly now, however. If you come across any strong parties with nothing else to do (except possibly die), might refer them.
  • Old Graveyard, they are preparing for step two, a recleansing and sanctifying ritual, some days away.
  • Old Salty Clem's badger trouble reminds you of kobolds "watering their badgers!" Funny!
  • Leander's offer to show up after hours to the Dandy Bar all cleaned up still stands...
  • That bitter pal, of the guy who took the fall for you back when, is in town, somewhere. Sounded vengeful.
Or you could idle time with your new money, remit some, and enjoy yourself in town... A gear supply check wouldn't hurt. The Elder warning with protective medicine leaves you anxious of the night, but it's just morning now.
-------------

Sanya This seems to be one of the nicest inns here! And Livonia's Lament boomtown definitely has the nicer guest homes than some of the smaller mining towns you've come across. A bar, an Easterner piano!, large private party rooms, bedrooms upstairs -- and so clean! The dustiness from the road doesn't track in so badly here as it does establishments further North up this Main Street.

And the breakfast is good after much travel. In the quiet of the morning, with the peaceful light trickling in, you could almost say this town feels like it's on some sort of sacred ground.

Outside of the bartender who served your meal, there are precious few who are up for breakfast. There's the Eastern Holy Woman dressed in black and white, nursing fire water by the shot. There is a large, blonde Eastern man eating breakfast; he looks relaxed enough. And there's three of The People in blankets having coffee and sharing the calumet (they look troubled?). Separate tables, no words spoken, rather peaceful.
 
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Sanya stands and walks over to the Bulletin Board, studying it. She stands there for a strangely long amount of time before returning to her seat to finish her tea.
 

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PC: Sanya

A large human male, your bartender who served your food, comes by to your table to clean up your plates. "Let me get this out of your way so you can enjoy your tea," he murmurs. As he buses your table he prompts, "Come a long ways, Miss?..."
 

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Caden is concerned by the idea that his past may have followed him all the way out here. Might be time to make a few inquiries. He will check with the bar keep to see if he knows anything about the stranger in town.
 

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Currently Grath (Hanalee made introductions previously in past couple days) is bussing the table with the native woman sitting alone. She seems Shoshone, by the cut of her simple garb. However on second look it's subtly decorated, like what Bright Feather wore?

What questions did you want to ask Grath? And do you want to interrupt his exchange with this mysterious customer?
 

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Caden will briefly ask Grath if he has a moment when there seems a break in his conversation with the woman. He will introduce himself to her briefly and apologize for the interruption. After that he will return to his seat to wait on Grath.

When Grath arrives he will ask him if he has heard about anyone making inquiries into his presence here in town. If anyone has shown an undue interest in him. He will also ask if he happens to know the name of the stranger or where he may be staying.
 

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PC: Caden
Time: After Grath & Sanya's exchange

"Well, you've made your presence pretty well known these past few days, so quite a few people have expressed interest in you. More than one even asked to see if you're taken, if you catch my drift," Grath grins, as he busses your breakfast away. "However there was this Eastern Stout Halfling Man who was chatting me up about you -- a little too friendly like. Had one of the surliest mop-headed Eastern Dwarf drinking partners I ever did see.

"Halfling's name was Myreth, brown hair in an old fashion page boy, grey eyes. Very friendly. Looks like he was trying to rally up a posse, talking up a few heavies, buying drinks if they came 'round back to their table. Dwarf's bad attitude seems to have been a deal breaker, though, whatever they were talking about.

"Never got the dwarf's name, but did get a nasty glare between mugs, I'll tell you. I can throw back looks with the best of them, so it was no bother. Keep my work place peaceful, you can grouse quietly in your brew as long as you like." :smile: "I don't suspect they'll be around here anytime soon again. We tend to have nicer ladies and gents on these premises. Not much luck finding friends for whatever they're planning."
 

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"The Honey Well? Heh, our least worrisome competitor." He pauses wiping down your table and levels you an appraising look, "Honestly, Miss, I'd be a cruel man to let a newcomer like you stumble into a place like that without cautioning against it." He leaves his rag on the table, wipes his hands on his apron, and extends out his hand, "Name's Grath, and welcome to Geraldine's, one of the nicest establishments this side of the mining mountains.

[whether you shake hands like an Easterner or not, he'll continue regardless]

"I don't like to talk bad about none, and Toya worked hard to get that hard scrabble place as it is, but that place spits out the bones of fresh meat like a Badland's Ogre stumbling upon a posse of children." He returns to finish cleaning your table and is packing his bussing basket, "What do you need from a mean place like that, may I ask?" ;) "Someone done you wrong?"

(OOC: Go ahead and ask a question or two more, you'll get feedback. After that the tall blond man customer will interrupt briefly then sit back down at his table. Grath will move onto bussing his table next, with a side of chit chat.)
 
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Caden thanks Grath for his help, and passes him a handful of coin for his trouble (5GP). "If anyone else comes poking around about me, do me a favor and give me heads up?".
 
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"Thank you kindly for your help. I'm Sanya, and this certainly is a fine establishment. :smile: As for the Honey Well, I'm looking for someone- and I saw a request for help from someone there. Now you've told me about it, I'm quite sure that's the place I should be looking. But, I'm sure you know better than I about that place, an' I'll heed your warning." Sanya hands him some gold (2gp) for his help.
 

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"Oh ho! You mean Ol' Salty Clem?" Grath laughs at the thought. "Yeah, he could use the help and his harmless enough. Sort of a ne'er-do-well drunkard.

"Grizzled, salt 'n pepper beard 'n hair, sun-leathered Easterner in worn out denim... a bone bead (copper piece) a dozen 'round here." Realizing that does not help much he adds, "Looks like a drunken last chance miner left over from the gold rush on the other side of these here mountains. Check the front and side alleys for him, passed out.

"Don't go in, or goodness forbid the back alley, if you can avoid it."
 
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"Thank you kindly, Grath." :smile: "I'll be going now." Sanya finishes her tea and stands up, paying for her meal with a silver piece and two coppers. (She's going to be heading over to the Honey Well to search for Clem now)
 

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Main Street, on way to Honey Well
Time: Morning, around 7 AM
PC: Sanya

"Ooh, I love that!" You feel a gentle hand at your elbow, startling you, but quickly meaning no harm. It is an Easterner human woman complimenting you on the woven patterns on your smock. "I haven't seen patterns like that before. Which Shoshone tribe are you from?"

(your response here)

She is dressed in Eastern women's wear, which looks uncomfortable in this heat, but well maintained. She has a few bird motifs on her dress (she says they represent "sparrows,") but they are not woven in, but sewn on. Easterners call it "embroidery." She admires one of the more mysterious symbols on your smock; you don't know what it is either. Looks like a stylized face, without a nose, turning into flowers.

She mentions a sewing circle -- like a weaver gathering -- and invites you to visit some time as she lets you back on your way.
---------------------
Honey Well
Time: Morning, still around 7 AM
PC: Sanya

Well, this was to be expected. The bar looks closed, it seems so quiet. Good, less danger in the way, more dedicated drunks. But what a foul sight... and smell!

Nope, no Ol' Salty Clem passed out on the boardwalk outfront. Not even by crates & barrels stacked out front of the Honey Well's stretch of boardwalk. Wow, they really want to hide from sight of the street!

Side alleys are very narrow, they are still dark. You'd have to go deeper within to see anyone. The bar's insides seem riskier still, but there are listenable rustling and murmurs of life.

What do you do?
 
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Sanya thanks the easterner woman, tells her her tribe (Black Rock Basin), and says she'd love to visit the sewing circle.

Sanya will head down the side alleys first, checking for Clem.
 

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Caden will head out for the day and poke around to see if he can find out where Myreth is staying. He will make the rounds of other inns/saloons.
 

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Caden, how are you approaching this? Are you starting at poorest places first, then gradually moving upscale -- or vice versa? And how much money are you willing to flash around to pursue this rumor?

Sanya, you receive the [Sewing Circle schedule] to pursue at your own time. Starting with the alley to your right, then your left, you finally find a passed out salt 'n pepper old man. He's skunk drunk. He's also being pick pocketed of his coppers by a hard nosed child -- oh, a Halfling! -- who quickly flees at your approach. There's rustling further down the darkened alley sounding like there's been abetting lookouts.
 
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Sanya gently pokes the old man with her staff. If he wakes up, she asks "Are you Salty Clem? I came about the badgers." If he doesn't, she pokes him some more.
 
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Caden will start with the poorest, seediest places first. He's willing to spend up to 2GP in this venture.
 

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Well the poorest, seediest place is coincidentally the very same Honey Well, literally the other side of town about a mile North of Geraldine's, all on Main Street.

Honey Well
PC: Caden & Sanya
Time: Little after 7 AM

Caden, you end up having a leisurely morning stroll up the boardwalk. These seem to be quieter hours, proprietors readying up shop with deliveries, and homebodies gathering breakfast ingredients. You could almost forget this is a Boomtown, filled with demanding needs and greed.

That Native woman from breakfast seems to be going your way, too, up until she's accosted by an Eastern woman... Seems to be lady stuff.

At the Honey Well you grab a stool that can peer out onto the boardwalk porch. With darkness like this inside you can see out, yet it'll be hard for outsiders to see much in. Useful to know, as you try to get a feel for this bar.

And the feeling is bad. Bringing only 2 GP on your person to gather rumors, and leaving most of your non-essential gear at the flop house, was a good idea. What patrons are here are predatory, and morning does not sit well with them.

Not wanting to flash much wealth here, and reassuringly touching your weapons from time to time to see if they are still there, you burn a pair o' coppers on a drink, eavesdropping what you can. Well, well! Seems like that Native Woman from breakfast followed you all the way here -- and what a dangerous place for her to be!

Nope, maybe not. She's taking it in, looking around. Gone down the side alley. Nope, she's back. Oh, now going down the next...

"Looks like we got fresh rabbit to our den, boys. Let's see if she enters alone."

Damn these alcoves. Can't place any headcount number, let alone faces, to where you overheard that. She could be in trouble if she wanders in alone -- or not. Maybe she can handle herself.

Shot's about done. "... almost took the job, but that skinflint dwarf wanted it even further on the cheap..." That was a few stools down the bar between a less rough-looking than average pair.

Time for another drink, or another place?
-----------------

Sanya, you are not getting much traction with jabbing his innards. He's plastered well and good. It's probably just a matter of time.

You see some paper peak out of his pockets; he likely cannot feel much now. And you know the horse trough is out front of the boardwalk here, which a good dunking might sober him up faster. You see a taller silhouette head peak out from deeper in the back alley, spot you then crouch and back out of sight... What do you do?
 
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Sanya draws her mace and shield, and takes the ready action to cast Sacred Flame if he comes at her. "Show yourself!" (She's presumably wearing her chain mail under her dress)
 

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Caden, you faintly hear a woman command outside, "Show yourself!"

Which induces a round of snickering from the alcoves here and there about you. "We've got a live one, heh!" And another round snickering.

Part of you understands these people suspect you, and going outside now'll just fuel more suspicion. Part of you also understands it's too early for them to pull out any of their full mean streaks. She might get a scare, but they're like sleepy bears, too lazy for worse right now.
--------------

Sanya, You hear, and see, nothing more further down this alley. Yet this is not reassuring. Unfortunately you still can smell. And if this is Ol' Salty Clem, his drunk as a skunk act might be a form of defense all its own.
 
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Sanya keeps the action readied, and glares defiantly into the shadows. (gtg for today, you can use the battle strategy I gave you in the OOC thread, hopefully. Sanya won't engage if they don't, and she'll back off slowly if they don't attack (still with her spell readied))
 

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Caden will keep his ears and eyes open with the situation regarding the young woman. Otherwise he will head towards the two he over heard talking about a dwarf offering a job. Sounds like it may be the dwarf that was with the halfling that Grath said was nosing around. Caden will approach the two and claim he's in desperate need of a job and in too much debt to be picky, hopefully they can put him on the trail and he might gain some idea of what this job entails.
 

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Honey Well
PC: Caden & Sanya
Time: middle of 7 AM

Sanya, you donned your shield (carried in one hand), & when you reached for your mace you realized you need at least one free hand for spells. Also an extra hand will be useful to grab and drag out of danger whoever this victim-in-waiting is. Later your mace, you think, if things get ugly up close. So you ready the Sacred Flame cantrip.

And enough minutes pass with quiet that you assume they won't mess with you. Oh, there was the odd pebble ricocheting elsewhere deeper down the alley. And other sounds of running, whispers, and the odd sound of a strangled surprise, elsewhere about these neighboring slum shanties. But whatever interest you startled up, it seems just not bothered by you enough to care.

Who knows how long that will last? Could crouch down and wait out this man's drunkenness in this alley here, dark, hidden, and mostly forgotten. Or could drag him out to the porch by Main Street, still partly hidden, but far more public. Wonder what sort of reward is left if he's already been partially pickpocketed... is this still worth it?
------------------

Caden, they initially seem cagey to your expressed interest, however a few cheap well drinks ply their sympathy. Their talk starts to clear up about a dwarf wanting hard mining labor for a claim almost two days away. Nothing about sharing a claim, just gruelling labor to create a slant shaft to secretly backmine another miner's strike. They appreciate the shadiness of it all, but not the long hours and danger.

Another alcove gets active. "Thistlegrasses are going to get their pound of flesh tonight for sure! Their distractions are planned already..."

Hmm, might be time to move on for rumors.
 
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Sanya will head back to Geraldine's to get a room for the night. She'll come back in the morning to see if Clem is awake. In the meantime, she'll go to the Old Graveyard to see about that listing on the bulletin board.
 
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Sanya, gives up on this salt & pepper haired old man, whoever he is, leaving the drunken sot to his state. The day just started (it's still morning) -- and a cheap shared guest room for traveling women of The People has been reserved upon arrival, at Squash Blossom Maiden House -- yet the desire to return to Geraldine's comes to Sanya. The bulletin board says to visit The Elder's Place for more info about help with the Old Graveyard, and that,s not too far from Geraldine's.
----------------

Caden, hears more rumors yet none relevant to the task:

"That Greenvalley Lightfoot makes a killer boiled greens n' boar hamhocks. Cost in reach, too."
"Heard it, yeah. But when I went, says he's outta good boar hammock. Says he's gonna need more boar to keep up with demand... lest he start usin' two-bit swine"
"Our mayor's such a freak, buyin' all the best cured pig meat that comes through. Can't eat it all; where's he put it?"

"Didja see Ol' Clem' last night? Beside hisself with frustration from them badgers. Just about drank to an early grave, hee hee!"
"Well, won't be much a loss. Claim maybe'll be finally worked on right. Wonder if'll sign it over before'n?"
"Dunno, but he could'na got far. Doubt he could make it to the outhouse, let alone his flop."
 
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opaopajr

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Main Street, and then The Elder's Place
PC: Sanya
Time: approaching 8 AM.

Sanya, perturbed at feeling your time's wasted you set back towards the nicer, Southerly end of town. Hopefully the Elders won't be as plastered. As your near your location you spot a cottontail before you, barely into the street nervously nibbling some fallen produce, not yet spooked by pedestrians. However at your approach it looks to you, then scrambles away.

Wonder if the Creator is trying to encourage you? On the right trail?...

... At the Elder's Place you receive the room's medicine's smoke with comforting memories. Wow, what they smoke here is extremely strong in comparison to home! Acolytes receive you and you face the council seated on blankets. As he directs you to your blanket, the assisting acolyte whispers in your ear, "Timely morning visit, maiden sister. We are finally having a lull from a trying yesterday. Welcome, the Elders will listen to you now."

(You describe your interest to help in the Old Graveyard ceremony.)

Elders wait, then the least wrinkled asks, "Is there anything weighing on your heart, child? We are re-cleansing land and any bad thing unsettled can come up through the underground tunnels to attack you. They will come to you like your anger and fears to break your focus on the medicine."

An acolyte answers back, "The rituals will need several days to prepare. Surely a far relation of The People must be a sign of spiritual help to ease our burden. At the least she can help prepare the bundles and offerings in the coming days. We could use the extra hands!"

Another elder, seemingly blind, responds, "Well let her tell us what brings her here. If it is the will of the Creator for her to help, then she would already know it through her heart. What brings her shall infuse into the preparations, affecting our success and the lives here."

The introducing acolyte, who had a noticeable limp, turns to you, "Then sister, what brings your heart to weave with our troubled ones here? And how can we help your journey?"
 
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"I came first to seek justice for Johnny Peacock. (Will the elders know of him? If not, Sanya explains who he is.) After my first attempt to find him here failed, I felt I should assist you in this re-cleansing before continuing. I believe I was encouraged by an omen of the Creator's will to come here, and so I have."
 

opaopajr

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The Elder's Place
PC: Sanya
Time: 8 AM

Sanya, they listen to your being wronged by Johnny Peacock. The most shriveled elder takes a deep breath and the room quietens. "It is a grave thing to be almost killed, and by a stranger set to betray your people, all for the wealth sickness. We will need calm thoughts, yet you have unfinished wrongs to be righted. You have walked the correct path turning to us, your bretheren, for help.

"Let this Johnny Peacock not be given hiding place among us of the Haunted Sweet Water people." A brave runs out to spread notice and keep eyes open for such a man.

A tall elder then adds, "If you want it, you can ask escort from one of our braves. This is for your protection while you stay with us. And also for the time Johnny Peacock is brought to council trial for remand to your tribe's law.

"But you cannot be a part of this ritual underground, for the spirits are too dangerous and your past unsettled. You may help in the gathering and sorting of materials, but not in creation of these medicines. There is too much at stake. And honestly, this will take long, repetitive days from your just manhunt."

... a pause, as the limping acolyte gestures to three strong braves. One is broad shouldered and thick, another lithe and handsome, third is wiry, eyes always searching. They maneuver to your side for selection and --

The shriveled elder inhales again, all pause. "Why do you wear weaves of the First Waters (elves), child? {in Shoshone Elvish} Old patterns, too. Do you know what they mean?"
 
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{Also in Shoshone Elvish} "I awoke in them. I do not know the symbols, however." {In Shoshone Human} "I thank you for your offer of protection, and for your council. If you see fit, I would that I may still help you in the gathering of materials."
 

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Caden decides he's had enough here. He will move on to the next establishment.
 

opaopajr

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{Also in Shoshone Elvish} "I awoke in them. I do not know the symbols, however." {In Shoshone Human} "I thank you for your offer of protection, and for your council. If you see fit, I would that I may still help you in the gathering of materials."

{Shoshone Elvish} "One of them is an almost forgotten sacred symbol of 'rebirth + vengeance'. Stay close to your quest's path as much you can, for there you shall be best protected. I must go meditate on your arrival about the other glyphs." This elder takes another labored, speaking breath, {Shoshone Common} "Gathering good-spirited plants may not be exciting, however there is a chance for you to make new friends. Sounds like your main journey will need them. You may help us."

The limp gait acolyte jumps in at the end, possibly before minds are changed, "Wonderful. Visiting relation Sanya, we need extra hands among the sage gathering maidens. Pick a brave, who will escort you and keep you maidens safe. They will gather soon now to head out into the sagebrush and be back when the sun is high."

(Choose a brave, if any.)

The limping acolyte (along with your new protector, if any,) will lead you back towards Squash Blossom Maiden House. Acolyte inquires, "Are you ready to share stories? You will be another sensation among the gossip in these past few days." You see a crowd of young women ready with big baskets. "The shortest of them has the spiciest tongue. Get along with her first and you have half these maidens on your side. She does not like bullies and loves a story of fighting back."

As you reach the group, he introduces you, lists their names -- pausing on the shortest, Big-Cheeks-Chipmunk, to catch his breath -- he gets you a basket, and points your group off into the SW sagebrush.

After you get out of town, Big-Cheeks starts into you, "So what's your story? We've been having strong women outsiders as guests lately. But you seem like a mix of everything, them and us."
 

opaopajr

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Caden decides he's had enough here. He will move on to the next establishment.

The next bar up is similarly impoverished and gives off criminal vibes, but mercifully in the midst of a thorough clean down. Dusty reddish brown muck water is swept out, it has the tang of blood in its smell. Two men drag out drunks into the alley, dumped like logs; one man drags out a corpse towards the mortician's...

You spy Fistful of Ingots a little more ways up, which seems to have a livelier clientele for 8 AM. Its side alleys run with rills of spittle 'n piss, so it must've finished cleaning out recently and reopened.

The last of the dives on uptown however seems in the middle of clean down, and stuck with mouthy stumbling stragglers. A hard faced bouncer searches the boardwalk porch for a man in search of easy money, "Hey, you want some quick copper? Naw? 'K, you! Just gotta dump a few mouthy drunks outside, you in?"

The question's going to get to you soon if you don't fast walk to Fistful of Ingots. Your action?
 
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