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Old August 1, 2013, 11:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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In Search of the Hegemony Chapter of NP (Any Hegemony Member)

Summer, Era XX

Zhakargas had established himself a little while in Portshire. Thanks to the article written by the reporter, the city was getting used to the presence of a Minotaur. But this was not Portshire, he was back to being looked at with all varying types of emotion from awe, to hate, to fear.

While traveling, he had heard of a business group that was a sort of 'for hire' henchmen. He knew only what little he had heard but understood that such a group, if he could join, would enable him an opportunity to travel all of this land and put his strength to use while sojourning from city to city.

But where to find these people was beyond him. The obvious choice to the Minotaur was in the nearest tavern. He did not know the name of the place he'd entered. He did not care though and walked up to the bar to order an ale.

"I'd like your local ale please, and a bit of information. I'm in search of a group called the Hegemony Security Services. I'm interested in signing up if they'd have me."
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Old August 2, 2013, 02:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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The bartender wasn't fond of the minotaur. The bull man ambled up to the bar, and all the other patrons gave it a wide berth -- how was he supposed to make money with this big cow interrupting his business?

The local ale he conjured up for the bull was some watered down swill he wouldn't serve to his own mother in law. Not like a cow would care about that though, right?

"Ain't no clue who yer talkin' about." That was all the answer he gave the cow man before going back to trying to make his human customers feel a bit more at ease...

While this exchange happened, Vaishen Vadei sat at the bar nearby yet said nothing. Hegemony's presence in Nexus Prime was both new and small: Why was a minotaur asking questions about it? Sure, it said it wanted to join -- and having a freaking minotaur as a bruiser would be handy -- but Vaishen's suspicious nature precluded him from speaking to the bull just yet.

Instead he casually watched the minotaur from the corner of his eye, a rather easy task, and sipped away at his ale without saying a word. Vaishen waited to see the minotaur's next actions, and until then Vaishen would remain an anonymous face in a crowded tavern until the time was right...
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Old August 2, 2013, 08:35 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Zhakargas had been around awhile. He could spot disgust. From these humans in this new land it was even more obvious. They had no fur or hide to mask the immediate wrinkles that were displayed when eyes twitched or noses and mouths twisted. First observation - he wasn't wanted hear.

Pretty much he wasn't wanted anywhere. He'd become accustomed to such displays but so long as no one bothered him over it, he ignored it. Laws in this land were strange and the gaol was not somewhere he felt like sitting in.

Then he took one drink of the crap that was in his mug. Following a very loud snort, his eyes squinted. If one could read the facial expression of a Minotaur they would know he was angry. "Do not take me for a fool, barkeep. If you don't like me, fetch you. I have my visa and am here to stay. If you don't want to serve me then just say so. But acting like an idiot only makes you look bad. Insult me again with crap like this and you'll find my hoof planted right up your arse.

Now please show me some respect and serve me a drink or be honest with me and deny me service. Let us both keep the idiots outside of this tavern," Zhakargas looked around after he loudly spoke. Last thing he wanted to do was get jumped from behind. And he was no fool, the humans of this bar would gladly band up to beat him down. Minotaur made equal the strengths of giants, but against such odds how could he win. Still, he would not stand idle by and let anyone insult him just because he was Minotaur.
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Old August 2, 2013, 09:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Vaishen didn't have any specific dislike for minotaurs. He reckoned they weren't much worse than kitty cats or halfers or such, and probably not as bad overall as burnt elves and sea cows. One thing he hated above all was the swill the bartender tried to peddle off to unknowing foreigners: It was the same crap the man tried to serve to Vaishen when he first arrived in Nexus. It gave him some sympathy for the minotaur's plight, at least.

Vaishen could have intervened on the minotaur's behalf, but he preferred his bruisers to have brains and some sense of self restraint. Still he kept silent and nursed his ale, even after the bartender stared the bull man down and said, "I'd rather give my finest to a Xet than serve a cow. Get the feth outta my bar."

The tension in the establishment became palpable as men's fight or flight response awakened at the exchange. Some would flee, some would fight, but most hoped the minotaur would just leave.

Vaishen drank on.
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Old August 3, 2013, 08:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Zhakargas was ready to explode. The man had called him a cow, seriously?? In Minatos any insult meant a challenge would follow. Such a challenge was of fists and horns, not metal, but Minotaur knew how to use there horns and from time to time someone died. The stupidity of the bartender had him thinking that such rules did not exist within the laws of this land. There was no way this bartender could take him in a hand to hand dual unless metal was allowed to be involved.

He had to think this through. If the bartender won and metal was legal, then he'd be dead. Not a good option. He had seen a few slaves back in Minatos that were extremely fancy with a blade. Metal always evened the odds. Now if he won, then a riot would likely follow. There was no way this room would allow a Minotaur to win. Either way, he'd lose.

"Now that was uncalled for," Zhakargas replied. Following the insult he was not about to leave. "You simply could have chosen civility and told me you would not serve my kind. Then you lie stating you'd rather serve a xet only to prove a point.

"I could threaten you. Make it clear that you would be my only target and that both of my horns will skewer you. I'll enjoy your blood running down my face as you breathe that last breath of air. And your friends will then attack me. They'll learn that the hide of a Minotaur is of armor quality. I'll be hard to kill and will take a few of them with me before they succeed and I die. That bodes well for neither of us.

But instead I will stand outside you tavern and begin bellowing for all to hear. Trust me when I say that I could draw quite the crowd. When the people come, I will dance for joy and yell how awesome of a place this is. It's friendly wait staff enjoy serving dark skins, orcs, goblins, and Minotaur along with all the other dark races of the land. I'll begin running the streets shouting this at the roof tops. It won't effect you right away but words are powerful. Soon the dark races will be at your doorstep and your prejudice friends will stop hanging here. I could go on with this story but you get the jest.

Or you could serve this legal, visa carrying citizen a drink. I'll pay you properly. When I'm done, ill be on my way and you guys can go back to whatever you were doing. If you'd please I would like a mug of your finest ale."

Zhakargas had tried reasoning but would it work? By the Gods please let it work.
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Old August 3, 2013, 10:48 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The tavern was silent, and all eyes fell on the minotaur and the barkeeper. Vaishen cracked a smile at the minotaur's words: He has some cleverness to him -- alas it was wasted in his present situation. He had walked into the tavernkeeper's house and engaged in a battle of pride with the stubborn old bastard, and Vaishen knew it was a mistake the minotaur would not overcome.

"My finest ale coming right up." The tavernkeeper replied. He poured a mug of stuff which looked much, much better than the swill he served to Zhakargas before. With all the showmanship in the world, he set the mug before the minotaur -- and promptly spit in it.

The tavernkeeper smirked. Men laughed -- others squirmed. Vaishen, for his own part, even set his drink aside and began preparing to slide away from a potential confrontation: After all, how far was the minotaur willing to go to prove a point?
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Old August 3, 2013, 02:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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He would never understand this land completely. Such an action should contain a law allowing for people to protect their pride. Had such a law existed, he would have lept over the bar and run this fool through. As it were this country was stupid enough to allow for a man to get away with idiotic actions free of consequence or reprocussion.

Zhakargas grabbed the mug and gave a quick flick of his wrist sending half of the ale, that which contained the spit, over the bar splattering on the back panel. He'd purposefully missed the barkeep while making his point. Then he slammed down the rest of the drink, tossed a few coins on the counter, and rose to walk away.

"It still tastes like piss but I'll be certain to spread the word while I make my rounds," he said with a snort and walked out of the place. He prayed he would be attacked as he hit the door. He knew the concept of self defense thanks to a good conversation with Dzrg over a bottle of rum. At least in the open it would be clear who attacked who first.
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Old August 4, 2013, 05:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The minotaur was proud, but it seemed to have some idea of when to draw a line. Vaishen found himself hoping more than before the minotaur's stated intentions were not a ploy: A balance of pride, restraint, and pure brawn could be beneficial.

No one attacked the bull man as he left, and no one followed him -- no one, that is, except for Vaishen. The young rogue slipped out and disappeared among the throng of humans. The minotaur's rather unique profile combined with Vaishen's own skill made following the minotaur without being seen a relatively easy task.

Vaishen chose his place to speak to the minotaur with all the care he'd place into choosing a spot to battle the great bull: After all, that was still a distinct possibility in his mind. Vaishen grasped at possibilities outside the one that this was a new recruit, and he had no reason to dismiss the idea that the bull was using recruitment as a ruse to strike at the Hegemony in Nexus Prime. Caution was essential.

It was a very short distance from the tavern that the minotaur entered into sight of a group of guards. They stopped and stared at the rare sight: Some instinctively let hands fall to their swords or crossbows. Vaishen knew that they would gladly attack should the minotaur prove refractory and aggressive to him, and he moved in quickly.

"Excuse me, sir?" Vaishen was dressed in his common clothes, with naught but a dagger tucked in his belt. He would never be mistaken for a Hegemony lieutenant, and he chose to play that role of being nobody. He allowed himself to fidget and glance about, weaving the apperance of nervousness into his act. "I don't want no trouble with you, mister minotaur, nor them Hegemony types either. I might know where to find 'em, but I don't want 'em knowing I sent an enemy their way if you happen to be such."

Vaishen crossed his arms, but he did not fold them into each other. His left arm rested fully atop his right arm, and his fingertips danced close to the hilt of his dagger -- ready to draw in an instant if needed. His heart pounded, and though he was careful in his demeanor he watched every twitch the minotaur might make.

This was the moment where danger and opportunity crossed, and Vaishen waited to see which path the bull drove him down.
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Old August 4, 2013, 08:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Zhakargas was obviously frustrated over the confrontation and the walk helped him clear his head. He still tried to grasp the social system of this strange land. There was a royal family they called an emporer. that was followed by a high government system that ran all the land followed by a local government system for each province and city. There was an outlying business system both locally and across the land. Last was the regular working people followed by the slaves.

It was hard for Zhakargas to accept his place among the regular working people when he had been on top of the world among the priesthood caste in Minatos. He didn't even know what to call this operating system in this land. He had not heard one person use the term Caste since he'd arrived. Best to let that word leave his vocabulary.

Zhakargas did not pay attention to where he was going. He let his feet lead while he thought. A stranger broke his concentration with a question. Zhakargas took a second to turn his head and focus. The question pertained to the Hegemony. He smiled.

"Fear not, I am no enemy. I have come to inquire about working for them. If it made you feel better, then give them a message stating my interest. Then can send me a message to meet them, if they are interested. I am staying at the Lingerer's Inn and Tavern. Of course if they have a recruitment hall that would make things so much easier."

Last edited by Zhakargas Tarvohs; August 4, 2013 at 08:24 AM.
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Old August 4, 2013, 08:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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So far so good.

Vaishen did not plan on sending himself or Kaar to the minotaur's place at Lingerer's. He would pick the spot for the next step with the same care he had chosen this one, and a possible fight at the minotaur's base of operations was not in the cards that day. Still, Vaishen filed the information about the minotaur's residence away in his head: There was no such thing as knowing too much.

Vaishen threw his hands up in a gesture of misunderstanding. "Oh no, I don't know 'em personally, you see. My brother works at that club them Hegemony types run protection for. He told me how to get in touch with 'em if I wanted a job, but that there business ain't none of mine."

Vaishen continued his show. He let his hands fall to his waist and folded one over the other. His eyes downcast. It was the role of a poor, downtrodden peasant. "Still, I could use some help feedin' me and my family."

Perhaps it was overkill, but a trick to getting someone to believe information was to make them pay for it somehow. Nothing in the world was free, and strangers having free answers to your problems were just a bigger problem looming its way towards you. No, the bull would pay a few crowns -- a sensible man would expect as such -- and then the next phase of Vaishen's vetting process would be staged and ready.

"Surely knowin' where to find them is worth a few crowns, for my kids' sake?"

Last edited by Vaishen Vadei; August 4, 2013 at 08:47 PM.
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Old August 5, 2013, 07:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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It was deep, loud, and boisterous, the laugh of Zhakargas. He let it roll the moment he was asked for coins. one thing seemed to be in common between Minatos and this Aelyria, beggers begged even for the simplest of information. Zhakargas had to decide now if the human was telling the truth.

He was a simple catch; newcomer from out of town seeking information on a particular group and getting thrown out of a bar. He was ripe for the picking. Now a stranger has swooped in to save the day with a tidbit of information. Seemed perfect for the stranger.

Zhakargass decided to bite and see what happened. "All right, i'll give you a few," he said tossing two coins to the man. "Should this pan out, i'll be happy to throw you a few more. What is the pub they protect and did your 'brother' ever give you a contact name for this job?"
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Old August 5, 2013, 08:57 AM   #12 (permalink)
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He wasn't going to send the bull to the Black Fire. At least not if he could help it. Bringing minotaur sized trouble to a client's door step was bad business.

Vaishen caught the two coins and examined them. Good old crowns. He pocketed them without a second thought. "I don't know the name of that club. Some place costs more 'en I'll ever make. He told me to go to this warehouse down in the docks. Nice place on the water front. Painted blue, got fancy oak doors 'n stuff. Can't miss it."

The truth was, Vaishen had no clue who that warehouse belonged to. It was simply memorable, and he could see tactical advantages to the location if the minotaur proved to be an enemy. "He said go there and ask for Vai." A little bit of truth to sweeten the lie. "That's what I know, Mister Minotaur."
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Old August 5, 2013, 10:52 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Things began to feel suspicious when the guy stated he did not know the name of the club. This guy was asking for money, yet his brother worked at a fancy upscale establishment that he could not remember the name of. Something smelled wrong in all of this.

"I will go to the blue doored building and ask for Vai. If this is all good, and I meet the Hegemony, I am a Minotaur of honor and will go back to that dive tavern to find you and pay you a few extra coins. Should this prove to be a setup where your kind want to beat down a Minotaur, I will personally place my horns right through your chest and bellow out a battle call to the heavens as your blood runs down my head and chest." To a Minotaur, this action was a victory celebration.

He left the human and headed to the docks in search of this warehouse with blue doors.
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Old August 6, 2013, 08:39 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Vaishen saw promise in the minotaur's suspicions: Nothing was worse than a gullible bruiser. Of course, had he paid more he might have received more information, but the reality of information gathering was as such: Pay two crowns, and all you'll get is someone's two cents.

The rogue knew the minotaur would spend time finding the docks and then locating the warehouse. Vaishen needed no such time. Once the minotaur was out of sight, Vaishen made straight for the Black Fire to tell Kaar of the bull man's presence.

In truth, Vaishen was more interested in what Kaar would do than anything. Such moments of decision were insights into a man's character, strengths, and weaknesses. Worst case, Kaar could dismiss it: They would never show up, and the minotaur could beat down some random warehouse's doors all he wanted -- or they could go have a chat with the beast.

Vaishen couldn't wait to see how this went...

OOC: Great thread. I'll hold off on my next post until after Kaar joins in.
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Old August 6, 2013, 11:15 AM   #15 (permalink)
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OOC: Sounds good. I think it best that I wait until Kaar is able to post also. No need to post fluff while waiting for 'the man'
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