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Old January 20, 2016, 04:43 PM   #16
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The Mercenary:

Rhystlin & Co. were off.

Finding the bandits turned out to be easy. They didn't expect hired swords riding around the Refuge of Medonia. In fact, their business model relied on the current state of the province. A few run-ins taught the thieves that Rhystlin's band meant business. The following day, there were reports of significantly reduced rates of harassment.

Unfortunately, this seemed to increase the rates of murders and kidnappings. So Rhystlin & Co. managed to dissuade the petty thieves and bridge gangs who extorted and robbed people. But that only created an opportunity for expansion among the more bloodthirsty gangs and raiders that preyed on travelers and merchants.

The Glassblower:

Employing her elementalism to remain at her desk, Iseult managed to find that 'sweet spot' wherein the glass softened but didn't burn or turn brittle fairly quickly. Plus, it wasn't like she was a noob at this game. Her affinity for glass was slowly becoming legendary. She could hone in on the subtle nature of this particular brand and sensed its unique 'personality'. If glass could sing, Iseult could make this one perform a hit single without auto tune.

Much to her lack of surprise, the 'fire glass' behaved similarly to volcanic glass. But it contained traces of otherworldly magic beyond that she could properly identify. If she wanted to determine what effects those contaminants might create, she would have to do something more specific, preferably with a specific goal in mind.
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Old January 25, 2016, 09:04 AM   #17
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Iseult tilted her cheek as she regarded the stone, trying to decide what way might be the best way to handle the glass. Combine it all into one chunk to see what they did when merged together? Or fuse them together in a chain--was there enough to form a necklace or maybe a bracelet? She thought of the woman that had come into her workshop, of the job description she had given in their short acquaintance. She was a fighter, not a dancer...even if it might have made a lovely accent piece. This Rhystlin woman was someone of action. It would do better if the glass reflected that.

Well, she had only to attempt things and see where it lead her.

So Iseult advanced on to adding another piece of the shards to glass she had adhered to her lamp working tool. Using the elemental fire to heat down an edge of the second charge, she manipulated them to fuse together, first at their ends, then to melt together so that they looked like one piece rather than two. She worked to start it into an orb shape, letting the molten glass and using a mold to guide the form.
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Old February 12, 2016, 02:30 PM   #18
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So maybe Iseult's men had some thoughts on how to best deal with this. Maybe their groups could work together to tackle these larger bands, if they had a mind to attempt it at all. Rhystlin's own men surely weren't numerous enough to deal with these gangs that seemed to swallow the countryside so quickly. If Davin had any thoughts on the matter, she was sure his opinion would help.
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Old February 17, 2016, 11:37 PM   #19
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Iseult was able to piece the shards together, melting and then fusing them until they formed a spherical shape. In the meantime, the glassblower sensed that the unknown essences seemed to hum beneath her fingertips. It was unusual, certainly, but it added an unfamiliar dimension to her work. The vibrations caused by the energy fused within the glass created an coarse texture, making the surface of the glass opaque and bumpy to the touch.

--

Iseult’s men, while certainly loyal to their mistress, were not exactly strategists. Their only concerns regarding combat involved the tip of their sword and the bad guy’s squish spots. Rhystlin also discovered that Iseult hired mercenaries primarily as a makeshift security force. They weren’t armed (or all that willing) to venture out of the city any more than they had to. Davin’s opinion was to keep their heads down and avoid any major confrontations.

“It’s like gamblin’, you understand”, the merc said to Rhystlin. “You want yer opponent to lose a little bit of money. If they lose too much, things escalate. And that’s bad for business. And yer health.”

As it were, the kidnappings were now on the rise as larger, more organized gangs either absorbed the petty criminals or brutalized rivals. Their current racket involved kidnapping merchants and forcing their families to pay a ransom. Those who didn’t pay up quickly found family members and relatives hanging on trees along the eastern roads.
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Old February 19, 2016, 10:30 AM   #20
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The glassblower allowed the glass some time to cool before reaching out to pick it up with her bare hand. She would have preferred to smooth out the bumps but had decided there was something distinct and interesting about the appearance of the bumps over the surface...so she had allowed them to stay. Now that she had shaped the glass, she had come to the conclusion that she hadn't really figured out the glass...which was more what she had been hired to do than anything.

Curiosity niggled at the glassblower as she shaped a simple spell within the glass: Imbue Element. She soaked the glass with a dosing of Fire--anyone other than herself that touched it would receive a nasty surprise. Not that she intended to have that happen to Rhystlin (that wasn't very nice) but she wanted to see if her magic interacted oddly with the magic with the glass and, if so, how.
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Old February 22, 2016, 07:27 PM   #21
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Regardless of their experience, Rhystlin knew the value in hearing what veterans had to say. Oftentimes their experience shed light on something in a way that Rhystlin had not thought to see it before. For this reason she listened silently and intently to what Davin had to say, before thanking him for his time. She then turned to Vincent, her resident tactition, a man she had found to be relatively competent at his job in a way that had reminded her of Myach many times.

"What do you think?" she probed. "Is there a way we might be able to tame the fire that's been lit? Cripple these larger groups in a way that at least makes them less of a nuisance to Medonia?" She chewed on the thought herself. Vincent might believe they were too small in numbers to quell such a large force, even to make a dent, and she might agree with him on that. Even if they managed to punish their agression, send a message to this group that they would be met with resistance, Medonia didn't seem quite capable enough to maintain a sense of security once Rhys and her men departed.

"I don't know what's worse - a group of bandits terrorizing the city's workers or this larger group terrorizing the traders that venture further out." She was not afraid to admit that this was the first time she had encountered an issue of this magnitude. Her first thought was to cut them off from their source of power, but she couldn't exactly stop merchants from transporting goods. On the other hand, how organized could these groups be in the wild, with so little to plunder and less access to supplies and support as the groups in the city? How could they maintain such large numbers, feed them, shelter them? Especially when the individuals they preyed upon had very little to give?

The group had to be splayed out across multiple locations, cities, victims.

"This may be a multi-headed snake," she murmured aloud, making her frustration clear to her companion.
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Old February 25, 2016, 11:29 AM   #22
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Iseult found that the glass cooled significantly faster than she expected. Was that unique to ‘Fire Glass’ or perhaps due to the unknown essence infused within the glass? It was difficult to tell without a spellbreaker.

Casting onto the glass did something special, though. The glassblower recognized it immediately. Though she was unfamiliar with the otherworldly magic, she discovered that imbuing the object with her magic triggered something. Her mastery over elementalism and glass allowed her to pinpoint characteristics that must have come only from the unknown essence.

For starters, she immediately recognized that the Fire Glass behaved a lot like an enchanted object or amulet. It was saturated with so much magic that it couldn’t take any more. Like a sponge already filled with water, whatever absorbent properties normal glass or physical objects had that toward magic was absent. But Iseult realized that it had a very strong affinity toward elementalism. So much so that it seemed to dismantle her spell by making the mana she formed highly unstable.

--

Vincent likely considered the same things that immediately came to Rhystlin’s mind: logistics, supply, organization and size.

“The scope of the problem suggests that they are local”, remarked her resident tactician. The merc frowned thoughtfully before continuing. “If we are fighting a hydra, then cutting off the head will be insufficient. Each gang will also need to be destroyed, cauterized so that they will not spring up again.”

He sighed. “It is a far larger job than we signed up for. The half-elf”, he forgot Iseult’s name. “Wanted us to deal with the riffraff. We did that. This will require a small army at the very least.”
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Old February 29, 2016, 11:49 AM   #23
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Iseult hefted the item in her hand and eyed it over with some uncertainty, working to dispel what she'd attempted to cast into the glass before it got too out of hand. With the magic already unraveling, she wasn't even sure that she needed to...but one never knew! As it was, the glassblower wasn't sure she could do much else beyond what she already had and would need to wait to talk to Rhystlin before making any further decisions regarding the glass.
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Old March 2, 2016, 03:06 PM   #24
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Rhystlin nodded to Vincent, afraid he might say as much but agreeing all the same. It was the best they could do under the circumstances, it seemed, and she could do no more unless her company grew. They'd have to report their results to Iseult when they spoke with her next.
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Old March 2, 2016, 03:39 PM   #25
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Iseult’s dispelling helped somewhat, though her hunch was right: the strange glass seemed to reject astral magic quite well on its own. So the glassblower elected to wait on whatever plans she had with the glass until she spoke with Rhystlin.

As it were, Rhystlin arrived shortly after. The sellsword didn’t look like she bore good news.
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Old March 12, 2016, 09:30 PM   #26
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Rhystlin told Iseult what happened.
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Old March 28, 2016, 01:59 PM   #27
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Iseult listened, nodded, explain what had happened in her own workshop. "You're probably going to have to experiment with it a little bit on your own. I've shaped it, though, so that you can add it as a pommel to your sword."

Iseult left it that that and noted that if Rhystlin was around a bit longer, she'd probably have some other work for her to do.
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Old April 1, 2016, 01:12 PM   #28
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The half elf nodded, thanking the woman for her work. She couldn't help but apologize at the predicament she had left her in, considering. Rhys was happy with the result of the glasswork, though. Even if the strange glass held no properties, it made a lovely adornment for a secondary blade... as "lovely" as a blade could be, anyway.

She noted that she would stick around to help Iseult out a bit. The side work was a benefit to her company, and if nothing else, she felt guilty for the state she had left Medonia in, however unintentionally it had been.
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Old April 11, 2016, 08:41 AM   #29
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ooc: I think...we're done... Right?
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Old April 14, 2016, 12:00 AM   #30
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Congratulations!
Iseult gained +1 Exp in Glassblowing
Mystery: Unknown essence contamination
Intel: Medonia is experiencing a surge in violent crime due to increased merc activity

Rhystlin gained +1 Exp in Combat (choose one)
Intel: Big Bad Bandits around Medonia
Item: Iseult-crafted accessory for pommel
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