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Old July 8, 2020, 08:56 PM   #91
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Argon tried not to show his amusement at the idea of a miracle working secretary. Surely if one could work miracles then they would be destined for greater things? It was honest work but definitely not legendary work unless it was in some kind of clerical secret society? Argon could investigate that someday.. Argon had reasoned maybe the empire had failed due to some shady society bending the empire away from the people's needs to enrich and empower and elite few. Well, other than the nobility which was both acceptable and merited according to his secular education on the matter.

The secretary's proposed solution sounded slow. What's more he had been given a short timeframe to accomplish his ends. It would not do.

The architect, undoubtably, had his own mind made up about what was important to him. Perhaps snapping up an interview slot the traditional way would be fruitless?

Argon had an idea. The secretary could perhaps present this as an opportunity rather than an interview?

"Well the timing is all wrong since I am under contract that precludes me from being able to wait tha' long" Argon explained simply "but you strike me as someone whose skill as a secretary is in making sure your employer does not fail to take advantage of opportunity"

It was all coming together. Present this in the right way and this Architect would feel like they were getting a bargain.

"My contract is to eliminate the bandit problems plaguing this settlement" Argon extrapolated to include the larger of the activities his employer had requested "Of which returning stolen property to his building project would, naturally, but afforded at no extra cost for the good will of this town"

Argon knew the lady was smart. Argon needed a list of what was taken and where. He didn't need to see the architect or whoever the architect gets to do that role (heck maybe the secretary had seen that list?).

"I simply need the list that accounts for what was taken and from where" Argon explained "I will benefit in my investigation as my boon from the architect. The architect will save money on replacement oorders. This is a win-win"

Good will, throwing in the personal benefit so the architect didn't suspect Argon was a crook, and offer of 'gree services at the cost of someone else. To Argon it sounded like something no one should refuse. Was this a miracle? That depended on factors Argon didn't know

"Ideally by tonight would be better" Argon said at the end "or tomorrow morning at the latest. An expedition is already planned but I need ta know these ebandits and why they aren't acting like normal bandits"
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Old July 13, 2020, 02:17 AM   #92
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"Hmmmmmm," the receptionist noted rather noncommittally, twirling a quill about her fingers. He'd done her a nice favor, of course, but he was asking for quite a bit all of a sudden. Of course, there wasn't much that she herself could do - what she could do was pass along information to the people who could.

But that didn't mean she couldn't act as a gatekeeper.

"Hmmmmm." It was a bit of a toughie, wasn't it? Argon was in a bit of a time crunch, but to be fair, that was the dwarf's problem, not hers. She'd fish for a bit more information.

"Why the time limit?" she decided to ask. "What happens if you don't get it by tomorrow morning?"
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Old July 14, 2020, 08:19 PM   #93
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Why the time limit? Well this seemed like an invitation to spend money. If Argon frankly spoke about being under a time limit by contract then that would mean the price would go up.

Argon was fairly certain that there would be a record of stolen property somewhere. The architect would have some underling who did the accounting just as the secretary spent time keeping nobodies away from the architect's work.

Frankly there was a good reason why it should be now. Perhaps the fact that this lady's love interest were in the guard might help with the right kind of leverage.

"if I may level with ye" Argon began choosing his words carefully "My job is to eliminate the threat of the bandits. There is a problem with this job. These ain't behavin' like bandits and the employer's suggestion has been to murder everything."

Argon then continued. May as well lay it out to the secretary. She was a risk to the operation but perhaps that tall lanky fellow would be able to used to keep her silence.

"Thing is tha' these bandits, they know the land. They attack the building shipments with impunity. Have ye been to the healing Centre? Way too many infirm guards there. If I go by the general inference of my employer the outcome will be a slaughter. Sure I may help them find the encampment or even manage to kill some leaders but at best this will slow down the raids. At worse this will anger the adversary so their raids become one of vengeance. There will be less infirm but the gravedigger will be a busy man."

Argon added one last statement. An obvious linkage without being too direct

"That's bad Fer romance" Argon added before getting to his point "So to prevent a hideous outcome I have hatched a better plan. This town here is run by people of money. Having the workforce slaughtered or having the raids continue now tha' is bad fer business. I intend to sell them peace at a cheaper price. Thing is the elements for my operations have come together tomorrow. The local priests will come with me as a representative that we mean to be a mission o' mercy. I need ta know more about these people before tomorrow so I can readily find out wha' they want in order to bring about this bargain bin peace. Tha' is where my request to ye comes in. They be raising building supplies. Sure they be expensive but they have left other lucrative shipments alone. Bandits take on targets of opportunity. Why are they stealing building supplies? What be they building? Why are they justified in these raids when by law they should be put to death?"

Argon hoped the secretary understood enough why he needed the results in such short time

"I need tha' info, my lady" Argon implored "So tha' I can save the lives of the guard needlessly lost against an aggrieved local force else I can get paid by letting a lot of blood flow by letting my employer use tha' guard to follow in my investigation and try and slaughter a better prepared enemy"

When Argon had a bard retell this story he would be sure to embellish the details of this bit. This bit of the story needed to be all about extolling the virtues of goodness; not leveraging the affections of a person to get them to do what they want.
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Old July 27, 2020, 01:09 PM   #94
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It was a very compelling argument! At least, in the way that Argon presented it. Whether or not it actually accurately reflected what the dwarf was involved in was...

...arguably not relevant in the slightest! Such was the responsibility of a hero: to shoulder the burden all on their lonesome.

Either way, the woman had all the information she needed to get a decision. Argon had "trusted" her with a fair amount of important "details" regarding what he was doing. The reality remained that there was only so much that she could do, but it did seem like Argon had her convinced that she should try to do as much as she could to support his endeavor.

"I'll see what I can do," came the nevertheless professional reply. In this business, it wasn't good to make promises or make simple commitments. "If I do manage to get something- you said you wanted it by tonight? Or even tomorrow morning. Where do you need it sent?"

It was going to be a bit of a rush job, it seemed, so perhaps it would be best not to expect too much. Argon was free to assume that there was some degree of organization and bookkeeping to the architect's operation, but who knew if that was actually the case?
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Old July 30, 2020, 08:28 PM   #95
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"I am staying at the inn" Argon said and the proceeded to name and describe the inn and the room he was staying in briefly to ensure she knew which one "I know ye cannae promise miracles but that you will try is hopeful enough." Argon responded "May your day go well and your romance with tha' soldier blossom beautifully. He truly is a lucky man to have yer affections"

Argon knew there was nothing further but to bid farewell. Now he could finally had to the tavern and mayhap participate in a fight. He needed to make somewhat of a name for himself; Perhaps one that would travel back to the camp he was due to go to next. Being known should and being known for his apparent dislike for his would-be employers was what he was aiming for. Fighting was merely a way to get talked about. There was also the question of dinner but he trusted the maid and barkeep to ably keep that interesting.
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Old August 3, 2020, 09:45 PM   #96
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The receptionist would be left to dwell upon the task that was now ahead of her. Tasks had been properly delegated, and one wondered whether there would be a space for her in the tales that might be sung of Argon and this particular adventure of his - well, perhaps it was best to wait and see how this all turned out before deciding whether one wanted to be included.

People wrote songs about abject failures as well, after all.

In any case, the dwarf managed to make it from the architect's office back to the tavern without any particular issue. If there was anything going on out there, if there were any bandit attacks that had happened or shadowy dealings going on, none of it had any notable impact on the route that Argon took on his return. Just a nice stroll back to the tavern.

All his running around had seen quite a fair amount of time pass, in the end. People were getting off work. Entertainment was demanded! As Argon arrived back at the tavern he'd find it almost packed to the brim with laborers, and things certainly sounded rowdy. Now, whether that meant there would be a fight... a stranger like him to these parts couldn't quite tell. Maybe this was just normal for them.
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Old August 6, 2020, 08:07 PM   #97
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Well after a pleasant stroll and an active day the would be hero dwarf of bardic renown made his way back to the tavern. Argon casually wondered if the things he had told people would inevitably get all mixed up and what complications that would create.

His story had been relatively consistent and had implied sympathy for the bandits whilst still indicating he intended to end the threat. He supposed that his employer would track his movements if they disagreed with his methods but that was ok. Ultimately that would decide for Argon what to do and ultimately what reputation he would end up building.

As this town probably was not founded by the behest of government perhaps he would pull that thread if the leaders of this town turned hostile.that would take a bit of wrangling as he knew he had no standing with the powers that be here and would need to earn a bit of trust and promote their self interest. At least that was Argon supposed. He had only met Sliucha and she had been impossible to read for him. Nice lady, though, and oddly magnetic. Perhaps because of being the enigma that was her? A person of that descent being governor would have been unheard of not so long ago in the empire. Things had truly changed.

When he arrived in the tavern he took in the new atmosphere. Truly it was a pleasant sight to see so much raucous banter but alas he couldn't see if any fights were to commence.

He knew he had to find a man about the fights. Fitzroy? Well that was a name but these were many faces.

Argon reasoned it would be best to ask the barkeep and took to waiting to order a drink from the barkeep or the barmaid that he had escorted in. He wagered both would know Fitzroy and as he would served he would greet either warmly and inquire
"Pardon me but has Fitzroy arrived at the bar? I was to discuss tonight's entertainment with him"

Well the fights but he wagered that this is what passes for entertainment and neither would mistake Argon for a bard given his abnormal appearance.
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Old August 18, 2020, 12:13 AM   #98
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There was, presumably, a difference between an organized fight and an actual bar brawl. Argon probably wanted the former here, and it was debatable whether the latter would actually be useful to him in any way. With the raucous environment around him - lots of people who worked very hard and had stressful jobs all packed in a single space that provided alcohol - one had to wonder whether the organized fights were just a way to legitimately (and carefully, in an orderly fashion) let people get it out of their system.

Without throwing tables at each other.

For now, the dwarf just played the role of tavern patron. In spite of the fact that it seemed quite busy, soon enough Argon was being asked for his order and served, giving him a quick opportunity to ask his query.

"They should be outside, in the back," Argon was told. He hadn't seen them just based on the direction he'd entered the tavern from, it seemed. "Makes sure nothing in this place gets wrecked. You'll know who he is, tall, muscular, only redhead in this place."
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Old September 16, 2020, 05:25 AM   #99
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Out the back then.

Argon went out the back and immediately assessed the local stock to see how he felt they compared to him in terms of fitness.

Despite any bravado and additional strength that might be in his right arm he was not a tested, tried or true bare fisting champion or other hand to hand combat specialist.

Hopefully neither was anyone else.

In any case he reasoned that participating, win or lose, in a fight and holding his own at least to an extend would be enough to help him become more approachable and trustworthy to the local crews. If having a split lip loosened theirs then the price was cheap enough.

After a few moments assessment of the situation and people he pursued the organiser of the 'event' to the extent it could be said there was one.

"Herr Fitzroy?" Argon asked throwing in a random greeting from one of the aelyrian local dialects while presumably butchering it "I am lookin' to have a throwdown here in her prize fightin'"

Argon was a dwarf and they were generally stocky by default. He was a caravan guard and regular traveller who favoured the axe as his weapon. As such, aside the jarringly lopsided strength of one arm to the other, Argok believed he would be considered fine to fight these presumably mostly human crowd. Indeed he expected his looks may make bets on him favour long odds at least before he actually won a fight.

Well.. here goes nothing
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Old September 26, 2020, 03:23 PM   #100
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No such luck for Argon.

The vast majority of workers in this town were laborers of one sort or another, after all. Construction workers. Guards. People whose careers were made by the muscle of their bodies. Not that the dwarf was wandering into an orc wrestling hall or anything like that, nor were any of the people before him necessarily prize fighters who specialized in knocking people out with their hands. Just that, in general, they seemed to be a relatively fit lot.

At least figuring out who Fitzroy was didn't take too long. The bartender had noted that hew as the only redhead and there he was, the color standing out quite distinctly. He seemed to be a fair bit older than all the rest as well, perhaps a bit more pudge to his stomach than pure muscle, although his overall stature suggested that there might be some muscle hiding underneath the flab.

"Hah?" He'd turn towards Argon as the dwarf greeted him, rubbing his chin as he looked the dwarf over. "Aight. You just lookin' for one of the casual fights, or the prize tourney? Gotta pay in for the latter."

Spend money to make money.
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Old September 30, 2020, 05:26 AM   #101
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Well how could he expect any respect without any skin in the game? However he wasn't a fool to put his money in without knowing exactly how that money may, in some finite moment of luck, find its way back to him and then some


"Aye I would be interested to here 'bout the prize fights." Argon responded "how does the competition and rules here work?"

It was a simple thing to ask such a question and that determined how keen Argon would be to put his money into the ring to make some labourer here rich.

A social fight also didn't sound like a terrible option. He would benefit from the opportunity itself to learn a few tricks even if he cops a few blows as the cost.

There were other questions that Argon was keen to hear

"do any of the well to do find the time to show up?" Argon said choosing not to inflect anything else in the question "and if they do, do they just watch or get their hands dirty?"

It was maybe a question that wouldn't be answered, or would be openly or might be answered cautiously

Argon was in this case merely curious if it would be only labourers here or if any of the wealthy liked to play out of bounds
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Old October 18, 2020, 09:21 PM   #102
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"First and foremost rule, this ain't a killing ground," Fitzroy explained. "We ain't got no clear cut rules on it, of course, ain't no way to figure out every little thing. But we see anything out there like eye gouging, punches to the throat, kicks to the groin, anything particularly dangerous or too violent - you're out. And in a lot of trouble." Most everybody who fought here likely knew each other, after all. Mess with one of them mess with them all, and so Argon could easily find himself amidst a very hostile crowd should he somehow get in trouble.

It was a little vague when it came to being a rule, but at the end of the day, this was supposed to be entertainment - not just for spectators, but for the fighters themselves. This wasn't blood sport.

"You're done when you say you give up or when you get knocked out," he continued to explain. "One of the boys rigged up a tourney system for us, see. Separate the folks coming in into groups, and you fight each person in the group. That way it's fair, you don't just lose once and get out, there's some chances for you. The people who do the best proceed, fight tiebreakers if necessary. Then you get into the finals brackets, quarterfinals, semifinals - all depends on how many people we got, of course."

In essence, at least initially, Argon wouldn't have to win all his fights to advance. As long as he won more than the others, the dwarf would be good to go. But there would eventually reach a point where he had to win, otherwise he dropped out of the tournament. Plus, there was then the strategic element of conserving one's strength for later rounds.

"Naw, this ain't really their scene, I'd imagine," Fitroy responded to Argon's last question. "Pretty much just us workers around here."

Anyway, he'd then proceed to state the nominal fee Argon would have to pay to get in. First place got most of it, although runner-ups got a bit.

"Local clinic's gonna provide you free treatment after, too." Because, you know, having a bunch of beat-up people probably wasn't good for work.
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Old October 25, 2020, 08:02 PM   #103
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The rules were simple and vague enough. Basically read the crowd, don't cause permanent and lasting injury or death. Everything else was fair game. It wasn't quite like some of those fancy fighting sports where being the show pony was more important than the fights. It also wasn't a Deathmatch like some of the tourneys in Arakmat. This was a friendly bout.

So there was a way to make his money back as well as win some respect. Argon chose, then, to enter the fight

"Do unto others as ye would have done unto you" Argon said a throw away line said by some priest in his past "Aye, I can live with respectin' others. I am in"

He ponied up with the entrant fee and let the mystery of tourney organisation take shape.

Once he knew the names of who he might be fightin' he found whoever looked like a friendly person and struck up some conversation

"Serale!" Argon said "interestin' town I found myself in. Helped the maid get inta town. She was worried about 'dem bandits and I was travellin' much the same direction and needed a rest anyways. It's be good to get some sport in while I am here. Name's Argon, by the way. Any chance ye might know much about those men I've the honour to fight with?"


Argon knew good prep for a fight mattered as he casually started to stretch and limbre up. Maybe he'd get to know something useful in passing about these men. He didn't need dirty tricks, per se, but knew a lot of his success depended on cancelling out their height advantage and getting them to fight in the ground. Still it wasn't enough to win. He had to make friends whole doing it. Quite the challenge.
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Old November 13, 2020, 03:14 AM   #104
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There were all sorts of people about, really.

Most of the workers in town only stopped by every now and again. Getting into constant fights wasn't exactly good for one's health and, well, these little tournaments didn't exactly draw in that much coin. Even taking into consideration the entertainment factor, it didn't quite match up with being able to draw a regular salary as, say, a construction worker or laborer. Good for a bit of fun or venting, but there weren't exactly many 'regular' fighters here.

Not that they didn't exist. He'd catch a few names here and there. Fitzroy, of course. Eivor. Abe. Aetius. Sometimes through snatches of conversation, sometimes through glimpses of the chart they were using to keep track of the brackets. Argon could tell who the 'regular' fighters were, since they had actual proper little labels to put up onto the bracket. Most of the people, though, got temporary little slips to be put up.

After a bit of feeling things out, Argon would go with approaching Eivor. A large, tall, stocky man - full of muscle and cheer. Was that just good genetics? Did he have some sort of martial background? Or perhaps he just worked in an industry that required a great deal of heavy labor? It wasn't immediately obvious to Argon just looking at the man or observing his demeanor.

"Aye, the bandits!" he commented excitedly as Argon introduced himself, offering a hearty handshake in greeting. Very firm grip! "I get why the lass might be a'fear'd, but I've also heard say that they're less the killing type and more the looting type. Still bad in general, but not as bad as it could be, eh?" He thumped his chest. "Anyway, good to meet you, Argon. Name's Eivor. I've been around here a while, aye, I know most of these lads and lasses. You're new in town, I'm guessing? Anything in particular you want to know?"

Seemed a friendly enough guy. Apparently, Eivor just chalked Argon up as trying to get friendly with the locals ASAP, so that the dwarf wouldn't just be "the new guy" for long.
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