[A Wicked Plague] Chapter 1, Scene 3

edited February 2008 in In-Game
Chapter 1, Scene 3

After escorting Kitsune out of the Constabulary and having a smoke, JESPER returns to the jail. JUDGE IORRIS continues to talk with Constable Radas in the back office. MAHDI continues to languish in the back cell.

A young man arrives with food for Mahdi, but it scared to approach the cell.

"Where do you want this?" asks the boy, his eyes wide with terror. Rumors of plague have hit the village and this young man is scared.


  • "Off with you, boy, I'll handle this myself." Jesper's face is hard as he takes the tray and carries it to the jail call. Holding it one-handed, he pounds on the bars. "Even a thief must eat, they say."

    Deliberately, he places the tray on the floor, a few feet from the cell, just out of arm's reach. "Neither of us wishes to prolong your imprisonment," he adds with a smile, "but you see how things are. Still, there's no need to be uncomfortable, is there? A girl like you's seen many a strange thing, haven't you? You've been in the plague house.. and in her house, as well." He makes a face. "Come, tell me a story and we'll have a nice supper." He inches the tray forwards to where Mahdi can reach it, and sits down cross-legged. He re-lights his pipe and puffs on it with an expectant expression.
  • edited February 2008
    The thief rises, more-or-less, from her bench ... seeming to have some difficulty with so simple a task. She is only barely able to stay on her feet, even for the few steps that bring her across her cramped cell. The cause, really, might be intoxication as easily as disease - no way to tell until she sobers up. Which could be a while.

    Mahdi manages a controlled collapse, using the bars to ease her way down, and - with a glint of dull suspicion in her eye as she looks through the bars - she reaches through and draws the tray closer, taking an end of bread. She turns away, sitting back against her side of the bars, making it difficult to see her face as she picks at the food.

    After a few moments, sounding a little half-hearted, compared to before:

    "This'is nice ... bringing the food to m' room. I been to inns, plenty'a times, which didn't do that. I'll be sure ta recommend you to all my friends. [pause] Chef in't too great."

    She does something that starts as a sigh, but turns into a wracking cough.

    "Guh. Y'know, as a profession'l courtesy, I'll mention that your job, of taking off my hands or my head, depending ... I don't think the two of us are gonna be getting too friendly. Ah'm a little drunk, at th' moment, but I ain't ever a fool, so ya might as well tell me just whatcha want, and why I'm s'posed to care, considrin'. If you want clever conversation, wait 'till I'm straight in th' head."
  • Jesper puffs on his pipe, trying hard to show no reaction to her little speech. "Simply put -- you have been in the wayhouse, which is why you are in such lamentable shape. You have been in Madam Kitsune's mansion, or so she says. Did you find anything of interest there -- and mind you, I am not speaking of wretched jewelry. I mean valuable papers, hidden books, forbidden items of black witchery -- things of no use to you, young lady, but possibly of very great interest to your betters. And do not consider me your enemy -- I have cut off enough heads to have the knack of it, I am not so depraved as to crave further practice."
  • The bread seems to be going down dry, and she coughs, scattering crumbs.

    "S'what's in it for me, if I do know somethin'?"
  • "For now, better food, decent drink, a warm blanket -- but who knows? Kitsune wants your head on a stick, and the Judge wants you to die in this cell, but I am the master here." He waves his tasseled saber for emphasis. "There's a madman down in the marketplace who claims the repentant sinner can find mercy, and he may be right, if the sinner proves helpful." Abruptly, he leans in and points at her with the clay bowl of his pipe -- "Are you ready to prove your repentance, wench?"
  • She speaks to the air before her, in her cell:

    "I guess being a head-chopper doesn't ask you ta get too good at sweet talkin', does it?"

    She grumbles something to herself in a harsh whisper, then offers a measure of acquiescence.

    "A'right. Try this. I never saw any papers or books, or whatever ... at least, I can tell ya she don't keep 'em in her house. But she does collect that kinda thing, and she ain't too picky about where they come from, know what I mean? 's how a lady like her gets to know the likes a me."

    "There's a guy, just arrived in town today, while your boys was still working up the nerve to try an' catch me. Name's ... Janger, Jahanjer, somethin' like that. Can't miss him - he's the only damn Sarcosan to stop at this backwater in a decade, prob'ly. He's a mule, carrying a book for her ladyship ... he doesn't know what he has, or even who's supposed to be taking it from him - she usually has a servant or someone pick the things up."

    "You better go buy it or take it offa him, quick ... she'll likely send someone around for it in the morning, or earlier, and then it'll be all squirreled away where you won't never find it. Bring it back here inna few hours, when I'm closer t' sober, and convince me you're serious about working something out. I know someone who can connect th' book to th' lady ... the person who sold it to her."

    "Or jus' watch the guy until someone comes to pick up the book, I guess. But if you're spotted, she can just forget about the book, and you'll lose your chance. My way's more sure."
  • "I shall find him, if he exists; if he does not, I shall be back and we shall have a very different sort of conversation, do you understand?" He gravely stands up, arranges his robes perfectly, and walks out.
  • edited February 2008
    She laughs softly, but then breaks out into a few muffled coughs, which she forces herself to bring under control.

    "Go get 'em, big guy."

    She doesn't bother trying to get up and cross the cell back to the bench, instead just staying there, slumped back against the bars, working through an audible catch in her breathing. Shortly after the door closes behind Jesper, however, her breathing stills, and her posture adopts a suggestion of listening ... making sure that the judge and the constable are still closed up in the office.

    As she sits, ear cocked, she lifts a hand and runs it through her braids, singling one out and twisting it into a bend at a certain point. A deft press of the thumb, and two heavy needles of the finest steel emerge from the heart of the braid. Casually, almost as if she were stretching, she raises her arms, putting her hands back through the bars on either side of the lock (which just happens to be immediately above her head).

    In mere seconds, she is no longer locked in. She spends a few moments carefully re-concealing her lock picks, in case she doesn't get as far as she'd like.
  • edited February 2008
    She stands smoothly and easily, suddenly far less infirm than she was just a minute ago, works a kink out of her neck, and steps out into the hall. With the judge and the constable on duty closed up in the office, nothing looks so inviting as the front door, so she strolls in that direction ... walking casually, though with the silent footfalls of an accomplished thief.

    Once outside, before anyone in the darkening street has had the opportunity to recognize her, she disappears into the urban shadows, and is gone.
  • Judge Iorris can and would try to interfere with that stated action
  • initiative (Directly, For Myself)

  • Iorris: Initiative
    #DiceRoller( 1d12 )
    #DiceRoller( 1d8 )
  • The judge exits the back office just in time to notice Mahdi open the door.

    "You are a clever one, aren't you. Don't run. You're sick. You need help. Come back in and we will work something out. But you're not safe out there. A burglar like you, found on the street, sick with plague could only hope to find an angry mob with stones and torches. Turn around and get back in your cell."
  • answer

  • She seems to find the judge's attitude more funny than anything else, but chokes off a laugh in a few sputtering coughs.

    "I can take care'a myself, thanks. At any rate, I ain't going to be handin' myself in for more discussion a' when and how you're gonna see me die. So, y'know ... bye. Come after me, and we'll see how sick I really am, old man."

    In a quick spin, she's outside, with the door slamming shut behind her.
  • initiative


    + advantage

  • Since I can't beat a 13 lets assume you win initiative.
  • Mahdi, realizing that skulking in the shadows will be of little real use if the constables are sent out to comb the area, decides to put some distance between her and any pursuit. She's as swift as any man, as she proved well in Damqan during those three wild days leading up to her ejection from that city, and she can certainly outpace any of the officers of the law she's seen in this town, easily.

    She breaks into a run, a grin breaking across her face as she goes ... but her glee turns to confusion as a wave of dizziness breaks over her, and she tumbles headlong to the ground, just paces from the door. Catching herself on hands and knees, she finds herself coughing, tasting copper, spitting, her vision swimming for a moment.

    A determined and practiced criminal, she knows she can't afford to hang about, so she forces herself to her feet and ducks into the shadows of the alleyway running along the side of the constable's station. Disturbed, she nonetheless assures herself that she is suffering less from illness (though she knows this to be a concern), and more from the effects of sudden movement, after hours spent at rest and with a certain amount of alcohol no doubt still in her blood. She keeps moving.

    She is gone when the judge steps out onto the street, but there is blood spattered on the ground just steps away. More of it than can be safe, in fact, like she stopped just shy of vomiting up a good-sized chunk of her liver. She can't have gotten far ... but then, he has few men, and unless he commits them to clearing away the bystanders, he may well find himself with more subjects for study than he'd care to see.
  • Iorris: Answer (Round 2)

    #DiceRoller( 1d12 )
    #DiceRoller( 1d8 )
  • Iorris steps back in fear from the infectious blood.

    "Emaldo, Resrick. Keep the people away from this cursed blood." He shouts at the two town guards, preventing them from making chase. "Better yet, get some oil, soak some cloth in the oil. Tie the cloth around your face. It will protect your mouth and face from the infection. Don't touch it. Get shovels. Dig it up along with the dirt around it and then dump it over to the wayhouse, we already know that place is infected."

    Iorris skirts to the side as the men begin their work with dubious enthusiasm. He grabs a third guard, Saneth. "The burglar has escaped. She can't get far though. Her infection has progressed, she is weak now-- but dangerous. Come with me, listen for her cough."

    Iorris took an oily cloth from his pocket and held it to his nose and mouth. The two men slowly work their way down each street, quietly listening.
  • initiative (Directly, For Myself, Disease-Ridden)


    + advantage

  • Iorris: Initiative (Round 3)

    #DiceRoller( 1d12 )
    #DiceRoller( 1d8 )
  • edited February 2008
    Mahdi falls back on the slate of the station's rooftop, the stored heat of the day baking into her back. She hears searchers nearing and passing beneath, but she does not believe that they will think to look for her - it is no easy task, scaling a wall so swiftly, and it would not be the first time that someone has underestimated her athletic talent. Even in illness, she can outpace their expectations, she is sure.

    The warmth of the roof comforts her, and - as the search wears on - a gentle rain begins to fall, the pure water soothing her greedy throat. They will give up before long, or move on ... perhaps she will go to Kitsune then, though she knows her presence will not be welcome.
  • Iorris: Answer (Round 3)

    #DiceRoller( 1d12 )
    #DiceRoller( 1d8 )
  • edited February 2008
    I am inclined to Exhaust, taking a die size off of each of Iorris' Action dice (d10, d6). If you have something else to suggest, go for it.

    Regardless of how that resolves, a die size comes off of Self-Protection (Disease-Ridden is consequential vs. Self-Protection).
  • Sounds good.

    End Scene
  • Self-Protection goes to (d10, d4)
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