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Thread: Wear It Like a Second Skin

  1. #1
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    Sulla's Avatar

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    Octavius Sulla Maecenas
    Age
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    Human
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    Wear It Like a Second Skin

    ”He saw me.”

    As Sulla nearly slammed the store's door behind him, he felt his heart pound in his chest. Resting against a nearby shelf, he took a minute to collect himself. His eyes were wildly wide and darting across the aisles. Strange objects and useless nicknacks collected dust at the same rate, and the creeping odor of rot was rapidly drawn into his nose from hurried, noisy breaths. Just outside, in the crisp twilight, a pudgy man eyed the thinning crowds around with suspicion. The killer just knew he'd missed his mark and tipped his hand.

    Distraction.

    One final, long sigh before he made his way deeper into the story. Sulla loosened his scarf and undid the buttons on his greatcoat, trying his best to accommodate the heat of a the dying fireplace off in the corner. He took slow, careful steps and spent long moments in pretend anguish of crap that would've made for a sad birthday morning to any child.

    Escape routes.

    Three windows in total; dirty enough that one could never be too sure what time of day it was by the light. Sconces on the walls illuminated a dim and narrow passage just behind the counter. It was foolish to assume it was anything more than a backroom, so the killer required further investigation. He approached the counter with as foolish a grin as he could muster, though he still saw no shopkeeper. Wood paneling had fallen into disrepair, and chips of the white paint that once covered the walls littered the floor.

    Blend.

    “Anyone around? I see many trifles and trinkets, but a surprising lack of curios.”

    Thanks to Lye's wonderfully stolen idea, I'm going to solo this out myself and use OOC notes when I need pricing information, and for when I finish.
    Last edited by Sulla; 12-09-14 at 03:23 PM.
    "The man who is to be great is the one who can be the most solitary, the most hidden, the most deviant, the man beyond good and evil, lord of his virtues, a man lavishly endowed with will - this is precisely what greatness is to be called: it is able to be as much a totality as something multi-faceted, as wide as it is full."

    I Wish I Could Eat You Sun
    Hollow is my Crown
    Give Way To Bloom
    Glasses and Straight Razor

  2. #2
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    Sulla's Avatar

    Name
    Octavius Sulla Maecenas
    Age
    22
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Dirty Blond
    Eye Color
    Green
    Build
    5'10', 165 lbs.
    Job
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    “Henry, we got customers!”

    A voice cried from within the darkened passage way, its shrill shriek echoing down in some surreal show. The sound of dragging feet shuffled through the darkness, until a fearsome looking woman emerged with a large vase in her hand. Her hair was matted and ratty; gray from age and unevenly wispy in some areas. Her eyes were two sullen, sunken, wrinkled sockets that hid rat-like beads within. A tattered bathrobe hung immodestly around her frame, its faded pink color turning something akin to the shade of corpse flesh, matching her own sagging skin almost too well. Beneath that, Sulla could not say she wore anything at all, an immediate dread riled up inside him.

    As she placed the container on the counter with a heavy thunk, she extended a withered, bony hand for Sulla. “The name's Gertrude. Welcome to Gertrude's Great Emporium.”

    “I take it you're the owner?” The killer took her hand it gave it a gentle shake, careful not to shatter her whole arm mistakenly.

    “Actually, that'd be old Henry here.” She pointed to the steel vase, which Sulla suddenly realized was a tightly closed urn. On its side was a lightly etched scrawl of a human face, crudely drawn as if done by a child, depicting a large nosed, balding man. “But I've got the mind for business! So I handle the day to day.”

    “Charming and savvy. A brilliant combination,” said Sulla, the slyness in his voice hiding the glimmer of regret for not picking a less odd shop to hide out in. “I'm Patrick.” His eyes bounced about the room again, hoping to gather some idea of what he'd be saying when she finally asked him what he was looking for. For now he just needed to kill time and hope his mark didn't double back in search of the pursuer.
    "The man who is to be great is the one who can be the most solitary, the most hidden, the most deviant, the man beyond good and evil, lord of his virtues, a man lavishly endowed with will - this is precisely what greatness is to be called: it is able to be as much a totality as something multi-faceted, as wide as it is full."

    I Wish I Could Eat You Sun
    Hollow is my Crown
    Give Way To Bloom
    Glasses and Straight Razor

  3. #3
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    Sulla's Avatar

    Name
    Octavius Sulla Maecenas
    Age
    22
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Dirty Blond
    Eye Color
    Green
    Build
    5'10', 165 lbs.
    Job
    Hitman/Killer

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    “So what're you looking for? Old Gertrude can't stand around all day fooling with looky-loos.” She still had all her teeth, but each one seemed as if it had been filed down to a point or worn away by pointless chatter. Sulla met her milky, beady eyes and peered into the very fabric that made her. Her emotions were a cloudy mishmash with hints of uncertainty, agitation, and that most reviled base human need that cried for affection. All these and more swirled in a tempest, and told the killer all he needed to know about the shopkeep.

    Madness.” He had seen it in the souls of many people, and took great joy in knowing them in their desperate struggle for lucidity. Though the insane made tricky targets, the were a delightful amusement where work was not concerned. Sulla knew he could play her with far more ease, and relaxed the honeysuckle in his words.

    “I must confess I heard tell your shop had some keen little items of the arcane.” He didn't relax it too much. “And I've found myself in such a predicament that only the preternatural could solve.”

    “Oh?” Either bored or confused, her ratlike gaze squinted against the blinding flash of prose Sulla had used. She scratched at the scattered whiskers on her chin, and now and then looked at the urn in hopes it would lead to some clarification.

    “As you can tell, I'm a man about town,” he gestured at his attire with a twirl of the hand. “And I've many friends in high and low places whose parents don't think the world of me, as they do.”

    “Men?” Gertrude interjected with such a blunt tone that it caught Sulla off guard. “It's men, right?”

    “What? No, I – anyways,” the killer sputtered before continuing with a bit more speed. “I need something for a bit of a disguise when I go on my planned liaisons, perhaps some sort of drastically shifting mustache, or a technicolor wig, or -”

    “Magic glasses?”

    Out of Character:
    I'm looking for a pair of glasses with a minor enchantment that causes the wearer to leave no impression on the memory of those that see them. Basically, if you attempted to remember Sulla with them on, you'd only be able to recall a man in glasses. You could describe those glasses thoroughly if retelling anyone, but nothing else could be recalled. This effect doesn't really occur when chatting with the person in the present, as nothing would seem off during the encounter. Only the aftereffect. Hopefully, this doesn't count as an ability.

    While we're at it, what would the price be on a steel straight razor with the minor enchant of never dulling or rusting?
    Last edited by Sulla; 12-15-14 at 01:19 PM.
    "The man who is to be great is the one who can be the most solitary, the most hidden, the most deviant, the man beyond good and evil, lord of his virtues, a man lavishly endowed with will - this is precisely what greatness is to be called: it is able to be as much a totality as something multi-faceted, as wide as it is full."

    I Wish I Could Eat You Sun
    Hollow is my Crown
    Give Way To Bloom
    Glasses and Straight Razor

  4. #4
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    Max Dirks's Avatar

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    Max Dirks
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    Out of Character:
    The glasses would be 225 GP. They would not count as an ability, though you would have to be careful not to bunny other characters. As a basic enchant, this likely would not be able to overcome higher levels of perception. The straight razor, enchanted to never rust, would be 170 GP.
    Althanas Operations Administrator

    Dirks GP amount: 2949

  5. #5
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    Sulla's Avatar

    Name
    Octavius Sulla Maecenas
    Age
    22
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Dirty Blond
    Eye Color
    Green
    Build
    5'10', 165 lbs.
    Job
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    From beneath the countertop, Gertrude produced a small oak case inlaid with gold. As she opened it slowly, a pair of black glasses appeared laying on a red velvet cloth. Coated in some wondrous matte enamel, not a scratch nor finger print could be seen to mar its perfection. The little light in the store glimmered on the curved, clear lenses like treasure. As Sulla leaned forward for a closer inspection, Gertrude snapped the small box shut with a dramatic flair before leaning in uncomfortably close. Time had savaged her face without conscience, but the twinkle in her eye hinted at some delusion of beauty she'd never known.

    “Ever heard of Gil'Dem Ghultu?” A strange medicinal rot clawed loose from her mouth with each harried breath. Sulla refused to break eye contact as he craned his neck back a bit to escape it.

    “I have not heard the name.” He had.

    “He was some renowned Dark Elf spy.” Third son of a merchant, risen to a Ritter during an uprising in Kachuck, before ascending to the title of Graf by the end of his career. “They say he had all kinds of tricks to stay hidden -” Most of his success is attributed to a network of informers; palaces across the world started to reward servants more carefully to keep his many bribes in check. “-kept tabs on every world event that would happen, as if by sorcery.” His economic predictions led to a banking boom with clever foreign investments, but only because he had a team of experts on call. “These glasses right here were clever little way to stay out of the lime light. They make everyone forgetful of what you looked like, 'sides them of course.”

    As child's textbook as her explanation was, Gil'Dem was notoriously obsessed with the occult for an Aleran. Leading to his eventual forced retirement, and inevitable suicide.

    “A lovely little item,” Sulla tittered. “How much is it?”

    “Two Hundred and Twenty-Five gold.” Gertrude slide back with the ease of a serpent and beyond the nature of her years.

    “For glasses?”

    “Enchanted glasses!”

    “A minor enchantment,” Sulla said as he crossed his arms.

    “They've got historical significance!” Her voice had all the soothing of carrion cries.

    “Allegedly!” The killer would be damned if he didn't get them, but the arguing provided exactly the relief required from his botched tailing earlier. “Where's a certificate of authenticity?”
    Last edited by Sulla; 12-16-14 at 09:05 PM.
    "The man who is to be great is the one who can be the most solitary, the most hidden, the most deviant, the man beyond good and evil, lord of his virtues, a man lavishly endowed with will - this is precisely what greatness is to be called: it is able to be as much a totality as something multi-faceted, as wide as it is full."

    I Wish I Could Eat You Sun
    Hollow is my Crown
    Give Way To Bloom
    Glasses and Straight Razor

  6. #6
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    Sulla's Avatar

    Name
    Octavius Sulla Maecenas
    Age
    22
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Dirty Blond
    Eye Color
    Green
    Build
    5'10', 165 lbs.
    Job
    Hitman/Killer

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    The shop seemed colder somehow. Light waned inside it like the receding tide to reveal the fireplace had starved to death. Eerie tendrils of smoke sprawled themselves through the air, weaving strange silver nets in their wake. For a moment, Gertrude had all the warmth of a specter who haunted the halls long after she had left them. Her small, black eyes seemed wholly pitiless in the twilight. But Sulla's eyes burned with an eager scorn, and subtle cracks of his knuckles broke the empty silence.

    “You're saying you can't pay?” The shopkeeper's heart held on to some cold bitterness like a numb limb, unable to let go. The killer could sense the subtle shift in mood, but the mad oft had such unpredictable swings. As she swayed her sagging corpse, the side of her robe slipped down a bit to reveal somethings that should never be seen.

    “I-ah,” he gagged. The sudden display had tarnished his silver tongue and sent queasy waves over his body. “I'm happy to pay, but I think the price could come down a little?”

    “It can't,” said Gertrude. “Prices are all firmly set.”

    “By whom?”

    “Henry. Did Henry say you could have a discount?” Sulla's eyes darted to the metal urn, and a wry smile crept up on him.

    “Yes,” he nodded. “Henry said, 'Give that thar' boy a discount.' ”

    “Henry doesn't talk that way!” Gertrude screamed like a fury, nearly shaking the store. “Henry didn't talk to you. Henry doesn't talk to anyone, that's his problem.” She slapped the urn harshly, causing it to wobble. “Henry, don't you dare tip over again. I warned you!” The shopkeeper snatched it up and held it tightly to her chest, rocking a little in place.

    ”Oh thank you, she's covered.” As entertaining as the decent was to watch, the killer felt his patience ebb to droplets. In truth, he had only two hundred gold pieces in his coin purse, and he felt a fool for even carrying so much on his person. He could always ask his uncle for more money, but that dreadfully cruel man's ego was inflated enough as it was.

    The sudden, hurried thud of boot falls caught Sulla's attention. He had just enough time to look back as he saw the door swing open and slam into a nearby shelf.

    Out of Character:
    I, uh, also need the price on a lighter, or even matches. Anything in the 5 GP range would be fantastic, haha.
    "The man who is to be great is the one who can be the most solitary, the most hidden, the most deviant, the man beyond good and evil, lord of his virtues, a man lavishly endowed with will - this is precisely what greatness is to be called: it is able to be as much a totality as something multi-faceted, as wide as it is full."

    I Wish I Could Eat You Sun
    Hollow is my Crown
    Give Way To Bloom
    Glasses and Straight Razor

  7. #7
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    Pestarzt's Avatar

    Name
    Alex Alfons
    Age
    24
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Blonde
    Eye Color
    Blue
    Build
    6' 2" / 182 lbs.
    Job
    Vigilante

    “What you see here,” Garish began, his gold canine catching the sun, “is some of the finest weed to ever be grown on Althanas. Nurtured in the soils of Raiaera before its scourging, it's said Bladesingers lit fields of it on fire to cover their tracts against the ghoulish hordes. Those shambling corpses not only lost sight of their enemy, they also lost their will to do damn near anything else in that sweet fog, severing their connection from Xem'Zund and other dark masters.” He held the cigar aloft with the sanctity of some religious ceremony. “What I'm talking about is dank of turn undead!” There was a showmanship to it all, even hidden away from the main thoroughfare of the bazaar. The conman's voice bounced off the walls of the alley and echoed like a loud speaker. Alex alone watched the man, who stood on a broken crate, go through the motions of a true salesman.

    “If the fields burned, how's there any left,” Alex mumbled. He was always doubtful when it came to the man he had the distinct displeasure of knowing as a dealer and schemer. Garish chuckled as he stepped down, the orange and red of his jacket billowing like licks of flame.

    “Life finds a way.” He held the cigar beneath Alex's nose, and the sugary aroma of honey leaf seemed to melt some uncertainty away. “Some plants survived, and nourished themselves on the ash of fallen brethren. I wouldn't be surprised to find out this chronic was enchanted by song magic.”

    “How much?” The Pestarzt knew that the only way to get the conman to shut up was to get to the point, but even that didn't always work.

    “Slow down, baby.” Garish wrapped an arm around Alex's shoulder and brought him in closer. The salesman loudly gnashed a mint leaf right near his ear. “You've got to try it first. And then I trust you to name a sensible price when serendipitous enlightenment hits.”

    “Alright,” Alex said hesitantly. Though he knew Garish was a skeazeball of the highest order, the story and smell had tempted him more than he was want to admit. His mouth watered so much he had to swallow.

    The conman searched his pockets with a smile, but quickly came up empty handed.

    “So, you wouldn't happen to have a lighter, would you?”

    Present
    The glass on the door shook so hard it nearly shattered, and the metal hinges groaned with rust. As Alex burst through the door, out of breath and slick with sweat, he eyed the only two other people inside. His pounding heart seemed to cloud his vision somewhat, and the dimness in the room made shadows of its occupants. As he lumbered his way towards the counter, nearly knocking items off their haphazard stands along the way, he fidgeted with every pocket in his suit jacket to find his coin purse.

    “Uh,” he droned as he saddled up next to the grayly dressed strange, “You wouldn't -” Alex fought against traitorous lungs to find his voice, popping a loose cigarette into his lips in anticipation. “You wouldn't have a lighter, would you?”
    Now I drunk a lot of wine and I'm feelin' fine. Got to race some cat to bed.
    Oh, Is there concrete all around, or is it in my head?

  8. #8
    Member
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    Sulla's Avatar

    Name
    Octavius Sulla Maecenas
    Age
    22
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Dirty Blond
    Eye Color
    Green
    Build
    5'10', 165 lbs.
    Job
    Hitman/Killer

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    Sulla was, in no capacity, a religious man. Fatalism was the fevered dream of the lazy and unimaginative; Determinism ignored the unconquerable will that, if he had felt strongly enough on the subject, was his mantra. The killer had always grounded himself in humanist garb as a matter of base reason, and so divine intervention seemed a flight of fancy. But sometimes events bring about sweeping questions as to the true nature of reality, sundering the very foundation of core beliefs. Sometimes life seems to loosen its strict hold on the reigns of sense; cause and effect, lending an invisible hand to aid.

    Sometimes, a patsy walks right into your lap.

    Though worried when he'd first heard the man barging in, the killer could barely hide his enthusiasm at the stranger's approach. Disheveled, gangly, and thoroughly zoned out, he was a pickpocket's fantasy brought to life. Clumps of damp blonde hair covered his eyes in uneven, sticky clumps. Each time his body rose for breath, he looked certain to collapse clutching his heart. Perhaps the killer eyed him for an uncomfortably long time, because the man turned to his with that dazed looks and stared right back.

    “Sup?” His voice had all the life and cheer of a mortuary.

    “Hello!” Sulla spoke with an almost sincere cheer that felt wholly unnatural. He turned to Gertrude, who had watched everything behind the tightly clutched urn. “I'll buy a lighter for this fine young gentleman.” He slid five gold coins across the counter and helped himself to the first one he could reach. A hefty, glossy white thing made of pewter, the killer flicked it a few times to make sure it still lit, before gesturing to the newcomer that he'd light his cigarette.

    “Uh, thank you.” Suspicious, and confused by the gesture, the layabout still accepted. He leaned in a bit with the cigarette in his mouth before Sulla clumsy hit it, knocking the half-lit thing to the ground. The killer apologized and waited until the eventual moment when the other mean went to pick it up. Seizing the chance, he pretended to as well, bumping and then tumbling to the floor in a mirror match for the man. Sulla apologized again, helping him to his feet with an all to friendly bit of closeness.

    “Maybe you should take this and light it at your leisure.” He broke eye contact only to check the man once over once more, and grinned all the while.

    “Yeah, uh. Thanks again.” He walked out on leaden feet, with none of the energy he'd had when he popped in.

    The killer went back to the shopkeeper, smile and all, and plopped two coin purses up for her to see. One, a plan little thing of brown leather; the other, the soot black of an Aleran tannery, complete with some pithy saying calling the owner a “bad mother fucker.”

    “So, two hundred twenty-five you say?”
    Last edited by Sulla; 12-22-14 at 01:01 PM.
    "The man who is to be great is the one who can be the most solitary, the most hidden, the most deviant, the man beyond good and evil, lord of his virtues, a man lavishly endowed with will - this is precisely what greatness is to be called: it is able to be as much a totality as something multi-faceted, as wide as it is full."

    I Wish I Could Eat You Sun
    Hollow is my Crown
    Give Way To Bloom
    Glasses and Straight Razor

  9. #9
    Member
    EXP: 1,909, Level: 1
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    Sulla's Avatar

    Name
    Octavius Sulla Maecenas
    Age
    22
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Dirty Blond
    Eye Color
    Green
    Build
    5'10', 165 lbs.
    Job
    Hitman/Killer

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    Gertrude could barely follow what was going on, but the prospect of fresh coin seemed to give her eyes a new lease on life. Her shriveled talons swooped down on the coin purses with abject avarice, and she quickly began to count out her tidy sum. Henry's urn was soon forgotten on the counter, again teetering with an instability unsuspected for such a heavy piece. As the last of the gold was accounted for, the harpy slid the glasses in their case across to Sulla, flashing him a fanged smile all the while.

    “Twas a pleasure doing business with you!” Her eyes had all the warmth of the room, but the killer found himself distracted with the glimmer of something on a shelf just behind her. Unfolded and collecting a bit of dust, he caught a glimpse of one of the finest straight razor's he'd ever seen. Though just steel with a darkwood handle, it had an elegance and ease in its simplicity.

    “Before we're finished, how much for that wonderful little razor behind you? I fear I only keep a knife on me, and it gives a terrible shave.” Blades had always kept the killer's fascination; a herculean feat when he bored of everything so quickly. The shopkeeper brought the razor over for him to examine, and like a child's birthday present he snatched at it greedily to run his fingers down its length.

    “That was ol' Henry's. He had the damn thing enchanted to never rust, because every cheap throw-away he had beforehand failed on his so quickly.” Sulla passed her the remaining gold without a second thought. His eyes were solely focused on the steely hue and the slight reflection of a monster caught in it.

    “Thank you terribly much,” he said with a saccharine smile. “Tell me, is it just you and Henry who live here, all by yourselves?” Sulla fiddled with the glasses now, placing them on the bridge of his nose with the flourish of a coronation.

    “Aye, it gets lonely sometimes, but Henry is a good listener.” She patted the urn's lid with three rapid raps.

    “Well, you two do a fine job. I'll be sure to stop in again, real soon.” His transaction finished, the killer walked out into the streets. His new look would come in handy when he needed to tail his quarry again, but the moment seemed right to slide down a tight, dark alley connected to the store.
    "The man who is to be great is the one who can be the most solitary, the most hidden, the most deviant, the man beyond good and evil, lord of his virtues, a man lavishly endowed with will - this is precisely what greatness is to be called: it is able to be as much a totality as something multi-faceted, as wide as it is full."

    I Wish I Could Eat You Sun
    Hollow is my Crown
    Give Way To Bloom
    Glasses and Straight Razor

  10. #10
    Member
    EXP: 1,370, Level: 1
    Level completed: 69%, EXP required for next level: 630
    Level completed: 69%,
    EXP required for next level: 630

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    Pestarzt's Avatar

    Name
    Alex Alfons
    Age
    24
    Race
    Human
    Gender
    Male
    Hair Color
    Blonde
    Eye Color
    Blue
    Build
    6' 2" / 182 lbs.
    Job
    Vigilante

    Epilogue
    ”Damn it.” Alex's mind raced with a fury to match his his feet. Though his lungs burned, and he felt as if any minute might lead to his spontaneous combustion, he kept running with all the fervor he could manage. Garish was waiting like the impatient twit he was several blocks back, flipping his coin or chewing a toothpick like the stereotype he was.

    ”I hope someone didn't find it before I get back.” His coin purse had vanished at the most inopportune moment; just after the blunt had fizzled out, and right when the exchange was scheduled to happen. Had anyone else tried to put their hands on his product without the cash for it, Garish would've stabbed them out sight. But he knew Alex didn't have the capacity for duplicity, either morally or mentally his facilities for it were deficient. Still, he wouldn't wait around forever. The Pestarzt needed to find that money quickly.

    As he rounded a corner that could have been familiar, he was greeted by the overwhelming might of smoke. A burnt haze hung low to the ground, and a tower of it billowed high into the air. The man wished he had worn his gas mask as his eyes began to water. He slowed, taking in long, languid breaths in between coughing fits.

    The surrounding street resembled a war zone. Men in matching armbands ran to and fro with buckets of water and sand. The building ablaze seemed a lost cause, but they tried desperately to keep the nearby shops from being enveloped in the flames. Alex approached a line of men prepping more buckets for the brigade.

    “Need help?” His voice lacked any real enthusiasm for the task, but the pleading eyes of the fireman didn't seem to mind.

    “Grab a bucket of something and follow the next handful of bastards into the worst of it. Twilight's never glowed like this before!” Alex slid his mask down over his face and grabbed a container of sand. It felt heavier than he'd realized, but he was determined to keep pace with the next line of men who went running towards the shop next door. He slowed when he tripped a bit on a chunk of metal, and through the haze saw an oddly familiar metal vase.

    “Poor woman,” tisked a man to his right. “Tried to break the window with the ashes of her husband. We managed to get in there earlier, before it really started spread, but it looks as though she chose a quicker death than burning alive.”


    Out of Character:
    Sulla and Pestarzt lose a combined total of 395 GP.
    Sulla gets the enchanted glasses that cause other people's memory of his to be cloudy, except for the glasses themselves. (As outlined by myself and Dirks)
    Sulla gets a steel straight razor enchanted to never rust.
    The final five gold was used to purchase a lighter.
    Now I drunk a lot of wine and I'm feelin' fine. Got to race some cat to bed.
    Oh, Is there concrete all around, or is it in my head?

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