01: Checking in at the Copper Penny

In a godless world where atheism is rampant, society is decadent, invention is the future, and where the secrets of arcana have been all but completely forgotten, MERCS follows the harsh but compelling lives of guild mercenaries.

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Post by Genghis » Fri January 25 08 ; 2 27 pm

"Don't worry, I'll keep things at hand; my rapier won't stick out much..."
Once more unto the breach, dear friends!

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Re: 01: Checking in at the Copper Penny

Post by Uvuriel » Fri January 25 08 ; 4 59 pm

Kaelie rolls her eyes, clears her throat and mutters, "Not if they have guns..." She pretends to look as if she had tried not to be heard, then laughs and hides behind Morin.
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Re: 01: Checking in at the Copper Penny

Post by Gingerbread Guy » Sat January 26 08 ; 9 33 am

Eventually the mercenaries are lured downstairs by the smell of frying bacon and fresh bread. In the kitchen, Nara is hard at work preparing a delicious breakfast; May brings the food out to the dining table one dish at a time. The mercs find a basket of piping hot honeyed rolls, a platter of bacon, omelettes, and fresh fruit. One can picture Rymm's wealthy nobles tucking into such a breakfast early in the morning before mounting up and heading into the forest in search of game.

Young May is still as timid as the night before. Quiet as a mouse, she is in and out of the dining room with more food and drinks as quickly as her feet can carry her; when her services aren't required she remains in the kitchen with her mother. Even when she is pouring a drink or taking away an empty plate, she never makes eye contact. It is as though she has been holding the same breath she drew the night before.

Hogan is up early as well, of course, tending to the horses and making a few repairs before breakfast. Eventually he shows up to join the mercenaries at the table.

"I hope everyone slept well," he says politely, but otherwise he seems unsure how to engage guild mercenaries in small talk.

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Post by Genghis » Sat January 26 08 ; 6 07 pm

"Slept like a bear in the middle of winter, thank you!" Morin replies cheerfully. "I know we're here to rid you of your gnoll problem, not eat you out of house and home, but here's what I'd like to propose..." Morin then outlines his plan to Hogan and his family. He closes by adding, "To earn our food and beds until they return, we'd be glad to make repairs. Does that sit well with you?"
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Re: 01: Checking in at the Copper Penny

Post by Gingerbread Guy » Sat January 26 08 ; 10 47 pm

Hogan sits patiently and listens to the plan, nodding along as the details come out. He seems a little apprehensive at first, but Morin's confidence is infectious. With all the love and care that goes into the Copper Penny, it is to be expected that its caretaker is picky about how things are run, and Hogan, it would seem, is no exception.

"Well, ordinarily I don't think I could accept any help around the roadhouse," he begins cautiously, as though the mercenaries had just asked him to borrow his first born child (no offence to May), "but.. if it is part of the plan.. I suppose.. there isn't much to be said about that. As long as it is alright with Nara, of course."

Hogan summons his wife from the kitchen and explains to her in brief that their guests will be pitching in. In contrast to her husband's reaction, Nara is delighted. "You know," she confides quietly, "when Hogan put his foot down about the.. situation.. and decided to hire mercenaries, I admit that I didn't know what to expect. I certainly didn't expect such kind hearts to answer our call!"

"Well, there we have it," says a still-worried Hogan. "Since there are three Tobs and three of you, it makes sense for us to pair up. Nara usually works out in the garden by day and prepares the meals; May picks up the rooms, does odd jobs and has some duties in the stables; I suppose I'll mostly be doing repairs today. Take your pick."

"I'm sure I have an frock that I can lend you, for your disguise," Nara says to Kaelie, adding a wink.

[OOC: Let me know how you guys decide to divide up the chores.]

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Post by Genghis » Sun January 27 08 ; 8 30 am

"I think I'll stay with you," Morin suggests. "They will perceive you as the greatest threat, and I should be able to pull off a convincing enough coward that my presence by you won't deter them."
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Re: 01: Checking in at the Copper Penny

Post by Gingerbread Guy » Sun January 27 08 ; 9 54 pm

"You've done this before, haven't you?" Hogan asks Morin. He seems to be slowly warming up to the plan.

Nara looks at Dragen and Kaelie. "Do either of you have any experience with horses?"

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Re: 01: Checking in at the Copper Penny

Post by Uvuriel » Sun January 27 08 ; 10 27 pm

"I certainly do," Kaelie says. "Will I be helping in the stables, then?"
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Re: 01: Checking in at the Copper Penny

Post by Hypo Luxa » Mon January 28 08 ; 7 25 am

With a slightly dejected look, Dragen raises an eyebrow I suppose that leaves garden duty for me. I'll keep my distance from the kitchen though. I somehow managed to burn down the last kitchen I was in. Cooking was always my weakest skill, which is why I joined the guild.
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Re: 01: Checking in at the Copper Penny

Post by Gingerbread Guy » Mon January 28 08 ; 9 28 am

Hogan brightens knowing that if a mercenary has to spend the whole day mostly alone with his daughter, it will at least be a woman. He claps a hand on Dragen's back. "I'm sure you'll do fine, son."

And so is the labour divided. Morin spends his day with Hogan Tob who, try as he might, just can't find a way to dislike the charismatic mercenary. Hogan is picky about how things are done and spends a lot of time looming over Morin's shoulder as he mends broken furniture, sweeps floors, and sorts cracked and chipped dinnerware from the rest - to the point where Morin wonders if he's actually saving the man any time. The only time when he isn't fussing or going over Morin's work with an appraising eye is when he slips away to his office to sort out his paperwork; he likes to do that himself. [OOC: Ghengis, please make a DC 10 Craft check (or just an Int check if you don't have any ranks in Craft) to see how well you did during the day.]

After washing up the morning's dishes, Nara Tob takes Dragen by the hand as though he were her own son and leads him out a back door and into the backyard garden. In reality, it looks more like a small farm: rows of plants of all types grow in large patches of dark, turned soil, and Dragen can only guess at what they all are. His duties are quite simple, but are met with great encouragement from Nara, who seems to enjoy not only the company, but the opportunity to pass on a skill or two. Dragen's strength comes in to play drawing water from the well and pulling up networks of creeping weeds by their very roots, but Nara also teaches him some of the more delicate work, such as how to recognize harmful caterpillars which must be plucked from green leaves. Nara prepares a soup for lunch, but doesn't push Dragen into helping in the kitchen (though she does coax him gently to pass her the occasional utensil or spice). In the afternoon, Dragen is asked to pull up a couple turnips and potatoes to be turned into dinner. [OOC: Talon, please make a DC 10 Wis check (unless you have ranks in Profession: farmer that I don't know about, ha ha!) to see how well you did during the day. And check your PMs in a moment.]

After Hogan, Nara, Morin and Dragen leave the breakfast table, Kaelie finds herself totally alone - no May in sight. She is forced to search the roadhouse for the teenaged girl, and eventually finds her upstairs straightening the guest rooms. Still frightened of the mercenaries, she loosens up a little when Kaelie explains that she will be the one to help out with her daily chores, rather than one of the men. The first thing she does is find Kaelie an old frock her mother wore while she was pregnant - it is the only one that will fit over the mercenary's chain jerkin. The white dress with faded red-brown polka dots and laced, puffy sleeves is still a pretty awkward fit, particularly around the waist, but May seems determined to make it work. The clever young woman tries a few different tactics, pinning it here and there to give Kaelie a little more shape. At one point she ties a white ribbon around Kaelie's midsection, just below her breasts, but decides with a giggle that the bulk of her armor makes her look "indecently chesty". After a time they finally settle on a makeshift alteration that hides Kaelie's armor and perhaps even a small weapon or two. Their duties include straightening rooms, sweeping the front porch, mucking out the stalls, brushing and feeding the horses and taking the beasts for walks to stretch their legs (May's favourite part of the day). May says very little throughout the day, but by dinner time she seems quite comfortable with her assigned partner. [OOC: Uvy, make a DC 10 Handle Animal check to see how you did. I'm sure you'll hit this one out of the park. Also, let me know what you want to hide under that dress.]

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Re: 01: Checking in at the Copper Penny

Post by Uvuriel » Mon January 28 08 ; 11 24 am

Handle Animal:

[dice]1d20+9 = 28489477 [/dice]
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Re: 01: Checking in at the Copper Penny

Post by Uvuriel » Mon January 28 08 ; 11 34 am

Kaelie says nothing about looking "indecently chesty." She wouldn't have minded leaving it that way, if ony for humor's sake, but she allows May to keep tinking. She hides her short sword under the skirt, giving her relatively easy access to it.

The straightening up of things is nothing new to the warrior-woman. No matter the 'standard practice' of the guildhouses, Kaelie always makes up her room after her stay. Sweeping the porch is another matter--she understood the method, but found herself spraying dust and dirt everywhere until May gave her a few pointers--mainly to be more gentle.

Kaelie beamed when it was time to take care of the horses. She dearly loved these animals, and takes slightly more special care of her own mount. It wasn't that she didn't take the best care possible of the other mounts--it was more of an affection thing. She had grown very attatched to this creature that reminded her of her father.

By dinner time, Kaelie is plenty hungry, though she guesses she probably got the lightest load of the three mercenaries. She pokes a head in the kitchen to see if there's anything she can help with.
[font=Century Gothic]That is it!! Roll for initiative.
I hope you like pain.[/font]
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Post by Genghis » Mon January 28 08 ; 4 16 pm

Morin amiably brushes away the inrritation that might envelop another man at the constant supervision. Completely lost in the "being in the moment," morin doesn't waste any time worrying about gnolls, the future, or the quality of his work other than what his best effort provides.

By the end of the day, Morin is whispering slightly naughty limericks to Hogan: low enough that the women can't hear, but loud enough to make him blush and feel nervous. none of them are particularly harsh...just a little baudy perhaps...
[dice]1d20+3 = 1324950662 [/dice]
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Re: 01: Checking in at the Copper Penny

Post by Hypo Luxa » Tue January 29 08 ; 7 37 am

Having spent most of his early life learning new skills, Dragen absorbs the things Nara teaches him throughout the day with an appreciative hunger. He finds that she is easy to talk to and her warm motherly demeanor makes him feel like his presence is more welcome then it is an intrusion which is something he hasn't felt in awhile.

By midday, Dragen actually finds he is enjoying helping out and is sure he got the best job of the three mercenaries. After having a conversation with Nara in the garden, he allows himself to get caught up in the moment as he momentarily lets the reason they are here slip from his mind. It is when he catches a glimpse of Morin that reminds him of the mission with a snap and he makes a silent vow that that the gnolls will trouble this family no more.


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= 1397182724 [/dice]
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Re: 01: Checking in at the Copper Penny

Post by Gingerbread Guy » Wed January 30 08 ; 5 27 pm

"I must say, you three.. you more than earned your keep today," Hogan admits at dinner that night, a smile parting beneath his thick moustaches.

And it is the truth: the coffee table and several other pieces of furniture have been mended, the Copper Penny sign hangs once again above the front porch, the rooms are dusted and tidy, the horses are rested and happy, and the exotic casserole (something Nara says that the halflings call "lasagna") made with vegetables and herbs picked fresh from the garden is the talk of the table. The dinning room is filled with cheer and laughter, and for a time everyone seems to forget why the Copper Penny has guests once more.

"Keeping this place running has been an uphill battle ever since Tevor quit. Why, if you can keep up like this, when the gnolls are dealt with, I might not let you three go!"

Hogan laughs heartily, but something of a silence falls at that. In particular, May - who had opened up enough to smile and even say a few words - shrinks noticeably in her seat and hangs her head. The only thing she says before disappearing up to her room is "May I please be excused." The sound of her door closing is faint, but it causes the humbled father to wince as though he'd been stabbed.

"Its this wine," he grumbles quietly. "Makes me forget what I'm saying. Shouldn't have brought him up."

Nara offers a polite smile for the three mercenaries. "We used to employ a young man named Tevor here," she explains. "He was a great help with the heavy lifting - "

"My back ain't what it used to be," Hogan grudgingly admits.

"- and he did a good job in the stables." As brave as Nara is, some sadness shows through her smile. "Over the years, Tovin developed feelings for May, and though we didn't know it right away, May seems to have felt the same way. Tovin quit and left shortly after the gnolls started showing up, and May has taken it pretty hard."

"So have I!" Hogan interrupts. "I loved that boy! If he only thought to ask, I'd have gladly given May away to him." The gruff man crosses thick arms over his chest, frowning. "I had a dowry set aside and everything."

"Oh, dearest.. you're sulking like a kicked puppy. When the gnolls are gone, Tovin will come back. You'll see."

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