The Spider Cliff Mysteries

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Writing in the dust of dawn!

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Posted by Alice belladora, 5:03am, 8 May, 2009

*Prods Radek from behind in a dark hallway*

Mr Radek? what are you doing down there? on the floor? Heh, sorry. I haven't really gotten out of the habit of sneaking up on people. I think i spent too long with the ninjas of the "frozen mountain." I heard a terrific banging. Wondered what it could have been.

What am i doing up this late? well, i simply couldn't sleep, what with all the excitement! .....Worried? me? certainly not! well, possibly. A bit. More than a bit. See, it turns out more people want my blood than i'd remembered. They might have forgotten some things, but some things you just can't forget... *Dark, brooding look* ....I'll have to disguise myself. No more stripy socks and oversized velvet trenchcoats for me! (even though they do store a remarkable amount of supplies)

The thing is... Do you mind if i borrow your jacket? just for a time. And perhaps your big hat? I promise i'll give them back, er, eventually. I'll have to go to the old Bertram outfitters... get myself a nice new suit. I just hope he's forgotten our little bet. My last one i had to trade for my safe passage out of the mines of... Ha, nevermind. I'm rambling.

The captain has put the ship in auto pilot, and he asked if i could keep another eye on things. He's retired to his quarters with a nice bottle of wine, i think. He thinks i have potential, you know. He says I could become a captain myself! ha, what a ridiculous notion... I'm such a scatterbrain, we'd end up buried inside a mountain! *smile that comes off more manic than innocent*

Well, goodnight. I think i'll take a walk up on the viewing deck... I'll try not to fall off this time. The constellations can be very calming. I might actually fall asleep up there. I've done it before. If you can't find me anywhere else, i'll be up there. *waves, and disappears remarkably quickly*

*muttering darkly*

Not that i need the so-called "captain's" help. Not after the last time. Captain? me? he's trying to pretend it never happened. He can't bear the fact i beat him to it. Well, i'll make him remember, whether he likes it or not. He was always too proud, old Eckhartd. No doubt he was the one who sent those pirates. Leticia had no idea. Gosh, i hope she's alright.

*Crash!* buckets now?! i tell you, this whole ship wants me dead! curses! damn and blast!

*more muttering*

I had to hit him over the head with my ladle... knock him out.. he knows too much. Can't have him blurting things out. Why, oh why, can't i have a normal job, like normal people. Like an accountant. *muttering fades*

This message was last edited on 8 May 2009.

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 6:26am, 8 May, 2009

*startledly turns around, hitting his head against a low-laying girder* Gaaah! Alice?! You're the least person I expected to sneak up on me- I mean, well... Let me rephrase that. Whichever ninjas you spent winters learning secret techniques from, they obviously taught you well. I've never trained in the arts of the ninja, or anything stealthy for that matter. But you were like a fly on the wall, a veritable orchid of the sneaky arts!

Although one that apparently has some people angry at her. *frowns in worry* Well, you certainly don't seem phased at all, Miss Belladora. I am, however, and can empathize with being in a hostile crowd. It'd be my pleasure to loan you this beat up old thing.*whips off the coat without a second thought* It's certainly not as nice as your entrenched velvety coat, but there a few nice hidden pockets sewn on the inside, and it'll keep you warm if you're in trouble. I'll miss your style, you know. *Rests fingers on the brim of his hat, then whips it off as well, revealing a case of terrible hat hair* Ah, and as for that, there's a compartment in the top you might be able to hide, say, a certain silver pistol within. Also, it gives terrible static shock. Ignore my hair, I used to bleach it, but it's faded back to it's normal carroty self...

Er, are you sure that they aren't too large for you? I think the coat should fit fine, well, mostly, but the sleeves could stand to be let out a bit... Anyway, keep them as long as you want. Given the amount of clothes you've lost over your expeditions, it's only fair if you take them for a little while... although you know I'd be glad to hear any tales of adventure you have. Especially if they involve the legendary three-dot mines! Aren't they home to that ancient tribe of pygmy cave-walrus?

*scratches the back of his head nervously, covertly pocketing the creme-coloured sock* Well, feel free to hold on to them anyway. *grins lopsidedly* You -are- going to stand out wherever you go, though. That can't be helped, though! Even different clothes can't disguise the spirit of adventure in your heart! *grins widely* Ha, that sounded a little more cheesy then I thought it would, but it's true!

You know what? You could become a sky captain, if that's what you wanted- once you get into the air with these older models, you just let them stew for awhile, and make sure the boiler doesn't go flat. It's only when you're trying to avoid something that.- Er, not that I know anything about captain-ing! Hahahaa! Aaaah. Nice chap, the captain? *pauses, then speaks almost in a near whisper, staring at his feet*

Ya know... I don't think we'd end up buried in a mountain, or any other hazardous to airship obstacle. Ya got us this far, didn't you..? The captain was out, and you had to take the wheel, so ya did. Sure, the ship did crash in the end, but it was your first time. All I'm saying is, if you want to fly one of these things, you could do it. *shrugs, then smiles*

Would you like some accompaniment? Just to make sure no falling of any kind occurs? Because I'd be rather lost in this endless sky without you to guide me, madame. *pauses then waves back, nearly shouting as she melts into the distance* I'll see you this morning then, Alice. Enjoy the stars!

*smiles genuinely, seemingly uplifted and oblivious from his previous dour self, practically skipping down the hallway - and tripping on a conveniently fallen mop. Clang!*

... a mop? this part of the deck hasn't been mopped in ages!... Come to think of it, sure have been a lot of strange things just left lying about...

This message was last edited on 8 May 2009.

Posted by Alice belladora, 3:13am, 9 May, 2009

*Knocks loudly on library door*

Radek? if i may be so forward to call you that, i've come to tell you we're here! ..Radek?
*slowly slides in*

Ah, there you are... I hope you've got everything. I've been packing. I know It's early, but the captain wants us off the ship... ah, right now. It's amazing how much energy the man has got! he's stomping around, swearing, hitting things.... apparently i caused far much more damage than he'd realised. *grins sheepishly* ah ha. The stars were veiled, and i fell asleep on the floor. Apart from the cramp from sleeping on a hard, horizontal surface all night, I'm rather well.

Still, at least we're alive! I brought you some tea. *holds out beverage* come on, then. I don't want to be around the captain when he's calling me things like "a ship destroyin' walking disaster!" *grabs Radek by the hand and pulls him along*

We've landed on the north-side dock, after a fashion. Er, crashed. On the north side dock... the engine packed up, fortunately we were close, um, enough. *Pulls him through many winding corridors* Do you mind if i also borrow your handkerchief? i need it to pull over my face, lest the locals see me. I'll be alright once I'm newly attired! I've been drawing the outlines for my new suit, and hopefully Mr Bertram can have it done within the hour. If you can say nothing else for the man, he's certainly good at sewing a pattern. I have no idea what I'm going to do for buttons, though. The charges he puts on for gold buttons is ridiculous. I might be able to get them second hand... *talking to herself now, more than to him*

*Pulls him up a flight of stairs, gets lost twice, and finally pulls him through a hatch in the ceiling, out into the brilliant sunshine*

Here we are, good sir. Darcancia. The north dock. Quite high up, isn't it? You can see the opera house from here... look, just over there. *points* And over there... *points* is the Astrology Institute. They have a flair for over-the-top architecture.
Hmmm... *looks around warily*

There seems to be a lot of merchants out today. Don't buy anything off them, unless you want counterfeit goods. I made the mistake of doing that once. I came home with not an antique pocket-watch, but a cruel fake! If you want genuine dragon's eggs, you'll have to go the aforementioned boiler-rooms... *Cough* Not that we're interested in seedy things like that! certainly not!
*whispers* If you get caught, you'll be facing 18 years imprisonment, and a diet of cold, lumpy porridge, or a fine of 20,000. I did it once (the smuggling, not the imprisonment) and would have been caught if i hadn't challenged the guard to a riveting game of chess, and given him my boots and coat- Ha, nevermind! *this is delivered by way of a loud shout, startling passers-by*

Some things you really shouldn't say in pulic, what with all these guards around these days. I fear the world has become very unfriendly to adventurers and treasure-hunters...

Well, i feel that this is where we part, Mr Radek. Not for too long, i hope, for adventuring awaits us. And a very angry captain. *winces* Feel free to explore the city... but please remember all that i told you, and one thing i forgot to mention, which is: If a well-off looking lady approaches you, and asks about "Lady Alice" tell her,
"Lady? never heard of no ladies, nor have i hears of "grand opening ceremony" "raid" or "treacherous opera singer". I'm just a young blacksmith, milady."

Then you should proceed to wring your hat. She should leave you alone.

Anyway, i have an appointment with a tailor, and perhaps a good barber. You can come along to my Shop, at the end of the day. There awaits heroic tales and excellent tea. I'm sure my antiques would fascinate you. We've recently imported a lot of cursed books...

Well, I'm getting off track. I'll see you later, shall we say, after lunch? I'm sure that will give you enough time to explore the wonders of Darcancia. By the way, don't order the cheese sandwich if you really must visit "ye olde foode shoppe", you'll end up with more than a hefty bill. The place has a reputation for pirates an other rough types. Of course, that would all be part of the rustic charm, if only the food didn't taste like someone threw up on it.

Have fun, and do try to not get yourself fined, murdered, of imprisoned!

*Waves, smiles, and disappears miraculously into the crowd*
This message was last edited on 9 May 2009.

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 6:12am, 9 May, 2009

*is lying in a pool of books, quietly muttering to himself and rustling around, yawning and smiling sheepishly before getting to his feet*

Alice? Er, I mean, Miss Belladora. You could probably call me 'hey, you' and I'd answer it with a smile, haha... er, wha time is it? only, I didn't actually sleep too much... I definately slept well, though, this book was a great pillow and I had the nicest dream... *grins widely, then blinks twice and gets to his feet*

It's time to leave already? Strange, I though the captain would want me- Er, us to stay on board for awhile? I wouldn't be getting you into any sort of trouble if we just up and leave then, would I? At least... Not the kind we wouldn't enjoy and find fascinating?! *smiles softly* Whatever damage you caused, it's nothing a little elbow grease can't fix. I should've gone and watched the stars with you... but it sounds like you slept well, barring sleeping conditions. *rubs a book-shaped indentation on his cheek*

Tea, the perfect drink for starting any day, anywhere! *downs it in one gulp, grabs Alice's fingers in his own, and follows, staring at the huge dock in front of them*

This... This is incredible! Er, even if we did crash. Is that a muledragon drawn carriage? I've heard that only the richest and most decadent of merchant-princes can afford luxuries like that... and, er, a group of rather angry dockworkers. I'm sure that we didn't cause that much damage... How on earth did the engine pack up? I checked it myself before I went to sleep, I could've sworn it was fine then... *looks thoughtful, then reaches into his pocket and removes a handkerchief*

You know, if you keep this up, I'm not going to be wearing -anything- by the time we reach Mr. Bertram, haha! That being said, if it's for the sake of your safety... would you prefer an actual bandana of sorts? Ah, drat. I left that on board, I fear. I suppose this'll have to do for now... *even though Alice's conversation seems to be mostly self-directed, Radek listens intently* Well, gold from the old Arcile mines has been at a high price recently... have you considered silver? I don't know what you have in mind for yourself, but silver would be a good color for you. *shrugs, then follows Alice around a bewildering maze of stairs, corridors, hallways, and doors, before finally being dragged into the open sun. He opens and closes his mouth several times, speechless.*

This... It's like no matter where I look, we're still flying. The towers reach up forever, mazes of porcelain and glass the strike into the sky like arrowheads... maybe we'll even have our own stars, someday. *slowly takes in the view, his grip tightening slightly as a serene smile drifts on to his face* Haha, the Astrology institute looks like some sort of zodiac-styled cabbage. That being said, we'll have to go there, we just have to. And the opera, and- *snaps out of his awe*

Right. Merchants.. I don't trust them. Seems to me most of 'em sell you exactly what you don't need... Pirate beards, wolverines, damaged motor-vehicles... used crystal refining lenses... goldfish bowls... Right! No fakes for us, if any merchants try to pawn that off, I'll- *stops himself and coughs politely* Tell them off firmly but gently. And we're -certainly- not interested in anything that could risk imprisionment, torture, or possibly death!

... not unless it's fun, anyhow. *winks quickly* Wait, boots and coat?! *blinks, then embarassedly scratches the back of his ginger-y head*

Truly. I can feel the stare of a thousand armed civil servants zoning into the back of my skull... really, you'd think they'd know better to try to intimidate a couple of unpredictable individuals like ourselves... but then again, they don't have to. A civilized world doesn't have need for adventurers... Even the quite refined troublemakers that happen to be our very good selves. *grins*

Normally, I'd try to keep you with me, but I have the distinct impression you have things to do, and definitely a good suit to get. As for the captain - *notices Alice wince, and purses his lips* - leave him to me. It seems to me things have been oddly complicated lately, and I intend to fix that. *smiles toothily* But! I'm rambling. I'll keep everything you said in mind and expect to be completely in awe of the dashing figure you'll cut in that new suit of yours.

We shall meet again at your shop when the sun sets... *stares at Alice bemusedly* Cursed books, hmn...? What a coincidence, indeed. Perhaps- *pauses* haa, it feels like ages since the sun beat down like this. It's wonderful. Well, my sunny starlight traveling companion, many safe hours in this fine city- I cannot wait to see you again, trade poetry, tea... and although my cooking skills are not great, perhaps I can make some tea cakes for our refreshments? *smiles, bows elegantly, and waves, watching Alice go before sighing contentedly and heading south into town*

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 6:40am, 9 May, 2009

Hmn, what to do while Alice is taking care of her business... I could try to go free up my motor-bike and poor caged Arnold, but I'd rather not face the captain right now... And honestly, I want to explain things to Alice, first. So, that's out of the picture... *stares at the merchants* definately not buying anything from them. so, let's see what there is to see..? *passes several shopfronts before a sign catches his eye*

-Cochrane and Company Fine Smithy: Finer then Ye Olde Food Shoppe and with techniques as old as their Finest and Oldest Cheese-

*Three hours of painfully long haggling later, involving an exchange of curses, arguments about whether the size of swords is important, declaration of refusal to serve, and being told to take it up with the boss, Radek leaves, confused and somewhat worse for wear, but with two mysterious parcels*

Excellent. Sort of. I never knew that getting into fights with the owners of stores would be so productive! Two things taken care of, now just to find Alice... *Lost in thought, he doesn't notice the stranger nearby, and with a crash, stumbles into her and drops his packages to the floor.*

Aaack! So sorry, didn't mean to disturb you, ma'am.. just let me pick these up, and... *scoops up the parcels, only to notice how elegantly the woman is dressed, and how cruel her eyes are.*

"How very quaint. Someone from out of town. You look like just the sort of person I've been told to expect... By a little bluebird of happiness, no less." *the stranger grins unpleasantly* "You wouldn't happen to be the aquaintance of a fine lady of some regards, the lady Alice... Would you? You wouldn't mind if I asked you a few questions about my dear old friend..? She was involved in a-" *Radek's grey eyes are expressionless as he answers*

I'm sorry. Ya must have me mistaken fer someone else. Never heard 'no ladies, especially no one who'd be friends with you. Just a smith, work over at Cochrane's. This is a delivery I'm making, and if I'm late the boss'll kill me. And I'm not joking. Sorry for bumping into you, ma'am. *before she can answer, walks quickly off, only stopping once he's out of sight, and letting out a long sigh*

Well I didn't actually think I'd meet any of the characters Alice mentioned... I hope a suit'll be enough to keep her out of sight and out of mind... er, and that I said the right things. Wasn't I supposed to say I didn't know nothing about something? Or was it that I wasn't supposed to say that...? Damn, no idea. Well, I better try to find her shop before the sun sets... some warm tea and a friendly face sounds excellent right now. *starts weaving through the thinning crowds, looking for any sign of Alice or her shop*

Posted by Alice belladora, 9:21am, 9 May, 2009

*Leaves Bertram outfitters, looking smart and possibly funky in a brown velvet suit with second-hand golden buttons and newly-shined platform boots, carrying Radek's clothes.*

*Talking to herself*
Ahh! That's better. I always find It's nice to have new clothes. My old ones were the wrong kind of funky. *Yawns* But i certainly didn't expect Old Bertram to be looking so.... worse for wear. I can tell something's eating at him... but it certainly wouldn't be polite to ask. No. But I've never seen anyone with scars so... extensive. They went up one sleeve and out the other, they did. I hope he hasn't been crossing paths with any suspicious fellows. Like last time. Why does no-one ever listen to my advice? He didn't even bother charging me for the buttons. Very unlike him. I mean, he's so obsessed with money. He wouldn't save his own grandmother unless somebody payed him. Hmmm. I should probably visit my old librarian friend. Haven't seen him in almost a year! ....Huh?

What ho?! *notices a seedy-looking fellow in the distance* Virgil?! damn! oh, no, he's looking this way. Pretend not to notice him. He's coming towards me. Damn. I owe him money!

*Looks around for an exit, like a trapped rat, and melts into the crowd*

I always knew hanging around with albino ninjas was a good idea!
Now, back to the shop. I'll put up a big, eye catching flag. He'll be able to see where i am then. I hope he hasn't met Perpetua. She doesn't give up easily. When did i think stealing things from a sorceress was a good idea?! Arrrgh?!!

*Trips over a protruding flagstone, executes a dramatic backflip into a crate of melons, picks herself up, and runs down a narrow street at record speed. Two minutes later, she bursts through the door to her shop, picks up the temporary shopkeep, removes him from the premises, and quickly starts making tea for two people.*

*Pant* I just go put up that flag while the tea brews... *wheeze* And comb my hair. It's getting too long. Gets rather in the way, sometimes. Maybe i should tuck it into my trousers? no, that would look ridiculous. Is my suit alright? It's a bit tight. Well, at least It's warm. And I'll put out the biscuits. Do you think he'll like chocolate bourbons? (muttering to herself, yet again) And i'd better put away that vicious cursed magnifying glass. And when i've done that, I'll sit in my armchair and wait. It's almost 3 o' clock. He should be here soon. *muttering fades*

This message was last edited on 9 May 2009.

Posted by Alice belladora, 10:00am, 9 May, 2009

*An owl lands on the windowsill of Alice's store-room. It hoots softly as she passes by, carrying a pot of tea and a mountain of biscuits. (Alice, not the owl.)*

Spektor? There you are, old chap. I wondered when i'd be seeing you again. You've been following us for three days, haven't you? *She lets the owl hop onto her sleeve, and carries him into the back-room. She puts the refreshments down, and lets Spektor perch on a low bookshelf.*

You will be good when Mr Radek comes, won't you? No pecking people to death just because they look at me. I know what you're like. I promise he's not here to steal anything. Terribly Interesting person, though i do have my suspicions... Ha, probably just my overactive imagination. *Sits down, and pensively nibbles a bourbon.*

I do hope Mr Radek hasn't got lost. I should've given him a map, shouldn't i?
Wait, i have an idea. Go and find him for me, and drag him in the right direction! you can't miss him. He'll probably have two mysterious parcels, knowing him!

*The owl leaves the room.*

Hmm. That was a very odd scene. *Nibbles*

This message was last edited on 9 May 2009.

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 10:00pm, 9 May, 2009

I have no idea where I am, all of this junk I've got is weighing me down, and worse yet, I'm pretty sure that Alice didn't expect me this late... *sighs, hefts parcels, and carefully avoids anyone's path* And now I'm talking to myself. Somehow, I feel like the habit is contagious, and I didn't start it... All right, Radek. Think. If you were a building that sold interesting and unique antiquities, where would you hide? Aaaah, didn't she even tell me where it was earlier? I should've made a note on a napkin or something... hmn, maybe even asked for a map. Gaaah! *a small shadowy form drops from the sky like gray lightning, causing Radek to drop his packages and collapse to the ground*

Wonderfully smooth there, Skinner. It seems that you're perfectly capable of dodging... er, owls, but panic at the mere sight of them, and completely incapable of noticing normal people. Wait a second... Why are you tugging at my collar, lil' grey? Please don't tell me you're trying to get you to follow you, or something preposterous like that. Last time I followed a hunch like that, I got lost in the wild Mutomarsh, and-
*stops, and gathers up his fallen goods, which seem to have multiplied in the last few hours* ... You know, I can think of only one person that I know who would come up with such a crazy ideas as sending an owl to fetch me. *grins widely* So, lead the way! Unless it's into an ambush or something, and I'm completely off-track. I kind of have my hands full right now.

*passes by a ruined crate of melons, a very confused looking individual who was clearly evicted from somewhere at great speed, and finally a gigantic(and somewhat gaudy) yet eyecatching flag!*

Hrmn. Somehow, I do think this is the place. Well, my erstwhile owlish friend, I guess I owe you an apology for briefly being startled and thinking of knocking you out of the sky!... *stares at the owl, with it's incredibly bright, beady little eyes* Er. That was a joke, by the way. Don't stare into my soul like that, it's unnerving. Wait, why am I even talking to you? Aaah, gotta get ready... *paces back and forth, runs a hand through his hair, takes several deep breaths, and then knocks on the door* Alice? I really hope this is your shop, and if it isn't, sorry! I'm coming in!

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 10:13pm, 9 May, 2009

... Miss Belladora. *Seems completely caught off guard* Er... Your hair is quite nice, you know? It's very long. Uh, and that's a good thing! You know, it goes quite well with that suit; so you *did* get the gold buttons, they're quite impressive... and I like your boots. Uhmn- ow! *Gets pecked in the back of the head by Spektor, fidgets a little, then sits down* I wasn't sure, but I figured this owl was trying to lead me to you, so I decided to follow it. He reminded me of Arnold, in a far less lethal way... Er, so I should hope. *rubs the back of his neck*

You really do look great, you know. *smiles awkwardly, then finally remembers he's carrying packages* Er! And I got suckered into- I mean, I brought you some things! You see, I decided I was going to pick up something to defend myself with, given that so far I've been rather useless, and on the way here, I got pulled into a thousand little stalls and shops... and I ran into this horrible woman with ice-cold eyes, and I couldn't remember what ya'd wanted me to say to throw her off yer tracks, and, and... *sighs, leans back in his chair, and smiles* Anyway, it's been an interesting day, and it's damn fine to see you again. This shop is incredible! I want to see everything later, although I will admit to being a little exhausted right now... ah, and this is for you. *reaches into one of the parcels, and pulls out a tiny case*

It -was- supposed to be a blown-glass rose, but I think it broke when I dropped- er, I mean was attacked by the army of Firey Serpent Hoodlums!... So I apologize, but I guess it's more 'pretty pieces of colored glass right now'. *grins sheepishly, then sits up straight* Everything looks great here, if I may be so blunt to say so *he lets the words hang for awhile before continuing* - and I think it's been awhile since we've caught up. I'd love nothing more then to hear what's happened to you today... well, unless something else comes to mind. *smiles widely, takes a sip of tea*

Posted by Alice belladora, 3:11am, 10 May, 2009

Mr Radek! You gave my quite a start, you know. I'm glad spektor found you. Of, course, i knew he would. Hmm? My hair? nice? are you seriou- um, why, thank you. I'm glad you like me suit. Always been fond of suits, i have. I've never really worn them, though, because they cost a lot and most have no hidden pockets! I did specify to Bertram to sew as many in as possible, though, so i should be alright... Wearing something so smart and-might i say?- dashing, reminds me of the days when i was a pi-

Ice-cold eyes? Woman? Horrible!? Oh, dear. Oh dear. Oh no! This is bad news indeed. I thought I'd put her behind me. Of course, i always knew she'd find me again. But she's terribly powerful. Beneath her beautiful and charming exterior lies a heart of pure malice! she has charmed many into giving up their riches, and souls! She was married 15 times, each time her husbands died mysteriously, leaving her mountains of gold!

*...cough* Well, I'm sure she won't try anything in such a crowded place. Ahem.

A present!? *gets almost endearingly exited* ...It's... lovely. No, honestly! Thank you! I'm sure the fact that It's broken into a thousand pieces is all part of it's charm. I can have it put back together in a few hours. Come to think of it, I've always been fond of sharp things... I'll put it on my bedside table. You know, it is said that roses have protective power! *very serious look* So i won't be murdered in the night! always a very strong risk when so many people are angry with me.
Not to get you down. Don't pay any attention to my troubles! I'm sure yours are far greater.
So... *stirs tea contemplatively* ...Do tell me about your adventures. Pick any, as I'm certain they're all as exiting as each other. Mine can wait.
*Looks up*
I haven't forgotten. You told me, a while ago, that you'd tell me about them? over a pint of fine ale? Well, this isn't ale, but i always strive to create the perfect cup of tea. .....And have fallen woefully short, yet again. Ah ha...
Well, go on, then, and I will listen as intently as i can. Have a bourbon.

*sips tea and looks at Mr Radek expectantly*

This message was last edited on 10 May 2009.

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 6:30am, 10 May, 2009

You know, I don't think I've been so content with life for ages. Reclining here near to a good friend, a good cup of tea, and some truly good stories is more then I could ask for, and possibly more than I deserve. *quietly chuckles* Sometime, you'll have to tell me about your dashing days, although I can't imagine a day where you don't stand out. *smiles, then assumes a serious expression*

That woman seemed dangerous. I usually don't judge people at first glance, but, rarely do you see someone in normal society with that much drive to get what they want. I suppose ambition has it's place, but there are limits to everythin- Fifteen husbands?! Mountains of gold?!?! *shakes his head* Well, I have no idea what you did to get on her bad side, but if she - or anyone - tries to bother you while we're here, they'll have to get through me first!... Well, unless they bust through the door while I'm eating a bourbon or something. Then I'll have to put that down, grab something to use as a weapon first- anyway.

*fidgets nervously again, looking almost as excited as Alice* Ahmn, you see, I know it's not perfect, but, well, I wanted to pick up something for you, and... ya know, it just seemed the nice thing to do- you like it though?... really? *smiles softly* Then I couldn't be happier. I happen to like sharp things too, so maybe it's good as it is- but whatever you do with it, even if ya get rid of it later... If it brings you a few laughs and smiles now, wonderful. And if it does offer some protection... *shrugs, bemusedly* Don't joke about that, though. Being murdered, I mean. What would I do without you? Well, besides becoming lost and getting suckered into terrible deals? *smiles back, and sips his tea thoughtfully*

I don't know if I can rate my troubles as being greater or lesser then yours, and nor can I ignore them. But! You did ask me to tell you about my adventures, and I -did- promise you... and a gentleman, even one as bedraggled as myself tries to keep to his word. As to the drink, I prefer it to ale. Not that I'm adverse to the occasional iced greymist vodka, but honestly, even that seems pale in comparison to the perfect cup of tea - and on the contrary, I think you've done an excellent job, as always. Alllthough it might just be not having to stir it with a pencil, haha!... So, my adventures...

*Radek sighs thoughtfully, and turns to stare out the window, pausing briefly before speaking. And of course, he has a bourbon*

Posted by Sacrificialamber, 7:15am, 10 May, 2009

There are a lot of adventures I've been on, personally... and I'm sure you have quite a few under your belt, too. *grins widely* But it seems to me that as good a place to start as any is how I got here. This expedition took me from one entire continent to the next, actually. *stops to ponder his words carefully in between sips of rapidly cooling tea* To be honest... it was less of an adventure, and more just plain recklessness, recklessness that rapidly spiraled out of control.

It was a few years ago. The place I was raised, er... I haven't been meaning to lead you on, but I didn't exactly come from gentry or anything. *scratches the back of his head* My folks taught me to live with nature, respect the earth, and look to the world around me when I was in trouble, or couldn't understand something.. and they encouraged me to read whenever I could. It didn't change the fact we were dirt poor, but that didn't matter, really. *smiles contentedly, slowly sighing into his tea* Eventually however, some local lord or another threatened to evict my family, and several others from the land they had worked for their entire lives. I lost my temper.

All that accomplished was getting me a one-way ticket out of Almeria- not that I'd miss much besides my family, and a few old childhood friends- but I didn't know how to survive or what I'd do in the open world... Luckily, a passing band of mercenary adventurers took me under their wing! We toured all over the land, fighting the dreaded fire bears of the northern marches, and searching for rare texts and treatises for our mysterious benefactor: an individual known only as the Professor.

Perhaps you remember me mentioning him when first we met? But, I'm getting ahead of myself. During my stay with the boisterous posse, I'd learned a few things about sportsmanship, swordfighting, marksmanship, and how to play a mean game of cards. But, the one thing I'd always wanted - and it's probably just my ancestry talking - is, I always wanted people to accept me as someone. Not someone important, just... not look down at my family for what they did. I figure that the Professor took advantage of that fact, really..

One evening, he approached our camp with his iron cane firmly in hand, and told me that in addition to paying off my dues to the band leader, he'd be glad to introduce me to polite society if I'd just help him find one last text- the Serey Ochresne. I readily agreed. We journeyed by boat, foot, and sky-ship to the edge of the Great Silver Sea, to a quite modern town famous for it's clockworks and elegant pies, Cinnabar if I recall; next to it was the cave in which the text was supposedly hidden.

We delved into it's depths the very next morning. I'd protected the old man for some time from animals, the occasional bandit(most of whom were quite friendly after a few insults had been exchanged), and a whole army of lightning-powered mechanical insects, so I expected we were ready for anything. We were- nothing disturbed us as we made our way down into chambers where lines of solemn blue crystals hung silently from the cavern walls. A statue of an ancient woman, missing her head and holding a large, obsidian tome, filled the center of the antechamber- how it got there is a mystery, but I suddenly knew that we weren't meant to take the tome.

I told the Professor what I thought, and the old man lost all composure he'd ever had; screaming that I hardly knew what I was talking about, that the book was the most important one he'd ever seen, that if only I knew what I was talking about... I'd like to say that we had some climatic fight, and he revealed his evil intentions, or that I found out later that I was right, and the book was evil, or a trap, or filled with slimy ice-spitting eels. But all he did was smile strangely, point at me, and tell me that I'd die of my heart stopping before I'd ever found happiness. Which is a terrible thing to say, but.. I did leave him there. Not that it seemed dangerous, besides a half-hearted premoniton.

*sighs, looking tired* Hardly brave, or loyal, especially considering that I had sworn to guard the man. I can't even explain my motives. But, it lead me to an old abandoned skyship factory, where I and a group of friendly prison inmates hitched a ride over here! It was a long journey, and trying, and led me to think on many things... How really, when it came right down to it, protecting someone for your pay is a terrible idea. You should protect the people you care about, instead. Which lead to my current career as a freelance adventurer! Much more fun, don't you think? Less pay or certainty, but you meat the most wonderful people... *smiles serenely, then stares at Alice with a slight sparkle in his eyes*

Hopefully, you won't think less of me for my misadventures. I probably should've picked something more upbeat, or perhaps shorter? *grins widely, finishing his tea* To make it up for you, I'd be glad to heat some more water and brew some more tea; especially if you'd be so kind as to share your adventures, or even just some of your thoughts with me. I've talked quite a bit, and your thoughts can be elusive as they are intriguing, Miss Alice.

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