Post by Mathis Aneirin on Aug 5, 2017 14:54:19 GMT -5
[9th Harvestmere, 9.34 - with Zevran , late evening]
Visiting Kirkwall always bolstered Mathis' spirits. He relished being in a port town, though not so much that he would ever considered estranging himself from the Order, and subsequently his stand-offish ways were somewhat tempered for the duration. That meant that he was actually able to articulate his needs, albeit without excessive details, to the Senior Wardens when requesting permission to visit the merchants who operated out of Darktown.
The Senior Warden granted permission. Buoyed by his surroundings, Mathis did not insist upon another Warden accompanying him, although he made sure to know precisely which tavern they would be drinking that night. He set off for the dingy slums which existed beneath the city of Kirkwall.
Moving through the rank and disgusting streets, the stench of which reminded him of adventures whilst still a raider, Mathis followed his instincts until he happened upon a hunched over man, covered in his own filth and sitting upon a bucket. Desperation heralded odd effects.
"I'm looking for toxin extract. Not the usual shit. I want some of what you just received from Antiva." Once a raider, always a raider. He had noted the various ships docked in the port and made a few assumptions based on preferences for which false colours to fly and the inconsistencies with class of ship associated with such countries. All of which had told him there was some specialist ingredients being traded around Kirkwall this evening. This particular piece of shit dressed as a man was one of Mathis' regular contacts. "And anything else you're hiding."
Zevran was tired of Kirkwall and longed for the dog smells and muddy streets of Ferelden. A turn of events he would have never predicted five years earlier when he first set sail for Ferelden and what he thought his death. But as Leliana remained in Kirkwall, so did Zevran, ever her faithful friend. Too long they had spent apart doing those things they had to without the other. That was no longer necessary, at least for Zevran. His particular demons had been slain.
Antivans were many things; talented lovers, scrupulous merchants, purveyors of excellent wine were a few. Masters of the art of poisoning was yet another. There were certain extracts and ingredients extremely difficult to procure outside of Antiva. Before Ignacio showed his true allegiance to the Crows, Zevran purchased what he needed from the old Crow.
Now? Ignacio took his leave of Denerim and found healthier air elsewhere. Whispers, hot and heady upon his ear that morning, told of a shipment of particular interest to him that was to arrive that day.
The evening’s shenanigans had brought him deep into Lowtown, as rancid a place as any that Kirkwall had to offer, in search of a bit of poisonous nostalgia.
Another appeared to have a similar idea to Zevran and was speaking to the man identified as Zevran’s contact when he arrived. "I'm looking for toxin extract. Not the usual shit. I want some of what you just received from Antiva. And anything else you're hiding.”
Zevran stepped out of shadow with casual flair and pressed a shoulder against a time nibbled wooden beam against a wall. A smile, widen and toothy, hooked his mouth. “I would be wary of what he might be hiding, my friend,” he commented lightly. “I am not sure I wish to know what he is hiding in that bucket of his."
Post by Mathis Aneirin on Aug 10, 2017 16:28:49 GMT -5
Before the man could answer, an elf stepped from the shadows and leaned his shoulder against a nearby beam, his wide smile hinting that he was as comfortable in these surroundings as anyone. "I would be wary of what he might be hiding, my friend," the newcomer declared, the richness of his accent identifying him as Antivan. "I am not sure I wish to know what he is hiding in that bucket of his."
Mathis snorted. "You're not one of his regulars, then," he remarked, shaking his head. "We all know better than to pry about the contents of the bucket." He eyed the elf with a frankness which was borne from their shared surroundings. Anyone in the dankest part of Darktown late at night was unlikely to be filled with virtue and innocence.
"Are you the one who supplied him?" Mathis took a guess. The newcomer did not have the bearing of a sailor but that meant little. Perhaps whatever had been imported to Kirkwall required an escort. The rumours hadn't stated that, but only a fool would underestimate an Antivan. Especially in relation to poisons. "I don't care who my coin goes to, so long as I walk away with the ingredients I need."
"You're not one of his regulars, then,” the stranger commented with the shake of his head. "We all know better than to pry about the contents of the bucket.”
Innocence was for those sitting upon the pews in the Chantry. None was shown in the manner in which Mathis looked upon Zevran. "Are you the one who supplied him?” he asked. "I don't care who my coin goes to, so long as I walk away with the ingredients I need.”
No innocence and perhaps a lack of forethought. Zevran could be anyone lingering about within Darktown. Not all Antivans were merchants. Some where also whores. There had been mention of regulars, had there not?
Zevran’s mouth curved into a salacious smile, a cavalier glint within amber eyes. “I do not make a habit of leaving handsome men in need.” Far be it for Zevran not to tak an opening when one was so graciously provided.
He pushed away from the beam and advanced toward the unkempt man and his prospective client. “But no, I am not the one who supplied him,” he replied with a shake of the head, blond hair brushing against the black wool of the cloak he wore. “I believe I am here for the same reason as you and also do not wish to walk away,” his mouth twitched once more in a toothy smile, “empty handed.”
Dipping at the waist in a bordering on exaggerated manner, he introduced himself, “Zevran Arainai. And you might be?"
Post by Mathis Aneirin on Sept 2, 2017 5:16:25 GMT -5
His remarks earned Mathis a knowing smile from the newcomer. "I do not make a habit of leaving handsome men in need," he declared, a definite look in his eyes. Mathis did not bother to hide his irritation; if he had wanted to rut in the bowels of this city, he would have said as much. No, he had asked for damned ingredients - did the Antivan possess them or not?
Perhaps sensing that this particular line of conversation would serve him no purpose, the newcomer pushed himself upright and advanced on the pair. "But no, I am not the one who supplied him,” he provided the answer at last. "I believe I am here for the same reason as you and also do not wish to walk away,” Mathis did let out an audible sigh as he presumed what was to follow, "empty handed."
"Then you have two customers," Mathis kicked at the bucket beneath the man, earning him a sharp foul-mouthed rebuke from its owner. "Come on, hand it over before I decide to just take it." It was not an entirely empty threat. Mathis had 'objected' to the poor quality of supplies in the past. But now, he rarely did so without provocation. That would only attract the attention of the Senior Wardens all the quicker.
Bowing, the newcomer gestured to himself. "Zevran Arainai. And you might be?"
"Not interested in making friends," Mathis replied bluntly. In truth, the newcomer was fortunate not to receive only grunts. Although something tugged in the back of Mathis' mind relating to the name. It was one which was oddly familiar.
Before anything further could be said by either of the trio, a commotion sounded from further down the dank slums. None of his business, though. Ignoring the obvious scuffles which were going on - some deal gone bad, he presumed - Mathis focused upon the supplier. "So?" he prodded again, expectation uppermost in his voice.
But the altercation seemed to have unnerved the man even more than being amicably threatened by a Grey Warden. He even went so far as to move from his bucket, his back hunched and his legs bowed as he scuttled about the meagre corner he claimed as his own, pulling little glass vials from various places. So, that was the toxin extract which Mathis had demanded. But why reveal it all now?
"Need to go, need to go," the demented man muttered beneath his breath, his panic visceral. "They come every week."
"What the fuck are you talking about?" Mathis frowned, but the man only threw the vials at him and Zevran - their combined quick reflexes helping them to ensure none were dropped - and then he bolted, his precious bucket clutched in his arms.
"Not interested in making friends,” Mathis spat out.
What might have drawn irritation from another at such a friendly retort, only served to amuse Zevran. A taciturn and grumpy fellow did not wish to make friends? Surely that was not true. Such a thing had never happened in time before.
Not entirely uncommon, Zevran assumed, in such a sumptuous location such as this, sounds filled the air from further down the dank portion of Darktown they stood within. The bustle of activity did little to deter Mathis’ attention either, irritation and impatient suffusing his tone as he asked of their ever not helpful bucket keeper. "So?"
Quite the ending of what was surely to be a sad tale, a man and his bucket soon parted. The poison vendor shot up from his bucket, the excitement from down the way proving too titillating for the man. But before taking his leave, he retrieved vials of something, presumably the toxins requested, at Mathis and declared, "Need to go, need to go. They come every week."
"What the fuck are you talking about?” Mathis asked with a frown. The only response given was the quick toss of the vials towards Zevran and Mathis, items easily caught by both men.
Zevran palmed the two vials he caught, one in each hand. Easily, the bottles rolled about in his palm, the vicious fluid inside swirling about within the bottles’ depths. The color and thickness of the liquid, at least at first glance, appeared to be that of the toxin he sought. Who did not like a good quickie now and again?
Amusement cracked his tone and the curve of his lips with the uplift of his amber eyes. “I believe he was also not interested in making friends, no?” he quipped. Zevran slipped the potions into a small satchel hooked about a belt of his leathers.
His gaze panned down the opposite direction of where their most generous of benefactors ran. What had the They meant. The toxins came every week or something far more invigorating? They could mean a great many things within Darktown. As fun as a nice dance might have been in that moment, blood truly was not easy to remove from leather and he was quite fond of his pants.
“It seems I suddenly have come into some coin. Would you care to join me for a drink? Or,” he inclined his head toward the rising din of chaos nearing them, “would you prefer to meet some new friends after all?"
Post by Mathis Aneirin on Sept 15, 2017 20:18:49 GMT -5
The departure of the bucket-loving man heralded a wry smile from Zevran. "I believe he was also not interested in making friends, no?" His nimble fingers tucked the two vials into a small bag attached to his belt as the Antivan glanced in the direction of the ruckus which had sent the homeless man scurrying.
Mathis, too, turned his attention to the distant fray. He had no issue with anyone in Dark Town and since he had located the toxin extract, he had no investment in any disagreement which was going on elsewhere.
"It seems I suddenly have come into some coin. Would you care to join me for a drink? Or," Zevran gave an elegant nod towards the sounds of the swiftly escalating fight, "would you prefer to meet some new friends after all?"
"Neither," Mathis retorted. His fist closed around the vials as he secreted them away into a lined pouch which would protect the glass from being cracked. He was unlikely to find this particular extract for a long while. Or at least until another shipment arrived. "I need to source other things." If this particular extract was being traded tonight, there were undoubtedly a few other choice ingredients which Mathis would be a fool to turn his back on if he could locate them. Maybe they would also be thrown at him without requiring coin in exchange.
He made to move past the Antivan and head for the sewers which were accessed not so far from here. If Darktown was too dangerous to trade in tonight, the sellers would relocate to either the undercity warrens or the sewers. But in Mathis' experience, the sewers offered more protection since only the truly criminal or desperate would venture into them.
"Neither," Mathis replied tersely. He fisted his precious alchemical treasure and placed them within a pouch. "I need to source other things,” he added, a bit more explanation than Zevran expected truth be told.
Goodbyes obviously being quite passe for the taciturn, Mathis edged past Zevran and moved in the direction of the sewers.
Sewers were not amongst Zevran’s favorite places to venture. That was not always the case, though. As a child, he spent much time in the sewers of Antiva City. The dark and dank underbelly of the city not only provided him an opportunity to perfect his ability to meld into shadow but also gifted him with treasures.
Some of these treasures were quite tangible such as the red steel dagger he found once discarded beneath a drain. Blood was flaked upon the dagger’s blade leaving no mystery as to why the weapon was so discarded. Other treasures came in the form of information. He learned at a very young age the value to be placed in knowing things.
But as he grew older and he developed a much more finicky sense of smell, Zevran avoided the sewers except when necessary. He was no rat scraping to get by any longer.
Curiosity, however, was an interesting animal. Zevran’s was far more developed than most and he found himself following close behind Mathis, intent on finding out just what path the man might tread on this particular evening. At worst, he would find a way to occupy his evening. At best, Zevran might discover more treasures.
“And what things would those be?” Zevran asked, mouth slicing into a bright smile.
Post by Mathis Aneirin on Oct 16, 2017 13:03:57 GMT -5
Apparently Mathis' oversight with regards explicitly stating that he did not desire company was to be his downfall. Rather than count himself lucky to have benefited from the hasty departure of the old coot with the bucket and move on to other encounters, Zevran fell into unwelcome step with Mathis, a wide smile on his face. "And what things would those be?"
"None of your business," Mathis grunted. He did not bother to look back over his shoulder as he stepped into the tunnel leading from Darktown and into the sewer system proper. Maybe his new acquaintance would take the hint. Although he was loathe to admit that he still wondered why he might know the name 'Zevran Arainai'. "But do feel free to go about your own business. Away from me."
He side-stepped around a pool of Maker only knew what as he continued on his way. The surroundings became danker and darker as he went on until it was fair to say that the stench assaulted his senses: burning his nose, stinging his eyes and even somehow managing to find taste on his tongue. Hopefully it had discouraged anyone else from venturing this way and he would have his pick of the rare supplies being traded down here.
Emerging from the tunnel into a wider one, Mathis straightened to his full height even as he splashed into the ankle-high filth which lined this particular section. There were waifs and strays taking refuge along the tunnel and who regarded him with varying degrees of suspicion, noting the quality of his leathers as well as the blades he carried. None challenged him though.
Mathis rolled his shoulders as he strode ahead. One of the sewer folk had stood up at Mathis' entrance and was now beckoning him across, as though he knew of the Warden despite Mathis having never met him before.
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