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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 7:06 am
by GrayTiger
Ayshe's private living quarters were in the center section of the Whim, above the offices. Kahlin was given passage into this fairly unseen section of the Whim by an employee stationed as a guard. "Mr. Aushwaan's gym is the lower floor. He should be waiting for you."

Kahlin nodded still a bit groggy and went inside. Once inside he stopped and stared at the equipment around him. Knowing that Ayshe was one of the richest persons in all the Seven Villages, he expected something more than your average training facility but he was not prepared for what he saw. Around the rim there was a track marked out and he could plainly see what was an obstacle course, one more suited for training soldiers than a fitness conscious inn owner. In the center were several pits for swordplay and so forth. But the pit in the dead center of the room is what really caught his eye. Near the edge was a rack with several staves glowing of lux and hovering inside where several round objects also glowing. Kahlin recognized them immediately.

Stun spheres. A relatively new creation from the Aushwaan workshops. A small round object that had motion detectors built into them to react to movement. It also could deliver a nasty bolt of electricity. Kahlin had seen a demonstration of them before. They were very pricey and so far the only ones able to afford them were the Guardsmen, however they would be the first to admit they were worth every ring paid for them.

"Welcome to my parlor young master wizard. Enter freely and of your own will." Kahlin turned to see Ayshe enter out of what was the dressing room. He was wearing only boxer-sized tights and what appeared to be cloth wrapped around both wrists. Kahlin got a good first look at the scar and it made him wince.

"So. What do you think of my little playroom?"

PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 11:51 pm
by BlasTech
Kahlin took a long look around the gym before replying, wondering about just how much the layout and composition accurately depicted Ayshe's personality.

So far it seemed that Ayshe had a tendency towards theatrics and showmanship, stage slights of hand that corraled thoughts and responses towards certain ends. The brandishing of his scar the night before was but one example of that. He could almost feel a pressure on his mind, forcibly willing him to be amazed, to be impressed by the equipment in this room as he'd let himself be impressed with the opulence of the dining room the night before.

An image flashed into his mind, the dining table they'd used last night and which he'd later kenned. The table which appeared on the surface to be made of the finest wood that money could buy but that simply concealed another layer beneath. He wondered now, just how much of the pressure he felt was part of the final intent of the owner or whether, like the table, it aimed to distract from something else.

Either way it meant that the decor was intended to manipulate the visitor, and while Kahlin knew better than to start accusing Ayshe of trying to manipulate him specifically ... whether he did or not in the end would depend largely on how this conversation went.

"Most impressive" he said, truthfully. "Certainally more extensive than I would have expected" He clasped his hands behind his back. "It must have taken quite some effort to get some of this equipment together."

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:59 am
by GrayTiger
"Not really. I built nearly all of it myself. I find creating something is much more fulfilling than just buying it. That's why I built this inn from scratch instead of buying one. But I didn't invite you up here for a history tour."

Kahlin kept his feelings in check and cooly answered, "Why did you bring me up here then?"

Ayshe walked over to a rack that held sparring staves. "My comments last night stung you didn't they?"

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:29 am
by Doink
Faris's progress was impeded by one of the inn's finest. It was a young rac in relatively good shape, one who looked like he could handle the average troublemaker. "I'm sorry, miss," he intoned, "but these are Mr. Aushwaan's private quarters. No one gets in without an invitation."

Faris sighed and shrugged. "Very well. Just -hic- tell Ayshe I'd like a word with him when -hic- he gets out." The guard nodded curtly, but remained at attention, letting Faris know that it was best that she should leave.

Well that went about as well as expected, Faris thought darkly as she walked back into the dining room.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:39 am
by BrockthePaine
Piper watched Trajan mow his way through the tray of pasties. Fortunately, he had gotten to the bacon and - in particular - the spicy sausage before it too started disappearing under the combined assault of Greystar and Trajan.

"Freelancer, huh? What kind of work do you do?" Piper asked Greystar.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:13 pm
by Doink
"Ooh!" Greystar squealed, his mouth still full of sausage. He swallowed and continued talking at a rapid rate. "I'm really good with Lux and I help the wizards and artificers with their work and clear out infestations and..." He paused to take a deep breath, clearly winded. "...and one time we entertained at a birthday party. That was fun." A dopey grin spreads over Greystar's face as he remembers that happy occasion.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 3:15 pm
by BlasTech
"Among others yes" he said grimly. He half turned at the sound of voices floating up from the corridor outside. Curious he stretched out with his kenning and picked up Faris as she first confronted the attendant and then made her retreat.

... as expected he thought to himself before turning back to watch Ayshe.

"You can hardly be surprised." he said, keeping his tone neutral, but not quite able to avoid the subtext that any "sting" was probably intended.

He took a deep breath, no ... now was not the time to start accusing Ayshe, even despite all the evidence to the contrary he still deserved the benefit of the doubt.

"Forgive me for being blunt about it sir, but why have you asked me here?You clearly did so with a specific reason in mind, and rehashing what happened wouldn't appear to be it."

PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:14 pm
by Fusion
Amp was going to ask him something else, but then thought better of it. The kid obviously wanted to left alone at the moment. Besides, thoughts of his own future began to enter his mind.

He would most likely have to close the shop. People tend to be suspicious of people who where even mildly associated with a crime. Although, it might not be a bad idea to close the shop for a while and head to college. There are still a lot of gaps in his knowledge, and he would most likely need time for the false accusation to blow over.

Amp smacks his forehead with the palm of his hand.

That's right, Kiynt was coming to visit sometime soon too! Let's see...I still have a month. Maby I can get things smoothed out by then. Oy. This is going to be a looooong day.

PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:31 am
by BrockthePaine
"Hmm, birthday parties," Piper said thoughtfully. "I've never done one of those. Not like I would be good at doing one... Hey, you're Trajan the Red, aren't you?"

PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 2:58 pm
by Doink
Faris gave Piper an odd look. "Does he have it -hic- written on his forehead or something?" she asked him.

"Hi Faris!" Greystar squeaked. "I was just telling Piper about the birthday party!"

Faris groaned and slumped forward. "Oh, please no. I haven't lived that down yet. I can't -hic- believe you actually enjoyed that."

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 1:44 am
by Tbolt
Trajan's ears flicked a bit at Piper's question, although he needed to do a double take at Greystars comment.

In response to Piper he said "Yes lad, I was known by that name at one time."

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:53 am
by BrockthePaine
Piper nodded. "When I was growing up my mother kept saying I'd be 'bigger than Trajan the Red'. I think it's pretty obvious I'm not - probably a good six inches on me. More muscles in the shoulders, more..." He sniffed the air cautiously. "More smell of lavender in the morning..."

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 2:40 am
by Tbolt
Trajan raised one eyebrow and cocked an ear back. "What!? Whay does everyone keep saying that?"

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 6:46 am
by Doink
Faris wrinkled her nose and sneezed. "Because you've been smelling -hic- of lavender since last night."

Greystar smiled and took a big whiff. "Ahhh. Don't worry about it, Trajan, sir. I think you smell pretty."

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 7:56 am
by GrayTiger
Ayshe picked up a staff and it began to glow. He stepped into the pit and spoke a command word, causing one of the spheres to activate. It approached and when it was close fired a small electrical bolt at him. He raised the staff to block it and the bolt dissapated harmlessly.

"I would have thought you would jump at the chance to chew me out for what I said last night. Or even challenge me to 'put up or shut up.' " Another bolt, and a quick dodge and parry. Kahlin was a bit taken aback at how fast the spheres were. One would really have to be aware not to get zapped by one.

Ayshe spoke the command again and a second sphere entered the pit. The two spheres positioned themselves so that Ayshe was between them and they both began to weave and fire bolts at him. Twisting side to side he still managed to block each one.

"Of course I suppose it doesn't matter how you feel about what I said. Those beasties in the swamp certainly won't care how you feel about them trying to eat you."

Kahlin noticed that even when Ayshe moved the spheres followed, keeping him between them. He wondered if Ayshe was again trying to impress or intimidate him with his skills. But when Ayshe summoned the third sphere, he began to wonder if he was just crazy.

The three spheres now formed a triangle around Ayshe, keeping him in the middle so long as he stayed in the pit. Sudddenly they rotated around him and each randomly fired so thaty he could not guess where the bolt was coming from. He only grinned a snarly warped grin as if he savored the growing odds against him as the staff whirled and his body twisted to avoid being shocked. "Frankly compared to the swamp, I think I went quite easy on you." He rolled to avoid a bolt and the spheres moved with him, still swirling and firing. "Especially now that this Amphere fellow was also arrested for being Aven's accomplice."

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2006 3:29 am
by BlasTech
He's been what?? Kahlin struggled to prevent that mental exclamation making it out. The momentary heat of anger flashed through him too, directed at both the guards for holding Amp and at Ayshe for waiting until now to drop it on him. It dissapated quickly however, leaving behind a cold clarity of thought.

Well ... it seems he likes to play his cards one at a time, and even then only when he can guarantee a response. He thought But luckily for him, it looks like the game has changed.

"While I don't appreaciate the patronising tone of voice Master Aushwaan and while I probably should challenge you on your perceptions of myself and my friends, I won't ... for now"

He speaks as if i know nothing of the swamp, but I've lived there for longer than I have here he clenched his fists behind his back and released them, letting his frustration ebb away with the relaxing muscles in his hands. But I don't need to prove my knowledge to him ... I have no need to waste time in contests of strength and intellect, it serves no useful purpose.

He focused his eyes on Ayshe, barely visible as he continued to spar with the spheres, continuing the intentionally impressive "warm up" that he'd practically commanded Kahlin to come and see.

And it's with this realisation in mind that I find that his verbal jabs and manipulation have no power over me

"You said the other day that it was clear that I didn't trust you, in response I'll say this. It is still early days in this affair, too early for me to view your actions as a problem, let alone one that I feel obliged to act on. And i shall trust ... I shall trust that you have the experience to know how to deal with them by yourself before it gets to a stage where there *is* a problem."

He gestured to the sparring pit. "Its clear to me you've spent your time since the Near War honing your martial skills with at least as much drive as you have your economic and social aspects. I can only assume that this is in response to the lessons you learnt during that time. I only ask that you keep an open mind here; this is a different place, a different time and with different people." He bowed and made for the door but before he turned the handle he looked back again.

"We arn't adverse to learning from what you can teach us" he said, in a voice that managed to contain a mix of concern, respect and fatigue at the same time. "But don't dismiss what we can contribute too"

PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:38 pm
by BrockthePaine
Piper scratched his nose and looked around the table. "So it seems I might be working closely with you gentlefolk. Perhaps," he said, setting the file back in it's pouch, "Some of you would care to accompany me to the prison to speak with Aven. I need someone who he'll trust enough to open up to, maybe give me a few clues to uncork this pretty mess." He slowly stood up. "Anyone willing to come with me?"

PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 2:08 am
by Tbolt
Trajan sniffed his arm cautiously and shook his head, he still couldn't smell anything, and thought the twins were teasing him.

"As soon as Master Kahlin returns from his excercise bout with Master Aushwaan we will be ready to go. As I said before, Kahlin and I have a previous engagment. We will meet back here after noon to compare notes."

He stretched himself a bit. "Hmmm, nothing like a good breakfast to put one in a decent mood in the morning."

PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 10:52 am
by GrayTiger
Ayshe spoke a command word and the spheres returned to their original positions. "I have no doubt of that. I watched your fight in the alley, you were quite impressive. You'll be a great wizard some day once you learn one simple thing."

He walked over to Kahlin and stared him dead in the face.

"Open your eyes. There is a very simple reason I asked you to meet me here as opposed to my office or some other private spot in the inn." He lifted his staff and tapped Kahlin's sword which was still hanging from his belt. "Either you are so paranoid that you fear an attack in a place as secure as a guardpost, or you wanted to sneak some training in. Seeing that you were the only one who brought their weapon to breakfast choice number two seemed the logical answer. So here you are, in a state of the art training facility that any of you can use for free at any time. But all you can see is my criticism of last night. Was I overly harsh? Yes, but I expect more from you. You are a wizard. You didn't get into that college because your daddy knows someone. You are obviously a brilliant person but you will learn that to be successful attention must be paid to the smallest details."

Ayshe rubbed his eyes indicating he hadn't slept much either. "Look kid even if you won't admit it to me you have no intention of using this gym right now. You can't seem to get past the notion that I have other motives for what I do. Well sometimes I do. But you aren't a council member and I have no reason to butter you up." He patted Kahlin on the shoulder. "Tell the others when I get cleaned up to meet me in the VIP dining room. We need to get organized, there is alot to do today." He walked out the door and Kahlin heard him mutter, "Sheesh. Kid is almost as suspicious as Adam. If he ain't careful he'll end up talking to himself."

PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:56 am
by BlasTech
Kahlin stood there for a second, puzzling over Ayshe's words. He knew he had a tendency to overthink things, but some things Ayshe had said still didn't mesh well with what he'd observed.

He hadn't considered his sword as the possible reason for Ayshe insisting on meeting in the gym. Mostly because he'd intended to practice with Jasper and Faris, not Ayshe who hadn't (so far) displayed any specific interest in swords. However this only accounted for the second summons, not the first where Ayshe had sent the message before even seeing Kahlin that morning.

And although that could be explained by Ayshe simply doing his morning exercise routine, it didn't really explain why he'd change for breakfast and then change back to do exercise again in time for Kahlin to come upstairs.

Maybe im just overthinking things he pinched his eye, trying to concentrate. And when, exactly, did he "watch my fight" in the alley? He could've sworn that Ayshe hadn't been nearby until he showed up after the fight with the guards in tow.

Either he was hiding around the alley mouth, although i cant picture him not stepping out to assist then, or he meant that he saw the results of the fight, or he saw a recording, or i just somehow missed him in the commotion he ended dubiously, he didn't think Ayshe would be easy to miss, even in a back-alley brawl.

He growled to himself, he'd sort this all out later. For now only two things really concerned him, that he'd keep an eye on Ayshe to see whether Kahlin was just leaping at shadows.

... and that the guards are holding an innocent friend

He pushed open the door and headed swiftly downstairs.


He heard voices from the kitchen long before he reached it, thankfully the pastys (and unbeknownst to him, discussions of lavender) seemed to have distracted the others so that he didn't miss too much. His kenning picked up the tail-end of Piper's request and Trajan's reply just before he walked through the door.

"Unfortunately I'm going to have to ask for a change of plans Trajan" he said apologetically "Suffice to say that i'd appreciate it if any of you who were planning on going to the jail would be able to swap duties with me for the morning."

He glanced at Trajan, who wore an expression that was a little concerned and possibly even dissapointed. "I'm sorry, but ill explain when there's a little more time," he thumbed over his shoulder "right now Ayshe has asked for us to head for the dining room for a final planning session before we split up."