Sealing A Deal

The Moon Raven
Tiny amber lamps soldered to the stained beams of the Moon Raven provide just enough illumination for the main hall, though the feeble light is unable to reach the darker corners. A heavy smoke clings to the dank air, acrid and smelling faintly of hashish and tinges of opium. The stone floor is worn, discolored with dark patches of split ale and stew. Small tables, lighted by chipped terracotta bowls of oil, are strewn around in no particular order - customers being able drag the furniture around as they please. The bar counter is made of heavy planks of oak, the ledge of it whittled and pockmarked by the tips of daggers and worn to a greasy luster with the constant rubbing of many elbows and hands. A dusty copper chandelier creaks from the ceiling, wax melting from its candles. A tiny kitchen, steam and scent billowing from it, is wedged between two storerooms, dark slabs of cured meat and sausages visible from the sharp hooks hung on shelf ledges. A grimy signboard is hung crookedly over the counter, the tavern's specials marked out in coarse black paint. The lower class and serfs nestle in this tavern, making this sordid little establishment their nightly entertainment hub.
Exits: northwest
The tavernmaid weaves through tables nimbly, clutching mugs of ale.
Selwyn the Small, captain of the Mother-in-Law is hovering here.

Perched on the top of the rickety wooden chair, rather than on the splintered seat itself, a fae creature appears to be methodically waiting, his silvery fingers clutching what it may seem to be a notebook and in the other hand, a tapered quill. [Vien]

He ticks at the bound parch slowly, at times, scribbling something while his head tilts up towards the exit of the tavern. A slow night, very slow. Few seamen seated around and the maid appears to be slacking her arse off. [Vien]

The door to the establishment creaks open loudly, and two men enter. One older, in his fifties, and the other in his thirties. "He's here, cap'n," says the younger. "Just come this way." The younger man scans the room, and the few seamen there pointedly avoid the gaze from his scar-ridden face. Finally, his gaze settles on Vien. "There he is." [Selwyn]

Vien glances up, one eyebrow jerking the same in motion with the quill that ticks off something on the notebook. He slaps it close, and puts it not on the table, but away in a satchel flopped on the seat of the chair.

"Captain?" His glance shifts to the older male rather than the younger who spotted him. "I assume you already have read and understood my message then?" The pixie pursed his lips and arched his head towards the two empty chairs at that table he is at. [Vien]

The older man seats himself. "Aye…" he said, grinning. "And I wonder how ye got me first mate so enthus'd o' ye proposal." As the younger man begins to protest, the captain pulls him down to the seat. "Oh jest seat yerself." [Selwyn]

To Vien, he says "Well, Ahm Selwyn, and ah not be too good at reading. May's ye explain ye proposal?" [Selwyn]

Vien draws up a thin knee slightly, bending an elbow to rest on that knee and propping his chin up to eye the two seamen levelly. "Anyone in the business would be very enthusiastic, Mister Selwyn - shipping merchants and traders know the value of Aerandir pearls." The pixie smirks a little, grinding his knuckles against his own chin. "But you do know I have another piece of cargo I'll need your ship for - that cargo is a little delicate and would not fit on a usual merchant ship." [Vien]

"Hmm hmm." mutter Selwyn. "Yeah, em pearls be hot but all the taxes an' packing an' pirates an' all that, lots o' trouble, hard fer a businessman to break e'en." An obvious untruth to any trader. "Ye other cargo, guess we'd take it along somehow if we have ta, but that's a minor detail ah s'pose." He waves to the barmaid. "Private backroom," he instructs her. "Ye ne'er know if 'em pirates are about, with their dirty hands grubbing at ye pearls." [Selwyn]

The barmaid nods and beckons the three to the curtain back of the establishment. [Selwyn]

"Well, well…" Vien unfurls his knuckles and arched his back, his odd wings quivering a little as he lifts his body close to Selwyn. "I'll be paying you handsomely to get that piece of cargo delivered and alive, Mister Selwyn. I trust you have expertise in this?" He cocks his head upwards now that Selwyn has instructed the barmaid for a private room. [Vien]

"And of course, yes, I understand, you wouldn't want another businessman ruining this profit for you." He continues, smoothly lifting himself upwards from the chair, hovering in place. "After you, Captain." [Vien]

The barmaid leads them through the curtain to a private booth at the back of the establishment — or more like a box lockable on the inside. She waits at the doorway as Selwyn, his companion, and Vien enters, and stretches her palm out expectantly. [Selwyn]

Selwyn rambles on obliviously, loud enough perhaps to be audible outside "Those exotic pets are hard ta keep alive, why we 'ad ta ship a giraffe once. An' then there was the rhino. Ha! Had ta ship it whole, but the man wanted only the horn in ta end…"

Seeing how Selwyn is ignoring her, the barmaid stretches her palm out at Vien. [Selwyn]

"Well… well…" The pixie eases himself into the room, listening to Selwyn's half-assed babble about a giraffe before the barmaid's outstretched palm invades the area of his attention. He whips out what seems like a bit of silver, a coin and drops that into the maid's palm, his fingers flicking at her to move off. The barmaid rolls her eyes just a little upwards, annoyed with the paltry fee, and even more annoyed at the disrespectful way she is being flicked off. [Vien]

But she is ignored and the pixie turns his back to her, after giving a order to leave them alone. [Vien]

"And, back to actual business, Mister Selwyn. We are not shipping a giraffe." The pixie notes, and affirms on that note, with a faint frown on his silver-hued face. "We are shipping a witch." [Vien]

The first-mate pulls the door of the booth shut hurriedly, almost smacking the departing barmaid, and bolts it. [Selwyn]

Selwyn regards Vien with a serious expression. "What kind of witch?"

"An elf witch." Vien settles back on the top of his chair, flexing his fingers as if he is talking about the weather. "Just wanted for some rather unsavory deeds and the bounty hunter is paying very handsomely - enough to pay you…" [Vien]

He points a finger at Selwyn, and the finger switches to the first mate. "Him…" and the pixie's palm flexes inwards to indicate himself. "Me, thricefold." [Vien]

Vien relaxes a little though his eyes are still fixed onto Selwyn and his first mate. "What do you think?

"The ferrying itself is simple, but we have to discuss the details." Selwyn replied. "Are you providing her keeper, or do I have to contract a keeper? Do you want her fed? What is her minimum handover condition? Et cetera. Magical creatures incur an additional surcharge as well, I have to remind you, due to the inherent risks." Selwyn states matter-of-factly. [Selwyn]

"The budget is not of an issue. If you need that assurance right away, Mister Selwyn, I can pay you three-quarters of the entire fee, and the last quarter once she is delivered, alive and fed." The pixie replies immediately after. [Vien]

"There will be a keeper with her, you do not need to feed her keeper. But she will need to eat although…" Vien mirths a little, his eyes taking on a baleful blue shade. "She might just refuse to eat - so…" [Vien]

Vien chuckles. "I will need her alive and /fed/." He states and repeats, even quite more matter-of-factly.

"Tricky eh. Does her keeper feed her, or you want us ta feed her?" Selwyn has lost much of his thick mariner slang, and sounds quite business-like now. "You going to for a refund if she dies?" [Selwyn]

"We don't get the rest of the money if she dies." Vien shrugs. He is starting to think that this seaman is a little daft in the head. Such a simple computation and yet, he does not compute? How unbrilliant. The pixie sighs. [Vien]

Vien takes out his notebook and thumbs open a page. "Now, Captain." He starts slowly and he runs a finger down a checklist. "The keeper will feed her - you will ensure that the food portions are kept fresh. And the keeper feeds her."

The pixie eyes the captain along the edge of his notebook, that glance turning almost into a glare. "I think that is clear enough - else perhaps I should be offering another captain this easy job?" [Vien]

"Sounds simple enough," Selwyn says. "Three quarters of yer fee up-front, a quarter when she's delivered. No refunds." [Selwyn]

"And a thricefold hefty bonus if she's alive and fed, Captain." The pixie reminds, a note of annoyance beginning to creep into his voice, his patience, or thereoft none, wearing thin. "When delivered. The destination, I'll inform you…" [Vien]

"…once the bounty hunter gives me that information." Vien leans back, closing his notebook, his chin bearing down to stare at Selwyn and the first mate seriously. "One warning though, Captain - tell your men and tell them clearly. Do not call the witch by her name. Not even once." [Vien]

Selwyn grins. "Best ye don't tell us her name then, sir." Selwyn waves at the door. "If ye a contract man we can sign on that, but I doubt ye are. Ye know where our ship's docked." The first mate stands and unbolts the door. As he opens it, sounds from the outside flood in like a shockwave, ending the discussion. [Selwyn]

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