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For a Flower
(2013-11-09 - 2013-11-10)
No description.
Avira It is fall in wonderful China though the evergreen bamboo forests do not reflect this. Naturally, the farther one goes up into the mountainous regions the more likely they're to find the ground covered in snow. In fact, at these temperatures its almost guarenteed.

As lovely as this makes the environment look, it means that for the likes of Avira, Maira, and Arthur, their quest will have struck a small snag. Lotus flowers, much less shining ones, were not commonly blooming this time of year. Then again, a glowing lotus flower is clearly magic of some kind. It should not be hindered by any kind of weather. So far their search has been fruitless but a passing sage had provided some cryptic hints before mysteriously vanishing, leaving the trio seemingly alone on the Great Wall.

Avira rubs her chin, "'Where water rises upward, a flower shines, but be wary for the earth will rise with you.' Hmm. Something man-made I guess?"
Arthur Drover "Traps?" Arthur notes, rattling his satchel. He is wearing mu-fur gloves, scarf, and long pants, and has brought same for others. He's the tailor in the family, so everyone tends to get some magically enhanced gear. A recent bomb hunting expedition gave rise to immensely warm winter gear, but he sold the majority to the gentry, reserving a few for expeditions like this. Besides, they aren't strictly essential with Maira around.

"So how've you been holding up?" he asks, driving a piton into the trailw here it sits with a faint yellow glow, illuminating the path.

"I need something like this for refreshing the wards. The problem with sources of Light is, there aren't any phoenixes around, White Mushrooms are unreliable. If you know of better sources, let me know - always a damn quest. We have two drops of elixir left, after that boy cut his hand the other day, and our store of cure gummis is minimal. We need to go to the Lanes Between soon."

He struggles upward in silence for a moment, heavy boots tromping up the path. He can keep up, but he makes sure to pause protractedly for breath now and then and feign being out of breath. "I'm proud of how the camp is shaping up."
Maira Maira is wearing her fire-proof clothing, which consists of a pink dress with a short ruffled skirt and knee high boots. She looks like she should be on a magical girl game, basically. Of course, she is not cold. Heat radiates off her, and when she thinks her companions need a little warmth, well, she just goes ahead and ignites.

Maira thinks about the riddle. "Where water rises upward...maybe somewhere hot? Like a hotspring? Water rises up when it evaporates, right?" she asks. "Dunno about the earth rising thing...but maybe a mountain?"

Maira smiles to Arthur. "Too bad I can't just...poke your potions with some Holy, huh?
Aeschere Childs 'May the road rise up to meet your feet', isn't this the wrong continent for that? No, a border check definitely had her mark outbound from Phantasia, and there was a probable in Qin, so it's off to the Middle Kingdom for our favorite accounting intern. This is the biggest ticket she's ever attempted, you know-- a /Royal/ bounty, do you know-- and it's certainly been a good deal more involved than the usual kneecap jobs and animal control.

With nothing to offer but a description, and a limited grasp of the local geography, Aeschere has only gotten herself pointed in the general direction of the Wall; she feels it might have been an editorial comment of some sort, but it makes as much sense as anything. The Empire is well-administrated, thick with patrols and nearly as well-informed as the Combine. The margins are a perfectly sensible place for a fugitive.

Not the Great Wall itself, that'd be nuts, but in the dense groves before it... "Ash and rain. We go through /all/ of this, don't we? We'll find nothing." Wearily, she observes this to her companion, and continues scanning the forest edge for a recent trail. "Nothing. Nothing. Something..!" A notch in the undergrowth, and a few bent stalks; Chera points them out like a hound, and, er, /quietly/ rushes in for a closer inspection.
Thirza Ingersleben Thirza likes it here, though she's a bit fuzzy on what precisely it is that she's helping Aeschere look for. For that matter, she's not entirely clear on why she was needed to go with her to meet someone. On the other hand, Thirza doesn't mind, by any means. If Chera just wanted company for the trip, that would be fine too. Well, fine so long as she's willing to explain it to Mister Murasame. Then again, surveying is Thirza's job. This is an area that the Zaibatsu needs maps of, so it's as good a place as any for Thirza to be.

"Oh, I don't know," Thirza says, biting her lip slightly. The cold doesn't bother her--she's a Shivan. If anything, it might be more comfortable than some places she's been. She hasn't talked much about it, whatever the case. Thirza hates to complain, perhaps because Minette does enough complaining for two people, usually.

She's been leaving the tracking mostly to Chera thus far, for she feels like she might be stepping on the other girl's toes if she tried to steer her too much.

"Oh!" she says, noticing the reeds. She pushes her glasses up. "They've been through here?"
Avira "Well your holy water traps definitely accomplished that. You think they'd have them here? You were sort of their inventor and all. What else though...unless you've been selling them here? Not that I've heard of any China-having-undead-problems rumors."

Even with Maira around, though, the fire mage is still recovering from having her magic removed. She's probably still weak to some degree.

"I wonder if there's holy magicite." Avira figures, knowing she's found shards of congealed darkness before. "Since there's other forms of crystalized mist out there and all. It could be easier for getting sources of light. Not that I'm suggesting we give up here. We've finally got a lead! So let's run it down!"

She beams in excitement and pride, sharing Arthur's feelings about the camp.

Maira points out an important thing about that riddle, "A hotspring, eh? Steam is technically water and it does rise. That might be a good place to start!" She heads for one of the towers in the walls, which contains steps downward, "I know where a few hot springs around here. Found them a while ago, heh heh..."

Avira emerges from the base of the tower.
Arthur Drover "There are undead everywhere, but no. Those traps were a mess, honestly. Inefficient, wasteful. Even with Maira blessing the water. Water flowing up - could be the impact at the bottom of a waterfall, a geyser, or something more mystical."

"This is useful for more than that. I might be able to find something out about how it is grown. But even if I knew of surefire sources, I would still be capped. Time and logistics matter, in magical construction just like the real thing. Sometimes you need to leave something out to soak up a month's worth of moonlight, and thus you must wait twenty-eight days. Some spells resent being over-worked, too, so if I try to make the same object too often, the natural forces get cross with me unless there is a pressing need."

His hand rustles in the undergrowth, trying to check for earth and stir it. Sulfurous groundwater, leaf mould, these things would be trace enough.

Then he follows the huntress. "Springs might not be a bad idea. I can get certain minerals readily in this land too. I am working on a new belt knife and could use something laden with natural energies."

Letting her lead the way, the older man picks down the stairs, marvelling at the construction of the wall. The stone almost speaks to him, and he does not miss a chance to run hands upon it. "Someday maybe we'll make something this important."
Aeschere Childs Avira emerges from the base of a tower, while Chera pokes around in the grass like a silly. Wouldn't that be just the way it happens? It's lucky for her that Thirza didn't follow her in; she turns to make some sort of expert tracking comment, and you can hear the gears grind. Is it possible this is an exit trail? It's more likely that it's nothing to do with her target.

Her intense stare over Thirza's shoulder will have to suffice instead of any sort of warning; as quietly (and hurriedly) as she made her way to the forest's edge, she makes her way back out of the margin and towards the wall. Her thought finishes cooking as she passes her companion, and she breaks into a smile. Yes, she matches the description.

"Avira, is it?" Chera has only seen the name written, do you know, and makes an entirely wrong assumption about the pronunciation, but don't tell her that.
Maira To not have undead problems! That must be nice. Maira has grown awfully used to the smell of zombie, and she's pretty sure that's not exactly a good thing. "Heheh, those holy water traps are pretty amazing! I didn't mind helping..." she chimes. Arthurs traps take a lot of the heat off of them, else they'd have to be fighting almost all the time down there! They'd need never more sentries. Then they'd all get worn down faster, have less time for studying gummi and relaxing in the hot baths! In short, traps are awesome.

At mention of hotsprings, Maira smiles lightly. She loves a good hot spring, even if she has some...complicated memories from time spent in hot springs. Ah but that reminds her! Maira walks up beside Avire and leans in close. " are things with Mercade?" she asks, failing entirely to sound casual and not suspicious!

She looks back over her shoulder toward Arthur, wrinkling her nose slightly. "Yeah...but hopefully we can do it with out a huge amount of death..."

When she looks back, suddenly Aeschere and Thirza are standing there. Maira startles, but says nothing. Say no, Avira! You're totally not this Avira person! She'd totally believe that!
Thirza Ingersleben Thirza turns and looks--perhaps a bit slowly, all things considered, when Chera starts staring over her shoulder. "Huh?" she asks, unaware of what precisely is going on. And then, there's the group. Thirza looks at Aeschere, then at Avira, Arthur, and Maira. She shuffles her feet slightly.

Okay, Thirza, she tells herself, don't screw this up. Follow Aeschere's lead. She wouldn't have asked you along without a good reason, right? So just let her take point and handle the introductions and--

Wait, wasn't Aeschere wanting to meet someone? That's a weird way to greet someone you know. Thirza hangs back, folding her hands behind her and shuffling her feet nervously.
Avira "I kind of have to agree with the mess part. I remember all the holy water blessings that Maira had to do into the wee hours of the night. ...hmm, waterfall and geyser, those both would work too. It definitely narrows things down so we better start checking our water sources. I know of one waterfall here..."

As she approaches the bamboo forest beyond, she pauses and frowns. Something felt off. Like they were being watched?

"I think-" she starts, "Well Maira, they're going good. He's been a little busy lately though-keyblade stuff I think." And SUDDENLY-people! Two...teenagers?

"Huh? Yeah, that's me." she says, not really thinking all that much of their appearance. Well, no, that's not exactly true. When Avira is approached like this by other females she usually, vainly, assumes they're looking to join VALKYRI. "What's up?"
Aeschere Childs Maira actually took the words out of Chera's mouth, although Chera might not have heard it. Well, if she wants to get this done without too much death, she'll try the straightforward approach.

Approaching straight and forward, the little girl in her light armor makes note of the odds, and her smile slips, just slightly. "I come with a message," she says, with her odd, almost sing-song accent. Not terribly intimidating, probably. "Someone wishes to see you. Directly." She stops, perhaps two paces from Avira, and waits. The way a mousetrap waits.
Arthur Drover Arthur, who is a very different person from Avira, has taken out his belt knife a few moments hence. The shopkeep's blade is made of a transparent material, like metal banged out into glass. He unships his pack and takes a seat on a bare stump.

"These old bones are getting tired." Every inch of him shows signs of protracted weariness. The old warrior is not what he once was. He flicks the blade's hilt across a stone, and a gout of flame shoots from it into the fireplace. Over which he sets a kettle on two sticks.

"Young miss." Arthur's tone is here addressed to the newcomers, but the eyes are on 'Chere. "Come join me for some tea, won't you?"

Water pours into the kettle from a flask. "Maira-girl, come take a seat by me."

He picks up a large rock and begins to sharpen the belt knife. "Damn thing's gone dull again."

Long slivers of rock fall to the ground from the stone. "I have to start it this way, cut my best whetstone to ribbons last week."

Long, shuddering scrapes as the water gets hot and his tea pouch sits out on a stone. "Maira, rustle up the cups from the red pouch on my pack."
Avira "Someone wishes to see me?" Avira's smile slowly fades. "Thiiiiis someone wouldn't happen to be of the Baron persuasion, would they?" Paranoia, in part, for she suspects if it were someone she knew who was looking for her, they'd contact her over her Ma Belle.

She doesn't even have to say much else after before she suddenly sees Arthur turn up the intimidation factor just a wee bit. Sure, he was an old man, but he was clearly very -capable- too.

The grin returns, "This does seem like an appropriate time for a tea break, doesn't it?"
Maira Maira is both wary and a bit weary. She really hopes these two don't want any trouble. Maybe they do want to just join VALKYRI! Yay, new members! This sees highly unlikely however, especially as Chere speaks again. Yeah, that definately sounds like trouble.

Maira looks back toward Arthur, nodding to his request. "Yes Uncle Arthur," she replies with a small smile, moving over to sit beside him as instructed. So long as he doesn't start telling her to have some kids again, eep!

The mage reaches into his bag for the cups and some tea bags, setting them up and ready for the eventual hot water, though her eyes keep moving up to Avira and the two new arrivals. Avira then says what Maira is thinking. Steal a water crystal and some people are gonna be looking for you!
Thirza Ingersleben Oh gosh, Thirza thinks. Is this some kind of bounty claim? She must have missed a memo. Is there going to be fighting? She hates fighting, and with good reason, seeing that she has this near-magnetic tendency to attract attacks toward her. Not that she's really been much worse for the wear, but--

Thirza swallows nervously. This definitely seems like it's going to be a fight. She shifts her weight, transitioning into her best attempt at a defensive stance. Then Arthur turns the intimidation up to 11 with that knife. Thirza's glasses slide down and she looks over them at Chera.

" wouldn't hurt if we have tea first, will it? I mean, it seems like a good idea."
Aeschere Childs Honestly, the knife is almost comforting. Violent resistance is what Aeschere expected, it's what she planned for; obviously she hasn't really considered what she'll do if Avira /doesn't/ try to fight her way free. The silent promise of Arthur's well-honed knife reminds her that this situation is not so very far from her plans after all.

"I will love some tea, actually," she nods at Thirza. Hands where everyone can see them, and not near that long knife on her belt, she approaches her target's party, cautiously.

"And you know why I came, I see. That's good."
Arthur Drover "Yes. Please do join us." Arthur pats the log opposite him, then spends a little time opening his satchel's purple pouch and withdrawing the contents. He tosses a few of the small pebbles inside toward the boundaries of the circle. "So you've come at the behest of Baron. Royal jobs must pay well."

He jabs the knife into the rock next to him. It slides in as if piercing butter and only stops when it reaches the hilt.

"Maira, please serve." The kettle has by now whistled, and the simple fortifying tea in his satchel would be well served with lemon from one of the potion bottles, and sugar from a pouch kept well away from the blasting powder. The ritual would be familiar enough.

"Now I'm old, I'm no threat to you, but I suspect the ladies will object to your attempt to en-damsel-ate one of them."
Avira "I knew it was inevitable. I've been a bad girl." Avira smirks in an incorrigable manner. "Though honestly, there are a half dozen other reasons I could think of explaining why the two of you would seek me out. A little paranoia can be a good thing."

She walks over to join Maira and Arthur, seating herself in a way that sort of sandwiches herself between the two of them. "Though like I told the dark knight Kaydin when he came for me nearly a year ago with similar aims...I will not be coming with you unless I somehow happen to be unconscious."

In an overly exaggerated prim manner, she crosses one leg over the other. "Endamselate. I think I like that word." she notes appreciatvely.
Maira Maira nods, standing in order to pour and pass out the tea. It seems to have become one of her duties. She's alright with it! Maybe she'll have to learn the Chinese way of doing it, that would be interesting! She smiles to the two as she hands them their tea. They are bounty hunters then. Doing a job. They might not be bad people, really. "Yeah...that won't be happening. You're not taking Avira," she informs them. No threat, just a statement.
Thirza Ingersleben Thirza takes a seat, resting her arms on her knees and letting her hands dangle in the middle. She sighs. How does she get into these situations? She'd think it was Minette, but it happens no matter who she's with. Sometimes Thirza thinks she must be cursed, somehow. Or maybe she's got a build-up of too much Yin chakra. That's what her geomancy training would tell her.

Except her geomancy training tells her that her chakras are just fine, bringing her back to her initial question of 'Why me?' Thirza, for now, graciously accepts tea.

"Um, thank you," she says. "I'm Thirza, by the way. I--" She looks over at Chera. "I didn't actually know we were bounty hunting today, honest. I just offered to help out, and well--"

She adjusts her glasses again, looking at her feet. "Sorry," she says more to Chera than anyone.
Aeschere Childs Chera visibly fails to react to 'dark knight'. Is she a cliche already? Probably, to be honest. But let's buck expectations here a bit, maybe. "All I am paid for is to set you before her, do you know. Your captivity is her problem." She accepts a cup of tea from Maira graciously, and does not sip yet. It'd be too hot, right?

Unfortunately for the fire champion, Aeschere is a pretty bad person. Thirza's nice, though. "You skipped off once, didn't you? Can't you do it again? I need not so long to collect my fee." Thirza... is nice, probably. The little mercenary casts a glance at her companion, into which could be read many things, but she's actually just making sure she's still there.

"No," she sighs, "but of course you don't come with me, now. That's alright. Everyone sleeps." She sips her tea, delicately.
Arthur Drover Arthur nods. "Yes, everyone sleeps." He swirls his tea slowly. "You don't threaten people very professionally, do you? The professional bounty-hunting business usually depends on a duly constituted authority backing the bounty. Injustice stirs rash hearts to action.". He draws the knife, then clicks it into his sheath. "If you wanted to, you could try to take her in, and maybe you two will make a deal. But any attempt to take her in without her wanting to go will mean she does the smart thing, which is run." His eyes close. "Right, Avira? And then you'll chase. And I won't run, I can't, bad knees. I'll just follow behind you. I don't run but I track well. And I draw. And I am a very fine artist. And I have seen you."

A faint smile. "And I would never lay hands on you, or harm you. I'd just tell stories in crowded pubs, weeping, lawks, ma'am, weeping."

And he sniffles, setting down his tea and rubbing his eyes.

"About my poor adoptive daughter, and the wretched -" Sob! "tortures she suffered in the dungeons of Baron. And of how at the end she begged for mercy that would not come. And lo before the bar room, I will hold up sketches! And I will drop them to the floor as I imbibe this!"

He holds up a black vial from his belt. "The Draught of death, or so this little label says! And I will fall dead, and a doctor or a coroner will confirm my despair, my true and honest despair at the loss-" Arthur throws one arm across Avira's shoulder, wracked now with sorrow.

"And I will be pronounced dead, and the torches and pitchforks will come out and your name will be known through the worlds. The Hammer of Baron, its thief catcher who sees women tortured just for trying to save a crystal from the grasp of evil."

Broken with sobs - then he stops.

And he looks up with clear eyes and a grin. "And when I wake up, I'll move two towns over, my vital signs restored, and do it again on the next world."

Now the tea is cool enough to drink.
Maira "I'm Maira," she tells Thirza in response, beginning to move away as Aeschere speaks. She stops and looks toward her, frowning gently.

Arthur speaks, and slowly Maira smiles. He's such a cunning old man! Everyone should know you should not mess with a cunning old man.

But Maira is concerned. She feels the need to add something, before these two get into some trouble they'll never find their way out of.

"Alright, now I'm just going to have to warn you--and really, I do mean this as a warning and not a threat. If you try to take Avira against her will, you are really, /really/ going to regret it. From the afterlife. Whatever the bounty is, it's not worth it. Find another job, because if you're not intimidated by us, we can certainly call up a couple of people you will not want to meet in these circumstances. There's been enough death, I don't want to see anyone else die, especially over something like money," she says, her mien solomn and by all accounts sincere.

She takes a deep breath then, and returns to her seat beside Arthur, glancing toward Avira.
Aeschere Childs Arthur nearly had her, right up to 'the Hammer of Baron', he really had. "The Hammer? For hobnails maybe," Aeschere replies, drawing herself to all of the three feet and small change that she measures, sitting down. "They know me for a ratcatcher already, where they know me. I do not doubt you will raise a mob if you wish. There are plenty of deserts, though."

"I make no threat, sir, I merely do my job. I told you where it didn't include a fi"

Oh, now they're /all/ in on the act, are they? She breaks off as Maira rises to deliver her own ultimatum, and swallows. Old men might not be a thing, but death threats from nice young women are to be taken seriously. "Come along and tell her that yourself, then," she suggests, with somewhat less bravado. "Since clearly you fear nothing of her."
Thirza Ingersleben Thirza visibly shrinks as people exchange threats. Her day keeps getting worse, it would seem. For now, though, she stays quiet. She isn't exactly sure what to say. Thirza is the sort of person who works best when she has good leadership. She's not a planner or a team leader, but a follower. Not really a thug, per se, because she's not got the mean streak needed for that. Believe it or not, that falls more into Minette's territory as well.

She holds her cup, looking down at the tea in it. And then the threats get more severe. Chera back off, her bravado failing a bit as things escalate. Thirza looks over at Aschere, then at Maira.

"I think," she says, quite calmly, one might add, "that we really got off on the wrong foot," Thirza, for all her nervousness, seems much less intimidated than Aeschere. Maybe she's too stupid to know better, or maybe there's more going on in her head than she lets on. "We can't like--start over here, can we?"
Arthur Drover Arthur laughs. "It is not a hard feeling. My best employee once tried to kill me, and all of my apprentices challenged my skill at some point. I believe we can start over, though Avira makes the call. I haven't armed the traps, for example."

Drover taps the silver flute on his belt. "If you ever need a weapon, armor, accessory, or potion made, we'll give you the friends and enemies discount, no doubt."
Avira Avira pointing out Kaydin's title isn't so much a direct reflection of Aeschere's profession. In fact, Avira's none the wiser in that one. It's more meant of a way to identify Kaydin, who was always pretty proud of his abilities. "Her? Ah, the queen no doubt."

"You are right, Arthur, that's exactly what I'm going to do. I don't have time to vacation in Baron against my will." Again, primly, she sips her own cup of tea-but almost snorts it when Arthur refers to her as his 'poor adoptive daughter'. She looks to Arthur, clearly touched by his display. Even if it is hammy acting meant to slow Aschere down.

"Shh, there there." she soothes, patting Arthur's head. Between this and Maira's heartfelt plea for them to stop, she almost feels like tearing up herself! Almost.

"Oh, I think we can start over." Avira smiles.
Maira Maira pours herself a cup of tea last and looks across the fire at Aeschere, sighing. "It isn't that I don't fear her..." Maira trails off, tilts her head slightly, looking thoughtful. "Actually, no. I don't. If you knew some of the other people who were after us, you might not be either," she finally replies. "Did you have to take this job, then? Because if you did...well, she's not all powerful. You could get away. It would be better, I think, than trying to take Avira. Way less messy."

Maira looks to Arthur. "Friends and enemies discount?" she laughs.

Maira smiles to Thirza then. "I'd like to start over, if your friend gives up her task. Its not too late," she adds. She hasn't called Angan yet. There's totally hope!
Aeschere Childs The little counter finally ticks over, and Chera sets her teacup down on the stone beside her. "I take this job because it pays well. Lots, lots of others will probably do, too. I probably lose nothing if I walk, except a few days." Wiping the smile from her face, because it's no longer the time to look falsely, she turns to Avira again.

"But if all you are so strong, why not come back and tell her that?" The smile that returns is somewhat more genuine, and somewhat less pleasant. "I split the fee, maybe?" Sorry, Thirza. So sorry.
Thirza Ingersleben Thirza smiles pleasantly at the three, apparently happy that they're willing to start over. She takes a sip of her tea, bouncing about for a moment contently until Aeschere speaks up again. She immediately slumps. "I thought you--" Thirza catches herself. Maybe she'd better not ask Chera about her salary. That seems like that's against company policy, but also tactically unsound. She takes another sip of her tea, instead.

"If I can interject," she says hopefully. "What are you on the run for, anyway? Are you like," Thirza gets a bit dramatic, "some kind of dangerous super criminal or something? Is that why you're out here in the woods? I mean, that's kind of cool I guess, but also kind of scary?"
Maira Maira spits out her tea at Thirza's question, them promptly falls off the log, giggling.
Arthur Drover "Well, we could get into an argument about bodily liberty, but the fun part of this is that for once, it's just the lady's call. "I don't want to" is a childish excuse in almost any other area, except this one - where it is the only one you need. If she'd committed a crime, or didn't intend to return what was taken, I might even side with you. Begging your pardon, Avira, but you know how I respect rules and laws."

Wink. "But tell you what, I'll trade you Avira for your varlet there." a nod at Thirza. "Throw in 300 munny on top and I'll hand you Avira's ownership papers."

He pats his pockets. "Oh, right, we don't treat people like property to be exchanged for goods or services."

Then he just sort of makes this face :|

"So are you the type to start attacking while we're seated." He remains stoic throughout Thirza's inquiry.
Aeschere Childs "Oh, no, you do it for free, you were telling me" Aeschere's smile remains. For Thirza's benefit, and because Maira has fallen over and Arthur is still being grim, Chera explains the situation. "The Queen of Baron accuses her of stealing the crystal of Water, and wants her caught." She turns back to Avira.

"I don't know what from any crystals, I just hunger for some quick coin, obviously."

Lifting her cup again, before it goes all cold, she sighs. "I settle for tea, apparently."
Avira "Arthur!" Avira grasps, "Please don't encourage human trafficing! We're supposed to be role models here!" Or at least to the public that doesn't look too closely at news reports. Comprehension skillls? Not their strong point.

"Really, I can't blame them for wanting to take up the bounty. It's nothing personal, really. But let me be on the recorrd for encouraging you to do otherwise."
Thirza Ingersleben "Hey, I'm not up for tr--" Thirza starts to interject, then Arthur finishes. "Oh," she blinks, then starts laughing. "Um, anyway. I think," Thirza says pensively, "that we should get going. This isn't really going anywhere, I'm afraid. I um," Thirza looks sympathetic. "I'm sure we can find you some good money elsewhere, okay?" She says, trying to be encouraging and probably failing miserably at it.

As Thirza starts to lead the retreat, she suddenly turns around, basically spinning on one foot to do so. "Oh, right. Um, thank you for the tea!" Thirza bounds back over. "It was great! Can I do a favor for you guys in return? You were looking for something up here, right?"
Arthur Drover "Aye, a glowing lotus flower." Arthur winks when Avira takes a moment to get up to speed on his "joke". "But I think I'm going to go look at the wall more closely." Arthur scoops up his bow case. "This is my extremely large magnifying glass."


He then vanishes into the nearby bushes, leaving the drifting Maira and Avira alone with the bounty claimants.
Aeschere Childs Thirza has the rights of it, whatever Aeschere might think about her position on the Intimidating scale here. Carefully, the little knight holds her empty cup out to Arthur, as Maira is currently indisposed. "Yes. Thank you for a warmer reception than we deserve. And," she stands, following her companion's lead, "I think that we"

Thirza and Arthur transact while she's busy trying to make a tactful exit. Arthur slopes off to take overwatch while she's busy gaping. "Blood and /ash/, we get it already. Have fun climbing the wall." She turns on her armored heel to march off past Thirza.
Thirza Ingersleben "Oh!" Thirza says, "that thing! Just a minute!" She dips into her satchel, taking a moment to work it around her (in)famous backside. She digs through it for a moment moments, pulling out a piece of parchment, a pen, and some kind of odd, compass-looking device with a spherical yin-yang in the middle. She sets them, licks her thumb and tests the wind direction, then gets to frantically drawing something on the paper. This takes a few minutes.

When she finishes, she excitedly hands over the parchment to Avira since everyone else is busy. "I was wondering what that weird life-force I was picking up on was, but that's probably it! If you follow this, you should be there in no time! Thanks again for the tea, and sorry for holding you up!" Thirza packs up her things and dashes off after Aeschere. It really is an impressively detailed map. One wonders how she someone so goofy could do such quality work, and in such a short amount of time.

But then dashes back to pick up her pen, because she forgot to put it away. Derp.
Avira Of course, Avira doesn't believe that for a second the two will actually give up on this. As Aeschere astutely pointed out earlier, she has to sleep sometime. She does appreciate the warning, but now she is a little bit mentally prepared. On one hand it was actually kind of exciting. "You're welcome, miss." she pauses.

"You know, you know my name, but I don't know yours? To whom do I owe the pleasure of being accosted by?"

Much to her surprise, Thirza passes over a map, "Oh! So you noticed something emitting life-energy?" She studies the map carefully, though crudely drawn, she too knows the lay of the land a little better due to previous travels. "So is it near a hot spring, waterfall, or geyser, out of curiosity-" Zoom. The girl is already quite gone! "Ah well, we'll see soon enough~"

Neatly she tucks the map into a pocket.
Aeschere Childs "Aeschere," the aggressor in question calls back, over her shoulder. Go on and pronounce that one. "We'll talk again."

This scene contained 41 poses. The players who were present were: Avira, Maira, Thirza Ingersleben, Aeschere Childs, Arthur Drover