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Storyteller It was a long night, staking out the two known cult members. But both pairs of stake-outers returned with a good deal of information. Xar and Myrrh had questioned the spirit of the laborer's roof and learned much of his activities and duties in the cult. Far from that crappy little area of town Carmine and Corve had monitored the activities of Ugly Tree.

Storyteller The female "model" and the old artist had left the dwelling some time after nightfall and gone separate directions, both moving into the prosperous regions of Chiaroscuro. Carmine had trailed the female "model" and found her residing in a well-to-do apartment block restored to nearly perfect condition except for the few units still burried in rubbled.

Storyteller The artist had been lost, but then he hadn't seemed quite as important to Corve's well-trained eyes. Ugly Tree himself had gone out to fetch some dinner before returning to his home and being joined by another man, shorter and less attractive, wearing green. They had talked for several hours in a room too far from windows or roof for Corve to overhear. The man had not left the dwelling by morning.

Xar'Rex "So, how did steak - out go?"

Corve rubs his eyes slightly and shakes his head. Though he's tired, something inside him is fueling his body. Energy. Power. He feels better than he has in several days. Looking up at the Dragon King, he shrugs slowly. "My guy, this Ugly Tree character, had a new visitor in the night." He tilts his head to the side, scratching his ear. "I didn't follow the artist, he's not important enough."

Xar'Rex "He ugly?"

Carmine "... Not ugly at all."

Corve shrugs. "Not physically. His personality reminds me of a lump of Jaks' feces."

Xar'Rex "Where is Jak?"

Corve growls low and guttural, clenching his fist. "They're keeping him at the South Gate," he murmurs hatefully. The idea that they'd seperate him from his friend and companion vexes him to the point of possible murder.

Xar'Rex pats Corve akwardly, trying not to crush him. "We will get Jak back. Soon."

Carmine "..We'll be gone soon though."

Myrrh "Well I say we talk with the cops before we make any moves. We don't want to get arrested again..."

Corve looks at his friend and raises a brow. "... and say what?"

Myrrh "We're on the trail of deadly cultists that want to have the world swallowed up by a shadow dragon?"

Myrrh "Please don't beat us with truncheons?"

Carmine rolls her eyes derisively

Corve snorts. "Alright. So," he says. "How do you plan on having the Chiaroscurian officials believe that? Because they didn't believe we hadn't hijacked the airship out of necessity. They filed us with piracy charges, and gave money to that..." he growls again.

Xar'Rex "What did you learn about Ugly Tree man? Who is the visitor?" Xar tries to change the subject back to something safer.

Corve shakes his head. "I didn't want to risk infiltrating with two of them inside."

Myrrh "Well we can ask our friend. But let's take it easy this time, I don't want to be wanted for murder of a nobel..."

Corve looks at Myrrh. "A noble?"

Myrrh "Wealthy artist?"

Corve grins. "Not the same thing."

Myrrh "You think they'd make the distinction?"

Corve tilts his head, thinking. "They might. They might not. It really doesn't matter. The plan is to go in and get the information, then leave the second we're done. We can leave them dead or unconscious, either way we'll be out before they wake up and can say anything."

Carmine "We're not going to the police. We're not going to be caught either."

Corve nods to Carmine. "That's the attitude."

Myrrh "Who should we hit first though? The workers or Ugly Tree?

Corve shrugs. "The workers don't seem very important, though that's a call Xar and you have to make. I suggest pumping Ugly Tree for the information."

Xar'Rex "The workers did not know so much. Just did jobs, like messages, maybe kill people."

Myrrh "Alright then, let's shake Ugly tree a little and see what he knows."

Corve nods slowly, taking the information in and pondering for a minute. This is a hard choice. Interrogate the workers, and risk them coming to before they can finish working over Ugly Tree, or ignore the workers all together and perhaps miss something that the Glass God didn't speak of...

Xar'Rex "Um. Do we have enough money to torture them?"

Corve blinks, and then chuckles. "We won't need money..."

Xar'Rex "We did last time," he objects

Corve grins. "We won't get caught this time. We're not giving the officials of this city any sort of quarter this time around."

Xar'Rex "This city is good for one thing." Xar notes. "Much rubble and glass, broken."

Corve looks at Xar and grins. "Yeah?"

Myrrh "Uh...i'd rather we didn't start leveling cities just yet guys."

Xar'Rex holds up a claw, and disappears. There is rummaging and clinking noises, and he comes back with an armful of sharp things. His bearing is somewhat different, and his eyes look strange, like they're not focusing on this world. "You will need weapons, to defend yourselves from harm. I created these with earth and fire, glass and steel, on the forge of my bones. They will serve you well," he pronounces.

Corve snorts. "Don't worry. Not yet," he murmurs, looking around at the city around them. "But at some point, something big's going to happ..." he looks at Xar and smirks. "Oh Dragon King, you are truly a hero," he says.

Carmine picks one of them up, swinging it to test the balance. The look in her eyes suggests that Xar is her favourite Dragon King ever.

Corve makes a makeshift sheather out of his belt and tucks the glass weapon again. "Alright, so, the plan..."

Xar'Rex very deliberately passes one weapon out to each of his Circlemates, A glass-thorned steel swordclub, to Carmine and Corve, and something or other to Myrrh. For himself, he has a wicked, flame-glass-bladed Khatar.

Xar'Rex blinks several times, and seems to lose the strange aura he had a moment ago. "Yes, we need a plan."

Corve nods slowly. "We have two possible pathways to choose from. We can go to the two workers and see what we can find out there, and then go to Ugly Tree's and risk the two workers ratting us out; or we can go straight to Ugly Tree's, interrogate him, get information," he lowers his voice. "... maybe break his neck..." and then with normal tone. "... and leave as soon as possible."

Corve looks around. "Votes?"

Xar'Rex "We can go to the workers, tie them up, then go to Ugly Tree maybe?"

Xar'Rex "Then go back to workers."

Corve shakes his head. "No. Once we leave a place, we don't go back. Basic laws of breaking the law. Never return to the scene of the crime."

Xar'Rex "Oh. There are rules for that too?"

Myrrh "There are plenty of rules. Let's just get Ugly Tree. The workers are just thugs."

Corve grins. "Unspoken ones. I can't count the amount of criminals that I caught because they were stupid enough to return to the scene of the crime." He nods at Myrrh. "That seems like the best course of action. We wait till night, stake out his place during the day, once we're certain he's either alone or there are as little people as possible in the house, we go in."

Myrrh "Let's just hope we don't run into mummy man...I don't know how we'd explain HIM to the police either."

Xar'Rex "What should we do? Just catch him? Hurt him? What about guards?"

Myrrh "We should just catch him. He doesn't seem like the type to hold out if threatened. He has his looks to think of after all..."

Corve grins at Myrrh. "A card I'm more than willing to play. Anyway, we're going to in the way Carmine and I did the other day. Best if no one sees are enter forcefully."

Xar'Rex "Maybe we catch him and leave right away, bring him? To somewhere safe."

Corve shakes his head. "It'll be impossible to take him out of Chiaroscuro."

Carmine "We couldn't carry him through the streets even, people would notice..."

Xar'Rex "I fly."

Xar'Rex "Wrap him up, fly away."

Xar'Rex "Nobody sees, I wear black, he quiet. I go out of city, put him safe, come back meet you in safe place."

Corve shrugs. "But they won't allow us to take your things for you at the gate."

Corve sighs. "I don't think it's worth it. Besides," he looks at Myrrh. "Did you spot any sort of air defense here?"

Xar'Rex shrugs. "Or we try to get information from him here, where people hear screaming."

Myrrh "I didn't see any but that doesn't mean they aren't here. T Hey? have to defend themselves somehow..."

Corve pauses, leaning his head back. Xar's right, but Myrrh's answer doesn't make him feel any better. "There are ways to make not scream..."

Xar'Rex "You were loud with captain. The others screamed when he did, even so far away."

Corve scratches his head. "I just don't want you to get blown out of the sky, Xar," he murmurs.

Myrrh "Listen, if we can get out of here without maiming someone else i'll be happy."

Corve snorts. "I don't plan on maiming him, just threatening him with it."

Corve looks at Xar, licking his lips. "Are you *sure* you can make it past the Chiaroscurian borders without being spotted, twice?"

Xar'Rex "He has no, what is it, when your house is broken in to, and the police come?"

Xar'Rex "You make distraction for me."

Xar'Rex "Maybe light house on fire. Some other house."

Corve blinks. "Alarm. And if we make a distraction big enough, we risk being caught, as well." The plan has too many holes for Corve's careful, obsessive mind. He bites his lips.

Xar'Rex "Sneaky one set the fire."

Corve coughs a little. He doesn't think it's that simple.

Xar'Rex "How will you do it? You do not like my plan."

Myrrh "I think we can just go in and ask him a few questions. If Xar shows up he's sure to be intimidated.

Corve takes a deep breath, thinking things through. "Alright. Here's the plan, then: we go in, take them out and, if we see that it's hard to interrogate Ugly Tree in there, Xar will fly out of the city, and we'll meet him outside, and wait while he comes back in and leaves legally." He looks around. "How's that sound?"

Myrrh "Sounds like a plan."

Corve nods. "We wait 'till right before dusk, to go in."

Xar'Rex "Yes, that is good."

Carmine nods

Storyteller Dusk comes.

Xar'Rex is wearing black, as he had previously suggested, including a cloak that covers his wings, which are folded tightly against his back. He has even painted his plumage black with something or other. Maybe mud.

Storyteller While the Circle watched Ugly Tree's home they observed little of interest. The old artist returned once more, for a short time and unaccompanied by anyone else. He remained only for about an hour before departing. The short man in green that had arrived the night before left around lunch time, heading into the middle-class regions of the city. Other then those two, there were no visitors until dinner time.

Corve looks at the other three and wraps himself in a dark cloak, sticking his elbow out at Carmine and grinning. "Ready?"

Storyteller As the sun grew low on the horizon a very attractive pair of red-haired people, probably brother and sister considering their resemblance to each other, arrived and were admitted. The circle could see them and Ugly Tree enjoying an elaborate meal on the second floor.

Carmine nods with a smile.

Xar'Rex watches, his nose twitching a little. Hungry.

Corve sighs. "We should try to wait until they leave," he murmurs. "I want as little people as possible in there."

Xar'Rex switches his tail back and forth idly as he waits, having made sure to be in a clear area, where it will not knock things over accidentally.

Storyteller After dinner, with the sun now well beyond the horizon and night truly fallen, the two redheads leave Ugly Tree's dwelling, having had coffee and sweets after dinner for an extended period of time.

Myrrh glances wearily at the building again. "You know for a model he doesn't lead a very exciting life..."

Corve tugs at Carmine's arm. "Mind telling Sun that when we get back home, she's been parading around home lately, and it scares me," he mutters. "Let's go."

Carmine "But she-...yes, Corve." she hefts the sword below the cloak. "Yes, lets go."

Myrrh "Don't worry, i'm sure she's being tought to be a fine upstanding lady as we speak." Smirks and follows Carmine and corve

Xar'Rex yawns and stretches, joints cracking as they finally move after doing nothing for so long.

Corve looks at Carmine and raises a brow. "You're going to tell me what she said later," he murmurs, walking towards the door and stopping. "Myrrh, Xar, you're on flank." He knocks on the door.

Doorman appears at the door within a few moments. "Yes sir?"

Xar'Rex moves to the shadows at Corve's left

Myrrh moves to the side and hides.

Corve looks at the doorman and smiles at him, tilting his head to the side. "Evening," he says. "I need to speak with Ugly Tree, immediately."

Doorman frowns. "The master has retired for the night."

Corve frowns back. "The master knows the importance of these things. I'm sure he'll understand."

Doorman looks behind Corve and notices the blackened Dragon King lurking in the shadows. "I see...I will see if the master will see you. A moment, sir."

Doorman begins to close the door.

Corve puts his hand on the door, stopping the doorman. "I would much appreciate if you let us come inside while you go speak with him," he says. "We are trusted, after all."

Doorman frowns again at the black-covered Dragon King, but nods. "Very well."

Corve smiles and tips his head softly, stepping through and making a hand gesture for the two others behind him to come in as well.

Xar'Rex follows behind Corve, and once inside the door, resumes his position.

Myrrh moves after Corve, seeming to just come out of the nowhere to the guard. He smiles and nods.

Doorman returns from upstairs in a few minutes. "Master will see you in his bed chamber."

Carmine walks politely on Corve's arm, keeping the club invisible within the cloak. She smiles at the Doorman

Doorman watches unhappily as the mud-covered dragon tramps in to the halls he tries to hard to keep clean

Corve nods slowly. "Good," he says. Turning around, he motions Myrrh closer and whispers in distorted, garbled Brumish. "Stay down here until I call, and then come up after taking care of him." He whispers it right into Myrrh's ear, very low. Can't take any chances.

Xar'Rex has abandoned all attempts at stealth by this time. He doesn't actually leave giant footprints behind, as his feet are not muddy on the bottom.

Myrrh nods at Corve/

Corve nods back and smiles at the doorman. "Thank you." He nods to Xar to follow them and walks towards the stairs with carmine.

Carmine walks up gracefully beside him

Doorman looks at Myrrh, then shrugs and goes into the back rooms of the house

Xar'Rex follows them, and goes for looking... okay normal's not going to work... ninja didn't work... intimidating. yeah. He smiles slightly as he walks, and his bearing becomes more imposing, he seems somehow taller, and more arrogant.

Ugly Tree is reclining in his very large bed. This isn't the bedroom that Carmine and Corve saw before, that must be his "studio". This room is smaller, but much more luxurious. The bed sheets covering Ugly Tree from the waist down are bright green silk and his pillows certainly look fluffy. He looks at the visitors impatiently as he sips on some sort of fancy drink.

Ugly Tree does not invite his visitors to sit; there is no other furniture aside from a night stand in the room. Clearly only one sort of entertainment was in mind when this place was designed.

Carmine glances at Corve in a 'can I hit him now?' way.

Corve walks inside with Carmine hanging from his arm and Xar behind him, looking at Ugly Tree with a serious look in his eyes. "Good evening, brother Ugly Tree. Are we alone?"

Myrrh keeps an eye on the door from downstairs.

Ugly Tree "Except for my servant. What urgent matter brings you to my bedroom at this indecent hour?"

Corve smiles a little, sliding his arm slowly from Carmine's, letting her go. "Very important matters. It has come under my attention that you have information I need. This is... extremely important." He begins to walk towards the bed, leaving the other side for Carmine, and the door for Xar. "You see... the four escapees from the airship that Fallen Blackness failed to capture... they're in Chiaroscuro."

Carmine moves round to the other side of the bed, moving in a dangerous way

Ugly Tree blinks. "I see." He looks hesitantly at Carmine, then at Xar. "They wouldn't happen to be you, would they?"

Xar'Rex moves to block the door, crossing his arms over his chest and looking imposing. Nothing - but NOTHING is getting through this door.

Carmine nods, with a smile.

Corve shrugs a little. "And people say beauty and brains are incompatible," he says, coming right up to the edge of the bed at the moment Carmine reaches the other side, looking down at the porn star. "Keeping quiet would be smart."

Ugly Tree nods faintly. "I understand."

Xar'Rex smiles, the gleaming ivory of his fangs, startlingly white against his blackened face.

Corve doesn't like the fact that Ugly Tree is so calm. However, the man has been a professional cultist for quite a while. "So... how exactly do you want to proceed with this? I'm willing to do it any way you want, as long as we get what we need."

Ugly Tree "Look, I really don't know that much. I just provide money and pass along messages sometimes...that's all, really."

Corve sighs. "Do you know what happened on the air ship, 'brother' tree?"

Ugly Tree "No. Only what you told me."

Corve nods slowly. "Well, while our dear Captain escaped... he did so without his feet, and a blown apart kneecap, not to mention a charred nostril." He smiles a little, reaching into his coat and lighting a cigarette slowly, looking at the man. "Know why?"

Ugly Tree blanches. "No" His normally deep, sexy voice is a squeak.

Xar'Rex laughs, in a menacing growly kind of way.

Carmine "He got ... creative." she getsures at corve. "I did my best for the captain though..."

Corve grins. "Because when I first asked him a question... he *lied.* Because he 'only delivered messages' and 'only piloted the ship.' So..."

Myrrh nervously looks outside, hoping things are going well upstairs...

Corve channels his essence subtly, letting his mind and senses allow him to perceive the untold truths.

Carmine "...They're going to leave some ...ugly scars though."

Corve nods slowly at Carmine. "And since I don't have my usual weapons here, I'm probably going to have to use this," he says, pulling his coat back a little and showing the sword Xar forged him. "These things don't heal very well. I would *hate* to have to ruin your career."

Corve moves to the door, motioning for Xar to take point at the bed. "One moment..." and then in Brumish. "Bring the doorman up here," he says, just loud enough for Myrrh to hear.

Ugly Tree squeaks unintelligably.

Myrrh goes looking for the doorman.

Xar'Rex moves smoothly to take Corve's place, slipping the khatar over his already-massive claws and gripping the handhold.

Myrrh smiles as the doorman comes out. "Ah! there you are! Come with me please."

Ugly Tree The doorman follows Myrrh, looking very unhappy.

Corve turns back towards Ugly Tree and smiles, moving around Xar and leaning on one of the bed posts. "So, how is this going to work, 'brother' Tree?"

Myrrh leads the doorman upstairs and gently pushes him through the door into the bedroom. "I think he might have been up to something..."

Ugly Tree "I'll tell you what I can, really!"

Corve turns to the doorman. "Really. What's *your* name? And what were you doing downstairs, if you don't mind me asking. Or, actually, even if you do, tell me anyway."

Myrrh "And who were you trying to summon?"

Doorman "I am Molting Grouse. And I was...ah. Well, I was trying to get in contact with a close friend to see if you were authorized to be here."

Doorman "I see now that was pointless."

Corve smiles. "And *did* you manage to talk to your friend?"

Xar'Rex resumes his place as the Doordragon.

Doorman shakes his head.

Doorman Ugly Tree, over on his bed, looks increasingly desperate

Corve frowns. "I didn't hear you answer my question. I'm bad as gestification."

Doorman "When I shake my head, I mean "no", sir."

Corve rolls his eyes. "That's not a clear answer. Indulge me. Did you communicate with your friend or not?" He turns around, not needing to look at the man to know if he's lying. He smiles at Ugly Tree. It's scary smile.

Doorman "No, I didn't."

Corve ignores the man, now that he answered correctly. "So, Ugly Tree. What were the last few messages you delivered?"

Ugly Tree looks utterly petrified. "Well...ah. I haven't had any messages to pass on since..well, since before Abundance fell.

Corve smiles. "Also... do you know where Fallen Blackness on the Horizon can be found, or how he can be contacted, and can you answer this question: what kind of beings are the leaders of the Black Viper Cult?"

Ugly Tree "Ah..No, I don't know where he is...and they're..well, I think they're gods but I'm not sure. I've never seen one, I promise!"

Ugly Tree "They just come in your dreams to tell you what they want!"

Corve ponders for a moment. "The messages you delivered before Abundance fell... what were they, and who were they delivered from and to?"

Carmine 's eyes flash with fear as they mention dreams, though she keeps her posture controlled

Ugly Tree "They were just a series of times and places from my dreams. I gave them to messengers that came to visit me! And sometimes money. Yes, I gave a lot of money to the messenger who came just before Abundance fell. And he was carrying a message with all the places the same. That was strange. They were all at some place a few hours south of the city. I don't know where, I can't read maps!"

Xar'Rex growls threateningly, everytime the words "I don't know" pass his lips.

Myrrh "hmmm...what place?"

Corve looks at Ugly Tree. "Show us the maps."

Ugly Tree "I told you, I don't *know* what place! I just remember the messenger saying it was only a few hours away, so he'd not have to run far!"

Ugly Tree looks confused at Corve. "What maps? I don't have any maps. What good would they do me?"

Xar'Rex *grrrrrr* *drool*

Corve growls, along with Xar's. "Listen... I'm going to be very clear..." he says slowly, sitting down on the bed after unsheathing his glass sword and placing it across his knees. "I need the coordinates. The exact words of the message and the exact words as to the directions where the man would have had to take them. Unless you have an implaccable memory, you should have it written down. And if you do have an implaccable memory, you should remember. Now... please, help us out." He taps his sword's glass edge softly with a finger.

Ugly Tree blinks, sweat starting to bead on his forehead. "Ah. Well...if Molting Grouse hasn't gotten rid of them..they'd be in a small box under my bed."

Corve looks at the doorman. "Get them."

Ugly Tree watches unhappily as Molting Grouse retrieves the box from under Ugly Tree's bed and places it before Corve.

Corve looks at the box. "There wouldn't happen to be poison ready to spring up or anything that hurts me or alerts anyone should I open this box, would there, fellows?"

Ugly Tree shakes his head. "No, its just a box."

Corve nods. "You'll have to forgive my obsessiveness as to details, but I *am* a police officer and you are *are* the evil bastards that want to destroy my home," he says, smiling at them pleasantly. And then he opens the box, and takes a look inside.

Ugly Tree makes no reply as Corve finds the few bits of paper in the box. In a very clean, clear handwriting are written a series of times and places on two shreds of paper. One has all the same location, the same location that the "neutral meeting place" where Brume is to deliver its payment, and a series of four times. Two already past, one of those being the day Abundance fell and the other being the date Brume was supposed to deliver its p

Ugly Tree Brume was supposed to deliver its payment. The last two are in the future: the day Brume is supposed to deliver its payment AGAIN and some date a month later. The other paper is several weeks older, all the dates long in the past and correlating to no significant event Corve can remember. The locations match nothing he knows of.

Myrrh has quit IRC (Ping timeout)

Corve looks at the papers and passes the coordinates to Xar. "How often do these dreams occur?"

Ugly Tree "A few times a month"

Corve nods a little. "Any specific patterns?"

Xar'Rex takes them, looks them over and nods as if he knows what they mean without an accompanying map.

Myrrh has joined #Brume

Corve looks at Ugly Tree, waiting.

Carmine frowns at the map, wondering if any of them are near where she walked from...

Ugly Tree shakes his head. "No.

Ugly Tree "Please, just go away. That's all I know! I have a very important trip to the sea side tomorrow!"

Ugly Tree "I'd really like to survive for it!"

Carmine "...so why do you work for them?"

Corve smiles at Ugly Tree. "Yes, why *do* you work for them, 'brother' Tree?"

Ugly Tree straightens up in his bed, doing his best to make his muscles look impressive and intimidating..and failing miserably. "Now, you..you listen here! I may just be a pretty face and a big..well I have FAITH I'll have you know! The Black Viper Cult was THERE for me!"

Corve tilts his head, smiles, and then sends a flashing blow from his fist at Ugly Tree's chest, his fist tightening as it comes close to his chest. It's not going to do any permanent damage, but it'll probably leave a bruise.

Ugly Tree glares furiously at Corve, backing away...then he remembers Carmine and slumps.

Corve looks at Ugly Tree, narrowing his eyes. "Next time, I aim for your nose. Don't snap at me, you silly little porn star. You answer my questions or I'll ruing your career with a single punch. I'm not so sure people will want to draw a toothless model, hmm?"

Xar'Rex makes a rude gesture at his privates

Ugly Tree "I *have* answered your questions!"

Corve smiles. "Why are you working for them? What could be so important that you would break so many laws and kill so many people?"

Ugly Tree "The Black Serpent of Shadows says we must do as he commands. It is not our place to ask why!"

Myrrh "Black Serpent of Shadows...who's seen this guy?

Corve nods again, slowly. "Well," he says, standing up and looking at Ugly Tree with a scowl on his face. "I'M ASKING!" he screams, grabbing the man by the robes and pulling him close, his voice resonating across the man's face. "NOW WHY DO YOU WORK FOR THE BLACK VIPERS?!

Ugly Tree quivers. "They saved my life! I was alone and poor and then they saved me from that! They made me rich, they're my FAMILY!"

Myrrh "How did they save you? How could you be poor with looks like that?"

Corve nods a little and shoves Ugly Tree back, looking at him. "Sorry. I get irksome when I don't get my way. It happens." He smiles pleasantly again. "Now, two more questions, and you'd better answer them truthfully... or I'm going to make you poor again." He flips the glass bad over, in an underhanded position. "Who and what is the Black Serpenet of Shadows, and... is there anything... anything at ALL... that you

Corve * believe, no matter how hatefully, could be of any use to us?" He pauses. "And also, if you say 'The Black Serpent of Shadows will kill you,' I'll make you a woman."

Ugly Tree "The Black Serpent of Shadows is the master of the Black Viper Cult. He rules us all and gives us all that is good in our lives and brings down punishment on our enemies."

Corve nods a little. "Well, we're going to bring a little punishment back his way. But you didn't answer my second question, and what you said comes very close to telling me he's going to kills us. Be careful how you answer, 'brother' Tree."

Ugly Tree shakes his head, then sighs. "There is another servant of the Black Serpent in the city."

Corve raises a brow. "Who?"

Ugly Tree "A woman. The Scarlet Poppy of Devastation."

Corve sighs a little, and then stops... Scarlet. Devastation. He closes his eyes, and then opens them. "Have you ever seen her?"

Xar'Rex wonders what a poppy is.

Myrrh "Scarlet Poppy of Devestation. What is it with these long names? We seem to be running into them..."

Corve flexes his hands in furstration. "Tree... have you ever seen her? What is she? What is her legend?"

Ugly Tree shakes his head

Ugly Tree "I just know she lives in the Plaza and she's important. I was supposed to tell her if anything strange happened."

Corve growls. "Don't make me tell you what I told Moldy here. Do you know what she looks like? And how do we contact her?"

Ugly Tree "No, I don't know what she looks like. If I had to contact her I was just supposed to go to her apartment!"

Corve nods. "The address?"

Ugly Tree gives it to you

Corve takes it and looks at it, then pockets it. "I take it since you're going on a trip tomorrow, you're not expecting anyone soon?"

Corve memorizes the address, then.

Ugly Tree "No, the artist and some other performers are meeting me here in the morning."

Corve mutters something and growls.

Corve looks at Carmine. "I suppose we'll have to go check this out now," he says. "We need to be out of here by morning."

Corve sighs a little bit. "Well, Ugly Tree... we're going to have to take some measures to make sure what *we* do works well. You understand, don't you?"

Ugly Tree looks terrified. "What do you mean?"

Corve rolls his eyes. "Oh for the Sun's sake! We're not going to kill you, you bloody wimp!" He runs a hand through his hair. "We just need to... make you sleep." He smiles.

Ugly Tree "I can't perform with a welted head!"

Carmine "You don't need to worry about that..."

Corve shrugs a little bit. "And thousands of people can't live with their lives taken by some crazy bunch of idiots who tossed an ISLAND INTO THE FUCKING SEA!" he screams.

Corve smiles, leaning forward. "And let me tell you something... if one more innocent person dies because of you fuckbags... I'm going to come back here, and personally castrate you and make sure your name fits your looks. Do you understand me?"

Ugly Tree whimpers

Corve looks over at Myrrh and Xar. "Hey guys, find some rope and some long rags."

Myrrh "Eh, i'm sure the sheets'll do..."

Myrrh pulls the sheets off the bed and starts shreding them into long strips.

Corve nods. "Yeah, alright," he joins Myrrh until they have enough strips, and motions for Ugly Tree to stand up. "Come on."

Ugly Tree "My sheets!"

Ugly Tree slowly stands, having been revealed to sleep in the nude once Myrrh took away his sheet.

Xar'Rex eyes him and snorts in disdain.

Corve doesn't care so much, and ties the man in a complicated fashion that involves twisting and bending his limbs awkwardly, making it impossible for Ugly Tree to move any limbs. In fact, all he can probably do is move his neck... a little. Then, grabbing a short piece, he wraps it around his face and gags him, blindfolding him afterwards.

Myrrh "Wow..."

Carmine looks at Corve, eyebrow raised

Corve looks at Carmine and tilts his head. "What?"

Myrrh "You sir are a man of many gods given gifts. Shame you squander it on serving doomsday snake culsts."

Myrrh "Right! Let's get the door man...

Corve snorts at Myrrh's comment and tosses Ugly Tree onto the bed, gagged and bound. He grabs the doorman and helps Myrrh tie him up and gag him in the same manner, tossing him on the bed in an... odd and compromising position with Ugly Tree. "Beautiful. See? I can be an artist too."

Corve looks at Carmine. "Any way you can get these two to sleep without me clubbing them in the back of the neck?"

Myrrh "A masterpiece to be certain..."

Carmine 's face curls up in amusement, then she nods. She carefully applies pressure to their neck, and they soon droop

Xar'Rex rubs the back of his neck. "It's hard not to talk so long."

Corve searches for keys. All the keys, so he can lock all the doors in the house, if they can be locked.

Corve smiles at Xar. "You did great, Xar."

Xar'Rex "Thanks." He flexes his wings from beneath his cloak, stretching them.

Myrrh "So, who do you think this "Poppy" woman is?"

Corve pulls the keys out and looks at the two. "How long do we have, Carmine, before they wake up?

Carmine "Tomorrow ... lunchtime. About."

Myrrh "Good! It'll give the artist some time to get some new poses."

Corve nods a little and nods to the door. "File out, then. We're going to go visit Ms. Scarlet Poppy," he says, looking at Carmine with a short-lasting frown. He walks up behind her and whispers softly. "We need to talk," and then moves to the door, holding it open. "I'm going to see if I can lock any more doors other than the front one."

Xar'Rex "And the windows."

Corve nods to Xar. "Anyway, come on, out! We dont' have *that* much time."

Carmine looks at Corve curiously, and alittle concered ... "As you like."

Myrrh rushes out. "Who names their kid Scarlet Poppy of Devastation?"

Xar'Rex "someone who does not like kids?"

Corve closes the door and looks at Xar. "You can shape wood, right Xar?" He smiles.

Xar'Rex "No, just stone."

Corve nods slowly. "Alright, forget it. Let's go," he says, nodding towards the stairs. "We need to get to Poppy's as soon as possible."

Xar'Rex "There is stone around the door, though. If you want me to keep it closed.

Corve smirks. "That'd be good. If you can do it quick, I'd appreciate it."

Xar'Rex removes the khatar, and uses his claws to shape the stone around and over the wood of the door.

Corve waits for Xar to finish shaping the two doors that matter, after he locks the front one, and looks up at the night sky. "We need to get going." He runs a hand through his hair and pulls Carmine back a little as they walk. They need to talk.

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