Carmine walks with Corve to the house of the nearest known cultist. She seems to calm a little as they walk
Corve sighs a little bit, clenching his fists and sticking his hands into his coat's pockets. "This is going to be a lot harder without our things," he murmurs.
ST Corve and Carmine manage to find their way to the address given in the report. The name listed is one Ugly Tree. The building that owns the address is a two-story townhouse made of opaque glass with a ruddy, crimson hue. In various places the glass is mixed with glazed red brick, obviously patching holes where the glass was once removed.
ST A short but stout guard answers the door.
Door Guard "Can I help you?"
Corve smiles at the door guard and clears his throat. "Hello there. We'd like to see Ugly Tree, please."
Door Guard "Who are you?"
Carmine is hanging off one of Corve's arms, doing her best to look calm, and not like she wants to collaspse the guard man's throat with a kick.
Corve tips his hat. "Unseen Darkness," he says.
Door Guard "He's not taking visitors."
Corve bites back a sigh. "Ah, but this is business."
Door Guard "State your business, then."
Corve shakes his head. "Confidential. For Ugly Tree's ears only. Orders from on high."
Door Guard "Just a moment." he shuts the door and disappears for a long time.
Door Guard returns, opening the door a crack, the chain keeping it still mostly closed, as before. "He's not seeing anyone that's not on the list."
Corve smiles. "Well, the list is outdated. Recent events have required for us to change some details."
Door Guard "I see. Well I'm sure the updated list will get to him in a day or two."
Corve shakes his head. "If he doesn't get the information I'm carrying, he might not be around to receive the list."
Corve leans forward, looking the guard in the eyes. "This is *crucial information*. I'd hate for you to be punished because you didn't allow us to pass when we had something to important to delegate."
Door Guard looks measuringly at Corve, then grunts. "A moment." he shuts the door.
Door Guard opens the door several minutes later. "Ugly Tree will see you now. And it had better be important, he is very busy."
Corve nods and drags Carmine inside.
Carmine allows herself to be dragged.
Door Guard escorts the two strangers inside, showing them up the stairway and knocking on the door upstairs.
Ugly Tree "Very well, if they will not come back later, they may enter!"
Ugly Tree setting scene
Door Guard opens the door, to the exquisitely luxurious bedroom in which Ugly Tree awaits
Ugly Tree is a tall, statuesque man in his late 20's or so. A head full of rich brown hair, a well-trimmed goatee and immaculate physique make you wonder for a moment why he's called Ugly Tree. But there is a discolored patch, a birthmark, in the shape of...maybe it's a tree... on his right arm, running from shoulder to elbow.
Ugly Tree is not alone in the room. An older man, apparently an artist, is working furiously on capturing the pose that Ugly Tree and a pretty young woman are holding carefully on the bed. Both Ugly Tree and the girl are unclothed.
Ugly Tree "What message do you have, brother....was it Unseen Darkness? What a peculiar name."
The Artist holds his hands up, squinting and framing the two in the square made of his fingers. He nods thoughtfully, and mixes two colors of paint, applying them to the canvas with quick, sure strokes.
Corve smiles carefully and looks at the girl and the artist. "I suggest we speak alone, brother. This is a delicate matter."
Girl maintains her pose, glancing at the new arrivals for a moment before maintaining her look of concentration.
Ugly Tree "These two are both members, you may speak freely."
The Artist glances distractedly at the two newcomers, giving them both a scathing 'you are ugly' look before returning to his meditation on beauty.
Carmine concentrates on looking calm and peaceful. Trying not to contemplate what she would like to do with the paintbrush
Corve raises a brow and then nods. "I have information that changes plans somewhat. Fallen Blackness on the Horizon failed... an unforseen event which you may or may not be aware of. I came here to warn you that you may be in danger. Almost everyone is already aware of this, and we regret having reached you so late. In any event, I was told to come and inform you, as well as ask you to inform me of any new
Corve * developments on this front." He relaxes, suddenly becoming much more at ease, even though his message still reeks of importance.
The Artist paints in the highlights of the important curves
Ugly Tree looks thoughtful. "
Ugly Tree Well. There's been no recent developments at all, have there?" He looks at the painter and the girl.
Girl "I can't think of anything."
The Artist shrugs, "Nothing, Don't move, I'm almost done." he waves his paintbrush at the two
Ugly Tree "Which poses are left?"
Corve nods, scratching his chin softly. "Well, I still need you to go through your basic duties in the next few days. There have been some changes due to the recent developements that might affect them."
Ugly Tree glowers at Corve "I always complete my duties. How dare you suggest that Ugly Tree would do any less."
Corve raises a brow. "I suggested no such thing. I am saying that there may be *changes* to your future duties, thus I need you to review them for me. I am quite aware of your crystal reputation, and have respect it for as long as I've known of you, brother."
Ugly Tree "Well, alright. I'll be aware."
The Artist casts an annoyed glance at Corve, "The poses we have left for today are... hmmm Eye of the Hurricane, Leap of the Tiger, and Worship of the Most High."
Ugly Tree sighs. "My poor back."
Ugly Tree "Is that all, Unseen Darkness? I'll let you know if there's anything out of the ordinary."
Girl sighs and rotates her neck. "Do we really have to do Eye of the Hurricane today? I don't think my feet can take much more."
The Artist "Life is Art, Art is Life. We must suffer the pains for Life to be worthwhile."
Carmine "...Eye of the hurricane?" Carmine has to ask.
The Artist looks at Carmine scornfully, "You do not look limber enough to even consider attempting it, nor worth immortalizing in art." he waves her off.
Corve smiles. "I'm quite sure you are more than skilled enough for the tasks, brother. In any case..." he pauses, looking at Carmine and clutching her arm tighter, so she doesn't go primal on the artist. "Will you be present here on the third day of the coming week?"
Carmine gives him a look that comprises all the rage that built up in the 5 days in prison
Ugly Tree "No, actually, I have a location job on the sea side. They've contracted with a minor water goddess."
The Artist has gotten this kind of look before, and is thus merely amused by it. Silly girl. He concentrates on his painting.
Ugly Tree "She's translucent you see, so it sells even better."
The Artist "I do enjoy the way you look inside of water goddesses. It makes you even more impressive."
Girl "More circus act stuff. Do't even get me started on this "beastman" thing they want me to do..." Sighs and glances at her nails.
Ugly Tree "Oh, with that centaur-mutant?"
Ugly Tree "They asked me to do it too, but I said no."
Ugly Tree "Anyway, is that all Unseen Darkness and friend?"
The Artist "Oh, but it sells so well."
Ugly Tree "Well, then *you* try it!"
Girl "No, the one with the snake mutant. Next they'll want me to pose with a buck ogre."
The Artist "I would, but I don't have the... capacity... for a horse."
Ugly Tree "Well neither do I."
The Artist "Are you certain? That last one you were with looked as if he approached that size. I bet you could do it if you wanted to."
Ugly Tree "But I don't want to."
Corve nods slowly. "Oh, yes! My apologies," he says, pretending to have been transfixed by the artist's painting. "I shall be in the city for the next few days, you may be contacted again if anything developes. Otherwise, your duties remain the same, and in your very capable hands."
The Artist shrugs, "Well you have plenty of other opportunities, of course. And people pay to see YOU... in anything."
Ugly Tree "Hmph! They've never tried it themselves, it's not half as fun as it looks."
The Artist "Oh, I'm sure they've attempted it... but they don't have half your skill."
Ugly Tree hmph.
The Artist "You, sir, are an INSPIRATION!"
The Artist gestures grandly with his paintbrush
Ugly Tree "I know, I know."
Ugly Tree "Hurry up, I need a rest."
Ugly Tree "My leg is asleep again."
Carmine gives corve a 'we need to go or I will paint the room with their entrails' look
The Artist "Five more minutes, and then we'll break." He returns to his painting with new inspiration!
Corve nods to Carmine and smiles. "Well, I hope nothing changes in the future, and everything goes according to plan. Brothers, sister," he nods and turns to walk out the door, draggin Carmine.
ST Two hours later the Circle has found itself again and is resting in a small sidewalk cafe, enjoying some nice cool drinks in the heat of the Southern afternoon.
Xar'Rex keeps looking nervously out the window.
Corve leans back, after having told the other two what occurred. "We're going to need a vigilance on that place. I want to try to get in when no one's around."
Myrrh sips his water. "It's alright Xar. We just gave them enough merchandise to retire on anyway...gods what a mess...are you sure that was the place?"
Xar'Rex "It was the place!"
Xar'Rex "Not anymore though." he frowns.
Myrrh "Well we're going to have to leave here for a year anyway."
Carmine "It won't be long enough...!"
Xar'Rex "She didn't light on fire." he says sullenly.
Carmine "...light on fire?!"
Xar'Rex "I show-ed her a fire protection charm. It works."
Corve sighs and taps the table for some attention. "Anyway, there's good news and bad news. And it's both the same news." He ignores the rest. "We don't have the name of the other cultist... so we'll probably have to bust in, and most likely bust some heads."
Carmine brightens considerably at that thought
Myrrh "Maybe. Can we please take it easy this time? I'd rather not like to be banned from here for life and have some mark of exile branded on my face."
Corve shrugs. "Not like you came here a lot before today, Myrrh. In any case, we all need to let out some pent up tension, and taking it out on a cultist might be good."
Xar'Rex "They can't brand me."
Xar'Rex "And next time, I not sit there in box."
Corve sighs and drinks his coffee. "In any case, I think the smart thing to do is for two of us to stake out one place, and the other two another, during tomorrow. The day after we act, and then we leave as fast as possible."
Corve looks around. "Any other ideas?"
Xar'Rex "What other place?"
Carmine "Theother cultists"
Xar'Rex "Where is that? Did you go there too?
Myrrh "Well they're just normal right? We don't need to hit too hard."
Myrrh "They'll probably be too afraid of us at any rate."
Corve shakes his head. we still have to go investigate that place. But it'll probably be a break in. We don't know the cultist's name."
Myrrh "Alright, You and I can do that. I'm not sure if carmine and xar are as good at being sneaky.."
Xar'Rex "I won't go back in the box again. Where do we go to leave?"
Carmine "The south gate. I know where that is."
Corve nods. "We'll see how we team up. Do either of you have any experience being subtle and sneaky?" He looks at Carmine and Xar.
Carmine raises her eyebrow
Carmine "I don't know."
Carmine "I didn't know I could help people's wounds until I tried too..."
Myrrh "Well that's a start..."
Corve nods slowly. "Alright. Let's go try to find a place to stay, unless you guys plan on sleeping on the street..?"