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Blood In The Water [ Request ]

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The Plot;


The dogs are gathering. Yellow teeth, red slaver, and mangled jaws. The smell of blood curdled with the musk of dead fish travels on the night winds, giving the tidal spray a portentous flavor. Talk of a fresh division in the underworld factions is abound, each whisper a scream. What part will you play in this unfolding saga of the dogs who would be kings?


The Purpose;


To provide ample background for my premiere criminal linkshell, whose exact name is still pending and to hopefully rope in a few potential recruits while establishing a presence in the roleplaying community. A note of warning, though, this thread is going to be dark, so for those prone to the vapors, I'd recommend keeping your distance.


The Setting;

Limsa Lominsa, with the thread kicking off after the prologue outside of the Drowning Wench. Takes place a handful of months before launch timeline and in a separate timeline from any other listed roleplaying threads.


The Rules;


Stay moderately active. Any absence lasting more then two days will result in your character being put out of commission ( i.e. abandoning ship due to sudden cowardice, contracting dysentery, or getting thrown down and fishooked ). If your leave is temporary and you have the firmest intentions of returning, your character will fall under GM cruise control. Prior notice is mandatory and formal resignation preferred.


All posts should be at least one paragraph ( five sentences fleshy sentences ) in length and should spellchecked.


OOC blah blah blah should be kept sparse and limited to private messages or the assembly room.


Assuming your opponent is some nameless NPC, feel free to dictate their reactive actions as far as combat is concerned during high octane sequences so as to streamline the narrative. Named NPCs, however, are left in the control of the DM. Also, during combat, make sure your character is at least nicked, scraped, kicked, punched, or whatever else at least once. Use common sense. Untouchables suck.


Go wild!

The Application;


Just fill this out or link me your profile in the character directory and send it to me via private message. Looking for at least three people to sign up before progressing past the second introductory post. Looking mostly for characters either in the shades of gray or plain black. Gallant characters won't mesh well with this adventure.


Character's Alias ( no real names -- wouldn't want it taken ):

Character's Race ( no lalafell -- hyurs are preferred ):

Character's Occupation ( optional ):

Character's Description ( optional ):

Do you plan on bringing this character to launch?

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Boots trotting heavy on the quay, thin cloak snapping frenzied in the wind, Bryre carved a path through brine and fog, strides lunging, frantic. Ringed hand greasing hair with sweat, he chewed his tongue and paced his breathing, swallowing the grim rise of bile that gurgled threateningly in the deeps of his throat. This business of skullduggery always left him with shaky bowels. It was as if at any moment he would collapse, retching and shitting himself simultaneously. Some good that alchemist brew did him, that fletcher. Halfway down the wharf, a plank succumbed to rot, taking his leg and a hearty chunk of flesh with it. He stumbled messily, palms scraping wood, bracing his weight against moss and splinters. From above, laughter sputtered then choked, and with a sudden heave, the man was on his feet, knife to knife with some raggedy puller.


"That dirk couldn't slit a child's throat, you," the puller said, grin lilting his voice crooked, light.


"Come, pray test it on yours?" Bryre spat back.


For awhile they stood, tense as beasts, before the stranger relented, stepping back, trading knife for cleaver and draped cowl for open face. Moonlight gave ugly luster to the scarred, filth smeared face. Eyes wide, discolored, and dully shimmering, the Butcher dropped the twist in his lips with a twitch of the hand.


"Kindly, sir, surrender I," he said.


"Ah . . . it's you. Of course it's you. Yes, I apologize. You caught me unawares," stammered Bryre, his features tight with pain. Hands caked with blood, he gestured for them to move further down the promenade, away from the shore. They went in silence, one swaggering, the other limping. At the end of the pier, a rowboat bobbed, burdened only by oars and a large, dark sack. They climbed in without ceremony, and after rowing past the kelp and shallows, uncorked a bottle of rum and began to talk business.


"One-Eye's authority is crumbling. We heard about the pirates and how they've started bringing their business to your men instead of his. You undercutting him like that, skimming just enough to make a profit and a few cheap friends, it's bold, Vandal --," Praise cut short by a hiss of pain as the Butcher poured hard drink on the gash, the man writhed, silent.


"Dangerous, yes. No more pillowtalk. What do you want?"


The shift of accent made Bryre nervous. Thickening, the air went sticky with tension, pregnant, violent, "The Knights of the Barracuda, as you know, have certain connections to the local pirate crews, and consequently ties to One-Eye and the cruel economics of his little operation. We want out. We want to back someone reasonable. So here I am with my head on the chopping block, offering you a chance to foster relations between our two organizations," Bryce said, letting silence trail.


"Yes, about that," Reaching into the sack that he had left sitting ominously between them, the Butcher retrieved a freshly severed head and gave it a toss, letting it land squarely in the lap of his startled passenger. As it rolled feebly about, the poor man shrieked, scooping the awful trophy from boat to sea, shuddering to himself as it gurgled and sunk. Watching on with a flat, bored expression, Vandal continued, "Either you think me a fool or you are a fool. Which is it, Captain Bryre of the Marghast, respected officer of the Barracuda Knights, beloved husband, father, and son?"


"You don't think he's mine, do you? Whoever he was, he has nothing to do with me or this offer. I can stake that on my life, Butcher."


"Oh?" Head doggedly tilting, the man traced the pale, wiry scar that ran the curve of his throat apple, "A relief, then. Keep only me in the strictest of your confidence. Whatever baited that rat came from your camp."


"Yes, I'll be more careful from now on," He replied curtly, impatience winning out. His guts were churning. This had to end soon or else he risked losing them to this monster, "But regardless, the offer stands, and to show we aim to make good on our word, we have a shipment that needs to be collected. It's in the hands of pirate crew that we contract waiting to be smuggled and then fenced. Do this for us and we will offer you a similar favor in return," Letting the weight of his words mount, Bryre smiled, gold teeth gleaming, moonlit.


"And what favor would that be, fish captain?"


"One-Eye's loyal contacts within the Knights charged with high treason."


At this Vandal's face split with a wide, lupine grin, expression sheer glee.



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First Day, Evening, The Drowning Wench, Limsa Lominsa;


Playing porter, Rotter stood beside the entrance of the port city's premiere tavern, guzzling their finest tapstuff while slanting a brow at the passing adventurers. None of them were worth their salt and he knew it. More importantly, Vandal knew it too. Why the Butcher sent his best scout to sniff at these fishhooked sprats escaped him, especially since he was said scout. His time would be better wasted pawing at some of One-Eye's boys for hire. They could cleanly do what the boss had in mind and they could do it for cheap. Like most veteran cutthroats, they enjoyed the work more then they ever could enjoy the pay. Blood over coin, leather over silk. That's how their world turned, and despite this modern pretense of stability, of peace, of guilds, that's how it would always turn. Throwing back the rest of his flagon, he turned and barreled into the tavern, letting the drink swirl fire in his gut while he staggered towards the tap.


"One more night of this, then it's off to One-Eye . . ." He muttered, throwing his back and arms up against the bar counter with a reckless lean, surveying, scouting.


One more night.

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Hawker's Alley, Limsa Lominsa;


A cry of shock and pain issued out of a youth's throat, swallowed and unheard by the din of Hawker's Alley just a few steps away. The light clink of a guildleve sounds against the cobblestone of the small side alley. Cold metal slides quietly across the mouth of a waiting sheath before the tall, femine form stoops to retrieve the happy-colored card. As the patron saint flashes its guileless smile skyward tanned lips carved their own more appreciative, yet conservative grin.


As the youth falls from his own stoop upon his side to rock back and forth in a comforting fashion emerald eyes fix upon him. Heartless and cold. Flinching away from the starring of those two eyes the youth curled into a half-formed ball; only to fall haltingly out of it.


"You ...have it now. . . go away!" the youth issued through pitful sobs and gasps.


Relentless emerald stare kept hold of the youth a long moment. He was early to manhood but not that young. The beginnings of a beard shaded the youth's jaw. Yet here he lied as if he was much younger. Sun-stained lips finding a faint sneer the woman shook her head releasing in a cool sigh,"Be thankful, Hyurian. I broke a rib at best. Had you agreed to my terms you would have earned your own leve."


Leaving the youth to stare after her the emerald eyed woman turned as if to make for the crowds of Hawker's Alley. A forced breath was taken in to the woman's throat as she sat, hesitant, between the quiet of the side alley and the cacophony without. A pair of leathern fingers rise to massage just below an ear. It had been awhile since she had to deal with so great a level of sound. The gasp of winds and the rustle of leaves had been her companions upon the road for some time now. She figured with a soft snort to her own thoughts the other races had it so much easierâ¦


Securing lavender cloth above mouth and nose in a light mask she then gathered the hem of worn, brown-clothed hood. Raising it she stepped out into the hustle and bustle of the Alley.


The Drowning Wench


Pushing the door open with a gentle creek the woman of emerald eyes stepped into the tavern. Casting a slow, passing glance about the place she turned her boots toward the bar. Tapping the counter with a closed fist she lowered her hood her pointed Elezen ears rising slightly; appreciative of the relative quiet within. As the tavernkeep shuffled before her, she simply nodded to a bottle and murmured,âA glass if you would.â

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  • 2 weeks later...

(( Fine, it's just going to be you and me for awhile, Ms. Flogging Molly! ))


Ugly head turning to catch sight of the brusque elezen, Rotter shook a twitch from his hand and let flagon drop, the cheap crock rolling hollow on the tavern floor. Swinging his legs to cut a jagged approach, the man greased palm with spit and gave it a slick run through his balding scalp, wiping the phlegm and raked fleas on some passing wastrel's back. Easily, he shouldered a path through the swaying throngs, falling beside the long-ear with an introductory belch and the slamming of knife into the counter, the blade sinking into the grain like hot metal through butter. Cordial scowl making a grim ruin of his face, the man said,


"You got the look of a blade to you. Them strict angles and steely complexion. What says you to some cutwork, louse-ear? Or are you whore already to One-Eye?" Tongue wagging thick, boastful, he ventured, "Or mayhaps your curves be looking to have a pretty sit on Old Rotter's miserly lap? Answer a man straight, none of your vixen coy."


Sporting a studded cuirass of an old, simple fashion, he kept himself with the air of sellsword, his bravado plain, blades dangling in their oiled scabbards. His skin was more hide then flesh, cured thick, notched with scars, threaded with fresh suture wire. Piggish eyes swollen and menacingly dark, he roamed a hard stare, jaw tightening as he discerned her next move, eager to come to blows.

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In the back of the bar sat another. It was a shady little corner in which the fellow was located, off by the fire with a cosy mug of beer in his palm. He was a tiny thing, looking more of the dirty youths that scampered about the alleyways than of the coarse, burly men who surrounded him, and his clothing was of a cut quite a bit finer than was usually seen in such an area.


He fiddled with the lace on his cuffs as time wore on, steely grey eyes darting about the rest of the room. He was growing tired of just sitting there observing, and he quite fancied a game of cards. Unfortunately there was no such game going forth at the moment, only sombre men slowly emptying one mug after another. The only thing truly of interest occurred slightly off to one corner; a rather dishevelled and loathsome-looking fellow accosting a fair Elezen woman. His eyes swiftly returned to his drink after catching sight of that, knowing full well just how ugly such a thing could become and that he wanted no part of it.


The lad, who went by the name of Valentine, sighed and slid his own deck out from a wee leather pouch, figuring that perhaps if he shuffled them in plain enough view that someone might catch sight and challenge him. Hopefully such a thing would occur soon, for the place was getting dreadfully dull, and if he wanted dull he would have just stayed home.

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(Not too familiar with the lore of this game, just going off some hints thrown abouts. If mistake is noted, dont hesitate to call it forth)




The manor stank of rats and garlic.

A large, black curl has made sweaty respite and looped in a hook at her collarbone. She stood listening to the critters, as they gouged through the walls of chiasmic tunnels, biting and scratching in their junket of supper, where the fattest of clan got the largest portion.


Her visitor reminded her of such fauna. His posture irked her nerves her as he walked hunched over, examining the artifacts of dried twigs and garlic facets. His scrivener trotted behind him, with upturned nostrils resembling a fly around a dung heap. Her timely swat, and the guard would end his route without him. But, patience. An hour had passed before he paused in his inquiry of a dried apple cork and barked at his man to leave.


Her face took on a starved, hunted look. Incidentally the avid aroma coming from the table had its desired effect. She rose from stance, sauntered over and picked up a breast of roast quail, dipped it in muddy sauce and nibbled at it daintily. Liquid sluiced down the length of her vein, staining the frilly cuff of her nightgown. Ample lips drizzled hungrily after it, pointy tongue licking up the remains.


The guard rose as by command, upsetting a filthy cat bowl and inserting a chair between them. He harked back a gurgle and spat on his boot. The beringed forefinger of his beefy, square-palmed left hand drew circles on his thigh.


âI donât think you understand this kitten. We need to heed caution, the dogs are taking notice. You cannot go maundering around with two of the missing men before they are found slaughtered cold. The guards will want a full search, the head demands a cursory inspection of your buildings. If they find anything..â he paused, grabbing hold of her gown and crumbling it in his closed fist âI would be ordered to foresee the execution.â


She did not dispute the truth, instead curving fingers had found his neck-fold as she titillated beneath his jaw bone ignoring her own furtive recoil. To punctuate her intentions, she wound his hands to her neck, where ravenous, they made to grab for stretched flesh and bumps of bone, and down...and down.


Tepid sweat marked the soiled trail to his bosom where filthy mesh discolored his torn leather tunic. A louse now made its was through his greasy cluster of hair, his nervures visible to her naked eye. She had seen it before: ordinary men who might at times have caught the act of kindness turn into wild dogs sniffing a scent of a prey.


Now his blood was ink to her calligraphy. Driven by want and climax, they subterfuge their safety, as their lover made pretty out of their corpses.


With besotted mind, rucksack was filled with garlic oils and needed remedies and thrown haphazardly over the saddle. The stirrups flinched as she put haste into them. Loose dark-green hood was draped over the heart-shaped face and riant smile as she left her arcanum on the wind, to the howling wind, and behind the back gate.


It would be hours till dawn, till the roosters crooned and alarms would sound. The dark-haired rider would by then, have reached the outskirts of Lominsa in needs of new surname and standing. Darkness growled with hypothesis of new tomorrows, of colorless lids and lying lips. Transparency, would be a welcome home. Overt lies. The pub, the pub was a place to be lost in the crowd and gain her knowing. She made the screeching turn.

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Careless rattle of crockery. With a faint twitch of long ears it was heard, but dismissed by the mind. Typical and inconsequential was it deemed. A small glass slid before her down-cast sight; a shinning nugget of amber. Sliding to one side the white-blond elezen took up a lean upon the bar with a bent elbow. Leaning heavy, she enjoyed the quiet respite even in the heart of the dull hum of the throng about her. Raising the small glass between pinched thumb and two of its closer mates she let pass a small deposit of the amber drink into waiting lips. Tanned features creased slightly upon the first drink of the evening as the gentle promise of intoxication shaded the corners of the mind. She set the glass back down.


It was then with a churn of her stomach a belch assaulted her hearing. Very close, almost splattering an ear tip with spittle. Pale sand-hair shifted as the head turned sharply upon the loud thunk of blade in the meat of the counter. Emerald eyes up-turned now she regarded the Hyurian with immediate disgust twisting her features in the turn of her head. Rendered smooth once more the elezen's features turned calm as she listened to the man's words. Insulting. Presumptuous. Lashes coming down to hang as shades above two emeralds the woman looked to her drink. Splattered in a ring the lion's share of her small drink was. Staining the grains of wood dark, much like the Hyurian might if he persisted.


Sun-stained lips turned down as a cool croon, the sound of a soft crashing wave that was her voice spoke deliberate,"You spilled my drink, Hyurian..." Shifting upon her lean emerald eyes raised to fix upon Rotter as a smile without obvious emotion crossed her lips,"I am not whore to any. Though you are right of one thing. I am a hire-sword." Turning in a roll, she allowed her back to rest against the bar. âAs for the request of my flesh upon yours, I would no more dirty a single, tiny digit,ââ to articulate her words she raised a single pointer finger,âupon flesh such as yours than take you up as a fleshy stool.â


Pressing a standing position the elezen stood in close. Territorial and on the edge of patience. Though as hand twitched and wound about the curved hilt at her hip she almost seemed to welcome a chance at not being left alone. All must learn and let the teacher enjoy the lesson.


âBut work, I have none. Though I wonder if you have anything worth the effort of listeningâ¦â

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(( Short for the sake of expedience! ))


Wounded, the man clutched hand to codpiece, hitching it with a solicitous flick of the tongue. Laughter boomed, gurgled, and spat from the scabby rounds of his lips, filling the tavern like thunder does sky. Eyes teary, pocked cheeks flushed, Rotter let the last of his chuckles die, trailing them with a giggled wheeze. Giving his knife a sloppy pry from the counter, he swam it from hand to mouth, scraping yellow rot from the shells of his teeth while hunching a lean towards haughty elezen ear. Mildew breath hot against perfumed lobe, he whispered, "That malingering ponce sitting yonder . . . take him for a walk down fisherman's drag. Rough him, but no cold slitting. I'll give you his weight in shimmering recompense if you bring him bloody to the usual quays before sunup," Throwing a passing gesture at the highbrow Valentine, he left the hiresword to go about her business, clawing at an itch beneath his chin, parting with a, "Take it or leave it. There will be more work to come."


Casting off, he scooped empty tankard and waddled straight for the nearest tap, hungry for the blear of drink.

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Pale brows twisted at the humor rained upon her by the filthy Hyurian. Jaw set tight as the man leaned to croon into her ear. Though she held her ground, not shrinking even from the scent of mold that filled her nostrils. Releasing a snort to clear the fouled air from her nose as the man stepped back her eyes drifted to the one in the corner. Any evident disappointment in slumped shoulder or down turned lips at not being give an excuse to send the rotting hound howling faded. Silk and lace. The picture the youth made in the shady corner made for a better goad.


Old wealth or new? It mattered little. He was as much an insult as the one plying himself with liquor now. Though the promise of arrant pocket gil proved more preferable as targets go. Casting a few gil upon the counter top she slid from her place at the bar. Hushed words escaping her sun-darkened lips,




Passing through the swaying and the ale soaked the pair of emeralds fixed into a slow study of the boy. Drifting down to the deck of cards shuffling noisily in pampered hands a smile found her lips once more. As she came to stand before the youth's table she turned a chair opposite him about in noisey drag. Dropping into a saddling she raised a hand to push down the violet cloth masking her face.


"The laughing man taking to the tap says you aren't worth the challenge," she pauses to jerk a thumb at Rotter,"But I say different. You willing to play a round or are you too gorged on wealth already?"

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Eager, the bobber of the bottle made respite against the summit of her bare toes. Pointy fingers bent about its core. Inspected and pouched between her breasts, bearing the gin scent of its owner.


Scallywags, smelling of no good substance cooed at her with sweaty palms and salacious mouths. A peach of the orchard and destinyâs harlot of no shabby girdle, she was a prize to be amassed and relished. Often times she reveled in arousal from watching their lasciviousness mature in denial, and turn to brute upon a doormat lass more eager to screw. Damn those sniveling whores. Peddling their indulgences. She had once made her life a pander, now was more keen to hoist her own kirtle for the price of a head. Heady was the crave for merited bloodshed.


Prurience was dulling, its carnality lay as flat as the foam in her mug, which she had discovered to be inheritable from one of her agile admirers. Witnessing a near exchange she stood, tickling a coin. What black arts had that scheming baggage practiced to gain the patronage of that elezen dear? Unscrupulous persons could make even the innocent appear guilty. And that one strode off with resolve. Or so was conjectural. She took a place by the tap.


âI bet a fair wager on the youth.â She said, tapping down her gil and giving the Hyurian an ambitious smile.

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Valentine really couldn't help his eyes drifting over to the happenings in the corner, despite his wish not to draw too much attention to himself. They went on, voices suddenly growing soft, and Valentine strained but failed to hear them. Oh well, it looked like there would be no bloodshed tonight. In all honesty he was looking forward to a bit of a show, but at least this meant he wasn't at risk to be caught in the crossfire.


He was about to return to his boredom when he spotted the woman coming towards him. Perhaps said boredom had come to a close after all! Immediately he brightened, scooting up from his slump in the chair and flipping through the cards at double the pace.


The Elezen's eyes were trained on his gilded cards, showing that she was indeed here for a game. She said as much herself in a moment more, plunking down in the chair opposite and slipping off the mask that hid her fair features.


"Not worth the challenge?" Valentine chuckled. He was quite proud of his ability to sling cards, and just about had the skill to back it up. Clearly that odious fellow from before knew nothing of what he spoke, though it wasn't as if Valentine particularly minded low expectations. It made it all the more shocking when he surpassed them.


"Well, I'll just have to prove him wrong then, now won't I?" The cards flew in his hands, dealing themselves out into neat little piles. Pulling one towards himself, he offered the other to her. "Ladies first, if you please."

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An eager grin crossed the elezen's features, broad and pearly. Leaning into an incline she rested her chin upon an upturned palm and elbow upon the top of chair back. Emeralds narrowed to shards a moment as they maintained an unyielding stare. But then as her hand was completed dark lashes dropped to shade those emeralds as she looked down at the gilded cards. Pressing fingertips lightly to her pile she drew them closer to herself bending them slightly before lifting them.


"We will indeed," she began in a tone cordial and promising of friendship. As lips parted to continue the casting of the line she paused. Pale brow twitching briefly in reaction to the mediocre hand staring up at her. Tone taking on the croon of curiosity she ventured,"How often do you, yourself, find a decent challenger within these walls? Seems more here are skilled in drink and little else..."


Casting a few gil upon the table between them she raised her eyes to his own.

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(( Shoving things forward on account of release being in two months! ))


"That soggy pup? Best cut me your purse, gutter sprite, as that's a fool wager."


Tossing back a solid pint, Rotter steeped his blood with drink. The weight of it halted his thoughts to a lurching, blubbered crawl, but as it settled, he found the dull brunt of his wits and, with the toss of his head, gave them a fine muster. Wobbling a narrow stare, he measured the woman's cut, and with a snort, nodded in terse approval. It seemed his moon was on the rise, as she was the third sprat he'd marked as a potential knife. Three would do, even if they all were touched by woman softness. He'd thought it'd be good fun to pit the elezen on the ponce, but his appetite for charades was thinning. An impatient drunk, he turned to the woman, curling a finger to beckon her close,


"You got the savage look to you. Drag them gambling sods from table to alley. Tell them the Butcher has work for them. Tomorrow at daybreak on the quays. There's a fortune to be had if their hearts are black enough. You too, girl. Seems to me you can handle yourself in a fight."

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(Hope you don't mind my spying on your characters. lol. I really like Molly so far. :P If I decide to roll my villian ig she might run into some of you guys, though she's not a "criminal type" (ie she wouldn't be joining a gang) but maybe employing them. Anyway just saying I'm enjoying your characters so far. lol. )

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