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Trouble Is As Trouble Does [OOC Open]


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-Two Days Ago-

If that bloody woman sticks me with that damn needle one more time I’m going to shove it in her eye.


Nefzen’s thoughts turned murderious while the young seamstress busied herself about the tiny Miqote pinning seams here and there. Of course it didn’t help that Nef was being far from still. Every instinct she had was screaming for her to run far, far away. Even when she was a child she hated being sized for clothes.  She felt trapped.


Why the blazes am I doing this again?



She asked herself, far from the first time and likely not the last.


Oh, yeah. It’s for a job.



With that thought she ground her teeth to dust and waited for the fussy woman to be done.




The weight of the pouch of gil that Nefzen handed over to the tailor’s assistant was almost enough to make her cry. It was enough to buy a month’s worth… well let’s be realistic, a week’s worth of booze. Why anyone would pay this much just for a set of clothing they might only wear once was enough to make her want to drown her confusion in a Drunken Moogle special. It was all she could do to grin at the poor sop taking her money before tucking her pack of new clothing under her arm and make a run for the nearest bar.


If I ever go clothes shopping again it will be too soon!



The lead they had to the stolen shipment had better pan out because she didn’t want to have to suffer through a stuffy ball all night with nothing to show for it. Nymeia was far too fickle to let this bloody thing actually be fun. There wasn’t even free booze! But a job was a job and a stolen shipment of explosives was nothing to turn her back on.


Before walking into the bar Nefzen glanced up at the sky. Hours still left to go. Plenty of time to stock up her reserves before the Black and White Ball started. She wanted to be sure her flask was filled and tucked away in her new boot before heading to the Ul'dah Chamber of Rule.


((OOC Note)) Posted Dec 10, 2015

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It wasn’t the slight pounding in her head that made Nefzen wish she had stayed in the blessed comfort of unconsciousness. No, it was the sudden queasiness that assaulted her as she rolled over on the bed.


“Ugg… Note to self: no greasy food before a drinking challenge… No matter how tasty it might be.” And twelve’s damnation those bacon wrapped dates (sprinkled with salted ground almonds!) had been just as amazing as Renee had told her weeks ago. Still, just thinking about food made her want fight back the nausea by hanging her head off the side of the bed.


Once the grumbling in her stomach ceased Nef braved opening an eye. The last thing she remembered was stumbling of the the Fated Inn with Kanmir… right in front of her brother. After that everything was a blur.


The room was unfamiliar, but that wasn’t saying much. She couldn’t remember what her rented room in Ul'dah looked like anyway. Still, definitely wasn’t someone’s home judging by the sparse furnishings. There was a chair in the corner with a crumpled blanket in it. Next to that was a small table upon which was a ceramic jug and a plate with a small towel over it. Next to that Nefzen could see a sheet of paper. She groan, shutting her eyes before pushing her still fully clothed self up off the bed.


The jug contained water, the plate a few pastries, and the note was from her baby brother:  "… blah blah… You passed out, brought you to my room at the quicksand… blah blah…  Hope the hangover doesn’t suck too much…. blah blah..  I had a job to do before you work.     -‘sae. “ She almost missed the bottom note that seemed hesitantly scrawled on: “Let me know what happened between you and Sana, so I know what I’m stepping into.” Ha! Fat chance for that, She thought as she nibbled on a pastry. Thought it made her wonder what made him ask. Try as she might, Nefzen couldn’t remember.


What she DID remember was missing the last shot and nearly losing her dinner on the floor of the bar. Damnation! Kanmir won… but it as due to those bloody dates.. not that he actually out drunk her. Never that! They were most definitely going to have a rematch, preferably in the near future! 


Something else kept tugging on her mind. Something she had thought of before they started in on the shots. Something she wanted to ask him. What was it… Try as she might, Nefzen just couldn’t remember. ARG! I can’t sit here and keep trying to remember. I’ve got a job to do and I’ve wasted eno…


Wait. That was it! Maybe Kanmir might know something about it. Or know who to ask at least. Someone in the bloody town knew something about that shipment and she would find them if it was the last thing she did. Granted, she’d rather the last thing she did was sample a good drink surrounded by friends, but that was totally beside the point. Nef shook her head. She had things to do. Time to get moving.


Before heading out, Nefzen wrote on the back of the paper. She then gathered herself up and headed to her own room down the hall. Time to get cleaned up then on her way.


After all, a ‘ghost’ shipment of explosives wasn’t going to find itself.

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  • 2 weeks later...

[iC] Thoughts on the Grindstone



Tired and sore, Nefzen threw herself back in her rented bed at the Drowning Wench to stare up at the ceiling with her hands laced behind her head. It had been an interesting day to say the least. After making friends with some of the Sahagin she had the great idea of asking if she could fish off their shore. There was an amazing catch there that sold for some good gil. It was a good haul.



After bringing in her catch she heard a few blokes in the Drowning Wench talking about fighting in The Grindstone tournament. Kawa had mentioned fighting in it the previous week and Nef had to admit it had peeked her interest. Putting her new skills that Jackie and the rest had been teaching her to the test. However, tournaments were usually supposed to be ‘fair’ fights. If Nef had any choice she -never- fought fair. With that in mind she had changed out of her fishing gear and headed to Ul'dah.



Nymeia had favored her that night. Walking up she had found a pair of Au Ra females, sisters no less. One apparently was a former champion, called herself ‘Red’. The other was younger, seemed rather… Innocent. Her name was Maqali. Almost like a younger female Erah'sae. The younger introduced her to two of the fighters. A towering Au Ra male called Gan. Then a seeker male U'zamza.



The fight it self was… Interesting. It was not what she was expecting. After separating into groups the fighters paired off and let loose. No magic, thankfully, but everything else was allowed. Swords, shields, spears, daggers, or just your fists. One of U'zamza’s opponents tried to cleave his head in two, though he dodged and broke something in his shoulder. The same opponent (He called her Loveless?) later tried to drown someone.



One eye opener was the final fight he observed. Someone had thrown a punch at their before rushing to another’s side, but suddenly all hell broke loose. Apparently there was a three hit rule and the punch was thrown -after- the fighter had taken his third hit. This, though, had caused all sorts of repercussions. The organizers had to get involved and things looked like they might have gotten serious. Her linkpearl had buzzed with a new job so she hadn’t been able to find out the outcome of the argument. Really, it looked like it was blown totally out of proportion. Still a valuable piece of information was gained as a result.



The job had proven easy at least. A ship had been plundered off the coast and while the others were busy enforcing the code on the Pirates, Nef had tracked down the missing cargo. Expensive silks from Ul'dah this time.



With her payment from the merchant and the profits from her fishing haul she might be able to buy another custom set of throwing knife holders she had been designing.


Eyes closing, Nef drifted off to sleep with thoughts of shiny new knives dancing in her hands.

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  • 2 weeks later...

[iC Story] Always Call for Backup...

… unless you ARE the backup. Then you’re just screwed.


Mood Music: “Nara” by E.S. Posthumous & “Secrets” by One Republic


Blessed Nymeia sure could be a bitch some times. Nefzen realized she should have been expecting it. Things had been going well for so long, there needed to be balance. Now here she was sitting on the ledge of the Aftcastle trying to bait her hook one handed. 


Two days ago she’d been warned. Kawa hitting the same spot on her arm, twice no less, in their sparring session after the Seaside Tavern had closed had been no accident. Nymeia’s warning, Nefzen was sure of it. Elza meeting them before the Grindstone, Sana showing up out of the blue… It was all duplicated the following day at The Drunken Moogle. 


It took a few tries, and more than a few uttered curses, but at last the bait was wrapped around the hook. Nefzen adjusted her position in the sun-warmed stone before lifting the fishing pole with her right hand. It was awkward to say the least. Not only was she casting the line out one handed but doing it while trying not to jostle the splinted left arm still in the sling hanging from around her neck was tricky. Tricky, but doable. With a bit of finagling the Keeper managed to steady the base of the pole with her left hand fingers while supporting the weight of the pole with her right. The only thing left to do now was to wait. 


Many who didn’t know her well typically expected the unusually sociable Keeper to have a hard time with the waiting. Nefzen never understood why anyone had trouble with it. Sitting for hours awaiting prey was easy. All you had to do was just relax and let a portion of your thoughts wander where they will. Irritatingly hers kept going back to the previous day. 


Her first inkling that The Weaver had shifted her shuttle was getting the message from Erah'sae that he was going to be late meeting up at The Moogle, if he made it at all. Giving Meela bad news made Nefzen’s stomach tie in knots. Idiot brothers. 


Meeting Elza on the docks was her next warning. It was always so nice to see the young Keeper. Sometimes being around her made Nef wonder what would it have been like to have a younger sister. The two of them made their way to the Moogle without too much fuss. It was great seeing everyone there. Poor Azrian was alone behind the counter at first. Meela was there, as was Y'ladri, Bex'li and Ojene, as well as a few people Nefzen didn’t recognize. Questions about her arm in the sling abounded. Answers to those segued into a retelling of the after Grindstone beach party Elza has invited the Zhwan siblings to. 


A musician started up, he was good too. Mez from the Gilded Pony show even danced during the song. Nef had just sat down to talk to Ojene, who was sporting her own injury, albeit an old one, when Nefzen’s linkpearl went off in her ear. 


Everything went downhill from there. 


The tugging on the fishing line brought Nefzen’s mind back to the present. Resisting the urge to yank on the line immediately, she shifted her grip and waited until the real struggle began. Once the line started to play out she gave the pole a sharp but controlled yank, setting the hook. Bracing the bottom of the pole between her feet she struggled to wind the reel and bring in her catch. It was slow work and allowed her thoughts to drift back once more. 


Two fellows from the Guild had called her in on a job they were working. “It shouldn’t take long” they said. “There are only two of them.” Two thieves who had been plaguing the docks for weeks now. Making off with small portions of cargo as it was coming off the ships. One crate here and there added up fast and the Code had to be enforced. The pair of Rogues had tracked the culprits to their hideout and wanted some backup when they went to deal with the thieves. Who better than one of their newer recruits?


A curse slipped past Nefzen’s lips when the slippery fish’s thrashing nearly made her fishing pole plunge into the water below. At least her left had wasn’t completely useless. Somehow she managed to pin the thing down and retrieve her hook from its mouth before letting it slip from her fingers and plung where it had tried to send her pole. It’s not like she could cook it, and until her arm healed fully there would be no raw preparation either. Sighing she went about the task of re-baiting her hook.


So far Nefzen had managed to avoid the senior Rogues to give her report. Once the sun went down she was sure that someone would be hunting her down. Honestly there wasn’t much to tell that the other two wouldn’t have reported already. The three of them went in… Only to find that the supposed pair of thieves were actually apart of a larger gang who had always operated in pairs and dressed the same to hide their numbers. Successfully too! The three Rogues had gone in expecting two enemies only to be faced with ten. 


This time casting the fishing line made Nefzen twist… wrong. The sharp pain in her hip nearly made her drop her pole. Maybe she should have let Elza take a look at her other injuries. Not that a bad bruise was much of an injury to begin with. Nef bit her lip until the pain faded enough to breathe again. When her eyes were able to focus again she found that the cast had made it to the water just fine. Once more she settled in for the long wait. 


Looking back, Nef wasn’t completely sure just how many were in the gang. They were all bleedin dressed the same.  Some damn near looked like twins. Though any fewer and the three rogues would have made it out with barely a scratch. As it was….


It had been a nasty fight. The three Rogues might have gotten the initial drop, but the sudden swell in numbers made it turn ugly fast. The gang’s tendency to stack the crates around the hideout was most definitely a blessing straight from Nymeia, cutting down how many opponents could come at them at a time. 

While most of it was a blur, parts of the fight still shown with crystal clarity in Nefzen’s memories. 


Some would say it had been chance, but Nef knew that her seeing the bastard trying to sneak up behind one of the other Rogues had been fated. She’s taken the blow, earning the shiner around her right eye, and allowing her the opportunity to kneel down with a spin and slice his femoral artery open. 

Moments later a squirrely bastard drop kicked her into a stack of crates. The feeling of the wood digging into her hip still echoed if she sat or twisted wrong.


The worst had been near the end of the fight. She had used her left dagger to block a downward sword thrust, allowing her right to slash across the belly of her attacker when the pain flared in her upraised arm. Positioned like she was, a midlander had maneuvered into her blindspot. Thank the goddess he’s only had a stave and not a bladed weapon. Pain or no she hadn’t stopped, letting the momentum from her slash and the blow to flow into a spin. He’d been too far to stab, but at that distance the thrown dagger hit home with deadly accuracy. 


The worst of it was that she couldn’t be sure they had caught all of the culprits. A nagging feeling in her gut made her think one or two might have slipped away during the brawl. 


For a second time something tugged at her line. Patience. Bite. Snag. Reel.

She couldn’t explain the uneasy feeling that grew as she reeled the line in, but when Nefzen saw the fish that finally came over the ledge and into her lap she new. Those eyes, that fin pattern…


….. It was the same fish.

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