So so so much love for whoever played that mob! It's kind of magical when the game feels like it's coming alive around you, and this was brisk and funny and kind of sweet.
Esterport Jewelcrafter's Guild. Small, intimate workstations have been scattered around this part of the crafting guild. Each workstation has a glass top and is exceptionally well lit; no other light banishes the shadows from the surrounding area. The walls are painted a rich black, and the floor has been stained a dark cherry hue, sanded and polished. Two golden sconces, shaped as jeweler's awls, flank the archway that leads into the larger main room, but neither sconce bears a lit candle. In the center of this room, an attendant mans a slightly larger workstation, keeping track of the jewelcrafting molds currently owned by residents of Sapience. Collecting dirt, and likely disease, on the floor is a small piercing needle. You see a sign here instructing you that WARES is the command to see what is for sale. You see a single exit leading south.
Lips curled into a flirtatious smile, a rowdy female sailor enters from south.
Sailor: While her initial appearance entertains thoughts of a more elicit nature, upon closer inspection, one can see that not everything is what it seems. The clothes she wears, while colorful and eye-catching, are worn and in need of a good cleaning. The vast majority of her hair is covered by the hat she wears, which one can be thankful for, considering the tangled mess that hangs beneath of it.
Me: She is a muscular Mhun vampire. A petite, waif-like creature, she is long of neck and slender of limb. Her features are delicate but angular, almost gaunt for their sharpness, with hollow cheekbones and high forehead. She has blue-grey eyes, with a gleam both spirited and shrewd, set beneath keenly arched brows. A small, diminutive nose follows, with a distinctly flaring character, and a mouth that has something of a pinched and saucy set to it. Her hair, dark and thick, contrasts her pale complexion; the strands have been swept up into a loose bun, although a few tendrils have been left to curl at the nape of her neck. She has long fingers, as spindly and spidery as the rest of her, though they are more calloused than soft. She is unblemished but for a thick scar that runs, jagged, from temple to jaw.
A rowdy female sailor walks in with a vigorous sway to her hips, which she promptly settles her hands on. She glances around, clearly searching for something and not finding it. If anything, this seems to irritate the sailor even more and she crosses her arms over her chest. "Well."
Iselle is fixed quite intently on studying the gems on display, with all the adoring look a lover might cast on a dreary evening. She sighs, looking, for a fraction of a moment, the faintest annoyed to be thus distracted, but a smile quickly claims her features. "Hmm?"
A rowdy female sailor seems to notice you for the first time, and the expression on her face says she might be less than pleased about it. "Ah. Nothing." This is quickly muttered, and the arms close in even more tightly about her torso. "Nothing you can help me with, anyway. I need someone that knows what in the Pit they're doing."
Iselle raises a thin eyebrow, but rather than look offended, she only offers a good-natured laugh. Her previous (slight) ire has been replaced with idle pleasantness, or at least what appears to be. "Why do you say that - because I'm nearly half your height? Looks can be deceiving, you know."
"Anyway, my talents lay in getting other people to do the heavy-lifting," Iselle offers. There is a humorous lilt in her voice, as if sharing some private joke. "What is it you're in need of?" Her mouth pinches, looking slightly prissy, as she makes her assessment. "A drink?"
A rowdy female sailor's hand flicks away from the opposite arm it clings to, and her huff contains more than a hint of attitude. "Because you're on this side of the counter," she retorts. Her eyes narrow almost imperceptibly at the query, and she casts another look around the room. "What do you know about jewelry, anyway?"
A light dash of surprise diffuses over Iselle's expression, which she does nothing to hide. "You're looking for jewelry?" she says, managing the awkward feat of sounding pleasantly snide. Judgmental instinct is overcome by curiosity, however. "As it happens, I know far too much about jewelry. More than I'd want to know, really. What are you in the market for?"
A rowdy female sailor shakes her head quickly and mutters, "I'm not looking for anything. Pit, I ain't got the coin to pay for the cheapest rock in this place." At this point, the sailor's hands move away from her body and settle almost aggressively on her hips, though the posture rings slightly false. The bravado quickly fades, though, and her shoulders sink a bit. "I've got a ring. I need to know what it's worth. Can you tell me?"
Iselle rolls her bony shoulders back in a loose shrug. "Can't hurt, I suppose. Let me see it?" She doesn't appear to be holding her breath, though her continued smile manages to conceal some of this premature judgment.
A rowdy female sailor meets your eyes for a few bold moments, but ultimately glances aside. "Fine," she eventually says, stubbornly clinging to that aggressive tone. She takes a few steps forward, reaches into a pocket and pulls out a ring. Her arm extends, flipping until her palm faces up and the ring lays revealed atop it.
The ring is clean, shining in the available light. Though it seems at first glance to be a finely made piece of jewelry, a discerning eye would see immediately that the materials are not all that exquisite. It seems to be of humble craftsmanship.
Iselle reaches out a small, porcelain-white hand to pluck the ring up, and brings it up close to her eyes for study. Her smile flickers and fades, as her features take on a more serious, businesslike fashion, with the air of having studied many such jewels before. As she turns it about in her fingers, she utters a neutral "hmm," not immediately imparting her conclusions. "Where'd you find this?"
A rowdy female sailor shrugs dismissively, attempting to downplay her answer. "Rufus," comes the reply after a brief hesitation. "My, ah. Well. He'd like my hand, anyway. But I swear, if that cheap bastard thinks I'm just going to fall over myself at the first shiny rock he flashes in my face..." Collecting herself, the girl glances back into your eyes with query evident in her gaze. Query and.. hope? "Anyway, if it's trash.."
Iselle lowers the gem, pausing to let her gaze ghost over the features of the sailor, the ring sitting more heavily in her hand. She seems suddenly conflicted, an odd stray from the easy affability of before. Then, at once, she speaks. "Trash? Don't know if I'd call it that, even. Shoddy quartz, probably dug up from some rubbish bin somewhere," she says airily, but with an overly dramatic inflection that almost seems intentionally calculated to ring false. "But," she says, with the same slightly over-the-top inflection, huddling closer. "I suppose I can take it off your hands, for a pittance of course."
A rowdy female sailor's expression darkens, and her teeth grind together visibly as she begins to glare. "Oh, no," she spits vehemently. "I've got just the place for that little thing, lady." Her hand comes out, opening up expectantly. "That bastard thinks I'm just some hussy he can woo with a piece of polished unicorns? Give it to me, yeah?" A quick wave, impatient. "I'll feed it to the lout with my boot, I will."
Iselle's eye twitches just slightly, mildly irritated, but she persists, attempting to be even less subtle. "Ah - well," she says, affecting a slight hitch in her voice, and perhaps a showing of uncertainty. "Sounds like he isn't worth it, if you know what I mean. I'll just hang on to this," she continues, trying again to greedily palm the ring, "and you can get a little gold for your trouble."
A rowdy female sailor's eyes harden slightly. "Don't want your coin," she says evenly. "I want that ring back, and you're going to give it to me. He may not be worth it, but that's my business to sort out." Glancing over her shoulder, she takes a long look out the door. "Hate to have to tell the guards outside you're trying to rob folks here in the city."
"Fine, fine," Iselle declares, as if defeated, and with a whimsical toss, she lets the ring sail back into the sailor's possession. She heaves a dramatic sigh, leaning on one of the workstations. "Well, so long as I can't get it, I suppose you should know its real value."
A rowdy female sailor's hand darts out, snatching the ring and tucking it away immediately. Scowling at you, she mutters, "Must not have been all that worthless, or you wouldn't have tried so hard to keep it." Again, there is that hint of hope in the girl's tone.
"Yeah, yeah. Nice chunk of ruby there - nothing too fine, but expensive, I'll grant you that. We used to - they dig them up deep," Iselle says, fumbling momentarily over her words. She looks irritated with herself, but buries this with a mischievous smile. "Can't blame me for trying to buy it off of you cheap, right?"
A rowdy female sailor's demeanor seems to shift immediately, though she does well to hide it. "Ah, no.." she murmurs, glancing down towards the pocket as if she might inspect the ring once more. "No, I don't suppose so." She turns, moving hastily towards the exit - though not before a somewhat eager smile can be seen tugging at her lips. At the door she pauses, halting long enough to throw over her shoulder, "Thank you. And you're not -that- short!"
A rowdy female sailor leaves to the south.
Iselle peers down at the workstation she leans on, addressing the faint reflection there. "Didn't do it for -her-," she mutters. "She'll end up delightfully miserable, with a husband who can't rub two coins together." But she can't help a wistful smile in the direction of the door, before dusting herself off.
Your only response is the quiet echo of your words, the distant din of the city, and a burning in your palm where the ring sat only moments ago.