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Full Version: [M] Get some cash, have a good ol' time
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WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.

Specifically, this thread is marked mature because of: mentions of gambling, alcohol, and any other manner of adult topics that are wont to crop up in La Estrella Roja's fine, fine establishment.

[Image: gold.png] Merchant III prompt [907/3,000] Facilitate a merchant trip to another pack, loner band, or region (eg. Portland).

OOC: For Smike, Jace, Veldt, and Gen.
Liam has taken Fleur, Hokori, Benjamin, Dorian, Emeraude, & Rohan on a trading trip to La Estrella Roja. This thread takes place in La Estrella Roja's Showroom at about 7 PM on the 5th of June. They disembarked from New Caledonia on the 2nd of June and will be returned by the 10th of June at latest. If these dates don't work for any of you, let me know!




The realm of New Caledonia was mostly recovered from the disaster of the war by now, but Liam knew that they could not become complacent. Especially not when one took into account the growing debt that their pack owed to Salsola. There was no telling how exactly they would pay this off, but Liam was determined to lend a hand. He could not stand knowing that this was going to be lorded over their heads until it was paid back in full. He was unsure how to feel about this political knowledge of inter-pack affairs, but he would be damned if he did nothing about it.

Liam just hoped this trading trip would go better than his last one.

He certainly enjoyed talking with Silas while he was there, for he had wanted to find his lost older brother more than anything. However, the flood had really dampened the mood of the whole thing. He had to pray that some disaster like that would not happen while he had the children of a few important people with him. Hokori could handle herself, but Torabera would kill him if anything happened to her. The same could possibly be said of Rohan, but likely not Dorian. Liam had seen firsthand how Dorian disliked violence when the two of them had been patrolling that fateful night in January. Liam felt better knowing that Fleur and Hokori were there to back him up should anything happen, but he did his best not to fret about this possibility too much. He really wished he could have taken Kule, but they were pregnant; and quite far along.

The travelling itself was easy enough going, especially with the use of horses and four legged forms. The party of seven Luperci did not encounter much difficult terrain or trouble on the way over to the Troupe's La Estrella Roja. Liam had visited their establishment numerous times previously, so he led them all along the best path he knew of (perhaps with a detour or two along the way). It was beautiful this time of year. The verdant green scenery reached out to them all with hands of tree branches and flourishing fauna. This day's weather was particularly fair and sunny. It was enjoyable enough that Liam briefly wished he could have stayed outside a little longer to soak up the sunshine.

Alas, they had to go inside.

"Alright everyone," Liam said. "Are we all here?"

Quickly, he cast a glance over the rest of them. He counted each head. Benjamin, Rohan, Fleur, Hokori, Dorian... and Emeraude. His eyes lingered on theirs and a sour yet warm feeling curled in his stomach. He took a sharp inhale. They were one short! There should have been seven Caledonians on their trip, who was missing? Then, with a smile trickling onto his features, he realized he forgot to count himself. All was well. As it would continue to be. His shoulders relaxed, though he did not realize they were tense until they had.

"Looks like it. Now, the plan is to profit, okay? If any of you want to gamble, please at least make sure it's a game you know and that it's with your own goods. We're trying to benefit New Caledonia with this, so let's not drain the collective stores!" He chuckled. "Now, does anyone need anything before we go forward? Rest, food, a drink?"

Fleur, ever on the quieter side, shook her head as a simple answer. Liam assumed she had never been here before, due to how she eyed the building's interior and the crowd. He was surprised she had come on this trip due to how she was more inclined towards introversion, but it made sense that she wanted to try to trade her goods too. She was an artisan, which was evident to Liam from the time he had seen how she had carved a pendant for Concepta once. Fleur would likely find some use for her carved work here. That was at least the hope... But if she could not, Liam was still happy to have her along. He was grateful to have her in the event there were any robbery attempts or similar, and also just because he thought she was really cool company. When people like her came out of their shells, it was beautiful.

His eyes slid to the side to look where Fleur was. La Estrella Roja was quieter tonight. If some of them could find business on this day, Liam would be surprised, but not entirely shocked. There was a strangely somber atmosphere that was uncharacteristic of the establishment tonight. There were only a couple games running in the gambling room - at least the one he could see from here. The Showroom itself, where they all now resided, had more patrons... But still, the attitude was different. He was excited to get started, but something was wrong. He could not afford to be too distracted, because things like the Divination Room and Salad Bar were definitely piquing his interest again... Yet things felt colder and sadder now. The wooden interior was usually more cozy, firelight from candles and such lighting everything in a warm glow. As the Bard provided accompaniment for their venture now, the melodies stayed on the slower and softer side. Had something happened? Everyone else there was acting a lot less lively than was typical.
[419]
I lived my days just for the nights - I lost myself under the lights

Dorian had found himself on another trip outside of New Caledonia with the intention of trading or exploring or whatever. It wasn't the first time, but he was decidedly more fond of (most of) the company. Hokori was probably the one he had been most weary of spending that much time with outside of home, but that was mostly to do with her being one of his sisters. It was unfortunately hard to avoid his siblings most of the time; there were just so many of them.

Liam headed off the trip to the Estrella, though Dorian figured that there wasn't a big purpose to the trip like the ones his mother or Fennore had lead to the Clan or Salsola. The Estrella wasn't a fully fledged pack bustling with many merchants, artisans, and other support members; it was a gambling den of vice. Merchants definitely stopped by but trade was certainly not the intended purpose of their visits. The few folks that he had ever spoken to at the Estrella hadn't seemed bothered by any trading going on by their guests and some partook themselves. It was more like a hub for people to gather and they just provided the atmosphere.

If he were being honest, it seemed like a fun existence. The Troupe looked like they got along very well and things operated smoothly. If only everything were like that.

Liam checked in with them, like a good leader ought to, and then they proceeded into the establishment. They paid at the door and Dorian expected to be met with a breathy rush of voices and laughter. The air was somber and somehow melancholic. He furrowed his brow as they stood in the hall before entering the Showroom and Cantina. There were patrons drinking and the Bard was singing, but it was like someone had draped a black gauze over the entire place; the usual vibrancy was muted to a pastel. He didn't mind but it did bring the spritely energy they came in with down a notch or two.

"Uh, I'll go see if anything is planned tonight. Maybe they'll have a show," he said after clearing his throat. He jerked his thumb to the Cantina where the blue-black and white dog woman stood quietly talking to another patron. Somehow he doubted there was a show but maybe he could always try to trade some of his small clothing pieces just to bring the mood up a little.
[Image: gold.png] Prompt [+357] Facilitate a merchant trip to another pack, loner band, or region (eg. Portland).

OOC: I posted again for the word count, but the rest of you mentioned in the first post are free to reply in any order!



Alright, this certainly put a damper on the mood that Liam and everyone had picked up along the way. He supposed the real treasure really was the journey sometimes. He sighed internally, though he kept any look of displeasure or disappointment on his face. For all he knew, something awful had happened to put such sour looks on everyone's faces. He hoped it would be over soon, La Estrella Roja was typically a joyous place to visit. Now the color was drained through the fangs of a vampiric gloom.

Dorian spoke first, so Liam's eyes found his once again. The young wolfdog was more evenly tempered than others among them like Hokori, though this could work to his own detriment in other ways. He, like Liam and others, had felt much of a personal responsibility during the war. This came to mind now in the dispiriting atmosphere. Liam wished he were closer to Dorian to offer some guidance, but alas he could not say as much. They had been patrolling together with Vegard, whom was now a loner as far as he knew, when enemies had ambushed them. This was not exactly the best of circumstances and Liam wondered if this put off Dorian from talking to him much. Evidently it was not enough to prevent him from coming on this trip. They had interacted on the way here, though this was inherent to travelling together.

"That would be great, Dorian. Thank you," Liam replied. "Will you tell me what you find out?"

He was unsure if the members of the band or patrons would be entirely transparent about what exactly had transpired, but it would be nice to know. Perhaps after this, he and anyone that would like it could travel elsewhere to trade and enjoy themselves more. He scratched the back of his neck in thought before sweeping off to find a willing trade participant or something fun to do whilst Dorian had his conversation. He could take his eyes off the Savoy for now, he was a man beyond a yearling now. What he had seen had matured him beyond his years.
[461]
I lived my days just for the nights - I lost myself under the lights

Dorian slipped away from the group as they dispersed into the somber space that was normally so full of life. He approached the bar where the woman continued to chat with the other man, but her eyes flicked at him in acknowledgement. The man at the bar raised his small cup of something potent and downed it before turning it upside-down in front of the Lady. He tapped it twice and bobbed himself away with a nod of his head, wordlessly passing by the Savoy man.

The air did not change much when he sat down beside the freshly vacated spot in front of the woman. Her posture shifted somewhat and she leaned in toward him.

"What'll it be, sugar?" she asked with a sweet tone and glittering eyes. Were he of a different persuasion, he would have been unable to look away from the pleasant smile on her lips and the angling of her garment that directed the gaze downward.

Instead, he slid over a simple woven bracelet with a couple of beads mixed in for variety. Her head tilted in question, but he shook his head; drinking early in the evening seemed unwise and the bracelet was barely worth more than a mouthful of anything. "I'm just wondering what's going on. It seems.. – " Morose? Silent? Still? " – quiet." His mouth tightened at the difficulty of asking such a simple question.

Vivian's gaze softened and her body visibly relaxed from a girl working the market to a girl merely talking to a guest. "One of our folks passed away a little bit ago. It don't seem right to make merry like always so soon after. I hope that doesn't ruin y'alls evening." She carefully took the little bracelet and tucked it away into a fold in her dress.

Dorian shook his head back at her. "No, but I'm sorry for your loss." She inclined her head in wordless thanks. "I'll let them know to keep it light. We're trading, but don't wanna be rude. Let us know if any of you need or want something." Vivian nodded her head and reached out to pat his hand lightly.

With a solemn nod, he slipped away from the bar as another quiet customer approached her and he avoided the awkwardness of leaving the conversation without an easy out. He meandered back to Liam and reached out to touch his arm briefly to get his attention.

"They're in mourning," he explained softly. He glanced around at the quiet room before shaking his head. "I told her we're here to do some trading but we shouldn't go bandying about too much." Not that he was the sort to bandy, anyway.