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Thread LXX:
Raining a bit, connection might be a bit wonky, but we've waited too long as it is.

Archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Lamia%20Legacy%20Quest
Twitter: https://twitter.com/LamiaLegacy
Opening Theme: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCQmQwKEEOM
Story Thus Far: http://pastebin.com/Ck2kTriw
Season: Early Spring

Money: 725
New Backpack - (Sealed)
Kozak Bladesx2
Repeater - Unupgraded

Sasha: Skill list
Ranching +4
Scholar +3
Marksmanship +6
Natural Ability (Lamia) +3
Intrigue +4
Casting (Draconic+4 Roc+3 Leviathan+3 Troll+1 Elemental+1)
Falconry +1

From the bar of the hotel, you watch the locals stare at you and the two soldiers standing guard over you as you eat. You sigh into your lunch, how quickly things get complicated. Shortly after Vanderbuilt revealed that you had a bounty on your head, you decided to head back to the hotel. Sergeant Armstrong's escorted you back to the hotel, and you figured that was that. You opted to let Marie tell the story of what happened, watching the harpy gesticulate wildly as she ran down a blow by blow account of the attack and subsequent capture of the assassin, charitably leaving out your less than graceful attempts at melee. When she finally got to why the man had came after you, you watched Tai frown, a look shared by the adult beastfolk after he had translated. You questioned him on this, and he explained that the unsigned bounty on your head was in likely a mark for death from the Kingfisher. When asked how he knew, he simply replied, "Anyone familiar with the empire knows what that is."

So concerned they were, that the next morning you found the wolfish female standing guard outside your room, apparently the three adults had considered themselves remiss if they hadn't guarded you through your sleep. Tai agreed with their assessment, but added "For them it is a personal thing, you are their savior, their beneficiary, to let you die by the hand of the one you saved them from would be one of the blackest stains they could receive." You were about to scoff when you heard a knock on the door which held an embarrassed looking Captain Armstrong and two other Nitor. Apparently, after sending his report in to command, he had received an urgent runner from 'someone higher up' that you were to be safeguarded at all costs from what was identified as a Kingfisher plot. You suspect Captain Keel had a hand in that. In any case, Armstrong insisted that two of his Nitor soldiers guard you at all times during your stay here. Which led you to the predicament you find yourself in currently.
"You have to understand how quick rumors will spread in the big city." Marie said between mouthfuls of her fish sandwich, "If its anything like citadel was, anyone acting strange is gonna make the rumor mill spin up."

"I wasn't acting strange."

"You dragged an assassin, who was also a known shady local, through the main street to the local nitor post. Then afterwards you're strutting around town and you've got a pair of strapping young men wearing Nitor uniforms acting as bodyguards? That'll raise more than a few eyebrows."

And raise them they did, you managed to find the Flynn's Meat representative, but the man seemed exceptionally nervous with the two stoic nitor soldiers flanking either side. Not to mention, that only later you found out one of the beastfolk had been shadowing you as well. In light of possibly being fed to the wolves, the man had given only vague information and half assurances that they'd buy what you had, but no deals before the more of the cattlemen arrived. Unsuccessful, you returned to the hotel for lunch. In the distance, you can hear the telltale sounds of another herd approaching the town. That early advantage you had tried so hard for is quickly slipping out of your hands.

>Check on the rest of the group.
>Figure out what to do about these representatives
Well, shit. This is cutting into our profit margin, I can feel it. I also don't like having guards whom we did NOT pay for.
>Figure out what to do about these representatives

We have to get the guards to at least be less obvious about being here.

>strapping young men
Mari is cuter and would look infinitely better in the uniform.

Welcome back, Chem.
Mari is also more trustworthy.
(Not only because we pay her, but because she's proven herself. At least, I think she has.)
It's good to be back. Again. I need to run this more regularly.
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You decide the best course of action is to deal with your original purpose for your visit here. Flynn's Meat Packing would be a good fallback as they've been reliable to the family, current awkwardness aside. You figure, if their prices stay within what the reciepts your father had, you stand to earn a marginal profit from your herd, but you'll likely have to wait until the rest of the cattlemen get here.

You've not talked to any representative from First Wood Meat Products directly, but from the rumor mill, they'll buy quickly and upfront, usually at a lower price than their competitors, but they don't ask too many questions. This of course, being the same rumor mill that suggest you're a poorly disguised undercover nitor agent with an unknown agenda, so the veracity of their claims is suspect.

The bartender at the hotel, a mer, mentions that a cousin of hers works with Lemero fisheries. She doesn't have much to go on, but from what limited contact she's had, she said that their next barge is due within two days, weather permitting, which coincides with what the employee you questioned yesterday said.

And, as always, there's the smaller businesses you can sell to. It'd be some work digging out prospects, but if you were willing to put the time and committment in, you could probably sell your herd piecemeal for more than any single company would buy the lot for. You current status might make this difficult however.

You mull over what to do as you finish your plate, handing off the dishes to the attendant who scuttles back to the kitchen. "Any chance you boys could, I dunno, be a bit more incognito?" You ask.

"Sorry, Ma'am. Our job is to prevent any attacks on your person. Uniform is a part of that, as per regulation." The private on the left says awkwardly.

"It's also making it really hard for me to get a good deal here."

"Sorry, Ma'am."

>Where to start?
"Could you, I don't know, just not stay quite so close? Like, just keeping me in line-of-sight?"
(I'm assuming that they'll still say no.)
"Well, at least I tried. . ."

Selling piecemeal sounds good, if we can make sure to sell them for a good enough price, that is.
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"Could you, I don't know, just not stay quite so close? Like, just keeping me in line-of-sight?" His look answers that. "Well, at least I tried..."

Figuring that you've got time to spare anyway, you decide to see about selling the herd piecemeal. It'll likely take you all over town, and you almost feel sorry for the Nitor that are gonna accompany you. Announcing your intention, you're informed that the guards are due to be relieved in a few moments. Grumbling, you sit for another few minutes, idly chatting with anyone you can before another pair of men in uniform enter. Giving a curt nod to your handlers, they take over. You finally leave the hotel with the nitor in tow, as you leave, standing orders for Tai, Marie, and the beastfolk to keep an eye on the herd, and to keep you posted on any changes. With that sorted, you slither out into the thrumming activity of midday Riverport life.

You can feel the eyes on your as you head through town, asking around for anyone who might be interested in the herd. On the bright side, with the locals giving you a wide berth, proceeding through the busy streets is far less of a hassle than you expected. Nonetheless, finding people willing to talk to you about possible buyers is a pain in tail.

>Strategy, or more specifically, how do you want to go getting information on the smaller scale buyers?
>Give me a 1d20 roll
>Figure out what to do with the representatives
We need to figure outa better way to meet. Perhaps a faux office? Any way to get the guards to look a little more chill? Plain clothes?
They said no already >>1320886

I'm still thinking.
Set Marie to doing some footwork for us. She was a street kid, so should have some experience chasing rumors. Perhaps we could try plying future buyers with liquor to encourage their overlooking the guard detail
>Try asking around at the cattle pens
>If no-one will talk to us or give us a straight answer, try getting someone else to ask for us.
I would suggest Tai first, as he wasn't seen with us during the debacle.

Mari was seen with us. Yes, she wasn't as prominent, but still. It's better to use Tai to try to get information and set up a meeting.

If Tai can't, then we need to hire someone unaffiliated to gather the information and set up meetings for us instead. I don't want to, but it's what we've got to work with.
Fuck, why not put both on it? Our security is now being subsidized, at the expense of information gathering ability. Tai to set meetings, Marie to shake trees for information.
Rolled 4 (1d20)

I can roll with that.
Roll for success!
Where are you? We need you to roll too!
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Rolled 10, 5 = 15 (2d20)


Before you head out, you direct Tai and Marie to do some of their own snooping, since security is being ever so graciously handled by the nitor. They leave quickly, with Tai relaying some orders to the beastfolk on the way out, who file out, presumably to tend to the herd. With that taken care of, you decide to find out just how much goodwill is left towards you in the city.

It doesn't go well and that's putting it lightly. You're not sure if there's some unspoken city etiquette that you're violating, or if the rumors were worse than you thought, but you may as well have been a leper. Nobody seemed to know anything about buyers outside of the big three, and reacted negatively to the slightest press for more information. A fishmonger, a cousin of the would-be assassin you'd later found out, would likely have taken a swing at you were it not for your new 'friends' backing you up.

You make your displeasure known as you head to the cattle pens, cursing the grapevine, the rumor mill, and all other variants of gossip that you can think of. The nitor trailing after you, likely tired as can be after traipsing around the city for the better part of the afternoon. Arriving, you take stock of the situation. Only a couple more ranches have made an appearance. Likely spurred on by your own drive, and from talking to them it seems even they heard about the rumors about you. Thankfully, more than a few of them knew your father personally, and so don't put much stock in the rumors. A couple ranchers offer to take the herd off your hands, breeding stock they say, but you've a suspicion that if you did sell to them they'd likely flip the cattle the instant you left. After comiserating with fellow ranchers, you check on your herd. You can see the beastfolk watching over the herd, sans the self appointed leader. Looking around, you spot her detaching slinking out from the shadows the way you came in.

"Were you following me the whole time?" You ask, gesturing and using what little of the phoenix language you've picked up since all this madness began.

She nods.

>le sigh
Well, at least someone who actually works for us is looking out for us too, so that's a thing.
Can we ask her if she's noticed anything particularly odd while following us?
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"Did you see anyone else following us?" You ask. Receiving a blank stare. Damn it all. Eventually Tai shows up and you relay your question through him. She shakes her head no. Sighing, you flop down onto the stool next to the hand pump. "How about you Tai, any luck with deals?"

"I managed to organize meetings with with both Flynn's and FWMP they had flyers. Don't seem too much for haggling." He says, "Sorry Miss Sasha."

"Don't worry about it, its been that kind of day. and Lemaro?"

"No word on their barge, but they've still got a day before they are past arrival."

You huff in frustration and follow Tai back to the hotel to where he's got the two companies offers in your room. Collapsing onto your bed, you begin to look through the dossiers. From the looks of things, your judgement on the two companies were right. The cattle you have can be sold to Flynn's for 700 isens profit, but you'd have to wait until the rest of the cattlemen arrive before they open their doors which could be up to a week from now. First Wood will take what you have right now off your hands for a net profit of 500, and you can go directly home. With the bounty on your head, the second offer is tempting in of itself just to let things die down around here for a while. Not to mention your own personal health.

Marie knocks and you beckon her in. "Any luck?" You ask the little harpy.

"I headbutted two fuckers today." She says.

"Oh. So that's a no."

"Very much so."

". . . Why'd you headbutt them?"
Also, question her on what she thinks about the options. Waiting here for two weeks would be a pain, but that's still 200 more Isens than the other option, and it doesn't cost that much to stay here for that long.
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"So why exactly did you headbutt them?"

"Lets just say they were being less than charitable, and said a few things they shouldn't have. I may have said some things too. Either way, they swung first."

You decide to let it drop and move on to something else.

"So we've got two offers on the table. First is we wait a week for the the auction to open up, and offload our stock to Flynn's. It'll probably net us more money than the other option."

"Which is?"

"We sell now to First Wood Meat Products and go home immediately. Looking at making more than a quarter less than if we stayed."

"Well, far be it from me to tell you how to run your business, but I've had it up to about here to with this city." She says, chopping at her neck with the wing.

"Worth losing out of that money though?"

"I dunno."

Thanking her for her input, you look over the two offers before you.

Well, Mari thinks that it's a better idea, and it IS a pain in the ass staying here. . .
Let's do it.
Note, pausing here for the night, will continue tomorrow.
See you tomorrow.
Let's try to hold it together for the larger pay out. Maybe we can shake some more would be assasins loose.
You sure? I'm sure that Mari's not the only one in our group that's ready to fuck-off back to home.
(We certainly are.)
I mean, I WANT more money, I want enough money to have a bed made out of it, but it's better for morale if we don't stay for TWO WEEKS. That's a long time.
That's also two weeks that we're not at the ranch when shit could be getting fucked.
Since folks appear to be at an impasse, I'll note for clarification that it is at most one week before the auction begins and you've consulted only one of the seven people you've brought along.
I know that we've only asked Mari, and I thought that I read two weeks.
I guess we ask Tai later. The Beastmen probably don't really care if we stay that long, but we'll ask them anyway.
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After mulling it over, you figure you had best ask everyone their thoughts of packing up early. Though, last vestiges of sunlight filtering through your window are any judge, you'll have to do it after breakfast. Packing up the papers into a neat pile, you crawl into bed.

The next morning you gather the group together up in your makeshift office and outline the two paths forward. Tai is, unsurprisingly, ambivalent to the whole affair, saying that you should do what you think is best, and that he doubts anyone would blame you for calling it quits early when you've got a bounty on your head. That said, his translation to the beastfolk has apparently caused some heated discussion with the leader and one of the other adults talking animatedly between themselves and the third, who seems alone in his stance.

"Something the matter?" You ask, watching Tai's brow furrow as he attempts to take in what they are saying.

"Their leader is opposed to leaving, not wanting to let the kingfisher achieve any sort of victory against them now that they've been freed. The other two seem split between supporting her, and considering the younger two that are with them." He says, watching the arguement get more involved as the female and the dissenter stand eyeball to eyeball. You're about to intervene when the other looks away. Turning to Tai, the female rattles something off. "They are all for staying."

"Really? Even him?" You say, gesturing to the one that lost the test of wills.

"It seems they've come to a consensus." He says, seeing your dubious look he adds, "The lady reminded him of his duty, and that if there is in fact a bounty on your head, then assailants will make a move one way or another, and here is far better than the ranch."

The assault by the phoenix must still weigh heavily on them.

Well, I would rather be at the ranch, in my own bed, not being shadowed everywhere I go by Nitor (Whom I do not pay), and Mari's fed up with many of the locals. You don't care, and those three say that we should stay.
I must admit, she makes a good point (What's her name, again?). It IS arguably better to be attacked here than at the ranch. . .
Fine. We'll stay.
More money is also a very good motivator.
The problem now is, what to do while we wait?
. . .Now that I think about it, I don't have any books with me, do I?
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"Well, I would rather be at the ranch, in my own bed, not being shadowed everywhere I go." You start to say, frustration evident. "Mari's fed up with the locals, you don't care either way, but those three think we should stay. Admittedly, she makes a good point about where it is better to be attacked at. Bah, fine, we'll stay."

Your orders are relayed to the beastfolk, who promptly salute and exit the room, presumably to take care of the cattle as you made it clear that you won't be needing anyone to shadow you with the Nitor around. As they file out, you whisper to Tai. "What was the woman's name again, the wolflike one? I don't think I've ever asked."

"Not all that sure myself, Miss Sasha." Tai says, "I think it's Wu, or that might be the clan or bloodline the wolflike ones hail from. All I really have to go off is them calling her Lady Wu."

"More nobility?" You ask, shaking your head.

"Not so much no. In the beastfolk sense, the lord or lady honorific is more akin to lieutenant to the leader, how that came to be I don't know. Her and her mate are both of Zhou's lieutenant so they get called Lord Wu and Lady Wu. Whether they are both named the same or they are both a 'Wu' I cannot say."

Thanking him for his time, you dismiss him and Marie to their own duties and you ponder what to do with today.

>Head out in the town, no bounty is gonna stop you from making the most of this deal.
>Lay low for a while, find something in the hotel to do instead.
>Keep trying to look for a deal on the cattle, not like things can get any worse
Rolled 18 (1d20)

Try to find more options for selling while looking through the city. If anyone attacks, you've got two Nitor.
Rolled 13 (1d20)

You decide to keep your nose the the grindstone. After all, if you're going to be stuck here a week at worst, you may as well do what you can to expidite the process. Drawing your nitor bodyguards into your wake, you depart once more into the sea of people, pointedly ignoring the wide berth the locals still give your little procession.

Amazingly, the problems that plagued you yesterday seem to have by and large died down today. You suspect it is due in part to the other ranchers squashing the rumors about you. You make a mental note to thank them later as you talk to a far more friendly brand of merchants. you haven't made any concrete sales as of yet, but you've definantly got folks interested.

Prime among them is the local butcher, apparently in three days time he's going to need several of fresh steers for some banquet for the chamber of commerce hosted by the mayor of the city. From the specifications, the beef is to be as fresh as possible with no expense spared on the quality. Apparently the butcher had spent some time scoping out the herds coming in, and yours seemed to be the best of the bunch so far. He's not willing to commit right yet, but if nothing comes in the next day that beat yours, you're likely to score an additional 200 isens over your previous figures just for the three animals alone.

The rest are largely people trying to do what the First Wood Meat Products are doing. Acquiring a load of beef on the cheap and quickly while there is a glut on sales. Doing the math in your head, you figure none of these buyers would give you more than the base price of what even First Wood would. Politely thanking them for their time, you respectfully decline their offers. It's late afternoon by the time the last impromptu meeting is over.

Your Nitor guards have been following you without complaint, but as of yet nobody has decided to try their luck at collecting your thiry thousand isen bounty. Not even during the shift changes, the third of which you are witnessing right now. With a fresh pair of guards behind you, you try and figure out what to do next.

>We could be providing the food for the mayor's banquet
Holy fuck. If that goes well, and we can get the butcher to get us a name-drop, we could be in for some good business.
If he's apprehensive, take some Isens off of the cost of the cattle

>Wat do
Define "late afternoon"
Like: "the sun is setting"? (7 or 8PM)
You've got a couple hours of daylight left.

As an aside, my internet is being decidedly intermittent despite it being a perfectly clear night, if I'm gone extra long I might have lost service for the night. It's come back up real quick though, so we'll cross that bridge when we get there.
Let's go, find, and thank the guys that we're pretty sure helped clear things up for us.

After that, how about supper with the party?
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You decide to head down to the stables to personally thank the other ranchers for their part in helping the local merchants warm up to you. Approaching the paddocks, you quietly move from each rancher, expressing your gratitude. By and large the sentiment was best summed up by one of ranchers who you had passed on the cattle drive saying, "Lionel had always done right by us. We were just returning the favor."

Feeling good about the way things are going, you decide to head back to the hotel and set up a proper meal for your employees. Consulting with the manager you manage to appropriate one of the side rooms that weren't currently in use and get a generous spread prepared before the hands come in from their work. You note that the beastfolk seem to mystified, having been used to Tai's line based food delivery system. They all but tear into the spread once you thank all of them for their hard work.

>Anything you'd like to do during, or after dinner?

(Pausing here. Leaving the options open as much as possible for the next post tomorrow. As always, thanks for reading.)
>Mention the possibility of the Mayor's banquet deal
>Ask them all how they feel things are going
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"So, today I managed to secure us a deal." You say, temporarily halting the systematic destruction of dinner. "Apparently the mayor is holding some sort of party and wanted the best that the cattlemen could provide. Apparently our stock was the best. Unless someone has absolutely perfect cattle that somehow made the drive here in better condition than the animals we have grazing, we've got a nice little bonus to add to our earnings."

Marie and Tai smile at this, and Tai relays it to the beastfolk unceremoniously resume eating, all save the female who says something. "She wants to know what this person looks like and when they are expected, so as she will not gut them for trying to steal cattle."

"Oh, well, two days? Maybe. I'll get a description once it's all finalized. Or bring him with me, probably a better idea, come to think of it."

Satisfied, the beastfolk return to their meal. In the meantime you question your two employees that you can actually talk with. "Feelings on this endeavour so far?"

"Not my first drive. Had a cousin who took me along. Going about as well as can be expected Miss Sasha." Tai says

"Never done it before, but this town and I don't get along." Marie says, remembering how McCain hired her, and the latest kerfuffle, you can't say you blame her.

The rest of the dinner goes on in silence as the three of you attempt to make your own headway into the spread before the beastfolk eat it all. You do manage to save enough so that you can treat the nitor guards to a meal, having suffered through standing guard through their shift. After the fresh guards arrive you go to bed groaning, thinking you might have overdone it just a tad. The next day finds you waking up a little later, and to some news you go over during breakfast. The most important of which is the Lemero barge hasn't come in yet, and is officially a half day past due. Tai and the beastfolk had already left to tend to the cattle and Marie goes to join them after delivering your missives.

>What to do today?
Walk around and see what there is to hear about Lemero and anything else that seems interesting.
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Not wanting to miss anything regarding a potential buyer, you head out and subject yourself to the rumor mill, not as a target, but as an observer this time. All sort of outlandish theories are being proposed, piracy, sea creatures, storms, the like. What's of more interest is what the other two meat processing companies are doing about it. Finn's seems to be largely unconcerned, saying that they will begin the bidding in earnest when most of the cattlemen arrive. First Wood on the other hand have been pressing ranchers to sell off their stock early through private sale. While not illegal, you see their own offers dropping lower and lower with each new arrival. It seems counter intuitive, but after their representative assures you that the price they quoted you will remain for now, you suspect that they are more interested in getting the early arrivals to sell before the auction happens.

Heading to the main plaza, the talk of the town seems to be the mayoral ball. Apparently anyone who's anyone in the city will be attending. Feeling rather smug that you've all but secured the deal on the beef there, you head to the butchers to confirm that you're still picked. The short, wiry, man assures you that nothing beating yours has come in since his last survey of the available stock. You question, more rhetorically than anything, if he'll tell the mayor who's cattle it is. He says that anyone who handles food will know it came from yours, but it'd be a little extra for him to make sure that the Riverport Elite do as well.

>Knock 75 off the sale to get your name spread?
>Continue with the deal as is.


>What now? (Time, almost noon.)
Welp, name fell off. Whoops.
It's a reasonable investment. We're coming out ahead on sales, and we're getting our name into the minds of the higher-ups.
I say: do it.
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Getting the hint, you give him the go ahead and watch him count out the money. Satisfied, you walk the man and his associates towards the paddocks to let him claim his purchase. The little man is discerning in his choice, staring at the herd for a solid ten minutes from different angles before he singles out the three that he wants. You relay that through Tai who directs the beastfolk into isolating the selection. The first two near the edge of the rest are herded into a seperate enclosure right quick, while the last squirms its way into the center of its kin. Coaxing the animal out of there takes more time than you'd like, but the butcher bore the wait in good humor, watching the ranchands work with interest. You finally isolate the last after no small effort, and offically seal the deal.

Making a quick trip to the hotel, you count out your earnings for the day. In keeping with your original figures, you made 125 in profit on the deal, not to mention whatever reputation you may yet earn from the mayoral shindig. Securing the money for safekeeping, you head back out into the city. Near the market square, you can see the usual flurry of activity of shoopkeeps selling their wares. Conversely, there seems to be a crowd near the docks as well, likely trying to get ahead of the competition and buy straight off the boat.

Let's see what's going on with the dock
Wonder if it's the Lemero barge.
Alright, we'll pick up there tomorrow.
I've got work at 15.00 est tomorrow, so I probably won't be able to do anything
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Let's see if we can attract some interest in a Kozack sword.
We don't have either of our Kukuri with us.
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You opt to check out the docks, both to see what the commotion is about and to see if you can get take advantage of any deals to be had. Gesturing to your bodyguards, you proceed along one of the main roads, noting idly that since you're here you could see if there is a market for those Kozak blades. Nothing resembling a weapon shop is readily apparent, but given you are headed away from the market it is not surprising. In any case, it is something to keep in mind.

Approaching the crowd, you note that they are clustered around the main docks proper. Tapping one of the rear bystanders on the shoulder, you as him what's going on.

"The Lemero barge came in. With nobody on it."


"That's the thing, there's no sign of anyone on the boat and no traces of anything out of the ordinary. The merfolk skiff works saw it drifting and towed it in. No sign of the people. They all just up and vanished, my guess is sea ghosts."

You politely detach yourself from the man as he dives into his theory on what happened. Wanting to get a better look you rise up on your tail a bit more, ignoring your bodyguards protests about making yourself too noticeable. From your vantage point you can see several people in Schola Nitor uniforms moving about the ships deck, while a pair of Arma Nitor soldiers guard the gangplank. One of whom you recognize as your midday shift bodyguard from yesterday. Finally relenting to your guardian's protests you sink back down into the crowd.

>What do?
We can't do anything for now. We should wait until that guard is with us again (Assuming we get the same pairs of guards every day) and then ask about it. I also feel that it may be a good idea to tell the others about this.
Ok, we may want to try selling now. Removing a buyer from the market will result in our prices dropping. Do we have any shipping contacts? We may have an opportunity to make a mint on moving our own cows.
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Rolled 6 (1d20)

You figure that you can't do anything about this development here, so you and your two guardians back off from the crowd and head back towards the paddocks. Pulling Marie and Tai aside, you explain the situation to them.

"That's terrible, do they know what happened?" Marie says after you relay the story

"The nitor are investigating. That's all there is so far." You offer, not mentioning the possibility of questioning one of the soldiers while the two nitor are in hearing range.

Tai, on the other hand asks a more pressing question. "What does that mean for us Miss Sasha?"

"Chances are that with a buyer out of the game, prices are gonna drop per animal. First Wood assured me their prices wouldn't change, but that was before this development. So we might be looking at a profit loss here."

"So... what's the plan?"

"I don't have the contacts to move the cattle on my own, so I'm going to have to commit to a plan before they have a chance to change the terms. Once the ink is dry, they'll have to honor their obligations."

"Well, we did decide to stay. We should see it through." Marie says, surprising you.

"I thought you didn't like it here."

"I don't. But we did come to this decision. Not to mention the money."

You turn to Tai, "And your feelings on the matter?"

"Same as before Miss Sasha."

"Ambivalent, right?"

He nods.

>Set up a meeting with Flynn's to finalize the 700 isen at the end of the week deal.
>Set up a meeting with FWMP to finalize the 500 isen immediate deal.
>Try to find local buyers and sell off the cattle piecemeal.
>Wait for the auction, things might still change.
Let's meet with Flynn's.
Agreeing with >>1336657
"I'm about ready to cash out, so lets finalize the deal with Flynn's." You decide, "I'll be back in a few."

Leaving your ranch hands to their work, you head out and back down to the docks slowly weaving your way through the crowd of onlookers until you get to the warehouse-turned-headquarters that Flynn's Meat Packing supposedly operates out of. Knocking on the heavy barn door, you see a little window cut into the main door open and the person inside peering out suspiciously. Identifying yourself, and presenting their offer you back up as the window promptly slams and a series of locks and chains are unbolted and the whole thing slides opens up just enough for you and the two nitor with you to squeeze in.

Looking around, you see that a number of windows have been boarded over and the side office of the warehouse is more like a bunker. Uncertain, you move forward hestitantly into the room and are greted to the sight of a man of red face and ample girth sitting in a chair. Spotting you, he rises up to his full height, which so happens to be slightly shorter than his width and good naturedly shakes your hand.

"Flynn of Flynn's Meat Packing. My secretary tells me you're here about the offer?"

"Well, yes, Sasha Masterson. Lion's Head Ranch. My father Lionel did business with you in the past." You say, getting out of the

"Lionel's kid?" He all but shouts, shaking your hand so ferociously you see him start to undulate. "Well now, there's a surprise."

"Likewise, I didn't expect the owner of the company to travel all the way out here for an auction."

"I like to get hands on when it comes to selection and acquisition. Some say its old fashioned, but I think it is worth the risks."

"So that's the reason for... all of this?" You say, gesturing to the fortified warehouse.

"My wife all but demanded I take steps after someone tried to put a musket ball in my gut." He laughs, patting his stomach. "Didn't make it through all the healthy living I did, but nonetheless you can never be too careful. I imagine that's why you've got the boys in black and silver followin' ya, eh?"

>Mention the attempted assassination
>Just get to the deal.
Mention the assassination, but ask for the musket ball story first.
>Just get to the deal
Ask for the musket ball story first. A bit of conversation first is always a good idea to try to soften up someone with whom you are bartering.
Mention the assassination only AFTER the deal is signed.
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Rolled 2 (1d20)

"A musket ball? Sounds like one hell of a story." You say, deflecting the hook of the questions.

"Oh it is. Boy got close saying he wanted to sell the thing. Snuck it in all loaded and fired the first chance he got."


He shrugs, "Never said, Nitor's still got the kid locked up on the mainland waiting on him to talk. This was almost a decade ago. If I had to guess it's one of those 'reformed' partisans outta first wood workin' for their company looking to pop the competition."

"Business that cutthroat?"

"Naaaaaaah," he drawls, scoffing, "But old habits die hard, and its the only time its happened in a decade, but as I said, the wife wants me safe so I humor her."

After exchanging a few more pleasantries with the man, you get down to business. Producing the papers once more you sign them and hand it off Flynn, who looks it over and before producing a massive stamp and smashing it down on the corner of each page of the agreement with visible enthusiasm. The enthusiasm is infectious, and you see one of your stoic bodyguards crack a half of a smirk as Flynn stamps the last page with a flourish.

"Now that that's taken care of Miss Masterson, was there anything else?"

"Only wondering if there was a way for you to take the cattle off my hands ahead of time. The reason these nitor soldiers are with me is because I've got a bounty on my head courtesy of the phoenix empire. First attempt went poorly for them, but I'd rather not leave things up to chance."

He laughs again, "I'll bet. I don't get why those burnin' bird boys behave the way they do but I can get why you wanna get outta here quick. Unfortunately I can't do that, I got one BIG barge, and that monster ain't movin' until I've got it packed to capacity. That said, I wish you all the best."

Taking that as the cue to leave, you politely excuse yourself. Outside, you can see another man waiting with a slim leather breifcase. He gives you a curt nod as he passes and from the office you can hear Flynn bust out into more joviality. "Well, well, well. Somethin' must be up for my competitor to send one of their top boys to my warehouse. Howya doin' Phil." You hear through the walls as you exit the building.

>What now?
Let's see if we can pick up a couple of smoke poles for the beast men.
You've already secured a deal from the nitor for the phoenix surplus if you're referring to a armaments, unless you'd like to buy more as well.
Gotcha. Let's get the hell out of here one we have gotten our moolah. Would be up for some shopping if we hadn't that price on our head
No, we need to invest in getting the inn/spa built. Even if we can't get a trade route going through, a hot spring is going to draw as least SOME revenue in, and it'll probably be enough to pay for it back, and then some.
>wat do
We have nothing really better to do, so I say we go and help at the pens.
Having definitively decided which what to do with the cattle you decide to head back to the hotel for the night. Heading there, you catch the ranchhands approaching from the paddock region. Following them in, you share a quick meal before retiring for the night. The next day has you waking up late, but without any pressing concerns, you don't think too much of it. You've at most four more days before the auction starts and you can get the cattle off your hands. Effectively that's four days of free time that you'd be able to spend on the town, were it not for the fact you had a phoenix bounty on your head.

Wanting to get something productive accomplished you first dive into the correspondence that has been slowly piling up on the desk. Of the assorted useless flyers, advertisments and day to day sundry of ranch operation, two things catch your eye. The first is a letter with the local butcher's stationary on it. In it, he details that the cattle you've provided are better than he expected, and they are currently hanging in his coolers for the soiree tonight. He reiterates his commitment to putting a good word in for you and hopes that the two of you can do business in the future. The second is from the ranch, and is in McCain's handwriting. Apparently Keel himself informed your foreman of the Phoenix bounty, and he's updating you on the state of the ranch. Everything seems in order, and Zhou's people report nothing out of the ordinary, on this or the other side of the mountain. Liama's apparently working in tandem with some of the beastfolk, her grasp of the higher phoenix speech providing at least a link between their language and ours. He ends the letter with a warning against taking uneccesary risks, and that he has some suspicions regarding the bounty, but nothing he wants to commit to paper.

You respond to what needs to be addressed, and hand the outgoing mail to the receptionist at the hotel desk and step outside into riverport with yet another fresh set of nitor bodyguards in tow.

>What to do with your day? (4 days until the transaction.)
Same >>1340284

It's fine Chem.
Rolled 14, 16 = 30 (2d20)

With no pressing concerns you decide to help your ranchands out with watching over your, or rather Flynn's, cattle. Dragging the nitor down to the paddocks you look in to the various ways you can help out. Given that the current objective is to make sure the cattle maintain a healthy weight and not drop dead, there's not much to do other than watch them graze and run buckets of water. It is, in all honesty, incredibly boring. At least the beastfolk seem to be enjoying themselves by taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of a city from afar. You try and keep an ear to the ground for credible rumors as ranchers rival washerwomen when it comes to gossip. It seems the only thing on peoples tongues is Lemero's 'ghost barge' of which the Nitor has been tight lipped about any findings.

Midday brings Marie and the relief crew of 'Lady' Wu and the beastfolk youths. It also brings the shift change for the nitor, and with it, one of the nitor you recognize from the two days ago. Its not the red haired fellow you saw guarding the docks, but it is the first returning soldier you've seen. Marie drops off packaged lunches for you and Tai, who is apparently acting supervisor given his command of the beastfolk language, and sheperds off the two adult beastfolk who'd been out all day. You dig into the corned beef sandwich as second shift tends to their duties.

>See if you can't find anything more about the Lemero ship.
>Keep helping the ranchhands.
>Check out something.
>See if you can't find anything more about the Lemero ship.
Let's see what we can find out about the ghost barge.
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Given the fate of the lemero barge could have very real repercussions for the cattle business, you figure it's best to see what you can find out. Sidling over to the other ranchers, you make a point of listening to whatever they've learned. It isn't much, to be honest, but you do learn that one of the ranchers with a cousin in the nitor mentioned that there were no bodies, it was if the crew up and vanished. Given that Lemero fisheries were staffed exclusively by merfolk, the Nitor has taken their cutter out to some of the smaller islands and southern continent merfolk settlement to see if the crew has taken refuge there.

You're interrupted in your eavesdropping by Tai coming along with one of the younger beastfolk.

"Something wrong?"

"This one says that Lady Wu thinks someone is watching you watch the others. From one of the roofs." Tai says quietly, causing your two nitor guards to tense up.

You look over to the wolflike one who is very pointedly feeding the cattle, seemingly oblivious to the exchange. "And she didn't come to you herself?"

"He said they are watching her too."


(Apologies on the huge delay here, as of ~11:00 AM EST yesterday my internet cut out due to rain turning to snow turning to winds. No warning so I couldn't give anyone a heads up.)
I see. . .
>We should probably walk back and pretend that there was something back at Lady Wu that required our attention.

>ask guards if there are any harpies in the local Nitor

>if yes: ask them to get one of them to fly up and try to spot our spy

>if no: Have Mari pretend to go off on an errand and once she thinks that no-one can see her, to get into the air and see if she can't spot the one spying on us.

I don't want to risk them trying to shoot Mari down, and they would probably expect us to use her for this after the last time.

We are open to alternate plans and suggestions.

It's fine Chem. You can't control the weather.
Rolled 7, 5, 17 = 29 (3d20)

"Does the nitor have any harpy folks in your ranks?" You ask one the guards, all the while trying to nonchalantly move back to your original position overseeing the cattle.

"Not at this post no. Elves, humans and mer mostly." The returning guard said.

"Blast. Well, can we get a runner to Marie?" You ask Tai.

"It'd have to be me." Tai says, "She's back at the hotel with the first shift."

Grimacing, you nod and let the man head off. Hopefully this spy won't get spooked before your backup gets here. You busy yourself watching the cattle and ignoring the direction that Lady Wu's ears are flicking, involuntarily you presume. The two guarding you are tense as well, which you can understand, Nitor's aversion to you dying probably matches your own natural death aversion at this point. After several minutes Tai returns with a stack of old messages, with one new one in Marie's handwriting that simply says "On it." at the top. You can't see her, but that means your spy probably can't see her either.

Quietly ask Lady Wu if she can tell anything about out spy problem while looking through the stack of messages like you're looking for something.
Chamber check our rifle in a covert manner while outwardly busying ourselves with the stack of papers. We need to be ready to put some dicks in dirt in case this goes south.
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Rolled 6, 19 = 25 (2d20)

While Marie is searching for the watcher, you have Tai pull Lady Wu aside with a few questions you have about her suspicions. As you watch them talk, you quietly check your rifle as discretely as possible, in the hopes that if the situation degrades you'll be ready. Tai returns momentarily, looking over the little notepad you gave him.

"What'd she have to say?" You ask, as he sets the unaltered notepad down.

"She said she smelled something along the winds when she got on shift. A human scent but coming from a direction above us and a feeling of being watched put her on alert.. Her suspicions were confirmed when she saw the glint of a spyglass."

"Does she know what roof?" You ask, trying not to crane your neck to look for that sign.

"No, it seemed to move to different rooftops each time."

Great. You huff in frustration, but go on alert as you spot Marie flapping down towards your position, with something in claw.

"Nobody's about Miss Masterson." She wheezes, "But someone was at one point. They'd set themselves out a little picnic."

You look at the basket and the blanket she's brought. "Did you check inside the basket?"

"Largely crumbs, and an empty spyglass case."

You tentatively look inside the case. It's a good make, and a UFK based company if the seal is anything to go on. "Nothing else?"

"Whoever it was moved position several times, knocked lose a few roof tiles when they did. The blanket and basket were under the eve of a cupola. Followed the dislodged tiles from roof to roof till I found the thing. They must have legged it right quick, sorry Miss Masterson."

It's fine, Marie. You did what you could.
Hmm. Still, though. It's not nice knowing that they haven't given up yet.
Marie, did the trail of broken and dislodged tiles go for very far, or did they drop after the end of the one roof?
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Since we're near falling off the board and I've a vehicle to work on, we'll pick up here next time. I'll try and get another thread up before the end of the month though. As always, thanks for reading and I hope everyone enjoyed the thread.

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