Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Late Afternoon, Corfu

Tuesday, May 20, 1650

For six days, the Almaeon makes its way along the islands and cliffs of Dalmatia, then south along the Alban, or White Coast, before making its way through the narrow strait of Kassiopi and into Corfu Bay. 
The strait is beautiful, as are the shorelines, as lush and green as anything you've seen.  The trees are in bloom, the sea is sapphire blue, and the hills rise elegantly above the shore.

Little has changed; there have been no incidents to speak of, nothing extraordinarily special to report.  Vespasiano is almost certain now that the cat and the old woman, Hannah by name, are unrelated to each other ... he's not seen them together since the first day.  Yet the cat seems to be around, always, and all three characters, Telo, Vespasiano and Py all tell of the cat watching them.

As the ship pulls into the harbor, the passengers have been allowed up on deck.  The feeling is mostly of relief; it has been six days of smooth sailing, but most of the passengers are happy as they will be allowed to venture on shore for one day.  The boat will be leaving Corfu at dusk, tomorrow ... until then, there is time to walk on land, conduct business or see the sights.

Telo is enjoying the fresh air, the view of the city as you enter ... and becomes aware that Omari is standing next to him.  Omari will make a few benign comments about the town, before asking Telo in a low voice, one only both of he can hear, "You are of the assassins, are you not?"

26 comments:

Telo Arhen said...

"I appreciate your discretion, as the circumstances aboard ship make me loathe to acknowledge such, but yes such studies are among my knowledge. I assure you I had no hand in the death - I assume that the Persian merchants have the complicity of the captain."

Alexis said...

"I know you have not," says Omari. He indicates the other two Egyptian merchants, Hafsah and Lateef. "It was they. And now I would like to pay them back in kind."

Telo Arhen said...

"What do you know of them? Are they well connected in Alexandria? Do you know of their haunts or habits there?"

(OOC: have to end for the night but will check in early tomorrow.)

Pyxaanthal Rauvelore said...

When Py wakes up, presumably he doesn't see Telo around, but Py isn't too concerned about that. If Vespasiano is around, Py makes asks him about that cat, and then goes to a sailor, and perhaps a few fellow passengers, and asks who brought a cat onboard, whether anyone has been tending to it, feeding it, etc.

Py then heads to the city; he invites Vespasiano along, mainly out of social politeness, but actually would prefer to go alone (OOC: So Vespasiano, let me know whether you decide to go along or not, I'm fine either way). Py's main interest is to see the sights, explore the city, and particularly any open market.

If Vespasiano is with him, then Py is mainly browsing the wares, looking for a cheap way to catch the attention of the cat (perhaps dried fish, some catnip, maybe a cheap bell or metal trinket or other animal-toy) (OOC: Sorry Alexis, I still haven't had a chance to look at the item list to select my starting money and thus determine how much money I should "have left" at this point; I hope it won't be seen as too much of a cheat to only decide my starting equipment sometime on Friday).

If Vespasiano did not come along, then Py is looking for some easy targets for pickpocking or shoplifting. He doesn't want to take large risks, as he's "on the job" towards Alexandria and doesn't want to mess that up. His scouting for a mark here is mainly out of old habits, and if it happens to earn him an extra coin or two, so much the better.

Telo Arhen said...

"I suspect it a deed better done before our arrival - but the atmosphere might make it very difficult..."

Alexis said...

Pyxaanthal,

Please allow the boat to dock before searching for marks on the town boulevard.

No one that you speak to can identify the owner of the cat.

Telo,

Omari will answer, "The deed must be done in town. The captain must not suspect anyone on board ship, and is not so innocent in this matter as you might think. Hafsah and Lateef must die ashore. That is the arrangement I seek."

Vespasiano said...

I will take Py up on his offer (when the boat docks of course!). I also want to start making an attempt to befreind the cat - offering treats, tempting it by moving a string with a bit of fluff or straw tied to it.

Vespasiano said...

I also ask Hannah if she is going ashore and if she would like an escort.

Alexis said...

Vespasiano,

Of course, there isn't time at just this moment to try everything before the boat docks, but after a short interval of finding the cat, you find that it has no interest in string, rolled items or anything you drag. It looks at you (and this may be your imagination) as though you are a great fool. Cats have that annoying way of looking at people.

Hannah thanks you very much for your offer, but says at her age she's not up to climbing through the day, her joints give her too much pain. With that, she pops a tiny round brown ball into her mouth and chews on it.

Telo Arhen said...

"No - I can certainly believe the complicity of the captain... this circumstance makes it dangerous, relying on this ship to leave once again...

"I would require gold enough for arsenikos, to be procured in Corfu - as I came aboard the ship a scholar primarily - and if it can be done, renumeration suitable their station.

"Do you think they will spend the night on shore?"

Alexis said...

"Forgive me," says Omari. "Arsenikos? What is that?"

Assuming you answer, he will say, "They are certain to sleep the night in town; they have poor stomachs, and will be grateful to flee the ship. Give your assent, and I will send a man to you with 20 gold. See that the work is done, and that neither man returns to the ship, and I shall give you 300 g.p. more. You may share that with your two friends, if they are discreet."

Telo Arhen said...

"I trust their discretion... I will have to catch them before they disappear into Corfu though. I will accomplish what I can this evening."

Alexis said...

"Very well," says Omari. "On the waterfront there you'll find a bakery called 'Aleandros' ... once the boat docks, go there and within the hour I will send a messanger with the money."

Telo Arhen said...

I will go to Vespasiano and Py, and explain the situation. "I am hoping to enjoin your assistance, should the process of keeping tabs on the merchants becomes difficult. I must ask - there is gold to gain, but I cannot demand your complicity..."

Alexis said...

You find Vespasiano and Py in different parts of the ship, so it takes time to bring them together. The boat is in the process of docking up, though the passengers won't be let off for a good five or ten minutes yet.

At this point, I must wait until one or the other gives their answer.

Vespasiano said...

I say" How sure are you of this Omari? It could be him who has slain the Persian and he wants you to cover his tracks. Do what you wish but I do not want to be involved in this business. I will, of course, keep this knowledge to myself."

Vespiano still intends to go into town and will keep an eye on Omari's movements, at least whether or not he leaves the ship.

Telo Arhen said...

"I believe that Omari is a friend of the slain who seeks redress. I respect your decision, though, and hope you do not fault me the practice of my profession. It is better that it be not a secret between us..."

Vespasiano said...

"Thank you for your trust my friend."

Before disembarking I ask around about any sights to be seen in the city - especially fortifications or notable bridges.

Pyxaanthal Rauvelore said...

When Telo approaches and explains the situation to Py, his initial response is "Wait... you're an assassin?" and is silent, but it's clear from his face what deductive steps his mind is undertaking.

After some consideration, he adds "I've never killed anyone before... What exactly is it that you want me to do?"

Telo Arhen said...

"To help keep an eye on them, to know where they plan to stay tonight if that is not obvious. I have an assignation at a shore side bakery, and would seek some minor purchases - I am afraid that I will lose them in Corfu..."

Alexis said...

(OOC: Forgive the lateness of my replies; I did not feel so well this weekend)

Vespasiano,

The crew can tell you of a few places many visitors will take note of. There is a footpath that leads from town to the Vlacherna Monastery, a tiny island liked to the shore by a short stone bridge – many go there to light a candle and say a prayer (http://www.aewatercolors.com/fulls/pontikon.jpg).

From the island you can hire a small boat to take you to ‘Mouse Island’, where you can visit the Byzantine Church of Pantokrator. This, too, is a place of pilgrimage.

The ‘Castle of Angels’ sits upon a rock 1,000 feet above the sea. Visitors who pay can be led inside the fortress, and deep into a dark cave to see the fresco of the Virgin Mary. (http://www.mlahanas.de/Greece/Cities/Images/KorfuAngelokastro.jpg)

It’s typical that ‘sights to see’ will be religious. Other things, however, would be a flower market, a fresh fruit market, and the sea itself, where people would go to bathe.

Alexis said...

Before I can continue, I need to know if Pyxaanthal has agreed to help Telo ... I presume Telo will go to the bakery to collect the money, while Py would follow the two men. Would that be correct?

Vespasiano I presume will be following Omari. Once confirmed in these things, I will be ready to dock the ship and continue onshore in Corfu.

Pyxaanthal Rauvelore said...

Py agrees to help Telo, though is visibly reluctant. Hopefully, he thinks, he won't have to get his hands dirty with any direct bloodshed, though if it's just to follow a mark, he's done this sort of thing before.

If there is a safe place to store their equipment, Py leaves his backpack on the ship, bringing only a set of change-of-clothes (1 adventurer's wear, 1 man's woolen cap, and 1 woolen coif cap), with the the adventurer's wear bundling up the other two like a cloth sack. Otherwise, he'll bring his whole backpack along.

(OOC: In case it comes to this, Alexis, I *did* purchase some weapons in the last e-mail I sent to you; My item list should include a dagger and a sling (but no rocks for the sling, as I presumed I could find these on the ground). I haven't purchased the food yet. I am still working on that.)

Alexis said...

Indeed, Py should have no trouble finding any stones.

My intent is to write two posts, one pertaining to Vespasiano, the other pertaining to Py and Telo. The one will be noted as "Buffalo, Vespasiano," the other as "Buffalo, Telo, Pyxaanthal." I'll start writing them as soon as I hear from Vespasiano and Telo.

Vespasiano said...

I will follow Omari making the greatest effort to be unoticed. If I feel that I am being noticed I will head towards the Castle of the Angels.
(Vespasiano has a scholarly interest in the construction of the fortress and is also interested in viewing the fresco.)

Telo Arhen said...

(OOC: ready to go!)
"Be assured I'll assume no such demands Py - if the opportunity arises, it will be my responsibility."