Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Kare Satsico

Friday, March 12, 1651, morning
With clear skies and brisk temperatures, a moderate breeze and a prevailing wind.

Your travels through Istanbul to find the various things you search for have led you, as I say, through a variety of narrow streets and squares, wherein you have seen many sights.  So it is nothing unusual that to find the walking stick of your fancy you find yourself passing by several dozen beehive-looking granaries, where carts are being loaded on this somewhat brisk morning.  The next day has begun, after yesterday's wanderings after arriving by ship.  The carts carry sacks of grain, and you find yourself moving along with some carts in an upward path to the higher points of the city, naught more than 75 or 100 feet above the water. It is then that you come to the Kare Satsico, where you were instructed to go.

'Kare' is a local name for a Piazza or Plaza, and this one is quite small, perhaps 30 feet by 40. You enter it together, meaning to cross the Kare to get where you are going. I will need to describe it. The carts pass through the Kare on the right side, which we'll describe as entering at 4 o'clock on a clock face and departing at 1 o'clock. They have left a trail of grains, and as you enter the Kare you find a thousand pigeons ... literally ... feeding on this grain, poking about on the ground, breaking apart as the carts move through them, and as you move through them too, like a low tide that refuses to wet your feet.

In the center of the Kare is a fountain where as many as two dozen women seem to be washing their clothes. The woodcrafter's that sells canes is at 12 o'clock; between 11 o'clock and 7 o'clock are a series of step gardens that rise above the square, beautiful and lush, hung with lemons, pears and large, round, light golden apples, the like you cannot recall having seen. They are as large as two of Ahmet's fists held together. Even Ahmet, the Turk, cannot recall having seen these. The gardens are separated from the Kare by a high metal fence, but there are boys who have climbed the fence and are reaching through to grab the apples.

There are four Greek Orthodox priests at 8 o'clock, sitting on benches around a table, who seem to be playing a game with a hat, gold and silver coins, and a draedel that they spin on the stone floors of the Kare amid the pigeons. The pigeons seem somehow involved in the game. There is a blind gnome on a stone block set under a spreading oak tree, who seems to be listening intently to the priests. There is a cafe at 5 and 6 o'clock, with two tables out front and a long bench on one side of the door; a half-orc soldier is sleeping on the bench, while two other half-orc soldiers are sullenly smoking upon pipes from a squat hookah sitting on the left hand table.

This is the scene you take in just before you notice that Lukas is missing.

64 comments:

Ahmet said...

Ahmet sighs, muttering about absent-minded sorcerers. He finds a bench or low wall or other such convenient spot to clamber up and look around for the wayward wizard.

Maximillian Boii said...

Lukas is missing, but Hichem is here? Let us wait a short while to see if he appears. If ahmet sees no sign of him, I propose we split up, leave some here, and send some back to the granary to find him.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Lukas definitely entered the square with you.

Ahmet, you take in all that I've described.

Lukas said...

(OOC: Oh good, everything went to shit this morning so I won't have time to post...)

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: that's fine, Lukas ... you're missing, right?)

Ahmet said...

Ahmet hollers at the boys on the fence, asking if they've seen a man matching Lukas's description. (Hopefully his being a westerner helps him stand out somewhat in this crowd.)

Ahmet said...

Not sure if we have Andrej back, but if we do, he'd be the best option to speak to the half-orc soldiers and/or the priests -- even if they're the wrong denomination, at least they're still brothers in Christ among all these heathens.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Andrej is not here. There is only you, Maximillian, Mareo and Hichem.

The boys look at you oddly and tear off into the space between two buildings between the greenspace and the cane-shop ... a bakery and another woodcrafter's, apparently specializing in toys.

Ahmet said...

"I'd have better luck asking the pigeons," Ahmet mutters.

He asks Hichem what happened, for the two of them usually stick close to each other.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Hichem remembers being beside Lukas, they rounded a cart on either side (Lukas on the same side as Ahmet and Maximillian), they pushed through the pigeons ... he didn't notice Lukas was gone anytime before the rest of the party.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet suggests they retrace their steps back to where Lukas was last spotted. But he insists the four of them stay together.

Lukas said...

(OOC: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0zPAkaYbIs&feature=player_detailpage#t=25)

Maximillian Boii said...

OK, I'll stay close to Ahmet.

For clarity, at the point when Hichem lost sight of Lukas, were the four of us (Lukas, Ahmet, Mareo, and I) on the side of the cart towards three O'clock, or on the side of the cart towards the fountain?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Towards the fountain.

There's no trouble retracing your steps. You guess he would have disappeared about ten feet from where you are standing now.

Maximillian Boii said...

Ahmet, I would like for two of us to look inside the cane shop, to see if he somehow got ahead of us, while the other two stay here, in case he reappears. Is that OK with you?

Ahmet said...

Ahmet would prefer to stick together. He's seen too many horror movies.

Maximillian Boii said...

Ok, in that case I won't go inside. You stay here while I look inside through the door.

I do that.

Alexis Smolensk said...

You see something like an aged, John Hurt character working at a narrow bench just inside the door, surrounded by hundreds of canes, a few brooms and four hat-racks.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet sighs and relents to Maximillian's suggestion (if he still wants to do it) -- Hichem and Mareo stay outside on the spot where they last saw Lukas, Ahmet and Maximillian go inside to speak to the old man.

Maximillian Boii said...

"Did a young man come in here a moment ago?"

Alexis Smolensk said...

"A young man? No. Did you wish to buy a cane?"

Maximillian Boii said...

"We will, soon, but first we need to find our friend. Thank you."

I rejoin Hichem and Mareo, unless Ahmet has anything to add.

Ahmet said...

Hold on a sec.

Is this the same cane shop where Lukas bought the cane for Hichem, or just another cane shop?

Alexis Smolensk said...

This is the cane shop where Lukas meant to go in order to buy a cane ... having expressed his intention to do so, this is what has happened.

Ahmet said...

Ah, OK. I thought he had purchased it.

Ahmet returns outside with Maximillian.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Well, I have no idea.)

Ahmet looks around for any skulking thugs.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Any other suggestions, guys?)

Alexis Smolensk said...

At this point I will have to suggest that ten minutes has passed. And that Lukas is probably out of reach by now.

Alexis Smolensk said...

You only see what I've already described. No thugs.

Maximillian Boii said...

10 minutes sounds about right.

I muse aloud how odd it is that someone would disappear right from under our noses in broad daylight. Sarcastically, I add, "We might as well ask that gnome if he's seen Lukas."

Looking around the square now, are the carts gone? or is there a steady stream of them coming from the granaries?

What are the buildings between 1 and 4 O'clock?

Are there exits from the square on the 'left' side, near the gardens?

Ahmet said...

Ahmet asks in turn the half-orc soldiers, the priests, and then the supposedly blind gnome if they've seen a man matching Lukas's description.

Ahmet said...

(OOC: Heh, yeah, I thought of asking the gnome as well.)

Alexis Smolensk said...

There is a steady stream of carts, one every few minutes ... which has the effect of feeding the pigeons.

The half-orc soldiers are too passive to answer; the proprietor will notice your attempts to ask them and will explain they've been here smoking chat since yesterday night.

The priests have noticed nothing. They seem too involved with their game, and take any interruption without much enthusiasm. They have no answers to your questions.

The gnome is very definitely blind - his 'eyes' have no irises or pupils.

"He is safe," the gnome tells you.

Alexis Smolensk said...

There is no building between 1 and 4 o'clock; only a tall 9' wall that runs along that side of the square. I should have said.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet glowers at the gnome. Even if the gnome can't see it, maybe he can feel it.

"Tell me what you know," he growls.

Maximillian Boii said...

(ooc: brainstorming here:
I can think of only two reasons for Lukas disappearance.
Common crime
The gnomes of Zurich

Clearly there could be innumerable other reasons, but we'd need an augury to know about those.

Regarding common crime, Lukas presents a good target, but the middle of a square is a very odd time to make your move. It seems far fetched for him to have been snatched onto a wagon, but it's possible. Perhaps more likely is he would have been dragged behind one, but the wagons have drivers, and I doubt they'd be so jaded as to not even shout at a mugging happening before their eyes. I can't think of another plausible scenario at the moment.

That brings us to the gnomes, and I think I'd jump to that even without the presence of this gnome in the square. Perhaps he's been summoned, as the last possessor of the book of illusions that Andrej found. This is also way far-fetched, but something to consider if this comes to auguries.)

Maximillian Boii said...

While Ahmet is asking what the blind gnome saw, I cast Speak with Animals on a pigeon and ask it if it saw what happened to the man wearing snakeskin boots and an otter coat.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The pigeon wasn't even here ten minutes ago. It arrived just moments ago; ten minutes ago it was finding a small stone for its gullet on the roof of the indoor bazaar. It did find one. A nice not-quite smooth off-blue one with just the right edges that make for the best digestion.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The gnome does not seem remotely concerned about Ahmet. "Your friend is being asked a few questions," he says. "You have nothing to worry about."

Maximillian Boii said...

Heh, yeah I didn't think that would work. I walk over to Ahmet. How is the gnome dressed?

Ahmet said...

Ahmet, remembering the warnings about the Gnomes of Zurich, resists the urge to see how far he can punt the little fellow. So he maintains a respectful distance (and tone).

"Where is he? Who took him? And why?"

Alexis Smolensk said...

A robe and cloak that have seen better days, a pair of sandles where the thong on one has broken and been tied together; a short staff and a small silver ring on one finger with the shape of a gull on it.

Alexis Smolensk said...

"He's not 18 feet from you right now; the who does not matter. I have already explained why. He is being asked a few questions."

Maximillian Boii said...

I look about in confusion, then peer up into the oak tree. "Will it take long?"

Alexis Smolensk said...

"It likely will."

Ahmet said...

Ahmet waits for the gnome to answer Maximillian's question, then asks another.

"Why is he being questioned?"

Maximillian Boii said...

If we must wait, perhaps we should do it at the cafe. You can explain there.

Alexis Smolensk said...

"His cooperation is being sought," says the gnome.

Ahmet said...

"And what if he doesn't feel like cooperating?"

Alexis Smolensk said...

The gnome merely stares at Ahmet, and does not answer.

Maximillian Boii said...

He is a cooperative fellow.

Come, join us at the cafe while we wait.

Alexis Smolensk said...

"I cannot," says the gnome. "I am watching. I am on guard."

Maximillian Boii said...

I glance at the 180 lbs of glowering Turk next to me, curious if he will stand for the denial of the request, or if he intends to stand guard here as well.

Ahmet said...

"You are guarding this stone block, under which is a passage, which leads to where our friend is being kept?"

Alexis Smolensk said...

"From where I sit I can see your friend, I see him speaking and talking with two others ... and I see that he will soon be in need of your help."

The gnome extends his staff.

"If you will help your friend, you will take hold of this." The staff is but a foot from Ahmet's right hand.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet looks warily at the staff, then at Maximillian.

Maximillian Boii said...

I shrug and reach for the staff, leaving time for Ahmet to do so simultaneously.

Maximillian Boii said...

If Ahmet hesitates, I do continue and grab the staff.

Maximillian Boii said...

(OOC: I reread the thread from Eichstatt, and I now no longer think this is about the gnomes of Zurich. I suspect I'll soon find out...)

Ahmet said...

Ahmet grabs it with Maximillian.

Alexis Smolensk said...

The next post has been added.

Alexis Smolensk said...

(OOC: Is not the book mentioned in Eichstatt the same book that was given to Lukas to carry long ago, that was the book identified as the one belonging to the gnomes? If not, I've tangled my threads)

Maximillian Boii said...

(ooc: Yes, but there where three books and three powers mentioned. The Periapt of Illusion had some connection to the gnomes, although that was maybe just that it was something they'd be into if they heard about it. They were also involved because they sent the owlbear after Brendan and Robur, the souls in the bottle, albeit for other reasons. There were also two spellbooks, which likely belonged to the wizard Patroclus of Great Khorazem, so it was likely he also created the Periapt, or at least had owned it once. Finally, the Magi of Van were the other power mentioned that could have an interest in the Periapt of Illusion, although they seem to have been ruled out.)

Maximillian Boii said...

(Oh, and of course there was very little that we could take as fact from that info, except that Patroclus' name appeared in the spellbooks, and that the gnomes sent the owlbear for reasons unconnected from the periapt.)