[DRYH] Shopping Trip (12)

edited June 2014 in DRYH
Following Ubert up from the Warrens, you step onto the cobblestone streets of the Mad City in the Bizarre Bazaar just after the last gong of the Clock Tower declaring it is thirteen o'clock. Again you see a dizzying array of people plucked from dreams and inspirations, from the man with a top hat that serves as a home for a miniaturized version of himself, to the conjoined man and monkey, both attached at the brain so the monkey balances itself atop his head as he walks around, to the three triplet young ladies with flamingo legs. All colors of the rainbow, smells to delight and worry, all found here. The yammering of hawkers to buyers and sellers, the hustle and bustle that if you closed your eyes, you might imagine yourself on a movie set for a Middle Eastern epic yarn.

Ubert leads you to the Seekers, "Come along, the merchants who can help you find what you wish to find are here." How do you appear, Benny? Regardless, Ubert makes a fine lineman, pushing his way through the throngs until you reach a small cul de sac. In this pocket are six stalls, all what appear to be permanent fixutres even though they arrived here only minutes ago.

A very normal-looking man with a long mustache sits on a stool whittling on a piece of soft wood. He looks aged and lean, like a younger Sam Elliot. Ubert says to you low, "That's Edwall. He's the finest Seeker in the City, but his prices are high. If you can afford him, he's the best."

Next to him is an older woman in a very poofy dress with a wide-brimmed hat. She is busying herself with a old hardbound novel that looks to be centuries old. She reminds you of Angela Lansbury, really. Oh, and just around the corner of her very pink stall, you see something jet black and lightly fuzzy coming out of the bottom of her dress, where legs should be. "If Edwall's too much, best to settle upon Lady Dandywine. She's an excellent Seeker, but quite particular about her clients."


  • edited June 2014
    I just watched the old black-and-white Midsummer Night's Dream a few weeks ago, and while racking my brain for inspiration I thought about James Cagney's Nick Bottom. Seems appropriate enough.


    Still black-and-white, but without Anita Louise.

    I still don't understand what the Wax King meant by, "Have you ever tried to influence someone else with your control?" I'm mulling on that as we travel, trying not to gawk, wishing I had the right equipment to record this ambient sound. I stop mulling and pay full attention to Ubert when he speaks up.

    What the hell. Interested in whether I'll be up to Lady Dandywine's standards. I walk up to her, hoping Ubert follows. "Lady Dandywine? It is my understanding that you are among the finest Seekers in the City. I wonder if I might engage your services?"

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    Lady Dandywine offers you a polite, tight smile and an incline of her head, "Why hello, good sir. I am she, and yes, I am a very fine Seeker indeed." She pauses to look over to Edwall, offer him a different kind of tight little smile, smug satisfaction.

    "If you would come here and sit for a moment." she reaches for a small stool near her little stall, scoots it over to you while still remaining seated. You get a better look at her, ahem, lower half. She has at least two spider's legs beneath that dress and petticoat, probably more. Large ones.

    Sir Ubert steps behind you, but he's letting you handle this. She waits for you to sit, then looks at you with slight interest, "I would like to know who I am working with as much as what we are seeking together. Please, dear sir, do tell me a story." She folds her hands over her lap and waits patiently, her eyes fixed on you with unsettling precision.

    If you wish to impress Lady Dandywine, that's Pain Two.
  • edited June 2014
    It's a Nightmare City, so I tell a nightmare story.

    A long time ago, an old woman named Mary lived in a tiny cottage at the edge of the forest, making her living by selling remedies, charms, and the occasional love spell to the women and girls of the nearby village who furtively snuck to her cottage to trade. When the village smith's wife miscarried and died during her first pregnancy, he blamed Mary and stormed up to the cottage to confront her. 'Witch!' he cried. The sight of his wife's blood pooled on their bed filled his eyes. 'Bloody Mary!' he cried. He beat her with his fists until she lay on the ground, weeping and hurt.

    Now, Mary had sold the charms and herbs that aborted more than one child in the village, but as it happened it was God, not Mary, who was responsible for the smith's tragic loss. Mary vowed revenge as she recovered, alone, in her cottage, and her rage fueled the dark magics that she had previously used only sparingly. Soon, young girls began disappearing from the village, a few at first, then more and more, until it became like a plague to the people.

    One night, the miller's daughter began to walk out of her family's house in the center of the village. As it happened, her mother was awake at the time, using the privy, and when her calls to her daughter went unheeded, she woke her husband and they gave chase. The girl struggled, though, and her parents could not restrain her. They called out for help, still following, and soon the whole village was behind them.

    When they neared the woods, the miller's wife cried out, "Bloody Mary! She is there!" She pointed to a figure in the deepest shadows at the forest's edge, holding a flickering black candle in one hand and a mirror in the other. Realizing she was caught, Mary quickly blew out the flame and turned to run. The miller, though, had his rifle and a sharp eye. He placed the gun to his shoulder, aimed, and pulled the trigger, injuring Mary and causing her to stagger and fall.

    The villagers surged forward, dragging Mary to a fallow field with many blows of foot and fist. There, they built a bonfire and burned her in it, her cursing all the while in foul and strange words.

    That night, they rid themselves of Bloody Mary, but even now, anyone foolish enough to hold a candle and look into a mirror, saying her name three times, will summon her spirit. She tears them to pieces, extracting their souls and dragging them back with her into the hell behind the mirror, so that they feel for all eternity the same anguish she felt in her last moments of life.
  • Discipline: (Rolled: 3d6. Rolls: 3, 1, 4. Total: 8)
    Exhaustion: (Rolled: 2d6. Rolls: 1, 3. Total: 4)
    Madness: (Rolled: 2d6. Rolls: 5, 1. Total: 6)
  • Pain: (Rolled: 2d6. Rolls: 6, 6. Total: 12)
  • Lady Dandywine claps politely with her head tilted back, brows raised in appreciation. "My dear sir, that is a lovely story. I will enjoy seeking with you, of that I am sure." She glances over at Edwall again, then back to you.

    "How should I call you, good sir? And who or what do you wish to seek?"
  • edited June 2014
    "Lady, I am called Max Castle. I seek a newly Awakened, or mostly Awakened (?) named Amanda. She would have arrived in the last day or less."
  • With a curt nod of acceptance, Lady Dandywine accepts the client without hesitation. "Amanda... a new arrival to the city? Well, she has not been to the Bazaar that I know." She seems lost in thought for a moment, caught up with the spinning wheels of where she might be.

    "Ah, but I am ahead of myself!" she says this suddenly, eyes focusing again on you. "Dear Mister Castle, we must agree upon a price, then I shall ask you more about Amanda so that we may find her trail. I require, as advance payment, the memory of your very first love. I wish not to share it, but to own it. It is, to me, the most delectable morsel in all of existence!"

    You hear Sir Ubert move up behind you, a hand on your shoulder as he leans down to your ear, "Ware, my ally. What she takes is true and permanent. While you will not forget your first love, the price she asks is that you give up all of the emotion, good or ill, related to them. They will forever be a familiar stranger to you. This is... a very high cost. Yet still smaller than that of Edwall."
  • edited June 2014
    Hmm. My first love?

    After the Janie debacle the summer before Freshman year, I moped around for a month or so, eating junk food with Eileen and avoiding any place I thought Janie would be. One place I could pretty guarantee I wouldn't run into Janie was the library. I hung out there, reading graphic novels and looking through the crappy DVD selection for something I hadn't already watched.

    Marissa was a rising Junior, and had a summer job working at the library, shelving books and such. So pretty, and she was apparently susceptible to the patented Benny charm, because she'd find reasons to stop by the table where I was reading or playing on my laptop or whatever.


    One day I happened to be heading to look for a book on film history when Marissa was shelving in the 700s. With a smile, I brushed past her to grab the book I wanted and suddenly it was like I was in one of those Penthouse Forum letters. "Dear Penthouse Forum, I never thought this would happen to me..." She grabbed me by the collar and pulled me in for a kiss.

    For the next three weeks, until school started, I was in heaven. Stolen moment after stolen moment of hot makeouts, long conversations face-to-face and over the phone. Total la la land.

    Then the first day of school, and she walked past me like I wasn't there. I was stunned. When I finally caught up with her, her explanation was, "Look, Ben-ben, it was fun, but it was a summer thing, you know? I'm a Junior now, I can't date you..." And me, I was the kid that tried to stay friends, and it eventually worked. She's a freshman at Duke now, and we email occasionally. Never quite forgot those three weeks, though.

    "Lady, you can have the memory of my first love. What is the full price?"
  • Her grin widens, to a disproportionate degree. This pleases her greatly. "Upon completion, when Amanda is yours, you owe me three favors. I can call upon them with a day's notice, and they would not include murder, but could encompass tasks that might put you in danger."

    She sits upright, looking down at her nails, "I may never call upon them. But Mister Castle, it is always good to have friends who owe you."

    Sir Ubert shifts behind you, not objecting or urging you otherwise. And this was the "cheaper" price.
  • I shudder to think what Edwall might have asked. Really. I shudder.

    "Lady Dandywine, I agree to your price."
  • "Very well, Mister Castle." Lady Dandywine says pleasantly. "Now, tell me all that you know of Amanda. If you dare, open your memories of her to me that I might find her more easily."

    "Ware this practice, Mister... Castle. It can open the door to more than you intend." Sir Ubert warns.
  • edited June 2014
    I acknowledge Ubert's warning with a nod. "Lady, I would prefer to try this without 'daring' anything further. I will tell you what I know about Amanda."

    I start with a physical description. Move on to her penchant for gossip and backbiting, but also mention the time I saw her ice-skating over Christmas break, the freedom and joy of that. I tell a few stories, about the evil genius she had for making the right revelations at the right time, her fierce loyalty to the few people that were her actual friends. I describe her, eyes bloodshot and puffy, telling me that she just understood how things work, now. Locks, other things. Even her plea to let her stay in my room, the night whatever happened, happened.

    "Is that enough?"

  • Every detail is devoured by Lady Dandywine, she nods slowly, makes noises at appropriate moments, seems to pick up on details and ask questions that help you unlock more about Amanda than you realized.

    She takes particular interest in the attack, and there's a little "a ha" moment. She catches Sir Ubert's eye, there's a silent communication between them. You weren't able to catch Ubert's side of that non-verbal communication, however.

    Finally, she says, "I know where we should start, Mister Castle. But first, my payment." She holds out her hand, waiting for you to place something in it.

    Ubert leans in, "Mister... Castle, you must take that memory and form it into something solid. That thing, you give to her as payment."
  • I wonder how that happens, but don't expect much help if I ask. So...

    Marissa. The moments of longing, possibility, in the first days before we kissed. That first kiss itself, and the few weeks of blissful ignorance that followed. The sharp sting of betrayal. I close my fist, squeeze. When I open it, there's a small hard candy, wrapped up in plastic. I know, somehow, that it tastes of roses, soy sauce, and unsweetened chocolate.
  • "Out in the Nowheres," Lady Dandywine begins, "There is a Nightmare known as the Magnificent Howler. He is an independent creature, unwilling to be part of... this." she twirls a finger around to the city.

    "His minions burn hot with unquenchable rage. It is likely that Amanda is there. But we should hurry." she starts pulling items off her stall counter and putting it into her bag.
  • I'm as ready as I'm going to be. "Magnificent Howler" sounds bad, and I don't like the thought of Amanda dealing with "unquenchable rage" on her own. "I am ready. Thank you."
  • --END SCENE--
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