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In memory of Flyin' Black Jackson
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931197 No. 931197 ID: 9ed620

morning comes, quiet and warm, revealing that nothing has gone wrong during the night. you're thankful - it's just you and your aging adopted father out here, and you both have enough on your plates already.

you quietly greet your father with a nod, the two of you going about your morning business until the sun is well over the horizon
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No. 931198 ID: 9ed620
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since nothing went awry overnight, you'll be able to set out to the market with no delays.

but before you pack up your cart, there's one important question:

what is your name?
No. 931202 ID: e20bdf

No. 931204 ID: 465a14

No. 931206 ID: 977456

No. 931208 ID: 035e8a

Conor Oberst
No. 931228 ID: 9ed620
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your name is sue conor, and you're about to make your weekly trip into town.

your handcart is already loaded with the cage of roosters you'll be selling. it's up to your discretion what to do with the rest of the space.

the trip will take several hours each way. incidents are uncommon but you've had to deal with carts being broken and looted before. you have no particular combat skill, though you do have some sturdy old leathers you could wear for protection, though they'd slow you down.

you can choose to bring along more things to sell or pack along extra supplies that would allow you to camp out if you're unable to make it back before nightfall.
No. 931231 ID: 094652

Pack your cart with Medium-Density (average worth:weight ratio) items until it reaches 75% capacity. Pack the remaining space with the following in order until filled:

1. Water Canteens (plural, and scatter them through the cart. Less efficient, but if you brought one barrel and it broke, you're screwed.)
2. Some salted chicken, fruit, and eggs, all in a box of raw wheat stalks. Everything you need for breakfast and in a secure container.
3. A tarp. You can rest in the cart if you're tired.
4. A weapon of your choice and a shield. Not expected to get much use, but if you're mugged by ONE guy with a pig iron knife, losing everything to a total noob is just embarrassing.
No. 931513 ID: 9ed620
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after some thought, you focus on bringing things to sell, though you bring both of your water canteens along with your lunch, and an old hide which had been unused for the season.

you decide to keep wearing your lighter clothes, but pack along a hatchet you should be able to use in case of an incident.

finally you're off, down the familiar path with the cluck of chickens to accompany you, humming to yourself.

without any incidents you reach the marketplace, trade off the chickens you brought, and work to sell the rest of your wares. it's a lot of negotiating, and you end up bartering more than you make actual coin.
No. 931514 ID: 9ed620
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the day passes into afternoon this way, and you lean against your cart to eat the food you've brought and consider what more you will need to gather before you go home.

it's hard to focus, however, with the person who's been watching you.

at first you shrugged it off - they watched you from a distance with head tilted before leaving after a while - but without a doubt, they've been returning to your little corner of the market, never gone for very long. even amongst the crowd it's easy to spot them, with their distinct clothing.

they've stayed a fair distance away from you, and you can't quite make out their expression, but you know you don't recognize them.

you don't have much merchandise left to be rid of, and you'll have to choose how to deal with this sooner rather than later.
No. 931530 ID: 094652

Go to a different corner of the market, fast-sell your remaining wares, buy some dirt-cheap materials (like actual dirt), and use your profits to hire a temporary mercenary guard. Flee the area and don't look back.
No. 931532 ID: 055cbc

Begin to aggressively hard-sell your wares at this person specifically. Maybe they will reveal what they are on about, or maybe they will get fed up and leave.
No. 931539 ID: e95cec

Seems like you have at least two main options:
1. Walk up and ask why they're watching you. They're probably less likely to stab you when there's a bunch of people around.
2. Flee. This risks them catching you where there are fewer observers.
3. Ignore them and hope it doesn't bite you later.

I'd favor #1 not least because PLOT REASONS make it improbable we can escape him for good
No. 932140 ID: 9ed620
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you wish you could hire someone to escort you home, but the town isn't exactly big enough to have mercenaries. even if you could convince someone to guard you, you'd likely end up costing so much you'd have less than when you started.

after a moment of thought you tuck what you've earned bartering beneath the worn hide and lift your last basket of wares.

you approach the stranger who's been watching you with a smile, and they seem taken aback by your aggressive sales pitch.

"good afternoon! you look tired. some tangled bittercress would work wonders for you. just a cup of tea in the evenings will help balance your humors have you feeling as fresh as a lamb -"

the stranger doesn't appear to be listening, or even looking you in the eye, for that matter - their brow furrows as they scan your face and hands.

"ah, no, thank you."

they pause for a moment, before finally looking up at you.

"I have an odd favor to ask of you, if you forgive my asking. would you take off your tunic for a moment?"

No. 932209 ID: d5a878

Do you have an unusual birthmark or symbol somewhere on your body? He may be asking about that.
No. 932210 ID: 094652

Walk away from touchy-feely.
No. 932211 ID: 9fcf45

"usually you at least offer dinner or some coin first, lad."
No. 932212 ID: 5da03e

"In some cultures that'd go beyond odd and into downright rude to ask. You should be careful. I'll forgive the asking but I'm going to decline the request unless you have a very compelling story about why you're asking a woman you've been spying on all day to expose herself to you."
No. 932280 ID: 9ed620
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you blink, taken aback. you contemplate leaving, but something about their odd behavior makes you feel like there's something you're missing. still, you're ready to take off if you feel you need to.

"...I don't know where you're from, but around here you usually buy a guy a drink first."

now it's their turn to look befuddled. for a moment they stare at you in blank confusion before awareness hits and they wrinkle their nose.

"no, that is - that is certainly not the situation. I apologize for the misunderstanding. I suppose I didn't realize how unrecognizable I would be here."

they gesture vaguely towards their outfit, and then to their earrings.

"I am an acolyte from the Lightwell, traveling for research purposes."

you've heard of the Lightwell - it's not hard to find someone willing to brag that they knew of someone who left to join the metropolis, even if they were many degrees separated. you've never actually seen anyone from the lightwell venture this far into the backwoods.

"I see. though that...doesn't actually explain why you've been watching me."

the corner of their lip twitches downwards. you can tell they would rather not tell you anything.

"it is about the spots on your skin. if I am not mistaken, I have an idea of the way the pattern continues on your torso. I would like to confirm, if you would oblige."
No. 932336 ID: 094652

"If this has anything to do with sacrificing me to the sun, I'll take a tan on my own time. If you want me to go on a dangerous adventure for your order, you'd better dangle one hell of a carrot. Good day."
No. 932532 ID: 5da03e

"Does it have to do with an ancient report you read in a dusty tome which pointed you out to the sticks here in search of some forgotten repository which has had its location encoded in maps that manifest on the skin of persons of certain lineages?"

"Or is it an indication of certain environmental factors which predictably create mole patterns in individuals that are particularly sensitive to such, and thus can be used to determine rough proximity to something given a history of where I've spent my time throughout my life?"

"Maybe they're part of a prophecy relating to how my moles line up with a certain constellation once the equinox moves into the correct zodiac? Maybe we could get some wax paper and some charcoal and mock up star map up atop my body."
No. 932872 ID: fb476f

Eh. I've asked weird things of people for academic reasons. Are you ok with the request? Is it super weird to take off your shirt at the market? You could find someplace a little more private, though then you're alone with a weird stranger. You could also first ask like, "if I do, do I get to know what this is about?"
No. 935048 ID: e8f59c

Wow them and the town with your shirtlessness.
No. 935099 ID: e8f59c

Shirt on, ask about their reference book.
No. 935166 ID: e95cec

"Do the omens read ill?" with a slight smirk, or something
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