Hell Bend

Locales found within the main city centers; primarily Inside, Riverside, and Skyside.
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Ironsmith
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Hell Bend

Post by Ironsmith »

One of the less hospitable corners of Riverside, Hell Bend (occasionally also called Hell's Bend) is a slum created by the last demonic invasion of Riverside, albeit indirectly; the broken-down smattering of half-demolished buildings and vaguely-shaped piles of rubble now serves as a refuge for demons and other ne'er-do-wells with nowhere else to go.

The culture here is one of abuse and mistrust; everybody trying to get ahead of their competitors, with minimal regard for said competitors' well-being. Crime, both petty and felonious, runs rampant in this part of town, due to a lack of any sort of police force. The streets are lined with any number of demons offering their services, almost none of them honest. Some of them simply sell goods that (understandably) can't be found in more law-abiding parts of town. Others are con artists, plain and simple. Regardless, there's usually something interesting that can be done with the local Street Vendors.

Of course, anyone seriously considering staying in Hell Bend for more than a day will inevitably find themselves pointed toward the Havnaught Hotel, one of the few undamaged buildings in the area. Despite its location, the locals insist it's actually a relatively nice place to stay; three, maybe four stars. The expense generally isn't a problem, either; the owner is one of the few demons in town that's happy to take credit.

Just up the street, there's a Casino of sorts, where (un)lucky patrons can wager their money in various games of chance, skill, or both. The ante is usually far too high to be covered in out-of-pocket cash, but fortunately, the doorman can take immaterial goods instead; memories, senses, impulses, and so on. Lucky winners will be able to reclaim these items on exiting the casino, but their numbers are uncomfortably small. More practically, various powerful demons like to spend their time here, which makes frequenting the casino a must for anyone trying to get involved in Hell Bend's politics.

For those seeking a different sort of entertainment, Madame Fidelity's House of Delight is a must-see. The exterior is nothing impressive, but the succubi and incubi who work here have access to potent illusion magic that makes the interior much more amiable. Despite the implications of the name, a wide variety of services are offered here, most of them dedicated to creating, recreating, or fabricating a pleasant experience for the customers, from the mundane (walking down the street with a new hat that everyone seems to like) to the exotic (sailing on a skyship through a gentle rainstorm) to the personal (seeing dead parents one last time) to the sensual (which surprises nobody). Not a bad place to kill some time, provided you can afford it.

Then there's the Rave Cave, a nightclub near the center of Hell Bend. Getting inside is tricky, but the music can be heard from all corners of the neighborhood and it serves as a handy navigational landmark to anyone trying to get their bearings. Nobody seems to know what it's actually like in there, but the sounds that come out tend to speak for themselves.

That's far from all of the things in Hell Bend, but outsiders usually find one of these places first. [If you're interested in adding a location, PM me, Ironsmith, and let me know.]
Last edited by Ironsmith on Apr 02, 2023 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Earl of Purple »

MERC Quest

Frigate leads the way, the diving-suit armour golem having left his longarm back in his room, though the bronze-plated construct still has a pair of finely-crafted Queen Anne pistols holstered at his waist next to a brass cutlass. Under the bronze plates of his shell are stone rods and delicate cogwork of brass, copper, and carved stone, and his head is a rounded great helm mounted to a rotating ring with no ability to tilt, lit from within by a glowing purple amethyst. He seems quite slow and lumbering, tall and wide and heavy, and he is tall, wide, and heavy, and also quite slow- but he can be fast enough to surprise.

Street Vendors

A newcomer has arrived, and is looking to stake a claim. She doesn't look like the locals- she looks to be an Indian woman in her sixties, with wrinkled dark skin and grey-white hair, wearing a faded sari and leaning on an ebony cane with a head shaped like a cobra. She's small, and seems non-threatening, with her eyes hidden behind cheap sunglasses, but any who can sense power might feel she's more than she appears.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Murkus »

[A'Questing for MERC We Go]

Fettina walks down the street behind Frigate, her wings folded inside her back. To the ordinary eye she's a woman with chrome skin. Anyone with paranormal senses might be able to tell she's quite a bit more. The hum of concordance sings in the air around her, just touching the senses, like being near a live wire with God holding the other end of the line. The light of heaven shows through her as an inverted silhouette to those with the Sight to see, a person-shaped cutout made of white fire, brilliant and constant. It is the steady glow of love, of kindness... and of judgement.

"Are we really just supposed to get rid of everybody?" Fettina looks around. There's something... odd she notices around demons that aren't trying to hide their nature. A faint darkness, a blackening in the air that wobbles and writhes. As though the fabric of the world were thin and taut and they were pressing upon it, an oddly heavy thing against the background of the mundane. She would not know what she's looking at, but she thinks that means they're demons. Her own senses have expanded a little since her change. "There are so many of them."
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Gold »

[MERC Work]

Frigate and Fettina are followed by Solenoid, her rifle and railgun remaining on her back. The effeminate robot's metal face is shaded by her white sunhat. with a red band on it to match her signature backless sweater. Resting in her back is a point of light, identifiable to some as another (very small) angel.

Solenoid grimaces as she looks down the street. "Ergh... demons. Let's make this quick - I don't want to be around these guys any longer than I have to, plus I want my first job for this company to be a good one."
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Ironsmith »

Earl of Purple wrote: Sep 17, 2022 4:49 pm MERC Quest

Frigate leads the way, the diving-suit armour golem having left his longarm back in his room, though the bronze-plated construct still has a pair of finely-crafted Queen Anne pistols holstered at his waist next to a brass cutlass. Under the bronze plates of his shell are stone rods and delicate cogwork of brass, copper, and carved stone, and his head is a rounded great helm mounted to a rotating ring with no ability to tilt, lit from within by a glowing purple amethyst. He seems quite slow and lumbering, tall and wide and heavy, and he is tall, wide, and heavy, and also quite slow- but he can be fast enough to surprise.

Street Vendors

A newcomer has arrived, and is looking to stake a claim. She doesn't look like the locals- she looks to be an Indian woman in her sixties, with wrinkled dark skin and grey-white hair, wearing a faded sari and leaning on an ebony cane with a head shaped like a cobra. She's small, and seems non-threatening, with her eyes hidden behind cheap sunglasses, but any who can sense power might feel she's more than she appears.
Murkus wrote: Sep 19, 2022 3:36 am [A'Questing for MERC We Go]

Fettina walks down the street behind Frigate, her wings folded inside her back. To the ordinary eye she's a woman with chrome skin. Anyone with paranormal senses might be able to tell she's quite a bit more. The hum of concordance sings in the air around her, just touching the senses, like being near a live wire with God holding the other end of the line. The light of heaven shows through her as an inverted silhouette to those with the Sight to see, a person-shaped cutout made of white fire, brilliant and constant. It is the steady glow of love, of kindness... and of judgement.

"Are we really just supposed to get rid of everybody?" Fettina looks around. There's something... odd she notices around demons that aren't trying to hide their nature. A faint darkness, a blackening in the air that wobbles and writhes. As though the fabric of the world were thin and taut and they were pressing upon it, an oddly heavy thing against the background of the mundane. She would not know what she's looking at, but she thinks that means they're demons. Her own senses have expanded a little since her change. "There are so many of them."
Gold wrote: Sep 19, 2022 2:39 pm [MERC Work]

Frigate and Fettina are followed by Solenoid, her rifle and railgun remaining on her back. The effeminate robot's metal face is shaded by her white sunhat. with a red band on it to match her signature backless sweater. Resting in her back is a point of light, identifiable to some as another (very small) angel.

Solenoid grimaces as she looks down the street. "Ergh... demons. Let's make this quick - I don't want to be around these guys any longer than I have to, plus I want my first job for this company to be a good one."
[Mercenaries Evicting Refugee Criminals]

The feeling seems to be mutual. Since arriving, the trio of metallic mercenaries hasn't received anything resembling positive attention. Fettina in particular seems to be attracting more than a few death glares from the vendors, and that seems to bleed over to Frigate and Solenoid. A pair of succubi in scant clothing pointedly turn and walk away as the trio approach. A street gambler with a board game on his table momentarily stops calling to passersby, until the three have passed. Another succubus makes a show of flicking out a switchblade and carving a small, apple-like fruit, maintaining eye contact the whole time. The only sound on the street is the music pumping out of the nightclub further down, the inhabitants of which are still blissfully unaware of the newcomers.

Who could not be more clearly unwelcome in this part of town.

[Street Vendors]

"Hey, lady."

A pair of succubi approach the woman, one standing with her arms crossed and glaring at the newcomer, the other somewhat nervously following her. "I guess nobody told you. This here is our corner. Unless you're here to show us a good time, you'd best run off and go find your own."

"...Y-yeah. Our corner. Go away."
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Earl of Purple »

Mercenaries Evicting Refugee Criminals

"If'n they be willin' t' go, aye. An' ye knew what we be doin' afore we weighed anchor, Solenoid. We'll do this til we get results, be the way I be thinkin'." Although Frigate will perhaps admit that diplomacy isn't his strongpoint, he isn't actually too worried, not yet at least. He doesn't think he has a soul to tempt or corrupt; he does, but not by design. The succubi likely don't have much Frigate would want, however; his desires are pretty simple.

Street Vendors

"My dears, you cannot own a corner without some kind of claim to it. And the only claim you girls have to it is that nobody was using it when you found it; the same as everything else here. I'll not go away, for I have the same claim as you do. But... in exchange for your claim to the corner, how about I give you something? Here." The old woman smiles and reaches inside her sari, pulling out a large apple. It's not a very attractive apple; it's black with rot and speckled with white mould. Despite this, it smells... oddly tempting. "An apple of sin, of decadence and excess. A gift, in exchange for your claim on this corner." She'll offer it to the braver of the two, and if she takes it that counts as accepting the deal and giving up her claim on the corner. The apple is a memory; a wild feast held in the honour of an emperor's birthday, with plenty of food and much eating and drinking. There's even a chamber to one side where guests- including the one whose memory this is- go to vomit so they can eat more. The whole apple contains an hour of memory, though eating it all at once would probably be tricky. It's also fresh memory, despite its appearance; any who bite the apple will gain part of the memory as fresh as if it had just happened, despite any deadening of their own experiences they may suffer.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Ironsmith »

[Street Vendors]

"...Are you shitting me, lady?"

Both succubi look more than a little skeptical at the offer, but the bolder of the two is the only one to vocalize the sentiment. "Maybe you don't understand. This corner is prime real estate for flagging down out-of-towners. It's worth a lot more than some moldy old apple."

"Even a sinful one."

"Don't interrupt me, Vanny." The first one chastises. "And no matter what you say, it's ours, capiche?" She glares at the old woman angrilly. "Now beat it or get beat."
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Murkus »

[M E R C !]

"Mm, gettin' that cozy feeling like walking through one of my old haunts," Fettina says, looking around warily. "Although back then I didn't get quite this many unfriendly stares."

She waves sassily at the most hostile of locals. Tina's both generally incautious enough and confident enough in her relatively high durability that she's not going to fret long over a few death stares. Besides, she knows these kind of people. At least, she does when they aren't 'demons'. It's best not to show them any fear.

"So talking to each and every one of them is going to take a million years," Tina says. "How about we try looking or asking around for people with some pull? People who can get the word out quick or light fires under a few asses."
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Earl of Purple »

Street Vendors

"Of course, how foolish of me. It is not outsiders of this district with which I wish to trade. My goods were chosen to appeal to a market of locals, including sinful apples and other receptacles of memory. I will still give you this apple of an hour, but not for this corner. Instead you shall tell others of Mama Gho and her wares, and point me somewhere I can set myself up for maximum impact upon the locals. Does it sound good to you, my dears?" The old woman smiles, and still holds the apple. Despite the threats, and the fact she looks to be elderly and frail and the two succubi confronting her are the exact opposite of that, seeming perhaps oddly confident- or just suicidally foolish.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Ironsmith »

[Street Vendors]

The bolder of the two succubi raises an eyebrow. "Sure, lady. Because that's also only worth a moldy apple."

"Er... Chas, she said it was a receptacle of memory... you don't suppose she means like-"

"And it's also a moldy old apple." The larger of the two succubi reiterates. "You want to be the one to take a nibble and see if she's telling the truth?"

"...No, not really."

"That's what I thought." The first succubus jerks her thumb over her shoulder, pointing further up the street. "Head thataway. If you want anything more specific, it's going to cost you. And you're going to have to give us something better than a granny smith you can't admit you left out on the counter too long."

She's not really providing that much new information. Logically, if Mama Gho wanted to sell to locals, she'd be better off going to someplace that sees a lot of foot traffic from people who live here, which is almost certainly going to be further into Hell Bend itself. Of course, it's not likely the vendors there are going to be any less competitive and territorial...
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Gold »

[My Favourite Actor is Matthew MERCer]

"That much is true," Solenoid agrees.

Fortunately for her, at least in the current situation, she has as much of a soul as she thinks she does (none).

"Sheesh, it's like a spaghetti Western the way all eyes are on the newcomers." Solenoid mentally rolls her eyes at the succubus with the switchblade. Can someone really be taken seriously when they're trying to carve a fruit menacingly?

"That's a good plan, actually. Gives me an idea." Solenoid retrieves her DS from its bag and opens the Internet browser, searching up 'most influential demons in Hell Bend'. "Demons use social media, right?"
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Ironsmith »

[This sure ain't a MERCy mission]
No internet.
Check your connection and try again.

[RETRY]
Checking for available connections yields a half-dozen weak signals, all of which are secured. Apparently, the internet is not a common luxury here, and the people who do have it guard it carefully. Which might provide Solenoid with the answer she was looking for; if so few of them can even get online, they're probably not using that time to catch up on tweets.

The switchblade-bearing succubus glares at Tina in response to the wave, clicking the blade shut and tossing the apple over her shoulder (where it's set upon by a half-dozen other demons), stepping forward to stop in front of the mercenaries. "You three." She begins bluntly. "You're all machines, aren't you? What are you doing here?"

She seems to already have her suspicions, and whatever they are, they seem to internally justify her hostility. Especially for Tina; she's not taking her eyes off the angel longer than it takes to blink.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Earl of Purple »

Sure Not a MERC-y Mission

"What be social media?" Before he can get an answer (and potentially shock Solenoid) they're approached. Frigate's also unfamiliar with 'spaghetti westerns', but he's thinking it has something to do with food, which is not something Frigate entirely understands so he'll not comment on that.

To the succubus, Frigate turns his head and possibly leans forward to try meeting her gaze with his own purple glow. It's... not deliberately intimidating, but Frigate remains a large construct of metal and stone with no real face. "Mayhaps. I be unsure as t' me shipmates. Their design ain't familiar t'me." Since he can't see any cogs, gears, or anything and Tina's got metallic skin. "We be sent by MERC. I be Frigate, I were one o' Deathkiss' bodyguards when they had a show 'ere. I'd like t' talk t' yer cap'n, aye?" Frigate's voice is not obviously robotic, though it echoes a little inside his head/helmet.

Street Vendors

"Of course it looks like a moldy old apple. An orgy of food, a whole hour of one man eating at a party hosted by the Equestrian Antonius Natalis to honour a visit by the Emperor Aulus Vitellus. You think a memory of such waste, excess and political corruption would be manifested as something pleasant to look at? Don't trust your eyes, trust your nose. Does it not smell... inviting? I harvested it myself." Which might ring alarm bells, if either of the succubi are familiar with Roman history- Vitellius wasn't Emperor for long, though famed for his gluttony, and reigned for perhaps ten months sixty-nine years after the year of Jesus Christ's birth.

The apple does smell tempting, despite its appearance.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Ironsmith »

[Street Vendors]

"...It's a moldy old-"

"We'll take it."

"We'll what?!" The lead succubus turns to her comrade. "Even if she's telling the truth, who wants a memory of violently throwing up?"

"Nobody." The other admits. "...But, if we take it to Fulminate..."

"...Vanny, I take back about half the things I said about you at Crimp's last night." The head succubus grins. "All right, lady. You got yourself a deal." She extends her hand to accept the apple.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Earl of Purple »

Street Vendors

"There's... not much throwing up. There's some in there, of course, it was part of the culture and experience of parties at the time. And it's bookended by eating on both sides." It's also deliberate throwing up, the person whose memory it was deliberately triggering their gag reflex to clear room for more food. "You'll tell others of Mama Gho and her wares, yes? And tell me where I can set myself up?"

The apple is handed over! It smells very inviting, delicious and tasty. There's no supernatural compulsion to bite into it; such a thing is unlikely to work on succubi, and unnatural influence can be spotted and worked against. No, it's simply naturally compelling, smelling like the most inviting apple Vanny or Chas has ever encountered. It feels nice and firm, too, as though it's got just the right amount of crunch.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Ironsmith »

[Street Vendors]

"Pleasure doing business with you, lady." Chas smirks and turns to walk away... without having actually divulged any information. Clearly, this lady needs an education on how things are done here in Hell Bend. If she's going to be that much of a sucker-

"You're going to want the corner of seventy-first and cedar." Vanny offers, pointing up further into the neighborhood. "I can't promise you that nobody has a stake there, but it's been empty the last few times we looked. And someone might try to take it anyway, so watch yourself."

With that, the succubi leave together, walking back the way they came.
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
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And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Murkus »

[Lord have MERCy]

"I'm pretty sure they're the only people that use social media," Fettina quips, scanning the street while Solenoid tries unsuccessfully to search the web. She's surprised when one of the lurkers actually steps out to confront them. She puts on her bestest, friendliest smile.

"I'm a human under a curse, actually. But I know how it looks, and I don't expect you to take my word for it." She glances at Frigate. Oh, another of Deathkiss' friends. "I actually know Deathkiss too! They're badass! Maybe they're, uh, from around here?"

"What the big guy means is we need to talk to whoever's in charge around here. Is there somebody like that?" Might as well just be blunt, if Frigate thinks it's a good idea.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Earl of Purple »

Street Vendors

The old woman nods in thanks to the two succubi as they leave, and grabs her stuff and heads off to the corner she's been directed to. The directions aren't very helpful as Mama Gho doesn't know the road names, but that doesn't matter. She's been given a claim to that space, so she can find it easily regardless. She'll walk the shortest distance to the spot, regardless of how dark or threatening the route may be. Hopefully nobody will try to stop her, but if they do she's more than willing to teach them a lesson.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Gold »

[Should've Picked MERCy]

Solenoid frowns when there aren't any available internet connections. "That bad, huh?" she mutters. She does give Frigate a look when he reveals he doesn't know social media, but she knows that smartphones are generally not something pirates use (the hook hand and screens don't mix) so she doesn't take it any further.

When the succubus shows up, Solenoid gives a confident smirk and says "'Course I am." She feels these demons aren't going to play nice, whether they're talking to a machine or an organic.

"Deathkiss? I've heard the name." She pirates their music, but she's not gonna admit any part of that out loud.

"We need to see the head demon in charge, if you will," Solenoid adds.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Ironsmith »

[MERCy Was Never An Option]

"Do you, now?" The succubus's tail flicks back and forth as she strides up to Tina. "And how long did you think that particular shibboleth was going to last, hm? Seems like everyone that comes here is Deathkiss fan, knows Deathkiss personally, would be glad to get me an autograph if I could just do them a teensy favor and not charge them the visitor's tax, you know. Word got out real quick that all you had to do around here to get some respect was name-drop a seemingly-obscure metal band." She gives the angel a little tap on the sternum with the blunt end of her switchblade. "It didn't help that most of them were damned liars who didn't have any idea who they were actually talking about."

The succubus steps away from the trio and turns to address the other demons on the street. "If MERC's sending people to talk with the big guys around here, it can only mean one thing. Riverside's brass finally nutted up and decided to get us out." She turns to face them again, a perturbed murmur working its way through the crowd around them. "Well, this is as far as you get. We're not leaving. So you three can turn around and walk back up the way you came. Or, if you prefer, we can break your limbs and beat you within the last percent of your battery life, and try your luck getting a ride back to your place. You've got until the count of ten to decide."

[Street Vendors]

What a stroke of luck. It seems like most of Hell Bend's muggers, crooks, and other petty criminals have their attention directed somewhere else just now. Mama Gho will arrive to find the street corner in question deserted. Suspiciously so, given its supposed status as a prime location. Maybe the girls sold her bad information. Or maybe they didn't, and she's got a limited time to set up shop before things get busy again.
Who're you? ...Don't matter.

Want some rye? Course ya do!

Here's to us!
Who's like us?
Damn few,
And they're aaaaall dead.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Earl of Purple »

MERC-y Me, This Is Going Ploin-Shaped

"Aye, Riverside want ye gone. An' we got a place ye can go. It's let us through an' discuss terms f'r relocatin', or kickin' us out an' waitin' for us to come back. An' next time we won't be 'ere t' negotiate. As f'r not knowin' Deathkiss, Malady's th' singer, Ecstasy be lute, Euphoria be piano, an' Mania be drums. Mania, she got killed durin' th' concert. I weren't there, got stuck in a lift wi' a lad wi' sharp claws til I cut his head off. Can't say I be a fan o' their music, I do prefer a good shanty t' sing." Frigate also knows Malady's mortal family lives in Riverside, specifically Northside, but the chances are this random group don't know that, and if they don't Frigate doesn't want to put Malady's family at risk. Frigate also isn't too intimidated by the threat; it's possible the demons are stronger than humans are, but with a switchblade... he doesn't think it can do anything even resembling permanent damage.

Street Vendors

Unfortunately, bad information's still information, so even if it was deliberate the deal she made stands and they keep the apple. If every deal was cancelled because one side misled the other, Mama Gho would never have made a deal. She'll leave the walking-stick- it stands on its own, balancing perfectly on its point- and click her fingers. A table appears, one very similar in style to the ones in Trog's Tavern. She pulls a chair out from behind it and puts up an umbrella, which both likewise appear from apparently nowhere, and removes her scarf. Placing the garment upon the table like a tablecloth, she smooths it out and then pulls it away and puts it back on. The table's now filled with all kinds of trinkets and unusual items, all resting on a threadbare green velvet cloth.

There's a smouldering cigar, a black dolerite idol of a toad-headed humanoid, an anatomically accurate heart carved from quartz, a clear pitcher filled with sweet-smelling wine, a shallow saucer made from a human skull, and a candle made from greyish-white adipocere. There's other things, as well, but they are the most obvious items to a passerby.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Murkus »

A MERCurial Negotiation

Fettina puts her hands on her hips. She puts forth a grumpy pout. "They played at my wedding. They even hit on me! Right hand to God! Or is that not the thing you wanna say around here?" She flashes a quick, razor-thin smile. She doesn't comment on the poking with the switchblade-handle. If this lady wants to do that again, she's gonna pull back a switchblade-shaped pretzel.

Tina can only nod along with Frigate's explanation of the situation. Big guy was playing this the right way. She glances at Solenoid to ensure solidarity and then says, "This'll all go a lot easier if you just let us through now. If this goes the other way, I'll try to pull my punches. If you try to seriously hurt us, I can't guarantee a damn thing."

Fettina reaches into the air on her left side. A bridge forms between shape, soul, and thought. The air shrieks as ambient heat condenses, impossibly, into a solid mass. A haft appears, woven from fire and will. When she grasps it, it possesses the reality of weight and form. It roils out to a hardened point and blooms there as a leaf shaped blade. The blade burns with a corona of brilliant stellar fury. The entire surface of the weapon seems to flow continuously, like super-heated rock.

Fettina's always had an ego too big for her britches. A mouth writing checks that her hands couldn't cash. Sure, she'd been in a scrap before. She could be vicious. She'd lived on the street, in the gutter, out the back of friend's cars. The type of people you meet there can give you a hard time, and you have to be prepared for that. But she was still always so small. So human.

Well, not any more. She didn't have to just stand around for threats of physical harm.

"Let us be."

Ultimately, the demons can still stalemate this. Fettina won't attack them. She was told not to, and what's more, she doesn't want to. Just like Frigate said, they'll leave if it comes to that. But she wants to make it very clear that attacking the trio is in no way an option that ends well for anybody.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Gold »

[Ah MERC-de]

Solenoid's smirk turns to a more subtly annoyed expression as the demons speak. The switchblader's threat doesn't scare her though - what's a flick-knife to aluminium-IV? Her smile comes back slightly as she returns Fettina's glance.

She crosses her arms and begins to speak. "One thing we can assure you is that you won't be seeing the last of us 'till we get through, so your two choices are you let it happens now or it happens later. We do have a whole empty town lined up for you, you know."

"And trust me..." She gives a look first at her own guns on her back, then at Fettina's sword. (Which she thinks is cool as fuck, by the way.) "Nobody wants this smoke."
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Ironsmith »

[These MERCs And Their Mouths...]

"Ten, nine..." The succubus counts, pausing momentarily as Frigate rattles off some information that certainly seems to imply he's more familiar with the band than an uninformed layman would be. And what he says of the incident at St. Leonard's certainly checks out with what they know. Maybe... maybe he really did know them, and-

Wait, did he just say he didn't like their music?

Well, screw him, then!

"...Eight, seven..."

And now Tina feels the need to interrupt. And of course, to pull out a fancy blade and tell them to back off. Intimidating, yes, but does she really think she's in much of a position to do anything about their sheer numbers?

"...Six, five..."

And then Solenoid. Who still seems to be defaulting to the same general option of threatening them, with a sprinkling of information that might make leaving more palatable, if they weren't already in a standoff. Hrmph.

"...Four, three..."

"Prew, that's enough."

The succubus stops as one of the other demons steps forward; a short-haired woman in a tank-top and studded jeans. "They're just here to talk. Nobody's going to get hurt by talking, are they?"

"Really, Tiff? Didn't you notice that they're talking about relocating us?" The switchblade-bearing succubus scowls. "You and I both know Gnash would sell out any and all of us if he thought he was going to get a good deal out of it. If that talk happens, we're screwed."

"And if you make corpses out of three people who are here to settle things civilly, we're even more screwed, because then the top brass won't even bother to hear you out, and they'll come down on us with every resource they have to clear us out." The newcomer notes. "Let them stay for a few days and we'll take it from there. And if Gnash really tries to screw us over, we can run him out of town on a pole. Sound good?"

The succubus glances at her, then back at the mercs, before finally giving a little nod. "...All right, Tiff. But if this goes bad, you're gonna be on that shaft right beside him." She turns and walks away, motioning to the other vendors on the street, who quickly resume their business.

The newcomer sighs and approaches the three mercenaries. "Mind that you don't cross Prudence again. She's not the biggest fan of outsiders." The succubus cautions. "Welcome to Hell Bend." She adds, shoving a little slip of green paper into each of their hands. "Come on up to the Havnaught if you need a place to stay. Or don't. Whatever." She then turns to leave, as abruptly as she arrived.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Earl of Purple »

MERC-y Dealings

Technically, Frigate didn't say he didn't like DEATHKISS' music- he said he wasn't a fan and he preferred a different style of music, which isn't the same thing. "MERC has strict rules 'bout dealin' wi' slavers. Namely, don't. He tries sellin' ye, we'll take action." Frigate, unfortunately, wasn't really built to be a diplomat or even especially social. He doesn't always understand some figures of speech and common sayings, such as in this case the idea of someone being sold out but not actually sold.

He'll take the piece of paper and look it over, rather carefully since he's afraid of ripping it or dropping it. He rather suspects loosing it would be bad. After reading it, he'll tuck it into the bullet-pouch next to his powderhorn.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Murkus »

The Jerks from MERC

Fettina grimaces and is all set for a confrontation, albeit not very enthusiastic about it, when a relatively normal looking woman comes out to defend them. Well, that went a lot better than expected. Prudence seemed like she was going to make things interesting.

Fettina holds out her free hand toward the stranger. "Hey, wait a second! Uh, Tiff. Right? Look, we'll get out of your hair - everybody's hair - faster if we get at least a little help. Where's the boss? This... Gnash guy, if that's what he is."
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Gold »

[MERC-iful Recovery]

Solenoid also reads her slip of paper closely. If there's any important information on there, she wouldn't want to miss it. Once she's done, she puts it in her DS bag.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Ironsmith »

[MERCantile Incentives]

The papers are pretty straightforward; they're vouchers for the Havnaught Hotel, "first night free". They don't appear to contain any hidden information whatsoever.

Tiff rolls her eyes at Frigate. "It's a figure of speech, tinhead." She drones, giving said head (which she knows full well isn't tin, but "bronze-and-stone-head" doesn't roll off the tongue quite so well) a few playful knocks for emphasis. "Although I wouldn't be surprised if a few slavers did make their way down here. Seems like a matter of time to me."

Then, when Tina chips in, she sighs and shakes her head. "If you're looking for some big, bad boss of the demons to negotiate with, you're not going to find any. These people are all looking out for number one; they don't like having 'leaders' per se. You've got people like Prudence, who are sort of respected in their own way, and you've got people like Gnash, who work as intermediaries, but there's not anybody who has solid authority here." The tip of her tail flicks up past Tina's nose as she once again turns to leave. "If you really want to try talking with Gnash, he spends a lot of time at Crimp's casino; two blocks thataway. Now, if you'll excuse me, the Hotel isn't going to run itself."
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Earl of Purple »

MERC and Mercantilism

Frigate's used to being called tinhead, along with several other things, from sailors that didn't always realise he was a person immediately. When tapped, it echoes a little, but there's quite a bit inside there so it's not fully hollow. "Methinks that'll make things trickier, if'n they don't have a cap'n or quartermaster t' make decisions f'r the crew. But I guess this not be a ship." On a pirate ship, both positions were elected by the crew, and made decisions over where the ship went usually with some discussion from other crewmen. With the exception of battle; the captain had complete control when the ship was fighting, and if he wasn't a very good leader then they'd elect a new captain and the old one would go back to the crew. The quartermaster was in charge of the ship's supplies and advised on where they should go to sell any loot for the most profit.
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Re: Hell Bend

Post by Murkus »

[MERC em' boys!]

Tina watches Tiff head off. "It sounds like we could be pretty influential if we could win over this Gnash, then Prudence, and maybe this Crimp person, that would be a pretty good start. It sounds like we gotta make it clear that it's in everybody's best interest to get out of here, and those three sound like they're in the best position to do that, even if they're not actually in charge. Don't ask me how we'll get on Prudence's good side. But I figure if there's an actual person named 'Crimp' who owns a casino, they gotta be richer and more powerful than pretty much everybody in the neighborhood. What do you two think? Find Gnash, then worry about the others?"

If the others agree, then they can start heading in that direction. Which was... well, hell, they'll just have to wander around til' they find it. The neighborhood's probably not that big, and casinos usually spend quite a lot on loudly announcing themselves. How hard could it be?
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