Xenofos — Going Quackers
????, Sea Season, Season/Fertility Week
Sea Season/Fertility Week/Windsday Eve – pretty late/Time and Notable Context. [[[s02:session-38|Session 38]]]
Wrapped in his cloak Xenofos leaves the light and sounds of the inn behind and steps to the narrow alley that goes for a street in Duckpoint.
There are many narrow alleys, and many wide alleys, a strange mix of architectural styles even here. The inn was stone and wood, big enough for humans but with some furniture for ducks. The building that stands next to it is a wicker thing on short stilts, a three-step ladder going up to a tiny door. Xenofos could probably see over the top of its messy thatch if he climbed the ladder.
Shrugging his shoulders and wrapping the cloak tighter against the night mist Xenofos lets his feet lead him downwards, towards what he thinks must be the waterfront.1 He passes scan, but fails survival
Downwards leads him towards a large pond, where a few ducks are swimming under the light of torches. One waves at him and calls out, “Come into our pond,” and the others laugh.
There is a duck walking up from his right, too. A pretty duck. If ducks can be pretty.
He nods to the swimmers “Thank you for the invitation, but allow me to pass tonight. I am looking for temple of Uleria. Is there one in this town?”
“You can think of uths as an outpost, love,” the pretty duck says. “More interested individuals than lay members.” There is a little wall by the edge of the pond and a ramp next to it which gets her almost up to head height. “What are you looking for? Sexs, company, bathing?” Her feathers gleam in the dim reddish light. Her Heortling almost lacks a lisp.
“Prayer first. Than maybe baths or company” He shrugs.
She lifts up a hand, coquettish. “If you want to be appealing to your god later…” Her fingertips massage the air just in front of him, in offer. 2 pass pow 5 – nobody thinks he is in trouble. He left an note and his armor. And most of weapons. Just small writing kit and rapier with me 3 But the one who MIGHT have thought you were trouble is not pitching up. That’s the important bit. GM speculation is off the mark X failed love Berra, but passed devotion Uleria and loyalty Varanis
“Right now I’d wish to find the temple of the Exalted. I have not been to this place before. Can you show me the way?” He inquires nodding to the pretty one.
She tilts her head to one side, thoughtful.4 Xenofos gloomy visage does not charm the duck
“I’d need a reason,” she says. “And I usually charge by the half-hour, dear. It’s all I need.”
There is some low sniggering from behind her.
He shrugs “Sounds reasonable compensation – lead on”
“Fair enough.” She sashays down the ramp and walks over with only a hint of waddle. “Dare to hold my hand in the dark?”
He raises an eyebrow. “Dare? What has dare got to do with it?”
“Well, some people would be ashamed to be seen in such company.” Her look up at him is well practiced, and she briefly winks one gold-rimmed eye. She is a lot shorter than she looked on the wall.
He takes a long look at her. “I think I see what you mean.”
After a silent pause of beard stroking he offers his left hand “I prefer to leave my sword arm free, shall we?” he nods indicating getting going.5 not sure what old snob Xenofos would have done, but one that passed devotion Uleria and Harmony, chose this.
She bows her head very prettily. “Of course, and I should look my best with such a handsome man.” She puts a small, soft hand into his and nods the way with a stretch of the neck. “Does my hero have a name?”6 “Those mean little webfoots…” – Xenofos, last year. Reminder from gm
“I am Xenofos” he answers. And after a bit too long pause he remembers his manners “And yours?”
“What would you like me to be called?” she answers, and picks a bit of fluff off his sleeve as she steers him on.
“Your name? But if you do not wish to tell it you don’t have to”
“Oh, some people like to imagine. I’m Teefeela. Teela for short. Everyone knows me. Or someone like me. So do you want to take a direct route? Half an hour buys you plenty of detour if you like it, but the things we see at night are different to the things people want to see in the daytime.”
Scribe twirls his moustache. “I am not in great hurry. Is there something one should see of Duckpoint at night.”
“The best parts involve getting wet,” she says, “And humans don’t swim so well. But the water front is always good if you fancy a drink or a smoke or if you’re hungry for something you don’t get elsewhere. I know a few… dives.”
“Swimming does not hold any attraction right now and I do not do… smoke.” He pauses for a moment and notes he has not eaten since breakfast. “But it might be good idea to have a quick bite.”
“Then let’s go to the water front. You can buy me a bite. Want to see some dancing hens?”
“Not really, Teefeela” He nods “But lead on.”
It is only a few minutes, through alleyways that get wider and wider, to find the river. “Let me guess. You’re not a duckweed person?” Teefeela asks.
“Is it eaten?”
“Baked, or fried,” she says. “I’m told it needs a lot of flavouring unless you’re used to it.”
“Never tried the stuff. And other options?” scribe asks.
“There are plenty of places that cater for human.” She runs her free hand over the back of his. “All sorts of options.”
“Door high enough for a human or under open sky, but you choose.”
“Human-high is a good choice. Anywhere else you get arm-flies.” She puts her hand up high enough to wiggle the fingers at an open doorway. “Jen-chen’s is good. Great meat parcels.”
Xenofos just nods.
The noise inside, and the smell of food – fish and meat and spices – is a shock after the cool air outside. Inside is almost as damp, full of chattering people of two shapes and sizes – big and small. They are almost divided up in the room, but a couple of smaller feathered folk are on very tall chairs with stools next to them, and that is what Teefeela calls for.
Xenofos eyes sweep the room from corner to corner as he follows the duck.7 critted scan
This is obviously a place for ducks to bring clients – in every case at least one of the ducks is painted, or primped, or plucked. A harpist plays in the corner, providing background music.The harp sounds odd, tuned to weird harmony and played in obsessive, hungry rhythm. His beak has Donander’s Runes painted on. Couples – mostly ducks but sometimes mixed – are talking in animated tones, and there is some light flirting going on. The place seems clean and well appointed, for the front business of what is almost certainly a brothel – there are doors for ducks and humans coming off it.
The food smells really good, though.
Xenofos sits down, letting the cloak fall to his left side and cover his sword and arranging it accessible with his left hand. . Scribe is not certain but he thinks that somewhere among the fragrance spices there is whiff of the sweet, heavy aroma of hazia.
In the light he looks properly at the face of the duck who brought him here.
She is, as far as he can tell, a good example of the duck kind. Reddish feathers, a deep yellow beak picked out with gold paint, gilded eyelids that have been smoothed with oil or something to make the gold go over the feathers. No species he knows; the colouration suggests she could easily follow Vinga, but other than that, it’s hard to tell. The only human-looking parts of her, the hands and arms, are made up perfectly in Esrolian fashion, nails painted in green and fingers stroked with green and red that has stayed on her, not on him.8 Totally failed insight Durulz or homeland lore Sartar
Teefeela orders, “Whatever’s good, and twice for him. No duck-food. You want wine? I can tell you want wine.”
Xenofos nods “And for you?”
“Wine, but not much. I get giggly and thwim in circles.” The lisp is back, but only for a moment. Maybe it is to do with how her beak is a little shorter than most around here. Maybe it is just concentration.
Again he just nods. Teefeela can probably tell his smile is just polite mask.9 Passed insight by T
Teefeela turns her attention to being quiet company, as wine arrives and food starts to – everything must already be ready to roll out.
Xenofos lifts the wine cup for a toast, but does not take more than a minimal sip. Food he eats with curiosity – and his stomach reminded of it’s existence suggests digging in.
It is good, proper riverfront food made by someone who can cook, and he is, after all, hungry.
There is heavier flirting at a couple of other tables, but this is a high-end place, although presumably he is going to pay for it.
Scribe eats with good appetite. Occasionally checking how Teela is doing.
Teela is eating well and only drinking a little. Once or twice she does ask, “Anything else you want?” with a little smile, but she seems to have understood the fact she is not getting through to him.
Xenofos comments the food and asks details of what is served, but seems to ignore any hints of other services.
After finishing, scholar looks if Teefeela has eaten and asks for the tab.
Teefeela has just that moment finished eating, it turns out.1005 on insight durulz – did she really? or was that just politeness..That was politeness, but she was not really eating anyhow.
“Are you sure?”
“Let’s get you to your Temple. A girl’s got to work.”
He nods. “It is so. As long as you don’t leave the table hungry…”
The tab is steep, but not unexpectedly so – a couple of Lunars for good food, well cooked, and wine that was a little warm but drinkable.
“No, not at all.” She hops down, and sways a bit, just visible above the table. “It goeth straight to my head.”
He looks around and follows the duck outside.
The night is getting on, and that behaviour from some of the ducks is a little on the intimate side. Or intimate front.
“So which direction?”
Teela gives a graceful gesture. “It’th not far.” After even a bit of wine, she is swaying a lot more. “I’ll walk you there. It’s been a bit more than half an hour. though.”
Xenofos offers his left hand and nods.
This time, Teefeela is in need of the hand, and seems to enjoy the company a lot more, but she does walk him in a slightly zigzag fashion to a large, square building.11 Xenofos fails architecture was, he distracthed by that duck
That’s certainly a Temple. There are red lights over the doors, and this side shows some very interesting if rather confusing possibilities. “Maybe that’th not the one for you,” Teefeela says. “It’s different for ducks.”
Is that a wood-duck? And a centaur? The art is impressive. And so is the centaur.
He looks down at his guide. “If it is the temple of Uleria, it is the one I seek.”
“Then it’s been an hour. Two Lunars for the half.” She hiccoughs again, and blinks. “Damn wine.”
“So four pennies of silver? Very well.” scholar pays the duck.”Go safely and swim straight.”
“Have a good night, tall-thtuff,” she says, and gives his hand a little peck for luck before she turns to move half-steadily away.
Xenofos looks at her departure for a while before turning back towards the temple.
She makes it safely to the next street. This is definitely the Ulerian Temple. Other sides will have other doors, of course, with other promises in raised bronze.
[[=image Teefeela.png size=”small”]]
Hen of the Night, by Berra
- 1He passes scan, but fails survival
- 2pass pow 5 – nobody thinks he is in trouble. He left an note and his armor. And most of weapons. Just small writing kit and rapier with me
- 3But the one who MIGHT have thought you were trouble is not pitching up. That’s the important bit. GM speculation is off the mark X failed love Berra, but passed devotion Uleria and loyalty Varanis
- 4Xenofos gloomy visage does not charm the duck
- 5not sure what old snob Xenofos would have done, but one that passed devotion Uleria and Harmony, chose this.
- 6“Those mean little webfoots…” – Xenofos, last year. Reminder from gm
- 7critted scan
- 8Totally failed insight Durulz or homeland lore Sartar
- 9Passed insight by T
- 1005 on insight durulz – did she really? or was that just politeness..That was politeness, but she was not really eating anyhow.
- 11Xenofos fails architecture was, he distracthed by that duck