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» Urban Arcana Part II: Chapter 1
dingo
 Posted: Mar 27 2011, 01:41 AM
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Durg hears the familiar chairscoot of Ilikk's wicker chair against the laminate floor. The heavy steel door in front of him suddenly grows several pairs of eyes which look Durg up and down (a sight to which Durg has grown accustomed, but it really creeps people out the first several times they see it). The eyes close, and a series of locks open on the door. Ilikk opens the door just enough to see through and says in his usual nasal, aged voice, "Hello, Durgunikk, what is it?"

----

Tobin finds Amy standing over Kenneth at his desk, watching a YouTube video. She seems particularly frustrated today, as it seems their investigation into a clan of Drow with ties to anti-Shadowborn Society sects has met yet another obstacle.


"Man, for people who lived most of their former lives under ground, these Drow really love the spotlight. I don't know how we're going to keep this investigation on the down-low when celebrities are being spotted at their lair. Look, that's that kid who was in that one movie... You know, with Alan Rickman?" Ken narrows his eyes at her. "Which one is Alan Rickman? I don't really recognize... oh hey, Tobin." Ken glances back over his shoulder and waves. Amy smiles as she her own chair over to the desk. "Hey, so you're our giant demon slayer, huh?" she says as she takes her seat, relaxing slightly as she does. Amy and Ken, though very dedicated to their work, are probably the two most easy going detectives at P&G, and generally get along well with Tobin. "You weren't in New York when it last came, were you? You got a plan to find it and beat its face in?"

Ken sips his coffee as he swivels his chair around. "Eh, there's really not really much face to beat anyway. It's basically all mouth. Anyway, you're probably here for the case files, aren't you?"

----

Alex had come in the earliest today, and Christy had given him a brand-new case file. According to Reg, it's not necessarily pressing and may well be a very quick and simple job, but still should be looked into in the near future. Neither he nor Jake has yet read through it, since they've been so busy processing ZJS-related incidents.

The organization of the gang seems to have changed in the past year. Since the initial attacks and the disappearance of Richard, ZJS's enigmatic Hobgoblin former warboss, the incidents have grown more frequent, yet also less ambitious and focused. They seem more like the usual Goblinoid antics of the Old World: petty crime and drug-fuelled shenanigans, doing lots of damage, taking even more of it, and gaining very little. Richard's vision for the gang was to take over New York, to rule and mold it into his own designs. ZJS does own bits and pieces of the city, especially Staten Island, but the battle for underworld supremacy is all but abandoned. P&G's official duty (as expressed by the Shadowborn Society) is to route out the leadership of the gang and end it once and for all. Jake and Alex understand that getting rid of the leadership would accomplish nothing, since there seems to be no strong leadership anyway. Therefore their actual and more realistic goal is to minimize the damage as ZJS makes its exit, which is most likely to come from rival gangs.

Jake and Alex have narrowed down five possible locations for the big ZJS hideout. They hope to find out more about Warboss Gurrg, the latest Bugbear to assume leadership of the gang.

After another three hours of paperwork, Alex finally prints off his last report, hands it to Jake for a quick proofread, and opens the new case file. He flips through the sheets inside for a few minutes, then goes to his computer to look something up.

Jake finds the report to be essentially in order, but several places where a comma should be used he finds a semicolon.


"Jake," Alex says, coming back from the copier room again, "Are you ready for a break from all this Goblin business?"

----

Argos steps out onto the curb. The rain has died down a bit, but a few drops still fall here and there. He begins to jog, his back to the sun. Block after block passes, and he begins to feel better. . Soon, Argos finds himself across the Brooklyn Bridge, standing in City Hall Park. He hears a couple of passers-by talking. One of them stands still for a moment after Argos stops moving. The guy then loses it.
"Holy cripes, did you see that guy? He just tore across the street like a m----f------! I don't think I can even bike that fast! How is he not soaked in his own sweat?"

This post has been edited by dingo: Mar 27 2011, 11:54 AM
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Mar 27 2011, 11:11 PM
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Durg clears his throat, "There is a call for you, sir, on the telephone. It is from Professor Moreandor if I am not mistaken." He pauses, watching the wizards reaction. "Would you like to take it now? He says it is urgent."

The Goblin watches the crack of the door carefully, hoping to catch a peek inside at whoever Ilikk is talking to if it opens any further.
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Greg
 Posted: Mar 28 2011, 02:46 PM
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"Yep. I'm just going to rummage through them and see what useful stuff I can find. I want to find a way to keep it from coming back."

This post has been edited by Greg: Mar 28 2011, 04:10 PM
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 Posted: Mar 28 2011, 10:42 PM
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"I was ready three hours ago;"

Argos ignores the possibility that the passers-by may have been talking about someone else; continues being awesome.
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dingo
 Posted: Mar 28 2011, 11:30 PM
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Durg is unable to see past Ilikk without craning his neck and making it obvious that he's trying to see into the room. He notices that Ilikk is wearing a cotton glove on the hand that holds the door open.

"Er, yes... I'll take it downstairs." Ilikk turns momentarily to his guest. "Just a moment, please." He opens the door fully and starts down the stairs. Durg can now see fully into the room. The lights are rather dim, as usual. Seated at Ilikk's desk is an elderly Asian man wearing a gray suit, thick round glasses, and a pair of cotton gloves. It appears that the two had been examining one of Ilikk's older tomes, the ones which tend to fall apart when opened. Durg has never been given Ilikk's expressed permission to use these books, which means that he is absolutely not ever to begin a train of thought which could possibly lead to him considering coming within arm's reach of them.

Durg is unsure of this situation. He has never seen this man, yet he it seems that Ilikk trusts him enough to allow him to examine his rare and ancient manuscripts.

The man smiles at Durg, showing a couple of missing teeth.
"Good morning, my name is Roland Ko. You must be Ilikk's store manager...?"

This post has been edited by dingo: Mar 28 2011, 11:31 PM
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dingo
 Posted: Mar 29 2011, 05:15 PM
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Alex closes the file. "Good. Then let's head over to the Bronx."

----

Argos finds that he able to be awesome for a little while longer, but what he really needs is something to do. And maybe some breakfast.

----

Tobin finds the three case files he needed. All of them are quite thin, containing the individual reports and only a few of the same pages found in the archived file.

The reports confirm what Reg and Absalom mentioned: the Demon did indeed cause a lot of damage and leave tremendous devastation in its path. But it also seems to be losing power as time goes by. It still requires a hero to defeat it each time it appears, but the greatness of each of the heroes seems to pale in comparison to the last one. Tobin may or may not feel a little bad about this.

Soon after, Mavet walks into the room. "See? It's not so hard to find a couple of files."
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Greg
 Posted: Mar 30 2011, 02:03 PM
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After Mavet leaves earshot, Tobin mimmicks her last statement in his best high pitched whiny voice (which is pretty horrible). Her smug superiority has been getting under his skin in in a way that few aside from the drow that had enslaved him as a child had been able to. He is eager to get out of the office, and hit the streets, but first he needs to collect a little bit more information. This, of course, takes a lot longer than it should due to Tobin's reading handicap.

In terms of specifics, how many heroes were needed to destroy the monster in each event, and what methods did they use?
Also, what weapons can Tobin legally wield while on the job?
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Apr 1 2011, 12:23 AM
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Durg grins back, in the only way he knows of to 'smile' without giving humans the wilies due to his sharp teeth. He wonders what arcane lore might be found in those books, then stops wondering. "Good morning sir, I am Durgunikk Gripegut. I run the mundane affairs here at Rubicon's Antiquities & Acquisitions. Is there anything I can help you with while you are waiting?"

Durg stands there with his hands clasped tightly in front of himself feeling very much like a schoolboy. He wonders if it has anything to do with his old Professor on the phone, and then quickly puts his hands in his pockets. Then he curses himself for looking fidgety in front of this distinguished gentleman.
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dingo
 Posted: Apr 2 2011, 06:27 PM
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The Yawning Wyrm's renovations have been finished recently, and the Dwarven bartender there has always been gracious to Whitebloods. Argos therefore heads over to the East Village to hopefully get something to eat.

----

Having received his NY state driver's license four months ago, Alex insists on driving, even though Jake is sure that he's plenty sober. Alex hands Jake the case file as they head North in Jake's Land Rover.

The assignment seems pretty simple: Joshua Razvahn, a Shadar-kai, is applying for membership at the Shadowborn Society. Shadar-kai had been denied membership in the past, and a few had banded together to protest, claiming racial discrimination, and were granted membership. In order to keep good favor with mundane society and with the free-thinking grassroots Shadowborn community, the Society now asserts that it is willing to consider any applicant. However, when it comes to races which were known in the Old Worlds as "evil," they still take certain precautions.

So the job is essentially to investigate Mr. Razvahn, to find out how he lives, and how truthfully he filled out his application forms. Cases like this are nothing new to P&G, though most people at the office acknowledge that it's generally a waste of time, and questionable whether it should be done in the first place.

However, there is a handwritten note in the case file which reads,


"Alex & Jake,

I know these character investigations are usually pretty routine, but pay close attention to this guy. As far as we can tell from his record, he's clean, but I got a look at the photo, and he looks real familiar. I suspect he may have been muscle for the Gambino family at some point.

-A. Grey"

Alex pulls parks on E 211th Street behind the Friendly Motor Inn, where Joshua works as a janitor (according to the file). The Chrysler Intrepid which supposedly belongs to Joshua is parked on the other side of the street.

----

Mr. Ko holds up his hands.
"No, no, I'm quite alright. Don't let me interrupt your business. I'm sure you have plenty to do."

Downstairs, Ilikk picks up the phone. The room is awkwardly silent enough for Durg to notice that Ilikk's voice seems to lower after he first greets Moreandor.

Ko blinks, looking slightly confused, then returns to his book. Soon after, Durg hears Ilikk begin to ascend the stairs. When he appears again in the doorway, he is visibly distraught.
"Er, Roland, have you found everything you needed?"

Ko keeps his eyes on the book as he strokes his chin. "I think I'm beginning to understand it now..." He pauses to concentrate on something in the book. "It appears that the creature manifests--"

"I'm sorry, Roland, but I have something urgent to attend to. Ah, Durgunikk, would you see Mr. Ko to his car?"

Ko looks about to protest, but says instead,
"Well... is there a time when I can come back and--"

"I'll be sure to contact you soon."

This behavior is extremely out of character for Ilikk. While he is not a particularly social wizard, Durg has never known him to interrupt someone, or to so unceremoniously kick someone out, especially those whom he clearly respects. Something odd is happening here.


This post has been edited by dingo: Apr 2 2011, 06:38 PM
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dingo
 Posted: Apr 3 2011, 10:20 PM
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Tobin finds that last time the Demon of the Void was defeated by a team of three, whom he guesses were roughly at Tobin's level of experience and reknown.

[@Greg: I'll give you this one, but further OOC questions like this should be asked either privately or in the metagame thread.] Tobin is licensed to carry pistols, including his .50AE Desert Eagle and Glock 17. The .50 feels better in his gargantuan hands. He has used axes and other melee weapons on the job, but has been warned by Pearson and others not to carry them when taking public transit.

Tobin feels like he understands the job well enough, but more needs to be discovered before he can develop a plan. Mavet comes back in the room with a copy of the Drowish book tracings.
"Tobin, I think I know where to find that book, the one where those drawings came from. There's an old wizard on the Lower East Side who keeps a pretty extensive library of stuff like this."

Tobin doesn't know the Lower East Side very well. And Mavet's got a car...
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Greg
 Posted: Apr 4 2011, 11:02 AM
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"Hey thanks!" Tobin closes the case files and leaves them on the desk before standing up. "Uh, y'know, I'm not quite sure how to get there. Would you, uh. be able to drive me there? Please? I'll, uh... I'll pay for gas."
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dingo
 Posted: Apr 4 2011, 11:36 AM
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There is a brief pause. Mavet stepped right into that one, and she knows it.

"Um, that's fine, I've got a gas card now..."

She and Tobin head out to the street, where she has parked her blue 1991 Mazda Miata soft-top. Tobin is sure that, for normal human-sized people, these Bride racing seats would hug one's body comfortably, but no so for a Goliath. Under protest, Mavet puts the top down on this rather wet day in order to fit Tobin into the car. She'll get some towels for the floor later.

In a short while, they park on E 10th Street, across from the wizard's place. They cross the street, and Mavet buzzes to be let in.

----

Durg hears the first customer of the day buzz in as Mr. Ko heads down the stairs.


"Durgunikk," Ilikk says softly as he puts on his coat, "I need to leave the store for a while. Make sure to lock up this room tightly, and put up the wards. No one may enter here without my supervision."

This post has been edited by dingo: Apr 4 2011, 11:36 AM
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Jimbo Cactaur
 Posted: Apr 5 2011, 11:43 PM
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Durg waits until Mr. Ko is at the bottom of the stairs and then locks the door and begins casting the required wards. Once finished the first few (the ones that make loud noises) he rushes down the stairs to let Mr. Ko out and the customer in, apologizing for the delay.

After the customer is seen to he will go back up the stairs and finish the job as thoroughly as possible.
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dingo
 Posted: Apr 6 2011, 11:11 PM
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As Tobin and Mavet are allowed into the store, a bewildered-looking, middle-aged Chinese man makes his way out past them, accompanied by a surprisingly well-dressed Goblin, who seems to be seeing the man out the door.

One of the two customers whom Durg has just admitted is a Goliath dressed in a NY Giants jersey and jeans. The other is a petite (about twice Durg's size, or half of the Goliath's) female Tiefling in a black pantsuit. They are both wet from the rain.

----

Alex steps out of the car and scratches his head.
"Well, his car is here... though I think Shadar-kai can teleport, can't they? What do you think, should we go in, maybe talk to his boss or something?"

----

Meanwhile, Argos is served a free bowl of today's soup by one of the Gleaming Breastplate Inn's wenches. There are a number of normal humans in the inn, which isn't surprising, since this is the place in the Village to get a mutton sandwich. Also present is a certain group of Shadowborn whom Argos has seen here before. He has gotten from overhearing their conversations that most of them have a general feeling of displacement in this world. Some of them have jobs, but for the most part are not well positioned. They meet to talk about things, how their lives are, and what they used to be.

Today, their conversation is particularly heated.
"I mean, just look at them all around us. Hey you," one of them, a dwarf, shouts across the room, "Hey, aren't you one of those Whiteblood hermits?"
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 Posted: Apr 7 2011, 12:21 PM
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"We're here now, might as well double check."

"That depends on your definition of hermit." Argos shouts back.
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