Two Years before the Beginning of Artificer QuestFar away from the bare wastes of the Badlands, far from the beginnings of the Eastern Provinces, and far from the smoldering corpse of Westmire, lies the City of Airgrid. With its massive port and station along the Northern Gambino Railway, it is a flourishing trade city located on the northern edge of the Western Provinces.If one looked hard enough, one could find anything among the multitude of bustling markets and shops. Fine jewelry from Gorrum, Lucchese equipment, and the occasional tome from Mistelkirck researchers are all for sale, at the right price.Mornings in Airgrid are early, and the nights run late beyond dusk. Deals are made at any given hour and their conclusions occur just as sporadically.But what no man, no matter how wealthy or powerful, can escape is the ever present fog and rain that comes off the dark ocean. Thick as pea soup and as gray as wool, it weaves through every dark alley and wraps around the walls, providing ample cover for everyone who walks these sullen streets.The City of Airgrid. The City of Fog.But, you know all this already. After all, You are John.[1/2]
Character Sheet Not necessary for this one-shot: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1lvqwQrtQ_YFvsVdcKJbSEAgpyZi9QrfJfnh_UDzvPKw/edit?usp=sharingPrevious Threads: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Artificer%20QuestTwitter: https://twitter.com/Storyteller_QMDiscord: https://discord.gg/WA5wRv3>>3640227Despite the simple fact that no light has pierced the gray shroud, the sun has already risen on this coming day. You know by the simple fact that you're already wide awake, a dull ache behind your brow telling of your previous night's activities.Dutch, flush with the energy that comes with having a full pocket of silver, dragged you off to his usual haunt down by the water. Once, you might have disagreed with the idea of spending your free time getting shit-faced at a dive bar, but these days...You need to clear your head, collect your thoughts. Whatever happened yesterday doesn't matter, not when you need to worry about today. With the urge to grab a smoke, it's at this point that you realize that you are:> At 'home', alone. Dutch's father lets you stay in the spare room, given you pay him of course.> In an unfamiliar bed, though the company's familiar. Not the first time you and Stella have woken up together.> In an unfamiliar bed, as is the company. You don't know her name, nor do you particularly care at this point.
>>3640236>> At 'home', alone. Dutch's father lets you stay in the spare room, given you pay him of course.
>>3640236>In an unfamiliar bed, though the company's familiar. Not the first time you and Stella have woken up together.
>>3640236> In an unfamiliar bed, though the company's familiar. Not the first time you and Stella have woken up together.
>>3640261>>3640259Stella it is.Writin'
>>3640236Stella's apartment is easy enough to recognize, with the smattering of personal effects scattered about the room. Of those in immediate view that always draw your attention are a worn handgun and saber which both bear the crest of her family, a fox bearing a shortsword in its maw. A repair job on the former is how the two of you met in the first place, though what's come of that meeting doesn't help the sour taste in your mouth whenever you remember that job.Easing yourself out of the last of her warm embrace, you pull your clothes from where they were discarded the night before and set about putting them on. It's not quite winter yet, but this fall's proven to be a cold one thus far even by Airgrid's standards, and as such you pull your coat around yourself even before going for your cloak.Stella isn't awake when you leave, but that's simply how your arrangement is.Stepping out into the early dawn, you're more than thankful for your current attire. The cobblestones are slick with the same cold moisture that pervades the air, and that itself is only just barely above freezing. There are few others out this early, though perhaps you just simply can't see them as you can't see much beyond the block you're on currently anyways. The most you see are the odd servant out on morning chores, as the true residents of this area won't be awake for a few more hours. The Ariba Ward is home to the major and minor houses of Airgrid and founded on some of the oldest parts of the city; even the greatest of the houses, the Esmeras, are younger that some of the stones beneath them.Now is not the time for introspection on the topics of your old tutors, however.> Go find where Dutch managed to end his night, can't have been too far from his usual haunt in the Regar Ward> Head back to your residence, you want to clean up in case you end up with a contract today> Other
>>3640496>> Go find where Dutch managed to end his night, can't have been too far from his usual haunt in the Regar WardGoodness knows where he crashed at.
I will be honest, I thought this was fanmade at first.What took you so long?
>>3640605A combination of me being a lazy shit and going into that downtime arc without any clue as to where I was going with it. Running this to get my ass back into gear.
>>3640664Let's hope we actually get to finish a thread for once.Other than that, glad to see you back.
>>3640496>Go find where Dutch managed to end his night, can't have been too far from his usual haunt in the Regar WardWelcome back!
>>3640496>> Go find where Dutch managed to end his night, can't have been too far from his usual haunt in the Regar WarBlond dude?
>>3641239No, John. You are the blonde dude.
>>3641250I mean the blond guy Dutch was teased about taking home or something.
>>3640496>> Go find where Dutch managed to end his night, can't have been too far from his usual haunt in the Regar Ward
>>3640496>Go find dutchWith out luck, he is passed out cold in the remains of a bar fight.>>3641260Stella is a girl.
>>3640705Thanks, it is good to be back.>>3641321>>3641286>>3641239>>3640838>>3640504Dutch takes it handily.Writin’ will continue on my lunch break
>>3640496Now is the time of the morning to figure out what fresh hell Dutch got himself into the night before. You definitely remember drinking with him, you remember doing that a lot, and you do remember his usual round of quips once Stella arrived, but after that you’re not so sure. Sighing to yourself slightly, you take a moment to pull out a cig and a matchbox. Even in the cold, damp air it lights easily enough and you give yourself a few steadying pulls before continuing.The cigarette’s halfway to being cinders when you arrive at the Regar Ward, just in time for the fog to lighten up enough to allow the sunlight through. It paints the bustling dock district before you in a warm, yellow hue that is undeserved of this area.Airgrid’s port is a massive, modern place. It stretches from one end of the city to the other, and alone is nearly half of the city’s total area. Ships from up and down the Northern Coast rock in the light waves of the harbor, and even this early the sound of hundreds of merchants and sailors wheeling, dealing, and just flat out complaining fills the air.You ignore the vast majority of it as you walk by, heading towards your first guess to where Dutch has managed to end up:>The Sea Brine Saloon, It’s a rundown place with even more rundown customers, which is probably why it’s your go to for getting sloshed at.>The Safe Harbor, The cleanest of the Regar Ward still makes this brothel rather questionable, but at least the matron there is only known to rip you off some of the time, rather than all. Plus, Dutch’s a repeat customer there.>The Genovese Warehouse, You’re not exactly allowed in, but you know for a fact that Dutch has crashed there before.
>>3641817>The Sea brine saloonHe is likely out cold in the brothel, but at least we know he was in the saloon And I don't wanna go in that brothel.
>>3641817>>The Sea Brine Saloon, It’s a rundown place with even more rundown customers, which is probably why it’s your go to for getting sloshed at.
>>3641817>>The Genovese Warehouse, You’re not exactly allowed in, but you know for a fact that Dutch has crashed there before.
>>3641885>>3641931Sea Brine it is.Writin'
>>3641817The Sea Brine Saloon looks as terrible on the outside as it is on the inside, the addition of several passed out patrons from the previous night being stacked outside neither adds or detracts from the worn, eroded stone front. Its location half a block away from the waterfront means there's no shortage sailors with full purses and empty stomachs.You've seen this many a time before, but there's still a tiny part of you that fills with amusement as you watch Jacob, the Saloon's sole bouncer, add another two to the row outside. He's a scruff man with a shaved head, but any jokes that may be made at his expense are kept quiet by the fact that he looks like he eats cannon balls for breakfast. Waiting a moment for the bouncer to head back inside, you follow suit through the doorway.The interior is just as shit as it was the night before, only perhaps with the addition of a few more fresh layers of vomit. Wooden stools and tables, both of the quality that they wouldn't be missed if they were smashed, are scattered about with the odd passed out patron that's yet to be evicted. Behind the counter stands Leuca, the current owner of this 'fine' establishment. He's got the whiskers and temperament of a walrus, with the body fat to match.Leuca eyes you for a moment as he 'cleans' a mug, "Ya a mite too young ta be 'ere this early.""I'm looking for my buddy, Dutch," You've dealt with him enough to know that you don't beat around the bush with him, "My age, my height, cocky as shit grin.""Aye, I know the lad. Got dragged outta 'ere last night a gal not too long after ya did," The man eyes you with a growing scowl, clearly wishing you'd leave him to his minuscule peace before the next batch of drunkards arrive.Huh, if he went home with some random girl he met here, it might be a bit harder to track Dutch down.>Thank Leuca for his time, head on your way>Ask Leuca if he remembers what the girl looked like>Ask Jacob if he remembers what the girl looked like>Other
>>3642318>Thank Leuca for his time, head on your way
>>3642318>Ask both if they know what the girl looks likeJust say "I will be gone faster once I know where he is."
>>3642318>>Ask Jacob if he remembers what the girl looked like
>>3642318>>Thank Leuca for his time, head on your way
>>3642318>Ask Jacob if he remembers what the girl looked like
>>3659079it happened again
>>3659079>>3659390The computer I use to write with stopped working. I should have updated you all when it happened, as I intend to continue this with my phone in the meantime. Expect an update tomorrow.
>>3642336>>3642347>>3642616>>3648254One last question.Writin'
>>3642318You frown right back at the Leuca, turning between him and Jacob, "I will be gone faster once I know where he is. So, do either of you remember what sh-""Yo Leuca! You seen the scrawny blond guy I was with last night?!"Turning to the new, but familiar bellow coming from the front door, you look over to spot Dutch staring right at you. He looks a bit disheveled, but that's pretty normal for him. What's also normal is the smirk on his face and the heavy irons on his waist. Good thing he's still got those revolvers of his on him; you'd hate to add another several hours of trying to look for those fucking things again."There, now both of you can fuck right off," With that declaration from Leuca, both of you quickly beat feet out of the dive bar. The sun's fully up at this point, pushing most of the fog away to the point where you can see most of Airgrid. You can also see, and feel that damning twitch in your back, that there's a storm brewing off the shore.Any more thoughts along that line are interrupted by Dutch grabbing you by the shoulder and giving you a playful shove, "What's the matter Johnny? Still hungover from last night? Or, are you just sore from being with Stella eh?""Ah, piss off Dutch," You return the gesture, the two of you falling easily into your usual banter, "You look like shit.""That's 'cause I got kicked awake, we've got a contract to do today," Your old friend has a sour look on his face, though it quickly starts to erode away by what must be his growing excitement at the prospect of another exciting job.Your response?> "A contract? What's the brief on it?"> "Don't try to change the subject, Dutch. Who'd you end up leaving with?"> Other
>>3663384> "Don't try to change the subject, Dutch. Who'd you end up leaving with?"
>>3663384>> "Don't try to change the subject, Dutch. Who'd you end up leaving with?"
>>3663384>Don't change the subject jackass, give me the details.
>>3663457>>3663686>>3664073>>3664287Give us the deets, Dutch.Writin’
>>3663384“Don’t change the subject, jackass,” You consider giving Dutch a kick for the attempt, but reconsider it. For all his idiocy, he certainly was the brawn of the two of you, “Give me the deets.”Dutch just clicks his tongue at you, shaking his head, “It was Jackie, you’ve met her before. She just dragged me off to the post down here; not all of us get to bang hot Scale Knights, John. Ah, speaking of which.”The two of you wisely step aside as a patrol marches down the street. There’s no question as to who holds true dominion over Airgird - that being no one person or organization - but the Scale Knight certainly act like the do the most publicly. Clad in scale mail, thus the nickname, and openly carrying longswords, only an idiot tried to pick a fight with them; you and Dutch weren’t that stupid.Once the patrol is gone, your best friend continues to lead you down the winding streets, “I got a brief summary of the contract, some guy lost something and wants it back. Simple shit.”“These are never ‘simple shit’ Dutch. Who is he client anyways?” You continue after him, noting that you’re heading back towards the Ariba Ward but not the main entrance to it.“The client’s some kind of Easterner.”“What else? We drank with a couple guys from out East last night.”“That’s all I was told because the boss implied that was all that was necessary.”“Oh...”Oh fuck.> Roll me three 1d100’s please
Rolled 76 (1d100)>>3664847
Rolled 35 (1d100)>>3664847
Rolled 95 (1d100)>>3664847
>>3664912looks like even after 3-5 months of no questing Johnny still has good rolls.And yes, I am jinxing it.
>>3664912>>3666022Yeah, this sounds about right for John.That's a 95, Success.Writin'
>>3664847There's a reason why you hate dealing directly with the clients. It's not a normal occurrence, usually once you've received a contract everything's been ironed thoroughly out already. But, even in these rare cases, there's nothing normal about this bloody fucker in front of you."Would either of you like any more green tea?"You've never met one before, but you've certainly heard of the type before. People who go off to foreign places, get attached to one particular oddity or the other, and then come back without deciding to rejoin the rest of civilized society."No, sir. We'd rather speak with you on the specifics of the contract you've purchased. Mainly the item you wish for us to retrieve.""Please, it is Hugo-san."This man is a Eastern-phile to the highest degree, right down to wearing a bathrobe all the time and the walls in this otherwise fine homestead are mainly made of paper. Paper. Your ratty shirt is more durable than the fucking things.While seeing Dutch acting all professional for once is amusing in its own right, you've noticed something that's forced yourself to maintain a neutral facade. You'd bet your friend hasn't seen it himself in his effort, but this might just be something to keep quiet with."Regardless, you paid for a magineer in addition to the usual contractor. Paid handsomely I might add, what is it that you need him for?"'Hugo', it's bloody obvious it's a false name and Dutch's been careful to not say either of yours too, doesn't appear to be in much of a rush, taking a calm sip of his tea before speaking up, "A briefcase was stolen from me; I'd like for you two to retrieve it."Your response?> Press him on the briefcase, if there wasn't tech involved you wouldn't be here.> Ask 'Hugo' if he knows who stole the case from him, or if he suspects someone at least.> Ask 'Hugo' why there's scratches all over the backs of his hands.> Other
>>3666819>Ask 'Hugo' why there's scratches all over the backs of his hands.
>>3666819>Ask for details on the briefcase.We can ask him about the scratches later. Buissness first.
>>3666819>Press him on the briefcase, if there wasn't tech involved you wouldn't be here.> Ask 'Hugo' if he knows who stole the case from him, or if he suspects someone at least
>>3666819>> Press him on the briefcase, if there wasn't tech involved you wouldn't be here.
>>3668825>>3667015>>3666988>>3666961Keep it professional it is.Writin’
>>3666819Deciding that this is going no where in a hurry, you clear your throat and speak up, “What are the contents of the briefcase? I imagine it’s magitech of some sort, but what exactly are we retrieving here?”“Y-Yes, you’re right in that it is magitech. It is a tablet, simple thing really, but on it is sensitive information. I have the names of several files here,” He holds up a slip of paper. “When you have found the tablet, you are to verify that the files are present but you are not to open them, understood?”You shoot Dutch a quick look, but he doesn’t seem put off in the slightest. This really is normal for these sort of contracts, but there’s still a bad feeling in your chest, “Understood. Do you know who is responsible for stealing the briefcase?”At this, Hugo clearly gets a mite irritated, “Possibly. There were two people who could have stolen my property: Daphne Hart and Edward Lowe. I thought of both as friends, but neither are above suspicion. Daphne is merchant and Edward works down at the docks, so you should be able to find them easily enough.”“We’ll take care of it,” Dutch stands up, you following his lead and accepting the slip of paper from your client.[1/2]
>>3669243[2/2]You’re more than happy to be out of Hugo’s presence, now just outside and standing on the street with Dutch. The slip of paper is firmly in your pocket and you’ve got two leads on where this briefcase may be.The only question now is where to start:> The Ariba Ward has the largest legal market in Airgrid. If you’re gonna find this Daphne Hart anywhere it should here.> The Regar Ward has every dock in Airgrid. This Edward Lowe must work at one of them.> OtherAnd:> Tell Dutch about your suspicion of Hugo> Keep it to yourself for now
>>3669245>> The Ariba Ward has the largest legal market in Airgrid. If you’re gonna find this Daphne Hart anywhere it should here.> Keep it to yourself for now
>>3669245>> The Regar Ward has every dock in Airgrid. This Edward Lowe must work at one of them.>> Tell Dutch about your suspicion of Hugo
>>3669245>The Regar Ward has every dock in Airgrid. This Edward Lowe must work at one of them.> Tell Dutch about your suspicion of Hugo
>>3669245>Ariba wardMerchants are easier to find without raising suspicion.>Tell him of the suspicionTrust your guts, and we trust our partner.
>>3669245>The Regar Ward has every dock in Airgrid. This Edward Lowe must work at one of them.>Tell Dutch about your suspicion of Hugo
>>3669303>>3669364>>3669420>>3669446>>3670692Going after Edward first and tell Dutch of your suspicions wins it.Next post will likely be in a new thread later tonight.
Damn, too bad I missed when this got started up again. BTW QM, have you ever heard of the VN 'Sekien no Inganock'? I played it a month ago and found the music in it to be pretty fitting for your settings with old cities that uses magitech.Here's one specifically for the city atmosphere:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtrxvQAMTbs