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Old 04-01-2016
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In Darkened Alley

"Got something for you, Copperpalm"

The dwarf looked back at the tall figure that graced the entry to his alcove sternly before replying.

"Right then, let's have it"

As if entrusting him with his life's profits, the thief laid a tiny leather bag ever-so cautiously upon the dwarf's outstretched hand. The dwarf clenched it firmly, and waved the thief back to the front entryway. Under clenched brow, he watched as the human shuffled, reluctantly, back a few steps, then deftly emptied the bag into his palm.

Even in the dim light, the bag's contents glimmered ever so faintly. Gemstones.

Even thieves have some use for someone they trust not to cheat. But Luskan was no place for a dwarf. The darkest underways and alleys proved a refuge, for he stayed clear of offending the bigger groups who could afford enchantments to aid their sight. And no-one bore a light here unless they expected a fight.

And, there were gems and metals. Put a dagger in their hands and he was a mark. But put a gemstone in their hands, and the first thing they looked for was a dwarf. A particular dwarf.

He rolled the pair of stones over in his palm, feeling their surface. There may be better appraisers in the city. But few could ply their trade here without attracting attention.

He was not unlearned, and knew that his distant kin might bear many names. The names of ancient clans, mighty deeds and honored ancestors. Here, he was Copperpalm. It was a name that helped keep him useful. A useful dwarf was a live dwarf, so it was a name as good as any other.

As for the gemstones, it was clear what they were. But it did not pay to speak too quickly, for his customer needed not just the service, but to believe it was of value. They expected him to be gruff but honest. And so he was both.

He responded, watching the human's face carefully for his reaction.

"Green banded Agates. And I've not the coin to buy them from you. But you knew that. And were expecting more. You thought they were Chrysoprase?"

The thief nodded, reluctantly, in reply.

"They're a bit rough, but not the least of their kind. Dressed as you are, they'd get you perhaps four gold a piece in the District", he finished. The gems went back in the bag, and he handed them back, the thief no longer seeming quite so possessive.

Without thinking, the thief tossed a few coins towards the dwarf, who caught them deftly. After the other left, he inspected the copper coins in his palm. A useful name, indeed.
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Old 04-10-2016
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The Star Sapphire had been a mistake.

The dwarf considered his next move, safe for the moment in a ruined basement.

No lone peddler ... no, merchant. The distinction was important. No lone ... merchant could stand against a gang if they were determined to find him.

While he continued to breath, he represented future profit for some of the locals. That had been the edge that kept him alive. A whispered word, an unlocked door. And once a well-timed dagger. But that wouldn't be enough now. Not nearly enough.

The gem had been beautiful, though. Flawed, but cut with artistry the dwarf had never before seen. The facets embraced the flaw, until the whole was a unique specimen. Not the stylings of man, or the forced precision of a gnome. But worked beauty made manifest, through skill that surely did not endure in this Age. It was probably a relic of old Delzoun, and worth a fortune to the right buyer.

In his wonder he had spoken plainly. He had not suggested a buyer, but his customer had not been entirely stupid. Nor idle, for he had just heard word that it had been sold for close to it's true value to an adventuring wizard.

And that was a problem. The gangs who would usually take a hefty cut would certainly see it as such. He was known to exist, and it would not take them long to work out what had happened.

He needed to get out of Luskan earlier than planned.

As he thought, he absent-mindedly turned over in his hand one of the coins he had received in payment. It was a gold coin from one of the neighbouring city-states, with a stag's head embossed on one side. Recently minted, it had subtle signs of quality that suggested a degree of prosperity.

Now, in fact. He needed to get out of Luskan now. But which way?

Last edited by Intrepid42; 07-31-2016 at 04:48 PM.
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