Back/up Pavis overall Gimpys

Riverside


As they come up the stairs at the end of the tunnel and onto the street they see a young woman coming out of the service exit a few yards further along - one of the girls who'd been serving food earlier. Somehow, apparently accidentally, the press of the crowd brings
them together, and, rather than edging away from Death as most women around here seem to, she smiles at Malan. "Uncle Morey says you want to find someone in Riverside? I'm free till the evening crowd come in. Who were you after?"

Malan is mildly surprised that someone has approached him and the other Humakti, normally people tend to distance themselves as much as possible. "Er, yes. Man named Scharman Ingilli."

"That's easy. He'll be in his office. Private meeting, not public, though, from what Uncle said?"

She's leading you by what you recognise as a roundabout route to Riverside, avoiding guard posts and keeping to the edges of open spaces. As you pass the end of a rather unsavoury alley, she nods down it. "Down there, that's Geo's. Might be a better place for you to do your drinking, they don't let Lunars in."

"Was it really you who killed that bastard Hucipites?"

"That's the Marble Officer, right? Yes it was I."

"I never met him myself. But my sister worked at the Silk'n'Plume, and she said he used to hit anyone who wasn't fast enough serving him. So if someone hit him, good for them, I say. Bet he got a surprise."

You're out of Oldtown now, with its Sartarite-style buildings, skirted the edge of Rich Hill, past the granaries and into the edges of Riverside. Across the alley you can see a big house, as fine as anything on Rich Hill, but she leads you into a much less imposing dwelling adjoining it.

"This is my place, me and the rest of the family. No-one in at the moment, though. You stay here, I'll go and find Scharman. What shall I tell him? He'll want to know who it is, and what you want him for."

"Tell him some friends of friends on the cradle are in town, nearly 30 of them, and are in need of housing."

While Hrolf senses no deceit in the girl, and the house appears to have a back exit for easy escape, he contradicts her. "No, two of us will go with you, and two will stay here. Hmmm, what do you think, comrades? Best if Malan and Aelf stay here?"

"I suspect she'd have invited us all along if she didn't have some reason for going alone. Is that right?"

"That's right," she agrees, her frown at Hrolf's words turning into a quick smile for Malan. "Uncle said you didn't want to be noticed, much. There's all sorts of people waiting around the offices, and you guys stand out a bit, don't you? I won't be noticed, and I'll get Scharman to come and meet you here."

"Run along then, girl. We'll be here." The heavy stench of fish (fresh, cooked, salted, smoked, rotting and/or dried) is beginning to get on
Vastyr's nerves. Perhaps it is less indoors...

As Vastyr opens the door and means to step in, the girl says timidly, "Sir, I'm sorry, but your dog has to wait outside. Auntie doesn't allow
pets insi..." Her voice falters as the man and the beast turn to look at her.

"He is not a dog," says the man. "I am not a pet," says the beast. They step inside. The stench remains the same.

"The last time we got careless about security we ended up as captives," Hrolf grumbles as he walks to the back of the building to check the rear exit.

When the girl is gone, he broods, "Never underestimate the ability of a simple bounty to change the allegiances of common folk. I've seen it before." But then he disappears through the rear door. [where he checks for potential escape routes]

It's perhaps ten minutes before the girl reappears, following an elderly man - small, neat, and with sharp eyes under bushy eyebrows. "Ah! Thank you, 'Rimi. Yes, these are the gentlemen I was expecting." He looks round at the group, apparently mentally ticking off names on a list. "Thirty of you? No more losses since Horn Gate, eh? Good, good. You did well for the Rivers there, I hear, very well. Now, then. Young Arimista tells me you're in need of lodging. Thirty of you. That's a large group. Very... er... 'conspicious'." He uses the word with a certain amount of distaste. "I take you would prefer to stay together, though?"

(Gap for PC comment here)

"As it happens, we may be able to do each other a favour here. A tenement block the Family manages has become free unexpectly - you may have met some of the former inhabitants on the Cradle, but sadly they were not as skilled or as fortunate as yourselves. For various reasons, we're having trouble finding anyone to take it on. It is in a rather rough area, but I'm sure that will be no real problem to you. We'll pass the word around in any case. What do you think, does this sound of interest? Or would you prefer somewhere outside the city? I must admit I'm a little surprised to see you here openly, under the circumstances."

After a little discussion, they agree that this sounds good in the short term, and Scharman will start looking out for somewhere outside the New City for them. He shows them the tenement in question - yes, it's not exactly luxury, nor particularly clean, in fact it's all too obvious that someone died violently in one of the upper rooms. But as far as they can see it's not likely to fall down in the near future, unlike some of the other places around here, and Hrolf is delighted to discover that it has not just one but two back entrances.

The smell of fish is, if anything, stronger. One of those back entrances leads directly onto the Fish Market.

Jamal looks around the place, his nose wrinkled slightly in distaste. It'll do, for now at any rate.

Polite as ever he thanks Scharman for his hospitality.

"I think that outside New Pavis would suit the Legion better in the long run, perhaps even inside the walls of the Old City itself. You have any contacts there who might be able to help?"

"It would?" says Malan "I'd've thought that setting up in the new city would be preferable. Or have I missed something in all this politicing?"

"Well, it rather depends on the extent to which you want to avoid the Lunars." The shrewd old eyes watch him, and the rest, speculatively. "Inside the New City will be more comfortable, certainly. But even in Riverside, it's only a matter of time before they realise who you are, and where you are. At that point, conflict will be inevitable. Given that they number rather more than thirty, it might be wiser to decide that discretion is the better part..." realising to whom he's speaking, he leaves the cliche unfinished.

"Any such conflict would harm those among whom it was fought. You have helped the riverfolk in the past - I rather assume you would
prefer not to cause them injury in the future? Unless you are sure of an easy victory, I for one would prefer your fights to occur elsewhere."

Malan nods, remembering the carnage wrought on his own clan. "in that case we'll try to move on as soon as possible. For tonight though, it would seem best to stay here."

Arimista gives him a look that has "my hero!" written all over it.

"But they don't have to move away that fast, do they? It'll be safe for now?"

"Oh, I'm sure a few days will be fine, my dear." He looks slightly amused at her enthusiasm. "It all depends on how discreet they are."
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