Roki and Cerise
What will they turn up?
Sept. 7, 2023, 8 p.m.
Outside Arx - Crownlands near Arx - Streets of Arx
Comments and Log
In the first episode a body was discovered in the alley way outside the Purple Talon and an investigation began into the cause and culprit. The investigators believed that the death was a murder conducted during a fight using a knife common amongst dock workers. They discovered evidence pointing to a gambling club called the Bluejay and Denica provided a sketch.
In the second episode the group confirmed that the victim was an ex-messenger called Elrion who had been frequenting the gambling club for some time. That night he was arguing with a dock worker called Roki that night and questions about his family revealed he was an orphan. Those questions about his family also mentioned that he worked for someone called Cerise. Somehow, despite the fact he was fired as a messenger, he had been coming in with big money fairly regularly during the last year.
You had to leave the Bluejay when your investigation started causing to much disruption. Each of you heading home to go about your day to day lives. But today we meet again to finish your hunt for answers.
Over the course of the investigation Ian has, uh... he's increasingly started to fit the archetype of the hard boiled detective, let's put it that way. That's the nice way of describing how rumpled he's slowly become. With his coat unbuttoned and hanging open, he's finally crossed all the way over to inhabiting a Marlowe character. But he's here, and at least sober enough that he seems sober. So he's got that going for him, which is nice.
The last time the investigative crew met together, Raja was not there. The silly Culler had gotten drunk off her butt and passed out, leaving the others to look into the Blue Jay. However, for this meeting, Raja has come to join the group. As they gather together, Raja pulls up to the group, "So. I vote we head directly to the docks and find this fellow before he leaves the city."
Mattheu has gone to opposite direction? Or just dived further into that which he knows how to get a rise and to possibly seek some information. Full on flirting with whomever might have a lead. Granted this meant that their time in the Bluejay was cut short, and then he and Ann took for a little wander through the city based on locations found in Raja's Golden Egg hunt. Trying to rekindle some giggles, and... Right...
Now looking towards Ian with his coat somewhat unbuttoned. A wave of the River Lord's hand. "I think you missed a spot there." A smile as he turns to Raja's course of direction. "That's a fair direction. Do we know his boat? Could just make a little suggestion to a harbor master and watch them get anchored for a bit."
Jan loiters outside the purple talon, waiting to spy Raja to compare notes or get help hunting down people. She spies Ian and her head tilts "I'm calling upwind." she declares rather than commenting on Ian's look as she moves to stand upwind of her beloved cousin and informs Raja "Who exactly? His employer was a woman, or so I thought."
"If he hasn't already run, I doubt he's going to," Ian comments to Raja. "I'm still hoping to track down some family for him, figure out who's waiting for him to come home. I'd like to talk to his employer, see if she knows." Mattheu's comment ears a questioning look from him. He looks down at himself for a moment, and then back up at the other man.
Ann is following Matti close behind when the group meets once again. Sure they had their fun but now it is time to stay focused. A smile for Ian and Raja as she listens to Raja's suggestion. It doesn't sound far fetched to her and soon she's quickly nodding her agreement. "Or at least scope out the environment and see if we find any tell tale signs of what is going on there." She's thinking aloud doesn't mean she's sold on one thing in particular. She will go where needed as the group members all seem to be here now.
Raja checks intellect and streetwise at hard. Raja is successful.
Raja looks to Ian, giving a bit of a nod. "I do think the family needs to be notified if he has any. But, the longer we wait, the longer it will be before we find this ass. Besides, finding the one who is responsible may give the family a bit of closure as well. Not to mention he left the body on my doorstep and I take a lot of fuckin' grievance with that." She shrugs. "We could split ways." Though, she is not entirely convinced that splitting ways is the best idea. "Wait. Did you say the woman's name is Cerise?" She inquires of the others. A ponders a moment. "I think I know who that is. If it is the same Cerise I know."
Ian angles his head. "Finding his killer won't bring him back and I'm not in the revenge business." Then he nods. "Cerise, yes."
Ann raises a brow when Raja says she knows who that is and asks, "Will you share who you think that is or are you leaving it for us to guess?"She's talking about Cerise. A glance to Ian when he speaks of not being a part of the revenge business. "If we do split I'd like to stay with Raja and see if we could find more answers because she's right she has a mess to clean that is not of her doing."
Mattheu is in soft conversation with Ann as he looks over to Raja from his point to Ian. "If we're to head different directions, I'll go with Raja." A little pause in a nod to Ann, "I don't take it kindly to know a friend had someone dropped on them. Not like this."
Jan waves a hand "Raja is a grown woman with a suitable network of people. My concern is for the next if kind. Everything else will sort itself out, I'm confident."
Raja narrows her eyes slightly at Ian. "Fine. We do it your way." That is a sign that Raja does trust Ian. Otherwise, he would have been told to fuck off. She glances to Ann and Mattheu, then back to Ian. "It's ok. We can draw closer to the murderer this way too." She relents. "The why is interesting as well." She turns from the group and ponders, "I doubt Cerise will welcome you lovely lot in with a welcomeing embrace. So, I will come with you to talk to her. However, if she holds any loyalty to this Roki, it won't be long before he is notified that we are hot on his trail."
Jan says, "Well, again, we're after Elrion's family. Follow our lead what will roki have to worry as far as anyone knows?"
Raja looks to Jan, "If Roki was also working for Cerise, she could have been the one to send him."
Ian takes getting his way with a certain apathy. He probably would have gone in either direction, willing to voice his opinion, but not to exert himself beyond doing so. Even going to talk to the person who he expressed interest in talking to isn't something that he receives with enthusiasm, trailing along with the group.
Mikani doesnt mind either way so she doesnt voice an opinion. Quietly she follows the group.
It takes half a day for Raja's chain of questions to track down Cerise and gain yourselves an invitation to meet with her. That meeting takes you to a lavish house in the uppers of the type typically owned by a well to day merchant. A man in dark leathers opens the door to you, looks you all up and down, and finally leads you off into a study within the house. His expression completely unreadable. Drinks are provided, again by the leather clad man, and then you are left alone in here to wait for Cerise to find a moment to see you. A limited opportunity to try snooping should you wish to take it.
Or to top up your blood alcohol levels if you dont.
Jan crosses her arms and eyes the room they've been left to wait in "This one has a massive pair of balls. Beginning to wonder if being Culler doesn't mean what I thought it meant." For the moment she is simply alert and attentive to their surroundings but she doesn't go snooping.
When it's clear that they're going to a fairly classy place, Ian takes the step of actually buttoning his coat and smoothing some of the worst of the rumpling out of the leather. Buttoned, the sailor's coat doesn't give off the same trench coat sort of vibe, so it would seem that Ian's leaving the Raymond Chandler evening behind in favor of his far more boring self. But he's not cleaned up his act enough that, having been offered a drink, he's going to waste his time with poking around when there is blood to be drenched in liquor.
Mattheu looks to the man and the offered drink and fails to say when, leaving the glass so full it takes a sip to knock it back down to a respectable level. Only that Mattheu will smile and wait for the man to leave before the glass is set down. A clasp of his hands now to seek out what is available in the room they've been left to. A small look to Raja, "What's the chances there's a deadman's shoot around here?"
Mikani looks around the desk. She doesnt drink what's in her cup more than a sip. Her dark eyes look for papers that might stick out. Her fingers if they move a paper moves it back when done.
Ann isn't going to turn down a drink especially if its whiskey being offered. She has a thing for that particular drink. But once the group is left alone to their own devices she stops drinking and looks around to see if anything out of the ordinary is obvious or anything looks out of place. Listening as Matti questions Raja in what they should be looking for.
Once the group has been led into the room, Raja takes a moment to gather in their new surroundings. "It's just show. I would get the same treatment in an Ulbran or Grayhope home. We would of course do the same. It's basically a dick measuring thing." She smirks at the silks here, "That and.. well, you are all from prestigious families. It's a power play to let you know that we are on /her/ turf." She begins to walk the circuit of the room, taking in the various bits of furniture and shelving. She glances to the desk, but does not open the drawer. Besides, she assumes it is locked and it would be bad juju to be caught with her picks out. Though, any papers on the desk are peered at. Glancing to Mattheu, "Chances are good. Well, at least somewhere in the house. Shady folk need shady places to hole up or escape through."
Mattheu checks perception and investigation at normal. Mattheu is successful.
Ann checks luck and investigation at normal. Ann is successful.
Mikani checks perception and investigation at normal. Mikani is successful.
Raja checks perception and investigation at normal. Raja marginally fails.
Jan says, "Normally where you don't want folks to be looking but hard to put those things in a drawer, easier to put them in closets and doorways." She turns her head, trying to keep people in her line of sight or at least her periphery."
Ian leans against a wall with a glass of alcohol in hand and no particular interest in the way that the room is being stealthily turned inside out.
Mattheu looks around the room, giving a few kicks here and there. Shaking his head in a small cascade of bells to sing out. "Raja?" Looking away from where he last kicked, "Cerise is a woman? Or she? This... The decor. It screams a man's choices. Like a man's man. Not a Ravashari Man, where we're just a little..." He wobbles his hand to the sides.
Mikani looks over the papers on the desk more. "This doesnt seem right." Mika nibbled her lower lip a bit. "She wanted us to find these. They are too much in a particular order. She expected us to snoop." She looks up from the desk and moves away frkm it.
A sound at the door gives you just enough time to fix up the papers and move back to your seats and then a short, dusky skinned woman, of middling age swans in. She casts a knowing smile at you all as she moves. "What a diverse and unique group of petitioners you are. I trust you've been well cared for?"
Ann stops at a particular point and frowns. She is coming up empty handed and there is a shake of her head seen. "Nice place I will give them that." Saying in general. Straightening up when the dusky skinned woman makes her entry and Ann is giving her best charming smile and has her drink in her hand again, "Yes, thank you for seeing us."
Raja doesn't go through too much. Instead, after making her walk around the room, she moves to find a seat. One leg folds over the other as she finally takes up her drink. Though, she just holds it, not drinks from it. Mattheu is glanced upon and she shrugs slightly. "Could be a man's office and she uses it?" She says curiously. "Or, she could very well like it like this." Though with the sound of the door opening, Raja's gaze shifts to look to the woman who enters. She falls silent now, letting the others talk.
"Seems normal to me," Ian remarks to Mattheu, with a total lack of self-awareness. He looks towards the door when the sound of someone approaching it becomes clear, but doesn't bother to move from where he's standing.
Jan has the look of being tempted to speak but draws in a breath and favors silence for now though Raja's own silence prompts her eyebrows to loft. She notes the reaction of the others to this woman's arrival and then finally deigns to speak herself with an arid tone that suggests boredom or perhaps a touch of irritation-eitherway she is NOT impressed by the wealth or by the waiting "We found Elrion's corpse unceremoniously dumped somewhere it didn't belong. We're looking for his people. Wife, kid, whoever might care that he's dead. We were told he was doing some work for you. So. Hoping you might know who we should notify."
Jan's gaze lingers on Cerise, slate gaze settled on cerise like a stone slab.
Mikani watches the liquer swirl in her glass for a moment. Her eyes look up and study Cerise. She hears Jan and tilts her head from side to side. "This is such amazing decore. Did you do it yourself?"
Mattheu looks to Ian with a smile, "Of course it does. Are you sure you don't need me to silence a few bells?" Then looking away from his teacher to Ann and Raja with a shrug as Cerise enters the room. "A lovely location you have." A look around them all as a group. "You're probably wondering what a batch of nobles with princess and a Culler are doing in your study. Never mind one of them is Rivenshari. Well." He grins to Cerise, "I'll have you know that the princess was kidnapped by me. And the others. Well. I'm pretty sure they are following along as they are concerned with how a Ravashari got this far."
The woman presumably known as Cerise seats herself on the corner of the desk. "How refreshingly blunt." She taps her fingernails against the top of the desk as she takes you all in. "Elrion... Elrion. Ah yes, Elrion. Dead you say? And untidily so at that? How inconvenient." She turns her dark eyes onto Mikani. "It is lovely isn't it? A gift of sorts granted by a man who owes me a great many favors." Her smile shifts when she says that as if she is enjoying dangling hints. She looks back to Mattheu "I thought perhaps you had work for me." Her lips shape into a moue of dissapointment. "But it seems you just want information." she looks back to Jan. "If Elrion had a family he never mentioned it. I doubt it though. He was an orphan you see and a terrible gambler. Weak" she spreads her hands "But charming. I suppose I could tell you who he works with but.. they wouldn't appreciate it."
Ian shows what might be a very inconvenient lack of intrigue for the mysteries that Cerise is trying to dangle in front of all of them. Just sounding a little bit tired, he comments: "We'd just like to find his people, if he has any."
Mattheu's grin holds. "If you'd like work in the future? I'm not the voice for my house, though it's not hard to park a horse in front of my bother's yurt until he decides it's better to talk to me about what business I have available for the rivers than for him to stay hidden inside said yurt." He looks to the nearly overflowing glass he had poured earlier with a lick to his lips. With a small glance back to Cerise as she speaks to Jan. Holding his words to see where this goes, while looking to Ann with a soft word towards his kidnapped princess.
When Matti says Ann has been kidnapped she stares at him and tries to not look amused as she listens very carefully to what information is being shared now. Leaning in to hear Mattheu's quiet words. "So with your comment that you just made I am going to assume that they are of the...." Not sure how to word it and with a free hand she sort of just flaps it towards the seated lady. "Or are you just being coy with us so we would beg for the information?"
Raja cants her head slightly as Cerise speaks. She lifts her whiskey to her nose to gently inhale it's aroma before taking a testing sip. Especially since everyone else in the room who sipped from their drinks are not showing any signs of poisoning. She glances to Ian, then back to Cerise, "Most people don't appreciate much of anything being spoken. Though, perhaps you could simply confirm or deny.. Was the one who worked with him named Roki?" She inquires softly.
Jan looks baffled "The fuck has being an orphan to do with anything once someone's a grown man?" she looks to Ian then back to Cerise "He came into some money, sounds like. Probably why he was killed. I don't want to have to care about this." the way she says it makes it sound like Cerise isn't leaving Jan much choice.
"Darling." Cerise tells Mattheu. "I don't handle any noble house sort of work." She sighs somewhat dramatically at Ann's comment. "Darling. If you want different answers then ask different questions." She gestures to Jan and says "There are orphans and then there are Orphans. Elrion was the second sort. A rat who grew up in the gutter dreaming of being something special. I'm sure he would have gotten around to having a family eventually but he was too busy pretending to be a big man in a little pond. I am not surprised he got himself killed." She smiles to Raja. "Ah. Now see, that is a question. Nobody called Roki works for, or with, me."
Mikani points Jan's way with her orphan statement. "What do you want for information about Roki? They may not work with or for you. Doesnt mean you dont know them." She watches Cerise. Her teeth grind slightly.
Ian has faded into silence, working his way through his glass of liquor and listening with limited interest to the turn of the conversation.
Raja cants her head slightly. "I guess that would have been too easy. So, do you know anyone named Roki whether they work for you or not? If you do, where can he be found?" She sips from her drink again, gesturing towards Mikani, "Yes. We aren't out to disrupt your business. We are just trying to figure out the story.. the mystery here."
Jan tilts her head "Ah, do you happen to know this Roki, even if he, or she, isn't one of yours? Even the too clever for their own good need a favor for a rainy day." she fishes shamelessly.
Mattheu scoffs in return to Cerise. "Oh Hunny. If you think that this would be noble house work." He's left with a shake of his head followed by a jingling of bells. "You don't understand how the river works." He's leaving it there. Just leaning back to the wall and to grab a long sip to the drink that he left to the side now.
"I don't know him but I could certainly put you in contact with someone who could learn everything there is to learn on your behalf." Cerise replies to Mikani and Raja's questions. She considers them both for a moment and then suggests "Ten thousand should do it I think."
It seems that Raja is the one that is asking the right questions and for now Ann is drinking and listening. Seeing if there is a voice change or a body language. It might be discreet but Ann has been taught to look for those kind of things as Inquisitor. A brow raised when Cerise puts that amount out there but she does not answer for the group. See? She goes back to drinking.
Ann checks perception and empathy at normal. Ann is successful.
Ian finishes off his drink and stops holding up the wall at last to take the empty glass back to wherever it goes. He sets it down with just enough force to make a soft sound as glass thunks on wood. "A couple of Kennex and a Culler don't need a middleman to track down some shit working at the docks," he says, less to Cerise and more to the group (but also to Cerise, since she's still here and he just carelessly called her a 'middleman'). "Sounds like this guy hasn't left anyone behind who gives a fuck that he's dead. Let's go do the other thing."
Jan grunts "No one is paying a fucking copper." her expression darkens and she looks over at Raja, then Ian, then back to Cerise who she approaches so she's close enough to literally look down on "You don't know shit. Just have the misguided notion that anyone with good intentions must goat-groping taint-sniffers. It's fine. I'm sure our friend here with the house of questions or maybe one of my friends with the guard will find this worth shaking loose something." she grunts softly "Yeah. I'm onboard."
Mattheu looks to Ian mid sip of his drink. "You're absolutely right. You don't need me nor my kidnapped cargo either." He holds out his hand to Ann and sets to leave.
Mikani arched her eyebrow at the price point. She doesnt add anything. Nothing needed to be added. She just sets her practically full glass down and readies ro leave.
Matti is leaving and Ann follows suit. "Good luck." She says this to the group in general. "Thank you for your help milady." A soft smile as she begins to make her way out.
"I thought he might at least be someone interesting" Cerise puts emphasis on the interesting. "If thats all he is. You're right. You don't need me." He hops down from her seat on the desk. Voice gentling "Thank you for telling me about his death." She moves to the door, pausing on the threshold. "Please do enjoy your drinks darlings." and then she's gone.
Jan points a finger after that woman "I hope she finds a burr in her fucking bush someday." she grumps softly then makes for the exit "So how the fuck are we going to find the next turdmuncher?"
Raja actually seems a little annoyed at how this all went down. Her lips turn into a frown, "Welp. Now my street cred is ruined with this faction." she moves to stand up, brushing her leathers idly. "I will have to come back and rework my reputation with these guys now. But, we know what her price is to turn on her own people." She glances to the others. "We could simply go to the docks and lurk around, see if anyone knows a Roki." She says to Ann as she sets her glass down on wherever it seems proper.
"The price she was asking, your cred was already in the shitter," Ian opines to Raja. "That wasn't a rate between respected colleagues. Either that, or she's so bad at reading the room and setting prices that her good opinion isn't worth having."
Mattheu turns back to Raja. "No. They will have to work on their cred with you. They might not have heard correctly. I will simply tell my brother that they are not welcome upon the rivers. EVER."
Jan says, "Yes. She made you wait. She didn't think much of you, whny I'm annoyed"
There's a glance to Matti and then to Raja. "If you need me you are always welcome to seek me out." Ann caught Jan's words and she tries to not laugh to loudly for that one's words. That is one way to describe a person.
Mikani shakes her head. "I just think that she saw nobles and got greedy." She comments. "Greed can trump a lot of things."
As they make their way out the door, Raja listens to what the others say and the tension seems to melt from her. Then, a rather sly smirk touches her features. It is as if she is holding some great secret and dastardly plan. However, she does not spill the idea, instead, "Well. She will get an awakening soon. Anyways, to the docks then."
Jan nods once to Raja, "To the docks. Let's find this queef-sniffer and put this matter to rest."
Mikani is overheard praising Jan: Best Insults!
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