Sept. 21, 2023, 8:30 p.m.
Outside Arx - Crownlands near Arx - Merchant Warehouse
Comments and Log
After spending time investigating the death of Elrion outside the Purple Talon, the group turns its efforts towards apprehending the dock labourer Roki. Luckily (or unluckily) a large ship, stacked high with grains and other cargo, has just moored, and dock workers hoping for work have already started queuing up in the hope that today they will be picked by the small team responsible for their management. If Roki is as desperate for money as it seems then surely he is down there amongst the other hopefuls.
Ah, the docks. It's pretty much Culler territory. So, Cullers milling back and forth aren't an unusual sight. Amongst the Cullers present is one Raja. (Just one. More than one and the city would be in trouble.) Some of the Cullers are mingling with the hopefuls, trying to get a position on the ship. Raja is milling through the crowd, dark eyes looking back and forth and listening to the present conversations going on around them.
Jan wanders towards the edge of the dock and her lips purse "Anyone got a plan? probably easier to namedrop and see which one tries to make a run for it, eh?" she lofts eyebrows and scans the faces of her companions.
Ian is spending most of his time living on the docks these days, so it's a coin flip whether he intended to be here to help out, or if he just happened to be here at the right time. He certainly doesn't have any particular sense of purpose about him. He's on the deck of the Bounty of Cirella, leaning on the railing and watching the dockworkers gather, and only steps away when he sees his friends gathering, as well.
Then there's that noisy ship over across the docks, bells running along rigging and railing. Colorful sails. The gangplank even has a few bells upon it. And that is where Mattheu is stepping from, a small line of cargo setting to the ship's deck. Just a stretch and looking at those lining up for work.
There is a fan to Ann's features as she walks along in the dock. She is not a fan of the warm weather and she's probably burning energy with this fanning business but she does it anyways. Looking to see where the group of those she is familiar with and she moves in that direction. Hearing Jan there's a small shrug, "Its a plan of sorts? It doesn't sound terrible."
Umi, the curious turtle arrives, delivering a message to Jan before departing.
One of the recruiters yells for patience and their companion sorts people into other groups. "Surmi, Get to the grain. Harn, Didn't I tell you to stay out of my sight? Rikki, Theres some cloth. Be delicate aye?"
Mattheu shares a few words in Ravashari for the crew that is loading up the River Dragon as he holds arms outstretched over his head and a wave to Ann and Jan from where he stands upon the docks. A pat to the back of one of the crew, a young woman with white hair and looks permanently ready to haul Mattheu off over he shoulder. Something said which has him spinning around to walk backwards and politely flip her off in jest. Making his way through the group that are getting sorted out with the recruiters. Bumping into a few as small crowds tend to cause as he seeks to keep a balance and not knock anyone off of docks between boats. A pat to the back of those he has bumped into, offering apologies. "Ah. Small dock space. Sorry. ... Hi. I'm Matti."
There are a lot of faces here. A frown tugs at Raja's lips as she studies the many faces. A bit of rolled haze is taken from her pocket and stuck between her teeth as she makes her way through the crowd and to whoever seems to be leading the recruitment effort. She looks to the person in charge, "I know you're a busy person, but I got a deal for ya." Should they be willing to hear out her deal, "I am lookin' for a bloke named Roki. I could score you a bit of trade with the Cullers should you find the man in the crowd and.. 'hire' him." Her voice is spoken softly so that only the one leading the recruitment can hear her.
Ann gets closer to the River Dragon. A smile and a wave to Mattheu and she does the same thing for the young woman with white hair even if she's being vocal. But she's been listening to the crowd and when the recruiter yells his instructions she's paying attention to any names that are called out. Squinting when she hears Rikki it sounds a lot like Roki and she tries to edge over that way to see if she can get a closer look.
Jan scans the line of workers and unslings her satchel and holds it out to Ann, "Mind holding that for a bit?" her gaze intent on the line and not looking back towards Anna as she watches Mattheu and Raja and seems to prepare for mayhem...or not as the case may be.
Ian has watched a number of days like this one, when would-be dockworkers jostled for employment. Now, still leaning against the railing on the high deck of the Bounty of Cirella, he watches the people a little bit below him, looking for any sign of anyone who's behaving differently than the people he's seen do this so many times before.
Ann checks luck at hard. Ann fails.
When Jan asks Ann to take her satchel she takes it gladly. As she gets closer in examining faces of the group by the recruiter she looks disappointed. Rikki is not Roki because for one they are both different sexes.
The recruiter squints at Mattheu, eyes him dubiously for a moment, and then tells him "Back of the queue if you're here for work." People filter through but there has been no mention of a Roki yet. There are still a number of incresingly unhappy looking potentials waiting to be processed though. None of them stand out in a way that would mark them out as Roki.
Raja checks charm and streetwise at easy. Raja is successful.
Mattheu looks to the recruiter then the line. A small turn of his head to its side. "Sure thing!" And proceeds to step to the end of the line where he then offers a deep bow to Ann. Keeping up those appearances, just a random Ravashari here.
When Raja comes up and asks outright who Roki is the recruiter's first instinct is to verbally shove her away with a "Go swallow a." That fades as she realises who she's actually talking too. "Roki huh?" For several moment she eyes the nobles threaded through the mob, considering money no doubt, before spitting and looking back to Raja. "Bah. He aint worth protecting. There." She points right at a young man. A young man who's immediate reaction is to look as startled as a rabbit that just spied an oncoming chariot. His second action, mere seconds after that first startle, is to turn on his heels and RUN.
Raja checks dexterity and athletics at hard. Raja fails.
Mattheu checks dexterity and athletics at hard. Mattheu is successful.
Jan checks dexterity and athletics at hard. Jan is successful.
Ann checks dexterity and athletics at hard. Ann fails.
The fact the group had spread themselves out a little in the crowd acts in their favor and both Mattheu and Jan manage to react quickly enough to grab a limb, chunk of hair, or piece of clothing. The result is that Roki is brought to a screaching flailing halt. "Let me go!" he screeches. "You're hurting me!".. Several members of the gathered crowd start to murmur uncomfortably. This could quickly turn ugly if mistakes are made..
There is a rather devious look that simply crosses her face as she slowly turns and locks eyes with the man. As he turns to run, Raja gives chase! However, the crowds are simply TOO thick and she finds herself blocked to progress. A stream of curses is muttered and there is a hot glare that sears into the back of the fleeing man's skull. However, her companions seem to have much better luck. So, instead, she turns to look back to the recruiter and smiles, "Tell your Captain to send me word when he is free and we can figure something out, I am sure."
The recruiter and her comrade eye the crowd and give Raja a nod in answer before withdrawing into the warehouse where the work is happening. It seems any problems about to be created are all your problem.
Ann knows better then to try and run. Besides she has Jan's bag but she has the sense enough to move so she doesn't get knocked over. There was consideration of chasing after Roki but he's caught and she will just continue to hold onto Jan's satchel for her as she waits to see what is to happen next. Listening to Raja when she speaks. A glance around to see how the crowd is faring with this commotion.
Ann checks charm and etiquette at normal. Ann fails.
Ian checks charm and etiquette at normal. Ian fails.
Mattheu checks charm and etiquette at normal. Mattheu is successful.
Jan checks charm and etiquette at normal. Jan fails.
Jan had been ready for a runner, as evident by her lightening her load just prior. She takes off and helps corral him him with Mattheu, snaring him and holding one side while leaving the other to Mattheu "Just lift him up off his feet if he keeps at it." She rolls her eyes "Relax, we just want to talk to you. It wouldn't hurt if you weren't flailing."
Lining up to get into line. Yup. Mattheu has a silly grin on his lips, ages since he's been in a line for work at the docks only to spot someone start running when the recruiter points in a general direction with Raja. Can't hear what they are saying though, someone running away from work? He's off after the man waving his hand to Jan as he snags a corner of the man's tunic and holds on to stop him from getting far. Once Jan and the others have a hold to him, "Oh. Nope. How about we let the Inquisitor sort that out?"
There is nothing remotely placating in Ian's dark countenance, when he calls down to Jan and Mattheu: "If you bring him here, it might be a quieter place to talk and have a drink."
Angry murmurs spread through the group as they shift from being merely disgruntled to actively uncooperative. "What did 'ee do?" yells one. "Leave him alone!" yells another "Damn those meddling silks" murmurs a third. An angry fourth is about to yell something when Mattheu speaks and instead slips away grumbling something about the inquisition sticking their nose into honest hard working peoples business. One thing is clear, if you want to drag Roki away from here, you're going to have to deal with these big burly dock workers first.
Roki continues to struggle and try to escape.
Raja turns on her heels and proceeds to not just walk, but /stalk/ in the direction of the man who is struggling against her friends. "Hello Roki." She says in a rather insidious tone. "You did me dirty." Her eyes flash with intent to intimidate the man. "I think it is in your best interest to simmer down and come.. have a chat." While she talks, a few cullers come out of the crowds. She then spins on her heels to talk to those with ill intent towards the group. "Don't worry. Just business here."
When Matti mentions Inquisitor Ann steps up and her confessors surround her. A dark brow comes up. Rawkin and Louve stand near by if Roki needs help settling in so questioning can begin. The two confessors give dirty looks to the crowd. Inquisitors and confessors both have quite the reputation even if they do not interfere right this moment as Raja begins speaking.
Raja checks command and intimidation at normal. Raja is successful.
Ian checks command and intimidation at normal. Ian is successful.
Jan checks command and intimidation at normal. Jan is successful.
Ann checks command and manipulation at normal. Ann marginally fails.
Jan growls at Roki "I _SAID_ to STOP. Struggling. We're not here to hurt you." She notices the discontents and her lips purse and she draws in a deep breath and bellows "Those of you who have business best _GET ON WITH IT_! Our business isn't with any of you and if you got any sense you'll keep it that way!"
"HEY!" Usually pretty soft spoken, Ian proves that he can make himself heard with the best of him using a tone of voice cultivated through many, many long days and nights shouting orders in all kinds of weather at sea. The word he barks out is close enough to a crack of thunder of the sort that he's learned to out-project. "Let. Them. Through." Catching Raja's eye, he motions with his head towards the deck of the Bounty, where he's still standing.
Mattheu simply continues to hold the bloke as everyone yells around them. A silly smile upon his lips as Ann and confessors push through the crowd, as he stays silent waiting for the crowd to get the hit from the others to push off.
There is something to be said for shouting loudly and commandingly at angry people until they realise that they are faced with a bunch of silks, confessors and cullers. Faced with such a barrage the majority of the crowd quails and quickly finds excuses to be anywhere else. Finally, bereft of the courage of a mob, even the loudest ones slink away. Soon only you and Roki on this unusually quiet section of the docks.
Soon only you and Roki remain*
Raja watches as the crowds disperse. Then she flashes a smile to the Cullers. "Hey. Go see if they have any more openings for work, eh? Make yourselves useful. Thanks for the backup." She actually gives them a proud sort of smile, like the one a sister or brother would give. The closes Culler is pat on the back. She then turns to Ann, "You should probably take point, because my methods are.. " She leaves that blank. She does pull out that dagger that was used as a murder weapon. "Oh! You dropped this." She shows to the man. "Maybe after our talk, you can get it back." eyes narrow again. Yes, Raja is still pissed beyond reason about this man leaving a body on her doorstep.
That is the way the confessors like it. Shadows to Ann's back. Now that things are calmer it is Ann that looks to Raja to see what it is she wants to do next. She did catch where Ian had pointed out where he was still standing on the Bounty. If that is where they are to move she and the two men with her will go in that direction. Laughing softly when Raja calls on her services instead. A smile. A smile that even Mattheu has not even seen is now addressed to Roki, its almost feral in the look. "I would gladly take point in this, Mistress." This said to Raja and then she is looking at Roki. "I will just get to the point. Did you kill the man that you left Mistress Culler here to find?" Looking to Rawkin and then to Louve, "I suggest you tell us the truth or there will be other means to get the information out of you."
Jan marches Roki to the safety of the Bounty. She remains beside him with an iron grip on his his arm and is seemingly ready to full out restrain him if need be. Some women need to think about being outweighed or outmuscled but not usually a worry for the tall islander. She lapses into silence, letting Raja conduct her business.
"I didn't." Roki's eyes have gone wide as saucers with terror. "Thats not mine! He attacked me!"
Off of the dock and away from anyone who might get ideas (or an easy getaway on Roki's part), Ian is at least good enough to sweeten the deal and make sure everyone, Roki included, is supplied with a glass of alcohol.
Raja moves to the side, folding her arms over her chest and just glowering at the man. Though, there is a slight perk of interest at the offered alcohol. "Thanks." she says to Ian, offering a faint smile in his direction. A sip of the booze is enjoyed before she proceeds to glower again. GLOWER.
Mattheu loosens his hold on Roki just enough where he can still cuff the man's nape and looks to Ian with a smile. "Ah. You wouldn't have a wine would you? Whiskey just isn't my direction."
Jan watches the booze get handed out with a wanton look but she forgoes, keeping her hands free to 'guest' wrangle.
Ann doesn't take the offered alcohol yet. Later. Maybe. She stares at Roki. Her dark brow rises up again. "If he attacked you how come he's the one that is dead and not you? I believe...." Gesturing with a hand, "We believe you have something to do with all of this and again I suggest strongly you tell us the full truth." Pointing to the confessors, "They are very good at what they are doing." She quiets in case anyone else has anything more they would like to add then she already has.
"I don't know." Roki says in a hurried rush. Barely seeming to even notice the alcohol being handed around. "Maybe he attacked someone else. Wait! Who's dead? I don't even know what you are talking about. How could I have done it?"
Raja rolls her eyes from where she sits. She opens her mouth as if to say something, but then shuts it fast. Oh look! Booze! Sip.
"Wash keeps wine stocked," Ian says to Mattheu, before disappearing to produce a bottle. Ian's taste in wine is crap, but Wash, the owner of this particular ship (even if he isn't using it right at the moment) was a Grayson prince before he was a Kennex, and the wine Ian comes back with reflects the taste of the person who actually picked it out.
Jan sighs and interjects "Alright. Basic questions. So. Who is it that attacked you? When and where were you attacked?"
"Perfect." Mattheu grins to Ian as a bottle of wine is produced and he looks to Jan, Ann, and Raja. "If you three have this one. I'll just be over here discussing the finer points of this." He stares at the bottle proceeding to butcher the name completely. "A weird name for a drink."
"Umm." Roki looks wildly between them all. "It was Elrion. He was mad because, uh, he owed me money and he'd been, uh, winning, but, uh, he had debts, and he didnt want to give it to, uh, me. It was, uh, at the Bluejay. A bouncer threw us both out and I went home."
Ian returns to join the others, after getting the wine for Mattheu. "You have your knife?" The question to Roki is terse.
Raja perses her lips together as she considers the words that Roki was saying. She then interjects as well, "Is there anyone else that was there when you guys were outside?"
Jan looks irritated "The taint-raisin is clearly lying. What was our end goal here? He's clearly not going to help us find Elrion's family. Raja? Might as well work your irritation out on him, we'll chuck the body overboard and I can go the fuck home."
As the others begin to speak it is when Ann quiets. Its the confessors that step up to be a more intimidating presence so that Roki will continue to speak. Nodding at Mattheu to show she heard him as blue eyes look to the rest of the group to see if they believe this Roki character or not.
Roki makes a choked sort of eep sound when he heards Jan's suggestion. His words spilling out even faster. "It broke." he claims to Ian. "Nobody." he says to Raja. "You aren't going to let them kill me?" He begs of Mattheu and Ann.
"Wait." As Mattheu is mid sip of the wine and trying to decide if its worth figuring out how to say the name correctly or not. "The bouncer? The lovely tree of a woman? That one?" A look to Ann as he then turns to Jan as she is threatening to give the man swimming lessons. "Hold up. What about the bouncer?"
Raja peels from her spot as she stalks closer towards Roki. Though, she halts her advance and releases the grip on the hilt of her blade as she glances back towards Mattheu. She then turns her attention back to Roki, awaiting his response.
There's a hand raised in the direction of Roki when he asks that question towards Ann and Mattheu. Matti now talking and Ann is still quiet. She is interested in how Roki will answer the Rivenshari. Her hand also goes up towards Jan as if to tell her silently to hold up.
Jan falls silent and glowers, clearly loosing patience with the man but giving her companions time to work.
Raja furrows her brows a little. "Do you know who he had debts to?" Because to Raja, the man is beginning to make some sense. A man like elrion could have many enemies, especially if he owed money.
Ian is content to listen to the interrogation for now, although his flat expression doesn't really give away whether he's starting to believe Roki like Raja, or whether he's considering murder, like Jan. Or something in between.
"Erm." Roki stares at Mattheu as if he doesn't quite understand why he's being asked that question. "Yes. Her and Ern." he looks back to Raja, thinks frantically for a moment. "I dont know. Cerise? Or, Or, maybe those women he worked with?" He looks at Raja, all pleading. "Please don't give me to the Inquisition. I didn't do anything."
There's a tip of Ann's head when Roki says that. Again, her two shadows stare at the man in question. Their arms crossed over them.
Jan says, "Do you know who Elrion's kin are?"
"I swear. If this all goes back to my lovely tree who escorted us out. Not their cup of tea for drinks. Bull...shit." Mattheu looks to Ann, then over to Ian, and the others. "If he's being truthful, and this is his choice in life? That Mister Roki here just went home? Then we're heading back to the BlueJay and someone there is why they dropped the body off at Raja's."
"He doesn't have any." Roki says to jan.
Ian takes a sip of his drink. "I'm still interested in knowing what happened to the knife."
Jan says, "No one who will care he's dead?" She shoulder-check Roki "Answer his Question. What happened to your knife?""
Raja moves closer to Roki and plops a chair in front of him. She settles into the seat and just studies him for a long moment. Her gaze turns to Ann, then the confessors, then back to Roki. With a sigh, her demeanor changes. "Elrion was left on my doorstep for me to clean up. That is incredibly rude. Would you agree?" She falls silent again, lifting her glass to her lips. "Wait.. what women was he working with? Do you know their names?"
"I uh." Roki says to Ian. "Tried opening a crate with it and it broke." he blinks at Raja a few times. "Yes.." the words come out very slowly as if he's trying to work out what exactly he's supposed to say to best placate Raja Culler. "Very rude." the second question he seems far more confident about. A shake of his head. "No. It was all terribly secret."
There's a leaning coming from the confessors. They are listening to the group as a whole. Even Ann is but she catches Matti's words and says something to him quietly.
Ann mutters, "If the ... ... in the Blue ... ... that ... ... bitch. ... this questioning might be ... waste. But I can ... your ..."
Roki's eyes swivel across at Ann's murmurings. "Yes!" he exclaims "It must have been the bouncer! It wasn't me!"
Jan lapses back into silence but can't conceal a look of skepticism.
Raja ponders again. Her gaze turns to look to Ann, then to Matti, then back to Roki. "I think Elrion was an ass." She says with a crinkle of her nose. She leans a little closer to him, staring at the man with more skepticism with the last comment. "I think he tried to swindle you. I think he tried to attack you and take YOUR earnings too! However, you had to defend yourself. When he fell tot he ground, panic welled up. In an act of desperation, you drug the body back to the alley to dump him there. It was dark and quiet and nobody would see. You didn't mean to kill him, did you?"
Raja checks command and intimidation at normal. Raja marginally fails.
Roki quails as Raja presents him with a tale of what happened. Almost pleading. "It wasn't me."
Ian finishes off his glass of whiskey and sets it aside with an air of finality. "I lean towards thinking he did this," he says. "But I don't particularly care, and I don't care what happens to him so long as either the Cullers or the Inquisition approves of the doing. Long as he doesn't bleed out on this ship. I'd rather not be stuck cleaning up the mess."
This was Raja's reputation on line and Ann walks in her direction to quietly speak but others would here her, "We will agree with whatever ruling you wish to lay." Looking to Ian, "That is why we have House of Questions. Lots of nice rooms there."
Jan nods in agreement with her cousin "I likewise don't give a fuck. I say we leave him with Raja and let her work off some anger."
Raja sits back in her seat. Her gaze focuses on Roki for a moment. It is as if she is trying to determine whether he is telling the truth or not. "All the vidence points to you, Roki." She says quietly. "You were seen arguing with him the night of his murder. You are a dock worker.. missing a knife." She holds up the murder weapon, turning it one way then the next. Remnants of dried blood remain upon the blade. "Several people dropped your name. So, unless you can tell us something else to enlighten us to something different, I am afraid I can no longer help you. I had hoped to be able to help a man who simply had to defend himself. However.. a man who simply defends himself doesn't steal buttons and shoes." She glances to Roki's shoes.
Roki does indeed have a rather lovely pair of boots that surely won't last very long at the dockers trade. He goes pale, stutters a bit, and just repeats "It wasn't me" in a defeated little voice.
Mattheu looks at the man then to Raja. Closing his eyes then shaking his head. "This is all..." opening his eyes as he watches the others and their finality to not caring for the man's life. "He's not going to give you the answers your looking for. He's scared." He doesn't move to put himself between Raja and Roki just standing with that bottle of wine in his hand. "Look. I've been through this multiple times before taking knee. He hasn't offered up any names of who might have been at it... has he?"
There's a lean that comes from Ann as if she is listening to some quiet words from Raja. Her attention falling to Matti when he speaks up. Looking to Raja, "If you think he is scared for his life we can put him in one of the cells for his safety until we find the real culprit." Mattheu has brought up some valid points and she waits to see if there is anything else being offered by the group.
Raja takes in a breath before standing back up. She looks to the others present and frowns. The decision has been put on her shoulders and it is a heavy burden. She leans in to whisper something to Ann, then looks to Mattheu with his words. "I agree." He says softly to Mattheu. "I am not going to harm this man, because I know bullshit happens and sometimes people just find themselves in a bad situation. I think he just found himself in a bad situation." She then glances to Roki and cants her head. "Roki. Are you willing to help us find the killer?" She looks to Ann, "Can you do that without the other confessors umm.. you know. Doing their thing?"
Ian's indifferent demeanor backs up his statement that he doesn't really care what happens to Roki due to not having been convinced that he wasn't the killer. He listens while everyone talks it out, but doesn't seem to have any opinions about what the man's fate should be, beyond not wanting to clean up after whatever that fate is.
Raja also adds, looking to Roki. "The real killers might relax, thinking the blame fell on you. However, I think we may need to pay a new visit to our friend, Cerise."
"I don't know how." Roki starts to babble. "I'd just be underfoot. I really don't know anything. I just want to go home..." he seems done before he tacks on. "I've a wife and kids! They will starve without me!"
Jan has nothing to add but makes sure to keep a firm hand on Roki to keep him from escaping prematurely.
"As Inquisitor, and what I have heard tonight." Yes, Ann looks to Roki, "We will place you in a cell to see if we cannot give the real killer or killers a sense of relief and perhaps they will come forward. I will personally see that your wife and kids are taken care of while you are away." Looking to Raja at her request about confessors in general, "I will speak to the others in House of Question and let them know he's a special case and not to be touched for now." Yes, looking at Rawkin and Louve when she says that. Those two are her personal confessors.
Raja looks back to Roki, "This is for your safety. Silver will be sent to your wife and kids. I will not let them starve." She grips the chair and moves it to the side, putting it where she had originally found it. "I will leave it to you then."
Roki just mumbles "I didn't do it" again as he's taken away by the confessors.
Jan nods once "Good, Now I can go get a fucking drink."
Back to list