A New Job Yue Intro

[20:41] <Mina‘Haplo> [The Luna Restaurant, in central-southern Paxia, is not an awfully fancy place. Its plain wooden walls are unadorned, mostly; it isn’t overly large, either. Unlike many bars in the more slummy areas of Paxia, however, the Luna is clean and well-regarded for cheap, but enjoyable meals and liquor. It's homely and shows the mark of love on the place. It's warm and inviting, with an assorted crowd every day.]
[20:47] * Yue likes clean. She pads in, a brown-haired and unassuming-looking young woman dressed in a long black overcoat with silver trims. Her weapons are stashed on her back, signifying her to be an adventurer of some sort. Her expression is steely, but neutral as she pads along to the bar, her eyes flitting back and forth and absorbing a lot of the detail.
[20:56] <Mina‘Haplo> [Yue doesn’t need to wait long before she's actually greeted by someone! Service is good in the Luna. A pretty waitress approaches, giving Yue a little bow. A cursory glance shows that she shares her looks with the man on the bar- related, probably. "Welcome to the Luna! Would you like a place to sit and eat?"]
[20:58] * Yue stares for a long time at the waitress, before looking around and saying tersely, "Yes, I will sit and eat." She walks over and drops down onto a chair, keeping her eyes on the waitress.
[21:00] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Alrighty then! Well, here’s the menu~" The waitress remains cheerful and inviting, probably because she's used to jerks. She places a piece of paper in front of Yue- covered in all sorts of foods and drinks. "Now, if you can't read that, then you just ask me and I'll read it for you, okay?"]
[21:02] * Yue is only somewhat of a jerk. She can also read, fortunately. "… I'll have the potato salad," she decides after a bit.
[22:00] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Certainly! One potato salad! Would you like any drinks?"]
[22:01] * Yue lets out a little ’uh', stumped a bit, before responding, "Tea. Tea will do."
[22:01] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Sure! Would you like something with your tea? Some milk, sugar…?"]
[22:03] * Yue stares at her and thinks in her brain while she does that, like it’s a test or something. "Black tea. Milk, and sugar."
[22:06] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Alright then!" She walks off to go record Yue’s order! Yue now has a few minutes to look around the bar/restaurant.]
[22:07] * Yue 's eyes flit around, and she periodically reaches back to her shoulder to keep her sword and bow in check.
[22:17] <Mina‘Haplo> [The room is moderately crowded, enough to look occupied but with more than enough room for more. A fair chunk of the crowd are ’civilians', that is to say, locals who stop in during their day. Some, however, are clearly not- either by their unusual clothes or their equipment. In fact, one of them- a man wearing a long dark cloak, a sword and shield lying unused next to a chair, is sipping at a glass of some sort of orange drink
[22:17] <Mina‘Haplo> [He turns to look at Yue quite suddenly when her eyes flit towards him.]
[22:21] * Yue stares back at the orange sippy man, and stares back. Her face tenses.
[22:22] <Mina`Haplo> [The man stares back, tilting his head up. His face is visible, now- blonde hair peeking out from beneath the hood. A handsome face, rugged perhaps, one that looks youngish yet experienced.]
[22:23] * Yue stares for a few seconds longer, before suddenly remembering she isn’t about to break into a fight because this isn't a battlefield. She pulls her gaze away and stares down with double the self-consciousness.
[22:26] <Mina‘Haplo> [Yue is alone for a few moments more, before a shadow falls across her. The hooded gentleman is standing there, looking down. "Excuse me, is this seat taken?" He asks politely.]
[22:27] * Yue stares back up with a snap of her head, and then stares towards the seat. "I want to be left alone," she firmly responds after a bit.
[22:29] <Mina`Haplo> ["Are you waiting for someone?"]
[22:30] * Yue stops, and opens her eyes again. "No."
[22:37] <Mina`Haplo> ["I note you are a warrior." Says the man quietly, noting her weaponry. "We share professions. Do you have a mission at the moment?"]
[22:38] <Mina`Haplo> [He doesn’t sit, though, because Yue = total jerk.]
[22:38] * Yue stares up again. This catches her interest more than just wanting to sit with her does. "No," she responds, but it's a less harsh 'No'.
[22:40] <Mina‘Haplo> ["I am, currently, on a mission." The man shakes his sleeves back- revealing a small, nice ring on his right hand with the mark of Damane etched into the surface- and pulls his hood back. He has rather clear, piercing blue eyes. "The Luna is a good place for hearing about the more dangerous missions- many warriors come here for assistance or to accept jobs. Are you here for a job?"]
[22:43] * Yue stares towards the ring for a moment, which causes her to tense more… although she’s good at hiding it, at least. "… sure, why not?"
[22:58] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Ah." The man finally sits down, steepling his hands and peering at Yue. "Have you heard about the swell of Darklings recently?"]
[22:59] * Yue thinks about how she just left the Red House yesterday and didn’t even know how to get around Paxia. Intel wasn't her job, sadly. She wisely feigns that and says, "No…"
[23:03] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Aah… Well." He nods slowly. "There’s a swell of Darklings. We're not entire sure, but we think that a string of recent disappearances and kidnappings have been their work. Some rather important people, too- it's disheartening. Part of my job is hunting them. Have you ever fought a Darkling?"]
[23:04] * Yue slowly shakes her head. She debates whether or not to ask about what a Darkling even is. Decides not to. "Can they not be stabbed to death?"
[23:08] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Oh, they can… And they cannot." A moment. "Do you know what a Darkling is?"]
[23:08] * Yue stares at him nonplussedly. "… No."
[23:20] <Mina`Haplo> ["They are shadowy things." Says the man. "They kidnap people and put them into an endless sleep." Said the man. "The sleep is filled with nightmares that grow worse with time- the Darklings draw their forms from these nightmares. Killing its physical form will only delay it as it reforms by its victim."]
[23:21] * Yue knows a thing or two about nightmares. Maybe having nightmares about Darklings would counteract the angelic nightmares. "I… see."
[23:30] <Mina`Haplo> [The man steeples his fingers once more. "We suspect there’s a new swell of them, a 'Darkling court' in town, causing trouble. It's my job to end them." The waitress returns, with a bowl of potato salad and a cup of tea!]
[23:36] * Yue looks marginally more interested, in both the job and in potato salad and tea. "Thank you," she says firmly, putting down coinage for her meal. She sips her tea first and then pokes some potato to eat. "If you are propositioning I come with you, let's discuss a price."
[23:44] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Ah… A price, hmm? Well, what are -you- willing to pay?"]
[23:45] * Yue pauses, and then raises both her eyebrows. "Why would I pay to perform work?"
[23:47] <Mina`Haplo> ["Ah… A price, hmm? Well, what are you looking to be paid?"]
[23:47] * Yue is rewound through time. Yue pauses, then thinks for a bit. "How much can you pay?"
[23:55] <Mina`Haplo> ["Hmm…" The man rubs his chin. "I can pay a great deal, Ms. Rohay."]
[23:55] * Yue ’s alarm just rings in her mind as she narrows her eyes and demands coldly, "How do you know my name?"
[23:56] <Mina`Haplo> [The man smiles, non-threateningly. "The answer, like many things, is part of what I can pay."]
[23:56] * Yue sips her tea and swallows hard. "How do I know I can trust you?"
[23:58] <Mina`Haplo> ["Because we work for the same thing, do we not?" He puts his hand forward, on the table (his right hand. His left hand is holding his orange drink). His ring glints in the light of a nearby lamp.]
[23:59] * Yue looks somewhat spooked now, but shies away for a moment into her cup of tea and takes more out of her salad. "Fine," she murmurs.

[18:35] <Mina‘Haplo> [And so Michael led Yue away from the Luna, led Yue through the streets. The neighbourhood, much like the Luna, was unassuming, yet clean, tidy, and humbly respectable. It did not bignote itself, but nor did it let itself fall into disrepair.-
[18:36] <Mina`Haplo> [This mindset was mirrored in their destination- an inn, in fact, -the- inn in which Michael and his other comrades were staying. "We’ll need to order a room for you."]
[18:36] * Yue stalks at a somewhat slow, careful pace after Michael. Her eyes are slightly narrowed and down, and a hood is over her head as she braces her arms around herself. She kinda looks like one of those peasant women. "… I have money for it."
[18:37] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Very well. There is a common room upstairs for us- I will await you there." Michael stalks off upstairs.]
[18:39] * Yue stops and takes a look around her. Clean, tidy… self-keeping, as it were. It makes her feel Ways about it that she isn’t quite Sure of yet. She hands the innkeeper a gold, before heading off upstairs.
[18:42] <Mina‘Haplo> [The keeper pockets it, and gives Yue a key. The room upstairs- the common room- is wide, spacious with small tables and chairs, a fire crackling away in a fireplace… There are small bands of people sitting about, about ten in total. Michael is sitting at one table, quite alone.]
[18:48] * Yue is staring at the people as she passes to sit with her blonde companion like they might be potential enemies, no matter how improbable. Her lips purse slightly as her body tenses, but she finally makes it to Michael without killing anyone.
[18:50] <Mina`Haplo> ["These people are hunters." Says Michael quietly. "Comrades who are hunting the Darklings. Some of them are new to the hunt. Others are veterans." A pause. "If you have never hunted Darklings before, then I will inform you on how."]
[18:50] * Yue responds, "I am listening."
[19:10] <Mina`Haplo> ["First and foremost. A Darkling is fuelled by the nightmares of his host- the sentient it has captured and placed into unending sleep- but it can also use its powers to mimic and mirror your own fears and worries, and gain an advantage- especially your nightmares. With this in mind, what do you think is the first rule of fighting a Darkling?"]
[19:24] * Yue is expressionless and blank in her eyes as she stares back towards Michael. "Fear is never an advantage in the battlefield. Doubly so here."
[19:30] <Mina`Haplo> [Michael smiles a little. "Things like ’be brave' or 'do not have fear' are, of course, good advice, in any situation. However, the thing with Darklings is that they're predators. Stalkers. They excel at homing in on isolated targets, overwhelming them mentally, then destroying them." A pause. "Are you used to fighting as a group, Ms. Rohay?"]
[19:31] * Yue falls silent, but then says, "If teamwork is what is required of the mission, I have no issues with it."
[19:32] <Mina‘Haplo> ["But have you fought as a group before?"]
[19:32] * Yue folds her arms and says, "No."
[19:37] <Mina`Haplo> [Michael nods. "Fighting as a group is important in these battles, Ms. Rohay, and it’s important that you hone your ability to do so. A Darkling will kill you if it fights you alone, but in a group it can never focus on everyone at once." A pause. "So. I take it you fear very little, Ms. Rohay?"]
[19:39] * Yue tilts her head up slightly as she says in a slightly offended manner, "Fear is the mind-killer, the bane of those who fight. There is no advantage to me fearing. I understand group tactics."
[19:40] <Mina‘Haplo> ["So you -do- fear things, then, Ms. Rohay."]
[19:42] * Yue lets out a sharp exhale, and says, "Please get to the point, Mr. Michael. I am here for a mission, not a lecture."
[19:43] <Mina`Haplo> ["I am not the only one beating around the bush, Ms. Rohay. This would all progress much faster if you said what you felt instead of clinging to aphorisms."]
[19:44] * Yue narrows her eyes and looks to be running out of patience. Then she takes a deep breath, deadens herself, and says, "Yes, I fear very little," she intones.
[19:49] <Mina`Haplo> ["You fear very little, but what you fear you -will- encounter. Keep that in mind." Michael reaches into a bag at his feet, plucking out a sheet of paper. He places it in front of Yue. The paper depicts a swirling, dark, gaseous form, covered in eyes. "Now. There are ways to tell that something is a Darkling. Some ways are easier than others. Imagine if the Darkling took on, say, a human form.-
[19:51] <Mina`Haplo> ["The form it takes will be unfamiliar- it will not ’act' like a normal human being. The fact that it is also a nightmarish projection counts for double in that. With other, more alien forms, it is more difficult. Like that." He taps the picture. "Darklings project faint auras of dread and fear- you will have an advantage there, since you'll be able to realise when your fear is 'artificial'. Now, see these eyes?"]
[19:54] * Yue slowly nods as she stares down at the picture, listening to the briefing.
[19:57] <Mina‘Haplo> ["The Darklings’ eyes are its weakest point. A strike to the eyes will tear its physical form asunder. In fact, if you stare into a Darkling's eyes and reject the fear it brings, it'll flinch from you. Which is, in and of itself, one of the ways to identify a Darkling." Michael puts his hand forward, now, his ring of Damane glittering. "Do you have a 'sacred item', like a ring or something with a symbol of faith upon it?"]
[20:00] * Yue lets out a little 'uh…', before holding up a small little wooden amulet on a chain with Damane's symbol on it.
[20:11] <Mina‘Haplo> [Michael nods slowly… "You are a true faithful of Damane? That sort of faith can energise a holy emblem and make it repellent to the Darkling."]
[20:12] * Yue looks down towards the symbol for a moment, but decides to be ambiguous about it. "I see. That will be useful."
[20:14] <Mina`Haplo> [Michael nods. "Indeed." A pause- he likes his pauses, doesn’t he? "Now, you are aware that Darklings place their victims into a nightmarish, endless sleep. If a Darkling's form is destroyed, they remanifest over days at the body of their victim- it is here where they are vulnerable. Either by waking the victim or by destroying it as it reforms- either way will permanently destroy a Darkling."]
[20:17] * Yue considers that for a moment, and then says, "Wake the victim? With what means?"
[20:22] <Mina‘Haplo> ["I am glad you asked. There are… A few ways. A victim will wake if you destroy the Darkling, but… Another way is to speak to the person. It might not always work, but someone close to the victim could rouse the sleeper. Another way is…" He taps his ring. "A secret item, like your own, might rouse the subject. And finally, certain spells or potions- spells of blessing, of purification, of shielding… Can rouse a sleeper
[20:22] <Mina`Haplo> [ of shielding… Can rouse a sleeper."] (If that cut off)
[20:30] * Yue gestures lightly and says, "Very well."
[20:31] <Mina`Haplo> [Michael nods slowly. "Now then. Tell me how you fight."]
[20:32] * Yue takes a deep breath, before saying, "Arrow to the eye, or blade to the heart. I can do both, depending on what your team requires."
[20:35] <Mina`Haplo> [Michael smirks at some unspoken joke. "I see. Well then. Do you have any questions before we continue?"]
[20:36] * Yue looks towards Michael and says, "Explain the team coordinations and tactics to me, if you will hire me to be a part of it."
[20:41] <Mina`Haplo> [Michael nods. "When it comes to Darklings, the group researches first, using their various skills and contacts to gather information. Since there aren’t 'plagues' of Darklings, we can afford this method. Once we have identified a Darkling, then we engage- usually using bait, first. Someone who can handle the fear and challenges of facing a Darkling alone. Then we strike when the Darkling is overconfident. Does that make sense
[20:42] * Yue nods. "A swarm of hunters, luring quarry with bait."
[20:47] <Mina‘Haplo> [Michael nods. "Indeed. Especially important is if we can ascertain if a certain Darkling has its host-prey near or far. Since they can operate at -extreme- distances from its host, not all Darkling hosts are nearby- but if they are, then we need to find out before we strike, lest we lose our advantage. I don’t think the Darklings know they're being actively hunted."]
[20:53] * Yue looks back towards the other hunters, before back at Michael. "Who will be the bait, then?"
[20:55] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Usually, I take the position as bait… But, sometimes, depending on the form of the Darkling, others act in my place. Right now, however…" He steeples his fingers. "We’re in the investigation stage. Against what we feel is a very potentially dangerous enemy."]
[20:56] * Yue nods in response and says, although she isn't quite convinced of how he knew her in the first place, "That is why you are recruiting additional warriors, then."
[20:58] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Indeed." Michael nods. "I know very well that you are a guaranteed unknown, Ms. Rohay. Which gives you unique advantages in this particular investigation."]
[21:00] * Yue cups her hands together, lacing her fingers and then saying, "I see. You wish for me to be the bait, because you suspect that the Darkling would be familiar with your crew?"
[21:02] * ZombieCake () Quit (Ping timeout)
[21:04] <Mina`Haplo> [Michael shakes his head. "In time, perhaps, Ms. Rohay. But for now, we need you to investigate- the people in this room are both preoccupied -and- probably too familiar with the organisation we are targetting."]
[21:06] * Yue didn’t really want to be bait anyway. "Alright. What do you need me to do?"
[21:09] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Have you heard of the crime boss ’Spyder', Ms. Rohay?"]
[21:09] * Yue considers this, but… well, there's that 'just came out of a hole in the ground a few hours ago' thing. "No…"
[21:13] <Mina‘Haplo> [Michael seems to have been expecting this reply. "Well. Spyder is a crime boss deeply rooted in the city’s west. He's a mastermind- powerful, intelligent, manipulative. Excellent planner. He's also mysterious- no one really knows where he is, or even what he looks like. This, along with certain small facts, means that we suspect him of being a Darkling."]
[21:13] * CakeyCake () has joined #2wizardsic
[21:15] * Yue considers that for a longer while, before saying, "I see. From what you've explained before, it would make sense for a Darkling to avoid much direct contact."
[21:19] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Indeed. Now, clearly, if we go through with the idea that Spyder is a Darkling that’s hiding himself away, he has a form that is clearly abhorrent- Darklings do tend to prefer bizarre forms, as they find it gives them greater power. But he might need some sort of 'intermediary' to human or elven servants… Perhaps a ring of human-shaped Darklings. A Darkling Cabal. An investation."]
[21:21] * Yue considers that for a moment, and then says, "How do these Darklings interact with one another?"
[21:25] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Darklings are an innately communal species; they possess great hatred for other species, but none of that hatred carries over to other Darklings. Thus, they can sense each other if they’re close, and form groups where they bind their hosts together in close proximity- allowing the parasites to communicate with each other instantly, across any distance." Michael says, his voice quite mild as he states this.]
[21:32] * Yue shifts in her seat, and then says, "You know an awful lot about them. How did you learn so much?"
[21:35] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Experience, partly. Plus…" He twists his ring absently. "The Darkling are my enemies. More than just the hatred they espouse for humans and elves, they are genuine enemies- I strive toward reversing their gains and destroying them. I have been for a very long time now- I’ve learned how they work."]
[21:36] * Yue leans back in her seat, and slowly nods. "Very well. What do you know about this Spyder's activities, then?"
[21:38] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Spyder is… Widespread and complex. His greatest strength- and where he has the most ability- is information gathering. He’s practically second to the Mage-Eye in just how much he knows. Everything else is just a method to increase his power and knowledge- murder, thievery, smuggling… You name it."]
[21:43] * Yue mmms softly, and then says, "It isn't easy to stay under the Mage-Eye radar. How does he do all this? Certainly the mages would have noticed by now."
[21:45] <Mina‘Haplo> ["That is…" Michael frowns. "As good a point as any, and where my knowledge comes to an end. I admit, I do not have access to the Mage-Eye, or to the powers the Darklings wield, yet somehow they can evade the Mage-Eye. The government hunts Darklings with extreme prejudice, so inside assistance is unlikely… I’m not sure. It might come to light eventually."]
[21:46] * Yue nods in response. "Very well. What will the first step of the investigation be?"
[21:51] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Infiltration." Another piece of paper is produced, along with a quill and ink. He draws two circles on the paper- one he writes ’Spyder' in, and the other he writes 'Allegro'. "Spyder does not possess full control of the city- and rivals, naturally, arise. One of the most powerful is Allegro, who is challenging Spyder's control on his own turf."]
[21:55] * Yue looks at the circles, and then says, "You think he may hold vital information?"
[21:56] <Mina‘Haplo> ["It’s possible. Some men in this group have been working hard to see what Allegro knows. However…" Michael taps the paper. "This underworld war gives up and coming thugs and sneaks a perfect opportunity to prove their mettle to crime bosses."]
[21:59] *Yue falls further silent. He knows a whole lot and was able to intercept and know of her name hours after she surfaced. She feels, most definitely, that he knows more than he's letting on. "You want to become moles in Spyder's group and work from inside?"
[22:00] <Mina‘Haplo> [Michael nods. "It’s a way to cover both avenues."]
[22:02] *Yue nods in return. "I think I've heard enough, unless you have more to cover."
[22:03] <Mina‘Haplo> [Michael nods. "No, I am done, unless you prompt more information from me."]
[22:04] *Yue pauses foor a moment, before rising and shaking her head. "No, that is enough."
[22:06] <Mina`Haplo> [Michael nods slowly. "Very well." He stands up slowly, stretching a little.]
[22:09] *Yue turns around halfway and says, "Inform me when you would like to begin the operation."
[22:11] <Mina`Haplo> [Michael nods. "Certainly. Now then- are you intending to rest?"]
[22:11] *Yue tilts her head down slightly. "Maybe. What is the time frame you’re giving me?"
[22:12] <Mina‘Haplo> ["Until the start of the operation? Or…?"]
00[22:12] <Yue> "Yes."
[22:13] <Mina`Haplo> ["I’m thinking you have about a week to prepare yourself and organise your affairs. I will probably be unreachable in that time."]
[22:16] *Yue gestures and says, "Very well."
[22:24] <Mina`Haplo> [Michael gives her a nod. "If you need anything, speak to one of my comrades."]
[22:29] *Yue nods in response, before turning and walking off towards her own room. First mission, not going like it seems.
[22:30] <Mina`Haplo> [Michael turns around, sits down, puts on mirrored shades, steeples his hands and chuckles "Just as planned!" … Not really. Instead he wordlessly picks up his bag and walks away quietly.]

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