Peculiar Happenings in Dres Horak

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The time is the waning years of the Third Era. The Nerevarine has not yet been named, but the Sixth House has begun to stir, hardly more than rumors in the underbellies of the holy cities of Morrowind, or the tales of disappearing Buoyant Armigers and tradesmen on the front. An outlander has landed on the shores of Seyda Neen and begun to cause trouble, but such rumors have only just begun to filter down to Dres Horak to the far south...

Dres Horak is an ancient Dres clanstead set on the southern shore of Lake Andaram. The hexagonal canton sits, foreboding and gray, on the top of the cliffs overlooking the docks. Beyond the city, the gentle slope of the Deshaan Plains stretches all the way to the Arnesian Jungle, a mere haze of blue and green at this distance. Plantations dot the salt-gleaming surface of the Plains, and large crevasses split the salt flats like spiderwebs.

Dres Horak is a wasp-nest of activity, as it always is in the spring once the rains have begun to recede. Slaves and their masters swarm up and down the cliffside, carting goods to and from the mixed-origin trader ships, or repairing the multitude of cranes, lifts, and water mills that connect the clanstead proper to the docks. 

The docks are noisy with all the busy sweating bodies, but this doesn't stop a ruckus just inside the Salt Wash canals to carry across the water. There seems to be a hold-up in the main entrance of the canals, and the gondolas and hand-carts have backed up onto the docks, their attending Dunmer fidgetting restlessly and craning their heads to get a view of the blockage.

"I am a holy man of the Tribunal!" comes a furious bellow. "You will stand aside!" It's answered in similarly angry cries, and the hold-up doesn't get any better.

What do you do?

((Normally my posts won't be so long--I had a scene to set! Consider how your character got to Dres Horak, and their motivations for being here. Let the games RP begin!))
 

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It was a normal day, as it always was. The rain was pouring and I stood there selling my wares to the nobles of Camlorn. Finest clothes a man has ever seen, stitched to perfection, but anyway I digress. On a day such as this, with dark, grey, thundering skies, the clientele didn’t want to come. They let me stand in the rain, you see, nobles do not have the decency to come outside and buy a man’s wares.

Anyway, so I was sitting by my stall, throwing my dagger in the air, when a hooded man approached me. A man with grey skin, a man from the far east. Said that there was gold to be made in the fine clothing business. I must admit I was sceptical about the guy, but it was an offer I couldn’t refuse, it’s a gap in the market there, in Morrowind he said. I can set shop up there, earn my money and buy out those merchants here once and for all! So we shook hands, he has agreed to show me the local ways of doing business. We were to meet in Dres Orak, or was it Dres Horak? Tomorrow I’ll board the ship. this day will be the day that they regret trying to ditch the man who is Beaudoin Maracour!

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Always in need of alchemical professionals, I was told. North, beyond the mire, that's where the prosperity lay! Bah! Nothing but dunmer and dryskins up here, but they pay well and the... ahem... "Novelty" of a free Argonian in Dres Territory advertises itself. My Egg-siblings always told me "The closer to danger, the further from harm" though I admit the translation from Jel doesn't work quite as well. Ah well, I'd love to see some dunmer try their luck with me.
Potions and baubels always sell well. Always someone in need of a poison or a draught, a drug or a spell. The Argonian government certainly loved the idea and they throw a few pieces my way when business is slow. They trusted my mother, and so they trust me. Can't imagine why else and I laugh in thinking of other ridiculous reasons to keep me this far north.
My tent is a tad damp, but it suits me just fine. As long as the potions in my bag don't dilute it'll be fine, I say nearly aloud. Busy day in Dres Horak. Lotsa noisesome mer and men. Too noisesome...

""I am a holy man of the Tribunal! You will stand aside!"

I close up as the cacophony kicks up. I poke my head out of the tent

"[By Sithis, what is all this racket?]", I spit in native tongue to no one in particular.

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People of my station normally bellow and rant at the slightest inconvenience.  "Time is money," my father would always say (he isn't a particularly original man), "so don't let anyone hold you up."  Apparently that Temple priest felt similarly, and thought it prudent to announce to everyone how important he is. Frankly, I doubt whoever or whatever was holding us all up would move because of his cries of indignation. I, however, don't much mind the hold up. The gondola is comfortable enough I suppose, and this shein is positively incredible. I was feeling pleansantly tipsy and I watched in amusement as the crowd around me ranted and raved.  "Time is indeed money," I think to myself. "Luckily I am a rich man." 

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My team and I have been at Dres Horak for a while now. It's located at lake Andaram, and it's not very interesting in my opinion. One of the guys says he loves the place, but he's the one who said there was some evil thing in Ankogathn which turned out to be a leaky pipe. Though to be fair, he's the only one who knows how to unlock dwemer strongboxes properly, so I shouldn't judge. Anyway, we were told that there was an artifact of some sort near the area. They didn't know what it was and thought it was some kind of Argonian thing. We were still heading south when we mysteriously lost all of our supplies. Thankfully, none of it was of rare and ancient origin. We had to stop in this sweaty place, and just as we did, that artifact had apparently been taken by another branch near the border of Black Marsh. Miscommunication, they said. Like I believe that. There had to have been a reason for them to have done that; they wouldn't just leave us and not tell us about it until it was done. Anyway, We're here now and we're stuck here. We have to make enough money again to get out of here. Hopefully, that doesn't take too long. With the state of things now, it shouldn't. Gods have mercy on us all. Especially Brinanette; she's not that bad.

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Call me a liar if you will, but I don't mind Dres Horak. It is high up and in an easily defendable position. Business flows through there constantly and all the cogs stay at work at all times. Many do not enjoy the clutter and the noise but these things have never phased me. No, after spending as much time as I have beyond the border to the south any air that is not filled with the deathly musks of a swamp is beautiful air. There is a lot of sweat, blood, and harsh words filling this air but it's still more than tolerable.

I only spent more than a day in this place because Drebin and his partner told me we would get a better deal for our current batch of slaves here but they've apparently had some problems regarding our actual payment. Dragging this many Argonians this far has been a damn stressful job and I've not gotten my full pay yet. Why I agreed to hunt with these two fetchers is beyond me. I left them to negotiate with whomever among the trade ships they planned on delivering to and went to fetch a drink. Yes, I may have lingered longer than I needed to, but after traveling with Drebin for as long as I have you'd understand my need for a few drinks. But on my way back a problem had surfaced. I can't get past some damn crowd at the entrance to the canals. Some fool is shouting something far ahead but I don't give a damn. Those fetchers will sooner claim inconvenience and run off with the pay than work their way through this mess for me! My impatience got the better of me, admittedly, but I can't stand wasting time. I began pushing my way through the crowd of weak, indecisive Dunmer and making my towards the source of the sound. One way or another this problem is going away and I'm getting my damn gold.

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((Hm, the first person is a little disorienting. Let's see...Teeth is poking his head out a tent, Claudius is pleasantly tipsy on a gondola, Seryn is searching for supplies to replace what his expedition lost, Verminah is pushing her way towards the commotion, and Beaudoin is disembarking a ship?))

For the most part, the crowd gets out of Verminah's way, albeit not without a few curses and dirty looks cast her direction. She reaches a break in the crowd and can now see the source of the commotion: a tall Dunmer in battered Ordinator armor, sans the helmet, is weaving tipsily and gesticulating angrily. Before him is what looks like a pile of crates fallen from a pack guar's back. A slave is trying to calm the poor animal, while his Dres overseer is arguing with the Ordinator. The Dres overseer seems like he doesn't quite dare disobey the Ordinator, but his patience is flagging, and the crowd continues to press closer, agitated.

Most of this scene would be obscured to the other four, though the ripples of excitement continue to pass through the crowd. An Argonian slave looks at Teeth uneasily, muttering something about keeping one's head down when the masters have a fight. "[Swords swung in anger do not care what they hit,]" she advises with a little shudder.

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The crowd was growing increasingly agitated, a fact which Claudius noticed but which he paid no real mind.  One way or another, Claudius figured, he would start moving again.
 
Perhaps the key reason Claudius was unconcerned with the hold-up was that he had no real destination.  He was riding on the gondola because it seemed a fun thing to do.  The gondolier was a dreadfully poor conversationalist, like the rest of the Dres, so Claudius was content to lay back and savor the nuances of his shein and the buzz in his mind.  
Consequently, Claudius couldn't be sure he heard the gondolier correctly, nor could he believe what he had heard.  "I am sorry," Claudius asked, "I must have misheard you.  What is this about an Ordinator?" 

"Others are saying an Ordinator is causing a ruckus up ahead, acting like a boor. The Triunes must be appalled that one of their own would be drunk in uniform."

Claudius could not help but break out in a grin.  He  handed a few drakes to the gondolier and disembarked, eager to seek out the source of the commotion. Every Ordinator he had the misfortune to meet had been dour to the point of hostility, but a drunk one?  Claudius hoped he would find a new friend in this most alien of places. At the very least, an Ordinator would make a fine drinking companion.

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“Charlais, Charlais!” Beaudoin cried out.

The door of his chamber opened, and an elderly Breton stepped in.

“What is it sir?” Said the man unenthusiastically.

“Charlais, can’t you hear the gasps and the screams outside?”

Charlais sighed, and made his answered for yet another time,

“Sir, there seems to be some ruckus outside, I can’t do anything about it. Now could you please put down that bottle of wine, you’ve drunk more than enough.” Charlais said, while getting increasingly agitated.

Beaudoin looked angrily at Charlais, then turned his head, drank the last of the bottle, and gently put down the empty bottle on the table that he was sitting at. Not trying to stain his purple velvet sofa, of course.

“Fine Charlais, you know what?” He says, whilst standing up. “I’ll handle this myself, nobody dares to get into the way of Beaudoin Maracour! Even these… Easterlings.”

Without a second thought Beaudoin rushed out of his chambers, onto the deck of the ship, Charlais running after him.

“Sir, I really would advise you not to…”

“I decide what I want to do, Charlais. I’m the Royal representative after all.”

“I’m afraid I can’t let you do that Sir”

Charlais stood in his way, and with a single harsh push, Charlais fell of the ship. Into the salty waters of Dres Horak.

Beaudoin stormed ahead, with a godly stature and a cane in his hand, he set off to the place of all this… commotion. To whatever these Easterlings could be riled up about…

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The Dres overseer's face is flushed an ugly purple-gray by the time Claudius pushes to the forefront. The Ordinator seems to have also lost his patience, and suddenly shoves past the Dres overseer, laying his hands on one of the crates. The Argonian shies away from him, and the guar, sensing trouble, leaps into the canal, upsetting a nearby gondola. As the gondolier goes tumbling into the drink (to join Charlais?), this sets off the rest of the crowd. The Dres overseer draws steel. One dock worker throws a punch Beaudoin's way.

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Seryn had had enough. He had been trying to study ancient scripts which he had put off analyzing for a while, but just could not concentrate with all this ruckus outside. He peered out the window to see what in Oblivion was actually happening. Lo and behold, a fight had broken out in the streets. People were in the water as well, hanging onto guars which were hanging onto people. Seryn decided to go and find out what was all the fuss, mainly because he was curious. Brinanette was sitting with him and working on the same piece that he was, and became furious as soon as he stood up.

Dixius called out to him: "where do you think you're going, Tolvas?"

"Going to get some fresh air," he said. "No need to trouble yourself, Dix."

"It's things like this that get us into trouble. Best not to get involved."

"Who said I was going to get involved?" Seryn asked rhetorically, knowing that he would probably get involved in one way or another.

"Fine, suit yourself," said Dixius. "Just wipe the blood off your shoes when you come back in. Don't want to pay even more for cleaning fees."

As Seryn walked out the door, Brinanette pulled on him from behind. "You're not going anywhere," she said with a stern face. "I can't do all this work on my own."

"Are you sure, Brin? I've seen you do a lot more on your own."

She felt a sense of pleasure when he said this. Even his simple words get to her very easily. Seryn knew this very well and had used this in many occasions to bend things his way. "It'll only take a moment," he said. "I'll be right back."

And so, Seryn headed off with a mixture of confusion and anger as well as curiosity into what very well may be the impending demise of his pretentious life.

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When Claudius saw the glint from the overseer's sword, he instinctively reached for the sword which hung at his hip, although he hesitated before drawing.  While a nearby Breton was assualted by the crowd, no one had attacked Claudius. While Claudius was not squeamish at the sight of blood, he had no desire to see the overseer disemboweled in front of him. (There was little doubt in his mind that the Ordinator, despite his drunkenness, was going to win this fight.) Consequently, Claudius decided to try to restore everyone to proper sense.   

"Gentlemer!  May I inquire what the cause for this fight is?  Sera, I am terribly sorry if my friend," at this Claudius motioned to the Ordinator, " accidentally destroyed any of your product.  I am sure we can come to some agreement."  

Claudius continued clutching his sword, ready to draw at the slightest sign of danger. 

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Verminah had hardly expected to see an Ordinator as the source of the ruckus. It wasn't often she saw unruly Ordinators. Her lifestyle had her more often engaging with more unscrupulous parties or the more self-absorbed or ever busy Dres. This was new... and possibly dangerous. Especially once a guar was agitated enough to go leaping into the sea.

It went without saying, certainly, but this was also bad for business. An ornery Ordinator was enough distraction to cause gold to go missing and deals to shatter amidst the confusion. She still needed her damn gold! With a hand by her hip (ready to arm herself if absolutely needed) and another outstretched, palm forward, Verminah approached the Dres overseer quickly before the Dres name was associated with burying steel in the flesh of the temple's finest. Well... maybe this one wasn't among their finest...

"Hold, muthsera." Her head bowed briefly in respect to her Dres superior and as she spoke her feet slowly drew her towards the seemingly shrinking gap between the two mer. "What's going on he--."

"Gentlemer!  May I inquire what the cause for this fight is?" A fait hiss of annoynace slithered through her teeth. That haughty and distinctly foreign accent immediately grated on her ears. Wonderful, she thought with a deep scowl. More complications. Verminah moved towards her Dres kinsman while Claudius drifted towards his apparent Ordinator friend and stood at his side. She in turn took her position opposite of him, one hand still hovering by her hip and ready to draw her own small blade should this new fool cause either mer's anger to flare further. The crowd was getting rowdy and it wasn't going to be long before more than just one or two fists were thrown. Hopefully the overseer had a better reason to get violent than the Ordinator or some hard and fast choices were about to be made.

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((Egads, sorry for going so long without an update.))

Both the Ordinator and the Dres turn to scowl at Claudius, the Ordinator's already thin red eyes narrowing even further. The Ordinator puts his hand on his sword hilt, though takes a few attempts to actually fix his hand around it properly. He doesn't smell of alcohol, suggesting something else is behind his slight weaving.

The Dres overseer takes Verminah's face in quickly, stepping unobtrustively off to the side so that Verminah and Claudius are between him and the Ordinator. He is about to speak when the Ordinator jumps in:

"I am a representative of the Temple and the holy Tribunal, blessed be their names! This man is holding contraband goods, and I am confisticating them as befits...befit...as I should!" His eyes go a little crossed for a moment, until he gives a fierce shake of his head, his nosering jangling against his upper lip.

"I assure you, my goods are all perfectly legitimate," says the overseer coldly. "And unlike that outlander over there, all of good Morrowind stock, even the lizards." At this, his Argonian slave casts him a dirty look that is ignored.

"Then you won't object to those goods being searched! The innocent have nothing to hide," growls the Ordinator, turning again to the overseer and pulling his sword half out of its sheath. "There is heresy about! It is my...duty! ...my duty--" he fumbles with the sword, then gives up and shoves it back into its sheath with a loud clack, as if he never meant to pull it out anyway. "--my duty to combat this heresy," he ends a little lamely. He takes a step towards the overseer that falls just short of being menacing, as the world around the Ordinator seems to overbalance again and he stumbles. He immediately stands at attention again, his rapid blinking the only sign of his dizziness, scowl fiercer than ever.

"I assure you that House Dres has only ever served the interests of Morrowind and the Tribunal," the overseer says carefully, eyeing the Ordinator with distate and disbelief. Something clicks on in his eyes, and he sneers. "If you are a proper Ordinator, where is your mask..?"

 

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Beaudoin stepped off the wooden plank that connected the ship with the stone docks. The dock workers looked at him with utter disgust, probably because he threw Charlais over the edge. “It seemed that these foreigners didn’t know the act of disgracing another merchant!” He thought. Having a joint business venture with Charlais wasn’t his brightest idea, but he couldn’t have afforded the boat himself. Now he was here, their cooperation was over.

 

Out of the sudden, one of the dockworkers came storming towards Beaudoin, hurling himself towards him. “You filthy N’wah!” he said, before trying to connect a punch to Beaudoin’s jaw.

“Luckily those ballet lessons came in handy” Beaudoin thought. He grinned a little, then bended his back backwards in a perfect arc. The punch went wide, and the dockworker stumbled forwards. “A little nudge with the cane ought to do it”, he thought. The dockworker tried to balance himself on the edge, but to no avail. He fell of the edge and landed on Charlais, the poor fellow, but he had it coming. Beaudoin wiped the dust off his coat and walked further to where the ruckus was. The dockworkers despising him, but not interfering, as they might join their friend in the waters.

It was quite a walk from the ship. Beadoin trying to push through the large crowd. “Gentlemer! May I inquire what the cause for this fight is?” Finally, a fellow man that isn’t that blasted Charlais!

He pushed further onward, trying to get to the centre of the commotion. It seemed like a drunk guy in armour(can’t even handle a bit of liquor? Pfff), and the other some kind of merchant… Business opportunity! “If I could get in there I might be able to get a favour with the guy” He muttered to himself.

Beaudoin now saw the scene of commotion more clearly, A dunmer and a man stood in between them. A few nasty word were tossed back and forth, and tension grew high. It was now Beaudoin’s time to shine! He walked out of the crowd into the conflict and stood right in the middle.

“People, people, if we just pack that weird beast up and let this ‘honest’… person be on his merry way, we can all go on with our lives, how about it?”

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Taking advantage of the distraction caused by Beaudoin's arrival and the mounting tensions, Claudius moved to inspect the Dres merchant's goods.  While doing so, he took a swig of shein from one of the several flasks which hung at his waist.  "If the law enforcer is going to be drunk I suppose I should be too," Claudius thought to himself.  

By checking out the merchant's goods, Claudius both sated his curiosity while distancing himself from the potential conflict.  For one, the merchant's blood would not splatter Claudius' clothing.  Additionally, Claudius  wanted to step out of the thin Dunmer woman's striking distance, since she seemed willing to harm Claudius should a fight break out.

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Neither of the Dunmer notice Charlais investigating the goods. He would find that the top layer seems innocuous enough, a bunch of herbs dried and stacked together between sheets of treated paper to help keep them fresh. If he digs down far enough though, a smell he may know quite well would waft up. Though these herbs have been unprepared, any travellers in or near Black Marsh or connoseuirs of mind-altering substances would instantly recognize the sharp scent of the illegal Argonian drug daril, that not even the rest of the aromatic herbs padded on top could entirely hide.

"Who are you?" the Ordinator is snapping at Beadoin. "No, I cannot just let him go. I would shame my gods!"

"You already have," says the Dres overseer nastily, and spits at the Ordinator's feet. Some in the crowd howl in disbelief, but no one steps forward to defend him. "You disgrace the Tribunal with your sotteness."

Silence settles heavily. Even though none on the docks would blame the Dres overseer for his frustration, it seems disrespecting even a drunken Ordinator is something not often done.
 

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Claudius reaches into the pile of daril, and covertly puts a handful in one of his many pockets, which are well-hidden under his many layers. Claudius ignores the mounting tension and hopes someone else will diffuse the situation.  

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