Achmel's Amazing Sights
On the edge of Alexandria a menagerie has been set up. A brightly colored tent covers it up, striped lines glittering in the sunlight. It's a huge tent, and there's a big sign on the outside of it proclaiming the place as "Achmel's Amazing Sights". There's a man outside exchanging coins for allowing people inside. There's a moderately sized crowd waiting outside, and he gives the same warning to everyone that goes in. "Don't touch the cages! The animals inside are not safe to touch!" Then he smiles at the next person in line and takes their money. Whenever there's a pause in the line he shouts out at those passing by, offering to show them sights they've never seen before.
It's a tent, lots of people and some a little less casually dressed than the rest of them. Dax is one of those. She looks like she could be a guard if she weren’t so small, had a different kind of weapon than those really long sharp dire wolf claws strapped to her. And she is standing in line waiting, "Fer fucks sake, this line is killin' me." She grumbles out and when a parent sort of looks her way with a look, Dax looks down to the child and then says, "Oh, shoulda added. By the gods. Got ta keep the faith else Rada will drown ya." She smiles to the child, and then up to the parent who is now that much more horrified. But thankfully, they are part of the next group let in, and Dax is just waiting to hand over some coins to get inside.
Just behind Dax is a tall Mul'niessa man who smiles a little at her rough language and even more at the shocked expression of the mother who looks as though she's considering covering her child's ears lest the short and heavily outfitted woman decides to talk again. He offers up his coins to the man at the front and is let inside with Dax and the rest of the group that is headed inside. Once inside there are all sorts of animals inside on a sort of path set up a bit like a maze. There is a dog growling and leaking magma from its mouth, and a featherless chicken labeled as a 'cockatrice'. Some of the animals appear to be real while others are clearly not.
Seeing as the Kiddo probably isn't going to be allowed to do this for her, Dax turns back to see who's behind her. She looks up to the tall Mul and wonders, "Yer eyes work fer symbols?" She questions reaching out and touching one of the nearby signs for the magma dripping dog and she grins to the big animal. She taps the cage a bit and growls back at it. Then she sighs some, slumping her shoulders, "Yer right. Ya should be free, free ta burn this whole place down if'n ya wanted." Calling out to the showman, "Ya got some steak 'r somethin'?" Starting to fiddle with her satchel she pulls out some salted meats, "Ferget it, I got somethin'." And she pushes it in through the bars on the cage.
Somewhere in the milieu of milling gawkers, Aya merges with the line of pending entrants and makes her way inside. Whether Achmel's Sights prove to truly be amazing or not remains to be seen.
Daechir blinks at the short woman who addresses him and then smiles a little. "There is a sign here saying that it is a hellhound." He motions toward the sign in question even as the manager comes rushing forward demanding that Dax not feed the animals. The 'hellhound' steals the bit of meat before anyone can stop it, and wolfs the food down with drooling magma beginning to pile up on the floor. Irritated the man leads them further through the maze, showing them a crystal ball that is floating in the air. While others gawk at the sight Daed's eyes begin to glow intently. Dax's words had been a good idea and he looks around to see if there is anything actually magical in this place.
GAME: Dax rolls intimidate: (18)+9: 27
When, whomever, comes running up to stop Dax. She just stands up to her full, not-so-intimidating height, and growls. Her lower lip almost vibrating like a wild animal, "Don't... touch..." She stands there and feeds the hellhound another piece of meat before tucking it all away. Then she starts moving along further into the maze, gruffly, looking back over to Daechir, "Ya say tha' but I ain't kno' wha it says. My eyes don't work wit' symbols too well. Ya think a hellhound dangerous? Looks like a cute lil' pup if ya ask me. Dangerous on a ship tho', fire ain't no good ev'r." She offers, chuckling as she continues forward to see what other amazing things have been trapped.
A creature drooling magma would be only a marginal guardian, and hardly a pet, in Aya's opinion. It would tend to incinerate ally, foe, and personal property alike, regardless of desired intent. As the gathered advance, she looks ahead and does finally spot something, or someone, of interest. One not in a cage, but interesting nonetheless. She vacates her current position and appears at Daechir's flank, brow already arching. "Are you in search of potential new wares?" she inquires.
"I have heard that hellhounds are quite dangerous actually. They are practically untamable from what I have read." Daed offers to the woman's curiosity. He's surprised when Aya comes up beside him, a warm smile slipping across his face. "Aya. It is a pleasure to see you again. I heard about this and... Well I wanted to see how the animals are." He glances toward a horse with a paper-mache horn strapped to its head pretending to be a unicorn. It doesn't look particularly happy or well-fed. Beside it is a bowl that is conducting a tiny storm inside it complete with raining clouds and little lightning bolts. "I have to say it leaves much to be desired."
Meanwhile, Dax is up at the bowl and is wide-eyed, "By the Gods, ya captured a bit o' Rada 'imself." She is amazed, really amazed at this thing. And she's getting as close to it as she can, and she blinks a few times, and then looks back to other Mul coming in. "Wares? Ya meaninn' ta buy some o' these things?" She questions and is reaching out to touch the bowl with all that electricity and the mini-storm inside of it. Her hand reaches out to touch the inside, and a little lightning bolt shoots from the bowl, into the small red-headed woman, and she flies backwards, smashing into the stage that the faux unicorn is on, and she's smoking a bit. She groans out, "Nnnnnnnh. Tha' be..." She coughs, then coughs again, "Rada alright." She's definitely injured, but clearly not dead from it, as she struggles a bit to stand up.
There was clearly a sign reading, 'Do not touch' next to the bowl, of course.
Yelrona is traveling back to Alexandria from the mines when she sees the brightly colored tent, and listens to the barker for a bit before, curiously, handing over some coins and walking in... just in time to see Dax thrown against the stage by some kind of electrical attack. She avoids the line, jumping over a glass display cage labelled "Beholder" that she suspects is a gas spore... and a bedraggled-looking one at that... and landing crouched next to Aya. "Are you all right?"
Various other customers are complaining about her cutting in line.
Aya starts to reply when Dax rides the lightning, as it were. Both brows lift and she looks to possibly singed woman. She answers the landing Yelrona with a roll of one shoulder. "I am fine. She, on the other hand, looks somewhat scorched."
The tour guide looks a bit smug for a moment with an 'I told you so' expression on their face before they move toward Dax imperiously. "You were warned not to touch anything in here. We aren't liable for any damages you do to yourself, and you /will/ be fined if you do damage to one of our displays do you understand?" The tour guide huffs and wanders back to the lead of the group without so much as offering to help Dax up.
Daed immediately moves forward to Dax, offering the woman his hand and a worried expression. "Do you need healing? We can get you out of here." He helps her to his feet and glances around to see if there is anyone nearby that could help and stops stymied when he notices Yelrona standing there. Daechir opens his mouth and says smartly, "Ah."
Yelrona takes note of Daed's startled expression at her sudden appearance, then looks at Aya, and chuckles. "So that's what that feels like," she muses, before offering a quick healing prayer to Dax.
Dax's body is steaming a bit as she starts to get up, using the stage behind her as an aid. "Nnnnngrrrh." She groans and her head rolls about from side to side, "That 'urt." She is definitely pulling herself up, and then reaching out to grab the hand that's offered. She gets yanked up, and the Showman gives her a talking to before Daed asks if she needs healing. "I'm ..." She feels the effects of the healing prayer from Yelrona, and she sighs out, blinking a few times, "Well, tha'... wha'ever ya did, I'm feelin'... fine now. An' Yel, we gotta talk 'bout a particular ork. Finally got ta talk wit' him." And chortling she rolls her shoulders about, and then quirks her mouth to the side, "Dax. Ya be?" This to Daed.
"This is proving to be far more interesting than the offered tour," Aya notes with some amusement, though her lip corner doesn't raise much, "though that isn't saying much from what I've seen of it so far."
"You may call me Daed." The Mul'niessa man offers, eyes flickering cautiously toward Yelrona as if expecting her to bite him. He makes an uncomfortable noise. "Shall we see what the rest of this place has to offer then?" He flashes a smile at Dax. "Perhaps without touching anything this time?"
Indeed the tour is going on without you. People moving forward to look at the next sight. There's a creature in the next cage that looks surprisingly like a wyvern of some kind in a cage that's much too small for it. If it's a real one - which it does look to be - it must be quite young given its size. It lays listlessly in its cage. Beside it is a woman with a paper-mache tail sitting next to a pool of green-tinted water.
Yelrona nods to Dax, amused. "Absolutely," she agrees. "I want to hear all the details. It's bound to be better than my imagination." She nods a greeting to Aya, pointedly _doesn't_ greet Daed.
Aya's eyes shift to Dax, then Yelrona, before moving to Daed. "That might be for the best; you wouldn't want the tour to continue on without you." Her head tilts to the woman with the paper tail. "The mermaid might run away before you see her."
Once standing, Dax shrugs, "I ain't makin' promises." To Daed about the not touching anything, "Ya gotta feel somethin' ta kno' it real." She then smirks in the direction of Yelrona, "Oh, fer true, it was somethin'. An' I couldn't walk right fer at least a day. Tho' talk later since ya wanted ta kno'." She then moves forward, to catch up with the rest of the group. Seeing the woman with the tail, Dax seems to have no sympathy for her even though she was feeding the hellhound at the beginning, and scritching the side of her head she looks at the Wyvern, "This look like ta pet of some witch I met. She say it wasn't 'ers but it be a lot smaller'n this little thing." Looking back to Aya, "Mermaid? Ain't no mermaids 'ere. Tha' I've seen wit' me own eyes. An' they got sharp teeth, an' are not nice at'all."
Yelrona considers the wyvern. "It's not a pseudodrgon, if that's what you mean. It's a baby wyvern, I think." She thinks. "I wonder if Alba would be interested in this one. They are nasty creatures, normally... and powerful ones, and I doubt this...place... will be able to keep it for long." She looks at the tent roof and adds "Especially if the mother comes after it."
Next in line is a jar holding a two-headed calf's heads suspended in some kind of viscous liquid. Then a book with its pages turning without a single sign of anything to cause it to actually move. Beside that, so close that it's almost touching is a harp playing itself a soft tune that's almost impossible to hear over the sound of people talking and moving by. However there's a light ahead suggesting that the show's almost over.
Daed follows, staying close to Dax on the off chance that she decides to try and touch something again. He ignores Yelrona as much as she's ignoring him, but his eyes do flick to Aya, a small smile on his face at her comment about the mermaid.
Announcing, not loudly, but still saying to herself, "When I'm done 'ere gonna go release tha' dog at ta beginnin'. Seemed like a good one not ta keep caged." Yes, don't release the person or the magical dragon-like being, release the most certainly violent magma dripping dog. "I 'ope I don't 'ave ta pay again ta get in." She offers and kind of moves a little toward the book that is moving on its own, then wanting to reach out and touch the strings on the harp, but Daed sort of moves in the way and herds Dax about the center of the path.
Yelrona moves along with the crowd, not paying too much attention to the calves heads, or the book... her mind is still on the wyvern. That... will not end well.
Aya moves along with the others, primarily keeping herself somewhere between Yelrona and Daechir. She would hate for either to block the other's sight of whatever new 'amazing' wonder might lie ahead. She takes not of a few, herself, though most she's witnessed look to be easily caught, simple magical enchantments, or outright ridiculous farces.
There are a few more sights to see before the very end of course. A snake with a pair of hawk's wings tethered around its middle labeled as a 'couati' and an actual rotting zombie bumping at its glass cage mindlessly. However none of the sights are as amazing as the last one. On top of a stack of empty cages is a small golden cage holding a cat-sized golden bird resplendent with its beauty. Its feathers don't look heavy, but as if it is just naturally this splendid shining golden color. The cage itself like many of the others is simply too small for this lovely creature, and on it are odd arcane symbols. There are no signs around the cage informing people to not touch it, or labeling what it is.
Daed frowns at Dax. "Many of the cages here are magical, and probably will not open to conventional means in any case. Like that one and... well like that one too." He motions toward the bird's cage and his eyes darken at how small the cage is for the golden bird.
Dax mentions, "Ya think I can still drag it tho'." Dax states, less of a question and more of a nod of her head, "An' then jus' hack at it till it breaks open." Maybe she isn't sure what 'magical cages' means. And with a few nods of her head, "Or better yet, jus' find the fella wit' the key an' tell 'im ta unlock it else he won't 'ave hands soon." That gets the most nods of her own ideas, and she sort of squints up toward the bird, "What a waste of gold. Pourin' it on a bird. 'ow it gonna fly now? Gold is pretty heavy."
"I don't think that's how it..." Rona starts, then "Never mind. I wonder what the point of all this is? The magical cages must have cost more than they'll ever recover from admissions."
"I imagine that the propriety wants to keep their property where it is," Aya offers. A shrug is added. "Or maybe they stumbled upon a few geniune oddities in their travels? Even a blind rooster is liable to crow at dawn every once in a while."
"Mommy, mommy look at the birdy!" The child in front tugs at his mom's hand and points toward the bird.
"You mean the snake-bird? Yes it was very nice." She seems distracted, pulling on the child's hand.
"Not /that/ one, that one!" He points toward the bird cage empathetically.
The woman flushes and pulls her child harder away from the cages. "There's nothing /in/ that cage!"
Daed stops by the cage in question listening to the conversation and shaking his head at Dax. "I think whatever it is it's real. It looks real to me."
Curiously, Yelrona invokes Tarien's grace to enlighten her sight.
GAME: Yelrona casts Detect Magic. Caster Level: 8 DC: 13
Aya glances at the conversation between mother and child before glancing to the others. "Is the woman merely blind, or is this something more?"
Not paying much mind to the mother and daughter, Dax shrugs a little bit, as she offers no input to Aya or the others. She's looking back over her shoulder, and thinking about how to bust the hellhound out. And then she's looking back to the others, "Wha' so amazin' about a bird wit' some gold on it? Prolly a 'uge waste of coin." She states simply as she's just offering up a quick shrug and continuing to follow the line. "Ya all aren't falin' fer tha' ol' trick are ya?"
GAME: Yelrona rolls knowledge/arcana +3: (18)+7+3: 28
Yelrona continues to pray.
GAME: Yelrona casts Detect Thoughts. Caster Level: 8 DC: 15
At the opening the woman is giving a spiel about if anyone has a magical creature or magical item of interest that Achmel may be interested in buying them! Her words float back to those observing the cage itself. The bird meanwhile is staring at you with interest, as if you've done something unexpected. The weight of it's gaze is quite... intelligent.
Daed is staring back at the bird, unable to determine what it is. "I have never seen nor heard of anything like this."
"Nor I," Rona says. "But it's no mere animal." She considers her choices for a full second, maybe two. Then draws her morningstar and smashes it against the side of the cage.
Well-advised? Perhaps not. But it's not an impulse she's going to apologize for, either.
GAME: Yelrona rolls spellcraft: (5)+9: 14
Yelrona blinks. "There is a spell preventing the bird from teleporting, and the like," she announces as she smashes the cage. "If that were dispelled it could likely free itself."
Turning when Yelrona attacks the cage and Dax just sort of stands back some, looking to Daechir, "So, it's alright fer 'er ta be whackin' things. But when I wan'ta do it?" There's a shake of her head as she grumbles, flicking down her claws and looking around, "Are we smashin' cages then?" And she's waiting for someone to give her the go ahead to attack cages, or smash things. Though is not yet trying herself.
Aya isn't terribly surprised by the reaction or action by Yelrona, and her eyes immediately dart about for those of others; specifically Achmel and associates. To Dax, she offers and answer in lieu of Daechir, "So it seems..."
"I do not want her to do it either!" He replies nearly on top of Aya's acceptance of this inevitability. He too looks around for anyone noticing.
Which they have. The tour guide is moving toward you quickly with a noise of indignation. The other people scurry outside to avoid being caught in the middle. "What are you doing?!? If you break that, you'll have to pay for it!"
Yelrona pretty much ignores all of that. She's honestly not sure this is the right thing to do, but she is unwilling to allow a person to remain imprisoned like this, whatever their shape. That said, she supposes she could be a _little_ more sensible... her eyes glow briefly as she considers the bird's moral state.
Yelrona expends ONE use of DETECT EVIL (spoofed)
Yelrona continues smashing against the cage.
GAME: Dax rolls intimidate: (3)+9: 12
Well, Dax is caught off guard by all of this, but she immediately moves toward the tour guide to intercept. "Look, I'll throw ya in a cage if ya don't get this bird, an' that dog at the beginnin' out of a cage!" She screams, though her size probably works against her at this point, there's lots of noise around too, and she was just electroshocked not too long ago. Maybe not on her best game in terms of being scary, but she is brandishing her weapons and siding with Yelrona over law and order.
Aya takes a few steps to intercept the incoming, and understandably irate Achmel. "I'm sure that she is well aware of your policies, and has every intention of compensation. Unfortunately," she adds, "she also has a rather narrowly dim view regarding confinement."
The tour guide doesn't seem terribly afraid of Dax, but perhaps they remember earlier because the answer she receives is a shake of the head. "There's no key for it. Besides there's nothing /in/ there." The tour guide sighs. "Did some kid tell you there's a bird in there, because there's not." The tour guide winces at another blow of Yelrona's mace. "How about you just buy it, and you can take it home and whack it all you want."
The cage itself is tough or so it seems in spite of its fragile build. It resists Yelrona's hardest blows. However the bird is encouraging her with all it's might. Those golden eyes begging to be free.
Meanwhile Daed grasps Yelrona by the shoulder and glancing around utters to her quietly. "I do not think this is working."
"You're mistaken," Rona tells the guide, "and I will not buy what you have no right to sell."
To Daed she adds "You're right," and switches weapons, pulling out her bow. "Let's try something else."
There's a pause as Dax gets sort of dismissed, and the idea of buying the cage seems somewhat fair to her, "Tha' seems fair." She states plainly and just kind of puts away her claws. "'ey, jus' buy ta cage, get ta bird fer free." Dax mentions to Yelrona and then notices her pulling out a bow, and quirking her mouth to the side somewhat. "We use'ta have a fella on ta ship who could open anythin' tha' was locked. No one 'ere got skills like that?"
Yelrona nods to Dax and Daed. "Fair enough." She pulls out a fancy-looking set of tools and begins to carefully fiddle with the lock.
Aya finds herself heartily agreeing with Dax. This may or may not draw a number of other concerns, but she curtails them for the moment. "An excellent idea," she concurs with the guide as well. "How much for the ...rather dented cage?" She inquires even as she draws a coin purse from her clothing to make arrangements.
GAME: Yelrona rolls disable device: (12)+12: 24
Yelrona sighs, and tries to open the cage.
"Aye. And 'ow much fer ta fire dog?" Dax questions a little bit, looking over to Aya, "Ya got ta free'em all right?" She mentions to the woman who's jingling a coin purse so freely. Dax is -not- reaching for her rather anorexic coin purse, just smiling in Aya's direction. The tour guide licks their lips and stares at the coin purse. "Ten gold for the cage and... We'll throw the dog in for an extra ten... but I really have to warn you it'll probably try to tear your face off. So maybe don't let it out?" The guide looks at Dax questioningly
Meanwhile Yelrona opens up the cage, freeing the 'bird' from its imprisonment. The moment it's free it transforms into a tiny golden dragon-like creature which you might believe was really a dragon if only for the fact that it's about the size of a cat. It stretches its wings and flies around - to which the tour guide seems oblivious - and lands on Yelrona's shoulder. "Goodpeoples, prettypeoples, NICEpeoples." The little fae dragon rubs her (and indeed her light feminine voice suggests that it is indeed a she) cheek on the side of Yelrona's neck and purrs loudly. She's very warm.
Daed watches the bird freed with amusement that grows into soft wonder as it transforms and then amusement again when he sees her land on Yelrona and complement her over and over again very quickly.
Yelrona grins, scritching the fae dragon's head. "Though somewhat foolishpeoples as well," she admits ruefully.
"I have no interest in the cage," she announces, closing it up again.
On some consideration, she begins scanning the other cages for intelligent thought and evil.
Backing up, Dax sees the fae dragon and just backs up a few steps from it. "Witch pet." Dax complains about the dragon, that's like the EXACT same thing she saw the other day. "Ya can 'ave yer lil' witch's pet if ya want. I... need'ta get goin', drink some, an' all." She starts moving away somewhat more quickly, patting Aya on the shoulder, "Free ta dog, if ya would... I uh, gotta piss suddenly then drink, an'..." Putting her claws away she continues to move, and is going to be leaving the tent if no one is stopping the redhead.
Aya pauses as she hears Yelraona, then exhales a sigh before paying for both the damaged cage and the magma-drooling monstrous mutt.
The tour guide takes the money greedily and will walk Aya back to the dog. There's no sign of anything sentient (aside from the woman) in any of the cages, and everything is of an expected alignment. Every few seconds the little one on Yelrona's shoulder will complement her, though after a few minutes there will be requests. "Fish? Wecangetsomefishnow? Goodpeoplesgetfish?" She's clearly enticing Yelrona to feed her.
It is Daed who stops Dax just before she leaves, his voice going low and quiet as he catches up to her. "I wanted to say... I appreciate your help in freeing the little one." He offers her a smile.
Yelrona laughs. "Fish it is, little one." Experimentally, she reaches into her pocket, and pulls out... a live frog. Oh well. It RIBBITS reproachfully and hops away.
"FIIIIIIIISH." Screeches the tiny fae dragon and pounces on the 'fish' before it can get away. And eats the poor unfortunate creature.
Yelrona sighs. Poor frog. At times she wonders if all the frogs she pulls from her pocket are in some complex metaphysical sense the same frog. Anyway... satisfied that this was the only actual person imprisoned by the cages, she heads out in search of fish.
Stopping for a moment, Daechir gives her an odd comment, and Dax just looks up at him and shrugs, "Sure, I ain't do nothin'. If ya release ta dog, prolly out in ta woods where no one be. Give it a chance ta burn this place down, an' all. Get fed an' hunt first." And then she looks over when the dragon squeals, and she swallows, "Be careful wit' the witch's dragon." And she turns to head out the exit of the tent. To apparently piss and drink.
Aya tucks her coinpurse back into her clothing as she moves to rejoin the others, if temporarily. "Releasing that thing will fall to someone else," she notes plainly. She expected it would be Dax, and eagerly, but perhaps not. At least not until later, after a number of drinks, perhaps?
Dax will hang around the tent, as as long as that pseudodragon isn't around when everyone else leaves, Dax will take the cage and release the hellhound out in the middle of any nearby woods. And then heading herself back to the town, and if the hellhound decides to burn down the carnival tent, well, so be it.