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Shadows in the Night


Staff member
True Blood
The River Rat had a sinister reputation amongst the lowliest peoples of Nuln. It was said amongst the other beer-sinks that if you walked in there, you could find anyone from a lowly pickpocket to cold-hearted killers and anything in between. As Nico sat in a shadowed corner from where he could observe the patrons and not himself be easily seen, his icy grey eyes scouring the crowd, he reflected just how true that was. Against one of the damp-warped timber walls leant Axel, a bull of a man at six and a half feet with a broad face and a nose oft-broken and ill-set, whilst at the bar was Stefan, a smuggler for the Valantina crime family.

One of the bar maids, a buxom woman with a homely face, approached his table, a hand on one hip and her fleshy tongue flicking over her lips as she tried to make herself look attractive. Nico scowled beneath his hood as she stood before his booth and thrust her not inconsiderable chest, defying gravity with the aid of a tightly laced corset, out. “Can I get ye anything?” the woman asked, her tone heavily suggestive.

“Ale, and some peace,” he replied caustically, to which the woman scowled, an expression harsh enough to stop an ogre. Nico had to stop a smirk from creeping over his face as he wondered to himself whether she did, in fact, have ogre blood running through her veins. She certainly looked the part.

“Two pennies, then,” she snarled, thrusting out a pudgy hand. Nico pulled the coins from the purse on his belt and put them on the table, and then shook his head as the woman grabbed them up and stalked off, murmuring beneath her breath; she was still chuntering and glaring at him when she returned with his stein, slopping nigh a quarter over the side as she slammed it onto the table. As she left, a haughty man walked past her, wearing nondescript breeches and tunic, but he was certainly not used to being in a place such as the Rat; he kept throwing nervous glances around and a hand firmly on the purse at his belt.

“You really know how to make friends, thief,” he said as he approached, a disdainful sneer on his not unhandsome features, although he was still clearly not from the noble classes.

“And the girls normally tell the new ones to leave me be,” Nico replied warily as he eyed the newcomer, noting the rapier at his hip and the set of his shoulders - a duellist, maybe, but no brawler and had any of the heavies in the sink house noticed him, he would have been left picked clean in a back alley. The thought brought a morose smile to his face. The newcomer looked at him with a raised eyebrow and then nodded, as if convinced.

“I was told it was an easy way of identifying you.”

“You’re the one who wished to meet, then,” Nico murmured, taking another look at the man. With a single glance at the coin purse he knew there wasn’t enough to cover his payment.

“Not I, my mistress, but she quite rightly wouldn’t come to a place like this, and so sent me in her stead.”

Nico stood, making as if to pass the man and towards the door, when a hand was placed on his shoulder. The thief froze, and then whipped a foot around, catching the servants foot and sending him stumbling, only for Nico to grab the front of his shirt.

“You do not lay hands on me here, friend. The landlord’s a right enough sort to let me slit your throat right here and not say a word,” he murmured as he leant close, his voice a sibilant hiss against the background rowdiness of the other patrons. The servant gasped and nodded slowly, reaching for the coins on his belt.

“I only me-meant to say, my mistress said to-to give you this, and ask you to meet her tomorrow night at the Black Cat in the Handelbezirk; she’ll be in the top floor suite, on the left. D-don’t use the doors, she says.” Still holding the man, Nico held out a hand, and nodded appreciatively as the weight of the coins in the velvet pouch settled on his gloved hand, and then let him go. Pulling the drawstring open slightly, he saw the glint of gold in the poor light; all the coins were made of the precious metal. Twenty gold, for a meeting. Nico raised an eyebrow.

“Tell your mistress I’ll be there,” he said, before turning on his heel and slipping away through the crowds of the Rat, towards the door.


Staff member
True Blood
Yes! And they can move around in the sun :tongue: having limitations makes it more interesting to write and play (in RPs, not that I plan on having Nico join any).