(121-08-10) Industrial Hazards
Industrial Hazards
Summary: Maester Garth seeks those making the illegal silks.
Date: Date of play (10/08/121)
Related: http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:121-07-29-cloth-and-cakes http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:121-07-30-disturbance-at-a-party http://gobmush.wikidot.com/log:121-07-30-discovery-in-starry-street

The Undercity is abustle. Honest folk who's poverty forces them to dwell here are scurrying home, and the night folk are beginning to stir about their business. It is far from safe here, but a search of legitimate warehouses and workshops closer to the harbor has turned up nothing useful.

Whilst the majority of people are scurrying home there are those who're heading into the decaying warrens of the Undercity; the man wears a hooded cloak over the top of a drab brown robe, he keeps his head down as he moves between the people. He is alert, though, as he shoulders his way between clusters of people here and there - he turns his head this way and that with a great frequency, the action lends him an air of a hound scenting the air.

A few pickpockets consider making a try, but not liking the looks of him end up looking for easier prey.

The man steps around a pile of filth in the street, though finding somewhere that is more wholesome to tread is a challenge in this particular location. He watches a couple of urchins scrapping in one of the side-alleys, but the squabble isn't his problem at the moment (and to interfere could bring him a whole seven-hells of other troubles).

The streets are rather maze like in this part of town. Wandering deep into the warren, a person might scent the distinctive scents of vegetable dyes and chemicals and follow them to a boarded up building with slivers of light escaping between the boards..

Garth's nose tingles with the particular scent of dye, chemical compounds and the like in the air amidst the other more usual miasmas of the poorer parts of town. He quells the need to sneeze by biting the tip of his tongue, the pain over-riding the impulse. He looks along the ramshackle wall of the building, perhaps searching for a door (or window large enough to enter through if he should feel the need to). He pulls his hood back a little bit, enough so that the fabric doesn't muffle any sounds, and then presses his ear to the chink between the boarded side of the building and listens.

The entry is not obvious, as the front door is well boarded. There is the muffled sounds of speech within, and a sound of something sloshing.

Garth furrows his brow as he listens to the activities within the building - there are still people at work in there. He frowns as he pushes himself away from the rough boards - he watches the narrow street for signs of other activity. Then he moves into a spot that might afford him more cover, either by way of darkness or obstacles, and then he puts his good eye to one of those chinks, to see if he can add visuals to the auditory fragments.

There are two figures with their backs to the crack. They have hoods, with extra clothes tied round the front, likely against fumes. There is a vat with cloth and liquid and a workbench with lots of roots, herbs, oils, and alchemist chemicals in view. The taller of the two is walking the shorter to a trap door, presumably leading to the sewers. "Iff'n yer seeing spiders yer done fer the week. I'll finish this batch and shut'er down."

Garth frowns more deeply than he did before, he lingers there just long enough to watch one of the two disappears down the trapdoor. He considers the position of the warehouse, the buildings around it, so that he fixes its location in his mind. He then makes his way along the narrow street, this time his attention is focussed on the ground - perhaps looking for an exit/entrance point to the sewers.

What sewer exit? What Monster? What sword?"

There's so much filth on the ground, the cobbles… what remain of them… are frequently covered with a thick layer of mud and excrement, there's bits of broken wood and unwholesome looking puddles at every rut and pot-hole. Garth doesn't find what he's looking for, but on he goes - this time retracing his path out of the rats' nest of the Undercity and back towards more reputable parts of town.

Oldtown is very old and has passed through many hands. The best maps seem to be from the end of the time High Garden was it's own kingdom. Some annotations have been made in various hands, suggesting areas that were blocked off or expanded, but it is impossible to tell how recent and therefore accurate those notations are. You can find some theoretical entry points in the Undercity in the right areas.

Garth has returned to Oldtown, soon after doing his research into the foundation strata of that part of the town and its drainage system - likley it is the next day, or the day after that, depending on how long it took him to dig out those records. He is just looking for those entry/exit points at the moment.

There are plenty of small drainage openings, but the simplest way in is that alley by the Bawdy Bard, that connects Oldtown Square to the rear entrance (if one can pardon the phrasing of that establishment that faces into the Undercity.

Garth has wandered around the streets and alleys for a while, seeing that most of the access points to the sewer system would not likely be large enough for a fully grown mansuch as the one he saw in the warehousehe settles for the location behind the Bawdy Bard. He finds a place across the square where he can watch the mouth of the alleyway - assuming that the square is the only place anyone coming up from the sewer can go to. Whilst he waits he chews on a hunk of granary bread and a wedge of white, crumbly, cheese.

Oh, there are other exits. Some of these houses used to be manses, with private drainage. These were supposed to be blocked off a century ago, but one never knows. There are several exits near the harbour. Theoretically one could go in through the toilets in the oldest part of the citadel if one were skinny and well greased. Odds are, there are means of egress tucked away in many older buildings if one has the right tools.

Garth consumes his bread and cheese supper, without anything of note - or rather anyone of note — appearing from the alley. He wipes his hands free of crumbs on his robe and then saunters down the alleyway that leads behind the Bard. If there's no one about he'll try getting down into the sewer itself.

A pile of rags stirs as Garth passes and emits a gibbering laugh. A hand shoots out and tries to grab his ankle.

Rags don't normally stir of their own accord, but neither do they usually have hands of their own - Garth manages to avoid the grasping fingers, a deft sidestep that might have been more luck than anything else. He hesitates though and grumbles: "No one 'ere, nothin' to see…" Hopefully the sewer dwelling wretch will leave him be as he continues along the dark, dank and evil smelling conduit.

The rags gibber, "Spiders! Spiders!" The hand withdraws though. A querulous voice with a local accent asks, "have you ought to drink?"

Spiders? No doubt there are many arachnids lurking down here in the dark places but a fear of realor imaginedinsects has bee a theme amongst those who've worn the poisoned silks and didn't the overheard conversation at the warehouse above ground mention them? Garth stops and cocks his head to one side as he considers the bundle of rags. "I might, nothin' fancy mind you." He feels at his waist, where various things are suspended from the belt that cinches in his robes. He produces a flask with a cork stopper at the neck. When the cork is popped the smell of ale mingles with the other less desirable ones here.

A head pops up from the rag pile and a clumsy figure detaches itself from the pile. He grins up at garth, pupils huge. "Thank ye. I can't.. can't handle the crowd in the square when I feel like this." He's wearing a nondescript hooded tunic and gloves. The sleeves fall back as he reaches for the offered drink revealing arms stained with brilliant reds, pinks, and purples.

Garth bends from the waist as he puts the flask into the man's hands. "Feel like this often, do you?"

Madrighal drinks thirstily, "Comes an' goes. You know how it is." His eye balls wobble and he seems to have trouble focusing. "Meant to go home. Needed a long sit…."

"You get paid well for workin' at the dyeing, do you? That's what does this to you," Garth says in a matter of fact tone of voice. He reaches out to steady the other man, when he sees the way that his eyes wobble and the difficulty he seems to be having.

He sighs, waving the flask in Garth's general direction, "Tryin ta raise my fees. Want to be an alchemist." He slaps his arm hard. "Stupid spiders. Everywhere."

Garth peers at the man's arm - there aren't likely an real spiders there on it. "So, was colourin' the cloth /your/ idea or someone else's?" He watches as some dribbles of ale spill out of the neck of the flask.

Nope. No spiders, just dye streaks and scratch marks. The man takes another drink, "Hired a bunch of us. Shift work. You work until things start moving on their own or until the next shift comes. I do reds and pinks." He starts giggling and tries to touch Garth's face, but is clearly unable to narrow down his position in three dimensional space, "That's quite a tattoo! Unusual."

"I see, so the others want to be alchemists too, do they… and who was it that hired you?" Garth says as the man reaches for his face. "It's not a tattoo. I was trapped in a burnin' buildin' when I was just a lad," he explains, keeping his tone of voice even.

The man screams and cowers back away from him. he starts backing away in the Undercity direction. "No! I don't want to burn!" he starts slapping at his arms as if to put out a fire.

Garth silently curses himself, he should have just rolled with the tattoo theory for the time being. He shakes his head. "There's no fire now, you're safe. You're safe, you were tellin' me who employed you an' the others…" He tries to coax the other man along the right track again.

Runs screaming away from garth in full on panic, taking the flask with him.

Garth grabs the hem of his robe and runs after the screaming man.

That young man can run, even if he’s dodging invisible obstacles. It is dark and mazelike in the undercity.

Even though the Maester is not unfit, he is not used to running and his robe hampers him - the quarry soon disappears into the warren-like streets and runs of the Undercity. The flask is gone with him, but that is no great loss. Garth grumbles, colourfully, as he turns and heads back to the Citadel - the work has not been a loss, though.

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