If there is one thing which is absolutely true in Sosaria, it’s that appearances are more important than the truth, especially as far as one’s generosity and good nature are concerned.  So there was no hesitation when Musashi recalled off to Jhelom to assist Gage Manjedrea when he ran out of black pearl.  The fact that Gage had requested assistance over LOA open comm crystal channels while a lot of people were watching undoubtedley had something to do with Mu’s generosity.  Had he known that Gage was merely the relative of a commoner seeking admittance… oh well, that’s usually the way things turned out when Mu was off in some sort of generosity publicity stunt, loudly giving away 20 gold in reagents while he squirrelled away vast riches in his bank box, waiting for the day when he would need them to re-establish himself after his house gets looted.  As you can see, at least Gage was impressed, so much so that he is a bit tongue-tied and has mistaken Mu for someone of importance.

Of course, this sort of talk attracted the attention of other needy individuals who would no doubt have far less effect on Mu’s image, but to whom he had to extend assistance for fear of being exposed as an opportunistic rat.  He managed to get out of this shop not a moment too soon.

Seeing an opportunity for further good press with minimal expenses, Mu allowed Gage to recall off of his Vesper rune, and soon they were standing in the noisy, filthy, overcrowded Mint of Vesper.  When Musashi first came to this land, he took up residence in Vesper, and he lived there for quite some time.  Here he pauses to share with Gage some of his more tender reminiscences of the city he once called home.

Gage was interested in seeking the tannery in Vesper, and naturally Musashi, being a longtime resident of the city, knew it as well as any man… any man that spent all of his time looking at the inside of a tailor shop, that is.  As they spent an inordinate amount of time traversing bridges and doubling back out of dead ends, Musashi attempted to cover his obvious lack of knowledge with fanciful tales of city life he made up off the top of his head, which Gage rather transparently pretended to believe as his feet began to ache.

Against all odds, they eventually found their way to the tanners, led mostly by the stench of curing hides scraped clean of improperly disposed rotting connective tissue.  Have you ever smelled a tannery?  If Musashi ever wondered why he spent so much time working with linens and silks, he would thereafter remind himself that at least it was better than working with hides.

Gage spotted a set of stone stairs going down, and wondered where they led; Musashi shrugged, since he barely noticed such things and thought it might be rude to simply intrude into someone’s basement… for all he knew, Dannik the tanner had a secret seraglio down here, or an opium den, either one of which might have been agreeable if Musashi was invited to partake.  When they wandered down, however, they found an odd assortment of furniture and papers, and a guard standing there keeping watch over it all.  What could it be?  Musashi let Gage do the wondering; he was just disappointed it wasn’t a water pipe-filled harem.

Gage pointed out some paperwork that had been left inexplicably behind in the cellar.  No wonder these criminals were having such an easy time of things… the King’s investigators probably hadn’t even seen this, left instead as sort of a showpiece for the throngs of people who would normally break into a leather tannery’s basement.  What sort of villains were these?  Musashi deduced right away that they were extremely stupid villains, not only because they had in fact left much of importance behind, but because they obviously thought that a speech by Lord British would have any bearing whatsoever on anything.  The only thing the monarch ever spoke about was the great new lands he had discovered, and how he would charge all of his citizens for access to them.  What a nice message for his poor, oppressed, overcrowded, ignored populace.  Powah to the people!

Gage and Musashi regarded the sphere of visions simultaneously.  Gage, obviously a bit new to these lands,  was a bit unsettled by this; Musashi thought the ball merely showed what it was like outside.  Either that or the ball was a meditative aid, and was showing Mu the depths of his own jaded, barren soul.

If nothing else, this little discovery was proof positive to Mu of the folly of seeking adventure. In the past three days Musashi had gone on excursions to discover what the fuss was about, and his rewards had been a nice bath, sore feet, getting lost in the woods, and death.  Now, thanks to a trip on a whim to a tannery, he had seen more pieces of this puzzle than he ever had on this or any other so-called "quest" that he ever had the misfortune of undertaking.

Still, once again he was late to the party as it were, and not even a forceful interrogation of Dannik yielded anything new, as the tanner simply denied everything and tried to change the subject.  Mu didn’t watch these proceedings too closely, as is obvious here, but the Followers of Armageddon must have an insidious hold over poor Dannik in order for him to keep babbling about guest accomodations while Musashi could clearly hear odd scraping noises and an occasional wet pop from his direction as Gage kept up the pressure.  Grumbling to himself, Mu trudged out of the tannery, leaving Gage to his work and any further ponderings as he walked off into the distance towards his next lost connection.

 

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