"Your powers of perception and deduction are a refreshing change of pace, Ms. Sawalha. It is a pleasant surprise to deal with someone who is at least slightly more observant than our two iron friends here." Viktor said with the same condescending tone as always, although he punctuated it with a slight chuckle. Was it a compliment?
"You will not be in contact with the monolith after today, and your nightmares should pass in a day or so. If they don't, by all means come inform me - that would be a new development and something worth investigating." He almost sounded excited. "I, on the other hand, intend to continue my research, and will be spending considerable time around the thing. It would be most unhelpful if I were to touch it." He smiled.
Viktor gave an exaggerated sigh. "Very well, Ms. Makaarim. An additional 500 gold for each of you. I am sure your superiors in the Horned Society will be pleased at your skill in negotiations." He wrote something on a piece of paper and handed it to Ismat. "Give this to the clerks on your way out and they shall give you your money."
Ode glanced sidelong at him. "Why, you're almost sweet. Considering how much pleasure you would derive from having driven me insane, I think we're a little beyond the adorable formalities you people-who-do-not-walk do so enjoy. Call me Ode." She smiled cooly. "I don't know if you'll be wanting our services again, but I can assure you if you do you're going to have to be very seductive."
Ismat just snatched the paper and shamelessly blew raspberries at his remarks. Money or no money, she still took pleasure on messing his desk up as much as possible before sliding off of it.
A soft caress of the face sort of stood in for her apologizing to Tahira, alrough she didn't quite bother to look the cleric in the eye or anything as she walked passed...
Nope. Too busy clambering around ontop of one of the golem's shoulders, examining it's head and joints for any expensive magical components.
"I actually do not have any tasks at the moment which I would feel comfortable trusting in the hands of uneducated people such as yourselves." Viktor said, not hiding his lack of interest in the party. "However, should a situation arise which requires your special talents, I shall be sure to keep you in mind." Viktor waved a hand dismissively, apparently no longer willing to countenance the group.
Ode raised an eyebrow. "As you wish. Should you desire my skills or anything else of me in future, you need only ask. And offer a suitable sweetener for the pleasure, of course." She stood, skirts swirling. "Come, Nuru. We have other inscrutable men to do favours for." As she passed the Golems and Ismat on the way out, she slipped a piece of paper into one of the Tiefling's pockets. An address, above it written: You could make a lot of money, and steal far better things than silver rings.
Ismat took the piece of paper out her pocket, reviewed both sides of it, then immediately tore it up with a scowl on her face. Then, for a moment, she just sat and gave a fierce, point-blank stare into the eyes of the golem.
Ode had left the room by now, but the creature seemed to suddenly lean backwards to catch a glimpse of the druid's back down the hallway, though the open doors...
Then she jumped down, scooped up the remains of the sheet of paper, and then briskly followed.
If Victor, Tahira and Anass were expecting heartfelt goodbyes, they probably could have chosen someone better than a highly annoyed pocket fiend prone to strange moods.
The sweltering backalleys of al-Uzza made for a perfect breeding ground of scoundrels and crooks, seamlessly infused into the countless crowded food stalls, cheap furniture merchants and sundried brick foundries. Despite appearances, there was money to me made here. Infact, it was well known that you could probably get anything your heart desired, should you find the right person... and manage not to loose everything yourself, in due process.
Even given the crowds, it was hard to miss Ismat. She was perched on a small table in front of a chewed-up looking weapons bazaar. The small tiefling seemed almost meditatively basking in the sun, whilst her pointed tail darted to and throw with elastic pleasure. White hair, curly horns, skin as dark as straight coffee; Except the hands, which were crimson up to the elbows, as if dipped in blood at all hours of the day. The frilly, aristocratic black dress she wore wasn't really all that sexualised, but fiendish features mixed in with her childish demeanor still made it all rather odd.
Oblivious to danger, she seemed? Or, perhaps, basking in the opportunity to look dangerous?
Waiting, for dangerous people, in fact.
It was once in a blue moon that she made such requests, and her reputation was as a strange but adept professional, someone who only stole from those that irritated her; So they probably wouldn't be long, if they wanted that quick coin to be theirs.
It took awhile for the esteemed Alim Avdol Jabbar to make his way to the meeting spot. He kept stopping at any vendor's table that might be selling weird, useless baubles or jewelery, which was a LOT of them. Rarely, he would actually buy some cheap knecklace and drape it over his shoulder or wrist. Usually, he would just argue angrily with merchants, trying to get the price he wanted, then slump off sadly when he couldnt.
By the time he reached Ismat's location, his wrists and neck were entangled in cheap jewelry and trinkets. There wasnt a single precious, or even semiprecious stone in sight, but the clusterfuck of junk still had a dazzling amount of color. He stopped a few feet in front of the tiefling girl, stomping loudly with his last step. He snapped his fingers, and a small flash of fire shot out. "Here I am!" He said proudly, "Alim Avdol Jabbar, at your service." He took a second, closer look at Ismat. "Maybe..."
Rashma made her way through the crowd, observing the multitude of vendors as she made her way towards her patron. The smells coming from the food stalls permeated the stifling desert air, and wafted in through her nostrils. Something, if not everything, was delicious and there was a definite smell of garlic. She was tempted to stop and pick up something to eat, but figuring being late wasn't in her best interests today, she kept on her way.
Working her way through the crowds, like a fish through water, Rashma briskly passed the merchant vendors, who's goods--both unfairly expensive and suspiciously cheap--shone brightly in the sunlight. Finally at the meeting spot, Rashma was able to catch sight of a man introducing himself as an Alim. He was spectacularly dressed, but still, there was something garish about his attire. Stopping her walk to the meeting spot next to the man called Avdol, Rashma nodded curtly, as if to say "I am here. I am ready."
Ismat seemed to lazily disregard the Alim's formal introduction at first, but spontaneously appeared inside his personal space the minute he chanced a look away. Standing on the table made her taller than him, but only just. Her head crooned curiously, dark eyes extracting evidence from his features, examining weaknesses, like a snake. The horned thing held no hesitation in grasping at his collar, looking inside his pockets, pulling his strange bracelets around, smelling his hair.
"You can do more than that fire thing, can't ya? I wanted to hire you because of that cool magic styff ya supposse ta be abul ta doo." Her voice was soft and agreeable, but the searing heat of her breath gave it a more literal impact. Apparently, she enjoyed his reaction, and held onto both his clusters of bracelets so that he would have a hard time backing off. "Cuz seriously, if it was fake, yur gonna die." The last bit had her smiling, not quite holding back a laugh.
"That came out wrong... I ~meant~ that yur gonna get stabbed 'n' eaten by monsters prolly." Still smiling. "If ya finkin' I'm gonna protect ya ass, yur gonna regret it, babbykins. :3"
Her head turned suddenly, as a new person approached. If he wanted to dodge getting poked in the face by a girly horn, too bad.
"See? She has 'er shit togethur. You cun, like, tell, with her..."
"Rashma, wazn' it?"