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Season: Autumn

With the cooling season of Autumn, Ice-types are starting to re-emerge from their hibernation as Ghost-, Normal-, and Flying-types swarm in the largest numbers they will all year. In comparison, wild Fire- and Bug-type populations are falling in number. The migration of Flying-types to the south in search of warmer weather has also started, as Istin City starts to re-freeze and Autumn marks the beginning of Cypwater Point's rainy season. Handlers and Rogues alike should be wary: Ghost-type powers are boosted during this season, at the cost of being more prone to their triggers.

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 ArkBoaz Reuter's Travels, W
Flight
 Posted: Aug 23 2017, 09:55 PM
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{ Welcome back to Harper! You know what to do! http://files.jcink.net/uploads/harperregion/sprites/emoticons/3.png }

In the last episode...


.

Autumn

Gould smiled, slow and steady, and when he tilted his head there was a glint in his eye. “Color me impressed, Ark,” he said, and his voice was like honey. “I've been hearing about a new locksmith wandering the Place at night, and to find that it's you! Marvelous, really. But where are my manners - come in, come in!”

Leonard Gould smiled at Ark, gleaming and friendly, and gestured Ark further into the room he was standing in. The room was a small but cozy one, with a finely made rug on the floor and a hearth that was crackling, before it which stood several comfortable-looking chairs, as well as a low table. Gould himself took a seat in a padded armchair with a fluid movement, and the girl who had been in his shadow took a step back to stand behind his shoulder. The lanky man that had led Ark here moved to stand behind the locksmith's.

“I do not wish to be a stranger,” Gould continued, with an undercurrent to his voice that was genuine friendliness. “I know of you and you know me, no? A simple blacksmith of Fough. But I hear things, you see, and not just about you!”

Someone knocked on the inner door, then opened it with little fanfare. The servant boy closed the door behind him quietly, and set down his tray of two mugs and a pitcher dripping with condensation on the table before he bowed and moved to the wall. Gould gave the boy a nod of thanks before he caught Ark's eye again. “Would you care for a drink?”

Whether Ark had one or not, Gould would pour one for himself; he would be able to see that it was chilled ale, mildly alcoholic, enough to grant a warm feeling but nothing more unless consumed in great amounts. The blacksmith let silence settle for a comfortable moment before he picked up his thought again.

“I am in need of a locksmith, Ark,” he said, and leaned in conspiratorially with a smile. “A good one of your skills and caliber, and one that will be able to work confidentially. The lady that I am working on behalf of - she is a private person, and I do not wish to burden her. She's in quite a predicament. Her brother ran off with the family heirloom, if you could believe it!” Gould paused for a moment, eyebrows raised, his face in an expression of incredulity. “She's tracked him down, but there have been threats of... the unpleasant sort, by her brother, against her if she dares retrieve it herself. All she knows is that the heirloom is locked in a box in his inn room, and that she needs someone to open it without damaging the lock or the box.

“I can provide the means to get you into that room,”
Leonard Gould finished with a flourish, and tipped his mug at Ark. “But I must know - will you accept a job like this? We will reward you handsomely, of course, and you will know that you've done good work for both myself and our good lady. Will you do it?”

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W
 Posted: Aug 25 2017, 03:46 AM
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Ark wasn’t impressed, although a little part of him wouldn’t admit to it. Gould was a pretty well-known face around Fough, and while Ark had interacted with him a few times, he didn’t know the apparent nature behind the man. It was curious. Was he also harboring dark secrets he wanted to be rid of? Ark’s was his name. The way the people of Fough treated him like the next Lord, but everyone knew he’d never take the seat. It was a frustrating issue, and one that Ark was ready to be rid of.

Maybe that’s why, as Gould spoke about a new locksmith wandering around at night, and then ushered Ark inside, the nobility born son agreed. He was respectful with the way his shoulders stayed relaxed, and he kept his head up, much out of habit than anything. His eyes wandered as Gould spoke; he was taking in the scenery, the way Gould had built his home. It wasn’t like he was really looking for anything. He rolled his shoulders as Gould settled into a chair and then gestured for Ark to take a seat. The younger of the two hesitated – it wasn’t because he didn’t want to take it; it was just… what did it resonate to? Would they be seen as equals? Doubtful. Ark knew that the idealism of equality wasn’t just handed out with gestures to sit and drink ale. It was earned. It was worked for.

A little part of Ark told himself to work for that equality.

He rolled the idea on his tongue and smiled, “Thank you,” he said as he settled himself in the chair. Not quite all the way back, slightly forwards, back straight, shoulders relaxed. It was the posture of someone who knew the way to act in greater, or more powerful, company. How many times did he get scolded for slouching? How many dark looks did he get from older ladies and lords in waiting? He knew better.

He had decided to not say anything about the way Gould knew him until the ale was set out. When asked, he gave a curt nod and took the glass once offered. He brought it to his lips and took almost a bit of solace in the cold and almost bitter aftertaste that lingered in his mouth. “Everyone knows who I am in Fough Place. It’s of no surprise to me anymore,” the boy finally retorted. An afterthought of the conversation, brought up when Gould let the silence linger between them. Before he let it linger too long, the boy of noble upbringings made a face, an almost sneer, although not at Gould, “It is hard to not know who I am. I’m the bastard child who can clearly never live up to the expectations of the current Lord.” He shook his head. That matter was for something later.

The silence was there again and as Gould spoke, leaning in and adding that he needed not just any locksmith, but one of Ark’s apparent skills and caliber, the lord couldn’t help but make another face. Of annoyance? Of disbelief? He wasn’t sure what kind of face was put on, but as Gould spoke, the proper nobility seemed to melt away. It felt like Gould was giving him a chance to… to not just be in his father’s shadow. It was something that Ark debated, but he had questions. He wanted answers. He waited, patiently, as Gould rambled. A lock in an inn and the sob story of the lady without the ability to get it herself. That’s the thing Ark didn’t understand – even about his father. They had Pokemon. They had power. But they never bothered to use it for themselves.

“Whatever skills and caliber you think I have, I’d enjoy to know,” Ark finally said, once the man stopped talking. He brought the ale back to his mouth and took another sip. He weighed the options. He wasn’t the type to just jump right in without knowing everything. “I’m not about petty theft like you’re asking. This sounds like a pick and take sort of deal, and if I’m going to agree, I need to know some things, if you don’t mind me asking, of course.”

He hadn’t meant to be pushy – in fact, he was simply being truthful. He set the three-quarters empty glass back on the table between them and set his hands in his lap. Despite how he spoke, he still kept the polite, formal nature. He knew they weren’t equals. Whatever Gould was doing, it was definitely not something his father knew about. That, alone, was something that interested him. He thought about it, not sure if he wanted to push, but he did – he asked what was on his mind, but in a polite manner. He knew how to act around others, and even if he wasn’t in the most polite of companies, he still acted it.

“I don’t necessarily care about a reward. I want to know what else would come out of this. I don’t need monetary investments. I want to know what you’d be able to do for me, Sir.” It was a lingering question. A – if I scratch your back, what do I expect back – sort of thing. It intrigued him. He rubbed his hand over his face and gave a deep, slow breath, almost centering himself. He glanced at the girl who stood behind Gould and then turned himself back to Gould.

“I’ll accept your job, but petty stealing isn’t going to become my normal job.”


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Flight
 Posted: Sep 10 2017, 08:41 PM
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.

Gould didn’t blink while Ark posed his questions, firing them off one right after the other. He leaned back in his seat instead, balancing his mug on his knee and leveling a contemplative look at Ark. When the young man was finished, he nodded easily, placing his drink on the table between them to fold his hands in his lap.

“I understand,” he said, and his voice was even as far as Ark could tell. “A sound and reasonable thing to ask, I know! And we are not asking for, as you say, a ‘petty theft’ - and certainly not one for the lady whom I am speaking for. The heirloom is her only way of paying off a debt incurred by her sick mother, whose passing has left her with quite the financial burden. She was about to sell it to benefit her family when her brother took it - for his own gain, from what I understand. There are rumors of his… less than reputable nature.”

Here Gould reached for his drink again and gestured at Ark before he sipped. “I know of your origin, Ark,” he said; “but more than that, I know of you. A bastard child you may be, in your words, but one’s birth is of no concern to me. I have asked for you because of your own merit, believe it or not.”

At the last, Gould sounded amused; he even tossed Ark a grin that he would find charming and open, but sincere in its appreciation. “And who knows? If this job goes well - which I am confident it will, thanks to your own skills - then you may find that I have others for you.”

Ark would have a few minutes to ask any last-minute questions before Gould set down his mug for, judging by the click of it on the table, the last time, before he rose and smiled at Ark. “I should not keep you any longer; my apologies on that. Jared there will get you sorted. I enjoyed meeting with you, Ark.”

The servant boy from before would bow to Gould before he stepped away from the wall, turning to Ark to catch his attention. “If you would follow me, please,” he said quietly, and opened the inner door from where he had entered the room, holding it open for Ark as he did so. He led them further down the hall and took a single left turn before he opened a door, revealing a room smaller than the one that Gould had received him in with a single table shoved to the far wall. The floor was covered by a colorful rug, soft beneath Ark’s shoes; there were no windows nor hearth.

He turned, then, and let the door close behind them both before he straightened from his slightly slumped posture, and his eyes were sharp when they looked into Ark’s. “This is important,” he said without fanfare, folding his hands behind his back. He was shorter than Ark, and younger by at least a few years if his face was anything to go by, but the look he leveled evenly upon him made him look older and would straighten Ark’s own spine if it hadn’t been already.

“The woman that Sir Gould mentioned is Lady Beatrice Clemens, and her brother is Henry Clemens, of three years her elder. From what she understands, Henry has holed up in an inn in the city called the Sleeping Pidove, in the Eastern side. Your role is to pick the lock on the heirloom’s box; mine is to get you in. We have two days before he is scheduled to leave, taking the heirloom with him.”

Jared stepped further into the room, then, heading to the table in the back; he sifted through the few papers there until he selected one and brought it back to Ark, handing it to him. It was, he would find, the address of the inn that Jared had mentioned writ on the sort of paper one could buy for five pages a clip.

The servant boy - he couldn’t be older than perhaps seventeen - waited until Ark had perused it to his satisfaction before he asked, “How soon can you start?”

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W
 Posted: Oct 8 2017, 11:17 AM
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Ark struggled to stop an eyebrow from raising as Gould spoke. He knew better than to argue with someone with more class - he wasn't stupid. Instead, he simple allowed a simple, dignified smile to cross his features and gave a courteous but short nod. He didn't seem to bother arguing. Petty theft was petty theft, even if it was for a good cause... like Gould thought. He'd do it, get paid, and move onto other things. He wouldn't let it drag him through metaphorical mud.

But one of the things Gould said made Ark's face twist of annoyance, of an anger that boiled in his belly and set his blood on fire. Then again, he couldn't be angry - he had said it previously, and it seemed Gould only liked to mimic. He took a breath to calm himself and allowed that soft spoken, almost noble, smile to cross his features, "I guess it depends on how much merit you actually care to put into my skills," Ark finally said thoughtfully. He wasn't sure how Gould knew about his skills. He had only ever dealt with that girl that one time, and besides that, he tended to fly under the radar. Then again, Gould would've known he worked with the Councilwoman of Fough - his father made it a point to put Ark in as many close relationships to the guardians as he could.

It made Ark sick.

As Gould rose to his feet, so did Ark. It was one of the pleasantries his father did instill on him. "It was my pleasure as well, sir." He gave a smile. He'd offer his hand in a shake, but by that time, it seemed that Gould was already gone. Ark turned to look at Jared, but silently followed the younger male, not making one sound - or even one complaint.

He was silent as he followed Jared, a calm demeanor as he silently counted paces and kept track of where they were. Once they were in the room and the door swung shut, he let his eyes roam. The room was a bit claustrophobic for the noble boy - a boy who knew modest but large living, even if he was a bastard child. He rolled a little on his feet as he listened; he would give Jared the attention he would deserve, but he'd be looking around while it. Only when the boy said two days did Ark's bright eyes turn to look back at him.

"Two days is... quite a short amount of time," Ark retorted as Jared moved towards the table. He stayed where he was, but his movements of swaying stopped and he let his fingers idly tap against his thighs. What was he supposed to do? Turn this down? He'd probably get paid good, from the sounds of it, but... something wasn't right. As Jared offered him the paper, Ark studied it. A simple address. Nothing more.

"Seems my job started as soon as Mister Gould decided he wanted me for the job," the apparently new rogue pointed out. He folded the paper and tucked it underneath his belt, where his Pokeballs were. He paused, thinking for a moment before he straightened out his clothes, "We might as well start. You have a way in, but do you know anything about the room he's in? The layout? How about his patterns; how often does he leave his room, and roughly about when? The last thing you'd need - or even I would need - would be him being in his room or him coming in just as I break the lock."

"Break" the lock was such an outdated term. If it was like any of the new fangled ones he was working on, they'd be easy to push open. He had his tool kit. He was already prepared. The sooner they could do this, the sooner he could go about his business.


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ArkBoaz "Ark" Reuter
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