Thia hops of the stage in a swift move, carrying her momentum forward to break into a light jog, in order to make it over to some of the injured. To your surprise, you see a woodelf with short cropped hair and a fine angular face treating some of the injured. A red scar across the elf’s face mars the otherwise beautiful looks of the elf. On their sleeve, you spot a stitched insignia of two downwards-pointing triangles layered over each other, the tip of the second resting on a line that intersects the bottom triangle. You aren’t sure of the meaning of the symbols, although you are pretty sure they’re alchemical.
Corti stands quietly, listening to the discussion and glad that the situation is under control. As she listens, she scans the crowd for Leo and Merrix to try to see where they're going and what they're doing, Hopefully they won't become a problem.
(I'm not sure whether this is perception or investigation)
Holding her hands in front of her, Thia would, as she always does by habit, bow her head in respect as she would approach the woodelf. "Hello. I'm sorry for interrupting," she'd flash her dimpled smile, "Can I be of any assistance?"
Thia would want to survey the immediate area to see if there are medical supplies readily available to treat the wounded; or if there are makeshift items she can use to do so, such as cloths or banners for bandages and tourniquets. Investigation: 17
She would also be curious, as she looked at the woodelf, if she could tell how fresh the scar on her face is and what weapon may have caused it. Investigation: 14
Finally, Thia would want to dive into her memory/knowledge "bank" and see if she can recall anything about the stitched insignia. History: 19 Religion: 11
Milo turns to Sparks. “To be honest, it would exhaust all of my resources to feed all the workers for one month, that’s not including any family members. I run a farm, there is only so much meat and crops one area of land can produce. That being said, to ensure no one gets hungry could mean that fair wages are paid. We don’t necessarily have to provide them with all their food, just the means to obtain it fairly. Whatever council we need to speak to, you’ve seen my capabilities with words. Let me join you in representation in these meetings. If my farm takes a cut under market price in order to make other ends meet, that is something we can agree to.”
Although Corti is deliberately scanning the remaining groups of people, the two students have disappeared from view. She notices however that Milo, Sparks and Brandt are getting ready to leave and move the discussion elsewhere. She heard Sparks reply to Milo: "Mr Spudsder, while I appreciate your offer, I must decline. I'm afraid that I barely know you, and seeing how you promised more than you can deliver, I'm disinclined to trust you either. You may sway and charm the masses, but making promises to the Council's proconsuls is another matter entirely. I will have to weather those discussions myself. If you want to show me you're serious however, help provide food to the workers. Maybe their strikes will be lifted, and we can get to work on the railcoach lines. If I understand correctly, Mr Bellows and Miss Ling here will join us for dinner at the Velvet Glove, you can discuss with them directly what they require."
Thia doesn't find any medical supplies nearby, although there are the large canvases that hid Sparks' invention from sight, which could be used for bandages, as well as a few pieces of wood, probably brought here with the intention of being used as weapons, which could serve as splints. The elf greets her with an empty smile of their own, replying simply: "There are always people in need of help. They need your assistance, not I." Being closer to their face, Thia estimates that the scar must have been inflicted a year or two ago, either by a slash to the face, or a piece of shrapnel. Either way, it seems likely that the woodelf had seen combat. Despite all her strained concentration however, she had no recollection of the symbol, she was certain though that it wasn't a military insignia, or a holy rune. The organisation was therefore either academic or political.
At Tarian's question, Krull looked at her in confusion. "Rivals? There's many workers. We need to stand together. Be strong. I have no rivals from among the workers. I'm one of them, and I represent them. We sweat in the same foundries, eat the same gruel. There's no divison between us."
Making her way over to the easel, Tarian sees beautiful illustrations of religious texts. She wasn't aware of the fact that some churches and temples still commissioned these. The war had, after all, turned most folks into atheists. It was hard to believe the gods were looking out for you if faced by a cloudkill or Zhivarg fire after all. She tried to get closer to the texts to read what they said, when Krull interjected: "Those are Sylvia's. She'd paint to get some extra money. Rich clients and foundations usually. Sometimes she did illustrations for posters too. Nothing that would have gotten her in trouble though. She always showed me what she was working on. I wouldn't have wanted to have her stick her neck out."
Thia would sigh, relaxing her posture, "Fair enough. I figured you may be someone directing the help. I see I've made a mistake." and she'd walk away to gather materials and look for the closest individual who may need attention.
If there is a lull in the conversation where Ling or Bellows isn't busy Corti pulls one of them aside, "I don't know how much use I'll be with your discussion, and I'd rather do what I can to help the workers here. You don't need anything else right now, do you?"
Thia quickly finds a worker with a broken forearm, from where the truncheon of a nightguard hat hit him; a woman in the audience who had fallen in the shoving and was bleeding from the head; and a young boy who had lost an eye, probably from a zealous lash of a guard whip. The elf was already attending an elderly man who had fallen and had broken his pelvis, and a young worker with a couple broken ribs.
Milo staying calm and collected “I was hoping as an engineer that you would have paid more attention to the details. All I offered was the full support of my farm and that I would work for their cause. I never said I would personally feed each and every member. You would also have noted that they did cheer for me to be one of their representatives. As it was I who stopped the riot and let us get to work instead of your machine being nothing than a pipe dream. Let’s hope that your negotiating skills are more astute. But, very well. Ms. Ling, Mr. Bellows I will be happy to work with you to ensure the workers are happy and can get back to work. What can I do for you?” Milo inquisitively asks while walking to the Velvet Glove.
"Between the workers, perhaps, but how about the factories themselves. As much as members of my family may like to think otherwise, we don't hold a monopoly on factories in the cities." Arc takes a second to look at the posters, they were quiet nice. "Have you or your fellows begun to receive offers for new work, or perhaps signing on with a new employer?" The way Arc speaks, makes it hard to tell if he's asking a question, or informing John of a his thoughts.
Thia, as she was trained to do, would methodically lay out a makeshift station as quickly as she was able, wishing to tend the other three injured as efficiently as possible. Since they should be able to walk, she'd try to usher each individual take a spot on a laid out canvas. This way she'd be able to do detailed assessments as she settled them, to begin treatments. If the boy was frightened, This would begin with tending to him first, encouraging him to be brave as she bandaged his eye with torn pieces of canvas.
Sparks, somewhat stung by Milo’s remarks, chose to stay quiet and let him deal with the foreworkers. He had after all other business to plan for. “Brandt, I’ve asked before, but where did you serve?”
The two workers apologised, but said that they wanted to be off the streets before discussing their concerns. Bellows turned to Corti: “If you have business elsewhere, I don’t want to impose. But you seemed to know that student, and you helped keep things peaceful. I need people” at that he looked at her awkwardly, not knowing whether addressing Corti like that was appropriate or not, “ err... I need somebody like you, who keeps a clear head and tries to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. I would like to have your council in the future, if that’s something you would want. In fact, I’m sorry for not having asked this before, what DO you want?”
Krull looked at Arc, and said:”There’s more workers than work. Where we work is much the same, we all sweat, we all have long days and hungry families. My Sylvia had found a job for herself. We couldn’t get children, so she had time. But many of your workers have families, and some even bring their kids to have another person earning a wage. Now, there’s less need of us, so many people no longer get paid. If we were hired by other people, we could ask for better conditions there, but it’s the same across most of the Forge. Some have already left to move further East to try and get a job with the rebuilding of Cyre. But before they have a new government, any ‘opportunity’ there is a pipedream.”
Thia bound the boy’s eye and tried to calm him down, applied a salve to the woman’s had and stitched the cut above her eyebrow, and splinted the broken forearm of the worker. They thanked her in turn, but particularly from the worker and the boy, she could sense the gratitude, mixed with fear, in their voices. “How quickly will it heal, girl?” The worker asked. The boy instead wanted to know: “Will I still be able to weld?” The woman only thanked her, giving angry glares at the two workers next to her, whom she blamed for the violence.
Immersed in her work, she didn’t notice the enigmatic elf behind her, until they handed her a piece of cloth to wipe the sweat off her brow. Where before, the elf had seemed cold, Thia could swear to see a hint of satisfaction in the unsmiling, scarred face. “I’m done with mine, let me see your work.”
"Well, let's see. I fought the Khalashtar for Breland, then I fought the Thranes for Zhivargo, then I fought the Garronians for Thrane, and then I fought the Garronians for Cyre. Basically, my company fought for almost everyone, except the Garronians. Which is good, because the Garronians were fucking psychos."
"It'll be hard, but the easier you are on your arm, the faster it'll heal. 3-4 weeks if you let it, 6-8 if you push it too soon." Thia would rhyme off to the worker, knowing he'll want to know when he can get back to work.
Thia would meet the young boys singular gaze, "It wont be easy at first, but if you train and practice hard enough, you may surprise many."
Surprised to have the elf hand her a cloth to wipe her brow, she'd step back to let her look. As the elf inspected her work, Thia would stand there in silence with a brow raised, watching her warily.
While John’s answers to Arc’s question didn’t particularly add anything to Tarian’s understanding of the situation, the distraction did buy her a little time to more carefully study any of Sylvia’s work that lay out in the open.
Well, you’re clever enough to understand the strategy of buying time, Mister Cannith. I’ll give you credit there, at least.
Tarian's not well versed in religious texts, but she's heard a few things. She tries to piece together what significance these images have, and to whom.
“It may be a pipe dream for most, Mister Krull, but your wife, Sylvia—”
Suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that this is the first I’m hearing of her name…
“—could make use of these skills anywhere.” Tarian gestured toward the artworks, then tilted her head. “Don’t know how much money’s in it, though.”
Tarian looked around at the apartment, simple, homey and clean, and then leveled her gaze at the half-orc. “Mister Krull, I’ve gained quite a bit of information from you letting us inside your home, but I still have a few questions.” Tarian fired a barrage of questions. “Do you happen to know where your wife was when she was taken? What she was up to? What she was wearing? Is she right-handed or left? She have a regular daily routine?”
Tarian takes note of John's expressions and tone of voice as he answers, trying to sort out any potential lies and half-truths.
"I want to do right by the people of this city," Corti says brightly, "If you need people like me, then I'm happy to help out." She was used to this kind of uncertainty and used to addressing it, but it never ceased to make her uncomfortable. Her people had minds and hearts just like any other. "I spend plenty of time in the Forge, if you ask for me at the Golden Gear, the barkeep will know how to get word to me. In the meantime, I think I'll chat with the workers here and try and get a feel for how they're doing."
The elf checked the stitches on the woman‘s forehead, adjusted the splint on the worker’s arm slightly and tightened the bandage around the boy‘s head.
Turning towards Thia, they spoke softly: „Good work. And thanks. Where did you learn this? You’re good, though there’s a couple of things I could show you.“
The illustrations told of the birth of Corphyra, and of a cataclysm by the gods, for their pride and greed. One of the last images referred to the salvation of some as the bearers of culture and the seeds of a new nation. Tarian could swear that the figures where allusians to the Lorrens, the last inperial dynasty. While being religious in their content, there was definitely an anti-monarchical tone to the sets of illustrations. They wouldn’t have served as posters however, as far too much text accompanied the illustrations.
Krull didn’t seem surprised at the questions. „Sylvia is, or was, left handed. She liked to wear bright colours, like in the picture there. When last I saw her, she had put on a simple green linen dress. She was probably headed to the market. She mixes the paint for her illustrations herself and between the materials for that, new inks, brushes, and quills, she had made it her routine to go out twice a week to get supplies. I figure she went there.“ Krull‘s answers seemed natural, he held Tarian’s gaze. It didn’t seem like he had anything to hide when it came to his wife.
„Golden Gear, got it. Well, take care Corti. And, I’m sorry, I am still not used to seeing warforged, I apologise for my stupid words “ With that, Bellows fell in behind Mei Ling, Brandt, Milo and Sparks heading to the Velvet Glove. Sparks was chatting to Brandt about the Dragoons.
„So Brandt, did you ever meet Marcellus Riley? If I remember correctly he was First sergeant of the Duskrock Dragoons, in charge of one of the Brelish Columns.“
Thia felt a small sigh of relief leave her when the elf complimented her work. “My mother taught me the ways of a herbalist, then I was shipped off to apprentice under an alchemist and have been studying as an apothecary.” She rhymed off her training, her eyes fading off in the distance as she reminisces about the day she left for training. Snapping back to it, Thia would begin tidying up the immediate area to keep her hands busy. “During the war I assisted with rehabilitation of the war veterans as part of my training.” She’d look to the wood elf, her eyes lit up with curiosity. “What training have you had?” She’d glance down at the elf’s sleeve, looking at the alchemical insignia again, “You have me curious.” Dangling new knowledge and training in front of her is like dangling a carrot in front of a horse.
Can Thia tell how genuine she is being about her suggestion to teach her? Would Thia get a sense of suspicion?