no rest for the wicked

Cave Entrance
Western Archenland

You stand on a narrow ledge overlooking the pool below. A cool breeze blows off the spray of the waterfall, though it also makes the ledge quite slippery and dangerous. A narrow trail, littered with dirt and pebbles, goes behind the waterfall. The trail leads to a dark hole and looks to have been well travelled once upon a time.

Loc hehs, “Well, you know the saying. There’s no place like home. We can always keep to a different part of town. It’s large enough…” He looks thoughtful, “Though Andale isn’t so bad either.”

Jana shrugs. “Or we find ourselves a new disguise. I heard something about lightening your hair that I’m apt to try.”

Loc arches an eyebrow, “Really?” He doesn’t look thrilled by the prospect.

Jana finished highlighting her wrinkles and starts a new color for shadowing. She already looks as if she’s aged twenty or thirty years.

Jana says, “Lemon juice. Hard to get a hold of, though, and it grows back in the same color.”

Lanisen heads out into the sunshine, blinking and yawning and looking generally sleepy. There’s even a line imprinted on the side of his face from where he used his sleeve as a pillow. He stretches and gapes at Jana. “What’d you… wow.”

Loc huhs. “Interesting.” He shrugs, “Well, we wouldn’t need it for quite some time anyway. Things are going well. And Myrd knows what he’s about.”

Jana grins at Lanisen. “Well look who finally decided to show his pretty face.”

Loc glances at Lanisen, “Mornin’ Lanny.” He gestures to Jana. “Ain’t her work pretty?”

Lanisen squints at Jana’s newly-aged appearance. “Is that your powder stuff again?” he asks suspiciously.

Jana says, “Among other things.”
Jana holds up the paint brush she’s using.

Loc snickers, “Why do you look so worried about it?”
Loc says, “It’s just make up. Very handy stuff.”

Lanisen says, “‘S unsettlin’. One of these days I’m goin’ to come out and not recognize someone ’cause they’re all painted up.” He finds a relatively dry space to flop against the wall and asks, “What’s this for, then? Got something planned?”

Jana says, “Yeah, and we need you for it.”

Loc nods. He snaps his fingers, “By the way Lanny. Word of the wise. Always bring the rope up when you come in. We don’t need any unexpected guests.”

Lanisen objects, “I wasn’t the last person out.” He pauses and thinks. “Was I?”

Loc says, “Jana and Myrd have been in town. Zan’s been a bump on the log. And I wasn’t out yesterday. And you had your little errand. Very well done I might add.”

Jana says, “Better watch out. Keep up work like that and Loc here might actually develop some respect for you.”

Loc grins, “Perish the thought.”

Jana starts adding shadow to her wrinkles.

Lanisen turns red and ducks his head, grinning like an idiot. He’s still clearly euphoric about having actually survived it.

Loc slaps Lanisen on the shoulder in a good natured manner. “Anyway, I’ll let you two talk. Just remember what I said about the rope.” He looks to Jana, “If you go out, let me know. I’m on guard tonight.”

Jana pulls the brush away from her face long enough to nod, and then continues her work.

Lanisen bobs his head, slightly sheepish. “All right. Sorry.”

Loc gives a small nod and heads inside.

Jana looks at Lanisen once Loc’s footsteps disappears. “You.” She gestures to him with the brush, and then makes a quick jab in her direction, indicating that he is to come to her.

Lanisen blinks, eyes the brush suspiciously, and stands up. He crosses to Jana, only dragging his feet a little bit, and sits down. “What are you planning?”

Jana says, “Not me. Myrd.” She opens her satchel and pulls from it a few gems and coins. “We went a raided the dwarves last night.”

Lanisen raises his eyebrows. “The dwarves?” His eyes widen a bit and he grins appreciatively at the sight of the gems. “Oh, wow. They’re not going to be happy.”

Jana grins wickedly. “Not at all. Which is why a plan is necessary.”

Lanisen asks, “What kind of plan?”

Jana says, “Myrd’s got a lovely little axe for you. Prettiest weapon I ever seen. Can’t sell it cause there’s nothing like it. So we plant it, instead.”

Lanisen’s eyes glint. “Where?”

Jana says, “Innkeeper’s house.”

Lanisen purses his lips, deliberating. “Eh. I don’t think that’s such a good idea…”

Jana says, “Ast won’t believe it for a second, mind you. His little cousin and his pet commoner are too noble to stoop to theivery by them Fancies’ eyes. But the dwarves. They’ll believe it. Which’ll cause just enough uproar for us to slip away while they’re all figuring things out.”
Jana asks, “You questioning Myrd?”

Lanisen says, “Oh, ‘course not. Everybody makes botany mistakes from time to time. Axes grow MUCH better in arid enviroments, away from all that ale…” He glances sidelong at Jana and looks ready to dodge a swat.

Jana puts aside the shadow brush and picks up a powder. “And for a moment I forgot why they call you the idiot.”

Lanisen sticks out his bottom lip. “Aw. You wound me. Anyway. Back to framing innocents?”

Jana applies the powder liberally to her face, smudging the lines just enough to make them look natural. “Now, the little wife in pregnant, so she’s inside all day, even while Master Framed is out of the house. But an innocent old woman making her way through town, selling ribbons and flowers… what pregnant woman can’t resist a little pretty thing to distract from all that fat? So she comes outside, and you slip in and find a suitable place to secrete it. Some place they won’t find it right away.”

Lanisen chews the inside of his mouth. “Huh. Sounds real touch-and-go.”

Jana says, “You pull this off and Myrd might actually use your real name when addressing you.”

Lanisen hehs. “And if I /don’t/ pull it off, it won’t matter.”

Jana eyes him. “Oh. It’ll matter. I’ve already botched one of my jobs. If this one goes down, I’m dragging you with me.”

Lanisen says darkly, “Meant it won’t matter if he uses my name or not.”

Jana says, “You can believe that.”

Lanisen pokes at a puddle with the toe of his boot, drawing water-lines over the stone. “All right,” he says, sighing. “When are we doing this?”

Jana says, “Soon as I get this done,” She points to her face. “Which will be soon. And flowers for selling picked. Which will take a little longer. And ribbons pinned to that cloth. Which you can help with.”

Jana tosses her satchel at him. “Ribbons are in the middle-sized bag.”

Lanisen catches the satchel with an ‘oof’. He digs through it until he finds the bag and pulls out a length of tangled ribbon. “It’s pink,” he observes, making a face.

Jana says, “Good news. Your eyes work.”

Lanisen finishes pulling the stuff out of the bag, holding it high to avoid getting it wet. “For now,” he grunts. “Might not much longer if there’s much more of this shade. What do you want me to do with it?”

Jana says, “There’s a bag of pins in there. You loop the longer ribbon til it’s about this long,” she demonstrates, “Then pin it in neat rows to that cloth to the left of you. Neat, mind you. As if your earnings depended on it. Which they do.”

Lanisen grimaces and digs out the pins. He loops the ribbon as instructed, clumsily holding it in place with one hand and skewering it with a pin with the other. A moment later, he hisses a curse and sticks his finger in his mouth. “Ow!”

Jana smirks and eyes the cloth expertly. “Loop it a little straighter, but that’s about right.”

Lanisen glowers at her and shakes his finger, still wincing. “Use /those/ instead of daggers next heist,” he mutters venemously, and pulls the next length of ribbon out of the bag.

Jana snorts. “I’ll keept it under advisement.” She finishes with her face, and covers her hands and arms with the graying powder. Finishing this, she rises… sort of. It looks as if her knees and back are giving her a great deal of pain, and her arms are too frail to do much help. “Well. What d’ye thenk?” She asks in a slight accent.

Lanisen glances up from the ribbon. “Heh. Nice.” He shakes his head and mutters, “Unsettling.”

Jana picks up a newly-acquired basket and drops the rope. She swings over the ledge, holding onto the rope with one hand. “Pull it up when I’m down. I’m getting flowers.”

Lanisen snorts. “Have fun,” he says. From the look of things, he just stabbed himself with a pin again.

Jana says helpfully, “The pin points away from your fingers.” And she’s gone.


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