August 31, 2010 – 4:44 pm
Read Part 1 – Meticulous – here.
The rain continued well into the night. Annata sat flipping through a tiny, leather-bound book, her room illuminated by several candles and one rather smoky lamp.
Family Costa – a vast network of third cousins, step-sisters, nephews-in-law, and the like. Matriarch: Bella Costa; Children: Aniello, Joseph (“One Finger Joe”), Bartolomeo, Maria. Usual business: smuggling, black market goods, underhanded dealings. Generally tolerated by the authorities due to an uncanny ability to keep everything quiet and a few discrete, generous donations to the Stormwind Guard. Operates out of the Trade District.
She made a small note in the margin: Joey, Julia.
“And I am too old for you,” she thought with a wry grin.
Three days later, on the Stormwind Docks, Julia Gravano watched for new arrivals.
New she-wolf headed your way – silver in the black. Asking questions about the Sticks and Stones. Looking for work. Tell Mama I say “no more cheese.” – Joey
She picked out the woman, sitting on a shipping crate off to one side and carefully monitoring the proceedings, and found herself the target of a very pointed stare. Julia pulled on a neutral expression.
“Can I help you?”
“Probably. I’m looking for Julia.”
“Well, you found me. Did you want something?”
“I spoke with your cousin Joey out in Lakeshire. I’m looking for a spot of work, though not hauling boxes.” The Ravenholdt badge flickered through her fingers again, and Julia’s gaze wavered between the badge and Annata’s face. After a few moments of indecision, she spoke again, her voice less guarded than before.
“How much do you know about Stormwind?”
“Plenty of official history, not enough about how things really run around here. Anything I should know?”
Julia peered at the middle-aged woman for a moment. “The weather’s been rough on the business this summer.”
“Autumn’s always been better for this thing of ours.”
Julia’s expression relaxed visibly. “True enough. Well, Brass Ben’s trying to open up a business again, but he’s had trouble with regulations. Otherwise, we’re operating business as usual. Ginger Dan’s been on the down side since he lost a ship last month. Oh, and Ap Danwyrith is back. He waltzed back into town after the Great Northern War ended, and nobody’s heard a peep from him or any of his people since. Rumor has it his Underboss – Bittertongue – is even out for a commission from the Guard.”
Annata arched an eyebrow. “Really now…” She paused a moment. “Just one more question and I’ll get out of your hair. Any new scuttlebutt about the Stonemasons?”
Julia’s face darkened, and she hesitated slightly. “Nothing new in months. Any news from up North?”
“Lots of rumors, but nothing substantiated, which is partially why I’m here. Some of the reports are even mentioning Beve Perenolde again, but I’ve got my doubts on that front. Syndicate holdings are stronger since the Alliance forces went North and left them pretty much unattended.”
“Is Falconcrest still up to the usual?”
“As only he can be, yes.” Annata hopped down off the crate. “Now, where’s the best place around here to get a hot meal and some decent coffee?”
The younger woman smiled. “Most of us prefer the Gilded Rose these days, if you’re not particular about who comes in and out.” She lowered her voice. “And if you want Arathi liquor, the only place in town that sells it is the Pig and Whistle, unfortunately.”
It was Annata’s turn to offer the appraising glance. “Noted, and I owe you a good turn. If you’re ever up where the Ravens fly, tell them “The cauldron never runs dry”. They’ll take care of you.”
August 27, 2010 – 8:45 am
Three immaculately manicured fingernails drummed lightly on the table, followed by a slightly disquieting thump where the fourth should have been. The woman sitting at the table appeared more to be deep in thought than overly vexed, so Joey Costa decided to take a chance.
He turned the chair across from her around and straddled it. “You’re the lady in from out of town, ain’tcha?”
The clicking stopped.
“I am, what’s it to you?”
“Just makin’ nice. It’s raining like the world’s about to end, so we’re likely to be here a bit. Figured I’d say hello. Name’s Joey Costa.”
She arched her eyebrows in a gesture that reminded him so much of his aunt it was uncanny. “Anna, and yeah, just got in from Southshore.”
“Here on business?” Costa took a swig of coffee.
“Of a sort. Looking for work, mostly. Since the war ended, folk have gotten restless up there. Figured I’d try my hand farther south.”
Her accent was faint, and somewhat hard to place. “What kinda work? There ain’t much here.”
She smiled at him suddenly, patronising and cat-like. “Trust me, there’s plenty here. I’m just not sure I’m cut out for a small town like this.” The woman flicked her fingers slightly, and a Ravenholdt badge appeared – and disappeared just as quickly.
He turned on the charm. “Well, then you just head to the City, lady. That’s where everything happens.”
“Figured as much. I’m also looking for information about a couple of lukewarm leftovers from what remains of the Stonemason’s Guild.” She sipped her own coffee, a wedding ring glinting in the firelight.
“Well, I ain’t really the person to be askin’, and of course, those are questions of a delicate nature anyway. Tell you what though, Stormwind Docks aren’t a bad place to start. My cousin’s there, and she’ll know who to ask. Her name’s Julia.”
After a long, uncomfortably appraising look, the woman stood up. “I’ll do that, and thanks.” She turned to head up the stairs, paused as if to say something, and then thought better of it.
Costa watched her until she’d disappeared into the dark hallway.
The bartender flashed him a shit-eating grin. “She’s too old for you anyway, lad.”
August 25, 2010 – 11:45 am
Every year, near the end of the dog days of summer, a group of wonderful people on Feathermoon get together and throw one of the longest-standing recurring RP events on the server.
The Rose Ball.
This year’s event will be held at the Waygate in Sholazar Basin on Friday August 27th at 6pm Feathermoon Standard Time (US-Pacific Timezone).
(This is the 7th Rose Ball, the first one being held in December of 2004!)
The Rose Ball is the culmination of weeks (or more) of effort from a group of people dedicated to putting on a truly one of a kind RP event. Cross-faction and open to anyone who wants to come, you’ll find storytelling, plays, dueling competitions, riddles, pet battles, and a raffle to win a really awesome prize – this year’s being a figure-print bust statue of the winner (past prizes have included cool TCG items and other swag).
The only rules are basically Don’t Be a Dick. Just show up unflagged and have a good time. Since this is a cross-faction event, there is a certain level of diplomacy involved, and even the usual PVP guilds show up unflagged and often help to keep the peace. Anyone is invited who can get to the event location – this one is in Sholazar – either by their own power or via warlock transport.
It’s a really unique event, very fun, and if nothing else, it’s a fun time to hang out with friends (and make new ones) and show off your favorite RP outfits.
Since the invitations were mailed, Ms Chelody Smallwing has announced that the storytelling contest theme is “Holidays” – any holiday celebrated in Azeroth counts, so long as the story is “fictional” to Azeroth. Only short stories are accepted, as there are usually a lot of participants, and nobody wants to be there until 4am!.
Arrens and Aely will be there, and you should come too – there’s something for everyone, whether you want to participate, hang out with friends, or just watch the festivities. It’s a low pressure event, since there is usually a very large gathering, so even if you’re only comfortable talking to one or two friends, there’s fun to be had and fun people to meet. (And of course, you don’t have to participate in every event – Aely usually gets in on the Riddles contest, and loves to hear the storytelling, but neither of us is very interested in dueling!)
Hope to see you there!
August 23, 2010 – 11:00 am
So I got home from vacation… only to turn around three times and have my inlaws staying with us.
Apologies for dropping off the face of Azeroth, it’s been a wacky few weeks. I’ve not logged in for close to two full weeks, and while that’s been fun, I find myself seriously missing friends and community in game. (Also thinking about things I could be DOING in game, like leveling Annylais.) I’ve certainly had plenty to do though, and I’m glad to have a bit of a “break from my break” this week. I’m a creature of habit, so I’m looking forward to having things get back to normal… or as normal as things get around The House Of Anna.
Anyhow, just wanted to pop in and say hello, let you guys know I’m mostly back, and hopefully will be back in game later today or tomorrow. I’m slowly catching up on the backlog of other blog posts and stuff that’s happened over the last few weeks!