OUR HEROES: Tira Wolfsdaughter Hank Woodman Haiku Odsdottir Gustav Mahler Persia

4. Settling In, Part 2

Haiku seeks throughout the city for a job, finally landing a position as a warehouse guard for Merchant Darwin. She gets this by way of a letter of recommendation from Captain Dori of the Sunrunner, the partner of the Rivermaster. Dori received a good enough report on Haiku from Crockett that she felt justified in writing the letter.

Hank surveys the damage to the street in the Beast Quarter. A sewer pipe has collapsed, allowing the heavy drainage runoff to erode the dirt under the street cobbles. The damage is extensive, and will take weeks, if not months to repair properly. He begins to canvass the neighborhood for donations of supplies or labor with limited success.

Tira got some good advice from and instruction from Farralon, that allowed her to see that the girls who have been tormenting her have all received morphic augmentation, clearing up weight or skin problems. Farralon also accompanies her to the Beast Quarter on Market Day to heelp her buy new clothes. She earned a few silver by accepting ley-lines from freshly enhanced weapons, a service that many students make pocket change from. The entire party with the exception of Mahler go on this shopping trip. She buys fresh clothes, while Char and Haiku buy a few creature comforts for Persia's house.

Shortly after Farralon leaves, they hear a cry for help. A young Rabbit, by the name of Treep, has been sucked into the open pipe and pulled into the sewer. Tira can use her spirit sight to see his progress under the cobbles of the street, marking his direction. Using these observations to guide her matchless knowledge of the underpaths of the city, Persia leaps into a nearby street drain. She knows that he must end up in a nearby cistern. She does indeed find him, but discovers that the exit to the cistern has been blocked, and she does not have the strength to swim up current the way she came. Tira can see they are alive, but nothing else. Hank scavenges some rope and gives it to Haiku, who follows Persia's path and brings them the rope. With everyone above pulling, they soon return all three to the safety of the open air.

Hank immediately sets to blocking the hole that grabbed Treep, and the others go to get cleaned up.

Late that afternoon, they part ways. Char escorts Tira back towards the Hall of Art, while the rest return to Persia's house. Here they discover Hank talking with a very upset Mahler.

Mahler had returned shortly before this. He left the Columbia to check on Sanyo at the Kraken's head. Koda, the innkeeper of the Head, is visibly distraught. It seems armed men broke into his inn, looking for a halfbreed. One of them matches the description of the one who questioned Mahler back at the Wyvern's Roost. They strong-armed their way to the back rooms, where they discovered not the half-breed, but the poor riven Sanyo. They told Koda that they were taking the misshapen creature to the gates of the city, and that if Koda did not report their actions, they would not report him for harboring a riven.

Koda is not a man to take threats easily, though he is no fighter, so he dispatches Rifkin, a young ostler whom Mahler had treated kindly, to follow the men discreetly. Rifkin eventually lost track of them at the edge of the warehouse district, but not before they said something about the Death Pits. This all happened two nights before Mahler's return.

Mahler immediately ran for Persia's, seeking for his friends to implore their aid.

Haiku had to leave for her shift of guard duty, but pledged to be at Mahler's aid when called. Persia and Hank accompany Mahler back to the Kraken's Head to get more information.

Basarin, a half-breedPersia uses her knowledge of the street to question a guest at the Kraken. He does not know precisely where the Death-Pits are being held, but he does give her some background. The Death Pits are run by a powerful shady criminal named Harker. Harker's enforcer is a man named Scorch, who fits the description of the person who questioned Mahler about the half-breed. The pit fighting is likely to be held in a drained cistern in the warehouse district.

Meanwhile, Tira and Char, taking a leisurely walk back to the Hall, are approached by a body of armed men. The leader of the party is none other than mister Scorch, seeking the ever-elusive half-breed. Tira and Char deny any such knowledge. Scorch makes a few veiled references to the dangers of walking the streets alone with a wolf before he leaves. Immediately after his departure, Tira's spirit sight detects a person hiding in a nearby alley, stuffed into a covered rubbish bin. She and Char investigate and discover the half-breed, badly beaten but not seriously injured. They take the young female, who appears to be at least half-cat, to Persia's, since it is close by. There, Tira leaves her with Char, since she is already late for the curfew at the Hall.