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 Iron Riders and their Ways

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Zoe

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Posts : 502
Join date : 2013-09-02
Location : Nacogdoches, TX

PostSubject: Iron Riders and their Ways   Wed 15 Apr 2015, 02:50

Early in the week following their return from Natchitoches, Zoe decided to get serious about acquiring the funds necessary to complete the lightning rod, fulfill her chiminage, and receive her new gift.

Each night after Connor fell asleep, Zoe slipped quietly into the Umbra and patrolled the town for any hint of Wyrm activity, hoping she might be able to kill two birds with one stone by bringing a Wyrm-tainted crook to justice and seizing his or her assets in the process.

If I had done this before we left town, I might have been able to save my mother.

Unfortunately, the town was relatively quiet and peaceful. Nothing blatantly Wyrmish that would allow her to throw someone in jail and take their stuff.

Her frustration over having failed to save her mother drove her to consider what she earlier had thought out of the question, though not outside the realm of Iron Rider possibilities. Her conscience ached over the idea, but she was past the point of caring.

Across town was a blacksmith named Frank who did decent work, but cut corners to cut costs and thus undersold Connor, taking a good deal of her beau's former customers. Frank wasn't doing anything illegal per se, but Zoe didn't like it either. She spent the night gathering what was needed and planned to approach Frank the next evening.

Frank's place shared the same basic smithy components that Connor's did, but with more finery. The shortcuts Frank had taken in his work allowed him to improve his living conditions significantly with the additional cash flow. Zoe carried her rifle, her knife, and a small weighted sack. She found the man enjoying a drink in a chair on his front porch.

Here he is taking it easy, while Connor is hard at work trying to make quality goods.

The Iron Rider approached the man with a scowl.

"Are you Frank Padgett the blacksmith?"

He took another sip of his drink and nodded.

"That I am, Miss...?"

She pulled a couple of mangled horseshoes out of her sack and clanked them down on the table beside his drink.

"These your horseshoes, Frank?"

He glanced down at them and shook his head, though his eyes seemed to betray him.

"Hell no. My horseshoes wouldn't get all mangled up like that without someone tampering with them."

Zoe grabbed one of the horseshoes and turned it over, letting the light glint off Frank's signature mark.

"This mark right here seems to indicate otherwise, Frank, and there's a family in town who's determined to make you pay for the loss of their horse and to refund their money for all the horseshoes they purchased from you."

Frank now scowled and glared at the woman.

"So why are you here? Your pa send a dame to do business for him? Can't confront me himself?"

Zoe's eyes burned at the nerve of this man, who continued to casually drink as he sat.

"I'm here to make you an offer, Frank. An offer you'd be a fool to ignore. For $200 silver dollars I'd be willing to make all this go away for you. Otherwise, we'll tell everyone in town what shoddy, dangerous products you create and bring the law down on you for the loss of the family's horse, not to mention the harm to their business caused by the lack of a good workhorse due to lack of funds."

Frank scoffed. "A couple of horseshoes ain't gonna hold up in front of any judge here in town, Miss. I ain't afraid."

Zoe smirked darkly as she pulled out her knife and began intentionally fidgeting with it. "It's not the judge you need to be worried about, Frank. This family wants you gone, run out of town, dead even, and they know people who could make that happen for the right price. I figure if you could pay a little bit more than they were willing to, then they may be willing to see things my way."

Frank's eyes began to register the less-than-veiled threats as he sat his drink down slowly.

"How do I know they won't just send someone else or come after me themselves? You could just take my money and theirs and kill me when I turn my back!"

Zoe channeled a bit of Persuasion before speaking again.

"This family may be angry, but $200 will be more than enough to cover their losses and appease their anger. Consider me simply the middle man. I'll bring the money to the family, and they drop the issue. If they don't, I'll deal with them myself. Plus, I'll give you these horseshoes back and they'll have no proof to hold over your head."

Frank grumbled to himself, still warily eying the Iron Rider's jagged knife.

"Oh fine, whatever."

Zoe followed the man inside to make sure he didn't go for a weapon. He opened the safe and pulled out two sacks of coins. The hit to her spiritual energy informed her right away that those bags both contained a good deal of silver, a fact she had also confirmed the night before when she had snuck into his home through the umbra and cracked his safe, a trade she'd picked up from Rosco many years ago.

"Here! Just gimme the horseshoes and get out! I run a fine enough business here and don't need none of your trouble."

Zoe kept the excitement of completing her task bottled up inside as she gave the man a parting scowl.

"I knew you weren't a fool, Frank."
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