Longform Roleplay

Ray Trace

You Can Tick Off Birds If You Follow My Advice
*The hooded customer nodded. A voice of a male in his late-30's came out of the cloak, and he fished out 45 coins out of a pocket and laid it on the counter. He talked briskily; he didn't want to expose himself too much in public, especially since this shop seemed to attract quite a bit of attention around these parts and even he found it unexpected. He needed to obey his former Commander's orders.*

??? (murmuring): This was a good find...thank you very much...you have a good stock after all.

*He glanced at the trio behind him. Bowser's Minions. Bad. This transaction needed to be quick.*
 

Shaggy Rogers

Like, Zoinks, Scoob!
-Shaggy’s Apartment-

*Shaggy entered his apartment after a long day of work. On the couch, an antropromorphic yellow bird was playing video games*

Chuck: How was work?

Shaggy: Like, you know, the usual.

*Shaggy was Chuck’s roommate. Chuck worked from the apartment, so he had a lot of spare time.*
 

Tressa Colzione

You got more than you bargained for!
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Koops: Alright, but, um... see, there's one... teeny tiny little problem... actually. You see, due to the nature of my situation, it's absolutely out of the question that we're seen. Also, I was considering heading for that building over there because it looks weird, but I realize now that the idea's probably really dumb. But I mean... since we're both new here it's as good a place as any to start with right? Who knows, maybe we'll even find something on the way... would be nice to heal my... my friend back up, that would make it so much easier.

*Koops points to the ominous building he was talking about, expecting a mocking laugh from Tenshi.*
"Huh."

Tenshi crosses her arms. She murmurs.

"Yeah, it does look kinda weird, doesn't it?

...Fuck it. I'm curious. Wanna go check it out?"


She doesn't have much to lose. After all, as that fall shows, Tenshi is basically indestructible.

------------------------------

Elsewhere in the city, the Big Five gaze upon the auction venue. It looks relatively... nondescript.

"Hmmmm. I must ask, do we have the funds to afford anything here? We did only arrive recently, with no money to our name."

"You're sure we can't draw on our regular resources?"

"Without proof of identity, we have no way of retrieving them."

"The solution is simple, gentlemen. Crump, I take it you still have our offshore accounts in place?"

"Of course! It's not that much, but we have something to tap into."

"That's not my concern. My concern is if we can afford anything with just that."

"We don't have much of a choice. We need to make some sort of stake in this city. And if there's something significant here, then it should be ours!"
 

Doomhiker

Bob-omb
Wiki Patroller
Core 'Shroom Staff
Browsing the store, the trio found that they could not afford most of the products on display. The hooded stranger in the stored seemed to think that they were suspicious, with how the stranger eyed at them. The entire trio knew this look, with how fellow minions, especially new ones, judged their strange appearance.

Sergeant Guy noticed one book which stood out. It was Simple Wand Magic for Dummies, a book you would see at a regular book store. While there weren't any price tags attached to any of the books in the store, he assumed that this one would be affordable.

Sergeant Guy: Simple Wand Magic for Dummies! Despite mainly using explosives, I still lug around a wand for some reason. Perhaps I can learn a new skill!

Corporal Paraplonk: Fine, but it can't cost too much. We can't achieve our dreams if we don't have food!

Not really interested in books, Private Goomb goes outside for a breath of fresh air, noticing a penguin and a young male adult walk by. Sergeant Guy and Corporal go to the shopkeeper to purchase the book.
 

The Happy Mask Salesman

The sage of Hope
Char looked at Kai. “Where am I?” Kai stared in shock at how little char sounded......worried. His voice was a normal tone. Now normally when someone was worried they would usually sound worried but not Char. Kai then said “Look” He struggled to find the right words “You,” He paused. It was like he heard someone or something calling out to him. “Kai! Give me the key!“ the voice said. Kai dropped the key while giving a shocked expression. Then, a man in a cloak ran up and stole the dropped room key. Char didn’t notice. He was to busy trying to figure out what Kai was doing. “Kai, you seem to be distracted.” Char said. Kai snapped out of it and shook his head and then said “Huh what?”
 

Vera Misham

Ace Artist
Misham took note of the small man's behaviour, and smiled to himself. Perhaps he had misjudged the little fellow. He may be shady, but he seemed to be a good man after all. Someone a little like me, Misham thought to himself as he took the payment and handed him the book.

"There you go, my friend. A pleasure doing business with you."

With a nod, he then turned his attention to the Shy Guy with the little book. He and his companions looked oddly familiar, although he couldn't place where he had seen them. Likely part of Bowser's Army, he reasoned. Dealing with people associated with Bowser could be a difficult endevour, but it was to be expected. This was, after all, Neo Bowser City. Misham took a deep breath and spoke to his newest customer.

"Ah, yes, I see you've also found yourself a book... let me have a look and I'll tell you the price."

Misham grabbed the book, and upon seeing the cover his countenance dropped. Of all the books, of course it had to be this one. He stood for a moment, his face going from confusion to frustration and, finally, to resignation. He let out a rather deep sigh before turning to face the duo again.

"Aah, how should I say this? I'm afraid this particular item is not for sale... in fact, it shouldn't have even been on the shelf. You see, this shop specialises mainly in antiques and other items with historical and archeological significance. Naturally, this includes certain items that were believed to have magical attributes or knowledge, but this book in particular was only published in the last decade, so it shouldn't even be here. Unfortunately, it seems my daughter has misplaced it."

"You see, she's quite enamored with the idea of magic. She grew up watching performances and specials put on by Troupe Gramarye, so she's become quite a fan of all sorts of magic, which is why she wanted me to buy her this book. She also likes to sneak in here sometimes and play with all the 'magical' artifacts, so she probably left it down here last time she did that. I've told her not to come in here when I'm not around, and to make sure she keeps an eye on all her things, but... what can I say? She's quite an energetic, free-spirited girl."

"So, I'm afraid I cannot sell you this item. If you have your heart set on it, I'd recommend you go down the street and purchase it at one of the big bookstores. It should only cost you about 10 coins. Otherwise, I'd be happy to help you find something else from among my wares."

Misham hoped this would be a satisfactory offer for the Shy Guy. It wasn't always wise to tangle with minions of Bowser... but there was no way he could break his daughter's heart by selling one of her favourite possessions. Although perhaps after she hears of this encounter, she may become a little more proactive about making sure she doesn't leave her things in places they don't belong. Misham placed the book on a shelf under the counter and awaited a response.
 

The Happy Mask Salesman

The sage of Hope
Misham took note of the small man's behaviour, and smiled to himself. Perhaps he had misjudged the little fellow. He may be shady, but he seemed to be a good man after all. Someone a little like me, Misham thought to himself as he took the payment and handed him the book.

"There you go, my friend. A pleasure doing business with you."

With a nod, he then turned his attention to the Shy Guy with the little book. He and his companions looked oddly familiar, although he couldn't place where he had seen them. Likely part of Bowser's Army, he reasoned. Dealing with people associated with Bowser could be a difficult endevour, but it was to be expected. This was, after all, Neo Bowser City. Misham took a deep breath and spoke to his newest customer.

"Ah, yes, I see you've also found yourself a book... let me have a look and I'll tell you the price."

Misham grabbed the book, and upon seeing the cover his countenance dropped. Of all the books, of course it had to be this one. He stood for a moment, his face going from confusion to frustration and, finally, to resignation. He let out a rather deep sigh before turning to face the duo again.

"Aah, how should I say this? I'm afraid this particular item is not for sale... in fact, it shouldn't have even been on the shelf. You see, this shop specialises mainly in antiques and other items with historical and archeological significance. Naturally, this includes certain items that were believed to have magical attributes or knowledge, but this book in particular was only published in the last decade, so it shouldn't even be here. Unfortunately, it seems my daughter has misplaced it."

"You see, she's quite enamored with the idea of magic. She grew up watching performances and specials put on by Troupe Gramarye, so she's become quite a fan of all sorts of magic, which is why she wanted me to buy her this book. She also likes to sneak in here sometimes and play with all the 'magical' artifacts, so she probably left it down here last time she did that. I've told her not to come in here when I'm not around, and to make sure she keeps an eye on all her things, but... what can I say? She's quite an energetic, free-spirited girl."

"So, I'm afraid I cannot sell you this item. If you have your heart set on it, I'd recommend you go down the street and purchase it at one of the big bookstores. It should only cost you about 10 coins. Otherwise, I'd be happy to help you find something else from among my wares."

Misham hoped this would be a satisfactory offer for the Shy Guy. It wasn't always wise to tangle with minions of Bowser... but there was no way he could break his daughter's heart by selling one of her favourite possessions. Although perhaps after she hears of this encounter, she may become a little more proactive about making sure she doesn't leave her things in places they don't belong. Misham placed the book on a shelf under the counter and awaited a response.
Kai looked at char and wondered. What just happened. This day was confusing. So a book might help.

“Well what if we go to the library we saw a couple of times? I mean it couldn’t hurt,” Kai said.

“Ok fine, I guess we can go. But only one book!” Char demanded.

“Ugh, You do you! Anyway let’s go!” Kai said running off to the book store.

Char scrambled to his feet then ran after Kai. When they got to the book store they took a look around.
 

Sayaka Kanamori

Don't waste effort on more words than you need.
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*With that, Wellington walks to the passenger's side of the car, failing to even acknowledge the dent in its side. He opens the door to Sayaka and offers her to enter with a bow of the head, before walking back to the driver's side, stepping in behind the wheel. As soon as Sayaka is situated in her seat, Wellington turns the keys to start the car, revving the gas a few times as it gears up. Then, in another moment, the car is soaring back down the Neo Bowser City streets, leaving Shaggy behind in a cloud of dust and gravel.*
The drive had taken quite some time - certainly not three days worth of time, or anything absurd of that sort, though navigating the winding, twisting, streets of Neo Bowser City had nevertheless been a challenge, especially with Wellington's... unique driving habits, to put it politely, necessitating a number of U-turns and alternate routes.

Nevertheless, the duo of Kanamori and Wellington arrive at the corner of 42nd and Ludwig, and Kanamori steps out of the vehicle, glowering at her temproary "partner" as she grumbles.


Your driving ability is abysmal! Were you more interested in listening to directions as they were given, we would have arrived hours earlier! You'll understand that I may have to factor this wasted time into the payment I'll request for my labour.

Looking around to see what she can ascertain, Kanamori asks Wellington a simple and direct question.


So, who exactly are we looking to find here? What's this deal that you've arranged?
 

Roserade

The Fool
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Wellington
Well, if you must know, I am not only a scholar, a poet, and a 4.0 graduate of the University of Bologna, but also a tradesman! I'm sure you understand from my unrelenting, youthful charisma that I am quite the smooth talker, and I've set up my exchange routes all over this city as a result.

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Wellington
My business capabilities simply cannot be defeated. Now then...

*Wellington makes his way to the trunk of his vehicle, unlocking it with a simple twist of his keys. From what Kanamori can see, heaps and bags of treasure are stowed away in the back, anything from glowing crystals to golden statues. Most of the items have tags or markings on them, denoting a price and a person's name on them. Finally, with an "Aha!", Wellington pulls himself back up to standing, holding out a book triumphantly.*

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Wellington
This beautiful, leather bound book right here? The Dark Prognosticus. I pilfered it off of an unsuspecting Toad's garage sale. The rest of his merchandise was hardly worth my time, it just reeked of poverty... But it only cost me five dollars to retrieve it, and look at me now, selling this off for one million instead!!

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Wellington
I'll be making my exchange with a mysterious man by the name of Trent Coats. He's one of the faces of the Neo Bowser City underground, despite the fact that his actual face has never been seen. I hear he's got his goons all over the place, but I suppose no businessman should be without his partners. He is to put this item up for auction under his own jurisdiction, and I hear that he's expecting three million for it. I can hardly imagine how a musty book can even be worth that much, but cash is cash, cold and hard.

*Wellington makes his way back to the front of his car, trailed by Kanamori. He glances down the block, noticing a shadowed figure reclined against one of the streetlights, their only discernable features being a gigantic fedora and a beige, oversized trench coat. Wellington gives the figure a nod, before the two walk towards each other, intending to meet in the middle. While moving towards his associate, Wellington addresses Kanamori back over his shoulder.*

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Wellington
You should wait back in the car. I don't intend for things to get messy, but I'd hate for you to be mixed up in the action if they do. I doubt Coats would be overjoyed to have you by my side during the exchange, anyway.
 

Ray Trace

You Can Tick Off Birds If You Follow My Advice
*The character in the hooded attire thanked Misham and exited the shop. However, he was careful of his surroundings. The main reason he was in a hood was that he was the first to hear rumors of an Assassin after them, from overhearing words on a street, and he hadn't spread this word to the rest of his acquaintances, not yet anyway. His Commander was correct. Enemies were made. People wanted them dead. He didn't know it would be THIS bad, however. He headed to his home, which was in the shadiest portions of Neo Bowser City; he knew how to deal with grifters and had spent some time grifting himself. He wasn't going to grift, however. He was going to steal some of the ingredients he needed without getting attention...*



--Boom Boom Bar--
*Just like in Mushroom City, there was a Boom Boom Bar, a place where characters of all mannerisms and body shapes migrated to and hung out and about and mingled with each other. All characters, whether bad or good, were welcome, as long as they paid the tab, followed the bar's rules, and had a good time here. The bartender was a decent mixologist, but also a highly peculiar one: he was a Blooper named Carbloopate, and he used his many arms to his advantage in creating the customer's desired cocktail. One of the most famed drinks you can buy at this Boom Boom Bar was the Blooper Ink Escapade, which involved the Blooper mixing in his own ink with a dose of pineapple juice and vodka. The combination looks very strange at first and can turn off inexperienced customers, but it is reported to taste excellent and unique, to which Carbloopate was proud of. Carbloopate's technique to his sort of ink was consuming a high amount and mix of native Isle Delfino fruit (as a squid who ate meat, it wasn't for the faint of heart for the average Blooper) and let his biological systems do the work.*

*A small customer walked in, and he was relieved to find a place like this in Neo Bowser City, a Boom Boom Bar. It wasn't exactly the same one he was used to, but it's a bar all right. He sat up on the the bar, and patiently waited for Carbloopate to serve him.*

*Carbloopate spoke in his typical, warbly, high-pitched voice.*

Carbloopate: Bloopity bloo! Welcome to the Bloom Bloom Bar! Here's the menu!

*Carbloopate handed the customer a menu. The customer gave a goofy grin. He was just about to say his catchphrase when he remembered what his Commander said.*

"Ray Trace, I'm especially talking to you. Do NOT announce who you really are to ANYONE. You got that? If I find out that you did that, I will come to your house and drag you to rot in jail for life."

*And she always finds out eventually. Always.*

Ray Trace (lamely for his standards): Thank you.

*Ray Trace frowned at the menu and pretended to read it. He still hasn't quite developed the ability to read English yet, and things in Russian weren't readily available for him, which frustrated him a bit.*

Carbloopate: Uh, I hate to be rude, but you're holding it upside-down, mister.

*Ray Trace grinned again and thanked Carbloopate. He still couldn't read all that well, but at least things were starting to make sense. He swore the residents in this city DID drink their glasses upside-down.*
 

Sayaka Kanamori

Don't waste effort on more words than you need.
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ERpF3BiXYAE-mF0.jpg

Glancing back between Wellington, the book in his hand, and the vehicle, Kanamori makes a clear show of contemplating her options. She could indeed wait back inside the vehicle, but for a transaction of such importance, would that be the right move...? As shady as this was, it could be a simple trick. She could get back in the vehicle and discover that Wellington and Coats were working together to trap, kidnap, or blackmail her. An even worse possibility occurs to her as she thinks it through - if Wellington wanted, he could simply run off with the cash, leaving her in the vehicle with no way to get paid for her service. That was simply an unacceptable outcome... even if she could potentially run him down with his own vehicle if he attempted to pull a trick like that.

"You know, it seems as though there's are too many to part with valuable materials for cheap prices in this Kingdom. I once attended a garage sale where an old man sold some famous painting of a ghost. Had I arrived minutes earlier, it would have been in my possession," she mumbles idly, in an attempt to keep Wellington from guessing at what she's truly thinking about.

With a sigh, she throws her head back and wanders over to the vehicle.


"Fine. I'll trust you with this transaction. Ensure it takes the least amount of time possible."

Turning around and heading to the vehicle, Kanamori disguises her smirk. Though she makes her way back to the vehicle as Wellington heads towards his associate, she doesn't actually enter the vehicle. Instead, she makes her way around to the back, to the trunk that had never actually been closed, and begins to look through those bags of treasure. Just what kinds of prices and names were marked upon them? If she could find out, she might be able to find some useful information to use against Wellington later...
 

Roserade

The Fool
Forum Moderator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Awards Committee
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*From what Kanamori can tell, most of these objects, while still worth their price, failed to amount anywhere near the price of one million for the Dark Prognosticus. One object tumbles out of the burlap bag in the very back corner of the trunk: a small, golden key, with the marking of a cloaked figure carved into its head. The tag plainly reads:

THE KEY TO IT ALL
BUYER: ????
PRICE: ????​

So far, the key appeared to be useless, and yet it was stowed away into the far reaches of the trunk. Why could that be, and what did its elusive name even mean?

Out of nowhere, Wellington pops back up behind Kanamori, holding a full coin bag in his hand and a victorious grin on his face. From his angle, he can't see what Kanamori has uncovered.*

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Wellington
Looking through the merchandise, I see? Most of those objects are unclaimed, as you can tell, so feel free to let me know about any you'd like to purchase at any time. You might even get a discount for your earlier assistance, if I'm feeling particularly grateful.

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Wellington
For now, however, I highly recommend you close this trunk and get into the passenger's seat. There's good reason for us to get as far away from this current location as we can. It's a trade secret, but let's just say... Coats may not be the happiest fellow later.
Oh, I'd also like some directions to get me back to my hotel, Four Seasons Neo Bowser City. Consider it the last segment of your job, as it were. Then, you'll receive the money you require. Come on now.

*With that, Wellington tucks the fat sack under his arm, escorting it to the front seat beside him. He hits the ignition once more, starting up the engine. The faint sounds of pop sensation Hannah Koops come lingering out the window as the radio turns on.*
 

Sayaka Kanamori

Don't waste effort on more words than you need.
Core 'Shroom Staff
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"I'll pass on making any purchases today. Your contacts seem to consist of unusual individuals. As tempting as large sales are, the market I currently have access to would lack the funds to pay for the goods you're offering. It would be a waste of my resources to invest in stock like this at the moment."

Kanamori speaks plainly as she makes her way around the vehicle, making her way back into it through the passenger door, concealing the key by slipping it into her pocket. She wouldn't keep it. Outright theft wasn't her style, but she would gladly use it against Wellington, to blackmail him down the road if it became necessary to do so.

Even as she settles into her seat and rolls her eyes at the distracting - all music was an unnecessary distraction, except when it could be leverage for a project, in her eyes - music blasting on the car's stereo, she makes clear where her focus lies.

"I'll provide directions to the hotel, but to treat it as completion of the job I was initially contracted for is unacceptable. This will be treated as an additional job, with payment that reflects as much."
 

Roserade

The Fool
Forum Moderator
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Wellington
Unfortunately for you, my lowlife companion, you don't seem to be in a position to disagree with me. You're in my car, where I'm holding the money, and I could always demand you exit this vehicle and walk away pennyless. That is within my legal right, after all. Or, you can give me the directions I need, and the money is yours. You could do a lot with $200,000, couldn't you? Otherwise, you'll be stuck out here, trying to navigate the busy streets of this decrepit town and hoping you don—

*Something catches Wellington's eye down the block, completely halting his thoughts. Trent Coats is offering forward the Dark Prognosticus to another identified figure, who seems to be taking a magnifying glass to its cover. Slowly, Coats turns his head to look towards the bright blue car and the two behind the windshield.*

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Wellington
!!!
... We'll be departing now.

*Rather unceremoniously, Wellington yanks the car into reverse, jostling the two in their seats, before braking immediately, slamming the gear to drive, and speeding back down the road, back the way they came. His fists are a harsh white from his grip on the steering wheel, his teeth gritted hard enough to shatter them. Gravel spews from the back wheel as they tear through the neighborhood, just as dangerous as always.*
 

The Happy Mask Salesman

The sage of Hope
Before you ask I posted early by accident.
Char looks at Misham. Something seemed off about him.

“Kai, I don’t think this is a library” Char said while setting down a book.

“What do you mean? Come on, it’s fine! Your just a baby!” Kai said while grabbing a book labeled Shroob.

“Alright, Just hurry up!” Char said still looking at Misham.

Kai eagerly got in line to purchase the book.

Char looked around and pulled a book called how to be a fat plumber. He looked at it and thought it would be intriguing to read. He then also got in line.
 

Doomhiker

Bob-omb
Wiki Patroller
Core 'Shroom Staff
Sergeant Guy: Don't worry, sir. That's an understandable mistake. Let's go, trio!

The duo left the store and rejoined with Goomb. They walked to a nearby book store. They talked on the walk there:

Paraplonk:
You know, every one on the street seems to be giving us strange looks. I'm no longer starting to think that this is because of our clothes.

Goomb: Indeed, I even saw a kid point a me and say "Mommy, I'm scared of that minion. Will he bite?" We no longer wear our elite garb with the Bowser Symbols! The prejudice against Goombas and other common Bowser recruits is absurd, sir! We no longer work for Bowser!

In the store, Sergeant Guy found the book and purchased it, but not without other customers visibly trembling in fear. Paraplonk bought a marker and drew a Bowser symbol with a large X over it on his bucket. They sat in the common reading area as Sergeant read the book.
 

Vera Misham

Ace Artist
Misham looked on with the slightest hint of dismay. More people buying books. Was there supposed to be a book fair happening today? He couldn't think of any other reason why there were so many book lovers about. Perhaps he should have started a book store instead of an antique store... but he had his reasons for doing what he did. He took a look at the book the young boy had grabbed and told him a bit about it.

"Shroob... this book is a historical piece written in Sarasaland many centuries ago... it details their encounter with another society they called "Shroob" who became their benefactors, helping them build some of their most famous architecture... most historians classify it as myth and folklore, although there are some who have recently begun to advocate it as true. This particular edition is the first to be translated into our own language and was published about a century ago. This one will cost about 100 coins."

Misham then turned to the other man, and upon seeing the book he had chosen, he let out a groan.

"Oh... that. Someone sold me a great number of books recently, and he insisted that I take that one as well. His own original work, as I understand it. Said it was a "biting satire of Mushroom Kingdom culture" or some such nonsense. I'd be happy to be rid of it, since it's not antique or culturally significant in any way. It's a signed copy, so this would probably retail for about 30 coins... but I'll give it to you for 15 as a combined purchase with the boy's book."
 

Alex95

NIWA Nut
Wiki Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
"Erm... Yes, the job... I need you to go downtown and attend a special auction. There's a special item that's going to be there which I'd really like to get my hands on, but as you can see, I have my hands full with this shop. If you'd be able to go in my stead, I'll let you have the wardrobe... and the book too, if you'd like it."

"I feel I should warn you, however, that these auctions can be a bit... sketchy. I've also heard word on the shopkeepers network that some rather odd fellows have been prowling about lately, like a young method actor with an acute business sense who was seen speaking with penguins. So you may want to keep those weapons of yours handy."

"Take this map and brochure. They'll help guide you to where you need to go."

Misham hands Stephen two pieces of paper. The first is a map of the suburb, complete with street names and local storefronts and attractions. Marked with a red circle is the auction venue, the Morton Sr. Memorial Hall, located on 42nd Street. The second piece of paper is a promotional pamphlet for "Waluigi's Totally Legitimate Auction", which features a variety of bizarre items up for sale. One entry has been marked with a red highlighter: Dark Prognosticus.

"That's the one I'm after. I'll give the organiser a call ahead of time to let him know that you're coming in my stead. Tell them Drew Misham sent you and they'll let you in. The venue isn't too hard to find, you can just go along Ludwig Street until you reach 42nd, then take a turn and walk for a few blocks. The auction won't start for a few more hours, so if you want, you can spend some time exploring the city."
( I'm late ^^; )

Stephan accepts the map and the pamphlet, and looks them over. He notes his current location and the distance between here and the destination.

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Stephan:
""Waluigi's Totally Legitimate Auction", huh? If it's anything like the auction house in Pora, I should be able to handle it... Alright, Mister, I'll try to get the Dark Prognostic for you. I'll be back when I get it!"

Stephan turns with a wave and...

He stood behind Stephan, ready to purchase this book.
Stephan:
"Whoop, excuse me."

Stephan moves past the hooded figure and heads out of the shop, taking in his surroundings. He sees a girl fall out of the sky, a flying horse, plenty of motor vehicles... He walks around the city for a bit and... ends up lost. He turns his map around in various directions.

Stephan:
"Ugh... A map is easy to read, but the roads are all bending and crossing and... Where am I at right now?"

Stephan looks up to find a bright neon sign that reads "Four Seasons Neo Bowser City" before looking back down at the map.

Stephan:
"All these lights must be making me blind... Jennifer would probably enjoy this place... Drat, I knew that was supposed to be a left back there... Somewhere... Great..."
 

The Happy Mask Salesman

The sage of Hope
Misham looked on with the slightest hint of dismay. More people buying books. Was there supposed to be a book fair happening today? He couldn't think of any other reason why there were so many book lovers about. Perhaps he should have started a book store instead of an antique store... but he had his reasons for doing what he did. He took a look at the book the young boy had grabbed and told him a bit about it.

"Shroob... this book is a historical piece written in Sarasaland many centuries ago... it details their encounter with another society they called "Shroob" who became their benefactors, helping them build some of their most famous architecture... most historians classify it as myth and folklore, although there are some who have recently begun to advocate it as true. This particular edition is the first to be translated into our own language and was published about a century ago. This one will cost about 100 coins."

Misham then turned to the other man, and upon seeing the book he had chosen, he let out a groan.

"Oh... that. Someone sold me a great number of books recently, and he insisted that I take that one as well. His own original work, as I understand it. Said it was a "biting satire of Mushroom Kingdom culture" or some such nonsense. I'd be happy to be rid of it, since it's not antique or culturally significant in any way. It's a signed copy, so this would probably retail for about 30 coins... but I'll give it to you for 15 as a combined purchase with the boy's book."
I thought it was just a library whoops! :D
Char looked at the man. 115 coins was steep. You could buy a night at a hotel for that much. Should he try to bargain and potentialy waist he and everyone’s time. Or do it and get to a lower price? He put his hand in his pocket and pulled out 115 coins. He then placed them on the table and shook hands with Misham. Then Kai grabbed the books and left.

“Well, this town isn’t all that it seems,” Char said.

“Well, yeah. Why are we still here again?” Kai asked when Char stopped him. Char looked to the sidewalks.

He said one thing. “Coats!” Kai looked at Char in confusion.

“We should leave, now,” Char said while running with Kai behind him.

“What the heck? Who is that guy?” Kai asked now annoyed.

“THE LESS YOU KNOW THE BETTER!” Char said regaining some memory.

The two ran down a few blocks into the hotel and locked the door to their room.

Kai had a big fat question mark on his head. Char looked at Kai and said. “I use to work in the black market. But that’s all I’m gonna say.” Char said putting an end to the discussion.
 
Last edited:

Vera Misham

Ace Artist
Misham watched as the last of the customers exited the room. What a surprisingly eventful day this had been. It was, at least, fairly good for business.

"I've made some good earnings... perhaps I'll close up early today."

Although it was still daytime, Misham walked to the door and locked it, swinging the "We're Open!" sign to it's opposite side, "Sorry, We're Closed". After cleaning things up a bit, he returned to his empty canvas that he had been staring at before the rush of customers arrived. Finally, some peace and quiet. Misham was not an anti-social man, but he enjoyed having moments to himself, where he could focus on his art. His talent wasn't anything exceptional - indeed, nothing like the raw talent his daughter displayed - but he simply enjoyed the process of creating, even if he ended up getting a little mess in the process. He pondered for a moment... and, unlike most occasions where he sat in front of the easel, he was struck by inspiration from today's events. Picking up his paintbrush, he began to create his next work of art.
 

Fujiwara no Sai

Ghost of a man
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Location:
Neo Bowser City train station - Platform 5

The second train arriving from Toad Town today is pulling into the station. A drove of would-be-passengers immediately gathers into an amorphous blob and squeezes against the metallic hull of the contraption which hasn't even come to a full stop yet. The air is thick with impatient yelling and the smell of sweat and body spray, as the brainless mob keeps pushing and shoving and waiting for the doors to open. Yet somehow, in this disgusting struggle akin to a pound of oily sardines in a cage match, nobody is pushed onto the rails or trampled to oblivion. It is a small miracle of modern society.

The train doors screech open and the pack squeezes inside, like deranged wheat dough from an angry noodle press. And just like that, the commotion vanishes and leaves the platform as quiet and serene as it has ever been. It will remain so until the next train arrives, upon which the strife will be reborn. A vicious circle unending; just another day in the unnatural existence of public transit.

Two figures are walking across the platform, battered and worn from the ride here. One of them is a ruggedly handsome green gentleman, blessed with natural charme and discerning taste and intellect. The other is occupying a space next to him.

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"Why did you want to come to Neo Bowser City again?", I ask my cloudy companion. He takes a few moments to break away from his mindless ogling of the scenery and deigns me with an answer. "I'm buying a new smartphone", he says, "The mailman is scared of Toad, so I had to come here and buy it in person". How silly. If the phone is supposed to be smart, why can't IT take the train instead of me?

...

My name is Yoshi, and I am between adventures. The last few months have been surprisingly good to me. I recently got to move into an apartment with fantastically low rent rates and a landlord who is fairly hands-off as long as you stay out of his business. Free cable, above-adequate living space, amazing decor... The only caveat is that I have to share it with a colorful cast of wackos that do their best to annoy me. Especially this floating nincompoop.

Okay, maybe that's a bit mean. Lakitu is mostly a nice guy, at least when he isn't filming you while you sleep. I just find it tiring to keep up with his erratic cheery attitude most of the time.

"This city is a dump!", I say, wrinkling my nose as I inhale air laced with the delightful fragrance of burning tires and chemical fumes. "Why did you drag me into this again?"

"Because the train ticket was cheaper this way", he explains with his eyes darting between various sights, "They're doing a special sale for couples this week." I shoot him a vaguely incredulous look. "You told them we are a couple?" He nods with an innocent smirk on his face.

"Well, that explains why the conductor congratulated me", I say while touching my right hand to my lack of a forehead in tranquil irritation, "You do know that I have a girlfriend, right?" He ponders my question for a minute, then opens his mouth to speak again. "You probably shouldn't ride any trains with her for a while then"

I sigh in resignation. "Let's just buy your stupid brain phone so I can go back home and watch TV. Where do they sell it? At the supermarket?"
 

Tressa Colzione

You got more than you bargained for!
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I sigh in resignation. "Let's just buy your stupid brain phone so I can go back home and watch TV. Where do they sell it? At the supermarket?"
If they happen to take a certain route from the station, they'll pass by someone who's currently watching the road with interest. There had been an intense conversation about this earlier...

"All I'm saying is, petty scams are beneath us!"

"I'm just thinking we should run a couple errands-"

"Also beneath us!"

"Crump is correct, however. Without a small base of coins, they'll never allow us the book, even if we can promise to get the rest. And I, for one, would rather get it some now than have to worry about leaving a paper trail with our exchanges."

"The one thing we have left is dignity!"

The two sides had argued, until the last one finally made a decision...

"We have, to be frank, already lost our dignity. We don't have much of a choice. The motion to gather funding passes, 3 to 2."

So, that's why, if the two strangers pass this route, and are clearly new to the city, someone with spiky hair will fall in beside them.

"I can tell you're new to Neo Bowser. Anything I can assist you with?"
 

Doomhiker

Bob-omb
Wiki Patroller
Core 'Shroom Staff
Spark Brushel just arrived in Neo Bowser City. He received an anonymous tip on a criminal. He was suspected of theft and money laundering, but no proof ever came up. Apparently, he was now working in Neo Bowser City under the alias Trent Coats. Just imagine the headlines! Spark could smell a good scoop from a mile away, and a really good scoop from anywhere.



Sparknotes


"Man, what a large city! "Busy city filled with busy people!" end quote."

He saw a strange bird girl. From all his years as a journalist, he recognized her, Aya Shameimaru. A journalist who loved to swindle people. Still, she was skilled at finding obscure information. The chances of her knowing something about Trent Coats, especially if he was indeed in the city, was high.

Spark


""Journalist sure that fellow journalist knows about Trent Coats, master criminal, willing to pay for info!" end quote".
 

Fujiwara no Sai

Ghost of a man
Chat Administrator
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Neo Bowser City - Kammy Memorial Avenue

Lakitu and I continue our walk through the visually striking urban sensation that is Neo Bowser City. Unfortunately, the intricate beauty of its labyrinthean street network is somewhat lost on us, as neither of us had the foresight to bring a map or consult directions beforehand. In my defense, why should I have to be the one to prepare for this? I was roped into this against my will.

After walking down the 43rd random street without a phone store, my feet finally had enough and screamed for a break. I thought it wise to join into their cacophony of irritation.

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"THIS CITY SUCKS!!! AAAAAaAaAaHHH!!!"
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"Maybe we should ask someone for directions?"
wackstation_y.png
"No! I don't want to talk to random passersby; they always call me a horse and it's annoying!"
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"Has that ever actually happened?"
wackstation_y.png
"It happened once, and that was enough!"

We proceed with our miserable trek, not knowing where we are going, yet desperately clinging to hope regardless. I decide to strike up a conversation to distract ourselves from our lack of navigational prowess.

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"You know, I think I visited this city once before, actually. It was during one of those go-karting party thingamajigs that Mario insisted on dragging us into.
wackstation_l.png
"So does that mean you know where we are?"
wackstation_y.png
"Not really. Everything kind of looks the same when it's just a nonsense smear of colors whizzing past your eyes as you rocket forward at break-neck speed. The only landmark I distinctly remember is that one pit by the sharp turn I kept falling into."
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"Why did you keep going if you didn't like it?"
wackstation_y.png
"I don't know. I figured I kind of had to. Mario looks up to me a lot. I'm a pretty important figure in his life, kinda like some kind of dad, so me not going to one of his dumb parties would devastate him."
wackstation_l.png
"Uh... I don't think I've ever heard hiim say anything like that, or mention you in that way."

I stop walking at that point. My gaze narrows as I look directly at Lakitu. What does he presume to know about the obvious and great respect I commanded from Mario?

wackstation_y.png
"I raised that tyke into the man he is today. Even when he would not stop screeching bloody murder into my poor ears, floating around in his silly bubble and making me chase him!"
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"Yes, but he had actual human parents that he grew up with, you know. You were part of his life for, I don't know, maybe a couple of weeks?"
wackstation_y.png
"No! I raised him! I taught that man how to jump! How to fight! How to eat! I turned into a blasted helicopter for him for star's sake! I'm a big deal!"
wackstation_y.png
"You know why he's a hero? Let me tell you, if a regular person found a weird red mushroom with spots on it in a box, they would put that shit back and clear the perimeter! But not Mario, no, not my boy! He didn't even BLINK before inhaling that mushroom! Stuffed it right in his gullet, and what happened?"
wackstation_y.png
"He turned super! The legend was born! And I was the one who taught him to do that! I made him, it's all me!"
wackstation_l.png
"Ok, I didn't want to hurt your feelings or dredge up any deep-seated insecuriti--"
wackstation_y.png
"There are no insecurities, only the great and inspirational display of fatherhood that I represent in Mario's life! I'm his daddy!
wackstation_l.png
"All right, you are his dad."
wackstation_y.png
"Call me daddy!"
wackstation_l.png
"Okay, daddy."
wackstation_y.png
"Uh, wait... actually, maybe let's not do that.

Neo Bowser City - Reznor Street

I spend the next thirty minutes trying to forget the conversation that had just taken place. Fortunately that would prove rather easy, due to what was to follow. As we make a turn, I feel a tingle on the back of my neck. An unmistakable sign. I immediately turn to Lakitu to let him know we are being watched. But the words had barely even left my mouth when something lands beside me; shoes hitting pavement with two soft "CLOKs" in quick succession.

"I can tell you're new to Neo Bowser", a voice says and I waste no time turning around to face its source, "Anything I can assist you with?"

For all intents and purposes I am looking at what appears to be a human teenager with funky hair. But there is something off about this situation that I can't quite point my finger at. Ehh, probably just the spike on his head that's making me nervous. Head spikes are an ill omen in my culture.

wackstation_l.png
"Yeah, daddy and I are looking for a phone store!"
wackstation_y.png
"(Stop)"
wackstation_l.png
"Do you happen to know where we can find any?"

----------------
It did some weird resizing nonsense to my table images. Can't figure out how to fix that right now, so I'm leaving it in. Also going to switch to past tense after this; I don't know why I started in present tense in the first place.
 
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