Well work was mostly fun yesterday, a few meetings, one of which I largely ran, but that involved organising a game of Werewolf (a game like Mafia, everyone closed their eyes for night to fall, the werewolves open their eyes and select someone to eat, day comes around, eyes open, pick someone to lynch in the hope that you get a werewolf) – the idea being that it was about exploring communication skills in a fun way 😉
Now on with part 2 of Milton Malloy’s background 🙂

Smuggler’s Guard-Den part 2

Henry Peverington and his servant come bodyguard alighted the small boat at what appeared to be an old abandoned dock. The hour was late, the sky black as pitch, foreboding clouds covering the pale moon. In this unsavoury part of the most civilised city in the world, the beacons of gas light were unknown.
Shadows abound accompanied by the creak of timbers and incessant lapping of water.
Denholme was oddly at ease, and went about scanning for threats and cataloging likely routes of egress, years of servitude in her majesties forces had made it second nature. Sure enough his instinct drew him to an unusually dark patch of shadow, he positioned himself in front of his master.
“Sir I believe this is where we need to go.” He said gesturing to the darker patch of shadow as it coalesced into a Beastkin resembling a black panther. However it seemed there had been far more at work than simply feral instinct, a dark cloak and fur as black as midnight.
“You gentleman ssssseem to be a wayssssss out of your, ahhhhhhh, comfort zone, what interessssssst would you have in our humble little tea warehousssssse?” The creatures voice had the sibilant air of the Far East about it.
“I beg your pardon! Tea warehouse?!” Henry Peverington exclaimed.
“Yessssssss, Wing Chai tea importer of the disssscerning cussstomer.” The Panther kin gestured to the dark building behind him.
“Um excuse me sir, if I may?” Denholme enquired of his master, clearly his sense of class etiquette hadn’t allowed him to forget a set of simple instructions.
“Humph! Of course Denholme, get to it please.”
“Apologies sir, right away.” Denholme shrugged to his master and turned to the Panther kin.
“We have been given express instructions to request the company of a Millie from the Orange Lotus.”
“Yessssss I ssssee now, and are you both able to cover the admisssssion fee?”
“What! How dare you! Of course I can afford a paltry admission fee to some seedy little back street drinking den!” Henry huffed.
“Heh heh heh heh heh, very well your coin firsssssst pleassssse gentlemen.” There was a gleam accompanying the malevolent chuckle as the Panther kin held out his hand for payment.
Henry Peverington dropped 2 large silver crowns into the outstretched hand.
“Ahhhhhh, what the blazes! Denholme! This thing just scratched me!” He let out a yelp and withdrew his hand quickly, immediately looking at the small scratch welling with blood on his finger tip.
“Apologiesssss good ssssir, I thought you ssssaid you had the admisssssion fee?” The Panther kin raised his hand showing a ring on his finger ending in a small but sharp point, the tip of which held a single drop of blood. He then carefully took one the large silver crowns and smeared the blood around one face of the coin. This was then deposited into a small velvet bag at his waist, making a faint chinking sound with other coins in the bag.
“And you good sssself pleassssse.” The Panther kin showed the second silver coin and motioned to Denholme with the ring blade after licking it clean with long slow strokes of it’s tongue. This was made even more disconcerting due to the elaborate glowing green tattoo of an eye on it’s tongue.
Denholme reluctantly held out one hand, but made no sound or flinch as the blade merely nicked a finger tip. Again the process was repeated of smearing the blood upon the coin, and then the deposiedt into the velvet bag.
“Blood and ssssssilver paid gentleman, the Orange Lotusssss thanksssss you for your patronage, pleasssse enter enjoy the delightsssssss on offer.” The Panther kin moved aside in a graceful motion, and suddenly light flooded the area as a doorway opened up behind. Denholme stepped through first followed by his master.

The doors closed effortlessly behind them, and they both gawked at their surroundings. The building they were now in had absolutely no resemblance to a tea warehouse, or any warehouse for that matter. It looked for all the world like a Chinese palace.
There were a great many people lounging upon great silk pillows, many of them clearly gentleman of the upper echelons of society, a great haze of fog hung in the air, it carried the unmistakable tang of opiates. Through this fog swanned silk robed ladies of every conceivable style, even an occasional fine featured Eldren.
“Good lord! We’ve entered an opium den! Why have I never heard of this place before?” Henry seemed a little taken aback.
“It certainly seems to be that sir.” Denholme replied.
“Ahhh but gentlemen, the Orange Lotus is so much more than merely a common opium den, why we offer any pleasure you care to name, and quite a few that would never care to mention.” A voice from close behind them said in a disturbingly seductive way.
As they turned in unison they could see a very slight female in a deep purple silk gown, with short sleeves. Giving their various encounters this evening with many different beast kin, it came as no surprise that this female was yet another. She had the look of a rodent about her, but whereas previously in the cellar of the Black Bull Milton had garnered utter disdain for his rodent like appearance, here it gave this female an appearance of sleek perfection, she was quite simply disarmingly beautiful. This could also have been down to the sleek and shiny white fur that served to accentuate her ruby red eyes. The pristine white fur appeared to cover all of her petite body, from what they could see, the masterfully crafted gown was an abject lesson in seduction and suggestion itself. However the short sleeves showed of delicate arms devoid of fur, but covered completely in intricate and colourful tattoos, depicting every manner of mythical beast.
Henry Peverington just stared, unable to take his eyes away from the beautiful young lady in front of him. In fact it came as no shock that he considered this beast kin a lady, and not some common drudge as he judged every other beast kin he had ever met.
Denholme interjected, before his master could begin to drool like a love struck fool. “Excuse me miss, but we were directed to seek an audience with a Millie, would you be so kind as to point her out please?”
“Well gentlemen, it seems you are particularly fortuitous, as the only Millie in the Orange Lotus is little ‘ol me.” She let an intricately tattooed and slender finger point to her disarmingly low cut gown.
“Good heavens, my dear you’re a such picture of beauty, but please do you know where we may find a Milton Malloy per chance?” Henry took one of her delicate hands in his and gently kissed the back of it.
“Now sir, I really must caution you against such tawdry shop talk out here, if you wish to discuss things or see to any other needs you will be required to secure a private room.” She gestured to staircase leading up to a balcony. The balcony had many curtained off areas, some with the curtains drawn to.
“Erm why of course my dear, please allow me to purchase the use of a private room to enjoy some of your delightful company.” Henry was fawning over her, his mind seemed befuddled by the beautiful and delicate lady in front of him. He reached into his pocket and drew out a silver crown.
“Oh sir, please, I certainly don’t handle any money myself, please let me summon Xing, he handles all transactions.” With that she reached into a pocket and produce a tiny golden bell, given it one gentle shake, the bell made such a diminutive little ring.
Within the space of a few heartbeats however an oversized Ogre appeared, looking distinctly odd dressed in silk with a sturdy chest strapped to his front.
“If you would be so kind sir, Xing here is the treasurer of The Orange Lotus.” Millie said.
“Erm yes of course, here you go my good erm man.” Henry held out the silver crown to the huge ogre.
With a grunt the Xing opened the lid of the chest allowing Henry to drop the coin onto pile of coins already within. Henry made to move towards the staircase.
Xing grunted “Five.”
“Hmmmmm, sorry what was that” Henry asked.
“wha, excuse me?” Henry was getting a little confused.
“Five!” the ogre was becoming more insistent.
“Sir, I think the cost of a room is actually 5 crowns.” Denholme offered in a low voice, so as to avoid any embarrassment to his master.
“Really? That’s extortionate…..” Henry hissed.
“Well sir I don’t think an establishment like this really cares about fair and even pricing.” Denholme pointed out.
“Yes, Yes you great lump, we know, here you go.” Henry dug into pocket and added 4 more silver crowns to the pile in the chest. Xing slammed the chest shut and walked away, becoming a huge sillohette in the haze of the room.
“This way please gentlemen.” Millie led them up the staircase and into one of the curtained rooms.
The curtains were of course silk matching the furnishings and gowns within The Orange Lotus, they mysteriously closed once they were all within the well appointed room. There was a surprising variety of furniture placed around the room, making it difficult to decide whether this was a drawing room, dining room or bedroom. Clearly it was outfitted for any eventuality.
Millie took a seat on a chaise long and gestured that the 2 men make themselves comfortable in a pair of armchairs.
“So then gentlemen, to business I presume you wish to procure the specialised services of my litter mate Milton Malloy the Third then? Our dear old mother always used to say he got all the brains, he’s a clever one. And rest assured if you need something and are willing to pay the price, he can get it.” Millie demurely told them.
“Erm sorry my dear lady, did you say that Milton Malloy is your litter mate?” Henry looked a little put out by this.
“Yes sir, I believe that the lady was saying that she is Milton Malloy’s sister.” Denholme interjected.
“Why that is correct, I’m sister to many Milton Malloy’s, all of us were brought up proud and fine by our dear old Mother. Obviously I was born albino, and that is somewhat of a rare commodity, that many fine gentlemen are willing to pay best price to enjoy, have you ever seen white mink fur before gents?” she suggestively stroked a finger down the fur of her neck whilst crossing her legs, allowing the gown to ride up scandalously.
“Good gosh my dear, really he’s your brother?” Henry exclaimed
“Milton Malloy the Third and many other Milton Malloy’s too, yes that is correct. you do seem to have some trouble understanding this very simple concept, in fact I have 2 sister’s as well, both called Millie, although I’d advise you don’t mention little Millie to Milton, her sudden disappearance hit him rather hard. I think it’s because of his business, and he feels that he is in some way responsible. But none of the rest of us think that. Although you can be sure we’re all tirelessly searching for any hint of her whereabouts.”
“Sorry, that’s a lot Milton’s and now a lot of Millie’s, what are you people some kind of vermin.” Henry had now let disgust override his enrapture of this beautiful lady.
“Now that is not becoming of a gentleman! If you allude to us as vermin or rats I shall be forced to take drastic action!” She held the tiny golden bell, emphasising the threat of the huge Ogre named Xing. “And I would caution you most seriously to not use such terms around Milton Malloy the Third, he is particularly proud of our esteemed Mink heritage. He also makes frequent jests about how none us are ever poor when covered in such fine expensive fur.”
“Of course my lady, I apologise on my masters behalf, please would you be able to direct us to Milton Malloy the Third, only we’ve been engaged on this quest to meet with him for a while this evening and we wish to make arrangements with him.” Denholme said placatingly.
“Humph, yes please do, miss.” Added Henry.
“Why of course, I’m sure you understand the precautions that someone like Milton has to employ in his line of work, after all he didn’t become the foremost procurer of items desperately sought by being careless now did he? So all you need to do now is exit here and jump straight into a Hansom, there are always plenty out by the back entrance, then go to the Dire Anvil and ask for Milton at the bar. You have 30 minutes to get there, which if you tip the hansom handsomely should be plenty of time, now I should leave post haste gents, as I’ll shortly be summoning Xing.”

Odi et amo………..Excrucior

Stay Slinky People,