Adventures of Caelereth

Active Stories => The Thirsty Herald => Topic started by: Synder Nytefall on December 16, 2012, 03:19:05 PM



Title: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Synder Nytefall on December 16, 2012, 03:19:05 PM
The Hearld is now open... Please feel free to post your contact information in the appropriate thread and make an entrance post at your leisure. All are welcome! :heart:

Only two rules exist outside of Greybark's commandments.
1) Please aim for at least two paragraphs for each post you make.
2) Always tip your waitress. ;)


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Synder Nytefall on December 18, 2012, 02:01:08 PM
Synder’s hallucination was so restless that the known dream took on a sense of reality. It overstepped the ethereal realm of subconscious outlets and fantasies, becoming all too heartbreakingly real.

It began with a memory. Decades and then centuries fell away leaving Synder young and naïve again. In the cargo hold of the ship that carried her from Strata to Lorehaven, from one world into another. It was during that journey that Synder had met Eric, the man who should have been her mate for his entire life. Instead he had died too young and had taken her youthful love to the grave with him.

In her daydream Synder could feel the gentle roll of the ship and smell the scent of horse, hay, sea and fish… and Eric. Always Eric. He was standing before her, gazing down at her through eyes that were olive, amber and worried. The Rover had just told him that she loved him.

“It is impossible.” The dream memory replayed in her mind as Eric reached out, took her hand and lifted it gently. He raised his own arm until the two were side by side. “You see the difference, you?”

The dreaming Synder made a small, wordless exclamation of pain. The sound of his voice! That distinct Strata accent, so deep, sensual and unique. It was the bittersweet sound of his voice and its beautiful accent that had kept Synder away from Strata for well over a century.


For a few blinks Synder struggled to remain in the dream, before at last opening her burgundy eyes. She drank in the rays of Injera that had crept into the tavern whilst she had lost consciousness for a few moments. The Rover had imbibed too much mil’no fire the night before, easily noted by the bead of perspiration that had formed upon her brow. Nimbly the elf ran her fingers gingerly over her forehead trying to clear the last wisps of the vivid dream.

The bright fragrance of peppered hearthberries brought a thoughtful grin to the pirate’s luscious lips. Obviously Trisstessa had brought her breakfast as she has dozed at the entrance to the tavern. Cautiously she scanned the interior of the Hearld, quickly finding the serving girl going about her morning chores. Nonchalantly Synder lifted one of the berries to her lips taking in the fiery aroma as the heat coursed over her palette.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Tristessa Stonebridge on December 19, 2012, 09:15:48 AM
A movement caught the corner of Triss's eye. Synder had awakened and was eating the hearthberries she had left for her. She smiled as she finished wiping down the last of the tables. She then moved to the bar, making sure that it was nice and clean as well. Even though she was much older than the Elfess, she felt a motherly inclination towards her, not unlike the way she felt towards everyone.

After she had made sure the bar was thouroughly clean, she moved back into the kitchen to check how the foods were coming. The stews were simmering nicely, small bubbles coming to the surface, emitting wonderful aromas as they popped. She stirred each stew, making sure none of it was stuck on the bottom of the pot. Moving to the oven, she opened it up and saw that the breads were done. Using some heavy towels, she carefully took them out and put them on the counter to cool.

She gave a sigh as she wiped her brow. Dipping a cup into a barrel of water, she filled it to the brim and then took a drink of it. Refreshment coursed down her throat into the rest of her body. She put the cup down upon the counter and wiped her hands off onto her apron. She stepped back out into the common room and took a look around. Things were definitely more quiet around her since her father and left and took her daughter to the city. He thought she needed more formal training. Triss had argued at first, but she knew he was right. He promised that Claudia would visit, but he wasn't sure when.

Not really sure what else to do, she walked over to Synder. "Are the berries to your liking?" she asked with a smile.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Ash Tyr on December 20, 2012, 03:48:26 AM
He breathed smoke, not air. His skin darkened, cracked, and split open with a multitude of fissures. With one hand held before his face, he marveled at the beauty of the fire consuming him, the yellow-orange flames dancing and swaying in an errant breeze. As he watched, his skin burnt away, reduced to ash to be carried on the wind. His fingers flexed as that peeling of his seared flesh, his coal-black skin, revealed the gleaming white bone underneath. Still, he felt no fear. His heart did not so much as quicken in its beating as the bone too blackened, cracked, and fell asunder.

His eyes snapped open. A sheen of sweat slickened his skin. Immediately he lifted both hands, turning them over again and again to be sure that they were yet hale. An exhaled breath of relief greeted the realization that both hands were intact. The fingers of one hand swooped down to brush damp reddish brown locks away from his face.

He lifted up, one arm braced against the ground beneath him. Sleep yet clung to his eyes, his vision blurred as he struggled to awaken further. It was the break of day that greeted his gaze with the sun beginning to banish the darkness of the night with its first rays. Finally his lips formed the hint of a smile as he breathed in deep, vastly enjoying the crisp and open air around him. He stretched and turned, working out muscles tense from a night of slumber.

One hand pushed off from the ground that had been his bed as he stood and straightened out his clothes. Grey eyes the color of early morning mist looked to the door of the tavern maybe ten peds away. It was then that his stomach rumbled and reminded him of the purpose of this time of day: breakfast.

Long legs carried him across the yard. After slipping inside the front door, he settled at a table near that of the elfess's by turning a chair slightly away from its parent table before his rump kissed the seat. He waited patiently to speak, awaiting a moment when he would interrupt neither sea-farer nor barmaid. Even then his voice was not particularly loud, "Trisstessa, is breakfast ready?"


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Daron Soulstealer on December 25, 2012, 05:21:59 AM
"Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!"

A nervous squeak came from the pouch at his side.  The man looked down at the upturned furry face of the small ferret who was studying him.  The man couldn't help but smile.  "Not you, Bart.  Me.  I'm the stupid one."

The ferret squeaked sympathetically, then dropped down, disappearing from sight.

Daron, as Egan was beginning to actually think of himself, stopped walking and stared up to the sky, where the injera was beating down on the land with terrific heat.  He used his sleeve to wipe his brow, before casting his gaze to his sandy surroundings, finally spotting Vlad and Jake, his other two ferrets.  They were apparently immune to the heat, as they chased each other, rolling in a squeaking ball of fur as they wrestled.  They always seemed to be oblivious to everything, unless hungry.

Back to the stupidity.  Yes, he was stupid.  Here he was, in the Rahaz-daz desert, chasing a dangerous criminal.  Okay, maybe dangerous was too strong; potentially dangerous.  Yes, very potentially dangerous.  Daron Soulstealer was on the trail of Svek the Blade!  Yes, Svek the Blade, sounded much more intriguing than Svek the Quill, the forgemaster of New Santhala.

After Svek had been implicated in several forgeries of documents bilking some rich nobles of much gold, Daron had been hired to find the man and return him to justice.  The chase had led him here, crossing this accursed desert.

Working his way up a rocky dune, he stopped short at the top and lowered himself down to his haunches.  Up ahead was a small camp where a man was laying on a mat under a makeshift shelter, giving him cover from the relentless sun.

The man appeared to be unarmed, which was as Daron expected it to be.  The only reason he had agreed to this adventure, besides the gold offered as reward, was that Svek was a notorious coward and would be a peaceful capture.

Daron stood up and stole closer.  Step by step he moved, trying to keep from making a sound. Of course, Jake and Vlad were not helping, as they spotted the camp and made a beeline run towards it.  There was just something too tempting for them to ignore.

The man at the camp awoke with a start as Vlad used him as a spring board to jump up onto the top of the blanket that formed the shelter over the man.  As he tried to focus on the two furry hoodlums that were assailing him, a high pitched scream erupted from him.

Daron smiled as he pulled out his sword.  That girly sounding scream only helped to bolster his own courage.  "Stand still, Svek the Quill.  I'm Daron Soulsteler, and I've come to arrest you."  That sounded impressive enough, Daron thought.

The man looked at him, blinking in the bright light.  "W- what?"

"You heard me.  I'm taking you back to New Santhala."

Svek paused fo a moment, the a small grin crept aross his features. "No.  No, I don't think so."

Daron was a bit startled, and waved his sword as menacingly as he could muster.  "I don't think you realize, you don't have a choice."

The older man was into a full fledged grin now.  "But he does."

Daron felt the cold steel edge of a dagger slip under his throat from someone behind him, then a breathy whisper in his ear. "Unless you want a permanent smile, you might wanna be dropping that sword, Mister Soulstealer."



"Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!"

Three ferrets were chattering up at the man ahead of them, the tone decidedly unfriendly.  Daron looked back at them as he walked.  "I know, I know.  You're tired of walking.  So am I.  You think I - Ouch!!!" 

Daron hopped along lifting bare foot up and pulling the sharp rock out from his heel.  Whimpering, he rubbed the wounded extremity.  As he hopped around on one foot, he noticed up ahead the building that Svek had told him to look for; A Thirsty Herald, or something like that.  He lowered his foot and turned to the three ferrets at his feet. 

"Looks like we made it, guys."  He couldn't help but smile.  Svek had been good to his word, letting Daron go and telling him where to find safety.

Walking toward the building, Daron reached up and pulled his wide brimmed hat off his head.  He then very modestly placed it strategically over his naked body to protect himself from being seen.

Yes, Svek had spared his life and, yes, told him how to find safety, but at the other man's insistence, they had stolen all his clothes, weapons and bags, leaving the hero to wander the desert nude.  They only left him his hat to protect him from the injera.  The worst part was hearing the raucous laughter as he was forced away.

Reaching the tavern, he opened the door only as much as he needed to poke his head inside. "Excuse me.  Excuse me!  I was wondering if anyone here could lend me some pants."


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Landion Ohta'Raumo on March 29, 2013, 12:55:31 AM
Landion made his way towards the entrance of the Herald. He had already settled Tinwë in the stables, having brushed her down after the rather excruciating  pace he had set in hopes of making it to the Herald before sunup. The sunlight that was creeping over the horizon told him that he hadn't quite accomplished that. The thin layer of perspiration that had gathered on his brow was the only outward indication of his recent exertion.

While he had never before been to the Herald, he knew of its existence and determined that it would be the most appropriate place to rest before continuing on his journey. Turning the corner, he was surprised to find the naked backside of a man presented to him. Stopping in mid step, he tilted his head in amusement, a single silver brow raised in curiosity. He was able to catch the mans inquiry.  

"Excuse me.  Excuse me!  I was wondering if anyone here could lend me some pants."

It had been awhile since he had to rein in any outward show of amusement, but he was able to keep the smirk from his face, although he was laughing on the inside. He realized that he should say something then, knowing that if he were in a similar situation, although he couldn't recall a time where he was similarly bereft of clothing, that he would want the man behind him to make his presence known.

"I have some spare clothing, although they may be somewhat big on you."

Landion was nearly two palmspans taller than the man but their builds were fairly similar.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Tristessa Stonebridge on May 07, 2013, 02:48:53 PM
As she was awaiting Synder's reply, Ash walked into the inn and sat at a nearby table. She turned her body slightly, so she was able to view both people.

"Tristessa, is breakfast ready?"

She was just about to reply when the opening of the door took her attention from what she was about to say. Sunlight poured in through the crack of the open doorway. Triss thought it curious that it didn't open all the way. Yet, when man poked his head in, her cheeks turned a bright pink. Though nothing embarassing was showing, due to the door and a hint of a hat, Triss was still flustered.

"Excuse me.  Excuse me!  I was wondering if anyone here could lend me some pants."

At first, Triss didn't know what to say. She turned to Ash, her eyes almost begging him to take care of the situation. Offer him pants or something! she wanted to say, but she knew that it would be rude to do such a thing in front of a potential customer. Thankfully, another voice, from outside of the doorway said something.

"I have some spare clothing, although they may be somewhat big on you."

Triss let out a breath. She hoped and prayed the situation would resolve itself quickly.

"Um....yeah....breakfast is...uh...ready. I'll go grab you some," Triss stammered. She was glad for an excuse from the situation as a whole. With a quick glance back to the man in the doorway, she hurried off to the kitchen.

Once there, she leaned against the wall and let out a large sigh. She grabbed the cup she had set on the counter earlier and took several drinks from it. One would think that, being in business in the tavern business she would be use to bawdy things such as that, but even after all these years, Triss still was one to blush at uncomfortable situations. After clearing her head for a moment or two, she grabbed a plate of random fruits, half of a roasted taenish breast, and a piece of freshly baked bread. With her free hand, she dipped out a cup of cool water and headed out towards the dining room.

"Here you go, Ash," Triss said with a smile, not really wanting to look back towards the doorway in case something far worse was there.



Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Laell on May 17, 2013, 04:13:02 AM
From the sands exposed to the brightest sun wafts a shimmering bend in reality; a kind of folding of the air. To the short, red-haired woman holding the lead for her gray donkey, who in turn pulls a laden cart with a large oven and two boxes, among miscellaneous items, that shimmer looks like a waving curtain; as though the desert is but a backdrop, and in just a few more paces her feet will no longer be drawn down by it, the faint heat building in the morning will dissipate, and some audience invisible just off the stage that all this must be on will cheer at her perseverance.

Laell Harleis laughs at her imagination, the sound nothing but a vague, broken breath, with more frustration than mirth to fuel it. Deliberately, she turns herself and her stubborn companion toward a nearby well, and only eight short paces from it, leaning against the rope, the gray-haired creature stops, its large ears turning backward as it jerks away, staring in disgruntled unhappiness at its mistress and her destination.

"Oh, come on!" Laell pleads, tugging again on the rope. The creature continues its resistance, and she throws the rope down at its feet. "Fine. You stay there and thirst to death, then. I'm getting me some water."

And just as she has promised, Laell makes her way to the edge of the well, lifts her dirt-stained skirt to sit on its wall, searches about for a bucket, ties it to the line and tosses it in, breathing a long sigh of relief when a distant splash is heard. She takes the rope with one dirt-stained, rope-burned hand, works it around, and begins to turn the lever to hoist up the bucket, smiling triumphantly at its weight, and putting more effort and focus into it. Eventually, it reaches the top, just visible, and she ties the rope off, fetches the bucket by hand, unfastens it, and perches it on the wall beside her, looking in defiance at her companion. "See! Water. Do you want some?"

Temptingly she holds the bucket toward the creature, but it only pins its ears back harder, were it possible, and wags its head, left, then right, as if a shake of no -- or a glance about, Laell isn't entirely sure. She shrugs, and from one of the various straps about her tunic produces a cup, dipping it into the water and raising it to her lips, first sipping, then draining it, dipping and draining it again. With effort she stops herself, clicks her tongue to keep from licking the water off her parched lips, and sighs, closing her eyes. When a minute has passed and the urge to drink the entire bucket has gone, she dips the cup again, finds her desire for the water reduced, and finishes it daintily before tucking the cup away again, teasing her donkey with the water one last time, then dumping the remainder back down the well. With a little hop she departs the well, and begins to walk cautiously around the building until she finds a stable.

"There's a warm bed over here!" she announces to the belligerent creature, who only glares at her. Finally, she tosses her hands up in the air and begins to walk back toward it. "Fine. If you're not going to move, I'll just take my things and-"

Without warning, the creature presses past her, and Laell finds herself obliged to step out of the way to avoid getting hit by the cart's wheels. Incredulously she stares at it, and then sees its reason for moving on: A young Shendar, straw over him from working the stables, has only just appeared. He greets the donkey with mild confusion, and Laell hurries after it. In the next few moments, the cart is unhitched, the animal brushed and fed, the stable-hand paid, and the breadmaker from Bardavos, her feet nearly dragging from her long walk, steps up to the door of the famed inn, The Thirsty Herald; and while not a herald herself, she can at least understand where the name was derived.

Laell nearly walks into him, her eyes on the ground as she approaches, but stops at the sudden presence of a figure in the doorway, pauses, coughs, and blushes profusely, turning her head; for there, directly in her path, and now with less distance between them than a handspan, is a naked man, reaching inside for some proffered clothing. No words escape her lips, and only a gasp and a struggling, fainted clearing of the throat manage to pass through her at all as she retreats slightly, turning her entire self away from the sight.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Amabella Catston on May 17, 2013, 01:44:37 PM
It had been a few weeks since Stormcloak Amabella Catston's ship first swept into the port at Strata. Amabella met the most powerful Stormcloak politician at their port, a grizzled old white-bearded Wilvong dwarf named Thrak, who was born in the "Heaven's Gate" mountains near Quios. He knew Amabella's boss Kovor and got along well with him, so Thrak's first meeting with Amabella was an amiable one. Thrak had already been informed that Amabella was from the Carmalad Stormcloak port, that she was authorized to work in Strata as a merchant, and that she was also instructed to investigate the market for canelvous herbs.

Amabella quickly saw that, as with any business, Stormcloak branches were not exactly the same. Each one cannot help but to echo the pulse of the culture it is immersed in, and in some ways less subtle than others. For example, Thrak was the first merchant she ever met who wore a battle axe on his back. When Amabella inquired about it, the dwarf took a casual puff of pipe moss and said, "Actually, 'tis not strange at all for a merchant of Strata to be well armed."

That single sentence influenced Amabella's first feelings about Strata. She understood it to be a more dangerous place, mysterious yet intriguing. Amabella felt that Carmalad port had its perils too, but they were more discreet about it. Amabella wondered how she would feel about the people of Strata whom she encountered. Nevertheless, she kept her resolve to discriminate against no one, and evaluate any new acquaintances by their deeds alone.

Thrak unrolled a map and described the marketplaces in Strata which were dominated by Stormcloaks. Amabella was also to become familiar with areas a (relatively) short distance from Strata which could provide valuable sources of food and water. Thrak gave her directions to "The Thirsty Herald", and told her that Tharian was the common language spoken there.

Amabella hitched her two horses up to her Kolbruck wain, and set off with her usual belongings. She arrived at the tavern on the map, and immediately went to the stables. Amabella saw that another cart was already there.

She was greeted by an individual with human shaped ears, and Amabella learned that this was the stable-hand. She tipped him generously, and the horses were unhitched. The horses were placed in stalls nearby a smaller hoofed animal with long ears. One of Amabella's horses, "Carroot", munched contentedly on the hay she was given. The other horse, "Whinny", looked around the stall curiously.

Amabella was about to leave the stables when she caught the scent of something. She twirled around and approached the cart which was there before her arrival.

*sniff* *sniff* "Mmm….something smells yummy…." she said to the stable-hand.

Amabella would pay handsomely if the owner did have edibles that tasted half as good as the cart smelled. Besides, it didn't matter whatever business Amabella had to attend to, everything must simply come to a halt when she is hungry! She asked the stable-hand if this was his cart, but found out that it was not. Amabella decided to go inside and find the owner. She swiftly and silently drifted towards the tavern.

Amabella politely made no remark to the man approaching the inn wearing an oversized pair of pants. She had seen worse. Amabella was acquainted with a number of gaudy and ridiculous garments worn by people claiming to be on the "cutting edge" of Voldar fashion, and this was hardly much different than the "oversized hat" craze.  

Amabella daintily dusted off her shimmering silk dress and adjusted her Stormcloak necklace. With a gentle push, she opened the door. Amabella waltzed gracefully inside and took a look around.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Ash Tyr on May 20, 2013, 01:15:45 AM
A commotion at the door tugged his attention away from the two women. Ash turned in his seat and stared with something of a slack jaw at the naked man poking his head through the tavern's front door. He had no idea how to proceed in this situation, had never seen anything like it before. Offer some of his clothes to the naked man? An easy solution with one hitch: all of his spare clothes were stored in the space, little more than a closet, that served as his room at the tavern. He would have gone to his room for those clothes, but other voices at the door disrupted his thoughts. He was lucky. Someone else offered the man clothing. No need to go to his room then.

He looked to Triss again as she spoke to him, as she offered to fetch him food. He started to stand, intending to tell her that he knew where the kitchen was and didn't need help cobbling together a meal if the food was already prepared. But she was already gone with a swish of her skirt. There was nothing to do but wait on her with his gaze fixedly set in the direction of the kitchen. He did not want to risk glimpsing anything as the newcomer worked his way into the pro-offered pair of pants.

Triss returned with a plate of fruit and freshly baked bread, and it was with a genuine smile that he accepted them. But he had to look away from her smile, his cheeks hot in a way that had nothing to do with the naked man. It would have been so much easier to fix his own food. Instead, the food was brought to him by a beautiful woman, and he found himself struggling to think of the proper way to thank her. He jammed a piece of bread into his mouth and spoke while chewing, “Thanks.” The food gave him something other than her smile to look at.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Daron Soulstealer on May 20, 2013, 11:30:02 AM
Daron nearly jumped out of his exposed skin when the answer for clothing came not from inside but from behind him.  He spun about, careful to keep the hat strategically placed.  Before him stood a tall elf, impressive looking to say the least.  Reaching out, he took the proffered clothes then hurried out to the barn, where a little moment of privacy awarded him opportunity to clothe himself.

Once dressed, he hurried back to the inn, tripping once on the hem of the trousers which were far too long for him.  Catching his balance, he came to a stop before the tall man.  Bowing humbly, he spoke to the man, whom he now recognized as an elf.  "Thank you, kindly, milord.  The clothes fit a little looser than I'm accustomed, but shall serve me well until I can recover my own."

Stepping into the inn, he looked around.  Seeing the faces of more than a few women, Daron's face reddened notably.  "I must apologize for my scant apparel earlier.  Well, let's be honest, my nekkidness.  I happened to be accosted by a band of outlaws in the desert and barely escaped with my life.  I plan to rest here, regroup, and go back in search of those outlaws.  I would be willing to pay anyone stout of heart enough to accompany me on this mission."

His stomach growled with the scent of roasted taenish filled his nostrils.  "But first, could anyone spare a san for me to fill the belly of myself and my friends?"  Three small furry bundles then came scurrying through the doorway and assembled neatly at the man's feet.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Tristessa Stonebridge on May 22, 2013, 02:37:48 AM
"Thanks." Triss saw Ash's cheeks turn red when she brought him his food, though she just assumed it had something to do with the man at the door.

She dared to take a glance towards the doorway. Thankfully, the man was gone, but in his place was a beautiful elven woman. Her dress spoke of an upper class woman, and even the air about her seemed to suggest this as well. She was just a bit taller than Triss herself, but this was nothing new to the barmaid. She gently laid her hand upon Ash's shoulder for a moment, just to alert him to the presence of another customer, as well as to let him know she was leaving.

"Hello, ma'am," Triss said with a small curtsey as she approached the woman. "Welcome to the Thirsty Herald. My name is Tristessa Stonebridge, but feel free to call me Triss. Will you be needin' a room, food, or both? Rooms cost 10 sans for a single bed, 15 sans for two. And we serve several kinds of food and drink."

Before the woman had a chance to answer, the naked man from before came back into the inn, this time, thankfully, with pants on. She saw him glance around the room and must have noticed the large amount of women in the establishment. His face reddened, almost as much as hers had done when she had saw him the first time.

"I must apologize for my scant apparel earlier.  Well, let's be honest, my nekkidness.  I happened to be accosted by a band of outlaws in the desert and barely escaped with my life.  I plan to rest here, regroup, and go back in search of those outlaws.  I would be willing to pay anyone stout of heart enough to accompany me on this mission." A noise coming from his direction of the man's stomach indicated his hunger. "But first, could anyone spare a san for me to fill the belly of myself and my friends?"

"If you and your furry little friends will have a seat at one of the tables, sir, then I can get you a cup of water in a bit. First one is free." She gave him a smile before she turned her attention back to the elven woman in front of her.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Amabella Catston on May 23, 2013, 09:24:03 AM
Amabella looked up and began to read a menu overhead. Then a lovely golden-haired woman approached, and Amabella observed that she had human ears. The woman curtseyed to Amabella and spoke in Tharian.

"Hello, ma'am, Welcome to the Thirsty Herald. My name is Tristessa Stonebridge, but feel free to call me Triss. Will you be needin' a room, food, or both? Rooms cost 10 sans for a single bed, 15 sans for two. And we serve several kinds of food and drink."

Triss came across as polite, helpful, and sensible. Amabella decided to inquire about the cart outside later. For now, she wanted to satiate her hunger quickly.

Amabella was about to respond when the man from outside came in and started speaking. Amabella could see that his hair colour was about as the same her own, and he looked about the same age too. He came across as an attractive youth, but by the appearance of his skin it looked like he had braved many battles. Maybe he was a fierce Shendar warrior? After all, he did have loose trousers and was barefoot, just like the description she once read somewhere in a book.

As the young man spoke, Amabella quickly began to regret that she did not study Truban laws like her boss told her to! She had become bored all too quickly with all the legalese she had to learn. Instead, Amabella had spent the last month strolling leisurely around Strata, enraptured by the "Beauty of the South." She was now wholly unfamiliar with the legal system of the Truban territory.

"I must apologize for my scant apparel earlier.  Well, let's be honest, my nekkidness."

Amabella had a bit of trouble understanding his accent. Perhaps "my nekkidness" was a local form of royal address, like "my lord" or "your highness" ?

"I happened to be accosted by a band of outlaws in the desert and barely escaped with my life.  I plan to rest here, regroup, and go back in search of those outlaws.  I would be willing to pay anyone stout of heart enough to accompany me on this mission. But first, could anyone spare a san for me to fill the belly of myself and my friends?"

Amabella looked at him quizzically. As the man could not afford his breakfast, she was not sure how he intended to pay his adventurers...Alas, she wished she knew how the militia system worked in Truban.  Amabella certainly did not want to offend any potential royal guests or Shendar warriors. She hoped that one of the locals knew the proper thing to say.

Fortunately she heard Triss say, "If you and your furry little friends will have a seat at one of the tables, sir, then I can get you a cup of water in a bit. First one is free."

Triss turned back to Amabella. In a slightly Aerpheriane but genuinely congenial manner, Amabella smiled and replied to her, "Good morning, Triss. My name is Amabella, and I am a merchant of assorted tools and trinkets. I am interested in ordering a meal at the moment. After taking a glance at your menu above, I have decided that it all looks so good. Therefore, as I am quite new to the Truban province, is there a dish that you would recommend?"


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Tristessa Stonebridge on May 29, 2013, 03:11:03 AM
"Good morning, Triss. My name is Amabella, and I am a merchant of assorted tools and trinkets. I am interested in ordering a meal at the moment. After taking a glance at your menu above, I have decided that it all looks so good. Therefore, as I am quite new to the Truban province, is there a dish that you would recommend?"

Triss motioned for Amabella to follow her to an empty table as she spoke. "Glad to have you at the Herald, Miss Amabella. Since it is still early in the day, might I recommend the fruzail sweet? It's a delicious mixture of fruits in a slightly sweetened syrup poured over a freshly baked flaky bread. Though, if you were looking for something a bit more hearty, the desert plate meal isn't too terribly large, but it does have some meat and vegetables gathered from the desert.

To quench your thirst we also have our house specialty, Tulimon grape juice. We also have a wide selection of stiffer drinks, if that's more to your liking. And, of course, there's water. Any of those sound good to you?"
Triss smiled, ready to take Amabella's order.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Laell on May 31, 2013, 04:22:49 PM
The worst part must have been that the door was already open.

A little caught off guard by the undressed man, Laell had turned away, moved away from the door as the man stepped out, an elven woman, monied at least by her clothing, filled the space and entered, and the man, now at half-nakedness, resumed his place at the inn, apologizing, explaining, and to a degree that Laell found amusing, begging. Able to see yet the elven woman from where she stands, and for an instant is occupied with her own tan peasant skirt and red-brown blouse, conscientiously brushing dust off them with her left hand while her right reaches for the door handle to help pull herself inside.

With a bang and a smarting cheek, Laell finds herself still outside The Thirsty Herald, only now now humiliated and just a touch battered. The other cheek joins the smitten one in color, strictly out of embarrassment, and she tries again, pushing the door open and hanging her head, hoping to sneak in unnoticed. For all the customers coming and going, and the hostess' very busy work to and fro, the place is still too quiet for that. Now inside, Laell turns sharply left toward the tables, tries to take the first step out of the doorway, and bites down on an epithet as her trailing foot's toe catches her lead foot's heel, and the wooden floor of the Herald begins rising up to greet her alarmingly fast.

The red-haired girl's hands and knees save her well before the floor can join in painful conference with her face, and she scrambles back to her feet, now deeply embarrassed. At first glance she considers sharing a table with the formerly naked man; after all, his request for a sword-arm, not to mention his wish for a few sans, seems intriguing; but on second thought, her recent display of agility and acuity have her feeling like much less than a prime candidate. Secondary or tertiary consideration as a hired blade would be generous, she reminds herself as she quickly moves to position herself as far from both the door and other people as possible, finally dropping into a seat, and covering her face.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Daron Soulstealer on June 07, 2013, 10:10:48 AM
Chagrined, Daron moved to a table and sat.  Water?  That was going fill his belly?  Any story he'd ever heard of the generosity of desert people was quickly dashed.  Only the first cup was free?  He would be expected to pay for a second cup?  Just where did the waitress think he was hiding his coins?  No, better not go there.
 
The three furry bundles near his feet were getting restless.  Jake and Vlad began following their noses and scurried under other tables, hoping for a dropped morsel.  Unfortunately for them, this appeared to be a well kept establishment and those little treasure were few and far between.

Bart, however, jumped up onto Daron's lap.  The ferret stood on his back legs and looked up into his master's face, squeaking softly. 

Daron softly ran a hand down the ferret's back, leaned down and pressed his nose to the animals.  "Be patient, Bart.  I might need you to do your thing later if something doesn't change."



Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Amabella Catston on June 07, 2013, 07:05:46 PM
Amabella followed Triss to an empty table. She listened to Triss carefully, so that she would learn the correct pronunciations if she was unfamiliar with any of the offerings.

"Glad to have you at the Herald, Miss Amabella. Since it is still early in the day, might I recommend the fruzail sweet? It's a delicious mixture of fruits in a slightly sweetened syrup poured over a freshly baked flaky bread. Though, if you were looking for something a bit more hearty, the desert plate meal isn't too terribly large, but it does have some meat and vegetables gathered from the desert. To quench your thirst we also have our house specialty, Tulimon grape juice. We also have a wide selection of stiffer drinks, if that's more to your liking. And, of course, there's water. Any of those sound good to you?"

Amabella replied, "I would like to have the fruzail sweet and Tulimon grape juice, please. It does sound like an appropriate breakfast."

Amabella was about to have a seat at her table, but stopped to have another glance around. She saw a small woman in the back covering her face, so she didn't look like she wanted to be bothered. Amabella spotted an auburn-haired man who seemed to be deeply engrossed with his own meal at the moment. Then she observed the brown-haired man sit at his table for his water. Though she could not recall the brown-haired man giving his name, he did present himself as a soldier of some sort. Amabella did not want to eat right in front of him without at least saying something. 

Amabella looked up at the menu once more, then back at the brown-haired man. After looking at him more carefully, she smiled. Amabella weaved between the tables like a cat would, careful not to unsettle anything with her skirt. The korwyn gold trim of her dress glittered a bit in the tavern's gentle light.

Amabella addressed the brown-haired man, assuming a tone she typically used for customers.

"Good morning, sir. My name is Amabella, and I am a merchant. I am also a law student, but not a fighter, though I am willing to lend an ear to your situation if outlaws are involved. In the meantime, I will be more than happy to make you an offer. I will pay you 10 sans for your hat. It looks like an amanter's hat of solid construction, but a bit battered perhaps, so I think the price is fair. That should cover the cost of your breakfast, and a little to spare for your furry friends. What say you?"


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Ash Tyr on June 09, 2013, 12:22:25 AM
He paused mid-bite. Triss had a hand on his shoulder, and he struggled to hear the humdrum of patrons conversing among themselves over the thump thump of his heartbeat. He couldn't move. He couldn't think. This moment in time swam through molasses, his attention held enthralled by that simple touch of her hand on his shoulder.

She moved away, and he could breathe again. The tavern and her patrons sprang to life around him. He finally took notice of the people around him. The formerly naked man had pants now. Triss was taking a patron's order. A redheaded woman had seated herself apart from everyone else. This was Triss's world, not his. He was more accustomed to tending to the needs of horses.

He'd been eating this entire time, hardly noticing the food sliding down his gullet. But he did take note of the empty plate before him. With the plate in one hand he made his way past seated patrons, walking out of the tavern's commons room and into the kitchen. It wasn't his job to wash dishes, but it would bother him if he simply left the plate there for Triss to wash. So he started to scrub the dish using water kept in the kitchen for just that purpose.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Mallorix Volinkov on June 17, 2013, 07:42:33 AM
“Furl the sails!”

“Make fast the lines!”

Mallorix hurried with the other sailors to dock the ship. He had been at sea many months already, and decided that this was far enough. The city of Strata sat before him, though he had little time to enjoy the beauty of the houses in the afternoon glow. As the ship moved closer and closer to the pier, Mallorix prepared to jump and tie the lines. The boat creaked forward, and he launched himself onto the wood below.

A few short hours later, Mallorix was on his way north. He had bought a horse reluctantly with the money sewn into his boots. He would have preferred not to use it, if only to forget faster what had happened out on the ocean. All the money in his purse was from work he had done afterward. The money hidden in his clothes was tainted with memories. He had asked around, and heard there was a tavern north of Strata: the Thirsty Herald, where many travelers and adventurers stayed, whether for a day or longer.

He rode through the night, stopping only to water his horse. Mallorix made sure not to push the animal too hard, but he still rode fast. As the sun rose, he could see his destination in the distance. The young man thought to himself,

Good. I’ll be in time for breakfast.

In less than an hour, he was near the tavern. Mallorix dismounted and led his horse to the front, tying it loosely to a post. He could already hear the sounds of patrons; it looked like they had started eating already. He leaned inside the door.

“Hello? I’m a traveler, on my way North. I’ve been riding all night, and am hungry. My horse needs stabling, and I need food.”


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Ash Tyr on June 18, 2013, 10:32:08 AM
Ash scrubbed the dishes quickly. He'd only been in the kitchen a few moments, but it already felt like the walls were closing in on him. Four walls and a roof overhead... he didn't understand how people lived in these things, these buildings.

He re-entered the commons area, again weaving his way through patrons and their tables, doing his best to not disturb anyone. He reached the front door just in time to see a newcomer lean in.

Careful not to bump into the other man, Ash stepped past him and through the doorway. He looked back over his shoulder as he moved past. "I'll see to your horse. Tristessa over there will set you up with a good meal." He looked in the direction of the barmaid as she took the patrons' orders.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Sanzoku on August 23, 2013, 08:41:04 AM
A rogue wind swirls a quick wave of sand up into Sanzoku's face "Coor I hate deserts" he mutters under his breath.

"Come now,"  a familar voice echoes in his head. "This journey is necessary if we are to reach Nermeran. You haven't forgotten our orders already have you?"

"Do you take me for a fool!" Sanzoku shouts but quickly remembers he is only talking to himself and lowers his voice. "I am not one to forget a mission, but these conditions are less than favorable." Sanzoku clutches his hood tighter as another breeze throws sand into his face.

Looking down Sanzoku tightens his grip on his lantern, the black cloth that is draped over it blows wildly with each gust of hot air. "Best keep this close, if I lose it  I will have to travel all the way back to Nybelmar for another. The Order would not be pleased." The contents of the lantern were of the upmost importance, a sacred item to the Black Flame and crucial to Sanzoku's current mission. No matter how miserable Sanzoku felt, he had to keep the lantern safe.

"Why do you insist on complaining we are almost at a resting point." the voice mocked.

"What are you on about?" Sanzoku raises his head and is surprised to see a building in the distance, distorted through the heat waves, but deffinalty real. "How did I not see that sooner," Sanzoku ponders, "but perhaps I did." Sanzoku sometimes forgets the voice in his head is merely an extension of himself, and only knows what he does.

"Kumori, how you holding up?" Sanzoku looks down with a slight smile. A black cat, clearly as miserable as his owner mearly looks up and growls. "I know buddy, we are almost there"

Soon Sanzoku finds himself facing a wooden door, carefully opening it he steps into the tavern. Quickly he makes his way to the bar. Lowering his hood he lookes at the bar keep and with a smile asks "Two glasses of water please, one for me and one for my friend here."

Reaching into his sack he pulls out a silver bowl and places it on the bar counter. Without pause Kumori leaps up and patienly waits for some water. After recieving his water and filling his companions bowl Sanzoku takes a long drink and smiles. "Much better" he mumbles taking a look around the tavern.

"Not much talent here." the voices laughs with a condescending tone.

Placing the covered lantern on the bar counter Sanzoku nods and thinks "No, but this is merely a single stop amoung a long journey," Leaning slightly back Sanzoku begins to gather his thoughs while he gently begins to stroke Kumori's head, "just one of many"


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Laell on August 24, 2013, 01:36:05 PM
Slowly, she lowered her hands and looked about the inn again, her palms resting against the table now. Two more people entered, one who announced himself as a traveler on his way north, a story more than a little familiar to the red-haired girl, it being her own. Her hands eventually went from the table to her lap as she studied the second new visitor, a strange man with a strange familiar, and of all the things she noticed, an even stranger lamp; granted, it was just a hooded lamp, and she'd seen them before, but something about this lamp struck her; something made it stick out, and she wasn't immediately sure what.

Vaguely, timidly, manners that were not at all herself, Laell tried to get one of the place's staff's attention, failed, and considered surrendering. She did have a little flour set aside, if it hadn't gone to parasites yet, and there was water in the well. If the situation demanded, and she could find something to heat the stove on her cart with, she could bake her own bread- but no, that wouldn't be necessary. They would see her, probably already had and decided that, with the way she'd covered her face, she wanted to be left alone. Her own fault, she chided herself quietly, and shrugged.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Sanzoku on August 24, 2013, 02:36:13 PM
Sanzoku, lowering his hood, gently ran his hand through his hair, with each stroke more sand began to trickle to the ground. "Coor I hate deserts." Sanzoku thinks. Reaching out he begins to gently pet Kumori and with each pet more sand began to fall. "You didn't fair much better did you my friend." Sanzoku said sighing.

Kumori looks up and just gives a quirky meow as if to say "You think."

"You're standing out," a voice whispers, "A cloaked man with a cloaked lantern. You need to blend or would you perhaps prefer all of Strata asking about you."  

Rolling his eyes Sanzoku thinks, "you over exagerate...as usual, but you are right. Mingling would be the best course of action." Sanzoku scans the room studying every group, every person, looking for the right target to mingle with. It is then he notices a smaller girl sitting alone, her hair was the most vivid blood red. It is almost entrancing and causes her green eyes to vividly pop. She appears to be trying to get the wait staff's attention but to no avail.

She is perfect.

"Kumori," Sanzoku whispers "watch the item, if anyone approaches, let me know." Kumori nods in understanding and begins to lick his paw to clean the sand off his head. Rising to his feet and Sanzoku slowly begins to make his way to the girl. Stopping at an appropriate distance Sanzoku smiles and with a slight bow says "Sorry to bother you Miss, but would you mind if I sat here and had a chat with you. I'm just passing through with my companion over there and would love some company." Straightening himself again Sanzoku stares into her bright green eyes and continues his charasmatic smile.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Gilith on August 24, 2013, 04:16:05 PM
Gilith had arrived, finally. To the herald. He had traveled for quite a few days sleeping in the wilderness making his bed of the twigs and the ground. His appearance would attest to that. Or at least his cloak which had been both blanket and mattress for him the last week or so. Gilith leaned heavily on the makeshift walking stick he had cut from some wood that he had found along the trail as he made his way towards the building. He flipped down his hood as he neared the door. Then setting the staff down next to it he slowly opened the door and stepped into the building. Gilith looked around imagining the wonders of having a real bed to sleep in and a bath if he could find one.

Looking around he noticed the rooms inhabitants seeing a good many folk in here as well as a few of the staff. Gilith picked a table which was currently unoccupied yet not totally isolated from the rest of the taverns occupants. He set down his cloak on the back of the chair and then his bow and arrows next to it after he pulled the chair from under the table, then placed his back pack under neath of the chair. He let his sword continue to hang off of his side so that the handle rested on his leg as he sat down. He debated removing it but he really hated to let his sword out of immediate grasp. Especially since this kind of thinking had saved his life in the past.

Gilith looked around and noted a conversation going on between two of the people inside this building. Or rather not so much the conversation but the people and or person involved with the conversation. Which happened to be an elf. Gilith wasn't exactly surprised to see an elf in the building. Just merely deciding that it was note worthy. Not every day did you come across one of their kind. Though inspecting closer, Gilith noticed some odd things about this certain elf. Hmm. What was the name of that tribe he had heard about? He knew that they had a certain peculiar skin color, as well as eye colors not common among elves. Yifrim? Ifryme? Ah well, whatever the name. He was sure that some body at one point had mentioned that these elves tended to be a bit religiously... Well he had used the word group of cultists. Though Gilith never having met one of these people before didn't exactly know if he would quite label them like that. Perhaps he might if he got to know one. Or perhaps he might find them friendly. Time would have to tell.

Gilith reached into his pouch and pulled out a small group of sans that he kept inside of it. Around forty five fifty in total. At least this is what he kept inside of his pouch.

He didn't know what the price of a room was, or the price of food. But he counted out twenty sans and then split them off from the pile. Having nothing left to do until one of the employees came around Gilith leaned back in his chair and took this time to relax. A rare luxury for him, and one that he greatly appreciated after so many days of such harsh travel.

 


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Laell on August 27, 2013, 08:50:13 AM
From her seat, Laell noticed the elf with the lamp and apparently a cat stand. He was tall, she noted, incredibly so. Then again, he was an elf, and they did tend to be tall; at least as far as she understood. Growing up in Bardavos, she'd only seen one or two, though the city obviously housed far more than that, being the center of artistry as it was. His pale skin was something startlingly new, too, and it was with effort that she didn't stare, before noticing red eyes which were strange, but didn't seem all that outlandish.

As much as Laell didn't want to stare, though he was apparently walking toward her, those curious green eyes went to visible scars on his arms, and for reasons she couldn't pinpoint, an eerie chill shot down her spine. Deliberately, she looked away and closed her eyes before she heard him speaking, and then she was looking at him again.

For several seconds after he'd finished, and stood waiting for her response, Laell simply stared dumbfounded at the elf. It was with effort that she began, "Um, sure, I- yes, that's- p- please, do. I'd be grateful for the company." Silently, she berated herself for being so hopelessly clumsy today, closing her eyes tightly and looking down, shaking her head. "I'm sorry. I'm not usually so- I'm not usually this- this, um... this clumsy." In a whisper she added the expletive, "Oh, Seyella."


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Gilith on January 02, 2014, 03:26:39 PM
Gilith looked arounf the tavern and noticed that the woman next to that strange elf was acting a little funny. Well now, this wouldn't do. This type of elf had something a little darker in their background. Be it either a murderous tendency insanity or both, Gilith couldn't really remember. Either way, he thought it safer to go over to their table and just make sure she was ok.

Gilith picked up his equipment put it away, and made his way to the table wkth a smile. Greeting them happily and and pulling up a seat casually. Turning to the woman and asking her her name offering her his hand and still smiling at her as he did so.

"Hello miss, my name is Gilith Greenwood, may I ask yours?"

Giltih however though he did not appear to kept one eye on that elf. Hid other hand on his leg, but also close to his sword. Which while sheathed was a little bit for a quicker and easier draw. Though in all honesty atthis close ofrange he might very well pull out the dagger at his belt if things got messy, it all depended on what the elf did, and for that matter the female too.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Laell on January 04, 2014, 06:13:37 AM
A tiny bubble of anxiety pressed against Laell's heart, throbbing with the warning that she never should have left Bardavos. In Bardavos, she wasn't approached by ashen-skinned elves and dark-clothed hooded men, both large and muscular enough to leave her feeling like less than a mite on a needle's head. Equally, both were sporting battle scars, a traditional badge of honor, she supposed, that she herself as a swords-person had never yet been given the honor, or responsibility perhaps, of wearing. The man that approached was smiling, and Laell tried her level best to smile back, though she was absolutely certain, without being able to prove it, that she shrank more than a little at his entrance and introduction.

For a long moment, she was certain her luck could not have gone any worse; and then he offered his hand. His greeting sounded polite enough, but frankly, Laell wasn't certain she was hearing anything anymore, and looked up at him in a smile that she was slowly realizing was a look of desperate hopelessness, and there wasn't anything at all she could do about it.

"Harleis. It's a pur- I m- Laell. The f-" and with that, she gave up trying to talk, doing her best to smile at him and only hoping, fully aware that the hope was misgiven, that her smile was at least somewhat confident. Inside, the bubble burst, and her hands clenched, having completely forgot about his offered, as the urge to run away washed out every other conscious thought.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Gilith on January 21, 2014, 06:15:07 AM
Gilith let his hand drop with an easy going wave, showing that it wasn't a problem. He still sat back in a relaxed manner with a casual smile decorating his lips. This women seemed quite nervous, and he didn't think he had done anything wrong, but maybe he had. However, he decided to continue on anyway.

"Hello Leall, I'm pleased to meet you, I apologize if I've made you nervous. Perhaps I should leave you to eat and come back later?"

Gilith while worried about her, did not honestly know her, and so long as he was near he didn't anything was going to happen, leastwise nothing to serious. So he wouldn't mind going to wait over at his table and give her some space if she requested it.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Laell on January 26, 2014, 03:47:49 PM
"No, I'm sorry. Sit- sit down if you want. We'll have quite a crowd soon, I guess. I don't know what's happening to me today. I'm so clumsy and... just fumbling everything. I couldn't even get the door open."

Now, Laell found herself laughing softly, no more than a breath at the lack of control she had been exhibiting, and that control she found herself regaining, a little bit at a time. Her own hand was extended to him now, with a more deliberate smile. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Master Greenwood. Laell Harleis, of Bardavos; breadmaker."

She let their hands clasp briefly, and sipped at her food gingerly, experimentally. "So what brings you to the edge of the desert? Pardon the assumption, but you look like more of a mountain man, or a woodsman. Or at least," with a tiny chuckle, "what I imagine one of those people would look like. I'm sorry, that was rude."


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Gilith on January 28, 2014, 03:42:03 AM
Gilith was indeed worried that he had startled this women something awful, and qite willing to move if that would help her out. As she seemed to be in a great deal of distress, from something or other. However his concerns eased as she began to speak clearly and coherently to him. He even began to smile slightly as she offered him her hand, which he took and shook gently. Making sure not to crush it or shake it to vigorously. He nodded his head at her telling him her name and her profession. He smiled ever more as she asked him why a woodsman had come so close to the desert. Guessing correctly indeed, he shook his head when she mentioned being rude. Saying to her in response.

"No, not rude at all. Correct actually. I'm what most people call a ranger, and I've traveled my share of mountains in my day, not the most welcoming of places. Though truth be told, I guess the only mountains I really visited were the Tandalas a while back. As to why I'm here, well, I take some mercenary work when I can, and this place is somewhere I hand't been yet, So I thought I'd try it out. So how about you, do you live around here or are you just passing through too?"


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Laell on January 29, 2014, 05:32:41 PM
"Mm." For the umpteenth time in her life, Laell was rediscovering how much of a speech impediment hot food happened to be. "Passing through," she managed quickly,chewing for a moment on bits of vegetable and meat from the soup, setting her spoon down to look around the room again, not to see anything, but almost more as a gesture. "From Bardavos. I'm- from Bardavos, that is. Just thought I'd head north, see the big bright cities of Caelereth while I'm still young, or..."

It took the red-head a moment to realize the heat in her face wasn't from the room or her food, but that her cheeks had flushed. Exactly why she wasn't certain, but she blamed the dialogue. Perhaps, she supposed, she was giving away more than she should have, or would have under different circumstances. "Something equally as silly, I guess. Seyella willing; I just really, really need to... leave Bardavos."


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Gilith on January 31, 2014, 12:04:03 AM
Gilith listened to Leall as she spoke, seemingly a little nervous still, but considerably better than before. He heard her say that she was from Bardavos, and that she was just passing through. For some reason she seemed to need to leave Bardavos desperately. Gilith didn't imagine she had gotten in to trouble over there for a few reasons, despite her nerves. The major reason however was how willingly she let a professional tracker sit down with her, and ask him to stay and talk with here. Plus she didn't seem much the villainous type. He realized that was always a bad idea, to underestimate someone and what they were capable of. But this women honestly didn't seem like she was capable of performing such a thing. Gilith responded to her.

"I don't think it's silly. I could never stand being in some places either. Or any place for too long that is, and let me tell you Leall. There truly is something fascinating about exploring the world. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Tell me though, do you have anyone else traveling with you? It wouldn't be very safe of you to explore the vast world alone."  


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Laell on February 11, 2014, 03:05:43 PM
Why, exactly, did she have to have just put hot food in her mouth when he asked if she were traveling alone? More importantly, why did she find the question at once startling and amusing? With little effort she managed to cover the sound of amusement with a cough, thanks in part to the food in her mouth, and worked it down before tearing off another small corner of her bread and nibbling at it, studying the stranger's face for nothing in particular while her food bought her time to summon a proper reply.

"My brother. Twin... brother. We look a lot ali-" There were times Laell wondered if she wasn't just partly a dimwit, especially moments like these. Quickly, she redirected her words. "Left Bardavos together, but he often wanders. I imagine we'll meet up again soon. You know," and here she found herself catching her breath in what might have been the unvoiced gesture of a laugh, amused and confused at the idea, "if you're offering..." and no more words came. Quickly, she looked away and lifted her glass again, holding it to her lips though she found herself unable to drink from it at the moment.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Gilith on March 29, 2014, 09:36:55 AM
Gilith smiled encouragingly at her, glad that was talking to him at least. Though she did seem so very nervous. He nodded his head as she talked about her twin brother and wondered how long it just might take for them to meet up again, regardless Gilith supposed it was indeed to long for a lone woman to out in the wide and dangerous world.

He nodded his head when she mentioned his offering. He responded to her.

"Aye, I am offering you services if you'd have them from a man like myself. I mean not to brag but I am a very worldly man, I have traveled far and wide and I shant think you'd find a better suited guide in a hundred miles any direction from here. Of course if you don't want to accept my services that is alright as well, I won't be insulted of course, though I would not recommend a lone woman traveling without a companion."


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Laell on March 31, 2014, 06:56:27 PM
"Well, I wouldn't have money to pay you," silly, he never asked for money; don't bring it up, "and I'm not really sure where I'm going," stupid, he didn't ask where you were going. She stopped talking for a moment, wincing visibly at her own clumsiness. At least she was forming full sentences now, that was a significant improvement. Better would be the moment she started talking like an intelligent person who was actually present for the conversation of which she was a full half. "I would love it. I'm sorry, I would... really appreciate someone to travel with. You're right about it being unsafe to travel alone, for anyone really, and I... feel like such an idiot. Forgive me. I don't always stammer over everything I say. Or do. This is painfully unusual for me."


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Gilith on June 19, 2014, 04:44:31 AM
Gilith waved his hand calmly and nonchalantly at Laell's comments.  He didn't care about the quality of her speech, Ava only knew the garble that came out of his mouth sometimes.

 S'all right Miss Laell, My speech isn't exactly poetry either, and as to payment have no fear. I'd just go on wandering anyways without you, consider your presence my payment.

Gilith leaned back in his chair and relaxed a little getting comfortable at this table and a little more so with his present company. Even though his paranoia rarely let him have a moment of peace he was occasionally able to drop his guard and take things easy. He just hoped he could get a drink, and some food soon.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Sunreign
Post by: Tristessa Stonebridge on July 07, 2014, 01:24:47 PM
The morning had a nice little rush which had kept Triss busy. Even so, she had time to start preparations for lunch. She had hoped that it would bring more customers.

Once more, she was out in the common area making sure things were ready. A semi-wet rag ran across the surface of the bar. Her thoughts went to her daughter and father, so far away physically, but they were always near in her heart. She would have been lying if she said that she didn't get lonely from time to time. Her heart was often pained with the feeling of being alone. First her husband had been taken from her, then her father had taken her daughter to the city to give her more opportunities.

Sighing, she placed the rag underneath the bar. Grabbing a cup, she dipped it into a large barrel of clean water. Triss felt refreshed as the cool liquid slid down her throat. She stashed the cup underneath the bar, keeping it aside so she could use it later.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Gilith on July 11, 2014, 04:02:32 AM
Gilith breathed in deeply the new scents of the wooden building which swept by him as wind picked up coming at him from the building. By the smell of things lunch would soon be ready in the Thirsty Herald. Good, he was just in time getting back from his walk. Gilith let his deep breath out as he lifted his hand to open the door, and smiled slightly as he stepped out of the warm sun and in to the cooler more comfortable tavern. He stroked his beard as he looked around for a worker and soon saw one cleaning the bar with a rag. He moved to go talk to her and find out how soon it would be before they started serving. As he walked he debated what to drink in the meantime, certainly a nice wine sounded good to him, but alas, his sans were never that plentiful. A good mead would have to do, ale might be cheaper but he didn't like it's bitter taste, and if this mead was a sweet mead he was sure he couldn't resist it. Course, nothing went so good down the throat as a warm meal and mead together. Yes, yes, better save my strikes, I'll want to drink more when I'm eating anyways. Gilith cursed himself a fool for his loose money spending, but he soon got over it. He had enough for tonight at least, let tomorrow come with it's problem's but count today's blessings while they last.  

Gilith smiled at the worker as he approached her, but said nothing, as she seemed deep in thought. Though when she was done taking a drink herself he decided to inquire about a sudden thought he had. After ordering an drink of course, having buckled quickly under the desire for a beverage after having decided to save his money. He said to her. "Good afternoon, if you aren't too busy, I was wondering if I could purchase a flagon of mead? Also if you get a moment to talk, I'd like to offer you some of my services."



Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Tristessa Stonebridge on July 11, 2014, 10:58:37 AM
Triss flashed a smile at the man at the bar. He had been one of the ones from earlier.

"Good afternoon, if you aren't too busy, I was wondering if I could purchase a flagon of mead? Also if you get a moment to talk, I'd like to offer you some of my services."

She thought for a moment, her fingers tapping slightly on the bar top. "Mead....? Hmm...we don't really have too much to offer in that way. We do have a sour mead. It's got a really nice and sweet taste, but the aftertaste is very, well, sour. It can also have a strong burning sensation as well. That's 4 sans. Was there a specific taste you were wanting? Perhaps we have something else that would work?

And, services? What sort of services do you offer?" Her cinnabrown eyes cast a quick glance over him. He carried a bow, arrows, and a sword. She assumed his services didn't mean a stable boy. He looked a bit roughened up, but it appeared that being at the Herald had given him a fresh breath, for he looked much more rested than he had before.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Sunreign
Post by: Amabella Catston on July 11, 2014, 03:48:39 PM
Amabella always found it so hard to get back to work after a long, relaxed meal, especially when the weather was warm. Yet she had eaten all of her breakfast, of course - not letting a sweet crust of Fruzail or drop of Tulimon juice go to waste. How could she resist cleansing her palette of the dry rations she had eaten under the hot sun? Not to mention that she welcomed the civility of the tavern's rustic atmosphere compared to her harsh desert travels.   

After Amabella removed the napkin on her lap and placed it gently on the table, she left a few sans by her plate as a tip. After rubbing her temples slightly, she stifled a yawn with the back of her hand. She had indulged in nourishment for her body, but she needed something more to stave off her lethargy; food for thought. So for the rest of the morning, she studied her maps. As she began to idly wind one of her dress ribbons about her finger, she began to wonder why sleepiness was still creeping upon her. Much to her credit (or so she believed) Amabella recalled falling asleep only once at a breakfast table. It was in the middle of her father's grave business discussion concerning exactly what type of socks were fashionable in Manthria, and conversely, which socks were unforgivably out of season to wear.

The half-elf concluded that, even by occupying herself with her studies, she was still just acting out of habit. Hunger began pinching at her stomach, telling her that lunch ought to be coming soon. But when her life's moments were filled with only habits, she never felt truly awoken, only sifting through motions like in a walking dream.

So she resolved to do something different from her typical midday routines. Even a light conversation could serve as a welcome escape, as long as it was away from humdrum topics involving her business. She carefully held the folds of her skirt with one hand as she stood from her table. Only then did she realize that she had been seated in one position much too long, and swept aside brunette locks to massage the back of her neck slightly. As she approached the bar, she noticed a well-armed man ordering a drink. While waiting for her turn to order, she looked up at the menu, contemplating something light for lunch.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Gilith on July 13, 2014, 04:02:02 PM
Gilith nodded to the other woman as she approached the bar, making a quick assumption with the glance he had of her. It was obvious that she was an elf, or at least part elf. The pointed ears wouldn't lie, but the fact that she was in a human town in a human bar seemed odd to Gilith, but he had traveled with elves who had been this way before. One, quite the beauty, represented more or less the brightest and best aspects of the elven race itself. Or at least Gilith thought so, the other, well, he was an odd fellow, but he always made him chuckle. The last one was quite the warrior actually, even pretty fond of strong drink. She wasn't very elvish but that didn't mean Gilith didn't like her. As Gilith turned his attention back to the woman he had been talking to he responded.


"In that case I'll just take your recommendation of wines. As to my services, I was wondering if I might hunt and gather for you for a while. That's normally how I make my living, though I often have to eat what I get to survive, an so there's little left of profit. Now while food isn't a problem for me, I don't have any where to stay, and certainly nothing to drink. If you'd be willing to trade with me I could probably bring you in something as early as tonight or tomorrow morning."

Gilith wasn't sure if there was even anything to hunt around here but he thought it was worth a shot, he had seventeen sans to his name, maybe thirty if he sold something he didn't need in town, and so he knew he wouldn't get far in this tavern without something to trade them. He was also worried that they wouldn't need food, or that she wouldn't believe he could bring enough in to make the trade worth her while. If this was the case he imagined that he would have to prove his worth to her. Which he was sure he could do, but would much rather set out on the hunt after a nice day in the tavern, and filled with hot food and cold drink.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Tristessa Stonebridge on July 17, 2014, 07:11:02 AM
"In that case I'll just take your recommendation of wines. As to my services, I was wondering if I might hunt and gather for you for a while. That's normally how I make my living, though I often have to eat what I get to survive, an so there's little left of profit. Now while food isn't a problem for me, I don't have any where to stay, and certainly nothing to drink. If you'd be willing to trade with me I could probably bring you in something as early as tonight or tomorrow morning."

Triss nodded as her hand reached for a bottle of Tulimon grape wine. This wine was the Herald's specialty, and it was the one Triss always reached for whenever a customer was in doubt as to what they wanted. She expertly grabbed a wine glass and poured some wine into it. All the while, she listened to the man's proposition.

"We normally get our supplies delivered to us every few days or so from Strata," Triss said as she placed the glass in front of him. "However, it would always be nice to have something fresher and different. I believe a fair trade would be if you brought in enough food to feed 3 people, that would be enough to pay for a room for the night." She paused as her mind raced to think of what what conditions would be fair for both parties involved.

"I would also be willing to give as much free water as you would like, though I'm afraid I would have to charge for everything else. Would those arrangments be feasible for you?"

Before the man had an opportunity to respond, Triss noticed the woman from before approach the bar. She smiled at the man, giving a slight bob of her head. "Please, feel free to think it over."

Her attention turned to the woman. "Hello again, Miss Amabella. Is there anything I can get you?"


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Gilith on July 17, 2014, 02:38:08 PM
Gilith nodded, slowly as he took a drink of the wine he was given. Raising an eye brow as soon as he did. This was very good, he would definitely be having more of it. As Gilith thought on the deal he was offered he couldn't find anything wrong with it, in fact it sounded fine to him. Better than fine even, he would get to do what he loved, which was hunt, bring back what he didn't eat from the hunt, sleep in a real bed for free and drink whatever water he pleased. Which while not nearly so tempting as a bout of alcohol every so often, still seemed nice. He set down his drink after quenching his immediate thirst. Then looked towards the woman he had just been talking with, she seemed preoccupied with someone else. That was fine, he was in no rush to start hunting, or trapping, or whatever it was that he was about to do for a room.  He just wanted to sit here and rest his weary feet. Maybe smoke a pipe of weed or do some other thing that he was rarely able to do.

Gilith closed his eyes as he ran his hand through his hair, it was a tangled unkempt mess but what could one expect from a woodsman. Wrapping his hand gently around his drink he took another sip and felt the warm liquid run once again down his throat, sending a wave of calm and the slight spike of joy that he often received when he took to drinking. A small creased his dry lips, but was soon followed by a yawn. He shook his head lightly, he had been more tired than he originally thought. Gilith removed his leather gloves and set them down, then rubbed his hands together to generate some warmth, and movement. He needed to wake himself up, and he needed to be fresh for tonight. He was going to have to spend the night outdoors in order to actually catch enough food for sleeping in a room tomorrow, but that was alright, take what you can, when you can. So he always said. Besides he need to find a job, so he would probably be here for a while, or at least a partner or group to travel with.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Sunreign
Post by: Amabella Catston on July 18, 2014, 11:41:34 AM
Copper eyes glanced up at the menu, then back at the waitress.

"Hello again, Miss Amabella. Is there anything I can get you?"

Resting slender fingers lightly on the bar, she replied, "Hello, Triss. Perhaps it will come as no surprise that - similarly as before -  I cannot decide what I would like for lunch. Would you be so kind has to make another recommendation for me? In the meantime, I would like just start with a glass of water for now."

Amabella would listen for the waitresses’ reply before turning her attention to the man at the bar. The soft tavern light glinted off of her Stormcloak necklace as she curtsied to him. His height was close enough to her own that she was comfortable to speak to him at eye level.

"Hello, good sir. My name is Amabella Catston the merchant, and I am quite new to Strata, indeed. If I may say so, I could not help but to notice that is an impressive bow you have there."

Her interest in the weapon was relatively simple and fairly innocuous. She was instructed to explore Strata, and many of those she met who possessed a fine weapon had honed their skills of observation to a far keener level than her own.

"Although I lack the hunting skills of my elvish kin, I was wondering if I may still be helpful in some way. I have a commercial two-horse wain which is capable of accommodating a fair weight of goods. Given my current load, I would approximate up to about five to seven more pygges of weight comfortably. For more freight, I would need to remove some of my current boxes. Is there anything I could assist in transporting for you? Such as hunted game?"


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Tristessa Stonebridge on July 19, 2014, 04:22:49 AM
"Hello, Triss. Perhaps it will come as no surprise that - similarly as before -  I cannot decide what I would like for lunch. Would you be so kind has to make another recommendation for me? In the meantime, I would like just start with a glass of water for now."

"Well, I suppose it all depends on how hungry you are," Triss said as she got the half-elf a glass of water. "We have a couple of soups that are pretty good. There's the pango cactus soup, which hails from the nearby Shendar culture. We also have your basic travellers stew. If you're looking for something very hearty, there's the garthook stew with celeste red beans. That's 6 sans, but you recieve a generous portion and it has been known to keep people full until past dinner time.

If you're looking for something a bit more solid, we do have Thergerim carroot mash and a local speciality, aberan loaf. Yet, if meat isn't quite your thing, we do also have a vegan roll, which is stewed and steamed vegetables rolled in bread. Any of those whet your appetite?"


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Gilith on July 20, 2014, 01:32:42 PM
Gilith looked up as he was addressed by the woman who called herself Ambella, and smiled as she spoke of his bow. He normally didn't like to draw attention to it, as he wasn't sure how it had been acquired having bought it purely on impulse. But, he saw little problem with showing it at the moment. There was little he assumed she could do to either take it away or trouble him in some other way. In fact by the sound of her offer she was about to be fairly helpful, the least he could do was let her inspect his bow. Gilith smiled at her and got up, unslinging his bow and stringing it for her before offering it to her.

"That would be, very good indeed Miss Ambella, if you'd like to help me in such a way. To be honest with you I was just thinking about how much easier this would be with a cart to carry the meat for me. When would you like to leave? I'm alright with any hour of the night or day so don't worry about that. An it certainly doesn't have to be tonight ig you'd rather we went tomorrow. "

Gilith smiled at her again as he finished before bringing his cup once more to his lips and taking another draft of his drink. He felt the warmth of drinking flow through him and felt it loosen his muscles as it did so. He always enjoyed feeling this warm, summer or winter when one slept outside it grew cold. He was starting to think that he could get used to being here for a while.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Tobin Blackwood on July 28, 2014, 02:11:20 AM
Specks of gray dotted the mop of curly hair clinging to his scalp. Tobin glanced up to the high sun, his eyes, pools of blue, framed in a squint. The hard seat beneath him trembled with each turn of the wooden wheels as his steadfast hobbithorse Stybba pulled the wagon, plodding along on the dirt road. The hobbit had his white sleeves bunched up around his elbows, and his knee-length breeches showed off his bare feet, topped with curls of their own. His toes were tapping against the wagon as he hummed a merry tune, his mouth spread wide with an oversized grin. Strata had treated him well. His money purse had a weight to it now that felt all too good in his hand. He listened to the clink of coins as the purse bounced in his shirt pocket, and his grin took on a new light, that of a starving, salivating wolf.

Tobin spotted a tavern up ahead and pursed his lips in thought. Glancing down to Stybba, he said, “How about it, boy? Feel like having lunch?” A swish of the hobbithorse's tail was the only answer. The hobbit chuckled as he guided the wagon toward the tavern's front door.

With his neck craned back, Tobin stood before the doorway and stared up at it, the height of it daunting even to one with decades of experience dealing with the Big Folk. He took a deep breath to erase how small he felt and strode forward into the tavern's common room, his smile again stretching from one rosy cheek to the other. His feet hardly made any sound on the wood floor as he walked softly as only a hobbit can. But he had to clamber up onto a stool at the bar, and he settled onto it with his legs swinging above the floor.

He looked to the barmaid, the crow's feet at his eyes wrinkled up by his subtle smile. “Your pardon, Miss. Might I hear the lunch menu when you have a moment?” Glancing over his shoulder for a moment, he added, “Oh, and I'll need someone to stable poor Stybba out there. This desert heat is not to his liking.”


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Sunreign
Post by: Amabella Catston on July 30, 2014, 01:28:14 AM
Amabella took a sip of her water and replied to the waitress, "I have a hunger for a taste of the local flavor today. I would like the aberan loaf, please."

The merchantess put down her water glass on a suitable surface, such as her napkin or a coaster, and smiled warmly as she watched the gentleman string and present the bow he was carrying. Eyes lighting up under nor’sidian lashes, she examined the workmanship of its limbs and riser with fascination. Coming family of shepherds rather than hunters, the only bows she previously had a chance to view up close were meant for hunting only intermittently.

"My, this is a handsome bow. The elements comprising its construction look of a finer quality than the bows I am accustomed to inspecting. I would not be in the least surprised if it could hit a target quite further than the common variety I have seen. Yes sir, most of the bows I come across are for close range hunting. Those weapons were mere simple short bows used for hunting the occasional tarep rabbit, shooting an arrow at little over a half a dash at best."

Amabella carefully returned the bow to the gentleman before continuing. "The covering of my Kolbruck wain offers some protection against the elements. But I tend to avoid travel at sunreign in warm weather, as the iron plates on the wheels can get very hot, and I like to keep my horses in the shade then. Other than that, any other hour is fine to depart. I must admit I do not know this local area well, and I have been tasked to explore around a bit for just that reason. I arrived here to Truban by sea. The only land map I have is a simple road map, meant only to guide traders traveling between cities. But I can drive wherever you would like to go to hunt, so far as the roads will allow.”

The half-elf nodded politely at the small man who came to the bar, then took another sip of her glass of cool water.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Tristessa Stonebridge on August 01, 2014, 12:42:24 PM
"I have a hunger for a taste of the local flavor today. I would like the aberan loaf, please."

Triss gave a small smile and head nod as she made a mental note. Before she could go to the kitchen, however, a Hobbit walked through the doors of the Herald. He clambered up on a stool and gave Triss a smile.

“Your pardon, Miss. Might I hear the lunch menu when you have a moment? Oh, and I'll need someone to stable poor Stybba out there. This desert heat is not to his liking.”

Triss's mind started racing. She glanced around with just her eyes, wondering where the rest of her help ran off to. She smiled at the little Hobbit. "Of course, sir. I'll...I'll find someone to stable your horse. As for our lunch, we have a few soups: pango cactus, traveler's stew, and garthook stew. We also have Thergerim caroot mash, aberan, and a vegan roll."


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Gilith on September 09, 2014, 12:40:48 PM
Gilith smiled again and responded to the kind woman who offered him her services and her cart.

"I shall plan accordingly then, if it be alright with you then I think we'll make our way out tomorrow at a reasonable hour, I can explore the land for a while if you would like to just take your cart out and head in the general direction of where I'll be needing you. I should only have to do that once, and don't worry Miss I'll make sure you get fair recompense for this."

At the mention of his bow he smiled, he was proud of it to say the least. Though he couldn't tell why. He had stumbled across it by mere luck during one of his trading voyages, however either way he was one of a rare few humans to own such a bow as this. He responded to hr comments on his bow quite happily as he took it back from her when she offered it.

"Aye, the bow has served me very well through the years, and I doubt I could have got along so fine without an object of such craftsmanship. Tis why I must always make sure to maintain it. You say that you've seen other bow's however, even if they aren't alike to this. And judging by your appearance I'd say it safe to assume your an elf, or at least of elvish blood. Do you have any skill with the bow and the arrow?"

Gilith felt that while this woman was a bit wordy for his understanding there was really nothing in the way of making a new friend this day. One who had already proven very generous and eager to help him, and had already shown a keen interest in something he treasured himself. He felt very inclined to make sure she wasn't to be put off by him, and to know that she was very welcome to join him.


Title: Re: Thirsty Herald Chapter XIX, Firstflame
Post by: Laell on August 08, 2015, 03:58:18 PM
Somewhere across the disquiet void of nervousness, a pleasant thought skitters, bouncing freely about. It sure is nice to sleep in a bed, the idea mentions, and with a peaceable relaxing and only the slightest of stirring, she finds herself agreeing.

A mouthful of red hair catches under her tongue as she gasps and tears herself upright, throwing off the sheets that had kept her comforted as she slept, and Laell tumbles out of bed, long locks pointing every direction, eyes struggling to open, the lines of the coarse pillow still apparent on her cheek. A bed. A bed; she'd slept in a bed, and if nothing else planned on being bothersome today, this should prove itself bothersome enough. She doesn't have money for a bed!

Somehow she must have paid for it. Last night, or was it this morning? The difference feels irrelevant somehow. No money, exhausted. What about that woodsman, the ranger who was going to travel with her? They could have lain on the cart ten miles up the road to sleep, this place, lovely yet expensive as it was, far and away behind them. But no, here Laell is, scrambling for her clothing, determined to do something she hasn't yet decided to make up for the night's, or day's, rest.

Many things are expected; today, Laell's mind brought up none of them. The door opens too quickly, and when she tries to step through it, it is already coming back to meet her. This time, she manages to turn her head, wincing as it strikes her chest and cheek, and hurries toward the stairs-...

That start almost a full two paces before she is prepared. The foot, too high, falling too quickly, leaves her tumbling blindly down the stairs, struggling to catch herself until she is deposited in an ungraceful heap at the flight's foot. For this moment, no urge is greater than that to draw her knees to her chest and cry. Yesterday, or was it this morning? and now; solid moments of nothing but poor decisions and a ridiculous amount of clumsiness. Her throat catches an epithet directed for her brother, and with effort, Laell draws herself to her feet, and head hanging, goes to the less visible entrance to the kitchen, pushing through the opening and standing still, not daring to look up to see if she's been noticed. No, the proprietor will likely be far too busy. Even if she walks away now, without paying for the room she's obviously used, what difference would it make? Lost income on their part, but one faceless breadmaker couldn't ruin them, could it? But more importantly, Laell Harleis was not Traell Harleis. She would never steal. Not ever. Not even a morning's worth of sleep.