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Author Topic: The Boar's Beard  (Read 36227 times)
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Céyehne
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« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2007, 08:32:37 AM »

Relief washed over her as Céyehne listened to the man speak, grinning at all the right points in conversation and as eloquent as before. Surely he was not upset, otherwise he was expert at feigning his emotions. A tingling giggle escaped full lips as Céyehne raised a petite hand to her lips at the boy's suggestion. As a blush crept into her pale cheeks and he quickly corrected himself, she followed his lead at mention of Maryn and approached the bar. "Ye flat'er me, boy." Céyehne turned to eye him before smoothly in passing she grabbed her black robes from the back of her previous chair and stooped to pick up her mug of tea. Pausing, she marveled at the thought that he might excel at yet another trade, and white teeth shown from behind her lips as she sat lightly perched atop a barstool, motioning at the seat beside her own for her 'partner' to sit. Taking a sip of the tea, it was still lukewarm, and she shrugged rounded shoulders lightly as the taste was still satisfactory.

A tale of her own? Oh, Céyehne carried a history, but none too interesting, especially to this wayward talent. Perhaps she could convince him to tell his own tale... somehow Céyehne thought that less than likely. Surely he could tell tales, but none of his own. Carefully crafted, she assumed him to spin beautiful and intriguing webs; stories rendering audience after audience breathless. And would this itinerant spin her a web of truth? She could only gaze at him as she pondered the odds of an event. Nevertheless, xazure eyes twinkled as her melodious voice rang. "A less than interestin' tale I coul' tell ye, frien', I assure' ye. An' is ye really t' b' call'd frien'? Ye play t' music o' angels, bu' do ye hav' a name t' go by? If so, I mus' kno' it." Illusive as her comment was, Céyehne thought it hinted fairly well that she would much rather trade anything- drinks or tales- with a friend than a stranger. Already, the two seemed magically bonded through jig and tune; Céyehne had to remind herself trust was not something she gave easily to the highest bidder.

Taking another slow sip of tea, Céyehne observed the large woman behind the bar. Although she hardly payed attention, Céyehne was assured she heard every word spoken within her tavern. Despite appearances, this woman had to be sly... returning her gaze to the skillful man, Céyehne guessed the same was to be said for him. "Perhaps if ye share me yer name, an' tell me a tale, I'll buy ye a drink." Céyehne gave the man a small wink, her snowy hair falling into her face. She quickly reached up an arm to smooth it, giving him a sheepish smile. She may be playing a dangerous game with an incredibly intelligent man, but Céyehne already placed her trust in him, and he proved to be more than she imagined. Surely, as a person he was no less the man than when he became a musician.
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Céyehne
Torscha
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« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2007, 09:25:47 PM »

"My name," said he, taking her by the arm and steering her towards the bar, as a boy ran to collect the thrown coins, no doubt taking his own share of the spoils, "is the least of the gifts I can give. I am Torscha, estranged child of the plains and formerly of Ximax. The wanderlust that led my ancestors to breed horses dwells in me still, manifesting itself in my restless feet and shiftless soul." He sat, motioning for her to join him. Maryn, used by now to his habits, set another brimming tankard by his elbow.

"The death of my family, while regrettable, freed me to leave home." The storyteller smiled, trying not to remember. There were screams, and the smell of smoke and less savoury things. "Since then, I've been on my feet, looking for stories and pretty women to share them with." He winked at the dancer. "i never expected to find both of those here, in this frozen waste.

"And what about you? I find it hard to believe that someone as beautiful as she is talented would decide to come all the way out here just for a breath of fresh air."
« Last Edit: January 16, 2008, 08:02:39 AM by Torscha » Logged

Céyehne
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« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2007, 03:37:23 AM »

The death of his family? Céyehne's eyes clouded as her heart went out to Torscha. Such a lovely, talented man with so much pain in his past! Céyehne could not boast of any tragedies, having willingly left her home to indulge in her profession. As he winked, Céyehne cast a sly smile in his direction, sipping her tea and thinking on his words. Ximax. This was the place she landed when leaving home, the place she picked up on her "shadow" as she liked to call him, and a place she thought to meet people much the same as herself, but to no avail.

Apparently, shadowmancy was a bit more.. odd.. than she originally thought. Having ever called it her gift from Korenjah, Céyehne expected the mages of Ximax to feel and love her for it, but to her dismay she felt utterly alone and irreparably different. As he finished, Céyehne looked straight into his dark orbs, as if trying to pull out some utterance, a minuscule mutter he would not reveal audibly. Instead, she found nothing, and petite shoulders slumped a little in defeat.

Softly she spoke, "Torsch'," she said, kindness in her voice, "'Tis me pleasure t' meet ye, m'dear." Holding up her mug, and asking Maryn for another tea, Céyehne paused to retrieve coins from the purse at her hip and place them on the counter. What about her? Perhaps she had just needed fresh air. Well, in a way Céyehne knew that was exactly what she did need after her 'escape' from that man. The idea that she had scared him, perhaps caused a madness with her gift. Trying to shake the idea from her mind, she could not help but be evasive in her answer as her thoughts strayed, "I woul' not b' a true performer if I din't share me gif' wit' others, woul' I? Fres' air ye coul' venture t' say it is.. merely fres' air."

She said nothing more, yet ginger lips parted and she leaned forward as if to console Torscha. Unsure of what to say, however, she sat back and graciously accepted the tea placed before her. Puckering full lips to blow cool air into the steaming liquid, Céyehne wrapped tiny hands about the mug to warm them. Wracking her brain, Céyehne wondered if the man would even take kind words as any sort of condolence, or understand her sincerity at all. New acquaintances usually did not show such a sincere attitude, but Céyehne's trust was already placed fully into Torscha, and the ease with which he won it inspired her to feel deeper for this wayward man. A 'feeling' it would merely be, though, and she sat silently instead.
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Céyehne
Torscha
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« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2007, 05:38:36 AM »

"Sharing your gifts, certainly, but I'm sure you must have performed before more appreciative audiences than this one." He darted a sweet smile at Maryn before she could squawk in outrage at the slur against her fine establishment. "This city is cold, dark, benighted, and from what I've heard since I've gotten here, likely to be in the middle of an invasion as well.

"Call me conservative, but I somehow doubt that people will flock to performances when they are huddling over scanty fuel in the dead of winter and chewing themselves sore on hard tack and jerked meat."
The storyteller studied her, for a moment looking past the beauty and revealing clothing. He could see no obvious weapon, and although the lithe figure before him betrayed not an ounce of excess weight, it did not suggest the kind of hard-worn stamina and strength needed to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with one's sword-brothers and shield-mates when the attack came. "An odd tavern drunk or two I could fight off, partner, but not a horde of orcs."

Torscha glanced around them cautiously; the clientele seemed content to return to their mumbled conversations, and were paying the two entertainers little heed. For all intents and purposes, as long as it didn't appear likely that they were going to resume their performance, they didn't exist.

He leaned in. "I've been in a few rough spots," he whispered, "and although I'm a long way away from the plains, my people know the tide of battle; it surges in our veins. We can feel the winds of war and our temperament reflects it, like the long summer grasses blown in the wind.

"The defenders are bold and the walls are stout, but all is not well within the city. There have been rumours and whispers of traitors and defectors and informants; these things are common gossip material in times of siege. A body divided against itself cannot stand against an outside foe.

"For all their courage and strength of arms, I do not think they can stand."
He smiled, a trifle ruefully. "Thus, I do not see as how you might have thought you'd be safe here, unless you're a vulture like me, come to record the fall of a great city. I have no stomach for massacres, but I'll witness this one as long as I can. It's the least I owe history." Not to mention that an eyewitness account of the fall of Remusiat would fetch a pretty penny not only in taprooms and bars across the length and breadth of Santharia, but even in the courts of barons and kings, he thought, suddenly disgusted at himself at the realisation.

In some ways, I'm no better than a grave-robber, making a living on the deeds of the fallen.
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Sir Ruil Mallister
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« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2007, 05:29:27 AM »

Gripping his mug, Ruil proceeded to then chug the ale.  Powerful stuff - enough to make his cheeks unconsciously contract.  Thank Ava for ale.  Today needs to just disappear, grumbled the scruffy squire.  The eighteen-year-old squire hadn't shaved since he and his mentor knight had arrived in Remusiat a week ago, resulting in a blonde scruff that habitated where a beard might be.  His hair mussed as his fingers ran through it, resting his forehead in his palm.  His mind glanced back at the day when all his problems were caused.  When Sir Roland was made into the unconscious mess he is, when all their supplies were destroyed.

They were roughly a day's ride away when they were set upon by an orcish scouting unit.  Caught by surprise, Sir Roland's horse was slain from under him, toppling the knight into the ice and snow.  Cursing, the knight grabbed his armet helm and rose, hurt, to his feet.  Sword and shield in hand, the knight readied himself for the coming onslaught.  Ruil dismounted as quickly as he could, and put on his sallet-style halfhelm.  The three orcs came forward, having forgotten about their bows the moment the two humans stood their grounds.  Cleavers and crude axes were gripped as the hideous beasts rushed the two, clashing into them hard.  Ruil kept the one on him at bay, but Sir Roland had to deal with two of the animals, and he was hurt beside.  The knight's shield bravely took every blow from the crudely fashioned weapons, but for every blow he managed to land, he was having to block or dodge three.  Finally, Sir Roland dealt a critical blow into one orc's clavicle with his arming sword.  The thing crumbled to the frozen ground, bleeding profusely and unable to move its head with the base of its neck muscles severed.  The second orc facing Sir Roland screamed in fury and moved quicker than the knight had ever seen one move.

Sir Roland's squire was having a bit of trouble as well.  The orc was fast, and Ruil's spear only had so much reach.  Without a shield, Ruil had to keep his distance, so the orc kept pushing the squire back.  The orc then rushed, seemingly multiplying its speed, and knocked Ruil's spear to the side before smacking its sword blade into Ruil's head.  Thanks to the iron sallet, the blade slid right off Ruil's cranium and smacked harmless into his mail shirt.  The Erpheronian squire responded by slapping the orc across its face with the butt of his spear, nearly lifting the orc off its feet.  Gasping for breath, the little beast stumbled back, reaffirmed its balance, and looked up to figure out where it would direct its next attack.  "Where should I attack next?" was the orc's last thought, as an instant later, Ruil's spear plunged through skin, cranium and brain.  Its death was instant and near painless.

Turning, however, Ruil witnessed Roland's final opponent get past the large oak shield and strike hard at the knight's side.  The sword blade, crude as it was, managed to bite through the mail.  The mail and Roland's tunic reddened, and the knight cried in pain.  Giving out his own beastly roar, Sir Roland cleaved the orc's tiny little arm off mid-bicep.  As the bugger flailed, the knight kicked it over, pinned the orc to the ice with a boot, and plunged his arming sword through its sternum and into its heart.  Ruil moved to his mentor's side, wheezing badly from the effort to dispatch his own foe.  Sir Roland angrily ripped the orc's sword from his side and helped Ruil tie as good a tourniquet as they could around his waist.  Since Roland's destrier was killed, only Ruil's southern draught was left to ride on.


So there he was.  Sitting at the bar of the Boar's Beard, Ruil called for another ale and paid the bartender with a copper coin.  With nothing else to do, the squire sat at the bar in his grey tunic and brown tabard, and watched the entrance to see who came in and out of the tavern.  He did this discreetly so as not to be staring suspiciously.  Running his tongue along his teeth in empty thought, Ruil took another drink of his ale.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2007, 06:56:48 AM by Ruil Mallister » Logged

Céyehne
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« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2007, 07:57:56 AM »

Céyehne marveled first at his way with words. As if reciting poetry Torscha spoke, fluent, rhythmic, and entrancing. Ginger lips parted in a smile she listened as the young man seemed to doubt her answer. Did she agree? No. She thought anyone war-torn and wanting would flock to a beautiful, intriguing performance. And after their melody together had been played a couple more times it would be more than easy for word to travel throughout the broken city of Remusiat. Warriors and families of such would surely be looking for sweet release from the torment of war. As Torscha leaned in, Céyehne inhaled slowly, as if to increase her talents with some of his own. He whispered now, and his words conveyed the utmost urgency.

He spoke with courage and wisdom, but her smile widened as Céyehne listened to him. The boy voiced concerned for her safety, and she had to sip her hot tea to hide a chuckle. A vulture he may be, but Céyehne was assured his affinity for gathering a magnificent story without bothering himself nor his safety was honed to perfection. There was a grace about Torscha. Not the grace of dancing, but a grace of poise and presence. Céyehne guessed he could mingle and entertain any audience. Far-reaching were his skills, but he had hardly grasped the nature of this Darkpriest. This entranced Céyehne so much more, for however smooth this dark-haired man could be, he could not figure her out entirely. With a sly smile, she spoke just as quietly, but in a smooth whisper unlike his own raspy speech. "Wouldn' ye think, in a city so col' an' dark, ye'd b' wantin' t' b' en'ertain'd all t' more? I think they b' flockin' t' us jus' fine, Torsch' m'dear."

Patting his arm with her own slender hand, Céyehne took another gulp of tea, feeling its warmth flow down into the tips of her toes. "As fer me safe'y, don' ye b' worryin' 'bout that. A woman like meself b' takin' care o' 'erself quite easily, min' ye." Giving him an almost stern look, xazure eyes pierced into his own dark orbs. Oh, she was not the helpless maiden one would imagine her to be. Her frail-looking skeleton honed by years of dancing, her armoured fan, and her powerful gift from Korenjah combined could carry her though any desperate situation. However, her ability to actually use these assets was something different. Admittedly timid and afraid of hurting another, Céyehne would rather run for her life or hide behind one such as Torscha before using her power against another. The mere thought of it, and of the malice that welled up inside her the day she used her ability for evil, scared her nigh to death.

Brushing it from her mind, blue eyes softened again and color crept into her pale face as she sheepishly remembered she was staring into Torscha's eyes, leaned close to speak quietly together. Leaning back a little, ginger lips upturned into a faint smile. "M'name b' Céyehne, partn'r."
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Céyehne
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« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2007, 05:38:47 PM »

Her quiet confidence, and that elusive quality about her, like the just-faded scent of perfume, was quickly intoxicating him; Torscha concealed his face for a moment with his tankard, drinking deep and hoping the vile ale would cool him down and restore equilibrium to his senses. The gesture also, he suspected, conveniently hid what must have been a blush.

In an attempt to recover his aplomb, he set the tankard down, and, taking the hand she'd patted him with, brushed his lips across her knuckles in a reasonable approximation of a courtly kiss. "I thank you for the gift of your name, Céyehne. I apologise for not giving you due credit; I'm sure you've had a lot of experience looking after yourself." He didn't say, Looking like you do, you'd almost have to.

I wonder if I'm at all disappointed to discover that she won't be needing me as a bodyguard. Not that I'd make a very good one. Still, it would have been tempting. What a body to guard!

Best to stop thinking about that. It's so difficult when one's business is pleasure to keep priorities straight.


Changing his tack, Torscha said, "As you say, perhaps those who have fought hard will want something in the means of entertainment. I suppose to that end this tavern serves its purpose well enough: soldiers are likely to seek a place where they can get their ale cheap and without fuss. Maybe after witnessing a performance, they might be willing to share their own stories with us, that they may be told." In fact, the idea was a good one; Torscha became quickly excited at the prospect of not having to wheedle scraps of narrative out of drunken veterans, instead being approached by entranced warriors all eager to have their deeds chronicled.

His eyes swept the bar, and he noticed, with his newfound enthusiasm brightening his sight, the young man hunched over his beer, remembering that he'd been steadily drinking as if he had hollow legs. The youngster's tabard, while dusty and scuffed from hard use, was still distinctive enough for Torscha to recognise it. He leant across once again to his newfound partner, and whispered, "See that young man over there? I daresay he's seen some action recently, and not come out of it smelling of roses, either; he's the right age, and that tabard he's wearing? There're no arms on it, but I'll swear to it that the man's either a herald or a squire of some sort. Definitely in service to a knight or lord.

"In fact, now that I think about it, there have been raiding parties in and out of the wastes these past weeks. He might have been part of them."
Torscha squinted at the young man thoughtfully. "Look at his build; sailors don't usually develop such broad shoulders." He looked harder. "They also tend to sit with their feet planted wider apart; I'd stake a good dozen of Maryn's kegs of swill on him not being a sailor, but a soldier of some sort."

The man then turned his gaze on his partner, taking in all over again the slender curves and the pretty face. "Say, partner, do you think you'd be able to charm his story out of him? I daresay you'll have more luck than I; soldiers back from campaign have usually had enough of manly camaraderie for a while."
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Céyehne
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« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2007, 06:02:22 AM »

Céyehne was pleased that Torscha seemed to agree with her. Perhaps together they could lure customers into the Tavern, provide the keeper with more income in dreary times, herself with copious amounts of coin, and Torscha with the stories he craved. A delightful thought, indeed, and as Torscha leaned in again, Céyehne looked straight into his eyes eagerly. He may be younger than herself, but his wisdom surpassed her own. As he mentioned another young man in the bar, Céyehne's gazed rested upon him. A youth, yes. Younger than Torscha, his smooth skin and bright hair made him appear younger still. Eying him, Céyehne thought him handsome. He was lean, and Torscha was right, he'd been through something as of late. His tunic was plain, but the shining blue orbs looking about the Beard suggested he himself was far from plain.

At the idea of charming him, Céyehne brightened. He so reminded her of the boys in her home. Bright-eyed and always interested in something or other, eager to run their mouths and tell a tale. Nearly as she could guess, the boy was in some state of disarray, and if anything she would be aiding not only Torscha, but the stranger as well in keeping him company. Winking at Torscha, Céyehne only nodded her pale head and stood, again radiating against the dreary tavern backdrop. Her skintight snow clothing was not meant to attract, but the very opposite of that. In her home, and surely on the snowy wastes of this land, her clothes were the perfect camouflage. Within the walls of this place, however, Céyehne glowed. Even without firelight bouncing from the walls there would seem to be a aura about her. Moving now to the boy's side, her hips swayed in her unconsciously graceful movement. Years of performing dances had her gliding now from place to place. Her steps silent on the floor, only the flash of white she was would catch the boy's attention. 

Sitting beside him, ginger lips parted into a white-toothed smile. Glancing leisureily at Torscha, for she knew he could easily bribe a story from the warrior at her side, she wanted to be sure he was watching. Céyehne almost expected a critique later on, or for the man to join them now and acquire the story himself. Céyehne gazed at the boy whose skin was quite like her own, and his fairness matched hers. Had he been a woman, his beauty would have bested her own easily, but his handsome features suggested he must be her male counterpart. Beautiful eyes surveyed his surroundings, and Céyehne wondered what he was attempting to drown in his ale. "M'boy, woul' ye b' comin' from a' uneasy situation? Ye b' tryin' t' drown 'way yer sor'ows when all ye b' needin' is a bit o' res' an' 'nother bein' t' talk t'." Indicating the patrons within the tavern, lastly pointing out Torscha with a twinkle in her eye, she continued, "By far, I b' a bet'er comp'ny than t' others. Tell me, wha' troubles hav' ye experienc'd o' late?" Céyehne's soft, smooth voice spoke in a gentle rhythm. As she spoke she felt kindness, not the competitive tone she had intended, enter her words.

If Torscha needn't be present, Céyehne figured he would find a way to hear the conversation, or intercede when he found the time appropriate. Either way, Céyehne was beginning to see mystery in the young fighter's eyes. Too young to be willing to die for any cause, yet Céyehne knew the nobility and pride in men during times of war. It would be necessary for each to do his duty, and Céyehne started to feel as though spending time during a war would not be so bad as Torscha made it sound. The conversation in, and safety of the Tavern (unless the city walls were breached) would be a lovely place to comfort broken spirits when death, blood and cold rendered them unable to go on. Perhaps Céyehne could begin with this young man.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2007, 06:03:23 AM by Céyehne » Logged

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Céyehne
Sir Ruil Mallister
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« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2007, 02:13:50 PM »

The cup had been reduced to one more sip of ale when the beauty sat beside Ruil.  Having turned away from the room to stare into his cup for a moment, he hadn't noticed her move from the spot she had occupied a moment before. Though startled, the young man did his best to not show it.  She moved faster and more silently than I would have given her credit for... the squire thought to himself.  He suddenly wished he had been wearing his mail shirt; if this beautiful woman could sneak up on him, then so could some assassin.  Brushing the thought away, Ruil put his ale down on the table and blankly looked the woman in the eyes.

It was then that the squire caught just how stunning this dancer was.  She was tiny in frame.  Were they to stand side-by-side, the woman would probably only come to Ruil's nose, and she was lithe, probably as devoid of fat as Ruil himself was.  He also noticed that their eyes were nearly a match in color, both blues almost as light as the sky.  They also seemed to share a similar complexion, but the similarities ended there.  This dancer's hair was white as the snow, about the same color as the skintight clothing she donned.  She glanced about the room, and Ruil couldn't help but notice that she looked at her other friend that she was speaking to a few moments before, then spoke to him.

He was a little suspicious of her and her intentions.  Afterall, there were very few women in all of Caelereth that had bothered to speak to him at all, let alone comfort him.  But her voice... something was different in her voice.  This woman seemed genuinely interested in what was wrong with him, and for whatever reason, Ruil actually felt a tad bit obliged to answer.  He lifted a loose fist and pointed his thumb towards the ceiling.  "The man I am squiring for is dying, and I'm now stranded in this colder than the Void hellhole," grumbled Ruil, right before downing the rest of his ale.  When he put the mug down, he let out a sigh and rubbed his stressed sinuses with his fingers.  His eyes returned to the woman sitting beside him and the charming smile that spread across her face.  "I'm sorry, that was a bit abrupt.  Truth be told, my entire life has been a bit of an 'uneasy situation'."

While a small smirk grew on his face, Ruil shifted in his bar stool to better see the woman next to him.  The action made his mind shift.  Probably a tad bit tipsy, Ruil double-checked his thoughts before he spoke them.  "No offense, my beautiful lady, but I am hard-pressed to believe that your only concern is what is bothering me.  So I feel I must ask you... why do you want to know, when it shouldn't be hard to guess, considering all that's happening day in and day out here in Remusiat?"
« Last Edit: December 13, 2007, 06:53:08 AM by Ruil Mallister » Logged

Torscha
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« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2007, 05:53:41 PM »

Torscha took a long drink from his tankard, mind working rapidly. He tried not to be overly pleased with himself at having recognised the young man's garb. So he's a squire indeed, hm? Glancing slyly over his shoulder, trying to conceal the fact that he was straining his trained hearing to eavesdrop on their conversation, he noticed the gesture the young squire made towards the roof of the inn. He must be here with a knight, then. Strange that I didn't see them come in. Come to think of it, them coming in could have been what prompted that awful commotion last night.

Hm. What an opportunity. Why bother talking to the squire when I could get an interview with the knight?


Then Torscha caught the words ... dying... and sighed. Ah. I see. That makes sense. He's here drinking himself into a stupour. Strange, though, why he didn't seek medical attention. Torscha himself had stitched up a few nasty scratches during his time as an impromptu sailor, but he was quite sure that the men he'd been working on were not entirely averse to decorative scars from relatively minor wounds. He didn't relish the prospect of attempting to stitch a man's guts back inside him.

He turned to Maryn, placing a single silver piece on the countertop where she could see it, and then covering it swiftly with one hand. "Say, lovely landlady, do you know anything about a knight lying wounded on the premises? It seems strange that one would choose to do so instead of seeking the attention of the physician. Ava alone knows how many of them there are swarming around the barracks."

Glancing over again at the squire, Torscha noted how the young man had apparently warmed up to his newfound partner, and chuckled to himself. That one could dance the dead to their feet and lead them in a lively jig, he thought, stifling the reflexive surge of desire that came with such thoughts. Never needed reminding more that beauty's as dangerous as a loaded crossbow. With any luck, I'll be able to keep her pointed at other people. I can't think straight when she's pointing it at me.
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« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2007, 10:34:20 AM »

Maryn

Torscha's sweet words were starting to get on her nerves. Maryn gave the boy a wan smile as she wiped off the bar, glancing to see where his pretty friend had gone. Oh, to a more spritely lad! Giving a grunt-like chuckle, Maryn eyed the boy and wondered. Such a man there was, brought in 'bout a week ago, but what business was it of his nosy, troublemaking young man? It wasn't any business of his. However, she looked at him closely, thought how many tankards he'd already downed, and of the incredible performance he and the lady had put on. By all means, a small bit of information wouldn't do anyone harm.

Her raspy voice did not betray her thoughts as she said unkindly, "It's likely none of yer business boy," she pointed a meaty finger at his chest almost warningly, "And it ain't a a good business at all t' be pokin' about in other people's affairs." Narrowing her eyes, Maryn wondered if the young man would ever leave her alone. When would his sarcastic charm ever end? Hadn't he had enough of this lowly tavern and it's ratty barmaids? Every patron grew weary of the same ol' seedy affairs day in and day out. Rolling her eyes, she supposed not. "Down the hall, third on the left. Don't you make a ruckuss or I ain't never givin' you a leg up again." Maryn turned her back on him, but her lips upturned in a small smile.
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..tell me your heart doesn't race for a hurricane or a burning building. -asw
Your pal, Khel
Céyehne
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« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2007, 10:55:19 AM »

Taken aback by his frank answer, Céyehne leaned against the counter before her and relaxed a bit. So, the youth would be harder to deal with than she thought. However, it shouldn't be a surprise that the stress of a dying companion would rend him a bit wild-eyed. Looking at him with a softening expression, Céyehne sympathized. It was never enjoyable to loose a loved one, and she assumed this squire loved his knight very much. Glancing at Torscha, Céyehne was sure there was a glint in his eye that suggested I told you so, and she chuckled. What an enjoyable young man. As he approached the bartender again, Céyehne listened as the squire voiced his apprehension.

Ah. Suspicious. A tingling laugh fell from her mouth, and blue eyes lit with amusement. Sure, it was a ploy, but nothing of the dark nature this young man assumed. A story was all she would require, not deeply hidden secrets of his past or the location of his family's wealth. She found him humorous at least, and her smile lingered as she answered him, "Ah, I desire not only t' pleasure o' knowin' yer alrigh', bu' yer tale as well. A swindlin' woman I b', no doubt, bu' I hav' noble inte'tions I assure ye." Winking at him, Céyehne couldn't help but chuckle again.

Despite his pessimism, she liked the kid's attitude. He seemed young and reckless, hardened by a life that hardly suited the noble lines that must run through him. At the peak of troubling years, Céyehne thought it a blessing he should fall into her lap. Or rather, Torscha's lap, as he would surely want the boy's magnificent tale. Gracefully she smoothed a hand through her hair in thought. White tresses wound about her nimble fingers, and as her hand dropped into her lap again she said curiously, "I pray ye, deligh' me with a tale, squir'. An' b' squir' yer only name? Mine b' Céyehne." A blush crept to her pale cheeks as she thought of how forward she was becoming.

If Torscha brought out anything in this woman it was the ability to trust without question. Never would she approach another--especially a man--in a tavern she danced in. The Boar's Beard, however dingy it might seem, was enjoying a quiet dusk and she felt safe as can be. Surely, with Torscha's eyes watching her she could not fall prey to any untidy situation. Although younger than her, and confident in her own abilities, Céyehne did not feel in the least bit ashamed to be placing her trust in the dark young man. Mysterious and foreboding, there was another quality about him she couldn't quite place. Stay on yer guard, she reminded herself simply.
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cry me a future where the revelations run amok.
Céyehne
Torscha
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« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2007, 12:06:57 PM »

Torscha grinned at Maryn. "Thank ye kindly, old girl; I knew I could count on you. Keep an eye on the pretty newcomer for me; the young man's been downing far too many pints for me to be entirely confident that his head is still screwed on right. Now, I'm just going for a quick peek."

Making sure the young man was thoroughly engaged in conversation with Céyehne, Torscha made his quiet way across the taproom to the door which led to the tavern's few poor rooms. He himself spent most his nights there curled up by the hearth; warmth and the relative safety of having an easy escape route through the taproom windows made the lack of a bed immaterial. In fact, he was rather grateful at being able to avoid lying down in one of Maryn's horrible beds: there was probably more lice than down in those mattresses.

The door Maryn had indicated was closed, of course, and locked, but that was hardly a barrier. The lock was old, and badly made in the first place. Taking a small vial from one of the many pockets stitched into his belt, he used a slender probe to grease the lock's inner workings, and easily jimmied the lock.

Upon cracking the door open, the first thing Torscha became aware of was the stench. It was something he'd thought he had forgotten after spending so long by the stinking fire of sod and peat in the hearth, but this was a different odour, something vastly different from the general malodorous conditions of the Boar's Beard. The room reeked of putrefaction, of old blood and necrotic flesh.

The things I do for a story. Torscha slipped into the room. It was dark, and he could hear stentorian breathing, the heavy rise and fall of a dying man's breath. Taking out the stub of a candle, Torscha kindled it, and peered about the small room.

Some harness lay in a pile in the corner. Warriors' things. The light picked out the glint of mail. Not something any casual bravo would be carrying around. So whoever's in here is a knight after all. A surcoat lay spread over the chair, its device obliterated by dried bloodstains. Still, I'd bet it matches the one our young spark outside is wearing.

It was a difficult temptation to resist, but Torscha forebore from rummaging through the scattered belongings in search of something valuable. What I'm doing is bad enough without resorting to borderline grave-robbery. Silently making his way over to the bed, Torscha examined the man lying spread out on it.

He was well-built, with the developed muscles of a fighting man, broad-shouldered and deep-chested. His complexion was sallow, though, and the candlelight picked out the sheen of clammy sweat glistening over his body. His blanket lay pushed to his waist, despite the cold in the room; Torscha suspected that the man had taken a fever. Probably from the wound in his side. It was bandaged, relatively competently, and he could easily envisage the squire spending painstaking minutes tending to his master. A poignant scene, really, one that would make a good song.

The bandage itself was stained with varying shades of blood. There was the crusted brown of the old, but also bright red. The wound in the man's side had not stopped bleeding entirely. Ordinarily, that might have been a good thing; Torscha had heard of field surgeons speaking of the flow of fresh blood cleansing a wound of infection. But the rot had set down deep roots. He could smell it, heavy and nauseating, the unmistakable smell of gangrene. Looking closer, Torscha could see where the bandage was sodden not with blood but with pus.

It seems that the young man's estimate was not too far off. Torscha noticed the pale tracery of scars all over the man's body; he had obviously not lived a life of sedentary ease. Although not prepared to turn the unconscious man over, he was quite sure that most of those scars would be on his front: the sign of someone who had always faced his foes. What a shame. No matter how valiant or strong he must have been once, he's worm-food now, or soon to be. Maybe one of the first casualties of what is bound to be an exceedingly bloody war.

The storyteller allowed himself the liberty of kissing the man on his sweat-beaded brow, ignoring the slippery sweat and the man's fever-fouled breath. "Rest easy, whoever you are," Torscha whispered. "You will be remembered in death as you were in life: courageous and strong.

"You will be remembered, I promise. I will find your name and preserve it."


Rising then, he snuffed out the candle and stowed it, before slipping out the door and relocking it. Returning to the taproom, he ordered another pint of ale. The man's wounds had made the tracery of scars on his back throb and feel tight all over again, and the alcohol would go some way towards dulling it. He buried his face in his drink, and blamed the trickle of tears on ale fumes.

Well, at least it looks like Céyehne's making an impression. He wiped his face and looked over, meeting the dancer's eyes as she glanced across the room at him, and gave her an encouraging grin. I'm hardly surprised.

Ah. Thank Avá for beautiful women to ease the time between birth and death.
Logged

Sir Ruil Mallister
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« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2007, 06:51:55 PM »

This woman has had a disturbing amount of experience in melting the hearts of men.  Ruil wasn't sure if this beauty called Céyehne bedded men regularly, but he could already feel the effects of her charm.  Her accent alone was foreign and delightful to Ruil's ears, made even sweeter by the way she moved.  Like a succubus, trained down to simple motions like running her fingers through her hair, she was.  The young man had no intention of allowing himself to fall total prey to her game, but he certainly was tipsy and charmed enough to give her the seemingly harmless information she requested.  “Name's Ruil,” replied the squire.  He noticed every soft laugh that left her smiling lips, and he couldn't help but relax.  The blonde warrior did not sense the hostility and suspicion that nearly everyone else in Remusiat, nay, his entire life, had borne against himself.  Not in her.  I suppose it couldn't hurt to allow myself to relax with her.  After all, she doesn't mean me any harm.

Maryn came by to collect the tankard from him.  When she did, the large woman asked if he wanted another in that thick voice of hers.  Ruil shook his head while he answered, “No, I'm fine.  I don't need to drink myself into a complete stupor tonight.  Especially when I have company.” Upon this, Maryn huffed and turned away from him to clean the tankard she collected.

Turning his attention back to Céyehne, Ruil gave her a slight smile.  “Well, Céyehne, was it? To be honest, outside of Lady Maryn here, you're the first soul here to be even remotely kind to me.” True words, he knew.  Though a bit saddening, Ruil had to say he was quite pleased to have some real company outside of a dying man.  Ever since Sir Roland and the boy had arrived in Remusiat and sought shelter in the Boar's Beard, the blonde warrior has had few conversations with anyone.  Alone in thought, he had been left to brood in silence, which probably was not good for his disposition.  Ruil couldn't help but notice the muttering behind his back by the natives of Remusiat.  Almost without fail, they would whisper amongst themselves when they saw the lad.  Their suspicions fueled by the squire's foreign attire as much as the fact that he arrived carrying a bleeding man, he almost considered himself lucky to not overhear their words.  He really didn't need to be upset further.

Thus, Ruil had, instead of wandering about the city, decided to remain within the confines of the Boar's Beard, with the company of pretty waitresses and the gruff Maryn.  The squire had even tasted the prettier of the serving girls on their second night in the tavern.  Her giggles were nearly as cute as her blush, but both paled before the dancer sitting beside him.  Ruil couldn't help but allow his eyes to wander over Céyehne's lithe body at least once.  When they returned to her eyes and the blush staining her cheeks, he smiled softly again.  “Hn. I don't really know where you would like me to begin,” began the youth.  “Nor do I know what sort of tale you are interested in hearing this night.  I could tell you, truthfully, be that it may, of gallant jousts and horrifying betrayals.  Of assassins in the night and of children cowering before the flames of fratricide...”

Of that last note he trailed off in a brief moment of self-pity, with a trace of disbelief that all of which he spoke he had actually bore witness to.  Of note the last part, which still to this day left the youth with a burning fear of all things that crackle with the heat, light and terror of fire.  Quickly recovering from the short digression, Ruil returned his gaze to that of his newly found companion's.  “So, what sort of tale are you looking for, oh sweet Céyehne, swindler of stories?”  With that question, Ruil rested his chin on his palm once more, quite interested and intrigued in the lady.
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Céyehne
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« Reply #29 on: December 14, 2007, 11:26:19 AM »

Ah, another man who could talk her to the stars. Ginger lips spread in a smile. Despite the Tavern's grubby interior, Céyehne thought the patrons made it outshine even the brightest of mornings. What sort of tale did she want? Honestly, Céyehne now wanted to know why the boy had lived such a hard life. Softly booted feet shuffled on the stool beneath her as she thought, and she took a moment to glance in Torscha's direction. What did he  want to hear?

The peculiar thing was that Torscha was not there. Xazure eyes calmly surveyed the entire common area before catching movement near the kitchen. Resting on Torscha, he slid back into the room and sat at the bar again. What was he up to? Raising white eyebrows questioningly, Céyehne saw him smile. Shaking her head slightly, she returned her gaze to Ruil. She had a strong feeling the guarded Torscha had been up to something slightly less honorable than most would imagine. But what? Keep yer mind on other thin's, she thought to herself, It's no wonder ye hav' ha' no luck wit men, nosin' 'bout like that.

Giving Ruil a small wink she said in a low, melodious voice, "Me frien' b' a collector o' tales, he may b' lookin' fer a gallan' story o' som' sort... bu' I b' truly wondrin' wha' put a youn' lad in such a sit'ation in t' firs' place." She indicated the bar before him and Maryn as she took his empty tankard away. What happened that drove him to the drink? And by all means, was there something similar running through her  partner's head? Céyehne had not seen past his pretty words; had not even questioned the death of his family, and she suddenly felt apalled at her own actions. Scolding herself inwardly, Céyehne held up a slender finger to Ruil, and stood to gracefully make her way back toward her vacant seat beside Torscha.

Wrapping small hands about her mug of hot tea, Céyehne whispered, "Wha' mischief b' ye makin' here? Listen well, fer yer story b' on it's way.." Grasping the mug and giving him a soft smile, Céyehne turned on booted feet and returned to her seat beside the young squire. Thinking on what he said again, Céyehne thought the boy had been through some absolutely horrible situations, yet he offered the stories freely. Surely, if it were so heart-wrenching, he would not share so easily, as if it were the story of yesterdays lunch. How old was he, anyway? He was much younger than herself, but perhaps his smooth complexion only made him look that way. It was a hard guess, but he was a squire, and could not be too much older than twenty either way.

She reached to smooth her hair again, as Céyehne seemed to nigh obsessively do so. Since her performance with Torscha only a few minutes' past her blood had not quite cooled. The exhileration of the dance, of her gathered will and the obedience of the shadows coursed through her veins. Dancing, for her, was almost addictive in nature. Accompaniment made it even moreso, especially that of the most talented Torscha. Ginger lips rested around the edge of the mug for a moment before Céyehne took a long sip. Thoroughly satisfied, even in her thin, skintight wardrobe, Céyehne felt warmth course through her lean body. Smiling radiently she added, "Ruil, tell me how ye came t' b' t' squir' o' a dyin' man."
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cry me a future where the revelations run amok.
Céyehne
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