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Author Topic: Chapter One - The Party  (Read 20527 times)
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Yurie Yileen
Walker of Dreams
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Human, Eyelian


« on: November 25, 2008, 04:58:37 PM »

For Garnut Jorek, it was just another night’s work; and after a long day of helping to make everything ready, he found it difficult to return the guests’ jovial grins.  Instead, he retained his customary butlers’ face; calm, friendly, and he hoped, dignified.

   “Why!  Can’t the old rascal come out and greet us in person?” a rather inebriated looking man said loudly when Garnut asked him his name.  The somewhat younger, but just as drunken lady that accompanied him, tittered like a nervous school girl.  Garnut bowed his head slightly before replying.

   “Jorn Ranskjun will, of course, be delighted to see you.  But I’m sure that you under-" his measured words were cut short by the impatient guest.

   “Yes, yes!  I know!  I was only making a joke, you fool!  Now, my name, you say?”  The man visibly puffed his chest out and drew his shoulders back before continuing.  “I am Darjen Ro’arsun,” he paused briefly, as though expecting applause, “and this fine young lady, whom I have the infinite pleasure of accompanying this evening, is Marie Tanuluss!”

Garnut briefly glanced down at a sheet that he was holding.  Turning back to the couple, he smiled, and bid them enter the magnificent gardens that led to the main entrance of Jorn Ranskjun’s kilv.  "Fool, indeed," he thought to himself, as he watched the two stroll arm in arm between the twin marble fountains.

Even though it was early, quite a crowd had already assembled for the party.  Most of them were high-flyers; the clothes and jewellery that they were wearing cost more than Garnut could make in a year.  Not that his employer was mean.  Jorn Ranskjun was one of, if not the most, generous men Garnut had ever worked for.  But the kind of people that attended his parties were the social elite; they moved in circles far above those that a lowly butler could ever attain.

A slight breeze slid warmly past, bringing with it the familiar scent of the ocean.  Garnut breathed in a little deeper, and for a brief moment, a genuine smile came to his lips.  He looked again at the list of names that he was holding.  Nobody on it had arrived yet.  A small group of serving staff were loafing around in the ornate guard house just behind him.  They’d been instructed to escort the named guests to a private dining room on the second floor.  It seemed as though Jorn Ranskjun still had business on his mind.

Returning to his own business, Garnut allowed his dark brown eyes to gaze out at the main street, patiently waiting for any more of the evening's guests to arrive.
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Koka Bentarm
Bearded Lady
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Dwarf, Mitharim


« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2008, 05:38:07 AM »

Standing some peds away from the building that she had been invited to, Koka looked up at the several lines of windows that she could see. An amused smile playes invisibly behind her beard, which was done up in three different braids for the occasion. She shook her head slightly, making the stones and beads which adorned the small braids in her hair tingle. She would never understand these tallfolk and their obvious enjoyment of anything high. Grasping her bow in her left arm again, she made her way over to the entrance, where she supposed she had to go. The bow was unstrung, the string rolled up and stored in a small pouch hanging from her belt. It was the surest sign that she had peaceful intentions - she usually did, she almost always only used her bow for hunting, but other people didn't really know that.

As she walked up to the garden entrance - she could see now that there was quite a bit of garden left before one actually reached the house - she hooked the thumb of her right hand behind her belt, making the bent position of that arm look natural. As she approached, planting her feet squarely on the ground and looking around to see if she was in the right place, she thought about what she was doing here.

It was really pretty simple. At one point during the year that she had been living above ground, she had taken on a job for a certain man named Jorn Ranskjun. It had been a rather simple job. She'd been haggling on the town square with some human she hardly remembered, when the man - well, actually his butler - approached her and engaged her to bring a small but valuable trinket to another town, and deliver it to a business partner there. She'd been paid rather handsomely for the job, which was always good. She had never expected to hear from the man again, but only recently - only TrumBaroll knew how he had found her - she had received an invitation to come to this party. Without anything better to do, she decided to give it a go, even though she knew she'd be surrounded by tallfolk.

She stopped in front of the garden gate, not willing to go in unless invited. Luckily she soon saw a familiar face - quite likely the only familiar face she was going to see - coming towards her. The butler, Garnut, the one who had engaged her services that time. In the months that she had not seen him, he had not changed much. His norsidian hair was still norsidian, except for the bit of grey near his temples. It gave him a distinguished look - for a human. His face was cleanly shaven, as usual. Or at least, she guessed it was usual. He looked like the kind of human who did not miss a day in shaving. She herself thought that he should let his beard grow, it would make him even more distinguished, but then she was just prejudiced. She smiled again, stroking her own lovely long beard with her right hand.

When the man was near her, she bowed to him. She extracted the letter that she had received from a pocket of her vest, and extended her hand to give it to him - though she was very careful not to stretch out her arm completely. "I do believe this is the place where I am supposed to be? Eh, the name is Koka. Just in case you don't remember." You never knew with these humans and their flimsy memories.
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Rainier
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Elf, Tiraelhon/ Eophyrhim


« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2008, 06:40:36 AM »

As he walked up to the house he had been invited to Rainier marveled at how wealthy Jorn Ranskjun really was. It has been may years since he last heard that name. The last time he had he had been approached by a butler by the name of Garnut. He came to request my services as a guard for a rather big shipment of his masters. Rainier took the job since he was already planning on heading east. The payment he received was more than any could have wished for and Rainier thought that this mister Ranskjun must have been a fool but now that he has seen his house I see that he is a good businessman.

Walking up towards the garden Rainier caught a glimpse of a familiar face. It was the butler. He had not changed since the last time they had met. He had a clean shave and dressed like a gentleman and yet his presence was so warm and yet he seems as if he would be the worst person to have as your enemy. Rainier felt underdressed as he approached Garnut. As he made his way towards the entrance he tried his hardest to straighten his swords and bow while patting the dust off his clothes.

As he approached Garnut he pulled out his invitation. Rainier gracefully dipped into a bow as the butler approached. "The names Rainier sir in case you cant remember and I do hope that I'm at the right place."
« Last Edit: November 26, 2008, 06:43:18 AM by Rainier » Logged

The sword is a weapon for killing...the art of the sword...is the art of killing.  No matter what fancy words..you use...or what titles you put to it...that is the only truth  -Rurouni Kenshin  Raniers CD
Yurie Yileen
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2008, 01:47:17 AM »

Garnut noticed a dwarf walking a little uncertainly along the main street.  Was he heading in this direction?  Yes…no…ah, yes!  He was most definitely making his way over to the gate.

As the dwarf got closer, Garnut realised that here was a face that he had seen before.  Of course, to him, like most humans, dwarves were quite difficult to tell apart.  Garnut prided himself, however, on his ability to (almost) never forget a face.  It was a skill that came in handy in his line of work.  Of course, putting a name to the face was all that more difficult.  There was only one thing that Garnut was absolutely sure of as the short guest came to a halt in front of him; this dwarf was female!

   “Ah, yes!” he replied enthusiastically to Koka’s introduction.  “How could I forget?  Why, you certainly look the part for this evening’s festivities!”  Garnut’s eyes briefly regarded the neat braiding of Koka’s beard, then dropped down to scan the sheet that he was still holding in his hand.

   “Oh!” he said politely, “It would appear that Jorn Ranskjun has invited you to a private meal.  Just a moment, I'll fetch somebody to accompany you to the dining room.”  Without waiting for a reply, Garnut turned around rapidly and called for a man by the name of Arncolm.  Soon enough, Arncolm appeared from the nearby guardhouse, his tall, lanky frame contrasting sharply with Koka’s own statue.  Arncolm, this is Miss Koka.”  Garnut explained.  He was tactful enough to only slightly stress the word “miss”, trying to help prevent Arncolm from making a terrible faux pas, whilst at the same time not making a big issue of it.  “Would you please escort her to the “Eagle Dining Room”, and tell Jorn Ranskjun that his first VIP has arrived.”

Turning back to Koka, Garnut indicated that she should follow Arncolm, and bid her a very fine evening, before turning his attention once again to the main street.

   “Very well,” the tall butler said softly, “this way, please, Miss Koka.”  He started walking down the marble pathway that led to the main entrance of the kilv, making sure to keep his stride as short as possible so that the dwarf wouldn’t fall behind.

The gentle tinkle of falling water that they heard as they passed between the twin fountains was soon drowned out by the muffled cacophony of the ongoing party inside.  When Arncolm opened the main door, a tangled mass of conversation and laughter came tumbling out and into the calm night air.

There were finely dressed people everywhere, mingling with each other and accepting food and drink from the attendant butlers, who weaved their way expertly through the crowd.  With a polite “excuse me” here, and a gentle touch of the shoulder there, Arncolm cleared a path through to a large oaken stair case.

Once they had ascended to the second floor, the number of people reduced to only a few.  The wide landing that opened out before them was clean and bright, with portraits of various members of the Ranskjun family adorning its walls.  After a brief walk, Arncolm knocked curtly on a large wooden door.  A bas-relief of an eagle sat proudly above it, proclaiming this to be the dining room that they were looking for.

The door was opened by another butler, who introduced himself as Oknand.

   “I’m sure that Oknand will be able to look after you,”  Arncolm said warmly, “I would stay to serve you myself, but I must inform Jorn Ranskjun that you have arrived.”  Then, with a polite nod of the head, he carried his gangly frame back along the landing and towards the stairs.

The almost bald Oknand bid Koka enter the small, but well lit room, with a sweeping motion of his arm.  A circular table, laden with a staggering variety of different delectable dishes, and surrounded by comfortable-looking chairs, stood proudly in the centre of the room.

   “Please feel free to choose your own seat,” Oknand said with a distinctly polished accent, “whilst I fetch you a drink.  We have almost every kind of beverage here; is there something that you would like in particular?”

***

It was only a few minutes before Garnut noticed the next potential guest approaching.  This one was certainly taller than the previous, but his clothes seemed a little shabbier.  Once again, Garnut’s inward eye seemed to recall the face, but this one was much more difficult to place than Koka’s had been.

   “Of course, Mr Rainier, welcome!”  Garnut was sure that he’d already seen that name this evening.  His suspicions were confirmed when he checked his sheet again.  Here was another of Jorn Ranskjun’s VIPs.  “Ah!  It would appear that Jorn Ranskjun would like to personally welcome you this evening, Mr Rainier.”  Garnut turned his head slightly, and once again called for another servant.  “Leifrek,” Garnut said to the portly man that appeared from the guardhouse, “this is Mr Rainier, and he will be dining in the Eagle Room this evening.  Would you be so kind as to escort him there?  Thank you.”  Then, with a slight nod of the head and a smile, Garnut wished Rainier a good evening, and gestured for him to follow the immaculately turned out Leifrek.
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fionn
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Mullog


« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2008, 02:34:51 AM »

Fionn stared at her feet, moving steadily through Ciosa’s grey streets. People round here wore shoes. People who knew Jorn Ranskjun wore shoes. And they had coats with all the buttons still on. People invited to the party not only had shoes and coats, but the shoes were shiny and the coats had embroidery and bits of shiny braid and stuff on.

“Ouch!” she swore and hopped a few steps, treading gingerly on her right foot. That had been sharp. People left all kinds of stuff on the streets. No road is as clean as it looks.

She returned to staring at her feet, still walking along underneath her, oblivious to her grumbling monologue. They were dirty. Not very dirty, not even dirty enough that they needed a wash. But dusty, nonetheless. It annoyed her that it bothered her. But mister Ranskjun didn’t have to invite her. Even with her best frock on underneath her coat, she knew she would look decidedly shabby next to the kinds of people likely to be at the party.

On the other hand, I’m not supposed to look like the other guests. She smiled to herself. I’m unique. Mr Ranskjun didn’t invite me because I’m rich or because I have shiny shoes. Actually I’m not entirely sure why he did invite me…
 Fionn remembered his face when she’d stepped up to him in the street, and politely pointed out that, well, she couldn’t help overhearing… and no, it’s actually not just a rash… no, honestly, I’m a doctor – look, mister, I don’t care whether you ”really must be going”, I personally have a lot of other demands on my time, for instance in finding a place to sleep tonight, or enough money to eat tomorrow, but out of the goodness of my heart I am delaying that so I can tell you that that is most definitely not “just a rash”. See someone about it, or you might just live to regret it.

So maybe that was it – gratitude. Rich men liked to pay more than was necessary for things that were important, didn’t they?
And what’s more, it’ll be interesting. And what’s even more more, as it were, there will be good food. I’m hungry.


Fionn picked up her pace as the imposing kilv loomed into view. Even the gates are shiny. And look at all those little carvings…
Her eyes slipped to the figure in the entrance, calm and impassive, he might have been a guard, but no, he was dressed more like a servant. She stepped up to him, leaving enough distance that she could comfortably look up into his face.

“Hello. Stupid question, but this is the kilv of Jarl Ranskjun, right?”Noticing the list in his hand, Fionn added, “My name’s Fionn Chorbhie, if that helps.”
Fionn smiled to herself. Shiny houses, shiny shoes, even shiny servants. I couldn’t be more out of place here if I tried.
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"If it's teeth are longer than your fingers, for the Ancestors' sake, assume it doesn't want it's belly tickled..."
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Ylva Rasmussan
Oddball Healer
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Human, Murmillion.


« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2008, 09:08:39 AM »

Ylva wasn't even sure how the invitation reached her, the innkeeper had just said a servant had left it at the bar. It was from Jorn Ranskjun. The innkeeper described him as a plump merchant, known for his wealth and exuberance, “Highly well connected.” he had commented before he had gone back downstairs.

Ylva had heard the name before. The ship that she had sailed to Santharia in, had been a ship under his contract, carrying his goods. As payment she had given them a lot of her family's jewelry, the precious and rare dark opals of her people. Perhaps they are owned by him now. Maybe I'd be able to get them back, I could offer to buy them back? Ylva wasn't even sure how this merchant had found out her name, or knew that she was in Ciosa. She sighed to herself, sure that her goddess Mari must have had some sort of hand in this,“Fine I'll go ok?" She shouted up towards the ceiling, not sure whether she was talking to herself or Mari.

The healer had pulled on her shimmery blue woolen dress, along with her dark jacket and boots etched with silver glyths. Ylva sheathed her Bladeaxe, tying it to her belt, hoping she wouldn't have to use it tonight. She caught her reflection in the mirror. She looked slightly like she had when she was younger, when she had still lived in the Ehebion lands.

Ylva frowned. These clothes are too beautiful, they deserve someone less plain looking. Her face looked slightly wild and tired. Her searching eyes peered out from thick untamed eyebrows. Her hair fell down about her face, a piece of twig might still have been hiding in her hair. Ylva considered combing it and realised that she no longer owned a comb. With her fingers she tried to untangle the knots in her hair.

Her eyes glanced over at the one piece of jewelry she had left, her necklace with dark opals, that she had placed above the fireplace. Her hand reached out and picked it up to examine it. Within the stone the colours danced, shimmering blue and turquoise. Ylva remembered her mother wearing a similar piece of jewelry. A chill went down the healer's spine as she realised that she hadn't seen her mother in fifteen years. Feeling nostalgic, the woman fastened it around her neck. With one last look at the invitation, Ylva left the inn.

Ylva arrived at the gate. On the way there, she had practised what she was going to say to the man at the entrance, “Good evening, I'm not sure but I think I have been invited to this occasion, here is my invitation. I am Ylva Rasmussan, Is this the right place?”
« Last Edit: February 02, 2009, 01:36:37 AM by Ylva Rasmussan » Logged
Yurie Yileen
Walker of Dreams
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2008, 03:15:22 PM »

A curious smell came to Garnut’s nose, wafted along by the mild ocean breeze.  It was quite unlike anything that he'd ever smelt before; a mixture of aromas, and quite unpleasant.  His nostrils wrinkled a little as he sniffed harder, trying to ascertain just what it was.  Hmm, there was the unmistakeably disagreeable mixture of stale sweat and dirt, but there was something else there, too.  But, sniff as he may, the perplexed butler couldn’t place the mysterious tang.

The next question, “where is it coming from?” didn’t take long to be answered.  A remarkably odd-looking creature, quite short, and seemingly deformed in bodily proportions, was heading determinedly towards him.

Having assumed that here was another hungry urchin looking for a free feed, Garnut was a little taken aback when she boldly announced her name, as though Jorn Ranskjun were expecting such lowly company.  He was just about to coolly ask to see the girl’s invitation, when he remembered, with some surprise, that he had seen that name somewhere before.  Could it be?  No, surely not!

But, oh yes, it was true!  Garnut’s eyebrows lifted involuntary from his disbelief.  There it was, written in Jorn Ranskjun’s own elaborate hand; Fionn Chorbie.

   “Knothvard!”  he called.  “This is Miss Chorbie.  Jorn Ranskjun is expecting her in the Eagle dining room this evening.  Could you escort her there, please?”

   “Right you are, sir,” came Knothvard’s reply.

Now, Knothvard was a little different to the other servants.  Although he was dressed as a servant should be dressed, there was something not quite right about him.  His dark, ragged hair was untamed, and his stubbly chin protruded in an offensive manner, as though challenging the world to comment on it.  His small, beady eyes, moved in a way not quite befitting a gentleman, as they shot from Garnut to Fionn.

   “Come on then, m’lady, this way.”  he said, his gravely voice sounding in distinct opposition to Garnut’s own, polished tones.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 03:17:52 PM by Yurie Yileen » Logged

Royce Brodlyn Kristoph
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2008, 12:26:47 PM »

He stopped, the sounds of voices and gaiety in the short distance.  He was close now.  Puffing out his chest, he smoothed the black dress shirt he wore, sighing at how it protruded out over his paunch.  Eat less, exercise more, he told himself.  But, he knew he wouldn't.  He loved the taste of good food too much, and he was getting too old to work any harder than he had too.

He continued to smooth out the fabric of his dark dress pants, then took a straining posture as he struggled to look over his shoulder at his own bottom.  He was satisfied at the artistry of the tailor who had crafted this outfit, and how these pants fit snugly over his buttocks.  A bit of a conceited smirk crossed his face.

From the inside breast pocket of his dress jacket, he pulled a polished silver mirror.  He held it aloft and looked at himself, using his free hand to brush a few errant hairs into place, and to place one lock of hair slightly askew in what he imagined to be an attractive position.  Grinning, he winked to himself.

A person watching these events would, of course, think that Royce Brodlyn Kristoph was a self aggrandizing womanizer.  And, of course, they would be right, except for the womanizing part.   He was conceited for the most part, but it was not to attract the fairer sex.  No, he was  beyond that.  He could care less if the women noticed him in a romantic way.  He did it for himself, in his own way to bring himself above others.  It was his advantage.

Royce put away the mirror and took a deep breath.  It was showtime.  Though he hated crowds, if he must join one, he was going to stand out.  He strode with an air of confidence he only partially felt up the main entrance.  "Garnut, my friend!  How are you this fine evening?  Please, tell me I'm fashionably late." Royce winked at the servant.

He knew Garnut, and in fact Jorn Ranskjun from his years of horse breeding.  Royce had sold horses to Ranskjun many times over the years.  It had made him much money, and Royce was sure Ranskjun had profited nicely as well.  He doubted Ranskjun did anything without profit in mind.  It was one of the strongest draws that brought him here for this party.  Something was brewing.  Though they had known each other for years, they could not be called good friends.  And once more, Royce was no where nearly as well off as the people that Ranskjun would normally party with.  There had to be more to this.

And today, he had nothing better to do.
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Royce

Violence is not the answer.  But, it will buy you time to think of one.
Valyssa
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« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2008, 02:47:16 PM »

 The Sellsword had only been separated from her brethren for near a month and already Jen’s purse had become overtly light. Having steered Gorgoth on a Northeast trek towards the port city of Ciosa, Jenlyn knew the municipality to be a hub of information and opportunities for profitable employment. The docks were a dangerous place but the cost for adequate shelter and a prospect for a respectable meal were most likely within her budget. Having made her way through the bustling crowd at the main gate Jen set straight away for the harbor. The reek of sweat and fish filled the area with a radiant odor that could be smelled from blocks away. Still these aromatic scents only promised a full dock with many ships that may need extra security for their return voyages.

With a spriteful grin the maiden rode her warhorse into the bustling crowds surrounding the docks. The sounds of bartering and the unloading of ships was a din of epic proportions, drowning out even the sounds of the steed’s hooves upon the wooden planks. Surprisingly a hand fell upon her lithe thigh, causing Jenlyn’s steely gaze to fall over the young messenger beside her. Supple lips parted in a temperate grin towards the young man as nor’sidian locks frolicked about in disarray. The youth introduced himself swiftly as Jami, a servant of Jorn Ranskjun, whilst holding out a folded parchment. With a quizzical arch of her brow Jen relinquished the reins and grasped the paper with calloused digits.

Gently she unfolded the document, her metallic stare wandering over the contents of the page. One hand rose to brush a few nor’sidian locks to respite behind her ear, a minuscule number of strands became slightly tangled in the mail of her gauntlet, causing Jenlyn to pull forcefully to free them. After the tiny grimace of pain passed over her face an audible giggle escaped the warrior’s delicate lips before looking upon Jami once more. “Tell your master I shall be joining him this evening.” The boy took the answer immediately and took off half-running into the crowd. The name Jorn Ranskjun was not one the Swiftsword was unfamiliar with, nor was it one attached to an empty pocket. Indeed he had hired the swordmistress and her brethren in the past to guard him in his travels. What lingered foremost in her mind was …. Did he wish to hire her or was he attempting to employ her group?

Such questions could only be answered later that evening and the Remusian knew it would be a formal gathering to say the least. For a few blinks Jenlyn’s mailed hand fondled her purse but there was minute need to glance inside as she had already counted her wealth many times on this journey. She knew that there were countless bathhouses to be found around the docks and would require the services of one before evening started to fall. Gingerly she tugged the reins and brought her steed on a pathway away from the docks. Once again she was on shore and turned the beast on a roadway along the coast, the animal falling into a high step prance as she studied the storefronts with more than a cursory glance.

At last she found a small hovel with a young lass out front offering variable scented soaps and combs that brought discounts on time within the baths. Jenlyn knew that the waters were probably not ‘freshly’ drawn for each patron but the charge was sensible for her present wealth. After the purchase of a bar of Icemilk soap and a comb Jen entered the establishment and began the long wait for the tubs. Taking the time to remove pieces of her armor and begin the arduous task of polishing it, one she knew would require more attention after cleaning herself. The wait was long, scorching and frustrating to put it frivolously, already it was shortly after midday although the extra time had given her an excellent start on buffing her plate outfit.

Once in the bath the warrior made haste in the use of the Icemilk soap, knowing its lesser quality would cause it to become useless quickly. When at long last she was satisfied with the cleanliness Jenlyn grasped the lump of remaining soap and crushed it, using it then to scour her grim filled locks. Although not a proper cleaning it was far more than she had acquired on the road to here. With time running short she sat in the lukewarm water and started the grueling chore of combing through her abundant tresses. Rarely, yet occasionally pausing to play with the thick layer of bubbles that had manifested itself on the surface of the waters.

Jenlyn took every moment allotted to her in the tub and even a few more, finally being asked to depart not so respectfully by the management. Only dressed in her attire from the waist down the warrior swiftly put on a fyrite pink top and left the business during late midday. Taking the reins she led her steed down the street in a roundabout course towards Jorn’s home. Pausing for a time in front of store named Ladyhawke’s Aerie and finishing the prep of her armor, donning the complete suit before moving on. It was not long before her jaunt brought Jen to stand before the estate of the gentleman that had invited her. The manor was just as she remembered it, although more robust and colorful than the winter she had been here.

Each step brought the Remusian closer than she had ever been to the interior of the grounds. A solo figure was framed in the doorway, yet many guests came and went as Jenlyn approached within a few peds. Crowds of wealthy aristocrats were never the Swiftswords forte, looking about anxiously Jenlyn searched for a place to tether Gorgoth. Luckily like most of the rich there was a place for messengers to bind their steeds. Nonchalantly she tied her steed to the posts provided and sauntered towards the butler. Taking only a moment to place stray locks behind each ear, the maiden then reached down to her waistband and pulled forth the invitation and handed it to the elderly man. With little regard to the fact she was bedecked in full battle regalia the warrioress wandered into the lively crowd.

Swiftly a crimson hue spread over Jenlyn’s cheeks, as she was surrounded by wealth and prestige. Having spent her entire life in a militant lifestyle, she was shocked that people lived in such splendor.       
« Last Edit: December 01, 2008, 03:38:53 PM by Jenlýn LeBlanc » Logged
Yurie Yileen
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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2008, 08:13:19 PM »

Not long after the waifish Fionn had left, another bizarre looking girl arrived   She had a distinctly foreign look about her, which was confirmed by her accent when she started to speak.

   “Ah, Miss Rassmusan,” Garnut said as he plucked the invitation from her long-fingered hands, being very careful not to accidently touch her skin.  “Yes, this is indeed the correct place,” he continued, taking his routine look at the list of VIPs.  “Jasslen!” he called over his shoulder.  A tall, curvaceous lady appeared from the guard house, her light blonde hair just brushing her bare shoulders.  When she saw Ylva, she bowed slightly and smiled.  “This is Miss Rassmusan.  Would you be so kind as to escort her to the eagle dining room?  Jorn Ranskjun is expecting her.”

   “Of course,” Jasslen purred, taking Ylva’s bony hand in her own.  “It’s right this way,” she said, leading the young Murmillion into the gardens.

Garnut watched them go, his eyes falling to watch the tight black dress that clung to Jasslen’s figure sway with the motion of her hips.

   “Garnut, my friend!  How are you this fine evening?”  The words brought Garnut’s roving eyes back to the task at hand.  He smiled when he saw who it was that had just arrived.

   “I wish that I could, Mr Kristoph,” he replied in answer to the well-dressed man’s question, “but in truth, you’re rather un-fashionably punctual!  Not that it matters, I’m sure that Jorn Ranskjun will be delighted to see you!”

Curiously, but not unsurprisingly, all of the VIPs seemed to be arriving at the same time.  Garnut didn’t even have to check the list this time; he knew all too well that the name, Royce Brodlyn Kristoph, was on it.

   “Arnanra!” he called, and another lady appeared from the guard house; though at first glance, it was only the fact that she wore a long black dress that gave any inkling as to her gender.  With wide shoulders, a narrow waist, large, rough hands, and short, spiky hair, Arnanra gave the impression that she would be better suited to strangling small animals than waiting on guests.  And, indeed, that was her usual occupation; being a butcher of sorts in the kitchens.  There wasn’t a pig nor chicken that didn’t go weak at the knees when Arnanra’s substantial shadow fell over them.  Still, having happily butchered all day long, she’d now been transferred to this new duty.  Unfortunately, she hadn’t had time to bathe, and a faint smell of blood and mortal fear came with her as she approached the two men.  “This is Mr Kristoph, and he is to dine in the eagle room with Jorn Ranskjun this evening,”  before Garnut could ask her to escort Royce, she had already grabbed his hand.

   “Right you are, my love!”  she said enthusiastically, flashing Royce a rather friendly grin, “It’s this way!”

Garnut smiled to himself as he watched the two leave, “they make a good couple,” he thought to himself with some amusement.

When they had reached the twin fountains, Arnanra turned to Royce and said, (not being used to the role of escort, and therefore completely ignorant of the correct etiquette), “You’ve a fine rump on yer, Mr Kristoph, if yer don’ mind me sayin’ so.  ‘ow ‘bout you come ‘n ‘av a dine with me, instead?”
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Royce Brodlyn Kristoph
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« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2008, 12:51:59 PM »

A feigned look of disappointment crossed Royce's face at the statement that he was not late.  He, of course, knew that, but it was part of his attempt to be charming and make conversation.  At the sentiment that Ranskjun would be pleased to see him, Royce inclined his head slightly.  It still pulled at him what this evening was all about.  A party, and yet the host was dining in private with him?  And a few others perhaps?  Mysterious indeed!

The butler had called for an escort for Royce, and the older warrior raised an eyebrow at the almost masculine woman who came forward, looking almost painfully out of place in a black gown.  Bemusedly, Royce hoped that the designer of that gown wasn't here on this particular night to see the blasphemous way the garment had been put to use.  Still, he bowed low to the lady.  "A lovelier escort a man could not ask for.  Thank you Garnut, I shall talk to you later."  He proffered his arm to the woman, Arnanra , beside him.  "I shall follow you, mi'lady, and proudly with you on my arm."

They made their way through the crowd, and came upon a pair of twin fountains.  Only Ranskjun could afford opulence like this, he thought.  He was shaken out of his thoughts by Arnanra's brazen proposition.  At first his mouth opened and closed like some landed fish struggling to breathe, then a timid squeek escaped his throat before he regained his composure. 

Eyes twinkling, he gave her an exaggerated leering look.  "Why Arnanra!  You saucy wench!  You better still be here after my dinner with your boss."  He gave her bottom a flat slap with his hand, a slight feeling of nausea coming to him when he imagined her bottom  undulating in waves under the dress.  "I plan on making a dishonest woman of you."

A more serious expression came over his face.  "But, to business I must first attend."
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Royce

Violence is not the answer.  But, it will buy you time to think of one.
Yurie Yileen
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« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2008, 03:34:20 PM »

Garnut continued to meet and greet Jorn Ranskjun’s guests, checking names and wishing all a pleasant evening, when he noticed a striking figure moving towards him.  Not very tall, but most certainly a force to be reckoned with, the dark-haired lady was dressed in a full suit of armour.  Garnut’s right eyebrow raised slightly as he watched her approach.  He’d already seen some unusual guests this evening, but who in their right minds would wear such an intimidating, (and Garnut thought), uncomfortable, thing to a party?

Without a word, the new arrival reached down to her waistband and produced an invitation, thrusting it into Garnut’s hands.  Before he even had time to check it, she had continued on past him.  Quickly, Garnut checked the name on the paper; Jenlyn LeBlanc.

   “Herrvild!”  A short, stocky man came bowling out of the guard house.

   “Aye, sir?”

   “Do you see that lady over there?”  Garnut pointed to Jenlyn’s back.

   “Aye, sir, I do.”

   “Her name is Jenlyn LeBlanc, and she’s supposed to attend a private meal with Jorn Ranskjun this evening in the eagle dining room.  Quickly, man!  Show her the way!”

   “Aye, sir!”  Herrvild said, before darting off after her.

Jenlyn was almost at the main door by the time Herrvild had caught up.  She seemed quite uncomfortable, and Herrvild couldn’t help but notice that a number of the other guests were shooting furtive glances in her direction.

He was just about to attract her attention, when he realised that he’d forgotten her name!  Jenny?  Lynn?  La Bonk???  No, that wasn’t it!  Damn!  Still, he had a job to do, so do it he must.

   “Good evening, m’lady,” he said as politely as possible, bowing slightly as he did so, “I've been instructed to escort you to the eagle dining room, where you are to have a most exquisite dinner with Jorn Ranskjun himself.  Please, follow me.”

In the brief silence that followed Herrvild’s words, he overheard a fashionable lady nearby make a rather rude comment about Jenny LaBonk’s attire.

   “Why, you’d think she were at war, not a party!” she said, a little too loudly.  The effeminate man she was with guffawed, sounding not unlike a donkey.  “And what a hideous shade of pink!  Doesn’t she know that went out of fashion in, oh!, my grandmother’s time!”

   “Oh, Cecilia!”  the foppish man said, making a motion with his free hand like a lazy cat scratching at a wall.  “You are terrible!”  He then proceeded to pull a small monocle from out of his jacket pocket, and used it to scrutinise Jenlyn, moving his head visibly up and down her figure.  “Though I must confess, she does seem rather odd, doesn’t she?”
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Koka Bentarm
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2008, 06:12:44 AM »

As she was led first through the garden and then through the house, Koka looked at all the opulence around her. Dwarves liked to show off their wealth as well, but their way was a lot more... well, community-directed. You would be hard-pressed to find even one dwarf who decorated his 'house' quite like this. But then, a dwarf would also not live in a house quite this big. These humans were just so ostentatious, she was afraid it would start hurting her eyes if she had to look at it much longer - not only at the house and its decorations, but also at the guests, who had bedecked themselves in the gaudiest clothes that they could find (or so Koka thought). It made her rather simple tunica and vest look positively plain in comparison. But then of course, those guests who noticed her were too busy watching her size to think about comparing her clothes to theirs.

She was glad when her tall guide led her into a room with just one person in it - a butler who was too polite to stare quite as openly as the guests. She rather liked him, despite his overly polished tones as he asked her to come in. The room was not quite as big as she had assumed it would be, judging by the size of the house. The round table and the comfortable-looking chairs were inviting, rather than repelling (like some gaudy rooms Koka had been to in the past year).

She headed to one of the chairs and settled down in it. Only respect for the fact that she was in someone else's house kept her from putting up her feet on another chair, an effect that the comfortableness of the chair had on her. The only thing here that really showed the human tendency for ostentation which she had just been thinking about was the number of different edible things. The round table almost groaned under the weight. She was distracted by just how much of everything there was here for a moment, until the bald butler - her tall guide seemed to have left - offered her something to drink. "Oh! Ehm..." she floundered for a moment, until she remembered one of her favourite drinks, which she unfortunately could not always afford due to lack of sans. A man as wealthy as Ranskjun was bound to have it in his cupboard! "A R'unorian brandy, if you please." she answered the butler's question.

He soon returned with her brandy, and the dwarfess carefully took the (probably expensive) glass and brought it up to her nose, savouring the smell of the heavily distilled liquor. She had met this Ranskjun fellow only once, very briefly - most of the business had gone through his head butler - and she didn't really remember much of him other than how piercing his eyes had been, but with this glass in her hand she could not help but like the human. She took a small sip and nodded approvingly. This was the real deal. No second-rate brandy for Jorn Ranskjun!

With the glass in her left hand and her right hand lying unobtrusively in her lap, Koka couldn't help but assume a comfortable position. She was still able to keep her feet from going up on the nearest chair, but she did hook one leg over the arm rest. She leaned her head against the back and brought the glass to her lips again with a blissful smile. Facing the door, she waited like this for the other guests who were undoubtedly going to arrive - there was no way Ranskjun had prepared this much food just for her.
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Yurie Yileen
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2008, 07:52:24 PM »

Arnanra flashed Royce a sly smile and said, “O’ course I’ll still be ‘ere after yer’ve finished yer buzness.  But don’ you drink too much, mind!"

Perhaps fortunately for Royce, they’d already arrived at the door to the eagle dining room.  It was opened by an elderly butler, who introduced himself, (with a bow), as Oknand.  A splendid chandelier was illuminating the whole cosy interior of the room with a sparkling magnificence; its bright light being reflected by countless shiny pieces of cutlery, resplendent glass, and Oknand’s bald pate.

   “Now don’ you forge’ me,” Arnanra whispered into Royce’s ear.  Then she pinched his backside, perhaps a little too strongly, and flashed him a cheeky wink.  Oknand pretended not to notice, and went about his duties with his usual refined dignity.

   “Please, make yourself at home,” he said, ushering Royce inside and closing the door on Arnanra.  “What would you like to drink?  R’unorian brandy, perhaps?  Though I have to warn you, it’s by no means a drink to take lightly!”  The butler gestured to a crystal decanter, which was filled with a deep, amber liquid that seemed to radiate strength.  And although he didn’t say it, Oknand couldn’t help but think that, if this gentleman really did intend to spend an evening with Arnanra, then a frighteningly powerful drink would probably be a welcome ally.

Sitting, or rather reclining next to the decanter, was Koka.  With a glass of brandy already in hand, and a short leg hanging over the arm rest of her chair, it appeared as though she were the host, so at home did she look!
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fionn
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Mullog


« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2008, 02:39:24 AM »

“Come on then, m’lady, this way.”
Fionn smirked. “m’lady” – don’t hear that often! She followed after Knothvard, looking up to see his face – but he didn’t appear to have one! A jutting stubbly chin, held high like a proud pony’s blocked any view from where she was standing. Yet there was something in his bearing, his low hoarse voice, that reminded her of Dorian.
She was still trying to work out if that was a good or a bad thing when she was ushered into the “Eagle dining room”. She didn’t immediately notice any actual eagles, but didn’t have time to be disappointed, because the table at the centre of the room was laden with more food than she’d ever seen in one place. How many people would be here? Surely they could feed everyone in Ciosa with this!Fionn realised she was staring, and that her mouth was open. She blinked her good eye, and snapped shut her mouth. Looking round the room, she noticed what were probably other guests – a dwarf and a human. She smiled sheepishly and wiggled her toes, as her nervousness and embarrassment returned.

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"If it's teeth are longer than your fingers, for the Ancestors' sake, assume it doesn't want it's belly tickled..."
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