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Author Topic: Chapter One- "The Letter"- Part Three  (Read 44186 times)
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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Human, Remusian


« on: October 10, 2009, 01:30:58 AM »

It had been a long night, followed by a long day.  Sleep had eluded Altario until far into the night.  He had tossed and turned in his bed, gotten up and paced, surely keeping Garret awake, then checked in on Damien who was fast asleep.  By the time he was finally relaxed enough to sleep, the morning light was seeping into his room.  His thoughts had been split between the excitement of the possibility of finding Denrykmar, and the hollow pain in his chest at Valannia’s disappearance.

Without eating breakfast, he had stolen out of the room, leaving Garret to rest and found his way to Thief’s Lane.  Countless inquiries led to countless futile searches, and worse, a few paid-for leads that led nowhere.  He was discouraged, hot, and angry at being swindled.

Coming back to the inn, he took solace by heading into the stables and grooming Horse.  The solitude of it was therapeutic for him, relaxing his mind.  A silent smile and wave of his hand was the only interaction between him and Maha’drim.  He did not want to distract the stable hand from his duties, and it appeared the man had other things to do besides talk to Altario.

There was a low grumbling sound, and Altario realized that it was his belly.  He hadn’t eaten all day, and now he was feeling it.  As he left the stables, he stopped in front of Danilyn’s stall.  He clicked his tongue and the young mare eyed him from the far side of the stall, but did not approach.  Altario locked eyes with her for a moment.  There was intelligence in her that the Remusian could recognize.  He would need to speak to Pagran again.

Altario entered the inn and headed for a table.   When he sat, he saw that Pagran was approaching.  The Remusian nodded to the innkeeper.  “I’ll take ale and a warm meal.”

Pagran nodded. “As you wish.  I came over to talk about the horse.”  He slipped a piece of paper over to the northerner.  “If the price is acceptable, sign it, or put your mark on it if you can’t write.”

When the innkeeper left, Altario unfolded the slip of paper.  Reading the poorly worded contract, and the price, the Remusian pursed his lips.  A bit on the high side for a young untrained horse.  He would need to talk further; haggle, as it were.  Tonight, he was too tired to think about it.

Right now, all he wanted to do was get some rest, eat and then head out once more.  Tonight, he was going to go back out to search for the “Beauty of the South”.   He was hoping the others would be here, and glanced about the inn.  He had hoped they had more luck in their search than he had.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2011, 02:11:18 AM by Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin » Logged

Favorite Cartoon Quotes
"It was a dark and stormy night."  - Snoopy
"Ack!" - Bill the Cat
"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski." - President Bill Clinton

My Character can be viewed @Angelina Jolie's house.  But knock first, in case I'm in my underwear.
Lili the Elfcat
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Human, Helvet'ine Kuglimz


« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2009, 05:46:46 AM »

A large sail rustled in the wind, and soft waves patted the sides of a large ship. Lili opened her eyes. As almost always, she was wide awake immediately. In contrast to everyone else she knew, Lili rarely experienced the drowsy transition between sleep and wakefulness. When she had lain down on the bed last night, she had chattered to Kassandra for but a few blinks, before her eyes had fallen shut and she had started to snore like a fat blood-bear. Now that she had woken up, she was ready to survey the room. It was the chamber in the Seashoal’s Inn that Altario had shown her last night. It was quite a way from the harbour, and so there was no ship, and there were no waves. On one of the bedposts sat Kassandra, looking pleased with herself.

”That’s nice, Kassandra,” Lili said as she threw off her blanket.

”It reminds me of our boat journey from Varcopas to Strata. Why don’t you always wake me like that, rather than with your usual humbug!”

Lili’s feet groped for her boots, found them, and slid inside.

”So what was it we were supposed to do today?”

”Go and buy yourself something to eat, luv, you look starved – nah, no need t’thank me, I’ve bin there, I know what it’s like – please, don’t worry ‘bout it, mate.”

”I know that  voice. Have you been hanging out with orcs while I wasn’t looking?”

”… anyone with secrets …”

”What? Honestly, I can’t make sense of you this morning. But anyway I think you’re right - or Grallen is: we need some breakfast. No doubt we’ll meet Altario and Airyn there, and then we’ll go looking for that Denrykmar chap.”

But when Lili went down into the tavern, Altario was nowhere to be seen. Neither were Garret, Airyn, Grallen, or the blood-coughing chap from last night. And after she had eaten one plateful of some local fowl’s fried eggs, two of its legs, and six butterball delights (the highwaywoman, who remembered all too well the many days she'd spent in the forest without eating anything but dry roots and berries, did not know how to appreciate refined moderation), there was still no sign of anyone she knew.

So she went out into the city, where she had many adventures. A street urchin thanked her kindly for a bell fruit she gave him. But he hadn’t seen a Northerner recently, and much less one called Denrykmar. The fruit-seller (who never noticed the disappearance of her bell fruit) couldn’t help Lili either.

Of course, Stratanian days are far too hot to go looking for lost brothers. The others will have thought the same, and just staid in bed, Lili thought. She went to the harbour and found herself a shady spot, from where she could throw stones into the water and think about her journey north, while Kassandra sampled Stratanian sailor songs.

In the evening they returned to the Seashoal’s Inn. Altario was sitting at a table by himself. He’s wearing his usual grave face, thought Lili. Like a lonesome old Ash Wolf. She waved a greeting to him, and walked over to the bar, where she ordered four tankards of desert wine and a bowl of water. Balancing the vessels on her two hands (as well as Kassandra on her shoulder), she walked over to Altario’s table and sat down.

”There you are, old chap!” Lili put the drinking vessels down and brushed a few drops of sweat from her eyes with her sleeve.

“Phew, what a scorcher, ey? If I ever hear anyone talk about the gentle embrace of the injera's warmth again, I'm gonna throttle him. Here, have a swig on me.”

Lili pushed one tankard over to Altario. While Kassandra hopped onto the table and began to sip her water from the bowl, Lili took the second tankard and emptied it in one long gulp. When she addressed Altario again, her fingers already started playing with the third tankard.

”Guess we better start looking for that brother of yours," she said.

"Kassandra and I will be up for anything as soon as the sun has stopped trying to roast us for dinner. Where are the others, by the way? I didn’t see anyone all day. I wonder whether Airyn managed to help that old pal of yours.”
« Last Edit: October 14, 2009, 08:05:32 AM by Lili the Elfcat » Logged

"It's not good that I'm bad, but I'm proud that I'm worse than I seem."   ~ Lili the Elfcat ~
Foul-mouthed Familiar: Kassandra the Charlatan Daggerbeak (Gossiper)
Mysterious Memory: Kuglimz Love Song
Lori Lo
Little Brat
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Human, Stratania


« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2009, 11:44:04 PM »

The Injèrá rose and poured the golden light of morning over the city. Strata faced the east and so an early sun ray stole itself into the room where Lori slept and awoke her. She was wide awake in the same moment. She had a task!


Today I will find Altario‘s brother. And maybe his daughter he missed so is here as well with her uncle. That would be so cool, to have another girl to play with! But no, probably not, altario did not expect his daughter to be in Strata.



Full of energy she jumped out of the bed, threw her clothes over and hurried down for a breakfast. Ana‘Mirl was already in the kitchen brewing some morning tea, but otherwise the house was not yet awake. Ana‘Mirl looked tired and worried, but Lori did not take notice.

„Ana, I‘m going out, to look for my old friends. If anybody knows something, then they will. Should I take some sweets with me, which I could give to them as a.... a reunion present? Maybe some dochnuts or some of the cookies Liara does so well? Please!“


Ana‘Mirl smiled at her little brat and caressed her unkept hair.

"Of course, my dear. Take this box over there, that should suffice. But you know, I‘m worried. It would be better for you not to meet those... persons again. Not that I fear they might influence you in a bad way, but maybe they will not welcome you, you have to be very careful whom you seek out first. And I can‘t help you here. If it was not for Altario and his daughter, another girl in distress, then I would forbid you to see them. I want you to be back for lunch, then you can go again, but I want  you to see me every three hours. That has to be possible! If I should not be here, tell Liara, where to you are going. And comb your hair, it is not necessary to look like a gutter snipe from the beginning.“

Lori gulped down the last of her bred with some tea and sprang up. She hugged Ana‘Mirl tightly, kissed her on her cheek and whispered in her ear. „Ana, you know I love you, I‘m so glad I was abducted to the Herald and found you, or you found me. Live is better in the Herald, though I was not too unhappy here. I promise, I take care of myself!“

And out of the house she was.

Ana‘Mirl remained seated for a while, drank another cup of tea. Her heart was heavy. Hopefully it had been the right decision to allow Lori to endanger herself, and that was, what she did. She had left the thieves, though involuntarily, and nobody knew, how they would receive her. She herself would visit some friends, but mostly go to the market and listen to some gossip, maybe stir the talks in the right direction. But she did not expect to get to know anything useful. She put her cup away and prepared breakfast for her family. Liara was buy with her little daughter and enjoyed to stay in bed a little while longer when her mother was here.

Outside a merchant who sold water cried out, the day had started and Ana wished, it would be over already.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2009, 04:37:09 AM by Talia Sturmwind » Logged

Damien Scar
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2009, 02:17:17 AM »

Tyrr

Tyrr stayed awake most of the night going over each step of his plan, several drafts of parchment added to the small fire that kept the small drafty room that he and the two brothers shared. He rubbed tired eyes, slowly stood up, his back aching, his buttocks numb from sitting on a hard wooden chair. He walked over to the fire and threw in the last few pages of his plan now completely memorized and ready to be implemented whenever he received the word from his employer.

He walked over the only window in the place,opened it and looked out. The sun's red-orange color was just peeking over the southern horizon as Tyrr heard the shouts of sailors and their captains to get ready for another day's work at hoping to bring in a large fresh catch of fish and other aquatic things that could be sold and found on someone's plate for a meal.

Tyrr and the two brothers used to be like those poor slobs working your skin down to the bone as you hauled up on heavy coarse wet rope hoping you caught you something worth selling and even if you did you barely got enough wage for the day to eat, drink and perhaps purchase a wench for the night. Never would he do that again, he thought as he turned away from the window.

He lay down upon his bunk staring at the low beamed ceiling going over his plan once again in his head. The only snag he could see was the female orc, Grallen. She was a wild card and he had seen last night unpredictable. She showed the world what they wanted to see but underneath...there was something else, a seething anger. Of course if he were an orc and was treated like most orcs are he would probably have the same type of anger, but he did not think it was that. She seemed to fit in fairly well with the other races, even if she did try and disguise her own as best as she could. No, there was something else inside her. Well, it did not matter anyway for as soon as the job was finished he was gone and as far as the rest...well the crabs needed to eat too. A wicked smile crossed his face as he fell asleep.

Damien Scar

Damien woke to the sounds of vendors outside of his window yelling out their wares. He opened his eyes, one at a time, and saw shadows playing on the ceiling of his room. His room? He was not dead? Then he remembered the fair haired elven girl. She had been with Altario. He turned his head and saw Hyram snoozing comfortably on a cot near the fireplace. Damien was hoping to see the girl, Airyn, he recalled she said her name was, but she was not in the room. He swept off the sweat soaked sheet and noticed that he was naked except for a pair of white shorts covering his loins and a fresh wrapped bandage around his body covering his ribs and part of his chest.

He slowly rose and swung his legs over the bed. He saw his clothes neatly folded upon his chest. On the table next to his bed was a multi-colored bottle and a glass of water with a note that said,"pour into glass and drink it all, Hyram" Damien grinned as he pulled the cork stopper out of the bottle with his teeth, poured the substance into a tin cup, poured the water into the substance and after waiting a few blinks drank the water in one huge gulp.

"Ah, I see you are awake," Hyram said, rising also. "How are you feeling?"

Damien hesitantly took in a deep breath and was surprised he did not feel the usual sharp pain in his chest. He looked happily surprised. "Well, Hyram it seems that your concotion seems to be working. I do not feel hardly any pain at all." Damien answered.

"Well to be honest Damien it is not only my concotion as you call it but a little help from a very knowledgable elven girl healer. She gave you something to drink I had not thought of. Together both of the medicines we gave you must have helped."

"Yes, I recall. Her name was Airyn something or other. I will thank her when I see her again." Damien said.

"Yes and ask for her treatment as well. Taking them both may help you heal faster," Hyram said as he began to walk toward the door.

"What do I owe you Hyram?" Damien asked.

"Nothing, the silver bard you gave me last time was more than enough," Hyram said. "Good-bye Damien and I hope to not see you again. If you know what I mean?" Hyram said opening the door.

Damien grinned. He knew what Hyram meant. "Hopefully Hyram, hopefully," Damien replied as Hyram grunted, went out the door and closed it behind him.

Damien got dressed wearing everything except his gold trimmed cloak. He went downstairs expecting to see Altario or someone, but only a few regulars were eating breakfast. Pagran quickly greeted him and after Damien ordered a platter of eggs, beef, fruit and instead of ale, water. Pagran left him to his meal.

Damien ate slowly thinking over last night and remembered that Altario was still looking for his daughter. He asked Pagran if Altario had come down this morning, but Pagran did not know. Damien thanked him and then walked out into the early morning sun. He looked up and down the streets wondering where to start to looking for Altario's daughter.

It has to be the docks, he thought. Sailors and those who lived down there loved to talk and if there was anything that needed to be learned about the city and it's people and what was going on, it would be there.
Logged

I have travelled far and wide.
And Foiro's must have been my guide.
For I have discovered these things to be true;
A man must have two, mayhap three things in life to be truly happy.
A good weapon at his side.
A virtuous wife, if he can find her.
A quver full of children.
Sadly, I only have one;
A good weapon at my side.
Damien Scar
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2009, 05:49:49 AM »

Damien Scar

The sun was hot and it was humid. There was little breeze from the ocean as Damien walked along the docks. The smell of rotting fish, stale ale, and the refuse of the city from the sewer that ran out and into the ocean hung heavy in the air. Damien, as best as he could tried to ignore it as he continued his search for Altario's daughter.

He talked to many a sailor and walked into many an inn that lined the streets across from the docks and where sailors from all over the world would go in search of ale and female companionship. He asked many an innkeeper for information, but most, if not all, just wanted him to buy a drink or leave: Damien chose to leave.

As the day wore on his thirst increased and the temptation of having just one ale was constantly on his mind. Finally he stopped in at an old run down inn. The inside was filled with sailors who were already drunk. When Damien walked to the bar to speak to the innkeeper, he was approached by a wisp of girl.

"You need company?" she asked suggestively.

She could have been pretty. As with most Stratanarians, she was not that tall, but she was buitl proportionately and had long dark hair that reached to the lower of her back. Her face was round, she had a small cute nose complimented by a mouth that had full lips and dark eyes that sparkled, however the hair was unwashed and tangled, she wore a bright red lipstick that looked garrish upon her lips, too much heavy rouge, and she covered her eyelids with a bluish color. The wisp of a dress she wore was probably made from some very good material and was pastel colored, but the wear and tear on it made the colors fade till they were more a blur of colors instead of seperate ones and it was now almost bare thin, but it covered her important parts so that she could go outside without getting arrested...barely.

"No," Damien said as he gently removed her arm from his. He got the innkeepers attention and asked if he knew anything about a girl who may be in the company of some strangers. He described her as best as his memory of what Altario had told him.

"No, 'ave not seen such a girl," the innkeeper replied, "Do you want a drink mister?"

Damien shook his head no though the temptation was strong. "A glass of water, perhaps," Damien finally said.

"Water? I d'nt sell water. If'n you want a drink ale is all I offer,"

Damien hesitated. One glass of ale would not hurt and my throat is awfully dry, he thought.

"Well, what's it going to be, mister?"

"Okay, just one glass," Damien said.

The innkeeper grunted, took a dirty glass, filled it with ale and plopped it down on the bar next to  Damien. Damien paid for it, and then took a drink. It tasted like someone had urinated in it. He spit it out on the floor. "This stuff is terrible," Damien complained.

"If'n you don' like it, then go someplace else." The innkeeper said.

Damien slammed his cup down, splashing the ale over some sailors and their girls. "'ey, matey ye goin' to pay for 'at. Look 'hat you done to me girl's dress.

Damien looked at the sailor's girls dress. The ale had barely put a couple of spots on it and as far as Damien could see they just blended in with the other spots she wore. "Sorry," Damien apologized as he walked toward the door.

Suddenly he felt a blow to his kidneys. He gasped, arched his back and turned around to confront his attacker. His right hand was over his right kidney and he did not expect the flurry of blows as he turned. His jaw was hit twice. He quickly recovered and hit the man back in his jaw sending the man flying backwards into a crowd of sailors who pushed the man back towards Damien.

The sailor was big bull of a man, not as tall as Damien but strong and fast with his fists. Both men took blow after blow and it was hard for Damien to keep blocking the sailor's blow to his injured ribs. The sailor noticed that Damien protected his right side and began attacking it furiously. Damien did his best to block the blows but some managed to slip through and each one made Damien gasp in pain. Finally the sailor got one good blow to Damien's ribs.

Damien's breath whooshed out of him as he groaned and fell to one knee. His ribs burned and his chest felt as if he had been stabbed. The sailor stepped in to finish Damien off with a blow to Damien's left side of his jaw. Damien saw the blow coming,
blocked it with his left hand and punched with his right hand into the man's stomache.

The man gasped as he bent over and stepped back away. Damien slowly stood up. His dark eyes glinted with hate. His arms tensed. He roared, which quieted the crowd who had before been yelling and rooting for whoever they wanted to win the fight, and then Damien rushed the man. The man landed a couple of blows before Damien grabbed his shirt with his left hand, his right hand went to the man's testicles, the man yelled in pain as Damien crunched them with his hand and then with inhuman effort Damien literally picked the big sailor up and threw the man several peds and over the bar crashing into heavy wooden barrels of ale that split wide open pouring their contents all over the floor.

The innkeeper yelled out in dismay as Damien turned, men and women, standing aside as he walked out of the inn's door clutching his right side.

Outside Damien gasped in pain. He leaned against the wall of the inn. His head began to spin and he fell. He closed his eyes to the glare of the sun as he gasped for air. Suddenly a shadow passed over his head. He opened his eyes and saw the girl who had tried to proposition him earlier. She knelt down and placed a wet rag on his forehead. "'ere, 'et me 'elp you up," she said.

With her help Damien finally stood, though he felt as if the sky was spinning. "Thank you," he said.

"Your welcome. I am Brianna," she said.

"Damien, Damien Scar," Damien gasped out.

"Where can I take you?" she asked.

"SeaShoals inn," Damien answered, still gasping for air.

" I 'ave never been farther than the docks. I can 'elp you to the end of Thieves lane," she said.

Damien nodded and they both slowly walked, the girl trying her best to hold Damien's weight, toward the end of the docks.

"The girl you were asking for? Is she yours?" Brianna asked.

"No," Damien said, breathing a bit better, but each step and breath brought pain. "She is a daughter of a friend of mine," Damien replied. "Why? Have you seen her?" he asked.

"No, not that I know of. But...but there are slavers here who work for those in Shan' thai," She whispered.

Damien had heard of slavers and of their shady buisness of kidnapping girls and then selling them in Shan'thai's markets. The only place where slavery was still allowed in Caelereth.

They came to the end of the docks and Brianna turned to leave. "Brianna, if I gave you enough money to leave this place, would you?" Damien asked.

She looked up into Damien's eyes, tears gently flowing down her cheeks. "Not enough money to save me," she sadly replied. She reached up, and gently kissed Damien. "Good-bye Damien. I hope you find your friends daughter."

She turned and walked away. Damien shook his head sadly as he watched and wondered why? Soon she walked into another inn and Damien slowly stumbled back to the Seashoals inn.

Tyrr

Tyrr woke up when he heard the commotion coming from downstairs. The twins were awake and gone. Tyrr went down the stairs and suddenly stopped in the middle of them. He rubbed his eyes. He could not believe what he was seeing. It was that big man that had been coughing up blood and was eventually carried away to his room from the Seashoals inn. He was fighting with a sailor, that Tyrr only knew as Riley from the ship he was going to use to go to Shan'thai.

Tyrr's eyes narrowed as he watched the fight. Riley was giving the big man a pounding, though the big man was quick and blocked most of Riley's blows. Tyrr was thinking furiously. Why was that man here? Did Grallen talk? Suddenly one of Riley's blows struck the big man in his right ribcage. The man fell to his knees, Riley went in for the killing blow, but the big man blocked Riley's blow, and hit Riley in the stomache, which made Riley step back.

Then Tyrr saw something he thought would be impossible. The big man stood up, rushed Riley and then picked him up and threw him across the inn's floor, over the bar and Riley ended up crashing into the heavy wooden ale barrels.

Tyrr rushed down the stairs and found the twins and after a quick discussion they followed the big man a whore who seemed to be helping him until they came to the end of the docks, then she left him. Tyrr sent Quar to question the girl and then Tyrr and Gres headed for the Seashoals inn...Tyrr wanted to speak with Grallen.

Tyrr and Gres entered the Seashoals just as the tower rang out fifteen bells. The inn was not as crowded, for it was not quite supper time, but he did notice the man called Altario eating along with one of the fair haired women that seemed to be traveling with him. Gres and him took a table at the far wall, ordered some ale and Tyrr waited for Grallen to show up.

« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 06:54:16 AM by Damien Scar » Logged

I have travelled far and wide.
And Foiro's must have been my guide.
For I have discovered these things to be true;
A man must have two, mayhap three things in life to be truly happy.
A good weapon at his side.
A virtuous wife, if he can find her.
A quver full of children.
Sadly, I only have one;
A good weapon at my side.
grallen gast
Softly Smiling Scoundrel
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Orc, Ashz-Oc


« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2009, 09:28:51 PM »

Grallen made her way downstairs, twitching her fingers experimentally. She’d woken up with them stuck to the sheets by her blood. She couldn’t remember going to sleep, but she guessed she’d had too much on her mind to pay attention to the state of her nails. After washing them clean and wrapping them in yet another stolen scarf, she’d felt the need to get out of the inn and take her mind off slavers and ethical dilemmas.

A visit to a back-alley shop that hadn’t been too hard to locate had magically transformed a handful of the less extravagant jewellery into enough coin for a bottle of pain relief and a new coat. It grated to have to pay for it, but she kept remembering what she might be about to do this afternoon, who she’d meet. She felt she should at least try to make up for that. Also, the stallholder had been a lot bigger than her, and coats are large and tricky to steal. It was a nice coat, though. Lots of pockets, one of which now housed Earnest. The sleeves were a good length too. Acquiring the second knife that now kept her sword company had been child’s play, with sleeves long, wide and soft enough that the knife had practically slid against her wrist of its own accord. Anyhow, she felt a little better now, even if her fingers itched, so long as she was careful not to think about what she was going to do.

She’d left her shoes upstairs, because it was too hot for them here. The coat though, she kept. If she had to run, there was enough currency and jewellery in the pockets to tide her over for a good while. And, of course, she had Earnest nearby, and when you’re entirely lacking in conscience or sense of risk, a frog will have to do.

She slipped downstairs, scanning the bar for familiar faces. Somehow she felt she’d been expecting them before her eyes found them. She smiled, or at least, showed all her teeth, and made her way softly towards the pair. Gres and Tyrr. The clever one and the psychotic one. Oh joy.

“hello gennelmen. Did you have sweet dreams?”
I hope your nightmares crawled out through your ears and bled you dry while you gibbered and screamed like lost children.

Out of the corner of her eye she spotted mister Altario. She never would have thought she’d be pleased to see him. But it really did make her feel a little better. She smiled sweetly, blithely, carefree and innocent, at the two men she’d come to meet. Her fingers twitched.
Logged

When you’re entirely lacking in conscience or sense of risk, a frog will have to do.
Grallen's CD
Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2009, 05:37:57 AM »

As he waited for someone to bring the meal and ale, Lili sat at the table with him, her bird with her.  Altario acknowledged her with a nod.  "Evenin'"  He welcomed the tankard of ale that she pushed toward him and took a sip to relieve the parchedness of his throat.  When she threatened to throttle the next person who spoke of the injera, Altario chuckled.  He liked this Lili, despite his fears that she was adle-minded.

When her conversation turned to Damien and Airyn, his face became grave once more.  "I hope so.  He was a good man...once.  I'm not sure who he is anymore."  He then took another drink.  "I've got a lead I wanna check out tonight.  I was hoping that someone might check out the harbour district, though.  Not that I think Ryk would go by ship anywhere.  He had a bad experience at sea back in the war.  But," he sighed, "it seems like we are at the end of the world here.  Nothing left but ocean, and the harbour seems huge, so it would be foolish to ignore it completely."  He couldn't help but smile, when he remembered Lili's story of the captain on her ship journey.  "And you seem to know a little about sea captains and their way."  He winked conspiratorially at her.

It was then that Altario noticed Damien walk into the inn.  Of course, he looked like he'd had another day of drinking.  Altario pursed his lips and shook his head.  If it came to it, there would be no place for Damien in this adventure.  There were just too many distractions with Damien that Altario did not need right now.  Pity.
Logged

Favorite Cartoon Quotes
"It was a dark and stormy night."  - Snoopy
"Ack!" - Bill the Cat
"I did not have sex with that woman, Monica Lewinski." - President Bill Clinton

My Character can be viewed @Angelina Jolie's house.  But knock first, in case I'm in my underwear.
Damien Scar
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2009, 01:58:09 AM »

Tyrr

Tyrr saw her out of the corner of his eye as she sauntered down the stairs of the inn. There were some very noticable differences about her that made him suspicious, suspicious indeed. As she neared the table where he and Gres sat he noticed scarves covering her fingers and she was wearing for only Bavares only knew a coat! A coat in this heat! Is she deranged? Perhaps he should cut her loose now before she learned anymore? But before he did that he needed information and she was going to give it to him one way or the other.

She sat down at the table; cool as an ocean's breeze.  “hello gennelmen. Did you have sweet dreams?” she asked.

Tyrr swivled his head to make sure there were no ears close enough to hear them, nodded to Gres who got up and sat on the other side of Grallen so that she was between the two, then Tyrr turned his attention to Grallen. "No, but it seems you have acquired a few things," He drew out a rather large daggar and pretended to clean under his nails. "Don't do anything stupid Grallen. Gres has a daggar close to your side. I just want some information. You see just awhile ago a big dark haired man came to where we were hiding and had a fight with one of my...boss's compatriots. Now, the question that comes to mind is, "How did that man find us?"

He turned his head as the inn's door opened and in stumbled the man he was referring to. He looked hurt, real bad. It seemed that Riley did more damage than Tyrr had thought. But if he was that hurt and could pick Riley up and throw him that far and over the bar, then he could have been a dangerous foe. He turned back to Grallen.

"That man that stumbled into the inn. See him? He is the one that I am talking about. Now," Tyrr's voice took on a hard edge, "How did he find us? Did you talk? Is that why your fingers are covered with a scarf? Were you convinced by that man to say anything concerning me, my men and our buisness? Do not lie to me Grallen. A bar whore was seen helping that man down the docks I sent Quar to ask her some questions," he paused, an evil chuckle escaped his mouth, "The crabs need to eat too. So speak. Where have you been? That coat is ridiculous in this heat and it must cost a lot of money. Did you spend most of that silver bard I gave you? Why are your fingers covered in a scarf? They look like they have been torn down to the bone. What happened and why?"

Tyrr paused, still cleaning under his nails. "Of course all of this could just be a coincidence, but Grallen I do'nt believe in coindidences. I believe in information and facts, so start talking." Tyrr ordered.

Of course since Tyrr never had any dealings with an orc before he really did not know how much danger he was in, even if Gres had a daggar under the table near her right side. He might have changed his tone just a little if he knew....

Damien Scar

Damien was breathing hard when he reached the inn's door. The heat and uphill climb had taken its toll on his already battered and bruised body, especially his ribs. He rested his hand against the wall as a painful cough racked his body, he bent over in pain and hacked out a good amount of blood. Damien knew he needed to get more medicine into him and hopefully Pagran can find Hyram again.

He walked into the inn, thankful that the door was light and not heavy like it would have been in Voldar. The pain in his ribs kept him hunched over and he stumbled into the inn. He was going to head upstairs after talking with Pagran when he noticed Altario sitting at a table with that fair haired woman he had been dancing with the previous night. He wondered where the other one was, the elven girl, Airyn, the one who helped him and that Hyram had praised.

He tried to stand as upright as his ribs and pain would allow and walked to Altario's table and fell heavily into a chair next to him. Pagran came up, "Ale, m'lord?' he asked.

Damien shook his head no. "Just some cool water, Pagran," Damien answered.

"As you wish, m'lord," Pagran said turning.

"Wait," Damien wheezed, as he reached into his pocket and took out his room key. "I need my medicine. Some small multi-colored looking sand in bottles over the mantle. Bring me one bottle, please,"

"As you desire, m'lord," Pagran answered as he took the key and quickly left.

Damien nodded at the fair haired woman and then noticed the rather large bird drinking from a saucer near the womans side. Damien, curious, managed a weak smile. "Good afternoon, M'lady. I do not believe we had been properly introduced, even though you taught me a very strange dance last night. My name is Damien Scar, Baron Damien Scar, late of Voldar. If you will please excuse me while I talk to Altario."

Damien turned and looked into the disapproving eyes of his friend. Why is he looking at me like that? Oh, by Queprur's gown, he must think I am drunk. "Altario," Damien began, "I know what you are thinking and I am not drunk. I ran into some trouble at some dive down at the docks as I was asking about information concerning your daughter."

Pagran came to the table interrupting. "Here is your medicine, water and your room key, m'lord," he said as he placed the small bottle, the glass of water and key on the table. "Is there anything else?' he asked.

"Yes, see if you can find Hyram and ask him to come to my room," Damien answered.

"Ah, Hyram left the city early this morning, m'lord. I can try and get one of the temple girls?" Pagran asked eagerly.

Damien shook his head no. He would have to do this on his own or perhaps...that elven girl, Airyn. "No, Pagran that will not be necessary. I will be fine. You can go now."

Pagran left. "I am sorry for the interruption Altario but what I wanted to tell you was that I met a bar girl who told me that though she had not seen any girl of the description of your daughter, she did say that slavers worked here and that it may be that your daughter could have been taken to Shan'Thai."

Damien poured the medicine into the glass and stirred it around and then with a tip to the woman, "Down the hatch, matey," he said reverting to his days when he was on ship and drank the medicine in one gulp.
Logged

I have travelled far and wide.
And Foiro's must have been my guide.
For I have discovered these things to be true;
A man must have two, mayhap three things in life to be truly happy.
A good weapon at his side.
A virtuous wife, if he can find her.
A quver full of children.
Sadly, I only have one;
A good weapon at my side.
grallen gast
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Orc, Ashz-Oc


« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2009, 06:49:11 AM »

Grallen kept a steady smile as the two men placed themselves at her sides. Mister Tyrr seemed a mite agitated, and showered her with thinly veiled threats, which quickly degenerated to not-veiled-at-all-threats. Ahh, this, she could understand. As he started to pick at his nails with a knife, her smile widened. He watched that lord, Baron, whatever his name was, enter the bar, and changed tack, to suggesting she’d been beaten up by some fool looking for information. Grallen said nothing, and her smile was now a definite grin. Tyrr was clearly in a mood for questions. He showered them down like blows, and Grallen was mildly surprised (and a little gratified, in a “well, this could be more of a challenge” kind of way) to find that mister Tyrr was actually a fairly observant gentleman, when he had need to be. She flicked her fingers idly, and leant back in her chair, her grin broadening.

“Do not lie to me Grallen.”

She raised her eyes from their idle inspection of her hands to meet Tyrr’s eyes, and she smiled and smiled at him, whilst he rambled on, something about feeding her to the crabs, and then some frankly rude stuff about her nice new coat, prying into her finances, even. Really, it was enough to make you despair in the common decency of humanity. And I, of course, don’t generally count as human, so I can say that with unbiased detachment, and can also then proceed to detach nice mister Tyrr’s head from his body, and that’s alright, me not being human. I get uncommon decency, which has different rules.

He seemed to be finally running out of questions: "Of course all of this could just be a coincidence, but Grallen I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in information and facts, so start talking."

Grallen smiled at the both of them, just for a change. Then she spoke, in a calm, friendly, clear voice that nonetheless had an edge to it, hidden under her usual husky tones, that said “I’m only the tiniest movement away from snarling, and if you make me snarl I’ll be doing it with my mouth full, because of your throat being in the way of my teeth.” It takes a good deal of practise to get an edge like that into your everyday speaking voice, but Grallen believed that if a trick’s worth learning, it’s worth learning well.

“Facts, is it? I dunno many of them, mate – not much by the way of classical educations where I’m from, see? But let’s see what I can do. I’m sorry to hear about your busy day, but I can’t help you there – I dunno that gennelman other than by sight... and by smell, come t’think of it. He smells like he’s been dead for a while but hasn’t noticed yet.”

She grinned guilelessly, noting as she did so that yes, she was right, Tyrr was a middle man for some “boss”, who presumably rated him highly enough to let him think he had some idea of plans, if he’d recruit an orc girl out of a bar without thinking.

“yep, so I’ve no idea how he found you... are you sure he didn’t follow you? It’s not impossible, you know, even if he does smell like a really badly run abbatoir. Now, what were your other questions? Hmm, the scarf.” She wiggled her fingers experimentally.
“Well, it’s nice of you gennelmen to show such concern for my wellbeing, but it’s really nothing special. I dropped a rock on ‘em by accident. Clumsy me. The coat, I’ll mark you, I actually think is quite good. There’s certainly no crime in a girl buying herself something nice, once in a while.”

She leaned towards Tyrr, her unharmed hand falling forward, to within a nailsbreadth of his knife. Her expression had changed completely, from outgoing charm to a seriousness that held cold fury just barely in abeyance. Her eyes were like terrible lamps.
“Now, pleasantries aside, I’d like to remind you that so far you’ve told me nothing I couldn’t have found out for myself, had I the inclination to go rooting around after your slimy little deeds. You really are scared, aren’t you? Good. You damn well should be. But flashing knives around certainly isn’t going to make you any safer, because this place isn’t such a dive that they won’t notice just exactly who it was attacked this poor defenceless girl. So now, if’n you’d please, kind gentlemen. Tell me what the hell you want or leave right now.”
Logged

When you’re entirely lacking in conscience or sense of risk, a frog will have to do.
Grallen's CD
Lori Lo
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Human, Stratania


« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2009, 02:27:33 AM »

It was one of those splendid mornings in Strata, when the Injèrá was not so hot yet to make life unbearable except in the deep shades of the street canyons. The sun had climbed a small part of her arch and was shining fully into Tristin‘s Pride, emptying a huge bucket of golden light on the row of Dari‘i trees in the middle of the road. The merchants started to open their doors to welcome early guests, the smells of roasted bred and fresh pressed juices mixed with  the scent of the flowering trees.


Lori was happy. True, there was a little girl to rescue and a task waiting to be done for her, but as the day had just started and her old thief-friends would not pursue their ‚clients‘ until later, when it was easier to snatch a purse from a ‚richie‘, how they called their victims. There were many more people on the streets later which made live easier.  Lori dared not to find out yet, if their old hide out was still used, for it might not be safe to intrude without knowing any of the passwords required.

So she strolled along the shady Thief‘s Lane in the direction of the Harbour Gate, whistling and occasionally hopping to the tune she had just in her head, for it was nearly chilly so early at the morning. She had always loved counting rhymes, for it was a well loved, easy game to play and often to decide, who of the children had to do the next go for a ‚richie‘.

Ana‘Mirl had told her a few from all over Santharia, and so Lori, as a nowadays well behaved girl, had started out with:

Under the ocean, green and deep
Lie the fishes fast asleep,
Under the arm and over the shoe,
Tap on the head, and out goes YOU!


But, truly, this one was a bit boring, and as she did anyway not know, where these Aurarori-Fields were, she soon switched to the next:

One for death and two for birth,
Three for wind and four for earth,
Five for fire, six for rain,
Seven's joy and eight is pain,
Nine to go, ten back again!


That was better! Death and birth were always interesting. But as she had been a little thief, she knew of course different ones, ones Ana‘Mirl didn‘t like so much, but maybe this Judy, who collected the other ones might have a different opinion? And so she soon was singing loudly her old ones:

One, two, three
The  little does a wee
Four, five, six
The fastest does the picks
Seven, eight, nine,
A richie is a swine
And ten is mine!


This one they had used to decide who got something which just one of them could have, when sharing was impossible. In a very good mood, she went on:

One, two, three , four, five,
Do you want to have a life,
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
Then you need to rob some men.

One, two, three , four, five,
Do you want to stay alive,
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
Then you need to have a den.


Meanwhile she had arrived at the Pride and there, that was obvious, her little songs were not cherished. So she fell silent and walked along all the booths, where the less precious wares were laid out,  to enjoy the colours, the glittering of the glass jewelry , the scent of the perfumes. She hadn‘t done so for a long while, for Ana‘Mirl had not allowed her to roam the city on her own. And what should her business have been in the Pride?

Shade crept into the Pride, when Lori thought she had seen a face she knew.

*****************************************************************


„Mido!“ Lori whispered to the boy she had recognized as one of her little band, while she, seemingly not interested, walked past him. The Pride was not the right place to talk to a thief, so Lori slipped in one of the narrow side lanes and found a place in a small corner, where she stopped and turned around, hoping that the boy had followed her.

Mido had, and a wide grin parted his face, white teeth shone through the dirt on his face. Lori immediately hugged him tight, for he had been one of her closets friends , two years back. He was younger and quite  small for his age, an advantage in his daily ‚tasks‘.

„Come, let us go to a place where we are undisturbed, I‘ll buy you a drink and I do have some homemade biscuits! Down to the  harbour on the rocks, there nobody will listen!“

And the two run down, sharing not only a drink and biscuits, but a friendship Lori had missed the last two years, though she never had realised it. Lori told Mido about her abduction, how she had come to live at the Thirsty Herald with Ana‘Mirl. Mido told her about the ups and downs of his live, about the change of leadership in the little band of thieves, and that last thing made Lori curse. She hadn‘t known, that she was still able to do so.

„Kaltoora is your leader now? Darn, she never liked me, always thought I would get much more of the share than she did, just because I was better in slipping through narrow openings than she with her fat belly. You know, I need your help. From all of you.“

Lori fell silent. When this girl who had been once a rival commanded the gang, there was only a slim chance, that they would help her, unless she could be bribed.. But with what? Altario had surely enough money, but Lori didn‘t want to go and ask for it, not yet, especially if she was not sure about the outcome.

Mido just waited for Lori to continue. He had early learned to be patient. Finally Lori explained herself.

„There is a man from the far, far North here in Strata, from Remmosia, who looks for his brother, well, actually he is searching for his little daughter, Nayriss. He thinks his brother has been in Strata, or still is, and he wants information, how to find him. Or where he has gone, if he is not here anymore. The name of the brother is Ryk and something else. Do you think the group can help me find this brother? Would the others do it? Will Kalto allow it?“

Mido rubbed his nose, then with a sigh he answered.

„Kalto will allow it, but you need to have something she wants, and that might not be just money. Well, just ask her. I dare not bring you to our current den, but we can meet you in the Eye at the dyers booth, the one with the bright colours, remember? Do you have something I could give her, to show, that it is true, what I say?“

Lori frowned , finally she held out the tin with the rest of the biscuits, the ones they had not eaten up.

„Just give her those, and tell her, that there are more for her, if she helps me. I remember, that she was always loved sweets and that she was always keen to have something which one cannot buy... „

„Ok, well then, Lori, let us meet again at that booth in the Eye, when the shade of Injèrá of Baveras‘ temple falls through to the Southern Gate, alright?“

Lori nodded. Within a few blinks Mido was gone and she stood up as well to return home to Ana‘Mirl to tell her that she was well - and to fetch new biscuits or any sort of sweets she could get somewhere.



Ana‘Mirl was very relieved to see Lori back before sunreign. The news, that Loris old foe was now leader of the group worried her though. But as Mido, she thought, that bringing with enough sweets, and especially the prospect of more after the gang‘s help was successful might do the trick.


So Lori went out again to meet Mido, Kaltoora and the rest. This time she had not alone the famous Liara biscuits with her, but a small assortment of sweets like kao-kao cookies, Lorivluvs and honeyed Meldars.

When Sunblaze reached its peak, Lori was near the dyer‘s booth. She knew, that it was better to hide behind another stall and wait for the arrival for the gang. She could not be sure, that Kaltoora had agreed to help her. Her sweets, apart from a few chosen, were hidden nearby. She did not run the risk of loosing her sweets to those thieves without getting something in return. These kids had been her friends, but if they still liked her was another thing. Maybe they were jealous, that she had escaped their fate. Maybe Kaltoora had orderer, that she was to avoid, or worse.

Kaltoora and her companions were late, but finally she, Mido and two others Lori did not know approached the stall of the dyer and Lori slipped from behind the next to meet them in the open, at an exposed place in full view of the booths around her. Just in case. Nor that she expected that any adult would come to help her, if Kaltoora ordered to beat her up.


„Hi Kaltoora, hi Mido, hi..“ Lori  raised her arm only slightly, indicating a wave of the hand only so slightly and looked at the two who she did not know. One was a boy of her age, but tall, the other an older girl, already well developed, much too grow up for the gang as Lori had know it.

Kaltoora was fat. At least fat for a thief. She definitely got enough to eat, enough sweets that was. But that did not mean, that she was not a good thief.

„Hello Lori.“ Kaltoora replied, but then paused, watching Lori and frowning. „I must say, you are brave to dare to meet us, even ask for a favour after you abandoned us two years ago. No... Don‘t tell me the lie of being kidnapped. You have always been a craven little coward, no wonder you tried to get away. Have your curls helped you to weep yourself in the heart of a mushy old woman?“

Lori Lo was about to explode and jump at Kaltoora to scratch the meanness out  of her face, when her gaze felt on Mido, whose lip formed a word. Nayriss. And Lori stopped in her track. Nayriss. Nayriss needed her.

„ A place where you would love to be, Kaltoora,“ she answered instead. „Where you could have such things like these“ - and here she handed the little box with extra sweets to the chubby girl.

„If you and the gang will help me, there will be more for you, and more for the others.“ Lori opened her bag and picked some of the other biscuits to give them to Mido and the boy and the girl, who took them, amusement in their eyes.  

„Oh well, that sounds good, but it will not be enough. But tell me first, what you want. Then I might consider to help you, or not.“ Kaltoora looked with cold, reevaluating eyes at her.

„I want the gang to help me to get information about the whereabout of a Northerner. He is tall..“ And Lori tried to describe Altario‘s younger self. „ His name is Ryk or Denrykmar, and  as he does look like a Northerner and not a man from Strata, he should have been noticed.“

„And why do you want to know this?“

„His brother is searching for him, and I know this brother and I help him.“

„So, and what is he giving you to do so?“

„Nothing, but I‘m sure  - if the information you can gather is good he will give you enough silver to buy this many sweets that you will puke for three days when you have eaten them all at once.“

Kaltoora‘s eye flared, but she only said:

„  And with what should we bribe those who have the information? Biscuits?“

Lori went cold. She had no money, not enough. She should have thought, that she would need at least some and have asked Altario for it. But now it was too late. If she had to go and fetch money, Kaltoora might change her mind.

„Biscuits have to do, or take from your own stock, there is no risk. You can always withhold the information until you got your charge. But, of course, the information has to be worth the money. I tell you what. You risk nothing, you just have to send out the kids to get some information, and they know how to talk to people to get to know what they want without spending a copper. If don‘t find out anything worth a silver or two, you have lost nothing. If my friend is satisfied, you‘ll be rich. So, are you going to help me, or should I go and look for Kirro.“

Kirro had been the leader of a rivaling gang two years ago and Lori had no idea, if he was still around, but obviously he was, for her threat had worked. Kaltoora‘s had become slightly pale around the chin.

„Ok, we‘ll do it. But give me the box with the other biscuits as well.“

„No, they are for the gang,“ Lori rejected her and saying that she gave the second box to the girl she did not know. It took it with a little smile. So, Kaltoora‘s reign was not so absolute as Lori had feared.

How long do you think it will take.. Lori was about to ask, but knew it better.

„I‘ll need the info till tonight, at sundrown. And I‘ll meet you near the Seashoal Inn, down at the Old fish harbour. And I will have some money, some, just enough to tell you, that I‘m not making anything up.“

„Right!“ was all, Kaltoora answered, but her look promised nothing good for Lori. She turned around with a gesture which should look majestic, but failed. Mido blinked to Lori behind her back, the two others even waved - and then they were gone.


Now the search was initiated, but somehow Lori felt uneasy. She had now a few hours for herself, but somehow this what would have been a wonderful prospect at another time, was only filling her with unrest. She could go back to Ana‘Mirl, but she could not imagine either, to sit there and doing nothing, or better - help with household chores.

Lori went to the Seashoal Inn, but Altario was not there. However, she needed some money from him, to be able to give some to Kaltoora to proof, that this was something serious. And she wanted to tell him, that there were children who looked out for Ryk.

So she made herself comfortable on the other side of the road, or the pier in this case, for the Seashoal Inn was near the waterfront, and watched the waves battering against the rocks and the tiny black crabs which lived in this very special place between land and sea. They were difficult to catch, but had been a steady source of income, when anything else had gone wrong. She had hated it, for they had sharp pincers and did bite easily, the rock was sharp you had to climb over to get them. Luckily that time was over.  







« Last Edit: October 30, 2009, 06:56:42 PM by Lori Lo » Logged

Airyn
The Worrywort
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Elf, Kay'rrhem


« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2009, 08:00:27 PM »

Airyn smiled, almost glowing with satisfaction. It surprised the elfess, how she suddenly found herself giddy with the excitement of being around someone with the same, if not extended knowledge of the field she so enjoyed. She was proud of herself for surrendering to another’s point of view, too. Letting another take the reins in this situation had been something she was not quite accustomed to, but his knowledge and kind voice allowed her to lie back for a moment and clearly evaluate Damien’s predicament.

Together, they had managed to form a potion of sorts. The elf suppressed a laugh, feeling almost as if she were a witch, cooing and nurturing her concoction until something remotely interesting happened, like a colourful cloud of smoke erupting from the depths of the bubbling liquid. A cackle however, she sadly thought, might overdo it.

She stole a glance at Damien, looking haggard and tired in his barely conscious state. He could fool himself with promises of being absolutely fine, that his trouble was some undercooked meat or some alcohol which failed to sit right in his stomach, but he would never fool anyone else. His pale face and the blood he spurted every now and again made that quite clear. With an almost sad smile, Airyn turned back to Damien’s healer and smoothed down the front of her dress. She made a soft sigh and knelt to the ground to pack away her things, but paused. The bottle of juk’lan tea remained beside the pack. Still cold. Still unopened. She took it and placed it beside the bed, just in case.

Bidding them a quiet goodnight, Airyn backed out of the room. It was nice, not to be around the noisy hubbub for once. Oddly, that thought reminded Airyn of the group that awaited her downstairs. She took a few small steps forward, but the moon’s silvery rays caught her attention. Looking through the window she could already see that it was quite close to midnight, of not already past. The elfess frowned. She had forgotten to hire a room for the evening.
Damien had been more important, though. And from the sounds of it, it appeared that most of the rooms were already being occupied. Grumbling slightly, Airyn found herself a shadowed corner and let herself slide against the wall until her body had lazily found the ground. It was not long before her bright eyes drooped, and sleep had finally found her.

***

Airyn woke to the sounds of a busy kitchen and grumpy, hung-over guests from the previous evening. Her body became tense. Upright and rigid. What time was it? Where was everyone? How had Damien fared during the night? And where in the bloody world was Sage! The fluffball still hadn’t appeared!

She scrambled to her feet, a mess of creased material and messy hair, and examined herself in the reflection of the window. Her eyes had dark rings underneath them and one of her cheeks were red where she had leaned against her arm. She looked dishevelled. Figuring that it was probably useless to do anything about it, Airyn picked up her pack and walked, no, nearly fell down the stairs.

When her feet hit the hard floor of the inn, Airyn’s heart was thumping in her chest and her head was spinning. She held herself up by gripping the quivering railing which lined the wall of the stairwell, one hand held to her chest. Why was it that she was the only one she knew who could nearly break their neck by walking down a few steps?

She stumbled forward and almost knocked a waitress off her feet, the drinks she was carrying falling to the ground with a loud crash. Airyn felt paralysed from head to toe, her body seemed to have gone into a state of shock. “I, I, I,” she stammered, but the waitress only shook her head angrily and picked up the shattered pieces of glass and muttered something about returning with a mop, and if Airyn wasn’t gone by the time she came back, she would be cleaning it.

As if that wasn’t enough, Airyn could feel every eye in the room on her. It was somewhat disconcerting to know that she was the source of the interruption of whatever those people had being doing. Their curious, frustrated and annoyed stares bore straight into her, and still she couldn’t move.

She let out a nervous little giggle and pretended to scratch the back of her neck. “Morning,” she laughed, cheeks blazing. This only seemed to gain her more perplexed stares, but the elf could not seem to figure out why.

The bar wasn’t a short distance away, and a drink of water sounded like a promising proposition. She took a seat and called for the bartender. His eyebrows were raised but, other than that, his face was a mask of total contentment. Did he have something to be satisfied about? She’d just broken his glasses and spilled ale on his floor, and he was smiling at her?

Airyn was given her drink, and he waited for the disgruntled elf to hand over the coin for her purchase. Airyn frowned, thinking that water was a silly thing to demand a bit of money for, but handed over the cool metal anyway. “Thanks,” she whispered, trying to hide her embarrassment with her wild hair. He smirked and patted her hand, “Darlin’, it be late aft’rnoon. An don’ you think I won’t forget ‘bout the glasses.”
With that, he left her to stare open-mouthed into mid air with her face a mask of bewilderment, embarrassment and shock that she had managed to sleep right through the whole morning.
Logged

Lori Lo
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Human, Stratania


« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2009, 10:01:52 PM »

Lori had fallen asleep in the shade of a bigger rock and so she had not noticed, when Altario and  Lili or anyone else had come back from their visit of the town. But when the sun chased her shade away and touched her, she awoke. Being afraid that she could have missed somebody she rushed to the inn, with tousled hair and a red face, where the sun had caught her.

Normally she would have looked out for Altario, have seen him sitting there with Lili and Kassandra and hurried over to him, shouting her request to him on her way to the table. But her dealing with Kaltoora had made her cautious, had awakened old habits which she had needed to survive.

So, while standing on the doorsill, she noticed with one glance, who was there. She suppressed her first  impulse to just run over to Altario and talk to him. Instead she looked around. Grallen sat at a table with men Lori did not like when looking at them. (Such a pity, she would have loved to see Earnest again) Airyn, the blond elven lady was at the bar and Altario sat with Lili and Kassandra (!) at a table and had something to eat. There was another man with them Lori did not know, who did not look very appealing to her. Wornout and ill he seemed, and obviously he bothered Altario with something. Lori frowned. She needed Altario now very urgently in a very important matter, so it would be not naughty to disturb the talk of these two. It looked anyway, as if Altario was annoyed with this man.

Lori went straight up to Altario, waited a moment and whe she had his attention, she put her arms around his neck and whispered in his ear, so that only he could hear it.

"My old friends are now asking around, but I need some coins to get the result, they have a new leader who doesn't like me. I might need more, perhaps even a silver, later. " She hugged him a little longer than would have necessary, for it felt so good to hug him. Finally she let Altario go, looked at him expectantly till he gave her some coins.

Her gaze went again over that guy who bothered Altario, then to Lili and Kassandra.

With an earnest expression on her face, she said to the two:

"Lili, Kassandra, I would love to talk to you, but I do have important things to do. By!"

« Last Edit: October 31, 2009, 10:32:43 PM by Lori Lo » Logged

Lili the Elfcat
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2009, 05:38:58 AM »

Outside, the injera disappeared behind the horizon. The light in the Seashoal’s Inn got murkier. Altario asked Lili to search for his brother in the harbour area, and she had no objections.

”I take it you’re not the kind of man who needs someone to hold his hand. So I guess I can leave you to try your luck alone, while I check out the harbour. Sea captains have a way of being afraid of us, don’t they, Kassandra? But that may not be a bad thing.”

Kassandra, meanwhile, had finished her drink. Lili extended her left hand and, with two fingers, tickled the bird under its beak. Kassandra curred like a coa’coa bird. With her right hand, Lili grabbed the next tankard of desert wine and took a generous gulp. If she had work to do, at least she wanted to do it without a dry throat.

Altario’s old friend came to the table. He looked even worse than the night before. To Lili’s surprise, it was to her that he talked first.

"Good afternoon, M'lady. I do not believe we had been properly introduced, even though you taught me a very strange dance last night. My name is Damien Scar, Baron Damien Scar, late of Voldar. If you will please excuse me while I talk to Altario."

Lili laughed out loud; her body shook so that her notchy cutlass rattled at her side. Kassandra flapped her wings in agitation. ”Milady?” Lili said. ”And what is Kassandra, then? Her majesty, mayhap?

It was clear that someone had beaten all sense out of this self-appointed baron. Lili was sure she’d never danced with him. And if he’d travelled all the way from Voldar, he should be glad to have arrived at all, rather than worry about being late.

There was no end to the stream of visitors. Lili had just started her third tankard of desert wine, when Lori appeared and acted rather conspirational with Altario. If I was Altario, thought Lili, I would ask Lori for help in finding my brother, rather than some Kuglimz woman and her bird. This is the little scamp’s home town, after all. And as we have learned, she is not afraid of stealing once in a while, either. Oh, I must remember to tell her that she ought to be more careful about whom she’s letting know.

Yet before Lili could say anything, Lori had blurted out a hurried good-bye. Well, the desert wine was gone, and it was time to go for Lili also. What a shame that Airyn wasn’t showing up! Lili got up from her chair to set off on her own. Kassandra hopped from the table onto her shoulder.

”So long then, Altario. We’ll be back when I’ve found your brother, or else when Kassandra decides it’s time to sleep. Let’s meet back here in the morning, shall we?”

She turned to go, but a thought stopped her. With a wide swing of her strong arm, she slapped Damien on the back.

”So long to you too, latecomer from Voldar. You have a talent for getting yourself in trouble, it seems. Maybe you should choose your dancing partners more carefully?”

And with that, Lili left the inn, while Kassandra sat on her shoulder and looked back into the bar-room, towards the counter where Airyn and Pagran were having a conversation. ” I have only just arrived, actually,” the bird said in Airyn’s voice. But Lili didn’t listen. She hadn’t seen Airyn in the murky light.

Outside, the air had cooled down pleasantly. Lili whistled a tune as she made her way back to the harbour.

”So what do you think, Kassandra? Are we going to find this Denrykmar chap?”

”I do hope that you and, um, Kassandra will be blessed with a favourable destiny,” the bird replied.

”Don’t remind me! I had forgotten about that snooty buffoon in the Thirsty Herald. Come on, let’s see what we’ll find. Surely, if Altario’s brother is here, he will have got noticed. A Remusian in Strata must stand out like a daggerbeak in a flock of coa’coa birds!”

Lili walked through the alleys of the harbour district. The evening lanterns had been lit, and the town had come to life. Ultimately, Lili’s plan was to ask around for Denrykmar in shops and taverns. But she wanted to get a sense of the place first.

Almost all her life, Lili had spent in the Shaded Forest. It was only in her twenties that the former bandit had discovered what life in a human city was like. She had never really got used to it. Sneaking through a dark thicket, the howling of wolves behind you and will’o’wisps fluttering before your eyes, trying to tempt you into a swamp? That was an easy job for Lili. Yet all these people in a city made her wary. How they walked past one another without greeting, as if they hadn’t seen one another. How some stared at you and never said anything. How others mumbled to their mates behind your back. There was just so much you had to ignore if you didn’t want to start a quarrel with every single wretched fool!

”Let the moss bear huff and the blackhog puff, Kassandra – I think I’ll get away from people for a while. Who knows, maybe Denrykmar has been thinking the same, and that’s exactly how we’ll find him?”

”And I’ll eat a boardrak!” said Kassandra.

”Hush, old doubter. Come on, let’s try that alleyway there.”

In between Strata’s high buildings, it was now almost completely dark, except where yellow light shone out from windows, or where lanterns advertised some place of leisure or other. As Lili walked through the streets and alleys, shadows appeared in corners.
There, next to that window! Wasn’t that a dwarf with a grotesque hat on his head? But no – on closer inspection it turned out to be a tub of ale, on top of which someone had placed a jug wrapped in a towel.

Here, though: a gangly man stood in the open doorway of a barn! Yet the fellow turned out to be a broomstick that was leaning against the doorframe, and on which someone had hung his apron.

Unperturbed, Lili went on. She found these shadows rather entertaining. Kassandra, though, sitting on Lili’s shoulder, crept closer to Lili’s head and huddled against her neck and cheek. It was as if the bird wanted to hide under the wide brim of Lili’s pink hat.

”Secrets” Kassandra whispered, in Grallen’s grey voice.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2009, 07:15:31 AM by Lili the Elfcat » Logged

"It's not good that I'm bad, but I'm proud that I'm worse than I seem."   ~ Lili the Elfcat ~
Foul-mouthed Familiar: Kassandra the Charlatan Daggerbeak (Gossiper)
Mysterious Memory: Kuglimz Love Song
Lori Lo
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Human, Stratania


« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2009, 04:25:37 AM »

Lori slipped out of the tavern, hoping that she would not be too late this time. But when she looked around, she saw them coming, Kaltoora, Mido, and a few others Lori did not know. Was that purpose, that Kaltoora didn‘t bring members of the group Lori knew? Probably.

Lori looked at them with mixed feelings. She hoped for Altario, that Kaltoora‘s gang had found out where Ryk was, or had been, and feared for herself, what her task would be in that case. As they came nearer, it was clear, they had found a piece of information. Kaltoora had such a braggy expression on her face, that there was no doubt.

When they were here, Lori opened the conversation.

„So, what have you found out?“

Kaltoora smiled cruelly.

„We know the whereabout of somebody who was seen with your man not long ago. But,“ and here she paused, „ of course money first and, I want  you to do something for me , before I even think at telling you. So, what for money can you give me?“

Lori handed over to her the coins she had got from Altario. She didn‘t know, if they would suffice, she could just hope.

„So, what is it you want me to do?“

„I want to have from you five odds freshly collected black crabs. Not bought ones, freshly collected I said. Now, well, in two hours or so.  And, “ again Kaltoora paused, „ only when I have them, I will tell you about  that person. But you know, that you have to go alone to the place, where you can meet her. No foreigner. You can then, if she dares to let you live, make an arrangement for her and your boss. And now the crabs please!“ she closed with a foridite sweet voice.

Lori went pale, it was slowly getting dark, and collecting those crabs was not an easy task at daytime. Now the wind had freshened up and made the climbing over the rocky stones even more dangerous. But what could she do? She looked helplessly at Mido, but he only shrugged with his shoulders. Begging and trying to offer her money would be not of help, Kaltoora wanted revenge for times, when she thought Lori had outdone her. So Lori only straightened her shoulder.

„Very well, I‘ll get you the crabs! Meet me here again. But swear by Etherus, that you will give me a worthy information after you got them. “

„I will, but only then!“

Lori turned around and went down the pier to look for a piece of net which was not too rotten, so she could collect the crabs in. Her back was straight until she reached a point, where she could be sure, that Kaltoora could not see her. Only then she sank to the ground and wept. It was nearly impossible what that cruel girl had asked. But she needed to try it at least. Why, oh why could the life not be a bit simpler. Nayriss. Wiping her face, she stood up, looked at the darkening sky and made her way over to the rocky beach. And there somebody stood and waited for her, with a bag in his hands and a smile on his face.

„Mido!“

„I can‘t allow that monster to get you down, can‘t I? And I have always been good in finding and catching those little critter. Come on!“

And so both crawled over the stones and it did not take two hours until they had more than five odds together. Mido left Lori so that Kaltoora did not get suspicious. When the two hours were over, Lori could give Kaltoora the crabs.

„So, now, here are the crabs, now the information.“

„Oh no, there is one thing which we have to clear up. You will meet her, but after your boss has met her, you have to pay US. One silver bard. And if you do not bring it to the booth of the dyer next evening, Mido, you sweet Mido will suffer.“

„You are....!“ Lori did not dare to say anything.

„You will give one silver to Mido tomorrow night at sunset at the booth of the dyer. Good, now. There is a woman, an elf, a very, very tall one, black hair, grey eyes, pale skin.  She was seen with a man called Ryk. You might find her at Boltrupp‘s entrance to the sewers, where she has been seen entering  half an hour ago. She uses that entrance quite often, so you might be lucky. I assume you still know, where this is.“

„Yes, I do.“

„Well, till tomorrow, Miss Lori Lo, have a nice evening!“ Kaltoora said snappishly.
 
Lori didn‘t move, until all were gone. What now? She had thought that they would tell her a place where  she could go to and find this person. Now she had to wait for her, and watch if she left the sewers or not. She had no chance to find her in the labyrinth down there. Maybe Altario was still here, she hadn‘t been in the inn till she had caught the crabs for Kaltoora. A quick visit in the tavern showed her, that Alt had left. Nobody was there she knew. Hunger stirred, when she smelled the food from the kitchen. But as she had no money, there was no way to buy some. She considered shortly, to run back to Ana‘Mirl, to tell her where she was and to get some food, but then, the tall woman might have left the sewers when she arrived, and she did not know, how to get hold of her otherwise. The only option she had, to watch there and to wait for her. She might come, she might not. It might take only a short time, or a whole night.

Lori sighed. With an empty stomach she went to  Boltrupp‘s entrance. It was named after the pirate, who was caught near it and killed right on the spot, when he did not give away how to enter. It was not far away from the place, where the southern wall and the sea met, shortly after the outer road along the southern wall ended.

The entrance itself was a small gap between two of many rocks, right under the base of the wall. There was no sand nor any dirt, just the hard rock which did not give away any footprints to honest men. Lori squeezed herself in between two other stones, where she had a full view of the entrance and the lights of the „Beauty“ which shimmered in the distance. Sheltered from the wind, she made herself comfortable, as far as this was possible with an empty stomach and hard rock in the back. Hopefully she would not miss anybody who passed, but it was already fairly dark and her task was not easy. And then the waiting began.





OOC: We have a map
« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 08:13:31 PM by Lori Lo » Logged

Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2009, 05:53:03 PM »

Altario listened to Damien.   Yes, Damien would know that he was thinking Damien drunk.  He was glad that it was not true, though he still felt doubt.  He then listened to Damien's report.  Shan' Thai?  Slavers?  It was possible.  But... Something in it did not ring true.  Nayriss was taken from Remusia.  They had no trouble with slavers there.  Sure, some of the other Ice Tribes practiced a form of slavery, as well as some slaves in the Kordos gold mines, but they didn't kidnap young girls for this.  It didn't feel right in the context of Denrykmar's letter either.

As they ate, Altario was surprised by the pulling of his sleeve, as Lori took his attention.  "What are you doing here?"  He looked about, but there was no sign of Ana.  He listened to her story, and though she looked earnest, there was a flicker of doubt in his mind.  Was this a ploy to give her money?  No, she wouldn't do that.  He dug in his pockets and pulled forth enough coins to satisfy her and she ran off with barely a goodbye.

Lili, to her credit, seemed to warm to Altario's suggestion that she check the harbour area.  She finished her meal then left, leaving Altario with Damien.  There was small talk, but it felt a bit strained.  Altario simply had trouble trusting the man he once knew and had entrusted his life with.  It was a sad statement about how far the Remusian felt his friend had fallen.  Soon, though, Altario felt the urge to get back to his search.  He did not feel like taking the risk of taking the drunk, whether sober now or not, into yet another place of temptation.

Altario pushed back his chair and stood from the table. "Well, it was good talking to you tonight, Damien.  I have got places to go, so I beg your pardon, and I'll be off.  I promise we will talk more tomorrow."  He dropped enough coin on the table to pay for the meal, and then with a nod to Damien, left the Sea Shoals.

Outside, the breeze had picked up a bit, adding a nice change of pace to the unbearable heat of this afternoon.  He followed the roadways through the old harbour district, by-passing fishermen, sailors and evening travellers until in the distance ahead, he saw the sign outside a two story building; the Sea Shoals Inn.  He approached, not entirely sure what he was going to find.  The moment he stepped inside, however, he was immediately assailed by thick smoke; the smells of strong liquor and loud voices, and his mind went back to Remusiat and the Boar's Beard inn.  It was not a place he frequented, but he had been there a few times over the years.

He went to a corner table that had no one sitting at it, though there were empty tankards sitting abandoned on it.  A moment later, a pretty serving girl with a drooping left eyelid came over to the table.  "What would you like?"

"Ale, and an answer.  I'm looking for a woman."

The girl laughed flirtatiously.  "You came to the right place then."  She swept an arm across the room, inviting Altario to notice the many women who were milling about the crowd, drinking and smoking and laughing alongside the men.

Altario reached up and scratched at his right eyebrow.  "No, I'm looking for one in particular.  She may be important here, because I'm told she is known as the Beauty of the South, the same as the name of this inn."

A knowing look came across the girl and she nodded.  "She'heya.  That is who you look for."  She studied Altario a bit harder, trying to decide what next to say.  "Well, She'heya doesn't 'work' much anymore.  She has become a bit particular.  And those that she does entertain, she charges a premium price."   She winked.  "Have you lots of money?"

"Enough," Altario wasn't about to advertize wealth in a place like this.

"I'll go check if she is available," she winked.  "If not, for a few coins less, I wouldn't mind getting off my feet for a few moments."

As the woman walked away, swinging her hips suggestively, Altario chuckled and shook his head.  Ryk, I'm gonna slap you for this, he mused.  He sat quietly for awhile, studying the room.  No one here caught his interest.  It was not his type of place at all.  It made Pagran's place feel appealing, and made the Thirsty Herald feel like home.  He then spotted the waitress waving at him.  He got up and crossed the room to meet her, where she stood at the bottom of a staircase.  A large bald headed man stood beside her and stared hard at Altario, no sign of friendliness on his face or in his eyes.

"Show your money to L'hars here, and give him your weapons, then go upstairs.  This is She'heya's private staircase and only goes to her room."  The girl reached out and caressed Altario's chin.  "Pity, we could have had such fun."

Altario inclined his head toward her.  “I bet we could have.”  He watched her leave, then faced the large man, handing over his sword with a bit of reluctance.  He then held out a palm full of silver bards.  Satisfied, the man simply pointed up the stairs.

The northerner headed up the stairs, noticing how very different this staircase was to the rest of the inn that he’d seen.  The wood was polished, clean, and intricately carved with fine engravings of nature scenes.  The lady, whoever she was, had taste.  He reached the top of the stairs, and knocked gently on the wooden door before turning the polished silver knob and stepping in.

The atmosphere in this room was completely different from that of the establishment downstairs.  The first thing he noticed was the smell of incense burning, giving the room a pleasing perfumed aroma.  The second thing he noticed was woman across the room from him, lighting a lamp on a small table beneath a large window with drawn drapes.  She had her back toward him, and she wore a gown made of a material so sheer that he could see her silhouette perfectly through the material, and could tell she wore naught else.

“Make yourself comfortable.  There is some fine brandy on the dresser near the bed.  Pour us both a glass.”  Her voice was as smooth as silk, with a melodic quality to it.

Altario stepped toward the dresser and poured two crystal tumblers with a bit of brandy.  As he did, he looked to the largest piece of furniture in the room, and obviously the centerpiece; the bed.  It was a large bed, something that an entire family of Remusians could live in, with ornate looking posts at each corner.  Sheer material, similar to the gown the lady wore, hung down veiling the entire bed within.  On the bed, thick blankets that appeared to be filed with what he assumed was down, and large fluffy pillows were piled high in an exorbitant display of wealth.

Altario felt a gentle caress across the back of his shoulders and a breathy voice whispering in his ear from behind.  “It’s even more comfortable than it looks.”

Altario turned about, and found himself face to face with the woman, She’heya, with barely enough room between them for him to take a deep breath and not touch her with his expanding chest.  She was incredibly beautiful; long dark hair, deep brown eyes and a perfect smile.  Her skin was dark, though not as dark as Kanapan people, and he could see much of it beneath the gown, enough to know she wore nothing else.  As he breathed, her perfume entered his nostrils and made his head swim.

He held out a crystal tumbler.  “It looks.... comfortable.”

She laughed in a way that Altario was sure she had laughed for countless men before him, so perfect was it in making him feel as though she found him irresistibly charming.  She then reached out and took the tumbler from Altario, running her fingers over his weathered hand as she did so.  “Thank you,” she purred, bringing the liquor to her lips and sipping from it.  She then smiled; her full lips moist and inviting.  “Please, sit.”

Altario sat in a large comfortable chair across from another chair that she languished in, seemingly unaware, or at the very least, unabashed by how much of her body was visible beneath the sheer gown.  He sipped the brandy, which was very good.  “My name is Al-“.

“Please!  No names.  I have no need for names here.”  She smiled again at him.

The Remusian smiled back at her, while trying to keep his gaze at a respectful level.  It only seemed to make her more brazen.  “Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin.”

“Have we met before, Altario?”

He had watched her eyes when he spoke her name, and either she had not heard the name, or was very good at hiding her response.  He had no doubt that if she had heard the name that she was more than capable of keeping her surprise hidden.  She would be a master at disguising her emotions.  He shook his head.  “No, we have not met.  But I am looking for my brother who mentioned in a letter to me to look for the ‘Beauty of the South’.  Perhaps you know him?  Denrykmar?”

She studied Altario for a moment, her deep brown eyes boring into him before once again smiling.  “I will tell you that I normally refuse to talk about other clients of mine, but I will admit that I have never heard of your brother.”

Altario felt his heart drop.  He could tell that she was telling him the truth; or at least he believed she was.  Dejectedly, he brought the tumbler to his lips and swallowed the rest of the brandy in one gulp.  Where to go from here?  Was this entire trip a waste of time?  Dammit, Denrykmar, why did you have to be so cryptic?

He stood up.  “I thank you for the brandy, m’lady.”  He held out a few silver coins to her, which she took, then headed for the door.  Just before he reached it, as his hand took hold of the silver doorknob, he felt a soft touch on his shoulder.  He turned about to face her.

“I’m sorry I could not help, and I hope you find him.”  She pressed up against him, her eyes locking with his.  “Though you have paid for an hour.”  She lifted herself on her tip toes and brought her face in close to his, her mouth seeking his own.

« Last Edit: November 03, 2009, 01:54:40 AM by Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin » Logged

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