Adventures of Caelereth

Archives => Frozen Darkness => Topic started by: Khel on November 16, 2007, 01:12:16 PM

Title: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on November 16, 2007, 01:12:16 PM
A dark, rank tavern near the harbour, the Boar's Beard sits crookedly and leaning from the oceanic winds. A stay at the Boar's Beard is considered a ditch effort for a good night's rest away from the rocking of a ship's hull. For those who wouldn't look further into the city for a place to offer, the accommodations at the Beard are adequate. A few broken chair legs, shards of shattered glass, and an occasional rodent's scurry never hurt a wandering sailor. Few higher class folk would venture here, nor would would the tavern be recommended by many residing in the city of Remusiat. However, there always seems to be a light flow of clientele staggering in and out of the creaking threshold.

The bartender, a broad shouldered, heavyset woman in her forties, will most likely greet patrons with a hardened, skeptical look, and a raspy "Whaddya want?" Her years in the tavern have kept her on her toes, Maryn can handle any brawl as well as a man twice her size. A couple pretty, greasy waitresses serve in the common area, and will gladly give service--of any kind--with a thin lipped smile. Commonly, they are seen coming and going in at least one room each night, giving them full reign of most patrons within the tavern.

Upon entering, the aromas of sweat and alcohol immediately hit the nose, accompanied with a smoky fireplace stench that somehow holds it all together. Tiny rooms, simply holding a dilapidating bed and small table, are inset all along a narrow hallway adjoining to the common area. Despite an uncouth reputation, the Boar's Beard houses an amazing cook, and a wide variety of alcoholic drinks--some would say more than the Wison's Breath Inn.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Drexal ben Putin on November 19, 2007, 12:28:43 PM
A tall, wide shouldered barbarian entered the tavern, though he knew he was probably not the first such to do so.  Immediately, his senses were assailed with the stench of the place, which wrinkled his face, but did not give him pause.  He had been in worse places.  He strode in, confidently in his demeanor, but inside looking about to see who was watching him.  So far, he seemed safe, as no one here gave him any particular notice. He sighed in relief.

He approached the stone counter of the bar.  A heavy set woman was tending bar, cleaning mugs and pouring drinks.  Drex placed a few coins on the counter.  "Hello, mother.  If you have a room, a drink, and a meal, I would take all three.  I'm not particular about the order I get them."  His stomach growled in protest, and he slapped it with his free hand, looking down and scowling.  "What did I just say?"  he demanded.

He looked up once more at the woman.  "Oh, and perhaps a bath?"  He looked at her a bit more closely, then at the two serving wenches and most of the patrons.  An apologetic grin crept across his lips.  "Perhaps not.  Don't wanna stand out in the crowd."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on November 19, 2007, 03:43:37 PM
Remusiat. An ice tribe like that of her own, Céyehne was still surprised by the vast enormity of the city. The structure and, well.... permanence of it all struck her wildly. Being a nomadic people, the Kasumarii carried almost anything they needed at any given time with them, on their backs or in a caravan. The foundations of this city echoed deep within Céyehne's soul. Although she had seen many cities and settlements before, none really seemed to impress her more than that of her Remusian neighbors. The long journey by ship seemed to sit a little lighter with her as she gazed upon the magnificent walls surrounding, and the massive Tower within the city. The cold and the wind did not bother her, but the eternal rocking was starting to get on her nerves. It threw her balance, and for a dancer such was not preferred. Finally stepping off the deck of the ship, Céyehne almost wanted to dance right then and there in the harbour. Her slender frame seemed to move with a particular grace, and a bounce in her step as she made her way away from the docks and towards the city. Needing sleep, the woman spotted the first Tavern that looked as if it would accommodate and approached it.

Black robes bound tightly about her, Céyehne swiftly and gratefully opened the rickety tavern door and stepped inside. The wind was harsh, but not as harsh as hours upon hours of rocking on that blasted boat. Xazure eyes narrowed in disgust, Céyehne glanced around the common area. Yes, the place was nearly as disgusting as its exterior, but she didn't care much, as long as it wasn't continually moving. Snowy, shoulder length hair was windblown and strewn about her shoulders, sticking to her dry lips and sticking out strikingly against the deep black of her robes. The wind outside created an audible draft, and the stench was stronger than she would have liked, but it was altogether the perfect type of place for the entertaining she liked to do... lots of shadows resided here.

Noticing the limited amount of patrons, Céyehne knew it was not yet late enough for a crowd to begin to really stir or get exciting. Waitresses did not bustle about, only a bartender stood behind the counter with a kind of grimace on her face. A long haired man stood before her, and Céyehne approached the bar as well, waiting for the man to stop talking before saying in her own soft voice, "Have ye a room fer me t' stay in? An' can ye allow a night's work for me dancin'?" Xazure eyes looked expectantly at the woman, knowing if she asked right away, rejection would be over and done with before hope began to gather. However, Céyehne knew if she got even just one dance, she'd easily score a few more. 

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on November 19, 2007, 04:53:05 PM

Maryn looked with a hard expression at the young man before her. Attractive, she let out an audible grunt.  Oh, one of the waitresses would be on him soon enough. Wiping the counter before her with a twinkle in her eye, she narrowed her eyes as the word "mother" found its way from the man's mouth. Mother? "You tryin' t' be charmin', sonny? Well, y'ain't! Take a seat." If he was trying to be a smartass he'd pay before the night was over. Altogether ignoring his questions, Maryn turned her attention to an attractive young woman who next found refuge in her little tavern.

Eying her questioningly, she was much too pretty to be finding her way in here without reason. Or was she? Nodding curtly as the woman spoke, Maryn grabbed a key from under the bar and slid it with an obnoxious scratching noise across the table to the pretty lady. "Three." Maryn grunted, "We'll see what ye've got later, and I'll be decidin' if ye're worth some coin." Waving a meaty hand, Maryn turned on her cushioned heel and bent to fetch some glasses from beneath the bar. Hopefully they would both just walk away and the waitresses could tend to them.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on November 29, 2007, 01:02:29 PM
Storytellers with bad hearing didn't tend to earn very much. While currently destitute, his penury had a great deal more to do with irresponsible spending habits than an inability to pull in the coin. When he had to, he could have very good hearing indeed. At that moment, even engaged as he was in a casual flirtation with one of the snaky-hipped wenches who had dropped the coins he had given her into his lap to create a pretext for 'retrieving' them, he was aware of the two voices that cut through the general boozy hubbub of the regular clientele.

Torscha eyed the newcomers, taking stock of both of them. The big-shouldered man with the equally big voice was not an unusual sight. Many fighters had come to Remusiat, trickling in from all over in the hopes of making a name for themselves, or at least earning some easy coin, preying on the insecurities of the population by hiring themselves as bodyguards or guards for shops to prevent looting. Most of those, Torscha knew, from eavesdropping on conversations in the watering holes these mercenaries tended to visit, had no intention of staying once things got tough. But in the mean time they were more than happy to soak up the drinks and adulation that the anxious population were eager to ply their would-be saviours with. This one looked different. He noticed the large talon dangling from a thong around the newcomer's neck. Probably a symbol of some tribe of the other, maybe even an accolade. He certainly looks like he could have killed whatever-it-was by himself. Torscha heard the man declare that he had no intention of distinguishing himself from the crowd; the itinerant chuckled sourly into his beer. Just by being a landsman he was being obvious enough.

Torscha had hired on one of the inbound supply vessels as a spare hand to pull oars and a spare back to carry the sacks of provisions that the city was stocking itself with. Adapting quickly to his new conditions, he had become known to be, if not the saltiest sea-dog along the docks, then at least someone who had earned his sea-legs.

Whispering something suitably suggestive and on just the right side of scandalous into the barmaid's ear, Torscha turned his attention to the other one. Ah, now this one was special. Her slim elegance and inhuman beauty made her shine in the gloom of the grotty tavern. With an adroit phrase, he sent the groping wench on her way, and sidled up to Maryn as she dispensed keys and directions with her typical charm.

"That 'un said she be a dancer?" Torscha asked, modulating his voice, roughening it with a tarry burr and taking on the broad vowels and clipped speech of an accustomed sailor.

Maryn squinted at him suspiciously. He could be winning enough, but the old lady was a tough nut to crack, and while she had warmed to him over the passage of a few days she still wasn't quite taken enough with him to trust him whole-heartedly. A most prudent woman, he thought wryly. "What business be it of yours?" she asked.

Torscha spread his hands in a self-deprecating manner, and dropped the whole "salty dog" act. Maryn was obviously not convinced, and a sharp reminder of his actual profession might be in order. He re-adopted his usual smooth speech. "It might be interesting having her perform. I've sung for my supper here enough times. It'll be good to have someone to perform with, if she'll have me accompany her. You know I'm good for it. I can carry a decent reel, and I've been told my jigs are lively enough – maybe even lively enough to put a little bit more spring in your sprightly step, eh?"

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on November 30, 2007, 10:52:20 AM

Knowing quite well the lad's affinity for "jigs" as he called them... amongst other things within these Tavern walls, Maryn gave the lad a sly look as her hard exterior crumbled noticeably. Just as well, she thought. Perhaps he would take it upon himself to attract her more savory, and preferraby wealthy patrons. Pointing a stern finger in his face, spittle flew from her wide mouth as she said, "Listen 'ere, boy. Don' ye b' botherin' me wit yer fancy speech an' flow'ry idears. Ye wanna en'ertain yet 'nother youn' thin', ye do it."

Her words escaped almost like a growl. In fact, the boy had a rather good idea, but she'd never let him believe it. Anyway, this way he'd figure it out on his own, and her only concern would be payment. With a grunt, she turned away from him to pour a drink. On second thought, Maryn turned her copious frame towards him again, "Jus' see if I like it, an' ye may b' stayin' fer a time."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on November 30, 2007, 10:59:55 AM
Petite nose scrunching in disdain, Céyehne took the key from the bartender and glanced at the muscled man beside her. Was he as disgruntled as she? No matter. Moving to sit at the nearest table, but still away from the bar stools, Céyehne’s lithe frame moved easily within billowy black robes. Well, if she wouldn’t hire her now, who was to say she’d give her a chance later in the evening. Heaving a great sigh, the Kar-ii plopped less-than-daintily into chair facing the far wall. She’d see the door in her peripheral vision, something the woman needed in order to feel safe. Especially in a dump like this one.

Céyehne looked for a barmaid to supply her with a hot drink. Tea, that would suit her just fine. As she was indoors, Céyehne gently removed her robes and placed them on the back of her seat, revealing a striking contrast underneath. Skin tight, iridescent white clothing covered her body, leaving no curve to the imagination. Céyehne being a small woman, there wasn’t much to look after, especially compared to the busty barmaids. While situating herself, Céyehne noticed a man rise from a nearby table and approach the bartender. Waiting for his reprimand, Céyehne watched with curiosity as he seemed to speak with her and she did not argue. Hmph, she thought sullenly, wondering what he had done to earn her favor. She thought he’d either been extraordinarily sweet with the barmaids, or was a regular ol’ town drunk.

Turning from him in sudden disinterest, Céyehne signaled a maid and quietly ordered a hot tea in her smooth, rolling speech. She felt quite singled out among the Remusians, who seemed to speak in a kingly, more formal manner. Perhaps her travels had worn her politeness thin, but she smiled a broad, full-lipped smile and thanked the young woman nonetheless. Crossing her agile legs before her on the chair, Céyehne settled and pressed her tiny hands about the warm mug. Despite being accustomed to the cold, Céyehne still enjoyed warmth wherever she could find it, and longed for it to comfort her after her rolling travels by sea. Xazure eyes scanning the tavern, noting tables, the thin hallway, the small fireplace, Céyehne took a sip of tea and took a deep, contented breath.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Drexal ben Putin on December 02, 2007, 03:21:40 PM
Drexal could not help but notice the woman next to him, and he flashed her a charming smile and winked.  At least the women here were pretty.  He sat at a table and looked about.  This sure was nothing like anywhere else he had ever been.  Not that that was a bad thing.  He really had never been anywhere nice.  Still, it was better than out on the frozen plains, he supposed.

A barmaid brought over a frothy mug of ale.  Her smile was quite alluring, he thought as he watched her leave, her hips swaying suggestively.  He took a long pull on the ale, savoring its taste.  Cold it was.  Something in that struck him as funny, and he began to giggle.  Cold ale in the coldest land in the world.  Who knew?

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on December 02, 2007, 09:23:26 PM
Blushing a little at the landlady's bold assumptions – not that the thought had not crossed his own mind–, Torscha took a long pull on his tankard to conceal his embarrassment. By the time he had drained it to the dregs, it had largely faded. The big man will definitely complicate things, he thought to himself. Well, him and the impending war, and a hundred thousand other things. Oh well. Perhaps it's time to shine a little bit of light into this lady's day.

With his best "don't mind me, I'm harmless" smile thrown at the big newcomer, Torscha sidled up to the lady, where she sat sipping wine, apparently comfortable in the dingy confines of the taproom despite her finery. "Ava's blessing on you, fair lady," he said, smiling as warmly as he could. It wasn't hard: her delicate features, upturned nose, and the slim curves of her body all conspired to heat his blood. "Then again, it seems she already has: beauty dances in your footsteps, and it seems even the shadows pay tribute to you.

"Forgive my eavesdropping, but I overheard you speaking to our dear landlady, including the tantalising detail that you were, by profession, a dancer?" Keep looking at her face, he told himself. It was becoming an ordeal to keep on doing so, lovely as she was, not to yield to the temptation of glancing down. "A detail that thrilled my heart, I must confess. My name is Torscha; I'm what passes for entertainment in this dreary place. I tell stories, perform tricks... and when the mood takes the crowd, I can carry a decent tune.

"It strikes me that we have here the possible makings of a wonderful partnership. I've put in a good word for you with the landlady; she knows, dissolute as I may seem, that I know my music. She'll be happy to have you perform for us, if the fancy takes you. To that end, I offer my humble services as an accompanist, whether you prefer the flute or the lute." He leaned forward, to whisper, in a conspirital fashion, "It might also be a good idea to accept my offer, lady, because you would be dancing to a rough crowd, and sometimes these men whose blood the sea has chilled do rash things when their veins feel again some heat. It might be prudent to have someone on your side, as it were, if things turned ugly."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on December 04, 2007, 03:34:43 AM
Curiously, a young man was soon by her side. The man who she'd assumed to be a drunk, and not a person less. Céyehne's blue orbs studied him as he greeted her, arching her slender neck as she nodded in greeting as well. Listening as he spoke, she thought it first ironic he would use such fancy words mentioning shadows. Could he sense her gifts. Although it was largely unknown, Céyehne had indeed met some who knew the meaning of the black robes she wore. Secondly, she found it completely unsurprising that he should have been eavesdropping previously as he mentioned her dancing. Sipping her tea as she turned towards him a little, Céyehne found herself caught in his smooth speech. Indeed, many men had approached her in Taverns much like the Boar's Beard, but none had the charm of this particular one. In fact, as Céyehne searched his features, she would have guessed him "boy" instead of "man". Her thirty summers seemed to offset his youth by a landslide, and her small nose scrunched a little at the thought. Whatever the boy's age, his tanned skin, black hair and especially his black eyes gave him a most mysterious and alluring look.

As he offered to accompany her in her dance, Céyehne straightened her nimble legs beneath her. One slender arm reached to absentmindedly smooth her cyhalloian locks, and she smiled sweetly as his offer did indeed suit her fancy. Perhaps if his favor by the hardened bartender could pay forward to her own favor, Céyehne could have a lovely summertime gig here in Remusiat, despite the goings-on in the city. In fact, the tough times here might prove to draw citizens towards her entertainment, creating a better season than she'd ever had. Céyehne admitted once she performed a single time, it was not hard for many to be drawn into her presence.. she supposed it was the eerie way the shadows played about her snowy figure. At the thought, her smile grew more broad at the thought of a tune in her routine. More than a dancing figure, drunken men might enjoy a tune to dance to themselves.

As the boy leaned in towards her, Céyehne almost recoiled. Her lithe frame tensed with anticipation as she was suddenly suspicious of this man. Too many times had she let a man much too close for her liking, and too many times had he found himself in grave danger. Mostly, Céyehne feared the power she harnessed as fear gripped her. It was all too easy to call the shadows to her side, and easier still to reach to her hip and display the armoured fan so tightly hidden there. Not once had the woman ever intended on hurting another being with either skill, however many drunk, ill-intentioned men had driven her to that point. Now, as the boy before her leaned in, Céyehne held her breath and her emotions steady. As many years as she'd practiced shadowmancy, she was still afraid she'd allow it to become out of her control.

A relieved sigh passed through her slightly parted ginger lips as the boy seemed to voice his concern for the very acts she feared in him. Body relaxing, slender fingers loosening their grip on her mug of tea, Céyehne smiled brightly at the youth. Charming and true to his word; Céyehne took an immediate liking to the seemingly unremarkable man. Standing now, iridescent attire seeming to brighten the entirety of the common area, Céyehne inclined her head again. "An' ye'll protec' me, will ye?" The words rolled off her tongue in her own nonchalant accent, yet the melody of her voice gave it a more formal air. A small wink of her bright xazure eyes told him she accepted his offer, even without saying so. Nicely done, boy. she thought wistfully, for she had never placed trust in a person sooner. "Can ye carry a del'cate tune, m'dear? An' are ye sure ye can keep up wit an' ol' lady?" White teeth shone through ginger lips and blue eyes shone with mirth.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on December 04, 2007, 06:46:18 AM
Despite the havoc that the cold weather and the raw heat of the vile ale was wreaking in his body, Torscha felt another, gentler warmth rise from within him at the sound of her voice, melodic and smooth. Her light brogue seemed to offset the preternatural grace of that body, making her more approachable and down-to-earth than he would have expected. He found himself smiling at her, sincerely now. "First of all, I'll duel to the death the next person who calls you old. That's a lie my eyes, weak as they might be, find hard to believe." It was an act of extreme willpower not to let those eyes roam across her lithe curves, not in the least concealed by her choice of attire. With a self-deprecating gesture, he tugged aside the hem of his leather coat, exposing the interlocking rings of his rapier guard. "I'm not one to reach for his blade at the slightest provocation, but debauched as I am, whatever morals I have left won't let me allow a lady to be molested without opposing it." His grin was almost boyish in its abashedness. "I'm not much of a swordsman, lady, but at the very least I'm one you can trust. As to your other question..."

Hopping down from his stool, Torscha made his way over to the corner by the hearth, where a dank peat fire smouldered and sputtered, shedding both a close, humid heat and a rank, acrid smoke that coated the tongue and stung the eyes. He'd played for a couple of evenings by that fire, and hated it intensely. Still, it was a necessary evil: the smoke roughened his voice and thickened his tongue, but the warmth kept his fingers limber, and that mattered more than comfort. A bundle lay in the corner, with a heavy traveller's cloak slung over it; pulling the cloak aside, Torscha reached for the bundle, undoing its drawstrings and letting the sackcloth fall free, withdrawing from it a battered lute.

In the firelight, its scarred wooden surface nonetheless glimmered with the rich warmth of old varnish. He arranged the cloak in a comfortable fashion over the stool and sat. As the clientele noticed the entertainer take his place, sailor after tarry-cloaked sailor set up a steady beat, drumming on their tabletops with their tankards, both applause and demand; they were familiar enough with Torscha's set-up to anticipate a performance. Whistles pierced the heavy silence of the rafters, and a chorus of shouted suggestions, most bawdy, formed a vulgar counterpoint to the ripple of notes that cascaded forth as he ran his fingers over the strings, making a few minute adjustments.

Still in tune, eh, old girl? He smiled fondly at the lute and settled it in his lap, despite his age as lively beneath his hands as any supple lass. He thanked the old bone dice in the pouch at his waist; there had been fewer things he had won which he treasured as much as the old lute. Antique, it was.

He closed his eyes and bit his lip, then drew a deep breath. Then whistled once shrilly through his teeth, a high note that split the darkness and thick smoke like a thunderclap, and launched into a song, accompanying the dance of his fingers on the strings with a heavy, thumping beat, tapping his boot in a rhythm the crowd soon picked up. It started out fast, an exuberantly filthy reel, and Torscha's rough, low voice, as much snarl as song, belted out the first lines of the lyrics, about a sailor on shore leave and a tavernkeeper's daughter. There was a moment of collective indrawn breath, as the patrons sucked in air to roar out the familiar chorus, but even before he reached it, Torscha was moving away from the familiarity of the song, improvising recklessly. The strings warmed beneath his fingers, waxed cord and gut coaxed to a sinewy second life by his skill.

The salt-sea faded from his song, which held its initial exuberance, giving way to a new wildness, a rippling motif evocative of firelit dances by endless dunes, of gypsy dances and flashing eyes. The patrons withheld judgement for a moment, before giving a collective roar of approval, tankards crashing against wood. Coins described arcs through the air, glinting false gold as they landed with a brazen clamour at the entertainer's feet, the best kind of applause.

Grinning past the sweat that dripped from his brow, Torscha inclined his head to the lady, inviting her to become part of the act.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on December 04, 2007, 08:23:45 AM
A flush found its way over Céyehne’s gentle cheeks as the boy delivered most flattering praise and assurance. And to think this was simply the first dive she chose to enter for the sake of escaping the sea. Smiling, the woman watched as her acquaintance made his way over to the hearth, revealing his lute. As he sat, other patrons within the Beard began to show definite acknowledgment of the man’s ability; a mighty fine ability, as far as Céyehne could guess. Indeed, they immediately turned attention to him, drunken or not, and seemed to plead for the performance with the pounding of their mugs and weathered hands upon stone tables.

The old, many-stringed instrument in his lap intrigued Céyehne. Throughout all her performances, she had not been accompanied; let alone by this type of instrument. It was curious, scratched and obviously loved. The way which the man’s hands touched and handled it suggested a companionship as close as that of true friends, or a beloved pet. Xazure eyes softened at the image before her. Silhouetted against the firelight, the flames flickered and danced, casting shadows of man and lute about the room. Céyehne observed them with an eagerness to dance she had not felt in a while. Now, though, she would focus on this man’s performance; it was rare she had the chance to enjoy entertainment by another.

As he began to play, signaling with a high whistle, Céyehne’s breathing faltered. His fingers moved across the strings as a choreographed movement, steady and true. The music was upbeat, sound and as much as the performance stunned her, the audience’s receptiveness to it stopped her heart. They truly loved him, and that much was enough to endear him into her heart further. When he began his song, belted out in a low, gruff voice, Céyehne would have never guessed such a sound would escape the smooth-talker’s lips. Finding her own tiny foot tapping to his beat, and her ginger lips upturned in a delighted smile, Céyehne nodded approval, justly awed by this mysterious man’s talents.

There seemed to be a collective pause around the room. The pause was an inhalation, the calm before a storm; eye of a tornado. The crest of the wave just before the break, and time feinted to stop. Fingers placed precariously on strings, lips slightly parted in anticipation, eyes downcast in concentration. The aroma of the musty Tavern no longer mattered, the fire seemed to illuminate the dust, creating a shine and shimmer the Tavern had only seen a couple times before. Dilapidated? No, it was a palace, to be ruled by kings; sketchy waitresses no longer sliding through patrons as if seeking hungrily for prey, but beautiful maidens gliding over ballroom floor, perfectly in time with the melodious music. A gentle tune? Ye can play like t’ gods, boy..

The calm over, a furious wave of harmony flew from his fingers; Céyehne hardly saw strings. Man and lute no longer separate, but one entity. As coins dropped at his feet, Céyehne clapped, slender hands ringing in the thick air, xazure eyes looking on in wonder. Then, the unthinkable happened. Grinning at her, the boy motioned for Céyehne to join the act. Eyes widening, Céyehne’s initial reaction was to shake her head emphatically, white locks shaking gingerly around her head. Never had she been so reluctant to strut her own stuff than in the presence of this man. Nevertheless, patrons followed his gaze to look at her, and she strode forward, hips moving from side to side within her skintight wardrobe. As she reached the front and eyes locked on her now, a smug look crossed her face. Lit up against a fiery backdrop, Céyehne nearly radiated throughout the tavern, but she was nothing next to the glow of true talent.

Nodding humbly at her new partner, nimble feet began to keep simple time on the hard floor. Soft shoes and the light weight of her body did not create even the tiniest tremble in the ground. Dancing side to side before the fire, Céyehne got her bearings quickly. Mapping out the space for which she had to move about the hearth, she made full use of it. Beginning to slowly integrate twirls, Céyehne’s supple form swayed and curved agilely, as was natural for her people. With the tapping of her new friend’s foot, it was easy to keep time and a steady beat; much easier than even her many practiced years dancing without accompaniment. Feet moving at twice the speed now, Céyehne simply glowed with delight. Keeping such time was easy for her; she was fit and beneath her small form she carried strong muscles for her size. Beaming at the boy playing beside her, Céyehne closed her eyes, hiding the bright blue orbs shimmering with glee.

Now, ginger lips pursed in concentration, though not enough to create lines on her smooth face. All color seemed to drain from her nearly colorless skin. Slender arms raised into the humid air, creating patterns echoing those of her feet. The movement was natural; she danced as though through water, shimmering in the firelight and as fluid as if she were weightless. She seemed to be attempting harmony with the lute-player’s fast-paced fingers. Now, her arms moved in independent patterns, and only the small woman truly understood their meaning. Focusing her will, now, she had learned the time and complicated rhythm, and no longer had to give it thought to keep up. Sweat forming now her thoughts rested elsewhere, Céyehne said a short prayer to Korenjah. Ah, the beautiful gift which came to naturally would surely awe her audience; hopefully it would even awe the skilled man playing beside her. If they were to be partners, surely a mutual respect should be formed?

Gathering shadows from far corners, Céyehne directed them as a maestro directing her orchestra. From within the logs, beneath chairs and tables, from rafters hung they flew to her, shadowing the ground beneath her and making her iridescent amongst them. Arms twisting with her body swift turns brought shadows spiraling around her tiny frame, accenting her already obvious curves, and emphasizing more complex spins at all the right moments. Pushing out when she spun, Céyehne’s shadows expanded around her feet, and as she danced minuscule steps near the fire, she reined them in closer to hug her feet. As a drip of sweat rolled down the back of her neck, thankfully hidden beneath her hair, Céyehne heard a gasp of breath from onlookers as the shadows danced with her. Inwardly she smirked. The lute played and Céyehne danced.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on December 04, 2007, 10:44:35 AM
When the petite woman began to dance, Torscha's fingers faltered even as his heart missed a beat. Seemingly without effort, she synchronised herself fluidly with the chords of his music, form neatly filling the space his music had described. The hesitation was that of a miniscule fraction of a second; immediately after, he took up the refrain again with redoubled vigour. His first burst of virtuoso music had taken even him by surprise: it had rung out, as loud and clear as a challenge, with all the significance of the sound of a sword unsheathed. He had been answered in kind, with matching skill and talent.

Grinning appreciatively now, he threw out riff after riff, fingers describing complex patterns over the strings too fast for the eye to register, weaving complex harmonies into a throbbing, living whole, that pulsed and sang and resonated throughout the room. He fashioned glissandos of sound like the thrusts of a blade, feinting and weaving into complicated patterns. Every thrust she answered with an adroit shimmy of her supple figure, undulating with a feline grace that dried his throat and set his heart racing. With sight and sound they fenced, neither truly trying to break the other, but merely to tease out further heights of dazzling performance. She prompted him to describe in a ripple of sound his condition, heart-heaving and sweat-slickened; he led her to perform a certain sinuous movement that brought the patrons to their feet in a paroxysm of applause.

As much as could be described, they were dancing together now, his fingers and her feet. It was as if her nerve-ends and sinew lay at his fingertips, as if her hands overlaid his on the lute. Like one being they throbbed and twirled, feeding off one another's exuberant, blazing passion.

Then the shadows started to move. Slowly, at first, then with increasing sureness, they whirled about her, echoing and mirroring her movements, creating an entire cohort of flickering dancers, each weightless and somehow ephemeral, her glittering, evanescent form somehow every bit as untouchable and unreal as that of the shadows that danced around her.

Somehow, in some way, she's doing that, and doing that on purpose. It's more than talent, that's for certain, more than any amount of skill. I'm not sure that anyone else even notices, deep in their cups as they are, but that...

That's magic.

Abruptly, the song ended in discordant screech as his hand slipped and one of the strings, overtaxed by the fervid melody, snapped under the stress.

The silence that descended on the room had all the impact of an actual, physical blow. Torscha tried to smile, sheepishly, and spread his hands in a helpless shrug.

"Broke a string," he explained.

Amidst the grumbles, he sidled up to the dancer, and, without the slightest hint of irony, bowed low. "Lady, it has been an honour to perform with you." A moment's hesitance, before he continued, "And, if you'll forgive my presumption, I would dearly hope to again."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on December 04, 2007, 11:29:55 AM
Dancing with all the love and enjoyment of a couples' first romance, Céyehne's feet moved in patterns she had not practiced previously. This man and his lute were bringing her dancing to knew heights, a performance she hoped would dearly compensate for the amount it cost her to find a ship up to this cold city. Her shadows moved now with little effort of her own will, as long as her hands kept the pattern, Korenjah blessed her with the upkeep of her shadows. She forced a smile. It was not hard, but she was starting to strain herself a bit with the fast movement. And to think! She hadn't formed any shapes or patterns within the shadows themselves, she hadn't even allowed them to cover her completely.. they were simply moving along the floor at her feet. This was nowhere near the peak of her ability, yet it seemed to be going so well!

Céyehne's dance stopped abruptly, all concentration breaking her shadows quickly dispersed. Not her usual style, Céyehne preferred allowing her will to slowly loosen its grip, shadows creeping slowly back into place in a much less obvious manner. Mostly, knowledge than she had any sort of magic ability got her into trouble. As she stared at her 'partner' incredulously, fear crept into her formerly bursting heart. Breathing hard, blood rushed to her face as she thought mayhap he had discovered the origin of her shadowy dancers, and wished to play with her no more. Crestfallen, she let her suspended arms drop to her sides. Opening her eyes, they actually began to water in all her frustration.

Now, as the man addressed her, bright-eyed and bleary she looked on. Grumbles from the crowd were obvious, and Céyehne wondered if any of the patrons noticed the abrupt brightening of the room. Sighing a little, Céyehne thought it a relief that a lute string broke, and he did not simply stop playing for another unknown reason. Peering at the boy intently, Céyehne said boldly, "Do ye now?" Raising an eyebrow skeptically, she skipped away from the fireplace as her blood seemed to boil. Was she imagining a new tone in his voice? Defeated now, Céyehne felt for the fan on her waist. In the past, those who had found she possessed the power of Shadowmancy took one of two roads: awe or fear. Sometimes a fearful awe, and rarely an awe coupled with excitement. Perhaps this was why, after so many seasons dancing, Céyehne had no partner nor accompaniment.

Convinced now that this man had taken a road of resentment, Céyehne wondered if he no longer respected her willingness to dance along with him. Whatever the case, she enjoyed those brief minutes before the fire, dancing with the mysterious lute-player, than any previous performance. Because of this, she put a small, pale hand on the man's arm. "Ain't ye wantin' t' sit an' talk? Can I perchas' ye a new strin' so ye can play again t'nigh'? Not purposely, Céyehne's voice had an almost pleading tone in it. She wanted a job here in the tavern, and she wanted to dance to that beautiful music again. More than that, Céyehne wondered if she simply wanted company.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on December 04, 2007, 08:22:20 PM
Torscha tried to keep his face straight, not betraying the electric jolt he felt as she touched him. "Most certainly I would, sweet lady. That was... phenomenal. I didn't know I had it in me, to be honest. You are most... inspiring." He grinned and hoped it didn't manifest as a leer. "Don't trouble yourself about the string; I've got spares. It'll just take me a while to restring the lute and tune it up. No worries.

"I'll not say no to a break, though; I feel I need to catch my breath. Old, dear lady, you are most certainly not! I was sitting down for the duration of that and find myself winded, but you, you were whirling and twirling and stand before me fresh as morning flowers! I am sure you'd give any sprightly lass a run for her money in vigour." Then, belatedly realising that the last statement was vaguely lascivious, he hastily added, "On the dance floor, I mean.

"Come, Maryn might be more genially disposed towards us now that we've got her patrons slickening their throats. Vile as her ale is, after that song I must confess to feeling a little parched myself. I'll stand you another glass of whatever it is you prefer, although I must warn you that the spoiled grape juice that passes for wine here is probably brewed in the basement out of decade-old potato-leavings and rat's-tails.

"I wonder if you'll indulge my other profession for a moment? I fancy myself something of a storyteller and taleswapper." His eyes narrowed slightly. He had never heard of any magic capable of bending shadows the way she had, and for someone born in Ximax, that was saying something. Then again, his attempt to recall what he knew of magery resulted in an intense headache, and the blossoming of fiery pain across his back, which suddenly felt taut and sore. "It strikes me that someone of your talent in this tiny and conflict-ridden town must certainly have an interesting tale to tell."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on December 05, 2007, 08:32:37 AM
Relief washed over her as Céyehne listened to the man speak, grinning at all the right points in conversation and as eloquent as before. Surely he was not upset, otherwise he was expert at feigning his emotions. A tingling giggle escaped full lips as Céyehne raised a petite hand to her lips at the boy's suggestion. As a blush crept into her pale cheeks and he quickly corrected himself, she followed his lead at mention of Maryn and approached the bar. "Ye flat'er me, boy." Céyehne turned to eye him before smoothly in passing she grabbed her black robes from the back of her previous chair and stooped to pick up her mug of tea. Pausing, she marveled at the thought that he might excel at yet another trade, and white teeth shown from behind her lips as she sat lightly perched atop a barstool, motioning at the seat beside her own for her 'partner' to sit. Taking a sip of the tea, it was still lukewarm, and she shrugged rounded shoulders lightly as the taste was still satisfactory.

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

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

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on December 05, 2007, 09:25:47 PM
"My name," said he, taking her by the arm and steering her towards the bar, as a boy ran to collect the thrown coins, no doubt taking his own share of the spoils, "is the least of the gifts I can give. I am Torscha, estranged child of the plains and formerly of Ximax. The wanderlust that led my ancestors to breed horses dwells in me still, manifesting itself in my restless feet and shiftless soul." He sat, motioning for her to join him. Maryn, used by now to his habits, set another brimming tankard by his elbow.

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

"And what about you? I find it hard to believe that someone as beautiful as she is talented would decide to come all the way out here just for a breath of fresh air."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on December 08, 2007, 03:37:23 AM
The death of his family? Céyehne's eyes clouded as her heart went out to Torscha. Such a lovely, talented man with so much pain in his past! Céyehne could not boast of any tragedies, having willingly left her home to indulge in her profession. As he winked, Céyehne cast a sly smile in his direction, sipping her tea and thinking on his words. Ximax. This was the place she landed when leaving home, the place she picked up on her "shadow" as she liked to call him, and a place she thought to meet people much the same as herself, but to no avail.

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

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

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

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on December 08, 2007, 05:38:36 AM
"Sharing your gifts, certainly, but I'm sure you must have performed before more appreciative audiences than this one." He darted a sweet smile at Maryn before she could squawk in outrage at the slur against her fine establishment. "This city is cold, dark, benighted, and from what I've heard since I've gotten here, likely to be in the middle of an invasion as well.

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

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

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

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

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

In some ways, I'm no better than a grave-robber, making a living on the deeds of the fallen.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Sir Ruil Mallister on December 10, 2007, 05:29:27 AM
Gripping his mug, Ruil proceeded to then chug the ale.  Powerful stuff - enough to make his cheeks unconsciously contract.  Thank Ava for ale.  Today needs to just disappear, grumbled the scruffy squire.  The eighteen-year-old squire hadn't shaved since he and his mentor knight had arrived in Remusiat a week ago, resulting in a blonde scruff that habitated where a beard might be.  His hair mussed as his fingers ran through it, resting his forehead in his palm.  His mind glanced back at the day when all his problems were caused.  When Sir Roland was made into the unconscious mess he is, when all their supplies were destroyed.

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

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

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

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

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on December 11, 2007, 07:57:56 AM
Céyehne marveled first at his way with words. As if reciting poetry Torscha spoke, fluent, rhythmic, and entrancing. Ginger lips parted in a smile she listened as the young man seemed to doubt her answer. Did she agree? No. She thought anyone war-torn and wanting would flock to a beautiful, intriguing performance. And after their melody together had been played a couple more times it would be more than easy for word to travel throughout the broken city of Remusiat. Warriors and families of such would surely be looking for sweet release from the torment of war. As Torscha leaned in, Céyehne inhaled slowly, as if to increase her talents with some of his own. He whispered now, and his words conveyed the utmost urgency.

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

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

Brushing it from her mind, blue eyes softened again and color crept into her pale face as she sheepishly remembered she was staring into Torscha's eyes, leaned close to speak quietly together. Leaning back a little, ginger lips upturned into a faint smile. "M'name b' Céyehne, partn'r."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on December 11, 2007, 05:38:47 PM
Her quiet confidence, and that elusive quality about her, like the just-faded scent of perfume, was quickly intoxicating him; Torscha concealed his face for a moment with his tankard, drinking deep and hoping the vile ale would cool him down and restore equilibrium to his senses. The gesture also, he suspected, conveniently hid what must have been a blush.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on December 12, 2007, 06:02:22 AM
Céyehne was pleased that Torscha seemed to agree with her. Perhaps together they could lure customers into the Tavern, provide the keeper with more income in dreary times, herself with copious amounts of coin, and Torscha with the stories he craved. A delightful thought, indeed, and as Torscha leaned in again, Céyehne looked straight into his eyes eagerly. He may be younger than herself, but his wisdom surpassed her own. As he mentioned another young man in the bar, Céyehne's gazed rested upon him. A youth, yes. Younger than Torscha, his smooth skin and bright hair made him appear younger still. Eying him, Céyehne thought him handsome. He was lean, and Torscha was right, he'd been through something as of late. His tunic was plain, but the shining blue orbs looking about the Beard suggested he himself was far from plain.

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

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

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

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Sir Ruil Mallister on December 12, 2007, 02:13:50 PM
The cup had been reduced to one more sip of ale when the beauty sat beside Ruil.  Having turned away from the room to stare into his cup for a moment, he hadn't noticed her move from the spot she had occupied a moment before. Though startled, the young man did his best to not show it.  She moved faster and more silently than I would have given her credit for... the squire thought to himself.  He suddenly wished he had been wearing his mail shirt; if this beautiful woman could sneak up on him, then so could some assassin.  Brushing the thought away, Ruil put his ale down on the table and blankly looked the woman in the eyes.

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

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

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

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on December 12, 2007, 05:53:41 PM
Torscha took a long drink from his tankard, mind working rapidly. He tried not to be overly pleased with himself at having recognised the young man's garb. So he's a squire indeed, hm? Glancing slyly over his shoulder, trying to conceal the fact that he was straining his trained hearing to eavesdrop on their conversation, he noticed the gesture the young squire made towards the roof of the inn. He must be here with a knight, then. Strange that I didn't see them come in. Come to think of it, them coming in could have been what prompted that awful commotion last night.

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

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

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

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

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on December 13, 2007, 10:34:20 AM

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

Her raspy voice did not betray her thoughts as she said unkindly, "It's likely none of yer business boy," she pointed a meaty finger at his chest almost warningly, "And it ain't a a good business at all t' be pokin' about in other people's affairs." Narrowing her eyes, Maryn wondered if the young man would ever leave her alone. When would his sarcastic charm ever end? Hadn't he had enough of this lowly tavern and it's ratty barmaids? Every patron grew weary of the same ol' seedy affairs day in and day out. Rolling her eyes, she supposed not. "Down the hall, third on the left. Don't you make a ruckuss or I ain't never givin' you a leg up again." Maryn turned her back on him, but her lips upturned in a small smile.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on December 13, 2007, 10:55:19 AM
Taken aback by his frank answer, Céyehne leaned against the counter before her and relaxed a bit. So, the youth would be harder to deal with than she thought. However, it shouldn't be a surprise that the stress of a dying companion would rend him a bit wild-eyed. Looking at him with a softening expression, Céyehne sympathized. It was never enjoyable to loose a loved one, and she assumed this squire loved his knight very much. Glancing at Torscha, Céyehne was sure there was a glint in his eye that suggested I told you so, and she chuckled. What an enjoyable young man. As he approached the bartender again, Céyehne listened as the squire voiced his apprehension.

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

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

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

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on December 13, 2007, 12:06:57 PM
Torscha grinned at Maryn. "Thank ye kindly, old girl; I knew I could count on you. Keep an eye on the pretty newcomer for me; the young man's been downing far too many pints for me to be entirely confident that his head is still screwed on right. Now, I'm just going for a quick peek."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Sir Ruil Mallister on December 13, 2007, 06:51:55 PM
This woman has had a disturbing amount of experience in melting the hearts of men.  Ruil wasn't sure if this beauty called Céyehne bedded men regularly, but he could already feel the effects of her charm.  Her accent alone was foreign and delightful to Ruil's ears, made even sweeter by the way she moved.  Like a succubus, trained down to simple motions like running her fingers through her hair, she was.  The young man had no intention of allowing himself to fall total prey to her game, but he certainly was tipsy and charmed enough to give her the seemingly harmless information she requested.  “Name's Ruil,” replied the squire.  He noticed every soft laugh that left her smiling lips, and he couldn't help but relax.  The blonde warrior did not sense the hostility and suspicion that nearly everyone else in Remusiat, nay, his entire life, had borne against himself.  Not in her.  I suppose it couldn't hurt to allow myself to relax with her.  After all, she doesn't mean me any harm.

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

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

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

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

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on December 14, 2007, 11:26:19 AM
Ah, another man who could talk her to the stars. Ginger lips spread in a smile. Despite the Tavern's grubby interior, Céyehne thought the patrons made it outshine even the brightest of mornings. What sort of tale did she want? Honestly, Céyehne now wanted to know why the boy had lived such a hard life. Softly booted feet shuffled on the stool beneath her as she thought, and she took a moment to glance in Torscha's direction. What did he  want to hear?

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

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

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

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

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Sir Ruil Mallister on December 14, 2007, 04:58:52 PM
Without even answering, the woman looked around and then left to whisper something in her friend's ear.  The friend himself had only just returned from some nonchalant errand, which left an unsettling feeling in the squire's belly.  Ceyehne gave away her confusion for only an instant, but Ruil saw it before she went to her friend.  After their exchange, the dancer came back to his side, but her words and the pair's actions were swirling in the young man's mind.  This man she has been with for some time now collected stories? My, how shady did that seem.  Though Ceyehne herself seemed harmless and genuine, Ruil could not say he trusted her partner at all.  But if all he wanted was a fun story... why was the knight getting such a sinking feeling in his gut?  It was only when the girl spoke upon returning did his attention snap back to the platinum-haired succubus.

Then it hit him. Sir Roland! He stood up quickly, almost too fast.  “Excuse me, my fair lady.  But upon you mentioning him again, I just realized that I haven't checked in on the poor bastard in several hours.” Ruil didn't bother hiding the slight look of worry that overtook his face, and he turned away from the woman towards the rooms.  He moved quickly, suddenly feeling quite sober.  Pushing open the door to the hallway with the poor rooms, Ruil then stopped before the door to the knight's room.  He fumbled for the key, pulled it out, and unlocked the door.  So her 'friend' didn't mess with Roland.  But then why do I still feel this way?  The squire pushed open the door.

Sir Roland moved slowly, turning his head to look at the young man who just burst in.  He didn't smile. Couldn't smile.  Somehow, Ruil know precisely what was going on.  He was finally going to lose Sir Roland.  The knight groaned, moved his hands towards his chest, clutched at the feeble mattress, and began to push himself up.  “N-no, sir! Don't sit up, you'll only lose what strength you have left!” cried Ruil before he realized what he was doing.  Next thing he knew, the squire was on his knees trying to guide the knight back to the bed.

“You must... want to lose that hand, boy,” spoke a pained voice.  Sir Roland still retained his gruff voice, but it was weak and strained at best.  His chest heaved heavily once he was completely sat up, wincing as pain wracked his entire body.  The broad knight pointed a weak finger at the powerful sword that was leaning against the pile of clothes and armor in the corner.  Ruil made sure the exquisitely-crafted blade found its way into Roland's hand.  Almost the instant the grip touched his hand, the knight was seized in a coughing fit.  It was so bad that the sword fell to the floor with a clatter.  The young Mallister's eyes widened as he witnessed this, but was met with hostility when he again insisted that the knight lay down.  “The... sword, boy...” Again, it was placed in Sir Roland's palm.  This time the sword didn't fall, instead being gripped as tight as a dying man could.  It raised up to the knight's face, and he looked at the blade as though it were a mirror into his soul.  The blade was dark, empty.  “Kneel...”

Young Ruil didn't even register what was happening around him.  Weakly and very slowly, the tip of the sword tapped each shoulder once.  The boy knelt there, unmoving, the first tears running down his cheeks in years.  Ruil Mallister heard not a word that Sir Roland actually managed to cough out, and was in such a state of shock that only the second clash of the longsword on the wooden floor pulled him back into the world.  Roland collapsed back onto the bed, his breathing labored and yet... slowing.  The old knight gave his squire a faint smile, though Ruil never saw it through the tears that blurred his vision.

“You're... a knight now... boy...” the thick man breathed deep, weak breaths.  He glanced down at the stuff in the corner, then back at Ruil.  “It's all... your's now... Do... as you... wish...”

“No!” burst the younger knight.  He moved forward, grabbing his mentor by the shoulders.  “No sir, I'm not a knight and it's still your things!  You aren't going to die from a blasted orc!  Damn it to the Void, you're going to get through this, sir!” Tears started to wet the reddening bandages, which caught Ruil's attention.  “Stop bleeding... stop bleeding, sir!” A tearing sound could be heard as the Mallister boy ripped a strip off the older knight's tunic and started pressing it into the wound in his side.  “We'll get you some Liquor of Nightshade or something to cleanse th..!”

His shouting was interrupted when Sir Roland placed his hand on the younger man's which gripped his shoulder so firmly.  The old knight's eyes were closed, but his breathing could still be heard, which was all Ruil wanted to hear.  No words were exchanged after that, but instead Ruil watched quietly as his mentor's heaving body slowly stopped moving.  More tears surged past his eyes, which by now rolled off his chin and onto his tunic, darkening the cloth.  No... Don't leave me alone up here... The new knight shook his head in disbelief, slowly letting go of the corpse on the mattress.

Ruil turned away from the body and slid to his rear on the cold wooden floor.  His eyes were wide open, though to the poor man, everything was blurry, his cheeks stained with his sorrow.  Now he was alone. Completely and utterly alone.  Sir Roland was everything to him at that point.  He owed his life to the sir, after the knight had rescued the young Ruil from bandits over four years ago.  “He.. he's gone...” muttered Mallister.  His mind flashed back to all the tournaments he had watched Roland perform in.  Once, the knight from Nybelmar had rode against the Thane of Vardynn's son, and managed to best the boy in an upset that shook the entire tourney.  Sir Roland immediately took Ruil into Voldar and treated the boy to new clothes and many full meals and hot baths.  Ruil knew that the stories the old man always read to him were no more.  At the age he was, such readings were rare, but knowing that he would never hear another reading again hurt.  No more scary tales before the camp fire at night.  No more stories of knights and dragons.  No more re-tellings of his many deeds and no more word on the beautiful women he had bedded.  All of it were gone.

His hand touched the fallen sword, and so Ruil picked the longsword off the floor and stared into it almost as Sir Roland had before his death.  Strangely, the blade seemed bright and reflective.  “I... I thought I was ready for this...” spoke Ruil, mostly to himself. “But I wasn't...


"Goodbye, Sir Roland.”

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on December 14, 2007, 05:44:52 PM
Torscha leaned in the doorway. He had followed the squire, surmising that his hasty exit might have been precipitated by concern for his master; he had been prepared for some drama, but nothing of this magnitude. The man laid aside the tankard he'd brought with him, placing it on the floor and sliding it to the wall with his foot, then stepped into the room, where the young man slumped on the floor, preoccupied with his grief, sword cradled in his hands.

The storyteller paused. He was no stranger to death, and to grief, but there was something raw-edged about the young man that made him less than eager to disturb him. But Torscha's own sense of narrative rightness was pricking his conscience, and he moved forward, gripping the young man by his shoulders and drawing him, not without a grunt of effort, to his feet. "Rise a knight!" the bard barked. "And be valiant, knight, and true."

Reaching then to the pile of discarded leather harness, Torscha pushed aside the astonished youth's hands and looped the swordbelt around the young man's waist with quick, sure hands. He stood then and faced the newly-made knight. "Thus you are girt: may you never draw your sword in hot anger or cold hatred. May your sword defend the weak, succour the despairing, and champion the just! May you never know rest as long as there is work for your blade. May you never waver in your purpose or your resolve. Let men know you not by your arms or your visage but by your name: may you be known for your troth, more constant and unwavering than any star."

After a moment, regarding the bemused youth, Torscha added, "And may you also be known for being patient and open-handed with interloping bards."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on December 14, 2007, 06:30:50 PM
Worried by the youth's haste, Céyehne stood and followed even as Torscha did. Quickly down the dark hall her thin frame moved without a sound, reaching the room and finding an open door and an air of sorrow. If there was one thing Céyehne understood, it was the shadow of death, and death had its way in this dreary place these eve. Eyeing first the still form on the bed, and then the blond young man knelt nearby, tears spilling from bright blue orbs, Céyehne already knew the events. Wanting to comfort him in some way, Céyehne held back, knowing the nature of men and their privacy. Xazure eyes sympathized, and shared in his pain, however. Slumped on the floor now, he was no longer the wary young squire, but a broken knight. His grief wrenched at Céyehne's own soul, but before she could turn away, set to let him wallow in his own way, Torscha appeared by his side.

Forcing him to rise and take his knight's attire, the bard's eloquence rose to the occasion. The young man said all the right things, and Céyehne felt a welling of pride inside her at his words. Perhaps the bard had more than swindling on his mind. It endeared him to the Kar-ii woman much more at his actions, and she stepped into the room, placing a comforting hand on Ruil's shoulder. Squeezing gently, a wan smile spread across ginger lips. She had nothing to say, unlike her partner, but she could be present. Knowing this may help a little, she encouraged Torscha with a brightening look in her eyes.

A knight this brave young man could easily be, and although his strength failed him now, Céyehne could tell by his love that his heart was true. In no way could her command of the shadows aid her or her companions in the present situation, and worry etched in the lines of her face as she thought on that. Perhaps her talent was not as far reaching as she desired it to be. She could dance liveliness into a dire situation, but could she uplift a weary heart? Could she relate through prose laden with rhyme and rhythm? She thought not. White tresses fell before her face as she craned her neck, lowering her head and closing lash-veiled eyes. Her presence was all she could offer, and Torscha's tale would immortalize the moment.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Drexal ben Putin on December 30, 2007, 01:15:54 PM
Drexal sat at his table, finishing his drink.  He watched with interest the movements of the dancer, more than a few lustful thoughts crossing his mind as she moved.  He was disappointed when she stopped dancing, and even more so when she followed the musician from the main room.  He sighed, then stood and made his way to the bar once more.  "Another ale, Mother.  And," he leaned in conspiratorially toward her, though there was no one near enough to them to hear them speak, "I was hoping to engage one of your young ladies here for a little... uhm.. chat, later on."  He laid ample coin on the counter.  No, that dancer had gotten into his mind, and now his body needed to be satisfied.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on January 11, 2008, 08:50:32 AM
Torscha watched the young man for a long moment, reading the emotions as they flitted behind his eyes. Finally, the bard spread his hands in something that was almost, but not quite, apologetic. "Anyway, forgive our intrusion. I suppose you will want time alone to say your farewells. I'll leave you to tend to your master's body, sir knight. If you still linger in these lodgings, I am sure our paths will cross again."

Turning to leave, he saw Céyehne, standing behind him, probably having watched the whole thing. " 'Twas not a scene to hearten anyone," the storyteller whispered to her. "Let's leave the lad alone with his feelings for now. He'll come round in time. Until then, perhaps you would do me the favour of gracing me with your company? I have it in my mind to let the cold out there clear my head. Will you come?"

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on January 11, 2008, 11:47:25 AM
When Ruil did not answer, Torscha spoke again. Yes, it would probably be better if they let him be in his grief for now. Céyehne guessed that perhaps unlike women, men and knights like Ruil did not want to be bothered or comforted in times like these. Looking up at the wayward man before her, Céyehne nodded a bit curtly. She looked sadly at the young blond man once more before turning her back. When he did come around, she would certainly want to be back and to know how he fared. The Kar-ii woman's big heart swelled at the thought of his mourning alone, but it was obviously what he wished to do. Although he saw it coming, she guessed he was still unprepared. Xazure eyes swept over the room once more. A dismal scene indeed.

Stepping silently from the room, as silently as the creaking floors would allow, Céyehne turned and gently shut the door behind her. With a big of shame the woman hoped he'd soon tend to the knight's body; adding to the stench of this place was not wise. Maddening herself, she quickly followed Torscha down the hall and returned to the common area before answering him. Reaching their seats at the bar, she glanced at the burly, long haired man from earlier just once. A coy expression entered her face at his expression and the ale in his hand, but her eyes did not linger as she reached a slender arm to grasp her black robe.

Swinging it around her, the robe acted as a cloud dimming sunlight. All but the pale skin of her face and the snowy locks surrounding it was now shrouded in darkness. Flicking her hood up, a shadow covered her forehead and dimmed bright blue eyes. Full ginger lips stood out the most among the shadows now, and she smiled at Torscha in response. "Aye, we'll think much clear'r in t' weat'r here." She would enjoy some fresh air herself. The stagnance in the dull Tavern's small room, full of darkness and grief, begged her to clear her head. "Hav' ye a destination in min', or woul' ye like t' wan'er a bit? I kno' a plaza here a 'bouts.." Céyehne inquired of him, but knowing the mysterious man he had something in mind. Either way, her dancing steps carried her gracefully towards the door as she waited for Torscha's response.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on January 12, 2008, 02:19:43 AM
Torscha shrugged into his leather coat, checking the hang of his weapons and making sure his rapier was both accessible and conspicious. I'd rather have the sight of it deter an overly avaricious member of the thieving community than having to prove its edge on anyone's skin, he thought, reaching to the small of his back and making sure the accompanying main gauche was similarly accessible but not, in this case, conspicuous.

He thought for a moment, eyes distant as his hands worked on their own, bundling up his lute and leaving it by the hearth. "The plaza, I think," he said. "I've spent far too long inside of doors, and some fresh air might do us both some good. It'll be nice to just be out and about, with some of the locals who aren't completely inebriated." He paused for a moment. "How did you hear about this place, anyway? Until you mentioned it, I could have sworn that you'd never set foot in this city before."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Mathis Mallister on January 12, 2008, 03:10:44 AM
The harbor was a frustrating sight, after all, had he not come to Remusiat with the sole purpose of immediately leaving it? He was sick unto death of this city already, orcs, ice, the biting cold, all of it. Mathis had to remind himself that blood was not thicker than molten gold, and neither could compare to real power. He imagined himself in a great hall filled with hearths that raged wildly, clad in rich silks and fur-fringed fineries, a King in the North, asserting his rule harshly but justly. None of Borik's indiscriminate cruelty, but not the weak willed and weak minded manner of rule Lord Medoc Mallister had practiced either. In the south, it was too much for a fourth son to dream of, but here - anything was possible. A man was what he had it in himself to be - and as good as the coin he carried. Along those lines, we have great potential indeed.

The strange sensation he felt in his chest began to draw his hand to where the arrow had struck him only a short time past, but he resisted the temptation, unwilling to give any hint of weakness – especially out on the streets. Mathis was the prickly and proud sort, and would not give off an aura that might lead to an altercation he was in no condition to win. Back at the gate, he had hardly been able to walk, and the poison was still putting strange thoughts into his head. The feeling of phantom fingers poking and prying open his wound was the worst of all, as the grisly scenarios that were being played out in his head had eventually ceased to unsettle him, though he did still find the idea of tearing his heart out entirely somewhat appealing. When he had shared that with Gundioc, the oaf has just laughed like he always did, as if it were a joke, and a decidedly poor one at that. After that, Mathis had goaded Ghelgath into a trot, leaving the giant to manage the alleys in evening on his own.

It was only when he finally reached the Boar’s Beard that he realized his two follies. Gundioc still carried his accoutrements, sword, hauberk and even the orc captain’s war bow. He looked down at himself and realized he seemed more like a tanner displaying his own wares than a warrior, though the bits of ragged warg fur marked him for the former, he sometimes forgot that. It was a Remusian custom he had learned of from the Lot, and still foreign to him. But worse than his lack of blade and mail was his uncertainty that he could dismount unassisted. He might have cut his heart out then for truth, but had no sword. He could only sit and wait for his brother to arrive. He edged Ghelgath over towards the door to the tavern, where some warth could be felt, but it was still very cold.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on January 12, 2008, 05:25:08 AM
Céyehne watched as her dark haired friend donned his coat and curiously eyed the weapons he carried. If anything, she'd be safe with him if need be. Smiling a little, Céyehne also thought perhaps if Torscha knew what she were capable of he wouldn't imagine bringing those weapons along in the first place. However, the light locked woman would never use her gift in such a way, sometimes it was a bit comforting to remember that she could protect herself if needed. As Torscha settled on the plaza, Céyehne nodded and pulled open the Beard's door as she replied, "Dear Torsch', Remusia b' new t' me, aye. Bu', I made a poin' o' gettin' t' kno' me surroundin's. T' plaza b' righ' close." Ginger lips giving him a bright smile, the Kasumarii woman stepped out into the wintry cold.

A breeze caught her, but it caught her with apprehension. Letting the zephyr play about her face, Céyehne inhaled the cold air gratefully. Remusiat was a beautiful, home-like place. Its solidity did not remind her of home, but its weather and people did. Looking about, xazure eyes did not have to stretch far to glimpse a man atop a large horse before the tavern's entrance. Glancing once at Torscha, Céyehne knew immediately he would have to be questioned, if not pried, for information. It was his appearance that gave him away. He obviously had not come from any sort of fancy event. On the contrary, he seemed to be beaten and wounded. He did not have any weapons, but furs of some sort adorned him. Appraising him with cool eyes, the Darkpriest turned her hood back again to get a clearer few. Absentmindedly she smoothed her white locks as per usual.

Approaching the man, for it was only a few light, dancing steps to do so, Céyehne nearly reached out to him. His features seemed to be chiseled of stone. A sharp visage, accented by extraordinary eyes and tousled brown hair attracted Céyehne, but the look on his face did not. He rode atop a formidable, nor'sidion steed which kept Céyehne's sympathetic motions at bay. Whatever it was this man was coming from, if he did not want or need help she would not offer it in the face of danger. Thinking to let Torscha first approach him, Céyehne thought if the man was truly injured she should not be so cowardly. Courage was something the woman usually lacked, and mustering up her small amount, Céyehne's petite form swayed to warrior and steed's side. Speaking up, Céyehne's soft voice may have been snuffed by the wind had she not put a little effort into it, "Are ye t' board at t' Beard, Sir...Knigh'?" Unsure of what to address the stranger as, Céyehne thought of the squire.. no, knight, Ruil and addressed him in the same way. The air about him gave an air of demanded respect, and as small and vulnerable as she was Céyehne figured it would do well to take that into account.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Sir Ruil Mallister on January 12, 2008, 01:36:44 PM
The bard Torscha's words and actions were kind and would have been well-received, but the newly made knight that stood before him was in powerful shock.  Ruil barely noticed any of it.  It was as if the entire world was swimming, and the blonde man was tumbling with no hope of discerning up from down.  The poor bard's words fell on deaf ears.  His face was distorted as Ruil's eyes began to swirl. It was all the knight could do to not fall to his knees while the two people were there, but once the door clicked shut, he slumped to the ground with a thump.

Luckily, he didn’t vomit his earlier ale all over the floor.  The gods know the place stunk badly enough.  A few minutes later Ruil stopped swimming in a sea of nausea.  His eyes slowly stopped swirling and his head seemed to return from the lightheadedness.  Ruil’s ears then heard the sound of steel rasping on wood, and he looked down at his hand.  Sir Roland’s blade was still in hand.  It seemed to give the young knight strength.  Strange, how when Sir Roland held the blade, it was as if the blade was draining the old man of life, yet when Sir Ruil gripped it, it seemed to glisten with the light of the candles and radiate life and power. Damn shame I can’t use the bloody thing.

Slowly, the young man rose to his feet.  The bard had belted his swordbelt about his waist, so he sheathed the blade in the scabbard that dangled there.  “I’m sorry, Sir, but I don’t have the strength to move you just yet.  I don’t even know where I might put you yet.”  In the meantime, however, Ruil really needed to be out of that room.  Out in fresh air.  Away from the stink and the death.  So he scooped up the dead knight’s hooded cloak with the fur trim, put it on, grabbed his spear, and opened the room.  “I’ll be back soon,” he said to his former mentor, and left.

Ruil descended the stairs to the common room and smiled at Maryn.  It was a sad, worried smile, but a smile nonetheless.  He walked over to her and placed some coins on the counter for her.  “I’ll be needing the room a little longer.  He’s finally passed on, and I don’t know yet what to do with him or myself.  I hope this covers the room for a few more days.” With a small wave of the hand, he moved towards the door, feeling both awkward yet empowered by the weight of his swordbelt and the spear in his hand.

He dipped his spear as he moved outside into the cold.  The wind caught him bitterly and he almost let go of the door, but his strength didn’t fail him then, and he closed the door behind him instead.  Ceyehne and Torscha were still out in front of the door (Ceyehne was hard to miss), so Ruil was originally going to move to them and say hello.  He hoped to thank the two for their kindness.  That is, before he saw the man and his horse.  A beast of a remusian gelding whinnied and stamped its feet impatiently as the air caught the mounted man’s cloak.  His furs rustled in the wind and his hair mussed.  His face was hard, cold, rough with unshaven stubble.  His eyes dark and disregarding, like the ice that covered this land.  And yet… something was so familiar.  Ruil stared at the man, unmoving from in front of the thick door.

Ruil said nothing, but tried his best to remember where he’d seen this man before.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on January 13, 2008, 05:30:18 AM

The bartender eyed the burly, dark haired man calling her mother. Aiming to whack him beside the head for doing so, she swiftly poured him an ale and subsequently changed her mind. He wasn't worth the time, and it was obvious he was trying to drown parts of himself in alcohol, and other parts in women, this evening. Leaving him be and taking the coin, Maryn pushed the ale to him with a grunt. "Take whomever ya like, boy. It's never my decision. If they want ya, they'll have ya." Nevertheless, she gladly swept the man's abundance of coins from the counter and into her meaty hand. Surely one of the waitresses would want him.

Scanning the area for interested ladies, Maryn caught eyes with both waitresses in turn. Neither gave signs of interest, for they knew the look in her eyes as they shifted from the man and back. It was too early in the evening. Another act like the one before would bring in more patrons, liven up the place, and perhaps make the women more inclined to relax. However, Maryn watched with apprehension as the musician and the dancer made their way from the Beard. Well, they'd be back. The gruff woman turned back to the big man before her.

Maryn eyed the man closely, noting his hair, friendly eyes, and muscled build. Yes, he'd find company easily. Opening her mouth to grunt something of the sort to the youth, Maryn was again interrupted by the young squire from earlier. Listening with slight sympathy as he spoke of his deceased master, Maryn nodded and gladly accepted more coin. It was too bad the knight lay dead in his squires presence, but the boy carried himself high and seemed to be strong enough to take it. However, if he didn't rid himself of the body soon she would do it for him. No sense in trying to scrub death from already musty walls. Shaking her head slightly, Maryn turned back to her work and surveyed the common area for patrons lacking their fill of ale.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Drexal ben Putin on January 14, 2008, 07:01:50 AM
The bartender had taken some of the wind out of Drexal's sails, as quickly as she had taken the coin from the counter.  He sighed somewhat but turned to look at the two waitresses.  Neither was homely, but nor were either of them beauties to behold.  At least one of then did not have pox marks around her mouth, so Drexal approached her and whispered in her ear.  She giggled demurely, and took his hand, leading him into a back room.

Once there, she immediately untied the strings of her bodice, letting it fall open and sat on the makeshift bed, that served for her more "illicit" business affairs.  It took Drexal a moment to sit next to her, suddenly seeing the way she went about this as more of a business transaction and less like intimacy.  She began kissing him.  "Come on, luv.  We 'aven't much time, eh.  I got drinks to serve."

Drexal began to kiss her, but her breath was terrible, and he could feel bile beginning to rise in his throat.  This wasn't what it was like with Rohanna, or even Drea.  Her kisses, and especially her rough and probing tongue were threatening to make him gag.  She leaned herself back, pulling up her skirt.  "Well, get on with it.  Come on."

Drexal felt a shudder wrack his body.  No, he had changed his mind.  This was not at all what he wanted.  "I... I made a mistake," he managed to stutter.

The waitress smiled through yellowed teeth. "Not yet, there luv.  Don't ya be worryin' none, I'll teach ya all ya needs ta know."

Drexal stood up.  "I'm just going to go have another drink."

The playful visage disappeared on the waitress' face, and one of annoyance took its place.  "What then? Think ye too good for ta likes o' me?  Well, piss off then!  Bugger yourself, ya big oaf!  But don't think ye be gettin' outta payin' me my worth now.  Ya owes me!  Not my fault ye canna be handlin' a real woman."

Blushing at her stinging words, Drex hurriedly pulled coin from his pocket and tossed it at her.  "Here, now just shut up!"

She had hit a nerve, and her wounded pride would not let it go.  "Ay!  What be ta matter with ye?  Big man built like a brownie where ya needs it?  Canna perform with a real woman?  Or maybe ya like buggerin' lil boys?  Is that it?"

Before he knew what he was doing, Drex found himself on top the waitress, his fists wrapped securely about her throat.  "I said shut up!  Damn you, you.. you whore!"  Her eyes were bulged out of her sockets as he stared into her eyes, a bloodlust built up within him, as anger consumed him.  He squeezed angrily, as he watched her eyes begin to fade.  Suddenly his wits returned to him and he let her go, and her head flopped sickeningly against the pillow.  Was she dead?  What had he done?

He stood up and backed away from the bed, slowly.  What was he going to do now?  Panic filled him.  He had to leave.  Get out of the city.  Go somewhere, anywhere!  He stepped from the backroom, looking about to see who was watching, but he was not the center of anyone's attention.  Backroom romances were common here.  He made his way to his table where he picked up his pack and headed for the door.  He stepped out into the icy wind.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Mathis Mallister on January 15, 2008, 02:59:00 AM
So, not only had the gods seen fit to make him some absurd example of an invalid, but now they thought to give him a chatty and ignorant audience as well. It was an effort not to scream, and it occured to him that he should thank the next man who walked by without uttering a word, especially that word. "Knight?" Stupid child, he wanted to snap at her. Don't you know that if I were a knight I would be raping you?  "What is it that makes you think I'm a knight, little girl?" He realized then that his voice sounded something like two woodsaws grinding together - sharp contrast to her own, which was the only hint at her age he had, all bundled up as she was. Mathis didn't give her an oppurtunity to answer, knowing anything she could say would merely offend him all the more. "My brother and I have been staying here at the Boar's Beard for some time. He should be along any moment." The three armed men that stood behind the girl might be less likely to fall upon him if they knew he had help on the way.

Had he really only just noticed them? Mathis was shocked, not only at the slacking of his senses - which he hoped was from the pain and not the bit of skirt that had spoken to him - but at how absurd they looked together. The first two were barely men at all, though that was where their similarities ended. One had a swarthy cast to him, and was evidently a musician of some sort, while the other seemed to be a knight himself by his attire, certainly Santharian, though his hair was as gold as any man of Remusiat. Here's a company worthy of a tale ... A bard, a bastard and a barbarian walk out of a bar ... His expression could not be saved from softening, and he could not help but ask a question of his own. "Are these .. gentlemen with you?"

Mathis found himself wanting to hear a no. In his condition, and without a sword, the only defense he had was Ghelgath, who would likely tear off a cheek or two to be sure, but the blonde boy's spear made him uneasy. But all that was only the half of it - as long as she didn't call him Sir again, it wouldn't be terribly disagreeable to keep this girl about, at least until Gundi caught up with him. He would curse his brother thrice when he finally did arrive, once for his sore ass, once for his dry throat, and once for his broken legs. Bloody bastard.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on January 15, 2008, 05:39:35 AM
Looking up at the formidable man atop black beast, xazure eyes took him calmly in. Céyehne glanced back briefly to notice Ruil exit the Tavern, as well as the burly man from earlier. Giving them no additional notice, she looked back up at the Knight. Listening to him talk, the Darkpriest became invariably perplexed. Little girl? Glancing down at her lithe form covered in nor'sidion robe, Céyehne supposed she was small in size, but definitely more developed than a little girl. Feeling her will pry at the shadows at her elevating anger, Céyehne quickly put her thoughts in order. Okay. He did not want to be addressed as "knight" obviously, he thought her a young girl, and he had a brother. They had been patrons before she herself, so her question had been a bit daft. Blue eyes narrowing a little, Céyehne's friendly nature did not allow her to get too angry. If he was sick or injured his irritation couldn't be from anything she said, anyway.

White locks blew slightly in the breeze, and Céyehne inhaled deeply the clear Remusian air. Removing her dark robe, Céyehne became again brilliantly bright in the snowy land. Perhaps she could brighten this man's spirits, as well. Ginger lips upturned to form a small, but not entirely friendly, smile. She was still on her guard. He obviously had no intention of being kind to her, but Céyehne knew she was safe. Torscha was nearby, and he had already assured her protection. Ruil also stood there, spear in hand. If anything his grief would lend him the strength to overcome another man. Céyehne chose to ignore the man's rude behavior. He may, in fact, be having a day quite like Ruil's own. With the confidence of her safety Céyehne answered the stranger's inquiry above the wind, "Aye. Two b' me frien's." The two weren't necessarily "with" her, but Céyehne was happy to call both men friend. Glancing around once more, as if this man's brother might truly be close, she saw no one other than a few citizens about the street. Something told her the newcomer's brother wouldn't look like a normal citizen.

Wondering where he'd come from and why he looked as he did, Céyehne thought to ask him. Full lips parted, then quickly closed. Wetting them thoughtfully with her tongue, the Kar-ii woman also wondered why he did not just dismount and await his brother's arrival indoors. Thinking only of the man's health, Céyehne kindly reached out an arm to touch him. Jerking it back, she remembered his reaction to simply her words a moment ago and thought better of attempting to provide any form of comfort. Instead, she said in a little more edgy tone, "I b' anythin' bu' a lit'le girl. If I can' call ye knigh', what b' yer name?" Now, more confidently, Céyehne stepped forward and looked directly into the man's eyes. He didn't seem to want to talk to her, to be addressed in any particular way, but she would certainly like to see some sort of friendliness in him before her duty was done. Torscha behind her would love a story from the stranger, and the way the blonde Ruil stopped must show he was to stick around a while longer. Why not provide accompaniment until his brother returned?

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Gundioc Mallister on January 15, 2008, 06:22:56 PM
The horseshoe Gundioc had been holding to his swollen face had lost the chill imparted to it by the cold ground easily ten dashes ago, though the company of both his thoughts and the aleskin between his clenched teeth distracted him from its uselessness. But now, as ale and thoughts ran dry, he realized the folly of his continued effort and cast the bit of metal aside, where it rang gratingly on stone before rolling to rest with an ominous thud against the nearest bit of Remusian architecture. He swore as the movement nearly caused him to drop most of what he carried. A good portion of it Mathis’ own gear.

“Bastard,” Gundioc swore, recalling the exchange at the stable earlier. He had dozed off easily enough among the straw and swine, expecting to be woken by the horrible news of his brother’s death. Instead, he was awakened with worse news; his brother lived. Having assisted Mathis onto Ghelgath, he turned to fish his invalid sibling’s cuirass and sword from the straw, but was met instead with the flick of a nor’sidian tail as he turned, to watch mount and rider scamper off without another word. The guards had already acquiesced back to their hovel of stone and straw, not wanting to burden themselves with the giant’s ire. A prudent measure, for had they lingered Gundioc would surely have boxed their heads in annoyance and frustration. As it were, he could only scream and froth wrathfully after Mathis for a few peds, until his head and heart pounded heavily with blood.

He did not know why he now carried his brother’s items. Some sense of duty? Honor? Gundioc chuckled at the thought of honor. What a pitifully worthless sentiment. He scoffed aloud, startling a good many people near him. Snarling at them to mind their own bastarding business, he dumped Mathis’ things rather unceremoniously on the ground, thinking of leaving them for some wagon or horse to trot upon. No. Suppose some whoreson like that child comes and steals it all.

Buggering drelldung! Gundioc leaned back heavily upon his heels, pondering what to do. His stomach gave a mighty grumble, heralding that it was nearly dinner and he pawed at himself looking for another aleskin, to no avail. He let out a string of curses and furiously swivelled his head about, not looking for anything in particular, but spying a food vendor some-odd many peds up the street. He gathered Mathis’ things once more and trundled towards the modest roadside establishment, a malicious gleam in his eye at the idea which had most recently come to him.

The vendor eyed him suspiciously as he approached, having seen the giant’s antics previously, and his hand moved carefully from the large spatula he possessed to the knife beside it. He didn’t want any trouble and wasn’t about to take any from this oversized oaf. However, Gundioc was entirely too hungry to be making any scenes (other than himself) and sauntered squarely up to the man, peering about at what sort of foodstuffs he was selling. Cakes? Gundioc could see his breath and this man was selling cakes?!

“Aren’t cakes a little out of season, old man?” he asked, looking down upon the vendor, a bit of drool creeping slowly from the corner of his mouth. “Any time is a good time for cake.” The undeniable logic of the man struck Gundioc as flat as the sword from the orc earlier today. And, striking a fast friendship (and a faster deal), he left the vendor with only the burden of his warhammer and cake.

Gundioc’s footsteps were now accompanied by the delicious squelch and squish of baked goods. Under his arm he carried nearly a dozen cakes, and he had stuffed cake into every pocket, as much as he could manage, and his fingers molested the various openings in his clothing, re-emerging to be eaten from, as off a trough, and suckled upon mirthfully. Moist crumbs clung to his whiskers, if only briefly, before his tongue made a wide arc of his upper lip, claiming his spoils. Twilight held Remusiat in its clutches and Gundioc wondered at how long his jaunt had taken, before quickly realizing he did not care in the least and shoved four fat, sugar-laden fingers into his mouth. Drooling over his own hand, he rounded the final corner which brought him near enough to the Boar’s Beard to see his brother, still atop Ghelgath, outside the entrance. Buggering bastard will piss blood when he hears this.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Sir Ruil Mallister on January 17, 2008, 04:53:42 AM
Ruil's golden hair blew away from his face in the gust of wind that blew past the five of them.  The wind bit past his tabard, tunic and breeches, so he pulled his cloak to wrap around his body, giving some shielding to the cold.  The cold was yet another part of Remusiat that he hated.  The damned city had taken away his mentor, his knowledge of how to return home, and now it was trying to freeze his balls off.  He was almost afraid to check to make sure they weren't solid globules of ice.  The rough-looking man who came out of the tavern looked very suspicious to Ruil.  He remembered seeing the man at the bar, more interested in the girls than leaving the place, and yet now he was out here with the rest of them.  Was the man following him? Now Ruil was extra glad that he brought his spear.  While it was suspicious that the man would leave the 'Beard so quickly after him, Ruil's attention was returned to the horseman.  His voice dripped with borderline malice as he barked at Ceyehne.  That annoyed Ruil greatly.  When Ceyehne answered the harsh warrior's second question, Ruil took a step closer to her to confirm that he indeed was one of such friends.  The newly made knight remained quiet until Ceyehne finished. Only then did he open his mouth to speak.

"You use the word 'knight' as if it were a curse, m'lord," spoke Ruil.  In contrast to the man mounted before him, Ruil's voice was much more pleasant.  Something about the man's voice hit Ruil somewhere deep down, but he couldn't put his finger on it, and thus he shrugged the thought away.  Too many people had taken advantage of him, and he wouldn't let some coarse horseman catch him offguard.  He looked Mathis straight in the eyes.  "What is so wrong with being a knight that you would treat my friend with such hostility for addressing you with an honorable title?  If anything, it is a show of respect."  Ruil had just become a knight, and he couldn't help but be offended by the way this man was treating the word.  Like it was refuse he wanted to flush away.  Perhaps he had been shat upon by a knight, and that was why he felt they were all arses.  The thought amused the boy.

Then another man came rounding the corner.  He was both intimidating and humorous to behold.  In an instant, Ruil scanned Gundioc and saw that he wore various cloaks, overtop them all the great pelt of a cartashian bear.  Large and intimidating, the head of the bear rested on Gundioc's great right shoulder.  Ruil was quite amused to see that the man seemed almost like a large marshmallow due to his pockets being stuffed with something.  He saw Gundioc licking his lips, but he was too far away to see what he was eating.  He did see that the bear of a man wielded a huge two-handed hammer. It was massive, much like its owner.  That was the main thing that intimidated Ruil.  He took a small step back, bringing both hands to his spear.  The horseman was greatly annoyed and could most likely provide a fight at least with his horse, and if this coming man was indeed the brother Mathis had mentioned, then they could be in for a fight.  Ruil knew he was a skilled warrior, but the man with his sledgehammer-like weapon reeked of berserk.  He didn't looked armored, so Ruil may have the edge due to reach, but one blow from that hammer would spell the end of the fight and, likely, Ruil's life as well.  "Is that your brother?" he asked Mathis, making sure to steel his nerves and mask his uncertainty.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Kareesh Valendar on January 17, 2008, 06:21:12 AM
Kareesh cursed the cold wind. It was because of this wind that she was stuck in the north again. She brought the black cape closer to her body, hoping to block out part of the wind. She had been told that there was an inn close by. She had been staying at one, but felt that she needed to move on. So, to the other side of town she moved.

Rags were wrapped around her hands, only a few specks of blood could be seen. A few bar fights had kept her busy, but they had resulted in some deep cuts, mostly from broken bottles. She tossed her head to get her hair out of her face. This was going to be a long night if she didn't find the inn soon.

Squinting, she could barely make out some shapes in the street. As she came closer, she could make out about five or six people standing around. She noticed a sign above the door in which they were standing in front of. The Boar's Beard the sign proclaimed as it creaked in the wind. Kareesh thanked....whoever and silently trudged past the people into the inn.

It was homely and nearly empty. Kareesh viewed this as a bad thing. No people meant no business and no crowd that she could easily hid in. She only saw one waitress and a woman at the bar.

"I should have stayed at the other place," Kareesh thought to herself as stood there, just looking.

Finally, she decided that there was nothing else to do but stay here. She took off her hood, revealing her dark brown hair with vivid blond streaks. Her emerald green eyes kept a constant vigilance of her surroundings as she approached the bar.

"What do you have that would warm a body on this cold night?" She asked the woman behind the bar. She leaned up against it as she took a seat.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on January 17, 2008, 08:26:27 PM
Torscha wondered if he was doing a good job of not fidgeting. Armed men made him nervous; hostile ones with gigantic brothers even more so, even though one of them was, thankfully, apparently more interested in baked goods than brawling. The sometime bard shifted his feet. The snow had made the already-slimy stones of the dock-district street even more treacherous, and he widened his stance to improve his balance. It was a trial not to reach for his sword, even though he suspected it would not do much for him against this savage-eyed man with the unpleasant temperament.

Consequently, he was grateful when the newly-knighted Sir Ruil chose to take issue with his words, allowing the bard to sidle surreptitiously up to Céyehne. He did not say anything to her, but allowed himself to nudge her, very gently, just to let her know he was at her elbow. The man positioned himself to her left, remembering a prior incident also involving beautiful women and the bad judgement they tended to inspire, when such a fortuitous positioning had allowed him to cover his charge with a right-handed draw. I don't trust the barbarian, either. The way the man's hungry eyes had swept across the tavern hardened Torscha's resolve somewhat. I'm not quite up to defending a city, but let's see how well I do protecting one girl.

Perhaps a show of solidarity would put the man in his place. Getting into a brawl with four strangers was a very different prospect than antagonising a group. Torscha set his feet and spoke softly, but firmly, letting his words carry just as far as they needed to. "We are indeed in the company of the lady," he said. "And I'll thank you to keep your 'gentlemen' to yourself. One need be neither of gentle birth nor a dubbed knight to keep a civil tongue in one's head, or treat a lady with becoming respect."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on January 21, 2008, 07:17:54 PM

Maryn looked around the tavern, watching as three of the patrons, the ones recently providing her with coin, left. And then, hastily, the burly man from only a few minutes ago stepped out. She hadn't seen him return with the barmaid he'd left with. What was with that man? Calling her mother. Maryn didn't understand it, but he seemed full of lust and slowly filling with ale, so it wasn't too much of a surprise. Eying him suspiciously, Maryn watched the door shut behind him, only to open with a new bitter breeze once more. When the door opened, she glimpsed a few forms standing outside. Presumably the few who'd just left, but why would they loiter about the entrance to the tavern? Wondering, but only for a few moments, Maryn checked back into reality.

Watching the woman who'd entered the tavern, Maryn saw her look around. Her face seemed to fall. As usual, the bartender thought with annoyance and slight amusement. First impressions always caused facial expressions to immediately change, and Maryn usually had a good time watching the facades disappear for one moment. Of course, the woman's hardened expression returned quickly as she walked purposefully to the bar and asked for a warm drink. The gruff bartender stared at the brown-haired woman, seeing her unusual green eyes clearly and managing a sideways smile.

"'Ere," She grunted, placing a hot tea before the woman. It was steaming. Honestly, Maryn didn't want to say they lacked in the number of drinks they carried, and other than warm, not hot, ale this tea was the best this woman could as for. She only hoped the woman wouldn't ask. To ward off another question, Maryn glanced back towards the hallway again and leaned towards the newcomer. She was tall and thin, probably an elf by the looks of her complexion. No matter. "Whaddya say ya do me a favor, Miss? Ya don't gotta buy yer drink, and I'll give ya som'more coin if ya check on my barmaid. She be in the room behin' the bar. If ya don' mind." Maryn didn't want to leave the bar, not with suspicious happenings outside it, and not with the folk who regularly visited the Beard.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Mathis Mallister on January 27, 2008, 11:27:18 AM
Mathis had only arrived at The Boar's Beard a few short moments ago, though it felt like it had been at the opposing end of a long and laborious lifetime. He had expected to wait for Gundioc in the silent darkness, and if he had any hopes of occupying itself with a single pleasant conversation with the female – who now displayed herself proudly as a woman grown – they had disappeared when her company each began to flap their tongues at him in turn. He had half a mind to dismount and strangle the little knight with his own tabard, half to silence him and half to save him from what he would one day become, before he remembered that he couldn't. He could of course, leave – or sit, and listen, and hope eventually their tongues would grow tired of spewing such simpleminded senselessness. It was only Gundioc rounding the corner that forced him into the latter choice.

Relieved but resigned to a few more moments of chatter, Mathis grunted in amusement as they spoke of the respect they deserved. “Do civil tongues always flutter so freely, minstrel, or just the ones in your company?” Mathis gave a slight indication he referred to the boy with the spear, and noticing the ferocity with which the little knight was staring at him, regarded him fully. Coupled with the hellhorse he sat on, what little light escaped the tavern struck Mathis in a manner that made him look more mhorashty than man. “I suppose the hostility you all seem to perceive stems from our differing ideas regarding respect. I don't recall asking for the respect of any of you. Mayhaps that is how you come to receive it, boy, but I prefer to earn or take by force what little I come to call my own. I suppose you asked for those trappings you wear? Did you ask for your honorable title as well?” Mathis scoffed as the knight's face hardened, but putting the boy in his place did not much improve his mood. "I'm not in the habit of having my manners evaluated by strangers. If you object to my company so, please go on about your business. All of you."

He turned his back to them, hoping they would consider it a further insult and move on. He had not needed to look upon his brother to recognize his approach - it was either Gundioc Mallister or a Peat Giant, and the latter were, by comparison, solitary creatures. After a cursory glance to welcome the whale, he began to turn back to answer the lady and what he hoped would be the lad's last question. "It is. My name is Mathis Mallister, and this is -" Mathis stopped speaking, but his mouth remained agape as he quickly looked back towards Gundioc to verify what it had taken him a moment to realize. His starving eyes sought for his weapons and spoils anywhere upon his brother's person he might have placed them, but all he saw was cakes. Cakes. The images in his head no longer depicted Mathis turning the blade on himself, but neither were they products of the poison. "If you ate my sword, bear, it will be a pleasure to retrieve."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Sir Ruil Mallister on January 27, 2008, 12:30:34 PM
The gruff, bloody bastard even had the nerve to insult Ruil's knighthood.  The knighthood that was Sir Roland's last gift he would ever give his former squire.  To a degree, Ruil had to agree with this dirty blonde man in regards to respect, but having respect and being polite are two separate things.  And one should not begin a conversation by openly insulting someone who was clearly better armed.  With a glance in Gundioc's direction, Ruil realized it must have been his brother's presence that spawned the sudden arrogance from the man before him.  "I lost my ward and friend. Being a knight is all I have left, cu-"

Ruil was cut off mid-sentence.  The man just said a name before barking at his massive brother.  A name he knew.  His name!  The knight's mouth never closed from speech, instead hanging open in sheer shock.  That's where Ruil knew the man!!  It can't be!  Mathis never came back or sent word for us.  He just left us in Nyermersys.  How could he be here, of all places!?  Curse Seyella and her damned irony.

"Mathis," rang Ruil's voice, like the ringing of Coor's bell.  He took a step forward, only half-consciously letting his spear tip fall towards the ground.  He refused to believe it at first.  From Mathis's own lips, he wanted to hear him call him 'brother.'  "You share mine own name.  I'm Sir Ruil Mallister.  Is it really you?" He took another step forward, up a little past Ceyehne, whom he didn't even notice.  It was then that Ruil saw it.  Recognition dawned over him like a waterfall, flooding away the woes of the past.  He suddenly grinned, and turned toward the cake-carrying bear that walked towards them.  "So, you must have found him..." With a small nod, Ruil finished the sentence. "Gundioc."  Ruil turned back to look up at Mathis, and damn did he want to hug the man.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on January 28, 2008, 08:27:52 PM
Torscha was about to hit back with a suitably cutting rejoinder when Ruil started forward, and be damned if the revelation wasn't worth his swallowing his pride. He watched with some bemusement as the young knight's expression went from downright hostile to something approaching incredulous, seguing form there to what he might almost have called joy.

Well, isn't this lovely. A house divided come together again. The bard took his hand off his sword-hilt, grateful that he had not had to use the weapon, especially not against someone as obviously confident in his own prowess as this newcomer who at least one of them seemed to have some history with. I suppose in order to preserve the moment, it would be unseemly to retort. And damned if the man isn't sharper than he looks. 'Flutter' indeed! Well, dour as he is, he can't be any good with women. The thought cheered the storyteller immensely; much more than it should have, all told. He sneaked a sidelong glance at Ceyehne. The fetching dancer's expression was inscrutable.

"Well," he drawled, "it seems that you three are already acquainted with one another. While your long-deferred reunion is of course an occasion for much rejoicing, might I suggest you defer it for just a little longer, so we can all come in from the cold?" A little snidely, to the man who had introduced himself in such a surly manner as Mathis, "And civil tongues aside, as brazen as your brass balls may be, I'm sure even you could use some warmth and hospitality."

And perhaps after you've had some drink in you and had your little cry with your baby brother, you can see about earning some of that respect you mentioned, or taking us captive with the force of your wit.

Then he realised just how vindinctive he was being, and his lips quirked a little at the unfamiliar exercise of spleen.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on January 29, 2008, 05:50:45 AM
Céyehne swelled in pride as each of her new acquaintances in turn chose to defend her. It felt liberating to have two fully capable men on her side instead of against it. Or even hungering after it. The Darkpriest seemed to gain a kind of newfound confidence with the encouragement, and she felt stronger facing this mongrel than she had in so many years of travel and fear. Another woman, seemingly uninterested in their little group, passed them by and entered the Beard. Céyehne watched her with a wan smile on her full lips. Surely it would be easy to keep people coming with their act. Giving Torscha a sweeping look as she returned her gaze to the mounted man, the small woman knew they would have to perform later that evening. Perhaps they could even warm up this stranger's cold spirits.

As Torscha sidled up beside her, giving her a nudge with his elbow, a strange feeling washed over the dancer. Surely it was out of the simple comfort of protection, as any woman would feel in a threatening situation, but that could not be the whole of it. Reaching up to smooth locks of cyhalloian snow as they fluttered in the icy breeze, the woman tried to decipher what she felt. She did not free herself from his touch. It was warmth. It was sure and true, and she thought it may be the comraderie they felt when she danced to his rhythm. Shaking it off, petite shoulders shrugged against the wind, although it did not chill her bones. Remusiat was similar to her own lands... perhaps that was a piece of the comfort in itself.

Céyehne was loathe to continue her kindness towards this stranger when his mouth opened again. Such scathing words he spoke to a few who would be kind enough to help him. Xazure orbs took him in, and widened in surprise at the girth that was his brother. Watching as he approached them at a leisurely pace, Céyehne thought even the protection of the two accompanying her would not save her from a giant man. It was almost comical the scene he created, a large, formidable opponent snacking on sweets. Eyes crinkling for a moment in amusement, the dancer caught the first brothers' name. Mathis Mallister. Simultaneously with Ruil it donned on her--the same name. Céyehne thought it more than strange that the two would not know each other, sharing the same name wasn't exactly common with so many people gathered from difference parts of the world. It was obvious in his tone and mannerisms that Ruil, too, was in surprise.

Looking at the young knight with sympathy, Céyehne wondered at the story behind the three unique brothers. The emotional ride Ruil must be experiencing was unfathomable to the dancer. Or perhaps it was not. She imagined all the feeling and emotion compressed into her dance, pushed it out into the drama unfolding before her, and came to the conclusion that Torscha may be right--they should return indoors. More than that, they should leave the three alone. If indeed they were kin, there was no place for Torscha nor herself to be involved. Judging by the way Mathis addressed his brother--"Bear", he called him--Céyehne would imagine his uncouth tone was one form of endearment in itself and Ruil would be quite safe within the company of the two. Catching Torscha's eye as he seemed to catch hers, the Kasumarii gave him a bright smile. Warmth and hospitality the Tavern could provide, however, seclusion or privacy it could not. Instead of adding to the fray of words bouncing about the group, she turned and whispered melodiously to Torscha alone, "Migh' we proceed wit' our jaun' an' allow thes' men t' catchin' up they migh' need?" If all went well, musician and dancer could return the three in a matter of time (She knew the potential of a story in this situation), tempers cooled by the warmth of ale and familiarity of family.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on January 29, 2008, 01:13:10 PM
Torscha grinned. He had not thought of leaving, after the startling new development, but the dancer's suggestion seemed to lift a great weight from his shoulders. Let's let them get acquainted without my meddling, he thought. Also, the inn's foul vapours must have muddled my spirits. 'Fluttering' indeed! It just goes to show how decrepit I've become, that I didn't verbally flay that man's flesh from his bones.

He chose not to dwell on the fact that, weaponless as the newcomer might have been, he possessed an air of dangerous confidence that the minstrel had no desire to try. Verbal provocation might serve as a defence before a civil court; it would not save him from those two large and capable-looking hands closing around his throat. And it's such a precious neck too; it's mine!

"Once again, your wisdom has outshone your grace. Lead on, lady. Encountering our malodorous new acquaintance must have made me forget the inn's stench that drove us forth from his confines in the first place. We shall return later, to see how this lot has fared. I hope they play nicely. Rowdy brothers are one thing; rowdy brothers with weapons and the girth of a veritable giant are quite another. If that man's appetite in any way is proportioned to his size, Maryn will have a fit when her laziness runs head-on into her desire for profit."

He extended his arm to her, as gracefully as he could manage. The storyteller lacked some of the dancer's economy of movement and fluid sinuousity, but he'd seen it done often enough, and he would not be out-done in chivalry by some newly-made knight. The other two were, for obvious reasons, not a threat in that department.

"Come, partner. You mentioned a square? I think it's time to see what this city has to offer."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Gundioc Mallister on January 29, 2008, 02:40:39 PM
Gundioc sauntered up to within about three peds of his brother and the sundry sort gathered about him, oblivious to the fact that he had been talked about just moments before. Face and fist still full of cake, he blurted out in a most repugnant manner, “I’m not one to be swallowin’ swords, you great fop!” Crumbs, both half-eaten and those yet to be, sprayed forth from the giant’s mouth, and thankfully for the distance between he and the nearest creature, the ground was the only party to be offended.

Ignoring his brother’s apparent annoyance, he rammed an already sticky hand into one of his pockets and brought forth a rather lopsided and drooping delicacy. “Cake?”  he offered in a clearer voice, having swallowed his previous handful. The look Mathis now sported could have killed a wison from a stral away, but Gundioc only grinned while prodding the innards of his great maw with his tongue, searching for any remnants of his snack.

His brother’s silence only encouraged him to continue speaking and between satisfying his mouth’s seemingly endless need for cake and the great chuckles which bounced from the stone and straw of the nearby inn, Gundioc managed, “I told the wastes...I’m no dog...of yours,”  here he paused to molest his fingertips with his already sugar-laden tongue, and popping them free of his mouth in a most sickening fashion he continued, “So, I left your things in the care of a most benevolent cakesmith back down yon street. Funny thing is I needn’t not to have paid him a san! In fact, he’s the one what paid me! And in cakes! All the delicious cakes I could ever want. Must have been greatly honored to be lookin’ after the wares of one so prestigious as yourself! Ha! What a gentleman, says I!”  

The spittle covering Gundioc’s hand had nearly hardened given the cold at this time of evening and rather than allow his fingers to grow chill, he plunged them forth once more into his seemingly numberless and manifold pockets. As he sniggered and smacked his lips, and half paying attention to Mathis (for his reaction would be uproariously hilarious, to be sure), Gundioc finally surveyed the assorted few that lingered yet outside the inn.

Some golden-haired child stood closest to his brother. Man-whore, and all chivalried up and with such a long spear as to impress his suitors. A few crumbs escaped Gundioc’s mouth as he chuckled at what sort of transaction Mathis had been undertaking before he had arrived. His head swivelled next to the man and woman (oh what a woman!) standing next to each other. He dismissed the man as no one important, even though he offered his arm to her, and half-prayed in his mind, please be a whore. Admittedly, it didn’t particularly matter if she were or not, the giant’s affections were something difficult to be cast aside, as was his tremendousness should a struggle ensue.

He resolved to inquire about her employment later, inferring from her lack of pack or parcel that she would be returning. By this time, he had of course completely forgotten about the barmaid in the Wison’s Breath that he had made the personal promise to bed before day’s end, but Gundioc was an opportunist when it came to these things, and luckily for many a past woman, a rather forgetful one at that. 

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on January 30, 2008, 05:24:35 PM
Céyehne watched the dark featured storyteller closely when he spoke, his white toothed grin so very handsome and his attempt at rustic gentlemanly behavior endearing. She hesitated only a moment to wrap her black robe around her once more. There was no more need to neither emphasize her womanly figure nor make herself noticeable in her snowy and unique attire. Although he had to be quite a bit younger than her, xazure blue eyes brightened at the idea that he would leave the tense story unfolding here to enjoy her company. Taking the offered arm with a petite hand, the dancer’s hips swayed with graceful movement away from the scene. Squeezing slightly, as if to pull Torscha along, Céyehne smiled brightly at him in return. Again he flattered her with flowery words, but the woman had a sense that they were genuine, not mere show. She was delighted at the fact that he jumped towards the chance to leave the three in peace. Or as close to peace as they could come.

And he was correct about Maryn. Her feathers would surely ruffle in annoyance at the amount of work she would have to put in this evening. Perhaps it was better for her, and especially for her business. Ginger lips smirked a little at the notion of diverting those attentions toward Torscha and herself for yet another act. As they took several steps away, the approaching giant’s eyes fell on the Kasumarii woman. A twinge of fear, defiant as it was, coursed through her at his hungry expression. Only able to guess at his initial thoughts—for many men had the same when glimpsing her for the first time—Céyehne’s petite shoulders shivered slightly; this time not from the chill. Hips swaying with more urgency now, the Kar-ii grasped at Torscha’s arm, fully entwining her own in his. She knew he only intended to be polite, but perhaps with him firmly at her side all other ideas would be warded off.

Shooting an apologetic glance at the newly knighted Ruil, Céyehne turned fully away and headed west, towards the west gate and where she knew the city’s main plaza to be. ”Quite t’ luck I had t’ sens’ t’ observe me surroundin’s, my dear Torsch’.” Céyehne gave the wanderer a small wink and eyed the fortified city enclosing them. Although Remusiat was northern and cold like her own home, its walls seemed to close in on the entertainer. She came from a nomadic tribe; it was difficult to imagine staying permanently in one place for as long as she lived. Pondering that a bit, Céyehne wondered if that wasn’t the reason the Remusians seemed to have a few very special talents, but not much else in the way of trade to offer. They had enclosed themselves, and perhaps they had no desire to learn further. ”Went a wee bit far on t’ walls, din’t they?” Her voice alight with amusement, the woman used the opportunity to stay her fear.

Looking at the buildings, the bustling Remusian people, and feeling innumerable zephyrs cross her pale face, Céyehne released Torscha’s arm and tried to match his stride. Easily she moved, weaving when others passed close by her, but feeling liberated in more open air. In truth, her surroundings weren’t open, but the intensity encircling the three brothers caused a shadow to fall among them. Looking curiously at the man beside her, the woman studied his features closely. He had his youth to be sure, but there was a twinkle in his eye and a weathered look to his skin that told her otherwise. He was perplexing, but Céyehne had genuine interest in him; equally, she knew next to nothing about him, ”If’n ye b’ my partner I’ll b’ wantin’ t’ know a bit about ye, Torsch. Yer talen’ is impressive… but I wonder at t’ boy behin’ it. Where did ye learn? An’ where b’ yer home?” Easily the questions spilled from full lips as they walked, she knew she could have gone on, and the Kar-ii took even herself aback at it. To ward of potential suspicion in the lad, she continued, ”Firs’ly, what b’ ye wantin’ in t’ plaza?” Smiling sheepishly, Céyehne kept her gaze focused on the rather bland sights at hand. The harbour and the Ice Sea at her back, the busy plaza and looming West Gate before her.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on February 06, 2008, 11:57:56 AM

When the fair skinned newcomer didn't answer her, Maryn grunted and pulled the mug of hot tea back behind the bar. Yer choice, missy. She scowled for a moment at the woman before scanning the room. Catching the eye of the remaining barmaid, Maryn indicated for her to get her scrawny arse behind the bar. When the skinny maid did so, the gruff woman hobbled on thick feet from behind the bar and down the tiny hallway. Her girth barely fit through the measley corridor, but she pushed her way through and checked each room without second thought of the inhabitant's privacy. Most wouldn't be in the rooms until later that night anyway.

Opening one, obviously the room the young blonde man had mentioned earlier, the stench almost knocked the large woman from her sturdy feet. Indeed, the dead knight lay here. Sadly, despite the aroma, Maryn carefully closed the door. Moving on, the next room must have been that oaf of a man's. Nothing. After checking the remaining rooms, Maryn checked another room directly behind the kitchen. Sometimes the maids preferred a "back" room rather than the patrons' own.

The other barmaid lay there on the floor. Her body limp, tattered curtains let spots of the remaining light fall upon the woman's tiny frame. Rushing--as much as a woman her size could rush--to the maiden's side, Maryn knelt and placed a fat hand against the girl's cheek. Her face was flushed but Maryn watched gratefully as her chest fell and rose in time with her breathing. At least she was alive, but it didn't make the bartender any less angry. Grabbing the woman and placing her easily on the bed, for she seemed like just skin and bones, the woman stomped from the room.

Into the common room, Maryn searched for that larger man she'd last seen with one of the two women. Nowhere could he be seen. As there were very few gathered here now, Maryn took the liberty to smash from the threshold of the tavern, coming upon three men just outside. Yes, she recognized all three. Two had been boarded here for a bit, but the third, the young blonde, surely would have seen the newcomer. Striding chunkily up to him, the woman poked a finger rudely into his muscled chest. "Ya seen that big oaf of a man? The burly one? The one who knocked one'a my maids flat on the floor! The one who managed to escape after doing so!" She knew the boy couldn't have known, so she kept explaining as best she could through grated teeth.

Rage boiled in the big lady, and she turned to the other two men as well. They were familiar and she softened a little at the sight of them. They gave her great business. "If ya saw 'im and ya let 'im go I'll be damned if ya don't go git 'im back for me! And I mean now." Staring hard at them for a moment longer, the bartender finished. "And I'll pay ya. Actually, take yer time, I don't care. Just git 'im. I wont have anyone treatin' my women like that. No one. Kill 'im yerself if ya have to."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Azhira Styralias on February 07, 2008, 04:18:11 AM
Azhira came upon the outside of the Boar's Beard just in time to hear a large woman yelling at three men. A young blonde man appeared to take the brunt of the woman's irate ranting while the other two men stood motionless listening. The woman turned to them and offered to pay them to find a certain trouble-doer who had assaulted a barmaid.

Now this could be interesting...and the woman was paying to find this man?

Azhira caught that the man was a big, burly oaf, but that could describe any number of men. She moved near the angry woman and tried to get her attention.

"You there," Azhira said. "I would like to help you. What did this man look like and who saw him last? Perhaps I can talk to this maid he roughed up?"

Azhira was no investigator and surely she didn't have the means to actually kill anyone, but if she found this man and perhaps reported him to the city guard, maybe that would be worth the reward.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on February 07, 2008, 09:50:55 AM

Maryn was startled from her interrogation of the three men when a different voice addressed her. Turning to look at the person before her, the gruff woman first had to decipher the gender. From appearance she first guessed a man, but it was obvious in her eyes--not to mention her voice--that she was female. Glancing over the three warrior-types again the big woman decided they were much too involved with.. well, themselves, to do her bidding anyway. And here she had another offering to do her work! Her anger pushed her to take any chance given. Because of that, Maryn hastily grabbed the young woman's arm.

"Ya best not be faint'a heart, miss. The man was big and muscley, ya see. He had longer hair, dark... dark eyes..." She trailed for a moment trying to remember. "His voice was obviously deep, he was a man. Oh, by the gods. Come in. I'll pay ya nice if ya bring 'im back." Grumbling to herself, Maryn released the hooded woman's arm and led the way into the tavern. All the way she tried to think of what more she could tell the inquiring woman. Really there was nothing extraordinary about the man, aside from his hunger for women (which wasn't all that uncommon in the Beard), and the way he addressed her as "mother". However, the name he called her wouldn't get her any closer to finding the stupid brute.

This new woman was smart, too. She wouldn't have thought to let her speak to the victimized barmaid. A girl with brains, Maryn glanced once more at the still unmoving woman who entered earlier, would get her much further in this entire affair. One thing the bartender knew for certain was that the man hadn't left Remusiat. According to rumors about, escape would be hard enough, and from the way she remembered him bursting from the bar earlier he looked much too suspicious and nervous to have left so quickly. And possibly too much of an oaf to figure it out right off. Sighing a little, the large lady positioned herself behind the bar once more, freeing the maid to roam the common area, and waited for the girl to follow.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on February 07, 2008, 12:57:43 PM
The pair's long-limbed, irregular stride led them in the direction of the Boar's Beard, walking arm in arm. Torscha studied the curious object she'd given him as they walked. it was much heavier than it appeared to be; he noticed that the fan's ribs were not of the hard wood he'd been expecting, but of metal, varnished over to appear of wooden construction. With a flick of his wrist, he opened it, and nearly cut his thumbs off. It took a supreme act of will – and no little acting ability – to conceal his sudden panic. Still, he couldn't prevent his eyes from widening as he looked at the weapon. Quickly, he flicked it shut and handed it back to her, brain buzzing.

I know some girls carry knives in odd places to protect their virtue, but that's something else entirely! Wasn't Gerissa Goldenarse supposed to be an adept with these? Huh. That's an odd thing to remember. They're not Centoraurian weapons. I've seen them before, but the ones used for dancing are usually less... lethal-looking: few dancers have good careers while covered in scars. Only the best perform with a battle-ready one: the risk of injury is usually just too great.

Hm... she
is a Kar'ii after all. An assassin's weapon? Glancing down, he saw that her eyes were wide and innocuous, obviously waiting for him to remark on what she'd shown him. No, I refuse to believe it. Her an assassin? Impossible!

"I have, indeed, seen fans like these before," he admitted, "and I know enough about them to know that any dancer good enough to use one as sharp as this without fear of accidental injury is going to be formidable both on and off stage. My hat off to you, lady; you are indeed much more than you seem." He took the rigidity out of his words with a crooked smile. "As for the sword, well, I wasn't always a penniless wanderer. My father was disappointed that I showed no talent for true magic, but determined that if I couldn't be a mage I would, at the very least, be a gentleman, and I was tutored in those things proper for a gentleman citizen to know.

"Imagine my surprise when I was first called upon to draw to defend my person in earnest! In one moment of dismay I realised both that fencing for honour or amusement and fighting for one's life are very different things, and also what my sword-master had always been going on about. I am, as you can see, still mostly whole and hale, though, so that anecdote has a happy ending, at least for me.

"There's a lot of romanticism associated with swords." He touched the one at his hip, a slender weapon, plain but well-made, the interlocking rings of its guard covered in nicks and scrapes too deep for casual maintenance to efface. "I try not to let myself get carried away by it all. Too many romantic stories and everyone's waving their swords around and someone's likely to lose an eye that way. I try not to have too many illusions about what it is: it isn't some sort of mystical emblem of honour. It's a weapon, and it only fulfils its function when it's been introduced to someone's insides." Torscha paused. "I am tempted to think that my survival up till now has been due to my not having acquired any kind of mastery of the blade; if I had done, it might have been too tempting to see the sword as a solution instead of a desperate measure.

"Drawn swords are never a pleasant thing." His fingers tightened on the hilt of the sword; it was only the squeak of glove-leather stretched tight that made him aware that his knuckles were probably white under the gloves, causing him to slacken his grip somewhat. "No matter the outcome, it's never pleasant. Either I'm dead or maimed, or I have to go through the trouble of cleaning the blood off and polishing the nicks out. I honestly can't tell you which I think is worse." He hoped his grin would take the morbidity out of the unpleasant turn the conversation had taken.

As they drew up to the tavern, they noticed first of all the brothers Mallister, still silent in the snow, regarding each other cryptically. Torscha noticed that the big blond man who had burst out of the tavern together with them was gone: eyes that by necessity had to acquire a certain sharpness noticed that, as the area immediately outside the inn was only sparsely peopled and that no new snow had fallen, the tracks that led off a ways probably belonged to the big man. He shrugged to himself. He had not particularly liked the man, and was glad for his disappearance.

Sliding past the Mallisters and hoping to avoid another verbal confrontation with the unpleasant sibling, Torscha held open the Beard's door. "After you, lady."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Azhira Styralias on February 07, 2008, 10:54:56 PM
Azhira nodded to the large woman and pulled the cowl further over her head before entering the Board's Beard. She turned and smiled at the man she was watching earlier in the square, who was also looking to enter.

The typical sights and smells of a taproom greeted Azhira as she stepped inside. Her eyes scanned the room, noting the patrons and layout of tables and chairs. As was habit for her, she always took a moment to map an escape route wherever she went as more often than not, trouble followed her. She needed to know the layout of the place just in case.

She was careful to step over a few puddles of liquid and bits of food on the floor as she followed the large woman, who had come to stand behind the bar. So she was the barkeep? Or perhaps the owner?

Two skinny men, each sporting greasy black hair and days old unkept whiskers upon their pointy chins, stood up as Azhira brushed by. They made no attempt at courtesy to allow a lady to pass and instead each of them bumped their shoulders into her and released loud belches followed by hoarse, raucous laughter.

Azhira grimaced and tried to edge by but one of the skinny men moved to block her path. "Hey there, pretty lady!" he flashed a mouthful of crooked, yellowed teeth. His beady eyes examined Azhira's forehead and cowl. "Wait...wait...where is yer hair?"

The second man, a man Azhira noted looked very similar to the first, and deduced that they were twin brothers, also made a disgusted face. " is bald!"

"Freak!" cried the first man. "You'se a foreigner, fer sure. Some silly savage lookin' thing."

"Git out of here," said his brother. "This place is for locals only."

By now, some of the patrons had turned their attention to the loud pair and eyed Azhira curiously. She felt the heat of eyes upon her and tried to move away quickly. Although the obnoxious men stirred within her an angry response, she felt she couldn't make a scene. Not now.

But the men's response left her little choice.

As Azhira pushed her way past the brothers, one of them stuck out his foot and hooked it around Azhira's ankle. The mage stumbled forward and fell, her hands catching her fall. She fell into a sticky stain on the floor and felt a wave of nausea wash over her.

The brothers erupted into more laughter, each of them thinking they were the most entertaining bunch in the taproom. By the looks of the other patrons, who simply stared, they were either used to this behavior from the men or feared for them. Surely the large woman would intervene.

Azhira had no time for this. One of the men gave her a look of contempt and spat a wad of phlegm that splattered on her cloak.

Now enraged, the mage moved quickly to her feet and thrust her arms out towards the men. Her cloak billowed wildly around her as a fierce wind tore through the taproom. The skinny men yelped as they caught the brunt of the wind as if an invisible wall of force slammed into them. The wind blew them back over their table and chairs sending their mugs of ale and half eaten food crashing on top of them. Their heads slammed against the floor with a thud with each of them moaning before going silent.

Azhira dropped her arms and the wind ceased. She glanced around the room and noted with satisfaction that none of the other tables had been disrupted. Her focus was solely on the two men and only the felt the effect of the conjured wind.

Azhira brushed off her cloak and turned to the large woman. "My apologies for the scene," she said. "I'll make it up to you by finding this man you're looking for."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on February 08, 2008, 06:52:04 AM

Maryn’s eyes widened in astonishment, then narrowed in disapproval as the two patrons began to scrutinize and actually laugh  at the hairless woman. Sure, the tattoo and her bald head were unique and she was obviously a traveler, but this would not be tolerated as an acceptable way to treat guests! Making her way around the bar to scold the men harshly, the large woman opened her mouth to bellow a curse or two in their direction. Before she could speak a word, however, she was frozen in her tracks.

The strange woman began to make things… happen. A rush of air caused the bartender to glance at the Tavern door, but no wind crossed the threshold. Fear filled her eyes now, watching the two men crash to the floor, Maryn only had one explanation in mind: Magic. Stumbling back behind the counter, she wondered if it would do any good to begin yelling now. There were no guards near the Tavern, although the harbor was only a few peds away. Would she be obvious, leaving the bar unattended? Would the men outside aid her? Her mind frantically working for a resolution, the almond-eyed woman approached her again in apology.

This brought Maryn to reality. The man! Looking closely at the newcomer she didn’t seem keen on harming anyone else within the place. However, the fear and anger that boiled in her at the woman’s scene told her she would definitely be doing something  about it. Firstly she wanted to catch that vile man who knocked out her barmaid. Because of this, she forced out a grunt, a sort of acceptance of the apology, and said, “I’ll letcha talk to the maid. We’ll see if she’s awake. C’mon.”

She led the bald woman behind the bar to the room where the barmaid lay. Shuffling to the skinny maid’s side, Maryn unceremoniously shook her bony shoulders. Eyes fluttered open and immediately formed a scowl, no doubt searching the room for her assailant. Jabbing her thumb over her shoulder at the stranger, she said as softly as she could, “Tell this girl ‘bout that man 'oo hurt ya. She’s gonna help us git ‘him punished.” With that, she stood and left the room to tend again to the bar, leaving the maid to her description.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on February 08, 2008, 07:56:27 AM
They’d reached the Tavern again, although the dancer hadn’t been looking about the plaza. In fact, she’d forgotten entirely her reason for wanting to walk around it as she focused on Torscha’s words. It was easy to listen to him. She had a feeling he could bring to life even the most dull of subjects. She’d only smiled at him, watching his expression as he held her fan and tucking it carefully at her hip when he returned it to her. She eyed his own weapon for only a moment before gazing back at his face again. His crooked smile almost never left it, which endeared the Kar-ii to him all the more.

Mostly her thoughts consisted of agreement. A nod frequented her actions. Whatever Torscha thought of her armored fan, he seemed to take her same outlook on his own weapon. It was for defense, not show or excessive use. If anything the Kasumarii woman would rather live her life without having to wield her weapon. ”I b’ usin’ it only a couple times…” She’d murmured once, but softly enough so as not to disrupt the man’s anecdote.

Gliding past the men outside and stepping across the threshold into the shabby tavern again, Céyehne did not immediately answer her partner. Her slender neck craned downward in thanks, but her head snapped back up at the commotion within. Blue eyes pierced through the shadowy common area at two men, lying with their mugs and meals on the floor attempted to stand and brush themselves off. They were awfully quiet for having just been assaulted. The dancer, although not keen on reading others’ emotions or expressions, could immediately see fear rather than anger overtook the two men. Glancing at Torscha again, the woman raised her eyebrows questioningly. She could grow accustomed to immediately having his opinion and insight available to her. 

Sweeping the room, she noticed the woman she’d seen in the plaza was just leaving—following the bartender toward the back. Something about the entire situation seemed odd. It was all extremely offbeat for the dancer, and she was also progressively grateful the storyteller’s presence at her side. She was enjoying his point of view regarding life in general, the way he thought resonated true within her. The strange, bald woman must have unique skills of her own. As far as Ceyehne guessed she had not physically touched the two men, but still they had been knocked to the ground. The bartender's look before she turned to go was also confusing. Magic was a definite explanation, and the Darkpriest actually rejoiced at the opportunity to expose Torscha's feelings about it. If this was the work of magic, she would know if it was safe to divulge her own unusal talents.

She regarded him through lash shaded eyes now, still not speaking, the tavern darkening his already dreary features and the firelight bouncing across them both. The dancer, timid although she did not want to admit it, reached out a slender arm to take Torscha’s--perhaps to comfort him, she did not know--but quickly pulled back. Instead she swept her arm up to gracefully smooth her hair again, feeling abashed at what she had almost done. Already she was placing her safety in his hands, although she knew she could defend herself: she’d rather choose not to.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on February 08, 2008, 11:36:55 AM
Stepping into the Beard hard on Céyehne's heels, Torscha apprised the odd situation quickly. Two men, on the floor, their things spilled around them. Bystanders still seated, gawking and whispering in low tones to each other, instead of on their feet cheering the way they would have been if it had been the result of a fight. He moved quickly past the dancer, putting himself between her and the two men groaning on the floor.

He peered at them. Long hours spent in the tavern's taproom let him attach names to faces, and he hauled them each to their feet in turn, giving them hearty slaps on the back that sent them staggering back across the floor looking for seats. The reek of alcohol about them was hardly subtle; however they'd ended up in that position, they'd probably deserved it.

Noticing that Céyehne wore a particularly thoughtful look as she surveyed the damage, Torscha bent his head and whispered, "I see you've noticed something peculiar about this situation. A san for your thoughts?"

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on February 08, 2008, 11:59:42 AM
Torscha was quick into the tavern behind her, and she watched him haul each of the drunkards to their feet quickly. They stumbled, and it was clear to the Darkpriest they wouldn’t give good accounts of what had happened. It was kind of him, an unusual kindness, to help the men up. She would have bet it was only so he could gather information, or receive something in return for his action, but instead he returned to her. Thoughtfully, she removed her nor’sidion robes as he whispered to her. Glancing at him, knowing the bar was unattended, she glided towards it, hanging her robe on the bar and sliding into an empty seat.

Her suspicion could definitely be true. She indicated for Torscha to sit. No one was laughing. In fact, it seemed as though most were either averting their eyes or transfixed completely by whatever had happened. Her expression grave, and her whisper just audible enough for the man to hear, she said ”Tha’ strange girl b’ a mage.” It wasn’t a question, although she wasn’t keen on making accusations just yet. Bright eyes shifted towards the room as the bartender returned to her position down the bar a bit.

Céyehne wasn’t sure why she was considering the situation with such guarded speech and expression. Something in the way Torscha whispered, as if he knew she would have an answer, caused her to act as she was. Her hands fidgeted in her lap, and suddenly she became much more afraid. Another thought occurred to her: was there some sinister plan behind that strange, bald woman’s eyes? Was there something the pair was missing… that Remusiat was missing? Anything could happen in a time of war, the dancer mused. Although she might seem irrationally paranoid, she couldn’t help the fear that caused the hairs on the back of her neck to rise.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Azhira Styralias on February 09, 2008, 05:55:20 AM
Azhira stepped into the room and closed the door behind her. She watched the barmaid for a moment. The wench didn't look up at Azhira. Her head was down and her legs pulled up tightly to her body. Thin arms wrapped around her legs in a tight embrace with long fingers wound around each other.

The mage stepped closer and knelt down. "Well, what have you gotten yourself into now?" she thought to herself. "You promised to find this woman's're deep in this now."

Azhira let out a small sigh and touched the barmaid's elbow. The woman didn't react. She only sniffed and moved her head to the side to get a side long glance at the visitor in her room.

"I heard you were attacked," Azhira started to say. "The barkeep, the large woman, said a big man hurt you and fled the taproom. I've offered to look for him and bring him to justice."

By the gods! What am I doing here? I can simply leave now and no one would find me.

Azhira pushed the thought of fleeing from her mind. She watched the poor barmaid, shaking and wracked with fear. She was a victim. An innocent whelp who didn't deserve this, especially from a man supposedly twice her size. Azhira gritted her teeth in frustration. She was no fighter, but she had ways of tracking someone down. Her experience as a thief and scavenger would help her greatly.

Azhira waited patiently for the barmaid to respond.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on February 09, 2008, 10:59:07 AM
Magic. The word burned in his mind. An icy chill spread from his stomach up through his spine, as if cold water were trickling into his fingers, numbing his extremities and paralysing him; as a counterpoint, the scars across his back suddenly felt raw and hot, as if seared by infection. All of a sudden he felt feverish, and fought to remain nonchalant. Actor or no, no supreme effort of will could overcome the sudden revulsion that climbed out of his subconscious, snarling into his forebrain, snarling with all the ferocity of childhood fears repressed and then realised. His knees sagged, and Torscha pitched forward, catching himself at the last moment by slapping his hand down hard on a nearby table, spilling a leather tankard and provoking a coarse oath.

He mumbled an apology through gritted teeth, and tried to smile at Céyehne. It was probably ghastly; he hoped that in the dim light she would not notice. "It's the air in here," he said, apologetic. "It's quite a change from the atmosphere outside. I just have to get used to the stench of bodies and spilt booze."

Magic! There's a mage here. Instinctively, he cast about for the telltale signs of searing, but the men who he had helped to their feet seemed uncharred, if bruised in body and ego. Not a fire mage, then, but a spellcaster nonetheless. Some of his initial reaction subsided, and the burning sensation in the scars pulling his back tight like a bowstring subsided to a hot itch.

So it was the girl they'd seen at the plaza, the bald one. She hadn't seemed a bad sort, but he'd met enough mages not to put any trust in appearances. Body language meant nothing. They could be frail of limb and wide of eye, but behind those eyes lurked minds capable of things unfathomable until unleashed. Torscha did not trust potential that did not make itself felt in some way. Far more honest was a warrior's build or the slight, agile frame of a would-be cutpurse, or even the unctuous smile of a confidence trickster. Mage. One could be standing right next to one and not know, before that sudden eruption of elemental fury.

He pushed aside his memory of fire and screams, and said brusquely, "Shall we follow after, and see what she's doing, throwing magic around in a cesspit like this?"

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on February 09, 2008, 04:07:11 PM

The ungainly woman unwrapped her skinny arms from around her legs and looked up at the strange, hairless lady before her. It was in her eyes, that's how she knew it was a woman. As her own fear subsided at the woman's request for information, anger boiled to the forefront of her emotions. She had done business with countless men in the past, why had this one chosen to be so difficult? And so strong, too. He wasn't entirely unattractive, and it was maddening that men like him always seemed to escape.

Giving a small sigh, the grimy woman stood none too gracefully and faced the inquirer. She supposed if Maryn would get any justice out of any of it she'd have to say something. "Well, 'ee was big. An' his dark hair was long, his eyes brown.. muscluar, 'ee was." Her voice trailed as she thought a moment. What else was there to say about him, really? An outward appearance could only be described so many ways and, well, she hadn't had the chance to see him without clothing. A wry smile crossed her face at the thought, however, and she looked almost regretfully at the lady addressing her.

"'ee was a might handsome, most would say, so don't look for no ugly fools. 'Ee seemed scared, too. Like 'ee didn't know if 'ee'd ever had a woman before. Weird, comin' into a tavern like this 'un 'ee should'a been more experienced, you'd think." Thoughtfully she pondered that. It was strange his turn of emotions. Never mind it though. "I really can't give ya any more information, I'm sorry. I've coin ta earn. I do hope ya find 'im though." Her voice was proud, as if she could easily handle any man. She hoped word wouldn't get around that she was weak.... could be bad for business. She stepped forward but didn't leave the room. She'd wait for the bald woman, she might have something else to ask. Politely her gaze fell on the lady's eyes, waiting.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on February 09, 2008, 04:30:42 PM
Céyehne watched the storyteller’s reaction with awe. It wasn’t something she expected at all. He, for once, couldn’t seem to control his emotions. Or whatever it was that suddenly burned inside him. As he fell forward, the dancer flinched reflexively, but he caught himself before she could really move. Small feet rooted in place, her eyes followed the hand as it landed, the ale as it spilled, and the man as he attempted a smile. There wasn’t much of a smile to behold, however. The crookedness of it was forced, not the natural, wan grin of the man she’d met. The Kar-ii saw easily through his transparent explanation.

Torscha was used to the air in taverns much like this one, and many much worse. She had no doubt he’d endured thicker air in his time. Besides that, his words were pushed out as if he had no desire to speak them. This in itself was unusual. Furrowing her brows, Céyehne could only stare for a moment, watching the changes take place on his face. From her previous comment it could only mean the prospect of the woman being a mage bothered him. It more than bothered him, it sickened and scared  him. Brooding over this herself, the dancer shook her head lightly. This was not good news for her, either. Not at all.

Not only because she herself had the gift of magic within her, but because the carried the same fear Torscha did. Well, judging by his reaction it may not be the same  fear, but she certainly had an aversion to the idea of using magic to harm others. She scared herself at times, thinking back on the horror she was in Carmalad. That memory did not brighten her mood any, and although she tried not to think about the event specifically, images crept quietly into and clouded her mind. If this woman, this mage, was willing to use her magic in the open against drunkards (what could they have done to her anyway?) she would certainly use it for other reasons. A shiver ran up her spine and an involuntary shudder wracked her. Wha’ a wimp, Céyehne scolded herself. Could she not accept someone with similar abilities? She supposed not. There was a difference in the way she chose to use her gift, a different that meant everything in situations like this one, and to people like Torscha.

Eying him at his suggestion, she muttered, ”I… I don’ think ye…” But her voice trailed. He obviously had not wanted her to know he was frightened—almost to the point of incapacitation. Another shudder shook her. Of course, most people did not want their weaknesses openly shown. Instead, she chose to tell the truth in what she  was feeling, and hoped in the end it would benefit both Torscha and herself. She spoke softly, hesitantly, ”Torsch’, I b'.. well, I b’ a bit scar’d. I’d really rather stay here, away from t’ mage.” Looking expectantly at him, now, pleading a little, she hoped he would stay and calm himself as well. She really didn’t want to willingly confront  a dangerous magic-user anyway. She would not use her own magic in defense, at any rate. Looking away from him, tracing circles in the countertop with a slender finger, she finished, ”I b’ a coward, I know, bu’ I don’ want t’ confron’ a mage who already prov’d ‘erself danger’us. She b’ comin’ back through t’ bar, righ’?” She pushed out a half hearted smile, her ginger lips still a little tight with fret. What had grated so on his mind?

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on February 09, 2008, 11:58:35 PM
Torscha nodded, a sharp, spasmodic movement of his head, and then stepped forward and put his arms around the dancer, pulling her close, hoping that the trembling he felt was hers and not his own. "All right," he said thickly. "C'mon, let's go sit by the fire, to warm up and just wait and see what happens. I've no desire to go poking my nose into the affairs of mages, anyway."

Untangling himself from her, and taking her hand to pull her by the hearth, he thought, Well, at least I'm not the only one who seems discomfited by the thought of confronting mages. Poor girl. She seems as disturbed by the thought of magic as I am. I guess that just shows she's got a good head on her shoulders. Too many people look up to those meddlers.

They don't know that wizards in stories are completely different from how they are in real life. Evil ones are always old and wear black and cackle; good ones are always selfless and wise. Nothing ever goes
wrong! In stories, no wizard accidentally explodes his laboratory and kills off his family – at least, not without the sole surviving son going on to become some sort of hero, questing to clear his father's name.

I'm no hero,
he thought wretchedly, looking at Céyehne's clouded eyes, her earlier candour evaporating as she closed up within herself, obviously as deep in thought as he was. I'm not, I'm not.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Azhira Styralias on February 10, 2008, 10:09:51 AM
Azhira listened patiently to the barmaid's description. Azhira had to think to process what she was saying as her accent was foreign and the mage had to mentally think over the barmaid's words. Of course, Azhira's own Sory'int accent was probably strange to this bar wench as well.

After the barmaid finished, Azhira nodded trying to hide her frustration by biting her lower lip. "If that is all you can remember, then I shall go with that."

The mage stood and sighed. The barmaid's description wasn't very detailed. Again, her description could describe quite a few men. It would seem that this simple job was going to be more difficult than Azhira realized. She should have resorted to pick pocketing to make her way in this new city and not meddle in the affairs of a filthy tavern.

Still...she could always slip out a back door and disappear...

One more look upon the miserable whore girl again made Azhira push the thought of fleeing out of her mind. Azhira was no hero. She was no savior and she was surely not someone who would go out of her way to help a stranger. Yet, something stirred within her a desire to help. Was she finally growing beyond the petty criminal mentality? It was her own choice of occupation, of a thief, that made her flee from the south lands to this cold northern city anyway. She had made enemies, or rather, her former mentor had made the enemies. Even though Azhira had never encountered, or even knew, that her mentor had a price on her head, she was nevertheless guilty by association and hunted by the same faceless assassins that killed her mentor.

The mage stood and moved for the door. She opened it a crack when a sudden thought struck her. She had used her magic in the company of several witnesses. Foolish! Such an impulsive move was not in Azhira's nature. However, she was exhausted from her long journey here and desperate to find coin. She had reacted impulsively and now the entire taproom knew she was a mage. Not that it mattered in somewhere like Ximax, but here in this frozen north, she should have been wiser to not reveal her skills so obviously. For she knew that there were many places in Santharia where magic was feared, hated, or worse, persecuted.

Was this Remusiat one of those places? Azhira groaned inwardly. She was sure to find out soon enough.

The mage thanked the barmaid and moved out of the room. She scanned the taproom and noticed that the two drunk fools that had assaulted her were gone. She also noted the same couple from the town square were now sitting in the taproom deep in conversation. The man seemed troubled, as did the woman with him. The other patrons didn't look any different from the drunkards who spat on her so she ignored them.

Azhira figured that if someone knew anything about this ruffian, perhaps those two did. After all, they looked to be from a different social circle than most of the other patrons. Maybe he was a city guard.

The mage pulled her cowl deeper over her forehead and made some quick strides to the man and woman from the town square. If she was to find out anything about this city and its occupants, these two were as good a start as any.

"Excuse me," Azhira whispered behind the woman. "Something happened here moments ago...a man assaulted a barmaid. You both don't seem to be no strangers to this tavern. Perhaps you could tell me something more about this man?"

It was a gamble, but Azhira needed witnesses and she hoped that there would be no more incidents to trouble her on this already stressful day.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on February 10, 2008, 02:58:05 PM
Taken aback, Céyehne found herself drawn into a gruff embrace. Before she had time to react Torscha was dragging her by the hand towards the hearth. She nodded faintly at his words, but couldn't shake his embrace from her mind. It wasn't normal. It was odd, something she wouldn't normally allow a man to do--and actually never had. For being who she was and enduring what she had in the presence of men, the dancer had an appalling lack of physical contact in the past. And if she'd had any, it was unwarranted and certainly not welcome. This, however. This had been comforting and she felt she'd helped him more than he'd aided her. The woman was grateful he found some solace in her company.

Now, however, was the dilemma of his reaction. She could certainly not tell him of her own.. affinity. Eye's still clouded in thought, she stared at the flickering flames before her, making sure not to let his hand drop from hers. If he found comfort in it, she was more than happy to hold on. How could she travel south with him? How could she dance with him anymore without having to explain why certain... events took place during her act? Blinking slowly she felt a sadness wash over her and squeezed Torscha's hand in her own small one. This might be the end of a potential friend- and partnership already. Sighing a little forlornly, she spoke softly to the storyteller, her lips very near to his ear, "Nor do I.. d'ye thin' she b' danger'us? Shou' we call t' guards?" Another question was formulating in her frantic mind as a small voice sounded behind her in a whisper.

Although it sounded kind enough, the Darkpriest jumped, clutching to Torscha in her panic and unease. Whipping her head to see who addressed her, a sharp intake of air caught in her throat. The mage! Registering what the woman had asked, Céyehne tried to steady her beating heart. She wasn't here to harm her, she wasn't. There was no doubt if she could have, the Kar-ii would have paled as she stared, frozen, at the bald mage before her. Why was she so afraid when she herself carried a unique gift? This puzzled her, but sometimes she even wished Korenjah had not gifted her thus. Shaking her head, trying to clear muddled thoughts, she loosened her death grip on Torscha's arm and shot him an apologetic glance.

Opening her lips slightly, she murmured, "Sorry, I don' thin' I been seein' 'im. A big man b' head'd South, though.." Most of all, judging from Torscha's reaction beforehand, Céyehne did not want to have him speaking to this strange woman. She did not want him to become violent or wracked with fear. It was troubling to see him as thus, even for a moment. For some reason already Céyehne found herself wanting to protect the wanderer... and perhaps if he was so mortified by magic she'd have to leave him be as well. Sadly, she sat frozen between Torscha and the mage, hoping her small bit of information would set the woman on her way.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on February 11, 2008, 05:52:40 AM
The appearance of the woman responsible for the scene in the taproom was certainly a surprise; Torscha was glad that Céyehne had suggested the chances of her being a mage before he worked it out himself. The forewarning allowed him to retain some aplomb in the face of her interrogation, gentle as it seemed. He could not be sure that she wasn't using some subtle arts to scan his mind, and so he thought ferociously hard of the taste of pudding, just the way his mother had prepared it.

He nodded, lending his own confirmation to Céyehne's suggestion. "I saw him come in here; he looked like he was looking for something – and if it had been fine food or warm, clean surroundings, he wouldn't have come in here. I've been renting a room here for a while, and he wasn't the first I'd seen come in here looking for female company, but he left in a greater hurry than most.

"I... I can't say for sure, but he didn't look like he was from here, and I don't know how well he knows the city. Like the lady said, he was heading south when we last saw him, but if he was heading for the gates, he might not know the way. Ask some of the locals; they might be able to help you. Or the men standing talking outside; they're fighters, and they've been here a while. They might be willing to help you."

Then, taking the opportunity that Céyehne's frantic grab for him had allowed, conscious also of how it fitted her curves to him, he murmured into her hair, "She seems well-intentioned, whatever her true nature, and unlikely to do any more damage here. Let's leave her be. Calling the guards will call attention to ourselves as well." The art of speaking without moving one's lips, sotto voce, was one he'd had to learn, and it had come in useful before, as it did now.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Azhira Styralias on February 11, 2008, 10:38:34 PM
Azhira nodded at the couple. She could feel the tension and see the unease in their faces, especially the woman. Something had her shook up, the way she jumped when asked the question and how she now clung to her male companion like her life depended on it.

The mage straightened and glanced towards the flickering fire in the hearth. Now, more than ever, she regretted using her magic so impulsively. There was a time and a place for her skills and losing her cool was not a way to demonstrate her power. Her eyes cast about, catching the looks of annoyance and anxiousness that were carried on the faces of the patrons. While the couple were accomodating in their answers, they were not welcoming the mage in the warmest fashion possible. She even felt a  tinge of regret that she thought of stealing from the man earlier in the plaza.

"Thank you both," Azhira said with a whisper. "I shall ask around. I hope to meet you two again sometime soon."

The mage took a step back, turned and moved towards the bar. She offered the large woman barkeep a thin smile before moving towards the exit. She opened the doors and stepped outside. The wind kissed her face bringing a moment of contentment to Azhira, but only for a moment. She sighed and cast about looking south along the street. There were a few commoners moving about. She stood along the tavern corner searching for men who would be fighters - that is, those who carried weapons.

She would start by asking the first fighter she saw, then move on south.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on February 12, 2008, 10:28:59 AM

With her second barmaid safely up front and scornfully working again, the gruff woman took the spare moment to slip from the back of the Tavern. Cold wind bit at her face and whipped her straggly hair about her pudgy face. Thick-skinned and definitely a large woman, only Maryn’s face was affected by the cold. After all, she was Remusian and quite used to it. As the Beard is right on the southern edge of the harbor, her eyes did not have to search far to catch sight of several harbor guards. But would they be enough?

The bartender was distraught. Many unforeseen happenings had taken place in her Tavern before—especially as it wasn’t one of the best in Remusiat. She’d dealt with her fair share of drunkards and downright fools, but were they dangerous? Hardly. She could handle any of them unusually easy, that’s what made her right for her job. Magic, however, magic made an uncanny chill run down her spine. The big woman wasn’t used to being afraid; she wasn’t sure if she particularly liked it at all. Narrowing her eyes, she marched north, into the bustling harbor. She didn’t like leaving her tavern like this, but that bald girl didn’t leave her any choice. The only thing she hoped was that she’d find that buffoon of a man before she was arrested—at least two people would be put to justice in the same day.

Spotting a young man, one who looked a little uneasy but competent all the same, Maryn eased up a little. She didn’t want to ruff the man about, she wanted to see justice served. Standing before him, she took a breath of frigid air and said in a businesslike manner, “Sir! I’ve an injustice to report. A seen a young woman doin’ magic in my tavern, “ The woman pointed a meaty arm in the direction of the Beard  “An’ I wanna see justice done! Scared my wits from me, y’see! An’ magic? Never seen it used like that...” she trailed off, her eyes still hard as she stared at the guard. He’d be sure to do something, and do something now.

Jami – Harbor Guard

Jami left the Wison’s Breath in a hurry. That officer, Shialt-eck-Gorrin, scared him. He’d hardly said anything and quickly left without even another glance at the beautiful Nelique. Anyway, he’d done his duty---informed the old doctor Zaven he was needed in the Inn---and returned right off to his post in the harbor. Dull, it was. Taking the arm, even the luggage, of a beautiful woman was much more exciting than idly watching ships dock and depart, civilians mull about, and vendors sell their goods for too high a price. 

Either way, he still had to admit he’d seen some interesting characters coming to and fro about the city, the harbor, and that dirty old tavern on the southern edge of the harbor. It surprised him how much business the place seemed to receive, and not entirely the poor, smelly folk he would imagine. Of course, he’d never recommend the place to anyone of stature, but he’d been taken aback at the welcome it seemed to receive in the city. Watching it curiously now, he saw the figure of a large person exit from the back. The person, marching it seemed, made their way into the harbor and straight towards him. A little embarrassed as he stared, the guard looked forward immediately, gripping his spear and trying to focus on something else. He didn’t want to be chastised any more today for leaving his post—not for any reason.

The large woman approached, seeming to have some authority over the tavern. Very well, she appeared at least to know what she was talking about.  Jami’s eyes opened wide as she mentioned magic… magic inside the tavern! Jerking to a start, the guard almost took off running right there, towards the tavern and to apprehend the individual. It did not cross his mind that the woman might be making it up; magic was a very serious matter and an offense. Nodding curtly at the woman, his face serious and set now, he said, “Please, show me the way. We’ll have the magicker apprehended at once.” The large woman seemed to be as adamant as he, and immediately turned on her heel back towards the Beard. Jami, eager and anxious, used all his patience to keep pace with the lady, not running past her or bowling her over.

They reached the back of the tavern, stepped swiftly inside, and made their way towards the front. The woman seemed sure the offensive mage would still be within the confines of the place. However, she stopped short just as they came up to the bar. Jami was having a hard time, although he was enraged, keeping his wits about him. For one, the place was rank. The stench was hardly bearable and he was now definitely sure he would not be recommending the Boar’s Beard to anyone. Scrunching his nose, he looked around for the mage, tapping his leader on the shoulder, “What does she look like?”

“She’s bald,” the woman responded bluntly. “ An’ she got a big tattoo on her head, can’t miss it. If her hood is up, ye can tell by her eyes. They’re big an’…. She’s runnin’.” She stopped short, her eyes focused on the front entrance, and Jami studied her for a minute before returning his gaze to the room.

No, no one of that description lingered in the common room. A few drunken men, and a couple who sat near the hearth occupied the place. Nodding again, as he was a man with a goal in mind, he said “I’ll take care of it,” And strode quickly to the front entrance, pushing open the doors again to welcome the chilly air. Squinting his eyes against the chilly breeze, Jami was greeted by four figures. One was mounted, and the other two—obviously men—definitely did not fit the description of the mage. Regardless, all three had hair on their heads, which left the last figure. The person did not look as if they were associated with the other three, standing motionless as if in decision.

The fourth, standing near the corner of the structure, was definitely the mage. No hair whipped about the figure’s face, and Jami—a little hastily, perhaps—decided right off that it was the woman he was seeking. Holding up his left arm, the arm with his shield, he yelled, “You there, miss!” He took a couple steps towards her. Inwardly, the guard groaned. Could he look any more guard-like? With his shield and spear and even his posture it would give away that he was an armed warrior-type, at least. He knew she wouldn’t come willingly to him, but he had to try. Maybe she was so unfamiliar with Remusiat she would assume him just a fighter, a mercenary, or someone like that. Maybe.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Azhira Styralias on February 12, 2008, 11:35:42 AM
Azhira had been a thief long enough to develop a sort of sixth sense about danger. In her line of work, she had to be constantly alert for trouble. One did not survive on the wrong side of the law by being careless and taking for granted people she didn't know.

For example, this man coming towards her armed with a spear and shield. No one should be actively looking for her unless someone tipped them off about her whereabouts. She watched as the spearman exited the tavern, cast about in search for a specific target, then made the approach once she was in sight. That could only mean that someone from the bar, perhaps the drunkards looking for vengeance, had decided to come after her for some payback. Surely that decent barkeep woman wouldn't have been angry with her...after all, she hired Azhira to find that thug.

Nevertheless, Azhira had a sense that the man coming towards her was not someone who was going to make niceties with her. In fact, the man looked very much like a guard. Even if he wasn't a lawman, Azhira was in no mood for talk.

Trusting her gut instinct, Azhira turned and fled into the crowd, away from the harbor. There would be no hiding in the harbor area unless she could swim. So she headed back towards the town square. She weaved in and out of various people. She couldn't hide among people for long, though. She had to find some cover!

Azhira glanced back and ran faster. She had no idea where she was going, but there was no time to get her bearings. She had to find a place to think! She turned left around a small shack, then right. Her nimble legs carried her quickly around people and things in her path.

Finally, she noticed a stack of crates lined against the wall of plain looking building. She moved behind one of them and sank down into a squatting position. She looked around for anyone nearby. The city wall was to her right. She waited until there was a minimal amount of commoners milling about.

Her breathing relaxed. She closed her eyes. She felt the chill wind encircling around her. The brisk wind would make things much easier. Cloudy skies and the evening hour would also aid in the spell she was about to attempt.

As the wind blew against her, Azhira focused. Within moments, her focus on the wind car'all was complete and her body disappeared.

The Hide spell was useful in evading detection. In this windy northern land, she found her spells easier to cast and the car'all easier to focus upon. As she sat against the wall, invisible to passers-by, she wondered once again just what had she gotten herself into...

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on February 20, 2008, 03:10:07 PM
Torscha fidgeted for a long moment after the strange woman left. Even as the tension drained from his body, he felt it being replaced by an all-new sensation: excitement? The same thrill of the hunt, the tingle in his palms he felt as he stalked rumours and threads of tales. He felt a strong pull, as if he were now being called to retrace steps through space instead of time. A woman, a stranger from far away, with unusual features and a shorn scalp, appear in a city about to be besieged and then casually uses magic to defend herself, standing up for the population and volunteering to single-handedly track down a warrior who assaulted someone? This is happening here, and now – why aren't I out there?

It wasn't hard to pinpoint the cause. Heat seared down his back, ebbing only slowly: a painful stigmata, a reminder of his last entanglement with magic. Sorcery scared him silly: as much as it featured in his stories, it still terrified him. It was a force that denied logical explanation, an arcane, mystical power shaped and limited only by the whims and abilities of its wielders.

Still. It was also a force that shaped history, that made and broke heroes. It wasn't something a tale-chaser could profitably ignore when it was so flamboyantly presented to him. He felt self-preservation and professional pride struggle within him, before one of them threw up its hands in disgust and give in.

I never was any damn good at keeping myself out of trouble, he thought ruefully.

The prospect of the chase, and the very different heat of the woman against him, eased some of his misgivings somewhat. Not completely, but a little. If she could defend herself so easily against two men without hurting them, she must have some skill, some control, he thought. She's not likely to snap and go berserk with those abilities of her – if she was of a mind to do so, she would already have done it.

The bard cleared his throat sheepishly. "I'm sorry for the sudden cowardice, Céyehne. I must appear pathetic. Are you well? She startled both of us quite terribly, I think.

"But she's gone now, replaced by a whole host of curiosities! What could she be doing here? What are the extent of her abilities? Are there more like her, arriving in the city, cloaked and hooded, day after day? What can her presence mean for this city?" Even as he spoke, he could hear his voice rising, feel some of that exhilaration wash the fear from his veins. He bit his lip.

"It is extremely selfish of me, lady, but I would like to be satisfied on those points, and more. I... I will understand if you'd prefer not to go, especially since it will be nightfall soon, but I'd very much prefer it if you did." His smile took him by surprise: he'd meant it to be confident and charming – he was rather sure that it instead came across as shy, hesitant, and boyish. Far from debonair. "I've come to prefer your company a great deal in a very short time – I can only beg your indulgence that you choose to continue favouring me with it. Shall we go after her?"

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Céyehne on February 21, 2008, 11:38:13 AM
Torscha gave the woman his answer, and Céyehne was surprised at the nonchalance he accomplished. However, as the woman left the dancer relaxed considerably. With that, she loosed her grip on the storyteller a bit sheepishly and allowed xazure eyes to get lost in the flickering flames of the tavern's fire. She was grateful for the company, especially in this drafty old tavern. It wasn't that she couldn't handle the time alone, for everyone needed a spot in time to observe themselves, but the Kar-ii knew she'd much rather have a companion. Even if he wasn't so eloquent, she'd enjoy his presence equally.

She turned and watched the bartender return with someone who looked quite like a guard. They, she assumed, were looking for that mage. Céyehne cringed a little, knowing if they knew of her own gift she could be the one hunted. A shiver rushed down her spine at the thought as she watched the guard disappear out the front entrance. To her surprise, Torscha began to speak and seemed... well, excited about this strange woman. Yes, there was a compelling curiosity in the mysterious nature of foreign people and lifestyles, but this was something different. He had been genuinely afraid of her magic! And now he wanted to chase her down?

Céyehne's pale visage studied the dark man evenly and skeptically for a moment. This should have been good news. The Darkpriest should have leaped at the idea that Torscha was more accepting of magic and it's uses.... but somehow she was in a state of unease. Why? Trying to shake it off, her ginger lips formed a smile. She didn't hear any alarm outside the tavern, so the woman must not have attacked the guard. She did not seem inclined to harm anyone else, but why would Torscha want to pursue her? Sure, it was interest, but...

How many times had she been offered a man's hand with some sinister desires behind it? Would she again fall for some trickery of a man's lustful desire? She hoped beyond hope that Korenjah's gift would protect her from anything she came across, and that Torscha's knowledge of her armoured fan would only aid in her own safety. His intentions did not seem misplaced at all, and she admitted to herself that it was all the more pressing to accompany him now that she was certain he cared nothing of her in that way. As lovely, warm, and inviting as his embrace was, the dancer could only be skeptical of men. To top it all off, he seemed sincerely.. embarrassed? To be asking that she accompany him. That in itself made the dancer gracefully stand and place his hand firmly in her own. Tugging him towards the threshold, white teeth shone between full lips, "Lead t' way, partner." She said smoothly.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Torscha on February 21, 2008, 12:20:00 PM
Shaking his head in bemused wonderment, Torscha tugged the woman after him. Her hand, small and fragile as it was, warmed his, and gripped it with a newfound strength that he found both exciting and a little humbling. She trusts me this much? She was certainly nearly as disturbed as I was when the news of that mage surfaced – and now she's following me in search of a woman being hunted by the guards and who might be able to wring us out like rags.

I'm not sure which one of us is crazier.

Outside, the brothers Mallister still stood and eyed each other in a surly manner. Torscha pulled Céyehne past them with a murmured apology for their interruption, and cast about for any sign of the woman's passage. While too many of the tracks that covered the ground could have been made by just about any woman of her approximate size – and there were many – only one set of tracks could have belonged to a rather flustered guard in hot pursuit.

Torscha grinned at Céyehne. "You have to love the Remusian guard. They seem determined to spare us every inconvenience. Shall we?"

(Continued elsewhere)

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Zann Lightbringer on March 11, 2008, 12:53:45 PM
Zann stood outside for a moment, surveying his surrounding and finally fixing his eyes at the establishment. It was a dilapidated old building, with broken windows and rotten planks. With a deep sigh he went towards the door, but not before two people ran out of the inn. One looks like a soldier of some sort. In any case, it must have been a trouble maker inside the tavern, in which Zann does not want any part of. He quickly tied Chalanna to a post outside and after making sure his belongings are firmly locked inside the wagon, he proceeded towards the door.

The cleric slowly approached the door, pulling the greasy handle of the portal in order to open it. Zann paused for a while and stared at the place in disbelief. Bits of broken glass and wood were strewn about the place, and the floor was dirty with leftover food and an occasional dead insect. In one place a rat was scurrying about in its never ending search for food. Tables filled with grease and broken chairs filled the room, as well as a disgusting odor lingering about. The priest drew his scarf closer to his face in an attempt to block the stench, but to no avail.

The aged cleric scanned the room for the proprietor of the tavern. His eyes fell upon a large woman looking outside the door with a worried expression on her face. Guessing from her dress that she must be one of the workers of the establishment, he summoned enough courage to adress the lady to ask for the owner of the Beard.

"Good day madam," said the cleric, taking off his hat and holding it in his hands. "Do you know where one may find the keeper of this inn?"

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on March 12, 2008, 10:29:11 AM

Maryn was still thoroughly shaken by the unfortunate happenings of the day. It was evening now, the sun set and the cold Remusian night approaching. She set one of the gainly barmaids to work sweeping the broken mess of the grumbling patrons, while the other attempted to cheerfully serve drinks. If that couple were here still, she'd set them to brightening the spirits around the Tavern. It seemed that they, too, had been driven from the tavern, though, and she signed heavily, pouring herself a large mug of ale. Taking a gulp, she stared at the entrance to her tavern with a melancholy expression.

Without warning, the door opened and a draft of chilly air followed by a few snowflakes crossed the threshold with a short, but large man. He looked surprised by the appearance of the place and Maryn rolled her eyes. Another customer driven away, o' course. She thought sullenly, taking another draught of ale. Instead, however, the man approached her. His full beard mad him look jolly in a way, and he asked for the keeper of the inn. My! That was her. "That be me, friend. What can I do for you?" Her voice was gruff as always, and although she wanted to apologize for the way her place looked she couldn't bring herself to do so--it would be admitting the mess she'd gotten into and it just wasn't her style.

Staring at the man, she thought of this night as a new start. That despicable man, whoever he was, seemed to have fled... hopefully for good. Although she'd enjoy seeing justice served, she'd rather he simply not come back. At the same token she marveled at the fact that she'd hired a mage to do her bidding! What was she thinking? Befriending someone then sending the guards after them... she shook her head. It really wasn't like her. Maryn was a tough person to break, and in all honesty the two barmaids and that one young man were the only ones to do so with any consistency. However, she'd have to do her duty now, and she looked questioningly at the older man before her, mug still in hand.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Zann Lightbringer on March 13, 2008, 08:55:28 PM
Zann smiled and placed his hat back to his head, for the wind is chilly and his crown is bare. Apparently this large woman, whom he thought is a serving girl, was the proprietress of the inn. He looked around some more for a table that is not as dirty as the others. Finally he saw one, just in front of the counter. It was a tad cleaner than the rest of the tables, but nevertheless it is still dirty.

Turning his gaze back to the large maiden, he spoke, "Ah yes, pleasant evening madam. I was wondering how much is a room inside your establishment, and and how much a meal should cost too." He stared at the woman with green, twinkling eyes, despite the fact that his money purse is nearly empty, and he may not be able to pay for a night's lodging or a hearty meal. No doubt he will have to camp out sooner or later.

If only the rooms inside this inn are cleaner, thought the priest, with a slightly worried expression on his wrinkled face.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on March 20, 2008, 11:03:04 AM

The gruff bartending woman eyed the bald man quizzically. Really, according to patron she usually dealt out pricing. Regulars were cut a deal--especially those who seemed to live here a lot of the time. A draft wafted through the tavern and although she had thick skin, Maryn felt a shiver run up her spine. Sure, the Beard wasn't the cleanliest nor the warmest in Remusiat, but she loved it so. Surely others would learn to love it in time... most commoners knew what it was to be short of coin.

Taking another chug of her ale, Maryn wiped her lips and said, "A mere three sans for a decent meal, two more fer some ale an' we'll negotiate room pricin' fer ya, whaddya say?" She tried to give the bearded man a bright smile, but due to her crooked features it looked more like a grimace.

"Say, why're ya in Remusiat anyway? Ya don't look too comfy in a place like this'un." Sadly, the woman was genuinely interested. She sat heavily atop a stool on her side of the bar and motioned for the man to sit as well. She glanced at the other tables. Most of the patrons weren't in a very conversational state, or were shaken by the doings of that mage woman. Her barmaid busied herself tending to the fire, and Maryn knew there was more deep cleaning to be done, but she said nothing. Sighing, she brought her tired eyes to the face of the man across from her again.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Zann Lightbringer on March 22, 2008, 02:48:00 AM
Zann patted his pocket lightly, trying to feel the coins in it. The meal might be a bit expensive for a tavern this dirty, but at least he'll have something to eat. The price for the ale is acceptable for him; he would never refuse a drink this time of the day. Zann glanced at one of the broken windows and stared outside. The day is slowly approaching nightfall and darkness will soon overcome the daylight.

"That sounds wonderful, madam," the cleric replied. "I'll have the meal for the day, and a mug of that ale too." He could not help being extravagant, for this was his first decent meal after a long sea voyage. "As for the room," he added, slowly going to the stool the woman pointed at, "It'll be best if we talked about it after supper."

Zann sat at the stool beside the woman. It was kind of wobbly, and it looked like it would not be able to carry a man of his weight. He remembered the days when he used to sat down on a stool the same as this one, swapping stories with his son, as well as laughter and a big mug of beer. He was startled a little by the proprietress' voice, bent on making a little chat with him. Chuckling a little, he replied, "Ah madam, if this establishment can offer me a warm bed and a hot meal, I'll be contented with it." He paused to rub an aching knee, then turned again and smiled at the woman. "I came here to heal people, as a priest of Nehtor should. Maybe you know of someone that is sick or wounded? I can help remedy their ailments."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on March 25, 2008, 07:54:00 AM

Maryn could see the mind of the man churning, but he seemed content to pay what she asked. She immediately poured him a mug of ale, placing it before him with a gruff nod, and re-filled her own. It was getting to be evening. It was later than she hoped and less busy than usual. If only the entertainment hadn't left! Annoying, it was, to watch such a fine performance skip away without a farewell. Usually they even asked for a bit of coin for their troubles, but not that couple. That boy Torscha seemed so set on making this place his own, too. Sadly, she caught a skinny barmaid by the arm and asked her for the meal.

A sad cut of Wison, it would be, but the man would have to deal with it. "I think ya'll like the meal, friend, and we'll save more talk o' money till after ya've eaten.." She gave him a friendly wink over her mug as she took a swallow. Sitting across from him again, the bar safely between she and any patrons due to the circumstances earlier, Maryn listened. He seemed older, possibly too old to be traveling still. And as he uttered the word "priest" a gasp came to her meaty lips. A healer? A priest? The only association she made with 'priest" was the the godawful men running the temple establishments of Remusiat. The bartender had no experience with a healer of any kind, but the word itself made her shudder.

She was not quick to judge, but this day had been long and trying. Her eyes narrowed a bit and she blurted, "A healer? Whatcha do, then, magic wounds an' heal 'em? D'ya be hurtin' people too?" Her voice was harsh as it always was, even when she was polite, but it did not make the words any less biting. Maryn felt the anger and fear bubble in her from the mage woman and that barbaric man earlier. She was a simply citizen of this freezing stone city. This was not the type she usually encountered, even being so near to the harbour. Was it a time for such change in Remusiat? She eyed the man skeptically in wait for his answer.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Zann Lightbringer on March 25, 2008, 10:07:39 PM
Zann stared at the woman in surprise. Her reaction was a mixture of fear and anger. Did he say something wrong or offensive? This was a foreign land after all, with a different culture and strange customs unfamiliar to him. He stared some more at the face of the woman. Evidently she was furious; her eyes are narrowed and her voice is rough. Maybe this city has many followers of Queprur, and the fact that he so openly announced his unwavering loyalty to Nehtor might make things worse.

Not knowing wether she is one of the Iron Mistress' followers and not taking any chances, he immediately thought of a short prayer to his god. Merciful Nehtor, he murmured. Protect me from the worshipers of your Enemy. It had often worked in many situations, or so he believe it does. With a shaky voice he adressed the patroness of ther Beard once again.

"Madam, if I have uttered a syllable contrary to the customs of your people, I pray that you forgive me. I am new to this parts, and I wish no trouble to the citizens of this city. I do not work with magics, for my god gives me the power to restore the health of the afflicted through his herbs." The words came out slowly, his old, worn out voice making him sound feeble. Perhaps he is not welcome in this city after all. If this should turn out worse, he can always leave. He held his staff and clutched his bag tightly, preparing to leave if the woman decides to throw him out. Camping outside sounds good right about now.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on March 28, 2008, 07:36:52 AM

Maryn's anger subsided a little as she listened. Through herbs? It seemed as if she had frightened the man, but she still did not know what he meant or what to expect from him. Was there more he was not telling her? She had learned to be suspicious, especially after the long leisure she had gotten away with over the past years. Now was a time of tension; a time to stay on her toes. As much as she hated it, this old man seemed kindly enough and she let out a long sigh before saying.

Would ya tell me o' these strange practices? My people don't take to good to magics, ya see. They just ain't... righ'." She honestly didn't understand what he meant at all. But she was getting on in her own years, she was here to stay and not going to attempt leaving the city even if magic were to invade. Even if the King himself decreed it so, she's here to stay. She can administer things her own way in her little tavern; the rest of the world will go on as it pleases.

A large gulp of ale followed and Maryn leaded tiredly upon the coutertop before her. Straggley hair hung limp about her round face, dirt and grime coating weathered skin. She looked hard at the bearded man now, realizing she'd scared him. He clutched his things as if ready to bolt for the door. "Put down yer stuff, man. I ain't makin' ya leave." Her voice was commanding in an exhausting sort of way. She regretting taking her suspicions out on the man, but she clenched a fist around her knee, still tense and waiting for his reply.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Zann Lightbringer on March 29, 2008, 01:10:13 AM
Too terrified to talk and too old to make a quick dash to the door, the cleric helplessly sat down again at the stool. He held his bag closer to him, for fear of any sudden movement of the huge woman. There is no telling what the proprietress can do to him, but he is sure that she'll be able to pummel his bald crown and do it over and over again. He forced a half smile timidly at the woman while reaching for the mug that she filled for him. He pulled the drink closer to him, but made no attempt to drink it; he was still too frightened to make any unwanted moves.

He had never seen a city full of magic haters! Although sorcerers and their ilk are strange and their crafts unfathomable, they still deserve kindness and not discrimination. They should be given a chance to show that they too, can be trusted. As for the clerics in the city, they should be enlightening the people, not shrouding them in darkness. At any rate, it is very obvious that he can't spread Nehtorian worship in this city, unless of course he wanted to be executed first. Brushing these thoughts away from his mind, he lifted his eyes and faced the woman again.

"M-madam, I apologize again for the trouble," the cleric said in an uneasy tone. "But upon my word, I've never practiced sorcery in all my life! I cure with herbs and prayers to the Healer, not with those so called magic." Perhaps this will clear things up with the tavern mistress and the cleric, and he tried to sit up straight as he waited for the woman's response.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on April 01, 2008, 09:20:52 AM

She only graced the man with a grunt, but the bartender was satisfied with his answer. So it wasn't to harm anyone, that was a good thing. But a healer? Did they need one? Well, what with mages and other filthy beasts like that oaf from earlier running about it was almost sure that they did. Another question came to mind: Herbs in Remusiat? She wouldn't know what type of them he'd need, nor where to acquire them. Regardless, it was really none of her business.

A barmaid brought the man his meal, a thin slab of Wison steak and some cooked vegetables. Maryn took it upon herself to top off his ale even as she guzzled her own. "Well, if ya don't do magic, ya ain't doin' magic. Makes no bother to me." She sat again heavily with a sigh, looking about her shabby tavern. She stood, then, grabbling a broom from against the wall and making her way around the bar.

"An' if ya don't complain about the meal, ye'll see a room fer only five Sans. I'm tired, an' ye don't seem to be any trouble." Moving to the hearth, Maryn stirred the fire for a moment until it seemed to heat even the draft moving through the cracks near the entrance and the rooftop. Sweeping in silence, the large woman wished this night would simply be over and done with. Whatever was happening in Remusiat should happen swiftly.. she did not take kindly to change.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Zann Lightbringer on April 02, 2008, 08:40:40 PM
"Thank you ma'am, I will not disturb you anymore." With that the cleric made himself comfortable on the stool and ate his meal. He took his knife and fork and began cutting himself a piece of the meat, wison, he was told. He took a bite out of the steak and found it to be a most delicious meat he had ever tasted. Perhaps because of the weeks with nothing to eat but dried fish on that boat, but definitely this food just caught his tastebuds. He ate as if he will never eat anymore, devouring the slab of meat despite of his weak jaw. In between meals he drank the ale the woman poured him; he emptied it in one sitting.

After supper he stretched the kinks out of his muscles, preparatory to going to bed. It was still too early for him, but the boat trip made him tired. He took out his pouch and counted the money he owed to the proprietress. Two sans for the drink, three sans for the meal, and five more for the room. Almost reluctantly he laid out ten sans on the counter, motioning one of the barmaids to come and get it. "Oh, I beg your pardon, madam," Zann called out to the large woman. "Where is my room for the night?"

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on April 03, 2008, 03:12:46 AM

Overhearing most of the man's conversation with Maryn, the scrawny woman made her way over to him. Sidling up beside him on another bar stool, she touched his shoulder lightly. "Down t' hall, second on the left." She said, and plopped the room key into his hand. A warning glance from Maryn told her to get away from the man and leave him be. She knew the look well, and usually ignored it--especially when the patron was extremely attractive.

Something else had caught her attention about this man though. Scooting uncomfortably close to him, she said lightly, "A healer, eh? What kinda wounds do ya heal?" The skinny maiden then rolled up her sleeve, baring her tiny arm and the bruises upon it. "I got all sorts." She continued, her voice a little raspy. She took the priest's ale and helped herself to swig, smacking her pouty lips when they were good and wet.

Pulling up her skirt, she showed the man a bruise on her shin. Admittedly, it wasn't from any sort of abuse, but it had still hurt. "An' not just phyiscal." She continued, and eerie expression coming into her eyes. She snapped her fingers suddenly and sat up straight, giving the man a mocking expression.

"I know! We'll git ya t' herbs ya need an' we'll fix me right up!" Leaning close now, slender fingers touched her own neck, where the barbarian had touched her earlier. Her eyes bore into his, ignoring Maryn's protests. She felt a tug at her waist but did not react to it, keeping her wide eyes locked on the healer and her fingers on her neck. "See anything else?" She asked, a foolish, depraved grin coming over her gaunt face.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Toama SorInyt on April 03, 2008, 06:40:57 AM
Toama stepped lightly down the stairs of the inn. She'd been resting a bit in her room, having roamed around Remusiat most of the day. She'd just been lying on the bed, glad to be in a warm room - well, warm compared to the outside temperatures anyway. She'd had to buy a cloak just to keep warm enough! Of course, she'd been in temperatures this cold before, and she'd seen snow, but it hadn't been often. After all, she'd really only spent one winter around these parts, this was the second one. And while the nights in the desert of her homeland could grow quite as cold, the day's heat negated that.

Her resting had made her realise that she was actually hungry. She had enough coin left for a few meals and to pay for her room for as long as she needed it. Some time soon, tomorrow or perhaps the day after, she would take a ship back to Sarvonia, back to lands which, if not dryer, were at least a bit warmer than here.

She'd left the cloak that she'd bought up in her room, but as she descended she felt with her maimed hand for the hilt of her scimitar, which was as usual hanging on her left - just so she could easily draw it with her right. With her good right hand, she felt for the small pouch which contained her coins, making sure that it was still firmly closed and attached to her belt. As she checked these things, she reached the bottom of the stairs. Looking around, she sat down at an empty table. Hmm, this place was more empty than she'd thought it would be. She had distinctly heard quite a lot of noise not so long ago, and now so little people here? Then she saw the bits and pieces of broken stuff, and concluded that there must have been a fight - and a heavy one, too, if it had chased off so many customers. There wasn't much evidence left, someone had apperently cleaned the mess, but it was enough for her deduction, even if the pieces didn't fit quite neatly. Shrugging her shoulders, though, she dismissed it as not being her problem. She hadn't seen it happen, and at the very least the bartender would find a customer in her. Perhaps some of the regulars would come back when they heard the fight was over.

Searching the common room with her eyes, she saw the bartender, a barmaid and a customer in conversation by the bar. She named them as such because she *had* seen the barkeep and the maid the past few days, and she had not seen the elderly man. Placing her right hand in front of her on the table, where she could quickly raise it as soon as someone's eyes were directed towards her, she kept her eyes towards the little group, ready to draw attention to herself so that she could order something to eat. It would be welcome; her stomach was growling.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Zann Lightbringer on April 03, 2008, 10:56:26 PM
Zann shifted uncomfortably on his seat, conscious of only the barmaid drinking from his mug and the way she showed him all her bruises, especially on her shin. He took the key to his room from the woman and forced a smile on his face. He observed the bruises on the barmaid's arm and reluctantly, the one on her shin. Normally, he is most comfortable when examining people in need of medical attention, but this barmaid is different from the other patients. She was bubbly and talkative, not to mention a bit... strange. Taking a drink from a customer's mug, what was she thinking?

The priest promptly stopped eating and examined the arm closely. Helping people is always of utmost importance to him, and he relishes the chance of healing in Nehtor's name. He won't pray to Nehtor out loud though; the peope here hates anything that can be considered as magic. Instead he muttered a silent prayer to his god. After thoroughly examining the arm, he took his bag and opened it. He rummaged about the tumbled confusion of bandages, bottles, and pouches and took out a small pouch of dried leaves. These herbs, called canelvous herb, are very expensive, but for Nehtor's sake the priest gave them away to his patients -- for free. After this though, he will need to find a similar plant to replenish his stock.

"There is no need to find the plants. I have some here." Zann said as he handed the small bag to the barmaid and gave directions on how to use them. "Brew two to three leaves in hot water and drink it twice a day. It may taste very sour, but it will heal your bruises very quickly." He paused and smiled contentedly, grateful that he was able to serve the Healer today. "I'll examine you again after a week, if I'm still here."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on April 04, 2008, 11:31:23 AM

Maryn tugged at the barmaid's waist, trying to pull her away from Zann. What was her issue? Narrowing her brows, she was fully aware of the woman coming from her room and sitting nearby, but she had to deal with this situation first. The priest handed the maiden a bag of herbs, and Maryn snatched at it with a beefy hand before the barmaid stood with a crazed look in her eye.

"Many thanks, sir." She said shrilly, retreading into a back room. Her skinny legs exposed as her dress hadn't folded down all the way. The bruises were apparent and prominent, and her walk a little wobbly.

Maryn stared after her, wondering what exactly had happened with that barbarian of a customer earlier. She'd bedded many men throughout her time in the Beard, and she was acting so odd the bartender was at a complete loss. Grunting, and looking at Zann for a moment, she said gruffly, "Down that hall, when yer finished. I'll getcha a new ale... let me know if ya need anything."

Stomping around the bar, she filled a new mug with ale and placed it before him. She pointed to the right of the bar, the narrow hallway to the rooms lie beyond. She made her way slowly to the woman, noting the tattoos on her face. Another like the bald mage woman from earlier? Her face definitely unfriendly, she stared at the woman. "What would you like?" She demanded. What in all the wastes was going on this day?

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Toama SorInyt on April 05, 2008, 12:38:01 AM
Toama was taken aback by the woman's unfriendly face and frank words. Perhaps she should have chosen that other inn to go to, two days ago. But it was too expensive, and the woman hadn't reacted like that earlier. Then again, she'd only been served by barmaids, she hadn't actually talked to the barkeeper yet before, even though she'd spent time in the common room already.

She wasn't one to hide in a corner when someone barked at her though, or treated her as cold as the weather around here. She smiled at the woman - perhaps a little more strained than if she had acted friendlier - and asked in her broken Tharian for something to eat, whatever she had on the fire at the moment. She wasn't picky, so long as she'd get something warm in her stomach. She was curious, however, as to why the woman was so hostile towards her.

Her natural curiosity winning out, she asked just before the woman turned away: "What I did wronk?" Rather needlessly, she added: "You lookink angry for me, but I thinkink have no hurt you." She looked steadily at the bartender. She had nothing to hide. With one hand - the right one - she deftly unhooked her scimitar from her side, putting it down on the bench beside her without looking, leaving the hilt on her thigh so that she would feel if someone touched it. She didn't let her eyes wander down to it, though. She would look at the woman until she had an answer.

The look from her brown eyes was open, clear. Her question was not meant to pick a fight with the owner of this place, she was merely curious. She didn't like people being angry with her if she could help it, though she didn't go particularly out of her way to make them like her. She most certainly didn't like people being angry with her if she hadn't done anything to deserve it though. Right now, she was determined to solve this if she possibly could. If the woman was going to be unfriendly to her, let it at least be for the right reason.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Zann Lightbringer on April 05, 2008, 01:17:51 AM
The check up being done, the priest continued eating his meal. The way the barkeep took the pouch abruptly from his hands was not exactly nice, but as long as that barmaid will take the herbs as he prescribed, he will have no problems with that. At least, he thought, he can spend the rest of the night with ease. Zann took a drink from the new mug the woman gave to him, drenching his throat with the good brew.

After devouring the last of the wison steak, the cleric picked up his belongings and went towards the direction the barkeep pointed at earlier. Down the narrow hallway the priest walked, looking for the door to his room. 'Down the hall and second from the left, she says. Ah here it is.' Zann stuck the key and turned it. Both lock and key are a little rusty, so it took sometime before he was able to open the door.

Zann went inside and closed the door, carefully locking it so that no mischievous hand would make its way to his coin pouch. He placed his bag on a wooden table beside the bed and leaned his staff near it. At least it was a little cleaner than the outside. He dusted the bed, pillow, and the blankets before layiing down on the matress. After weeks of wandering on the high seas, rest in it seems wonderfully good.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on April 05, 2008, 05:54:02 AM

Running, nearly skipping, the maiden giggled as she tapped on each doorway, flinging bits of the strange plant before each one. Healed? Would she be healed of this madness? From the end of the hall, she watched the healing man enter his own room. Sprinting down the short hall, she called, "Thank you sirrr!" Shrilly and attempted to toss from of the herb onto him before he closed the door.

The door was closed, but she stood there, looking at it in an odd way. She was of a mind to knock and ask him to heal her further, but instead she fainted, with a loud thump against the man's door.


Maryn looked at the woman as she unhooked her blade. Threatening her? Sure, she wasn't the most friendly person right now, but that was excessive. Narrowing her eyes, the bartender crossed her arms and stared the pretty woman full in the face. Taking a deep breath, though, the big woman answered kindly, "I have a bit o' Wison steak on the fire fer ya." She nearly turned to go, but thought of her barmaid again, the crazed look in her eye and the way she ran that priest right out of his seat.

Times were hard, but was this any way to treat a paying customer and a visitor to Remusia? This woman definitely wasn't from the North. Maryn added, "Ye've done nothin' wrong, but put yer blade away an' I'd think it best not ta threaten me again." She rolled onto the balls of her feet, thinking to say more, but instead turned and lumbered heavily into the kitchen. Perhaps that woman could talk to the barmaid? She'd been around, the maiden had seen her and spoken to her a couple times. sure it was only business, but...

Maryn had grown quite a soft spot for the women in her tavern, but she wasn't always the most sensitive or sincere. Returning to the woman with a plate of steak and vegetables as well as a cup of water, Maryn set it before her and asked. "Ya see that barmaid run in ta back? She jerked her thumb in the direction of the rooms. It was evasive and a little blunt, asking a favor after the way she'd just treated her, but it was humanity. It was just her way.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Zann Lightbringer on April 05, 2008, 01:33:15 PM
The priest slept on until he went into dreamland. In it he dreamed of the days gone by, when Asborn was still young and full of spirit. He was playing with his son, running around, being chased by the boy with a wooden sword. I got you, papa! The boy shouted as he threw the sword to his dad. 'Ahh!' Was his father's only reply, as he sank down on a bed of soft grass, laughing as his son smothered him with hugs. Then there was a loud sound, loud enough that the old man woke up. He stared around the room with eyes filled with mist that he had to wipe them away. Involuntarily, tears had smarted from his eyes while he slept.

The priest stood up, wondering who would knock at his door. He was used to it, from the people from past villages coming to him for help. He unlocked the door and opened it, only to find a fainted woman on his doorsteps. Zann stared at the body in alarm, looking to the right and to the left for anyone to help him. He knew very well that he can't carry a full grown woman, with his old age and his weak knees. Fear was building up inside the old man, and he started to panic at the sight of the barmaid.

"Help, somebody!" Cried the priest in alarm. "Nehtor have mercy, somebody help!" Zann limped briskly towards the hallway, hoping that somebody will hear him.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Toama SorInyt on April 08, 2008, 08:13:40 PM
Toama looked from the woman to her sheathed scimitar and back to the woman, who'd lumbered into the kitchen. Threaten her? Why would she ever threaten a barkeeper? She knew she should probably let this go, but it didn't sit well with her that someone thought she would threaten them. When the woman returned with the steak, she smiled at her and said: "I sorry. Not threatenink you. See, sword is not out." She held up the scimitar with her maimed left hand, holding it by the sheath with her three fingers curled around it, so that the woman wouldn't think that she was going to draw it. These Remusians knew about fighting, she'd seen that much already. A barkeep would have to know that a sword didn't do much good when it stayed sheathed, and so long as she didn't have the hilt she couldn't take it out. "Is just that on side, sword makes that I not sittink very good, so I want put beside me, yes?"

Accepting the plate of food, Toama looked to the side, through the hallway. She nodded in answer to the barkeep's question, when the woman suddenly fell down. Toama jumped up, certain that this was not supposed to happen. When she realised that she was still holding the sheath of the scimitar, she quickly hooked it back on her belt, then hurried to help her without waiting what else the barkeep could have wanted to say about her. At the same time, the door in front of which the maid had fainted opened, and a man came out - the old man that had been drinking an ale only a little while ago. He came limping towards her, crying for help. She stopped him by taking  his sleeve, and looking up into his face. "I help how?" she asked. "I her carry some place?"

Walking to the prone form of the barmaid, she slipped one arm under her legs, and the other under her head, curling her maimed left hand around her shoulder. Toama was not as strong as some men she'd met, but her years training as a swordfighter had certainly given her enough strength in her arms to lift a person. Carefully straightening, she looked at the old man. "Where I put?" she asked, as she felt the woman's head roll against her arm. She should ask the barkeep what she'd wanted to say about her, but first things should be first. She was a fighter, not a healer; someone should tell her where the woman would be most comfortable, so that she could put her there.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on April 09, 2008, 10:42:12 AM

Maryn's head turned in response to the priest Zann's cry for help. She watched the tanned and tattooed woman make her way to his aid. When the bartender stepped in the entrance of the hallway, she gasped with fright as she saw her barmaid limp in the woman's arms. It was now more than ever, in the strong arms of another woman, that Maryn saw her for what she was. She was a whore. Sadness crept over the Remusian woman as she looked at her employee.

She was skinny, much too skinny. Veins showed on her pale legs, her soft boots torn here and there, her plain eophran dress showing much too much skin. Bruises on her legs and arms were more visible now that her clothing was in disarray. In response to the sight, anger welled in Maryn. Anger at the barbarian; anger at the poor person's life they were expected to live. She pointed at the two patrons. "You two." Her voice may have sounded threatening, but she was only trying to keep a grip on herself.

"This... whore. She needs care. Nothin' you can do, healer." She spat the word--why would anyone believe they could be healed in such a way? So easily... "She needs ta b' tended by ta gods, she does. Cleansed." She eyed the two suspiciously. Even if they had cruel intentions it would be better than anything the Beard and its lustful patrons had to offer.

Suddenly the anger washed away as a chilly draft made its way through the tavern. Sorrow filled her, and it was all she could do to keep from sobbing. Clenching her fists at her side, the bartender pleaded, "Will ya please take her?"

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Zann Lightbringer on April 10, 2008, 01:38:28 AM
Zann watched the woman hoist the barmaid onto his shoulders -- a task that he is not capable of doing. He felt a pang of embarrassment for relying on this stranger, and a woman at that, for this job that he should have done before. He stared at the woman briefly, surprised at her eagerness to help a poor old man like him. Only the seriousness of the situation prevented him from dallying about and prompted him to perform any needed actions. "Thank you, lady." The cleric said breathlessly. It was all he could do after all that shouting.

He took the barmaid's hand and felt her palm. It was cold and sweaty, and her face was pale. Clearly a sign of having lost consciousness, but what was the cause? She needs to be examined as soon as possible, and be revived before her illness becomes worse. Zann looked at the proprietress who joined the commotion in the hallway, her face disfigured with fright like he was.

"There is no time to lose, madam. I can help her, if you will permit me." The cleric said urgently. "I've seen people with symptoms like that die the next day. Have you any rooms that can accomodate the barmaid while I treat her?"

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on April 11, 2008, 11:29:04 AM

Even as the man and woman continued to look at her, the big barmaid shook her head. He would, of course, assume he could heal her. No, only the gods could rid her of this affliction. It was ludicrous to think a foreign healer, using plants  could possibly do anything! Nothing would change her mind.

"No. No rooms. Ya better take 'er. Find a temple. Find a priest o' ta old gods. Find 'er some spiritual healin' an' do it quick." Narrowing her eyes, her features darkened and she turned away. If they were to argue more she would not hear it. Lumbering back into the common room, the woman beckoned the two to follow.

Indicating the door, she pointed. "Ta only healin' she's gonna git will be ta gods' healin'." Her voice was firm, and Maryn reached down to wipe a sweaty palm on her thigh.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Toama SorInyt on April 14, 2008, 05:12:08 AM
Toama looked once from the old man, who was apparently a healer, to the barkeeper who refused to give a room. Well, the man could heal all he wanted, but not while she was holding the woman. If the only way to put her somewhere was to go to a temple, then so be it. She wasn't going to anger the bartender, not when she seemed to think the desert woman had threatened her. With one last look at the healer man, inviting him to come with her, she walked over to the woman, careful of the burden in her arms.

"Excuse me? I go to temple, like you say, but how I go there? You tell me?" The woman, perhaps mollified because she didn't protest, provided the directions to the temple. Toama made her way to the door, then looked to the healer man. No matter what he thought about what should or should not happen, he did not have much choice, since she was the one carrying the unconscious woman. She did need his help though. "Please sir, you help me?" she asked. She just hoped he would see that there was no way they would get a room from the woman, so that their best bet was to go to that temple. She was a fair judger of people - well, of women anyway - and she was convinced that nothing they could do or say would make her give them a room. Of course, she could always use her own room, but she really did not wish to anger the woman. And a temple was the best place for healing, wasn't it?

She realised suddenly that she'd left her possessions in her room. Well, no matter. She didn't think she would need her bow on a trip to a temple. If she ran into some kind of trouble, she still had her scimitar, which she could use better than her bow anyway, because of her missing fingers. She didn't have too many other possessions, none that she thought she would miss until she got back to her room. She looked at the healer, hoping that he would open the door soon. Her arms weren't tired yet, but they would begin to be so very soon, if she couldn't put the woman down.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Zann Lightbringer on April 15, 2008, 03:02:49 AM
'That woman's life coud be in danger!' Zann felt like shouting to the barkeep. Of course she wouldn't listen. Nobody ever does in this frozen land of barbarians. And why should he go traipsing in this freezing night, with this strange woman who couldn't speak proper Tharian, towards a foreign temple that does not even serve Nehtor? If they don't want him, then so be it. He should be resting inside his room, not arguing with them.

If not for the girl, Zann would have nothing to do with them. But since the health of others comes before anything else, he agreed to accompany the woman. A chubby hand drew the cloak closer about the stout body of the old man, while the other placed a purple cap on top of his head. They shall see soon enough what their so called gods can do for them!

"Very well then, lady, let's get to it!" Zann said to his companion for the night as he took a series of shuffling steps towards the door, his staff adding an additional sound to his footsteps. They needed to get this barmaid to the temple, the sooner the better.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on April 15, 2008, 09:56:34 AM

The large bartender watched the two near the door, but turned her back, immediately set to tidying the bar area. Thank the gods! she said silently, hoping they'd find that poor woman some healing. She looked around the room and the few scraggly patrons within. A couple already drank themselves to sleep upon their tables, and she lumbered over to stir the hearth. May as well keep some heat going if there was someone to keep warm...

Her eyes fell on the other barmaid. Those two whores had won this woman's heart. She cared for them as she would a daughter or a son of her own. She also knew they needed something more, as did she. This frozen wasteland was her home, but it didn't mean she had to like it. Heaving a great sigh, the big woman fell into a chair near the fire.

O, gods, hear me. She called desperately. What would befall this icy place? She knew not, only that she had to keep going. She grunted in her musings as the maiden brought her an ale. Taking a few gulps, she watched the two helpful patrons exit the tavern.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Benedict Bennett on May 23, 2008, 06:45:30 AM
The paladin raised his gauntleted left hand to grasp the firm leather of his saddlebags.  He wore every piece of armor in a futile attempt to stay warm amid the wisps of frigid air that battered about him and nipped at his well shaven face.  Even the two tabards the possessed were tied about him hoping they might provide some relief from the icy blasts.  Benedict stopped his stride just as the walls of the city passed behind his armored shoulders and breathed in heavily of the night hair till it burned his lungs.  A feeling mixed with relief that the voyage was finally over with his feet on solid, albeit frozen ground and a deep foreboding of what laid in store for him in Remusiat. 

His xazure colored eyes drifted to his left as he heard the creaking of a worn, fading sign in the night air.  Snow fell about him and he pulled the hem of his cloak tighter about him.  The wooden board that designated an establishment creaked loudly on its rusted metal posts as the chilly night air blew about it.  The paladin squinted as he tried seeing what visage remained on the dark and fading placard.  Above a picture of a fanged beast where engraved letters marking the tilted building that it attached to as The Boar’s Beard.  Benedict cursed himself for never learning the skill of letters and shrugged his broad shoulders with a heavy sigh.  “I guess this is it,” the paladin said in a low voice and took a stride towards the open door.  His booted feet struck the old floor and the boards creaked under his weight.  Moving just inside and away from the portal, he glanced about the darkened interior.  His nose protested at the reeking order of unwashed bodies and liquid spirits.  At his male coved feet were chards of glass and splinters of broken wood that had not been removed from what the paladin assumed must have been a brawl.

It was not the first time Benedict had been in such an establishment and every time he was a not appeared in the pit of his stomach that gnawed at him reminding him of his less than respectable upbringing.  Slowly his free hand found its way to the pommel of his sword hoping the gesture would lessen the chance that the seedy patrons would bother him.

The voice of the man who had raised him snapped into his head as unwelcome as the aroma that accosted his senses, what’s a matter Carrion too good now for the likes of these, it taunted.

Benedict shook his head to remove the unpleasant thought and glanced about again, for what looked like the owner.  His eyes fell on the form of a large, gruff looking woman.  She sat looking weary in the wooden seat she occupied next to the fire.  Making his way about the patrons he walked the distance between him and the woman, his gaze lowered slightly but his eyes keenly took in his surroundings.  The wooden boards beneath his feet protested loudly as he moved around what patrons were moving about until he was in front of the woman.

She is armed and rightfully so, he thought before taking a position with his back angled towards the wall and turned slightly to the woman.  He notice a flask in her grip as well and wondered if the woman was dipping into her profits.

“Begging your pardon Milady,” he began with a slight nod of his head in her direction, “but would you be so kind as to tell me I might obtain a hot meal and a room for the evening?”

His glance did not stay long on the woman but drifted back to the patrons hoping that if any of them tried something unsavory towards him he might notice it.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on May 28, 2008, 09:29:37 AM

Anxiously Maryn watched the door as it creaked open, a rush of icy air finding its way over the hearth. To her dismay, it was not the two she'd sent with her maid, but rather a man who looked ready for battle. She'd heard the cries of guards in the harbour, the evidence that her city was indeed being attacked. Fearfully she awaited more news, but did not leave the Beard; it was her only comfort in times like these.

A few men had arrived from the plaza, telling her of commotion at the West Gate and insisting on drink after drink. She longed for that storyteller to come and distract them as he had with countless others in the past weeks, but she surmised he would not be returning. She kept the drinks coming, cleaning up broken mugs as they fell off the tables, but had just sat down to enjoy a drink of her own. The skinny barmaid now swept the floor under their table to the taunts of men thirsty for something other than spirits.

Shaking her head, Maryn watched the armored man approach. When he asked for a hot meal and a bed, she stood, nodding as she said, "I can provide ya that, lad. Don't ya be lookin' too nervous, now. I know ya folks are on edge, but I can't be watchin' ya all the time. There's been enough fightin' fer one day 'ere and I imagine there'll be more 'fore the night's out... Ahh, see I'm talkin' to ya like I know ya. Now, sit, and I'll getcha a meal a' wison steak an' some ale." Motioning to her table, Maryn gave the man her seat and lumbered towards the kitchen.

Maybe, if more men like this one came and came quickly, Remusiat would be safe and sound after all.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Benedict Bennett on May 28, 2008, 11:37:13 PM
The paladin turned his head back towards the large woman he hear the woman rise from the wooden chair he had found her in.  The fire cast a warm glow about the woman as it burned with the hearth.  He could not hear noise it produced for the noise created by the establishment’s guests.  The warmth that emanated from the flames began to warm the man despite his best efforts to remain alert to the possible threat the patrons may hold to him.

Benedict heard her offer a steak made from an animal he had never heard of before but was not surprised.  May times in his travels, the paladin had partaken of meals far less appealing in description that had turned out to be rather enjoyable.  His mouth began to water as he thought about eating the slab of meat bathed in the warm glow and heat from the hearth but these were not all the message implied and he knew it.  To be honest he was a bit nervous.  If he had been here a few more time before the paladin was sure that the feeling of mortal peril would have already lifted as he became accustom to the gruff patrons, as it was he knew nothing of them or the ice encased land he had just arrived in.  In his hast to obey a direct order to go he had failed to acquire information about the place or even directions to important locations he would be obliged to go.

The woman also implied that a battle had ensued and this struck the warrior like a swords blow to his shield.  To Benedict's credit, his intentions were honorable.  He had wished to assist at the earliest possible moment in whatever skirmish might occur but it occurred to the warrior that somehow he had missed obvious signs that conflict had already erupted.  He winced from the piercing mental pain of failure.

Have I missed something
, Benedict thought, if there is a battle and I do not attempt to assist than I will be in even more trouble.

The heavy set woman had already begun her trek across badly worn and cluttered floor to a destination the man could only guess as to.  Benedict sighed but knew he must find out the answer to the question that burned hotter and larger in his inner being than that in the hearth.  His long legs began to take strides towards the woman with whom he had just spoken.  The paladin’s mind insisted that he inquire even if it meant admitting his ignorance and foolishness.  He knew if he did not ask he could retain the aura that he knew what was going on and then face the consequences later as he stood before his new commander or he could risk admitting his failings publicly now and spare himself from whatever additional punishment might be added to that which surly awaited him.  The crunch of mug shards beneath his boots brought his thoughts back to the situation as the paladin decided on the former option.

“Sorry to bother you again milady,” Benedict ventured raising his voice slightly in the hope that he might arouse the attention of the woman whose retreating back was towards him, “but what fighting are you referring?”  “You see,” he began again,” I have just arrived from Lorehaven and have heard nothing about the events of the evening.  I carry papers that must be delivered to the command here in the city and,” he stopped his words for a brief moment hoping the woman would turn and acknowledge his words, “I have heard nothing that would indicate that a battle is in progress.”

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on June 03, 2008, 12:46:24 PM

The gruff bartender made it behind the bar before turning, pouring the man an ale, plopping it upon the counter, and venturing to answer. "Heard nothing, have ya? Well, wait a few good minutes an' yull hear quite a bit. Jus' listen ta those men over there an' yull know." She retreated to the kitchen for a moment to prepare the cut of Wison meat, quickly praying to the old gods as she did so.

Mulling over in her mind the events of the night, the woman wondered what she was still doing here. She loved her city and admittedly even the King, but it was dangerous. Apparently not too dangerous as most did not realize what was happening as of yet. Returning to him as the steak cooked, she leaned on the bar; it moaned under her weight. "Did ya not hear cries in the harbor? Our city is bein' attack'd, man. Orcs, I hear.."

She paused for a moment, taking another swig of drink and letting herself enjoy the flavor. "An' ya don't know whats on yer papers?" She looked at him with an odd expression. Of course, they'd be ones requiring him to join in the battle, right? Of course there would be help arriving.. recruits.. something of sorts? Confused, she asked him, "Haven't ya looked at 'em?"

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Benedict Bennett on June 05, 2008, 03:28:45 AM
Benedict felt surface of his cheeks burn, not from anger but from the rebuttal he felt.  The words spoke to him by this woman hit him harder than the fists of an assailant.  The paladin was well aware of an impending ork invasion, it was part of he orders that had brought him to his frozen place, but as to their presence at that moment, he was unaware.

The man turned his head slightly as she mentioned listening to some of the patrons and wondered why the idea had not crossed his own mind.  People were always a good source of information, especially those whose throats were well lubricated.

He slid into a wooden bar stool as the well-nourished female disappeared into another room.  Using his gauntleted left hand, he grasped his shied pushing the firm metal sheet slightly away from his back so that it landed behind the worn wood of the stool.  His other hand instinctually went his polished metal mace that dangled on his side to prevent any embarrassment that might be incurred if his seat made contact with the spikes.  He removed the encumbering armor from his hands and lodged them together behind his belt just go his right side.  Benedict allowed a sigh to escape his lips and he cupped his large hands around the awaiting flask.

His mind wandered back for a moment to the first time he had stepped into a tavern.  It was not that much different in many respects as this one but he was a frightened lad fleeing Voldar for his young life.  He was with Sir Walter Bastion who stood just behind him guiding his small form by the shoulders until they arrived at the edge of the marble topped bar.  He stood looking wide eyed up at the woman who worked behind the counter who smiled at him with her voluptuous teki colored lips and said, hi handsome what you doin’ here, is this your father?  No words escaped his lips only a faint waiving his tasseled eophran hair from side to side.  Benedict remembered turning to look up at Walter then his thoughts were interrupted by the inviting aromas coming from the kitchen and the groaning of the wooden bar stand in defiance of the heavy set woman that now leaned against its surface.

"Did ya not hear cries in the harbor?,” the woman asked, “Our city is bein' attack'd, man. Orcs, I hear."

Benedict watched as the woman grabbed her drink and gulped down more of her intoxicating beverage.  He could smell it on her breath, the frothy odor of fermented spirits, but he was more use to the fragrances than then paladin would like to have admitted. 

"An' ya don't know whats on yer papers," the woman inquired with a her face drawn up with a look of confusion, "haven't ya looked at 'em?"

Regaining a bit of composure the man sighed and let a smile cross his lips, “I have, many times my lady,"  he chuckled realizing how he must have sounded to the barkeep, "they're a bit hard to read when rolled up and closed with ribbons and was seals.”

He nodded at the woman and took a swig from his mug then smiled again, “I’d be in more trouble than a man being chased by a swarm of groshmites if I broke them open and read them.”

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on June 17, 2008, 10:54:15 AM

Maryn smiled, small and weary, at the man. Oh, of course he hadn't examined the papers. She herself wouldn't have been able to read them, but wouldn't he have been at least a bit curious? It would be easy enough to tie it right back up. Mentally waving the situation away, she said, "Mighty honorable of ya, man. Ah, here ya be.." The skinny barmaid remaining slid a steaming slab of Wison steak across the countertop to rest before the man. Vegetables of sorts steamed on the plate beside it. "Eat up, if ya'll be joinin' the fight like I presume.." Here eyes lit a little at the thought: one more protecting her city was a glad sight indeed.

She shook her head a little at the thought of the man being "in trouble" as he put it. And who here would hold him accountable? A little, crazy chuckle escaped from her lips, but Maryn covered it with another swig of drink. It wasn't fit for a woman, or anyone sober, to be laughing at a time of despair and worry such as this one. It was fair at all to the soon to be grieving and mourning families at any rate.

Just then the door of the tavern opened with a bang. The face that presented itself was familiar, and the large woman squinted just a little as a flurry of snowflakes and the icy wind rushed into her face. Some of the men near the hearth jumped, but many were too drunk to be bothered further. The young man who entered, followed by the blond  haired youth from earlier that day, was the Prince of Remusiat himself. Her mouth hung slack as the bartender swiftly placed her flask below the counter and stood a little straighter as if ready to offer him any service necessary. What could she offer him? Her eyes widened a little as they rested on the man with the scrolls before her...


Rushing into the Boar's Beard tavern was stupid. Blue eyes flew about the place as he'd stood outside, hurrying there, but looking critically at the dilapidated place. This is where the Mallisters stayed? Huffing a little, fastening Junari outside, the Prince stomped rather childishly inside, eyes surveying the place wildly. It was just as dirty as the outside depicted, drunken fools sitting there of no use at all while younger, poorer men died for their safety. Or.. prepared to do so. Shaking his head, hair flying lightly about his face, Timeras scrunched his nose in disgust and glanced back at Ruil with an exasperated expression. There was no one of use here!

"Ruil, what are we..." He began to ask, before he rested upon the lone soul sitting at the bar. It was not the gruff bartender that caught his eye--he'd seen that woman before. But the man cutting into a steak on his side of the counter. He had a mug, but not the air of a man intoxicated by his drink. Stupidly, the young prince marched across the floor. Surely, this was who he was commanded to find? Hopefully. Worry etched across his face as he approached.

The man's armor, of course, did not go unnoticed. Even this brightened the young man's spirits a little. It was only one additional man, but he had the look of experience. Or at least, what Timeras hoped was the look of experience. Gently, much like a lost boy rather than a Prince of any prestige, he placed a gloved hand on the man's shoulder. "I am hoping you are the man I am seeking. What is your purpose in Remusiat, if I may ask?" He spoke in normal tones, his voice deep for a man of his age and as businesslike as he could make it. He did not expect the man to know he was a prince, but he did not feel the need to go about parading his status at a time like this. Giving an anxious glance to his only Mallister friend remaining, blue eyes locked again on the armored man's own.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Benedict Bennett on June 17, 2008, 11:30:26 PM
Benecict nodded and offered a smile to the thin barmaid at her assertion that he was honorable and for delivering the savory meal to him.  He could smell the aroma of the cooked meat and wondered at the size of such a creature if they could be so generous with their portions.  Next to the main course was a side of what passed as vegetables but after such a long voyage anything would taste good to the young paladin.

The young woman’s invitation to eat was almost engulfed by her mention of, “joinin' the fight.”  He looked forward to that moment from the time he first received his orders to come to this land locked in a frozen embrace.  Now with the hot meal placed before him he would be satisfied with the prospects of eating rather than that of fighting.

As the man picked up the knife and fork offered him, he heard the door burst open and felt the gush of cold air that followed.  Not even he was bold enough to burst into such a tavern as this in such a brash hurry.  Behind him he heard the clatter of chairs as they slid across the floor and the hush that seemed to fall on those sharing the dining experience of the establishment.  Looking up from his food he watched as the large woman quickly hid her flask below the counter and saw her eyes widen.

The paladin moved his eophran eyes quickly to examine who would cause such a stir.  There in the doorway was a young man with yealm hair and another following close behind dressed as if rady for battle himself.  He could see there was a bit of a conversation but could not make out the words shared between the two.

They seemed out of place as much as the paladin at the bar did and Benidict took note of the fact.  One placed one determined foot in front of the other, his boots crashing down on the wooden floor until he stood beside Benedict.  There was a look of concern on the young mans face and that puzzled the warrior but there was no time now for such thoughts, they were here for someone, they were here for him.

Placing a hand on the heavily armored shoulder of the paladin the soldier began to speak, "I am hoping you are the man I am seeking,” he began, “what is your purpose in Remusiat, if I may ask?"

Surly this was a man of importance, Benedict thought as he sat his utensils aside.  He slid sideways, away from the man and stood to his feet offering a bow, then stood at attention allowing his boots to click together as he had been taught. 

He stood tall and began his answer to the man’s inquiry, “My name sir is Benedict Bennett, “ he said cuting himself short from adding his customary referral to being a paladin of Armeros.  “I have been ordered here,” he continued, “by the New Santharian government and the Armourwains of the city of Voldar.” 

The paladin continued to look straight ahead as if addressing a superior, for surly the man must have been if he demanded such a response from the rabble that occupied the tables, “I have papers for the commander eyes only sir.”

Almost as soon as he had uttered the name of the temple, he knew it was the wrong thing to do.  Even if the man did not know what a Armourwains was it did open up the possibility for uncomfortable questions.  He chided himself silently as he awaited the reply that would inevitably come.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Sir Ruil Mallister on June 21, 2008, 12:18:31 PM
Ruil followed quietly behind Timeras as he entered the Boar's Beard.  Nodding silently at the prince when he looked back, the new knight smiled apologetically at Maryn.  Seeing the larger woman reminded Ruil of the body that most likely still lay upstairs.  His heart sank a little.  But now wasn't the time to be sad.  When Timeras strode over to the man at the bar, Ruil glanced at the stairs.  The armored man stood up.  Ruil stepped away.  While Timeras and the man began speaking, the young Erpheronian strode upstairs.

I suppose I am lucky to as of yet have a thief in the room, thought Ruil as he pushed the door open.  His breath stopped suddenly as the foul stench hit his nose.  The youth's face skewed from the stench, but he moved forward nonetheless.  Sir Roland deserved better than this.  And better he shall receive; after this battle.  Piercing blue eyes found what he was looking for.  In the corner of the small room lay Sir Roland's armor, and nearby was what was left of Ruil's own.  The knight cleared the room in three great strides, then knelt before the iron.  The first thing he grabbed were his former master's mail chausses.  Once he had them securely worn and fastened (not without some grumbling in frustration), he picked up Roland's backless greaves.  With his shins protected, the youth moved to the gorget.  Normally, this probably would have been a tad bit too big for Ruil, but with the thick hauberk, it fit well enough.  He thanked the gods that the straps were able to be fastened without aid.

Now the helmet...  Gripping his sallet, he put it on over his coif.  He then reached down and picked up the two gauntlets laying on the floor.  The blonde knight couldn't help but smile.  His dead mentor's right hand had been smaller than his left - an odd quirk that meant he had to have two differently sized gauntlets - but Ruil liked that just fine.  The right gauntlet fit his hand perfectly.  For his left he just pulled his warm leather glove over the end of the mail hauberk.  When he stood up, he had also donned his brown tabard, which nearly completed his raiment.  You always loved your cloak best, old man, he thought.  He scooped the cloak off the chair, smiling softly at it.  It was a long cloak made from the fur and hide of a snow bear, its white fur glistening from the light coming from the common area.  He swept it over over his shoulders and fastened it about his neck.  Sorry, Sir Roland.  It's too cold to fight without being warm.  Ruil turned towards the bed to gaze upon Roland's corpse once more.  I'll give you a proper burial after all this.  But first, I need to live through the night.

When Sir Ruil Mallister, sworn sword of Prince Timeras of Remusiat, returned downstairs several minutes later, he was fully dressed in the regalia of war.  Protected by mail, some plate and a shield, and armed with sword and spear, he must have looked every inch the knight he had recently been dubbed.  "Timeras.  I am ready."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on June 26, 2008, 09:48:36 AM

Timeras nodded in Ruil’s direction as he walked away, back towards the rooms. The din of the tavern caused him to narrow his eyes so as to see it clearer. The tiny hallway Ruil stepped into did not look inviting, but the Prince understood the need to see to his old master. Perhaps he wanted to be alone to grieve a little longer.. perhaps he was only grabbing his things. Whatever the reason, he allowed it and turned to face the armored man as he spoke.

Ordered here? The young man could not hide his expression as his face scrunched in mild confusion. It seemed likely enough, but so soon. Sir Benedict Bennett. The name rang of importance, at least where the man originated. Timeras could not place its importance here in his city, but he would respect it nevertheless. Eyes flashed in irritation at his emphasis of superior eyes only. He was the crown prince! Therefore, he himself would see the papers before any commander.

Stiffly he introduced himself, but could not bring himself to act as highly as perhaps his father or some other arrogant man of importance. ”Well as you were sent, I am thankful you are here, Sir Benedict Bennett.” He said as formally as he could muster, but could not stifle the welcoming smile that cross his face. ”My name is Timeras, Crown Prince of Remusiat. I’d like to take a look at your papers, please.” He reached and gave the man a firm handshake, certain that he would recognize he was important, however young, and hand over the papers.

An ale appeared on the counter, and the large woman behind the bar gave him a slight smile and a small bow. Taking the mug in hand, but not a drink from it, Timeras looked at Sir Bennett and awaited his answer. It was unlike him to be so.. cold.. especially towards a newcomer to the city. But it was more likely in times like this, as he got older and started to assume the duties of his sickly King, that he needed to practice all the authority and professionalism he could muster. The young prince stood as tall as he could and lamented in his head of his lack of armor, of the stubble on his chin and of the dampness of his hair in the presence of one who would rather lay eyes on a stately King.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Benedict Bennett on June 27, 2008, 06:14:17 AM
The paladin saw the young soldier nod his head in recognition of the companion he had entered the establishment as he passed.  He heard the steps but never looked back to find out exactly where he had gone. 

He had seen the look in the worriers that he spoke to and wondered what had brought about the expression.  The thought that it might have been the mention of the temple that had caused it but Benedict could not be sure.  The man spoke stiffly almost as if he were uncomfortable but the paladin wrote it off as part of whatever had caused the earlier reaction.

The man before him stated he was thankful for his arrival and addressed him as “sir,” a word he had not used to describe himself.  He then when on to introduce himself as Timeras, the crown prince of Remusiat and then asked to see the papers Bennett had mentioned. The man then extended his hand in greeting.

Benedict accepted his gesture and bowed again as he did but the look on his face said far more than his actions did.  His eyes had become wide as he realized this was not just any young soldier sent on an errand, this was the prince!  Quickly he gathered his composure has he rose from the bow and reached for the papers that resided in a pocket in his cloak.

The paladin was reluctant to give the documents over to this man no matter who he said he was.  Being a prince did not mean you out ranked a commander when it came to military protocol.  But if he did not produce them he would probably end up imprisoned or worse for his arrogance. 

As the two carefully rolled document emerged from there hiding place he looked once again at the ribbons and seals to make sure they were still intact.  On the one was a deep tiki red ribbon held by a wax seal of an almost identical hue.  It bore the royal seal impressed in its shiny surface.  The other was wrapped in an identical ribbon but bore a seal of eophran brown embossed with the seal of the Armourwain of Voldar.  His ears picked up the sound of a mug slid across the counter towards the prince who accepted it form the large woman who had placed it there.

“These are the papers Prince Timeras sir,” Benedict said in as dignified a manor as he could.

He hesitated a moment then held them in his right hand, side by side, careful not to crease there vperene colored surface.

“I trust you will care for them as well as I have on my journey here,” he said as he offered his treasured parchments,  “As you can see my prince they have not opened and I am unaware as to here content.”

He let a sigh escape in spite of his efforts to contain it, “I trust then my good prince you understand the importance of such documents?”

Benedict did not want to sound demeaning but he felt he must insure, to the best of his ability, the safe keeping of the trust that had been placed in him.

A motion to his right brought his attention to the presence of someone approaching.  It was the man whom only a little while earlier had passed by.  He now was adorned in the articles of war and armed with an impressive sword to his side.

"Timeras,” the new arrival said, “I am ready."

The paladin’s eophran eyes turned back around to the prince as he nervously awaited his response.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on July 09, 2008, 08:49:38 AM

Timeras, without thought, reached and snatched the papers from the man's hand. Tightly sealed and very official looking, he was of a mind to rip them open right there, proving to the man that he was indeed the Prince and he had authority here. He was quite peeved at the man's insistence that the documents were important, as if he were just a boy and unable to understand the word itself. His eyes narrowed as he struggled internally and stared at the ribbons.

"Of course I understand." He snapped, fingering the crimson seal. It took all the strength he could muster not to break it, reading the documents and proving himself to this soldier. However, he did not originate in Remusiat, perhaps he didn't understand or accept the forms of authority here? Looking up into Benedict's eyes, Timeras rubbed at the stubble on his chin and forced himself to nod curtly. "Only checking, of course.." He mumbled half heartedly before shoving the parchment back to the man.

He raged internally, however, and wished he could demand respect from people. He was not a child! And he knew the barren, frozen wastelands around his city maybe better than his father did. He surely knew his people better. Clenching his now empty fist at his side, Timeras let out a long, slow breath and rejoiced when Ruil approached again, ready to leave.

"Ah, this is a comrade of mine, Sir Ruil Mallister." He gestured, introducing the two. "We should really be on our way.. have you a horse, Bennett?"

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Benedict Bennett on July 09, 2008, 09:55:22 PM
The paladin jerked slightly as the papers were hastily retrieved from his outstretched hand.  He heard the response the prince gave to his words of concern and knew he had struck something that infuriated the young warrior.  However, princes were not commanders, at least as a rule, and by right, the parchments were not his to read any more than they were Benedicts. 

If the documents were for his father would he be so eager to read them, he wondered.

Bennett’s eyes watched eagerly as the prince’s thumb played with one of the seals. He was sure that it would soon be burst open and the prince would have his way.  With a since of relief the documents were returned to his awaiting hands and he listened intently at the words spoken to hide the man’s real feelings.

The prince introduced the man who had just arrived as Sir Ruil Mallister, an important sounding name for sure. Letting a thin smile cross in lips, he bowed and then saluted the one he was just introduced to.

“Sir, pleasure to meet your sir,” Benedict added as he released his formal gesture.

“No my prince sir,” he offered in response to the question as to whether he had a mount, “I was forced to leave Justice, my Kev'lor War Horse, behind.”   Benedict nodded, “My orders were to leave immediately and a birth for her could not be arranged.”

He missed his steed.  The paladin longed to have his trusted companions Justice and Old Grey but this was a journey he would have to endure without them, a journey that was not of his wishing but rather that of those in authority over him.  If there were a redeeming factor to his situation, it would be that he might be of service to his God and bring glory to Him and to the kingdom from which he hailed.

“I thank you my prince sir,” he began again, “for your kind enquiree.”

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Aváíyá Enayái on July 15, 2008, 07:42:07 AM
Aváíyá had made it to the city just in time, she had seen orcs about before her arrival yet taken no interest in them. Filthy beast they were and she was in no mood for a late night visit. Toren was treading through the snow in a very bad mood, he didn’t mind the cold although what he did mind was having to walk through it night and day for almost a week while his mistress slept on his back, he was quite happy to know she trusted him that much, but his irritation of the small stops they were making were starting to get the better of him. Aváíyá was wrapped around his neck, fatigue from less then a few hours of sleep per night were also starting  to take effect, the only thing keeping her from toppling over was the fact she’d manage to fabricate a white fur blanket that covered almost the entity of the Kev’lor horse and she’d literally sewn herself inside to keep both of them tightly warm and only a small white mirage on the empty plains, thus how she had manage to avoid catching anyone’s attention.

They’d entered the city and gone straight for the first Inn one could possibly spot in the falling snow around them, this Inn came to be as The boar’s beard.

“ Kyreán”  
She told Toren in her mother tongue as she eased out from the white blanket and into the snow making not a noise, but the soft crunch from the snow under her feet. Reaching up, Aváíyá grabbed the black fur cloak made from the Nul’tum she’d manage to steal while on her last late night episode. Wrapping it tightly around herself to seal off any cold she finally made her way over to the taverns door which she opened and entered as quickly as possible so that icy winds could not enter. She took a breath and closed her eyes for only a few seconds, she always made tavern go silent and even more so now in her black cloak. Then slowly her she ungloved her pale hands and reached up to remove the cape and show herself, and once e she did she let her large braid escape with a smile hand movement before off she went to sit at the bar before anyone noticed her further more.

She wait for someone to come to her, she wasn’t in much of a hurry, but Toren might be if she kept him standing outside like a frozen pole outside looking like a white mammoth. She wouldn’t drink tonight, not yet anyways and she was already dreaming of a warm bed to sleep in; the orcs could wait untill tomorrow and Aváíyá was not pleased with the idea of fighting in broad daylight, especially considering she didn’t know if she was wanted or not here.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Khel on July 22, 2008, 10:14:41 AM

The bartender watched as the three men convened, speaking quietly to one another and in some sort of internal battle for power and control over their own small situation. Despite the war waging outside, they still had to struggle as men do. Shaking her head, she turned from the conversation. There was another to enter the tavern then, a woman dressed in a large black coat.

As she watched, the coat was removed and a dark woman was revealed. No, not a woman but an elfess.  The darkness was in her hair and eyes, but her pale skin was so striking Maryn could not look away. She was surprised the men did not pause to greet her as they left. As she approached and sat herself at the bar, Maryn could not deny her beauty, but it was a mysterious beauty for certain. Her eyes were strange, and she could not take her own away as she approached her. ”Welcome to the Boar’s Beard. Is there somethin’ I can git ya?”

Curious, it was, that so many foreigners would be arriving at the city in these times. Shouldn’t they be fleeing it for fear of their lives? Surely not so many would care to fight for Remusiat, a cold, desolate city so far to the north and removed from the rest of the world. Shrugging her shoulders in reply to her own thoughts, the large woman placed her hands on the bar waiting for the elf’s response.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Ori Amnan on April 01, 2009, 07:22:27 AM
Ori wandered aimlessly - or more precisely got lost - somewhere near where the big boats lie. She could never fathom these big cities, their smell, the dirt and the claustrophobic houses. She was always at her edge when she had to get to such a great settlement and this was one of the most confusing she had encountered during her travels by far. This was augmented by armed men running about yelling at anything and anyone it seemed tenfold and had her jump at nearly any sound or movement, real or imagined. She couldn't believe that she had walked what seemed like a large mouse trap. She just needed some of her stuff fixed and had the barter to pay for it! She did not understand the commotion that was here when she arrived, but when she wanted to leave the gates were closed and she couldn't find a way out again since. Her palms are sweaty. What's she supposed to do?

Her last stop was the west gate but only some jumpy guard drove her away when she loitered too long. Ori preferred the wilderness. You could at least run from anything that seemed dangerous. Being caught in something beyond her control was how her past life did work and she felt a cold block of ice in her stomach. And a snarling, biting and scratching hunger as she had not eaten since her arrival. Frustrated she sat down on some indistinguishable heap of trash, the hood of her fur coat drawn deep over her face. She slung her arms around her waist trying to tame her rebellious belly contemplating what to do. She could try to climb the walls at night! ... But these humans seemed all very jumpy and there were plenty of them with bows on the walls, now tense and suspicious... and the walls didn't look very climbable from the outside... her thoughts wandered off to more erratic domains and she just stared blankly nowhere trying to forget that she  had not eaten in days.

It was her stomach again which protested loudly to make her aware of a very sweet and tasty smell that was carried by a fair wind up the street. It smelled like food and some houses further there was a building which was marked by a sign declaring as much though its outside didn't look as convincing... Ori focused the building and her mind started racing. She needed something to eat... but those human places always wanted metal in exchange for anything. After the arrowheads and sharpened knife she had barely any of those pieces left. Finally her hunger won over and she collected all her meager savings from a pouch. Not much of a fortune but maybe enough.

With new found determination she stands up and walks towards the worndown door. She hesitated a moment, but finally her stomach wins over and she opens the door ... a palmsbreadths. Her nose gives her quite opposite directives. Smoky and used air intermingled with all sorts of smell hit her like a brick wall. After a first shock however her hunger again feverishly works on convincing the rest of her body to enter the building as some of the smells at least indicate something eatable in there! She gave herself a push and silently slipped through the halfopened door. Moving silently her entrance his still openly declared by the creaking hinges.

Insecurely she looks into the dimly lit room. Some woman standing behind a bar, other folk standing or sitting around. She ignores whatever attention is turned towards her. It would just rattle her so she walks straight towards the bar a stoic demeanour about her, her leather clothes and fur cloak giving her a rather outlandish look, the bow hardly concealed on her back. Looking straight into the woman's face she tries to hide her nervousness. Fumbling for words she shows the coin she has "Mhnt ong.. have food?" she asks.

Her stomach translates her words far more clearly and she blushes. Imploring she presents her coin more clearly to the barwoman.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Seh'nara Celebrindal on April 05, 2009, 01:48:04 AM

Maryn had long since stopped minding the elf. If he had wanted food, he should have answered, not stared into space like some sleep-addled ruffian. Those sorts of people got on her nerves. In any case, she had turned her back and was now glaring daggers at a few of the patrons at the back. They were being rather rowdy, thumping the table and yelling. Humph. If they made her go over…

Right then, a delicate looking lass spoke timidly. “Mhnt ong.. have food?” Or at least that’s what Maryn heard. Elves. They really were too soft. “Lass, you’ve got to speak up,” Maryn said. A low rumble floated up as she finished her sentence. Maryn pursed her lips, though not unkindly. “But I’ll assume you want food,” she added gruffly. Turning around, she grabbed a tankard from under the bar and started filling it up while giving a yell for a steak. In seconds, the steak arrived on the counter, steaming hot.

Maryn took both and placed it gently in front of the elf. Giving a rough grunt, Maryn put a hand out for the coin. “Ten sans.”

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Ori Amnan on April 06, 2009, 02:56:28 AM
Ori noted a bit angry the condescending tone the barmaid  replied to her broken Tharian, but it was not like this was the first time. Still she saw the woman yell something back to the kitchen and prepare something for her and soon enough there was a tasty looking steak on the counter. The smell alone wetted her appettite even more. She swallowed her rebellious hunger when the woman gestured for coin.

She had no idea what amount of which sort of coin she just demanded. Probably some of the coper ones... they were most common in barter which still left Ori with the problem about how many of those. She weighed her coins in one hand and then smied firmly at the barkeeper picking up 6 of the copper coins. ' Tis 'k?' She inquired confidewntly. She tried to look as if she'd simply wanted to haggle over the price. She long preferred this over merchants realizing she had trouble with understanding their numbers.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Valan Nonesuch on April 12, 2009, 08:35:29 AM
Valan wandered down the stairs, leaning against one wall to compensate for him limp. The damned cold was making it worse it seemed and that was the last thing he needed. Noticing the elf at the bar, oddly dressed for such, he decided it might be a good idea to intervene.
"I... may be of assistance, if you might appreciate it." he said to the barmaid, Meryn he thought her name was. He stumped up to the bar with one hand on his stick.
"Might you need help?" he asked the elf in stuttering, slightly broken Styrash. Wonderful language, difficult as learning... well learning a different language.
Valan knew a little of elves, there was supposed to be an entire tribe of them that didn't leave the forest. This one looked strange, in her furs and leather. Perhaps a half-elf?

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Seh'nara Celebrindal on April 12, 2009, 07:21:59 PM

Maryn glared at the pittance the girl offered. Six sans? That was too little for a steak and her drink. “I... may be of assistance, if you might appreciate it,” a man’s voice came from the side. He clattered to the bar, hobbling along on his stick. Maryn’s beady eyes shot to the newcomer, sizing him up. He looked alright. Not like someone to take advantage of a girl, but you could never tell. “Yes, I would appreciate it. Tell the lady that she’s short of five more sans.” Maryn glowered at the pair. Yeah, she charged a little extra. But could you blame her? The extra san was service charge for being idiots.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Valan Nonesuch on April 14, 2009, 06:35:34 AM
"She wants five more." He said to the elf in the same broken Styrash as before. Valan was not certain about it, but the price seemed a little on the high side. Good gods but the cold seemed to be doing him no end of disservice. Perhaps he should see a healer about his leg.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Ori Amnan on April 14, 2009, 09:46:21 PM
Ori recognized the coldness with which the barmaid reacted to her proposal. She obviously didn't appreciate the metal she had offered her. Ori's mind was racing and she felt her face got hot from anger and a good deal of embarrassment. It's not like those humans spoke any other language than their own either.

Before she could respond an ancient looking man came down the stairs and hobbled to the bar. He seemed to have some difficulty with his legs given the way he limped. He said something to the woman and then stuttered something in another language. It sounded vaguely familiar but it seemed like he asked her something.

Then the woman said something and the man added another sentence. Ori looked at him inquiring.

Ks'es qa? Ori asked in a doubtful tone. More or less a rude orcish way of saying: "What the hell are you babbling?"

The barmaid obviously wanted more but Ori was not fond of departing with all this money for a single meal. She turnt to the barmaid again. Her stomach would protest, but it would cope. She pointed to the coins in one hand and then made a gesture with four fingers and then two. "Not ... mor." she said in a heavy accent. She presented two more sans, adding them to the six. Then she pointed to the food and the drink and hit the table with the edge of her palm and pointed again to the coins.

"That much"

She hoped the two humans would understand the gestures and broken words.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Lucian on April 14, 2009, 10:03:16 PM
Lucian kept his hands deep inside his pockets and tried his very hardest to keep a neutral expression on his face. He had heard that a battle had been brewing and had come to test himself and his boundaries. Well, he had a sword strapped to his back and another blade hidden in his boot. Now it was time to prove his worth, but the shiver that had suddenly shot down his spine told him otherwise. No, he was just cold. The bed had been warm, even if a rodent or two had shot across the sheets during the night, and there was surely some hot breakfast waiting for him downstairs. It was early. He wanted to go back to sleep. Unfortunately the fox at his feet, who was definitely too cheerful for this time of the morning, was hungry and he knew that if he didn’t feed her soon, she would try and find something on her own. This was not the place he wanted a young fox, which he was rather fond of, to be left to her own devices.

He walked down the stairs with a slight spring in his step, but no smile to match. There weren’t too many people in the dining room this morning, which made him somewhat curious as to where all of the excitement was located. Still, he made his was toward the bar in the hopes of asking this annoyed looking woman if she had anything warm to serve.

He smirked slightly as he listened to an older looking man try to translate the barmaid’s words to a confused and quite bewildered looking elfess. Pretty, he thought, looking the girl up and down before standing at the end of the bar with one hand tapping absentmindedly on the bench.

He watched the girl stare with bewildered eyes at her coin, press a few Sans into the barmaid’s hand and slap her palm onto the bench. Lucian sighed heavily. He cleared his throat loudly, trying to gain the attention of the three people. Diving into his pocket for his coin purse, he said, “Now how about I clear this up for you,” he addressed the barmaid with a light, but impatient tone, “and pay for the girl? Oh, and I’d like something hot to eat, if you don’t mind.” Slapping a Silverbard onto the bench, he awaited their responses.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Ori Amnan on April 16, 2009, 04:59:30 AM
Ori was still awaiting the other woman's response when another person came down the stairs. She felt her body tensing up. 'This was no good!' Suddenly the tavern seemed crawling with people. She just wanted some food and in these friggin' cities you couldn't find any yourself. She blushed slightly when she became aware of the all too interesting look the new customer gave her when he casually strolled to the bar.

This was her getting way too much attention for her taste, with all these people focussed at her and she had to fight off the instinct to simply leave. Sitting hungry in some dark alley started to have some real appeal. With some more effort she fought down the instinct to snarl at any one of them, a behaviour they probably would have misinterpreted as well.

Before she could grasp any of the thoughts that was playing hide and seek with her the new arrival addressed the bar maid in a slightly condescending tone putting a silvry coin onto the bar. She only understood half he said, but she seemed to be part of his conversation as well which certainly ticked her off.  Her instinct to run away was partly replaced by a rage to lash out all those humans putting their nose in her business instead of leaving her alone. She managed to rein in her horses knowing she understood too little of their talk to rashly jump into the fray but certainly fuming.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Valan Nonesuch on April 20, 2009, 04:08:07 AM
Valan, being more accustomed to being surrounded by inanimate objects like books, sheafs of paper, quills and ink had never been particularly sensitive to the subtle hints that body language might have given him. Even the not so subtle hints simply flew over his head, in favour of a long list of questions such as: Why didn't the elf understand Styrash? Did she not speak Styrash? What madness was this? What was she speaking then? Were the elves in Nybelmar? Perhaps that is where this one came from?

Valan's face took on a distinctly far off look as he pondered these, and as such, he missed the arrival of the second fellow from upstairs until he offered to pay for the woman's meal.

Valan knew... little about people in general, less about the individual niceties that made up culture, but even he could tell that offering to pay for this woman's meal had no possible way to fit under that wonderful heading of "the right thing to do" without bending several very important traditions or rules of some kind. If she could take care of herself, good for her. Valan was having enough trouble taking care of his leg, let alone the rest of himself. He decided it might be a good idea to vacate the bar, and wandered back over to a table to sit down. The cold was murdering his leg.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Lucian on April 20, 2009, 10:22:48 PM
Lucian watched as the elfess struggled with her emotions, appearing as if she dearly wanted to strike him, but forced herself to abandon the idea; no matter how promising it seemed. He looked on with interest and raised eyebrows, turning his glance to the man who had tried to assist her in talking to the barmaid – though it seemed that it had only caused more distress for the young elfess. A smirk now appearing on his face, Lucian watched him leave the bar to go and sit down at a table across the room.

Without waiting for the barmaid’s response, he pushed the coin towards her, nodded, and placed a hand lightly on the elfess’ shoulder. Lucian did not speak a word to this interesting woman, only held a gentle, but firm, grip on her shoulder and tried to lead her across the room to a vacant table.

He looked over his shoulder at the barmaid, and flashed his white teeth in a grin. “Would you mind delivering our food to this table?” He pointed to the one nearest to him, “And please, keep the leftover coin. You may be in need of it.”
With that he turned to the woman whom he still had a firm grasp of. “Well I think that went rather well,” he said, his grin only expanding.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Ori Amnan on April 22, 2009, 05:04:41 AM
Ori was to tense to do anything or she would have done something incredibly stupid. When this obnoxious stranger touched her by the shoulder as if they knew each other she nearly flipped out. He made some remarks to the bar tender in a voice a little too pleased with himself and Ori could not keep herself together. She urgently needed to get the situation under control again. And the only way she knew how to do it in the presence of other people was the way she was raised up. Orcs were a violent and seemingly chaotic species but in the end everything boiled down to control over one's own situation either through being strong or serving the strong to appease their temper. She had no intention to the latter ever again which only left the other alternative.

Humans were the wrong race though, yet this one had displayed such an arrogance that he behaved like an orc like he probably would have believed by trying to impose his presence on a whole room of people. Ori was not going to allow him to walk all over her like that. However, he obviously solved her monetary problem. This however only meant she had to draw a line in the straw more forcefully so he wouldn't make the mistake that she owed him anything. If he wouldn't have meddled in her affairs, she would have solved it herself somehow. That's right She had to show him she was not something he had just bought!

Ori had worked herself thoroughly up in those past minutes so this rush of thoughts had pumped herself up where she acted more out of instinct than real thought. The man just said something to her Well, I think that went rather well,”. Maybe it was meant to assure her, but his complacent grin did not. With a harsh snarl she shook of the hand that held her shoulder and the arm closer to him moved up quickly as she turned into him. Her elbow hit his jaw and the edge of her hand impacted forcefully with his cheekbone and swiping over his nose bridge. It was no earnest attack, not quite, yet enough to give anyone a pause for thought and gave her some distance.

Without hesitation she yelled at him indiscriminately to give him some more to think about

"Na'kr fas to. .,... what you think?! - Me no toy!  No barter! ... Bas'klemec Kra! ...  Puppy! ..."

It probably would have been even more imposing if she'd not been fumbling for the right words in between, but it still worked or so she hoped as she rained a whole cascade of orcish curses and Tharian word fragments on him. Maybe the pauses in between gave her words more gravitas? Before she completely ran out of her rather limited number of words she turned to the bar again and strode there with firm steps and nonchalantly grabbed the plate with the steal and the ale.

"T'Ank ..." she said to the maid as her very own emulation of the word "thanks"

"He  ... pay ..."  she explains pointing to her stunned host.

Not leaving him out of her eyes - and keeping well out of his distance if he tried something funny - she walked over to the free table the man so sure of himself wanted to guide her. Eyeing the man and the rest of the bar like a hungry dog guarding his meal she started munching the steak rather unladylike and unelfish.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Valan Nonesuch on April 25, 2009, 05:19:37 AM
Valan was glad he'd left only moments before. Even through the slightly gray hazed eyes of a scholar, that looked as strange as... as strange as flying pigs. What had the woman been speaking? It certainly didn't sound like any Styrash he'd ever heard, which meant very little in the grand scheme of things, but a language couldn't change that based on distance could it?

The... whatever it was, attack wasn't quite right for what had seemed to be a few steps up from a common slap perhaps deterrent was the right word, had seemed rather painful. Valan though the man would have to be well past insane to think of getting anywhere near the woman again.
Valan tried to place the perhaps slightly wounded man. The light skin would suggest perhaps someone from the south, none of the Ice Tribes were particularly fair-skinned, and they all seemed roughened by the region's weather. The Kanapan folk were all darker than this young man, very young by the look of him, and he didn't have the beard or the build that might tell of a Kuglimz, but that didn't fit either. Blast and damn, this wasn't helping at all!

Valan stood up and hobbled over to the bar once again, leaning heavily on his stick and trying not to think of his leg.
"Are you alright lad? I'd stay well clear of that one, unless you'd prefer an early grave."
Valan offered a slightly gnarled hand to him.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Ori Amnan on April 28, 2009, 01:25:52 AM
Having a rather noisy meal Ori eyed suspiciously the other guests in the Inn as if anyone might get the rather nasty idea of stealing her food. Her paranoia concerning food theft was rather deeply developed - another reason she preferred eating without anyone else around - and didn't quite get how those humans would enjoy sitting casually together when food was involved. She ate hasty, biting big chunks off the steak and chewing rather disproportionally before gulping them down with a sip from the tankard. It didn't take her long before she realized that she should have eaten before drinking so fast from an alcoholic  beverage as she felt a slight fuzziness in her head. A watchful eye would probably have seen her cheeks blush as well.

She felt a little pity for having put down the man like that, but he should have shown a little more respect before putting his nose in things not his own. The pity dissipated  rather quickly when she saw the old man who talked gibberish to her went to the man. His demeanor clearly implied that he thought her the villian here. Ori felt embarassed. Obviously the situation was once again interpreted quite differently from
what she felt was an approbiate response to a inapprobiate advance on her.

She noisely grabbed for the tankard again glancing watchful to the two men...

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Lucian on April 28, 2009, 09:31:35 PM
Lucian found himself quite dumbfounded and stunned for a moment, which had probably been displayed in his dazed expression. One minute, he had been talking to the pretty elf woman, and the next… well, it appeared as if she had hit him! He remained still for a few extra seconds before collecting his thoughts with the shake of his head.

The barmaid was watching him, trying not to let the corners of her mouth curl into the smile she so longed to release. The tavern had become silent, he noticed after scanning the room with his, still confused, green hues. There was a sudden edge to the atmosphere, and the Kar-ii tensed as he made his way back to the bar. “Erm, yes,” he waved a hand at the barmaid, eyes still downcast and a frown wrinkling his brow. “She shall sit, erm, over there. I think I will stay right where I am for the moment.”

Lucian reached for the plate of food that had been pushed toward him, and stared at its contents, barely registering anything he saw. His thoughts were still focused on that elfess. That blasted elfess! Never before had he been bested by a woman. Never before had he been slapped! Punched, maybe, but this was new. Different. Still, it only provoked a great interest of the elfess.

The voice of that scholar sidetracked the disoriented Kar-ii. "Are you alright lad? I'd stay well clear of that one, unless you'd prefer an early grave."
Lucian was suddenly aware of the man’s hand being offered. Lucian’s eyes darted from the man’s face to his arm quickly, and he shook the fellow’s hand with little strength. To be quite honest, the handshake seemed like something he would give a woman; a feeble attempt at trying to bring himself back to his senses. “Yes, thankyou,” he replied with a shaky tone. “That was interesting. I wonder where she’s from.”
He looked at the older man’s curious face. “Might you be willing to tell me what language it was you were speaking back there?” He pointed to the other end of the bar, raising his brows with ardent questioning.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Valan Nonesuch on April 29, 2009, 07:18:37 AM
Valan stroked his not-quite-goatee thoughtfully, before remembering the young man was still there, in time to hear him ask what he'd be asking.
"Styrash... ah, sorry that'd be elvish, I muck some of the pronunciation. It's a much more... nuanced language than plain, old tharian."

Some further ruminating granted another kernel of thought.
"I'll be a roasted taenish if I could understand what she was saying. Might as well be gibberish to me. Reminds me of Imlith for some reason. Phah. I know too much for my own good. If you're good enough to walk perhaps you should take a seat? Valan, by the way, Valan Nonesuch, please don't laugh." Valan set about stroking his goatee again after pointing to a nearby table.
Further pondering led Valan to mock slap himself in the face with the heel of his hand.
"Ah but I'm an idiot and a fool twice over if I'm a fool once! At least I think I am. You don't perchance speak orcish do you?"

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin on May 03, 2009, 03:38:29 AM

Brem entered the Boar's Beard with less trepidation than he would normally have done.  Normally, this would have seemed like a den of blaspheming and debauchery, but today, it was the focus of his new resolve.  Hanging on his arm, was the girl that had been brought to the temple for healing.  She had a lump on her head, but was otherwise none the worst for wear.  He gently led her up to the bar, whereupon he presented her to Maryn.  "She will be fine, though she should rest.  I suggest she stay in bed."  Then, remembering the type of establishment this was, added, "Alone!"  He then let go of the girl, and gave neither her nor Maryn any more of his attention.

No, he was on a mission today.  His god had spoken to him; given him the way to save the Remusian people.  He would remembered for all time as the saviour of Remusia.  But, the mission required help.  He would not be able to do what was required on his own.  For now, he would need to put aside the prejudices that he held against foreigners, and would be required to ask for their help.

He looked about the room.  If he thought the patrons of the Wison looked like a rough group, the had nothing on the people who frequented the Beard.  The Wison was a little more expensive, and was run a bit more carefully.  This place, however, was simply a flop house for sailors and ne'er do wells.  A veritable cornucopia of pleasures of the flesh could be garnered here if one had the gold to afford them.  Or the lack of principle.

He noticed a rather unkempt looking woman eating a meal like a starving dog might.  Something within him made a strong assumption that she was what he was looking for.  Or rather, what his god had wanted.  She was strong, it appeared, and maybe not too bright.  But what he needed her for, intelligence wasn't a defining attribute.  His god would tell them what they needed to know.

He approached her, slowly, placing a warm smile upon his rotund features.  He stopped, several fores from the table, as to not appear threatening.  "If I may interupt you, I was hoping that I could talk to you for a moment."

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Valan Nonesuch on May 03, 2009, 04:39:21 AM
"Careful of that one neighbour, she'll bite your head off if you're not careful." Valan shivered from the cold outside and leaned a little bit more heavily on his stick.

The weather here was abysmal. Abyssal cold, enough sun for a cave creature, but there were things happening here so here Valan was.

Nevermind that he could scarcely write a clear word for having his hands and arms shiver. Nevermind that the ink froze up in the bottle and had to be heated over a candle if you wanted to write with it. Nevermind that it was cold enough to freeze your damned nose of your face if you didn't bundle up under a ped's thickness of clothing when you went outside.

Nevermind all of that, this fellow was putting his neck in very immediate danger by the look of what the girl, no the woman had managed to do to the man he was currently helping over to a table.

Of course if he decided not to listen to sense, then it was his own neck and he could break it in the manner of his choosing.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Lucian on May 03, 2009, 07:25:49 AM
Lucian found this man’s rush of information quite exhilarating, and the boy’s head spun as he tried to comprehend the long sentences, and the words which he had never heard of.  Styrash, well he had heard of Styrash before, though he knew for a fact that it was the language of the elves. Only half listening to the first answer, he cocked his head to the left and folded his arms. Interrupting the scholar’s next words, he said: “If Styrash is an elven tongue, then why do you speak it? How did you learn it? Did an elf teach you, did he?” Lucian recognised the bluntness of his questions, but continued to piece together what he was being told.

"I'll be a roasted taenish if I could understand what she was saying. Might as well be gibberish to me. Reminds me of Imlith for some reason. Phah. I know too much for my own good. If you're good enough to walk perhaps you should take a seat? Valan, by the way, Valan Nonesuch, please don't laugh."

At the mention of him not being fit to walk, Lucian’s whole body tensed. How dare this man assume that he should be bested by a mere slap across the face! He was used to punches and kicks by men, and even the bruises took their sweet time in becoming painful. Suddenly fuelled by his emotions, the assassin straightened his back, raised his chin and puffed out his chest proudly. “Sir, I assure you that I am fit to walk. It is quite dangerous for one to be so presumptuous; I daresay that if I were in a better mood I would have been offended.”

His eyes widened in alarm when the scholar slapped himself in the face, and Lucian’s hand shot to his leg, fingers at the ready to dive down and pull out the concealed dagger. The reaction was just sheer surprise and a practiced reflex. Lucian watched the older man laugh at himself, frowning even further when he called himself a fool and listened as he asked if he knew any orcish.

The Kar-ii relaxed and re-positioned himself before answering, trying to sound more friendly than he had been. “No, I don’t know any language other than Tharian. The only study that I enjoy lies outside, not on paper I’m afraid. Why is it you asked?”

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Ori Amnan on May 05, 2009, 02:14:29 AM
Ori was eyeing the rest of her tavern suspciously. She was more than halfway through her meal. The meat was delicious! Her stomach growled in approval as it finally got its long demanded nutritions. While she was greatly - and noisily - enjoyed her food another human entered the tavern, well, two actually. He halfway carried a girl with him and made way to the bar. From his cloth he seemed slightly similar to the old guy who angered her with his intervention at the bar, but Ori was not very good in telling the standing of humans based on their attire.

With a few words he handed the girl over to the barmaid. He seemed rather insistent in his voice about something. Ori did not care nor followed and minding her own business continued her meal.

"If I may interupt you, I was hoping that I could talk to you for a moment."

As it was she froze when the hooded man addessed her. What is it with this place that none here seemed to be capable to leave her alone. How did humans deal with this? At an orcish clan fire someone would have been maimed or slain for continuously annoying another individual. Or did they consider as sub par as the orcs at home did?

Ori looked up from her  steak with a slightly stupid expression on her face surprised and confused by the newcomer's address to her.

"What want you now? ... Mr' ong'cr... eating. Latter."

She casually grabbed the tankard and took a deep gulp, not paying any attention the man when turning towards her meal once again...

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Valan Nonesuch on May 10, 2009, 08:38:10 AM
"Because I believe the lady is speaking orchish, pardon me, orcish neighbour. I don't know what business she has speaking orcish and not a whit of Styrash, she certainly doesn't have the look of an orc. But it explains so much. A shame though. If you don't speak orcish, I certainly don't. It's not really something you come across in books. Orcs aren't exactly known for their penmanship or ability to read for that matter." Valan paused in midsentance and considered a few of the other choice phrases his new acquaintance, whose name he had yet to learn, and began to answer.
"Lorehold, as a matter of fact. My accent is atrocious and I don't understand some of the finer points but I can get across 'no don't do that!' and 'please don't shoot me' well enough."
Valan sat down, leg aching and gestured to a chair.
"You'd like to live forever then? I'm quite sure our latest arrival here doesn't. If you won't take a seat I will. I think, neighbour, we are about to be witnesses to a murder." Valan paused a moment. "Or at the very least a very violent and possibly amusing disemboweling or defenestration."
Valan expertly steepled his fingers over his stick as he awaited either a reply or the aforementioned violence. Either would do.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin on May 16, 2009, 03:00:11 AM

Brem studied the woman before him.  She was strange, even for a foreigner.  Still, he was not to be deterred.  He took a step forward.  His gods had sent him here for a reason, and he had complete faith in them, and her dangerous disposition did not in the least worry him.  If he died, it would be the will of the gods, and he was doing their will.  Somehow, he didn't think that they were done with him quite yet. 

"I need help.  The city needs help.  Unless you have been sleeping through the last days, you know that we are under siege by an orc army outside our gates.  Unless something is done, I am convinced that they will break through the defences on the wall and plunder our city.  I shouldn't have to explain what will happen to us all then."  He watched her eat, noting that she did so in a way that seemed almost feral, as if she had once had to fight to keep her food.  "May I sit?"

He did not wait for an answer from her, and instead took a seat opposite her.  "I, however, have a plan to defeat the orcs.  I know where there are items, which wielded properly, can defeat a thousand orc armies.  And riches galore, if that is what you are interested in.  I only seek the salvation," he paused, then shook his head, "no, the safety of this city.  But, it is something I cannot do by myself, and I need others to help me.  I would, of course, let you have any of the other treasures that you wished, once we have recovered the artifact."

As Brem watched the stranger eat, occasionally glancing up at him, as if he were going to try and steal her food, he began to wonder just how much of what he said to her, she was actually understanding.  Perhaps, she wasn't the best first choice for this.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Ori Amnan on May 16, 2009, 08:25:45 AM
The persistant man did not give up while Ori did her best to gulp down as much food as possible. He hastily sat down opposite which made her jerk but she let him talk with watchful eyes and eased her concealed grip on her hunting knife a little latter. Whatever he wanted he talked about alot of things she did not comprehend. Some stuff about the orcs, some other stuff about the city and even more stuff about treasure and ... well, stuff.

When he had ended his speech Ori stared at him blankly for a while her fingers still sticky from the meal she had just swallowed. She frowned trying to make sense of his longwinded sentences but at least the basics of his words she could decipher. She only didn't know why some human would come to her for this. Absently she scratched her chin then looked  a bit befuddled through the tavern. Then she looks up to the man again trying to make sense of this man.

"You ... no friends?"

"Why ...  help ... me?" She point insistently to herself. "Ask ... me? Me' no know. No' my clan. You, city, oc a Rhochmarr"

She blushed from her lack of words knowing that it must sound like gibberish... And that old man continued to watch her from the other table as if expected some kind of entertainment. It was putting her off. She snarled at him rather testy poking the remaining bone of the steak threateningly at him.

"And ... what you want? Brr'car."

She certainly was not used to this much attention from all sides.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Lucian on May 16, 2009, 09:24:04 PM
Lucian listened intently to this man’s, this Valan’s, words, though only three phrases came to mind once his elongated sentences had finished. Educated, presumptuous, and, well, educated. All of those terrifyingly long words buzzed around Lucian’s mind, trying to attach themselves to a meaning but failing miserably.

Valan meant only to start a conversation; that quickly became clear. His frequent glances over at that elfess were ridden with what seemed to be anxiety and questioning. Perhaps he thought of her as a test subject? Someone to study; to learn every inch, every detail, of her life. Lucian laughed softly to himself. Perhaps it was he who was being presumptuous. He placed a forearm onto the bench and slightly bowed his head, eyes looking upward at the older man. “I don’t know much about orcs, sir, but what I can tell you is that their reputation certainly does them justice. In combat anyway, but that story is for another time.”

Finally deciding that this man was not worth the strain of a brawl, Lucian let an approving smile cross his lips, which surprised even himself. He extended his left hand, the skin of the palm slightly calloused and rough. “My name is Lucian,” he said. “And forever certainly does sound like a promising suggestion.” At his own words, the smile turned into a boyish grin that flashed his curiously perfect teeth.

Looking down at Valan’s walking stick, his eyes glistened with intrigue. “Is that an accessory, or do you suffer from an injury? Because you are probably the first man I have ever seen to walk with a cane in the proud yet interesting way you do so well.”

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Valan Nonesuch on May 19, 2009, 10:02:29 AM
"It's a long story, but suffice it to say that it involved a horse, a cart and me crushing my fool leg."

Valan still didn't like horses. Stupid bloody animals. They always looked like they were ready to bite your face off, which considering the size of those teeth... Valan shivered.

"Too much walking I imagine. I get rather ill on sea voyages, and I can't abide horses, so I'm stuck walking just about everywhere."

 It was true of course. Damned boats and horses and damned everything. If it wasn't one thing it was another. The trip here by boat had made him wonder how he hadn't starved to death after vomiting so much. Eventually he'd just spent the remainder of the voyage trying to make his head stop spinning.

"Oh, and never thinking that you're old. You start believing you're old and you're already dead."

Valan finished his contemplation in time to notice that the newcomer had been lucky enough not to have been thrown out the window by the irascible elfess, who was now asking him what exactly he wanted. Valan supposed it wouldn't help matters if he got himself killed, so held up his hand, nodded and turned back to his newest acquaintance.

"I'm surprised. She hasn't tried to rip out his throat or put him through a window yet. Oh well, no accounting for taste. Is the situation really that bad?"

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Lucian on May 19, 2009, 10:07:15 PM
It came as a shock to the egoistic boy, but Lucian could not help but actually begin to like this man. His company was refreshing, to say the least. He did not fire insults or belittle him, which Lucian made a mental note to apologise for later in the conversation. Valan, he thought, was good company.

Another shock hit him, as he found himself listening intently to what Valan had to say. "It's a long story, but suffice it to say that it involved a horse, a cart and me crushing my fool leg. Too much walking I imagine. I get rather ill on sea voyages, and I can't abide horses, so I'm stuck walking just about everywhere."

Lucian could not help but sympathise ever-so-slightly. His eyes dropped to his own left knee, which was beginning to ache from being forced to stand for so long. Cursing his pride, Lucian sat at the stool next to Valan. “Why not buy a cart? A donkey will provide a fair speed for travel, and you will have room for your belongings in the back,” he suggested.

He noticed that Valan’s gazed wandered to the newcomer in the bar, currently being eyed with suspicion and vehemence by the woman who had made the side of his jaw burn softly. No doubt he now had a light palm print on the side of his face. Still, he admired her ferocity. It made him want to take her arm and wait for her reaction all over again, just to see if he could get some form of a conversation out of her.

"I'm surprised. She hasn't tried to rip out his throat or put him through a window yet. Oh well, no accounting for taste. Is the situation really that bad?"

He chuckled softly, eyes trailing down the soft pink of the scar on her face and the waving curves of her cheekbones. He saw beyond the current purse of her lips and distrust in her eyes, seeing the notion of hardship and stress in her features. The dark red of her air illuminated her pale eyes, drawing his own green ones to look directly into them though hers were cast away. It took a moment for him to answer Valan, though when he did his tone was light, thoughtful. “Something tells me she won’t do more than what she saw was fit to do to me,” he pointed to his blazing cheek. “And as to the severity of the situation, it must be. Or this fellow would not walk unarmed into a tavern full of people equipped with weapons. They must be desperate up there.”

He paused for yet another long moment, before finally looking back at Valan. “Take a long look at her, Valan. She doesn’t look at all irritated with him; you can see it in her eyes. She looks almost… sad. Like she’s irritated with herself for some reason.”

It wasn’t like Lucian to be so intellectual. Maybe some of Valan’s smarts had rubbed off on him?

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin on May 23, 2009, 08:38:25 AM

Brem listened closely to her broken words, understanding only some of it.  From what he could he gather, she was questioning why her.  He tried to smile, though it came across more as a grimace across his thick cheeks.  He wasn't used to being a happy man, being more prone to dour moods.

"I don't have the 'right' friends for the job I have in mind.  I need someone not at all bothered by certain taboos that would bother most of my brethren.  As well, certain members of the higher circles of our society I am quite sure would be against this. However, I am convinced that the circumstances are dire enough to proceed with my plan." 

He drummed his fingers on the solid stone tabletop.  "So, I guess I'm asking for your help.  I cannot do this by myself, and I fear the city will be lost if I do not go forward with it.  Please, say you will help me."  There was nothing more he could say at this point.  Either she would accept, and he had his first compatriot, or he needed to look further.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Ori Amnan on May 25, 2009, 03:40:40 AM
Ori still eyed this newly arrived, annoying old man with suspicion. His words did not really make sense to her. Why would anyone walk to a tavern and expect strangers to bail them out of trouble or pave their way to some glorious victory. More importantly this human trait of begging for someone else's help seemed rather low. Proper warriors would rather choke on a piece of bone than ask another one to give them a slap on the back. It was a question of honor and somehow most humans seemed completely alien to that concept.

She continued to stare at it him rather intrigued for another few moments before absently scratching her forehead. She had no idea what taboos where but this man might give her the necessary metal to properly buy more food while this city won't open again.  She needed that desperately but her doubts were still there. Why would he select her - a clear outsider and stranger - to help him. That sounded too much of a trick the townsfolk and villagers in other settlement had played with her. None actually wants the help of a foreigner, not even among any of the non-orc tribes.

"What I ... need be doing?" she asks cautiously. The last thing she needed was a bunch of angry townspeople with torches and nowhere to run.

but insistently she added:

"How much metal youd give me?"

Ori was not certain if this was at all what she should be doing, but with little money, an army of orcs outside and an army of human folk with strange customs inside it seemed necessary.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin on May 27, 2009, 05:47:21 AM

Another smile crossed Brem's face, but this one was not forced, it came naturally to him.  She was going to agree.  Only item left to discuss was the pay.  And that was easy.  The gods were going to provide her and all the others with the rightful payment they deserved.

"Like I said, there are great treasures where we are going, and you can have as much as you can carry."  He looked at the blank stare she was giving him and decided to make it easier on her.  "Much metal.  Much."

Now, he had one person, and that was a start, but he would need more.  As well, there was some equipment he would need as well.  With that, he might need to get that fist, while it was still daylight.  He stood up.  "You stay here.  I will be back with some tools.  Then we can look for a couple more people to help."  He nodded at her, then hurried toward the door.

Ok.  Tools.  He would need some shovels, some picks.  Torches, yes, mustn't forget those.  A couple of cloth sacks.  Quite the list.  He wasn't entirely sure where to get them, but he knew where to look.  Dahlen.  That man would know where to find this type of thing.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Lucian on June 07, 2009, 08:47:43 AM
The silence between the scholar and the assassin made Lucian nervous. What had I said? He wondered, raising a brow to his older companion. Again his eyes fell over the elfess, who seemed to be up to her eyebrows in her thoughts, and decided that it was probably best not to go and hassle her again. There was always time for that later.

He nodded to the barmistress, whose expression was a daunting one; full of scorn or just the grumpiness of being awake from early morning. He gestured to the silver coin which miraculously managed to stay placed on the bench. It would cover the elfess’s meal, his own – whatever that had been – and probably the meal of everyone else in the room.

He turned to Valan and placed a friendly hand on his shoulder.  “I bid you farewell, friend. May we meet again some day.” With that, he left the stool, trying not to hobble on his stiff leg, and made his way out into the cold. The fox had managed to find her way to him, wherever she had disappeared to beforehand he had no idea, and was cheerfully skipping by his ankles.

Lucian lifted the hood of his cloak and pulled it over his head, covering his face in a graying shadow, and secured the position of the bags and the blade on his back. Big clouds of steam blew from his mouth and nose when he breathed, which only made his arms clasp together with more ferocity. He began the slow and tedious trek across the icy stone and, turning to the shivering fox, he tried to smile. “Well Leah where do we go now?

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Ori Amnan on June 08, 2009, 03:47:18 AM
Orí was quite irritated by the self important behavior of the man who offered her some kind of job. He obviously didn't really bother to tell her what her involvement in his plans was which made her suspicious. But she still needed money. This strange thing that seemed to keep the human world running. As quickly as he appeared he was gone with the rather unspecific notion to wait for him. He obviously did figure her as just a small cog in a more complex machination and thus just as easily forgotten as found.

She was still lost quite in thought when the man had already rushed out of the door again. Self doubt plagued her to wether this man was trying to use her for something he believed she was too stupid to comprehend. She had to be on her guard with these people. They were no orcs afterall. Despite whatever cruelty an orc would deal out he would at least speak to your face about his intentions. Humans seemed very different to that. It was a wonder any othe race would deal with them, but maybe they just had the merit of being so many.

The impudent man from before obviously bid his new companion goodbye and left. Orí was still not sure what to think about it. He insolently grabbed her by the shoulder. From all she knew this merited more than a simple blow to the head but maybe this was indeed the wrong thing to do here. But not her problem. He seemed to be put in his place which at least was something she managed to control to some extent.

Ori finished her meal and absently sipped on the tankard, but when she had finished the meal decided to wait outside. The remotely fresh air of the city was preferrable to the odor in this place. As she found some steps opposite the tavern - somewhat out of the shadows and with a clear view to the sky at least - she sat down, pulled out her hunting knife and a sharpening stone and absently started to get her blade patched up. Aside of some arrows getting the nicks and rough edges out of the blade was one of the reasons she got herself in this city and mess in the first place. And she felt calmer to know the knife was there for anyone else trying to bother her to see.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin on June 09, 2009, 05:16:38 AM

It was after sundown when Brem returned from his errands, and he entered the Boar's Beard carrying a large rolled up hide that rattled and clanked as he dropped it to the floor in the corner.  The noise brought the attention of a few people, but most here were used to much more out of the ordinary goings on.  At the Beard, out of the ordinary was ordinary.

Getting the items he had needed had proved more bothersome than he had expected.  He hadn't counted on Dahlen asking so many questions.  But, without giving away too much information, he had managed to acquire the items.  Now to find his partner.  He looked about the bar but could not see the woman he had talked to earlier.  He began to chew on his bottom lip, wondering what he should do now.

This was not good. It had to be tonight.  That was what the gods had told him.  If he was to save the Remusian people, it had to be tonight.  Desperate now,  he walked over the bar, where he face the entire room, the few strangers in the crowd, the local fishermen and drunks, and the waitresses and prostitutes.

"Excuse me.  Everyone, I need a moment of your time."  He held his arms aloft, trying to get everyone's attention.

From behind the bar, Brem could hear the voice of the inn's owner, a fat, ugly looking women, calling at him to shut his mouth.  "'ey, now.  'nuff of that now.  My patron's don't need no preachin' to, you.  Go on, git yerself outta me bar."

Brem shook his head and called out to the crowd.  "I am not here to preach to you, though the gods have brought me here.  I have been given a mission."

"Sit down!"  yelled out one patron, while another grabbed a hold of one of the prostitutes, pulling her roughly to him, "'twasn't the gods that brought me, mate!"

Brem ignored them.  "Listen to me.  I need volunteers to come with me.  I need men not afraid to work.  I'll be willing to pay."  Brem noticed that the eyebrows of a few of the men were raised by the offer of payment.  This encouraged him further.  "Yes.  Gold.  A premium payment for a nights work."

"What kind of mission, eh?  I don't need to be fightin' no orcs," a voice called out from the crowd.

Brem smiled.  "No orcs, my friend.  The soldiers are here to do the fighting."

A few of the men stood and approached him.  Brem felt a relief wash over him.  He had some men, now to go and do the work of the gods.  After tonight, he would forever be remembered as the saviour of the Remusian people.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Ori Amnan on June 13, 2009, 01:20:17 AM
Orí had stayed around the tavern for quite some time but the man who wanted her for a job didn't return well after sunset. She was nearly giving up and was nearly decided to go elsewhere and look for something that'd help her get out of the city when the man finally returned. He was burdened by a heavy load and didn't look left and right, not seeing here in the shadows of the street.  With her fur coat around her shoulders she blended well into any shady environment.

She packed up to follow when he entered the tavern, but as he disappeared she decided to wait a while longer. He let her wait so she would let him wait. He shouldn't be too sure about expecting her waiting patiently for his attention.

After some five minutes she decided to go in. As she slipped into the inn she saw the old man standing in the center of the room giving some sort of speech. It seemed like he was trying to rally some other people to his cause. Orí swallowed an angry snarl. She obviously was expendable. She really had to watch out in whatever he expected her doing! She silently waited in a dark corner so he still couldn't see her and waited.

When he ended his speech and some men stood up with expectations written all over their faces Ori walked behind him.

"So you have ... friends?"

She asked pointing to the men?

"What my work?"

she asked insistently, her exotic demeanor lending much weight to her words where there actually was just someone trying to curl away from all the people.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin on June 21, 2009, 01:12:01 PM

Brem was a bit relieved to see the woman from before emerge from the crowd.  He had not seen her arrive, and wasn't sure if she had been here all along or not.  He would still need her, as the men who were volunteering to help him now were good for the grunt work, he needed someone a bit more adapted to more deadlier training.

He smiled at her.  "Yes, I need you still.  You will be in charge of these fine gentlemen."

"I'll not take orders from a woman!  An elf too!  That's just too much."

Brem swung his heavy face around to look at the speaker.  "Hold your tongue!  You will, by Phoblit!  Or you'll not be sharing in the riches that the rest of these men will be taking tonight.  Do I make myself clear?"

The man who had voiced his objections visibly shrank from the attack from the religious man.  He grumbled under his breath, but he nodded his agreement.

Brem looked at the rest of them.  "Any more of you swine have a problem with following a woman?"  He waited, but there were no objections.  "Good.  Now you there, the one who spoke, you can go grab that sack I placed by the door.  You get to carry our tools.  Now, everyone outside."   He didn't need anymore trouble with this drunken lot.  The sooner they were put to work, the better off they would be.  And the elf's job was to keep them motivated to work when their booze finally wore off them.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Arianna Kalias on June 21, 2009, 01:56:35 PM
I. Hate. The. Cold. A spiteful glare crossed the elfess's face as she dragged her tired legs through the deserted street, a pale and frozen hand clutching the rope tied to the bridle of the grey horse behind her. It reared its head softly when she stumbled in a gap in the uneven road, pulling her backwards and causing her to land roughly on the ground. She glared up at the horse and gently slapped its chest. “That was not helpful,” she growled, untangling herself from the long material of her coat and the rope that had wound its way around both her wrist and neck.

She stood, slouched and trembling, and untied the rope from the horse's leather bridle. Quickly she slung the rope over her shoulder, moved to the mare's side and was perched on its back with only three simple movements. Wondering why she had even bothered to walk instead of riding, she urged the animal forward and into a fast trot in the direction of the Boars Beard. The dark colour of her clothing, her hair and her eyes gave Arianna the appearance of a shadow. A shadow with blue in its hair and skin which is currently the colour of snow. Some shadow.

A small flash of red suddenly brought a horrified whinny from the horse, and it reared back onto its hind legs. The woman struggled to keep a firm hold of the horse's reins and her feet in the stirrups, and cried out for the horse to steady. Once the animal had firmly placed all four hooves on the hard ground, the elfess dismounted and was immediately at its front. She traced her hand up and down its nose whilst her alarmed eyes searched for the source of the horse's alarm. Her dark hues fell over a fox which was curling its tail around the ankles of a man clad entirely in black, who trying to stay hidden in the shadows and was failing badly.

“I would appreciate it greatly if you kept that animal out from under my horse's hooves. I wouldn't much like being thrown from its back when the ground is so cold.” Arianna stopped running her hand along the mare's nose and re-tied the rope onto the bridle. Ah, she thought, That's why.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Ori Amnan on June 29, 2009, 03:16:48 AM
With ever declining temper Ori had once again the feeling that this human was blowing her off. He still had not presented any convincing reason why a human would seek the help of an elf he didn't even know. To her this all smelled an aweful lot like a set up where a stranger might stumble into some traps and entanglements a native might know to avoid. That he now had hired a whole bunch of drunkards only added to the danger she sensed about this job. She obviously couldn't pass the possibility that all those humans were in on something and wanted the elf to take the blame.

One of the drunken men started to complain loudly, obviously about her involvement which drove Ori's anger up a bit. Even if they are not all in on it this could get ugly. She quietly loosened the hidden hunting dagger in its sheath barely containing her usually short fuse. This was no time to lose one's temper but if this man wouldn't shut it he'd have to deal with a stomach wound, job be damned.

But before her patience got tested any more the priest put the man back in his place. Ori acknowledged with some satisfaction how easy he had done so. Now came the more difficult place. She better had this guy put in place as well. As he hushed the men out of the tavern and walking through the door she followed him quietly. As he just passed the door she smoothly closed in on him, draw her knife and rammed it firmly into the wooden door frame blocking his path.

"You too sneaky, human. You better have metal and no foul tricks. Me part better good, rrh'shrlek."
she hissed close by his ear. And whispering even closer to his ear.
"Me no like surprises, sly man. You me get trouble, I be you trouble. No end nice. Very red end. No one happy people."

She did not wait for his response, but forcefully pulled the knife out of the wood and put it back into its hidden sheath. She gave a nasty glare to the men and took up a self confident posture a few steps away from the group. Close enough to beat the next insolent bastard and far enough to leg it should they try something together. While she kept and eye out for this group she noticed some person with a horse off in the distance, but otherwise there's none else around.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin on July 02, 2009, 07:31:22 AM

Leaving the Boar's Beard, Brem smiled as he saw how the elf woman had intimidated the man who had objected to following her lead.  Good, he had chosen correctly.  He had hoped that she could hold her own, and keep these men in line.  The men he had picked, he knew were going to be feckless fools, and they could not be counted on, once the hard work had started.  He alone did not have the imposing authority needed to keep them in line.  She did.

Catching her eye, Brem nodded his approval to her.  Yes, she was brought here by the gods as a tool to save the people of Remusia.  Praise the gods!

His head snapped about at the sound of his name being called.  He looked down the street to where a young man and woman were embraced.  The man was yelling at him, asking him where he was going.  Brem's lips pursed together.  He couldn't very well say where.  He tried to figure out who the man was but, although the young man's face was somewhat familiar, he couldn't put a name to it.  When the man suggested the temple, Brem smiled and nodded.  That seemed like the best answer.  Would attract less interest or suspicion that way.

Immediately, that plan fell apart when the young man palmed the young woman onto them.  Another foreigner, by the look of her dress.  And no warrior, like the elf with him, and not nearly big or strong enough to work hard enough to make herself useful, to where they were going.  He was about to refuse, to try and come up with some excuse why he couldn't take the girl, but the man was already ushering the girl toward Brem and his group.

Silently he cursed under his breath.  Oh well, it was too late now.  He would take her.  He forced a smile onto his portly face. "Come with us, my dear.  We need to make a stop first, before we get to the temple.  So, your name is Val, then?"

Brem shot the elf a look that implied she should pay careful attention to this newcomer.  He didn't need anyone upsetting the will of the gods.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Ori Amnan on July 05, 2009, 07:44:55 PM
Ori stood a little apart from the human group and fiddled around with her equipment in a bored manner. While appearing absentminded she tried to not only keep the men but also her contractor under watchful eye. As someone down the road yelled something she had her hand back on the dagger in no time, but she eased down when the man addressed the priest, a young woman in tow. Not following their talk it became quickly apparent that the old man was slightly overwhelmed by the situation which clearly was not part of his plan.

This might be good. If he is so easily thrown off guard, he was less likely to have experience in betrayals and lies. More importantly if his whole plan is about something that gets her into trouble it should be easier to get out of it.

The priest desperately gave her several looks, all kinda begging her to pay attention to these newcomers. As Ori still had no clue what her definite job was all about she just gave him a neutral affirmation that she was indeed paying attention. He seemed pretty worried about the woman that had been shoved into his care, but from Ori's impression there was little dangerous about her. Too small, too soft, too weak. If the old man expected to be murdered he should have better told her that he needed that kind of protection.

Title: Re: The Boar's Beard
Post by: Vallari O'Neil on July 07, 2009, 06:30:12 AM
Just like that, he laid the news on her like she knew that he would. It was no surprise, really. But, yet, she couldn't help but feel disappointed about the verdict. Of course, regardless of her opinion on the matter of whether or not she felt that she could brave the possibly very dangerous situation that they were going to be climbing into so swiftly, she was going to respect his decision. Instead of boarding a ship- even though she had decided that she greatly disliked traveling by ship at all- where she would undoubtedly become sea-sick, she was going to stay here.

The kiss had caught her off guard, despite the fact that it seemed like just the thing to do next. In hindsight, she really should have seen it coming. It was so warm and welcoming too, especially with his arms wrapped around her so comfortably. She wanted nothing more than for the kiss to go on forever, and maybe progress into other things. When they did part, she tried hard not to let her surprise show in her eyes, or her indecision of what to do next. A moment passed between them and she held her tongue, not saying the things she wanted to say. How rare was that for her to do? She had nothing else to say to him.

All too soon, she was in front of a new man and Denrykmar out of reach, boarding the ship that she was worried he wouldn't come back on- if it came back at all. Though she tried to feel hopeful, she was upset by his departure, especially as she looked up at Brem and his companion. When the man asked her of her name, she simply nodded to him and kept quiet. The petite artist found herself in a rather unhappy mood and didn't quite feel like speaking with anyone, really, at any length.

Her head was beginning to hurt, along with her chest, from all this worry that was accumulating inside of her head. A small hand found itself at her belt, fingers plunged inside of a little pouch for a scant second before producing one little Miyu bean. She inspected the bean for a moment, as if inspecting it, before popping it into her mouth and swallowing it.