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Author Topic: Chapter One - The Party  (Read 23337 times)
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Rhia
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« Reply #75 on: January 21, 2009, 12:51:08 PM »

Rhia found that she was growing more and more fond of the wine in her glass. A bit muddled, she considered writing a song about the beverage. However, before her ideas could fully evolve, she heard Malavon Despana speak up next to her.

He had a slightly menacing look on his face as he addressed Jorn. "Pardon me, Jorn, gold is good and all, but I need to know who amongst us is going to lead this expedition. Such a diversity of people need a leader; if we are to succeed we need one. Like Royce said, until now we were complete strangers, and while I could defend myself, can everyone here say the same?" He looked pointedly at Rhia and the greenly-clothed creature.

Rhia felt herself bristle. Does he not see the dagger at my waist? ...He must be very confident in himself talk like that... Still, she admitted to herself, the facts of the matter were that she could hold her own in close-combat, -she was very proficent with it, having grown up with it and all that- but the dagger was her only weapon.

"I don't want to have their lives on my conscience," Malavon continued.  "I already have enough to last for two lifetimes."

Rhia couldn't help smiling a little. Malavon was certainly showing a flair for drama...

Jorn began speaking now. "Royce, my friend," he said simply, "you cannot know how much your trust and promise of help means to me. I thank you."

He looked apologetically at Rhia. "And Rhia, I fear that you don’t have much time to pack at all! It is my earnest desire that you leave first thing tomorrow morning. But don’t worry, my dear, everything is already on board that you could possibly need" -here a smile played across his features- "except for a good husband." He winked.

Rhia laughed out loud at this, a laugh like the peals of a small bell. "It's a little early in my plans for a husband yet," she grinned, "but I appreciate the thought, Uncle -er, I- um, Sir Ranskjun."

Sensing another monologue from Uncle Jorn, she immersed herself once more in the wine -which the butler had kindly given her another helping of. Jorn's last phrase, though, caught her ear. "....Don't be shy- this food won't eat itsef!" Rhia took his invitation with delight. She attacked a piece of meat -didn't know what it was, but it smelled wonderful- that had been tugging at her nose for the whole evening.

Next the man -the one Uncle Jorn addressed as Royce- raised the question of livestock. He looked like an 'animal person.' Rhia listened attentively- she was hoping that they would all be provided with horses or whatever riding animals they needed during the journey. She would leap at a chance to leave Hoof -that dreaded, stubborn beast!- behind. It would be like a vacation. Blood and gore? Not a problem. Bloodthirsty pirates? Don't think twice about them. Possible starvation, diseases, drowning, or getting lost? Pffft. Yes, as long as she could leave Hoof, that miserable excuse for a donkey, behind, Rhia would brave them all.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 01:02:19 PM by Rhia » Logged

Hylphán
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« Reply #76 on: January 21, 2009, 08:04:44 PM »

     Hylphán turned and gestured towards Oknand.  When the man came close, Hylphán relayed the location of his belongings.  He then said "I have not been to such warm climates in quite a while.  All of my clothing is heavier, for Northern weather.  If you would be so kind as to locate a set of elven hunter's clothing I would appreciate it.  Light boots, shirt, pants, and a thin cloak - water treated please.  I'm sure these items should be available somewhere in a town this size."  Hylphán thanked the man, and started to turn back to the table, when he realized his glass was empty.  "I'm sorry Oknand, but could you also get me a refill on the juice?  It is a very fine blend!"
     Facing Jorn, he asked May I see your armory this evening before retiring?  I would like to check your stock of arrows.  I am afraid I may need to replace some of mine with fresh ones, and I do like to choose my own for proper weight and length."

     He then turned his attention to the plates heaped with food on the table before him.
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Fair winds and following seas till our paths cross again.

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Yurie Yileen
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« Reply #77 on: January 23, 2009, 07:07:44 PM »

   Jorn smiled at Royce and then addressed the whole table.  “With regard to animals, I think it best that none be taken on board.  Of course, The Southern Arrow certainly has enough space to accommodate them, but I fear that they would be little more than an unnecessary burden.  Captain Skangarris will be able to arrange suitable mounts, and other beasts of burden once you arrive at Queen’s Harbour.  So, my stables are open to any who would like to make use of them.  I could of course, however, make an exception in your case, Rhia.  I know it would be hard for you to part with your beloved donkey!”
   Jorn paused momentarily, just in time to hear Hylphan asking Oknand for another drink.  “Ah, yes!  Oknand, could you fetch me a glass of juice, too?  I’m afraid my head is positively spinning…hic!”
   After listening to Hylphan’s request to see the armoury, Jorn nodded his assent.  “Why, of course you can!  And that goes for anybody else, too.  We can go presently; well, just as soon as our business here has been concluded.  Now, let me see; Malavon, Royce, Rhia, Hylphan, Fionn, Ylva…
   "That just leaves Koka and Jenlynn; what say you?  Do we have an accord?”
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 11:46:04 PM by Yurie Yileen » Logged

Koka Bentarm
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« Reply #78 on: January 23, 2009, 09:58:01 PM »

Koka listened attentively to the banter going back and forth, though she did not venture to talk herself again, having had her say already. She availed herself of some choice meats to pass the time, but her ears were sharply bent on the conversation. The animals did not concern her overly much, as she herself did not travel with a furry companion, though she probably wouldn't subject it to a sea journey anyway if she did have one...

Suddenly Koka paled visibly, though it did not seem as though anyone was paying her much attention. It only sank in now... they were going on a sea journey! They were going to be in a wooden tub, sailing over such a vastness of water that the naked eye could not see the end of it, and not even drinkable water at that, so one of the few actual uses of water did not apply to it.

She got a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach, but she had given her word already, even if Jorn had not heard it - as appeared some moments later, when he asked her and Jenlyn if the two of them would come. "Eh, yes, well..." She cleared her throat once, and somehow managed to ignore the nervous tickling in her stomach. "I said I would come on your expedition if you agreed to the base salary. You did, so my bow is at your service. Though I would not mind a look at the armoury myself, to be honest. I might have enough arrows to last me for a while, more never hurt anyone! Well, except perhaps the animal on the other end, of course."

By the time she had stopped speaking, her momentary confusion had passed and she even managed to convince herself that a sea journey would not be all that bad - even if dwarves and water did not mix well. She hoped that nobody had noticed it, and if they did that maybe they would attribute it to the brandy, and not to any other cause. She did not really wish to appear weak in front of this well-traveled group of people, none of whom seemed to have any problem with the notion of an extended stay at sea - though she was not sure if Jorn had said anything about how long the voyage towards Queen's harbour would take. And Trum-Baroll damn her if she was going to ask now! She would just bite her tongue and get it over with, now that she had given her word.

"Just give me a moment to restring my bow, I would need to see how the arrows in your armoury fit it." With that she drained the last bit of brandy that she still had in her glass, jumped off her chair - her feet had not quite reached the floor - and took from one of the pouches in her belt the sturdy bowstring, tucking the spare one back into the pouch. Restringing her composite bow was no easy feat, especially considering the fact that she could not completely use her right arm, which she kept bent at all times. Still, in a surprising short order of time considering the wound, she had bent the bow and restrung it, and took it in her left hand, with her right arm held close to her body. For the same reason that she had not wanted to mention her gnawing unease over the sea voyage, she did not really want to tell them yet about the arm injury, though they would probably find out soon enough. So she had tried to make her movements with her right arm as natural as possible. Still, people used to restringing bows (and especially composite bows) might have noticed that she changed hands rather more often than was really necessary, just so her right arm could stay bent.

Of course, the exercise had left the old wound throbbing, but Koka grinned and bore it, not wanting to let anyone know that she was in pain. She figured that it would pass soon enough. With her bow firmly gripped, she nodded to Jorn. "I'm ready, thanks for waiting."
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fionn
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« Reply #79 on: January 28, 2009, 04:19:44 AM »

Fionn’s eyelid flickered as she watched the dwarf string his bow. The wine glass was empty, and her belly as full as it had been in weeks. She still watched the discussion with interest, but she could feel herself becoming more detached. Nonetheless, the sight of the bow being drawn made her give herself a mental kick. There was something slightly worrying about the taut bowstring; a tension that she felt would have to slip. Also, something in the way the dwarf moved seemed uncomfortable. She wondered if he was very old.

She knew she was falling asleep, but struggled to stay awake, to hear if this last person, umm, Jenlynn, was going to be joining them. She found it hard to believe that she was tired enough to fall asleep at the table, like a child allowed to stay up late and sit with the grown-ups. But then, in this warm, incredibly opulent house, surrounded by more food than she’d seen this month, the events of the past few days seemed very far away – it was too hard to keep this scene, and sleeping by the side of the road last night, in the same space in her head.

So no, I can’t be tired, I’ve just had a big meal, and it’s warm and beautiful and very interesting here, so I’m not tired at all…

She had nestled down in the chair, invisible behind the laden plates and elegant table.
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"If it's teeth are longer than your fingers, for the Ancestors' sake, assume it doesn't want it's belly tickled..."
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« Reply #80 on: January 29, 2009, 04:04:09 PM »

Jenlyn had listened to the continuing banter of the other patrons and the proffer of their host concerning a salary to be paid. All conditions of her services had been agreed to by Jorn including the man’s offer of his armory. The mercenary perked a brow at their patron as he proclaimed the wisdom of leaving their animals behind. Casually she lifted her goblet to supple lips as Jen sipped the brandy, pondering the wisdom of leaving behind Gorgoth. In truth the warrior considered the beast to be better trained than the majority of those gathered here. Still a possible extended sea voyage was not a good idea for any horse, as she resolved to board the animal in the rotund merchants stables.

For a few blinks she watched the dwarf string her bow and prepare for departure. Strangely it seemed that the archer struggled unnecessarily with the task, odd for one so well versed in the weapon. Jen was on the verge of inquiry, yet caught herself, instead she simply smiled brightly towards the dwarf. Possibly she would query Koka later, but in front of everyone was not he time or place. Jenlyn had no desire to question her newfound companion in the presence of all the patrons; if the archer had wanted to share she would have done so already. Instead she turned her stormy gaze to respite on Jorn as she lifted her goblet. A disarray of nor’sidian locks cascading down to veil the warrior’s countenance. “Of course you have my agreement, that I shall partake in this quest.”

Nonchalantly she lifted the glass to her lips and sipped the contents gingerly. “With business matters out of the way, I shall be gathering the rest of my belongings.” The final words were spoken tentatively over the brim of her drink before draining the residual brandy. Delicately she placed the wineglass on the surface of the table her stormy gray eyes wandering one last time over the gathered throng. Coolly the mercenary hoisted the scabbard containing the Remusian Warsword from its resting place and slid the belt over an armored shoulder. A calloused hand reaching towards the dwarf, she patted Koka lightly on the shoulder. “From fine foods and drink straight into weapons and exploration.” Pausing for a moment Jenlyn cast the dwarf a spriteful grin.

Gracefully she turned about on booted feet and reached out to grasp a Meldarapple smothered in honey from a platter. Nibbling on it as she strode for the door.   
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Yurie Yileen
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« Reply #81 on: January 29, 2009, 11:15:46 PM »

   Jorn Ranskjun beamed a smile at Koka when she gave her agreement to help him.  It pleased him immensely that nearly all present had accepted his offer; it pleased him even more that nobody had asked for a written contract to be made, he much preferred a gentleman’s agreement.
   Then, as Koka was stringing her bow, Jenlyn also gave her agreement, before making a rather hasty exit.
   "I'm ready, thanks for waiting."  The dwarf was also obviously eager to get moving.  Jorn glanced around the table.  Yes, everybody had now given their word that they would help him.
   “Excellent!” the overjoyed merchant boomed, “I’m so glad that you’ve all agreed to help me!  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my other guests.  Of course, I’ll show Hylphan and Koka my armoury first.  In the meantime, please, enjoy the food!  Oknand here will show you to your rooms once you’re ready to retire.  You have an early start tomorrow, so don’t leave it too late!”  Jorn tilted his head in the direction of Fionn’s seemingly empty chair.  “It looks as though some of you are more tired than I thought.  Oknand!  Would you be so kind as to have Miss Fionn escorted to her room?”
   Then he stood, and bowed deeply to his guests.  “Come, Hylphan and Koka, let’s find some arrows fit for your bows!”  And with those words, the ageing merchant made his exit from the room.
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Rhia
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« Reply #82 on: January 30, 2009, 12:00:21 PM »

Rhia hugged the wine decanter. After quite a lot more glasses of its contents, she had discovered that it was the friendliest, bestest, greatest, wonderfullest friend in the whole wide world and maybe even a few other places as well. She couldn't imagine why her mother had kept her away from liquor so much. Didn't she know how completely magical it was? It made the inside of your head all warm and fuzzy, and all your troubles disappeared! Rhia smiled vacuously, her head rather lolling on her neck.

And -best of all- everyone was her friend, not least of all the wine decanter! She turned to smile at Malavon, but found it rather hard as he was either gone or had decided to turn himself invisible. Never you mind. Now she knew with certainty that his smiles and voice weren't odd, no, not at all! Not even the way he seemed to become angry at a whim! Clearly he was out of his normal state and hadn't made good enough friends with the decanter to become his true self. He should have tried it, reflected Rhia through a hiccup. Why, already she was more normal than she ever was before!

Even Warrior Hair Woman was her friend. Ha, I'm not jealous. I'm never- Suddenly she found that she was halfway out of her seat with her ivory hands in claws as if she were going to throttle a neck. With more difficulty than she would expect she forced herself back down into her seat. I'm never jealous...

Hm! What a strange thing! she thought with surrpise. Uncle Jorn and the bushy-haired woman had also decided to make themselves invisible! After several attempts at it herself, she decided that more quality time with the decanter was needed to achieve it.

She took another slug of wine. She'd made the butler, Oakland, give the decanter to her because he was wearing a track on the floor going back and forth between her and the other guests to refill her glass, and by then she was already far too attached to the decanter to let the special relationship between her and the bottle be ruined by mere distance.

"Psst! Noble lady!"

Rhia smiled slurrily. She rather liked the sound of that. Trying to smile airily, she sat straight and lifted her nose a little bit. (She imagined that she rather looked like her mother.) "Ye-es, noble lady speaking."

"Eat me!"

Rhia thought this request was odd until she saw that it was a piece of beef on the table speaking.

"Please..." it begged.

Rhia was horrified. She was, in so many syllables, stuffed. She had heartily taken up Jorn's invitation to the food, and she had just enough room for the wine. Well, check that. She would always have room for the wine. A friend in need is a friend indeed, and all that, and, the wine having no place else to go, how could she turn down a friend? And now, refuse the wine for a piece of meat? She couldn't! "I couldn't," she explained eloquently to the piece of meat.

"Oh, come on now. Look at me. Juicy, succulent, tender. You know you want me."

Rhia shook her head and gestured to the decanter clutched in her hand. "What would I say to my friend over here?"

"It'll understand. But I'll never have a second chance. If you don't eat me, either I'll taken home by the servants for their families or thrown out with the wastes. Either one wouldn't allow me to be eaten by such a..." the meat's voice grew softly persuasive. "...gentle, noble, kind, and beautiful lady such as yourself."

Hey! No fair! How did the beef know her weak spot, her vain point- her looks? Rhia didn't know that was her weak spot!

She felt herself start to consider it, then shook herself out of it. "No! I won't risk my relationship with Decanter!"

The meat changed tactics and became menacing. "Look, lady, I know where you live."

"Actually, I don't live in any one place. Which one do you mean?"

"The -uh- the one that starts with a -uh- I think it's an R."

Rhia inhaled sharply. "You know how to read and write?"

"Okay, look. It was basic calf training, the elder bulls taught it to the calves. You know- 'know your enemy' and all that. But that's not the point. The point is, eat me while I'm still warm! I'm getting cold, and they're not exactly going to reheat me, you know! No, they'll serve you a piece of beef that's still warm, even though I'm the best of the cuts!"

Against her will, she started feeling guilty and had to shake herself again. Steeling her will -what remainder of it wasn't fuzzy from wine- she took another gulp from the decanter. "I'm too full. I'll explode."

The beef grew pleading. "You don't know what it's like," it sobbed. "Growing up, hoping some beautiful lady will eat you. My mother had such hopes for me. What will I do now? I can't go back to her a failure, she'll be so disappointed..."

Rhia hummed and studied the inside of the bottle. The meat went to what was obviously its last resort. "Do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do!" it wailed in a voice that wavered, cracked, shrilled, and did everything but crack your head open. "Do-ti-la-so-fa-mi-re-do!"

Rhia withstood about five minutes of this and then shoved the meat down her throat before it could say another word. "I'm sorry," she said to the decanter with her mouth full.

[OOC: Will post in Chapter 2 soon.]
« Last Edit: January 30, 2009, 09:56:37 PM by Rhia » Logged

Royce Brodlyn Kristoph
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« Reply #83 on: February 01, 2009, 01:50:45 AM »

Royce listened and nodded at Ranskjun's words.  It pained him to think of going without Manowar, but he saw the sense in it.  "Very well, Jorn.  I shall gather my gear, stow my animals, and meet the ship at dawn.  And if I am to do so, I should start now.  I thank you for the hospitality shown."  He stood, and gave a polite bow to the host.  He was not alone in calling it a night, it appeared.  The party seemed to have come to an end, at least for those gathered inside.

Outside, the party was still in full swing, as Royce made his way from Ranskjun's.  He had no time for festivities, however, and certainly no time for a particular wanton woman.  Keeping a close eye out for the woman, he had forgotten her name, he left the estate.

It was a short walk, but an enjoyable one, back to the inn where he had been staying.  It seemed that even though he had his doubts about the future, tonight would be a good night.  The sea air was very invigorating, much different than he was used to.  On the trip, he knew he would need to get to know each of his fellow adventurers individually.  He needed to know their strengths.  And their weaknesses.  Ranskjun's assurances that they were a well balanced group still fed his mind with doubt.

He pulled open the door to the inn and stepped inside, preparing to go and gather his belongings, when a burly voiced "Kristoph!" emanated from behind the bar.  No "Sir", no "Mister", just simply "Kristoph!".  Royce stopped in his tracks, his head drooping, and an audible sigh escaped him.  He turned to the large man behind the bar.  "What did he do now?"

The barkeeps brows knitted together in a smoldering look that would have lesser men shivering.  It was a look that was saved for controlling the drunks near the end of the night.  "That damn mutt of yours hasn't shut up all night.  Been keeping the other guests awake, he has.  I want you and that yappy hound outta here tonight, or I'll have him on the menu for breakfast.  You hear me, Kristoph?  Out!  First the damn thing finds its way into my kitchen and eats yesterdays supper, and now tonight with the barking.  I've had enough."

Royce brought weathered fingers up to his temples and rubbed vigorously.  That dog was going to be the death of him yet.  "Abel, I paid for the damage yesterday, so we are even on that account.  I'll be leaving in the morning.  He won't bother anyone after that."

"Not good enough.  I said tonight, and I meant it.  I packed up the belongings in your room and put them in the stables with your animals.  Saddle up and get out."

Anger smoldered in Royce's eyes, but he managed to keep his affront under control.  Without another word, he spun on his heel and left the inn.  Good riddance.  He strode purposefully to the stables, where a loud howling could be heard from inside.  He pulled open the doors and marched in.  "Would you shut up?!"  he yelled at the dog, who was tied to one of the support poles, in an attempt to keep him out of trouble.  A failed attempt, it would seem, as Jayupp stood straining against his leash, in the middle of a large pile of Royce's clothes and gear.  It would appear the dog had somehow opened his bags and pulled all his stuff out, chewing it and making a bed for himself.

Once again, he assuaged his stress by rubbing his greying temples, while the dog wagged its tail and lay down in his clothing, big pink tongue lolling about his drooling jaws.  Royce glowered at the dog.  "No, you are not cute.  And I'm giving you away to Ranskjun."

With that, he began to clean up the mess.



« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 01:54:42 AM by Royce Brodlyn Kristoph » Logged

Royce

Violence is not the answer.  But, it will buy you time to think of one.
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