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Author Topic: Chapter One - "The Letter"  (Read 19687 times)
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Lori Lo
Little Brat
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Human, Stratania

« Reply #45 on: April 02, 2009, 05:56:33 PM »

Lori put her hands firmly on the counter - that enabled her to jump even higher. And that was exactly what she did. Bouncing up and down, imagining sitting on Fiddlesticks, with a big smile on her face, she happily sang - or at least it was what she understood under singing, the melody freshly invented and any rhyme or rhythm forced or absent. But at least she had a nice voice.

„Lili comes with me to Strata, to Strata, huhuhu,
 Kassandra on her pinky hat, pinky hat, huhuhu,

 There we eat batata, batata, huhuhu,
Till we‘re round and fat, round and fat, huhuhu!“

I will ride on Fiddlesticks, Fiddlesticks, huhuhu
Jumpin‘ over many chicks, huhuhu..“

Suddenly she realised,that Ana‘Mirl was just behind that door, and she had still some business to do, so she threw a quick

„See you next morning!“

and dove under the counter, crouching and squeezing herself in the direction of the froglady. She stopped shortly at that white woolly little dog, which looked at her with wide eyes, but didn‘t see her as a threat and stayed quiet, what Lori appreciated. The next legs belonged to Altario, but he would surely not look down and so she got easily past him and around the froglady. For, the other side, away from Altario, was surely the better choice. Again she twitched a sleeve to get the attention of somebody:

„Psst, psst, I‘m here, I‘d love to feed Earnest, may I? He is so cute! But better put him on your lap, for if Ana‘Mirl sees him on the counter, she will coldheartedly serve him next time for dinner. You know,there ARE people who eat frogs. “

grallen gast
Softly Smiling Scoundrel
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Orc, Ashz-Oc

« Reply #46 on: April 03, 2009, 01:48:02 AM »

Grallen drained her second tankard, wondering what people thought they were playing at, serving such pointless measures for regular prices.
Someone was pulling her sleeve. She forced herself not to snatch her arm away, and looked down.

„Psst, psst, I‘m here, I‘d love to feed Earnest, may I? He is so cute! But better put him on your lap, for if Ana‘Mirl sees him on the counter, she will coldheartedly serve him next time for dinner. You know, there ARE people who eat frogs. “

Focusing (after a couple of attempts) on the small child, Grallen nodded gravely, and retrieved Earnest from the counter, setting him down on her knee, where he did a good impression of being shocked and disgusted at the mixture of dust, dried mud and unidentifiable stains that clouded the fabric of her trousers.

“I’ll bear that in mind. Hey… did I hear right, that you’re headed for Strata t’morrow? Sounds fun. D’you know how long it’ll take t’get there an’ back?”

Graceless, clumsy and potentially dangerous, but how else do I put it, and I need to know, ‘cos I’d better damn well be away from here by the time they return.

Holding out the box of frog-food to the girl, Grallen watched the girl carefully, as if she wasn’t sure whether she’d bite, or explode, or do something inexplicable and noisy, like kids do. The world was muffled and confusing from the other side of two jars of brandy, and she knew the best way to make it clearer was to have three jars of brandy. Without turning from Lori, she waved absently for someone to refill the empty tankard.


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

« Reply #47 on: April 04, 2009, 04:14:10 AM »

Lori was very pleased, that the frog-person was not annoyed with her, but put the frog on her knee, where it was much more convenient for Lori to feed it. The box of grubs was offered to her and she enjoyed feeding the green animal. When she casually was asked, if it was true that she would go to Strata tomorrow and how long it took to go there and come back, she answered nearly absent-minded, only shortly looking up to that hairy head and the yellow eyes.

„Oh yes, I‘m going to Strata tomorrow, with Ana‘Mirl and Altario and Lili will come with us as well! And of course it will be fun! ..  Oh, how long it takes? Well, nearly a day, if you are slow, but if you leave at sunrise and you are quick, you might be there at Sunblaze, just before the really big heat sets in. .. And back? Well, the same, but I hope we will stay a bit longer. Ana‘Mirl has to buy things and we always visit her daughter who lives in Strata. I don‘t think, that somebody is stupid enough to try to get to Strata and back in one day!“

Earnest‘s belly got visibly rounder, but he was saved by a call of Ana‘Mirl.

„Lori, do you want to stay and look after the chicks while I‘m visiting Strata? If  no, then I want to see you in your bed IMMEDIATELY!“

„Oh, Earnest, I have to leave, I hope you are still here, when I‘m back. Are you still here?“

Lori asked the frog-person, but when she didn‘t get an answer immediately, she quietly rushed away in the direction of her bed. Ana‘Mirl hadn‘t said a word of washing herself or brushing the teeth, so there was no need to be too thorough.

Songbird of the Sea
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« Reply #48 on: April 04, 2009, 11:38:01 AM »

The hired hands and the young women rounded the corner of the inn, hurrying down a dark, cluttered alleyway. The rank stench of garbage and decay bombarded Rhia's nose as she hastened after them. What a motley procession we make, she reflected wryly, even as she clutched the skirt of her dress in an unconscious response to the setting. The hired hands, the Baveras' Aids, and the naive minstrel. The men began to whisper insolently, and from what the sea breeze brought to Rhia's charming little ears, it was just a little bit coarse.

"...should be beddin'... wenches... rottin' drunk..." Rhia gritted her teeth at the crude train of thought the man was following.

Another man snarled in return, his reply just a little bit louder in anger. "Shut yer trap, Tryas! ...Pagran... out er a job... "

The man called Tryas seemed to be mollified at whatever the other man had said, though he did not stop eyeing the Baveras' Aids with obvious craving.

An eddie of wind dove under the girls' robes and flared them up. The girls attempted to keep themselves covered, but the enticing glimpses of flesh made the men even more hungry. The girl who seemed to be the leader of the Baveras' Aids seemed to be enraged by the men's obvious lust.
Her chin lifted in anger and her nostrils flared. "What are you looking at? Find our charge, you flea-bitten mongrels!"

Tryas bristled. "Watch yer mouth, girl. We dunnot take kindly te bein' ordered about."

The girl stepped down, obviously frightened a little. A knot bobbed in her throat as she swallowed. "I...I apologize, gentlemen, and to you sir, if I was a bit abrupt. It is just that I am deeply concerned that we find our charge and give him aid..."

Another man spoke up gently. "Tyras did'n' mean no harm miss, 'e's a bit thirsty, as we all are. Right, mates?"

There were murmurs of assent, and the group scuffled up the alleyway. Rhia cringed and turned away. Further on down the alley was a weary body, struggling to get to its feet. There was a sharp intake of breath from the Baveras' Aid leader, who scurried to the body's side and collapsed on her knees, shaking his shoulder and repeatedly calling his name."...you hear me? Can you hear me?"

The only reply was a low moan of pain.

"Help me take him to his room, please?" She looked pleadingly at the men.

The men grudgingly picked up the man, who appeared to be quite ill- coughing blood. Rhia, unconsciously edging up closer to them, wished that she had had training in healing. But the men seemed to be doing alright. They lifted him up, eaching taking an arm and leg, and shuffled back towards the direction of the inn.

Rhia, staring anxiously at the baron, was caught by surprise when the leader of the girls turned and looked at her fiercely. She was alarmed to see possessiveness -and was that jealousy? But what could the woman have to be jealous about?- in her face.

The woman's voice was surprisingly harsh, especially considering how soft and pleading it had been just moments before. "What are you staring at?" she demanded. The other Baveras' Aids gave her startled looks; the men simply ignored it.

"I- I..." Rhia realized that she had, despite her earlier thoughts, no reason whatsoever for following them. What weak excuse had she given herself? 'Write a song about it later?' Sweet Baveras, what self-important, pathetic justification! A flush illuminated her face, heated twin sunsets on both cheeks, and she spoke in a low voice. "I thought ye might- I thought I might offer any 'elp I could give..." The lovely dark-haired young woman still displayed skepticism prominently on her features, causing Rhia to feel a need to elaborate further. "I, um, I was worried when they threw 'im out uncoonscious."

The men had now noticed Rhia and were beginning to eyeball her with budding interest. She gritted her teeth and resisted cringing, playing with her sleeve nervously.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 02:27:32 AM by Rhia » Logged

grallen gast
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Orc, Ashz-Oc

« Reply #49 on: April 04, 2009, 05:24:09 PM »

“…Are you still here?“

Watching the small child run off once more, Grallen found she couldn’t summon an answer as readily as she’d like. Two days, minimum. The clock is ticking, then. She grinned to herself, a sly smile which broadened and then vanished as quickly as it had arrived. Think of it as an incentive crossed with an ultimatum. She looked down at Ernest, still swallowing the last of the grubs, his toungue flicking convulsively in and out of his mouth as he cleaned up the crumbs; it was a feast, as far as he was concerned. He croaked shrilly, a reedy amphibian burp.

Reaching behind her to the bar, Grallen’s fingers found the tankard, and hopefully lifted it, but no, still empty – clearly her hint hadn’t been broad enough. She half turned and called out in the general direction of the bartender – “’Nother, if you please, an’ this time, fill it to the top, right? Really not in the mood for half measures.”

A low growl rose involuntarily in her throat as she waited, but was silenced as the mug was filled, her yellow eyes fixed balefully on the bottle, watching every drop. As she picked it up she spilled some and it trickled down the inside of her wrist, cold and very slightly prickly.

She drank until the tankard was empty and her head was full of hot orange clouds. Earnest had climbed into her pocket to sleep off his meal. Grallen was having trouble with her seat, which seemed to have at least one leg shorter than the other. She leant down to try to see which, and nearly tipped over, having to grab onto the bar for support, digging her nails into the wood and swearing in a slurred monotone. It appeared, on close inspection, that all the legs on the damn chair were shorter than the other. There was no dealing with some furniture. Hauling herself back up to a vaguely upright position, and seeing little flashing lights in her eyes as she did so, Grallen realised she felt very tired. She hadn’t really slept properly in at least… three years? No, wait… what were the other things? Shorter than years… ears? Maybe, or is that different? I think I would like… I think… her thought were coming slowly, separated by big gulfs of inviting silence, like lead weights falling through syrup.

Walking with the slow, extremely thoughtful gait of one who can’t easily remember how many feet she has to move, Grallen made her way to the door, and stepped out into the cold night air. Aargh, who turned the sun off, it’s s’posed to be hot here. Incompetence, it is, what more can you expect, they can’t even run a decent climate and it’s all… sandy, blows around and sticks to you… I’m so damn tired. She shuffled past the stables, watching enviously the horses shut up in their cosy stalls. Some of them watched her back and she growled at them.

The combination of cold air and strong drink was sending her to sleep on her feet, so she made for the nearest sheltered place – someone’d left a cart outside the inn, tucked out of the way. She was about to climb underneath when she noticed a bulky, soft shape on the top of the cart – it was covered in blankets, presumably protecting goods of some kind. It looked roomy enough to admit a small orc, though, and it beat sleeping on the ground.

It took four attempts to clamber onto the cart, the third of which abruptly deposited her in the dust. Once she was up it was just a quick wriggle and she was safely cocooned in the dry-smelling darkness under the blankets. She barely had time to wonder what she was sharing a bed with before sinking into the unshakeable, silent unconsciousness of the dedicated drunk.

When you’re entirely lacking in conscience or sense of risk, a frog will have to do.
Grallen's CD
Lili the Elfcat
Endearing Cutthroat
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Human, Helvet'ine Kuglimz

« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2009, 04:14:30 AM »

As quickly as she had come, Lori the little scamp vanished again, dexterously slaloming between the big people’s legs. Lili ordered another drink – and yes, that was the usual Desert Wine she had known from Strata. Lili was tempted to ask for the murderous stuff Lori had brought her, but she feared she might get the girl into trouble that way.

”We better keep schtumm about that, Kassandra! We’ll ask Lori later.”

Lili then arranged her place on tomorrow’s journey with a barmaid, who promised to let Ana’Mirl know, and also arranged for a room in the tavern. No reason to expose poor Kassandra to the danger of nightly robbers outside – he, he – if you’ve got the dough to put a roof over your daggerbeak’s head! And since the elfess seemed to divide her attention between her dog, the fetching bloke, and her own thoughts, Lili merely told her:

”We’ll do a bit of chinwag tomorrow I hope. Don’t oversleep! I’d better turn in and start singing lullabies, else Kassandra won’t be able to sleep and will keep me awake all night with her nagging!”

So Lili, with Kassandra on her shoulder, walked off to follow the barmaid, when a stranger, a singularly ugly man with a severe overbite and a profuse moustache, approached her.

”Do excuse me, madam! May I have a word?”

”Why, be my guest! Have all the words you want! I’ll bet you Kassandra here will have more, though!”

”Yes, yes. I saw your bird. A fine specimen of a female Sarvonian Gossiper, or Charlatan Daggerbeak. About 12 years of age, I would say. Did you know these birds are called ‘Babbler’ in Nybelmar?”

”I sure don’t know what Nablemyre you’re talking ‘bout, but if you mean to ask whether Kassandra ever stops gossiping and babbling, then the answer is ‘no’ – except to listen to people, so she can come up with the right response, you understand!”

”Quite, quite. Never mind. I merely wanted to ask about the amusing little tale you told earlier, about you and your bird's encounter with the captain. I was standing nearby and couldn’t help overhearing. Quite remarkable tale, really. Would you have any objection if I made a record of it, I wonder?”

”What you make of my story is up to you, but as far as you go, I can’t make heads or tales of you!”

”What I meant to say is this: would you mind if I put the story down in writing?”

”How can you put it down? It’s been told and is up in the air, and no writing of yours will bring it down! Really, mate, what are you talking about?”

”Ahem. Let me explain. What I mean is this: I will put into writing what you have said, word for word, so that other people can read it later, and, so to speak, listen to the story again, but without hearing it. Just by reading the words, you see?”

”I don’t see what I have to do with it. You can write whatever you want. If you’ve got trouble remembering things, though, I recommend you get one of them daggerbeak birds. Whatever I forget, Kassandra surely remembers. Word for word, as you say.”

”Yes, yes. Quite, quite. Well, it was a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I shall not trouble you much longer. But I prithee, will it please you to tell me whom I might mention as the author of your amusing tale?”

”Ooh, slowly, slowly, my friend. If you go on like that, Kassandra won’t sleep all night, coz she’ll just be wide awake to practice speaking in your longwinded way instead.”

”Will you tell me your name?”

”I don’t see why not. I’m Lili.”

”Just Lili?”

Lili brought her mouth close to the questioner’s ear, but then decided to shout out her answer anyway. ”My friends call me Lili the Elfcat, if you must know.”

”Ouch!” The stranger rubbed his ear. ”I am very pleased to have met you. You shall be duly acknowledged as the author of this amusing tale involving a species of bird close to my heart. Ahem!” And here the stranger, rather arrogantly, twirled the right handlebar of his moustache round his right index finger. ”I’ll have you know, I was the first person to describe it.”

”Oh no you weren’t, you old braggart! I’ve known Kassandra for half my life now, and you only just walked into this here tavern and claim you scribed her first? What a humbug!”

”You are quite right. A misunderstanding! Well, I do hope that you and, um, Kassandra will be blessed with a favourable destiny.” And with this, the stranger turned to make his way out of the Tavern.

”Hey!” Lili shouted after him: ”Now I’ve told you our names, you gotta tell us yours. It’s only fair.”

”With pleasure, madame. I do beg your forgiveness for my lack of courtesy. You may, indeed, have heard of me.” The stranger’s breast swelled with something Lili took for pride – rather misplaced pride, in her opinion. ”My name is Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang.”

”Why, with a name that long, no wonder you had to learn to write. How would you remember it otherwise?”

The stranger, visibly disappointed at not being recognized, smiled feebly at Lili - and went on his way. He appeared somewhat bewildered by the conversation he had just had, and almost bumped into the woman with the green animal, who had attracted Lori’s interest earlier. That one was clearly enjoying the local drinks, too!


Up in her room, Lili shook off her boots and lay down on the bed. ”You know, Kassandra, I’ve been thinking about destiny. What if we hadn’t found Fiddlesticks? Then we might have been in the Kuglimz lands by now. It seems every time I want to go north, something gets in the way. Here am, I have just left Strata, and I meet this murderously charming elfess, and that funny little scamp Lori, and now I’m planning to go back south. Do you think we’ll ever get to find out who my parents were? Maybe it’s not my destiny to find out?”

”Foolish Lili! ... A misunderstanding! I do hope that you and, um, Kassandra, will be blessed with a favourable destiny!”

”Oh, stop it, Kassandra. Don’t be talking like that snooty buffoon. Good night!”

”… to Strata, to Strata, huhuhu!”
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 04:42:13 AM by Lili the Elfcat » Logged

"It's not good that I'm bad, but I'm proud that I'm worse than I seem."   ~ Lili the Elfcat ~
Foul-mouthed Familiar: Kassandra the Charlatan Daggerbeak (Gossiper)
Mysterious Memory: Kuglimz Love Song
Damien Scar
Commander of the Gates
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« Reply #51 on: April 08, 2009, 12:05:31 AM »

"I thought ye might- I thought I might offer any 'elp I could give..." Y'riss studied the young lady for a moment. She is probably no older than I am," Y'ris thought. The the girl added as an after thought. "I, um, I was worried when they threw 'im out uncoonscious."

Y'riss glanced around at her sisters. Salome spoke up. "Y'riss, I believe this person is the one we all heard singing tonight."

"So...song bird of the sea," A hoarse whispered voice said, and then coughed up more blood. Damien's eyes locked onto the young lady's and he felt a jolt, a spark of feeling that he had not felt in a long time and then he slowly closed his eyes and his head fell back.

Several things happened all at once as soon as Damien spoke those words; Y'riss's head swiveled toward him and she quickly cradled his head in her hands. The men began cursing and yelling for the young lady singer to go away.

Y'riss and her sisters had heard of they myth of sailors who when they saw death coming, called her the Song bird of the Sea, though she did not believe in myths, it would seem that these men did. She would have to do something quick, or else all of this agitation would cause more pain, and aggreviate the injuries Damien had sustained at these ruffians.

"Stop this childishness! Be careful with him and let's get him to his room as quickly as possible," she ordered the men, who seemed to snap out of their hysteria at the sound of her voice but made a wide berth around the singer as they took Damien down the alleyway with Y'riss cradling Damien's head.

Salome was the last to follow, saw the shock of confusion and horror on the young singers face and had pity on her. "Come with me," she said, holding out her hand. "My name is Salome and I am an Aide to Baveras. Do not be concerned about what just happened. It is an old sailor's tale. I will tell it to you if you wish. What is your name?" Salome asked.

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

« Reply #52 on: April 09, 2009, 02:20:53 PM »

Trying to keep a stern expression toward the elfess was a lesson in futility as Altario listened to Ana chastise him.  He could only roll his eyes in consternation as she told the elfess that he was only pretending to be tough.  But, there was no use in trying to convince Ana otherwise.  He had been away from Remusia for too long now.  These people here were making him soft.  He had never been so transparent in his younger days.  Other than to Riztalyanna.  She could see through him, even then.  Was that the truth of him then?  Was he really a nice guy.

He smirked.  No.  He was Remusian.  Now, as well as back then.  If people tried to convey in that a nobler ideal than that, then they were only trying to make themselves feel better.  Inside, he was still as cold as the zekar winds that crossed the frozen wastes.

He turned and left the bar, returning to the table, where Garret and Val were quietly getting to know one another.  He looked at Val, who's face was covered in an expression of both bewilderment and concern.  He knew she did not understand what was going on, and he did not know how he would explain it to her.  That made him frustrated at his own lack of communication skills, making him seem more gruff than he might normally have been.

"Denrykmar is in Strata.  I'm leaving in the morning at first light."  His eyes met the elfess', those uderza orbs of hers questioning him in a silent plea for an explanation.  An explanation that he could not give her right now.  A short while ago, life had been so different.  He had asked for her hand in marriage, and was prepared to start a new life with her.  Now, it looked as though the old life had not loosened its grip on him yet.  Whatever plans that he and Valannia had would need to wait.

A cold fear swept through him.  Would those plans ever come true now?  The thought made his stomach tighten, and a wave of nausea swept over him.  He could not hold her gaze any longer.  "I- I need to get some rest.  You should as well.  If you are coming with me, then be ready for dawn.  We might have some companions on the way.  Ana wants to go to Strata, and so does some elf girl.  I said that we could use the guides."

He stepped away from the table, with one last longing gaze back to Val.  I'm sorry, was written across his weathered features.  Then, as he made his way to the stairs, he almost bumped into Moira, the waitress.  He dug into his pockets for some coin for the dinner.  "Here's what I owe you."  Along with cold coin, his fingers came across something slimy and soft.  Looking into his palm, he saw the wriggling form of a grub.  Using his free hand, he flicked the grub off into the crowd.  How did that get there?
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 02:22:15 PM by Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin » Logged

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

My Character can be viewed @Angelina Jolie's house.  But knock first, in case I'm in my underwear.
The Worrywort
New Santharian

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Elf, Kay'rrhem

« Reply #53 on: April 10, 2009, 10:21:09 AM »

Airyn met the eyes of the human man, noticing the strength he used to create a serious expression. He studied her for a moment, but she didn’t mind. She was too preoccupied in thinking about Strata, and what mysterious and interesting things she would find there. After leaving Nybelmar, life had become just one big adventure. She knew nothing about what lay around the next corner, only that she could not wait to find out. Now this journey to Strata, well that was another adventure in itself. She was to travel with people she had never met, and would be in their company through unknown and, most likely, dangerous places. What if something should happen to her? Or to the furry rascal at her feet? Shaking the unnecessary thoughts from her mind, the elfess looked from this man to the innkeeper behind the bar, and nodded her head. “I will gladly accompany you, sir, and I thank you greatly for inviting me.” She smiled, “Ana, if I may call you that, shall I meet you at dawn? Or are you planning to leave at a later time?”

A number of things happened after she spoke. First, this man said something about keeping Sage away from the mouth of a wolf! The elfess frowned slightly, but her expression appeared more confused than offended. Sage was able to protect himself! He would never do anything that would provoke a wolf. Wouldn’t he? She quickly stole a glance at the wolf across the room. It looked so friendly and harmless. Besides, I’m sure its owner would never allow it to attack. Right?

Next, this innkeeper, this Ana, tried to reassure her. Airyn laughed sweetly, grinning along with the woman behind the bar as Altario’s smile faded. He did not look like he had a mean bone in his body; in fact, he looked more charming than anything else. Then, Ana told the elfess and that friendly woman with the pink hat to meet her at sunrise. Airyn could not let her smile fade. Strangers, of all people, were inviting her to join their journey. That alone surprised her. They were willing to travel and converse with her. It was something like a breath of fresh air, after months of travelling alone with no one but the occasional sailor or travelling merchant to talk with. Something about that made her miss home.

One day she would return to Nybelmar, and it only took a few friendly words from some kind strangers to make her realise that. However, until that day came, Airyn decided that she would take this opportunity to have some company. It was far better than travelling alone.

She noticed that this man next to her seemed to be lost deep in his thoughts, and a vacant look appeared on his face. She then realised that she had been keeping him from his business, whatever it was, and lifted herself off her seat. Smoothing down her dress, and pulling the cloak around her body once more, she lifted her head and looked into his dark eyes. She then found that he was the man that she had been staring at after walking into this tavern, but, to her surprise, her cheeks did not turn red. “Congratulations,” was all she was able to say before he left her side with not much more than a short glance.

“Ana?” she called to the innkeeper, who had disappeared back into the kitchen, “might I be able to rent a room for the night? I’ll leave some coin on the bench for you.” Airyn knew that if she did not rest now, she would never get up in the morning. She placed a few coins on the bench and quickly turned back around to the woman who had been sitting on her other side, but it appeared that she had left already. Oh well, I will see her again soon, she thought as she walked Sage towards the stairs that led to the rooms upstairs.

Airyn chose a room not far from the end of the hallway. She led the tired and slow-moving canine into the room, and closed the door behind her. Slowly, she bent down to take the leash off the dog and yawned widely. She abandoned her cloak and dove into her backpack to retrieve a long and worn shirt. Airyn took off her dress with simple, practiced, movements and pulled the shirt over her head.

She crawled onto the bed and patted the space next to her. Sage jumped onto the mattress and circled a bit before choosing to rest on the unused pillow next to Airyn’s head. She stroked his long fur and watched him close his eyes. “Goodnight, little troublemaker,” was all she said before she too fell asleep.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 10:22:12 AM by Airyn » Logged

Garret Arroway
The Wolfling
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Human, Kyranian

« Reply #54 on: April 11, 2009, 06:12:34 AM »

Standing silently by, Garret watched as Altario read the letter, his eyes passing over the paper. Then he seemed to hover there, his eyes meeting those of the elven woman before turning towards Garret. A worried frown crossed the former Remusian scout. Something was wrong here.

He had known since the letter came to him though another messenger that something was wrong. Something had kept Ryk from meeting with him face to face. If it had been something as simple as being chased out of town for one of his usual reasons, he would have found another way to contact him, but he had left a message. The joy upon seeing Altario was muted. He wanted to ask what was wrong, wanted to find out what was going on, but before he could form the right words in his mind, Alt had turned and walked swiftly to the bar, leaving Garret and Shadowfoot behind with the woman he had introduced as Valannia.

Shadowfoot followed for a few steps, padding across the tavern floor before turning back and eyeing his human. Garret just stood there. He wanted to follow Altario, felt his should, but something held him back. Becoming slightly impatient, the older wolf walked back toward Garret, nudging his human's hand with his graying muzzle. The Kyranian just let his hand drop to scratch the wolf's head for a moment, grey eyes still following Altario before he turned back to the woman still sitting at the table, attempting to start up a calm conversation.

While speaking he heard his friend's voice over the noise of the tavern, saying something above leaving in the morning. Garret knew he'd be going with him at that point. Upon his return Altario explained what was going on, talking mostly to Valannia.

"Denrykmar is in Strata.  I'm leaving in the morning at first light."

That was all Garret needed to hear. When Altario had retired for the night he headed toward the bar, purchasing a room for the night before heading out to the stables. A few of the beasts in the stalls stirred at the smell of the wolf that walked alongside the tall man as he made his way to his mount, collecting the saddlebags before returning to the inn and making his way upstairs to a room.

Worry mingled with the effects of the heat and the desert from earlier, and upon entering the room Garret could do nothing more than drag himself toward the bed, drop his bags on the floor and fall onto the mattress. Face buried in his pillow he managed to turn, kicking off his boots with some effort before pulling the blanket over him. Dreading the thought of crossing the stretch of desert again in the morning, Garret closed his eyes. He only stirred slight from the quickly approaching cloud of sleep when Shadowfoot shoved his way into to too small bed. Garret scooted toward the edge a bit and the large wolf laid down, back against his human's side while he legs hung over the edge.

Before you kill him, think of what you take from him. Remember what it is to be alive.
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« Reply #55 on: April 11, 2009, 07:08:33 AM »

Another Baveras' Aid added her voice to the conversation.  This one had a lighter shade of hair, a golden brown that shimmered in the torchlight, and her voice was low and smooth.  “Y’riss, I believe this person is the one we heard singing tonight.”

Rhia blushed, half-surprised.  But why was she surprised?  She was, after all, hired for people to hear in the inn.  Before she, or anyone else, could reply, Damien, hanging from the men’s grips, spoke up hoarsely. “So- songbird of the sea.”  He retched up even more blood, and the little troubadour winced.  To her surprise, he said nothing more, but shut his dark old eyes.  Even as the man had spoken, the girl named Y’riss gave him a sharp look, and then held his head in her arms.

The other men -out of fear, anger, aggravation, Rhia could not tell- began to clamor and curse for the young singer to leave.  Rhi flushed, and began to hurry, her head down, back the way they had come.  She had a distinct feeling that she did not fit in here, was not welcome- and not only because of the men.  The way that Y'riss seemed to glare at her, a somewhat accusing glower.  This little songbird did not seem to belong to this flock.  It was not exactly a pleasant feeling.  Rhia felt it, like a corset that fit too tightly, or was constricting in the wrong places.

"Stop this childness!  Be careful with hem, and let's get him to his room as quickly as possible!" came Y'riss's tight voice from behind her.  The men snapped to it and soon they and the Baveras' Aid leader overtook her.  After them came the rest of the young women, who talked in low voices and scurried down the alley, flurrying around and then past Rhia like a school of fish.  The girl's steps slowed a little.  You don't really have a reason to be with them, what's the hurry to stick to them like a burr on a saddle blanket? she reflected with a purse of her lips.  She couldn't help but wonder why it was such a great matter that the man Damien had called her a "songbird of the sea".  It had been a nickname given to her by her father- 'little songbird.'  Though it was a bit strange that he added the 'sea' bit.  Another moment of thinking brought further questions.  And how by Baveras's sea star did he know it was my pet name?

The light footsteps of a woman pattered their way into Rhia's ear.  Her thick brown braid swung, hitting her shoulder, as she reflexively looked behind her at the sound.  A Baveras' Aid was now by her side, one with a round, pleasant face.  In fact, it was the one who had recognized Rhia.  The Aid held out her hand with a small, sympathetic smile.  "Come with me.  My name is Salome and I am an Aide to Baveras.  Do not be concerned about what just happened.  It is an old sailor's tale," she continued, shaking her head to Rhia's questioning opened mouth.  "I will tell it to you if you wish.  What is your name?"

"I-"  Rhia swallowed.  "I am Rhia, thankee."  She gave a small polite curtsy and continued walking, linking arms with the girl Salome.  "I de not know this... sailor's tale...  This is me first time 'n Strata, on th' reccommendation of a friend.  I- I suppose I was merely lookin' fer a new scene."  And perhaps a little adventure, she added silently.  "Will," she began, then found that her mind had chosen that moment to become suddenly shy and nervous.  Stop that.  "Will yew, er...  The, um... Th' story? Will yew- Would ye tell 't? T' me?"  As soon as we get back into the inn- Rhia started threateningly to her mind, but found that there was not much you could to do punish your brain.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2009, 07:19:11 AM by Rhia » Logged

Tharoc Wargrider
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Northern cookie nobbler

« Reply #56 on: April 11, 2009, 08:10:52 AM »

A small cell in the City Watch headquarters


The Watch officer eyed the prisoner suspiciously. Although he was flanked by two of his biggest guards, both heavily armed, he wasn't going to take any chances and kept a safe distance between him and the orc.

"So, you're a roving Compendiumist for the University of Lorehold, is that what you're saying? And you've come to Strata looking for this fellow, what was his name again......?"
He consulted the notes he had taken during the preceeding interview.
"......ah yes, Garry Arrowblade."

"Arroway....Garret Arroway." sighed Tharoc.

"That's what I said..." growled the officer. "And you met this Gullet character at some party, you say?"

Tharoc rolled his eyes towards the uncomfortably low roof of the cell, "K'han'uck's tusks! 'Ow many times d'yer needs tellin'? Yeh, it were 'is hinau......hinnagra....hinogranation party. Ah'd bin hinvited cos ah'd jus' bin tekken on as a resucher. We got on right well, like, bein' as 'ee 'ad a wolf and I 'ad Valkree. Wiv bin resuchin' wargs t'gevver ever since, 'im in't sowf, me in't norf. "

"And Valkree would be......?" asked the officer, one eyebrow raised, quill hovering over the tatty parchment.

"Mi warg. Leastways she will be if'n ah ever sees 'er again. Say, y'aint seen 'er, as yer? Big fing, she is. All teef and black fur......" His eyes looked expectantly around the three uniformed soldiers before him.

The senior guardsman looked incredulously at Tharoc, then at his two subordinates, then back to Tharoc. "You mean to tell me that not only is there an itinerant orc wandering the streets of my city carrying, I might add, concealed weapons, but there's every possibility of there being a wild warg somewhere abouts as well? Ye Gods......that will never do! No, that will never do at all. I shall have to organise a search party immediately........."

Tharoc's eyes lit up. "Search party?.....Eeee, mister.....that'd be a big 'elp......ah c'n 'elp yer look if yer wants. Jus' gimme me pants back an......." He took a step forwards, reaching for his clothes which lay on the wooden bunk beside the soldiers. Also on the bunk were the contents of his upended rucksack.
The two goons across from Tharoc drew their blades. "Whoah, whoah, whoah......just you hold on a fraction," said the officer, "You aren't going anywhere, my lad. Leastways not until we've found this beast of yours and made sure it can't hurt anybody."
"Y'dont 'ave t'be frettin' bout that, mister, she's tamer'n a meadow full o' sheep an' twice as daft my ol' pa used ter say. She won' be 'urtin nobody....... not 'less ah tells 'er to. 'Sides," he continued, "Ah don' fink she'll be round 'ere anyways. It were in th'Sharadon Forest where she wandered off. Can't see 'er comin' all this way. Specially not wiv all that cursed heat an' sand twixt there an' 'ere, an' not a tree in sight."

The officer stared at Tharoc with a slightly glazed expression, obviously still trying to translate what he had just said into some form of inteligible language. After a lengthy pause he gave up.
"Riiiight...." he said slowly, in an attempt to hide his ignorance of the northern dialect. "Well, be that as it may, a search must still be carried out. We can't be too careful when it comes to things like this." He scribbled some orders onto a piece of parchment, gave it to one of the guards and whispered something into his ear. The guard nodded and left the room.
"Now then, about this Narrowblade character...."

"Arroway" corrected Tharoc, impatiently.

"That's what I said," snapped the uniform. "Tell me again why you need to find him?"

Tharoc tried counting silently to ten. He reached four before he had to use his fingers. "Whoah, whoah......" shouted the officer, lowering his head and covering his eyes with his hand. "Put it away man, for pity's sakes!"

Using his fingers to count meant that Tharoc had to move them from where they had been covering his exposed orchood. "What? Oh, sorry...." he blushed green, smiled weakly and dropped his hands. The silent guard standing beside the officer struggled to stifle the laugh that was hammering at the back of his teeth.
The officer threw Tharoc's travel-stained leather breeches to him without lifting his head. "Put those back on, before you have someone's eye out!" The big orc did as he was told.

Risking one eye, the senior guard cast a quick glance upwards and seeing Tharoc's modesty was now intact, continued with his questioning.
"Where were we......ah yes. Why do you need to find this Garroway person, and what makes you think that he's here in Strata?"

Forcing himself to ignore the guardsmans obvious spelling problem, Tharoc repeated his answer for what must have been the eleventeenth time. "Asides from my pa, may K'han'uck take 'is spirit, the only person 'oo knows more'n any uvver 'bout wargs an' their wily ways is Garret. If'n anyone c'n 'elp me find Valkree, it's 'im an' Shadderfoot. I 'eard tell of how 'ee's bin seen in these parts an......." Tharoc realised his mistake too late, as usual.

"Aha! I assume this Shudderfoot is another of your dubious cronies, eh? Coming to my city to steal whatever you can before slinking back into the night with one of our maidens under each arm, I'll be bound. Weeelll, not on my watch, matey. You'll have to do better than this if you want to outsmart Captain Thadeus Illogical!" He stood, gathered his parchments and quill and Tharoc's numerous blades and then made for the cell door. He decided to leave the rest of his possesions on the bunk, judging them to be innofensive enough. The armed guard followed him out and then locked the door noisily behind them.
"I shall be writing to the Lorehold to see if what you say is true, which I very much doubt. An orc being employed as a researcher, my foot! Until then, or until this Gabby Holloway chap turns up, you can stay right where you are." The small barred hatch set within the heavy oak door slammed shut.

Sitting down heavily on the creaking bunk, Tharoc eyed his rucksack dejectedly. Rummaging in the side pocket, he pulled out a small, grubby bag that the guards had obviously missed. Tipping it's contents into the palm of one huge hand, he smiled. Stretching out on the bunk with his hands crossed behind his head, he popped the fluff-covered honey-roasted Slygg into his mouth and began to chew noisily.

« Last Edit: April 12, 2009, 08:49:39 PM by Tharoc Wargrider » Logged

I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage  Mythbusters

Damien Scar
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« Reply #57 on: April 13, 2009, 03:39:20 AM »

Salome was pleasantly pleased when the girl linked arms with her and told her her name was Rhia. "Rhia is a pretty name," Salome said as they continued to follow the men carrying Damien and her other two sisters. Damien, A real Baron? Salome was thinking when Rhia asked if she would tell her the tale. "Oh yes! But after we get into the inn. Y'riss may need help," Salome said excitedly as she hurried up pulling Rhia along with her.

Pagran was mopping up the floor when the men and two of the sisters came in and went immediately upstairs. The man, coughed and splattered blood fell on the railings and floor of the stairs. Pagran cursed. The man looked liked a mongrel of a dog living in the city. The man's shirt was torn to shreds and he could see dark deep purple bruises on the man's ribs, side and even his arm. By Baveras his men did a job on the fellow. If he is a real Baron, as he claimed, then he had better take real good care of him.

Pagran picked up his bucket and headed toward the stairs when another sister and his brand new singer came walking through the front door. They quickly went up the stairs, both of them noticing the blood on the stairs, floor and railing.

Y'riss opened Damien's door and the men carried him through, gently placing him on the bed. "Gentlemen thank you for your help. We do not need you anymore, you may leave," Y'riss said a bit breathlessly yet relieved that Damien was now in bed and in their hands.

As they left the men mumbled something which Y'riss did not hear as her full attention was on getting Damien undressed, once again, and to tend to his wounds. Her main concern was the blood that Damien had been coughing up. She really needed a full-fledged healer as she was only an apprentice as were her sisters.

Y'riss tore the rest of Damien's shirt off and then she and Vyrie began to work on his boots when Salome and Rhia came into the room. Y'riss glanced their way. "You two work on getting his pants off while we get his boots off," she grunted as she pulled at the heel of one of Damien's boots.

Salome shrugged her shoulders, nodded at Rhia and began to do what Y'riss had ordered waiting for Rhia to follow suit.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 06:56:13 AM by Damien Scar » Logged

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