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Author Topic: Thirsty Herald Chapter XVII  (Read 23125 times)
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Tristessa Stonebridge
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« Reply #90 on: June 27, 2011, 11:33:07 AM »

Triss didn't want to be led to a chair. She was not a helpless child, even if she did just experience a traumatic moment. Feeling somewhat unstable, she shakily stood to her feet, using the bricks from the fireplace to help her. Hugging herself around her waist, she walked over to Rocelin.

She gently placed a hand upon one of his biceps. "Thank you, Mr. Ellis. I...I don't think I can thank you enough for what you did." Tilting her head slightly, she pressed her lips against his cheek in a gentle kiss. A blush rose up from her chest up into her cheeks as she gave a small curtsy.

Sidestepping him, she picked up the key which was still lying upon the bar and held it out for the Elf to take. "He'ls in room number 5..."
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If a good meal and a nights' sleep is what you need,
Come to the Thirsty Herald, where you'll find the best deals around!

~*~Tristessa Stonebridge~*~
Baritte Bae Daraelle
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« Reply #91 on: July 05, 2011, 12:39:03 AM »

Baritte blinked as in a flash the assailant fell, crashing to the floor, his head connecting with a sickening thud that made the hardened woman shiver. Trisstessa, clearly in shock, retreated away from the man, using her beautiful hair as a shield between herself and the outside world which she was not yet ready to face. Baritte made a move to pick up the unconscious man and remove him to the out of doors where he could be dealt with quickly and quietly, but the bar maid, her voice weak and tremulous from shock, spoke out against such action.

"He..... he needs..... a room."

The wisp of sound that exited her mouth caused Baritte's face to twist momentarily in confusion before she returned to her stern mask. The woman was clearly a few wheels short of a wagon, or alternatively wished to show mercy where none was merited, or rather where it was dangerous to show such kindness. Baritte remembered the glinting madness in the strange man's eyes and released a heavy sigh, her mammoth frame deflating as she realized what she must do, and looked down at her large hands, rough from her craft and already stained scarlet with blood. One more life couldn't possibly change her fate.

She glanced up distractedly at the knight, who seemed equally shocked at Trisstessa's request. He would respect the woman's wishes, Baritte knew instinctively, but she doubted he would not understand Baritte's own actions. The knight picked up the man with relative ease and the bar maid drifted to his side, gently kissing his cheek and flushing at his chivalry. Baritte watched them curiously, studying the gentle movements, small gestures, and effusive gazes which conveyed so much in such a very short time and had to suppress a sudden acute longing and loneliness.

As she glanced around at the people, the companionship, the friendship, the love, her spirit shattered as the certainty sank in that she herself could never again have a family. She would never again have the opportunity to make a friend or have her first love, she would be an outlaw, on the run, for the rest of her life, doomed to tramp across the kingdom until her feet were rubbed raw and her bones turned to dust under the careful guidance of time.

Shaking such grim thoughts from her head, Baritte stepped forward, trying hard not to startle Trisstessa. After giving Trisstessa a surprisingly gentle smile for such a rough woman, Baritte faced the knight, a determined set to her jaw.

"I'll help ye carry 'im if ye like," she offered in a voice she hoped wasn't overloud, "Sometimes it's easier when ye've got two, and thissun' looks like a handful."

Baritte waited for the man's response, though she doubted he would refuse. It wasn't so much that he couldn't carry the stranger, for such a task was obviously in his capacity, but the man would be a difficult to handle alone if he woke up, and if she had her way he wouldn't. Baritte swallowed roughly as her mouth set in a grim line and her questing eye found the knight's blue gaze, her expression as hard as her soul.
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Tristessa Stonebridge
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« Reply #92 on: October 14, 2011, 10:22:06 AM »

Supper time was approaching the Herald, and Triss busied herself with preparing a few menu items for the few guests that remained. After the great turn of events, she was glad for a few moments of peace and quiet. Still, her heart was saddened that Rocelin had decided to leave. Why he chose to leave was still a mystery to her.

The one who had attacked her had awoken as the tall woman carried him upstairs, and he too was gone. The only ones who had stayed up to this point was the little girl and the tall woman, who Triss had yet to find out a name.

After being satisfied that supper would be ready in time, she walked out into the common room to see where everyone was at, and if anyone needed assistance.
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If a good meal and a nights' sleep is what you need,
Come to the Thirsty Herald, where you'll find the best deals around!

~*~Tristessa Stonebridge~*~
Baritte Bae Daraelle
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« Reply #93 on: October 15, 2011, 11:26:17 AM »

Baritte sighed as she gazed at herself in the mirror hanging on the wall of her room, examining her appearance in its watery surface. She had just bathed and she had to admit, her looks were much improved, though she was still nowhere near as lovely as the bar maid.

Her dark hair fell softly about her face in waves, and as long as she covered her sightless eye, she appeared almost... no, she thought roughly, her lips pulling into a thin line, and she was still unpleasant to look upon. It had often been commented that if not for her gender, Baritte would make a rather handsome man, but such things hardly soothed her battered feminine pride.

Baritte reached into her pack and donned her spare tunic, enjoying the feeling of soft cloth against her bare, clean skin. It had been too long since she had been graced with such simple domestic pleasures, and simply the scent of soap brought a smile to her face. Ava donned her trousers in a quick motion, followed immediately by her boots, and checked to make sure her room was in order.

Her possessions had been tucked neatly away beneath her bed and everything else was spick and span in the cozy chamber. Nodding absently to herself, Baritte exited her room, locking the door firmly behind her and placing the key in her pocket. Making sure to keep her thick hair covering her blind eye, Baritte slowly descended the stairs, trying hard to keep her tread delicate and light.

When she finally reached the common room, she caught sight of the barmaid, Trisstessa, anxiously scanning the now empty tavern. Baritte felt a pang of sympathy for the woman. Conflict was always sure to rid an establishment of its customers, and Trisstessa had lost them all. Well, at least all but Baritte.

Walking over to the woman, Baritte scanned her quickly for any signs of lasting trauma or stress, but Triss seemed calm and relaxed, giving the blacksmith no reason to worry. "Smells good. What's for dinner?" Baritte asked with a gentle rumble, pasting a smile on her face in the hopes of not scaring the poor woman. Goodness knows Triss had been through enough already that day without Baritte's mannish face scaring her witless.
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Ainsel Bramel
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« Reply #94 on: October 15, 2011, 04:38:47 PM »

Demias descended gracefully from the air, the large drake landing lightly with a small thump. Injera was merely a small shimmer on the horizon, and the air was already shedding its afternoon heat and cloaking itself in cool darkness. Ainsel slid off Demi, her gaze on the small establishment in front of her. And small it was, though she was thankful for the stables off the side of the area. The tavern didn't seem to be terribly busy, but it would be better to err on the side of caution and have Demias tuck himself away in a small corner before someone tried to kill him.  And in any case, she was tired. Though she flew the entire day, it had still been a long and unbearably warm one; even while the wind carassed her hair, Injera scalded her skin with her unforgiving rays. She was looking forwards to a cold bath and hopefully an even colder drink.

Demias pawed at her, demanding her attention and startling her out of her thoughts. A small harumph from the drake and a large rumble from his stomache earned a laugh from his human companion. "Yes, yes. I'll go inside and get you a nice, bloody, raw, thick steak, alright?" Ainsel grinned at her feathered companion. Giving him a quick kiss, she left Demi to his own devices, knowing that he'd probably make himself comfortable somewhere behind the stables.

Palming the door of the tavern open, the lass was greeted by a nearly empty tavern, with a lone waitress and a woman near the entrance to the kitchen. The emptiness was good - it really did mean that Demi would be relatively safe from drake-hunters and drake-haters. There was a definite smell of something delicious cooking in the air as well; a musky, rich scent of thick meat and stew. It wafted from the kitchen, its enticing aroma making the girl's mouth water. She strode over to the waitress, now visibly excited. "I can smell food," she stated, unheeding of whatever conversation she had butted into. "I'd like whatever you have cooking, and wine." Giving the waitress and her companion a winning smile, she added, "Oh, and a thick, raw, bloody steak. I have a dog outside that I need to feed." The lie rolled off Ainsel's tongue easily - she had used it many times before and it often worked. It was apparently alright in many places to have a phantom dog that you could feed, which no one saw. Mainly cause no one actually cared about dogs anyway.
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Alexandre Scriabin
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« Reply #95 on: October 16, 2011, 07:31:47 PM »

Russel-

Stews and broths, and spices and vegetables, indented an invisible trail upstairs. Amidst lucid dreams of drinking and cavorting about, the proprietor was propelled in a new velocity, from one savory sensation to the next. Having napped just about enough for a middle-aged man, of note being one who had just had a small alcoholic binge, Russel followed the wise direction of his turbulent bowels and spice flared nares and called out for some food on his way down the stairs.

Still finding recuperation to be the most prudent goal, Russel returned upstairs with a broth whose heat whistled in the air. After setting himself in a rocking chair, he slurped down a bit of the simple broth. It's heat physically hit his chest, and cleared the bloating and burning the dwarven brew had left.

Russel then took stock of the upper quarters, being a visibly more animated person than before. How unfortunate it was, then, for an incoming guest who thought she could hide the fact that she had a drake traveling with her. The drake's pawing and assertive stare, and the owner's mouthing of a promise, was visible enough from above the entrance.

Without much further pause, the traveler entered the Herald and said a few words to his daughter:

I can smell food, I'd like whatever you have cooking, and wine. Oh, and a thick, raw, bloody steak. I have a dog outside that I need to feed.

By the time this visitor was finished speaking, the proprietor was downstairs and about to engage in eye contact with her:

I'll have to admit, that I haven't personally seen a drake before, so my anxiety should be pretty visible. For one, I'd prefer it if your companion wasn't in my stables. The thing is liable to send horses fleeing, and my granddaughter Claudia probably wouldn't have a clue what to do.

I wouldn't mind fetching a slab of meat and going out to feed your pet with you, however. Are drakes playful travel-mates?

By the way, welcome to the Herald. I'm Russel, the owner of the tavern (I'm a great player, and talker, and napper too!), behind that counter is my daughter and the maid here, Trisstessa, and my granddaughter Claudia picks up on the rest of the work.


He then eyed his daughter:

Where's Claudia? She ought to be in here now, to see after the customers, and I've some games for her to play, too.

Then, his rational adult mind swung on a pendulum for a short time into play and bravado. He closed the distance to the entrance more rapidly than he had calculated for, and once again knocked some furniture over on his way there. Without an apology, and having completely ignored so far his other visitor, he stumbled to the door and eyed expectantly this guest who had a fun, scary, and exciting looking pet.

Can I come see it?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2011, 07:38:54 PM by Alexandre Scriabin » Logged

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Jituska Kouba
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« Reply #96 on: October 18, 2011, 12:53:25 AM »

For a long time after the scuffle in the Herald, Jituska sat patiently in a corner. She watched as people drifted out to go about their business, among them the reason of the whole fight. She was glad to see the back of him. The only one to go upstairs was the cloaked figure, everyone else just left. Even Claudia left her to her own devices, going off on her own, the small girl had no idea where. Even after her drink was completely finished, and the food that the bartender had given her had disappeared into her stomach, she remained where she was, her skinny knees drawn up and her arms wrapped around them.

Eventually the boredom won out, however, and she started wandering around to see if there was anything interesting going on. At this point she was the only one in the common room, as Tristessa was in the kitchen preparing a meal - Jituska could smell the tantalising aromas even now, wafting in from the open door, but she didn't know if she would be welcome there, so she decided not to risk the goodwill she had received here until now. She didn't really want to go upstairs either, as there was only one room occupied and she did not wish to disturb that person. Instead, she went outside, despite the warmth radiating from the nearby desert. Warmth was ok, nice even. It was the cold that she hated so much.

She found her way to the stables, but there was not much to do there either, apparently the other patron had not come by horse. When she grew bored again, after poking her head into several stalls and taking a nap in a nice heap of straw lying in a corner somewhere, she decided to go back to the common room. It was growing later, so hopefully there would be a morsel of food ready for her. She opened the large stable doors a crack and slipped through, and then she froze. She was faced with an animal, one such as she had never seen before. It was huge, it towered above her, as far as she could tell it was twice as high as she herself. Its white fur seemed to glow in the sunlight, nearly blinding her. It looked at her curiously, and then started moving. She didn't wait to find out whether it was moving towards her or away from her, with a yell she started running towards the relative safety of the common room - unless that thing followed her there of course. She did not know where else to go however, and she had no time to decide anything else. With pounding heart and as fast as her legs could carry her she ran, refusing to look whether she was outrunning it.

Finally, after what seemed an eternity, she reached the door to enter the Herald. There was somebody in the doorway, who she stumbled against in her haste to get inside. She quickly regained her feet and squirmed her way past the person, without looking who she had bumped into. Instead, she looked wildly around her, then saw the now familiar form of the bartender, with next to her the cloaked person - who was no longer cloaked, revealing herself to be a woman. In a split second, Jituska had made the connection of the cloak to the fight to the tall woman now standing there, and decided without even knowing she had decided this that there was the safest place to be. Sprinting over to the two women, she cried out: "Help me! There is a monster outside! Don't let it eat me!"

With those words, she flung herself at the woman who had handled herself so well in the fight, encircling the woman's waist with her tiny arms. Only then did she dare to peer with one eye at the door to see if the huge animal had followed her. Most of her face, however, was hidden in the woman's tunic, too afraid as she was to let go.
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Tristessa Stonebridge
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« Reply #97 on: October 18, 2011, 09:13:51 AM »

It seemed as though the Herald came back to life all at once. First, the woman who had helped out in the scuffle came back to the common room and inquired about what was for supper. But before she could answer, another customer, a new one this time, walked in the front door.

"I can smell food, I'd like whatever you have cooking, and wine. Oh, and a thick, raw, bloody steak. I have a dog outside that I need to feed."

Triss had barely opened her mouth to answer both questions when her father appeared out of nowhere and started up a rather strange conversation with the new-comer. He went on babbling about a drake or something like that. Triss closed her eyes and shook her head slightly, wishing she could apologize for her father while still keeping some of his dignity. She opened them once again in time for her to catch the question directed towards her.

"Where's Claudia? She ought to be in here now, to see after the customers, and I've some games for her to play, too."

"Claudia is..." Triss started, but Russel had already staggered towards the door, asking if he could see this drake.

"I'm terribly sorry," Triss said in a low voice to the two women who stood by her. "Father can get a bit...excited at times."

Before she had a chance to say any thing more, the young girl from earlier burst into the tavern, paused only for a moment before throwing her arms around the tall woman.

"Help me! There is a monster outside! Don't let it eat me!" Her wide eyes peeked back at the door, as if she was expecting something to have followed her inside.

Triss was taken aback. A monster? What could this child mean by that? Stepping out from behind the counter, she stepped next to the girl and make soft "Shh"ing sounds, like she use to do for Claudia when she was younger.

"Don't worry, we won't let any monster eat you. Where did you see this monster?" A gentle hand ran through the girl's stringy hair. Triss hoped that it would help to calm her down, but yet she slightly feared that the touch would make the girl even more scared.
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If a good meal and a nights' sleep is what you need,
Come to the Thirsty Herald, where you'll find the best deals around!

~*~Tristessa Stonebridge~*~
Baritte Bae Daraelle
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« Reply #98 on: October 23, 2011, 03:55:49 AM »

Baritte was startled when the small girl's tiny arms cinched about her waist, her delicate frame shaking in panic. Baritte herself began to panic a bit, unused to such physical contact and unsure of exactly how to respond. She was skilled at pounding metal into submission, not comforting little children, and she looked about helplessly for a moment, her arms raised, blatantly expressing her uncertainty.

Trisstessa knew what to do instantly of course, and Baritte felt a flash on hot jealousy as the woman easily patted the girl's head, soothing her with shushing sounds and softly asking about the monster. Baritte was almost positive that the monster in question was the newcomer's drake, which she had become quite positive was in fact real rather than the fable she had previously took them for. What could she say; she was not a very well travelled woman.

Finally Baritte lowered her strong arm, rubbing rhythmic circles on the girl's back with her rough palm, just as her grandfather had done when she was small. Turning to the newcomer, she straightened to her full height.

"It appears your pet has frightened her," she rumbled, flicking her gaze quickly over to Trisstessa's father, who was practically drooling at the thought of seeing the drake in person. "Ye'll have no quarrel from me as long as the child remains safe." Baritte used her other hand to pat the girl's head awkwardly before offering the newcomer a half-smile. "The name's Ba-" Baritte paused for a fraction of a second, realizing her mistake, "Bamara," she finished smoothly, hoping no one noticed her hesitation. "Let me buy ye a drink." And how about ye, young one, what suits yer fancy?"
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Jituska Kouba
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« Reply #99 on: October 25, 2011, 08:21:49 PM »

The combined petting of Tristessa and the woman whom she had chosen as her protector soon managed to calm Jituska down enough to answer the barkeep's question. She pointed towards the general direction of the door, not really realising that with it closed, the stables were pretty hard to see. "Out there. I was in the stables, and when I came out there it was, and it was huge!"

It would seem that something about the monster had come up before. At least the other people in the room did not look at her as if she was crazy. Her protector said something to a woman who was standing nearby, but whom the little girl had not seen in her panic. Fairly certain by now that she would not be eaten, Jituska let go of the woman, though she hovered nearby just in case anything else happened.

She introduced herself as Bamara, and she offered the other woman something to drink. And then she let Jituska also choose something. The girl smiled up shyly at the tall woman. "Another of those fizzy drinks would be nice." she answered.
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Ainsel Bramel
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« Reply #100 on: October 29, 2011, 03:00:50 AM »

"Can I come see it?"

Ainsel stared at the old man, her sharp eyes taking in his unkempt appearance and the childish gleam in his eyes. Though he was the self-proclaimed owner - and she'd seen worse innkeepers in her travels - she doubted he was actually right in the head. Not when he also described himself with a note of frivolous joy in his voice I'm a great napper too! She was on the verge of dismissing his claim as the ramblings of a senile old man when his daughter - Triss - spoke, saving her the trouble. She apologised for her father - inwardly, Ainsel was relieved that she didn't need to go through the trouble of discrediting the old grandpa. It may have been heartless, but the storm of questions and investigations and ultimately danger was too troublesome.

And yet, in the second after the storm, a typhoon came in the form of a small child flinging herself into the room and into the arms of Triss' companion like a miniature whirlwind. "Don't let it eat me!" the child cried piteously. Ainsel felt like slamming her head against the door. She didn't know there was a child around, and neither did she know that Demias was so stupid to let himself be seen. It didn't happen often, but it happened. Probably her idiot drake was too occupied with his stomach as opposed to actually caring about, awh, something as insignificant as their safety. No matter. What the girl has seen, the girl had seen. Fortunately, this wasn't the first time she had to smooth things out with people who had caught a glimpse of her ivorine companion.

Even as Triss comforted the trembling child, the towering woman - Bamara? Not so, Ainsel suspected, noting quietly the hesitation - spoke, taking the reins as the child's guardian. Ainsel tilted her head quizzically, as Bamara offered her a drink, with the child chirping a request for a fizzy drink in the background.

"I have a dog." Ainsel enunciated the words clearly, dragging out every syllable. The lass smiled at the smaller girl, hoping to downplay Demi's role in this fiasco.  "He may be a very large dog, but he's a dog. He's not very friendly, so it's smart that you ran from him."
And then - addressing Bamara, "Drakes are myth. But either way, I'd be grateful for a Ximaxian Rainbow." The girl grinned at the others in the tavern, suddenly younger than her seventeen years.

"My father used to make that for me - he was magi," she said, a tinge of pride in her voice.
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Alexandre Scriabin
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« Reply #101 on: November 01, 2011, 12:36:03 PM »

The girl was good with words, but Russell knew that what he saw was definitely no dog. And that broth was still warming his chest, so he knew he was awake at that time.

Tactless in his excitement and anxiety, he ignored the child's distress and pressed the issue:

You're not going to coerce me so easily, my dear. I was upstairs earlier and saw the thing clearly, and you can correct me if I'm wrong but I haven't heard of a dog that has scales and the countenance of a drake.

In order to cement to Ainsel that he was slowly descending away from his mirthy and suspenseful mood, he began to stare her down. Hopefully his daughter would believe him this time, because he'd made a few strange claims already this week.
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