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Author Topic: Chapter I: Nyermersys  (Read 43301 times)
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Ridgen Sú'ufanán
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« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2011, 02:16:35 PM »

"The Pest Pillar has come alive!" the man who had introduced himself as Tavis exclaimed, his voice still giving away fear. He seemed to have calmed down a bit, though.

At this bold statement, the elf noticed heads turning slightly in interest. Or at least, faces giving away signs of interest. He found, too, that his own had turned to hear what else the man has to say, without his knowing.

"Would you care to tell us what that means, sir?" he found himself asking in a loud voice before he could stop himself. He silently cursed himself and his curiosity for making such a stupid move, groaning inside as a few heads turned towards him.

Oh well. At least he'll get to find out what he wants to know.
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"Everything is a game - some people just don't realise that."
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Thorgas Ironforge
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« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2011, 07:42:09 PM »

"The Pest Pillar.  It's come alive!"

"Aye, aye I've heard that afore. Damn tallfolks can't even hold their ale." Thorgas smirked. What a strange city. He'd seen that pillar before, and for the life of him he can't believe that people would actually erect a monument dedicated to pests. As if that wasn't bad enough, the city is also home to the most ill mannered people he ever had the misfortune of being acquainted. That burly bearded tallfolk would have a cold slab of steel embedded in his skull if he ever did that to one of the dwarven women in Kor Mithrid.

Thorgas took his beer mug and shook it a little. The contents sloshed to the sides, but there wasn't enough in it to even be called a decent drink. He frowned at the thought of having to stand up from his comfortable position and going to the bar for more. He took his staff, using it as a support, he stood up with a groan. A dwarf his age should be in the caverns, teaching young waifs in various subjects instead of adventuring far away from home for coin.

He then noticed one of the serving girls cleaning one of the tables, he sat down again and beckoned her to come closer. "Oy lassie, bring me three more o this delicious brew here, an' a slice o' yer sulcho mushroom steak." He laid a few coins on the hand of the girl. "Wonderful patrons ye've got 'ere," glancing at the direction of the bearded man. The woman flashed a shy smile then promptly went to the kitchen for the meal.

"Thank ye kindly," the dwarf said after the girl bought him his food. The pleasant aroma of mushroom steak filled the air, complemented by the earthy scent of the ale. Without much ado, he proceeded to eat his meal, all the while listening to the two men by the door, waiting for more hilarious conversation.
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A weak mind is a deadly foe.
Thorgas Ironforge
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Leilani Nakai'ewalu
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« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2011, 12:50:51 AM »

Leilani was satisfied when she heard the empty cup being set back onto the table and then the bread being dipped into the broth. She wanted to ask the child his name but was afraid that saying anything more might scare the poor boy off. Instead, she sat quietly, her red eyes staring straight ahead towards the bar but not really looking at anything in particular. She had been told by several people that is was very disconcerting to look into those eyes that saw nothing but everything at the same time. It was true, she was completely blind and would most likely never regain her sight again but the enhancement in the rest of her senses was a small compensation. She could feel the vibrations in the floor if someone was approaching or the slight disturbance in the air around her as they passed. Her sense of smell was what really flourished in the wake of her disability. From several feet away she could tell exactly what a person ate throughout the whole day by just one whiff of their breath.

So, it was easy to hear the conversation between this man, Tavis and the loud, obnoxious regular. When Tavis said that the Pest Pillar had come alive, a slight shudder rippled through Leilani's nerves, ending at the tips of her fingers. The monument was perturbing to say the least. She could obviously never see it but the first day she had been in Nyermersys, the pillar had been described in detail to her. She had stumbled upon the Pest Pillar by accident and when she reached out to touch it, her way of "seeing" something, an elderly women smacked at her hand. Confused, Leilani asked the woman why she had done so and was recanted with the history behind the pillar. It left her feeling cold and slightly nauseous, so ever since she has made a very strong attempt to avoid the appalling thing. Just the thought of it coming to life caused her stomach to turn.

The child, though not completely forgotten, was left at the table alone as she stood, grabbing a hold of Lucas' leash. The dog followed and led her at the same time, bringing her to a stop in front of Tavis. "What exactly do you mean, it's come alive?" Her eyes were aimed in his general direction but once again they seemed to focus on nothing. "How would that be possible? Perhaps it was an illusion?"
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Claudirea
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« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2011, 11:10:27 AM »

Claudirea was tired and lonely. She absentmindedly played with the simple golden ring which was upon her left ring finger. Luna was curled up underneath the table at which she sat, eyes closed in relaxation, but ears turning to hear everything that was going on.

The salad which sat in front of Claudirea was barely touched. Instead, it appeared she had spent more time stirring the contents around and then arranging them as opposed to actually eating it. Her mind was not even in Nyermersys, but rather in Voldar. She had thought that her wanderlust had come back, and her fiancee, Norman Graaves, had allowed her go wandering again. Perhaps this wasn't a good idea after all....

Her thoughts were interrupted as a man burst into the tavern claiming the Pest Pillar had come to life. Claudirea gave a small shiver as she tried not to envision the monument build to the Goddess of Death. She knew that Nyermersys was a different city than Voldar, but nothing could have prepared her for that sight. The image of the skulls and rats still ran through her mind, and even worse, the single hand coming out of the top of the stack. She rubbed her arms without even thinking about it. Nothing good could come of that.

Her sognastheen eyes noticed that the man had only one arm. At first, she was worried that it was lost recently, but there appeared to be no blood, so she was calmed slightly by that. A hand went down to her side, checking to make sure the small leather pouch which held her herbs was still there.

Other people appeared to take notice of the man's claims. First a human, probably a regular by the sounds of him, asked for more information. The man, named Tavis apparently, answered. Then two Elves questioned the man as well. Claudirea knew she was too far away to hear his replies, unless he shouted them out as he had previously done. She glanced down at Luna. Luna's eyes were now open, but she was still lying down. Her attention was focused on the man who had ruined her nap, her ears twitching every once in awhile. Claudirea decided that she would wait and see if she was needed. No sense in throwing herself into the middle of something she didn't need to be involved in.....
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Warrior Kaelan
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« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2011, 02:29:11 PM »

"Good, good," Kret grumbled, only giving an annoyed glance to this 'Tavis' as he snatched his key from the the woman's hand, and trudged toward the stairs. "Damn you Jet," his nasally voice whined in a tone that for anyone else would have sounded frustrated, but from Kret it came off as plaintive. "Nyermersys of all the places the Dreamress forgot."

Kaelan stepped aside and watched the parley, took new stock of what he'd previously thought was monied armor. Not just monied armor, he realized; monied elven armor, and massive, quite a bit larger than himself. Being elven and all, Kaelan was forced to assume his opponent would also have years and strength on him. At this point, he could only hope it never came to blows.

"You!", Kret screeched, and Kaelan glanced at the little man only long enough to catch his eye before following him. "I bought a cot. Find it and settle in. Pest pillar coming alive, by Seyella's own... don't just stand there!"

He didn't even bother to see if Kaelan had been there at all, simply ordered him about, partly to bleed off frustration. Soon they were out of the crowd, away from the chaos and the thieves and the... death of the place, and once he'd closed the door to their room, Kret sat on his bed with a sigh. "Someone, somewhere, see me out of this forsaken rat-hole and back to real society."

In only a few minutes, the massive warrior appeared with the cot, sat on it, and began laying all his weapons out in front of them, setting to the edges and form of every one, starting from the smallest.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 06:06:11 AM by Warrior Kaelan » Logged
Azalahn
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« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2011, 05:50:56 AM »

Maddy
She looked at the elf in front of her, he had a strange accent, definitely not from around here, and his Tharian was welll... She stood there for a moment, to her it sounded more like a mixture of Styrash and Tharian although all the words were Tharian. He wanted some meat and vegetables, and a bottle of corpsberry vine. He looked like a high ranking military officer of some sort, and that meant money.

"A very large plate of meat and vegetables and bring that old bottle of corpsberry vine as well" she shouted into the kitchen.

Then he said asked about the Pest Pillar, and started looking at the commotion at the front door before he excused himself in a very polite manner, it was not every day that a high ranking officer came in here and called her a lady.

"It is probably nothing, just some fool trying to get some attention, and NO we have not been struck by the plague" She said in fairly decent Styrash.

Azalahn.
The large human warrior that had just came in looked at him. It felt like he was being measured. Azalahn looked back at him with his dead and lifeless eyes burried in the usual tortured expression, and nodded. The little man shouted something and shortly after him and the big warrior went into a room.   

Two other elves had inquired about what was going on with this pest pillar and the pale probably blind one was standing in front of the one who had started all this commotion.

The food and the vine finally came. Azalahn paid Maddy, it was very expensive, actually comparable to what he would expect to pay in a high class inn. Must be the corpsberry vine, he thought and returned to his table.

He poured some vine in his own and Elliane's glass, and started to eat, then he took a sip of the vine, it was a good vine, but it was not corpsberry vine, quite similar and in fact a good enough imitation to fool most people, but not a man who was used to drink high quality corpsberry vine, and definitely not an Eophyrhim. He looked up at Elliane just in time to see her spit the vine out again.

She tried to make it subtle, but yes she definitely spit it out again. "ohj#¤%#¤%" she mumbled an Eophyrhim curse. A flare of temper showed in her black eyes followed by a sad expression and finally a tear came out of her left eye. "Is this really what they take us for" she said with a thick voice and nodded at the bottle.

All Azalahn could do was to stare at her. He doubted that he had been cheated, it was a very good imitation, but no matter how good the imitation was then an Eophyrhim would always clearly taste the difference right away. Then he gently placed his hand on hers and in a soft voice he said.

"I think they have been cheated themself. The Paelelon forrest is a long way from here, so corpsberry vine must be very rare in these parts, but it is a good vine at least. Besides then we still have three bottles left in our room."

Then he smiled and said "Guess we shouldn't have sold that last box, but hey we will stock up again when we pass the forrest on our way back south again."

Then he turned his head towards the commotion at the front door again. Something was definitely going on her and he wanted to know what it was, but from the back seat for now. Could be nothing, just a fool wanting some attention as the tavern owner had said.

He turned towards Elliane again, he wanted to put an arm around her, but somehow it just felt wrong. He didn't want to but somehow the words just came out of his mouth in a hard commanding tone.

"Pull yourself together lieutenant, I need you sharp tonight, something is going on at the front door"

He regretted the words before he had even spoken them, but they worked, the commanding tone of a superior officer always had that effect on soldiers and warriors.

The he turned his attention towards the commotion again.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 06:23:12 AM by Azalahn » Logged

Movash
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« Reply #21 on: December 25, 2011, 09:35:29 AM »

Without another word, the blind elfess stood up and walked away in the direction of the door. Movash felt his shoulders relax. She hadn't tried to trick him, then. She really did not care about who ate her leftover food, and was not interested in a scurvy scallyway like him. And neither was anyone else: all eyes seemed to be on the scared man at the door.

Movash finished chewing, and put the rest of the bread in the coat pocket that already contained the taenish leg he'd nicked earlier. He took the bowl of broth from the table, and drank it empty in one go. He allowed himself a few blinks to enjoy the homely warmth it brought to his belly. Finding this table had turned out to be a stroke of luck, even though he'd been caught. The elfess, it turned out, had joined the conversation at the door, as had other people. Movash decided that he would try to get one more decent piece of food. Then he'd make a dash for the door while the grown-ups were distracted, and would leg it into the darkness, into safety. He'd wait for Humbaba to find him, and they'd snuggle up somewhere for the night. Tomorrow's breakfast was already in his pocket, so they could leave the town at first light.

He looked about him. A thin, hobbit-sized woman had ordered herself a big portion of raw vegetables. But she did not seem interested in them. Movash would have liked to have them in her stead, but he knew that greenery wouldn't ward off the hunger for long. Also, lying at the woman's feet was a large animal. Its ears were twitching. Movash saw its eyes. It was a wolf. That decided it: a few lettuce leaves weren't worth the risk of having a wolf's jaw at one's throat.

Slowly, he moved on, weaving his way through the labyrinth of tables, watching out for the next opportunity. He was in full view of anyone who cared to look, but his feet made no sound, and he hoped that the talk about the pest pillar would keep all minds occupied.

A tall woman with beautiful red hair was sat before a half-eaten steak. She, too, seemed absorbed in the goings-on by the entrance. She had no dog with her, no wolf. There was nobody else at her table. Nor, it seemed, was anyone looking her way.

Blinks later, a lissome shape huddled under the table of the red-haired woman. A pair of nervous eyes peeked out, checking whether anyone had been watching. As far as Movash could tell, all was well. Above him, just nailsbreadths away, was the steak. He remembered exactly where the woman had placed her plate. Beside him, he could see her legs. She just needed to stretch one of them, and she would kick him. They were long, these legs, almost as long as Movash was tall, or so it seemed to him. Of course the woman would outrun him, if it came to it. His only chance was stealth.

He allowed himself a moment to steady his breath. But it didn't work. His heart just wouldn't slow down. The sounds above scared him. It was as if suddenly all the noises, which before had just been a blurred chaos, had become louder and clearer and more distinct: coughing, clanging, speaking, burping, smacking, bumping. They were scarier when you couldn't see who was making them. The space under the table had looked safe from afar, but now that he was here, it felt like a prison. If he was seen, it would be clear at once that he was up to mischief, as the adults liked to call it. And then they might do anything, drunk and mean and adult that they were.

There was only one thing to do. Movash closed his eyes, and imagined that he was the only person in the room. There were many voices and noises around him, of course. But they were just ghosts. The ghosts were horsing around, playing catch-me-if-you-can, nose-diving into tankards and rattling with the cutlery. Ghosts were all right. They were making a racket, for sure, but they only wanted to brag. They didn't want to harm you. They had no interest in catching you or biting your hand off or killing you.

So. Now that he was on his own, Movash decided that he would play a little game. The game was called: snatch the steak with your eyes closed. If he failed, of course the ghosts would laugh at him. They liked that, seeing a little boy fail. But he wouldn't give them the pleasure. He would succeed.

He pressed his eyes shut, pressed so hard that it hurt, and stretched out his hand. His fingers felt for the table edge, and from there walked spider-like to the spot where he thought the woman's plate was. Yes, he could feel the crockery, and the pleasing greasiness of its surface where food had been. Finally he found the warm meat. As soon as his fingers closed around it, he pulled his hand back under the table. He opened his eyes to look at his catch.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2011, 10:26:51 AM by Movash » Logged

Garth Avery
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« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2011, 07:10:10 PM »

Mouse had lost interest in the proceedings at the door. It wasn't that he was not interested in the pest pillar coming to life - it was just that over the din of the common room, he could not hear what was being said, so he did not know about the pest pillar coming to life. People moved in closer to join the conversation, and thus were speaking even more silently, so that he had even less of an idea what was going on. He supposed to could go and see what the commotion was about, but something caught his attention. Many eyes - of people with better hearing than himself - were directed at the door. One little shadow, however, was not looking there, instead moving about and looking intently at tables. He looked like a young boy, maybe ten years of age, malnourished and looking hungrily at the food. He had not seen Mouse's eyes on him when he dived under a table. From where Mouse was sitting, he had a full view of both the table and its uninvited guest under it.

When he suddenly squeezed his eyes shut, Mouse wondered what he was doing. Did he believe that if he did not see anything, nobody would see him? It looked that way, because his hand snaked up while his eyes remained tight shut. A move, a snatch, and the woman under whose table the boy was sitting no longer had a steak in front of her. That was a dilemma. Would Mouse warn the woman about the little thief under her table? Or would he let things be, knowing what hunger was like and feeling that the woman really should have been paying better attention, instead of having her attention riveted to the proceedings at the door?

Still undecided, he slid down from his chair and waddled a bit closer with his ungainly gait. First he would wait to see if the copper-haired woman would even notice the disappearance of her meat. If not, he could still decide on a course of action. As he came closer, he noticed the pointy ears peeping out from between her hair - an elf then. However, the more surprising aspect of her visage was revealed when she turned her head a little, and Mouse could see a tattoo of a rose covering her right eye. That must have hurt, he thought. He wouldn't get one in that place, an eye being such a delicate thing. But then, he probably wouldn't get one, period, so really he did not know anything about it. It did look good on her, though.
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Garth Avery
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« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2011, 01:04:33 AM »

For a moment, Gurrant wasn't sure he'd heard right.  Alive?  The Pest Pillar?  The monstrous, ugly monument to Koraya knows what out in the town square?  When it finally sunk in, Gurrant laughed out loud.

There was a jeer from the crowd, someone asking for the drunken one handed man to explain.  As well, a strange pale blue skinned woman approached him.  Elf, by the look of her, though not one from near here, Tavis guessed. She too questioned what he had seen.  Tavis turned to her, but spoke out loud enough for the crowd to hear..  "It is moving.  The hand be calling.  It wants to draw evil to it."  A shiver went through him, from her eyes or the memory of the pillar, he wasn't entirely sure.

"Aye, Tavis, ye had me going there for a moment.  The Pest Pillar is alive!  Hah!  Perhaps its time ye went home and slept off the ale."  Gurrant turned and was about to take his seat once more when he was stopped by the angry voice of the one handed man.

"Mock me if'n ye will, but I'm tellin' ye the truth.  The Pest Pillar is moving.  Queprur herself has come back.  There are rats... and they... they... there are rats!"

Gurrant turned about, somewhat annoyed now at the man.  "Of course, there be rats, man.  This is a city.  One thing about cities wherever ye go, you'll always find rats.  And drunks.  Both more trouble than they be worth."

As Gurrant took his seat, a mug of ale crashed into the wall near him, splashing him and a few others nearby.  Gurrant's head spun about to face the one handed man who stood defiantly.  "Ye best be a better fighter than ye be a liar, cuz yer about ta anger me.  Ye do that, and ye be meetin' Queprur alright." Gurrant warned.

« Last Edit: December 26, 2011, 01:05:42 AM by Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin » Logged

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Claudirea
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« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2011, 01:59:37 PM »

Drops of ale fell upon Claudrea's bare arms as well as shards of a once-whole mug fell into her salad. She jumped back slightly, causing her chair to scoot along the floor. Luna stood up at once, her ears folded down, a slight growl emitting from her throat.

Claudirea turned her attention to the man who was taunting Tavis. A look of anger was upon his face, and she began to fear that a full blown brawl would break out among the two of them. She bit her lower lip as her mind raced. Thinking through her options very quickly, she realized that someone would have to get involved to calm things down, or else she would probably end up having to use her medicinal herbs that night....

Laying a gentle hand upon Luna's hand to calm her, Claudirea stood up, took a shaky breath, and stepped towards the angered man. Because she was so short, she knew that she would have rely more on what she said than her stature.

"Perhaps....perhaps it would be wise to see if there is anything going on," she said gently, but loud enough for him to hear her. In addition, as if to grab his attention, she placed a hand upon his arm, hoping that the human contact would calm him down. "If I remember correctly, the Pest Pillar isn't that far away from here, and if there's nothing to see, than only a few moment's of our night has been wasted."

Claudirea prayed to every god and goddess she knew, begging for the wisdom of what to say, and praying for a calming spirit to fall over the tavern. She did not want this to end in bloodshed....
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Leilani Nakai'ewalu
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« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2011, 02:57:47 AM »

Things were beginning to get out of hand and the temper of the large, loud man was starting to reach it's boiling point after Tavis threw what Leilani believed to be a mug in his general direction. She felt the rush of air and heard the soft woosh of the mug as it flew passed her. It hit the wall in a spray of ale, causing others in the vicinity to jump in surprise. Then a woman, who seemed to have been a recepient of the spray of ale, approached the angered man and spoke in a gentle, reassuring voice.
 
"Perhaps....perhaps it would be wise to see if there is anything going on. If I remember correctly, the Pest Pillar isn't that far away from here, and if there's nothing to see, than only a few moment's of our night has been wasted."

Leilani agreed with the woman and was more than grateful for her attempt at calming the man. "Yes, I too believe that we should investigate the Pest Pillar." Even as she spoke the words, a shiver ran down the length of her spine at the thought of approaching the monument again, especially in the dead of night. Lucas could feel her tension and comfortingly rubbed his large, furry head against her thigh. A smile tugged at the corner of her mouth at the dogs show of affection and she patted his head reassuringly. "Yes", she said more to herself than to the others. "We must go to the Pillar."
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 09:10:04 AM by Leilani Nakai'ewalu » Logged

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Ridgen Sú'ufanán
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« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2011, 03:34:10 AM »

The situation looked like it may turn out to become a full-blown fight when this Tavis sent a mug of ale flying, still full, shattering it against one of the tavern's walls. That man needs to calm down. Before anyone else could really do anything, a woman stood up, approached the man that Tavis was arguing with and suggested that they all go take a look at this moving pillar. This was quickly followed by the agreement of another elfess, who had expressed her interest in the Pest Pillar earlier.

Ridgen thought it was about time he got closer and added his voice to the conversation. He sauntered over, giving off a confident air, to the doorway where Tavis stood.

"Good idea," he said bluntly. "In fact, let's go have a look right now. The pillar certainly looks like it's in need of a visit."
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 12:59:07 PM by Ridgen Sú'ufanán » Logged

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Seh'nara Celebrindal
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« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2011, 06:28:40 AM »

"Mock me if'n ye will, but I'm tellin' ye the truth.  The Pest Pillar is moving.  Queprur herself has come back.  There are rats... and they... they... there are rats!"

Seh'nara's eyes narrowed at the stuttered exclamation. It seemed outlandish, eerie, implausible. And yet, in the City of Death, was it truly impossible? Of course, the title itself wasn't proof. Death could come in many forms. And often, Death prefered to shroud itself in illness and war, subtle in the unsubtlety of clanging swords and coughing patients. The Goddess of Death, it seemed, had opted for more overt means this time.

The elf was far too absorbed in her thoughts to notice the light touch of a small hand, its nimble fingers grasping her half-eaten steak and sliding it out of sight. It was only until the movement off to her side - already unusual in itself; everybody was riveted by Tavis - caught her attention. Turning her head ever so slightly, Seh'nara spared a glance to her side, noting the hobbit sized... boy? Man? She didn't know. And so thinking, lost interest in him almost immediately, turning her attention back to her table. Where apparently, her steak had decided to spontaneously grow legs and walk off.

Seh'nara stared down at the empty plate on the table, a growing sense of annoyance spreading through her being. It was supposed to be a good night. Not one filled with raving lunatics, moving statues and disappearing steaks! The elfess closed her eyes briefly in frustration and moved to push her chair back. Before she could move the wooden chair a nailsbreath though, she felt a light flutter of movement near her booted foot. In a heartbeat, the elfess realised the truth. The thief was under the table! Oh, he was genius.

In one fluid movement, the elfess had her dagger out of its sheath and shoved the chair back, ending up kneeling on the ground, her dagger-tip pointed directly at a timid waif. His eyes grew large at the sharp blade, and even larger at the snarl Seh'nara had on her face. Three heartbeats passed before Seh'nara relaxed, realising who she was actually threatening. A simple waif, probably a homeless orphan, merely wanting food and drink to stave off the hunger gnawing at his insides. She knew the feeling, and wouldn't begrudge anyone for it. The elfess sat back on her haunches, sliding the lethal weapon back into its holder. "You should observe your mark more, child. Just because I don't show my weapons or have a dragon by my side, doesn't mean I'm not capable of causing you harm." The elfess tempered her chidings with a tentative smile. She must have scared him, and didn't want to frighten him further. He was such a slight young thing, with a little elf-blood in him too, looking at his ears. Seh'nara's heart went out to the little feychild.

"In fact, let's go have a look right now. The pillar certainly looks like it's in need of a visit." Seh tilted her head towards the voices. The proposed expedition seemed to be well supported, and she wanted to be in on it. "Looks like you're in luck. Everyone seems to be clearing out. Have fun feasting on the leftovers, child." Seh gave the boy a small wink before standing up and stretching. If there was going to be a trip to the cursed pillar, she was going.
Logged

Movash
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Feyfolk, Maeverhim & Black Butterfly Rover


« Reply #28 on: December 29, 2011, 09:57:10 AM »

It's a common mistake: faced with a tricky business, you concentrate all your mind on the most difficult part of it, and once you've succeeded with that, you are so happy and relieved and proud of yourself that you relax too early and fail to finish the job. Such was the trap that Movash stepped into. Or rather, such was the trap that he kept sitting in for a few blinks too long, while his eyes re-acquainted themselves with being open, and revelled in the sight of the juicy steak his hand had caught.

There was a movement from above, a soft kick against his hip, then the noise of a chair skidding across the floor – and the next thing Movash knew, he was staring into the tip of the red-haired woman's dagger. Her face was fierce like a wolf's. Her eyes wanted to stab him. He could see her teeth. She was a hunter. He was a rabbit. She would kill him. He knew .

Instead, the woman's face softened. She put away her dagger and said: "You should observe your mark more, child. Just because I don't show my weapons or have a dragon by my side, doesn't mean I'm not capable of causing you harm." Movash saw then that she, too, was an elfess. She had a flower tattoo over her right eye. Her skin was pale, but in a different way than the skin of the blind elfess had been.

Behind him, beyond the table, the men at the door were beginning to fight. Movash heard the breaking of crockery, and voices raised to furious roars. He hoped that this would distract the woman, so that he could escape after all. His heart sank when calm voices intervened, and appeared, for the moment at least, to nip the brawl in the bud. The woman had listened to the voices, too, but she must have understood more of their meaning than Movash, for she said: "Looks like you're in luck. Everyone seems to be clearing out. Have fun feasting on the leftovers, child."  She winked at him, and stood up, her face disappearing out of Movash's sight. He was left under the table alone. For a moment, he could do nothing but stare at people's legs. Some of them were moving, but Movash hardly noticed that.

What was worse? To be thought a thief, to be punished and despised – or to be thought so unimportant as not even to be worthy of contempt and punishment? Two elfesses had caught Movash in the act of stealing tonight. Both had smiled at him, left him the scraps from their table, and gone away to deal with weightier matters.

He missed his mother. He missed her hair. He missed helping her to dye streaks of it in blue and green, according to the fashion of her tribe. He missed hanging cherries over the pointy tips of her ears. He missed her eyes. They were the kindest eyes in the world.

When Movash crawled out from under the table, tears were running down his cheeks. He cried without sound, not even snorting to clear his nose of the snot that dropped freely from his nostrils. It was time to go. Soon the night would have him, Humbaba would find him, and he would bury his face in the folds of her furless skin.

He looked around for the best way through the tables and the crowds, and through the wet mist of his tears saw a boy standing nearby. Movash hadn't noticed another child in the tavern before, but this boy was even smaller than himself. Did he look at Movash? Did he sneer at him for being a cry baby? In a gesture of defiance, Movash wiped his face with his sleeve, smearing the fabric with dark patches of salty damp and snot. Let that boy think what he wants. If Humbaba was here, he wouldn't even dare to stand close. Movash lifted his head and began to walk towards the door. His pockets were filled with food. Things could have been worse.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 11:11:18 AM by Movash » Logged

Garth Avery
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« Reply #29 on: December 29, 2011, 08:42:57 PM »

It would seem that there was no need to decide after all - Something caught the elfess's attention, her attention turned from the door to her plate, and she noticed that it was missing a steak. She even seemed to sense exactly where the thief was, now that she realised there was one, and quick as a flash she had shoved her chair backwards, threatening the boy with a dagger. Mouse blinked. Was that not a bit too dramatic for just a disappeared steak? However, before he could interfere - he felt like the viewer of a play, no chances to act - she had sheathed her dagger and said something to the hungry child, after which she stood up and strode off into the direction of the door.

The elfin boy, probably from the backlash of the sudden fright and the just as sudden removal of the fright, started crying. There was something strange about it though - despite the tears that Mouse could clearly see, not a sound came from the small boy. Did he not have a voice? Though that would not explain it, there are crying sounds that even silent people can make, and even those lacked. It was eerie. The small man wanted to comfort the little boy, but what happened next nearly broke his heart for the urchin. He had seen him looking, and in an act of obvious defiance righted his shoulders, wiped his nose on his sleeve, and moved off, not looking back. Mouse wanted to go after him and offer him a handkerchief, but he felt that he couldn't. It would be the ultimate humiliation. The acrobat left the boy in his pride, but his earnest grey eyes followed the boy's movements across the common room. His heart went out to the kid, but there was nothing better he could do than let him be, even though he longed to start a conversation with him.

Now that he was standing anyway, he waddled closer to the commotion that was still going on, his curiosity getting the better of him. He wasn't sure what exactly was going on, but more people had gathered here, including the elfess with the steak. There was another elfess, paler than the first, a dwarf, another elf, male this time, with the pointiest ears and strangest eyes that Mouse had ever seen. Where were the humans? Oh, there was one, a smallish lady with dark skin. Mouse felt less alone just seeing her. Now, to find out what was going on...
Logged

Ease of laughter comes so fast when you're not in the jester's shoes...

Garth Avery
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